Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Manmohan Singh's Foreign Visit

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had detailed discussions with Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev during his foreign visit, and many agreements were signed between India and Kazakhstan.

The prime minister's tour started with China, where members of BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) met at a summit held at the Chinese coastal city of Sanya. An important decision reached at the BRICS conference was that these countries would use their own currencies for making grants and settling debts among themselves, and continue to use US dollar for international trade. The faster their economies rise further, the sooner they would manage to get rid of the use of Dollar, and the better it will be for them.

Encouraging Point

Toward the end of the BRICS Summit, Manmohan Singh met Chinese President Hu Jintao. This must be considered a very important meeting, where the issue of separate visas to Kashmiris was discussed. Jintao did not give any definite assurances to Manmohan Singh. It may be recalled that China started issuing visa on a separate piece of paper to Kashmiris. An encouraging point in this regard was that China issued visas to Kashmiri journalists accompanying the prime minister on their passports itself. Because the prime minister's trip was under the aegis of BRICS Summit, there was no expectation of discussion of any bilateral issues.

Many agreements were reached between the countries during the prime minister's visit to Kazakhstan. This will definitely be considered to be very far reaching. The basis of improvement in relations had already been reached during Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev's India visit in 2009. The most important of these agreements was the civil nuclear energy agreement, under which Kazakhstan will supply 2,100 tons of uranium to India to keep active two nuclear reactors in the country. It was to keep these reactors active that the India-US nuclear agreement had been reached. Supply of uranium from Kazakhstan will be considered to be a relief for India. Apart from other issues, maintenance of the reactors has been included in this agreement.

After the recent tsunami and earthquake in Japan, dangerous consequences of such a disaster have emerged. All nuclear capable countries have heard the alarm bells. Despite the progress in the nuclear field, if humanity wants to escape from a nuclear holocaust, it will have to take firm steps in this regard. The prime minister has offered to set up a technology center in Ursus University in Kazakhstan. India is progressing rapidly in the IT field. It can be said that the prime minister's Kazakhstan visit has been successful.

India's Position in World

India has had deep and long relations with the former Soviet Union. The USSR valued relations with India. After the Soviet Union's disintegration, many independent countries emerged from this area, and it has been to our advantage to have good relations with these democracies. But if we examine these countries closely, we will find that they are still attached to the Soviet Union in some way or the other. That is why we have good relations with former Soviet republics. This has proved to be to our advantage.

With the advent of "globalization," the entire world has become one large village. This has also led to alterations in international relations to some extent. India is carving out a place for itself on the global economic stage as a rising power. Leaning toward China is a dangerous trend, which has been mentioned before. Any country's position in this world is dependent on its economic clout. There can be no two opinions that eternal vigilance is called for in guarding our interests.

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