Sri Lanka’s heightening war on the drug menace

President Maithripala Sirisena’s controversial announcement last month that drug traffickers in Sri Lanka would be executed drew international attention. Renewing an older pledge, he sought to lift a four decade-long moratorium on capital punishment in the island, modelling his strategy for combating the drug menace on that of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who he had […]


A meeting in prison that kicked up a storm

Earlier this month, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari visited former Prime Minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Nawaz Sharif in Kot Lakhpat jail. Mr. Sharif, a heart patient, has been unwell recently. It was Mr. Bhutto-Zardari’s initiative to remove misunderstanding with Mr. Sharif, according to senior journalist Hamid Mir. “It was Bilawal […]


China wades into the India-Pakistan quagmire

It was a meeting of friends that stretched late into the evening. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his counterpart, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, talked after sundown in the Diaoyutai state guest house, a complex of several buildings and pavilions, set amid water bodies and acres of greens. After a lengthy […]

Economy International

What is the Belt and Road Initiative, and why is China pushing it hard?

The story so far: Six years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping launched a mammoth infrastructure project straddling many countries and continents. Of the projects, the most ambitious is the $60+ billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, aimed at linking China’s Xinjiang province with the Arabian Sea. What is it? The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also known […]