MonitorsPublished on Aug 26, 2019
South Asia Weekly Report | Volume XII; Issue 34

Link between peace in Kashmir and Afghanistan

Sohini Bose

As tensions continue to grow between India and Pakistan in the wake of the Kashmir issue, the impact of it on Afghanistan is also being considered in many policy circles. Now at the brink of a peace process with talks finally being held between the United States and the Taliban and the former entering its end game in Afghanistan, the country is at a cross roads. Owing to the long drawn out war and the Taliban regime before that, Afghanistan is heavily dependent on its neighbouring as well as extra regional countries for support. Hence its peace process is vulnerable to the ongoing dynamics of the region and stands to be negatively impacted in the case of any adverse developments.

Dependence on Pakistan and India

Both India and Pakistan play a major role in Afghanistan. While the country cherishes enduring bonds of connectivity and support with India, the dependence on Pakistan is a more recent development. The present Imran Khan government in Pakistan, using its connections, has since its recent inception played a major role in urging the Taliban to the negotiating table in Doha for the much contemplated peace process. Moreover, Pakistan has released important Taliban leaders from imprisonment and allowed them to travel internationally to Qatar for the negotiations, thereby aiding the peace process.

India on the other hand continues to be the fifth largest donor of reconstruction aid to the country. It is therefore necessary for Afghanistan to maintain good relations with both the countries which is increasingly proving to be difficult in view of the developments in Kashmir. It is also noteworthy that for both India and Pakistan, bringing about peace in Afghanistan is an opportunity to earn international appreciation and acknowledgement and prominence in the region. Accordingly, there have been arguments from eminent journalists that repealing of Article 370 by the Narendra Modi government in India, which nullifies the ‘special status’/autonomy that Jammu and Kashmir had enjoyed for so long, is an attempt to distract Pakistan from gaining prominence in Afghanistan and to jeopardise its growing closeness with the US. As the development in Kashmir is likely to jeopardise the Pakistan Army, a major component of America’s negotiations with the Taliban, India’s domestic move is likely to have regional implications. India’s move is thus being considered in Pakistan to be an attempt to ‘isolate’ the latter diplomatically.

Worry over peace process

It is thus evident that although not apparently, peace in Kashmir is undeniable linked to the emergence of peace in Afghanistan. Accordingly, Pakistani government officials have allegedly cautioned that the ongoing situation in Kashmir may derail the Afghan peace talks in Doha between the U.S. and the Taliban. They have suggested that any violence in Kashmir might jeopardise the Afghan peace process. This comes as the US Special Envoy for the peace process in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad spent two days in Islamabad, discussing Pakistan's role in an upcoming deal between the U.S. and the Taliban. However Khalilizad also deemed it necessary to include India in the consensus in the eve of an imminent agreement between America and the Taliban. Apparently, the meeting with Delhi had been “pre-scheduled” according to Khalilzad’s tweet but there have been reports that the trip might have been a last-minute attempt to ensure that the situation in Kashmir does not derail the “apparently final round of negotiations.” Meanwhile keeping in mind Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s tweet to voice grievances regarding the Kashmir issue to the US delegation and the international community at large, it is likely that the issue has already seeped into the discussion between the US, Taliban and Pakistan.

Changed stance of Taliban

Help has, however, come to Afghanistan from unexpected quarters. Taliban has criticised Pakistan for connecting the heightened tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir issue with the situation in Afghanistan. The Taliban have requested both Pakistan and India to not turn Afghanistan into a “theatre of competition between other countries” as it will not in any way improve the crisis at hand. Ironically the insurgent group has also urged both countries to refrain from "violence and complications" in the region. Taliban’s transformed stance regarding Jammu and Kashmir is an opportunity for India, as the Taliban now wants to adopt more balanced approach in the region and perhaps does not want to be seen as a puppet of Pakistan. The Taliban stance is a significant departure from the earlier policies of the insurgent group. If the Taliban stance is indeed changed, India must utilise this opportunity to improve ties with the group considering that the group is likely to have a strong presence in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the peace process. Thus, this is a scope for India to explore this new possibility in Afghanistan.

A future of concern                                                             

In the event of such developments, the former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has cautioned India with the words that the country should be ‘extremely worried’ about a possible deal between the US and Pakistan on Afghanistan. Karzai’s fears are, however, not new as on his prior visit to India, he had conveyed his “fears for Afghanistan” if there was a deal that involved Pakistan. This was because Afghanistan had already suffered considerably owing to such agreements. In a landmark statement Karzai thus stated that it was important for a distinction to be made between peace in Afghanistan and U.S.-Pakistani deals in Afghanistan. The need for this has furthermore been conveyed to the US Special Envoy for peace in Afghanistan, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. The present turn of events therefore suggest that India’s future relation with Afghanistan is more likely to be challenged by the involvement of Pakistan in the country rather than the role of the Taliban. It is therefore in India’s interest that the country makes it abundantly clear that its activities in Kashmir or its tensions with Pakistan will not in any way jeopardise India’s support for the peaceful realisation of the Afghan peace process. 

Re-assessing Indo-Nepal ties in the wake of FM’s Kathmandu visit

Sohini Nayak 

The visit of Indian Foreign Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar to Nepal has opened up a new dimension to re-consider and configure the Indo-Nepal bilateral dynamics. The timing of the visit was very important. Not only was this Jaishankar’s first visit after the commencement of the second term of the Narendra Modi government in India but also a phase when India’s foreign policy is being highly observed after the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35 A with regard to Kashmir.

The occasion was the fifth meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission (21-22 August, 2019), which was established in the year 1987 and since has been responsible for looking after various facades of collaboration and partnership. The main purpose of this fifth edition of the conference was to review the Peace accord – the Treaty of Peace and Friendship (1950) signed between the two countries along with focus on newer areas of cooperation while understanding the status of the older projects. These include a varied range of issues like trade and transit, water resources, education, energy, connectivity and other spectrums of mutual interest.

Addressing the mutual mistrust

In this regard, it is also very important to understand the underlying sentiments of the Nepalese people towards India, which has been in general on the negative tone after the blockade of 2015. It is high time that India comes out with a clear standpoint. Being a landlocked country, it was obvious that the ‘blockade’ -- often termed as an economic and humanitarian crisis -- has remained etched in the memories of the people. It is a reminder of trying times with acute shortage of food, items of daily use along with the soaring prices, especially during the major festivals like Dashain, Deepavali and Chatt. This was also the period when Nepal was trying to evolve with the formation of a new Constitution for the country.  The Madhesis living in the bordering regions with India had protested against violated human rights and constitutional marginalisation which culminated into a strong reaction from India as well. All this, as a traumatic episode, is still fresh in the minds of not only the common citizens but also the lawmakers from both the countries. It was a setback to mutual trust between the two neighbours which thereby led to greater closeness between China and Nepal, much to the dismay of India. Being a part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with the One Belt One Road Project (OBOR), Nepal is already receiving benefits from China. One of the most noteworthy factors is the access of the Chinese sea ports by Nepal – Tianjin, Shenzhen, Lianyungang and Zhanjiang and three dry ports- Lanzhou, Lhasa and Xigatse (2018).

It is high time that both the countries utilise meetings such as these to reframe images and also perceptions so that they can harness the best possible benefit from each other. Also, India must try to move beyond its ‘hegemonic’ image in South Asia, often alleged to interfere in the internal affairs of the smaller countries in its immediate neighbourhood.

India-Nepal energy cooperation

One of the most important areas which need special attention is energy. Already associated with the ‘third world’ nomenclature, the economy of Nepal requires a critical rearrangement, which can be achieved with the association of India in a more constructive manner with the completion of energy and hydropower related projects on time.

The shortage of power has further led to the low growth equilibrium condition and is one of the critical constraints. If we go back to the roots of exploring the power capabilities, we would first witness ‘relatively low per capita electricity consumption’ which has been having direct social implications as well. A major part of the population does not have an avenue to the modern sources of energy, due to affordability. There is inability to access its own resources and a major part of it has to be imported, thereby catering to the increasing demand of energy and the resultant rising prices. Moreover, long hours of load shedding, having direct influence on the social, economic and the commercial activities, also has political implications. There is tremendous public pressure on the government to bring about immediate solution to the issue. Only a proper energy exchange through power trading can emerge as a feasible solution to this crisis.

The power exchange agreement of 1971 is a proof as well as a milestone in this case, with several transmission links like the Butwal (Nepal) - Ananda Nagar (India) line or the Dhalkebar (Nepal) - Sitamari (India) line. Moreover, there is still no sufficient cross border transmission infrastructure, which is harming the timely completion of projects. Suggestions for developing the Duhabi-Purnea 400 kV transmission line and the Butwal-Gorakhpur 400 kV line are also yet to be taken up.

For hydro-power also, the countries have been signing treaties since a long time, with the Sharda Treaty (1920) being the first one, followed by the Koshi Treaty (1954), the Gandak Treaty (1959) and the Mahakali Treaty (1996) for expanding cooperation in water sharing. After 2014, the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi led to the signing of the Power Trade Agreement (PTA), which was a boost for both the countries.

However, the problems of grid-synchronisation persist between the two countries which are yet to be resolved, mainly during the monsoon months, when Nepal has sufficiently generated energy through its ‘run-of-the river projects’. Some of these projects include the Pancheshwar Development Project, the Amlekhgunj-Raxaul oil pipeline construction and the upper Karnali project. There was also an extension of the line of credit for Nepal by the Indian government with USD 1 billion in 2014.

However, during the 2015 unofficial blockade, the Nepal government’s decision to utilise its domestic resources and not the line of credit to continue with the Budhi-Gandaki Hydroelectric project, led to intense energy inadequacy in the country, which could have been curtailed if the nexus was beyond bilateral ties involving all the four BBIN countries. In the recent past, both the countries have shown greater interest in resolving these bottlenecks and in April, 2018, PM Modi and PM Oli have laid the joint foundation of the 900 MW Arun III hydropower project in Nepal, signaling the warming up of ties.

Mutual trust

Mutual trust and faith between India and Nepal is the only key to proceed towards further development, thereby facilitating a better future of South Asia through refurbishment of sub regional partnerships like the BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal) mechanism. Ideas such as these have somewhere been lost in the process, with the withdrawal of Bhutan, owing to the Motor Vehicles Agreement and environmental concerns. If India and Nepal can be confident with each other, they can also motivate Bangladesh to move in to form the BIN (Bangladesh, India, Nepal) framework. Nepal will also be benefitted individually as its landlocked-ness will be addressed with the better access to trade through maritime and land routes, not being portrayed as ‘dependent’ but as an ‘equal partner’.

Country Reports


Pakistan’s lack of commitment

The government of Afghanistan has strongly condemned the recent missile shelling on Afghan soil from the other side of the Durand line. Presidential spokesperson Sediq Sidiqqi, speaking on behalf of his government, stated that “this act runs counter to all international principles and is an indication of Pakistan’s lack of commitment towards Afghan, and regional peace and instability.” Pakistan military fired hundreds of artillery shells in various districts of Afghanistan’s Kunar province in the past few days.

Deal between Pakistan, Afghanistan and US?

Amidst tensions over the Kashmir issue, former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai said that India should be “extremely worried” about a probable deal between Pakistan, Afghanistan and United States. Earlier during his visit to India, Karzai had voiced his “fears for Afghanistan” if a deal involving Pakistan materialised. He had further added that “We Afghans have suffered massively the consequences of American-Pakistan deals” and hence a distinction is necessary between peace in Afghanistan and US-Pakistan deals in Afghanistan.


Abrogation of Article 370 India’s internal matter

Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement observed that revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir is India’s internal matter and maintaining regional peace and stability should be a priority for all countries. The statement followed in light of tensions between India and Pakistan after New Delhi abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.

Rohingya refugees refuse to return to Myanmar

Repatriation of the Rohingya refugees has been facing trouble as the refugees expressed their reservation on returning to their home at Rakhine state in Myanmar unless they are guaranteed of the rights. Bangladesh and Myanmar planned to start the return of the refugees beginning this week but none turned up. Over 3000 Rohingya refugees approved to return in the first phase.  Around a million   Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh to avoid persecution in Myanmar. The biggest flow of refugees came in 2017 after the massive crackdown was carried out by the Myanmar security forces in the aftermath of an attack by an armed group from the community into their camps. Rohingyas are an ethnic community of the Rakhine state having linguistic similarity with some dialects of Bangladesh but they are denied citizenship by Myanmar authorities.

Indian External Affairs Minister’s visit

India and Bangladesh relations got a major boost with Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s visit to Bangladesh. During the visit, Indian minister met his counterpart Abdul Momen. Also, he held meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. This was Jaishankar’s first visit to Bangladesh after he was appointed as the EAM. The two countries discussed a wide range of issues of bilateral interest. The visit was also a preparatory visit for Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina visit to India in October. The attained significant because India being an influential South Asian country with which Bangladesh share eighty percent of its international boundary. India considers Bangladesh as a major partner in the neighbourhood.


Nine MoU’s and 3 inaugurations mark PM Modi’s visit

The two-day state visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the country on 17-18 August saw Bhutan assuring India of her unwavering support to the nation’s leadership role in the regional as well as global affairs. Prime Minister Modi said that the history of India-Bhutan relations is as glorious as it has a promising future and that India and Bhutan will remain a unique model of relations between two countries in the world. Nine MoUs were signed between the two countries in various fields, including education and space technology. The inauguration of the Mangdechhu project, opening of the earth station of South Asia satellite and launch of the RuPay card were some of the highlights of the Prime Minister’s visit.

Japan’s crown prince begins visit

Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Princess Akishino of Japan arrived in Bhutan on a 10-day private visit, along with their son, His Imperial Highness Prince Hisahito on the invitation of Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck. The Imperial Family will receive an Audience with His Majesty The King during the visit, which also includes visits to monasteries and places of cultural importance in Bhutan.

WB recommends Bhutan to negotiate international treaties

For the want of attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Bhutan should negotiate international treaties for extensive FDI inflow. The World Investment Report 2019 report states that Bhutan is a signatory to only few international conventions. While it adheres to trade agreements, it has not signed any that have a strong investment component. In terms of double taxation treaties, it has reached an agreement with India on the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion.


P Chidambaram arrested by CBI

Former union finance minister of India, P Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI on 21 August from his residence in connection with INX media corruption case and has been produced in the special CBI court on 23 August. After a hearing that lasted for close to three hours, the court gave the central probe agency custody of the Congress leader till August 26. On the other hand, he has been granted protection from arrest by the Supreme Court till 26 August but the court didn’t intervene in the CBI case.

Organisational rejig in Samajwadi party

Samajwadi party chief Akhilesh Yadav dissolved the party’s entire Uttar Pradesh units including the state executive, district committees and the youth wings. However, state president Naresh Uttam has retained his position. This move is being viewed as an attempt to rejig the party after its debacle in the Lok Sabha elections.


30 million USD worth agreement

To strengthen public finances and lower the risk of natural disasters, two complementary agreements worth thirty million USD, have been signed between the Maldives finance ministry and the World Bank. In the documents the risk financing agreements have been described as “quick disbursing sources” to aid the government in taking emergency response measures. The agreements are part of integrated risk management options and are aimed to enhance the country’s resilience to shocks and better safeguard its macroeconomic stability.

Customs seize drugs in airport

Recently two and a half kilograms of heroin have been seized by customs as two Maldivian men tried to smuggle the drugs through the country’s international airport. The first 1.5 kg of heroin was found off a 25 year old who arrived from Sri Lanka. The estimated street value of the drug is estimated to be 1 million MVR which equates to almost 64, 850 USD. The second was found on a man who arrived from Trivandrum, India.


Blocked trade route

Trade disruption from recent attacks by armed groups along the Myanmar-China border may last longer than the attack on the 105th-mile camp that occurred in late 2016. Observers including political analysts and traders are of the view that the curfew may last longer than the 10 day suspension when the 105-camp trading post was attacked. Insurgents from the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army and the Arakan Army (AA) under the umbrella of the Northern Alliance launched coordinated attacks on a military academy in Pyin Oo Lwin on the Mandalay-Muse trade route as well as a toll gate and the Gote Twin police post on the Nawngcho trade route on 15 August, which also saw the Gote Twin bridge blown up.

Rohingyas decline to return

A senior government official stated that not a single refugee in Bangladesh volunteered to participate in a repatriation that was scheduled for 22 August. The exercise was to have repatriated to Myanmar some 3000 refugees who had been vetted by authorities in both countries. Also in Rakhine, Maungdaw township administrator U Ngwe Tun informed that no refugees had been sent to Taung Pyo camp, which was set up to receive the refugees.


Indian External Affairs Minister in Nepal

Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, India, has had a very fruitful visit to Nepal to attend the 5th India-Nepal Joint Commission meeting. This is indeed the commencement of a better bilateral relationship between the two countries. From connectivity to trade to energy, every façade was touched upon, to strengthen ties. The Treaty of Peace and Friendship (1950) has also been decided to be reviewed. Furthermore, discussions were also made with regard to the post-earthquake constructions in Nepal.

Hydropower ‘difficult’ between India and Nepal

There has been a lot of contention occurring between the activists and representatives of various organizations and an Indian Company GMR Group, with regard to the 900 MW Upper Karnali Hydropower Project in Dailekh district. This project is of utmost importance to the government. However, for the past five years there has been no improvement in its status. The contract holder has also not been able to generate financial resources. Thus, the people have urged Foreign Minister, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali to move out of this arrangement with India.


“No point”, says Khan

Speaking at an interview with journalists from an international press agency, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has voiced his despondence over the Kashmir issue. Khan said that there is “no point” in talking to the Indian officials and that his overtures of peace and dialogue have been viewed as appeasement and hence proven futile. He further fears for the life of eight million Kashmiris as there is a risk of ethnic cleansing or genocide in Kashmir.

World Bank President to visit Islamabad

The Pakistan Ministry of Finance has announced that the President of the World Bank David Malpass is scheduled to visit Islamabad in November to finalise the enhanced monetary support for institutional reforms and growth agenda. This comes as the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan met the President of the World Bank during his visit to USA. In the interaction Pakistan’s problems in completing existing projects and the slowdown in planning due to the political transition had been highlighted.

Sri Lanka

President’s office denies Pakistan’s claims

Pakistan High Commission (HC) is a statement claimed that SriLankan President recognised that India’s Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory and expressed his desire that this dispute should be resolved according to wishes of Kashmiris under UN Resolutions. Additionally, Pakistan HC statement claimed Sri Lankan offered to mediate between India and Pakistan to re-activate SAARC, the regional organisation of South Asian countries that are lying dormant due to the rivalry between India and Pakistan. Interestingly, the President’s office objected to the claims made by Pakistan HC.  The President’s office informed that the meeting took place on the request of the High Commissioner of Pakistan and during which the envoy briefed the President about the recent developments concerning India’s abrogation of Section 370 and annulling of Article 35A of the Constitution of India. Further, the President office highlighted that the President gave a careful hearing to the Pakistan High Commissioner’s views and stated that both India and Pakistan have excellent friendly relations with Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka’s interest is to see the growth of regional cooperation and friendship. President’s office particularly mentioned that the President did not make any other comment on the issues about India and Pakistan.

Sri Lanka brushes aside criticism of new army chief

Sri Lankan government has strongly reacted against the international criticism for appointing of the Lieutenant-General Shavendra Silva, alleged of committing war crimes, as the new chief of Sri Lankan army.  The government observed that criticisms are “unwarranted and unacceptable” and the appointment of General Shavendra Silva as commander of the Sri Lankan army is a “sovereign decision” by President Maithripala Sirisena. Earlier, Chief of UN rights Michelle Bachelet this week had observed that she was “deeply troubled” by Silva’s appointment. She further added this move compromised the government’s commitment to promoting justice and accountability and might affect Sri Lankan’s participation in peacekeeping missions abroad. Gen Silva was the commanding officer of an army division in the country’s northern warzone during the final staged of military’s charge against Tamil rebels in 2009.

ADB’s loan for Sri Lanka’s railway sector

In a boost to upgrade the transport sector, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $160 million loan to modernize the railways in the country. The loan will be utilised for upgrading infrastructure and technical capacity of the Sri Lankan railways. It is worthy to note this is ADB’s first loan to Sri Lanka’s railway sector.



Opinion Pieces

Arlene J. Schar and Dr. David Leffler, “In the Blink of an Eye …”, Daily Outlook Afghanistan, 22 August 2019

Mujib Mashal, “As Taliban Talk Peace, ISIS Is Ready to Play the Spoiler in Afghanistan”, The New York Times, 20 August 2019


Daily Outlook Afghanistan, “Ahmadullah’s Death – A Whistle-blowing Act on Peace Talks”, 21 August 2019

Afghanistan Times, “Bloody Independence Day”, 19 August 2019


Opinion Pieces

Raihanul Haque Khan, “Flood forecasting in Bangladesh and the need for greater response capabilities”, The Daily Star, 21 July 2019

Mostafiz Uddin, “Near shoring apparel supply chain: Time for some home truths”, The Daily Star, 20 August 2019

Habibullah N Karim, “Digital land administration is the need of the hour”, The Daily Star, 19 august 2019


Opinion Pieces

Dhrubaraj Sharma, “Looking at the new frontiers of Bhutan-India relationship”, Kuensel, 17 August 2019


Kuensel, “In the interest of Bhutan and India”, 17 August 2019


Opinion Pieces

Sofi Ahsan, “What do peace and development mean in and outside Kashmir? The gap widens”, The Indian Express, 23 August 2019

Neera Chandhoke, “State-breaking is not nation making”, The Hindu, 22 August 2019

Anit Mukherjee, “A top post, its promise and peril”, The Hindu, 21 August 2019


The Hindu, “Internal Affairs: On Assam NRC”, 23 August 2019

The Hindu, “New norms: On regulations for foreign investors”, 23 August 2019

The Indian Express, “Only due process”, 22 August 2019


Opinion Pieces

Nyein Nyein, “Will Myanmar’s Formal Peace Negotiations Get Back on Track?”, The Irrawaddy, 20 August 2019

Nan Lwin, “Rebel Strikes Cast Shadow on China’s BRI Projects in Myanmar”, The Irrawaddy, 20 August 2019

Moe Myint, “Fresh, Hard-Hitting Attacks on Military Hinder Myanmar Peace Process”, The Irrawaddy, 16 August 2019


Opinion Pieces

Hemant Arjyal, “The pain of going around”, Republica, 22 August 2019

Deepak Thapa, “In Nepal, your social and political standing dictates the applicability of laws”, The Kathmandu Post, The Kathmandu Post, 22 August 2019


The Himalayan Times, Credit rating for FDI”, 22 August 2019

The Kathmandu Post, “Attack of the mosquitoes”, 19 August 2019


Opinion Pieces

Sherry Rehman, “Kashmir’s illegal annexation: policy options for Pakistan”, The Express Tribune, 23 August 2019

Aasim Sajjad Akhtar, “Economic illusion”, Dawn, 23 August 2019


Dawn, “Banning medicine”, 23 August 2019

The Express Tribune, “Ill-timed opposition”, 21 August 2019

Sri Lanka

Opinion pieces

MSM Ayub, “Has Gota renounced his US citizenship?”,The Daily Mirror, 23 August, 2019

Linus Jayatilake, “Alternative foreign policy for South Asia”, The Daily Mirror, 21 August 2019

N Stahiyamoorthy, “Will ‘all roads’ to Colombo lead from H’tota?”, ColomboGazette, 18 August 2019


Afghanistan & Pakistan: Sohini Bose

Bangladesh: Joyeeta Bhattacharjee

Bhutan: Mihir Bhonsale

India: Ambar Kumar Ghosh

Maldives & Sri Lanka: N Sathiya Moorthy

Myanmar: Sreeparna Banerjee

Nepal: Sohini Nayak

The views expressed above belong to the author(s). ORF research and analyses now available on Telegram! Click here to access our curated content — blogs, longforms and interviews.