India needs proactive foreign policy: PM


New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday said that India’s foreign policy should be more “proactive” rather than reactive.

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Speaking at a function to launch the journal “India and Global Affairs”, edited by wellknown journlist Dileep Padgaonkar and published by the Sakal group, Manmohan Singh said: “India reengages the world as a more self-confident nation, we must be better informed about the world to be able to deal with it.”

The prime minister has also written an essay in the inaugural issue of the journal, which mentions the need for “proactive planning”.

“I do feel that the policy making at home is often more reactive than pro-active,” he said.

While he said the governments often do not have “the luxury of time to plan”, “it is important and necessary to try to do so”.

“Creating a body of informed opinion is part of that process of preparing oneself to deal with unexpected events,” he said.

He added that proactive planning is the goal of strategic thinkers worldwide. “I have often felt that there is a dearth of long-term planning on strategic policy issues in India,” said the prime minister.

He said it was incumbent upon the government to help “foster creative thinking” on matters of national interest, but at the same time, “I also believe that it is incumbent upon analysts and opinion makers outside the government to have a better appreciation of changing reality and not adopt either rose-tinted or jaundiced perspectives on ongoing trends, events and policy options”.