‘Unusual neighbours’: Jaishankar slams China and Pakistan with ‘Karna-Duryodhana’ reference from Mahabharata

Image Source : PTI/FILE External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

Jaishankar on China: In yet another attack on China, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called it an “unusual neighbour”, which according to him, may have its own challenges if it becomes a superpower. The Union Minister made these remarks while speaking at an event in Pune for the release of his English book “The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World,” which has been translated into Marathi as ‘Bharat Marg.’

“China is an unusual neighbour. We have many neighbours but China may become global power or superpower. Living next to global power has its own challenges,” he stated.

Speaking further, Jaishankar said that the book contains strategies for managing China on the political, economic, and technological fronts. As he spoke about national security, he also emphasised how India has suffered more from terrorism than other nations.

Jaishankar’s dig at Pakistan

“At times there’re challenges to national security requiring decisive steps. An obvious example of it is terrorism, we all know how much India has suffered due to terrorism as compared to other countries because other countries don’t have a neighbour like the one we have,” Jaishankar said during the event, as he took a sharp dig at Pakistan.

The EAM also bemoaned the geographical limitations of India to choose its neighbours. “It is a reality to us….Pandavas could not choose relatives, we can’t choose our neighbours. Naturally, we hope good sense prevails” he said when asked if “rogue nation (Pakistan), who happens to be nuclear power, the neighbour will be assets or a liability.”

He said Pakistan has drawn criticism from the global community for its failure to effectively confront terrorism. He went on to say that Islamabad must mend its ways to receive assistance from other nations in difficult times. Pakistan currently has a relatively small number of allies, among which Turkey is unable to assist Pakistan and China never gives grants but only loans.

EAM Jaishankar’s Mahabharata reference

Speaking about rules-based order, he said, “Karan and Duryodhan are violating rules-based order. Karna and Duryodhan’s friendship did not benefit either of them or their families. It didn’t make any positive impact on society. Moreover, it devoured their lives and caused massive destruction, irreversible damage and abysmal suffering to their kith and kin.”

China’s efforts to reclaim and militarize disputed outposts in the South China Sea, its willingness to use coercion and intimidation along with other provocative actions undertaken to enforce its expansive and unlawful South China Sea maritime claims, undermine the peace and security of the region. Beijing has offered no coherent legal basis for its expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea.

A rules-based order may generally be understood as a shared commitment by States to conduct their activities in accordance with an existing set of rules. The rules-based order is underpinned by a system of global governance that has developed since the Second World War. Jaishankar also explained “tactical adjustment” by giving examples of Yudhisthira lying about Ashwathama’s death.

(With inputs from ANI)

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