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Afghanistan’s mineral wealth catches Trump’s eye


The Ghurian iron mine in Afghanistan’s Herat province is a perfect pilot investment target for a proposed US/Uzbekistan mining venture underwritten by the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), according to Dr Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi, chief adviser... More

Amit Shah’s ‘migrant termites’ speech echoes leaders around the world who orchestrated...


Speaking at rallies in Rajasthan and Delhi this month, Amit Shah called Bangladeshi migrants “termites” that are eating away at India. “Are you bothered because of illegal immigrants in Delhi or not?” the Bharatiya Janata Party president... More

China didn’t cause Pakistan’s financial crisis but it should play a role...


Pakistan faces another balance of payments crisis and may again head to the International Monetary Fund for help. China and its Belt and Road Initiative have been blamed – unfairly – for the crisis, but the real... More

If Your Name Is Shahrukh, the Tricolour Is No Longer Allowed to...


You can carry the tricolour on a kanwar yatra, wave it from motorcycles. You can even drape the bodies of those who have committed violence against Muslims with it. But you cannot look towards it for shelter. Can... More

India’s muddled South Asia policy


Energetic and proactive: These were the words used to describe the foreign policy of the Narendra Modi government that came to power in May 2014. Nearly four years and four months since the swearing-in ceremony that saw leaders... More

As India’s Ganga runs out of water, a potential food shortage looms


Millions of people living in the lower reaches of the Ganges basin in India may face food shortages in the next three decades if the iconic river continues to lose water due to factors such as unsustainable... More

Diplomatic enclave: Newer ties


This year is the year for elections in South Asia and has already brought unexpected electoral changes in all three elections held in 2018. From Nepal to Pakistan and most recently in Bhutan, which has just conducted... More

India’s shrinking democratic space


With less than a year to go before we head into general elections in the summer of 2019, it is becoming evident that this will be no ordinary electoral contest between the BJP and the rest because... More

In India’s tribal-dominated NE, caste poses fresh challenge


If the idea of minority is central to democracy, the principle of equality is critical to the Constitution of India. Inherent in that principle of equality are the provisions for reservation of appointments or posts and affirmative-action... More

Major Gogoi’s hotel escapade exposes vulnerabilities of women in Kashmir


“What goes on between two consenting adults is not anyone else’s business,” said a high-ranking army officer while commenting on the recent indictment of the controversial army officer, major Leetul Gogoi, posted with the Rashtriya Rifles battalion,... More

Modiji, welcome to the Great Indian Chauraha that you had ordained


If the Prime Minister keeps his promise to turn up at a public square and face the consequences of demonetisation, a sneak preview of what lies in store was provided by Rahul Gandhi on Thursday (August 30)... More

Pakistan’s US challenge

Notwithstanding Geography and Geopolitics, the epitome of measuring national power is the leadership, national character, and morale. Pakistan now has all three. This is a development that shall bode well for Pakistan’s engagement amongst the comity of... More

NRC issue has the potential to disturb peace in Assam


The recent controversy over the exclusion of 41 lakhs of the total 3.29 crore applicants for the National Registrar of Citizenship (NRC) in Assam has left more questions than answers. The NRC, first of its kind in India,... 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... More

In the US-China trade war, Pakistan and the global economy will be the...


The year 2017 ended on a positive note, with some major economies leading the “broadest synchronised global upsurge since 2010”, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Markets reacted positively to the improved global economic outlook, giving... More

Is India creating its own Rohingya?


On July 30, four million residents of the Indian state of Assam were effectively stripped of their nationality after their names were excluded from the recently formed National Register of Citizens. Indian authorities claim to have initiated and... More

What the student protests mean for Bangladesh


I reached out for my copy of Willem Van Schendel’s A History of Bangladesh on Wednesday last week, almost two weeks after the beginning of the student-led protests against unauthorised vehicles and unlicensed drivers on the roads... More

Afghanistan and the issue of transnational conspiracy


The deplorable statistics of drug addicted people in Afghanistan exceeded one million and the poppy growth almost doubled, since the international community call for counter-narcotics. The most outrageous in this context is, that one third of the... More

TV journalist says he was instructed to not mention Modi


A former news anchor at an Indian television news channel has alleged he left his show because of censorship and pressure from the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government. His show, called Masterstroke, often aired reports that looked into government... More

As bachcha andolan rocks Bangladesh, is Sheikh Hasina still India’s best bet?


After Awami League government’s brutal handling of a children’s protest, charges of unbridled corruption, a rush of Chinese money in polity, and gratuitous attacks on Hindus beneath secular talk, India must rethink whether we continue to back... More

Looking deeper into Bangladesh’s teen revolution


Tens of thousands of teenagers crippled various major cities of Bangladesh for three days in a row in protests against the country’s lawless transportation sector. The movement started when two students were killed by a commercial bus... More

COLUMN

Modi now looks vulnerable 

The BJP has tried to make all elections in India go the presidential way – Narendra Modi versus the rest. The results of elections in five states, which became clear by December 11 evening, may not change that but the Modi magic suddenly appears to be fading. It is not just the election results in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, where Modi campaigned extensively before the polls. The stunning resignation... More

Beijing increases pressure on Myanmar to open up economically amid Western...

China is increasing its pressure on the Myanmar government in an effort to consolidate its strategic position in Beijing’s march westward. China is also trying to capitalise on Myanmar’s increasing disaffection with the West, and the opportunity offered by the latter’s own cautious realignment and recently developed strategic vision, with the newly launched ‘Look East’ policy. A number of high-power senior Chinese government officials have visited the capital Naypyitaw, all... More

Trump’s melodrama vis-à-vis Pakistan meets ground realities

The Trump administration's renewed push to seek Pakistan's help in bringing the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table comes as a striking contrast to what the US president had only very recently said in one of his interviews about Pakistan not doing anything in Afghanistan to help the US win the war, or even get out of it. Coming from a president who is famous for his unpredictable habit of... More

Imran Khan needs better advisers

One of the central problems of Imran Khan’s government is the quality and commitment of his range of advisers, not only for day-to-day politics but for short and long-term decision-making processes. The PM has been more than once given the perception of taking off-the-cuff decisions through speeches and interviews. Even good advisers do not matter until there is a due process for diligence and analysis to not only sort... More

In Bangladesh, a poor politician is of no use to anyone

In Dhaka’s swirling political speculations and gossip, the latest is about who among the electoral candidates is wealthy and who is not. On paper, many have declared their wealth and almost none have been found credibility among the public. They know that to survive in politics you need to make and spend a lot of money which, going by wealth levels, would be impossible. Politics is not just about power... 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

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