South Asia and Beyond

Parul Chandra

Professional newshound, have navigated through typewriters, computers and mobile phones during my over three-decade-long career working in some of India's finest newsrooms (The Times of India, Financial Express). Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan are my focus, also Sri Lanka (when boss permits). Age and arthritis (that's a joke) have not dimmed the thrill of chasing a story. Loves music, animals and pasta.

Bangladesh: Creeping Radicalisation And A Complicit Government

NEW DELHI: The space for those expressing secular, liberal or progressive views is shrinking rapidly in Bangladesh–this is a view expressed by Bangladeshis as they see hardline elements gaining increasing salience in the Muslim-majority nation. Even more worrying, they say, is that such radical views are no longer confined to Islamist outfits but have spread […]Read More

India-Nepal: Protocol Set Aside For India’s Top Diplomat, Ties in

NEW DELHI: India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla appeared to have struck all the right notes in Kathmandu, describing Nepal as “nikatam mitr” or close friend in initial remarks at the airport. As the day unfolded, protocol was brushed aside as Shringla called on Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, for a one-on-one that included a […]Read More

Shringla’s Nepal Visit May See Land Borders, Air Space Reopened

NEW DELHI: Winds of change in the India-Nepal relationship? That remains to be seen, but the visit later this week of India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla to Kathmandu suggests a determination to address the bumps in the relationship. The most recent bump of course, is the bitter border dispute over Nepal’s claims to the […]Read More

Look Before You Tweet, Sober Advice For US Govt On

NEW DELHI: Look before you leap should be standard advisory for the US government’s various Twitter handles, especially those concerning Pakistan. Days after the US Embassy in Islamabad re-tweeted a tweet critical of Prime Minister Imran Khan, another blunder, this time by the Florida-based US Central Command (CentCom). It condoled the death of Khadim Hussain […]Read More

Indian Ocean: Not Quite India’s Ocean As China Competes For

NEW DELHI: White sands, turquoise waters, soothing sea breezes–a bunch of island nations scattered in the Indian Ocean region (IOR) drew tourists by the thousands until the pandemic struck. But these islands are more than just playgrounds for tourists. There is a maritime ‘Great Game’ going on here, a game triggered by their location along […]Read More

India-Asean: Consensus On China But No Progress On Reviewing Goods

NEW DELHI: These days no India-Asean summit is complete without the ritual reference to free, open, inclusive, rules-based Indo-Pacific, which annoys China no end. And so it was with Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the 17th Asean-India Summit via video-link on Thursday. But the prime minister also had a bone to pick with Asean […]Read More

At Virtual SCO Summit, Modi Slams BRI/CPEC, Warns Pakistan

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity while executing connectivity projects, an indirect reference to China’s Belt & Road and CPEC projects that run through territories India claims. Modi was addressing the 20th Summit of the SCO Council of Heads of State on Tuesday, a virtual summit where China’s […]Read More

Suu Kyi Expected To Win Myanmar Polls Despite Fading Lustre

NEW DELHI: A lot can change in five years and no one realises this better than Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s state counsellor (equivalent to prime minister). As she leads her party the National League for Democracy (NLD) to polls on Sunday, the expectation is of an emphatic win though perhaps short of the landslide […]Read More

In Big Win, India Back On UN Budgetary Panel

NEW DELHI: In a significant diplomatic victory for India at the United Nations (UN), its candidate has been elected to the prestigious Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ)–which controls the purse strings of the UN. Vidisha Maitra, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 2009 batch had been fielded by India for […]Read More