The illusion of Indo-China rapprochement at BRICS

The recently concluded BRICS summit was meaningful in anumber of ways. More than anything else, it left a powerful impression of increasing rapprochement between two Asian rivals, India and China, after... More

Time to adopt a realistic approach to Afghanistan

There isn’t probably any option left that the US might not have used to turn its Afghan debacle into a victory, or even a semblance of it. The search for victory... More

Trump flogs the dead horse of “winning” in Afghanistan

The new Afghanistan strategy is yet another expression of the US resolve to keep Afghanistan militarily occupied in the name of “terrorism.” Warmongering is as self-defeating as it has always been.... More

The US ready to turn Afghanistan into a war of mercenaries?

After all the debate in the US on the Trump administration’s Afghanistan strategy, what we have today is a potentially destructive proposal to effect a full withdrawal and replace regular American... More

Pakistan’s Sharif sets himself on a defiance-course

With Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification as prime minister of Pakistan, the tussle for power in Pakistan, particularly between the civil and military institutes or elected and a non-elected apparatus of the state,... More

Afghanistan is a lot worse than we think

Afghanistan is a mess for the US. This is evident from the way the Afghan question has forced policy makers and American leadership in Washington to switch policy options from sending... More

Can Pakistan & Afghanistan afford to avoid dialogue?

  This week saw two major terrorist attacks taking place almost simultaneously in Lahore (Pakistan) and Kabul (Afghanistan). Where the two attacks consumed over 50 innocent lives and left a number of... More

Will the US’ ‘Carrot & Stick’ policy to Pakistan work?

If we were to describe the nature of Pak-US relations in one phrase, uncertainty and trust deficit would undoubtedly feature in it. Clouds of uncertainty have become even more obvious ever... More

What could end the Afghan War?

Can re-inventing the old Afghan war logic save the US in the land that has been described as a graveyard of empires? While the era of empires is long gone, the US-Afghan... More

CPEC western route: A victim of crude politics?

Ever since the beginning of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), controversy has encapsulated the completion of its western route. While a part of this controversy owes its existence to the fact that... More

James Mattis’ plan to make Afghanistan America’s ‘endless war’

Reports have emerged in the mainstream American media claiming that the decision has been taken with regard to sending additional 4,000 US troops to Afghanistan. While these troops are likely to... More

Saving SCO from becoming SAARC

With the inclusion of India and Pakistan in Shanghai Co-operation Organization (SCO), the organization’s sphere of influence, as Russia’s Vladimir Putin said, has regionally expanded, a region that has, nonetheless, myriad... More

Pakistan’s foreign policy dilemma keeps getting complicated

A pentagon report has claimed that China is seeking to build military bases in Pakistan as part of its global military expansion, seeking to translate its economic resources into strategic outposts... More

On the “bloody” Afghan Scenario

Yet again, Afghanistan is a spectre of violence. Yet again, precious lives have been lost due to the so-called ‘war on terror’ that has gripped the world since the fateful September,... More

What will the jihadist takeover of Kashmir lead to?

Given the momentum the movement for independence has recently picked in the Indian held Kashmir, the risk of this momentum being hijacked by religious radicalism has equally increased. Its first manifestation... More

Why kicking itself out of OBOR was important for India?

While India stopped short of attending the last week held summit of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in China, otherwise known as ‘One Belt One Road’ vision, the decision should not... More

What can Hekmatyar’s return to the fold mean for Afghanistan?

While the addition of a few thousand fresh US troops to Afghanistan to fight both the Taliban and the rising threat of ISIS may not have been successful in creating much... More

Pakistan’s attempts to woo Afghanistan backfire

Last 2 weeks saw a lot of diplomatic activity taking place between Pakistan and Afghanistan on the question of ‘restroing trust’ between them. Apart from Pakistan’s ISI chief’s visit to Kabul,... More

Afghanistan’s falling National-Unity Government, could it get worse?

Even after 16 years of American military presence, Afghanistan remains an extremely politically unstable country and quite far from on the path to democratization—an ideal that the last two American presidents,... More

The other side of the panama ruling

On not so historic a day, the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s ruling on Panama leaks just fell short of what it was meant to be: a clear-cut verdict. The order for further investigation by... More


Suu Kyi: New promises but no commitments  

AASK’s speech could be the best delivered under the circumstances but it’s also full of misleading hopes and commitments never kept. The speech will buy time for the Myanmar military but may not do much at all to solving... More

Lady: “Caught between a rock and a hard...

Four hundred thousand Muslim Rohingyas have fled across the border to Bangladesh from Myanmar in the last 3 weeks to escape the army’s clearance operations. Human rights groups claim it’s a “scorched earth” policy – reminiscent of the military’s... More

The illusion of Indo-China rapprochement at BRICS

The recently concluded BRICS summit was meaningful in anumber of ways. More than anything else, it left a powerful impression of increasing rapprochement between two Asian rivals, India and China, after two months of intense standoff in the Doklam... More

Pakistan at 70

Thanks to the untiring efforts of former Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury and a former Finance Minister of Pakistan Shahid Javed Burki, Research Professors at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) and the National University of... More

Bangladesh and Rohingyas: Caught unprepared once more

When members of the uniformed branch try to impress international media with field visits, it usually fails embarrassingly. The Myanmar army’s effort to convince the world that it was Muslim-Bengali Rohingyas who were responsible for the recent mayhem fared... More


Suffering has a name

Suffering is universal and part of the human condition and life. In history however, suffering is quite specific. Suffering carries a name, sometimes of an individual and... More

Trump’s N Korean challenge: can Pakistan be next?

It appears that the Trump administration is not willing to learn any lessons from the vast riches of US diplomatic history. The one thing that stands out... More

Was Aung San Suu Kyi’s speech too little, too late?

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi's speech to the nation about the humanitarian plight of the Rohingya people is too little too late for those in the... More

Pakistan unites in the face of US threats

Pakistan has predictably taken serious umbrage following the announcement of the long-awaited American policy review on Afghanistan. Unveiled by United States President Donald Trump last month, the... More



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... More