IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

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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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Nepal Makes Major Strides in Tobacco Control

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Despite crippling challenges

By Shobha Shukla *

Despite challenges Nepal is making bold and important decisions, which we do hope will translate in significant public health gains.

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NEPAL: News Briefs

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Government is committed to meeting conditions set by agitating forces for dialogue, says Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa: Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa, who heads the Government's talk's team in a letter written to the United Democratic Madheshi Front (UDMF) and United Madheshi Front (UMF), on October 30, said that the Government is committed to meeting the conditions set by the agitating forces for dialogue. According to Manish Kumar Suman, General Secretary of Sadbhavana Party, a constituent of the UDMF, the Government stated in the letter that it had already sent INR one million each to the families of the deceased protesters and was committed to providing free treatment to injured persons and withdrawing false cases. Himalayan Times, October 31, 2015.

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'Pakistan Will Be World’s Fifth Largest Nuclear Power by 2025'

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By Rishi Iyengar - Time

The South Asian nation's nuclear stockpile is expected to double in the next 10 years.

Pakistan is on track to become the world’s fifth largest nuclear power by 2025, according to a report released by a U.S.-based independent research organization on Monday.

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FATA: Fatal Flaws

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By Ambreen Agha
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

On September 11, 2015, two volunteers of a ‘peace committee’ [Government-backed ‘people’s’ counter-insurgency forces] , identified as Nawab Khan and Fazal Khan, were killed in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack while they were travelling from Pandyali tehsil (revenue unit) of Mohmand Agency to Dwezai area of the same Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

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Punjab: Rising Tempest

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By Ambreen Agha
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

On October 14, 2015, at least seven people, including three contestants of the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGEs), were killed and 13 were injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the camp office of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Member of National Assembly (MNA) Sardar Amjad Khosa in the Taunsa Sharif city of Taunsa tehsil (revenue unit) in Dera Ghazi Khan District, Punjab Province. Jama'at-ul-Ahrar (JuA, Group of the Free), a breakaway faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack. JuA 'spokesman' Ehsanullah Ehsan, in an email statement, vowed that TTP-JuA attacks would continue until Sharia'h (Islamic) law was fully implemented in Pakistan: “We want to make it clear to the Pakistani rulers that your policies and military operations can't weaken our determinations, rather our firm determination helps us in achieving and attacking our targets."

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Sindh: Malignant Brew

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By Ambreen Agha
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

On October 13, 2015, at least four persons, including two terrorists, were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. In one incident, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) Additional Director, Arshad Hussain, was shot dead near Askari Park in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town. Two terrorists, identified as Zohaib and Mahmood, were killed in two separate Police encounters in the Kalari and Chakiwara areas of Lyari Town. Zohaib, affiliated with the Wasi Lakho Gang, was reportedly involved in killing of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA), Waja Kareem Dad, on August 17, 2011 in the Kharadar area of Saddar Town. Mahmood was associated with the Baba Ladla Gang. In another incident, Police recovered an unidentified dead body from Gulshan-e-Ghazi area of Baldia Town.

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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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Any threat to Saudi Arabia will evoke strong response from Pakistan, says CoAS General Raheel Sharif: Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) General Raheel Sharif during his visit to the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) in Pabbi area of Gujrat District (Punjab) on October 30 said that any threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia will evoke a strong response from Pakistan. "Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy strong and brotherly relations which have a long history of deep rooted cooperation," quoted the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement. Tribune, October 31, 2015.

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Sri Lanka: Conflicting Reconciliation

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By Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

In a significant shift in policy, on September 24, 2015, Colombo decided to co-sponsor a draft resolution (A/HRC/30/L.29) that was tabled at the 30th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. The draft resolution titled ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’, based on the findings of the OISL [OHCHR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights) Investigation on Sri Lanka], was sponsored by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and United States of America (USA).

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SRI LANKA: News Briefs

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President meets religious leaders to discuss Geneva Proposals: President Maithripala Sirisena held a special discussion with religious leaders of all faiths to discuss Geneva Proposals and its challenges, at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo on October 29. The President proposed to set up a committee representing all religions to overcome the existing challenges and agreed to set up an All Religious Committee comprising 25 members. The religious leaders expressed their blessing for the initiatives taken by the President and the Government to build the national and religious reconciliation in the country and said that it is an exemplary initiative to the whole world. Colombo Page, October 30, 2015.

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U.S.- Dominated Trans-Pacific Partnership

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By Mike Head

After five days of marathon talks between trade ministers in Atlanta, the US administration of President Barack Obama finally succeeded in securing agreement from 11 other Asia-Pacific governments for the adoption of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It is an unprecedented trade and investment bloc.

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A Singapore Swing?

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

News out of Asia isn’t great at the moment. Most of it is focused on China, and the reaction has been turbulent. At its core is concern about the state of world trade. Asia’s Pacific Rim is a key commercial hub, so if things aren’t well in the export world, they’ll show up fast in this trading nexus. Singapore is at the heart of this activity. It’s a well-known and trusted bellwether of Asian – and global – trade flows. What’s the story that its key indicators are telling us at the moment?

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