CONFLICT DIARIES

CONFLICT DIARIES

On India’s attempts to woo Russia-EEU into economic union


While the US has been cultivating India as its major ally in the region in what the US officials have tacitly called ‘containment’ of China, prospects of this cultivation have become brighter ever since... 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

Myriad challenges ahead for China in Afghanistan


There is hardly any doubt that China has been working on augmenting its role and position in Afghanistan for the last few years. The role is not just that of a mediatory between Pakistan... More

Russia & China line up to play the Pak-US spat


While the US decision to suspend all security aid to Pakistan hasn’t come as a surprise, Pakistan is not the only country that has seen considerable deterioration in bi-lateral relations with the US. Since... More

Pak-US spat will do the US little good


While the list of accusations the US vice president Mike Pence presented during his latest surprise visit to Afghanistan included old claims on Pakistan providing ‘safe heavens’ to terrorists and following a rouge policy,... More

Trump’s National Security Strategy eyes a more ‘obedient’ Pakistan


The US president Donald Trump’s new National Security Strategy (NSS) places the country at the centre of an increasingly ‘dangerous world’ and accordingly identifies the steps it needs to take and force other countries... More

The US’ ‘war on drugs’ wouldn’t weaken the Taliban


While this is not for the first time that the US has started to target poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, its significance has certainly changed in the current scenario when the Trump administration is looking... More

The US eyeing Afghanistan’s mineral resources to fund its war


Although the US president Donald Trump has already stepped away from the US’ nation-building and reconstruction program in Afghanistan as part of his new strategy to devote more resources to the military campaign and... More

The Islamabad sit-in exposes Pakistan’s internal fragility  


The Islamabad sit-in’s fallout has once again demonstrated how weak and fragile Pakistan’s democracy remains in the face of ever increasing power of the state’s non-elected apparatuses. That the elected government had to resort... More

Time for India to wake-up to the other side of the US’...


Despite all the attention paid to the US president’s ‘new’ Afghan strategy and the role projected for India therein, Afghanistan’s ground realities, and the fact that the US can’t hope to fight and end... More

COLUMN

On India’s attempts to woo Russia-EEU into economic union

While the US has been cultivating India as its major ally in the region in what the US officials have tacitly called ‘containment’ of China, prospects of this cultivation have become brighter ever since the recent out-break of trade-war between the US and China. While Indian and US interests strongly... More

Comey’s book and Pakistan’s leaders

James Brien Comey Jr served as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for four years till fired by President Donald Trump on May 9, 2017. Trump initially claimed this was because of Comey's mishandling of the investigation into the private email of Hillary Clinton. The overriding perception... More

UN says Nasheed’s trial was flawed, but Maldivian govt maintains it...

The UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), which went into the trial of former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed had listed the flaws in it and asked the Maldivian government to release him to enable him to contest the September 2018 Presidential election. But the government on Sunday rejected the UNHRC’s observations and recommendations... More

Bangladesh election 2018: is there a Sino-Indian stake?

It’s pretty odd to think that Bangladesh elections should be of any interest to China and India given the complete lack of its strategic value. However, Bangladesh maybe becoming a reluctant pawn of sorts in a regional ‘great game’. China’s rising influence in the region and India’s relative decline in what... More

Tripura’s new pitch for Geo-Economics

Biplab Deb is a BJP chief minister with a difference. In a 40-minute interview with this writer last week, he did not mention even once any of the usual saffron agenda -- Ram Mandir, beef, illegal migration from Bangladesh. "My agenda is development, development, development all the way," he... More

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Iran to team up with China on nuke development if Trump...

As US President Donald Trump decides whether to reauthorize the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which he has long wanted to exit or renegotiate, Iranian authorities have announced they will be getting help with their nuclear program from China. "Some negotiations have been held on mutual cooperation and building small nuclear... More

Pinarayi and Gadkari link up on development

The American think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, had featured a riveting ‘curtain-raiser’ to the 2014 poll in India entitled Does Good Economics Mean Good Politics In India? The essay appeared in December 2013 and I’d carefully stored it in my archives, as a fairly prescient analysis of... More

Mutual respect is the key

I will not reach any deal that would go against the national interest of Nepal,” K P Sharma Oli, the prime minister of Nepal, reportedly assured parliamentarians in Kathmandu earlier this week, before heading out to India. That such questions should be asked and answered is a definitive sign... More

Reviving Nepal’s independent foreign policy

The long political transition in Nepal has come to an end with the successful completion of local, provincial and federal elections. A new phase of history beckons Nepal as it has adopted federalism under the new constitution promulgated in 2015. The achievement of economic prosperity has now been prioritized... 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