India not to sit back and watch subversion of int’l order, says Indian envoy
Washington, May 1 : Emphasising upon the need to “preserve” a global order based on international rules that all can adhere to, India’s Ambassador to the United States, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Tuesday said New Delhi will “not sit back and watch” subversion of this order.
In an interaction with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a top US think-tank, Shringla also said that it is necessary to make changes in international organisations, including the UN, based on ground realities of the 21st century.
India’s co-operation with countries like United States and Japan, among other things, is to preserve “our concept of a global order which is based on certain international rules that all of us can adhere to”, he said, responding to a question during his interaction, the first one after his arrival in the US early this year.
“The subversion of this order is not something that we will like to sit back and watch,” the Indian diplomat added.
The countries like the United States, Japan and India believe there are many ways under which “a transparent rules-based order” can work globally, he added.
Talking about India’s ongoing general elections, Shringla said it is an exercise which is unparallel in democracy in terms of the scale and magnitude.
“It is not just the scale, but also the commitment to democracy,” he said.
Shringla said the outcome of the elections this will be largely determined by younger voters.
“I think the decision as to who would run the country for the next five years will largely be made by the younger generation in India because 70 percent of the country today is below 35 years of age. A good 80 to 90 million voters are the first-time voters who have no ideological commitment to either side,” he said.
“What they’re going to see is which is the dispensation — which party or group of parties and persons — can lead the country for the next five years. We have to keep in mind that this is an aspirational generation, a generation that is looking forward, that has a lot of hopes and dreams,” he said.
Asserting that India is committed not only to multilateralism and a rule-based international governance but also to co-operation among various countries, he said India has made a “very significant” contribution to it.
“If there is some sense of a challenge to the existing international order, it is also because there is a need to continue to reform these institutions to bring them in line with the changing realities,” the top Indian diplomat said.
Many of these institutions, he said, have existed in almost the same form since the end of the Second World War.
“India and a lot of other countries believe these institutions need to make adjustments necessary to make them more effective, more acceptable and more cohesive instruments of international cooperation,” he said.
“I think these institutions do need to change as they go along,” he said.
Observing that the United States is one of the “main initiators and creators” of the multilateral global order, Shringla said any second thought that emanates from the US about how these institutions should be run, is something that people sit up and listen.
“But the fact of the matter is that every state whether it is large or small has the right to introspect on what this order should be like. Each one of us really need to think what is the best way that these institutions should be run,” Shringla said.
Responding to a question on Pakistan, he said India has always taken the lead in engaging with its neighbour. But any support to terrorism will not be tolerated, he asserted.
Referring to the global support that India enjoys on the issue against terrorism, he said there is no place for terrorism.
“Most people, even in Pakistan, I think, would agree that terrorism is something that has to be dealt with before we get down to issues that are important to both countries,” he said.
“Our focus is on development. We want to move forward economically. Want to give our citizens a better life. We have no interest in hostility and conflict because that detracts and takes us away from the core focus on the development of our country. And the sooner we settle these issues with our neighbours, the better it is,” he said.
“But it is very clear that that we cannot have any more incidents of terrorism from across the border, because that is a serious threat to our integrity, development and our economic efforts,” he said.
“What is important is that the international community has to put adequate pressure on Pakistan to stop terrorism as an instrument of state policy,” he said.