The Neighbourhood/World
In Naypyidaw, democracy dawns - Mayuri Mukherjee, Pioneer
Ruled by the military junta for five decades, and under a semi-military Government that secured its mandate though a rigged election for the last five years, Myanmar last week took one of its most definitive steps towards becoming a functional democracy: It swore in a new Parliament comprised mostly of civilian lawmakers brought to power through a largely free and fair election.
Changing collective mindset in Pakistan - Nadeem F Paracha, Pioneer
Today, with an unprecedented military operation against extremists in full swing, the state and the Government of Pakistan have somewhat struggled to change a collective mindset which almost automatically generates numerous ‘apologetic' voices whenever the military takes action or whenever the militants retaliate.
It Made China See Red - Khaled Ahmed, Indian Express
Islamabad’s central place of worship, the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque), has become the symbol of the contraction of the state in Pakistan. It defies the state and threatens to “update” itself to suit the murderous extremism of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.
China's military reforms have serious implications - Jayadeva Ranade, NewIndianExpress
Clearly demonstrating his authority and confidence in the New Year, Chinese President Xi Jinping began implementing the crucial second phase of military reforms announced earlier on September 3, 2015. The reorganisation and restructuring of the 2.3 million-strong People’s Liberation Army (PLA), on the drawing board since well before 2011, is the most critical reform taken up by Xi Jinping since he took over in November, 2012.
China's new model Army - Manoj Joshi, Mail Today
In January 2016, the world of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) turned upside down. This is not the consequence of revolution or coup, but a well-thought-out design to transform the land-centric PLA into a global force, patterned on that of the United States. For obvious reasons, this has implications not just for India, but the world.
Aung San Suu Kyi's lessons in nationalism - Nilanjana Sengupta, Mail Today
I was fortunate to be a part of the first Irrawaddy Literary Festival - the first of its kind Myanmar has known in perhaps half a century. It was organised at the Inya Lake Hotel, Yangon in February 2013. Winter and early spring are the traditional seasons for literary talks. This particular morning was cool, the air having lost its chilling bite, and indolent, cotton-ball clouds were reflected in the blue waters of the Inya Lake.
President Obama says Pakistan must dismantle terror networks - Mail Today
Terming the Pathankot terror strike another example of the inexcusable terrorism that India has endured for too long, US President Barack Obama on Friday demanded that Pakistan delegitimise, disrupt and dismantle terrorist networks that operate from its territory.
ISIS threatens UK in new propaganda video featuring Paris attackers' 'final messages' - Ian Johnston, Times of India
ISIS has released a video in which it appears to threaten David Cameron and the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow. The 17-minute recording purportedly shows several of the terrorists who attacked Paris in November, killing 130 people, including the so-called mastermind, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who was killed in the city by French police a few days later.
US lifts sanctions; Iran comes in from the cold - Varghese K George, Hindu
The United States on Saturday removed a wide range of sanctions against Iran after International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Tehran has met its commitments to roll back its nuclear programme, under an agreement with China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the U.S and Germany on July 14, 2015.
Saudi stokes sectarian fire by putting cleric to death - Pioneer
On January 2, 2016, the Saudi monarchy carried out one of the most horrific and detestable executions in more than three decades — 47 people, including revered Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, were put to death. The 57-year-old Shia cleric from Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province — once known as Al-Ahsa till it was invaded and occupied by the Saudi royal family after the World War I —  was known for his harsh criticism of the current Saudi ruling family.
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