Shahid Majeed Mir

Foreign policy with Modi doctrine

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The need is to engage with Pakistan in constructive dialogue. Because history proved moderate policy to be successful as "eye for eye makes whole world blind"

Shahid Majeed Mir

The interdependence of countries after globalization fever opened a new vista in external relations. Indian story of external relations is relatively a new affair. The independent foreign policy after independence was dominated by Nehruvian ideology of global role. NAM and USSR tilt remained on the scene interspersed by bleak periods of bilateral wars in neighborhood. The status of our country got wholesome transformation after Pokhran tests and initiation of nuclear energy for military and civilian use. During most of infant period and thereafter up to 90’s ,the story of foreign relations remained dominated by domestic compulsions and the bleak economic growth. At times the relations showed tilt towards oblique ends. But the slow and steady economic recovery after LPG (liberalism, privatism and globalism) the dramatic shift became part of foreign policy. The step in this direction was taken by Manmohan Singh and now the Modi- Doval duo has dominated scene. Arrival of NDA rule in 2014 came with a marquee baggage of aspirations and promises which is clearly reflected on foreign relations of country. The era intensified efforts to improvise on earlier initiatives like Look East Policy , Indo-US collaboration, Indo-US ASEAN strategic partnership etc. And took immeasurable efforts to establish a progressive platform for relations with other countries like ISRAEL.

Foreign policy of India is more or less a slight change of basic principles on which the whole foundation stands. This journey in Modi Era was amplified by Ajit Doval as NSA(national security adviser). There’re to a large extent some noteworthy points of mark on foreign policy front of Modi government. On the eve of multi polarity and the eying of one of main power status by India , the route is expected to be tricky. Hence the Modi Doctrine focused broadly on two areas. Multi-polar platforms and the strategic partnership with more countries amid strengthening existing ones to an appreciable extent. Although the process of gaining membership of eminent platforms has begun much earlier but the current efforts managed MTCR, Wassenar agreement, Australia group very well. The intense efforts and the war footing measures brought us close to NSG with miniscule dot of Communist China as big huddle. MTCR could play an immense role in revival of peaceful nuclear contracts stalled due to insensitivity. It enhances the prestige of country on world level. It appreciates the faith reposed on Nuclear Doctrine of country and affirms its acceptance without even signing NPT (non proliferation treaty). The MTCR membership shows speak about the faith of country on nuclear non proliferation. The Modi-Doval duo also took intensive efforts to bag more support especially from majority of General Assembly countries for UNSC membership. The country widely mobilized its machinery to participate in global platforms in more intense manner than ever. Modi himself toured a lot of countries to enhance the bilateral relations.

On regional level SCO( Shanghai corporation organization) alongside rivals China and  Pakistan membership was secured. This platform provides ample opportunity to engage  Pakistan and China in constructive dialogue on common concerns at least. The counter terrorism centre of SCO may lessen the sensitive spot of Indo Pak relations. On Eastern front ASEAN is one of our time tested and reliable partner. Here the relationship is based on civilization ethos. This relationship was taken to newer heights with India’s active support for impartial and unbiased resolution of South China Sea dispute. The Delhi declaration adoption and the advancement on strategic front with ASEAN speaks for itself. Indo Vietnam collaboration continues even after concerns by China. Barring the growing clout of China in our neighborhood through economic doles and handouts the country took some intensive efforts for containment of China. BRICS is yet another achievement of earlier governments but the innovative way of using the platform for addressing security concerns is new milestone. The joint declaration in GOA mentioned the growing risks due to terrorism which sent red signal through terrorists corridors. Country took cautious steps by abstaining  from participation in OBOR summit in China. Some the valid concerns of India came in the way of participation especially Sovereignty which send a stern message to our neighborhood for any of the evil designs.

On bilateral front country took to reigns at much faster pace. Modi himself expanded his reach through touring almost every country with whom strategic relationship of India exists. The Indo US collaboration reached to newer heights. LEMOA agreement took forward the relationship of India and USA on security front to climax. They share common concerns of terrorism and containment of China. The Chinese illegal incursions raised the fear of US and it needs the mobilization of India’s efforts of which country provides a reliable partnership. USA in turn supports the membership in NSG in addition to UNSC. It helped to stir the India’s democratic credentials to span over Africa. I. Europe the Indo French inter government deal for Strategic Rafael Jets cleared decks for long lasted skirmish. Immanuel Macron’s visit boosted the bilateral relations further. The investment in peaceful nuclear energy by French is a noted achievement. EU India free trade deal is heading in a slow but steady way. The need is quickly finish the deal for free trade and investment. Modi government took steps to revive the Israel relationship through in-person visits. It promoted cooperation on agriculture and scientific pursuits. Herein the Israeli technology of water purification is worthy of mention.

Indo-Pak relationship is an established story of strains and rapprochement. Kashmir issue sustains place of unresolved bone of contention between potential players. It separates the rivals along war frontier with possibility of war anytime. The Kashmir centered policy orientation of Pakistan and the proxy techniques bring dialogue to halt. Recent celebration of Pakistan Day on 23rd march went a step further. A Kashmiri version song played by Pakistan army showed the consistent support for Kashmir issue. Pakistan celebrated its 70th nation day  at Pakistan embassy in New Delhi with large participation of intellectuals of different countries participating in event. Hurriyat and  some reputed journalist also attend the function. This sustenance of world recognized dispute raises eye brow on Modi Doctrine. The external policy shows its repercussions with intense protests in valley rising day by day. The showy character of missiles and other defense equipments at Pakistan Day parade further intensifies arms race commitment. Sino-Pak recent agreement in defense for sensitive laser tracking system and subsequent supply shows black spot of Doval Doctrine. Certainly Strategy needs refit in case of Pakistan

However, all isn’t well with foreign relations of country. The neighborhood corridor is still a bone of contention. The Chinese clout is in rising trend. String of pearls and the CPEC are instruments of red colonialism. China spread tentacles to backdoor of India in Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Dokhlam issue is a Chinese ascent of strategic interests to gain leverage on military front. Chinese ambitions are anti Indian in nature oriented towards clout of India around land and sea frontier. China’s overtures for peace initiative in Myanmar issue left a big scar on India’s big brother status. The refugee crisis and the deportation stand of India is anti theatrical to humanitarian record of country. Pakistan dimension still persists with intense border infiltrations and border firing killing tens of citizens. Doval Doctrine follows stern foreign policy towards Pakistan which often plays at terrorists. The need is to engage Pakistan in constructive dialogue. Because history proved moderate policy to be successful as “eye for eye makes whole world blind”. India- US trade and economic issues are still to be sorted out. HIB VISA and BIT treaty disagreement is a skirmish in current perspective. The economic diplomacy of Modi government in Afghanistan is noted epithet of peaceful and stable neighborhood. But the stretching of conflict shouldn’t prove counterproductive to our internal security. Indian battle for NSCG platform is still on cards amid which spells need for Chinese engagement. Moreover the economic development of country is still in shambles. There’s a need to intensify efforts on economic front. Although Chinese ambitions are anti theatrical but the joining of CPEC and OBOR may open Chinese investment gates if tricky issues are sorted out. By and large the positive image brought out by Modi government improved stature of country. It had won number of strategic partnerships and revived spirit of emerging role on global platform. As is said “the new broom clean sweeps but the old broom knows the corners”. More the confirmation of faith on basic principles the more the confirmation of power centre. Country’s train has left the station in 1947 the change of Pilot in Modi proved largely successful to direct on right track.

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