Stating that the Narendra Modi government has taken some wise steps in the foreign policy matters, Vice President Hamid Ansari said on Saturday said that India is continuing its process of engagement with the world.
“Foreign policy is continuity. It cannot be abrupt. The new government has taken wise steps. It is being welcomed by everyone. The government has continued the process of engaging with the world,” Ansari said at an interactive session of the Ladies Study Group on emerging trends and challenges in India.
He said we want a developed and equitable India that stands tall but the quest for happiness is above all.
When asked about India’s sporting prowess, he said sports have to begin from schools but most of them do not have playgrounds.
“It is seen as a frivolous activity,” the Vice President said adding that India pays only periodic attention to sports only when there is a big individual success.
On terror threats against India, he assured that we are as safe as anyone can be.
“Terror is a secret war aimed to terrorise and cause panic. As long as the people don’t panic I do not think that terror will have its effect,” Ansari said.
Elaborating his role as the Ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the Vice President said he is like a referee in a football match.
“He is not a player. He can show the red card, yellow card to anyone who doesn’t follow the rules but the chairman himself has no role,” he said.
Stating that Asia-Europe economic interdependence has grown over the period, Ansari said with total Asia-Europe trade in 2012 estimated at 1.37 trillion Euros, Asia has become the European Union’s main trading partner, accounting for one-third of total trade.
He said that discussions on security issues were also an important part of the political dialogue between Asia and Europe, with leaders of the two continents regularly exchanging views on regional and global flashpoints.
“Nations cannot live in isolation. Interaction and cooperation is a dire necessity. Equity and equitable benefit is a per-requisite for such cooperation.
According to him, there are other ingredients of human security that have political overtones.