- After victory of Narendra Modi, the Ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh automatically becomes part of the topic “Post-Independence: Foreign policies of various Prime Ministers.” for General Studies paper 2 in UPSC civil service exam.
- There are many possible (and better) ways to write of “write a note on foreign policy of Manmohan Singh.” Here, I’ve merely summarized the EPW March editorial titled “Course Correction”, published on 29th March 2014, along with a few additional points on Maldives, Pakistan etc.
- Overall, the foreign policy of PM Singh was guided by three principles: Strategic autonomy, Economic cooperation and Stability in the neighbourhood; but achieved mixed result due to opposition from Chauvinistic elements within country.
Anyways, let’s start:
Foreign Police of Manmohan Singh, the Ex-Prime minister of India
- Signed Defence framework (2005) and Nuclear deal (2008)
- Tried to have bilateral relations on equal footing, did not become rubber stamp of US international policy. For example:
- Did not favour military intervention in Libya and Syria.
- Did not favour sanctions against Russia over Ukrain-Crimea crisis.
- Tried to improve relation with China directly and via BRICS and BASIC.
- Tried to resolve border-issue & reduce trade deficit.
- But was Held back by Chauvinistic Media and Opposition.
- No major breakthrough in improving bilateral ties.
- Restrained any military step on the wake up Mumbai attack and violation of cease fire on the border.
- demanded probe in Mumbai attack from Pakistan and MFN status to India
- Voted against Iran at IAEA resolutions, to keep USA in good humour (2005-06.)
- But later, tried to revive relationship through Chabahar port.
- Strategic partnership agreement (’07)
- Development of Parliament house, Salma dam, Delaram-zaranj Highway ends near Chabhar and civil hospital in Kandhar.
- Building infrastructure, improving Economic, security and human-resource ties.
- pledged to assist Afghanistan post-NATO withdrawal.
- Initially helped in peace-deal between Nepali Maoists and other parties.
- Later adopted the policy of non-interference.
- Made progress to resolve border issues, water sharing and anti-terrorism.
- But was held back by domestic politics.
- Signed BIPA: Bilateral Investment Promotion Agreement BIPA (2008)
- Opened border trade at 3 locations.
- Offered to develop Sittwe port as oil-gas transhipment terminal.
- Kaladan project to connecting Mizoram to Sittwe port to Kolkata/Haldia.
- Supported Mohd. Nasheed, the first elected President of Maldives.
- When he was removed in 2012, India quickly to recognised new government under President Waheed. But at the same time, also gave political asylum to Nasheed.
- Some bitterness, when Waheed cancelled contract of GMR (Indian co.) to modernize Male’s airport.
- India-Shri Lanka-Maldives tri-partite agreement on maritime cooperation in 2013
- Did not support either Lankan Army or LTTE.
- But after the end of war, supported the rehabilitation of Tamils in North Sri Lanka.
- Japan’s assistance in Delhi Metro, DMIC
- Currency swap agreement to counter exchange rate volatility and negative effects of Fed Tapering.
- Engaged in 2+2 dialogue with Tokyo.
- S.Korea: CEPA (’10)
- ASEAN: FTA in trade, investment and services; RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership).
- Projects for trans-border connectivity with Myanmar, Thailand and BIMSTEC countries.
- Extradition treaty with Thailand, Oil exploration treaty in Vietnam
^this is ~ 400 words. When you want to cut it down to 200 words, do following
- Must cover all neighbours; but reduce points on individual countries especially Maldives and Afghanistan.
- Embed Japan within Asian countries, eliminate a few points.
- Can ignore specific mention of extradition treaty, oil treaty etc. (Because we’d have signed thousands such treaties with hundreds of countries during Mohan-regime.)
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