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Nationalism not a negative sentiment: Jaishankar 

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has underlined the fact that there was no contradiction in being nationalistic and engaging with the world at the same time. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Delhi, Jaishankar stressed that India was an outlier in that sense and that its economic ambitions do not sit at odds with its nationalism.

He said, “India is an exception as we are more nationalistic, but at the same time we don’t see a tension between being nationalistic and being international, in the sense of engaging more with the world, so nationalism is not a negative sentiment.” Explaining the point further, he said in many negotiations India not only stands for its own interest but of the developing world when it comes to trade and climate change.

He added that it was “economic nationalism.” Speaking on regional cooperation, Jaishankar said it was been a good story, barring one country in the neighbourhood. “The entire neighbourhood, minus one, has been a fairly good story for regional cooperation.” When asked if he would call the situation with the “minus one” a permanent impasse, he disagreed.

“I wouldn’t. Then I would be admitting something is not possible that diplomacy has limits and I cannot ever accept that,” he said. The top diplomat added he hopes “even the minus one” will come around.

“We have to convince our neighbours that Indian economy is a lifting tide for all of them.” On Kashmir, Jaishankar said he spoke about it when he was in the US and explained to the people there how Article 370, which provided for Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, was only a temporary provision.


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