The dichotomy in Bangladesh: Democracy or development

By narrowing the space for dissent and dichotomizing values, the ruling Awami League has effectively defanged the opposition, media as well as ordinary people writes Rishija Singh for South Asia Monitor

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Time to consolidate India-Bangladesh ties

Compared to the intensity of exchanges and movement in the preceding years, the year 2012 was a relatively sedate one for Indo-Bangladesh relations. The framework of partnership envisaged during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit in January 2010 was further fleshed out during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit in September 2011 writes Deb Mukharji

Pakistan 2012: More of the same

It was more of the same for Pakistan during 2012. No significant change from 2011 in either domestic or regional and international politics took place. The tug-of-war between a domineering Pakistan Supreme Court, headed by a chief justice who had to face the embarrassment that his son had done shady deals with one of the most successful soldiers of fortune writes Ishtiaq Ahmed

Maldives moving away from India, tilting towards China?

As 2012 draws to a close, the question uppermost in the minds of Maldives watchers is if the country was moving away from the strategic sphere of Indian influence, and has begun tilting towards China, as is often suspected in the case of other nations in the Indian Ocean neighbourhood, near and afar. There are no ready answers that are convincing, but there is nothing to suggest that a ministerial visit here or a bilateral issue of commercial consequences for India there has the potential to effect that change writes N. Sathiya Moorthy

For India, piracy will remain a security challenge

Somali pirates have finally released the Panama-flagged merchant vessel MV Iceberg 1, along with six Indian sailors who were on board. Taken captive in March 2010, the owner of the cargo ship had stopped negotiations with the pirates, whilst also not paying any compensation to the sailor's families. These sailors had been held hostage for 33 months writes Commander (retd) Neil Gadihoke

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