Saturday, May 25th, 2024

India will reform policies by giving priority to Indian interests: Jaishankar on Agniveer scheme, which had stopped recruitments from Nepal

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday defended India’s implementation of the Agniveer scheme, which abruptly halted the recruitment of military personnel from Nepal, and said New Delhi will reform its policies while giving priority to Indian interest, and “do not depend on anyone else.” No Indian decision can be taken because of interest.” is at stake.”

“Why did we do Agniveer? We did it for ourselves. We will reform our armed forces, obviously keeping Indian interests in mind,” External Affairs Minister Jaishankar said while interacting with students at a session on “Vishwa Bandhu Bharat” at Gargi College in New Delhi. .

“Any reform, I am not talking about now, Agniveer, an Indian decision cannot be taken because someone else’s interest is at stake. India will decide on what is India’s interest,” he said.

The Union Cabinet on 14 June 2022 approved an attractive recruitment scheme called Agneepath for Indian youth to serve in the armed forces and the youth selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers. Agneepath allows patriotic and motivated youth to serve in the armed forces for a period of four years.

After implementation in September 2022, the scheme stopped or abruptly halted recruitment from Nepal.

External Affairs Minister Jaishankar also addressed India’s diplomatic dispute with Maldives and said governments may have different views but neighboring countries cannot move away from each other.

“They (Maldives) have their own politics. Sometimes you have a government that may have a vision about India, but at the end of the day, we tell them, look, we are all neighbours. We cannot move away from each other,” the External Affairs Minister said.

“The example that one can give you, I can give you a reverse example, let’s say, in Nepal, you know, for years, Nepal has had tremendous power, the ability to generate electricity. We are logical customers, but for political reasons they never did this. Now they are willing to do it in Sri Lanka, as I said, the Sri Lankans know exactly who really helped them. If you go to Bangladesh today, the perception about India has changed fundamentally,” he said, stressing India’s strengthening ties with its neighbours.

His comments came as Maldivian Foreign Minister Musa Zameer left Male for an official visit to India amid strained relations arising after Maldives asked India to transfer its military personnel from the island nation.

Meanwhile, India has said that it will withdraw its military personnel from Maldives before May 10.

On 3 May, India and Maldives held the fourth meeting of the bilateral high-level core group and reviewed the replacement of Indian military personnel from the island nation by 10 May and said that the government will replace the military personnel before the scheduled date. Earlier, the Mohammed Muizzu-led Maldives government had formally requested that India withdraw its troops from Male.

Earlier, while addressing the controversy over Nepal’s depiction of certain Indian territories on its currency notes, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar highlighted the complexities of managing relations with neighboring countries.

Jaishankar acknowledged that dealing with neighboring countries often involves dealing with political intricacies.

“Sometimes, there is a bit of politics involved in dealing with your neighbors. It is about balancing our interests with their interests,” EAM Jaishankar said during a press interaction here on Sunday.

He cautioned that there cannot be positivity towards India among all its neighbors citing examples where adverse opinions have been expressed. “If you go to places like Sri Lanka, you may hear some adverse opinions from government officials or individuals,” he said.

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