South Asia

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  • 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

    The Eastern Factor in the Sri Lankan Ethnic Conflict

    A flare-up in the fighting in the East, particularly in Trincomalee District, has put a question mark on the prospects of peace in the island nation. The Eastern province of Sri Lanka has been a theatre of war for more than 20 years, and, since the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement it has particularly been the stage for continued local level conflict due to its multiethnic nature. All three communities, Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese, continue to face severe threats to their human security such as loss of livelihood and internal displacement.

    October 05, 2006

    The Havana Round: Much Ado about Nothing

    The meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Musharraf on the sidelines of the Havana non-aligned summit is being projected as an important breakthrough on the issue of terrorism as well as with regard to the broad contours of Indo-Pak relations. The meeting was significant as it was held in the aftermath of the Mumbai blasts, which had led to some tough talk by India. This Indian outburst underlined the frustration and limits of its tolerance to Pakistan's continued support to terrorism.

    September 25, 2006

    Bangladesh Prepares for the Next Elections

    Anxiety and uncertainty are perceptible even as Bangladesh prepares itself for the next elections scheduled for January 2007. As the incumbent BNP government prepares to transfer power to a caretaker government by the end of October 2006, there is a sense of visible unease about Bangladesh's political future, as many issues pertaining to these elections remain unresolved. It appears that a few issues need an amicable settlement before the ruling party hands over power to the caretaker government.

    September 14, 2006

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