Nehru was a believer in world peace. He understood the linkage between peace for development and survival of mankind. He had seen the destruction caused by the two world wars and therefore realized that for the progress of a nation a long spell of peace was needed.
In its absence, social and economic priorities relating to development tend to get pushed to the background. The production of nuclear weapons strengthened Nehru’s faith in the peaceful philosophy even more.
Hence he gave utmost importance to world peace in his policy planning. India’s desired peaceful and friendly relations with all countries, particularly the big powers and the neighbouring nations, while signing an agreement with China, on April 28, 1954, India advocated adherence to five guiding principles known as Panchsheel for the conduct of bilateral relations.
It includes the following:
- Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
- Mutual non-aggression
- Mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs
- Equality and mutual benefit
- Peaceful co-existence.
The Panchsheel agreement enumerates best the principles of peaceful co-existence with neighbours. It is an important component of India’s foreign policy.