For the first time, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India has initiated “The MEA Distinguished Lecture Series on India’s foreign policy.” Though Indian diplomats consistently speak at foreign university campuses and to think tanks around the world, this is the first time that MEA has undertaken such an exercise internally.
Vigorous use of India’s soft power resources — films/film stars, music, fashion, cricket, writers, academics — can, over a period, bridge the trust deficit at people-to-people level and goad the decision makers to take the plunge and transform decades of hostility in to neighbourly peace.
The hockey heads of Pakistan and India are attempting to renew ties later this year in the wake of last month's successful "cricket diplomacy." Efforts are underway between the federations of the two countries, who have not played in a bilateral series since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, to play matches in both countries.
The return of cricket diplomacy raises an intriguing question: How can India use its considerable soft power—its dominance of South Asian sport, movies, music, television and publishing—to address the rise of Islamist fundamentalism in Pakistan?
In the subcontinent, there is really only one religion that unites India, Pakistan and Bangladesh: cricket.
A front-page story in Pakistan's The News today reports that new WikiLeaks cables have confirmed what reads like a laundry list of Pakistani suspicions and grievances against India...The only problem is that none of these cables appear to be real. The Guardian, which has full access to the unreleased WikiLeaks cables, can't find any of them. The story, which ran in four Pakistani newspapers, isn't bylined and was credited only to Online Agency, an Islamabad-based pro-army news service.
Let’s begin with a quiz. What and where is Gwadar? Few people can answer that today, but some in the know believe that within 20 years, it will become the next Dubai.