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President Rahmonov's Visit to India

Tajik President Emomali Sharifovich Rahmonov visited New Delhi during August 6-10, 2006 on a State visit at the invitation of Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. The visit was preceded by the meeting of the bilateral Inter-Governmental Commission (July 31- August 1, 2006) and India-Tajikistan joint working group (JWG) meeting on counter-terrorism (August 3-4, 2006), both held in New Delhi.

August 17, 2006

The Indo-US Civil Nuclear Co-operation Agreement in the House of Representatives

On July 27, 2006, the US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bill HR 5682 for United States and India Nuclear Co-operation Promotion Act of 2006. This bill was submitted to the House by its International Relations Committee, after modifying the bill HR 4974 which was referred to the House by the US Administration. The House in an "up-or-down vote" passed this bill by a wide margin, with 359 members voting for and 58 opposing it. A number of amendments seen as killers were defeated on the floor of the House.

August 05, 2006

Verification and the BTWC

In the post Cold War world, the term Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) emerged as a usable tool. This usage reached a crescendo with the 2002 Iraq disarmament crisis and the alleged existence of WMD in Iraq, which became the primary justification for the 2003 invasion of that country. The fear of WMD proliferation has generated grave concerns, given the increasing number and greater intensity of terrorist activities and their attempts to acquire WMD. Efforts to restrain the development and further spread of WMD have received greater focus in this environment of insecurity.

August 01, 2006

The Children and Armed Conflict Agenda and the United Nations: Assessing a Decade of Engagement

The international community first began a co-ordinated effort to confront the complexities of the relationship between war and children with Graça Machel's groundbreaking 1996 United Nations study entitled The Impact of Armed Conflict on Children. Since then many non-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies and governments have addressed the severity of abuses of children in wars more proactively, and have advocated better protection of their rights and security.

July 28, 2006

Renewed Conflagration in West Asia

The conflict involving the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) on two of its borders shows all signs of drawing the entire region into a new round of crisis. Though the current conflict may have been set off by years of hostilities between Israel and its regional adversaries, it is not a simple replay of the previous clashes.

July 26, 2006

Aceh's Future Challenges

The Indonesian Parliament passed the Aceh Governance Bill on July 11, 2006. Dissemination of information about the bill started two days later to ensure that the peace building process, which came into force after the peace accord was signed with Free Aceh Movement (GAM, Gerakan Aceh Merdeka) in Helsinki in August 2005, stays on track. One clause of the Helsinki Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) related to laying down of arms by GAM rebels and the passing of the Aceh Governance bill.

July 26, 2006

Mumbai Serial Blasts Portend Dangerous Trends

As expected, a lesser-known terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the July 11 Mumbai blasts. After four days, the Lashkar-e-Qahhar claimed responsibility for the seven serial blasts that ripped through Mumbai commuter trains killing at least 228 and wounding approximately 900 people. It is believed that this is a sub-set of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). According to an email received by a TV channel, Lashkar-e-Qahhar has links with the LeT, which is an armed outfit of Markaz-Dawa Wal-Irshad, an Islamic fundamentalist organisation in Pakistan.

July 19, 2006

Prospects for Democracy in Pakistan Appear Dim

The pro-democracy, anti-Musharraf movement launched by the combined opposition in May 2006 will once again put on trial the strength and determination of the people of Pakistan to snatch power from the clutches of the military. The Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy (ARD), a conglomerate of 15 parties, has demanded the resignation of President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz by July 31, 2006, failing which a vote of no-confidence would be moved against the Musharraf regime. The demand was made in a resolution adopted by the Alliance on July 2.

July 19, 2006

Border Management and India's North East

The management of India's international border along its North Eastern States has remained a crucial and complex issue. In an age of increasing interdependence, threats from unconventional sources pose a greater challenge to the country's security. An unmanaged border accentuates such threats by providing easy points of ingress and egress. Travel along India's borders with Bangladesh, Myanmar and Bhutan highlights the porous nature of these borders, which pass through difficult terrain of forest, rivers and mountains and make the task of guarding all the more challenging.

July 18, 2006

Mumbai Bombing: Men Behind the Massacre

The July 11 bombing in Mumbai, which left 200 dead and 700 injured, is the deadliest terrorist attack in India this year. It was a systematic and well planned attack engineered between 6.24 pm and 6.35 pm on the Western Railway line during peak-hour when office-goers were returning home.

July 18, 2006

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