BRIC(K)S, bats and balls: A Litmus test for Modi's diplomacy

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The BRICS and the SCO Summit will bring three controversial countries face to face-India, Pakistan and China.

Though India seems to be the odd one out, especially after China's decision to invest USD 46 billion in Pakistan for an economic corridor, India too is playing its bit to get along with the two, despite the illegal incursions at the border and violation of border policies.

Nawaz Sharif-Xi Jinping

If you cannot fight the current, flow with it

That is precisely what Modi is trying to do. With agreements to open banks in each other's country, Pakistan and India may bind themselves in a camaradarie.

Add to it the multiple entry visa to be provided to Pakistani businessmen and travellers to Pakistan and vice-versa.

[Read: Modi-Sharif to enter new bilateral grounds at SCO]

While investing full time in Pakistan may not be taken lightly back in India, Modi plays safe with banking sector that may only gain from the unstable Pakistan economy (if we do not read too much between the lines).

A safe passage into the Pakistani territories, India would also be in control of the situations that may occur due to suffering bilateral reations between the two countries.

In a 2013 report, World Bank had said that Pakistan will benefit from granting the Most Favoured Nation status to India. It also recommended that the two countries should sign more transmission and trade agreements.


In a policy note issued to Islamabad, the World Bank said,"Completing the trade normalisation process with India and granting it the MFN status would help Pakistan benefit quickly from the fast growth and large markets."

It further added,"Conservative estimates suggest that bilateral trade flows could multiply at least three times, and most observers agree that the growth-enhancing dynamics that this process would unleash would be even more significant for foreign direct investment (especially information technology and manufacturing), services (including financial and tourism), integrated value chains in manufacturing, and power projects."

Whether Modi is tapping into this is something that remains to be seen.

Ties (made in China)

Modi's Chinese counterpart too has faced a lot of awkward questions at the BRICS summit. The Indian Prime Minister has clearly conveyed concerns to President Xi Jinping about his endavours into the Pakistani soil.

[Read: Xi calls for stronger Sino-Indian BRICS partnership]

But majorly, Modi expressed his disappointment at China's role in blocking a proposal by the United Nations against Pakistan for the release of jailed Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, citing lack of evidence.

Modi-Xi Jinping

Given the previous pleasent encounters between the two premiers on their official visits to each other's countries, Modi can expect a little bit of a stir on the Chinese shores.

All said and done, BRICS proves to be a litmus test for Modi's diplomatic skills and how they stand in times of crisis.

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