India should stop looking at Afghanistan through the Pakistan prism and be a major contributor in the development of peace and prosperity in the country
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Border regions and communities, some of them far from the heartland, constitute India’s first line of defence, a critical link in its national security. India’s 15,000-km borders touch seven neighbouring countries: Afghanistan (abutting Gilgit), Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Bangladesh, Myanmar. Border regions have their own local dynamics, often shaped by subnational and religious identities that do not necessarily align neatly with political borders. Some also serve as flourishing corridors for illegal smuggling of goods and humans. Technology plays an important role in better protecting borders, but in some cases it has made borders obsolete. Despite their importance, border regions do not receive the full attention of the Indian mainstream, except when border tensions arise.
China’s ostensible intentions are to turn Gwadar port into a focal point of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. But the geography of the region is a major stumbling block in the realisation of these ambitions and raises questions about the project’s underlying motives
Since 2017, the Punjab government has been cracking down on drug networks. The campaign has so far targeted small-time drug peddlers, but deep smuggling networks that cross international as well as state borders remain intact, posing a major national security threat
India and the Trump administration are on a mutually appreciative footing. Two significant visits have given the bilateral a renewed focus and both countries are seeking ways to put their strategic and political convergence into practice
The Russians have concluded that the Afghan Taliban offer a better shield against the Islamic State than the old Northern Alliance. A negotiated settlement in Afghanistan could be achieved if Washington and New Delhi join Moscow, Beijing, Islamabad and Tehran in a joint effort.
On November 8, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to India, the demonetisation of high-value currency notes, he specifically referred to the use of Hawala and fake Indian currency notes for terrorist financing. The hawala system to move funds globally for terrorist financing is huge, secretive, and layered—and a challenge for national security agencies.
India’s new focus on Balochistan has more to do with the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) than with Kashmir. China understands that CPEC may not be achievable. But there are real dangers in reviving Pakistani fears of secessionism and in broadening the field of Indo-Pakistani conflict beyond the confines of Kashmir.
At the recent counter-terrorism conference in Jaipur, a star-studded galaxy of policy makers, security analysts and law enforcement officials debated on tackling the Daesh threat. Some of the most positive steps to counter the terror propaganda came from South East Asia and India’s neighbourhood
A resurgent Taliban has turned a hopeful declaration by the Obama administration into a premature one. The levels of U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan, currently at 9,800, are expected to increase as a result. But with more than half a trillion dollars spent trying to stabilize the problem, perhaps it’s time to rethink the Af-Pak region.