India’s Mali Experiment — A Test Case

A clear manifestation of changing attitudes. India’s foreign policy makers start displaying confidence with regard to India’s ability to intervene in overseas affairs. India commits to reconstruct Mali, the land locked country of West Africa, wounded by terrorists.

 This is for the first time that India intervenes in the domestic affairs of a country away from its natural sphere of influence. For the last one decade Africa has been the focal point of our foreign policy prism. Several major powers have strong presence in Africa, except India. India shifted the focus very late. Better late than never. India’s participation in the’ Support and Follow Up’ group is a welcoming sign in this regard. We have promised US $ 1 million upgrade for Mali.

‘Active intervention’ never took space in the Indian foreign policy armoury. India respected others sovereignty. The case of Mali is the outcome of request and pressure. Our expertise, ability, and exposure are the rationale behind the pressure. We interfere with good intentions and solid reasons. It is not to undermine ones sovereignty, but to strengthen it. India is committed strongly to fight against terrorism in all forms. India has strong evidence that the terrorists operating in Mali are coming from the Af – Pak region. For this reason, India support military option to tackle the menace, currently done by France.

Non intervention is still our objective. It is evident from the Indian abstention, from the UN resolution to impose a ‘no fly zone’ over Libya and Syria. Timely intervention is a necessity to prevent the spill over of the menace to its adjacent areas. Spread is evident as the region breeds a rare combination of religious fundamentalism, poverty, underdevelopment and lack of governance. India does have a very long experience in solving such problems. India stands welcomed.

If India intervenes, it would intervene productively and positively. India’s experiment, if it ends successfully, the Africa would welcome us with huge opportunities.