File photo. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. Photograph:( AFP )
While he said he is aware that such traditions are not there in Europe and North America, the EAM added that 'the problem is when you start being judgemental'.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, while speaking at the Mediterranean Dialogue 2019 in Italy, said that in Indian or Asian traditions, countries don't comment on the internal affairs of other countries and highlighted the perils of taking "positions" which looks like double standards.
He said, "There is an Indian or Asian view on how inter-state relations should be conducted. Whatever your view is about what is happening around the world, you are very cautious about commenting on the internal affairs of people. That has been the Indian or the Asian tradition."
While he said he is aware that such traditions are not there in Europe and North America, the EAM added that "the problem is when you start being judgemental... danger is that you will be selective" with demonstrations somewhere being fine but if one has stakes, similar demonstrations will not be liked.
Explaining with an example, he said, "around the time of 9/11 we had a dictatorship towards the east of India and a dictatorship towards the west of India. The dictatorship towards the east of India was Myanmar which had sanctions by the US and Europe while dictatorship towards the west of India was Pakistan under General Musharraf who was hailed as the ally of the west".
The comments come with an increasingly vocal West on the situation in Kashmir which has been calling New Delhi to remove restrictions imposed after August 5. The restrictions were imposed to prevent any law and order situation or, as the government in Delhi says, to prevent any situation which may be exploited by Pakistan to fan cross-border terror in the valley.
Jaishankar also highlighted the proactive role played by India in the region as the first responders in Nepal, Yemen and on the climate action front especially by bridging the gap between the developing and the developed world.
"In about a decade we will be the third largest economy; in 5 years we will be the most populous country. India is externalising at a faster rate," Jaishankar said.
This is the first time India has been invited for the Mediterranean Dialogue. The dialogue was launched in 1994 for bolstering co-operation between the NATO and 7 countries of the Mediterranean - Egypt, Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.