Modi's personalised style of diplomacy marked foreign relations

Posted By: PTI
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New Delhi, Jan 3: Prime Minister Narendra Modi engaged in an exceptionally busy and a highly personalised style of diplomacy in 2015 with an aim to recalibrate India's external engagements that saw boosting of ties with major powers like the US, China, France and Japan, and a thaw in relations with Pakistan after prolonged bitterness.

From Pakistan to the US, from African continent to the G20, the government tried to adopt an innovative approach to diplomacy in sync with India's interests in trade, defence as well as to address its terror-related concerns though the basic contours of foreign policy remained the same as during the previous UPA government.


The government's handling of ties with Nepal following internal turmoil in that country, after promulgation of Constitution there, drew strong criticism with questions being asked over effectiveness of its "neighbourhood first" approach which it asserted was at the core of its foreign policy.

At the fag end of the year, Modi sprang a surprise with a 150-minute visit to Lahore on way back home from Kabul, during which he visited ancestral home of his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif and had talks to open ways for peace.

However, an attack on Pathankot air base by Pakistani terrorists has brought back the focus on whether "talk and terror" can go together.

Earlier in December, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Islamabad for a multilateral meet, during which both sides announced revival of dialogue process after a long spell of tension and acrimonious exchanges.

It was announced by both sides that they have decided to engage in a "comprehensive" dialogue that will include peace and security and Jammu and Kashmir besides addressing all issues connected to terrorism.

The year gone by witnessed government's initiatives to shore up India's profile at the global stage -- be it launching of a solar initiative at the Paris Climate meet or getting the United Nations to declare June 21 as International Yoga Day.

At the international fora, Modi has also been pushing for India's old initiative, the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, to effectively deal with terror networks.

"There is no doubt that India's international profile has been significantly enhanced in the last 18 months," says Swaraj, who also visited a number of capital cities worldwide to project India's resurgent image and government's vision.

A regular feature of Modi's foreign trips has been his address to Indian diaspora and showcasing them as India's soft power.

His criticism of previous governments in foreign soil drew sharp reactions from opposition parties back home.


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