Foreign Policy Blogs

South Asia

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 to inject new energy into ...

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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 of five members of Awami League and BNP. The catch: that each one of the five members of each party hail from ...

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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 sure-to-be-strongly disputed parliamentary election that ...

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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 impressive woman who is the pageant’s first winner of Indian heritage. ...

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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.  The current round of fighting has led to ...

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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 the United States welcomes New Delhi’s emergence as “a force ...

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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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Pakistan’s Polio Problem

Pakistan’s Polio Problem

Among Pakistan’s many problems—rampant power cuts, extremist violence, anemic economic growth, widespread poverty—it can seem puzzling that a disease that has claimed only 58 new victims in the last few years has commanded so much attention. Polio, or poliomyelitis, has suffered a stunning defeat in the last 30 years, ...

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U.S. and India: The So-So Strategic Dialogue

U.S. and India: The So-So Strategic Dialogue

This year’s session of the annual U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, which brought Secretary of State John Kerry to New Delhi two weeks ago, produced few headlines.  The gathering was preceded by low expectations as well as talk (here and here) about how bilateral affairs have plateaued in the years since the ...

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BRAC in the News: Bangladesh Viewed Correctly

BRAC in the News: Bangladesh Viewed Correctly

The PBS Newshour ran a story about the troubled garment industry in Bangladesh last night. However, unlike the mono-narrative run by the majority of news outlets the story laid out wasn’t about how things have gone irremediably wrong in Bangladesh. Instead, the story was about BRAC (formerly the ...

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The History of Rape in Pakistan

The History of Rape in Pakistan

Growing up in the Indian Sub-Continent, we are taught that British India was partitioned on the basis of differing religious ideologies. Hindus didn’t want to be governed by Muslims and Muslims by Hindus, and the Sikhs, well, they weren’t given too much importance, but they were somewhere in the middle ...

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U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue: What Not To Do

U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue: What Not To Do

Secretary of State John F. Kerry is in New Delhi for the annual U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue.  He’s receiving plenty of good advice (examples here, here and here) on what he and Salman Khurshid, the Indian foreign minister, can do to energize the nascent strategic partnership that just ...

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