October 14, 2005

Ayodhya in Afghanistan? Slap on Amulya Ganguly's face

Ayodhya in Afghanistan?

October 14, 2005
The Asian Age today (October 15) published the following letter as a boxed item. Dr.N S Rajaram wrote it in response to Amulya Ganguly's assinine article that appeared yesterday.
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N.S. Rajaram
F2, "Rajatha Manor"
Southend Circle
Basavanagudi, BANGALORE -- 560 004

Editor
The Asian Age

AFGHAN AYODHYA-- KNOWING VEDAS

Sir:

Amulya Ganguly, in his "Deva, Asura and Ahura" tries to revive some long discredited ideas like the Aryan invasion and Ayodhya in Afghanistan. One of the people he quotes, Rajesh Kochhar, has gone so far as to place even the Mahabharata War in Afghanistan!

It is ironic that Ganguly should have written this when only a fortnight ago the BBC admitted that the whole of this 'history' had been concocted by the British to give themselves "a historical precedent to justify the role and status of the British Raj, who could argue that they were transforming India for the better in the same way that the Aryans had done thousands of years earlier."

But apparently Ganguly and his ilk want to show that they can be more loyal than the king. It is interesting that the people he quotes in support — Nirad Chaudhary, Romila Thapar and Rajesh Kochhar — happen to be like Ganguly himself, profoundly ignorant of Sanskrit and are entirely dependent on colonial translations.

Ganguly should stick to writing about politics and not venture into fields that demand Vedic and Sanskrit scholarship.

Sincerely,
N.S. Rajaram

Quake: Tales of Indian Army's valor and sacrifice

By Brig VRP Sarathy

I was meeting two of our friends from our Exservicemen group in Gymkhana club! I got news on my mobile about the news!

My son is posted in Uri(one of the two places which took the maximum brunt of the quake) and he had just stepped into the bathroom when the room from which he stepped out collapsed totally! Sensing something wrong he ran out of the bathroom and that too collapsed! My daughter-in-law and my grandson , just under 5 Years ran out and saw an MES building just collapsing about 75 yards away! The whole night they felt the tremors and were running out and a stage reached when they even stopped doing that, as my grandson was running a viral fever and so was his mother--and it was quite cold outside in Srinagar at night! My son is yet to visit his wife and daughter till date despite being only about 2-3 hours run from Srinagar, as first priority is assisting the civilians in distress!

I am stating all these because a civilian(especially in India) has no idea of what service life involves!Be that as it may,you may have heard of this saying -"'God and soldier(and sailor and Airmen) we adore at the time of trouble and not before. The time is passed and things righted, God is forgotten and soldier slighted!"

Regarding the barbarians who slit throats (of Hindu "Kaffirs") after eating food cooked in the house are the meanest creatures! As for as dealing with them is concerned, like it is often said-- It's(their) God's responsibility to forgive the terrorist organisations such as Jaish, Lashkar etc.It's our responsibility to arrange the meeting between them and God."!
END

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A soldier has to live & die for nation

http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/web1/05oct15/news.htm#7

TEETWAL, (LoC), Oct 14: "Kya Aap Mere Gharwalon Ko Phone Kar Sakte Ho...Mein Aapko Number Deta Hoon (Would you please call my family members...I will give you my phone number," said a soldier of the Indian Army, fighting a different battle this time.
"Please tell them I am fine. My mother must have nearly died after hearing about the devastating earthquake," he said.

Hailing from Dakur near Anand in Gujarat, the soldier and his unit have been posted in the Tangdhar area for the past one year.

"I have not been able to contact my family members after the tremblor struck Jammu and Kashmir on October 8," he said.

Though the Army has established a phone connection at Tangdhar, preference is given to locals and officials of the civil administration besides volunteers who are in the area for rescue and relief operations.

Vajra Signals were able to restore phone links at Tangdhar a day after the earthquake hit the area.

They have set up a phone booth near the helipad at Tangdhar from where the people are making free calls to their relatives in other parts of the State and the country.
"There is an endless line of callers and by the time our turn comes we are ordered to march back to the post," he said.

Soldiers of 5 Dogra, 3 Punjab and Army Engineering Corps could be seen engaged in relief and rescue operations in the entire Karnah area, devastated by the tremblor.

"Kya Yeh Mujhe TV Pe Dikhayenge (Can they show me on TV)?" asked another soldier, pointing towards a crew of a private television channel busy taking an interview of a senior Army official. "At least my family members would come to know that I am alive. By now they must have thought I am dead," said the soldier, hailing from Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh.
The people of Jammu and Kashmir, particularly from the earthquake affected areas, have appreciated the Army for its prompt response and untiring efforts in rescue and relief operations.

From Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the common man on the streets, everybody is praising the Army.

"Agar Army Na Hoti To Hamara Kya Hota (I wonder what would have been our fate had the Army not been there),’’ said Mohammad Khaleel, a local of this village, lying close to Line of Control (LoC) and almost levelled due to the devastating earthquake.

The Army managed to reach, within three days, all the quake-hit villages which have remained inaccessible to other agencies even today, six days after the devastating tremor struck Jammu and Kashmir and its neighbouring areas on October 8, killing thousands of people.

‘’Kya Karen Sahab. Yeh Hamari Duty Hai. Fouji Ka Kartavya Hai Desh Ke Kaam Aana (What to do this is our job. A soldier has to live and die for the nation," said another trooper.
A resident of Haryana, he said it is heart-rending to carry the body of your colleague with whom one has spent years together.

"The Army too has suffered heavy casualties due to the earthquake. We have carried the coffins of our brothers. It is distressing. After all we too are human beings. How far can you control your emotions?" he asked.

Emotions notwithstanding, the saviours continue with their humanitarian efforts and relief and rescue operations in quake-ravaged areas of Jammu and Kashmir. (UNI)

Natural Disasters : Where are the Chrisitian missions?

Several natural disasters have struck the world in the past one year, but Christian missionaries are nowhere in sight. This was particularly noticeable when hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast.

Dr.N. S.Rajaram told IntelliBriefs that even now, when there is dire need for helping the earthquake victims, some Indian Christian leaders are in Wahshington busy with anti-Hindu propaganda, testifying about the caste system before a Congressional committee.

It seems that Christian groups now are little more than political lobbyists and propaganda outfits.

It is reflected in 'leaders' like Cederick Prakash and John Dayal. Dayal was a Communist who switched his loyalties when the Soviet Union collapsed. "I saw several like him when I was on a lecture tour in the Northeast." said Dr.Rajaram

"Such people are really the worst enemies of innocent Christians, whom they use as cannon fodder to promote their own interests." cautioning christian community to be on guard .

"Swami" Agnivesh speaks in Houston

A lecture was given in Houston’s Rothko Chapel by this traitor last night. About 60 people were present, most of them do-gooder type whites who are disenchanted with their own religion and are seeking answers from Hinduism. There were also about 10 Indians out of which one was 100% secular type who happens to be one of the directors of the Rothko Chapel, which sponsored this knave's trip. He was probably the mastermind behind the whole idea of getting the Swami in Houston. Then, there were two Indians who were 100% Gandhian and would never want to declare themselves to be Hindu. The rest of the 7 Indians were pro Hindu whose main intent was to "expose" the fake "swami".



Probably anticipating some kind of "trouble" from the Hindus types, the organizer had enlisted the services of an armed policeman. It is not clear if the policeman is a regular feature of such functions at the Rothco Chapel. However, it is quite conceivable that, following phone calls to the organizers prior to the event asking them to cancel the lecture, the organizers had got the police at the behest of the Swami that he would need “protection” from Hindu extremists.



As the Swami opened his mouth and started to speak, most Hindus could not believe what they were hearing. There was nothing spiritual or religious about this lecture. This guy is not only anti-Hindu, but also he is also anti-India. He spoke for over one hour and, under the guise of spirituality and flaunting his saffron garb as his cover, all he did was spew venom against India, and the Hindus. He gave exaggerated and unbelievable figures of bride burning, dowry related crimes, children dying daily of starvation in India, the plight of bonded laborers, the caste system, racial discrimination, poverty, etc. To a layman or anyone who is not familiar with India, he painted an extremely negative picture of India. Many jaws dropped as he stressed that when we think of terrorism and 9/11, we must realize that only 3,800 people died whereas we must not overlook real terrorism in India where THOUSAND of children die DAILY due to starvation and where minimum wage is less than a dollar per day and grave injustice prevails in the bonded labor system.



At the request of the pro Hindu members of the audience, the organizer had allowed a 15 minute “Question – Answer+ session which was a sham. The swami gave long winding answers, which took up most of the time and prevented the real Hindus from asking questions. Five questions were asked, out of which three were from Americans and two from Indians. The first question from an Indian, Lal Sardana, was how come swami did not focus on the positive attributes of Hinduism? Sardana made specific reference to Shri Ram’s meeting with the “Bhilni” and eating her half eaten offerings. The swami bulldozed the question altogether and rattled on about something totally irrelevant. The 2nd question was from the Arya Samaj Acharya who asked a pointed question about Swami’s legal case but failed to attack the swami openly which would have help expose the scoundrel.



A reception followed the lecture where there was one on one meeting with the swami. The Hindus were visibly angry. Swami was confronted with statements like “Why are you wearing Swami Vivekanand’s garb when you are not even a Hindu? You are fooling the world, who is behind you, who is financing your anti India crusade, etc”. When all were walking out of the chapel, the armed policeman walked up quickly to the group. He probably expected a “Gujarat” on this SOB.



Folks, this guy is doing grave damage to the image of India. He is spreading misinformation and is lowering the image of India. He must be stopped.



This is just a quick write up; as I do not have the time to go into details I am leaving for an overseas trip and have to rush now. I am sure others who were present will put in their inputs & more details will hopefully follow.

Sandeep Pandey – naxal terrorist in a blue funk

Source :VigilOnline





Sandeep Pandey is a man of many parts, all of them skin-deep and each one of them carefully and calculatedly crafted to feed his gargantuan appetite for Mammon. American greenback Mammon, that is. He walks, he talks, he writes, he protests – for his version of 'peace', against Indian nukes, for Kashmiri and other terrorists, for the terrorist state of Pakistan, against Coca Cola, against Hindus and their nationalism, for the poor destitute children of India who don't go to school - which fact this Indian, this IIT graduate confesses in an interview to the Milli Gazette, he came to know late in his life, only during his years in the US from a book published by MIT in 1991 titled 'The Child and the State in India'.





Sandeep Pandey has so far picked only those issues for his money-making activism which will keep him in media limelight, and those issues which for the most part resonate like music in the US government establishment, that's for sure; all except Coca Cola. Only the Coca Cola bit is a dead give away about the colour of skin-deep Sandeep's ideology. Skin-deep San-deep's activism is intentionally anti-Hindu and anti-Hindu nation which is why the US, and its client states were willingly deceived into patronizing the man with awards, media attention, with talking tours in foreign universities and with the Magsaysay; but dear Sandeep's activism, far from leaning ideologically towards the West is inclined steeply towards the Left to which fact the US establishment is perhaps only now beginning to open its eyes.





As I said, each one of these many parts of Sandeep Pandey is intended secondarily to make money from anti-national disruptive activism. While these are well crafted money-making parts, the money-making is incidental to their primary role as false hair on the face to disguise him. Sandeep Pandey the pseudo educationist, the pseudo social activist, the pseudo peace activist, the pseudo anti-nuke activist – all of these pseudo beards disguise from public gaze Sandeep Pandey the committed and vocal supporter of Marxist-Leninist Naxalite terrorism. And skin-deep Sandeep is mortally afraid the false beard may fall off and that his Naxal proclivities may come under the US State Department scanner. Now why should that put dear Sandeep Pandey into a blue funk? Thereby hangs a tale – this tale in fact.





America has always nurtured a McCarthian hatred for communism, communists and Russians. This hatred has as much to do with politics and White Christianity as with economics. Even long after Joseph McCarthy, McCarthyism is still alive and kicking within the US, and anti-communist sentiment like White racism's social correctness, is always simmering beneath the surface because that is American political correctness. In short, communism, Marxism, Marxist, Left, Leftist are all dirty words in their public discourse lexicon. But there is another trend that is slowly but more visibly emerging within the US in the last decade.





The disintegration of the Soviet Union, the emergence of the megalomaniac American State as the lone super power, the WTO and its destructive clauses pushing entire nations in Africa and large sections of societies even within developed countries like the US into increasing poverty, the intrusive and bullying ways of the IMF and World Bank, the first Gulf War, the crippling 12 year long economic sanctions against Iraq culminating in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the war against terror post 9/11 and currently the obscene and even rabid American evangelical churches that inform White House foreign policy – all of which have assumed anti-racial and religious minorities, anti-women, anti-labour and anti-free choice connotations, have triggered a neo-Left movement within the US and given a new impetus to communism which was delivered a near fatal blow when the Soviet Union collapsed and American universities seem to be their new breeding ground.





Marxism, let us not forget, was not born in Russia , which like Turkey is located on a continental/cultural cusp. Marxism was conceived in Europe and like all European thoughts, concepts and constructs without exception – European monarchy, Christianity and the Church, capitalism, Nation-State, democracy and its attendant baggage of Christian values – Marxism too is intolerant, hegemonic and has made conquest of territory and destruction of other ways of life its intrinsic nature. While all competing/conflicting European ideologies fight their war unto death on their own territories, they also carry a decisive part of their war into territories where they both seek supremacy. Asia and Africa have been the battle ground for capitalism/communism, Church/Islam and US/Russia, encapsulating the converging/conflicting basic European interests and ideologies.





The America of today, the White Christian supremacist America of today is Europe's child and Marxism has chosen the US as its battleground, not unlike White Christianity choosing pagan Rome as its battleground and finally setting up its empire in Rome itself. The Indian Left is a significant mover and shaker in this direction and the Indian Left, as represented by comrade Vijay Parshad, Akhila Raman, Angana Chatterji and Sandeep Pandey and his acolytes, deriving their inspiration from the professional American Dissenter par excellence, Noam Chomsky, has penetrated and entrenched itself in very large and potentially disruptive numbers in American universities. It is delicious irony but not surprising at all that Marxism, intellectually powered by the Indian and American Left in the US, is raising its head making its come back from the very womb of its arch enemy and empowered in its world-wide resurrection in no small measure by the US dollar.





Sandeep Pandey's ASHA raising close to four million dollars from inside the US is no small indicator of the Left rising from the dead. The other big indicators are the mammoth anti-WTO demonstrations in Seattle, the anti-war protests by millions of Americans who took to the streets following the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the anti-IMF and World Bank protestors growing by the year, the mammoth annual gathering of NGOs and other activists at the World Social Forum – these are the big indicators of the gathering storm within the US and the storm clouds are spreading over Latin America, over Asia and over Africa through these annual communist conventions. Making the storm more menacing for the Left-hating US is the quiet but increasing assertiveness of Russia's Putin in international politics, and the steady march of communist China as a global economic and military power. And closer to home the US has Hugo Chavez and the immortal Fidel Castro as insulting irritants of an enemy who will simply not go away.





The US (read CIA) has a long history of creating and feeding monsters which then turn upon their creator. Let us not forget again, these monsters are initially created by the US to disrupt their native societies, nations and governments in its quest for new territories to control or created like the Afghan Mujahideen (a part of which later went on to becoming the Taliban) to fight its celestial war with communism. The Indian Left in American universities is one such Frankenstein waiting to happen. And that is why Sandeep Pandey is in a blue funk about his Naxal terrorism leanings. For one, if the US State Department were to wizen up to his communist credentials, questions are sure to be asked about ASHA, its chapters in the US, its presence in American universities, Sandeep Pandey's and ASHA's connections with AID, AID's chapters in the US, and the nature of funds being raised by ASHA and AID for Sandeep Pandey's disruptive activism at home. The next step for the American government would be to track down the individual and institutional donors within the US and Europe. The third step would be to put these persons - students, Assistant Professors and Professors in American universities under the scanner and have their cover blown which in turn could jeopardize their profitable careers in the US. The last and inevitable step would be to clamp down on dear Sandeep's sources of funds from the US . Futuristic? Sure, but not improbable considering both AID and ASHA are endorsed by Charity Monitor and also considering that the Patriot Act of 2001 places charities that receive American money under its scanner to make sure that Americans don't contribute funds to charities that may be fronts for terrorists and terrorist organizations and to make sure that persons supporting terrorist groups do not use American for fund raising activities.





It is these fears which compels skin-deep Sandeep to go to great lengths to keep his pseudo beard on his chin – to keep his Left, and worse, his Naxal leanings a secret from the US government. The possibility of adverse media attention and the possibility of the US immigration doing to him what they did to another Indian Leftist, Ramachandra Guha, which will put paid to his luxurious five star activism bankrolled by American dollars must be giving dear Sandeep sleepless nights.





Let us look at a short but revealing time-line in dear Sandeep's life.





2002 – Ramon Magsaysay Award in Emerging Leadership Category





2002 – Sandeep Pandey refuses the US 50,000$ purse which comes with the award (Now why would he do that?)





November 2002 – Sandeep Pandey participates in the Seventh Congress of the CPI (ML) in Bihar





October 2004 – Sandeep Pandey through an acolyte in Princeton issues several clarifications among which he denies any links with the Left





The Magsaysay awards in different categories are constituted by the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation and a substantial part of the cash component is funded by the Ford Foundation (FF). The Indian Left has always been strongly critical of the FF because it believes that the Ford Foundation, which it claims is consciously infiltrated by the CIA ( Click),
set up shop in India even in Nehru's time only to avert a very possible communist take over of the country after Nehru's death; this the FF set out to do by investing heavily in rural development, in the green revolution and over time in NGOs as part of Ford's "Asset Building and Community Development Program", which "supports efforts to reduce poverty and injustice by helping to build the financial, natural, social, and human assets of low-income individuals and communities." This was a brazen and brilliant move by the FF and the CIA to hoist the communists by their own petard. This was a classic case of hijacking an entire agenda, an entire constituency, an entire social movement to neutralize Indian communism. Neutralising Indian communism in the immediate aftermath of the end of colonial rule was only a small battle in its celestial war with the Soviet Union, let us remember.



And that is why Indian communists and communists of the world nurture this implacable hatred for the Ford Foundation - for the sin of thwarting a grand communist revolution in Brazil and India. The FF New Delhi office webpage claims that "At the invitation of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the Foundation established an office in India in 1952." In fact Chester Bowles, US ambassador to India from 1951, initiated the process. Like the rest of the US foreign policy establishment, Bowles was profoundly shocked at the "loss" of China (ie the nationwide coming to power of the communists in 1949). Linked to this was his acute worry at the inability of the Indian army to suppress the communist-led peasant armed struggle in Telangana (1946-51) "until the communists themselves changed their programme of violence". Indian peasants expected that now, with the British Raj gone, their long-standing demand for land to the tiller would be implemented, and that pressure continued everywhere in India even after the withdrawal of the Telangana struggle.



Bowles wrote to Paul Hoffman, then president of FF: "The conditions may improve in China while the Indian situation remains stagnant.... If such a contrast developed during the next four or five years, and if the Chinese continued their moderate and plausible approach without threatening the northern Indian boundary.... the growth of communism in India might be very great. The death or retirement of Nehru might then be followed by a chaotic situation out of which another potentially strong communist nation might be born."



The New Delhi office was soon set up, and according to the Ford Foundation, this was the Foundation's first program outside the United States, and the New Delhi office remains the largest of its field office operations". It also covers Nepal and Sri Lanka. Bowles writes that "Under the leadership of Douglas Ensminger, the Ford staff in India became closely associated with the Planning Commission which administers the Five Year Plan. Wherever there was a gap, they filled it, whether it was agricultural, health education or administration. They took over, financed and administered the crucial village-level worker training schools." (Aspects of Indian Economy )



"There is a sophisticated and comprehensive strategy worked out in imperialist quarters to harness the forces of voluntary agencies/action groups to their strategic design to penetrate Indian society and influence its course of development. It is the imperialist ruling circles which have provided through their academic outfits the political and ideological basis for the outlook of a substantial number of these proliferating groups in India. By providing liberal funds to these groups, imperialism has created avenues to penetrate directly vital sections of Indian society and simultaneously use this movement as a vehicle to counter and disrupt the potential of the Left movement.... The CPI(M) and the Left forces have to take serious note of this arm of imperialist penetration while focussing on the instruments and tactics of imperialism. An ideological offensive to rebut the philosophy propagated by these groups is urgently necessary as it tends to attract petty bourgeois youth imbued with idealism." (pp 2-3) (Prakash Karat in an article in The Marxist. titled Foreign Funding and the Philosophy of Voluntary Organisations, 1988)



The Indian Left is therefore extremely hostile to the FF and its 'imperialist intentions' in India. But the communists had learnt an important lesson – the urgent need to start their own flourishing industry in NGO activism which would give their socially disruptive anti-Hindu activism a façade of respectability. Sandeep Pandey is one (in)famous example of communists venturing into NGO activism. Sandeep Pandey's communist nexus begins to unravel itself when, within months of accepting the Magsaysay award in 2002, he announces to the world that he will be returning the money component of the award worth 50,000 US$ because, he says, having called the US a terrorist state he cannot very well be receiving money from any American organization. It is obvious now that the communists used Sandeep Pandey and the Magsaysay award to deliver their first punch at the 'imperialist' US and the Ford Foundation. Needless to say dear Sandeep could afford to sniff at 50,000$ because he was making more than a couple of million dollars with his false beards in the US.



Returning the Magsaysay money could have been dismissed as usual Sandeep Pandey theatrical grandstanding except that the Indian communists find their moment of sweet revenge to deliver their second knock-out punch at the Ford Foundation; and this time the World Social Forum was the context. The Indian communists did to the FF what they claim the FF did to them in the 1950s – hijack the World Social Forum from the Ford Foundation and thus hijack an entire American/European agenda, an entire constituency of NGO activists and their beneficiaries, who had been created and funded by the Ford Foundation, the UN and several North American, European and Scandinavian governments and quasi government and non-government organizations, intended to render hors-de-combat any communist pretensions for a comeback. The 'celestial war' between capitalism and communism is once again gathering momentum and India seems to be their chosen battle ground this time with Hindus who view them both with equal suspicion becoming their combined target.



In keeping with its agenda to thwart the communists of the world from staging any more great communist revolutions in any continent (and the WTO had created a fertile soil for such revolutions), the Ford Foundation was one among the major contributors of funds for the World Social Forum which convened for the first time in Porto Alegre in Brazil in 2001. For three consecutive years the World Social Forum held its annual conventions in Porto Alegre and so buoyed up were the organizers with the response that in 2003 alone they organized an Argentina Social Forum meet in Buenos Aires, a European Social Forum in Florence, a Palestine Thematic Forum in Ramallah (on "negotiated solutions for conflicts"), an Asian Social Forum in Hyderabad, and an African Social Forum in Addis Ababa. The penetration and the take-over of the World Social Forum by the communists of the world was complete by 2003; and in 2003, the Brazilian Organising Committee and the International Council issue a triumphant war cry and decide to hold the next WSF gathering not in Brazil, but in India.



One of the principal organizing forces behind the Mumbai WSF meet in January 2004 were the two major communist parties of India – the CPI and the CPI(M) and the NAPM an umbrella organization for all NGOs affiliated to these parties or owing allegiance to the communist ideology. And the first decision taken by the Indian Organizing Committee was to reject western sources of funds for the WSF, notably the Ford Foundation. In the words of Lisa Jordan of the FF, " We are not supporting this year's forum because the Indian Organising Committee (IOC), which represents a comprehensive attempt to bring together a large cross-section of Indian society, includes some groups who have objected to Ford's activities in India since 1953 – especially support for the Green Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s. They feel that contributions made by the Ford Foundation helped to prevent India from undergoing communist revolution. In the beginning the idea for the WSF in India had been for a very broad funding base with Ford , Britain's department for international development (DfID), the MacArthur Foundation, the European Union and others. But in the end, the IOC chose not to seek funding from any of these".





The revenge of the communists was complete and the Ford Foundation and the CIA not to mention the foreign intelligence agencies of other European countries which would have been present at the WSF in Mumbai would have made a detailed observation of Indian participants and their current countries of domicile, which information they are sure to use at payback time. The National Alliance for Peoples Movements (NAPM) of which Sandeep Pandey is the national convenor was present in great strength in Mumbai and questions are probably being raised within the US about who funded these organizations and who bank-rolled the participants. Sandeep Pandey has every reason to be in a blue funk for reasons stated in the beginning because in October 2004, he is forced to deny communist/naxalite links, he is compelled to resign as trustee of ASHA and he is also forced to offer the explanation that he never used ASHA funds for his 'other' activities and that he has generally passed the hat around to people who have supported his political ambitions.





"My ideology: Gandhian, Humanitarian (Im not a leftist, I have till date not read a single word of left literature. Moreover, I would not have got magsaysay if I was a leftist or a naxalite because President Magsaysay, the former President of Phillipines, in whose name the award is given, was staunchly anti-left and the award is not given to anybody with a left leaning ? this is probably the strongest argument to counter the label of 'left' which has been put on me; actually, by labeling me as a leftist it is easier for the rightist to criticize me because they cannot condemn me as a Gandhian as easily". (

Situation in Gilgit Baltistan of POK is tense


IntelliBriefs Sources in Gilgit Baltistan

Our sources say day before yesterday, Pakistani Rangers killed 7 persons including 2 women in Gilgit, while people killed 2 Rangers in retaliation. Perhaps on 11th Oct. Pakistani forces kidnapped one student from Gilgit City and put his dead body on the road of Gilgit next day. Students gathered in Gilgit and protested against this brutal killing by Pakistani forces. Rangers killed an ex chairman of Municipal Committee Gilgit in his house, while 2 women were also killed in their house in Gilgit. 2 Shopkeepers were killed in side their shops, who even had closed their shelter to avoid the clashes. Thus 7 innocent civilians were killed by Pakistani forces. In retaliation the families of the victims killed 2 Rangers on the spot. Pakistani newspaper reports suggest that Rangers fired 100000 (One hundred thousand) rounds indiscriminately against the Shia pupulation of Gilgit city, with an intent to create sectarianism. A month before this incident, ISI kidnapped a Shia teacher, Mr. Bilal Hussain from Gilgit City and took him to the ISI Center Islamabad, who is still missing.

October 13, 2005

CIA to lead new US spy network

US intelligence chief John Negroponte has put the CIA in charge of all traditional US spying operations overseas, including those of the FBI and the Pentagon, in a move seen to restore some of the beleaguered agency's stature.

The CIA will lead a new National Clandestine Service (NCS), which will be headed by undercover intelligence officer who has led the CIA's Directorate of Operations up to now.

The move is part of an ambitious strategy to rebuild US human intelligence after debilitating lapses over Iraq and the September 11, 2001, attacks.

The plan also gives CIA director Porter Goss the added title of national HUMINT manager.

HUMINT is bureaucratic parlance for human intelligence, which involves spying by people rather than satellites and other technology.

"I am confident that with the creation of the NCS, the US Government will have a more cohesive and truly national human intelligence capability," Mr Negroponte said.

The NCS incorporates the CIA's Directorate of Operations, which runs the agency's existing clandestine, covert and paramilitary operations around the world.

But the NCS also is intended to be a national authority for the integration and coordination of human intelligence operations by the CIA, the FBI, the Defence Intelligence Agency and the intelligence units of individual military services.

Under the plan approved by President George W Bush in recent days, individual agencies will continue to run their own spying operations.

But as a new coordinating force in the intelligence community, the NCS will address structural problems blamed for mis-steps on Iraq and the September 11 attacks that killed 3,000 people and prompted the US war on terrorism.
New standards

A main task is to set common standards for intelligence officer training, basic espionage practices or "tradecraft" and the assessing of foreign intelligence informants.

The FBI and the Pentagon have aggressively expanded their spying activities overseas since the September 11 attacks, sparking new concern within intelligence circles about how to facilitate cooperation and avoid jurisdictional conflicts.

Experts said the creation of the NCS could also stem an erosion of stature at the CIA, particularly in the clandestine operations.

- Reuters

British Secret Service Turns to Internet

October 13, 2005 8:08 p.m. EST



Andrea Moore - All Headline News Staff Reporter

London, England (AHN) - Britain's foreign spy service, M16, has turned to the internet to dispel myths and recruit secret agents.

The launch of the Web site today is the first time the Secret Intelligence Service, previously also known as MI6, has publicly appealed for agents since its creation in 1909. A careers page on the site outlines the qualities they require in an agent including the ability to cope with stress.

The site comes after intelligence failures gave no warnings of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States or the July 7th transport bombings in London.

MI6, based at Vauxhall cross in south London, also says it hopes the Web site will help to quash "ridiculous" conspiracy theories such as the idea that British agents murdered Princess Diana, a spokesman says.

Pakistan: Earthquake Devastates Northern Pakistan, Ushers in Mixed Prospects for Peace Process

Pakistan: Earthquake Devastates Northern Pakistan, Ushers in Mixed Prospects for Peace Process



An earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale hit northern and north-eastern parts of Pakistan on Saturday (8 October), killing 20,000-30,000 people and injuring at least 40,000 more.

Global Insight Perspective
Significance The earthquake, which is believed to have been the largest in the region since 1935, also affected north-western India and parts of southern Afghanistan.
Implications In addition to the loss of life and high number of casualties, the earthquake has badly damaged the regional infrastructure, wiping out whole villages and large parts of towns.
Outlook However, given the remoteness of the region and the fact that none of Pakistan's commercial or industrial areas have been affected, Global Insight is not making any changes to its risk ratings.


Scale of the Disaster


According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake was centred approximately 100 km north-east of the Pakistani capital Islamabad. Its epicentre was near Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, which has reportedly suffered extensive damage, with around 70% of its buildings destroyed. The earthquake hit at 0830 (local time), and the survey reports that there were at least 22 aftershocks in the following 24 hours, including one registering 6.2 on the Richter scale. Initial estimates put the number of dead at 20,000, although it has been argued that the actual figure could be twice this. Those neither killed nor injured in the earthquake itself now face the elements, with many having little or no shelter against the cold weather that has started to affect the region. This, coupled with the inevitable outbreaks of disease, will undoubtedly add to the death toll.


Pakistan has taken the brunt of the disaster, with the majority of the deaths occurring in the part of Kashmir that it administers. Akram Durrani, chief minister of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), has been quoted as saying that 1,800 bodies have been recovered in his province, with the final death toll expected to be around 8,000. Apart from Muzaffarabad, the only major city to have been affected is the capital Islamabad, where the attention of relief workers has been taken by the collapse of Margalla Towers, an upmarket residential complex. Apart from this, the capital appears to have escaped relatively unscathed. The number of dead in Indian-administered Kashmir is currently in the hundreds, with around 900 believed to be injured. The quake was felt in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, but failed to cause devastation or loss of life in the city. In Afghanistan, the city of Jalalabad (capital of Nangarhar province) was affected, but not on a similar scale to Pakistan. Afghanistan has so far announced the death of four of its nationals.


International Relief Effort


The international community has responded swiftly to President Pervez Musharraf's calls for aid, with the president stating that Pakistan needs 'massive cargo helicopter support', as well as basic aid supplies. This underlines the race that is under way to gain access to areas that are currently cut off following the disaster, and to find survivors as quickly as possible. Alongside this, many of those who have survived require medical attention, while others just need shelter and food. The United States has offered eight military helicopters to support the efforts of the Pakistani military, while a raft of nations, including Australia, China, Germany, Japan, Russia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, have all sent additional help. The European Union (EU) has pledged just over US$4.3 million, while the World Bank is offering to fund the country's recovery with US$20 million. India has also offered to send relief workers and supplies, but looks to be diplomatically blocked at the moment, with Musharraf quick to thank India for its offer, but stalling any assistance by arguing that Pakistan needs to work out what is needed and whether India can offer this.


Outlook and Implications


Impact on the Economy


The scale of the disaster is set to exert strain on Pakistan's budgetary position. While reconstruction costs for social infrastructure should be offset by substantial inflows of aid from key donors and the Pakistani diaspora, the repair of key military installations in strategic areas hit by the earthquake will incur a direct budgetary impact. The government will need to balance extraordinary expenditure demands in the wake of the earthquake with the continued consolidation of its finances, which remains crucial to the long-term stabilisation of the economy.


Fiscal implications aside, the direct impact on overall growth will be limited to the local economies affected by the disaster. The key manufacturing and commercial hubs of Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad remained unaffected by the quake, ensuring comparatively minimal interruption to activity. Moreover, growth in fiscal year (FY) 2004 (ending June 2005) is estimated at 8.4% - the fastest rate in over two decades. The economy's renewed momentum and macro-economic stabilisation - effected through an International Monetary Fund (IMF)-sponsored consolidation programme initiated in 2001 - affords it greater insulation to shock than it has previously enjoyed. While the human cost of Friday's earthquake is undoubtedly horrifying, the economic ramifications are likely to be contained.


Impact on Infrastructure


The impact on the infrastructure in the affected areas has been devastating. Towns and villages have been badly damaged - and, in some cases, flattened. Roads have been blocked, cutting off access to some areas, while bridges, communications facilities and utilities will all have sustained damage or been destroyed. That said, much of the area is remote - the quake has affected tribal areas and the less densely populated northern areas - and none of the country's main cities, industrial or commercial areas, or key communications and other infrastructure connections have been affected. As a result of this, Global Insight has decided not to raise its Operational Risk Rating for Pakistan - not least because it already stands at a relatively high 3.75, reflecting the country's overall infrastructural deficiencies.


Impact on Domestic Politics


It will be interesting to see if there is any political fallout from the earthquake. The date of 12 October marks the sixth anniversary of the military's move to take power, by ousting the government of then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif. It has secured its grasp on power since then, and exerts a heavy influence on government policy. Musharraf, as the military's commander and president, is a focal point for opposition criticism, which has intensified ahead of the anniversary. The opposition has already attacked him and his government for failing to react swiftly enough to the weekend's disaster, although Musharraf has responded equally critically to this, reportedly saying, 'instead of blame game, this worst national tragedy demands united action to overcome it'. Much will depend on how the relief effort pans out; the military has been mobilised in its full capacity, and if it is ultimately regarded as having handled the situation well, Musharraf and the government will emerge from the situation in an even stronger position. Irrespective of this, the opposition's prospects lie largely in the hands of Musharraf, given his threat to have the main party leaders arrested on various charges. Until Musharraf shows some sense of conciliation, the opposition will be unable to function fully.


Impact on Peace Process with India


One area of particular interest is the impact that the disaster will have on the continuing peace process with India. Opinion is divided over whether it will provide a boost or simply highlight how deep the divisions are between the two governments. Those who are optimistic over the process have argued that the earthquake may have a similar effect to that witnessed in the Indonesian province of Aceh following the December 2004 tsunami. The province was decimated, prompting rebels who had been involved in conflict with the military for more than two decades to finally agree a peace deal with the authorities. As such, some have argued that the earthquake will provide a chance for India and Pakistan to rebuild alongside one another, in an region that is at the heart of their bilateral disputes.


Whether this scenario plays out depends largely on how Pakistan responds to India's offer of aid; so far, the tensions have been apparent. Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh has offered his condolences and aid, including military helicopters. While this is exactly the aid that Musharraf has called for, he has stepped back from the offer, being quoted in the Financial Times as announcing that 'we need to work out what we would like from them'. Furthermore, some observers have argued that given the sensitive nature of the heavily militarised Line of Control (LoC) - the de facto border separating the two sectors of Kashmir - as well as the overall Kashmir dispute, Pakistan is unlikely to allow Indian relief workers into its territory.


It has therefore been argued that the earthquake will do little to support the peace process. Perhaps symbolising this, the flagship bus link linking Srinagar with Muzaffarabad has had to be suspended, because the so-called 'Peace Bridge' has been extensively damaged. As a result, it is likely to be some time before the service is resumed. It has also been suggested that goodwill will ultimately change little. Ajai Sahni, head of Delhi's Institute for Conflict Management think-tank, has been quoted by The Hindu as arguing that 'the negotiating table decides the power equation. That equation of power is not going to change by an earthquake'.


Irrespective of all these arguments, it still remains unclear what impact the earthquake has had on the forces in the region - both military and guerrilla. Both Pakistan and India have suffered military losses, but these run into the tens and hundreds, rather than thousands. Military infrastructure will inevitably have been damaged, particularly on Pakistan's side of the LoC, which may create a sense of vulnerability and, consequently, fresh tensions. The scale of casualties that the guerrilla fighters will have suffered is still unknown. India has long contended that militants cross from Pakistan-administered Kashmir into its territory, and it is not unwarranted to argue that guerrilla forces will have suffered some losses.


Over the longer term, it will also be interesting to see what impact the reconstruction process has on the region, as the militant element partially feeds off individuals' lack of prospects. Initially, the region is likely to see the transit of refugees, moving to larger Pakistani cities in search for work and housing. However, the injection of reconstruction money into the region may improve prospects, potentially undermining the militant cause.

Syrian Interior Minister Commits Suicide Days Before UN Issues Lebanese Murder Report

Syria: Syrian Interior Minister Commits Suicide Days Before UN Issues Lebanese Murder Report

Source

The reported suicide of Major General Ghazi Kannan yesterday comes nine days before the UN is scheduled to publish its report into the murder of the former Lebanese premier, and highlights Syria's current predicament.

Global Insight Perspective

Significance Interior Minister Ghazi Kannan reportedly killed himself by a shot to the head. Speculation has recently been rife that Syrian security officials will be implicated in the murder of former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri in February this year, with Kannan questioned by UN investigators in the weeks before his death.

Implications The suicide dramatises Syria's current predicament as the regime grapples to contain the damaging fallout from the Hariri murder. Hours before his death, Kannan gave an interview to the Voice of Lebanon radio station, denying Lebanese media reports that he had accepted a cash payment from the deceased billionaire.

Outlook The Syrian administration cannot conceal the damaging domestic and regional stains that have affected it since February. The current predicament presents Syrian President Bashar al-Asad with the defining test of his presidency.

Fall of the Mighty

Kannan's rise to the pinnacle of Syria's military intelligence community was confirmed when late Syrian president Hafez al-Asad selected him as his country's chief representative in Lebanon; this effectively made Kannan the principal decision-maker in Syria's neighbour. He held the post of Syria's military intelligence chief in Lebanon from 1982 until 2002, during the height of Syria's power and influence in the country, becoming a trusted member of Hafez's inner circle. Significantly, Kannan, like Hafez, was a member of the minoritarian Alawite sect, which makes up an estimated 14% of Syria's population and is concentrated in the port city of Lattakia. The Alawite community's suspect Islamic credentials had historically prevented it from gaining access to the socio-economic ladder that was largely confined to the Sunni urban elite. The secular Ba'ath party became a vehicle of advancement for Alawites emerging as the dominant political force in Syria's post-independence history, with sensitive ranks within the military and security services firmly in Alawite hands.

In October 2004, Kannan was appointed Syrian Interior Minister by current President Bashar al-Asad. This appointment collided with Syria's increased regional and international isolation, both as a result of Syria's alleged acquiescence to the use of its territory as a safe haven and transit route for fighters and military supplies for the insurgency in neighbouring Iraq, as well as its unwillingness to loosen its traditional grip on Lebanon (see Syria: 12 September 2005: Syria Under Heightened International Pressure Following Assault by Iraqi Forces on Border Town). Senior Lebanese officials, among whom Hariri was prominent, began questioning Syria's official narrative that its military presence in Lebanon was designed to safeguard the country's territorial integrity and national unity. The situation prompted the introduction of UN resolution 1559, which called for the immediate withdrawal of all Syrian troops and intelligence personnel from Lebanon. It took Hariri's death and the consequent popular anti-Syrian backlash to convince the Syrian leadership to abandon its traditional stranglehold over Lebanon. Yet the domestic aftershocks from the Hariri murder continued to be felt within Syria, as senior officials became embroiled in accusations of involvement in the fatal bomb blast.

In June this year, both Kanaan and General Rostum Ghazaleh were targeted by the US Treasury Department under an executive order freezing both men's personal assets (see Syria: 1 July 2005: US Moves to Freeze Assets of Key Syrian Officials). Despite the fact that neither Kannan nor Ghazaleh were likely to have bank accounts in the United States, it was a symbolic gesture that underlined the international isolation of Syria's former strongmen. The arrests of Kannan's former subordinates in Lebanon - namely former general security chief Jamil Sayed, ex-police chief Ali Hajj and former military intelligence head Raymond Aznar - as part of the U.N.-led murder investigation further compounded the predicament of Syria's previously untouchable intelligence tsars, prompting widespread speculation that Kannan would be among those named by investigators in their impending report, due out on 21 October (see Lebanon: 30 August 2005: Former Security Chiefs, Head of Presidential Guard Arrested over Lebanese Ex-Premier's Assassination).

Asad's Predicament

On the day of Kannan's suicide, President Asad gave an in-depth interview to CNN. He said that Syrian officials found to have been involved in the Hariri killing would be considered 'traitors' and 'severely' punished. Asad said that a fragmented and 'chaotic' Iraq was not in Syria's geo-political interests, and that his regime was committed to helping preserve Iraq's territorial integrity. He repeated Syrian requests for international help and assistance in manning Syria's porous border with Iraq. However, despite his best efforts to create an air of confidence and dismissive attitude towards suggestions of possible targeted military strikes against his country, the president is increasingly feeling the strain. Questions are also being asked by Syrian sources on whether Kannan 'jumped', or was instead 'pushed' by members of a regime he had obediently served for over two decades. The Hariri-owned Lebanese daily Al-Mostaqbal today featured the headline: 'Did Ghazi Kanaan Commit Suicide or Was He Murdered?'. It also speculated that 'his suicide could be premeditated murder carried out by a regime that wants to eliminate a key witness.' In the murky world of Syrian military intelligence - commonly referred to as the Mukhabarat - nothing can be ruled out, as all eyes now turn to the highly anticipated UN report.

Outlook and Implications

Syria's foothold in Lebanon, established during the chaotic Lebanese civil-war period, became the Ba'ath Party's Achilles' heel, exposing Asad to powerful forces that may yet come to unravel the foundations of the sole surviving Ba'athist regime in the Middle East. U.S. President George W. Bush only yesterday reiterated his demand for Syria to alter its regional conduct and stop obstructing efforts at forging a more stable and democratic Middle East regional landscape. Despite the unyielding international pressure, support for 'regime change' or targeted strikes against Syria is extremely minimal and confined to a minority within the Bush administration. Nonetheless, the future looks bleak for Lebanon's neighbour as Asad's regime is forced to adjust to regional shifts that have altered Syria's standing in the Middle East. The regime's survival now depends on Asad's ability to administer far-reaching changes that are not designed for simply cosmetic purposes, but rather intended to correct the rising domestic discomfort, regional unpopularity and international isolation that currently confronts Syria

Earthquake : "We pray for innocent souls" , not for terrorists: Abdul Hamid Chairman of BNF



Mr.Abdul Hamid Khan ,Chairman of Balawaristan National Front (BNF)(www.balawaristan.net) spoke with IntelliBriefs from Majini Mahla, Gilgit, so called "Balawaristan (Pakistan occupied Gilgit Baltistan)" about the recent earth quake in the Pakistan administered kashmir . He thanked God almighty for sparing Gilgit Baltistan and expresed condolences to the families who lost lives , but not terrorists .

When questioned about the media reports stating destruction to terrorist infrastructure he said "Yes, some of the media reports are absolutely righ, mostly TERRORISTS AREAS have badly damaged in this earthquake. " . He criticised Musharraf " Perhaps it's a big punishment of nature. Nature has exposed General Musharraf's so-called moderate face among the ugly faces of his lovely terrorists. I believe there may be some inocent people who have also been victimized by the nature, if it's so we pray for their souls, but not for the terrorists. There is no loss of life in our area. Recently, our people killed 2 Paki soldiers of occupyibg forces in Gilgit while injured 10 others in open firing. "

Danger-- Manmohan's Moscow trip

October 13, 2005

The Asian Age today (October 13) reported that PM Manmohan Singh is visiting Moscow in December to discuss defense and nuclear deals with Russia. India should guard against Russia getting highly favorable deals on inferior military equipment, especially fighter jets like MIGs which have a dismal record.

Note that Sonia was in russia at the same when India was shopping for planes at the Paris Air Show, and later cancelled her scheduled Washington trip.

Considering the Russian-KGB hold over Sonia (and Sonia's hold over Manmohan), India cannot be too careful in this regard.

Russia is after India's huge foreign exchange reserves which they desperately need.

Indian Army troops crossed LOC to help reconstruct Pak Bunker

Wednesday, 12 October , 2005, 21:53

Srinagar: In the first incident of its kind, Indian Army troops on
Wednesday crossed the Line of Control near Amman Setu to help reconstruct a
bunker of Pakistani soldiers at their request, Defence sources said.


Pakistani soldiers guarding the Amman Setu (Peace Bridge) on PoK side
had sought help of their Indian counterparts to reconstruct their bunker
which was damaged by the massive earthquake on Saturday, they said.

The Indian soldiers crossed the LoC, helped the Pakistanis to
reconstruct their bunker and then returned to their positions.

The Pakistani request came in view of forecast of heavy snowfall in
the region. They wanted to construct shelter in the shortest possible time.

Amman Setu connects Jammu and Kashmir and PoK and is used by
passengers of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus to cross LoC.

Actually it is a major public relations bonanza and a great embarrassment to to the Paki Army both internationally and in the eyes of Kashmiris.

The key is not so much repairing the bunker but the publicity value. See also the contrast before the world-- India is managing its disaster, the third this year smoothly and without fuss and also helping Pakistan. Increasingly the world media is criticizing the governments handling of it.

October 12, 2005

KFOR exercise to test recovery, transportation systems

October 11, 2005


CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo (Army News Service, Oct. 10, 2005) - Multinational Brigade (East) will host a three-day exercise in Kosovo this week to test the interoperability of different national recovery and transportation systems.

The exercise, dubbed Operation White Shark, begins Oct. 13 with helicopter sling-load training at Camp Bondsteel and concludes Oct. 15 with railway transportation training at the Grlica Station, Kosovo.

The exercise will involve soldiers and personnel from all four multinational brigades of the Kosovo Force, the KFOR headquarters, its Multi-national Specialized Unit, its Tactical Reserve Manoeuvre Battalion, and the United Nations Mission in Kosovo Police, known as UNMIK-P.

KFOR is conducting the exercise in order to increase the effectiveness of its sling-load operations, rail transportation and recovery procedures in a logistical environment, command officials said.

Brig. Gen. John S. Harrel assumed command of Multi-National Brigade (East) in Kosovo Aug. 21. Prior to his deployment, Harrel served as chief of staff for the 40th Infantry Division (Mechanized) of the California National Guard.

KFOR rotation 6B includes about 1,700 U.S. service members — mostly National Guard Soldiers from California, Kansas and Pennsylvania; along with smaller units from a number of other states and a composite Army Reserve medical unit. MNB(E) also includes Poles, Ukrainians and Lithuanians, among others.

KFOR is a NATO-led international force responsible for establishing and maintaining security in Kosovo following the civil war waged against it by former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic that ended six years ago this past spring.

KFOR includes troops from a total of 35 nations. Lt. Gen. Giuseppe Valotto of the Italian Army took command of the Kosovo Force Sept. 1 at KFOR headquarters in Pristina.

(Editor's note: Information provided by MNB(E) releases.)

USA : Military UAVs May Not Suit Homeland Security

The military spends billions of dollars a year on unmanned aircraft, which fly over war zones searching for targets and occasionally even firing missiles. The Department of Homeland Security, however, appears uninterested in employing Defense Department UAVs to monitor the nation’s borders. As part of a project called the Arizona Border Control Initiative, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency was employing military UAVs to patrol the U.S.-Mexico border. That program ended in January 2005, and DHS has not indicated it wants to continue it, says Dyke Weatherington, head of a UAV task force at the office of the secretary of defense. “In the past, DHS has come to the Defense Department and requested support for missions such as UAV operations,” he says. The ABCI effort was terminated upon DHS request.

Meantime, Customs and Border Protection has replaced the UAVs with helicopters, and will continue to evaluate options for future employment of UAVs, says Mario Villareal, CBP spokesman. “In March, we doubled the number of helicopters patrolling the Arizona border,” he says. “Air operations are absolutely critical to what we do.” CBP has the nation’s second largest aircraft fleet, after the Defense Department.

Weatherington expects DHS to eventually seek Pentagon assistance for UAV development and procurement. “They may have different attributes for DHS, but it’s hard for me to believe that the Defense Department capabilities wouldn’t meet DHS requirements.”

US Air Force Research Targets Insurgents’ Bombs

By Andrea Pinchak

Airborne lasers. Electromagnetic Barriers. Bom Bots. They sound like weapons used against the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars. Yet, there’s no science fiction here. All are current Air Force Research Laboratory technologies, some of which already have been deployed to Iraq.

AFRL developed and delivered what it calls Bom Bots. These are small, remotely controlled robots that disable and dispose of roadside bombs and improvised explosive devices used by insurgents in Iraq against U.S. troops.

“The war fighters love them,” says Les McFawn, executive director of AFRL. “They have asked for more of these because, obviously, it keeps them out of harm’s way.”

The technologies available to detect IEDs, however, need to be improved, McFawn tells National Defense. “There is an issue with finding IEDs. If you found one, the Bom Bot is great, but clearly there are a lot of these IEDs that we’re not finding. So we need some techniques for either finding them or disrupting their placement.”

Another AFRL effort got under way in June, when the lab awarded a $1.5 million contract to Alliant Techsystems to develop high-power microwave technologies that will be capable of disabling a variety of IEDs, says Juvenito R. Garcia, a spokesman for AFRL directed energy directorate, at Kirkland Air Force Base, N.M.

AFRL and Alliant, under a previous agreement, had developed a prototype system, called Scorpion I. In tests at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz., the Scorpion I neutralized approximately 74 percent of the IEDs it encountered. “We are proud of that achievement and are confident that we will continue to mature the technology with the goal of developing a fieldable and deployable system as rapidly as possible,” said Alliant spokesman Bryce Hallowell.

Under the most recent contract, AFRL and Alliant will adapt the Scorpion I design to develop a portable device called Scorpion II, which will find and disarm IEDs.

These projects are only small pieces of a broader Defense Department effort to develop and field anti-IED technologies.

An organization dubbed the Joint IED Defeat Task Force is charged with coordinating all Defense Department projects aimed at countering IEDs. While the services sometimes pursue their own efforts, the task force often coordinates and tries to consolidate redundant development and production programs. In fiscal year 2005, the task force spent $1.4 billion on new technologies.

In March, the task force issued a solicitation for industry bids, under a “broad agency announcement.” From more than 800 responses, 32 were selected for additional evaluation. White papers with varying degrees of information were requested for each of the 32. “The review of those white papers is underway now, and we expect to see initial contracts awarded this fall,” according to Christine Devries, a spokeswoman for the IED Task Force.

“We have been successful at deploying technology and equipment within weeks and months, rather than months and years,” she says in written responses to questions from National Defense. “We realize that we already have plucked the low-hanging fruit. The next-generation technology requires development to meet specific needs,” she adds. “Therefore, we also are prepared to pursue and fund promising innovations that might have a longer lead-time before showing return.”

Syracuse Research Corp. recently won a $550 million contract from the Army to develop a counter-IED system, known as CREW Spiral 2 (Counter Remote Control Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare System).

The CREW Spiral 2 devices will be installed on Army vehicles and will perform in similar ways to the Scorpion II. Work on this project is estimated to be completed by 2010.

McFawn describes the process of developing and improving anti-IED technologies as “boot strapping.” Troops take technologies and weapons systems, and develop tactics, procedures, concepts of operation, he explains, and “invariably they figure out better ways to use them than we had originally envisioned. They learn how to employ them and they feed back their experiences.”

A major challenge in countering IEDs is access to timely intelligence about the enemy’s intent, says McFawn. “To what extent can we anticipate and influence the actions of the enemy?”

Also, researchers at AFRL must try to predict how the enemy will rework commercial technologies to improve the effectiveness of IEDs. “Commercial technology is highly capable and can be adapted for military use by groups like the terrorists, and we need to be able to proactively adapt and rapidly develop technologies in response. The whole issue of speed is key,” says McFawn.

Scientists at AFRL, meanwhile, also are focusing on technologies that the military will need in 10 to 20 years. One example of such research is in the field of nano-science, particularly with highly energetic materials. AFRL envisions doubling the propulsive power for missiles and rockets, or basically creating high-energy explosives that, pound for pound, are 10 to 50 times greater than the ones used today, McFawn says.

Other long-term projects include the development of speed-of-light weaponry, large thin-film optics, electromagnetic protection and airborne lasers. Speed-of-light weapons will be smaller, lighter and more powerful than conventional systems, Garcia says. Large thin-film optics, or mirrors the size of football fields, could be used in space to direct energy from one site to another.

Directed energy can be applied in defensive systems, McFawn adds. “You can envision a directed-energy system that basically provides a total barrier around an air base or around an aircraft … That concept of being able to have a sphere of electromagnetic protection—be it high-power microwave or high-power laser—to protect yourself, is a pretty powerful concept.”

In the near future, research will be pushed towards developing the airborne laser, a megawatt-class device mounted aboard a Boeing 747-400 freighter to destroy ballistic missiles shortly after launch.

Andrea Pinchak is a cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

ZAKAT : Fourth Pillar of ISLAMIC Pakistan is shaky

BACKGROUND

Zakat is the fourth ‘pillar’ of Islam. Zakat means setting apart for Allah every year a certain portion of one’s savings and wealth (generally 2.5 percent) and spending it upon religious duties and on needy members of the community. The fulfillment of this duty is, in fact, a kind of reminder that all one has is in trust for Allah. Man should, therefore, hold nothing back from Allah. To whatever one may amass in one’s lifetime, one’s own personal contribution is insignificant. If the Supreme Being, who is at work in the heavens and on the earth, refused to co-operate with man, there would be nothing that the latter could accomplish single-handed. He would not be able to plant so much as a single seed to make things grow. Nor could he set up any industries, or carry out any other such enterprise. If Allah were to withdraw any one of His material blessings, all our plans would go awry, and all our efforts would be brought to naught. Source


PAKISTAN : Zakat deduction, Billions withdrawn from banks
 
By JAVED MAHMOOD

LAHORE - To avoid deduction of Zakat, thousands of bank account holders have withdrawn billions of rupees from their saving accounts a few days ahead of the deduction of Zakat, it was learnt on Wednesday.Like past, countless account holders have also converted billions of rupees deposits into Call Deposit Receipts (CDR), which would be deposited again into the original accounts soon after the deduction of Zakat on Wednesday (today), the first day of the holy month of Ramadan. A senior banker told The Nation that during the last few days the account holders were withdrawing heavy amounts from their saving accouants so that the banks could not deduct Zakat. He said that several customers have converted their deposits into CDR to avoid the payment of Zakat. This year 2.5 per cent Zakat is applicable on Rs 9,206 or above balance of saving accounts of the bank customers. He said that from Thursday the people would again deposit the money, encashed or converted into Call Deposit Receipts. It would be very difficult to guess the actual amount of money, either withdrawn from banks or converted into CDRs, said the banker, adding the amount could be in billions of rupees and might be more than 12-15 billion rupees. He also disclosed that during last few days several account holders have submitted attested affidavits to the banks, strongly opposing the deduction of Zakat from their accounts. It may be noted here that every year, a few days before the deduction of Zakat, billions of rupees are withdrawn from the banks so that the bankers could not deduct Zakat. According to a recent report of the Ministry of Finance, the collection and disbursement of Zakat had declined substantially in last two to three years, showing flaws in the system. The report has stressed the need to put in place a sound mechanism to prevent the Zakat system from collapsing in the years to come.

SOURCE :

DOES INDIAN CHRISTIANITY ALLOW UNTOUCHABILITY?

DOES INDIAN CHRISTIANITY ALLOW UNTOUCHABILITY?

_______________________________________________

By Laura Kelly & Christian Hendersen

We have been reading with great interest letters from readers, that followed after publication of the article "Ensuring equal rights to all Dalits", by Archbishop A.M. Chinnappa and A. Philomin Raj, The Hindu, Sep 22, 2005.With some trepidation it is necessary that we have to point out,vital points have been left out on this important issue,hence this critique.

The Privy Council (UK) as early as 1936 had ruled out that there is no "Scheduled caste in Indian Christianity". To ‘Cast the Nets to the Marginalized Side’ and the argument again and again in new terminology "Dalits" is untenable both legally and morally. Dalit Openness ‘to Gods unknown’ comes with a price tag - loss of 'self' and Identity'. Dalits with their Spirituality and life style are now protected and needs enhanced fencing. The rituals and ceremonies of the Dalits mirror the space that their men and women occupy in the society and the values they cherish. The spontaneous out burst against the utterances of the Tamil Movie star Kushboo is a case in point, that values are still too precious.Dalits have both men and women as priests and priestess to talk and mediate with their Deity and to offer sacrifices.

Theodore Wilber Elmore in his ‘Dravidian Gods in Modern Hinduism: A Study of the Local and Village Deities of Southern India’ identifies some of such ceremonies. These rituals are well integrated into the religious life of Hindus. Neem, Banyan and other trees are held sacred. The worship of nature resulted itself in the preservation of the nature. Thus the Dalit religion is eco-friendly. Clarence Clark, in his Talks on an Indian Village, describes this phenomenon to children in the West in following sentences,". . . there were evil spirits all around him (a Dalit) living in trees and streams and large stones, and they would do him a great harm if he is not careful.” Thus Dalit religion is eco-friendly.

Victor Premasagar, "The Gods of Our Fathers - Towards A Theology of Indian Religious and Cultural Heritage", has called for a sensitive, critical and inclusive appraisal of Dalit religions in the process of our theologizing. He wonders of how capable they were in sustaining for thousands of years the life of the communities that were always under the threat of extinction. Abraham Ayrookuzhiel did study the Dalit religiosity but had remained a social scientist and never attempted to allow Christian ‘god-talk’ to dialogue with Dalit cultural resources. V. Devasahayam in his "Outside the Camp" has made a deliberate attempt to utilize the cultural resources of Dalits in interpreting the Biblical texts.

Dalit religion could discern the divine in natural objects and the presence of supernatural in natural forces. Western christian writers, whose twin mission was to subjugate other cultures and to mutilate the Nature, had called this world-view as ‘animism’ (P.Y. Luke and John B. Carman, Village Christians and Hindu Culture (London: Lutterworth Press, 1968)


Does Indian Christianity allow untouchablility?

The Synod of Diamper held 1599 at Diamper (Udiamperur, Kerala ), India; pressure was brought on Syrian Christians temporarily to accept Roman Church as Malabar Uniate Church, clearly recognized and endorsed the Indian caste system within the Roman Catholic Church. This is held intact even today with the Doctrines of the Roman Church, even though the constitution of India has abolished untouchablility within Hinduism. It is surprising both the authors of the article have skirted the key issue.

Roberto De Nobili, Francis Xavier and John Britto all practiced untouchability.Jesuits like Nobili claimed himself to be a Brahmin from Rome and administered the Eucharist on a long pole to the new "untouchable converts".(sic)

In a reply to a question are not Christians entitled to combat untouchablility, Mahatma Gandhi said, "Not only are the Christians entitled, but it is their duty to combat untouchablility in their own midst. But if the question is that Christians should combat untouchablility in Hinduism my answer is that they simply cannot do it because untouchablility of Hinduism should not be untouchablility of Christians. The anti-untouchablility movement means weaning Hindus from their error. This cannot be effectively done by non-Hindus, even as Hindus cannot bring about religious reform among Christians and Mussalmans. If the question means that Christian should combat untouchablility among Hindus by converting untouchables to Christianity they do not advance the cause in any shape or form; the cause being reform among caste Hindus. If the latter repented their sin the Harijans would be delivered from the yoke of untouchablility in a moment. Conversion can never do it. It can only add to the prevailing bitterness and introduce a disturbing factor in a situation which is already bad".

Most Pakistani Christians today still do the same work as their untouchable ancestors: sweeping the streets and doing other menial jobs deemed ritually or literally unclean by higher-caste Hindus. (The Untouchables' Church despite a Catholic bishop's protest suicide in 1998, Christians holds little hope for repeal of blasphemy law, Ethan Casey in Pakistan. Christianity Today Magazine.)

The Term Dalit Christian is a misnomer. Mr.V. T. Rajshekhar, editor of "Dalit Voice" had very aptly described the Unchristian side of the Indian Church. In his article of above name published in "Dalit Voice" some years ago, he had commented that the missionaries are educating the children of oppressors, who tomorrow will come to power and see that these very schools, where they obtained first lessons of alphabets, be closed. It is like feeding milk to the serpents' offsprings. He had also suggested that at least 50% of seats in all Christian convents must be given only to SCs and STs at no charge, and the deficit be made good by charging double fees from the children of oppressors. I do not think that article made any dent on missionaries; they are following their own ways says Dr. K. Jamanadas in his Dalit Identity.

On May 9, 2001, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) sent its first open letter to the Rev. Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, the superior general of the Jesuit order in Rome, about the expulsion from the order of Fr. Pallath J. Joseph of the Kerala Province of Jesuits in India. This article continues the series of open letters that have ensued to the superior general about Fr. Pallath's case. Because each letter begins with the same introduction stating the facts of the case, these have been omitted after the fifth letter below. For further details about the expulsion of Fr. Pallath from the Jesuit order, see the web site created by AHRC at http://jjpallath.ahrchk.net.}

Mr.P.N.Benjamin wrote for the Deccan Herald on the eve of the Synod said, “The Church has sinned more than others in perpetuating social injustices against Dalit Christians. In Indian Christian communities, caste discrimination takes many forms. There are some churches built for separate groups. These places of worship even today retain their caste identity. Another example of casteist practice is allotting separate places in churches. Usually, the Christians of Scheduled Caste origins occupy the rear of the church. A glaring instance of caste distinction is found among the dead. The dead of the Dalit communities are buried in separate cemeteries."

There is rampant casteist mentality in Christianity that takes pride in the egalitarian nature of its society. Its missionaries sell dignity to the underclasses in the Hindu society but forget about it after their conversion to Christianity. The Hindu society at least throws up periodically reformers who champion the cause of Dalits who are useful to Christianity only to swell its flock. Only two years ago, the Catholic bishops meeting at Varanasi resolved to bury casteism among Christians.

The appointment of India's first "Dalit"(low caste) archbishop evoked mixed reactions among church community in Andhra Pradesh. The Vatican came under attack for ignoring "ground realities'' in transferring Bishop Marampudi Joji of Vijayawada to Hyderabad, while others said his promotion as the state's metropolitan archbishop will bring "new life'' to the million-strong Andhra church. Expressing shock over the appointment, outgoing Archbishop Samineni Arulappa of Hyderabad said, "Rome is being taken for a ride. Rome does not know the ground realities.'' He belongs to the upper caste Naidu community.

Out of 156 Catholic bishops in India, 150 bishops belong to the upper castes. Only six bishops are Dalits. Out of 12,500 Catholic priests, only 600 are from Dalit community. Though Dalits constitute 75 per cent of the Indian Christian community, the control over church is in the hands of 25 per cent upper caste Christians. (Outlook Magazine Aug ,30 )

It is not as though the problems of Dalit Christians have not received attention from the government. Several commissions appointed by the government have referred to the disabilities Dalits suffered in Christian society. Kaka Kalelkar, chairman of the Backward Classes Commission of 1955, said, "We discovered with deep pain and sorrow that untouchablility did obtain in the extreme south among Indian Christians, and Indian Christians were prepared in many places to assert that they were still guided by caste, not only in the matter of untouchablility, but in social hierarchy of high and low. While the Harijans among the Hindus, classified as scheduled castes stand a fair chance of bettering their condition under the Indian government's reservation policy, their Christian counterparts stand twice discriminated."

On the eve of Pope John Paul's visit to India in November of 1999, Dr Mary John, president of Dalit Christian Liberation Movement, wrote: "Since the powers, authority, official posts, organizations and financial resources are all in the absolute hold of the caste-priests, nuns, bishops and the religious, the Dalit Christians are not able to get an equal share for them in education, employment opportunities, welfare and development schemes available in the church. This has hindered the progress of Dalit Christians for long and has forced them to the situation of fighting for their rights. But the church authorities are least worried about this."

About ten million Dalit Christians of India feel cheated by the church that converted them to Christianity with the assurance that they would be given equal rights and status in the community.

Benjamin quotes some interesting statistics: A study of all the landed properties of churches in India put together shows that the church is the second biggest landlord in the country, next only to the Government. In addition, the Church institutions and Church or Christians-led NGOs receive foreign financial support amounting to over Rs. 2500 crores per year. There is no transparency with regard to these funds as well as the massive income accruing from the elite schools, colleges and hospitals and also shopping complexes built all over the major cities in the country. The poor Dalit Christian does not even get the crumbs, leave alone participation in Church matters. There seems to be a vested interest in keeping the Dalit Christians where they are to maintain the status quo in the church.

But now Dalit Christians are more untouchable in Christianity than they were in their original faith, according to Francis. "Swadeshi Church could be a solution to this problem as the management of our organizations will come into our hands. Today we have to look to World Council of Churches (WCC) and Vatican for every little effort to better our community. This is a fact that the church organizations are not "Dalit Christians' friend", said Francis in New Delhi recently.

Laura Kelly
Journalist and Christian Historian
Christian Hendersen
Anthropological Documentary producer
Kunta Runta
The Artic
Finland

October 11, 2005

QUAKE IN PAKISTAN : THE SEQUEL

QUAKE IN PAKISTAN : THE SEQUEL

by B.Raman

The Government and the people of Pakistan have been coping, as best as
they can, with the help of a flood of international assistance, with the
colossal tragedy which struck them on October 8, 2005, in the form of a
massive earthquake which has devastated practically the whole of
Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK) and large parts of the district of Manshera
and other areas in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). Islamabad was
also affected, but mildly with the collapse of only one multi-storey
building.

2. The total fatalities in POK are officially estimated at 20,000 plus and
unofficially at 30,000 plus. Those in the NWFP at 3,000 plus and
unofficially at 8,000 plus.

3. In an interview from a tent in which he has been living at
Muzaffarabad, the capital of the POK, since the quake, Mr.Sikander Hayat
Khan, the Prime Minister of the POK, said on October 10, 2005:" I am the
Prime Minister of a graveyard, surveying the ruined capital from a tent
where I have slept since a weekend earthquake destroyed towns and villages.
It's the biggest natural disaster. It has totally paralysed Kashmir. For the
first two days, we have been either digging ground to recover bodies or
digging to bury them. Kashmir has turned into a graveyard."

4. The only Minister of the POK Government so far known to have been
killed in the quake is Shireen Waheed, who was killed along with 14 members
of her family.

5. In a despatch from Muzaffarabad, Naveed Ahmad, the correspondent of the
"News" (October 11, 2005) said: 'Muzaffarabad is a ghost town, a 21st
century reminder to the World War II blitzkrieg. The city is now set for an
epidemic, no less. With entire suburban population heading to the town in
hope of relief, more danger of disease is at hand with some 20,000 bodies
decaying underneath the rubble and over countless injured living in the
worst unhygienic conditions. As if this was not enough, the migrant
inhabitants and the worried relatives are rushing back after the opening of
the roads to the place once called Muzaffarabad with hopes of seeing their
loved ones and settling in their abandoned homes."

6. Major- Gen.Shaukat Sultan, the spokesman of the Pakistan Armed Forces,
told pressmen: "It is a whole generation that has been lost in the worst
affected areas. The maximum number affected was schoolchildren. Rescuers are
pulling out dead children in Muzaffarabad, but there is no one to claim the
bodies which shows their parents are also dead. Rawalakot has been
destroyed. Muzaffarabad is 70 per cent destroyed. There is not a single
house in Muzaffarabad which has not suffered damage. There is not a single
family there that has not suffered." He added that the Pakistan Army had
lost over 300 soldiers and over 500 were injured in the affected areas.

7. The devastation in the NWFP was severe too, but not as severe as in the
POK.According to a despatch by Rahimullah Yusufzai, the well-known and
well-informed correspondent of the "News", military, civil and police
officials monitoring the situation in the quake-affected northern districts
in the NWFP reported 3,198 confirmed deaths and injuries to another 4,856.
It included 1,500 deaths and injuries to 4,000 in the Mansehra district and
a death toll of 1,100 in Battagram along with 300 injured persons.
Abbottabad was next with 230 deaths and 200 injured, followed by Shangla
with 222 dead and injuries to 182. Kohistan reported 131 deaths and 45
injured. The official toll in Swat was seven deaths and 47 injured while
four persons died and 19 sustained injuries in Buner. Peshawar suffered
three deaths and nine injured and Haripur had one dead. There were no
quake-related deaths in other districts with Mardan reporting injuries to 22
people, followed by Charsadda and Nowshera with 20 and 12 injured
respectively.

8. Eight heavy-lifting US helicopters from Afghanistan flew into Pakistan
within 36 hours of an appeal issued by President Pervez Musharraf to the
international community for helicopters. It has been reported that the
helicopters could have flown in even earlier and joined the rescue efforts,
but there was a delay because of reservations reportedly expressed by some
senior Pakistani Army officers over the advisability of allowing American
pilots to fly the copters. Ultimately, Musharraf over-ruled their objections
and it was decided that the copters would be flown by US pilots. A Pakistani
Foreign Office spokesperson said: "These helicopters would be flown by
American crew members as is the case with the other ones that are helping
out. The nationality of the crew is not an issue."

9. Amongst the countries which have responded to Musharraf's appeal and
rushed relief teams and assistance are Germany, the UK, France, Turkey,
Jordan, China, Japan, Spain, Russia, the US and Saudi Arabia. According to a
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson, some foreign nationals (number not yet
known) have died in the earthquake, including a Chinese worker in Kohistan
and an Egyptian in Islamabad.

10. India was the first to offer assistance even before Musharraf made his
appeal for assistance to the international community. It has been reported
that India had offered relief teams and supplies, helicopters and cross-Line
of Control (LOC) medical teams to be sent on foot to Muzaffarabad, which is
just 40 minutes by road from the LOC, but over three hours from Islamabad.
Pakistan took three days to decide on the Indian offer. On October 10, 2005,
it decided to accept one plane-load of relief supplies, but rejected
India's offer of helicopters and cross-LOC medical teams. Musharraf has
admitted in an interview with foreign journalists that the hesitation of
Pakistan in accepting the Indian offer was due to the "political
sensitivities" involved.

11. However, Mr.Sikander Hayat Khan, the Prime Minister of the POK,
welcomed India's offers of help as a positive sign for the peace process
with Pakistan, but added: "They offered us help on humanitarian grounds and
I hope that there should be no politics involved in it."

12. Muzaffarabad and the Manshera district of the NWFP, which were in the
epicentre of the quake, have also been for many years the epicentre for
international jihadi terrorism. The Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) and the
Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), both members of Osama bin Laden's International
Islamic Front (IIF), had their jihadi training infrastructure in the
Manshera district, particularly in Balakot, which is reported to have been
totally destroyed by the quake. In the beginning of this year, the Al Qaeda
too had shifted one of its training camps from the Waziristan area of the
Federally-administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to Manshera. There were also
unconfirmed reports that bin Laden had taken up residence in the Manshera
district. The LET and the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI), which are also
members of the IIF, had their training infrastructure in Muzaffarabad. The
United Jihad Council headed by Syed Salahuddin of the Hizbul Mujahideen, an
indigenous Kashmiri terrorist organisation with no known links to the Al
Qaeda or the IIF, was also operating from Muzaffarabad.

13. No estimate is available of the damages suffered by these terrorist
organisations as a result of the quake. Many foreign nationals from
Indonesia, Thailand, the US, the UK and other countries were reportedly
undergoing training in the camps in the Manshera district. Only the LET has
so far admitted that its infrastructure in the POK has been severely
damaged. A spokesman for the Jamat-ud-Dawa, the political wing of the LET,
admitted at Islamabad on October 8, 2005, that mosques, hospitals, schools
and madrasas run by the LET in the POK were destroyed by the quake. He
added: ''Many of our members have been killed. They are in scores while
several others are still trapped under the rubble.''

14. Afraid that foreign rescue teams might discover the dead bodies of the
foreign terrorists killed by the quake in the Manshera District of the NWFP,
the Pakistani military has reportedly barred civilian rescue teams from
working in certain areas where these terrorists had been kept. This has been
strongly criticised by some political leaders, including Qazi Hussain Ahmed,
the Amir of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI).

15. The POK-based United Jihad Council (UJC) has announced that it would
suspend its operations in the earthquake-hit areas of Jammu & Kashmir. A
statement issued by it on October 9, 2005, said: "Syed Salahudin has
directed UJC cadres to halt their operations in the affected areas." Before
the issue of this announcement, unidentified terrorists shot dead five
members of two Hindu families in the southern district of Rajouri on October
9, 2005. The same day, another group of terrorists clashed with an Indian
Army patrol in the Gulmarg area. Eight of the terrorists were reportedly
killed in the ensuing exchange of fire.

16. The Taliban and the Al Qaeda remnants operating from Pakistan have
sought to convey an impression that the quake has not affected their
capability for operations inside Afghanistan. One Salimullah Khan Mujahid,
who now projects himself as the spokesman of the Taliban after the recent
arrest of Latifullah Hakimi, his predecessor, by the Pakistani Security
Forces, claimed on October 10, 2005, that Taliban fighters hit a US
helicopter with anti-aircraft rockets in the eastern Nuristan province. This
is the third instance this year in which the Taliban has claimed to have
shot down US helicopters.The US military command in Afghanistan has so far
confirmed only one of these claims. There were unconfirmed reports that a US
military spokesperson had also confirmed a second claim.

17. Speaking from an undisclosed location, Salimullah Khan Mujahid claimed
that in the latest incident the US military helicopter caught fire after
being hit by rockets shortly before noon. However, he said he was unaware if
there were any casualties once the chopper caught fire. He also claimed
responsibility for the assassination of pro-Afghan government commander Aqil
Shah alias Agha Shah and four of his men by a suicide bomber on October 10
in Kandahar city. He said nine other supporters of the slain commander were
wounded in the attack.

18.According to reliable Pakistani sources, five terrorists belonging to
the International Islamic Front (IIF), one of them a Pakistani national and
two Chinese (Uighurs) nationals, were killed in a clash with the Afghan
security forces in the Zabul area on October 10. The same day, there were
two suicide explosions in Kandahar, which killed six people and wounded
eight others. One American soldier was killed and another wounded by the
Taliban in the Zabul province on October 09, 2005.

19. In the POK and the NWFP, there has been considerable criticism of the
slow response of Islamabad to the tragedy. It remains to be seen whether the
tragedy would weaken Musharraf's position. He has always projected himself
as a super-competent military commander, who acts fast and effectively.
These qualities were not evident in the first few hours after the quake
struck.

20. Would the terrorist remnants attack the foreign relief teams,
particularly the US helicopters? It seems unlikely because of the adverse
impact which it could have on the public opinion in the affected areas. But,
still, one has to be on guard.

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of
India, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and
Distinguished Fellow, International Terrorism Watch Programme (ITWP),
Observer Research Foundation (ORF), and Convenor of its Chennai Chapter.
E-mail: itschen36@gmail.com)

Are communists abusing American hospitality? -- Arvind Kumar

Indo-American News, October 7, 2005



Arvind Kumar

The human suffering caused by the tsunami disaster few months ago once again brought out an ugly facet of human nature to the surface. In the wake of the devastating tsunami, which left an estimated 200,000 dead, millions injured, orphaned, homeless and destitute, some political organizations posing as charities and a few other charities connected to political groups aggressively sought donations while providing little, if any, succor to tsunami victims. Collecting funds under false pretenses is nothing new, nor is it unique to the countries of the Indian subcontinent, but what is especially troubling in this case is that money collected by some organizations is used for political purposes and in some cases even ends up with groups that fund violent action.

In particular, some Indians in USA who support Communists at home have set up organizations that present a façade of helping poor people. These groups often coordinate their fund-raising activities and shadow their proceeds by passing money through multiple accounts all controlled by like-minded groups.

Sandeep Pandey, the founder of Asha for Education (ASHA) which is one of the groups in the network, is a supporter of Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation [CPI (ML)-L], a group that openly calls for an "armed revolution" and has a stated objective of using illegal methods and raising an army to wage a war. In November 2002, during its party congress, this group honored 'comrade martyrs' or terrorists killed in action. Sandeep Pandey was one of the speakers at
the congress and called for the unity of 'revolutionary' Communist organizations.

Another outfit, Association for India's Development (AID), is closely allied with ASHA and seeks funds from people in America in the name of charity, but is linked to Communist groups in India. When AID started collecting money ostensibly for the relief of those affected by the tsunami, it inadvertently publicized the fact that it was working together with other organizations including the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) – the youth wing of Communist Party of India (Marxist) – which was mentioned only by its acronym on AID's website. DYFI is routinely in the news for indulging in acts of violence and rioting. In March 2002, DYFI activists attacked women journalists, and in August of the same year, they torched buses. DYFI
has repeatedly targeted the offices of Malayala Manorama, one of the leading media houses in the south Indian state of Kerala, and in August 2003, hurled a petrol bomb at one of Malayala Manorama's offices. In November 2004, they threw stones at vehicles and smashed windshields on buses.

Using the time-tested "follow the money" technique, a recent independent investigation revealed connections between AID and Indian Communist organizations. According to information AID put out on the internet, it donates money to Tamilnadu Science Forum (TNSF) – yet another organization run by one of its own members – which in turn supports libraries but makes it a pre-condition 'as a policy' to support only those libraries linked to organizations such as DYFI. Effectively, this makes AID a front organization for Indian Communists seeking funds in USA. In the past, ASHA has also contributed money to TNSF.

Activities of Indians in USA that benefit various Communist groups are a matter of grave concern not just for Indians, but for everyone around the world. Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation considers Russian actions in Chechnya to be racist acts of terror and blames Russia for not giving in to the demands of the terrorists who held schoolchildren hostage at Beslan a few months ago. The US State Department has already listed as terrorist groups some radical Communist organizations in the Indian subcontinent, including a couple of groups that have an ideology similar to that of CPI (ML)-L
and share common roots with it. One of the key political parties that CPI (ML)-L opposes in the state of Uttar Pradesh is Bahujan Samaj Party, a party of oppressed Indians treated as untouchables by 'upper-caste' elite who support outlawed Marxist-Leninist and Maoist groups.

It is unfortunate that many unsuspecting people have been taken in by the claims of AID and similar organizations and have donated money to them. Several former donors state that they were unaware of AID's connection to Communists and believed the apparent good intentions of AID. Disillusioned students who have stopped donating to AID speak of a sense of betrayal they felt upon discovering its true nature.

Organizations like AID, which are based in the US, raise money by abusing the sincerity and goodwill of their American hosts. Although AID is connected to groups in India with an overt political agenda, it claims to be a non-political outfit and draws its support primarily from students on American campuses. One of its main bases is Stanford University in California where it has hosted speakers sympathetic to groups that base their ideology on hatred and indulge in violence. It is high time that the American authorities crack down on groups that brazenly operate in USA with a tax-exempt status despite their links
to radical Communists. There is no need to wait for a crisis before tackling the problem.

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