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January 22, 2010 | By Julian E. Barnes
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates leaned on India and Pakistan during his trip to South Asia this week to set aside a simmering rivalry and confront militant extremists. At the same time, Gates and other U.S. officials pushed arms sales that could fuel the antagonism between the two countries. Gates' trip was framed by that apparent contradiction in U.S. policy. On his arrival in Pakistan, a television news interviewer put the question bluntly: "Why re-arm both countries?" The Pentagon chief darted around the question.
Nearly 200 people have been killed by a cyclone that ripped through Bangladesh and eastern India, while millions were marooned by flooding or forced to live in shelters. The death toll in Bangladesh rose to more than 130, newspapers and private television channels said. In India, officials said at least 64 people had died in West Bengal state. Cyclone Aila slammed into parts of coastal Bangladesh and eastern India on Monday, triggering tidal surges that forced people from their homes.
February 2, 2009 | Paul Richter
President Obama has taken painstaking care in the first days of his administration to calm the waters of international relations with promises of cooperation and respect for other nations. But his new envoy to South Asia has landed with a splash. Officials in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India have reacted uneasily to the appointment of Richard Holbrooke, a veteran diplomat nicknamed "the Bulldozer."
January 23, 2009 | Paul Richter
President Obama, emphasizing the use of vigorous diplomacy to settle seemingly intractable problems, named two Democratic heavyweights Thursday as administration envoys to two of the world's most troubled regions. Obama named former Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell (D-Maine) as special envoy to the Middle East and former U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke as special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
June 1, 2008 | Henry Chu, Times Staff Writer
It was, you could say, only a matter of time. Today, Pakistan becomes the first nation in South Asia to adopt daylight saving time, pushing clocks forward by one hour. The three-month experiment is aimed, as elsewhere, at cutting energy costs by taking advantage of long summer days. But what might make practical sense for Pakistan is yet another headache for a region that already clocks up more than its share of chronological confusion. For residents of South Asia, figuring out what time it is in the next country, let alone beyond that, can be an exercise in frustration.
May 2, 2008 | Henry Chu, Times Staff Writer
Just eight years ago, Sunil Pant wondered whether there was anyone else in this Himalayan land like him. To his engineer's mind, it was a riddle to be solved, and he methodically set about doing so. Pant planted himself in Katmandu's biggest park and handed out free condoms, seeking to help curb the rising incidence of sexually transmitted diseases. At the same time, through subtle conversations, he teased out an answer to his ulterior question: Were there other gays and lesbians out there?
August 12, 2007 | Yasmin Khan, Yasmin Khan is author of "The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan," recently published in Britain and due out later this year in the U.S.
In the 20th century, the great powers devised a new method for solving entrenched conflicts in faraway countries The tool kit was simple; it required only maps and pens. It appealed because it could be carried out relatively quickly by departing imperialists from their airy colonial offices, and it could be imposed from above on the peoples they formerly governed.
August 10, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
The death toll from two weeks of heavy monsoon rains across South Asia rose sharply to at least 521 as rescuers reached remote, flooded villages in northern India. The causes of death included electrocution, house collapses, snakebites and drowning. The storms across much of northern India, Bangladesh and Nepal have also left about 19 million people stranded, officials said.
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