The Recent Diplomatic Exchanges have Opened Vistas of Opportunities for South Asia
By Shahid Majeed Mir
The interdependence of countries after globalisation 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 neighbourhood. 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 upto 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 focussed broadly on two areas. Multipolar platforms and the strategic partnership with more countries amid strengthening existing ones to an appreciable extent. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written a letter to his Pakistani counterpart, Imran Khan, on the occasion of “Pakistan Day”. Pakistan Day is celebrated to mark the Lahore Resolution on March 23, 1940 when the All-India Muslim League demanded a separate nation for the Muslims of India. “India desires cordial relations with Pakistan but an atmosphere of trust, devoid of terror and hostility, is ‘imperative’ for it,” Modi said in his letter to Khan. Modi also extended greetings to the people of that country on the occasion of Pakistan Day. “As a neighbouring country, India desires cordial relations with the people of Pakistan. For this, an environment of trust, devoid of terror and hostility, is imperative,” he said. This reportedly is a routine letter sent every year. Modi also conveyed his best wishes to Khan and the people of Pakistan in dealing with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. It is learnt that a separate message was sent by President Ram Nath Kovind to his Pakistani counterpart Arif Alvi. Last month, the Indian and Pakistani armies recommitted themselves to the 2003 ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. On Monday, a delegation of Pakistani officials arrived in India for a meeting of the permanent Indus commission. It is the first such dialogue in over two-and-a-half years. Last week, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said India desires good neighbourly ties with Pakistan and is committed to addressing issues, if any, bilaterally but added that any meaningful dialogue can only be held in a conducive atmosphere. He said the onus is on Islamabad to create such an atmosphere. The relations between the two countries nosedived after India withdrew special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two union territories in 2019.
On the relationship stand with other countries besides China and Pakistan, the democracy angle puts leverage bag in favour of India especially while dealing with developing countries. India is a largest established democracy on earth by quantitative spirit. The axis of democracy makes it easier to preach peace and development which is so essential for the contemporary era. The axis makes it imperative for Indian foreign policy to orient towards western powers especially USA.This alignment puts strain in the axis governed by red Colonial spirits which supposedly runs counter to Indian ambitions. This front seeks a permanent seat at the UNSC permanent council banked on Democratic credentials and peace-making efforts, however the Chinese VETO has put strains on this paradigm to keep the friendship saga with Pakistan intact. Moreover, the closeness to Israel never gone down with many of Allies which perceive the connection between Kashmir and Palestine via OIC platform and others. The Imran Khan Government once again compels Indian Foreign policy for readjustment between dos and don’ts when it comes to Kashmir. In contemporary times when situation around seems in doldrums as SAARC is almost defunct, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka , Afghanistan and Nepal are slowly and steadily falling in trap of China which is all weather ally of Pakistan, India’s only way to balance China is not by aligning with US But by making peace with Pak.
The phase of denial tactics wouldn’t be helpful in the world where time tested Friend and ally Saudi Arabia has been warned to realign or side herself in alignment. These trends put a tough narrative and challenging time like that US siding with Pakistan in Cold war era which shall be dealt in a realistic perspective. Kashmir is an international issue which is nearing to a nuclear Flashpoint amid rising Chinese ambitions and spurt in anti-Indian elements and emotions inside Pakistan. There might be anti-Kashmir or favourable to Kashmir resolution Foreign policy but there shall never be any such without active ingredient of Kashmir among its pillars. The application letter is indeed a reflection of overall changing dynamics in the geopolitical landscape of world. The pressure tactic of the counter alliances and the active and aggressive polices of China to contain of the rise of the India perforced the letter to think of re-engagement with western advisory it is of no surprise that khan led government in Islamabad is moving ahead on laid down terms and conditions breaking the convention for penultimate resolution of nuclear flash point viz Kashmir. Summing up the analysis with a positive note that India mis senseraly avail this option to close the fact of two front security challenge once for all which demands commitment, perseverance and Consistency.
Writer Shahid Majeed Mir hails from Kupwara and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org