Although many Arab nations and even South Asian countries protested over Nupur Sharma’s insulting comments against Prophet Muhammad, they appreciate that it was not the government’s stand, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Saturday. He asserted that these countries have worked with India and know what the government stands for and so also understand its position. However, he also said that international relations is a competitive field and there will always be some people who would do everything to make the most of a controversial situation like this.
Explaining the situation, Jaishankar said, “The countries not just in the Gulf, I would say even in southeast Asia some countries, who had concerns do appreciate that this was not the position of the government.” Furthermore, he said that India has actively put across its view and in the last few days, there has been a definite change in opinions from countries that were protesting.
He also admitted that sensibilities and sensitivities were hurt by the situation and the countries were just voicing their point of view. India understood the position of the countries. “I am also a little sensitive to being lectured. But I would not take this issue as a lecture. I think this was an issue where the sensibilities and the sensitivities of people were impacted. So they were articulating that,” he said.
Although Jaishankar did not mention any specific names, he said that some nations might exploit the fact that India is embroiled in an international controversy. “There will be people who will fish in troubled waters. International relations is a very competitive game which is not played by Queensberry rules. There will be people who will try to get most if it,” he said while speaking at an event in New Delhi that was organized by CNN-News18.