South Asia

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  • Indo-Pak Peace Process: Keep the Process Afloat

    India-Pakistan interaction, in recent days, is fast losing its familiar flavour of distrust and bitterness. This is not to deny, however, that one can still identify the inertial sense of rancour, the propensity to misunderstand and misinterpret each other within the dialogic track that has completed one year.

    March 10, 2005

    Troubled Road to SAFTA

    The proposal to reconvene the 13th SAARC Summit soon has rekindled the hopes of South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) coming into force on schedule on 01 Jan 2006. It is a sad commentary on the regional economic cooperation that although the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has been in existence for about 20 years, the intra regional trade is still languishing below five percent of the global trade of the member states. It is widely believed that all the seven states of the region will benefit immensely in the long run from the economic benefits of SAFTA.

    March 10, 2005

    Indo-Pak Ties and Visit of Pak PM Shaukat Aziz

    The intense media interest and the more modest outcome of what ultimately transpired after the just concluded visit of the Pakistani PM Mr. Shaukat Aziz to New Delhi is in many ways indicative of the tone and texture of Indo-Pak relations at the present moment. While the two nations have had a relationship of varying degrees of hostility and bitterness since October 1947, the agreement reached in January 2004 over the Composite Dialogue Process (CDP) is the framework in which bi-lateral ties are now being pursued.

    January 05, 2005

    Warlords and Karzai’s Balancing Act

    On March 1, 2005, Afghan President Hamid Karzai appointed Uzbek militia commander Abdul Rashid Dostum as Chief-of-Staff to the Commander-in-Chief of the Afghan armed forces – a post which he holds.1

    January 2005

    Rumblings in the Northern Areas

    Pakistan seems to have realised that with the silting of Tarbela Dam (it has lost more than 30 per cent of its storage capacity), it needs to build at least one, if not two, mega dams on the Indus at the earliest. President Musharraf has made an impassioned plea for the construction of new reservoirs and canals to ensure sustainable agricultural development

    January 2005

    Myth of the Monolith: The Challenge of Diversity in Pakistan

    The paper seeks to study the challenges faced by the Pakistani state from the perspective of its vast ethno-cultural diversity which problematises the process of-nation building attempted by the Pakistani leadership since its very inception. The paper starts with a rudimentary definitional view of the concept of ethnicity and nationalism, and isolates the areas of friction in the way the Pakistani nation has been conceptualised and the way diverse ethno-cultural groups have evolved their identity through history

    January 2005

    Post-War Afghanistan: Reconstructing a Failed State

    Afghanistan once represented a fragmented and failed socio-economic and political entity. Operation Enduring Freedom, while targeting the Taliban and Al Qaida as part of the global war on terrorism helped create the structure of a new Afghan State. This article analyses the challenges faced by Afghanistan and how the new Afghan elite and its foreign supporters seek to address them through constitutional means. The New Constitution provides the framework of how Afghanistan wishes to reconstruct the new State.

    October 2004

    Iran-Pakistan Relations: Political and Strategic Dimensions

    Iran-Pakistan relations have had a distinct characteristic over the past five decades and Islamabad’s clandestine transfer of nuclear technology and materials to Iran underlines its significance. Political and strategic imperatives have formed the basis of their close relationship despite divergence of interests and political outlook on regional and global issues. Both the countries have tried to reconcile the differences and consolidate their ties.

    October 2004

    Attack on Sheikh Hasina

    On August 21, 2004, a little before 5.30 in the evening, there was a grenade attack on the Awami League leader, Sheikh Hasina Wajed. This occurred soon after she concluded her speech in a public rally close to the Awami League headquarters in Dhaka, which ironically was held to protest the recent grenade attacks in Sylhet. 11 of the 13 grenades hurled at the rally exploded instantly followed by indiscriminate firing fortunately missing the target, Sheikh Hasina, as she was hurriedly escorted into her bullet-proof car. The impact left 18 dead and hundreds wounded.

    July 2004

    Nepal: Quest for Elusive Peace

    Amidst the continuously expanding sphere of Maoist influence, political uncertainties and growing international interest, Nepal continues to remain one of the most volatile countries in South Asia. Recent developments have, once again, reconfirmed that while the Maoists have been successful in gradually pushing their agenda through violence and intimidation, the four-party coalition government led by Sher Bahadur Deuba is increasingly finding it difficult to evolve a coherent strategy to counter it.

    July 2004

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