Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fwd: Modi govt keeps Pakistan out of regional plans, signs pacts with other countries

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From: Capt

Jayanth Jacob/Moushumi Das Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi| Jun 23, 2015 03:34 IST

The Modi government is changing the way it conducts its foreign policy, entering into regional pacts while leaving out Pakistan that New Delhi sees as a reluctant player in achieving Saarc's goal of greater integration.

India has gone ahead and signed agreements on roads, ports, power and education with South Asian countries to build and strengthen ties, circumventing the Pakistan hurdle.

"For long it was a Pakistan-obsessed regional policy, for that matter foreign policy. Time has come to think out of the box and move ahead," a government source said.

These plans were not just aimed at greater cooperation but had strategic intent as well, sources said, citing the example of Chabahar Port in Iran.

The signing of the BBIN (Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal) corridor agreement in the Bhutanese capital Thimpu on June 15 is a shot in the arm for Delhi's regional plan.

A similar pact would be signed with Afghanistan in the coming months. The India-Myanmar-Thailand road connectivity plan would be completed by year-end and would eventually be integrated with the BBIN corridor, sources said.

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