08:55 GMT23 October 2020
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    Indian Prime Minister Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has released its election manifesto titled, ‘Sankalp Patra’ (Letter of Resolve), promising to strengthen ties with Russia, China, Japan and the US.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has released its manifesto for the upcoming national elections, suggesting that should the party be re-elected it would lay great emphasis on strengthening relations with the nations along the Pacific region.

    "Act East Policy, cooperation with ASEAN and ensuring an open, inclusive, prosperous and secure Indo-Pacific will be pursued vigorously," the BJP's manifesto reads.

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    The party that it will lay special emphasis on Russia-India-China (RIC) and Japan-America-India (JAI) inter-nation alignments.

    "The focus will be on boosting ties with grouping like RIC and JAI," the manifesto added.

    Last year, the RIC under Russian President Putin, India's Modi and Chinese President Xi, held its meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Argentina after 12 years. While Japan-America-India (JAI) too met for the first time on the sidelines of G20 Summit last year, Modi, Trump and Abe were the leaders that were present during the JAI meet.

    The BJP manifesto also stressed that it will take steps to isolate countries supporting terror.

    "We are committed to take concrete steps on international forums against countries supporting terrorism and will take necessary measures to isolate such countries on the global stage. To ensure the same, we will work towards establishing a "Comity of Nations Against International Terrorism" as a voluntary multilateral based on the principles of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism," the manifesto read.

    After the Pulwama terror attack, India has been vigorously working on enlisting international support against cross-border terrorism and has been trying to isolate Pakistan internationally.

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    The manifesto said that it will work through the UN, G20, SCO, BRICS and the Commonwealth to pursue cooperation against terror and corruption.

    Modi has promised to give more thrust to his "neighbourhood-first" policy under international forums like BIMSTEC (Bangladesh-India-Myanmar-Sri Lanka-Thailand-Nepal-Bhutan).

    "To forward our neighbourhood-first policy, we will extensively leverage forums such as BIMSTEC, to accelerate regional coordination and economic cooperation with countries in our neighbourhood," the manifesto elaborated.

    Modi laid more emphasis and focus on BIMSTEC for regional cooperation as the SAARC (South Asian Association For Regional Cooperation) has been losing relevance due to India-Pakistan tensions.


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