India has also been instrumental in transforming the British Commonwealth into the present Commonwealth. Among the member countries, India always pleaded the case of South African people and played a key role for rallying opinion against apartheid and the minority white regime, which has since been voted out of power. Similarly, India’s role as a leading member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has been very positive and constructive on major international issues. Through this organization, India has always supported acceleration of the struggle against colonialism, economics of and domination, discrimination against the poor and developing countries by the developed and rich countries. During the tenth NAM summit held in September 1992 at Jakarta, India urged the member countries to give the highest priority to such issues as nuclear disarmament, elimination of the last vestiges of colonialism, eradication of poverty and accelerated economical development of the South-based countries.
India has welcomed the end of the so-called Cold War in the wake of the detente between the two superpowers. At the same time, however, it is aware that their contribution to global disarmament is almost nil and has, therefore, refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). India has opposed the NPT because it is discriminatory and against the interests of developing countries.
India wants the superpowers of the world to not only stop producing nuclear weapons but to also destroy the existing ones. Further, China should also be brought to the negotiating table and there should be significant reduction in the defence budgets of the five permanent members of the Security Council. India is against discrimination in any form. India also insists that, instead of bilateral negotiations, all disarmament negotiations should be held under the auspices of the U.N. to make them transparent, fair, universal and non-discriminatory.
India’s prestige has been ever on the increase because of its independent foreign policy based on non-alignment. India believes in settlement of all the issues by peaceful means, across the table and through talks and negotiations. India wants to maintain peaceful and friendly relations with Pakistan and settle all major issues, including that of Kashmir, through talks and negotiations according to the Shimla Agreement. India wants peaceful and friendly relations with Pakistan in spite of the latter’s belligerent mood, aggressive postures and support to terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir. India firmly believes in co-operation, the principle of ‘live and let live’, and normalization of relations among all the nations of the world.
India wants to nuclear energy to be used for peaceful purposes only. And, it has been practicing what it has been preaching. India also supports the non-proliferation treaty, provided it is not biased and partisan. India has made special efforts to improve its relations with neighboring countries. Consequently, today India’s relations with China, Sri Lanka, and Nepal, etc., have been very cordial, healthy and purposeful. There has been an exchange of many visits and several treaties and pacts for economic development, industrial growth and cultural exchanges have been signed. By and large, India’s foreign policy has been successful in protecting its image as a peace-loving, non-aligned country, an emerging power, dedicated to world peace and prosperity.