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Welcome to Himalayan Affairs

Himalayas, the greatest mountain range in the world, home to world’s highest peaks is situated in South Asia. They traverse Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Tibet, and Nepal forming a boundary between the Tibetan plateau to the North and alluvial plains of the Indian subcontinent to the south and have had a profound significance on the mythologies, literature, religions and culture of South Asia. There are deep rooted differences and boundary disputes between most of the countries, a legacy owed to the common history of the entire region. Nuclear Capability of three nations within the region further lends to instability and the region is considered as a potential nuclear flashpoint. This site is dedicated to the Himalayan Region, its news, views and analysis.
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Poll
Q1.Do you believe that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is in need of serious reform?

Answers options :




Current Status

  A. Yes ( 95% )

  B. No ( 0% )

  C. Don't know ( 4% )

  

  
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Latest Articles
As Afghanistan is engulfed by sustained political impasse, Pakistan has not hesitated and dug a 480 kilometer long trench on the Durand Line. The Senate of Afghanistan slammed Pakistan for this move and warned the issue would be taken to the UN and other internati..................   
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Preferring to work with people rather than dominating them yields good results. The current government believes in this policy while the former regime believed in dominating people. The Ministry of Interior (MoI) spokesman Seddiq Seddiqi says public coordination w..................   
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The 6th South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Home Ministers, Home Secretaries and Immigration Officials' meeting will be held from Wednesday in Kathmandu. A meeting of SAARC immigration officials is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, SAARC Ho..................   
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India has once again stuck to its guns vis--vis continuing to be Afghanistan’s first strategic partner. Narendra Modi’s government is ostensibly intending to further strengthen bilateral cooperation with Afghanistan as India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swar..................   
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In its 66-year history Pakistan has time and again proved to the world community that it is a failed state. Pakistan came into being in 1947, after the second world war was over. The British colonial power was waning; the sun was finally setting on the empire whic..................   
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On May 11 Pakistanis are expected to go to the polls and celebrate transition in what’s been a rare five-year civilian rule. The election may or may not usher in another period of civilian rule...................   
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Indian External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, in a meeting with President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday assured of her country’s continued support for Afghanistan...................   
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Terrorism in Pakistan has already resulted in at least 460 fatalities, including 241 civilians, 86 Security Force (SF) personnel and 133 militants in just the first month of 2014, according to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP). 38 maj..................   
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The Crisis States Research Centre defines a ‘failed state’ as a condition of ‘state collapse’, i.e. a state that can no longer perform its basic security and development functions and has no effective control over its territory and borders...................   
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In man’s search of an ideal society, conflicts are bound to arise between the real and the ideal. This is specially so when we forget to practice what we preach - See more at: http://www.outlookafghanistan.net/editorialdetail.php?post_id=10982#sthash.KyMizJuS.dpuf..................   
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With the country experiencing a severe political deadlock, international forces withdrawing, and foreign aid declining, it’s India that could potentially fill the void. India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is visiting Afghanistan on Wednesday (today) in..................   
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Afghan security troops, after the security transition from coalition forces, belied all those who used to say they would hardly live up to the expectation as they stood the ground firmly against militants and gave insurgents tough times in the post-transition peri..................   
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Residents in Faryab province has been complaining of growing insecurity and escalating crime rate as they say there are some 80 illegal armed groups who are challenging the writ of the government. The say the armed groups are equipped with modern weapons. The poli..................   
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The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said Sunday that has seized an explosive-laden vehicle in Kabul, adding that this was sent by Pakistan's intelligence agency to carry out subversive activities inside Afghanistan...................   
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The deadliest attack on intelligence office in eastern Ghazni city in the early hours of morning is something that shouldn’t be ignored as this time it’s not a police checkpoint or government office but intelligence office that has been attacked...................   
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Resurgence of militancy is about to throw the country out of gear. The government’s standpoint against the Taliban has backfired, as the political havoc is shattering the foundation of this war-torn country. The political stalemate perhaps should be the least of o..................   
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Ayman al-Zawahiri says his armed group will "raise the flag of jihad" across parts of India, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has announced the formation of an Indian branch of his global armed group that he said would spread Islamic rule..................   
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Recently, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) declared an Islamic Caliphate, renaming ISIL to simply the Islamic State (and declaring himself the latest caliph). Following the declaration of the caliphate, al-Baghdadi ca..................   
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The present crisis — manufactured and planned to bring down an elected government which is backed by the Parliament and powered by the Constitution — is greatly weakened. A government is not a state, and a state is not a government. While one must keep the differe..................   
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Those who have been talking about an imminent ‘soft coup’, a ‘hard coup’, a ‘creeping coup’, or that the Institution is using Imran and Qadri to reduce Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the status of a deputy commissioner; or/and ‘to force the PM to return to the Ins..................   
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Pakistan's High Commission to Canada rebuked Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander for calling Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism. "Pakistan is not a state sponsor of terrorism, as naively alleged by Mr. Alexander, but is itself a victim of te..................   
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It was 4 a.m. on June 23, 2001, and a few distant stars punctured the darkness above the Uzbek city of Samarkand. I stepped out into the night, leaving the lobby of a concrete, Stalinist-era hotel, accompanied by Abdul Haq, an Afghan Pashtun leader in the anti-Tal..................   
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Following the numerous border violations, India must consider that there are enough areas astride the LoC where its Army can hurt Pakistan much more effectively than it can perceive Incidents instigated by the Pakistan military along the frontlines in Jammu and..................   
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Introduction Pakistani authorities have long had ties to domestic militant groups that help advance the country's core foreign policy interests, namely in connection with Afghanistan and India. Since Islamabad joined Washington as an ally in the post-9/11 "war on..................   
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The Pakistani Army stepped into the country’s two-week-old political crisis on Thursday when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif requested that the army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, help defuse a standoff that has crippled the government. Thousands ..................   
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The aftermath of the Afghanistan 2014 presidential election confirms two big issues of Afghanistan today. Firstly, democracy is at very early stage and elections are not without problems. Secondly, Afghanistan is still a fragile country and needs continued engagem..................   
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Again it was a near thing according to the narrative of the US military: a Chinese jet fighter made "dangerous" passes at a US navy plane. The US Deputy Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said what the Chinese jet did was "obviously deeply concerning provocation". But th..................   
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NATO member states are preparing for Wales summit to discuss different but burning issues such as winding up of the Afghan mission and security threats from terror group ISIS. The summit is thought as crucial because the world order seems to be at stake. As all ey..................   
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27/08/2014
How wonderful it would be if one were able to live life in a systematic manner, to drop off their children daily at school and go to work. It is unfortunate for the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan tha..................   
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“If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it”. No one has worked harder to prove Mark Twain right than the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The ECP continues to operate like V S Naipaul’s four men washing down the steps of an unpalatable Bombay ..................   
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KABUL: A bevy of legislators and tribal chieftains from eastern Nuristan have warned that the volatile province could fall to the Taliban, if the scourge of insecurity is not tamed. They alleged that insurgents had massacred 1,100 people, including a woman, and to..................   
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The lengthened electoral deadlock, subsequent to unaddressed claims of industrial scale fraud orchestrated by sitting government, has earned an international concentration. The world leaders, including president Obama, have had urged the two candidates, extending ..................   
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The recent rocket shelling from across the Pakistani border into the Afghan soil has once again intensified resulting in the injuries of many citizens and hundreds of them were forced to leave their houses and move to the safer areas. As usual, government and its ..................   
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22/08/2014
Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri seem adamant in their maximalist demands regarding the resignations of Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif before any negotiations can be held, either directly with the government or with either of..................   
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After presidential runners signed an agreement, there were expectations that the process of vote audit would speed up and soon the people will have the pleasure of knowing the result; however, that does not seem to be happening at the moment. Still the supports of..................   
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Kashmir Conflict being one of the worlds’ most worrisome conflicts is a social fact and therefore its fallouts are clearly reflected in the structure of society of Kashmir and on the essence of overall social collective. There is a monster of damage of the conflic..................   
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MES AYNAK, Afghanistan — Less than half an hour’s drive from Kabul, the congested and narrow two-lane highway is scarred with craters from improvised explosive devices. Logar province, southeast of Kabul, is considered one of the most dangerous in Afghanistan. It’..................   
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The ongoing and tiring process of elections have shown that Afghanistan needs to evolve to a large extend as far as nourishment of democracy is concerned. The attitude of the presidential runners regarding the ongoing process of audit has really made it very clear..................   
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The IDPs of Waziristan (some people also call them “Intentionally Displaced Pashtun) were forced to leave their native land and live in camps. They have become a sandwich between Pakistan army and the militant outfits. The number of the IDPs displaced in the wake ..................   
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The writer is a defence and security analyst, chairman of the Pathfinder Group and director of the East West Institute Developed together by the institutions of the Pakistani state (including the military), national security has to be based on a common understa..................   
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Never have the unfortunate people of Pakistan been so full of apprehension about their future on Independence Day as they are today. What gives their anxiety sharper focus is the realisation that in the confused, slogan-dominated debate on the state’s affliction, ..................   
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The Amnesty International released a candid and honest report on the Obama’s administration led Pentagon that covered up war crimes in Afghanistan. This human rights watchdog says the US military systematically ignored evidence of torture and unlawful killings in ..................   
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We have been hearing Pakistan’s rockets barrages into Kunar and the fragile response from Kabul and the international community. Coalition forces once said that Pakistan’s rocket attacks on Kunar were exaggerated, nevertheless those living in Afghanistan eastern p..................   
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On eve of PM Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan out of its Kashmir specter again reiterated its old card on Kashmir and once again declared it a disputed territory. Such an India bashing is now highly a culture in Pakistan’s political brass despite of the..................   
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With a killing of an American military general in Kabul, the entire western media is abuzz with his news and the recruitment policy of Afghan national army and police. There have been incidents of green on blue attacks and as well as insider attacks in Afghan nati..................   
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Laws of nature discovered and formulated by natural scientists sometimes find applicability on social phenomenon as well. For instance the S-shaped poverty trap explained by development economists can be compared with Newton’s Law of Gravity. Our understanding fro..................   
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KABUL: As the presidential ballot audit continues, the UN has urged the full commitment of the parties to the unprecedented endeavor that should be completed without any further delays and interruptions...................   
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Civilians’ killing in a NATO airstrike has touched off protest in the western Herat province. Carrying the victims’ bodies the protestors gathered in front of the governor’s office and for the first time being so angry they chanted they will climb mountains to fig..................   
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The tragic incident of Ghor is still resounding in the country and it has once again intensified the public criticism on the policy of President Karzai to release Taliban prisoners to win their confidence and bring them on the table of dialogue. In this incident, ..................   
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Return of street violence, agitation over global Islamic events, border skirmishes, all point to a possible return of the 2008-10 disturbance in Kashmir. The security establishment needs to take note… ANYONE who follows J&K affairs and particularly its security..................   
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KABUL - A senior member of presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah’s team on Sunday accused Second Vice-President Mohammad Karim Khalili of orchestrating fraud in favour of his rival candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai...................   
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Since the Taliban have mounted their subversive activities particularly in the past month of Ramadan—a sacred month being known for blessings. But, this month turned out to be the deadliest for innocent Afghan civilians because of the brutalities of the Taliban. W..................   
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The pressing question of the day is when will the war come to an end and when will the common man end to be the victim? This question has become much relevant in the current political deadlock caused by the runoff election, the US consistent policy (not open to ch..................   
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Afghanistan on one hand has remained the jumping pad for different invaders and occupiers due to its geo-strategic and geo-political location in the heart of Asia. On the other hand it has remained the significant trade route to Central Asia, South Asia, West Asia..................   
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Now that Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan has deigned to inform the public about his government’s alleged thinking behind the invocation of Article 245 of the Constitution, it is worth examining the substance of what Mr Nisar has claimed...................   
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THE battle to secure control of militant sanctuaries across North Waziristan was meant to proceed without distractions for the Pakistan Army. But the choice by the government to invoke Article 245 of the Constitution facilitating the handing over of Islamabad to t..................   
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Death sentence for the police officer who killed a foreign photojournalist and injured a reporter is indeed a good verdict of a Kabul court as it would restore trust of foreign media-persons, working in the country, over the Afghan government to some extent...................   
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Repression XinjiangWhile the other countries of the world fight their own demons in the media glare China is one place where political problems are successfully kept under wraps...................   
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As US Pakistan relations slide to their nadir since 2001, Pakistan is hedging on a strong China backing to fill the vacuum thus created. It has been promoting China as the alternative benefactor that could deliver badly needed economic and military assistance...................   
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Former Commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and US troops in Afghanistan said the European leaders had misunderstood the Afghan president by assuming that Hamid Karzai is inherently a “Westphalian President”...................   
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Even as the re-run (second round) of the Presidential polls in Afghanistan was marred by Taliban sponsored killings and amputations unlike the first round, the explosive events in Iraq have shell shocked the world...................   
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At least 28 militants were killed following a drone strikes carried out by NATO troops in western Herat and central Logar provinces, said officials Sunday...................   
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Tens of members of a civil society organization during a rally on Sunday severely condemned recent deadly attacks in the country which left scores of civilians dead and wounded particularly the deadly attack inside a market in Orgun district of eastern Paktika pro..................   
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Lawlessness has been on the surge. There are a number of factors behind this surge. The biggest factor is militancy. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) chief for northwestern Faryab province said Monday that 50 complaints of attacks, killi..................   
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Finally the clouds of uncertainty and the risk of sliding back into chaos are gone. The second round of the presidential election had caused a serious political stalemate and many feared breaking out of a serious schism that will potentially throw Afghanistan back..................   
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Humans have been using gold as a store of value for millennia. The earliest pure gold coins date to about 560 B.C. in what is now Turkey. Gold coins proliferated for many reasons: The metal is shiny, durable, malleable, easy to test for authenticity, and non-react..................   
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Afghanistan-India relations go beyond the cordial relationship the two countries’ elected governments enjoy. Afghanistan and India have long interacted with each other either through trade and commerce, and through their many shared cultural values and commonaliti..................   
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BEIJING: Students and civil servants in China's Muslim northwest, where Beijing is enforcing a security crackdown following deadly unrest, have been ordered to avoid taking part in traditional fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan...................   
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Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, as was expected, chose Jammu and Kashmir as his first border state destination for an orientation visit and that too within a month of taking over the reins of his ministry. There was speculation of some fireworks since this wa..................   
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Charismatic, charming, stylish, Hamid Karzai is all who is cherished and admired by many, politicians, friends, critics, observers, International personalities, and even fashion gurus. Well known for his personal morality, Karzai is very audacious man, with his..................   
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The country is locked in an uncertain situation for too many reasons. The intensified attacks of the Taliban insurgents in Helmand, the persistent deadlock caused by post runoff election times, the non-delivery of aid by international community, reduction in expor..................   
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(Reuters) - The leader of the al Qaeda offshoot now calling itself the Islamic State has called on Muslims worldwide to take up arms and flock to the "caliphate" it has declared on captured Syrian and Iraqi soil...................   
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In the war of Arabs and Americans, the Afghans – whether living in Afghanistan or Pakistan – are the worst victims. In the war of the then USSR and the US, millions of Afghans were killed or made amputees, and millions more made refugees. But in the wake of 9/11 a..................   
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Keeping them in captivation for two weeks, the Taliban released the 33 abducted lecturers of the Kandahar University. They were freed in an area nearby Ghazni province. Teachers, all over the world, except the part we live in, are regarded as highly respected and ..................   
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Terrorism is spreading like a fatal virus across the already threatened globe, but developed countries who engineered the war-on terror policy have completely been befuddled ?how to tackle this menace which has periled lives of developing nations. Hundreds of peop..................   
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The sentences come after Beijing has vowed to crack down on religious extremists and separatist groups, which it blames for a series of violent attacks in Xinjiang, the traditional home of the Muslim Uighurs, and elsewhere...................   
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This country has many problems. Fighting back invading imperial powers for hundreds of years has made this country stunted—didn’t let it to grow and to be equally at par with developed nations of the world. Afghanistan, even today is at war. In the recent past (40..................   
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WITH the North Waziristan IDP crisis still unfolding, it is necessary and right that much of the national attention is focused on getting the state to do everything it can to ensure the ordeal of being made homeless within one’s country is rendered less painful in..................   
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After dragging its feet for over a decade, the Pakistan army has finally launched an operation in the North Waziristan Agency (NWA), the hapless region that the country’s security planners had virtually ceded to local, cross-border and global terrorists. Half a mi..................   
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27/06/2014
As the euphoria of a fantastic electoral victory dies down, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will start looking at various issues of governance and security. This must include a serious look at Kashmir, where a lack of understanding and of coordination between the Cen..................   
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Teachers in our society - plagued by internal bickering, political instability, terror and insurgency - are considered to be highly non-political, as they have nothing to do with politics but to educate children of the nation. Then why to kidnap them? Militants ne..................   
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26/06/2014
JUN 26 - Nepal is semi-capitalist . Nepal has completed a capitalist revolution. Nepal is capitalist. Nepal has been capitalist for a long time. Most of us believe at least one of these statements. We cannot all be right; this is social ‘science’, not a literary q..................   
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THE difference between governmental action and inaction can sometimes be difficult to discern — but often it is blindingly and shockingly obvious. Hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people from North Waziristan have poured out of the region and the fede..................   
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Yesterday the Afghan run-off election was held successfully, but just a few days back presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah’s convoy was stuck by two suicide bombs that killed 6 and injured 22 others. Thanks God presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah escaped ..................   
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Afghans learned this week that they have to vote again to choose between two would-be presidents. On the surface, that’s seemingly good news for Washington; both candidates are thought to be anti-Taliban, anti-al-Qaeda, and for a U.S. security deal...................   
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In Gullu Butt’s shape, the filth and puss of our political system, so carefully covered up under a shiny crust of glitzy infrastructural development, bubbled to the surface like an overflowing gutter. In a rage of orchestrated frenzy, Gullu smashed cars and smashe..................   
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The festival of Kheer Bhawani is celebrated by the Pundit community of the Kashmir valley every year on the eighth day of the Jyeshtha month of the Hindu calendar (that falls in the month of June), at the holy Temple of the Goddess Ragnaya Bhagwati (One of her man..................   
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“It is unfortunate that the BJP and its wings are hell bent to divide J&K in the name of religion and geography. I want to convey to them that all five regions of the erstwhile princely state of J&K including Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan Administered Kashmir, Jammu,..................   
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Nepal is the safest place to live in South Asia after Bhutan, according to Global Peace Index Report, the world’s leading measure of national peacefulness...................   
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An al-Qaeda video exhorting Muslims of Kashmir to wage a jihad against India has questioned politics of “shutdowns, dialogues and resolutions”...................   
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