Like other surveys, new poll predicts narrow Congress win in Madhya Pradesh...

After being out of power in Madhya Pradesh for 15 years, the Congress will have a slim majority over the incumbent BJP in the state assembly election which will be held on November 28, according to a... More

Political chaos continues unabated in Lanka

Languishing for the past three weeks in uncertainty while two governments and two Prime Ministers squabble as to which one is the legitimate one, with a belligerent President insisting the ones he has appointed remain, befuddled Sri... More

How the Moscow factor will play in Afghanistan

While the Russian authorities were right in calling the recently held Afghan peace talks in Moscow ‘unique’ because of their ability to bring together forces that have been opposing each other or have not had any previous... More

Dalai Lama wants to return to Tibet but China no longer keen...

The likely departure of the 14th Dalai Lama to China-controlled Tibet a few months ago so the ailing spiritual leader, who is said to be suffering from cancer, could breathe his last there, appears to have been... More

BNP cancels Rajshahi ‘long march’ as party decides to launch national agitation...

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) will launch a countrywide, peaceful and non-violent agitation in response to the Awami League government’s refusal on November 7 to accede to five of seven pre-election demands placed before it by the... More

AL-aligned think tank to Sheikh Hasina: Pick ‘clean and honest candidates’ for...

Slightly over a month before Bangladesh goes to the polls, the incumbent Awami League, which is faced with mounting pressure from the Oikkyo Front, must put up “good, clean and honest” candidates to contest the general elections,... More

Lankan parliament to convene on 14 Nov

As the political crisis in Sri Lanka hit the 9th day, President Maithripala Sirisena Sunday issued a fresh gazette announcing the reconvening of parliament on 14 November. Sirisena had earlierin the week assured the United Nations Secretary... More

Will beleaguered Awami League be able to withstand pressure from Bangladesh’s united...

Bangladesh’s electoral politics is heating up with opposition parties on overdrive, to cobble together a joint national front, to take on the ruling Awami League (AL) in the forthcoming general election. The AL, led by Prime Minister... More

After ugly war between two senior-most CBI officers, process to select next...

The immediate adverse effect of the bitter fight for supremacy between the two topmost officers of India’s so-called premier anti-corruption investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), would be on the future selection process of the... More

President Sirisena addresses nation, says assassination plot prompted removal of Wickremesinghe  

An alleged assassination plot which had the involvement of a cabinet minister and the ‘tremendous pressure to avoid investigations’ under the UNP led government were the main reasons behind his decision to remove Ranil Wickremesinghe from the... More

Sri Lanka’s post-civil war reconciliation mechanisms mired in controversy

Sri Lanka once again finds itself trapped between the Western prescription for its post-war reconciliation path and local fears of an equality-driven emphasis on healing its traumatic past which pitted the Sinhalese against the Tamils in a... More

A battle between Bangladesh’s old and new elites?

Bangladesh society and the power relations within are undergoing significant changes. The paths to elite-hood and the protection that many established elites had taken for granted for long are also undergoing transformation. This doesn’t mean that impunity... More

Taliban-US talks: There is more to it than meets the eye

After meeting US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, the Afghan Taliban are said to have agreed to hold a second round of talks on paving the way for a negotiated end to the war and reach a political settlement.... More

Bhutan’s PM elect Lotay Tshering to SAM: Policy on India and China...

Acknowledging the presence of two huge neighbours—China in the north and India in the south—within an emphatic “yes, yes”, Bhutan’s prime minister-elect and Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa(DNT) party president Dr Lotay Tsheringon October 18 said that his government... More

Bhutan’s ‘silence’ over Doklam continues – on the mountains and in Thimphu

At first glance, the imposing gateway appears to be the entrance to a frontier Buddhist monastery tucked away in the unending roll of Bhutan’s mountains. No sooner did our vehicle stop barely 100 metres short of the... More

Enigmatic silence over China and India as Bhutan’s poll campaign nears end

As campaigning for the final round of elections to the Bhutanese National Assembly gathered pace about a week ago, the country’s Election Commission imposed a Ngultrum 12,000 (around USD200) fine against a nominee for the Druk Phuensum... More

In Maldives, democracy has triumphed over attempts to subvert public opinion

When democracy globally has been tilting towards populism and bordering on autocracy, Maldives has shown that the future is not to despair. Democratic forces will usher in corrective measures when the time is appropriate. The whiff of... More

Disquiet and anger in Awami League as party’s alliance with fundamentalist Hefazat-e-Islam...

Even as the Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League battles anti-incumbency at a time when Bangladesh is headed for general elections, the party’s rank-and-file is riven with anger and disappointment by the “unholy nexus” the leadership has established with... More

Russia woos India with multi-billion-dollar defence deals, but the hurdle is USA

At one level the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to New Delhi is routine—it is for the 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit. At another, it is special because it comes at a time when India’s time-tested... More

Bhutan’s elections and how country’s constitution limits political participation  

  Days after losing the recent primary round of Bhutan’s third National Assembly election, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Tshering Tobgay has been telling supporters that the party will continue to play an active role from outside Parliament. However,... More

Sri Lankan political rivalry intensifies as economy goes into a tailspin

While Donald Trump told the UN earlier this week that globalism should be done away with and national interests safeguarded, a declining Sri Lankan economy, caused by a steady depreciation of the rupee, has pushed political leaders... More


By reaching out to Taliban, Iran makes presence felt in Afghanistan...

The very nature of the conflict in Afghanistan has made it almost impossible for the neighbouring countries to remain aloof from it or maintain some distance, even a calculated one. For one thing, the conflict is no longer just between the US and Taliban or the US and al-Qaeda. The ISIS, known as IS-K in Afghanistan, has established its presence, which has forced many countries—Russia, China and Iran—to change... More

The sorry state of Pakistan’s police

The imperial form of police infrastructure that Pakistan inherited was deliberately created to serve the British rulers rather than promote harmony, security and adherence to the law. The 1861 Police Act has never changed except for minor amendments. Even the new laws introduced by the provinces retain more or less the essence of the original imperial law. The persisting culture is to ensure that the weak remain subservient to... More

Bangladesh’s position on global terrorism index has improved: Australian agency CPES

An Australian outfit, Centre for Peace and Economic Studies (CPES), has stated that Bangladesh has gone up four positions in the global terrorism index, according to it’s ranking. Several other countries in South Asia have gone down in terms of vulnerability, including Pakistan and India. Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka have also improved their standings in this index. CPES has reported that introduction of modern education in madrassas, investment in... More

How the Taliban have become leading actor in Afghan peace talks

While the Taliban have established their domination both politically and militarily in almost half of Afghanistan, the consequent talks with the US and the way they have progressed show that they are already in a commanding position. They certainly have become the leading actor in these talks not just because they are the ones fighting the war against the US and Afghan forces, but also because they are directing... More

Exploiting Pakistan’s ‘Gold Coast’

The emerging markets of Central Asia require that a sea-land (south-south) dimension to support the north-south axis be added for expansion, otherwise all facilities and opportunities are likely to be clogged because of unplanned urban population expansion. The long coastline with stretches of virgin beaches and adjacent vast empty hinterland require well-planned commercial exploitation. It is personally satisfying that recommendations made in my articles of nearly three decades ago,... 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