Russia-Ukraine war a wake-up call for Europe to look at Asia too: Jaishankar
"You talked about Ukraine, I remember less than a year ago what happened in Afghanistan, where the entire civil society was thrown under the bus by the world," Dr Jaishankar recalled.
NEW DELHI: There are challenges in Asia and India's neighbourhood, in Afghanistan and from China, External Affairs Minister, Dr S Jaishankar said at the Raisina Dialogue, attended by various foreign ministers and leaders.
"It (Russia-Ukraine war) is a wake-up call for Europe to look at these instances where problems are happening," he added.
Norway's Minister of Foreign Affairs, AnnikenHuitfeldt, posed a question on how India sees its role in defending free societies globally.
To this, Dr Jaishankar replied that while India was in favour of the Ukraine issue getting resolved through dialogue and diplomacy and keen on an immediate cessation of violence there, the war must also draw attention to the challenges in India's neighbourhood.
"You talked about Ukraine, I remember less than a year ago what happened in Afghanistan, where the entire civil society was thrown under the bus by the world. We in Asia face our own sets of challenges which often have an impact on the rules-based order," he added.
Dr Jaishankar also said that if India made an attempt to put those very challenges in terms of principles, when a rules-based order was under challenge in Asia, the advice from Europe was to engage in more trade.
"At least we're not giving you that advice. And, in Afghanistan, please show me which part of the rules-based order is justified… What did the world do there?" Dr Jaishankar asked.
Responding to a question from former Swedish PM Carl Bildt, Dr Jaishankar said, "This could be a wake-up call for Europe, not just in Europe. It could be a wake-up call for Europe to also look at Asia… This has not been an easy part of the world for the last decade. And this is a part of the world where... boundaries have not been settled, where terrorism is still practised, often, sponsored by States. This is a part of the world where... the rules-based order has been under continuous stress for more than a decade. And I think it's important for the rest of the world outside Asia to recognize this. It's not that problems are going to happen. The problems have been happening."