Leave the Indus treaty alone

It is unwise for New Delhi to play up the water threat Last week CNN-IBN called me while I was driving back home, and asked if they could put me on live television to comment on what the producer said was “India’s threat to cut off Pakistan’s water supply under the Indus River Water treaty”. … Continue reading “Leave the Indus treaty alone”

Why the Modi government must ignore Pakistan

High level engagement of Pakistan is a waste of diplomatic capacity and political capital Pakistan’s decision to ‘suspend’ the peace process with India along with the ‘co-operation’ on investigating the terrorist attack on Pathankot air station came suddenly. It should, however, come as a surprise only to those who believe that Pakistan is a normal … Continue reading “Why the Modi government must ignore Pakistan”

Here we go again

Dialogue with Pakistan should be part of an overall strategy. “What was being done as composite dialogue, and was later called the resumed dialogue, will now be called the comprehensive bilateral dialogue.” Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister [IE] Given the history of the last fifteen years, it is hard to not be cynical about the … Continue reading “Here we go again”

Pakistans and talks

The problem with talking to Pakistan is that there are two of them It’s happened again to yet another Indian prime minister. He’s decided to resume talks with the Pakistani government after the process had been halted due to Pakistani transgressions and bad faith.  Now, there is sense in talking to the Pakistani government because … Continue reading “Pakistans and talks”

Osama bin Laden, the ISI and the USA

The ISI might have known about bin Laden. What did the United States know? For the first time, a person close enough to the Pakistani military establishment—and often its unofficial mouthpiece—has suggested that the ISI might have known about Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts, and might have traded him in for US concessions in Afghanistan. Asad … Continue reading “Osama bin Laden, the ISI and the USA”

Jamaat-ud-Dawa, an assessment

What New Delhi should do about the threat Here is an assessment following an email discussion with my colleagues Rohan Joshi & Pranay Kotasthane on the Jamaat-ud-Dawa. See Rohan’s post for context. 1. The Pakistani state and the Pakistani society have neither the intention nor the capability (if they have the intention) to take down … Continue reading “Jamaat-ud-Dawa, an assessment”

Thoughts from the doorstep of the second decade

This blog turns ten today It all started with a post in September 2003 calling for India to send troops to the Iraq, to enable the United States to send more troops to Afghanistan and take on what I came to since call the military-jihadi complex. The blog initially used Blogger (remember “Push button publishing … Continue reading “Thoughts from the doorstep of the second decade”

A little less conversation, a little more action

Nawaz Sharif must provide credible proof of his intent before New Delhi resumes dialogue with his government While India’s response to the killing of Indian soldiers in the Poonch region along the Line of Control must be calculated and cold-blooded (see an earlier post), it is untenable to contend, as some commentators have done, that … Continue reading “A little less conversation, a little more action”

Leave it at the tactical

Media-fuelled public outrage must not determine New Delhi’s strategy on the tensions along the Line of Control Success or failure in a contest between two states is not measured by merely by the relative numbers of soldiers killed or bits of territory gained or lost. It is measured by the relative well-being of the people … Continue reading “Leave it at the tactical”

TAPI’s confused objectives, risky implications

India should not invest in making itself vulnerable to geopolitical blackmail Kabir Taneja quotes me in an article in the Sunday Guardian on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project. Here are my views in greater detail. What is your general consensus on TAPI? Does it benefit India geo-politically? It is unclear what India’s primary purpose is … Continue reading “TAPI’s confused objectives, risky implications”