• 30 June, 2022
Foreign Affairs. Geopolitics. National Security.
Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain (Retd)
Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain (Retd)

Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain (Retd), PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM* former Commander of Indian Army’s Srinagar Corps, focuses on trans-national and internal conflicts in Asia and the Middle East with particular emphasis on issues revolving around radical Islam.  He is the Chancellor of Central University of Kashmir and speaks extensively at Indian and international institutions on a wide variety of subjects revolving around strategic affairs and leadership. He is presently a Member of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Articles Lists

The Significance of India’s Continued Presence at G7 Summits

In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic and the economic havoc it has wreaked on the world, everyone's concern is about stability, to return to a situation of normalcy and ensure recovery.  Thus, the G7 summit at Schloss Elmau, the picturesque venue in southern Germany, is mostly about recovery fro

Indo-Pacific: The Quad Summit Returns Focus to the World’s Biggest Potential War Theatre

How much the world is nearing a catastrophic confrontation and how intimidated China feels about the response to its coercive aggression in the Indo Pacific, was made evident by the fact that even as the just concluded summit of the Quad was ending in the Japanese capital Tokyo, two warplanes each f

J&K : Is There a Serious Threat to Today’s Good Times?

It is always good to review the security situation in regions which have faced major internal security challenges in the past. In the case of J&K, which suffered intense terrorism for over 30 years, the situation continues to remain a developing one because the Pakistan sponsored proxy war launc

India’s Transformational Diplomatic Leap into Europe

I cannot recall India’s relations with Europe, as a whole, ever being anything more than transactional. Despite the Indian public’s fascination for Europe and the US, it’s only the latter who could develop a deeper relationship with India, now progressing on the strategic platform. Although In

Living with Geopolitical Unpredictability : India’s Current Strategic Challenges

The last two years have seen geopolitical turbulence of higher intensity than what one can remember any time in the recent past. Perhaps the period 1989-91 was comparable, as the Cold War order was then imploding and the Soviet Union was giving way to the formation of 15 independent republics. The F

Imran Khan’s Sinking Ship and its Impact

Pakistan’s reputation as a democracy just got retrieved after the Pakistan Supreme Court in its judgment turned the clock back, just as it should have.  The Opposition and the Bar Council had filed a case in the Supreme Court against the refusal of the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly to

The Chinese in New Delhi: Indicators of an Altering World Order

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited New Delhi on 24 March 2022, against the run of geopolitical play, adopting a visit format generally frowned upon by India. He decided to fly in after spending some time in Pakistan and came via the Kabul route, thus ostensibly returning the subcontinent to

Mid-Course Through the Ukraine Crisis : Lessons for India

As an international crisis which has led to a high profile conventional war scenario, the first in the last 19 years, the Russia-Ukraine war is drawing the focus of analysts from multiple domains. It's a scenario which has links to diplomacy, war fighting, economics, humanitarian affairs and much mo

War in Ukraine : Miscalculations Galore

Those who stick out their necks early in developing military and geopolitical situations many times tend to eat crow. I have experienced this over time but yet continue to repeat the folly. In most earlier analyses I had assessed that Putin would not go to war over the Ukraine issue because he could

Can a Pulwama or an Uri Occur Again?

February appears to be a month of anniversaries of events in J&K. On 14 February was the third anniversary of the IED attack near Pulwama on a CRPF bus bringing personnel from leave; 40 brave hearts lost their lives in that incident, making it one with the highest casualties in a single event in

The Ukraine Standoff and its Larger Global Impact

When Ukraine erupted as a geopolitical issue in 2014 there were competing international events and geopolitical stories which were moving parallelly in those times. As the narrative progressed the Russian moves on Crimea also drew serious concerns of the international community, as much as its attem

Warmongering in Europe :  The NATO-Russia Standoff Over Ukraine

Just recently Russia tried a good but very old method of psychological warfare. It widely publicised how many quarts of human blood of different types was being sent to the ‘war front’ as mass casualties could be expected if it were to decide to invade Ukraine. It was a loud message that Russia

Pakistan’s J&K Allegations in London: Ridiculous, but Never Underestimate

When ‘hybrid’ is the strategy a nation indulges in, its intent is to exasperate, break, frustrate and defeat the adversary, and no stone is left unturned to achieve that. Any and every domain available is exploited to probe in a bid to create openings and feel the weak spots. The reported Pak

Pakistan’s National Security Policy: An Analysis

A National Security Policy (NSP) paper has recently been released by Pakistan purportedly after working seven years on it through a vast consultative process. There are two parts of the policy, a classified portion and a public document. The latter, about a 50-page document attempts to address Pakis

In the New Year China Initiates Its Well-known Strategies

2022 began with a couple of events occurring at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). An exchange of sweets at some of the friction points took place reportedly after a long gap; a supposedly good tension reliever with a message of goodwill which did not achieve its intent beyond a single day. Immediate

Punjab on Pakistan’s Scanner : The International Connect With a Burning Indian Internal Security Problem

I have not followed Punjab’s politics too avidly for quite some time now.  However, with even basic knowledge and experience of serving there in the heyday of militancy and terror, my current hypothesis is that the state is being systematically subjected to a form of externally sponsored proxy co

In Troubled Times a Russian Call is Welcome

President Putin is visiting India at a significant time although it’s a part of the Annual Indo-Russian Summit, the last of which was held in 2019. In 2020 it was given a pass due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  Reflecting back, 2019 was a different world; it is surprising how the dynamics of inter

Kashmir : The Negative Spiral Returns

There are certain characteristics in insurgencies or terror campaigns, and the counter operations undertaken to neutralize them, especially in the Indian context. The belief emanating from my Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism (CI/CT) experience is that the propensity of the security forces (S

Regional Meeting of NSAs, A Timely Initiative

One of the prime reasons for the timely initiative on Afghanistan taken by India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) is the serious effort by both Pakistan and China to deny an Indian role in Afghanistan, post the US withdrawal. Among Pakistan’s multiple aims of treating Afghanistan as its backyar

Drone Attack on Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa Al Khadimi Will Complicate Iraq’s Complex Politics

For fairly long the attention of the world has been focused on Afghanistan and the various shenanigans related to the Taliban 2.0. A presumption seemed to prevail that all was quiet in the Middle East. With the US drawing down its forward presence, relative attention and preparation for its shift of

Contextualizing The Poonch Operations : Time Delay in Completion is Inevitable

The recent operations against terrorist presence in the Bhata Dhurian forest area north of the Rajouri – Surankote road in the Poonch sector, began on 11 October 2021. It almost immediately led to a contact with an undetermined number of terrorists in which five brave hearts were Killed in Action.

Challenges of Disaster Management in India

13 October each year is marked as the day that celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face. It’s only appropriate that we in India use the occasion to enhance aware

The Iran Factor in Post Afghanistan Geopolitics

Common belief in geopolitical circles has always considered Iran, with its Shia orientation, as being completely opposed to the Taliban because of the obscurantist Sunni ideology that the latter follows. However, Shelly Kittleson, a journalist focusing on the Middle East and Afghanistan writes –

The Afghanistan Kaleidoscope

As Afghanistan becomes more complex one is tempted to recall events in memory which caused similar confusion. None qualifies more than 9/11 when the world was really stumped; terror, lawlessness and rogue behavior seem to be all pervading and which way things would move remained uncertain. With the

The Pakistan TLP Phenomena

The Pakistan TLP Phenomena Pakistan always presents such profound options to the weekly columnist. Yet, the last two weeks have actually been beyond all expectations. From turning down trade with India to witnessing yet another imploding situation with the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan or TLP, earlier