The protracted rivalry between India and Pakistan had reached its lowest ebb and virtually plumbed new depths when both the countries detonated a series of nuclear devices way back in May 1998. This overt gesture and successive developments (such as Kargil) made the region a major nuclear flashpoint in the world. Nearly after six years, two warring neighbors have decided to sit across the table to hammer out the much needed confidence building measures (CBMs).
Amidst security threats, sporadic bomb blasts, international criticism towards one of the member states (Myanmar), the tenth ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) summit had successfully laid out its plans to achieve the objectives of ASEAN Vision 2020 in November 29-30 in Vientiane, Capital city of Laos.
India’s external affairs minister Mr Salman Khurshid went to Sri Lanka substituting Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) conclave. This decision by the government of India speaks volumes about how the regional politics and associated narrow political compulsions adversely impact the national security policy making. Regrettably, the politics of Tamil Nadu is more about tokenism than actually helping the cause of Talmilians in Sri Lanka.
With less than a fortnight left for the second Constituent Assembly (CA) elections, which are scheduled to be held on November 19, uncertainly looms large over their peaceful conduct and the framing of the Constitution. This has resulted in lack of enthusiasm from people towards participation in the elections. People across the country also question the legitimacy of the elections given the boycott of the CPN-Maoist led 33-agitating political parties and their demand for holding the elections under a legitimate government.
India’s first ever Mars mission would begin its travel towards the Red planet on November 5 .2013. It would take around nine-months of time for this satellite to reach Mars orbit and start taking the observations. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C25) rocket with Mars Orbiter Spacecraft onboard will be launched from Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh) coast, nearly 50 miles north of Chennai city.
While the world is gradually moving towards green economy, Orissa is seen to be embracing brown economy. Depending on the likes of Vedanta, POSCO, batteries of sponge Iron and coal companies which have demonstrated negligible social and environmental sensitivities, the State government intends to allocate exclusive water for such industries. On August 5, the state cabinet has approved a proposal to create a 'water conservation fund' from monetary contribution of industries which use the water from October to June.
The second constituent assembly (CA) elections in Nepal, slated for November 19 this year, were to give some hope to the politically frustrated masses and bring the derailed transitional political process back on track. But that did neither.
After 25 years, for the first time, election was held to the demerged Northern Provincial Council (NPC) on September 21. Though the victory of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) with a thumping two-third majority was predicted, some thought the development route to ethnic reconciliation as relentlessly articulated and pursued by the Rajapakse government, would give it some electoral benefits. It managed to win only 7 seats (18.38 per cent of the votes) in the 38-member council.
Nairobi, the capital of African nation Kenya has witnessed one of the bloodiest terrorist events of recent times. Starting from September 21, the attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi which continued till September 24 resulted in more than 60 deaths and scores of people have been injured. Somali Jihadi terrorist group Al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda affiliated and a splinter of the Islamic Courts Union, (ICU) claimed responsibility for this four day long mindless mayhem.
Syrian crisis has achieved the unachievable. It has compelled a communist country to talk peace and democratic/capitalist countries to talk war. Fortunately, it appears that the invasion of Syria by the US forces has been stopped, at least, temporarily. An agreement on chemical weapons stockpiled in Syria has been reached following the talks held in Geneva between the Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey V. Lavrov, and US Secretary of State John Kerry.