February 27, 2010Were the Pune and Kabul blasts interlinked?B Raman
explores if were Indians the specific target in the Kabul blasts, which killed six Indians and 11 others on Friday.
February 26, 2010Indo-Pak talks: One meeting, two messages
At the end of the talks with Salman Bashir, Pakistani Foreign Secretary in New Delhi on Thursday, Nirupama Rao, the Indian counterpart, projected the initiative taken by India in proposing the meeting between the two countries as a prelude to a wider dialogue at different levels on various contentious issues -- though not necessarily in the form of a reversion to the composite dialogue process to which Pakistan continues to be attached.
India, Pakistan talk -- to catch America's eye
Amidst much grandstanding, the India-Pakistan 'dialogue' got off to a start in New Delhi on Thursday -- albeit on somewhat a bumpy start.
February 25, 2010View: Nuclear Liability Bill needs scrutiny
One of the biggest myths being propagated is that nuclear cooperation with the US is the answer to India's energy crisis, which in any case would not see the light of the day before 2016. Also Indian Parliament and citizens have been kept in dark about the cost of electricity from foreign-built nuclear power reactors.
February 24, 2010The Illegals: Mumbai's Bangladeshis
Not a single Bangladeshi has been found to have been involved in security breaches or terror. But that does not mean aliens have a place of comfort when they illegally enter and stay in Mumbai, writes Mahesh Vijapurkar
Indo-Pak talks: One meeting, two agendas
Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir will be meeting at New Delhi on February 25,2010, under a face-saving formula which would enable both the governments to claim that the respective stand taken by them after the 26/11 terrorist strike in Mumbai stands vindicated by this meeting.
February 23, 2010India's isolation is not good news for the West
Instead of ignoring Delhi, the West would be better served if it ceases to pander to Pakistan for short-term gains. Not supporting the only secular liberal democracy in the region will only embolden the radical Islamists in the long-term, writes Harsh V Pant
Looking for meaning in multilateralism
As one surveys the changing face of mulilateralsim today, we see mutation and multiplication. The underlying reality is that the world is multipolar and with more poles, you tend to get more constellations.
February 22, 2010Shyam Saran: A glorious innings come to an end
President Obama was seen patting Saran's back after the Copenhagen negotiations, but he characteristically laughed it away when I mentioned it in my TV conversation with him.
February 19, 2010New Delhi must hold its nerve in the Great Game
India ought to carefully assess the flux in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and refashion her Afghan policy accordingly. The first step was to infuse a new lease of diplomacy (foreign secretary-level talks slated for February 25) into the bilateral equation, which should avail India some elbowroom to deal with Pakistan after the next Pak army-instigated terrorist act
Obama-Dalai Lama meeting will not change anything
There is one lesson for Obama and other Western leaders: the loud noises coming from the mouth of the spokesperson of the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs is more for show (though it often works), bilateral relations will continue as usual. The Chinese leaders will keep fighting for what they perceive as their 'national interests', irrespective of foreign leaders meeting with the Dalai Lama, which does not change the fundamental position of Beijing vis-a-vis Tibet.
February 17, 2010A humbled bully, double standards and people's wil
The Shiv Sena may be on the back foot but it is far from finished, writes Mahesh Vijapurkar
The US-Iran confrontation continues anew
It is imperative that India starts re-assessing its options and think clearly as to what India can do to preserve the balance of power in the Gulf region, writes Harsh V Pant
February 16, 2010Kashmiri militants must not be allowed to return
With one thoughtless misstep after another apropos Kashmir, the United Progressive Alliance government is fast hurtling down a treacherous slippery slope taking the country along with it into a dark and dangerous abyss from which extrication would be a near impossible proposition. Home Minister P Chidambaram's recent remark sanctioning the return of militants from across the border is the latest in this continuing series of flawed policy decisions.
February 15, 2010View: India, the NPT and N-weapon status
The reported affirmative reply of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Fareed Zakaria's question whether India would be willing to sign the NPT (Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty) as a nuclear weapon state (NWS) has evoked some debate amongst the Indian security analyst community about the wisdom of such a move.
February 13, 2010Pune is in the crosshairs of jihadis
In September-October 2008, the Mumbai police had arrested four IT-savvy members of the Indian Mujahideen, who had played a role in sending e-mail messages in the name of the IM before and after the Ahmedabad blasts of July 2008, and before the New Delhi blasts of September 2008, by hacking into wi-fi networks in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. Three of them were from Pune
February 12, 2010View: Bollywood's missed opportunity
Bollywood had an opportunity to show solidarity and give a strong rebuttal to the Shiv Sena. But it chose to protect its short-term interests. Perhaps it's time for ordinary Mumbaikars to call the party's bluff, writes Harsh V Pant
View: Nasty turn of events in Sri Lanka
The fallout of the spat between two headstrong and powerful personalities like Mahinda Rajapakse and Sarath Fonseka does not augur well for this small and beautiful Island nation struggling to leave the ravages of war behind, writes Nitin Gokhale.
February 11, 2010The answer, my friend, is blowing in the Hind
Vipassana will surely take you to your destination; but it is not going to take you any sooner than the other paths you have chosen. The important thing, according to me, is to get on the path, not the road you are on.
Attacks on Indians: Time to go beyond rhetoric
Anxious parents of the more than 120,000 Indian students in Australia are asking for clear answers to certain questions. A clear message needs to be sent back to them, writes Sujatha Singh
, India's high commissioner to Australia.
Peace with Pakistan: Chasing a mirage
Peace with Pakistan is not possible in the foreseeable future. Those charged with the responsibility to safeguard our country and its citizens will do well to get a reality check and devise our defence posture accordingly, writes Colonel Dr Anil Athale (retd).
February 10, 2010Migrants do more good than harm to Mumbai
Amidst the acrimonious debate over migrants in Mumbai, the city's civic body in a report says that they contribute to the economic growth of the metropolis, writes Mahesh Vijapurkar
India-Pakistan talks: A counter-productive option
Since India's default policy of extending the hand of friendship to Pakistan has had disastrous consequences is it not time to discard it in favour of one which penalises Pakistan for inflicting terrorism on our innocent nationals?
February 09, 2010Why India's military needs an urgent update
A strong military cannot be maintained with discipline alone. Today, a strong military means state of the art equipment, steady supply of munitions and morale and most importantly reconnaissance, research and 2nd/3rd strike capabilities, writes Pramod Kumar Buravalli
View: Main victims of terror in Pak are its women
For militants, controlling women's independence as well as their sexuality becomes the easiest way of showcasing their command and authority. But in the case of Pakistan, it only gives fodder to the pre-existing patriarchal traditions towards women, writes Arfa Khanum Sherwani
Does India need anti-satellite capability?
In the short to medium term India's scarce resources would be better served by focusing on reducing the disparity with China in space. Developing ASAT capability is something that can wait, write Bharath Gopalaswamy and Harsh V Pant
February 08, 2010Afghan conference: Implications for India
The London Conference on Afghanistan held recently has evoked differing reactions in the Indian media. At one extreme it has been welcomed as providing an effective solution to the Afghan problem, even though it may entail the return of Mullah Omar to power in Afghanistan, and at the other extreme it has been criticised not only for paving the way for the return of the Taliban but also for enhancing Pakistan's influence in Afghanistan at India's cost.
Substance lies in talks and not in talks on talks
The public mood is out of sync with any possibility of a compromise arising out of an Indo-Pak dialogue. But then the resumption of talks will ease the pressure on Islamabad to take action against the identified terrorists in Pakistan, examines TP Sreenivasan
Revamping the internal security machinery
India needs to evolve a comprehensive security machinery with clearly laid down concepts, carefully defined leadership roles and a workable co-ordination drill.
February 06, 2010VIP security: When VP Singh was prime minister...B Raman
recollects how VP Singh was taken for a ride at the taxpayers' expense when he was prime minister
February 05, 2010What resumption of talks with Pak means for India
'The less engagement there is between India and Pakistan, the less can New Delhi defend its interests. The wider the two countries diverge, the more mutually hostile do they become.'
Indo-Pak dialogue: Time to expand basket of issues
While re-vitalising these interactions, it should be our endeavour to expand the basket of issues of concern to India, which have arisen since the format of the composite dialogue was agreed upon when Atal Behari Vajpayee was the prime minister and which are not discussed specifically now, writes B Raman
February 04, 2010Pakistan remains pivotal to an Afghan solution
Faced with a no win situation, elements in Pakistan have so far been, and would continue to calibrate the situation in such a way that a state of stalemate protracts. And, as such a game is played out, the Americans will be permitted to fly their unmanned aerial vehicles and target at their discretion.
B Raman: The Taliban is down but not out
The relentless US drone attacks and the Pakistan ASrmy operations in the tribal areas has affected the Taliban's to carry out spectacular terrorist strikes in the non-tribal areas. They seem to be a weakened, but not a defeated force, writes security expert B Raman
India unprepared and unwilling to defend democracy
With the American declaration of an exit from Afghanistan, Beijing and Islamabad are upbeat. This leaves India in the lurch as it is ill prepared to face the threat posed by Islamic fundamentalists and the Chinese Communists.
Ten more things I hate in India
Having completed 35 years in this country, I realise how much I love this incredible India, these irritants notwithstanding.
February 03, 2010No doubt, Mumbai is a migrants' city
Mumbai, without doubt, though belonging to Maharashtra, is a migrants' city. A fact we have to learn to live with, writes Mahesh Vijapurkar
After the Dalai Lama, what?
Talks between China and special envoys of the Dalai Lama were not a Sino-Tibetan dialogue, but a meeting with two 'private representatives' of the spiritual leader on the future of His Holiness and his associates, write B Raman
An open letter to Balasaheb from a Marathi Manoos
'Mumbai belongs to me...us, Balasaheb... It belongs to Bharatiyas. Don't try to take it away... and please remember, there is a Rashtra in Maharashtra... but there is no Marathi there.'
February 02, 2010Why Pakistan can never be a great neighbour
We, in India are quick to vilify those who propose a hard line approach to Pakistan that includes severing cricket ties by branding them as radical and uncivilised. We cannot mix cricket with politics is the oft quoted mantra. But what is so sacred about this dichotomy? Is it a directive derived from logic or common sense or an abstract feel good notion with no utility value? And has continued cricketing ties mitigated Pakistan's terror shenanigans?
February 01, 2010Why transparency is critical for the judiciary
Transparency, accountability and efficiency are the pillars on which a judiciary rests in a democracy. The question before the Supreme Court today is how best to create a system whereby that public trust may be nurtured.
India ignored at Afghanistan summit
Despite having invested $1.2 billion (about Rs 55,000 crore) in efforts aimed at Afghanistan's post-Taliban reconstruction, India is being treated as an also ran in the ongoing Afghanistan summit at London. In the run up to the London summit hosted by Turkey a few days ago, India had not been invited to participate. This had been done in deference to Pakistan's opposition to India's presence in Afghanistan.