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Pakistan General Election 2018

Introduction Pakistan’s electoral contest on 25 July 2018 has been billed as being between Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) - even though he is debarred from contesting or holding a party office – and Imran’s Khan Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). A major achievement for Pakistan is that this would be the third election to be conducted after the revival of the democratic processes in 2008.

Roundtable on ‘Recent Developments in Nepal-China Relations: Implications’

Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) hosted a roundtable on ‘Recent Developments in Nepal-China Relations: Implications’. The key speaker, Mr. Sunil KC, CEO of Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs, Kathmandu, touched upon various aspects of Sino-Nepal relations, its implications for India-Nepal relations and the way forward for the South Asian region. The programme, coming in the backdrop of Nepalese Prime Minister K.P Oli’s recent visit to China, generated high level of interest and was well attended by subject experts from outside of VIF as well.

Interaction with Mr. AKM Chowdhury of Bangladesh Nationalist Party

A Roundtable interaction with Mr. AKM Chowdhury, former minister of Commerce and a ranking leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) was organised at Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) on June 8, 2018.

Current Military Situation in Afghanistan

... insurgency in Afghanistan is a political problem; the military can create the right conditions for diplomatic talks to begin ... currently, Taliban is in no mood to negotiate ... Taliban who are ready to come around must be granted favourable options ... All this will take time and a lot of patience ... Finally, a favourable situation would emerge only if the US and NATO continue to stay and guide the ANSF ...

What is Happening in Tibet

... Tibetans are imprisoned for expressing their opinions or beliefs ... monasteries are under police surveillance ... the Chinese Communist Party – not Tibetan Buddhists – has the authority to identify and appoint reincarnated Tibetan Lamas, including the Dalai Lama ... Tibetan nomads are being removed from their land and relocated in ’socialist villages’ ... a number of urban centers in Tibet now have a majority ethnic Chinese population ... and the use of the Tibetan language is discouraged ....

Interaction with Prof. Hon-Shiang Lau on Tibet

On 13 April 2018, The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) hosted Prof. Hon-Shiang Lau, a research scholar of Chinese history, whose research findings have been well received in Taiwan and Belgium. Prof Lau gave a presentation on ‘How Tibet was never a part of China’ since antiquity. Dr. Arvind Gupta, Director VIF, presided over the meeting.

Interaction with Prof. Vijay Kant Karna, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, on ‘Indo-Nepal Relations under the New Government in Nepal’

An interaction on India-Nepal relations and future prospects was held at the VIF on 27 March, 2018, with Prof. Vijay Kant Karna as the lead speaker. The session began with opening remarks by Mr. Sahay who complemented the people of Nepal, the political parties and the Election Commission of Nepal for smooth conduct of the massive exercise of holding elections at the local, provincial and national levels over an extended period of time, in a peaceful manner that gave a clear mandate to the new democratic order.

Brainstorming Session on ‘India-Bhutan Relations and the Chinese Factor’

A brainstorming session on ‘India-Bhutan Relations and the Chinese Factor’ was conducted on 19 March, 2018. Director VIF, Dr. Arvind Gupta, delivered the opening remarks and laid out the context of India-Bhutan situation in the light of the Chinese road building and military activity going on in the disputed Doklam region of Bhutan, which was the major reason for India-China stand-off last year. Amb. Sudhir Vyas, Amb. Rajiv Sikri, Amb. TCA Rangachari, Lt. Gen. SL Narasimhan, Amb. Ashok Kantha, Col. V. Shankar, Amb. Dinkar Srivastava, Amb. Anil Wadhwa, Amb. Kanwal Sibal, Prof. Sujit Dutta, Lt.

Round Table Discussion on Afghanistan

A Round Table Discussion (RTD) on Afghanistan’s current situation and the way forward was held at the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) on 15 Nov 2017. The panel of discussants included a broad array of security and foreign policy experts, including Dr Arvind Gupta, Director, VIF, Amb Amar Sinha, India’s former Ambassador to Afghanistan, Lt Gen Ravi Sawhney, Amb Prabhat Shukla, among other experts.

Afghanistan- Pakistan Transit Trade

Abstract The transit trade problems of Afghanistan are typical to any other landlocked country. As a landlocked country, Afghanistan has relied on Pakistan for its international trade. However, the transit trade of Afghanistan has remained unstable akin to escalated political relations between the two countries. Given economic importance of access to sea, the landlocked countries continued to raise their voice at the United Nations.

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