Mahmood Hasan

Mahmood Hasan


Former Ambassador and Secretary

Nobel peace laureate will defend genocide

The Myanmar military and the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi are literally between a rock and a hard place. Two cases of violation of the Genocide Convention filed against Myanmar have shaken its leaders.

Hongkongers’ search for an identity

Protests and demonstrations are not new in Hong Kong. Even before returning to Chinese control in 1997, Hongkongers had demonstrated on different demands. When Chief Executive Carrie Lam wanted to push an extradition bill—that would allow both Hong Kong residents and visitors to be sent to China for trial—through the Legislative Council in March, it immediately triggered criticism and protests, particularly from the millennials of Hong Kong, demanding immediate withdrawal of the law. It is not surprising that the current protests that began in June continues with violent weekend street battles with the police.

Recounting the Brexit drama in five acts

It’s been more than three years that the Brexit drama is being enacted in Britain—dividing the country, its political parties and the parliament.

Will the US-Iran relations ever normalise?

It is amazing that the United States and Iran have maintained an extremely bellicose relation for the past four decades, much to the anxiety of nations of the Middle East. It all began when the Islamic Republic of Iran was proclaimed under Imam Ayatollah Ruhollah

G7 Summit: Semblance of unity

The two-day 45th G7 Summit concluded recently at the French resort in Biarritz. What was unusual this time was the fact that the summit ended without issuing a final communique, essentially because there was hardly any consensus on any of the major issues

Beijing’s Catch-22

It’s been just 22 years since Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, after 156 years of British colonial rule. Recent events in Hong Kong suggest that the long British rule has left considerable English influence on the ethnic Chinese of the region. Though the older English-speaking generation is on the wane, the young English-speaking millennials seem to be spearheading a political movement for democracy and social justice.

Will the Rohingyas ever return to Myanmar?

Since the massive exodus of Rohingyas from Rakhine to Bangladesh in 2017, a lot has been written and said about the plight of these unfortunate people. After nearly two years, it appears that the outraged world community has forgotten about this persecuted ethnic minority.

Dawn of the second phase of Arab Spring

The second phase of Arab Spring has dawned on the Arab world. It is not a surprise that people in Algeria and Sudan have risen to demand changes in the leadership in their countries, while Libya is also locked in serious conflict over who should rule the country.

Will Joko Widodo win a second term?

Southeast Asian economic giant Indonesia will be holding its fourth presidential election today. Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, is the third biggest democratic country after India and the United States.

Algeria's late Arab Spring

Algeria's veteran President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned on April 2, 2019 after 20 years in power.

Venezuela's Dutch disease syndrome

The political and economic situation of Venezuela has been dominating world media for quite some time now. What happened to this petro-state with the largest oil reserve in the world?

46th OIC-CFM: Reform or aberration?

The 46th session of Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was held in Abu Dhabi, UAE from March 1-2, 2019 with the motto “50 years of Islamic Cooperation: Roadmap for Prosperity and Development”

Kashmir conflict: Still no end in sight

The suicide attack in Pulwama on February 14, 2019 that killed 42 Indian soldiers and wounded dozens sparked off tensions between India and Pakistan. Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM),

Brexit Deal lands Britain in a political mess

The British House of Commons on January 15 voted to reject Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit Deal by 432 votes to 202. The vote came after 200 speeches spread over eight days of fractious debate.

Return of French revolutionary zeal

France is famous for the French Revolution of 1789, which overthrew the monarchy. It has a long history of protest movements which flare every now and then, opposing everything from reforming labour laws to gay marriage.

Dramatic twists in Sri Lanka's political turmoil

Ever since President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new prime minister on October 26, there have been several twists in the developing political drama.

US Midterms: Donald Trump risks becoming a lame-duck President

The Democrats won 223 seats (218 needed for majority) in the 435-seat House of Representatives. While in the 100-seat Senate the Republicans retained their thin majority with 51 to 46 seats. When populist Trump entered the White House in January 2017, both the House and Senate were dominated by the Republicans. Clearly the era of unified rule for Donald Trump and the Republicans seems to be over.

A constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka

President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka, in a sudden unconstitutional move, dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed his nemesis and former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new prime minister on October 26.

Afghan elections in the backdrop of fear and violence

War-weary Afghani-stan is scheduled to go to polls on October 20, 2018 to elect a new parliament after almost three years' delay.

Theresa May in trouble over Brexit

Britain's PM Theresa May is in deep trouble with the Brexit plan. She may not only be forced to agree to a second referendum over Brexit but may also lose her prime ministership.

Maldives turns over a new leaf

It has been a turbulent year for the paradise islands of Maldives. The presidential election held on September 23, 2018 was in many ways a referendum on incumbent President Abdulla Yameen's five-year autocratic rule. The election is seen as a halt to Maldives' democratic backsliding.

China walks a tightrope on the Uighur Muslim issue

China has never been at ease with its religious minorities—be they Buddhists, Muslims, Christians or those practicing the religio-philosophical traditions of Confucianism and Taoism.

Takeaways from 4th Bimstec summit

It seems to be the fashion these days to set up regional forums to enhance economic cooperation among countries and raise the standard of living of the common man. But the time has come to do some serious introspection and evaluate what these regional organisations have achieved.

Cloak and dagger drama in Australia for the top job

Australia got a new prime minister on August 24, 2018. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull lost his job to Scott Morrison in a mutiny for leadership within the Liberal Party. Morrison is the sixth prime minister since 2007. None of the five previous prime ministers have been able to complete their full three-year term in office in the last 11 years.

Democracies in decline

True democra-cies around the world seem to be on the decline. Electoral democracies are increasingly becoming fraught with all kinds of unfair means.

Reminding the world of the importance of multilateralism

The 10th BRICS summit (July 25-27, 2018) has just concluded in Johannesburg, South Africa. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted China's President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Michel Temer.

Judicial activism and militant attacks can mar Pakistan elections

Pakistan goes to polls under a caretaker government amid judicial activism and militant attacks. Former Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, heading a six-member cabinet, took over as caretaker prime minister on June 1, 2018 to oversee the general election scheduled for July 25, 2018.

Suu Kyi and the military: Are they falling out?

Things do not look very pretty for General Min Aung Hlaing of Myanmar, the alleged war criminal responsible for the genocide against the Rohingya community in Rakhine.

Cracks in G7, harmony in SCO

The G7 summit hosted by Canadian PM Justine Trudeau (June 8-9) was quite unprecedented. The way the leaders of the seven rich industrialised countries behaved was simply appalling. Never in the 45-year history of the G7 have leaders rebuked each other or traded insults.

Trump-Kim summit drama: What happens if talks fail?

One shall recall that North Korea signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1985 but quit in 2003.

Can JCPOA be saved after US pullout?

The 2015 Joint Compr-ehensive Program of Action (JCPOA) was an equation of 6 + 1 = 7. The 6 (P5 + Germany) were the powers that signed the nuclear deal with Iran, i.e. an agreement among 7 parties.

Lies, deceit and conspiracies

These days the world is faced with a barrage of lies from powerful leaders. They often make statements that contravene international law but major media outlets carry them as “news” quite convincingly. What is extremely distressing is that these lies have led to wars in the past and can lead to wars again.

Will there be a 'Malay tsunami' for Mahathir?

Nearly 15 million Malaysians will go to polls today to elect 222 members of the 14th federal parliament and representatives for 12 state legislatures. Parliament majority is 112 seats. The 13th parliament was dissolved on April 6 and the nominations of candidates were finalised on April 28, when the 11-day formal campaigning started that would determine the fate of scandal-plagued Prime Minister Najib Razak (64), who is leading the interim government.

Some takeaways from the conference

The 45th OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) met in Dhaka on May 5-6, 2018 with the theme “Islamic values for sustainable peace, solidarity and development.”

Little Rocket Man transforms Korean nuclear narrative

The summit meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Peace House at Panmunjom on April 27 was a path-breaking effort to establish lasting peace in the troubled Korean peninsula.

Some takeaways from CHOGM

The just concluded 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) was important for several reasons. It was hosted by Britain (April 16-20)—Commonwealth's birthplace—at a time when this former colonial power is in search of a new identity. The theme for the summit “Towards a common future” has been chosen as UK is “Brexiting” from the EU; the call for reforms of the organisation has become louder; successor to the head of

Don't let Saarc wither away

Recently, Nepalese Prime Minister KP Oli, during his visit to Delhi (April 6–8) proposed to reschedule the 19th Saarc summit. But Delhi firmly refused to go ahead with the summit because cross-border terrorism is a disruptive force in the region. Obviously, the finger was pointed at Pakistan.

Will US-China trade war really break out?

The objective of Donald Trump's controversial executive orders, since his walking into the Oval Office, has been to make “America Great Again”. In the past 15 months, he has signed 63 EOs, claiming that he has accomplished more than most previous US presidents. His latest order was issued on March 22, which proposed to impose up to 25 percent tariff on USD 60 billion worth of Chinese exports to the US.

Making the safe choice

Egypt re-elected Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as president for another four-year term on March 28, 2018. The result of the election was foregone. Sisi has been accused of sidelining or intimidating several powerful candidates, leaving only another candidate in the race. According to the results, Sisi won 92 percent of the votes cast.

Tillerson gone, who's next?

President Donald Trump's White House team seems to be in complete disarray. The way West Wing staffers have been fired or have resigned gives the impression that Trump's house has imploded.

What Xi Jinping's 'indefinite term' means for China

Yesterday, China's parliament, in a historic move, abolished presidential term limits enabling President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely.

Will Zuma's exit deter corruption in South Africa?

Was it a contro-versial indictment of corruption that led to the resignation of South African President Jacob Zuma on February 14, 2018? Zuma has all along denied any wrongdoing.

Maldives political crisis and a geopolitical tussle

Political unrest in neighbouring Maldives is bad news for Delhi.

Frustrated Nepal awaits new government

Landlocked Nepal's political uncertainty simply does not seem to end.

Merkel still searching for a government

Even after heading the largest party in the parliament Acting Chancellor Angela Merkel has not been able to form a government for almost four months. Merkel has been in marathon talks with other parties to build a coalition government and retain her position.

Donald Trump's broadside on Pakistan

Washington's relations with Islamabad started going downhill even before Donald Trump stepped into the Oval Office.

What has gone wrong in Iran?

Hundreds of Iranians came onto the streets on December 28, 2017,in an impromptu demonstration in the city of Mashhad protesting high prices of daily necessities and rampant corruption.

Trump's unilateralism over Jerusalem isolates America

It is now clear that Donald Trump's decision on Jerusalem is part of his “America first” slogan.

December 23, 2017
December 23, 2017

Gujarat scare for BJP

Two important state legislative elections were held in India recently. Gujarat went for elections on December 9 and 14, and Himachal Pradesh elections were held on December 9, 2017.

December 18, 2017
December 18, 2017

Will Nepal drift away from India?

Nepal's journey towards democracy crossed another milestone when the last phase of federal legislative elections was completed on

December 11, 2017
December 11, 2017

What's behind Trump's Jerusalem gambit?

Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has not only angered Palestinians but also outraged world leaders.

November 16, 2017
November 16, 2017

Will the Taj Mahal face the same fate as Babri Mosque?

An anti-Muslim communal storm kicked off recently in India involving the Taj Mahal. On September 27, while observing World Tourism Day, Uttar Pradesh Tourism Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi released a tourist guide, “Uttar Pradesh Tourism—Limitless Possibilities”, which conspicuously omitted the Taj Mahal.

November 8, 2017
November 8, 2017

Will the “Myanmar democracy” survive the Rohingya crisis?

The paranoid junta does not want to see Suu Kyi succeed in establishing peace or democracy. Perception of threat to national security is the raison d'être of the military.

October 29, 2017
October 29, 2017

No change in policies

To many, the CPC Congress is an enigma, while others have projected distorted pictures of China's political system. Some have described the leadership reshuffle as a Game of Thrones plot.

October 16, 2017
October 16, 2017

Catalonia's bid for independence - Doomed to failure?

Europe's woes do not seem to end. Over the past several weeks, the news about Catalonia's independence referendum has severely shaken Europe. This time it was Spain facing secession of Catalonia—one of its wealthiest regions.

October 1, 2017
October 1, 2017

Can Rohingyas return to their homeland?

At the briefing, Secretary General Guterres said that “the situation has spiralled into the world's fastest developing refugee emergency, a humanitarian and human rights nightmare…We have received bone-chilling accounts from those who fled.”

September 23, 2017
September 23, 2017

Merkel's chances in the upcoming election

Urope's economic giant Germany is set to hold its federal election on September 24, 2017. All eyes are now focused on Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is seeking a fourth term. If elected, Merkel, the first woman ever to lead Germany, may match the records set by Konrad Adenauer (14 years) or Helmut Kohl (16 years).

September 12, 2017
September 12, 2017

Where is the international outcry?

The situation on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border is extremely volatile. Thousands of refugees are streaming into Bangladesh following fresh crackdowns on Rohingyas led by the Myanmar army. Hundreds of Rohingyas have been killed so far.