Indian Foreign Policy towards Neighboring Countries


Chanakya Kautilya an ancient scholar said “Your neighbor is your natural enemy and the neighbor’s neighbor is your friend”

Indian foreign policy is based on the philosophy of Chanakya, the neighboring countries are affected by Indian policies. India has issues and conflicts with all neighboring counties including China, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Recently India has abrogated unilaterally the article 370 and 35A in order to annex the disputed territory between India and Pakistan. According to the realist, scholars state it has to maximize the powers in order to become a regional hegemon and also it can lead towards world powerful state status. Indian foreign policy based to become a world powerful country by maximization of powers by several means like India is one of the world’s largest buyers of weapons from the USA, France, and Russia. The Modi Government has abrogated the article 370 unilaterally and annexed Kashmir into Indian federation, this move has changed the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir under the resolutions of United Nations Security Council. Pakistan is the party to the Kashmir conflict but the Indian government repeatedly saying it’s an internal matter which is not acceptable for Pakistan and also it’s the violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. The people of the state of Jammu & Kashmir has the right to decide by their own will, the Indian government has no right to subjugate them by force and locked them in a curfew.

The recent Indian move aims to crush the spirit of resistance and resilience of Kashmiris in the name of development. There’s a word for supposed development that comes with assumed moral superiority and economic rationality, in the shadow of the gun, with no input from the people affected, and based on the fantasies of a foreign power.India claims to be a post-colonial democracy does not change this fact no colonial venture in contemporary times has dared name itself as such. Kashmiris are claimed in the name of democracy and further colonized in the name of development.

In the light of above-mentioned issues and disputes with all neighboring countries, it’s very simple and easy to understand the Chanakya’s thinking in Indian foreign policy. Actually, India is considering as a regional hegemon in South Asia. But countries like Pakistan do not accept any kind of Indian supremacy and hegemony in the region. Every state has her own national interest and priorities so other nations of the region considering India’s foreign policy behavior as a threat to their security and sovereignty. India has a long history of supporting Tamil tigers against Sri-Lanka and also in 1962 there was a limited war between China and India.  With all these differences and hegemonic behavior, Indian foreign policy considers a threat to the neighboring countries and also for sustainable peace in the region.

The current Modi government has hegemonic desires beyond the borders, after the illegal alteration of disputed J&K status Modi government is threating Pakistan and encouraging a nuclear war in the region. With this hegemonic desires, India wants to perceive her goals to become a regional power against China. Actually, the growing influence and investment of China in South Asia makes India uncomfortable because India considers China as an obstacle to achieving her goals. China’s investment and building of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will bring economic prosperity for Pakistan. But the hegemonic behavior of India is creating hurdles and supporting anti-Pakistani propaganda across the region. Every state has the right to think and act in order to protect her national interest. Pakistan’s national interest is to maintain cordial relations with all neighboring countries but the issue of J&K must be addressed and resolve in the light of UNSC resolutions. 

The state of Jammu and Kashmir never belongs to India, it is disputed territory between Pakistan and India, and it is the undecided territory of the partition of the subcontinent. The recent alteration of the disputed status of J&K deteriorated the diplomatic relation between Pakistan and India. All political leadership of Kashmir behind the bars and illegal detention of innocent civilians. In fact, the Kashmir valley is the world’s most militarized region. The Indian government has no right to decide unilaterally the fate of people of J&K. there are three stakeholders in this issue, India, Pakistan and people of J&K. So without any consent from the other two stakeholders, India can’t reform any policy which can alter the disputed status of the region.

The world must realize and come to mediate in the issue in order to protect the mass killings, the genocide of innocent civilians by Indian armed forces and Hindu extremist groups. Basically, the Indian so-called secular democracy has turned into extremist Hindu state, these extremist groups believe in the destruction of other nations, their mindset is full of hatred and they kill innocent people to fulfill their holy spiritual desires. The power exercised by the army against the civilian population would further worsen the hanging situation of the region. The two nuclear power states may go for war if there will be no third-party mediation. It is the duty and responsibility of the United Nations Security Council to come out from the air-conditioned offices and put pressure on the Indian government to protect the lives of civilians. The main objective of international institutions (UN)is to maintain peace and security in the world. This hegemonic behavior of the Indian government may drag Pakistan into a war.  It’s time for superpowers to play their role and bring the Indian government into the negotiations table.

Ali Abbas
Ali Abbas
Ali Abbas, Ph.D. candidate at the School of Politics and International Studies, Central China Normal University Wuhan, PR China