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Category: South Asia Bulletin

South Asia Bulletin

SAB Vol 1, Issue 11

In this issue of the South Asia Bulletin, contributors analyze the efforts South Asian countries have made to bring their citizens back from conflict-ridden Sudan. Other national, and transnational issues have been discussed, including Sri Lanka and Nepal’s economic crises, increased terror attacks in Pakistan, and the first Apple store in India. Read the South Asia Bulletin for more.

South Asia Bulletin

SAB Vol 1, Issue 10

Most South Asian countries suffer from political and economic distress. But India and China increase their global footprint. Read the South Asia Bulletin for more.

South Asia Bulletin

SAB Vol1, Issue 9

In this issue of the South Asia Bulletin, contributors analyze the political, economic, and geostrategic issues in the region and the South Asian response to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.

South Asia Bulletin

SAB Vol1, Issue 8

January marks a mixed bag for South Asia. While some countries are recovering economically from the Covid-19 pandemic, others continue to suffer. Man-made disasters such as terrorism and Taliban’s restriction on women’s education continues.

South Asia Bulletin

SAB Vol1, Issue 7

Protests in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, government change in Nepal, and the economy returning to normalcy in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic but cautious over the surge in cases in China and border disputes dominated the headlines in South Asia in December 2022.

  • Nepal gets a new government
  • China ends Covid-19 ‘zero tolerance’ policy
  • Opposition protests reach a crescendo in Dhaka
  • India and Pakistan lob accusations at each other at the UN
  • China and India clash along the LAC

South Asia Bulletin

SAB Vol1, Issue 6

South Asian countries continue to experience political upheavals. Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka
continue to face political crises. Bangladesh National Party (BNP), the customary main opposition
party in Bangladesh, has organized multiple rallies and is planning a grand finale in early December in
Dhaka. In Pakistan, former Prime Minister Imran Khan continues to rattle the establishment. He was
shot during a rally but has recovered and is back addressing public rallies. Public protest continues
in Sri Lanka, where the government has taken a heavy-handed approach. Rahul Gandhi of the Indian
National Congress continued his ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra,’ a march to connect to the masses to revive the
party’s fledgling electoral position in India. China has experienced significant protests against the strict
covid-19 lockdown, heightening the Chinese Communist Party’s concerns that the protests could
morph into political rallies.

In the meantime, Nepal conducted an essentially fair and peaceful election. The ruling coalition won
the largest share of votes, but the establishment parties saw their vote share chipped away by a newly
formed party. Meanwhile, Thimpu passed a law requiring all citizens to complete a year-long training
course in 2024.

Politics remain volatile in most South Asian countries. Meanwhile, South Asians enjoy football in the Qatar World Cup, with memories of blood and sweat shed in the country.

South Asia Bulletin

SAB Vol1, Issue 5

Political and economic issues continued to plague South Asian countries in October. Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are facing a political crisis. The opposition party in Bangladesh has planned massive protests demanding that the Sheikh Hasina-led government make way for a ‘caretaker government’ to hold upcoming elections. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan continues his resurgence in Pakistan and has led big rallies. The Sri Lankan government was criticized for its heavy-handed approach to controlling protesters. The parliament amended the constitution to clip the presidential powers.
Meanwhile, the 20th People’s Congress confirmed President Xi Jinping’s third presidential term. The politburo standing committee is full of Xi loyalists without any heir apparent. Xi has emerged as the most powerful leader since Mao Zedong. He faces several challenges at home and abroad. China’s success or failure on both ends will have Xi’s even more significant imprint.
Similarly, the countries have approached the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund for support. Inflation remains high in Sri Lanka. WB has revised down the growth forecast from India.

South Asia Bulletin

SAB Vol 1, Issue 4

South Asia’s struggle against economic distress, political instability, and natural disasters continues. Meanwhile, all South Asian countries stressed on the need to address climate change at the UNGA.

South Asia Bulletin

SAB Vol 1, Issue 3

South Asia strives to address natural disasters, political instability and economic crises. At the same time, they have newer bilateral and regional issues such as Agnipath scheme, and Chinese military presence in Indian Ocean littoral states to sort out. 

South Asia Bulletin

SAB Vol 1, Issue 2

South Asia occupies an increasingly prominent role in global affairs. According to the World Population
Prospects 2022 by the United Nations, the region will be home to 3.5 billion people out of 8 billion
globally by November 2022. Four out of the top eight populous countries will be in the region. China
and India round off the top two positions, though they will exchange ranks.

The region continues to experience political and economic instability. Sri Lanka got a new president
after the former president fled the country following months of social protest and financial crisis.
The government under Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is struggling for the mandate as former Prime
Minister Imran Khan made a sensational comeback in the Punjab elections in Pakistan. The Taliban
has failed to garner recognition, though some major powers now engage the Taliban.

The region suffers from high inflation, ballooning debt and dwindling forex. Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the
Maldives are at different stages of negotiation with the International Monetary Fund seeking support.
Most countries have high single-digit inflation, but Sri Lankas’s is a staggering 45 percent. Every South
Asian currency has depreciated against the greenback, reaching record lows.

The region might be able to benefit from the IMF support in the short term, but the political cost in the
medium term could be high as IMF-mandated austerity bites.