Skip to main content


Showing posts from January 26, 2014

Incredible complexity

M K Bhadrakumar, Jan 31, 2014: The US-Pakistani tango is a high-stakes game and it has commenced at a juncture when the Indian government is in limbo. The US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue took place early this week in Washington after an interruption of three years following the American raid on Osama bin Laden’s secretive residence in Abbottabad in May 2011. These three years have been marked by much US-Pakistan discord and public acrimony. A brave attempt was made by both sides during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the White House last October to put behind the bitterness of betrayal and get on with the relationship. But such deep wounds as Abbottabad take time to heal. At best, they could be cauterized for temporary relief. Indeed, bin Laden’s ghost was present at this week’s cogitation in Washington, as is apparent from the recent US legislation to make financial aid to Pakistan $33 million condit

Arrest and Mistreatment of Dr.Devyani Khobragade: Long-term consequences A few long-term consequences may be predicted: 1. Yes, foreign diplomats will be “sensitized” to the need to follow the letter of American state law in employing domestic assistants, whether imported or local. This outcome could have been achieved through far less sensational or clumsy means. 2. Most diplomats will decide not to hire anyone of the sort. Their children will either stay back, or they will get grandparents to accompany them. The net loss is to the American tax base, and probably to the quality of upbringing that these children will experience, a loss blamed on America, creating resentment against America. 3. Many foreign missions will simply choose to replace the domestic assistant headcount with other designations covered by full diplomatic immunity. The population of un

65th Republic Day: Magnificent display of India’s cultural heritage, military might at Rajpath

India’s rich cultural heritage, its achievements in diverse fields and military prowess were on majestic display at the Rajpath on Sunday as the nation celebrated its 65th Republic Day amid tight security. Marching down from the seat of power at Raisina Hills to Red Fort, the parade showcased India’s ‘unity in diversity’ and defence capability as thousands of spectators along the 8-km-long route cheered the contingents and the mechanized columns. The well-turned out and synchronized military and police contingents led by General Officer Commanding (Delhi), Lt General Subroto Mitra, marched proudly to the lilting tunes of bands through Rajpath where President and supreme commander of the Armed Forces Pranab Mukherjee took the salute. The march past was watched by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the chief guest of the Republic Day celebration, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the country’s top political and military

Coming full circle: Shinzo Abe in India ANANTH KRISHNAN A “normal” Japan that takes on greater security responsibilities in Asia, coupled with its new-found confidence under Mr. Abe, bodes well for India and the region. When former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi travelled to New Delhi in 2005, he was the first Japanese leader to visit India in more than half a decade. His visit took place at a time when Tokyo appeared somewhat wary towards India’s overtures for building closer defence ties. Fast forward a decade, and the relationship has appeared to have come full circle. It is now Tokyo that appears eager to broaden the security relationship with India, even pushing to sell its home-grown amphibious aircraft. Mr. Koizumi’s visit has since come to be seen as a turning point. The past decade has seen an unprecedented level of engagement between both countries, underlined by regular annual summit meetings between their P

Uncle Sam does not really care about you

  This is very well written and realistic. No Indian Government in its right senses would put all its eggs in the American basket. Given America's sudden and new found affection for Iran, one shudders to think of what would have happened if we blindly followed the American lead on Iran earlier. With the Americans packing up to leave Afghanistan Iran becomes a crucial partner for India for even access to Afghanistan. We seek "strategic autonomy" and not old school "nonalignment".         The American fuss on fighter aircraft was unjustified. We need fighter aircraft that can operate over hot desert terrain and in high altitude over the Himalayas. The F 16s and F 18s could not match either Rafale or the Eurofighter to meet these requirements. But all this does not mean that we should not get realistic on a host of issues including raising FDI Caps in defence industry and learning from Japan, South Korea and even Singapore on how to build high-tech industry and