India is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Even before its independence in 1947, India became a charter member of the UN on 13 October 1945, and it belongs to ESCAP and all the nonregional specialized agencies. India also has joined the Asian Development Bank and G-77, and has signed the Law of the Sea. It is a dialogue partner with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
India was a founder of the nonaligned movement and has pursued a formally neutralist foreign policy since independence. Relations between the United States and India have ranged from correct to cordial; relations with China, hostile during the early 1960s, have been normalized since 1976. India's primary ally among the superpowers had been the former USSR, with which a 20-year treaty of peace, friendship, and cooperation was signed in 1971. Indian armed forces and political missions have assisted in implementing truce and cease-fire agreements in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Middle East, Congo (formerly Zaire), and Cyprus. India also negotiated a settlement in Sri Lanka's civil unrest in July 1987, sending in troops to enforce the agreement.
Since independence, India has fought three wars with neighboring Pakistan, in 1947–48, 1965, and 1971. Relations between the two countries improved in the early 1980s. On 10 March 1983, India and Pakistan signed a five-year agreement for improving economic and cultural ties, which was viewed as a major step in the normalization of their relations. Tension between India and Pakistan increased again in 1986–87, when both countries conducted military exercises near their common border in the sensitive Punjab region. Indo-Pakistan relations worsened again in 1990 and in the years immediately following as a consequence of Pakistan's support of Islamic insurgents in Indian Kashmir. In 1998 both countries became nuclear powers, conducting a series of underground nuclear tests. Tensions between them worsened again after an attack on the Indian Lok Sabha in December 2001, and both countries amassed approximately 1 million troops on their shared border. India blames two Pakistan-based militant Islamic organizations, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad, for violence in Kashmir and India itself.
India became a founding member of the World Trade Organization on 1 January 1995.