South Asia

March, 2014

  • 1 March

    When a Dynasty Read the Future

    Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, the former President of Sri Lanka, has among her photographs a collector’s item taken when she was an 11-year-old girl. Crowded into the frame are no less than five South Asian Prime Ministers who served at different times over five decades in the 20th Century: her father S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, mother Sirimavo Bandaranaike, herself (she was Prime Minister …

February, 2014

  • 28 February

    Nepalis Fear as India Dykes Mahakali River

    Last June, a flood in the Mahakali river – which marks a part of Nepal’s western border with India – swept away almost half of Khalanga Bazaar, a town that is the headquarters of Nepal’s Darchula district. The cause of the flood is still a debate. Most locals blame Indian officials, alleging that they opened the gates of the Dhauliganga dam upstream. This has been consistently …

  • 26 February

    Pakistan May Launch Major Operation Against Taliban

    Pakistan is on the verge of launching a major military operation in North Waziristan tribal region near the country’s porous border with Afghanistan after talks with the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (the umbrella organization of dozens of Pakistani extremist groups) for bringing peace to the country collapsed. Reports from North Waziristan, considered a bastion of TTP and its Al-Qaeda affiliates, suggests …

  • 25 February

    Karzai Draws Washington and Islamabad Closer

      The embittered, helter-skelter Pakistan-US relationship is coming out of a turbulent decade of mutual suspicions over Islamabad’s alleged duplicity in Afghan matters, discussions with Pakistan observers in Washington indicate.   Is the new engagement embedded in political realism derived from lessons from the past decade, or is it yet another transitory phase of mutual accommodation and appreciation arising out …

  • 23 February

    Why the Durand Line Matters

    Afghan officials have at times accused Pakistan of being less than honest in pushing the Afghan Taliban for talks with Kabul. Before making such statements, those same officials should also try to understand Pakistan’s deep concerns about Afghanistan’s stance on their common border. At present, Afghanistan does not officially recognize the international border with Pakistan. Instead, it has territorial claims on areas …

  • 22 February

    India’s Maritime Gateway to the Pacific

    Being one of the most important seas of the world, geopolitically, economically and strategically, the South China Sea (SCS) attracts considerable attention in the strategic community in India. It continues to be seen as one of the most difficult regional conflicts in the Asia-Pacific and an “arena of escalating contention.” India has vital maritime interests in the SCS. Around 55 …

  • 22 February

    Musharraf May Be Indicted for Treason on March 11

    A Pakistani court trying the country’s former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf re-summoned him on March 11 for his likely indictment in a high treason case, after rejecting his plea to transfer his trial to a military court. Musharraf ruled Pakistan from 1999 till 2008.   Musharraf escaped indictment on February 18 after the special court accepted his attorneys plea to first …

  • 21 February

    Cauldron of India-Pakistan Proxy Wars

      In an interview with The Guardian, Shahbaz Sharif, the chief minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province, seems to have hit the nail on the head when talking about the roadblocks to trade between India and Pakistan.   “Security agencies on both sides need to really understand that in today’s world, a security-led vision is obviously driven by economic security,” he said. …

  • 20 February

    Stretching the Truth in Pakistan

    Besides the recent dastardly attacks on policemen and Rangers in Karachi (Pakistan’s commercial hub), the TTP (the Pakistani Taliban terrorist umbrella organization) brutally beheaded 23 (paramilitary) Frontier Corps (FC) men in their custody in Afghanistan.  Why are we (the Pakistani government) talking to these sadistic murderers when they are not going to stop their atrocities, and more importantly, does their …

  • 16 February

    Finding the Roots of Poverty in Rural Nepal

    Despite six decades of development interventions and nearly a billion dollars in annual foreign assistance, Nepal is still struggling to combat rural poverty. Some experts and local leaders say improving the lives of the rural poor requires patient community-driven initiatives and proper management of the resources communities already have, rather than large-scale strategies.   According to 2010 data from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), a …