SOUTH ASIAN DIGEST

Bangladesh port authority grapples with China, S’pore, Korea, India proposals

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The Chittagong Port Authority in Bangladesh has sought government intervention to select suitable financiers as it grapples with late proposals from China, South Korea and Singapore to construct and operate the proposed Bay Terminal in addition to partial investment plans by India and Asian Development Bank. Officials of the shipping ministry and the port authority... More

Pak Army chief ‘expresses deep concern’ as violence in Afghanistan escalates

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Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday expressed "deep concern" over the rising number of violent incidents in Pakistan's westside neighbour, Afghanistan, that have led to the "loss of precious innocent lives". The "COAS reiterates that there is no support to any terrorist activity inside Afghanistan from Pakistan side," a press release issued by... More

No peace in Afghanistan if foreign occupation continues: Taliban leader

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The leader of the Taliban says there will be no peace in Afghanistan as long as the foreign “occupation” continues, reiterating the group’s position that the 17-year war can only be brought to an end through direct talks with the United States. In a message released Saturday in honor of the Eid al-Adha holiday, Maulvi... More

Bhutan’s LDC graduation likely to be deferred to 2023

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Bhutan has sought a deferral of its LDC (Least Developed Country) graduation year to 2023 from 2021. The United Nation’s Committee for Development Policy and the Economic and Social Council have approved the proposal. The proposal will now go to the UN General Assembly later this year for endorsement. Bhutan was recommended for graduation from the... More

Japanese defense minister to visit Sri Lanka amid China links

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Japan's defence minister Itsunori Onodera will visit Sri Lanka for the first time in history from August 20 to 22. The embassy of Japan said he will meet Sri Lanka's leaders also have talks with the State Minister for Defense Ruwan Wijewardene said. "He is also planning to have field visits outside Colombo," the embassy said... More

India in talks with Fiji for broader security support

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The Indian High Commissioner to Fiji Vishvas Sapkal today said that the Indian government is holding talks with the Fiji Navy on the possibility of providing broader security support to the island country. According to Fiji village website, Sapkal said they were working on with the Fiji Navy as part of a partnership to strengthen... More

Nepal calls for revitalizing SAARC to advance prosperity in South Asia

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Nepali Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on Wednesday stressed on the need for revitalizing the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to advance prosperity in the region. Addressing a function in the capital, the foreign minister expressed the hope that the SAARC can play a pivotal role in advancing prosperity in the South Asia... More

Suu Kyi meets Rakhine Investigation Commission to discuss work plan

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi met with a newly appointed commission charged with investigating alleged rights violations in Rakhine State on Wednesday to discuss the body’s work plan and select a secretary. The President’s Office announced the creation of the commission in May, following mounting pressure... More

Maldives election a two-horse race

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The 2018 presidential election will be a two-horse race between incumbent President Abdulla Yameen and joint opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu.’ Unlike the past two elections – when run-offs were needed as none of the multiple candidates secured above 50 percent – the outcome will be decided in the first round. Of the three who... More

TODAY'S NEWS

SUNDAY SPECIAL

India’s multi alignment challenge 


This is clearly the big diplomatic season for India and its travel-driven Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Chinese defence minister Wei Fenghe's visit to India (Aug 21-24) is a hugely important event, coming as it does... More

REPORTS

Pakistan and China: Will Imran Khan stick or twist?


Pakistan and China have been allies almost since the founding of the People's Republic by the Chinese Communist Party. And that alliance could hold the key to the administration of Pakistan's new... More

Doklam a year on: Bhutan more worried about Indian than China


Last week, an Indian parliamentary panel fluttered the dovecotes in Thimphu – Bhutan’s capital – by recommending New Delhi encourage Bhutan to deploy more soldiers in the disputed Doklam area, where a... More

New criminal law sparks press freedom concerns in Nepal


Nepal introduced a new change to its criminal code on Friday, making the sharing of information that's been deemed confidential by the authorities, a criminal offense in the country. The step by... More

President Yameen suspects India is in Maldives to keep watch on China


President Abdulla Yameen suspects that Indian personnel is in Maldives to keep watch on China, says Abhijit Singh, a former Indian naval officer. In an interview with Reuters, Singh, an expert on Indian... More

ECONOMY

India can double its per capita GDP in 30 years by turning more secular:...


If India discards religious beliefs that perpetuate caste and gender inequalities, it could more than double its per capita gross domestic product (GDP) growth of the last 60 years in half the... More

VISTA OF VIEWS

India should realize value of true friends


It is evident that Russia and China are coming closer. However, a new element is adding up in this matrix: Russia and Pakistan are also moving closer to each other. This should... More

ISSUES

India’s wrong step


India’s political divides increasingly look unbridgeable. Yet, when former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee died last Thursday, he was mourned even by those who had been his opponents in life, whether within or outside his Bharatiya Janata... More

Vajpayee’s Kashmir policy: Myth and reality


One of the biggest contributions of the late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vapayee is regarded his effort to seek resolution of Kashmir through a policy of accommodation with Pakistan and engagement with Hurriyat. But over the years,... More

How Bhutan’s monarchy is unique


Responding to one of the graduates' question on the form of monarchy in Bhutan before it was reinstated as the constitutional democratic monarchy at the ongoing National Graduates Orientation Programme (NGOP) in Thimphu, former chairperson of the... More

Rise of Imran spurs similar demands in Sri Lanka


Sparked by Imran Khan’s ascent to the Prime Minister’s chair in Pakistan, sporting fans in Sri Lanka have been quick to pitch their own cricket stars as prospective leaders. And going by social media endorsements, Kumar Sangakkara... More

DEFENCE

Naval Air: India falls farther behind China


China and India have both decided to expand their navies by building their own aircraft carriers. Both nations began by refurbishing Russian carriers before designing and building their own. China was able to refurbish the former Russian... More

New US training unit in Afghanistan faces old problems


Captain Joe Fontana, a team leader with the US army’s 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, is part of a new unit but he is working on problems that have been stubbornly familiar to American military advisers in... More

Storm of accountability gathers over Myanmar

The one-year anniversary of the state-sponsored mass killings, rape and arson that brutally expelled over 700,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar’s Rakhine state into neighboring Bangladesh is fast approaching, without any clear sign of resolution or accountability. On August 28, the UN Security Council is scheduled... More

COLUMN

To forge their peace, Afghan Taliban wage their war

While the latest Taliban attack on the city of Ghazni in Afghanistan has led many in the West, especially the mainstream media, to conclude that no peace talks with the Taliban can bring peace, these analysis seem to have completely missed the whole points of talks as they are going on: the Taliban are... More

Has digital media changed politics in Bangladesh?

Political nostalgia in Bangladesh centres around public and street agitations. It begins with the language movement of 1952 which defined the basic parameters of national aspiration. The next station of political memory is the 1962 student’s movement against Gen. Ayub Khan’s martial law regime imposed in 1958. It ended in 1969 with the most glorified... More

Accountability begins at home

A democratic form of government being accountable to the people, the elected representatives are accountable to the people who elect them. Our enduring constant crisis in governance stems from our inept and corrupt rulers trampling the essential pillars of good governance, rule of law and accountability. This gives rise to unbridled and widespread corruption,... More

Setting the tone for the Future

Without significant progressin the political scenefor years Imran Khan was mercilessly mocked by many, but none so viciously as Declan Walsh, the Guardian's former correspondent for Pakistan. He chosethe ultimate in ridiculing Imran in an August 31, 2005 articlewhen he called him "a miserable politician whoseideas and affiliations since entering politics in 1996 have... More

Bangladesh: A social media driven state?

It’s not easy to have a calm conversation in Bangladesh. Everyone is rushing to make a comment, observe and abuse. Or make a counter to all that. Anything that requires critical thought is discarded and the instant reaction is the most common form of response. In a society not unduly famous for pondering, Bangladesh... More

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Bleak times for freedom of expression, whether emergency or not

Its time to stop the nitpicking. All that hair-splitting about whether what we are witnessing in India today is classical fascism or not – stop it. The argument that this is not like the Emergency of 1975 – completely irrelevant. Those bookish notions belong to seminar rooms and academic discussions, where high-minded... More

India’s social-media ‘lynch mobs’ pose growing threat

Social-media platforms are often criticized for their susceptibility to toxic dialogue and vicious attacks. It is a problem that India knows well. Just ask External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, whose recent vilification by members and supporters of her own ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a case in point. Swaraj has developed a... More

The new trade order

Since the start of the year, U.S. President Donald Trump has lashed out at allies and adversaries alike on trade. Often, as with India, the U.S. has pushed for enhanced security cooperation at the same time it declared trade relations a national security threat. The belligerence has left many baffled. Some pointers A first... More

One day does not an election make

The much-awaited Gazipur city election is over, the “we-knew-it-from-before” polls results are upon us, the “impartiality” of the police and the “neutrality” of the civil administration have once again been demonstrated, the never-too-late-to-follow “certificate” of the Election Commission has been delivered and, of course, our democracy now stands “strengthened”. As some would have... More

MOST POPULAR

READER'S VIEWS

Gorkhaland, Mamata and the Chinese factor


Just a few days ago I warned two young student leaders in Darjeeling of West Bengal, against the violent movement which has started there for a separate Gorkhaland. I told them in no way should they support... More
August 2018
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‘He wouldn’t rest till he had got even’

The following is an extract from Indian journalist Karan Thapar’s book Devil’s Advocate: The Untold Story, published recently by HarperCollins India. It is a... More

Heritage walks in India that go beyond food

From exploring typography in Paharganj to watching the making of Pashmina in Kashmir, these experiences in India will make dull heritage walks a thing... More

‘Inequality in India has never been more catastrophic’: Anuradha Roy

Anuradha Roy is a fearless media commentator who views her country’s political situation with dismay. “Who among us does not have friends – men... More

‘Pakistan has always had very interesting relationships with other countries’:...

Few Pakistani diplomats have worked on as many important assignments as Riaz Khokhar has. He has been Pakistan’s envoy to Dhaka, New Delhi, Washington... More

‘Revelations beyond just paid news’

AN undercover operation code-named “Operation 136” by Cobrapost, a non-profit news website, has led to shocking revelations captured on video about the prevalence of... More

What is home? Indian and Pakistani artists explore the question...

Rashmi Kaleka’s family was one of the countless many which came to India from Pakistan during Partition in 1947 but never really forgot what... More

From atop the golden boughs

Some years ago Sheldon Pollock, master-scholar, philologist and historian, issued a dire warning about the state of scholarship in Sanskrit and other classical Ind¬ian... More

Anxious and angry

“OF all the terror cases in India, the Mecca Masjid case is a typical one, as it was once again Muslims who were terrorised.... More