ISSUES

ISSUES

Sri Lanka cedes major port to China, fueling tensions


Sri Lanka, an island nation in the Indian Ocean the size of West Virginia, has become another flashpoint in regional naval competition. That’s because in December, Sri Lanka turned over the strategic port... More

Rakhine parliament says ‘no’ to Rohingya resettlement


The Rakhine State Parliament on Friday approved a proposal to urge the union government not to resettle non-citizen Muslim refugees in southern Maungdaw Township. Lawmaker U Tun Aung Thein, of Buthidaung Township, introduced the proposal... More

CPEC being extended to Afghanistan: Report


The controversial China-Pakistan Economic Corridor - the flagship project of China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) - is being extended to Afghanistan, a study report said Monday (Apr 9). The BRI has injected "fresh... More

Afghan-Pakistani cross-border terrorism cuts both ways


Reports about Afghan Taliban safe havens on Pakistani soil are abundant and such refuges are seen as crucial for the militants’ ability to sustain their insurgency inside Afghanistan. What is often overlooked is that... More

Afghan govt upbeat about resolving issues with Pakistan: Abdullah


In order to resolve the issues between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Afghanistan expects that all agreements and issues discussed during Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s recent trip to Kabul are implemented, the Chief Executive... More

India’s justice system is biased against Dalits – the 9 deaths prove...


On April 2, in an unprecedented show of solidarity, Dalits across India observed a Bharat Bandh to protest against the March 20 judgement of the Supreme Court that effectively took away whatever teeth the... More

Sri Lanka: base for the Asian great game?


A recent talk by the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, received wide media coverage in Colombo, with almost all newspapers picking up one point. “Our aid is not to raid... More

China objects to India’s ‘transgression’ in Arunachal


In a fresh incident of friction, the Chinese military last month strongly protested against the Indian Army’s “transgression” into the strategically sensitive Asaphila area along the disputed border in Arunachal Pradesh, but India rejected... More

An Indian counter narrative on Maldives


The Maldives is back in the headlines. This time around, it is not about democracy deficit or rule of law. Two new topics are exciting the Indians – recent visit of the Pakistani army... More

No jobs, no vote: Indian town warns Modi ahead of 2019 polls


Rakesh Kumar has a post-graduate degree but works as a house painter in the small town of Kasba Bonli in northwestern India. The 31-year-old, the only one of eight siblings to attend university, said his... More

Pak PM discusses regional security, connectivity with Afghan President


Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani discussed the fight against militancy, the Afghan-led peace process, bilateral relations and regional connectivity as they met in Kabul on Friday. Earlier in the... More

Monsoon over the Maldives: The latest chapter of the India-China saga


The island nation of the Maldives is experiencing a politically turbulent beginning to 2018 following an uncompromising showdown between the president and the Supreme Court. As the storm brews over the tropical paradise, two... More

Pakistan seeks UN’s mediation in Kashmir dispute, India opposes


United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday said that the body was following the Kashmir situation "very closely". "Obviously this is a situation that we continue to follow and follow very closely,” Guterres'... More

Trump’s pick for NSA could push Pakistan closer to China, Russia and...


President Donald Trump's choice to tap John Bolton as national security advisor is widely expected to produce more hawkish U.S. foreign policy on rogue states such as North Korea and Iran. Pakistan, a country... More

China’s influence in UN peacekeeping grows, India is lagging behind


A former United Nations practitioner and professor at one of the top graduate schools for international relations in the US sent me a recent UN report titled ‘Improving Security of United Nations Peacekeepers: We... More

India bans banks, financial institutions from dealing with VCs including Bitcoin


 In a major crackdown on cryptocurrency trading, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday banned all the banks and financial institutions from dealing with virtual currencies including Bitcoins."In view of the associated risks,... More

US reaches out to Pakistan to foster diplomatic ties: sources


The United States has taken steps to restore diplomatic ties with Pakistan as an overture to dissipate ongoing tensions. Washington views the ongoing rift as a major stumbling block for its relations with Islamabad... More

What did the Pakistan Army Chief’s Brunei voyage achieve?


Late last month, Pakistan’s army chief paid his introductory visit to Brunei as part of a wider regional trip. Though much of the focus was unsurprisingly on the army chief himself and the other... More

Lankan Prime Minister comfortably defeats No Confidence Motion


Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe demonstrated a clear victory Wednesday night getting a majority of votes to easily defeating the No Confidence Motion (NCM) bought against him by the Joint Opposition of former President Mahinda... More

India-Maldives strain deepens as island nation steps up military ties with Pakistan


The Maldives stepped up counter-terrorism cooperation and military ties with Pakistan and defaulted on the mandatory payment to the South Asia University, an initiative led by New Delhi, increasing the strains in ties between... More

India readies for ‘active’ China front as winter ends


Months after the India-China standoff at Doklam, Indian forces are readying for another tense summer.Sovereignty over Doklam has been disputed between China and Bhutan since it was first declared part of Bhutan in 1961.... More

COLUMN

On India’s attempts to woo Russia-EEU into economic union

While the US has been cultivating India as its major ally in the region in what the US officials have tacitly called ‘containment’ of China, prospects of this cultivation have become brighter ever since the recent out-break of trade-war between the US and China. While Indian and US interests strongly... More

Comey’s book and Pakistan’s leaders

James Brien Comey Jr served as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for four years till fired by President Donald Trump on May 9, 2017. Trump initially claimed this was because of Comey's mishandling of the investigation into the private email of Hillary Clinton. The overriding perception... More

UN says Nasheed’s trial was flawed, but Maldivian govt maintains it...

The UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), which went into the trial of former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed had listed the flaws in it and asked the Maldivian government to release him to enable him to contest the September 2018 Presidential election. But the government on Sunday rejected the UNHRC’s observations and recommendations... More

Bangladesh election 2018: is there a Sino-Indian stake?

It’s pretty odd to think that Bangladesh elections should be of any interest to China and India given the complete lack of its strategic value. However, Bangladesh maybe becoming a reluctant pawn of sorts in a regional ‘great game’. China’s rising influence in the region and India’s relative decline in what... More

Tripura’s new pitch for Geo-Economics

Biplab Deb is a BJP chief minister with a difference. In a 40-minute interview with this writer last week, he did not mention even once any of the usual saffron agenda -- Ram Mandir, beef, illegal migration from Bangladesh. "My agenda is development, development, development all the way," he... More

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Iran to team up with China on nuke development if Trump...

As US President Donald Trump decides whether to reauthorize the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which he has long wanted to exit or renegotiate, Iranian authorities have announced they will be getting help with their nuclear program from China. "Some negotiations have been held on mutual cooperation and building small nuclear... More

Pinarayi and Gadkari link up on development

The American think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, had featured a riveting ‘curtain-raiser’ to the 2014 poll in India entitled Does Good Economics Mean Good Politics In India? The essay appeared in December 2013 and I’d carefully stored it in my archives, as a fairly prescient analysis of... More

Mutual respect is the key

I will not reach any deal that would go against the national interest of Nepal,” K P Sharma Oli, the prime minister of Nepal, reportedly assured parliamentarians in Kathmandu earlier this week, before heading out to India. That such questions should be asked and answered is a definitive sign... More

Reviving Nepal’s independent foreign policy

The long political transition in Nepal has come to an end with the successful completion of local, provincial and federal elections. A new phase of history beckons Nepal as it has adopted federalism under the new constitution promulgated in 2015. The achievement of economic prosperity has now been prioritized... More

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READER'S VIEW

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