Rudolph Atallah, senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa Center, testified at a House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing on “The Growing Crisis in Africa’s Sahel Region.”
On the heels of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to the United States, Energy & Environment Program Associate Director Mihaela Carstei joins CTV to discuss the Keystone Pipeline project that would transport tar sands oil from Canada and the northern United States to refineries in the Gulf coast of Texas.
India-Pakistan experts suggested that last week's attacks on Mumbai were designed to provoke a war between the two countries, thereby scuppering President-elect Obama's plans for peace in the region, which has been at the top of his agenda. The Times:
Relations between India and Pakistan were on a knife edge last night amid fears that Delhi’s response to the Mumbai attacks could undermine the Pakistani army’s campaign against Islamic militants on the frontier with Afghanistan. Officials and analysts in the region believe that last week’s atrocities were designed to provoke a crisis, or even a war, between the nuclear-armed neighbours, diverting Islamabad’s attention from extremism in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan and thus relieving pressure on al-Qaeda, Taleban and other militants based there.
One analyst even described the attacks as a “pre-emptive strike” against Barack Obama’s strategy to put Pakistan and Afghanistan at the centre of US foreign policy. The United States and its allies now face a balancing act in supporting India’s efforts to investigate the Mumbai attacks, without jeopardizing Pakistan’s crucial support for the Nato campaign in Afghanistan.
The Indian government is now considering a range of responses, including suspending its five-year peace process with Pakistan, closing their border, stopping direct flights and sending troops to the frontier, according to Indian officials and analysts.
With elections in May, India’s government is under enormous pressure to respond to the attacks, which it believes was carried out by the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. Yesterday Pakistan threatened to deploy troops to the border with India in response to what a Pakistani security officer called a heightening of tensions. Troops may be diverted from the tribal areas the official said, leaving the troublesome Afghan border vulnerable to greater militant activity.