The Great Debate (India)

India v Pakistan: Who will win?

Nothing gets bigger in this part of the globe than a cricket match featuring India and Pakistan. The rivalry would be renewed in Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final in Mohali in Punjab.

Fans of India pose ahead of the cricket World Cup 2011 quarter-final match between India and Australia in Ahmedabad March 24, 2011. REUTERS/Amit Dave/FilesPrime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani will watch the match in what is billed as “cricket diplomacy”.

According to a newspaper report, airport authorities have received requests from business tycoons, including Mukesh Ambani and fellow industrialist Vijay Mallya, to allow them to park their private jets in Chandigarh.

While politicians and Bollywood celebrities will also be in tow, there is a growing sense of anger among the ticket-seeking fans who complained of large-scale black-marketing.

Should gambling on cricket be legalised?

CRICKET-WORLD/INDIAThe Pakistan spot-fixing scandal has once again shone the spotlight on illegal betting in the sub-continent and reopened the debate on the legalisation of gambling in India.

Media reports suggest the Indian sports ministry is now examining gambling regulations in other countries, particularly the UK, in a possible move towards legalising sports gambling.

Has the Bharatiya Janata Party lost its political plot?

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday expelled former finance minister Jaswant Singh from its primary membership for praising Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah in a book.

The decision to expel Singh came after the release of his book “Jinnah – India, Partition, IndependenceINDIA/” which the BJP said went against the party ideology.

India, Pakistan reach cautious win-win perch

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By C. Uday Bhaskar

(C. Uday Bhaskar is a New Delhi-based strategic analyst. The views expressed in the column are his own)

The joint statement issued by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt on the sidelines of the NAM Summit has generated considerable comment in both countries and is being interpreted across a wide bandwidth that ranges from outright condemnation to cautious cheer.

Can Pakistan take on the Lashkar-e-Taiba?

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If Pakistan’s battle against the Taliban seems difficult, a much tougher challenge lies ahead: deciding what to do about the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group it once nurtured to fight India in Kashmir.PAKISTAN/

For security analysts, the two questions are whether the army and ISI can close down the LeT, and if they want to do so — the assumption being that this would have to be done by the country’s powerful military rather than the civilian government.

Pakistan in a maelstrom?

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udaybhaskar1( C. Uday Bhaskar is a New Delhi-based strategic analyst. The views expressed in the column are his own)

The Ides of March have been linked with deep political intrigue and pre-meditated violence and history notes that Caesar paid a very heavy price for not paying heed to the sage advice rendered unto him.

Is cricket in South Asia critically injured?

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This is not the first time cricket or cricketers were targeted in the subcontinent, especially Pakistan.

PAKISTAN-SRILANKA/SHOOTINGDespite the threat to players’ security, something which has led to postponement or cancellations of many tours, the subcontinent has always presented a united front which many will say was instrumental in the centre of gravity of world cricket shifting from England to South Asia.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Mumbai attack and Obama’s plans for Afghanistan

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As if the challenge facing President-elect Barack Obama of stabilising Afghanistan was not difficult enough, it may have just got much, much harder after the Mumbai attacks soured relations between India and Pakistan -- undermining hopes of finding a regional solution to the Afghan war.

As discussed in an earlier post, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has blamed a group outside India for the attacks which killed at least 121 people. The coordinated attacks bore the hallmarks of Pakistani-based Kashmiri militant groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which India says was set up by Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Can India-Pakistan ties withstand Mumbai bombings?

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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has blamed a group with "external linkages" for coordinated attacks which killed more than 100 people in Mumbai. The language was reminiscent of the darker days of India-Pakistan relations when India always saw a Pakistan hand in militant attacks, blaming groups it said were set up by Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, to seek revenge for Pakistan's defeat by India in the 1971 war.

An attack on India's parliament in December 2001 triggered a mass mobilisation along the two countries' borders and brought them close to a fourth war.  That attack was blamed by India on the Pakistan-based Kashmiri militant groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed - hardline Islamist groups with links to al Qaeda.  Both have been associated with the kind of "fedayeen" attacks -- in which the attackers, while not necessarily suicide bombers, are willing to fight to the death -- seen in Mumbai.

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