SOUTH ASIAN DIGEST

Pakistan, Poland sign defence cooperation agreement

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Pakistan Minister for Defence Khurram Dastgir-Khan and his Polish counterpart Mariusz Blaszczak signed an agreement between the two countries on cooperation in the field of defence in Warsaw Thursday (Apr 19). The two sides hailed the agreement as an important step in consolidating and institutionalising defence relations between the two countries. Earlier, on arrival at the... More

13,796 civilians killed in J&K since start of militancy, India’s home ministry says

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As many as 13,796 civilians and 5,123 security force personnel have been killed in Jammu & Kashmir since the advent of militancy in the 1990s. In fact, fatal civilian casualties in the state in 2017 were the highest in five years, registering a 167% rise to 40 from 15 in 2016. As per annual report... More

EU concerned by Maldives’ lack of electoral reform ahead of polls

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European Union (EU) has expressed deep concern by the lack of electoral reform in the Maldives ahead of the presidential elections slated for later this year. A statement following an Electoral Follow-up Mission (EFM) to the Maldives in January insisted that the archipelago had failed to implement any of the 22 recommendations made by the... More

Over 5 lakh still affected by Sri Lanka drought

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Over 500,000 people still remain affected by the drought in 10 districts of Sri Lanka, according to a report released by the Sri Lankan Disaster Management Centre (DMC) on Thursday (Apr 19). The DMC said the 10 districts located in the northern, northwestern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka had been affected. The Puttalam district in... More

Nepal home minister calls for strengthening security

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Nepal’s home minister Ram Bahadur Thapa Thursday (Apr 19) issued instructions for tightening the security citing preparations being undertaken by domestic and external enemies to create instability in the country. After an inspection tour of the District Police Office in Chitwan this morning, Minister Thapa claimed that some elements were trying to push the country... More

Bangladeshi among Reuters’ Pulitzer-winning team

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Mohammad Ponir Hossain, a Bangladeshi photojournalist, is one of the photography staff of the Reuters' team that won the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography documenting the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh. The Reuters photography staff member was honoured for images of the violence endured by the Rohingya, a Muslim minority, as they fled Myanmar... More

Taliban turns down Afghan President’s offer to take part in elections

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The Taliban radical movement has rejected the offer of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to participate in Afghanistan’s parliamentary and local elections, TOLO broadcaster reported. The Taliban  slammed the upcoming elections, saying that only those who are approved by the United States could gain power in the country, while also claiming that people have been "cheated"... More

Myanmar army launches major offensive against KIA bases

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The Myanmar military (or Tatmadaw) attacked the Kachin Independence Army’s headquarters and other bases on Wednesday in a major new offensive including both ground and air strikes, according to local sources. The attacks follow the KIA’s raid on a Tatmadaw base earlier this week. KIA spokesperson Colonel Naw Bu told The Irrawaddy on... More

Bhutan PM calls on Japan to raise worker happiness

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Bhutan is known for its unique index focused on factors that make its citizens feel happy, such as health and environment, rather than economic growth. The index is called Gross National Happiness, or GNH. Tobgay arrived in Japan on Tuesday for talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In an interview with NHK on Thursday, he revealed... More

TOP NEWS

UN says Nasheed’s trial was flawed, but Maldivian govt maintains it was legal


The UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), which went into the trial of former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed had listed the flaws in it and asked the Maldivian government to release him to enable him... More

REPORTS

China wants to see smooth, stable elections in Bangladesh


China, the biggest trade partner with $15 billion exports to Bangladesh, wants to see the upcoming general elections “smooth and stable”. The Chinese Embassy’s economic and commercial counsellor, Li Guang... More

Khawaja Asif to attend foreign ministers’ meeting in Beijing


Pakistan’s foreign minister Khawaja Asif and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj will attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting that will be held in Beijing on April 24, said Chinese... More

Pakistan terms PM Modi’s remarks on surgical strikes as false


Pakistan rejected as “false and baseless” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on the ‘surgical strikes’ across the Line of Control in 2016 , saying “repeating a lie doesn’t turn... More

Pakistan turns to China for high-end weapons: report


The downward trend in Pak-US relations has pushed Islamabad towards China for the procurement of high-tech weaponry as the United States has again become an unreliable supplier for weaponry,... More

NEWS ANALYSIS

India’s revised China policy tactical adjustment, not strategic change


The Doklam standoff between China and India last summer has set bilateral relations at a low ebb. The standoff has prompted the two countries to more seriously review each... More

VISTA OF VIEWS

Modi’s long silence as women in India are attacked


Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India tweets frequently and considers himself a talented orator. Yet he loses his voice when it comes to speaking out about the dangers faced by women... More

ISSUES

Afghanistan’s 30-year pipe dream could bring power, industry


Afghanistan is pressing ahead with plans to turn natural gas from an $8-billion pipeline into economic development, with projects ranging from fertilizer plants to power generation, but first it needs to start construction. The TAPI... More

Modi’s new India dream may fall victim to US-China tariff war: Study


Days after India announced it will not take sides in the ongoing tariff war between the US and China, a detailed study claimed that in any case, India could fall victim to adverse trade... More

Rohingya arrests in India raise fears among diaspora


Sitting in his dilapidated house in Assam State’s Dhubri District, Asif wonders what fate has in store for him and the hundreds of other Rohingya who live on the fringes of survival across India.... More

Smart fences: Modi govt’s new project to protect India’s borders with Bangladesh,...


The Narendra Modi government has operationalised the country’s first ever comprehensive integrated border management system along the riverine stretch bordering Bangladesh in Assam. The smart fence is a project that is being implemented by... More

DEFENCE

Indian Army to train in Malaysia


In less than two weeks from now, about 90 battle-hardened soldiers from the Indian Army will leave for the thick and lush jungles of Malaysia’s Selangor, a Maoist bastion in the 1950s, to exchange... More

Pakistan’s JF-17 Thunder a better choice than India’s Tejas


With reports of Malaysia and Pakistan discussing the export of the JF-17 Thunder Fighter Jet, comparisons between Pakistan’s JF-17 Thunder and the Indian HAL Tejas have surfaced again. Although the JF-17 Thunder and HAL... More

Divisive agenda

Until recently, politics in West Bengal was dictated by ideology, development issues and muscle power. But the latest trends show a paradigm shift, with religion and identity increasingly taking centre stage. The recent communal violence in different parts of... More

COLUMN

Comey’s book and Pakistan’s leaders

James Brien Comey Jr served as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for four years till fired by President Donald Trump on May 9, 2017. Trump initially claimed this was because of Comey's mishandling of the investigation into the private email of Hillary Clinton. The overriding perception... More

Bangladesh election 2018: is there a Sino-Indian stake?

It’s pretty odd to think that Bangladesh elections should be of any interest to China and India given the complete lack of its strategic value. However, Bangladesh maybe becoming a reluctant pawn of sorts in a regional ‘great game’. China’s rising influence in the region and India’s relative decline in what... More

Tripura’s new pitch for Geo-Economics

Biplab Deb is a BJP chief minister with a difference. In a 40-minute interview with this writer last week, he did not mention even once any of the usual saffron agenda -- Ram Mandir, beef, illegal migration from Bangladesh. "My agenda is development, development, development all the way," he... More

Myanmar readies for second face of reforms

Myanmar has reached a critical crossroads with the start of a new financial year and the beginning of the National League for Democracy (NLD) government’s third year in office. But concrete plans for accelerated economic and political reform are in the pipeline: the plans mark a return to the... More

Cracking the Afghan-Pak nut

It is nothing short of a challenge for Pakistan to reconcile its western neighbour, a neighbour Pakistan has almost never enjoyed cordial relations with. But the need for reconciling the estranged neighbour has never been greater than now. For one thing, Pakistan’s relations with the US crucially depend upon Pakistan’s... More

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Iran to team up with China on nuke development if Trump...

As US President Donald Trump decides whether to reauthorize the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which he has long wanted to exit or renegotiate, Iranian authorities have announced they will be getting help with their nuclear program from China. "Some negotiations have been held on mutual cooperation and building small nuclear... More

Pinarayi and Gadkari link up on development

The American think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, had featured a riveting ‘curtain-raiser’ to the 2014 poll in India entitled Does Good Economics Mean Good Politics In India? The essay appeared in December 2013 and I’d carefully stored it in my archives, as a fairly prescient analysis of... More

Mutual respect is the key

I will not reach any deal that would go against the national interest of Nepal,” K P Sharma Oli, the prime minister of Nepal, reportedly assured parliamentarians in Kathmandu earlier this week, before heading out to India. That such questions should be asked and answered is a definitive sign... More

Reviving Nepal’s independent foreign policy

The long political transition in Nepal has come to an end with the successful completion of local, provincial and federal elections. A new phase of history beckons Nepal as it has adopted federalism under the new constitution promulgated in 2015. The achievement of economic prosperity has now been prioritized... More

MOST POPULAR

READER'S VIEWS

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... More
April 2018
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Sri Lanka’s Tea Museum, giving life to a legacy

Bridging the island’s colonial past with the present is Sri Lanka’s museum dedicated to the Lankan heritage of tea. Standing atop the scenic mountains... More

Pakistani English fiction’s search for approval and recognition

Authors of Pakistani origin writing in English are on fire abroad. And in Pakistan, they are igniting a frisson of excitement and minor pyrotechnics... More

One Year On, Indian Army’s ‘Human Shield’ Still Awaits Justice

Last year, on the morning of April 9, Farooq Ahmad Dar – a 27-year-old shawl weaver from Chill Brass village in central Kashmir’s Budgam... More

Beyond boundaries

When news of the noted Sufi singer Pyarelal Wadali breathing his last at a private hospital in Amritsar after a prolonged battle with diabetes... More

The Betrayal of India: A close look at the 2008...

These days we rush from one media story to another, trying to keep up with the latest terrorist attack. Yesterday Paris; today London; tomorrow,... More

Shonku on big screen

Professor Shonku, the genius scientist, inventor and polyglot whose adventures have enthralled generations of young Bengali readers for six decades, will for the first... More

Preservation of Buddhist art helps Pakistan fight stereotyping

In a video address at the opening of the Pakistan Single Country Exhibition here on January 12, Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi made a fervent... More

Lahore Music Meet: Redefining Pakistan

The city of Lahore has created an indelible music festival that is not only an amazing platform for artists from any genre of music... More