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Transcript of Weekly Media Briefing by the Official Spokesperson (August 03, 2023)

August 03, 2023

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Very good afternoon to all of you, thank you for joining us for the weekly media briefing. I don't think I have any announcements yet, why don't we start with one of the hands I saw. Shalinder, why don't we start with you.

Shalinder Wangu: Sir, Shalinder Wangu Network 18 se, Pakistan ke pradhan Mantri ne kuch din pahle phir se ek baar batchit ka offer diya hain. Unka kehna hain batchit honi chahiye dono deshon ke bich mai. Usko lekar hamara reaction. Dusra ye ki hamara...

[Question in Hindi: Approximate translation] Sir, this is Shalinder Wangu from Network 18. A few days ago, the Prime Minister of Pakistan once again offered to hold talks between the two countries. He stated that there should be a dialogue between both nations. What is our reaction to it ?

Shalinder Wangu: Jo M.P. hain Farukh Abdullah unhone aaj ek baat kahi hain ki Pakistani army hamse baat karne ko taiyar hain lekin hum taiyar nahi hain.

[Question in Hindi: Approximate translation] Member of Parliament, Farooq Abdullah, said today that the Pakistani army is willing to talk to us, but we are not ready to talk.

Yeshi Seli: Sir, this is Yeshi Seli from the New Indian Express. The U.S. State Department has urged that there be calm in Gurugram, so any comments on that? This is the second time that they have commented on a violence-related incident in India.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: You want a comment on their comment? Okay. Sidhant.

Sidhant: Sir Sidhant from WION. Sir, what's India's official position on the situation in Niger and also when it comes to free Indians?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: What do you mean by the official position? Statement?

Sidhant: Basically, are there any Indians who are impacted by the situation in the country and if something we are doing?

Uma Shankar: Uma Shankar NDTV se. French Ambassador ne tweet kar ke jankari di hain ki unhone kuch videshi nagriko ko nikala hain Niger se aur usmai kuch bhartiya bhi hain. Toh kitni tadad hain, kya koi aadhikarik jankari wahan se aayi hain? Aur kitne bhartiya wahan pe stuck hain?

[Question in Hindi: Approximate translation] Uma Shankar from NDTV. The French Ambassador has provided information via a tweet that they have evacuated some foreign nationals from Niger, and among them, there are also some Indians. So, what is the number of evacuees, and is there any official information from there? How many Indians are currently stuck there?

Shudhir Ranjan: Shudhir Ranjan from Bloomberg. Regarding the violence that we are seeing in and around Delhi, is the Ministry of External Affairs concerned because the G20 meeting is a few weeks away and have you reached out to your other line ministries on this?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Okay, let me try a few comments on that.

Shalinder, aapka prashn tha pradhan mantri Pakistan ke unke bayan ke bare mai. Dekhiye unke jo unhone ek tippani ki thi humne uski report dekhain hain, bharat ka position aapko malum hain clear aur consistent raha hain, well known bhi hai, ki hum Pakistan aur apne sabhi neighbors, sirf Pakistan hi nahi, baki sare neighbours ke sath normal neighbourly relations chahte hain aur ichchhuk hain iske, par iske liye aatank aur hostility ye hatna chahiye. Aur usse free environment chahiye. Toh aatank aur shatruta mukt vatavaran jaruri hain aur main isko phir dohrana chahunga, ye position koi naya nahi hain, hum bahot bar keh chuke hain aur main use phir se dohrana chahunga. Maine jaise kaha baki sare neighbors ke sath normal neighborly relations chahte hain including Pakistan.

[Answer in Hindi: Approximate translation] Shalinder, your question was about the statement of the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Let me tell you, based on the report we have seen, India's position has remained clear and consistent and is well known. We desire normal neighbourly relations not only with Pakistan but also with all our neighbors. However, this requires the elimination of terrorism and hostility. A terrorism and hostility-free environment is imperative. I would like to reiterate that. This position is not new; we have stated it many times, and I reiterate it again. As I mentioned earlier, we want normal neighborly relations with all our neighbors, including Pakistan.

Shalinder Wangu: Sir English mai.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson:
He asked about comments by Pakistan Prime Minister. We have seen reports regarding comments by the Pakistan Prime Minister on this issue. India's clear and consistent position on this is well known. We desire normal neighbourly relations with all our neighbours including Pakistan. For this, an environment free of terror and hostility is imperative.

Yeshi, I think you were referring to State Department comments. I think it was yesterday, their time. Look, let me say what…let me put it in the context. I am sure you are aware of the measures that are being taken by local authorities, you have seen it a lot in the media…to put a stop to the violence there, to restore peace and normalcy. The comments by the State Department that we saw, that is on August 2nd, which I think also refers to the same, so that is what I would have to say.

Sudhir, related to this, you have talked about the similar issue. Look, of course, we would like to see a return to normalcy and peace, but this is an area that our other ministers…I mean, it is not a Ministry of External Affairs issue and I am sure our local authorities as well as other agencies are working on this and you would have seen comments on that. I do not think we have discussed this in any way in this context of G20 or with…other countries, you said, or other line ministries? What was your question?

Shudhir Ranjan: Have you spoken to the Home Ministry?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: No, I do not think they need to be…you know, we need to discuss with them to ensure peace and normalcy, etc. So I am sure there you have seen reports on that and you have seen their statements. And we would hopefully see a very successful G20 Summit next month.

Sidhant on Niger…yes, we are closely monitoring the developments there. We are in touch with our Embassy there. The Embassy has informed us that they are in touch with the…close contact actually with the Indian community in Niger. There are about, I would say about 250 odd people I think, but we could be a little off. The community is well and we have not heard any issues or any complaints and they are all safe.

I think Uma Shankar aap puch rahe the evacuation isi ka, kitne huwe hain? Hamari jankari ke mutabik abhi toh open kar diya hain borders, aisa kuch sun rahe the. Par France ke kuch log evacuate kiye ja rahe the, I think kuch aur desh, I think European union bhi kuch evacuation kar rahe the, usmai kuch Indians usi flights ko istemal karte hue nikal gaye hain desh se. 10-15 ki baat kar rahe hain log, exact numbers hain nahin, kyuki woh apne se hi ja rahe hain, unhone offer kiya tha ki aap use flight mai aa sakte hain, toh I think kuch 10-15 log nikle hain. Kuch temporary businessman gaye the, joh temporary visas pe the woh bhi nikal gaye hain kuch, par abhi situation normal keh rahe hain, halat thik hain aur baki flights kuch paanch deshon ke liye abhi Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Libya, aur Chad ke sath border aur land connections reopen ho gayi hain, toh isilye kuch log Burkina Faso flight se bhi ja rahain hain jo nikalna chahte hain. But jyada tar log wahin par abhi ruke hue hain.

[Answer in Hindi: Approximate translation] I think, Uma Shankar, you were asking about the evacuation status. According to our information, the borders have now been opened. We heard something like that. France and some other countries, I think the European Union, were carrying out some evacuations, and some Indians managed to leave the country using those flights. Around 10-15 people have left so far, but we don't have the exact numbers because they are leaving on their own. They were offered the option to come on those flights, so some people availed that opportunity. Some temporary businessmen with temporary visas also left the country, but the situation is now being described as normal, and the conditions are stable. Other flights are also operational for some neighboring countries like Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Libya, and Chad since the borders and land connections have reopened. Therefore, some people are also trying to leave via the Burkina Faso flight. However, most of the people are still currently staying there.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Yes, I should have asked you really.

His follow-up query was on how many Indians were there. There were some reports of the French evacuation process. If I could just repeat what I told him in Hindi was that we are in touch with the Indian National. They all seem to be safe. Most of them are staying there, but there were some people who were temporarily there, Indians who have utilized the opportunity of the French evacuation special flights. I think about 10 or 15 have left. I think there are some other countries who also run some evacuation flights such as the European Union. I don't have an exact number of that because this was an offer made directly to the citizens, our citizens. We are happy that they managed to come out. I think flights to five neighboring countries that I mentioned have resumed or at least land and air space with Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Libya and Chad have resumed. So some Indian nationals are now planning to leave for those routes. So overall the situation seems to be stable than normal. We are in close contact with the Indian community there.

Okay next round of questions, please.

Speaker: [Inaudible]

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: As I said, we are closely monitoring the developments there and I told you our Embassy is in contact with Indian community. Manas.

Manas: Saudi Arabia has invited dozens of countries for a conference on peace talks in Ukraine. So has India been invited? And if invited, in fact, who is going to represent India?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson:
If you could introduce yourself, Manas?

Manas: Yeah, this is Manas from PTI.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Thank you. Okay, please, go ahead. I'll come to you.

Sidhhant: Sir, I'm Siddhant from CNN News 18. Sir reports have published that Prime Minister Modi is unlikely to attend BRICS Summit in person. Do you have any comments to make on that?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: You're pushing that line. I am now to comment on speculative reports, if you insist on that. Manas, your question was basically on the Saudi Arabia. Sorry, I missed it in the confusion. Okay, who had a hand up? Yeah, no, Madhurendra, please.

Abhishek Jha: Hi, Sir. I'm Abhishek Jha from CNN News 18. My question is regarding Russian President Putin's visit for G20 Summit happening in Delhi. Do you have any confirmation who is participating? Will he be personally present, or somebody will be representing him?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson:
OK, Madhurendra, before I come to you.

Madhurendra: Sir, Madhurendra, main News Nation se. Sir kuch media reports hain ki Pakistan aur America ke bich CIS-MOA pact ho raha hain jiske tahat Pakistan ko aur jyada hathiyar america de sakta hain. Kya aapko lagta hain isse hathiyaron ki ek nayi hodh suru hogi hamare us padosi Pakistan mai jiske liye abhi aapne hostility aur terror jaise words ka istemaal kiya. Ispe bharat ka kya stand hain?

[Question in Hindi: Approximate translation] Sir, Madhurendra here from News Nation. There are some media reports suggesting that Pakistan and America are negotiating a CIS-MOA pact, under which America may provide Pakistan with more weapons. Do you think this could lead to a new escalation of arms in our neighboring country Pakistan, for which you have recently used words like hostility and terrorism? What is India's stance on this?

Ileana: Good afternoon, Ileana, TASS News Agency. My first question is on enlargement of BRICS. I do understand that previously you commented on this issue, but the closer Summit is, the more talks around it. So what is India's position on enlargement of BRICS, and why? Why it's important to hear from you something, as I'm.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: You don't know our position, what do you mean why?

Ileana: Why?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Why what? Why it is our position?

Ileana: Do you support enlargement or not? And why is that this way? Why, I ask you, maybe you saw my colleagues from Bloomberg. They reported today that India may see in this enlargement of BRICS, increase of influence of China. Is it so or not? What do you think on this? And yesterday.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: No, one question.

Ileana: No, also on BRICS. Yesterday, Brazilian President supported the joining to BRICS, joining BRICS of Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. So what do you think of joining of these three countries to BRICS?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Look, let me start with your question. I don't recollect whether the Brazilian side specifically mentioned the three countries or not. But since you asked about our position on the BRICS aspect, I think we have talked about our position a couple of times, as you mentioned yourself. Let me repeat again. We have clarified our position in the past. As mandated by the leaders last year, BRICS members are internally discussing the guiding principles, the standards, criteria, and procedures for BRICS expansion process on the basis of full consultation and consensus. As our External Affairs Minister had mentioned, we are approaching this with an open mind and a positive outlook. We have seen some baseless speculation, and you also referred some of it to that, that India has reservations against expansion. This is simply not true. So let me put it very clearly from that.

Manas, on the other issue of…you mentioned about the Ukraine conference in Jeddah. Yes, India has been invited to attend a meeting hosted by Saudi Arabia on Ukraine in Jeddah. I think it's on the fifth and sixth of this month. India will participate in this event, and our participation is in consonance with our long-standing position. The dialogue and diplomacy is the way forward. As regards the level of participation, we will let you know when I'm in a position to do so.

Siddhant, your question was also on…you said, on BRICS. Let me repeat again. I mean, I think, as I said, position on that and the consultations are underway, and I think this idea that we are against expansion is simply not true.

Sidhant: My question was on the report that (inaudible)

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: A participation in the BRICS Summit, you asked? So sorry, that's why…I should have noted better. Look, as I said, I would urge you not to go by speculative media reports. When we are in a position to talk about, to announce such high-level visits, we will certainly do so, and you'll know that that's been our practice. For the moment, I would urge you all to just be patient and let us announce it at the right time.

Abhishek, what was your question on the…yeah, yeah. Look, this one,…I think I answered it at full length last week. We have extended invitations to all the leaders, the invitee countries, and we look forward to their participation. Now, individual confirmations, not confirmations, I don't think it's a fair. Perhaps you should ask your…direct your questions to the country concerned. Maybe they're in a better position to indicate whether they are coming or not. For the moment, we would hope all invitees are able to participate in person in next month's Summit.

Madhurendra ji aapka preshn tha CIS-MOA ko leke Pakistan ke sath. Dehiye woh kya dusre deshon ke sath kar rahe hain main usmai tippani nahi karna chahunga. Hamari suraksha ki baat pe hum jo bhi decision lena chahenge woh jarur hamari suraksha agencies, ya army, ya security agencies lenge. Hamara jo position hain Pakistan pe maine abhi aapko clear kiya. aur jo bhi humain kadam uthane padenge hum hamesha woh kadam lete hain security ke najariye se. Toh main utna hi kehna chahunga.

[Answer in Hindi: Approximate translation] Madhurendra ji, your question was about the CIS-MOA with Pakistan. I would not like to comment on what they are doing with other countries. When it comes to decisions concerning our security, it will be taken by our security agencies, the army, or other relevant authorities. I have already made our position on Pakistan clear to you, and any steps we take will always be from a security perspective. That's all I would like to say on this matter.

Okay, next round of questions.

Kadambini Sharma: Kadambini Sharma from NDTV India. Ariha Shah ke mamale mai kal unki mother jo hain woh Parliament pahuchi thi, kuch M.P. bhi is baat ko support kar rahain hain. philhal case ki kya sthiti hain agar is bare mai aap jankari de sake?

[Question in Hindi: Approximate translation] This is Kadambini Sharma from NDTV India. Regarding the Ariha Shah case, her mother had reached the Parliament yesterday, and some Members of Parliament are also supporting the matter. As of now, if you could provide more information, what is the current status of the case?

Pranay Upadhyay: Pranay Upadhyay Zee News se. Mera sawal is chiz ko lekar hain ki haal hi mai Pakistan ne 28 projects, CPEC aur Gilgit-Baltistan area ke aur PoK areas ke, Gulf countries ko offer kiye hain, toh is mamle ke upar bharat ki tippani kya hain kyu ki pahle bhi CPEC jo hain.

[Question in Hindi: Approximate translation] This is Pranay Upadhyay from Zee News. My question is regarding Pakistan's recent offer to Gulf countries for 28 projects in the CPEC, Gilgit-Baltistan area, and PoK areas. What is India's reaction to this, considering the concerns we had expressed earlier about the CPEC?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Aap phir se pahle part dohrayenge?

Pranay Upadhyay: Sawal ye hain ki Pakistan ne haal hi mai ye ailan kiya ki woh 28 jo contruction projects hain woh gulf countries ko offer karega, CPEC se jude hue aur khas taur par Gilgit-Baltistan aur PoK ke area ke.

[Question in Hindi: Approximate translation] The question is that Pakistan recently announced that it will offer the 28 construction projects to Gulf countries, which are related to the CPEC, especially concerning the Gilgit-Baltistan and PoK regions.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Ispe hamari comment mang rahe hain aap? Okay. Manish.

Manish Jha: Sir main Manish Jha hoon TV9 se. PoK mai sir largest scale par protest ho raha hain, wahan ke logon se jab humne contact kiya toh unhone bataya ki hamari aawaz ko Pakistani army daba de rahi hain aur koi bhi international media ya kisi ka hamain support nahi mil raha lekin lagatar mehengai, corruption se le ke tamam issues par hamari baat kahin ja nahi rahi, toh kya hum log Pok ke logon ko kisi tarah se support karne ke liye taiyar hain?

[Question in Hindi: Approximate translation] I am Manish Jha from TV9. In PoK, the largest scale of protests is currently taking place. When we contacted the people there, they informed us that the Pakistani army is suppressing their voices, and they are not receiving support from any international media or anyone else. However, their grievances regarding inflation, corruption, and various other issues are not getting the attention they deserve. So, are we ready to support the people of PoK in any way?

Neeraj: Sir Neeraj hoon News18 India se. Tanmanjeet Singh-Dhesi hain UK ke sansad, unhain Amritsar airport par aaj roka gaya, kya wajah rahi ki immigration ke adhikariyon ne uhne roka hain?

[Question in Hindi: Approximate translation] I am Neeraj from News18 India. Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, a UK Member of Parliament, was stopped at the Amritsar airport today. Could you please tell us the reason why immigration officials stopped him?

Gautam Lahiri:
Gautam Lahiri, freelance journalist. My question relates to the current situation of Bangladesh. It seems that the international community's opinion is almost diverse about the upcoming general election of Bangladesh. And the Indian High Commissioner has also met, after many months, the opposition party, BNP. After that, BNP leaders express that there should be a caretaker government before the election. So India has not commented so far, I have not seen. So, whether you have any comment on this? The whole world has commented. So I am asking whether India has any opinion about it or not.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Okay. Kadambini aapne prashn kiya ek bacchi jo Germany mai hain uske bare mai. Dekhiye hum is masle ko high priority dete hain, aapne dekha hoga hamare kafi comments hain, ismai humne statement bhi jari ki thi. Hamara manna hain ki kam se kam star par jo abhi foster care mai woh bacchi hain isse uske jo cultural rights hain, aur uske jo indian hone ke jo rights hain, is adhikaron ka ullanghan kiya ja raha hain. Is vishay mai German Ambassador ko bulaya gaya tha is hafte, aur hamari jo chintayain hain is bare mai kyuki cultural rights aur indian hone ke jo rights hain unka ullanghan ho raha hain isko hamne spast roop se unko suchit kiya, aur humne Germany se bacchi ko jald se jald bharat wapas lane ke liye bhi kaha hain. Aur is mamle par hum German authorities ke sath batchit karte rehange, unka press karte rahenge ki woh le aye bacchi ko, yaha india mei bheje.

[Answer in Hindi: Approximate translation] Kadambini, you asked about the baby girl in Germany. Let me tell you, we consider this issue a high priority, and you might have seen our numerous comments and we had issued statement on this matter. We firmly believe that the child, who is currently in foster care, is being denied her cultural rights and her rights as an Indian. We had summoned the German ambassador this week to express our concerns about this violation of cultural and Indian rights. We have requested Germany to bring the child back to India as soon as possible. We will continue to engage in discussions with German authorities and keep pressing them to send the child to India.

Neeraj ye jo aapne prashn pucha UK sansad ke bare mai, dekhiye ye aapko immigration authorities se puchna padega, ye foreign policy ke dayre mai nahi aayega, mere pass koi ismai comment nahi hain.

[Answer in Hindi: Approximate translation] Neeraj, the question you asked about the UK Member of Parliament, I must tell you that it will have to be inquired with immigration authorities. It does not fall within the scope of foreign policy, and I have no comments on this matter.

Somebody want to know what we said about the case of the child in Germany. Basically what I mentioned just now was that, we accord high priority to this case. We believe that at a minimum, the child's cultural rights and her rights as an Indian are being infringed upon by her being placed under German foster care. The German Ambassador to India was summoned earlier this week and our concerns were clearly conveyed to him. We have also asked for early return of the child to India. We will continue to press the German authorities on this matter.

Pranay aapka prashn tha CPEC ke bare mai, dekhiye is par hamara jo ravaiya raha hain woh bahot clear raha hain, hum mante hain ismai hamare andhruni mamlon pe ye, hamare area mai jo hum mante hain, hamare desh mai hain, uske through ye jata hain, toh isliye humne hamesha iski objection rakhi hain. Maine ye statement detail mai nahi dekhi hain lekin agar koi bhi project ho jis main Pakistan occupied kashmir ke andar ho toh hamara postion clear hain, hum iska support nahi kar sakte. Unhone agar CPEC projects baki kisi countries ko offer kiye ho jo is area mai na ho toh woh countries samjhenge, hamare kuch overall concerns hain project ke bare mai, woh alag hain par hamare kshetriya akhandta ke bare mai agar ho toh hamari puri objection hain usme.

[Answer in Hindi: Approximate translation] Pranay, your question was about CPEC. Let me tell you, our stance on this matter has been very clear. We believe that it involves our internal matters and concerns areas within our country, and passes through it, so we have always objected to it. I have not seen this statement in detail, but if any project is located within Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, then our position remains firm that we cannot support it. If they have offered to other countries CPEC projects not located in PoK, then it is for those countries to examine it. We have some overall concerns about the projects, that is a separate matter, but if it violates our territorial integrity, we completely object to it.

Manish aapka prashn thoda, main pata nahi kya keh sakta hoon. PoK hum mante hain hamare desh ke kshetra mai hain, wahan agar protest ho rahe hain, main iske bare main detail mai keh nahi sakunga kyuki maine dekhe nahi hain reports, par hum chahenge ki peacefully ye resolve ho unki jo requests hain. Support ka aisa koi detail mere paas hain nahi abhi aapko share karne ke liye. Uska simple solution ye hoga ki hamare pass woh hamare india ke territory mai ho, par jab tak nahi hain tab tak hum ismai hum aapko detail nahi de payenge.

[Answer in Hindi: Approximate translation] Manish, your question…I am not sure what to say. We acknowledge that PoK is within the territory of our country. If protests are happening there, I cannot provide detailed information as I haven't seen the reports. However, we would like the issues to be peacefully resolved according to their requests. As for support, I don't have any specific details to share with you at the moment. The simple solution would be, it becomes part of our Indian territory. But until then, I do not have any further detail on this matter.

On the Bangladesh issue, Gautam, I think there are multiple activities there and people perhaps are commenting on it. The whole world may comment on it, but India is India and we have a very special relationship with Bangladesh. What happens in Bangladesh, it impacts us. And I think, the election and the democratic processes should be held as per how the Bangladesh people determine it. We are, of course, closely monitoring it, we have our High Commission there. But I don't have any immediate comment on it. We would hope that there is peace and there is no violence and the elections are held as per plans. On the issue of caretaker governments and all, I certainly don't have any comments on it.

Ok, I saw a few hands still left.

Shailendra: Sir Shailendra Network18 se. Sir aap jante honge ki 5 august ki anniversary phir aane wali hain, Pakistan ne phir se ek bar jo alag alag Embassies hain unki chahan Belgium ki baat karain, ya Malaysia, UK, Lebanon in tamam Embassies mai woh 370 se jude events kara rahe hain taki Bharat ki image ko Kashmir ko le ke kharab kiya ja sake, ispar kuch kahenge?

[Question in Hindi: Approximate translation] Sir, this is Shailendra from Network18. As you may be aware, the anniversary of August 5 is approaching again. Pakistan is once again holding events related to Article 370 in their Embassies in Belgium, Malaysia, UK, Lebanon, with the intention of tarnishing India's image concerning Kashmir. Do you have any comments on this matter?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Ileana, you had another question? Quickly, yeah.

Ileana: Ileana, TASS News Agency. Politico magazine reported today that it is possible that the meeting on Ukraine at the level of heads of states is possible on the sidelines G20 in India of the Summit, not only on the fringes of September's UN General Assembly or at the G20 Summit.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: No, no, sorry, I wanted to clarify the question. Politico report, I haven't read the report, but what is the question?

Ileana: Is it really so that on the sidelines of G20 Summit in India there is a possibility of some meeting on Ukraine?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Hosted by us?

Ileana: In New Delhi, the Summit in New Delhi, of course. So do you have such discussions or is it possible?

Madhurendra: Sir Madhurendra main News Nation se. Ek update seema haidar mamle mai janna chahunga ki isse pahle aapne bataya tha ki Pakistan ke taraf se consular access ko lekar baat hui thi, ispe kya update hain. Aur Anju ko lekar Pakistan ne koi concern raise kiya India se?

[Question in Hindi: Approximate translation] Sir, this is Madhurendra from News Nation. I would like to know an update on the Seema Haidar case. Earlier, you had mentioned that there was a discussion regarding consular access from the Pakistan side. Can you provide any updates on this matter? Also, has Pakistan raised any concerns regarding Anju with India?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Anju. Okay. Aur koi prashna? Abhishek, go ahead, quickly, I have to close this.

[Answered in Hindi: Approximate translation] Anju. Ok. Any more questions? Abhishek, go ahead, I have to close this.

Abhishek Jha: Sir, Abhishek Jha from CNN News 18. Sir, my question is regarding this Moscow format meeting which is going to be held in Kazan. So will India be participating in that meeting?

Narender Dhawan: Narender Dhawan from Delhi Uptodate. Seema Haider wale case mai sir ke jis tarah ki ye ghatnaye badh rahi hain toh videsh mantralay ne koi policy matter banaya hain ki videsh se aanewale ya videsh janewale bhartiyon ke liye koi policy ho isi sandharbh mai?

[Question in Hindi: Approximate translation] Narender Dhawan from Delhi Uptodate. Regarding the case of Seema Haider and the increase in such cases, has the Ministry of External Affairs formulated any policy matters concerning Indians traveling to or from abroad in this context?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Main aapka prashn bilkul nahi samjha. Ye Seema ke bare mai?

[Answer in Hindi: Approximate translation] : I didn't quite understand your question. This is about Seema?

Narender Dhawan: Ye Seema Haider aur anju ke jo case hue hain unke baad.

[Question in Hindi: Approximate translation] After the cases of Seema Haider and Anju..

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Dono bilkul alag alag hain par seema haidar wale case mai aapka kya prashn hain?

[Answer in Hindi: Approximate translation] Both are completely different cases, but what is your question specifically about the Seema Haider case?

Narender Dhawan: Hamara prashn ye hain sir ki jis tarah se ye ghatnaye ho rahi hain, videsh mantralay is bare mai kuch policy bana raha hain ya nahi?

[Question in Hindi: Approximate translation] My question is, Sir, given the incidents that are occurring, is the Ministry of External Affairs formulating any policy regarding these matters or not?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Shailendra aapka prashn. Dekhiye, pata nahi aap kounse report ki jikar kar rahe the, maine dekha nahi hain. Par ye har saal unki koshish rehti hain ki is mudde ko uthaye, ho sakta hain aap isi ka jikar kar rahe ho, par aise propaganda attempt abhi tak unka koi fayda nahi hua, jitna bhi propaganda kar le, relality ye hain ki jammu kashmir aur laddakh hamare india ke integral parts hain aur hum isko jyada seriously nahi lena chahenge kyuki ye pure propaganda hain.

[Answer in Hindi: Approximate translation] Shailendra, your question. You see, I am not sure which report you are referring to as I haven't seen it. However, they make such attempts every year to raise this issue. It is possible that you are mentioning the same. But, let me tell you, their propaganda attempts have been futile. No matter how much propaganda they indulge in, the reality is that Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh are integral parts of India. We do not want to take this matter too seriously because it is just pure propaganda.

Ileana, I couldn't understand the context of it. We certainly have no plans or have nothing to share with you that we are hosting any meeting on Ukraine during the G20. But again, G20 agenda will be finalized and shared with the countries. If there are other countries meeting in Delhi on Ukraine, I cannot comment on that. So I don't know what exactly the political story says but I don't have really any comment on that or information on that.

Madhurendra ji, Seema jo illegally India aayi thi unke bare mai maine keh rakha hain kya position hain, mere pass abhi koi update nahi hain, investigations chal rahe hain. Ho sakta hain aap un agencies se baat kar le, ho sakta hain unke pass additional information ho. Aur jo lady yahan se gayi thi Pakistan, Anju, unke bare mai, I think woh niji mamla hain, maine kaha tha woh foreign policy ka mudda nahi hain. Woh gayi hain, aur hamne uske bare mai kuch specific suna nahi hain kuch kisi side se. Foreign policy issue nahi hain, main kuch keh nahi paunga. Consular mudde par kuch ho to hum jarur kuch agar ho toh ham jarur procedure jaisa hain uske hisab se kaam karenge.

[Answer in Hindi: Approximate translation] Madhurendra ji, regarding Seema, who illegally came to India, I have already mentioned that I don't have any update on the current position. Investigations are underway, and you may contact the relevant agencies for additional information. As for the lady, Anju, who went to Pakistan, I believe it is a private matter, and I mentioned earlier that it is not a foreign policy issue. She went there, and we haven't heard anything specific from either side. It is not a foreign policy matter, so I cannot comment on it. If there is any consular issue, we will handle it according to the procedures in place.

Abhishek, in the past, we have been attending the Moscow format meetings but I don't have yet, anything to share. We don't have any announcement yet for – I saw some report about next month but I don't have anything to share. But yes, in the past we have attended a few meetings which have been held in that format on Afghanistan.

Aapka prashn jo tha…dekhiye, immigration ka mamla videsh matralay ke dayre mai nahi hain, jo department ya ministries deal karte hain woh decide karenge koi special policies lana hain ya nahi lana hain. Aur Seema ke jo case tha, aur yahan jo anju ki case ki baat kar rahe the, woh agar gayi hain visa le ke, jo hum sun rahe hain toh usmai phir policy ka mujhe nahi samjh mei aata kyu…woh niji mamla hain, foreign policy issue nahi hain, main usmai kuch keh nahi paunga.

[Answer in Hindi: Approximate translation] Regarding your question…you see, immigration matters do not come under the scope of the Ministry of External Affairs. The departments or ministries responsible for such issues will decide whether to introduce any special policies or not, in respect of Seema’s case…and on the case of Anju, if she has gone with a proper visa, as we have been hearing, then I don't understand the relevance of any policy in such cases. These are private matters and not foreign policy issues, so I cannot comment on them.

Thank you all for joining us. Good afternoon.

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