Is India being a bully? Jaishankar's reply: 'Bullies don't provide $4.5 bn aid' | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Is India being a bully? S Jaishankar's reply: 'Bullies don't provide USD 4.5 billion aid'

Mar 04, 2024 10:05 AM IST

S Jaishankar's comments came as he was asked whether India was being a “bully” in the sub-continent and the Indian Ocean region.

External affairs minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Saturday reacted strongly to a barb over India being a ‘bully’, saying that “big bullies don't provide USD 4.5 billion in aid when neighbouring countries are distressed”. Jaishankar's comments came as he was asked whether India was being a “bully” in the sub-continent and the Indian Ocean region, during a book launch event in the national capital.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar.(File)
External affairs minister S Jaishankar.(File)

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“The big change today in this part of the world is what has happened between India and its neighbours. When you say India is perceived as a big bully, you know, big bullies don't provide four and a half billion dollars when the neighbours are in trouble. Big bullies don't supply vaccines to other countries when Covid-19 is on, or make exceptions to their own rules to respond to food demands or fuel demands or fertilizer demands because some war in some other part of the world has complicated their lives,” Jaishankar said.

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Underscoring the work undertaken to enhance and improve connectivity between India and its neighbouring countries, Jaishankar said that trade, investments and travel with Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Maldives have seen a sharp uptick.

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“Today at the connectivity, just the volume of people moving up and down, the volume of the trade which is there, the investments which are there, it's actually a very, very good story to tell. Not just with Nepal and Bangladesh, with Sri Lanka as well, I would say even with Maldives…And Bhutan...I mean I don't want to miss them out because they have just been consistently strong partners,” he said.

The minister added, “You also have to look today at actually what is changed between India and its neighbours. Certainly, with Bangladesh and Nepal. I mean, today you have a power grid, you have roads which didn't exist a decade ago, you have railways which didn't exist a decade ago, and there's usage of waterways. Indian businesses use ports of Bangladesh on a national treatment basis.”

(With inputs from ANI)

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