New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told a regional conference in Tashkent on Friday that trust is essential in building connectivity. It cannot be unilateral and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity are its fundamental principles in international relations.
He also said that connectivity efforts should be based on economic viability and financial liability and should not lead to debt burden. Jaishankar’s remarks are being seen indirectly in the context of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). He said no serious connectivity initiative can be one-sided and the real issue is “of attitude, not controversy”.
The External Affairs Minister said that no one is going to benefit from such contact in which principle is talked about, but the conduct is contrary to it. It is noteworthy that there has been a global condemnation of BRI because due to this many countries have been buried under the debt of China. Jaishankar in his address said that while expanding connectivity between Central Asia and South Asia, not only physical infrastructure, but all its dimensions need to be looked at.
Conference ‘Central and South Asia: The ‘Connectivity’ has been organized in the host of Uzbekistan with an aim to strengthen connectivity between the two regions. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and leaders of about 35 countries attended.
Jaishankar said, “Tourism and social relations can help in creating a good environment. But trust is essential in building connectivity and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity are its fundamental principles in international relations.
“These should encourage economic activity and not create debt burden,” he said. For this, ecological and environmental standards, as well as skill and technology transfer, are essential. Contact should be interactive, transparent and participatory.
Real issues are of attitude, not of controversies: Jaishankar
Jaishankar said reliable connectivity within and through Afghanistan requires the world to have confidence in its governance and move forward with development and prosperity, peace and security. He said, “Our connectivity discussions look forward to the predictability of our times, capability and compliance with the rules.” commerce) and contacts (relationships). At the same time, these three need to come together to ensure regional cooperation and prosperity.
“The challenge before us is that politics, vested interests and instability can be massive impediments to its implementation. Lessons have also been learned from our experience which need to be understood.” Jaishankar said, “The real issue is of attitude and not of controversies. There is no benefit to be gained from such a contact in which the principle is talked about, but the conduct is contrary to it. A one-sided vote of business rights and obligations can never work. No serious connectivity initiative can be one-sided.
The External Affairs Minister also mentioned the practical steps taken by India since 2016 to implement the Chabahar port in Iran. “It provides a safe, viable and unhindered access to the sea for Central Asian countries,” he said. Its potential has now been clearly proven. We have a proposal to include Chabahar port in the North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).‘
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