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Current Affairs

J&K: Fragmenting Ceasefire
Ajit Kumar Singh

The Indian Army had carried out a 'surgical strike' inside Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) in the early hours of September 29, 2016, inflicting heavy casualties and damage to terror launch pads in the region. Unconfirmed reports suggest that at least 38 terrorists and their handlers, as well as two Pakistani soldiers were killed in the strike. No Indian casualty was reported.....

 

War, With Ad Breaks
Raza Rumi

 If the task of journalists is to inform, educate and question, then this line is untenable. How can a politician’s questioning — especially someone who’s been at the helm of power — risk national security? Whether there was covert governmental intervention or not, it is baffling as to how a supposedly independent media house assumed itself to be an arm of the security architecture of the country....

 

Saying It with Science
Mala Kumar

“Science is very effective in feeding the intellectual hunger of young people. Only with knowledge can they think for themselves and learn to analyse the religious scripts that they memorise. Most often it is the children of the poorest Muslims who attend madrasas. With only religious texts to lead them, and if they can read only in one language, how can you expect them to develop their personality and prosper in society?”...

When Abuse Meets Silence: Part of the Reason for the Silence in the Aradhana Case Is Religion
Praveen Swami

Politicians and the criminal justice system are notoriously fearful of being seen as intruding into sacred space, witnessing barbaric practices like child marriage. There is also a more profound problem: The notion that children are the property of their families, with no independent rights. Children across the world are subjected to horrific violence....

 

Cyril Almeida’s Story Points To Old Fault Lines and New Strains in Pakistan Army-Govt Relationship
Ayesha Siddiqa

It will at best bring back memories of the incarceration of a prominent journalist, Najam Sethi, in the late 1990s under Nawaz Sharif’s watch. While that old story remains a mystery too, it seems the prime minister hasn’t gotten rid of the habit of owning sins committed by the army — and then getting punished for it....

 

Hindutva’s ‘Purification’ Drive
Christophe Jaffrelot

The crowds at the Dargahs shows that while ideologues may be attracted by Saudi Arabia, popular Islam continues to be turned towards local sacred sites: “Purification” through “nationalisation” is redundant in the case of Indian Muslims, who always looked at the land of their saints as their holy land....

 

The Symbolism of National Flags and their Significance in Society

Does that mean that the new comers should wear the swimming trunks or bikinis made out of the Australian flags when in their new home as the Australians do? No, not at all, for there is “no compulsion” either way. But if they do wish to do so, there is no cultural taboo attached to it at present; unless the law of the land changes and makes it illegal later, then all must obey the law!...

 

It was an interesting little community in which belief in witchcraft, witchcraft accusations, and witchcraft-related killings and destruction of property, were fairly common. In this particular case, the young men suspected the elderly woman of having bewitched two of their comrades, one of whom was her step-grandson....

 

Of Iconoclasts, Autocrats, Dictators
Khaled Ahmed

Bhutto was dangerous, “enigmatic, charismatic, complex, paradoxical, eventually suicidal”, carried by the miasma of populism that can kill most economies today. Soon things started going wrong and insolvency — rather than the utopia of Roti, Kapra and Makan — overtook Pakistan....

 

How Best Can India Play the Balochistan Card against Pakistan
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri

The mixed history of India’s involvement with Balochistan is a reminder that this is an extremely difficult ploy to use successfully. The record, however, does seem to indicate that civil society gambits like Bugti as opposed to supplying weapons to insurgents may be the most effective means to put this thorn back into Pakistan’s side...

 

India and Pakistan are Rearranging the Thresholds of Conflict
Ayesha Siddiqa

However, these are tough times for peace and stability in the region as the two militaries test and redefine their thresholds. Any miscalculation could result in an inadvertent but costly escalation. At the end of the day, there are no prospects for a decisive victory by either side and sacrificing over a billion lives or more is too big a risk to take....

Surgical Strikes: Bodies Taken Away On Trucks, Loud Explosions, Eyewitnesses Give Graphic Details
Praveen Swami

The Pakistan Army responded by locating jihadist launch-pads alongside its camps, thus minimising contact between local residents and groups like the Lashkar. However, the massive street violence in Kashmir has led to a surge in the visibility of jihadists across the Neelum valley....

And:

Fresh Terror Build-Up at Posts along Loc, PM Modi Briefed At CCS

By Praveen Swami

 
Paradigm Shift?
Ajai Sahni

Paradigm Shift?
Ajai Sahni

Between India and Pakistan, over the past at least three decades and more, there has been a situation best described as neither war, nor peace. This is the paradigm that must be mastered by New Delhi. Pakistan is trapped on the wrong side of history; and history appears, now, to be positioning its inexorable correctives....

 

India-Pak: War Isn’t Exciting
Aakar Patel

Will we continue with our lives when after a while, there is nothing “new” in the news and the latest killings are just the same as the ones of yesterday and the day before? Will we be going about our business, coming back home to watch the TV channels discuss the latest development in the Indrani case? I think so because that is the nature of the human being and that is the nature of war....

India’s Return to Realism on Pakistan Was Overdue
D.C. Pathak

In line with the deep national indignation and people’s call for revenge over the Uri attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the public platform at Kozhikode to denounce Pakistan comprehensively and deliver a warning that the Uri attack would not be forgotten or forgiven. Modi made three crucial observations. He acknowledged for the first time that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was a Pakistan army rubber stamp, who merely read out the speeches prepared by the terrorist masterminds....

 

Pakistan Manufactures War with India Because Of a Deep-Seated Doubt as To Its Ability to Endure As a Nation
David Frawley

Their common Islamic background has not resulted in any internal unity, but instead now a Sunni-Shia civil war is devastating the region. It has given rise to the brutal Islamic State (ISIS). Pakistan is facing similar divisions but is becoming its own Islamic State....

 

On the Pakistani side, a similar surge is in evidence: Punish the blokes who travel to India to shamelessly suck up to the enemy. Ban Indian movies, which will automatically lead to the revival of a collapsed Pakistani film industry, under Islam. Like the clerics in Pakistan, BJP hoods on the roads can rough up anyone they like, the glint in the eye resembling that of their blasphemy-aroused counterparts in Pakistan....

 

The Indian Army Strikes Back: Keeps It within Escalation Control
Syed Ata Hasnain

What gladdens the heart is that, after long, the Indian establishment employed information, alongside its operations, as a prime tool most appropriately. Through information control and management, it parried the public pressure for immediate and knee-jerk operations. The Prime Minister's meetings with the three service chiefs were evidently for coordination of the political, diplomatic, economic, and military response...

 

Keep Central Asia Stable and Secular
Skand Tayal

It is in India’s interest that this region continues to be a champion of secularism and tolerance at a time when much of the Islamic world is being buffeted by strong winds of Wahhabism and other forms of medieval religious beliefs...

 

Remain the Larger Nation: Throwing Out Actors, Hating an Entire People Is Small and Reductionist
Saba Naqvi

I was surprised and touched to see that the opening ceremony of the festival included a dance-drama called “Tagore”. Gurudev’s poem “Where the Mind is Without Fear” was recited to a dance, included in which was a rendition of Gandhiji’s favourite Bhajan, Raghupati Raghav Rajaram, Patita Paavana Sitaram, Ishwar Allah Tero Naam …We have a painful history and a troubled present, but we must never give up on the high moral ground. We must remain the larger nation...

 
Game of Inception
Syed Ata Hasnain

Game of Inception
Syed Ata Hasnain

Raheel was now worried. The strategy had always been to keep these sub-conventional operations within India’s limits of tolerance. Circumstances beyond his control had created this situation. The Indians were baying for blood and were sounding more coherent in the spelling out of response options. What assured him was the history of India’s lack of response but what equally worried him was the possibility of India’s political and military leadership attempting something completely irrational, outside the purview of known attitude...

His Master’s Choice
Tahir Mahmood

There may be no recorded evidence of the phenomena I have mentioned — campus politics and imposition of official choice — but I have witnessed their existence both in AMU and Jamia, where some academic groups had suggested my name for the position. Be that as it may, universities cannot be held wholly responsible for choosing non-academics as their presiding deities. Being awfully un-academic, the prevailing system needs to be overhauled.....

 

India’s Assertiveness on Pakistani Occupied Kashmir is a Breath of Fresh Air
Sanjeev Tripathi

The strategy of radical Islamists/jihadi militants, who have a global agenda, has been that to come forward with financial and military assistance wherever Muslims are fighting for their rights or against their genuine or perceived grievances. Thereafter, they gradually take over control of the movement. Kashmiri Muslims need to be cautioned about this, as it threatens their basic culture of Sufism and tolerance. The growth of radical Islam as propagated by Wahhabis/Salafis in the Valley would not only change their way of life but could also drag Kashmiri Muslims into wider international conflicts...

 
A Pirouette on Pakistan
Suhasini Haidar

A Pirouette on Pakistan
Suhasini Haidar

The truth is, the world understands India is the victim, and Pakistan the perpetrator of terror. While the government keeps producing evidence of each attack it traces to the Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e-Taiba, as it has done post-Uri as well, the obvious evidence should be the original case against them: that JeM leader Masood Azhar was exchanged for hostages during the IC-814 hijack in 1999, and Hafiz Saeed has been identified by at least three people involved in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks of 2008 as its mastermind, and is wanted not just by India but the UN as well....

 

This Bilateral Madness
Khaled Ahmed

Once the smoke settles down, Pakistan and India must get together and “isolate” the Kashmir issue by creating more bilateral barriers to cross-LoC interference and normalise their economic relations, including consultations on another “economic corridor” that will allow India to trade with SAARC-member Afghanistan and the Central Asian states beyond. That Pakistan is increasingly aware of its internal trouble will help ease this process....

 
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