Srinath Raghavan


Srinath Raghavan

Delhi, Dhaka and a hostage-taker

The significance of the Prime Minister’s visit to Bangladesh has been obscured by the hubbub over the West Bengal chief minister’s refusal to accompany him to Dhaka. Mamata Banerjee was not pleased with the agreement on sharing the water of Teesta river negotiated by New Delhi and Dhaka. The removal of an important treaty from the summit’s menu was disappointing indeed. Nevertheless, the importance of the raft of agreements to be concluded by the two Prime Ministers should not be underestimated.

Don’t get distracted by Libya

The civil war in Libya is inching towards its denouement. The tumultuous scenes in Tripoli have led many observers to conclude that the Arab Spring will stretch into winter. Such a conclusion may be hasty. Even as the Libyan crisis seems near an end, the impasse in Syria poses a festering danger. The two crises are linked — not just in their origins but also in their development. Moreover, unlike Libya the crisis in Syria could touch off a wider regional crisis.

The Tibetan tightrope

The recent swearing-in of Dr Lobsang Sangay as the Prime Minister of the government-in-exile marks the beginning of a new stage in the political struggle of the Tibetan émigré community.
The 43-year-old legal academic from Harvard was elected to the post earlier this year. Although he is the third elected Prime Minister of the government-in-exile, he is the first one to assume the position after the Dalai Lama formally relinquished his political role.

Delhi’s Lankan limp

The recent local council elections in Sri Lanka threw up a surprise for President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his ruling coalition, the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA). The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) bagged 18 out of 26 seats in the Tamil-majority northern and eastern provinces. Until the destruction of the LTTE two years ago, the TNA was under the Tigers’ sway.

The Summer of 2014

The much anticipated endgame in Afghanistan has formally begun. The American President has laid out his plan to extricate US troops while preserving and building on the fragile gains made in the past few months. The fog of uncertainty that hung around American strategy is beginning to lift. That does not mean that the road out of Afghanistan is absolutely clear.

Law of returns

The forthcoming round of the US-India strategic dialogue provides an opportunity to clear the cobwebs of erroneous expectations that envelop this crucial relationship. Misplaced hopes are harboured by both sides. The uproar in the Indian media over the trial of Tahawwhur Rana underlines both the force of our expectations about American

It’s time to waka waka

The recent India-Africa summit held in Ethiopia may mark the beginning of a new phase of Indian engagement with Africa. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held out a credit line of $5.7 billion and a slew of projects for African countries. The economic sinews of Indian foreign policy are clearly giving it much greater reach and, hopefully, influence than before.

The Kabul Game

In foreign policy, as in domestic politics, timing matters a great deal. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Afghanistan could not have come at a more opportune moment. The killing of Osama bin Laden has concentrated the international community’s attention on the Afghanistan-Pakistan theatre as few developments could have.

Jihad loses its Aesop

Osama bin Laden has finally been killed. As excitement over the operation subsides, it is worth pondering over the implications of Bin Laden’s death — for both Al Qaeda and the United States. The central question pertains to the nature of Al Qaeda as an organisation and Bin Laden’s role as its leader. Experts are deeply divided.

Secrets and spies

Our intelligence agencies periodically find themselves in the midst of a public uproar over alleged acts of omission as well as commission. On one hand, they have been pilloried for apparently failing to prevent major breaches of national security, ranging from the Pakistani incursion in Kargil to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

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