August 17, 2017

Pakistan: Terrorism, Governance and the Police

Pakistani police has been politicized by politicians.

The police in Pakistan lack legitimacy, professionalism and above all, political space to move towards democratic policing. Read More »

Pakistan on Brink of Becoming ‘Water Scarce’

Islam Headworks on River Sutlaj, which regulates water flow from India. (Photo by Faisal Saeed, Creative Commons License)

With water availability plummeting, Pakistan is close to being declared a water scare country, but better management of surface water resources and groundwater aquifers shared with India can help avert the crisis. Read More »

Modi’s Self-defeating Pakistan Policy

Modi's hardline national security policy is self-defeating.

For India, the only way to de-hyphenate itself from Pakistan is to improve relations with Islamabad through bold initiatives. Modi, who has always advocated a more muscular approach to national security, cannot ignore Pakistan, but must also recognize that a hardline approach will create problems for New Delhi. Read More »

Democracy Still Taking Roots in Bhutan

(Photo by Zachary Collier, Creative Commons License)

From the very beginning, Bhutan took an unusual path to democracy. It was decreed by the Fourth King as his ‘gift’ to the nation. But although his citizens could not refuse the gift, the question of whether they have fully accepted it remains unanswered. Read More »

Bangladesh’s Freshwater Crisis Intensifies

Washing and drinking in old Dhaka. (Photo by David Brewer, Creative Commons License)

With freshwater sources destroyed after Cyclone Aila in 2009 and increasing salinity due to lack of flow in rivers, coastal Bangladesh is facing an acute drinking water crisis with women the worst sufferers. Read More »

Afghanistan: Strange Bedfellows

Abdul Rashid Dostum (l) and Governor Atta Mohammad Noor.

There are broad indications the newfound unity between the erstwhile foes — northern Balkh province’s Governor Atta Mohammad Noor and First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum — has been brought about by some regional powers to protect their interest in Afghanistan. Read More »

Pakistan: Organized Crime Promotes Terrorism

Policemen stand at the site of a terrorist attack on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan, on February 12. (Photo via The Friday Times)

When establishing the rule of law becomes the domain of those who live outside the rule of law, accountability becomes a figment of imagination allowing criminals to function in the name of justice. Justice then becomes a crime! Read More »

View from Bangladesh: Hullabaloo in the Maldives

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom is blamed for much of the turmoil Maldives has seen in recent months. (Photo by Mahinda Rajapaksa, Creative Commons License)

One Bangladeshi analyst believes that political upheaval and government’s authoritarian actions in Maldives have caused rise of Islamic conservatism,  a politically influenced judiciary, militarization of the police, close collaboration with China, and increasing harassment of migrant workers. Read More »

Pakistan: Summer’s Discontent

Asif Ali Zardari. (United Nations Photo, Creative Commons License)

Asif Ali Zardari outburst might be “the defining moment” PPP needed to re-invigorate itself as the dynamic force it once was in Pakistani politics. Read More »

Beyond the Brazen Attack on Afghan Parliament

After concluding an intelligence pact with Pakistan, President Ashraf Ghani has lost much public support. (Photo by Fardin waezi/UNAMA, CC License)

The attack on the Afghan parliament was a grim reminder the militants are hard to vanquish on the battlefield. The spike in violence has put Afghanistan’s rag-tag security forces under more pressure than at any time in the past six months. Read More »