As India completes 75 years of Independence on August 15, terrorism is being used as an instrument of pressure on the country but the nation must remain resolute, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told News18 Kannada in an exclusive interview.
“We need to be resolute and there must be no compromise. It is natural for us to blacklist these terrorists. When other countries block it, it’s for them to think what it means for their own credibility when it comes to terrorism,” Jaishankar said in an oblique reference to China which blocked a proposal at the UN Security Council earlier this week to designate Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) deputy chief Abdul Rauf Azhar as a global terrorist.
China has put technical hold on the joint proposal at the UN Security Council by India and the US to designate the JeM leader, who is the younger brother of the group’s chief Masood Azhar. All other 14 member states of the top UN body supported the proposal.
The designation of Abdul Rauf as a global terrorist would have resulted in a global travel ban on him as well as requiring Pakistan to freeze his assets and to cut off his access to weapons and related materials.
Asked if the setback to India is the result of flawed policy at the UN, Jaishankar said large parts of the world are not represented in the UN Security Council – where China, Russia, United Kingdom, United States and France are permanent members with veto powers.
“The shortcoming is that these bodies were formed reflecting the power structure of the time. It has a sell-by date; large parts of the world are not represented. Top economies and populous countries like India will add to UN effectiveness and credibility. What individual counties do is another thing, but vast majority of countries support what we do. The pain of terrorism is felt across the world,” Jaishankar told News18.
The External Affairs Minister, however, added that reforms at the UN are “not for one country to push”.
“Reform of the UN is something that members should debate and agree upon. It is not for one country to push. The process of negotiating is underway. It’s not easy,” he said.
The government had told the Lok Sabha in July this year that four out of five permanent members of the UN Security Council have supported India’s candidature for a permanent seat in the world body, with China being the sole holdout.
There has been growing demand to increase the number of permanent members to reflect the contemporary global reality. India, Brazil, South Africa, Germany and Japan are strong contenders for permanent membership of the UNSC which has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
Asked about speculation of change of leadership in Karnataka, Jaishankar said it was natural for him to spend time with the party organisation and expressed confidence that the party would do in Assembly elections next year.