Sushma Swaraj also said there was no competition between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and her over foreign visits.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj asserted on Sunday that the NDA governmen’s foreign policy was “very successful” with India having connected with 101 countries in the past one year. She attributed the 39% growth in FDI into India, as the direct result of the government’s foreign policy.
“Government’s foreign policy based on three pillars of ‘sampark, samvad and parinam’ (contact, dialogue, and results)… In one year, we have connected with 101 countries,” Swaraj said.
Addressing the media on the first anniversary of the Narendra Modi government, Swaraj said India has adhered to three principles regarding Pakistan. “We will try and solve every issue through talks. Talks will be only between the two nations without any third-party intervention and the talks will be held only in an environment free of terror,” she said.
She said the contacts were made either by visiting the countries, or having their leaders visit India, or dialogues on the sidelines of multilateral conferences.
Swaraj also said there was no competition between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and her over foreign visits. “A pro-active PM is a support, not a challenge,” she said, while adding that she keeps a “low profile” because she believes that it “goes with her role”. “There is never a competition between the team members for number one, two or three. Team plays together.”
On the Indo-Pak ties, Swaraj said both the countries have supported each other during difficult times, irrespective of the bitterness in relationship.
Citing the example of Peshawar terror attack, the minister said, “PM Modi called up Nawaz Sharif assuring that India is with them (Pakistan) in the hour of need.”
On Modi’s Nepal visit, she said, “For the last 15 years no Indian prime minister had visited Nepal. No foreign minister had been a part of the JCM in Nepal for nearly 23 years.”
The minister also announced that Modi will soon be visiting Israel, dates for which are still in the process of being worked out.
On resuming cricket ties with Pakistan, the minister said: “No decision has been taken.” “Our dialogue with Pakistan will only materialize in a peaceful milieu. This zone will be created only when Pakistan takes action against the (terror) perpetrators like Lakhvi and others,” she added.
Since last year, Pakistan has taken an aggressive stance. While ceasefire violations became the norm in Jammu and Kashmir, repeatedly attempts were made to raise the Kashmir issue in the international fora.
Swaraj also spoke at length about India’s involvement with the US, China and Russia.
Ahead of Modi’s visit to Dhaka later this week, the minister made it clear that the Teesta River water-sharing deal will not be signed. “There will be no deal on Teesta this time during the coming visit, because we have to take the state [West Bengal] government on board for this,” Swaraj said, while adding that the process of persuading the state government on the issue was on.
The minister also said that Modi will be attending the G-20 summit which is expected to take place this year in Turkey.
On China, Swaraj said India has clarified on oil search in South China sea. The issue of China giving stapled visas to residents of Arunachal Pradesh is also to be resolved, and India hopes to sort out both matters through talks. “China and India are both committed to resolve the contentious issues between them.”