Concerns grow in Nepal over arms in possession of Chand outfit

When Pushpa Kamal Dahal, at a book launch in the Capital on February 8, warned that the country could see the birth of a new Maoist force, it was not quite clear what he exactly meant, for... More

It’s MiG-21 versus the F-16 over Kashmir

Can an old MiG-21 aircraft destroy a more modern F-16? Yes, in fact an Indian pilot flying a version of the MiG-21 called Bison allegedly shot down a Pakistani F-16 using a Russian R-73 Vympel air to... More

BRI and S Asian geopolitics: The Bangladesh factor

Though South Asia occupies only 3.4% of the world’s land surface area, it is home to 24% of the world population. Each country in South Asia is in an economic upswing. Estimates are that South Asia has... More

After India loses dogfight to Pakistan, questions arise about its ‘vintage’ military

It was an inauspicious moment for a military the United States is banking on to help keep an expanding China in check. An Indian Air Force pilot found himself in a dogfight last week with a warplane from... More

Resurging Pakistan makes Modi’s India annoyed

On 26 February, at midnight around 3.30am, the so-called largest democracy scraped a series of articles of the United Nations Organisation’s charter specifically related to the respect given to the sovereignty of any state. India Air Force... More

Peace, stability threatened in South Asia

Peace and stability in South Asia have once again been put into question by the conflict between perennial rivals India and Pakistan. The terrorist attack on Indian forces in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, in February and a... More

Kashmir is in a perilous state because of India’s pivot to nationalism

On Friday, the four-day-long military flare-up between Pakistan and India began winding down, with Islamabad handing back an Indian air force pilot taken captive by the Pakistan army two days earlier. He had been shot down in... More

Why India should choose peace with Pakistan, instead of provocation

Pakistan does not want to go to war with India. This has been the message of Prime Minister Imran Khan since he was handed the reins of power following his electoral victory last year. His offer to return... More

The US quietly negotiates ‘peace with honor’ in Afghanistan

A friend of mine, a veteran of America’s 21st-century wars in the Greater Middle East, recently sent along his most recent commentary on Afghanistan. It would be his last, he said. “I’m done writing on how we... More

Soldiers from Assam village fight a bitter battle to prove citizenship

The Indian Army, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Border Security Force (BSF) have never had a problem counting these soldiers as their own and deploying them to protect the country’s borders from the frozen... More

Inching towards war

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned Pakistan to expect a strong response after the Pulwama attack on February 14. He ordered his defense forces to make decisions about the timing, place, and nature of their response. After... More

Saudis make ‘Eastward Shift 2.0’

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s headline-grabbing tour of Pakistan, India and China elicited the predictable commentary worldwide regarding the kingdom’s “eastward shift.” The reality, however, is that Saudi Arabia and most of the Gulf Cooperation Council... More

Under peace plan, US military would exit Afghanistan within five years

All American troops would withdraw from Afghanistan over the next three to five years under a new Pentagon plan being offered in peace negotiations that could lead to a government in Kabul that shares power with the... More

Why China doesn’t want to get caught in the middle of a...

Beijing is on the verge of being sucked into an India-Pakistan crisis, amid rising tensions in the Kashmir region that borders China. Diplomatic relations between longtime rivals India and Pakistan reached their lowest point in years this week,... More

India’s Modi criticised for politicising Pakistan standoff

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come under fire from the civil society and opposition for continuing his scheduled public events, including an election rally, while staying mum amid a major military standoff with Pakistan. "The government's message... More

Trafficking threat no deterrent for Rohingya refugees dreaming of Malaysia

Ms Amina Begum, a Rohingya woman living in a refugee camp in Bangladesh, is undeterred in her quest to join her husband in Malaysia even though she already fell prey to traffickers once. The 18-year-old says she was... More

‘Way of Rakhita’: dream or nightmare?

“The Way of the Rakhita” – the Arakan Dream – doesn’t have a single definition, but its force as a unifying message among the Arakan people is powerful. Evoking memories of the once-great Arakanese Kingdom, Arakan Army... More

Maldives democracy has a geo-strategic twist

Parliamentary elections are not due in Maldives until April 6, but the campaign has already begun. And while the vote will be local, the poll is shaping into a geopolitical contest between pro-India and pro-China parties in... More

India-Pakistan conflict: Enough! It’s been 70 years of fighting, say expats in...

The past few days have been traumatic for most Indian and Pakistani expatriates in the UAE, as each day brings a new escalation in the ongoing war of words and weapons between the two countries, which began... More

Rohingya crisis: UN investigates its ‘dysfunctional’ conduct in Myanmar

The UN has launched an inquiry into its conduct in Myanmar over the past decade, where it has been accused of ignoring warning signs of escalating violence prior to an alleged genocide of the Rohingya minority. UN sources... More

India’s slow industrialization shows failure to grasp globalization

While there have been discussions surrounding how India's industrialization will affect China in the future, one realistic question currently faced by India is whether the country can achieve industrialization at all. Indian scholars debated for years about how... More


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



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