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With protests against China’s investments taking a volatile shape in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Pakistan, it is safe to say that the country’s ambitious expansion via economics in the Indian subcontinent is not going as well as Beijing had imagined.
Bangladesh—a Muslim majority state in the Indian subcontinent—is planning to send refugee Rohingya Muslims from neighboring Myanmar to a low-lying island in the Bay of Bengal that critics say is ‘unlivable’.
Trade blocs across the globe have often been just as much, if not more, instruments of geopolitics as they have been about commerce. A gradual but definite swell in cooperation between the South Asian nations east of Pakistan currently is playing witness to the age-old truism.
The latest round of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan threatens to add the 19th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit, scheduled to be held in Islamabad, Pakistan, in November 2016, to the long list of failed attempts at cooperation in South Asia.
‘Friend’ is a rather strong word, but I believe Sabeen Mahmud and I considered each other almost that – despite not being in touch lately. We had first got talking in 2006 due to our common links then with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).