Breaking silence on the Prophet remark fiasco where several Gulf countries expressed outrage against two former members of the ruling BJP, India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the quick action taken against the two party members and articulating the Indian government’s stand on the issue was appreciated by the concerned countries.
“The concerned countries appreciated once the party and the Indian government clarified on the issue,” Jaishankar said while speaking about the controversy at a townhall organised by CNN-News18.
“The countries not just in the Gulf, I would say even in southeast Asia some countries, who had concerns do appreciate that this was not the position of the government,” Jaishankar said.
“They (the countries that expressed concern) deal with us they know what we are about… they know that these are not our views,” he added.
The Indian minister laid stress on the ability of India to put across its views to get a clear picture of what the country stands for.
“There will be people who will fish in troubled waters. International relations is a very competitive game which is not played by Queensberry rules. There will be people who will try to get most if it,” he said without naming any country.
“We need to engage, we need to put across our point of view and we are doing it. Even in the last few days, you can see people do understand that what is the true picture in India,” he asserted.
When asked why India should be lectured by countries who are a bit dodgy in upholding democratic norms, the minister said he does not look at the whole issue in that manner.
“I am also a little sensitive to being lectured. But I would not take this issue as a lecture. I think this was an issue where the sensibilities and the sensitivities of people were impacted. So, they were articulating that,” Jaishankar said.
He said it has to be made very clear what we stand for and the party had done that.
The Bharitya Janata Party (BJP) had suspended its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal after several Muslim-majority countries expressed condemnation for their controversial remarks on Prophpet.
(With inputs from agencies)
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