“Recent Trends in Indian Foreign Policy”
April 19, 2023
The India Study Centre (ISC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISSI) organized an In-House Session focused on “Recent Trends in Indian Foreign Policy.”
The Session was attended by practitioners, former diplomats, academics, scholars and researchers affiliated with think-tanks, including Ambassador Zamir Akram; Ambassador Masood Khalid; Ambassador Asif Durrani; Mr. Ilayas Mehmood Nizami, Director General (SA & SAARC); Dr. Asma Shakir Khawaja, CISS, AJK; Dr. Salma Malik, QAU; Dr. Altaf Hussain Wani, KIIA; Ms. Humera Iqbal, IRS; and Ms. Nur-ul-Ain, IPRI.
Participants from the ISSI included DG Ambassador Sohail Mahmood and Director and members of the India Study Centre.
The participants covered a wide range of themes — including continuity and change in Indian foreign policy; traditional and new drivers of Indian foreign and security policies; the impact of Indian economy and its present growth trajectory; the relevance and efficacy of ‘strategic autonomy’ in the current context; India’s quest for ‘major power’ status; New Delhi’s posture and positioning in the great-power competition; the status of ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and gaps in regional engagement; slackening of commitment to multilateralism and drift towards ‘mini-lateralism’; continued intransigence in peacefully resolving the Jammu & Kashmir dispute; and stalling of the SAARC process for regional cooperation.
The pursuit of ‘Hindutva’ ideology in the internal and external dimensions was assessed and its implications for regional peace and security were evaluated. Besides this ideological drift, the participants highlighted the propensity in India to use certain foreign policy issues for domestic political gains, especially in the run-up to elections. The advice for Pakistan was to be vigilant as India goes through a slew of key state elections in 2023 and Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman BoG of ISSI, made the concluding remarks.