“Foreign Policy is a systematic statement of deliberately selected national interests. "~ Hartmann
States now have to work with non-state entities more than ever before because of the increasing depth of globalisation and transnational activity. In order to optimise the benefits of international multilateral collaboration, the previously mentioned interaction is reviewed and monitored.
Foreign policies are created by the government through high-level decision-making processes because national interests are vital.
Padelford and Lincoln observe that through foreign policy, every state decides.
“what course it will pursue in world affairs within the limits of its strength and the realities of the external environment.”
China,Pakistan and Border disputes
India, a country in South Asia, is located in the heart of Asia, the world's largest continent. Given the fact that India was attacked by both China and Pakistan, it is in its best interest to keep the lines of communication open. India is unfortunately surrounded by its worst enemies. On the western side is Pakistan with which we share bitter history of partition,violence and wars. The relationship is complex mix of layered hatred aggravated by memories of partition and stereotyped identities. Towards the east is China,equation here started on a sweet note with the idea of “Hindi chini bhai bhai “, but peace was short lived,the hopes of friendliness were marred by china’s disregard of India’s territorial sovereignty.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, CPEC is a bilateral project between Pakistan and China.CPEC is a part of the Belt and Road initiative. The BRI, launched in 2013, aims to link Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Gulf region, Africa and Europe with a network of land and sea routes. India has been severely critical of the CPEC, as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, which is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan. POK has remained major area of contention.
South-East and West Asia
As a result, India strives towards peaceful resolution of differences with its neighbours. Accordingly, India's security and vital interests are intertwined with those of the greater region of Asia, which is a gateway for both South-East Asia and West-Asia countries. India aspires for close ties with regional powers like Indonesia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, and Vietnam, among others. ASEAN countries have benefited from India's Look East Policy, which encourages economic and strategic cooperation between these countries.
As India grows, it must take along its neighbours, otherwise the development gap between India and its neighbours will create problems. To prevent its neighbours from straying away in undesirable directions, India will need to deploy considerable resources, attention and imagination. Even if countries in South Asia recognise India as the region's natural leader, India must earn the respect of the region and not take it for granted.
India has to keep a close eye on developments in the currently turbulent and unstable west Asia where it has huge stakes. The withdrawal of U.S troops from Afghanistan and the assumption of Leadership by the Taliban has added a new dimension to the whole issue.
When I.K. Gujral served as India's foreign minister and then as prime minister, he laid out the Gujral Doctrine, a set of five principles to steer India's diplomatic relations with its immediate neighbours. Some of these five fundamental principles stem from the idea that India's standing and strength are inextricably linked to the quality of its connections with other countries . In this way, it acknowledges the paramount necessity of goodwill toward one's neighbours.
These principles are:
First, with neighbours like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, India does not ask for reciprocity, but gives and accommodates what it can in good faith and trust;
Second, no South Asian country should allow its territory to be used against the interest of another country in the region
Third, no country should interfere in the internal affairs of another; fourth, all South Asian countries must respect each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty;
Finally, they should settle all their disputes through peaceful bilateral negotiations. South Asia's regional ties would be changed fundamentally if these five principles were strictly adhered to, according to Gujral.
Prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has noted often that one can change one’s friends, but not neighbours. Therefore, India has been keen to have friendly and tension-free relations with all the neighbours.
That India's northern borders and Indian Ocean territorial seas stay peaceful and free of foreign military buildup is clearly a foreign policy objective for the country. It is imperative that India maintain cordial relations with the other naval powers in the Indian Ocean, given its extensive coastline. India unveiled it's strategic vision for the Indian Ocean i.e. Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR). It is becoming increasingly apparent that marine safety, and cooperation are becoming increasingly important.
Using SAGAR, India aims at strengthening economic and security ties with its maritime neighbours and contributing to the development of their marine security capacities On the other hand, India would work together to share intelligence, conduct coastal surveillance, and develop their capacities in this regard.
In addition, India strives to protect its own national interests and guarantee that the Indian Ocean region is inclusive, collaborative, and adheres to international legal norms.
Geopolitics is dynamic, not static. It represents worldwide realities and the global power constellation that has developed as a result of the interaction of geography and technology and economic progress. Technology and Economic advancement can alter, but not eliminate, the strategic significance of a given geographic location.
Geopolitics is not determinism, but it is predicated on the premise that geography dictates the limits and opportunities of international politics: states can seize geopolitical opportunities or become victims of their geopolitical circumstances. One objective of grand strategy is to make use of one's own geographical advantages and an adversary's geographical weaknesses.