The pattern is so agonizingly similar - another Maoist attack; high death count; muscular political pledges to respond at an appropriate time; civilian outrage and shock flooding all forms of media. Yes, the pattern is now beyond fatigue levels - another cycle of condemnation; another cycle of some enquiry on what went wrong; another announcement of new SOPs.
It might be something of a hyperbole that his meeting with Sistani, laden with peaceful intent, reversed the jihad or crusade launched in 1095 by one of his earlier predecessors Pope Urban II.
Americans are faced with an impossible task. They do not wish to be seen to be installing a Talib Emirate in Kabul. If identified with such action they may never look like harbingers of democracy, part of their manifest destiny.
Why does a media owned by industrialists and controlled by the ruling party, heap such generous attention on the Gandhis? Because they are no threat. Anything of a Leftist hue, with the capacity to mobilize the people on a platform of roti, kapda, makaan, healthcare, universal free education, must be thwarted. By this criteria, the Congress is no threat.
Believe it or not, as many as 83 Indian soldiers are in Pakistani captivity, some dating from as far back as the 1965 and 1971 wars, and it appears that successive Indian governments have either forgotten about them or not strained themselves to get them back.
What motivated Mrs Gandhi to release the POWs? What went on behind the scenes? Were there any compelling circumstances at play that have remained unreported?
At this moment of transition, what construct does one place on the outgoing Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo’s participation in the cloak-and-dagger meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu in the mega city of Neom being built on the Red Sea?
The fragility of the agreement is transparent in the pulls and counter pulls that have obviously gone into the headline. There is unbridgeable distance on the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s role, for instance. The Taliban will not talk to Ghani whom they describe quite brazenly as a US “toady”.
The Treaty of Amritsar, between the East India Company and the Dogra ruler, Raja Gulab Singh on 16 March 1846 was a watershed, for it not only created the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir under the suzerainty of the British Indian Empire, it also virtually defined the southern, eastern and western boundaries of a new political creation that elevated the Dogras into being the key players controlling northern India.