The Neighbourhood/World
Challenges before Nepal - Pioneer
With a Left coalition led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) regime taking over the helm of affairs in Kathmandu, it is expected that the Government, now headed by Prime Minister KP Oli which won a total of 174 seats in the 275-member Parliament, will focus on what it is meant to: Delivering on election promises and bringing peace, stability and prosperity to the poor Himalayan country.
Begum's arrest and rising sentiments in Dhaka - Hiranmay Karlekar, Pioneer
Not surprisingly, Begum Khaleda Zia’s jailing, following her sentencing to five years of rigorous imprisonment by Special Judge’s Court-5 in Dhaka, has been seen in the context of the parliamentary elections in Bangladesh, scheduled for the end of 2018. Begum Zia had told a news conference the day before the judgement’s delivery on February 8, “This [the case] is an attempt to use the court against me, in an effort to sideline me from politics and elections and to isolate me from the people.”
Maldives: India must wait and watch - Business Line
Since the outbreak of the crisis in Maldives less than a fortnight ago, Indian opinion stands firmly divided on the possible role India should play in its ‘regional sphere’ of influence. While some suggest gunboat diplomacy, aimed at donning the mantle of a regional giant and thwarting off Chinese inroads into this island country, others christen this action monumentally stupid and instead suggest mute spectatorship or the use of soft power mechanisms.
Dalai Lama, China and the homecoming urge - Claude Arpi, Pioneer
It has been a lifetime wish for the Lama to visit Wutaishan, his native town. But he must follow his own saying: Look at situations from all angles. It is unwise for him to go on pilgrimage in China right now
How 'India First' turned into 'China First' for Maldives - Indrani Bagchi, ToI
It was only a few weeks ago that Maldives foreign minister Mohamed Asim arrived in India as a special envoy for President Abdulla Yameen, swearing by his ostensible "India First" policy. Little known was the fact that India-Maldives relations would soon plunge to an all-time low with the Yameen government refusing to address any of India's concerns.
A non-existent revolution in Iran - Kabir Taneja, Pioneer
Over the past few weeks, Iran, the seat of Shiite Islam and one of the tri-poles of influence in the Middle East, saw a spurt of protests erupt across various towns and cities as the country’s large youth demographic voiced their anger against stunted economic conditions, stale job market and the global pandemic of the failures of ‘trickle-down’ economics.
Trump may have just begun the process of ending the US role as Pakistan's enabler - Pioneer
President Donald J Trump is fast-emerging as the best thing that could have happened to India since readymade chapatis, as it were. In his very first tweet of 2018, Trump put Pakistan in his crosshairs accusing Islamabad of “lies and deceit” in its stance on fighting terror despite receiving billions of dollars in American aid. In a scathing indictment of previous US Administrations which have been led by the nose by various East Coast liberal security-strategic policy think-tanks, Trump called out Pakistan for virtually swallowing up 33 billion dollars of US aid pumped in over the past 15 years which America had “foolishly given” that country.
US does Israel-Palestine peace a bad turn - Yasir Ali Mirza, Pioneer
In a reckless move straying from the consistent US policy on Israel-Palestine peace process, the Donald Trump administration recently defied all international concerns and  recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s new capital, asserting that it would move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.
Trump's Jerusalem justice for Jews - Manan Dwivedi, Pioneer
What ails strategic and political thinking along with the rigmarole of the diplomatic parlance and practice? The recent vituperation by the Indian thinkers and so-called intellectuals of the Israel-Palestine problem leaves a lot to be desired along with the warped analysis. The fundamental premise of the Arabs about Palestine is not a wrongly placed notion, but the issue that misses the academic point is that where we place the plight of the Jews as they have always been part of the obscurantist sequesters.
The Jerusalem Conundrum - Ishaan Saxena, Pioneer
Trump’s foreign policy trump card, seen as a lack of coherence and diplomatic finesse by his critics, is escalating tensions in an area that is already bleeding due to the violent nature of its power politics.
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