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A medical worker puts blood sample in a kit for rapid blood test | Representational Image | Carlos Becerra | Bloomberg

Pandemic effect in Nepal and Afghanistan, virus might kill populism & other Covid news

As the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of letting up, ThePrint highlights the most important stories on the crisis from across the globe.
Soldiers from 2nd Platoon Fox Co. of the 2-506th Infantry Battalion of the 4th Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division conduct a counter indirect fire patrol from their base at COP Sabari in the Sabari district of Khost province, Afghanistan

Russia rubbishes reports that it paid bounties for Taliban to kill US & allied soldiers

Reports in the New York Times and Washington Post say interrogations of captured extremists revealed Russian intelligence units paid bounties to kill US and UK troops.
Donald Trump

Not credible, Trump says of report on Russia paying bounty to kill Americans in Afghanistan

The alleged Russian bounties have swiftly emerged as another political crisis for the President already struggling with the Covid outbreak and Black Lives Matter protests.

India condemns the abduction of Sikh community leader by terrorists in Afghanistan

Sikh community leader Nedan Singh was abducted in Afghanistan's Paktia province. MEA said it's in touch with Afghanistan govt to ensure safety of the minority community.
Afghan MP Fawzia Koofi

Afghans face a choice between dying from poverty or from Covid, says MP Fawzia Koofi

Speaking at a virtual conference, the Afghan MP said people were frustrated with years of war and would find it difficult to take Covid-19 seriously.
Soldiers from 2nd Platoon Fox Co. of the 2-506th Infantry Battalion in the Sabari district of Khost province, Afghanistan. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

US troops leaving Afghanistan early could bungle the ending of America’s longest war

The exit of US troops might not open the gates of Kabul to Taliban, but without a viable peace process it would be the prelude to more years of bloodshed and stalemate.
Foreign secretary Harsh Shringla and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani | Twitter | @MEAIndia

Raja Mohan on Afghanistan’s key Pashtun question, Radha Kumar on Kashmir policy’s price

Today's political, economic & strategic punditry from P. Stobdan, Yamini Aiyar, Mahesh Vyas, Boria Majumdar and many others.

India scored an own goal in great Afghan game by closing two consulates. Here’s how

The Americans want to get out of Afghanistan sooner than later, in time for Trump's re-election bid. But who will fill the vacuum once they are gone?

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani & political rival Abdullah Abdullah sign power-sharing deal

Ghani's spokesman tweeted Sunday that a political deal had been signed according to which he would remain president of the war-torn nation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani in New Delhi | Shahbaz Khan/PTI

India unlikely to talk to Taliban directly despite US push to change stance

New Delhi has made it clear to US peace talks official Zalmay Khalilzad that India wants Taliban to first recognise the democratic Afghanistan government.

On Camera

Indian lawsuits allege former Wirecard COO played key role in deals later mired in disputes

The suits allege Marsalek took part in negotiations leading to the acquisition of Hermes by a Mauritius-based private equity fund in 2015.

Defence

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets soldiers who were injured in Galwan Valley clash, during his visit to Ladakh, in Leh on 3 July 2020 | ANI

Modi dares China, tells Indian Army ‘our enemies have seen your fire and fury’

China sees Modi’s visit as an attempt to ‘escalate’ the situation. Experts say the visit was a powerful message to China to not escalate the matter.
Illustration by Soham Sen | ThePrint

India must believe threat of war is real, even if Chinese build-up is coercive diplomacy

India invented coercive diplomacy with Op Parakram. But unlike Pakistan back then, it must never blink, be prepared for war, and wear out the Chinese.