The Global Counter Terrorism an India based global Think Tank in collaboration with Nehru Memorial Museum and Library held a seminar on “Decoding New India: Modi 2.0 India’s Foreign Policy and National Security” in memory of late Shri Manohar Parrikar, former Defense Minister; Chief Minister of Goa at Trimurti Bhawan, NMML, New Delhi, on 2 July 2019 with the participation of about 15 notable experts from foreign policy and security domain including Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament, Thiruvananthapuram; Salman Khurshid, former law minister; Utpal Parrikar, son of late Shri Manohar Parrikar; Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore; Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Ata Hasnain; Amb. (Retd.) TCA Raghavan. In addition to this the GCTC team welcomed an audience ranges from policy maker, retired Generals, academicians to students.
The Seminar started with the dignitaries paying tribute to late Shri Parrikar ji followed by an inaugural speech by General V. K. Singh who is also serving as Minister of road, transport and highways. During the tribute session to Shri Parrikar, Gen. Philip Campose, Gen. Satish Dua and Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore shared their fond memory of Parrikar and his passion for hard work and integrity with the audience. General V.K Singh in his inaugural speech firmly stated that India under Prime Minister Modi is in a better position. Gen. Satish Dua provided some valuable insights about Shri Parrikar’s bravery and work ethics during and after the Uri attack and also from surgical strike as well as a glimpse of the planning for the strikes. There was an interactive session of Dr. Shashi Tharoor with Amb. Anil Wadhwa towards the end of the session.
The tribute session was followed by two panel discussions on ‘Decoding New India: India’s changing Foreign Policy and security concerns with various countries especially with India’s neighbors China and Pakistan and ‘Water and Energy Security’. The first panel was moderated by Bhupendra Chaubey executive editor of CNN-News 18 that begins with the discussion over the tensed Indo-Pak relations. Salman Khurshid, former cabinet minister of the Ministry of External Affairs who also contributed to the panel insisted that India needs good relations with Baluchis and Sindhis to put pressure on the Pakistani security establishment. At the same time Gen. Ata Hasnain, one of the lead panelist stressed that the shortfalls of a muscular policy need to be realized and the idea of disintegrating Pakistan will increase India’s problems. Amb. Raghavan talked about how India’s Pakistan policy under the present government has yielded some dividends. The second panel moderated by Marya Shakil, political moderator in CNN-News 18 started with a very important discussion on ‘India’s Water and Energy Security’ which remains India’s one of the foremost concerns. All the expertise pointed out about the poor water quality in the country. Indira Khurana one of the lead panelist states that water is a politically sensitive issue both among states and countries. A.B Pandya former chairman for Central Water Commission urged to take integrated water management approach to tackle this grave issue. He further insisted that political boundaries, water boundaries and administrative boundaries do not match. And holistic approach is needed for better water management.
Towards the end of the session Dr Shashi Tharoor in interaction with Anil Wadhwa shared his valuable insights with the audience. Dr. Tharoor while speaking about the transition of India’s foreign policy from previous government where he was an important part of policy making praised Prime Minister Modi’s move to appoint S. Jaishankar as foreign minister of India. He further stressed on the needs for reformation of United Nations Security Council as a 21st century world order is not fully compatible with a mid-20th century international system. Dr. Tharoor also elaborated upon India’s possible options in Afghanistan as well as a need to increase the scope of our Iran policies due to India’s good ties with Iran. He specifically mentioned that India could have played a part in the Iran nuclear deal alongside the US, EU and Iran as India has good relations with all three. On Pakistan, Dr. Tharoor said that a muscular Pakistan policy is viable in tandem with continued talks and people to people engagement as this would give incentives to the Pakistani citizenry to seek peace and rein in the military. The discussions led by the expertise in the seminar were assessed to be productive and informative and opened some further avenues for India’s engagements with the world.
The seminar also attracted various prominent media gatherings like Economic Times https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/parrikar-had-shown-great-leadership-in-approving-surgical-strike-in-2016/articleshow/70046743.cms?fbclid=IwAR0Q5HjARsqm0DyCK_kjgdKOToBuFGXnfYzR5GAK_XqHrUsQJ_psp-VelG0
Outlook India https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/parrikar-had-shown-great-leadership-in-approving-surgical-strike-in-2016/1566751?fbclid=IwAR3Ezng-pBc0l7Nn-3MJfjgh7zdBTWjjTjzNDEJHhEM3B8LrVMOhp941w8A
Business Standard https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/parrikar-had-shown-great-leadership-in-approving-surgical-strike-in-2016-119070201367_1.html?fbclid=IwAR30_Zgp679Y5nF_nK8wPuhIfJxQylAo2G_ZBzpEBYYtMdluRxHqW9EPxlo
Asian Age https://www.asianage.com/opinion/interview-of-the-week/030719/rise-in-iran-us-tensions-has-harmed-indian-strategic-interests-in-chabahar.html?fbclid=IwAR0YcjlhNC6Fw5YkWYl44XWtQ8AIifsPXrzVbuig2-gjlJjkYtYm-BwmZF0