November 05, 2005

Shahbuddin arrested

RJD MP from Bihar Syed Shahabuddin, who is wanted in more than 30 cases of crime and has at least eight non-bailable arrest warrants pending against him, was arrested from his official residence in New Delhi by a Bihar Police team.

Wanted in more than 30 cases of crime including the kidnapping and suspected killings of two CPI(ML) activists in his home district Siwan, the elusive RJD MP was arrested from 5, Bishambar Dass Marg.

After his arrest, Shahabuddin was taken to the Parliament Street Police Station.

The Bihar Police will take him on transit remand to Siwan, where he will be produced before a local Court in Siwan.

Shahabuddin was arrested on a tip-off by Delhi police to the Bihar police team that was camping in the capital.

The MP from Siwan was not even given time to change his clothes, which were brought to the police station by an aide.

Shahabuddin is to be produced before a local court in New Delhi for seeking his transit remand.

A nation-wide alert for his arrest was issued in August by the Bihar Police after it was accused of going soft on him.

Shahbuddin had at least eight non-bailable arrest warrants pending against him, mostly those relating to seizure of foreign-made firearms, ammunition and unaccounted foreign currency during a raid on his Pratappur house in April.

On Monday, a district court in Siwan in Bihar, had rejected his anticipatory bail petition in connection with providing false information on his nomination papers during the last Lok Sabha elections held in 2004, officials in Siwan said.

Terrorism : Don't be fooled by Indian leaders tough talk , WHY ???

November 04, 2005


Mumbai, 4 Nov. (AKI) - India is preparing to set-up a "centre for security" to coordinate the work of the intelligence agencies and the police force, based on the US model of a centralised structure that was set up to help the United States in its war on terrorism. Official sources in New Delhi said on Friday that experts from India's interior ministry and the security services have been working for some time on the project to establish a similar centralised structure in India.

The project has been approved by India's Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing, amid greater urgency in the aftermath of the bombs in the Indian capital last Saturday which killed 62 people.

The Internal Security Centre or ISC, said the sources, aims to create a database on all citizens, which, in addition to the current personal data and work-related information, will contain detailed information on all the trips made abroad and on other activities people engage in.

The objective of the centre is to supply analysis that would prove useful in preventing any future terrorist attacks and to provide the country with the means to respond to an eventual attack, identifying all the possible violations to security norms in every sector, from information about the exit and entry to and from India by foreign citizens to information on TV news channels.

The threats to India are not only made up of those linked to international terrorism but also from groups within the country that operate as separatist movements or local revolutionaries, from the Islamists of Kashmir to the Maoist rebels (including the Naxalites) which are active in many of the states in India. One such group, the rebels of Kashmir, is in fact suspected of being involved in the bomb blasts on 29 October in New Delhi.

The new structure, sources stressed, will have a strong deterrent character and will be set up in a way that makes people "aware that they are under surveillance."

Sources say that given the nature of the project, conceived on the basis of a proposal by the interior ministry and destined to be submitted to the government, engineers from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, the university which has for years created some of the world's major IT talents, have been tasked with developing the project.

November 03, 2005

Syrian Bigwigs and Capital Flee under Implied Threat of Military Action

DEBKAfile Special Report

November 1, 2005, 2:30 PM (GMT+02:00)

The threat of military action was embedded in the UN Security Council resolution. It was reinforced by US Secretary of state Condoleezza Rice when she spoke of “serious’ consequences” – diplomatic parlance for military action – should Syria fail to cooperate with the final and conclusive part of UN investigator Dehlev Mehlis’ inquiry into the murder of Lebanese leader Rafiq Hariri last February.

The explicit threat of economic sanctions was deleted from the American-British-French draft demanding Damascus’ cooperation. It was dropped for the sake of a unanimous 15:0 endorsement to appease Russian, Chinese and Algerian objections. Instead, the resolution called for unspecific “measures.” However the motion was adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which spells out these measures as being “partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraph, and other means of communication, and severance of diplomatic relations.”

The same chapter permits the use of armed force if those measures fall short of their purpose. Syria is required to detain any suspects named by the UN investigators and hand them over for interrogation at places and in conditions determined by those investigators.

The second tough clause states: suspects may be subject to a travel ban and a freeze on their assets.

Rice and British foreign secretary Jack Straw both addressed the Security Council session to strengthen the implied phased threats of the resolution.

Faced with this torrent of menacing language, Bashar Assad’s close associates have already decided that escape is the better part of valor. Influential Syrian VIPs appear to have read the UN resolution carefully last week and are absconding. DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources reveal large cash withdrawals from Syrian banks, currency conversions and transfers to banks outside the country.

The flight of money was accompanied by an exodus of some of the leading families of Damascus – anxious to beat “the ban on travel and assets freeze” mandated by the UN resolution for suspects in the Hariri murder plot.

The largest capital transfer – estimated at $6-7bn – was made by the tycoon Rami Makhlouf who lost no time in removing himself, business and family from Damascus to Dubai.

Makhlouf’s defection is a mortal blow for Assad and his shrinking circle of supporters. He is not only the manager of the Assad clans’ finances, his is also a close kinsman; Bashar’s mother is his aunt, sister of his father General Adnan Makhlouf, who served the late president Hafez Assad in a top position of trust as commander of the presidential guard.

His huge capital transfer and removal of his business center from the Syrian capital are capable of bringing the national economy crashing down about Assad’s ears.

His is not the only defection. Several other affluent Syrian businessmen close to the regime have also decamped. The second richest man in the country, Firas Tlas, has moved lock, stock and barrel, to Abu Dhabi. DEBKAfile’s sources report the secret flit of General Bahajat Suleiman, head of Syria’s intelligence council and virtual overlord of the national clandestine services.

Desperate to drum up support from his fellow Arab leaders, Assad demanded an Arab League summit but was informed that a narrow forum was the most that can be convened.

UN investigator Mehlis and his team were back at work in Beirut soon after the Security Council resolution was passed Monday night, Oct. 31. Mid-December is his deadline for winding up his probe.

Bashar Assad is confronted head-on now with a dilemma: which of his close relative should he surrender as a scapegoat? His young brother Maher Assad, or his sister’s husband, Assed Shawqat? Both top the Mehlis list of Syrian suspects in the Hariri murder plot.

Indian communists oppose INDO-US Joint Air exercises

Indian communists to demonstrate against joint air exercises with US

Special Correspondent
Nov. 1, 2005

Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)]-led ruling Left Front in the eastern state, West Bengal, on Tuesday [1 November] announced it will hold demonstrations across West Bengal on 7 November against joint exercises by air forces of India and the US beginning that day.

Around 700,000 Left Front activists would "peacefully demonstrate" around the Kalaikunda Air Force station (in West Midnapore district) on 7 November, CPI(M) Politburo Member and State Secretary Anil Biswas told reporters here.

Stating that CPI(M) had sent repeated pleas to the federal government against joint exercises with the US, Biswas said the demonstration was decided upon after a similar exercises in the central Indian city Gwalior.

Expressing apprehensions about "US designs", he said the US has conducted joint military exercises in 120 countries, set up air bases and later established regular military bases in these countries.

The joint Indian Air Force-United States Air Force exercises will be on till 19 November.

November 3, 2005

Press Statement

The Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, All India Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party have issued the following statement:

Deepening Indo-US Military Ties
In the wake of the Indo-US defence framework agreement various steps are being taken to deepen military ties between the two countries. A series of joint military exercises and training programmes are being conducted. In September, US army soldiers underwent training at the Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte in Mizoram. This has been followed by joint naval exercises off the West Coast. A joint air forces’ exercise is scheduled to begin on November 7 at Kalaikunda in West Bengal.

Talks are on for a big arms purchase from the United States including F 16 fighter plans. The missile defence cooperation negotiations are also being held. The deepening military collaboration does not augur well for India’s strategic interests and independent foreign policy.

In this context, the Left parties welcome the call given by the Left Front in West Bengal to hold demonstrations on November 7 at Kalaikunda and all other parts of the state.


Ali Mohaqqeq-Nasab, editor of the Kabul-based women's magazine Hoqooq-e-Zan (Women's Rights), was suddenly arrested on October 1. He was snatched on the street, without any warrant, summons, or prior notice (Outlook Afghanistan, October 2). He was subsequently summoned to court on October 11 to face charges of writing anti-Islamic articles, charges that, according to one judge, could carry a sentence "from a frown to execution" (Tolo TV, October 12).

Mohaqqeq-Nasab is an Islamic scholar with a law degree who has quite openly advocated for the rights of women and individuals. He is the founder and chairman of Burhan (Reason), a legal and cultural organization in Kabul.

His writings criticize the severity of some punishments meted out to individuals in an Islamic society. Specifically, he argues that everyone should be free to choose his or her religion and if one speaks against or objects to certain sections or rulings in Islamic law he or she should not be punished or charged with apostasy (Hoqooq-e-Zan, Issue #7, May 2005).

Two articles in particular provoked the ire of Shiite clerics. One criticized the severity of Islamic law, especially the punishment of 100 lashes for those found guilty of adultery. The other suggested that abandoning Islam could not be considered a crime. Afghan conservatives are currently campaigning for the adoption of penalties envisaged by Islamic Law (Sharia) (Daily Outlook Afghanistan, October 12).

His case is not the first one that involves blasphemy. Another highly publicized case was the arrest and detention of the editor of the weekly Aftab (the Sun) in 2003. The accused in that case was kept for a week, released on bail, and, fearing for his life, fled the country (Anis, October 10).

What makes Mohaqqeq-Nasab's case rather serious is that he is accused by both Shiite and Sunni clerics, representing the minority and majority sects in Afghanistan respectively. Members of the Shiite Clergy Council brought the case to the attention of President Hamid Karzai's religious advisor.

The media law signed by the president in March 2004 bans content deemed insulting to Islam. According to Fazel Sangcharaki, deputy minister of information and culture, "The media law also stipulates that journalists can be legally detained only with the approval of a 17-member commission of government officials and journalists." Therefore, Mohaqqeq-Nasab's "arrest was technically illegal," and the editor should be remanded to the Commission for Review of Violations of the Law on Mass Media, which has the authority to have a journalist imprisoned (Pajhwok News, October 12).

According to the media freedom advocates present when Mohaqqeq-Nasab appeared in court on October 11, the defendant "was not allowed to answer charges in full, and as many as 15 judges questioned the editor, creating a chaotic atmosphere" (Committee to Protect Journalists, October 11). During his second court appearance, on October 16, the editor was brought to court in chains and shackles and his head had been shaved, outraging media advocacy groups.

The Afghan Civil Society Forum (ACSF) quotes the president's cultural and information advisor, who said that when Karzai saw the court session on TV, he ordered the minister of information and culture "to resolve the problem in the Media Commission" (ACSF, Press Release, October 19).

Led by the minister of information and culture, the commission met with the editor and issued a statement saying, "There was no sign of blasphemy or apostasy in his conversations." The commission asked the court to show leniency and pardon the editor (Bakhtar News Agency, October 19). However, the court handling the case later denied the request (BBC, October 19), and later that week. Mohaqqeq-Nasab was sentenced to two years in prison.

According to Ann Cooper, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, the arrest and trial of Ali Mohaqqeq-Nasab on blasphemy charges is a giant step backward for press freedom in Afghanistan (CPJ, October 11).

After more than two decades of war, Afghanistan has a relatively thriving press environment, at least compared with most of its neighbors. If this positive trend continues and strengthens, it will no doubt affect the region.

The conservative clergy in Iran and their Sunni counterparts in Pakistan cannot tolerate any challenge to their traditional way of thinking. Mohaqqeq-Nasab has already written an important book about the concept of the supreme religious leader (Velayat-e-Faqih) in Iran. To forestall future writings, clergy from both Shiite and Sunni sects united to convict the editor. Already there have been an outcry from various human rights and media support organizations. "President Karzai must intercede to obtain Nasab's release and have this miscarriage of justice corrected," the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said in a statement. Similarly, the International Federation of Journalists said that it was outraged by the court's decision and believed that the judicial process had been illegal and immoral.

However, if appeals from local and international groups fail to convince Karzai to intervene on behalf of the editor, nobody will dare to write about the religious taboos or any subject that will incur the wrath of the religious conservatives in Afghanistan. Freedom of the press in Afghanistan is now under grave threat.

--Akram Gizabi

Iraq's about oil, not food


Iraq’s about oil, not food

Sandhya Jain

Good old-fashioned nationalism compels me to write about the duplicitous UN Oil for Food scam at a time when I am deeply anguished over the tragedy which has effectively ended all festivities in the capital. Most of us will go through the motions of observing Hindu dharma’s greatest annual event, but Saturday’s bloodstains have left an indelible impact on us all. Delhi Police’s sustained efforts over the past few years had revived confidence in the battle against terrorism, making the sudden catastrophe difficult to digest. The Prime Minister’s studied silence on his open border policy has been noticed by all, and so long as South Block substitutes American pressure for an independent foreign policy, we can expect such incidents to be repeated ad nauseum.

The UN Oil for Food programme stinks to high heaven of the oil piracy with which America is virtually synonymous, while Secretary General Kofi Annan reinforces the public impression of himself as a White Man’s stooge. It is no secret that the UN imposed sanctions on Iraq from 1990 under American pressure, causing untold misery to the Iraqi people, who literally began to die of starvation for want of food, medicines, and other urgent necessities (remember the man-made Bengal famine, ushered in by the “benevolent” British Raj?). When the deaths assumed scandalous proportions, the Oil for Food programme was created in 1996, which permitted the Saddam regime to export crude oil and deposit the funds in a special bank account (Escrow Account), which UN would run to buy food, medicines and other articles for the Iraqi people. UN officials would determine the prices at which goods would be purchased and the firms from which purchases would be made (you get the drift).

The UN was always a bloated bureaucracy of over-paid mediocrities from around the world. Still, under Mr. Boutros Boutrous-Ghali, it was not a pet poodle of the White House, which it what Mr. Annan has reduced it to. Even a nodding acquaintance with the manner in which Mr. Annan has conducted his office, from sleeping over the genocide in Rwanda to nodding over the food-for-sex horror in Sudan, would indicate the direction in which the Oil for Food would go. Not surprisingly, one of pockets into which it went is alleged to be that of Mr. Annan’s son!

But there is more to the deal than mere money. Hence Mr. Annan must explain why the UN, having imposed unjustified sanctions against Iraq under American pressure, chose a member of Washington’s political elite (former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker) to conduct a so-called ‘independent’ inquiry into the Oil for Food scam. Many aspects of the Volcker report are fishy. But the worst, from the standpoint of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence, is its impact upon the on-going trial of Mr. Saddam Hussain. A US-managed court, with US-appointed and trained judges is conducting a trial, the outcome of which is foretold. Despite this, the deposed dictators’ legal team is harassed, and international opinion against the continuing occupation of Iraq is sought to be silenced through the Volcker report. Somehow America can never rise above the self-righteous rapacity of its White Settler occupants.

Essentially, what does Volcker have to say? That Saddam used UN’s endemic corruption to beat the sanctions by using the Oil for Food programme to earn $ 1.8 billion for his country; and that he used oil to buy influence with politicians in several countries to condemn the sanctions. In India, there is a frisson of excitement over claims that Foreign Minister Natwar Singh (incidentally an old-fashioned nationalist) received peanuts worth Rs. 3.37 crores at today’s exchange rate.

Mr. Natwar Singh, then an opposition MP, played a leading role in getting the Indian Parliament to adopt a unanimous resolution condemning the US military invasion of Iraq in 2003. Since it is nobody’s case that Mr. Natwar Singh shared his booty with fellow Parliamentarians, we must assume that the resolution reflected the Indian national position on war against a friendly country. By mindlessly seeking Mr. Singh’s resignation, the BJP, which was then the ruling party, must explain if it now endorses American occupation of Iraq. Moreover, since the then Deputy Prime Minister actively canvassed for sending Indian troops to assist the Americans in Iraq, while on an official visit to Washington, the BJP should spell out its Iraq policy to end public confusion in the matter. Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee would do well to issue a detailed statement in this regard.

Even civilians like me, with no stakes in the global oil market, knew that UN officials were making money in Iraqi oil. Nations imposing sanctions bought Iraqi oil through channels that Mr. Volcker is now pretending to uncover. As a so-called expert on money laundering and an expert criminal prosecutor, he should use his talents to unearth the post-invasion oil rape by US oil firms.

A cursory look at the Volcker report suggests that US angst flows from the fact that upto August 2000, Iraq sold oil through global (read Western) oil companies. But from September 2000, Saddam began to select oil buyers with a view to buy goodwill for his country (a wholesome foreign policy objective by any standard). He particularly favoured permanent members of the Security Council, to get the sanctions eased. Thus, Russia and France benefitted, and US oil companies did business with the Russians.

But this did not go down well with America. After all, the arbitrary and irrational post-Second World War map of the Gulf was drawn up by the Allies only to serve their commercial-strategic interests (read oil needs). As the sole global superpower, America could hardly digest deployment of troops to protect the rulers of friendly Gulf regimes, while Russians ran the oil trade! Volcker gives the game away by protesting that Iraqi crude was being sold to persons who were not “regular players in the oil market.” In other words, the Oil Cartel is a Closed Circle and the Free Market is for the birds. As for the business activities of the Foreign Minister’s son, what is relevant is whether he settled his dues with the income tax department.

Volcker says there were “layers of individuals and companies” between the oil quotas and the ultimate buyers; hence UN could not determine who was actually benefiting from and controlling the oil purchases. Frankly, UN is so utterly complicit in financial scandals and human rights abuses all over the world that there is a strong case for it winding up altogether, especially in view of its inability to correct itself and its propensity to act as an arm of the White House. Further, it is none of America’s business how a sovereign nation sells its natural resources to keep its people alive. Contempt for UN-US complicity in ravaging Iraq made the 101 oil companies and traders that did business with Baghdad shun Volcker’s queries.

It is said that most of the Iraqi oil sold between 1996 and 2002 had an illegal surcharge that UN had declared illegal; but the oil companies and traders paid no heed. Volcker has mentioned politicians in Russia, France, Britain and Italy, who benefitted from Saddam’s largesse. He should now identity the American oil majors and politicians swimming in Iraqi oil after the de facto colonization of that country.


November 02, 2005

Indian Army Upgrades Battlefield Surveillance

October 31, 2005

The Indian Army next month will issue a request for proposals to procure 2,000 thermal imaging integrated observation systems as it strives to build a modern, dedicated battlefield surveillance system for the infantry.

Indian observation posts are hampered by rangefinders that do not work accurately at night.

The surveillance system would represent the first component of network-centric warfare operations for the Indian infantry and be part of a multidisciplinary command, control and intelligence system.

The Army has already begun modernizing the infantry’s firepower and surveillance capabilities. Among the recent additions are a hand-held thermal imager, a short-range battlefield surveillance radar, unattended ground sensors, laser rangefinders and various types of night-vision goggles and binoculars.

The existing battlefield system has shortcomings in navigation, requires much training, has fragile gear, is susceptible to electronic countermeasures, and requires extensive integration of surveillance equipment.

The Army also will float separate global tenders for a video display facility, a geographic information system and Global Positioning System equipment.

In addition, the service intends to hire technology consultants to ensure the Army’s surveillance equipment at the unit level is simple to operate, light, mobile and requires little maintenance.

Army sources said the surveillance capabilities need to at least match weapon performance, function with maneuver elements, and work in all weather, during the day and at night.

Meanwhile, the Army is making drastic changes in its current communication infrastructure to integrate new sensors.

A senior Army signals official said the service plans to induct a combat net radio through a wide area network. The existing system is essentially based on voice communications and faces range limitations.

Army officials said the South Western Command, formed earlier this year, will be the first Army command center to get the new battlefield surveillance system. The Army official also said the service has an indigenous tactical battlefield command, control, communications and surveillance system that is comparable to any possessed by a Western army and has already been tested in exercises.

The Army official also said with the development of the new system, the Army’s battlefield command, control, communica-tions and surveillance system would be more secure and less susceptible to jamming.

Battlefield surveillance systems also are being procured for artillery units. The new systems will enable a soldier to punch in all data related to target coordinates, weapon systems to be used and firepower required in one-third less time. •


U.S. Air Force Chief seeks boost intelligence

Chief seeks boost in blue’s intel presence
Moseley also stands up office for strategic communications

November 02, 2005

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley announced two major organizational changes Oct. 27 that will expand and redefine the service’s intelligence and communications fields.

In an interview with Air Force Times, Moseley said he will recommend a lieutenant general to lead the intelligence field, while increasing personnel and standing up separate intelligence directorates within the service’s war-fighting headquarters being developed around the world.

The current director of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance is Maj. Gen. Ronald Sams.

Moseley also announced he stood up a new Office of Strategic Communications, doubling the Pentagon’s 56-member public affairs staff with new divisions under the leadership of a two-star general instead of a one-star.

“I think we can do a better job with the talent we’ve got,” Moseley said.

Moseley’s intelligence announcement comes at a time when a record number of career intelligence colonels — at least 23 — are retiring from the service, due in large part to a glass ceiling they face in trying to make general, Air Force intelligence sources have said.

The number of Air Force intelligence generals has declined steadily since the early 1990s, and none of the intelligence directors in any of the 11 major U.S. military joint-services unified commands and staffs is a member of the Air Force. They are Army or Navy officers with intelligence backgrounds.

That means, at a time when all U.S. military operations overseas are joint-service operations, the Air Force has lost its seat at the table in joint intelligence planning and decision-making, even with regard to its own air and space operations.

“I’ve just concluded that the Air Force can contribute more than it is,” Moseley said.

He added that he wants to expand the career field — it’s uncertain by how many members — and groom more general officers, such as Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the Air Force’s senior intelligence officer who now is the principal deputy director of national intelligence in Washington, D.C.

“I would like at the end of the day to be able to build a dozen Mike Haydens,” Moseley said.

At that level, intelligence officers could work on combatant commanders’ staffs, the National Security Agency, interdepartmental agencies and joint task forces.

“There seems to be so many more opportunities if we think about this a little differently,” Moseley said.

After fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, Moseley said he has “absolute faith” in the Air Force intelligence community. But he wants a larger group that is better prepared with regional expertise and language skills, groomed to be competitive for better opportunities to partner in the joint world.

He said he wants them to have more experience in dealing with unmanned aerial vehicles and new sensors “and to be able to think slightly differently about how to operate better in a world that is cyberspace, where much more information flows at the speed of light across so many mediums.”

Moseley’s announcement came the same day National Intelligence Director John D. Negroponte announced his new blueprint for improving intelligence gathering and assessment.

“The National Intelligence Strategy of the United States of America: Transformation through Integration and Innovation” promotes increased teamwork among the 15 government organizations involved in clandestine activities, according to a Defense Department press release.

Moseley said he has not yet decided who he will recommend as the deputy chief of staff to refocus and redirect the intelligence community, but he said a name could be announced in the next couple of months. He said he also is researching what type of rebalancing of career fields it will take to expand intelligence.

The new Office of Strategic Communications, he said, stood up on Oct. 27, and four divisions will absorb the current public affairs office and open up “more opportunities for the public affairs career field.”

Messengers wanted

The Air Force will send more airmen for graduate programs in communications, embed more members for brief educational stints with news or public relations companies, and teach all airmen in all educational courses and training “something about how to be a messenger” and “how to interface with media,” Moseley said.

Moseley said he recommended Brig. Gen. Erwin F. “Erv” Lessel III, the director of plans and programs at Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to lead the office as a major general. His pick for Lessel’s brigadier-general deputy is Col. Michelle D. Johnson, a pilot and Rhodes scholar who now is personnel director at Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

“These are wonderful people and they’re perfect for this job,” he said.

The new divisions in the Pentagon will reshape how the Air Force represents itself in a “new media world,” with everything from blogs to traditional media, he said.

“Current operations” will continue to respond to media requests and write news releases.

“Future operations” will conduct communications research so the Air Force can respond to big-picture issues, such as the Quadrennial Defense Review. “Outreach” will handle community relations events, while another division will manage the rest.

“It’s an integral part of conducting operations in today’s world,” Moseley said.

Glenn W. Goodman, editor of C4ISR Journal, contributed to this report.

U.S. Navy Exercise Will Test Link Between Ships in Different Hemispheres

Communicating Over the Horizon
U.S. Navy Exercise Will Test Link Between Ships in Different Hemispheres

October 31, 2005

Trailing a suspicious vessel, a Canadian frigate on maritime interception operations reports to its coalition commander using an ultra-high frequency (UHF) radio. But during the transmission, the frigate moves over the horizon away from the commander, and communications are lost.

Keeping widely spread-out forces connected in such a situation is one of the focuses of Trident Warrior, an annual naval exercise devoted to trying out network-centric concepts in operational situations.

“The idea of net-centric warfare is your units are very dispersed, but from all directions, you can mass effects onto the bad guys,” said Cmdr. Tony Parrillo, program manager and director of the U.S. Navy’s FORCEnet Execution Center in San Diego. “They don’t know where it’s coming from — it’s coming from everywhere. They can’t shoot back at you.”

Theories abound about how to execute new warfare techniques, but taking them to sea is effective in proving whether ideas and the technical gear that support them really work. That’s the basis of Trident Warrior, in which designers, technicians and operators have the chance to find system glitches and perfect their techniques.

“We provide speed-to-capability,” Parrillo said. “Which means we take all of these first-of-a-kind things that are emerging, install them on a battle group and work with them through Trident Warrior to develop tactics to use this equipment.”

Trident Warrior is no small exercise. This year’s event, which will run for two weeks beginning in late November, will involve:

• At least six U.S. Navy ships, including a full expeditionary strike group (amphibious ships Iwo Jima, Whidbey Island and Nashville, cruiser Philippine Sea and destroyers Cole and Bulkeley).

• Elements of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

• Two Canadian frigates, the Montreal and Fredericton.

• Iron Duke, a British frigate.

• The Australian frigate Perth.

• Two New Zealand ships, the frigate Te Mana and the “Waka.” The latter is not a real ship, but a virtual entity created for the exercise.

Electronic warfare aircraft also will take part, including British Nimrods, U.S. Air Force Rivet Joints and U.S. Army Guardrails, as well as contractors flying Lear jets and acting as the opposition.

The exercise also will feature the first use in a net-centric exercise of the U.S. Navy’s first Global Hawk high-altitude unmanned reconnaissance aircraft.

“One of the big questions is how to handle and distribute the data from the Global Hawk,” Parrillo said. “We’ll look at what utility and military capability it brings to the commander.”

While the American and Canadian ships will operate off the coast of Virginia, the British, Australian and New Zealand vessels will be under way in their home waters but electronically linked to the other participants. The Te Mana, for instance, will perform communication link exercises with the shoreside “Waka,” testing a new system to automatically shift communications when one system loses functionality.

“We will do the same thing with the Canadians off Virginia,” Parrillo said. “When the ships [using line-of-sight communications] sail over the horizon, the link should shift seamlessly to satcomms. They should not notice it has changed. That capability is very important to some of our allies such as the Canadians or Australians, as they don’t have very robust satellite communications. But if they’re close enough to see a U.S. ship, they can be passing the traffic back and forth.”

Terror Scenarios

This year’s Trident Warrior will be geared toward improving “cross-domain” coalition communications in scenarios of the global war on terror, Parrillo said.

“We’ll be pretending that the bad guys are blowing up oil tankers and oil platforms,” he said.

During the exercise, ships will escort neutral shipping through terrorist-infested waters and conduct maritime interception boardings. Helicopters will carry out raids on terrorist headquarters and training camps. An added touch will be an oil spill caused when the terrorists blow up a tanker. The latter, Parrillo said, “kind of piggy-backs on the Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts.”

A major goal of all net-centric exercises, Parrillo said, is to generate enough data to accurately measure whether new methods and systems really work. That’s generally done, he said, by repeating a particular exercise five or six times.

“One of our mantras is, if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it,” he said. “We have about 108 different quantifiable measuring things that we’re doing this year.”

The data range from operational techniques to the highly technical. “We’re getting data on whether our new modems and compression techniques are increasing the throughput of data,” he said.

Data from the two previous Trident Warriors has been incorporated into several communications technologies and systems. Development of one communications network, the Automated Digital Network System, was sped up by about two years because of the work in last year’s exercise, Parrillo said. Methods to direct naval fire support and track friendly forces also were improved.

The 2006 exercise will take place in June in the eastern Pacific, and will expand on the coalition’s work in this year’s exercise while adding U.S. Coast Guard units, Parrillo said.

Ships on their way from the West Coast to Hawaii for the bi-annual Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise also will take part, he added. The destroyers and submarines taking part in RIMPAC will provide an opportunity to try out anti-submarine warfare initiatives, including communications at speed and depth, Parrillo said. •


China : Oil May Contribute US$55b Trade Deficit

Oil May Contribute US$55b Trade Deficit

2005-11-02 11:51:47 xinhua

BEIJING- Rises in global oil prices could lead to an outflow of billions of dollars in spending for China, with oil likely to single-handedly contribute a US$55 billion deficit to the country's trade balance this year, an academic with a government-backed think tank warned.
This would be larger than the US$35 billion deficit in 2004, said Niu Li, an economist with the Economic Forecasting Department of the State Information Center.

China is expected to post an overall trade surplus of US$90 billion this year, nearly triple the US$31.95 billion surplus recorded in 2004, based on an earlier prediction by the Ministry of Commerce.

"Oil is the single commodity that causes the biggest trade deficit (in China), " said Niu in an article carried in the China Daily on Tuesday.

Rapid economic expansion has made China the world's second-largest oil consumer after the United States. Its oil imports account for nearly 40 percent of the country's total oil consumption.

Surging oil prices can affect China's economy "on a grand scale," said Niu, cautioning that they could hold back growth and add to inflation.

Niu predicted that China's 2005 oil imports will total 130 million metric tons, or 1 billion barrels.

"If each barrel costs an extra US$15, it means China has to shell out an additional US$15 billion from its foreign currency reserves," she said.

(Source: Shenzhen Daily/Agencies)

Rising Leader of the Global Jihad , Al-Zarqawi

Al-Zarqawi as Master Strategist in Iraq, Rising Leader of the Global Jihad

A series of online statements posted by the mujahideen increasingly downplay the issue of foreign invasion as a factor in the rise of jihad. One of the more recent of these was a posting on October 18 by the Organization of al-Qaeda in Iraq, the group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Referring to the upcoming visit by Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa, who was heading a delegation aimed at convincing the Sunnis to engage with the political process, the statement dismissed the link between political rights for the Sunnis in Iraq and jihad. "We are not fighting to chase the occupier out or preserve national unity or keep borders delineated by the infidel intact. We are fighting," it explained, "because it is a religious duty, just as it is a duty to take Shari'ah law to the government and create an Islamic state" (

The posting is the second conspicuous statement defining the aims of al-Zarqawi's group and reprises an earlier, detailed presentation of the stages, policy and purpose of the jihadi campaign in Iraq under al-Zarqawi's direction. This statement, authored by Abu Abd Allah Ahmad al-Umran "from the Land of Najd" (the area of central Saudi Arabia) and posted by the official mouthpiece for al-Qaeda, was issued through the Global Islamist Media Front, posted on the al-Farouq Islamist forum on October 9 ( The al-Umran statement is a descriptive paean to the achievements of al-Zarqawi, and appears intended to counter mounting flak at his policies in Iraq, coming three days after the controversial intercepted letter from al-Zawahiri addressed to al-Zarqawi.

At the beginning of the three-page analysis, entitled "The Fighting Policy for Qaedat al-Jihad in the Land of the Two Rivers," al-Umran details how al-Zarqawi and the mujahideen made preparations for fighting the Americans in Iraq more than a year before the invasion of the country. Al-Zarqawi "with his penetrating insight" had planned the systematic transferal to Kurdistan, to "prepare for the fight through establishing training camps and weapons depots all over Iraq." Attracted to al-Zarqawi, who was known [from his time] in Afghanistan, were "many brothers from the Land of the Two Shrines [Saudi Arabia]." The author takes care to counter doubts on al-Zarqawi's activity by carefully stressing that the continuous acceleration of operations is on "legitimate targets selected with care, against specific categories [of target]."

Each category of targeting, or "political axis," forms part of a coherent whole. Al-Umran enumerates three of them, and details them as follows:

The first axis—to "isolate the American army"
This goal is made up of two clear elements. The first is to target the Arab translators cooperating with the military, since these are viewed as the link between the U.S. army and the Iraqi people. By targeting these, the army becomes isolated and any burgeoning understanding between the military and the Iraqis is cut. By rendering the army "deaf," they are denied up-to-date information from the field. The second element is to target the police and the National Guard, as they play the role of shields to the U.S. military. This element, al-Umran states, is the most conspicuous at the present time, and is now "reaching the stage of targeting the military bases. The shield, the author states, is falling away "and the Americans have no alternative but to withdraw, given the number of casualties, notwithstanding the falsifications of the U.S. media."

The second axis—the targeting of Arab and foreign ambassadors.
"An indication," al-Umran asserts, "of the long-term political vision the Organization [of al-Qaeda] maintains." The aim here is to "isolate the Iraqi government from the international community, and from neighboring countries," so that the government becomes nothing but a "media" government, reduced to the Green Zone and eventually disappearing altogether. "Illustrations of this axis," he explains, "are the killing of the Egyptian and Algerian ambassadors and the targeting of those from Pakistan, Bahrain and others." The author takes issue with objections made on the propriety of killing messengers, arguing that "the prohibition is incumbent only on those who receive the envoys. Since the envoy was not sent to al-Qaeda but to the apostate Iraqi state, they have no immunity." In addition, the author states, the mujahideen made repeated warnings against the dispatching of envoys, "so there can be no blame on the mujahideen who are fighting a holy war against the Crusader alliance."

The third axis—the targeting of infidel militias, and the symbols of Unbelief and atheism the Shi'ites.
Al-Umran does not wish to understate the danger posed by the al-Badr Brigades, "who are supported in the first place by Iran, the filthy Shi'ite state and in the second place by Syria." Underestimating this danger, the author continues "and if no efforts are made to put an end to this organization and liquidate its leadership, operatives and their religious figures, the Mullas and ‘Ayatolkufrs' such as al-Hakim and al-Sistani, will have evil consequences for the Sunnis and for Islam." Al-Umran enumerates their crimes: targeting Sunni religious scholars, appropriating Sunni mosques, forming the large part of the National Guard and the Iraqi Army. "The arena must be cleared, now, of any rival," the author insists, "before the American army withdraws from Iraq, so that the long war can begin against this Shi'a Ghadr (‘Treachery') Brigade [substituting the word ‘Treachery' for ‘Badr']." Once this is achieved, and Sunnis take their revenge on the Shi'a, "the Mujahideen will gain mastery over Iraq, set up Shari'a courts, suppress heresy and the things that are repudiated [by Islam]."

This, al-Umran explains, is the policy of Qaedat al-Jihad in the Land of the Two Rivers, for which he claims a resounding success. "All the Arab and Western powers," he asserts, "are gambling on the Iraqi war, wishing to destroy the mujahideen there, since they know that victory for the mujahideen means that jihadi operations will spill over the Sykes Picot borders [the 1916 redrawing of the Middle East map by France and Great Britain] to reach the Arab states bordering Iraq, then the nearest enemies, and thence onto the other western states in a worldwide jihadist movement."

Throughout the analysis, which carries the tone of a public relations presentation ("This, Gentlemen, is the great Organization of Qaedat al-Jihad!"), al-Umran is at pains to establish the idea of an ordered, well thought-out plan behind the actions of al-Zarqawi, who "possesses unimaginable capabilities." It appears to be a bid to magnify al-Zarqawi's individual prestige and genius as a strategist independent of bin Laden and al-Zawahiri—and one worthy of a world leader of jihad—one who "has become the leader of the Organization of al-Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers, indeed perhaps of the Organization in the Middle East and North Africa!" Al-Umran supports this claim by building up the historical pedigree, and extending the origins of his fully-formed project back to Afghanistan. The author carefully lays stress on the long preparation for the conflict with the United States. The message of a "global" organization, and not one that represents a minor regional formation, is reinforced by the emphasis on al-Zarqawi, at the earliest stage, having "recruited followers, in particular from the [Saudi] lands of Najd and Hijaz and from Yemen" and from the presence of recruiting agents "in every country in these regions." Any perception that al-Zarqawi is late on the scene is also countered by the interpretation of his delayed appearance in Iraq as a deliberate policy to wait for the fall of the Ba'athist regime, "so that al-Zarqawi could make a clean start far from any charge that he was supporting or aiding the Ba'athist party personified by Saddam."

The final paragraph carries the crux of the statement: "al-Qaeda in Iraq is re-establishing other al-Qaedas spreading the jihad in all parts of the globe just as the mother al-Qaeda organization did from Afghanistan." That is, that al-Zarqawi is now the true heir to the mother of modern jihad.

November 01, 2005

Thuraya Satellite Phones giving terrorists the edge

Satphones giving terrorists the edge

Vishwa Mohan

[ Tuesday, November 01, 2005 10:14:15 amTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

NEW DELHI: Increased use of satellite phones by terrorists is posing a serious problem for security agencies working at intercepting their communication traffic.


As a result, the agencies have of late missed vital information that could otherwise have been used to prevent major terror attacks across the country because they do not have the sophisticated interceptor equipment required to monitor satphone traffic.

The matter came to the fore at a high-level meeting of top security and intelligence officials in the home ministry to discuss the loopholes in the agencies’ functioning in the wake of Saturday’s serial blasts in Delhi.

"Discussions were held over scores of issue, including the use of satellite phones by terrorists," said a senior home ministry official.

Senior officials from security agencies, including BSF and CRPF, are learnt to have mentioned this as a key factor when asked as to why it has become so difficult to trace the terrorists’ gameplan despite the fact that the agencies have their own dedicated intelligence wing.

Security agencies subsequently told the senior ministry officials that almost all the major outfits, including Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, have started using satellite phones in a big way.

The BSF alone has seized over a dozen Thurayas, http://www.thuraya.coma hand-held satellite telephone, from the terrorists following different encounters in J&K during 2004-05. They also pointed out that the use of Thuraya was, however, not limited to J&K.

Even the Delhi Police had seized one Thuraya satellite phone following an encounter with three terrorists in the Capital on March 5 this year.

"Since the security agencies in J&K do not have satellite phone interceptors, it has been very difficult to trace de-code terrorists’ communication. It has been noticed that the militant outfits are generally not using wireless sets for communicating with their cadres before any major operation," said a senior BSF official.

Interrogation reports of arrested militants revealed that the terrorists have been procuring these Thuraya satellite phones by using forged documents either from the UAE or Pakistan. "Terrorists operating from both sides of the border have been using Thuraya for the last over three years.

Being marketed by the UAE-based company, Thuraya phones have already reached almost all district commanders of the LeT in J&K and the Pakistan occupied Kashmir," said the official.

Asked about functioning of Thuraya satellite phone, a security expert Ravi Prasad said: "These phones are used anywhere as they are directly linked with satellite. The use is easier as these phones are also GSM-compatible.

Though it can also be intercepted, you need very sophisticated equipment to do so." The security agencies involved in monitoring terrorist activities do not right now have such equipment.

Security agencies believed that the use of satellite phones has substantially upgraded the terrorists’ communication network in the country.

They said the Thuraya had become a mainstay of the militants’ communication network as it is the only mobile satellite service in the global market capable of providing voice, messaging, SMSes and e-mail from a mobile.

"Since the size of this phone is as small as that of any other normal GSM (global system for mobile) phone, the terrorists are finding it too convenient to use it anywhere in the country without being detected by the security personnel," said the officials.

Pakistan Telecommunications Co. Ltd. is share holder of this venture

The smallest and lightest satellite phone in the industry

Thuraya Introduces 2nd Generation Satellite Phones at

25th September, 2005
Dubai, UAE- In a new step that further reinforces its market leadership in the mobile satellite business, Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company has unveiled today an aggressive plan to launch a highly competitive 2 nd generation satellite phone in the first quarter of next year.
Designed to be the smallest and lightest phone in the satellite industry and a major differentiation feature for Thuraya, the new satellite phone is anticipated to drive the Company's future business growth, by meeting the needs of people in remote areas as well as GSM users seeking roaming capabilities in areas beyond GSM networks.
The sleek and stylish satellite phone combines satellite, GSM and GPS, with built-in GPRS, MMS and JAVA features. The GPRS feature allows an always-on access to internet. Users will be able to download and upload information using Thuraya's satellite network anywhere in the coverage area. Similarly, the GPRS capabilities can also be enjoyed on the GSM mode.
Additionally, the new satellite phone has a tri-band GSM system that allows it to operate on different GSM networks (900, 1800 and 1900 MHz) and it also has many high-end GSM features such as a built-in camera, video, a high resolution colour screen and a multi-language support.
The new phone comes in three versions: a satellite-only version designed for those requiring mobile connectivity in areas beyond terrestrial networks, and a Satellite/GSM version that is geared towards existing GSM users requiring mobile connectivity and roaming in areas beyond terrestrial networks. Both come with superior GPS navigational features that allow users to find locations and reach destinations safely and quickly.
The third version is a satellite modem that is designed for integration and use with other devices. The satellite modem is part of the 2 nd generation product-line and is meant to support new and future applications and solutions developed by Thuraya or third parties.
The new satellite phone uses an advanced operating system which enables it to run various applications, and its Java feature contains a variety of applications that are compliant with third-party Java functionalities. It also supports Secure Digital (SD) external memory card for additional large-capacity uses.
“Thus, it is completely a smart phone allowing so many functionalities for different users,” says Thuraya's CEO Mr. Yousuf Al Sayed.
He points out that the new satellite phone constitutes a technological breakthrough that sets new standards for modern handheld mobile satellite phones.
“We have built on the success and core features of the 1 st generation satellite phone. But we have made the 2 nd generation phone much more superior than any other handheld satellite phone in terms of compact size, elegant design and powerful multi-system performance,” continued Mr. Al Sayed.
The satellite service option in the Thuraya mobile phone allows users to roam with their phones across Thuraya's coverage area of more than 120 countries, in urban areas as well as remote locations beyond the reach of terrestrial systems. The phone can also automatically switch to GSM roaming partner networks.
Currently serving the largest subscriber base of handheld mobile satellite service, Thuraya has sold over 341,000 handheld terminals since commercial launch.

October 31, 2005

India has 'no political will here to fight terror' , CJI

CJI’s exit wake-up call: there is no political will here to fight terror


NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 31 Sending a wake-up call to the Government, outgoing Chief Justice of India Justice R C Lahoti said today that there was no “political will” in the country to fight terrorism, a crime that needed an “altogether new type of investigation.”

Speaking to the press on his last day in office, Justice Lahoti’s remarks assume significance coming as they do two days after the worst terrorist strike in Delhi. And when the UPA government repealed the terror law citing its misuse and its commitment in the Common Minimum Programme.

“Has anyone thought why there has not been a single instance of terror in USA post-9/11 unlike India where such attacks occur almost every day? The difference lies in the desire to study the problem scientifically and take remedial measures,” Justice Lahoti said.

“We do not have the political will to fight terrorism”, he said underlining the need for new legislation. “When new challenges come, new solutions also have to found. Terrorism is a gift of the last century...Terrorist acts require an altogether new type of investigation. It (terrorism) requires new laws and new methodologies. A study should be conducted to identify the causes and suggest remedies. But there is no serious study in our country,” he said.

The Delhi blasts found an echo in his views on death penalty where Justice Lahoti said he was in favour of retaining it in the statute book. This is in sharp contrast to that of his successor Justice Y K Sabharwal, who had first told The Indian Express that his “personal” view was that it should be abolished.

“My personal view is that it must continue to exist”, Justice Lahoti said.

He justified the death sentence given to Dhananjoy for raping and brutally killing a minor girl. Referring to the lives lost in the Delhi blasts, Justice Lahoti said: “What other penalty would suit perpetrators of such brutal acts? What other penalty is called for if the crime is proved beyond any reasonable doubt? What happens is that, we forget the past. We see only the face of the accused, who is before us and his family. We forget the victims and their families.”

The CJI, however, advised that alternative, less painful modes of execution should be explored if available.





Indian American Intellectuals Forum condemns, in the harshest possible terms, the lethal and well-planned series of terrorist attacks on Saturday, October 29, 2005 in New Delhi in which more than 70 innocent men, women and children were killed and more than 150 people injured.

These bomb blasts should not be treated in isolation. They are part of the murderous ideology which motivates young religious bigots and uncivilized brutes to kill anyone who does not subscribe to their fanatic religious beliefs. The long-term aim of this jihad is to terrorize Hindus, destabilize Indian polity and ultimately establish Nizam-e-Mustafa (Rule of Allah) in India.

The weak and vacillating policies of the Government of India coupled with vote bank politics have emboldened Islamic militants to carry out their heinous attacks with impunity. In the present parlance, there seems to be no difference between the terrorism and jihad. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the Government of India to move fast, arrest the perpetrators of this horrendous crime, and their local sympathizers, and put them behind bars to languish there for their life.

We should remember that this is not the first time that these ghoulish killers have struck in this diabolic and ghastly manner. The December 13, 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament, the brutal killing of Hindus at Akshardham Temple in Gujarat on December 24, 2000, attack on the Red Fort in Delhi, slitting the throat of 12 Hindus in Kashmir last week, the burning of Hindu colonies in Mau (U.P.), roasting alive of 58 innocent Hindu women and children on Godhra railway station in Gujarat, vicious serial bomb blasts in Mumbai in which more than 350 Hindus were blown to bits, etc. are all part of the dangerous pan-Islamic movement. It is a continuation of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York. So far as India is concerned, it is actually a part of the undeclared war calculated to bleed India to death. India Government, ‘leftist’ and pro-Congress Party intellectuals and the ‘secularist’ media can ignore this danger only at their own peril.

India government should, at least, learn a lesson or two from President George W. Bush and declare an open war designed to eliminate terrorism from the Indian soil, instead of indulging in futile rhetoric and intellectual acrobatic.

Indian American Intellectuals Forum is a New York based organization. It organizes seminars on the topics affecting Indian Americans in USA. It invites experts and provides them a platform to speak in the seminars and publishes their views in media. It aims at strengthening the Indo-American relationship.



Delhi Bomb Blasts and the Lashkar’s Jihadist Agenda

Yoginder Sikand

Responsibility for last week’s deadly bomb blasts in
Delhi has been claimed by a little-known outfit the
Islami Inqilabi Mahaz (‘Islamic Revolutionary Front’),
said to be sponsored by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-i
Tayyeba. Ruthless terror is the hallmark of the
Lashkar, fired as it is by an irrepressible hatred of
non-Muslims, whom it sees as, by definition,

The Lashkar is the armed wing of the Markaz Dawat wal
Irshad ('Centre for Invitation and Instruction'), an
organisation affiliated to the Ahl-i Hadith sect,
which follows a version of Islam almost identical with
that of the Saudi Wahhabis. It is today the single
most powerful militant outfit operating in Kashmir.
Its involvement in Kashmir goes back to the early
1990s, when Pakistan began patronising radical
Islamist outfits to counter the influence of the Jammu
and Kashmir Liberation Front which had inaugurated the
armed uprising against Indian rule. The Front’s agenda
of an independent and secular Kashmir was clearly not
to the liking of the Pakistani establishment, who saw
in radical Islamist outfits a more reliable ally, with
their opposition to Kashmiri nationalism and their
advocacy of Kashmir’s union with Pakistan. In setting
up the Lashkar the late Abdullah Azam a close aide of
Osama bin Laden, then associated with the
International Islamic University, Islamabad, also
played a key role. Funds for the organization are said
to have come from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan's secret
services agency, the Inter Services Intelligence.

Like other radical Islamist outfits, the Lashkar sees
Islam as a perfect, all- embracing system. Islam is
said to govern all aspects life in the form of the
shari'ah. For the establishing of an Islamic system an
Islamic state is seen as necessary in order to impose
the shar'iah as the law of the land. If such a state
were to be set up and all Muslims were to live
strictly according to 'the laws that Allah has laid
down', then, the Lashkar argues, 'they would be able
to control the whole world and exercise their
supremacy'. Since Muslims throughout the world are
members of a global ummah, the Lashkar insists that
there should be a single global Islamic state with one
Caliph ruling over all the faithful.

The struggle for the establishment of the Islamic
state can take various forms, peaceful as well as
violent. Islam, the Lashkar says, is 'a religion of
peace and harmony', and seeks to 'eliminate mischief
and disorder, and to provide peace, not only to
Muslims but also to the entire humanity'. However, it
stresses, Muslims are commanded to take to armed
struggle, or jihad, to defend their co-religionists
suffering from the oppression of others. As the
Lashkar sees it, such a situation is said to prevail
over much of the world today. While jihad in defence
of Islam and of Muslims labouring under oppression is
presented as a liberation struggle, it is also seen as
a means for Islam to 'prevail on this earth', for
Islam is seen as the only true religion. Armed jihad
must continue, the Lashkar insists, 'until Islam, as a
way of life, dominates the whole world and until
Allah's law is enforced everywhere in the world'.
Since Islam is meant for all peoples, the Islamic
State must spearhead a movement to spread Islam all
over the world, so the Lashkar believes. In the course
of this struggle, it is expected that it will
encounter conflict with other states and their
ideologies. The conflict can be resolved through
peaceful diplomacy, but, if that fails, then, the
Lashkar argues, the only course left open is armed
jihad. In this sense, the Lashkar believes, jihad is
'the foreign policy' of the Islamic State.

The subject of armed jihad runs right through the
writings and pronouncements of the Lashkar and is, in
fact, the most prominent theme in its discourse
although it has traditionally not been included as one
of the 'five pillars' of the faith. Indeed, the
Lashkar’s understanding of Islam maybe seen as
determined almost wholly by this preoccupation, so
much so that its reading of Islam seems to be a
product of its own political project. In the writings
and speeches of Lashkar spokesmen jihad appears as
violent conflict waged against 'unbelievers' who are
said to be responsible for the oppression of the
Muslims. The Lashkar claims that 'There is so much
emphasis on this subject that some commentators and
scholars of the Quran have remarked that the topic of
the Quran is jihad’.

The global jihadist programme of the Lashkar presents
itself as a 'liberationist' project, basing itself on
widespread feelings of discontent and suffering among
many Muslims. 'All Muslims', the Lashkar believes, are
oppressed today, by such 'enemies' as the Hindus, the
Jews and Christians. 'Wherever you look, you will find
that non-believers are everywhere trying to enslave
Muslims and destroy them', it argues. Hence, it says,
Muslims must form a 'solid bloc' to defend themselves
from these 'enemies', and if all peaceful means fail
they must resort to armed jihad for their liberation.
This Muslim bloc, it suggests, should be led by both
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and have its headquarters
at Mecca.

The Lashkar sees jihad as the secret of Muslim power
in the past when much of the known world was under
Muslim rule, and it is argued that when Muslims
'abandoned jihad and other injunctions they began to
degenerate'. In Lashkar discourse, jihad is projected
as a religious duty binding on all Muslims today.
Thus, it is claimed that the prevailing global
situation warrants all Muslims to be involved in some
way or the other in jihad against non-Muslim
'oppressors'. In this grand enterprise there are
different roles for different people to play. Muslims
are promised that they would receive great rewards,
both in this world and in the Hereafter, if they were
to actively struggle in the path of jihad. Not only
would they be guaranteed a place in Heaven, but they
would also 'be honoured in this world', for jihad is,
according to a Lashkar spokesman, also 'the way that
solves financial and political problems'.

The Lashkar sees its involvement in the armed struggle
in Kashmir as only one stage of a global jihad against
the forces of ‘disbelief’, stopping at nothing short
of the conquest of the entire world. As Qari Abdul
Wahid, former amir of the Lashkar in
Indian-administered Kashmir, puts it, 'We will uphold
the flag of freedom and Islam through jihad not only
in Kashmir but in the whole world’. Likewise, Nazir
Ahmed, in-charge of the public relations department of
the Markaz, the Lashkar’s parent body, declares that
through the jihad that the mujahidin have launched in
Kashmir, 'Islam will be dominant all over the world,
Inshallah (God willing)’.

In Lashkar discourse the conflict in Kashmir is seen
not as a territorial dispute between India and
Pakistan, but as nothing less than a war between two
different and mutually opposed ideologies: Islam, on
the one hand, and disbelief, on the other. This is
portrayed as one chapter in a long a struggle between
the two that is said to have characterised the history
of Hindu-Muslim relations for the last 1400 years ever
since the advent of the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet
is claimed to have singled out India as a special
target for jihad, or so the Lashkar insists.
'Whosoever will take part in jihad against India',
Lashkar leader Muhammad Ibrahim Salaf claims that the
Prophet had declared, 'Allah will set him free from
the pyre of hell'.

The Lashkar sees the roots of the Kashmir problem as
lying in its Muslim rulers having been replaced, first
by the Sikhs and then by the Hindu Dogras through
British assistance. With India (the 'Hindus') having
taken over Kashmir in 1947, a long reign of bloody
terror is said to have been unleashed on the Kashmiri
Muslims. This is seen as a direct and logical
consequence of the teachings of Hinduism itself,
because, it is alleged, 'the Hindus have no compassion
in their religion'. Hence, the Lashkar argues, it is
the duty of Muslims to wage jihad against the 'Hindu
oppressors', for, it insists, 'it is the Hindu who is
a terrorist'. All Hindus are tarred with the same
brush, described in such essentialist terms as
'terrorists', 'traitors', 'cowards', 'enemies', etc..
Thus, Lashkar chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed declares, 'In
fact, the Hindu is a mean enemy and the proper way to
deal with him is the one adopted by our forefathers,
who crushed them by force. We need to do the same'.

India is a special target for the Lashkar. As Hafiz
Muhammad Saeed argues, 'The jihad is not about Kashmir
only. It encompasses all of India'. The Lashkar sees
the jihad as going far beyond the borders of Kashmir
and spreading through all of India. The final goal is
to extend Muslim control over what is seen as having
once been Muslim land, and, hence, to be brought back
under Muslim domination, creating what the Lashkar
calls 'the Greater Pakistan by dint of jihad’. Thus,
at a mammoth congregation in November 1999, Hafiz
Muhammad Saeed declared, 'Today I announce the
break-up of India, Inshallah. We will not rest until
the whole of India is dissolved into Pakistan'. On the
same occasion, Amir Hamza, senior Lashkar official and
editor of its Urdu organ, ad-Da'wa, thundered: 'We
ought to disintegrate India and even wipe India out'.
Those who take part in this anti-Indian jihad are
promised that 'Allah will save [them] from the pyre of
hell', and 'huge palaces in paradise' await those who
are killed in fighting the 'disbelieving enemies'.

If indeed the Lashkar was behind the Delhi blasts, it
indicates that these bombastic anti-Indian and
anti-Hindu appeals of the Lashkar are no empty
rhetoric and that it is deadly serious about its
designs of exporting terror beyond Kashmir into the
rest of the country, inflaming Hindu-Muslim conflict
and making the solution to the Kashmir dispute even
more intractable.

Quotations used in this article have been taken from
the official website of the Markaz Dawat wal
Irshad/Lashkar-i Tayyeba (, which
has been shifted after 11 September, 2001 to an
unknown location on the World Wide Web.


People are losing confidence over Arm forces day by day.

Gilgit city has been tied up in the "State Terrorism" for last 9
months after the cold blood assassination of Shia prominent leader
Syed Zia-ud-Din Rizvi on 8 January 2005. Recently the Para-military
forces again tried to create sectarian riots in the peaceful region.
The Rangers are directly involved and responsible of current
situation of Gilgit.
The misused of law by law enforcement agencies to oppress the
civilian proved that the tensions in Gilgit city is state versus
civilian . It is the reason that the local Muslim Sunni population of
Gilgit is very sympathetic to the suffering Shias.

The ongoing situation of Gilgit started from 11th Oct 2005,when 3 un
known terrorists ambushed on the vehicle of a Shia officer Muhammad
Ali in Baseen 60 kilometer from Gilgit City. As a result 2 innocent
men were killed including a former District Magistrate Qurban Ali and
others 6 were critically wounded. One injured terrorist was red
handed arrested by the local Police .This terrorist was brought to
DHQ Hospital Gilgit where the culprits have been identified as the
residents of NWFP Pakistan. It is to be noted that the assailant of
Shia religious leader Syed Zea-ud-Din was also from NWFP Pakistan.
The terrorist was forcefully taken away from the hospital by the
Ranger with the fear of exposure of secret agencies intrigue to kill
the local indigenous people, with the aim to boost sectarian riots in
the region. When the local peopl e protested against this and argued,
that this killer should be kept in the custody of local police
(instead of arm forces) for investigation to trace out the
responsible hands back the culprits. The Rangers opened fire on the
public and took the terrorist and kidnapped a student, named Masood
Raza along with . On the next day the dead body of this innocent
teenager was found. The colleagues of the deceased student (the
students of F.G.high school ,Amfari Gilgit ) protested and observed a
peaceful demonstration over the murder of Masood Raza on 13th Oct
2005 in the morning and were dispersing peacefully when the Rangers
opened indiscriminate firing on the students and the unarmed
civilians particularly the Shia populated areas. The Rangers fired
continuously 11 hours indiscriminately targeting the unarmed
civilian of Gilgit city. As a result Rangers killed 7 innocent
people (inclu ding 3 women and a girl student of 1st year, she was
going to college).
According to the collected information the death toll of current
violence in Gilgit rose to 12. The civil administration admitted that
the deaths had occurred in firing between security forces and angry
mobs. At least two personnel of the Rangers identified as Muhabat Ali
and Hameed, were among the dead and five others had been admitted to
the Combined Military Hospital Gilgit for serious wounds The civilian
deceased were identified as former municipal committee chairman
Saleem Raza, Fida Hussain, Waheed Hussain, Hayder Abbas, Mohammad
Hussain, Mohammad Yunus, Qadir Shah, Tahreen Batool, Haseena and
Saima.A month before this incident, agencies had kidnapped a teacher,
Mr. Bilal Hussain from Gilgit City ,who is still missing..
The carnage in Gilgit by the Rangers, their shooting of college going
girls, womenfolk and children in the arms of their mothers beside
many other cowardly acts was condemned by the people of Gilgit
Baltistan including worldwide human rights organizations.

The local people has demanded to expel and punish Rangers and
Frontier Constabulary forthwith from the area. It was also demanded
that the Northern Light Infantry (NLI)should be deployed in Gilgit
to provide shelter and security to the people.
The law enforcement agencies have imposed curfew in Gilgit, for 6
consecutive days without any break and relaxation. Security forces
asked residents through loads speakers to remain indoors. They warned
that those found violating the curfew would be shot at sight.

There has been no relaxation in curfew as the people are severely
suffering in the month of Ramadan. The people have been stuck
wherever they were during imposition of curfew e.g. teachers and
students in the schools , patients in the hospitals, workers in the
offices and daily visitors of the city in the shops of the markets.
The residents are confined to their homes .The power supply and
electricity to some localities was cut off , while the situation of
food and fuel supply was also bad. Thousands of passengers and
commuters stranded in hotels and guesthouses could not be evacuated
owing to curfew and firing which continued intermittently in
different parts of the city. Some residents without food and fuel for
144 hours .It is difficult to think of the conditions in which the
stuck people would have to spend nights in a harsh cold weather. Once
they tried to come out during an aftershock that jolted at 6.5
Richter scale fearing the fall over of the buildings but the security
agencies opened fire upon them.
The stuck people in homes, offices ,hotels, shops and other places
might be facing other extreme situations of accessibilit y to doctors,
healthcare and even reaching their own homes. Sitting in confinement
during the aftershocks of the most devastating earthquake of the
contemporary history itself is unimaginable mental torture .The
absence of human rights organization, religious and political
forums , banned on press and freedom of _expression the bundle of
miseries of the resident are still under the veil.
The forces arrested the religious leaders of both the Shia and Sooni
sects on15th Oct, so the blames of their own crime can be put on the
shoulders of the local religious leaders, with the intention to
create sectarian gap between Shia and Soonis .The names of the
detainees include Shia leader Agha Rahat Al-Husaini, Shaikh Mirza
Ali, Shaikh Nayyar Abbas, former NALC member Deedar Ali, Sooni leader
Maulana Qazi Nisar, Maulana Hussain Ahmad, Maulana Khalil Ahmed and
NALC member Himayatullah Khan.
The Rangers attempts o f shelling on armless civilian and fast
observers (Rozadars), such an act could not have happened without the
wished of the FCNA. The concerned and high authorities of Pakistan
and well wishers of arm forces should take stern action against the
involved Rangers in the shameful act of shooting the civilian and the
worst human rights violation in the city. The failure civil
administration, Rangers and FC should be removed from the region with
immediate effect to restore peace, stability and religious harmony.
In the presence of Rangers, FC and fanatic civil administration the
efforts to maintain law and order in Gilgit Baltistan is merely a

Engineer Manzoor Hussain Parwana
Skardu Baltistan.

Note:The writer is the Chief Editor Monthly Magazine Kargil
International( banned),
from Skardu Baltistan ,Pakistan administrated part of Jammue &
Kashmir . His numerous article has been published in national and
international magazines and news papers. The comments of the readers
will be highly appreciated here.

October 30, 2005

Iranian President : " Israel Will Vanish from the Center of the Islamic World"

Iranian President at Tehran Conference: "Very Soon, This Stain of Disgrace [i.e. Israel] Will Vanish from the Center of the Islamic World - and This is Attainable"

In advance of Iran's Jerusalem Day, which was established by Ayatollah Khomeini and is marked annually on the fourth Friday of the month of Ramadan, the "World without Zionism" conference was held in Tehran.

At the conference, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke to the representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, members of the Society for the Defense of the Palestinian Nation, and members of the Islamic Students Union, and an audience of hundreds of students.

In his speech, he described his vision of an age-old confrontation between the world of Islam and the "World of Arrogance," i.e. the West; he portrayed Israel and Zionism as the spearhead of the West against the Islamic nation; and he emphasized the need to eliminate Israel – which, he claimed, was a goal that was attainable.

Speeches were also delivered by representatives of Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Hamas leader Khaled Mash'al.

The Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), published the full text of Ahmadinejad's speech. The following is a translation of excerpts from ISNA's report and from the speech. [1]

"Prior to his statement, Ahmadinejad said that if you plan to chant the slogan 'Death to Israel,' say it in the right and complete way.

"The president warned the leaders of the Islamic world that they should be wary of Fitna [civil strife]: 'If someone is under the pressure of hegemonic power [i.e. the West] and understands that something is wrong, or he is naïve, or he is an egotist and his hedonism leads him to recognize the Zionist regime – he should know that he will burn in the fire of the Islamic Ummah [nation]…'

"Ahmadinejad articulated the real meaning of Zionism: '...We must see what the real story of Palestine is... The establishment of the regime that is occupying Jerusalem was a very grave move by the hegemonic and arrogant system [i.e. the West] against the Islamic world. We are in the process of an historical war between the World of Arrogance [i.e. the West] and the Islamic world, and this war has been going on for hundreds of years.

"'In this historical war, the situation at the fronts has changed many times. During some periods, the Muslims were the victors and were very active, and looked forward, and the World of Arrogance was in retreat.

"'Unfortunately, in the past 300 years, the Islamic world has been in retreat vis-à-vis the World of Arrogance… During the period of the last 100 years, the [walls of the] world of Islam were destroyed and the World of Arrogance turned the regime occupying Jerusalem into a bridge for its dominance over the Islamic world...

"'This occupying country [i.e. Israel ] is in fact a front of the World of Arrogance in the heart of the Islamic world. They have in fact built a bastion [ Israel ] from which they can expand their rule to the entire Islamic world... This means that the current war in Palestine is the front line of the Islamic world against the World of Arrogance, and will determine the fate of Palestine for centuries to come.

"'Today the Palestinian nation stands against the hegemonic system as the representative of the Islamic Ummah [nation]. Thanks to God, since the Palestinian people adopted the Islamic war and the Islamic goals, and since their struggle has become Islamic in its attitude and orientation, we have been witnessing the progress and success of the Palestinian people.'

"Ahmadinejad said: 'The issue of this [World without Zionism] conference is very valuable. In this very grave war, many people are trying to scatter grains of desperation and hopelessness regarding the struggle between the Islamic world and the front of the infidels, and in their hearts they want to empty the Islamic world.

"'... They [ask]: 'Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and Zionism?' But you had best know that this slogan and this goal are attainable, and surely can be achieved…

"'When the dear Imam [Khomeini] said that [the Shah's] regime must go, and that we demand a world without dependent governments, many people who claimed to have political and other knowledge [asked], 'Is it possible [that the Shah's regime can be toppled]?'

"'That day, when Imam [Khomeini] began his movement, all the powers supported [the Shah's] corrupt regime… and said it was not possible. However, our nation stood firm, and by now we have, for 27 years, been living without a government dependent on America. Imam [Khomeni] said: 'The rule of the East [U.S.S.R.] and of the West [ U.S. ] should be ended.' But the weak people who saw only the tiny world near them did not believe it.

"'Nobody believed that we would one day witness the collapse of the Eastern Imperialism [i.e. the U.S.S.R], and said it was an iron regime. But in our short lifetime we have witnessed how this regime collapsed in such a way that we must look for it in libraries, and we can find no literature about it.

"'Imam [Khomeini] said that Saddam [Hussein] must go, and that he would be humiliated in a way that was unprecedented. And what do you see today? A man who, 10 years ago, spoke as proudly as if he would live for eternity is today chained by the feet, and is now being tried in his own country...

"'Imam [Khomeini] said: 'This regime that is occupying Qods [ Jerusalem ] must be eliminated from the pages of history.' This sentence is very wise. The issue of Palestine is not an issue on which we can compromise.

"'Is it possible that an [Islamic] front allows another front [i.e. country] to arise in its [own] heart? This means defeat, and he who accepts the existence of this regime [i.e. Israel ] in fact signs the defeat of the Islamic world.

"'In his battle against the World of Arrogance, our dear Imam [Khomeini] set the regime occupying Qods [ Jerusalem ] as the target of his fight.

"'I do not doubt that the new wave which has begun in our dear Palestine and which today we are also witnessing in the Islamic world is a wave of morality which has spread all over the Islamic world. Very soon, this stain of disgrace [i.e. Israel ] will vanish from the center of the Islamic world – and this is attainable.

"'But we must be wary of Fitna. For more than 50 years, the World of Arrogance has tried to give recognition to the existence of this falsified regime [ Israel ]. With its first steps, and then with further steps, it has tried hard in this direction to stabilize it.

"'Regrettably, 27 or 28 years ago... one of the countries of the first line [i.e. Egypt ] made this failure [of recognizing Israel ] – and we still hope that they will correct it.

"'Lately we have new Fitna underway… With the forced evacuation [of Gaza ] that was imposed by the Palestinian people, they [the Israelis] evacuated only a corner. [ Israel ] declared this as the final victory and, on the pretext of evacuating Gaza and establishing a Palestinian government, tried to put an end to the hopes of the Palestinians.

"'Today, [ Israel ] seeks, satanically and deceitfully, to gain control of the front of war. It is trying to influence the Palestinian groups in Palestine so as to preoccupy them with political issues and jobs – so that they relinquish the Palestinian cause that determines their destiny, and come into conflict with each other.

"'On the pretext of goodwill, they [ Israel ] intended, by evacuating the Gaza strip, to gain recognition of its corrupt regime by some Islamic states. I very much hope, and ask God, that the Palestinian people and the dear Palestinian groups will be wary of this Fitna.

"'The issue of Palestine is by no means over, and will end only when all of Palestine will have a government belonging to the Palestinian people. The refugees must return to their homes, and there must be a government that has come to power by the will of the [Palestinian] people. And, of course those [i.e. the Jews] who came to this country from far away to plunder it have no right to decide anything for the [Palestinian] people.

"'I hope that the Palestinians will maintain their wariness and intelligence, much as they have pursued their battles in the past 10 years. This will be a short period, and if we pass through it successfully, the process of the elimination of the Zionist regime will be smooth and simple.

"'I warn all the leaders of the Islamic world to be wary of Fitna: If someone is under the pressure of hegemonic power [i.e. the West] and understands that something is wrong, or he is naïve, or he is an egotist and his hedonism leads him to recognize the Zionist regime – he should know that he will burn in the fire of the Islamic Ummah [nation]…

"'The people who sit in closed rooms cannot decide on this matter. The Islamic people cannot allow this historical enemy to exist in the heart of the Islamic world.

"'Oh dear people, look at this global arena. By whom are we confronted? We must understand the depth of the disgrace imposed on us by the enemy, until our holy hatred expands continuously and strikes like a wave.'"

[1] Iranian Students News Agency (Iran), October 26, 2005,

Boycott Pakistani onions

Pakistani onions get dropped like hot potatoes

Sunday, October 30, 2005

More than essential commodities, patriotism seems to be flooding the wholesale market in Navi Mumbai.

In protest against Saturday’s bomb explosions by terrorist outfits in New Delhi, consumers and retailers at the Maharashtra Agriculture Farming Corporation (MAFCO) and Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) and the community at large have refused to buy onions imported from Pakistan.

“It’s a silent protest. Retailers and consumers just check the Pak variety out, but buy Indian dry onions saying they don’t want either Pak or Chinese ones,” said stockist Datta Sayaji Pawale (shop no 145) at MAFCO market. Of the 19 wholesalers at MAFCO only two have bought the Pak variety from APMC commission agents. Mast, like Narayan Botre, Kamlesh Kand, and Vitthal Atkari, have not bought it because “consumers refuse to purchase it”.

“Look at the bombings. We don’t want produce from that country,” said retailer Sakharam Shinde. He said his earlier stock of Pak onions and Chinese garlic had gone waste. Businessmen and Vashi residents Prabuddha Raje and Usha Kamath said Pakistan always made “our people cry by shielding terrorists”.

Others like Deepak Salunke and Rajaram Gautam said Pakistani onions consumed more oil while cooking as there were not dry. “It also weighs more,” Salunke said.

The protest has come as another jolt for importers of Pakistani onions, who have already suffered a huge loss as the variety got heavily damaged due to delay in offloading consignments owing to custom clearance at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT). Besides, the onions, which were imported for Rs 14 per kg, were being sold for Rs 12 per kg.

Moreover, the onion crisis seems to have blown over, as consignments from Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, besides from Nashik, Dhule and western parts of Maharashtra are flooding the market, thus bringing down the price of the vegetable. “Why would we need Pakistani onions now?” quipped a retailer.

Arrest of terror suspects is OPPRESSION , says FOIL members

We received from a reliable source , who intercepted FOIL emails . NOTE , FOIL (Federation of Inquilabi Leftists) is a Pro Terrorist organization based in USA , with leftist ideology . They support Islamic Jihadis in Iraq to Kashmir .


PTI has reported that "22 detained in connection with Delhi blasts "

HOWEVER , ANTI-INDIA FOIL (Federation of Inquilabi Leftists) are unhappy over arrest . FOIL member , a known Hindu Hater, Anti-India, Pro Jihadi , Mr.Sandeep Vaidya , Email: , says police is oppressing MUSLIMS . Please take a note at his below mail to FOIL members .

It is impossible that Delhi police could have so quickly cracked the case but 22 people, surely all young muslims are arrested.

Police response in Delhi fits in a pattern that is by now familiar to us. Like in Godhra, police conduct indiscriminate sweeps and pick up large number of muslims and torture them to confess to crimes that police desire to charge them with.


This single mail from FOIL member indicates where their hearts are and what they stand for . FOIL and leftists are Traitors of India .



US dalit hearing simply scandalous

By Sandhya Jain

Successive Indian governments have failed to protest America’s propensity to misuse human rights issues for politically motivated calumny against nations it seeks to undermine to serve its foreign policy objectives. Shamefully, large sections of the Indian elite also betray unseemly desperation to report against the nation to US human rights committees, usually as quid pro quo for funds for their agenda-driven NGOs.

Yet, even by the standards of its normally invasive diplomacy, the US Congress’ decision to appoint a sub-committee on “India’s Unfinished Agenda: Equality and Justice for 200 Million Victims of the Caste System,” is simply scandalous. Not only does it construe a gross interference in our internal affairs, it is also an attempt to influence the Indian Supreme Court hearing on reservation rights for dalit converts to religions like Christianity, which admit that they discriminate against dalit adherents!

In these circumstances, the silence of the Indian government, remote-controlled by the Roman Catholic Italy-born Sonia Gandhi, is disturbing. So is the silence of major political parties, especially those that claim a special affinity for dalits. In fact, the Indian political spectrum as a whole would do well to evolve a consensus on the issue of external interest in India, if the country is serious about being considered as a candidate for the Security Council. In this regard, it would be instructive to see how the Chinese government gives America tit-for-tat in the matter of its highly slanted human rights reports.

Actually, America has much to hide regarding its human rights record, particularly vis-à-vis the Native American population (what is left after the genocide by White settlers) and the former slaves imported from Africa. The shocking delay in providing relief to Katrina hurricane victims hardly needs recalling.

The silence of the Indian government, remote-controlled by the Roman Catholic Italy-born Sonia Gandhi, is disturbing. So is the silence of major political parties, especially those that claim a special affinity for dalits.

China, however, does not stomach America’s supercilious ways. When the US Congressional Executive Commission on China recently released its annual report, Beijing condemned it as “wanton interference” in its internal affairs and presented its own report on the human rights situation in USA. The document is voluminous (the Chinese are thorough), but even a few cursory examples suffice to show how self-respecting nations protect their honour. The “Human Rights Record of the United States in 2004,” released by China’s State Council on March 3, 2005, shows the dark side of the Statue of Liberty.

China points out that American society is notorious for rampant violent crimes, and that there is little security of life and liberty in that country. It cites a report of the US Department of Justice (November 29, 2004) that in 2003, citizens aged 12 years and above experienced about 24 million victimisa-tions. Giving statistics of several cities, China said America has the largest number of gun owners and gun violence increasingly takes a toll of innocent lives. About 31,000 Americans are killed and 75,000 wounded by firearms each year, which means more than 80 people are shot dead each day. Police violence is an equally serious problem.

China has made a fascinating observation! In the past decade America spent US $ 7 billion annually to build new jails and prisons. California got one college and 21 new prisons after 1984! This is because jails are a lucrative business, with a combined staff of more than 530,000, they are the second largest employer in America after General Motors. There are over 100 private prisons in 27 states and 18 private prison companies. As a result, the value of goods and services created by inmates surged from $ 400 million in 1980 to $ 1.1 billion in 1994.

As for jail conditions, in many states inmates are routinely stripped in front of others before being moved to a new prison. Male inmates are often made to wear women’s pink underwear as a form of humiliation. New inmates are frequently beaten and sometimes made to crawl. The conditions of women prisoners are naturally worse. Sexual harassment is common. The New York Times reported last October that at least 13 per cent of inmates are sexually assaulted in prison (October 12, 2004).

The Chinese government has made a detailed analysis of the political manipulation by the rich in the electoral process, the astronomical costs of elections, and the resultant favours to corporations as a result of election funding. Most poignant among the flaws in the US election system is the newly adopted Help America Vote Act of 2004, which requires voters to produce a series of documents such as a stable residence and thus effectively disenfranchises thousands of homeless people. America refuses to ratify the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and is home to poverty, hunger and homelessness, in spite of being the world’s richest country. From 1970 to 2000 (adjusted for inflation), average incomes of the bottom 90 per cent stagnated but those of the top 10 per cent experienced an increase of nearly 90 per cent (The Baltimore Sun, July 6, 2004).

Racial discrimination is of course very deeply ingrained and Black murder victims are five-times White victims; Blacks affected by AIDS are 10 times Whites (National Urban League, March 24, 2004). The number of Black people living in poverty is three-times that of the Whites. Apartheid is still rampant in schools (Schools and Lives Are Still Separate, The Washington Post, May 17, 2004).

The situation of American women and children is hardly reassuring. FBI Crime Statistics show that in 2003, there were 93,233 rape cases; virtually 63.2 in every 100,000 women are victims of assault. The number of abused women treated at First Aid Centers exceeds one million every year. More than 1,500 women in the US are killed every year by their husbands, lovers or roommates; nearly 78 per cent American women are physically victimised at least once in their lifetime. Sex crimes are on the rise in military as well. Women soldiers have been raped or sexually harassed in Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Afghanistan, and other military bases.

As for children, every year nearly 400,000 children in the US are forced to engage in prostitution or other sexual dealings on the streets (The USA Today, February 27, 2004). Then, there are scandals about clergymen molesting children. Actually, the list is endless.

One strong Hindu can