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“India’s greater influence, reputation warrants that we help others in difficult situations,” says Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (Photo: X@DrSJaishankar)

Highlighting the rescue missions carried out by the Indian Navy recently, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that today, New Delhi’s greater capability, influence and reputation warrants that it helps other countries during difficult situations.

He was speaking at an event at IIM Mumbai, regarding his book ‘Why Bharat Matters’ on Tuesday.

“The Indian Navy has deployed ten ships today in that region because we got a double problem, we got a piracy problem, and we have got a missile drone problem. If you look, even in the last few days, actually one of our ships, INS Vishakhapatnam went in, extinguished a fire and rescued the crew of a tanker, which had taken a drone. Today…I saw that the Indian Navy had rescued Pakistani and Iranian fishermen from pirates,” he added,” the EAM said.

He further said that India won’t be considered a responsible country if it doesn’t respond during the crisis in the neighborhood region.

“I feel today that India’s greater capability, our own influence and our reputation today warrants that we actually help out in difficult situations. We will not be considered a responsible country if bad things are happening around our neighbourhood and we say ‘I have got nothing to do with this’. If you have nothing to do when the neighbourhood is in trouble when you will be in trouble, the neighbourhood will say the same thing,” he added.

Jaishankar also highlighted multiple occasions where India extended help to other countries during the crisis situations.

He spoke about India’s naval deployments in the Red Sea, sending a rescue team during the Turkiye earthquake, and aid during the crisis in Sri Lanka and Mozambique. He also said that during the Covid pandemic, India sent vaccines and doctors to many countries in the Indian Ocean region.

Giving a reference to the epic Ramayana, Jaishankar further said, “Like a King, a country should also have a standard, there is a higher purpose…Believe me, people look at us much more warmly, and much more friendly as a result of what we do”.

Notably, the Indian Navy carried out two major rescue operations within 36 hours and rescued two hijacked fishing vessels and crew members including 17 Iranian and 19 Pakistani nationals.

On Monday, the Indian Navy warship INS Sumitra thwarted the piracy attempt on an Iranian-flagged fishing vessel, Al Naeemi sailing off the East Coast of Somalia and successfully rescued 19 Pakistani nationals.

This operation came shortly after the INS Sumitra saved another Iranian-flagged fishing vessel, FV Iman, from Somali pirates, which had 17 crew members onboard in its anti-piracy operations along the east coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden.

“INS Sumitra, over the course of less than 36 hours, through swift, persistent and relentless efforts has rescued two hijacked Fishing Vessels along with 36 Crew (17 Iranian and 19 Pakistani) in the Southern Arabian Sea approximately 850 nm West of Kochi, and prevented misuse of these Fishing Vessels as Mother Ships for further acts of Piracy on Merchant Vessels,” the Indian Navy said in a statement.

Earlier, in a rapid and effective response, the Indian Navy’s mission-deployed guided missile destroyer, INS Visakhapatnam, on January 18 addressed a distress call from the Marshall Island-flagged MV Genco Picardy following a drone attack on the night of January 17.