Inviting BIMSTEC leaders for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony is a reflection of India redefining neighbourhood, said Leela Ponappa, India’s former deputy national security advisor.
"I think the significance of BIMSTEC is that it demonstrates that we have neighbours to the east as well," he said.
Modi has invited all BIMSTEC partners for his second swearing-in ceremony, along with the heads of state of Kyrgyzstan and Mauritius. However, Pakistan has been excluded this time.
“Ever since the inception of SAARC, Pakistan has stymied its progress and held SAARC hostages due to differences with India. After the Uri incident in 2016, there was a change of perception as I see it. The NDA government decided that enough is enough because they will not allow Pakistan to veto initiatives,” said Vishnu Prakash, India’s former ambassador to South Korea and Canada.