July

India & Iraq: facing realities

Although Iraq has been a particularly good and politically supportive friend to India, and has episodically been the top oil supplier to India in the past, relations between the two countries began to lose momentum in the wake of US policies after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Finally, India lost interest in Iraq after the US invaded it in 2003 — so much so that there was no Indian ambassador in Baghdad from 2005 to 2011.

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A tool for targeting India?

On the face of it, Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Jama’at-ud-Da’wah amir Hafiz Muhammad Saeed — whose organisation is thought to be a front for terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (L-e-T), and who is believed to be the mastermind behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks — appear to have little in common. They are poles apart in looks, behaviour and background. Saeed hates politics, while Sharif thrives on it. Saeed is close to the ‘Deep State’ (the Pakistan Army and the ISI); Sharif is trying desperately to be free from the clutches of Rawalpindi.

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