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Centre for International Relations
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Afghan presidential elections: Implications and the road ahead
The voluminous participation by the Afghans in the elections, in which all major candidates asserted their desire to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement with the US, does not bode well for the Taliban, which describes signing of the BSA as "a huge crime".

 
Pakistan
 
Sindh is not East Pakistan
Aakash Tolani
16 April 2014
The shift of the non-PPP Sindhi leadership to other non-Sindhi parties, and their subsequent victories there, though limited, is shows that much of Sindhi society is looking to the rest of the country to bring about change in the Province. Better connecting Sindh to the Pakistani mainstream is now seen by many as a solution to their internal grievances.
 
Taliban making political gains without any commitment
Niharika Betkerur
13 March 2014
Recent political developments suggest that the Taliban is taking measures to gain important political points while not committing to anything concrete. The US-Afghan rift has not only created confusion regarding the future of the country but also given the Taliban some breathing space.
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China
 
The new fix list for China
R. Swaminathan
16 April 2014
The Chinese economy's has been facing serious structural problems for some time now. Premier Li knows it, and he is making sure that the legislators attending the parliament session also get the message and pass it on.
 
String of ports
C. Raja Mohan
11 April 2014
While India is looking to the UN to manage the cyber challenges, America and China are exploring bilateral solutions that could eventually be imposed on the rest of the world. That is very similar to what happened in the nuclear arena five decades ago.
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Sri Lanka
 
India's Sri Lanka abstention: A message for West
N. Sathiya Moorthy
14 April 2014
Over and above the stated causes, reasons and justification, the Indian 'abstention' on the anti-Sri Lanka vote at the UNHRC this time was a 'message' in itself. Intended or otherwise, the 'message' was for the West-dominated 'international community' on the one hand, and the Sri Lankan stakeholders on the other.
 
UNHRC takes 'Global War' to the ground
N. Sathiya Moorthy
31 March 2014
In Geneva UNHRC session, while West resolution against Sri Lanka, that satisfied none - possibly starting with the movers and shakers of the world that the US and Europe think they are - managed to muster 23 votes, those 'not in favour' added up to a higher 24, comprising 12 against and 12 'abstentions'
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Japan
 
Japan's new arms exports policy: Move to make Japan 'normal country'?
K.V. Kesavan
11 April 2014
One can see two major reasons for PM Shinzo Abe's decision to change the policy on arms exports. First, Abe is keen to remove many of the self-imposed taboos that have stood in the way of Japan becoming a 'normal country'. At a time when the security environment in East Asia has become so tense, Japan cannot afford to neglect the modernisation of its defence industry.
 
Ukraine crisis affects Tokyo's efforts to improve ties with Moscow?
K.V. Kesavan
31 March 2014
Going by Japan's response to the Ukraine crisis, it appears that Tokyo attaches more importance to its alliance with the US than to the prospects of a robust Russo-Japanese partnership. And, with President Obama scheduled to make a visit to Japan in April, Abe is keen to maintain full solidarity with the US.
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US
 
Crimea: The US grandstanding that failed again
Vikram Sood
04 April 2014
Obama's warning to Putin that there would be costs for the invasion of Crimea was not only empty, but the real cost in all this was to American credibility, once again. One can, therefore, expect both the US and Russia to assert their rights regardless of international law.
 
US mistakes: Will Ukraine be the next?
Vikram Sood
20 March 2014
It is said of the US that it comes to the right course of action after making all the mistakes. Unfortunately, it is others who end up paying the real price. And that includes Pakistan too. Ukraine looks to be the next candidate.
US »
Maldives
 
In Maldives too, polls underline coalition reality of the times
N Sathiya Moorthy
25 March 2014
As in the world's many democracies, parliamentary polls in Maldives too have underlined the coalition reality of the times. The polls have also proved the add-ons do count, as former President Nasheed had proved in his second-round victory in 2008.
 
Maldives: EC crisis ends, polls as scheduled
N Sathiya Moorthy
15 March 2014
After managing well the crisis over the Election Commission in Maldives, the government now will have to initiate legal and political measures to institutionalise facilitating mechanisms for smooth transition. Again, the initiative would lie with President Yameen.
more Maldives »
Iran
 
Iran bargain brings global benefits, but some out in cold
Uma Purushothaman
26 February 2014
Opening up to Iran would give the US some leverage over Tehran, while also ensuring that its current allies in West Asia do not take it for granted. Meanwhile, once Iranian oil flows into the market, oil and gas will get cheaper, and US companies will get more opportunities to invest in Iran.
 
Changing US-Iran relations and India
Ravi Joshi
17 January 2014
Iran's cancellation of $500 million funding to Pakistan for the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline indicates Iran's clout in regional energy affairs. It is unclear why Iran took this sudden step. Is President Rouhani merely fine-tuning some of the policies of his predecessor? But there is certainly more to this than meets the eye.
more Iran »
Africa
 
CAR: Back to chaos and lawlessness
Maneo Kayina
06 January 2014
Since France has said that it will not be continually involved in African intervention, the solution to security problems in Africa must come from the Africans themselves. The establishment of a pan-African force to react to crisis with support from Europe has been suggested by France.
 
Africa and the International Criminal Court
Rashmi Dhandia
05 December 2013
In the context of the African Union-International Criminal Court confrontation, the court is no longer about finding justice for the victims as many wrongly assume and believe; rather the process is now about whether an ICC faced with prosecuting cases that don't belong there,
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Bangladesh
 
BJP leader's illogic on boundary issue with Bangladesh
C. Raja Mohan
02 January 2014
If the BJP stands by its leader Arun Jaitley's illogic, it must necessarily oppose any negotiation of India's land boundary disputes with any of its neighbours, including China, Pakistan and Nepal. If this is a considered position of a party that is in striking distance of power, one shudders to think what the foreign policy of a BJP government might look like.
 
Never, ever forget those sacrifices
Vikram Sood
26 December 2013
Bangladesh needs full closure of the war crimes aspect of her history and a move away from fundamentalism that threatens it today. Bangladesh has to see the fulfillment of its Shahbag moment. The recent hanging of Mollah, is a process in that closure.
more Bangladesh »
Nepal
 
Nepal's democratic hopes, and Indian and Chinese interests
Vikram Sood
07 November 2013
While the Chinese have kept us embroiled with their visa tactics in Arunachal, intrusions in Ladakh as part of an unsettled boundary issue, and nuclear plants to Pakistan, they have long endeavoured to seek access and presence south of the Himalayas. They appear to be succeeding in Nepal.
 
Nepal: With CA polls on Nov 19, it is time for all political actors to unite for large cause
Akanshya Shah
17 June 2013
With the elections date to the Nepal Constituent Assembly now being announced, it is time for all political actors to unite for the larger cause. The poll announcement should be the beginning of a new rapprochement between the parties.
more Nepal »