South Asia

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Letter From,
Dorn Townsend

Afghanistan seems to be holding its breath. Business has ground to a halt and middle-class Afghans are eyeing foreign escape routes as they send their money out of the country. The sense of uncertainly is not just about who will be the next president, or whether the loser will accept the result. It’s about the precarious economy.

Jonah Blank

If Afghanistan’s politics were a stock market, one could make easy money with an investment strategy consisting of only one word: “sell.” Bad news is the norm, and good news is often a lie. And that is why the nation’s election to decide who should replace Hamid Karzai as president was so confusing.

Aqil Shah

In a recent speech before parliament, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif claimed that terrorists would no longer be permitted to use Pakistan as a safe haven. The country's generals would second that, although who is -- and is not -- a terrorist ultimately remains subject to their interpretation.

Comment, 2014
Harold H. Saunders

In 1971, the Pakistani government orchestrated a brutal military crackdown against the Bengali population in East Pakistan -- while the United States stuck by its ally Pakistan. Gary Bass's new book spotlights the “significant complicity” of U.S. President Richard Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, in this “forgotten genocide.”

Arvind Panagariya

As the euphoria associated with Narendra Modi’s extraordinary victory gives way to the duties of the office, the new prime minister must start delivering on his economic promises. Here's how he can do it.

Essay, 2014
Benn Steil

In today’s dollar-dominated financial system, changes in U.S. monetary policy can have immediate and significant global effects, wrecking economies and toppling regimes. As a result, for many countries monetary sovereignty is nothing but a dream.

Sumit Ganguly

For the first time in independent India’s history, a general election has brought a conservative party with a clear-cut parliamentary majority to office. Although scores of analysts have weighed in about what that party -- the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -- will do next, three other questions have gone unanswered. First, why has India never had a sizeable conservative party of any consequence? Second, why has it taken the country over six decades to elect a conservative regime? Third, what are the prospects for conservatism in India in the future?

Jonah Blank

Modi's record and rhetoric have raised fears about how his government will treat India's minorities and the country's neighbors. But the very size of his victory may be reason for optimism. With no need to fire up his electoral base, Modi has considerable room to take a less confrontational approach -- both domestically and abroad.

Ira Trivedi

There is no doubt that the economic development that Modi promises is important. But there is also no doubt that social development -- more equality for religious groups, more gender parity, and more economic fairness -- is the best way to ensure the country's success in the long term. It seems unlikely that a politician who stands for the empowerment of one group over others can give India what it really needs.

Rahul Mediratta

The governments of India and Pakistan have had trouble establishing a productive relationship, but smugglers on both sides of the border have not. If Pakistan and India ever manage to overcome their enmity, they will deserve a great deal of the credit.

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