Forces who indulge in cross-border terrorism against India for decades now know this is a “different India” which will give them a reply, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said, stressing that today the country can meet its national security challenges posed by China and Pakistan.
Addressing the Indian community in Uganda on Wednesday, Jaishankar spoke about the transformation of the country into a new India.
Speaking about the challenges India faces on its borders, Jaishankar said: “Today, people see a different India that is willing to stand up and India which will meet its national security challenges whether it is Uri or whether it is Balakot.” He was referring to the 2016 Uri attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed insurgents from Pakistan against an Indian Army brigade headquarters and the 2019 Balakot airstrike conducted by Indian warplanes in Balakot, Pakistan against a terrorist training camp. “Today, the forces which indulged in cross-border terrorism against India for decades and which India tolerated, they now know this is a different India and this India will give them a reply,” he said.
He also spoke about the challenges on the border with China.
“For the last three years, in violation of the agreements, the Chinese have brought large forces,” he said.
Today the Indian military is deployed at very great heights and in very tough conditions, he said.
This situation is different from the past as Indian soldiers have now the “full backing, they have the right equipment and the infrastructure,” he said.
He admitted that more work has to be done to develop the infrastructure on the border with China as it has been neglected in the past.
“This is a different India which will stand up for its interests and the world will recognise that,” he said.
Today, he said India’s policies are not impacted by any outside pressure.
“It is a more independent India,” he said.
Today, India cannot be put under pressure by countries that will “tell us where we should buy our oil and where we should not buy our oil.” “This an India which will do what is in the interest of its citizens, its consumers,” he said.
India has been snapping Russian oil available at a discount after the West sanctioned Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine. India continues to buy Russian oil in large quantities.
Russia continued to be the single largest supplier of crude oil, which is converted into petrol and diesel at refineries, for a sixth straight month by supplying more than one-third of all oil India imported, according to energy cargo tracker Vortexa.