We vacation hard, my family. Ideally three weeks, and always a home rental, never a hotel. We settle in like we own the place, and have always owned the place. We start with a grocery store, a thrift shop for toys, a visit to the local library. We scope out playgrounds and children’s classes, make some friends, set up play dates.
The Google map I create during my research phase is color-coded, layered, intricate. We set up temporary lives everywhere from Greece to Japan. On our last trip, to Oahu, Hawaii, we did five grocery runs and nine loads of laundry, and spent the rest of the time washing dishes.… Seguir leyendo »
En una maniobra desconcertante el Gobierno de Narendra Modi ha revocado la autonomía del Estado de Jammu y Cachemira, el único de mayoría musulmana en la India. Un movimiento que ha sorprendido, no tanto por la medida en sí, una reivindicación histórica del nacionalismo hindú, como por el proceder abrupto, desentendiéndose de cualquier posibilidad de diálogo con las partes afectadas.
Cachemira es un enclave disputado sobre el que concurren los intereses nacionales y geoestratégicos de tres potencias nucleares: India, China y Pakistán, cada una de ellas con reivindicaciones territoriales sobre el país colindante. El origen del conflicto se remonta a la descolonización británica del subcontinente.… Seguir leyendo »
After I was elected prime minister of Pakistan last August, one of my foremost priorities was to work for lasting and just peace in South Asia. India and Pakistan, despite our difficult history, confront similar challenges of poverty, unemployment and climate change, especially the threat of melting glaciers and scarcity of water for hundreds of millions of our citizens.
I wanted to normalize relations with India through trade and by settling the Kashmir dispute, the foremost impediment to the normalization of relations between us.
On July 26, 2018, in my first televised address to Pakistan after winning the elections, I stated we wanted peace with India and if it took one step forward, we would take two steps.… Seguir leyendo »
President Trump appears determined to forgive his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine. Unfortunately, the new Ukrainian leadership’s foreign policy failures aren’t helping.
Earlier this year, Ukrainians voted in President Volodymyr Zelensky on a wave of hope and optimism. Many abroad were cautiously optimistic as well: At a time when democracy doesn’t seem to be faring well in the world, a victory for a progressive anti-establishment movement in Ukraine was refreshing. Three months after his inauguration, the domestic enthusiasm is still there. But Zelensky’s attempt to reboot Ukrainian foreign policy has been a disaster — and it is helping Putin’s global push to rehabilitate himself.… Seguir leyendo »
Every summer in Kashmir begins with the question of fate. The sun, having traveled through a long, dormant winter, stretches wide open to mark the return of color and noise, electricity and traffic, cricket, weddings, song and gluttony in our gardens. Desire and humor ride through town and for a moment we meet life, not as it is known to be but perhaps as it was meant to be, before the dice is rolled yet again: What will light the fire this time?
Around midnight on Aug. 4, the night before India’s Hindu nationalist government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi unilaterally erased Kashmir’s autonomy, Srinagar, the largest city in Indian-controlled Kashmir, my home, and other parts of the Valley of Kashmir were beginning to be sealed into a valley of soldiers and checkpoints between which laid quiet, dimly lit homes, like mine, with their internet, phone lines and cable television severed.… Seguir leyendo »
Fifty years ago this month, the British government sent troops to Northern Ireland to impose control as relations broke down between Protestants and Catholics. The ensuing violence, known as “the Troubles,” lasted 33 years and led to over 3,000 deaths, including 1,617 in Belfast alone. Why did Northern Ireland — a jurisdiction of an advanced industrial nation — suffer such sustained violence? In new research, we examine one important factor. Catholics and Protestants lived side by side, but they had very few social or economic ties across the communities. This meant geographic proximity bred violence instead of mutual tolerance.
The Troubles were sparked by tit-for-tat violence
To understand the Northern Ireland conflict, you need to know a little history.… Seguir leyendo »
Dans la période difficile que connaît actuellement le nord-est de la Syrie, la position et le rôle de la France sont d’une importance cruciale pour nous, Kurdes, Arabes et chrétiens qui avons vaincu l’EI et libéré toute cette région de son joug.
Daesh représentait un immense danger pour la Syrie et le Moyen-Orient, mais aussi pour le reste du monde. C’est pourquoi la France a été victime – comme d’autres pays – du terrorisme et que nombre d’innocents ont péris dans les attentats menés sur son sol. C’est grâce à nos victoires militaires – celles des Forces démocratiques syriennes – et aux 36 000 tués et blessés dans nos rangs pendant les sept années de cette guerre terrible, que la défaite de l’EI a pu être annoncée officiellement le 23 mars.… Seguir leyendo »
El apresamiento y posterior liberación, por parte de las autoridades británicas de Gibraltar, del superpetrolero iraní con bandera panameña Grace 1 en aguas cercanas al Peñón, ha devuelto a la actualidad la cuestión de las aguas que circundan Gibraltar. Según se ha informado, la captura fue motivada por el supuesto incumplimiento del Reglamento de la Unión Europea, relativo a las medidas restrictivas sobre Siria, país sujeto a sanciones por parte de la UE. El superpetrolero entró en las aguas que rodean el Peñón, aguas que tanto el Reino Unido como España consideran propias. El Gobierno español presentó una queja formal al Reino Unido por su intervención en dichas aguas, al suponer una violación de la soberanía española.… Seguir leyendo »
As India celebrates her 73rd year of independence from British rule, ragged children thread their way through traffic in Delhi, selling outsized national flags and souvenirs that say, “Mera Bharat Mahan.” My India is Great. Quite honestly, it’s hard to feel that way right now, because it looks very much as though our government has gone rogue.
Last week it unilaterally breached the fundamental conditions of the Instrument of Accession, by which the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India in 1947. In preparation for this, at midnight on Aug. 4, it turned all of Kashmir into a giant prison camp.… Seguir leyendo »
In the run-up to his election victory in 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised a form of federalism that was “co-operative, not coercive.” The statement solidified a long-term trend of Indian leaders who have been willing to recognize the country’s regional diversity. Though the central government once regularly dismissed state governments — 95 times between 1966 and 1996 — such practices seemed a thing of the past. State governments became more likely to serve out their terms, and the central government seemed more amendable to seeking compromises with local leaders. Even the troubled state of Kashmir saw free and fair elections and a steep decline in violence between 2001 and 2017.… Seguir leyendo »
India’s controversial move to pull the autonomy of the disputed region of Kashmir marks a major moment in the regional politics of South Asia. The decision, as political scientist Ahsan Butt explained here at TMC this week, was motivated by Indian domestic politics — but its implications will reach beyond India. It will force a number of countries, including Pakistan, China, and the United States, to recalibrate their foreign policies — and other key players, such as al-Qaeda, will watch developments closely.
Will this increase conflict in South Asia? Here are four key things to watch.
1. The India-Pakistan rivalry is likely to worsen
Contention over Kashmir broke out soon after the British partitioned India into two countries in 1947.… Seguir leyendo »
Pakistani kids are taught in and out of school that Kashmir is our “shah rug” (jugular vein). Indians believe that Kashmir is their “atoot ang” (indispensable body part). Urdu and Persian poetry is full of paeans to the beauty of Kashmir. If there is paradise on earth, “it is this, it is this, it is this,” the 14th-century poet Amir Khusro wrote. Since the time of Partition, 72 years ago, India and Pakistan have been fighting wars over Kashmir and calling each other the occupier and the oppressor of the Kashmiris.
Occasionally, there have been halfhearted pledges that the Kashmiri people should probably get to do what they want with their paradise.… Seguir leyendo »
Kashmir, over which India and Pakistan have fought four wars since the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, has been the battleground for competing, conflicting ideologies. For Pakistan, the Muslim majority Jammu and Kashmir was a critical missing piece in its positioning of itself as the South Asian Muslim homeland. For India, the state became the symbol of secularism for India in its post-colonial nation-building project.
But with the rise and rise of India’s Hindu nationalists, the very idea of India is being redefined and repurposed. To assert this redefining of India as a muscular, majoritarian nation state, there could have been no better place than Kashmir: a United Nations-endorsed, internationally accepted, disputed territory with a Muslim majority fighting an armed insurgency against the Indian state for the last 30 years.… Seguir leyendo »
After a week of rumors and misinformation, on Monday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government announced changes to the constitutional and legal status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). There are two principal components: (1) scrapping Article 370 and the associated Article 35-A of the Indian constitution, which govern Kashmir’s relationship with the Indian Union, and (2) geographically splitting J&K and administrating it as a “Union Territory.”
These changes could have important political consequences, including increased instability and unrest in the region.
1. Jammu and Kashmir is losing its autonomy.
The Indian government’s constitutional and legal relationship with J&K is complicated by history.… Seguir leyendo »
Monday marked a devastating turning point in India’s long-standing occupation of Kashmir.
Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday informed the Parliament of a presidential order revoking Article 370, which gave the state of Jammu and Kashmir special status within the Indian Constitution. The article was instituted by India’s early leadership to give a certain degree of autonomy to its only Muslim-majority state — one it had incorporated without the consent of its people, who would have preferred independence or accession to Pakistan.
As a number of Indian historians and legal experts have noted, the presidential order is essentially unconstitutional. Article 370 is the only legal link between India and the disputed state; for it to be revoked, it has to be approved concurrently by the Jammu and Kashmir constituent assembly, which was dissolved in 1956.… Seguir leyendo »
In less than one hour, without any real debate inside India’s Parliament, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi upended 72 years of policy and changed the course of Kashmir’s history.
The sudden decision on Monday to withdraw the historic special status to Jammu and Kashmir, constitutionally mandated under what is called Article 370, was taken while several elected representatives in the state were placed under house arrest and mobile and Internet services were cut off. The disruptive move was not preceded by any consultations with any political or civil society members. Nor was there any warning to the public about the most momentous paradigm shift India has ever seen in domestic policy on Kashmir.… Seguir leyendo »
The election of Volodymyr Zelenskyi as president of Ukraine has spurred hopes that an end to the war in the east of the country – pitting the Russian-backed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ (DNR) and the ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’ (LNR) against the authorities in Kyiv – is possible. A Russian-speaker from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kriviy Rih and an outsider untainted with the failures of his predecessors, Zelenskyi has, according to some, a chance to reset the bilateral relationship.
Such optimism is unfounded. The principal driver of the crisis – the refusal of Russia’s leaders to accept the sovereignty of Ukraine – is unchanged.… Seguir leyendo »
Five years into a war in its east, Ukraine has elected an unlikely new president: professional comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyy. To date, Zelenskyy has hinted at both dialogue with and new punitive measures against Ukraine’s formidable neighbour to the east, but offered little in the way of specific plans for either course of action. Some Ukrainians fear that Moscow might take advantage of this seeming hesitancy to cement its influence in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (D/LPR) – the breakaway statelets in eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists since 2014. In April, after Zelenskyy’s election, but before his inauguration, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree making it easier for D/LPR residents to obtain Russian citizenship.… Seguir leyendo »
Hace cinco años este mes, una escuadrilla de “hombrecitos verdes” (soldados sin ninguna insignia nacional) tomó el control de una estación de policía en Sloviansk, una pequeña ciudad del óblast de Donetsk en el este de Ucrania. Así empezó la segunda etapa de la campaña de Rusia para desmembrar a Ucrania, después de su ilegal anexión de Crimea en marzo de aquel año. Como dejaron en claro las declaraciones mismas del Kremlin en aquel tiempo, el objetivo de Rusia era establecer un miniestado semiindependiente (“Novorossiya” o “Nueva Rusia”) en el sur de Ucrania y reducir el resto del país a una suerte de Gran Galitzia.… Seguir leyendo »
At their first official summit on 29 March, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan exchanged views on several key issues relating to the settlement process and ‘ideas of substance’. They committed themselves to maintaining the ceasefire, developing humanitarian measures and the continuation of direct dialogue. This follows on from the surprising announcement by the OSCE Minsk Group in January that Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Elmar Mammadyarov had agreed on the necessity of preparing their peoples for peace.
These outcomes sustain a positive outlook for the long-stagnant peace talks. Leadership rapport is of course crucial.… Seguir leyendo »