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  • Geopolitics of Power Trading in South Asia: Opportunities and Challenges

    It is now generally accepted that energy security could be significantly enhanced through sustained cross-border exchanges in many regions. In South Asia, however, regional energy security cooperation has seriously remained entangled in geopolitics. The possibility of overexploitation of natural resources such as coal, natural gas and oil reserves and the low level of political confidence in sharing hydro resources have placed serious obstacles to enhancing the level of energy security in the region.

    March 2007

    Rehabilitating Child Soldiers in Nepal

    In January 2007, the House of Representatives in Nepal, restored after the people's movement of April, 2006, unanimously adopted an interim Constitution and dissolved itself. This technically paved the way for Maoist insurgents to enter a new and reconstituted interim parliament. Clearly a political landmark of tremendous import, Nepal's political transition has been accompanied by the initiation of a nascent disarmament process.

    February 03, 2007

    Time to Cross the Adam's Bridge Again

    A recent survey by a Colombo-based agency on the peace process revealed that a majority of Sri Lankans prefers India as a peace facilitator rather than the Norwegians. According to the report by the Centre for Policy Alternatives, over 52.5 per cent of Sinhalese and 82 per cent of upcountry Tamils voted for an Indian involvement in the peace process. In recent years, the mood has shifted across Sri Lanka with major parties to the conflict instilling a newfound faith on New Delhi as the ideal arbitrator for the peace process.

    January 18, 2007

    NATO's Counter-Terrorism Strategies in Afghanistan

    With the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) taking over command from the US-led Coalition Forces in southern Afghanistan and the United States focusing on the eastern part of Afghanistan, particularly along the border with Pakistan, crucial questions have arisen regarding securing Afghanistan and its transition to democracy. How will NATO perform its new responsibilities and what will be its counter-terrorism strategies?

    January 2007

    Soft Borders and Cooperative Frontiers: India's Changing Territorial Diplomacy Towards Pakistan and China

    For decades, the dominant sense in the foreign policy establishment of India was that neither the Kashmir question nor the boundary dispute with China was ripe for resolution. Yet, in defiance of this received wisdom, two very different political coalitions have opened and sustained substantive negotiations on Jammu and Kashmir and the boundary dispute with China. Forward movement in both negotiations has also been premised on opening the closed frontiers with China and Pakistan.

    January 2007

    Afghanistan: Galloping Backward

    That the Taliban power stands resurrected is a fact now. At the same time, the 'war on terror' is also showing signs of fatigue. It has already come to a halt in the north-western tribal expanse of Pakistan, the cradle of the Taliban's resurrection. Dubbed as 'remnants' until recently, the Taliban today are a power to reckon with, effectively redrawing the power equations within Afghanistan.

    December 27, 2006

    Uncertainty in Sri Lanka and

    The conflict in Sri Lanka is escalating everyday as the government forces and the Tamil Tigers take on each other with renewed determination. The peace process has all but collapsed and the violent encounters are leading to large-scale influx of Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka into the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This fresh wave of refugees has brought a perceptible change in the perception of the people in Tamil Nadu in particular and India in general towards the ethnic conflict in Sri lanka.

    December 12, 2006

    The India-Bangladesh Border : "A Problem Area for Tomorrow"

    Statistics reveal that the Border Security Force (BSF) has so far, this year, apprehended 8,196 persons who were trying enter India illegally from Bangladesh. The numbers that successfully manage to evade the security forces on the border, is of course, much larger. Apart from the usual suspects, the militants and economic migrants, the recent political turmoil in Bangladesh has also resulted in many Bangladeshi political dissidents and people from the religious minorities attempting to sneak into India to avoid political and religious persecution.

    December 08, 2006

    Sri Lanka: Between Hope and Despair

    At present Sri Lanka is witnessing the worst fighting since the signing of the ceasefire agreement (CFA) on February 22, 2002. The fighting was sparked by the LTTE's blockade of the Maavilaru reservoir on July 22, 2006 and the Sri Lankan government's attempts to reopen it by force. Since then the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government have indulged in heavy fighting in the north and east over issues like Sampur and the A9 highway. This has again put a question mark on the prospects for peace and is causing internal and international despair.

    November 21, 2006

    The Neutral Caretaker Government Interregnum in Bangladesh

    The Bangladesh National Party (BNP), which came to power in 2001, completed its term on October 28, 2006 amidst violent protests that saw 24 people losing their lives. Rejecting the BNP's nominee for the post of Chief Adviser of the caretaker government, the 14 party opposition alliance led by the Awami League (AL) called for a strike to press for an alternate Chief Advisor as well as for electoral reforms. A political crisis has, however, been averted by the country's President, who assumed the additional responsibility of the Chief Advisor.

    November 09, 2006

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