Urging political parties to put the national interest first, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday said that the “politics of the day should not lead our borders to be vulnerable.”
Jaishankhar was in the city to deliver the 33rd lecture of the institute lecture series ‘India and the World’ at IIM-Calcutta.
Responding to a question by a student on whether political parties must prioritise national interest over internal politics, Jaishankar said, “It is important to put the national interest first. The politics of the day should not hamper the larger interest of the nation. All politicians should have that approach in the first place. The politics of the day should not lead our borders to be vulnerable…”
The minister referred to the abrogation of Article 370. “If you look at the whole Article 370 issue… other than the politics of the day, what was the reason for a temporary provision to continue for so long?” he said.
The minister also said it was not the job of the government to create a strong Opposition. “Politics may shape public mood but public mood also shapes politics. You (addressing the student who asked the question) also spoke about having a strong Opposition, but it is not the job of the government to create an Opposition. But we are a diverse and pluralistic country. The country has its democracy.”
In his lecture, Jaishankar also laid stress on strengthening national security in view of the current global scenario. “For all of us, the security of the nation should obviously come above all else. Indians are much more conscious about national security since it has been so often challenged in the last 75 years. We need to decisively address long-standing vulnerabilities that the competitive world regularly exploited. We need to apply ourselves to the hard task of securing our borders effectively…,” he added.