India, US, Internet surveillance, N-deal, and secret strategic pacts?

Two separate developments on the Indian political scene in last few days has given rise to a lot of uncomfortable questions (regarding illegal surveillance/phone tapping and the Indian government's eagerness to please the US administration) that must be asked. The first development being the revelation of the contents of a Cabinet Committee on Security note which reportedly exposes UPA government's attempts to dilute the Nuclear Liability Bill to suit the interests of the US administration. And the second one is the alleged smear campaign against former Army Chief General VK Singh over a secretive surveillance unit during his tenure.

Is American withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 cast in stone?

The interesting detail that should not be overlooked is this: even as Messrs McChrystal and Petreaus were talking “withdrawal” in 2011, Karzai had already contrived an extension until 2014. Karzai established his indispensability at a time when the Western media had written him off as “not even the mayor of Kabul” one “whose writ does not run beyond the Presidential palace”. If there was no consistent American stand on withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2010, why should we be convinced that the 2014 deadline is cast in stone?

Slips possible between Rouhani’s election and inauguration in August

To the various puzzles America pores over has been added one more: Iran’s President elect, Hassan Rouhani. As an opening gambit, he is being described as “moderate”. It is being speculated that he will be “moderate” on the nuclear issue even though he has deep roots in the country’s conservative establishment whose views on the issue are known and not liked. Years ago, “moderation” in all discourse concerning West Asia had a distinct meaning. It was an adjectival expression approving of states which were willing to tow the Western line on the Israeli-Palestinian question. The antonym for moderate those days was “rejectionist”.

The India factor in Afghanistan

India’s increasing involvement in strategic infrastructure projects in Afghanistan, has Pakistan’s ISI worried. India has invested over 3,248 crore rupees in aid, half of which is going into building a transmission line to provide power to Kabul, a hydel project in Herat, a new parliament building and the vital Zaranj-Delaram road that will give landlocked Afghanistan access to the sea through Iran.

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑