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Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The internal politics and external relations of south Asia's giants are tracked by writers from the region and beyond.

United colours of the American elections - in three continents

"Many temples in South India held prayers for Obama’s victory in the 2008 elections. Haven’t heard of any this time round. Here is one from me, after four encounters on three continents."

Independence in Dependence

As India celebrates its 66th year of independence, the country's leaders are still largely ignoring what needs to be addressed, and the government has come to be referred to as a 'consortium of the corrupt', with two parallel power centres

Reopening of the NATO supply routes won't stop cross-national terrorism from Pakistan

The Pakistani military and intelligence service will not easily break the ties with Islamist terrorist groups in Afghanistan like the Haqqani network. Islamabad wants to keep a foothold in Afghanistan when western troops leave and use Islamic extremism as a counterforce to ethnic conflict and incompatibility strewn across the border. 

Democracy and Indian foreign policy

To what extent is India’s foreign policy driven by the democracy factor? Yogesh Joshi reviews S.D. Muni’s latest book India’s Foreign Policy: The Democracy Dimension

Syem Saleem Shahzad: death of a journalist

The Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad made both friends and enemies in the course of his detailed reporting of Islamist groups and insurgencies in the country. An official report on his abduction and murder in May 2011 may leave key questions unanswered, says Nick Fielding, but read carefully and in context it brings the truth of his end closer.

Uncertainty looms amid progress in talks with the Taliban

The Afghan Taliban and the United States have begun talks, advancing prospects that coalition forces can withdraw from Afghanistan. But there are many potential pitfalls on the road to peace: a real risk of a political and military stalemate in Afghanistan, forcing the United States to leave the region under uncertain and possibly dangerous terms.

Has India reached the limits to economic reforms?

The government of India’s decision to roll back legislation that would allow FDI in multi-brand retail is ill-advised. However, in the grand scheme of things it is but a hiatus that at worst merely derails the momentum of reforms.

Kashmir: from national to human security

It is about time that saner heads in the Indian national security establishment mull over the implications of the continuation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Kashmir, says Wajahat Qazi

Female suicide bombings in Pakistan - what's in it for women?

Islamic militancy in Pakistan appears to be mobilising women suicide bombers as part of its religious trope. This trend unsettles the conservative divide between the public and private roles of women in traditional societies, and also attracts an anthropological defense of Islamist women's agency. The question remains: what's in it for women?

Pakistan is not anti-American

It is easier to excuse "collateral damage" if you believe the victims are your sworn enemies. But Pakistan is not anti-American

Pakistan: the hard reality

Pakistan is too often portrayed in flawed and reductive ways that flatten its complexity and offer misleading guidance to policy-makers. This makes it all the more important to acknowledge some difficult truths about the country, says Anatol Lieven.

The nuclear dilemmas of South Asia

An accelerating nuclear arms race between a fragile Pakistani government aiming at a strategic balance with India and an Indian state that ignores its neighbor's security concerns is on the verge of spiraling out of control, says Yogesh Joshi

States, religious diversity, and the crisis of secularism

In India, the existence of deep religious diversity has ensured a conceptual response not only to problems within but also between religions. Without taking it as a blue print, the west must examine the Indian conception and learn from it, regarding peace between communities, community-specific rights, the rights of minorities, the porous divide between the modern state and religion, and the skills to accommodate the latter. They might begin by jettisoning the preoccupation with ‘equal treatment’.

Pedagogy of terror

The roots of fundamentalism in Pakistan lie in the education system and school curricula, which need to become more liberal and tolerant in order to stem the steady stream of potential terrorists, argues Saroop Ijaz.

India, Arab democracy, and human rights

The democracy uprisings in the Arab world hold a lesson for New Delhi, says Meenakshi Ganguly: the need for a foreign-policy stance that matches India's global ambitions.

Pakistan: the Taliban's successful marriage of dogma and custom

That the guardians of women's virtue should present a direct threat to it, encapsulates the essential paradox of popular opinion about the Taliban movement in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, says Sana Haroon.

Democracy over security: India's role in Afghanistan

India needs to drastically reformulate its policy in Afghanistan and adopt a more long-term political strategy based on the principles non-alignment, democracy and development, argues Jamal Kidwai

Pakistan: the liberals’ dilemma

During Zia’s years, liberal forces presented the most radical opposition to the theocracy-military collusion and oppression. Today, we witness a liberal democratic government, with a secular alliance that is paralysed and besieged by its lack of vision and inability to govern, says Afiya Shehrbano Zia

Pakistan: the rising dangers

Pakistan’s society and government are under intense pressure from the growing influence of extreme religious movements. In the absence of enlightened and unifying political leadership the prospect of a great regression remains alive, says Marco Mezzera. 

Indian constitutional democracy: a freedom in crisis

Declining political morality and increasing moral policing are suffocating the rule of law in India, shrinking spaces for civil dialogue and threatening freedom of speech, says Vijay Nagaraj

Donor-driven Islam ?

Collaboration between western academia and Pakistani women at home and in the diaspora has established a body of donor-funded research with an exclusive focus on Islam. Will development policies based on such research lead to any kind of liberation?

The non-reform of Pakistan's blasphemy laws tells a wider story about Zardari's failure to foster true democracy

The case of Aasia Bibi, a Christian farmhand who was sentenced to death in Pakistan, teaches us how difficult it is to bring law, democracy and an end to extremism to the country

War is not a video game: drone attacks that kill innocents can only escalate and prolong violence

Drone attacks that kill innocents are a sure way to multiply enemies

Poland and climate change

The indifference of official Poland to climate change is rooted in its leaders' experience and reinforced by economic interest. A new generation will be needed for a stronger policy to emerge, says Krzysztof Bobinski.

India and Pakistan: what’s the difference?

If India and Pakistan were cut from the same geographic and ethnic cloth, with the same parliamentary-style system, why is India held to be a vibrant democracy today and Pakistan a political basket case?

Ayodhya: verdict and consequence

An Indian court’s ruling on the Hindu-Muslim dispute over the sacred site of Ayodhya sheds light on the relationship between two forms of rationality in India, says Deep K Datta-Ray.

Pakistan and America: costs of militarism

Pakistan’s immense problems can begin to be solved only when powerful interests in Islamabad and Washington end their commitment to armed solutions, says Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed.

Pakistan vs India in Afghanistan: David Cameron's reason

The British prime minister’s charge that Pakistan plays a prominent role in exporting terrorism is grounded in an assessment of the Afghanistan war's core strategic realities, says Shaun Gregory of the Pakistan Security Research Unit.

India-Pakistan talks: the need for a grand negotiating strategy

After bilateral talks between India and Pakistan, Medha Bisht analyses the underlying issues plaguing the negotiations.

Nepal: Maoists' lock, India's door

Nepal’s path from civil war to a new constitutional and democratic order is proving hard. An influential Maoist movement and a powerful India are at the heart of the country’s stalemated political transition, says Manjushree Thapa.

Afghanistan: stop prevaricating

Twenty years experience in Central Asia informs Carlo Ungaro's view that the allies should radically devolve power in Afghanistan and reconsider its international border with Pakistan

Moving Parts part 3: Guddu and Pintu

In this third excerpt from the Moving Parts series Ruchir travels to the town of Khhair with cousins Guddu and Pintu, where Ruchir learns about the systematized corruption involved in the Indian construction business.

India’s Women’s Reservation Bill

Can the bill for reserved seats for women as passed by India’s upper house be anything other than a cause for rejoicing? Rakesh Mani says it is far from serving the interests of all women

Moving Parts part 2: Hajiriya and Gajiriya

In this second excerpt from Ruchir Joshi's 'Moving Parts' series, Ruchir visits two brothers, Hajiriya and Gajiriya, who have contracted the terminal disease Silicosis as a result of their work at the silica quartz processing-plant in Godhra.

Moving Parts: Prajapati

In this excerpt from Ruchir Joshi's 'Moving Parts' series, Ruchir visits the silica quartz processing-plant in Godhra where many local workers claim that hazardous working conditions are resulting in serious health problems
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