India’s relations with Islamic nations, many of which are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), have become even more prolific over the last decade. While India does not visualise becoming a member of a religious international body, many reasons militate against our formally joining the OIC.
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The year 2012 has been a busy one for foreign policy: from escalating disputes in the South China Sea to alternate financial instruments from the emerging world. India’s foreign policy too has its shown strengths and weaknesses. We present our top foreign policy Hotspots, Sweet spots and Blind spots for 2012.
U.S. President Barack Obama will certainly have the benefit of continuity in his second term, but he has a range of impending crises to address immediately - be it to avert the so-called fiscal cliff before the end of the year when automatic cuts kick in or plan for the military drawdown from Afghanistan.
Is a focus on a nuclear Iran in international forums such as the UN General Assembly necessary and appropriate? At a time when other crises – including Syria and Palestine – require the world’s undivided attention, this inordinate focus raises major concerns.
With the Free Syrian Army being supplied aid by the West and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the endgame for the Syrian regime has begun. Does Assad's exit guarantee the replacement of autocracy with democracy? What implications will it have on regional politics?
The involvement of Islamists in democratic movements is usually dismissed as a mere ruse to attain political power. However, evidence suggests that people in Muslim-majority democracies support Islamist groups which challenge a dishonest government, rather than those who seek to establish Islamic autocracy.
Simultaneous efforts to resolve the problem in Syria remain stymied even as more and more high level meetings and consultations take place. The more countries treat the situation as a proxy for political differences, the more it creates the conditions for a wider conflagration with an unpredictable outcome.
By forcing regime change in Libya, and attempting the same in Syria, and by promiscuously arming disparate groups of Wahabbis and Salafists to achieve this aim, NATO is creating more room for instability in the region. What Syria needs is engagement, not isolation; it needs dialogue and not the arming of rebels.
What are the implications for India if Iran is attacked? How effective has the response been by gulf nations to their own protests? Ambassador Talmiz Ahmad, India’s former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, discusses the dynamics of West Asia with Gateway House’s Alisha Pinto and Azadeh Pourzand.
The author outlines the partnership between NATO and Wahhabi extremists, and how the West assisted in an armed Sunni movement, which has spread to many countries in West Asia. Consequently, the Shia population suffers from serious discrimination at the hands of Wahabbi.