JAISHANKAR-PAK 2 LAST

The Foreign Secretary spoke about India’s ties with the The Foreign Secretary spoke about India’s ties with theUS, Russia and China as well as with various multilateralforums, adding there has been a marked shift in New Delhi’sexternal engagements in the last two years. He cited completion of the Indo-Afghanistan FreindshipDam and Parliament building constructed by India in Kabul asreflection of changing approach of the government inimplementing major projects abroad. The Foreign Secretary said ties with the US, Japan, Russiaand China have improved significantly, while there was speedyprogress in ramping up cooperation with Africa. "I would also accept that we have faced some challenges inthe relationship recently. The visit of the Chinese ForeignMinister gave us an opportunity to revisit some of thoseissues. "I think certainly, speaking from our perspective, whethera well known terroist who actually proudly accepts that he hasundertaken actions against this country is sanctioned by a UNcommittee or not. This is not a small issue," he said. Earlier this year, China had blocked India’s effort toban Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar by the UN. He also made a veiled reference to China scuttlingIndia’s NSG membership bid, saying New Delhi needed to getgreater access to nuclear energy, especially given itscommitment at the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions(INDC) climate forum. China had scuttled India’s bid for membership of theNuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at the plenary meeting of the48-nation grouping in June on the grounds that it was not asignatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),evoking a strong reaction from India. PTI MPBSK

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