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New developments along the Line of Actual Control July 26, 2013

Posted by nishankmotwani in : By contributor, By country, Future Directions International, Guest authors, India , comments closed

Daniel Barnes

Controversy over repeated incursions by Chinese soldiers into disputed territories has provoked an Indian reaction. India’s government has given approval for a new mountain corps for offensive warfare to be based near the Line of Actual Control (LAC).


Chinese “transgressions” and “insensitivities” in recent months have helped prompt the creation of a so-called China Strike Corps, which is to be headquartered in Panagarh, West Bengal. This is the official culmination of a process that began six years ago. It was given a boost by an in-principle approval by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2010, but with the proviso that the three military services work together to strengthen India’s capabilities. The stated goal of this development is for India to achieve military parity with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) along the border, a situation it has long desired.


Will gains for Bangladesh workers founder on political reality? July 24, 2013

Posted by nishankmotwani in : Bangladesh, By contributor, Guest authors , comments closed

Sharif As-Saber

In the two months since the collapse of the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh left 1129 people dead and hundreds more still unaccounted for, world attention has turned from the actual cause of the incident to scrutinising the entire industry.

So far there has been three notable international efforts aimed at improving working conditions, wages and building safety and importantly, acknowledging the responsibilities of multinational Big Brand retailers and buying house intermediaries making up the global ready-made-garment supply chain.

The Bangladesh government has this week amended its labour laws following pressure from the United States, which suspended its preferential market access following the Rana Plaza collapse.

But those who seek to reform the Bangladeshi ready-made garment industry face political and economic pressures that might stymy these early efforts.

The Bangladesh government has responded to international calls to improve their labour laws, but a fraught political environment could threaten gains. Source: AAP.


Pakistan’s hopes rest with third-chance prime minister July 12, 2013

Posted by southasiamasala in : Mollaun, Alicia, Pakistan , comments closed

Alicia Mollaun

On 11 May, Pakistan achieved a historic milestone: for the first time, a democratically elected government was replaced by another democratically elected government. In a country ruled for over half of its existence by the military, this was a notable outcome.

The lead-up to the election, and election day itself, was marred by violence. Over 120 people were killed in the weeks before the election. On election day, more than 600 000 security personnel were deployed to protect 70 000 polling stations, half of which were considered to be in sensitive locations and vulnerable to attack.

Despite heightened security, voting was tainted by violence: at least 38 people were killed and over 130 were injured. The Election Commission of Pakistan had to defer elections for three National Assembly seats and six seats of the provincial assemblies because candidates had died – some of natural causes; others were killed. Many candidates were kidnapped, including former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani’s son, who was taken by militants while campaigning for a seat in Multan.