South Asian Outlook
February 2015 Issue
By Romi Mahajan *
What is harder to understand is why working-class South Asians seem also to be absent from so many social and political formations in the United States (with notable and laudable exceptions.) On this matter I am not even remotely an expert but I have some opinions that I’d love to be dissected by those more in the know than I am
By Manoj Joshi
US President Barack Obama will be the first American to be a chief guest at the Republic Day parade. He will also be the first US President to have visited India twice in his presidency. There was a time when American presidential visits to India were few and far between. But since Bill Clinton came to India in 1999, signalling a grand reconciliation after harshly punishing India for the May 1998 nuclear tests,
By First Post Staff
With US President Barack Obama scheduled to visit India on 25 January, preparations for the high-profile visit are entering final stages. India-US ties are set to move to a transformative level, with talks on a range of issues, including defence, energy, education and economic cooperation.
The two leaders have met thrice already in the recent past - in Washington during a bilateral meet in September last year, in Myanmar during the East Asia Summit and in Brisbane during the G20 in November. But the latest visit will be an "important summit" meeting in that it will seek to give a more concrete shape to many of the decisions, outlined in the joint statement issued last year in Washington.
By Iftikhar Gilani
An indication that the India-United States civil nuclear agreement, which has existed only on paper over the past eight years, may be operationalised, as top diplomats and officials associated with nuclear energy from both countries will meet here on Wednesday to thrash out issues, ahead of president Barack Obama's arrival. The US president is reaching Delhi on January 25 and will straight away start dialogue with prime minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House after ceremonial protocols at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
By Monica Bernabe *
While millions of Afghans have fled to Pakistan over the past four decades, Pakistanis are flocking to Afghanistan. There are not only those who flee Pakistani military operations in Waziristan, but also Pakistani Balochs who say that they flee from repression by the Pakistani government, linked to latest Baloch insurgency activities. In Afghanistan, they live in precarious conditions. The Afghan authorities seem to exert a hand-off approach, and the UN sees them as a marginal issue.
By Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management
The US has a long history of failed military campaigns abroad, and an entrenched proclivity to 'declare victory and run'. As 2014 came to a close, the US-led coalition in Afghanistan added another page to this dismal history, when the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) officially concluded its combat mission in Afghanistan at an event held at ISAF headquarters in capital city Kabul on December 28, 2014. ISAF had been constituted under US leadership under the Bonn Agreement 13 years earlier, in December 2001. The ISAF worked under the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a statement, on the same day, boasted,
Take whatever steps necessary to stop the ongoing violence in the country, says Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed on January 28 ordered the Police to take whatever steps necessary to stop the ongoing violence in the country. She said, "I'll take the responsibility for whatever happens due to the action. But you'll have to ensure the security of the common people. You'll take whatever steps necessary against those responsible for burning and attacking people."Daily Star, January 29, 2015.
By Marianne de Nazareth
There are several types of Rain Water Harvesting ponds in the villages of Myanmar , of which some are especially designed to handle storage only of drinking water. The pond walls can be as high as 6 ft., and are normally protected so that domestic animals cannot enter them and pollute them. This protection is crucial and needs to be adhered to strictly.
Political parties fail to draft a new constitution before the January 22 deadline: Despite repeated attempts, the ruling Nepali Congress and its alliance partner Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) as also the main opposition Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-Maoist) and Madhesh-based parties failed to reach a consensus on issues ranging from federalism, form of government, judiciary and electoral system, which made the constitution elusive. This is a second time that the parties in Nepal failed to deliver a new constitution. The CA elected in 2008 was dissolved in May 2012 without a new charter. The second CA was elected in 2013 and at its first meeting on January 21, 2014, it resolved to draft the country's new constitution within a year, by January 22. Nepal's parties had agreed to draft a new constitution by signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2006, which ended a 10-year-old insurgency. The Week, January 23, 2015.