Sameer Patil-Arc of Border Security-May 11 Courtesy: Gateway House
21 June 2018

Arc of India’s Border Security

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.

aashna-china Courtesy: Gateway House
14 May 2018

Gwadar: trade hub or military asset?

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

2017_10$largeimg11_Wednesday_2017_013201128 (1) Courtesy: The Tribune
18 April 2018

Punjab’s unshakable drug smuggling networks

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

A stack of one thousand rupee notes. Courtesy: 123RF
9 November 2016

How ‘hawala’ impacts national security

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.

gwadar cpec Courtesy: AP
6 October 2016

Balochistan: all sides may lose

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.

070822-A-6849A-667 -- Scouts from 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), pull overwatch during Operation Destined Strike while 2nd Platoon, Able Company searches a village below the Chowkay Valley in Kunar Province, Afghanistan Aug. 22. Courtesy: Wikipedia
5 February 2016

Obama needs to rethink, urgently

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.

Mortar_attack_on_Shigal_Tarna_garrison,_Kunar_Province,_87 Courtesy: Erwin Franzen/Wikimedia
14 August 2015

Pakistan’s House of Cards

The August attack in Kabul and the now public disclosure of the death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar has caused Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to shift in outlook towards Pakistan. The "Pakistan-led" peace process is now tumbling like a house of cards backed implicitly by the United States.