The Year of Friendly Exchanges between India and the People’s Republic of China kicked off with the 17th Special Representatives’ Meeting on the Boundary Question in New Delhi on 10-11 February, 2014, to forge closer and stronger ties between the two neighbours. India’s National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon discussed the issue with the Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi to come up with viable means to settle face-offs in the disputed border territories of India and China.
After a tumultuous year marked by massive protest rallies and violent confrontations between moderate secularists and Islamic radical forces, Bangladesh’s tryst with religious and political turmoil seems enduring. The detoriating situation has led to fear of the revival of Islamic militancy.
Hizb ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation) is a transnational Islamic religious-political organization which has presence over 20 countries across the world. HT was founded in Jerusalem in 1953 by Tokiuddin Al Nakhani. HT believes in Ummatic concept. Its website openly declares that: "It aims to revive the Islamic Ummah from the severe decline that it had reached, and to liberate it from the thoughts, systems and laws of Kufr, as well as the domination and influence of the Kufr states. It also aims to restore the Islamic Khilafah State so that the ruling by what Allah revealed returns."
For the third year running, Maoists also known as Naxalites (Indian version of left-wing-extremism) related fatalities and incidents have come down in the affected provinces of India. The Maoist conflict review reports indicated that in the year 2013 a total 1,129 incidents took place as compared to 1,415 incidents in 2012. Similarly, the number of fatalities across the country came down to 394 in the review period from 415 in previous year.
The political crisis in Bangladesh had deepened further with the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance’s call for “March for Democracy” rally on December 29. More than seven hundred opposition party supporters were detained and many more were arrested at different entry points to Dhaka since December 26. One person died during a clash between opposition party activists and security forces in Dhaka on December 29.
In late November 2013, doctors working for the Kurdish Red Crescent in Syria traced a deadly strain of polio virus to Pakistan. The vectors of the virus are unknown, but the needle of suspicion is on the Jihadi elements who have travelled all the way to Syria from the tribal badlands of Pakistan where a government polio eradication campaign has been marred by Taliban zealots for the past many years.
In his famous 1990 essay in Foreign Affairs, Charles Krauthammer had declared that the unipolar moment had arrived. He had listed a few reasons to support his argument; there was no challenging power, nor was there likely any in the few decades, there was no power dispersion at the international level at that moment, the former Soviet Union’s capacity was in a decline. Thus, Krauthammer emphasised, at that time there was no first-rate power in the world that could match the capacity of the US.
December 20, 2013, will be marked as a proud day for India and its military scientific and industrial sectors as the indigenously designed and developed Tejas (India’s light multi-role fighter aircraft, known as LCA) gets its second and most important initial operational clearance (IOC). While the final operational clearance (FOC) will take about 18 months, after which Tejas will be formally a part of combat forces of the Indian Air Force (consequently by the Indian Navy as well), the process of induction of Tejas into IAF is now a reality after IOC.
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).