FROM A BYSTANDER | The Daily Star
  • 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.

  • Zuma

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.”

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • Donald Trump's flawed South Asia policy

    Donald Trump on August 21, 2017, by laying out America's path forward for Afghanistan and South Asia, has re-entered the new Great Game—reminiscent of the 19th century rivalry between Britain and Russia.

  • Trump puts Iran nuclear deal in jeopardy

    During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly declared that the Iran nuclear deal, known as “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” (JCPOA), was the worst agreement the US has ever signed, and his first priority as president would be to “tear up” the deal. JCPOA has limited Iran's nuclear programme in exchange for removal of all sanctions imposed by the West and the United Nations.

  • Ratcheting up tension in Korean Peninsula

    A lot has been reported over the past couple of weeks about the escalating tension in the Korean Peninsula. As the western media demonises North Korea, one gets the impression that it is led by a “crazy fat kid” (Kim Jong-Un, 33), who is ready to go to war with America.

  • India-China Standoff: Time to take a step back

    The fact remains that India has been wary in settling the border issues, despite having many negotiations with China over the past decades. Some experts believe that this standoff will be a long-haul affair. So far it has been a war of words between Delhi and Beijing—no shots have been fired.

  • Panamagate takes Nawaz Sharif down

    Nawaz's detractors have been celebrating the court verdict. But is it really a triumph for the people of Pakistan? There are completely opposing viewpoints with some calling it independent judiciary in a democracy while others trashing judicial activism describing it as the death knell of democracy.

  • A defiant Qatar stands its ground

    The crisis that began in the Gulf on June 5, 2017 does not seem to be ebbing. In the meantime there have been some twists and turns in this sordid episode.

  • Disunity at the G20 Summit

    This year the annual G20 summit was held in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7-8. Nineteen leaders of the world's richest nations and emerging economies, representing 85 percent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP), 80 percent of world trade and two-thirds of the world population, met with the aim to stabilise the global economic and financial infrastructures. With the European Union attending the summit, the group became G20. Leaders of 7 other countries were also invited as guests.

  • The race for Raisina Hill

    President Pranab Mukherjee of India will complete his tenure of office on July 24, 2017. To elect the 14th President the Election Commission of India had asked political parties to submit nomination papers by June 28. Election will be held if there is more than one candidate. Several names, both from the BJP and the Congress-led opposition, have been doing the rounds in Delhi since early May.

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