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... Several years ago, I wrote that the Palestinian problem wouldn’t be resolved, at least in my lifetime. Now, I have even less time left — and the problem’s resolution has become even more unlikely. I came to this conclusion after a brief recent visit to Ramallah, the capital of Palestine. I was invited by Nasser Al Kidwa, president of the Yasser Arafat Foundation, to the inauguration of the Arafat museum. Ramallah itself has grown almost three times in about 10 years since my last visit as India’s special envoy for the Middle East. Five-star hotels and restaurants dot the city. The people are prosperous but there is deep unhappiness with continued Israeli occupation. ...Indian Express on Nov. 19, 2016, 12:42 a.m.
...According to current international law, there are only two scenarios in which armed intervention by one state in the territory of another is permitted: With the authorisation of the UN Security Council or in self-defence. All other use of force is illegal. The Security Council’s authorisation comes in the form of a resolution under Chapter VII of the Charter. Thus, the American intervention in Afghanistan in 2001 was legitimate since it had been approved by the Security Council whereas its invasion of Iraq in March 2003 was illegal since it did not have the UN’s endorsement. As for the right of self-defence, it has been strictly defined in Article 51 of the Charter. This right is available only in the event of an attack by another state. It cannot be invoked in anticipation of an attack. India’s surgical strike carried out in the early hours of September 29 is justified on two counts. ...Indian Express on Oct. 10, 2016, 12:06 a.m.
...The delegations of the 193 countries in New York were stunned at this unprecedented action of a member state to renounce a seat on the most important organ of the UN, after having worked for two years to get elected.The Saudi delegation in New York had been celebrating the election success and in Riyadh, too, there was jubilation.The Saudi ambassador had even said in a statement that "we take this election very seriously and accept the responsibility to contribute to this important forum to maintain peace and security".All the other delegates, this writer included, were no doubt delighted to have the opportunity to speculate and pontificate on the real reasons behind the Saudi decision, apart from or in addition to those outlined by the government in Riyadh. ...Indian Express on Oct. 24, 2013, 4:38 a.m.
...Saran and Sharma specifically refer to my piece as having highlighted prestige as the motivating factor behind our overt weaponisation, but I did not, in my article, refer to the prestige factor at all.I did talk about nuclear weapons in the context of their cost.The argument that nuclear weapons were less expensive than acquiring massive conventional weapons was very much part of the discourse during the 1960s.I was personally present at several internal meetings when K. Subrahmanyam himself had put forward this argument, among others.It is true that our superiority in conventional weapons did not prevent the wars with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971.It would not be accurate to claim that we had overwhelming conventional superiority in 1947. ...Indian Express on Oct. 9, 2013, 1:34 a.m.