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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Pakistan, China and Japan to receive high priority under Narendra Modi's foreign policy

Modi has the passion to leave his legacy, he wants to put his stamp on India. There is something about him that makes him uncommon. This may be an euphoric call for him to follow the Raj dharma - good governance.  As I have said in an earlier note, he was waiting for this opportunity to re-set the course for RSS and BJP away from fascist leanings to pluralistic pathways. He has the mandate and he will do it right. 

The other day, after he received his letter from the President to form the government, in a speech at the Parliament with BJP members, he said “he sets the record ever time, he had not seen Vidhana Sabha of Gujarat until he was elected as CM, and now he steps in to the parliament for the first time ‘after’ elected as the PM. I went deep into that statement, reading into his passion to do unusual things. 

Until after the campaign rhetoric was over, I really did not think he would make a good Prime Minister, but in the last week or so, I have come to believe that no one in India needs to fear the other (part of my definition of cohesive societies ) and Modi has articulated that verbatim.

He will turn things around in foreign policy - he will find a place for India in the UN Security Council, the first step is to have the ability to have good relations with the neighbors to pave the way for that role, and he is going to do that. He will breakthrough and establish newer relationships with our neighbors and China.

Again, I am walking a thin rope with a faith, a new found nascent faith in Modi. I connect with his words, his words are my words. I am really short on time, but before Monday, I may write at least few notes and pass it on to my friends, as I may not get the time to get it published in a paper, but it will be on my blog.  I think 50% of my write up would be reflected in Modi's speech on Monday after his oath of office
Mike Ghouse, is a Public Speaker, thinker and a writer committed to offer pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

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Pakistan, China and Japan to receive high priority under Narendra Modi's foreign policy 

 NEW DELHI: Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi's foreign policy will be "Vajpayee-plus", defined by "out-of the-box thinking" and "completely different from what his critics expect". Also, South Asian neighbours and Asian giants China and Japan will be Modi's first foreign policy priorities.
People belonging to a small team working closely with Modi's core team on major foreign policy and security policy matters told ET that Modi's invitation to all Saarc leaders, including Pakistan's Nawaz Sharif, was "just the beginning of a redefined and radically rethought" foreign policy.

Modi's invite to South Asian leaders took everyone by surprise, forcing even his political rivals to praise him and creating a positive atmosphere in South Asia even before he takes over formally. One person familiar with these discussions in Modi's team said, "Atal Bihari Vajpayee had come the closest of any PMs to achieving a breakthrough with Pakistan. Modi's effort is not just to be like Vajpayee but Vajpayee-plus."

"He is passionate about going down in history as the man who transformed India and its relationship with its neighbours, especially Pakistan," the person added. This person also said Modi was aware his invite to Saarc leaders was liable to be misinterpreted. "But he was resolute.

By choosing Saarc countries, he made sure that it was a balanced conglomerate and that he was not singling out any country," this person said. Another person familiar with these discussions said the PM-elect will make it a point not to subjugate "national interest to local political opposition".

"For Modi, the message is important. With the Saarc invites, he has sent a message not only to the world but also his critics within the country that he will do business on his own terms. RSS may have a problem with the invite to Pakistan. Ally Vaiko can object to invitation to Rajapaksa. Jayalalithaa can call it unfortunate.

But Modi is clear that he will not look at issues in a traditional way," he said. This person also said that the seriousness with which Modi wants a positive and radically new message on foreign policy is reflected in his responses to other party leaders' statements that send out "negative signals". He cited the instance of BJP leader Nitin Gadkari commenting during a TV channel debate that a BJP government "is not Manmohan Singh's government which will take things lying down."

This person said Modi "was unhappy at this comment". "A message has gone to party leaders that no war-mongering statements should be made". "Don't cross the line between nationalism and intolerance", that's the PM-elect message to his party, this person said. Another person familiar with Team Modi's foreign policy brainstorming said the PMelect is "conscious that many of his campaign statements were considered hardline".
"His message now is that in government he will be an innovative statesman...conscious of national interest but pragmatic". On China and Japan, this person said "Modi's thinking is that Indo-China and Indo-Japan good relations are key to increasing India's global authority". "The PM-elect also has a soft corner for China and Japan," this person said, "because they engaged with him when most important countries were refusing to do so".

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