Amid China’s SAARC embrace, India flags off Enhanced South Asia policy

Amid China’s moves to deepen its foray into the region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repositioned India in the leadership role in the SAARC, with a clear message that India will move ahead with regional integration, with or without SAARC. In fact, India’s ‘enhanced’ South Asia diplomacy is set for a major upsurge with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay travelling to the country early next year and Mr Modi planning bilateral trips to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives in the coming months.
Refreshingly, India is unfazed by Pakistan’s negativity and is set to galvanize its South Asia diplomacy by backing words with deeds. This enhanced South Asia policy will be reflected in a spate of two-way visits.
Apart from accelerating commerce and connectivity with South Asian countries, India will also be looking to deepen strategic and security ties with South Asian neighbours, which has acquired a new urgency with China deepening its footprints in India’s periphery.

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