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BJP manifesto on foreign policy: Terrorism, formation of space alliance on agenda

In its 45-page manifesto released earlier today, the BJP said it will continue taking steps on international forums against countries that back terrorism and vowed to form a ‘Comity of Nations’ to tackle international terrorism.

SNS | New Delhi |

The BJP manifesto on foreign policy spelled out the steps India will take in tackling terrorism on the global stage if the party comes back to power and also vowed to undertake the formation of a space alliance.

In its 45-page manifesto released earlier today, the BJP said it will continue taking steps on international forums against countries that back terrorism and vowed to form a ‘Comity of Nations’ to tackle international terrorism.

“We are committed to taking concrete steps on international forums against countries and organisations on the global stage. To ensure the same, we will work towards establishing a ‘Comity of Nations Against International Terrorism’ as a voluntary multi-lateral forum based on the principles of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism,” BJP said in its manifesto titled ‘Sankalp Patra’.

India had in 1996 proposed the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) calling for a common definition of terrorism but a lack of consensus on the definition has left the proposal languishing in the United Nations.

The party said that besides terrorism, global evils such as corruption, too, will be effectively pursued through forums such as the United Nations, G20 and BRICS among others.

“We will effectively pursue cooperation against global evils, such as terrorism and corruption, through forums like UN, the G20, BRICS, SCO, Commonwealth, etc. Significant interactions such as Russia-India-China (RIC) and Japan-America-India (JAI) will be strengthened,” the manifesto said.

The BJP said that knowledge exchange and transfer of technology for development of all nations will be a major focus.

“As a part of this, we will endeavour to create an ‘International Space Technology Alliance’ for better coordination and cooperation on issues related to space tech to ensure that the benefits of space tech reach all, especially the smaller countries,” the party said in the manifesto.

The announcement came days after India became only the fourth country in the world to successfully test an Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile and followed it up with a launch of 29 satellites, including a military satellite, into space.

The party said it will forward the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and will focus on the acceleration of regional coordination and economic cooperation with countries in India’s neighbourhood through forums such as BIMSTEC.

“Act East Policy, coop with ASEAN and ensuring an open, inclusive, prosperous and secure Indo-Pacific will be pursued vigorously,” the party said in its manifesto.

In its manifesto, BJP underlined that India’s ancient vision of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam will form the basis of the country’s global co-operation.

The manifesto also underlined the party’s commitment to seeking permanent membership of the UNSC and an “institutional mechanism to deepen the relationship of culture and heritage with people of Indian origin”.

“We will strengthen the MADAD portal as single-point avenue for information and services for Indians living abroad,” the party promised in its manifesto.

The party also promised to form a full-fledged University of Foreign Policy will be established for the capacity building of all Indian and friendly foreign diplomats.

At the same time, the manifesto said that an increase in the strength of India’s diplomatic and allied cadres will be done to “keep pace with our increasing global engagement and enhanced stature of India in the world”.

Earlier today, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that it was the BJP-led government’s foreign policy that ensured the isolation of Pakistan at Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Abu Dhabi.

Speaking at the BJP manifesto release event, Swaraj said that OIC inviting India means that “we have isolated them (Pakistan) among their own friends”.

Swaraj was invited as a ‘Guest of Honour’ to attend the meeting of OIC in Abu Dhabi on 1 March, where she addressed the plenary session of the conference, becoming the first Indian to address the exclusively Islamic bloc.

Reminding the gathering that OIC had in 1979 submitted to Pakistan’s threat of boycott and disinvited India, the EAM said that it was PM Modi’s diplomatic success that Islamabad failed to convince UAE to disinvite New Delhi this time.

“You all have seen Pakistan’s chair was empty. This is the achievement of Modi-ji’s foreign visits,” the External Affairs Minister said referring to Pakistan’s decision to boycott the event despite it being a founding member.