ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Strategic Dissonance in Afghanistan and a Way Forward

The historical background of recent events in Afghanistan is examined, and its relevance to India’s foreign and security policy is analysed.

The Second Wave of Death and Disaster

India’s overzealousness to launch its vaccine diplomacy programme was preposterous. The crisis manager in the ministry of external affairs may run from pillar to post to procure vaccines but that cannot repair the damage their policies have had on the country. India despite being called the pharmacy of the world has failed to deliver the much-needed doses to its own population. It is time that we paused and introspected as the excessive securitisation of our foreign policy and its obsession with China will only lead to spending more on defence when we actually need to focus on economic and health sectors.

Centre–State Cooperation in Handling Foreign Affairs

Indian states engage with foreign countries on the rigorous logic of our constitutional provision that foreign affairs is exclusively a “union” subject. This has conditioned state participation in external activities, especially in marketing abroad, or assisting with exports and foreign direct investment, and acting as foreign bridge-builders.

A ‘Cosmologial’ Approach to Diplomacy

The Making of Indian Diplomacy: A Critique of Eurocentrism by Deep K Datta-Ray (first published C Hurst & Co), New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2015; pp xv + 380, ₹ 795 (hardcover).

Indian Foreign Policy

India’s foreign policy management and delivery critically need improvement. Going beyond incremental improvements, straightforward and clearly delineated foreign policy objectives should be developed. Coordinating with non-state actors, nurturing relations with neighbouring nations, and a diplomatic overhaul should be the key elements of India’s foreign policy.

Region without Regionalism

Three decades have passed since the inception of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. It still is virtually a non-starter and has not addressed any substantive issue. Intra-regional trade is minuscule. India and Pakistan show little interest in the organisation. Without judging their respective foreign policies, it is argued that South Asian regionalism is not on their agenda. Three questions arise: Is South Asia at all a region? How much does the strategic divide between India and Pakistan, with China factored in, come in the way of South Asian regionalism? Why should India bother about regionalism when its policy of bilateralism serves it fine? To probe these, the region's history, global perceptions of the region, India's foreign and educational practices, and interstate relationships are discussed.
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