August 20, 2005

Islamist Terrorism: Shouldn't We Ask Some Questions?

- Sunny Singh

Sunny Singh was born in Varanasi. She received her education in various parts of India and the world.
She has worked as a journalist, teacher, and as a management executive for multinationals in Mexico, Chile and South Africa. For the last four years, she has been writing full-time. She is also a playwright.
Her first play, Birthing Athena, focussed on evolving relationships and the price of ambition in post-liberalisation India. The Times of India described the play as "an intensely cathartic experience."
Her first novel, Nani's Book of Suicides, had been published by Harper Collins Publishers India. Described by the Hindustan Times as a "first novel of rare scope and power," the novel explores the cultural identity of an Indian woman through a fund of myths, family lore and contemporary reality.
Her second book, Single in the City: The independent woman's handbook was released on Dec 22, 2000 by Penguin India. Visit Sunny Singh's website at: http://www.sunnysingh.net/




The past few weeks have raised some of the usual questions about Islamic fundamentalism and, more importantly, Islamist terrorism. After two rounds of London bombings, (not to mention the Egypt bombs and the recent Imrana case and the Ayodhya temple attack in India), one is left with more questions than answers. Some questions I haven’t found answers to despite reading dozens of commentaries, analyses and essays from around the world are as follows:

Why would European-born young men choose to blow themselves and innocent people up?
If they are truly a minority within the British-Muslim society, why did no one know about their plans or inform the authorities about their increasing radicalisation?
And worse still, how many more such young men are out there biding their time until the next attack?



CCTV image of the suspects at Luton station released by the Metropolitan Police, UK. The four suspected London bombers of July 7 attacks are pictured while entering Luton rail station on July 7, on their way to London. (Source: Metropolitan Police website)

Questions two and three have perhaps simpler answers. Various newspapers in the UK have already carried accounts from Pakistani relatives of the bomber Shahzad Tanweer about how they had warned his parents that he was fraternizing with members of jihadi groups during his visits to Pakistan. They have provided shocking details of how the young man carried a picture of Osama bin Laden in his wallet. A cousin simply commented that “if he has done what they say he has done, he has done the right thing.” No guilt, no remorse, no condemn! ation to be found then in Pakistan’s villages where the 7/7 bombers were mourned as heroes by thousands who gathered in the mosques.

At the same time, a neighbour in Beeston explained that the baby-faced picture carried by international media of Hasib Hussain was misleading, because by the time of the London bombings, he was a hulking frightening man with a thick beard and a propensity for getting into streetfights.

All this unfortunataly means one simple thing, that so much of the media has been refusing to put in words: People knew! There are people – family, friends, colleagues and neighbours in Beeston, Dewbury and Pakistan – who knew that these young men were on their way to becoming suicide bombers. And they chose to let them go ahead with their heinous plans. How come we have absolved them of all responsibility? Simply in the name of general civic harmony?

The third question is related and perhaps even easier to answer: obviously many more young men in Britain and other countries are willing to die and kill in the name of Islam. A recent Guardian survey of the British Muslim community showed that 5% of those polled believed that the London bombings were justified. Moreover, another survey showed that nearly 10% of the British-born Muslims polled felt no loyalty towards Britain, but felt they owed their allegiance to Islam. While this figure forms only a small percentage of the population, it could still mean that numerically thousands of British Muslims support the London bombings. We are in for troubled times, indeed!

The first question, however, is possibly the most difficult to answer. Left-leaning analysts in the UK have argued that economic deprivation and cultural isolation led these young British-Pakistanis to radical Islam. A large percentage of the local population has blamed British involvement in the ill-advised and unpopular occupation war in Iraq. Yet all these claims require some refuting, and not only of the neo-con variety that promptly announces that “9/11 happened before Iraq war” or that some how centuries of Western imperialism was to bla! me for the rise in fundamentalism Islam today, basically because it created conditions of economic deprivation, social alienation and political powerlessness.

None of the above arguments hold up to closer scrutiny. While it is true that Arab/Muslim sense of grievances goes much further back than the war on Iraq, as the neo-cons have pointed out, there is a clear line to be drawn when we get to history. We in India are constantly told to let the past lie for the sake of “communal harmony” and not grudge the widespread destruction of temples all through north India and the subsequent construction of mosques on the same sites. We are told that is history, and with surprisingly little resistance, most of us agree with that view and move forw! ard. So why do we permit a double standard for the Arab/Muslim sense of grievance? Much has been made by British-Muslim commentrators about the West’s hypocrisy, yet they hardly pause to consider their own.

Furthermore, just how far are these grievances based on facts is open to debate. Various fundamentalist organizations, ironically based in or linked to Pakistan, and apparently fighting a world-wide jihad use Palestine or Kashmir as their raison d’etre. However, we also know that neither the Hizbollah or the Hamas, two of the best known “fundamentalist” Islamist organizations in the Middle East, have shown any interest in any struggle beyond their localized freedom struggles. Both have made necessary adjustments with other religious and political groupings to conti! nue their fight, with the Hizbollah initiating and forming alliances with not only Lebanese Christian groupings, but also with the extremely secular Lebanese Communists.

A closer scrutiny also shows that the Palestinians, as a people and as political organisations, have little sympathy for the apparently “international” Islamist groups. Most Palestinians feel that their legitimate freedom struggle is hampered and harmed by the fundamentalist hijacking of that fight for purposes of an “international jihad.”

Similarly, the use of “Kashmir” issue as a justifiable grievance for Muslims world-wide is equally suspect. The Kashmiri population – both Muslim and otherwise – enjoys far greater civil and political freedom than that enjoyed by populations in most self-proclaimed Islamic countries. If there is a section of the Kashmiri population that has been systematically harassed, terrrorised, killed and hounded out of the region, it is that of the minority community – the ill-fated Kashmiri Pandits. So how does ethnic cleansing of the non-Muslim population provide grounds for grievance to wage jihad?

The issue of economic deprivation is equally suspect, given that most of the best known terrorist attacks have been carried out by middle-class and well-educated men, such as the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack. Looking at British-born Muslims, the argument takes a further beating: the murderer of Daniel Pearl was a British-born Pakistani with a privileged background of public schools and university education at the famed London School of Economics, hardly the prototype of the downtrodden poor. Even the current round of bombings in London were carried out by men who were hardly starving in the streets. Instead, one of them had been recently give! n a red Mercedes, that ultimate Asian status symbol of having arrived, as a gift by his father.

Moreover, if economic deprivation is the key to turning young men and women into suicide bombers, why don’t we see more of those coming out of West Bengal and Bihar, where much of the population still lives in desperate conditions. Oddly enough, even in Europe, the Bangladeshi Muslms have shown less interest in joining their jihadi cousins, although that may well change in the future.

So we finally get to the “cultural identity” issue, where the standard argument trotted out by Western commentrators is that somehow “Western” decadence offends and alienates Western-born Muslims. Alcohol, sexual freedom and “football” yob-ism of the majority European “white” community has been cited with immense self-hating relish as the reason why European-born Muslims are turning to radical Islam. It must be Western decadence that pushes these young men to jihad is the logic behind this argument.

Apart from the simple response this raises of “if they don’t like the culture, why don’t they move to Saudi Arabia,” the cultural argument is so ridiculous that – if it were applied to a less serious issue – one would be tempted to laugh it off. If it is “decadent” Western values that the bombers didn’t like, what about India?

Most Indians are frightfully straitlaced about sex. In most places beyond elite urban enclaves, alcohol consumption is frowned upon. For much of the country, the most “daring” outfit for a woman is still a pair of jeans worn – in most cases – with a baggy tshirt or a full-sleeved shirt. So can someone explain which part of the decadent “culture” is pushing Indian Muslims to radical Islam? Which part of the “decadent” culture in India justifies the Muslim “fatwah” against a lone brave Muslim woman who admitted to being raped by her father-in-law? ! ; A fatwah, by the way, that has been defended not only by opportunist politicians like Mulayam Singh Yadav but also by the so-called “educated” Muslim elite including Salman Khursheed.

So what drives relatively well-educated, fairly privileged young men to kill themselves and others. Once again, unfortunately, the common link between mercenaries in Iraq, Kashmir, and now Europe is Islam. Whether it is some verse of the Koran or its fundamentalist interpretation by semi-literate mullahs is for those who are better educated in Islam to decide. For me, the proverbial infidel and kafir, the answer must come from those who follow Islam.

However, from my position as infidel, and an Indian one at that, I do have a suggestion for the Islamic leaders and community. Stop playing victim! Somehow, all Islamist terrorism is explained away as someone else’s fault: the West doesn’t allow political freedom or economic growth in the Middle East. The Indian government doesn’t allow Kashmir to be brought under military dictatorship of an Islamic republic with long-standing sympathies with the Taliban-brand of human rights. That Western democracies allow “too much” political and social freedom to young men in Britain who prefer to live on social security dole-outs while planning and executing terrorist attacks instead of finding jobs that would let them participate in the greater society.

For the sake of all of us, I think it is time that Muslim leaders and communities stopped whining about persecution and gave up finding excuses for why their young men prefer to kill themselves and others instead of fighting for better lives. A good starting point would be to answer some very simple questions, not at global, international political levels, but at the level of parents and community leaders of Muslim communities around the world:

How about taking responsibility for what your young men and women do? Not only when they blow themselves and others up, but also when they refuse to work, or to go to any school except madrassas where they learn no skill but to recite the Koran, and thus willingly, even knowingly, isolate and alienate themselves.
How about expecting your children to become a Shahrukh Khan, APJ Abdul Kalam or Azim Premji? Or a poet like Mourid Barghouti? None of them were born to privilege and yet grew to become true heroes in vastly different fields. Doesn’t the responsibility of teaching children to dream lie with the parents?
More importantly, what about teaching the young that to struggle to better oneself and one’s own lot is truly the “greater jihad,” far more difficult but definitely higher than blowing oneself up? That true change requires unstinting hard work and doesn’t come easy, but that it is possible.
And finally, how about pointing out to these silly young men that blowing oneself up in the London metro or a Kashmiri marketplace or an Iraqi mosque is the act of a coward. And no God allows a space for a coward in heaven!

Perhaps this is the infidel’s way, of taking responsibility for oneself instead of continually complaining of being victims. If that is so, there is much to learn from it.

FINAL NOTE: The lack of sincere remorse in Beeston became increasingly apparent when alleged “colleagues” and neighbours of the 7/7 bombers chose the names of Bollywood heroes as aliases in their comments to the unsuspecting Western media. Shahrukh, Sunil Shetty and Sanjay Dutt were the top choices. For those of us who have learnt just how often Brit-Asians will evoke Bollywood references as a secret linguistic and cultural code unknown to this country’s majority community, the trend was saddening, worrying, frightening, but beyond all, disgusting.

Till we connect again...

The way to meet the Bangladeshi threat

By Prof. M.D. Nalapat

The most effective way of avoiding a war is to be ready for it. Because of a policy of turning the other cheek repeatedly, these days all enemies of Bharat know that no provocation would be sufficient to get New Delhi to act militarily in defense of its interests.Say what you will about Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi,both were willing to use force to achieve national objectives. Although at Simla Indira Gandhi gave away the advantages won on the battleground, the reality remains that but for the sacrifices made by the Indian armed forces, the people of Bangladesh may still be slaves of masters based in Rawalpindi.

Sadly, in an extreme case of the “Stockholm Syndrome” (where the victims begin to love their oppressors), today’s government in Dacca is almost an agent of the ISI. Begum Khaleda Zia has sacrificed the pride and autonomy of her people in order to feed at the trough of the Pakistan army, and has permitted her country to become the base for jihadi operations that Taliban Afghanistan was. Even more worrisome, China seems to be readying to arm Bangladesh with nuclear weapons and missiles the way it has Pakistan. As a slap to Indian security concerns, Premier Wen Jiabao signed a so-called “peaceful” nuclear cooperation agreement with Zia just days before arriving in India. The language used is borrowed from Indira Gandhi’s 1974 description of Pokhran I as a “peaceful nuclear explosion”, and will fool no one. Shias, non-Wahabi Sunnis, women and Hindus are the subject of discrimination in Bangladesh, especially Hindus. Of course, the same US and EU think-tanks and “human rights organisations” that constantly lament “fanaticism” in India are as silent about the temples destroyed in Bangladesh even since the 1990s as they are about temples destroyed in Pakistan and in the Kashmir Valley. Indeed, the truth is that no government in India—forget about abroad—seems to have been at all concerned with the documented destruction of dozens of Sufi shrines and Hindu temples in Kashmir. Perhaps their friends and benefactors such as Farooq Kathwari of the “Kashmir Study Group” (an individual who celebrated the killing in 2001 of his jihadi son by Indian forces as the “ascent of a martyr to heaven”) will not allow them to bother about such inconsequential matters. Even when the jihadi elements that dominate the Bangladesh army and paramilitary forces tortured and killed several gallant BSF jawans a few years ago, New Delhi kept silent, just as it is doing now when Dacca has become the second nerve centre (after Rawalpindi and followed by Kathmandu) of the terrorist jihad against India

No other great power would have so meekly accepted the numerous blows that Bangladesh has been delivering to India with rising and vicious intensity since the Wahabist Khaleda Zia took office. The fact is that a continuance of the present situation may necessitate another Bangladesh war, this time to liberate the inhabitants of that country from rule by Wahabis who are slaves of the ISI. The security of India will be at risk until Bangladesh returns to the path of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and becomes a secular state where Shias and Hindus are treated the same as Sunnis, and where Wahabism is discouraged. During the past decade, more than 12 million Bangladeshis have crossed the border into India, and today they have become the dominant element in the population of several sensitive border districts, finding champions such as Jyoti Basu and shortsighted Congress leaders, who sabotage every effort at tackling this poblem. In the higher reaches of the Pakistan-dominated Bangladesh army, there is talk of a “Greater Bangladesh” that would annex most of Assam and neighbouring Indian states,of course after India has been stunned into submission by the ISI. The only way to avoid this fate is to show that New Delhi is ready, able and willing to go to war against Bangladesh in order to rescue the people of that country from the fanatics who today rule it.

Even in the economic sphere, the ISI is using its Bangladeshi slaves to ensure that India does not become a base for largescale international manufacturing operations. All of a sudden, from Gurgaon to Chennai, Pune to Hyderabad, the emerging centres of excellence have been witnessing wave upon wave of violent protests designed to frighten away investors. Many of the thugs indulging in such acts of intimidation are Bangladeshis reporting to local ISI cells. Unfortunately, instead of dealing with the thugs, the UPA is encouraging them to take advantage of the votes and muscle power of these illegal aliens

The security of India will be at risk until Bangladesh returns to the path of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and becomes a secular state where Shias and Hindus are treated the same as Sunnis, and where Wahabism is discouraged. During the past decade, more than 12 million Bangladeshis have crossed the border into India, and today they have become the dominant element in the population of several sensitive border districts, finding champions such as Jyoti Basu and shortsighted Congress leaders, who sabotage every effort at tackling this poblem.

War may be the only option available to India to destroy this cancer in our midst. Neither China nor Pakistan would get involved in an India-Bangladesh conflict, as both would realize that the cost to them of the bitter enmity that this would engender in New Delhi would be far more devastating than the satisfaction of having gone to the aid of a client state. With the proper use of her naval, air and ground assets, India would be able to subdue the Wahabbis in under three weeks, and afterwards, ensure the stability of a future secular government by a security treaty. Cordial relations with India are a must for any SAARC country.

Eventually, a situation needs to evolve in which there will be visa-free access from India to any SAARC country, and where the Indian rupee will be legal tender. Thus would SAARC enter into an era of prosperity for all its members. However, for this to happen, India has to demonstrate a will to meet and defeat threats rather than be supine in the face of provocation

War may be the only option available to India to destroy this cancer in our midst. Neither China nor Pakistan would get involved in an India-Bangladesh conflict, as both would realize that the cost to them of the bitter enmity that this would engender in New Delhi would be far more devastating than the satisfaction of having gone to the aid of a client state.

In the case of Bangladesh, a series of steps need to be taken before recourse to what must be the method of last resort, war. These include:
Documentation and publicity of human rights atrocities and discrimination being committed in Bangladesh against Shias, women, non-Wahabi Sunnis and Hindus, as also to the emergence of that country as a jihad base. The many offensive statements and actions of the ISI-controlled ruling clique need to be given international currency and prominence


Turning the economic screws on Bangladesh. Unfortunately, several Indian nationals have been helping the Wahabi clique in Dacca, especially in the textiles industry. India needs to accept that any money earned by the current administration in Dacca would be likely to gravitate towards jihad causes, and hence both international investors—and particularly Indian nationals—need to be warned against collaborating with the jihadis ruling Dacca as proxies for the ISI. It is especially unfortunate that several Indian citizens have become willing accomplices in the systematic degradation of India’s security by the Wahabis in Bangladesh. Hopefully, this is caused more by ignorance than design. Such ignorance needs to be dispelled


Ensuring that international attention is paid to the intimidation and suppression of secular forces in Bangladesh. In particular, all followers of the ideology of that supreme Bangladeshi patriot—Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman—are being oppressed, to silence from those who claim to seek to spread democracy. In particular, India needs to work together with the EU and the US to ensure that elections in Bangladesh are free and fair, and that the Wahabis do not succeed any more in rigging the results. Teams of observers from India, the US and the EU have to work in the country to ensure that the anti-democratic impulses of the Wahabis lose their potency to distort the electoral verdict. In particular, the international community needs to monitor and condemn the vicious Wahabi propaganda and discrimination against others in rural parts.


Warn both Pakistan and China that their support for the Wahabis in Dacca is incompatible with professions of friendship to India. Recently, China and India announced that they are “strategic partners”. What is a “strategic partner” of India doing transferring nuclear technology and C-802 missiles to a rogue regime? There has to be a high diplomatic cost to countries that thus negatively impact the security of India, not the usual profuse expressions of friendship


Prepare for a likely conflict with Bangladesh by basing and acclimatising naval, air, land and missile forces in the region, and preparing contingency plans should persuasion fail to bring Bangladesh back on to a sane path. Also, intensify the construction of the land barrier to infiltration and deal sternly with any effort by Bangladesh’s jihad army to block such constriction


Identify Wahabi elements within the pool of Bangladeshi migrants into India and ensure that these are sent back. In case the Dacca government does not accept them back, these should be quarantined and placed in holding areas next to the Bangladesh border, making it clear that the care and feeding of fanatics is not its responsibility. All Indian nationals should be warned through an effective publicity campaign against helping Bangladeshi jihadis either in Bangladesh or in India, and be told to identify Wahabis among the Bangladeshis for repatriation to the land now controlled by Khaleda Zia, the ideological sister of Mullah Omar. Unless strong action is taken now, even stronger action may be needed in a few years, if India is to avoid the fate that the ISI and its quislings in Bangladesh have mapped out for it.
(The author is a former editor of Times of India and Mathrubhumi and now teaches in Manipal University.)

Nation State or Dharmashala?

By R. Balashankar

Most of the problems India confronts today have their origin in the country’s Independence. We have inherited them with our freedom on August 15, 1947.

The freedom struggle against the British, which started in 1857, with the first War of Independence was also an exercise in defining our nationhood. The partition of India was a tragedy. It was artificial. It was the success and culmination of the two nation theory propounded by Muslim separatists, who were represented by the Muslim League, Aligarh Muslim University alumni, Deoband clergy and Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

The tragedy of partition could have been made into a golden opportunity to define our nationhood. If the composite culture of India, the Hindu heritage and the Bharatiya identity were declared the foundations of this nationhood many problems of today would not have been there. It was convenient for the Congress rulers then to leave things vague. The British too played a role in keeping the bundle of pestering sores alive.

Independent India could have identified and clearly laid down the frontiers of this Nation State. The Constitution is the basis of this Nation State. We have accepted the tricolour as our national flag. We have a national anthem and a national song. We have a national language and a link language, we have an inviolable geographical boundary.

A whole lot of issues which are today traumatising the nation could have been settled long before if the leaders at the time of Independence had shown the political will. Instead, they left it to the future generations of India to settle, enclosing them as “Directive Principles’ in the Indian Constitution. The issues of Uniform Civil Code, ban on cow slaughter, equal wages for equal work, total prohibition and many others could have been settled with finality. Having been divided on religious lines to create a Muslim Pakistan we had every reason to enact laws that were in keeping with our national interest, security, pride and culture.

Directive Principles of State Policy are in Part IV of the Constitution. They are not justiciable i.e one cannot go to court over the rights mentioned in this chapter. These are the the guidelines of the Constitution makers for good governance and progressing towards a strong Nation State.

The cow is worshipped by Hindus. But in many parts of the country, cow is slaughtered and the revered animal is exported illegally for its meat. There have been several agitations in the country demanding a complete ban on cow and calf slaughter. These have been mainly spearheaded by sants and religious leaders. But the successive governments have largely ignored the issue. Some states and religious groups behave as if slaughtering a cow is a matter of faith and pride. This, in the land of ahimsa, Buddha and the Mahatma.

Total prohibition is a far cry now, with the state governments (including the Delhi state) launching official vents. The revenue earned from liquor and the booty from the liquor contracts are too lucrative for the state to give up.

Women constitute more than half the workforce in the country. The early urban picture may have been slightly different. But in the labour intensive agriculture, construction and other sectors women have been working equal if not more. But even today, women are paid less than men. This provision of equal wage for equal work has been enshrined in the Directive Principles, and are yet to be implemented.

Uniform Civil Code is an issue which the politicians avoid like a mine field. They circumvent it, sidestep and never address it. A number of issues of serious concern, like women’s rights, equal justice, equal opportunity, ban on conversions by enticement, population policy, dowry and marriage and other civil laws are being subverted in the absence of a Uniform Civil Code. All unifying aspects of Nation State get ignored and diversity is emphasised from all possible platforms.

There is very little incentive to learn Sanskrit, the treasure house of our knowledge and heritage. But state funded madrasas teach foreign languages alien culture and semitic adventurism. More than 59 years after Independence the people of India are divided along religious lines in the eye of the judiciary, law and the legal system. For the same offence against women, a Muslim gets a different ruling and a Hindu gets a different ruling and so does a Christian. The recent spate of women abuse in the country has once again highlighted the need for a Uniform Civil Code.

Of the 19 Directive Principles, only the ones on Village Panchayat and Right to Education have been made into law. The others like participation of workers in management, separation of judiciary from executive, public health, free legal aid, universal humane working conditions, maternity relief and protection of environment and wildlife have remained just pious goals of the Constitution of India.

These are all issues confronting the nation, challenging the concept of India as a secular Nation State. The people who live in this country are expected to be loyal—worshipful—of the identities of our nationhood. And what are they? Has anyone attempted to define them?

Have we even launched a national campaign to propagate and popularise—create wider awareness of these concepts? Except for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and a few other nationalist organisations nobody bothers to campaign on these issues. The Constitution enjoins upon us to adhere to these principles, implement them and ensure respect for them in the conduct of the citizens.

But day in and day out we see these are violated, defiled even challenged by fissiparous elements. Politicians are always pussyfooting on issues of national honour. Divisive elements get a fillip whenever a government panders to divided loyalties. Reservations based on religion have no constitutional sanction. People or organisations challenging the integrity of the nation, asking for special rights or autonomous status are drilling a hole in the heart of the Indian Nation State. There should be no place for Article 370, for instance, in a free secular democracy. It was meant to be temporary.

Indians, especially Hindus are a very tolerant lot. We take a lot of nonsense, violence and even intimidation in our stride. But this tolerance should not be mistaken for timidity.

A recent survey in The Guradian said every two out of three Muslims in Britain want to leave that country after the 7/7 serial blasts! This is the result of the social and administrative pressure and communal ostracisation on that religious group. The open discrimination against the citizens who are colour different. One instance of terrorist violence where 58 people were killed and 700 injured has changed the attitude of an entire nation to a recalcitrant minority.

Compare this with the Indian response. For decades we have been facing Muslim terrorism, in which nearly 70,000 Indian lives have been lost. A religious minority in the North-east is encouraging militant insurgency. Yet, we have a political system that pampers minorityism in the name of vote bank. We allow millions of Bangladeshi infiltrators, to destroy our social fabric, destabilise our border states and imposes a debilitating burden on the economy. India once offered asylum for the tormented and persecuted. Now it is fast becoming a dharmashala. If India has to exist as a nation, we have to insist and enforce, that every individual living in this country has to unequivocally declare affinity, respect and commitment to the symbols of the Indian Nation State, the national flag, national song, the Constitution and geographic integrity. Our national heros have to be recognised and respected. And national sentiments honoured. This is the message of this Independence Day special.

The quintessence of Hindutva

By V. Sundaram IAS (Rtd.)

The massacres perpetrated by Muslim emperors in India are unparalleled in history, bigger than the holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis; or the massacre of the Armenians by the Turks; more extensive even than the slaughter of the South American native populations by the invading Spanish and Portuguese.

A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things, which in truth are but one, constitute this soul or spiritual principle. One lies in the past, one in the present. One is the rich legacy of memories; the other is present-day consent, the desire to live together, the will to perpetuate the value of the heritage that one has received in an undivided form.

The tide of Hindutva was inaugurated by Raj Narain Bose and Nav Gopal Mitra. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee offered the next milestone for those marching on the road of Hindutva by the publication of his novel Anand Math in 1882. Swami Vivekananda awakened the Indians and the western world to the glorious wisdom of Hindutva. Swami Dayananda Saraswati made us aware of our glorious Vedic heritage. Aurobindo Gosh was another sage whose thinking enriched the philosophy of Hindutva. In 1909 he wrote: “An Indian nationalism is largely Hindu in its spirit and traditions, because the Hindu made the land and the people and persists, by the greatness of his past, his civilisation and his culture, and his invincible virility. The ‘Nation Idea’ India never had. By this I mean the political idea of the Nation. It is a modern growth. But we had in India the cultural and spiritual idea of the Nation. This is the quintessence of Hindutva. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Vir Savarkar, Dr. Hedgewar, Guruji Golwalkar have all built up this great edifice of Hindutva. Hindutva is not a word but a history. Hinduism is only a derivative, a fraction or a part of Hindutva or Hinduness.”

Will Durant wrote in his Oriental Heritage. “The Mohammedan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history.”

The massacres perpetrated by Muslims emperors in India are unparalleled in history, bigger than the holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis; or the massacre of the Armenians by the Turks; more extensive even than the slaughter of the South American native popula-tions by the invading Spanish and Portuguese.

My extensive reading of Indian History has made me aware of the fact that hundreds of thousands of Hindu men, women and children were killed or were captured or converted by force to Islam over a period of 14 centuries in India.

All medieval Muslim historians credit their heroes with desecration of Hindu idols or destruction of Hindu temples or both.

I am solely relying on Muslim historians, in India and abroad, who have written hundreds of glowing accounts of the devastation caused by the Islamic armies in different parts of India and across the world. As my focus is on India, I would like to look at only what happened in India during the days of Islamic invasion and the following struggle for Independence from Islamic rule that was waged by the Hindus in the past. A pronounced feature of these Muslim histories is a description—in smaller or greater detail but always with considerable pride—of how the Hindus were slaughtered en masse or converted by force, how hundreds of thousands of Hindu men and women and children were captured as booty and sold into slavery, how Hindu temples and monasteries were razed to the ground or burnt down, and how images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses were destroyed or desecrated.

Almost all medieval Muslim historians credit their heroes with desecration of Hindu idols or destruction of Hindu temples or both. The picture that emerges has the following components, depending upon whether the iconoclast was in a hurry on account of Hindu resistance or did his work at leisure after a decisive victory:

The idols were mutilated or smashed or burnt or melted down if they were made of precious metals. Sculptures on walls and pillars were disfigured or scraped away or torn down. Idols of stone and inferior metals or their pieces were taken away, sometimes by cartloads thrown down before the main mosque in (a) The metropolis of the ruling Muslim sultan and (b) The holy cities of Islam, particularly Mecca, Medina and Baghdad. There were instances of idols being turned into lavatory seats or handed over to butchers to be used as weights while selling meat. Brahmin priests and other holy men in and around the temple were molested or murdered. Sacred vessels and scriptures used in worship were defiled and scattered or burnt. Temples were damaged or despoiled or demolished or burnt down or converted into mosques with some structural alterations or entire mosques were raised on the same sites mostly with temple materials. Cows were slaughtered on the temple sites so that Hindus could not use them again.

It is the duty of all conscientious and patriotic Hindus today to remember the sacrifices of those Hindus who attained veergati (martyrdom) when faced against these forces of primordial darkness that represented religious bigotry—brutal forces that traumatised and tormented India for 1400 years. India has survived as a wounded civilization to tell the story of this chilling horror. After carefully going through the writings of a cross-section of historians such as Sir Jadunath Sarkar, Rizwan Salim, Sita Ram Goel, Ram Swarup, Arun Shourie, R.C. Mazumdar and a few others, anyone can clearly see that there is clinching and irrefutable epigraphic evidence of the construction of masjids by destroying Hindu temples in several parts of India.

According to the Archaeological Survey of India, there are many mosques all over India that have been built on the site of demolished Hindu temples and, quite frequently, from the desecrated materials of those temples. Most of them carry inscriptions invoking Allah and the Prophet, quoting the Koran and giving details of when, how and by whom they were constructed. The inscriptions have been deciphered and connected to their historical context by learned Muslim calligraphers. They have been published by the Archaeological Survey of India in its Epigraphica Indica Arabic and Persian Supplement.

Though sites of demolished Hindu temples were mostly used for building mosques and idgahs; temple materials were generally used in other Muslim monuments as well. Archaeologists have discovered such materials, architectural as well as sculptural, in quite a few forts, palaces, maqbaras, Sufi khanqahs, madrasas, etc. In Srinagar, temple materials can be seen in long stretches of the stone embankments on both sides of the Jhelum river.

The apologists for militant Islam—the most clogged among them are the officially-sponsored pseudo-secularist historians and politicians—have easily got away with the plea of Muslim court scribes having succumbed to poetic exaggeration in order to please their pious patrons and masters. Their case gets weakened when they cite the same sources in support of their speculations or when the question is asked as to why those patrons needed stories of bloodshed and wanton destruction of Hindu temples for quenching their spiritual fires of piety and self-righteousness.

Today after a gap of 1000 years, the innate spirit of humanness that is the basis of Hindu culture can again breathe freely and it is about time that we recollect it with swelling pride tinged with inner sorrow, nostalgia and affection.

There are, however, solid and time-defying monuments and artefacts which serve as vocal witnesses that can eloquently confirm that the Muslim court scribes were not at all foisting fables on their readers when they wrote their innumerable accounts. These are the hundreds of thousands of sculptural and architectural fragments which stand arrayed in museums and drawing rooms all over the world, or which are awaiting to be picked up by public and private collectors, or which stare at us from numerous Muslim monuments. There is no doubt that Medieval India until the Islamic invaders destroyed it, was indeed one of history’s most advanced cultures and one of the world’s most developed civilizations.

Thousands of Hindu temples and monuments were severely damaged or destroyed by the Muslim iconoclasts. The Hindus suffered immense psychic damage. The Muslims also plundered the wealth of the Hindu kingdoms, impoverished the Hindu populace, and destroyed the prosperity of India. The psychological damage to the Hindu mind, due to Muslim rule, was immense and unmeasurable.

Today after a gap of 1000 years, the innate spirit of humanness that is the basis of Hindu culture can again breathe freely and it is about time that we recollect it with swelling pride tinged with inner sorrow, nostalgia and affection. The human spirit in ancient India has given to the world, the values of non-violence, religious tolerance, renunciation together with many elements of knowledge in fields like production technology, mechanical engineering, ship-building, navigation, architecture, civil engineering, medical science, physics, chemistry, logic, astronomy, mathematics and so on. In short, the greatest civilisation known in history.

I conclude it in the inspiring words of Sudheer Birodkar: “We have to live up to this legacy that can help human beings in all corners of our world to rejuvenate our spirit not to conquer one another, but to conquer oneself; not to destroy, but to build; not to hate, but to love; not to isolate oneself, but to integrate everyone into one global society and to achieve much more in the future to enrich human civilization to result in: ‘The maximum welfare of the maximum number’ or as in Sanskrit it is called: Loko samasto sukhino bhavantu and Samasta janaanaam sukhino bhavantu.

Volkswagen Presented Two specially equipped ambulances to Pope Benedict

Two specially equipped ambulances were presented to Pope Benedict XVI in
Cologne today by the Chairman of the VW brand Board of Management, Dr.
Wolfgang Bernhard. The special vehicles were handed over at the Archbishop's
Residence in Cologne during the World Youth Day. The first vehicle is to be
deployed in Rome as the Vatican's official ambulance, while the second is to
be used at a Catholic mission in Africa.

Volkswagen is supporting the XX World Youth Day with 100 Group vehicles
to transport guests and organizers. In total, some one million visitors are
expected in Cologne.

"We are delighted to be supporting an important event such as the World
Youth Day," said Bernhard. "The young people coming together in Cologne are
our future. The message of tolerance, optimism and understanding among
nations they are sending all over the world comes from Germany this year, in
many ways a valuable sign in itself."

Given the existing extensive fleet, Pope Benedict XVI abstained from
commissioning further "Papamobil" vehicles. Volkswagen was, however, pleased
to act on a request from the Vatican to build two ambulances instead. "It is
meaningful to offer assistance where it is needed," said Bernhard.

The ambulances are LT 35 high roof panel vans manufactured by Volkswagen
Commercial Vehicles and powered by 158 bhp, 2.8 l diesel engines. The
vehicles have been equipped to the Vatican's own specification and include
extensive medical apparatus.

State of Iraq analysis now on UPI Security & Terrorism

UPI Security & Terrorism

WASHINGTON, August 18, 2005 -- UPI Security & Terrorism adds daily reporting and analysis from every corner of Iraq from UPI’s Pentagon Correspondent Pamela Hess.

Hess has covered the U.S. occupation of Iraq for two years, and will produce a comprehensive province-by-province report on U.S. military operations, the insurgent threat, the capabilities of Iraqi security forces and the state of reconstruction.

The extraordinary eight-week odyssey through all of Iraq’s 18 provinces will answer the two questions that Americans care most about there: Are we winning? And when can we withdraw our troops?

Hess has covered the Iraq war reporting from Najaf, Diwaniyah, northern Babil Province, Ramadi, Fallujah, Asad, Qaim, Trebil, Rutbah, Tuz Khurmatu and Baghdad, among other cities, during two extended trips in 2003 and 2004.

In addition to Iraq, she has covered U.S. military operations and Pentagon policies from Washington, DC., Afghanistan, Iraq, Russia, China, Australia, Bosnia, Lithuania, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

UPI Security & Terrorism brings you timely, accurate reporting and sound analysis you can rely on to help make mission-critical decisions.

To learn more about Pamela Hess, and find out how to subscribe to UPI’s Security & Terrorism or how to syndicate the Hess package, go to www.about.upi.com.



NOTE TO GUEST BOOKERS

Please contact Hess using all three of the following e-mail addresses: phess@upi.com; pamrhess@hotmail.com; pamrhess@aol.com

Pope Benidict Re-Writes History to suit future wars

ALERT All "Pagans"

It is intriguing that Benedict is inventing history by placing Nazism as a product of Neo-paganism.
This is in connection with his peace moves with Jews.

1) The Catholic Church during Holocaust played a passive role and initially active in supporting Nazis

2) Many Germans believed that being " good Christians" they are supporting Nazi ideology and not due to identification with Pagans

3) The Romas [ definitely a Pagan group] were butchered by Hitler as much as Jews except the former was not so much talked about
4) In the context of the huge popularity of Da vinci code { which talks about manipulation and fraud by the Church regarding Pagans] this new history of pope is intriguing

5) he has also visited Moslem's in a mosque-- as part of " reconciliation"

It is important that Harmony based civilisations like Hinduism / Buddhism etc[ Which are Pagans for Benedict] become alert since Benedict is cooking a new broth for future wars by re-writing history.


Pope warns of rising anti-Semitism

http://www.hindu.com/2005/08/20/
stories/2005082000201500.htm

Pontiff visits Cologne synagogue rebuilt after destruction by Nazis

COLOGNE (GERMANY): Pope Benedict XVI warned on Friday of rising anti-Semitism and hostility to foreigners, winning a standing ovation from Germany's oldest Jewish community as he made only the second visit by a Pope to a synagogue.

Speaking in a Cologne synagogue rebuilt after it was destroyed by the Nazis, the Pope said that ``today, sadly, we are witnessing the rise of new signs of anti-Semitism and various forms of a general hostility toward foreigners.''

He called for more vigilance and stressed the Roman Catholic Church's belief in the equality of all and respect for human life. ``In the 20th Century, in the darkest period of German and European history, an insane racist ideology, born of neo-paganism, gave rise to the attempt, planned and systematically carried out by the regime, to exterminate European Jewry,'' he said.

``The result has passed into history as the Shoah,'' he said, using the Hebrew term for the Holocaust. — AP

Second phase ,Sino-Russia joint military exercise started

2nd phase of "Peace Mission 2005" starts
www.chinaview.cn 2005-08-20 08:25:56


QINGDAO, Aug. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- The second phase of the Sino-Russia joint military exercise started in east China's Shandong Peninsula Saturday morning.



The new phase of exercise, dubbed "Peace Mission 2005", mainly focused on delivery and outspread, adjusting decisions, and organizing coordinated actions.

Weapons and logistic and telecom support have all been ready for the joint drill, military sources at the spot said.

The Chinese and Russian troops had already had their first joint practice on the three courses in the Shandong peninsula and its nearby seawaters on Aug. 14, 15 and 16, sources said.

The three courses, or the actual combat practice, cover offshore blockade, amphibious landing and forcible separation.

The whole war game is scheduled to go through three phases, including strategic consultation and battle planning, transportation and deployment of troops, and combat practice. The first phase was held in Russia's coastal city of Vladivostok.

The Russian troops involved include officers and soldiers from paratroops, marine corps, air forces and navy. They arrived in theShandong peninsula and the nearby offshore seawaters since Aug. 9.

Meanwhile, Russia's Il-76 transport plane, Il-78 refueling plane, A-50 early warning plane, Tu-95 MS and Tu-22M3 strategic bombers, Su-24M2 bomber, and Su-27SM fighter jet will join the combat practice, along with anti-sub vessel, destroyer, landing craft, rescue towboat, logistic support vessel, and parachuter combat car.

The Chinese troops, including ground forces, navy fleets, marine forces, air forces and paratroops, have already assembled in Shandong Peninsula and conducted one-side practice since mid-July.

The 8-day China-Russia joint military exercise involves nearly 10,000 troops from the two countries.

The joint drill aimed to improve the capabilities of the Chinese and Russian armies in combating new threats, dealing with crises and organizing coordinated actions in the backdrop of the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism. Enditem

Putin: Commander-in-Charge

Moscow. (RIA Novosti military commentator Viktor Litovkin). -- Vladimir Putin, Russian President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, has been making headlines since he came back from the Northern Fleet tactical exercise in the Arctic.

While agreeing on the topics - his flight onboard a Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bomber, a cruise on the Pyotr Veliky, Russia's strongest fighting fleet flagship, and oversight of missile launches, of a supersonic cruise missile from the Blackjack and of a ballistic one from the submerged SSBN Yekaterinburg - the attitudes of Russian and Western media were different altogether, with the West accusing Russia of saber-rattling and bullying. The rationale behind this piece is to explain why this is just not true.

Russia does not project military force and does not occupy lands thousands of miles away from home. All Russian forces deployed beyond its boundaries, notably in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transdnestria, are there under UN and CIS mandates or have bilateral agreements with hosting counties and their permission to deploy a military capability.

That statesmen, let alone presidents who have a military commitment by definition, sometimes attend military events and sites - aircraft carriers, military bases etc. - or even fly combat jets should be hardly seen as a whim or a sign of irresponsibility. After all, why cannot Putin, a man in his prime, do what Jacques Chirac, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Spanish King Juan Carlos did many times - and what King of Jordan Abdulla II, a revered combat pilot, who has just visited Putin at the Black Sea resort of Sochi was clearly envious of?

Another matter of concern has been the launch of a Kh-555, a standoff ALCM described as new but in reality derived from the Soviet Kh-55 nuclear missile in the early 1990s by the Raduga design bureau near Moscow. (By the way, Ukraine where almost all these missiles had been deployed under the Soviet Union barred Russia from pulling all of them out as the U.S.S.R. collapsed. It returned only nuclear warheads and is thought to have sold de-armed Kh-555s abroad.)

Apart from the nuclear-to-conventional conversion, the improvements of the Soviet-era munition were largely about accuracy, clearly not a crucial characteristic for a nuclear warhead. The recent launch was just another accuracy test and that it was overseen by the Commander-in-Chief clearly does not make it special. Moscow has been converting its nuclear force into conventional for years.

So why the ballyhoo? Maybe the ongoing Sino-Russian war games are to blame? What is so scary about 10,000 uniformed men and women learning how to repel a threat of a terrorist invasion? The U.S. did such war games with Taiwan, India with France, even Russia with France, and none of the previous events was ever seen as "throwing down a gauntlet" to the United States, as some media wrote.

Maybe some people are nostalgic about the times when Russian warships were nowhere to be seen beyond their naval bases, combat vehicles were firmly locked up in hangars, and the military, underpaid and treaded-upon, fled the army in their thousands? This was too bad to last long, and now it is high time the Russian Armed Forces began doing what all other decent armies do - protect their country and its national interests. As professionally and effectively as ever.

Soyuz spacecraft to cost NASA $65 million

ZHUKOVSKY (Moscow region), August 18 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Space Agency Roscosmos will sell a Soyuz spacecraft, a carrier rocket and launch services to NASA for some $65 million, if the American agency approves the deal, a Roscosmos official told journalists Thursday.

Roscosmos manned flight programs head Alexei Krasnov said the deal, which includes a Russian cosmonaut as shuttle commander, might be changed to take inflation into account.

He explained that Russia's commitments on American astronauts' delivery to the International Space Station would expire in spring 2006, meaning that in April 2006, two seats in the Soyuz would be given to Russian cosmonauts and one would go to either a space tourist, a European Space Agency astronaut or any other candidate who can pay for the flight.

"We hope American shuttles will resume regular flights and we are suggesting that our American partners use Soyuz craft as retrieving units for the ISS crew instead of as shuttles," Krasnov said.

The United States cannot currently buy the craft because of a U.S. law banning airspace equipment purchases from certain countries.

Two records broken at MAKS-2005 air show

17:09 | 19/ 08/ 2005


ZHUKOVSKY (Moscow region), August 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russian pilots flying Su-27P planes have broken two world air speed records at the MAKS-2005 air show.

Test pilot Alexander Pavlov established a new record of speed on the closed route, subclass C-1-i (overland planes with a take-off weight of 16-20 tons).

"On a 100-kilometer route the speed of 1510 km/h was achieved," Pavlov said.

According to the Russian pilot, the previous record, 1264.47 km/h, was established in September 1995 by R. Vandam in a McDonnel RF-4C plane.

Distinguished test pilot Anatoly Kvochur established a new record of speed on the closed route, subclass C-1-j (overland planes with a take-off weight of 20-25 tons).

"On a 1000-kilometer route the speed of 1644 km/h was achieved," Kvochur said.

The previous record, 993.16 km/h, was established in September 1995 by C. Henson in a McDonnel RF-4C plane.

Russian pilots broke both records on Wednesday, August 17, Pavlov said.

According to Director of the State Pilot-Research Center Dmitry Shulepov, the pilots achieved record speeds through optimizing flight patterns using onboard computers.

The Gromov Flight Research Institute, the State Pilot-research Center, and the Sukhoi Design Bureau participated in preparing for the record-breaking flights.

US Department of State seriously interested in Russian oligarch in disgrace

US Department of State seriously interested in Russian oligarch in disgrace, Boris Berezovsky
08/19/2005 12:04

The former Russian oligarch, who currently resides in England, is suspected to be involved in the assassination of Forbes Russia editor

Russian oligarch in disgrace, Boris Berezovsky, may soon face severe problems. The US State Department is interested in Mr. Berezovsky's activities: the oligarch found himself involved in the case of Paul Klebnikov, a journalist of the US origin, editor of Forbes Russia. Mr. Berezovsky did not even expect that events would take such a turn for him.

Boris Berezovsky and Paul Klebnikov used to have something in common. Paul Klebnikov wrote an article about Berezovsky in the original English version of the magazine, in which he accused the erstwhile Kremlin favorite of many sins, including the implication in the murder of a well-known Russian journalist, Vlad Listyev. Boris Berezovsky sued Forbes in response - he decided to take a legal action against the world-known magazine in England. The magazine eventually had to publish apologies.

Klebnikov did not calm down after the court process and wrote a whole book about the notorious oligarch titled "Godfather of the Kremlin: The Decline of Russia in the Age of Gangster Capitalism." Berezovsky did not take any legal action against Klebnikov after such a publication. Quite on the contrary, the main character in the book (Berezovsky) had to face serious problems with Russian justice, which eventually made him immigrate to England. Paul Klebnikov was killed in Moscow four years later.

A strong group of American publishers and journalists volunteered to set up Project Klebnikov, a global media alliance, on July 5 of the current year. The group started its own investigation of the assassination of the American citizen and journalist. The members of the alliance are not satisfied with work results of Moscow investigators, who concluded that there was a Chechen warlord, Khozh-Akhmed Nukhayev, behind Paul Klebnikov's assassination. This person became the main character of another book written by the now-deceased journalist in 2003 - "Conversations With a Barbarian." Initiators of the new investigation do not believe, however, that the book could have instigated the Chechen warlord to commit the crime of murder.

According to The New York Sun, Project Klebnikov's members are currently working on five different versions; Boris Berezovsky is involved into two of them. Paul's older brother, Michael, works in close cooperation with a group of journalists. More importantly, they receive special recommendations from the US government, which found time to set up an inter-departmental committee to look into all details of the matter (it was later confirmed by Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Daniel Fried).

Such a high level of support means that Washington is seriously interested in the investigation. It brings up the idea that the US administration will not save either money or efforts on it. It goes without saying that there are certain aspects of political speculation involved in the matter. It gives another reason to believe that Russia is a dangerous state, where journalists are get killed, crimes remain unsolved, and the US interference is supposedly vital. On the other hand, the violent death of a US citizen abroad is a serious issue. If it turns out that Boris Berezovsky is involved in Paul Klebnikov's case indeed, the refugee status, which he received from the British government, will not save the former oligarch. American and Western politicians are absolutely not interested in the "struggle on the enemy's territory," which Berezovsky conducts in Russia, as another oligarch, Leonid Nevzlin put it. They do not want their own citizens to die in such a struggle at all

Advani wants river linking speeded up

Belgaum, August 20: BJP President L K Advani has urged Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh to convene an all-party meeting to discuss the issue of
inter-linking of rivers.

The task force on inter-linking of rivers, set up during the NDA
regime to find solutions to the problems of floods and drought, had
already completed a lot of groundwork and a large number of states
were enthusiastic about it, but then the government changed, he told
reporters at the airport here yesterday after undertaking an aerial
survey of the flood-ravaged areas in North Karnataka.

Referring to the flood situation in Karnataka, he urged the state
government to attend to the problems of the affected people "earnestly
and vigorously".

Advani also said disaster management should be accorded importance in
all states. (Agencies)

August 19, 2005

Iran's Supreme Leader Says Iran not after A-Bomb, Blasts US "Deception"


Tehran, Aug 19, IRNA

Iran-Nuke-Leader
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei repeated here Friday that Iran has never been after a nuclear bomb and that the West was trying to deceive the world public opinion by pretending that Iran wanted the bomb.

Addressing a huge crowd of Muslim worshippers at the Friday prayers sermons here, the Leader said in their smear campaign, the U.S. and "regretably some European countries" claim they are opposed to "Iran's access to nuclear weapons."
"This is sheer deception and aimed to mislead the public opinion in their own countries."
The Leader also urged Europe not to fall into the US trap. "The US has no goodwill towards you nor towards Iran."
 Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, said Tuesday Tehran will not give up its plans to develop a full nuclear fuel cycle. He, however, gave his backing to talks to resolve the standoff with the West.

He said that Iran deems it a principle to continue talks and it accepts negotiation as the right manner.

Stressing that its nuclear programme will only be used to generate electricity, Iran rejected a resolution adopted by the International Atomic Energy Agency last week calling on it to halt all nuclear fuel work.

Iran resumed activities at the Isfahan Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) on August 8 after rejecting an EU offer of political and economic incentives in return for giving up its nuclear programme.

The resolution tabled by the EU3 and adopted by the IAEA urges Iran to re-establish full suspension of all enrichment related activities including the production of feed material, through tests or production at the UCF, on the same voluntary basis as requested in previous board resolutions and to permit the director-general to re-instate the seals that have been remove at the facility.

The resolution requests IAEA Chief Mohammad ElBradei to continue to monitor closely the situation and inform the board of governors of any further developments as appropriate.

The resolution also calls on ElBradei to provide a comprehensive report on the implementation of Iran's NPT Safeguard Agreement and this resolution by September 3, 2005.

The European Union has expressed its "deep concern "over Iran's resumption of activity at the uranium conversion facility in Isfahan but said the door remains open for negotiations

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei here Friday said the US was the prime suspect in the case of insecurity in Iraq and that terrorists were operating under the US eyes there.

Addressing a huge crowd of Muslim worshipers at the Friday prayers sermons here, the Leader said, "We are deeply upset by the insecurity that is prevailing in Iraq and taking tolls from among the miserable Iraqi people.

"Killing innocent people is a big crime and it does not matter who commits the crime. The US machine guns are guilty and so are those who plant bombs.

"We consider the US as the prime suspect in these events because terrorism in Iraq is taking place under the watchful eyes of the Americans. Thousands of military, security, political and
intelligence US forces are spread all over Iraq today. If they want to eliminate insecurity in Iraq, they can do this."
The Leader further said that some even believe the killings are carried out by the US and Zionist intelligence services.

"It is not unlikely and there is evidence, too. Insecurity is a prelude to occupation. They can justify their (continued) presence due to the insecurity there," said the Leader.

"They (the Americans) wanted to bring to power their own subservient government - a government that would serve the people in appearance but act like a US mercenary in reality."
The Leader said the Americans are officially interfering in drawing up the Iraqi constitutional law. "What does it have to do with you?"
Ayatollah Khamenei said the US has been defeated in Iraq and there is no doubt about it.

The Leader said that people's hatred toward the US is increasing and no one is more despised than George W. Bush in Iraq today.

Referring to the opposition to the US interference in Iraq, the Leader said protests against the US administration due to its military interference is on the rise and an opinion poll held last week showed that most Americans are against the US interference and presence in Iraq.

Turning to allegations against Iran and Syria, Ayatollah Khamenei said, "Terrorists are moving under the watchful eyes of the US and are perhaps moved from here to there with their own assistance. We have information about this. And then they level unsubstantiated accusations against Iran or Syria.

"Today, we have a 1,300-km joint border with Iraq and occasional cases of illegal crossing may occur," said the Leader, adding, "The security of Iraq is our security and its progress is a huge achievement."
The Supreme Leader then touched on the government of Iraq saying, "We support the Iraqi government which is a popular one. The Iraqi nation are our Muslim brethren.

"The present government has come to office with the vote of the people, something unprecedented in the history of Iraq. The Iraqi people had never had the chance to elect a head of government before."
The Supreme Leader said the Iraqi people have never been present in the scene. This is the first popular government taking the reins of power in the country. "This is not what the US wanted."
He said: "The Iraqi nation, the progressive clergy and religious authorities wanted this, and thanks God, this happened."
The Leader said the Iranian nation wish prosperity, development and security for Iraq.

The leader's speech was interrupted several times by the worshipers who supported the Leader's statements by shouting "God is the Greatest" and "Death to America".

Discovery and Rebirth of River Sarasvati for a National Water Grid

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman

A spectrum of multi-disciplinary evidences establishes that the Vedic
River Sarasvati is ground-truth and that the heritage of the expansive
civilization is a cultural continuum evidenced in Bharat. Sarasvati
civilization was a maritime, riverine civilization and hence had an
extensive reach and contact area extending from Ropar in Punjab up to
the Tigris-Euphrates Doab of contemporary Mesopotamian civilization,
traversing across the Persian Gulf, i.e., from Meluhha across Magan
and Dilmun to Sumer and Ur. The code of Sarasvati hieroglyphs has been
cracked as mleccha -- and related to minerals, metals and furnaces
used by artisan guilds -- a tradition which continues into the
historical periods evidenced by devices found on punch-marked metal
coins all over Bharat. It is not mere coincidence that the word
'bharatiyo' means in Gujarati 'a caster of metals, a metal worker'.

The rivers Sindhu and Sarasvati and the shallow waters of Sindhu
sa_gara hugging the coastline constituted the highway of interactions
in an emerging phase from Chalcolithic into the alloying stages of
material culture. The maritime nature of the civilization is
exemplified by the continuing industry of s'ankha (turbinella pyrum)
which is a continuum dating from 6500 BCE (attested by a woman's grave
at Mehergarh with a wide s'ankha bangle and s'ankha ornaments). The
industry is thriving even today in Gulf of Mannar (Tiruchendur,
Ki_r..akkarai) with the office of the West Bengal Handicrafts
Development Corporation recording an annual turnover of Rs. 50 crores
for s'ankha purchases. The s'ankha kr.s'a_na (conch cutters) work in
West Bengal and Bangladesh. A discovery of the National Institute of
Ocean Technology relates to the submerged riverbanks of the
palaeo-channels of the rivers Narmada and Tapati in the Gulf of
Khambat. The Gulf of Khambat was formed about 10000 years ago by the
incursion of the sea into the Saura_s.t.ra peninsula (an event which
explains the submergence of Dwaraka reported in Mahabharata; events of
the epic have been precisely dated to circa 3000 BCE, using
planetarium software), coinciding with regular seasons of
precipitation in Bharat caused by the south-west and northeast
monsoon.

Table 1 Cultural typology/ chronology of civilization in Bha_rat
(Years Before Present)

Post-Sarasvati Phase Sarasvati Phase Lithic Phase
Northern Black Polished Ware 2600-2100
Painted Grey Ware 2800-2400
Ochre-Coloured Pottery 3500-3300


Late Sarasvati 3900-3300
Mature phase 4600-3900
Early phase 5000-4600
Pre-Sarasvati 5500-4600


Neolithic/Chalcolithic8500-7000
Mesolithic 12,000-8500
Upper Palaeolithic 32,000 12,000
Middle Palaeolithic 102,000 –32,000
Lower Palaeolithic+ 700,000 – 100,000


The map shows the Vedic River Sarasvati and migrations of River Yamuna
carrying the Sarasvati waters to join Ganga resulting in the Triveni
Sangamam at Prayag, Allahabad and of River Sutlej westwards to join
River Sindhu resulting in the denial of glacier waters from Mt.
Kailas, Manasarovar to the River Sarasvati. These two river migrations
were caused by plate tectonics (earthquakes caused by the clash of
Indian and Eurasian Plates), about 4500 and 3500 years before present
respectively, similar to the earthquake of 8.2 Richter scale
intensity, which occurred in Bhuj, Gujarat on 26 January 2001. The
ongoing plate tectonics caused by the northward movement of the Indian
plate at the rate of 6 cms every year, explain the rise of the
Himalayas by 1 cm every year.

The reborn river Sarasvati will help reach the glacier, bringing
perennial waters to the Rann of Kutch and to Saura_s.t.ra. The rebirth
of River Sarasvati has provided the impetus for the establishment of a
National Water Grid to ensure equitable distribution of water to all
parts of India and to take the nation to a developed nation status by
the year 2020.

Paraphrased from a speech delivered at the Hindu Ideological
Empowerment Symposium 2004, held at Nashville, Tennessee on September
18th 2004

http://www.sulekha.com/expressions/
articledesc.asp?cid=307510 [map]

Mock police operation creates panic in Gilgit

Staff Report
Source: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/

GILGIT: Shutters of almost all shops were put down on Thursday when police commandos staged a demonstration of their skills against terrorism in a busy bazaar in the city without prior information.

A large number of commuters, patients and shopkeepers flee markets after seeing police commandos in action. Over a dozen vehicles collided with each other because of panic.

Locals criticised police officials for their carefree attitude saying the misunderstanding could have triggered the worst law and order situation which was already deteriorating in the region for the last eight months.

“This depicts a tragic incident (of terrorism) and people started to rush to their homes,” a man in the bazaar said.

He said the people saw masked policemen dragging some people as part of the police “operation,” but they kept people in dark about the exercise leading to panic and chaos for two hours.

Sources said the idea of the mock operation was floated by a deputy superintendent of police, who was in-charge of the trainee elite force.

The locals demanded investigation into the mock operation and urged the police to inform the public before undertaking such mock exercises.

Shahabuddin arrest imminent in Bihar

PressTrust of India
Posted online: Friday, August 19, 2005 at 1259 hours IST


Patna, August 19: A day after the Patna High Court quashed a warrant of arrest issued against controversial RJD Mp Md Shahabuddin by Siwan District Magistrate, the state administration has faxed copies of other warrants pending against the MP to all DMs to ensure his arrest.



State Home Secretary A K Biswas told PTI that copies of non-bailable warrants of arrest pending with the Hussainganj Police Station against the MP have been faxed to all district magistrates and SPs for early execution.

Bihar Director General of Police a R Sinha had yesterday said the three non-bailable arrest warrants against the MP would be executed soon.

"We are on the job and warrants of arrest against Md Shahabuddin will be executed soon," he had told reporters.


The Election Commission as also the High Court had asked the state administration to arrest all those against whom non-bailable warrants were pending.

Three NBWs pending against Shahabuddin for execution by Hussainganj Police Station relate to recovery of illegal firearms, ammunition, unaccounted foreign currency, power theft and violation of Wildlife Act.

Several firearms of foreign make, ammunition with Pakistan Ordnance Factory marking, foreign currency, a deer and photographs of Shahabuddin and his men posing with a dead deer were allegedly seized during a raid on his Pratappur house on April 24.

The warrants notwithstanding, Shahabuddin was in an RJD delegation that called on the Election Commissioners recently and had addressed a function organised by RJD Minority Cell at Muzaffarpur.

US Department of Energy to negotiate with Metal Storm

Department of Energy

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – 18 August 2005 – Metal Storm Limited (ASX trading code: MST and NASDAQ Small Cap ticker symbol MTSX).

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has placed a notice on its website () advising that it intends to solicit and negotiate a contract with Metal Storm for research and development of a short range neutralisation protection system using Metal Storm’s 40mm multi-barrel technology. The proposed contract would be for one year duration for consideration less than US $250,000. A copy of DOE’s description of the proposed contract is attached.

DOE is required to place such a notice where it intends to solicit and negotiate with only one source. In this case, DOE believes that the supplies or services required by DOE are available from only one responsible source (ie Metal Storm).

DOE have invited public responses to the intended contract through their web site with a closing date of 27 August 2005.

Metal Storm expects to be advised of the outcome of this process and whether DOE will proceed to negotiation of a contract in late August or early September.

Metal Storm's Chief Executive Officer Mr David Smith, said the potential contract further demonstrates the capabilities and advantages of our 40 mm weapons system for a range of defence and civilian related applications. If the contract is awarded, it will also provide an opportunity for Metal Storm to develop an ongoing relationship with DOE, which could lead to more significant projects in the future.

Metal Storm will advise the ASX and NASDAQ markets once it has been notified by the US Department of Energy of the outcome of the contract negotiation.

About Metal Storm

Metal Storm Limited is a defence technology company engaged in the development of electronically initiated ballistics systems using its unique "stacked round" technology. The company is headquartered in Brisbane, Australia and incorporated in the US, with an office in Washington DC. Metal Storm is working with government agencies and departments, as well as industry, to develop a variety of systems utilising the Metal Storm non-mechanical, electronically fired stacked ammunition system.



Safe Harbour

Certain statements made herein that use the words "estimate", "project", "intend", "expect", "believe" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the company to be materially different from those which may be expressed or implied by such statements, including, among others, risks or uncertainties associated with the development of the company’s technology, the ability of the company to meet its financial requirements, the ability of the company to protect its proprietary technology, potential limitations on the company’s technology, the market for the company’s products, government regulation in Australia and the US, changes in tax and other laws, changes in competition and the loss of key personnel. For additional information regarding these and other risks and uncertainties associated with the company’s business, reference is made to the company’s reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company’s Form 20-F.

Attachment – Description of proposed contract

"The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Albuquerque Operations Office (AL) intends to procure on a sole source basis, research and development of a short range neutralization system utilizing the Metal Storm multi-barrel 40 MM (a sole item). DOE has determined that Metal Storm is the only small business that has the technology needed for the research and development necessary to meet DOE mission needs. The proposed contract action will utilize a weapon system with no mechanical moving parts and its ability to distribute large quantities of ammunition over a large area in an extremely short time frame and provide proof of concept that the electronic weapons system can achieve neutralization of an adversary and/or enough diversion that would afford a person safe egress from a protected facility. The system must be capable of saturating a target area between 30 and 50 meters away from the firing point in four 90 quadrants. Saturation is defined as one 40mm HE round (5m kill radius) in every 100 square meter area. The target area must be saturated within one second from activation of fire trigger. This includes the time to remove mechanical barriers, arming and firing. Once armed the system must be capable of starting the expenditure of ammunition within two hundred milliseconds of pushing the "fire" button. The system must not affect the target area until the system is fired, thus eliminating the use of any form of mines that are placed in the target area.

This period of performance will be for one year duration for less than $250,000. The intended contractor is Metal Storm USA Limited, 4350 Fairfax Dr STE 810, Arlington, Va. 22203. See numbered notes 1 and 22. The NAICS code for the procurement is 54170 for companies with less than 500 employees. This is not a solicitation for proposals or an invitation for bids, nor does it represent a commitment by the government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of data or any other costs incurred in response to this announcement. The closing date of this announcement is 15 days from the date of this posting. Any responses to this intent shall be sent electronically to the Contract Specialist at ggourley@doeal.gov."

PAKISTAN : Baloch Diaspora condemn torture of BSO members

Baloch community in US and Europe has expressed shock and anger over the reports of torture and harassment of BSO ( Baloch Students Organisation) members by Pakistani authorities . The reports indicate that, " three young men were among even members of the BSO taken into custody in Karachi in March. Four of them who were released in May reported torture, degrading treatment and detention in isolation for periods extending to a month. Pakistani police and security forces picked them up after they had joined a protest in March against the military operation in Balochistan, in which 70 Baloch died and more than 200 were injured. The families have reported that all three men were tortured using electric shocks. Among these three, the Condition Of Dr. Allah Nazar is said to be especially grave, who is partially paralyzed and reportedly unable to speak or recognize anyone as result of being tortured. His family has expressed concern that his injuries may result in complete paralysis unless he receives immediate medical treatment in hospital. However, the authorities have reportedly denied the men access to medical treatment."

Three men Ali Nawaz, Akhter Nadeem and Dr. Allah Nazar are reportedly being held in a police station in the village of Chandar Maa which is about 25km from the city of Sadiq Abad, Punjab province. They have reportedly been tortured and require medical treatment.

The newly formed American based lobbying group BSONA ( http://bso-na.org ) Baloch Society Of North America Condemn in it's statement said that " these are Anti-Baloch Crimes against our people and ask the United Nation, International Community and the International court of Justice to investigate these Pakistani Crimes and Tortures and those responsible must to be brought to justice. " Dr. Wahid Baloch, head of BSO-NA said they will contact UN and other Human Rights organization to bring bring these human rights violations to their notice .

Refering to Pakistani Army's atrocities committed in Bangladesh, Dr.Homi Baba said " Old habits never die. Today, they are continuing their brutal campaigns against the civilized and peace-loving people of two other Provinces - Sindh and Balochistan. They are savagely usurping the rights of Sindhis and Balochs, arresting those who speak the truth and fight for their human rights, stuffing them in dungeon-like prisons, without trial, without justice, and systematically torture them, till they die. Those who do not die become become either insane or vegetables. "


Another member of BSONA criticized Pakistan and equated to Israel in dealing with Balochis " Pakistan claims to be a Muslim state but she has broken the record of Israel with her treatment of prisoners whose only crime is to demand their human rights. These students who are near death because of beastly treatment and torture need urgent medical treatment but still are denied arrogantly by the agencies. What Pakistani army has done with Bangali Muslims in 1971 now repeating the same cruelty with Baloch and Sindhis. "

In a letter to Pakistani President , a prominent Sindhi activist Mr.Gul Agha of Champaign, Illinois, USA said "Dr. Allah Nazar who is partially paralyzed and reportedly unable to speak or recognize anyone as result of being tortured " requested authorities to grant immediate access to any medical treatment they may require and sought assurances that they will not be subjected to further torture or ill-treatment . He also called for an impartial investigation into the alleged torture and ill-treatment of all three men, and into the failure of the Pakistan authorities to disclose where these men were detained following their arrest on 25 March 2005, with the results of the investigation to be made public and those found to be responsible to be brought to justice.

One of the unique feature of Pakistani Army and police in dealing with Balochi nationalists is arresting and taking them to prisons of Punjab province . "Countless Sindhis and Balochs have been arrested by the Police and Army." , said a balochi

How Balochs Celebrated the Independence Day -- With Bombs, Violence

By Nizamuddin Nizamani

QUETTA, August 21: This year Pakistan’s’ Independence Day on August 14 was celebrated and de-celebrated simultaneously by a divided Balochistan in and outside the country.

In Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar the day began with official artillery salutes, colorful flags and fireworks, patriotic songs and large expensive official and unofficial feasts and congregations. Flag ceremony and artillery fire was organized in Quetta too, but those who attended these gatherings had some disturbing news about the activities of the resistance groups who marked the day few hours back differently with militant and subversive activities that rocked almost all the important cities and towns including Quetta.

The people of Quetta had already received seven grim and demoralizing reports on that day, largely censored out by the Pakistani media:

1. Five heavy explosions in posh localities in Quetta including Satellite Town, Jinnah Town, Ayub Stadium, Askari Park and Sariab Road rocked the city.

2. Railway Station Mucch came under attack and the railway track was blown up, hindering the traffic for five hours until alternative route was arranged.

3. Airport building and Frontier Constabulary posts in Turbat were attacked with rocket fires. This fresh attack reportedly created panic in the administration as it was fifth consecutive subversive activity in one week.

4. About a dozen rockets were fired on government installations around Kohlu.

5. Gas pipe line in Sibi was blown up disrupting gas supply to Khujak area.

6. FC check posts in Mundh were attacked with heavy weapons. Few days back the house of Federal Minister Ms Zubaida Jalal came under rocket fire.

7. On August 17 high tension power transformer was blown up near Khuzdar.

Although the Mundh attack was reported by the national press conservatively, word spread through the internet that t the losses and causalities were far more than reported.

The Press also reported that a large cache of arms was seized on the way to Gwadar a few days back.

According to press reports, activists of BSO Alliance and BNM observed August 14 as a black day and organized protest with black bands on arms in many towns including Hub and Lasbela, the home towns of Chief Minister Jam Yousuf.

The echoes of the Baloch agitation reverberated on the international scene as well. Sindh TV in its August 15 and 16 bulletins reported that scholars and activists of Baloch Society of North America and Baloch Human Rights jointly with Sindhi activists organized demonstration to mark the Independence Day in front of Pakistani High Commission in Washington DC.

The speakers mostly PhD scholars alleged that the Establishment was violating the human rights of their nationalities back home. They condemned the Establishment policies against Balochs and Sindhis. They denounced that smaller nationalities have no incentive to celebrate but many reasons to protest on the day.

While most of the above activities were blacked out by the national press and electronic media it is worth considering that the recent wave of terror and violence occurred only a few days after Chief Minister Jam Yousuf’s declaration that the government had purged the militant and resistance groups and that their network had been wiped-out. It is another story that his own home in Kalat was attacked within a few days after the statement.

These subversive activities may also be the natural reaction or results of recent provocative statements by Jam Yousuf and his accomplices, wherein he sarcastically commented that those who struggled in the past were so desperate they could not afford even one meal a day.

It appears that the traditional center of militant activities is shifting from difficult mountainous and tribal areas of Kohlu, Barkhan, Marri and Bugti areas to comparatively peaceful plane lands of Sibbi, Much, Mundh, Kalat, Khuzdar and Turbat.

These areas are mostly outside the tribal areas controlled by the Sardars so the traditional culprits cannot be blamed. Instead most of these areas are under the control of parliamentarians in the present government.

Given the present scenario in Balochistan, it will be in the fitness of things that Establishment in Islamabad reconsiders its strategy towards Balochistan, find out real factors compelling people to resort to join such violence risking their own as well as others lives.

Traditional charges and accusations against the nationalists that they are working for foreign elements for money will not suffice as the last 58 years prove these charges are not holding.

Federal government must form a committee of credible persons including members of the Establishment, nationalist parties and observers from NWFP and Sindh with adequate powers to take decisions, that must start with the accountability of the present government in the province. The committee must listen to the grievances of the people with an emphatic ear, sort out the issues and make short and long term plans for Balochistan.

The worsening situation in Balochistan makes the proposed gas pipeline project with Iran and India highly impractical to implement. The nationalists have already expressed their reservations about this project. It is high time to come forward with tangible results so that our Independence day for 2006 is not marred with such wave of terror.

The writer is Trainer and Researcher in Ethno-political Conflict Management & Development Studies. Email: nizambaloch@yahoo.com

My visit to Kashmir and Kashmiri perspective

As political temperature in Kashmir is cooling down since confronting parties, groups and individuals ultimately coming to the conclusion that gun has failed to produce desired results and international heat is turning against the gun and extremist culture. But Kashmiri remains under the shadow of gun despite both countries have taken historic steps that paved the way for people to people interaction and softening of borders. Although, these steps indicating a real shift in both countries old policies and had rekindled the hope for peace, friendship and development between both rivals and across the LOC. The loosening of barriers can open the channels of cross cultural and economic activities. It is hard to analyze the people’s perspective unless you get an opportunity of physical interaction with all shades of opinion. And if source of information largely relies on both countries official or non-official media and reports of their foreign offices won’t have clear comprehension. But personal visit and interaction gives you the in-depth insight about the people’s perspective.



This was my second visit to India after five years of period, first time I had traveled in November 2000, to attend a peace conference at New Delhi that had been arranged by the international institute for peace Initiatives, headed by the Karan Sohny. The moot had largely been attended by Kashmiri’s of both sides including Pakistani and Indians but people from Azad Kashmir were not allowed to travel except expatriates from Azad Kashmir Dr.Nazir Gilani, Dr.Shabir Choudhry, Dr. Nazir Nazish and I had to fill that space. The general impression regarding the conference was that it was Yasin Malik show where his rude and uncivilized way of handling and confronting every speaker had left bad impression on every one.



During that conference fortunately my dreams came true when I made my maiden visit to Srinagar. That visit probably was more emotional, sentimental, and psychological than educative and rational. As one can imagine that how any young Muslim would react if you ask him to eat pork while teaching him haram from the childhood? Kashmiri’s today’s desperation and hatred is not different than that situation who were born and raised under the hate propaganda where entire country’s political, social infrastructure has been designed in such way to pullout and poison the common mind and teach them hatred and enmity toward the India. Despite the fact that I was fortunate that I had had different political and social circle during my school and college days that contributed in my secular and liberal inclination but in spite of that valley centric Pakistan sponsored nationalism has had deep impact and imprint on every mind and including me. I was more inclined to see Kashmir independent and Free State which enjoy the recognition from community of nations.



I have had the same feelings but slightly changed since I had moved to Canada ten years ago and has had ample of opportunities to broaden my vision and political horizon by living in multicultural society of Toronto. As Toronto is known for its multi-culturalism rather if I call it mini-world where people from all over world and of all faiths living happily and peacefully had made great impact on mind and political thinking. As we in Muslim societies normally lack the freedom and basic rights because of the widespread practice and presence of undemocratic rule those have chosen the tactic to divert the attention of local population by accusing non-Muslim world, countries to defend their dictatorships by aligning with the religious forces as they share the common vision of anti-democracy and human rights.



While Kashmir remain at the top of the agenda in military ruled Pakistan and left no stone unturned to malign India and Indian atrocities when there was peace too.



There is no doubt that when I had reached to Srinagar in November 2000, the political picture was gloomy, as city was largely surrounded by the military and paramilitary forces and giving an impression of siege. As I landed and I was driven directly to the Nishat Bagh, Chashme-shai, along Dal Lake before landing into my hotel room. As I had very short time though my host was keener than me to show me as much as possible and could interact as many as possible. I was fortunate that I managed to interact with whole APHC leadership than and other common people within the span of two day’s stay. The political climate was filled with the hate, mistrust and emotionalism than the trust, love and rationalism, and who were than yet not agreeing that freedom is still remote and dream as they had largely failed to take people of all faiths and regions into confidence rather their practice of discrimination had forced many Muslims and non-Muslims to position against them and flee from the valley that had faded these leaders moral and political position among the common Kashmiri. The abuses committed by the proxy militants against the local population those who had warmly greeted them and offered every possible help and hospitality despite the consequence from the security forces if they had come to know, had equally eroded the moral strength and claims of both militants and their leaders.



The situation and practice from the militants have not changed yet as they continue to gun down the civilians whom they suspect they are pro-Indian, secular, and are inhospitable to them. The ratio of civilian’s killings is still higher than security forces which is one to five civilian casualties when militants carry out any operation according to the latest statistics. The leadership than was failing to capture the ground realities and were riding high emotionally to win the freedom through Islamabad. Common people though had not completely distanced themselves from separatist but were not supporting them as well.

But my second recent visit to valley has been very educative and progressive in terms of grasping the situation despite the time constraints due to which I have once gain failed to get out of the valley, missed Jammu, ladakh, Poonch, which was my another obsession.

As contrast to the first visit I stayed at friend of mine’s residence where his family has offered me such love and affection that worth to mention here and made me feel as my own home in divided Poonch, that I have been missing for last 10 years.



The flight I took from New Delhi to Srinagar, New US first secretary was traveling on the same flight with same agenda to interact with political leadership. The clear change I have seen first was on plane, the passengers who were on board were 75 percent foreigner tourists that gave me the sense of change. Because in my first visit I had not seen any foreigner on the plane. When I landed at the Airport, the Airport was heavily guarded by the security forces that gives you again an impression of siege but this practice appears to becoming common feature around the world now a days especially after 9//11,7/7, and if you are traveling from North America or Europe, as I had traveled right after 7/7, means London terrorist attack, where every government installations were heavily guarded in Europe and vigilance was very high as Muslim or South Asian outlook quickly catches the attention of security personnel’s on these Airports so that was not uncommon for me.



As we drove out of the Airport and entered into city but I was nervous because of ongoing news’s about the violence and killings, almost same when I was traveling to Karachi in 1994, and was very nervous because of the ongoing news of violence but for common Karachites every thing was normal. And than it reminded my university days from 1986 to 1989 when violence in Krachi was on its peak and every day news of killings were making headlines in the newspapers but for us that was normal practice. Similarly I saw the streets were completely loaded with the pedestrians and traffic. Let me make one more thing clear is that common misperception exist in Azad Kashmir regarding the Sringar or Jammu city is often compared with the Pakistan Administered Azad Kashmir cities of Muzafarabad or Mirpur but Srinagar city size is probably not less than Rawalpindi and its institutional strength and infrastructure supports the claims what I am going to make or seek any analogy, from universities, medical colleges, hospitals, electronic and print media to the cultural activities are deeper and stronger like any major Pakistani city. I would rather add one more thing to clear another misperception exist between the Azad Kashmir and Indian administered Kashmir in terms of economic and social development probably has no parity Srinagar and Jammu Institutional presence and quality.



I have largely pondered why Kashmiri of Indian controlled chose to rebel against India where they there is no economical, political and cultural analogy between Pakistan controlled Kashmir, Gilgit Baltsitan and Indian controlled Kashmir. Why people of Pakistan controlled Kashmir didn’t rebel against Pakistan’s discriminatory policies, one shouldn’t take my blunt views as prejudiced as there has been political culture in Pakistan to malign those do not support government policies on Kashmir. I consumed most of my time because whenever I talked to any Kashmiri in the valley they were academically so competent and culturally so rich that made me feel embarrassed who goes out there as to rescue them who probably himself deserve compassion and sympathy than uttering word of sympathy with them. Because I had not gone there as Pakistan’s representative rather a divided Kashmiri who has always been told to be grieved and concerned about their’s freedom and economic backwardness, and we have sincerely been doing for decades honestly believing such false propaganda having buried our shocking economic injustices inflicted on us by our sympathizers. Probably if Sardar Qayum, or Sultan Mahmood or any other pro-Pakistan Kashmiri leader had gone and pretend to sympathize with them would have made sense to me because they are political professionals than leaders who do not feel any embarrassment to extend such sympathies and claim to be better than their counterpart in India.



But I believe there are genuine reason behind this political discontent and grievances found among the vallities. But these grievances are result of the economic and political advancement of those people and leaders than the Pakistan controlled parts. There could be number of reasons but when I try to draw conclusion my studies or observations are largely based on the historical, geographical, economical, cultural and political evidences that support my claims. The valley in Kashmir history occupies central place and attention from the early ages until now. Valley has been seat of learning, civilization and rule. Its distinct characteristic, culture than rest of Kashmir and India, and its natural beauty has attracted many foreigners to travel, writers to write, and rulers to invade. Invasions and occupations has contributed differently in shaping up mind and political opinion and personality of Kashmiri, who have confronted to these unwelcoming situations and undergone a tremendous change and challenges over the period. They converted from very tolerant Rishi tradition to another Sofi Muslim religion sharing with their Kashmiri pandits every single activity despite departing them religiously.



The rest of Kashmir linguistic and geographical connections with other Indian parts mainly then united Punjab had different cultural impacts on those Areas. Kashmiri culturally and geographically remained confined to the valley and ultimately they succeeded to find their voice and entity in the form of Sheikh Abdullah who challenged the autocracy and fought courageously to seek democratic reforms and rights of the people. Sheikh’s early struggle remained confined to the Muslims but over the time his politics of Kashmiriryat succeeded to embrace all faiths and regions. Sheikh’s decision to stay with India was based on his political beliefs, and concerns he had regarding the future Muslim state “Pakistan”. Future course of the events and politics as unfolded in Pakistan supports Sheikh’s vision as he after assuming power he made sweeping land reforms that mainly deprived Pndits and benefited Muslims but was not possible in Pakistan where country is still ruled by feudal, military and Mullah nexus after passing six decades. Sheikh could have enjoyed uninterrupted power in Kashmir if he had not chosen to resist Indian proxy politics and to protect Kashmiri identity. But his vision and wisdom and deep rooted Kashmiryat could never let him compromise. He narrates in his book that once he told to M.Ali Jinah that Kashmiri can think to go with Pakistan but provided our distinct identity should get recognition to which Jinnah didn’t like at all.



But partition of India and division of Kashmir also took place in such way that mainly developed parts fell under Indian control and remote mountainous part Pakistan succeeded to get hold of those where political leadership could have never emerge during united state of Kashmir. But in post division era leadership in this part was Islamabad handpicked whose ultimate political agenda was to capture Muzafarabad seat by showing their allegiance and loyalty with Islamabad than the people and region they belonged unlike Sheikh’s matured leadership politically committed to protect Kashmiri identity.



One can wonder why Sheikh has chosen the path of confrontation with India despite his decision of accession, close association with Nehru and politically convinced that Kashmiri’s future is better with a democratic and secular India. and question is why Pakistan controlled newly discovered leaders preferred to mum while the economic treatment was meted out to this part and political treatment to these leaders were real matter of concern and shame. The way Pakistan deceptively separated Gilgit Baltsitan and dubiously made an agreement regarding these Areas with those who had no mandate and locus standi but never precipitated agitation or protest in these Areas.



But this discussion is dragging me into the past and diverts from present situation and public perception that I wanted to share with my readers and friends that how Kashmiri thinks since both countries apparently chose giving up path of belligerence and resolving issues peacefully. Question is that how people view and react to present steps and how politics is unfolding in this post CBMs era in Srinagar. And whether historic steps of Bus service and Hurryat group’s visit to Pakistan have changed the dimension of conflict. As President Mushraf Mushraf has made great leap forward by renouncing the militancy and Jihad, and announcing the new position or policy on Kashmir by leaving UN resolutions aside and making borders irrelevant to accommodate Indian concerns and to bridge the perceptional gap.



As I have used my maximum time to find the answer by reaching out to the Kashmiri leadership separatist and pro-Indian, to common Kashmiri. I have made my sincere and honest efforts to seek the answer of my curiosities that have been my big challenge to support or oppose any government, groups, and individual political claims. It would be appropriate to mention my meeting with two members of European Parliaments at Brussels before leaving for Srinagar that helps to understand international opinion as well. They were very receptive to our submissions and generous to offer support but both MEPs individually repeated same question that who represents Kashmiri’s? They said that every group, from Huryat to non-Huryat claims to be the sole representative of Kashmiri’s but they never want to prove this claim democratically. They said one has to prove its mandate before seeking representation and we cannot go against our democratic norms. They said gun is the major obstacle in carrying process forward. They further said that they wished that Kashmiri’s should be involved but Pakistan and India make same question when any such demand is made with them.



So international opinion clearly recognizes the impediments these groups face and unsolicited demand they make. With the present political uprising or discontent we notice in Kashmir and lacks in Pakistani controlled parts does not mean the economic and political grievances do not exist in this part rather magnitude of grievances can be greater than Indian parts but reasons are political and historical behind this loss of voice in this part. As I mentioned that better economic and social infrastructure in Indian controlled Kashmir didn’t force local population to migrate Indian cities or abroad in search of ordinary jobs or education unlike Pakistan controlled Kashmir where almost 80% male population whether young or old had to move to Pakistani cities in search jobs, education reasons, health treatment and lost their identity due to the absence of matured leadership and political voice. But on the other hand Kashmiri of valley better conditions didn’t force it to lose its identity rather geographical distance with New Delhi grew in the forms of perceptional over the period of time, and collectively suffered from crisis of confidence to which India failed to perceive in time.



So with the reference of present political unrest the misconception needs to be rectified when claims are made by the Islamabad to justify its position by referring present movement and its supported valley groups. The political uprising in Kashmir must not be construed or interpreted as pro-Pakistan. If Pakistan had realistically devised or formulated strategy on Kashmir than wishing to make things happen the way they like and that Kashmiri should place blind faith in it could have eased the situation for both Pakistan and Pakistani supporters in Kashmir. But problem with Pakistan policy has been complex where military vision on Kashmir policy is that Kashmiri should not trust India but the same time they want them not to trust political leadership of Pakistan as according to military views they are missing the element of patriotism or love for Pakistan. So Pakistan Kashmir policy means to share loyalty and royalty with military interests than Pakistan itself.



This is another factor that has not only weakened Pakistan moral and political position gradually among the Kashmiri’s but its supported groups of Huryat and non-Hurayat equally politically getting marginalized and sidelined with the mainstream politics and issues based politics. The dilemma of huryat groups was that they seemed to be inclined to pursue Pakistan military style politics without reaching out the common people of all faiths and regions. They believe Pakistani official media will do everything for them to prove their representative character. Their politics of mosques and shrines gradually entering into the period of people’s politics as efforts are underway to replace gun with peace and political process where democratic mandate would ultimately seem to be the determining factor of representative character. The Pakistan and its supported group’s entire efforts to malign and force their rivals National conference, PDP and congress to bow before them failed to change the course of politics in Kashmir.



But as peace process and CBMs began to make inroads in Indo-Pak dialogues and Kashmir seem to be taking back seat in this composite dialogues and leadership appears to be becoming irrelevant as Indo-Pak bilateralism once again prevailed over rhetoric of Kashmiri aspirations. Despite the 15 years of violence and gun, and rhetoric of Kashmiri right to self-determination has reached to the stage where Pakistan President Mushraf had to set UN resolutions aside and its supported leaders seem to be cornered in this whole process.



The realization of betrayed by Pakistan has benefited Indian position that is replacing the sense of alienation Kashmiri used to demonstrate with India just few years ago. The Kashmiri feels betrayed and misled as after losing generation of youth now that turning out to be a misguided youth, and political reality that is emerging in current interaction is that Kashmiri has to learn to live with the divided and split identity. Today for Kashmiri bigger achievement is return of peace and tolerance to their society that has been waning in last decade and half in the name of freedom. In Kashmir new global geo-strategic realities are shaping up political course different than pro-Pakistan or pro-independence, and dreams have shattered, hope were dashed not because of international scenario but the policies and politics Pakistan has adopted and introduced to justify the Jihad in Kashmir. Pluralism and civil society is the most sufferers politically while collective will of people was made hostage of gun and violence that further eroded the credibility of claims that were made under this name.



While present hiccups in the peace process and CBMs indicate that enthusiasm was shown regarding the peace process is sinking day by day and skepticism widely surrounds the mind and hearts whether both countries meant to do business or buying the time. The continued killings are sign of absence of element of sincerity and political observers believe that any violent act can derail the whole process. Though, support for the CBMs and peace process remains overwhelming on both sides of LOC, in both countries but same time clouds of suspicion and mistrust seem to be still there. While Kashmiri believes that continued killings are playing in favor of India as politically suit India since victim is Kashmiri and perpetrators are believed to be Pakistani supported militants so India says let the Kashmiri know how sympathetic Pakistani is to them.



As opinion is widely divided regarding the recent visit of Hurayat group, though majority of opinion supports not only this visit but such steps are necessary to make the CBMs sustainable. But on it purpose and objective they are divided and argue that on the one hand Pakistan politicize their visit more than the importance they really had attached to them while on the other hand they have equally divided visiting leaders by offering both separate protocol and meetings which represents Pakistan’s two mindsets and policies on Kashmir, that was neither any service to any cause nor Kashmiri’s. Politically making the visit high profile was to counter India but dividing them is their old policy of divides and rule for all.

This visit failed to achieve any result since both parties knew that they had nothing to offer each other except eyewash, and visiting leaders were forced to laud Mushraf’s policies and to agree with them. People argue that if Pakistan were sincere with visiting groups in enhancing their position and profile in real sense it could have made that event very successful. As major expectations were with the visit that militant groups would be told by Islamabad to rally support behind them and announce ceasefire. But they instead condemned their visit and supported Ali Gilani, which is another indication of Pakistani mindset, and no one knows whom they support and what their political agenda is, and what they want to achieve by diving them. But huryat leaders seem to be aware of the Pakistani mindset but are forced by the situation to beat the drums. And such unclear, inconsistent policies and acts of damaging each group has widely shattered Pakistani image in the valley people and sidelined Huryat groups as well.



But let me pay my thanks to my friends who have been very kind in arranging meetings, seminars, offering hospitality. And I am highly indebted to the love, affection, attention and hospitality I have received from friend of mine Zafar Menhas and his family. It would be injustice if I do not mention the name of my friend Hashim Qureshi who equally been very generous in extending everything to me during my visit. On the top of that it would be impossible if political leaders had not extended cooperation.

I am grateful to Omar Abdullah President NC, Mirwaz Omar Farooq Chairman APHC(A), Shabir Shah President JKDFP, Prof.Ghani Bhatt APHC, Abdul Rahim Rather Opposition Leader, Mr. Yousaf Terigami MLA secretary of state CPI, Sajad Lone President of Peoples conference, Sadiq Ali Spokesman PDP, Maulana Iftkhar Ansari MLA PDP, Mr. Haq PDP, Bilal Lodhi General Secretary PDP MLC, Saleem Gilani President of JKDFP, Naeem Khan Liberation party, and my Journalist friends Bashir Manzar Kashmir images, Ahmed Ali Fayaz Daily excelsior, Tahir Mahudin Chattan, Sofi sab Srinagar Time, Manzoor Anjam Uqab, who still recovering from his surgery. I also thankful to Nirmala Desh Pande Member LOk Saba, General Dar President Indo-Pak soldiers chapter, Suleman Haider ex-foreign Secretary, Mr. Abdul Rasheed Shaheen Member Lok Saba. In fact without the cooperation of these leaders who have been very generous and kind in their time, hospitality and frank views, was not possible to get a political insight of Kashmir. Though, these are separate and peripheral issues who enjoys mass support and who is politically relevant in present scenario. Probably every groups and party is very much relevant and has role in present scenario that I conveyed to the Huryat leaders, and denying from this reality is only undermining the political prospects emerging for peace and friendship. Kashmiri has to come out of the politics of rejection and accusing each other if sincerely seeking political change and end of violence.



I asked Hurayat leaders that how they would explain when they go to Muzafarabad and address that Assembly while rejecting Mufti Saeed Assembly. How would they prove legitimacy of Muzafarabad Assembly who under 1974 interim Constitution contest elections where it is mandatory for every candidate to sign the declaration of “state’s accession with Pakistan? And those do not sign they are not only disqualified but officially called anti-Pakistan. Are they for accession to Pakistan if not what morality is behind such acts? How would hurayat leaders explain Pakistan’s position in Gilgit Baltsitan where people after 58 years are still in Constitutional limbo despite the decision of Supreme Court of Pakistan, and High Court of Azad Kashmir? Because when you make claims to be representative of Kashmiri’s they are stretching their duties and liabilities to honestly try to represent the real situation. As people widely complain in valley that they do not take time in condemning the Indian forces violations but they pay lip service to the militant’s killings. Pro-Indian political leaders appear to be very consistent than separatist, who now claim moral victory over these separatist since Pakistan promised to ban, stop and called militant organizations terrorist irrespective whether half heartedly or fully but morally they are vindicated.

Now chorus is joined by the separatist against the militancy but they are dejected to lick the political wounds inflicted by the militants despite apparent Pakistan support. The feelings are very much there but compulsions are compelling them to stick to the position. But growing sense of alienation toward Islamabad policies can clearly be observed from public perception.

In closing I would mention one senior journalist from Srinagar who had summarized present political situation in his words saying that during the early period of militancy women and men used to rush to see the militants if they heard about their presence in their locality and used open their hearts and doors to shelter them. But in mid and late 1990s women and common people used to shut their doors and hid them if news about the militant’s presence reached to any house, as largely owing to the smear acts of militants committed against them. He said this is the third phase in Kashmir when people inform police and security forces once they come to know about the presence or hideout of militant’s. He asked me I can draw the conclusion myself how people think now and how much support they have among the common people.



Mumtaz Khan

Toronto

The writer is vice Chairman of International Kashmir Alliance



Mumtazkhan88@yahoo.com