ISSUES

ISSUES

What Rahul Gandhi got right in his bid to challenge Narendra Modi...


One year ago, Rahul Gandhi took over the reins of the Congress party when it was diminished, riven by corruption and had just 44 members in the 545-seat lower house of India’s parliament. But after Tuesday’s elections, the... More

Exit of Urjit Patel compounds India’s economic instability


Urjit Patel stepped down from his position as governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday, but the news was neither a shock or an event without precedent. There have been similar occurrences in recent Indian... More

No clear end in sight for war in Afghanistan


As the deployment in Afghanistan enters its seventeenth year it has become the longest running war in US history. It is therefore worth reminding ourselves why the US is there. The mission has four principal aims. Firstly, to... More

As BJP loses political ground, the battle for 2019 is becoming more...


After the victory of the Congress in all three Hindi heartland states in the tightly-fought assembly elections, some contours about the political scenario in the next few months are becoming sharper. With general elections barely six months... More

The Afghan government should not be sidelined in peace talks


At last month's Geneva Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan, it was clear that the presidential elections were less than five months away. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani put a lot of effort into making sure he appeared to be... More

Nepal, BRI and the debt-trap diplomacy argument


Nepal is a latecomer to China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) unveiled in 2013. Having only signed a Memorandum of Understanding in May last year. This is a reason why both countries are yet to select any... More

BRI calls for joint efforts by China, Myanmar


A panel chaired by Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi to oversee Belt and Road initiative (BRI) projects points to the seriousness that Myanmar attaches to the plan. It is not usual for nations to show... More

AGP threatens to quit alliance with BJP in Assam if Citizenship Bill...


On a day RLSP president Upendra Kushwaha quit the NDA, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) threatened to walk out of its alliance with the ruling BJP in Assam if the "obnoxious" Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is passed... More

Where India quietly watches China at sea


India’s Andaman Islands are where stone-age warfare meets 21st century weapons technology. On November 16, John Allen Chau, an American Christian missionary, was killed in a hail of arrows fired by aboriginal Sentinelese tribesmen as he tried... More

Indian pressure on neighbouring countries


New Delhi pretends there are no problems in India’s relationship with its neighbours except Pakistan and China but the tensions, both above and beneath the surface, continue to deepen as far as Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan... More

ULFA using social media to gain foothold in Assam


Sometime in November, a 22-year-old automobile showroom employee in Assam’s Tinsukia stumbled upon a Facebook group named Xunjukto Mukti Bahini Asom, the Assamese name for the separatist United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA). “The group had photos... More

Myanmar speeds up progress on China’s Belt and Road


In late November, Ning Jizhe, deputy head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), visited Myanmar and met with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and the minister of planning and finance along with other ministers.... More

In ‘Asia’s gateway to Africa’ Mauritius, rivals China and India compete for...


The motto, written in Latin, on the coat of arms of the tiny island of Mauritius says: “The Star and Key of the Indian Ocean”. But as rivalry grows in the region between Asia’s superpowers India and China,... More

Kartarpur corridor: Opening opportunities between India and Pakistan


With Pakistan and India making history with groundbreaking Ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor on both sides of International Boundary to facilitate the people by giving access to Sikhs of India to Baba Guru Nanak Gurdwara- the founder and... More

Bollywood’s lost love: The forgotten cinemas of Indian Kashmir


Mohammad Ashraf’s eyes light up when he recalls the glory days of the Naaz cinema. In a bygone time, before Kashmir became synonymous with unrest, the Naaz was a beacon of light entertainment: it occupied a marvel... More

Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan to create financial consortium for new railway


A meeting of the railway administrations' heads of Uzbekistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan was held in Tashkent More

Sikh temple could build bridge between India and Pakistan


Rising above a placid stretch of rice paddies and wheat fields in southern Punjab province is a graceful white-domed temple. To followers of the Sikh religion, 21 million of whom live in next-door India, it is a... More

America’s war in Afghanistan is now Trump’s increasingly bloody problem. Is it...


Donald Trump has no shortage of battles to fight, both on the home front and around the world. But perhaps the single most intransigent one is also literally America’s longest. In the last several weeks, the lethal nature... More

Perspectives on India-China competition in Maldives


A tide of change in leadership has swept across South Asian countries such as Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, and Sri Lanka this year, spurring academic speculation over relative gains and losses from the perspective of India-China competition. As big... More

Modi Govt unprepared for peace


Prime Minister Imran Khan declared the opening of Kartarpur Corridor as a “victory of peace.” However, it did not attain a tangible outcome. The deadlock on bilateral talks continued between India and Pakistan, and the Modi government... More

Bangladesh’s ruling ‘secular’ Awami League strengthens ties with Islamist parties


Islamist parties in Bangladesh that have in the past always sided with the country’s center-right alliance led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) are now joining hands with the ruling Awami League. The incumbent party led by... 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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