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Previous Manifestos

Chapter 7


Our Foreign Policy

Protecting India's National Interest

THE end of the Cold War has brought with it hopes of an era of peace and harmony. We see many welcome new manifestations in our collective attitudes towards resolving longstanding international issues of common concern relating to the environment, health, economic development and conflict resolution.

While the possibilities are immense, some old habits persist. We see a renewed tendency by some big powers to dominate and to impose conditionalities to advance their political and economic interest even if it is detrimental to others. There are also perceived notions of civilizational conflicts as also spurts in conflicts. This demands that India's national interest must be protected and pursued more vigorously. Our diplomacy must, therefore, be proactive rather than being merely reactive without sacrificing the values of peace, equality and cooperation.

In the recent past we have seen a tendency to bend under pressure. This arises as much out of ignorance of our rightful place and role in world affairs as also from a loss of national self-confidence and resolve. A nation as large and capable as ourselves must make its impact felt on the world arena. A BJP Government will demand a premier position for the country in all global fora.

The BJP rejects the notion of nuclear apartheid and will actively oppose attempts to impose a hegemonistic nuclear regime by means of CTBT, FMCR and MTCR. We will not be dictated to by anybody in matters of security requirements and in the exercise of the nuclear option. We will pursue our national goals and principles steadfastly. Briefly these are:

1.  To give India a role and position in world affairs commensurate with its size and capability;

2.  To promote sovereign equality among nations. The BJP rejects all forms of political and economic hegemonism and is committed to actively resisting such efforts;

3. To vigorously pursue endeavors for India to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. We believe that the existing arrangements in the UN are tilted in the favor of certain countries to serve their narrow interest. We are committed to the reform of the UN;

4. To re-orient Indian diplomacy to our economic and commercial goals and to ensure that our missions abroad play a more active and supportive role in meeting these;

5. To ensure greater coordination between the ministries and agencies responsible for external affairs, defence, finance, international trade and our external and internal intelligence;

6. To promote greater regional and civilizational relationship and strive for Asian solidarity in general and the development of the South Asian Association for Regional cooperation in particular. Integral to this would be renewed efforts to improve bilateral relationships with all neighboring countries without any third party mediation or interference;

7. To have greater interaction with more African nations and to build ties with our traditional friends like Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe;

8. To place relations with the USA on a more even keel based on mutual respect, shared values and congruence of interests. We expect the United States to be more sensitive to India's security and economic interests;

9. To further develop the long and traditional relationship with Russia by increased cooperation in trade, technology, defence and other security related areas. India and Russia have many common interests in Asia and we will strive for greater cooperation to serve them;

10. To strengthen political and economic relations with the European Unions, ASEAN countries, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Iran, the Arab nations, Israel, Central Asian republics and fellow Commonwealth nations;

11. To take active steps to persuade Pakistan to abandon its present policy of hostile interference in our internal affairs by supporting insurgent and terrorist groups. The BJP affirms unequivocally India's sovereignty over the whole of Jammu and Kashmir, including the areas under foreign occupations;

12. To improve relations with China by seeking speedy resolution of the outstanding border problem. Even while doing so we will seek greater cross-border trade and cooperation in other areas. We are also concerned about China continuing transfer of advanced weapons and technologies to Pakistan as this has a vital bearing on our ties with China;

13. To support a united Sri Lanka within which the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil people should be fully accommodated. The BJP greatly regrets the continuing bloodshed particularly since the Indian people have long standing, traditional and fraternal ties with the Sri Lankan people;

14. To maintain the unique, warm and friendly relations with Nepal with which India has the closest cultural, religious and historical ties. We will seek to widen existing areas of cooperation and also develop new avenues of fruitful cooperation. We recognize in particular the great scope for increasing cooperation in the energy and environment related areas. A BJP Government will seek to resolve all outstanding issues quickly;

15. To further improve relationship with Myanmar with India has a long border and age-old cultural, religious and historical ties. There is much scope for greater cooperation in the fields of defence, security, economy and culture;

16. To further consolidate the close and friendly ties between India and Bhutan;

17. To reinforce the improving relations with Bangladesh. We however continue to view with concern the unabated illegal infiltration into India from that country and will seek the active participation of the Bangladesh authorities in curbing this; and,

18. To take an active role in seeking an early and peaceful resolutions of the internecine Afghan conflict particularly since its continuance has adverse security implications for India and the development of trade and economic cooperation with countries in the region.

The BJP re-affirms its commitment to peace amongst all nations; to the prosperity of the peoples of the world; and to an enhanced role for India in world affairs as befits this great and ancient civilization.

The BJP rejects the notion of nuclear apartheid and will actively oppose attempts to impose a hegemonistic nuclear regime. We will not be dictated to by anybody in matters of security and in the exercise of the nuclear option.