Views Digest

October, 2013

  • 6 October

    Democratic Republic of Congo at a Crossroads

    GDP growth is soaring, inflation is low, and the resource potential is huge. Can the Democratic Republic of Congo achieve its potential or will vested interests trip it up? On the 53rd anniversary of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) independence from Belgium on 30 June, President Joseph Kabila said the country has “all of the advantages necessary to join …

  • 6 October

    Scoops About Spooks And ‘Embedded’ Indian Media

      Come to think of it, retired General V. K. Singh’s recent disclosure about the Indian Army paying politicians in Kashmir had all the ingredients for a career-defining story reporters on the intelligence beat would have loved to scoop. Yet, despite all the cups of coffee they have gulped with spooks in plush restaurants, they had little idea about what …

  • 6 October

    Why Deadlock in US-Afghan Security Pact Talks?

    Negotiations between Afghanistan and the United States over a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) have reached a crucial stage as the two sides are wrangling over key terms of the pact that would allow presence of US forces in Afghanistan beyond 2014. American officials have renewed warnings that the delay in reaching a timely agreement on the future status of the …

  • 6 October

    Pakistani Militants’ Media Front

      Militancy poses a serious threat to the security and stability of Pakistan. While the government and various state institutions are trying to respond in their own way and according to their own capacity, persistent ideological, political and operational ambiguities about the nature and level of militancy not only compound the problem but also add to its intensity. One critical …

  • 5 October

    The Deft Politicking of Nepal’s Army

    The fact that the army is the most powerful state organ in Nepal is fairly unremarkable. It is an established norm of most countries, especially a post-conflict state managing a difficult democratic transition to peace. The interesting aspect of the Nepalese Army (NA), however, is its limited public role in national politics. This stands in stark contrast to other militaries …

  • 5 October

    Shutdown to Ax Food Stamps, Job Training Programs Funding

    After waging a noisy summer-long campaign to modify food stamps rules in the name of rewarding work, House Republicans have cut off funding to the job training programs that go along with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by shutting down the government. Those employment and training programs, known as SNAP E&T, are being left to their own devices during the …

  • 5 October

    India’s High Price For Slow Growth

    Oscar Wilde would fancy himself prescient. In The Importance of Being Earnest, he had the governess warn her impressionable charge: ‘Cecily, you will read your Political Economy in my absence. The chapter on the Fall of the Indian rupee you may omit. It is somewhat too sensational. Even these metallic problems have their melodramatic side’. There has been much concern about …

  • 4 October

    A Bangladeshi Perspective on 1971 ‘War Crimes’

      We are a severe critic of this government on many issues. But on the issue of holding war crimes trial we have no hesitation in saying that without the AL (Awami League party of prime minister Sheikh Hasina Wajid who also happens to be daughter of Bangladesh’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rehman) in power, and without Sheikh Hasina’s determined leadership, …

  • 4 October

    Foreign Policy Not Glorious Legacy of Manmohan Singh

      Foreign policy will not be among the glorious legacies that Manmohan Singh will leave behind. But that will not be for want of trying, although on many occasions he blundered badly. Ties with Pakistan remain strained, since he has been repeatedly outsmarted Coming at the tail end of his almost decade-long prime ministerial tenure, Mr Manmohan Singh’s trip to …

  • 4 October

    Tugging At The Heart Strings

      About half a kilometer (.3 miles) from Karachi’s famous Banaras Chowk, to the left side of Banaras Nullah, stands a tiny old shop. The exterior is far from impressive; the interior even less so. A small space has been cleared out on the floor to provide seating; two old exhaust fans are tied to the roof in place of …