April 24, 2017

India’s Other Border Problem

(Map via The Diplomat)

  Just a week after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s trip to Beijing, where he signed a Border Defense Cooperation Agreement, China has reminded India of its other border conflict: Arunachal Pradesh. The Hindu reports that China opened a new highway that links Medog, Tibet’s so-called “last isolated county,” with the rest of China. The Global Times called Medog “the last roadless county in China” – it did ... Read More »

Afghanistan: A Great Game That All Sides Can Win

Afghan map

Two questions have increasingly taken centre-stage in discussions about what might happen in Afghanistan after United States withdrawal in 2014. One, if it will become a proxy battlefield for India and Pakistan, the two big South Asian rivals, and two, if anything can be done to prevent this. William Dalrymple, for instance, wrote in an essay for Brookings Institution this ... Read More »

A Vote for the Social Sciences in India

The social sciences have for long shied away from investigating the terrain of political behaviour. This has changed. (Photo by P.V. Sivakumar via The Hindu)

Although the elections are still some time away, a different political climate is being created by various stakeholders. The tone was set with Anna Hazare’s and the nationwide stir against growing corruption in high places and the demand for the setting up of an independent body at the apex to examine cases of money laundering and the misuse of public ... Read More »

The Many Faces of Kayani Effect: An Indian View

File Photo: From left to right, Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the International Security Assistance Force, met with Pakistan Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani and Afghan Chief of General Staff Gen. Sher Mahammed Karimi, during a Tripartite Commission, Dec. 23, 2010. (Photo by isafmedia)

Pakistan’s powerful Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has announced that he will retire after a six-year term in office on November 29. While plenty has been written about him in the Pakistani media, the Indian media has failed to assess his tenure, despite knowing that he singularly ran his country’s security policy for India. Most of what ... Read More »

The Many Roads to Kabul

President Hamid Karzai with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in November 12, 2012.

  A few years ago, Pakistan made an extraordinary proposal to Afghanistan regarding the extraction and marketing of Afghan mineral wealth which is, according to the United States Geological Survey, worth around $1 trillion. It suggested that an Afghan, Pakistani and Chinese consortium be established to undertake this activity. It was a serious and thought out proposal for it was ... Read More »

India’s Central Asia Ambitions Outfoxed by China and Russia

Central Asia oil nd gas  USED

At present, Moscow has essentially shut India out from Kyrgyzstan after sending the first installments of a new US$1 billion military aid package to the country. This follows the strategic setback that India suffered in 2010 when it lost use of the Tajikistan Ayni airbase to Russia. And in the two larger, energy-rich nations of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, New Delhi ... Read More »

In Chaotic Hyperbole, Truth Loses in Pakistan-India Relations

Leepa Karnah Valley. The Line of Control (the disputed border between India and Pakistan) passes through the middle of the valley. (Photo by Umair Shafiq)

It was making a mountain out of a molehill. Both the (Indian) Army and the media were complicit in this: One deliberately and the other out of ignorance. The recent anti-infiltration operations in Keran sector which were declared over after two weeks on October 8 by the Chief of Army Staff, General Bikram Singh, in Delhi and the Northern Army ... Read More »

RSS’ Control of India’s BJP Party Violation of 1949 Promise

RSS leaders at a recent meeting in the Indian administered Kashmir. (Photo via RSS website)

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s constitution explicitly states that it will stay clear of politics. The constitution itself was written, in 1949, because Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel would have it no other way. (RSS is a right-wing paramilitary Hindu nationalist group in India) The events of 2013 have comprehensively erased that part of India’s history. The RSS has taken full control of ... Read More »

Foreign Policy Not Glorious Legacy of Manmohan Singh

Foreign policy may not be the glorious legacy of India's octogenarian Prime Minister. (Photo via World Economic Forum)

  Foreign policy will not be among the glorious legacies that Manmohan Singh will leave behind. But that will not be for want of trying, although on many occasions he blundered badly. Ties with Pakistan remain strained, since he has been repeatedly outsmarted Coming at the tail end of his almost decade-long prime ministerial tenure, Mr Manmohan Singh’s trip to ... Read More »

Appeasement Has No Future in India-Pakistan Relations

Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Manmohan Singh at their summit meeting in New York on September 29. (ViewsWeek photo)

  There was speculation but little expectations about the (September 29) meeting between prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Indian government functionaries and almost all political leaders have fallen over themselves competing with the vociferous Indian media in consistently attacking Pakistan. In their near unanimous opinion, conditions were not conducive for ... Read More »