Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
As the Taliban insurgents overran Afghanistan, some from the Muslim community in India celebrated the prospect of a hardline Islamic nation's rebirth after two decades. But thinking minds of the same community in India are red-flagging such outpourings as meaningless, irrelevant and muddled.
United States (US) Army Major General Chris Donahue, Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, became the last US service member to leave Afghanistan, when he boarded a C-17 transport plane at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on August 30, 2021. The last US troops thus left Afghan soil exactly 12-days before the September 11, 2021, deadline originally set by the US President Joe Biden, and a day before Biden’s revised date for the mission’s end and evacuation, August 31.
On August 13, 2021, a combined Police team of East Khasi Hills and East Jaintia Hills had gone to Mawlai-Kynton Massar locality in Shillong (East Khasi Hills District) to arrest former Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) ‘general secretary’ from his home. However, the former militant resisted and held a knife forcing the police to shot in self-defense leading to his death.
Psychologists have identified a condition which affects people who are repeatedly exposed to the suffering of others. They call it compassion fatigue.
On June 29, 2021, Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres abducted and killed a villager, identified as Bhagchand Adme (45), a resident of Bamhani village under the Bithali Police outpost, situated near the Kanha National Park, in Balaghat District. A hand-written pamphlet was found near his body, claiming that Bhagchand was an ‘informer’ and was therefore ‘sentenced to death.’ Balaghat, Superintendent of Police (SP), Abhishek Tiwari, disclosed that cadres of the Malanjkhand ‘area committee’ were suspected to be behind Adme’s killing.
The past few days have seen a spurt of activities relating to Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), some of which carry the potential to have a significant bearing on how the coming months and years pan out in the troubled region.
In a big blow to Prime Minister K. P. Sharma Oli on June 22, 2021, the Supreme Court (SC) quashed the appointments of 20 Ministers, including 17 Cabinet Ministers and three Ministers of State, citing Article 77 (3) of the Constitution. The SC order declared,
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent interview where he displays excruciating coyness not to say anything even remotely critical of let alone offensive to China about its torturous treatment of the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang Province has received considerable media attention.
On June 15, 2021: Five health workers were killed and another four wounded in five separate shooting incidents during a polio vaccination drive in Nangarhar Province. Ataullah Khogyani, spokesperson for the provincial Governor disclosed that the incidents occurred when unknown gunmen fired on the polio vaccination teams in the provincial capital, Jalalabad city, and suburban districts of Khogiani and Surkh Rod.
On May 25, 2021, Islamabad-based journalist and blogger Asad Ali Toor was attacked in the federal capital city of Islamabad. Initial reports indicated that unidentified assailants broke into his house and physically assaulted the journalist. In 2020, Toor was booked on charges of spreading “negative propaganda” against the state and its institutions, including the Pakistan Army, through his social media posts.
The tendency towards authoritarianism, the flagrant disregard for painstakingly agreed rules and conventions of international order, the denigration of human rights across wide and dispersed geographies, and the seeming inability of those tasked with preventing these to do so has meant that events such as the hijacking of international aircraft by the State and the killing of dissidents on foreign shores, to name just a few, have today begun to appear commonplace.
Only the harshest and most forceful terms would be fitting to describe terrorist attacks that specifically target children, no matter in which part of the world.
Indian Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi is slated to travel to Bangladesh on 26 March for what will be his second visit as PM to the neighbouring country. Modi’s first visit to Dhaka in June 2015 had, by all accounts, been a very successful one. The two countries had signed as many as 22 agreements, and followed that up with the exchange in August 2015 of 162 land enclaves. This addressed a long overdue process of land and population exchanges that had been hanging fire since the 1950s. The 2015 visit had paved the way for closer strategic ties between the two countries. As productive as that visit was, the forthcoming one promises to better it owing to a variety of factors.
On February 23, 2021, a total of 1,040 militants surrendered before Assam Chief Minister (CM) Sarbananda Sonowal. Prominent among these were the ‘chairman’ of the People's Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK), Ingti Kathar Songbijit; ‘chairman’ of the Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), P. Dilli; and ‘commander-in-chief’ of the Donri Kramsa-led faction of Karbi People's Liberation Tiger (KPLT), S. J. Ejang.