India's External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, emphasized the country's increased capabilities and its vested interests in maintaining a positive reputation, justifying the deployment of 10 Indian Navy ships in the Red Sea region to address attacks on merchant navy vessels.
During an interaction with students at the Indian Institute of Management Mumbai, Jaishankar highlighted India's commitment to assisting in challenging situations.
Addressing concerns of piracy and drone attacks in the Red Sea region, Jaishankar asserted that India, with its enhanced capabilities, must actively contribute to resolving such issues. He underlined the importance of responsibility, stating that India cannot be considered a responsible nation if it ignores troubles in its neighborhood. The minister acknowledged the problem of piracy and drone attacks and stressed the need for India to play a proactive role.
Jaishankar also referred to India's strong narrative developed over the past decade, citing the recent naval deployment in the Red Sea region. He drew parallels with India's response to global crises, such as providing assistance during earthquakes in Turkiye and contributing vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic. The minister highlighted India's comprehensive approach, including sending doctors, including military doctors, to countries in the Indian Ocean region during the pandemic.
Responding to a query about kinetic actions, drawing a comparison with the US and the UK's counter-attacks on Houthi rebels in Yemen, Jaishankar outlined India's choice to focus on safety and security contributions, emphasizing non-kinetic efforts. He affirmed India's independence and commitment to contributing to global safety in its unique way.
Notably, Jaishankar mentioned the recent rescue operation conducted by Indian warship INS Sumitra, which saved 19 Pakistani crew members from a fishing vessel attacked by pirates off the east coast of Somalia. The INS Sumitra has been actively involved in anti-piracy and maritime security operations in the region.
Given the escalating attacks on merchant navy vessels in the Red Sea, the Indian Navy has intensified its deployment to address emerging challenges effectively.
(With Agency Inputs)