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Just when everyone thought that Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif had concluded his maiden visit to the US, he extended his stay. He topped this with a high profile meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry. 

 

Even the most casual observer of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hectic schedule will be impressed by the renewed vigor he has brought to India’s diplomacy. Since taking office at the end of May, Modi has paid state visits to five countries (Nepal, Japan, the US, Australia and Fiji) and attended four summits (BRICS  East Asia, G-20 and SAARC).

 

The world has perhaps forgotten that China was once one of the greatest naval powers that rose to the high water mark during the time of the Ming Dynasty under its famous admiral, Zhang He. What would have happened if the Emperor had not ordered the destruction of the entire fleet after the seventh voyage of the eunuch admiral is a matter of speculation.

 
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Pakistan discovered its ideology in 1958 under the auspices of General Ayub Khan who also used the ideology to justify his martial law, the first utility of the ideology nationally.

 
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The Pakistan Army chief recently concluded his first official visit to the US. It was déjà vu as far as the trajectory of US relations with Pakistan’s recent army chiefs go. There was a time when Musharraf was considered a darling in Washington: the liberal general who got the importance of supporting the US.

 
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After historic and internationally noted elections, controversies, apprehensions and compromises, Ashraf Ghani, the workaholic Ivy League professor, is in charge of affairs in Afghanistan as its president.

 

By any yardstick, the participation of US President Barrack Obama at the Republic Day parade in January is a recognition of India's growing structure.

 
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Pakistan is known to be advising China to enlarge its profile in Afghanistan as a replacement to the United States. So, what does stability and peace in the region depend on?
 
 
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Indian Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has really kick-started India’s expansionist policy based on economic expansion. His extra focus on the country’s foreign policy, evident from his incessant trips to various countries, from Japan and China to the US, besides attending international forums to project India as a rising economic power in South Asia, have surprised the world to a large extent.

 
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The New York Times reported that President Barack Obama had quietly approved a guideline to allow US commanders in Afghanistan to continue to target Taliban insurgents.

 


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One year of Modi Govt

 
sites/default/files/Vignettes ThumbImage/Untitled-1.jpg Modi’s year in power has seen the hardening of a bipolar alliance system in South Asia, with America and India on one side, and China and Pakistan on the other.

 
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sites/default/files/Vignettes ThumbImage/Untitled-1.jpg Among the Modi government’s many hits was one crucial miss — agriculture.

 
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sites/default/files/Vignettes ThumbImage/Untitled-1.jpg Narendra Modi’s foreign policy has been continuous with that of his predecessors but he has also sought to push the boundaries of certain engagements much further.

 
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sites/default/files/Vignettes ThumbImage/Untitled-1.jpg The big picture of India's foreign and security policy in the first year of PM Narendra Modi's stewardship looks positive. The new government brought a robust approach to foreign affairs than has been seen for years.

 
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sites/default/files/Vignettes ThumbImage/Untitled-1.jpg The biggest asset for this government in its battle against corruption has been the incorruptible leadership of the prime minister himself.

 
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sites/default/files/Vignettes ThumbImage/Untitled-1.jpg Amid a plethora of cleverly named new schemes and tech-fixes, the HRD Ministry is busy tinkering with bureaucratic processes.

 
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sites/default/files/Vignettes ThumbImage/Untitled-1.jpg This government is the first to clearly stress the importance of manufacturing for growth and employment.

 
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sites/default/files/Vignettes ThumbImage/Untitled-1.jpg The Prime Minister is mostly absent in Parliament. When present, he is scornful of the system.

 
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sites/default/files/Vignettes ThumbImage/Untitled-1.jpg The thin veil that separates a strong decisive leader from an authoritarian strongman is fraying at the edges.

 
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sites/default/files/Vignettes ThumbImage/Untitled-1.jpg Beauty, like success, lies in the eyes of the beholder. Predilections and prejudices invariably influence our conclusions. True, a year is too long a time in politics. Nonetheless, it may still be too short a time slice for the five-year Narendra ...

 
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sites/default/files/Vignettes ThumbImage/Untitled-1.jpg Modi’s greatest momentum has been in foreign policy. But the external opportunities he has successfully created for India could be undermined by potential domestic failures.

 
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sites/default/files/Vignettes ThumbImage/Untitled-1.jpg Big bang economic reform is politically risky for the BJP, whose first priority is to replace the Congress as India’s default party.

 
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sites/default/files/Vignettes ThumbImage/Untitled-1.jpg If Year One was about diplomacy, Year Two has to be about the economy. The world is waiting to see what India has to offer in real terms.

 
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Ataturk's ideas were shaped by the French idea of republicanism whereas Jinnah's liberal democratic views were influenced by the turn of the century British liberal tradition

 
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Not all is going well these days with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Overtly it might seem his boat is sailing fast in tranquil waters. It is true that his much heralded economic policy, dubbed as “Abenomics” by his enthusiastic supporters, had been able to lift the Nikkei to an all-time high in the last one-and...

 
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One can only hope, in the world of the political elite’s construct of nationalism that is prevalent in Nepal, the interests of the people who are suffering shall not be sacrificed writes Sohan Prasad Sha for South Asia Monitor

 
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The global climate change is expected to have possible devastating effects on lives, livelihood and economy in most countries. A Global Climate Change Agreement (GCCA) is to be signed in Paris in December 2015 and implemented from 2021 onwards. This will be an international agreement with the force of law. And here lies the problem ...

In Collaboration with TERRE Policy Centre

 
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Successive governments have transformed an unevenly prosperous rural society to one which is evenly distressed. Small and marginal farmers now feel worse off than the landless. Most suicides have taken place in the families of such farmers, especially those with no source of non-farm income. For the sense of desperation that now per...
 
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Noted Pakistani author Aamer Hussein talks about his new collection of short stories, the people who inhabit them, and the art of telling a tale  

 
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Punjab Ka Batwara: Aik Almyia Hazaar Dastaaney Translated by: Vaseem Butt; Author: Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed Publisher: Karachi, Paramount Books; Pgs: 558; Price: Rs 1,295

 
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She Will Build him A City Author: Raj Kamal Jha Publisher: Bloomsbury;

 
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Discontent and Its Civilisations: Dispatches from Lahore, New York and London Author: Mohsin Hamid Publisher: Riverhead Books; Pgs: 240

 
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Meri Akhaari Jang: Afghanistan, Soviet Affuaaj kay Inkhala kay Baad (My Last War: Afghanistan after the exit of the Soviet Armed Forces from Afghanistan)  Translated by: Dr Najam ul Sahar Butt  Author: Makhmut Akhmetovich Gareyev &nbs...

 
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Satnam provides an insight into Maoist way of life in the dense jungles of Bastar, their compulsions, thought process and motivation amidst the dire poverty of the tribals who live in the mineral ore-rich Chhattisgarh forests wri...

 
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 I received my political grooming in the Lahore of the late 1960s, the standard view was that its supreme leader, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, wanted a separate state for the Muslim nation to escape exploitation at the hands of the Hindu moneylend...

 
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The eyes of Amina Appa, Rafia has sketched a portrait of Pakistan some may not like but one that is important and timely nonetheless.  

 
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Rajiv Dogra, India’s former consul general to Karachi, has written a compelling account of the more than six decades old conflict between Pakistan and India. 

 
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  Adhikari’s book traverses a broad and sweeping canvas of the Maoists’ armed struggle for ‘justice’ outside the political system in Nepal, their formi...

 
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 Former federal minister Lieutenant General (retired) Abdul Majeed Malik has reportedly revealed that former President and military strongman General Pervez Musharraf kept ex-army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in the dark while conduc...

 
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Few in history share the unenviable fate that has befallen the people of the landlocked Afghanistan. From playing host to a liberal monarchy to a communist takeover to being the centre-piece of the Cold War to a civil war-ravaged country to one...

 
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The students were part of the movement that sought equal recognition for the language spoken most widely in East Bengal, and the mother tongue of most, Bangla. Bangladesh was part of Pakistan then, and the national language was Urdu.  ...

 
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'Flying with the Winged Elephant: Niche themes that may emerge in India for global businesses' looks at some niche business themes...

 
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Rajiv Dogra, India’s former consul general to Karachi, has written a compelling account of the more than six decades old conflict between Pakistan and India. The seasoned former diplomat provides a firsthand account of the fractious relat...

 
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The ideological origins of the idea of Pakistan, and the political momentum that led to its creation, still remain deeply perplexing. Crea...

 
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Afghanistan, not Kashmir, can be the issue for India and Pakistan to resume a sustainable dialogue, where it will be relatively easier for them to reach agreement on issues like trade and security ...

 
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Narrated for the first time in this book, are never before published stories by soldiers who fought the Liberation War. 

 
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There is "not much of a literary scene in Pakistan and the infrastructure is underdeveloped with only a handful of English publishers", says author Bilal Tanweer, adding that a few in the Urdu ...

 
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For a long time, Himalayan kingdoms remained unaffected by the landmark events of world history. When countries like Nepal and Bhutan opened up to the outside world—the latter ...

 
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Not every individual in Kashmir in the early 1990s turned against the army driven by political vendetta. There were many who rebelled because it was hard for them to accept the killings and disappearance of people they knew. &n...

 
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Kiran Ahuja’s historical novel, set in the Amritsar of 1900-1940, traces the contrasting destinies deriving from two separate but identical acts of two classfel...

 
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“Pashtuns are very hospitable and friendly, if you are mindful of their customs and traditions.” — Dr Hassan Abbas

 
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The First World War was probably the last war that soldiers went to with a sense of glory and the feeling that something good may come of it. The war itself was to prove otherwise, particularly as the ...

 
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Through ages nations have been torn apart and much of it due to internal turmoil that has wrecked civil societies cutting across cultures and civilizations. By the same token families have been put thr...

 
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Jerusalem comes alive through the story of an Indian family we did not know existed.  

 
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The Pakistan military believes parliamentary democracy is inappropriate for the country and sees itself as its saviour.

 
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The book details the life of Mujib and the various transitions he underwent - from a young man who vigorously championed the cause of Pakistan, a homeland for South Asia's Muslims in the 1940s, to his joining the fledgling Awami Muslim Leag...

 
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Can five seemingly unrelated stories spread across four countries - Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka - have anything in common? Yes, seems to say journalist author Meenakshi Iyer, as she unveils gripping tales of hu...

 
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New Delhi: For close to a century, many generations of an Indian family have been looking after the Indian Hospice, a symbol of India`s heritage, in the old city of Jerusalem. This existence...

 
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The latest book by the former New York Times contributor and author Arif Jamal meticulously describes why there should be little expectation of a trial and due punishment in November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

 
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When enacted, a written constitution takes on a life of its own. It has its own ethos, and its own philosophy. It ultimately guides the destiny of the country for which it is written. In the long and detailed Constitution o...

 
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The packed hall at the Galle Literary Festival was stunned into silence by a series of abuses hurled on a Sri Lankan human rights activist by a member in the audience. 

 
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Few countries get the kind of international political and policy attention that Pakistan draws. The nation’s pivotal role in shaping the global war on terror and the American occupation of Afghanistan after 9/11 has g...

 
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Fair’s assessment of the Pakistan army is out: it is an ideological war machine that is not amenable to any inducements or assuaging of its security concerns.

 
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The attack on the Indian consulate in Afghanistan's Herat Friday brings into sharp focus a book, written by an American journalist and published this year, that traces Pakistan's lin...

 
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Penguin Books India is proud to announce the publication of one of the most sensational books of the year: 

 
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Some titles like Evolving Dynamics of Nuclear South Asia will never go out of fashion. And, if a much-awarded former fighter pilot were to offer a manuscript, most publishers may not even read it before committi...

 
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Even as India elects a new government, some of the most important figures in its strategic establishment have been making the time to read a new book on China: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, his aides say, has been through journalist Shishir Gu...

 
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A colleague recently visited Lahore to cover a fashion show. She enjoyed her sojourn but experienced a poignant episode when returning which she immortalised on Facebook.

 
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The great Indian election continues to generate global interest and wonder, partly on account of its uninterrupted success and partly because of the obvious challenges of demography, geography, and the mind boggling...

 
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Ms Gall’s account of Dr Mohammed Najibullah’s lynching, a war crime by any standard, matches what many Afghans and Pakistan’s Pashtun nationalist leaders have said all along. She also chronicles that the ISI...

 
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As the world's largest democracy gears up for the general election, political parties are literally promising the moon. Amid this extensive wooing, a few books have done honest postmortems of Indian governance, highlighted grievances of peo...

 
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It is frequently described as the most dangerous place in the world. With suicide bombings and shootings, terrorists camping on its territory, high and entrenched levels of fundamentalism and anti-Western sentiment, rampant social, ethnic and s...

 
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In his latest novel, Romesh Gunesekera zooms in on post-war Sri Lanka, grappling with the ghosts of its troubled past.

 
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“My father came back in early August 1947 to take us away from Lahore. ‘I don’t like the stampede and the rush,’ he said. But he couldn’t leave because of the riots,” recalls Khalid Chima, ...

 
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Targeted killings of terrorists in badlands of the world has been taken to a new high by the US and looks likely to intensify in the foreseeable future amid indications that other major powers may also adopt th...

 
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Let me confess that this is not the book I set out to write. The book I had in mind was about the unchanging face of Muslim fundamentalism in India. But barely a few weeks into research, I discovered I was completely on the wrong track. The big...

 
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Authors: P.V.S. Jagan Mohan and Samir Chopra Publisher: HarperCollins, 2013 

 
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Book: 1971: A Global History of the Creation of Bangladesh, Author: Srinath Raghavan, Permanent Black Pages: 358, Price: Rs 795

 
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Authors: Husain Haqqani Publisher: PublicAffairs; November 5, 2013 Hardcover: 432 pages Language: English Price: US$ 28.99

 
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Author: Rajmohan Gandhi Hardcover: 400 pages Publisher: Aleph Publishers

 
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Archer Blood was the American consul general in Dhaka (then Dacca) in 1971-72. He not only witnessed the slaughter of thousands of civilians by the Pakistani Army and dutifully reported on the genocide to his government but also, when the US co...

 
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A rare insider’s narrative on the world’s fastest growing nuclear complex

 
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Delhi by Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani Traveller   Author: Raza Rumi   Pu...

 
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More than Maoism: Politics, Policies and Insurgencies in South Asia   Edited by: Robin Jeffrey, Ronojoy S...

 
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Pakistan: Moving the Economy Forward Publisher: Lahore School of Economics, 2013

 
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Ishtiaq Ahmed’s interesting book demonstrates how and why a weak and apolitical army evolved into the most powerful institution in Pakistan, virtually having de facto veto power over politics. It also controls Pakistan’s nuclear wea...

 
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A Sri Lankan constitutional amendment done with Indian backing to devolve autonomy to provinces remains "historically significant and indispensable", says a new book by a well known political scientist from the island nation.

 
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Ishtiaq Ahmed’s latest book is another outstanding piece of scholarship by an erudite scholar. This intellectually stimulating work is an important addition to the corpus of writings on modern and contemporary Pakistan, which by design an...

 
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Contrary to popular wisdom in India, a new book on Ravana, the 'demon king' in the Ramayana epic, says he ruled a rich and vast kingdom in ancient Sri Lanka, wrote books and built a maze of underground tunnels to protect his empire....

 
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A courageous, comprehensive and no-holds-barred account, by a veteran journalist, of a 66-year-old nation that is still trying to find its identity and fighting its own demons…

 
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The 30-year-old ethnic conflict in the Sri Lankan state, an essentially Sinhalese majoritarian preserve, and the uncompromising and relentlessly violent Tamil leadership claiming a separate state, Tamil Eelam, on behalf of the Tamil minority of...

 
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Book: India's Foreign Policy: A Reader; Edited: Kanti P. Bajpai and Harsh V.Pant Critical Issues in Indian Politics Series; Publisher: OUP Price: Rs 1095; Pages: 464

 
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Such a massive tome (663 pages) on a country that calls itself India’s only permanent friend in South Asia demands serious attention. Bhutanese scholarship is so rare and scholarship on Bhutan has been so scanty since M...

 
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India and China have shared historical ties and, as immediate neighbours, have seen many ups and downs in their relations. As a result, bilateral ties between the two countries...

 
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Delhi-based poet Sudeep Sen has been invited to address the Nobel Laureate Week being held in Saint Lucia, a sovereign island country in the eastern Caribbean Sea, in January. Mr. Sen is the first Indian, and the only one thu...

 
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Book: Fountainhead of Jihad Author: Vahid Brown and Don Rassler Publisher: Hachette India Price: Rs 650

 
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'Imperialists, Nationalists, Democrats: The Collected Essays of Sarvepalli Gopal'  edited by Srinath Raghavan. Permanent Black, 444 pages, Rs 895....

 
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Samudra Manthan: Sino-Indian Rivalry in the Indo-Pacific Author: C. Raja Mohan Publisher: OUP Price: Rs 895 Pages: 329

 
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Author: Raghu Rai Publisher: Niyogi Books Price: Rs 1495 Pages: 115

 
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BOOK: "False Sanctuaries: Stories from the Troubled Territories of South Asia", AUTHOR: Meenakshi Iyer;  PUBLISHER: Bibliophile South Asia (Promila & Co.);  PAGES: 282; 

 
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Like so much else in India’s recent past, the First Afghan War (1839-42) means little to India’s elites. But the military history of the British Raj has been a specially neglected domain. With their many other preoccupations, India&...

 
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Journalist-author Frances Harrison tells ANJANA RAJAN her book on the human suffering engendered by Sri Lanka’s “hidden war” is written with the belief that if people know, they will care

 
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"La Nueva India" ( The New India) is the first Latin American book on the rising of India in the twenty first century in the Spanish language. It was launched on December 4 at Santiago, Chile.

 
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After Joseph S Nye coined the term “Soft Power” (culture, language etc), it became a fad and, for some, an academic necessity to use it to discuss notions of ‘power’ in international politics. Though accepted, still unmo...

 
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This study seeks to solve the following puzzle: In 1947, the Pakistan military was poorly trained and poorly armed. It also inherited highly vulnerable territory vis-à-vis the much bigger India, aggravated because of serious disputes wit...

 
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Author / Editor: P R Kumaraswamy   Middle East Institute at New Delhi, 2012   Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon for MEI@ND, September 2012  

 
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Book: Ramkinkar: The Man and the Artist Author: A. Ramachandran Publisher: NGMA Pages: 168 + plates

 
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The middle class will decide the course of liberalisation in India which will become more micro-level in search of solutions to problems, says writer and journalist Hindol Sengupta in his new book, "The Liberals".

 
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The future of Afghanistan depends upon how it strengthens its fledgling democratic institutions and arrests corruption, says Sujeet Sarkar, the author of a new book on the war-ravaged country.

 
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Author(s): Bipul Chatterjee and Joseph George Publisher: CUTS International

 
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Author(s): Robert D. Lamb, Liora Danan, Joy Aoun, Sadika Hameed, Kathryn Mixon, and Denise St. Peter Publisher :Center for Strategic and International Studies ISBN 978-0-89206-738-1 (pb)

 
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Book: Afghanistan in Transition Beyond 2014? Author: Shanthie Mariet D`Souza (Ed.) Pages: 264 Price : Rs. 795 Publisher: Pentagon  

 
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Book: The Prabhakaran Saga Author: S. Murari Publisher: Sage Publishers Pages: 362 Price: Rs.425

 
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Authors: Rumel Dahiya and Ashok K. Behuria 2012

 
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Book: The Unfinished Memoirs Author: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Translated by Dr Fakrul Alam with a preface by Sheikh Hasina) Publisher: Penguin Viking Pages: 323 Price: Rs 699

 
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The book is a chronological account of the partiation of Punjab Province of British India

 
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Book: Nepal in Transition: From People’s War to Fragile Peace Author: Edited by Sebastian von Einsiedel, David M. Malone and Suman Pradhan Publisher: Cambridge University Press Pages: 398...

 
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Book: The Taliban Cricket Club Author: Timeri N. Murari Publisher: Aleph Pages: 325 Price: Rs 595

 
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Burma has been ruled by a succession of military regimes which rank among the most oppressive dictatorships in the world.

 
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In these turbulent times, Jawaharlal Nehru's policies of non-alignment and mixed economy need to be revisited, says P.C. Jain, author of a book on India's foreign policy during the first prime minister's tenure.

 
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The killing of Osama bin Laden spotlighted Pakistan's unpredictable political dynamics, which are often driven by conspiracy theory, paranoia, and a sense of betrayal. In Pakistan, the late prime minister Benazir Bhutto famously declared, t...

 
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The growing English language publishing industry in India has taken a step north with three veteran publishers - David Davidar, Ravi Singh and Kapish G. Mehra - joining ranks to push high-end literary fiction from the subcont...

 
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The subcontinent can become a paradise in the region by retaining cultural, social and political identities of countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, says former Pakistani Army officer, journalist, writer and commentator Abdul Rahman Si...