Maj Gen Ashok Mehta

Convenor, India Policy Group on Afghanistan

He was commissioned in 1957 into the Indian Army, Gen Ashok K Mehta joined the Fifth Gorkhas and attended the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, US and the Royal College of Defence Studies, UK. He is founder-member of Defence Planning Staff and his last assignment was General Officer Commanding IPKF (South) Sri Lanka.

Gen Mehta has fought in every war and counterinsurgency operation that India has engaged in between 1957 and 1991, except the 1962 war when he was on a peacekeeping mission in Congo.

He is former Director, Security and Political Risk Analysis and consultant, Indian Defence Review. Currently he is Advisor Security Watch India. Gen Mehta is involved in a number of dialogues and peace processes: India-Pakistan, India-Sri Lanka, India-Nepal and a trilateral – India-Pakistan-Afghanistan. He is the convenor of a new regional dialogue exploring a regional approach to a post 2014 Afghanistan.

He has been Defence Editor, Sunday magazine, and a regular columnist for Indian and foreign publications including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and Far Eastern Economic Review. He is regular radio and TV commentator. He’s been anchoring regularly a TV panel discussion since 2001 on regional defence and security issues called Defence Watch. He’s a frequent participant in regional and international conferences on counter terrorism, conflict prevention and post-conflict peace building.

He has written two books: War Despatches – Operation Iraqi Freedom (Haranand Publications, 2004); and The Royal Nepal Army: Meeting the Maoist Challenge (Rupa and Co, 2005). He is working on two others: Operation Parakram: the War That Never Was; and IPKF in Sri Lanka 25 Years On.