India-Central Asia Ties: Countering Radical Islamist Threats

India-Central Asia Ties: Countering Radical Islamist Threats

Q.1: The timing of PM Narendra Modi’s 8 day visit to 5 C. Asian states, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan is very opportune for countering radical Islamist threats. Discuss.

- PM Modi’s 8 day visit to 5 C. Asian states will play an important role in combating radical Islamist threats

- States like Tajikistan are more vulnerable to IS

- Leadership of C. Asian states is also looking at how to insulate its Muslim population from radicalism and terrorism

- India has successfully insulated its population from radical elements; the visit will prove beneficial for showcasing strengths and extending friendship to countries that have supported the nation over a course of time

- This visit assumes more importance in light of the threat of Taliban IS net hanging over Afghanistan

- Though India had employed development assistance which is a soft power for countering radicalism in Afghanistan, the attempt has not been successful.

- Pakistan is already creating problems such as terrorism for India and it lacks the ability to withstand the forces of radical Islamism

- West Asia is currently passing through one of the most violent phases in its history and India’s foreign policy needs to account for this

- India has always had close relations with this regions and the current turmoil in W. Asia has impacted India in numerous ways:

- There are geopolitical and geo-strategic implications of the division of West Asia into sectarian and ethnic fiefs as a result of post Arab Spring fracturing

- India is marginalised from this region which provides 70% of its oil- there are economic implications of this

- This West Asian region is home to 7 million Indians who contribute through foreign exchange remittances and contribute substantially to India’s forex reserves

- As a country with the 4th largest Muslim population, India cannot afford to ignore the threat of Islamic radicalism

- Religious extremism and terrorism have destroyed Iraq and Syria while Libya and Yemen are also caught in the vortex with the emergence of a Wahhabi model of Islam and the replacing of historian with sectarian geography by IS and the latest offshoots of al Qaeda

- International community needs to conceive new thought and action paradigms and in this effort, India must play its appointed role

- Number of terrorist outfits are on the rise and proxy wars are being fought by non state militias backed by countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia

- Genocide has taken hold of the region on a fairly extensive scale

- Instability in W. Asia affects India adversely in many ways-economic, social and political

- Therefore, India has to counter the threat of W. Asia through improved relations with Central Asia

Facts and Stats

- Recognising the mutual benefits of deeper relationships, India has recently signed Strategic Partnership Agreements with three CARs, Uzbekistan,Tajikistan and Kazakhstan

- India has strategic agreements and seeks deeper cooperation in sectors such as telecom, IT, food processing and pharma

- Kazakh state-owned company Kazatomprom is set to extend the current contract to supply Indian reactors with Uranium beyond 2014, the expiration date of the present contract

- India also provides development assistance to CAR countries.
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