Arunachal An Indian State, Nothing Will Be Gained By Changing Names — Jaishankar - Eastern Mirror
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Arunachal an Indian state, nothing will be gained by changing names — Jaishankar

By PTI Updated: Apr 01, 2024 9:31 pm

SURAT — Arunachal Pradesh was, is, and will remain an Indian state in the future, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar asserted on Monday, days after China released 30 new names of various places in the border state.

Addressing a press conference, Jaishankar said nothing will be gained by changing the names.

“If I change the name of your house, will it become mine? Arunachal Pradesh was an Indian state, is an Indian state and will remain so in the future. Nothing will be gained by changing names,” said the external affairs minister, who is on a two-day visit to Gujarat.

He was responding to a question on Beijing’s latest move to re-emphasise its claim over the Indian state.

The Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs released the fourth list of standardised geographical names in Zangnan, the Chinese name for Arunachal Pradesh which Beijing claims as part of south Tibet, state-run Global Times reported on Sunday.

The official website of the ministry posted 30 additional names for the region.

Queried on Indians being hired and forced to fight alongside the Russian Army on the Russia-Ukraine border, Jaishankar said the Indian government has “strongly” raised this issue before its Russian counterpart after two Indians died in the war zone.

He also said efforts are on to bring back 23 to 24 Indians who were wrongfully hired to serve in the Russian Army.

“So far, two Indians have lost their lives. It took some time to bring their bodies back from Russia because it was not that easy. We raised this issue strongly before Russia, be it our Ambassador in Moscow or our external affairs secretary meeting the Russian Ambassador in New Delhi,” said the external affairs minister.

He said India’s stand is very clear on this issue.

“This is totally wrong. An Indian must never serve in some other country’s army. If any middlemen are involved in hiring Indians, then it is the responsibility of Russia to stop them. We are trying to bring back nearly 23 to 24 Indians who are still there,” Jaishankar added.

Responding to Ladakh-based climate activist Sonam Wangchuk’s allegation that China has encroached upon Indian territory, Jaishankar said the Indian Army knows what to do in such situations.

“Every activist has his own thoughts. See, you all know that our Army is already deployed there to stop any attempt of infiltration along the Line of Actual Control. The Army knows what they are supposed to do,” he said.

Queried on the progress made in signing a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union (EU), he said negotiations are underway because India is also keen to sign the pact so that the country’s textile industry gets a level-playing field in Europe.

On the issue of Indian baby girl Ariha Shah, who has been in the custody of German authorities since 2021 when she was just seven months old, Jaishankar said efforts are on to bring her back.

He also said, “We are trying to see that her custody is given to an Indian couple if not her parents”.

“We have been raising this issue with the German government for some time. I have also met with the parents of the girl. However, since the matter is in court there, it will take some time. Some progress has been made so far. Our Embassy officials met her and tried to familiarise her with Indian culture,” Jaishakar added.

By PTI Updated: Apr 01, 2024 9:31:49 pm
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