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World used Article 370 as a tool to keep India off balance: EAM Jaishankar

World used Article 370 as a tool to keep India off balance: EAM Jaishankar

New Delhi: Defending the abrogation of Article 370, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Thursday said that India was being kept off balance internationally for a long time through the provision, which prompted the action and now, the world understands the logic behind it.

Reflecting on the prolonged existence of Article 370, Jaishankar revealed that the international community used it as a tool to keep India off balance.

He stated, “But the bottom line, giving you a diplomatic perspective, is that the whole world used it against us. They saw it as a point of vulnerability, something that they should keep pressing at to keep India off balance.”

“If we don’t get it right, how do you expect the world to get it right? For us, the thing was to remediate at home, and that’s what we did in 2019,” he added while responding to a question on how the government handled the issue on the diplomatic front.

Jaishankar emphasised the move taken in 2019, which he deemed vital for national security. “I think what was done in 2019 was a very, very crucial and long-awaited step with respect to national security. It’s a long story why Article 370 was kept beyond its shelf life,” he said.

The External Affairs Minister acknowledged the positive shift in the world’s perception following the abrogation. The Indian Foreign Ministry and the minister himself engaged in strategic communication efforts to ensure global understanding of the situation.

He further added that while doing so, the government also fought lots of false narratives and propaganda which emanated from within the country.

However, he affirmed that, through their efforts, India successfully dispelled misconceptions and changed the international perception of the issue.

Soon after coming to power in 2019 for the second time, the NDA government abrogated Article 370 on August 5 that year and turned Jammu and Kashmir into a union territory.

Besides, Ladakh was also turned into a separate union territory.

Jaishankar pointed out that if one were to ask people around the world about their concerns regarding India today, the abrogation of Article 370 would no longer be seen as a live issue. He cited the example of the recent G20 meeting held in Jammu and Kashmir as evidence of the positive developments in the region.

Despite objections from certain countries and threats, India successfully hosted the G20 meetings in Jammu and Kashmir. Prior to the event, Jaishankar firmly responded to his Pakistani counterpart, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who raised the issue of Article 370 during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in Goa.

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TAGS:S JaishankarArticle 370
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