Ten years, is certainly long enough, if not to change the world of diplomacy then at least to introduce a set of new actors and fundamentally new challenges for inertia-bound foreign policy wonks to grapple with.
Former Indian foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai talks to Outlook on China’s growing footprint in South Asia and how effective PM Narendra Modi’s policy has been in meeting the challenges India faces in its backyard.
The Indian statement makes two important points: one, it was a “non-military” action. Also, care was taken to avoid civilian casualties. Two, that India was forced to respond against the JeM who were responsible for the Pulwama attack.
The recent ‘ground breaking’ ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor, proved to be yet another opportunity for leaders of the two sides to enter a fresh bout of one-upmanship against rivals-- both across the border as well as those within the country.
Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka’s President had not only ended the LTTE led civic and ethnic strife but he also succeeded in killing its supremo Prabhakaran, and subsequently had marginalized the Tamil population in the country
It is not usual for China, which sees itself as the future leader of the world, make such a fervent appeal to India to join ranks and make common cause with it against the US. For policy planners in South Block this poses a serious challenge.
It can be argued that because of improvement in relations with China and the reaffirmation of strong ties with Russia, India has managed to keep more strategic space for itself which is likely to help it in striking a better deal also with the US.
Whether or not the Modi government had any direct role to play in making Reliance Defence an offset partner of Dassault will be extremely hard to prove. But controversy over it is likely to linger for several more weeks in the Indian political landscape.