Indian Diplomacy: Salman Khurshid’s Challenge
- Trouble mounts for Sreesanth as Mumbai cops gather more evidence
- SIT to seek Supreme Court guidance on Maya Kodnani death penalty issue
- Tamil Nadu police bans Yasin Malik-linked pro-Eelam public meeting
- Kings XI Punjab end IPL 2013 campaign with a win
- Narendra Modi: India losing sheen as agricultural nation
At 59, India's new foreign minister, Salman Khurshid is more than two decades younger than his predecessor, S M Krishna, and will undoubtedly bring greater energy to the conduct of India's diplomacy.
Beyond vigour we can also expect some political grace from Khurshid. His first statement to the media Sunday afternoon as he took charge of the foreign office underlines new possibilities.
The new minister acknowledged the responsibility bestowed on him by the Congress leadership and the contributions made by his many illustrious predecessors.
Khurshid also paid handsome compliments to the officers of the Indian Foreign Service who will do all the hard work for him. All right things to say for India's new chief diplomat.
At the Foreign Office, Khurshid's main challenge is not really about mastering the negotiating briefs with external interlocutors. His task is to strengthen the domestic political consensus in favour of foreign policy.
Khurshid comes to South Block at a rare moment, when most major powers want good relations with Delhi. Even the perennially difficult relations with China, Pakistan and other neighbours are in good shape.
India's diplomatic clout has never been as large as it is today,
thanks to the economic growth of the last two decades. Yet,
dysfunctional governance at home has largely prevented India from taking full advantage of the favourable external environment.
Part of the problem has been the lack of political backbone in the UPA government. It has been too willing to step back from major diplomatic initiatives at the first sign of bureaucratic or political resistance.
The reluctance to lead has been compounded by the inability of the government to mobilize public support for foreign policy goals. The new foreign minister is nothing if he is not articulate. Salman Khurshid is better positioned than many of predecessors to make the public case for India's many stalled diplomatic initiatives.
- Quake-hit and shaken, Bhaderwah spends nights in the open
- UP blast accused dies on way to jail, govt wanted to drop case against him
- Former civil aviation secy changes mind, seeks airport security exemption as EC
- BCCI suspects Gujarat players in other teams were also approached
- Police on money trail, Sreesanth in fresh trouble
- Chhattisgarh 'encounter' leaves 8 villagers dead, no Maoist link yet