India now more Asia; Modi brought India to point of impact: Voice from Pakistan

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, January 14: At a time when India is making a clear attempt to become leader of the Global South, or a third pole in the world order, voices in Pakistan are admitting that “India is now Asia, and (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi has brought his country to the point of impact and influence”. While former Pakistani PM Imran Khan has heaped praise on Modi for pursuing independent foreign policy at a time of polarised world order, intelligentsia in Pakistan note the gap with India is unbridgeable, while arguing for recalibrating policy with New Delhi.

Shahbaz Chaudhary wrote in an article in the Pakistani daily The Express Tribune: “Modi may be a despised name in Pakistan, but he has done something to brand India which none before him was able to manage. Importantly, India does what it feels and to the extent she needs. And it all stays kosher.”

Incidentally, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar has laboriously argued the case of India pursuing own national interests, including buying oil from Russia, to the audiences in the US and Europe. Modi too articulated India’s fine balance on the Russia-Ukraine War on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia last year.

Chaudhary further argued, “The gap between Pakistan and India is now unbridgeable. India has broken free of the shackles that kept her tied in South Asia and hyphenated in global perception with Pakistan. Beginning with Rajiv Gandhi to Modi there has been a clear distancing of the Indian foreign policy away from Pakistan.” That turns India more Asia than just South Asia and a clout which is far expanded, he further wrote.

Within the Pakistani intelligentsia, there appears a reflection on India making the economic strides while also ensuring a credible political system which has withstood several tests in the past decades. This is also becoming deeper, as Pakistan is now left with just $4.5 billion of foreign currency reserves, which can meet imports of only three weeks, while the country is seeking aides from friendly nations even while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not showing hurry to bail out Islamabad once more.

Chaudhary argued “to recalibrate our policy towards India and be bold enough to create a tri-nation consensus, along with China, focusing on Asia to be the spur for wider economic growth and benefit”.

Former Pakistani ambassador Husain Haqqani was agreeing with Chaudhary, as he sought people in Pakistan to accept reality of India. “I wish more people in Pakistan start acknowledging the reality of India’s rise and the benefits to Pakistan of a cooperative relationship with its neighbor,” wrote Haqqani in response to the article of Chaudhary in the leading Pakistani daily.

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1 thought on “India now more Asia; Modi brought India to point of impact: Voice from Pakistan

  1. There is no denying in the availability of immense opportunities of growth for Pakistan, if it decided to make amends or atleast strive to improve its relationship with India. The opportunities extend from financial help to establishing a different (in
    positive light) image before esteemed organisations such as IMF.

    This is an interesting take on India’s image in the Western countries and it’s rise from a mere developing country to one that stands strong before developed nations and has the potential to strengthen relationships with nations such as China. Thankyou for this, it is insightful, to say the least.

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