India expanding on its foreign policy vision as a strategic global player

Iranian Diplomacy | Vahide Dindari : After serving three years as the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi is now dwelling upon the notion of introducing India as a superpower which is going to assume strategic leadership role in a global scales.

To achieve his dream, he is gearing up by focusing on a more balanced and more inclusive foreign policy for his country. This means he is looking to all directions to find chances of expanding India’s power and role.

PM Modi is thinking of India as a major strategic economic power in the rising Asian Age and dreaming of dragging his country to the top of the list in the strategically sensitive South Asia region. No wonder he is tuning his foreign policy to the notion.

India is now looking to every direction, considering all elements in east and west of the massive and spacious country to discover potentials serving this purpose.

To this end, Indian Prime Minister arranged a number of bilateral meetings with world leaders from Canada to Zimbabwe during his recent trip to Switzerland as the World Economic Forum (WEF) special guest in Davos. He also held closed-door discussions with some other officials. This was all an attempt on his part to introduce the new face of a rising India to global players.

Apart from what he has been doing outside the country, for the first time in the history of the organization, he hosted the leaders of all ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) all together on the occasion of Indian Republic Day on January 26 and is going to have his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau in new Delhi soon. After that, the French President Emmanuel Macron is to arrive in India. And then, King of Jordan and a Saudi Arabian ranking official. In February India is expecting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Modi is also scheduled to meet a number of Arab world leaders as well during his visits to the UAE, Oman and Palestine in February. His Ramallah visit will be the first ever by an Indian Prime Minister. Interestingly enough, Modi was the first Indian Prime Minister ever to visit the occupied Palestine territory as well.

Modi also has the UK, China, Singapore, South Africa, Argentina and ASEAN summit in his to-visit list for the rest of year and is going to hold talks with Japan and Russia.

The way he is arranging his list of visits and visitors, clearly underscores the balanced approach being pursued by the Indian foreign policy establishment. He is trying to convey the message to the world that India is now at the global centre stage.

Experts see this policy of reaching out to all nations, as an attempt by India to encounter the growing influence of its eastern neighbour in the south of Asia, China, which is trying to trigger India’s southwest neighbour, Pakistan, into more hostility with India.

They believe ‘Modi’s diplomatic blitzkrieg is a crafty firewall.’

The fact that the Zionist regime and ASEAN have now become part of India’s extended western and eastern neighbourhood, and therefore critical for Delhi’s geopolitics, cannot be over-emphasised.

India is trying to take giant steps towards modernizing its economy, strengthening defence infrastructure and creating an ecosystem of state-of-the art technology to integrate Modi’s foreign policy vision with his domestic agenda.

India’s foreign policy scheme now aims to secure the country’s interests in an unfolding uncertain and competitive world. The goal is widening the pool of supportive countries through constructive positions on issues on global agenda, experts say.

India certainly needs to derive strength from within if it seeks a leading power’s role. It is now focusing on its “Act East” doctrine but never ignores the urgency of making its connectivity projects operational.

Furthermore, to confront the growing military, political and strategic nexus between China and Pakistan in nuclear, economic, maritime and military arenas which is expected to remain a long-term challenge, India is working on maritime capabilities as the central point is expanding its foreign policies.

The new foreign policy of India has made one point crystal clear to world: New Delhi is now emerging triumphant from its internal difficulties and calamities and seeking a fresh universal role which it thinks the nation deserves.

* Vahide Dindari is IRNA Bureau chief in Indian subcontinent.