JANUARY 2017

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- 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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Questions on US Surveillance of Pakistan’s Nuclear Program

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By Kokab Farshori

A recent Washington Post article reporting that the United States has stepped up surveillance of Pakistan's nuclear program has once again raised questions about the bilateral relationship between Washington and Islambad.  The reported surveillance has focused new attention on the issue of mutual trust in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.

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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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KP Government decides to divide Peshawar into four zones as a new anti-terror strategy: Following a series of attacks in Peshawar, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Government on September 29 devised a counter-terror strategy to ward off threats in the city. Secretary Interior Akthar Ali Shah said that two special task forces would be set up for the city to maintain peace and counter militant threats. One of the committee's will be headed by the Commissioner and the other will be under the Inspector-General (IG) of Police. Dawn, September 30, 2013.

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Sri Lanka: Poliarized Mandate

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By S. Binodkumar Singh
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

On September 21, 2013, amid heavy security voting was conducted in the Tamil dominated Northern Province of Sri Lanka – the former stronghold of the separatist-terrorist formation, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the largest Tamil party in the country, which is considered the political inheritor of the now defeated LTTE, secured a landslide victory, winning in all five Districts in the Province, with a clear majority in 28 of 36 seats. These included 14 seats in Jaffna District; four seats each in Mullaitivu and Vavuniya; and three each in Mannar and Kilinochchi. The TNA also secured two bonus seats on the basis of its percentage of votes in each District.

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SRI LANKA: News Briefs

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Land powers reside with central government and not with PCs, rules Supreme Court: Supreme Court in a ruling on September 26 stated that the land powers in Sri Lanka were vested with the Central Government and not with the Provincial Councils (PCs). Despite the three-judge bench delivering independent decisions on the case, the bench agreed that according to the 13th Amendment the land powers were vested with the Central Government. A three-member Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, Justice Eva Wanasundera and Justice Sri Pavan gave the ruling when an appeal filed by the Minister of Plantation Industries was taken up. Colombo Page, September 27, 2013.

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Book Review: A Lahoria in Delhi

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By Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed *

Delhi by Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani Traveller        
Author: Raza Rumi
Publisher: HarperCollins, New Delhi; 2013
Pages: 322 


When Indians and Pakistanis visit each other, questions of identity, patriotism, and self-esteem almost invariably crop up in even the most enlightened circles. That for more than a thousand years Indian-Muslims were a hyphenated community among many others such as caste Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Dalits, and all of them together were described generically even as Hindus by foreigners, is often forgotten.

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U. S. and Iranian Realities

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By George Friedman *

U.S. President Barack Obama called Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last week in the first such conversation in the 34 years since the establishment of the Islamic Republic. The phone call followed tweets and public statements on both sides indicating a willingness to talk. Though far from an accommodation between the two countries, there are reasons to take this opening seriously -- not only because it is occurring at such a high level, but also because there is now a geopolitical logic to these moves. Many things could go wrong, and given that this is the Middle East, the odds of failure are high. But Iran is weak and the United States is avoiding conflict, and there are worse bases for a deal.

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Analysis: The Syria Crisis and US-Russian Involvement

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From Stratfor

In the wake of President Barack Obama's change of tack from a strike on Syria, the threat of war has not dissolved. It has, however, been pushed off beyond this round of negotiations. 

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Syria: A Complicated US-Russia Power Game

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By Reza Hojjat Shamami*

Without a doubt, during these days that the international community is grappling with the Syria crisis, a new sensitive and determining chapter is being opened for the international world order. Of course, the ongoing developments inside Syria do not constitute the main reason for this situation, but it is more a result of a complicated power game, especially between the United States and Russia.

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Battered BRICS

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By Peter G Hall *
Vice-President and Chief Economist Export Development Canada

How the mighty are falling. Resilience was a word used liberally to boast of the BRICS countries’ staying power in the post-crisis period. Many even ascribed global-growth-engine status to these rising powerhouses. But 2013 has been a second tough year for the august group, even as OECD nations are steadily returning to growth. Some pundits are even predicting the end of BRICS’ growth era. This was unthinkable just months ago; is it possible that the BRICS fast-growth era is over?

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U. S. Economy Makes The World Go Round Or Rot

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By J C Suresh

Though the world is increasingly intertwined, the U.S. plays a unique role in the global economy, accounting for 11 percent of global trade and 20 percent of global manufacturing. The country’s global financial ties also run deep. Foreign banks hold about $5.5 trillion of U.S. assets, and U.S. banks hold $3 trillion of foreign assets.

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Comprehending the Clamour

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By Peter G Hall *
Vice-President and Chief Economist Export Development Canada

Mass protests have become an all-too-common post-crisis occurrence in major cities around the world. The sheer number of them elicits key questions. What is making them so prevalent? Where will the movement strike next? And more personally, how will protests affect our international business operations? While it’s difficult to predict the next trouble spot, let's tackle the other two questions.

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