Rezaul H Laskar

Rezaul H Laskar

Rezaul H Laskar heads the Foreign Affairs desk at Hindustan Times. His interests include movies and music.

Articles by Rezaul H Laskar
The agreements for the defence line of credit and developing the harbour at Uthuru Thila Falhu naval base were signed on the second and final day of external affairs minister S Jaishankar’s visit to the Maldives.(DrSJaishankar/Twitter)
The agreements for the defence line of credit and developing the harbour at Uthuru Thila Falhu naval base were signed on the second and final day of external affairs minister S Jaishankar’s visit to the Maldives.(DrSJaishankar/Twitter)

India, Maldives sign agreements for developing naval harbour, boosting defence

By Rezaul H Laskar, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 21, 2021 09:27 PM IST
  • India extended a $50 million line of credit for defence projects.
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External Affairs minister S Jaishankar handed over 100,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, provided as a grant, to Maldives foreign minister Abdulla Shahid and health minister Ahmed Naseem. (TWITTER/@DrSJaishankar).
External Affairs minister S Jaishankar handed over 100,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, provided as a grant, to Maldives foreign minister Abdulla Shahid and health minister Ahmed Naseem. (TWITTER/@DrSJaishankar).

India, Maldives sign 5 deals, EAM hands over 1 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines

By Rezaul H Laskar | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 20, 2021 10:32 PM IST
  • Jaishankar held talks with Maldives foreign minister Abdulla Shahid as he began a two-day visit to review bilateral ties and development cooperation.
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The delegation of foreign envoys met Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at Raj Bhavan in Jammu. The visit was aimed at allowing the diplomats to make an assessment of the ground situation. (HT PHOTO).
The delegation of foreign envoys met Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at Raj Bhavan in Jammu. The visit was aimed at allowing the diplomats to make an assessment of the ground situation. (HT PHOTO).

After visit of envoys, EU calls for early assembly elections in Jammu & Kashmir

By Rezaul H Laskar | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 19, 2021 07:48 PM IST
  • EU ambassador Ugo Astuto and envoys of ten EU states, including key players such as France, Italy and the Netherlands, were part of the third group of heads of foreign missions to travel to Jammu and Kashmir since January 2020.
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Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison. (File photo)
Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison. (File photo)

Australia PM reaches out to PM Modi for support in fight against Facebook

UPDATED ON FEB 19, 2021 04:42 PM IST
The matter figured in a phone call between Morrison and Modi on Thursday, amid worldwide outrage over Facebook blacking out news and media content for its users in Australia and barring them from sharing news articles
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The four countries agreed on holding ministerial meetings of the Quad at least once a year and meetings at senior and working levels on a regular basis to bolster cooperation on advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific.(FILE PHOTO),
The four countries agreed on holding ministerial meetings of the Quad at least once a year and meetings at senior and working levels on a regular basis to bolster cooperation on advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific.(FILE PHOTO),

Quad meet stresses on rules-based world order, respect for territorial integrity

By Rezaul H Laskar | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
UPDATED ON FEB 18, 2021 11:29 PM IST
  • This was the third such meeting since the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad was upgraded to the ministerial level in September 2019. It was held less than five months after the last meeting in Tokyo in October, signalling the new US government's commitment to the Quad as a key formation.
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(L-R) India's foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Japan's foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pose for photographs before a Quad Indo-Pacific meeting in Tokyo on October 6, 2020. (File photo)
(L-R) India's foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Japan's foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pose for photographs before a Quad Indo-Pacific meeting in Tokyo on October 6, 2020. (File photo)

Quad to hold first ministerial meeting after Biden administration assumed office

PUBLISHED ON FEB 18, 2021 12:26 PM IST
Today’s will be the third meeting of the foreign ministers of the group that includes India, Australia, Japan and the US, and it is being held less than five months after the last meeting in Tokyo in October
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Foreign envoys, on their visit to Jammu and Kashmir, pose for photograph during their visit to the Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar. (ANI)
Foreign envoys, on their visit to Jammu and Kashmir, pose for photograph during their visit to the Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar. (ANI)

24 diplomats visit J&K in third delegation since Article 370 move

By Mir Ehsan, Rezaul H Laskar, Srinagar, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 18, 2021 02:19 AM IST
The group includes European Union (EU) ambassador Ugo Astuto, and ambassadors of key European states such as French envoy Emmanuel Lenain, Italian envoy Vincenzo de Luca, Swedish envoy Klas Molin, Irish envoy Brendan Ward and Dutch envoy Marten van den Berg.
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The third meeting of the foreign ministers of the group that includes India, Australia, Japan and the US is being held less than five months after the last meeting in Tokyo in October, (PTI PHOTO) (Image used for representation).
The third meeting of the foreign ministers of the group that includes India, Australia, Japan and the US is being held less than five months after the last meeting in Tokyo in October, (PTI PHOTO) (Image used for representation).

To work towards inclusive Indo-Pacific, Quad to hold 3rd ministerial meet today

By Rezaul H Laskar | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
UPDATED ON FEB 18, 2021 11:22 AM IST
  • External affairs minister S Jaishankar and his counterparts from the other members of the Quad will also discuss efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, addressing global climate change and other issues of mutual interest.
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Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan will be the first head of state to visit Sri Lanka since the Covid-19 outbreak last year. (AFP PHOTO).
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan will be the first head of state to visit Sri Lanka since the Covid-19 outbreak last year. (AFP PHOTO).

Lanka cancels Imran Khan address to Parliament, didn’t want him raising Kashmir

By Rezaul H Laskar | Edited by Sohini Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 17, 2021 08:25 PM IST
  • Sri Lanka’s Speaker Mahinda Abeywardena had told leaders of political parties last week that Khan would address the Parliament during his two-day visit beginning February 22. The foreign leader's address was scheduled for February 24.
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Foreign secretary Harsh Shringla. (File photo)
Foreign secretary Harsh Shringla. (File photo)

India pushing ahead with key Kaladan transit project in Myanmar

UPDATED ON FEB 17, 2021 02:09 PM IST
Kaladan transit project in Myanmar’s Rakhine state as it is seen as crucial to improving connectivity with the landlocked northeastern states and creating conditions to facilitate the repatriation of Rohingya refugees
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Foreign envoys with members of the newly elected DDC/BDC in Srinagar on Wednesday, February 17. (Photo: MEA)
Foreign envoys with members of the newly elected DDC/BDC in Srinagar on Wednesday, February 17. (Photo: MEA)

Foreign envoys arrive in J&K for two-day visit

By Mir Ehsan, Rezaul H Laskar
UPDATED ON FEB 17, 2021 05:42 PM IST
This is the third visit of envoys from various countries that India has organised since the revocation of Article 370 in August 2019
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Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb sparked a controversy when he told an event on February 13 that Union home minister Amit Shah had earlier spoken about plans to expand the BJP's influence in neighbouring countries.(PTI)
Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb sparked a controversy when he told an event on February 13 that Union home minister Amit Shah had earlier spoken about plans to expand the BJP's influence in neighbouring countries.(PTI)

Biplab Deb's 'BJP in Nepal' comment upsets Kathmandu, draws 'formal objection'

By Rezaul H Laskar | Edited by Sparshita Saxena, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 16, 2021 07:27 PM IST
  • Biplab Deb's remarks came against the backdrop of efforts by India and Nepal to mend ties that were hit by a border row last year.
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Last week, the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi advised Indian citizens not to travel to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait via the UAE, and also asked travellers stranded in the UAE to return home. (Representational Image.)
Last week, the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi advised Indian citizens not to travel to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait via the UAE, and also asked travellers stranded in the UAE to return home. (Representational Image.)

Hundreds of Indians en route to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait stranded in UAE

PUBLISHED ON FEB 16, 2021 03:41 PM IST
The other two countries have tightened Covid-29-related travel restrictions and UAE is the key transit point for Indian workers travelling to several West Asian countries
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External Affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar and Ambassador of Japan to India Satoshi Suzuki visit Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati to offer prayer on Monday. (ANI PHOTO).
External Affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar and Ambassador of Japan to India Satoshi Suzuki visit Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati to offer prayer on Monday. (ANI PHOTO).

India, Japan pitch for Assam to be hub of connectivity with Southeast Asia

By Rezaul H Laskar | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 15, 2021 08:25 PM IST
  • External affairs minister S Jaishankar and Japanese ambassador Satoshi Suzuki visited Assam to review projects being implemented with Japanese support, and outlined a vision of Assam playing a crucial role in India’s efforts to link up with and benefit from new markets in Southeast Asian nations.
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (left) shakes hands with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi ahead of their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India in February 2018. (REUTERS)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (left) shakes hands with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi ahead of their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India in February 2018. (REUTERS)

PM Trudeau praised India's move to opt for dialogue with agitating farmers: MEA

By Rezaul H Laskar | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 12, 2021 10:01 PM IST
  • Wednesday’s phone call between Modi and Trudeau is being seen as an effort by both sides to mend fences. The two leaders also discussed India’s efforts in “promoting vaccine production and supply” and working together on access to vaccines.
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The supplies under the Vaccine Maitri initiative, which began on January 21, have earned India considerable goodwill, especially in small countries such as the Commonwealth of Dominica. (TWITTER/@MEAIndia).
The supplies under the Vaccine Maitri initiative, which began on January 21, have earned India considerable goodwill, especially in small countries such as the Commonwealth of Dominica. (TWITTER/@MEAIndia).

India sends 22.9 mn doses of Covid-19 vaccines to 20 countries, more in pipeline

By Rezaul H Laskar | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 12, 2021 08:58 PM IST
  • Countries in India’s immediate neighbourhood were among the biggest beneficiaries, in keeping with the government’s “Neighbourhood First” policy.
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Pakistan has been on the FATF grey list since June 2018.(Reuters file photo)
Pakistan has been on the FATF grey list since June 2018.(Reuters file photo)

FATF meets Thursday to assess Pakistan's actions on countering terror financing

PUBLISHED ON FEB 10, 2021 09:09 PM IST
  • At the conclusion of its last plenary in October, the FATF had given Pakistan time till February this year to address “very serious deficiencies” in efforts to counter terror financing
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China ambassador Sun Weidong. (File photo)
China ambassador Sun Weidong. (File photo)

Chinese envoy calls for putting boundary issue in ‘appropriate place’

PUBLISHED ON FEB 10, 2021 01:55 PM IST
In an article published on The Policy Chronicle on Wednesday, Sun Weidong also called for the two sides to “respect each other, enhance mutual trust [and] seek common ground while shelving differences
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the virtual ceremony for signing of MoU on Shahtoot Dam with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, in New Delhi, Tuesday. (PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the virtual ceremony for signing of MoU on Shahtoot Dam with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, in New Delhi, Tuesday. (PTI)

India, Afghanistan ink deal for new dam, PM Modi calls for immediate ceasefire

PUBLISHED ON FEB 09, 2021 05:09 PM IST
External affairs minister S Jaishankar and his Afghan counterpart Haneef Atmar signed the MoU for building Lalandar or Shatoot dam, which will meet the drinking water needs of two million people in Kabul
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Afghanistan President Dr Mohammad Ashraf Ghani at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on October 24, 2017. (HT archive)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Afghanistan President Dr Mohammad Ashraf Ghani at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on October 24, 2017. (HT archive)

Modi-Ghani virtual meet today: India, Afghanistan to sign pact on new dam

UPDATED ON FEB 09, 2021 01:04 PM IST
India is also taking up 150 community projects worth $80 million in Afghanistan, part of measures to take development to small communities through schemes that have a direct impact on the lives of the people
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Paramilitary police officers swap positions during a change of guard in front of Potala Palace in Lhasa.(Reuters)
Paramilitary police officers swap positions during a change of guard in front of Potala Palace in Lhasa.(Reuters)

China ramping up military infra in Tibet, Xinjiang for LAC operations

By Rezaul H Laskar, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 09, 2021 01:56 AM IST
There is also growing evidence of the build-up of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and civilian facilities in sectors other than Ladakh, such as along the disputed border in Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh.
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HT Image
HT Image

China bolstering Tibet military infrastructure

PUBLISHED ON FEB 08, 2021 11:59 PM IST
New Delhi There is mounting evidence that China has sped up work to build and expand military and civilian facilities in Tibet and surrounding areas that will enhance its military posture along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) amid the standoff with India in the Ladakh sector
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A file photo from October 1, 2014 shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi with then US vice president Joe Biden in Washington DC. (PTI file)
A file photo from October 1, 2014 shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi with then US vice president Joe Biden in Washington DC. (PTI file)

Modi speaks to US President Joe Biden, says committed to rules-based order

By Rezaul H Laskar, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 09, 2021 08:36 AM IST
The phone conversation between the two leaders was part of the formal contacts between the new US administration and India’s top leadership that began last month.
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PLA soldiers on the highway to Nyingchi, Tibet Autonomous Region, late in 2020. (File photo)
PLA soldiers on the highway to Nyingchi, Tibet Autonomous Region, late in 2020. (File photo)

China ramping up military infra in Tibet, Xinjiang for LAC operations

UPDATED ON FEB 08, 2021 05:37 PM IST
These new developments come on the back of China more than doubling the total number of airbases, air defence positions, and heliports near the LAC during 2017-20, as detailed in a report issued last year by Stratfor
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India’s investment agreements with most of the 27 members of EU expired during 2017-18, leading to higher costs of investment and some uncertainty among European investors, the officials pointed out.(File photo)
India’s investment agreements with most of the 27 members of EU expired during 2017-18, leading to higher costs of investment and some uncertainty among European investors, the officials pointed out.(File photo)

Separate trade deals with UK, EU in India plan

By Rajeev Jayaswal, Rezaul H Laskar, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 09, 2021 06:36 AM IST
  • There have been “positive” and “definite” talks in this direction with both the UK and the EU, which are eager to resolve immediate trade and investment-related issues while working towards comprehensive FTAs, two officials said, requesting anonymity.
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The UN report highlighted another issue that has been of concern to countries in the region against the backdrop of the planned drawdown of foreign troops in Afghanistan – the continuing relationship between the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda despite the peace deal signed with the US a year ago. (REUTERS FILE PHOTO) (Image used for representation).
The UN report highlighted another issue that has been of concern to countries in the region against the backdrop of the planned drawdown of foreign troops in Afghanistan – the continuing relationship between the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda despite the peace deal signed with the US a year ago. (REUTERS FILE PHOTO) (Image used for representation).

Pakistani Taliban reunified splinter groups in Afghanistan, poses threat: UN

PUBLISHED ON FEB 05, 2021 07:45 PM IST
  • The report, released this week, also highlighted the Islamic State's activities in cyberspace in South Asia, including the publishing of Voice of Hind, an online magazine in English, and efforts by the group’s members in the Maldives and Sri Lanka.
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A farmer inspects metal spikes at a barricade erected by the police that blocks a highway in Ghazipur on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. (Bloomberg)
A farmer inspects metal spikes at a barricade erected by the police that blocks a highway in Ghazipur on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. (Bloomberg)

US says it supports reform but cautions against curbs

By Yashwant Raj, Rezaul H Laskar, Washington, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 05, 2021 01:08 AM IST
The carefully worded response by Joe Biden’s administration also encouraged a “dialogue” between farmers and the government to end the agitation.
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HT Image
HT Image

US says it supports reform but cautions against curbs

By Yashwant Raj and Rezaul H Laskar, Washington/new Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 04, 2021 11:35 PM IST
The US on Thursday weighed in on the ongoing farmers’ agitation at New Delhi’s borders for the first time since it began in November-end, saying peaceful protests and unhindered access to information, including the internet, were hallmarks of a “thriving democracy”, but at the same time backed reforms that would increase efficiency of Indian markets and attract more private investment
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The US described peaceful protests and unhindered access to information and the internet as indicators of a “thriving democracy”, while offering support for reforms that improve and open up India’s markets to attract private investments. (HT Photo)
The US described peaceful protests and unhindered access to information and the internet as indicators of a “thriving democracy”, while offering support for reforms that improve and open up India’s markets to attract private investments. (HT Photo)

To US comments on farmers’ protest, India mentions Capitol Hill violence

PUBLISHED ON FEB 04, 2021 08:11 PM IST
The remarks by a US embassy spokesperson were the first public comments by the Biden administration on the farmers’ protest.
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Representational Image. (File photo)
Representational Image. (File photo)

Protests, access to internet ‘hallmarks of thriving democracy’, says US

PUBLISHED ON FEB 04, 2021 01:42 PM IST
The remarks by a US embassy spokesperson were the first public comments by the Biden administration on the farmers’ protest that began last November
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