Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Amendment to Citizenship Act ‘self-inflicted goal’: Former FS

New Delhi, January 3: Former Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon on Friday said the amendment of the Citizenship Act by the government was a “self-inflicted goal” which has “isolated” India and the list of critical voices both at home and abroad is “pretty long”.
Speaking at a press conference where a number of academicians discussed the adverse implications of the contentious law, which has led to nationwide protests, Menon said the move has resulted in India being “hyphenated” with Pakistan as an “intolerant” state.
“What we have achieved in the recent past is to hyphenate our (India’s) image with Pakistan in a fundamental way, which is an intolerant state,” said the former National Security Adviser.
He said the perception of India has changed after the law was passed.
“India has isolated itself through the move and the list of critical voices in the international community is also pretty long now. Perception of India has changed in the last few months. Even our friends have been taken aback,” Menon said.
Referring to Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan’s remarks where he said “let them fight among themselves” when asked about CAA and NRC, Menon said, “If this is how our friends feel, think of how happy this will make our adversary.
“What we have achieved in the recent past is to hyphenate our image with Pakistan in a fundamental way, which is intolerant state.”
He said,”What the world thinks matters more to us now than ever before.
“But we seem determined with actions like these (CAA) to cut off and isolate ourselves. That is no good to anybody,” he said.
“We seem to be in violation of international covenants. Those who think that international laws cannot be enforced, they must consider political and other consequences of being perceived as violators of international conventions,” he added.
“Rather than attending the meeting and putting forth India’s views, we chose to duck,” he said, in an apparent reference to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar cancellation of a scheduled meeting with a US congressional delegation over the presence of Indian American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who has been critical of the Indian government.
Terming CAA a “self-inflicted goal”, Menon said India has “gifted” its adversaries “platforms from which to attack us”.
He said United Nations Security Council discussed Kashmir for the first time in 40 years following the scrapping of special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Others who spoke at the event at Press Club were academicians included Zoya Hasan, Niraja Jayal and Faizan Mustafa among others. (PTI)