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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 ( 90% )

  B. No ( 0% )

  C. Don't know ( 10% )

  

  
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Latest Articles
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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With two nationalists in power, relations between the world’s two most populous nations could turn even frostier Narendra Modi, the newly installed Prime Minister of India, has no shortage of problems to tackle. The slumping economy requires a hefty dose of dif..................   
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Islamabad: Kashmir is the heart of India-Pakistan relations and jehadis will turn towards Kashmir after the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan this year, a former Pakistani army chief has said. "Kashmir is the core issue that needs to be settled for..................   
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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. But danger li..................   
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The United States, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan got a golden opportunity to speed up their project of “opportunistic emigration” of Afghan nationals to Pakistan when Noor Mohammad Taraki and his comrades brought the socialist revolution in Afghanistan. Afghans began ..................   
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Chief of Army Staff said that maps with Afghan and Pakistani officials differ about zero-point of the Durand Line which has created tension between the two countries. Gen. Shir Mohammad Karimi in an interview with Azadi Radio said that one of the challengeable is..................   
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THE fate of 65-year-old Khalil Ahmed was sealed on the day he was accused of blasphemy. It was his death warrant. He was killed while in police detention hours after he was arrested. A schoolboy, who has not been identified by name, reportedly walked into the p..................   
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Instead of grappling with insurgents as a separate stakeholder, their inclusion in the system and then subsequently in primary institutions is likely to infect these power centres in a dreadful way..................   
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Key policy options and strategic responses for India under the new dispensation at the centre are being covered in a series of articles hereafter. Economic Development The key element among these is why the debate on reforms has been reduced to “Growth ver..................   
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The ongoing dispute over the South China Seas carried into the 24th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in the Myanmar capital of Naypyitaw over the weekend as leaders from the 10-member nations uniformly expressed their concern over the escalati..................   
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Many of Myanmar’s ethnic minorities are growing increasingly disillusioned with America and may turn to China instead...................   
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BEIJING - An upcoming Asian security summit will strengthen dialogue, build mutual trust and broaden cooperation among Asian countries and help the region address some hotspot issues, foreign leaders and experts said. The fourth summit of the Conference on Inte..................   
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The mammoth elections of the world’s largest democracy are finally over! For many months the collective psyche of the nation has remained focussed on political discourse. Finally, the result is out and the BJP led NDA is poised to form the government at the centre..................   
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KABUL - President Hamid Karzai, who met his Chinese counterpart in Shanghai, said on Monday that Afghanistan was willing to make joint efforts with China to combat terrorism and transnational crime. Karzai met Xi Jinping in the afternoon, with both sides discus..................   
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iN the aftermath of the US invasion of Afghanistan to topple the Taliban—a force that hosted its enemy number one—Al-Qaeda, Iranians were concerned at the implications of the presence of a large ISAF-NATO force and bases on its western border as well as the renewe..................   
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Afghanistan has been hemorrhaging because of militancy. Who supports this militancy is no secret. To tame the scourge of this threat and to teach a good lesson (the lesson of force) to the Taliban, Afghanistan needs a well-trained and well-equipped army. To enable..................   
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To quote Theodore Roosevelt: A vote is like a rifle. Its usefulness depends upon the character of the user. It is interesting to note that elections in Afghanistan are going on in the backdrop of Obama’s Asia tour, Pakistan’s slow but successful negotiations with ..................   
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What can be a climax of Afghanistan endgame? Inching towards stability or an anti-climax—one brow the fears, which are widely reported from this ill-fated land and the victim of most of the conflicting global interests of our times. The changing of guards in Afgh..................   
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The customary decadal change of leadership in China took place on March 5, 2013, during a session of the Chinese Parliament in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The highlight of the transition process was that despite its fair share of intrigue, rivalry, sp..................   
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“Do you think it is possible to have a discussion amidst the deafening noise of bomb blasts and gunshots? So, to have a reasonable discussion, first the blasts and gunshots have to stop,” said the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, to a national Engli..................   
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12/05/2014
There are many similarities between 1997-99 and 2013-2014. In 1997-99 the PMLN government had just been handed power with a two thirds majority to end Pakistan’s ills. Soon, Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and President Farooq Leghari made unceremonious exits. The E..................   
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While speaking during an inauguration ceremony, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif offered to meet Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to “discuss” issues...................   
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The visiting Chief of the Army Staff of India, General Bikram Singh? has paid a courtesy ?call on President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. The meeting was held yesterday afternoon ?at the President’s Office.? At the meeting, President Yameen and General Bikram di..................   
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In every political culture — even in ones with a premium on stressing continuity, consensus and unity — at some point, newly appointed leaders will want to respond to the urges of their egos...................   
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THE Dalai Lama jokes, in his broken English, that these days, “demon peacefully sleeping”. He playfully puts his hands up by his head to make horns with his fingers; a mocking reference to the word he says Chinese officials have used to describe him. But since the..................   
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Writing in Nagarik daily a couple of days ago, Santosh Mehta, spokesperson for the rump Sadbhavana Party, reiterated what has by now become conventional wisdom, that the poor showing of the Madhes-based parties in the second Constituent Assembly (CA) was a result ..................   
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Climbing for the 2014 Mt Everest spring season now seems to be over. The final decision was due to a combination of factors that led to large commercial expeditions and their hired high altitude workers leaving Everest Base Camp last week after the devastating ava..................   
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Considering the current situation in the country, the last thing Pakistan needs is more guns. Reports reveal that licensed arms dealers have been engaged in the illegal import of weapons of all kinds. There are no more than 520 licensed arms dealers in the entire ..................   
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“Pakistan is no longer considering India for Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status,” stated Khuram Dastgir Khan, the country’s Minister of Commerce, in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. This statement has been carried by the media in Riyadh and, wonder of wonders, ..................   
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A change in the corridors of power in Islamabad is something that the deprived people of Gilgit-Baltistan dread. This is so because the resultant politics of witch-hunting negatively impact their already very difficult existence. Recently, wheat subsidy to Gilgit-..................   
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IN Shooting an Elephant George Orwell writes about how a person loses his own freedom most of all while practising imperialism. In this story an English police officer posted in Burma is the symbol of imperial power. He receives news of an elephant on a rampage in..................   
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ENFORCED disappearances. Sectarian killings. Attacks on minorities. Honour killings. The list of gross human rights abuses in Pakistan is long and painful. As one incident of horror overtakes another, there are many aspects of violations that remain under-reported..................   
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The cold bloodied killing of a polling officer in the South Kashmir constituency of Jammu and Kashmir well after the polling was over reflects the remorselessness of the sadistic forces that have vowed to leave no stone unturned in disrupting the democratic right ..................   
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You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State". This was the p..................   
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A violent attack on April 30th at the main railway station in Urumqi, the capital of western China’s Xinjiang region, has left at least three people dead and nearly 80 injured. The authorities have been quick to blame “terrorists” (here, in Chinese), a term that i..................   
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