MonitorsPublished on Oct 03, 2018
South Asia Weekly Report | Volume XI; Issue 40


Afghanistan: Will Imran Khan be able to mend ties?

Sohini Bose Feverish contemplations are currently afoot and afloat regarding the changes that might take place in the relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan in view of the new leadership in Islamabad. Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani was amongst the first to congratulate Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan once he assumed office on 8 September. In his Twitter handle, while extending his best wishes to Khan, Ghani wrote, “We both agree to overcome the past and to lay a new foundation for a prosperous political, social and economic future of both countries Afghanistan and Pakistan.” President Ghani further extended an open invitation to PM Khan, who is also the chairman of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), to visit Kabul soon and hoped that the new leadership would help strengthen the ties that the two neighbouring countries shared. The Pakistani Prime Minister, in response, thanked the Afghan President for this grand gesture and promised a visit in the near future. Ghani further stated that Pakistan sought complete peace in Afghanistan as peace in the latter was contingent for peace in the former. Khan also hoped to be instrumental in cultivating improved bilateral relations between the two countries. Ghani replied that he looked forward to bringing such objectives into fruition.

Initiatives for amiability

In the television address following his oath-taking ceremony, Imran Khan sympathised with Afghanistan when he said that the Afghans had suffered the most in the “war on terror” and before that in the Afghan jihad. This remark of his is significant because of its uncanny congruence with the moniker of “Taliban Khan” which he had earned owing to his insistence on engaging the insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan and his severe criticisms of the US “war on terror”. Imran Khan markedly commented that Afghanistan has been the worst sufferer in the war on terror and not terror itself which is traumatising the daily lives of the Afghans. Imran Khan further envisioned open borders between Afghanistan and Pakistan, very much like it is in the European Union. This at present seems highly unlikely given the Afghan government’s suspicions that Pakistani terrorists are continuously crossing borders and joining the ranks of the anti-government militants’ wreaking havoc in Afghanistan. There is no doubt that strengthening ties with Afghanistan is the top priority of the new Pakistani government as it will be instrumental in conditioning its relations with other countries. Also Ghani is convinced that Imran Khan being a popular figure in Afghanistan as a cricketer will find favour amongst Afghan youth. Amiability with Khan is now most desirable for Afghanistan because the Afghan government is now trying to engage in direct negotiation with the Taliban. The Taliban, however, views the Afghan government as illegitimate and it would indeed be favourable for Ghani to have Khan by his side. Pakistan has already played a positive role in getting the Taliban to accept the Ramzan ceasefire. Another positive development has been Imran Khan’s surprise announcement that he would grant citizenship to the Pakistan-born children of Afghan and Bengali refugees who have lived in the country for several decades. Also, after the visit of the new Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, to Kabul and his interactions with Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah and Acting Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, there have been certain positive outcomes. Both parties have agreed to work on security and stability in the region, initiate joint efforts against terrorism and implement the Afghanistan-Pakistan action plan. Pakistan has also offered scholarships to Afghan students and Qureshi handed over a letter from Prime Minister Imran Khan, addressed to President Ghani, marking the first consignment of 40,000 tonnes of wheat gifted to the Afghan people. The Foreign Ministers of the two countries also agreed to host the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) to convene the meeting of Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority (APTTCA) and the meeting of the Steering Committee of the Joint Ulema Conference.

Reality check

However, during President Ghani’s recent visit to India and in his interaction with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, both the heads of the country discussed the new government in Pakistan. Reports on the same state that Ghani, while commenting on the Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s recent visit to Afghanistan, expressed his disdain at the fact that there has been no marked difference in the new Pakistani government. He further suggested that 100-150 Pakistani’s were involved in the fatal ‘Ghazni attack’, which claimed many Afghan lives earlier this year. This assault on the Ghazni city which is located at a strategic distance from Kabul at the highway connecting the capital city to the southern part of the country, is claimed to be one of the worst Afghanistan has ever suffered. Apart from the deadly consequences it had on the inhabitants of Ghazni, the attack only re-emphasised the need for peace negotiations with the Taliban’s in which Pakistan has a determining role to play. Reportedly, both Afghanistan and the US allege that Pakistan and especially its security institutions are harbouring and supporting to the terrorists who are responsible for causing mayhem in Afghanistan. Islamabad has rejected such assumptions calling them baseless. In certain circles of Afghanistan, there has also been brewing a contemplation that perhaps President Ashraf Ghanis’s extension of friendship to Imran Khan is directly the result of the US government’s plan to directly interact with the Taliban and the possibility that the Afghan government might be ditched in the process. However, in the face of such an idea what needs to be kept in mind is that how far is it likely for peace to return to Afghanistan without the involvement and participation of the Afghan government. If peace eludes Afghanistan, then it seems unlikely that there will be stability in the neighbouring Pakistan as well. It thus remains to be seen how the relations between the two neighbouring countries prosper under the new administration. Hopes are high at the moment but history prescribes caution.
The writer is a Research Assistant at Observer Research Foundation, Kolkata

Nepal: UNGA provides best platform to Kathmandu

Sohini Nayak The participation of Nepal in the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is one of great honour and opportunity to land-locked Nepal, thus enabling access to the global stage. With the changing economic and political dynamics of South Asia, smaller countries are trying to carve their own niche and comprehensive participation in multilateral forums. Given this, the role of the Nepali delegation in engaging themselves in constructive negotiations and upholding the recent developments of the country, come up as an important move forward. In 2014, the speech of the then Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, had addressed the role and position of the landlocked countries in the world. The speech elaborated on the growing world commitment on addressing the challenges faced by them, in terms of trade and also security. The highlight of the speech lay in locating such countries in a nexus of competition and growth that would provide an undercurrent of creating renewed developmental patterns and also confidence at the same time. One of the primary ways of giving such interlocked countries the bargaining capability is to ensure their involvement in partnerships, in a sub-region. In this regard, sub-regionalism may be established as an important means of giving such countries an upper hand in being recognised in the larger continent, rather than being engulfed within the shadow of dependence and low economy. There would be an enhanced correlation. In case of the south-Asian grouping, Nepal and Bhutan are the landlocked partners who also have their high stakes involved in the collaboration. Two, of the most important areas of consideration in concern with these two countries and their potential contribution in the group involve the provision of hydro power along with better access to the small snow fed rivers of the region. This is turn would enhance power trade and inter -grid connectivity cooperation and as discussed in the third Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting would help in future power projects and also concrete resource management within the sub region on an ‘equitable basis’

The ‘global future’

The platform has been appropriated to showcase the achievements of the Himalayan country to the global community present. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs appears to be focused on receiving goodwill from the other international delegations so that there is effective participation or collaborations with Nepal in the near future as well. Mostly referred to as a buffer state between India and China, Nepal must overcome its sensitive position by creating developments for itself and striking a fine balance between the two major powers at play, in the region of its existence. Therefore, keeping such issues in mind, Nepal has been focused on industrialisation and other sectors of strength like agriculture and tourism that can help in its achievement of the sustainable developmental goals (SDGs) along with peace and security. As Nepal is emerging with better skills at diplomacy, Prime Minister K. P Sharma Oli has also been confident enough to reiterate the importance of multilateral organisations like the Human Rights Council and the World Trade Organisation. The pride in his tone while explaining the independence of judiciary, periodic elections, checks and balances and inclusive proportional representation among other qualities of the new Constitution of Nepal has found a stable place in the session. Such global practices are of great significance to the practical application at the local, thereby encouraging the other least developed countries (LDCs).

Towards NAM

The Non-Aligned movement (NAM) has always been an important weapon of the South Asian countries. This time also, at the UNGA Summit, it has been portrayed as a crucial tool of dealing with the major powers in the world and also the immediate neighbours of Nepal, to ensure a culture of peace. However, the extent to which this can actually be helpful in barring instability in the region is doubtful. This specially comes of question in the existing Sino-Indian rivalry and the growing closeness of Nepal to the Dragon. There are pressing issues like poverty and inequality that need to be resolved through investments and connectivity that in turn has always generated a question of choosing between the two countries for Nepal. Given the ambiguous path to development, Nepal is in no position to be a reason for India’s dismay. Thus, the trail has to be extremely careful and in consideration of its trade that takes place through the Indian ports as well. Whether the country would make the utmost of the rail, road and port connectivity with China, moving beyond India, or not, only time can justify.

All in good gesture

On the sidelines of the UNGA session, Nepal also held several rounds of bilateral talks with other important countries that participated. The centuries old Nepal –UK friendship and also diplomatic ties with the United States of America are of great significance. Along with this, participation of Nepal in the UN Peace Keeping Operations along with participation at an informal ministerial meeting of the SAARC member countries also deserves special mention. Every year this occasion is held with much festivity and eagerness. However, the depth of the action taken reports has generally come about as shallower than the desired output. For Nepal, every year there is representation from the Prime Ministers in power. This year, an advanced Nepal has participated with new government and new dreams of creating a new image in the world stage. To what extent the participation and interaction is successful will only be understood by the ways and means the country would develop in the near future and also the diplomatic ties it is capable of maintaining, given the tumultuous nature of South Asian politics.
The writer is a Research Assistant at Observer Research Foundation, Kolkata



Poll campaign begins

According to the reports of the Independent Election Commission, the candidates’ campaign has begun for the upcoming parliamentary elections. The campaign will continue for nineteen days and the candidates have been urged to respect the laws during their campaign. The elections are due on the twentieth of October and will be held for the first time with the support of biometric servers. Further reports state that it will be impossible able to misuse the information recorded on them.

Abdullah addresses UNGA

The Chief Executive of the National Unity Government of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah speaking at the 73rd General Assembly of the United Nations, urged the regional countries to assist Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism. He further requested them to take decisive actions against the shelters of terror groups in their soil. He added that so far the response had been insufficient but he hoped that the recent Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity would help overcome that.


Myanmar delaying ‘return’ of Rohingyas: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina this week accused Myanmar of delaying repatriation of the Rohingya. The Prime Minister alleged Myanmar of finding new excuses to delay the return of Rohingyas. Around 700,000 Rohingyas are living in Bangladesh as refugees since August 2017 after they fled Myanmar in face of a massive crackdown by Myanmarese security forces at the aftermath of an attack by Rohingya militants in the camps of Myanmar’s army in Rakhine. Prime Minister further made it categorical that under no circumstance the refugees will be allowed to permanently in Bangladesh. Prime Minister made this remarks in an interview in media.

Improving in human capital

A recent study suggested that Bangladesh growth has recorded impressive growth in human. Country’s improvement in the health and learning of its workforce since 1990 have been most impressive. According to the study rise in human capital, benefit the economy of the country. Bangladesh ranked 161th out of 195 countries in 2016 representing an improvement of 9 notches from its 1990 ranking of 170th. Notably, South Asian neighbours India moved only 4 notches up from 162 to 158 and Pakistan only 1 from 165 to 164. The study was conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the request of the World Bank president and was first of its kind to measure and compare the strength of countries’ “human capital.”


DNT candidate fined

The election dispute settlement body of Trongsa on 26 September issued a written warning and slapped a penalty of Nu 12,900 on Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s (DNT) candidate from Nubi-Tangsibji constituency, Yeshey Penjor, for violation of the election code of conduct. Yeshey Penjor in a WeChat group consisting of DNT members had said that economic development and cordial relations with India was possible only if DNT formed the government in 2018. The dzongkhag body has given the DNT candidate five days to appeal.

Students held for robbery

The Thimphu police arrested five boys aged between 13 and 18 years for robbery on 21 September allegedly for robbing a 42-year-old man near Khasadrapchu in Thimphu. According to the complainant’s statement one of the boys pelted stones and broke the car’s glass and when the complainant got out of the car, four more boys showed up and surrounded him and robbed him off Nu 4,000 and his cell phone. They also snatched his car keys.

681 applicants for loan

While applicants in the dzongkhags are waiting for the banks to release the loans, the priority sector-lending scheme (PSL) is gaining momentum, the second quarter report of the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) claims. A total of 681 applications were received, as of June end, of which 78 percent were agriculture CSI projects and the remaining 22 percent were for non-agriculture.


SC clears Aadhar, with conditions

Supreme Court, in a majority opinion, upheld Aadhaar as a reasonable restriction on individual privacy. The Supreme Court opined that Aadhaar fulfils the government’s legitimate aim to provide dignity to a large, marginalized population living in poverty. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud wrote a sharp dissent, declaring Aadhaar unconstitutional. Majority opinion upheld the PAN-Aadhaar linkage, but declared linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile SIM cards unconstitutional as its conflation poses serious threat to individual privacy, liberty and autonomy. The court insulated children from the Aadhaar regime as Right to education was a fundamental right.

Pak talks called off

India called off the meeting with Pakistani foreign minister set to take place at the sidelines of UNGA, New York. Pak PM Imran Khan had pushed for this meet. India accords blame to Pakistan based entities for the killing of three special police officers in Shopian. The MEA press release stated that, 20 postage stampsissued by Pakistan in memory of Burhan Wani, a Kashmiri militant as the reason for the cancellation of the meet

MCI superseded

Government has passed an ordinance dissolving the Medical Council of India (MCI) and replacing it with a seven-member Board of Governors led by NITI Aayog Member Dr. V.K. Paul. This ordinance was issued to enhance governance and quality of medical education. Bill would replace MCI with National Medical Council. The bill provides for simplification of procedures and is aimed at spurring rapid growth in the number of undergraduate and postgraduate medical seats in the country.

End to ‘visa row’

The renewal of visa for the personnel stationed at the Addu and Laamu atolls would be one of the key issues that the newly-elected government intends to take up at the earliest. Indian Navy considers the election results as a positive development, and hoped that the new government would continue the use of helicopters, when was cancelled by the Yameen Government.


Ibu is new President-elect

In a none-too-surprising election, despite the hype of the incumbent abusing the system to continue in power, the Joint Opposition candidate Ibrahim ‘Ibu’ Mohamed Solih, won the Maldivian presidential poll by a 58-42 vote-share, well past the mandatory 50-percent mark. The Opposition had claimed that outgoing Abdulla Yameen was trying to pressure the Election Commission and other institutions of the Government to subvert the people’s mandate. Yameen himself conceded defeat once the Election Commission declared the provisional results within the first 24 hours of vote-count, followed by repeated denial of Opposition’s ‘subversion charges’, aimed near-exclusively by the leading MDP constituent of the four-party Joint Opposition (JO) coalition. The EC has since declared the final results after all ballot boxes reached its headquarters in national capital, Male, and a smooth transition is expected to take place by mid-November, as mandated under the 2008 Constitution, in which the presidency, its functions and power-transfer are all modelled on the American scheme.

Yameen, party leader

The ‘ruling’ Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has since elected outgoing President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom as party chief in a hurriedly-convened party congress, within days after his election defeat. With this, Yameen has sent out a message that he is not going to quit politics for good after losing elections, possibly also under the premise, that he “will now need the party more than the party needs him”, to face legal and political charges that may be level against him after he steps down. The PPM faction led by Yameen’s half-brother and jailed former President, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who is still in prison on ‘coup conspiracy’ charges ‘forced take-over’ of the party in courts and political forums all over again, keeping Yameen busy on that score, as well.

‘Democracy restored’

Nations including neighbouring India and Sri Lanka, the US, members of the European Union (EU) and also the UN have all welcomed the Maldivian presidential poll results as the ‘return of democracy’. China, which was at the centre of the international political storm gathering momentum around its heavy infra presence in Maldives, and Saudi Arabia, which has also been funding projects under the Yameen regime, has also applauded President-elect Ibu Solih, and have hoped to work with his Government, too. In his telephonic congratulations to President-elect Ibu, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also invited him to visit New Delhi.


New Advocate-General

Retired director of Attorney General Office Khin Myo Kyi was nominated after the former Advocate General Han Htoo was prosecuted for corruption.  She was nominated by Yangon Region government Chief Minister for the vacant post of Yangon Region Advocate General on 26 September. Chairman of Yangon Assembly announced that those who wanted to object to the nomination may submit their objection letter to Assembly Director’s office with valid evidence.

‘Honorary citizenship’ gone

Canada's Parliament voted unanimously on 27 September to effectively strip Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi of her honorary Canadian citizenship over the ‘Rohingya crisis’. Ottawa had given the long-detained democracy advocate and Nobel laureate the rare honour in 2007. But her international reputation has become tarnished by her refusal to call out the atrocities by her nation's military against the Rohingya Muslims minority, which Ottawa last week declared genocide. Honorary Canadian citizenship has only been granted to five others including the Dalai Lama, girls education advocate Malala Yousafzai and Nelson Mandela.

UN probe panel on

The UN Human Rights Council voted on 27 September to set up a body to prepare evidence of human rights abuses in Myanmar, including possible genocide, for any future prosecution. The 47-member Council voted by 35 votes to three, with seven abstentions, in favor of a resolution brought by the European Union and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. China, the Philippines and Burundi voted against the move, whose backers said it was supported by more than 100 countries.


Sushma meets PM

The 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly has been one of the most trending news of the time, for the past few days. Making the most of it, the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister K. P Sharma Oli. Reinvigorating the fragile yet friendly relationship between India and Nepal, discussions went on, identifying areas of further mutual interest and alignment.

Transit-point makes a mark

Gaddachauki, the Indo-Nepal transit point in the far-west has been gaining momentum lately. The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) welcomed tourists of Swedish origin through this point, thereby indicating stability of relations between the two countries and also the growing prospectus of trade and tourism and industry in Nepal. A total number of 1,745 tourists have been arrived using this point in 2017.

ADB funds for sanitation

A loan of $ 130 million has been approved by the Board of Directors of the Asian Development Bank to augment access to water and sanitation conditions in the urban areas. Rising urban poverty and other natural hazards have been rampant in the recent days. Through this project, reconstructions and repairs would begin, thus helping drainage and better standards of living.


Death for 11 terrorists

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of Pakistan, Gen Qamar javed Bajwa, confirmed the death sentences awarded to 11 terrorists. These convicts were involved in heinous terror operations, including attacking armed forces, law enforcement agencies and destruction of educational institutions, not to mention killing innocent civilians. According to the Inter-Services Public Relations, the death sentence had been awarded to these eleven accused insurgents by a special military court along with a sentence of imprisonment to four other convicts.

PM has ‘nation’s interests’

New First Lady, Bushra Imran, in her first interview to a media channel, stated that Pakistan was fortunate to have Imran Khan as its Prime Minister adding that Khan had the country’s best interests at heart. Speaking on the Prime Minister’s shift in temperament after the polls, where he seems to now harbour a mellowed down approach rather than the previous firebrand one, the first lady said that the transformation may be attributed to his increased religiosity.

Sri Lanka

International community told to ‘stop interference’

Taking off from the hints he had thrown at a media briefing before emplaning, Sri Lankan President Maithiripala Sirisena told the UN General Assembly (UNGA) that the international community (IC) should stop interfering in the internal affairs of his nation. He was implying the IC’s insistence on ‘accountability issues’ and ‘war crime’ probes, on which his Government had co-sponsored recent UNHRC resolutions and got them passed. The two terms did not find any mention in his speech, nor past commitments of the nature that he himself had made at his maiden UNGA address after taking over in 2015.

Was fearing LTTE air raid from Chennai: Sirisena

Taking off possibly from his UNGA address, President Maithiripala Sirisena has since said that the LTTE terror-outfit was supposed to be planning an air-raid from across the seas, based out of Chennai, India, or another location, in the last stages of the war in 2009. Sirisena was Acting Defence Minister during the crucial period, when President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabahaya Rajapaksa and Army Commander, present-day Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, were all overseas. Sirisena said that he himself was shifting locations inside capital Colombo to avoid possible air-raids, indicating that the rest of the war-time leadership had left the country only for this purpose.



Opinion Pieces

Mohammed Gul Sahibbzada, “Afghan Security Institutions Must Respond to the Growing Need for Public Security”, Daily Outlook Afghanistan, 27 September 2018 Fahim Abed and Mujib Mashal, “Airstrikes Are Killing More Civilians in Afghanistan, U.N. Warns”, The New York Times, 26 September 2018


Daily Outlook Afghanistan, “Civilian Casualties: A Multi-Purpose Insurgency Tool”, 27 September 2018 Afghanistan Times, “Terrorism knows no boundaries”, 24 September 2018


Opinion Pieces

Subir Bhaumik, “The run-up to elections in Bangladesh”, The Telegraph, 25 September 2018 Farhaan Uddin Ahmed, “How Bangladesh should approach the Rohingya issue”, The Daily Star, 24 September 2018


Opinion Pieces

Nava Thakuria, “Bhutan’s Election Swings on India-China Relations”, Asia Sentinel, 28 September 2018


Opinion Pieces

Sanjeev Ahluwalia, “US-China trade battles to impact India, world”, The Asian Age, 26 September 2018 Adm Arun Prakash (retd.), “Our harbours may be vulnerable for 20 years, and Indian Navy can’t do much”, The Print, 28 September 2018 Pratap Bhanu Mehta, ”Verdict as first word”, The Indian Express, 28 September 2018


Opinion Pieces

Ameen Izzadeen, “Democracy restored, but more to be done”, Daily Mirror Online, Colombo, 27 September 2018 Harsh V Pant, “A change in the Maldives”, The Hindu, 26 September 2018 N Sathiya Moorthy, “What will be Nasheed’s role in the new dispensation”,, 26 September 2018 N Sathiya Moorthy, “Maldives’ new government must address Islamic fundamentalism”, The Hindustan Times, 25 September 2018 N Sathiya Moorthy, “Ibu wins big, has his tasks cut out”,, 24 September 2018


Opinion Pieces

Joe Kumbun, “Korean Reconciliation: Three Lessons for Myanmar’s Leaders”, The Irrawaddy, 24 September 2018 Alfred Siew, “With new iPhones costing over S$2,000, are mobile phones becoming disposable luxury items? “, The Myanmar Times, 24 September 2018


Opinion Pieces

Mahabir Paudyal,”The blockade: Lessons unlearned”, Republica, 27 September 2018 Bishnuhari Marasini, “Trials and errors”, The Kathmandu Post, 25 September 2018


The Kathmandu Post, “Women in charge”, 24 September 2018 The Himalayan Times, “Waste no time”, 19 September 2018


Opinion Pieces

Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, “The Kashmir challenge”, Dawn, 28 September 2018 Syed Mohammad Ali, “Local governments and the PTI”, The Express Tribune, 28 September 2018


Pakistan Times, “The PTI’s infantile politics”, 27 September 2018 Pakistan Times, “Imran in Lahore”, 24 September 2018

Sri Lanka

Opinion Pieces

Kumar David, “President Sirisena undermines justice”, The Island, 30 September 2018 M S M Ayub, “Playing politics with security”, Daily Mirror Online, 28 September 2018 C A Chandraprema, “Cardinal’s words and Mangala’s response”, The Island, 28 September 2018 N Sathiya Moorthy, “Building bridges in the air”, Colombo Gazette, 27 September 2018 N Sathiya Moorthy, “Game up for Sirisena, too, on war-crimes probe?”, The Island, 25 September 2018 N Sathiya Moorthy, “He came, saw, did he conquer?”, Ceylon Today, 25 September 2018 Jehan Perera, “Continuing preference for 2015 reform agenda”, The Island, 25 September 2018


Afghanistan & Pakistan: Sohini Bose Bangladesh: Joyeeta Bhattacharjee Bhutan: Mihir Bhonsale India: Ketan Mehta and T.N. Suhas  Maldives & Sri Lanka: N Sathiya Moorthy Myanmar: Sreeparna Banerjee Nepal: Sohini Nayak
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