Sundarbans, Rampal and blatant lies

A few days ago, the Bangladesh government rather smugly declared that UNESCO had given a go-ahead to the controversial Rampal coal-fired power plant to be constructed near the Sundarbans. The people were confused. So, had the environmentalists... More

The baton in Pakistan passes from Nawaz Sharif to Shahbaz

Nawaz Sharif is no more prime minister of Pakistan but he is still a kingmaker. The Supreme Court has disqualified and disgraced him in the Panama case but he still enjoys the full confidence and support of... More

Sri Lanka joins China’s One Belt One Road project with port at...

With the signing of the amended agreement by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and the China Merchant Port Holdings Company (CMPort) here on Saturday, Sri Lanka has well and truly joined China’s One Road One Belt... More

The UNP-SLFP coalition – an uneasy marriage  

There are just five months to determine the fate of the marriage between the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party- Sirisena (SLFP-S) which came into being following the election of President Maithripala Sirisena... More

Chinese media calls for military preparedness

Suggesting that India's move in Doklam carries dangerous overtones, Chinese mainstream media urges their government for military preparedness if situation entails. This call was made in one of the columns of China's main government newspaper, China Daily... More

Panama Verdict: Where will it lead Pakistan to?

At 70, Pakistan seems to be a nation finally embarking on sound democratic process. At least, this is what Pakistan’s main opposition political parties seem to believe today when a popularly elected Prime Minister has been disqualified... More

Third front not dead: “victims” of Modi sarkar are getting closer

The new trends of e-commerce encourage people to get rid of things which are not in use at their home or the office. The idea is to keep the rooms clear and clean, without the guns that... More

Bihar Assembly trust vote: CM Nitish Kumar wins floor test with 131 votes

Newly sworn-in Chief Minister of Bihar won the trust vote on Friday in the Bihar Assembly. With 131 votes in their favour, the JD(U)-BJP alliance has proven its majority. 108 MLAs voted against the motion. Former deputy chief... More

Doval will call for ‘mutual pullout’

India's National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval is ready with a proposal to defuse the Doklam stand-off, top officials told South Asian Monitor. If an one-to-one meeting between him and Chinese state councillor Yang Jiechi materialises on the sidelines... More

Political reform in Kashmir imperative

A PTI report this week (24 July) said that, at least 50 youths in Jammu and Kashmir have joined militant ranks, mostly of Hizbul Mujahideen, this year. Another report in April said that 250 locals have joined... More

Western powers instigating Sino-Indian confrontation!

More than five weeks into the border standoff between China and India, some countries other than the two directly involved are trying to step in, a China’s state-run newspaper hints at. An article carried by the Washington Examiner... More

Will Pranab Mukherjee form a think-tank?

Pranab Mukherjee has retired. His long political life has drawn to a close. He bid farewell to the parliament on Sunday, saying, “I am a creation of this parliament.” He said that he spent 37 years of his... More

India-US strategic ties should not create disturbances, views Pakistan

Pakistan has expressed concerns that the growing strategic relationship between India and the US should not result in bringing instability in the South Asian region. It thinks that America should take into consideration the ground realities of... More

Debacle in Doklam reveals serious flaws in India’s “Neighborhood First” policy

The unfolding realities underlying the Sino-Indian standoff over the border in Doklam are clearly bringing out serious flaws in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Neighborhood First” policy. The “Neighborhood First’ policy enunciated in 2014 as India’s new foreign policy... More

War between India, China not impossible; diplomats must prevent it, says Chinese...

War between India and China over Doka La is a possibility and diplomats from both sides must prevent an armed conflict, a Chinese expert has said. Long Xingchun, a research fellow at the Charhar Institute and director of... More

BB reserve theft: Rakesh Asthana called urgently, keeping local agencies in dark

The Bangladesh Bank kept local information technology and law enforcement agencies in dark after the cybertheft of $101 million from its reserve in February 2016 and assigned World Informatix Cyber Security managing director Rakesh Asthana immediately to... More

Will Bhutan exert its independent stand in the Doklam conflict?

Five weeks have passed since the confrontation between China and India at Doklam, but the crisis remains unresolved. It has become an issue of pride, with no one willing to step down first and lose face. In the... More

Is Bangladesh headed towards economic recession?

Bangladesh has been the only country is South Asia over the past seven years with an average economic growth exceeding six percent. And the government has predicted that the growth is about to break the records of... More

Terrorist activities decreases worldwide, increases in Bangladesh: US State Dept

Bangladesh experienced a significant increase in terrorist activity in 2016, according to the US State Department’s annual ‘Country Report on Terrorism-2016’, released in Washington on Wednesday (19 July). The report said that both al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent... More

Border standoff: India seeks face-saving way to deal with China

Although the Indian media has been creating hype over the country’s military standoff with China near the Bhutan-China-India tri-junction since middle of June, New Delhi is now studiously playing down the tensions. Recently, Indian Defense Ministry denied reports... More

An ever-weakening Afghan National Army

As casualties mounted to dramatic levels in 2017, even according to official figures that are most likely underestimated, the Afghan National Army (ANA) has for the first time begun experiencing serious problems in recruitment. The army also... More


Despite controversy, Afghanistan Peace Process makes major strides

Despite Kabul’s publicly made allegations on the US about ‘selling Afghanistan to the Taliban’ in the peace talks, there is little gainsaying that the Afghan-US war has never been so close to ending through settlement than it is now. While Kabul continues to express its anger over being excluded, there is little, given the legitimacy crisis Kabul is itself facing, that even the principal Afghan actors can do to... 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



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