Making the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) more than a buzzword, on 15 November 2018, leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the United States met on the sidelines of the 13th East Asian Summit in Singapore.
Following the Pakistan Supreme Court’s decision to acquit Asia Bibi in the blasphemy case, Tehrik-e-Labaik Pakistan’s rabble rousing clerics provoked open mutiny within the military and issued calls to kill the three Supreme Court judges.
Ranil Wickremesinghe was fired as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on October 26, 2018. Shortly before sacking Wickremesinghe, President Maithripala Sirisena appointed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister and suspended the parliament.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan on October 28, 2018 as part of the 13th annual summit between the two countries had brought to the fore the dynamics of the Indo-Japan bilateral relationship amidst the shifting contours of global politics.
Middle fingers painted in blue ink, millions of Afghans went to the polls, electing people to the lower house of the Parliament and the District Councils. Aside from macro implications, these elections demonstrated popular faith in the strengths of institutional democracy.
In October 2018, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa won the general elections of Bhutan while the governing party was eliminated. Many analysts believed that the new government would reduce dependence on India while strengthening cooperation with China.
On October 23, 2018, Saudi Arabia kicked off the “Future Investment Initiative” conference, showcasing the country’s progress and reforms. One of the high-profile guests at the conference was Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The recent by-election results in Pakistan should serve as a wake-up call for the PTI government led by Imran Khan. While renegotiation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor with China has helped in the long run, the economy is in the doldrums and patience is clearly wearing thin.
The President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived on September 30, 2018 on his first official visit to India. This visit came soon after the visit of Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Uzbekistan, as part of her visit to the Central Asian Region.
In September and October 2018, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi held two meetings in Islamabad and Washington to renegotiate the terms of engagement.