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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “extremism”

Why Pakistan Is Caught In A Vicious Cycle Of Extremism

The state is hesitant to control religious hatred. Deep-rooted hate narratives have developed a majoritarian mindset, which creates insecurity among the very tiny religious minorities. Even ‘naya Pakistan’ has not yet shown the courage to break the vicious cycle of this hatred.

Read Here – Dawn

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Myanmar’s Internet Disrupted Society — And Fuelled Extremists

Farmers in oxcarts, Buddhist monks, businesspeople launching startups—they all now have the world at their thumbs. But what is it like to endure, in just a few short years, the transition Western countries have had a quarter century to work through? Tech is powerful anywhere, but it’s particularly powerful when it’s brand-new and easy to exploit.

Read Here – Wired

New King, Old Ideas?

Just as King Abdullah pledged massive new public expenditures to push back against the Arab Spring, Salman offered an estimated $30 billion in handouts to a wide range of Saudi social groups, including military officers, public employees, students, retirees, the poor, and disabled.

Read Here – National Interest

The Great Shia-Sunni Divide

In addition to concerns about sectarian tensions, concerns about religious extremism in general also are widespread in the countries surveyed, with about two-thirds of all Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, half of all Muslims in Lebanon and roughly a quarter of all Muslims in Iran expressing worry about radical religious groups.

Read Here – Pew Research

 

Aftermath of Revolution

The recent assassination of a leading secular opposition figure in Tunisia has cast a dark cloud on what many had hoped would serve as a model for democratic transition in countries swept by the Arab Spring. The sad fact is that many revolutions lead to renewed dictatorships. But the good news is that even a rocky and prolonged transition can produce stable democracy.

Read Here – New York Times

Lesson on diplomacy, from an Iranian

Track II meetings can be useful when participants express their views candidly, without worrying about offending the sensitivities of others. When the event is held in India, visiting think tankers take pain not to upset their hosts. Since most foreigners have rightly concluded that Indians are not only flattery prone but credulous as well, they are usually complimentary about India’s role in various situations such as in Afghanistan, Syria, Middle East, etc.

It is therefore refreshing when a visiting participant in a Track II meeting gives free rein to his views about India’s foreign policy as was the case when an Iranian expert, familiar with the official thinking of his government, spoke his mind at an event in Delhi some time ago. Other Iranian participants at the same meeting spoke in a similar vein.

Read Here – The Hndu

Afghanistan’s Fraught Future

President Hamid Karzai’s visit to India comes at a time when his nation’s future, more than at any point since 9/11, is shrouded in a fog of fear. This weekend, shells fired by his troops were reported to have killed five civilians in Pakistan’s South Waziristan agency, the latest in a series of cross-border skirmishes. Pakistan’s intelligence services allege, with some justification, that their Afghan counterparts are backing the militia of Islamist warlord Maulana Fazlullah — in tit-for-tat retaliation against the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate’s backing for the jihadist networks led by Sirajuddin Haqqani. Levels of violence in the country remain higher than prior to 2010, when United States-led international forces began a surge it was hoped would break the back of the Taliban insurgency.

Read Here – The Hindu

Pakistan’s Hot Nuclear Greenhouse

Forty-seven years ago this month, Pakistan’s then Foreign Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, while on a visit to Vienna, had an unscheduled chat with a young, obscure nuclear scientist called Munir Ahmad Khan. “I briefed him about what I knew of India’s nuclear programme and the facilities that I had seen myself during a visit to Trombay in 1964,” Dr. Khan was to recall soon after Pakistan’s 1999 nuclear tests. India’s plans “added up to one thing: bomb-making capability.”

Read Here – The Hindu

Divided We Fall

To understand the genesis and growth of anti-Shia extremism, the claims of both Sunni and Shia leaders must be examined. Shia-Sunni violence in this region precedes Partition but its more recent form has other beginnings. Most analysts are convinced that the present problem is a product of the Pakistan’s security establishment enduring relationship with radical Sunni militancy.

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979 had a huge impact in Pakistan where Gen Zia’s military leadership had just taken charge.

The Shia community resisted the enforcement of zakat in 1981 by General Zia’s regime. Their interpretation of zakat was different and they said they had already paid it as part of the khums tax under Shia jurisprudence. Sunni jurisprudence holds a differing view which was enforced by Gen Zia’s team.

Read Here – The Dawn

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