New Delhi, Jan 16: Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L K Advani today said India should adopt an 'omni-directional' foreign policy to engage all major centres of power and India and China should develop their relations addressing each others' core security concerns in the spirit of mutual cooperation.
Addressing a summit on "Democracy and Conflict Resolution in Asia", organised by a leading Hindi daily publication, Mr Advani said a discussion on the issue should recognise the continent's rich historical experience and proud diversity. Asia was a cradle of majority of living civilisations of the world and had no hand in causing the two devastating world wars of the last century although it was very much affected. The continent was also a victim of colonialism but not the cause of it.
He said the Asian economic renaissance was one in which China and India had emerged as engines of growth in the late 20th century in the global economy. Noted economic historian Angus Maddison was prompted to observe that if India and China sustained their current rates of growth, they would regain their historic place in the next few decades.
Mr Advani, who was announced as the BJP's Prime Ministerial nominee in the next Lok Sabha polls, said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's recently concluded visit to China had hopefully led to the adoption of a 'constructive approach' for resolving the border dispute.
Fully normalised good neighbourly and cooperative relations between the two great nations of Asia could become a reliable factor of peace, stability and progress in the continent and the world. The continent's newly gained economic strength and rapidly growing political clout could be combined with the essentials of 'Genius of Asia' -- its civilisational, cultural and spiritual resources rooted in values of peace, harmony, justice, respect for pluralism and co-existence to regain its past glory.
The western monopoly over global economy that had lasted for the last two centuries which gave it a dominant say in military matters and global diplomacy had unequivocally been broken and Asia's material rejuvenation buttressed by the flow of financial resources and dissemination of information/knowlege flows in the form of IT and communication revolution in the 1990s.
Giving credit of breaking the ice between India and China to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in his capacity as a Foreign Minister in the Janata Party Government headed by Morarji Desai, Mr Advani said Mr Vajpayee's meeting with Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1979 had resulted in resuming the top level dialogue that was stalled between the two neighbours after the 1962 war.
The Sino-Indian relations got a bigger boost when he became Prime Minister in 1998, heralding an era of institutional framework for dialogue. Former Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and P V Narasimha Rao too made valuable contributions towards normalising ties between the two countries.
'' We see an example of development of a healthy and useful national consensus in foreign policy'', he remarked.
Turning to Pakistan, he said the country should recognise the usefulness of India and China normalising and strengthening their bilateral ties without holding either hostage to the resolution of the border dispute. Similarly, Indo-Pak relations too could be normalised without holding them hostage to the resolution of the Kashmir issue, he said.