The Political Role of Sufi Mystics in Afghanistan

The Political Role of Sufi Mystics in Afghanistan

Since the Taliban swiftly took Kabul in August, Afghans and Afghanistan watchers have been grappling with what the shape and nature of the new government will be and how it will replace the former republic. There is little hope left…

Bhutan and Northeast India: Subnational Diplomacy Possibilities

Bhutan and Northeast India: Subnational Diplomacy Possibilities

The growing strength of India and Bhutan’s relationship over time has been commended as a model for enduring goodwill between the neighboring states—with state-to-state diplomacy between Thimphu and New Delhi showcased as the success story of friendship. However, despite the…

SAV Q&A: Ismail Khan on Afghanistan, the Taliban, and the TTP

SAV Q&A: Ismail Khan on Afghanistan, the Taliban, and the TTP

On September 6th, 2021, Pakistani senior journalist and current Editor at Dawn in Peshawar Ismail Khan spoke with SAV Managing Editor Brigitta Schuchert on issues related to Pakistan's role in Afghanistan after the Taliban's recent takeover of the government, militancy…

The Rohingya Exodus: South Asia’s Predicament

The Rohingya Exodus: South Asia’s Predicament

Since the mid-1900s, periodic outbreaks of hostility and violence have led large numbers of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to seek safety in neighboring countries. In August 2017, violence broke out as the Myanmar army launched an offensive against the Rohingya…

Turkey and the Taliban: Past Tensions and Future Trajectories

Turkey and the Taliban: Past Tensions and Future Trajectories

On Friday, Turkey’s President Erdogan announced that Turkey had held its first talks with the Taliban in Kabul, with subsequent reports noting that Turkey and the Taliban were drafting a deal where Turkey and Qatar would operate the Kabul airport…

Reflections from Afghanistan

Reflections from Afghanistan

Editor's Note: Afghanistan is experiencing a critical juncture in its history. The United States has withdrawn from their longest-ever war, the government has withered away, and the Taliban have taken control of most of the country, including Kabul. Tired of…

India and Sri Lanka: Subnational Diplomacy Dynamics

India and Sri Lanka: Subnational Diplomacy Dynamics

Sri Lanka’s foreign minister Jayanath Colombage has described India as “part of the family,” and suggested that, like siblings, the two share many similarities and occasional disagreements. However, the current state of ties is complicated, especially given Sri Lanka’s increasingly…

States in Action: Federalism and Foreign Policy in India

States in Action: Federalism and Foreign Policy in India

In 2012, the Italian defense minister met the chief minister of the Indian state of Kerala requesting him to allow the trial of two Italian marines in Rome who were allegedly caught killing fishermen from Kerala in Indian waters. Kerala…

India’s New Consulates and Subnational Diplomacy in South Asia

India’s New Consulates and Subnational Diplomacy in South Asia

Following the Taliban’s sudden takeover in Afghanistan in August, India closed its five diplomatic missions in the country. However, this was a rare exception to India’s recent trend of expanding its diplomatic network in South Asia. Our ongoing research finds…

Looking in the Rearview Mirror* of the Afghanistan War

Looking in the Rearview Mirror* of the Afghanistan War

*The author debated whether mirror or window was best and decided mirror since it requires self-reflection. The reviews, recriminations, and accusations on the U.S. role in Afghanistan have already begun. Many will likely focus on the last year or two…

The Islamic State Khorasan Province: An Enduring Threat

The Islamic State Khorasan Province: An Enduring Threat

The Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) terrorist group continues to make headlines in Afghanistan as the United States completes its withdrawal from the country. On August 26, ISKP carried out a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport that killed around…

Nepal and a Feminist Foreign Policy

Nepal and a Feminist Foreign Policy

In July 2021, Ratnanagar Municipality in Bagmati Pradesh enacted a policy that banned women with children under the age of two from going abroad for foreign employment. The local representatives reasoned that children were deprived of maternal care when mothers…

The Limits of Leverage in Taliban-Led Afghanistan

The Limits of Leverage in Taliban-Led Afghanistan

Editor's Note: This piece article was originally published on Lawfare, and has been republished on South Asian Voices with the permission of the editors. As the United States withdraws from Afghanistan and ends its longest war, Afghan citizens are bearing…

Hazaras in Afghanistan Face Genocide post-U.S. Withdrawal

Hazaras in Afghanistan Face Genocide post-U.S. Withdrawal

In May 2021, three explosions at Sayed-ul Shuhada high school, located in a mainly Hazara neighborhood west of Kabul, rocked the city, killing nearly 100 students and wounding 150 others, overwhelmingly teenage girls under 18. The attack was followed by…

Biden’s India Engagement: Six Months On

Biden’s India Engagement: Six Months On

July 2021 marked not only the first six months of Joe Biden's presidency, but also U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s first official visit to India. The secretary arrived in Delhi on July 28, where he met with Prime Minister…

The Escalatory Risks of India’s Integrated Battle Groups

The Escalatory Risks of India’s Integrated Battle Groups

In recent years, changes in the Indian military have made escalatory risks and the nuclear factor loom larger in the event of any military confrontation. These changes are threefold: a shift to integrated battle groups (IBGs) from corps-sized formations, a…

The TAPI Pipeline in Post-U.S. Withdrawal Afghanistan

The TAPI Pipeline in Post-U.S. Withdrawal Afghanistan

With the U.S. departure and Taliban advances across the country, the future of Afghanistan’s political stability is increasingly in question. Foreign forces are expediting their withdrawal—at times doing so unannounced and without the awareness of the Afghan government or forces.…

Russia’s Growing Outreach to Pakistan: Should India be Concerned?

Russia’s Growing Outreach to Pakistan: Should India be Concerned?

“Today Pakistan is an important foreign policy partner of our country. The cooperation between Moscow and Islamabad is based on the coincidence or similarity of positions on most of the problems facing the world community, including issues of strategic stability…

The Politicization of Social Media in India

The Politicization of Social Media in India

The 2014 general elections—regarded as the “First Social Media Election” in India's political history—kickstarted a social media revolution in Indian politics. Before the 2009 general elections, Shashi Tharoor, a Congress MP who had previously served as UN Under-Secretary-General, was the…

India’s Quest for Image Management Through International Broadcasting

India’s Quest for Image Management Through International Broadcasting

India’s state-owned broadcaster, Doordarshan, is set to embark on a global expansion with a new Doordarshan International broadcasting channel, as per a recent Expression of Interest (EoI) by Prasar Bharati, India’s Public Service Broadcaster. The government is inviting project report…

Sealing the Durand Line Undercuts Pakistan’s Support for Democracy in Afghanistan

Sealing the Durand Line Undercuts Pakistan’s Support for Democracy in Afghanistan

As the U.S.-withdrawal from Afghanistan is expected much earlier than the September 11 deadline, Pakistan has been actively publicizing its fears about a “protracted civil war” ensuing in a post US-withdrawal Afghanistan. In a June interview with the New York…

Losing the Narrative War in Afghanistan

Losing the Narrative War in Afghanistan

With the U.S. withdrawal and rapid advances by the Taliban, the intensity of the Afghanistan conflict has reached unprecedented levels. In such escalated crises, society is polarized to an extent where pointing out government failures or any criticism of government…

Rethinking Nuclear Security: The Case for an Elite Nuclear Force in India

Rethinking Nuclear Security: The Case for an Elite Nuclear Force in India

“Good security is 20 percent equipment and 80 percent people.” Eugene Habiger Head of Security, US Department of Energy Since the early 1960s, India has embraced nuclear energy as a perennial source of power underwriting its development trajectory. After a three-decade-long…

Across the Fence: Cyber Solidarity Between India and Pakistan

Across the Fence: Cyber Solidarity Between India and Pakistan

In April this year, Twitter was flooded with messages from Pakistanis expressing solidarity with Indians during the (still ongoing) second wave of COVID19. The outpouring of compassion not only stood in contrast to the usual hyper-nationalistic vitriol between the self-proclaimed…

Fencing the Afghanistan-Pakistan Border

Fencing the Afghanistan-Pakistan Border

The Afghanistan-Pakistan border in Chaman, Balochistan has been the site of persistent skirmishes and deadly border clashes between security forces and citizens. In November 2020, a clash between security personnel and local traders claimed the life of a 14-year-old boy…

Politics over the Pandemic: An Uphill Battle in Nepal

Politics over the Pandemic: An Uphill Battle in Nepal

Over the past year, and more so in recent months, Nepal's ongoing political disorder has put the pandemic and response to natural disasters—including landslides and forest fires—on the backburner. The state government and political leaders have continued to prioritize political…

Reflections from Afghanistan

Watch the SAV Webinar: From Gender to Geopolitics 

In this South Asian Voices webinar, run jointly with the Kubernein Initiative, experts from across the subcontinent examine what a “Feminist Foreign Policy” framework means for the subcontinent and how this approach could make policymaking related to defense, geopolitics, trade, health, and the environment in South Asia more inclusive and effective. 

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