South Asia

  • India Votes: Your Handy Guide to Elections in the World’s Largest Democracy

    India, the world’s largest democracy, kicked off a five-week-long parliamentary election on April 11. Unlike the United States, where the Democratic and Republican parties dominate, India is a multiparty system, giving voters a choice of candidates.


    At the national level, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the secular Indian National Congress led by Rahul Gandhi, whose father, grandmother, and great grandfather all served as prime ministers of India, are in a fight to lead the country. Modi has served as prime minister for the past five years.

    This handy guide will help you make sense of the contest.


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  • Something Fishy Is Going on Between Iran and China (and Pakistan)

    Two of Beijing’s close allies, Iran and Pakistan, have been increasingly impacted by China’s growing appetite for fish, both for domestic consumption and to supply its processed fish industry. Stricter regulations in Pakistan and an internal political fight in Iran could make it harder for China to expand its fishing industry into their waters.

    Friction between Iranian political factions, chiefly the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and President Hassan Rouhani’s government, is on the rise over the growing presence of Chinese fishing vessels in Iranian waters. Growing dissatisfaction by local fishermen over Chinese industrial-style fishing is contributing to the dispute. In Pakistan, meanwhile, new policies and regulations may impact seafood exports to China. 

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  • Dagres Quoted in Middle East Eye on Smuggling Along the Iran-Pakistan Border


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  • Nawaz quoted in NPR on deadly attack in Kashmir region


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  • US-India Trade Relationship Heads into Choppy Waters

    Trump signals end to preferential trade treatment for India

    In a letter to the US Congress on March 4, US President Donald J. Trump wrote that he intends to end preferential trade treatment for India. Trump wrote that he had taken the decision because “after intensive engagement between the United States and the Government of India, I have determined that India has not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India.” It is important to assess exactly what this decision means and consider the full range of implications for the US-India trade relationship.


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  • Nawaz joins CGTN to Discuss Growing India-Pakistan Tensions


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  • Nawaz quoted in NBC on India-Pakistan Crisis


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  • Nuclear Threats and Opportunity

    Even in this eventful week, nothing came close to matching the perilous significance of the unprecedented airstrikes between Pakistan and India, escalating the risk of war between two nuclear powers.


    Headlines in the United States focused more on President Donald Trump's former lawyer turning on him before Congress and on the president's fruitless Vietnam meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Though that made for one of the Trump administration's more difficult weeks, it is the South Asian nail-biter that deserves our urgent attention.


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  • India and Pakistan on a Steep Escalatory Ladder to War

    The Indian Air Force strike on what India claims was a terrorist camp in Balakot, Pakistan, on February 26 followed by the Pakistani air strike on targets in India-administered Kashmir have placed both countries on a perilous path to war. The escalation ladder on any such military actions between these two nuclear-armed neighbors remains very steep. Each is equipped with standoff weapons that can be launched from air platforms without sending troops across their border, and increasingly have been talking of the use of miniaturized nuclear weapons euphemistically labeled “tactical.” Once they reach that level, a full-scale war, involving dozens of nuclear weapons could engulf the subcontinent with grave consequences for the whole region and the world. Nuclear Winter, the shutting off sunlight from the Northern Hemisphere of the globe, would mean no light or food for the world. This is not science fiction but reality. Hence, it is critical that leaders in India and Pakistan defuse the current situation before it becomes impossible to retrieve.
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  • Is Saudi Arabia Pulling Pakistan Into War With Iran?

    For years, the Pakistani government has avoided taking sides between rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia, but now it may be forced to choose. Pakistan is in dire need of financial support and the Saudis have the means to help. Will Pakistan accept the strings attached to Saudi generosity?

    Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has viewed Asia as part of “Saudi Arabia’s visionfor the future.” His trip across Asia this month had a short-term goal as well: repairing a public image badly damaged by the Yemen war and the gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

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