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  • Pakistan’s Sticky Wicket
    March, 2009 By Rohit Honawar

    Living in India we have all heard or experienced the notion of cricket being like a religion to millions of ardent fans. To the people of the subcontinent, the likes of Tendulkar, Murali and Akram are revered regardless of ones religious beliefs, caste, ethnicity or social status. The perception that sports, or in this case cricket, could rise above political uncertainty and turmoil has always held true, no more so than in the Mecca of the sport – South Asia. Yet, the recent attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore challenged that perception, with cricketers and officials being targeted in a brazen terrorist assault reminiscent of the audacious Mumbai attack in November last year. For the sports aficionados the sanctity of their ‘religion’ had been breached – while for Pakistan’s government and the international community, this was another instance of the deepening crisis confronting Islamabad.

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  • Bangladesh: Cracks in the Ice
    March, 2009 By Sahiba Trivedi

    The 2-month old Bangladesh government, under Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina, has just gone through its first acid-test – the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) mutiny in February 2009. Before it could be quelled, this mutiny by the country’s paramilitary force, known as the BDR, left over 74 dead. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s reputation has been enhanced greatly for suppressing the mutiny successfully through political means, instead of resorting to military force. This way, Hasina has also managed to send out a message to the international community that Bangladesh has a stable democratic government at its helm; this is sure to give a much-needed boost to the country’s economy in form of more foreign investment and aid. 

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  • Building Houses on the Sand – Rehabilitation in post-war Gaza
    March, 2009 By Gitanjali Bakshi

    On the 2nd of March 2009, donor countries – mainly the US, UK, GCC nations and the EU - astonished the world with their combined pledge of $5.2 billion, aimed to support reconstruction and rehabilitation in Gaza. The Palestinian Authority (PA) originally hoped to raise $2.78 billion for reconstruction efforts after the December war and final figure of nearly double that amount seemed a rare and fortuitous development.

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  • Embracing the New Left
    March, 2009 By Joyanto Mukherjee

    When one reads about India’s trade partners, the first few names which come up are the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, China and the EU amongst others. What would happen if one would add names such as Brazil, Venezuela and Bolivia to this list? It would normally be seen as a surprise given that historically none of these countries have actually figured as prominent trading partners. All this has undergone a severe change and India is off building stronger relations with countries which are touted to be part of the ‘NEW LATIN LEFT’.

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  • What's Next For Sudan
    March, 2009 By Anumita Raj

    On the 4th of March, 2009, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir. The ICC at The Hague had been preparing for months and finally announced its first warrant ever for a sitting President. 

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  • Can We Challenge Our Ideas?
    February, 2009 By Sundeep Waslekar

    Ideas predate civilization. They even predate humanity. The ideas of fire, weapons and symbols were probably thought of by Homo erectus before the birth of Homo sapiens. 

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  • The Geopolitics of Food
    February, 2009 By Ilmas Futehally

    A year ago the world experienced food riots on a global scale. After being on the decline for decades, food prices increased exponentially between 2006 and 2008. Rice prices rose by 217%, wheat by 136%, maize by 125% and soybeans by over 100%. Last year, there was much talk about food security and how to ensure it, along with the reasons for the crisis. These included higher land usage for bio-fuels, combined with the failure of wheat crop in Canada and drought in Australia.

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  • A Pact with the Devil
    February, 2009 By Rohit Honawar

    One never seizes to be amazed by Pakistan’s political googlies. Whether it is the elected leadership in Islamabad or the military chiefs in Rawalpindi, the country’s frequent political seesawing has left no stone unturned. From the recently brokered deal by Maulana Sufi Muhammad of the TNSM between Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the NWFP government for Nizam-e-Adl regulation in Swat or, the unexpected admission that the dastardly terror attacks on Mumbai in November 2008 were hatched on Pakistani soil – Islamabad has often left India, the US and the international community perplexed. 

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