In the 3rd and the last part of his first tell-all interview Ambassador Bharath Raj Muthu Kumar, India's most experienced diplomat on Afghanistan, reveals how a famous 'Bollywood baddie Ajit joke' led to huge strategic shift in India’s covert mission in Afghanistan, role of then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh's role in shaping India's mission, and the next war that the current developments would lead to.
In Part 2 of his first tell-all interview Ambassador Bharath Raj Muthu Kumar, India's most experienced diplomat on Afghanistan, reveals how Kabul and Panjshir fell, the future of the resistance movement against Taliban, and what are the strategic interests of China, Turkey, Qatar, and the US in Afghanistan.
In Part 1 of his first tell-all interview Ambassador Bharath Raj Muthu Kumar, India's most experienced diplomat on Afghanistan, reveals what's happening in the region, the old and new Taliban, and how Pakistan finds itself checkmated.
The future trajectory of Pakistan’s complex manoeuvres in Afghanistan is moving towards building structured co-located terror units with active Pakistan military support. It is now a question of timing as to when some of these units will be directed towards India and Jammu and Kashmir.
Eid-ul Zuha is on October 6. Attribute it to their black humour, but Arab diplomats not in the Saudi camp, have been floating a story: Abu Bakr al Baghdadi may like to celebrate Eid in Mecca. I had written three weeks ago that a Caliphate cannot be a Caliphate without Mecca.
The expanding Shia-Sunni conflict in the Muslim world is exposing vast gaps in popular understanding of the schism. For example when Zaine El Abedine Ben Ali, the Tunisian strongman was ousted, people thought a Shia dictator had fallen. From this they extrapolated that the Arab Spring was an anti-Shia plot.
On the Muslim world’s centre stage, the Nayef-Brzezinski duet roped in Pakistan’s Zia ul Haq for a mass production of Mujahideen in Afghanistan. These would fight the Soviets and be a bulwark against Shia Iran. Zia would help Arabize Pakistani Islam and wrench it from India’s composite culture.
The present hostage crisis, therefore should be accordingly dealt with. One cannot intervene in a sovereign state without invitation, as it has long-term consequences, specially in context of West Asia where long term energy imperatives are involved. Nevertheless, a mix of diplomacy backed by demonstration of military muscle (not intervention) can achieve the desired results. What good is INS Vikrmaditya for, if it cannot support Indian diplomacy at this critical period and that too in the region.