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The Kayani Effect
Khaled Ahmed

The Kayani Effect
Khaled Ahmed

Out of this theorem emerges the phenomenon of the Islamic soldier who heroically questions the legitimacy of Pakistan’s clinch with the US, thus enlarging the challenge of the army’s mission statement and making it potentially adventurist and dangerous. The most dangerous aspect of this nationalism is the nexus the army developed with the “non-state actors” and the aggressive seminaries, called madrasas, in the state’s hinterland....


Zafar Sareshwala: The Muslim Who Bats For Modi
Zafar Sareshwala

Considered one of Modi's trusted backroom boys, he is said to have the Gujarat chief minister on speed dial, predictably earning brickbats for "backstabbing" community members who oppose Modi's Hindutva ideology. But Sareshwala, whose family hails from Ahmedabad, maintains that engagement with Modi and the BJP is the only way forward for the Muslims of Gujarat….


Five Years after 26/11, Intelligence Services Still Crippled By Staff Shortage
Praveen Swami

“You can’t run your space programme, or Army, with people on deputation. You can’t run your intelligence services that way, either.” IB sources said the staffing shortages have hit efforts to expand counter-terrorism operations. The Bureau’s operations directorate — the hub of its counter-terrorism effort — has some 30 analysts and field staff, all told; another 30-odd track Maoists. Local counter-terrorism teams set up in 2008 have been dismantled due to staff shortages……


Counter Terrorism: Programmed to Fail
Ajai Sahni

India's capacity for self-deception is extreme, and this constitutes the gravest threat to national security. The state's counterterrorism (CT) 'policies' have been based principally on political posturing, and not on objective and urgent considerations of strategy and response….


Cops Should Avoid Fake Encounters and Indiscriminate Rounding Up Of Suspects: Former RAW Chief Hormis Tharakan
Hormis Tharakan, Former RAW Chief

Ajay Kumar Singh, a former police chief of Karnataka widely admired for his professionalism, once told me that whenever terrorists are asked why they turned to terror, they invariably give three reasons: the Babri Masjid demolition, the post-Godhra riots, and faked encounters resulting in deaths of innocent persons. It is beyond the police to correct the first two factors. But they can do a lot to avoid faked encounters and the indiscriminate rounding up of suspects....


The United States plus five world powers reached a landmark deal with Iran on Sunday to curtail the Persian country's purported march towards nuclear weapons. The agreement, when fully realized, has the potential to dramatically alter the geo-political landscape of the Middle-East, Gulf, and South Asia, affecting the strategic outlook and orientation of major countries from Israel to India and in between.....

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An Encouraging Moment in Ties with Iran: U.K.

Iran Welcomes Nuclear Deal Which Israel Calls 'Mistake'


In the coming days, if the electoral polarisation persists, India and its interests will be dragged into the internal politics. It is in India’s interests that political rivalries in Maldives be blunted and ended. Both the new President Yameen and the defeated aspirant Nasheed have made positive noises about reconciliation in the interest of democratic stability in Maldives. The extent to which these noises will be turned into concrete actions will of course, depend upon the new rulers……


"Main Aur Mere Parivar Ke Sadasya Apne Gram Mein Hui Hinsatmak Ghatnaon Se Bhayakant Hokar Gaon Va Ghar Chhodkar Aaye Hain, Tatha In Kinhi Bhi Paristhitiyon Mein Ab Apne Mool Gaon Evam Ghar Nahin Lautenge (I and my family left our village and our home due to the violent incidents there. We will not return to our village and home under any circumstances)," says the affidavit……


To Be Hindu Is Not Communal
Ram Jethmalani

A strong India, where the majority of the people can move forward, united in harmony, disturbs the balance of power. Despite our poverty, malnutrition and lack of proper governance to encourage human resource development, the average IQ of our people is far higher than that of many developed nations. If this is garnered constructively towards building the nation, without divisive forces and corruption wrecking them from within, India can become an economic and political giant……

The intolerance against the Shias in Kashmir that started decades ago is still visible today. Some people from the majority communities find it easy to attack and develop insecurity in the minds of Shias. This can be gauged through various social networking websites where hate pages against Shias are created quite often, and where the Shiites face criticism on various fronts. Counter attacks and criticism from the Shiites follow suit….


Renewing an India-Pakistan Peace Process?
Radha Kumar

But no strategy will succeed unless supported by the military in Pakistan and the Opposition in India. Lacking access to the former, I cannot analyse the potential for change; but as far as the latter is concerned, the BJP’s approach appears to be: wait until we come to power and then we will allow progress. That is surely morally unacceptable: no party should hold a peace process hostage until its turn at power. Indeed, Mr. Vajpayee’s peace initiatives gained traction because the Congress supported them….


When Daily Life in Saudi Arabia Comes To a Standstill
Badria al-Bishr

Imagine waking up one day to find that essential services are no longer functioning because the workers they rely on are hiding from a government campaign against illegal residents. This is the reality of Saudi Arabia. A grace period had allowed many illegal residents to correct their legal statuses, but since its expiry, old neighborhoods in Riyadh have been transformed into havens for illegal residents….


Taking Advantage of Taliban Flux
Mayuri Mukherjee

The situation is in a flux. The question here is: Will state agencies (Afghans, Pakistanis and Americans) take advantage of the shifting dynamics to scuttle the groups from within. Before you answer that, factor this in: In 2012, after Malala was shot, the Americans refused to hunt down Mullah Fazlullah in Afghanistan, as they viewed him as an ‘other-side-of-the-border’ problem.....


Shankarsinh Vaghela: 'RSS Is Financing Members Of Qadianis For Terror Blasts. It's A Group Who Claim Themselves To Be Muslims, But According To Mainstream Muslims, They Don't Belong To The Community
Shankersinh Vaghela

"There was one common strategy running from Godhra to Patna that is to engineer killing of Hindus and Muslims for political polarisation." "BJP is conspiring to divide society for political gains," he alleged. "It does not bother them whether those being killed are Hindus or Muslims if it helps them grabbing power," said Vaghela, who also has roots in the RSS…..

Stalling the Return to Democracy in Maldives: An Obvious Ruse to Block Mohamed Nasheed from Making a Comeback
Sreeram Chaulia

The spate of scheduling, cancelling and annulling elections and election results over the last three months in the Maldives has eroded whatever little legitimacy was left in its public institutions. Instead of a return to democracy that should have happened in September 2013, when the first of many ill-fated presidential elections was held and then declared invalid, we have a charade of votes being faithfully cast and thrown into the dustbin or waiting room....


‘India’s Islam Is Nearest To the Actual Teachings Of Islam, And the World Needs the Real Islam’
Shoma Chaudhury

Talking about religion conversions and temple destructions by the early Muslims in India, Eaton argued that these were political acts rather than acts of religious fanaticism. He emphasized the fact that not all temples were destroyed by Mughal invaders. Only those associated with the royalty that suffered defeat were destroyed, as was the norm back in the day. “They were political, not religious desecration”…..

India, Bangladesh: Treaty of Hope
Sanchita Bhattacharya

The treaty will also clear the way to bring back criminals like Subrata Bain and Sazzad Hossain to Bangladesh from India. Bain and Hossain are currently lodged in Delhi's high-security Tihar Jail. Bain was charged with carrying Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN), illegal arms and for illegal immigration into India. Hossain is wanted in cases of murder in Bangladesh. The Awami League government of Bangladesh contends that Bain and Hossain were involved in attacks that targeted its top leadership.....


Fear of Books In Pakistan
Farooq Sulehria

Puritans have been unnecessarily incensed by the global bestseller, ‘I am Malala’, Malala Yousafzai’s biography. Thanks to the legacy left behind by General Ziaul Haq, we no longer waste time reading books. In other words, 70 percent Pakistanis do not read books (54 percent in 2002 would stay away). How frequently? Forty-eight percent read once a week, 31 percent once every two weeks, and 21 percent once a month….


Can Pakistan Really Talk To The Taliban?
Yasser Latif Hamdani

That you should never underestimate your enemy is common sense. Tragically, it seems in Pakistan common sense is in short supply. Our old hands, who continue to pontificate on strategies as if the world was a board game, are almost patronising in the way they talk about the Taliban. “They are our boys”, “We have to win their hearts and minds”, “Taliban were our allies”, “We can still convince them”, “We can bring them in the framework of our constitution”, etc, are the kind of statements that we have heard for over a decade now.

The Murder of Yasser Arafat
Eric S. Margolis

Israel denies the murder, though some of its leaders have openly stated their desire to “liquidate” Arafat. Israel is the only Mideast nation that can produce polonium-210 in its reactors. Still, Israel insists it was not responsible, though no tears were shed over Arafat’s death. Israel says the culprits were Palestinian rivals....

Rahul Gandhi Is Right On Indian Jihadists: India Ought To Be Grateful
Praveen Swami

Mr. Gandhi's intervention, inchoate and fumbling, won’t solve the problem. It does, though, open the door to the truth-telling that is a precondition for healing. For that, India ought to be grateful….

Amid growing levels of violence, political tension and general governmental disarray, what might best be described as Iraq’s Shiite Muslim political block is splintering. These days their block is just as fragmented and disillusioned as any of the other political grouping in the country……


How to Write an Article on Pakistan (For the Foreign Press)
Jahanzaib Haque

I want to write a positive Pakistan story, grounded in the people, civil society, fashion, music, art, innovation, business. All of this couched in the context of ‘terrorism in the tribal badlands’ and ‘conservative Islamic culture’ of course, else it won’t sell.....


An Irrevocable Decision
Najam Sethi

Hakeemullah Mehsud, the leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan in Waziristan since 2009, is dead, thanks to a drone strike. His TTP predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud, who boasted of killing Benazir Bhutto, was also dispatched by a drone strike....


But terrorism is seen as the exception in Indonesia, while religious tolerance is the norm. For many people, Southeast Asian Islam serves as proof that an open-minded, gentler version of the religion exists. The country is a possible role model for others, which could learn a lot from Indonesia's "spirit of tolerance," as US President Barack Obama, who spent a portion of his childhood in Jakarta, put it during his 2010 visit….

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