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  • Wake-up Call for Persian Gulf Rulers

    Rulers of Gulf states should initiate reforms to accommodate the voices and aspirations of different sections of their societies.

    March 08, 2011

    Future of Parliamentary Democracy in Kyrgyzstan

    We must prove to the world community that a new political culture takes root in Kyrgyzstan and a new political strategy supported by people will have a future. A return to the past will imminently lead to the restoration of totalitarianism and a clannish government. We must learn a lesson from the past. Life will show how suitable the parliamentary system is for our community. Our people had lived in the conditions of a nomadic democracy for thousands of years, preserving their traditions and values in difficult times of history.

    March 2011

    Lessons from Egypt: do not underestimate the power of peaceful Satyagraha and the Internet

    The people’s movement, in bringing down the former President Hosni Mubarak, has once again showed the power of peaceful protest and ideas. There are many lessons to be learnt from the transformative developments.

    February 14, 2011

    Nepal 2010: Uncertainties Galore

    The peace process was deadlocked, with extreme polarization within and among the political parties on various issues.

    January 10, 2011

    Myanmar Elections: Domestic Apathy and International Concerns

    The outcome of the elections in Myanmar is awaited anxiously by the international community but not much change is expected.

    November 04, 2010

    Re-emergence of the Military and the Future of Democracy in Bangladesh

    A military-backed caretaker government supported by the international community assumed power in Bangladesh on January 11, 2007, promising a corruption-free and clean democratic environment to usher in a new era in politics. It has introduced a series of electoral reforms and has taken action against the 'corrupt'. As Bangladesh is poised for parliamentary elections by the end of December, doubts remain about whether politics in Bangladesh will change for the better, however.

    November 2008

    Bangladesh: Fixing the Democratic Future

    The release of Sheikh Hasina on ‘parole’ for two months has generated hope for the stalled political dialogue and uncertainty over the scheduled Parliamentary elections in December 2008. The Awami League (AL) had earlier demanded the unconditional release of Hasina. But it appears that after hectic negotiations between some of the advisors of the Caretaker Government (CTG) and Hasina, a political understanding was worked out that ultimately saw her being freed. It has given hope to the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) about the release of their leader as well from jail.

    June 16, 2008

    Prospects for Democracy in Pakistan Appear Dim

    The pro-democracy, anti-Musharraf movement launched by the combined opposition in May 2006 will once again put on trial the strength and determination of the people of Pakistan to snatch power from the clutches of the military. The Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy (ARD), a conglomerate of 15 parties, has demanded the resignation of President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz by July 31, 2006, failing which a vote of no-confidence would be moved against the Musharraf regime. The demand was made in a resolution adopted by the Alliance on July 2.

    July 19, 2006

    The Bhutto-Sharif Charter of Democracy

    Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif signed the Charter of Democracy in London on May 15. This is a politically significant step as it signals the coming together of two important parties that together gained 36.5 per cent of the popular vote and hold 72 seats in the current 342 member National Assembly of Pakistan. All political parties including the MMA have welcomed the Charter. The military government, however, has been critical of the alliance and said in a statement that this is a political gimmick of parties that have failed the people and democracy in Pakistan.

    May 29, 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

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