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Decision needed on India's global role: Tharoor

Published: 23rd July 2012 11:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2012 11:22 PM   |  A+A-

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By IANS

The Indian government needs to decide on the role the country should play in the global multilateral environment, said former union minister Shashi Tharoor Monday.

"India may not have made up its mind fully on its role in multilateral environment is arguably true. These are questions need to be sorted out within the government and within the (external affairs) ministry," he said while participating in a discussion on his latest book on India's foreign policy, "Pax Indica" at Observer Research Foundation here.

Tharoor, a former minister of state for external affairs, said India has been fighting for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, but has not yet demonstrated fully how it would use that seat differently from the way it uses the non-permanent seat.

He underlined the need for suiting the foreign policy to meet the changing challenges of India - be it attracting and ensuring foreign investment, maintaining good relations with trading partners, and ensuring strategic security, food security and energy security.

Stating domestic transformation should be one of the important aspects of the country's foreign policy, Tharoor said supported improving trade and economic relations with both Pakistan and China as it would help in creating vested interests in these countries for having better relations with India in return.

"India should not be hamstrung by permanent hostility. Improved trade relations are in India's interest. We gain more than we stand to lose," he said.

Tharoor argued that China would not dare to attack India if it knew it would lead to huge loss of trade and strong investments in India.

C. Raja Mohan, distinguished fellow at the ORF, stressed the need to demystify the foreign policy of India which is very different now.

"India needs to take a stand in the balance of power game by the US and China," he said.

He said he was not sure whether India and China can cooperate as being said, since both countries would be competing for almost the same space - whether it is energy, market or other resources.

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