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Modi's final victory could mean a more confident India



India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Adnan Abidi | Reuters

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who emerged victorious after his country announced Thursday's election results, could launch his next term with renewed attention to national security issues.

Modi won with his Bharatiya Janata a landslide re-election victory party secures the commanding parliamentary majority in the biggest democratic exercise in history. This could lead India to adopt a more determined attitude towards its neighbor Pakistan ̵

1; and China's growing dominance in Asia. This, in turn, may mean a closer defense relationship with Washington.

"The Modi government has deepened its defense and strategic relations with the United States," said Alyssa Ayres, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. "The geopolitical background to this deepening has been China's increased assertiveness throughout the Indian Ocean region, and so on."

In his broad campaign, Modi's strong nationalist tone gained widespread support, urging citizens to sit on the sidelines to give him their voice.

"I voted for him because I did not think Congress, the opposition, could stand against Pakistan and China," Maya, a 35-year-old Mumbai woman, told CNBC.

Faced with support for the PM According to experts, the attitude of the defense minister is likely to double.

"Modi's muscular national security approach has just received overwhelming approval, and we expect to see more of it over the next five years," said Vipin Narang, associate professor at MIT.

Narang noted that the Indian leader could use the current opportunity to "improve the defense forces and the acquisition process" for his country – or he could try to find a solution with Pakistan. In this case, according to the MIT expert, repetitions of the Indian air strike on Pakistani soil may occur earlier this year. According to Narang, this type of action is "determination without real results".

Modis Opportunity to Be Generous

A former US Ambassador to Pakistan told CNBC's "Street Signs: Asia" on Friday that Modi's sweeping election victory could give him the political capital to try to build relations to improve Pakistan.

For his part, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed his willingness to work with Modi to improve the often tense relationship between the two nuclear competitors. according to Cameron Munter, who is also CEO and President of the think tank EastWest Institute.

"When I went to Pakistan and talked to Imran Khan, I was convinced that he is really alone in the region and can grab modes after the elections," Munter added. Khan said he was in dialogue with India Committed.

To be clear, this discussion took place before tensions escalated over Kashmir in the following months, Munter said. Based on its strong political image, this could lead to a peaceful change in bilateral relations.

"The senior partner in the relationship is India," he said. "I think my own recommendation would be that Mr. Modi has the opportunity to be considered very generous in his victory when it turns out to be what we expect, and I am pleased to be open-hearted with my open-minded neighbor They answer? "

Defense Spending

Most project that will lead Modi to increase defense purchases in India over the next five years, but there remains a question from which Country it makes the purchase. India has bought its defense equipment and weapons mostly from countries like Russia and Israel, but American companies like Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and Raytheon hope that modes will increasingly look to the US

could approach the government of Modi if the trade wars between Washington and Beijing.

"Especially in view of our problems with Chinese trade and other issues, the relationship between the US and India is even more strategic and economic, not only for today but also in the long term," said Richard Verma, former US Ambassador to India. "I hope the Trump Administration doubles its efforts with India and recognizes the great promise that exists in our collaboration." Commercial Hawks, including Trump.

– Saheli Roy Choudhury of CNBC contributed to this report.


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