The invitation to 10 ASEAN leaders and heads of government as Chief Guests on Republic day, focused conversations on new and emerging alliances, and ongoing tensions between India and China on the Doklam plateau, make it clear that 2018’s foreign policy focus is directed Eastward. Even though a ‘Look East Policy’ has officially, and some would… Continue reading Contesting the dragon: India and ASEAN converge
To say that the United States is still getting used to Donald Trump as president, six months into his inauguration, is at the very least, an understatement. It is against a backdrop of unpredictability unleashed by the president’s policy and turbulence, both domestically and globally, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much-awaited meeting with Trump will… Continue reading Two pieces: Before the India-US Visit, the call to lower expectations.
Politics and diplomacy make strange bedfellows. A cliché, perhaps, but a truism too, and one that was on open display in Kazakhstan as both India and Pakistan entered the China — and Russia-led Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as full-blown members. If you just did a double take at this list of unlikely partners, you wouldn’t… Continue reading Entering the SCO will test India’s equation with both Pak and China
This week, Sri Lanka is "Dhammadvipa", the island of Buddhist philosophy, as it celebrates United Nations Vesak Day to mark the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha on Friday. There have been fourteen international celebrations, but this is Sri Lanka's first time as host, even though it was instrumental in the UN's declaration of… Continue reading Celebrating Buddhist principles in a confrontational world: A high stakes visit to Lanka for PM Modi
For major regional partners that consistently declare a strong friendship based on civilizational ties, India and Iran seem to have hit a bumpy patch - one that has the potential to expose serious differences between Tehran and Delhi, as the sheen of Prime Minister Modi's May 2016 visit to the Iranian capital wears off. While… Continue reading Crude Oil and Gas are not the real India-Iran problem. China is.
In his book The Revenge of Geography, American scholar Robert Kaplan says the fact that China is blessed by geography is so basic that it is often overlooked in conversations about China’s growing economic and geo-strategic assertiveness. Quoting the British geographer Halford Mackinder, Kaplan writes, “who controls Eurasia, controls the world.” Today, as the world sits… Continue reading What Geography and Economics Could Mean for India’s China Problem
This appeared on the Atlantic Council's website. On the roller coaster of ties between the United States and Iran, President Trump’s apparent extreme hawkishness towards Tehran is one more loop in which the world has turned upside down. This time, though, it’s not just US-Iran ties that are susceptible to damage. While Trump’s dealings with… Continue reading As Trump Confronts Iran, Chabahar is in the Eye of the Storm
This piece appeared on my page at ndtv.com In keeping with the message the Government of India has been pushing even before the Uri attack, the Prime Minister's stream of tough words aimed at isolating Pakistan for its support to terror groups that act against India, made headlines through the two day BRICS and BIMSTEC… Continue reading India Overplayed the Pakistan Issue at BRICS in Goa.