south asia

Pakistani border troops on Wednesday presented sweets and exchanged greetings with their Indian counterparts on the occasion of the Hindu festival of Diwali […] Despite ceasefire violations and violence in the disputed Himalayan region, the exchange of sweets between Indian and Pakistani army personnel along the LoC on their respective days of national importance has been a recurring feature.

South Asian countries have been pushed many times by external powers to set aside their political grudges and strive for peace and prosperity in the region. [...] But rarely have external powers been motivated to try initiating people-to-people contact as an alternative path to regional unity and connectivity. People-to-people contact or “public diplomacy” remains the unfulfilled agenda of SAARC.

Several years ago, Erin Zaikis was working in rural Thailand. She was surprised to see how many children in the village didn’t wash their hands with soap, much less know what soap was. In 2013 Zaikis founded Sundara, a nonprofit working to improve hygiene and prevent disease in poor communities in India, Uganda and Myanmar by recycling used bars of hotel soap. 

The dominant perception is that the TPP is the commitment of the United States to Asian-Pacific relations, as well as an assertion of America’s trade and security rules and norms in a region increasingly influenced by China. This perception works well to positively influence the U.S’ Asian partners. But for its North American partners, Mexico in particular, the U.S’ rhetoric is different.

India’s rich cultural heritage will be at show when the third India-Africa Forum Summit gets underway on Tuesday. Apart from a cultural event during the banquet being hosted by the President for the visiting dignitaries, a mix of Indian traditional cultural exposure to monuments as well as a modern fashion show, which will highlight the handlooms of Varanasi [...]

World renowned Pakistani artist, social crusader, philanthropist and stamp designer Jimmy Engineer continues to promote and project soft, positive, moderate and forward looking image of Pakistan and its peace-loving people before the comity of nations through his art and by delivering lectures at cultural and art centers and institutions.

India’s cultural capital is enough and more to not let Chinese Confucius institutes win the soft-power game. But, can [India] use it in the proper manner?

October 3, 2015

Philanthropy, charity, giving—call it what you may—has more to it than social development and the self-satisfaction that philanthropists say they receive from giving […] Industry efforts at philanthropy are designed to address social ills but also stay focused on tying in the initiative with the company core, whether it be the need for innovation in agriculture or saving water.