Pakistan's Anti-India Spy Network Eyes Vital Defense Infrastructure from Sri Lanka
Non-alignment is back through a recent Report prepared and published by the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, in February 2012. Reminiscent of a movie sequel, it is refreshed, repackaged, updated and delivered in a 2.0 form, titled “Non-Alignment 2.0: A Foreign and Strategic Policy for India in the Twenty First Century”. And like most movie sequels today, it also runs on an altogether new script with only an imaginary connection to the first. Why stick to the name then?
This paper explores the rising menace of Islamic extremism in South Asia while discussing key terrorist groups and networks and emerging terrorism trends.
In spite of the seemingly difficult terrain in generating and implementing confidence-building measures in South Asia, all are not doom and gloom. It is thus plausible to make the following conclusions based on existing regional and sub-regional arrangements in South Asia.
India and Pakistan, as the two new de facto nuclear weapon states in the nuclear club since 1998, have embarked upon some meaningful nuclear risk reduction measures through a series of bilateral agreements.
In the era of aggressive globalization, block politics hardly matters. But, economic integration, free trade, GDP growth, connectivity through infrastructure development does matter most to the international system. Where all the leaders have failed to forge a regional cooperation during 22 years of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) existence, the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) like the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have rekindled hope in SAARC to become relevant, although economically. This is politically incorrect but true.
Agro-terrorism has received little or no attention in India [or for that matter in South Asia] because terrorists have yet to employ agricultural assaults as a method of operation in this region. The threat scenario would involve a deliberate introduction of a disease agent, either against livestock or into the food chain, for purposes of undermining stability and/or generating fear among masses. Even terrorist group can achieve their objective by using radiological dispersal devices against food or water supply.
The Strategic Forces Command of India, which forms part of country’s Nuclear Command Authority, is responsible for the management and administration of strategic and tactical nuclear arsenal. Commensurating with the recommendations on national security management, the SFC came in to existence on January 4, 2003. While acknowledging the onerous tasks SFC was undertaking, more transparent measures have been declared recently geared towards clearing certain anomalies and in creating more transparencies on aspects of India’s nuclear policy.
Terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation have by and large dominated the security debate in South Asia. However, the overarching influence of these two issues has led to the neglect of other issues that are equally if not more important for security in the region. One of such issue is of refugees and migration. The presence of more than 110,000 Bhutanese refugees in Nepal and the condition in which they live in different refugee camps is threatening to develop into a major humanitarian crisis in the absence of concrete effort by the parties involved.
The US President George W. Bush’s re-election poses at least one major question with regard to his foreign policy initiatives in his second term—whether the administration will see an overhaul in foreign policy-making or not. The President’s involvement with India-Pakistan has not been a major foreign policy priority for the administration during his first term. The issue, nevertheless, is an important strategic concern for the US. Both Bush and his Democratic rival John Kerry, sidelined the two South Asian countries in their election debates except over the issue of outsourcing.