US Withdrawal from the INF & Future of the Non-Proliferation Regime

One after the other, Trump administration has been leaving international organisations, breaking deals and withdrawing from international arms control treaties. The list includes, US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, UN Human Rights Council, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. US also stopped funding the United Nations…

Afghan presidential elections: could deferral help the peace process?

Late last month, in a surprise move, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) of Afghanistan announced that next year’s presidential elections will proceed as planned on April 20, after having considered postponing them for a few months. This occurred simultaneously with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, at the Geneva conference, reiteratinghis government’s intention to pursue a peace agreement with the…

The Geopolitics of Sri Lanka’s Crisis

On October 26, 2018, Sri Lankan President, Maithripala Sirisena sacked Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Mahinda Rajapaksa. Sirisena also dissolved the legislature and called for snap elections, however, the country’s Supreme Court overturned the presidential decree. On November 14, Sri Lanka’s Parliament passed a motion of no-confidence against the controversially appointed Prime…

Deterrence Stability in South Asia: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

India and Pakistan’s seaward nuclearization has received great scholarly attention off late. The thrust of recent literature on the issue focuses on whether an at-sea deterrent has bolstered deterrence stability or aggravated chances of an outbreak of a crisis with escalatory potential. While proponents of a sea-based nuclear force argue that it will augment second-strike…

Afghanistan: War and Democracy

In October 2018, the US-led war against the Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan entered its 18thyear. Coincidently, during the same month, Afghans went to polls to elect the third batch of their members of the parliament. The current Afghan parliament’s five-year term expired in June 2015, but security fears and internal political strife prevented the Independent Election Commission…

The minefield that is human rights

The human rights ministry was not given much attention or focus in the past and other ministries poached on its domain with impunity. When the PM made me the minister in charge of this ministry, it was assumed it was a sign of being sidelined from the mainstream, especially in the issue-areas I had spent…

India-Russia S-400 Deal: Regional Implications

Three years ago, in December 2015, India approved the purchase of the Russian-made S-400 Triumf air defense system, an anti-ballistic missile, anti-aircraft system, with the aim of deploying five of the batteries against China and Pakistan. Last week, after multiple rounds of negotiations, India and Russia closed the deal at close to USD 5.2 billion with an official announcement…

Deterrence Stability In South Asia: Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

In a 2014 article titled “To Sea or Not to Sea: A Nuclear Triad in South Asia,” I had argued that nuclear weapons at sea would help strengthen deterrence stability in South Asia–quoting Professor Mario Carranza, the article highlighted that acquiring a second strike capability would ensure “stability of the balance of terror.”  In light of recent developments…