The drive from Srinagar to Shopian in South Kashmir on the sixth Friday since the nullification of Article 370 is eerily calm. On one stretch of the road near Kakpora, just before Pulwama, stones and the odd, felled tree trunk appear as makeshift roadblocks- laid by local youth to prevent any vehicular movement- military or… Continue reading Kashmir: Betrayal, Uncertainty and Fear make a Potent Brew
War is politics by other means, said Karl Von Clausewitz, the Prussian military strategist in the eighteenth century. As societies change, and politics changes, so does the nature of war, and the battlefields wars are fought on. The two weeks since the Pulwama attack has shown us that the battlefield is now also on television… Continue reading After Balakot, time for a diplomatic offensive
Water is meant to douse fires, yet it is the one natural resource that has, time and again, either been a cause for global conflict or been weaponised by enemy states to score victory. In the case of decades of volatile India-Pakistan relations, the Indus Waters Treaty – brokered by the World Bank and signed… Continue reading Indus Treaty: Why India Cannot Afford to Fight Fire With Water
Walking down the Colaba Causeway, past the renovated face of Cafe Leopold, in the shadow of the iconic Taj Mahal, or in Kalaghoda, abutting the Jewish Chabad house where scars of violence have been swallowed up by the cracks in its decaying walls, it takes a minute to remember the bloodshed and mayhem let loose… Continue reading 26/11 and the Media: Where were the Protocols?
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
In the din of rhetoric between India and Pakistan over the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, the most jarring question is why Pakistan chose to hastily court martial and sentence to death an Indian national on charges of spying. The sudden and provocative nature of the trial and sentence undermines any notion that back channels were working… Continue reading Is Aggressive Nationalism Over Kulbhushan Jadhav and Kashmir Really the Way to Go?
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.
Over a month after Burhan Wani’s killing in an encounter by security forces, the question of whether the ongoing protests are about glorifying a terrorist or whether his death was simply a trigger for simmering rage to boil over is moot. As ‘Azadi’ protests pierce the silence of curfew, and the stillness of strikes brings… Continue reading Kashmir: Behind the Rage