India Border Map

Yearbook 2003

India. During a visit by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in China, several agreements were signed that marked an improvement in relations between the two Asian powers. Among other things, they entered into an agreement on increased scientific and technical cooperation and joint projects for water and energy supply. India at the same time acknowledged China’s supremacy over Tibet, while China indirectly reaffirmed I’s sovereignty over Sikkim.

According to Countryaah.com, India Independence Day is August 15. A September visit to Israel by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon led to a deal on Israeli sales, with US approval, to India of the advanced radar system Phalcon, a deal valued at $ 1 billion. Security policy assessors saw the emergence of a new strategic axis US-Israel-India. The three countries are united, among other things, in concerns about Islamist terrorism.

Relations with Pakistan also improved somewhat. Admittedly, I rejected a Pakistani proposal for a “road map for peace” in the disputed Kashmir, since the plan required third-party mediation, which India has always opposed. However, in October, India submitted a list of twelve items for concrete confidence-building measures, including: resumed sports contacts and new flight, train, bus and ferry connections. In November, the countries agreed on a ceasefire across the unofficial border in Kashmir. At the same time, Kashmiri extremist groups became more active and clashes in the state demanded an average of about ten casualties per day for much of the year. The situation became increasingly unmanageable when the Kashmiri umbrella organization Freedom Conference was split into a moderate phalanx,

The old battle question as to whether Hindus or Muslims are entitled to a disputed temple site in the city of Ayodhya in northern India was again raised. An archaeological study suggested that there have been temples since the 9th century, which Hindu circles believed confirmed their claim in the area. At the same time, a court released Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani, considered Hindu nationalist “hawk”, from allegations of having alleged the illegal demolition of a mosque in the temple site in 1992.

The year was financially very good for India, who in June joined the group of rich countries contributing to the work of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). India himself became debt free to the IMF 2000 and now paid almost US $ 300 million to the fund. At the same time, India declined to continue bilateral assistance from Sweden and 21 other countries.

Economic development was favored by exceptionally good monsoon rains which led to large harvests, and economic growth for 2003/04 was estimated at over 7%. In December, the foreign exchange reserve reached a record level of USD 100 billion.

This good situation and a state budget that was considered very consumer-friendly were considered to have contributed to giving the ruling BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) the dominant government victory in three important elections in December in states governed by rival Congress Party. A strengthened BJP looked forward to the 2004 parliamentary elections.

In 1994, the Supreme Court ruled that the state governments could lose their powers of power if they did not defend freedom of religion, as described in the Constitution. Meanwhile, conflicts between Hindus and Muslims in the state of Karnataka continued.

In the same year, India and China signed two agreements. The first meant a reduction in the number of troops along the common 4000 km border and the second to expand trade. At the same time, Pakistan closed its consulate in Bombay following a deterioration in relations between the two countries. The occasion was statements by former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that the country had nuclear weapons.

Through 1995, Prime Minister Narasimha Rao transformed his cabinet three times. Elections in various states also showed a growing weakening of the Congress Party, which was plagued by shelling and by the growth of the Hindu Nationalist Party, Bharatiya Janata (BJP). In the state of Maharashtra, the new BJP government decided to change the name of the city of Bombay to Mumbai.

Despite the financial stability and the decision to implement various social programs, including the schooling of 110 million children and the building of 10 million housing in rural areas, Rao failed to prevent its decline in popularity. Rao resigned on May 10, 1996, after his party lost the elections in the days of April 27 to May 7. BJP gained 187 seats in alliance with several smaller parties, Congress Party 138 and Unity Front – the former National Front – 117. BJP failed to get parliamentary majority to rule, and its new prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, resigned on 28 May, 12 days after taking over the post. President Shankar Dayal Sharma, therefore, appointed HD Deve Gowda of the Unity Front to head a new government which received support from the Congress Party.

A new agreement with China was implemented around the reduction of troops along the common border. In March 1997, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shamshad Ahmad visited India to reopen negotiations and normalize relations between the two countries. That same month, the Congress Party withdrew support for the Gowda government, triggering its fall. In June, Sitaram Kesri was elected President of the Congress Party. It was he who was the architect of the breach with the left wing. One month after Gowda’s fall, Inder Kumar Gujral – also from the Unity Front – was appointed prime minister. In July, Vice President KR Narayanan was elected President.

In November, the Congress party withdrew its support for the Gujral government when an official commission revealed possible links between a party in the government coalition – Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (DMK) – and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, who were behind the assassination 6 years earlier on Gandhi. Gujral therefore had to withdraw.

India Border Map