S Jaishankar’s ‘audit’ of India’s foreign policy is spun from fantasy; history doesn’t support lofty claims

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In the winter of 1947, his soldiers locked in the savage fighting around Naushera and Jhangar, the gateways to the great Pir Panjal and into Kashmir, prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru wrote to governor-general Louis Mountbatten, laying out his strategic understanding of the war.

“The invasion of Kashmir,” Nehru wrote, “is not an accidental affair resulting from the fanaticism or exuberance of the tribesmen, but a well-organised business with the backing of the State. We have in effect to deal with a State carrying out an informal war, but nevertheless a war.”

Last week, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar delivered a landmark speech, calling for “unsentimental audit of Indian foreign policy”. In essence, the minister’s case is this: from 2014, India has entered a new phase of engagement with the world, the sixth by his count. Read More

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