MonitorsPublished on Aug 22, 2018
South Asia weekly report | Vol. XI Issue 34


Pakistan: More questions than answers on CPEC

Mayuri Banerjee

 The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the proclaimed ‘game changer’ of South Asian politics, is gradually appearing to be a hot-air balloon which will soon fade away with Pakistan’s dream of a better economy. The project, since its formal proclamation in 2015, has been mired in controversies over geographical feasibility, political instability, charges of corruption at the implementation-level and most importantly, the nature of Chinese investment which has evoked fears of neo-colonialism amongst many in Pakistan. Despite the challenges and criticism which continue to mount, the policy elites in both Pakistan and China strongly defend the CPEC and its potential in revolutionising trade and connectivity in the region. But the essential question is when?

The domestic experts and analysts systematically dismiss international public opinion as conspiracies to introduce misunderstanding between Pakistan and China. However, the glaring ground realities are becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. There are three sets of problems which need to be considered and require urgent redress at the state-level.

The first is lack of transparency regarding how the project will benefit both Pakistan and China. While it is clear that the functioning Karakoram Highway which connects China’s Xinjiang province to Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region will facilitate China’s access to the warm waters of Arabian Sea, the tangible gains Pakistan will make is yet to be evaluated.

Arbitrary border tariffs

As the grand CPEC will traverse the diverse geography of the country encompassing diverse communities, the discourse will require more specific content on development and modernization. According to recent reports published in Pakistan media, local businessmen have denounced the ‘Friendship Highway’ as one way which runs only towards China, because arbitrary border tariffs for export goods to China has hampered local business. Also, large-scale transport of un-chopped timber from Diamer Valley is resulting in mass deforestation and loss of forest rights of the local communities. There is also simmering traders unrest in Khunjarab pass over discriminatory governance issues which favour Chinese businessmen.

The second problem which besets the project is absence of planning and implementation. Although the CPEC has directed huge Chinese investment towards Pakistan, lack of a blueprint regarding how the funds will be channelized have resulted in widespread corruption over allocation of money.

In December last year, China had temporarily suspended funding of three major projects under the CPEC on the pretext of reviewing policy guidelines. It was as late as April that China assured Pakistan of continuance of funding for the projects, however, with a caveat that CPEC is not a gift to Pakistan.

As is being seen, the project is slowly transforming from a joint venture to Chinese venture, leading to alarm calls from different quarters that increasing Chinese investments might push Pakistan economy towards a debt trap. Pakistan’s mounting 2.2 billion debt to China in the previous year has led one of their leading commentators to argue that Pakistan is walking the way Sri Lanka and Malaysia passed long ago, that is transfer of strategic port rights to China in the event of the failure to repay.

The third contention regarding the project is somewhat related to the first two. The increasing glorification of the CPEC has resulted in marginalisation of public debate regarding what the CPEC entails for Pakistan. As has been mentioned above that the project will traverse diverse geographic and community spaces, therefore the relevant stakeholders have to be included rather being brushed aside for a distant dream that the CPEC will revitalise the national economy. The CPEC corridor has already been a target of violence in the past and the growing alienation of various tribal communities over displacement and employment issues will lead to further social and political costs which will adversely affect any economic gains that Pakistan is yet to make.


  • First, the two governments should set aside their plan of ‘learning while implementation’ and chalk out a definitive course, setting stages of action regarding the advancement of the project. Especially for the incoming regime it might be a wonderful opportunity to reassert its identity as ‘naya Pakistan’ by negotiating with the Chinese about the gains Pakistan will make from the project
  • Second, Pakistan government needs to introduce a transparent structural framework by which the funds from the Chinese will be utilised. This will not only increase the credibility of the project in public eye but will effectively manage, if not uproot corruption in the management of the project.
  • Third, the project needs to be re-assessed from micro level, taking into consideration local interests while making cost-benefit analysis. For, this will make the CPEC a sustainable project for the long run, entrenched in the roots of the country.

 The writer is a Research Assistant at Observer Research Foundation, Kolkata Centre

Afghanistan: For want of a better alternative

Sohini Bose

Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium, which is used to make heroin, a highly addictive analgesic drug. Presently one third of the Afghan GDP comes from drug trade and Afghanistan has often been labelled as a ‘narco-economy’.  According to a recent report published by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, opium production in Afghanistan increased from 3,400 tonnes to about 9000 tonnes between 2002-17.

The southern and western regions of the country, especially the southern province of Helmand, is home to 80% of opium poppy seeds production which alone surpasses Myanmar (second largest opiate producer in the world). Over three million families in Afghanistan sustain their livelihood through opium poppy farming which is the largest and fastest yielding cash crop in the country.

In present times, opium poppy cultivation has become enmeshed with the socio-economic fabric of the country. As much of the Afghan economy started dwindling since the US and NATO withdrew from the country in 2013 most people fell back on the profitable though illegal farming of these crops. Over the years, though the legal economic sector has improved it remains limited, urban centric and capital intensive and not in a position to replace the rural opium poppy cultivation.

The latter has only been strengthened over time by political skirmishes, insecurity and most significantly a lack of alternatives which are as lucrative or sustainable. In a way therefore opium poppy cultivation which is labour intensive, strengthened and continues to ensure the human and economic security of many Afghans who live in villages, are illiterate and for whom the only other option would be joining the Afghan security forces; which is uninviting given the high risk factor involved.

Taliban connivance

However, apart from illegal farming, to make matters worse, the Taliban is involved in every stage of this lucrative drug business from taxing to providing security to producers and traffickers. Taliban reportedly draws almost sixty percent of its profit (amounting to almost five hundred million dollars) from the drug trade.

Also, as there is a significant price difference between the cost of unrefined opium and heroin, to incur more profits almost half of the crop is now being processed and heroin is being manufactured within the country. Domestic refining makes it easier to smuggle the drug across the borders adding substantially to the Taliban coffers.

Incredible profits have strengthened the Taliban footing in Afghanistan and given the insurgent group the assurance to take decisive action against the Afghan government despite the US backing to the latter. Other than the Taliban, several other groups often with disconcerting contacts in higher authority circles are engaged in the drug trade.

The UN is of the opinion that peace in the country would seem an undesirable option to those Taliban members involved in the drug trade when they can be assured of a return of a million dollars a month from the sale of opium and heroin in a war riddled country. Hence past peace negotiations between the government and the insurgent groups have often proved to be futile in Afghanistan.

Hurdles to headway

Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani laments that without the support of the drug cartels, the ongoing war in Afghanistan would have long been over. Hundreds of Afghan commandos with their US counterparts are now tasked with intercepting the transfer of drugs but they remain hindered in the efforts by Afghan officials who are either themselves involved in the drug trade or are insecure of the consequences their duty might yield. In that regard it must be noted that the Transparency International ranked Afghanistan as the fourth most corrupt country in 2017.

Also as the opium cultivation increased the trafficking routes out of the country came to be more and more coveted. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, Islamabad chapter published a recent report confirming that Pakistan with its unbridled 2,611-km border with Afghanistan is the preferred exit point for narcotic smugglers. Efforts have been made to build fences along the border to reduce smuggling but so far only 610 km has been completed with another 400 km scheduled to be erected by the end of 2018. Its accomplishment however is still questionable.

As most of the land which is under poppy cultivation falls within Taliban strongholds it is very difficult for the government to undertake eradication operations there. The Resolute Support command which targets heroin refining laboratories, reports of its increase in number and states that  though these laboratories are easily located they are as easily replaced.

Lucrative vocation

Till date cultivation of opium remains one of the most lucrative vocations in Afghanistan and given the precarious security situation the country is currently entangled in, little can be done to reduce opium production unless an equally profitable alternative can be identified. Moreover, forced attempts to curb opium production may prove to be counter-productive as its cultivation is profitable for the farmers who may for natural reasons be reluctant to change. Such efforts in the past have alienated the rural population, sparked provincial revolts and pushed the people further into the hands of the Taliban who represented themselves as protectors of the farmers, guarding their source of livelihood.

Though counter-narcotic measures have so far been short term, ineffective and unsustainable the Afghan National Drug Action Plan 2015 -2019 intends to combat illegal drug business and foster an integrated alternative development, combining eradication, interdiction, drug treatment and prevention programs into a concerted effort by the government of Afghanistan to facilitate good governance.

However, it must be ensured that the alternative economic model is well designed, effective, labour intensive, realistic and capable of generating sustainable income. However such alternatives alone may fail to dissuade opportunistic farmers from growing opium poppy and hence greater law enforcement, intensive intelligence services and manpower assets are also necessary along with greater international support to truly bring a closure to opium poppy cultivation and the drug trade in Afghanistan.

The writer is a Research Assistant at Observer Research Foundation

Country Reports


Fatal assault in Helmand

The US forces in Afghanistan launched an airstrike in the Chah Anjir area of the Nad Ali district in the relatively volatile province of Helmand, targeting Taliban militants. Heavy casualty has been inflicted upon the insurgent group as the operation left thirteen militants dead. A similar airstrike has also been carried out against Taliban in the Tarikh Nawar area where the insurgents were preparing to attack Afghan security posts. The airstrike killed fourteen militants and wounded seven others.

Herat’s bounty of grapes

Amidst the ongoing skirmishes in Afghanistan, the Annual Grapes Festival has kicked off in the province of Herat. Inaugurated by the provincial governor Mohammed Asif Rahimi and Minister for Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, Nasir Ahmad Durani, the festival showcases the agricultural produce of Kandahar, Helmand, Herat, Balkh, Badghish and Jalalabad city. Recently a contract had been signed for export of grapes to regional countries and the government is presently working to expand the sale of raisins as well.

Declining safety

Reacting to the deadly bombing in Kabul, the first Vice-President of Afghanistan, Gen Abdul Rashid Dostum, has criticised the security forces of the country in no uncertain terms. He opines that such an attack which left scores of students dead in the capital city reflects poorly on the capability of the defence officials to control the faltering security scenario of Afghanistan. Such attacks are not unprecedented and it is worth contemplating why such resistance failures continue to occur.

Violence again in Kabul

An educational centre in the Dast Barchi area, west of Kabul recently witnessed bombing at the hands of The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan (ISIS-K). The group claimed responsibility of the deed through a statement, disclosing that a member suicide bomber had carried out an attack in the Shi’ite area of Kabul. Thirty-four students were killed and fifty-six were wounded. President Ashraf Ghani has promised assistance to those affected while NATO reaffirmed their support to Afghanistan.

Ghazni attack

Recently the Taliban launched an attack in the city of Ghazni, Afghanistan, igniting intense clashes with Afghan and US security forces for over four days. Apart from the combatants, the local residents have suffered heavy damage. Communication and roads have been blocked, preventing families from moving to safer shelters. Currently clearance operations are underway by the Afghan forces after counter airstrikes are ongoing. Meanwhile the UN has promised to support initiatives which will foster peace in the country.


Power deal with Nepal

Aiming to enhance energy cooperation Bangladesh with Nepal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on power exchange. The MoU will help Nepal to export of hydropower to Bangladesh in coming times. Nepal's Energy Minister Barsha Man Pun and Minister of State for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources of Bangladesh, Nasrul Hamid attended the MoU signing ceremony.  Hamid said that Bangladesh is interested to invest around $ 1 billion for power sector cooperation with Nepal. Nepalese Energy Minister said that Bangladesh is willing to import 500 MWs of power from Nepal as part of the MoU. The two countries will hold talks with India on the issues of transmission lines.

Talk on repatriation

A high-level meeting between Bangladesh and Myanmar took place was held this week on the early repatriation of Rohingyas.  The meeting was held between Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and Myanmar Minister for the Office of the State Counsellor Kyaw Tint Swe.  Minister Ali visited Myanmar to oversee the preparations for the return of the Rohingyas. In the meeting, two sides discussed the implementation of the bilateral agreement – “Arrangement on Return of Displaced Persons from Rakhine State” – signed in November 2017


Polls on from mid September

The Primary Round of the 2018 National Assembly Election will be held on 15 September. The general round will be held on 18 October. Chief Election Commisisoner, Chogyal Dago Rinzin, announced the dates during a LIVE interview with BBS’s television current affairs Producer Tshewang on 17 August.

King attends Vajpayee funeral

The King attended the state funeral of the late former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The former Indian Prime Minister passed away on 16 August at the age of 93 after a prolonged period of illness. In Thimphu, a prayer ceremony was conducted along with the lighting of a thousand butter lamps this morning at the Kuenrey of the Tashichhodzong. The national flag was flown at half-mast across the country as a mark of respect to the late Prime Minister.


No more a fragile: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his last Independence Day address before the Lok Sabha polls due by next May, said that India is no longer in a fragile-nation group but has made significant strides in sectors like technology, agriculture and science. The Prime Minister hoisted the national flag at the historic Red Fort, and highlighted how MUDRA Yojana and other schemes launched by his Government have helped in the economic uplift of crores of people in the country.

PM surveys flood-hit Kerala

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Kerala, taking an aerial survey of flood-affected areas. Hundreds of thousands have been shifted to relief camps as nearly 100 dams, reservoirs and rivers have overflowed, roads caved in, sections of highways collapsed. "It is an extremely grave situation," the Kerala government said last evening. North and central Kerala have been worst-hit by the floods with at least 310,000 people displaced. They are taking shelter in more than 2,000 relief camps.

Vajpayee passes away

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, three-time Prime Minister of India and one of the country's most respected politicians, passed away on the 16 August in Delhi. The announcement was made by the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences or AIIMS, where the 93-year-old was being treated by a team of doctors for nine weeks. The Government ordered a State funeral, befitting his prime ministerial past, with a gun-salute and national mourning.


‘Stealing’ elections?

With laws providing for presidential candidates or their authorised representatives having to sign the final voters’ list before polling day on 23 September, MDP’s Joint Opposition presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohammed ‘Ibu’ Solih, has declared that they would not do so if they discovered discrepancies. His campaign has charged incumbent Abdulla Yameen’s team and also the Election Commission with ‘stealing’ the polls by re-registering many voters in new locations without their applying for the same. The MDP has also charged that the 57,000-strong Government and PSU employees have been forced to apply for re-registration through ruling party agents, who threw out the forms of suspected anti-Yameen voters. The EC however has denied any role in the same, claiming that they did so only on the submission of re-registration forms, implying that they did not have control over such groups.


Penal sanctions deployed

The US government on 17 August hit four Myanmar military commanders and two military units with punitive sanctions, accusing them of "serious human rights abuses" and "ethnic cleansing" in violently expelling minority Rohingya from their homes. Aung Kyaw Zaw, Khin Maung Soe, Khin Hlaing, and Thura San Lwin were accused of leading violent campaigns against the Muslim Rohingya in Rakhine state as well as minorities in Kachin and Shan states. The US Treasury said the sanctions on individuals were meant as a warning to security forces to cease abuses of ethnic and religious minorities and to respect their rights.

MoU with Thailand

Myanmar and Thailand have reached an air service agreement and a memorandum of understanding on development of shrimp culture in Rakhine state. The signing of the agreements took place following the 9th meeting of the Myanmar-Thai Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation in Nay Pyi Taw on 14 August, co-chaired by Myanmar Minister of International Cooperation U Kyaw Tin and visiting Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.

Suu Kyi for Singapore

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will visit Singapore on 19 August for a four-day working trip at the invitation of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. It will be the second visit of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi after her official visit in 2016 which is coincided with 50th anniversary of establishment of Singapore-Myanmar diplomatic ties. U Aung Kyaw Zan, Deputy Permanent Secretary of International Cooperation Minister’s office under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will stay in Singapore until August 22.


Civil code replaced

The one and half centuries old Muluki Ain (civil code) has been replaced with a new set of laws that depict a major shift from the traditional legal practices and provisions. The new legal bindings have been introduced adhering to the modern technology based crimes along with an end to discrimination based on gender. However, criticisms have also been leveled against the new laws, with claims of being stringent and curtailing the power of the Press.

Preparing for BIMSTEC Summit

The Himalayan country is all set to host the upcoming BIMSTEC summit scheduled for 30 August. In view of this major event, the capital has been planning and executing grand ornamental arrangements with decorative streets, walls and sky bridges. The repair and construction of wider roads are also in full swing under the Municipal Corporation. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport is also playing a major role in the process.

Youth conference

In order to harness the energy and creativity of the youth, a three-day National Youth Conference was organized by the Nepal Youth Council (NYC) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and other partners. The primary motive of such an engagement was to reflect upon the various visionary ideas of transforming Nepal, as provided by the young minds. From entrepreneurship to tourism, agriculture and industry, a ‘safe space’ for the youth was identified as the potential goal for the youth.


Imran sworn in PM

After being formally elected by the National Assembly, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, chief of PTI, was sworn in Prime Minister of Pakistan at a befitting ceremony. In the days prior to his swearing-in, candidates elected to National Assembly and three provincial legislatures in the wake of the general elections took oath as law-makers to kick-start the process of second democratic transition of power in the country. The maiden session was summoned by the president of Pakistan and was especially unique as three pairs of sons and fathers took oath as MNAs. These included PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari and his son Bilawal Bhutto, Pervaiz Malik and his son Ali Pervaiz Malik and Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his son Zain Qureshi.

Imran Khan backs Turkey

Prime Minister Imran Khan has come out in full support of Turkey. In a twitter statement, Mr. Khan pledged Pakistan’s full support to the Turkish people and their President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in overcoming the formidable economic challenges. Prior to Mr. Khan’s statement the Pakistan Foreign Office had also expressed solidarity with Turkey. Relations between Turkey and US have plummeted in one of the worst crisis in decades after detention of US Pastor Andrew Brunson on terror related charges. Turkey’s refusal of trial of Pastor Brunson has worsened the case between the two countries sending Turkish lira into a free fall against dollar.

Extradition for terror?

The Asia-Pacific group has asked Pakistan to frame and enact appropriate laws, to ensure that local officers are able to act upon the requests by other countries to freeze illegal assets by individuals convicted for acts of terrorism. Pakistan has also been asked to make terrorism an extraditable crime. Emphasizing upon the importance of strengthening the domestic legal framework against terrorism, the visiting delegation from Asia-Pacific group pointed out that the loopholes might hamper Pakistan’s response to terrorism. The group also expressed concern regarding work of NGOs and dealings of the groups associated with narcotics trafficking.

Sri Lanka

Political vendetta: Rajapaksa

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has claimed that the CID recording his statement at his Colombo residence in connection with the case of missing journalist, Keith Noyahr, dating back to his days in office, was yet another case of ‘political vendetta’, aimed at achieving the political ends of the incumbent government. “They must be thinking that this sort of things will not happen to them,” he said, implying that the Government was doing all these things to check against bringing a bad name to the Rajapaksas, and also ‘threatening’ them that it could come back to them if he were to return to power.



Opinion Pieces

Najim Rahim and Fahim Abed, “Taliban Attack Another Afghan Army Base, Killing Dozens”, The New York Times, 15 August 2018

Mohammad Zahir Akbari, “Afghanistan: Achievements and Challenges 2018”, Daily Outlook Afghanistan, 15 August 2018

Fatima Faizi and Mujib Mashal, “After Taliban Siege of Ghazni, Afghans Tell of Fear and Deprivation”, The New York Times, 15 August 2018

Najim Rahim and Rod Norland, “The Afghan Army’s Last Stand at Chinese Camp”, The New York Times, 14 August 2018

Memphis Barker and Sami Yousafzai, “Taliban hails 'helpful' US talks as boost to Afghan peace process”, The Guardian, 13 August 2018

Hamidullah Bamik, “What Can Afghan Government and Taliban Learn from Columbia’s Peace Deal with FARC?”, Daily Outlook Afghanistan, 13 August 2018

Prithwi Tilak Banerjee, “The Imran Effect”, Afghanistan Times, 11 August 2018


Afghanistan Times, “Children caught in misery”, 16 August 2018

Daily Outlook Afghanistan, “Why Terrorist groups Attack Education”, 16 August 2018

Daily Outlook Afghanistan, “Ghazni Attack: A fatal Intelligence Failure”, 15 August 2018

Daily Outlook Afghanistan, “Paradoxes of Negotiations: Golden Lessons for Afghanistan”, 14 August 2018

Afghanistan Times, “Regional powers behind terrorism?”, 13 August 2018

Daily Outlook Afghanistan, Disqualifying the Candidates: an Act to Counter Criminals or Cover Up Fraud”, 12 August 2018

Daily Outlook Afghanistan, “An Economic Approach to Deal with Elections (Public Choice)”, 11 August 2018


Opinion Pieces

Shahedul Anam Khan, “Is another Rohingya-like crisis looming for Bangladesh?”, The Daily Star, 16 August 2018

Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, “Balancing Bangladesh's foreign policy”, The Daily Star, 13 August 2018



Kuensel, “Drawing the line”, 15 August 2018

Kuensel, “Being apolitical”, 17 August 2018


Opinion Pieces

Karamatullah K Ghori, “Can cricket cure Indo-Pak paralysis?”, The New Indian Express, 18 August 2018

Mahua Venkatesh, “No stopping fall in India’s forex levels, it now touches $400.8 billion”, The Print, 17 August 2018


Opinion Pieces

Kyaw Zwa Moe, “30 Years on, the Mission of Regime Change Remains a Work in Progress”, The Irrawaddy, 16 August 2018

Lawi Weng, “KNU Leader Has Changed His Tune on the Chances for Peace”, The Irrawaddy, 14 August 2018

Aung Zaw, “Wanted: A Vision of Myanmar’s Future”, The Irrawaddy, 12 August 2018


Opinion Pieces

K P Sharma Oli, “Constitution’s Nepal”, Republica, 16 August 2018

Sunil Malla, “Garbage in, garbage out”, The Kathmandu Post, 17 August 2018

Otaviano Canuto, “Potentials of globalization”, Republica, 16 August 2018


Republica, “No taxation without service delivery”, 16 August 2018

The Kathmandu Post, “Privacy and the press”, 16 August 2018

The Himalayan Times, “Between jobs”, 7 August 2018


Opinion Pieces

Kamran Yousuf, “Welcome to the hot seat, Mr. Prime Minister”, The Express Tribune, 13 August 2018

Mueen Batlay, “CPEC: from idea to realisation”, The Express Tribune, 15 August 2018

Farrukh Karim Khan, “The way forward”, Dawn, 16 August 2018


The Express Tribune, “Pak-India ties: new optimism”, 13 August 2018

Dawn, “Miles to go”, 14 August 2018

Dawn, “Turkey-US spat”, 16 August 2018

Sri Lanka

Opinion Pieces

Dr Nihal Jayawickrama, “Disqualifying twice elected Presidents: A failed endeavour?”, The Island, 19 August 2018

Dr Mervyn D’Silva, “The Three D’s: Development, Devolution and District Councils”, Daily Mirror Online, 18 August 2018

M S M Ayub, “Recording war history: A challenging task, or just opening a can of worms?”, Daily Mirror Online, 17 August 2018

Kusal Perera, “Universal Rights challenged People and his Politics”, Daily Mirror Online, 17 August 2018

N Sathiya Moorthy, “Why even shaky chairs command a high price?”, Colombo Gazette, 17 August 2018

Ravi Nagahawatte, “Ranil Wickremesinghe: A gruelling journey in politics”, Daily Mirror Online, 16 August 2018

N Sathiya Moorthy, “What next after ‘Panda Bonds’?”, Ceylon Today, 14 August 2018

Jehan Perera, “Government takes up the challenge of communicating its reconciliation process”, The Island, 13 August 2018

Dr Harinda Vidanage, “Geo Politics of Energy and Sri Lanka’s energy security”, Daily Mirror Online, 13 August 2018


Kelum Bandara, “No need to downsize military: Sarath Fonseka”, Daily Mirror Online, 17 August 2018


Afghanistan: Sohini Bose

Bangladesh: Dr Joyeeta Bhattacharjee

Bhutan: Mihir Bhonsale

India: Ketan Mehta

Maldives & Sri Lanka: N Sathiya Moorthy

Myanmar: Sreeparna Banerjee

Nepal: Sohini Nayak

Pakistan: Mayuri Banerjee

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