India needs to maintain balanced relations with neighbours: experts

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 01:30, Jun 30,2020


India would require bringing in changes in its mindset for developing a balanced relation with South Asian neighbours instead of imposing disproportionate political influence in the region, experts said at a discussion.   

Centre for Governance Studies organised the online discussion on Monday on globalisation and fractured future of South Asia with participation of experts from different countries.

Professor Ali Riaz of Illinois State University, USA, said that change in mindset of India would be pivotal for developing mutually responsive relationship with its neighbouring countries for regional integration.

Mentioning about the killing by India’s border security force along the border with Bangladesh, he said it has become the most violent border. 

Stressing the need for developing a balanced relations with the neighbours instead of imposing disproportionate political influence, he said the way India treated its neighbours in the past years did not help to improve bilateral relations.

India should also not dictate foreign policy of the neighbours, he said.

The smaller countries in South Asia must pursue national interests, Ali Riaz said, adding that, for this, they require to maintain legitimacy in domestic political power.

Professor Sanjay K Bhardwaj of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, said the South Asian countries require resolving structural and functional problems for integrating as a region, which have become already fragmented area.  

Pramod Jaiswal of the Nepal Institute for International Cooperation and Engagement said India and China require engaging with their neighbours in the region with a balanced approach.  

Muhammad Amir Rana of Pak Institute for Peace Studies, Pakistan, said the South Asian countries need to review their approaches and strategies first through more regional initiatives, including making the SAARC functional, for removing major irritants, bilateral and otherwise, in the region.    

Subho Basu, associate professor at McGill University, Canada, was the keynote speaker at the discussion participated by, among others, Nasim Firdaus of Bangladesh Alliance for Women Leadership.

CGS executive director Zillur Rahman moderated the discussion.

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