India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday told the World Economic Forum that nationalism is not a negative ideology, ANI reported.

“India is an exception as we are more nationalistic,” Jaishankar told the forum. “But at the same time we don’t see a tension between being nationalistic and being international, in the sense of engaging more with the world, so nationalism is not a negative sentiment.”

Jaishankar, in a reference to Pakistan, said that India’s entire neighbourhood, except one country, has been a “fairly good story for regional cooperation”, PTI reported. “I would say the entire neighbourhood, minus one, had actually been a fairly good story of regional cooperation,” Jaishankar said.

He added that India stood up for the interest of the developing world in many negotiations, and called it “economic nationalism”, according to Hindustan Times. Speaking about trade, Jaishankar said: “With everybody else, trade is on the increase, business is on the increase and at some stage it would have an impact.”

Jaishankar also said in response to a question that the Kashmir matter did come up in discussions with the United States. Jaishankar had met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department on September 30.

India had on August 5 abolished the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution. It also imposed a curfew in the state and blocked communications. The situation is since slowly returning to normal.

On October 2, Jaishankar had said at an event in the United States that he expects Pakistan to paint “apocalyptic scenarios” about Jammu and Kashmir. Jaishankar said the revocation of the state’s special constitutional status was long-awaited and the right thing to do. However, the minister added that he did not expect the decision to be uncontested, given “such deep investments” made by Pakistan in Kashmir “both in terrorism and in a kind of separatism”.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had last month told the United Nations General Assembly that it should urge India to lift the curfew in Jammu and Kashmir immediately. However, he later told CNN that he feared a massacre would take place in Kashmir after the curfew was lifted.

Implying a comparison between the Narendra Modi-led government in India and the Nazi Party government under Adolf Hitler in Germany in the 1930s, Khan said: “I feel we are back in 1939; Munich. Czechoslovakia has been taken. Will the word community appease a fascist or will it stand up for justice and humanity? If a conventional war starts between two countries – nuclear countries – anything could happen.”

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