Pakistan has told both Indian journalists stationed in Islamabad to leave within a week. New Delhi criticized this as a retrograde step that would weigh on confidence-building measures between the nuclear-armed rivals. Tensions are simmering between Pakistan's powerful military and a civilian government that appears dovish towards neighboring India, where Hindu nationalist opposition leader Narendra Modi appears set to win a general election.
New Dehli's Biju Janata Dal chief and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Wednesday that no talks have taken place with regards to supporting any BJP-led National Democratic Alliance at the Centre. On being told that some leaders of his party were hinting at the possibility of extending support to the BJP-led NDA, Patnaik said: "I do not know about that. I want to state here quite clearly that no such thoughts had been there on any alliance." He reiterated on his party's stand of keeping equi-distance from the BJP- led NDA and the Congress-led UPA.
India's Congress president Sonia Gandhi Wednesday hosted a farewell dinner in honour of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Union ministers and Congress general secretaries were among those present at the dinner at Gandhi's 10 Janpath residence. The dinner was held two days before votes polled in the Lok Sabha election are counted May 16. The prime minister will submit his resignation to President Pranab Mukherjee on May 17. Manmohan Singh had on Jan 3 addressed his final press conference and announced his retirement after a decade at the helm of two successive United Progressive Alliance governments.
The dispute over the South China sea and anti-China violence in tightly controlled Vietnam have raised fears of an escalation in tensions between the Communist neighbors. The White House said on Wednesday that a dispute over the erection of a Chinese oil rig about 120 miles off the Vietnam coast needs to be resolved through dialogue, not intimidation. Spokesman Jay Carney said the United States is not a party to the dispute but said on a recent Asia tour, President Barack Obama had repeatedly stressed the need for peaceful dialogue on various disputes involving China and the South China Sea.