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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Dismantling Obsolete Missiles in South Asia

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By Sannia Abdullah and Abhijit Iyer-Mitra *

South Asia has a history of protracted conflict, arms buildup, and deadlocked dialogue leading to an atmosphere of mistrust and strategic anxiety. The geographical proximity of India and Pakistan increases the risk of an inadvertent catastrophic escalation due to miscommunication, false alarm or accident. A group of young security analysts, which we were part of, met in Sofia, Bulgaria to explore new ideas for confidence building measures (CBMs) suggested by Brigadiers (retired) Feroz Hassan Khan, from Pakistan, and Gurmeet Kanwal from India and members of the Colombo Confidence Building Process Group.

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NATO Supplies: Endgame

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By Anurag Tripathi
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

As the US drawdown in Afghanistan approaches its culmination, Pakistan continues to extract all it can from its reluctant alliance in the War against Terror, leveraging its 'strategic location' to a maximum. Nevertheless, this strategy appears to be approaching its natural limits. and, on December 9, 2013, the United State (US) Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, during his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, reportedly warned Pakistan that, if it failed to secure the supply routes to and from Afghanistan, the US Congress may withhold military aid to Pakistan. An unnamed US defense official stated, “The Secretary made the point that we need to demonstrate the continued flow of goods in order to be able to continue fulfilling their reimbursements.”

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No More US Boots At Afghan Doorsteps?

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By Ismail Salami *

In his refusal to sign the Afghan-US security pact which would enable some US troops to stay in Afghanistan after 2014, Afghan President Hamid Karzai is signaling a clear message to the United States: Afghanistan does not need US troops on its ground any more.

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Bangladesh: Battle of the Begums

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

Paving the way for the constitution of an “all-party” Interim Government to oversee the next Parliamentary Elections, all 52 ministers in the Awami League (AL)-led Begum Sheikh Hasina Wajed Government submitted their resignations on November 11, 2013. Subsequently, on November 21, 2013, a 29-member Interim Government was formed under Prime Minister Hasina. 28 other Ministers (including 21 Cabinet Ministers and seven State Ministers) were also inducted.

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Dreams Of The Father

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By Fazal M. Kamal *

For the past five years the Awami League government in Bangladesh, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed, has rampaged across that land defying the country’s laws, rules and the people.

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Executing the Butcher

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

In the first-ever execution in a war crimes case on December 12, 2013, Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) Assistant Secretary Abdul Quader Mollah (65), who earned the nickname ‘Mirpurer Koshai (Butcher of Mirpur)’ was hanged at 10:01pm (local time) at Dhaka Central Jail against his conviction on charges relating to his sinister role during the Liberation Wars of 1971. The JeI leader was executed hours after the Supreme Court rejected his petition to review the death sentence, bringing an end to the drama that had played out for two days since the evening of December 10.

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Think Nepali Democracy in 2014

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By Surya B. Prasai *

Nepal in 2013 witnessed a state of  democratic fluctuation.  A Constituent  Assembly Poll held successfully on November 19, 2013 somewhat strengthened the delivery mechanism for Nepali democracy exhibiting a new centre right tilt based on Nepali voter preferences. But still there were no tell tale signs of  government formation or  any works planned on a new Constitution of Nepal for early 2014.

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BANGLADESH: News Briefs

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'Trial of Khaleda Zia would be held one day on Bangladesh soil', asserts Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina: Accusing the opposition leader of unleashing terrorism and militancy and killing people in the name of a movement, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on December 26 said the trial of Khaleda Zia would be held one day on Bangladesh soil for the offences. "We believe in justice. The opposition leader would be charged with giving orders for killing and burning people to death in the name of a movement. Inshallah, her trial would be held on Bangladesh soil to this end, and we'll hold this trial," she said. Independent, December 27, 2013.

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Pakistan: Extremist Epidemic

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By Ambreen Agha
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

Political instability, a fragile law and order situation, frail institutions and socio-political polarisation make the country a breeding ground for violent elements. These elements find humanitarian workers 'soft targets' because of their ubiquitous presence, especially in far-flung areas. A number of high-profile cases of kidnapping and killing of aid workers occurred in Pakistan in recent years, jeopardising the outreach of humanitarian organisations.

                 - Naseer Memon, Chief Executive, Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO)

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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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Senior Afghan Taliban 'commander' killed in Balochistan: A senior Afghan Taliban 'commander', Noorullah Hotak, was shot dead by unidentified assailants near Nawey Adda in Quetta on December 26 and was buried in Afghanistan on December 27. Hotak was reportedly a senior 'commander' under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Though no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, the Taliban has blamed Afghan intelligence for assassination. Tribune, December 28, 2013.

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Sri Lanka: Moving On

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

The peace that was established with the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009 prevailed uninterrupted through 2013. As in 2012, not a single terrorism-related incident was reported from the Island Nation. The last such fatality was recorded on October 2, 2009, when an unidentified gunman killed two Army soldiers and injured another at Paranthakadathan in Mannar District. Moreover, while several concerns remain to be addressed, the country made dramatic progress in terms of post-war reconstruction, and also witnessed some positives in terms of reconciliation.

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