All eyes were on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Myanmar from September 5-7, 2017. Firstly, it followed his visit to China, where he had gone to attend the BRICS Summit. Second, the visits to both China and Myanmar came soon after the end of the Doklam standoff.
Seeking more “economic assistance” from India in Afghanistan, Trump did appear to signal who the “good guy” is in the South Asian region. However, India was effectively brought into an unsavory quid pro quo equation.
India has so far dexterously balanced its relations with the different power centers in the Middle East. The countries of the GCC, led by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, together host around seven million Indian expatriate workers who remit back hefty foreign exchange.
All eyes in the next few months will be on how former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will play his cards vis-à-vis the Pakistan army. If one were to look beyond the domestic ramifications, the first point which needs to be closely examined is how China has reacted to the instability.
US President Donald Trump unveiled his Afghan policy on August 21, 2017, announcing to ramp up the war effort in Afghanistan. The policy seems to be a compromise between Trump (who wanted complete withdrawal) and his generals (who wanted to ramp up the war effort).
The year 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the dialogue partnership between India and ASEAN. India’s Act East Policy is to cultivate strategic and economic relations with the countries of Southeast Asia in order to strengthen India’s posture as a regional power.
The stilted evolution of democracy in Afghanistan has been further affected by the existence and proliferation of competing centers of power outside the scope of the constitution. Parallel structures of governance have impacted the overall democratic structure adversely.
In Pakistan, there have been very few efforts to address the continuous betrayal of the underprivileged segments of society. The current government is trying to mainstream minorities, and even that takes few bold steps in the age of social media and ripening sectarianism.
Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Iraq’s Foreign Minister, held a meeting with the Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, testifying to the fact that oil is high on the India-Iraq agenda. Iraq, which has always been a major source of crude for India, is back again as India’s largest crude supplier.
The India-Japan Nuclear Deal came into force on July 20, 2017. With the deal, Japan can export nuclear power plant technology to India and help India with nuclear waste management. They can also jointly manufacture nuclear power plant equipment.