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The Jammu & Kashmir Constituent Assembly, set up through a democratic election witnessed by international observers, had voted for Kashmir's accession to India. No plebiscite was needed as the people's representatives had spoken.  
 
Against the background of the recent visits of Indian leaders to Africa and the third India-Africa Forum Summit held in New Delhi last year, Amar Sinha, Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), underlined the more frequent and higher level exchanges between India and Africa, their deepening co-operation in areas of food security, energy, trade, investment, and maritime security as examples of the new dimensions of India-Africa cooperation.   
 

And so it came to pass... Two months ago, Kashmir on the surface was at its glorious best, overflowing with tourists from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Yet all was not well, and as very often happens, everything changed overnight. Burhan Wani’s killing was only the catalyst, or excuse, given the subterranean anger, hatred and alienation. Something was always waiting to happen. The status quo we banked on favoured the other side more than us. And now, Pakistan, always ready to fish in Kashmir’s troubled waters, is all over us. Lashkar and Jaish are calling the shots. Unwittingly, Burhan Wani’s killing has become Kashmir’s Bastille Day moment.

 

India’s policy on the Middle East has so far served Indian domestic interests well, despite some observers criticising the government for not addressing the humanitarian issues in the region. However fast changing geopolitical developments, falling price of oil, energy security, regional security implications and the impact on Indians working abroad in the Middle East would compel the government to make sure its current policy adapts to these changes, writes Monish Gulati for South Asia Monitor.

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to escalate the rhetoric on Pakistan’s vulnerabilities to include them in his Independence Day address is, by all accounts, a tactical exercise meant to send the signal that two can play the game Islamabad has been playing for long. He had forewarned of his new approach at the all-party meeting he held on Kashmir.

 

The Balochistan narrative of oppression has been going on for decades ever since Pakistan took over this province. It would gain credence in Kashmir only when Kashmiris would trust that India is protecting them on the border as well as in the hinterland. Balochistan should be seen beyond the tit-for-tat narrative.

 

The traditional narrative has given way to a strict stance — for the better

 

There is no separate Kashmir story as there is for Afghanistan or Nepal. It was always a part of the Indian main and except for a brief rule from Kabul. There is no cause or case for a separate Kashmir, like the Tibetans may have or the Palestinians have. The second point here is that the Kashmiri’s are a distinct ethnic group with little of no historical or social affinities, except Islam, with those of the other regions of the erstwhile princely state of J&K. This J&K, with or without PoK, is an artificial entity of recent origin. J&K is not the only princely state that acceded to India without some early hesitations and a bit of acrimony.

 

Freedom did not come to us on a platter nor was it a gift of some benevolent despot. It was won with the blood, sweat and suffering of bravehearts like Udham Singh and Bhagat Singh, who made it possible for the Mahatma to script a political victory.

 

The Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a terrorist organisation that has been officially banned but operates openly, trains around 360 militants annually to wage jihad against India and Afghanistan, according to Indian investigators who grilled captured LeT operative Bahadur Ali, writes Rajnish Singh.

 


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Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office again in Bangladesh in 2009, bilateral relations between New Delhi and Dhaka have been on a steady upward trajectory.
 
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  Nearly 58 per cent of the about 600,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are children who suffer from severe malnutrition, a UN report released said.
 
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A unique and passionate gathering of acrophiles, or mountain lovers, took place in neat and picturesque Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram state in north-eastern India in September.
 
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India’s foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attained a level of maturity which allows it to assert itself in an effective manner. This is aimed at protecting the country’s national interests in a sustained way.
 
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With over 100 incidents of braid chopping reported in different parts of Kashmir, there is widespread fear and anger among the people.
 
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According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's GDP expanded 6.9 percent year on year in the first three quarters of 2017, an increase of 0.2 percent above that of the corresponding period of last year.
 
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As political roller coasters go, there is none as steep and unpredictable as the one shared by the United States and Iran.
 
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In West Asia, the end of one war paves the way for the next. Raqqa, the Syrian capital of the self-styled Islamic State (IS), has fallen to a coalition of rebels, the Syrian Democratic Forces that is backed by the United States.
 
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On “Defining Our Relationship with India for the Next Century”
 
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Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
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Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
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Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
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As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
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Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
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