The “Abenomics” is the new buzz word. Japan’s Prime Minister Abe is calling for Japan and India, among others, to form a “democratic security”: a diamond that, arguably, seeks to compete with China’s ascending economic and military power.
The author demonstrates that Abe has already brought new dynamism to the economy to put Japan in growth trajectory. In this sense, India’s economic growth story has attracted his attention.
Identically, Beijing is clearly in discomfort that India and Japan are reaching out to each other for reaping mutual dividends from their cooperative and collaborative projects. Previously, without any consideration of India’s sensitiveness, China evoked the concept of sovereign states and transferred missile and nuclear related technology and encouraged later its ally North Korea to do the same to Pakistan in the 1990s.
The paper points that by applying the same logic, what India and Japan are doing to reach out to each other for mutual benefits as sovereign states, China should have no reason to feel paranoid and accuse India and Japan of ganging against it. Indeed, if Japan sees India as a partner to work together for mutual prosperity, China should have no reason to ring alarm bells
The essay concludes that a peaceful and stable regional environment is indispensable, which China by its actions threatens to disturb. It is natural, therefore, for India and Japan to come together to take measures that aims to check and balance China. Still, confrontation is however not in any country’s national interests.
Prior to 2006, Zambia had few reliable national estimates of its forests. But an integrated land-use assessment from 2005-2008 provided the country with a valuable and reliable snapshot of its forests. Now Zambia is initiating a second survey. This time the results will offer more than a snapshot – they will provide proof of progress. Zambia is using the data as a baseline against which it can show how various aspects of its forests have changed, incorporating measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) requirements for greenhouse gas emissions from forests. MRV is required for countries to participate in REDD+, a climate change initiative that provides financial incentives to developing countries to protect forests.
This essay examines the role of social media in shaping the post-war political developments in Sri Lanka as well as the ethnic question of Tamils. It explores how the social media has transformed the ethnic conflict within the new realm of cyberspace and the impact on post-war Sri Lankan ethnic question.
The paper states that a separate Tamil nation in Sri Lanka has not been subdued with the elimination of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), rather it has been reinvented and reinforced by social media. Although there is no real or direct impact of this new phenomenon on the ground situation in Sri Lanka in the post-war period, social media has been shaping the nature of protest and freedom struggle through non-violent means.
The author indicates the following notes:
- during the last two UNHRC resolutions on Sri Lanka meet, social media has played a crucial role domestically as well as in Indian by consolidating the Tamil opinions, sentiments and feelings
- as a result, the international community has been resolute in promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka
- the regional political parties from Tamil Nadu have also upped the ante against the ruling party and the government
- India also voted against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC in order to appease its domestic Tamil constituency
- moreover, social media played a larger role in the recent Tamil’s students protest across Tamil Nadu
Accordingly, the author suggests it is evident that social media enables the democratic struggle against the authoritarian regimes and acts as a force multiplier.
is intended to shed light on the prospects for further external liberalisation in current conditions, at a time when the ‘Washington Consensus’ attracts greater scepticism than it did in the 1980s and 1990s, and when the momentum of liberalisation has slowed down.
The author concludes that The latter shows that external liberalisation, as part of broad market-based
reforms, has worked: countries that have become more open to the world economy have grown faster and become richer than those that have opened up less or remained closed. There is much unfinished business. Barriers to trade and to the cross-border movement of capital and people remain high; indeed more so in developing countries than in developed countries. But a combination of material
circumstances and changes in the climate of ideas makes market-based reforms more difficult now than was the case a decade ago. The stakes, however, are too important for reform challenges to be avoided. While there is no imminent threat of global economic collapse, stalled reforms threaten to slow down globalisation’s advance, thereby depriving the world’s least-advantaged people of the life chances that globalisation offers. That would reinforce strong pressures from an alliance of old-style protectionist interests and new-style ideological forces for overactive government to restrict economic freedom and the operation of the market economy. That is why new old-collectivist ideas need to be
countered with full force.
According to open source, there are over 60,000 American troops in Afghanistan today; this figure is expected to be reduced gradually during 2014. According to this “residue” approach, the process will continue down to December 2014, but would not result in a complete withdrawal. However, this indicates the seriousness of the drift between Kabul and Washington, which was reflected in Obama’s recent public announcement of a “Zero Option” in Afghanistan.
The essay emphasises that Karzai and Obama along with their respective administrations and public opinions may have their own reasons, expectations and disappointments. So, more than what will the Zero option do for the US, what will be interesting to forecast is Karzai’s strategy, if Obama moves ahead with his threat.
The paper shows that Karzai can call off the American bluff by approaching the Russians and Chinese. The latter will be very happy to support Afghanistan, given the larger Chinese push into Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.
The author concludes that Karzai and Obama should understand the larger good. While Karzai should understand that there are no free tickets, Obama should understand Afghanistan is an independent country and not an American vassal. Indeed, neither the national security of Afghanistan, nor the regional security of South Asia and Central Asia could afford a faultline between the two Presidents and two countries. Yet, a stable Afghanistan is and should be in everyone’s interest.
In comprehensive power terms, Bhutan is almost a nonentity to China. This essay reviews the relations between Bhutan and China, and sheds light on its future expectations.
The essay demonstrates that Bhutan’s biggest disadvantage is its geography that limits its connectivity to India in South and China in north with no access to sea or any other third country. Nevertheless, in the geopolitical context of today’s South Asia, Bhutan’s geography has strategic ramifications for both India and China.
Identically, China’s pragmatic foreign policy in contemporary times with the smaller South Asian countries indicates that China fully takes into account the existing geographical and economic limitations of Bhutan. China realises the extent to which Bhutan can go against India, and definitely does not expect a lean to China’s side. However, it aims at neutralising Bhutan in the wake of any political or military conflict with India and use it as a base to further trade and commerce in Tibet and rest of South Asia.
The author notices that Bhutan has asserted its acceptance of China’s core foreign policy concern. Furthermore, as recent developments suggest, it could be a matter of time that Bhutan moves to balance its tilt towards India.
In the final analysis, the paper underlines that in a world under growing Chinese domination and reducing geographical barriers, one can always expect an upward revision of Chinese strategies and objectives.
The relations between China and North Korea have been described as “Lips and Teeth”. However, despite being the closest ally of China, North Korea has exercised its independent foreign policy.
The current essay states that China is considered to be the closest ally of North Korea and its chief source of food, fuel and foreign investment. Thus, China is viewed to have considerable influence on North Korea, However, the relations between the two allies are not as smooth as it is made out to be.
The author notes that in the recent years, China has shown considerable discomfort to the North Korean nuclear and missile programmes. Nevertheless, North Korea shall remain a “necessary evil” to China.
Main findings include:
- the nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula is not in the interest of China, so China will continue its efforts for the denuclearisation of North Korea, but it would not be an easy task
- a reunified Korea is also not in the interest of China and other major powers in the region
- yet, as North Korea provides China a strategic buffer against the US troops, so for China disowning North shall be a costly affair
- consequently, it is likely that in the case of any major conflict on the Korean peninsula, China would lend support to North Korea and prevent the eventual collapse of the North Korean regime
The greatest challenge that the new Pakistan government faces is on the national security front; the inability of the Pakistan army to meet internal security challenges effectively is a particularly worrying factor.
The army has been facing many difficulties in conducting effective counter-insurgency operations. The current essay clarifies that having concentrated solely on preparing for a conventional war with India, the army had no worthwhile experience in fighting insurgencies successfully. In addition, the tribal culture prevailing here or there, with its fierce ethnic loyalties and its diffused leadership, makes the task of the army and the government more difficult.
The author highlights that the need to follow an integrated approach at the national level is unquestionable. In this respect, he explains that a successful counter-insurgency strategy is a dynamic but balanced mixture of aggressive offensive operations conducted with a humane touch and socio-economic development.
- there can never be a purely military or a purely political solution to an insurgency
- the management of governance, development and security must proceed along parallel lines if the root causes of insurgency are to be successfully addressed in the long-term
- political negotiations to address the core issues of alienation of the population and other political demands must also be conducted with the local leadership simultaneously
- yet, the Pakistan army needs to address the doctrinal, structural and organisational issues that are hampering its efforts, and shortcomings in morale and motivation need to be overcome
- likewise, the army would do well to understand, analyse and learn from the counterinsurgency doctrine that the Indian army has so successfully followed for 20 years in Jammu and Kashmir
With the evolution of the idea of the Indian Nation, progression to independence and nationhood; the need to nurture and abide by a set of foundational principles that forms a bond between the people and their chosen destiny becomes an imperative and takes the form of the constitution.
The essay explains that the Indian freedom movement voyaged through a period of uniting élan, which created a momentum that carried them from challenge through response to the next challenge, and independence till the Indian constitution was forged and brought into force in1950. The constitution struck a balance between the thrust towards modernity and the abject reality of poverty and the astounding diversity of its people; security of the state remained an overarching covenant.
The author made reference that in setting off on its venture of nation building, India made an important assumption, that its people would be led by leaders of strong moral character with the spine to uphold the constitution and the institutions that it created. This belief was, however, stained by the very frailty of its guardians.
Key findings contain:
- the history teaches that integrity of a nation and effective governance are predicated on security and uncompromisingly espousing the foundational statutes of the realm, dodgy concessions made are always at the cost of security
- the close correlation between internal discord and state security is in effect the relationship between the democratic impulse of the people, orientation and implementation of policy and the credibility of military institutions
Ladakh consisting of two districts Kargil and Leh predominantly follows two major religions: Buddhism and Islam. Traditionally Ladakhi people are renowned for their peace loving nature. However, since the early 1980s the traditional bonding and communal harmony dramatically changed due to many incidents of communal clashes.
Indeed, there are many factors which directly or indirectly invoke communal practices between Buddhists and Muslims of Leh and Kargil. The root of communal divide is, largely political, they have an underlying political dimension. Furthermore, religion in Ladakh is often used as a mobilisation tool by politicians, both Muslims as well as Buddhists, which leads to suspicion between the two communities.
Key points of the essay include:
- considering the dim facts of Ladakh region, it is the foremost duty of all Ladakhis, especially political leaders and religious representatives to show resilience and kind-heartedness to accommodate each other's viewpoint in a democratic country like India
- youths of both Kargil and Leh should come together on a common platform to debate, discuss and argue on various developmental and other issues, so that the doubts could be cleared
- consultative and advisory council to discuss the unresolved and various outstanding issues for the common interest of Kargil and Leh is the need of the hour
- in the same way, both the LAHDC (Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council) of Kargil and Leh can develop common minimum development programmes - cooperation between the two will help them to develop a goal and vision for whole Ladakh
All things considered, the essay states that it is urgent to defeat the communalists and bring the change to restore the unique and glorious cultural identity of Ladakh region.
Any war followed by partition creates a new border, therefore new forms of self-identification is being enforced by the host nation. The partition event of 1971 in the Jammu and Kashmir’s Turtuk area (a sequence of the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war) is a partition in itself by force, as the previously defined cease-fire line between India and Pakistan was once again altered into a fresh line of control.
The paper notes that:
- the partition has left a deep psychological impact on borderland people (on the question of divided families, even today, Turtuk borderland dwellers continue to represent the unfinished business of the partition)
- trade operations, on which the prosperity of border people largely depended, have come to a sudden halt when border was sealed, which took away one of the economic alternatives of the people
- while the people in both Indian and Pakistani Punjab enjoy cross-border cultural and commercial links, the people of Turtuk are denied similar interchanges in the name of Kashmir issue
- the soil and the topography are very conducive for the favourable production, but the absence of a good market and scarcity of land obstructs economic opportunity of the locals
Nevertheless, the document argues that a priority for borderland dwellers is to have the basic economic needs rather than the political obligations toward the state. In this sense, some believe that the opening of the 'Turtuk-Khaplu' route would address the much awaited issue of divided families and also revive trade which would ultimately help in the growth of village economy. In addition, tourism as an evolving institution has the potential to raise the economic and cultural need of the people living on the borderland.
Following its democratic turn in 1994, Nelson Mandela wrote the year previously, the second pillar of South African foreign policy would be the principle ‘that just and lasting solutions to the problems of humankind can only come through the promotion of democracy worldwide. …’ This policy plank had distant echoes in the final articles of the Freedom Charter pledging that ‘South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international dispute by negotiation — not war.’
Initially, democratic South Africa sought the application of these ideals in Africa, the primary focus of its diplomatic efforts. In the opening decade of the 21st century, however, South Africa, perhaps sensing that the post-Cold-War unipolar moment was fading and eager to find its niche as an emerging power, has looked increasingly outward beyond its own continent to the cultivation of ‘South–South’ trade and security relationships.
This volume of papers explores South Africa’s relationship with Pakistan — a relationship that has deep historical and cultural roots and is attended by the rhetoric of good intentions, but whose potential is markedly unrealised.