Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

Welcome to Foreign Policy’s South Asia Brief. The highlights this week: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to rally support with a controversial temple consecration, Iran’s cross-border strikes in Pakistan, and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina starting her fourth consecutive term. Sign up to receive South Asia Brief every Wednesday. Next Monday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Ram Mandir temple in Ayodhya, a monument steeped in controversy. The temple is constructed on the site of the Babri Masjid, a mosque that was destroyed by Hindu extremists in 1992. This move is seen as part of Modi’s attempts to boost his political support among Hindu nationalist groups. Iran’s recent cross-border actions in Pakistan have escalated tensions between the two countries. The attack reportedly resulted in the deaths of two children and injured several others. Pakistan’s response has been to recall its ambassador in Tehran and suspend high-level engagements. On the diplomatic front, Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar visited Tehran to address recent security threats to Indian interests in the Middle East, particularly regarding the Red Sea. In Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken the oath of office for her fourth term. In her new cabinet, she has appointed a number of new leaders, signifying a shift in the country’s governance. The South Asian region also saw Sri Lanka’s participation in the US-led military campaign against the Houthis, reflecting potential geopolitical motives behind the move. This development underlines a complex interplay of regional dynamics, economic interests, and military cooperation in the South Asian context.

By Researcher Akash Sahu.

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