Smruti S. Pattanaik

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  • Smruti S. Pattanaik is Research Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile

    Imperative of Exercising Control over the ISI

    The deadly terrorist attack in Mumbai is set to derail India-Pakistan bilateral relations. With all the evidence pointing towards Pakistan, it has become difficult to advocate that India must go ahead with the composite dialogue. The Indian government is understandably frustrated with Pakistan’s reluctance and/or inability to act against radical groups within its territory. In spite of repeated Pakistani assurances, radical groups are still operating openly in Pakistan, raising funds for jihad, and imparting armed training to jihadists.

    December 11, 2008

    Kashmir has nothing to do with stability in Afghanistan

    The contention that stability in Afghanistan is linked to the resolution of the Kashmir issue is fallacious. It only serves the interests of a particular interest group, which has consistently tried to link stability in the subcontinent to the Kashmir issue, and which is now illogically stretching this argument to include stability in Afghanistan. This argument gives the impression that the dynamics in the two cases are interlinked, when they clearly are not.

    November 18, 2008

    Re-emergence of the Military and the Future of Democracy in Bangladesh

    A military-backed caretaker government supported by the international community assumed power in Bangladesh on January 11, 2007, promising a corruption-free and clean democratic environment to usher in a new era in politics. It has introduced a series of electoral reforms and has taken action against the 'corrupt'. As Bangladesh is poised for parliamentary elections by the end of December, doubts remain about whether politics in Bangladesh will change for the better, however.

    November 2008

    Can SAARC hold the Regional Dream?

    SAARC has in recent years attracted wide international attention and generated much interest among countries that now hold Observer status. The 15th Summit held in Colombo on August 2 – 3, 2008 renewed its pledge to take SAARC from a declaratory to the implementation stage. Four agreements were signed at the Summit on mutual assistance to address criminal activities, trade, combating terrorism and climate change. The theme of the 41-point Colombo Declaration announced at the end of the Summit was “Partnership for Growth for Our People.”

    August 07, 2008

    Bangladesh: Fixing the Democratic Future

    The release of Sheikh Hasina on ‘parole’ for two months has generated hope for the stalled political dialogue and uncertainty over the scheduled Parliamentary elections in December 2008. The Awami League (AL) had earlier demanded the unconditional release of Hasina. But it appears that after hectic negotiations between some of the advisors of the Caretaker Government (CTG) and Hasina, a political understanding was worked out that ultimately saw her being freed. It has given hope to the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) about the release of their leader as well from jail.

    June 16, 2008

    The India-Pakistan Bonhomie Continues

    The review of the composite bilateral dialogue process by the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan on May 22 at Islamabad was significant in many ways. This was the first ever review, that too during the course of the first ever high level visit by an Indian minister after the new government took power in Pakistan. Both countries have accepted a gradual process of resolving the outstanding issues between them. Pakistan has said that it is important to raise awareness among the people about their stake in the peace process.

    May 30, 2008

    War on Terror and its Impact on Pakistan's Kashmir Policy

    The terrorist act of September 11, 2001, brought a revolutionary change in the international security paradigm. As the countries tried to adjust to the new security environment, the war against terror brought war closer to south Asia. Pakistan emerged as the frontline state in this war yet again and its foreign policy towards its two important neighbours, India and Afghanistan, underwent a strategic shift. It was quick to disown the Taliban. Its dilemmas were perceptible when it was confronted with the issue of dealing with terrorism in Kashmir.

    May 2008

    Benazir’s Death and Pakistan’s Democratic Future

    The assassination of Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007 at an election rally in Rawalpindi raises serious doubts about Pakistan’s peaceful political transition to an era of democratic politics. Eight years of Musharraf’s rule has seen growing fundamentalism, political instability and ethnic disaffection. It was thought that reverting to a troika system would bring about the right balance between a democratically elected leader and the Army, which would help arrest disenchantment and address instability.

    January 03, 2008

    Political Crisis and the ‘Coming’ Election in Pakistan

    The imposition of emergency in Pakistan on November 3, 2007 highlights two significant points: the crisis of political legitimacy for Musharraf and the raging war in the tribal areas which has affected the morale of the Pakistan army. Musharraf highlighted the reason for emergency to save Pakistan from greater crises. He did not hesitate to name the judiciary as one of the problems that triggered the present action.

    November 27, 2007

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