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.
Just when the 33-year-old Crown Prince was beginning to wallow in all the manufactured publicity, Friedman began to worry about his credibility. The information base for revised versions was presumably provided by the likes of Khashoggi.
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi burst upon the global news casts only after his murder in the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Turkey. Saeed Naqvi interviewed him in Jeddah in December 2001 in the aftermath of 9/11. Khashoggi was also a Washington Post Global Opinions contributing columnist and and former editor-in-chief of Al-Arab News Channel.
With Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister looming large on the horizon the media, which has placed him consistently in a negative searchlight, has a huge challenge on its hands: how to begin to adjust to the reality of Corbyn.
Is R&AW dreaded or dreadful, effective or affectlessly irrelevant, a proactive shaper of India’s history and foreign policy or a bumbling reactionary force? As R&AW turns 50 today, it is worth investigating its past in search of an answer. Like everything else about it, R&AW’s origin is shrouded in mystery.