Foreign Policy Blogs

South Asia

The Brave Pakistani

The Brave Pakistani

Pakistani born British author, Nadeem Aslam, once said that “Pakistan produces people of extraordinary bravery. But no nation should ever require its citizens to be that brave.”
Aitizaz Hasan is one such brave 15-year-old boy. Born and raised in the village of Ibrahimzai, Hangu, in the North-Western province of Khyber Pakhtunkwa …

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Time for Some Realism in U.S.-India Relations

Time for Some Realism in U.S.-India Relations

In a piece on Foreign Policy’s website the other week, Tim Roemer, the immediate past U.S. ambassador in New Delhi, urged Washington officials to pay closer attention to India as a geopolitical and economic partner.  In his view, the country needs to be at the center of …

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A Picture of a Car Set Aflame: Reactionary Violence in Bangladesh

A Picture of a Car Set Aflame: Reactionary Violence in Bangladesh


The right in Bangladesh in again ascendant in violence. Recent reports suggest that student groups are reacting strongly to the government’s arrest and remand of leaders of the opposition coalition.  This, after a morbid …

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To Speak or Not to Speak – That is the Question

To Speak or Not to Speak – That is the Question

If democracy is to be understood, as articulated by John Stuart Mill, as  the embodiment of “government by discussion,” then there is no doubt that recent initiative taken by the current Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina to mitigate the prospects of one-sided election is a step in the right …

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A Picture of an Opposition Protester, Beaten by the Police in Dhaka, Bangladesh

A Picture of an Opposition Protester, Beaten by the Police in Dhaka, Bangladesh


This is a drawing of a young opposition protester, badly beaten by the police in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. This is a drawing that pictures the days yet to come.
This drawing is the first piece in a series that will picture and …

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U.S.-India Relations: The Overshadowed Summit

U.S.-India Relations: The Overshadowed Summit

The U.S.-India relationship is enveloped these days by grand rhetoric.  But for a reality check on the state of bilateral affairs, look no further than the summit meeting between President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh two weeks ago.  The get-together was designed …

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On BNP’s Response to Hasina’s Gambit

On BNP’s Response to Hasina’s Gambit


The BNP’s chairperson, Begum Khaleda Zia has responded to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s populist political gambit.
Her response is to form a 10-person caretaker government comprised …

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On Sheikh Hasina’s Populist Pre-election Gambit

On Sheikh Hasina’s Populist Pre-election Gambit


Politics, electoral politics, is roaring back to the scene in Bangladesh. In a 20-minute televised speech, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and the leader of the ruling Awami League Party Sheikh Hasina, invited her opposition to form a national unity government before the coming …

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Pakistan’s Absurdities

Pakistan’s Absurdities

As a Pakistani, I know that we are some of the most resilient people with the biggest hearts and the most gullible minds. Since time immemorial, Pakistani’s have been  has been held hostage to their long desire to have a country that is run by the equitable laws of God. …

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Missing the Real Story about Miss America

Missing the Real Story about Miss America

I have a commentary piece in today’s San Jose Mercury News that argues:
Much of the focus since Nina Davuluri’s crowning as this year’s Miss America has been on the racist attacks on social media directed at this …

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The Unwanted Federally Administered Tribal Areas

The Unwanted Federally Administered Tribal Areas

There are few places in the world that do not afford its citizens basic human rights, or at least a garb of human rights. The Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan (or better known as “FATA”) are one of those areas.
FATA are the semi-autonomous areas in the northwest frontier of …

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India Should Not Leave Nawaz Sharif Hanging

India Should Not Leave Nawaz Sharif Hanging

Renewed military tensions in the disputed Kashmir region are once again underscoring how even localized incidents there can subvert important diplomatic initiatives between India and Pakistan.  Skirmishes this past January put the brakes on the détente process that picked up steam last year.  …

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India and the United States: Can the Elephant Pivot?

India and the United States: Can the Elephant Pivot?

Joe Biden is in India this week, the latest effort in the Obama administration’s three-year effort to enlist New Delhi in a closer strategic partnership aimed at hedging against a rising China.   Indeed before departing Washington, Biden declared that …

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India Just Scored a Self Goal

India Just Scored a Self Goal

Engineering of election results in Bhutan falls much short of a diplomatic victory of India
At the peak of campaigning by Bhutan’s two political parties for the recently concluded National Assembly (NA) elections, word spread that India was unhappy with the shrill nature of arguments – and their counters – related …

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To Be Taken Seriously By Others, India Needs to First Look Inside

To Be Taken Seriously By Others, India Needs to First Look Inside

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”
Several developments related to India call to mind William Shakespeare’s famous line in Julius Caesar.  The first are the tours of the United States undertaken last week by Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram and Commerce & Industry Minister Anand Sharma, …

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