Renewed military tensions in the disputed Kashmir region are once again underscoring how even localized incidents there can subvert important diplomatic initiatives between India and Pakistan. Skirmishes this past January put the brakes on the détente process that picked up steam last year. The current round of fighting has led to a rising chorus in India demanding that New Delhi rebuff efforts by new Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to put the process back on track. These calls are understandable enough – indeed they have a parallel in the running U.S. debate about whether to get tough with Pakistan over its behavior in Afghanistan (examples here, here, here, here and here). But they are nonetheless misguided. Continue reading
India exemplifies Adam Smith’s classic observation about there being “a great deal of ruin in a nation.” Pessimism about the country’s prospects is now widespread, though it’s important to remember that India’s retains amazing potential. Far-sighted leadership is in short supply, however. As Indians gather to celebrate Independence Day, a re-dedication to the ideals Jawaharlal Nehru set forth in his “Tryst with Destiny” address is necessary.