There is a demand for India to be a "net provider of security" in its extended neighbourhood, National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon on Wednesday said and termed as "loose-talk" its projection as a next super power.
He said India needed to have more multi-directional engagement with the world by adopting new approaches to old problems if it is to exploit the opportunities offered by the shifting global order. The old approach of "threat-listing" or status-quo attitude could make these opportunities a threat, he said.
"There is demand for India to be a net provider of security in our extended neighbourhood. That's an opportunity. We have to make up our minds how we deal with that," he said in a lecture on "India in the 21st Century World" organised by Indian Association of Foreign Affairs Correspondents.
Expounding on it, Menon said the demand is that India steps in "in terms of maritime security" and helps other countries in building their capacities. Though he did not elaborate, the demand might have to do with various maritime disputes in the region, mostly involving China.
On India's projection as a next super power, he said, "In the last few years, there has been considerable loose-talk of whether India will be a super power. I am not sure what that means or that is a desirable goal. India has never sought to replace or imitate existing power holders.
Any change in the government following Lok Sabha elections is unlikely to have any impact on India's foreign relations, especially involving China and Pakistan, he said, pointing out that foreign policy is not really a major election issue.
When pressed on the issue as the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has often taken on the government over its handling of issues involving the two neighbours, he said political parties do make noise in public but the country's official stand has been largely consistent.