Did you know that if the Earth's whole history was compressed into a 24-hour clock, humans would have existed for only 77 seconds? From the day the ancient humans were living in tribes to the mutually respectful nations we have advanced into, our complete human race is merely a few seconds of the Earth’s 24 hours! World wars, the Industrial Revolution, the formation of the United Nations and with all that has happened over the course of 5000 years of human history, we stand here, in a whole new era with the 195 countries in the world united - for global development.
Astonishingly, it was said about 15 years ago that if the human race is wiped out in the next 50 years it will not be because of disease or an asteroid hitting the earth, but because of foreign policy and international relations. In a world where there are countries competing in the deadly nuclear race, the last thing we would want is World War Three. A most apt quote mentioned by the profound 32nd US president, Franklin D. Roosevelt “Friendship among nations, as among individuals, calls for constructive efforts to muster the forces of humanity in order that an atmosphere of close understanding and cooperation may be cultivated.” Hence, it is important that not only India but every other country maintains reverent relationships with all foreign entities.
The striking element of Modi government's diplomatic methodology is his “neighborhood first” policy. In his administration's creative mind, India's relations with neighboring nations must get the highest need. Before looking into the importance of each of India’s neighbors, here are the areas of cooperation between each of its neighbors and India itself.
Firstly, SriLanka, a nation which has celebrated its relationship with India for more than 2,500 years, is 30 nautical miles away from the territorial boundary. The cultural aspect which is shared by both countries includes tourism, Buddhism, and PIO (people of Indian origin) who have settled in Sri Lanka and are part of many business ventures. Not to mention the trade ties between Sri Lanka is very strong, being India’s second-largest trading partner in SAARC.
India was among the first to recognize Maldives after its independence in 1965 and to establish diplomatic relations with the country. Looking into the political aspect of the relationship, there is a regular exchange of high-level ministerial visits and India has offered assistance to Maldives wherever required for eg the tsunami in 2005. India and Maldives have consistently supported each other in multilateral fora such as the UN, the Commonwealth, the NAM, and the SAARC. Moreover, Maldives assured the Indian leadership of its ‘India first policy’ -- an affirmation which comes amid chill in bilateral ties over a host of issues, including the signing of an FTA between the Maldives and China.
Likewise, Nepal is an important neighbor of India and occupies special significance in its foreign policy because of the geographic, historical, cultural and economic linkages/ties that span centuries. Notably, India is Nepal’s largest trade partner and the largest source of foreign investments, besides providing transit for almost the entire third-country trade of Nepal. Particularly, the multilateral ties India and Nepal share include multiple multilateral forums such as BBIN BIMSTEC, NAM, and SAARC, etc.
Areas of cooperation between Bhutan and India include a framework inter-governmental agreement on the development of joint venture hydropower projects, free trade agreements. The mission for improvement and national resurgence has given an amazing drive to tie the world's biggest and most youthful majority rule governments. India remains Bhutan's biggest advancement accomplice.
The Trade and Economic Relationship among India and China has seen a fast development over the most recent couple of years. India-China social trades go back to numerous hundreds of years and there is a few proofs that theoretical and phonetic trades existed in 1500-1000 B.C. b. India and China signed the Education Exchange Programme (EEP) in 2006, which is an umbrella agreement for educational cooperation between the two countries.
Not to mention that India's relations with Pakistan are the most mind-boggling of its ties with its neighbors. Activity against terrorism radiating from over the territories remains India's all-time apprehensions in its relations with Pakistan. India has respected Pakistan's endeavors to standardize trade relations by moving from positive to negative records and their ultimate removal.“We have seen reports that Pakistan has decided to take certain unilateral actions with respect to its bilateral relations with India. This includes the downgrading of our diplomatic relations. “ quoted the MEA on August 08, 2019.
India and Bangladesh share 4096.7 km.border, which is the longest land limit that India imparts to any of its neighbors. India and Bangladesh share the rich inheritance of participation and backing during the Liberation War of 1971. India and Bangladesh share 54 common rivers. A bilateral Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) is working since June 1972 to keep up contact between the two nations to boost profits by regular waterway frameworks. Bangladesh is the greatest improvement accomplice of India today. India has stretched out 3 Lines of Credits to Bangladesh over the most recent 8 years adding up to US$ 8 billion.
The last but no least importance is Myanmar with which the Defence cooperation continues to strengthen. Exchanges of high-level visits, enhanced training cooperation, capacity building and support in the provision of specific equipment and technologies have led to a more wholesome relationship and a better understanding of mutual security concerns. India and Myanmar offer close cultural ties and a feeling of profound connection, given India's Buddhist legacy. Additionally, Myanmar is possibly a significant partner in the energy division as future offshore gas finds can be to India.
Moving on, every neighboring country is important to India in its own interesting way and here are the same.
What makes India-Bhutan ties exceptional, one of a kind, tried and true and excellent? To be sure, it's a long program of complimentary adjectives that are liberally used to portray the India-Bhutan relationship, yet these are not void words; they bring out a natural relationship that is grounded in idealism just as realism. Idealism, as it's about congenial relations – the authentic want of a senior sibling to give the more youthful sibling a chance to develop and permit him space to develop. Realism, as the relations are woven in a trap of win-win open doors as the two nations sustain and strengthen each other's indispensable national interests. Most importantly, the India-Bhutan relations are bound by the speculative creation of trust. At the point when the two neighbors trust one another, the conceivable outcomes are unfathomable and anything is possible! This was told by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs itself.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared Nepal to be the centerpiece of his government’s "neighborhood first" policy. “As Nepal enters a new era of consolidating gains of democracy and achieving rapid economic growth and development, India will continue to remain a steadfast partner of the government of Nepal to implement its vision of samriddha Nepal, sukhi Nepali (prosperous Nepal, happy Nepal),” he mentioned. In all, Nepal shares a multidimensional association with India whose level of achievement is huge for India's ascent in the locale and large level.
Additionally, China and India are important neighbors to each other. China-India relations are not only important for our two countries but take on regional and global significance. India and China should find stronger convergences, respect each other's core concerns and manage their differences, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said as he stressed the fact that the relationship between the two Asian giants has become "so big" that it has acquired a "global dimension".
Likewise, the importance of Maldives for India can never be over-emphasized. Maldives is an important member of SAARC. It is strategically located along major sea lanes in the Indian Ocean. A significant portion of world trade takes place through the Indian Ocean. All the energy supplies coming from Gulf nations pass through this area.
Even with all the terrible havoc between both India and Pakistan, it is suggested that both the countries make concerted efforts to safeguard peace and stability in South Asia for the better good. It is important that India at least agrees on standard bilateral relations with resumption of its trade as it had been before.
Five Indian states have common borders with Bangladesh, something which can be made into a win-win circumstance through network and exchange. What can be seen is that Bangladesh is turning into a nation of worldwide vital intrigue. India ought to be in a situation to evacuate boundaries and build up a key advancement and security organization with Dhaka.
Especially, India and Sri Lanka have appreciated true and benevolent ties since the foundation of diplomatic relations 70 years back. India's recorded and broad relations with Sri Lanka accomplished new statures with the state visit of Indian Prime clergyman Narendra Modi to Colombo on May 11 and 12, 2017.
Since the end of the civil war, Sri Lanka has done magnificently to guarantee the improvement of different key divisions, however, they are as yet not full-grown and will set aside more effort to develop. India has nothing to lose and only more to gain with a strong Indo-Sri Lankan relationship
Verifiably, perhaps the most established expressions of neighbor relations were the foundation of treaties and understandings between countries. Upkeep of these arrangements guaranteed that normal individuals could approach their ordinary errands of procuring a living and raising their families as opposed to devoting themselves to armed conflict with neighbors.
Positive neighbor relations likewise advances powerful exchange strategies between countries, both regarding importing natural resources and completed items not accessible in one nation and as far as accessing the bigger market managed by exports to foreign countries.
The “neighborhood first” policy has seen some extreme commitment with neighbors that are a high purpose of Indian foreign policy in late decades. However these connections need consistent support; for the Modi government has a long, challenging experience in front of it to attempt to reinforce India's neighbor relations.
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