December 16, 2017


Dynasty vs Dynamism in India

  Over the next decade or so, a host of regional parties in India will have to confront the issue of who should succeed the leaders spearheading them. Should the successor belong to the leader’s family or be one of his or her trusted lieutenants? No doubt, these parties draw their energy from the charisma of their solitary leader, one ... Read More »

Spying Down Under – One Big Scandal in Indonesia

Indonesians are usually an easy-going, amiable people. But last week, they were boiling with anger and a sense of betrayal after revelations that Australia’s Signals Directorate had been tapping the phones of senior Indonesian government officials, including President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and, worst of all, his wife, First Lady Ani Yudhoyono. Aussie intelligence was also spying on the very same ... Read More »

Lack of Transparency Fuels Public Unrest in Hong Kong

Around 120,000 people recently took to the streets to protest against the government’s decision not to grant a free-to-air license to Hong Kong Television Network (HKTV). The decision sparked public outrage because it was seen to be unfair and contrary to the fair market principles at the very heart of Hong Kong’s economic success. The failure to disclose the reasons for ... Read More »

Who was Maulvi Ahmad Jan, the Droned Haqqani Network Leader?

Maulvi Ahmad Jan Akhund, a key commander of the Haqqani Network who was droned to death by the American CIA on Nov 21 in Hangu, had been arrested and then released by the Pakistani authorities in 2010 along with several other senior members of the Quetta Shura led by Mullah Mohammad Omar. Maulvi Ahmad Jan was a key financier and ... Read More »

Republicans May Derail Iran Deal

Top Republican lawmakers suggested on Sunday that Congress should move to impose new sanctions on Iran despite the historic agreement reached in Geneva between the U.S., its international partners and the Islamic Republic over Iran’s nuclear program. According to the White House, in exchange for a freeze and roll back of Iran’s program, the P5+1 — the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Russia, ... Read More »

Iran Deal Overshadows Turkey-Egypt Issues

P5+1 countries and Iranian foreign ministers might have announced in Geneva yesterday that they reached an agreement on control over Iran’s nuclear program, but the most important story regarding the Middle East will probably be something else. International media would probably focus on Egypt’s expelling of the Turkish Ambassador to Cairo as “persona non grata” and downgrading diplomatic relations on ... Read More »

Pakistan’s Wildlife Protection: A Clarion Call

When death and destruction pervade incessantly in a region, its cost is not limited to human beings alone. Environment has to pay equal share. This phenomenon partly defines ecological cascade in the hilly-forested belt along Pakistan-Afghan borders, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and some parts of Balochistan (provinces in northeastern and southwestern Pakistan), where rich stock of wildlife is increasingly exposed to ... Read More »

Finding the Urban Crisis Tipping Point

By 2015, three billion people will be living in urban slums according to UN Habitat. As the number of vulnerable people living in urban slums rises, aid agencies are struggling to identify the tipping point at which chronic urban vulnerability turns into a humanitarian crisis. IRIN spoke to aid staff to find out what they are doing about it. Accurately tracking vulnerability ... Read More »

The Great Syrian Risk Game

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has asked his envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, to set a date for the Syrian peace conference — called Geneva II — in mid-December. The expectation of a November meeting has now slipped by. A quarter century ago, Mr. Brahimi was the envoy tasked to bring peace to the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990). ... Read More »

Who is on Trial in Pakistan?

According to both legal opinion and mass public perception, prima facie the case against General Pervez Musharraf for treason is legally a “slam dunk”, he is guilty as charged. According to Article 6 (of Pakistan’s constitution) the extra-constitutional measures Musharraf used on November 3, 2009 to remove the Supreme Court judges is “treason”.  Will the trial court have the audacity ... Read More »