India has so far dexterously balanced its relations with the different power centers in the Middle East. The countries of the GCC, led by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, together host around seven million Indian expatriate workers who remit back hefty foreign exchange.
The year 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the dialogue partnership between India and ASEAN. India’s Act East Policy is to cultivate strategic and economic relations with the countries of Southeast Asia in order to strengthen India’s posture as a regional power.
The stilted evolution of democracy in Afghanistan has been further affected by the existence and proliferation of competing centers of power outside the scope of the constitution. Parallel structures of governance have impacted the overall democratic structure adversely.
In Pakistan, there have been very few efforts to address the continuous betrayal of the underprivileged segments of society. The current government is trying to mainstream minorities, and even that takes few bold steps in the age of social media and ripening sectarianism.
Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Iraq’s Foreign Minister, held a meeting with the Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, testifying to the fact that oil is high on the India-Iraq agenda. Iraq, which has always been a major source of crude for India, is back again as India’s largest crude supplier.
The India-Japan Nuclear Deal came into force on July 20, 2017. With the deal, Japan can export nuclear power plant technology to India and help India with nuclear waste management. They can also jointly manufacture nuclear power plant equipment.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been entangled in the Panamagate scandal revealed on April 3, 2016. The eight offshore companies listed in the Panama Papers are linked to his family members, including a daughter, two sons, and the in-laws of his brother.
Despite the agreement being in place for peaceful coexistence and respect for each other’s sovereignty, if their armies are standing eyeball-to-eyeball for whatever reasons, then China and India need to revisit the Panchsheel Agreement.
In recent years, the downward spiral in Saudi-Iran relations, the worsening Syrian conflict, the Saudi-led war in Yemen, and the rise of new diplomatic rivalries between the Sunni Arab states have created new complications for Pakistan.