South Asia: Publications

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  • Transformation of Indo-Bangladesh Relations: From Insecurity to Cooperation in Northeast India

    Bangladesh and India are enjoying increasingly close relations in the latter’s northeastern region. This represents a transformation in the two countries’ past relationship, which was characterised by suspicion, distrust and insecurity. This recent change, which began with the arrival of Bangladesh’s current regime in 2009, has resulted in a sense of cooperation, mutual interest and connectivity. This article aims to explain this transformation.

    November 2018

    Balochistan: On The International Drugs Superhighway

    Pakistan’s Balochistan province, which shares borders with Iran and Afghanistan, has quietly functioned as one of the main arteries through which Afghanistan’s massive opium crop reaches the outer world. Six of the nine major drug trafficking routes from Afghanistan transit through Balochistan en route to Iran, Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Afghanistan’s opium production peaked at 9,000 tons in 2017, on account of the country’s rampant instability and lack of viable options for families to sustain themselves.

    September 2018

    The Current and Future State of India–Bangladesh Relations

    At the outset, we must remind ourselves that Indo–Bangladesh cooperation began in the battlefield of 1971. As a freedom fighter diplomat, one recalls with deep appreciation and gratitude the whole-hearted support we received from the Government and people of India during the critical days of our nationhood. We pay homage to those brave Indian soldiers who laid down their lives for our independence. We also pay tribute to the valiant war veterans who fought with us in our War of Independence.

    September 2018

    India–Bangladesh Relations: An Indian Perspective

    The people of India and Bangladesh share close and multi-faceted socio-cultural, religious and linguistic ties spanning centuries. The two countries share the same values of secularism, pluralism and democracy, and the distinct honour of having their national anthem written by the same person—Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore. Bangladesh Jatiyo Kabi Nazrul, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Lalon Fakir, etc., are revered on both sides of the border. Their influence transcends political boundaries and inspires people in both countries.

    September 2018

    Explaining Public Policy Choices: A Case Study of the First Nuclear Power Plant in Bangladesh

    This article employs the 3-i framework to explore the institutions, ideas, and interests that have shaped the Bangladesh government’s policy choices for implementing the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, the first such plant in the country. The logic behind three choices—vendor country, reactor model, and spent fuel management—are analysed.

    September 2018

    Pashtun Nationalism in Search of Political Space and the State in Pakistan

    Pakistan is undergoing political turmoil once again. Once again an elected prime minister was first removed in July 2017, and then barred from fighting elections for life on April 13, 2018.

    July 2018

    Transforming Eastern South Asia: Relevance of BIMSTEC

    Of late the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is receiving sincere attention from its member countries as an organisation that has the potential to transform the region’s political and economic future. This is because there are several bilateral and sub-regional ongoing projects that are seeking to connect the region and bind them together into one economic whole. Apart from this, after the cancellation of the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) summit in 2017, many would see the BIMSTEC as an alternative to SAARC.

    July 2018

    How Sri Lanka Walked into a Debt Trap, and the Way Out

    Sri Lankans love to project their country as the land of serendipity. So, when the island country saw the back of a four-decade-old violent Tamil insurgency in 2009, it was expected that it would surge ahead in a serendipitous way. The turn of events ever since has, however, proved that the country has not been that fortunate. In fact, immediately after the conclusion of the war, Sri Lanka (re)lapsed into multiple crises, occasioned by a regime which functioned in an authoritarian manner.

    March 2018

    India’s Bilateral Security Relationship in South Asia

    The article argues that the contours of a security architecture are becoming slowly visible in South Asia. This process is nurtured by two developments. First, since the 2000s, India has increased its security cooperation with nearly all its neighbours in South Asia. Second, since 2013 governments in New Delhi have promoted the concept of India as a security provider in the region and the Indian Ocean.

    January 2018

    Disaster Relief as a Political Tool: Analysing Indian and Chinese Responses after the Nepal Earthquakes

    In the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal, China and India immediately sent relief teams. The relief efforts in Nepal showcase a competitive aspect of the two major regional powers, as China seeks to gradually increase its influence in South Asia. This article analyses how these two governments utilised relief efforts to increase influence in Nepal, within the wider context of the contentious Sino–Indian relationship. The Chinese and Indian relief responses after the Nepal earthquakes are extrapolated to assess their strategic utility.

    November 2017

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