Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation

Fighting terrorism central to Indian diplomacy: Sushma Swaraj

NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Saturday fighting the global scourge of terrorism is a central part of India’s diplomatic engagements.

“Among the issues that dominate global concerns today is the threat of terrorism,” Sushma Swaraj said while releasing a book, “The Modi Doctrine: New Paradigms in India’s Foreign Policy” here.

“As you all know, it is an issue which has confronted Indian diplomacy for many years because of its cross-border manifestation,” she said.

She stated that dialogue with sponsors and supporters of terrorism cannot caried on without being linked to action against terrorism.

In fact, we have insisted that addressing the terrorism challenge is central to engagement,” she said.

“At the international level, we are also putting the spotlight on early conclusion of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism,” she stated.
“Equally important, we have made counter-terrorism cooperation a key element in many of our bilateral interactions. I can share with you that this is having its impact.”

Sushma Swaraj also highlighted the government’s “Neighbourhood First” diplomatic initiative.

“The very first diplomatic move made by the government was on its inauguration day, by inviting leaders of neighbouring nations to join us on that occasion,” she said.

“The underlying thought has since expanded into a ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy that stresses cooperation, connectivity and greater people to people contacts.
“By visiting virtually all our neighbours himself – many of them after a long gap – Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi has articulated a strong message of regional prosperity that resonates with the masses.”

Sushma Swaraj said that comprehending recent shifts in the nature of international politics was essential to framing policies and choices.

“The global order has not just become more multi-polar. In fact, there is an overall loosening of relationships and even countries that are formal allies are now hedging,” she said.
She said that remaining passive to international developments was no longer an option, adding that Ind’a’s interests and prestige have been well served by thi” “more energetic engageme”t”.

Stating that it was not enough that India was heard or seen in different parts of the world, she said” “Our capabilities in technology, education or industry can make a difference to the growth of others… You can see this reflected in growing lines of credit, more grants and technical assistance, as well as in major development projects abroa”.”

Sushma Swaraj also said that it was also worthwhile to examine the foreign policy of demographic dividends.

“And as education, skills and employment progress, we can truly be a human resources super pow”r.” she stated. ”

“Already, there is an Indian diaspora that wields considerable influence in many nati”ns.”

According to Sushma Swaraj, projecting cultural identity and national branding were integral elements of enhancing global standing. ”

“India is actually particularly blessed because more than many others, our cultural heritage and traditions have an international relev”nce,” she said.”

“This is a reservoir of goodwill that has not been utilised as effectively as it could have been in the “ast.”

Visiting British Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel, who is of Indian orgin, said that the Indian diaspora was well reflected in Prime Minister Modi’s foreign policy”

“UK has one of the largest Indian diaspora in the West with 1.5 million pe”ple,” she said, adding Modi was truly a global Prime Minister.
“The Modi Doctrine: New Paradigms in ‘India’s Foreign Policy” is edited by Anirban Ganguly, Director of the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, Vijay Chauthaiwale, in charge of department of foreign affairs in the BJP, and Uttam Kumar Sinha, a Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.
It contains essays by a host national and international columnists, commentators and diplomats.

(This Report was published in The Economic Times on 13th August 2016)