South Asia: Publications

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  • 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

    The United States and Bangladesh

    The policies, actions and postures of the United States Administration towards Bangladesh from March 1971 to December 1971 form the subject matter of this article.

    March 2021

    The Bangladesh Question and World Politics

    The gruesome events in East Bengal since March 25, 1971 and their repercussions on India easily constitute the most appalling experience of the society of nations since the end of the Second World War; and the refugee problem is the largest and the worst during the present century. It has few parallels in history. This is all the more shocking because of the context and background in which it happened.

    March 2020

    Pakistan: The Balochistan Conundrum

    It is not often that Pakistan is talked of in terms of the diversities it embodies. It is, perhaps, its descent into extremism and violence that has overshadowed every other characteristic of the country. Tilak Devasher peeks into this rather less traversed dimension and provides an analysis on the festering insurgency in Balochistan. The book provides a lucid account of Balochistan’s history, geography, and demography.

    March 2020

    Gambling with Violence: State Outsourcing of War in Pakistan and India

    Yelena Biberman offers a new framework for understanding why and how states ‘outsource’ war to local non-state actors despite the risks of forfeiting the state’s monopoly over violence. Specifically, she explores state and non-state alliances in counter-insurgencies in India and Pakistan. Taking a qualitative approach, Biberman argues that ‘state-nonstate alliances are balance-of-interests bargains’ wherein the ‘state seeking to shift the local balance of power in its favor may enlist activists if it can cultivate social or ideological ties with them’

    March 2020

    Political Indifference and State Complicity: The Travails of Hazaras in Balochistan

    Pakistan is a forbidding place for minorities—confessional, sectarian and ideological. Violence, direct and structural and exacted with eerie regularity has ghettoised minority communities and forced them to flee. Among them, no other community is being subjected to such annihilatory violence as the Hazaras in the Balochistan province. Hazaras are an ethnic group predominantly based in Afghanistan, but also with a sizeable population in Pakistan, with estimates ranging between 650,000 and 900,000.

    July 2019

    Considered Chaos: Revisiting Pakistan’s ‘Strategic Depth’ in Afghanistan

    Pakistan’s historical insecurity towards India and the Islamisation of its military raises a curious question of strategy and identity rooted in Pakistan’s political genesis. This article examines the social and geostrategic factors underpinning Pakistan’s Afghanistan approach between its inheritance of security principles from colonial administration after Partition, and the Taliban’s capture of Kabul in 1996 and beyond. This article also critically analyses the existing link between the Taliban and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).

    July 2019

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