India announced a soft credit line
of $1 billion for infrastructure, irrigation and energy projects. Modi took up
the work of starting the 5,600 MW Pancheshwar project, which remained stalled
for 18 years after the agreement1.
He assured the Nepali side that India will not want Nepal’s electricity or
power for free: “We will buy it, and that alone will change the face of Nepal…
We will provide power to you now, but 10 years hence, you will remove our
darkness,” he said, hinting India will move fast on the implementation of
projects now. PM Modi
announced his ‘HIT’ formula—highways, i-ways, transways.
Deliberations and discussions are presently being carried out to agree upon the
major issues such as the sharing of water and its benefits between Nepal and
India and putting a value to the benefits in the project’s Detailed Project
Energy from the project that is to be developed jointly by India and Nepal will
be divided equally as per bilateral treaties. However, the sharing of the
benefits and water from the reservoir, like irrigation and flood control, are
yet to be agreed in terms of price and quantity. PM Modi announced and stressed
4C’s formula that is Cooperation, Connectivity, Culture and Constitution. On
request of Nepal Government during SAARC summit, PM Modi provided special cars
to Nepal for use of Heads of the Participating member states. PM Modi is also the first foreign
leader to have addressed Nepal’s parliament.
Bangladesh, India has ratified the long-delayed Land Boundary Agreement,
putting an end to the dispute over the boundary by passing legislation in
Indian parliament. In addition to economic engagement, Bangladesh, in its turn,
has been cooperating extensively with India on counter-terrorism. Modi’s visit to Bangladesh with West
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee by his side was marked by the settlement
and ratification of the 41-year-old boundary dispute (Land Boundary Agreement)
and announcement of a fresh line of credit of $2 billion to the neighbouring country3.
In January 2016, India entered a preliminary agreement to supply 100 MW of
electricity daily to Bangladesh from the gas-based ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPC)4.
The Bangladesh Government responded by initiating the process to allow access
to the Chittagong port. It also has plans to implement the proposed rail
connectivity between Agartala and Akhaura junction in Bangladesh. Bangladesh
has granted India road transit facility through its territories to Agartala
under the Bhutan-Bangladesh-India-Nepal (BBIN) motor vehicles agreement.
India is also pushing
for the BBIN (Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal) initiative, which will enhance
cooperation in water resources management, connectivity of power grids,
multi-modal transport, & freight and trade infrastructure. The four
countries recently signed a motor vehicle agreement, which will facilitate the cross
border movement of goods and people, which is the first step towards
integrating the region5.
Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Sri Lanka in almost 28
years after Rajiv Gandhi to tour to the nation. He emphasized on the shared
strong historic and cultural links that exist between the two nations. It was
clear that he was interested in making a fresh start with Sri Lanka as that
country emerges from a troubled and turbulent phase.
entered into a defense cooperation action plan in April 2016.6 Modi
stressed that Maldives’ stability and security is directly linked to the national
interests of India and assured the island of support required to strengthen
democratic institutions. The countries also signed many pacts in the field of
tourism, taxation, conservation, and SAARC satellite.
has an uneasy relationship with China. China is India’s largest trading
partner. The trade balance is heavily in favour of China. The territorial
dispute remains unsolved and it periodically boils over into incidents of
friction. In the Indian perception, China is the primary threat to its security.
PM Modi has visited China on May 2015 and September 2016 to smoothen the
relations between two countries7.
Pakistan: After coming to power PM Modi tried hard to rebuild cordial
relations with Pakistan and his surprise stopover in Lahore at Christmas on
December, 25-2015, on his way back from an official trip to Afghanistan
reflected his sense of personal diplomacy8. But
within the short span of his tenure as Prime Minister, Indo-Pak relations have
taken many twists and turns.
barely a week after the Prime Minister’s visit to Pakistan and the announcement
of a resumption of bilateral talks, an Indian Air Force base in Pathankot was
attacked. Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), a militant organization based in Pakistan,
was suspected to have designed the attack. In view of the loss of lives of
Indian soldiers in the attack the Indian government put forth a strong stance
and pressed for stern action against the terrorists as a condition precedent for
any future comprehensive talks with Pakistan. Surgical strike by India to
destroy terrorist camps along the borders of India spread a clear message that
India shall not compromise with its national security and sovereignty.
8. Mayanmar: Myanmar shares a long land
border of over 1600 Km with India as well as a maritime boundary in the Bay of
Bengal. Four North-Eastern States viz. Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and
Mizoram share international boundary with Myanmar9.
Both countries share a heritage of religious, linguistic and ethnic ties.
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, during her visit to Myanmar in August
2014, pointed to Buddhism as an important link between the countries that may
foster people-to-people contacts and serve as a foundation for generally
improved relations. The pragmatic foreign policy doctrine of India’s new Prime
Minister, Narendra Modi, is based on an “enlightened national interest” and
places its focus squarely on India’s immediate neighbourhood, including