What is Foriegn Policy
- FP refers to the sum total of the principles, interests and objectives which a country formulates in conducting its relations with other countries
- Serves to further the country’s interests beyond its frontiers
- It is dynamic
- Historical, geographical, political economic, cultural, ideological and other factors influence the formulation of nation’s FP
Aims of FP
- Preservation of India’s territorial integrity and freedom of policy
- The promotion of international peace
- Economic development of India
- Foreign relations of Guptas, Ashoka etc
- INC established its own Foreign Affairs Department
- Enunciated in the preamble to the “Agreement on trade and intercourse between Tibet Region of China and India”
- Five priciniples
- Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
- Mutual non-aggression
- Mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs
- Equality and mutual benefit
- Peaceful co-existence
- The five principles were subsequently incorporated in modified form in a statement of ten principles at the Bandung Conference
- NAM was established to “foster peace, equality, development and justice among member-countries. So it is a good time now to have a strong movement that would struggle for the defence of international law and the Bandung principles and try to adopt measures that would allow NAM to play the role for which it was formed.
- It should devote time to debate on the impact of neo-liberal globalisation on the rest of the world. What is the impact of Western aggression and coercion on the sovereignty, independence and self-determination of independent countries
Shimla Agreement, 1972
- ZA Butto and Indira Gandhi
- Laid down the principles that should govern their future relations
- Bound the two countries “to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations”
- The accord converted the 1949 UN cease-fire line into the Line of Control between India and Pak
Look East Policy
- Set of five principles to guide the conduct of foreign relations with India’s immediate neighbours
- With neighbours like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, India does not ask for reciprocity but gives and accommodates what it can in good faith and trust
- No South Asian country should allow its territory to be used against the interest of another country of the region
- No country should interfere in the internal affairs of another
- All SA countries must respect each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
- They should settle all their disputes through peaceful bilateral negotiations
- Criticism of GD
- Based on a belief in the inherent goodwill of openly hostile neighbours
- Ineffective to a large extent as there is little reciprocity
Nuclear Policy of India
- Pokhran 1 and 2
- For disarmament
- Against discriminatory treaties
- India’s nuclear doctrines <details elsewhere>
Principles of FP
- Foundations of Indian FP laid during the freedom movement
- Principles of India’s FP
- Belief in friendly relations with all countries
- Resolutions of conflicts by peaceful means
- Sovereign equality of all states
- Independence of thought and action as manifested in the principles of non-alignment
- Equity in conduct of international relations
- These principles manifested in the three Ps which form the core of our FP
- Pursuit of national interest
- Founding member of NAM
- After the end of Cold War, our FP has been focused on strengthening the Movement by redefining its priorities in keeping with the changing times
- Against colonialism and racism
- India’s independence itself played the role of catalyst in liberation of other countries
- India was the first country to raise the question of racial discrimination in SA in 1946
- Bandung Conference gave specific call for a “common policy against imperialism and colonialism in all its manifestations”
- AFRICA (Action for Resistance to Invasion, Colonialism and Apartheid) Fund set up at India’s initiative at the 8th NAM summit
- These policies brought India closer to the African countries
- Advocacy of general and complete disarmament, especially nuclear disarmament
- India was a member of the Six-Nation Five-Continent joint initiative in 1980s to highlight concern about the unprecedented nuclear arms race
- Opposed discriminatory treaties as the NPT and CTBT
- Founding member
- Made significant contributions to its various activities
- Participant in peace-keeping operations in Korea, Egypt, Congo and earlier in Somalia, Angola, Rwanda
- Played an active role in the deliberations of the UN on the creation of a more equitable international economic order
- Active member of G-77 and G-15
Challenges before India’s FP now
- Neighborhood Policy
- Nuclear Policy
- Climate change
- Maritime security
- Economic stability
- Equity in bodies like UN, IMF and WTO
These are elaborated either below or elsewhere.
Maritime dimension of India’s FP
- Significance of oceans
- Peninsular India has a long coastline
- Oceans in S.India have moulded and set the course of the history of the people who inhabit it
- The ocean also brought traders and colonizers.
- Nehru had said: “We cannot afford to be weak at sea. History has shown that whoever controls the Indian Ocean has, in the first instance, India’s sea-borne trade at her mercy and, in the second, India’s very independence itself”.
- India is naturally a maritime nation
- Coastline of over 7500 kms
- Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar chains
- Our EEZ is more than 2.5 mn sq. Kms
- Our bonds with the Indian Ocean are not merely geographical but of deeper civilizations significance
- Economic significance
- In absence of good regional land connectivity, the bulk of our trade is seaborne
- 77% of our trade by value and over 90% by volume is carried by sea.
- Maritime dimension essential for our energy security
- India’s oil consumption is expected to rise to 245 mn tonnes annually by 2020
- Maritime security
- Sea-borne terrorist attacks of 26/11
- Due to above reasons our foreign policy has to focus on these critical aspects of our national development and security
India’s maritime FP
- India has a vision of the Indian Ocean unshackled from historical divisions and bound together in collective pursuit of peace and prosperity
- As a mature and responsible nations, one of our foreign policy interests is to evolve a regional architecture based on the twin principles of shared security and shared prosperity
- We have friendly bilateral relations with almost all the states in the Indian Ocean region
- Maritime security is an important dimension of our relations with ASEAN countries, in particular Singapore and Vietnam
- We have strong historical and civilizational ties with many of our maritime neighbours
- Maritime security is emerging as an important element of our dialogue architecture with various countries
- Periodic bilateral exercises
- Information exchanges through maritime domain awareness
- Sharing of best practices in areas such as search and rescue
- Maritime safety, pollution control,
- Maritime law enforcement – counter narcotics and counter piracy
- Training, exercises and humanitarian assistance
- Disaster relief
- Exchange of views on promoting a regional security architecture that enhances maritime security
- In addition to bilateral interactions, we are actively engaged with almost all regional bodies
- SADC to the African Union
- Scourge of piracy off the Somali coast
- Poses a serious problem for safety of maritime traffic as well as the well-being of crew members
- Approximately $110 bn of our trade passes through the Gulf of Aden
- At India’s specific instance the UNSC through resolution 1976 expressed serious concern over the piracy and hostage-taking off Somali coast
- India is engaged with other countries on capacity building and consultations in the area of anti-piracy to devise measures for keeping open access points to avoid choking international trade
- Indian Navy commenced anti-piracy patrols in Gulf of Aden from 2008
- Since then, 25 Indian Navy ships have been deployed
- In addition to escorting Indian flagged vessels, ships of other countries have also been provided protection
- India is the founding member of the ‘Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia’ (CGPCS) established in Jan 2009
Significant multilateral initiatives for maritime security
- Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)
- Launched in Feb 2008
- Provides a platform for all IOR littoral navies
- ARF (ASEAN) has recognized that maritime security is an indispensible and fundamental condition for the welfare and economic security of the region
- The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) is the first regional Government to Government agreement to promote and enhance cooperation against piracy and armed robbery at sea in Asia
- The ASEAN+8 Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM Plus) Plus is a significant milestone in the evolving security architecture in the Asia Pacific region. The ADMM Plus has identified five areas of cooperation – maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), military medicine, counter-terrorism and peacekeeping operations.
Maritime Neighborhood policy
- Issues like coastal security consolidation and fisheries cooperation are also very much within the domain of our foreign policy concerns
- our ability to shape our maritime security environment will require the development of a credible naval presence with adequate assets commensurate with our defence and security interests as well as those required to discharge the role and responsibility expected of India by the international community.
- A flexible but proactive maritime doctrine is essential to safeguard and project our national interests overseas.
Key Priorities for India’s foreign policy
- Values and ideals in India’s FP
- Peaceful coexistence
- Freedom, equality and fraternity
- A fundamental goal of India’s foreign policy is to promote our economic growth targets and ambitions in a conducive and a peaceful, stable, external environment
- India placed in an extremely complex neighbourhood
- Peaceful neighbours are required for the success of our efforts to accelerate domestic economic development
- Policy of engagement
- Despite boundary issue, rest of the issues are not affected by this factor alone
- Collaborated usefully on a variety of multilateral issues.
- Constant efforts to go back to the negotiating table to solve difficult issues
- Relationship distorted and adversely impacted by the factor of CBT
- Aim of bringing peace and stability in that country
- Relations improved over last one year
- Peace process in progress
- Sri Lanka
- The end of the civil war has brought historic new opportunities for reconciliation between the Tamil and Sinhalese people and for the reconstruction, rehabilitation and economic development of the Northern and Eastern Provinces
- Mahatma Gandhi called India, Sri Lanka’s ‘nearest neighbour’
- Our neighbourhood policy in nutshell
- Emphasises the advantages of building networks of inter-connectivity, trade, and investment so that prosperity can be shared
- And so that the region can benefit from India’s rapid economic growth
- Look East Policy
- Resulted in India’s quick integration with SE & East Asia at the strategic, political, economic, cultural and people-to-people levels
- India has supported the process of reform and restructuring the UN
- Non-permanent member from Jan 1 2011
- As a NP member has focused on the need for resolution of conflict through reasoned negotiation and diplomatic means rather than the use of force
- India is one of the oldest, largest and consistent contributors to the UN peacekeeping operations
- Maritime policy
- India has committed its full support to international anti-piracy efforts
- Founder member of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS)
- Indian Navy also coordinates and shares operational information with other Navies under the Shared Awareness and De-confliction (SHADE) mechanism
- Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
- India committed to the goal of global, universal and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament, as outlined in the Rajiv Gandhi Action Plan.
- India will be able to contribute to enhancing international efforts through full membership, which we seek to achieve, of multilateral export regimes like the NSG, the MTCR, the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement
- Climate Change
- Principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities
- In conclusion
- India’s foreign policy is an amalgam of national interests, our conviction that inclusive structures of dialogue and cooperation to address the new dimensions of security threats are necessary
- That institutions of global governance like the UN should reflect current realities
- Dynamism and energy of the Indian economic growth story must be shared with our region
- To sustain our growth trajectory we need an environment that is free from transnational threats like terrorism
India often looks perched between its previous role as a champion of the non aligned movement and a future role as a big, or indeed great power. It is an awkward balancing act. Comment
A country of India’s size, with the security challenges that we face, the convulsions of economic growth and development, the need to be open to the outside world in order to attract technology, knowledge, ideas, capital – this is a different India. This is an India that has grown, that has matured, that has evolved and that is really very alert to the surrounding environment, whether it is the immediate periphery or whether it is the larger global environment in which we are placed.
In the last 18 20 years you have seen the evolution of the Look East Policy. You have seen the manner in which our ties with China have evolved. You have seen the relationship we have established with the United States, which President Obama referred to when he came to Delhi last year, is one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century. That transformation in India/US relations has been one of the major features of Indian foreign policy in the last decade.
That is by no means to suggest that the ties with Russia have in any way been subsumed in a larger process of transformation of relations that we have had with other major countries. The ties with Russia are still very important to us. This is borne out in the fact that you have the leadership level summits held annually and the defence relationship that we have with Russia. It is a very long standing relationship. It is a rock solid relationship that has remained very relevant, valid and crucial for our foreign policy interests.
I think India’s global profile has transformed itself. You see it for yourself in the role that we are seeking to play in Africa, in our profile as a country that is able to deliver on development cooperation and assistance in the developing world, and also in our immediate neighbourhood. In the line and approach we have taken in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) – I referred to the asymmetrical, nonreciprocal responsibilities that we are prepared to assume.
Our security concerns extend into the Indian Ocean and into the profile that the ocean builds for itself in coming decades. It is a major transportation and communication link between our part of the world and east and west. I believe India has the capacity and the capability to play a unique role in that context, both in the security dimension and in the development dimension of the littoral states off the Indian Ocean.
All in all I would answer your question by saying that this is the transforming India, and this is the transformed India. The old epithets and definitions may no longer apply.
In terms of how India views itself for the next 5 10 years, where do you think the line, the balance between competition and cooperation lies as far as China is concerned, especially in Southeast Asia, where India has definitely established itself as a major actor among Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries?
I think the defining principle that we would apply to our relationship with China is engagement. With engagement you obviously have to think of the dimensions of cooperation involved. You have to see how this engagement obviates the possibilities of confrontation. I think that is a primary focus when it comes to approaching relations with China.
I referred to the boundary question and the unresolved issues involved in that sphere between India and China. I think if you look at the India/China relationship, and the way it has been managed – if you can call it the management regime for India/China relations – I think it has been quite successful. We have maintained peace on our borders for decades now. We have mechanisms in place to enhance mutual confidence. Our trade and economic relationship has grown beyond all prognostications. It is an imbalanced relationship, but the fact is it is a huge relationship. It is well poised to become one of the most important trading relationships of this century.
I think the fact that we have been able to achieve so much with China, and I believe there is room enough for India and China to grow, to coexist and to engage with each other. There will obviously be competition in some areas, but that competition need not be self defeating. It need not be a cancellation process as far as all the other things that we do as much as it may be projected in some sections of public opinion in that fashion. That is nowhere near happening because I believe good sense will prevail on both sides.
With the temperature rising around the South China Sea, there is a lot of concern about what happens there in security terms. I wonder whether India has a particular point of view with regard to how the current disputes can be addressed if not resolved.
When it comes to Southeast Asia, when it comes to India’s growing profile in Southeast Asia, and the very close ties that we have with countries in that region – all the ASEAN countries, we have obviously watched what is happening in the South China Sea with a lot of interest and close attention. This is a complex dispute that involves a number of countries in the region. Obviously it has to be solved among the countries concerned and China. Our advocacy has always been for negotiation, for codes of conduct that would prevent conflict, that would again enhance mutual confidence, and that would enable the trade, normal communication and security interests of all concerned to be addressed adequately.
As you know we are very closely engaged with the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus which we are part of. We are part of the East Asia Summit. We have also welcomed the inclusion of Russia and the United States in that summit. There are various mechanisms for cooperation and dialogue today, for the countries concerned to get together, to build an inclusive, more stable and more lasting security architecture, which does not exclude one country to the advantage of the others because that is not going to work.
Competition with China. Where you think that competition is most likely to arise – in which areas and on which questions?
I think the world will always compare India and China and seek to attribute competitive paradigms to both countries. There will obviously be areas around the world where India and China transact relations, try to build development partnerships and try to promote economic interests. However, as I said, we need to approach this not just with hindsight of what we have gained in terms of experience from dealing with each other over the last five to six decades, including the difficult years – if I may say – but also with adequate foresight. This is because ultimately I think our development, our patterns – our political patterns of development in India and China have differed. The manner in which India and China are perceived in many of the countries we cooperate with or transact relations with is different. I think that difference will prevail. There will always be a difference of perception about the way India is seen and the way China is seen.
I do not think we are getting into a process here where India wants to emulate China in all that it does. I think that is an impractical way of approaching these matters. I think India has its strengths, has its capabilities and has its particularly Indian characteristics that appeal to a lot of our development partners, as you see in Africa where we are delivering on capacity building and where we provide scholarships for people to come and study in India. The whole democratic experience of India is something that appeals to a lot of our African partners, for instance, and in Southeast Asia.
Therefore I believe India has unique advantages. China has its own advantages in terms of the burst it has been able to achieve in terms of economic development and the manner in which it has been able to transform the face and landscape of Chinese life.
I believe there is a lot that India and China should be engaging with each other about and trying to learn from each other about in this process.
Key, Priorities to India’s Foreign Policy
The Key priorities of India’s foreign policy today is closely integrated with the Country’s fundamental Security and development priorities. India seek a global order in which India’s interest are assured, the antonomy of India’s decision making is Safeguarded and which is conducive to achievement of the overriding goal of rapid, Sustained and including socio-economic development of the country. To this end, India’s foreign policy has combined fire commitment to India’s core national values and ideas like multilateralism, peaceful coexistence, Justice, freedom, equality, fraternity with dynamic adaptation to change in the international environment. Central to our policy objective is ensuring a peaceful and secure neighbourhood, Cordial and balanced relations with the major powers and mutually beneficial partnership with developing countries.
Now let me elaborate the above India’s approach one by one.
India’s approach toward its neighbouring Countries
India’s Commitment to close and good neighbourly relations with all its Sub Continental neighbours is based on the fundamental principles of equality and mutual respect.
(a) China: Although there is an unresolved boundary question between the two Countries India have consciously practice a policy of engagement. Now this policy of engagement is yielding positive dividend also India has collaborated usefully on a variety of multi lateral issues with China.
(b) Pakistan: The relationship between the two countries the last few decades has been distorted and adversely impacted by the factor of cross-border terrorism. So a stable Pakistan which acts as a bulwark against terrorism and extremism is in its own interest and also in the interest of India.
(c) Afghanistan: India help Afghanistan in its reconstruction efforts with the aim of bringing peace and stability in that country. The assistance programme is particularly emphasis on capacity building and human resource development.
(d) Bangladesh: The relationship between the Countries have improved Significantly over the last two years. The dialogue between the two countries is in a people centered manner that stressed trade, Connectivity easier transit, development and the enhancement to mutual security cooperation against insurgency and terrorism.
(e) Sri Lanka: After the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka. India is concentrating for the reconstruction rehabilitation and economic development in Sri Lanka. Gandhiji, called India, Sri Lanka’s nearest neighbour. It is through that prism that we see our ties this island nation.
Thus India have articulated a policy in its neighbourhoods that emphasises the advantages of building networks of inter-connectivity, trade, and investment. So that prosperity can be shared and so that the region can benefit from India’s rapid economic growth and rising prosperity.
India’s Look East Policy: The aim is to integration with Southeast and East Asia at the Strategic, Political, economic, cultural and people to people level. This is represents the renewal of the rich civilization contact expressed in India’s contact and interaction with this region in the annual of history.
India’s Stand for restructuring and reform of the U.N: India has strongly supported the problem of reform and restructuring of the U.N. to make it better equipped to effectively respond to an era of transformational change in global affairs. India joined the U.N. Security Council as a non permanent member on 1 January 2011. India said its effort has been concentrated on the need for resolution of conflict through reasoned negotiation and diplomatic means rather than the use for force.
Regarding Terrorism: As the chair of the Security Council’s Counter Terrorism (1373) Committee (CTC) and the 1566 working group. India is committed to taking global counter terrorism efforts forward.
India consider the 1267 regime against Al-Qaeda and Taliban as a Core instrument available to the international Community in our fight against terrorism.
Adoption in comprehensive Core-nation on International Terrorism (CCIT) a draft which was proposed by India is 1996, is a key objective for Indian to fight against terrorism.
Regarding Piracy: As a founder member of the contact group on piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS). India actively participates in its deliberations and anti-piracy efforts. The Indian Navy also word-inmates and Shares operational information with other Navies under the Shared Awareness and De-Confliction (SHADEF) mechanism.
India supports determined action against the kingpins, financiers and facilitators of piracy through tracking of financial flows. A key issue India is the welfare and hostage in the custody of pirates.
Regarding Nuclear Disarmament: India remains stead fast in its Commitment to the goal of global, universal and non-discriminatory nuclear Disarmament, as outlined in the Rajiv Gandhi Action plan. India believe that unclear Disarmament can be achieved by a step by step process, non disarmament nuclear disarmament in a verifiable manner. India is willing to engage in a meaningful dialogue among all the state possessing nuclear weapon to build trust and confidence and reduce the salience of nuclear weapons in international affairs and security doctrines India supports negotiations in the conference on Disarmament towards a universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable FMCT that bans the future production of fertile material for weapon purpose
Regarding climate change: In this India’s Stand is that the global effort to address climate change must be anchored to the basic principles of equality and “Common but differentiated responsibility and Respective Capabilities.” As India it is the Smallest Carbon foot-prints in the words, its first and overriding priority is to pursue economic development, to alleviate poverty and to address its severe energy deficit.
Hence India’s Condition is that inclusive structures of dialogue and cooperation to address the new dimensions of security threats are necessary, and India is trying to secure its vital national interest in that Spirit.
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