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  • Jihad-Joe - Extremism Infiltrating Pakistan's Defence Forces
    June, 2011 By Gitanjali Bakshi

    A spate of attacks on Pakistan's navy has uncovered a possible infiltration of terrorism into the rank and file of the country's defence forces. Although not discussed much in the media, the attack on PNS Mehran was the third of a series of attacks on the Pakistani navy stationed in Karachi. Before Mehran there were two other attacks on naval buses - one on April 28th and the second two days later on the 30th. Why and how was the navy being attacked repeatedly within Karachi? According to Saleem Shahzad, Pakistan's Bureau Chief for Hong Kong-based Asia Times, the first two attacks were traced back to Al Qaeda. Shahzad claimed that certain naval officers were detained for their links to the terrorist organization and the bombings of three navy buses were “warning shots” to force the navy into a negotiation process. Shahzad claims that the extent of infiltration became concerning when AQ was able to track the whereabouts of these officers once they were brought in for questioning. When the negotiation process fell through and AQ chief Osama Bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad the last retaliatory shot on PNS Mehran was of a much larger scale.

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  • Big Problems – Big Solutions?
    June, 2011 By Sahiba Trivedi

    After years of experts talking about the environmental impacts of big dams, the Chinese government has finally admitted that there have been mistakes in the planning of the Three Gorges Dam. In May this year, the Chinese State Council acknowledged serious flaws in the dam. This may come a little too late and may prove to be hardly a consolation since the construction of other similar projects continues unabated. It is clear that for a lot of Chinese projects, geared to tackle the problem of severe water shortage facing China, the risk-benefit analysis has not been conducted comprehensively. As a result, in the next few years, instead of serving their purpose, these gigantic projects may actually end up worsening the situation.

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  • Solar PVs in India
    June, 2011 By Sowmya Suryanarayanan

    With the per capita energy consumption at 439kgoe, India’s energy needs are expected to rapidly expand in the coming years. Based on the growing energy market, there is huge a potential for wider penetration of solar energy in India. 

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  • Arab Women Empowerment: What's Next?
    June, 2011 By Sanaa Arora

    Recent events in the Middle East and North Africa have put a spotlight on the role and status of Arab women, who stand to either lose or gain from the winds of change sweeping the region. 

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  • Arab Revolution and the GCC
    May, 2011 By Shivangi Muttoo

    The Arab revolution contagion reached the shores of the Persian Gulf, when protests took place against authoritarian rule, rising inflation and high unemployment in Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries did not experience the scale of protests seen in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen. However in the future, if the large and young expatriate population demands citizenship rights and benefits, the GCC region may not be able to preserve the status quo that it has been able to maintain even in this volatile situation.  

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  • Pakistan’s Tightrope with Militancy
    May, 2011 By Gitanjali Bakshi

    The incident with Osama Bin Laden highlights Pakistan's ambiguous attitude towards terrorism and militancy, stating its 'war on terrorism' on paper but supporting or being complicit in terrorist activity behind the scenes. This duplicitous policy will surface once again in Pakistan's plans as the U.S. starts its withdrawal from Afghanistan, particularly with regard to India. The U.S. should seriously consider this as it takes subsequent steps to scale down its military presence in the region and it should understand that terrorism in South Asia will continue unless this tightrope that Pakistan walks with militancy is addressed once and for all.  

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  • An Evening with Confucius, Einstein, Gandhi
    April, 2011 By Sundeep Waslekar

    For a long time, nobody uttered a word. Confucius caressed his beard and Einstein his hair. A cockroach moved swiftly from one wall to another. Gandhi broke the silence...

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  • The Future President
    April, 2011 By Ilmas Futehally

    In a recent interaction with Members of the European Parliament in Mumbai, one of them mentioned that the future President of the European Union must currently be in a school somewhere at this time. I imagined a little girl or boy, sitting in a classroom, daydreaming about the great things that she or he is going to do, just as all little ones dream.

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