New Delhi: With the
protests in Egypt cascading and the ouster of President Hosni
Mubarak looking imminent, India Friday said it backed democratic
aspirations of the Egyptian people for reforms and assured that
the Indian community in that country is safe.
"The 3,600-strong Indian community in Egypt is safe," the Indian
embassy said in Cairo, adding that a 24-hour Control Room has been
operating in the mission since Jan 28 to assist the Indian
Earlier, the embassy had facilitated three special flights of Air
India from Cairo to Mumbai to help transport Indian nationals,
including tourists, women and children.
Amid unprecedented mass protests that have left at least 13 killed
and over 800 wounded, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna
condemned the crackdown on the media and backed popular
aspirations for reform in Egypt.
"I think the crackdown on the media, the assault on journalists
from all over the world who had gathered to report about the
developments in Egypt is certainly condemnable," Krishna told CNN-IBN.
"It is an act against the freedom of the press, freedom of the
media. And India does not go along with the situation," Krishna
said, adding that the media at the same time has to be very
Krishna stressed that India will voice its displeasure at the way
Indian media in particular has been handled. "And it becomes all
the more regrettable that military personnel were responsible in
seeking out journalists from various hotels and then taking them
into custody. I think this is an act we condemn," he said.
"The large majority of people in Egypt they want reforms, they
want democratisation of the whole polity and I think that is
legitimate and that has to be factored in whatever government of
Egypt does," he said.
"India goes along with the democratic aspirations for reforms in
Egypt, which is being urged by the people," he said.
He, however, treaded cautiously when asked whether India has
changed its earlier stand of mass protests being an internal
affair of Egypt. "Well, it still continues to be an internal
affair of Egypt because there is a government which has been
elected by the people," he said.
"The govt should see its way to understand the democratic
aspirations of the people and I think they should come to terms
with that and it is better for them, better for the region and
better for everybody," he added.
"India has its own ways of communicating its intentions and I will
certainly consider this aspect of it," he replied when asked
whether India was calling for Mubarak to heed those wishes of the
people to step down.