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The Role of Indian Military
in South Asian Democracies

Columnist TAUQEER H. TAKI SIRGANA argues that democracy in India
is just a facade.

From the last many decades the world of academics is encountering new aspects of South Asian politics where the stage of Indian military involvement in internal affairs of South Asian states is becoming more visible, which has its dimensions ranging from politics to economic manipulations particularly backed with strategic vision under the concept of ‘Shining India’. What is the reality behind such an impressive political exploitation from a state which calls itself a democratic and secular state in the international affairs of world politics? Is that the new dual face of emerging democracies? Or is it simply the inevitable strategic requirements are pushing states to opt for dual policies like India? One can argue that the Indian strategic vision which is cleverly camouflaged under the democratic slogan is more inspired by the United States of America. Why? The answer is obvious and simple to me and that points to the ongoing policies of the U.S.A in Iraq and Afghanistan being a champion of democracy. Is India supposed to act or think like the U.S.A? Most of the time this is a big and an ambiguous question because what India has always been doing has been hidden under the projection of so-called emerging democracy. Such an undeserving projection further provides India to play its important role in the region to stabilize the regional democracies........more

Swat: A Crisis and
an Opportunity

Air Vice Marshal FAAIZ AMIR (Retd) asserts that the ongoing crisis offers an opportunity to restore people’s confidence in the state and to integrate these regions in the mainstream.

Once again the people of Pakistan have responded like a nation. From Karachi to Lahore and Khyber, they have come together to help their kin in distress in Swat. So have the politicians and the Government. The military has resumed the responsibility to restore the much needed sense of security. The media, though acting under restraint, has demonstrated maturity and responsibility. In times of extreme distress these are extremely positive indicators on which the state needs to build on.........more

North Korea
Nuclear Test

Columnist MEHMOOD-UL-HASSAN KHAN believes the key for a solution to
North Korea's nuclear program lies with China, and to an extent with Russia.

North Korea once again stunned the world by testing another nuclear device on May 25. Afterwards, firing of missiles also shocked the world community. The Russian military and South’s Defense Ministry estimated North Korea’s nuclear blast yielded 20 kilotons, or roughly the same as the American atomic bomb that destroyed the Japanese city of Nagasaki at the end of World War II in 1945. The U.S. Geological Survey said it had detected a 4.7-magnitude quake in an area close to where the test site is thought to be. It was the second test in the last two years. North Korea has again reaffirmed its global defiance.........more

Managing Human Capital through Benchmarking?
Reinventing New Leadership Style in Pakistan
Columnist Dr QADAR BAKHSH BALOCH makes a case for Pakistan absorbing positive ideas from the Japanese style of management and intertwining them with current practices.

This paper examines the differences between Japanese and Pakistani managerial practices in handling of their organizational human resource. The aim is to understand as to how Japanese firms have managed to perform productively so well and what message their style may carry for our organizational leadership. Assuming them as a tentative roll-model what can we learn from their managerial practices so as to enhance our efficiency, attain optimum productivity level and exploit the business opportunities being offered to us by the Central Asian region, SAFTA, and WTO.

Pakistan in the
Midst of a Game Plan

Brig INAM UL HAQ (Retd) and Dr QADAR BAKHSH BALOCH warn that American aid with strings attached would tantamount to bartering away our sovereignty.

Pakistan was a peaceful country till the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. There were no target killings, no bomb blasts, no suicide attacks, no militancy, no terrorism, and no threat to the writ of the Government. The Army was held in high esteem. Law enforcement agencies including Civil Armed Forces were able to maintain law and order in their own areas of responsibility. People in FATA exercised their age-old code of conduct through the time-tested concept of collective responsibility. Tribal Maliks and chieftains exercised tremendous influence over their tribes and jirgas were an effective tool in the maintenance of law and order and stability in the area. Tribals looked towards the Political authorities for help and assistance. Likewise, the situation in Malakand Division was absolutely calm and tourists from various parts of Pakistan, as well as foreigners thoroughly enjoyed the calm, quiet and serene environment of the Swat valley during summer seasons. The locals of Swat were affable, hospitable and peaceful. No one could imagine that turbulent times would ever afflict those areas.......more

A Blueprint for Victory
Lt Gen JAVED ALAM KHAN (Retd) suggests a way forward for the Government and society to address problems relating to Talibanisation, militancy and extremism.

While thinking about the title for this article, I decided to call it "A Blueprint for Victory". Later I realized that it appears quite immodest and that my friends would pull my leg about it by separating blue from print or by hyphenating the word. Having read a large number of articles and seen various discussions on television, I realized that most of them try to trace the "why it happened" but very seldom attempt to develop a wholesome way forward. In this article I will attempt to suggest the way forward for the Government and various institutions and segments of society to address the problems facing Pakistan today relating to Talibanisation, militancy and extremism......more

Pak-Afghan predicament
Columnist MUZAFFAR K. AWAN proposes the creation of a confederacy
between Afghanistan and Pakistan as a way out of the Pak-Afghan morass.

The U.S. is now deeply engaged in trying to translate the broad strategic concepts for the Afghanistan war that President Obama announced on March 27th 2009. There have been subsequent visitations of Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari to the U.S., with broad-based triumvirate grueling discussions. The details of all these efforts have not been announced yet and many complex issues are still being debated within the U.S. Administration. What is clear thus far is that President Obama from the get-go has been looking beyond the war in Afghanistan; he has linked Afghanistan and Pakistan together and is calling for a broad-based regional approach.........more

Two Decades of Hits and Misses
Twenty Years of Press Freedom in Pakistan

Dr SEEMI NAGHMANA TAHIR takes a critical look at Press Freedom in
Pakistan over the last two decades.

The History of press in this region where Pakistan is located today is spread over a period of more than two hundred years. The concept of press freedom in Pakistan remained a dream for more than forty years in the 62 years history of the Country. Besides the fact that the founder of the country Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a great supporter of the press freedom, the press in the Country has remained in chains for a long time - first under civilian and military and then subsequent democratic regime. It was not until 1988 when the Press and Publication Ordinance 1963 was at last abolished paving the way for a freer press in the Country. Coincidently the press freedom and restoration of democracy came almost together in the Country. This paper will explore the twenty years of press freedom in Pakistan and the government-press relations with both democratically elected ones and otherwise......more

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