Modi's victory will strategically impact India's foreign policy, writes Jaswant Singh

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New Delhi, May 31: Jaswant Singh, the former minister of the National Democratic Alliance government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and who contested the recently concluded Lok Sabha election as an Independent after being denied a ticket by the BJP which also expelled him for the second time, recently said in an opinionated article titled 'A New Vision for India' [Read the full article here] that the victory of Narendra Modi in this election implies a strategic transformation ahead for India's foreign policy.

Singh said "an era of timidity and hesitation, bordering on paralysis, under the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance has ended".

Singh blasted the UPA government, which was in power at the Centre for a decade, saying it had squandered the positive national-security and foreign-policy position that the Vajpayee government had achieved by neglecting key partnerships.

The leader cited the example of the civil nuclear deal with the United States, which was affected by the infighting in the UPA I and the creation of a balanced nuclear liability bill was affected. Singh said it became an imperative for the new prime minister to rectify the situation soon.

Jaswant Singh, who had served as the foreign minister between 1998 and 2002, said New Delhi must strengthen its relations with the member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and emphasise on regional trade and person-to-person contacts. He also prescribed a zero-tolerance approach towards terrorism and a robust naval capacity to secure its energy-trade routes.

He also wanted the new government to nurture relations with teh countries of Southeast and East Asia. He also said that India needs to address its issues with the USA and expressed a concern that Modi's relationship with Washington has not been very positive after the latter decided to deny him visa in the wake of the Godhra riots in 2002.

Singh also underlined the importance of India's relations with countries like Russia and Israel.

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