South Asia

November, 2013

  • 4 November

    Sri Lanka Besieged By Religious Conflict

    Notwithstanding all the glib assurances by Sri Lankan politicians, including President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on the cohesiveness of its people in this island nation, ground realities tell another story. The Tamil nation, whose struggle for a separate homeland began in 1983, were long targeted by government forces until the massive military maneuvres by the Sri Lankan armed forces came to a …

  • 3 November

    Bhutan’s Stateless Population Waiting for the King

    There had been a minor celebration that afternoon at Raj’s house in central Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. A few relatives had gathered to eat cake together – the remains on small plates were still visible in the kitchen when I joined them for dinner in the evening. The reason for their shared joy was a small, off-white card, resembling …

  • 3 November

    India’s Other Border Problem

      Just a week after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s trip to Beijing, where he signed a Border Defense Cooperation Agreement, China has reminded India of its other border conflict: Arunachal Pradesh. The Hindu reports that China opened a new highway that links Medog, Tibet’s so-called “last isolated county,” with the rest of China. The Global Times called Medog “the last roadless county in China” – it did …

  • 3 November

    What Next After Pakistan’s Most Wanted Man is Dead?

      The death of Hakimullah Mehsud, Pakistan’s most wanted man, in a US drone strike on Friday, November 1, in the country’s restive North Waziristan region in semi-autonomous Federally Administered Tribal Areas, has changed the security environment in the South Asian nation.   The United States had set a 5 million dollar head money on the slain leader while Pakistan …

  • 1 November

    Afghanistan: A Great Game That All Sides Can Win

    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 …

  • 1 November

    Tensions Mount as Nepal Contentious Election Nears

    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 …

  • 1 November

    Ensuring the Future of Afghan Women

    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 …

October, 2013

  • 31 October

    Pakistan to Begin Exporting JF-17 Thunder Fighter Jets

    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 …

  • 31 October

    Malala’s Theme

    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 …

  • 31 October

    Maldives Democracy Kidnapped

    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, …