Smruti S. Pattanaik

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  • Smruti S. Pattanaik is Research Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile

    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

    Bangladesh and the TATA Investment: Playing Politics with Economics

    The TATA investment of US$3 billion in Bangladesh, by far the largest foreign investment in the country, has run into rough weather over the pricing of gas. Dhaka rejected Tata's initial 2004 offer of $1.10 per unit of gas to be supplied over a twenty-year period, seemingly favouring the price to be at par with international prices. As per the new proposal submitted in April 2006, the price that Tata has offered is $3.10 for thousand cubic feet (MCF) of gas for its fertiliser plant and $2.60 per MCF for its proposed steel plant.

    May 11, 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

    Making Sense of Regional Cooperation: SAARC at Twenty

    The South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) completed two decades of its existence in 2005. Yet it has only made modest progress in achieving its regional goals. The reasons for this are many. Successful regionalism requires a shared faith in collective gains and a vision for long-term cooperation that has been missing. There has been a visible lack of trust among some of the principal actors, a preponderance of domestic political consideration and a strong sensitivity towards sovereignty that has prevented collective action and gains from cooperation.

    January 2006

    Internal Political Dynamics and Bangladesh's Foreign Policy Towards India

    Bangladesh’s relations with India are multi-dimensional - ideological, political and also economic. An extreme sense of distrust, insecurity and perceived domination by India has shaped Bangladesh’s foreign policy in recent years. It at the same time, hesitant and finds it uncomfortable to function within a bilateral parameter. Whether it is trade, export of gas, provision of transit or the water issue, Bangladesh has argued for multilateral arrangements.

    July 2005

    Indo-Pak Relations and the SAARC Summits

    The uncertainties regarding regular SAARC meetings have clouded the prospect of regional cooperation. Though India has been accused as the main culprit, other member-countries are no less responsible for the organisation’s lack of progress.

    July 2004

    Pakistan’s ‘Sustainable Democracy’: Army as the Political Architect

    Any study of political developments in Pakistan cannot be complete without examining the role of the Army. Though it might seem incompatible to talk of military and democracy in the same breadth, Pakistan provides an example of how the military has been able to govern the country as successfully as a civilian government. It has its own view of democracy, political stability and governance. It feels it has a political role which stems from the national security paradigm of the state.

    April 2004

    Pakistan's Nuclear Strategy

    The debate on the rationale for Pakistan's possession of nuclear weapons, the concept of nuclear deterrence and the security of Pakistan has been intertwined. Many Pakistani defence analysts see both deterrence and security as synonymous. This paper analyses Pakistan's nuclear strategy in the context of first, its threat perception, second, its plan to achieve parity with India and third, its objective after the tests to portray Kashmir as a nuclear flashpoint to persuade the world community's indulgence and intervention to resolve the issue.

    January 2003

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