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Nepal: Terai-Based Militancy and Its Transnational Implications

Nepal: Terai-Based Militancy and Its Transnational Implications
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  ii Peace and Security Review Vol.2, No.2, Second Quarter, 2009Vol. 2, No. 1 2009 pp. i-vi Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS)  House No.: 405, Road No.: 06, DOHS, BaridharaDhaka-1212, BangladeshTelephone: 8849092-93Fax: 880-2-8849092 Ext: 111E-mail: Copyright © Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS)No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored, in a retrieval system, ortransmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, orotherwise, without permission of the Editor of the Journal.ISSN 1994-2052Subscription Rates (including air mail charge)Single Copy: Tk. 400.00 / US$ 35.00Annual: Tk. 1600.00 / US$ 140.00Published by the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS).Produced by Abarton and printed at the Akota Offset Press, 119 FakirapoolDhaka-1000, Bangladesh.  Contents iiiVol. 2, No. 1 2009 pp. i-vi Peace and Security Review Vol.2, No.2, Second Quarter, 2009, pp. iii   Contents Editor’s Note   v   Summaries   ix  Nepal: Terai-Based Militancy and Its TransnationalImplications 1   Nishchal N. Pandey Taliban on the March: Threat Assessment and SecurityImplications for the Region 18   Safdar Sial Pragmatism within Dogma: The Hidden Strategy ofGlobal  Jihad    36   Hrishiraj Bhattacharjee The Security Dimensions of Climate Change 53   Obayedul Hoque Patwary  President George W Bush and Beginnings of the Waron Terror 87    James Veitch    Editor’s Note vVol. 2, No. 1 2009 pp. i-vi Peace and Security Review Vol.2, No.2, Second Quarter, 2009, pp. v-vii   Editor’s Note Peace may be a pre-requisite for security, but it often is not a sufficientcondition for ensuring the latter. The two categories  ⎯  peace and security-occasionally used interchangeably are, nevertheless, distinct if mutuallydependent phenomena. The phrase, ‘peace of the graveyard,’ has been usedto describe the status of the Bosnian city of Srebrenica after more than 8,000men and boys from the area were herded by Serb militias and killed in coldblood during the civil war which pulverised the former Yugoslavia.This is not to say that peace and security cannot co-exist. In fact, theymust; without one, the other is incomplete, hollow and transient. However,especially since al-Qaeda’s attacks on New York and Washington on the 11 th  of September, 2001, the discourse on security has been almost mono-culturalin focus on varieties and versions of Islamist extremism. For some years sincethe US invasion of Iraq in 2003, that theatre of operations was conflated withthe anti-al-Qaeda campaign mounted by the USA; over the past year or so,Afghanistan, where most of it began in the late 1970s and early 1980s, hasbecome the pre-eminent motif.Despite a shift of tactical focus, change of rhetoric, and even an apparenttransfer of emphases, the international system currently displays neitherpeace nor security. It could, in fact, be argued that somewhat akin to thecertitudes of the Cold War’s bipolar frigidity, the late Bush Administration’s‘Global War on Terror/ism’ did lend some appearance of sharpness andstructure to the fundamental fluidity of the post-Cold War security milieu.Now that the ‘Long War’ has, at least semantically, supplanted the GWOT,and the Obama Administration is actively engaging some so-called ‘roguestates,’ and ‘pariah entities,’ the loss of consistency has occasionally led toquestions about meaning and purpose.This is significant on several counts. Although some analysts have alreadydecided that the United States is decidedly on its way down from its perch ofsystemic pre-eminence and that China is about to go head-to-head with this‘sole superpower,’ many Chinese themselves have noted with cogency that  vi Peace and Security Review Vol.2, No.1, First Quarter, 2009Vol. 2, No. 1 2009 pp. i-vi despite this dialectic dynamic reshaping the system, the United States is, andwill remain for a long time, the pre-eminent actor in it; they also note thatChina’s ability to mount a challenge is very modest. Most importantly, Chineseparty-political and military leaders have consistently vouched a lack ofinterest and ability to mount such a challenge in the first place. With so muchevidence to hand, the international security community could perhaps grantthe systemic order a bit more time than has been suggested in recent years.Assuming, then, that the current hierarchy will evolve with the USA in itsposition of pre-eminence but increasingly in a collegial constellation of majorand rising powers  ⎯  why not call it the G-20, for instance  ⎯  what Washingtonsays and does will continue to matter to the rest of the system. President BarackObama’s visionary commentary on a more egalitarian and caring world, aworld hopefully bereft of nuclear weapons, collective responses to globalchallenges, and a generally more peaceful milieu where all parties feel securemay suggest elemental changes in the wings. However, expressions of concernregistered by his Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates, the Chairman of the JointChiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, and the newly-appointed Commander,US Pacific Command, Admiral Robert Willard, over China’s military moderni-sation and ‘lack of transparency’ hint at very little having changed since atleast 1996. So, is Obama being naive or careless? His Asian tour in mid-November should help answer at least part of that question.However, the ‘international security system’ is a theoretical construct withmany shades of gray. While that paradigm evolves, perhaps most acutely inthe minds of security analysts, ‘real people’ and their societies have to contendwith the experience of their own realities. And in that myriad histrionicmultiplex, shows are as variegated and dramatic as it gets. This edition of the Journal presents a sampler of this diversity of the ‘real world’ experience ofpeace and security  ⎯  or absence thereof.In South Asia, the evolution of Nepalese politics has often been characterisedas a struggle between Maoist revolutionaries and the former Hindu Kingdom’sconservative reactionary forces. Few observers have commented at length onthe many other actors who have been playing key roles in that ongoing saga. Nischal Pandey draws attention to the Terai plain’s Madhesi communitieswhich, in recent years, have become actively engaged in defining Nepal’spolitical evolution, with violence sometimes as their response to perceivedgrievances, and occasionally as the expression of their capacity to shape theircollective future. How other Nepalese respond to the Madhesi game-plan,and what role India plays in influencing this dynamic will colour and shapethe new Nepal emerging before our eyes.
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