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Showing posts from August, 2015

Back to the future - Kashmir and of Indo-Pak Peace process

Peace-Forum PAKISTAN’S relations with India have returned to familiar hostility. The foreseeable future looks much the same. Normalising relations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP government was never a likely prospect. The contrary anticipation in Islamabad was naive and delusional. Modi’s policies are driven by an ideology whose central tenet is the ‘Hinduisation’ of ‘Mother India’ which encompasses all of South Asia. Pakistan’s eagerness to normalise relations with Modi’s India — attending his ‘inauguration’, pleading for revival of the ‘Composite Dialogue’, offering concessions on trade — were seen as signs of weakness and evidence of the differences between Pakistan’s civilian government and its ‘security establishment’. Not surprisingly, these overtures were met by intensified bullying and bluster from New Delhi. Surprisingly, Islamabad suffered Indian insults — cancellation of the foreign secretary talks, unacceptable preconditions for restarting the Co

Rise of Imperial USA

Book Review: 'A brief on America: Americana' By Perry Anderson IF one seeks to read a document which is thought-provoking, challenges perceptions with reason and logic and refutes staunch beliefs, Perry Anderson’s Americana is the book to pick up.This is a collection of three essays, ‘Homeland’, ‘Imperium’ and ‘Consilium’, succeeded by a postscript that in itself states a great deal about the writer’s cautious, methodical approach and firm grip on the topic. What makes Perry’s writing substantial is the fact that unlike a few other similar works, he not only emphasises the present political scenario of the United States, but also takes into account its history, as well as the probable repercussions of the actions undertaken by past and present rulers on the future of the US, and their implications on the fast changing global terrain. His approach is threefold: US’s birth and the embedded vision of its forefathers in their national and foreign policies, the mani

Assessing the IS threat

THE rising profile of the self-styled Islamic State (IS) terrorist group among Islamist militant and extremist outfits and also factions of Muslim populations has become an international issue. In Pakistan, while the media and security analysts have been hinting at the group’s growing influence, particularly since September last year, different government departments and agencies have come up with contradictory assessments. After almost every terrorist attack, speculation starts about the presence and involvement of IS in terrorist activities in Pakistan. But the law-enforcement agencies have so far not found any clear proofs of the IS connection in particular incidents of terrorism. However, the IS’s announcement of its Khorasan chapter early this year — which also includes Pakistan and Afghanistan — and some Pakistani militant groups’ and commanders’ pledges of allegiance or support to the group indicates the looming threat. The situation requires a comprehensive assessm

Why America Is the Gravest Threat to World Peace by Noam Chomsky

Throughout the world there is great relief and optimism about the nuclear deal reached in Vienna between Iran and the P5+1 nations, the five veto-holding members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany. Most of the world apparently shares the assessment of the U.S. Arms Control Association that “the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action establishes a strong and effective formula for blocking all of the pathways by which Iran could acquire material for nuclear weapons for more than a generation and a verification system to promptly detect and deter possible efforts by Iran to covertly pursue nuclear weapons that will last indefinitely.” There are, however, striking exceptions to the general enthusiasm: the United States and its closest regional allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia. One consequence of this is that U.S. corporations, much to their chagrin, are prevented from flocking to Tehran along with their European counterparts. Prominent sectors of U.S. power and opinion share the stand o