Why has this issue cropped up?
Prime Minister recently visited to United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
India’s new vision towards Gulf
- Before 2015, no prime minister of India had travelled to UAE for more than three decades.
- India has shed the tendency to see Gulf region through the prism of Pakistan.
Gulf’s new approach to India
- Some Gulf countries have expanded counter-terror cooperation with Delhi.
- Gulf kingdoms have begun to address many of the long-standing Indian concerns regarding the diaspora.
- Oil rich Gulf has begun to see India as a major economic partner.
- PM Modi has been honoured with the Zayed Medal, the highest civilian honour in the UAE.
Way forward for India
- India should now put emphasis on what it can do for the Gulf.
- It should offer strong support to moderate Islam reform in the Gulf region.
- It should unclog bureaucratic and policy obstacles to investments from the Gulf.
- It should take initiative to develop a more pro-active strategy for defence cooperation in the region.
The question for India is no longer about taking sides; it is about contributing to the regional security in whatever manner it can.