Saudi Arabia to be Crucial to India Growth Story: Swamy

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NEW DELHI (IANS) — Saudi Arabia will be a key player in India’s growth story, P.R. Kumaraswamy, JNU professor and co-author of “India’s Saudi Policy: Bridge to the Future”, asserted during the launch of the book here on Monday.

Launched at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy, who painted the middle-eastern country as one of the forces India will have to balance, along with Iran and Israel, the book has also been authored by academic Muddassir Quamar, who is an Associate Fellow in the Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses, and holds a Ph.D in Middle East Studies.

The book traces India’s Saudi policy and locates the current state of bilateral relations and the challenges it faces.

It argues that during the Cold War, the relations were largely shaped by the Pakistan factor which in turn inhibited both sides from exploring the importance and value of one another. As a result, the relations were largely transactional and marginal.

“The end of the Cold War coincided with two interesting developments, namely, significant growth in India’s economic power and influence and the de-hyphenation of Pakistan from its Middle East policy. This resulted in greater political engagements between India and Saudi Arabia and was strengthened by the growing energy trade ties,” a note by the publisher Palgrave Macmillan said.

“India is now regionally assertive and regionally strong at its own level, and more or less on an equal footing. India can be a power on its own and Saudi Arabia can also be a power on its own. So, it’s almost equal,” Kumaraswamy told IANS on the sidelines of the launch.

What does the book touch upon?

“Along with chapters on migration and the Palestine and Pakistan factors, we’ve delved into factors like economy, energy, security, trade and history, and where things went wrong,” added the professor of contemporary Middle East Studies.

The book is priced at Rs 6,000 on e-commerce site Amazon.

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