World

October, 2013

  • 3 October

    No Clear Trends Ahead of Afghan Presidential Elections

    No other topic is of interest for Kabul’s chattering classes these days than the upcoming presidential election. The making and breaking of political and electoral alliances, the likely candidates and the expected winner are discussed threadbare as the Afghans prepare for their third presidential election since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001. This would be the first election …

  • 2 October

    Maldives Election Fiasco: ‘Betrayal of Democracy’

      An Indian Ocean archipelago of more than 1,992 coral islands scattered across the Equator, the Maldives is known for its emerald green waters and pristine beaches. Visiting tourists usually view it as a tranquil paradise. Maldivian politics, though, have rarely been peaceful. A British protectorate until 1965, the Maldives has been under authoritarian rule for most of its post-Independence …

September, 2013

  • 28 September

    What’s With The Skullcaps?

      Nepal has two months to go for polls, India’s general elections are six months away, and bizarre things are happening as campaigning picks up. But even by subcontinental standards, nothing can quite surpass the spectacle of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) bringing to its rallies people sporting skullcaps and burqas and shepherding them into a reserved enclosure as happened …

  • 28 September

    Iran to Unveil New Submarine, UAVs, Fighter Jets

      Over the last few days Iranian defense and military leaders have announced that they will soon unveil a slew of new domestically built weapon systems, including submarines, advanced torpedoes, surveillance and possibly combat UAVs, fighter jets and various kinds of missiles. Shortly after taking over the Defense Ministry, for instance, Hossein Dehqan announced that Iran would be unveiling a …

  • 27 September

    US and Chinese Interests Align in Pakistan

      Although Barack Obama and Xi Jinping sported wide grins and open collars at a June summit in California, the forced collegial atmosphere didn’t pass the smell test. “There is enormous scope for future cooperation between China and the U.S.” President Xi told skeptical reporters at a press conference following the bilateral meeting. The cordial rhetoric proved unconvincing to the assembled press corps, …

  • 26 September

    Uncertain Future of Myanmar’s Democratic Reforms

      John Blaxland recently acknowledged that return to military rule in Myanmar is becoming an increasingly marginal (but not impossible) prospect. The expected international and domestic retaliatory actions to a return to military rule in Myanmar are a major deterrent, as they could potentially derail Myanmar’s political stability, economic development and threaten important cease-fires. This, combined with an entrenched position in the …

  • 25 September

    Thousands of Libyans in Militia Prisons

      TRIPOLI:  Thousands of people in Libya remain locked up in militia prisons, outside of state control, more than two years after the revolution, according to a new UN report presented to the Security Council. The report says many are suffering torture and mistreatment and calls the situation “unacceptable”. “We have a big problem. But it is a problem we are trying …

  • 24 September

    Post-2014 Afghanistan

    Pakistan’s pivot to Central Asia Without doubt, all major stakeholders are now worried about the post 2014 Afghanistan. As the date of US withdrawal approaches quickly, many of the variables connected to the smooth transition are far from resolved. Meanwhile, the attention of western nations is increasingly diverted towards the affairs of Syria and Iran. Some of the interconnected factors …

  • 21 September

    Bangladesh’s Nuclear Plant — A Disaster in Waiting

    The government is all set to get a nuclear power plant built, using Uranium 236 as the reactor fuel at Rooppur in Pabna. Of utmost concern is that Russia, which is due to supply the nuclear power plant, experienced the biggest number of civilian fatalities, injuries and related radiation sickness following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Officially, many hundreds were killed, …

  • 21 September

    China’s Carrier-Based J-15 Enters Mass Production

      A number of recent reports in Chinese state-run media indicate that the country’s carrier-based J-15 multirole fighter jets have entered mass production. The Shenyang J-15 (also called Flying Shark) is China’s carrier-based fighter aircraft. It was reversed engineered from a Russian Sukhoi Su-33 that China acquired from Ukraine, although it reportedly is equipped with some indigenous weapons, avionics and other features …