- PM’s trip to five countries in Central Asia in one go, as well as Russia, from July 6 to 13, have boosted India’s multi-directional strategy.
- They have strengthened India’s presence in a geopolitically vital region labelled historically as the ‘heartland’ determining the fate of the world.
- Beijing’s inroads in Central Asia have taken the familiar route of targeted economic penetration that binds these nations in a web of dependence marked by modernisation projects and captive energy deals.
- PM enjoined governments and peoples in the region to remember that “as Central Asia links to the East and the West, it must also connect to the South, for that is how it always was.” His pointed reference to the ‘South’ is to India and the subcontinent.
- During this marathon six-nation tour, Modi invoked India’s heritage of moderate Islam and its complementarity with the Sovietised Islam of Central Asia.
- The reason why Central Asians are eagerly letting India in is because of their widely perceived need for diversification away from the big two — China and Russia.