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June 29,

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India's print media: Liberalize and be damned
It has taken 47 years, but India has finally allowed limited foreign participation in its print media. The surprising aspect of the sudden about-turn is those who support the move (Hindu fundamentalists formerly opposed to liberalization of any kind) and those who do not (the Congress party, architects of Indian's open economy). Sultan Shahin reports on the paradox in the first article of a two-part series. (Jun 28)
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India, Iran, Russia map out trade route
On the map it makes perfect sense: a road, rail and sea transport corridor linking India, Iran and Russia that will provide a much cheaper and shorter alternative to traditional trade routes, including access to the Baltic states and the Central Asian countries. However, turning plans into reality could be a tricky business, writes Sudha Ramachandran. (Jun 28)
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It's just not cricket anymore in Pakistan
Cricket has been described as a part of the social glue that holds Pakistan's ethnically diverse society together, and as an important tool in regional diplomacy. Nowadays, though, it is, like the rest of the country, under military control. And this can only be bad for the game, and for the country, writes Syed Saleem Shahzad. (Jun 28)
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Chapter 46: Rajiv Gandhi's assassination

The bitter struggle between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam contiues into 1991 with neither side gaining the upper hand; political turmoil in India sees the government resign and campaigning for new polls takes Rajiv Gandhi to Sriperembudur in Tamil Nadu state on May 21, 1991, where he is killed in a suicide bomb attack, writes K T Rajasingham in the 46th chapter of his treatise, a history of Sri Lanka from a Tamil viewpoint. (Jun 28)
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Kashmir a litmus test for Musharraf
Despite dramatic policy changes, such as ditching the Taliban and siding with the United States, Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf has managed to contain opposition within the country to these moves. When it comes to the question of Kashmir, though, writes Syed Saleem Shahzad, the general will face far greater dissenting forces if he chooses to go through with his present about-turn. (Jun 27)
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Law to reform Pakistani religious schools doubted
With a new law in the works to introduce secular subjects in Pakistan's religious schools, fundamentalists have become outraged. The law, in addition to modifying the religious curriculum, will also monitor the funds of these schools, ensuring no intake of terrorist money. But skeptics cite previous failures to control the madrasah system. (Jun 27)
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India and Israel united in defense
India's shift from support for the Palestinians to a tightrope walk between them and the Israelis is not so much the result of a negation of the Palestinian cause as it is an outcome of its growing cooperation with Israel. And nowhere is this cooperation more in evidence than in the arena of defense, writes Sudha Ramachandran. (Jun 25)
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India not interested in a 'US' Europe
Closer India-European Union cooperation is hindered by a European lack of unity and subservience to US interests. On security and trade, only more serious mutual commitments between the EU and India can promote the common goal of a multipolar world. This article is presented as a part of an Asia Times Online collaboration with Heartland. (Jun 25)
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Sri Lanka's ceasefire encourages investors
The good news is that with the ceasefire in Sri Lanka between the government and Tamil separatists still holding, foreign investors are returning to the country, especially to the east coast, where the harbor of Trincomalee offers much potential. The bad news, from a Tamil viewpoint, is that much of the interest comes from India. (Jun 24)
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  • Tigers dogged by human rights concerns
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India and the West: Cultural disconnect
The Indian government has reacted sharply to a Time magazine report questioning the health of 77-year-old Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and his competence in having his finger on the country's nuclear button. Already there are whispers of a US conspiracy, but this misses the point, writes Sultan Shahin, who believes that maybe it is time for the aging leader to step aside, even if it is for different reasons than the magazine would have. (Jun 21)
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Similarity breeds contempt: India and Pakistan

Bitter foes they might be, but India and Pakistan use similar competitive tactics and native talents to outbid each other in their struggle for regional supremacy. Ehsan Ahrari writes that the ultimate test will be whether these skills can be used to resolve the Kashmir dispute peacefully. (Jun 20)
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Sculptors of Silicon India

A review of Chidanand Rajghatta's The Horse That Flew. How India's Silicon Gurus Spread Their Wings. If ever India needed a success story, it could not have been better provided than by the trailblazers who have taken Silicon Valley by storm. The book, writes Sreeram Chaulia, traces some of the bigger names who have put India on the world IT map, and postulates that they have laid the foundations for India to overcome its digital divide. (Jun 19)
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