South Asia
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  • About Centre

    South Asia is one of the main areas of research focus at IDSA. The region has been going through a period of turmoil over the last few years. Definitive steps have been taken in the recent past towards the establishment of democratic governments in the region. Given the importance of developments in the region for Indian security, experts at IDSA keenly watch and analyse unfolding developments in each South Asian country.

    Two projects that are currently under progress are ‘Developments in Pakistan’ and ‘Pakistan Occupied Kashmir’. In addition, individual scholars are engaged in researching various security related aspects pertaining to South Asian countries. The Centre has established bilateral institutional relations with leading think tanks in the region and proposes to undertake joint studies.

    Minutes of South Asia Centre Meetings

    Members

    Political Changes in Nepal and Bhutan: Emerging Trends in Foreign Policy in Post 2008 Period

    The two Himalayan states—Nepal and Bhutan—adopted a new political system in 2008. Nepal upgraded the existing multiparty system by excluding the monarchy. Therefore, Nepal had Constituent Assembly elections in May 2008.

    2021

    Bangladesh and Its Security Relationship with External Powers

    • Publisher: KW Publishers
      2021
    A state’s security is heavily dependent upon its geopolitical environment. The geopolitical setting of South Asia changed in 1971 with the birth of Bangladesh as a new, independent nation. India already faces a hostile neighbour on its western border. In the north, China is a major threat. In this geopolitical setting the kind of relationship India has developed with Bangladesh becomes important.

    The military coup of August 1975 in Bangladesh marked a major shift in the way the country perceived its foreign and defence policies. India, its supporter in the liberation war, was now presented as the main threat to national security. A country’s defence policy and defence-related procurements depend on the threat perception of that country. Bangladesh, despite being a poor country, has tried to acquire significant defence capability mainly due to its perceived sense of insecurity and to some extent to participate in the United Nations peacekeeping operations. Some of the steps taken by Bangladesh purportedly to enhance its own security have meant that the security environment in the region has actually deteriorated. In this context Bangladesh’s security relationship with other major powers has significant implications for Indian security, and the book tries to throw light on it.

    • ISBN: 978 93 91490 15 7 ,
    • Price: ₹. 980/-
    • E-copy available
    2021

    Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan: Origin, Evolution and Future Portents

    • Publisher: KW Publishers
      2021
    This volume is a result of an abiding interest in the phenomenon of radical Islamist terror that haunts Pakistan today. The research questions that it seeks to answer are: Why do the tribal areas remain a problem for rulers and administrators throughout history? How and why did radical Islam embed itself in the terrain?

    Was it influenced by the overall emphasis on Islam in Pakistani state politics? What is the role of history and politics in fuelling religious passions in the area? What has led to the survival of TTP despite humongous efforts of the Pakistan Army to decimate it? What are the future portents of such a movement? What impact is it likely to have on Pakistani society and politics?

    The volume makes an attempt to understand the context in which Pakistani Taliban or TTP, as it is called now, came into being, the enabling factors that made the growth of TTP possible, the formation and growth of TTP as a militant organisation, its leadership and its activities over the years, its ideological orientation and its worldview, its aims and objectives, its relationship with other militant groups in and outside Pakistan and the efforts of the Pakistani establishment to come to terms with such a phenomenon. There is an attempt to analyse the process and study its implications for Pakistan and the region.

    • ISBN: 978-93-91490-02-7 ,
    • Price: ₹. 880/-
    • E-copy available
    2021

    Pakistan Occupied Kashmir: Politics, Parties and Personalities

    • Publisher: Pentagon Press
      2019
    This book is a rersult of research undertaken on the subject by the scholars associated with the IDSA project on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) - also known as Pakistan Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (PoJK) - Which includes both the so-called "Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK)" and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), was legally a part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kahmir, which acceded to India in October 1947. The authors of this book seek to provide a critical analysis of the politics of the above mentioned two regions within PoK; throw light on the genesis and evolution of various political parties and interest groups, and acquaint the readers with different pesonalities playing important role in politics therein. The main aim of the publication is to help the scholars, analysts, and policy-makers to understand the dynamics of the political systems in PoK, the complex interaction of these systems with the government in Islamabad and the responses of the local leadership to Pakistan's strateghy of keeping them under strict control in the name of representative governance over the last 70 years.
    • ISBN: 978-93-86618-67-2,
    • Price: ₹.1495/-
    • E-copy available
    2019

    Re-Positioning Pakistan Occupied Kashmir on India’s Policy Map: Geopolitical Drivers, Strategic Impact

    The monograph urges a policy re-positioning by aggregating key geopolitical parameters concerning PoK which potentially impinge on India’s vital territorial and security interests.

    2017

    Cultural Explanation of Statecraft: The Polities and Policies of Asoka and Akbar

    Constructivism argues that the behaviour of actors in international politics is shaped by factors like identity, norms, rules, etc. Though it has been well argued that these factors shape and sometimes regulate the behaviours of political actors, not much has been written about the formation of such norms and how the identity of a political actor becomes operational through them.

    July-September 2021

    Jinnah: His Successes, Failures and Role in History

    More than seven decades after Pakistan’s creation, Mohammad Ali Jinnah continues to captivate both his critics and admirers. While the former excoriate him for exploiting religion to achieve his goal, the latter hail him as the Qaid-e-Azam (Great Leader) who single-handedly secured a homeland for the Muslims of British India.

    May 2021

    Humanitarianism, National Security, and the Rohingya Refugee Policy of Bangladesh

    How do humanitarian norms and national security concerns shape a host state refugee policy? This article addresses this question in the context of Bangladesh, the largest host state in the world for Rohingya refugees. It argues that although the norms of humanitarian protection can explain why a host state would open its border to forced migrants and allow relief agencies access to the refugee camps, humanitarianism alone cannot explain the full gamut of a state’s refugee policy.

    May 2021

    South Asian Regionalism: The Limits of Cooperation

    Regionalism in South Asia continues to evoke intense academic interest among scholars. SAARC, an organization that was conceptualized in the early eighties, evinced both hope and despair. A hope to overcome the factitious past and move onto the path of prosperity, and the despair that was embodied in its inability to achieve its potential. The fight against poverty and the path to prosperity has mostly been an individualistic journey among countries.

    January 2021

    Is Sino-Pakistan Collusion a Chimera?: A Game Theory Perspective

    Myriad complexities underlie the India–China–Pakistan triangle, with narratives varying from competition to collaboration. Recent developments in Galwan, renewed ceasefire agreement with Pakistan and a resurgent Quad, all amidst Covid diplomacy, necessitate a relook at traditional approaches and narratives on Sino-Pakistan collusion. Is it only a common anti-India sentiment that is driving it or is the pentagram of the United States, Russia, China, India and Pakistan, with their dyadic interplay, manifesting itself?

    April-June 2021

    Developments in Pakistan: The More Things Change…

    As the civilian political space shrinks and the capacity of the state gets hobbled by political dissension and internal resistance from forces armed with an alternate blueprint for action, Pakistan is likely to rely more on its anti-India stance to build national unity, seeking especially to suck in the militant religious groups into its orbit.

    December 03, 2021

    Bangladesh Violence: Minorities and Anti-Liberation Forces

    Sheikh Hasina and her India-friendly policies are not liked by her domestic and international opponents. The Awami League government should remain vigilant to the designs of forces inimical to it, and not let them undo the progress in India–Bangladesh relations.

    November 02, 2021

    The Curious Case of Jama’at-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir

    The recent statement by the former Amirs (chiefs) of Jama’at-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir, which was banned in 2019, seems to be a tactical move by the leadership to save the organisational structure from any kind of damage and to continue Islamisation of the society at the grassroots level.

    October 14, 2021

    The Afghan Quagmire and American Failure

    The geo-strategic location of Afghanistan has tempted many dominant powers to intervene but no great power has been able to occupy or attain predominance in the country. The US failed to fulfill its geo-strategic objectives even after two decades of war and peace efforts aimed at either subduing or pacifying insurgency in the country.

    September 17, 2021

    US–Pakistan Equations at a Crossroads

    US–Pakistan relations have witnessed upheavals in the past; the US’ exit from Afghanistan is the latest in the series of inflection points in their relationship. However, irrespective of the escalatory war of words sometimes, the nature of US–Pakistan relationship of convenience is likely to keep them strategically aligned in the future as well.

    September 17, 2021

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