International

Afghanistan: Taliban on the Offensive

THE fortnight long capture and occupation of the northern Afghan city of Kunduz by the Taliban has further exposed the frailty of the central government in Kabul. Kunduz is the fifth largest city in Afghanistan with a population of more than 300,000. The Taliban in a surprise attack had caught the Afghan security forces, trained and equipped by the West, apparently by surprise. On September 28, a few hundred Taliban fighters attacked the city from different directions and quickly captured the city. According to reports, they had many supporters who had infiltrated into the city.

Modi Faces Protests during UK Visit

THERE has been growing unease and apprehension among the 1.7 million Indian diaspora in Britain ever since it became known in July that Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi would be visiting the UK. The visit has evoked mixed emotions and polarised opinions. This was the first visit in over a decade by an elected Prime Minister of India, representing 1.2 billion people, to the shores of Britain. Ordinarily, this would have been universally welcomed. But the fact that this individual was the controversial figure from Gujarat, was most unwelcome.

Syria: Decisive Russian Role

WITH the West standing aside and preferring to be a virtual bystander as the carnage in Syria goes on unabated and the refugee crisis intensifying, Moscow has decided to step into the void to find a solution. Russian political support and military aid have been crucial for the government in Damascus as it withstood the military onslaught that was financed by the West and its allies. In the last two years, the situation on the ground has changed with American trained Syrian militias either surrendering or decamping with their weaponry to the Islamic State (IS) or the Jabhat al Nusra.

The Hajj Stampede: Saudi Impertinence

SAUDI Arabia's domestic and foreign policies are both coming under critical international scrutiny. Even domestic voices of dissent are getting louder as the new royal dispensation carries on with its relentless targeting of Yemen and the encouragement of a sectarian agenda in the region. The Saudi imposed war on Yemen has been going on for five months. The infrastructure of the Arab world's poorest county has been destroyed and it is the civilian populace which has borne the brunt.

Refugee Crisis: Incoherent European Response

WITH the exodus of refugees to European shores showing no signs of receding, the European Union (EU) is facing a crisis that could threaten its very survival. Schengen visa rules that allow passport free travel in EU countries have been suspended. Border controls have been re-established and fences have reappeared on the continent for the first time since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Europe so far has responded woefully to the refugee crisis, the biggest since Second World War. European authorities were no doubt caught by surprise by the sheer scale of the migration.

US Exposed As Russia Intervenes in Syria

THE war in Syria took a significant change with the entry of Russia. Russian president Vladimir Putin in his address to the UN General Assembly on the occasion of its 70th anniversary, questioned US hegemony and its uncalled for interference in the internal affairs of sovereign countries. Two days after, on the request of Syrian government, Russian air force began its targeted attack on ISIS. This, according to many commentators brought about a qualitative change not only in the Syrian war and the situation in West Asia, but also in the entire international relations.

Malaysian PM under Mounting Pressure over Corruption Scandal

A POLITICAL storm has been buffeting Malaysia's prime minister, Najib Razak, for the last couple of months. A corruption scandal, whose magnitude has dwarfed previous scams, has galvanised the people in many cities, including the capital, to stage massive anti-government protests. $US700 million from the State run investment fund called the 1MDB allegedly found its way into the personal bank account of the prime minister. The story first surfaced in July this year.

Conference of Asian Political Parties on “Silk Road”

FROM October 14-16, 2015, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China convened a special conference of the Asian political parties with the specific agenda of the reestablishment of the ancient “Silk Road”. Apart from the large Chinese delegation, 66 parties from 32 countries of Asia participated in this conference including many heads of State/governments. From India four parties were invited – CPI(M), CPI, BJP and Congress. Specific invitations were addressed to the general secretaries of both the CPI(M) and the CPI.

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