“India has a very substantial relationship with Beijing and Quad is for things, not against someone,” S Jaishankar said when asked about India and US’s perspective on handling the issue of the emergence of China.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar has expressed regret that India’s views were not sought when the Afghanistan peace deal was being worked out in Doha and said the jury is still out on how well the Taliban regime will govern the nation.
“Whatever were the peace deals struck in Doha, we weren’t taken into confidence for that. The jury is still out on how this new regime governs Afghanistan. Are we concerned, yes, but we have to take time and study this,” Jaishankar said at the fourth Annual Leadership Summit of US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) on Thursday.
But he suggested that the Quad can play an important role. “Afghanistan presents issues for the region. The Indo-Pacific is an important region and should be based on a rules-based international order and respecting territorial integrity,” Jaishankar said, adding, “In the past, we haven’t worked together in South Asia, but that’s changing, given the changing dynamics of the Indo-Pacific. The Quad platform is important on that front, and now Afghanistan too, given the security factor.”
He, however, tried to dispel China’s fears over Quad. “India has a very substantial relationship with Beijing and Quad is for things, not against someone,” Jaishankar said when asked about India and US’s perspective on handling the issue of the emergence of Communist power. “We shouldn’t be railroaded into a negative discourse and read from someone else’s script.”
“As participants in the international order, we need to assess Beijing’s movement and respond to that in the light of our own interest,” the minister said, as he highlighted that the Quad is a strategic dialogue between nations aimed at discussing the natural consequence of events in the region and “not a gang to pitch one’s personal agenda”.