Periscope – World in Focus

September, 2013

  • 24 September

    Post-2014 Afghanistan

    Pakistan’s pivot to Central Asia Without doubt, all major stakeholders are now worried about the post 2014 Afghanistan. As the date of US withdrawal approaches quickly, many of the variables connected to the smooth transition are far from resolved. Meanwhile, the attention of western nations is increasingly diverted towards the affairs of Syria and Iran. Some of the interconnected factors …

  • 21 September

    Bangladesh’s Nuclear Plant — A Disaster in Waiting

    The government is all set to get a nuclear power plant built, using Uranium 236 as the reactor fuel at Rooppur in Pabna. Of utmost concern is that Russia, which is due to supply the nuclear power plant, experienced the biggest number of civilian fatalities, injuries and related radiation sickness following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Officially, many hundreds were killed, …

  • 21 September

    China’s Carrier-Based J-15 Enters Mass Production

      A number of recent reports in Chinese state-run media indicate that the country’s carrier-based J-15 multirole fighter jets have entered mass production. The Shenyang J-15 (also called Flying Shark) is China’s carrier-based fighter aircraft. It was reversed engineered from a Russian Sukhoi Su-33 that China acquired from Ukraine, although it reportedly is equipped with some indigenous weapons, avionics and other features …

  • 20 September

    Indian Politics — Memory Versus Forgetting

    “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting,’ novelist Milan Kundera wrote. Indeed, those who wield power often try to efface the imprints of their despicable past, recreating on the slate of a cleansed public memory an endearing image of themselves. Yet, their darkled past returns to haunt them because of individuals who want to …

  • 18 September

    A Language That Built A Nation

    For newly independent nations, the choice of an official, national language was crucial, and often controversial, made especially so in the context of polyphonic and geographically diverse countries like China, India, and Indonesia. In China, the Communist Party, opted for Putonghua, or Mandarin, the language of the capital, Beijing. In India, the initial intention of the postcolonial state — to …

  • 14 September

    Will Release of Top Taliban Leader Restore Peace?

    As a remarkable sign of Pakistan’s new phase of cooperation with the Afghan peace process, Islamabad is to release Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a prominent Taliban leader who was in prison in Pakistan since he was captured in 2010. The Afghan government has long urged for release of Baradar as he is considered a moderate and pro-peace figure among the …

  • 12 September

    Message from India’s Communal Riots

    A series of riots that claims the lives of about 40 people (60% Muslim, 40% Hindu, according to a police source) may appear insignificant. After all, this is a country born in sectarian violence, where the main ruling and the Opposition parties have engineered and/or abetted pogroms against minorities. As Delhi’s authority slowly recedes and regional leaders grow more powerful, …

  • 11 September

    The Anatomy of Radicalism

      When the Indian Mujahideen’s bomb-maker, Yasin Bhatkal, was caught in Pokhara (in western Nepal) last week (August 29), there was justifiable jubilation in India. Yasin spilled the beans on interrogation, revealing that Nepal’s scenic lakeside resort has become a hideout of choice where Indian extremists can lie low. But few know that Yasin was radicalized by what he erroneously believed …

  • 11 September

    Dispatches from An Unfinished African Revolution

    After a struggle with white farmers over nearly two decades, Zimbabwe’s peasants are now owners of more than three-fourths of all agricultural land. The ZANU-PF’s success has been to take this autonomous movement and project this as an outcome of its policies.

  • 8 September

    Syria: South Asian Media Calls for Caution

    As President Barack Obama weighs his options on Syria, media in South Asian countries is advising caution, fearing despite all good intentions, an attack on Syria could spiral out of control.