IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

SAO has merged into
IDN-InDepthNews,
flagship of the International Press Syndicate.

- 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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Merchants of War

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These same arms are not only provided to governments but, in the fog of war, invariably end up in the hands of groups like the Islamic State. But the merchants of war care little for that so long as their coffers keep getting filled

Editorial - The News

With the current tensions between Pakistan and India on a high, focus has again shifted to the arms race in South Asia. Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Tehmina Janjua raised the concern once again in a meeting of the UN’s Disarmament Committee last week. Pakistan has insisted that it is following India’s lead on the arms race. We turn to the Western world as potential allies and ask them to use their good sense to force India to curb the expansion of its military force. India responds to questions asks about its military expenditure by raising the Pakistan card.

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Reality Check: How is Ageing Populations Being Cared for

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By Shobha Shukla *

As fertility rates decline and life expectancy increases, the proportion of people aged 60 and above is growing globally. Global average life expectancy has increased from 48 years in 1950 to 68 years in 2010 and is expected to become 81 years by the end of the century. Nearly 60% of the world’s over 60 population resides in the Asia Pacific region and this number is expected to more than quadruple by 2050. While people living longer is a cause for celebration, this demographic transition towards an ageing society in the Asia-Pacific region brings new challenges with deep social, economic and political ramifications. 

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Global Biosphere Collapse, The End Of Being, Upon Us

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By Dr Glen Barry - CounterCurrents

Miraculous nature is being murdered. Everywhere we look inequitable over-consumption is devastating the natural ecosystems that sustain a living Earth. Together we yield to ecological truth – personally embracing a global ecology ethic, and demanding others do so as well – or we all needlessly die at each others’ throats as the global ecological system collapses and being ends.

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Ban Ki-moon Poised to Leave Behind a Climate Legacy

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By J Nastranis - IDN-InDepthNews

Over the past decade, Ban Ki-moon has worked ceaselessly to bring countries together to accelerate the global response to climate change. As he is fond of saying, he has visited communities on the climate frontlines, from the Arctic to the Amazon, and has witnessed how climate impacts are already devastating lives, livelihoods and prospects for a better future.

Some two months ahead of relinquishing his post as UN Secretary-General on completion of the second five-year term on December 31, he will have his efforts rewarded, allowing him to leave behind a valuable legacy.

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India Brings Paris Climate Pact Close to Entry into Force

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By J Nastranis - IDN-InDepthNews

The ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change by India at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, has brought the treaty's entry into force "tantalisingly" close.

The Agreement, which calls on countries to combat climate change and limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, will take effect 30 days only after at least 55 countries, responsible for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification.

With October 2 action by India, which accounts for 4.1 per cent of the emissions, the Agreement only needs slightly more than 3 percentage points to reach the "55 per cent" threshold. The "55 countries" requirement had already been met.

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Sri Lanka and the US - The Past, the Present and the Future

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Viewpoint by Dr Palitha Kohona - IDN-InDepthNews

Sri Lanka's relations with the US go back a long way and have encompassed many different facets. These many facets have mostly enriched the relationship. In recent times, the relationship has undergone considerable stress.

As to whether Sri Lanka occupied the attention of US foreign policy makers to any significant degree in the past, or even at present, can be the subject of a useful discussion, perhaps after a few glasses of good Californian wine. But for Sri Lanka, the US has been a vital foreign policy concern, especially in the recent past.

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SAARC Falling Prey to Bilateral Disputes

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Viewpoint by Sugeeswara Senadhira – IDN-InDepthNews

The Indian way of sabotaging the fragile regional cooperation in order to express hostility towards a neighbour due to a bilateral issue is causing concern to the friends of South Asian regional cooperation.

India, not for the first time, ensured that the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit in Islamabad would become a non-event. In the early 1990s India took similar actions to sabotage Dhaka and Colombo SAARC Summits.

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Restoring Balance in India - Nepal Relations

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

Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda in his first foreign trip since resuming office on August 3, 2016 (he was Prime Minister between August 18, 2008, and May 23, 2009), visited India from September 15-18, 2016, leading a 125-member delegation. He held wide-ranging talks and sealed three significant deals with India. Significantly, Dahal stated, on September 17, 2016, “We will not allow any activity that is against our neighbouring countries from our soil.” Dahal now seems to be a changed man and has recognized the need for cordial relations with India as a priority. During his previous innings as Prime Minister, Dahal chose to put relations with China on fast track. Within a week of oath as Prime Minister then, Dahal had gone to China in August 2008, to become the first elected premier to visit China in the history of Nepal.

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India - Pakistan J&K: Fragmenting Ceasefire

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By Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

On October 23, 2016, the Pakistan Rangers violated the November 2003 cease-fire agreement (CFA), carrying out a sniper attack at an Indian post in the R. S. Pura sector of Jammu District in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), injuring a Border Security Force (BSF) constable. The constable succumbed to his injuries later in the night.

 

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Paradigm Shift?

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India and Pakistan Must Negotiate a Permanent Peace

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power – IDN-InDepthNews

In the middle of September Pakistani militants moved across the “line of control” that separates Pakistan-controlled Kashmir from the Indian-controlled part. The two countries have been at loggerheads about the title to this gorgeously beautiful state, now bereft of tourism and much income, since independence.

In recent years guerrilla activity has died away and most observers thought that the Pakistani army was seriously clamping down on its own sponsored guerrillas. The indications were that the government truly wanted rapprochement with India. And India too with Pakistan.

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Russia to Reconcile India and Pakistan

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Interview by Lyuba Lulko of
Boris Volkhonsky, the Head of the Department for Asia at RISI speaks to Pravda

Against the backdrop of clashes in Kashmir that threaten to escalate into a war between India and Pakistan, Russia conducted military exercises "Friendship-2016" with Pakistan. India saw the move as an act of betrayal. Why does Moscow eye Islamabad rather than New Delhi? Pravda.Ru spoke about it in an interview with Boris Volkhonsky, the Head of the Department for Asia at RISI.

“The Pakistani authorities said that a nuclear conflict with India could be possible. There were four wars in the history of the two countries, so one can not exclude a worst case scenario. What caused the current aggravation of relations between India and Pakistan?"
"The conflict over the territory of Kashmir is 70 years but it is still far from being resolved, as in 1947, when former parts of the British India fell apart into two independent states - India and Pakistan. The territory of the historic principality of Kashmir is now controlled by three countries and four administrations.

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