Central Asia has been considered as part of India's strategic neighbourhood; however India's engagement with Central Asia has been weak due to many contextual reasons. Earlier when the nascent Central Asian nations acquired their independent status after the demise of the Soviet Union India was preoccupied with its own economic problems. Discovery of hydrocarbons and minerals enhanced the strategic importance of Central Asian Republics. The secular polity of these nations also holds tremendous importance for India as the forces of radicalism and extremism especially those emanating from the Af-Pak belt would have adverse impact on the regional security. Major powers are also involved in Central Asia for securing their own interests. This volume looks at the strategic environment in Central Asia, the evolving security situation in Afghanistan that is of concern to Central Asian states as well as India, the non-traditional threats which are becoming more important than the conventional threats, the economic aspects of engagement with Central Asia, prospects of defence and security cooperation and the way forward.
The contributors to the volume are well known experts, diplomats and strategic professionals who have looked at every aspect of India-central Asia engagement and have suggested a way forward.