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News and Reports

New Additions

Pattern of Governance in South Asia

Country Governance Issues

A Way Forward



, by Aqil Sajjad: Pakistan has seen many elections in its chequered history and almost all were labelled rigged, unfair or engineered by one political party or another. For the upcoming elections, the opposition has already started voicing its fears of manipulation by the government ... more

OPINIONS: A MILITARY-POLITICAL COMPLEX? LEGAL EYE, by Babar Sattar: Does a fundamental understanding of democracy endorse a role for the military in politics? Is there a reason to alter such understanding to carve out a political role for Pakistan's military for reasons peculiar to our country? What is it that democracy is meant to achieve ... more

NEPALI POLL SAYS 88 PERCENT WANT REPUBLIC (Sarid) - A new survey by a Nepalese non-governmental human rights watchdog suggests that a majority of Nepalis would favor a “democratic republican set-up”, rather than either a constitutional or a ceremonial monarchy. The conclusions will aid in restructuring the conflict-ridden Himalayan state ... Full Article

PAKISTAN TO ROLL BACK CONTENTIOUS LAW ON RAPE (Agencies) - Pakistan's lower house of parliament passed amendments to the country's controversial rape laws today, dropping the death penalty and flogging for people convicted of having consensual sex outside marriage and giving judges discretion to try rape cases in a criminal rather than Islamic court ... Full Article

FEMALE AFGHAN MINISTER PUSHES FOR RIGHTS (Washington Post) - Ghazanfar, the fourth female minister since the fall of the Taliban, was appointed by President Hamid Karzai in August. But like her predecessors, she is up against provincial warlords who continue to refuse women and girls the right to education and even to leave their homes ... Full Article

WORLDWIDE JOB CRISIS HITS YOUTH HARDEST: Earlier this year, the International Labour Organization (ILO) warned that, despite strong GDP and trade growth, low interest rates and record corporate profits, the world is facing an unprecedented global jobs crisis of mammoth proportions. ... Full Article

INDIA’S LANDMARK DOMESTIC ABUSE LAW TAKES EFFECT: A comprehensive new law aiming to protect Indian women against violence at home will need tough implementation to be really effective. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 applies to actual or threatened abuse against women in their homes, including those of a physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economic nature. Women's rights activists and civic groups welcomed the new law, but they also stressed the need for its effective implementation so that more women could benefit from it ... Full Article

CDGK PLANS LOW-COST HOUSING PROJECT IN TAYSIR TOWN: The newly designed earthquake resistant structure with UBC-Zone 3(designed for ground acceleration of .3g) would be built from 100 per cent local material with extensive use of soil cement technology ... Full Article


New Additions

Governance for poverty reduction, IUCN, November 24, 2004
From the 3rd World Conservation Congress: For rural populations living in degraded landscapes, creating effective governance structures can be based on traditional institutions that reflect local knowledge and expertise.

India's Model: Faith, Secularism & Democracy, Open Democracy, November 3, 2004
Western variants of multiculturalism and secularism are being challenged by religious demands for public recognition of faith. Instead of reinventing the wheel, the world should learn from India, says Rajeev Bhargava.

The pattern of governance in South Asia

Working class; promises betrayed, Liberation, India, July 2004
Within less than one month of its rule, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has, through various steps, declarations and appointments, started sending "positive" messages to those who 'felt good' under Vajpayee rule. A columnist had to write that the central government must send at least some positive message to the poor immediately, by taking some concrete steps.

Bring back the state, The Observer, UK, July 4, 2004
Our very survival depends on stronger government, argues economic philosopher Francis Fukiyama.

Aid, Governance & ownership, South Asian Journal, July 2004
For many years, beginning from the 1950s, South Asia was the poster-child of foreign aid, known also as Official Development Assistance (ODA), offered by the Advanced Industrial Countries (AIC) as well as the Communist countries to the developing world. South Asia was seen as the first battleground of the cold war for the hearts and souls of the Third World.

Breach of Trust, The Statesman, Kolkota, February 13, 2004
Anyone with a thoughtful mind would understand that without the guarantee for equality of conditions the guarantee for equality of opportunity becomes vacuous.

South Asia's weak development: The role of governance, The Center for Policy Dialogue, Bangladesh :

Governance in South Asia: From Crisis to opportunity, ADB

i Pakistan : Devolution - The Reality [seminar proceedings], The British Council

Parliament and good governance: Towards a new agenda for strengthening accountability in South Asia

Strengthening Democratic governance, conference report, Asian Center for Democratic Governance:

Legal reform in Asia

Human Development in South Asia: Power and decision-making
Mahila Web, Nepal


Country governance issues


Hurdles in implementing new Afghan Constitution, Eurasia Net, USA, February 08, 2004
A controversy has broken out in Afghanistan after a group of delegates who attended the Loya Jirga - the Afghan constitutional assembly - said the document signed by President Hamid Karzai does not conform to the draft agreed upon by the Loya Jirga.

Fingers crossed over Afghan constitution, January 28, 2004
The uncomfortable fact is that Afghanistan has to pass through a lot of ‘history’ yet to reach the level of general acceptance of the principles contained in the constitution.

Female presidential candidate, Afghan News Network, January 25, 2004
Afghanistan's first female presidential candidate doctor Massouda Jalal sits in Kabul and tries to estimate the political support she will receive in the country's upcoming elections.

Afghanistan : Players, politics and prospects, United States Institute of Peace [transcripts of a seminar]

Building women's leadership in Afghanistan , UNIFEM

Rebuilding civil society through community development, Assistance Afghanistan

Peace-building strategies for Afghanistan, Commission Report, Chr. Michelsen Institute


Only 20% tax collected, Daily Star, Dhaka, July 20, 2004
Without tax revenue, neither can a government be run, nor will it be able to provide basic services to the citizens. Taxation, therefore, is the cornerstone of governance.

Metamorphosis of the new year, Daily Star, Dhaka, April 14, 2004
Baisakhi celebrations have played a politically significant and culturally decisive role in Bangladesh. During the semi-colonial Pakistani period, Bangalees faced a stiff resistance in organising the Bengali new year's day.

Can we hope for a better future? Daily Star, Dhaka, April 10, 2004
There is some reason to be optimistic about the future if a leadership with vision emerges from the 'Bikolpo Dhara' as propagated by Dr B Chowdury, Dr. Kamal Hossain and others.

A forlorn hope for the country, Daily Star, Dhaka, January 2004
That the transparency situation in Bangladesh has since vitiated the total system of governance does not make a news any more.

Good governance in Bangladesh : Exploring the link between governance and poverty elimination, Center for Development Studies, University of Bath

Bangladesh : Democracy and Governance, USAID

Political and administrative corruption, Bibliography, Transparency International

News analysis on Bangladesh politics:


Bihar overlooked by "Shining India", BBC, UK, May 8, 2004
Violence and political corruption are troubling India's general election, which is again highlighting the vast disparity between a poor underclass and a rich elite.

Agenda for the next five years? The Telegraph, Calcutta, April 12, 2004
What should be the agenda of any new Indian government for the next five years in relation to the promises of peace and prosperity?

Dravidian Power, Frontline, India, April 10-23, 2004
Since the birth of the Indian Republic, Tamil Nadu has been influencing the national electoral process in peculiar ways.

India : No Governance, No Growth, by N J Jharavi,

India : Good Governance Agenda, by Sarah Joseph, The Hindu, July 31, 2001

Studies on political issues and governance, Center for Policy Research, New Delhi

A consultation paper on: Review of the working of political parties especially in relation to elections and reform options, National Commission to Review Working of the Constitution:

Crisis of governance in India by Saurabh, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Institute of Policy and Conflict Studies


History of political governance in Maldives , Maldives Culture

Women in the Republic of Maldives [political participation], Country briefing paper, ADB

Politics and constitution in Maldives

Maldives - Institutional structure [basic information],


Goodbye to year zero, Nepali Times, Kathmandhu, April 09-15, 2004
In the Bikram Sambat calendar, the years ending with zero are called Sunya Barsha and considered inauspicious. Year 2060 was a zero year for Nepal in more ways than one.

Is Nepal a failed state? Kathmandhu Post, April 11, 2004
In Nepal's present desperate situation, the ordinary people's yearning for peace must trump over politicians' calculus for powersharing.

Danger of pseudo-democracy, Kathmandhu Post, April 06, 2004
Will the upcoming elections in Nepal be free and fair? It is plain for everybody to see that elections in Nepal will be flawed elections unless a national consensus government conducts the elections and Maoists don’t resist elections directly. Without these two conditions, no doubt, the election in Nepal will be a hoax.

Governance challenge for Nepal , by Dev Raj Dahal

The concept of decentralized system of government in the context of balanced development of Nepal , by Dr. Durga P. Paudyal

Is Nepal in search of a political order? 1990 constitution and thereafter, by Dr. Chandrashekaran, South Asia Analysis Group:

Democratic governance in Nepal , UN


Pakistan & democracy, The News, Pakistan, MAy 6, 2004
Of all the travesties that are now the staple of what goes as 'political commentary' on Pakistan, there is none as venomous or as dangerous to the future of Pakistan than the claim that Pakistan and democracy are somehow incompatible - Adil Najam.

Government gives women job jolt, OneWorld Net, April 13, 2004
The Pakistani government's move to abolish five percent reservation for women in government jobs has evoked sharp criticism from activists and the opposition, which, recently introduced a bill demanding an increase in job reservations for them.

Is the Group Responsible for the Individual's Crime? NY Times, USA, February 08, 2004
Recently, the Pakistani Army gave tribal elders near the Afghan border a choice: either turn over 72 men wanted for sheltering Al Qaeda members, or soldiers would demolish houses in their town. Holding a group responsible for the actions of its members is not a new idea.

Governance Reforms: Pakistan Development forum, April, 2002

The Governance and Democracy in Pakistan , by Atiq-ul-Hassan, Media Monitors Network:

Resolution on issues on governance underlying relations between India and Pakistan , Asian Human Rights Commission:

Pakistan : A political history, ASKASIA


New constitution top priority, Daily News, Colombo, April 12, 2004
The United People's Freedom Alliance will give priority to the formulation of a new Constitution in order to abolish the Executive Presidency and appoint a Prime Minister with full authority.

A mandate for economic issues rather than peace process, The Hindu, Chennai, April 05, 2004
The victory of the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA), led by the Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, is a clear indicator that economic issues took precedence over the peace process initiated by the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP).

Elections in Sri Lanka, The Hindu, Chennai, February 11, 2004
As Sri Lanka marches to its third parliamentary election in four years, the crucial questions are whether a stable government will emerge and how the electoral outcome will affect the Norway-assisted peace process.

State of governance in Sri Lanka

Governance and institutional strengthening project, Sri Lanka , Human Rights Research and Education Center

Recent studies on Governance in Sri Lanka by the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka

Political-Military relations in Sri Lanka , Working paper, Netherlands Institute of International Relations, 2001

A Way Forward

Speeding good govenance, The Globalist, USA, May 12, 2004
Leaders around the world are often blamed for taking too long to solve crucial problems. In response, Canada’s Prime Minister Paul Martin argues that he and his colleagues lack an efficient means to push through an international agenda. He suggests how to accelerate global decision-making.

Dark side of democracy, New York Times, USA, January 31, 2004
Bringing free markets and elections to developing nations leads not to stability or prosperity but to hate-mongering, discrimination and even genocidal violence.

South Asia: Problems and Potential, CSIS

iDemocratization in South Asia, International Center for Ethnic Studies

South Asia: Accountable Governance
[workshop proceedings of a conference], Katmandu, Nepal on April 10-11th, 2000, International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance


Asian Network for Free Elections

Alliance for Reform and Democracy in Asia (ARDA)

Asian Center for Democratic Governance

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development



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