Islam-dominant region facing clash within its own civilisation, says retired envoy

Former Indian Ambassador to United Nations, Narendra P Jain joined talks about Indian foreign policy as the BJP government completes one-year at the centre. Read excerpts of the interview.
Updated on May 25, 2015 09:00 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | By, Indore

Former Indian Ambassador to United Nations, European Union, Mexico and Nepal, Narendra P Jain joined Indian Foreign Services in 1953. Jain, an Indore resident, served as secretary, ministry of external affairs from 1984-86. He spoke to Hindustan Times about Indian foreign policy as the BJP government completes one-year at the centre.

Despite India having signed mega business deals with China, the border dispute remains intact. Even if Line of Control (LoC) is defined, what is the guarantee that China will not violate it?

Border disputes carry a lot of historical baggage and nationalistic passions. Every solution to the mutually agreed line of control can be intractable unless overall bilateral relations improve and stabilise in different spheres. India and China have to learn to be both competitors and collaborators. It is in the interest of both to co-exist peacefully and walk together to make Asia's combined voice heard with greater effect. Indian PM Narendra Modi has made the right moves in this direction. It is time China reviews its desire to be dominant world power. In present age, you can’t succeed as an expansionist but need to be a competitive, co-existing collaborator for a better world.

There appears to be interplay of secessionism, extremism, terrorism, jihad and civil war in Syria, Iraq, Yemen with Iran and US-backed Saudi Arabia forces playing their own role. US will withdraw forces from Afghanistan soon. What security challenges India faces in such a scenario?

The Middle East, Gulf region, the entire Islam-dominated region is facing what one might call 'Clash within its own civilisation.’ Even Arab spring acquired violent overtones, and ill-conceived western policies only served to complicate it and in a way encouraged more terrorist groups. The buck lies with the Islamic nations to control the disastrous drift towards unbridled violence and escalating terrorism. Withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan will pose problems. But in the long run stability would depend on how effectively the Taliban's power game is defeated. India and China can do it by continuing to offer economic and technical aid to strengthen Afghanistan’s shattered economy. Unfortunately, Pakistan is hostile to India's constructive role in rebuilding Afghanistan.

Of late, has there been a significant shift in India's foreign policy to address Pakistan occupied Kashmir issue. Do you think BJP-PDP coalition in J&K will help solve the Kashmir issue?

India's stand on PoK has been consistent over the years. In a grand gesture during the heavy floods, PM Modi offered to help the PoK. The coalition government in J&K is a welcome move. India has taken strong measures at controlling border infiltrations in sensitive areas and sent stern message to Pakistan. If the coalition government functions smoothly despite inherent difficulties, it would eventually weaken the secessionist forces within Kashmir which Pakistan wishes to make a party for future negotiations.

In last one year, how India has come to be viewed globally?

India's foreign policy in the past one year has been a welcome mix of immediate results entwined with long term impact. The actively pursued 'Act East' and 'Link West' approach has led to closer and meaningful understandings and agreements with major Asian powers. PM Modi has injected innovative dynamism in the conception, formulation, and implementation of India's foreign policy. While enhancing India’s global standing, he has stressed on integrated, coordinated approach to political, economic and cultural diplomacy.


    Padma is a Special Correspondent and looks after Central govt and political parties. She has special interest in local history of Indore and Malwa region, art and architecture.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Traffic congestion near Vihang Inn on Ghodbunder Road in Thane on Thursday evening. Motorists have to put up with traffic snarls in Thane on a regular basis. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)

    Motorists put up with traffic snarls in Thane

    Thursday was a nightmare for commuters travelling in and out of Thane city as there was choc-a-bloc traffic for over nine hours along the stretch from Majiwada towards Mumbai and Nashik. The Eastern Express Highway had a 45-minute delay all through the day on Thursday. Ghodbunder Road experiences the most traffic snarls. Commuters entering Thane through the Eastern Express Highway over the one-year-old Kopri Bridge are also experiencing traffic issues.

  • Vijay Surela HT Photo

    Mobile thief forgets to switch off handset, lands in police net

    A 20-year-old youth from Borivali West, who used to steal mobile phones and later sell them on the black market, had successfully stayed off the radar for four years. Senior police inspector of MHB police station, Sudhir Kudalkar, said they had received 10 mobile phone theft complaints in the last three months, and in all cases, the handsets were taken away while they were connected to the charging points near windows or doors.

  • However, the city saw a dip in new Covid cases on Thursday as compared to July 6 (Vipin Kumar)

    Covid claims life of 9-month-old, youngest this year in city

    Mumbai After registering zero deaths after a gap of 22 days on Wednesday, Mumbai reported two fatalities on Thursday, taking the July toll to 10. Far, since the beginning of the pandemic, the city has seen 68 Covid deaths in the age group of 0-18, out of which 28 were in the age group 0-9. However, the city saw a dip in new Covid cases on Thursday as compared to July 6.

  • It was found that nearly 43% of Mumbai’s area (within BMC limits) houses 75.9% of the city’s population (per census 2011), which has access to a flood shelter within 1km walking distance (Bhushan Koyande)

    Over 35% of population live close to chronic flooding hotspots in city

    Mumbai A recent analysis has revealed that while more than 35% of the city's population is estimated to be living within 250 metres of known chronic flooding hotspots, less than half of the city's population has easy access to flood shelters. In Mumbai, as with other cities, flood shelters are repurposed from existing structures like public schools, hospitals, sports grounds, marketplaces, marriage halls, shelters for the homeless, and offices.

  • Police has lodged a case against an unknown truck driver on Wednesday. (File image)

    Thane: Biker dies after being mowed down by truck; driver absconding

    In a tragic incident, a 24-year-old biker was mowed down after being hit by a trailer at Mankoli, Bhiwandi, Thane on Wednesday night. Police has lodged a case against an unknown truck driver on Wednesday. The driver of the trailer is absconding after the accident. The incident took place at Mankoli Naka near the bridge in Bhiwandi on Wednesday night, when the biker was on his way to Thane.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, July 07, 2022