South Asia

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  • The Re-emergence of the Tamil Nadu Factor in India's Sri Lanka Policy

    The Tamil minority in Sri Lanka have traditionally exerted a sympathetic pull on their co-ethnics in Tamil Nadu. This has inevitably influenced India's policy towards Sri Lanka. The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 changed this pattern and the popular sympathy for Tamil militancy ebbed considerably in its aftermath.

    November 2007

    Pakistan’s Political Future: Plus ça Change…

    Pakistan is getting ready for the next elections amid many uncertainties. Musharraf is caught between the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League (Qaid-e-Azam) [PML-Q]. Benazir is back in Pakistan without any express assurance that she would have a third term as Prime Minister. Chaudhury Shujaat Hussain is undecided about Musharraf’s reconciliation proposals and is hobnobbing with Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) [PML-N]. Within the PPP, Benazir is soft on Musharraf while veteran party leader Aitzaz Ahsan is baying for the General’s blood.

    October 30, 2007

    A Watchful Eye on Kashmir

    Pakistan has at present a great many internal and external troubles to cater for. Islamabad is still feeling the after-effects of the Lal Masjid operation, while simultaneously fighting a seemingly uphill battle to rein in support for militancy within the political, defence, and intelligence establishments. In addition, Islamabad is struggling to keep a lid on the instability that plagues its western border regions.

    October 26, 2007

    How will Rajapaksa handle Killinochchi?

    Since the launch of its July 2006 military offensive on Maavilaru, the Mahinda Rajapaksa government has made remarkable advances in almost all aspects of establishing its control over the Eastern province. This is largely thanks to the military inputs provided by the Karuna faction as well as technical, financial and military assistance provided by the international community. The ascendance of the security forces has indeed given much confidence to the Sri Lankan government in militarily engaging the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

    October 18, 2007

    Bangladesh’s Quest for Nuclear Energy

    Bangladesh faces a shortage of electric power and is planning to meet the shortfall by setting up nuclear power plants. Significantly, this development has occurred at a time when the country is being ruled by a caretaker government with the backing of the military. The military in Bangladesh is trying to carve out a permanent place for itself in governance by creating a National Security Council.

    October 17, 2007

    Have India-Pakistan Confidence Building Measures Reached A Plateau?

    The Indian media recently carried reports of angry protestors at Attari, smashing into pulp tomato cartons from trucks on their way to Pakistan. The protestors were porters who had till now been engaged in trans-shipment of goods and commodities as head loads across the border, since loaded vehicles were not allowed to cross over. The significance of this maiden movement of loaded trucks across the border was lost in the sympathy generated for the porters who could become redundant at the border check point and thus lose their means of livelihood.

    October 10, 2007

    The Rise of Pakistani Taliban and the Response of the State

    The rise of a militant Islamist group calling itself Pakistani Taliban has drawn wider international attention in recent years. It has appeared as a serious internal security threat for the Pakistani state and as an external challenge for the Afghan government facing a resurgent Taliban in southern Afghanistan. This article seeks to trace the evolution of 'Pakistani Taliban' and to isolate and analyse its ideological moorings and its political aspirations.

    September 2007

    Student Violence Signals Growing Resentment against: the Caretaker Government in Bangladesh

    "I want a country where the army cannot arrest anyone without a warrant. I want our political parties to be democratic, transparent and accountable. I want fair and neutral judges. I want the right to vote. I want there to be no such thing as a legal fatwa. I want the war criminals of the 1971 genocide to be tried, condemned and jailed. I want to vote. I want a country worthy of my desh-prem. I want a country." -- Tahmima Anam, New Statesman, January 22, 2007.

    August 24, 2007

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