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Taj Hashmi Professor, Security Studies Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies Honolulu, HI 96815

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Presentation on theme: "Taj Hashmi Professor, Security Studies Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies Honolulu, HI 96815"— Presentation transcript:

1 Taj Hashmi Professor, Security Studies Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies Honolulu, HI

2 South Asia: Political Geography

3 Geographical DiversityCountry Population (million) Size (sq km) Afghanistan 27.1 million (UN, 2007) 647,500 (slightly smaller than Texas) Bangladesh 153,546,901 (July 2008 est.) 153,546,901 (July 2008 est.) 144,000 (slightly smaller then Iowa) 144,000 (slightly smaller then Iowa) Bhutan 682,321 (2005 est.) 47,000 (About one half of the size of Indiana) India 1,147,995,898 (July 2008 est.) 1,147,995,898 (July 2008 est.) 3,287,590 (lightly more than one- third the size of the US ) 3,287,590 (lightly more than one- third the size of the US ) Maldives 379,174 (July 2008 est.) 300 (about 1.7 times the size of Washington, D.C.) Nepal 29,519,114 (July 2008 est.) 147,181 (slightly larger than Arkansas) Pakistan 167,762,040 (July 2008 est.) 803,940 (Slightly less than twice the size of CA) Sri Lanka 21,128,773 65,610 (slightly larger than West VA)

4 South Asia’s biggest threat comes from within South Asian “Subcontinent” from Afghanistan to Bangladesh home to more than 1.5 billion ethno-religiously and linguistically diverse people Around 50% illiterate, 40% living below the Poverty Line Home to Authoritarian regimes and Flawed Democracy South Asia struggling with itself, countries fear most their own neighbors

5 Postcolonial Syndrome: Lack of mutual trust, respect & accountability Understanding of “Postcolonialism” essential: Bad governance, poverty and corruption: the chicken and egg story – Unaccountability, a colonial legacy Ethno-national insurgencies, separatism, terrorism, narco-terrorism, religious extremism, Maoism are by-products of bad governance Ethnic (racial) & religious divide & acute regionalism – Hindu-Muslim, Punjabi-Bengali, Southern-Northern, eastern-Western Uneven distribution of wealth & opportunities ; Water & food scarcity; uneven growth & development due to prejudice, neglect and artificial states / regions

6 South Asia’s Security Threats: Interstate & Intrastate Interstate Conflicts: India vs. Pakistan – Kashmir, the mother of all Indo-Pakistan conflicts, the Legacy of the Partition of 1947, or problems of artificial statehood India vs. Bangladesh, India vs. Nepal. India vs. Sri Lanka and Pakistan vs. Afghanistan Intrastate Conflicts: Hindu vs. Muslim, Northeast India vs. New Delhi, Northwest vs. North India – Advanced vs. Backward NWFP-FATA and Baluchistan and Sind – Punjabis vs. Others, Sindhis vs. Indian Muslim Immigrants in Pakistan– East Pakistan vs. West Pakistan led to Bangladesh (1971) Tamil vs. Sinhalese in Sri Lanka led to 26-year-long civil war

7 South Asia’s Transnational Security Threats (I) Non-State Actors’ Game: Transnational crime, insurgencies, terrorism, narco-terrorism the biggest security challenges for South Asia – Across Afghanistan-Pakistan-India-Bangladesh-Myanmar Internal factors: Marginalization of people, discrimination against ethno-national-religious-linguistic groups –Religious and Secular/communist insurgencies due to alienation of people Artificial states and problem of identity: Common race, language, religion, sect, ideology unite people across the borders– Kashmir, Afghanistan, NWFP/FATA, Baluchistan, Northeast India, Southeastern Bangladesh, Southwestern Myanmar By-products of proxy wars: Bleed the “enemy nation”, often backfires, – Kashmir, Baluchistan, NWFP, Assam, Southeast Bangladesh

8 South Asia’s Transnational Security Threats (II) Narco-Islamist Terrorism: Drug-mafia, warlord and Taliban-al- Qaeda nexus, Dawood Ibrahim, Lashkar-e-Taiyeba (LET) and Mumbai Massacre (November 2008) Exploitation of Ethno-National & Religious Causes: Kashmir, Pashtun Identity, Baluchistan, Refugee / Displaced / Marginalized people’s vulnerability exploited in the name of religion & nationalism, Maoism is the latest threat in India, Bangladesh and Nepal Transnational Security Threats transcend national boundaries: They go beyond South Asia– Russia, Chechnya, Dagestan, Central Asia, Middle East, Xinjiang, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines HUJI, JMB, LeT, JeM, Afghan Taliban, Pakistani Taliban (TTP), Jemah Islamiya, MILF (Southeast Asia) – Drug-Arms-Ideology

9 “India-Pakistan-Afghanistan-Myanmar Factors” and the Failing State Syndrome: What is to be done? (I) India having bad to very bad relations with all its neighbors – India and Pakistan’s proxy war in Afghanistan Need to mend fences and resolve internal problems, including Kashmir Afghanistan going beyond control: Drug not Taliban-al-Qaeda the biggest security threat Afghanistan needs good / accountable government – Pashtun majority must get due share in government Afghanistan’s $750 million annul revenue & paltry foreign aid inadequate against Taliban-al Qaeda-Drug-lords’ billions of dollars

10 “India-Pakistan-Afghanistan-Myanmar Factors” and the Failing State Syndrome: What is to be done (II) Pakistan must ensure equal opportunity to minorities and gradually de-Islamize the polity and must contain Dawood Ibrahim Group and Islamists & ambitious generals Myanmar should stop persecuting Rohingya Muslim, Karen and other minorities -- China must be engaged to contain Myanmar Iran, Saudi Arabia must be engaged to contain Islamism Good governance must be ensured in South Asia, especially Afghanistan – “American War” must become “Everyone’s War” beyond the NATO – Human Security not Guns alone can ensure security


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