Japan, India, and Democratic Cooperation in Asia

There was a time, not that long ago, when the question of whether “Asian values” — whatever they meant — were compatible with democracy was being hotly debated.

A Fog Descends Over Delhi

There is a fin de regime aura in Delhi, like the fog that swathes the capital on winter mornings. The Indian National Congress-led governing coalition faces elections in the spring.

A Tale of Two Indias

Two stories emerged from India this week. One was the case of two Indian women in New York from two contrasting backgrounds being treated very differently in the media. But there’s just one issue in all thess dichotomies...

Malala’s got mail from the Taliban, but what in the world does it mean?

A Pakistani Taliban commander’s letter to Malala Yousafzai is a sort of madcap Islamist version of William Hazlitt’s “On the conduct of life, or advice to a school-boy”.

Succession Sagas: Daddy Is a Warlord, Junior Has a Foreign Degree

A new Time magazine article chronicling the return of mujahedin scions educated in “some of the world’s best schools” is surprisingly long on commendation and short on condemnation.

G8 and a Changing Consensus

The G8 summit came and went last week and was a relatively low key affair. It is testament to the rise of countries such as China, India and Brazil that the G8 no longer retains the same importance.

Faking WikiLeak-ed Cables for Propaganda or How to Beat ‘The Onion’ at Farce

They have since been retracted, but how many still believe stories on fake WikiLeaks cables published in many Pakistani dailies? They’re also a good source to figure how Pakistani intelligence officials think.

ESPN looks at The Killing Fields of Bhopal

The children of Bhopal play cricket in fields that are killing them.
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Time to Go: Why Did 2 Top Afghan Security Bosses Quit?

Nobody really accepted the official version of the story. So now that the theories are starting to roll out, they’re worth considering.

On Sunday, the Afghan presidential palace announced the resignations of the country’s interior minister, Hanif Atmar, and intelligence chief, Amrullah Saleh.

The breaking news alert was presented as a fait accompli and caught everyone by surprise. Usually this sort of news starts with unconfirmed reports, followed by official confirmations, which in turn are followed by official announcements. This time, the old steps were skipped.


Instead, we got a statement from the presidential palace, no less, informing us that Afghan President Hamid Karzai had already accepted the resignations. The stated reason was the officials’ failure to prevent the attacks on the peace jirga. (See blog, “Let the jirga games begin – with a bang")

Hafiz Saeed is free, roll out the sweets - again

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s decision that Hafiz Saeed, head of the Islamic group accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks, cannot be detained.

No surprises here. It’s the same old story with a familiar plot and the inevitable ending.

The court ruled that the evidence against Saeed was weak. That’s true because there’s very little teeth to legal actions taken against Saeed.

Pakistani authorizes have never filed criminal or terrorist charges against the leader of the LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba), a banned group now operating as the Jamaat-ud-Dawa. Instead, Saeed tends to get detained under the MPO (Maintenance of Public Order) law. In legal terms, that entails a limited detention period until a court ruling. In plain-speak, it’s a light rap on the knuckles for disorderly conduct.

This has happened before. In 2009 and 1996, Saeed was let go under MPO.