GS Paper 2
Syllabus: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
Source: The Hindu
Context: India hosted a conclave of top security officials from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan with a focus on the evolving security situation in Afghanistan.
- This year was the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between India and Central Asian countries
About Central Asia:
It is a diverse region with a mix of upper-middle and low-income countries with major strategic importance.
Key highlights of the meeting:
- Support for a peaceful, stable, and secure Afghanistan, emphasizing respect for its sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity and urging non-interference in its internal affairs.
- The participants supported India’s proposal to include the Chabahar port within the framework of the International North-South Transport Corridor.
- The communique also called for the early adoption of the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), which India had first proposed in 1996.
Why Central Asia is important for India:
- Historical reasons: Central Asia was a transit route “the silk route” for the continent.
- By acting as a bridge between Asia and Europe.
- As a bulwark against fundamentalism: Peace and stability in the Central Asian region and adjoining Afghanistan are important in the fight against religious fundamentalism and terrorism.
- Against Non-State Actors
- Counterbalancing China’s belligerent attitude
- As a consumer market
- For Energy Security
- Kazakhstan has so far supplied a total of 9,000 tons of uranium
- The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) and Iran -Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline projects ensure energy security for India.
- For connectivity and trade:
- Development of the International North-South Transport Corridor(INSTC)
- Becoming a member of the Ashgabat Agreement
- War on Drugs: Drug trafficking poses a great challenge to the region, hence it is of utmost importance to check the drug menace by engaging with the stakehol
- Soft power – sports, music, art, culture, and cinema to have a philosophical and moral high ground in the region.
The vast scope for cooperation is evident from the fact that there is a huge level of unrealized potential that needs to be tapped. We need to revisit the Connect Central Asia Policy, which is based on – the 4Cs:
International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is a multi-mode network of ship, rail, and road routes for moving freight between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia, and Europe.
The Ashgabat agreement is a multimodal transport agreement between India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Oman, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan for creating an international transport and transit corridor facilitating the transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.
- Central Asian Countries
Q. India’s carefully calibrated strategy in the Central Asian region is guided by mutual reciprocal interests both in economic and strategic terms. However, recent events have brought up new challenges to India’s interests. Analyze. 250 Words