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Inside story of how PM Narendra Modi’s Central Asian tour was a very unusual diplomatic journey

News:

  • Narendra Modi’s July 6-13 visit to five Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan – was  aimed at making India a strong player in a region rich in natural resources and especially in the fight against terrorism.
  • China has already built a strong presence in Central Asia.

Seeking Guidance:

  • Modi told Islam Karimov, the long-ruling president of Uzbekistan that he needed his “guidance” to make India a bigger player in the region and the Uzbek strongman, apparently impressed by this request, replied there was none better than himself to provide such wisdom.

Matching things:

  • Modi’s ‘Make in India’ was ‘matching’ Nazarbayev’s Hundred Steps, a programme to rebuild Kazakh infrastructure – building railway lines that did not end up in the direction of Russia.
  • An Ayurveda teacher flew from India to Turkmenistan even before Modi finished his five-nation tour, to teach Indian medicine for the proposed Yoga Institute in Ashgabat.

Talking Democracy:

  • Kyrgyzstan to now seriously experiment with genuine democracy and which is being run on the basis of a new constitution since 2010.
  • Modi applauded the host country’s commitment to democracy and offered the Election Commission’s help in setting up a credible electoral process.

Source: ET

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