NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. S. Jaishankar on Friday termed the area of the Indo-Pacific undergoing a complex set of transformations that are simultaneously underway. Today, the winds of change are most apparent in the Indo-Pacific, pointed the Minister.
Jaishankar said, “We are looking at a complex set of transformations that are simultaneously underway. The Indo-Pacific is witnessing both multi-polarity and rebalancing.”
“Indo-Pacific is seeing great power competition as well as ‘middle power plus’ activities. Orthodox politics including territorial differences are in sharper play, side-by-side with currencies of power like connectivity and technology.” said the EAM while delivering the opening remarks at the Second Atal Bihari Vajpayee Memorial Lecture organized by the Ministry of External Affairs on his birth anniversary.
“It is there that the diplomatic creativity which Prime Minister Vajpayee inspires should be most strongly applied.” said Jaishankar.
Recalling the instances EAM said “Where the United States was concerned, Prime Minister Vajpayee introduced policy corrections that reflected the end of the Cold War and the new global balance. At the same time, he kept India’s course steady vis-à-vis Russia despite the turbulence of that era.”
With China, whether as Foreign Minister or as Prime Minister, he sought a modus vivendi that was based as much on mutual respect as on mutual interest, he said.
With Pakistan, he strenuously tried to dissuade them from their path of sponsoring cross-border terrorism.
Dr. Jaishankar summarised the instances by saying, “All this, of course, was underpinned by his belief that India must develop deeper strengths at home. This found expression in the exercise of the nuclear option as it did in the economic modernization that he presided over.”
Michael Fullilove, Executive Director of the Lowy Institute, a leading international think tank of Australia delivered the memorial lecture on “Australia, India and the Indo-Pacific: The need for strategic imagination.”