New Delhi: Ties with Pakistan and China which were on the centrestage of Indian diplomacy saw a “deterioration” in the year gone by, according to foreign policy experts who feel that the relationships are unlikely to see any forward movement in the new year.
The foreign policy establishment here has reached the conclusion that “no war, no peace” situation in the relationship with Pakistan will persist in 2017 given that it is not doing anything to stop terrorism directed at India.
The year gone by also saw growing distance between India and its traditional ally Russia and hardening of Chinese positions on two strategically significant issues to New Delhi — NSG and Masood Azhar, whose designation as terrorist by the UN was blocked by Beijing last week.
Foreign policy experts like G Parthasarathy, Kanwal Sibal and Naresh Chandra maintained that relationship with Pakistan “deteriorated” in 2016 and even with China there was no forward movement in ties.
Parthasarthy, however, said India has made it clear to both Pakistan and China that it won’t ignore their actions which have a bearing on the country’s security.
“For the first time with Pakistan and China, we are responding. In case of China for example, we now have taken a position on the (disputed) South China Sea…”, Parthasarthy said.
And with Pakistan, India has been able to convince the world that Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried his best to improve the ties and since they inflicted Pathankot and series of attacks on India, the government told Pakistan “enough is enough” by carrying out surgical strikes, the former High Commissioner to Pakistan added.
India had also launched a major diplomatic offensive to isolate Pakistan internationally following terror strikes including Pathankot, Uri and Nagrota.
“I think the message is loud and clear to both Pakistan and China that it takes two to tango. We are willing to reach out to you. But if you choose to remain totally ignoring what are our interests, we will react… the position is clear that anybody who harms our interest will pay a price without being provocative,” he added.
However, most of the foreign policy experts also feel that the Indo-Pak ties are not expected to see any early breakthrough in the new year.
The establishment here also have come to a realisation that India has to live with the “no war, no peace” situation vis-a-vis Pakistan, a senior government source said.