Swedish Investments in Indian Defence Crucial

The Indian defence industry provides great investment opportunities for Swedish firms. At the same time, investments by Saab and other companies can speed up the development of an indigenous and modernized Indian defence. These opportunities, however, do not come without challenges. An assessment of the future of the Swedish-Indian industrial collaboration in the defence sector needs to be made by taking into account the prospects for bilateral cooperation in future political, economic, and security issues.

India-Sri Lanka Ties Hostage to Tamil parties

By Shastri Ramachandaran*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – India’s neighbours are not necessarily its friends. They can hardly be called India’s allies. In regional and international forums, more often than not, they are ranged against one another. History, geography, religion, geopolitics, uneven development, competing ambitions and much else account for this state of affairs.

As a result, bilateral relations have their ups and downs and can be warm or chilly, euphoric or troubling. Even so, over the decades, the South Asian countries have learned to live and let live, regardless of the problems at home and across their respective borders.

Pakistan Urged to Probe Abuse of Blasphemy Law

By Jaya Ramachandran
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

GENEVA (IDN) – The World Council of Churches (WCC) is urging the Pakistani government to “take realistic and solid steps to stop abuse of the blasphemy law that are causing massive human rights violations”.

The call to action emerged from three-day public international hearing on the Misuse of blasphemy law and religious minorities in Pakistan, organized by the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) from September 17 to 19 in Geneva.

Past Still Haunting China-Japan Relations

By Richard Johnson
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

LONDON (IDN) – The 81st anniversary of the so-called “Mukden Incident” that marked the 14-year long Japanese occupation of China (1931-1945), was accompanied by anti-Japanese protests on September 18, which reportedly took place in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu. These followed demonstrations on a similar scale over the weekend of September 15-16.

Pakistan: Sunni Militants Killing Shias

By Devinder Kumar
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

NEW DELHI (IDN) – Human Rights Watch has expressed concern about increasing violence against the minority Shia Muslim community in Pakistan and asked the government in Islamabad to protect it from sectarian attacks by Sunni militant groups.

“Deadly attacks on Shia communities across Pakistan are escalating,” HRW’s Asia director Brad Adams said. “The government’s persistent failure to apprehend attackers or prosecute the extremist groups organizing the attacks suggests that it is indifferent to this carnage,” he added.

South Asia’s Eight Developing a New Mission

By Shastri Ramachandaran*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – India cannot be a global player unless it has peaceful relations with its neighbours. A sustained growth rate of 9% to 10% needs more than a peaceful South Asia. It calls for a new economic vibrancy in the region driven by better and more trade, business, connectivity, infrastructure, communication and transportation; and, these in a way that touch the lives of the majority in South Asia.

Challenges Galore for Japan’s New Prime Minister

By Rajaram Panda*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

The new Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s long list of challenges includes rebuilding the country after the devastating tsunami, the nuclear crisis triggered by it and reining in the huge public debt. On the foreign policy front, he will have to ensure that Japan’s relations with the United States, China, Australia and India remain on an even keel. If he falters, Japan’s importance in the global community would be considerably diminished.

India’s New Top Diplomat Has Promises to Keep

By Shastri Ramachandaran*
IDN-InDepth NewsPortrait

NEW DELHI (IDN) – Ranjan Mathai has got off to a good start as Foreign Secretary (the top diplomat for the country’s external relations) and enjoys a lot of goodwill. His seniority being generallyaccepted, his ascent to the top diplomatic post washardly contentious. He is well regardedby seniors, respectedby his peers and admired by more than a few in the service for his leadershipand people skills. “He is a team player, not egocentric,” commented a seasoned diplomat.

According to former Foreign SecretaryLalit Mansingh, he has therequisite professional experience as he has servedin the neighbourhood and incapitals such as Tehran,Tel Aviv, Vienna, Brussels, London and Washington. In his very first statement, Mansinghpointed out, Mathai rightly emphasized the importance of the neighbourhood. The region has  not receivedenough attention althoughthe present government gave it the importance it deserveswith the Prime Minister speaking of “asymmetrical relations”.

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