India’s vision to establish itself as a powerful and prosperous state in Asia has led it down various paths in terms of its foreign policy towards West Asia. Over the years, New Delhi has adapted its foreign policy to suit the evolving needs and conditions of global politics — from the ideologically-driven Non-Aligned Movement to a policy based on greater pragmatism.
Marking this change, external affairs minister S Jaishankar marked that India’s way is not to be disruptive and it is more of a decider than an abstainer.
Addressing a gathering at the Raisina Dialogue here, Jaishankar referred to tensions between the US and Iran and said they are two individualistic countries and what finally happens will depend on the players involved. Discussing ties with China, he said it is vital for neighbours to reach understanding on crucial issues.
“It is important that two countries find equilibrium in ties… we have to get along with each other,” he said. “India owes it to itself and to the world to be a just power… India is not a disruptor and is firmly dealing with terrorism,” Jaishankar added.
Affirming Modi government’s pragmatic foreign policy, EAM S Jaishankar said that the country is a “prisoner of its past image. We have to get over it”. “There was a time when we spoke more than what we did. It is changing now,” the minister said. The remarks that come at a time that several countries have called for a greater Indian role in the Indo-Pacific, the minister also said it is not the India way to be mercantilist.
India’s foreign policy has always been constructive and supportive towards its neighbours rather than bullying them to our needs as done by Washington and Beijing. India has supported and even promoted neighbouring nations on international level, it has constructive promoted and aided Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Seychelles and Bangladesh. In 2017, India had offered $5 billion line of credit to Bangladesh, highest for any country at that time. India had committed to fund 17 projects in Bangladesh through a proposed $5-billion line of credit, the highest offered by it to any country so far.
Additionally in Afghanistan too, India has called for all initiatives and processes to include “all sections of the Afghan society, including the legitimately elected government.” It has exhibited its commitment by building the cricket stadium in Kandahar, rebuilding of the Habibia High School, and providing it with grants-in-aid Moreover, construction is only part of the cooperation. New Delhi has also gifted (18) hundreds of buses for the Kabul transportation system; (19) 285 military vehicles for the Afghan National Army.
India has managed to maneuver its way past the various problems and enmities in West Asia. Playing a positive role, India has ensure cordial relations with Iran as well as with Arab nations and Israel. In a Parliament session during early July, Minister of State for External Affairs, V. Muraleedharan, made it clear that India’s “bilateral relations with Iran stand on their own and are not influenced by India’s relations with any third country.”
The Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in late June 2019 reflected this strength. Jaishankar clarified that as a nation that imports 85% of its oil primarily through the Gulf, India will push for a diplomatic resolution of the matter to secure its interests. Moreover, he maintained that India will use its own metrics to assess its foreign policy, not the United States’.
The Modi government is committed towards India’s role in promoting regional peace and economic integration. PM Modi is perfectly aware that New Delhi’s ability to deal with USA and China can be significantly improved if India achieves greater strategic confidence in South Asian geopolitics. It has to be noted that while Washington engages in disruptive regime change wars, and China looks to use debt-trap diplomacy in order to gain larger control of nations, India has exhibited its commitment for stability and peace by enhancing its relations with other countries.