Z Digest

Z Digest

UN, WB chiefs likely to visit Rohingya camps in Bangladesh

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim are likely to make a two-day official visit to Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh on July... More

Killing of Pakistani Taliban chief ‘significant’, prime minister says

Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Nasir-ul-Mulk described the killing of Pakistani Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah in a US drone strike in Afghanistan as a “significant development in the fight against terrorism”. Mulk made the comment in... More

Ramzan is over, and so is the Kashmir ceasefire, says India

Indian security forces will resume offensive operations against militants in Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Home Ministry announced on Sunday ( Jun 17). The government of India has decided not to extend the suspension of... More

Bhutan-based SAARC fund to launch social enterprise programme

Thimpu-based SAARC Development Fund will soon be launching a social enterprise development programme (SEDP) to fund 80 entities annually across the 8-member states, said SDF CEO Sunil Motiwal. SDF was established by the Heads of... More

Bhutan is 47 percent self-sufficient in rice

A rice specialist from agriculture research and development centre in Bajo, Mahesh Ghimeray said that one of the main problems in Bhutan is the low production base.  “We’ve lots of forests and the wild... More

Maldives former president sentenced to 19 months in jail

A Maldives court on Wednesday sentenced a former strongman accused of plotting to overthrow the government to 19 months in prison for failing to cooperate with the police investigation. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled the... More

‘Nepal and China will sign some agreements and MoUs’

During Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s five-day official visit to China from June 19, 2018, the two countries will sign some agreements and Memorandums of Understandings (MoUs), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said. “During the... More

Myanmar military orders tycoon to rebuild colonial-era building

The Myanmar military has ordered a prominent businessman to rebuild a heritage site his company demolished to make way for a US$500 million high-rise construction project in Yangon’s Bahan township, according to The Irrawaddy,... More

Pakistan rules out IMF loan until after national elections

Pakistan’s economy faces “some very daunting challenges,” but the nation’s interim government won’t approach the International Monetary Fund for support, according to caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar. The decision whether to approach the IMF for... More

AIIB clears $1.2-bn loans to India for infra projects

Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved six projects worth $1.2 billion in loans to India for infrastructure related projects and additional $1.9 billion is under review, Najeeb Haider, manager of investment operations,... More

Afghan Taliban decry radio tower bombing as attack on free speech

The Afghan Taliban denounced “American occupying forces” for attacking their Voice of Shariah Radio station in the central province of Ghazni, but the United States denied the charge and said Afghan air force planes... More

Maldives to get USD12 mln WB package to boost public finance system

The World Bank are set to give a USD12 million financial package to the Maldives to strengthen the archipelago’s public sector financial management systems. Building on the existing Public Financial Management Systems Strengthening Project, the... More

EU interest in Myanmar market tamed by Rakhine crisis

The EU is exercising more caution when making investment decisions involving Myanmar. This is due to recent instability at the country’s borders, including the ongoing refugee problems in Rakhine, members from the bloc said... More

Pakistan, Afghanistan to set up coordination centers

Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to deploy liaison officers in each other's capital and establish coordination centers along the border to share intelligence on militant suspects, sources to a meeting of military officials said... More

Suicide bomber kills 13, including women, outside Afghan ministry

A suicide bomber killed 13 people and wounded more 25 during rush hour on Monday at the entrance to Afghanistan’s rural rehabilitation and development ministry in Kabul as workers were leaving for home, government... More

Nepal cabinet approves two proposals for PM’s China visit

The government of Nepal has endorsed two proposals related to the upcoming visit of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to China.A Cabinet meeting on Sunday approved the proposal of the Chinese government to repair... More

Bhutan hosts ‘World Dendro Conference’ for the first time

Finding solutions from tree rings on the impacts of climate change in mountain environments, the 10th World Dendro Conference began in Thimphu Sunday. Bhutan is the first developing country to host the conference. Dendrochronology is... More

West Bengal CM now speaks of taking Sikkim on board for Teesta...

The Teesta agreement may be delayed further as the chief minister of West Bengal has proposed to include the northeastern state Sikkim in the process, said officials who accompanied the prime minister Sheikh Hasina... More

President Mamnoon at SCO urges development of fund to eliminate terrorism

Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain at the 18th meeting of the Council of Heads of States of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Qindgao on Sunday urged member states to consider the establishment of a development... More

India refuses to endorse China’s BRI

India was the only country in the eight-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation  (SCO) on Sunday which refused to endorse China's ambitious Belt and Road initiative for which Beijing has signed pacts with nearly 80 countries... More

Afghan gov’t welcomes Taliban ceasefire

Hours after the Taliban announced a three-day ceasefire, the Presidential Palace and High Peace Council were among the first to welcome the decision, saying the Kabul administration appreciates any move which ends bloodshed in... More


Myanmar struggles to find a new Rakhine strategy

Myanmar finds itself in a new international quagmire as it attempts to redefine its solutions for reconciliation in Rakhine. In the past, Myanmar found itself in the middle of a tug of war, between the West and the East, as the US, UK and Europe imposed punitive sanctions in... More

Undoing a gangster heaven 

Consensus on matters ensuring security and welfare of the common mans rarely achieved by our Parliament. Such unanimity is only displayed when their own self-interest is at stake, like approving increments in their salary, added perks and privileges, etc. In October last year all the parliamentary parties banded together... More

Is China letting India have Bangladesh?

China has collected several trophies for its wall such as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Pakistan is its captive friend. It doesn’t mind Bangladesh as India’s major stepping stone in the region. Without any place of comfort, India may become too nervous for the long term, particularly as the... More

Sri Lanka and US shed reservations to become military partners 

Sri Lanka and the United States appear to be shedding mutual animosities and reservations about each other to build a military partnership if not a strategic alliance. After the British were asked to leave Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon, by the socialist and non-aligned regimes of the Sri Lanka... More

Modi’s report card not inspiring

Much was made of the four years of Modi government by spin doctors of the India's ruling BJP last week. Prime minister Narendra Modi himself went ballistic against a possible opposition alliance much before it has crystallised, claiming Indian voters will never vote again for instability and uncertainty when... More


SCO nurtures Sino-Indian relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday expressed their willingness to lend momentum to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), with Xi offering  to work with India and other member states to carry forward the Shanghai Spirit and promote sound and stable development of the... More

Mani Shankar Aiyar on Pranab Mukherjee’s speech to RSS

I must confess to having felt queasy when I heard that our former Rashtrapati, Pranab Mukherjee, a man I much admire, was likely to accept an invitation from the RSS Sarsanghchalak, Mohan Bhagwat, to attend the convocation of Sangh Parivaar volunteers trained for three years in becoming pracharaks. I was not queasy about what... More

Pakistan’s next election will pave the way for progress

Pakistan, a former British colony in South Asia with a Muslim-majority (97%) population of 220 million, the sixth largest in the world,  is a regional power to be reckoned with. It has the geo-strategic advantage of being in close proximity to the Strait of Hormuz and the energy-rich Middle... More

Rohingya rape survivors face a harrowing choice

The 3-month-old boy has no name. His mother, Uma Suleiman, cradles him during the sweltering nights when he can’t sleep, patting his bare back with her palm. She had done the same for her other children, all of whose names arrived easily to her, all of whom she loved without... More



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