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'Our foreign policy debates seem obsessed with Pakistan', says Shashi Tharoor

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 02:12:19 PM, ummid.com News Desk

Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor

(Reuters Photo)

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Where East and West meet

The Storm Sweeping South Asia

Aligarh: Asking the media to shed its “obsession” with Pakistan, Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor on August 19 rued the lack of expertise in the country on international issues and exhorted the youth to think of India’s place in the world.

 

“Our foreign policy debates in parliament and the media seem obsessed with Pakistan, or worse ephemeral about Pakistan,” Tharoor said in his lecture on Why Foreign Policy Matters? at the Kennedy Hall Auditorium of the Aligarh Muslim University here.

 

He called for a more proactive participation by society, and particularly its educated young people, in thinking about India’s place in the world, and asked them to participate in shaping the country’s international posture.

"We do have a handful of thinkers on international issues and a twist-full of thinker tanks, but in quantum and quality of expertise and range of output they all have a long way to go before they match the role played by, for example, their equivalents in the United States", he added.


Dr. Tharoor said that the ultimate purpose of any country's foreign policy is to promote the security and well-being of its own citizens.

"We want a world that gives us the conditions of peace and security that will permit us to grow and flourish, safe from foreign de predations but open to external opportunities", he said.
 

Tharoor suggested that the situation will not improve unless we improve the study of international affairs at our Colleges and Universities.

He said that the Ministry of External Affairs would welcome much more spirited exchanges between MEA officials and academician, the corporate sector and civil society and pleaded that the sustainability and success of our international policy depends on both leadership by the Government of India and the active involvement of young Indian.

Dr. Tharoor called upon the youth to commit yourself to thinking about India and the world - about Indian in the world - and your own role in leading about it, helping to shape it, and on day, I hope, helping to lead it.
 

In reply to a question raised at the interactive session of the lecture, Dr. Tharoor denied that Indian had departed from Nehru's foreign policy of defending the Muslim World especially the Arab World.

Addressing the media, former UN Under Secretary General, Dr. Tharoor has joined the voice against film actor Shahrukh Khan's two-hour detention at a US Airport and said that this also happens to hundreds of innocent Muslim daily who do not have billion people to stand-up for them. "It raises real questions about US procedures", he said.

While delivering the presidential remarks, AMU Vice Chancellor, Professor P.K. Abdul Azis has said that the University has decided to create a Center of International Studies and diplomacy from the next academic session.

He said a retired senior most diplomat, Mr. Israt Aziz is preparing the blue print of this proposed Center.

 

He also said that the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has sanctioned Civil Service Coaching Academy with a grant of rupees ten crores so that AMU would produce better civil servants to serve the country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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