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June 2007, Vol. 2, No. 6

Feature: Pakistan: Will the Military Regime Finally Make Way for a Civilian Government?

Karachi, PakistanPakistan seems to be on the verge of a political revolution. The crisis over the suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry snowballed even further, as clashes in Karachi left 42 dead, followed by a crackdown on the media. An emboldened political movement, deriving support from enraged sections of civil society and the Pakistani public, has begun to seriously threaten Musharraf's military regime. As Musharraf contemplates an optimal strategy to retain power, he knows that if the situation deteriorates any further his support from fellow army corps commanders and the United States is likely to be short-lived. Read more.


In this Issue:
  1. Feature: Pakistan: Will the Military Regime Finally Make Way for a Civilian Government?

  2. Carnegie Events/Analysis: Tellis on the U.S.-India strategic cooperation and on U.S.-India relations; Suri on India-Japan relations; Squassoni on Menon's recent U.S. visit

  3. Views from South Asia:
    INDIA:
    Foreign Policy and Domestic Politics
    : U.S.-India nuclear deal negotiations; India-China relations; India and East Asia; Al Qaeda in India; India’s Sri Lanka policy; reforming the Indian foreign service (IFS); India-Iran relations; G-5 initiative; three years of the UPA Government; identity politics; inclusive growth debate

    Economics and Energy: Exchange rate debate; alternative investment strategies for India’s forex reserves; CEO compensation debate; India’s new growth trajectory; gas pipelines within the WTO framework; Iran-India-Pakistan pipeline; India’s water woes

    SRI LANKA: LTTE’s attack on Sri Lankan naval base; SFLP proposal; renewed interest in Norwegian ceasefire agreement

    BANGLADESH: Caretaker government’s political reforms; voter lists; road to the elections

    NEPAL: Domestic politics; Nepal’s relations with India and the U.S.; challenges for constituent assembly elections; Nepal’s foreign policy

  4. In-Depth Analysis: Indo-U.S. civilian nuclear cooperation, India-Singapore relations; demilitarization of Siachen; India-U.S.-China relations; Kashmir; the BSP victory in Uttar Pradesh; India’s negotiating stand in Doha; oil security; land acquisition framework; rural credit structure reform; Pakistan’s political movement; Sri Lanka; legitimacy crisis of Nepal’s monarchy; the Nepali revolution

  5. Additional Resources: IPCS strategic review; U.S.-India nuclear deal press briefing; the ten-point social charter; India’s GDP estimates and statistics; joint economic committee report on India


 

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Editor's Note
The violence in Karachi on May 12, which left 42 people dead, has shaken Pakistan. The voices of civil society actors in Pakistan drew strength from the widely attended gatherings in various Pakistani cities addressed by suspended Chief Justice Chaudhry. As the military regime in Pakistan contemplated the optimal strategy to maintain its stronghold in Pakistani politics by cracking down on opponents and media, it continued to face the wrath of a highly mobilized Pakistani public. Attention has turned away from a possible Benazir Bhutto-Musharraf deal towards a possible Bhutto-Nawaz Sharif deal. Op-eds in the Pakistani media suggest a bleak future for Musharraf, even as the United States and Pakistan's corps commanders have reiterated their support for him.

Negotiations for the U.S.-India nuclear deal continued, with the Indian side offering to set up a dedicated safeguarded facility for reprocessing of atomic fuel in an effort to break the deadlock. Political parties in India jostled for their respective Presidential candidates—the Congress party candidate, Pratibha Patil, drew flak from other parties, many of which have rushed to express support for Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat as their candidate. In Sri Lanka, LTTE's attack on a naval base in the Delft Islands and the SFLP proposal dominated policy discussions. Bangladesh continued to trudge slowly towards further political reform and the moving ahead on the road to the elections, not unlike Nepal's slow march towards the Constituent Assembly elections.

Anirudh Suri
Editor, South Asian Perspectives
Feature: The Events of May 12 in Karachi
Pakistan: Will the Military Regime Finally Make

Way for a Civilian Government?

An editorial argues that the events of May 12 in Karachi were “not unexpected” and cautions that these incidents are indicative of the cracks and fissures in Pakistan today (Daily Times, May 13, 2007).

Chaudry Masud Mufti describes how the current stir is different, and worries that “if the leadership of the movement shifts from the lawyers to the political parties there is every danger that the present movement may end with the coronation of another military dictator.” For this reason, he recommends that “the lawyers' community should harness the current momentum into a new political party” (Dawn, May 29, 2007).

Crackdown on the Media
An editorial in the Daily Times urges the earliest rollback of the PEMRA amendment ordinance, the draconian anti-press law, and the announcement of elections at the earliest possible date “so that the momentum of a negative trend in the country is broken” (Daily Times, June 6, 2007).

The Military's Response

An editorial points out that the media briefing from the Army General Headquarters (GHQ), endorsing the pivotal role of Musharraf as the president and the chief of army staff, “underlines support to the army chief at a time when many in Pakistan might have wondered what the corps commanders have advised their chief in the face of an unprecedented anti-Musharraf feeling in the country” (Daily Times, June 3, 2007).

An editorial argues that Musharraf's statement, which threatens to “consider extra-constitutional methods to enhance his term after the forthcoming general elections” will simply “deepen the crisis instead of resolving it” (Daily Times, May 20, 2007).

Javed Hussain terms the recent pronouncements by the army's corps commanders in support of Musharraf, coming in the aftermath of the May 12 events and the prevailing tense situation, a “grave strategic blunder” (Dawn, June 7, 2007).

Abbas Rashid argues that “the military remains a powerful institution with a significant role to play, as in all countries” but that “it must recognize the principle of civilian supremacy and the imperative of a strong judiciary for a modern and democratic state” (Daily Times, June 2, 2007).

Role of the MQM
Haider K. Nizamani believes that the events of May 12 in Karachi have hurt the credibility of the Mutahidda Quami Movement (MQM), and posits that “waging a smear campaign against its opponents and limiting their physical ability to conduct political activities on the streets of Karachi undermines the MQM's claim of being a party of middle-class educated Pakistanis who want to challenge the feudal political culture” (Daily Times, May 29, 2007)

MusharrafWhat Next?
In a series of articles, Hasan Askari Rizvi analyzes the dynamics of the growing criticism of the military (Daily Times, June 3, 2007) and believes that Musharraf and the top military brass will have “to negotiate a non-violent transition to a more civilian and participatory political order” along the lines of the successful negotiation of the transition to civilian rule between the military establishment and the political leadership in some countries like Brazil (Daily Times, May 20, 2005).

He explains that the only reconciliatory option “involves addressing a host of important questions like the separation of the presidency from the command of the army, a diminished role for Musharraf in future political arrangements, the holding of fair and free elections under a neutral caretaker government and the return of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif to Pakistan so that they may lead their respective political parties in the elections” (Daily Times, May 27, 2007).

Rizvi further believes that “it is unlikely that the government can salvage the situation by using the option of imposing emergency or rounding up leaders of the protest movement” and even “the option of accommodation between General Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto has also lost relevance” (Daily Times, May 13, 2007).

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Carnegie Analysis/Events
Singh and BushU.S.-India Strategic Cooperation
In his chapter, "What Should We Expect from India as a Strategic Partner?" the book, Gauging U.S.-Indian Strategic Cooperation (Strategic Studies Institute, March 2007), Carnegie Senior Associate Ashley J. Tellis analyzes the historical "sine wave" nature of the U.S.-India relationship and outlines the value and practical consequences of the transforming bilateral relationship.

TellisU.S.-India Relations: The Road Ahead
On May 23, Carnegie Senior Associate, Ashley J. Tellis, joined former Indian Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Shankar Bajpai, and Lisa Curtis from the Heritage Foundation, in a panel to discuss U.S. and Indian foreign policy perspectives as part of an all-day event at the Heritage Foundation.

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  Singh and AbeIndia and Japan: Congruence, at Last
In an article published in Asia Times Online, Junior Fellow Anirudh Suri traces the evolution of India-Japan relations and shows that very clear strategic imperatives exist for India and Japan to embark on a durable and meaningful partnership.

Menon visitGiving an Inch, Taking a Mile
In a Washington Post on May 9, Carnegie’s Sharon Squassoni comments on Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon's recent Washington visit to save the troubled U.S.-India nuclear deal. Months after Congress blessed the concept, negotiations have stalled on at least two major sticking points: India desires advance consent to extract plutonium from reactor fuel that would be provided by the U.S. and other foreign suppliers and opposes any cutoff in cooperation should it test a nuclear device again.

Views from South Asia

INDIA - Foreign Policy


Singh and Bush U.S.-India Nuclear Deal
A seminar at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies identifies the blocks hampering progress in the negotiations over the U.S.-India nuclear deal (IPCS Article No. 2307, June 2, 2007).

V. Mohan Narayan describes the new Indian proposal that seeks to end the impasse over the U.S.-India nuclear deal negotiations (Outlook India, June 8, 2007).

India-China Relations:
Jabin T. Jacob
analyzes the recent visa fracas between India and China, and the role Arunachal Pradesh plays in the Sino-Indian dispute (IPCS Article No. 2304, May 31, 2007).

Bhartendu Kumar Singh describes the role military diplomacy should, and has recently begun to, play in Sino-Indian relations (IPCS Article 2309, June 5, 2007).

India-ChinaIndia and East Asia
Subhash Kapila
analyzes East Asia's strategic geometries and identifies India's limitations in establishing a firmer strategic footprint in the region (SAAG Paper No. 2254, May 24, 2007).

Al Qaeda in India
B. Raman
sheds light on the alleged presence of Al Qaeda in India, and identifies commonalities and differences between it and terrorist outfits actively operating in India (Outlook India, June 13, 2007, free registration required).

India's Sri Lanka Policy
B. Raman
argues that “the prevailing confusion in [India's] Sri Lankan policy is due to the inability of the policy-makers in New Delhi to work out a policy mix, which would satisfactorily address fundamental questions (Outlook India, June 4, 2007).

Ajai Sahni terms India the “reluctant hegemon” and stipulates that “while Delhi battles to balance the pressures of local sentiments and strategic projections, Colombo needs absolute confidence in its intentions and capacities to resist the temptation of Chinese and Pakistani aid” (Outlook India, June 12, 2007).

Indian Foreign Service Reform
An editorial in the Hindustan Times argues that diplomacy is all about numbers and urges the expansion of the Ministry of External Affairs (Hindustan Times, June 4, 2007).

AhmadinejadIndia-Iran Relations
C. Raja Mohan
argues that “India's challenge in South West Asia is not about saving Iran from the U.S.;” rather, “it is protecting its interests in a region where the most important trend is the unfolding Saudi rivalry with Iran” (Indian Express, May 11, 2007).

G-5 Initiative
V. Mohan Narayan
describes how, seeking to take advantage of their inherent strength, the G-5 countries, including India, have agreed to explore prospects of joint collaboration in cross border investment, research and innovation, climate change, energy and development” (Outlook India, June 8, 2007).


INDIA - Domestic Politics


Three Years of the UPA Government
N.K. Singh
highlights the successes and failures during the first three years of the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government and outlines a broad agenda for the remaining term (Financial Express, June 2, 2007).

Death of Identity Politics
P.R. Ramesh
dispels the notion that identity politics is dead in Uttar Pradesh and warns that if Mayawati “fails to reconcile the conflicting aspirations of the stakeholders in the alliance, she would have presented her rivals with an opportunity for staging a comeback” (Economic Times, May 16, 2007).

MayawatiM.K. Venu describes the real challenge facing Uttar Pradesh's newly crowned electoral queen, Mayawati: Articulating her attitude to globalization, and the role of foreign capital and technology in emancipating the lot of the Dalits (Economic Times, May 15, 2007).

Inclusive Growth Debate: Medha Patkar and Amit Bhaduri worry that there is “an alarming political unanimity on pro-rich growth economics” and question whether the high rates of growth achieved through industrialization should be considered synonymous with development (Outlook India, May 27, 2007).

INDIA - Economics and Energy


Exchange Rate Debate
Swaminathan Aiyar
dispels worries and argues that the rupee isn't really rising (Economic Times, May 9, 2007) while A.V. Rajwade surveys the different sides of the exchange rate debate (Business Standard, June 11, 2007).

Alternative Investment Strategies for Forex Reserves
Swaminathan Aiyar
points out that “if developing countries invest a modest proportion of their forex reserves in global equities instead of gilts, their increased return may be 1% of GDP” and that “in India's case, that would mean an additional Rs 40,000 crore per year” (Economic Times, May 23, 2007).

Debate over CEO Compensation
Nirvikar Singh
analyzes the Ten Point Social Charter laid out by Manmohan Singh as the basis for a government-industry partnership for inclusive growth (Financial Express, May 31, 2007).

SinghP.R. Ramesh criticizes Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his clarion call to private sector titans to cut their fat pay packets to prevent the germination of social discord, arguing that Singh is simply pandering to the Left constituency, and “passing the buck” for an unfinished economic reform agenda (Economic Times, May 30, 2007).

T.T. Ram Mohan, on the other hand, urges India Inc. to heed PM's call, and outlines various reasons why his plea is not as outlandish as it is being made out to be (Economic Times, May 31, 2007). In a similar vein, Sucheta Dalal places this debate in the global context and urges Indian industrialists to not dismiss Singh's arguments outright (Financial Express, May 28, 2007).

India's New Growth Trajectory
Mythili Bhusnurmath
argues that recent growth rates provide sufficient evidence that India has finally moved to a new growth trajectory, as seen by structural changes in the economy and investment-led growth (Economic Times, June 4, 2007).

Gas Pipelines Within the WTO Framework

M.K. Venu
describes the Indian government's attempt to study the possibility of bringing cross-border gas pipelines within the ambit of the WTO, and argues that “it may be possible in the future to have WTO agreements that will make it mandatory for nations to allow passage of oil and gas across their territories via pipelines in a rule-based manner” (Economic Times, May 29, 2007).

Iran Iran-Pakistan-India Pipeline
An article in the Financial Express reports that India, Pakistan and Iran are likely to sign an agreement for a tri-nation gas pipeline by the end of July (Financial Express, June 11, 2007).

India's Water Woes

N.K. Singh
discusses the “micro aspects of India's water woes: where water and water infrastructure directly impact everyday lives of households” (Financial Express, May 20, 2007).


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BANGLADESH
HasinaAnand Kumar argues that Fakharuddin Ahmed as the head of the new caretaker government “appears to be taking political reforms further than most opposition political parties had bargained for ” (SAAG Paper No. 2248, May 15, 2007).

Mustafizur Rahman describes the complications accompanying the compilation of a legitimate voter list (Daily Star, May 31, 2007).

A.N.M. Nurul Haque argues that the caretaker government must be “allowed time to complete the uphill task of clamping down on the malignant politics” and that “any hasty decision announcing the election roadmap will inevitably led to painful results.” However, he does urge the caretaker government to “immediately lift the ban on indoor politics, allowing the political parties to go for reforms” (Daily Star, May 27, 2007)

An editorial in the Daily Star commends Army Chief Gen. Moeen for his categorical statement ruling out a military takeover or even increased involvement of the military in politics (Daily Star, May 25, 2007).

Dilara Choudhury comes out strongly in support of the recently formulated Election Commission (Political Parties Registration) Regulations, 2007, which would bring political parties into the purview of public scrutiny of their activities and increase transparency in the working of political parties (Daily Star, May 26, 2007).


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NEPAL
NepalIndra Adhikari questions why "deadlocks and debates dominate political landscape" in Nepal (Nepalnews.com, May 16, 2007).

Keshab Poudel muses over whether there is truth to CPN-Maoist leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara's statement "that Nepali people no more have the decisive power," and whether it really "is in New Delhi and Washington" (Nepalnews.com, May 30, 2007).

Laba Karki discusses the many challenges that exist for constituent assembly as they prepare to "decide the fate of the monarchy in Nepal" (Nepalnews.com, May 21, 2007).

Ritu Raj Subedi questions the actions and intentions of the U.S. in Nepal, noting that although the U.S. "supports the Maoist-included government but has not removed them from its terrorist list" (Nepalnews.com, May 10, 2007).

Bhaskar Koirala argues that "for too long Nepal has perceived itself within the narrow confines of the least-developed ‘South-Asia'" and stresses the importance of "Nepal's need for a more international foreign policy in the face of its relations with both India and China" (Nepalnews.com, June 6, 2007).

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SRI LANKA
Sri LankaB. Raman examines why the LTTE attacked the Sri Lankan naval base in the Delft Islands (SAAG Paper No. 2255, May 26, 2007) while R. Hariharan discusses the implications of May 24 attack by "the Sea Tigers, the naval arm of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)" (Daily Mirror, May 29, 2007).

N. Sathiya Moorthy addresses the "'unitary' character of the Sri Lankan state and the constitution, in the context of finding an all-agreeable solution to the 'national problem" (Daily Mirror, May 21, 2007).

R. Hariharan analyzes the merits of the SLFP's (Sri Lanka Freedom Party) proposal for a unitary state (Daily Mirror, May 19, 2007).

Sanjana Hattotuwa notes that discussing the SFLP proposals is a waste of time and argues that what is really needed is "another opportunity to foster progressive debate [to] foment public support towards the attainment of peace" (Daily Mirror, May 10, 2007).

An editorial in the Daily Mirror stresses that "the presentation of SLFP proposals has sharpened the debate" and "brought to the fore the usual deep-seated and apparently irreconcilable two main points of view prevailing over the issue" (Daily Mirror, May 7, 2007).

N. Sathiya Moorthy
 questions the logic behind the expressed interest of the Sri Lanka to revisit the "Norwegian-facilitated ceasefire agreement (CFA)"  (Daily Mirror, May 10, 2007).



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In-Depth Analysis
India

Foreign Policy and Domestic Politics: Economics and Energy: Pakistan

Nepal
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Additional Resources
IPCS Strategic Review: South Asia in May 2007

Still Some Distance To Travel, Press Briefing by Shiv Shankar Menon, Outlook India, June 2, 2007

The Ten-Point Social Charter, Address to CII by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, May 24, 2007

India's Annual and Quarterly GDP Estimates from 2004-05 to 2006-07

Challenges to Sustained Economic Growth In India, Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress, Research Report No. 110-7, May 2007


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  Editorial Staff

Editor:
Anirudh Suri, junior fellow, South Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment

Associates:
Gretchen Smith, program assistant, South Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment

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