Indias Revamped Connect Central Asia Policy History Essay

1. Asia is fast emerging as the new Centre of planetary economic growing ensuing in important realignments in planetary strategic equations. The dissolution of the USSR in 1991 was followed by creative activity of five new Central Asian Republics – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Central Asia ‘s rich energy resources and India ‘s relentless energy demands, combined with India ‘s aspirations to be a major regional and planetary participant, have been the cardinal drive forces behind India ‘s increasing presence and influence in the part. Cardinal Asia is besides of import as an avenue for entree to Afghanistan, where India wants to be a major participant and blunt Pakistan ‘s influence. India ‘s engagement in Central Asia includes energy ties, trade and investing, and the beginnings of a military relationship. Diversifying and spread outing its international beginnings of energy has been a major Indian policy thrust for the past decennary, so it is no surprise that energy co-operation is at the bosom of India ‘s battle of Central Asia. Apart from that, security and stableness besides form nucleus concerns in its battle of Central Asia.

2. India in the yesteryear has failed to efficaciously prosecute the Central Asiatic states and has lost strategic infinite to other states. India had been badly prepared for the events after the interruption up the USSR and its foreign policy had been uneffective in prosecuting the freshly independent Central Asia Nations. India besides adopted a ‘Look North Policy ‘ that had an added focal point and encouragement after India ‘s atomic trials in 1998. However, the land it lost was ne’er recovered. This twelvemonth in Jun, India has launched a revamped “ Connect Central Asia ”[ 1 ]policy aimed at battle of the Central Asiatic Republics ( CAR ) in a more proactive mode.

Statement of the Problem

3. This paper seeks to analyze and analyze the importance of Central Asia, India ‘s foreign policy towards the part in the yesteryear, present geopolitics of Central Asia, including energy political relations and analyze the consequence of the “ Revamped Connect Central Asia ” policy on India ‘s limited influence in the Central Asiatic part.

Hypothesis

4. India was a late entrant in the Central Asiatic part and take to cover with it through Russia in the initial old ages after the interruption up of the USSR. India has lost valuable influence and strategic infinite to other participants. India ‘s revamped “ Connect Central Asia policy ” will positively increase Indian influence in the part.

Justification for the Study

5. The Central Asiatic Region was capable to the ‘Great Game ‘[ 2 ]between Tsarist Russia and the British colonial power in the Indian sub-continent in the chase of their domains of influence, with Afghanistan functioning as a ‘buffer ‘ between these two powers. The Soviet prostration gave rise to new strategic fortunes. This part is regarded as an energy and fuel modesty for the industrially developed states. The ‘erstwhile strategic underbelly ‘ of Russia is vulnerable to a “ New Great Game ”[ 3 ]. The long-running civil war in Afghanistan has now drawn the menaces of spiritual extremism, narco-terrorism and little weaponries proliferation to the part.

6. The above developments have, hence, added a new dimension to the strategic environment in South Asia in general and India in peculiar. India has had near historical, trade and cultural dealingss with Central Asia. All the turbulency in the checked history of Central Asia has ever had a spill over consequence on India. Although India does non hold direct boundary lines with any of the CARs, it is situated in their close propinquity and the part is of important geo-strategic, geo-political and geo-economic significance for India. It besides assumes importance in position of its huge energy resources. Positive and meaningful dealingss with the CARs would function the Indian involvements to a really big extent, particularly with regard to its aspirations for a bigger function in the international sphere.

7. The enormous economic chances and copiousness of natural resources in the part, as besides, the vacuity created in the Russian influence, have pulled US, EU, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, China and Japan into the part so as to function their involvements. In future, it will go a geo-political and geo-strategic flash point for U.S, Russian and Chinese involvements because of the economic angle. Though India does non portion straight her boundary lines with the CARs, her geographic propinquity and the dominant influences emerging in the part have a direct bearing on India ‘s strategic concerns. India ‘s battle of the part has been weak from the beginning. Initially, it chose to cover with the freshly formed democracies through Russia[ 4 ], losing influence to other participants. Its Look North policy was weak and failed to prosecute its involvements. It is hence of import to analyze the strategic importance of the part to India, the drawbacks of the foreign policy of the yesteryear, the present geopolitics and the consequence of the “ Revamped Connect Central Asia ” policy on India ‘s limited influence in the Central Asiatic part in order to urge the route in front.

Scope & A ; Organisation

8. The range and administration of the thesis is as under: –

( a ) Chapter I. Introduction and methodological analysis.

( a ) Chapter II. Strategic significance of Central Asia to India to include the range for energy & A ; security ties.

( degree Celsius ) Chapter III. Analysis of events post the interruption up of the USSR, the preparation of Indian Foreign Policy towards Central Asia & A ; India ‘s Look North Policy.

( vitamin D ) Chapter IV. Present geopolitics of Central Asia including Energy Politics.

( vitamin E ) Chapter V. Analysis of India ‘s Connect Central Asia policy.

( degree Fahrenheit ) Chapter VI. Decision.

Chapter II – STRATEGIC SIGNIFICANCE OF CENTRAL ASIA TO INDIA

Background

9. Cardinal Asia is. the nucleus part of the. Asiatic continent and stretches from the Caspian Sea in the West to China in the E and from Afghanistan in the South to. Russia in the North. It is besides sometimes. referred to as Middle Asia, and, conversationally, “ the ‘stans ”[ 5 ]( as the five. states by and large considered to be within the part all have names stoping with the Iranian postfix “ -stan ” , intending “ land of ” ) and. is within the range of the wider Eurasiatic continent. In. modern contexts, all definitions. of Cardinal Asia include five democracies of the former Soviet Union viz Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan. and Uzbekistan. Other countries[ 6 ]sometimes included. are Afghanistan, Mongolia, eastern Iran and northern and western Pakistan, and.sometimes Xinjiang and Tibet in western. China, Jammu and Kashmir in northern India, and southern Siberia in eastern Russia[ 7 ]. The most popular and widely accepted definition of Central Asia includes the. above five former Soviet democracies. It was in 1991 that due to the sudden and rapid death. of the mighty Soviet imperium in Central Asia and the prostration of communism, there sprang up, about nightlong, these five new states that as a whole comprise the Central Asiatic Republics ( CARs ) . This part has been.subject to conquest.and domination by European, Ottoman and Mongol. swayers from the times of Alexander the Great to the.modern imperial period, when Tsarist Russia. and the British colonial power in the Indian sub-continent.were locked in the ‘Great Game ‘[ 8 ]in chase of their domains. of influence, with Afghanistan.serving as a ‘buffer ‘ between.these two powers.

10. The Soviet prostration has.given rise to new strategic fortunes. This part is now regarded as.an energy and fuel modesty for the industrially developed states. The ‘erstwhile strategic underbelly ‘ of Russia is once more vulnerable to a “ New Great Game ”[ 9 ]. The degree.of exposure additions with a rickety internal state of affairs. obtaining within these states, which are confronting a host of jobs, notably political uncertainness, weak economic system despite the economic potency. and cultural / cultural diverseness. To do affairs worse, the long-running civil war in Afghanistan has now drawn the menaces of spiritual extremism, narco-terrorism and.small weaponries proliferation.

11. The above developments have, hence, added a.new dimension to the strategic environment in South Asia in general and India in peculiar. It may be recalled that India had. close historical, trade and cultural dealingss with Central Asia. All the turbulency in the checked history of Central Asia has ever had a spill over. consequence on India. Although India does non hold direct boundary lines with any of the CARs, it is situated in their close.proximity and the part is of important. geo-strategic, geo-political and geo-economic significance for India. Positive and meaningful dealingss with the CARs. would function the Indian involvements. to a really big extent, particularly with regard to its aspirations for a bigger function in the international sphere.

12. The enormous economic.prospects and copiousness of natural resources in the part, as besides, the vacuity created in the Russian influence, have pulled US, EU, Turkey, Iran, .Pakistan, China and Japan into the part so as to function their involvements. In future, it will go a geo-political and geo-strategic. flash point for U.S, Russian and Chinese involvements because of the economic angle. Though.India does non portion straight her boundary lines with the CARs, her geographic propinquity.and the dominant influences emerging in the part have a direct bearing on India ‘s strategic concerns. India was a late-starter[ 10 ]on the Central Asian chess board. India ‘s preoccupation in the first half of.the 1990s with its economic troubles, ongoing insurgence in J & A ; K, and unstable political surroundings prevented it from taking major political enterprises in Central Asia[ 11 ]. The strategic infinite it lost in the initial old ages was. ne’er regained. India chose to cover with CARs through Moscow and ne’er truly reached out to the freshly.formed democracies. It was merely after the economic advancement and the atomic trials conducted in 1998[ 12 ]that gave an self-asserting.India the push and assurance to ‘Look North ‘ in hunt of energy for its economic system and seek greater strategic.engagement with the CARs.

13. The importance of CARs to.India is in two contexts ie security and economic. The strategic.importance of the Central Asiatic part for India emerges from these two major factors.

14. The Strengths.

( a ) Geo-Strategic Location. The part is a land.bridge between East Asia and Europe, between South Asia.and Europe and between West Asia and East Asia/Europe.

( B ) Economic Potential. It is clearly the rich militias. of hydrocarbons that bestow planetary significance.on Central Asia. The opinion elites in these states. realise that the economic and political chances of their states depend.totally on gaining. this raw-material potency[ 13 ].

15. The New Great Game.

( a ) The above strengths and built-in. exposures originating out of the rickety dissolution of the Soviet.Union, in bend, have the potency of bring forthing a New Great Game in the Central Asiatic.Region. The overabundance of oil and gas. resources makes this part an epicentre of geo-political ( more. exactly, geo-economic ) competition. The point is that, in contrast to the “ Great Game ” played here earlier ( affecting. chiefly domains of political and.military influence ) , this clip the. competition centres on. an effort to set up control.over natural resources. The moves of assorted powers to derive entree in the part have now.been justified in the attire of the ongoing. battle against terrorist act and bar. of spread of Islamic fundamentalism. Other states. excessively have joined the game in promotion.of their national/regional/global aspirations.

( B ) Equally far as USA and Western.powers are concerned, after the September 11 events, and the subsequent. developments in Afghanistan[ 14 ], the CARs came once more into prominence in the Western strategic computations for its volatility and.destabilizing effects on peace and security. As recent events.show, there is a strong Western military.presence led by the US in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan with the exclusion. of Turkmenistan, which has propagated a policy of ‘positive.neutrality ‘ .

( degree Celsius ) As respects Russia, all the Central.Asian provinces have forged a typical relationship with Russia[ 15 ]. Due to geographical.compulsions, they still depend on.Russia for trade and transit/transportation of their.energy resources. Furthermore, the size of Russian population within each province determines.this relationship. President Putin is prosecuting policy of engagement.in Central Asia in economic and military footings. Besides, Russia and.China have come together on a multi-lateral footing.to ward off the menaces of Western influence. In recent old ages, China.on its ain has sought to do a strong presence in Central Asia to procure.its strategic, economic and geo-political involvements[ 16 ].

( vitamin D ) In add-on to the above.major planetary participants, regional participants like Turkey, Iran and Pakistan excessively have. their involvements at interest in the part.

( vitamin E ) The Indian Context. In position of the above, the Central Asiatic Region.assumes great significance for India, as it presents challenges of a different sort for India ‘s foreign and security policies. Hitherto forward, India had enjoyed a particular.relation with the democracies under the Soviet government. .India was possibly the lone non-communist state which was allowed entree to the.CARs, albeit through Moscow, and addition ‘glimpses of the.hidden side of the Soviet Union ‘ at that clip[ 17 ]. With the unraveling.of the USSR, India has lost this advantage to quite an extent. Despite Russian.efforts to asseverate her influence in the part, the possibility of increased influence of the other regional and universe.powers over the CARs is a world. The procedure of political passage.and the concluding orientation of these new provinces can non neglect to impact the strategic.environment for India. Further, India is.handicapped with no direct land nexus with the CARs.

16. Cardinal Asia with its.Islamic roots, propinquity to Afghanistan, energy resources and volatile internal state of affairs is a possible struggle country in which stableness revolves around universe.politics, as besides its internal state of affairs. Any case of instability in this part will hold a important impact on the stableness and security of the South Asiatic part. Therefore there.is a strong demand for India to protect her national.interests with positive battle of the CARs.

GEO-STRATEGIC SIGNIFICANCE

Geographic Dimension

17. The prophetic words.of Sir Halford Mackinder, a celebrated geo-political observer of his times underline.the geo-strategic importance of the part. In his geo-political.theory of the heartland, he propagated that “ He who regulations the heartland, regulations Asia. He who.rules Asia, regulations the universe. ” Mackinder considered Central.Asia as the Centre of the universe and reasoned that “ It is the greatest natural fortress.in the universe defended by polar ice caps, comeuppances, mountain scopes and waterless.zones. It is the largest land.mass in the universe and whosoever controls it, exercises tremendous power because he is, hence non dependent on.sea power ” . This part can more suitably be called as a zone of convergence of the major geo-cultural parts of Eurasia, with its secular interactions.spanning both these continents[ 18 ]. Mackinder ‘s heartland theory was enthusiastically supported during the class of the “ Great Game ” played by Russia.and Great Britain in this part. The theory.was vindicated in World War II when Central Asia provided tremendous strategic deepness and infinite.to USSR in her mortal struggle with Nazi Germany.

18. In the present.context, the CARs southern boundary lines rest partially on war-worn Afghanistan and Iran, Russia lies to the North, . China ‘s Xinjiang – Uighur Autonomous Region to the East and.Caucasus Region, which is besides a brassy point to the West. The propinquity of China, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and Russia, each with its opportunisms at cross-purposes with the others, makes this a possible part for volatile.clashes between neighboring powers. Thus the security deductions of this part are bound to hold.ramifications in both the continents of Europe.and Asia and peculiarly India.

19. Another alone characteristic of the.location of this part is that it is wholly land locked[ 19 ]. Even the entree of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to the Caspian Sea does non give them entree.beyond their immediate neighbors. Bing land locked provinces, acquiring entree to the southern seas to be linked with the universe market is really.important for them. Similarly, the influence of its neighbors on the part is straight related to their ability to supply the part with entree to the sea.

20. Another factor is its location.next to what may be termed as a geo-strategic thaw pot Internet Explorer West Asia. The cross currents of Arab-Israeli competition, intra-Arab ill will and the on-going war against terrorist act, have all combined to maintain this oil rich part in a.state of uninterrupted convulsion and instability, taking to periodic wars. In the changed geo-political environment, it is non wholly improbable that the CARs may now be dragged into these struggles, with some bookmans already speaking.in footings of a ‘Greater Middle East ‘[ 20 ].

GEO-POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE

21. Owing to its relentless.economic sufferings, Russia is neither willing, nor really in a place to shoulder assistance load to the CARs and do ample investings in their economic systems. No.wonder, all the CARs are diversifying their political and economic ties with the outside universe[ 21 ]. The geo-political importance of these.states and their abundant oil and gas militias and other natural resources are pulling the USA and other industrialized states that have surplus investible capital and engineering.eagerly sought by these democracies. The CARs are besides looking towards West-dominated many-sided fiscal establishments. like the World Bank, IMF, EBRD and Asian Development Bank, etc. , for loans. Large US, European, Nipponese and. South Korean corporations have signed large trades.with the CARs for investing in their energy and substructure sectors[ 22 ].

22. There is small hope that any of the five states could follow an independent class and mobilise. its political and economic resources to exert overall leading in the country in the foreseeable hereafter. Possibly, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.are the lone democracies, which can work as regional ground tackles in Central Asia.

GEO-ECONOMIC SIGNIFICANCE

23. Given its tremendous.natural wealths, Central Asia holds the key that will determine the strategic environment of the part in the. decennaries to come. The current rush of involvement in post-Soviet Central Asia derives mostly from the fact that the part lies.in the Centre of the trade involvements of Europe and Asia. The geo-economic significance should be viewed in light. of the hapless economic position inherited from Russia, as besides the painful passage to denationalization, which. the CARs are undergoing at present. These factors, coupled with the.natural wealths manner the strategic.calculations of outside powers.

An Appraisal of the Oil and Natural Gas Militias

24. Cardinal Asia has been seen as a important new manufacturer of hydrocarbons. However, attention must be taken so as non to greatly overstate the graduated table of.resource base in the Caspian. It must besides be noted that while the Caspian could be of import as a beginning of.hydrocarbons, it will non even get down to near the Middle.East as an oil hub. Estimates of Caspian Basin oil militias as under[ 23 ]: –

Proved Militias Oil militias Share of entire universe

( billion barrels ) oil militias ( % )

Azerbaijan 7.0 0.6

Kazakhstan 39.6 3.3

Turkmenistan 0.5 0.042

Uzbekistan 0.6 0.05

25. Reasonable oil.production scenarios project that the Caspian Basin will finally bring forth about 191 billion barrels or 10 per centum of entire universe oil production as compared to Saudi Arabia ‘s.300 billion barrels proved militias.

26. The universe resources.of natural gas were assessed at approximately 400 trillion three-dimensional metres in 1990s ; of these 142.1 trillion three-dimensional metres were proven. Russia entirely has 48.8 trillion three-dimensional metres. of proved militias. Taking into history other likely resources, the entire sum of natural gas in the part is assessed at about 12-16 trillion.cubic metres or about 8-12 per centum of current universe gas militias. The portion of the Central Asiatic states is as under[ 24 ]: –

Proven Reserves Gas militias Share of entire universe

( trillion three-dimensional metres ) gas militias ( % )

Azerbaijan 1.4 0.8

Kazakhstan 3.0 1.7

Turkmenistan 2.9 1.6

Uzbekistan 1.9 1.0

27. However, the advantage, which the Caspian oil.and gas enjoy over the Russian energy resources, is that it is more.competitive in the universe energy market. The entire cost of production.of oil in Kazakhstan is between $ 2.70-2.90 per barrel as against $ 5.30-7 per barrel in Russia. Similarly, Caspian gas is more competitory and may inch.out Russia from the turning regional markets.

Lost Opportunities[ 25 ]

28. When the Central.Asian democracies attained independency, they looked frontward to India playing a outstanding function as.a major spouse in all domains of activity. Unfortunately India.was unable to optimally change over the traditional good will into modern-day influence. Although this is altering now, the Indian presence and visibleness in this.part of the universe still remains highly hapless. India ‘s economic dealingss have deplorably lagged behind the political relationship, chiefly because.India is non economically rich plenty, nor is its concern, industrial and fiscal.community aggressive plenty to get the better of India ‘s geographical.and other disabilities in covering with Central Asia.

29. From the position of the.Central Asiatic states, India has non been able to do a important.contribution to their immediate precedences viz. their hunt for national individuality, security and, more late, government endurance. Nor has it given meaningful aid in.their economic development. Therefore India occupies a slightly lower.priority in the foreign policies of the Central Asiatic states, at least in a short-run.perspective.

30. Due to the clang of involvements of major participants like Russia, US and China, the Central Asian.countries continue to hold some outlooks that India would play a much larger function in.Central Asia, and see India as a possible reconciliation factor to the.other major participants in the part. However, India ‘s good dealingss with Russia and the fact that it is a comparatively minor participant in Central Asia restrict.its function as an effectual reconciliation force. India ‘s major quandary and restraint.is how to entree Central Asia due to its geographical location. Given its. built-in disabilities, India can non accomplish its aims by moving.on its ain in Central Asia. As a geographical country that abuts on the boundary lines of major powers in Asia, including India, Central Asia will ever pull a foreign.presence. It is a “ negative security infinite ” , which the major powers can non afford to.let other powers or forces dominate. Therefore, in order to protect and.preserve its involvements in the part, India has no alternate but to closely confer with.and cooperate with the other major powers that have an involvement and a.presence in Central Asia.

Present State of Affairs in CARs as Affecting India

31. Prior to seeing India ‘s.interests in Central Asiatic Region, it is necessary to set about an analysis of.the present province of personal businesss in CARs as impacting India. The analysis is every bit.given out in under mentioned paragraphs.

32. Cultural and Religious Tensions. The form of cultural and spiritual tensenesss has a direct bearing on. India ‘s security as they could steep India since India excessively has a.sizable population of same spiritual denomination. Kashmir is particularly vulnerable due.to its adjacency and bing combativeness. Any eruption of struggle in the part.gives Pakistan a opportunity to play a bigger function in the Car[ 26 ], which.has unsafe omens for India.

33. Orientation of CARs. With the decrease in Russia ‘s strategic place in the part, the.relatively benign environment for India has been disturbed. Although Russia.is asseverating herself to recover control, the attempts by other regional.powers continue. The ultimate orientation of the CARs is important for.India as at least two states, Pakistan and China, trying to project themselves.in the part are unfriendly to India.

34. Security Environment. The regional security.environment has besides got diluted. The former Soviet.Union had non merely shouldered the duty for security in Central Asia, it has acted as a counterbalance against forces counter.towards India. However, the Russian Collective Security.umbrella is some alleviation for India.

35. Economic Potential. The enormous.economic potency of the CARs have been brought out earlier in this survey. However, the issue necessitating attending is that CARs are.not the major economic spouses of India. At the terminal of the Eightiess, the Soviet Union.accounted for 16 per centum of India ‘s exports and 6 per centum.of India ‘s imports, out of which Russia accounted, and still histories, for 80 per centum of trade with India. A big part of the staying trade is with Ukraine. Now besides the CARs merely.account for less than 3 per centum of the trade. Expansion of trade seems to be constrained, in malice of immense markets/nation.building, chiefly due to the combination of factors like geographics, political hurdlings linked to the. state of affairs in Afghanistan and outgrowth of new rivals.in the domestic markets of these democracies, viz. China, Turkey, Iran and USA.

36. Islamisation. If the CARs go.an Islamic entity, so Pakistan may be able to garner more.support against India in the Islamic and international fora.

37. Turning Influence of China. The menace of China-Pakistan link is unsafe. for India ‘s security. China ‘s influence in the part will.provide her with a ‘backdoor ‘ to India. India and China ‘s trade involvements in. the part, every bit far as exports are concerned, are besides likely to collide.

38. Drug Traffic. A Pakistan-Afghan control of the.region will do it hard for India to look into the.flow of drug traffic in the part as narcotics.trade in Central Asia additions.

39. CARs- A Conflict Zone. There are possibilities of an.interest clang in the CARs over economic. resources and even territorial acquisitions. Clash between Russia. and China, Russia and USA, China and USA, Iran and Afghanistan are.a distant but distinguishable possibility. A struggle zone in India ‘s backyard can.only be a job for her.

India ‘s Interests in Central Asiatic Region

40. The analysis of the province of personal businesss. in the CARs as impacting India conveying out that nevertheless fringy. India ‘s involvements may hold been in the part in the yesteryear, the geo-political and.geo-economic worlds and the regional security environment makes the CARs important plenty for India to redevelop her policies to.protect her involvements in the part. Therefore, India ‘s involvements in the part demand to be identified. These are: –

( a ) Economic involvements, with peculiar mention.to energy security ( as an option to Gulf ) and opening.avenues for the consumer market. The gap of the.region to the outside universe has straight reduced India ‘s economic.pre-dominance in the part. India, in the thick of its economic growing, can non afford to lose out on this chance, particularly in.view of her already established trade dealingss. It needs to take stairss. to guarantee a dynamic economic partnership. with the CARs, which in bend, would besides assist her security involvements.

( B ) Security involvements to include. Kashmir issue, spread of Islamic fundamentalism, weaponries proliferation, . smuggling of fissionable stuffs including WMDs and drug.trafficking. These issues have a direct bearing on India ‘s security, particularly maintaining. in head that the major beginning of. induction is through Pakistan.

( degree Celsius ) Regional involvements and.aspirations, with peculiar mention to countering Pakistan ‘s moves.and China ‘s long term design. Russia ‘s reaffirmation of her prominence. in the security strategy of the part lacks the clout it had earlier as.the CARs addition assurance and get down to interrupt free from Russian.shackles to predicate their ain national involvements. With China and.Pakistan trying to set up their influence on the.republics, India has a cause to worry.

( vitamin D ) Global involvements, .with peculiar mention to playing a meaningful function in the geo-political.evolution of the part, peculiarly its stableness. The CARs should.acquire economic strength and political stableness for echt independency. and non-alignment instead than going an sphere. for a new ‘Great Game ‘ between USA, China and Russia.

Chapter III – Analysis OF EVENTS POST THE BREAK UP OF THE USSR, THE FORMULATION OF INDIAN FOREIGN POLICY TOWARDS CENTRAL ASIA & A ; INDIA ‘S LOOK NORTH POLICY

Background

41. The turning international competition for.establishing domains of influence in Central Asia is doing serious.concerns to India. New Delhi has come to gain that it can no. longer remain an apathetic looker-on and watch the blatant efforts by outside. powers to alter the geopolitical balance in Central Asia, which is fraught. with sedate effects for the strategic balance in South.and West Asia[ 27 ].

Historical Neckties

42. India ‘s dealingss with.the part day of the month back to antiquity. From times immemorial, infinite hosts.of encroachers and colonists have kept coming to India through the legendary “ Silk Road ” of.Central Asia, the arteria of trade between the. Mediterranean and the rich civilizations of China and the Indian sub-continent, and have been absorbed.in the intricate cloth of the Indian society.

43. More late, in the.19th century, the “ Great Game ” or fight for domination between the two. rival imperial powers of Czarist Russia and Great Britain took topographic point here. Cardinal Asia eventually became.a portion of the Soviet Empire. The leaders of the Indian.Nationalist Movement, like Nehru, were rather captivated by the reforms. launched in Central Asia after the revolution, as the jobs confronting the Communist. leaders engaged in the undertaking of conveying about economic development.and societal advancement were similar to the 1s that independent India would hold.to face – beef uping the industrial sector in a chiefly agricultural.economy, and incorporating different cultural, lingual, and spiritual communities harmoniously into a. common province. Therefore, it was merely natural that Nehru envisaged. hammering closer dealingss with the Soviet democracies of Central Asia.

44. India and the Central.Asian democracies portion common features of multi-ethnicity, multi-lingual and multi-religious.states. – India and Kazakhstan on a big graduated table, while the. other Cardinal Asiatic democracies on a smaller graduated table. They are now, hence, seeking to.promote “ integrity in diverseness ” , in the theoretical account of India.

45. Geo-political Concern. The prostration of the Soviet system and the subsequent strategic retreat from.Central Asia has straight altered the regional strategic balance.against India. For decennaries, the Soviet Union guaranteed security in Central Asia and acted.as a political counterbalance against forces counter.towards India. India ‘s perceptual experience of Central Asia, therefore, had to undergo a alteration. These.states have today go a bunch of new states in the really bosom.of Eurasia, endeavoring to asseverate their national individualities against all odds of a diminished economic system and the.resurgence of cultural and spiritual struggles, which is the trademark.of the station Cold War universe. This has resulted in the Indian leaders.returning to the earlier British attack of Central Asia as being chiefly a geo-political concern. The Indian foreign. policy towards Central Asia lacked.focus and lucidity in the initial old ages after the terminal of the cold war.

46. Cultural Conflicts. The Soviet retreat.has given manner to resurfacing of localized struggles. based on cultural tensenesss, renascent patriotism and spiritual fundamentalism. This new.pattern of cultural struggles has a direct bearing.on India ‘s security.

47. Volatility of the Region. Recent. developments in the war-ravaged state of Afghanistan – the gateway to Central Asia – has made the part volatile and raised the.military position of Pakistan beyond proportion, with huge deductions for the regional. balance in South Asia. The outgrowth of Islamic Taliban.fundamentalists and Mujahideen guerillas in Afghanistan, aided and abetted both militarily.and financially by extra-regional powers like Pakistan has set in.a unsafe tendency with tremendous cause for instability in the part. It is, hence, in India ‘s immediate. involvements to take pressing diplomatic enterprises to guarantee that.the CARs remain politically stable and have a focussed foreign policy to turn to.the issue in India ‘s national involvements.

48. Economic Cooperation. India is acute on.establishing healthy economic ties with the CARs. The part has a batch of possible and can turn out to be a big market for. Indian goods and services. Further, India is likely to be one of the universe ‘s largest importer of.petroleum merchandises in the close hereafter. It is, hence, imperative that.we have affable dealingss with Central Asia which possesses the universe ‘s largest militias. of hydro-carbon fuels. There are, nevertheless, several.impediments to the physique up of trade and commercialism with the part. Entree to warm H2O ports. in the South remains hampered due to the war in Afghanistan. Routeing of goods through northern.Russian ports every bit good as airlifting lading is non cost effectual. Additionally, the banking system.in these provinces is still.nascent and undependable. Inspite of these hinderances, Indian investing in this part is. on the rise, peculiarly in the services sector.

49. Muslim Fundamentalism. The resurgence and revival.of Islam in the CARs is natural after.decades of unbelieving communist regulation. However, Central Asian Islam belongs to the more tolerant Sufi traditions. Islam in these democracies is non sole, .intolerant or obscurantist. India ‘s composite civilization, with its big Muslim population and modernising and secular civil order, may turn out to be more attractive for the Central Asians, than.the nonreversible accent on Islam in some.of the neighbouring Muslim states. It is, hence, in India ‘s involvements to consolidate.forces of socio-religious tolerance in this part, and prevent the spread of Islamic fundamentalism. sponsored by Pakistan, as is apparent in its.involvement in Afghanistan and Kashmir.

50. India ‘s Handicap. India is handicapped. in this part by the absence of geographical adjacency. Soon, India ‘s economic and concern. interaction with Central Asia, despite great.interest on both sides, is non much. Present air conveyance of Indian goods to.Central Asiatic capitals and the roundabout sea path via Black Sea ports are really expensive.and does non do our goods competitory in.Central Asiatic markets. There is a demand for developing a agency of surface transit. to the CARs from India.

India ‘s Foreign Policy

51. Initially, India ‘s foreign policy.was non focused towards positive battle with the.Central Asiatic states. The battle was through Russia. It was in the ulterior portion of the 1990s.that a Look North policy was propagated.

52. India considers Central. Asia as ‘its strategic vicinity ‘ . During a visit to Turkmenistan in.September 1995, the so Primei»? Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao made it clear that ‘for India ‘ , Central Asia. is an country[ 28 ]“ of high precedence, where we aim to remain.engaged far into the hereafter. We are an independent spouse with no.selfishi»? motivations. We merely desire honest and unfastened friendly relationship and to advance. stableness and cooperation without doing injury to any thirdi»? state ” . Such a announcement.offered a glance at the dianoetic.genesis of the ‘Look North ‘ policy.

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53. The Look North policy is.considered an integrated ( if non needfully coherent, allow entirely.homogeneous ) policy. The suggestion had been that India needed to developi»? non a.regional, but a ‘country-specific ‘ attack to Central Asia. The strategic importance.of Central Asiani»? provinces was understood as ‘they are closer to us i.e. New Delhi, than many of India ‘s.state capitals and they are sitting on a sea of.crude oil and gas ‘ . In this regard, it was the dissolution.of the Soviet Union that altered.radically ‘the geopolitics ‘ and the ‘security scenario ‘ of the part.

54. In peculiar, it forced upon New Delhi. the acknowledgment that Central Asia is ai»? distinguishable part in India ‘s immediate.vicinity and whose forms of interaction impact on and are impacted by.developments in Southi»? Asia. This realisation seems to hold been one.of the underlyingi»? characteristics in the transmutation of India ‘s post-Cold War foreign policy. The apprehension that.Central Asia is India ‘s ‘immediate and.strategic vicinity ‘ reveals an grasps of the ‘deep and critical involvements at interest ‘ every bit good. as New Delhi ‘s ‘concerns and strategic thought ‘ .

55. India adopted a scheme. that aimed ‘to remind the new coevals in Central Asia that India is non new to.them but instead a really old friend if seeni»? in the historical position. A distinguishable ‘Look North ‘ policy. would enable India ‘to formulate proactive.strategies, to minimise possible menaces, exploit chances and act upon the concluding result ofi»? .the passage ‘ . It hence becomes an look. of India ‘s desire ‘to promote a layman, multi-ethnic.order in the part ‘ .

56. Consequently, India was presented.as a theoretical account for Central Asian provinces. It is claimed that in their.search for ‘support and constructive cooperation ‘ , i»?India stood as an attractive way to associate to. India was noti»? i»?only a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and resilient society withi»? huge.experience of pull offing delicate intra-ethnic dealingss, i»? but besides a.secular and democratic civil order. At the same clip, i»? i»?India was.geographically distant, but culturally and historically near, without any record of an intrusive or aggressivei»? i»?.behavior towards the freshly emerged Central Asiatic republics.i»?

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i»? 57. The several specifying characteristics of Central Asia in the formative old ages were: –

The rise of spiritual extremism. ini»? the post-Soviet period.

The increasing degrees of.trafficking ini»? goods and people.

The uncomplete, fickle, and uneven.processi»? of political and economic reform.

The disruptive geopolitical.location of Central Asian provinces ( abetted by their naturali»? resources ) which makes. them capable to the involvements of a numberi»? of.extra-regional third-parties.

58. Thei»? articulations of the ‘Look-North ‘ policy revealed the specific involvements.of India in Central Asia: i»?-

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( a ) To derive entree to oil, gas, and other natural.resources for itsi»? ain energy demands.

( B ) To seek military bases as a.conduit fori»? i»?the sale and acquisition. of military hardware.

( degree Celsius ) Power projeci»?tion in the.extended vicinity.

( vitamin D ) To counter terroristi»? i»?threats, particularly.stemming from Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

( vitamin E ) Ti»?o deny Pakistan. ‘a strategic backwoods ‘ .

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59. Borrowing from a different context, the discursive. concepts ofi»? the ‘Look North ‘ policy suggested ‘the encouragement.and support for continued economic reforms in Central Asia taking to.fasteri»? and well-distributed growing. This would supply both expandedi»? market.and political stability-the two cardinal elements of India ‘s foreign.policy kineticss. Economic dealingss in.non-traditional waysi»? and sectors should be the focal. point of India ‘s battle with the part ‘ . The contention.is that without ‘strong trade and economic dealingss ‘ it may be hard for India to prolong.the ‘strategic and security aims ‘ of the ‘Look North ‘ policy.

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i»?60. Several observers have indicated.that India ‘s failure to prosecute Cardinal Asia more convincingly is an result. non merely of the ‘post-Cold War Blues ‘ of its foreign policy devising, but is.also a testament to its Nehruvian bequest. The ‘Look North ‘ has hence.been construed as a ‘non-Pakistani option ‘ for Cardinal Asia. However, Pakistan ‘s attempts ‘to befriend. the Central Asian states bore no fruit, because the latter were.looking towards India for aid and counsel during the transmutation of their.political andi»? economic system every bit good as in pull offing the.diversity of multiethnic and pluralist societies ‘ .

61. As a consequence, New Delhi ‘s ‘overestimation. of the function of Islamic states in the Central Asian democracies ‘ prevented. it from ‘a proactive policy toward the part in the pre-1998 period to.replace its reactivei»? position, dominated by competition with Pakistan ‘ . Such a preoccupation. with Islamabad ‘s policies in the part explains the ‘belated, decelerate, and.half-hearted base ‘ taken by India during this period which ( accordingly ) compelled.it to ‘catch up and counterbalance for its inactivity ‘ . Alternatively, ‘facts have proved.that Islam is non a decisive factor in the dealingss between Pakistan.and the Central Asiatic democracies. Economici»? considerations.overshadow the spiritual dimension of their relationship ‘ .

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i»?62. Therefore, the ‘ill-conceived and ill-executed. intervention of the part as a counterweight between India and Pakistan ‘ has. tended to confuse New Delhi ‘s foreign policy doing both.during and, particularly, after the terminal of the Cold War.

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i»?India ‘s Engagement in.Central Asia after 1998

i»?63. The post-1998 foreign policy. perceptual experience of Central Asia seems toi»? be informed by the realization that.despite the announcements of thei»? part ‘s ‘historical belonging ‘ to. India ‘s ‘strategic vicinity ‘ , New Delhi is ‘not giving sufficient attending to Central Asia ‘ ; accordingly, ‘good purposes.have non been converted into substantial dealingss ‘ . India has hence.been relegated to ‘a mere witness ‘ of regional political relations.owing to the deficiency of a ‘well spelled out policy towards Central Asia ‘ . India ‘s battle with the part as a pattern of ‘wait and.watch-a policy of inactive and benign disregard to. respond to events as they occur and to trust for the best ‘ .

64. Likewise, it is inferred that New Delhi ‘s battle.with Central Asian states has been ‘more reactive. than active ‘ . Such i»?ad hoc policy form.has urged some bookmans to declare. that India has reni»?dered itself ‘somewhat fringy ‘ to the international.relations of i»?Central Asia.i»? i»? i»?In this scene, the discourses of a ‘Look-North ‘ policy have come i»?to reflect the widening. geopolitical range of India ‘s foreign policy.articulations since the 1998 atomic trials.

i»? 65. In this scene, ‘India ‘s “ forward ” Central.Asian policy ‘ in the post-1998 period tends to ‘be seen as an built-in.component of its growi»?ing military, atomic, and economic power ‘ . The perceptual experience is that.New Delhi ‘s dealingss with the Central Asian states reveal ‘the operation of.a virtuous circle, with economic additions impeling an associated political.push from Indiai»? [ which ] produces both an improved state image and state ‘s standing. in regional and many-sided fora ‘ . As already explained, the ‘Look North ‘ .policy reflects New Delhi ‘s strategic consciousness of the propinquity of.Central Asia to India. Thus, i»? the part has begun ‘to be considered as portion of India ‘s external i»?neighborhood ‘ and ‘an indispensable constituent of our national security ‘ .

66. The Look North policy was inconsistent.and did non ensue in constructive and positive battle.of the Central Asiatic states. The strategic infinite was taken over by other participants and. India lost out on valuable influence in the part.

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