India Insight

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Pakistan and India: After Yekaterinburg and Sharm-el-Sheikh; now we have Thimphu

bhutanAnother international summit. Another chance for the leaders of India and Pakistan to find a way of getting their countries to talk to each other.

After last year's aborted attempt at peace-making, first in Yekaterinburg and then in Sharm-el-Sheikh, expectations are running low that the prime ministers of India and Pakistan will make much headway when they meet at a SAARC summit in Thimphu, Bhutan this week.

But given that cynicism is the preserve of the intellectually lazy, I'm going to resist the temptation to jump into that safe and comfortable foxhole and instead see where these talks might lead us.

India broke off the formal peace process with Pakistan after the 2008 attack on Mumbai blamed on the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and both countries have yet to find a forum in which the two neighbours might -- if not resolve their differences -- at least find a way to talk to each other.

I was wrong, by the way - last year I thought the issues that divided India and Pakistan were not so much about form but about substance.  It turns out that it is a lot about form - at least for now in finding the right form for dialogue. The problems of substance - and they are legion - will come only later.

Interview with Bhutan PM

Bhutan Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley spoke to Reuters about the country’s economy, his government’s goals for the next three years and the challenges faced by the “emerging democracy”.

Here are some excerpts from the interview.

Another Himalayan kingdom tumbles, but will Nepal miss its monarchy?

Another Himalayan kingdom is falling, a chapter closing on an ancient historical tradition. But will the modern system of democracy do a better job?

Sikkim’s monarchs, the Chogyals, retreated into history when India annexed their territory in 1975. Tibet’s “priest-king”, the Dalai Lama, was forced in exile when China invaded his land in the 1950s.

Nepal’s King Gyanendra looks at an animal sacrifice being performed at a temple in Kathmandu May 12, 2008. REUTERS/Gopal Chitrakar (NEPAL)Now, after 239 years of the Shah dynasty, Nepal is set to become a secular republic on Wednesday .