Andrew North

Andrew North South Asia correspondent

Come here for my latest thoughts and reflections on India and the rest of South Asia

Pakistan-India monsoon floods: Averting future disasters

13 September 2014
Aerial view of flood-affected residents in the compound of their home- Pakistan 12 September
For most of the year there is little rain, but the monsoon floods can be devastating

After yet another devastating flood, experts say that what Pakistan and India need to do is build more dams and reservoirs.

It makes these annual disasters all the more tragic that for most of the year both countries have little rain.

Yet after leaving more than 450 dead and a swathe of destruction on both sides of the border, much of the water dumped on the Kashmir and Punjab regions in the past 10 days will now be wasted.

Critics say both the Indian and Pakistani governments have repeatedly failed to act on lessons from the past on how to manage their yearly monsoon drenching, even as flood catastrophes become more frequent.

Flood victims watch from the windows of a hotel as Kashmiri volunteers try to get relief material to them 12 September
In Indian-administered Kashmir, waters have receded but many people remain stranded

While the two governments are now being battered by complaints over the relief effort, more important in the long-term, water specialists say, is building a better system to capture each new deluge.

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Pakistan floods: The villagers trapped and praying

9 September 2014

Rescuers in Pakistan are trying to reach hundreds of thousands of people cut off by floods which have destroyed homes and large areas of farmland. The BBC's Andrew North joined emergency teams in one of the worst-hit areas in Punjab province.

The first sign of human life in Kotla Nek Ahmed village is the angular tips of three tombstones.

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Al-Qaeda eyes India in jihadi battle of the brands

4 September 2014
Indian muslims prepare for pilgrimage to Mecca, 3 September 2014
Despite having 10% of the world's Muslims to recruit from, al-Qaeda has made no headway in India

In the global battle of jihadi brands, Osama Bin Laden's successor appears to be trying to win back ground from Islamic State (IS).

Al-Qaeda has never had any success recruiting from India, despite its huge 180 million-strong Muslim population.

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Murder charge no bar for Modi's aide Amit Shah

Amit Shah (left) with Narendra Modi
Amit Shah (left) is a close aide of Narendra Modi (right)

It was a hard road for Prashant Dayal to realise his dream of becoming a journalist.

After flunking his school exams, his parents nearly threw him out.

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All hues or some shades in North Waziristan?

The BBC has obtained exclusive footage of the aftermath of Pakistani air strikes against the Taliban in North Waziristan - but some say it's still protecting certain militants it has supported in the past.

Major General Asim Bajwa painted a clear picture.

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Cola and ketchup with one of America’s most wanted

For a man with a $10m (£5.8m) US bounty on his head and any American assets of his organisation frozen, Hafiz Saeed seems to take a very relaxed approach towards American companies.

When we sit down in one of his offices which doubles as a madrassa, his aides bring bottles of Coca-Cola and a big pack of Heinz Ketchup to go with a plate of chicken drumsticks.

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Why India-Pakistan friendship still looks a long way off

Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi
The Sharif-Modi meeting was a "clear signal" that the two countries are willing to resume dialogue

It started with a handshake, followed by gifts for their mothers - a shawl from Narendra Modi and a sari in return from Nawaz Sharif.

Then came warm words between the two prime ministers on social media and in old-fashioned letters.

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Drug cash turning Taliban into wealthy criminals - UN report

Poppy field Afghanistan
Despite its ban on opium poppy cultivation when in power, the Taliban's best earner is Afghanistan's illegal drugs trade

As Nato retreats from Afghanistan, the Taliban are rolling in cash and the movement is turning into a wealthy criminal enterprise, according to a United Nations report.

After a "bumper year" for earnings from narcotics and other illicit activities including kidnapping and unlicensed mining, some factions have become "mafia-like crime syndicates" motivated more by money than by religion, says the UN body monitoring sanctions on the Taliban.

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How rape and violence returned India to the headlines

village of Rajpur Milakh in Uttar Pradesh

"We're doing all we can," protested the police officer, pinching his nose uncomfortably as he leaned closer to the crowd.

But sitting back with their arms folded, his audience of men and women from the village of Rajpur Milakh in Uttar Pradesh didn't seem convinced.

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About Andrew

Andrew is the BBC's South Asia correspondent based in Delhi and covering India and its neighbours.

He has previously reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and the United States.

His BBC career started as a producer at the World Service, when only a select few had email and the word blog had yet to be invented.

Andrew's life in journalism began on his student newspaper while doing a geography degree at the University of London.

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