New Delhi needs to position itself as an alternative political model that can effectively counter Beijing's illiberal vision.
Isolating Pakistan does not seem to be working as Islamabad has stepped up its diplomatic efforts to engage Beijing, Moscow and Tehran.
The biggest challenge though is expected to arise from the infamously inconsistent and utilitarian US president.
Islamabad is being rightly blamed in Washington for the avoidable military stalemate in Afghanistan.
Putin is moving toward greater acceptance of Islamabad, much like China has done.