Vol 7, No. 1           Jan - Mar 2012



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India and the new ‘Resurgent Africa’

The “resurgence of Africa” is having a profound significance for the international scene. The rising profile of the African continent has been witnessed both in the political and economic spheres. Africa’s geo-strategic importance has also risen significantly.

The continent is well on its way to attaining a certain level of political stability. It is also coming into sharp focus economically. Some of the fastest growing economies are in sub-Saharan Africa. The regional and sub-regional integration, which is proceeding at a rapid pace, is positively contributing to growth and innovative models of investment. Though Africa still has many challenges to overcome in the political, economic and social sectors, the overall direction of the continent seems to be on the right course and it is poised to play a greater role in international affairs.

 “This is the century of Asia and Africa”, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said at a symposium at the UN on 22 September 2011. Where does India, and more specifically, India-Africa relations fit in the new scenario of resurgent Africa?


RAJIV K. BHATIA:  Former High Commissioner/ Ambassador of India to Myanmar, to South Africa, to Mexico, and to Kenya

Empowering Africa and India through enhanced cooperation

… (T)hanks to the momentum created by the two Forum summits, a modest beginning has been made to unleash some synergy between academics, strategic community and media organizations of India and Africa. But this is, by no means, adequate. The responsibility to nurture and sustain the newly built ties rests not just with the governments but also with the institutions concerned themselves. Without an increased effort to bridge the knowledge deficit between the two sides and to promote people-to-people relations on a sustained basis, the India-Africa engagement may yet fail to exploit its optimal potential.

Africa too has a responsibility: it should choose to be an active, not passive, partner. It should bring more candour, energy and dynamism to this relationship. Clearly the future beckons both India and Africa to work closer together because through such harmonization each will help to empower the other. Then only this unique and time-tested partnership, based on equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit, will become optimally successful


H.H.S. VISWANATHAN: Former Ambassador of India to Cote d'Ivoire and to Nigeria

New Opportunities, New Strategies

Awareness about each other is an area which needs considerable attention. At present, there is hardly any meaningful knowledge of each other. The media on both sides are blissfully ignorant of the real issues of concern for each other. An enduring relationship cannot be built unless there is a genuine interest on both sides at the people’s level. The media, think-tanks and academic institutions can play a major role in ameliorating the present situation.

Many African leaders are of the view that India is ideally placed to make two important contributions: (i) lead the new industrialization in Africa, and (ii) lead the new human resource development in Africa.

Can India take up the challenge? There is no doubt that it has the potential. What is needed are a clear strategy and effective implementation.


APARAJITA BISWAS:  Professor & Director, Department of African Studies, Mumbai University, Mumbai

Changing Dynamics of India- Africa Relations in the 21st Century

India’s approach to improving its relations with Africa is one of the ways by which South-South ties can be strengthened. This includes exploring areas of possible complementarity in trade, examining the viability of joint ventures in selected sectors, and sharing appropriate technology on the basis of mutual advantage. More importantly, as Indian aid and investments are not tied to any political conditions, it helps the African countries to frame their infrastructure and other developmental programmes on their own terms. India’s non-interference in the political activities of African countries has been highly appreciated by several African governments, especially Sudan. India’s investments also help the African economies to improve the price of their primary commodities and their terms of trade. They also help them to enhance sub-regional economic integration and to maximize the benefits thereof.


MANISH CHAND: Editor, 'Africa Quarterly' and Senior Editor with the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS)

Rising India and Resurgent Africa: It’s Time to Tango

“The twenty-first century is often described as the Asian century. India wishes to see the twenty-first century as the Century of Asia and Africa with the people of the two continents working together to promote inclusive globalization”, said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the first India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi in 2008. The African dream and Indian dream can meld and create a new mosaic of world order. But to make this prophecy real, India needs greater audacity to think big, dream big, and to bet big on the Africa growth story. “The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all”, says an African proverb.






SATINDER KUMAR LAMBAH: Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of India. Former High Commissioner of India to Pakistan and Ambassador to Hungary, to Germany and to the Russian Federation

The Durand Line

The transformation of the British description of the Durand Line from 'frontier line' (1893-96) to ‘frontier’ (1919-21) and thereafter into ‘International frontier’ (1950), and Pakistan’s sudden claim after its creation to first describe it as an ‘International border’ (1947) and later leave it vague shows a definite lack of consistency.

 Whereas Afghanistan, on the other hand, has been consistent in repudiating the Durand Line since 1947 and does not consider it as legitimate. The Line is disputed by many. The Pakhtuns on both sides do not respect it. Its legal status has never been settled.

It should not be forgotten that the Durand Line is the product of the Great Game. It has served its purpose as a strategic frontier for defending British India. At present, as has been suggested, efforts might be on from the Pakistani side to make the frontier, what euphemistically can be called, irrelevant, a term whose use has been popularized by some Pakistani policy makers in the past.


VIJAY SAKHUJA: Director (Research), Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), New Delhi

Asia Looks North - Towards the Arctic

The ongoing climate induced changes in the Arctic region have attracted the attention of several Asian countries. There is a genuine interest among these countries to study the systematic changes in the polar ice, climate and weather, geological and geophysical research and other science related subjects. Several Asian countries have set up their research stations in the region. The Asian countries also see several economic opportunities to exploit newfound living and non-living resources for their economic development.

At another level, Asian countries are keen to take advantage of melting of the Arctic ice by exploring new shipping routes to facilitate movement of goods and energy resources between Europe and Asia. There have been mixed reactions from the Arctic claimant states about Asian interests in the Arctic and the dominant view is that Asian countries would be welcome if they play a constructive role in the evolving politico-economic-strategic dynamics in the Arctic.


LAKHAN MEHROTRA: Former Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs, and later, the United Nations Envoy in Cambodia and Indonesia

India’s Look East Policy: Its Origin and Development

India’s emphasis on the resurgence of Asia and cooperation with Asian nations in the post colonial era goes back to the days of the Asia Conference organized by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on the eve of India’s independence. The countries of the East and South East Asia have shared history with India for two thousand years or more, a priceless heritage of civilization and culture and of religious, social and economic interaction with each other. In this millennial relationship, all the societies extending from Burma to Indonesia along the Indian Ocean and across China right up to Japan have had a close kinship and affinity with India. If there exists today between India and these nations a multifaceted partnership that encompasses political, cultural, social, economic, scientific, technological, and security dimensions, much of it may be credited to India’s Look East Policy. Inspired by Prime Minister Nehru’s Asian dream that policy constitutes a solid foundation for India’s external affairs in the region and if and when an Asian Community becomes a reality, that policy would be its fountain spring.


NALIN SURIE: Former Ambassador of India to China , High Commissioner to the U.K. and Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs

India - China Relations : Current State and Future Direction

... (T)he agreement at the high political level between the two countries to develop a bilateral partnership to mutual benefit. This policy enjoys broad political consensus in India. It has also, to a considerable extent, found favour with the third- and fourth-generation leadership in China. It is hoped and expected that the fifth-generation leadership that is expected to take charge in China in autumn 2012 will be as committed to this process. At the same time, in accordance with the well-established practices of international engagement, in any complex and complicated relationship it is best to first verify and then trust; and to be prepared to meet all eventualities.

The June 2003 Declaration on Principles signed by Prime Minister Vajpayee and Premier Wen Jiabao highlights that friendship between India and China meets the need to promote the socio-economic development and prosperity of both countries, to maintain peace and stability regionally and globally, to strengthen multipolarity, and to enhance the positive factors of globalization. The challenge before both countries is to ensure that this happens. This will require careful management and nurturing.






Biggest Ever Air Evacuation in History

K.P. Fabian

Former Head of the Gulf Division of the Ministry of External Affairs
during the First Gulf War


K.P. Fabian, former Ambassador of India to Qatar, to Finland and to Italy, was head of the Gulf Division of the Ministry of External Affairs during the First Gulf War that began with the Iraqi forces crossing into Kuwait on 2 August 1990 and lasted until they were expelled on 27 February 1991. He coordinated the repatriation of over 176,000 Indians. Recognised as the biggest ever air evacuation in history, it was achieved against many odds. Ambassador Fabian discusses the event.





MONISH TOUNGBAM: Centre for Canadian, US and Latin American Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Sitakanta Mishra, Cruise Missiles: Evolution, Proliferation and Future, (New Delhi: KW Publishers Pvt Ltd, 2011), Pages: 226, Price: Rs 680


SITAKANTA MISHRA: Research Fellow, Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi

Stephen P. Cohen and Others, The Future of Pakistan, (New Delhi: Oxford, 2012), Pages: xv+311, Price: Rs 695


GUNJAN SINGH: Research Assistant, Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA), New Delhi

Arvind Gupta, Amitav Mallik, and Ajey Lele (ed.), Space Security: Need for Global Convergence (New Delhi: Pentagon Security International, 2012), Pages: 173, Price: Rs 695






Vol 7, No. 2          Apr - Jun 2012



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India – Srilanka Ties

3 Years After the Elimination of the LTTE


The official Indian account of the relations between two neighbours, summarized in the brief at the Ministry of External Affairs Website, notes that India-Sri Lanka relations is “more than 2,500 years old and both sides have built upon a legacy of intellectual, cultural, religious and linguistic intercourse”. It goes on to add that “the shared cultural and civilizational heritage of the two countries and the extensive people to people interaction of their citizens provide the foundation to build a multi-faceted partnership”.

However, these links have been deeply affected and held hostage by the question of the legitimate rights and welfare of the Tamil minority in that island nation. The intransigence of the majority Sinhala community and their leaders and the resultant ‘chauvinism’, the divisions amongst the Tamils, the rise of militant forces within the Tamils – specially the re-emergence of a more militant and ruthless LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government’s decision to find a final military solution to the issues, further vitiated the situation. Indian efforts in assisting Sri Lanka in finding viable solutions were thwarted by lack of will and forethought amongst successive leaders on the island state.


R. HARIHARAN:  Retired MI specialist on South Asia with operational experience including India-Pakistan wars - in Kutch in 1965 and East Pakistan in 1971. He was the Head of Intelligence of the IPKF in 1987-90.

While Building Economic Linkages, also Bridge the Ethnic Divide

India will have to play a more prominent role on two fronts: to continue to build India-Sri Lanka economic linkages, particularly when the stark realities of economic downturn hit Sri Lanka hard in the near term, and to help resolve the Tamil-Sinhala ethnic divide.

 Despite his strong leadership style, President Rajapaksa needs continued Indian economic and diplomatic support. He would probably take action to further improve political, economic, trade and strategic ties with India at politically opportune moments of his choosing.

 He responds to only assertive action. So while being friendly, India will have to be unequivocally firm with him about what it wants.

 At the same time, to politically strengthen him, India needs to take measures to remove Sri Lanka’s latent fear of India’s overwhelming influence subsuming its national interests. The revival of support in Tamil Nadu for Tamil separatism should be curbed by New Delhi by political strategies worked out with Tamil Nadu leaders.


N. MANOHARAN:  Senior Fellow, Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi

Convert Military Victory into Political Opportunity of Reconciliation

Although the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is out of the picture, the ethnic issue in Sri Lanka remains an important aspect that continues to steer India-Sri Lanka relations. The LTTE, which came to the fore in the late 1970s and once ran a proto-state controlling 15,000 sq km in north-eastern Sri Lanka, has now been militarily neutralized. Chances of its revival are remote. The LTTE’s top leadership, including its supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, has been wiped out; most of its cadres are dead; over 11,000 have surrendered, and the rest are scattered. The international wing of the LTTE that took over the remnants of the LTTE after the official end of the war in May 2009 is divided on how to take the Eelam movement forward. Yet, the Sri Lankan government under Mahinda Rajapaksa is concerned about the revival of the LTTE or at least the presence of “Tigerism” in one form or another. “Tigerism” here means ideas of secession through violent means. The approach and actions of the Sri Lankan government towards the ethnic issue are determined by this perception. These have invariably impacted India-Sri Lanka relations in the post-LTTE phase.


L. L. MEHROTRA: Former High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka

Seeds of Future Conflict still remain

In the final analysis, India’s growing ties with Sri Lanka in the post-LTTE scenario would be governed mainly by the following factors:

1)       Close historical links of Sri Lanka with India, retaining India’s primacy in Sri Lanka’s strategic calculus.

2)       The close ethnic bond between India’s state of Tamil Nadu and the North and East of Sri Lanka.

3)       Restoration of normalcy in the lives of the people in Sri Lanka’s North and East, considered by its Tamils as their traditional habitat, and the end of any discrimination against them as equal citizens of the land.

4)       Political evolution in the direction of self-governing institutions for all the minorities in what may be a quasi-federal structure of the state of Sri Lanka, with full respect to its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

5)       Peace on the island on a continuing basis.

M.R. Narayan Swamy: Executive Editor, IANS News Agency, New Delhi

Sri Lanka needs to do a lot more

Despite the bitterness of the Geneva vote, India has to be engaged with the Sri Lankan leadership too. In the long run, nothing can replace a persuasive approach. While critical voices from Tamil Nadu need to be heard and respected, it should be remembered that the Tamil Nadu political leadership miserably failed to play a meaningful role during the years the war raged. Instead, it allowed the LTTE and its apologists to dictate the terms of political engagement. The folly continues. The DMK and AIADMK should not have boycotted the all-party Indian delegation that toured Sri Lanka in April 2012.






SRIKANT KONDAPALLI: Professor and Chairperson, Centre for East Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Leadership Transition in China – Portends for Future

Going by the recent history of the National Congresses of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the 18th Congress could be held late this year in Beijing. This Congress is expected to augur in a new leadership (termed as the Fifth Generation), since many members of the Political Bureau Standing Committee (PBSC), Political Bureau (PB) and the Central Committee (CC) are expected to retire. This follows the regulations passed in the August 2006 CC on cadre management issues, which included term of office, retirement, etc. Seven out of nine members in the PBSC are expected to retire; and in the PB, around seventeen out of twenty-five.

Apart from handing over the reins to the Fifth Generation (to last till 2022), the next Party Congress is also expected to sow the seeds for the Sixth Generation (to be in saddle during 2022–32), if the 16th Party Congress in 2002 (that ushered in the Fourth Generation under Hu Jintao) can be taken as a precedent.


JAYADEVA RANADE:  Former Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India and presently Distinguished Fellow with the Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi.

China, the South China Sea and Implications for India

The 4,982,900 sq km of maritime area in Asia-Pacific is poised to become a cockpit of tension through the present decade, with the area attracting renewed attention of major powers: there are conflicting and overlapping interests of a number of countries in the region. China’s leadership is intent on exercising sovereignty over this area and wants to restrict the scope of activity of the US and other powers in Asia-Pacific waters. China’s ambition is to dominate at least the area within the “first Island chain”, which is bounded between the Chinese mainland up to southern Japan along the Philippines and down to Brunei and Vietnam.


JAGANNATH P. PANDA: Research Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, New Delhi

A ‘BRICS’ Wall? The Complexity of China-India Multilateral Politics

The complexity of China’s and India’s rise as Asian and global powers and their complex bilateral relations are a matter of grave concern not only for the sustainability of BRICS, but also to the vision and dialogue of a multipolar world order. The conceptual underpinning of the cross-continental power politics is much rhetoric currently within BRICS, lacking substance in strategic perceptive. This paper aims to scrutinize the policy approaches of China and India, Asia’s two impressive economic powers, towards BRICS. In particular, it intends to explore and provide a comparative policy analysis of the Chinese and Indian dialogue on the current cross-regional multilateral politics, thrusting on BRICS. It argues that the dialogue of the two countries about establishing an alliance among the developing countries across the continents is a temporary and ad-hoc approach, linked to their respective individual global foreign policy aims and objectives. Connecting to various cross-continental coalitions is a phenomenon very much linked with their current foreign policy trajectory more than anything else. China’s relations with the BRICS countries are in a different league from India’s.


RUP NARAYAN DAS: Senior Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, New Delhi

The BRICS New Delhi Summit: The Way Forward

The success of BRICS depends on political convergence and genuine goodwill, and not rhetoric or pious platitudes. China being the larger and a more powerful country should show a spirit of accommodation and sensitivity for the success of BRICS. At a time when China is trying hard to project its image of “peaceful rise”, BRICS provides it with the right platform. The basic postulates of BRICS, with its emphasis on engaging multilateral bodies like the United Nations, the Security Council, G-20, the World Bank, the IMF, etc. should help China to integrate itself with the world community as a responsible stakeholder. BRICS and its various institutional mechanisms with periodic meetings provide an excellent forum for knowledge sharing and sharing of best practices available amongst themselves. It offers tremendous potential for South- South cooperation.


AMITAVA TRIPATHI: Former Ambassador of India to Brazil.

India-Brazil Strategic Engagement - Possibilities for the Future

Given the dominant role that Brazil and India play in their respective regions, they could work out strategies that would not only bring in bilateral benefits but also provide substantial impetus for growth in their respective regions. The IBSA Dialogue Forum offers a ready platform for India, Brazil and South Africa as well to work on common projects having significant impact well beyond their own boundaries. The rich biodiversity of the two countries is another important area for collaboration between the Brazilian Embrapa and the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) with potentially significant economic spin-offs






Sri Lanka: Negotiating an Honourable ‘De-induction’

L. L. Mehrotra

Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka during the de-induction in 1989 - 90


Lakhan Lal Mehrotra, was the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka during 1989-90, a critical phase of Indo-Sri Lankan relationship. He narrates the events leading up to the ‘de-induction’ of the Indian Peace Keeping Force.






GUNJAN SINGH: Research Assistant, Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA), New Delhi

Harsh V. Pant (Ed), The Rise of China - Implications for India (New Delhi: Cambridge University Press India Pvt. Ltd., 2012), Pages: 270, Price: Rs. 795.00.


SHIV RAM KRISHNA PANDE: Research Scholar, South Asian University, New Delhi

Arvind Gupta, K.D. Kapur, Emerging Asian Nuclear Environment: Implications for India (New Delhi: Lancer Books, 2012), Pages: 432, Price: Rs. 895.00.


CHITTARANJAN SENAPATI: Assistant Professor, and, ARJUN SIDHARTH, School of Liberal Studies, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar (Gujarat)

David Malone, Does The Elephant Dance? Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy (New Delhi:  Oxford University Press, 2011), Pages: xxii + 425, Rs 695.


MONIKA CHANSORIA, Senior Fellow, Centre for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi

Sagarika Dutt and Alok Bansal, (Eds.) South Asian Security: 21st Century Discourses (Oxon: Routledge, 2012); Pgs. 286 Price





Vol 7, No. 3           Jul - Sep 2012


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Sustainable Development and Climate Change

Rio+20 Outcome and the Climate Negotiations


The Conference on Sustainable Development, popularly called Rio+20, was held in Rio de Janeiro during 20–22 June 2012. The +20 denoted the intervening twenty years since the original Earth Summit held in Rio in 1992. It was also emphasized that it was a process separate from the UNFCCC Climate Change talks, though the concept of sustainable development and climate change are interlinked.


The official document “National Inputs of India” for the Rio+20 meet stated that the meet “provides an opportunity to refine and fast-track global efforts towards sustainable development”. It clearly defined India’s basic approach to “Green Economy in the Context of Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication (GESDPE)”. It opined that “Green economy should be seen as one of the means to achieve these fundamental and overriding priorities and not an end in itself.” It emphasized that GESDPE should be based on the accepted Rio principles of equity and “Common But Differentiated Responsibilities” (CBDR) “which continue to be the bedrock of the international discourse on sustainable development”, and that “there should be no rewriting or negotiation of the Rio Principles”.


MUKUL SANWAL, who represented India in the Rio negotiations in 1992, and was a Director in the UN during 1993–2007, states:

Laying Down the ‘Red Lines’ for Successful Outcomes

Rio+20 provides a framework for a new climate regime, by commitments only by developing countries. The United States, which did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol, continues to insist on a framework with nationally determined emissions reductions. The unresolved issue is multilateral agreement, on the basis of a political decision, where one criterion does not suit all countries. If there is no agreement on equity as the guiding principle, for national actions rather than for accountability norms, the next best solution would be to develop a review process with qualitative, rather than quantitative, indicators of the modification of longer-term trends. This arrangement will reorient the deliberations in the annual meetings away from the current finger-pointing to areas that would benefit from further international cooperation. The lesson of Rio+20 is that laying out the red lines leads to a successful outcome.

UTTAM KUMAR SINHA, Fellow at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and Adjunct Professor at the Malaviya Centre for Peace Research, Benares Hindu University comments:

Post Rio+20 Plan Does not Inspire Confidence

If there was any particular reason to host the Rio+20 meet, two decades after the original Earth Summit in 1992, it was probably to provide a sobering assessment on why many of the pledges and decisions of 1992 have been tragically ignored and actions never seriously undertaken. That apart, in an age of intensified environmental stress, discussions on the linkages between nature conservation and economic development are always good and in Rio it generated some expected steam. Yet while introspection is essential, the action plan post-Rio+20 does not arouse much confidence. Global governance sounds a well-rounded phrase but is stymied by short-term political gains. Few countries either have the will or the capacity to take responsibility upfront; and electoral politics thwarts any effort to make necessary compromises for a “fairer and more stable world”. In a world where self-interest takes precedence, game-changing resolutions are hard to achieve.

NIKHIL SETH, Director of the Division for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), United Nations, in this exclusive commentary to the Indian Foreign Affairs Journal, says:

Tackling Climate Change - Rio+20 shows the way

In this debate, what I want to argue is that scientific evidence is in our face. We are heading towards catastrophic climate change. We need actions now and Rio+20 has shown us how. The work of government negotiations on finding the right expressions to fix obligations and commitments, establishing historical liability, working out monitoring, verification, review, and defining funding modalities and technology transfer mechanisms can and should go on in an accelerated framework. But it is only through a people’s movement, a small part of what we saw at Rio+20, that real change can be effected. We cannot wait till the climate negotiations have dotted the last i and crossed the last t. We need actions now to counter the perils of climate change.

CHANDRASHEKHAR DASGUPTA, former Ambassador and, currently, a Member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change and a Distinguished Fellow at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi, commenting on the future of the Global Climate Regime, states:

The Future of the Global Climate Regime

A question frequently posed by Western academics is whether rising powers, also known as “emerging economies”, will be content to work within the rules of existing global agreements or whether they will use their new-found influence to press for major revisions of these international treaty regimes. A close look at the facts reveals, however, that great powers in relative decline are just as likely as rising powers to press for changing the rules of the game. The climate change negotiations provide an excellent example. “Emerging economies” such as India, China, Brazil and South Africa are calling for enhanced implementation of existing agreements, while the United States, European Union and Japan are stridently demanding a new or drastically revised regime. The rising powers are seeking to defend the current treaty regime, comprising the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, against the sweeping changes proposed by OECD countries.







SANJAY KUMAR PRADHAN: Assistant Professor in International Relations, School of Liberal Studies, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India.

India and Africa: Quest for Oil and Gas

... (T)here is the need for New Delhi to follow a proactive policy towards African nations. But at the same time, as former Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Murli Deora stated, “India must offer a radically different model of aid and economic cooperation that will certainly look Africa aggressively for oil and gas assets to ensure energy security for the country”. Our model should be one that is mutually beneficial and not considered ‘exploitative’ or ‘colonial’ – as practices of the West and China are often termed.

J. C. SHARMA: Former Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi

Education – the neglected tool of Indian Diplomacy

Education is an important asset in soft-power diplomacy. Because of English language, cost advantages, vibrant open society and pluralistic ethos, traditional ties of friendship, civilizational linkages and geographic location, India has tremendous potential to emerge as a major higher-education destination for students from the Afro-Asian region. What is required is a clear-cut vision, allocation of resources and a time-bound action plan to become a major force in this field. The rewards would be comparable to any other investment for promoting international cooperation.

RAJARAM PANDA: formerly Senior Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.

India-Japan Defence Partnership

After a long hiatus of mutual neglect, the India-Japan relationship is evolving in a robust manner, with convergence of interests in the economic, security/strategic and defence domains. After discovering their economic complementarities, the two countries are engaged in strengthening defence cooperation to protect their mutual economic interests and thereby contribute to a stable regional order. This is being done by way of exchange of visits of defence ministers and senior government officials, and a series of agreements for cooperation in various areas.

SKAND R TAYAL and SANDIP KUMAR MISHRA: Former Ambassador of India to Republic of Korea and currently Visiting Professor at the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Delhi, and, Assistant Professor of Korean Studies at the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Delhi, respectively

India and Republic of Korea : Growing Strategic Partnership

In the dynamics of the emerging regional architecture in East Asia, the warming of ties of friendship and understanding and rapid strengthening of the numerous strands of the growing bilateral relationship between India and South Korea would be important factors. India is consciously striving to create a web of strong bilateral ties with the major powers of East Asia to secure its own place under the East Asian sun. In that aspiration, South Korea is a well-wisher, a partner as well as a supporter of India.





Economic Diplomacy in a Globalised World
Evolving Role of the Ministry of External Affairs

Amar Nath Ram

Former Ambassador of India to the European Union during the early economic reform period and the first full fledged Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs

Amar Nath Ram, former Ambassador of India to the European Union, UNESCAP, Zambia, Thailand, Argentina, Bhutan and Belgium who, during the early economic reform period, served as the first full fledged Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs describes the evolving Role of the Ministry of External Affairs in a Globalised World







NALIN SURIE: Former Ambassador / High Commissioner of India to Poland, China and the U.K., Former Secretary (West) in the Minsaitry of External Affairs

Sachin Chaturvedi, Thomas Fues and Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, Development Cooperation and Emerging Powers; New Partners or Old Patterns?,  (London, Zed Books, 2012), Pages: 288, Price: £ 19.99


KANWAL SIBAL: Former Ambassador of India to France and Russia; Former Foreign Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi

Shashi Tharoor, Pax IndicaIndia and the World of the 21st Century, (New Delhi, Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 2012), Pages: 456,  Price:Rs. 799.


PRIYANKA SINGH: Associate Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi

Kevin McGrath, Confronting Al-Qaeda: New Strategies to Combat Terrorism, (Annapolis:Naval Institute Press, 2011), Pages: 336, Price: $ 42. 95

Howard B. Schaffer and Teresita C. Schaffer, How Pakistan Negotiates with the United States: Riding the Roller Coaster, (Washington: United States Institute of Peace, 2011), Pages 210, $ 14.95


Chintamani Mohapatra: Professor of American Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Rumel Dahiya and Ashok K. Behuria (Eds), India’s Neighbourhood: Challenges in the Next Two Decades, (New Delhi, Pentagon Security International, 2012), Pages: ..., Price: Rs. 995.00




Vol 7, No. 4           Oct - Dec 2012


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Complexities of India’s Engagement with Iran


The complexities of India’s engagement with Iran span the entire gamut of bilateral, regional and global factors. They combine geographical, historical and cultural links with current tensions in the Gulf and beyond in key strategic areas that extend to energy, nuclear issues, the turmoil in West Asia and the approaching endgame in Afghanistan, each with a US dimension.

Iran is a proud civilizational entity with geo-strategic location that dominates the northern shore of the Persian Gulf, extending from the Arabian Sea to the Caucasus, with impressive human and natural resources. Currently, it is simultaneously confronting its own internal contradictions and the pressures of external powers. At the heart of these developments are the core issues of Tehran fiercely seeking to set its own agenda according to its worldview, the extent of its ability to do so and the domestic and international impact of consequent developments. While the current public discourse tends to centre on Iran’s nuclear programme and the impact of UN and other sanctions since 2006, this journal’s debate addresses a more comprehensive set of factors.


GULSHAN DIETL: till recently Professor, Centre for West Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, states:

India Needs to Broaden its Options

India-Iran relations reached dizzying heights and saw steep slides in the post-cold war period. The Indian end of the equation steadily moved from one end, reaching close to the other end of the spectrum. No bilateral relationship is immune to developments beyond the two countries. India-Iran relations, likewise, reflect changing realities on the ground over the years.


The bilateral relations are susceptible to influences from outside players as well. No country, however powerful, can formulate and implement its policy toward another in a total vacuum. India’s Iran policy, as also its total foreign policy, reflects its domestic and external concerns and compulsions. India’s need to secure its interests and broaden its options is unexceptionable. However, abstaining on Iran’s nuclear issue and declining to launch the Israeli spy satellite to monitor the Iranian territory would have been well within India’s interests and the external expectations.


A covert war has been going on between the US-Israel on the one hand and Iran on the other for many years now. What if there is a military confrontation between them? The Hyde Act requires Indian foreign policy to be “in congruence” with US foreign policy; especially to dissuade, isolate, sanction and contain Iran for its efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. What next?


ARVIND GUPTA: Director General, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses writes:

India can Play a Stabilizing Role in the Region

India-Iran relations are passing through a rough patch. Yet, Iran’s importance for India will remain. Prime Minister Manmohan Sigh’s visit to Tehran in August 2012 for the Non-Aligned Summit was followed by bilateral talks with the Supreme Leader and the President. The two countries agreed to enhance the quality of their bilateral relations. Iran after a long time has agreed to the opening of an Indian cultural centre in its territory. The two sides have also agreed to develop the Chabahar port. The visit was long overdue. President Ahmadinejad had made a stopover in New Delhi for a few hours in 2008 on his way back from Sri Lanka. Since then the Iranians had been pressing for the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to their country. It took four years for the Indian Prime Minister to pay a visit to Tehran. The Iranian leadership would be mollified by the Prime Minister’s visit and it is to hoped that the visit would give a timely shot to a sagging relationship which is otherwise a strategic relationship. No doubt, the West and the Israel will see it with some concern. They should realize, however, that India can play a stabilizing role in the region by having good relations with all sides and by avoiding zero-sum diplomacy. Iran on its part should also shed its excessive suspicion about India’s ties with the West. Iran will gain by having good ties with India.


VIJAY SAKHUJA: Director (Research), Indian Council for World Affairs, New Delhi, is of the opinion that:

India would have to Support UN-Sanctioned Operations

India has on several occasions “affirmed that a nuclear Iran is not in its strategic interests”. At the same time, it has termed Israel’s plan to strike Iran’s nuclear infrastructure as “unacceptable international behaviour”.


Any confrontation between the US and Iran or any attack by Iran on international shipping in the Persian Gulf can significantly raise the insurance premiums, resulting in the oil prices skyrocketing. It would also result in several Asian and European countries forward-deploying their forces in the Gulf region to protect their energy supply chains. The Indian Navy would be required to escort Indian-flagged vessels carrying critical cargo heading for Indian ports. As a policy, India has avoided joining any coalition/alliance targeted against any country, but would have to support and participate in UN-sanctioned operations.


ISHRAT AZIZ: Former Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia, to the UAE, to Brazil, and to Tunisia recommends:

Flexible and Pragmatic Bilateralism is the Best Approach

India should emphasize multilateralism in dealing with any problems arising from Iran’s nuclear programme. The phrase “coalition of the willing”, which was employed to justify the attack on Iraq unilaterally, bypassing multilateralism, is objectively meaningless. India should emphasize that security for the Gulf should be inclusive. Exclusivity and isolation of any country will be divisive and a recipe for conflict rather than peace and stability.


India should cast its vote in the UN Security Council based on a clear and balanced calculation of the merits of the case and its self-interest, constantly bearing in mind that it has interests on all sides – Iran, the GCC countries, Israel and the US.


Bilateralism is most effectively pursued when it is combined with strength. As India progresses and gains economic strength, its diplomatic credibility will increase and countries involved in disputes will all try to strengthen bilateral ties with India. As a country of 1.2 billion people, flexible and pragmatic bilateralism is the best approach for India’s broader multidimensional interests.






YOGENDER KUMAR: Former Ambassador of India to the Philippines, to Namibia and to Tajikistan. Former Senior Directing Staff at the N.D.C., New Delhi. During 2008-09, he was in charge of Multilateral Economic Relations at the Ministry of External Affairs.

India and G-20

India has a challenging role in this grouping as it is still dominated by the developed countries. There are challenges too for the grouping’s future evolution, the biggest being the demonstration of its effectiveness in handling the current crisis, which is qualitatively different from the one in 2008. India needs to propagate an approach to solving the global financial crisis based on its post-independence growth model – strong physical and intellectual infrastructure built whilst maintaining a balance between the external and internal factors in the economy and ensuring inclusive growth through affirmative policies – which has served it well. In these times of flux and questioning, interest has grown among foreign observers in the “India story” where a poor, colonized, feudal and culturally diverse and vast country of 1947 has transformed itself into a modern, sophisticated society through a democratic, stable system.


A. GOPINATHAN: Former Ambassador of India to Egypt and till recently India’s Permanent Representative to the UN offices and other International Organisations in Geneva. He has recently been elected to the UN Joint Inspections Unit for 2013-2017

Arab spring: supporting transition to democracy

The Arab Spring, a movement that underscores the universal appeal of democracy and human rights, also signifies the importance of people’s will in the definition and legitimacy of national sovereignty. Both the established powers and rising democracies are tending to agree that democracy needs to be an internally driven process and cannot be imposed from outside. This is being discussed in a significantly more positive atmosphere than was possible even five years ago.

Democracy support work does not necessarily involve contentious geopolitical issues of military intervention, sanctions, or other forms of coercive action. Significant room for harmonious cooperation exists in more low-profile activities such as capacity building and other support to government institutions and civil society.

In spite of some temporary setbacks, the long-term prospects of democratic transition in the Arab region remain optimistic, though some disillusionment and frustration in the near and medium term is inevitable. The democratic transition in the Arab states is likely to be a long haul. However, international efforts in this regard are likely to be reinforced by the actions of the emerging powers.

DEEPAK BHOJWANI: Former Ambassador of India to Colombia, to Venezuela and to Cuba, and as Consul General, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Prospects for India in Latin America and the Caribbean
India’s relations with Latin America and the Caribbean continue to be defined largely in bilateral terms. Attempts at dialogue with regional forums have been sporadic, with little follow-up. The First Ministerial Dialogue between India and the Troika of CELAC in August 2012 provided an excellent opportunity, which was seized by the Ministry of External Affairs. The CELAC Troika made a conscious decision to have the first dialogue with India, followed by China. This was a clear gesture indicating its intention to look East. The Joint Declaration from the meeting provides a detailed roadmap for India’s interaction with the region, and speaks of annual ministerial meetings. Both sides are already moving to institutionalize the relationship, through sectoral forums for interaction of the business, academic and scientific communities. There is a possibility of raising the dialogue to summit level. An opportunity has appeared, which should not be lost.





Revisiting the 1972 expulsion of Asians from Uganda

 Niranjan Desai

 Former High Commissioner to Uganda

Former Ambassador to Venezuela, Switzerland and the Vatican


Niranjan Desai was an young Indian Foreign service officer occupying the East Africa desk at the Ministry of External Affairs during the period when the then President of Uganda, Idi Amin, expelled all Asians, majority of whom were Indian Nationals or Persons of Indian Origin. Ambassador Desai describes those hectic and painful moments when he was rushed to Kampala to assist the Indians in extreme distress






Pallavi Pal: School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Klaus Lange, Klara Knapp and Jagannath P. Panda (eds.), Revisiting Contemporary South Asia: Politics, Economics and Security (New Delhi: Pentagon Press, 2012), Pages: 221, Price: Rs. 995.


DINOJ KUMAR UPADHYAY: Research Fellow, Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), New Delhi

Ahmed Rashid, Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the West, (London: Penguin Group, 2012), Pages: xxi+ 234, Price: £ 14.99 (INR 399)


PRIYADARSHINI PANDA: Research Scholar, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Gurudas Das, Security and Development in India’s Northeast, (New Delhi: Oxford University Press), 2012, Pages: xxviii+181, Price: Rs. 595.


MANPREET SETHI: Senior Fellow, Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi.

Ajay Lele, ed., Decoding the International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities (New Delhi: Pentagon Security International, 2012), Pages: 190, Price: Rs. 695.

last updated September 27, 2013