Geography: An Unchangeable Static Force Guiding FP
India’s geographical size and location have played vital role in shaping its foreign policy. India is very big in size; it is the seventh largest ifl the world with nearly 3 million square. kilometres of territory.
On its north, its boundaries are associated with the world famous Himalayan mourttatii
p• It has 15,000 kms long land oug..
boundaries with Pakistan in the West, ti
tan? China and Nepal in the North, ehd Ban gladesh and Myanmar in the an
East. Afghanistan and the former Soviet Union are in the immediate vicinity of Jammu & Kashmir. As it was repeatedly noted by our Prime Minister often that one can change one’s friends, but not neighbours. Therefore, India has been keen to have friendly and tension-free relations with all the neighbours.
India has 7,500 lans of coastline touched by the waters of the Indian ocean on three sides of its territory. Most of India’s foreign trade is routed through the Indian Ocean just as the Indian harbours witness dense traffic of merchant ships proceeding from or towards Europe, West Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asian regions; hence geopolitical and geo-strategic significance of the ocean to India’s external relations. Through the changes in recent global military strategies Clearly India’s foreign policy has perceived the need to ensure that its northern frontiers along with territorial waters in the Indian Ocean remain peaceful and free from foreign military buildup. India’s vast coastline necessitates not only a powerful navy, but also friendly relations with other naval powers present in the Indian Ocean. This can be one among the several prime factors influencing India’s proximity towards U.S.
The location of the country is also notable. Belonging to South Asia, India lies in the heart of the biggest continent, Asia. Although India was victim of
Chinese and Pakistani military attacks, it is in its interest that the channels of communication are kept open. India therefore seeks that problems with these neighbours are amicably settled. In keeping with the fact that India is the gateway of both South-East Asia and the West Asia, India’s security and vital interests are closely knit with the peace and stability in the larger region of Asia. As such, India keeps close relations with all the regional powers. India has followed the Look East Policy and is developing economic as well as strategic relations with the ASEAN countries.