JUNE 2016 Issue
By Sanchita Bhattacharya
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
Emphasizing the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT) clout and survival capabilities in South Asia, Admiral Samuel Locklear, Commander of the US Pacific Command (PACOM), observed, on April 9, 2013, “LeT remains one, if not the most operationally capable terrorist groups through all of South Asia. LeT was responsible for the November 2008 attack in Mumbai, India, that killed over 160 people, including six Americans, and has supported or executed a number of other attacks in South Asia in recent years.”
By Abdul Majid Zargar *
And for once Prime Minster Manmohan Singh deserves kudos for taking a bold initiative by inviting Nawaz Sharief, Prime Minster –in-waiting of Pakistan to Visit India at a mutually convenient date. That gesture has been well reciprocated by Nawaz Sharief. In a media interview he said that a new round of talks will be resumed with India on the issue of Kashmir, and that ties with neighboring countries will also be strengthened.
By Rasheed Khalid
We are living in a populous region where one Hiroshima size nuclear bomb used by each, according to a joint study conducted by South Asians, can kill three millions in Pakistan and four millions in India, said Dr. A H Nayyar, former professor of Physics, Quaid-i-Azam University.
He was speaking at the technical session on ‘Nuclear Pakistan: An Overview of the Strategic Dimensions’ on the second day of two-day Islamabad Literature Festival in Islamabad on May 1.
By PR Chari *
Comparing countries to animals is an absorbing pastime for foreign policy analysts to discover their essential character. It is, therefore, no accident that the US has chosen the eagle to be its national symbol to emphasize its aggressive, risk-taking nature. The erstwhile Soviet Union, now Russia, identified itself with the bear, which hugs what it seizes securely to itself.
By Jack A. Smith *
Hamid Karzai has let the Pentagon’s cat out of the bag — to the displeasure of the Obama Administration. The Afghan president revealed inside information about President Obama’s war plans after all U.S. “combat troops” completely withdraw in 17 months at the end of 2014.
By S. Binodkumar Singh
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
On May 5, 2013, Hefazat-e-Islam (HeI, 'Protectorate of Islam') enforced their 'Dhaka Siege' programme to mount pressure on the Awami League (AL)-led Government to implement their 13-point demands , including the demand to “pass a law providing for capital punishment for maligning Allah, Islam and Prophet Muhammad… and smear campaigns against Muslims”. Four civilians were killed and several others injured as cadres of HeI fought running battles with Police across Dhaka, turning the capital into a city of panic. 70,000 Islamists marched down at least six highways and took position at the entry points of the city, stopping road transport and cutting off Dhaka's road links with rest of the country, while they raised slogans of 'Allahu Akbar' (God is great) and "One point, One demand: Atheists must be hanged."
By Javed Anand *
Leaders and the led from a host of rightwing Indian Muslim organisations – Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JEI), All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, All India Milli Council, All Bengal Minority Youth Federation, West Bengal Sunnat Al Jamaat Committee included – have not been sleeping well in the last several weeks. Their angst is on two counts.
31 persons killed in Bangladesh during the week: At least 27 persons, including three Security Forces (SFs), were killed in clashes between SFs and Hefajat-e-Islam (HeI) cadres on May 6 in Narayanganj, Chittagong and Bagerhat Districts. In Narayanganj District, 20 persons, including two Policemen and a Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) soldier, were killed. In Chittagong District, six people were killed and 50 others, including five Policemen, injured. In Bagerhat District, one HeI cadre was killed and at least 20 other persons, including SFs and journalists, were injured during the running battles.
Government committed to hold CA elections by 3rd week of November 2013, says Chairman of the interim election council Khil Raj Regmi: Chairman of the interim election council Khil Raj Regmi on May 29 said that the government was committed to hold the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections by the 3rd week of November (1st week of the Nepali month of Mangsir). He said that the government was in consultations with the parties to resolve the differences on the proposed election ordinance and that the election date would be announced after a "favourable political situation" is created. He also said that the government expected cooperation from the political parties and other stakeholders to create election atmosphere. Nepal News, May 30, 2013.
By Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed *
Khan’s PTI ‘tsunami’ was confined to the urban youth, unfairly described as the MacDonalds-oriented upper middle class
Mian Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) won most votes and seats in the May 11, 2013 Pakistan general election. Partly this derives from the first-past-the-post system that favours the big, established parties. The counter-argument that Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) would produce an upset was popular among the media ‘analysts’. That the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) would be punished for failing to provide good and effective government proved to be true. So, how do we explain the two surprises?