3 April 2015

Full Text: U.S. Statement on Iran Nuclear Deal

Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran's Nuclear Program 

Below are the key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program that were decided in Lausanne, Switzerland. These elements form the foundation upon which the final text of the JCPOA will be written between now and June 30, and reflect the significant progress that has been made in discussions between the P5+1, the European Union, and Iran. Important implementation details are still subject to negotiation, and nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. We will work to conclude the JCPOA based on these parameters over the coming months. 

Delhi must play in Kabul

Source Link
Apr 02, 2015

Thirteen months after the then external affairs minister Salman Khurshid promised to deliver helicopters to Afghanistan “soon”, New Delhi is all set to transport three helicopters to Kabul. Cheetal is an upgraded Cheetah (Alouette) helicopter with a newer Turbomeca TM 333-2M2 engine. These choppers are capable of operating in remote and high altitude mountainous region with higher speed (more than 200 km/hr), range (more than 600 km) and payload. The Cheetal can be used for personnel transport, casualty evacuation, reconnaissance and aerial survey, logistic air support and rescue operations.

Coming a few days ahead of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s visit to New Delhi later in April, the delivery of helicopters is a significant development, going somewhat against India’s policy of seeking to influence Kabul through aid giving and avoiding getting directly embroiled in the conflict. At a time of the international drawdown of troops combined with President Ghani’s increasing tilt towards Pakistan, these supplies could be New Delhi’s last-ditch attempt to ensure its relevance in the changing power and security calculus in Afghanistan.

Method to fidayeen madness

Mar 31, 2015

The fidayeen attacks carried out recently in quick succession in the Jammu region in March 2015, the first on the police station at Hiranagar and the second the next day, on the camp of an armoured regiment at Samba, both located on or near national highway 1A, carry serious security implications for India.

The operational pattern of the infiltrators, both then and now, have been almost identical — infiltrate, hijack a civil vehicle inside India, kill the driver, drive on to NH1A, and attack the target with automatic weapons and grenades, causing as much damage as possible before being eliminated by Indian security forces.

On the Indian side is the Border Security Force, reporting directly to their hierarchy and the ministry of home affairs, Government of India. The separation of paramilitary and military is almost complete, and there is no interaction, other than social, between the two.Pakistan is well aware of the disconnect and does not hesitate to exploit it whenever the opportunity arises.

Narasimhanomics and the middle way


He may not have been the ‘architect’ of post-Nehruvian economic policy, but he demonstrated greater political courage in advocating and leading it than his predecessor. He was also, without doubt, the ‘architect’ of India’s post-Cold War foreign policy

The government of India has decided to honour the memory of former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, more than a decade after his passing away, with a memorial in the national capital. New Delhi has streets named after all and sundry, from conquerors to councillors, and at least three members of PV’s Council of Ministers (Arjun Singh, Madhavrao Scindia and Rajesh Pilot) each have a street named after them, but not PV. 

While PV’s loyal Finance Minister, Manmohan Singh, respectfully paid tribute to him every year during his prime ministership, his government was neither able to build a memorial nor award PV the nation’s highest honour for his contribution to economic and foreign policy. Interestingly, the move to honour PV has come from non-Congress political leaders of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.Architect in his right.

Testing ground for 'Salman Doctrine' - Modi stumped by king's call

K.P. Nayar
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April 2: For the first time since Narendra Modi assumed a new public persona in 2001 with his dramatic entry into Gujarat's government, he was at a loss for words, but only briefly.

It happened on Monday, March 30. The time was around 9.30pm, not at all late for a workaholic Prime Minister who sleeps only a few hours but rather an unconventional time to take a phone call from a head of state, that too one who is in a time zone that is not very different from New Delhi's.

At the other end of the line was a caller who had in all probability never before dialled a number in India: Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, the new king of Saudi Arabia.

Eye on Sana’a

April 3, 2015 

Put Saudi Arabia together with the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), of which it is a member, and you have a clutch of very rich market states that can afford to spend on the Yemen invasion. They are target-killing the Houthis in Sana’a, Aden and elsewhere, without any “boots on the ground”. The big army of Egypt is on board, but the “biggest Muslim army of Pakistan” is not yet taking part. In Pakistan, no one supports participation in the invasion, forcing Islamabad to say Pakistan will go in if Saudi Arabia is invaded. 

New world bank order

By Ajay Chhibber
April 3, 2015
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The Year of the Ram could be witnessing the first tremors of a tectonic shift in global power structures. Despite US objections, some of its closest allies — Australia, the UK, Germany, France, Italy and South Korea — have signed on to the new Chinese-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Some 45 countries, including Brazil and Russia, have signed up and more may join soon. Even Taiwan has applied for membership. Japan is still holding back and the US, under intense criticism for staying out, is now pledging cooperation.

China is signalling that while it has imported technology and capital for over 30 years, since the Deng Xiaoping reforms, it is now ready to turn around and export know-how and capital. China’s “One Belt One Road” project focuses on trade, infrastructure and telecommunications. But it also talks about people-to-people connectivity, cultural exchanges as well as learning from other countries’ development experiences. It emphasises peaceful development and cooperation with existing organisations, such as the Saarc, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and EU, to assuage fears that China is emerging as a global hegemon.

Exile across the waters - Outcome of extreme experience

Malavika Karlekar

If there is a common perception that jail memoirs can be depressing and dire, Barindra Kumar Ghose's The Tale of my Exile is somewhat of an exception. Written originally in Bengali (Dwipantarer Katha), the brief but detailed account was translated by Nolini Kanta Gupta and published in 1922. Out of print for almost a century, a new edition is now available, introduced and edited by the Hyderabad-based academic, Sachidananda Mohanty. The slim volume, written by a man sentenced for life, provides a meticulous account of the minutiae of jail existence, grim moments peppered with a wry turn of phrase as well as musings on the beauty of the Andamans. And of course, the growth of an individual sense of agency, so vital to prisoners in a colonial regime. As David Arnold points out in his work on Indian prison narratives, middle-class prisoners needed to believe that even in jail they were neither powerless nor irrelevant to the political struggle outside.

Why Washington Is Watching Modi's Moves in the Indian Ocean

By Jhinuk Chowdhury
April 02, 2015

If you believe the hype, India is intensifying its ocean diplomacy to counter the growing influence of China in the Indian Ocean. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-nation visit to Sri Lanka, Seychelles, and Mauritius in March has been seen in this light.

But that doesn’t explain what’s really happening. The power tectonics in the region are not between India and China, but are a result of Beijing hedging against Washington’s presence in the region. In the Indian Ocean, Delhi is increasingly aligning with the role that the U.S. wants it to play — that of a “net security provider.”

India and Japan Continue to Deepen Their Defense Ties

April 01, 2015

Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar has embarked on a four-day visit to Japan this week. The purpose of Parrikar’s visit – his first overseas trip since becoming defense minister in November 2014 – is to strengthen defense ties between India and Japan in the face of China’s growing military might in the region.

Parrikar already had meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Japanese counterpart Gen Nakatani. Today, he also met with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

India to set up its own mini N-fusion reactor

Apr 1, 2015

VADODARA: Nuclear energy production in India is set to get a major boost with the department of atomic energy (DAE) giving nod to set up the country's own thermo-nuclear fusion reactor.

India is presently one of the seven partner countries in world's biggest energy research project - the ITER - that is coming up in Cadarche, France.

"Presently, our contribution as one of the seven partners in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project in France is 10%. The knowledge that we gain will be used to set up our own demonstrator reactors at home. We will begin by setting up an experimental version of the Cadarche ITER reactor in France here," ITER-India's project director Shishir Deshpande said here on Monday night.

Why Pakistan Is Footing the Bill for Afghan Army Training

By Jack Detsch
April 01, 2015

When Hamid Karzai sat in Afghanistan’s presidential palace, he often treated Pakistan with outright contempt. Karzai repeatedly turned down offers to train Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) at the Pakistani Military Academy in Abbottabad, sending elite recruits to train in India. By the time Karzai left office last August, he’d accepted $2 billion in weapons from India. There seemed to be very little doubt over who had become Kabul’s patron.

Just seven months later, the tide has shifted. In February, newly-elected President Ashraf Ghani agreed to send six elite Afghan troops to an eighteen-month course in Abbottabad. It’s largely a symbolic move: these six troops are just a handful in a force expected to grow to 352,000 strong by the beginning of 2017.

Confirmed: Pakistan Will Buy Eight Chinese Subs

April 02, 2015

Yesterday, the Pakistani government confirmed the purchase of eight new submarines from China. “The National Security Committee has approved, in principle, the acquisition of eight Chinese submarines,” Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Defense, Rear Admiral Mukhtar Khan, informed the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Defence in Islamabad.

Details on the type of vessels or their price tag are murky. IHS Jane’s quotes an unnamed Pakistani Foreign Ministry official who said that, “in the recent past, there have been reports of discussions for the Type 041 submarines.”

Pakistan's Looming Disaster in Yemen

April 1, 2015 

The possibility of Pakistan, a non-Arab South Asian country becoming embroiled in Yemen’s civil war is very high, as Saudi Arabia has been leaning heavily on Pakistan to join its military coalition there.

Pakistani involvement could include the deployment of land forces. There are already hundreds of Pakistani troops in Saudi Arabia conducting joint exercises with Saudi forces and Pakistan has voiced support for Saudi airstrikes in Yemen.

Explicit Pakistani involvement in Yemen could be dangerous for it, both militarily and politically. Although Pakistan’s population is majority Sunni, unlike Saudi Arabia or Iran, Pakistan was not founded on the basis of any particular understanding of Islam. Rather, Pakistan was founded on the more general basis of Islam as a whole, in order to serve as a homeland for South Asia’s Muslims, whether Sunni or Shia. Around a fifth of Pakistan’s population, or some 30-40 million people, are Shia, giving it (or neighboring India) the second largest Shiite population in the world outside of Iran.

The Dangerous, Delicate Saudi-Pakistan Alliance

APRIL 1, 2015

Riyadh and Islamabad have long been close friends and military partners, but Pakistan can ill afford to anger Iran as it mulls entering the war in Yemen.

The Dangerous, Delicate Saudi-Pakistan Alliance

The former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal once described ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as “probably one of the closest relationships in the world between any two countries without any official treaty.”

Game of Nukes

01 Apr , 2015

The Stimpson Centre recently released an essay titled ‘Pakistan’s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: Operational Myths and Realities’ by Dr Jeffrey D McCausland in which the author highlights following salient issues:

Pakistan has decided to rely on short-range nuclear capable delivery vehicles to deter India’s conventional militay advantage; 

mainstay of Pakistan’s TNWs is Nasr missile of 60 kms range; 

Pakistan’s efforts to develop and produce short-range, nuclear capable systems will seriously undermin deterrence stability and escalation control on the subcontinent; 

this places a heavier burden on India, Pakistan and the US (crisis-manger in South Asia) to address underlying causes of deterrence instability; 

Army for Rent: Pakistan has long tradition of dealing out its military – be it to Saudis or Americans

Mar 30, 2015

Islamabad has thus far sent mixed signals on whether it will join Saudi strikes on Yemen. Don't be surprised even if it does.

The liberal section of the civil society in Pakistan is aghast at Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s intent to send a contingent of the country’s armed forces to Yemen in support of Saudi operation to fight the Houthis. The obvious concern is that participating in such a battle will not serve Pakistan’s interests and instead deepen the sectarian divide in the country that has already cost thousands of lives.

East Asia's Bloodiest Border War

April 1, 2015

In some cases, the human rights group stated, soldiers have confiscated land in the presence of Sein Wut Hmon employees. In other cases, villagers have encountered soldiers who told them they worked for the company.

“The fact that the majority of confiscations in [northeastern Shan state] tend to be conducted either directly by the Tatmadaw or by companies and other actors with strong military ties exacerbates this situation,” the Global Witness report stated.

Could Okinawa Derail U.S.-Japan Relations?

April 2, 2015 

"Averting an alliance crisis over Okinawa was Reischauer and Kennedy’s challenge. Averting another one is ours."

No one shouted this time. A half century ago, the Okuma auditorium in Tokyo was the scene of a dramatic cry for a greater Japanese voice in its alliance with the United States—and a remarkable gesture, from a visiting Robert F. Kennedy, that it might be forthcoming.

This March, at a symposium at Okuma with a different Kennedy presiding, the theme of inclusion rang out again.

Chinese Media: Maybe It's Time the US Heeded Deng Xiaoping's Advice

April 02, 2015

During the Deng Xiaoping era, China’s foreign policy was characterized by the phrase “tao guang yang hui,” generally translated as “keeping a low profile.” In recent years, however, observers have begun to question whether this strategy still holds sway in Chinese diplomacy, particularly in light of Xi Jinping’s recent exhortation for China to practice “major power diplomacy.”

Chinese media just turned that debate over on its head, by positing that it’s Washington, rather than Beijing, that is entering a period of “low profile” foreign policy today.