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The call of the Taliban | The Independent

The Afghan Peace and Reconciliation Programme (APRP) was established in 2010 and aims to peel low- to mid-ranking fighters away from the insurgency. A total of 3,825 former fighters have joined the programme to date, according to the High Peace Council. Those who agree to hand over their weapons and support the government are helped to rejoin their communities. From ...

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Thailand’s Tentative Peace Is Collapsing | Joshua Kurlantzick, The Atlantic

In a brief but informative piece in the Wall Street Journal recently, veteran correspondent James Hookaway notes that “a delicate détente between Thailand’s powerful armed forces and a populist government led by [Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra] … is looking increasingly fragile.” Saying that the truce is “increasingly fragile” is like saying Homer Simpson enjoys donuts or Barney Frank is a ...

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Japan PM visits Okinawa over US military base move | AFP

TOKYO — Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda flew to Okinawa Sunday on a tough mission to persuade local islanders into accepting a plan to move a controversial US military base to another part of the island. On his first visit to the subtropical island chain in the East China Sea since taking office last September, Noda was due to meet ...

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AFGHANISTAN: IDPs at a crossroads | IRIN Asia

KABUL, 24 February 2012 (IRIN) – Thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Afghanistan, mainly from the strife-torn southern provinces, have been heading for Kabul in the hope of finding work and a better life, but most end up living in appalling conditions in makeshift camps. According to the Afghan Health Ministry, more than 20 children have frozen to death ...

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Seoul holds military drills despite NKorea threat | The Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea conducted live-fire military drills near its disputed sea boundary with North Korea on Monday despite Pyongyang’s threat to respond with a “merciless” attack. North Korea did not carry out the threat as it focuses on internal stability two months after the death of longtime leader Kim Jong Il and prepares for nuclear disarmament ...

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FMCT and Pakistan’s rational stand | thenation.com.pk

He did not single out Pakistan, but UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s late January meaningful statement, concerning the stalled deliberations over the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) in the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament (CD), left little doubt as to which country was being tipped as the spoilsport. For more on this story, visit: FMCT and Pakistan’s rational stand | The ...

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Uzbekistan: Looking in the other direction | Editorial, The Guardian

Uzbekistan has one asset that Washington needs: a railhead into northern Afghanistan, which has become the key node of a US military supply line known as the northern distribution network. For this alone, America and the EU are prepared to look the other way, when confronted with what the US embassy cables described as a nightmarish world of rampant corruption, ...

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US proposes $2.4 billion aid to Pakistan | thenews.com.pk

WASHINGTON: Obama administration Monday proposed $2.4 billion in financial aid to Pakistan for the fiscal year 2012-13 while unveiling its annual budget of $3.8 trillion that calls for tax hikes on the rich. For more on this story, visit: US proposes $2.4 billion aid to Pakistan | thenews.com.pk. See Also: WASHINGTON: Unveiling its annual budget of USD 3.8 trillion that ...

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Tibetan acts of self-immolation rise amid the battle for hearts and minds | The Guardian

On the roof of the world, Chinese paramilitaries are trying to snuff out Tibetan resistance to Beijing’s rule with spiked batons, semi-automatic weapons and fire extinguishers. Every 20 metres along the main road of Aba, the remote town on the Tibetan plateau that is at the heart of the current wave of protests, police officers and communist officials wearing red ...

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