Question: India’s diplomatic strength has often won it battles on international platforms especially in those where its rivals have significant influence. Explain.
Answer: Diplomatic outreach of a country is very important for making influence on global platforms. India has been successful in implementing this idea in recent times especially in groups where Pakistan and China hold sway.
Importance of diplomatic outreach
- Influencing trade issues
Whenever a trade related issue causes problem to India, diplomats have been successful in negotiating and lobbying in order to get exemptions or bilateral resolutions. This has maintained the image of India in global groupings.
Ex: When USA threatened to impose duties on Indian goods, diplomacy ensured that the issue was resolved before reaching a tilting point.
- Countering Economic sanctions
India has faced economic sanctions during Pokhran resulting in economic backlashes. So during recent times when economic sanctions have been threatened, India has taken extra efforts to tackle it.
Ex: US had threatened to impose sanctions under CAATSA on India for buying S400 system from Russia. Indian diplomats took extra care to prevent any such actions from US.
- Handling Security issues
Whenever security issues related to subcontinent arises in UNSC, India’s stand and opinions are given adequate weightage before taking any actions, eventhough China has a larger presence in UNSC permanent council.
Ex: UNSC refusing to interfere in Kashmir issue nor taking it up for discussion in their meeting.
UNSC designating Azhar Masood as Global Terrorist.
- Tackling Sovereignty issues
India’s diplomatic outreach has resulted in majority of countries supporting its decision in issues that are considered contentious. This has allowed India to be immune from global offensive and chart its own path which is best for it.
Ex: OIC members like Saudi Arabia and UAE which are sympathetic to Kashmir issue rejected Pakistan’s plea for resolution or discussion on it. In addition they also supported India’s actions on abrogating Article 370.
This successful phase has to be continued to engage with China for joining Nuclear Suppliers Group and also a permanent seat on UNSC.
Thus, diplomacy has indeed reached a new high during recent times but it has to be sustained in order to make a lasting impression. This phase has the potential to change India’s position in global order.