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Did China get Sri Lanka to cough up a port?


“CHINA got Sri Lanka to cough up a port,” said the New York Times in a widely quoted article published recently. The article claimed that “every time Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa turned to his Chinese allies for... More

India and the US, oceans apart


The US has sold nearly $15 billion worth of arms to India over the last 10 years. So the Donald Trump administration’s displeasure at India’s recent decision to buy the S-400 missile system from Russia puts a... More

Exodus of Rohingya from Myanmar to Bangladesh sparks ecological crisis


The Rohingya influx has contributed to air pollution, deforestation, groundwater pollution, and soil erosion in a country that has already struggled to respond to climate change, writes Austin Bodetti. Tags: Rohingya, Myanmar, Muslims, Bangladesh, refugees, humanitarian The international... More

Afghanistan: Peace at hand?


The news that the Americans recently held face-to-face talks with the Taliban suggests that longest war in US history may have reached a turning point, although the road to such a peace is long, rocky and plagued... More

RISING HATE IN INDIA


Alimuddin Ansari, a van driver, knew the risks. Smuggling beef in India, where the slaughter of cows is illegal in some states, is dangerous work, and Ansari eventually attracted the notice of Hindu extremists in Jharkhand. One hot... More

Sri Lanka’s not for sale


Most people in the island nation of Sri Lanka and its Asian neighbors were stunned last week when President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe — and replaced him with Mahinda Rajapaksa, the populist strongman who... More

Fear of Deportation Drives Some Rohingya Refugees from India


India's recent deportation of seven Rohingya men to Myanmar has triggered a panic among the country’s Rohingya Muslim refugee community. Since the seven men were deported in the past three weeks, many Rohingya refugees have gone underground in... More

The NRC process and the spectre of statelessness in India


As the game of citizenship acquires a larger hold over the power dynamic, the growth of statelessness in South Asia also becomes more pronounced. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah has threatened the nation that each... More

Geopolitical factors contributing to Afghan quagmire


Afghanistan’s strategic position between the Eurasian heartland and the Indian Ocean made it the focus of the “Great Game,” the historical competition between the British and Russian empires for geopolitical supremacy. During the Cold War, the Great Game... More

Thawing tensions in the Himalaya


In the last few decades, state-making projects have transformed life in the Himalaya. Infrastructure development intended for troop deployment along disputed borders has, more recently, enabled large-scale transport and extraction projects and a tourist rush in this... More

Prayagraj is now the official name, but Allahabad will live on in...


Allahabad officially became Prayagraj on October 16. That afternoon, jokes started circulating on local social media sites: “Where were you born?” “In Prayagraj.” “Which coach of Prayagraj?” For Prayagraj Express has so far been a popular train... More

In Pakistan, an ambitious effort to plant 10 billion trees takes root


When Mohammed Riasat, a government forest service officer, peers up at the majestic ridges around him, he sees small miracles others might miss: a few dozen pine seedlings that have sprouted in rocky, near-vertical cliffs or a... More

Afghanistan’s mineral wealth catches Trump’s eye


The Ghurian iron mine in Afghanistan’s Herat province is a perfect pilot investment target for a proposed US/Uzbekistan mining venture underwritten by the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), according to Dr Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi, chief adviser... More

Amit Shah’s ‘migrant termites’ speech echoes leaders around the world who orchestrated...


Speaking at rallies in Rajasthan and Delhi this month, Amit Shah called Bangladeshi migrants “termites” that are eating away at India. “Are you bothered because of illegal immigrants in Delhi or not?” the Bharatiya Janata Party president... More

China didn’t cause Pakistan’s financial crisis but it should play a role...


Pakistan faces another balance of payments crisis and may again head to the International Monetary Fund for help. China and its Belt and Road Initiative have been blamed – unfairly – for the crisis, but the real... More

If Your Name Is Shahrukh, the Tricolour Is No Longer Allowed to...


You can carry the tricolour on a kanwar yatra, wave it from motorcycles. You can even drape the bodies of those who have committed violence against Muslims with it. But you cannot look towards it for shelter. Can... More

India’s muddled South Asia policy


Energetic and proactive: These were the words used to describe the foreign policy of the Narendra Modi government that came to power in May 2014. Nearly four years and four months since the swearing-in ceremony that saw leaders... More

As India’s Ganga runs out of water, a potential food shortage looms


Millions of people living in the lower reaches of the Ganges basin in India may face food shortages in the next three decades if the iconic river continues to lose water due to factors such as unsustainable... More

Diplomatic enclave: Newer ties


This year is the year for elections in South Asia and has already brought unexpected electoral changes in all three elections held in 2018. From Nepal to Pakistan and most recently in Bhutan, which has just conducted... More

India’s shrinking democratic space


With less than a year to go before we head into general elections in the summer of 2019, it is becoming evident that this will be no ordinary electoral contest between the BJP and the rest because... More

In India’s tribal-dominated NE, caste poses fresh challenge


If the idea of minority is central to democracy, the principle of equality is critical to the Constitution of India. Inherent in that principle of equality are the provisions for reservation of appointments or posts and affirmative-action... More

COLUMN

Afghanistan: The big story of massive aid waste

There are ghost soldiers; ghost police officers; ghost clinics and even ghost patients in Afghanistan. There are billions of dollars spent on papers, but there is very little on the ground. As such, despite spending billions on controlling narcotics to improving health conditions and the state of security, Afghanistan remains a country with too many ill-conceived programs and too little progress made on every front. The story of the massive... More

Parties over people

With elections to Bangladesh’s JatiyaSangsad (National Assembly) now declared to be held on December 23, the political scene in the country will enter a new phase. The announcement was sudden but not really unexpected given the way politics developed over the past few weeks. The Awami League is not in a mood to listen to the others. Her main opponent, the JatiyaOikkyo Front, led by Dr Kamal Hossain and... More

Ensuring challenges provide opportunities

The situation in our country in the wake of global and internal changes affecting Pakistan has evoked multiple challenges. Not to get bogged down by their sheer number it seems important to analyse each and every challenge that the country is facing. These need not only a reaction from the state to tackle them but as an opportunity for developing new vistas of understanding for responding to the problems... More

Mixed messages from Myanmar’s bye-elections

Analysts are pouring over the results of Myanmar’s bye elections in Myanmar, vainly trying to read the tea leaves, and perhaps reading too much into them. But it was certainly a wake-up call for both major parties – the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) and the previous governing party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) – but the lessons that can be drawn for the future are... More

The Eurasian concept

When continents are defined as “mainly continuous expanses of land” one is left wondering why Europe and Asia, though very much a continuous land mass, have been perceived through centuries as two separate continents. One major reason may be that the western end of the Eurasian landmass took a very different turn in its development, with renaissance, scientific and industrial revolutions and ‘modernity’ changing its economic, social and intellectual... 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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