REGIONAL
      STUDIES
 

 Quarterly Journal of the Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad

Vol. XXXII, No. 4

Autumn 2014 

 

Click her for new page of Regional Studies

 

 CONTENTS

 

The BJP's Track to Triumph in India: A Critical Analysis

                — Yasir Masood Khan

3-50

State Building in Post-2001 Afghanistan: The Liberalization Paradox
 
                — Shahida Aman
                — Shagufta Aman
 
51-71
 
 
The Challenge of Halving Poverty by 2015: Where do India and Pakistan Stand?

               — Syed Imran Sardar

72-97

The 2014 US withdrawal - An Unsettled Quagmire for Pakistan
 
               — Lubna Sunawar

98-122

 

 

 

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Abstracts

 

The BJP’s Track to Triumph in India: A Critical Analysis

Yasir Masood Khan

 The political landscape of India witnessed a historical about-turn when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) decisively ended

the decade-long political monopoly of the Indian National Congress (INC). It goes without saying that the unprecedented victory

of the BJP in the recent elections has out-distanced even its own major success of 1998. No doubt, there are a number of crucial

factors which paved the way for its resounding success. One, of course, is the political and ideological vacuum created by the rival INC.

This said, however, this paper seeks to uncover other distinct and multifaceted factors which led to the overwhelming rise of the tide of

Hindutva, and this despite the fact that India is touted as being a secular and pluralistic democratic state.

 

Yasir Masood Khan, M. Phil, Kingston University, London, is a Research Officer at the Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad

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State-Building in Post 2001 Afghanistan: The Liberalization Paradox

Shahida Aman & Shagufta Aman

 Taking the case study of post 2001 state building in Afghanistan, this paper argues that the theory and practice of interventionist

state building in post conflict societies focus on building a liberal political and economic order, constructing formal state institutions and

improving upon their scope of functions. Both institution building and the construction of a liberal political and economic order are usually

enforced in tandem in post-intervened states. And each in its application and practice generates a set of paradoxes that inhibit the

achievements of desired state building goals. This paper explores the paradoxes in the liberal variant of state building models. Liberal

paradoxes result from external state builder’s assumption that a legitimate and effective statehood is best secured through elections,

representative government, individual freedom, an independent media, a robust civil society and a free market economy. Such an

approach – in the absence of strong formal institutions to maintain stability, lack of agreement on political rules of engagement, historically

entrenched tradition based legitimacy, cultural sensitivities and low levels of income – generates contradictions which in turn inhibit the

satisfactory performance of state building exercises. The paper applies this theoretical framework to the case of post 2001 Afghanistan.

Liberalization paradoxes have been extolled in the context of national level democratic legitimacy experiment of elections

(presidential and parliamentary) in the country.

 

Shahida Aman is Lecturer in the Department of Political Science, University of Peshawar, Pakistan. Co-Author: Shagufta Aman is Instructor in the

College of Arts & Sciences, Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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The Challenge of Halving Poverty by 2015: Where do India and Pakistan stand?

Syed Imran Sardar

 On the onset of twenty-first century, the United Nations Millennium Summit unanimously adopted a millennium declaration. The declaration

set out eight goals in which halving extreme poverty and hunger was prioritized as the goal number one. The remaining seven goals

(education; gender equality and women empowerment; reduction in child mortality; maternal health improvement; combating HIV/AIDS,

malaria & other diseases; environmental sustainability, and global partnership for development) deal with other dimensions of poverty. All the

member states (189 at that time) pledged to halve poverty levels in their respective countries between 1990 and 2015. The aim of the paper is

to provide insights into this prolonged effort. It seeks to answer the following questions: Would the target be achieved in the given time frame?

How far are India and Pakistan from attaining this goal? Are both states on the right track to accomplish this task? What are the problems

and prospects vis-à-vis poverty reduction?

 

Syed Imran Sardar is Assistant Research Officer at the Institute of Regional Studies.

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The 2014 US Withdrawal: An Unsettled Quagmire for Pakistan

Lubna Sunawar

 

 On 22 June 2011, President Barack Obama announced a drawdown plan for US. troops deployed in Afghanistan. This withdrawal plan has

undoubtedly increased the pressure on international community to seek a viable solution for the unsettled political turmoil in Afghanistan. However,

in spite of the 30,000 US and 1,000 coalition troop surge in 2010, instability, insecurity, poor governance and economic underdevelopment persist

in Afghanistan. Furthermore, it is widely assumed that ISAF-NATO have not been successful in fully preparing and training the Afghan army to take

over responsibility for defending the country once the US. led coalition withdraws from Afghanistan. In addition, Taliban forces are coming back to

the fore with full vigor and potency and they not only control large areas within Afghanistan but can also exert influence across the border in Pakistan.

Pakistan will be a central player in the post 2014 scenario and its internal dynamics are likely to be affected by the uncertain situation in Afghanistan

after 2014.

 

Lubna Sunawar is a PhD Scholar at Peace and Conflict Studies (PCS), National Defence University (NDU), Islamabad.

 

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