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We were determined, strong in protecting our interests: Jaishankar on the border issue | India News


NEW DELHI: India was strong and resolute when it comes to handling the border issue and tackling it effectively, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said on Friday, in an apparent reference to the standoff between India and China.
Similarly, India also effectively dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic impact by designing its own response after listening to everyone, he said at the opening session of the ‘Asia Economic Dialogue’ organized by the International Center. from Pune.
“Last year, we had three major developments that impacted us at the national level. They also impacted the world – one was Covid-19, the second was its economic impact, and the third was the challenges we encountered at our border that obviously had implications.” said the foreign minister.
“In each of these cases, I would tell you that they were difficult challenges. There were many debates, as in fact there should be, there were difficult decisions, a lot of doubts and a lot of free advice. Let’s say, as a government we listened to everything and then we did what we thought it was. the right thing to do, ”he said in his comments during the session titled ‘Resilient Global Growth in a Post-pandemic World.
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne also participated in the session.
Crafting India’s responses to the three key developments last year, Jaishankar said that in the case of the Covid-19 outbreak, the government decided on an early shutdown, induced a degree of social discipline, and established a truly impressive healthcare infrastructure. in a very short time. space of time.
“I mean creating 16,000 dedicated centers and going from zero to being an exporter of masks, ventilators and PPE test kits, I think, frankly, it was a big problem,” he said.
On dealing with the economic impact of Covid-19, he said it also involved a lot of debate, but the government consciously decided that there was an element of time for what the response should be and was not pressured into “stimulus measures loaded at the beginning.” . .
Speaking about how to deal with the border problem facing India, Jaishankar, without naming any country or going into details, said: “You know again that we did what we had to do. There was a very active debate that continues to this day. It is natural for people to offer advice, often on matters they may not have particular knowledge of, which is a human trait. But again, if what happened was that we were resolved, we were strong in protecting our interests. ” .
“And in each case, I suggest that we look at a very complicated issue. We listened to everyone, but we made a decision and finally we designed an answer that was effective,” said Jaishankar.
The border clash between the Indian and Chinese armies broke out on May 5 last year after a violent clash in the Pangong Lake areas and both sides gradually improved their deployment by rushing tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry, including as the two sides continued. military and diplomatic talks.
Last week, the armies of the two countries concluded the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the northern and southern banks of Pangong Tso in the high-altitude region.
On resilience in the post-Covid world, Jaishankar said there are two things that India needs to do: “run home, in the broadest sense of the word, hard and well, and contribute more and more abroad. “.
Jaishankar also explained the government’s determination to build an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, saying that the first step is to “think for yourself and not let others pressure and pressure you.”
Underlining that the government has undertaken “profound reforms,” ​​Jaishankar said that the Covid period was not just a period of health response, but it was also a period that the government used to design new policies and push for much-needed reforms to which previous governments were reluctant. take either agriculture, work or education.
Much of that mentality is reflected in the budget presented by the government earlier this month, he said.
Looking to the future, Jaishankar said: “First of all, going back to 1992 is not the answer. My feeling is that if more skills are not developed at home, openness in itself is not a solution for society, as only It means leaving yourself completely open to other people who may have far more predatory practices. ”
“It is very important to be strong at home, develop skills at home,” said Jaishankar.
“We cannot be politically agnostic when we look at the world,” he added.

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