In an unambiguous message to China amid the military stand-off in eastern Ladakh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar today asserted that India would never accept any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo on the border.
”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 to veto our choices,” he said at an event to mark eight years of the Modi government.
Jaishankar emphasised that a nation like India needed to contemplate its security in the broadest way possible. ”In the past, mantras of globalisation lowered our defences and discouraged the building of deeper strengths. That realisation is responsible for the commitment we now see to Atma Nirbhar Bharat. We certainly want to make in India, but we want to make with the world, and we want to make for the world,” he added.
Noting that the Covid pandemic has been the most devastating phenomenon in living memory, he said that just when the world was recovering from the virus, it was confronted with the repercussions of the Ukraine conflict. ”Our position on the matter (Ukraine war) itself has been stated at length at various forums. But beyond the conflict, the world today faces severe challenges in the rising costs of energy, food and fertilizers,” he added.
The minister said the ”Global South” was particularly impacted by the war and the need for an early end to the fighting and a return to diplomacy was getting stronger with each passing day.
He said the pandemic has not been the only driver of a more volatile and uncertain world. it has brought out the risks of the over-centralised model of globalisation that was being followed. ”Consequently, it has encouraged the building of reliable and resilient supply chains,” he added.