Stealing India's Thunder

Indian diplomatic efforts to isolate Pakistan on Uri attack appear to have miserably failed at BRICS summit.China has stolen India’s thunder aimed at isolating Pakistan and designating it as terror country, by declaring that its support to Pakistan is unwavering. Moreover, China has made it very clear that it wants both India and Pakistan to ease tensions between the two countries in the aftermath of Uri terror attack in which 19 Indian army personnel were killed. By all calculations, it appears that Indian diplomatic effort aimed at using the BRICS forum for nailing has miserably failed and rightly so when other member countries also did not make any mention of Pakistan in the declaration made at Goa at the conclusion of the summit.

It is also interesting to note that Russia and China both have a common point to make that the evidence produced by India about Uri attack does not show and prove that Pakistan was behind the terror attack. Unfortunately, Indian diplomacy has flopped to a large extent so far during the past one month and no effort has been made to make course corrections for the policy makers for the future. The noise made at the summit for the not so good Indo-China relations was also drowned when other contentious issues at BRICS summit over-shadowed many of the India’s bilateral relations with its neighbours in the South Asian context. This should set the tone and tenure for Indian diplomats and NDA government for making course corrections for the future and chart out a course for better relations not only with these member countries but also others. Since Indian economy is facing hiccups in its growth rate during to global slowdown and failure of economic growth in European countries, India should be charting out a policy for closer relationships not only with Pakistan, China and Russian but also emerging economic giants in the region for a sustained development and growth suiting its interests and those of its people. The policy shift is not required to a large extent except for the reason that people-centric policies are definitely going to benefit the large section of people within India and across the sub-continent, where similar initiatives can extend the gains of economic growth in the region.

The writing on the wall is clear that the initiative for forming BRICS was mainly for the reason that these members wanted to continue with economic connect with each other and across the globe for mutual benefits and it should be read clearly by the Indian policy makers. India’s assurances to old time and dependable friend Russia that its relations have remained unaffected despite growing proximity with US during the summit at Goa did not find many takers. Russia also expressed its full support to India as a friend but made no reference to Pakistan or Uri terror attack. China’s opposition to declare Pakistan as a sponsor of terrorism appears to be India’s failure on this front. In fact, some of the other issues including those of free trade zones within the BRICS members over-shadowed all other points which India wanted to put forward and focus on. Brazil and South Africa remained unconvinced about India’s contention on Pakistan’s isolation. Now the question arises how India can move forward on economic cooperation and floating of new bank within the member countries for the benefit of all the members.

It is necessary that India also listens to suggestions of BRICS members for upgrading its manufacturing facilities to meet the demands of the domestic market and create conditions conducive for competing with others for getting a strong foothold in the free trade zones of the member countries. There was also some focus and discussion on boycott of Chinese goods during the festive season but it appears not to have any impact on sale and distribution of consumer items in the Indian market. The activities of the right wing groups owing their allegiance to Sangh Parivaar of which BJP is also an off shoot need to be checked by the NDA government in its own interest and in the interest of good friendly and economic relations with China. The trade deficit with China and other BRICS countries can be brought down with enhanced and better manufacturing facilities in Indian industrial sector and not by hollow slogans alone. It needs to be seen how will Indian planners and policy makers intend to meet this challenge in the near future if it wants to be a serious players in economic activities.