The Broad Mind | Daily Update: May 22, 2013

  • As Afghan President Hamid Karzai visits India, a report in the The National quotes Nitin Pai, who argues that “Karzai’s trip to India is to get India to use its political and diplomatic capital to shape a modern, liberal, democratic dispensation in Afghanistan and possibly to employ military power as well”. His engagement with India will be watched closely by Pakistan, whose new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has spoken of improved economic and diplomatic relations with India. Earlier this month, Pakistani and Afghan soldiers clashed at the disputed Durand Line, in a climate of increased tensions between the two countries.
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has sent Choe Ryong-Hae, a top military official, as a special envoy to China, according to state media. The visit comes in the backdrop of strained relations, with North Korea refusing to acknowledge China’s warnings over its nuclear tests. He is said to be the highest ranking North Korea official to visit China since late leader Kim Jong-Il’s visit in August 2011.
  • Iran’s Guardian Council has barred former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s presidential candidacy for the elections slated for the second week of June. According to The Guardian, Rafsanjani was a close confidant of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei, till they fell out in after he lost to the current president Ahmedinejad in the 2005 presidential elections.
  • Following last month’s industrial accident at a Bangladeshi garment factory, the US administration announced that it might strip Bangladesh of import tariff breaks. An editorial in the Wall Street Journal argues that cutting off exports from Bangladesh would only add to the country’s misery. The newspaper argues that, “if Washington gave Bangladesh the duty-free and quota-free status enjoyed by more than 30 other “least developed countries,” the U.S. would at a stroke contribute more to economic security and women’s empowerment than it has with years of aid shipments.”

DISCLAIMER: This is an archived post from the Indian National Interest blogroll. Views expressed are those of the blogger's and do not represent The Takshashila Institution’s view.