Agartala Doctrine—The ‘Tripura Line’ of Appropriate Response in Foreign Policy*
The ‘Agartala Doctrine’ emerges from the consistent policy adopted by successive Tripura governments towards East Pakistan and then independent Bangladesh. It revolves round ‘appropriate response’ – friendly approach towards regimes which are friendly and tough response to those which are not. In that, it differs from the unilateral magnanimity advocated by the ‘Gujral doctrine’. Tripura’s first chief minister Sachindralal Singha played a critical role in successfully seeking Indian support for the Bengali struggle for autonomy in East Pakistan and then for the armed Bengali independence campaign in 1971 that finally led to the creation of Bangladesh. The state’s current chief minister Manik Sarkar authorized hostile trans-border action against separatist rebels during Khaleda Zia’s regime – but he now has the best of relations with the Hasina government and credits it for help in matters of development and security management.
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