New Delhi, Jun 7 (PTI) India will never accept any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo and a posture that departs from established understandings will evoke its own responses, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday in comments that came in the backdrop of the lingering border row with China in eastern Ladakh.
In an address to the foreign diplomatic corps based in India, Jaishankar, referring to India’s overall approach in dealing with security challenges, said: “We have overcome the hesitations of history and will not allow anyone a veto on our choices.”
He said India is looking forward to joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group, overcoming the political impediments that are against global interest, seen as an indirect reference to China’s objection to New Delhi’s entry into the grouping.
Talking about threats of terrorism, Jaishankar said diplomacy has contributed to addressing the challenge by delegitimising it and denying support and sustenance to terrorism.
“Our borders also need safeguarding and we will never accept any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo. A posture that departs from established understandings will evoke its own responses,” he said.
“When it comes to security, we will do what it takes to ensure national well-being. I acknowledge also the role of trusted partners who work with us to help keep India safe and secure every day. We have overcome the hesitations of history and will not allow anyone anyone a veto on our choices,” he said.
Jaishankar said a nation like India obviously needs to contemplate its security in the broadest way possible.
“In the past, mantras of globalisation lowered its defences and discouraged the building of deeper strengths. That realisation is responsible for the commitment we now see to Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India). We certainly want to make in India, but we want to make with the world, and we want to make for the world,” he said.
In the event organised to mark eight years of the Modi government, Jaishankar said India has been active in shaping the global discourse on many key issues.
“It could be connectivity and maritime security, resilient and reliable supply chains, data and cyber security or indeed terrorism, violent extremism and black money, India has interests and views that it has put forward with assurance,” he said.
Jaishankar said strengthening a rules-based order is a natural inclination of a polity like India.
“We value all opportunities to contribute to it. Our membership of the MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime), Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement are therefore significant,” he said.
“As a nation with a substantial nuclear industry, we also look forward to joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group, overcoming the political impediments that are against global interest,” he added.
China has been stridently opposing India’s NSG bid primarily on the grounds that New Delhi is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Its opposition has made India’s entry into the grouping difficult as the NSG works on the principle of consensus.
The external affairs minister said that an economically stronger India expresses its deep belief of the world being a family through greater development partnerships.
“The last eight years have witnessed a tripling of our Lines of Credit commitments over the previous eight-year period. The value of project completion also went up by 38 per cent,” he said.
“Our neighbourhood and our African partners were the main beneficiaries, even as we expanded projects into new areas. In the coming years, we intend to focus even more on green growth, on digital delivery and on health capacities,” he added.