Current Affairs 16th Oct 2017




  • Recent political developments in Nepal and China’s relentless attempts to establish a formal engagement with Bhutan has highlighted how internal dynamics of India’s partners in South Asia can affect New Delhi’s interests.
  •  The intense engagements with neighbours were a high point of Indian foreign policy in the recent decades.
  • Yet these relationships need constant nurturing amid high expectations from India and nature of fluid politics in the region.
  •  PM’s Narendra Modi’s Sabka Saath Saaba Vikas mantra was the cornerstone of the policy that vis-à-vis neighbours.

However, internal political dynamics across these countries have impacted bilateral ties. What government needs to do for continued success of neighbourhood first policy

Beginning with Nepal which goes to polls this November-December, several South Asian states have elections scheduled in 2018 and 2019. While polls are expected in Pakistan in first half of 2018, Bhutan will see elections in November, followed by Bangladesh from December 2018 to February 2019. Presidential polls in Maldives are scheduled in 2018.


Internal dynamics in Nepal can be a challenge and India needs to constantly engage with stakeholders. If a KP Oli-led government is voted to power in Nepal, Delhi will need to tweak its Nepal policy. Presence of Prachanda in an Oli-led coalition, however, could enable smooth ties with Kathmandu.

In Bhutan, India was not only confronting China during the Dokalam crisis but also keeping Thimphu’s morale high during the episode.Delhi must show patience and pragmatism, as it did when Bhutan decided to opt out of the BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement.The success of India’s neighbourhood policy will hinge on its capacity to deliver, whether on connectivity, trade or infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Pakistan is not dominating headlines and relations continue to be static with a hope of picking up after polls there. With increasing US pressure on Islamabad, there are feelers that the men in uniform may give green signal for talks with India.