Playing yesterday’s game

By Indrani Bagchi – The South China Sea is several seas away from us. The NSG membership will happen some time after we (the people and the government) have stopped hyperventilating about it.

Instead, look closer home. India’s immediate neighborhood remains on its treadmill: furiously running through myriad crises without actually getting anywhere.

Can India get beyond firefighting as a foreign policy goal in its backyard?

The real neighborhood challenge comes from an ever deepening China-Pakistan relationship. Andrew Small, author of a deep study of the China-Pakistan axis, says he has noticed a much greater political consonance between these two countries in recent years. India should abandon the “Indian rate of progress” as it builds up Chabahar in Iran, which would be the best counter to Gwadar.

It is a fact that two years on, India under the Modi government is still floundering in the same Pak-China swamp. The “neighborhood first” policy promised a new approach. Instead, we continue to play yesterday’s game. more>

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