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In Assam’s Barak Valley, Muslims fear the new citizenship bill will disempower...


On a foggy morning in January 2009, a small group from Lakhai Upazila in Bangladesh’s Habiganj district set out from their homes, laden with luggage. They walked for two days through thick jungles – 23 men, women,... More

Evaluation of democracy and forthcoming challenges to next government

The 14th National Assembly completed its term on May 31st, 2018. It is a landmark achievement in the democratic history of Pakistan. Now, Pakistan is preparing for the transfer of power to the next democratic government as... More

Who will win the 2018 elections?


The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) appears to be in trouble. Just two months away from the 2018 general election, the party has been hit by a wave of defections, with legislators and potential electoral candidates jumping ship... More

Is it Imran Khan’s turn yet?


Imran Khan, the 65-year-old cricket star-turned-politician has been striving for a better, Naya (newer) Pakistan for the last 22 years. Layering his speeches with witty jokes, the leader of one of Pakistan’s strongest political parties has mastered... More

Muslims in India don’t need political parties to be ‘pro-Muslim’


One of the important factors in Indian politics today is the plight of Muslims. There is no scope for their inclusion in the politics of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Going by the statements of Congress leaders, however,... More

Why Gilgit Baltistan should be a province of Pakistan


Connecting Pakistan with China and the Central Asian states, the Gilgit Baltistan (GB) region is the starting point of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is also the “flagship corridor” of China’s Belt and Road Initiative mega-project. Locked... More

Vigilantism is back


In the third week of April, in Haryana’s Gurugram district, members of right-wing groups claiming to represent the majority community, disrupted a namaz congregation in an open space, abused those offering prayers, and forced them to disperse.... More

Modi’s neighbourhood policy: Chronicling four wasted years


On May 26, 2014, while the media applauded and Indian, South Asian and world opinion welcomed Narendra Modi’s innovative move to invite heads of state/government from all South Asian governments to the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan to witness his... More

Competing for South Asia

China’s aggressive campaign to gather partners for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a trade corridor stretching from Russia to Indonesia, has left the world awestruck. A clear move to cement its superior position in Asia, it... More

India not just an onlooker in Korean affairs


Indian Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh's visit to North Korea last week is the first by a high-level Indian official in two decades. There have been few economic and trade exchanges between India and... More

India can no longer take the orderly transfer of power for granted


Vladimir Lenin famously said that “there are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen”. The last few days in Karnataka politics saw opposition unity in India accelerate by months, ahead of the 2019 elections,... More

Media against militancy


Pavel had idealized Kemal Attaturk all his young life, seeing him as the epitome of progressive Muslim leadership, transforming Turkey into the modern and powerful nation as it stands today. Then one day as he was leafing... More

Lake Placid


A correlation between the departure of one of India’s longest serving foreign secretaries, S. Jaishankar, and a visible improvement in Sino-Indian relations is lik­ely to be seen as a tenuous argument meriting an outright dismissal from seasoned... More

A new beginning for China-India relations could transform Asia


Although the most inescapable news recently was the historic summit between North and South Korea on April 27, a less covered “informal summit” across the Yellow Sea, and one likely to be of equal consequence, is the... More

The China – India – Nepal Triangle


While Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali was in China from April 16-21, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi asked India to be a part of new development projects in Nepal. “Whether it’s China or India, our two countries... More

Some home truths for India’s Defence Planning Committee


The failure of the recently announced Defence Planning Committee (DPC) under the stewardship of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval lies in its composition. Which member of the committee would dare tell Doval that his security and defence policies... More

‘There must be a new treaty, to the advantage of India and...


Weeks after the visit of Nepal’s Prime Minister K.P. Oli to New Delhi, officials say they are planning for a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Kathmandu and Janakpur in mid-May, before the end of the... More

Divisive agenda

Until recently, politics in West Bengal was dictated by ideology, development issues and muscle power. But the latest trends show a paradigm shift, with religion and identity increasingly taking centre stage. The recent communal violence in different... More

An update on the federalist debate in India


In recent days, numerous leaders in India’s South have spoken in one voice against the 15th Finance Commission — arguing that it is unfair to South Indian states. The bone of contention is a directive... More

Bhutan’s ‘Shangri-La’ caught between two rival superpowers


With its scenic mountains and stunning Buddhist monasteries on hilltops, Bhutan is a traveller's dream and described by some as the last Shangri-La - a mystical beautiful place where everything is perfection. The country's capital, Thimphu, is a... More

Development with a difference!


The ‘India vs. Bangladesh’ syndrome Economist Amartya Sen has often drawn comparisons among the South Asian countries, where Bangladesh is well ahead of both India and Pakistan in almost all human development indicators. That is apparently good news.... More

COLUMN

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 after PM Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping defused the long military stand-off at Doklam through informal summits and after... More

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

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

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READER'S VIEW

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 formed, this will... More

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