India’s foreign policy can be discussed under the following heads :
- Ideological stand :- India is one of the founding members of the Non-Alignment Movement. It has, since the start, chosen to take a neutral stance by not aligning with any of the parties involved in a stand-off/conflict (ex: the cold war). This consistent behavior that India has shown since the start has earned it great respect and trust in the International arena. Very recently India was allowed a waiver against sanctions under CAATSA for its purchase of S400 Triumf Missile Defense System from Russia. This is a testament to the trust placed on India.
- Economics and business :- Before 1991, India used to follow a closed market socialist economic model. But with LPG reforms in 1991, an open market economy was introduced in India. Since then, International trade has increased rapidly. India has emerged as a service-providing hub for businesses overseas. India also maintains healthy import & export relationships with countries all across the world through maritime linkages.
- Sovereignty :- India has always placed a high value on the sovereignty of nations. Objections to BRI(of China), Doklam stand-off, POK & Aksai Chin issue are some of the examples of it.
- Terrorism & Peacekeeping :- India has repeatedly expressed its serious concerns over terrorism (especially state-sponsored) on international forums. The surgical strikes and the recent air-strike have set new examples as to what it is ready to do to curb terrorism. India also actively sends its troops on UN Peacekeeping missions, making it the second highest troops contributor in terms of numbers.
- Geopolitics :- India has had complex geopolitical relations with its neighbors. Its borders with Pakistan and China have always been a bone of contention. Also, waters of the Indus and its tributaries led to a dispute between India and Pakistan which was amicably solved with the IWT.
- Defence :- India follows a strict no first use policy when it comes to defence. It has always acted in a pre-emptive and defensive manner. Indian Defence procures heavily from other countries. It also has several collaborations and agreements with countries like Russia, USA, France, Israel etc.
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