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  • Implications of Peace Deals in Pakistan’s Wild West

    As the new political dispensation in Pakistan negotiates new deals with militants in the country’s Pakhtoon belt, it is causing consternation among its neighbours. The deals have been signed in Swat Valley, Mardan, Mohmand and Bajour Agency, and in all probability with Baitullah Mehsud the leader of ‘Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’ in Waziristan. However, the Pakistan government would like to retain deniability vis-à-vis the last of these deals, so as not to ruffle too many feathers in the United States or Afghanistan.

    June 13, 2008

    Will Success in the East Pave the Way for Peace and Stability in Sri Lanka?

    Sri Lanka’s Eastern province is transitioning to a new era. First came Karuna’s exit and subsequent co-operation with the government in Colombo. This was followed by the expulsion of the Tigers soon thereafter. And the latest is the successful completion of Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) elections on May 10, 2008 and the coming into existence of a democratically elected government under Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan after two decades of civil conflict.

    June 12, 2008

    Flexibility in Political Dialogue Needed to Avert Chaos in Bangladesh

    In the ongoing mass arrests in Bangladesh, nearly 20,000 people have been put behind bars. These arrests started on May 28, 2008 after the ban on political activity was lifted. It was expected that after allowing political activity, the government will facilitate the electoral process leading to the holding of elections which were postponed in January 2007. But the mass arrests in the name of deteriorating law and order condition have made the political situation fluid.

    June 11, 2008

    Terrorist Attack on the Danish Embassy in Islamabad

    On June 2, terrorists exploded a car-bomb outside the Embassy of Denmark in the high-security diplomatic area of Islamabad. The explosion instantaneously killed eight people, injured more than twenty five and damaged properties in the vicinity. People killed in the attack were mainly Pakistanis, including the local staff at the embassy and a Danish citizen of Pakistani origin. It is not clear how an explosive-laden car was able to enter such a highly-guarded area without detection.

    June 09, 2008

    India's Neighbourhood Challenges Ahead

    India's Neighbourhood Challenges Ahead
    • Publisher: IDSA & Rubicon Publishers Pvt Ltd.
    • ISBN 1-85845-379-8,
    • Price: ₹ 560
    2008

    India and its Neighbours

    India and its Neighbours
    • Publisher: IDSA
    • ISBN 1-85845-379-8,
    • Price: ₹ 399
    2008

    The India-Pakistan Bonhomie Continues

    The review of the composite bilateral dialogue process by the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan on May 22 at Islamabad was significant in many ways. This was the first ever review, that too during the course of the first ever high level visit by an Indian minister after the new government took power in Pakistan. Both countries have accepted a gradual process of resolving the outstanding issues between them. Pakistan has said that it is important to raise awareness among the people about their stake in the peace process.

    May 30, 2008

    The Need to Regulate Pakistan’s Use of Covert Action

    Ever since the new democratically elected government assumed office in Pakistan, analysts have drawn up exhaustive priority lists of tasks before it. These range from restoring civilian pre-eminence over the military, countering terrorism, building democratic institutions, freedom of the media, and restoration of the judiciary. The new government, however, will do well to also order a review of the use of covert action as an instrument of state policy, which has been a major factor for the ills that afflict Pakistan and undermines its credibility in the international community.

    May 28, 2008

    Pakistan’s Peace Deals with Islamic militants: Lull before the Storm

    The new ANP-led provincial government in NWFP signed a peace deal with the Islamic militants of Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) led by Maulana Fazlullah, on May 21, 2008. The deal is the most significant initiative taken by the provincial government to end endemic violence that has engulfed the scenic Swat valley since last year and follows another peace deal with Maulana Sufi Mohammad, the father in law of Fazlullah and the founder of TNSM on April 20. Sufi Mohammad had founded TNSM after leaving Jamaat-e-Islami in 1992.

    May 28, 2008

    Stalemate Redux in Sri Lanka?

    A fierce battle in the North and the reported high casualties among Sri Lankan troops at Forward Defence in Muhamalai in the third week of April have placed a question mark on the conjecture that the endgame is up for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). There is no doubt that beginning with the Mavil Aru incident in mid-2006, the LTTE has been facing a major crisis. Its numerical strength has fallen. It is not doing too well in drafting recruits and procuring arms.

    May 16, 2008

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