India to decide foreign policy in national interest

November 9th, 2010 - 11:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama New Delhi, Nov 9 (IANS) India will decide its position on global issues based on its own and regional interests but should also be ready to face tough questions on its posture if it becomes part of the UN Security Council, informed sources said Tuesday

“India has and will always decide its position on issues keeping in mind national interest, the situation in the region or specific strategic and economic compulsions,” the sources said, reacting to US President Barack Obama speech to parliamentarians Monday.

While Obama had endorsed India as a permanent member of a reformed UN Security Council, he had said that India should also speak up for human rights violations in Myanmar and put pressure on Iran.

According to the sources, India did not see this in the context of “some bargaining kind of game”. “At several times in United Nations, our points of view have not coincided with their (US) points of view… But, it is certainly not borne out of an anti-American or anti-western mindset,” the sources said.

It was pointed out that India had on Iran taken a position in line with other members of International Atomic Energy Agency, that is, while Iran could undertake peaceful uses of nuclear energy, it also had certain responsibilities at the same time.

India also cannot sweep away the long “civilizational” ties that it has with the West Asian country.

On Myanmar, the sources said that it was a complex issue, as “we are in the region, an immediate neigbour”.

“If the president talks to India about looking east, the first country that comes to the east is Myanmar,” they said, adding that India had enough security and economic compulsions to engage with the military junta.

Also, there was the presence of the “giant mutual northern neigbhour”. “How can we be brain-dead to the situation on the ground there,” the sources said.

They asserted that it was better to be frank about the “compulsions” that India has with US, who will then have a better understanding of the Indian position.

However, officials stated that India had to be also ready to hear criticism of its position when it reaches a certain global leadership position. “If you are talking of a country on a high table, we will have to deal with these kinds of slings,” said the sources.

Pakistan has criticised the US endorsement by saying that the latter should take a “moral position and not base itself on any temporary expediency or exigencies of power politics”.

“Pakistan certainly can not give us lessons in morality,” the sources said.

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