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Strained relations in the sub continent: India's foreign policy goes from bad to worse

New Delhi, Thu, 24 May 2007 Sadiq Ali

May 24: India has always tried to play the role of a big brother in the sub continent, but successive government failed to achieve this even after acquiring a strategic position. Except China, no other country in its neighborhood is in a position to lead the sub continent. Even China is far behind because people here consider it as an outsider and like any other country of the world. Did India ever succeeded in creating such a position for itself even after being the pioneer of now irrelevant Non Aligned Movement NAM? The honest answer is ?No?.

The problem started decades before. India, which boosted her unique view, seems to have lost its ?independence?, if not in everything but at least in the foreign policy. The relations with immediate neighbors always remained that of a big brother not coordinating. The relation with Pakistan is well known and the issues have been there right from the beginning.

Excluding Pakistan, the relations with other major countries in the sub continent remained problematic. Four decades have passed since Indo-Sino war and the relations are still at budding stage. The country is yet to solve the much debatable border issues with the country.

In case of Nepal, India lost its much boosted belief in democracy. When Nepal was burning and people were on roads to force the King to shun power and restore democracy, India was in favour of monarchy. A very wrong move indeed as it was, the country helped in supplying arms to the king thus creating such animosity with Nepalese that may Indians had to leave everything there and move out just to save themselves from the wrath.

Bangladesh, one more neighbor, is a typical example of lost opportunity. India fought a war to free Bangladesh from Pakistan but nothing better happened after it. The same country is harboring miscreants, who are hell bent to attack India?s interest. Perpetuators of recent Hyderabad attack are said to be there in that country.

At face value the diplomatic coordination with Sri Lanka might be favourable but at the ground level Sri Lankans don?t see India as a good friend.

India seems to be the only country having worst ties with immediate neighbours. The country has lost its independent foreign policy, not to talk about the relation shared within the sub continent.
Till India won?t take initiatives to improve the relations and clout within the Indian sub continent, the nation?s dream of permanent seat in United Nations Security Council will remain a dream.

The approach has to be changed from mere ?talks? to real ?negotiations?. Only negotiations will solve problem not talks and it is applicable to Pakistan and for all the neighbours.

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November 2, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Its the Indian Psyche which is responsible in a lack of consistency of our stand as opposed to USA where long term goals are set in foreign policy.


May 26, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Thanks. It is hard looking at the mirror sometimes.

In the case of Nepal, it is still not too late. So far, Nepal has always been playing the China card. But once prosperity comes to Western Chi



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