India will lose ‘special privileges’ if it buys crude from S. Arabia,...

Iran will end “special privileges” for India if New Delhi tried to replace Iranian crude with supplies from Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States, said a senior Iranian diplomat in New Delhi on... More

SAARC in coma, China throws another challenging regional initiative

In an event not much publicised in India, China, on 15 June, launched the ‘First China-South Asia Cooperation Forum’ (CSACF) in Yunnan Province. It was also attended by the Indian Consul-General in Guangzhou, Sailas... More

India’s new ‘Modi doctrine’ straddles the US-China divide

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's diplomatic strategy has been clear from the outset of his term: deepen ties with the U.S. and Japan while openly showing suspicion of China. The game plan has changed. Military watchers... More

Is India shifting the goalposts in Indo-Pacific debate?

India’s participation in the ongoing Indo-Pacific debate and its decision to join the revived Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the US, Japan, India and Australia) have raised concerns in the corridors of power in Moscow, Beijing... More

Can China Mediate Between Pakistan and India?

On June 29, 2018, the deputy chief of the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad, Lijian Zhao, told reporters that China was holding talks with Indian officials on the de-escalation of bilateral tensions between India and... More

India’s internet shutdown rules are encouraging online censorship

The internet blackout in parts of Tamil Nadu following the death of 13 people in police firing in Thoothukudi in May is a perfect illustration of the inadequacy of India’s Temporary Suspension of Telecom... More

Myanmar’s waiting for the Western investment that never came

Among business leaders in Myanmar, would-be investment from the U.S. and Europe is known by the wry acronym NATO. “No Action, Talk Only,” Sean Turnell, special economic consultant to Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi,... More

BD’s satellite enables integration of country’s economy with globalised world

Bangladesh joined the space age after a SpaceX rocket carrying a Bangabandhu-1 satellite streaked across Florida’s blue sky on May 11. The country, once disparaged by former secretary of state Henry Kissinger as a... More

How a China-Nepal railway could fast-track change in the Himalayan nation and...

Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli visited Beijing last month on a mission to secure Chinese cash and commitment for his key development priorities. He met President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang and... More

Rising tides of intolerance and Hindu extremism in India

In the words of Col. (R) Gurnam Singh, an ex-Indian Army officer and renowned security analyst, “there is a profoundly disquieting myth about Hinduism which has been put about by its adherents so often... More

India will adopt a three-pronged strategy to check China influence

India will adopt a broad, three-pronged approach to deal with China’s increasing engagement in the South Asian and Indian Ocean neighbourhood — track Beijing’s activities carefully; pursue its own projects and commitments; and educate... More

Democratic transfer of power in Pakistan must continue, says Wells

The establishment of civilian rule and the democratic transfer of power in Pakistan is one of the country’s great achievements and Washington would like to see this process succeed, says the head of the... More

India assures Bhutan: Electricity export tariff to be finalised before November

The electricity export tariff for Bhutan’s Mangdechhu hydropower project, which is expected to complete latest by November this year, would be set before the commission of the plant, the Indian government assured Lyonchhen Tshering... More

U.S. Oil sellers may look to India as China tariff war escalates

American oil producers may find a new friend in India as they brace for a trade war with China that could curb U.S. shipments. Refiners in China were the top buyers of American crude oil... More

Why India’s new citizenship law has sparked hunger strikes and effigy burning

Citizens of India’s northeastern states have been protesting vigorously against a proposed new citizenship regime that they claim will “destroy their culture” in the region. The protests have been diverse and dramatic – petitions,... More

Is India’s foreign policy adrift?

The National Democratic Alliance government has severely tripped on the first principle of Indian foreign policy, which is finessing the ‘big powers’ dynamic. This means that equilibrium must be maintained with the U.S., China,... More

Pakistan played role in Afghanistan’s Eid cease-fire

Pakistan played a key role in the June cease-fire Afghanistan made with the Taliban designed to allow the country to celebrate the holy festival of Eid peacefully, Afghanistan’s ambassador to Islamabad said Thursday. “The recent... More

China and Nepal reach across the Himalayan divide

Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s visit to China last month was closely watched by both domestic and international observers. Oli’s visit was a continuation of his groundbreaking trip to China during his first tenure... More

In Bhutan, hordes of young people are giving up rural life to...

In the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, thousands are leaving their villages to seek out a better life in towns. With young people less interested in agriculture and eager to embrace education and employment opportunities... More

China-India engagement: Towards a new-normal?

The “Shanghai Spirit” has yet to become a universal alternative to the “Washington Consensus,” which helped create current global institutions. Unfazed, China and Russia, co-founders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), say mutual trust... More

Nepal’s quest for freedom from being ‘India-locked’

olIn Nepal, after Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli returned from China last month, his second trip — but also his first as a leader of a coalition that commands a two-thirds majority in Parliament... More


India faces tough choices as the US sanctions Iran

For the Indian policy makers, one of the crucial questions today is of how to walk a balancing act between the US, their prime strategic ally, and Iran, their traditional regional ally and, of course, third biggest supplier of oil.  The question has become even more significant ever since... More

Writing on the Wall

Even a cursory analysis of the three Nawaz Sharif sackings as PM reveals one constant sordid fact, his incurring penchant to listen to a bunch of “unelectable advisors” who constantly feed his already inflated ego about his supposed omni-potency. The 1993 sacking did him wonders, turning an Establishment “puppet... More

Something is broken in Bangladesh: Will it heal?

There is something scared about the relationship between a University, its teachers and students. It is built on trust, obligation, mutual affection and much more. Its as if the teacher is the parent, the campus is the home. A relationship is inherently therefore written into this unwritten contract. It was... More

Myanmar minister’s mission impossible

Myanmar’s new finance minister, Soe Win is determined to revitalize the government’s economic policies and ensure their effective implementation, according to government insiders. Although he has only been in his post for less than two months, there are significant signs that with him at the helm, the government’s commitment... More

The Wuhan spirit of cooperation picks up

The informal Modi-Xi summit at Wuhan had decided to provide “strategic guidance” to their militaries to manage and defuse troop confrontations along the 4057 km Line of Actual Control (LAC). The two leaders asserted that during patrolling, the two armies should stick to existing protocols and mechanisms. These range... 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... 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... 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... More

The PDP-BJP coalition was an unnatural and opportunistic alliance

The BJP pulled out of the coalition government and the other partner, the PDP, had no choice but to resign. The BJP pulled out of the coalition government and the other partner, the PDP, had no choice but to resign. Only a few weeks ago I had poured out my... More



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... More