South Asia and Beyond

Ashwin Ahmad

Traveller, bibliophile and wordsmith with a yen for international relations. A journalist and budding author of short fiction, life is a daily struggle to uncover the latest breaking story while attempting to be Hemingway in the self-same time. Focussed especially on Europe and West Asia, discussing Brexit, the Iran crisis and all matters related is a passion that endures to this day. Believes firmly that life without the written word is a life best not lived. That’s me, Ashwin Ahmad.

Scandal Prone UK Royals Need To Chart A Fresh Course

NEW DELHI: 2021 has turned out to be the Royal Family’s “annus horribilis II.” The word was first coined by the Queen in 1992 to describe a year where three of her children’s marriages ended in divorce and 100 rooms in Windsor Castle burnt down. What made it even worse was “Fergiegate” – when British […]Read More

Travels Of MBS Mirror A Trend In The Arab World

NEW DELHI: Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has never been one to shy away from the spotlight and with rumours persisting about King Salman’s ill health, all eyes are on the Saudi Crown Prince. MBS has added fuel to such rumours by increasingly receiving foreign dignitaries and attending regional summits, actions which some Middle East watchers […]Read More

Back To The Future: Modi, Putin Chart The Way Forward

NEW DELHI: Four hours and a record 28 agreements! President Vladimir Putin’s hurricane working visit to Delhi may have gone a long way in setting at rest frequently voiced doubts about the future of the India Russia relationship. “We needed to correct some of the negative narratives which were created due to the postponement of […]Read More

Security Czars Tell Taliban To Clean Up Its Act, Or

NEW DELHI: The Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan, which saw India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval host the security czars of Russia, Iran and the five Central Asian states, ended in Delhi on a fairly predictable note. The Delhi Declaration included all those familiar references to ensuring Afghan soil was not used for terrorism purposes; […]Read More

Modi’s Quiet Call On Pope Francis Ahead Of G20 Summit

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Modi had a quiet, one-to-one with Pope Francis at the Vatican just ahead of the G-20 summit on Saturday. There were no details immediately available as to what transpired and Modi’s comments conveyed even less: “Had a very warm meeting with Pope Francis. I had the opportunity to discuss a wide […]Read More

New Quad Broadens India’s Diplomatic And Strategic Options

NEW DELHI: The strategic policy community went into overdrive post the virtual meeting between India, Israel, UAE and US, with many going so far as to call it Quad 2.0. Some said it was aimed at China but the fact is, it’s too early to draw such conclusions. As former diplomat Anil Trigunayat argues, both […]Read More

‘An FTA With Israel By June 2022’

NEW DELHI: Delhi’s frenzied push for free trade agreements (FTAs) has zeroed in on another potential partner: Israel.  External Affairs Minister Jaishankar on his first visit to Israel since the government of Naftali Bennet took over, confirmed that negotiations would begin as early as next month. “Our officials have actually agreed on the resumption of […]Read More

Shia Cleric Ahead In Iraq Poll But Spoils Will Have

NEW DELHI: Firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has emerged as kingmaker in Iraq’s fifth national elections – held since the ouster of Saddam Hussein in 2003. But he may not be the only one. With 73 seats in the 329-seat parliament, Sadr will have to talk and negotiate with others on who could be prime minister. […]Read More