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  • Gilgit Baltistan: Neither ‘in’ Pakistan Nor ‘of’ it?

    Pakistan has failed to address the aspirations of the people under subjugation in PoK leading to frequent political outbursts as being witnessed now, outbursts that are only likely to grow given Pakistan’s indifference towards the region as well as its internal security dynamics and external preoccupations.

    March 06, 2012

    Role of Pakistan’s Armed Forces in 2010 Floods

    When nature laid its wrath on Pakistan in July 2010, engulfing major parts of the country with devastating floods, it demanded that the nation stand tall. This led to emergence of the Pakistani army as the dominant national player in rescue missions. The army’s role gave clear evidence of careful planning, optimal utilisation of resources, sharp foresight, and bold leadership. The army conducted and participated in numerous life-saving operations, and reinvented itself during one of the toughest times faced by this war-struck country.

    January 2012

    As Pakistan observes Kashmir Solidarity Day…

    Over the last few years, there is a whole range of instances where the common Kashmiri has become a part of the Indian landscape, by persevering through the difficult circumstances in the Valley and making something worthwhile of their life.

    February 17, 2012

    Anil asked: Why India does not support democratic movements in China, Tibet, Pakistan, etc? Isn’t it in India’s long-term interest?

    S. Kalyanaraman replies: India's establishment as a liberal democracy was the third great moment in the history of liberalism, the first two being the American and French Revolutions. There is no doubt that India favours democracy taking root among its neighbours as well as the spread of democracy throughout the world. However, India does not believe in imposing democracy on any country at the point of a bayonet. Instead, it prefers to serve as an example that other countries can emulate for their own benefit. India's past experience in promoting greater democracy within the sub-continent clearly demonstrates the limits of what can be achieved. India helped in the liberation of Bangladesh and its establishment as a democratic state; but democracy there was soon overthrown. Indeed, the latest attempt at a coup in Bangladesh partly stems from forces that do not favour better or closer India-Bangladesh relations. Similarly, through the 1980s, India attempted to convince Sri Lanka of the imperative of evolving a federal democratic polity (as opposed to Sri Lanka's preference for a unitary polity) that would address the grievances of its minority Tamils in particular, but failed to move Colombo. Even today, Sri Lanka refuses to see the merits of the Indian democratic model and is seeking to evolve a 'Sri Lankan' model in the wake of its 'victory' over the LTTE.

    The limits of what India can achieve in this regard are even starker when it comes to countries that are adversaries or rivals. Overtly promoting democracy and democratic movements especially in countries that are adversaries or rivals is not a prudent policy for two main reasons. Firstly, the very fact of extending such support will delegitimise or help to delegitimise these movements because of perceived support from the Indian adversary/rival; thus, detracting from the long-term goal of enabling these countries to become democracies. Secondly, a policy of overtly promoting democratic movements in countries that are adversaries or rivals will simply add another point of conflict to an already troubled relationship and further vitiate bilateral relations, something that needs to be avoided especially when India's principal focus continues to be on internal socio-political-economic development.

    Possible Political Scenarios in Pakistan

    If the army is not in favour of a coup, attempts could be made to defuse the tension through a compromise between the army and the government, with some leadership change acting as a face-saver.

    January 16, 2012

    The Poor Prospects of the CTBT Entering Into Force

    While Indonesia’s ratification has given a boost to the CTBT, the positions of the other hold-out countries do not show any promise of forward movement.

    January 09, 2012

    The Difa-e Pakistan Rally in Lahore and its Implications for Pakistan

    By staging such a massive gathering in Lahore, it appears that the military is trying to bring JuD into mainstream politics, which is clearly an ominous sign of the times to come.

    December 23, 2011

    Prognosis for Pakistan 2012

    The outlook for Pakistan in the year 2012 is rather negative diplomatically, economically, politically, socially, culturally, and militarily.

    December 13, 2011

    A Rejoinder to John R. Schmidt, 'Pakistan’s Alternate Universe'

    Whatever John R. Schmidt’s aims, the arguments that he has employed do not stand the test of casual perusal leave alone scrutiny.

    December 12, 2011

    Pakistan’s Military-Militant Cabal

    Pakistan has for long been running with the hares and hunting with the hounds. While it has been a key partner of the international community in the war against terror, elements in Pakistani military establishment have been hand in glove with the very same terror outfits they are supposed to fight. This paper seeks to put a laser focus on the Janus-faced Pakistan and discuss Pakistan’s duplicitous conduct in dealing with the jihadists. A prime example of the Pakistani strategy in dealing with terror outfits is the Haqqani network which has been discussed in depth here.

    October 2011