When the Modi government came to power, it declared Neighbourhood First as its foreign policy. India and its neighbours, the BJPs 2014 manifesto read, have drifted apart. Instead of clarity, we have seen the confusion. The party pledged to set this right, including strengthening regional forums such as SAARC.
As a first step, the PM invited leaders of all SAARC countries, including Nawaz Sharif, for his swearing-in. He is, in a sense, the senior foreign minister, visiting 54 countries in four years, adding a personal touch to an outcome-oriented foreign policy.
But four years on, a lack of clarity still assails India’s neighbourhood policy. Relations with Pakistan have lurched from the PMs surprise Lahore Christmas Day visit in 2015 to the bloodiest year in half a decade on the border last year. Read More