July 24, 2021 15:36 (IST)
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TMC nominates former IAS and Modi critic Jawhar Sircar to Rajya Sabha | Tokyo Olympics: Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu wins silver | Kashmir: Two militants killed by security forces in Bandipora encounter | India records 39,097 new COVID-19 cases in past 24 hours | Bharat Biotech ends Covaxin supply agreements with Brazilian firms amid political row

Amidst moves towards political rapprochement in J&K, drone attacks by terrorists have serious implications

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.

Political Volatility

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’s expedient silence over the plight of Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang

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.

Health Hazard

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.

Controlled Voices

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.

Myanmar: The international community must do more to show it is not powerless

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.

Violent attacks in Afghanistan and the Maldives threaten nascent advancements on human rights and democracy

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.

The Indian Prime Minister’s upcoming visit to Dhaka promises to be a potent mix of deliverables and symbolisms

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.

Assam: Sticky Negotiations

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.

China, India, US and the significance of the Tibetan Policy and Support Act

It is too often the case in the modern world that the voices of the suppressed, especially those from numerically smaller groups, get lost in the vast hollows of apathy and self-interest that seem to have consumed the conscience of powerful nations. 

Jharkhand: Dying Embers

On January 10, 2021, two cadres of the People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), a splinter group of Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), were arrested by Security Forces (SFs) in the Lowahatu Forest area under Taibo Police Station limits in the West Singhbhum District. SFs recovered a country-made gun, a cycle, a battery charger, a wireless set, 10 mobiles and Naxal [Left Wing Extremism, LWE] literature, among other items, from their possession.

Balochistan: Cruelty, Exploitation, Deprivation

On January 3, 2021, Islamic State (IS) militants killed 11 coal miners and injured four in the Mach area of Kachi District of Balochistan. The victims belonged to the Shia Hazara minority community.

Chhattisgarh: Red Erosion

On December 29, 2020, Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres killed a civilian near Tumdikasa village under Manpur Police Station limits in Rajnandgaon District. The Maoists left a pamphlet near his body, which accused the victim of being a ‘Police informer’.

J&K: Undercutting an Opportunity

Results for 278 of the 280 District Development Council (DDC) seats, which went to poll between November 28, 2020, and December 19, 2020, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) were declared on December 22, 2020. The People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of five Kashmiri political parties, won 110 seats, followed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 75 seats; Independent, 50 seats; Indian National Congress, 26 seats; Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP), 12 seats; Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party and Peoples Democratic Front, two seats each and Bahujan Samajwadi Party, one seat.

Assam: BTC/BTR Transition

On December 15, 2020, former All Bodo Student’s Union President, Promod Bodo, of the United Peoples’ Party Liberal (UPPL), took oath as the new the Chief Executive Member (CEM) of Bodoland Territorial Council/Bodoland Territorial Region (BTC/BTR). Former National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) militant leader, Gobinda Chandra Basumatary, also of the UPPL, was sworn in as deputy CEM.