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Bi-polarity of Afghan peace talks

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By Kashi N Pandita

In anticipation of US-led NATO force drawdown from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, political circles are hotly debating contours of impending regional realignments. Regional states are evaluating its impact. For example, far away from the epicentre of Afghan war zone, a local potentate in war-torn Kashmir, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, now a Minister in the Union Cabinet of India, raised alarm that induction of Taliban into power sharing mechanism in Kabul, in whatever form after the drawdown, is likely to pose serious challenge to territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Indian administered State of Jammu and Kashmir. How much real is the threat, and how far can its arm reach, are questions that merit objective analysis.   Continue Reading…

Democracy, the Indian style

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By K.N. Pandita

Long before independence actually dawned upon us on 15 August 1947— the day we were told was of our tryst with destiny—-Indian National Congress, spearheading the freedom movement, had decided that independent India would be a secular, egalitarian and democratic republic.

Two factors prompted the pioneers of freedom movement to opt for democracy. One was their personal experience of British democracy as the best known form of government since many among them had their education in UK. The second factor was the heterogeneity of the Indian society. Only democratic arrangement could keep the flock together. Theoretically speaking this was correct.   Continue Reading…