Setting an Ambitious U.S.-India Space Agenda

Setting an Ambitious U.S.-India Space Agenda

On January 31, the U.S. and Indian national security advisors met in Washington for the first convening of the initiative on critical and emerging technologies (iCET). Along with artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing, 5G/6G, biotech, and semiconductors, space is a major focus area…

U.S.-China Strategic Competition and the Resulting Arms Race in South Asia

U.S.-China Strategic Competition and the Resulting Arms Race in South Asia

In recent years, Washington has described China as its “greatest strategic competitor” and adopted a more aggressive policy to counter Beijing’s growing influence. While U.S. domestic audiences have largely applauded Washington’s more assertive stance, escalating tensions between the United States…

Arshad Sharif’s Death and Political Polarization in Pakistan

Arshad Sharif’s Death and Political Polarization in Pakistan

On October 23, Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif was fatally shot in Kenya, raising concerns of political polarization impacting objective journalism in Pakistan. In the months preceding his murder, Sharif vocally criticized Pakistan’s current government and its powerful military, fueling suspicions…

2022: Year in Review

2022: Year in Review

South Asian countries faced many challenges this year. An economic crisis in Sri Lanka, shifting political dynamics in Nepal, devastating floods in Pakistan, and spillover effects of the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan threatened stability in the region. India’s accidental missile…

India’s Foreign Policy in 2022: A Year in Review

India’s Foreign Policy in 2022: A Year in Review

India witnessed significant shifts in its foreign policy last year. Caught between historic ties with Russia and a burgeoning partnership with the United States, India deftly navigated relations with great powers following the invasion of Ukraine, while staying true to…

Pakistan in 2022: A Year of Economic and Political Turbulence

Pakistan in 2022: A Year of Economic and Political Turbulence

For Pakistan, 2022 began on a high note with the launch of its first citizen-centric National Security Policy (NSP), which reiterated the need to put human security at the center of the country’s security apparatus. Under this new approach, Pakistan…

Sri Lanka in 2022: A Country Wracked by Multiple Crises

Sri Lanka in 2022: A Country Wracked by Multiple Crises

Sri Lanka faced an unprecedented economic and political crisis throughout 2022. There have been visible signs of the turmoil: vehicle lines stretched for up to three kilometers in front of fuel stations for as many as five days, accompanied by…

Nepal in 2022: A Younger Generation Raises its Voice

Nepal in 2022: A Younger Generation Raises its Voice

Nepal has experienced political turmoil, a dire economic situation, and monumental foreign policy developments in 2022. The country hosted several high-level officials from India, China, and the United States this past year, navigating a more polarized geopolitical climate in South…

Looking Back at 2022: SAV Editors’ Picks

Looking Back at 2022: SAV Editors’ Picks

At South Asian Voices, we pride ourselves on publishing diverse perspectives from across the subcontinent on important and often contentious issues related to the politics, security, and economics of South Asia. Below are the SAV editorial team’s top picks of 2022: Brigitta Schuchert…

<strong>Strategic Ambiguity in Indian Outer Space Policy</strong>

Strategic Ambiguity in Indian Outer Space Policy

On December 9, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly endorsed a United States resolution that sought to prohibit direct-ascent anti-satellite tests (DA-ASATs), following a moratorium endorsed by the UN First Committee on Disarmament and International Security in early November. The moratorium…

Sri Lanka and the IMF – Will This Time be Different?

Sri Lanka and the IMF – Will This Time be Different?

After months of economic turbulence, Sri Lankan authorities reached a staff-level agreement with the IMF for a 4-year program worth USD $2.9 billion this September. At the height of Sri Lanka’s economic crisis, power outages lasted for more than 12…

Pakistan’s Fatiguing Interest in the IMF Reform Program

Pakistan’s Fatiguing Interest in the IMF Reform Program

Hopeful skepticism among local economists and policymakers has marred the revival of Pakistan’s IMF program. Critics agree that while Pakistan should continue the existing IMF program, Islamabad must also remain cognizant of the reality that the IMF’s Pakistan program lacks…

<strong>India’s G20 Presidency: Providing Substance to Summitry</strong>

India’s G20 Presidency: Providing Substance to Summitry

As the world witnesses the three big Cs of concern – climate change, conflict, and COVID-19 –cooperation among major global powers has become an unavoidable imperative.  This was the geopolitical climate in which India received the G20 presidency from Indonesia…

<strong>Is the Taliban a New Problem for Pakistan?</strong>

Is the Taliban a New Problem for Pakistan?

On November 30, a suicide bomber associated with Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) attacked a police vehicle in Quetta, killing four, underscoring the resurgent threat of the group. On November 28, the TTP formally declared an end to the ceasefire…

<strong>Making the “Indian Dream” of Digital Upward Mobility into Reality</strong>

Making the “Indian Dream” of Digital Upward Mobility into Reality

On November 22, Indian Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar stated that India has converted its “soft power” into “software power” while speaking at the UNESCO India-Africa Hackathon. The Hackathon itself was an example of this transformation: the event convened over 600…

Why India Won’t Yet Break Ties with Russia

Why India Won’t Yet Break Ties with Russia

In recent weeks, India has been more vocal about the Ukraine conflict than at the start of the war, beginning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark, made in a mid-September 2022 meeting with Vladimir Putin at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization…

South Asia Must Proactively Prepare to Face Climate Change

South Asia Must Proactively Prepare to Face Climate Change

Unprecedented floods in Pakistan in recent months, caused by a mix of record rainfall and melting glaciers, left a third of the country submerged under water and affected nearly 33 million people. The floods have also caused widespread destruction, with…

<strong>Maldives’ Chagos Conundrum: Continuing Inconsistency and its Politicization</strong>     

Maldives’ Chagos Conundrum: Continuing Inconsistency and its Politicization     

On October 17, 2022, the International Tribunal For the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) began hearing the dispute over the overlapping Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) between Mauritius and the Maldives. During the proceedings, the Maldives revealed its new position of recognizing Mauritius’ sovereignty…

The China Factor in India’s Muted Ukraine Response

The China Factor in India’s Muted Ukraine Response

The outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine War and subsequent Western-imposed sanctions on Russia have forced India to navigate an increasingly troubled and sensitive geopolitical landscape. The United States and its allies have implemented unilateral measures on Russia, complicating the Kremlin’s ability…

India-East Asia Relations in Shifting Indo-Pacific Tides

India-East Asia Relations in Shifting Indo-Pacific Tides

On November 4, Taiwan Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Zhengqi visited India, leading a Taiwanese delegation to sign four MoUs with India to expand cooperation in the environment, electronic manufacturing, and non-traditional medicine sectors. His visit not only marks…

<strong>Agni Prime and the Two-Front War</strong>

Agni Prime and the Two-Front War

The Agni Prime (also known as the Agni-P and Agni-IP) has been tested thrice off the Odisha coast in under two years, with its first test in June 2021. The third, most recent test on October 21 came during  India’s…

What the Imran Khan Attack Means for Pakistan

What the Imran Khan Attack Means for Pakistan

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was shot and injured during a protest rally in Punjab province on November 3. At least six others were wounded in the firing, and one bystander was killed. Stimson South Asia Program Director Elizabeth…

Gendering the Indo-Pacific Dialogue: Opportunities for India and Australia

Gendering the Indo-Pacific Dialogue: Opportunities for India and Australia

Introduction The confluence of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean as a distinctive, interdependent strategic and economic space is fundamentally transforming how both India and Australia operate with the broader region. Both countries view the Indo-Pacific as a construct…

Kashmir Elections and a New Political Order

Kashmir Elections and a New Political Order

A series of political developments following the revocation of Articles 370 and 35A on August 5, 2019, have plunged Jammu and Kashmir’s traditional parties—known for their advocacy on Kashmir’s special status and identity—into a deep existential crisis. Hirdesh Kumar, Jammu…

What’s Next for Bangladeshi Politics?

What’s Next for Bangladeshi Politics?

Since July 2022, Bangladeshi opposition parties, especially the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), have been holding rallies throughout the country. Though Bangladesh has experienced political volatility and regular general strikes in the past, the ruling Bangladesh Awami League (BAL) has held…

Reconsidering India’s ‘Population Policy’ through a Regional Perspective

Reconsidering India’s ‘Population Policy’ through a Regional Perspective

In the summer of 2021, two states of India–Uttar Pradesh and Assam–have considered bills to what they proclaim as ways to encourage implementation of ‘decent family planning’. Some see this as a way to target the minority Muslim population of the country who are…

Assessing the Human Impact of the India-China Border Dispute

Assessing the Human Impact of the India-China Border Dispute

In the last few years, India has raised concerns over the mobilization of Chinese troops and equipment along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. Relations between the two sides worsened in 2020 after Chinese and Indian troops clashed…

SAV Review – Subcontinent Adrift: Strategic Futures of South Asia

SAV Review – Subcontinent Adrift: Strategic Futures of South Asia

In this series, South Asian Voices contributors review Feroz Khan's landmark new book on India-Pakistan strategic relations, Subcontinent Adrift: Strategic Futures of South Asia. Uniquely for one volume, this book examines the security challenges faced by both India and Pakistan in isolation,…

India at the G20: Prioritizing Climate Finance

India at the G20: Prioritizing Climate Finance

India will soon begin its one-year-long tenure as head of the Group of Twenty (G20) group, lasting between December 2022 and November 2023. Under its new role, India announced that it will host the leaders’ summit in New Delhi and hold sub-events…

The Lasting Legacies of Partition for Pakistan’s Pashtuns

The Lasting Legacies of Partition for Pakistan’s Pashtuns

August 2022 marked the 75th anniversary of the 1947 Partition of the Indian subcontinent. With the displacement of millions through divisions along religious lines and the creation of new borders and independent nations, Partition has left a legacy that echoes…

A Balancing Act: Challenges to Pakistan’s Refugee Management

A Balancing Act: Challenges to Pakistan’s Refugee Management

The situation in Afghanistan has become one of the world’s gravest humanitarian crises since U.S. troops withdrew from the country in August 2021. The dire situation on the ground has pushed 186,680 Afghan refugees and asylum seekers toward neighboring states.…

Pakistan-U.S. at 75: Sustaining the Momentum

Pakistan-U.S. at 75: Sustaining the Momentum

On September 29, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad hosted a diplomatic reception to commemorate the 75th anniversary of bilateral relations between the United States and Pakistan. To an audience of U.S. and Pakistani foreign diplomats – including chief guest Prime…

Pakistan’s New Strategy: Technology-Based Cooperation

Pakistan’s New Strategy: Technology-Based Cooperation

In January 2021, Pakistan released its first-ever National Security Policy (NSP), shifting its focus from geopolitics to geo-economics. Pakistan’s renewed interest in industrialization and regional connectivity with Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Eurasia is due to past failures…

What India Can Learn from China’s 5G Leap

What India Can Learn from China’s 5G Leap

On October 1, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that 1.3 billion Indian citizens would soon be able to use fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology for high-speed internet services across the country. Leading Indian telecom companies Reliance Industries, Bharti Airtel, and…

China-Taliban: An Uncomfortable Marriage of Convenience

China-Taliban: An Uncomfortable Marriage of Convenience

On September 13, the first containers departed China en route to Afghanistan via Central Asian countries. The launching of the new railroad line is likely to open economic trade routes for the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan. As the West adheres…

Empowering Women in Pakistan’s Economy: Lessons from Bangladesh

Empowering Women in Pakistan’s Economy: Lessons from Bangladesh

Although celebrating its 75th year of independence this August, Pakistan has yet to capitalize on its youthful population, especially its female youth, to further economic progress and expand its skilled workforce. Currently, roughly 44 percent of Pakistan’s population is counted…

Pakistan’s Floods and the Role of Media

Pakistan’s Floods and the Role of Media

Pakistan has been experiencing one of the worst floods in its history, with over 33 million citizens affected. Some 1,500 have lost their lives and many more are in danger due to the spread of dengue fever and other infectious…

Western Indian Ocean: The Missing Piece in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy

Western Indian Ocean: The Missing Piece in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy

In a long-delayed move, the White House announced its intent to integrate African states into Indo-Pacific forums, according to its latest strategy document for Sub-Saharan Africa from August 2022. The Biden administration’s expansion of the geographic definition of the Indo-Pacific…

The Geopolitics of India’s Refugee Policy

The Geopolitics of India’s Refugee Policy

On August 17, Indian Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, sparked a Twitter controversy on the presence of Rohingya refugees in the capital. Puri tweeted that Rohingya in New Delhi would be relocated from slum-like camps to…

Before Nepal Graduates to a Developing Country

Before Nepal Graduates to a Developing Country

At the 40th plenary of the 76th session of the United Nations in February 2021, the UN General Assembly recommended graduating Nepal from Least Developed Country (LDC) status to Developing Country (DC) in 2026. Though Nepal originally planned to graduate…

Improving India-Turkey Relations

Improving India-Turkey Relations

On the margins of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his UNGA speech criticized India for failing to resolve ties with Pakistan and establish a “fair, permanent peace and prosperity in Kashmir.” Indian…

Strategic Autonomy: Comparing India and Pakistan

Strategic Autonomy: Comparing India and Pakistan

Global division following Russia’s war in Ukraine has rekindled the public debate on ‘strategic autonomy’ in South Asia. According to S. Kalyanaraman, “strategic autonomy denotes the ability of a state to pursue its national interests and adopt its preferred foreign…

India and the Russia-Ukraine War: The Need for a Proactive Approach

India and the Russia-Ukraine War: The Need for a Proactive Approach

In a recent bilateral meeting between India’s Prime Minister Modi and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin during the SCO summit in Uzbekistan, Modi made headline-making comments on the war in Ukraine, stating that “now is not an era of war” and…

The Economic Costs of Pakistan’s Floods

The Economic Costs of Pakistan’s Floods

Over the past month, Pakistan has been hit by the worst flooding in the country’s modern history. The floods have put "one-third of the country underwater" and the deaths of close to 1,500 people. Estimates note a further 33 million…

Nepal’s Delicate Foreign Policy Balancing Act

Nepal’s Delicate Foreign Policy Balancing Act

Over the last few weeks, Nepal has witnessed several developmental gains. During the recent official visit by Nepali Foreign Minister Dr. Narayan Khadka on August 9, China announced an approximately USD $117 million grant and several infrastructure projects. Meanwhile, India…

India-Bangladesh Relations – Conditional to a Sheikh Hasina Government?

India-Bangladesh Relations – Conditional to a Sheikh Hasina Government?

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina traveled to India for an official visit from September 5th-8th, where she inked several important agreements with her Indian counterpart. The India-Bangladesh bilateral relationship has immensely improved in the last decade, seemingly signaling the success…

Why Sri Lanka’s Default was not Caused by China

Why Sri Lanka’s Default was not Caused by China

Sri Lanka is facing its first debt default since its independence. On 12 April 2022, the Sri Lankan government announced that it will suspend all foreign debt repayments, except to multilateral development banks. It is now seeking a bail-out from…

ISKP’s Propaganda Threatens Asia’s Security Apparatus

ISKP’s Propaganda Threatens Asia’s Security Apparatus

On September 5, the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) launched a suicide bombing attack in front of the Russian embassy in Kabul, leaving more than four dead. The attack underscored ISKP’s continued forays targeting civilians and Taliban security forces across…

پاکستان کی خارجہ پالیسی میں شناخت کا تعین

پاکستان کی خارجہ پالیسی میں شناخت کا تعین

 پاکستان کی قومی شناخت آزادی کے وقت سے ہی اسرار کے پردوں میں چھپی ہوئی ہے حالانکہ مذہبی نظریہ، ریاست کے وجود کے لیے بنیادی توجیح فراہم کرتا ہے۔ تقسیم کے موقع پر مذہبی تفریق کے لیے پائی جانے والی…

Pakistan Floods & Climate Security: Rethinking Comprehensive National Security

Pakistan Floods & Climate Security: Rethinking Comprehensive National Security

The ongoing floods in Pakistan devastated communities and the country’s infrastructure and economy. The rising frequency of floods, extreme rainfall, and heatwaves has moved climate change from a theoretical discussion point to a palpable burden on the country and its…

Policy Lessons from the Front Lines: Tackling Extreme Heat in India

Policy Lessons from the Front Lines: Tackling Extreme Heat in India

Extreme heat is wreaking havoc across India. During the March-April 2022 heatwaves, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) recorded the hottest March on record, with temperatures soaring as high as 47 degrees Celsius (117 degrees Fahrenheit) and impacting 15 states and…

Is There Any Strategy Left for Washington in Afghanistan?

Is There Any Strategy Left for Washington in Afghanistan?

If there is one picture that describes the failure of Washington’s War on Terror policy in Afghanistan, it is the viral image of Taliban Defense Minister Mullah Yaqoob in a military parade during the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.…

Geopolitical Maneuvering of Nepal’s Tourism Sector

Geopolitical Maneuvering of Nepal’s Tourism Sector

On August 16, Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan University inaugurated Nepal’s second Confucius Institute—one of the many such planned institutes to be built across Nepal with Chinese government funding. Located in over 100 countries worldwide, Confucius Institutes serve to promote Chinese culture through…

Press Freedoms in Pakistan: As Polarization Deepens, Journalism Pays the Price

Press Freedoms in Pakistan: As Polarization Deepens, Journalism Pays the Price

Last month, Pakistani police charged former Prime Minister Imran Khan under the anti-terrorism act, in addition to placing a sweeping ban on live telecasts of his speeches. The charge comes after Khan vowed to sue police officers and a judge…

The Crisis of Elite Capture in Pakistan and Sri Lanka

The Crisis of Elite Capture in Pakistan and Sri Lanka

In July, Pakistan and Sri Lanka met on the cricket pitch for a match that had been quietly moved from Colombo to Galle. While international broadcasters aired visuals of ocean waves crashing onto Galle Fort’s once tourist-frequented beaches, Sri Lankans…

Framing Identity within Pakistan’s Foreign Policy

Framing Identity within Pakistan’s Foreign Policy

Since independence, Pakistan’s national identity has remained enigmatic despite religious ideology informing the fundamental rationale for the state’s existence. This enigma can be understood by examining the excessive infatuation with religious differentiation at the time of Partition which led to…

Read the South Asian Voices Series: Legacies of Partition

Remembering Michael Krepon 

South Asian Voices contributors, former Visiting Fellows, and editors reflect on Michael Krepon’s mentorship, impact, and role in shaping SAV. 

 

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