Experts on geo-politics opine that in order to become a superpower, it is essential for a country to have friendly relations with its neighbours. The soft power of a country is gauged by its diplomatic wins in the battle of dialogue, not in the battle of arms on the field.
BJP came to power by expressing in the election rallies that Congress is unable to handle diplomatic ties with neighbouring countries and it is hurting national interests of India. It is unfortunate that Modi government has proven to be a failure in the war of words with its neighbours.
Today, India stands at a crossroads with its neighbours and instead of cornering Pakistan on the global scene, Modi government has managed to corner India in the battle of diplomacy with Pakistan, China and Nepal.
The tension with Pakistan is at an all-time high with continued ceasefire violations on the border. According to reports, the Pakistani Rangers started heavy mortar shelling at around 9:15 on Friday (June 12). Indian Army troops guarding the borderline retaliated resulting in exchange of fire.
SSP Baramulla, Abdul Qayoom said, “The ceasefire was violated by Pakistan and shelling is going on in four villages of Uri including Churanda, Hathlanga, Gowhalan and Hajipeer since 9.15 am in the morning. However, no loss of life or damage to property has been reported in the firing.”
Apart from Pakistan, China has also increased its influence on the border where Indian Army found itself in skirmish with Chinese troops.
“Since May, China has increased its troop presence in other sectors as well. Accordingly, India too has increased troop presence in other sectors,” sources said, underlining that “it happened before the June 6 meeting” and “they are not deployed along the LAC”.
“If you see some more troops are required, you deploy more troops. If you feel they are not required, you move them back. It is a dynamic process, based on what the other side does,” sources said.
In the depth areas of Ladakh, away from the frontline, India has deployed around 10,000 troops. The strength was increased with reserve forces after China moved additional forces and equipment to its depth areas. All this while PM Modi maintained a stark silence on the situation while China continued its incursion on Indian territory. Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to comment on the silence of PM Modi as well as the “ostrich-like” approach of the BJP government on China taking India’s territory.
Pakistan and China can be considered enemies of India for a long while but Nepal has been an ally of India through thick and thin, but thanks to the efforts of BJP government, Nepal has also changed its tune.
Recently, India reacted angrily to Nepal showing the three areas as Nepalese territory in the new map and cautioned the country that saying such “artificial enlargement” of territorial claims will not be acceptable to it.
India’s defence minister virtually inaugurated a new 80 km-long road in the Himalayas, connecting to the border with China, at the Lipulekh pass. The Nepali government protested immediately, contending that the road crosses territory that it claims and accusing India of changing the status quo without diplomatic consultations.
Among the many escalatory moves since then, Nepal deployed police forces to the region, summoned the Indian ambassador in Kathmandu, and initiated a constitutional amendment to formalise and extend its territorial claims over approximately 400 sq km. India, on the other hand, has conveyed its openness to a dialogue but does not seem to share Nepal’s sense of urgency: its initial statement agreed to a dialogue, but only after the COVID-19 crisis.
BJP government needs to be held accountable for its poor handling of relations with neighbouring countries.