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Regional and Bilateral Issues
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A series of tweets by US president-elect Donald Trump slamming China coupled with his disclosure that he had a conversation with president of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen last week indicate that Trump will be pursuing a hardline policy towards China, according to Indian analysts.  
 
In what is being read as a signal to China, United States ambassador to India Richard Verma has completed a tour of the Northeast states and has discussed India’s Act-East policy with leaders from the region. Barring Mizoram, Verma has toured all the states in the last one-and-a-half months. “This was the first such trip by a US ambassador,” a US Embassy spokesperson told The Indian Express, when asked about the previous such ambassadorial trip to the Northeast states.  
 
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The 6th Ministerial Heart of Asia conference that was held in Amritsar on Sunday, jointly inaugurated by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was part of a process that started in Istanbul in 2011 and now includes 14 participating and over two dozen supporting nations. With this year’s theme being “Addressing Challenges and Achieving Prosperity”, President Ghani set the stage by outlining the “great opportunities” and “significant threats” that his country faces

 
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The just-concluded 6th ministerial meeting of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process at Amritsar will be remembered for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's ferocious attack on Pakistan. Perhaps never has a Head of State inaugurating a ministerial meeting directly named and shamed a country's representative as Ghani did. At the receiving end was Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Foreign Policy Adviser Sartaj Aziz.   
 
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In diplomacy, the subtext is often as important as the text. As the sixth edition of the annual Heart of Asia Conference came to a close on Sunday, between the comments and declarations, the narrative and the counter-narrative, lay the contours of a new, deviatory foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  
 
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The sabotage of the SAARC summit should have been a wake-up call for the Sharif government. The fact that India along with Afghanistan and Bangladesh and not excluding Bhutan and Nepal managed to have the conference aborted illustrates the failure of Pakistan’s misguided foreign policy. We are becoming increasingly isolated and our foreign policy continues to suffer setbacks in one way or another. And yet the Sharif government insists that all is well.  
 

For Pakistani civilian and military establishments the 6th Heat of Asia summit did not go well. They knew the outcome. So did the partners of Afghanistan. Those who pelt others cannot expect bouquets and salutes in return. 

 
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If India was hoping to corner Pakistan on the issue of cross-border terrorism at the Heart of Asia conference on December 3-4 in Amritsar, that has been overtaken by the telephone conversation between US President-elect Donald Trump and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif on Friday, which dramatically shifts the kaleidoscope reflecting the sequence of elements in the Hindu Kush.  
 
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In a media briefing on Thursday, India’s foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup blamed Pakistan for the recent terrorist attack on the Nagrota army base in Jammu and Kashmir. 

 

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s chief advisor on foreign policy, Sartaj Aziz, has announced that he will be visiting India to represent his country at the Heart of Asia Conference on Afghanistan, at Amritsar, on December 3 and 4. That is a welcome announcement.

 


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spotlight image China has handed over two ships to the Pakistan Navy to safeguard the strategic Gwadar port and trade routes under the $ 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a move likely to raise alarm in India.  
 
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The possibility of a Taliban attack targeting Emirati officials is not going down well with analysts writes Monish Gulati
 
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Since late 2015, cultural and political issues have strained relations between the two countries with anti-Indian sentiment growing amongst the government and people of Nepal, writes Dr. Binodkumar Singh for South Asia Monitor.  
 
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Recently, vandals desecrated at least 20 Hindu idols and three temples in Jamai bazar area in Tungipara of Gopalganj district of Bangladesh Recently, vandals desecrated at least 20 Hindu idols and three temples in Jamai bazar area in Tungipara of Gopalganj district of Bangladesh
 
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It will also feature glimpses of Indian traditional, folk and tribal art such as Gond, Madhubani and Pattachitra paintings.

 
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spotlight image The prime minister is wrong if she thinks a poorer Britain is the price people want to pay for limiting free movement
 
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spotlight image It is unfortunate that Taiwan has a neighbor across the Taiwan Strait that wants to annex it, but, even more frustrating, Taiwanese also have to put up with people who echo China’s rhetoric and intended to intimidate Taiwanese into obedience.
 
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Read the transcriipt of UN Secretary-General's End-of-Year Press Conference, held in New York on December 16, here...
 
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spotlight image It is wrong to look only at Israel while fighting rages across the Middle East, writes the former Shin Bet chief.
 
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spotlight image A flurry of videos has emerged in the social media in recent days showing jawans of both the paramilitary forces and the Army complaining against a host of issues from diet to colonial-era practices. While these are disciplinary breaches, they are a good reason to initiate a detailed study into the internal health of our security estab
 
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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...

 
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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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An aching sense of love, loss and yearning permeate this work of fiction which, however, reads like a personal narrative set in an intensely disruptive period of Indian history, and adds to the genre of partition literature, writes Ni...

 
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This is a path-breaking work on India's foreign policy since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in May 2014 and surprised everyone by taking virtual charge of the external affairs portfolio. A man who had been denied visa by some count...

 
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