IDSA COMMENT

Myanmar: America’s Next Rogue State

December 14, 2005

There are embryonic signs that Washington is all set to turn the heat on Myanmar next. The UN Security Council finally agreed unanimously on December 2 to a US request for a “one-off briefing” by the Secretary-General on “the deteriorating situation” in Myanmar. The US request followed the Tatmadow’s extension of Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest and a UN Committee resolution condemning Myanmar’s human rights abuse.

Dhaka SAARC Summit: Political Compulsions Blunt Economic Progress

December 08, 2005

The 13th SAARC summit concluded in Dhaka on November 13 with a declaration, which notwithstanding its rhetorical flourish and ambitious objectives, reflected the structural constraints that have hobbled the organization for two decades and are likely to do so for the near future.

India-China Energy Cooperation: Attaining New Heights

November 28, 2005

Last week witnessed a major development on the India-China energy front with the joint bidding plan for Petro-Canada's Syrian assets by India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). In September this year Petro-Canada expressed interest to sell off its 38 per cent stake in the Al Furat field, which produces about 70,000 barrels of oil daily accounting for 50 per cent of Syria's total output. This is the first time that Indian and Chinese firms have joined together to secure stakes in an overseas energy facility.

Vote at IAEA Not Anti-Iranian But Pro-India

October 06, 2005

The Indian vote at the IAEA in Vienna last week has attracted considerable domestic attention and the fact that New Delhi went along with the US-EU position is being interpreted as a case of being anti-Iranian and furthermore, as a betrayal of the non-aligned block and Third World solidarity. This is invalid and the facts as they have emerged need to be carefully analyzed.

Resolution of North Korean Imbroglio

September 21, 2005

The breakthrough achieved on September 19 at the six-party (US, North Korea, South Korea, China, Russia and Japan) talks in Beijing has the potential to satisfactorily resolve the North Korean nuclear imbroglio that has been festering since 2002 when Pyongyang unilaterally withdrew from the international agreements that it had entered into over its domestic nuclear programme.

Onset of Multiparty Democracy in Maldives

September 03, 2005

June 2, 2005 will go down as a red lettered day in the history of Maldives. On this day, the Maldivian parliament voted to allow multi-party democracy for the first time in the tiny atoll nation that has been ruled by President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom since 1978. The parliament unanimously approved a resolution to allow political parties to seek recognition and contest elections, ending the no-party system in the nation. The motion was moved on the basis of a request from President Gayoom to review its earlier decision not to allow political parties in the country.

Bangladesh Blasts: Wake up call

August 24, 2005

A series of 434 bomb blasts that rocked as many as 60 of 64 districts in Bangladesh on August 17 may have been 'mild' by way of the number killed – just two people – but the symbolism is very significant and perhaps inversely proportional to the damage caused.

Leaflets recovered from some of the blast sites demanded that the country become more Islamic and the needle of suspicion points to the banned Islamic group, the Jamaat-ul- Mujahedin. And while investigations are continuing, the implications of this incident are of potentially grave import.

The Indo-US nuclear deal has generated a lot of heat: here’s why

August 04, 2005

The July 2005 visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Washington has been eventful as far as nuclear issues are concerned. The joint statement, various speeches, briefings, and interactions have given a new direction to the nuclear policies and postures of both India and the United States (US). Of course, much heat has also been generated in both the countries. It is necessary, therefore, to provide some clarity to the heated debate. Is it a sell out/ surrender to the US or a big victory?

The Chatham House Report and the British Government

July 25, 2005

New Delhi July 25 A Briefing Paper published by the independent British think tank, The Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), has become an embarrassment for the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair even as Britain is trying to overcome the shock of the terrorist attacks on July 7 in London claiming the lives of more than fifty as well as the foiled attacks on July 21. The Briefing Paper for July 2005 titled “Security, Terrorism and the UK” says:

Good Day for India?

July 25, 2005

The joint statement issued at the Manmohan Singh-Bush summit held in Washington (July 18) has generated considerable interest and anxiety in both countries for the manner in which it has addressed the nuclear issue. It merits recall that the nuclear determinant has bedeviled the bi-lateral relationship between the US and India for well over three decades since India's Peaceful Nuclear Explosion in 1974 – which was further exacerbated after the May 1998 Shakti nuclear tests that gave India a de facto nuclear weapon status.

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