South Asia

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  • Himanshu Khulbe asked: Why India has become a major conduit for human and drug trafficking in South Asia?

    Pushpita Das replies: A combination of factors have made India a major conduit for human and drug trafficking in South Asia. As far as drug trafficking is concerned, being proximate to the ‘Golden Crescent’ (Afghanistan-Pakistan-Iran) and ‘Golden Triangle’ (Myanmar-Thailand-Laos) has made India vulnerable to the trafficking of narcotics and drugs such as heroin, hashish, including synthetic drugs produced in these areas.

    Lan-shu Tseng asked: Why United States could de-hyphenate its relations with India and Pakistan but China couldn’t?

    Ashok Kumar Behuria replies: De-hyphenation is a policy adopted by countries to maximise their strategic returns from their diplomatic engagements/investments with two adversarial states, both of whom are of consequence to them. It insulates them in some way from the inadvertent turbulence that could result out of their possible hostile interaction and, thus, affect their relationship with both.

    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

    Post Doklam, India needs to watch China’s bullish economics led cultural embrace of South Asia

    Doklam brought into perspective the fractured relationship between India and China on the global stage and increased fears of China’s growing unilateralism as it inexorably broadens its interests and sphere of influence, especially in South Asia.

    January 01, 2018

    South Asian Geopolitics: Has Pakistan Lost its Plot?

    Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War, by C. Christine Fair, New York: Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 343, £27.99

    Defeat is an Orphan: How Pakistan Lost the Great South Asian War, by Myra MacDonald, London: Hurst & Co., 2017, pp. 328, £25.00‘

    October 2017

    Ajinkya Bankar asked: Is there any difference between South Asia and Indian Subcontinent? Is it one and the same?

    Ashok Kumar Behuria replies: There is an overlap between the two. However, they are different. Indian subcontinent is a subset of South Asia, as much as both are subsets of the Asian continent.

    As a geographical expression, Indian subcontinent encompassed the British colonial administrative unit called India, which comprised of the present day states of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Till 1936, Burma (now Myanmar) was also part of British India, but was not considered part of the subcontinent.

    Bhavani asked: Does ‘SAARC minus Pakistan’ hold a better chance of addressing South Asia's many challenges?

    Ashok Kumar Behuria replies: The prime challenge for SAARC and South Asia is how to engender effective economic and security cooperation to boost regional prosperity and development.

    Riverine Neighbourhood: Hydro-politics in South Asia

    • Publisher: Pentagon Press
      2016

    Rivers are the most visible form of fresh water. Rivers are ancient and older than civilizations a ‘mini cosmos’ spawning history, tales, spirituality, and technological incursions. Flowing rivers are the largest renewable water resource as well as a crucible for both humans and aquatic ecosystem.

    • ISBN 978-81-8274-914-6,
    • Price: ₹. 895
    • E-copy available
    2016

    Raushan Raj asked: What caused India's diplomatic misadventures in Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka?

    Ashok Kumar Behuria replies: This question wrongly preconceives that India was on an adventure, on the diplomatic front, in the neighbourhood, and it has backfired. In reality, this is not the way one should look at diplomacy or foreign policy practices of a state. In the post-Cold War period, the regional geo-political reality has changed massively. India's policy preferences have changed too, to address a whole new set of challenges that have popped up on the horizon, while some of the old challenges have become even more complex and complicated.

    The Role of India and China in South Asia

    India is often perceived as a regional power, but a closer look reveals that it is in a disadvantageous position vis-à-vis China in South Asia. The first reason is that Indian governments never had the political, economic, and military capacities to pursue their regional power ambitions with their neighbours in the long run. South Asian countries could always play the China card in order to evade India’s influence. Second, India’s new South Asia policy with the focus on trade and connectivity has improved regional cooperation since 1991.

    July 2016

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