South Asia: Publications

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  • The Bangladesh Question and World Politics

    The gruesome events in East Bengal since March 25, 1971 and their repercussions on India easily constitute the most appalling experience of the society of nations since the end of the Second World War; and the refugee problem is the largest and the worst during the present century. It has few parallels in history. This is all the more shocking because of the context and background in which it happened.

    March 2020

    Pakistan: The Balochistan Conundrum

    It is not often that Pakistan is talked of in terms of the diversities it embodies. It is, perhaps, its descent into extremism and violence that has overshadowed every other characteristic of the country. Tilak Devasher peeks into this rather less traversed dimension and provides an analysis on the festering insurgency in Balochistan. The book provides a lucid account of Balochistan’s history, geography, and demography.

    March 2020

    Gambling with Violence: State Outsourcing of War in Pakistan and India

    Yelena Biberman offers a new framework for understanding why and how states ‘outsource’ war to local non-state actors despite the risks of forfeiting the state’s monopoly over violence. Specifically, she explores state and non-state alliances in counter-insurgencies in India and Pakistan. Taking a qualitative approach, Biberman argues that ‘state-nonstate alliances are balance-of-interests bargains’ wherein the ‘state seeking to shift the local balance of power in its favor may enlist activists if it can cultivate social or ideological ties with them’

    March 2020

    Political Indifference and State Complicity: The Travails of Hazaras in Balochistan

    Pakistan is a forbidding place for minorities—confessional, sectarian and ideological. Violence, direct and structural and exacted with eerie regularity has ghettoised minority communities and forced them to flee. Among them, no other community is being subjected to such annihilatory violence as the Hazaras in the Balochistan province. Hazaras are an ethnic group predominantly based in Afghanistan, but also with a sizeable population in Pakistan, with estimates ranging between 650,000 and 900,000.

    July 2019

    Considered Chaos: Revisiting Pakistan’s ‘Strategic Depth’ in Afghanistan

    Pakistan’s historical insecurity towards India and the Islamisation of its military raises a curious question of strategy and identity rooted in Pakistan’s political genesis. This article examines the social and geostrategic factors underpinning Pakistan’s Afghanistan approach between its inheritance of security principles from colonial administration after Partition, and the Taliban’s capture of Kabul in 1996 and beyond. This article also critically analyses the existing link between the Taliban and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).

    July 2019

    The Challenge of Coordinating India’s Multiple Border Forces: An Analysis of Cross-Border Infiltration Across the India-Pakistan Boundary

    India’s international borders and disputed boundaries with its neighbours are guarded by five different Central Armed Police Forces, two Paramilitary Forces and the Indian Army.

    March 2019

    US-Taliban Talks for Afghan Peace: Complexities Galore

    The ongoing dialogue between the US and the Taliban has generated lot of interest among strategic analysts in the region and beyond. There are indications that the Taliban are hardening their position as the US appears to be in a haste to pull off an agreement.

    March 2019

    Decimating Democracy in 140 Characters or Less: Pakistan Army’s Subjugation of State Institutions through Twitter

    The Directorate General of Inter Services Public Relations (DG-ISPR), or the Pakistan Army’s media wing has perfected the form of subverting democracy and showcasing the dominant position of the Army in the entire Pakistani polity. This article sets out to prove the same in a quantified manner. By analysing almost 25 tweets from the official account of DG-ISPR in the period 2016 −18, the article tries to quantify, using the Merkel-Croissant model of embedded democracy, the priorities of the Pakistan Army.

    March 2019

    Transformation of Indo-Bangladesh Relations: From Insecurity to Cooperation in Northeast India

    Bangladesh and India are enjoying increasingly close relations in the latter’s northeastern region. This represents a transformation in the two countries’ past relationship, which was characterised by suspicion, distrust and insecurity. This recent change, which began with the arrival of Bangladesh’s current regime in 2009, has resulted in a sense of cooperation, mutual interest and connectivity. This article aims to explain this transformation.

    November 2018

    Balochistan: On The International Drugs Superhighway

    Pakistan’s Balochistan province, which shares borders with Iran and Afghanistan, has quietly functioned as one of the main arteries through which Afghanistan’s massive opium crop reaches the outer world. Six of the nine major drug trafficking routes from Afghanistan transit through Balochistan en route to Iran, Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Afghanistan’s opium production peaked at 9,000 tons in 2017, on account of the country’s rampant instability and lack of viable options for families to sustain themselves.

    September 2018

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