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Transcript of Weekly Media Briefing By the Official Spokesperson (September 16, 2021)

September 17, 2021

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Good afternoon to all of you. Welcome to this week's media briefing. Good to see a large turnout here. I don't have much in terms of announcements except to recall that tomorrow we have the SCO the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit which Prime Minister will be addressing participating virtually, External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar left today morning and he's actually now in Dushanbe to represent India physically. And hopefully we'll be able to share with you some more details of the summit I think it's tomorrow at around 11:30 and we'll see what we can share with you publicly. Other than that, of course, you've seen the other visit details that we've been putting out. So perhaps I'll just move to the questions directly. Yeah, okay.

Speaker 1: Arindamji, Afghanistan mein ek bhaartiye ke agva hone ki report hai, Bansaari lal ki, iss baare mein kya taliban sarkar ke saath mein jo regime hai, uske saath koi sampark hua tha kya? kya details hamare pass hain isko lekar? (Questioned in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Arindamji, There are reports of an Indian being kidnapped in Afghanistan, Bansaari Lal, was there any contact with the regime that is in force with the Taliban government? Do we have any details about this?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Dekhiye yeh important ek topic hai, we have seen missing person reports about a reported Indian national, Bansari Lal Arendeh Kabul mein wo missing hain we are in touch with all concerned. We have seen reports about local authorities undertaking investigation in this matter, we will continue to monitor the situation ,aur aapko avagat karaenge aur koe is mein koi hamein development se. Abhi tak hamein aur koi jaankaari nahin hai. (Answered in Hindi; Approximate translation) See, this is an important topic, we have seen missing persons reports about a reported Indian national, Bansari Lal Arendeh in Kabul, we are in touch with all concerned. We have seen reports about local authorities undertaking investigation in this matter, and we will continue to monitor the situation and will inform you if there is some development on this. We don't have any further information yet. I know that question was for various other people could you ask? Okay.

Speaker 2: Can you please confirm whether this gentleman is an Indian citizen?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Look, I am given to understand that he is an Indian citizen but we are also checking that part the name that was given was Bansari Lal Arendeh Lal and he is possibly an Indian citizen. But as I said…

Speaker 2: Is he Afghan Hindu or is he…

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Look I don't have any further details to share at this moment. We are told that he's an Indian National. I have also seen reports saying he's OCI holder, but I don't think that's correct. I think he's an Indian National but we'll come back to this. Anybody else in this element? Okay.

Speaker 3: ( Inaudible ).

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Dekhiye sensitive maamla hai. Mein iss pe aur kuchh kehna nahin chaahoonga. Mein repeat karoonga ki ham baaki inse bhi sampark mein hain aur ham isko closely monitor kar rahe hain aur jaise hi kuchh hamare paas kuchh khabar hoga share karne ke liye, jaroor aapko bataenge. (Answered in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Look it's a sensitive matter. I would not like to say anything more on this. I will repeat that we are in touch with the rest of them too and we are monitoring this closely and will let you know as soon as we have some news to share.

I hope nothing else further on this. Okay, please.

Speaker 4: Bansari lal Ji ka ek maamla saamne aaya hai. Jaisa ki aapse hi pata chala hai bahut se hamare Indian nationals vahaan pe hain. unki suraksha ko lekar ke kya koi aisee vyavavstha hamne ki hai? kisise se ham sampark mein hain ? kya taliban se koi government se channel khula hua hai? hum kaise ensure kar rahe hain ki jo bhaartiye abhi hain vahaan par vo iss tarah ki pareesthiti na face karein? (Questioned in Hindi; Approximate Translation) A case of Bansari Lal ji has come to the fore. As we have come to know from you only that many of our Indian Nationals are there. Have we made any such arrangement regarding their safety? Is anyone in touch with? Is any government channel open from Taliban? How are we ensuring that the Indians who are there now do not face such a situation?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: "Dekhie aapne jaisa kaha ensure karne vaali baat to phir hamaare desh mein nahin hai ye, par hamne aisa kaha tha ki kuchh hamare jaise................. ye Afghanistan se jab nikal rahe the hamare operation Devi Shakti ke under. Majority indians vahaan se to aa gaye the. Kuchh log baaki they vahan par, ham unse............... we are in contact with them ........... Jo hain aana chaahate the par nahin aa pae kyonki kabul airport mein operations band ho gaye. Par isse jyada kuchh keh nahin sakate. Hamne ye vishay aur safety kafi baar raise kar rakha hai. Hamne international community ke saath apane resolution 2593 mein bhee dekha hoga. Minorities vagairah ke baare mein as well as afghans taaki vo apne aap aa saken, aaram se bina impediment ke aur vo safe rahen. Ye issue hai. Ye mudda important hai, but specifically inke case mein ya kisi aur ke case mein kuch keh nahin payenge (Answered in Hindi; Approximate translation) See, as you said, the thing to ensure, it is not in our country, but we had said that some like us……….. when they were evacuating them from Afghanistan. Under our operation Devi Shakti. majority of Indians had come from there. There were some people left over there, we are in contact with them ,those who wanted to come but could not come because the operations at Kabul airport stopped. But can't do much more than that. We have raised this topic and safety quite a few times. We have also seen in resolution 2593 with international community, as well as Afghans about minorities etc. so that they can come on their own comfortably without any harm. Let them be safe. These are the issues. This issue is important. But we cannot comment on his case or anyone else's case .” Thank you moving on to other issues. Okay, please.

Speaker 5: Sir, "mera sawal operation Devi Shakti ko lekar hi hai ki uska kya, usmein kya update aap karna chaahte hain? kyonki tamaam eise bhartiye hin jinko abhi ghar vaapas aana hai. flights sab shuru hone ki sthiti mein hain. Hum kin channels ke jariye baatcheet kar rahe hain aur usko lekar kya update hai. Kab tak ensure kar paenge ki jo log vahaan phanse hain wo vaapas bharat aa sakenge? (Questioned in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Sir, my question is regarding Operation Devi Shakti, what about it, what do you want to update on it? Because there are many Indians who have yet to come back home. All flights are in starting soon. Through which channels are we talking and what is the update about it. Till when will you be able to ensure that those who are trapped there will be able to come back to India?”

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: "Dekhie mujhe lag raha hai abhi bhi Afghanistan par kuchh question aur hain. Aur kisi ka sawaal hai Afghanistan pe. Any specific quaestion hai Afghanistan pe? ek, do (Answered in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Look, I feel there are still some more questions on Afghanistan. And someone else has a question on Afghanistan. Have any specific question on Afghanistan?” one two. Any specific question on Afghanistan? Okay.

Speaker 6: "Mera sawaal yeh hai ki Taliban se sampark ko lekar kya jo hamare raajdoot ki pehlii mulaakat hui thi uske baad se kya aur koi official mulaakat huiee hai ya koi channel official khula hai? ki Taliban se jaroorat padti hai to uss se baatacheet karein. (Questioned in Hindi; approximate Translation) My question is, has there been any other official meeting since the first meeting of our Ambassador regarding contact with Taliban or is there any official channel open through which we can talk to the Taliban, if needed.”

Speaker 7: Sir, I have a question. Secretary Blinken has approached India to allow its bases in Northwest. You must be aware about this.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Should I'll come back to your question.

Speaker 7: Yeah, sure.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Yes, similar. So I'll come back to that one later. Anybody else on this question, otherwise, this is same question, right? This is a comment about over the horizon. Something like that. I read a media report. Okay, let me just answer. "Dekhiye Devi shakti ke baare mein hamne to kaha hi tha pahle ki iske baare mein abhee kis tarah se chal raha hai, aur aap poochh rahe the contact ke baare mein .Dekhiye Devi shakti ke baare mein jab tak Kabul airport vahaan pe operations resume nahin hota, mushkil hai kehna, kaise nikaalenge. Kyonki hamaara abhi focus yahi hai ki Kabul airport operations resume ho jaen. Phir uspe aasaani hogi logon ko laane ke liye. To mere paas update uspe nahin hai par ispe hamara najar hai aur ismein hum attention rakhe hue hain ki jaise hi kuchh ho pae to kuchh baaki jo Indians hain ya phir baaki Afghans jo aana chaahenge. Contact ke baare mein I am not aware aur uske baad hamare Ambassador ke baad koi formal aisa koi contact raha hai wahaan pe. Aur iske baare mein ye kahana chaahoonga ki let me.....(Answered in Hindi; Approximate Translation) See, we had already said about Devi Shakti, how is it going about it now, and you were asking about the contact. See about Devi Shakti until the operation resumes at Kabul Airport there. It's difficult to say, how to get out. Because our focus right now is that Kabul airport operations should be resumed. Then it will be easy to bring people. So I don't have an update on it but we are keeping an eye on it and we are keeping in mind that as soon as something happens, there are some Indians or other Afghans who would like to come. I am not aware about any contact after the formal meeting of our Ambassador and would like to say about it that Let me......”. Let me make a make a comment on that. Look, I think we've seen some media reports on this issue. You're talking about the… May I hear the question correctly, because I didn't hear the question the first time. So, what is exactly your question?

Speaker 7: Bases in Northwest to be used for airstrikes against Afghanistan?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: What is your question?

Speaker 7: This was the report.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Yeah, I heard that. And you said.

Speaker 7: Yes, question was that Secretary Blinken has spoken about, you know, being deeply engaged with India over the horizon support. Is that part of Indian policy to do this?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Look, I think there's some confusion on this issue. So that's why I thought I'd ask you again. As you are aware, we continue to be engaged with the US and other partners regarding developments in Afghanistan. I would not like to respond to media reports on this issue because that's what I've seen. And I would actually request you to go through the actual conversation in the US Congress, Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, which is slightly different from what we were hearing about the media reports. And I don't have actually any further information to share on that for the moment. Related question,please.

Shahid Abas: I’m Shahid Abas from the Informist media. There's a understanding or a pact with US , India to allow US to use its military base? Will that not amount to surrendering its sovereignty?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: I'm sorry, I'm not aware of what base are we talking about. I am not aware of this. Is there a specific media report that you're referring to?

Shahid Abas: Not only media report.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: No, I think there are two aspects. We have the foundational agreement that we have signed with the logistics support with the US there are three of them. That's very different from what media reports I'm reading, I've seen the conversation in the Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. And it doesn't seem to indicate any of these things that you are saying. So I don't have any comment to make on that aspect. Okay, moving on.

Speaker 8: Sir Prime Minister visit to US has been announced. So how significant it is, any elements you can talk about when is he leaving, when he's coming back? Is he going to meet the people in terms of the community and business?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Flight plans. Same question. You can waste your question there. Okay. Please go ahead. If it's related to this, please. Let's take it together. Yeah, please.

Speaker 9: PM is also going to have a bilateral with the American president. So any major announces? Is there any agreements expected to be announced?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: So your question is major announcements, agreements, yours was about the logistics. Okay, anything else on this one specifically? Okay.

Speaker 10: Sir, since US had moved away from its traditional approach on sharing technology, nuclear technology, regarding AUKUS. So question is, as PM is meeting with Biden so will India seek the same kind of technology from the US?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Let me come back to AUKUS. Just give me a minute. I think it's a different topic. Okay, let me just talk about the Prime Minister's visit. As many of you know, we have put out a press release, many of you are aware for the details at the American side. So you've seen our press release earlier this week about Prime Minister's visit to the US. As mentioned there in, he will participate in the first in person, QUAD Leaders’ Summit in Washington on September 24. On September 25, he will address the General debate of the UN General Assembly at its 76th session, while Prime Minister is in Washington, he will also have a bilateral meeting with President Biden. We also look forward to bilateral meetings with other QUAD leaders time permitting, as well as bilateral meeting with some other leaders while he's in New York on September 25. Of course, we will share more information about the programme elements as we go forward. I'm afraid I can't give you the flight plans and other details that you have sought. But I assure you we are aware of the interest in this important visit next week, which has these three elements. And we'll try to share with you whatever we can as we move forward both in terms of logistics as well as in substance. So please bear with us. We'll try to see if we can get your briefing done before the visit in some format, etc. Major agreements you mentioned, I'll come to that. Let's not prejudge the whole thing. I mean, the objective of this is the first in person QUAD meeting. And bilateral meeting, as you're mentioning, perhaps while he's there. But this is not sort of a thing that I have anything to share on agreements or announcement. But the QUAD has its own dynamics so let's see what comes out of that meeting. I don't want to prejudge or comment in advance. You had something else on that? Yeah.

Speaker 11: ( Inaudible ).

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Look, as I said, the elements are still being worked out and we will certainly share with you. For the moment I can confirm 24th is the QUAD and the 25th is the UN General Assembly debate, Prime Minister's participation. We will try to, you know, see how the other meetings fall into place. Yes, please. Who I missed. Let me start from here.

Som: I'm Som from ABC Australia. Australia has decided to pursue nuclear powered submarine under a new defence partnership with US and UK. Would you like to comment on it?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: This comes under AUKUS?

Som: Yes

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Look, let me make a categorical…... I don't have anything to share on this for the moment on the AUKUS or related stuff. I know you were asking about will we take it up? I don't think there is the remit of this briefing about our defence technology cooperation with the US which is quite strong, but whether these are speculative and are suddenly beyond my presentation today. Sorry, please, apologies...Go ahead.

Speaker 12: Last evening, Peter Dutton spoke to Rajnath Singh before announcing this and informing him that this was on. Did the Foreign Minister of Australia did she call Mr. Jaishankar? And did Scott Morrison speak with Prime Minister before the announcement?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Look, I think Prime Minister of Australia did speak with our Prime Minister, and I think Prime Minister put out something in the public domain about his conversation there. About the Foreign Minister I will have to confirm that I think it did take place but I will just have to reconfirm that but the Prime Minister one I know it was put out and I think a call from the Raksha mantri also came from his Australian counterpart. Sorry. You had your hand up earlier.

Speaker 13: Sir, QUAD ke meeting se pahle China ne react kiya hai. kuchh media reports hain aur unhone kaha hai ki ye meeting, bhavishy ke liye, iska koi bhavishya nahin hai aur is tarah ke meeting ko ham bilkul bhi support nahin karte hain. Aur of course usmein kuchh... isape kuchh kehna chaahenge china ke liye.... (Questioned in Hindi; Approximate translation) Sir, China has reacted before the QUAD meeting. There are some media reports and they have said that this meeting has no future and we do not support this type of meeting at all. And of course something in that... would like to say something about it for China....

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: "Aaapaka sawaal nahin hai. Main kya kehana chaahoonga.(Answered I Hindi; approximate Translation) It is not a question. What would I like to say? This is the first in person QUAD. Let me just share with you some of our perspective on QUAD maybe that would be a better response than commenting on what China said. I think is haphte kaafi meetings hui thi jisamein videsh mantri hamare External affairs Minister Dr. Jaishankar ne kuchh vision hamare Quad ke baare mein kaha hai,(Answered in Hindi; Approximate translation) I think a lot of meetings were held this week in which External Affairs Minister Dr. Jaishankar has said some vision about our quad) If you permit, I'll quote in English. He highlighted QUAD is a platform where four countries have come to cooperate for their benefit and for the benefit of the world. It is focused on addressing immediate issues of today, ranging from vaccines supply chains, education, maritime security, climate change, humanity assistance, disaster relief, connectivity, infrastructure. It has a shared vision. I mean, the QUAD is a shared vision for the Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, prosperous and inclusive, and is based on respect for international law. I think that nicely sums up "jo hamare videsh mantri jo, hamare External affairs Minister kehna chaahte hain Quad ke baare mein and i think we should......move to that (Answered in Hindi; Approximate Translation) I think that nicely sums up about Quad and what our External Affairs Minister wants to say about Quad. I think that nicely sums up about Quad and I think we should......move to that and I shouldn't add anything more to that. Thank you. Yeah, just one second before you come there. Yes.

Speaker 14: Sir, related to PM US visit. Ek banned outfit ne kaha ki New York se le ke Washington tak Pradhan Mantri Modi ke khilaf protest kiye jaayenge. Is mudde ko lekar kya hamari government ne American Government se Washington mein specifically ya New york mein kaha hai ki is tarah ke protest ko allow na kiya jaaye. (Questioned in Hindi; approximate translation) A banned outfit said that from New York to Washington, there will be protests against Prime Minister Modi. Regarding this issue, has our government told the American government specifically in Washington or in New York that such protests should not be allowed?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: You had your question, anyway...

Speaker 15: Today there was a report by the Hudson Institute saying that, you know, there is a coordination between the Kashmiri and the Khalistan separatist group and supported by the Pakistani ISI. Do we have anything on this trend? And these are the guys who are involved in raising protest and involved into anti-India activities there.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Look, regarding the question of I don't know, the specific comment or the call given by the banned outfit, so I'm not going to comment on that, certainly. But yes, we certainly take a lot of interest in ensuring that the security of the Prime Minister and delegation is and we convey and we share with the host country, in this case, the US. In the organisation is banned, they should not be undertaking this kind of activities. I'm not sure we can tell them to stop a protest. But the issue is not about protest the issue about security. And these are organisations that have had problems in the past in terms of terrorist activities, etc. So I won’t like to go more into detail. Regarding the question that I got from the Hudson Institute we saw the report today. Yes, clearly, that's quite interesting in terms of the analysis that makes and how Pakistan has been yet again, continuing to make its efforts in trying to promote, you know, activities, undertake activities against India, perform terrorism, as well as, in fact, this is very focused this report, if I remember correctly, I had a chance to brief look at it our activities are taken on American soil. And I do hope that, you know, people in the US will see that, you know, and understand the risks that this kind of activities, pose to all people, or all countries that are shared vision against terrorism and violence. I think I'll stop on that one. Yeah, please. Yeah, sorry.

Speaker 16: Arindam the QUAD vaccination initiative was one of the major outcomes of the virtual summit in March. What's the progress on implementing it? And another question from the SCO summit, no, this is important on the possibility of a meeting between our Foreign minister and Iranian Foreign Minister, and is he expected to come to India as well?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Let me take your first question on that. And as I said, Look, let's stick to one question. So I'll keep the same question somebody has comes on to it. Otherwise, I'll come back to your question. Sorry, could you repeat which element you wanted to the first part of it?

Speaker 16: On the vaccination.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Yeah. How is the progress. Look, as you heard there, it was an important initiative. But now that we have a QUAD meeting, why don't let the meeting happen, and we'll try to brief you on the substantive elements of it as the meeting happens. This will be a topic of discussion, which will come up. So let's wait for that. On the SCO anybody else on the SCO? We try to have one question per person. But on the bilateral look, as I said, the External affairs minister is in the Dushanbe today, and as you know, he utilises these opportunities to meet his counterparts. And he is always very prompt in sharing that information of what meetings and what the conversations have happened. So why don't we just wait and you know, let progress from what is the summit. I promise we will try to share with you all the details of his bilateral. Let me not prejudge or commit to them in advance. Okay.

Speaker 17: ( Inaudible ).

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: I don't have any immediate confirmation that he's coming. There is an interest and there were some talks of dates, but it hasn't happened. These visits we announce at the appropriate time. Yeah. Sorry ma’am, you can get a question, but let me take her for a minute.

Speaker 18: It's about the QUAD Summit. So because this AUKUS was announced Australia, UK, US. So it is also focused on the Indo Pacific. So and it is announced just before the QUAD summit in person first in person, so does it in any way dilute the focus of the QUAD summit?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: I think the QUAD summit stands on its own. It's extremely important, as I mentioned, our vision of it. Clearly our QUAD partners attach a lot of importance to it, as you can see, in the midst of a COVID now in person is happening. I won’t like to comment or speculate on implications. And as I said, I don't have much to say on this AUKUS initiative for the moment. Sorry, ma'am, you go ahead. I'll come back to you. Give me a second.

Speaker 19: I would like a little bit of clarification on these defence pacts that we had signed with the US. Now does LEMOA entail that they could I mean, it's of course, logistics. I mean, could the US force us?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: No, US is not forcing us, nobody is forcing India.

Speaker 19: If you could explain what are the restrictions of LEMOA? Is it an offensive?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: There are threefoundational agreements, as you know, CISMOA, LEMOA, BEKA, I don't think this is the appropriate forum to discuss on the you know, what each element does. These are agreements that help interoperability and it helps in deepening our defence cooperation. I don't think either side looks at it as being forced or, you know, doing things like that. On this specific issue that you are raising coming back in directly on the comments on the over the horizon, I would request go back, listen to the response from Secretary Blinken. And don't go by the media reports. You may have a different sort of a question to ask. I'm not sure what you have seen in the media reports. I'm not going to comment on Secretary Blinken's comment, naturally. But you'll go back and listen to how he responded. And I think that's a good indicator where we stand. Sorry, Yes, please.

Speaker 20: Sir anyway, tomorrow SCO summit is there and Prime Minister is going to address it. So can you just enlighten us with the issues Prime Minister is going to address and expected outcomes, whether the issues of regional security is going to be raised by Prime Minister, which are the issues are important for him in tomorrow's address and whether you are expecting any outcome after the summit?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Okay. Look, I think it would be inappropriate for me to say what PM is going to say. But since there is interested in SCO summit, let me just talk about it a little bit. This time is the first time it's happening in a hybrid format. That's very interesting, because then it allows, some people are there, some leaders and those who couldn't travel for COVID and other requirements are here. PM would be addressing this, and as I said around 11:30 tomorrow, hopefully we'll have that. This is the 20th anniversary of the SCO, mechanism organisation. This is also the fourth time that India is participating in this summit as a full member. I wanted to add that immediately after the summit, there will be what is called an outreach event or outreach session between the SCO members and what is called the Collective Security Treaty Organisation or the CSTO. And that outreach session on Afghanistan, for the leaders so that you can understand the importance that Afghanistan will be on focus. In addition, of course, as you said, there are a number of issues that interests us vis a vis the SCO , and we have put that out in our press release, including regional security, collaboration, connectivity, various issues. So I hope that gives you some flavour. But what Prime Minister exactly going to say let's just wait for him to say that tomorrow. Okay, please.

Speaker 21: Sir can you give us some update on the Chinese I mean, the China disengagement talks and the fact that Chinese Foreign Minister is also going to be the SCO meet. So will there be any possibility of a side-line talk or something like that?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: Look, you started off with saying disengagement talks. I don't have an update on that we discussed last time a couple of weeks ago about the 12th round that happened and we'll see when the next round etc. take place. Let me just reiterate our position that we will always been clear that completion of disengagement in the remaining areas can pave the way forward for two sides to consider de-escalation of forces and ensure full restoration of peace and tranquillity and enable progress in bilateral relations. So that remains our position, we've been stating it repeatedly. As I said, our External affairs minister will be there and hopefully he will be having a large number of bilaterals. I don't want to prejudge which one I'm not going to rule in or rule out any of meeting so let's wait for what meetings take place with bilateral. Okay. 2nd question, 3rd question, Kon sa hai aapka( which question is yours?) Fir to galat aadmi se puchh rahe hai(I am not the the appropriate person to answer)

Speaker 21: SAARC Foreign Ministers ki meet UNGA ke saath hoti hai to kya wo ho rahi hai aur videsh mantri hamare hissa lenge. Aur iss mein jo hypothetical aspect hai vo ye hai Nahin ye nahin tha, ye to jaanakaari hai. Uss mein Pakistan ke videsh mantri to honge. Hypothetical part ye hai ki kya, Afghanistan ki taraf se bhi koi America la kar wahan baitha de. (Questioned in Hindi; approximate Translation) If the SAARC foreign ministers meet with UNGA, is it happening and our foreign ministers will participate. And the hypothetical aspect in it is whether Afganistan will have someone sitting .

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: "Nahin ye hypothetical nahin hai. Actually hypothetical pehla part hai. Dekhie abhi tak hamare paas koi eaisee specific khabar nahin hai, ki is baar hogi ya nahin hogi. Chair abhi ham nahin hain so ye convene karenge jo SAARC ke, Nepal, I think aur agar convene hoga to phir hamara kya.I think hum participate karenge agar ho raha hai but iss baar kaafi aise bhi logistical difficulties hain. Saare Foreign Ministers physically honge ya nahin honge. Aur hybrid format ho paega ya nahin par haan, aap theek kah rahe hain, past mein aisa hua hai ki not just say SAARC, kuchh aur organizations ke bhi UNGA mein jaate hain ye mauka le ke log meet karte hain sideline main .Iss saal thoda different hai, is saal pichhle saal ke Covid ke chakkar mein. To abhee aapako bataenge wo agar kuchh aur details aaen par kuchh aur meetings ho sakte hain. Ho sakta hai hamaare videsh mantri us silsile mein waahaan New York thoda ek aadh din pehale par uska baad mein pata chalega. Abhee mere paas final details nahin hain . Aur Afaganistan ke baare mein chair hain wo decide karenge. (Answered in Hindi; Approximate Translation) No it is not hypothetical. The first part is actually hypothetical. Look, we do not have any such specific news till now, whether it will happen this time or not. We are not in the Chair now, so one who is from SAARC will convene, Nepal, I think and if it is convened then what will be ours? I think we will participate if it is happening but this time there are lot of logistical difficulties like this. All foreign ministers will be physically available or not. And hybrid format will be possible or not but yes, you are right, it has happened in the past that not just say SAARC, some other organizations also go to UNGA, take this chance and people meet on the sideline. This year is a little different, this year in the wake of last year's Covid. So now we will tell you if some more details come but there may be some more meetings. May be our Foreign Minister in that connection will be there in New York a day and a half before it but we will come to know later. I don't have the details yet. And the chair will decide about afganistan”Can I close here? You have last one? Okay. I think they've fallen breaking the first one question rule. I think so. Somebody hasn't asked a question. Please. My mistake. Somebody hasn't asked a question. Please just wait. Ma’am.

Speaker 22: I would like to just get a sense, is India hopeful, that India could well be getting critical cyber technologies from Australia and UK given that US has agreed, under AUKUS, to sell critical defence technologies.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: I don't see the direct link let me put it this way I think we have a very robust relationship with the Australia as you saw we just had two plus two it has a defence component various other elements with the UK, of course. So we do collaborate and cooperate on various aspects. I don't know what specifically on cyber and if I am in a position to share anything on that. But again on the AUKUS related I don't have a response. I doubt it. But as I said I don't have anything particular to say on the AUKUS for the moment. So on a separate bilateral standing, Yes, we have a deep relationship. And we have cooperation but I don't know whether I can specifically respond to your thing of whether it is cyber related or not. I know there is some cyber cooperation but technologies I have to check. Okay, I think I'll close it, unless you have something very different.

Speaker 23: . "Pichle WMCC aur uske bad Corps commanders conference ke baad LAC par disengagement dekhne ko mila tha. Lekin abhee bhee Dipsang aur Hotspring ke ilaake mein disengagement ka process poora nahin ho paaya hai. Kya hum aage aur engagement China ke saath plan kar rahe hain, WMCC level par ya kisi any star par taaki disengagement ka process aage badh pae. (Questioned in Hindi; Approximate Translation) After the last WMCC and then the Core commander conference, disengagement was seen on the LAC. But still the process of disengagement has not been completed in the area of ​​Deep sang and Hot spring. Are we planning further engagement with China, at WMCC level or at any other level so that the process of disengagement can go ahead.”

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official spokesperson: "Dekhiye main iska jawaab de chuka hoon. Abhee bataaya aapako ki ham log abhee jo last 12th round ke baad ham wait kar rahe hain agle engagement ka. To eaisa nahin hai ki band ho gaya hai. Par abhee tak koi update nahin hai koi nae round ya, ya nae engagement ka. (Answered in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Look, I've answered it. Just told you that after the last 12th round we are waiting for the next engagement. So it's not like it's closed. But there is no update yet, any new round or, or new engagement.”

Thank you. Good evening.

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