Singh Survives Trust Vote

It looks like Indian PM Manmohan Singh has handily won today’s “trust vote” in the Indian Parliament. The vote was triggered by the departure from the governing coalition of the Left Party following Singh’s decision to present the U.S.-India Nuclear deal to the IAEA for its seal of approval. Singh now has a governing majority, but no guarantee that the IAEA and Nuclear Suppliers Group will sign off on the deal in time for it to be ratified by the U.S. Congress. Nevertheless, the vote does clear him to pursue those groups’ approval, which will be essential for any subsequent […]

U.S.-India Nuclear Deal Follies

It looks like William Burns has pulled double duty, because according to this report from The Times of India, he’s stopping over in Vienna for today’s IAEA briefing on the U.S.-India nuclear deal before continuing on to Geneva for tomorrow’s talks on the Iranian nuclear program. Meanwhile, The Hindu reports that one of India’s opposition parties has demanded that PM Manmohan Singh promise to withdraw the safeguard agreement from the IAEA should his government lose next week’s confidence vote. The demand comes in the wake of rumors that Singh plans to forge ahead with the deal even if next week’s […]

The Central Asia Sweepstakes

Now that the world is paying attention to Asia, what is Asia paying attention to? Central Asia. Specifically, Central Asian energy, according to this post over at China and India are both making big pushes not only to secure oil and gas supplies, but also to establish military bases and defense agreements, and the scramble for a toehold in the region has broader strategic implications: “The global order is re-dividing into roughly two de facto blocs — one has the US at its core and the other has Russia-China at its core. Energy is the major dividing line between […]

India’s Opposition & the 123 Agreement

For anyone interested in the state of play of Indian politics regarding the U.S.-India nuclear deal, this interview with the main opposition (BJP) party leader L.K. Advani from The Hindu is worth a read. Unlike the Left Party, which until this week was part of the government majority and opposes any strategic relationship with the U.S. on principle, Advani expressed his party’s desire in the post-Cold War era to develop a more solid relationship with the U.S.: I said several times that India and the USA are the two major democracies of the world — one the strongest, the other […]

Ain’t Over til the Fat Lady Singhs

According to this WaPo article, the clock will most likely run out on the U.S.-India deal before Congress has a chance to approve it. But if you think that means that Indian PM Manmohan Singh has jeopardized his government coalition for nothing, think again. Because once the deal has been approved by the IAEA and the Nuclear Suppliers Group, India will pretty much have a clean bill of health to pursue nuclear deals with third parties, like France and Russia. Indian public opinion will probably be easier to win over, a third party deal would put fewer constraints on Indian […]

U.S.-India Nuclear Deal

According to this article in The Hindu, Indian PM Manmohan Singh’s gambit to push through the U.S.-India nuclear deal could squeak through, but his margin for error is pretty slim. With the Left Party formally announcing its intention to leave the governing coalition, Singh is depending on votes from the Samjwadi Party to survive a vote of confidence he has called for later this month. But the math is tight: The Left’s decision, though expected, set off a flurry of political maneouverings with the government, which have 230 members in the Lok Sabha without the Left, asserting that it had […]

Indian Embassy Blast

You’ll recall a few weeks back that Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened to send Afghan forces across the Pakistani border to pursue Taliban insurgents if Pakistan didn’t start addressing the problem. Now, in the aftermath of the suicide bombing attack on India’s embassy in Kabul, a spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry declared, “We believe this attack was carried out in coordination and consultation with an active intelligence service in the region.” That’s a pretty strong, if veiled, accusation, one that’s not without precedent. But the fact that the target in this case was apparently India’s military attache in Kabul […]

India Nuke Deal Back On?

Indian PM Manmohan Singh has decided to stake all the marbles on the U.S.-India nuclear deal, risking his coalition government in an effort to push the deal through. The Left parties, which have opposed the deal all along, are already planning to follow through with their threat to leave the government. Singh is counting on the Samajwadi Party to hold off early elections and see the deal through. M K Bhadrakumarat at Asia Times Online describes Singh’s hardball political calculations here. What’s surprising is his reasoning: He is personally convinced of the imperative of transforming India’s foreign policy and of […]