Foreign secretary Harsh Shringla has said that the outcome of the US presidential election will not have any impact on the India-US relationship as it is based on bipartisan support.
In an interview with a German news channel, Harsh Shringla said that Joe Biden has made it clear that he values a strong India-US strategic partnership. Shringla said that it is an attribute that is common to both Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
Shringla said: “Our relations with the US are really based on bipartisan support, you see it in Congress, you see it at the public levels. We do believe that we have forged a relationship that today has withstood the test of time, is very comprehensive and multi-faceted.”
“We not only share the same values and principles but we also have the same strategic vision in what could be bilateral, regional or multilateral relations.”
The foreign secretary said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ties with Trump “have been special”. He added that PM Modi’s “relationship with former President Barack Obama was also very special”.
No compromise with territorial integrity
Asked about the border standoff with China in the Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Shringla replied, “Clearly there we believe that the situation has involved some level of deterioration…it has contributed to deterioration in terms of the ties between our two countries because of the unusual step of China to seek to unilaterally alter the status quo.”
Shringla responded to questions on whether China had occupied territory on the Indian side of the LAC by saying, “You have to keep in mind that there is no common perception of the border, but yet if you seek to change where the current line where troops are, then of course it does impact on the larger relationship.
“We are concerned that China has taken this step. We are very, very clear that we will stand firm and resolute in our resolve not to allow our territorial integrity or sovereignty to be compromised.”
Harsh Shringla attacks Pakistani PM
Shringla was scathing in his response to a question about Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan describing the government of India as “fascist”.
He said, “That is ripe coming from the prime minister of a country that does not recognise the state of Israel, that till now does not acknowledge that the Holocaust took place, that has provided a safe sanctuary for Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar of the Taliban years after 9/11, a country that today has a debt higher than its GDP, a country that has enormous socio-economic problems and political problems now with an entire coalition of all the opposition parties seeking to unseat Prime Minister Imran Khan and those who back him from the deep state.”
He said the remarks were “an attempt to distract international attention and domestic attention” from Khan’s problems.
“Considering his situation and Pakistan’s own approach towards radicalism, terrorism and issues that are important to the international community, he really shouldn’t be making such irresponsible statements,” he added.
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