The upcoming SCO Summit led by Uzbekistan seeks to ignite a ‘Samarkand Spirit’ where nations are indivisible and not fragmented, and connected by trade and investment. This is a welcome positive note in the backdrop of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, where Central Asia is now being impacted by diminishing essential commodities, depreciation of local currencies, and reduced remittances from its migrant workers in Russia.
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Delhi and Dhaka are fully conscious that they must get this vital equation right, constantly strengthening and deepening their cooperation and countering the challenges they face. In this, the contributions of the Sheikh Hasina government in nurturing the special ‘bonding’ is enormous and widely appreciated.
The relevance of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has increased due to the clear divisions developing in the world, since the Ukraine crisis began. Several leaders will probably attend in-person, a chance to advance their regional and economic interests. India has good relations with most SCO countries, and sees the upcoming Summit as a way to secure its strategic and security objectives.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s July visit to Iran was a geopolitical reset for both countries. The collapse of the JCPOA and the Ukraine crisis has strategically united Iran and Russia against their common adversary, the U.S. Russia is now a credible alternative to fill the investment vacuum for Iran’s defence, trade and energy sectors.
The genesis of Pakistan’s current political and economic problems lies with the pre-1947 Pakistan movement. But, its immediate problems stem from the political engineering done by the Pakistani army to install a hybrid regime led by Imran Khan who, they realised much later, was unable to deliver either on the economy or on governance.
Holding one of the G20 meetings in Jammu and Kashmir is a bold, audacious and timely move. It is possible because of the ceasefire along the Line of Control which has been holding since February 25, 2021. The new geopolitical setting offers India an opportunity to diplomatically disdain the Chinese, camping not too far away in the un-demarcated border areas with India.
During the last decade, cyber threats have steadily expanded in the Indo-Pacific in two distinct dimensions: cyberattacks by state and non-state actors, and cybercriminal syndicates. As a digitized society, India has offered its expertise and technologies to like-minded countries in the region. It must now expand its role by developing cyber norms, capacity-building and technical exchanges.
The Galwan crisis, pandemic and the Ukrainian war have weakened the BRICS’ credibility, a forum that has played a pivotal role in articulating the case for reformed multilateralism. Beyond grandiose rhetoric and vested interests, these five nations need to first infuse the grouping with internal solidarity and enhance mutual trust for peace, stability and prosperity in the Global South.
Great power competition in the Indo-Pacific is a concern for regional powers. India’s maritime security strategy has adapted to this geo-political change, and is moving from acting as a balancing power, to a leading force in the region. India is a near, yet non-resident power, and has a strategy for providing stability, prosperity, and security in the Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.
Pakistan’s latest economic survey reveals the extent of the country’s indebtedness to China. High-interest Chinese loans, reckless multilateral borrowing, and ever-increasing defence budgets have deleteriously impacted Pakistan’s finances. Any lasting solution to these problems will have to involve China.