Vivek : Issues & Options

New Pak Army Chief: Nawaz Sharif Gambles on Old Criteria

Out of all the names being tossed around as the possible replacement for Gen Ashfaq Kayani, it is the dark horse – Gen Raheel Sharif – who has finally been appointed as the Pakistan Army’s 15th chief. Apparently, Gen Sharif’s name was on the panel of names forwarded by Kayani to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif; but he was never the favourite. The grapevine was that Nawaz Sharif, who has had a run-in with all the army chiefs he has worked with in his previous two tenures as Prime Minister, would stick to the book and go by the seniority criteria.

Western Discourse on Pak Nukes Exposes ‘Double Standards’ Vis-a-Vis India

It certainly cannot be the cooler days in Delhi that has attracted, in recent weeks, so many concerned western ‘experts’ to the capital, to discuss the abstruse-to the Indian public-subject of “strategic stability” in Asia/ in the sub-continent. Ahmed Rashid, the celebrity commentator on the Af-Pak region, has recently written in the Financial Times that they-the West-should “Beware Pakistan’s small nuclear weapons” and this kind of reporting perhaps is causing some of the excitement.

Expert Committee Report on Patna Blasts

Report of an Expert Committee on blasts in a political rally in Patna on October 27, 2013 and Recommendations for strengthening security measures

Click here to read full Report

Populism and Emotional Blackmail in Indian Elections: Time to Grow Up

India is a representative democracy, a republic which is socialist and secular and in which the Preamble of the Constitution and Article 19 guarantee the fundamental right of freedom of speech and the freedom to form associations or unions. These can be political, which means they would be political parties, social, welfare oriented, religious or even groups of friends with common interests. In a representative democracy, elections are fought on the basis of political parties and this finds legal recognition in the Representation of Peoples Act 1951.

In Memoriam: John F Kennedy

The historical record sheds positive light on JFK

It is fifty years since the assassination of President Kennedy, and time to explore his Presidency for what it might have done for Indo-US relations, had he lived longer. What follows is an Indian perspective dealing with JFK’s role in South Asia. He was President at a critical time, particularly because of the India-China War, and what follows is an examination of his policies in a crucial period in the subcontinent’s recent history.

Patna Blasts – Implications Under Assessed

The serial blasts that took place in Patna’s Gandhi Maidan on October 27, 2013 during BJP’s Hunkar rally was an event whose seriousness and implications have not been fully fathomed.

India-China Relations: Hype and Hoopla?

We have a tendency to overstate the positives of our relations with China and downplay the negatives. This creates the impression that our ties are better than they actually are, and that the problems are either not as bad as they are made out to be or are more manageable than is thought. Since our most difficult relationship is with China, we have to be very careful in how we project it. It should be as close to reality as diplomacy permits so that the public at home is not misled or encouraged to be complacent, and observers abroad are not confused about where we stand.

Mangalyaan, Vibrant Symbol of India’s Growing Prowess in Space Exploration

For a country that was badly in need of a good news, the spectacularly successful launch of India’s Mars Orbiter Mission Mangalyaan on Nov.5 came as a heart warming development that overwhelmed Indians with a sense of ”joy and pride” .

China’s Assertiveness in South China Sea: Vietnam’s Response and Implications for India

Brunei Darussalam recently hosted two summits from 08 October to 10 October 2013. The first was the ASEAN summit which was held on 08 and 09 October followed by the East Asian summit on 10 October 2013. The Chinese President Xi Jinping was the most prominent dignitary present in these meetings as neither the American or Russian Presidents were present. Naturally the issue regarding South China Sea (SCS) did not generate much heat and the Sultan of Brunei noted good momentum between ASEAN countries and China over the conflicting territorial claims in the SCS.