For the Indian diplomatic calendar, it couldn’t have gotten busier and bigger than this. In 2010, New Delhi hosted visits from head of states or government every 15 days and, a visiting foreign minister every 12 days.
In other words, 25 heads of government and states and 31 foreign minister-level visits took place in 2010. External affairs minister S M Krishna undertook 19 trips, that’s one every 20 days or so.
And at the highest level there were 10 outgoing visits, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh went on seven trips visiting 11 countries, and President Pratibha Patil visiting five countries during three trips.
True that the leaders of all the P5 (permanent members of the United Nations Security Council) hogged much of the limelight. But it was also a year of hectic parleys and visits that culminated in India being elected as a non-permanent member to the UNSC after a gap of 19 years.
“These many visits show India’s growing profile and the global importance,” says Lalit Mansingh, former foreign secretary.
Having said that Mansingh points out not making desirable progress on two important fronts, Pakistan and China. “The visits show the robustness of Indian diplomacy, and winning non-permanent seat in the UNSC seat was remarkable. But ties with Pakistan are in a freeze. With China also, there was chill on many fronts.”