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  • Author: Venkat Dhulipala
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: India International Centre (IIC)
  • Abstract: Towards the end of a rather long day of research in the Oriental and India Office Collections at the British Library in London, I stumbled upon a rather unexpected document in the private papers of Qaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah (Dhulipala, 2014:1). The handwritten document, with its ink fading, was the record of a special séance with Jinnah’s spirit held on 13 March 1955, nearly seven years after his death and eight years after the birth of Pakistan. The séance was conducted against the backdrop of Pakistan’s first constitutional crisis, by a spiritualist hired by a government officer, a certain Mr. Ibrahim who was at hand to direct the questions. After initial pleasantries, Jinnah’s spirit was solicitously asked if it wanted to smoke a cigarette since in life the Great Leader had been a heavy smoker. On the basis of an affirmative answer, a cigarette was lit and fixed on a wire stand for the spirit to smoke while it answered questions. Mr. Ibrahim began, ‘Sir, as a creator and father of Pakistan, won’t you guide the destiny of the nation now?’ The spirit reacted testily saying that it was not its responsibility to guide Pakistan’s destiny any more. A worried Mr. Ibrahim enquired, ‘Don’t you think there is a prosperous future for Pakistan?’ The spirit responded icily, ‘I don’t think so. Prosperity of a country depends on the selflessness of people who control its Destiny. None at all is eager to be selfless there.’ Mr. Ibrahim pressed further. ‘What advice would you give to the present rulers of Pakistan?’ Prompt came the response: ‘Selflessness, selflessness. That is the only advice I can give them now.’ Jinnah’s spirit then made a telling remark.‘ It is easier to acquire a country, but it is extremely difficult to retain it. That in a nutshell is the present position of Pakistan to gain which rivers of blood flowed.’ As the interview drew to an end, Mr. Ibrahim finally asked ‘How are you spending your time nowadays?’ Jinnah’s spirit replied gloomily, ‘Not very well friend. Evil pictures regarding Pakistan are badly in my mind every now and then and I cannot live in mental peace here.’
  • Topic: Religion, History, Spiritualism, Spirituality, Libraries
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, India
  • Author: Mari Luomi
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS), Georgetown University in Qatar
  • Abstract: Growth in Qatar in the past decade has been tremendous: the total population has increased by one million and the economy has grown four-fold, leading to the skyrocketing of energy and water demand and greenhouse gas emissions.2 This research paper argues that a crucial question in need of answering is: how important is the environment for Qatar? Fast growth in population and natural resource consumption, together with a pronounced emphasis on economic growth, have had devastating impacts on the country’s environmental and sustainability performance. Recently ranked as the country with the world’s highest ecological footprint,3 Qatar urgently needs to balance its natural resource use with the local environmental and ecosystem limits so as to ensure prosperity for its people and the environment far into the future. The same question applies to Qatar’s neighboring monarchies, which share very similar economic and demographic dynamics as well as similar political and climatic conditions.
  • Topic: Environment, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Qatar
  • Author: Neera Chandhoke
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: India International Centre (IIC)
  • Abstract: In 1989–90, the Valley of Kashmir erupted in a series of violent protests. The scale and the intensity of the protests involving bomb explosions, closures, strikes, arson, attacks on government offices, bridges and buses, and murders, took everyone by surprise. It seemed to have even astonished the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) which had initiated and spurred the popular unrest in the Valley. For instance, on 1 March 1990, a crowd of more than one million from every part of the Valley, many wrapped in shrouds, gathered at the headquarters of the UN Military Observers Group in Srinagar and there was only one demand on their lips—freedom or azaadi. 1 If the JKLF was astonished at the intensity of anger against the Government of India (GOI), presumably the members of the Indian political establishment were also taken aback. The political elite seemed to have forgotten that the accession of the state to India in 1947 was disputed by many. They also seemed to have forgotten the special conditions on which the state had acceded to India. But now the people of Kashmir had stood up, spoken back to history, and refused to accept the way in which their state had been treated since 1947, through a combination of corruption, mis-governance, electoral mismanagement, closing off of the political space to new political agents, and violations of democracy by the Government of India and the regional government. This paved the way for the slide into political violence.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Nationalism, United Nations, Sectarian violence, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Douglas Saltmarshe, Abhilash Medhi
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU)
  • Abstract: This report finds that insufficient attention has been given to local governance in Afghanistan, despite the fact that most Afghan citizens encounter the state in provinces and districts. This neglect is inhibiting the significant efforts made in Kabul from having much impact on the ground. The research was undertaken over a 14 month period finishing in December 2010. It took place in 47 districts of Samangan, Jawzjan, Sar-i-Pul, Laghman, Wardak and Day Kundi Provinces, with additional time spent in two districts of Helmand. Key findings are presented under the following themes: Local Government Administration, Security and Justice, Service Delivery, and Representation.
  • Topic: Governance
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Felix Reategui-Carrillo
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: India International Centre (IIC)
  • Abstract: The main focus of my presentation will be the experience of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Peru, which worked for 26 months, from 2001 until 2003, in order to investigate the period of armed struggle and terrorism undergone by my country during the 1980s and the 1990s. It might be useful to mention that the decision to create a truth commission in Peru during those years, as well as the methods and purposes of this commission’s work, were closely related to the field that is now widely known as ‘transitional justice’. Working under the assumption that past wrongdoings cannot simply fall into oblivion, because victims always remember, and that the building of strong and sustainable democracies demands some action against impunity and a significant degree of satisfaction to the victims, many societies around the world have embarked for the past few decades in the recovering of truth and the delivering of justice, which includes criminal trials and reparations for the victims. Among the ideas related to the process of dealing with the past, the notion of reconciliation is possibly one of the most problematic since it admits a wide variety of definitions. Some of these are related to forgiveness of serious crimes for the sake of peace and of bringing together mutually aggrieved parties, while some emphatically demand the realization of justice as a previous step to any kind of societal understanding.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Transitional Justice, Truth
  • Political Geography: Peru
  • Author: Dilip K. Chakrabarti
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: India International Centre (IIC)
  • Abstract: The question 'who owns the past' is not a rhetorical question. On the one hand, itis tied to the issue of identities, which have played a major role in archaeological research since its very inception, and on the other, it is bound up with the various features of cultural resource management including the thorny relationship between mainstream archaeology and the rights of indigenous people in countries like the USA, Australia and Canada. There is a vast amount of literature on both themes. The first one, i.e. the question of identity, is linked to the establishment of national identity as well as various other collective identities like gender, ethnicity and religion. The issue of identity may assume many forms and generatemany debates. In the context of Israel and the Palestinian territory, it has been argued/ for instance, that there are four types of 'desired pasts' there: (1) the Israeli desired past which is sought by the Israeli state and the Jewish organizations of the United States; (2) the conservative Christian past which is championed by the Christian fundamentalist organizations, the American School of Oriental Research and the Biblical Archaeological Society; (3) the Palestinian desired past, favoured by the Palestinian rights organizations and Palestinian archaeologists and intellectuals; and finally, (4) the diplomatic desired past, as represented by the appointed officials of the US State department.
  • Topic: Religion, History, Israel, Judaism, Christianity, Civilization, Palestine
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Floortje Klijin, Adam Pain
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU)
  • Abstract: It is widely believed that there is a strong demand for credit in Afghanistan and that much of this demand is unmet, justifying a major programme in microcredit provision. But there is very little understanding of the extent and the workings of informal credit systems, particularly outside opium poppy growing areas. Is there such an absence of credit available to poor rural households as is assumed? Do microfinance and informal credit respond to the same needs? Is informal credit simply the same thing as formal credit, except that it takes place outside formal institutions? And if there is more informal credit available than is believed, what does this mean for the development and role of formal credit systems? These key questions informed a detailed anthropological study of informal credit practices in three contrasting villages in Herat, Ghor and Kapisa. Drawing from a detailed presentation of eight households case studies, and amplified with addition case material, a number of key conclusions can be drawn from the findings.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Monetary Policy, Microcredit, Rural, Money, Demand, Credit
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, South Asia
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: The study includes three main interrelated issues, reflecting Bulgaria’s approaches and interests in preserving and developing a particular set of partnerships in South East Europe with the purpose of continuing the trend of the region’s modernisation in the fields of economy, infrastructure, technology, society and politics: first, the balancing between the special pragmatic relations of the United States with Bulgaria, and the EU integration of the country and the region; second, reaching a higher quality of NATO and EU memberships as a vehicle of pushing ahead the processes of regional emancipation, and, third, the specific regional consequences of the country’s membership in NATO and soon – in the EU
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus