UPA refused to ‘attack Pakistan’ over cost: EAM Jaishankar

Updated - April 24, 2024 08:40 am IST

Published - April 24, 2024 07:02 am IST - Hyderabad


S. JaishankarMURALI KUMAR K | Photo Credit: MURALI KUMAR K

The previous UPA government decided "not to do anything" after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks with the justification that "it would cost more to attack Pakistan than not attacking it", External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar claimed on Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

Describing India as a voice of the 'Global South' (comprising about 125 countries), he said the countries of the Global South trust India to take up their cause and positions in the world.

Moral obligation

Addressing a gathering at a talk on 'Foreign Policy the India Way: From Diffidence to Confidence', the minister said that the country has a moral obligation towards some of the countries, which were under colonial rule and could not recover, rebuild as quickly as India did.

"We are a voice of the Global South, which is about 125 countries in the world. These countries trust India to take up their cause, their positions in the world,” he said.

He said India has some challenges at the borders and the key to defend them is not to just posture in public but to build infrastructure, support the military and create a system that will respond whenever the border is under threat.

In the "defensive era", terrorism was accepted, he said, referring to the previous UPA tenure.

"After Mumbai (attacks), the national security advisor of the previous UPA government wrote (that) 'we sat, we debated. We considered all the options. Then we decided to do nothing. We decided to do nothing, and the justification was we felt the cost of attacking Pakistan was more than the cost of not attacking Pakistan', " he claimed, adding, "I leave you to judge."

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