South Asia: Publications

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  • Domestic Politics of Bangladesh and India–Bangladesh Relations

    The foreign policy of a country generally changes incrementally but in the case of Bangladesh it changes dramatically towards India depending upon which political party or alliance is in power. The ideological cleavage prevailing in the country affects not only its domestic politics but also its relationship with its neighbour India. In this article an attempt has been made to explain why and how the domestic politics of Bangladesh affects India–Bangladesh relations.

    September 2014

    The Tamil Nadu Factor in Post-war Sri Lanka: Perspectives of Tamils and Muslims

    Growing international concerns about human rights violations in the last phase of the Eelam war and the continued surveillance and intimidation of the Tamils in Sri Lanka have drawn the attention of their co-ethnics across the world. The southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, which had detached itself from the political events in Sri Lanka after Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, has renewed its interest. In the post-war phase, the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils has become an emotive issue.

    September 2014

    India–Pakistan Human Rights Imbroglio in Geneva

    Dr. Arvind Gupta (AG):
    You were India’s Permanent Representative (PR) at Geneva from 1992 to 1995, a momentous period for India. As PR, you faced a number of challenges vis-à-vis Pakistan, which tried to capitalise on fault lines in India, particularly in the aftermath of the destruction of the Babri Mosque as well as the Bombay (now Mumbai) riots. Could you take us through your experience at that time, the international atmosphere, and also how India was being viewed abroad?
    July 2014

    Afghanistan’s Political Reconciliation Policy: Ill Conceived and Self-Defeating

    The Afghan government’s peace and reconciliation overtures to the militants, initially at the unofficial level but later sanctioned officially, have formed a key theme of state security policy from the early days of the post-Taliban administration in Afghanistan. Yet far from producing peace and stability, they seem to have played into the hands of the violent groups intent on overthrowing the country’s internationally supported and legitimate political system in the past decade.

    July 2014

    Asian States in Crisis

    Problems common to many Asian states suggest a pattern of crisis in Asia. The evidence suggests that the root cause is the similarity in the patterns of political development of postcolonial states. In Asia such states have attempted to reconcile state strength and internal diversity by constructing a triangular balance between identity construction, hegemonic governance and economic development. Unfortunately, this fragile balance eroded as state structures matured and economies grew, which increasingly exposed countries to escalating crises of legitimacy and instability.

    July 2014

    Pakistan’s Nasr/Hatf-IX Missile: Challenges for Indo-Pak Deterrence

    On November 5, 2013 Pakistan conducted its fourth test of the Hatf-IX (Nasr) short range battlefield ‘nuclear’ missile. To date there have been four flight tests of the missile system. After the first three tests (April 19, 2011, May 29, 2012 and February 11, 2013) Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) had put out identical press releases.1 These statements claimed that the missile had a range of 60 km and carried ‘nuclear warheads (sic) of appropriate yield’.

    July 2014

    The Limits of ‘Hybrid Governance’ in Afghanistan

    The following commentary argues that the strategic and structural solutions proffered by advocates of ‘hybrid’ governance—encompassing elements from distinctly different ideological backgrounds or schools of thought—ignore or fail to address certain inherent shortcomings in their approach that are counter-productive to the ongoing and long-term statebuilding and peacebuilding projects in Afghanistan. The following study elucidates some of these shortcomings.

    July 2014

    Addressing Violent Extremism: Lessons from Sri Lanka

    In the years since the hostilities in Sri Lanka ended in 2009, the understandable international focus on the evidence of war crimes by both sides has diverted attention from certain other questions that emerge from the 26-year conflict between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lankan government. Here I briefly explore three general questions that have arisen not only in Sri Lanka but also in many other modern conflicts, including those characterised by what is variously called asymmetric warfare, violent extremism or terrorism.

    July 2014

    Does India Have a Neighbourhood Policy?

    The article argues that India does not have a well-defined neighbourhood policy. It makes a historical survey of the approaches of different Indian leaders to the neighbourhood and examines the reasons for the prevailing negative perceptions about India in the region. It argues that these negative perceptions have come about because India has largely adopted an ad hoc and bilateral approach vis-à-vis its neighbours and has allowed its policy to be guided by an overarching concern for security. In recent years, India's approach has changed considerably.

    March 2012

    Difficulties of Regional Cooperation for Afghanistan: An Alternative Interpretation

    This article addresses the question of why regional cooperation among Afghanistan’s neighbours has been so difficult despite these countries’ common concerns. To answer this question, Afghanistan is conceptualised as placed at the core of overlapping regions: South Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia and, through China’s influence, East Asia. Over the past decade, interactions among different regions ‘through’ Afghanistan have increased, and overlap has intensified.

    March 2015

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