RESEARCH PAPER 3/2012
STRATEGIC GUIDANCE SOUTH ASIA – 2012:
A POINT FORM BRIEF ON POSSIBLE TRAJECTORY OF PEACE AND STABILITY
Includes India [General, Jammu and Kashmir, North East, Naxalism], Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Maldives.
South Asia is home to large and diverse people comprising of varied religions, communities, ethnicities and languages. India is the largest country in terms of geographic size, population, economy as well as political voice in regional and international forums. In the past this was seen as a challenge by other South Asian states but today many are looking towards India particularly for trade and economic assistance. Growing acceptance of India’s primacy as an agent of transformation towards peace and stability is defining trend in the region over the past few years.
Yet there are many concerns on peace and stability arising from a number of factors such as traditional rivalry between India and Pakistan, suspicions of a large state amongst smaller neighbours, weak governance, incomplete process of nation building, poor security capacity and so on which has made South Asia a global hot spot. The presence of al Qaeda in the Af Pak region has spawned many similar groups including the Afghanistan Taliban, Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar e Taiyyaba. This has resulted in the region falling in the grip of terrorism and militancy for the past many years. Deployment of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and capacity building in states such as India and Pakistan has brought down the level of violence in 2011 from an all time high in 2009. However analysts believe there is some way to go before tranquility will come to this region.
External commitment in South Asia is therefore evident in many dimensions security, economy, development and aid. This is happening through operations by the ISAF in Afghanistan, assistance in development, economic aid, political and diplomatic support and so on. To sustain this it is necessary that a holistic assessment of various vectors of stability be carried out and their impact analysed to identify likely trends for the coming year 2012 to enable shape policy by governments, financial institutions and aid agencies and large multi national corporations alike. To facilitate the same Strategic Guidance 2012 in point form has been prepared to provide an overview of all countries in South Asia including Myanmar. This is carried out in the sequence as follows:-
(a) Key Factors Peace/ Stability. What are the key factors that will affect peace and stability in each country?
(b) Principal Stake Holders. Who are the principal stake holders and spoilers?
(c) Key Drivers. Which are the key drivers for bringing about stability so that these can be supported by policy makers?
(d) Key Uncertainties. What are the key uncertainties that would have to be observed in each country?
(e) Tools Available for Shaping Peace and Stability. What are the specific tools for shaping peace and stability in 2012 in each country?
(f) Trends. What trends should be watched for in each country through the Year? This will enable the policy makers to focus on the essential trends outlined herein?
These have been lucidly covered in point form only thus may be of special use for those who are following developments in the region closely and do not want very long explanatory notes on each country.
Basic details of each country including geography, population, polity and economy and a Map have also been included for ease of reference.
We recommend before ordering please see sample format on Bhutan attached to enable you to view the type of details and manner in which these have been offered in the Paper as the Paper is for specialists and may not be useful for lay readers.
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