Why building connectivity with South Asia is the top-priority of Indian foreign policy?
The Indian Foreign Policy under the new government is set to focus on South Asia. It was the reason why the leaders of the BIMSTEC instead of SAARC were invited for the swearing-in ceremony. The biggest problem with SAARC for India is the presence of Pakistan. Apart from that, there are inherent trade and connectivity issues. BIMSTEC presents more energy and possibilities of an optimistic vision of cooperation. The stance is also a reflection of the future stance of India especially as the US has revoked the GSP preferential trade status. Even the Huawei issue has suggested that the line between economics and politics stands diluted. India needs to incentivize cooperation in the neighborhood which will not be equally reciprocated as India is blessed with more resources.