Terrible Thursday: on Pulwama terror attack

As India mourns the death of 40 CRPF personnel in Thursday’s terrorist strike in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, it is clear that the attack was meant to provoke. The Jaish-e-Mohammed, the Pakistan-based terrorist organisation which has orchestrated numerous strikes in the Kashmir Valley, has taken responsibility for what is now the highest toll of security forces in any attack in the State. Investigations should yield a better picture, but it is a matter of extreme concern that a suicide bomber could time his attack to hit a security convoy. There is no question that Pakistan bears the onus to explain why Masood Azhar, the leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, enjoys such freedoms on its territory, if not outright support from the establishment. Certainly, diplomatic backing by Pakistan and China has been crucial in defeating efforts at the United Nations to put Azhar on the list of banned terrorists. Early details indicate that a sports utility vehicle laden with a huge quantity of

Forever president: on Egypt’s draft constitutional changes

Egypt’s proposed constitutional changes to extend presidential terms are a huge setback to the country’s democratic progress. Re-elected last year, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the military leader who seized power in 2013, would be allowed to begin afresh a six-year term in 2022 under the new amendments. Another provision envisages a political role for the military as a guardian of the Constitution. Thursday’s parliamentary vote initiating these changes will have to be ratified in a popular referendum, but few doubt the establishment’s capacity to secure it. The 2018 general elections were held without a serious challenger to Mr. Sisi, whose rival was in effect handpicked by the regime after other contenders were forced to quit the race. The economy has returned to a growth trajectory following an International Monetary Fund loan in 2016, in exchange for cuts in public subsidies. But soaring prices and double-digit unemployment have dimmed the government’s overall appeal. In the
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Hindutva 2.0 is in crisis

Varghese K. George
Comment

Heralding a new dawn

Saud Al-Sati
Lead

Stress points of democracy

M.K. Narayanan

The need to go beyond anglophone models

Tabish Khair

Let them eat JAM

G. Sampath

In the Chishti shrine in Ajmer

Rana Safvi
Open Page

A place for the woman

Samatha Sharma
Open Page

Radical law or magical nanny?

Sunanda Bharti