April 24, 2017

View from India: Has Pakistan Walked into a Saudi Trap?

The 39-nation Saudi-lead alliance is being dubbed as Muslim NATO. (Photo by Omar Chatriwala, CC license)

Pakistan shouldn’t burn its fingers by joining an alliance that didn’t include Iran. Walking into the Saudi trap would be suicidal for Pakistan, pundits had warned Nawaz Sharif government. But Islamabad just did that. Read More »

Israel, Saudi Arabia New Middle East’s Strange Bedfellows

Former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal and retired Israeli Major General Yaakov Amidror together at a Washington event hosted by The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (Photo: Youtube/FPIF)

Israel and Saudi Arabia are burying the hatchet. For at least 10 reasons, that's not such a good idea. Read More »

Five Years of Arab Spring: Why it Failed?

A taxi drives past Syrian soldiers manning a checkpoint at the entrance of al-Karama area in the Bab Amro neighborhood of Homs on May 2, 2012. (File photo by FreedomHouse)

There is little hope for peace in much of West Asia five years after the advent of Arab Spring. Every country is going through its own doomsday, reflected everyday with the uncountable number of innocent deaths. Read More »

No Exit? Gaza and Israel Between the Wars

Many areas of Gaza, a densely-populated territory of just 365 square kilometres, still resemble a war zone. In the worst-hit areas, rubble lies uncleared and half-standing wrecked buildings bear testimony to the scars of the conflict. (Photo by EU/ECHO/Caroline Gluck, Creative Commons License)

Whatever options Hamas and Israel choose will not resolve the underlying conflict. But allowing Gazans to export goods, tax themselves and freely exit and enter the territory would at least offer Israelis and Palestinians the possibility of less bloodshed, while other possibilities, including unblocking the diplomatic impasse, are explored. Read More »

India-UAE ‘Strategic Partnership’ and Pakistan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting  Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. (Photo via video stream)

The new warmth in India-UAE relations after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's landmark visit to Abu Dhabi and Dubai may have regional implications. Read More »

The Great Shaking Out of the ‘New Middle East’

(Image by Cathy Stanley-Erickson, Creative Commons License)

The “great shakeout” taking place in the Middle East is a state shakeout by conservative states with conservative ideologies. Iran is not an outlier in this company. Certainly rivalry and competition are better than the wars, ethnic cleansing, flight, killing, rape, malnutrition and barbarism of the past five years. Read More »

Saudi Arabia is Simmering at Home?

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud receives governors of regions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the occasion of their 22nd annual meeting. (Photo courtesy SPA)

To hear Saudi leaders tell it, the kingdom is under constant threat from Iran. But graver threats of their own making lurk at home. Opinion-makers in Saudi Arabia itself have a different narrative about the growing instability in the region. Here is what they argue. Read More »

Yemen’s War Redrawing the Middle East’s Fault Lines

Aid agencies are warning that the Yemen war is turning into a humanitarian crisis.

Saudi Arabia's ongoing war in Yemen does more to highlight the kingdom's isolation than its power. Read More »

US-Iran N. Deal a Game Changer for the Region?

Secretary State John Kerry during a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif in Vienna in Oct. 2014.   (Photo by Javad Zarif

The US-Iran deal opens new possibilities for the nuclear-armed India and Pakistan. If US and Iran can bury the acrimonious past, why cant Islamabad and New Delhi chart the same way when it comes to weapons of mass destruction. Read More »

Saudi Arabia’s Long History of Meddling in Yemen

Houthi rebels are believed to be backed by Iran. (Photo via video feed)

The Saudis are reluctant to send ground troops to fight the Houthis on Yemeni soil. But recent conflicts -- in Iraq, Syria and Libya -- show that air power alone is not enough to win a decisive victory. And the longer this conflict drags on, the more likely that the Houthis will gain wide popular support as the defenders of Yemen's independence against an aggressive and meddling neighbor. Read More »