CONFLICT DIARIES

CONFLICT DIARIES

India faces tough choices as the US sanctions Iran


For the Indian policy makers, one of the crucial questions today is of how to walk a balancing act between the US, their prime strategic ally, and Iran, their traditional regional ally and, of... More

Emphasis on dialogue is back in Afghanistan


Last few months have seen Afghanistan moving from the Taliban’s direct offer of talks with the US to the Ghani administration responding with a similar offer. Of course, president did wrap his offer without... More

Pakistan’s second decade of democracy


If the word ‘unprecedented’ was to be defined in the Pakistani political context, the immediate reference would be the two consecutive (2008-2013 and 2013-2018) transfers of power from one elected government to another, illustrating... More

Pakistan & Afghanistan find a road-map to peace


Despite the myriad odds, Pakistan and Afghanistan have been successful in charting out a mutually agreed road-map to peace and stability in the ‘Af-Pak’ region. Whereas its many phases, starting from a proposal and... More

The US softens up on Pakistan to find ‘peace’ in Afghanistan


After experiencing months of cold, it seems that the US is starting to realize the folly of disengaging Pakistan, and is accordingly warming up. While underlying tensions remain, the recent change in emphasis on... More

Can the Elephant and Dragon dance together?


Despite the otherwise upbeat assessments about the latest Xi-Modi meeting in China, the outstanding fact remains China’s failure in getting India’s support for its Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). While China’s failure doesn’t simply... More

Amid the new “spring offensive”, the “new” US strategy stands defeated


The announcement by the Afghan Taliban of their spring offensive against the US and NATO forces should not have come as a surprise to the observers of the war, familiar with its dynamics and... More

Modi takes a leaf out of the book of Rao and Vajpayee...


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to have taken a leaf out of the book of former Prime Ministers P. V. Narasimha Rao and A. B. Vajpayee when he decided to go to China... More

Against India’s plan to scuttle, Pakistan has the plan to expand SAARC


When Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena recently arrived in Pakistan as a chief guest to celebrate the Pakistan Day on March 23, he was not just witnessing the military parade, but was also making... More

Cracking the Afghan-Pak nut


It is nothing short of a challenge for Pakistan to reconcile its western neighbour, a neighbour Pakistan has almost never enjoyed cordial relations with. But the need for reconciling the estranged neighbour has never been... More

What John Bolton’s appointment as NSA would lead Pak-US relations to?


What will the newly appointed National Security Adviser (NSA) John Bolton, the well-known hawk, would advise the US president Trumpon matters related to the US national security? This is the question that has been... More

How Bangladesh is at the crossroads of India-China ‘war of influence’


The rise of China in Asia has meant different things to different countries in the region and beyond. For its competitors, this rise means political and economic hegemony with ‘Chinese characteristics’; for its supporters,... More

The Taliban’s rejection of peace talks makes sense


While no proper rejection has yet taken place, it is by now evident that the Afghan Taliban have partially turned down the Ghani administration’s proposal of entering into peace talks and earn legitimacy through... More

How Pakistan’s arms-imports reflect its foreign relations


When it comes to locating the locus of a country’s foreign policy orientation, its standing in the global order, and its interests, one of way of understanding it is to look at where the... More

What is behind the Ghani-Trump road map to peace in Afghanistan?


Afghan president Ashraf Ghani’s offer of peace and dialogue to the Afghan Taliban has come at a time when the US is right in the middle of implementing its new Afghan strategy, the central... More

Pakistan’s foreign policy: Not isolated, but not diversified enough


With Pakistan’s Raheel Sharif leading the 40 nation Islamic Military Alliance and with China making investment worth billions of dollars in Pakistan through the China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor (CPEC) projects and with Pakistan likely to become the... More

On the Afghan Taliban’s ‘open letter diplomacy’


Writing an open letter is not something that has been done for the first time. In fact, the Afghan Taliban had welcomed the Trump administration into office by writing a letter and urging them... More

The Afghan war can no longer be defined by Pak-US ties


While the US continues to do drone attacks in Pakistan, the diplomat spat between them hasn’t ended. On the contrary it seems to be widening as Pakistan continues its drift away from the US... More

Why is the US hiding the actual ground realities of Afghanistan?


After 16 years of war, the US has now decided to officially restrict the amount and the kind of data that can be released for public information. While the Pentagon order in itself flies... More

In Davos Modi toes the US line, forgets India’s massive contradictions


While Indian PM Narendra Modi’s Davos speech has been termed by the Indian media as ‘just what the audience wanted to hear’, few take aways from his key-note speech illustrate how Modi actually toed... More

Keeping Afghanistan unstable suits the US and the Afghan regime


While there appears to be a general consensus on the necessity of bringing peace back to Afghanistan, the discourse of peace is delusional as the very definition of peace continues to be the subject... More

COLUMN

150 hrs to a new dawn?

Though the usual feudal modus operandi for obtaining votes, particularly in the rural areas, is through outright coercion and/or intimidation, it also depends upon who counts the vote. Even more importantly, it is about who gets to collate it. With rigging/tampering with ballot and ballot boxes fairly widespread in... More

Japanese expert urges Lanka to get P-3C Orion naval reconnaissance aircraft...

Dr. Satoru Nagao, a Japanese expert on maritime security who is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington DC, says that Sri Lanka should acquire the Lockheed P-3C maritime surveillance aircraft to meet a possible threat from Chinese submarines. Dr. Nagao told this correspondent in an email... More

Is Modi making up for India’s shortage of diplomats?

Narendra Modi is India's most travelled Prime Minister. The opposition Congress recently wanted his name on the Guinness Book of World Records for the most travelled Prime Minister, mockingly writing," We are overwhelmed and”extremely happy to suggest the name of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has set the... More

India faces tough choices as the US sanctions Iran

For the Indian policy makers, one of the crucial questions today is of how to walk a balancing act between the US, their prime strategic ally, and Iran, their traditional regional ally and, of course, third biggest supplier of oil.  The question has become even more significant ever since... More

Something is broken in Bangladesh: Will it heal?

There is something scared about the relationship between a University, its teachers and students. It is built on trust, obligation, mutual affection and much more. Its as if the teacher is the parent, the campus is the home. A relationship is inherently therefore written into this unwritten contract. It was... More

EDITOR'S CHOICE

India’s social-media ‘lynch mobs’ pose growing threat

Social-media platforms are often criticized for their susceptibility to toxic dialogue and vicious attacks. It is a problem that India knows well. Just ask External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, whose recent vilification by members and supporters of her own ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a case in point. Swaraj... More

The new trade order

Since the start of the year, U.S. President Donald Trump has lashed out at allies and adversaries alike on trade. Often, as with India, the U.S. has pushed for enhanced security cooperation at the same time it declared trade relations a national security threat. The belligerence has left many... More

One day does not an election make

The much-awaited Gazipur city election is over, the “we-knew-it-from-before” polls results are upon us, the “impartiality” of the police and the “neutrality” of the civil administration have once again been demonstrated, the never-too-late-to-follow “certificate” of the Election Commission has been delivered and, of course, our democracy now stands “strengthened”. As... More

The PDP-BJP coalition was an unnatural and opportunistic alliance

The BJP pulled out of the coalition government and the other partner, the PDP, had no choice but to resign. The BJP pulled out of the coalition government and the other partner, the PDP, had no choice but to resign. Only a few weeks ago I had poured out my... More

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READER'S VIEW

Gorkhaland, Mamata and the Chinese factor

Just a few days ago I warned two young student leaders in Darjeeling of West Bengal, against the violent movement which has started there for a separate Gorkhaland. I told them in no way should they support this demand. This has multifarious geo-political risks. If a Gorkhaland state is... More