IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

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flagship of the International Press Syndicate.

- Suresh Jaura
Publisher and Managing Editor

MORE SMOKE & MIRRORS

0712 flag pakistanSectarian violence in Karachi is just another chapter in Pakistan’s long history of violence against minorities, has afflicted Pakistan virtually from its moment of birth...

TRUMP'S FOREIGN POLICY

U.S. allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, smiling through their teeth, are feverishly hoping that Washington will maintain its security commitments. The Russians are ... . . ..   

AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN-USA

A US revaluation of its Af-Pak policy appears likely under Trump... It is, however, unlikely that US AfPak policy under Trump will be ‘more of the same’. Crucially, Pakistan’s role in supporting terrorism in Afghanistan . . .

NUCLEAR WWWIII

Escalation of hostility may become a thermonuclear WWIII.

ARM & TRAIN

Non-Muslims in violent conflict areas to enhance the security...

HYDRO BOOM & CONFLICTS

With approval of power plants, conflicts have arisen ...

SUICIDE TERRORISM

Growing support for suicide terrorism

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Pakistan Iran Gas Pipeline Construction Begins

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By Vilani Peiris & Sarath Kumara

Amid US threats to impose sanctions on his country, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari joined Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a ceremony breaking ground on construction of the Pakistani portion of a planned Iran-Pakistan pipeline on March 15.

With national elections due in May, Zardari and his ruling Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) will seek to gain electoral advantage by using the pipeline to posture as being independent from Washington. Iran sees the project as a way to counter the crippling economic sanctions the US has imposed on it, based on unsubstantiated allegations that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

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Pakistan: Sinking State

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By Ajit Kumar Singh *
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

In a development heavy with irony, on March 7, 2013, Pakistan’s Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani – who effectively oversees all internal and external security dispensations in the country, notwithstanding the visible pretence of a ‘civilian’ and ‘democratically elected’ Government – conveyed the Army’s ‘concerns’ to the President, Asif Ali Zardari, about ‘rapidly deteriorating law and order’ and about ‘improper and inefficient utilisation of civilian law-enforcement agencies by the federal and provincial governments in dealing with terrorism’.

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Terror Finance Inc.

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By Sanchita Bhattacharya
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

While winding up the tenure of Pakistan’s Parliament (on March 15, 2013), within a short span of the three preceding weeks, both the Senate (Upper House) and National Assembly (Lower House) passed the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2013, related particularly to offences relating to the financing of terror. The National Assembly passed the Bill unanimously on February 20, while a majority in the Senate passed on March 5, 2013. The Bill empowers Government authorities to take action against elements involved in financing terrorism in the country, and provides, among other things, for the confiscation of properties owned by those involved in such activities.

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Turmoil In Baluchistan, Chuck Hagel And The Indian Factor

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By Abdus Sattar Ghazali *

US Secretary of defense designate Chuck Hagel suggested in a previously unreleased 2011 speech that India has for many years sponsored terrorist activities against Pakistan in Afghanistan.

In a speech, delivered at Oklahoma's Cameron University, Chuck Hagel said: "India for some time has always used Afghanistan as a second front, and India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border".

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The Other Punjab: At The Heart of Pakistani Extremism

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By Manzar Zaidi *

Most of the fighting between Pakistani troops and the Pashtun Taliban has been in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. But the less-reported aspect of recent developments in Pakistan is the endemic radicalisation of Pakistan's Punjab province.

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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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Sixteen militants and four SF Personnel among 21 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least twelve militants were killed during operation by the Security Forces (SFs) in Mamoonzai area of Orakzai Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), on March 29.

Security Forces (SFs) on March 26 killed four Afghan-based militants as the troops repulsed a cross border attack on a security check-point in Nawagal tehsil (revenue unit) of Bajaur Agency. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, March 26-April 1, 2013.

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Sri Lanka's Stance on the Geneva Resolution Not Changed

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By A Correspondent

The Sri Lankan government said it rejected the resolution brought against the country at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva last month and there has been no change in the government's stance on the proposal since its inception.

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SRI LANKA: News Briefs

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Probe into LTTE crimes should start with Colonel Karuna, says HRW: Human Rights Watch (HRW) on March 28 said that Sri Lanka should act on the call by the Deputy Minister V Muralitharan, known as Colonel Karuna, to investigate war crimes by examining his own role in serious abuses. Karuna was effectively the second-in-command of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the head of its eastern province forces until he split from its leader V Prabhakaran in March 2004. Daily Mirror, March 29, 2013.

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ANALYSIS: BRICS Vow To Move Ahead on Crucial Issues

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By Raghu Nathan

As South Africa inched towards hosting the fifth BRICS Summit from March 26 to 27 in the historic city of Durban, the German Bertelsmann Foundation threw a spanner in the works by declaring that South Africa is "not a model for sustainable development on the African continent".

The think-tank explained: "The country, in contrast to Brazil for example, has not made convincing social progress in important areas, such as education, health, social inclusion and unemployment, whereas other African countries are catching up and becoming more attractive to the BRICS countries."

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VIEWPOINT: India Still at the Centre of the Indian Ocean

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By Nilanthi Samaranayake*

Is India’s influence declining in the ocean named after the country? That seems to be the conclusion of some analysts after Maldives' cancellation of an airport development contract with an Indian company in November 2012.

These concerns are elevated by China's increased engagement with smaller states in the Indian Ocean, including Maldives. Given the legacy of the 1962 war between China and India and ongoing competition for influence, New Delhi is right to have suspicions about Beijing’s intentions in its neighbourhood and whether smaller Indian Ocean countries are playing the two sides off each other.

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FOCUS: Ten Years On: Murder and Mayhem Prevail in Iraq

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By Ernest Corea*

Anniversaries are usually treated as occasions for celebration. They are given special names as in “golden” for a fiftieth anniversary and “tin” for a tenth. Goodwill is in the air, food and drinks are brought out, and “don’t worry, be happy” is the overarching theme for all concerned. Not so in contemporary Iraq, where the tenth anniversary of the US invasion of that country fell on March 19, 2013. The event was not commemorated with joyous activity. Instead, murder and mayhem prevailed.

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