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  • Democracy Versus People's War in Nepal

    Despite the King's proclamation and the subsequent end to the 19-day anti-Monarchy protests by the seven party alliance (SPA) on April 25, 2006, Nepal is still not sure of peace and stability. The difference between the SPA and the Maoists on the new constitution seems to be the biggest challenge before the Koirala Government. Although the Maoists have declared a three-month ceasefire, they have refused to surrender their weapons before or during the elections to a Constituent Assembly.

    May 03, 2006

    Nepal's Political Conundrum: Emerging Challenges to Tenuous Peace

    Nepal is witnessing relative political calm after the Maoists declared a three month ceasefire to facilitate a political solution to the insurgency, which has been marked by unabated violence, threatening peace and stability in the Himalayan Kingdom. The Maoist insurgency, which originated ten years ago in April 1996, has reached a new phase. After several rounds of unsuccessful negotiations to resolve the political crisis posed by the Maoists in the past, the current situation is characterized by anxiety and hope. The anxiety is over whether a peaceful solution can be reached.

    May 03, 2006

    Recent Developments in Pakistan

    Event: 
    Workshop
    May 02, 2006

    Import of Afghan President's Visit to India

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai's four-day state visit to India from April 9-12, 2006 was the fourth since he was appointed Chairman of the Afghan interim administration in December 2001. His visit assumes significance in the backdrop of heightened violence in Afghanistan, the inclusion of Afghanistan in SAARC with India's facilitation, the recent political row between Afghanistan and Pakistan over the issue of cross-border terrorism, and the March 2006 visit of President Bush to the Subcontinent.

    April 26, 2006

    Religious Extremism in Ferghana Valley

    A series of disturbing events— from the Tashkent bombing in February 1999 to the May 13, 2005 incidents in Andijon city in Ferghana Valley of Uzbekistan— have drawn attention to the growing role of the religious extremist forces in Central Asia. The Islamic Movement of Turkestan (IMT), also known as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) until the middle of 2003, and the Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HT) – the two leading extremist groups— have openly declared their objective of overthrowing the constitutional system and to create an Islamic state in Central Asia.

    April 2006

    Radical Islamic Movements: Gender Construction in Jamaat-i-Islami and Tabligh-i-Jamaat in Pakistan

    Muslim women are generally viewed as victims of prevailing religious and patriarchal discourses. Their subjectivity and subordinate position is discussed as imposed, through textual representations by orthodox and radical Muslims. Radical Islamic movements are examined as militarized masculinities, oppressing women as well as terrorizing the non-Muslims. This paper argues that women are active partners of their subordination within traditionalist and radical religious movements. They are agents of orthodoxy and have carved a new role for themselves within the religious paradigms.

    April 2006

    MMA-Democracy Interface in Pakistan: From Natural Confrontation to Cohabitation?

    The myth regarding religious parties in Pakistan possessing street power sans political power was broken with the success of the Muttahida Majlise Amal’s (MMA)—a coalition of Muslim parties and groups— in the 2002 general elections. The party sprung to power for a variety of reasons including the support it received from General Musharraf’s military establishment. The MMA on several occasions facilitated Musharraf’s political schema in the hope for larger political favours, drawing severe criticism from both within and outside the party.

    April 2006

    Waziristan Quagmire

    The actions of the Pakistani government in North Waziristan during the last one month are indicative of adhocism and adventurism. It was only on February 23 that the Governor of NWFP, Khalil-ur-Rehman, announced that the government had suspended operations in North Waziristan Agency because it believed that tribesmen were capable of restoring peace and normalcy through their own customs and traditions. However just six days later, 41 militants including their Chechen commander were reportedly killed in a raid carried out using helicopter gunships on their hideout in North Waziristan.

    March 28, 2006

    George Bush Puts Pakistan and Pervez Musharraf Out in the Cold

    US President George Bush's 26-hour visit to Pakistan was foredoomed to failure as the two leaders had two different sets of issues on their agenda for talks, which shows their divergent perceptions of mutual roles and concerns in the region. While terrorism, nuclear non-proliferation and democracy held salience for George Bush, General Musharraf seemed inclined to forging strategic cooperation and securing civil nuclear technology and US mediation in Kashmir.

    March 11, 2006

    The Sri Lankan Peace Process: Looking Beyond Geneva

    While much analysis has gone into the recently held talks at Geneva on February 22 and 23, 2006, the consensus lies in the recognition that the talks were an important beginning to make a political solution possible to this intractable conflict. At Geneva the two sides had taken divergent positions prior to the talks, with the government desiring an amendment of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) and the LTTE seeking better implementation of the same.

    March 06, 2006

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