What’s India Thinking This Week?

The Research & Analysis section of The Dispatch features original ideas, research work, analysis, and commentary on a wide variety of subjects by some of brilliant minds in India’s growing community of strategic thinkers. In this newsletter on Saturdays, we bring to you a range of pieces selected by our Editor from those published across the week.


Dichotomies in Pakistan’s approach towards Pakistan-occupied Kashmir

By Priyanka Singh
For decades, Islamabad has adopted a discriminatory and dichotomous approach towards the occupied territories of Jammu & Kashmir, or the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). The so-called ‘Azad’ Jammu & Kashmir is neither Azad (independent) nor sovereign. It has been given a false accreditation of independence with a separate president and prime minister who merely function as agents of Islamabad. Similarly, Pakistan has denied Gilgit Baltistan of a definite political status given its disputed status. This issue brief analyses Islamabad’s condescending approach towards PoK and its people and points to the failure of the international community at large to take into account this reality. [Read the full story here]

Time to leverage the strategic potential of Andaman & Nicobar islands

By Amb. Sujan R. Chinoy
In recent years, India has adopted a proactive policy aimed at transforming the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a tri-services command, as an economic hub and one of the key centres of its defence and security strategy. A focused development plan for the Islands is expected to greatly enhance the country’s geopolitical leverage in the Indian Ocean Region. This policy brief recommends the opening up of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the friendly navies of the US, Japan, Australia and France, among others, in order to promote greater naval cooperation. [Read the full story here]

Pakistan’s CPEC obsession: Boon or Bane?

By Yaqoob-ul Hassan
Since its inception, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has evoked a lot of interest among the policymakers, analysts, and strategists around the world. While the ruling elite in Pakistan considers it a boon that would transform Pakistan’s future, many analysts have viewed it as a Chinese game-plan to turn Pakistan into a permanent colony, a rentier-cum-client state. Others in Pakistan have called it a debt trap and a neocolonial ploy. Senator Tahir Mashhadi, chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Planning and Development of Pakistan, has termed CPEC as “another East India Company in the offing”. [Read the full story here]

Beijing’s soft diplomacy in West Asia in times of COVID-19

By Nagapushpa Devendra
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that emerged from Wuhan in China in December 2019 has engulfed almost every country in the world. Critics accuse the Chinese Government of hiding information and mishandling the deadly virus. Some countries, led by the United States (US), have even called it the “Chinese virus”. They have also accused the World Health Organisation (WHO) of collaborating with China and providing misinformation about the spread of the virus. However, most of the countries have avoided getting into the politics of it. The European Union (EU) had to tone down its report on China’s state-backed “global disinformation campaign” on the issue, as it feared that China might retaliate by withholding the much-needed medical supplies. The West Asian (or the Middle East) countries too have largely stayed out of the blame game and remain neutral. [Read the full story here]


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