BJP national executive meet: UPA foreign policy was that of retreat

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The BJP's National Executive being held in Bengaluru has in its Foreign Policy Resolution said that during UPA rule it tended to weigh the nation down.

During this period New Delhi punched substantively below its weight in pushing through its foreign policy objectives, while often appeared side-lined in the international arena.

BJP meet: UPA foreign policy

A cursory glance at the ‘lost decade' of the UPA, reveals retreat and a loss of direction in engaging with neighbours, ham-handed diplomacy vis-à-vis Pakistan and a blind-spot in our foreign policy to the Indian Ocean island states.

The UPA dispensation seemed grossly incapable of moulding Bharat's foreign policy, national security and economic development imperatives into a composite and coherent policy framework.

The government under Narendra Modi in a short span of ten months, transformed foreign policy into a major instrument to realize our national ambition of India's rise as a strong and respected world power.

Evacuation & Relief:

"We have, in the course of the last 10 months helped in the return of more than 1000 Indian students from Ukraine; evacuated more than 7000 Indian workers from Iraq including 46 nurses who were brought back against all odds from the clutches of their captors; ensured the return of more than 3000 of our citizens from Libya.

All the evacuation operations were personally monitored by the Foreign Minister.

BJP meet: UPA foreign policy

We are now preparing for the safe homecoming of nearly 4000 of our nationals from Yemen. No number is small for us to reach out to. No location is too far off to offer assistance.

Our enduring efforts and unremitting resolve have ignited hope and inspired confidence in millions of our fellow-citizens resident abroad.

Our nationals abroad now believe that they finally have a Government that is responsive to their needs.

India's stature has risen:

The resolution also states that India enjoys an enhanced international stature today.

There is not a single important global forum where our country's stirring civilizational message has not reached and echoed.

Prime Minister's first speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in Hindi revived the memory of Atal Behari Vajpayee and energised the great national pride that all the countrymen feel, whether living in Bharat or any other part of the world.

His call for accelerating reforms of the United Nations Security Council has imparted urgency to our efforts.

BJP meet: UPA foreign policy

His perceptive suggestion that the United Nations should become G-ALL has encouraged the world community, now divided into countless power blocs, to sit up and think.

His call for declaration of International Day of Yoga in the United Nations was adopted with record co-sponsorship and within record time.

Inspired by the new atmosphere of dynamic leadership our diplomatic corps including our special mission at the UN have worked hard to secure unprecedented support to Prime Minister's proposal.

In just 75 days more than 177 member countries of the UN have supported and adopted the resolution to celebrate 21 June as the International Yoga Day.

India's neighbours:

Further in the resolution it is mentioned that despite romantic sloganeering, India's neighbourhood policy has largely remained lacklustre in the past decade. Our excessive tilt in one direction left many countries in the neighbourhood apprehensive.

The previous NDA regime had initiated a marked positive shift in our neighbourhood policy when we tried to improve relations with Myanmar, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

BJP meet: UPA foreign policy

That shift has now been furthered strengthened with a purposeful focus on the neighbourhood.

Prime Minister's decision to make Bhutan as his first foreign destination signalled this new neighbourhood policy.

He has also visited Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka on bilateral or multilateral assignments and the Foreign Minister visited all the SAARC countries except Pakistan.

Our relations with all these neighbours have seen marked improvement in the last ten short months.

Our Sri Lanka policy has suffered several ups and downs in the last three decades.

A short-sighted approach by the previous government, guided by domestic political ambitions, damaged our bilateral relations leading to strategic problems in the immediate Indian Ocean neighbourhood.

Prime Minister Modi's determined effort at repairing these relations with this important neighbour has resulted in a flurry of activity on both sides. The visit of the newly elected President of Sri Lanka to India immediately after the election is a major diplomatic victory for us.

We have laid out a clear policy for building peaceful and friendly relations with Pakistan, predicated on an end to terrorism. There can be no compromise with terrorism.

BJP meet: UPA foreign policy

There can't be any duplicity towards a problem that has become a regional crisis and is fast becoming an international nightmare.

We have responded firmly and appropriately to provocations on the border/Line of Control and threats of infiltration and terrorism.

Prime Minister's message to his counterpart on the occasion of the Pakistan Day this year was unambiguous: "All outstanding issues with Pakistan can be resolved through bilateral dialogue in an
India and Bangladesh have traditionally maintained good neighbourhood relations."

"Our Foreign Minister chose Bangladesh as first foreign destination for her stand-alone visit thereby underscoring the importance we attach to the relationship."

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