Yemen success: Let's also thank India's non-alignment legacy

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The Indian government did a great job in carrying out the rescue operation in war-hit Yemen. India's efforts were appreciated by 23 nations who also sought its help to evacuate their own nationals. It wasn't an easy task to carry out a rescue operation in a complicated situation like in Yemen where a number of parties are locked in the conflict. [Why India did better than others in Yemen]

So how could India make something that its main challenger in South Asia, Pakistan, couldn't do?

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Of course the leadership shown in this case by the Indian government was excellent. But more than anything, it is India's historically chosen style of functioning in foreign policy affairs that has paid off. We must thank Jawaharlal Nehru's legacy for India's success in Yemen. [Can Pakistan afford to interfere in Yemen?]

The main pillar of India's foreign policy stand has traditionally been Non-alignment. Though the reality of international politics has changed drastically and the current leadership and its supporters in India are keen to shed whatever Nehruvian is left with its functioning, but one still can not overlook the fact that the ideal of Non-alignment as was cherished by a statesman like Nehru is still relevant in some way.

India succeeded the difficult test in Yemen because it stayed away from the conflict and just brought its own people back. This is a mantra that India has followed traditionally during the Nehruvian era, i.e., not to interfere in any other country's internal affairs.

That is the crux of Non-alignment and India's identity as a promoter of world peace has been seen from her regular contribution to the international initiatives of peace-keeping in various parts of the world. India today has a rich experience in rescue operations, even in the most dangerous of situations, and that has been aided by her policy of non-alignment.

The Nehruvian ideal of secularism also played a good part in India's rescue operations in complex conflict situations in West Asia. Pakistan faced a big dilemma in approaching the Yemen crisis for a slight mistake in balancing sides that party to the conflict, directly or indirectly, could have invited sectarian disaster for Islamabad.

For New Delhi, judging the situation from a more objective crisis-rescue viewpoint is easier. And that judgment becomes a priority for India precisely because it is not a country which is guided by religious or sectarian interests.

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