There are some small yet important developments happening around the world. We plan to take a look at them to remain updated. First and foremost the Quad meeting between Australia, India, Japan, and the United States was completed successfully. Going by the news emerging after the event it seems that all the four country are better prepared mentally and strategically to support the ‘Quad’ initiative which was almost dumped during the Obama administration when it was first proposed. Remaining dormant for almost a decade it is good to see that the “Move’ is now aggressively pursued by all the reluctant partners including India and more importantly by the Biden admin too.
Later the US secretary of Defence Atkins visited India and met Defence minister Rajnath Singh and PM Modi. Except for a small twist where a powerful US senator has asked the visiting US secretary of Defence to raise the Jammu Kashmir issue during the visit there was no other negative news and it is said that all the meetings went pretty well with further encouragement towards boosting the defence ties between the United States and India.
Then there was the visit of PM Modi to visit Bangla Desh which also went very well and hopefully will help both the nations to come together in multiple issues. Bangladesh is a very important neighbor and cannot be ignored or made hostile. After the poor foreign policy regarding Nepal , and the uncertain policy in Afghanistan, Bangladesh is the only country where India can look towards more stable relationship and for improving further bilateral relationship. While some people have tried to link the PMs visit with West Bengal elections, in our opinion to look it that way is pure short sightedness.
It was at the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Bangladesh from March 26 to 27 to participate in the 50th-anniversary celebrations of the independence of Bangladesh and muktijuddho, the War of Liberation. He was originally scheduled to attend the beginning of the year-long celebrations in March 2020, which had to be deferred due to the COVID pandemic. This was also the birth centenary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
There were many important local visits during PM Modi’s visit but some thorns remain in the relationship as Bangladesh is also under extremists Islamic control at times.
India has to be watchful for all the four important nations , Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Afghanistan besides Sri Lanka and Bhutan. The chinese policy is to take each of these nation under its cage and make India helpless to the extent that it bows before China without resistance. This is what is the lesson that we get after Galwan face off. China will try to get India through other means and not necessarily military. It will keep building pressure on India through army deployments and in between encroachments like Doklam and now Ladakh. It will try to engulf India, eat economically and lobby against us nationally and internationally by paying lobbyists and media . It can also harass India through cyber espionage and by jamming its critical infrastructure as it happened during Bombay Blackout recently.
India has to be alert and tread carefully. The enemies of the nation are both within and outside. It is good to have a seasoned officer like Jai Shankar holding the Foreign affairs ministry. However India has to continuously engage in dialogues and bilateral relationships with her neighbours.
The recent Flip flop of Paksan over improving relationship with India also conveys that Pakistan will prefer to die and commit suicide rather than improve ties with India. Let us not be under any wrong perception and should be close to reality.
With China and Pakistan on the other side India cannot afford to antagonise any of her neighbours which is the biggest lesson that has to be taken forward and kept in mind.
WE expect many more developments going forward. PM Modi also has to be careful on all fronts. To follow Foreign affairs and stories we mentioned in this blog please follow Samanvaya.org.in and look for Foreign affairs under Insights. (http://samanvaya.org.in/insights-foreign-affairs/).
Dr Asheesh Shah