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Bilateral

The perilous state of Pakistan-India relations ought to be a matter of urgent concern for both state and society in the two countries.

 

During his inaugural address in January 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy famously asked his fellow Americans: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” In 2017, it is a question that U.S. President Donald Trump is posing to the world, as he begins to set his imprint on American foreign policy.

 
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There are quite a few reasons, other than the one he has come forth with, why the Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir may have decided to hand back to Bangladesh the Friend of Bangladesh Liberation War award conferred posthumously on his father a few years ago.

 

Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad Gautam Bambawale, filed an appeal against Kulbushan Yadav’s death sentence with Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua on Wednesday in Islamabad.

 
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When U.S. President Donald Trump ordered cruise-missile strikes on a Syrian air base shortly after this month’s chemical weapons attack, some Obama administration veterans were openly impressed. “[We] never would have gotten this done in 48 hours,” one of them told Politico.

 
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Defying the populist tsunami that has swept through UK and US over the last year, in France it is the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron who has won a close first round of the French presidential elections.

 
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With the US strikes on Syria and Afghanistan, coming in quick succession and without the much-anticipated reset of relations with Russia, the world suddenly looks more dangerous.

 
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Viva democracy. The people have spoken. Turkey’s strongman president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is here to stay. Power to the people, their will has been done. And all that jazz.
 
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On April 16, Turks voted, by a razor-thin margin, to scrap the country’s parliamentary system for a presidential one and give the current incumbent, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, sweeping powers. According to the state-run Anadolu News Agency, the “yes” vote stood at 51.41 per cent; the “no” vote was 48.59 per cent. With this victory, Erdogan, who has already helmed power in Turkey for 15 years, could extend his term in office till 2034. Evidently, he is now the most important political figure Turkey has seen since its founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
 
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It seems that a trend of effecting stunning political reversals has percolated from Washington into Westminster. By calling a snap general election, British PM Theresa May has sensationally deviated from her previous stance. The argument that an early election would be a distraction from the core focus on Brexit negotiations has been set aside on the same basis – that in order to provide certainty and stability during the negotiations, the May government needs a decisive mandate.
 


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Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Vitaly A. Prima, Ambassador of Belarus to India for close to five years, is very enthusiastic about the future of bilateral relations as the two countries mark 25 years of diplomatic relations. Resident in New Delhi, Prima is also his country’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.
 
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India’s top diplomats held a four-day brainstorming session in New Delhi this month to strategise and decide how India should engage with major global powers and countries in the immediate neighbourhood, writes Nilova Roy Chaudhury
 
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Video Gallery

 
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Is it the Modi magic or Modi cult propelling the BJP to new heights with the opposition pulverised and decimated by the split vote banks of these parties in large parts of India? The BJP has gained five states in the assembly elections but lost Delhi and Bihar, writes Lalit Sethi
 
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I recently received an extraordinary email from a troubled young Kashmiri in Srinagar. Days before the Indian authorities turned off the internet, Saif (not his real name) had watched on YouTube the 45-minute video documentary Crossing the Lines — Kashmir, Pakistan, India that I had helped make in 2004 and mostly agreed with its
 
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The successful conclusion of the Belt and Road Forum (BARF) in Beijing, which India chose to stay away from, has led to a chorus of voices warning that in doing so, India has isolated itself both regionally and globally.
 
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  The resounding victory of President Hassan Rouhani, who had sought re-election on a platform of moderation and engagement with the outside world, is a strong endorsement by the Iranian people for political change.
 
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  The US announced a huge arms deal with Saudi Arabia on Saturday as President Donald Trump visited Riyadh on his maiden foreign tour.
 
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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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Title: Defeat is an Orphan: How Pakistan Lost the Great South Asian War; Author: Myra Macdonald; Publisher: Penguin Random House India; Pages: 328; Price: Rs 599

 
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  The story of Afghanistan -- of the war against the Soviets and of terrorism that has gripped the landlocked country ever since -- is in many ways also the story of diplomat Masood Khalili, who motivated his people and led them...

 
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Title: The Golden Legend; Author: Nadeem Aslam; Publisher: Penguin Random House; Pages: 376; Price: Rs 599

 
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