India’s crackdown on Rohingyas has prompted a reverse exodus

30 Rohingyas who were roaming inside Indian territory in search of livelihood have been detained by the authorities in the north-eastern state of Assam. The group, comprising 12 children and a few women, were travelling to Guwahati,... More

Nepal, India air route talks keep going round in circles

Nepal and India made little progress at the highly anticipated air route talks held in Mumbai, India last week. Nepal has been badgering the southern neighbour to grant air entry points through the L626 Mahendranagar route and... More

Recent statement from Taliban snubs US plans for the region

Taliban and the United States of America once again have engaged in the second round of formal dialogue process in a bid to bring peace in Afghanistan after years of chaos and bloodshed. The inclusion of the... More

Some in Bangladesh election observer group say they now regret involvement

A top official at an observer group that monitored Bangladesh's election, as well as one of its foreign volunteers, have said they regret participating in the process, casting doubt on the credibility of a vote won overwhelmingly... More

India plans to extend coastal surveillance radar system to Maldives

With Maldives’ defence minister Mariya Ahmed Didi due to visit India on her first tour this week, India plans to renew its offer to extend the coastal surveillance radar systems (CSRS) project to the island neighbour, as... More

US, Taliban hold talks in Qatar with peace still distant

The Taliban in a statement on Monday confirmed that its delegation has held talks with the US representatives in Doha, Qatar after the US side accepted the agenda tabled by the group for discussion. "Following American acceptance of... More

Nepal’s central bank announces ban of Indian currency above Rs. 100

Nepal's central bank has banned the use of Indian currency notes of Rs. 2,000, Rs. 500 and Rs. 200 denominations, a move that could affect Indian tourists visiting the Himalayan nation where Indian currency is widely used. Nepal... More

Saudi Arabia to deport 250 Rohingya to Bangladesh: Activist group

Saudi Arabia is planning to deport 250 Rohingya men to Bangladesh, in what will be the second forced deportation by Riyadh this year, an activist group has told Al Jazeera. Saudi Arabia is home to almost 300,000 Rohingya,... More

Modi’s populism could turn India into another Philippines or Argentina

Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister, doesn’t have much in common with the leader of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte. At least not in terms of their leadership tactics. Look below the surface though. You’ll soon see that there... More

No Indo-Pak dialogue but diplomatic engagement still on

There may not be any substantive dialogue between India and Pakistan at the moment but both governments are working to ensure there isn't a complete breakdown of diplomatic engagement between them. This past week saw Indian high... More

Afghanistan braces for rematch between political rivals

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday registered to run for president later this year, setting up a rematch after a bitterly disputed 2014 vote led to a power-sharing agreement brokered by the... More

India’s Citizenship Bill may not help many Bangladeshi nationals

Only a small number Bangladeshi nationals are likely to benefit from the Citizenship Amendment Bill, as fewer than 200 people from the neighbouring country have so far availed the long-term visas (LTVs), a senior Home Ministry official... More

Afghan Taliban reject talks with US in Pakistan

The Afghan Taliban rejected reports in the Pakistani media that they were prepared to resume meetings with US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Islamabad and repeated their refusal to deal directly with the Afghan government. Pakistani newspapers and... More

Financial switches of Bhutan and India to be integrated soon

In marking 50 years of Indo-Bhutan diplomatic relation, the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would soon integrate Bhutan financial switch and national financial switch of India to facilitate cash-less cross border digital... More

China-Myanmar border trade dips dramatically

China-Myanmar border trade fell by US$562 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the Global New Light of Myanmar, a state media outlet. The paper’s commentator attributed the decline to tighter Chinese controls on border trade,... More

India-Maldives security cooperation keeps us safe: Maldivian defence minister

Maldivian defence minister Mariya Didi will be in India from January 23 to 30. This is her first visit after taking charge as country's defence minister under Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's government in November of 2018. Speaking exclusively to... More

Bangladesh-bound coal trucks from Bhutan caught in Meghalaya muddle

Bangladesh-bound coal trucks from Bhutan have been caught in the confusion following the Supreme Court’s January 15 order banning the transportation of extracted coal in Meghalaya. Customs officials at Dawki in Meghalaya’s West Jaintia Hills district have allegedly... More

Indian PM’s pre-poll handouts to cost billions, breach fiscal targets: Report

A series of vote-catching measures planned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he braces for a difficult general election may cost more than Rs. 1 lakh crore, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. Much of... More

Pakistan to host Taliban talks in Islamabad

Pakistan on Friday decided to host the next round of talks between the United States and the Afghan Taliban in Islamabad during a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and the visiting US Special Representative for... More

Myanmar army ordered to take offensive against Arakan Army

Myanmar’s military announced Friday that the Arakan Army, a Buddhist rebel group in Rakhine state, has been classified a terrorist organization after mounting a flurry of recent attacks. The state earlier was the site of a brutal counterinsurgency... More

China Inches closer to finishing construction of ‘all-weather road’ in Doklam

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has made significant advances in constructing an ‘all-weather road’ that connects the Doklam plateau with its network of highways. According to latest updates from intelligence sources, a 12-km-long stretch of Merug La-Doklam... 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