`Bad habits', countries should not comment on others' internal affairs: S Jaishankar

| | Ahmedabad
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`Bad habits', countries should not comment on others' internal affairs: S Jaishankar

Tuesday, 02 April 2024 | PTI | Ahmedabad

`Bad habits', countries should not comment on others' internal affairs: S Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said countries should refrain from making political statements on others' internal affairs, and if a foreign country comments on India's internal politics, it will get a "very strong reply."

Replying to a question about envoys of the US and Germany as well as a United Nations official commenting on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's arrest by the Enforcement Directorate, he said India had made it clear that it objected to such statements. He also called China's action of issuing a list of new names for places in Arunachal Pradesh as "senseless", and said the northeastern state is and will always be a part of India. "Somebody asked a person from the UN (about Kejriwal's arrest), and he gave some reply. But in other cases, I would say very frankly these are old habits, these are bad habits," Jaishankar told reporters here. "There is a certain 'maryada' (restraint) among countries. We are sovereign countries, we should not be interfering in each other's internal affairs, we should not be passing comments about each other's politics," he added. There are certain etiquettes, conventions and practices which must be followed in international relations, the minister said, adding that if a foreign country comments on India's politics, "they will get a very strong reply from us, and that is what has happened." "...We sincerely urge all the countries in the world that by all means you have your views about the world, but no country has the right to comment on another country's politics especially in situations like this," Jaishankar said. Hitting out at Congress leader P Chidambaram over the Katchatheevu island row, he said the fishermen of Tamil Nadu should know who put them in this situation. In his tweets on X earlier, Chidambaram said any "untruthful and belligerent" statement about the island will bring the Sri Lankan government and 35 lakh Tamils into confrontation. Jaishankar did a "somersault" on the issue, and once a liberal foreign service officer, he became a mouthpiece of the RSS-BJP, the former Union minister said. Jaishankar said he did not mind people disputing his statements that then prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi gave no importance to the island and the legal opinion regarding negotiating fishing rights with Sri lanka was disregarded. "But these are public documents. By saying that today Jaishankar is in BJP or not -- Jaishankar is in BJP and is proud to be in BJP -- does not change anything. Facts are facts, truth is truth. Fishermen of Tamil Nadu should know who has put them in that situation," he said.

"The issue is not what was the (then) government's position... The issue is the public should know that the DMK was complicit in it," he added. On China releasing a fourth list of 30 new names of various places in Arunachal Pradesh, the minister described the action as "senseless."

"I want to be very clear that Arunachal Pradesh was, Arunachal Pradesh is, Arunachal Pradesh will always be India. I hope I am saying it so clearly that not only in the country but beyond the country also people get that message very very clearly," he said. The Ministry of External Affairs, earlier, averred in a statement that assigning invented names will not alter the reality that Arunachal Pradesh is, has been, and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India. About the ongoing Red Sea crisis, the minister said the Indian government has deployed 21 Navy ships for patrolling in the region in the last three months, carrying out anti-piracy and rescue operations. "Philippines president has expressed gratitude to the Indian government for the rescue of Philippines sailors who were kidnapped. It is our responsibility today. We have to do it for ourselves, but we have to do it for the world (too). When we talk of India Rising, then it is our responsibility to tackle such incidents around us in cooperation with other countries," he said.

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