New Delhi, June 14 , Ranjana Narayan : Indian foreign policy will be marked by quicker decision-making and clear-cut policy with the Narendra Modi government setting out to clear out the cobwebs of indecision that clouded the country’s international relations of the past few years, which at times caused consternation in the corridors of the external affairs ministry.
The new government is very clear about where it is headed (as regards foreign policy), said a senior official, who did not wish to be named. The government is taking quick decisions on everything. There is no hedging, like there used to be earlier, said the official, who spoke to IANS.
“Giving an example, the prime minister told the IFS probationers that Indian herbal medicines are among the best in the world, but lose out to Chinese products due to poor packaging – an indication that the new government will pay as much attention to the product as the services and delivery. “
The new government has conveyed to the foreign policy establishment that while foreign policy would largely remain the same – the pace and style and tenor would be different.
India’s foreign policy would be sharper now, said another official.
That the Modi government would have a proactive foreign policy was made evident immediately after the election results, when the South Asian neighbours were invited to the swearing-in, and all came, even Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Following the government formation it has been a blur of fast-paced foreign policy moves – accepting US President Barack Obama’s invitation, making Bhutan the maiden port of call of the prime minister, accepting Japan’s invite, meeting the Chinese foreign minister – and the list goes on.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has conveyed very clearly to the ministry that the government, while pursuing good international relations, would do what is good for the country.
And what helps even more is the massive mandate the BJP has got. The government does not need regional parties, said the official.
The previous UPA government was hobbled by the pulls and pressures of regional allies, leading to repeated embarrassment for former prime minister Manmohan Singh. On one occasion it was Trinamool Congress chief and chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, who left the prime minister in the lurch by refusing to go ahead with the Teesta and Land Boundary Agreement. At another time, it was the loud protests of DMK and other Tamil Nadu parties that forced Manmohan Singh to decline to attend the Commonwealth Summit in Colombo.
The prime minister, who has made known to top officials across the board that he has no patience with sloppiness, talked of packaging of Indian goods during a meeting with Indian Foreign Service (IFS) probationers.
The prime minister said we don’t pay attention to the packaging of our exports.. He said that packaging is a concept that is part of exports, and something that matters a great deal. He stressed that packaging of export items should be done well in a concerted manner, said another official.
Giving an example, the prime minister told the IFS probationers that Indian herbal medicines are among the best in the world, but lose out to Chinese products due to poor packaging – an indication that the new government will pay as much attention to the product as the services and delivery.
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