ISSUES

ISSUES

Curious political tie-up emerges before Bangladeshi election


Bangladeshi politics saw the unlikely emergence of a new alliance last week – the “Jatyio Oikya” or National Unity Front – forged between the country’s center-right opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and some left-leaning parties. The alliance has... More

Kulgam deaths leave Kashmir in mourning with no end in sight to...


A photojournalist said he saw a youth with his ribs protruding out being removed from the explosion site. Another scribe talked about a heavily-built person whose left hand was ripped apart by the blast. The third injured... More

Myanmar’s economy in danger of standing still


As hopes of a new, prosperous future for Myanmar under Aung San Suu Kyi have dramatically disappeared, the country’s business community is paying the price of a stumbling economy and pleading for government help that is unlikely... More

India must balance its strategic interests with Bhutan’s aspirations


The victory of the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) party in Bhutan’s third parliamentary election is being seen as a vote for change in the small Buddhist country that has undergone major change in recent years. The DNT... More

India walking a tightrope with US and Russian defense systems


India is aiming to modernize its strategic arsenal with the introduction of advanced US and Russian defense systems. However, some military experts say that while the South Asian giant needs foreign technologies to become a self-sufficient arms... More

No strings attached? How Sri Lanka can make the most of security...


Sri Lanka is a middle-income country that is strategically located in the Indian Ocean. It emerged from a three-decade civil war and is now in a post-conflict era, struggling to maintain internal political and economic stability while... More

China’s emerging role of mediator in Afghanistan


Recent years witnessed the ever-increasing role of china across various sectors like economy, military and environment etc. China is on way to transfer the world economy by using the leverage of size of its economy. President Xi’s... More

America’s double standards on S-400 missile system sanctions


Russia’s ability to sell its S-400 air defense system to several different countries in different theaters illustrates the geopolitics of this particular system. For buyers and policymakers, it is changing the way missile systems are sold by... More

Can the new China-India thaw last?


A year after Doklam, India appears to be intent on seeking friendlier ties with Beijing. Whether this is sustainable for the long-term, however, is unclear. Even as this process has unfolded, India continues to worry about China’s... More

Pakistan: Migrant and nation


On Sunday, September 16, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that he would start “work immediately” on providing passports to the children of refugees born in Pakistan. He might soon have to eat his words because the opposition... More

India tries to boost Nepal ties despite China factor


India has been able to deliver on 16 of the 21 points raised by Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli during bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April, top foreign ministry officials said, with... More

UN asks Sri Lanka to repatriate commander in Mali over human rights...


The United Nations asked the government of Sri Lanka on Friday to immediately repatriate the commander of its 200-strong contingent assigned to the UN peacekeeping force in Mali following a review of his human rights background. UN spokesman... More

Bhutan votes for change


Winning 30 of the 47 constituencies, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) won the third parliamentary national assembly election yesterday. As claimed by party president Lotay Tshering in all campaign speeches, DNT ‘easily’ swept all 12 western and southwestern dzongkhags,... More

CPEC won’t be derailed by misleading reports


Not long ago, I did field research along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route and was very impressed by the progress of infrastructure construction. Here are just a few observations. First, the Gwadar Port is becoming Pakistan's most... More

Indo-Russian path to cooperation not rosy


Whether or not India has to pay the price of sanctions for acquiring the S-400 from Russia, it can no longer boast about its democratic partnership with the US. The deal places India in the uncomfortable company... More

Cutting Financial Aid To Pakistan May Not Bring Peace To Afghanistan


A new report by the State Department on terrorism criticizes Pakistan for failing to prevent terrorist groups, especially the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network (HQN), from using Pakistan as a safe haven. But the reality is that these original... More

Myanmar has changed, but remains firmly in China’s grip


April 2018 marked the second anniversary of Aung San Suu Kyi assuming the position of state councillor of Myanmar. Despite predictions that Myanmar’s tentative steps towards democracy would weaken the country’s long-standing relationship with Beijing, the security... More

Afghan leader blindsided by US meeting with Taliban, officials say


When the White House ordered American diplomats this summer to engage the Taliban directly in the hopes of jump-starting an Afghan peace process, many in Afghanistan welcomed it as a vital first step in trying to break... More

Young guns: The smouldering anger of Kashmiri youth


A silver lining can, at times, be eclipsed by clouds. A young scholar from Kashmir has made it to one of the most prestigious scientific institutions in the United States of America. But this scholar could be... More

With Nod to Draft Broadcast Law, Bangladesh Furthers Attempts to Curb Free...


Bangladesh’s cabinet on Monday approved a law which would allow the government to send someone to jail for giving “misleading and false” information in a talk show. According to cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam, the draft of the... More

China woos Bhutan, at the expense of rival India


Bhutan, the small mountain kingdom between China and India, is the latest beneficiary of Chinese soft power, with Beijing making quiet inroads at New Delhi’s expense. China’s annexation of Tibet in 1951 and an unresolved border dispute have... More

COLUMN

Redefine Act East thrust 

India's Act East policy has so far mainly focused on developing greater connectivity with Southeast Asia through the country's northeast. But economists and logistics experts have long concluded that India's Look East or Act East thrust will primarily remain a maritime phenomenon because it is much cheaper to connect to much of Southeast Asia by sea than through an under-developed region like Northeast India. It defies logic as to... More

Is conflict driving Bangladesh’s politics and society?

Hate, insults, endless allegations and occasional physical confrontations have become the staple of Bangladesh’s political culture. No one is spared, and no one wants to be excluded. Instead of debate there is abuse. And then comes the counter and then some more...and the cycle goes on. Apart from the highly toxic level of antagonism, it also means that power has become precious and far too many people are trying to... More

India’s limited life-line in Afghanistan

While India continues to plan to expand its foothold in Afghanistan, using its alliance with the United States as its main source of support, and has also developed a seemingly strong relationship with Kabul, a close reading of geo-politics in this region shows that the prospects of a strong Indian presence are bleak. For one thing, India’s main reliance is on the US, which is itself gearing up to withdraw... More

Myanmar’s economy could go into a tailspin as currency woes deepen

y Fears that Myanmar’s currency crisis has only momentarily stalled are growing, as the government does not seem to see any urgency in tackling the underlying causes of the recent fall in the kyat’s value against the dollar. Regional analysts believe a major collapse of the currency remains very real. Their fears were justified when, the end of last week, the kyat plummeted once again to over K 1,600, largely... More

Spreading falsehood and distorting facts

Initiated in 2014 the Ashiana-Iqbal project could not be completed mainly because an illegal award increased the cost, and if it were to be initiated now, the escalated cost of Rs 40 billion will be borne either by the applicants of the government. As Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general between 2013 and 2016, Ahad Khan Cheema was also a member on the Punjab Land Development Corporation (PLDC) board.... 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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