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 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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Union home minister Amit Shah wrote on Twitter: “No propaganda can deter India’s unity."(ANI)
Union home minister Amit Shah wrote on Twitter: “No propaganda can deter India’s unity."(ANI)

Government fends off global clamour on farm stir

By Rezaul H Laskar, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 04, 2021 07:01 AM IST
Though some celebrities who aren’t well known in India have made social media posts on the issue over the past few days, singer Rihanna was the most high-profile personality to take up the issue on Twitter on Tuesday.
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A general view of the Chinese-managed terminal of the Colombo port is seen from the Galle Face promenade in Colombo on February 2, 2021. - Sri Lanka's government said on February 2 it was pulling out of an agreement with Japan and India to develop a deep-sea container terminal that was viewed as an attempt to counter Beijing's growing influence in the region. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP)(AFP)
A general view of the Chinese-managed terminal of the Colombo port is seen from the Galle Face promenade in Colombo on February 2, 2021. - Sri Lanka's government said on February 2 it was pulling out of an agreement with Japan and India to develop a deep-sea container terminal that was viewed as an attempt to counter Beijing's growing influence in the region. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP)(AFP)

‘Regrettable’: Japan on Sri Lanka not sticking to trilateral deal for port

By Rezaul H Laskar | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 03, 2021 07:46 PM IST
  • The Sri Lankan government gave in to pressure from labour unions, which opposed a joint venture with Indian and Japanese investors having a 49% stake in the ECT, and the cabinet decided on Monday to run the facility as a fully owned operation of the Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA).
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Protesters at Ghazipur, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Sakib Ali /Hindustan Times)
Protesters at Ghazipur, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Sakib Ali /Hindustan Times)

Get your facts right: India responds to barbs from celebrities on farm protest

UPDATED ON FEB 03, 2021 03:24 PM IST
A statement by the external affairs ministry said that criticism of the government’s handling of the agitation by foreign individuals was “neither accurate no responsible”
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Nirmala Sitharaman, India's finance minister. (Bloomberg)
Nirmala Sitharaman, India's finance minister. (Bloomberg)

India allots over 7,000 cr as foreign aid, commits 100 cr to Chabahar port

UPDATED ON FEB 01, 2021 09:52 PM IST
The lion’s share of the grants and loans for foreign countries—almost 3,005 crore—will go to Bhutan. This amount includes a grant of 2,124 crore, according to budget documents
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Aung San Suu Kyi was held along with other leaders of her NLD party in early morning raids. (File photo)
Aung San Suu Kyi was held along with other leaders of her NLD party in early morning raids. (File photo)

India expresses concern over coup in Myanmar, says democracy must be upheld

UPDATED ON FEB 01, 2021 07:58 PM IST
The external affairs ministry said it is monitoring the situation closely after that Myanmar’s military had seized power in a coup against the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi
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UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the ruler of Dubai, said on Twitter the new steps were aimed at attracting skilled professionals to help in the development of the emirates. (TWITTER/@HHShkMohd).
UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the ruler of Dubai, said on Twitter the new steps were aimed at attracting skilled professionals to help in the development of the emirates. (TWITTER/@HHShkMohd).

UAE amends laws to grant citizenship to expatriates with special skills, talents

By Rezaul H Laskar | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 30, 2021 04:52 PM IST
  • The UAE is home to 3.42 million Indians, one of the largest concentrations of expatriates in West Asia. Experts believe the recent normalisation of ties between Israel and the UAE could open up new opportunities for trilateral cooperation with India, which has close relations with both countries.
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Though India, Bangladesh and Nepal have ratified the pact, unless protocols are finalised, the agreement can’t be implemented.(AFP File Photo)
Though India, Bangladesh and Nepal have ratified the pact, unless protocols are finalised, the agreement can’t be implemented.(AFP File Photo)

India and Bangladesh discuss development cooperation, defence line of credit

By Rezaul H Laskar, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 29, 2021 11:09 PM IST
  • Bangladesh is perceived as a key pillar of India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy and has benefited from development cooperation worth about $9 billion.
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Police gather at a street after an explosion near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi.(AFP)
Police gather at a street after an explosion near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi.(AFP)

‘Will spare no effort’: India promises Israel after blast near embassy in Delhi

By Rezaul H Laskar, Neeraj Chauhan, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 29, 2021 11:18 PM IST
  • The explosion coincides with the anniversary of India and Israel establishing full diplomatic relations on this day in 1992.
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Omar Saeed Sheikh. (REUTERS)
Omar Saeed Sheikh. (REUTERS)

US dials up pressure over Omar Sheikh but will Pak end its ties with jihadis?

PUBLISHED ON JAN 29, 2021 01:45 PM IST
Pakistan’s policy-makers would have woken on Friday to two strong statements from the White House and the US state department expressing outrage and concern about the Supreme Court’s ruling
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Indian high commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay offered prayers at Gangaramaya Temple for the well-being of the people of Sri Lanka and handed over the vaccines to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.(Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)
Indian high commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay offered prayers at Gangaramaya Temple for the well-being of the people of Sri Lanka and handed over the vaccines to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.(Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)

India sends 600k Covid-19 vaccine doses to Bahrain, Sri Lanka

By Rezaul H Laskar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 29, 2021 04:15 AM IST
The supplies to Bahrain marked the first such aid to a country in West Asia, which India sees as part of its extended neighbourhood.
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During his virtual keynote address at the All India Conference of China Studies, external affairs minister S Jaishankar reiterated concerns he has raised in recent months. (HT FILE PHOTO).
During his virtual keynote address at the All India Conference of China Studies, external affairs minister S Jaishankar reiterated concerns he has raised in recent months. (HT FILE PHOTO).

Jaishankar lists 8 principles to repair ties with China, stresses mutual respect

By Rezaul H Laskar | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 11:16 PM IST
  • Tens of thousands of Indian and Chinese troops have dug in for the harsh winter along the LAC in Ladakh sector after several rounds of diplomatic and military talks failed to lead to a breakthrough in disengagement.
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This undated handout file photo released from the Wall Street Journal shows Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.(AFP)
This undated handout file photo released from the Wall Street Journal shows Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.(AFP)

Travesty of justice: India after Pak upholds acquittal of Daniel Pearl's killer

UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 09:26 PM IST
A three-judge bench upheld the Sindh high court's order of April last year to acquit Omar Saeed Sheikh and three other men convicted of the 2002 abduction and murder of Daniel Pearl.
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Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, second right, receives a box of COVID-19 vaccines upon arrival from India, in Colombo on Thursday(AP)
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, second right, receives a box of COVID-19 vaccines upon arrival from India, in Colombo on Thursday(AP)

India sends 6 lakh Covid vaccine doses to Sri Lanka and Bahrain

UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 09:31 PM IST
India plans to gift Oman (100,000 doses), CARICOM countries (500,000 doses), Nicaragua (200,000 doses) and Pacific Island states (200,000 doses) in the next few days.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File photo)

Bangladesh foreign secretary in India to discuss PM Modi’s visit, bilateral ties

PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 04:34 PM IST
Masud Bin Momen has arrived on a three-day visit during which he will co-chair foreign office consultations and hold discussions to prepare for PM Modi’s Dhaka visit on March 26
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External affairs minister S Jaishankar. (File photo)
External affairs minister S Jaishankar. (File photo)

Jaishankar lists 8 principles to repair ties with China, stresses mutual respect

UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 02:26 PM IST
The minister’s virtual keynote address at the All India Conference of China Studies reiterated several concerns he has raised in recent months
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Omar Saeed Sheikh, the alleged mastermind behind Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl's kidnap-slaying. (File photo)
Omar Saeed Sheikh, the alleged mastermind behind Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl's kidnap-slaying. (File photo)

Daniel Pearl case: Pakistan court orders release of Omar Saeed Sheikh

PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 01:49 PM IST
A three-judge bench dismissed the Sindh government’s appeal against the Sindh high court’s ruling to overturn Saeed’s conviction for the 2002 beheading of Pearl
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India and the US highlighted the need to collectively address challenges in the post-Covid-19 era and also agreed to work closely on key issues such as counter-terrorism and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (REUTERS PHOTO).
India and the US highlighted the need to collectively address challenges in the post-Covid-19 era and also agreed to work closely on key issues such as counter-terrorism and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (REUTERS PHOTO).

US leaders dial Indian counterparts; talk cooperation in defence, Indo-Pacific

By Rezaul H Laskar | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
UPDATED ON JAN 27, 2021 11:53 PM IST
  • In an introductory telephone call from US secretary of defence Lloyd Austin to Rajnath Singh, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to work together to strengthen bilateral defence cooperation and the strategic partnership.
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Since the launch of the Vaccine Maitri (Vaccine Friendship) initiative on January 20, India has provided vaccines to Bhutan, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Seychelles and Mauritius. (MEA) (Image used for representation).
Since the launch of the Vaccine Maitri (Vaccine Friendship) initiative on January 20, India has provided vaccines to Bhutan, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Seychelles and Mauritius. (MEA) (Image used for representation).

India to send 5 lakh Covid-19 vaccines to Sri Lanka as part of ‘Vaccine Maitri’

By Rezaul H Laskar | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 27, 2021 08:32 PM IST
  • The delivery of vaccines made by the Serum Institute of India will fulfil Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa during their virtual summit last September for all possible support to minimise the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.
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India intends to formally complain to Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the country’s foreign ministry, over allowing the pre-planned blockade of the consulate in Vancouver by protestors ostensibly opposing the farm laws. (TWITTER)
India intends to formally complain to Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the country’s foreign ministry, over allowing the pre-planned blockade of the consulate in Vancouver by protestors ostensibly opposing the farm laws. (TWITTER)

India takes up with Italy, Canada incidents outside missions in Rome, Vancouver

PUBLISHED ON JAN 27, 2021 07:36 PM IST
  • In Italy, unidentified persons painted the slogan “Khalistan Zindabad” on the facade of the Indian embassy in Rome and put up several pro-Khalistan flags and banners at the gate ahead of Republic Day.
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The Russian S-400s air defence system(Representational image/REUTERS)
The Russian S-400s air defence system(Representational image/REUTERS)

India sticking to S-400 deal with Russia despite threat of possible US sanctions

PUBLISHED ON JAN 27, 2021 07:12 PM IST
  • Russia is set to train the first group of Indian military specialists in operating the S-400 and the first batteries are expected by September.
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The Haqqani Network was blamed along with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for last year’s attack on the Sikh place of worship in Kabul that killed almost 30 people on March 25, 2020. (REUTERS)
The Haqqani Network was blamed along with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for last year’s attack on the Sikh place of worship in Kabul that killed almost 30 people on March 25, 2020. (REUTERS)

Haqqani Network discussed forming new unit with al-Qaeda: US document

PUBLISHED ON JAN 27, 2021 01:28 PM IST
The document described the Haqqani Network as an “organisation primarily based in North Waziristan, Pakistan” that conducts “cross-border operations into eastern Afghanistan and Kabul”
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A Chinese soldier stands guard on the Chinese side of the Naku La border crossing between India and China.(AFP File)
A Chinese soldier stands guard on the Chinese side of the Naku La border crossing between India and China.(AFP File)

Troops come to blows in India-China face-off

By Rahul Singh, Rezaul H Laskar, Sutirtho Patranobis
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 05:22 AM IST
  • The latest incident took place at Naku La area, which is at a height of over 5,000 metres, on January 20, when Chinese soldiers attempted to intrude into the Indian territory.
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Representational Image.
Representational Image.

China tries to open new front with Naku La clash, test India’s defence: Experts

UPDATED ON JAN 25, 2021 05:51 PM IST
The January 20 incident came close on the heels of aggressive Chinese action related to Japan’s Senkaku Islands and an incursion into Taiwan’s airspace by Chinese warplanes – which experts said appeared to be signalling towards the new US administration
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Representational Image. (AFP)
Representational Image. (AFP)

India offers Covid-19 vaccination to diplomats of foreign missions, families

UPDATED ON JAN 25, 2021 01:41 PM IST
A letter sent to foreign missions by the protocol division of the external affairs ministry last week sought names and details of diplomats and family members who want to be vaccinated
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“We expect the government of Pakistan and all our international partners to compel the Taliban to fulfil their commitments to reduce violence, to secure a nationwide ceasefire, and to sever ties with terrorist groups.” The Afghan foreign ministry said(AP file photo. Representative image)
“We expect the government of Pakistan and all our international partners to compel the Taliban to fulfil their commitments to reduce violence, to secure a nationwide ceasefire, and to sever ties with terrorist groups.” The Afghan foreign ministry said(AP file photo. Representative image)

Afghan govt to Pak: ask Taliban to reduce violence

PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2021 05:57 AM IST
The Afghan foreign ministry called on Pakistan and other international partners to press the Taliban to end violence in response to comments by Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi that the US should “not reverse things” in Afghanistan.
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Afghan security officers inspect the site of a bombing attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. A roadside bomb exploded in Afghanistan's capital Sunday, killing at least a few people in a vehicle, the latest attack to take place even as government negotiators are in Qatar to resume peace talks with the Taliban. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)(AP)
Afghan security officers inspect the site of a bombing attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. A roadside bomb exploded in Afghanistan's capital Sunday, killing at least a few people in a vehicle, the latest attack to take place even as government negotiators are in Qatar to resume peace talks with the Taliban. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)(AP)

Force Taliban to reduce violence and agree to truce, Afghanistan tells Pakistan

PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 08:43 PM IST
  • Over the past few weeks, Afghan government officials, civil society activists and journalists have been targeted in bombings and attacks in Kabul and other cities across Afghanistan.
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Sullivan “underscored that the US will support the peace process with a robust and regional diplomatic effort”, said a readout from the US national security council.(AP)
Sullivan “underscored that the US will support the peace process with a robust and regional diplomatic effort”, said a readout from the US national security council.(AP)

Biden administration to review Taliban deal

By Rezaul H Laskar, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 06:42 AM IST
The commitment, made by new US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan during a phone call to his Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib, comes against the backdrop of concern in the region over a surge in violence and assassinations blamed on the Taliban.
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Indonesia’s Indofarma company is in talks with the SII to procure Covishield. “Hopefully, this will be realised soon,” said a person aware of the discussions.(Samir Jana / Hindustan Times)
Indonesia’s Indofarma company is in talks with the SII to procure Covishield. “Hopefully, this will be realised soon,” said a person aware of the discussions.(Samir Jana / Hindustan Times)

Countries seek doses of SII’s Covishield after concerns over Chinese vaccine

UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 02:14 PM IST
India is receiving numerous requests for vaccines, both as grant assistance and commercial supplies, and these have increased since New Delhi rolled out nearly five million doses of Covishield, the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India, for seven countries in the neighbourhood.
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