Con­struc­tive en­gage­ment with neigh­bours and beyond

SP's MAI - - FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK -

You can call it a mas­ter­stroke. En­gag­ing not just the neigh­bours, okay there are some con­tin­u­ing ir­ri­tants, but also those in the re­gion, Naren­dra Modi has shown states­man­ship qual­i­ties as Prime Min­is­ter. Ex­cept for Pak­istan which con­tin­ues to pose a prob­lem, there are sig­nif­i­cant pos­i­tive signs that have emerged on the ex­ter­nal af­fairs front. The lat­est be­ing Naren­dra Modi’s en­gage­ment with Ja­pan on sev­eral mat­ters that are cru­cial not just for bi­lat­eral re­la­tions but also for a sta­ble geopo­lit­i­cal sce­nario.

As many have termed it as ‘dawn of a new era in In­dia-Ja­pan re­la­tions’, it truly is con­sid­er­ing that the two Prime Min­is­ters—Naren­dra Modi and Shinzo Abe—have put the seal on the Tokyo Dec­la­ra­tion of Septem­ber: the In­dia-Ja­pan Spe­cial Strate­gic and Global Part­ner­ship. One of the high­lights of the In­dian Prime Min­is­ter’s visit was in the realm of de­fence wherein the bi­lat­eral mar­itime ex­er­cises were in­sti­tu­tion­alised. Im­por­tantly, there is go­ing to be sig­nif­i­cant ac­tiv­ity in trans­fer of tech­nol­ogy in de­fence, be­gin­ning with the US-2 am­phib­ian air­craft of­fer from Ja­pan. Lt Gen­eral P.C. Ka­toch (Retd) and Ran­jeet Kumar have an­a­lysed dif­fer­ently the sig­nif­i­cance of Naren­dra Modi’s visit to Ja­pan.

Sub­se­quent to that, the Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter, Tony Ab­bott, came call­ing to In­dia and the meet­ing with the In­dian Prime Min­is­ter was fruit­ful for many rea­sons. The two coun­tries signed the his­toric Civil Nu­clear Co­op­er­a­tion Agree­ment which will fa­cil­i­tate sale of ura­nium fuel to In­dia, with­out which the coun­try’s 20 odd nu­clear power plants are run­ning on par­tial ca­pac­ity. The resur­gence of In­dia has en­cour­aged Aus­tralia in en­ter­ing into a nu­clear deal and we be­lieve that this is not just a one-off case. In­dia is go­ing to see many more part­ner­ships as it gets into an eco­nomic drive.

Th­ese two meet­ings have made it am­ply clear what In­dia’s nu­clear pol­icy is. It may be re­called that after the Pokhran nu­clear tests, In­dia had de­clared a no first-use pol­icy and an­nounced a nu­clear doc­trine based on a cred­i­ble nu­clear de­ter­rence, which means that the coun­try will main­tain an ef­fec­tive arse­nal to re­tal­i­ate if at­tacked. In­dia had de­clared that the coun­try’s armed forces will have a sec­ond strike ca­pa­bil­ity from land, air or sea. The Prime Min­is­ter as­sured be­fore go­ing to Ja­pan that “we are not tak­ing any ini­tia­tive for a re­view of our nu­clear doc­trine.”

Fol­low­ing up on the is­sue of 49 per cent cap on for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment (FDI), we have two ma­jor orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers—Lock­heed Martin and Saab—spell out their strate­gies. Saab has pointed out that there is ab­so­lutely no limit on FDI in Swe­den.

In his frank and forth­right view­point, Lt Gen­eral Ka­toch (Retd) has talked about the lat­est video from Al Qaeda leader an­nounc­ing the for­ma­tion of an In­dian branch of his mil­i­tant group to spread Is­lamic rule and raise the flag of ji­had. The Gen­eral has cat­e­gor­i­cally stated that this is our fight and we have to fight it our­selves, while there is so much big talk of in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion for coun­ter­ing ter­ror­ism. He points out that at best there could be shar­ing of in­tel­li­gence.

Fi­nally, the In­dian Armed Forces have once again per­formed beyond their call of duty in meet­ing with the chal­lenges of dis­as­ter man­age­ment and sav­ing pre­cious lives dur­ing the re­cent flood re­lief op­er­a­tions in Jammu and Kashmir. In an ar­ti­cle, we look at their ef­forts in the val­ley dur­ing the calamity. Salu­ta­tions to the In­dian armed forces for their brav­ery and ded­i­ca­tion to the na­tion!

SP’s M.A.I. con­tin­ues to fo­cus on is­sues that are crit­i­cal to the na­tion. In this en­deav­our, we look for­ward to your feed­back to im­prove our cov­er­age.

Happy read­ing !

Jayant Baranwal Pub­lisher & Ed­i­tor-in-Chief

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