Watch | 'Forget Dubai, Most West Asian States Are Weak and Violent': Talmiz Ahmad

Former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE, Talmiz Ahmad discusses the real situation in West Asia beyond the rosy pictures painted of the region's most opulent areas.

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While the glitz and glamour of places like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Bahrain are often enticing, what does West Asia really hold in store, beyond these Gulf metropolises?

According to Talmiz Ahmad, former Indian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates and author of the recently-released book, West Asia at War: Repression, Resistance and Great Power Games, the reality is often startlingly different to the picture in most people’s minds.

According to Ahmad, West Asian states lacking the support of their people, often become tyrannical.

Ahmad, who is currently the Ram Sathe Professor of International Studies at Symbiosis University in Pune, says, “After 100 years, not a single Arab state provides for any modicum of popular participation in state decision-making. National financial accounts remain non-transparent and without accountability. Though oil wealth is depleting, its revenues are still used to back state efforts at co-option and coercion – the latter now becoming more open, more crude, more vicious … and more frequent.”

Watch Ahmad’s interview with The Wire‘s Karan Thapar to know more of what has to say about the situation in West Asia.