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SAMosa Takes
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Friends, you have probably noticed that South Asia Hand went silent for about six months. Many of you know the reason: my husband and co-creator of the site, Howard Schaffer, died in November after a long stay in the hospital.

 
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“We want the open skies of friendship, not walls of hatred,” these words of Asma Jahangir resonated across India Habitat Centre in New Delhi where numerous Indian friends of the Pakistani civil rights activist who breathed her last on 11 February, 2018 in Lahore due to brain haemorrhage  gathered to pay their last respects and celebrate an extraordinary life.

 
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I learnt with great shock and grief the death of Pakistan's most famous, indefatigable and brave human rights champion, Madam Asma Jahangir. I had the occasional only once in life to meet her and and attend a meeting being held by her where the late Dr Javed Iqbal was the main speaker.

 
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Political equations in Bangladesh has taken an intriguing turn with the anti-corruption court in Dhaka convicting opposition leader and former prime minister Khaldea Zia of corruption and sentencing her to five years in jail. The two-time former premier along with her son, Tarique Rahman, who has been sentenced to ten years in prison in the same case were found guilty of siphoning off $252,000, or 21 million taka, in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which Zia leads, has called the termed the verdict politically motivated and is expected to appeal against the verdict.

 
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Amazing things are happening between India and Saudi Arabia, whose hitherto energy-centred partnership is being upgraded and transformed into a multi-dimensional relationship. And all this is happening without too much fuss and publicity as both countries have been working quietly, and assiduously, to work towards elevating the relationship into a meaningful strategic partnership to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing geostrategic environment.

 
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Today is Gandhi ji's 70th death anniversary. As Einstein had said "Scarcely the future generations will believe that such a man walked on this earth ...".

 
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Larbi Reffouh, Morocco's  former ambassador to India who retired from service in October 2016,  died suddenly early January 16 in Rabat.  He was 69. A very popular figure in the diplomatic circuit, Reffouh had also served as Moroccan ambassador to Gabon, Brazil, Argentina before coming to India in 2011.  He was concurrently accredited to Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maldives while being based in New Delhi.

 
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The Indian bureaucracy's stranglehold which used to cause inordinate delays in materialization of urgently needed  weapons and equipment for the three Services will hopefully be loosened with the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)

 
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Visiting Arunachal Pradesh, in northeastern India, in January 2009, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a fast-track development programme to provide the geo-strategically located border state with much needed strategic and administrative infrastructure, including a major new road network.

 
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The media reported on  December 05, 2017 that China has temporarily stopped the funding of some projects particularly those related to the road network under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), begun over two years ago, pending a further decision on 'new guidelines' to be issued from Beijing.

 


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Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, is a former top diplomat who retired as India's Permanent Representative at the United Nations. In his new political avatar, as an important minister in the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Puri told INDIA REVIEW & ANALYSIS that
 
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Aimed at consolidating cooperation between the armed forces of India and Saudi Arabia and explore new avenues of defence cooperation, Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee and Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, visited Saudi Arabia on from 4-8 February 2018, writes Anil Bhat
 
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Campus placement season is here and the news is that graduates from the top campuses in India, especially the IITs, have received six figure pay packets and job offers in the US. However, looking beyond the top 200 engineering schools in India, pay packets are not looking too promising. The reason is the emergence of new engineering sc
 
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Representatives from ten Asia Pacific governments, parliaments, civil society organisations (CSOs) and international institutions - including from six South Asian countries - gathered in Bangkok to reflect and share knowledge and learnings on climate change finance and gender-inclusion as part of the Regional Dialogue on Climate Resili
 
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Maldives President Abdulla Yameen “conveyed that mediation was not wanted at this stage” when UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke to him last week, Guterres's spokesperson Stephane Dujrric confirmed Thursday, writes Arul Louis
 
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Srinivasan leaves his office in Bengaluru where the lights and air-conditioners are switched off when sensors planted inside notice that he is leaving. He is prompted on his e-watch as to how much time it would take for the elevator to arrive on his floor, based on movement-recognition, writes Rajendra Shende
 
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The Indian government is undertaking a project to enhance and install infrastructures related to trade and customs along its northeastern frontier, that include trading points with Bhutan.

 
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Society for Policy Studies in association with India Habitat Centre held a lecture in the “2022: The India We Seek”

 
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What is history? How does a land become a homeland? How are cultural identities formed? The Making of Early Kashmir explores these questions in relation to the birth of Kashmir and the discursive and material practices that shaped it up to the ...

 
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A group of teenagers in a Karachi high school puts on a production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible— and one goes missing. The incident sets off ripples through their already fraught education in lust and witches, and over the years ...

 
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Title: Do We Not Bleed?: Reflections of a 21-st Century Pakistani; Author: Mehr Tarar; Publisher: Aleph Book Company; Pages: 240; Price: Rs 599

 
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From antiquity, the Muslim faith has been plagued by the portrayal of Muslim men regularly misusing this perceived “right” to divorce their wives instantly by simply uttering “talaq” thrice.

 
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'Another South Asia!' edited by Dev Nath Pathak makes a critical engagement with the questions about South Asia: What is South Asia? How can one pin down the idea of regionalism in South Asia wherein inter-state relations are often char...