Zardari writes a ransom note to Americans

The old gun, head, negotiate routine So Pakistan doesn’t need any lectures from the United States. Just the money, equipment, technology and tools. And, of course, Kashmir. Whoever wrote Asif Ali Zardari’s op-ed in the Washington Post left something in it for every concerned American. Including the post-Al Gore generation, who too have been given … Continue reading “Zardari writes a ransom note to Americans”

Is a Zardari NFU policy a Pakistani NFU policy too?

That is now a very important question Pakistan’s president, Asif Ali Zardari, used a Q&A session at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit to announce that Pakistan “will not be the first country ever to use (nuclear weapons). I hope that things never come to a stage where we have to even think about using nuclear … Continue reading “Is a Zardari NFU policy a Pakistani NFU policy too?”

What Zardari told the Wall Street Journal

In his own voice There was controversy and there were denials and there were clarifications. “But since the question of what exactly the president did or did not say is of intense interest to our media colleagues in India and Pakistan,” the Wall Street Journal says “we are posting audio clips of some of Mr. … Continue reading “What Zardari told the Wall Street Journal”

The Zardari dilemma (2)

Nuclear power to the rescue For some good writing turn to Mohammed Hanif in The National (linkthanks Samanth Subramanian): Every pundit in Pakistan has made a long to-do list for President Zardari: security, economy, electricity, flour prices, fuel prices and more security. No doubt the Americans – who made his presidency possible, and who, despite … Continue reading “The Zardari dilemma (2)”

The Zardari dilemma

Balancing the pushes If Asif Zardari doesn’t push back against the Americans, Cyril Almeida, a columnist at Dawn argues, he will be “pushed out by the army.” What Mr Almeida doesn’t consider, and what must be weighing on President Zardari’s mind, are the implications of pushing back against the Americans. The Americans won’t merely push. … Continue reading “The Zardari dilemma”

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”

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”

Examining the US-Pakistan standoff

The Pakistani establishment is grappling with the consequences of underestimating the United States There is a lot of commentary on how US-Pakistan relations are in crisis and “hitting new lows” each day. Much of this is indeed true—not because of what the Obama administration says or does not say, but because of how the US … Continue reading “Examining the US-Pakistan standoff”

Trading across the Partition

The liberalisation of India-Pakistan bilateral trade is a good thing. Now leave it to market forces This blog has been a longtime advocate of India liberalising bilateral trade with Pakistan. The very first op-ed essay I wrote, for Mint in 2007, argued that the real ‘peace process’ lay in free trade. The argument is based … Continue reading “Trading across the Partition”