A lesson in international relations

Dr Jaishankar answered many questions which the world had been asking
"This time around the Russian invasion of Ukraine and consequently the disturbed world order was in their attention, while others tried to comprehend rising China-US tensions, as also the ravages  which have brought humanity face to face with the catastrophes."
"This time around the Russian invasion of Ukraine and consequently the disturbed world order was in their attention, while others tried to comprehend rising China-US tensions, as also the ravages which have brought humanity face to face with the catastrophes."Special arrangement

For the residents of Jammu and Kashmir, it is imperative to keep their eyes and ears open  to what is happening at the national and international level, and especially when the United Nations General Assembly is in session around this time every year. 

There are few who always keep tuned to the speeches of the world leaders  to  know whether they bring K word in their script, and others read between the lines.  And there are others who focus on  other issues concerning the world.

This time around the Russian invasion of Ukraine and consequently the disturbed world order was in their attention, while others tried to comprehend rising China-US tensions, as also the ravages  which have brought humanity face to face with the catastrophes.

This is part of their learning the political, diplomatic lessons. This way or the other, people in Kashmir have  a self-belief  that they are at the center of the world, and they have an added responsibility to know new dynamics of  international relations.

To be honest, I went through the text of External Affairs Minister  Dr S Jaishankar, whether he has responded to Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Shari’s speech, wherein he had spoken of Kashmir and the need for dialogue with India. It was my mistake that I was looking for particular words – Kashmir, Pakistan  and so on. But he said, much more, not in response to Pakistan PM’s speech and references that it contained, but to the world at large, suiting  the top diplomat of the country which is marching  ahead to become a developed one in the next 25 years.

He answered many questions which the world  had been asking. This particular part of his speech explains  everything. India is on the side of peace “As the Ukraine conflict continues  to rage, we are often asked whose side are we on. And our answer, each time, is straight and honest. India is on the side of peace and will remain firmly there,” Dr Jai Shankar said  during the course of his speech at the 77th session of the UNGA.   Continuing  with this particular area of interest, focus and concern of the world, the minister  said: “We are on the side  that respects the UN  Charter  and its founding principles. We are on the side that calls for dialogue and diplomacy  as the only way out. We are on the side of those struggling to make  ends meet, even as they stare at the escalating costs of food of fuel and fertilisers. It is there in our collective interest to work constructively, both within the United Nations and outside,  in finding an early resolution to this conflict.”

The message was loud and clear. Though it was spoken in reference to the conflict in Europe that has struck at foundations of the post Cold War world order, it had a wider  appeal for the world to listen, comprehend and act.

This  stand  on the side of peace has wider contours. The west sees the solution to the conflict through economic sanctions and supply of  high-end  weaponry to Ukraine. Their way of search for peace is through arms. That will  only perpetuate the conflict, not end it. The wars may settle issues regarding territory, but leave devastation in the wake. This is what Ukraine is experiencing. The only way out is through dialogue and diplomacy. In fact, this message  should reverberate  in Moscow  too, which has suffered heavy losses.

Nearer home, it is having special appeal to China, Pakistan and Afghanistan that how should they embark on  the dialogue and diplomacy, but even practice of this thesis is based on certain imperatives. That is counter-terrorism  should not be a lip service, it has to be taken seriously and no sermons should be delivered to justify acts of terror. 

Kashmir  knows that what it has undergone over the past 33 years. A clear-eyed view will reveal as to who is at the root of the whole problem. Quite often, Pakistan and  few in the Valley talk about the military presence in the Valley as intimidating factor.  It is a fact that there is a high number of soldiers and paramilitary forces deployed in Kashmir – but  all those who have seen pre-1989, know that it is a post 1990 phenomenon. That is directly linked to the armed violence – terrorism, all encompassed together in the proxy war  launched by Pakistan.

A Pakistani diplomat had asked former Prime Minister P V Narsimha Rao in 1990s, as to why there are  so many soldiers in Kashmir, and pat came the reply: “you should ask why they were not there before 1989.”  There is always a reference and context to each and every theory, perception or misperception.


Again, Dr Jaishankar  answered many question  when he  said  at UNGA.: “ India would be  completing  its tenure as a member of the Security Council this year. In our term, we have acted as a bridge on some serious but divisive issues confronting the Council. We have also focused on concerns such as maritime security, peacekeeping and counter terrorism.”

“As the Chair of the Counter Terrorism Committee this year, India would be hosting its special meeting in Mumbai and New Delhi. I invite all member states to participate in it. We need to create a global architecture that responds to the new tech tools deployed against open, diverse and pluralistic societies,”

Then came the hard part, wherein the Foreign Minister reflected on the cross-border terrorism –  stating a cold fact that how Pakistan ( though it was not named ) exported terrorism into India , from  Mumbai to Delhi and, in particular Jammu and Kashmir. He articulated the long-held stand of India,” zero-tolerance” to terrorism. “In our view, there is no justification for any act of terrorism, regardless of motivation. And no rhetoric, however, sanctimonious can ever cover-up blood-stains,” he asserted .

When India says, zero-tolerance to terrorism, it means  in all its forms and manifestations. Here, he reflected on the duplicity of  China on this issue, when he said: “The United Nations responds to terrorism by sanctioning its perpetrators. Those who politicise the UNSC 1267 Sanctions regime, sometimes even to the extent of defending proclaimed terrorists, they do so at their own peril. Believe me, they advance neither their own interests nor indeed their reputation.” Beijing must act on his advice, as it has no justification for blocking the proclaimed terrorists,  operating from Pakistan, from getting designated as terrorists by the world body.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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