Pakistan: Now or Never?
Perspectives on Pakistan
While much of the media attention during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Japan this week was focused on a free trade deal the two sides failed to agree on, another pact that could have even greater consequences for the region was quietly pushed through.
This was a security cooperation agreement under which India and Japan, once on opposite sides of the Cold War, will hold military exercises, police the Indian Ocean and conduct military-to-military exchanges on fighting terrorism.
It doesn’t sound very grand, but its significance lies in the fact that pacifist Japan has such a security pact with only two other countries – the United States and Australia.
And it comes in the same month that India and the United States closed a nuclear cooperation deal that won New Delhi a place on the world’s nuclear high table, ending three decades of isolation following its first nuclear tests in 1974. (more…)
You have to be living in Pakistan, or have gone through the “madness” of the last year or so to understand the despondency that is likely to be caused by the International Cricket Council’s decision to postpone next month’s Champions trophy because of security concerns, writes columnist Osman Samiuddin.
Cricket is close to most people’s hearts in South Asia, and for Pakistan to lose the game’s second most important tournament after the World Cup hurts. Yes, there is a war out there in the northwest, yes there are suicide bombings, and in the middle of all this, there is political uncertainty that can turn ugly very quickly, as has happened so often in the past.