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'India ready to be a global power'

The EAM says this at the launch of Global India Foundation - a think tank, reports Nilova R Chaudhury.

india Updated: Jan 16, 2007 23:40 IST

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee launched a think tank on Tuesday aimed at adequately projecting India's potential to the world.

The Global India Foundation is made up of a diverse group of former senior civil servants and diplomats, retired armed forces personnel, academics and businessmen.

Welcoming the initiative, Mukherjee said, "Inputs that we receive from such initiatives to complement those taken by official and government channels are welcome." He said, "The initiative is conceptualised and aims at promoting national resilience, economic prosperity and liberal values and the principal of social commitment in national life."

Admiral PJ Jacob, Vice Chief of Naval Staff (Rtd) & Former Member, NSAB is the Foundation's chairman. Other key members are Dinesh Pathak, Former Director, IB & former member, NSAB, Salman Haidar, former Foreign Secretary and Arundhati Ghose, former Permanent Representative to the UN.

Outlining the government's foreign policy priorities, Mukherjee said India's relations with its neighbours, including China and Pakistan, are "poised for a positive transformation".

"Our foreign policy has essentially been to expand India's strategic space," said Mukherjee.

"Our policy of non-alignment is our ability to judge and to act on our own judgment on the basis of enlightened self-interest."

"We do not wish to be passive observers and recipients of the actions of others, but would like to be one of the powers contributing to the shape of a global order which emerges and which allows us to pursue our vital interests," said the minister.

According to Mukherjee, "The biggest challenge for our foreign policy, however, lies in changing our own mindsets. The Indian strategic community must come to terms with our increasing weight in the international system."