The Russian President Vladimir Putin is on an official visit to India. The highlight of the meeting is the arms deals worth billions of dollars. While countries like the United States (US), China and Pakistan may not be happy with Putin meeting Modi, there is a food of thought for students of international relations and Pakistani policymakers. Many people believe that India has long discarded Nehru’s principle of “non-alignment” which was a clever attempt not to make India a battleground of the cold war while at the same time ensuring that relations with all countries remain smooth.

However, it is not wrong to argue that Indian policymakers and leaders have tweaked the principle according to the need of the hour. The ease with which India is doing business with countries like China, Russia and Iran – all these nations are the most targeted states by Trump’s administration for one or other reason – show how adept India is in the art of diplomacy and gaining concessions from the US. There are lessons that Pakistan needs to learn from Indian approach to world politics. Foremost is to understand that dialogue should be the first and most valued option to settle disputes or disagreements with any state no matter what may come.

Despite tensions with China, India has firm bilateral trade deals with it. Despite the warm relations that New Delhi enjoys with Washington, India has successfully continued maintaining their historical ties with Russia. In the case of Iran, New Delhi in the past has gotten waivers from White House to keep its business transactions with Iran secure. Modi’s government is still hopeful that it can get waivers for itself despite America’s sanctions on both Russia and Iran. Pakistan, too, cannot afford to take stark binary positions. In these times, when Pakistan is trying hard to avoid isolation on an international stage, the modern diplomatic environment requires engagement with everyone.