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IR Working Paper 1990/4
Amin Saikal, ‘India in Southwest Asia’, IR Working Paper 1990/4, Canberra: Department of International Relations, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, July 1990.
India has lately exhibited growing major power ambitions. In this respect, its programme of military build-up and foreign policy actions have gained worldwide attention. However, the weight of India’s ambitions has been felt nowhere more acutely than in the region. This paper focuses primarily on India’s relations with Southwest Asia, which is often classified as a region in its own right but is also viewed as a subregion in relation to India’s overall region of security and interests. This subregion consists of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran as well as, to some extent, the Persian Gulf.
The aim of this paper is threefold: to evaluate both India’s constant desire for regional centrality, and the consequent obsession that it has displayed in seeking to prompt Pakistan to accept such a centrality; to assess the implication of this for India’s Southwest Asian relations in general; and to cast an eye on the future of India’s regional position.