28 October, 2020

More Kudos, Less Bite

The ARF summit took the Indian line, even if it didn't seem so at first glance

More Kudos, Less Bite
Forget the fact that the European Union talked of human rights in Kashmir, of adherence to the ctbt and npt. Ignore the fact that the final statement which India endorsed was a thinly-disguised version of last year's statement, from which New Delhi had angrily dissociated itself.

India has reason to be reasonably proud of its showing at the annual meeting of the asean and its security forum, the asean Region Forum, or arf, held in Singapore last week. Particularly if it is compared to last year's meeting in Manila, when New Delhi faced flak for Pokhran II and was strongly urged to adhere to the ctbt and npt regimes.

This time, not only was India lauded for its restraint over Kargil, the final statement issued after the asean ministerial conference may well have been from the Indian foreign office. Respect the LoC, it said. Respect the Lahore process, it said. And instead of calling on just India and Pakistan to disarm, as it had done the last time, the asean ministers included the entire nuclear club in its call this time around.

External affairs minister Jaswant Singh,...



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