Write a brief note on India’s Interest in West Asia
West Asia consist of more than 10 small countries. India’s interest in the region range from strategic. Military to economic and cultural ties.
1) Strategic interest: Kautalya has said that enemy’s enemy is our friend. India has engaged with Afghanistan to prevent Pakistan from getting strategic drapth. Iran plays a vital role in this endeavours. The chabahar port and subsequent road connection to Afghanistan forms part of this policy.
To maintain primacy in Indian Ocean region, India is acquiring various parts. Part of duqum, Chabahar form part of this plan.
2) Energy Security: Around 80% of India’s total oil and gas is imported. Countries like Saudi, Iraq forms a large part of supply.
3) International trade: They are export destination for India’s goods and services. (Agriculture, IT, manufactured goods). The Middle East will also help us connect with Central Asian Countries (INSTC).
4) Military needs: Israel has emerged as 3rd largest supplies its capacity in defence manufacturing. Middle East could turn out to be a potential buyer. Israel’s desalination technology can also ensure water security.
5) Drainpara: Indians form one of the largest drainpara community in West Asia. Remittances are an important source of forex for India.
6) Investments: The oil rich countries have large cash outcome. India needs 1 million for infrastructure investments. UAE investment in India’s investment fund is a step in right direction.
7) OIC: India needs the help of countries in Middle East to prevent Pakistan from internationalising the issue of Kashmir.
8) International fora: India would like the support of West Asia in forums like UNSC, UNGA, WTO, and FATF.
India’s interest are huge in the region. Currently engagement with gran is declining due to US pressure. India has to make us understand of the strategic needs of India and deepen the engagement. USA role as net security provider in the region is declining. India in future can take up the role in creating a security architecture. Peau in middle east is vital for India’s needs.