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23 September 2016

Uri attack: There are no military options that will give India the outcome it wants

India does not have too many good options in responding to the militant raid that killed 17 Indian army personnel, perhaps the largest number ever for a single day of the Kashmiri insurgency that began in 1990.

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23 September 2016

Make no mistake, Pakistan is losing this battle

This was supposed to be Pakistan’s moment at the United Nations General Assembly. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had hoped that he would be able to corner India on Kashmir by highlighting the unrest in the Valley. He had long been preparing for this moment. From describing Kashmir as the “unfinished agenda” of the UN to writing to the five permanent members of the Security Council, from waiting for the day when Kashmir would become part of Pakistan to describing Kashmir as the main pillar of Pakistan’s foreign policy — Sharif and his government had done everything possible to bring Kashmir to the centre-stage just before the annual session of the UN General Assembly.

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23 September 2016

National discourse needed on LEMOA

The India-US LEMOA — abbreviation for ‘Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement’ — has triggered enough and more controversies in this country even before the proverbial ink had dried and the agreement itself is tested on the ground. It however looks as if the Modi government could have discussed it inside and/or outside Parliament, to arrive at a ‘national consensus’, with the medium and long-term future of the agreement in mind.

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9 September 2016

If India wants to become a superpower, it has to stop trying to become the next China

India is currently in the midst of two large but different endeavours. The first is to complete the unfinished agenda of the previous decade, providing the country with the modern infrastructure, rural amenities, social services, and connectivity that any developed economy needs.

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9 September 2016

Kashmir: Who’ll Buy What Pakistan is Selling?

For nearly quarter of a century now, that is ever since terrorism enveloped the state of Jammu and Kashmir around 1989-90, India has downplayed the Pakistan’s diplomatic propaganda campaign against it. Except for pro forma rebuttals in the UN to Pakistani provocations and the occasional statement by the MEA spokesperson, India has preferred to not join issue with Pakistan in a sustained sort of manner.

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16 August 2016

Making India’s first federated tax effective

Expectations are unrealistically high from the long delayed move to amend the Constitution and levy a common Goods and Service Tax (a value added tax) across the Union and all state governments. Truly, this tax can bind India far better than Bollywood or the All India Services have done thus far.

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16 August 2016

India and africa's partnership for access to medicines

Prime Minister Modi’s recently concluded four-nation tour to Africa is primarily regarded as part of his larger energy diplomacy outreach. However, what is often overlooked are the enormous investment opportunities that African markets offer — especially in the midst of stagnating markets elsewhere. The agenda for this visit was centred on two themes: (a) mutual economic interests, and (b) common development aspirations. The pharmaceutical sector presents a meeting point for both goals — of exporting medicines to Africa, as well as creating manufacturing bases in Africa.

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16 August 2016

Rising presence of Daesh in India

Until very recently in India, there have been several interpretations of threat perceptions of Daesh or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This was primarily because few Indian Muslims joined the outfit in Syria or Iraq and there has been, so far, no attack conducted by it within the country. As a result, some do not view it as a major threat while there are others who remain wary, particularly considering the outfit’s export of terror ideology worldwide.

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25 July 2016

What’s the Real Story in Turkey?

I was in Ahmedabad when the attempted or rather failed ‘coup de tat’ took place in Turkey. I was to speak at a corporate function about India’s national security. However, my hosts requested me to first specifically speak for a few minutes on Turkey because ostensibly most of the audience could not join the dots about what exactly was happening in that country. I readily obliged because that’s a country you can’t fail to know if you have any pretensions like me of being a strategic commentator.

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25 July 2016

Indian military has remained committed to democracy

In our much-storied history, which our hyper-nationalists will possibly claim is the most ancient, there has been just one recorded instance where a commander-in-chief of the army overthrew the government of the day and seized power. This issue finds some resonance today in the context of the attempted coup in Turkey. Many ask, could this happen here, although the answer is pretty unambiguous that it cannot and will not.

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