India must not commit the error of placing Indian troops on Afghan soil, says the diplomat who coordinated New Delhi’s secret military assistance to Ahmad Shah Massoud, the military commander of the Northern Alliance, who fought the Taliban and U.S. forces till his assassination in 2001.
2019 marks the 54th anniversary of the 1965 war that both India and Pakistan claim to have won. The truth perhaps, lies somewhere in between the chest thumping.
The life of the Iranian nuclear deal was about two years. Obama did the deal and Trump has killed it. The abrogation of the deal indeed impacts on India and Indian policy on West Asia. Indeed, Indian diplomacy deserves credit for fine balancing between three protagonists in the region, i.e. Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Notwithstanding the cliché phraseology – “deep commitment to strengthen the strategic partnership envisaged in the Riyadh Declaration of February 2010” – the joint statement issued at the end of MBS’s state visit failed to nail down Pakistan’s role as a State Sponsor of terrorism.
It does not take long for great powers to develop more than one point of interest once they have entered an area of strategic significance. It would therefore be fanciful to imagine an America-free Afghanistan in the foreseeable future. “All this blood and treasure was spent for what?” some Americans will ask. Also the chant in Kabul once was “We must remain in the vicinity to keep a watch on the world’s only Muslim nuclear state.”
Yellow vests in Paris, Brexit in Britain, Trump in the US, George Soros and Steve Bannon vying for the soul of Europe, Turkey embroiled in the Kurdish enclaves in Syria, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in post Khashoggi free fall, corruption allegations enveloping Netanyahu: In the midst of these global wind storms, cyclones, tornadoes is the calm centre which I visited last week. It is four hours flight away from New Delhi – indeed most major Indian cities – Qatar or, to be more precise, Doha, the capital, where 80 percent of the population lives.
The ghoulish murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi has set into motion a new dynamic in the Syrian, Yemeni, Palestinian and other incipient conflicts in West Asia. Popular perception globally has traced the macabre plot to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, even though the Saudi propaganda machine is deflecting guilt.
The BJP President Amit Shah’s game is straightforward. He is eager to do a Tripura in Kerala. The Tripura results were the biggest shock I had experienced in 50 years of covering politics.