The Great Recession, which began with the financial crisis of 2007-08, though partially addressed, is still with us. Yet the expectation it generated, that given its severity it would trigger the implementation of measures aimed at reining in finance and pre-empting similar crises in the future, remains largely unrealized.
This year marked the 150th birth anniversary of the Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore that also coincided with six decades of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two major and rising Asian neighbours India and China and the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Parties in both these countries.
One of most serious problems that the ruling elites faced in the ex-colonial and newly independent countries is the integration of ethnic, religious, linguistic and diverse groups living within a territorial state structure created by the colonial masters for their own convenience through their policy of divide and rule.
As images of Benazir Bhutto sinking into her SUV, on that fateful date of December 2007, flashed all over the world, Amir Mir let a silent prayer in his mind. He found out in a matter of few hours, along with millions across his country, that even the most heartfelt prayer could not save Bhutto from her demise.
In the early 1970s,’ wrote the political activist—and, in his youth, would-be insurgent—Nasir Gilani, ‘the crossing of (the) LoC was as mystical for a Kashmiri youth as the Eve St. Agnes to a virgin.’ His contemporaries, Gilani noted, ‘seemed mesmerized by a belief that a solution to all their ills on the Indian side of Kashmir lay on the Pakistani side of Kashmir.’
The nature of the US-Pakistan relationship has been very difficult for many analysts to fathom. Is it a relationship based on some broad principles and common objectives or is it an opportunistic alliance—from which neither is able to disengage? That there is little trust between the two countries has been obvious over the years.
Ten years after the invasion of Afghanistan, the countdown for the American withdrawal has formally begun. The United States President, Barack Obama, has announced that 10,000 American troops will leave Afghanistan by the end of this year and another 23,000 by the summer of 2012.