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South Asia Brief

Sri Lankan security personnel walk inside outgoing Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's official residence a day after it was breached by protesters in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on May 10.
Sri Lankan security personnel walk inside outgoing Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's official residence a day after it was breached by protesters in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on May 10.

Why Sri Lanka’s Crisis Has No End in Sight

The turmoil driving unrest in Colombo and beyond has roots in the economic missteps of the last 20 years.

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi before their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris on May 4.
French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi before their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris on May 4.

Can Modi Overcome India’s Ukraine Stance?

The Indian prime minister’s trip to Europe this week shows there is still room for deepening ties with the West.

Men rest by the riverside on a hot day in Allahabad, India, on April 28.
Men rest by the riverside on a hot day in Allahabad, India, on April 28.

South Asia’s Record-Breaking Heat Wave Isn’t Over Yet

The extreme weather in India and Pakistan is a sign of what’s to come for climate-vulnerable countries.

U.S. President Joe Biden, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Indian Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh take part in a virtual meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington on April 11.
U.S. President Joe Biden, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Indian Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh take part in a virtual meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington on April 11.

Russia Still Looms Over U.S.-India Relationship

As New Delhi avoids condemning Moscow’s war, Washington has hardened its rhetoric.

Security personnel walk past a banner featuring Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan near the Parliament House building in Islamabad on April 3.
Security personnel walk past a banner featuring Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan near the Parliament House building in Islamabad on April 3.

Political Crisis Heightens U.S.-Pakistan Tensions

Faced with a no-confidence vote, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan accused Washington of meddling—reflecting long-standing mistrust.

A Taliban fighter stands guard at the venue for a ceremony to hoist the Taliban flag on the Wazir Akbar Khan hill in Kabul on March 31.
A Taliban fighter stands guard at the venue for a ceremony to hoist the Taliban flag on the Wazir Akbar Khan hill in Kabul on March 31.

The Taliban Hard-Liners Are Winning

Draconian steps on girls’ education and press freedom are taking Afghanistan back to the 1990s.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan watches the Pakistan Day parade in Islamabad on March 23.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan watches the Pakistan Day parade in Islamabad on March 23.

Imran Khan Faces His Biggest Political Test Yet

Ruling party defectors could doom the Pakistani prime minister in a no-confidence vote.

Pakistani military helicopters fly past a vehicle carrying a long-range ballistic missile during a military parade on Pakistan's National Day in Islamabad on March 25, 2021.
Pakistani military helicopters fly past a vehicle carrying a long-range ballistic missile during a military parade on Pakistan's National Day in Islamabad on March 25, 2021.

The Missile Crisis That Wasn’t

India and Pakistan narrowly averted a security crisis while the world wasn’t looking, highlighting the risks of escalation in the region.

A worker stacks oil barrels at a filling station in n Chennai, India, on Feb. 24.
A worker stacks oil barrels at a filling station in n Chennai, India, on Feb. 24.

Oil Price Surge Will Hit South Asia Hard

As net importers, the region’s countries are particularly vulnerable to shocks from sanctions against Russia.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Yogi Adityanath waves to supporters from atop a truck during campaigning in Allahabad, India, on Feb. 25.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Yogi Adityanath waves to supporters from atop a truck during campaigning in Allahabad, India, on Feb. 25.

The Uttar Pradesh Elections Are a Referendum on BJP Rule

The ruling party is expected to win, but its future is also on the ballot in India’s most populous state.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan takes part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin Wall in Moscow on Feb. 24.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan takes part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin Wall in Moscow on Feb. 24.

What the Russia-Ukraine Crisis Means for South Asia

Putin’s invasion puts some countries in a diplomatic and economic bind.

Men receive aid from a charity on the outskirts of Kabul on Jan. 30.
Men receive aid from a charity on the outskirts of Kabul on Jan. 30.

Biden Hands the Taliban a Propaganda Victory

The executive order dividing Afghanistan’s frozen central bank assets has not earned Washington any goodwill.

People drive past a poster of late Bollywood singer Lata Mangeshkar in Mumbai on Feb. 7.
People drive past a poster of late Bollywood singer Lata Mangeshkar in Mumbai on Feb. 7.

Lata Mangeshkar Was a South Asian Icon

The beloved Indian singer, who died last weekend, reached audiences well beyond India—despite stirring some controversy.

A pedestrian watches a digital screen relaying the budget speech by Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the facade of the BSE Limited stock exchange in Mumbai on Feb. 1.
A pedestrian watches a digital screen relaying the budget speech by Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the facade of the BSE Limited stock exchange in Mumbai on Feb. 1.

India’s Economy Could Loom Large in State Elections

The latest budget doesn’t include immediate-term job creation projects despite high unemployment and recent unrest.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets Russian President Vladimir Putin before a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Dec. 6, 2021.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets Russian President Vladimir Putin before a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Dec. 6, 2021.

Why India Is Silent on the Ukraine Crisis

As in 2014, New Delhi’s close relations with both Moscow and Washington put it in a delicate diplomatic bind.

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