Afghanistan seems to be torn between hope and despair. The fate of ‘New Afghanistan’ will largely depend on the commitment of the international community to support the ongoing process of transition and stabilization.
Nawaz Sharif’s sentiments for better relationship with India are laudable in spite of being still premature. There are constituencies within Pakistan for whom Kashmir continues to remain the core issue but the bigger challenge is whether Sharif will be able to bring the army on board.
The External Affairs Minister has returned back from his visit to China. Despite this seemingly happy ending to the sordid border incident, inconvenient questions about China’s intentions and assertiveness persist.
Struggling to deal with a rigid China on the intractable border issue, India would do well to digest the core assertions of the white paper, including the growing reach of the PLA, its professionalisation, keenness to protect overseas interests, modernisation of the nuclear arsenal, and growing role in foreign policy making.
BRICS is not challenging the existing world order. It is seeking a place in the sun for developing countries. It is looking at alternative approaches but there is no desire to seek confrontation with the West.
Indian planners would be cautious about an open US embrace as India does not want to be drawn into a US containment policy, which is how China perceives US rebalancing.
Muchkund Dubey's book on India's foreign policy is quite different from similar books written in recent times. Most books either reveal a nostalgia for the Nehruvian past or reject it altogether.