Jaishankar invokes Indian democracy to resolve Kashmir, pitches for UN reforms

 

Responding to a US senator’s remark that he hoped the two democracies will end the Kashmir dispute, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said India will “settle” the issue on its own. The conversation between Mr Jaishankar and US Senator Lindsey Graham, dubbed by the media as a light banter, took place on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on February 15, the high-profile annual jamboree of ministers, diplomats and the international strategic community.

During a panel discussion, Senator Graham had said that the best way to settle the Kashmir issue is through democratic means. “In India, you are moving forward, you got your problems as we do at home, but you’ve chosen the democratic path. When it comes to Kashmir, I don’t know how it ends, but let’s make sure that two democracies will end it differently. If you can prove that concept here, then I think that’s probably the best way to sell democracy,” the Republican leader said.

To that, Mr Jaishankar promptly responded, saying, “Do not worry, Senator. One democracy will settle it and you know which one.” He also said that the United Nations has become far less credible than it has been in history, and “something” should be done about it.

“The United Nations is far less credible than it has been in history, which is not entirely surprising because when you think about it, there are not too many things, which are 75 years old and still as good as they were. Clearly, there is something that needs to be done there.” The minister also spoke about “westlessness” and multilateralism at the discussion.

More India-EU Cooperation

During the panel discussion, Mr Jaishankar also stressed on strengthening cooperation between India and the European Union (EU). There is a lot of scope for cooperation between India and the EU, and it should be part of the conversation, Mr Jaishankar said at the Munich conference on February 15. The foreign minister stressed for better, stronger and more forthright security cooperation between Indian and the EU. He said that challenges such as connectivity, technology, and international laws should also be part of the discussions.

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