South Asia

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  • Revisiting the Kosi Agreement: Lessons for Indo-Nepal Water Diplomacy

    The year 2008 has witnessed yet another disastrous flood in North Bihar. Floods in Bihar have been almost an annual phenomenon. Though the capacity of the river flow was well below the danger line this time around, the situation was in fact aggravated by a breach in the Eastern embankment. Estimates indicate that around thirty lakh people have been displaced and their livelihoods devastated in sixteen districts of north-eastern Bihar. At the same time, around 50,000 people have been affected in Sunsari district of Nepal.

    September 22, 2008

    The United National Front in Afghan Politics: An Explorative Study

    Fellows' Seminar
    September 19, 2008
    1030 to 1300 hrs

    Bangladesh's Relations with China and India: A Comparative Study

    China's influence in South Asia has significantly grown over the years, and in particular Bangladeshi-Chinese relations are now robust and very comprehensive. This is in contrast to Bangladeshi-Indian relations, which are extremely uneven. While the latter are substantial and not totally negative, in comparison to Bangladeshi-Chinese relations they are riddled with controversies. How does one explain this contrast, especially when China lacks the historic-cultural advantages and linkages that India has with Bangladesh?

    September 2008

    Pakistan-Iran Relations: The US Factor

    Pakistan-Iran relations have been complex and paradoxical. The United States has tried to influence this relationship on various counts, given that Iran is an important foreign policy concern for the United States and Pakistan is an important neighbour of Iran and has been a United States ally in the global war on terrorism. This article explores Pakistan's policy towards Iran and the extent to which the United States has been an influencing factor in this regard.

    September 2008

    The Muslim Factor in the Sri Lankan Ethnic Conflict

    The Muslims in Sri Lanka have emerged as a key stakeholder in the past decade. Though they have not directly participated in the conflict, their intervention in the recent peace moves and their role in the May 10, 2008 Eastern Provincial Council election, the first in two decades, has underscored the significance of the Muslim factor in Sri Lankan politics. In fact, the increasing profile of Sri Lankan Muslims has raised certain fundamental questions about the efficacy and durability of any final settlement of the ethnic conflict that may be arrived at.

    September 2008

    'Unity of Effort': The Missing Link in the Afghan Counter-insurgency Campaign

    More than six years after the initiation of Operation Enduring Freedom the Taliban and its affiliates are back, wreaking havoc on the fragile security situation and impeding development activity in Afghanistan. The Taliban-led insurgency is spreading its tentacles to new areas, with the relatively stable north swinging towards instability. This paper takes stock of the deteriorating security situation and singles out the lack of 'unity of effort' as a missing link in the international community's counter-insurgency campaign, contributing to its ineffectiveness in establishing security.

    September 2008

    Towards a Regulated Indo-Nepal Border

    The Indo-Nepal border is an open border, which has facilitated close social, cultural, and economic exchanges and led to a special relationship between the two countries. However, in recent times, the increasing misuse of the borders by terrorists, political activists, anti-social elements, etc. has led to the demand for the closure of the border from the Indian side. The paper posits that a closed border is not beneficial for both the countries as the social and political costs involved in such a border are immense.

    September 2008

    Bhutan in Focus

    The Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan is in sharp focus now. This is due to two critical factors: Bhutan's assertion of its identity and Beijing's tactics in the Himalayan region. Both factors have had an impact in the ordering of Indo-Bhutanese relations.

    September 2008

    LTTE Woos Tamil Nadu

    LTTE Political Head P. Nadesan’s recent call to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi to “turn into a supporter of LTTE struggle” in an interview to ‘Kumudam,’ a Tamil weekly, is an example of the outfit’s efforts to woo Tamil Nadu and Karunanidhi in particular. It also underscores the importance of Tamil Nadu for the LTTE at a time of its most pressing crisis. Of late, the Tigers seem to have increased their dependence on, and activities in, Tamil Nadu, which they consider to be a rear base.

    August 29, 2008