The greatest foreign policy difference between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his predecessor Manmohan Singh has been Pakistan. Singh believed in dialogue with Pakistan at almost any cost. Modi’s views were more akin to those of an earlier prime minister, P.V. Narasimha Rao: dealing with Pakistan was high risk, low return and not worth the investment.

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I don’t know whether Narendra Modi will become prime minister — though I suspect so — and I don’t know whether he’s given much thought to foreign policy — my sense, is that he hasn’t beyond the economic dimension. Read more

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The former Indian foreign secretary, Shyam Saran, gave a revealing speech on India’s nuclear deterrent on April 24th. The speech was titled, somewhat vaguely, “Is India’s Nuclear Deterrent Credible?” Read more

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There are many, especially in India, who see the Arab spring as a terrible thing. Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak and the like may have been dictators, but they were secular and, at a stretch, represented the first wave of postwar Arab nationalism. Now they are gone, Islamicist groups are capturing power, and the threat to regional stability and the curdling of India’s Muslim ethos is rising. Read more

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The Indian National Security Advisor, Shiv Shankar Menon, made a few brief remarks about India’s nuclear weapons programme at the Indian Council for World Affairs on 21 August. Read more

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Afghanistan is going to make a comeback in the international political arena. It shouldn’t be, going by what everyone seems to believe. The United States is pulling out of Afghanistan. The Taliban and Hamid Karzai will duke it out, but ultimately the rest of the world will just yawn. Afghans killing Afghans. The oldest story in Southwest Asia. Read more

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The United States and Pakistan are in a death spiral of invective and abuse, a good thing for India one would presume. Largely yes but with a little smidgeon of no. Read more

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The Hindustan Times is about halfway through a series on India and its neighbours. The links for the first three articles are below. Two more are on the way. For various reasons, mostly illogical, the series eventually chose Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Bhutan, the Maldives and Afghanistan were given a miss. China is much bigger an issue than just a neighbour. Read more

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The Maldivian political crisis is a suitable reminder of how difficult it is to run a sphere of influence. This archipelago nation should be a snap for New Delhi. Read more

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What’s interesting about the present political problem in Pakistan is the role of the army. Old hat, you may say. The army trying to destabilize a civlian government is a hoary story in Pakistan. But what is different is the difficulty the miltary is having in getting their way. Read more

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