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Asian Development Bank Institute Ranked Second Among World’s Government-Affliated Think Tanks

TOKYO, JAPAN — The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) was ranked second among the world’s government-affiliated think tanks, after the World Bank’s Development Research Group. The2015 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, produced by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP), is the result of a survey of 6,846 think tanks and 4,750 journalists, policy makers, public and private donors, and functional and regional area specialists. ADBI also ranked second in 2014. ADBI has been improving in the rankings over time and is now recognized as a leading think tank in several categories. ADBI is ranked the 29th best think tank in the world, 20th best non-US think tank, 6th best international de...

February 2, 2016 at 7:30 pm | News Desk

Pakistan disrupted terror plots against US, says Obama

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama on Thursday appreciated Pakistan’s on-going efforts to degrade and ultimately defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates, noting that it had disrupted terror plots against the US homeland as the two sides renewed their resolve to counter all forms of extremism and terrorism in the region. During a bilateral meeting between a high-powered delegation led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Obama at the White House on Thursday, the two discussed a wide range of bilateral and regional issues, particularly terrorism in South Asia. According to a joint statement of the meeting, Obama, while acknowledging the sacrifices rendered by Pakistani security forces in the region, noted how it had degraded the ability ...

October 23, 2015 at 10:06 am | News Desk

 America’s Afghanistan adventure is a disaster

    By Atul Singh In 52 BC, Vercingetorix threw down his arms at the feet of Julius Caesar. This marked the Roman victory over Gaul. Caesar went on to write Commentarii de Bello Gallico, while Vercingetorix was paraded as a prisoner in Rome and then strangled to death. Caesar claimed he had to invade Gaul to protect Rome. In reality, he was deep in debt. His overriding motive was to pay back his debt by conquering and plundering Gaul. Yet over time, Romans built roads and aqueducts in Gaul and other conquered lands. The civil law systems used by much of the world have their roots in Roman law. This article itself is written in the Roman alphabet. The United States is the Rome of our times. It fashioned the exist...

October 17, 2015 at 10:37 pm | News Desk

India turns to Israel for armed drones as Pakistan, China build fleets

NEW DELHI:  India has accelerated plans to buy drones from Israel that can be armed and can allow the military to carry out strikes overseas with less risk to personnel, defence sources have said. The news comes weeks after Pakistan reported using a home made drone in combat when it attacked militants on its soil, raising the prospect of a new front in the nuclear-armed neighbors' standoff over Kashmir that has twice spilled into war. The plan to acquire Israeli Herons was first conceived three years ago, but in January the military wrote to the government asking for speedy delivery, the sources said, as Pakistan and China develop their own drone warfare capabilities. India has already deployed Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles (U...

September 22, 2015 at 4:40 pm | News Desk

Saudi Electricity gets a nod to set up a Sukuk Programme worth $1.5bn

DUBAI: Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) has received approval from its executive committee to negotiate for loan financing worth $2.3 billion and to set up a Sukuk Programme worth as much as $1.5 billion, the Gulf's largest utility said on Monday. The two-part loan, to serve as a back-up facility for the company, would be structured as a revolving credit facility and have a lifespan of between three and five years. One tranche would be worth up to 3 billion riyals ($800 million) and the other would not exceed $1.5 billion. The Sukuk Programme would be used to fund capital projects, the statement added without elaborating. Sources told Reuters in July that the kingdom's monopoly utility was in talks with local and international banks t...

August 31, 2015 at 2:46 pm | News Desk

Pakistan on track to become third largest arsenal of nuclear weapons

Farhan Bokhari High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Pakistan could have the world’s third largest stockpile of nuclear weapons after the US and Russia within a decade if it continues to build up to 20 nuclear warheads annually, a new report warns. The report, written by two respected US analysts and published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, concluded that Pakistan is outpacing India, with its neighbour and rival appearing to produce just five warheads annually. High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this articl...

August 29, 2015 at 12:06 pm | News Desk

Putin is playing with fire

Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing a very dangerous game. On July 4, while Americans celebrated Independence Day, a cinematic, tension-filled drama unfolded along America's western skies. In two separate incidents, U.S. fighter jets were scrambled to intercept Russian bombers approaching the country's airspace; first near the California coast, then just outside U.S. airspace over Alaska. [caption id="attachment_6360" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Russia's President Vladimir Putin gestures as he chairs a government meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, June 25, 2014. The Russian parliament on Wednesday revoked the right it had granted Putin in March to order a military intervention in Ukraine, where...

August 21, 2015 at 6:05 pm | News Desk

Iran is Not a Bulwark

An unnamed American diplomat told the Sunday Times in Britain that President Barack Obama “believes a peaceful Iran could be a bulwark against ISIS in the Middle East and the key to peace there.” The Iranian people and government strongly oppose ISIS, no doubt about it. They are predominantly Shias while ISIS is the most deranged Sunni Islamist terrorist organization in the world. Its attitude toward the Shia is outright genocidal. It’s easy, then, to see why a powerful Shia bloc might act as a “bulwark.”   The problem here is that the Iranian- led Resistance Bloc—which includes the Assad regime in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and a smorgasbord of Iraqi Shia militias—is the primary instigator of ISIS. Look: ISIS is jus...

August 21, 2015 at 5:59 pm | News Desk

China’s economic illness contagious for Asia

When the US sneezes, an old saying goes, the world catches a cold. That’s been nowhere more true than in Asia. But as China’s coughing fit grows louder, countries in the region are wondering whether their neighbor’s illness will also prove contagious. Since Wall Street’s crash in 2008, Asia has been pivoting to China. The $16.8 trillion US economy is still 1.8 times bigger and its per capita income dwarfs China’s. But China is Asia’s biggest trading partner and, increasingly, its benefactor. Flush with $3.7tr of currency reserves and its new $100 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, China has used checkbook diplomacy to make friends across the region. Asia’s social media accounts are now pulsating with talk of h...

August 21, 2015 at 5:40 pm | News Desk

Australian Government Looks to Threat of Terrorism to Save Itself

Looking from abroad at the statements of the Australian government regarding security, one would be forgiven for thinking the country had just suffered a 9/11 scale attack or was currently engaged in a war for its very survival. The country’s hard right Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has over the past six months employed increasingly shrill and fearful language to address the threat posed by terrorism and the Daesh in particular. The government’s increasing use of such loaded language began last year, in the months after the release of its first Federal Budget. The Government had fought its election campaign around the issues of illegal immigrants and the budget deficit, with the latter in particular being spoke of as a “debt ...

August 21, 2015 at 5:10 pm | News Desk

Modi-fication?

  Aakar Patel        Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to be congratulated for his brave move in announcing he will visit Pakistan. I do not only mean brave from the point of view of physical courage. I have been to Pakistan many times and not felt unsafe, and it is clear that Modi will find that he is given security of the highest standard. But even so, Pakistan’s most protected man, former president Pervez Musharraf had his convoy bombed twice and its former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was killed not that long ago. So Modi is brave in agreeing to go where even cricket teams have refused. The second way in which he has been brave is that he has defied many in our media and also our strategic affairs experts in reachi...

August 18, 2015 at 2:26 pm | News Desk

Prisons across Pakistan

After the bloodied partition of United India, two new countries emerged on the surface of the earth, namely Pakistan and India. As with various laws and systems, India and Pakistan inherited the same prison system from the British as a colonial legacy. The system of prisons was designed to detain freedom fighters, and those who voiced their views against British Imperialism in United India. While the history of Western society’s use of punishment dates back to tortures and public executions at the scaffold till the 17th. century, it was characterized by legally approved discrimination, violence, revenge, and penitence during Medieval and Ancient times. Prison, as a place of punishment after conviction, is an 18th century in...

August 17, 2015 at 6:49 pm | Sarmad Ali

Donald Trump: The Democrats’ Best 2016 Asset

Hillary Clinton’s campaign may not develop the sizzle the would-be first Madam President and her team has long planned for. But the race has already created its first, truly searing image in the skin of the American nation. To the Democratic Party establishment’s great relief, this is not the result of any of Hillary Clinton’s missteps, of which there have been some. Rather, the problem emerged from the inside of the tent of the Republican Party. It is commonly called the “Donald Trump problem.” The worst part for the Republicans is that Trump has the same effect as a Trojan horse. (Beware of the “Greeks” bearing gifts, Republicans of the United States!) Trump’s emergence in the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire gives the D...

August 17, 2015 at 6:30 pm | News Desk

Afgan-Pak: Why China is Playing Mediator

Fanny Ragot Recently, a new strategic dialogue was held between Pakistan and Afghanistan and the Taliban leadership in the hill city of Murree, Pakistan. These negotiations were coordinated by China, illustrating Beijing’s recent commitment to support Kabul in pacifying its country. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, elected in mid-2014, has been reaffirming his willingness to set the wheels of negotiations in motion. It implies engaging in negotiations with Pakistan to resolve the problem of Pakistan’s support for the Taliban, across the Durand Line. While the dialogue is still new, China appears to be brokering these discussions. That Beijing is evidently involving itself in shaping the future of Afghanistan and Pakistan mor...

August 17, 2015 at 6:17 pm | News Desk

China’s economic illness contagious for Asia

When the US sneezes, an old saying goes, the world catches a cold. That’s been nowhere more true than in Asia. But as China’s coughing fit grows louder, countries in the region are wondering whether their neighbour’s illness will also prove contagious. Since Wall Street’s crash in 2008, Asia has been pivoting to China. The $16.8 trillion US economy is still 1.8 times bigger and its per capita income dwarfs China’s. But China is Asia’s biggest trading partner and, increasingly, its benefactor. Flush with $3.7tr of currency reserves and its new $100 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, China has used checkbook diplomacy to make friends across the region. Asia’s social media accounts are now pulsating with talk of ...

August 17, 2015 at 5:28 pm | News Desk

Vyshinsky In The Sudan

In 1940, Stalin sent his strongest political operative, Andrey Vyshinsky, to bring the Baltic States to heel under the boot of the Soviet state.  Vyshinsky arrived in Latvia on June 18th, installed  as Stalin’s special envoy.  The president of Latvia, Karlis Ulmanis, was forced to appoint a “people’s government”. Within days, the president and key members of his administration were arrested and deported to the Soviet Union.  A hastily scrambled election took place on July 14-15, with a single list of Soviet-picked candidates on the ballot.  The results gave 97.8 percent of the vote to the previously unknown and unheralded candidates. Vyshinsky preened for the press corps and expressed hope the newly elected “people’s...

August 15, 2015 at 11:46 am | Tammy Swofford

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