Thursday, October 02, 2008

India's Improved Foreign relations

With the nuclear deal approved in the US and India getting a NSG waiver to begin trade in nuclear material it is evident that India has much improved its relations with all the developed nations. India's relations with Pakistan has dramatically improved over the last few years. But how are its relations with countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran which generally worry the developed nations around the world?

India Afghanistan relations

The government of President Hamid Karzai is currently focused on securing continued assistance for rebuilding the economy, infrastructure, and military of the country. It has continued to maintain close ties with the United States, India, Iran,the European Union, and the Islamic world.

During the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, India offered intelligence and other forms of support for the Coalition forces. After the overthrow of the Taliban, India established diplomatic relations with the newly-established democratic government, provided aid and participated in the reconstruction efforts.India has provided USD 650-750 million in humanitarian and economic aid, making it the largest regional provider of aid for Afghanistan. India's support and collaboration extends to rebuilding of air links, power plants and investing in health and education sectors as well as helping to train Afghan civil servants, diplomats and police. India also seeks the development of supply lines of electricity, oil and natural gas

India Iraq Relations
The bilateral relations between the Republic of Iraq and the Republic of India have been traditionally friendly and collaborative. They advanced considerably during the rule of Saddam Hussein in Iraq in the 1990s over strategic issues, oil and commerce. Although initially disrupted during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, diplomatic and commercial ties between India and the new democratic government of Iraq have since been normalized.

India had preserved its neutrality over the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, criticizing the lack of U.N. approval, but also hinted that it would consider sending troops to post-war Iraq to help maintain security and peace after a unanimous vote in the U.N. Security Council over the Coalition's presence and mission in Iraq.However this was ruled out after protests from public and political parties which have been opposing USA. It normalized its ties with the new democratically-elected government of Iraq in 2005, seeking to restart trade and co-operation. Indian businesses applied for contracts for reconstruction projects to the Coalition Provisional Authority, and more recently the activities of Iraqi businesses in India have been growing rapidly.

India Iran Relations
Currently, the two countries have friendly relations in many areas. There are significant trade ties, particularly in crude oil imports into India and diesel exports to Iran. Iran frequently objected to Pakistan's attempts to draft anti-India resolutions at international organizations such as the OIC. India welcomed Iran's inclusion as an observer state in the SAARC regional organization.Lucknow a city in India continues to be a major centre of Shiite culture and Persian study in the subcontinent. There are also small communities in India who trace their ancestry to Iran.

No matter what the media reports, in my opinion India has done very well to improve its relations with all countries around the world. This is an important but much overlooked aspect of globalization. Good political relations with all countries is the first step to increasing trade and India must continue on this path to further improve relations with all countries