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3rd Pune Dialogue on National Security - 2017: Will India emerge as the fulcrum of new world?

India and world order in the 21st century, Extremist trends in Islam and India and, India and Rising China will be issues discussed by national and international speakers

pune Updated: Sep 14, 2017 23:32 IST
Abhay Vaidya
Abhay Vaidya
Hindustan Times, Pune
3rd PDNS- 2017,Pune Dialogue on National Security,china
India’s strategic partnerships, notably with Japan and Israel, are part of the emergence of new approaches in foreign policy. This photograph on September 14, shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shaking hands in Gandhinagar.(AFP)

Will India emerge as the fulcrum of the new world order in the 21st century, as predicted very confidently by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in his latest book ‘World Order’?

How should India deal with the extremist trends in Islam?

What about the emerging challenges that India faces from the rise of China?

These are the three core issues that will be discussed by top national and international experts at the third Pune Dialogue on National Security (PDNS) to be organised at the Yashada auditorium, Baner, on September 15 and 16.

About 80 experts from across the country and abroad will deliberate on these and other issues. The experts include scientists, officers of the armed forces and civil services. Kissinger, in his book, has described India as “a great civilization at the intersection of world orders, shaping and being shaped by their rhythms. It has been defined less by its political boundaries than by a shared spectrum of cultural traditions”.

According to him, India’s foreign policy has been driven primarily by Westphalian principles of pursuing national interests “despite being packaged in moralistic rhetoric”.

At the same time, he has predicted that “India will be a fulcrum of 21st century order: an indispensable element, based on its geography, resources, and tradition of sophisticated leadership, in the strategic and ideological equation of the region and of the global order at whose interaction it stands”. This will be discussed in session one, ‘India and the Emerging World Order’, chaired by PIC president Raghunath Mashelkar.

Extremist trends in Islam & India

This session will be convened by Shrinivas Sohoni, an ex-IAS officer and former advisor to President of Afghanistan.

Given the fact that India has been the target of terrorism and radical Islamisation for a number of decades now, PDNS has been looking at this issue very closely in its previous deliberations too. In the second PDNS, it was noted that the goal of the Pakistan State — more so, its Army leadership — in collaboration with certain Islamist states “is nothing less than to bring about the destruction of India and the conquest of India, and to that end, to impair and damage India by as many and whichever ways feasible”.

The report noted that states promoting radicalisation and violent extremism include countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Pakistan. No words were minced in stating that India has been the focus of a “premeditated, concerted, abundantly-resourced attack planned by expert practitioners of statecraft and state-destabilisation. The radicalisation and violent extremism seen in the country is not unplanned or sporadic or merely locally-inspired, but a collaboration between external and internal entities”. These deliberations also explored a number of recommendations such as creating awareness about the conspiracy to destabilise India; counter strategies at the national, state and district level and collaborations with other governments to deal with terrorism and Islamic radicalisation at the international level. Many of these aspects will be discussed at the third PDNS too, with a fresh perspective and with the participation of international experts.

Emerging challenges from the rise of China

This session will be chaired by P C Haldar, former Director Intelligence, Intelligence Bureau (IB), and will look exhaustively at the complex, congruent and non-congruent nature of Sino-Indian relationship.

The PDNS approach paper to this sessionnotes that in the recent years, “China’s India policy has been swaying between indifference and non-cooperation and obstructionism and plain hostility towards India’s interest.” While strategic interests of China and India compete in the peripheral region and the shared neighbourhood, the paper notes that current Chinese aggressiveness towards India may partly be rooted in its frustration over perceived Indian intransigence to the Belt and Road Initiative of China.

“India’s reservations to OBOR (One Belt One Road) /CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) and absence from BARF (Belt and Road Forum) meeting may have been misconstrued as an insult to China,” the paper notes while pointing out that for India, CPEC, passing through disputed PoK, infringes its territorial integrity.

3rd PDNS bigger in scope

The goal of the Pune International Centre is to raise the level of PDNS to that of the Berlin Dialogue or the Shangrila Dialogue in Singapore. While the first two dialogues in Pune involved solely national experts, the current PDNS has included experts from the US, Europe, China, Japan and Russia. These experts include Fareed Zakaria (video), Prof. John Hemmings (Europe), Prof. Shen Dingli (China), Dmitry Suslov (Russia) and Prof Wang Dong (China).

Key Speakers

Chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, PDNS convenor Air Marshal Bhushan Gokhale, PIC president Raghunath Mashelkar, vice-president Vijay Kelkar, C. Raja Mohan, director, Carnegie India, and are among the prominent speakers at the inaugural session.

Maulana Mahmood Madani, general secretary Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, Maulana Jamal Asad Ilyasi (All India Imams Organisation) and the Afghanistan Ambassador Shaida Mohammad Abdali will be among the speakers at the session on ‘Extremist trends in Islam, and India.”

In addition to PC Haldar, the prominent speakers at the session on China and India will include ex-diplomat TCA Rangachari, ex-RAW official Jayadeva Ranade, economists Ajit Ranade and Arvind Subramanian and Cmdr Uday Bhaskar.

First Published: Sep 14, 2017 23:30 IST