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
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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.
Prime Minister Modi’s term has been marked by a resolve to improve cooperation among South Asian nations. These proactive efforts can bear rich fruit if the Modi government promotes the concept of geoeconomic and geopolitical equations being seen through the lens of bioregions. There are significant precedents which the Modi government can build upon
A more robust foreign policy initiative is required for India to be seen as a serious player in the future of Afghanistan. Building dams and roads has ensured its presence as a partner in rebuilding the country, but its conservative handling of Afghan issues must be challenged, perhaps by following the Iran route, to push forward its geostrategic interests.
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.
Is China actively building up its maritime presence in the Arabian Sea, to dominate vital sea lanes and perhaps encircle India with a chain of naval bases? There can be little doubt that China views Gwadar as a potentially useful asset. China, however, will know better than anyone that Gwadar has two considerable limitations.
If India enters the Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade and Transit Agreement, as external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said at conference in Islamabad in December, it will boost regional trade and connectivity—both priorities of the Modi government. But Pakistan stridently opposes India’s entry into the agreement. What are the alternatives?