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.

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

Sherman Vows No Hyphenation, Heads For Pakistan

New Delhi : Shortly before she emplaned for Islamabad after rounding off talks in Delhi, Wendy Sherman, US deputy secretary of state, made an important point to her hosts: “We have no interest in returning to the hyphenated India-Pakistan relationship. But we all need to know what is going on in Afghanistan, we all need […]Read More

US Pragmatic On China But Underscores Challenge, Pushes Cooperation

NEW DELHI: Visiting US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman underscored the pragmatic view in Washington on relations with China. “We will compete with China where we should, cooperate with China where it’s in our interests. We will challenge China where we must – where it undermines interests of ours, and our partners and allies, […]Read More

Australia Outlier as France Readies To Kiss And Make Up

NEW DELHI: It seems France and the US are ready to kiss and make up: Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be in Paris on Tuesday for talks with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, “to identify the steps that will be needed to re-establish confidence between our two countries,” the French foreign ministry said. […]Read More

Quad Joint Statement: Reading Between The Lines

NEW DELHI: For a grouping that has never issued a joint statement, the one produced at the end of the first Quad leaders summit in Washington DC, appeared to make up for the earlier absence. It struck all the right notes, whether on “free and open Indo-Pacific”, the “rules-based order” and “Asean centrality. “ Nothing […]Read More

Victory Is Sweet But Trudeau Remains In Minority

NEW DELHI: It was a bittersweet victory in the end for Justin Trudeau. The Canadian prime minister who called a snap election two years after he was elected to the top post in 2019 won, but in the end failed to convert his minority government into a majority. Though votes are still coming in and […]Read More

‘Jagmeet Factor’ Could Be Key To Canada’s Election

NEW DELHI: India faces the distinctly uncomfortable prospect of a Sikh with Khalistani leanings playing kingmaker in Canada if Monday’s election does not result in a party with a majority. To be sure, Jagmeet Singh of the National Democratic Party is not an unknown quantity, given his support for the Liberal Party government of Prime […]Read More