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As Delhi and Colombo intensify their high-level political engagement, new opportunities for elevating the partnership are coloured by enduring suspicions in Sri Lanka.

 

The attack on a military base in Afghanistan on Friday, in which at least 140 people, mostly unarmed soldiers, died, speaks volumes about the state of security in the war-ravaged country. It was the deadliest attack by the Afghan Taliban since they were ousted from power in 2001.

 

The official response of Nepal to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s Delhi visit was the same as always: “It has been a grand success,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat, who was a member of the entourage. But despite such positive inferences, India-Nepal relations have suffered many ups and downs in recent years, especially in the past one decade, resulting in India losing clout and credibility in Nepal.

 
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Twenty-seven year old shawl weaver Farooq Ahmed Dar may end up becoming the face of the Kashmiri liberation movement and the dehumanising Indian occupation.

 

Federica Mogherini, high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy and vice-president of the European Commission, is in New Delhi today for talks with Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and national security advisor Ajit Doval on a range of bilateral issues.

 
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It is obvious that the situation in Jammu & Kashmir has deteriorated significantly between last year and now, with the army and police fighting Pakistan-based jihadis and stone pelters with their backs to the wall.

 

Russia’s pursuit of “great power” status and its growing concern over terrorism and narcotic drugs have pushed it to re-enter the Afghan conflict, as demonstrated by the April 15 regional conference on Afghanistan in Moscow.

 

I’m not sure who Kulbhushan Jadhav is, or how he came to be in Pakistan, but my curiosity has been aroused and I’ve tried to read as widely as I can to find the answers. Alas, all I’ve ended up with is questions. The more I learn, the more they multiply.

 
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Once inside Pakistan, the message was more positive and one that focused, at least publicly, on “strengthening bilateral relations” and “working with Pakistan to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan” and with India. But the damage had already been done outside Pakistan. US National Security Adviser retired Lt-Gen H.R. McMaster appears to have committed a classic beginner’s error when it comes to addressing the region. Or perhaps the administration of President Donald Trump, keen to sound tough, has made an early mistake. Either way, giving a media interview in Kabul and using that platform to, effectively, verbally attack Pakistan was an unnecessary move by Mr McMaster. It is worth recalling the crux of what he said: “We have hoped that Pakistani leaders will understand that it is in their interest to go after these [militant] groups less selectively … and the best way to pursue their interest in Afghanistan and elsewhere is … not through the use of proxies that engage in violence.” Translation: Pakistan is using militant proxies against Afghanistan and India.  
 
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Twenty-seven year old shawl weaver Farooq Ahmed Dar may end up becoming the face of the Kashmiri liberation movement and the dehumanising Indian occupation. After internet services in the valley were finally restored, videos of the Indian army patrolling villages with Dar tied to the front bumper of a jeep – complete with a piece of paper on his chest with his name on it – started spreading, leading to further protests and violence. The army was using Dar both as a human shield and as a warning to those who protest against the occupation. This was meant to humiliate Dar and show them the price of resistance. The tactic was straight of the Israeli playbook, which has often used children as human shields, and even the police in India was forced to register a case against an unnamed army official. But, contrary to what the Indian army is saying, this incident is not an aberration. It is a true representation of the occupation and the humiliation it inflicts on the Kashmiri people. The rest of the world may be in denial about what the Indian army is doing but this video should serve as an eye-opener. Predictably, violence in Kashmir has spiked as Dar becomes a symbol – similar to Burhan Wani – and India shows no signs of ending its occupation or even forsaking the use of disproportionate violence.
 


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spotlight image A career diplomat, Chitranganee Wagiswara, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, is the first woman to be the island nation’s envoy to India. As Foreign Secretary, she was Sri Lanka’s top diplomat for 18 months before being posted to New Delhi.
 
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India has accused the United Nations Security Council and the international community of tending to ignore the terrorists ravaging Afghanistan and their backers while these forces “have stood up against one of the biggest collective military efforts in the world.”
 
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Close Canada-India collaboration in health and wellness is a journey that commenced in 2015 in Toronto, when the first major health summit was held, and ended in March 2017 in New Delhi.
 
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With weird concoction like "Beer Yoga" getting popular as the next big international fitness craze, the ancient art of inner blossoming is seemingly going topsy-turvy. And as yoga hogs the limelight on its third International Day, the loud call for saving the spirit of the ancient and modern practice can't be swept under
 
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The death of deputy superintendent Mohammed Ayub Pandith at the hands of a lynch mob highlights the dangers to the police in Kashmir today, whether from gun-wielding militants or locals disgruntled with the Indian State.
 
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Sher Bahadur Deuba has been elected Prime Minister of Nepal at an especially fragile time in the life of the 11-year-old Himalayan republic.
 
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The rapid rise of Mohammed bin Salman, from one among many princes in the al-Saud royal family to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia within a span of two years, is an unprecedented development in the history of the Kingdom.
 
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A United States fighter downed a Syrian military aircraft for the first time when it bombed a Syrian rebel faction backed by Washington.
 
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Title: Reporting Pakistan; Author: Meena Menon; Publisher: Viking/Penguin Random House; Pages: 340; Price: Rs 599

 
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  A former Indian civil servant, who is currently a professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University, US spent long periods in distant villages and city slums of India. The result? A scholarly book that presen...

 
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  Title: The Exile; Author:  Cathy Scott-Clark & Adrian Levy; Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; Pages: 640; Price: Rs 699

 
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Jim Corbett was a British-Indian hunter and tracker-turned-conservationist, author and naturalist; who started off as an officer in the British army and attained the rank of a colonel. Frequently called in to kill man-eating tigers or leopards,...

 
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Title: Bollywood Boom; Author: Roopa Swaminathan; Publisher: Penguin; Price: Rs 399; Pages: 221

 
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