The Top Ten
Vivek Kumar’s call should help concentrate minds. He is looking for inputs on key foreign policy objectives. I’ll leave it to him to send the following to Mr Shyam Saran.
1. Settle and secure international borders.
Cross-border trade and broader bilateral intercourse can only be achieved when geographic boundaries are beyond doubt.
2. Maintain regional peace and stability through the projection of Indian power.
Pax Indica can help ensure stability of the littoral Indian Ocean region in general and South Asia in particular. That the region is today plagued by vortices of instability is largely due to Indiaâ€™s inability and reluctance to project power in a calculated, strategic manner.
3. Secure unhindered access to international markets on the most favourable terms.
4. Develop deeper and broader economic relations with countries that supply fuel and military hardware.
5. Cultivate and engage political constituencies that can influence policies of foreign governments in Indiaâ€™s favour.
6. Protect — and credibly demonstrate the intention to protect at all costs — the lives and well-being of Indian citizens living abroad. Never forgive governments, organisations or individuals who harm Indians.
7. Participate in multilateral and bilateral military co-operation relationships. Secure visiting and basing rights at geostrategic locations in the region.
8. Develop capacities, capabilities and contingency plans to provide relief and rehabilitation in the region in the event of natural or man-made disasters.
9. Attract talented individuals from across the world to visit, stay, work, study, teach or live in India. Encourage talented Indians to do likewise abroad.
10. Project the Indian model as an example for other countries to emulate.