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Indian Government Stability Assured for Next 15 Years: S. Jaishankar

Jaishankar
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According to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, India will have a stable government for at least 15 years, and political stability allows an administration to take risky decisions. He made this statement on Friday in Japan.

Speaking at the Nikkei Forum on the subject of the unique strategic partnership between Japan and India, he asserted that audacious decision-making is the product of reformist leadership supported by a strong political mandate.

In response to a query concerning the political stability of India and the potential impact of the next general election on foreign policy, Jaishankar gave his thoughts. The election is scheduled to take place in May, and the announcement is anticipated shortly.

“Hundred percent, we will have 15 years of stable government. It could even be that of 20 years or longer,” he said. While developments in every country are different, India’s experience has been that the lack of political stability or the absence of a majority in Parliament “makes a very big difference”, he added.

A reformist leadership with a vision and commitment backed by a strong political mandate is able to make bold decisions, and a majority in Parliament is equally important, Jaishankar said.

In India’s case, the country has had these conditions for the past 10 years “and we hope to continue that”, he said. “In many cases, we have seen decisions which were debated for years, but suddenly you found the ability to do it,” he added.

Political stability also means policy stability, as anyone making a big bet on India will want to know what the country will be like for the next 10 years. “If the investor does not know what it will be like a year from now…then the investor, be it a domestic or a foreign [investor], will be hesitant. When you do a country’s risk evaluation, political stability is a very important part of that,” he said.

Jaishankar also defended India’s stance on Russia amid the Ukraine conflict, saying countries “cherry-picked” principles when it suits them. He noted that Indian territory has been occupied by another country, but the world has maintained a silence on the issue.

“My position would be that the world is a complicated place, and there are many important principles and beliefs in the world. What happens sometimes in world politics is countries pick one issue, one situation, one principle, and they highlight it because it suits them,” he said.

“But if one looks at the principle itself, we in India know better than almost any other country because immediately after our independence, we experienced aggression, an effort to change our boundaries. And even today, parts of India are occupied by another country. But we did not see the world response saying, oh, there’s a great principle involved, and therefore, let us all go with India,” he added.

According to Jaishankar, India does not believe that the issue in Ukraine can be resolved militarily. “We want this issue to stop, but we also think that every conflict eventually ends when people get down to talk about it. That’s how disputes come to an end,” he stated.

Jaishankar is in Japan for three days from March 6–8 in order to strengthen their bilateral ties and lay the groundwork for future collaboration. Along with his Japanese counterpart Yoko Kamikawa, he co-chaired the strategic dialogue between the foreign ministers of Japan and India on Thursday.

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