“Neighborhood First” is a foreign policy that India has been following ever since 2014. It means that the Indian government will focus more on its ties with its immediate neighbors as compared to its other strategic partners.
Modi Government has time and again coined the phrase “Neighborhood First” reiterating its stance on foreign policies. The first instance of “Neighborhood First” policies could be seen when the SAARC nations were invited for the Prime Minister’s swearing-in ceremony.
Now, after NDA’s re-election, BIMSTEC members had been invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony. The Modi government started out with creating cordial relations with all our neighbors including Pakistan and China. But, over the years, due to Pakistan abetted terrorism and separatism, the government has decided to turn a cold shoulder towards Pakistan. Also, any ties with China have lost their significance due to increasing support of China to Pakistan and CPEC invading POK.
India Relation with neighbor nations
- India-Maldives: The relation has become less aggressive under the Modi government. During the emergency in the Maldives, India maintained a neutral stance. Despite a call for military intervention by India by some Maldivian commentators, India refrained from any interference.
- India-Srilanka: Despite the political tumult that had occurred in Srilanka, India decided to not put out any political statements. Srilanka has been seen to be more inclined to China in the recent past. The Hambantota port is practically owned by China.
- India-Nepal: India’s relations with Nepal turned sour since 2015. The current government in Nepal led by Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli came to power in 2018 through its anti-India campaign. India has, since then, tried to mend relations. Nepal has also expressed its inclination towards China lately.
- India-Bhutan & Bangladesh: These relations have improved with time. After Doklam, Bhutan reiterated its pro-India stance. And, under Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has built closer ties with India.
- India-Myanmar: India is involved in several projects with Myanmar like the Kaladan project, Asian Trilateral Highway, etc. However, CMEC (Chine Myanmar Economic Corridor) is likely to be a matter of discontent between the two.
- India-Pakistan: India’s relations with Pakistan have been tense in the past couple of years due to increased cross-border terrorism. After the Pulwama attack and Balakot Airstrikes, it further deteriorated.
- India-China: Relations have turned somewhat cold after the Doklam stand-off. The Wuhan meeting last year attempted to revive the past relations but improvements are yet to be seen, The CPEC and other military aids provided by china to Pakistan cannot be compromised based on ignorance for terrorism provocation in the country.
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