India-Pakistan: The Beat Goes On

Yesterday I mentioned that India had successfully test-launched an undersea missile. Today the head of Pakistan’s navy declared that the test would trigger a regional arms-race. (There are some doubts as to whether China has already mastered the technology.): “We are aware of these developments, and these developments are taking place with a view to put nuclear weapons at sea and it is a very, very serious issue,” the state news agency quoted him as saying. Of course, having tested three nuclear capable missiles in the past year, Pakistan is hardly in the position of pointing the finger.

On the Uttar Pradesh-Bihar frontier, the chungi system is alive and well. One of the most unnecessary legacies of British colonialism, no less than five kilometers of trucks — those colorfully decorated and melodically horned belching beasts, overloaded with everything from steel beams to sacks of flour — sit idle, waiting to show their permits, sales tax chits, and other sheaves of documents to corrupt officers. My mother and I are on a nostalgic road trip from Delhi to Calcutta, driving on both emperor Akbar’s famed Grand Trunk road and its newest incarnation, the much touted “Quadrangle” project of major […]

Gang of 123: Biden, Kerry & Hagel in India

As Jason Motlagh pointed out in a recent WPR piece, the US-India nuclear deal (known as the 123 Agreement) is being held up in India’s parliament by the communist members of Indian PM Manmohan Singh’s governing coalition. There are also some hurdles to be cleared with the IAEA regarding an “uninterrupted supply” clause which India insists on including in its IAEA agreement. Beyond that, the deal has its share of detractors in the non-proliferation community, who worry about its potentially destabilizing impact on the NPT regime. All of which makes it kind of odd to see Senators Biden and Kerry […]

Earlier this year, the Republic of the Congo became the 183rd state party to join the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which forbids the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, transfer, and use of chemical weapons (CW). In addition, the Indian media recently reported that the Indian government had eliminated over 90 percent of its chemical weapons, suggesting the country should fulfill its requirement to eliminate all its CW by April 2009. While welcome, these developments should not obscure the continuing difficulties facing the CWC as its April 2008 review conference approaches. Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter, head of the Organization for the Prohibition of […]