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US policies toward India and Asia need strategic coherence

President Donald J. Trump is on his first official trip to Asia, with stops in Japan, South Korea, China, and now Vietnam, for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) summit. In his address to the APEC CEO Summit, he outlined his stamp on Asia statecraft, which includes a vision of upholding a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” However, the United States cannot achieve that goal without strong Asian partnerships—including with India.

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Inside, Oustide

The Uri attacks have returned India-Pakistan relations to an old and familiar groove. India blames Pakistani terrorists. Pakistan denies the charge, instead proposing that India’s oppression in Kashmir fuelled the attack on the army camp. This clash of narratives is unlikely to end. But as India contemplates its response, it may be worthwhile to look at how the world of scholars is analysing the relationship between the Pakistani state and its non-state armed groups.

India can’t use Brics to raise stature till interests with China don’t converge

However, India needs to tread with caution and avoid all controversial issues that could lead to friction. It would be best if the issue of South China Sea is not discussed, though China would seek support for the same from its fellow members. Similarly, India should not bring up the issue of non-support by China for India becoming a member of the nuclear suppliers group. But it would in India’s favour to discuss the issue of India’s growing trade deficit with its major trading partners including China and seek for a gradual solution to the same with efforts from both the sides to ensure that trade takes place is a fair manner.

Water as weapon: Risks in cutting off Indus water to Pakistan

Let us therefore ignore the fact that the Indus Treaty has worked better than some of our domestic interstate ones, and through wars at that; put aside ethical considerations, since it is indeed true that the Treaty is premised on mutual goodwill; and ignore the fact that cutting off water would be a crime against humanity no less deplorable than terrorism. If all’s fair in war, that still leaves interconnected practical and strategic considerations.

Not in India's corner

Following the Uri terrorist attack, attention has turned to India-Pakistan tensions, with the government mulling over options. The government hopes to mobilise the international community to pile pressure on Pakistan and ‘isolate’ it as a state sponsoring terrorism. In reality, though, the crisis in J&K has only become more complicated.

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