External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday rubbished the criticism surrounding India’s reported shift in policy of receiving aid from foreign countries to boost the country’s fight against the pandemic. In a conversation with ANI, he characterised the COVID-19 outbreak as a shared global crisis, adding that receiving help from the country’s allies could be considered as aid by many, but for him it is friendship.
I think this kind of aid…these kind of arguments are sort of point-scoring. I think people aren’t connecting conceptually with the problem…When I look at the situation in Delhi, I will do everything in my power to help people: External Affairs Minister Dr Jaishankar in to ANI— ANI (@ANI) May 5, 2021
“COVID is a shared problem for the world. When it came to medicines, we gave HCQ to the US, Singapore, European countries. We gave vaccines to some countries. What you describe as aid, we call friendship,” he said.
S Jaishankar also slammed the critics, stating that arguments describing the help that India is receiving from the world as aid are made for scoring political brownie points. “I think people are not connecting with the problem conceptually…When I look at the situation in Delhi, I will do everything in my power to help people,” he added.
The Union Minister was speaking in an interview with the ANI when he stated that he would draw on the accumulated years of experience and everything in his power to do what he could in alleviating the problems faced by Indians due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
“For me, I have one objective, my people are going through a very difficult phase in this second wave of COVID19, and as a foreign minister I will do everything which I have accumulated over the years to help my people,” S Jaishankar said.
Elections can’t be stopped in a democratic country: S Jaishankar on conducting elections amid pandemic
Speaking on the politics surrounding the COVID-19 situation in India, S Jaishankar said, “I wish it wasn’t so. When a pandemic hits hard there are arguments and questions. People have spoken about elections, we’re a democratic country, we don’t stop elections in a democracy.”
“When I go abroad, I try to make people understand my challenges, this is where international partnerships come into being. Yesterday most of my meeting with Antony Blinken was on solutions in India and abroad, and the heart of the matter was vaccines,” he elaborated.
Filter out the noise and keep working to ensure key supplies to India: S Jaishankar to Indian missions across the world
The External Affairs Minister also had a key message for Indian Missions across the world. He asked them to filter the noise and buckle down on what needs to be done as a mission, adding that their focus should be on fulfilling key requirements—Oxygen, pharmaceuticals/ Remdesivir vaccine, supply chain and logistics to ensure their delivery to India.
My message is that keep your focus on this, don’t get distracted by the rest of the debate. Just like the government is focused on addressing the pandemic at home, you also please do that at the moment: EAM Dr S Jaishankar in an interview to ANI— ANI (@ANI) May 5, 2021
“My message is that keep your focus on this, don’t get distracted by the rest of the debate. Just like the government is focused on addressing the pandemic at home, you also please do that at the moment,” he said.
Jaishankar, who is in London for the G7 meeting, said that his message going into the meeting is: “COVID a global challenge, and we’re going through it right now, there are various factors and reasons why it as severe as it is, and a global pandemic requires a global effort. In the past, we have contributed to that global effort.”