Sri Lanka’s not for sale

Most people in the island nation of Sri Lanka and its Asian neighbors were stunned last week when President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe — and replaced him with Mahinda Rajapaksa, the populist strongman who... More

Fear of Deportation Drives Some Rohingya Refugees from India

India's recent deportation of seven Rohingya men to Myanmar has triggered a panic among the country’s Rohingya Muslim refugee community. Since the seven men were deported in the past three weeks, many Rohingya refugees have gone underground in... More

The NRC process and the spectre of statelessness in India

As the game of citizenship acquires a larger hold over the power dynamic, the growth of statelessness in South Asia also becomes more pronounced. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah has threatened the nation that each... More

Geopolitical factors contributing to Afghan quagmire

Afghanistan’s strategic position between the Eurasian heartland and the Indian Ocean made it the focus of the “Great Game,” the historical competition between the British and Russian empires for geopolitical supremacy. During the Cold War, the Great Game... More

Thawing tensions in the Himalaya

In the last few decades, state-making projects have transformed life in the Himalaya. Infrastructure development intended for troop deployment along disputed borders has, more recently, enabled large-scale transport and extraction projects and a tourist rush in this... More

Prayagraj is now the official name, but Allahabad will live on in...

Allahabad officially became Prayagraj on October 16. That afternoon, jokes started circulating on local social media sites: “Where were you born?” “In Prayagraj.” “Which coach of Prayagraj?” For Prayagraj Express has so far been a popular train... More

In Pakistan, an ambitious effort to plant 10 billion trees takes root

When Mohammed Riasat, a government forest service officer, peers up at the majestic ridges around him, he sees small miracles others might miss: a few dozen pine seedlings that have sprouted in rocky, near-vertical cliffs or a... More

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


Hybrid warfare: Strategic coercion against Pakistan

While a globalised world was a cherished goal to bring people together, globalisation is increasingly used by one or the other country or group of countries to dominate the rest of the world by a violent process. Looking around we see wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen where the powers that be are trying to bend the power game towards themselves. Conventional wars are now more often not... More

Bangladesh’s Hercules syndrome and rule of vigilante law

A rapist was killed and his body was left with a note that said the death meted out to him was punishment for his crime. It was signed Hercules. A couple of other reports have appeared with such declarations and they have aroused considerable interest in media, particularly social media, the motherland of speculations. Who could be the possible vigilante killer? Long history Extra-judicial killings are nothing new and last... More

India key to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, says former Portuguese...

“This has less to do with geography than with history,” Macaes writes in his insightful book Belt and Road: A Chinese World Order. “As two rising giants, China and India will play a disproportionate role in shaping the new world political and economic order, but like every claim on the future, their role remain ambiguous. In China's case, the question is whether it will eventually measure up to the task... More

BJP has communalised process of awarding Indian citizenship?

Political realities have temporarily halted the BJP’s brazen attempt to communalise Indian citizenship requirements to the advantage of the majority Hindus and to the detriment of the minority Muslims. Evidently, there is also a bias in favour of the north Indian majority and against the Tamil minority in the matter of giving citizenship. But this has not been brought to light in a major and sustained way yet, because the... More

Amid peace talks, India and Ghani flog the dead-horse of elections...

Last week, Moscow hosted delegations from the Taliban and Afghanistan’s political opposition in a bid to establish sound political contacts between the two actors. The delegation of the opposition parties included Afghanistan’s former president, Hamid Karzai, and at least two female members, including a human rights activist, Hawa Nooristani, and a former parliament member Fawzia Koofi. The meeting in itself underscored the new political dynamics that would probably be at... More



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