Central Asia and India’s Security

Ambassador P. Stobdan was Senior Fellow at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detail profile.
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • January 2004

    The paper attempts to analyse the issues in Central Asia in the context of India’s security. The paper poses a question as to what the region of Central Asia means for India today. The author argues that international attention is being focused on redefining the importance of Central Asian in the changing regional and international context. Since its reappearance, many suitors have been seeking affinity, proximity and legitimacy with the region on political, strategic, cultural and economic grounds.
    The paper notes that Central Asia still holds importance to those around it and beyond — compelling everyone to think in a zero-sum game of who will control the region next, following Makinder’s thesis of “he who controls the heartland controls the world”. The paper says that there are already signs of geopolitical actions being applied in this direction, though the stage is not yet getting set for a clash of major power interests. But owing to the persisting rhetoric, probably intended, perhaps its inevitability cannot be just wished away. In this context, the paper deals with the current debate on Central Asia, which involves complex issues and the answers are ambiguous, often linked to events in Russia and elsewhere. The dynamisms evolving in the region would inevitably have implications far beyond what one might have imagined a decade ago.
    The author emphasises that Central Asia, in its reordered geopolitical form, has emerged as a field of continuing interest and concern in India, particularly in the context of its strategic relevance to India’s security. Not only does the paper analyse the issues in a historical perspective, it also evaluates the current trends and interests that are at stake for India. The conclusion offers some suggestions for India’s policy options with regard to Central Asia.

    Full Article108.71 KB