REPORT

REPORT

Cash-strapped Pakistan asks China to shelve US$2 billion coal plant


Pakistan has officially asked China to shelve a joint US$2 billion coal power project from the US$62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) infrastructure project, claiming it will be too expensive and should not be an immediate priority. The... More

US envoy due in Islamabad as Afghan peace talks falter


United States Special Envoy on Afghan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, is due to arrive in the Pakistani capital Islamabad for talks with the country's civilian and military leadership, as the Afghan Taliban threaten to pull out of peace... More

US Air Force escalated bombing campaign on Taliban by 35 percent in...


United States Central Command and NATO aircraft dropped 841 weapons on Taliban targets during the month of November, according to newly released data published by US Air Forces Central Command (AFCENT). That's good for a 35.64 percent jump... More

India’s Citizenship Bill: Chakma and Hajong communities in a spot


The contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has put the spotlight on Bengali Hindus in Assam with Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma saying the community could help the Assamese people win 18 Assembly constituencies where Bengali... More

Insurgents plunging Myanmar’s Rakhine back into chaos


Myanmar’s government says it has ordered the military to “crush” rebels in the western state of Rakhine, following raids by insurgents that killed 13 police officers earlier this month. The United Nations says fighting between the Myanmar military... More

2018 was the deadliest year in the history of Kashmir


Kashmir is natural paradise and gorgeous valley located between Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, China and with a small strip of 27 miles with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. But it is still a disputed region since partition of United India... More

Khalilzad In Kabul for talks on ‘next steps’ for Afghan peace


The United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is in Kabul for the third time in less than four months after he was appointed to the post “to facilitate peace talks between Afghan government and... More

Pakistani envoy unlawfully detained in India


An official of the Pakistan High Commission was arrested by the Indian authorities on Sunday, January 13, 2019, and was released after the matter was raised by Pakistan; local publications reported quoting sources in the Foreign Office. The... More

Myanmar sends more troops to troubled Rakhine State


The war in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State is likely to intensify as more government forces have been deployed to the area in the wake of rebel attacks on police stations, The Irrawaddy, a Myanmar website, reported on... More

UN calls for ‘rapid and unimpeded’ aid access to Myanmar’s Rakhine


The United Nations called on the Myanmar government on Monday (Dec 14) to allow “rapid and unimpeded” humanitarian access to Rakhine State, where fighting between government troops and autonomy-seeking rebels has displaced thousands of people. The Rakhine State... More

Bangladesh-India bilateral talks next month in Delhi


Bangladesh and India will hold the next round of foreign minister-level bilateral talks in the first week of February, aiming to take the relations between the two countries to newer heights. The meeting – 5th Joint Consultative Commission... More

Saudi Arabia to build US$10 billion oil refinery at China-funded Gwadar Port...


Saudi Arabia plans to set up a US$10 billion oil refinery at Pakistan’s deep water port of Gwadar, which is being developed with the help of China, the Saudi energy minister said on Saturday. Pakistan wants to attract... More

Rebel attacks escalate war in Myanmar’s Rakhine State


The war in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State is likely to intensify as more government forces have been deployed in the area in the wake of rebel attacks on police stations, The Irrawaddy, a Myanmar website, reported on... More

SC judge, who voted to remove Alok Verma, declines govt offer to...


Supreme Court judge AK Sikri, whose vote helped decide CBI chief Alok Verma's removal from the top post, has turned down a post-retirement offer from the government. He has also communicated to the centre that he isn't... More

India’s Rahul Gandhi vows to reform sales tax, seek investment as poll...


India's main opposition Congress party will simplify the goods and services tax (GST) and take "rational economic decisions" to attract foreign investment if voted back to power in a general election due by May, its leader Rahul... More

Two Indian opposition parties unite to challenge PM Narendra Modi


A formidable opposition, a coalition of the regional Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), has been announced by the leaders of the two parties to challenge Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the general... More

Pakistan not approaching IMF for new bailout programme: Pak FM


Pakistan will not approach the IMF for a new bailout package and is considering alternative options to tide over its economic crisis, Finance Minister Asad Umar said Saturday. Minister Umar made the remarks during a meeting with businessmen... More

Bezbaruah withdraws his consent to head panel on Assam Accord


Former Tourism Secretary M.P. Bezbaruah, who was named to head a High Level Committee on how to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, has withdrawn his consent to head the committee. A source confirmed to The Hindu... More

Nepal seeks transshipment privileges at Kolkata port


Nepal has asked India for transshipment privileges and permission to use the electronic cargo tracking system (ECTS) on Nepal-bound cargo at Kolkata port too. Nepal has been receiving transshipment privileges at Vishakhapatnam port and using the ECTS on... More

Confederation the only option for Arakanese people, AA chief says


The political objective of the Arakan Army (AA), an Arakanese ethnic armed group currently clashing with the Myanmar Army, is to obtain confederate status for Rakhine State, AA chief Major-General Tun Myat Naing told The Irrawaddy. “We prefer... More

India slaps cases against critics of plan to grant citizenship to non-Muslims


Indian police on Friday said they are investigating an academic, a journalist and a peasant leader for possible sedition for publicly opposing a proposal to grant citizenship to non-Muslims from neighboring Muslim-majority countries. Critics have called the proposal... More

COLUMN

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

VIDEO-INTERVIEW

OUTCOME AND FUTURE OF BMISTEC? & WHAT’S ON THE BALANCE?


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

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