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The Last Colony: Muzaffarabad-Gilgit-Baltistan

P Stobdan and D Suba Chandran (eds.)
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This book is co-edited by D. Suba Chandran, Deputy Director, IPCS.


Three developments have set off the sudden interest towards the region primarily comprising of Muzafarrabad, Gilgit and Baltistan. The devastating earthquake of October 2005, perhaps for the first time brought international community, especially the donor agencies and NGOs into PoK for relief operation. They witnessed the lack of basic fundamental rights, absence of local participation in the administration and the over imposing role by Pakistan's military and its bureaucracy on the people. Besides, during the relief and rehabilitation program they also witnessed the overwhelming control by the jihadi groups, especially of Muzafarabad region.

Post 9/11, the spurt in jihadi activities inside Pakistan also coincided with the increased international anxiety over what is happening not only inside Pakistan, but also in its neighborhood. Heightened activities on both sides of the Durand Line and the Tine of Control came under sharp international scrutiny, as such to view the issues in the right perspectives. The successful conduct of transparent elections in Jammu and Kashmir in 2002 and the subsequent changes in the State has broadened the international understanding of the ground situation. A comparison between the two parts of Kashmir in a holistic manner, therefore, became inevitable, as one could see in Emma Nicholson's report.

Sectarian violence in Gilgit and Baltistan in the recent years have assumed disastrous propositions, with the State in Pakistan openly siding with one section. The perennial outburst of sectarian strife has exposed and alienated the population in Gilgit and Baltistan, besides absence of any basic rights from administration to justice. Emma Nicholson, in her report to the EU, has described the Northern Areas as "black holes".

This book is an effort to understand some key issues and events. It is hoped, this book will raise further questions and debate.

Table of Contents

1. “Northern Areas”, With Special Focus on Baltistan
P. Stobdan

2. Jihadi Groups in Pok: Post-Earthquake Dynamics
Kanchan Lakshman

3. Sectarian Violence in the Northern Areas
D. Suba Chandran

4. Diamer-Basha and Mangla Dams: The Emerging Water Conflict in PoK
Seema Sridhar

5. Chinese Strategic Interests in PoK
Jabin T. Jacob

6. Global Perspectives on PoK: A Critique of Human Rights Watch and European Union Reports
Mathew Joseph C.

7. Northern Areas: Myths, Politics and Facts: A Critique of ICG Report
D. Suba Chandran

8. Political Development in PoK: A Chronology Since October 2005
Priyashree Andley

About the Editors
P. Stobdan
is the director of the Center for Strategic and Regional Studies at the University of Jammu. He previously served as the director of the Indian Cultural Center and secretary of the Embassy of India, Almaty (1999-2002) and was instrumental in broadening India’s strategic and cultural interests in Central Asia. He has also served in National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), Government of India (2004-2005) and was a Senior Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) New Delhi (2005-2006). He has written extensively on strategic affairs, both in India and abroad, and has authored over 150 papers including four Books. He has represented India in various International Conferences and bilateral dialogues, and immensely contributed policy inputs on key foreign/ security issues to the Government.

D. Suba Chandran is Deputy Director, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi and is currently a Visiting Fellow at the CSRS, University of Jammu. His primary area of research includes Pakistan’s internal security, in particular Balochistan, FATA and Northern Areas. He also works on Kashmir, terrorism, particularly Suicide Terrorism. Since January 2007, he is under taking field research in Kashmir on a study titled – People, State and Violence: Conflict Transformation in Jammu and Kashmir. He also edits an annual titled Armed Conflicts and Peace Processes in South Asia. D. Suba Chandran is the author of "Limited War".

New Delhi: India Research Press, 2008

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