18 September, 2020

Shift In Terms Of Focus PM Puts Into Building Closer Relations With Neighbours: Ranjan Mathai

Former Indian foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai talks to Outlook on China’s growing footprint in South Asia and how effective PM Narendra Modi’s policy has been in meeting the challenges India faces in its backyard.

Photograph by Jitender Gupta
Shift In Terms Of Focus PM Puts Into Building Closer Relations With Neighbours: Ranjan Mathai
outlookindia.com
2019-01-04T13:15:40+05:30

Former Indian foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai (66) has been keenly following the dramatic developments in India’s neighbourhood in recent months. A 1974-batch officer of the IFS, Mathai had been instrumental in formulating many policies when he was handling Bangladesh, Myanmar, Maldives and Sri Lanka as Joint Secretary BSM in South Block. He talks to Pranay Sharma on China’s growing footprint in South Asia and how effective PM Narendra Modi’s policy has been in meeting the challenges India faces in its backyard. Excerpts:

Pursuing an effective and sustainable neighbourhood policy, say experts, is the most daunting task in diplomacy....

I agree. All countries have faced dilemmas in managing neighbourhood policies that are both effective and sustainable. In 2013, the Chinese President declared a policy “to make our neighbours friendlier in politics, economically more closely tied to us, and we must have deeper security cooperation, and closer people-to-people ties”. That did not...

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