Maldives to face democracy test

Maldives will elect a new president on Saturday, a year and a half after a violent change in leadership. A team of Indian observers were selected to monitor the poll process and meet representatives of political parties. The outcome and conduct of the election has regional repercussions, with Maldives serving as an area of competition between India and China. India arguably enjoyed greater influence in the Maldives under Mr. Nasheed. Bilateral ties suffered a setback after President Waheed’s administration evicted Indian infrastructure giant GMR which had been developing Male’s airport under an agreement signed with Mr. Nasheed’s government. India is also mindful of China’s expanding military and economic footprint in the Maldives.

BRICS to create Currency Reserve Fund

The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) group moved to create a $100 billion Currency reserve Fund in the background of emerging market currencies being hit on account of global factors like withdrawal of U.S. monetary stimulus. China, holder of the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves, will contribute the bulk of the currency pool at $41 billion, while Brazil, Russia, and India will contribute $18 billion each and South Africa with $5 billion. BRICS leaders expressed concerns over the stalling of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s reform process and creation of BRICS Development Bank.

U.S. persistent on drone strikes in Pakistan

The CIA has carried out hundreds of missile strikes on suspected militants in northwest Pakistan since 2004. U.S. drones have fired missiles into troubled and inaccessible border areas such as North Waziristan, the main stronghold for militant groups aligned with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The latest attack included killing of four suspected Haqqani Network fighters in the in Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan. The efforts of Pakistan to take the issue of drone attacks to the United Nations remained futile.

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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.