Jaishankar Pin Points UPA’s Blunders In Reply To Rahul Gandhi’s Video
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has given a blistering point-by-point rebuttal to allegations made by Rahul Gandhi over India’s foreign policy as part of his new video series.
Gandhi, in a fresh video released today, alleged that since 2014, Narendra Modi’s foreign policy, has weakened India due to Prime Minister Modi’s constant blunders and indiscretions.
“Since 2014, the PM’s constant blunders and indiscretions have fundamentally weakened India and left us vulnerable”, Gandhi said.
In a stinging reply on his Twitter handle, pinpointed the blunders of then PM Manmohan Singh. He blamed then PM Manmohan Singh for legitimising Pakistan’s allegations that India has been interfering in Balochistan during NAM Summit in 2009 in Egypt’s Sharm-el Sheikh.
In Havana, Cuba, in 2006, another major blunder by Manmohan Singh had resulted in India acknowledging Pakistan as a “victim of terrorism.” It was widely criticised as the ‘Havana handshake’ by Indian media and policy watchers.
Interestingly, Gandhi did not make any reference to Pakistan.
“And #Pakistan (that you skipped) surely notes the difference between Balakot & Uri on the one hand, and Sharm-el-Sheikh, Havana & 26/11 on the other. Ask yourself,” Jaishankar tweeted.
On China, Jaishankar said India’s major partnerships are stronger and international standing is higher. He added India is engaging China on more equal terms politically.
“We speak our mind more openly now. On CPEC, on BRI, on South China Sea, on UN sanctioned terrorists, etc… Ask the media,” Jaishankar added, referring to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Belt and Road Initiative.
India had from the very outset had protested against China’s CPEC push as the corridor passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, which is illegally occupied by Pakistan.
Jaishankar also highlighted the border infrastructure imbalance that India had witnessed during Congress rule, hinting at weakening India’s security.
He asked Gandhi to compare the government’s expenses on border infrastructure in the 2008-14 period to the 2014-20 period.
Jaishankar also stated that the border infrastructure budget has been increased by 280 per cent, road construction works by 32 per cent, bridges by 99 percent and six times the number of tunnels have been added.
India’s Relations With Neighbouring Countries
Slamming Gandhi’s reference to deteriorating relationships with neighbours, Jaishankar blamed the UPA Government for inaction when Hambantota port agreement between China and Sri Lanka concluded in 2008.
He also flayed the UPA government for being a mute spectator when Nasheed’s government was toppled in 2012. However, India, under PM Modi, has managed to transform relationships with Maldives, he stated.
On Bangladesh, Jaishankar said the Modi government had done enough to settle boundary dispute with the country in 2015, which bolstered India’s relationship and opened vistas for more development and transit. “And terrorists no longer find safe haven there,” he added.
Jaishankar told Gandhi to ask the citizens of Nepal how India has taken up a series of developmental projects there. He also hinted at the failure of the UPA regime to neglect building relationships with Nepal for 17 year.
“Nepal after 17 years is getting Prime Ministerial visits. And a swathe of developmental projects: power, fuel, housing, hospital, roads, etc. Ask their citizens,” he said, before going to refer to better relations with Bhutan and Afghanistan,” he said.
On Bhutan, Jaishankar hinted at the UPA government’s failure to ruin relationships with the country by cutting kerosene and LPG subsidies. However, Bhutan, as of now, has found a stronger security and development partner in India, unlike in 2013, when it was worried about cooking gas, he stated.
He furthered that under the current Indian regime, Afghanistan has seen the completion of major projects like the Salma Dam and Parliament.
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