FOREIGN POLICY: New, Strong and Clear Outreach

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by sorcerer, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    FOREIGN POLICY: New, Strong and Clear Outreach



    by Nirupama Menon Rao


    Does the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi mark a significant watershed in India’s foreign policy?
    Classically defined, the foreign policy of a country is the product of both geography and history. Changes in leadership or government do not essentially alter its basic and underlying premises.

    What Mr. Modi has done is to bring the stamp of his zeal and personality to impact well-entrenched policies, imparting more determination to the process. But the shadows of history and geopolitics are omnipresent.

    Nirupama Menon Rao
    [​IMG]

    Mr. Modi’s challenge is to ensure that his country can be a great democracy and also a substantive global power. His task is to align these twin goals to reinforce the idea of India. Outcomes must ensure both power for the country and happiness for its people. Translated into the language of Kautilya, power embodies strength, the power of leadership, the state of the economy and the military, the ability to deploy national strength for national aims. Happiness would signify that which is attained by the effective and wise use of power: righteousness and internal stability.

    Like leaders before him, Mr. Modi wants India to be a peaceful and prosperous country. And, he has been dealt a respectable hand: the political legitimacy of durable democracy, the country’s ability to manage the deep and extensive pluralism of its society, the geographical advantage of its positioning in the Indian Ocean, its scientific and technological capital, a reputation for responsible behaviour, and growing international recognition of India’s credentials to be a leading global player.
    Unlike many of his predecessors, Mr. Modi does not come to the arena of foreign policy with decades of exposure through parliamentary experience or extensive cosmopolitan, global interaction. Yet, his gift of communication skills, his grasp of strategically targeted image-building, and his innate assertiveness, combine to make for an impressive effect. In Kautilyan terms, he is the vijigishu, the ambitious king or leader.


    The ‘ Neighborhood First’ Policy
    [​IMG]

    His outreach to leaders in the subcontinent, to attend his assumption of office, was an embrace of risk and openness to fresh solutions. The image of a rare South Asian conclave captured the imagination of a global audience, the intended target. Serendipitously, a more holistic appreciation of the logic of South Asia as an integer, a space unified by history and geography but torn asunder by contemporary political and cartographic divisions, was made evident. The hope for a more interconnected and integrated future was offered.

    Delineating a more integrated South Asia is no mean task. In the South Asian context, the centrifuge operated by India-Pakistan relations draws the region apart. Mr. Modi inherited a difficult hand in this regard, and the reversal of historic trends is not easy to realise. The Inchcape Rock of India’s neighbourhood policy is Pakistan. Many a visionary initiative has run aground and the terrain is difficult, the atmosphere dystopian. Prime Minister Modi commenced his term seeking the ways of peace rather than tension or conflict. But he too cannot wish away the interminable contradictions in India-Pakistan relations. For successive Indian governments, the defence of the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty against the hubris of Pakistan’s generals and intelligence operatives is a constant challenge.

    In the India-Pakistan context, thus, history is prone to repeating itself. The spectacle of terror never fades and Pakistan-based and nurtured terror groups chaperone Pakistan’s diplomacy with a malevolent eye. The recent attacks in Pathankot bear testimony to this continued trend, coming soon as they did after the Prime Minister’s Lahore visit of December 25, 2015. Learning from experience, however, Mr. Modi has been wise not to jettison the path of dialogue with Pakistan even as he demands that it account for the involvement of the Jaish-e-Mohammad in the attacks at Pathankot. However, like governments before it, this government is yet to deploy effective deterrence against terror attacks from Pakistan. Sustainable diplomacy by India must be assisted by continued and effective deterrence since the tools of unconventional war are an intrinsic part of Pakistan’s play book.

    The challenge is at the same time, to work for movazaneh — the Persian word for balance and equilibrium — within South Asia. Greater economic integration even if it cannot include an unwilling Pakistan, the absence of tension in relationships with India’s other neighbours, care not to cede strategic space, and catalysing South Asian regional cooperation in trade, economy and infrastructure is how this balance can be defined. If India’s smaller neighbours (as was the recent case with Nepal) perceive the outcomes of their relationship with her as unequal or unfair, then cooperation will be difficult to secure, defeating the realisation of a South Asian ‘commons’.
    Breakthrough diplomacy on the land boundary with Bangladesh and acceptance of the verdict of international arbitration on the maritime boundary case with the same country has had a salutary impact. In Sri Lanka, there is need for greater effort to encourage the implementation of initiatives for constitutional reform and devolution that steer clear of both Sinhala hyper-nationalism and Tamil chauvinism, and gain the middle ground on both sides of the ethnic divide. Similarly, ties in the defence and strategic sector need to be consolidated with greater confidence.


    Linking Central Asia via Iran
    In Afghanistan, South Asia’s gateway to Central Asia, the real challenge is the scenario that ensues after the withdrawal of foreign troops and the threat to nationhood if the war with the Taliban and Islamist radical and terrorist elements persists. Indian projects and development initiatives in Afghanistan will be further jeopardised, putting paid to 15 years of dedicated ground-level efforts to build friendship and goodwill. In a situation of protracted contest and conflict that is harmful to Indian interests, India needs to step up efforts in concert with other like-minded regional partners to ensure a relatively stable and united Afghanistan. As the Darwinian struggle among terror groups and Taliban elements continues, the Afghan government’s capacity to fight terrorism and extremism must be strengthened. India must, despite Pakistan’s opposition to this, work towards building Afghan government capacity in this field, as also strengthening the training of Afghan defence forces and their air force capability.


    For years there has been talk of India’s participation in the development of Chabahar port in Iran: this is a project that has now become the responsibility of the Modi government to complete and must acquire critical mass and momentum. It will provide much-needed access through Iran into Afghanistan for trade and transit (given the blockages that are Pakistan-created for the entry and exit of Indo-Afghan trade across Pakistani territory.) It also ensures connectivity into Central Asia, thus becoming a vital point of access for energy exports from the region and facilitating a re-imaging of historical geographies that linked India and Central Asia.


    Building an Indo-Pacific Entente
    “The future of India will undoubtedly be decided by the sea.” This quote of scholar-diplomat K.M. Panikkar rings true despite the passage of time. The morphing of the Look East policy into an Act East policy, as also Mr. Modi’s visits to Mauritius and the Seychelles, together with Sri Lanka, have helped spell out a more coherently defined maritime policy in the Indian Ocean region. The visit to Fiji in the far reaches of the Pacific, an island nation with a significant population of Indian origin, conjoins Indian interests and concerns in both the Indian and Pacific Oceans, providing ballast to the term originally coined by the Japanese of the “Indo-Pacific”.


    In Singapore last year, Mr. Modi rightly said that the most critical need in Asia was to uphold and strengthen rules and norms of collective behaviour built not on the strength of a few but on the consent of all. Unlike the East and South China Seas, the Indian Ocean is an open and largely uncontested peaceful expanse of water apart from the threat of piracy in some of its reaches. India’s unique geographical position and the series of naturally endowed harbours along its vast coastline give her many advantages. When to this are added the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as sentinels on the approaches to the Straits of Malacca, the picture of this natural endowment is more complete.


    The need, as China no longer bides its time and hides its capability, is to ensure that the peaceful equilibrium of the region is not broken. As India’s foreign and external security policy grows its maritime dimension, besides ties with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Mr. Modi must concentrate on the development of bilateral and regional ties with both the African littoral and hinterland in the Indian Ocean region. He has made a good beginning both with some visits, as to Mauritius and the Seychelles, as well as the successful India-Africa Summit in Delhi last autumn, but the effort must be intensified through more top leadership-level visits and concrete development diplomacy targeted at Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Ties with China
    The Prime Minister has steered the relationship with China with a steady hand. The continuity of policy over the last three decades, despite changes of government in India, has worked towards the avoidance of conflict, the consolidation of confidence-building measures (CBMs) in the border areas, regular leadership-level dialogue and the exponential growth in trade and commercial ties between the two countries.

    Cooperation and competition have defined the relationship and a rising India’s projected economic growth and increased strategic and military capabilities provide the best balancer effect to a consciously assertive China and its growing sense of entitlement. India’s ties with Japan, Australia and the United States are of particular salience in this context. Military-to-military cooperation and closer partnership with these countries must be addressed by India with less trepidation or hesitancy. Yet, no Thucydides Trap needs to be set between India and China. Both countries should continue to avoid strategic miscalculations in the transaction of their relationship.

    In this context, China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) concept that combines both the continental and maritime dimensions of connectivity in a structure reminiscent of the ancient Chinese definition of tianxia — a space wherein peoples of varied cultural and regional backgrounds were brought together under the authority of a single ruler or ruling house — merits close scrutiny. In a reprise of the Great Game, China is clearly deploying its comprehensive national strength to carve out that space across the Eurasian landmass and in the maritime Indo-Pacific that will create a Sinosphere of trade, communication and transportation links that helps realise China’s vision of strategic continental and maritime advantage.

    India has in some ways affirmed the OBOR initiative with its membership stake in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, an institution where essentially China takes the lead. A complicating factor is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor arm of the OBOR that bridges Pakistan and China through territory in the Karakoram, claimed by India. The ‘wiggle’ for India in this scenario is to move with clear-headedness to completing the Chabahar project, and also concretising initiatives under the BCIM (Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar) Corridor so that she is not excluded from the connectivity superstructure that is implied in the OBOR initiative. Simultaneously, India can ill-afford to neglect her Central Asia policy or her maritime vision for the Indian Ocean. Mr. Modi’s outreach to the Central Asian nations is important and timely and must be further consolidated. India’s entry into the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is a stepping stone to a more active role for the country in building a strong stakeholder role in connectivity and counter-terrorism strategies for the region.

    In many ways, the Middle East, as it is termed in the West, is not endowed with an Asian connotation as it should be. For India, this is West Asia, and the whole region of the Gulf, because of religious and historical ties, the presence of seven million Indians, trade and foreign exchange remittances as well as the crucial aspect of energy security, is vitally important. The century-old definitions of the region from “Aden to Singapore” as constituting the maritime arc affecting Indian security still ring true. For India, the second largest Muslim country in the world in terms of population, the protracted turbulence and conflict that affects the Levant, heightened Sunni-Shia strife, and the attraction of Islamic State ideology for misguided youth are all trends that require unrelenting vigilance and underscore the importance of the West Asia policy.

    Natural Partners to Best Partners
    [​IMG]

    The India-United States relationship has been one of the star performers in Prime Minister Modi’s foreign policy repertoire despite the persisting irritant of U.S. defence sales to Pakistan. Pragmatism defines Mr. Modi’s approach to a country that denied him a visa through two successive presidencies. Trade, investment and economic ties fuel this relationship, but the strategic aspect is of accelerating importance, leading one American official to recently call this a future anchor of global security. The United States is a major defence partner of India today, and the two countries must engage with less hesitation and more closely in this field — further empowering India’s outreach in terms of Icarian (air power) as well as maritime (sea power) capability in the Indian Ocean.

    Some views have been expressed that the Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region, released during the visit to India of President Barack Obama last year, throws the gauntlet before China. Although there are expressions of Chinese unease over this development, enunciated in the discussions between Mr. Modi and Mr. Obama was the fact that each country has its interests and compulsions in dealing with and transacting mutually beneficial relations with China. India’s Act East policy must envision how the visions of India and China are to be interwoven in the mapping of 21st century Asia. The United States as an Asia-Pacific power also has enormous stakes in the peace and prosperity of continental and maritime Asia.

    India’s almost 30-million-strong population of persons of Indian origin across the continents has become an important player in the scheme of foreign policy priorities for the country. Prime Minister Modi has astutely understood the need to consolidate the linkages between Mother India and this vast immigrant presence abroad of people from ‘home’. Mega shows at Madison Square Garden or at Wembley Stadium go beyond mere spectacle; they embody Mr. Modi’s ability to embrace this strategic asset for India with confidence and long-term vision, asserting blood ties over mere economic necessity and buttressing a more participatory role for the overseas Indian community in the building of India’s future.

    Visible in this foreign policy narrative and discourse is a greater determination to get things done, and an emphasis on the bigger and better. Hesitation and risk-aversion have been replaced with more focus and determination. Mr. Modi’s style is more fortissimo, and yet more personal — bonding with Shinzo Abe, sitting on a swing with Xi Jinping, tea with Barack Obama, all the things it takes to get India more noticed. Public diplomacy is better deployed as in getting the world to know more about India’s contributions to global peace and a narrative that aims at building “our place in the world”. There are new slogans and symbolism: Neighbourhood First becomes a signature segment of foreign policy; Act East replaces Look East; yoga becomes a leitmotif of Indian soft power; and even on climate change, heritage and lifestyle are introduced into conversations on the subject. There is a new stress on “obtaining recognition of India’s great power status”.
    And yet, running through all this is the inexorable unspooling of a thread known as India’s foreign policy. Core interests and concerns for a nation do not change. Hand-holding does not solve strategic headaches. The limited size of the Foreign Service continues to pose a challenge. Optics do well in diplomacy but cannot usurp the show itself. Tangible outcomes are what the people will ultimately seek.

    In all fairness to the Prime Minister, he is driven by the need to achieve results but the world, and particularly the region he operates in, is not an easy place. He has shown he has a hardwired ability to right-track foreign policy into a sphere of multiple engagements and a brave new universe. Now, to paraphrase Herman Melville and Moby Dick, let him square the yards, and make a fair wind of it homeward.
    Nirupama Rao is a former Foreign Secretary and Ambassador of India to the U.S. and China
    Source>>
     
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  3. SADAKHUSH

    SADAKHUSH Senior Member Senior Member

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    It is due to his consistent pursuit of cooperative geopolitics that is paying dividend in furthering Indian narrative to fight the terrorism. We use to hear daily across the border firing which has been silent after his planned stop over in Lahore. The latest being Pakistan's NSA sharing intelligence with his Indian counterpart about slipping in of terrorists into Gujarat. This time around Pakistan Army is on board as well to normalise relationship with India. China understands the long term economic benefits of maintaining with Modiji's India and they must have played pivotal role in twisting PA and political leadership to put some sense into their rigid thinking. Pakistan also got slapped by their so called Arab brothers. It is win win out come for the region.
     
  4. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    It could be because of the solid fact that, if pak Agency fails to provide India with credible intelligence on CT then India would be forced to open its covert abilities inside Pak and this time around even USA cannot stop India from doing that. This will add to the momentum of the failing state called pakistan.

    Yes it is good a sign to the terrorist organizations to seize their activities from pak against India.

    Again, now the threat for India is from INSIDE India than outside. The 5th columns operating inside India with its NGO funding agencies is the most dangerous outfit like any terror outfit in India.
    We do have politicians who act with impunity against India and try to create an Anti national momentum for their stooges across the border.

    May be for pakistan even if they share intel with India, they have their stooges with political party support operating inside India to destablize India. So their dark agenda on India is served anyway.

    The Anti Nationals In India should be rooted out!

    There is the economics of it in for china.Terrorism will cost the chinese exchequer quiet a lot if there is no final solution to it from pak. India can hurt the chinese plans bad to make pakistan behave!
     
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  5. Nuvneet Kundu

    Nuvneet Kundu Senior Member Senior Member

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    That's a Pakistani trap. They want you to believe that they have come around to the idea of peaceful co-existence, but it's just posturing.

    Check this out : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com...operation-with-india/articleshow/51323568.cms

    There are intel alerts and then there are intel alerts. Over the years, despite the ones that got away, like the Mumbai, Gurdaspur and Pathankot attacks, the Indian system's ability to predict and pre-empt terror threats against India has improved immeasurably.

    But the intel this time had a different flavour to it because we were told the Pakistan NSA,Nasir Khan Janjua had alerted Ajit Doval that 10 LeT and JeM terrorists were in India. Since Janjua is the closest India has come to actually talking to the Pakistan army officially, this was beyond interesting.

    Pakistan is cooperating with India on terrorism? Islamabad, no Rawalpindi has had a change of heart? India is no longer Pakistan's worst nightmare? More important, is this the first sign that Pakistan may relinquish its most potent and fearsome diplomatic tool, the alphabet soup terror brigades?

    Extrapolations and inferences abound. It feeds into two powerful parallel narratives in New Delhi. The first is that Pakistan is more sinned against than sinning. It's that eternal optimism that keeps returning to say that Pakistan is finally turning around, we should give them some breathingspace and we should continue to talk to them to reassure them that we want to support the peace constituency, help the democratic forces.

    The second narrative is a government one - it doesn't actually matter whether it's a Modi or Manmohan government. That goes something like this - Pakistan is now coming round to our view. This is a success of Modi/Manmohan foreign policy. And rush off to schedule the next official dialogue, which continues until the next terror attack.

    Who knows, both narratives may be correct. But for those with a slightly longer memory, two things come to mind.

    If we believe the Pakistan "intel" implies some kind of epiphany in Rawalpindi, India could soon be occupying the same space the US has graced for the past two decades. Since 9/11, every time the US spoke out against its Major Non-Nato Ally sleeping with al-Qaida and Taliban, Pakistan delivered some second-third tier fellows to them. It shut up Washington, everybody celebrated the US-Pak security relationship and went back to business as usual.

    In return, the US pressured India to stay out of Afghanistan to respect Pak sensitivities; turned a blind eye when Pakistan was re-arming Taliban into the resurgent force it is today; swallowed the bitter knowledge that its men were being killed by Pakistan proxies in Afghanistan. And today the even more sobering realisation that they have suffered a military defeat in Afghanistan at Pakistan's hands. Washington is still pouring good money after bad, including fighter aircraft, while Pakistan attempts to bully Ashraf Ghani into accepting the Taliban in Kabul.

    Pakistan plays a very clever tactical game, powered by the fact that countries like India and the US want to believe it, and later are too afraid to admit they were wrong. Once in a while, the nuclear arsenal is rattled, which still spooks hardened souls in the Beltway. Pakistan's nukes have acquired the "jihadi edge" with their size and mobility, but Washington is considering a nuclear deal to incentivise Islamabad to "stay calm and carry on".

    Instead, it would be more instructive to see why Pakistan would want to be seen to be cooperating with India. America is again giving them grief on Taliban and Haqqanis, their F-16 deal is going through stormy waters in US Congress. Working on terrorism with India brings Islamabad closer to the immediate goal of restarting official dialogue with New Delhi. Its global image has taken a battering and some effort is needed to clean that up.

    Equally instructive is a more recent incident. On February 12, Fazlullah Wahidi, former governor of Kunar and Herat, was kidnapped by unknown persons from the heart of Islamabad when he was going to get a British visa. No ransom demand was made, no one knew who had kidnapped him.

    Wahidi was released equally mysteriously - "rescued" by Pakistan police - and restored to the Afghan consulate in Peshawar three weeks later, strangely coinciding with the fourth quadrilateral coordination group (QCG) meeting held in Kabul on February 23, where the express intention was to compel Kabul to agree to a peace process with the Mansour-led Taliban.

    As Rana Banerji wrote recently, "It would be naive to expect the army to make a clean break from spawning terrorists of different hues or to take the lead in reversing the religious narrative." India would do well to remember this.
     
  6. SADAKHUSH

    SADAKHUSH Senior Member Senior Member

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    Rawalpindi is not going to endorse normalization of relationship with India as the elements from General Zia Ul Haq might be around in PA and ISI. If they do not live up to the signals they have sent to world than all options are on the table for India to do what Modiji's led Government think is right. We can retaliate in side their troubled areas as well. Stirring agitation in Gilgit -Baltistan will wake up their friends in CPC which could derail the CPEC project as well.
     
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  7. Nuvneet Kundu

    Nuvneet Kundu Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well said. I think we messed up our recent Gilgit-Baltistan experiment though. Pakistan announced elections and we publicly opposed them. We shouldn't have done that. Instead, we should have used non-state actors to sabotage the election with massive carnage. This would be a massive psy op boost for us in multiple ways. First, it would send a message to the world that "Pakistan tried to impose forced elections on an illegally occupied land and the people revolved" secondly, it would demoralize the Pakistani nationalists and sow seeds of doubt about the loyalties of their PoK brethren. Once they realize that Kashmiris have revolted against Pakistan despite all the support and investment that the common people of Pakistan have put in them, they would become frustrated about "ungrateful Kashmiris" and start rethinking their level of emotional and material investment into that region (like Indians do now).

    We achieved nothing strategic by verbally opposing those elections apart from appearing like a sour puss.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016
  8. Superdefender

    Superdefender Regular Member

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    The Raisina Dialogue: India Unleashes its Soft Power
    Mar 11, 2016
    By: Ramaharitha Pusarla

    [​IMG]
    In a sharp departure from the decade long UPA regime where India narrowed its identity by a self-imposed isolationism, Modi government realized India’s inevitable engagement with the Asian realm. The NDA regime exuded enthusiasm to engage with the World. To provide momentum to the raising economic stature of India and to explore the opportunities and challenges for the region, India has unveiled its first ever massive flagship conference on ‘geopolitics’ and ‘geo-economics’, the Raisina Dialogue. The Indian conclave is believed to be organized on similar lines as Shangri-La Dialogue conducted by the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), a UK based think-tank and funded by Singaporean government.

    The conference derives its name from Raisina Hills, an elevated region on which lies India’s Presidential Palace Rashtrapati Bhavan and the seat of Central government. The inaugural session of the three-day long conference from March 1st through March 3rd was launched by the Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and attended by political luminaries of South Asia. This global conclave was jointly organized by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian think-tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF) hosting over 100 distinguished speakers from over 35 countries. This conclave was aimed at catalyzing debates that shape progress of India & Asia and aims to work towards Asian integration and Asia’s integration with the World.

    At the inaugural session of Raisina Dialogue, Sushma Swaraj reiterated India’s renewed interest in promoting connectivity –physical, economic and strategic in a bid to enhance its economic efficiency. She underscored India’s efforts in sustaining the momentum of cooperation in South Asia through SAARC and informed about India’s efforts in building sub-regional connectivity initiatives like BBIN, (Bangladesh Bhutan India and Nepal). She emphasized on the urgent need to contain the menace of burgeoning terrorism and was critical of its impact on the economic development.

    Hamid Karzai, former President of Afghanistan and Chandrika Kumaratunga during their address made scathing remarks on Pakistan’s interventionist approach of blocking India’s access to Afghanistan, Central Asia and Russia and prevailing trust deficit between India and Pakistan preventing integration and growth of South Asia respectively. Admiral Harris Harry of US has pitched for a quadrilateral security dialogue between India-Japan-Australia and US. Bangladesh’s former foreign secretary termed that South Asia region is least connected and anticipated for more regional and sub-regional cooperation. Former Seychelles President James Mancham stressed on the greater need for working together in Asia for development of the people.

    Asia, the largest continent on the planet, is far-flung, dynamically active and extremely diverse. It is home to some of the oldest civilizations too. While the concept of Asian integration and India’s attempts to integrate with it are not novel, the trajectory of Indian engagement with Asia has witnessed several highs and lows. Eventually the new found enthusiasm to integrate and enhance its engagement with Asia and the World beyond led to launch of Raisina Dialogue. The idea of Pan-Asianism was first propounded by Japan which propagated and nurtured this concept to foster its imperialist interests. Later to consolidate its authority over the new territories it reinforced the paradigm ‘Asia for Asians’ and resented the European Colonialism.

    But towards the mid-20th century, the anti-colonial protests of the Asian countries brought them together and they reconnected well culminating in upsurge of the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM). The solidarity among the Asian nations under the banner of NAM was further strengthened at the Asian Relations Conference in 1947 and Afro-Asian Conference at Bandung 1955. Jawaharlal Nehru nurtured the idea of Asian Federation (1). But the harmony of the Asian countries was soon lacerated by inter and intra state disputes and aggravated by Cold war geopolitics.

    Meanwhile, embracing the tested western mechanisms, Asia’s economic tigers sculpted a new frontier of economic progression, soon emulated by China and India. China by the virtue of three decade long financial reforms has emerged as a new financial power toppling Japan as the second largest economy. India too slowly climbed the economic trajectory. Incidentally the chronology of changes occurring in India and China are believed to have a greater impact on Asia because of their sheer numbers. These countries are rallied as the emerging nations of Asia and are projected to play greater role in building and integration of Asia.

    These resurgent Asian nations emerged as forerunners by carving a special conglomeration, Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) for rejuvenated regional and economic integration. For enhanced political engagement new platforms propped up, these include ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), East Asia Summit (EAS) and Conference on Interaction and Confidence building in Asia (CICA). Along similar lines, India developed a sterling example of regional cooperation in South-Asian region by instituting South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

    Aside the regional cooperation, Asian countries soon realized the imminent need for deepening economic cooperation whereby ASEAN is now promoting Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (RCEP) with India, China, Australia, Japan, Korea and New Zealand. Similarly some ASEAN countries and others with US consolidated trade agreement Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Flourishing Chinese economy has grossly impacted the geopolitical and geo-economic architecture of Asia. With aggressive leadership at Beijing ambitiously pursuing One Belt One Road (OBOR) and Maritime Silk Route (MSR) in pursuit of new markets for its superfluous production and to expand its foot print, the infrastructure connectivity of Asia is now witnessing a sea-change.

    Besides these China is actively pursuing other initiatives like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) connectivity project and China-Mongolia-Russia Corridor. To fund its humongous infrastructure building spree, to challenge the Western hegemony and to signal the emergence of new super power, China began establishing new financial institutions like Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), New Development Bank with BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa) nations.

    Now it is contemplating a Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific. Intriguingly, the growth motors instead of cultivating solidarity among nations in Asia began to spark conflict and power rivalry. The steady rise of China is now marred by shifting of balance of power from the West to Asia. Now within Asia, undeterred aggressive maritime aspirations of China in South China Sea, East China Sea have worsened maritime territorial disputes between China and its immediate neighbors and sharpened the Sino-Japanese rivalry. China has begun endorsing its hegemony over Asia and started expounding the theme of Asia for Asians. Small nations wary of China are now running to US for support.

    During the course of history, India’s connectivity with Asia and the World beyond ranged from the best to worst. Under the colonial rule, India has turned into a global supplier of raw material and finished goods to various countries across the globe. The unimpeded movement of men and material was facilitated by a robust infrastructure connectivity which included roads, rail and ports. Matters worsened for the Indian sub-continent after partition when both Indian economy and connectivity suffered. The situation was exacerbated by border conflicts with Pakistan and China which ended up in wars. By late 1980’s India was reduced to a subsistence economy, the grievous state of economy was resurrected by financial reforms of 1991. While the financial status showed a marked recovery during the past two decades, India is now keen on expanding financial and trade connectivity. To bring prosperity to country through meaningful engagement with various global players Indian leadership has unveiled Raisina Dialogue to address the domestic problems through foreign policy.

    To this end, Indian priorities are improving connectivity and boosting economic efficiency. Modi government laid special emphasis on regional connectivity and strengthening of engagement with immediate neighborhood. Modi significantly infused a new hope and enthusiasm in SAARC, created in 1985 and thriving to realize its full potential. India has also created an economic confederation Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). But unfortunately India’s ambitions of expanding physical connectivity with SAARC region are stalled by the impervious approach of Pakistan. To surmount this tumbling block India is now pushing BIMSTEC to further its trade interests in the Bay of Bengal region. China is miles ahead in terms of its efforts and initiatives in integrating with Asia.

    It assiduously attempted to further its interests through Shangri-La Dialogue, initiated in 2002. While it remained as a mild affair in the beginning, the platform started to gain momentum with heads of states addressing the conclave and military chiefs of the countries meeting along its sidelines. It acted like track one inter-governmental security forum for 28 Asia-Pacific countries. This soon turned into a perfect platform for military diplomacy. Shangri-La Dialogue is functionally similar to Munich Security Conference (1963). It is soon acclaimed as the Davos of International Security. In 2009, a similar program Halifax International Security Fund was conceived which has 40 member states. Since 2007 China has been sending its top brass for the annual meet of Shangri-La and has been unabashedly engaging with member countries in bilateral/security dialogue

    Despite being part of various global conclaves, the Indian growth story has failed to enthuse global stake holders. This has happened due to the absence of a global platform that can project India’s interests and global aspirations. The genesis of this global conclave is a culmination of shared objectives of Indian political leadership, intellectuals and the executive to project the unique Indian dimension to the World.

    The initiative stemmed from India’s desire to shape global conversations, veneer new trajectories and trudge ahead to carve a dynamic world by engaging the like-minded stake holders. The theme of the inaugural session is Connecting Asia with an integral emphasis on physical, economic, digital and strategic connectivity. 21st century is dubbed Asian century and to cherish this dream an effective engagement between various countries of the World with Asia and of Asia with World is essential. Unlike Europe wherein institutionalized mechanisms ensure cogent integration facilitate its working as strong functional entity; Asia is enormously diverse continent necessitating the need for integration. This conclave attempts to foster India’s connectivity with the region, Asian continent and with the World as such. By all means, through Raisina Dialogue, India made a humble beginning to reassert its position as dynamic power.
     
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  9. Compersion

    Compersion Senior Member Senior Member

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    Good article above. Had come across it after careful preparation have got my driving license and wondering how that would hold up in the real world when i think and get ready about driving tomorrow on March 14. reading the article above reminds me of history of doing well and to do well with no shame.

    but

    why march 14:

    - Nanakshahi calendar: The epoch of this calendar is the birth of the first Sikh Guru, Nanak Dev in 1469. New Year's Day falls annually on what is March 14 in the Gregorian Western calendar

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanakshahi_calendar

    - 10-day Sabarimala temple festival from March 14.

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/nation...ple-festival-from-march-14/article8316682.ece

    - Meena Sankranti or Sankranthi 2016

    Meena Sankranti marks the beginning of the twelfth and last month in Hindu Solar Calendar. All twelve Sankrantis in the year are highly auspicious for Dan-Punya activities. Only certain time duration before or after each Sankranti moment is considered auspicious for Sankranti related activities.

    For Meena Sankranti sixteen Ghatis after the Sankranti moment are considered Shubh or auspicious and the time window from Sankranti to sixteen Ghati after Sankranti is taken for all Dan-Punya activities.

    During Meena Sankranti donating land is considered highly auspicious. In South India Sankranti is called as Sankramanam. Meena Sankranti is also spelled as Mina Sankranti.

    http://www.drikpanchang.com/sankranti/meena-sankranti-date-time.html?year=2016

    Also March 14 : 3.14

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi

    (no need for me to discover and explore its indian heritage)

    [​IMG]

    Jai Hind.
     
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  10. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Think West: Modi’s Visit to Saudi Arabia

    When Prime Minister Narendra Modi won a resounding victory in the Indian general elections in 2014, leaders from around the world rushed to congratulate the new prime minister-elect of the world’s biggest democracy. In the Persian Gulf, however, the reaction was cautious. Egypt and Qatar were initially the only two countries from that region to congratulate Modi on his win.

    According to analysts in the region, Modi’s personal reputation among the public and polity alike in the Gulf has suffered because of the riots between Hindus and Muslims that took place in Gujarat while he was chief minister of the state in 2002.

    However, Modi’s meeting with Saudi Arabia’s sixth king, the late Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia later in 2014 made clear that even if the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) had reservations, India was too important to risk upsetting relations.

    A trip to Saudi Arabia next month will be Modi’s second visit to the Gulf after a previous stop in UAE. It comes at a turbulent time. The Syrian crisis, the war in Yemen, the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which has helped depress global oil prices, are all events with direct implications for Indian interests.

    The India-Saudi relationship has historically been cordial, based on mutual needs and transactional interests. There are nearly 2.5 million Indians working in Saudi Arabia, and nearly 7 million working in the larger Gulf region. India also imports nearly 80 percent of all its oil, with much of it coming from Saudi Arabia.

    The two pivotal diplomatic events between Riyadh and New Delhi have taken place within the last decade or so, namely the Delhi declaration (2006) and the Riyadh declaration (2010). The former was a historic moment, as then King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud became the first head of the House of Saud to visit India in 51 years. During his visit and following consultations with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his administration, the two countries revisited ties to strengthen cooperation and engagement. More importantly, this visit also laid the groundwork for much greater security, intelligence sharing and counterterrorism cooperation.


    The new era of relations paid dividends with the 2012 deportation of Syed Zabiuddin Ansari aka Abu Jundal, a wanted name in India with links to the Indian Mujahideen and the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). Ansari was accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the 2010 Pune bombing, and was believed to have aided in several other terror strikes across India. His delivery to India by Saudi Arabia caught many analysts off guard.


    The Delhi and Riyadh declarations clearly played important roles in bridge-building between the two countries. The inclusion of security and counterterrorism elements in bilateral ties is significant, particularly given the influence Riyadh can exert over Pakistan (Pakistan’s prime minister and army chief have visited Saudi days before Modi’s visit). However, Saudi Arabia is adapt at diplomatic ruses and plays on its core interests in a much brasher manner than India is perhaps used to. This will pose a challenge for Indian policies towards a more “East-looking” House of Saud, specifically if the question of addressing issues with Pakistan comes heavily into play.

    Still, the positive developments have continued. In December last year, the Saudis deported Mohammed Assadullah Khan (aka Abu Sufiyan), a terrorist with established links with LeT. Khan was arrested by Riyadh after Indian and Saudi security agencies shared intelligence. In February this year, Saudi Arabia also deported one Muhammad Abdul Aziz, known as the “godfather of the jihadist movement in Hyderabad.” Aziz was reportedly on the run for more than ten years. Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force for the first time in August last year made a staging visit to Saudi Arabia while on route to military exercises in the United Kingdom. This stopover was seen as highly symbolic for India-Saudi ties in the security sphere.

    ‘Think West’

    At a recent speech in New Delhi, India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar used the term “Think West” when describing India’s policy outreach towards the Gulf. It suggests a new push towards more concrete strategic policies for West Asia.

    “If the eastern front is building upon longstanding policy, the western one is relatively more recent conceptually, even if India has had a historical presence in the Gulf. The Indian footprint there has resulted in a community of 7 million that is an impressive source of investment and remittances. But it was an evolutionary happening that was relatively autonomous of strategic calculations. Our energy dependence on the region was also dictated more by markets than by policy,” Jaishankar said. “The interplay among these (Gulf) nations actually offers us new avenues of cooperation. I can confidently predict that ‘Act East’ would be matched with ‘Think West.’ ”

    This “Think West” approach may be very timely. Saudi Arabia, like its compatriots in the Gulf, is now actively looking east to develop its core interest, selling oil. As growth in Western economies slows and the U.S. becomes energy self-sufficient thanks to its shale revolution, the markets with the greatest thirst for Middle East’s oil lie in Asia, and are led by the likes of China, India, Japan and South Korea. This fact alone now warrants these economies taking a greater interest in the complicated and daunting task of understanding the Middle East in all its complexity.

    Meanwhile, Riyadh is increasingly interested in investing abroad. Saudi Aramco, the state’s national oil company is reportedly already mulling an investment in Indian refineries to boost its Asian footprint.

    Modi’s visit is aptly timed to pitch for a larger Saudi economic footprint and to make more space for Indian interests. When King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz died in January last year, New Delhi announced a day of mourning in his honor, signaling the emphasis India was placing on its ties with Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-India dynamic is a layered cake, with many levels of agreement and disagreement. Currently ties are headed in the right direction, and it now remains to be seen what kind of new push, if any, Modi himself can bring to this engagement.

    Kabir Taneja is a journalist and researcher specializing in foreign affairs, energy security and defence.

    http://thediplomat.com/2016/03/think-west-modis-visit-to-saudi-arabia/
     
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  11. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Think West: Modi’s Visit to Saudi Arabia

    When Prime Minister Narendra Modi won a resounding victory in the Indian general elections in 2014, leaders from around the world rushed to congratulate the new prime minister-elect of the world’s biggest democracy. In the Persian Gulf, however, the reaction was cautious. Egypt and Qatar were initially the only two countries from that region to congratulate Modi on his win.

    According to analysts in the region, Modi’s personal reputation among the public and polity alike in the Gulf has suffered because of the riots between Hindus and Muslims that took place in Gujarat while he was chief minister of the state in 2002.

    However, Modi’s meeting with Saudi Arabia’s sixth king, the late Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia later in 2014 made clear that even if the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) had reservations, India was too important to risk upsetting relations.

    A trip to Saudi Arabia next month will be Modi’s second visit to the Gulf after a previous stop in UAE. It comes at a turbulent time. The Syrian crisis, the war in Yemen, the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which has helped depress global oil prices, are all events with direct implications for Indian interests.

    The India-Saudi relationship has historically been cordial, based on mutual needs and transactional interests. There are nearly 2.5 million Indians working in Saudi Arabia, and nearly 7 million working in the larger Gulf region. India also imports nearly 80 percent of all its oil, with much of it coming from Saudi Arabia.

    The two pivotal diplomatic events between Riyadh and New Delhi have taken place within the last decade or so, namely the Delhi declaration (2006) and the Riyadh declaration (2010). The former was a historic moment, as then King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud became the first head of the House of Saud to visit India in 51 years. During his visit and following consultations with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his administration, the two countries revisited ties to strengthen cooperation and engagement. More importantly, this visit also laid the groundwork for much greater security, intelligence sharing and counterterrorism cooperation.


    The new era of relations paid dividends with the 2012 deportation of Syed Zabiuddin Ansari aka Abu Jundal, a wanted name in India with links to the Indian Mujahideen and the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). Ansari was accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the 2010 Pune bombing, and was believed to have aided in several other terror strikes across India. His delivery to India by Saudi Arabia caught many analysts off guard.


    The Delhi and Riyadh declarations clearly played important roles in bridge-building between the two countries. The inclusion of security and counterterrorism elements in bilateral ties is significant, particularly given the influence Riyadh can exert over Pakistan (Pakistan’s prime minister and army chief have visited Saudi days before Modi’s visit). However, Saudi Arabia is adapt at diplomatic ruses and plays on its core interests in a much brasher manner than India is perhaps used to. This will pose a challenge for Indian policies towards a more “East-looking” House of Saud, specifically if the question of addressing issues with Pakistan comes heavily into play.

    Still, the positive developments have continued. In December last year, the Saudis deported Mohammed Assadullah Khan (aka Abu Sufiyan), a terrorist with established links with LeT. Khan was arrested by Riyadh after Indian and Saudi security agencies shared intelligence. In February this year, Saudi Arabia also deported one Muhammad Abdul Aziz, known as the “godfather of the jihadist movement in Hyderabad.” Aziz was reportedly on the run for more than ten years. Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force for the first time in August last year made a staging visit to Saudi Arabia while on route to military exercises in the United Kingdom. This stopover was seen as highly symbolic for India-Saudi ties in the security sphere.

    ‘Think West’

    At a recent speech in New Delhi, India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar used the term “Think West” when describing India’s policy outreach towards the Gulf. It suggests a new push towards more concrete strategic policies for West Asia.

    “If the eastern front is building upon longstanding policy, the western one is relatively more recent conceptually, even if India has had a historical presence in the Gulf. The Indian footprint there has resulted in a community of 7 million that is an impressive source of investment and remittances. But it was an evolutionary happening that was relatively autonomous of strategic calculations. Our energy dependence on the region was also dictated more by markets than by policy,” Jaishankar said. “The interplay among these (Gulf) nations actually offers us new avenues of cooperation. I can confidently predict that ‘Act East’ would be matched with ‘Think West.’ ”

    This “Think West” approach may be very timely. Saudi Arabia, like its compatriots in the Gulf, is now actively looking east to develop its core interest, selling oil. As growth in Western economies slows and the U.S. becomes energy self-sufficient thanks to its shale revolution, the markets with the greatest thirst for Middle East’s oil lie in Asia, and are led by the likes of China, India, Japan and South Korea. This fact alone now warrants these economies taking a greater interest in the complicated and daunting task of understanding the Middle East in all its complexity.

    Meanwhile, Riyadh is increasingly interested in investing abroad. Saudi Aramco, the state’s national oil company is reportedly already mulling an investment in Indian refineries to boost its Asian footprint.

    Modi’s visit is aptly timed to pitch for a larger Saudi economic footprint and to make more space for Indian interests. When King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz died in January last year, New Delhi announced a day of mourning in his honor, signaling the emphasis India was placing on its ties with Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-India dynamic is a layered cake, with many levels of agreement and disagreement. Currently ties are headed in the right direction, and it now remains to be seen what kind of new push, if any, Modi himself can bring to this engagement.

    Kabir Taneja is a journalist and researcher specializing in foreign affairs, energy security and defence.

    http://thediplomat.com/2016/03/think-west-modis-visit-to-saudi-arabia/
     
  12. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Think West: Modi’s Visit to Saudi Arabia

    When Prime Minister Narendra Modi won a resounding victory in the Indian general elections in 2014, leaders from around the world rushed to congratulate the new prime minister-elect of the world’s biggest democracy. In the Persian Gulf, however, the reaction was cautious. Egypt and Qatar were initially the only two countries from that region to congratulate Modi on his win.

    According to analysts in the region, Modi’s personal reputation among the public and polity alike in the Gulf has suffered because of the riots between Hindus and Muslims that took place in Gujarat while he was chief minister of the state in 2002.

    However, Modi’s meeting with Saudi Arabia’s sixth king, the late Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia later in 2014 made clear that even if the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) had reservations, India was too important to risk upsetting relations.

    A trip to Saudi Arabia next month will be Modi’s second visit to the Gulf after a previous stop in UAE. It comes at a turbulent time. The Syrian crisis, the war in Yemen, the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which has helped depress global oil prices, are all events with direct implications for Indian interests.

    The India-Saudi relationship has historically been cordial, based on mutual needs and transactional interests. There are nearly 2.5 million Indians working in Saudi Arabia, and nearly 7 million working in the larger Gulf region. India also imports nearly 80 percent of all its oil, with much of it coming from Saudi Arabia.

    The two pivotal diplomatic events between Riyadh and New Delhi have taken place within the last decade or so, namely the Delhi declaration (2006) and the Riyadh declaration (2010). The former was a historic moment, as then King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud became the first head of the House of Saud to visit India in 51 years. During his visit and following consultations with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his administration, the two countries revisited ties to strengthen cooperation and engagement. More importantly, this visit also laid the groundwork for much greater security, intelligence sharing and counterterrorism cooperation.


    The new era of relations paid dividends with the 2012 deportation of Syed Zabiuddin Ansari aka Abu Jundal, a wanted name in India with links to the Indian Mujahideen and the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). Ansari was accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the 2010 Pune bombing, and was believed to have aided in several other terror strikes across India. His delivery to India by Saudi Arabia caught many analysts off guard.


    The Delhi and Riyadh declarations clearly played important roles in bridge-building between the two countries. The inclusion of security and counterterrorism elements in bilateral ties is significant, particularly given the influence Riyadh can exert over Pakistan (Pakistan’s prime minister and army chief have visited Saudi days before Modi’s visit). However, Saudi Arabia is adapt at diplomatic ruses and plays on its core interests in a much brasher manner than India is perhaps used to. This will pose a challenge for Indian policies towards a more “East-looking” House of Saud, specifically if the question of addressing issues with Pakistan comes heavily into play.

    Still, the positive developments have continued. In December last year, the Saudis deported Mohammed Assadullah Khan (aka Abu Sufiyan), a terrorist with established links with LeT. Khan was arrested by Riyadh after Indian and Saudi security agencies shared intelligence. In February this year, Saudi Arabia also deported one Muhammad Abdul Aziz, known as the “godfather of the jihadist movement in Hyderabad.” Aziz was reportedly on the run for more than ten years. Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force for the first time in August last year made a staging visit to Saudi Arabia while on route to military exercises in the United Kingdom. This stopover was seen as highly symbolic for India-Saudi ties in the security sphere.

    ‘Think West’

    At a recent speech in New Delhi, India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar used the term “Think West” when describing India’s policy outreach towards the Gulf. It suggests a new push towards more concrete strategic policies for West Asia.

    “If the eastern front is building upon longstanding policy, the western one is relatively more recent conceptually, even if India has had a historical presence in the Gulf. The Indian footprint there has resulted in a community of 7 million that is an impressive source of investment and remittances. But it was an evolutionary happening that was relatively autonomous of strategic calculations. Our energy dependence on the region was also dictated more by markets than by policy,” Jaishankar said. “The interplay among these (Gulf) nations actually offers us new avenues of cooperation. I can confidently predict that ‘Act East’ would be matched with ‘Think West.’ ”

    This “Think West” approach may be very timely. Saudi Arabia, like its compatriots in the Gulf, is now actively looking east to develop its core interest, selling oil. As growth in Western economies slows and the U.S. becomes energy self-sufficient thanks to its shale revolution, the markets with the greatest thirst for Middle East’s oil lie in Asia, and are led by the likes of China, India, Japan and South Korea. This fact alone now warrants these economies taking a greater interest in the complicated and daunting task of understanding the Middle East in all its complexity.

    Meanwhile, Riyadh is increasingly interested in investing abroad. Saudi Aramco, the state’s national oil company is reportedly already mulling an investment in Indian refineries to boost its Asian footprint.

    Modi’s visit is aptly timed to pitch for a larger Saudi economic footprint and to make more space for Indian interests. When King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz died in January last year, New Delhi announced a day of mourning in his honor, signaling the emphasis India was placing on its ties with Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-India dynamic is a layered cake, with many levels of agreement and disagreement. Currently ties are headed in the right direction, and it now remains to be seen what kind of new push, if any, Modi himself can bring to this engagement.

    Kabir Taneja is a journalist and researcher specializing in foreign affairs, energy security and defence.

    http://thediplomat.com/2016/03/think-west-modis-visit-to-saudi-arabia/
     
  13. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Narendra Modi's Independence Day take on Balochistan is a foreign policy milestone
    Abhijnan Rej Aug 16, 2016 14:35 IST
    • Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech on Monday will go down in the annals of Indian foreign policy as a watershed event. By implicitly calling Pakistan’s extant territorial claims into question – Balochistan makes for more than 40 percent of that country's landmass – Prime Minister Modi has brought a new and bold thrust to India’s unfortunately middling – and often muddled – Pakistan policy.

      Analysts thrive on turning points – Modi's speech been no different. Tuesday morning's newspapers have also included voices opining that by drawing Balochistan to the already-volatile geopolitical mix, India runs the risk of scoring tactical victories at the risk of sacrificing its grand strategy of regional stability. It has also been suggested that New Delhi – by upping the ante in Balochistan – could take its eye of the real challenge, Kashmir. These are well-meaning and informed voices.

      Nevertheless, they are mistaken on both counts. India’s Balochistan strategy could indeed become what dissuades Pakistan from further fuelling the Kashmir crisis. It could also be designed in a way that the “nuclear stakes,” as one analyst called them, are annulled.



      As argued in this Firstpost piece, the contours of India’s strategy in Balochistan will be drawn by both diplomatic, as well as, covert means to deter Pakistan from further adventurism in Kashmir and elsewhere in India. The operative word here is ‘deterrence’. Simply put: India need not actually embark on a programme to dismember Pakistan. A credible threat – that it could do so at will if it chooses to – would do. The credibility of the threat would, in turn, depend on actual, selective and small-scale support for Baloch proxies.

      The ongoing insurgency in Kashmir – and there is no other word to describe what is going on – has two components: an indigenous one fuelled by local grievances, real and imagined, as well as a politico-strategic one, driven by Pakistan’s grand strategy. Without the latter, the former is reduced to a pure internal-security issue. Indeed removing Pakistan from the picture is what is needed to reduce Kashmir to a version of ‘Naxalism Plus’, to be addressed by an appropriate stick-and-carrot mix.

      Pakistan has long worked on the assumption that its nuclear weapons are what would prevent India from launching an all-out conventional attack in response to its intransigence. There is nothing that stops India from leveraging the same logic (moral quandaries aside).

    • Indeed Ajit Doval, the National Security Advisor (NSA), has long maintained that sub-conventional dominance – proxy wars or the threat thereof – may be the only route for states to jostle each other under the nuclear overhang. A year ago, NSA Doval delivered a remarkable speech in Mumbai. In his Lalit Doshi Memorial Lecture, he spoke of “the mechanism of covert war, the proxy war you are fighting against someone, using somebody else’s manpower and weapons.”

      As an example, Doval spoke of the American support of Afghan mujahideens through Pakistan. It would utterly insulting to the intelligence of KGB officers posted in the region to presume that they had no inkling that American-sourced weapons were being used to shoot down their helicopters and fixed-wing aircrafts. Yet, the Cold War – albeit by then in its death throes – remained cold. Historical examples like these show that covert wars under the nuclear overhang can indeed be stable, an instance of the “stability-instability paradox” nuclear strategists speak of.


    • How does this apply to mitigating the Kashmir headache? A credible threat which seeks to deter by punishment – “you do another Mumbai, you lose Balochistan,” to use Doval’s memorable phrase on another occasion – would most definitely put Pakistan on the back foot, especially when its army is overstretched with its own counter-terrorism programme “Operation Zarb-e-Azb.”

    • The capacity of the Pakistani state is vastly limited, a weakness that could be utilized by India with telling impact. As much as Pakistan postures its support for Kashmir, without Balochistan it will indeed be reduced to a version of “Greater Punjab and Sindh.” It is highly unlikely that it would continue its support for Kashmiri terrorists at the risk of yet-another dismemberment. The long game for India would be to keep Pakistan distracted with Balochistan enough for the Pakistanis to deploy the same proxies it uses to prosecute its Kashmir agenda there. (Pakistan, already facing international pressure for the excesses of its military in Balochistan, will almost certainly use proxies to neutralize the Balochi insurgency so as to avoid an international diplomatic blow-back.) The likes of JeM, LeT and Harkat tied up in Balochistan will significantly weaken these groups – and the capacity of Inter-Services Intelligence.

      But an important part of a coercive strategy is also a clever use of soft measures, predominantly diplomatic, something Doval alluded to in his Doshi Memorial Lecture. He said: “If I want you to hate everything, I want you to be ashamed of your culture and civilisation and if I achieve that, I win the battle.” Indeed the PM’s reference to the ‘glorification of terrorists’ in Pakistan yesterday exactly set out to do so. But at the end of the day, the simplest path for India do walk down would be to create a convincing illusion that it is indeed behind everything Pakistan has accused it to do. This manipulation of uncertainty – for in a well-designed proxy war, there is no way of convincing establishing responsibility – would be an important part of deterring Pakistan with Balochistan.

      The author is a fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi and a national security columnist for Firstpost. Views expressed here are personal. He tweets @AbhijnanRej

      http://www.firstpost.com/india/pm-m...-indias-foreign-policy-milestone-2958618.html
     
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  14. ezsasa

    ezsasa Senior Member Senior Member

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    I am theorising that if by next apr we don't see any American think tanks taking up this issue, this Baloch outreach by modi is just rhetoric.

    I am saying American think tank and not Europe because I believe European think tanks can be easily compromised by Chinese money. And more over Americans will need Baluchistan issue to counter China in Gwadar.

    Ofcourse there are ifs and buts in my theory, but I am keeping it simple.
     
  15. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Washington's policy towards Balochistan may change, says U.S. based think tank

    Washington is already worried about "human rights" and "youth issues" in balochistan.


    "At least until now the US is being dependent on Pakistan support in the global war on terror particularly ruling our foreign elements from the tribal belt and therefore has not pushed a strong international response to what Pakistan is doing in Balochistan; that may change as Pakistan strategic importance to the United States falls on following the withdrawal from Afghanistan," said Chalk.

    http://www.business-standard.com/ar...says-u-s-based-think-tank-115032100401_1.html
     
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  16. Screambowl

    Screambowl Senior Member Senior Member

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    Israelis are already supporting the balochis ..
     
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  17. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Why Modi's bold Balochistan strategy will strengthen, not weaken India's moral position


    Far from being a bad portent, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's bold gambit on Balochistan reflects a refreshing new nimbleness in India's foreign affairs that is responsive to rapidly altering ground realities.

    In the dog-eat-dog world of international relations, nations rely more on realism than idealism as their foreign policy determinant. In 1923, then US Secretary of State Charles Evans while countering President Woodrow Wilson had said what holds true even today. "Foreign policies are not built upon abstractions. They are the result of practical conceptions of national interest arising from some immediate exigency or standing out vividly in historical perspective." (Glenn P Hastedt, Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy, 2002).


    Adherence to abstract principles, doctrinal rigidity or isolationism are unlikely to serve a nation's purpose in the fast-changing scenario of strategic affairs. India's unique geopolitical position means that the environment in which New Delhi pursues its interests will become increasingly more complex.

    We share our border on one side with a country that uses terrorism as state policy. And we are also neighbours to Asia's largest power which fuelled by decades of unprecedented double digit growth now displays greater assertiveness and as a global player, seeks to redraw the economic, political, and security order around it.

    Not just Pakistan and China, every country always acts according to its own interest.


    As career diplomat and national security expert Shivshankar Menon had pointed out during a speech delivered at the National Law University in Delhi in November last year, despite their stated intents "Russia (still) sells arms to Pakistan, the US supplies arms and discusses Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and China has committed $46 billion to an economic corridor and Gwadar in Pakistan.

    India asks the West to refrain from supporting Pakistan, but countries will act according to their own interests. So long as Pakistani terrorism is not a threat to them, they will not expend blood or treasure eliminating Pakistan origin terrorism for India."


    What does this mean? It immediately implies that India can no longer define its strategic affairs solely on Nehruvian ideals of pacifism and non-alignment. This does not mean that India should make interventionism the fulcrum of its foreign policy but it must search for bargaining chips in order to meet the challenges posed by a deepening Sino-Pakistan relationship.

    It is in this context that we must place India's contemporary shift.

    It is disingenuous to link Modi's recent references to human rights violations in Balochistan to the 2009 India-Pakistan joint statement in Sharm el-Sheikh. Pakistan had then managed to forced through a reference to Balochistan which was vociferously opposed by Indian Parliament, forcing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to disown the statement. BJP, then in opposition, had accused the UPA government of compromising India’s position on Pakistan, returning from there as “guilty” and had said that “waters of the seven seas will not be able to wash the shame”.

    To cite Sharm el-Sheikh statement and claim that a shift in Balochistan strategy somehow "exposes" India's hand and weakens our position is a specious argument. For one, the situations are vastly different. The 2009 proclamation was a diplomatic victory for Pakistan which had long been accusing India of extending covert support for a separatist movement. Though Islamabad has historically failed to produce even an iota of evidence, that reference was bad optics for India.

    Modi's overtures to Balochistan, in comparison, are an acknowledgement of the state-sponsored atrocities unleashed by Pakistan on people which it calls its own and an attempt to muzzle opposing voices. It was done on India's terms. Far from weakening our moral position, this gives us a leverage while dealing with Pakistan and exposes it as a occupying force, a narrative Islamabad had long been globally selling against India. By openly acknowledging the struggle of the Baloch people, India made a very different political statement.

    As Firstpost pointed out on Monday, nowhere did Modi mention that India will adopt an interventionist policy by actively inciting insurgency on a sovereign nation's soil. The effort was to internationalise the violations of human rights and make it the talking point by acknowledging Baloch struggle and expressing empathy with the long-suffering people. The reference was made in such a way that it steers clear of active intervention and yet heaps pressure on Pakistan whose status as a pariah nation and efforts to differentiate between 'good terrorism' and 'bad terrorism' are well-documented. Moreover, our foreign policy cannot be dictated by what Pakistan may or may not say.

    Let's take a look at what he said from the ramparts on Monday during the speech to mark 70th year of Independence.


    "Today, I want to especially honour and thank some people from the ramparts of the Red Fort. For the past few days, the people of Balochistan, people of Gilgit, people of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the way their citizens have heartily thanked me, the way they have acknowledged me, the goodwill they have shown towards me, people settled far across, the land which I have not seen, people I have not met ever, but people settled far across acknowledge the Prime Minister of India, they honour him, so it is an honour of my 125 crore countrymen, it is respect of my 125 crore countrymen, and that is why, owing to the feeling of this honour, I want to heartily thank the people of Balochistan, people of Gilgit, people of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir for having an expression of thankfulness.”


    Kanwal Sibal, former Foreign Secretary, told PTI that Modi deserves praise for delivering a direct response to Pakistan's provocations: "By raising the Balochistan issue, Modi has changed the rules of the game. From the PM’s point of view, this is a warning signal to Pakistan.”

    Former High Commissioner to Pakistan G Parthasarathy said it was a "long overdue" and a "necessary step… there has to be some inducement for Pakistan to fall in line".

    "India has been more restrained than necessary despite Pakistan constantly carrying out propa ganda on Kashmir, calling it the legacy of Partition. If that's the case, Balochistan also is a legacy of Partition," said Parthasarathy. He also recalled how Jinnah recognised Balochistan's independent status before Pakistan obtained its accession.


    Going by Pakistan's sharp reaction, it is evident that the arrow has hit the target. But there's a larger reason still why India should show solidarity with Balochistan, apart from the obvious diplomatic leverage. As a growing power which takes itself seriously and wants to have a greater say in the geopolitical developments around it while retaining core interests, India also has a moral obligation towards Balochistan. It cannot just keep looking inwards.


    http://www.firstpost.com/india/why-...not-weaken-indias-moral-position-2958406.html
     
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  18. ezsasa

    ezsasa Senior Member Senior Member

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    This new Baloch policy is like 1965 war isn't it?

    Pakis keep attacking J&K with over-confidence, and india opens a new unexpected front in Baluchistan just like new front was opened on western IB during 1965 war as a response to pak's operation Gibraltar.

    Pakis underestimated india then and underestimated Modi now.
     
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  19. aditya10r

    aditya10r PHAK MU LUCK Senior Member

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    We should do something quick
    Engage Pakistan on Eastern front using cold start and on the west using the balochis uprising
     
  20. ezsasa

    ezsasa Senior Member Senior Member

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    Nope, the whole idea is "war of attrition". It should be slow, irritating and painful(once in a while) for the enemy. Idea is that when ever pakis plan any adventure, they should be constantly looking over their shoulders.

    Simply put... if they want to give us 1000 cuts, pakis should be ready for 1750 cuts..

    Quick wars have unpredictable results....
     
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  21. OneGrimPilgrim

    OneGrimPilgrim Senior Member Senior Member

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    whr invaders hv been eulogised, heroes binned!!
    y'days primetime news shows (except rNDTV) mostly focused on the Baloch issue and our PM's raising this issue. world powers are finally speaking in this regard.
     
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