New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) India has emerged as a country that is "connecting" today's "divided world" in some form or the other amid several global challenges and questions over relevance and efficacy of decades-old international institutions, President Droupadi Murmu said on Tuesday.
In her address to a joint sitting of Parliament on the first day of the Budget Session, she said the world is acknowledging New Delhi's "tough stand" on terrorism, and described the current phase of India's global relations as the "best" one.
Murmu said the government "firmly" believed that lasting peace is possible only when the country is strong politically and strategically, and that it is the reason why constant emphasis is being put on the modernisation of the country's military strength.
In the around hour-long speech, Murmu touched upon India's ongoing presidency of the G20, chairship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as well as its role in the Quad with a focus on working for peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.
However, there was no reference to India's frosty ties with Pakistan and China, though she mentioned the challenge of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
The world is looking towards India with "high hopes" and it is among those countries that are reinforcing the trust in the global supply, Murmu said asserting that the country's identity as a nation was immortal in the past, and will remain so in the future as well.
The president said the goodwill that India has generated benefitted it during the crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine, especially in evacuation of Indian citizens from these countries.
"Today, the world is also acknowledging India's tough stand on terrorism. Due to this, India's voice against terrorism is being heard seriously on every global platform," she said.
"In October last year, a special meeting of the UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee was organised for the first time in India. In this too, India made its position clear against terrorism," Murmu added.
She said the government is also "sincerely presenting" its concerns relating to cyber security before the whole world.
The president also highlighted several challenges facing the world and how New Delhi is playing an important role in connecting a "divided world".
"Today's world is witnessing many challenges. The relevance and efficacy of international institutions created decades ago is also being questioned," she said.
"Under these circumstances, India has emerged as a country that is connecting today's divided world in some form or the other.
India is today among those countries that are reinforcing the trust in the global supply chain. Therefore, today, the world is looking towards India with high hopes," she said.
Murmu also listed India's ongoing presidency of influential global grouping G20, noting that the government does not want to limit it to just one diplomatic programme.
"With the mantra of One Earth, One Family, One Future, India is attempting to find collective solutions to the current global challenges in collaboration with the G20 member countries.
"My government does not want to limit it to just one diplomatic programme. Rather, it is an opportunity to showcase India's potential and culture, through the efforts of the entire country," she said.
"Therefore, G20 meetings are being held in dozens of cities across the country throughout the year," she added.
The president said India has expanded its role keeping its national interests paramount and cited New Delhi's humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.
"This is the best phase of India's global relations. We have strengthened our cooperation and friendship with various countries of the world.
"On the one hand, we are chairing the SCO this year, and on the other, being a member of the Quad, we are working for peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific," she said.
"We have expanded our role keeping our national interests paramount. Whether it was the earthquake in Afghanistan or the crisis in Sri Lanka, we were the first to provide humanitarian aid," Murmu added. PTI MPB RHL