As Professor Harsh V Pant noted in his end of year review for South Asia @ LSE, 2016 has been a year of dramatic changes in South Asia in the area of security and foreign policy. Our expert contributors analysed new trends and unfolding events throughout the year – below is a round-up of the most popular articles.
Following the Uri attack in September there have been calls for India to do away with the Indus Waters Treaty, the agreement which governs India and Pakistan’s use of water from the Indus rivers system. Drawing on his own research, Daniel Haines outlines the history of the Treaty, why it has been a source of contention since its conception and why scrapping it in the wake of recent tensions would be a mistake.
India has expressed its concerns about The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) but it does not have to power to stall the project between its neighbours. In this light Tridivesh Singh Maini writes that strategic actors in India would be well advised to take a longer-term view of the potential benefits of CPEC, although he acknowledges that current political climate makes it hard to contemplate strengthening India-Pakistan economic ties in the immediate future.
Following Prime Minister Modi’s comments about Balochistan in his independence day speech, Ashok Swain warns that open support for Baloch separatists will not solve the Kashmir conflict. What is more, he writes that by threatening its neighbour’s territorial integrity India risks alienating key allies, and in the worst case scenario intervention could result in a nuclear conflict which would threaten the lives and livelihoods of millions.
As the Taliban increase the tempo of violence in Afghanistan they face new competition from the rising Wilayat Khorasan
The recent attack on the Hazara Shiite community was claimed by ISIS, revealing the growing penetration of its Afghan affiliate Wilayat Khorasan. In this article, Sajjan Gohel discusses the significance of the latest attack, outlines the origins of Wilayat Khorasan and discusses the escalating rivalry between the new group and the Afghan Taliban.
Although Indian PM Narendra Modi’s electoral campaign has attracted endless analysis, his diaspora engagement remains relatively understudied. But Saanya Gulati writes that his speeches to Indians living abroad offer a useful case study on nation branding. She offers examples of how consistent messaging has been packaged for different audiences, and explores the rationale behind cultivating these audiences.
You can catch up with all this year’s Security and Foreign Policy articles via the archives here.
Cover image: The confluence of the rivers Zanskar and Indus. Credit: Pradeep Kumbhashi CC BY-NC 2.0
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