Sri Lanka’s Port Deal With China: Increased Concerns 

Posted On August 30, 2017

Sirisena, who succeeded Rajapakse in the 2015 January presidential election, halted a number of Chinese projects, but faced with a crippling external debt load of $65 billion, turned to Chinese for a bail out investment. But the  new Hambantota port deal  with China has raised concerns The Sri Lankan government is anxiously trying to appease concerns in Washington and New Delhi that it is accommodating to the interests of Beijing by handing control over a

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Sri Lanka’s Port Deal With China: Increased Concerns 

Posted On August 30, 2017

Sirisena, who succeeded Rajapakse in the 2015 January presidential election, halted a number of Chinese projects, but faced with a crippling external debt load of $65 billion, turned to Chinese for a bail out investment. But the  new Hambantota port deal  with China has raised concerns The Sri Lankan government is anxiously trying to appease concerns in Washington and New Delhi that it is accommodating to the interests of Beijing by handing control over a

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China and India Agree to End Border Standoff 

Posted On August 29, 2017

The 73-day stalemate ends. Chinese and Indian troops make a verifiable withdrawal from Doklam at the tri - junction of Bhutan- China and India (Sikkim).China and India have negotiated a solution to a more than two-month-long standoff at Doklam plateau, ending a stalemate that had raised concerns about a potential military conflict..India’s Foreign Ministry Monday said the two sides had agreed to the “expeditious disengagement of bord

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Sri Lanka: Foreign Minister Karunanayake resigns 

Posted On August 18, 2017

As Central Bank bond scam rocks Sri Lanka the country's foreign minister Ravi Karunanayake is made to put in his papers for his role in the fraud when he was finance minister a year ago.Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake has resigned. The immediate reason for his decision was a no-confidence motion tabled in Parliament by a group of MPs led by former President Mahinda Rajapakse, styling itself as the joint opposition, in the wake of a corruption scandal he has been embroiled in.

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US designates HM terrorist organisation 

Posted On August 17, 2017

The US State department on Aug 16 designated Hizbul Mujahideen, also known as Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, and HM—as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Only on June 26, 2017, the US has declared Pakistan-based HM chief Mohammad Yusuf Shah, aka Syed Salahuddin, as a global terrorist.This US decision is a clear signal that the Trump Administration is displeased with Pakistan. It is no small victory for India in the war against terrorism, more so since the US officials have gone on record saying that the HM still has a major presence in Pakistan and u

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India, Bhutan on same page on Doklam 

Posted On August 13, 2017

Sushma- Dorji meeting is a message to China, if it still needs one. Beijing’s strategic egg-heads are not ignoramus as not to visualise Indian response to any Chinese action in Doklam that appears to go against the provisions of the India-Bhutan Treaty.China’s dream of creating a wedge between India and Bhutan, which enjoy a historical special security partnership has come to a naught with the two countries categorically stating that they are on the same page amid the ongoing Doklam stand-off.

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BRICS Summit: Beijing’s ‘LeT, JeM’ position victory for New Delhi’s diplomacy 

Posted On September 7, 2017

 In recent years, China has been increasingly resorting to ‘coercive, assertive practices’ to achieve its goals in the Asia-Pacific region but at Xiamen, the desire to make the BRICS summit successful ahead of the congress of its ruling Communist Party appears to have influenced Beijing's decision-making process on Doklam and its position on Pakistan-based terrorist outfits. India's quiet diplomacy with China has helped in resolving the Doklam standoff and BRICS nations nam

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China’s Himalayan Climb-Down 

Posted On September 1, 2017

 Beijing is claiming victory, but New Delhi successfully repulsed a Chinese attempt to assert control over the disputed region - Wall St Journal A three-month standoff between Chinese and Indian troops in a remote corner of the Himalayas ended this week with both sides agreeing to withdraw. Beijing is claiming victory, but this is face-saving bravado. New Delhi successfully repulsed a Chinese attempt to assert control over the disputed region.In June China

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Chinese stand on Doklam becoming curiouser and curiouser 

Posted On August 14, 2017

By Malladi Rama Rao*The face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Doklam at the tri-junction of India (Sikkim), Bhutan and China has entered the seventh week. And with every passing day, the Chinese stand is becoming curiouser and curiouser.On the one hand the Chinese media, despite being an extension of the Communist Party and the government, is showing no let-up in its rhetoric, which borders on no more than war mongering.  And the Official China has not given up its penchant

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Dragonomics In Distress; Expect No Free Lunch 

Posted On August 4, 2017

Even according to Global Times, the Chinese economy is hit by one too many financial crimes, as also structural flaws that range from mounting debts, shadow banking, Ponzi schemes and zombie companies to multiple uninsured wealth management instruments.China’s ‘straddling bus’ dream has ended.  The state-run China News Service (CNS), which broke the news in mid-June, was economical on details. The widely-hyped giant vehicle i

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Pakistan: Enforced Disappearances 

Posted On August 31, 2017

Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances have become a national phenomenon in Pakistan. Earlier this year, a number of bloggers and activists disappeared from major cities from the Sharif's turf- PunjabWhile there are reports that the practice of enforced disappearance has existed in Pakistan since at least the 1970s, such cases have been recorded in significant numbers in the early 2000s, beginning with Pakistan’s involvement in the US-led “war on terror” in late 2001.

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Baloch activists up the ante against CPEC 

Posted On August 5, 2017

 Baloch nationalists are taking their protests against the CPEC to the global stage. And the first stop is at Berlin on Aug 11. The balochis are gripped by two concerns- danger to the demographic profile of Balochistan and the  possibility of Balochis becoming a minority on their own home turfAs the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is gaining speed, more discordant voices are coming up in public domain across Pakistan, to the dismay of the political and military leadership of the country.

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Nawaz ousted in judicial coup, Pakistan plunges into crisis 

Posted On July 30, 2017

The political turmoil in Islamabad is taking place amid an escalating geo-political crisis. Washington is threatening to further downgrade its relations with Pakistan, even declare it a “terrorist state,” if it does not target the Haqqani network. For the past 10 months, Indo-Pakistani relations have been on the boil with almost daily cross-border artillery barrages across the LoC in Kashmir.Nawaz Sharif stepped down as Pakistan’s prime minister Friday, July 28 after the country’s highest

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Pak Urdu Media Digest, Jan 23, 2017 

Posted On January 23, 2017

SOURCE: Ausaf, Ummat, Daily Pak, Nawa-i-Waqt, Urdu Point, Daily Jinnah, Awami Awaz, Daily Dharti, Jasarat, Kawish, Daily Intekhab, Daily Times, Jang, Ibrat, Khabrain, Roznama Dunya, Hizb Media, Al Qalam Weekly, Baad-e-Shimal, Bang-e-Sahar, Sindh Express, Pk Voices.CHINA 1. The Pak government has decided to form a Special Security Division (SSD) for the security of CPEC projects and Chinese Workers. The SSD would consist of 9 Bat

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Pak Urdu Media Digest, Jan 20, 2017 

Posted On January 20, 2017

SOURCE: Ausaf, Ummat, Daily Pak, Nawa-i-Waqt, Urdu Point, Daily Jinnah, Awami Awaz, Daily Dharti, Jasarat, Kawish, Daily Intekhab, Daily Times, Jang, Ibrat, Khabrain, Roznama Dunya, Hizb Media, Al Qalam Weekly, Baad-e-Shimal, Bang-e-Sahar, Sindh Express, Pk Voices.HUMAN RIGHTS1. A rally was taken out jointly by the human rights and civil society groups from Arts Council to Karachi Press Club demanding release of Salman Haider and others

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Pak Urdu Media Digest, Jan 19, 2017 

Posted On January 19, 2017

SOURCE: Ausaf, Ummat, Daily Pak, Nawa-i-Waqt, Urdu Point, Daily Jinnah, Awami Awaz, Daily Dharti, Jasarat, Kawish, Daily Intekhab, Daily Times, Jang, Ibrat, Khabrain, Roznama Dunya, Hizb Media, Al Qalam Weekly, Baad-e-Shimal, Bang-e-Sahar, Sindh Express, Pk VoicesCHINA 1. China has rejected reservations on the CPEC project voiced by some elements of India and stated that CPEC would ensure progress, peace and stability of the reg

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Pak Urdu Media Digest, Jan 18, 2017 

Posted On January 18, 2017

SOURCE: Ausaf, Ummat, Daily Pak, Nawa-i-Waqt, Urdu Point, Daily Jinnah, Awami Awaz, Daily Dharti, Jasarat, Kawish, Daily Intekhab, Daily Times, Jang, Ibrat, Khabrain, Roznama Dunya, Hizb Media, Al Qalam Weekly, Baad-e-Shimal, Bang-e-Sahar, Sindh Express, Pk Voices.CHINA 1. A report was aired on China’s government TV that has created chaos in India. If there is to be war between India and China, then Chinese Army will reach Del

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Sri Lanka: Justice Minister sacked 

Posted On August 25, 2017

Sri Lanka's Justice Minister Wijedasa has been sacked on the charge of  inaction against the corrupt putting former President Rajapaksa, and his cabal, who are facing corruption charges, on notice.  President Maithripala Sirisena (on Wednesday Aug 23, 2017) sacked Wijedasa Rajapakse as justice and Buddhist affairs minister, following demands from the United National Party (UNP), the main partner in the “unity government.”  He is the second minister to go, the first being Foreig

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Sri Lanka’s Tryst with Tax reforms 

Posted On August 6, 2017

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera told a press conference on July 21 that everyone over the age of 18 years should have a taxpayer number “regardless of whether he or she had to pay taxes or not.” State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne chipped in saying that “everybody must pay tax.”The Sirisena government is planning to undertake sweeping tax reforms as a part of belt tightening exercise. But the Inland Revenue Bill has met with a hurdle. The country’s apex court will not appro

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Maldives Prez attempts to muzzle the Opposition 

Posted On August 1, 2017

There are still no signs of normal democratic activity in Maldives. On July 24 Police and Military stopped Opposition MPs from entering Parliament in what was the latest chapter in the ongoing, and increasingly bitter faction fight in the strategically located archipelago of 1,192 islands in the Indian Ocean.Maldives President Abdulla Yameen deployed the National Defence Force officers and police on July 24 to stop opposition MPs entering Parliament in Male, the country’s capita

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Give Afghanistan a Fighting “Last Chance” 

Posted On June 6, 2017

By Anthony H. Cordesman, CSISFor the moment, the key fight for Afghanistan has shifted to Washington and is centered in the White House. It is a struggle over whether President Trump should grant the request of General John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) and the Resolute Support Mission for 3,000 to 5,000 more troops, more U.S. combat air support of Afghan forces, and possibly more Special Forces to support the Afgha

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Afghan Challenges from Pak Proxies and American remedy 

Posted On April 30, 2017

Pakistan must be made to rethink its support to the Taliban’s Quetta Shura and the Haqqani Network, and this can be done by the United States. This is a long held view of analysts in Delhi and Kabul. Now the International Crisis Group (ICG) also has veered around the view with its first “Watch List 2017”, bluntly saying that the role of the US will be central in pressuring Pakistan to rethink its support to the Taliban and Haqqani Networks.“The US is best placed to pr

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Af-Pak: Acid Test For Bajwa 

Posted On January 5, 2017

Islamabad has failed to deliver the Pak-based Taliban leaders to join negotiations with the Kabul government or prevent them from launching a large-scale offensive in AfghanistanIn his New Year message to the Afghan leadership, Pakistan’s new army chief has pledged to work for peace with the neighboring country.But the December 31 promise by General Qamar Javed Bajwa is likely to prove a tall order because of the deep mistrust and botched cooperat

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nepal

Challenges Before New Nepal PM 

Posted On June 8, 2017

The Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba has taken over as the Prime Minister at a crucial time in the history of the landlocked country that is sandwiched between India and China.  The days ahead would put the deftness and political acumen of Deuba to test. He had already shown the grit, by announcing “Holding three sets of elec

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IMF pegs Nepal’s GDP at 5.5 per cent 

Posted On March 28, 2017

Nepal’s economy is rebounding after two years of down turn and the landlocked Himalayan country is poised to achieve a growth rate of 5.5 per cent in 2016/17, says an assessment by the International Monetary Fund. (IMF).Domestic political instability, weak financial sector, slowing remittances impacting financial sector liquidity, and lower growth in India due to the demonetization shock are amongst the key downside risks.Nepal should p

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Nepal’s ex-king warns of ‘intolerable’ attacks on unity 

Posted On December 23, 2016

Nepal’s deposed King, Gyanendra Shah, has come out of Kathmandu shadows to warn Wednesday that national unity is under attack. His comment comes in the wake of protests sparked by proposed changes to new federal borders.The re-drawing of borders of provinces particularly in the south is a sequel to Prime Minister Prachanda’s efforts to win peace with the Madhesis, who feel aggrieved under the constitution adopted last September. The changes proposed by the government have

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Fiji Times publisher, editors charged with sedition 

Posted On April 30, 2017

 By John Braddock The publisher and editors of the Fiji Times, one of Fiji’s two main daily newspapers, as well as a letter writer, have been charged with “sedition”—a crime that carries a maximum punishment of seven years’ imprisonment. The case registered last month (March 2017) will go to court in Suva on May 9.Publisher Hank Arts, editor Fred Wesley, and Anare Ravula, editor of the Times’ iTaukei (Fij

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Somali pirates down, not out 

Posted On March 25, 2017

By Christian Bueger, Robert McCabeThe hijacking of an oil tanker on its way to Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, has sparked international attention. For almost five years nothing was heard from the Somali pirates. International naval patrols as well as self-defence measures and armed security guards on ships had, it seemed, solved the problem.Between 2008 and 2012 hundreds of merchant vessels transiting the Western Indian Ocean were attacked. The area became

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Inside The ISI, Pakistan’s Spy Agency 

Posted On October 20, 2016

Hein Kiessling, the author of the book under review, is a political scientist who has lived and worked for a German political foundation in Pakistan from 1989 till 2002. He offers an in-depth look at the highly secretive service, which is engaged in both fomenting and crushing insurgencies, shaping domestic policy, politics, and perhaps above all protecting the military’s supremacy in Pakistan.The book is strong on its history. Its traces the evolution of the ISI from an anemic, humble spy service into one of the leading practit

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Khaled Ahmed breaks down Pakistan’s internal war 

Posted On September 4, 2016

Title: Sleepwalking to Surrender: Dealing with Terrorism in PakistanAuthor: Khaled AhmedISBN: 9780670088966Pages: 320REVIEW By Sarah Khan in The Express Tribune, Sept 4, 2016If you are looking to delve deep into the reason why Pakistan is where it is, then you must pick up a copy of Khaled Ahmed’s Sleepwalking to Surrender: Dealing with Terrorism in Pakistan.Ahmed is a political analyst and well-known columnist. Aptly titled, his book breaks down the various factors that have

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