A high level Defence Ministry delegation from Government of Sweden led by Dr. Hans-Christian Hagman, Senior Advisor, Secretariat for strategy & Security Analysis, Swedish Ministry of Defence visited Vivekananda International Foundation on May 11, 2011. Mattias Lentz, Deputy Head of Mission in Swedish Embassy in India accompanied the Defence Ministry delegation. The delegation had a comprehensive interaction with the Director and faculty members of the VIF on global strategic and security environment, regional setting, India’s foreign policy concerns and priorities and India’s possible futuristic role in the wake of its emerging as a new power centre in multi-polar world.
Dr. Hans-Christian Hagman emphasized that in the emerging power dynamics India with its fast growing economy, stable democracy, human resource capabilities and technological advancements is destined to play a pivotal role. He underlined that the world was appreciative of India’s spectacular economic growth and there was an increasing interest in the West, particularly among countries of the European Union, in India’s rise. He evinced keen interest in India’s world view, its foreign policy priorities, likely trajectory of its growth and assessment of developments in the region.
Welcoming the delegation, Mr Ajit Doval, Director VIF, highlighted broad contours of India’s vision for the future, its world view, regional concerns and challenges of the future. Mr Satish Chandra, Distinguished Fellow, briefed the delegates about India in global setting, India’s foreign policy objectives and priorities and the regional security environment. He particularly alluded to some disconcerting trends in India’s neighbourhood like rise of Islamic radicalism and jehadi terrorism, weak democracies, political instability etc. with their implications for India. Lt. Gen. RK Sawhney and Mr. CD Sahay, Distinguished Fellows, shared their perceptions about contemporary scenario in Af-Pak region, Middle East, China etc. and possible fallout and implications of West’s policy in the region. Mr. Sushant Sareen shared with the delegates his views about present situation in Pakistan, internal dynamics of forces operating within Pakistan and the portents of its policies for the region and world at large.
There was a lively interaction with the Swedish delegates and there was considerable convergence in their assessment of contemporary global and regional issues and possible future scenarios and challenges.