Who’s afraid of intra-Afghan dialogue?

The two-day conference of mainstream Afghan politicians and Taliban representatives in Moscow on February 5-6 becomes a landmark event in the peace process.  Principally, it signifies the commencement of the ‘intra-Afghan dialogue’, a process that was struggling to be born. This process can be expected to galvanise the Afghan peace talks. Some of the most …

‘America First’ means nuclear superiority

(Russia test-fires enhanced version of RS-24 Yars thermonuclear intercontinental missile, 6th February, 2019.) The US president’s annual State of the Union address traditionally focuses on domestic issues but it also throws some light on the foreign policy priorities. President Trump’s speech on Tuesday adhered to the pattern and if anything, the portions on foreign policy …

India wades into Afghan peace talks

(Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov greeting Taliban officials at Moscow peace conference, November 2018)  The Ministry of External Affairs spokesman’s remark on Thursday in New Delhi that “it is important that the presidential election in Afghanistan takes place as per the schedule” is the first major Indian comment on the current peace talks in Qatar between …

US intelligence damns BJP’s Hindutva

The portions relating to the regional security scenario in South Asia in the report titled “Worldwide Threat Assessment” by the US intelligence community presented to the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in Washington on January 29 make grim reading. The overall security scenario is bleak, especially in India-Pakistan relations. The past trend of regional …

Khashoggi ghost lurks in the shade

(Satellite images suggest Saudi Arabia testing missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons) Saudi Arabia launched a mammoth National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP) Monday focusing on a dozen sectors in the economy including energy, petrochemicals, mining and the automotive industry. The powerful Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid al-Falih claimed that …

Putin’s firewall around Russia-Turkey partnership

(Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Turkish President Recep Erdogan following joint press conference at the Kremlin, Moscow, Jan 23, 2019)  The much-awaited meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his visiting Turkish counterpart Recep Erdogan in Moscow last Wednesday focused on the the withdrawal of US troops from Syria. The timeframe of the US …

Afghan peace comes two steps at a time

Dramatic news is filtering in from Qatar where the United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and his delegation were huddled together with the representatives of the Taliban for four consecutive days since Monday. The duration of the talks unmistakably signifies that complex negotiations have taken place. Things are moving almost entirely in the …