Former foreign secretary M K Rasgotra on Monday embarrassed the Indian side during a seminar on Indo-Sino relations when he dubbed India’s ambition of a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council as a “foolish idea”.
He said the dream might take 20 years to fulfill, only when the world recognises it as a major power and a military power.
But Congress spokesman Manish Tewari, one of the panelists, was quick to retort, saying the views expressed by Rasgotra were personal.
“These are not the views of the Congress party...a permanent seat remains an aspiration. The UNSC should reflect the geo-political situation of the 21st century,” he said.
The discussion on the political basis of Sino-India relations was part of the seminar on ‘China and India: 60 Years and Beyond’ organised by the Congress party and the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Responding to a question on whether China supports India’s bid for a permanent seat, Rasgotra, who is a member of the Congress party’s foreign affairs department, said: “I think we have a fetish about permanent seat in the UNSC...it is a foolish idea. I don't know who has floated it”.
He said newspapers were abuzz with speculations that US President Barack Obama will support India’s bid in the UNSC. “He will not give us a permanent seat though he will give us a lot of words,” Rasgotra said.
He said the fulfillment of India's quest for a permanent seat in the UNSC was 10 years, “possibly 20 years away”.