South Asian Outlook
November 2015 Issue
By Somar Wijayadasa *
October 24 marked the 70th anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the Charter of the United Nations, an intergovernmental organisation, which was created to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, protect human rights, maintain international peace and security, and uphold international law.
The best case scenario - the one in which there is no military confrontation - is the only way out.
By Ali Ahmed *
Two nuclear war scenarios have figured into the strategic discussion lately in South Asia. Both emerged from a war game conducted by the US National Nuclear Security Administration in Dubai that brought together experts from India and Pakistan. Two Indian analysts who attended the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory-organized war game subsequently wrote up two different scenarios.
By C Raja Mohan – The Indian Express
Although the deal has been termed a potential “diplomatic blockbuster”, its inherent contradictions may make it difficult to sell in both the US and Pakistan.
India has seen this movie before and it does not have a happy ending. As the idea of a nuclear deal between the United States and Pakistan gains some traction in Washington, Delhi is unlikely to lose much sleep.
Why India should see America is no friend
By Kanwal Sibal - Daily O
That the United States should be contemplating a nuclear deal with Pakistan in connection with Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Washington on October 22 makes little sense. Judging by a Washington Post report by a senior columnist, it appears that some move in this direction is under internal discussion in the Obama administration. The report cannot be ignored because of the timing and the standing of the columnist who was briefed.
By Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management
On October 5, 2015, following inputs about movement of terrorists in the Hafruda Forest near the Line of Control (LoC) in the Handwara area of Kupwara District in the preceding days, Security Forces (SFs) launched a search operation in the area. On seeing the Army personnel, the terrorists opened heavy fire, triggering an exchange that resulted in the death of four Army personnel, while the terrorists managed to escape. Reports indicate that the terrorists had infiltrated from across the border three days earlier.
By Sanchita Bhattacharya
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
On September 24, 2015, a fake lottery scam, with suspected hawala (illegal money transactions) linkages, was unearthed in West Bengal. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), based on inputs from the Intelligence Bureau (IB), exposed the racket and seized INR 200 million in raids. As many as nine locations in Kolkata and one in Siliguri of Darjeeling District were raided. According to reports available, of these, as many as 20 sacks of notes were seized from two locations in Kolkata and one in Siliguri. An unnamed senior intelligence official disclosed, "It is a lottery-hawala-money laundering racket. Money seized was being transferred by hawala on Thursday [September 24] to Dubai. We are looking at further nodes there".
By Ralph Nader *
The photographs in the New York Times told contrasting stories last week. One showed two Taliban soldiers in civilian clothes and sandals, with their rifles, standing in front of a captured U.N. vehicle. The Taliban forces had taken the northern provincial capital of Kunduz. The other photograph showed Afghan army soldiers fully equipped with modern gear, weapons, and vehicles.
By Kathy Kelly *
Before the 2003 Shock and Awe bombing in Iraq, a group of activists living in Baghdad would regularly go to city sites that were crucial for maintaining health and well-being in Baghdad, such as hospitals, electrical facilities, water purification plants, and schools, and string large vinyl banners between the trees outside these buildings which read: “To Bomb This Site Would Be A War Crime.” We encouraged people in U.S. cities to do the same, trying to build empathy for people trapped in Iraq, anticipating a terrible aerial bombing.
By Taj Hashmi *
While Bangladesh is fast moving toward an untracked territory – possibly to the kingdom of disorder and insecurity after the unresolved killing of two foreign nationals – politicians are busy playing a no-holds-barred blame game against each other. The latest vitriol against BNP chief and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia is a highlight of the game. Awami League’s Mahbubul Alam Hanif publicly asserted Mrs Zia might have a link with the recent killing of an Italian citizen in the capital.