Thursday, 28 May 2020

HOW PMO PREPARES FOR PM’S FOREIGN VISIT

Updated: May 23, 2015 5:01 pm

After completing his three-nation state visit starting with China, Narendra Modi would have covered 19 nations in less han 12 months. But no one is complaining. Modi has not only endeared himself to Indian Diaspora wherever he has gone but reignited in them the desire to reconnect with the country of their oirigin. Today, India has thousands of ‘ambassadors’ who are fighting for India’s interest. The Indian Diaspora carries weight in the country they reside. The India lobby in Washington is the most influential of lobbies of all foreign countries. It has displaced the once very active and vociferous Pak lobbyists. The present honky-dory relations is the outcome of the positive work put in by Indian lobbyists who took up building goodwill from where Modi took it to in his last visit. The impact of Modi was evident during the recent British general election. The candidates of all parties would woo Pak voters who influenced outcomes in almost 22 constituencies. Candidates accompanied their party leaders who visited all major mosques.

In the recent election leaders visited gurdwaras and temples only, raising the hackles of Muslim leaders. They lodged their complaint. This election the influence of the Indian community was evident. “Our own efforts to be the most successful ethnic community along with the high stature of India under Modiji has added to our weight politically in the British society.” But for success of every visit preparations are made by PMO at least two months in advance. This means preparing for visits to two or three countries simultaneously. The Indian missions are closely involved. They send the background details of NRIs likely to be invited along with details about politicians , investors, the government, the opposition and most importantly security detailing. Like the US Security tells the Indian head of RA W—if Indian PM is visiting—how many Indian media persons can be present in the Oval Room when the President and Prime Minister meet.

All this needs hours of back-breaking work involving NSA and other officials including foreign office spokesperson. Modi involves the spokesperson more, for he wants the officer to concentrate on trying to highlight particular aspect of some measure or achievement. As one official puts it, “it is a great honour to work in Modiji’s PMO but then one must be prepared to work from 6am to midnight.”

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