Alok Bansal

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  • Captain Alok Bansal was Member, Navy at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile

    Violence in Pakistan: Trend Analysis November 2008

    December 31, 2008

    Violence in Pakistan: Trend Analysis, October 2008

    The number of violent incidents in Pakistan increased from 309 in September 2008 to 346 in October 2008. Yet, casualty figures decreased from 1342 to 1081.1 This shows that Pakistan’s security forces have succeeded in controlling the level of violence, even though current levels are still unacceptably high. 582 suspected militants, most of them from the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) were also arrested by the security forces during the month, in military operations as well as during searches in various areas.

    December 02, 2008

    Violence in Pakistan: Trend Analysis September 2008

    Although September coincides with the holy month of Ramzan in the Islamic calendar, the violence in Pakistan during the month surpassed that in August, which itself was the most violent month. Despite the fasting and sanctity accorded to Ramzan in Islam, it is also associated with Shahadat (martyrdom) and people laying down their life during this holy month are often considered Shaheeds (martyrs). This probably explains to some extent the extremely enhanced level of violence in Pakistan during September 2008 and why various Ramzan ceasefires negotiated in August and September floundered.

    November 03, 2008

    Prachanda’s Visit to India: Beginning of a New Dawn

    No other recent visit to India has been so eagerly awaited as that of Pushpa Kumar Dahal, alias Prachanda, the Maoist revolutionary turned democrat and Prime Minister of ‘New Nepal’. His party received a thumping mandate from the electorate in the last elections and but for the fact that 50 per cent of the seats were to be filled up by proportional representation, it could have easily crossed the half way mark in the constituent assembly. Thus, under the existing electoral procedure, the Maoists were forced to bank on other political parties to form a government.

    October 08, 2008

    Violence in Pakistan: Trend Analysis for August 2008

    The recent suicide attack on Mariott Hotel in Islamabad has once again focussed international attention on Pakistan. Violence in Pakistan is now moving from the periphery to the heartland. The level of violence has been rising continuously for the last few months. Drawing upon media reports, an attempt is made here to analyse violence in Pakistan during August 2008.

    September 30, 2008

    Pakistan’s New Trade Policy: A Step in the Right Direction?

    At a time when Pakistan’s phenomenal economic growth of the past few years under the Musharraf regime has hit a severe road block, the country’s Trade Minister Ahmed Mukhtar, who also holds the defence portfolio, announced a new trade policy on July 18, 2008. The announcement of the new trade policy has been governed by the state of Pakistan’s economy, which has been on a downward spiral since February.

    August 05, 2008

    Implications of Peace Deals in Pakistan’s Wild West

    As the new political dispensation in Pakistan negotiates new deals with militants in the country’s Pakhtoon belt, it is causing consternation among its neighbours. The deals have been signed in Swat Valley, Mardan, Mohmand and Bajour Agency, and in all probability with Baitullah Mehsud the leader of ‘Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’ in Waziristan. However, the Pakistan government would like to retain deniability vis-à-vis the last of these deals, so as not to ruffle too many feathers in the United States or Afghanistan.

    June 13, 2008

    Synergising Indian Navy and the Coast Guard

    Armed Forces all over the world are beginning to realise the importance of jointmanship, and accordingly enormous efforts have been made of late to promote jointmanship and bring about integration of the three armed forces in India. However, no attempt has been made to formally integrate the Coast Guard, which has also been termed as an armed force of the union, with the other forces, especially with the Indian Navy (IN).

    Summer 2008

    Pakistan’s Peace Deals with Islamic militants: Lull before the Storm

    The new ANP-led provincial government in NWFP signed a peace deal with the Islamic militants of Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) led by Maulana Fazlullah, on May 21, 2008. The deal is the most significant initiative taken by the provincial government to end endemic violence that has engulfed the scenic Swat valley since last year and follows another peace deal with Maulana Sufi Mohammad, the father in law of Fazlullah and the founder of TNSM on April 20. Sufi Mohammad had founded TNSM after leaving Jamaat-e-Islami in 1992.

    May 28, 2008

    Pakistan’s Impending Economic Crisis

    One of the biggest achievements of Musharraf’s rule, according to him, was that he turned around a tottering economy. Rescuing it from the verge of default, he brought it to a state where it was declared a success story by the International Financial Institutions. GDP was growing at a healthy rate of 6.5 to 7.5 per cent and even touched nine per cent in 2005. ADB projected a 6.5 per cent GDP growth for 2008 in its report released in December 2007.

    April 21, 2008

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