A year of lassitude
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- IPL 2013: Imperious Brad Hodge powers Rajasthan Royals to qualifier
- Sonia Gandhi, PM Manmohan Singh slam BJP for disrupting Parliament, stalling bills
- IPL spot-fixing: 'Bookie' Vindoo was close to BCCI chief's son-in-law, say cops
- Jessica Lall case: Shayan Munshi to face perjury trial
After two years of recrimination, America is moving closer to Pakistan as part of its effort to manage its withdrawal from Afghanistan. Pakistan's natural geographic advantages have put Rawalpindi back in the driver's seat in the international search for a political settlement in Afghanistan. China's growing political assertiveness and America's pivot to Asia have begun to put Beijing and Washington at odds with each other in Asia for the first time since the Sino-US rapprochement in the early 1970s.
In dealing with this extremely demanding regional environment, Delhi will be sorely tempted to sit back and point to the inevitable negative consequences for India's own security. Doing nothing will also paralyse Delhi as America and China circle each other in Asia. The sensible alternative is to initiate major diplomatic moves towards America, Pakistan and China. In the past, India did not have the capacity to influence the outcomes in the bilateral relations among the three countries.
India, today, has the heft to influence the geopolitical dynamic around it. In pushing for improved relations with one, India's ability to enhance ties with the other two will significantly improve. Masterly inactivity, on the other hand, would surely make India lose ground with all the three.
Vajpayee will be remembered for boldly re-imagining India's national security strategy under difficult circumstances. Manmohan Singh would not want to go down as the one who lost his nerve when so much was in the realm of the possible for India's foreign policy.
The writer is a distinguished fellow at the Observer Research Foundation and a contributing editor for 'The Indian Express', firstname.lastname@example.org
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