South Asia Institute Grant to study Mumbai’s metro system

I’m a few months behind on updating this blog, but in December 2012, I received a grant from Harvard University’s South Asia Institute to study the development of Mumbai’s mass transit infrastructure, in particular the planning and construction of Metro Line One.
Here’s a brief report I wrote for SAI summarizing my research.
This research served as a basis for a chapter I later wrote on Mumbai’s regional transportation infrastructure for a Harvard Graduate School of Design and Volvo Foundations project on “Transformations in Urban Transportation.”
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Paper in the World Affairs Journal – India and Pakistan’s Afghan Endgames: What Lies Ahead?

A few months back, the World Affairs Journal commissioned a piece on Afghanistan. The paper discusses New Delhi and Islamabad’s roles in Afghanistan—and the burgeoning cooperation between the two countries.

For a long time, Afghanistan was a battle ground in which India and Pakistan tussled. But more recently, as the two countries are increasingly focused on new horizons—particularly India, which is looking beyond South Asia for its strategic needs—Afghanistan appears to be less zero-sum than it once was; India and Pakistan are starting to cooperate over trade and stabilization of the region. More than mere political posturing, we’re seeing structural change in that direction. In fact, we may be seeing the beginning of an India-Pakistan detente.

Please see the entire paper at

I eschew any responsibility for the less-than-creative title.

Posted in Afghanistan, Central Asia, Diplomacy, India, Pakistan, South Asia, Strategy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Case for Indian Islam – Article in Pragati

I’ve got a new article in Pragati Magazine that discusses an important form of Indian soft power: Indian Islam.

In The Case for Indian Islam,” I discuss how India’s Muslims have lived under stable, pluralist democracy for decades, and argue that they ought to reclaim their syncretic narrative and project it to the rest of the Islamic world. This narrative is particularly important during this time of tumult, awakening, and recalibration in the Muslim world known as the “Arab Spring”.

The piece is available at and in-text below.

Continue reading

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“India’s Involvement in the Sudan” – Article in Pragati Magazine

I’ve got a new article out in Pragati Magazine that discusses “India’s Involvement in the Sudan.” It argues that India’s engagement in the region—from investments in energy infrastructure to its involvement in a peace process between Juba and Khartoum—demonstrates an important union of New Delhi’s strategic interests and ‘soft’ power.

It explores a potentially important role India is playing in the political and economic development of Africa, particularly South Sudan’s development, burgeoning independence, and peace process. The article is available here and below. Continue reading

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Op-Ed in the Christian Science Monitor – “America’s way out of dependence on Pakistan: Iran”

The Christian Science Monitor recently asked me for an op-ed on US-Pakistan relations.

“America’s way out of dependence on Pakistan: Iran” argues that America’s very dependence on Pakistan is the key source of regional instability, amounting to US support for a Pakistani military-economic complex that churns out militants and is the world’s worst nuclear proliferator. To change the tide, it ought to enlist the support of an unlikely ally: Iran, whose eastern Chabahar Road can help wean the world off its dependence on Pakistan and reorient Afghanistan’s future.

The article’s available here or in full at

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Article in the Huffington Post – Do Abrahamic Faiths Have a Monopoly on Truth?

I’ve co-authored a slightly more personal piece in The Huffington Post with one of my best friends, Colin Christopher. It discusses one of the main sources of religious conflict in the world: the idea of exclusivism, and how some religions feel they are superior to others.

The article is available at the Huffington Post’s website, here.

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Op-Ed in the Christian Science Monitor – 4 Ways US and Iran can make nuclear talks work

The Christian Science Monitor recently asked me to write a short piece on the recent nuclear talks with Iran. From America’s perspective, these talks have been about the nuclear program. But from Iran’s point of view, there can be no resolution of the nuclear program without resolving Iran’s broader insecurity. Ultimately, these talks must be a part of a broader realignment of the US-Iranian relationship. I outline four ways to move forward: acknowledge assumptions; reconcile interests, not positions; remain committed to a process of diplomacy; and include participants that can bridge the gaps.

The article’s available here or in full at

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