New Delhi shies away from confrontation with Beijing

China has become an increasingly influential driver of India's foreign policy decisions. Four of the last five foreign secretaries were formerly India's ambassadors to China and one of them rose to become the national... More

Budget 2018: Why record harvests, Govt spending not enough for Indian farmers

 Indian farms produced record harvests in 2017, and the government’s agricultural budget rose 111% over four years to 2017-18. Yet, prices crashed, 8,007 farmers committed suicide in 2015, unpaid agricultural loans rose 20% between... More

India’s geopolitical bluff baffles China

All 10 leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathered in New Delhi on Thursday (Jan 25) for the India-ASEAN summit and the following day's Republic Day celebrations. As a milestone of... More

Modi talks of diversity in Davos but presides over a regime of...

If you have been led to believe that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at the World Economic Forum was an ode to diversity, you need to go through his speech again. His long discourse... More

‘SAARC can learn from ASEAN’

One of Singapore’s best known diplomats and now an academic, Kishore Mahbubani’s latest book The ASEAN miracle advocates a Nobel peace prize for the regional grouping. Ahead of the ASEAN-India 25th year commemorative summit... More

India needs to re-calibrate its neighbourhood foreign policy

In early May 2009, the then Indian ambassador to Nepal, Rakesh Sood, invited a few of us visiting journalists from India for breakfast to his office in the Indian embassy. Sood was then facing... More

Only 1 in 1,000 Indians lives in area with clean air: New...

In 2015, only one in 1000 Indians lived in areas where particulate pollution did not exceed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) safe levels for fine, toxic dust particles called PM 2.5, according to a... More

India’s flirtation with the ‘war talk’ has Nuclear war clouds hovering over...

The Indian civil and military leadership’s irrational war-mongering could have disastrous consequences for the subcontinent in particular, and the South Asia in general. The flirtation with ‘nuclear bluff’ and ‘surgical strikes’ only thicken the... More

Bangladesh involved in sabotaging SAARC summit scheduled to be held in Pakistan:...

Pakistan’s foreign minister Khawaja Asif has said that Bangladesh was involved in sabotaging a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Conference (SAARC) head of states conference in Pakistan, Express News reports. The foreign minister was... More

GDP growth to slump to 4-year-low is bad news for Modi government

India's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow at 6.5 per cent this fiscal (2017-18) from 7.1 per cent last fiscal - a four-year low - according to the first advance estimates of... More

Grim year for BD economy

The economy of Bangladesh has come under pressure due to the banking sector crisis, inflation and soaring imports amid inadequate export earnings and insufficient remittance inflows, the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) said. The banking... More

‘We shall continue our fight against terrorism even without US aid’

In an attempt to ease tensions between US and Pakistan, Commander US Central Command (Centcom) General Joseph L Votel made a telephone call to Chief of the Army Staff General (COAS) Qamar Javed Bajwa.... More

‘Complex challenges’: will Pakistan become new Daesh hotspot?

The presence of Daesh in Pakistan has increased alarmingly over the past year according to a report released by the independent Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies. According to Pakistani officials, Daesh launches attacks from... More

An ominous new year for India

You’d think the Indian economy had returned to rosy health. It seems to have recovered from two enormous disruptions -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision just over a year ago to withdraw 86 percent... More

India sparks outcry over press freedom by naming reporter in probe on...

The Indian government named a reporter in a police complaint after she wrote an article alleging a data breach in a federal identity database, drawing criticism from a journalist group that accused officials of... More

No one will be classified as superior, says top Assam citizens register...

At the turn of the new year, the first partial draft of Assam’s much-awaited National Register of Citizens, updated for the first time since 1951, was released. The stated aim of the exercise is... More

Despite strains, silent progress in India, Pak talks

Pakistan has maintained high-level diplomatic contacts with the Indian establishment, even as New Delhi has maintained the rhetoric that terror and talks cannot go together. A proposal for early release of prisoners aged more... More

Chetna is the loser

There were moments last week when the high-octane media publicity over the visit by the wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav, Chetna, accompanied by her mother-in-law, to Islamabad was playing out, it seemed External Affairs Minister Sushma... More

Who killed Benazir Bhutto? The theories behind the murder

Ten years after former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, the first woman to lead a Muslim nation, was killed in Rawalpindi the unanswered questions about her assassination still fuel conspiracy theories. General Musharaff has been... More

Pak army chief wants good relations with India, but it takes two...

In a major gesture, Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa reportedly said the military was ready to back the political leadership’s initiative for normalisation of relations with India. Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa... More

Indian IT companies establishing firm presence in China amid receding US demand

In a first, India's IT industry has joined hands with Chinese authorities to establish the business equivalent of a marriage portal. The matchmaking platform will help Indian companies to obtain contracts at a time... More


Comey’s book and Pakistan’s leaders

James Brien Comey Jr served as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for four years till fired by President Donald Trump on May 9, 2017. Trump initially claimed this was because of Comey's mishandling of the investigation into the private email of Hillary Clinton. The overriding perception... More

UN says Nasheed’s trial was flawed, but Maldivian govt maintains it...

The UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), which went into the trial of former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed had listed the flaws in it and asked the Maldivian government to release him to enable him to contest the September 2018 Presidential election. But the government on Sunday rejected the UNHRC’s observations and recommendations... More

Bangladesh election 2018: is there a Sino-Indian stake?

It’s pretty odd to think that Bangladesh elections should be of any interest to China and India given the complete lack of its strategic value. However, Bangladesh maybe becoming a reluctant pawn of sorts in a regional ‘great game’. China’s rising influence in the region and India’s relative decline in what... More

Tripura’s new pitch for Geo-Economics

Biplab Deb is a BJP chief minister with a difference. In a 40-minute interview with this writer last week, he did not mention even once any of the usual saffron agenda -- Ram Mandir, beef, illegal migration from Bangladesh. "My agenda is development, development, development all the way," he... More

Myanmar readies for second face of reforms

Myanmar has reached a critical crossroads with the start of a new financial year and the beginning of the National League for Democracy (NLD) government’s third year in office. But concrete plans for accelerated economic and political reform are in the pipeline: the plans mark a return to the... More


Iran to team up with China on nuke development if Trump...

As US President Donald Trump decides whether to reauthorize the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which he has long wanted to exit or renegotiate, Iranian authorities have announced they will be getting help with their nuclear program from China. "Some negotiations have been held on mutual cooperation and building small nuclear... More

Pinarayi and Gadkari link up on development

The American think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, had featured a riveting ‘curtain-raiser’ to the 2014 poll in India entitled Does Good Economics Mean Good Politics In India? The essay appeared in December 2013 and I’d carefully stored it in my archives, as a fairly prescient analysis of... More

Mutual respect is the key

I will not reach any deal that would go against the national interest of Nepal,” K P Sharma Oli, the prime minister of Nepal, reportedly assured parliamentarians in Kathmandu earlier this week, before heading out to India. That such questions should be asked and answered is a definitive sign... More

Reviving Nepal’s independent foreign policy

The long political transition in Nepal has come to an end with the successful completion of local, provincial and federal elections. A new phase of history beckons Nepal as it has adopted federalism under the new constitution promulgated in 2015. The achievement of economic prosperity has now been prioritized... More



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 this demand. This has multifarious geo-political risks. If a Gorkhaland state is... More