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South Asia

Saarc summitry

THE leaders of Saarc are scheduled to meet in Nepal at a time when civilian deaths resulting from skirmishes between India and Pakistan on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary have cast a dark shadow over South Asia. The guns may perhaps fall silent when the summit conference is held, but that is more likely to mean respite rather than a long-term solution to the problems that obstruct a more vibrant and cooperation-oriented relationship among the member countries. Accepting...

Why is Indian outward FDI shying away from South Asia?

THERE have been promises of greater Indian investment in South Asia for a long time. A report produced by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2007 argued that India would play a key role in investing in South Asia and this in turn will stimulate intra-regional trade in the region. The report made special reference to the rapidly growing Indian IT industry and identified it as a potential investor in South Asia. The ADB argued that business process outsourcing,...

Al-Qaeda South Asia arm claims Karachi attack

Al-Qaeda South Asia arm claims Karachi attack

Al-Qaeda's new South Asia branch has claimed responsibility for a raid on a Karachi naval yard that left a sailor and three attackers dead, adding they had help from former military officials, reports Al Jazeera. It is the first attack claimed by the fighter network's new wing, whose creation was announced by chief Ayman...

Abuse of Adolescent Girls

Bangladesh top in South Asia: Unicef

In Bangladesh, one in every five girls aged between 15 and 19 is sexually abused by her husband or partner, a Unicef study has found.  “In this region [South Asia], this type of abuse is most common in Bangladesh,” according to the study based on data collected from 2005 to 2013. The rate of adolescent girls who ever experienced physical and/or sexual violence is 47 percent in Bangladesh. The rate of women aged 20 to 49 years who ever experienced such...

No scope for terrorism in Bangladesh: Minister

No scope for terrorism in Bangladesh: Minister

In response to an al-Qaeda threat, the government has asserted that there will be “no scope” for militancy in Bangladesh. State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan came up with the reaction this afternoon hours after al-Qaeda announced its formal establishment in South Asia and its intentions with Bangladesh. “We will deliver a formal statement...

A SAARC Development Bank to Bridge the Infrastructure Deficit in South Asia?

IN the third week of July, the Narendra Modi government mooted the idea of a SAARC Development Bank (SDB) along the lines of the BRICS Bank announced by the BRICS Summit around the same time.  It was reported that India will propose the SDB at the SAFTA Ministerial Council in Bhutan and later at the forthcoming SAARC Summit in Kathmandu, Nepal. This is not something new. As far back as 1998, the report of the SAARC Group of Eminent Persons...

Time to adapt to climate change in South Asia

CLIMATE change will sow confusion and concern as it unfolds across South Asia in coming decades. Home to a quarter of the world's population, this vast region will be hit harder than just about anywhere else. Sudden flooding, storms, droughtsand other hazards will upend lives, livelihoods, and economies. As this grim future takes shape, the price of global inaction is rising each year. Up to 9% will have been stripped annually from South Asia's economy on average by 2100 if...

Travelling Film South Asia in Delhi

Travelling Film South Asia in Delhi

Whoever said documentaries had to be soporific and only an exclusive club of documentary filmmakers became excited about the genre? The enthusiastic crowd that turned up at the recent four-day Travelling Film South Asia 2014 -- A festival of South Asian documentaries, proved otherwise. For four days, Delhi audiences had a taste of finely nuanced non-fiction films from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Nepal and India. Bangladesh went unrepresented as the acclaimed; “Shunte Ki Pao!” had to pull out from the festival at the last moment. The films made strong social and political statements -- be it through the lens of human rights, migration or gender. So there was “My Punjabi...

Modi offers Nepal $1b loan in regional push

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered Nepal $1 billion in concessional loans to help build power plants and roads during a visit on Sunday aimed at shoring up support in a region where China is making inroads. Both India and China are vying for political influence in South Asia, home to more than 1.5 billion people, by offering closer integration with their giant economies. India has long been the dominant force in the region. But in recent years as its economy...

US in South Asia: Declining influence

THE US' influence in South Asia is fast diminishing and this trend is likely to continue deep into the future. In the aftermath of World War II, South Asia was considered a strategic backwater by the US policymakers. Additionally, South Asia offered little economic opportunities to the US corporate sector. With the solitary exception of turning Pakistan into an alliance partner, the US cared little about this region. Even in the realm of alliance politics, the US had little to...

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