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Modi remembers ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy in light of Corona

10 0 3
16.03.2020

After an interlude of nearly six years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is once again networking with India’s neighbors in a SAARC setting. He had sprung a surprise in May 2014 when he invited the South Asian leaders to his inaugural in Delhi, assuming office as prime minister.

The teleconference today at 5 pm IST between the leaderships of the SAARC countries is a rare event in regional cooperation.

It generated hopes and expectations that Modi would reset the disjointed framework of India’s relations with its neighbours. Typically, Modi gave a catchy title to his venture — ‘Neighbourhood First’.

However, ‘Neighbourhood First’ turned out to be a great flop. Hopes were dashed when Delhi scuttled the dialogue with Pakistan on the flimsiest of excuses, which in turn vitiated the climate of regional cooperation.

Prima facie, PM’s very use of the explosive word ‘SAARC’ in his tweet implies that Delhi is probably having a rethink on the regional body’s relevance and potential in regional politics

Prima facie, PM’s very use of the explosive word ‘SAARC’ in his tweet implies that Delhi is probably having a rethink on the regional body’s relevance and potential in regional politics

Soon after, Delhi joined the Anglo-American project to overthrow the elected government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka. Then came the disastrous venture to force a ‘Hindu constitution’ on Nepal which met with a resistance that in turn provoked Delhi to impose a cruel embargo on that land-locked impoverished country.

The high noon was reached when Modi refused to attend the SAARC summit in Pakistan, thereby undermining the event scheduled to be held on 15-19 November 2016 and dealing a devastating blow to the regional body.

True, India’s second regime change........

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