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There are sections of the world outside the media: MEA Jaishankar responds to international criticism over CAA and Delhi riots

On being asked whether India was losing friends abroad, following the Delhi riots, S Jaishankar stated, "Maybe we are getting to know who our friends really are."

At the Global Business Summit held in Delhi on Saturday, Diplomat turned Union Minister for External Affairs, S Jaishankar, said that every country including the United States has unique citizenship criteria based on “context” and social “criteria”.

Responding to misguided concerns internationally, he reiterated, “There are sections of the world outside the media. I engage governments. I was in a room with 27 foreign ministers in Brussels whom I was talking to… The point we make on CAA is that it can’t be anybody’s case that a government and parliament doesn’t have the right to set terms of citizenship.”

The Union Foreign Minister also added, “We have tried to reduce a large number of stateless people we have in this country. Everybody, when they look at citizenship, has a context.”

Referring to the unprecedented move by the Commissioner of the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), Michelle Bachelet, to move the Supreme Court of India on March 2, he said, “They (UN) carefully skirt around the problem of cross-border terrorism in the region as if it has nothing to do with Kashmir.”

On being asked whether India was losing friends abroad, following the Delhi riots, S Jaishankar stated, “Maybe we are getting to know who our friends really are.”

He was also asked about the criticism of the Indian Government by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran and the US Democratic leaders. The former diplomat highlighted how India adopted a strategy of “managing the world but kind of staying away” owing to its limited capabilities in the past.

Emphasising on India’s growing economy and the changing landscape of geopolitics in the world, he added that the old strategy cannot be adopted anymore.

On March 3, the MEA spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar, reiterated that CAA is an internal affair of India and that no foreign party has any locus standi on issues related to India’s sovereignty. Kumar added, “India is a democratic country governed by the rule of law. We all have the utmost respect for and full trust in our independent judiciary. We are confident that our sound and legally sustainable position will be vindicated by the Supreme Court.”

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