Indian Foreign Policy

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby ramana » 10 Oct 2018 06:27

Rahul M wrote:more like coupta can't tell one end of the proverbial cow from another. that's the most childish foreign policy analysis I have read, even MK Bhadrakumar makes more sense.



low blow to Couptaji....

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby ramana » 10 Oct 2018 06:28

A primer on Europeans from a BRF observer...


viewtopic.php?p=2299266#p2299266

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby Supratik » 12 Oct 2018 18:38


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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby Supratik » 12 Oct 2018 23:32


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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby SSridhar » 17 Oct 2018 08:24

The Bhutan vote - Editorial, The Hindu
The results of Bhutan’s general election will have significant repercussions for South Asia. The first round held in September has already delivered a surprise verdict, with the ousting of the incumbent People’s Democratic Party. The two parties left in the fray represent opposites in terms of their experience. The Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa, that won the maximum number of votes in the first round this year, is a political neophyte. The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa, on the other hand, won the first Bhutanese elections in 2008, and the first round of the election in 2013 before losing to the PDP. It maintains a strong traditional base. The first round of the results also threw up some glaring trends. While the ordinary voter who queued up to vote at the polling booths favoured the PDP, ultimately the postal ballots, used by government officials and their families as well as military personnel, swung the vote in the other direction. Another outcome, which may be disquieting for whichever party comes to power, is that votes in the first round of elections were polarised between more prosperous Western Bhutan and less developed Eastern Bhutan. The DPT, for example, won all but one constituency in the east, while winning only two in the west; the DNT and PDP won seats only in the western half. The vertical split doesn’t just denote a development divide, it points to a feeling of discontent in a country generally known as a whole for its Gross National Happiness quotient.

Regardless of which party wins on Thursday, India-Bhutan ties are expected to be accorded their customary priority by New Delhi and Thimphu, given that Bhutan’s monarch, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, retains a considerable influence over the nation’s foreign policy. Along with his father, and predecessor as king, he has consistently stressed his commitment to the bilateral relationship. However, India must note that while the DNT has made “narrowing the gap” its motto, the DPT, which lost elections in 2013 after India suddenly pulled fuel subsidies for Bhutan, has campaigned on the slogan of “sovereignty and self-sufficiency”. The ‘China factor’ will be closely watched for its impact, a year after the India-China standoff on the Bhutanese Doklam plateau. This year marks the 50th anniversary of formal relations between India and Bhutan, built on cultural ties, mutual strategic interests, and India’s role in building roads and assisting in hydropower projects that became the mainstay of the Bhutanese economy. It is expected that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lose no time in visiting Bhutan to consolidate the relationship once the new Prime Minister is in the saddle.

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby SSridhar » 18 Oct 2018 11:06

Putin visit revitalises India-Russia ties - G.Parthasarathy, Business Line
The United States believed that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a new Russia could be brought to its knees by economic pressures and political manoeuvres. Washington sought to see that Moscow’s leadership remained in the hands of individuals like the occasionally sober President Boris Yeltsin. They had not counted on a young former KGB agent Vladimir Putin assuming leadership, determined to restore Russia’s influence in the emerging world order.

Putin thwarted US backed initiatives to undermine Russian influence in neighbouring former Soviet Republics, like Georgia and Ukraine, where Russia annexed its erstwhile naval base in Crimea. He thereafter used military assistance to successfully back the secular Syrian Government of Bashar al Assad, against American backed Islamic fundamentalists.

Successive governments in India have wisely not made the mistake of underestimating the power and influence of a new Russia
, emerging from the ashes of the Soviet Union. While trade and investment ties with Russia have been limited in recent years, the Russians have remained reliable suppliers of frontline defence equipment to India, at competitive prices.

India has also joined forums like BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, where it can exchange views with both Russia and China, on issues of security and economic cooperation, particularly across the Eurasian land mass. Moreover, given the rise of an aggressive and assertive China, our economic, diplomatic and military ties with the US, Japan and the EU have been significantly strengthened.

But, things have now come to a head, with the passing of American legislation “CAATSA,” to impose sanctions against countries that buy sophisticated weapons systems from Russia. This is as much to “punish” Russia as to “enrich” the American arms industry! American officials have testified in the US Congress confirming that one of the main aims of CAATSA is to wean countries away from Russian arms purchases and turn to the US.

Long-standing friend

Russia has remained a major partner for five decades now, as a reliable supplier of defence equipment and diplomatic support, especially in difficult times. Moreover, Russian cooperation in crucial areas, like our space programme continued, even when the Americans imposed sanctions on India, after its nuclear tests. It was the inability of the US to isolate India globally, because of support from countries like Russia and France that led to Washington ending sanctions. {The underlined part may not be entirely true, but there is no doubt about the support from these countries} Washington thereafter designated India as valued “partner” across the “Indo-Pacific,” primarily to balance and counter a territorially aggressive and economically assertive China.

The last two decades have seen a significant turnaround in India-US relations. American arms supplies to India, estimated at $18 billion, have included sales of maritime patrol aircraft, 130 mm. artillery guns, C17 and C130 Transport aircraft and Apache Attack Helicopters. Moreover, further acquisitions from the US are under consideration. This is apart from bilateral agreements for practical military cooperation, and an unprecedented military basing agreement. Joint exercises between the militaries of India and the US are now a regular feature. While India shares some strategic objectives with the US, we cannot agree to give the US the right to veto our acquisitions from Russia, thereby adversely affecting our national security. The US made it clear that India opens itself to American sanctions if it undertakes any move to acquire the much-needed S400 Air Defence Missiles from Russia.

These missiles are unquestionably the best defences we can acquire to defend the Capital Delhi, other cities and strategic defence targets against attacks by missiles or aircraft, launched against them. Even the US does not possess such a missile defence system, which we need now more than ever, especially given the depleted strength of our Air Force.

China has already been targeted by the recent American legislation for acquiring the S400 Missile defence system and the SU 35 advanced fighter aircraft. US President Donald Trump has warned that India will “find out” how the US will react to the S300 Agreement “sooner than you think”.

While the S400 missile defence deal, could be subjected to American sanctions, there can be no question of us demeaning ourselves, by going with a virtual begging bowl to the Americans, asking them not to apply sanctions, on every arms deal, we propose to sign with Russia. We should bear in mind that there are several crucial weapons systems where we have decided, in principle, will be acquired from Russia.

Crucial weapons systems

These crucial weapons systems include lease of another nuclear attack (SSN) Submarine, over 200 Light Helicopters to be built in India, four naval frigates, conventional submarines to be largely built in Indian shipyards, and an estimated 6,00,000 AK103 assault rifles, also to be made in India. Our Jawans urgently need these rifles, as the present weapons they carry are far from satisfactory.

Following the recent American sanctions on arms purchases from Russia, India was faced with the prospect of its leading banks, with large dollar holdings, facing crippling American sanctions, if they made payments for large arms purchases from Russia. The only viable alternative for India and Russia was to devise measures to avoid and sidestep possible American pressures. We have now reportedly devised measures to face up to the threat of American financial sanctions.

One agreement signed during the Putin visit received little attention. This was an agreement reportedly between three Indian banks — Syndicate Bank, Indian Bank and Vijaya Bank — and Russia’s “Sberbank”. The Agreement reportedly facilitates payments for all Defence related transactions between India and Russia, not in the “Almighty” American dollar, but in rupees and Russian roubles. It remains to be seen whether and what sanctions Indian defence organisations involved in such transactions will be subjected to. Many of them could ironically be essential partners in any defence deal, which India decides to sign with the US also!

Three decades ago, the US threatened to cut off fuel supplies of enriched uranium for India’s Tarapur nuclear power plant, unless we agreed to place all our nuclear facilities under international safeguards. The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi refused to oblige and turned to France for supply of nuclear fuel. Two decades later, former US President George Bush ended all unilateral nuclear restrictions on India.

One hopes that this will be remembered by the US, when it comes to its ill-advised sanctions on acquisitions of Russian arms by key Asian countries like Vietnam and Indonesia also. India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the US, will derive no benefit from application of the present ill-advised American sanctions.

The writer is former High Commissioner of Pakistan


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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby SSridhar » 20 Oct 2018 08:05

India, Iran working on rupee-rial facility for Chabahar port to sidestep US sanctions - P.Manoj, Business Line
India is weighing a rupee-rial payment mechanism for the Chabahar project in Iran as it weaves a way around the impending sanctions imposed by the US on the Persian Gulf nation from 4 November, to kickstart the port that is considered critical to the country’s geopolitical and trade interests.

“We are trying for a rupee-riyal payment mechanism for Chabahar port project,” Shipping Secretary Gopal Krishna told BusinessLine. “Basically, the guarantees will have to be given in rupees now instead of in dollars or euros,” Gopal Krishna added.

The issue was discussed with a high-level delegation led by Mohammad Rastad, Deputy Minister and Managing Director for Ports and Maritime Organization, Islamic Republic of Iran, during its visit to India earlier this week. The plan to set up an alternative payment mechanism reveals that India is willing to go ahead with the project even if the diplomatic lobbying for a waiver from the US on Chabahar port project fails to yield results.

India’s bid to start commercial operations at the port has been held up due to banking challenges arising from the fresh round of sanctions imposed by the US.

India has picked Bandar Abbas-based Kaveh Port and Marine Services company to run the port as a stop-gap arrangement for 18 months till a full-fledged manage, operate and maintain (MOM) contractor is finalised by India Ports Global Pvt Ltd.

“Kaveh Port and Marine Services will start operations on our behalf and we should be ready to make payments to them. But, at present, due to banking difficulties we are not ready. There are banking issues on how to transfer funds and so it is on hold,” a government official said adding there was “no point starting the port if we can’t remit/transfer funds”.

Team to visit Iran

“A rupee-rial payment mechanism is the only way out of this,” said Arun Kumar Gupta, Managing Director, India Ports Global. “That is what we are working on. Instead of dollars or euros, all payments to the Iranian side will be under rupee-rial mechanism,” he said adding that a team from India Ports Global will visit Iran in the next few days to “work out things”.

“Irrespective of the sanctions, we are trying to go ahead with the project; a new payment system will have to be put in place,” he stated.


India Ports Global, a 60:40 joint venture between Jawaharlal Port Trust and Deendayal Port Trust (previously Kandla Port Trust), was set up by the government to make strategic investments in ports overseas.

Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari underlined the strategic importance of Chabahar port to India.

“Our government is building a big port at Chabahar. The distance between Mumbai and Delhi is longer compared to the distance between Chabahar and Kandla. In the next two-three months, we will start the port. Gas and power are available at cheaper rate in Chabahar, port is ready and distance is less, but due to international situation and constraints, we are facing problems. Companies can start manufacturing urea in Chabahar and send it to Kandla by sea and we can reduce the cost by at least 40 per cent,” Gadkari said recently in Mumbai.

Capital investment

India Ports Global and Aria Banader Iranian Port signed a deal in May 2016 to equip and operate container and multi-purpose terminals at Shahid Beheshti – Chabahar Port Phase-I with capital investment of $85.21 million and annual revenue expenditure of $22.95 million on a 10-year lease.

Located in the Sistan-Baluchistan Province on Iran’s South-eastern coast (outside Persian Gulf), Chabahar port is of great strategic importance for development of regional maritime transit traffic to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby SSridhar » 20 Oct 2018 10:01

L'affaire Khashoggi - Chinmaya R Gharekhan, The Hindu

Excerpts
This writer has long and firmly believed that foreign policy is all about promoting national interest and that sentiment should have no place in it. This continues to be his conviction.

It is the same principle of national interest that has inhibited us from confronting the Saudis as well as the Iranians about their open, unchecked support, financial and otherwise, by funding radical Sunni and Shia mosques in India. This is reported to have been going on for decades, perhaps before Independence. Yet, successive governments have not found it possible to protest such behaviour which amounts to direct interference in India’s internal affairs and in radicalising sections of the Muslim community. It was felt that India’s national interest, India’s dependence on West Asian energy sources and anxiety not to upset them too much lest they voted against us in meetings of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, or side with Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, is what made us cautious.

India’s deck of cards

Is there a lesson for India in the Saudi Arabian stance of defiance? India does not have the kind of money to throw around as the Saudis have. If India needs their oil, they also need to sell it. They need to sell as much oil as they can to continue with their disastrous misadventure in Yemen. The high level of crude price enables them to prosecute the war with comparably less cost, yet the Crown Prince’s ambitious reform plan will need more money than the kingdom can produce.

If India is forced to reduce the import of Iranian oil to zero in the next few weeks, India does not have to worry about alternate sources of which there are plenty, as the Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas has assured us. Saudi Arabia has no choice but to continue to make up the shortfall, first, because it needs to sell its oil, but second and more important, it must do all in its power to weaken and destroy its mortal enemy, the leader of the Shias of the world. As King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia told the U.S. a few years ago, “the head of the snake needs to be cut off”. If it becomes useful to befriend India in its relentless campaign against Iran, it will be a small price to pay.

There is yet one more weapon that India can selectively use. Next to the Saudis, we are the largest buyer of weapons in the world. The U.S., France, Russia all have only one interest in India — to sell their extremely expensive war material. They not only earn money, they even earn our gratitude. India has an insatiable thirst for weapons of war and apparently bottomless pockets to pay for them. Mr. Trump
, who advocates, for his country as well as for others, to follow the principle of ‘my country first’ would be the last to impose penalties on India in case we do something that might not fit in with his agenda, either vis-à-vis Iran or Russia. The government seems to be conscious of this advantage that India has.

The principle of national interest can run into conflict with respect to other higher principles especially in democracies. Thus, the Khashoggi affair might eventually result in action in the U.S. Congress which the President then will have no option but to abide by. This is what happened in Congressional action against Russia and which Mr. Trump then had to follow. Vox populi will on occasion trump narrow national interest. :)

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby SSridhar » 28 Oct 2018 18:18

Indonesia’s Medan city inaugurates ‘Little India Gate’ - PTI
Nearly 7,000 people gathered in northern Indonesia to witness the inauguration of ‘Little India Gate’, the first-of-its-kind structure in the country which recognises the contribution of Indian community in the development of Medan city.

The new structure was inaugurated jointly by India’s ambassador to Indonesia and Timor Leste Pradeep Kumar Rawat and Mayor of Medan H T Dzulmi Eldin S on October 27 at Kampung Madras or Madras Village area in Medan city, the fourth largest city in the country.

About 7,000 people witnessed the historic moment {wow!} with great enthusiasm, the Indian embassy in Jakarta said in a statement.


Ambassador Rawat said it was a true representation of what Indonesia stood for, which is ‘Bhinneka Tunggal Ika’ or Unity in Diversity and of the Indian belief in ‘Vasudev Kutubakam’ {It is Vasudhaiva Khutumbakam} , meaning the world is one family.

Mr. Rawat assured the Mayor that the Indian embassy in Jakarta and the Indian Consulate in Medan would assist in promoting ‘Little India Gate’ as an important tourist destination in Medan, especially for Indian tourists.

“Little India could also become a bridge between the two countries in terms of trade and commercial relations,” he said in a statement.

The Mayor in his speech said the new structure will be promoted as an iconic tourist spot in Medan city as it is the first such structure in entire Indonesia.

The gate also represents the immense potential in the Indian community and a recognition of their contribution in the development of Medan city, Mr. Dzulmi said.

Kampung Madras area is one of the city’s significant ethnic enclaves comprising a large population of people of Indian descent whose ancestors had settled down in Medan in mid-nineteenth century. Every year, Kampung Madras becomes a meeting point for Hindu and Tamil festivals such as Thaipusam or the Tamil New Year, Pongal and Deepavali.

Not only is it home to the Sri Mariamman Koil, one of the oldest Hindu temples of North Sumatra, but it also houses mosques belonging to the South Indian Muslim community, churches including an Indian Catholic church that dates back to 1912, a Gurudwara and a Buddhist temple, the statement said.

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby arun » 31 Oct 2018 10:59

arun wrote:How times have changed when it comes to being supported against Mohammadden Terrorism emanating from the Mohammadden Terrorism Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan targeting India.Russia cannot bring herself to name the Mohammadden Terrorism Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan and provides India faint support by pussyfooting around without naming the Islamic Republic and makes no mention of Pakistan sponsored terrorist attacks at Mumbai, Pathankot and Uri. On the other hand the US has no such inhibitions in naming and shaming the Mohammadden Terrorism Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan besides explicitly mentioning Pakistan sponsored terrorist attacks at Mumbai, Pathankot and Uri.

Indo Russia Statement dealing with Terrorism:

India-Russia Joint Statement during visit of President of Russia to India (October 05, 2018)
October 05, 2018

India-Russia: an Enduring Partnership in a Changing World …………..

The Sides declared their support to Afghan government’s efforts towards the realization of an Afghan-led, and Afghan-owned national peace reconciliation process. Concerned with the unabated violence and severely undermined security situation in Afghanistan and its adverse effect on the region, the Sides resolved to work through the Moscow Format, SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan, and all other recognized formats for an early resolution to the long-term conflict in Afghanistan, end to terroristviolence, external safe havens and sanctuaries for terrorists and the worsening drug problem in the country. Both Sides called upon the international community to join efforts to thwart any external interference in Afghanistan, to restore its economy, contribute to sustaining peace and security, economic and political development of a stable, secure, united, prosperous and independent Afghanistan. The two Sides will direct their activity to launchjoint development and capacity building projects in Afghanistan. ………………………..

The Sides denounced terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reiterated the need to combat international terrorism with decisive and collective response without any double standards. The Sides agreed to converge their efforts to eradicate terrorist networks, their sources of financing, arms and fighters supply channels, to counter terrorist ideology, propaganda and recruitment. The Sides condemned all kinds of state support to terrorists including cross border terrorism and providing safe havens to terrorists and their network. Recognizing the importance of adopting the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, pending in the United Nations, to become part of the international law, both Sides called upon the international community to make sincere efforts towards its early conclusion. То address the threats of chemical and biological terrorism, the Sides supported and emphasized the need for launching multilateral negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament on an international convention for the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism.

Clicky



For contrast the US Statement that goes hammer and tongs at the Mohammadden Terrorism Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan and names and shames them:

Joint Statement on the Inaugural India-U.S 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue
September 06, 2018 ………………………….

Welcoming the expansion of bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation, the Ministers announced their intent to increase information-sharing efforts on known or suspected terrorists and to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2396 on returning foreign terrorist fighters. They committed to enhance their ongoing cooperation in multilateral fora such as the UN and FATF. They reaffirmed their support for a UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that will advance and strengthen the framework for global cooperation and reinforce the message that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism. The Ministers denounced any use of terrorist proxies in the region, and in this context, they called on Pakistan to ensure that the territory under its control is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries. On the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attack, they called on Pakistan to bring to justice expeditiously the perpetrators of the Mumbai, Pathankot, Uri, and other cross-border terrorist attacks. The Ministers welcomed the launch of a bilateral dialogue on designation of terrorists in 2017, which is strengthening cooperation and action against terrorist groups, including Al-Qa’ida, ISIS, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hizb-ul Mujahideen, the Haqqani Network, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, D-Company, and their affiliates. The two sides further reaffirmed their commitment to ongoing and future cooperation to ensure a stable cyberspace environment and to prevent cyber-attacks.

Clicky



X Posted from the India-Russia: News & Analysis

How times have changed when it comes to being supported against Mohammadden Terrorism emanating from the Mohammadden Terrorism Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan targeting India. Russia cannot bring herself to name the Mohammadden Terrorism Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan and provides India faint support by pussyfooting around without naming the Islamic Republic and makes no mention of Pakistan sponsored terrorist attacks at Mumbai, Pathankot and Uri. On the other hand the US, and now Japan, has no such inhibitions in naming and shaming the Mohammadden Terrorism Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan besides explicitly mentioning Pakistan sponsored terrorist attacks at Mumbai, Pathankot and Uri.

Extract from the India-Japan Vision Statement 0f October 29, 2018 following meeting of our PM Narendra Modi and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe at the India-Japan Annual Summit showing Japan has none of the inhibitions regards Pakistan that Russia seems to have and mentions Mumbai and Pathankot:


They called upon Pakistan to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorist attacks, including those of November 2008 in Mumbai and January 2016 in Pathankot. They looked forward to strengthening cooperation against terrorist threats from groups including Al-Qaida, ISIS, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lakshar-e-Tayyiba, and their affiliates.


From MEA Website here:

India-Japan Vision Statement

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby ArjunPandit » 31 Oct 2018 13:26

^^apart from optics and words that means hardly means anything. Is pakistan classified as a terrorist state? They will have it both ways, pretty much like us only in a different magnitude. It's not a blood relation.

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby Kashi » 31 Oct 2018 13:30

That's true. Words are just that..words, unless backed up with meaningful action.

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby Philip » 04 Nov 2018 19:37

We've been calling upon Pak to behave itself for decades.The result? Zilch.A dialogue of the deaf.
The only thing that the Paki ( uniformed) establishment will hear and make them soil their trousers is the sound of incoming Indian arty. and MBRLrounds.
Let the talking be done by our guns first.

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby Philip » 04 Nov 2018 19:39

We've been calling upon Pak to behave itself for decades.The result? Zilch.A dialogue of the deaf.
The only thing that the Paki ( uniformed) establishment will hear and makes them soil their trousers is the sound of incoming Indian arty. and MBRLrounds.
Let the talking be done by our guns first.

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby VKumar » 05 Nov 2018 00:56

Philip wrote:We've been calling upon Pak to behave itself for decades.The result? Zilch.A dialogue of the deaf.
The only thing that the Paki ( uniformed) establishment will hear and makes them soil their trousers is the sound of incoming Indian arty. and MBRLrounds.
Let the talking be done by our guns first.


Let's start by withdrawal of MFN status. Ban of trade. Start projects to utilise our complete share of IWT water. Maybe stop travel. Let's declare it a terrorist state.

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby ashbhee » 05 Nov 2018 04:37

VKumar wrote:
Philip wrote:We've been calling upon Pak to behave itself for decades.The result? Zilch.A dialogue of the deaf.
The only thing that the Paki ( uniformed) establishment will hear and makes them soil their trousers is the sound of incoming Indian arty. and MBRLrounds.
Let the talking be done by our guns first.


Let's start by withdrawal of MFN status. Ban of trade. Start projects to utilise our complete share of IWT water. Maybe stop travel. Let's declare it a terrorist state.


I would go beyond that. I would impose American type sanctions. I would rank any company which does business in bankrupt Terroristan military, if it wants to do business in India needs to get a special approval from the govt. And, while awarding contracts they will less favoured. Let us see if Locked Martin wants to supply spares for PAki F16 or do business with India.

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby SSridhar » 05 Nov 2018 09:05

More to do with trade & commerce, but important nevertheless here.

India’s refusal to sign mega trade pact this year gains support - Amiti Sen, Business Line
India’s refusal to part-conclude a mega trade deal that it is negotiating with 15 countries, including China and the 10 members of the ASEAN group, this year, is getting support from a handful of nations.

This means that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is unlikely to face isolation at the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) summit in Singapore on November 14, where he will express support for the trade agreement. However, he may not sign a joint statement being promoted by many member countries that could commit India to a pact by the year-end, a government official told BusinessLine.


“At the Auckland round, while India was initially alone in opposing a pact by the year-end, eventually some members, including Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia joined in, and said that things were not ripe enough. At the Singapore Summit, Prime Minister Modi will now hopefully not be under pressure to commit to agree to a package agreement by the year-end,” the official said.

India agreeing to a package agreement by the year-end, which does not fully take care of its economic interests, could have a political fallout. With the general elections scheduled next year, a deal that could make Indian industry and farmers more vulnerable, especially due to the rise in competition from China, may not go down well with the electorate.

Tricky ‘substantial conclusion’

What most RCEP members, including Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, were trying to do at Auckland was to get the words ‘substantial conclusion’ included in the joint declaration of the summit to be signed by the heads of state next week.

“The words ‘substantial conclusion’ have a legal connotation. If countries agree to it, then there is no getting out of it, and the decision has to be announced to media and placed before Parliament for clearance. India refused to take on this commitment at the summit, and insisted that the words ‘substantial progress’ be used instead.

Modi was recently briefed by senior officials from the Commerce Ministry on the negotiations so far, and what he could expect at the Singapore
meeting, the official added.

The RCEP countries account for almost a third of the world’s GDP, and more than a fourth of the global trade. On conclusion of the pact, which includes goods, services and investments, it could be the largest free trade pact in the world.

The China factor, however, is making India tread cautiously. “It is not possible for India to give the same level of concessions to a country like China — which has been flooding the market with cheap goods — that it may give to the ASEAN. This has been made clear to all RCEP members, and India and China are trying to reach an agreement on market access through bilateral talks. We cannot be hurried into agreeing to something that we may regret later,” the official said.

Before it commits to an agreement, New Delhi would also want to be satisfied in the area of services, where offers have not yet matched the ambitions demonstrated in the area of goods, the official added.

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby Trikaal » 05 Nov 2018 15:39

VKumar wrote:
Let's start by withdrawal of MFN status. Ban of trade. Start projects to utilise our complete share of IWT water. Maybe stop travel. Let's declare it a terrorist state.

Ban trade? Why? We enjoy trade surplus with Pakistan(about 1.5 billion dollars). Banning trade would be like shooting ourselves in the foot.

What would declaring pakistan 'terrorist state' achieve? I am not interested in symbolic gestures. What is the difference between these and the lip-service by US/Jap, etc. If we are really interested in doing something substantial, how about conducting 50 surgical strikes a year? Increase pakistan's cost of defending their territory. Such measures will be doubly effective right now when they are under a balance of payment crisis. Unilaterally declaring something will never achieve anything unless backed by action.

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby ShyamSP » 05 Nov 2018 22:25

Indian foreign policy :D
https://youtu.be/XAS2oQVcehg

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby Vips » 16 Nov 2018 06:41

View: Will India ever learn to speak loudly? The signs, so far, are dismal.

Earlier this month the United Nations issued its first set of ‘diya’ postage stamps to mark Diwali and the triumph of good over evil. It was a nice gesture (and I possess a sheet of the stamps) but a reminder of the continuing conundrum of why India punches far below its weight in the world’s arena.

The Narendra Modi government has worked to keep India’s flag flying on a number of issues: global terrorism, climate change, and renewable energy. The prime minister is a tireless traveler and the de facto foreign minister and never misses an opportunity to attend a major international conference.

Has the fastest growing economy and second most populous country become the indisputable world leader on anything beyond the International Yoga Day and the International Solar Alliance?

Despite talk about our commitment to a more equitable world order, we are content with cheerleading from the sidelines. Meanwhile, India’s desire for a permanent seat on the Security Council is increasingly becoming irrelevant, alongside hackneyed definitions of multilateralism.

As an aside, we do poorly at winning more committed friends: India does not have diplomatic missions in 70 of its fellow 192 UN member countries. Three years after an impressive summit in New Delhi attended by all 54 African leaders, we have missions in only 29 of them (China has missions in 50 African countries).

Although migration is an international crisis, India is not party to the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol and so does not have a clearly defined asylum policy although it shelters migrants from some neighbours. It recently broke its good record of nonrefoulement (the practice of not forcing refugees or asylum seekers to return to a country in which they are liable to be subjected to persecution) by repatriating seven Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.

Collaboration and cooperation are at their lowest ebb since the end of the Cold War. “The domains of maritime, outer space and cyberspace are the principal channels of flow of goods, capital, data, people and ideas – all of which are key factors in our interconnectedness,” our Ambassador to the UN Syed Akbaruddin told the Security Council last week.

Glacial Pace in 2018

How prepared are we for the warp speed at which the world economy is changing? Are we able to anticipate the future of work, the blurring concept of mobility and the seamlessness of enterprise? Do we have eyes and ears around the world feeding a giant resolve to be the most fleet-footed and sharp-edged ‘emerged’ nation?

The answer is a dismal ‘no’. We continue to trundle along with our own brand of intellectual jugaad. We have hoary but not hefty institutions. We will be racing to adapt and adopt, and we will be hard put to innovate and be world leaders in areas like artificial intelligence and robotics if we remain insular and inward-looking. We cannot just conjure up a vast army of hungry raptors on the prowl.

Let’s look at multilateralism, the bedrock on which post-World War Two political and economic stability was built. We started off brilliantly in the post-colonial world with initiatives like the Asian Relations Meeting in New Delhi in 1947 and the Asian-African Conference in Bandung in 1955. But with the Non-Aligned Movement a Cold War relic, and SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) a dysfunctional gaggle, we are consigned to lightweight presence at meetings of ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) and APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation). China has outflanked us with its Belt and Road Initiative and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), although we are trying gamely to counter with the clunkily named BIMSTEC (The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation).

Could we at least try and reinvent diplomacy for our century? Perish the thought. The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is miniscule for a nation our size. Japan’s external publicity budget is larger than the entire budget of India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

A Parliamentary Standing Committee listed 19 recommendations in August 2016 to expand our diplomatic corps through lateral entry from other government ministries, the recruitment of academic and domain experts on competitively-paid long-term contracts, and the expansion of training in skills and foreign languages. It noted with alarm that against a ‘sanctioned strength’ of 912 there were only 770 IFS officers, and rapped the government on its knuckles for not even undertaking a mandated two-yearly review of resources over the previous 12 years.

In January this year, the committee noted in an Action Taken Report that the government had accepted only eight of its 19 recommendations; it rejected the government’s replies on seven points; and it was absent the ministry’s replies on four.

Watching the World Go By

The world is not waiting for us. Denmark, for example, has set up an Innovation Centre in Silicon Valley to “build bridges between companies, research institutions and capital” in the two countries. Switzerland’s swissnex, with offices in the technology and innovation hubs of Boston, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai and Bangalore, is managed by the country’s foreign ministry. It runs on a public-private collaboration and funding model that links research and science and technology education to 20 S&T offices and counselors in its embassies.

When are we going to get up off our hands?

ramana
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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby ramana » 16 Nov 2018 07:43

Please always post the op-ed writer name.
Looks like a Bhadra Kumar whine.

Vips
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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby Vips » 16 Nov 2018 19:14

It is by Chaitanya Kalbag.
Sirji, the pitiful strength (numbers) of the IFS has been in the news now for many years. For a country that is India's size and with a GDP which will be soon the third highest in the world our absence (at least a Consular office) in a majority of the world countries not to even speak of the important ones geo location wise is simply unbelievable. Punching below our weight is a self goal.

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby Philip » 19 Nov 2018 06:03

Vips true.Look at our vow of silence , which is deafening in Delhi on events in Sri Lanka where blatant thuggery is being used to throttle democracy in the island to benefit China and its hired hands.If we behave like the deaf and dumb we will truly end up being handicapped in other areas too.

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Indian Foreign Policy

Postby Peregrine » 01 Dec 2018 03:43

PM Modi, Trump, Abe hold first trilateral meeting, discuss major issues of global interest – PTI

BUENOS AIRES: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Ab met for their trilateral meeting on Friday met for their first on the sidelines of the G20 summit to discuss major issues of global and multilateral interests.

The meeting assumed importance in the wake of China flexing its muscles in the strategic Indo-Pacific region.

Asserting that India will "continue to work together on shared values," Modi said, "The 'JAI' (Japan, America, India) meeting is dedicated to democratic values ...'JAI' stands for victory (in Hindi)."

The Prime Minister also said the meeting was a convergence of vision between the three nations.

The Japanese premier said he was happy to participate in "the first ever 'JAI' trilateral".

Trump appreciated India's growth story during the meet.

The leaders emphasised the importance of cooperation among the three countries on all major issue of global and multilateral interests such as connectivity, sustainable development, counterterrorism and maritime and cyber security.

They shared their views on progressing a free, open, conclusive and rule-based order in the Indo-Pacific region, based on respect for international law and peaceful resolution of all differences.

The trilateral meeting took place at a time when China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in the South China Sea, and with Japan in the East China Sea. Both the areas are said to be rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have overlapping claims in the waterway, which includes vital sea lanes through which about $3 trillion in global trade passes each year.

The US has been conducting regular patrols in the South China Sea to assert freedom of navigation in the area where Beijing has built up and militarised many of the islands and reefs it controls in the region.

Prime Minister Modi, in his keynote address at the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore in June expounded India's stand on the strategic Indo-Pacific region.

"India does not see the Indo-Pacific Region as a strategy or as a club of limited members. Nor as a grouping that seeks to dominate. And by no means do we consider it as directed against any country. A geographical definition, as such, cannot be," he had said.

Modi, Trump and Abe also agreed to cooperate in various ways and together with other countries.

They also agreed on the importance of meeting in "Trilateral Format" at multilateral conferences.

Cheers Image

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby SSridhar » 01 Dec 2018 12:06

Neighbourhood first? - Suhasini Haidar, The Hindu
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi touched down in the Maldives in mid-November to attend the swearing-in of Ibrahim Mohamed Solih as the country’s President, it was easy to count the “firsts” in his visit. Among them: this was Mr. Modi’s first visit to the Maldives, the only country in South Asia he had not yet visited in his tenure, and the first by an Indian Prime Minister in seven years. The only time a visit by Mr. Modi had been planned, in 2015, he cancelled his travel plan abruptly, to register a strong protest at the treatment of opposition leaders, who are now in government. The one “first” that was not as prominent, however, was that despite inviting all South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) leaders to his own swearing-in ceremony in May 2014, the Maldives visit marked the first time Mr. Modi attended the swearing-in ceremony of any other leader. The fact that he did, and chose to be one among the audience rather than on stage, may be a more visible sign of a new, softer neighbourhood policy than the one Mr. Modi’s government has pursued in previous years.

All in 2018

The current year, 2018, has marked a year of reaching out in the region by the Modi government in general, with a view to dialling down disagreements that otherwise marked ties with major powers such as Russia and China. But while Mr. Modi’s “Wuhan summit” with Chinese President Xi Jinping and the “Sochi retreat” with Russian President Vladimir Putin merited much attention, it is important to take stock of attempts at rapprochement in the immediate neighbourhood.

With Nepal, the government’s moves were a clear turn-around from the ‘tough love’ policy since the 2015 blockade. Then, the government seemed to want nothing more than to usher Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli out of power. In 2018, however, when Mr. Oli was re-elected, despite his anti-India campaign, the Modi government wasted no time in reaching out and, in a highly unconventional move, despatched External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Kathmandu even before Mr. Oli had been invited to form the government. Since then, Mr. Oli has been invited to Delhi and Mr. Modi has made two visits to Nepal, with a third one planned in December to be part of the “Vivaha Panchami” festival. The frequency of visits in 2018 is in stark contrast to the three preceding years, when Mr. Modi did not visit Nepal at all.

Similar comparisons abound with India’s reaction to major developments in the neighbourhood. In the Maldives, when emergency was declared by the previous regime of Abdulla Yameen, New Delhi made no attempt to threaten him militarily despite expectations of domestic commentators and Western diplomats. When Mr. Yameen went further, denying visas to thousands of Indian job seekers and naval and military personnel stationed there, New Delhi’s response was to say that every country has a right to decide its visa policy.

With elections in Bhutan (completed) and Bangladesh (to be held in December), as well as the ongoing political crisis in Sri Lanka, India has chosen to make no public political statement that could be construed as interference or preference for one side over the other. Earlier this year, the government even allowed a delegation of the Bangladesh opposition to visit Delhi and speak at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-affiliated think tanks, although it later deported a British QC lawyer for the Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

Perhaps the biggest policy shift this year was carried out as a concession to the Ashraf Ghani government in Kabul. After a policy of more than two decades of refusing to engage with the Taliban, or even sit at the table with them, in November India sent envoys to the Moscow conference on Afghanistan, where the Taliban’s representatives were present. The U.S. chose to send a diplomat based in Moscow as an “observer”, but the Indian delegation of former Ambassadors to the region represented non-official “participation” at the event. The shift was palpable. Earlier, the government had stayed aloof from the process, explaining that any meeting outside Afghanistan crossed the redline on an “Afghan-owned and Afghan-led solution”. While the change in position was eventually achieved by a high-level outreach by the Russian government, which has projected the conference as a big diplomatic success, India’s participation had been nudged by President Ghani himself. He had made a strong pitch for backing talks with the Taliban during a visit to Delhi in mid-September. Both in his meeting with Mr. Modi and in a public speech, Mr. Ghani had stressed that the Islamic State and “foreign terrorists” were the problem in Afghanistan, as opposed to the Afghan Taliban itself, and talks with them had the support of the Afghan people. Whatever India’s reservations may have been about the Taliban, the Modi government eventually decided to extend its participation to the Moscow event.

The Kartarpur link

Given the context, it may be possible to see the government’s latest shift, in sending two Union Ministers to Pakistan this week to join Prime Minister Imran Khan for the ground-breaking ceremony for the Kartarpur corridor, as part of the larger pattern of softening towards the neighbourhood. No Indian Minister has visited Pakistan since the Uri attack in September 2016, and after the cancellation of Foreign Minister talks at the UN this year, it was assumed that the government would not pursue conciliatory proposals with the new government in Islamabad. It is also significant that the BJP and the Prime Minister have chosen not to make Pakistan an electoral issue in the current round of State elections, as they did during last year’s Assembly polls. While it seems unlikely that the larger shift required for a Prime Ministerial visit to Pakistan for the SAARC summit is possible before elections next year, it is not inconceivable that people-to-people ties, of the kind Mr. Modi spoke of in his speech comparing the transformative potential of the Kartarpur corridor to the falling of the Berlin wall, will be allowed to grow.

All these moves lead to the question, why has the government decided to make the change from playing big brother in the neighbourhood to a more genial and avuncular version of its previous self? One reason is certainly the backlash it received from some of its smallest neighbours like Nepal and the Maldives, that didn’t take kindly to being strong-armed, even if New Delhi projected its advice to be in their best interests. Another could be the conscious rolling back of India’s previous policy of dissuading neighbours from Chinese engagement to now standing back as they learn the risks of debt-traps and over-construction of infrastructure on their own. India’s own rapprochement with China post-Wuhan in the spirit of channelling both “cooperation and competition together” has also led to this outcome.

Temporary or durable

It must be stressed, however, that retreating from an aggressive position must not give the impression that India is retrenching within the region, opening space for the U.S.-China rivalry to play out in its own backyard. The most obvious reason for the government’s neighbourhood policy shift of 2018, that resounds closer to the “neighbourhood first” articulation of 2014, is that general elections are around the corner. This leads to the question, is the new policy simply a temporary move or a more permanent course correction: Neighbourhood 2.0 or merely Neighbourhood 1.2.0?

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby SSridhar » 01 Dec 2018 12:17

Together in an uncertain world - Harsh V. Pant, The Hindu
Last week saw the European Union releasing its strategy on India after 14 years. Launching the strategy document, the European Union (EU) Ambassador to India, Tomasz Kozlowski, underlined that “India is on the top of the agenda of the EU in the field of external relations… this strategy paper reflects that EU has taken India’s priorities very seriously. We are ready for a joint leap.” The 2004 EU-India declaration on building bilateral strategic partnership, which this road map replaces, has not had much of a success in reconfiguring the relationship as was expected.

Transformative shift

The new document is sweeping in its scope and lays out a road map for strengthening the EU-India partnership, which has been adrift for a while in the absence of a clearly articulated strategy. The new strategy underscores a transformative shift in Brussels vis-à-vis India and talks of key focus areas such as the need to conclude a broader Strategic Partnership Agreement, intensifying dialogue on Afghanistan and Central Asia, strengthening technical cooperation on fighting terrorism, and countering radicalisation, violent extremism and terrorist financing. More significant from the perspective of the EU, which has been traditionally shy of using its hard power tools, is a recognition of the need to develop defence and security cooperation with India.

Despite sharing a congruence of values and democratic ideals, India and the EU have both struggled to build a partnership that can be instrumental in shaping the geopolitics and geoeconomics of the 21st century. Each complain of the other’s ignorance, and often arrogance, and both have their own litany of grievances.

But where India’s relations with individual EU nations have progressed dramatically over the last few years and the EU’s focus on India has grown, it has become imperative for the two to give each other a serious look. In this age when U.S. President Donald Trump is upending the global liberal order so dear to the Europeans, and China’s rise is challenging the very values which Brussels likes to showcase as the ones underpinning global stability, a substantive engagement with India is a natural corollary.

Delhi’s overture

The Narendra Modi government too has shed India’s diffidence of the past in engaging with the West. New Delhi has found the bureaucratic maze of Brussels rather difficult to navigate and in the process ignored the EU as a collective. At times, India also objected to the high moralistic tone emanating from Brussels. Where individual nations of the EU started becoming more pragmatic in their engagement with India, Brussels continued to be big-brotherly in its attitude on political issues and ignorant of the geostrategic imperatives of Indian foreign and security policies.

The result was a limited partnership which largely remained confined to economics and trade. Even as the EU emerged as India’s largest trading partner and biggest foreign investor, the relationship remained devoid of any strategic content. Though the Modi government did initially make a push for reviving the talks on EU-India bilateral trade and investment agreement, nothing much of substance has happened on the bilateral front.

But as the wider EU political landscape evolves after Brexit, and India seeks to manage the turbulent geopolitics in Eurasia and the Indo-Pacific, both recognise the importance of engaging each other. There is a new push in Brussels to emerge as a geopolitical actor of some significance and India is a natural partner in many respects. There is widespread disappointment with the trajectory of China’s evolution and the Trump administration’s disdain for its Western allies is highly disruptive. At a time when India’s horizons are widening beyond South Asia and the Indian Ocean region, Brussels is also being forced to look beyond its periphery. The EU will be part of the International Solar Alliance, and has invited India to escort World Food Programme vessels to transport food to Somalia. The two have been coordinating closely on regional issues.

Taking it forward

The new India strategy document unveiled by the EU, therefore, comes at an appropriate time when both have to seriously recalibrate their partnership. Merely reiterating that India and the EU are “natural partners” is not enough, and the areas outlined in the document, from security sector cooperation to countering terrorism and regional security, need to be focussed on. India needs resources and expertise from the EU for its various priority areas, such as cybersecurity, urbanisation, environmental regeneration, and skill development.

As the EU shifts its focus to India, New Delhi should heartily reciprocate this outreach. In the past, India had complained that Brussels does not take India seriously and that despite the two not having any ideological affinity, the EU-China relations carried greater traction. Now all that might change.

Harsh V. Pant is Director, Studies and Head of Strategic Studies Programme at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, and Professor of International Relations at King’s College London

ramana
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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby ramana » 06 Dec 2018 07:19

Interesting roadmap.

Other factors are:
#Brexit and PM May
Both France and Germany
Russia on the East.
Note how easily Italy agreed to switch hosting G-20 in 2021 with India to accommodate 75th anniversary of Indian Independence in 2022.

One good thing is if Indian experts don't sound preachy they would be more accepted.

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Re: Indian Foreign Policy

Postby Vips » 06 Dec 2018 18:06

UAE and India sign agreements.

Both leaders agreed to boost cooperation in trade, security and defence. The leaders also decided to strengthen their resolve to combat extremism and terrorism in all its forms, regardless of the perpetrators and their intent.


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