Will Modi adopt a macho foreign policy toward Pakistan, China ?

NEW DELHI: Even as Narendra Modi is busy cobbling up his cabinet before being sworn in on Wednesday, many countries in India’s neighborhood are anxiously waiting for India’s new foreign policy to take shape. While the foreign policies in India have been depicting a sense of continuity, no matter who rules the country, analysts here view Modi’s innings differently. He is expected to strike a balance between the UPA’s soft speech and BJP’s war talk .  

“Any change in approach especially towards Pakistan, China and the US will be analyzed and commented upon but none of this is expected to happen overnight,”  the wire agency, Trans Asia News Service commented Monday.

Even Modi’s close aide Amit Shah concede that a change in government does not entail a drastic change in foreign policy. Any recalibration in relation to countries like Pakistan, China and the US, however, will be closely watched by India’s immediate neighbors.  

But some suggest that Modi would want to whip up ultra nationalistic emotions in order to further galvanize his newly acquired mandate. “It is expected that the man who often spoke about his 56 inch chest during campaigning could adopt a muscular approach as opposed to the evasive risk-averse approach that the UPA government chose to follow,” the TANS opined.

Among Modi’s immediate foreign policy challenges, will be the Indo-Pak ties that have been in a state of friction ever since the beheading of an Indian soldier on the LoC in January 2013. The peace dialogue has remained stalled since and both sides would like to resume the peace process.

Although it is a foregone conclusion that he will be the Prime Minister, very little is clear about other important positions such as the Ministry of External Affairs. Between managing NDA allies and keeping the old guard of the BJP happy, Modi will be up for a tightrope walk. 

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