Sunday, August 28, 2016

India and Russia — special and privileged strategic partnership

Two important foreign guests visited India over the last fortnight. The first was Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi followed by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin a week later. It was Wang’s second visit to India since the Modi government was sworn in. His first visit was in early June 2014 just days after NDA government assumed power. For Rogozin,...

SAARC is dead! Long live regional cooperation

The 19th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit is scheduled for November this year in Islamabad. As with previous SAARC summits, doubt persists as to whether the Summit would take place with all Heads of State/Government in attendance. Pakistan has played its cards on Jammu and Kashmir and continues to justify cross-border terrorism through outright denial of complicity...

GST will bring forth new business model

Alignment of revenue collection through a destination-based tax structure for maximum effect is the major takeaway for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime that is now imminent in the country. The Government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be and will be remembered for this historic reform initiative that aligns tax laws with the contemporary business environment. During the...

The strategic importance of Gilgit Baltistan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reference to Balochistan, POK and Gilgit in his Independence Day speech has caused considerable flutter in Pakistan and India. The reactions were on anticipated lines in Pakistan while reactions in India ranged from the apologetic to the belligerent. Nevertheless, it had taken a Prime Ministerial reference that made Indians to start talking about Balochistan openly....

Kashmir Today: What Needs to be Assessed

One should wonder, how long can one lopsided view of a story be in the headlines for years altogether, the intelligentsia crying hoarse on an issue, which has not been dealt with a neutral perspective on it. A foreign diplomat was asking me, how bad the situation was in Kashmir presently. In a state, which is not under state emergency,...

Bringing Ladakh and Jammu in the Kashmir Narrative

The crisis continues in Kashmir and the narrative is no different. In the imagination of the mainstream, the region continues to be a distant, mystical land, a poetic setting of conflict and beauty, with no dearth of horrifying and tragic stories. Every terror attack and political crisis is underscored by the specter of Kashmiri nationalism and the insensitivity and brutality...

Balochistan in India’s Pakistan policy: Time to up the ante

India’s Pakistan policy
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort in New Delhi would have endeared him to the ‘hawks’ in the Indian foreign policy establishment as he came out openly in support of "freedom" for Pakistan's restive border province of Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied (administered) Kashmir (PoK). "I want to speak a bit about the...

Afghanistan power struggle: A make or break situation?

Yet another round of quarrel shook the already feeble political structures of Afghanistan as the Chief Executive of the National Unity Government (NUG), Abdullah Abdullah, in a public outpouring, criticized the President of the country for having failed to meet many expectations, including not having given personal audience to him in the last three months. This outburst against Ashraf Ghani, with...

Planning an effective Balochistan strategy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s statement about Pakistan’s human rights violations in Balochistan (and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) is a welcome turning point for India’s Pakistan policy, which has been more-of-the-same in the recent past. As such, it has been in the making since the Modi Government came to power. National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval’s now-infamous reference to India’s potential to disrupt...

Patriotism in the air

Patriotism is in the air right now. As I pass through Connaught Place, where the monumental tricolour flies high at 207 feet, I notice dozens of children and women and even little girls carrying babies selling small tricolours to the likes of me who enjoy a ‘national holiday’ and don’t want to miss out on feeling patriotic on Independence...
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