Remarks By Robert O. Blake, Jr. *
Read Part I
As we build a vital economic partnership with India, we also support India’s broader role in the Asia-Pacific region. With many of the world’s nuclear powers, half of its population, and some of the most dynamic economies in the world in the Asia Pacific, we firmly believe that much of the history of the 21st century will be written here. That is why President Obama called for a rebalance of U.S. foreign policy toward this region.
By Rabia Akhtar *
Aesopian fables and their moral parallels in our everyday life are amusing. But anyone who believes that slow and steady wins the race, has never really won a race. Perhaps India and Pakistan as tortoise and hare respectively are not trying to ‘win’ the ‘nuclear race’ as alluded by Michael Krepon, but remain ‘The Two Pots’ Aesop talks about. The earthenware pot tries its best to keep a safe distance from the brass pot despite reassurances given by the latter of good intentions; and as they float down the stream, the earthenware pot says to the brass pot, “But I may come in contact with you, if I come too close; and whether I hit you, or you hit me, I shall suffer for it.”
From The News
India will retaliate massively even if Pakistan uses tactical nuclear weapons against it. With Pakistan developing "tactical" nuclear warheads, that is, miniaturizing its weapons to be carried on short-range missiles, India will protect its security interests by retaliating to a "smaller" tactical attack in exactly the same manner, as it would respond to a "big" strategic attack, said a report published in The Times of India.
By Shanthie Mariet D'Souza *
Much of the discourse on inteqal (transition) in Afghanistan has focused on the numbers and capacities of the Afghan security sector tasked to repulse insurgent onslaughts. Civilian capacity building, economic opportunities, trade, transit and investment that would potentially change the narrative of Afghanistan from being an aid-dependent state to a self-sustaining economy, has received much less attention. As Afghanistan traverses a challenging path, the economic component will be critical to shore up Afghanistan’s institutional capacities and bring in long-term stability.
By Dilip Hiro *
How Operation Enduring Freedom Mutated into Operation Enduring Corruption
Washington has vociferously denounced Afghan corruption as a major obstacle to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. This has been widely reported. Only one crucial element is missing from this routine censure: a credible explanation of why American nation-building failed there. No wonder. To do so, the U.S. would have to denounce itself.
By Sarath Kumara and Wimal Perera *
In one of the worst industrial disasters in Bangladesh’s history, at least 175 workers were confirmed dead as of April 25 morning, and about 1,000 injured, after the collapse of an eight-storey building that housed garment factories in Savar, a suburb of Dhaka. As many as 1,600 more were thought to be trapped in the rubble.
By S. Binodkumar Singh
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
On April 6, 2013, in the biggest-ever show of force by Islamists in the country in recent times, hundreds of thousands of members of the Chittagong-based radical Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam (HeI), organized a ‘Long March’ from Chittagong to Dhaka, and held a massive rally in the Bangladesh capital. Over two million people are estimated to have participated in the rally.
By Ram Puniyani *
Most of the countries of South Asia have faced the barbaric problem of violence targeted against religious minorities. The form of this may have been different, but the outcome has been similar, the brutality against religious minorities, violence against innocent human beings. The current times (Mid 2013) may be one of the worst when in the spate of short span of we are witness to violence in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Myanmar, more or less running parallel.
By Ram Kumar Bhandari *
The International Day for the Right to the Truth on 24 March is an occasion to remind ourselves that victims and their relatives have a right to know to the fullest extent possible the fate of loved ones who were disappeared, tortured, raped, and killed during the Nepal conflict.
85 percent of political parties ready for polls, says President Ram Baran Yadav: President Ram Baran Yadav on April 26 expressing hope that the election to Constituent Assembly (CA) would be held on time, said 85 percent of all the active political forces have already ready for elections. He further said as head of the state he was taking initiatives to persuade some dissident political parties, including Mohan Baidya-led Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist-Baidya (CPN-Maoist-Baidya), to come on board the election process.
By Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its local ally Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) finally overran Tirah Valley in the Khyber Agency on March 19, 2013, after nearly two months of intermittent heavy clashes with Ansarul Islam (AI) and the Kamarkhel militia, both pro-Government militant outfits. The deadly turf war, which started on January 23, 2013, ended with TTP and LI entering AI stronghold areas on March 18-19 and AI 'chief' Qari Mehboobul Haq and 'deputy chief' Maulana Izatullah Hamkhayal fleeing the area with just 25 confidants. Nevertheless, two AI supporters blew themselves up on March 19, killing 46 of the raiding TTP terrorists.