Beating stereotypes: How Modi's anti status quo foreign policy works

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In the month of May there was a high level meeting at New Delhi held to decide on whether or not to move the International Court of Justice in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. Almost everyone in the room argued that going to the ICJ would mean shooting ourselves on the foot. Past examples were cited to make out their case.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Look at the world with new eyes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while cutting short the debate. We are no longer a power to be ignored. Let us be anti-status quo, Modi said. The decision was made. Before the ICJ, senior counsel Harish Salve put up a spirited argument that resulted in the staying of Jadhav's execution by a military court in Pakistan.

Modi's A- team on foreign policy includes, External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, Minister of State for External Affairs, M J Akbar and Deputy NSA, Arvind Gupta.

Breaking conventions has been part of the Modi foreign policy. He did reach out to Pakistan in several ways. Modi invited Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his swearing-in-ceremony. Modi also made a surprise stop-over at Pakistan and greeted Sharif.

However Modi was betrayed by Pakistan which launched the Pathankot attack and also staged one of the worst unrests in the Valley. With ties with Pakistan failing, Modi was quick to boost relations with Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

While beating the anti-status quo is one key ingredient of Modi's foreign policy, the other includes fast tracking and para diplomacy. Fast track diplomacy includes being proactive, strong and sensitive. Further it also includes India's presence on on multilateral forums.

On the other hand para diplomacy is where cities were encouraged to have a special relation with a country. Some examples of these are the agreements between Mumbai-Shanghai, Ahmedabad-Guangzhou, Gujarat-Guangdong province of China and Varanasi-Kyoto, Japan.

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