August 17, 2017

Afghanistan: A Great Game That All Sides Can Win

Afghan map

Two questions have increasingly taken centre-stage in discussions about what might happen in Afghanistan after United States withdrawal in 2014. One, if it will become a proxy battlefield for India and Pakistan, the two big South Asian rivals, and two, if anything can be done to prevent this. William Dalrymple, for instance, wrote in an essay for Brookings Institution this ... Read More »

Tensions Mount as Nepal Contentious Election Nears

Voter registration is underway in the villages but a lot of preparation is still needed for the elections. (Photo by Naresh Newar/IRIN)

Protests and logistical challenges are heightening tensions before a scheduled 19 November national poll in Nepal that is seen as critical to the country’s stability and development, say analysts. Voters are to choose a new Constituent Assembly (CA), which serves as the country’s parliament. The last assembly dissolved in May 2012 after failing to produce a much-anticipated post-war constitution. Citizens have ... Read More »

Ensuring the Future of Afghan Women

In Herat, Afghanistan, women line up to collect bags of split chick pea, wheat, and cooking oil being distributed by the UN World Food Program (WFP). (Photo by United Nations)

Ahead of two major transition processes – the 2014 NATO withdrawal and the forthcoming presidential elections – in the country, there are increasing concerns on the future of women’s rights in Afghanistan. While a recent report by the World Economic Forum on global gender gap indicated a considerable improvement on decreasing the gap between genders in most of countries across ... Read More »

Pakistan to Begin Exporting JF-17 Thunder Fighter Jets

Pakistan Air Force JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter. (Photo by RA.AZ, Creative Commons License)

Pakistan will begin exporting the JF-17 Thunder multirole fighter jet next year Pakistani media outlets reported on Friday, citing unnamed officials from the Ministry of Defense Production. According to a report that appeared in multiple Pakistani newspapers, “The Pakistan Air Force has been assigned [a] target of exporting 5 to 7 JF-17 Thunder planes next year and discussions in this regard are under ... Read More »

Malala’s Theme

Malala Yousafzai speaking at World Bank headquarters in Washington DC on October 11. (Photo by Simone D. McCourtie via World Bank photo collection)

Literally missing by inches being named the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize, the young Pakistani girl who achieved international fame after being shot in the head and neck on a school bus in the Swat Valley by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on October 9 last year, Malala Yousufzai felt she had not yet done enough to earn ... Read More »

Maldives Democracy Kidnapped

Supporters of Maldivian Democratic Party have long struggled for fair elections. This photo of a protest was taken on April 20, 2012. (Photo by Dying Regime, Creative Commons License)

On 7 September 2013, 88 percent of the Maldivian electorate turned out to vote in the country’s second ever democratic election. In the glorious Saturday sunshine, over 200,000 people headed to over 400 polling stations on over 200 islands scattered across the Indian Ocean to vote for one of four candidates. Hundreds of Maldivians did the same in Sri Lanka, ... Read More »

A Vote for the Social Sciences in India

The social sciences have for long shied away from investigating the terrain of political behaviour. This has changed. (Photo by P.V. Sivakumar via The Hindu)

Although the elections are still some time away, a different political climate is being created by various stakeholders. The tone was set with Anna Hazare’s and the nationwide stir against growing corruption in high places and the demand for the setting up of an independent body at the apex to examine cases of money laundering and the misuse of public ... Read More »

Maldives Failing to Close Gender Gap

Maldives is failing to close the gender gaps preventing the country from achieving gender equality – one of the two remaining development goals the Maldives is yet to reach before 2015. (Photo by Tiffany Terry, Creative Commons License)

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has ranked the Maldives 97th out of 136 countries in the gender gap index 2013, falling two spots from the previous year. Whilst the Maldives scores highly in terms of educational equality, last week’s report shows it to be falling behind when it comes to economic and political parity between the sexes. The WEF’s Global ... Read More »

Bangladesh’s Unending Political Crisis

(Photo via The Daily Star)

Bangladesh is passing through a political crisis, giving rise to a grave social and economic situation that has taken many lives already, and caused many lost days of income. Political parties are in dangerous confrontation. The latest political conflict arose with the issue of the coming general election. The only means to control the fire is a national consensus on ... Read More »

Pakistan’s Changing Relations with Afghanistan

A Pakistani post near the border with Afghanistan. (Photo by by Talk Radio News Service, Creative Commons License)

Recently, the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met US President Barack Obama and discussed certain issues related to both Pakistan and Afghanistan. One of the notable statements by the Pakistani Prime Minister about Afghanistan, said, “I have assured Afghan President Hamid Karzai that we wish neither to interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, nor do we have any favorites.” He also ... Read More »