Despite controversy, Afghanistan Peace Process makes major strides

Despite Kabul’s publicly made allegations on the US about ‘selling Afghanistan to the Taliban’ in the peace talks, there is little gainsaying that the Afghan-US war has never been so close to ending through settlement than it... More

How China might undo Saudi plans for Iran?

The recent Saudi bid to increase its economic and political influence in South Asia (Pakistan and India) is, as I pointed out in my previous stories for SAM, largely informed not just by the imperative of a... More

How post-Pulwama is India’s moment of not-so-pride

Almost no country in the world has bought Indian claims of having eliminated a JeM training camp in Balakot, in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KpK) province. If this wasn’t enough, Pakistan’s retaliation emphatically stamped that its ability to... More

Modi’s dangerous play with fire backfires

In a flurry of events, India and Pakistan have exchanged air attacks, resulting in India loosing two of its attacking fighter jets and two pilots. There is no gainsaying that this is a dangerous escalation, but this... More

How Saudi Arabia is reshaping South Asian geo-politics

The billion-dollar Saudi investments in Asia—particularly in Pakistan and India—appear to be just investment besides a practical implementation of the vision 2030 plan according to which the Saudis are changing the nature of their economy to avoid... More

Saudi Arabia seeking to be active in South Asia by deepening economic...

While many political pundits in Pakistan are trying to tie the up-coming billion-dollar Saudi investment in Pakistan with Riyadh’s need to have Islamabad as an ally in its wars in Yemen and Syria, there has been little... More

Amid peace talks, India and Ghani flog the dead-horse of elections in...

Last week, Moscow hosted delegations from the Taliban and Afghanistan’s political opposition in a bid to establish sound political contacts between the two actors. The delegation of the opposition parties included Afghanistan’s former president, Hamid Karzai, and... More

The US-Taliban deal: What it entails and what not?

It is difficult to argue against the fact that the recently announced draft-deal between the US and Taliban is a major breakthrough in the 17 years long US-Afghanistan war. While not in itself a peace deal, it... More

RAND Corporation’s negative speculations on Afghanistan and justifications for continuing US presence

The report, ‘Consequence of Precipitous US Withdrawal from Afghanistan’ may be described as negative speculation about a possible withdrawal that hasn’t yet taken place and isn’t likely to occur for quite some time even if some sort... More

By reaching out to Taliban, Iran makes presence felt in Afghanistan apart...

The very nature of the conflict in Afghanistan has made it almost impossible for the neighbouring countries to remain aloof from it or maintain some distance, even a calculated one. For one thing, the conflict is no... More

How the Taliban have become leading actor in Afghan peace talks

While the Taliban have established their domination both politically and militarily in almost half of Afghanistan, the consequent talks with the US and the way they have progressed show that they are already in a commanding position.... More

US withdrawal from Afghanistan showcases India’s hollow Afghan policy

When Donald Trump recently mocked India for building a library in Afghanistan, it signified a lot more than the fact that India is not fighting the Taliban as a US ally; it showed the actual limited presence... More

How Pakistan is negotiating the Afghan terrain after US announcement to withdraw...

In the last week of December, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi visited Afghanistan, Iran, China and Russia to discuss the ongoing Afghan peace process. The visit was in the wake of Pakistan brokering peace talks between... More

An all-out US defeat in Afghanistan is on the horizon

The politico-military structure that the US built in Afghanistan after forcing the Taliban out of power is shaking from its cores, facing an imminent destruction. The failure of this structure wouldn’t just mean failure of one of... More

With Afghan elections in April, Ghani regime caught in a bind as...

Notwithstanding the importance of the on-going talks between the Afghan Taliban and the US and the participation of the former in the recently-held Moscow summit on Afghanistan, there is a stark absence of the Afghan government in... More

Trump’s melodrama vis-à-vis Pakistan meets ground realities

The Trump administration's renewed push to seek Pakistan's help in bringing the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table comes as a striking contrast to what the US president had only very recently said in one of his... More

India’s dead-end Afghan policy

While India has been investing in Afghanistan for several years, the changing dynamics of the Afghan war indicate that this economic, political and diplomatic investment may not yield the desired results after all. First and foremost, India’s... More

US-Pakistan relations enter new phase of deterioration over Afghanistan and Taliban

US President Donald Trump’s blatant ‘game of accusations’ vis-à-vis Pakistan regarding the latter’s alleged role in hiding Osama bin Laden and “doing nothing” to help America in Afghanistan has led Pak-US ties into a new phase of... More

India’s limited life-line in Afghanistan

While India continues to plan to expand its foothold in Afghanistan, using its alliance with the United States as its main source of support, and has also developed a seemingly strong relationship with Kabul, a close reading... More

Afghanistan: The big story of massive aid waste

There are ghost soldiers; ghost police officers; ghost clinics and even ghost patients in Afghanistan. There are billions of dollars spent on papers, but there is very little on the ground. As such, despite spending billions on... More

China’s discreet headway into Afghanistan

While China continues officially to deny playing a leading role in managing conflict in Afghanistan, there is also no gainsaying that China continues to make a meaningful headway into Afghanistan, a development that would, even if Beijing... More


Ways in which China is drawing Nepal into its embrace

There is an apocryphal story that theNepalese believe that they have two elder brothers – the first, an interfering, censorial and patronizing one, namely India, and the second, a non-interfering, benign and respectful one, namely China. The dichotomy mentioned above isbut a product of history. New Delhi,covertly, and sometimes overtly, claims a patron-client relationship with Nepalimagining itself to be the successor to the British Raj. But China,on the other hand, has... More

Pakistan, Afghan peace and India

After almost two decades the US-led NATO intervention in Afghanistan aimed at eradicating the Taliban had no end in sight. US President Donald Trump and the American people, if not the US military, decided that an honourable exit was necessary to end the longest war in US history. Despite the fact that one of Trump’s election promise was to exit Afghanistan (Iraq and Syria) by reluctantly Troop had approved... More

Despite controversy, Afghanistan Peace Process makes major strides

Despite Kabul’s publicly made allegations on the US about ‘selling Afghanistan to the Taliban’ in the peace talks, there is little gainsaying that the Afghan-US war has never been so close to ending through settlement than it is now. While Kabul continues to express its anger over being excluded, there is little, given the legitimacy crisis Kabul is itself facing, that even the principal Afghan actors can do to... More

Regulators and conflict of interest

A governmental body created by a legislature to implement and enforce specific laws, a "Regulatory Agency" or a "Regulator" would usually have quasi-legislative functions, executive functions, and judicial functions. Many laws govern social and economic matters, such as income tax, environmental laws, occupational health and safety laws, real estate law, employment laws, etc. A regulatory agency serves two primary functions in govt: implement the laws and enforce the same. Regulations... More

Is Bangladesh an online state?

Bangladesh is an online state with an incredibly high number of virtual citizens. Few can match them in enthusiasm, participation and enjoyment of what the online world offers, good or bad. Much great stuff happens on the net but so does nasty stuff. It’s also a great producer of cultural and otherwise, not to mention, political ones. The recent spate of actions against online content considered “harmful” have spiked, which,... More



The fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), held in Kathmandu on August 30 and 31, was “not fruitful” because of the inherent “weakness” of the regional inter-state institution,... More