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Set within the larger geo-political context of South Asia, terrorism and violent manifestation of extremism have increased in intensity and occurrence, more so as attempts are being made to clamp down on elements of instability that are spread across the region. Challenges are being mounted on governments across South Asia through discriminate and indiscriminate attacks on the civilian population of the region, writes Chayanika Saxena for South Asia Monitor


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is in Islamabad today (March 25) on a two-day state visit. The visit is seen as a step towards improving relations and strengthening economic links after the lifting of sanctions on Iran following its nuclear deal with the West, writes Monish Gulati for South Asia Monitor.


The attack on Brussels puts the spotlight on radicalization of second and third generation immigrants in Europe, issues surrounding their integration within the local communities and the short time span of their radicalization from a disenchanted citizen to a jihadist. Its fine handling, on the other hand, has a lot to offer to India in terms of how the country ought to prepare itself to deal with such grave and frightening occurrences, writes Monish Gulati for South Asia Monitor.


Having dithered for long from entertaining the idea of SAARC on the grounds of an apprehension that it may be used to fetter the Indian growth by tying it up to regional group dynamics that were not disposed in its favour to a great extent, India under its current leadership has however, made neighbourhood its first priority, writes Chayanika Saxena for South Asia Monitor. 


Russia’s intervention in Syria has been a means to reassert Moscow’s role as a power with a say in global affairs and that, most detractors of the Putin government would grudgingly concede, has been achieved. While Russia may have emerged on the scene as a potential peace-maker, but Syria is yet to be done and dusted with for it and the whole world, writes Monish Gulati for South Asia Monitor.


While the General Budget that was laid out by the Indian Finance Minister recently saw a dip in the amount of funds allocated to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs for its overseas ventures, yet among all the South Asian countries, the economic assistance extended by India to those in its immediate neighbourhood stands the tallest.


India needs to be cognizant of the fact that any intelligence arrangement on security issues with Pakistan will add credence to the Pakistani assertion that it is a victim of terror attacks and not their sponsor; a claim that could have serious implications for the stalled peace process considering that the dithering Pakistani side can now find refuge in its 'acts of intelligence assistance'. 

Running their course from being on the diametrically opposite ends of the international political spectrum to becoming allies in many causes, the bilateral relations between India and the USA have much hope to offer even as they continue to embroiled in many concerns that could distance them from one another, writes Rashmi Saksena for South Asia Monitor.  
The 12th South Asian Games ended in Guwahati, in India's northeastern state of Assam, Tuesday evening amid a show of pageantry and fireworks, bringing the curtains down on the region's biggest sporting event.   In the 12-day long sporting spectacle, held after some uncertainty, the host and the region's largest country, India, retained the top spot in the medals tally 12th time in a row. With 308 medals to its credit, the Indian athletes clinched a whopping number of 188 gold, 99 silver and 30 bronze medals. Coming a distant second was Sri Lanka with a medal haul 186, of 25 were gold medals, and 63 silver and 98 bronze medals. Pakistan finished third in the medal table with a final count of 106 medals of 12 gold, 37 silver and 57 bronze medals.   With participants pouring in from all the member countries of SAARC, the display of regional camaraderie through this sporting event was declared the 'best ever' by sports bodies throughout South Asia. Reflecting the increasing Indian emphasis on its 'neighbourhood first' policy, not only did India generously ferry participants from Afghanistan in chartered planes to and fro, but it also facilitated the movement of Pakistani athletes by granting them special permission to land directly in Guwahati and not in Delhi/Mumbai as the general norm is.   Promoting regional integration in the times of crises that were mounted by incendiary blockades, terrorist attacks, diplomatic showdowns and the like, the successful organization and conclusion of the South Asian Games underscored both the importance and relevance of softer, track-II mechanisms in bringing about positive changes in a rather volatile region.   Not only did this sporting event manage to get participants from the eight South Asian countries at one place - a task which is otherwise difficult to pull off - it could also provide a social push for countries like Afghanistan to inject its country's women into public spaces and allow them a chance to compete with and learn from the athletes who have been leaving their mark on the global sporting landscape.    India's Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal declared the Games closed at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium to mark the formal end to the 12-day biggest multi-sporting spectacle of the eight South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, jointly co-hosted by Guwahati and Shillong.

The video deposition by Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley, the key plotter of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks made to an Indian court via video-conferencing from a Chicago prison, is a landmark for three reasons. First, Headley has vindicated India's stand by stating that the State of Pakistan via its military intelligence outfit was directly involved in the 26/11 attacks. This blows the lid off Islamabad's long-standing defence that terror attacks directed at India from its soil are by non State players.


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Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be visiting India between 7th and 10th of April and plethoras of agreements are likely to be signed then. Among the various agreements, the two countries will be signing the defence cooperation agreement which  has been getting the most attention. 
The Congress needs to come up with a more aspirational narrative than that of the BJP. The party doesn’t lack talent, but its leadership clearly lacks hunger and enthusiasm required for winning elections, writes Tridivesh Singh Maini for South Asia Monitor.
 India should not hesitate in using both overt and covert means to bring its policies to successful fruition. Indian policy makers must be guided by the dictum that there is no permanent friend or enemy but only permanent interests, writes Adarsh Singh for South Asia Monitor.
Society for Policy Studies in association with India Habitat Centre invites you to a lecture in the Changing Asia Series by by Prof. K. Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India on Health And Development: India Must Bridge The Disconnect Chair: C Uday Bhaskar, Director, Soci...
spotlight image 'Covert military actions or surgical strikes against terror launch pads in Pakistan have limited utility that won't change the mind of the Pakistan Army or the ISI  which sponsor cross-border terrorism
In Dutch politics, alliances are imperative to construct an administration. The post-election government formation is, therefore, a slightly time-consuming process. In due course, a coalition led by the incumbent Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, will surface.  
Japan is a special country in several ways. For centuries, it remained isolated and disconnected with the outside world. But once it opened itself up to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854 by the use of force by Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry of the United States Navy, Japan has never looked back. Japan is a spe
Recently, under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and earlier under the late Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdallah bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia has rolled out a series of women-friendly initiatives.  Recently, under the leadership of Custodian of the
spotlight image No First Use as a nuclear deterrent without additional caveats should work well enough

India remians the inflexible bête-noir for Pakistan, yet there are few books by Indian authors that have sought to interpret the prodigal neighbour in a holistic, informed and empathetic manner.


The line that Mortimer Durand drew across a small map in 1893 has bled the Pashtun heart ever since. More than a century later both sides of that line remain restless. But the mystery behind what actually happened on 12 November 1893 has never ...


What went wrong for the West in Afghanistan? Why couldn't a global coalition led by the world's preeminent military and economic power defeat "a bunch of farmers in plastic sandals on dirt bikes" in a conflict that outlasted b...


What will be Pakistan's fate? Acts of commission or omission by itself, in/by neighbours, and superpowers far and near have led the nuclear-armed country at a strategic Asian crossroads to emerge as a serious regional and global concern whi...


Some South African generals, allied with the British forces, sought segregation from the enlisted men, all blacks, after being taken prisoners of war. The surprised German commander told them firmly that they would have to share the same quarte...

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