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An aerial view of Mumbai during nation-wide lockdown in wake of coronavirus pandemic, 25 March | PTI

Jayant Sinha: Coronavirus will change the world like 9/11 and 2008

The coronavirus Pandemic Period suggests we need to provide national healthcare freely to all. Your health is suddenly my problem.

18 years after Sept 11, we live in a post-post-Cold War world

Since the mid-2000s, Russia's Vladimir Putin has structured his politics and regime around the idea of the American enemy and the danger posed by free societies.
Al-Qaeda

Al Qaeda recruited 40,000 new fighters since 9/11 attacks. Clearly, the US Army failed

Despite a US-led global “war on terror” that cost US$5.9 trillion, killed an estimated 480,000 to 507,000 people and assassinated bin Laden, al-Qaeda has grown and spread.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani in New Delhi | Shahbaz Khan/PTI

India being kept out of Afghan-Taliban peace talks is a return to pre-9/11 geopolitics

India’s Afghanistan efforts face a hesitant Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special envoy for Afghan peace who seems to be keeping New Delhi at bay.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan

$20-bn US aid is nothing compared to the price Pakistan paid during ‘war on terror’: Imran Khan

Here’s what’s happening across the border: US senator Rand Paul insists no aid to Pakistan until Asia Bibi is freed, Pak Hindu senator figures in BBC 100 Women list.
Security forces on guard in Afghanistan (Image used for representational purposes) | Commons

Trump shows interest in private firm’s idea of privatising the war in Afghanistan

Profit making motives will subsume national strategic objectives if the Afghanistan war and the US fighting forces are privatised.

Ex-ISI chief on why terrorism is as hard to define as pornography

Asad Durrani served as a three-star general in the Pakistani army and headed the ISI between 1990 and 1992.
Saudi women take a selfie picture at a mall.

The tricks Saudi Arabia can teach India on making Muslim life modern

As post-oil Saudi Arabia undertakes transformative changes, there is a lesson for not only the other Muslim countries, but also for India.

Osama bin Laden’s greatest strategic success wasn’t just 9/11, it was re-energising disparate Islamist groups in South Asia

In their second essay, Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark, authors of the new book “The Exile: The Flight of Osama bin Laden”, explain how Osama helped stitch together and re-focus the scattered jihad front groups in South Asia. (You can read the first part here)  ADRIAN LEVY & CATHY SCOTT-CLARK A popular line drawing of Osama bin Laden, one advanced by himself, was of a messianic desert dweller, an ascetic who also was content to live in caves, and who was as impoverished as he was miraculous in beating the odds and winning against the West. However, he was also an extraordinary networker, a gifted snake-oil salesman, who calculated the impact of his reputation upon every relationship he sought to cement. Work on Osama bin Laden’s least talked about, and most brilliant project, began eight years before 9/11. Then Masood Azhar, a plump cleric from Bahalwalpur, in the Pakistan Punjab, started agitating in...

On Camera

Representational image | Pixabay

Scuba divers are turning plastic waste in the oceans into Covid face masks

Diving organisation PADI has teamed up with a watersports clothing company to recycle bottles recovered from the ocean to make a range of face coverings.

Refining industry enters ‘age of consolidation’ with ‘catastrophic’ margins

A refinery thrives on the price difference between crude oil and fuels like gasoline, earning a profit that’s known in the industry as a cracking margin.

Defence

File image of Indian soldiers in Ladakh | By special arrangement

No de-escalation in Ladakh yet, but some forward movement could be expected this week

India and China have agreed on an initial de-escalation plan and a 72-hour observation window to make sure steps agreed upon have been taken on the ground.
Illustration by Soham Sen | ThePrint

It’s time for China, Pakistan, even India to rethink the fantasy Modi called expansionism

India, China and Pakistan all want territory from another. But it’s a pursuit doomed to fail as they can’t get it without annihilating the other.