Z Digest

Z Digest

Rohingya repatriation begins on Jan 23  

Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed that Rohingya repatriation process will commence on January 23. Myanmar wants to take back around 1258 Myanmar nationals both Muslims and Hindus in the first batch. Myanmar provided to Bangladesh detailed... More

US Drone strikes on Pak-Afghan border kill 2

At least one man was severely injured in a drone strike allegedly carried out by a US spy plane in Kurram Agency's Badshah Kot area near the Pak-Afghan border. According to officials, the man severely... More

Indian inmates to undergo ‘cow therapy’

Indian inmates are to be exposed to the "magical power" of cows under a radical rehabilitation programme involving rearing the beasts - revered by Hindus - on prison grounds, the authorities said Tuesday (Jan... More

Russia offers to host talks between Afghan govt and Taliban

Russia has called for urgent talks between Afghan government and the Taliban and offered to host such talks, a statement from its Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday (Jan 17). “We strongly recommend that negotiations start... More

Myanmar defense ministry asks for budget increase

Myanmar Defense Ministry on Tuesday (Jan 16) asked for a budget of more than 1.3 trillion kyats (US$1 billion) for a six-month period—an amount higher than the combined total of the health and education... More

Nepal plans to scrap another hydropower deal with China

Months after scrapping the Budhigandaki Hydropower deal signed with China’s Gezhouba Group, the government of Nepal is planning to cancel the agreement signed with China Three Gorges International Corporation for the construction of West... More

ADB provides additional $75 million to support SME development in Sri Lanka

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday (Jan 16) said its Board of Directors has approved $75 million in additional financing to continue support toward the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), considered... More

Bangladesh agrees with Myanmar to complete Rohingya return in two years

Bangladesh has agreed to complete the process of returning Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar within two years after repatriation begins, the south Asian nation said on Tuesday, following a meeting of the neighbours to implement... More

Top US general says ‘not giving up’ on Pakistan ties

The top US military officer, Marine General Joseph Dunford, said on Monday (Jan 15) he was committed to the US-Pakistan relationship, which has been strained in recent weeks as Washington piles pressure on Islamabad... More

India withdraws Haj subsidy

The government of India on Tuesday (Jan 16) withdrew its subsidy for Haj pilgrims. Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the decision was in line with the Centre’s agenda to empower... More

Maldives looks to block extremist websites

The counter terrorism unit of Maldives was working with the communications authority of Maldives (CAM) to block websites that are used as a tool for radicalizing and recruiting jihadists from the archipelago, defence minister... More

Private equity comes to Bhutan

Bhutan is one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, but the Himalayan kingdom has a fundamental problem: Its private sector is relatively underdeveloped and starved for capital. The Asian Development Bank projects gross domestic product... More

Gen Bajwa meets top Sri Lankan military leadership, discusses ways to improve...

Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa reached Sri Lanka on a two-day official visit on Tuesday (Jan 16) and held meetings with the top Sri Lankan military leadership, an Inter-Services... More

Bangladesh to start process for 11th national election in October

Bangladesh’s Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) A K M Nurul Huda on Monday (Jan 15) said that the process for holding the 11th parliamentary election will start in October this year. “All the political parties will... More

4 Pakistani soldiers killed by cross-border shelling in AJK

Four Pakistan Army soldiers were killed by shelling across the Line of Control in Azad Jammu and Kashmir's Jandrot sector on Monday (Jan 15), according to a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The... More

ITBP gets air wing to keep watch on China border

Learning from the Doklam experience, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) will soon have an air wing primarily for reconnaissance so that transgressions by the People's Liberation Army (PLA), troop build-up and construction activities across... More

Afghanistan unable to field army for 6 months without US assistance: President...

The Afghan army will be unable to operate even for six months without US support, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said. "We will not be able to support our army for six months without US support,... More

Number of Maldivians who traveled abroad as militants increases to 61

Number of Maldivians who traveled abroad to join fighting in foreign countries has increased to 61 people, says National Counter-Terrorism Center (NCTC). NCTC had said in 2017 that the number stood at 49 people. Speaking at... More

Pakistan’s Army Chief visits Sri Lanka

The Army Chief of Pakistan, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, is visiting Sri Lanka on the invitation of the Commander of the Sri Lankan Army from 15-17 January. During his stay in Sri Lanka, General Bajwa... More

Myanmar says temporary camp will house 30,000 Rohingyas targeted for repatriation

Myanmar is building a camp to temporarily house 30,000 Rohingya Muslims targeted for repatriation after fleeing violence in Rakhine State, state media reported on Monday (Jan 15), as Myanmar and Bangladesh meet to discuss... More

Lankan President revokes gazette permitting sale of liquor to women

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena announced Sunday that he has instructed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera to cancel last week’s gazette notifications revoking the prohibition of selling liquor to females and... More


Round one to Hefazot as Tabligh steps back

One of the largest gatherings of devout Muslims of the world --Biswaijtema -- held annually near the Turag river of Dhaka is famous for large turnouts, major traffic jams due to the huge crowd and eminent speakers from all over the Muslim world. But this year’s event will be... More

Myriad challenges ahead for China in Afghanistan

There is hardly any doubt that China has been working on augmenting its role and position in Afghanistan for the last few years. The role is not just that of a mediatory between Pakistan and Afghanistan but equally that of a direct stake-holder and broker of peace in the... More

Former R&AW chief in India’s national security team

No deputy to the National Security Advisor (NSA) in India has attracted so much attention in Delhi's policy making circles as Rajinder Khanna did when he was appointed deputy NSA recently. He is the first chief of external intelligence R&AW to make it -- two former chiefs of Intelligence Bureau,... More

Our Trump Card

Because of US sanctions economic assistance has been suspended before, military sales terminated, etc. Reacting to US President Donald Trump's New Year tweet, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif vowed the Pakistani audience telling the Wall Street Journal that "we are no longer allies" and that "Washington had turned Islamabad into... More

Rohingya crisis looks long term as ARSA returns 

That Bangladesh was not prepared for the Rohingya exodus is now grudgingly accepted by its official world. Some had perhaps hoped that there would be a bit of collateral gains for keeping the borders open but that hasn’t materialized. Similarly, Myanmar’s prime backers and supporters -- China and India... More


Why Gadkari is perfect interlocutor for Iran

Quietly, unobtrusively, on the eve of the visit by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to India beginning this weekend, India made an assertive move in its West Asia policies that should not go unnoticed. This has been the decision to schedule talks with Iran’s... More

Revisiting Jammu and Kashmir

From time to time we are rudely reminded that there is an issue concerning the state of Jammu & Kashmir. The last reminder came on the night of 30-31 December 2017, when militants attacked the CRPF Training Centre at Lethpora in Pulwama district killing five... More

Why businessman Trump is upset with Pakistan

The Indian media have ignored the momentous announcement by Pakistan’s central bank on January 2 notifying that it has taken “comprehensive policy related measures to ensure that imports, exports and financing transactions can be denominated in CNY (Chinese Yuan).” Probably they got bogged down with... More

India needs to align with new reality in Indian Ocean

The uneasiness over the India - Maldives relations are unwarranted. The ripples in the Indian ocean are short term and inevitable for the fact that Maldives does have a strategic role to play and India's foreign policy must align to this new reality. What is... 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... More