South Asian Outlook
Afghanistan Wanted to Have Friendly Relations with China
Senator Mushahid Hussain addressed seminar on ‘China, Pakistan and Afghanistan: Regional Dynamic, Future Prospects,’ in Islamabad
By A Correspondent
Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman Senate Defense Committee, said that Afghanistan under the Afghan Taliban was interested to have friendly relations with China and during the meeting between the then-ruler of Afghanistan, Mullah Omar with the Chinese Ambassador to Islamabad, H.E. Lu Xulin, at Qandahar in December 2000, Taliban’s supreme commander had reportedly ensured to respect sovereignty of China, non-interference in its internal affairs and not letting anybody to use Afghan territory against the neighboring country.
A Low In Bangladesh-US Relations
By Farooque Chowdhury *
Dan Mozena, the US ambassador in Bangladesh, has recently told Dhaka journalist: “The US relations with Bangladesh are not usual”. He said: The US interaction with the present government is not business as usual. (bdnews24.com, “America’s relations with Hasina govt not warm: Mozena”, February 11, 2014)
Bangladesh: Ready For The Home Run
By Fazal M. Kamal *
Unfortunately for Bangladesh the signs were all there even during the last five-year tenure of the Awami League. If those five years were utilized for setting the stage and getting into the mode of a virtual one-party system, measures so far taken after its triumph in the January non-election clearly indicate the government’s intention to embark on a process of consolidation.
NEPAL: News Briefs
Separatist movement, religious and ethnic tension, general strikes and terrorist activities in the region has caused threats to national security, says CoAS Gaurav SJB Rana: Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Gaurav S.J.B. Rana on February 20 said that separatist movement, religious and ethnic tension, general strikes and terrorist activities in the region has caused threats to national security. Rana said, "It is equally important to have cooperation from all sectors to face growing security threats, and traditional mechanisms have to be replaced by practical, dynamic and effective ones." Republica, February 21, 2014.
Balochistan: Deepening Catastrophe
By Anurag Tripathi
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
On January 17-18, 2014, at least 13 highly decomposed bodies were found buried in the Tootak area of Khuzdar District in Balochistan Province. On February 4, 2014, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Khuzdar, Syed Abdul Hameed Shah, submitted a report to the Supreme Court, stating that 13 dead bodies had been recovered from a mass grave on the indication of a local shepherd who informed the DC's office. Balochistan Home Secretary Asad Jillani informed the Court that a one-man inquiry commission had been constituted and would complete its inquiry within one month. The Apex Court has now directed the Balochistan Government to submit DNA and inquiry commission reports on March 7, 2014.
FATA: Pernicious Policies
By Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
During a meeting with Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) General Raheel Sharif on January 28, 2014, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asserted that no decision on launching an offensive in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) could be taken without consensus among ‘all stakeholders’, and that any such decision must be in the best ‘national interest’. Less than a month later, the Prime Minister has been forced to authorize the military to launch an operation in the region.
Pakistan: Taliban Peace Talks How To...
Make Sense, Out Of Nonsense?
By Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja *
Secretive peace talks between PM Nawaz Sharif Government and Taharak Taliban Pakistan (TTP) groups overflowing conspicuous media headlines hardly tell the truth full of hatred and fear of the unknown. Both represent willing suspicion of disbelief that talks could render peace which none have to offer? After political fanfare, Sharif appeared vulnerable to credibility gimmick lingering to his past corruption and missing leadership. Talibans are ruthless convergent groups of unknown changing loyalties to all directions of political and economic maneuverability for their interests and survival. Who will stand on a solid ground for the reality check?
Pakistan: Terror Unbridled
By Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management
Terrorism in Pakistan has already resulted in at least 460 fatalities, including 241 civilians, 86 Security Force (SF) personnel and 133 militants in just the first month of 2014, according to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP). 38 major incidents (each resulting in three or more fatalities) have inflicted at least 309 fatalities, and 70 explosions have also been recorded, accounting for 167 deaths. In one of the worst attacks of 2014 targeting civilians, at least 24 Shia pilgrims returning from Iran were killed and another 40 were injured in a bomb attack targeting their bus in the Khusak area of Kanak in the Mastung District of Balochistan Province, on January 21, 2014. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) claimed responsibility for the attack.
PAKISTAN: News Briefs
TTP's popularity is on the rise in Pakistan, claims TTP 'spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on February 26 claimed that its popularity is on the rise in Pakistan. "An ever increasing number of Pakistanis are joining hands with us adding more and more firepower to our jihadist capabilities. The graph of our popularity is going north", Shahid said in a statement. "We are dying to see the "glorious" results of a "grand" onslaught that the "valiant" armed forces of Pakistan are preparing to launch against us", he said, adding, "Instead of pulling the "trigger", if the government of Pakistan focuses on removing the "triggers" of this war the TTP's anti-state activities will reduce drastically". The News, February 27, 2014.
SRI LANKA: News Briefs
President extends mandate of Missing Persons Commission by six months: President Mahinda Rajapaksa on February 20 extended the mandate issued to the Presidential Commission to investigate cases of alleged disappearances of persons in the Northern and Eastern Provinces by six months to August 12, 2014. The move to extend the term of the Commission comes amid the mounting pressure from international community on the Government to launch an independent and credible investigation into the alleged human rights violations during the last phase of war in 2009. Colombo Page, February 21, 2014.