REPORT

REPORT

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

Fissures within Assam BJP over Citizenship Bill widen


Two more BJP legislators from Assam on Wednesday joined the ranks of those within the party who have spoken out against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. "A foreigner is a foreigner. Religion cannot be the basis on which... More

Bangladesh: Violent repression of opposition


Bangladesh violently cracked down on criticism of the ruling Awami League in advance of national elections in 2018, Human Rights Watch said Thursday (January 17) in its World Report 2019. Instead of responding to calls for accountability,... More

To counter China’s military buildup, India orders moving of strategic ITBP command...


Amid growing concerns over the Chinese military buildup along the eastern flank of the country, the government has ordered moving a strategic ITBP command from its current base in Chandigarh by over 960km to the border of... More

Afghan Taliban warns US it would ‘stall all talks’ if ‘unlawful pressures’...


Warning the United States that it would “stall all talks and negotiations” if America continues with its “unlawful pressures and maneuvering”, the Afghan Taliban on Wednesday accused Washington of backing away from the agreement reached in Doha... 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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