Foreign policy is one field where the Narendra Modi government has done well since it came to office on May 26, 2014. The prime minister's politics of mobilisation around the world to boost India's stature has definitely created a momentum---something which seemed to be absent during the previous regime of Manmohan Singh.
But despite that, the NDA government's foreign policy has also witnessed some low points and being the face of the government, Modi needs to take responsibility for them, just like he gets all the credit whenever his government tastes success. [Modi defends his economic reforms in interview with WSJ]
Modi's pakistan policy has not taken off like it has with other countries
Two countries where Modi's foreign policy is yet to see success are Pakistan and Nepal. Although the Modi government has done well in reaching out to the United States and Iran to indirectly deal with Pakistan from a position of strength, its policy vis-a-vis Pakistan has been accused of being unclear.
Modi tried unconventional ways of dealing with Pak but still there are challenges
It is also true that Modi tried various unconventional means to shape its Pakistan policy---like arranging talks in neutral venues like Bangkok or paying a surprise visit to Islamabad---but events like Pathankot terror attack and the way the Indian establishment has handled it have raised questions over the fate of bilateral dialogues between the two neighbours. [2 years of Modi govt: The ups and downs]
Shashi Tharoor and Lalit Mansingh think Modi's foreign policy is yet not totally successful
Congress MP and former Union minister Shashi Tharoor, who is also considered to be an expert on international affairs, termed Modi government's Pakistan policy "incoherent, showing ups and downs, and inconsistencies that cetainly lead to a considerable amount of confusion to what our policy is".
Lalit Mansingh, a former foreign secretary, said Modi took a bold step in visiting Lahore last year but added that India has no clarity in its policy towards Pakistan. He said it is not clear whether the government wants continuation of dialogue with Pakistan or not.
Mansingh feels the Modi government has done brilliantly and shown a lot of dynamism in diplomacy but when it comes to strategy, it has not been so successful. Tharoor, too, felt Modi's foreign policy "is at best mixed".
Chabahar pact could be a scorer in Modi's Pak sheet
However, sealing the Chabahar Port deal with Iran just a few days ahead of his completion of two years in office, Modi has succeeded in taking a strong strategic step vis-a-vis China-Pakistan axis. Now it is to be seen how much India can benefit from this in the long run.
Modi govt also goofed up in Nepal
Besides Pakistan, the Modi regime has also made a major goof-up in Nepal even after starting it on an impressive note. The northern neighbour was among the earliest that Modi paid a visit and he followed it up with another visit during the Saarc Summit towards the end of 2014.
The mismanagement of the relations with Nepal proved that too much centralisation of authority in the PMO, disregard for the popular sentiments in Nepal and taking a rigid stand over that country's new constitution made up a hollow Indian policy vis-a-vis Kathmandu. The result was foreseen: Nepal leaning in favour of the Chinese, something it has always done whenever New Delhi has let it down, bringing Beijing's influence closer to India's borders.
The Modi government needs to shed the foreign office's 'superiority complex' when it comes to dealing with the small neighbours. Many a times in the past, this has cost India dearly as China have got an opportunity to take them closer to it, alienating New Delhi.
[With agency inputs]