With eye on Trump, India scrambles for Russian support

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) at informal meeting in Sochi in May 2018  Within a week of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s consultations in Moscow on August 21, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar is travelling to the Russian capital for talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday.  Prima …

Modi breaks the ice with Trump — and stands to gain

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up US President Donald Trump on August 19, 2019 to discuss regional tensions. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision on August 19 to telephone US President Donald Trump has been a smart diplomatic move. Trump had told Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on August 16 that he’d speak to Modi …

Central Asian steppes mutely watch Taliban’s surge

Pamir Highway between Osh and Khorog near Tajik-Afghan border Compared to the events two decades ago when the Afghan Taliban appeared in the Amu Darya region in northern Afghanistan and Central Asian states and Russia went into feverish tantrums, there is an eerie calm palpable in the steppes today.  The contrast couldn’t be sharper. In …

Vajpayee’s Kashmir necklace becomes Modi’s Albatross

Meeting room of the United Nations Security Council. Pakistan has called for an emergency meeting of the UNSC to discuss Kashmir The Russian news agency Tass reported that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephonic conversation with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday to convey that Islamabad should defuse its tensions with New Delhi …

India’s narrative on J&K is hyperbolic

China’s State Councilor & Foreign Minister Wang Yi in talks with India’s Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar, Beijing, Aug. 12, 2019. Editorials have appeared in two leading Delhi newspapers today (here and here) urging the government to present a credible, appealing diplomatic narrative on the J&K developments.  The Indian narrative so far is largely …

The return of the strongman in Sri Lanka

Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa (L) and SLPP Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa (R) wave at supporters during the party’s National Convention, Colombo, Aug 11, 2019 The announcement in Colombo on Sunday by former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa that his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa will be his party SLPP’s presidential candidate in the election due …