The American decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan will strengthen the Afghan Taliban and possibly ensure its return to Kabul. This has implications for India’s security and economic interests in Afghanistan. India must step up its game by showing willingness to talk to the Taliban, while simultaneously expanding training assistance to the Afghan security forces.
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The Taliban should have been reintegrated into Afghan society several years ago. It is now probably too late to persuade them to accept anything less than a dominant role in Kabul. However, Turkey, Pakistan and the United States may have one last chance to pressure the antagonists into a negotiated settlement, perhaps along the following lines.
On 3 March 2021, the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague, commenced an official investigation into Israel and Palestinian Armed Groups' alleged war crimes committed in the occupied territories of Palestine since July 2014. Palestine, which referred the case, is a member of the ICC, but Israel is not. Does the ICC have any jurisdiction in these cases? Will US support for Israel play a role? The three instances in the table show precedents in similar matters.
The UN turned 75 this year but instead of grand celebrations, the world witnessed an empty UNGA with world leaders addressing it via video screening because of the pandemic. The UN is under unprecedented stress and being shown up for its inability to tackle the challenges of today like the pandemics, climate change, terrorism or global peace and security. The institution's key governing structures, especially the UN Security Council, are inadequate and demand reform. India must now use gritty resolve to ensure its place in these governing structures.
The first-ever virtual summit of leaders from member-states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation on March 15 was an innovative exercise in showing solidarity in containing a pandemic. Here is an assessment of its tangible outcomes – and longer-term ways to prepare for SAARC’s revival
The main objective of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) Energy Club, when Russia formed it, was to market its member states’ substantial oil and natural gas reserves. This map shows some of the important natural gas pipelines, originating from Russia and its neighbouring countries that are not members of the SCO. What can India do to secure supplies from these abundant but currently inaccessible natural gas reserves?
Regional groupings in South Asia have turned out to be like diligent pupils whose report cards show performance below par. The reasons for such an impasse range from political divergences to the economic downturn and the much talked about China factor that has many implications for India
China has expanded its presence in the Indian Ocean Region. President Xi Jinping has abandoned Deng Xiaoping’s conciliatory posture for an aggressive, money-fuelled search for super power status
India’s global economic engagement, especially with the developing world, has increased in the last two decades, but trade with South Asia has remained low. It holds the potential for building greater productivity and more inclusive growth in India and the region
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.