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In Kashmir valley, 74% more people certified disabled during PDP-BJP rule


In three years to 2017–when the coalition government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was in power in Jammu & Kashmir–31,085 people were certified as disabled in the 10 districts in... More

Fifth report of the Concerned Citizens’ Group on the Kashmir situation


The Concerned Citizens’Group (CCG) undertook its fifth visit to Jammu and Kashmir from June 19 to 23. During this visit, the group visited the Kashmir Valley. The aim was to assess the change in the ground situation,... More

Who are the caretakers taking care of?


The term ‘caretaker’ has been a double entendre in our political lexicon. Whose ‘care’ are they supposed to take — democracy’s or the establishment’s? When the system was first introduced, it was not, for sure, meant to take... More

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

COLUMN

Regulators and conflict of interest

A governmental body created by a legislature to implement and enforce specific laws, a "Regulatory Agency" or a "Regulator" would usually have quasi-legislative functions, executive functions, and judicial functions. Many laws govern social and economic matters, such as income tax, environmental laws, occupational health and safety laws, real estate law, employment laws, etc. A regulatory agency serves two primary functions in govt: implement the laws and enforce the same. Regulations... More

Is Bangladesh an online state?

Bangladesh is an online state with an incredibly high number of virtual citizens. Few can match them in enthusiasm, participation and enjoyment of what the online world offers, good or bad. Much great stuff happens on the net but so does nasty stuff. It’s also a great producer of cultural and otherwise, not to mention, political ones. The recent spate of actions against online content considered “harmful” have spiked, which,... More

How China might undo Saudi plans for Iran?

The recent Saudi bid to increase its economic and political influence in South Asia (Pakistan and India) is, as I pointed out in my previous stories for SAM, largely informed not just by the imperative of a Saudi economic expansion across Asia and avoid economic doom, but also by the objective of snatching Iran’s share of oil market in this part of the world. This is partly one reason... More

Pakistan receives warning from Iran not to join Saudi proxy war

Pakistan has received a stern warning from Iran's Major-General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Qods Force and other senior in the aftermath of the February 13, 2019 attack on their forces by Iranian Baluch militants in the country's restive Sistan and Baluchistan province bordering Pakistan. The new tone from Tehran is a response to Pakistan's recent tilt back toward Saudi Arabia since Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran... More

‘Syndrome 2020’ unleashes a new bid to change the constitution

Myanmar’spro-democracy forces have launched a new bid to change the country’s constitution. With some 18 months left before the 2020 elections, the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) has initiated a process in parliament it hopes will amend the military-drafted constitution and give the party an important campaigning issue. It is the latest evidence that the country has been plunged into “Syndrome 2020” in the lead up to the... 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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