Sunday, March 05, 2006

Carrots and Sticks: The New India

The Manmohan Doctrine is a very forward-looking and well-written article on India's economic progress.

The subcontinent has more bad news for India than the rest of the world put together. Official relations with Pakistan are somewhere between freezing and tepid. There has been no chemistry, not even a mild fizz, between Pervez Musharraf, the ex-commando and Singh, the ex-Oxford don. Musharraf is unimpressed with Singh’s insistence that he needs five years in office before he can consider a Kashmir settlement. So Islamabad keeps the terrorism pot boiling.

The news is almost as bad in Nepal and Bangladesh. Sri Lanka merely teeters on the brink of war while the Maldives struggles to transit to democracy.

Singh has spent the past year waggling carrots before India’s neighbours. Settle the security concerns of India and you can share in the world’s second-fastest growing economy, says Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran repeatedly. This has little traction with the likes of Musharraf or King Gyanendra, critics say, as they better understand sticks.

Singh’s fall back policy: Stay calm so long as the neighbours don’t get in the way of the 10 per cent solution. As India shines, some light will eventually get through the blinkers. The Indo-US nuclear deal has only reinforced the view among Pakistanis of their future —“In 50 years, you will be the US and we will be Mexico.”


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I write essays in my spare time on things that are important to me. The ones that I feel are any good, or make any sense, I put them up here. :)