Home / Specials / 2014 Anniversary Special /  We need stronger leadership: Lalit Mansingh

Since the high point of the India-US nuclear deal, India seems to be much less confident globally. Do you think that assertion is accurate?

Only partially. The lack of confidence is due to world developments and domestic factors including the compulsions of coalition politics.

Have domestic concerns made our leadership devote less time and energy in projecting India globally?

Absolutely yes. This is not only in relations with the major powers but with India’s relations with countries in its neighbourhood where you can see signs of neglect.

What can be done to bring back life to India-US ties?

The process has already started with external affairs minister Salman Khurshid meeting US secretary of state John Kerry last month on the sidelines of the Geneva conference on Syria after the unfortunate incident of Devyani Khobragade.

Can India and Pakistan have peace without a bruising settlement on the Kashmir issue?

Yes. The Kashmir dispute is not standing in the way of improved relations with Pakistan. The peace process in the past few years has been moving forward without any movement or solution to the Kashmir dispute. Normalization of ties with Pakistan is not possible without Pakistan ending terrorism directed against India.

Will a stronger Central government help us focus better on our ties with our neighbours, for example Bangladesh and Sri Lanka?

What we need is a stronger leadership. Governments in India are empowered by Parliament. It is the leadership that is seen as weak and not focusing on issues.

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