Tilak Devasher’s book on the Pashtuns brings out the dynamics of the Pashtun, their code, their relationship with Islam and with Pakistan. It contextualizes the current geo-political challenges in South Asia, making it required reading for those who want to understand not only the Pashtuns but regional strategic and security dynamics.
The SCO foreign ministers met in Tashkent in July to plan for the all-important SCO summit in September. New additions and old issues remain, but the SCO is now growing into a significant grouping, with importance to India
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has been focused on resolving the Afghan crisis. But divergent views of members and the influence of China and Pakistan have eluded a solution. This has been further impeded by the ongoing sanctions and humanitarian issues which are beyond the organisation's scope.
China has followed Sun Tzu’s strategy of focussing on alliances - building its own and weakening those of its adversaries. Beijing’s carefully nurtured formations in West and Central Asia are part of this global power projection, especially with Pakistan, Iran and now, the Taliban, through projects like the Belt and Road Initiative. India must recalibrate its China policy and push for concerted regional responses to emerge as a balancing force against it.
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.
President Trump enjoyed every moment of the hype that attended his February 2020 visit to India, says Ambassador Neelam Deo, Director and Co-founder of Gateway House, in this podcast, even as the focus was on concrete outcomes, such as defence purchases and oil procurement deals. She discusses the geopolitical implications of a closer India-U.S. strategic relationship and the weaknesses of the U.S.-Taliban peace deal
The people of Afghanistan, torn by war, ethnic strife and geoeconomic contestation for their country’s rich natural resources, have paid by forsaking the assurances of daily life. But President Ashraf Ghani has shown them that normalcy can return and it is possible to hold regular elections. The author, a guest of the President and First Lady, travelled through the country in October 2018 to record her impressions of a resilient people who have reason to hope for a different future
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.
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.
Afghan president Ashraf Ghani visited India from April 27-29. Ghani accords a very different priority to India than his predecessors – both the timing and the outcome of his visit reflected this. He is choosing to play to Pakistan, by keeping India out of Afghanistan's security sector