EDITOR'S CHOICE

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Will quota, citizenship moves help BJP? Here’s a health warning


The first full week of 2019 brought a rush of important news in quick succession. In a sudden move on Monday, the cabinet cleared a proposal to reserve 10% in government jobs and education for the economically... More

Mattis exit has worrisome implications for Asian allies


Allies from the Kurdish zone in Syria to Australia are left questioning US credibility, the Japanese/South Korea bulwark in Northeast Asia is rapidly imploding and Vladimir Putin is applauding as US President Donald Trump pulled out of... More

Winds of change in South Asian politics


South Asia has witnessed quite a few upheavals in the past few months that could have a lasting effect not only on domestic politics but on international politics as well. The election results in Pakistan, Bhutan and Maldives... More

China’s military must move beyond simple self-defence strategy, PLA says


Planners with China’s ground forces must not be caught out by the rapid evolution of warfare and technology in the 21st century and must prepare to move beyond a strategy of simple self-defence, the People’s Liberation Army... More

What game is Russia playing in Afghanistan?


Earlier this month, the Russian government hosted a much-awaited peace conference on Afghanistan, which was attended by representatives from the Taliban. After the event, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was photographed posing next to members of the... More

Who profits from the end of the mid-range nuclear treaty?


The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved its Doomsday Clock to only 2 minutes to midnight. It might be tempting to turn this into a mere squabble about arrows and olives if this wasn’t such a... More

In Jammu and Kashmir, the road to disaster


We have a new governor of Jammu and Kashmir, a new chief secretary, a new director general of police and a new adviser on security. The best outreach to the people of J&K (especially the Kashmir Valley)... More

New Silk Roads define brand China


The New Silk Roads symbolize way more than high-speed rail lines crisscrossing Eurasia, or a maze of highways, pipelines and port connectivity. They represent a Chinese alliance with at least 65 participating nations, responsible for 62% of... More

Why China buying up ports is worrying Europe


There is rising concern about whether China will use its commercial acquisitions of overseas ports for military purposes, under its drive to put civilian technology and resources to military use. Under its trillion-dollar “Belt and Road Initiative” –... More

US should push for political solution in Afghanistan


The war in Afghanistan has been long and costly for the United States. It’s gone on for nearly 17 years, longer than any other American war. We’ve spent about $1 trillion there, and we continue spending about... More

Trump is playing a dangerous Asian game


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had to do some elaborate diplomatic two-steps during their swing across the Indian subcontinent during the first week of September. And that goes way beyond simply... More

US-China trade war is helping boost use of yuan in international transactions


The trade war initiated by the United States is actually helping China achieve one of its coveted long-term financial goals – the greater use of its currency, the yuan, in international commerce and financial transactions. As of the... More

Sino-Russia military relations at ‘an all-time high’


Russia's President Vladimir Putin (center) reviews a military honor guard with Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 8, 2018. Photo: AFP Like most high-ranking military officers, Air Force... More

Afghan great game moves centre stage


Through the past week, the US-led Afghan war against the Taliban transformed as a struggle over engaging with the Taliban in peace talks. The US successfully stalled the Russian format on Afghanistan slated for September 4 in Moscow... More

Kofi Annan, the peacemaker who knew how to play big-power politics


Kofi Annan’s career was inextricably entangled with power politics. The former United Nations secretary-general, who died on Saturday, spent decades grappling with tensions between the organization’s members over crises from the Balkans to Syria. At times, he... More

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... 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... 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... 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... More

The PDP-BJP coalition was an unnatural and opportunistic alliance


The BJP pulled out of the coalition government and the other partner, the PDP, had no choice but to resign. The BJP pulled out of the coalition government and the other partner, the PDP, had no choice... More

India’s pivot to Eurasia


Sandwiched between U.S. President Donald Trump’s acrimonious public exchanges with other leaders at the G-7 (group of seven industrialised countries) summit (June 7-8) and the headline-hogging U.S.-North Korea summit (June 12), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit... More

COLUMN

By reaching out to Taliban, Iran makes presence felt in Afghanistan...

The very nature of the conflict in Afghanistan has made it almost impossible for the neighbouring countries to remain aloof from it or maintain some distance, even a calculated one. For one thing, the conflict is no longer just between the US and Taliban or the US and al-Qaeda. The ISIS, known as IS-K in Afghanistan, has established its presence, which has forced many countries—Russia, China and Iran—to change... More

The sorry state of Pakistan’s police

The imperial form of police infrastructure that Pakistan inherited was deliberately created to serve the British rulers rather than promote harmony, security and adherence to the law. The 1861 Police Act has never changed except for minor amendments. Even the new laws introduced by the provinces retain more or less the essence of the original imperial law. The persisting culture is to ensure that the weak remain subservient to... More

Bangladesh’s position on global terrorism index has improved: Australian agency CPES

An Australian outfit, Centre for Peace and Economic Studies (CPES), has stated that Bangladesh has gone up four positions in the global terrorism index, according to it’s ranking. Several other countries in South Asia have gone down in terms of vulnerability, including Pakistan and India. Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka have also improved their standings in this index. CPES has reported that introduction of modern education in madrassas, investment in... More

How the Taliban have become leading actor in Afghan peace talks

While the Taliban have established their domination both politically and militarily in almost half of Afghanistan, the consequent talks with the US and the way they have progressed show that they are already in a commanding position. They certainly have become the leading actor in these talks not just because they are the ones fighting the war against the US and Afghan forces, but also because they are directing... More

Exploiting Pakistan’s ‘Gold Coast’

The emerging markets of Central Asia require that a sea-land (south-south) dimension to support the north-south axis be added for expansion, otherwise all facilities and opportunities are likely to be clogged because of unplanned urban population expansion. The long coastline with stretches of virgin beaches and adjacent vast empty hinterland require well-planned commercial exploitation. It is personally satisfying that recommendations made in my articles of nearly three decades ago,... More

VIDEO-INTERVIEW

OUTCOME AND FUTURE OF BMISTEC? & WHAT’S ON THE BALANCE?


The fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), held in Kathmandu on August 30 and 31, was “not fruitful” because of the inherent “weakness” of the regional inter-state institution,... More

MOST POPULAR