MonitorsPublished on Sep 19, 2014
It is almost a year since fresh elections to the Constituent Assembly in Nepal took place for the formation of a new government and the writing of a new constitution that would, as was expected then, be a breath of fresh air for a country long engulfed in political and social unrest -- and political and constitutional instability afterward.
Nepal: An uncertain future
< class="heading1">Analysis

It is almost a year since fresh elections to the Constituent Assembly in Nepal took place for the formation of a new government and the writing of a new constitution that would, as was expected then, be a breath of fresh air for a country long engulfed in political and social unrest -- and political and constitutional instability afterward. After the earlier, elected Constituent Assembly failed to draw an all-acceptable statute, last year’s polls were hailed as a watershed moment and there was much anticipation and enthusiasm not only within the country but also among the international community. Ten months later, however, that enthusiasm and hope is hard pressed.

The first major task of the newly elected-government led by the Nepali Congress was to prepare the draft of a new constitution that would give shape and structure to the country after decades. Dates were set, committees formed and in general attempts made towards the task, but months later there is yet to be any draft constitution. Parties have in the meantime bargained over several issues and failed to create a common space from which to move forward and build consensus.

Among the most recent incidents, an all party-conference was called off because at the eleventh hour, the CPN-Maoist and a 33-party alliance led by them decided to boycott the meet, citing non-compliance of their agenda. The alliance had, however, decided to be part of the conference initially and in fact the organisation of such a conference was demanded by the CPN-Maoist for a long time. The mandate of the all party conference was to arrive at an agreement regarding governance, federalism, and the electoral system among other issues which would be crucial to the new constitution. The CPN-M has made the Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML and the UCPN (Maoist), the three biggest parties responsible for their decision to back out and has insisted on separate party meetings for addressing their demands. The conference has been postponed indefinitely. What is ironical is that the conference had been called precisely so that parties could articulate their points and avoid a deadlock.

Ending the perpetual deadlock

The situation of perpetual deadlock can yet be saved as some moves towards the drafting of a new constitution have been taken. The Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (PDCC) in its report earlier in September pointed out the issues on which agreement had been reached. The opposition in Nepal had been apprehensive of the PDCC report, fearing that the three major parties might put the report to vote. However, the Nepali Congress had assured the opposition against such an outcome. Reassurances and attempts to bring the alliance to the table have failed consistently and it is probably time for the ruling parties to change their approach.

Political difference is not just an unvarying factor of any political system but is also a desirable factor. But when the difference and the priority attached to the difference exceeds that of constructive attempts, it becomes very difficult to undertake any plan of action. By deciding to not participate in the all-party conference, the CPN-M led alliance in effect lost the opportunity to bring its on issues to the table. One of key significances of such conferences and meets is to create the space and the scope to iron out differences to the best possible extent. Refraining from being part of the system is not a recourse that bears substantive fruit. Rather, it adds fatigue to a process that would otherwise have a more positive impact on the task at hand. The decision taken by the alliance and their previous attempts to frustrate the process therefore begs the question whether derailing the constitution drafting process is actually their ultimate goal.

For those who wield power in the country, it is probably time to realise the measures and method appropriate for steering the country in a more constructive direction.

(The writer is a Junior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, Kolkata)

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Pakistan: Who is Tahir-ul Qadri?

Taruni Kumar

Over the last month, Islamabad has been witness to protests against the current government headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The protests began as two separate ’long marches’, undertaken by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahir-ul Qadri, and are now contained in an on-going vigil in the capital city’s D-Chowk area. While Imran Khan’s electoral appeal is greater than Qadri’s, reports suggest that the latter’s followers comprise the majority of the protestors. This raises the questions of who Qadri is and what his motivations are.

The 63-year-old Canadian-Pakistani cleric was born in Jhang and educated in a Christian school. He studied law at the University of Punjab and pursued his doctorate in Islamic law. He is a proponent of the relatively more syncretised Sufi interpretation of Islam and has in the past labelled Saudi Arabia as the biggest problem faced by the Muslim world for the more hard-line brand of Islam it exports. His religious teachings resonate with the populace of Pakistan, which finds itself better able to relate them with their own religious practices. He also founded the ’Minhaj ul Quran’ organisation in 1981 to promote contemporary education with Islamic instruction. The organisation has expanded its network to over 90 countries. This increases Qadri’s visibility and following. In 1989, he set up the political party’ Pakistan Awami Tehreek’ (PAT).

Qadri’s rise began with his association with Nawaz Sharif’s father, Mian Muhammad Sharif, who was the Chairman of a group of companies. However, differences between the Sharif family and Qadri grew over time. It culminated in an alleged assassination attempt against Qadri, which he blamed on Mian Sharif, who was at the time Chief Minister of the Punjab Province. However, defence lawyers proved that the attempt had been faked and the blood samples found at the shooting site did not belong to a wounded guard as Qadri claimed, but to a goat.

Following his split with the Sharif family, Qadri contested national elections in 1990 and 1993 but lost. In 1995, he publicly announced that he would be quitting electoral politics. However, in 1999 after Gen Pervez Musharraf came to power, Qadri returned to the political arena as a campaigner for him. In 2002, Qadri became a member of the National Assembly but was disappointed that he was not appointed the Minister for Religious Affairs. In 2004, he resigned from the National Assembly. In 2005, he moved to Canada, where he applied for and was granted citizenship.

Army’s backing?

There is speculation that Qadri has backing from the Pakistan Army for the ongoing protests. The country’s military has often interfered in the political process. The government’s decision to hand over the security of the Red Zone to the Army and the latter’s continued tolerance towards the protestors has increased suspicion of support from the military. Tahir-ul Qadri had also openly condemned terrorism and suicide bombings in a 600-page fatwa issued in 2010. This stance is compatible with the Pakistan Army’s current position that home-grown militancy is the biggest threat to internal security in the country. Both the Army and Qadri have denied any links to each other.

A recent application filed by Canadian Muslims with immigration authorities, the Foreign Affairs department as well as with the police claims that Qadri has no known source of income other than the charitable donations made by Pakistani expatriates in Canada and Europe. Yet, there seems to be no dearth of funds available for the protests in Islamabad. His organisation has also refused to make public, its source of income.

This refusal seems to be at odds with the demands he makes of the government to increase transparency about political candidates and their financial affairs. One of his demands is to establish a pre-clearance system for candidates to check if their taxes are fully paid and whether they are loan defaulters. The momentum built up by the protest seems to suggest that he will be able to affect the composition of any potential caretaker government if the Prime Minister agrees to step down. A pro-military interim government could, in turn, stall elections. Despite this fear, the country’s political leadership seems to have firmly placed itself in Nawaz Sharif’s camp and chances of him tendering his resignation seem dim.

The current protest is not Tahir-ul Qadri’s first. In January 2013, he undertook a ’long march’ from Lahore to Islamabad against alleged governmental corruption. The protest ended when a deal was brokered with the government. The ongoing protest may see a similar outcome and will decide whether Dr Tahir-ul Qadri’s desire to "democratise, in a true sense, the Muslim world" will be fulfilled.

(The writer is a Research Assistant at Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi)

< class="heading1">Country Reports


< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Candidates reach an agreement

Dr Abdullah Abdullah and Dr Ashraf Ghani reportedly reached an agreement over all the contentious issues surrounding the national unity deal. The two are expected to sign a final agreement on 20 September. Earlier in the week the two candidates had met various stakeholders including President Hamid Karzai, former mujahideen leaders, Afghan and US government officials in order to find a resolution to the ongoing crisis. The UN Special Representative to Afghanistan had also called upon the two candidates to find a quick resolution to the crisis.

< class="text11verdana">For more information see: "Candidates Reach Agreement on National Unity Deal" Tolo News, 20 September 2014; "UN Gives Candidates Two Days to Reach Agreement" Tolo News, 19 September 2014; "Candidates Meet With Stakeholders as Talks Stall", Tolo News, 18 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">ANSF casualties increasing

The Defence Minister, the Interior Minister and the Deputy chief of the National Directorate for Security all claimed that 2014 has been among the worst for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). The Taliban have conducted about 700 operations this year along, which has led to the death of about 2500 ANSF personnel. Analysts believe that the lack of sufficient equipment and the electoral stalemate have the primary reasons behind the increase in ANSF casualties this year.

< class="text11verdana">For more information see : "ANSF Casualties on the Rise", Tolo News, 17 September 2014; "Deadliest Year for the ANSF: Mohammadi", Tolo News, 16 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Punjab Taliban declare war on Afghanistan

The Punjab Taliban, a key faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), announced the renunciation of its violent campaign within Pakistan, but claimed that it would continue its campaign in Afghanistan. A senior Pakistani diplomat in Afghanistan was summoned by the Afghan Foreign Ministry and a strong protest was lodged against the declaration of war by the Punjab Taliban. Moreover, the interior minister of Afghanistan declared that it was Pakistan militia forces, disguised as members of the Punjab Taliban, who had declared war against Afghanistan.

< class="text11verdana">For information more see : "Afghanistan summons Pakistani envoy over Punjabi Taliban leader’s remarks", The Express Tribune, 15 September 2014; "Watershed event: Punjabi Taliban renounce violence", The Express Tribune, 14 September 2014; "Pak forces disguised as Punjabi Taliban declared war in Afghanistan", Khaama Press, 17 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Sharp drop in revenue from extractive industries

The Afghan Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, in a recent report, claimed that the revenues from Afghanistan’s resource extraction industries over the past five years have plummeted from 286 million Afghanis to three million Afghanis.

< class="text11verdana">For more information see : "Afghan Energy Watchdog Reports Steep Drop in Extraction Revenues", Tolo News, 16 September 2014


< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Jammat leader Saydee’s sentence commuted

In major verdict, the Supreme Court commuted Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee’s death sentence ordered by International Crimes to lifelong imprisonment. Saydee will now be in prison until his death for crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971. In February 2013 the International Crime Tribunal had handed down death sentence on charges of killing, abduction, torture, rape and forced religious conversion during Bangladesh’s liberation in 71.

< class="text11verdana">For more information see : "SC commutes war criminal Sayedee’s death sentence in majority verdict", The Daily Star, 18 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Another cache of arms

The elite Rapid Action Battalion has once again recovered a large cache of firearms and explosives from the Satchhari National Park in Habiganj’s Chunarughat upazila in eastern Bangladesh. This is the fourth incident in the last three months that the security forces discovered large amount of arms from the same national park. The weapons recovered were -14 sacks of explosives, 112 rocket launchers and 48 chargers of rocket launchers among the weapons. The area is very close to Indian border and speculation is that these weapons might be for the use of Indian insurgent groups.

< class="text11verdana">For more information see : "Another haul of arms explosives in satchhari", The Daily Star, 18 September 2014


< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Bhutan’s first in UN peacekeeping mission

Two Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) and one Royal Body Guards (RBG) officers recently left the country to serve as peacekeepers in the Middle East and Africa. This is for the first time that Bhutan will be participating in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions.

< class="text11verdana">For more information see : "First Bhutanese in UN peacekeeping mission", Kuensel Online, 17 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Timber exploitation too high

If Bhutan harvested timber like it did in the past five years, the country would go barren, forest officials have cautioned. In the past five years, almost 40m cubic feet of timber equivalent to about 80,000 truckloads have been used in the country for various construction works, and only 3.8m cubic feet of standing timber is available for harvest, estimates say.

< class="text11verdana">For more information see: "Timber Exploitation too high", Kuensel Online, 18 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">One detained for possessing contraband substance

The Phuntsholing Police have arrested a 25 year old man from Pema Gatshel district for having in his possession contraband substance and the substance was concealed in a black bag at the back of a taxi he was travelling in. till date 93 cases have been registered with the Narcotic Drug and Law Enforcement Unit of Phuntsholing police.

< class="text11verdana">For more information see: "Man detained for possessing contraband substance", Bhutan Broadcasting Service, 17 September 2014


< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Inflation shows signs of abating

Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation rate dropped to 3.74 percent in August, the lowest in five years. While food inflation lowered to 5.15 percent after reaching 8.43 percent in July and inflation in fuel and power category reduced from 7.40 percent to 4.54 percent in the same period, Consumer Price Index inflation, the primary metric used to measure inflation by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), remained high at 7.8 percent. The RBI plans to bring consumer price inflation to 6 percent by 2016. Contrary to advice from the IMF, RBI Governor Dr Raghuram Rajan is expected to stick to his earlier position of cutting interest rates only after inflation rates stabilise at a desired level.

< class="text11verdana">For more information see: "Inflation falls to 5-yr low but RBI may hold rates", The Indian Express, 16 September 2014; "Raise policy rate to contain inflation: IMF to Reserve Bank of India", Business Standard, 19 September 2014; "RBI needs to raise policy rates to bring down inflation: IMF" The Times of India, 19 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">BJP suffers loses in by-elections

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered losses in by-elections contested in three Lok Sabha seats and 33 state assembly seats across 10 states. The three Lok Sabha constituencies were won by the BJP, the Samajwadi Party, and the Telangana based Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). In the state legislative assembly by-polls however, the BJP sustained bigger loses, winning only 12 of the 33 seats. It secured three seats in Uttar Pradesh, six in Gujarat, and one each in Rajasthan, Assam, and West Bengal. The Congress, on the other hand, made a comeback and won three seats each in Gujarat and Rajasthan, besides a solitary victory in Assam.

< class="text11verdana">For more information see : "Bypoll results LIVE: Comeback for SP, setback for BJP in Uttar Pradesh India Today, 16 September 2014; "By-election Results Strengthen Modi, Weaken BJP", NDTV, 16 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">President Mukherjee visits Vietnam, signs seven pacts

President Pranab Mukherjee visited Vietnam for a four-day trip during which he met with President Truong Tan Sang and key officials. His visit culminated in seven agreements on renewed cooperation in the field of oil exploration, air transportation, human resource development, agriculture and fisheries, and defence, among others. India extended a $100 million Line of Credit for defence procurement to Hanoi. The most salient feature of the visit was a Letter of Intent between ONGC Videsh Limited and Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) which built upon an earlier Memorandum of Understanding signed in November 2013. PetroVietnam has offered seven new oil blocks to India, all of which it claims lie within Vietnam’s sovereignty. China disputes the claim, and made it clear that it would ’not support’ such an enterprise.

< class="text11verdana">For information more see : "’No political angle’: Pranab allays China concerns over oil deal with Vietnam", The Indian Express, 18 September 2014; "ONGC Videsh to Expand Oil and Gas Exploration in Offshore Vietnam" NDTV, 16 September 2014; "Agreements/MoUs signed during the State Visit of Hon’ble President to Vietnam" Ministry of External Affairs, 15 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Chinese President Xi Jinping visits India

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in India on 17 September on a three-day visit. After a warm reception and host of cultural exchanges in Gujarat’s capital Ahmadabad, the delegation travelled to New Delhi where the two countries signed 16 agreements related to setting up of industrial parks in Maharashtra and Gujarat and $20 billion worth investment, a new route for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through Tibet, and Memorandum of Understanding between Indian Space Research Organisation and China National Space Administration, among others. The two sides also agreed to begin negotiations on civil nuclear cooperation. The visit coincided with another incursion by Chinese troops along the border in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. Xi attributed the recurring incidents to ’non-demarcation of the border’, adding that ’certain incidents take place but both countries have mechanisms to handle such incidents’ and restated China’s position to solve the boundary dispute through negotiation.

< class="text11verdana">For information more see : "Chinese President Xi Jinping in India", The Hindu, 18 September 2014; "Xi in India: Determined to solve boundary question at an early date, Beijing tells New Delhi", The Indian Express, 18 September 2014; "List of Documents signed during the State Visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India" Ministry of External Affairs, 18 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">India-China sign trade and economic cooperation pact

India signed a 5-year trade and economic cooperation agreement with China with a view to improve the trade balance. Among the agreements signed between India and China Thursday, those on economic matters included cooperation in railways, space and culture, easy customs norms, launch of two Chinese industrial parks and $20-billion Chinese investments in India over five years.

< class="text11verdana">For information more see : "Modi, Xi chart new chapter in India-China economic ties", Business Standard, 18 September 2014; "Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit: India, China sign 5-year trade and economic co-operation pact", The Economic Times, 18 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Gates Foundation to partner with GOI

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has offered to help in monitoring of the progress made with regard to Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), the flagship financial inclusion scheme of the government. Additionally, to ensure universal sanitation in India the Ministry of Urban Development and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have agreed on a partnership to promote user-friendly toilets.

< class="text11verdana">For information more see : "Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offers to help monitor ’Jan Dhan Yojana’", The Economic Times, 19 September 2014; "Govt to work with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to promote toilet use", Hindu Business Line, 19 September 2014


< class="heading12boldGeorgia">’China-Maldives Friendship Bridge’

Speaking at a joint news conference with host Abdulla Yameen after the two sides had signed nine agreements, visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the proposed Male-Hulhule bridge with funding from his country could be named ’China-Maldives Friendship Bridge".

< class="text11verdana">For more information see: "Call it "China-Maldives Friendship Bridge": Xi", Haveeru Online, 16 September 2014; "Male-Hulumale Bridge to be opened in 2017", Haveeru Online, 18 September 2014; "GMR surprised with decision to give airport development to Chinese firm", Minivan News, 17 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">India welcomes revised Tata deal

The Indian High Commission in Male has welcomed the renegotiated agreement between the Indian industry major Tata and the Maldivian Government on housing projects in Male, delayed for over two years after the predecessor Government had dragged its feet on original commitments.

< class="text11verdana">For more information see : "Indian high commission welcomes renegotiation of TATA housing deal", Minivan News, 14 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">More Maldivian medicos for Nepal

Visiting Nepalese Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, in a meeting with President Abdulla Yameen, has promised a higher number of medical seats for Maldivian students in his country.

< class="text11verdana">For information more see : "Nepal to increase availability of university seat placements for ýMaldivians aspiring to study medicine", Miadhu, 18 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">HRC critics criticised

At the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) meeting in Geneva, Maldives has criticised the nation’s critics for re-introducing death penalty after 60 years, the longest term of continuous ban in the world.

< class="text11verdana">For information more see : "Maldives slams Human Rights Council critics after death penalty remarks", Minivan News, 17 September 2014; "Supreme Court diluting judicial powers: HRCM", Haveeru Online, 16 September 2014; "Police used excessive force against demonstrators, says HRCM in UPR report", Minivan News, 17 September 2014; "Three Bangladeshis charged in first criminal prosecution for human trafficking", Minivan News, 16 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Law sought for Islamic banking

Speaking at the valedictory meeting of a conference on the subject, Maldivian Monetary Authority (MMA) Governor, Dr Aishath Azeema, called for new laws to develop Islamic banking in the country.

< class="text11verdana">For more information see : "We need laws to develop Islamic Banking in Maldives- Dr. Azeema", Miadhu, 18 September 2014


< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Chinese firm to build dam

China’s company, Three Gorges Corporation, has been assigned a hydro-power project on the Thanlwin river in Shan state in Myanmar, the electric power ministry said. The dam once ready is said to become the largest dam in South East Asia.

< class="text11verdana">For information more see : "China Three Gorges Corp To Build Dam in Shan State: Deputy Minister", Eleven Myanmar, 17 September, 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Chinese team withdraws from mountain rescue operation

A Chinese team that had offered to help the two missing climbers in the Kachin state in Myanmar has abandoned their search as the Myanmar side preferred to work with the Japanese team. The search for missing climbers has been on since 31 August, when the two ascended the peak Hkakabo Razi.

< class="text11verdana">For information more see : "Chinese team withdraws from Kachin State rescue operation", Myanmar Times, 16 September 2014; "Poorly Equipped Chinese Mountain Rescue Team Sent Home", Eleven Myanmar, 17 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">FDI to be 5 billion dollars in 2014-15

Myanmar has revised the forecast for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which according to the government would touch 5 billion dollars. The figure exceeds an earlier estimate of dollar 4 billion, with investments in the first five months of the fiscal year worth 3.2 billion dollars.

< class="text11verdana">For information more see : "Burma Sees Foreign Investment Topping $ 5 billion in 2014-15", The Irrawaddy, 17 September 2014


< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Nepal-India boundary group meet begins

The first meeting of the Nepal-India Boundary Working Group (BWG) commenced in Kathmandu on Wednesday. The BWG is mandated to commence field work at the earliest for the construction, restoration and repair of boundary pillars, clearance of no-man’s land and accomplishing all other technical tasks as per the terms of reference (ToR) to be agreed by the meeting.

< class="text11verdana">For more information see: First meet of Nepal-India boundary group begins, eKantipur, 18 September 2014; India, Nepal parliamentarians discuss border issues, Business Standard, 17 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Dolma impact fund to invest in Nepal

Dolma Impact Fund (DIF) has announced to make equity investment of US$ 20 million in crucial social empowerment sectors. The international private equity fund will invest in key sectors like energy, renewable energy, health care, agriculture and financial inclusion, among others.

< class="text11verdana">For more information see : Dolma Impact Fund to make equity investment of $20m, Republica, 17 September 2014; First private equity fund comes into operation, The Himalayan Times, 17 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">All-Party Conference called off

The much talked about ´All Party Political Conference´ scheduled for Tuesday has been put off indefinitely after the agitating CPN-Maoist declined to show up. The CPN-Maoist and other parties affiliated to its alliance declined to join the conference after the three major parties - Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist)-rejected their demand for the settlement of all issues of the peace process, statute drafting and issues related to national politics through the conference.

< class="text11verdana">For more information see : Political conference canceled as CPN-Maoist stays away, Republica, 16 September 2014; Nepal all-party conference called off, The Hindu, 17 September 2014


< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Opposition Political Jirga puts forward revised proposals

The opposition political jirga that is mediating talks between the government and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek has put forward a revised set of proposals. One of the proposals calls for an announcement by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that he will quit if a judicial commission proves ’systematic rigging’ in the May 2013 elections.

< class="text11verdana">For information more see : "Jirga’s fresh proposals revive hope", The Nation, 19 September 2014; "Defusing protests: Jirga proposes key govt concession", The Express Tribune, 19 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">ISI to have new director general soon

According to a BBC Report, the name of the new director general for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is likely to be announced soon along with the appointment of five new lieutenant generals in the Pakistan Army.

< class="text11verdana">For more information see: "Top intelligence slot will soon have a new name", The Nation, 18 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">23 suspected militants killed in North Waziristan

Fresh airstrikes on militant hideouts in Ismail Khel, Zaram and Datta Khel areas of North Waziristan Agency have led to the death of at least 23 suspected terrorists according to a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

< class="text11verdana">For more information see : "Zarb-i-Azb: Army airstrikes kill 23 suspected militants in NWA", Dawn, 19 September 2014; "Operation Zarb-e-Azb: 23 militants killed in NW" The News International, 18 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Karachi University dean shot dead

Dr. Shakeel Auj, Dean of Islamic Studies Faculty at the University of Karachi was shot dead by unknown assailants in Karachi’s Gulshan-i-Iqbal Town. He was taken to the Aga Khan University Hospital where an official declared Dr. Auj dead on arrival.

< class="text11verdana">For information more see : "Dean of KU Islamic Studies department shot dead", Dawn, 18 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Pakistan refutes Afghan allegations; lodges protest on cross-border attack

In a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release, Pakistan has rejected allegations made by Afghanistan of involvement in terrorist attacks on the latter’s soil. Pakistan also lodged a protest with Afghanistan over a terrorist attack on 16 September 2014 in North Waziristan from across the border.

< class="text11verdana">For information more see : "Pakistan refutes Afghan allegations of involvement in terrorist attacks", The Express Tribune, 16 September 2014; "Pakistan lodges ’protest’ with Afghanistan on cross-border attack", Daily Times, 18 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Rehman Malik, PML MNA forced off PIA flight

Passengers of a PIA flight from Karachi to Islamabad, angered by a two hour delay forced former Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) Member of National Assembly Dr. Ramesh Kumar to disembark. The two were accused for delaying the plane by arriving late for boarding.

< class="text11verdana">For information more see : "Passengers force Rehman Malik, PML-N MNA off PIA flight", The News International¸17 September 2014; "Ministers offloaded: PML-N MNA insists technical fault delayed PIA flight", The Express Tribune, 17 September 2014; "Irate PIA passengers force Rehman Malik off delayed flight", The Express Tribune, 17 September 2014

Sri Lanka

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Searching for Chinese ship-wreckage

Among the various other agreements signed during the Sri Lanka visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the two sides also signed one, facilitating Chinese search for the wreckage of Admiral Zheng He’s 15th century Chinese fleet, off the Sri Lankan coast.

< class="text11verdana">For information more see : "China to search wreckages of Chinese ships of SL waters", Daily Mirror Online, 17 September 2014

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Overseas destabilisation on, says MR

Inaugurating the eighth general assembly of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties in Colombo, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that overseas efforts at the destabilisation of nations in the guise of democracy were still on.

< class="text11verdana">For information more see : "External forces destabilising countries in guise of democracy: MR", Daily Mirror Online, 19 September 2014; "Ananthi meets new UNHRC Chief" Daily Mirror Online, 20 September 2014

Primary Documentation


Bhutan to start participating in UN Peacekeeping Missions, Bhutan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 17 September 2014


Press Statement by Prime Minister during the visit of President Xi Jinping of China to India, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, 18 September 2014

List of Documents signed during the State Visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, 18 September 2014

Xi Jinping, "Towards an Asian century of prosperity", The Hindu, 17 September 2014

Statement to the Media by President on return from Vietnam, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, 17 September 2014

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Joint Communique between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Republic of India, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, 15 September 2014

Agreements/MoUs signed during the State Visit of Hon’ble President to Vietnam, , Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, 15 September 2014

Speech by Hon’ble President at the banquet hosted by President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Hanoi, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, 15 September 2014

Remarks by President at Inauguration of India Study Centre in Ho Chi Minh National Academy for Politics and Public Administration, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, 15 September 2014

Omar Abdullah, "I can’t remember another natural disaster where govt was so completely paralysed", The Indian Express, 14 September 2014

Interview of Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, "Should inspire students to take up teaching", The Hindu, 14 September 2014


Remarks by President Xi Jinping during the Joint Press Statement with President Yameen, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maldives, 16 September 2014

Important Agreements signed between the Governments of Maldives and China, The President’s office, Republic of Maldives, 16 September 2014


Press Release on Myanmar-China Cooperation in Drugs Eradication, Union Government of Myanmar’s President Office, 15 September 2014


Press Release on Invitation handed over to the President of Maldives, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Nepal, 18 September 2014

Press Release on Nepal-India BWG meeting, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Nepal, 17 September 2014


Record of the Press Briefing by Spokesperson on 18th September 2014, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan, 18 September 2014

PR No. 70 PRESS RELEASE, Press Information Department, Government of Pakistan, 18 September 2014

PR No. 71 PRESS RELEASE Press Information Department, Government of Pakistan, 18 September 2014

PR No. 72 PRESS RELEASE, Press Information Department, Government of Pakistan, 18 September 2014

Protest Lodged with Afghanistan on Cross-Border Terrorist Attack, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan, 17 September 2014

PR No. 62 PRESS RELEASE, Press Information Department, Government of Pakistan, 17 September 2014

PR No. 64 PRESS RELEASE HASSANABDAL-HAVELIAN EXPRESSWAY AGREEMENTS SIGNED, Press Information Department, Government of Pakistan, 17 September 2014

PR. No. 66 PRESS RELEASE, Press Information Department, Government of Pakistan, 17 September 2014

Response to Latest Afghan Allegations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan, 16 September 2014

10th Special Flight to bring Back 259 Stranded Pakistanis from Libya, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan, 16 September 2014

PR No. 56 PRESS RELEASE ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK PRESIDENT CALLS ON THE PRESIDENT, Press Information Department, Government of Pakistan, 16 September 2014

PR No. 57 PRESS RELEASE, Press Information Department, Government of Pakistan, 16 September 2014

PR No. 58 PRESS RELEASE PM MEETS NORTH WAZIRISTAN JIRGA, Press Information Department, Government of Pakistan, 16 September 2014

Two more Special flights bring back over 500 stranded Pakistanis from Libya, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan, 15 September 2014

2nd Round of Annual Bilateral Political Consultations with Germany, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan, 15 September 2014

Call on Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs by German State Secretary Markus Ederer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan, 15 September 2014

PR No. 53 PRESS RELEASE, Press Information Department, Government of Pakistan, 15 September 2014

Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs meets Chinese President Mr. Xi Jinping, on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Dushanbe on 12 September 2014, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan, 12 September 2014

Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs delivers speech at Meeting of the Council of Heads of SCO Member States (extended session), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan, 12 September 2014

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka and China agree to deepen their Strategic Cooperative Partnership, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of Sri Lanka, 16 September 2014



Opinion Pieces

Shahmahmood Miakhel, "Two Kings Can’t Share Afghanistan’s Kingdom", Foreign Policy, 18 September 2014

Mike Collett, "World Cup 2022 the ultimate goal for reborn Afghanistan", Reuters, 17 September 2014

Yaroslav Trofimov, "Afghan Vote Fight Highlights Military’s Divided Loyalties", The Wall Street Journal, 16 September 2014

Thomas Ruttig, "Experience with ’governments of national unity’ elsewhere", Afghanistan Analysts Network, 16 September 2014

Richard Whittle, "How we missed Mullah Omar", Politico, 16 September 2014

Kawun Kakar, "Afghan elections: Why the candidates can’t reach a deal", Al Jazeera, 15 September 2014


"Future Afghan government to face ’looming fiscal crisis", DW, 16 September 2014


Brig Gen Shahedul Anam Khan "Trinamool-Jamaat nexus: A puzzle and a worry", The Daily Star, 18 September 2014

Muhammad Abdul Mazid , "Tax regime in Bangladesh: An evaluation", The Daily Star, 15 September 2014


"Over to youth", Kuensel Online, 16 September 2014

"Victory over poverty", Kuensel Online, 13 September 2014


Anil Malhotra , "Why archaic citizenship laws must go", The Hindu, 15 September 2014

C Raja Mohan, "Pranab Mukherjee in Vietnam: Modi’s Asian Power Play", The Indian Express, 14 September 2014

Kuldip Nayar, "Communalism in Kashmir", The Express Tribune (Pakistan), 14 September 2014

R. K. Raghavan and D. Sivanandhan R. K. Raghavan and D. Sivanandhan The Hindu, 13 September 2014


Azim Zahir, "Comment: Afrasheem, Rilwan, and the future of the Maldivian community", Minivan News, 18 September 2014

N Sathiya Moorthy, "SEZ’s are here but concerns remain", Observer Research Foundation, 12 September 2014


Sithu Aung Mynt, "What’s behind the KNU-KIO split", Myanmar Times, 15 September 2014

Nay Htun Niang "For Nation’s Leaders to be Close to the People", Eleven Myanmar, 15 September 2014


Mahabir Paudyal, "Dear deadline", Republica, 18 September 2014

Bhoj Raj Poudel, "Dream on", Republica, 17 September 2014

Akhilesh Updhyay, "The Trans-Himalayan dream", eKantipur, 15 September 2014


Opinion Pieces

Zahid Hussain, "View from Pakistan: What next for Imran Khan?", Deccan Chronicle, 19 September 2014

Tariq Butt, "Imran is selective in praising judiciary", The News International, 19 September 2014

Malik Muhammad Ashraf, "The importance of being Pakistan", The News International, 19 September 2014

M Saeed Khalid, "Spitting fire in the time of floods", The News International, 19 September 2014

Saleem H Ali and Malini Mehra, "Floods in India and Pakistan offer a chance for peace-building", The Guardian, 19 September 2014

Asad J Rizvi, "The government needs a wrapping up plan" Daily Times, 19 September 2014

Bina Shah, "A letter From Containeristan", The New York Times, 18 September 2014

Ankit Panda, "Al Qaeda’s Worrying Ability to Infiltrate the Pakistani Military", The Diplomat, 18 September 2014

Ikram Sehgal, "Games people play", The Express Tribune, 18 September 2014

Mohammad Taqi, "D-Chowk, Pakistan’s domestic Kargil", Daily Times, 18 September 2014

Umar Farooq, "The Afghan Roots of Pakistan’s Zarb-e-Azb Operation", Foreign Policy, 18 September 2014

Feisal Naqvi, "When the madness passes", The News International, 18 September 2014

Ayesha Siddiqa, "No room for democracy", The Express Tribune, 18 September 2014

Deedar Hussain Samejo, "Thanks to Imran Khan And A Sunni Cleric, Pakistan’s Democracy Is Under Threat", Forbes, 18 September 2014

Shairee Malhotra, "What Do Pakistan’s Protests Mean for India?", The Diplomat, 17 September 2014

Kapil Komireddi, "Why is India so mindful of protocols?", Hindustan Times, 17 September 2014

M Ziauddin, "A political logjam", The Express Tribune, 17 September 2014

Maleeha Lodhi, "Season of uncertainty", The News International, 16 September 2014

Amir Zia, "The script we need", The News International, 15 September 2014

"Imran Khan’s threat to Pakistan democracy", Financial Times, 14 September 2014

Christophe Jaffrelot, "Going Back to Rawalpindi", Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 13 September 2014


Gabriel Dominguez, "How Pakistan’s unrest may impact ties with India", Deutsche Welle, 18 September 2014

Bernard Gwertzman, "Pakistani Military Cool Amid Political Crisis", Council on Foreign Relations, 12 September 2014

Sri Lanka

"How fair are the elections?", Daily Mirror Online, 19 September 2014

Jehan Perera "International relationship building as response to international pressure", The Island, 15 September 2014

Pathfinder, "Sri Lanka cannot afford to auction non-existent resources", The Island, 14 September 2014

N Sathiya Moorthy, "Democracy as Jihad, and Jihad, Democracy", The Sunday Leader, 14 September 2014

< class="brown12verdana">Contributors:
Afghanistan: Aryaman Bhatnagar;
Bangladesh: Joyeeta Bhattacharjee;
Bhutan & Myanmar: Mihir Bhonsale;
India: Kaustav Dhar Chakrabarti, ManmathGoel;
Maldives & Sri Lanka: N Sathiya Moorthy;
Nepal: Pratnashree Basu;
Pakistan: Taruni Kumar

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