Views Digest

September, 2013

  • 29 September

    Why Free Electricity for Bhutan’s Rural Poor?

    The government, during its monthly meeting with the local media recently, said it is exploring the possibility of providing 100 units of electricity for free to the rural poor. It is also studying the possibility of providing partial or full subsidy on electrical appliances such as rice cooker, curry cooker and water boilers to the same section of the population.  …

  • 29 September

    Security Fears Hamper Relief Work in Quake-Hit Pakistan

    QUETTA: Many times before, Abdul Rashid, 30, a general practitioner, has volunteered in emergency situations. “I believe it is my duty to use my medical skills to help. I went to Sindh Province in 2011 to help flood victims; I helped victims of the 2007 cyclone in Balochistan; and I worked in Pakistan-administered Kashmir as a medical student after the 2005 earthquake for months,” Rashid …

  • 29 September

    15 Days in Taliban’s Captivity

      Ali Khan, 42, is probably the only taxi (cab) driver in the Serene Swat Valley who has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science. The father of three, Khan had been a truck driver in Saudi Arabia too for a few years. He was one of those few people who did not leave Swat when the Pakistan army launched an …

  • 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

    Bangladesh Cannot Survive Without the Sundarbans

    Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, is a living and most effective natural fence protecting the coastal belt areas. It indeed saved us from the devastation of cyclones Sidr and Aila in the recent past. Not only so, it is the forest that offers various sources of livelihood to more than five hundred thousand local inhabitants. Unfortunately, the …

  • 28 September

    China Goes West, to Kazakhstan’s Benefit

      It is no coincidence that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first visit to Kazakhstan accorded with the start of commercial output from the Kashagan field, arguably the biggest oil and gas field in Kazakhstan and the Central Asian region. At the Palace of Independence in Astana, President Xi and Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has ruled Kazakhstan since independence, signed 22 trade …

  • 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 …

  • 28 September

    China Finds the Lost Kingdom

      One of the most isolated regions in Asia, Mustang lies in the north of Nepal, nestled between the Chinese border on the Tibetan plateau and the Nepalese provinces of Dolop and Manang on the other. For centuries, this land has been closely linked by language and culture to Tibet. Indeed, many believe that Tibetan culture, region and traditions are …

  • 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, …

  • 27 September

    Worldwide Solar Power Installations to Overtake Wind

      This article was published by the Center for American Progress Action. In 2013, more global solar photovoltaic capacity will be installed than wind power capacity — the first year that’s ever happened, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). There are several distinct forms of solar power — such as thermal solar, which is used to heat water, or concentrated solar, which augments thermal …