Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 27 September 2022 9.55 AM IST

Fans in Pakistan too, Sushma's successor who stood firm and protected Indian interest despite US threat says, ‘It’s my moral duty’


NEW DELHI: Last week, a video of an Indian minister was played at a rally organized by former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad. It was Subramanyam Jaishankar’s video! In the video, India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM) talked about buying Russian oil ignoring the US sanctions. After showing the video, Imran Khan did not fail to praise Jaishankar at all. He lauded India’s foreign policy of buying Russian oil even while keeping ties with the US.

After Sushma Swaraj, EAM Jaishankar, who has fans even in Pakistan, has raised the image of the External Affairs Ministry, yet again. Sushma Swaraj was acclaimed for her popular activities, aids for expatriates and timely interventions via Twitter. However, when diplomat Jaishankar stepped up as the EAM, the ministry received a different outlook. Minister of State V Muraleedharan remains at the helm of the affairs of expatriates too.

With the experience of having been a diplomat, Jaishankar is able to do justice to his role in all ways. He has been successful in expanding India’s interests and deepening ties through his foreign visits. He clearly knows when to raise his voice and when to remain silent. Initially, the US had harshly slammed India’s decision to purchase oil from Russia. However, in April, India’s EAM countered US Secretary of State Anthony J Blinken's demand for a cap on oil purchases from Russia by citing India's demands.

He emphasized on the country’s need to purchase oil at lower prices in the wake of the skyrocketing fuel prices in the global market. Even when most countries fell into recession, India stayed safe due to its reliance on imports from Russia. Now, the EAM has arrived in Thailand to attend the ninth India-Thailand Joint Commission Meeting.

Addressing the Indian community in Bangkok, Jaishankar said, "We have been very open and honest about our interests. I have a country with a per capita income of USD 2000. These are not people who can afford higher energy prices. It's my moral duty to ensure the best deal."

“When it comes to oil purchases, sanctions, et cetera, I just note that there are carve-outs for energy purchases. Of course, we're encouraging countries not to purchase additional energy supplies from Russia. Every country is differently situated and has different needs and requirements. But we're looking at allies and partners not to increase their purchases of Russian energy", he added.

Currently, India and Thailand are celebrating 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations. In the meetings, both sides reviewed the progress made in all areas of the bilateral relationship, including political, defence and security, economic and commercial, connectivity, cultural, tourism and people-to-people ties.

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