Volume 23, No.2, April 2002

REGIONAL SECURITY IN SOUTH ASIA: A BANGLADESH PERSPECTIVE

by Mohammad Humayun Kabir

            Mr. Mohammad Humayun Kabir is an Acting Research Director of Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies, Dhaka.

          The paper attempts to reflect on the security environment and issues in South Asia to lay emphasis on enhanced confidence building and regional cooperation in the region. The framework encompasses both realist approach to include conventional threats and moderate approach to include certain threats to communities and individuals that are not necessarily military in nature. It attempts to see the security problems in the region at five levels that are structural, policy-induced, attitudinal, historical and issue- specific. These problems reflect on security issues in South Asia that are seen at three levels: domestic, bilateral and regional. The paper concludes with sets of measures that could be undertaken for regional security management again at three levels of domestic, bilateral and regional initiative. Domestic initiative basically emphasises on the improvement of overall governance process for ensuring social cohesion, economic progress and stable political order, while stressing on negotiation for the resolution of bilateral problems and on political dialogue and confidence building measures between and among the regional countries under a security-oriented regional co-operative framework for the management of regional security issues.

 

NATIONAL SECURITY OF PAKISTAN

by Shireen M. Mazari

           Dr. Shireen M. Mazari is Director General of Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan.

         The paper examines the dynamics of Pakistan’s national security, focusing on its concerns and objectives. Security concerns have been viewed from both internal and external perspectives. Of the internal dimension of national security concerns, the paper identifies four levels at which the internal dynamics of state-society relations impact directly on Pakistan’s security framework – with the first level itself altering the dynamics of the other three. While militarisation of civil society is identified at the first level, the other three includes the lack of democratic political culture and stable political structure, growth of ethnic and sectarian groups, and socio-economic underdevelopment and its impact on Pakistan’s external policy options. At the same time, the paper looks into the causal factors leading to these problems. The external dimension focuses on traditional conflict with India on the Kashmir issue and nuclear deterrence as well, but attempts to view them in a broader context, i.e. how US’ new containment policy affects South Asia in favour of India, and, thereof, affects Pakistan’s security. As for the national security objectives at the internal level, the paper stresses on building sound democratic state structures and a dynamic economy for the cause of internal cohesion.  At the external level, as far as nuclear factor is concerned, while  Pakistan  needs to  move  towards  détente with India, at the same time it needs to look at co-operative security relationships with Central and West Asia since countries of these regions fall within India’s increasing missile reach. Pakistan also needs to forge military cooperation with China to reduce threats coming from the fallout of the US Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) on South Asia. The paper concludes with a set of prescriptions that could be undertaken for nuclear risk reduction in the region.

 

REGIME’S RESPONSE TO FOREIGN POLICY : A COM-PARATIVE STUDY OF INDIA’S FOREIGN POLICY UNDER THE UNITED FRONT AND BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY GOVERNMENTS

by Ashok Kumar Pankaj

       Mr. Ashok Kumar Pankaj is a Senior Research Fellow at Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) in Patna, India. 

         

The paper undertakes a comparative study of foreign policy responses of the United Front (UF) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led governments in India. Theoretically, the study broadly relies on the  ‘Decision Making Theory’ of international politics. The study starts with the assumption that though both the UF and the BJP were coalition governments, facing identical historical reality and being in power at the similar juncture of history, their foreign policy behaviour was entirely different. This paper then raised the inevitable question: why the two governments responded quite differently in the similar situations? In doing so, the study highlights how the United Front Government engaged the neighbours through Gujral Doctrine taking a principled stand on nuclear and other international issues, and how the BJP-led Government responded primarily in terms of its nuclear policy. The paper concludes that both the Governments were fundamentally different in their approaches. For instance, while a pragmatic-idealist perspective guided the UF Government, the BJP was influenced by the realist version of international politics.

 

FROM GOVERNMENT TO GOVERNANCE: PUBLIC MANAGEMENT IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION

by Mohammad Mohabbat Khan

       Dr. Mohammad Mohabbat Khan is Professor of Public Administration, Department of Public Administration, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Currently he is Member, Bangladesh Public Service Commission.

         Reforming public management has been an on-going process in many countries of the Asia-Pacific region. The impulse for such reform came as a result of globalization and viewing governance from two perspectivesNPM strategies and networks, partnerships and deliberative forums. Many factors including market determination, public dissatisfaction with service delivery, growing demand for participation in decision-making, and disillusion with the standard of public sector resource management contributed to the sustaining of public management reform. As a result of reforms and innovations in governance in the region, the character of civil service in the future will be radically altered with more emphasis on competition and flexibility, merit-based performance, promotion and pay, and massive replacement of permanent staff by contract staff. Increasing interaction, co-operation and dependence of the public sector on the private sector, NGOs, and CBOs will become a regular practice. Greater use of information technology will become an indispensable component of future governance. Devolution of authority to elected local government bodies will give way to highly centralized governmental systems, enabling meaningful participation in the governance process by the local stakeholders.

 

WATER LAW NETWORK: BANGLADESH PERSPECTIVE

by M. Habibur Rahman

            Dr. M. Habibur Rahman is Professor and Dean, Faculty of Law, Rajshahi University, Rajshahi, Bangladesh

         Optimum water resource management constitutes a major building block of Bangladesh’s development governance. In order to attain sustainable development, Bangladesh needs to address its water-related problems through viable policy architecture. The purpose of the paper is to probe into the efficacy of the country’s existing legal framework in order to address various domestic and trans-boundary water-related issues. In this context, the paper strongly argues to create a mutually gainful “water partnership” through appropriate water management at national, regional and global levels. In order to develop sustainable water partnership, the prevailing institutional framework of the water regimes of Bangladesh and its neighbours needs to be appropriately tailored.