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Top News

Sri Lanka in India’s embrace!

India and Sri Lanka now appear to be shedding doubts and reservations about each other and getting closer in multiple ways simultaneously. India’s urgency to counter China and Sri Lanka’s economic compulsions have combined to bring about top-level ‘to and fro’ visits in quick succession.    Close on the heels of a fruitful three-day visit of the Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla to Sri Lanka in the first week of October, comes the five-day visit...

SOUTH ASIAN BRIEF

The U.S.-India-Pakistan Triangle

Welcome to South Asia Brief.

The highlights this week: U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman visits New Delhi and Islamabad with vastly different agendas, the Pandora Papers implicate figures across South Asia, and India’s farmers’ protests turn deadly.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is visiting India and Pakistan this week. Her trip underscores the...

Reports

‘Unholy’ China-Pakistan-Turkey-Taliban pact mean...

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat Friday said the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan was “not entirely surprising”, adding that China, Pakistan and Turkey all worked in collusion to prop up the insurgent group. As a result, he said, the situation along India’s north-western borders...

UN chief delayed ASEAN meeting to avoid Myanmar...

UN chief Antonio Guterres asked to postpone a virtual meeting with Southeast Asian ministers at the last minute to avoid signalling any recognition of Myanmar’s military government by being in the same online room as the military’s envoy, United Nations diplomats have said. The meeting...

India drug agency faces heat over arrest of Boll...

The arrest of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan in a drug case following a raid on a luxury cruise ship earlier this month has been making headlines in India for nearly two weeks now. Aryan, 23, and seven others were detained on...

Pakistan vows to hit back as India threatens wit...

Pakistan on Thursday strongly condemned the Indian Home Minister’s reported statement threatening so-called “surgical strikes” said, it will spare no effort in “resolutely thwarting any aggressive designs”. “Pakistan condemns in strongest terms the irresponsible and provocative statement reportedly made by Indian Home Minister today threatening...

SAM Special

Afghanistan sinks into poverty as nations haggle over recognition

Afghanistan is one country in the world which seems destined not to savor independence, peace and prosperity. Currently, it is sinking further into poverty as rich nations, which can lift it out of poverty and destitution, are haggling with the Taliban regime over conditions for recognition, even de-facto recognition to reach urgently needed humanitarian assistance.  Kanni Wignaraja, Director of the UN Development Program’s regional bureau for Asia and the Pacific, told the Washington Post at...

Issues

How RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat dusted off a 6-year-...

Why did Mohan Bhagwat, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) sarsanghchalak or patron, have to dig up a six-year-old document for his Vijayadashami speech Friday? It was the resolution that the Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal or the RSS’ All-India Executive Committee had passed in Ranchi way...

Afghanistan: Russia draws red lines for US

Moscow has categorically stated that it will not accept a US military presence in the Central Asian region. This reiteration has come at the level of Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov who told Tass that Afghanistan had been discussed at a meeting with Victoria...

Narendra Modi falls victim to India's never-endi...

The Washington summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden last month was meant to clear the air and put the two nations on a path to closer ties. One jarring moment that was hard to miss came at the joint...

Afghan embassies don’t recognise the Taliban

The taliban prevent girls from going to secondary school in Afghanistan. Yet the country’s ambassador to America is a woman. That is not because the group has decided that women’s rights are a good thing after all. It is just that they cannot replace her. No...

Editor`s Choice

India’s Covid-19 tsunami

India’s Covid-19 tsunami

It is humbling when a columnist must retract his words soon after penning them. Just two months ago, after India rushed millions of doses of...
Quad lacks moral authority in South China Sea

Quad lacks moral authority in South China Sea

At the virtual summit of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue held on March 12, the Quad leaders reiterated their firm commitment that the rules-based international order...
Indonesia seeks to broker Taliban peace deal in Afghanistan

Indonesia seeks to broker Taliban peace deal...

Former Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said he has traveled to Afghanistan and Qatar several times in recent months to help broker a peace deal...

Focus

India

Lament for India's descent into authoritarianism

The weakening and possible collapse of Indian democracy, lamented and explained by Shashi Tharoor in "The Struggle for India's Soul" and analyzed in forensic detail by Christophe Jaffrelot in "Modi's India," is no small matter. India, with its 1.4 billion people, is the latest and largest democratic country to fall under the spell of a populist, nationalist leader such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As documented in both these books, after winning his first countrywide...
You have got literally thousands of young people who have grown up with music, and they’re not going to be just kind of switched off like that.
John Baily, an ethnomusicologist at Goldsmiths, University of London, referring to fears that Afghanistan’s Taliban government will restrict nonreligious music