February 28, 2024

New Delhi:
As India pulled off a big diplomatic win after eight jailed Navy veterans were released by Qatar earlier this week, here’s a look at how India’s standing in the world was shaped by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bold diplomatic moves in recent years.

  1. Navy Veterans’ Release: Eight jailed Navy veterans were released by Qatar on Sunday months after their death penalty was commuted. A Qatari court sentenced them to death on October 26, 2023 over alleged spying charges. The capital punishment was commuted in December, weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai.

  2. G-20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration: The G20 summit held under India’s presidency in September last year adopted a consensus declaration overcoming major differences on the Russia-Ukraine war, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for ending the “global trust deficit”. The big development was welcomed by several leaders and officials, who said the “historic” document recognises PM Modi’s emphasis on human-centric globalisation.

  3. Buying Oil From Russia: At a time when the West had slapped stringent financial sanctions on Russia for its 2022 invasion of Ukraine, India increased the purchase of discounted crude oil from Moscow. India has maintained that as one of the top importers of crude, it will buy oil from anywhere it can strike a good bargain.

  4. Operation Ganga: The government undertook what looked like a massive challenge to rescue Indian students from Ukraine which was in the middle of a war with Russia in February last year. The operation was called ‘Operation Ganga’. “The idea behind the naming was that just the way Ganga is called Ma Ganga, it protects us, similarly this rescue operation was to protect and bring back its children to safety,” the government had said.

  5. Operation Vande Bharat: India operated several flights under ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ to bring back the Indians stranded in different parts of world due to coronavirus pandemic. The operation was launched in May 2020 to bring back the Indians in a phased manner.

  6. Operation ‘Samudra Setu’: The Indian Navy had also launched Operation ‘Samudra Setu’ (sea bridge) to rescue Indian citizens from overseas amid cotronavirus-induced travel restrictions.

  7. Operation Sanjeevani: When international borders were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic in April 2020, Operation Sanjeevani was launched to meet the medical requirements of Maldives. Under this operation, a special Indian Air Force (IAF) plane airlifted 6.2 tonnes of essential medical supplies from India to the Maldives.

  8. Vaccine Diplomacy: India shipped free COVID-19 vaccine to several countries when the world was battling the pandemic. The move helped India gain political influence across the developing world.

  9. Operation Ajay: India launched Operation Ajay to facilitate the return of citizens from Israel amid a full-blown war with the Hamas group in Gaza last year. Special charter flights and other arrangements were put in place to evacuate the Indian nationals.

  10. Wing Commander Abinandan Varthaman’s Return: India in 2019 successfully secured the release of Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman who was captured by Pakistani authorities after his MiG 21 was shot during an aerial combat. After he was captured, Wing Commander Varthaman showed courage and grace in the most difficult circumstances for which he was praised by politicians, strategic affairs experts, ex-servicemen, celebrities and others.

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