Not sure whether any PM other than Modi would have...: Jaishankar | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Not sure whether any PM other than Modi would have...: Jaishankar

Jan 29, 2023 06:31 PM IST

Jaishankar said when he was the secretary of the external affairs department, he had a very good minister and the combination of minister Sushma Swaraj and secretary Jaishankar was very good.

Foreign minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said he is not sure whether any prime minister other than Narendra Modi would have appointed him as the minister. "I have never even dreamt of even becoming a minister," Jaishankar who served as a secretary in the same ministry said at an event in Pune for the release of his book 'The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World".

Foreign minister S Jaishankar said becoming the foreign secretary was the highest limit of his ambition 10 years ago.
Foreign minister S Jaishankar said becoming the foreign secretary was the highest limit of his ambition 10 years ago.

On being asked whether Jaishankar likes his previous secretary job or the present one of the minister, he said, "We had a very-very good minister Sushma ji and we got along personally very well. I would say our combination was very good, a minister-secretary combination. But, I did learn one thing, there is a difference in responsibilities, there is a difference in the overall sense of being a secretary and a minister."

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"I did learn one thing, there is a difference in responsibilities, there is a difference in the overall sense of being a secretary and a minister."

"Secretary still has a minister above them who is answerable to Parliament, answerable in public, who still gives protection and comfort, you know...there is that umbrella. It was for me something that I value very much," Jaishankar said.

Jaishankar said becoming the foreign secretary was the highest limit of his ambition 10 years ago. "I really also sometimes ask myself that if he was not the Prime Minister, would I have had the courage to enter politics, I don't know," he said.

Jaishankar has been at the forefront of India's stand on the Russia-Ukraine war where India condemns the violence but continues buying oil from Russia. On several international platforms, Jaishankar made it clear that India won't give in to any pressure as it serves the interest of its people first.

Jaishankar and his predecessor late Sushma Swaraj's equation became a topic of debate as former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo in his book wrote he never considered Sushma Swaraj as important but had a great rapport with Jaishankar.

"My second Indian counterpart was Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. In May 2019, we welcomed "J" as India's new foreign minister. I could not have asked for a better counterpart. I love this guy. English is one of the seven languages he speaks, and his is somewhat better than mine," Pompeo wrote.

"He (Jaishankar) said that he could see why I had trouble with his predecessor, a goofball and a heartland political hack. "Careful, I'm a heartland political hack!" I replied in jest. He laughed, noting that if that were true, it would make me the first heartland political hack who had ever been an editor on the Harvard Law Review. Well played, J (Jaishankar),” Pompeo said.

"I have seen a passage in Secretary Pompeo's book referring to Smt Sushma Swaraj ji. I always held her in great esteem and had an exceptionally close and warm relationship with her. I deplore the disrespectful colloquialism used for her," Jaishankar said reacting to Pompeo's statement on Sushma Swaraj.

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