Priority areas for Jaishankar in Modi 3.0 government: Border stability with China, cross-border terror solution with Pakistan

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New Delhi: External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar on Tuesday outlined distinct approaches to handling relations with China and Pakistan, asserting that India’s foreign policy under the third term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will focus on finding solutions to “border issues” with Beijing and the “years-old cross-border terrorism” with Islamabad.

Ahead of assuming charge on Tuesday after being sworn in as the country’s foreign minister for the second time on Sunday, the career diplomat-politician noted that both the neighbouring countries present unique challenges and India’s relations with them are different.

“Our focus with regard to China will be on finding a solution for the border issues,” Jaishankar said today, signalling India’s commitment to resolving territorial disputes through dialogue and diplomatic channels. India has time and again faced border issues with China and the situation escalated in 2020, when Indian and Chinese troops clashed at Galwan, the same year the pandemic started. India, in January this year, while reiterating its long-standing position on China, said the two countries continue to engage on the diplomatic and military sides for some sort of resolution.

Meanwhile, addressing the issue of cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan, the 69-year-old minister emphasised India’s determination to seek a resolution. “With Pakistan, we would want to find a solution to the issue of years-old cross-border terrorism,” Jaishankar said.

India has repeatedly emphasised that it will not tolerate cross-border terrorism and it cannot keep aside terrorism to improve ties with Pakistan. New Delhi has also said the onus is on Islamabad to create a conducive atmosphere in which there is no terror, hostility or violence.

Jaishankar, a prominent BJP figure who navigated India’s diplomatic strategies during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second term, reassumed his responsibilities as External Affairs Minister at the Ministry of External Affairs located in South Block today. Jaishankar also expressed optimism under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership on fulfilling India’s aspirations for a seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) within the next five years.

Further he emphasised the multifaceted growth of India’s influence on the global stage. “It has different aspects and I am fully confident that under PM Modi’s leadership, the foreign policy of Modi 3.0 will be very successful… For us, the influence of India has been steadily growing, not just in terms of our own perception but also what the other countries think,” Jaishankar, who is a Rajya Sabha MP said.

Highlighting India’s role as a steadfast ally to the Global South, Jaishankar underscored the country’s commitment during times of crisis and its increasing responsibilities on the international platform. “They feel that India is truly their friend and they have seen that in times of crisis, if there is one country that stands with the Global South, it is India,” the country’s foreign minister said.

“They have seen that when we put forward the African Union membership during the presidency of G20, the world trusted us and our responsibilities are also increasing, so we also believe that under the leadership of PM Modi, India’s identity in the world will definitely increase,” Jaishankar said.

After assuming charge today, the External Affairs Minister thanked PM Modi for entrusting him with the responsibility.
“Assumed charge as the Minister of External Affairs. Thank PM Narendra Modi for assigning me this responsibility,” said Jaishankar in a post on social media platform X.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and Secretary (West) Pawan Kapoor welcomed Jaishankar with a bouquet of flowers on his first day in office in the new PM Modi led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. The stalwart BJP MP in Rajya Sabha from Gujarat since 2019 , Jaishankar who has made headlines for his witty replies and oratory skills is at the centre stage in PM Modi’s team shaping India’s foreign policy for the past decade.

Prior to being the External Affairs Minister in 2019, Jaishankar also served as India’s Foreign Secretary from 2015 to 2018. Notably, he also became the first Foreign Secretary to assume the role of External Affairs Minister.

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