November 12, 2005

Volcker Committee Report , Government reaction inadequate: Swamy

Government reaction inadequate: Swamy
Special Correspondent

MADURAI: The Central Bureau of Investigation should file a first information report (FIR) on the references made in the Volcker Committee Report, said Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy here on Saturday.

Addressing newspersons, Dr. Swamy said only an FIR would enable access to the documents with the United Nations that ordered the probe into the oil-for-food programme. The Prime Minister's reaction to the report so far, Dr. Swamy said, was "inadequate." FIRs should be filed by the CBI, the Income Tax Department and the Enforcement Directorate as the charges involved "violations of national security, Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, Prevention of Corruption Act and Income Tax Act." Till such time an FIR was filed, the Volcker Committee "is not obliged to cooperate" in the probe by the Justice R.S. Pathak Inquiry Authority, he said.

The party's State unit president, V.S. Chandralekha, said the executive committee, which met here on Saturday, had authorised her to work to bring all nationalist movements in one front as an alternative to the Dravidian parties in the Assembly elections.

SCO : Russian will become China's junior Partner soon

''Intelligence Brief: Russia in the S.C.O.''

he recent high-profile meeting of the heads of all the governments of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (S.C.O.), plus a delegation from the S.C.O. observer states, signaled a major new development in Eurasian politics. The maturing of the S.C.O. into a grouping akin to a geopolitical bloc has even been hailed as the "N.A.T.O. of the East" by some observers and policymakers. While this grouping of states has a long way to go before a true geopolitical bloc is formed along major economic, military and political lines, one of the key states in the S.C.O. will be the deciding factor in judging the success of this bold geopolitical venture. [See: "The 'Great Game' Heats Up in Central Asia"]

Russia's Role in the S.C.O.

Russia has been preoccupied with restoring its status in the post-1991 world as a major global player. Its internal weakness in the 1990s has been characterized by its inability to assume the dominant role once held by the U.S.S.R. -- neither the United States nor Europe have given Russia a significant role in major consultations leading up to Western actions in the former Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Iraq, the Middle East in general, and especially in other areas where Moscow once held sway, such as Latin America, Africa and South/Southeast Asia.

Russia's rollback has been augmented by internal weaknesses in the economy, social fabric, military structure and export controls. The departure of President Boris Yeltsin and the arrival of President Vladimir Putin signaled a new chapter in Russia's history as the country began its slow emergence to its previous place as one of the world's dominant powers.

Unlike its predecessor, the U.S.S.R., Putin's Russia has not adopted a set of policies that match those of the United States in all geopolitical spheres. Lacking the necessary resources and thoroughly exhausted from its Cold War competition with the West, Russia has financed its development by economic means; for instance, the export of oil, gas and weapons have become the chief means of earning hard currency.

As of now, Russia is emerging as the world's most important energy supplier and the second largest arms exporter. Both export policies earn Russia tens of billions of much-needed dollars every year. This trend is expected to continue and increase, especially where it concerns oil and gas. Russia's chief energy exporting company -- Gazprom -- is on the way to becoming the largest oil and gas exporter in the world.

Russia's membership in the S.C.O. has important ramifications for the member-states of the organization, as well as for Western powers such as the United States, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. While each member-state enhances its prestige by being an active member of the S.C.O., Russian participation is intertwined with the most significant member state, China.

Sino-Russian Ties

Since Russia is unable to become what the U.S.S.R. once was, it seeks to enhance its status by forming short- and medium-term alliances with states that are emerging as important geopolitical players. Russia's closer interaction with China, however, carries with it more ominous ramifications. [See: "Russia's Future Foreign Policy: Pragmatism in Motion"]

Russia's membership in the S.C.O. will ultimately work to the full benefit of China, but only to the partial benefit of Russia. Closer economic cooperation between China and both the S.C.O. member and observer states will feed its economic development by supplying its growing economy with much needed raw materials, energy resources and will open up markets for the ever-growing variety of Chinese goods.

Russian trade with China is centered on the Russian export of raw materials and the import of Chinese consumer goods to the still small Russian domestic market. Current efforts by the Russian government to diversify its trade with China have yet to bear fruit. Whereas prior to the launch of the S.C.O. Beijing and Moscow had to carefully calibrate their bilateral relations, the growing interdependence of the S.C.O. member-states will make trade negotiations a much easier and faster affair. Since China is hard pressed to satisfy its massive energy demand, it will seek to direct Russia's energy flow to its territory, in effect tying a significant portion of Russia's economy to its own.

Russia's membership in a stronger and more coherent S.C.O. carries tremendous advantages. With the maturing of this new geopolitical entity five to ten years down the road, global policy makers will begin to think of Russia not as a sole player, but as a partner in a large economic-political bloc with growing significance in world affairs.

Thus, actions taken for or against the benefit of Russian interests will be weighed against those of China and the rest of the Central Asian members like Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Given Russia's already strong influence over its Central Asian neighbors, and its powerful ties to China's emerging superpower status, U.S. decision makers will have to weigh in on their actions in that part of the world with an increasing deference to Russia's wishes. The United States' need for Central Asian oil and gas, as well as military bases to continue its "war on terrorism," will become a concern given Russia's ties to China as part of the S.C.O. agreements in economic, military and security affairs. [See: "The Significance of Sino-Russian Military Exercises"]

Russia will see the benefits of its membership in the S.C.O. in the next decade. This time frame is not contingent on its own internal strength, for its economy is still geared toward exporting its natural resources, while its domestic markets are still underdeveloped and might even shrink further. It is, however, contingent on China's still growing economy and its crucial significance to the global flows of supply, demand and the resulting political and military choices made by a variety of governments.

The Bottom Line

Russia's membership in the stronger and more coherent S.C.O. carries tremendous advantages to the country that has long sought to restore parity with the United States and other Western powers. Its emerging primacy in oil and gas exports now makes it one of the most crucial Eurasian states in economic and political terms. But if Russia's internal economy remains underdeveloped, relying on the import of all manner of consumer goods, it will emerge as the chief vehicle of China's emergence as the second most powerful state in the world some 15 to 20 years down the road.

China's economic ambitions now span the globe and Beijing most certainly gives Russia a prime place in its decision-making strategy. While Russia does not feel the effects of closer cooperation with China -- given Beijing's still maturing status as an emergent power -- the continuance of current demographic and social trends inside Russia might place it at a disadvantage vis-à-vis China fairly soon. The S.C.O. might serve as the main vehicle for China's strength and Russia's long-term weakness.

Given Russia's historical desire for independence in global politics, it might find itself at odds with its closest partner that will be larger in every category except territory. Now, more than ever, there is a need to develop Russia's economy so that it will not become yet another market for Chinese goods -- however, while Russia's economy grows every year, it still has not developed a strong domestic market for its goods and services. This -- not its arms exports, or its oil pipelines -- will eventually earn it a place among the world's great powers. In the absence of such a development, Russia will become China's junior partner, eventually losing its momentum as a dynamic country even with its growing exports of arms and natural resources.

Report Drafted By:
Yevgeny Bendersky

The Power and Interest News Report (PINR) is an independent organization that utilizes open source intelligence to provide conflict analysis services in the context of international relations. PINR approaches a subject based upon the powers and interests involved, leaving the moral judgments to the reader. This report may not be reproduced, reprinted or broadcast without the written permission of All comments should be directed to

The Role of Space in Army Transformation

By Michael Howard,
Managing Editor

In the 21st century, the battlefield will extend vertically into the region of Space. Achieving Space dominance will be critical to gaining and maintaining the information superiority required for the advanced full-spectrum operations described in the Army Objective Force Concept (TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-0). The Concept for Space Operations in Support of the Objective Force (TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-14) supports and enables the Army’s vision described in the Objective Force concept. The Space operational concept is intended to focus the Army’s effort to exploit the high ground of Space in its contribution to land forces and the Joint dominance of this dimension.

Army Space operations will focus on five essential tasks to ensure the Objective Force will successfully achieve decisive victory.

These essential tasks are:
· Support increased deployability and reduced theater footprint.
· Achieve situational understanding “Off the Ramp” during entry operations.
· Support precision maneuver, fires, sustainment and information.
· Enable continuous information and decision superiority.
· Protect the force during all phases of the operation.

Seamlessness will be the signature characteristic of well-integrated Space and land force operations. From the user perspective, Space support must be reliable, timely and conducted with minimal operational friction. During operations at the tactical or operational level, undue delays or discontinuities will quickly make Space support irrelevant. For this reason, the central thrust of Army Space operations is to reduce technical and procedural seams in the system of systems. In effect, many of the actions outlined here will bridge, bypass or remove seams that would otherwise lessen or nullify the effectiveness of Space support to land force operations. The Army has been, is and will continue to be a prominent player on the Joint Space team. Preparations are now under way to develop new Army contributions to the Space surveillance and negation functions of Space control operations. Army forces will also provide support to Space forces, such as those conducting Space satellite control operations. Some of this support will be tied to the Army’s role in homeland security with an emphasis on global missile defense operations.

This concept also touches on several advanced Space operations for the short- to mid-term. Space control capabilities to enhance information operations will continue to be a high priority. Procedures to enable direct tasking of satellites by tactical commanders and expanded employment of direct downlinks from satellites to tactical users will remain an ongoing initiative. In the long-term, this capability will be achieved through the global information grid. The infusion of Functional Area 40 Space Operations Officers into existing headquarters will ensure that current and future Space force enhancement tools and products are integrated into Objective Force operations. Space awareness and analysis provide a necessary combat multiplier to achieve information superiority. Whether at home or abroad, short- or long-term, Army Space operations will be consistent with the Army’s responsibility to conduct prompt and sustained land combat to win the nation’s wars. As the Army moves forward in its transformation and achieves Objective Force qualities, we must ensure, in all our mission areas, that we are truly “transformational” and not just “reforming.” The words of J.F.C. Fuller, expressed in the early 1930s, should serve as a constant reminder: “Rather than refighting the last war, we should instead ask, ‘Given an emerging technology, how can we fight war more rationally?’”

Arbitrary Arrests, Torture and Disappearances of Sindhi

More Cases of Arbitrary Arrests, Torture and Disappearances of Sindhi
and Baloch Activists

LONDON, NOVEMBER 10, 2005, The World Sindhi Congress expressed its great concern over the arbitrary arrests, torture and disappearances of the human rights activists belonging to Sindh and Balochistan—two southern provinces of Pakistan. Several Sindhi and Baloch political groups are engaged in active opposition to the undemocratic and authoritarian military rule of General Musharaf. Sindhi and Baloch peoples have been the victim of policies that blatantly discriminate against Sindh and Balochistan and benefit the northern province of Punjab. Pakistani military, an ultimate power of Pakistan, is also ethnically dominated by the Punjabis.

According to the recent survey conducted by the Asian Development Bank, the two southern provinces are almost twice as poor as the dominant province of Punjab. Historically, Sindhis and Balcohs have always been on the forefront of democratic and secular movements in the country.

Recently, in Sindh, scores of Sindhi activists have been arbitrarily arrested with out any charge or any due legal process. They have been put in unidentified jails and in some cases their whereabouts are unknown even to their immediate relatives. The whereabouts of Sindhi activists named, Muzfar Bhutto, Satar Hakro, Zulfiqar Khaskheley, Ahmad Tewno and Muhram Mallah are unknown. Last year, police arrested several activists in similar fashion and with in few months, one of the arrested leaders Mr. Samiullah Kalhoro died as a result of the torture.

“The Military and Pakistan Government keep its authority by terrorizing the progressive and democratic workers of Sindh and Balochistan,” said Dr Shaikh, the Chairman of World Sindhi Congress and a founding Member of the Sindhi Baloch Forum.

Similarly in Balochistan, Baloch activists and leaders are continuously being harassed by Pakistani armed forces. These numerous military operations have caused serious ethnic tensions in the area of the Southwest of Pakistan. On 17 March 2005, in the Dera Bugti district in Balochistan, 70 innocent Balochs, including children, women and elderly were reported killed and more than 200 were reported injured by the Pakistani military.

WSC is alarmed about the various reported "disappearances" and extrajudicial detentions of Balochs by Pakistan security forces (ISI). On 25 March 2005, seven Baloch leaders belonging to BSO were arrested: Dr. Imdad Baloch, Dr. Allah Nazar, Dr. Yousuf Baloch, Ghulam Rasool, Dr. Naseem Baloch, Ali Nawaz and Akhtar Nadeem. In May 2005 four of the above individuals, were released after torture. The physical condition of one of the imprisoned, Dr. Allah Nazar is particularly severe due to torture with electric shocks, which partially paralyzed him. On 14 October 2005, Pakistani security forces (ISI) again arrested Dr. Yousuf Baloch and ever since his whereabouts are unknown. Recently, Mr. Ali Asghar Bangulzahi was also harassed, tortured and has suffered ill-treatment.

”We appeal to the international community to intervene in this matter and to call for the immediate and unconditional release of the unjustly imprisoned Sindhi and Baloch peoples,” said Dr Lakhu Luhano of World Sindhi Congress.

WSC further demanded that a fact finding delegation must be sent by UNO to examine and report to the International Community on the human rights situation and extrajudicial killings and arrests in Sindh and Balochistan.

About the World Sindhi Congress (WSC) is one of the most prominent human rights advocacy organizations for Sindh and Sindhis. The main objective of WSC is to create a better understanding among the international community about the persecuted status of Sindhis in Pakistan and about Sindhi people’s struggles for their human rights, including the right of self-determination. WSC is a registered company in England and Wales, and California, USA, organzied to carry out non-profit activities only. For more information, visit

22 Newfields, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL8 6YT, UK
Tel. +44 (01707) 896526 ~ Fax +44 (870)1226007
17418 Emelita St, Encino, CA 91316, USA ~ TELE:: 818-917-6910 ~ FAX: 1-708-585-4284
214 McGibbon Dr., Ottawa, ON K2L-3Y4 Canada ~ TELE: 1-613-591-0451 ~ FAX 1-815-550-5694


Resolution of Sindh-Unity Conference , 11.11.2005 at Hyderabad Sindh

Resolution of Sindh-Unity Conference dt 11.11.2005 at Hyderabad Sindh

Resolutions adopted at the third annual Session of Sindhi-Unity

Council, in Hotel Indus, Hyderabad Sindh, on 11.11.2005

Resolved that:

1. The peoples of Pakistan had practically reacted negatively to the proposal in the sessions of the Muslim League in 1930 that the muslim majority areas / present provinces of Sindh, Baluchistan and NWFP be amalgamated with Punjab to form an State within or without the British Empire, due to historical fears of domination and subjugation by Punjab, in view of their historical experience of repeated aggresion from the Punjab State of the time.

2. That consequently these peoples did not support and rejected the Muslim League in 1935 elections.

3. That the muslims of entire India thereafter enthasiastically welcomed the 1940 resolution at Lahore subsequently wrongly dubbed as Pakistan Resoulation, wherein it was decided that all the muslim majority areas of northwest and east south India should be constitued as States the constitutuent parts of which should be autonomous and sovereign. The constitution of the All India Muslim League was updated accordingly in 1941 in corporating the object of the 1940 Resolution viz the establishment of several muslim autonomous and sovereign states was made the object of Muslim League programme.

4. That after the six year long propagation of this proposal throughout India, this proposal won the enthusiastic support of the entire muslim population of India and the Muslim League which fought the 1946 elections on the platform of these states won majorities in muslim majority areas on that platform and its demand for being acknowledged as the sole spokes man for the muslims of India was virtually accepted both by the British government and the Indian National Congress on the basis of that mandate.

5. But the muslim league representatives elected on the platform of several atonomous and government muslin states in north west and east India, in violation of the confidence reposed in them by the muslim voters of India, proposed instead the formation of a single state, in their meeting in 1946 in Madaras. This was a fundamental betrayal of the 1940 resolution and the mandate of muslims of India and tantamount to a throughly illegal and immoral political act of breach of sacred trust. The edifice built upon an illegal and imoral foundation is bound to be treated as illegal and immoral.

6. It must however be noted that (a) A Session of the All India Muslim League was taking place at the same time as the above convention and that's Session retained the original status of the Muslim League programe as based upon several autonomous and sovereign muslim states of Indian consisting of Sindh, Punjab, Baluchistan, NWFP and Bengal.

(b) That the convention of the muslim legislators held on 9.4.1946 being an inferior body to the All India Muslim League Conference, its resolution could not overrule the decision of the A.I.M.L session.
( c) That on 12 May 1946 the Muslim League endorsed its president's memorandum of the minimum demands of the muslims of India, according to which the six muslim provinces (Punjab, N.W.F.P, Baluchistan, Sindh, Bengal and Assam) named as the Pakistan group, would deal with all subjects and matters "except foreign affairs, defence and communications necessary for defence." It was resolved that a separate constitution-making body would be established for the six muslim provinces to frame constitutions for the group and the provinces in the group", with options for the provinces to opt out of the federation as a result of a referendum in the provice in favour of leaving the federation.

(d) This position of Mr. Jinnah and the Muslim League was reflected in their acceptence of the Cabinet Mission proposals for India on the same lines.

7. That the constitution framed after partition after a prolonged delay, after the death of Quide Azam, under the pressure of the anti-people and pro-imperialist clique which usurped power over Mr. Jinnah's Pakistan, was dramatically opposed to the 1940 Resolution as well as the above 1946 decision of the M.L and Quide Azam and was totally illegal, immoral and anti-Quide Azam and anti-Pakistan as it was the wrong foundation on which the present edifice of Pakistan was constructed by anti-people usurperes who are lording it over the people of the provinces as conquerers and occupiers and trampling upon their rights and liberties and plundering their resources as an alien occupying force since 60 years.

8. In view of the above it will be in the fitness of things to convene a new Constituent Assembly on the basis of equal representation of all the four provinces to frame a new Constitution of Pakistan in accordance with the principles laid down in Lahore Resolution of 1940 passed by the legitiniate representatives of the muslims of entire India.

November 11, 2005

Vitol - Masefield AG - Sonia Gandhi $16.8 m

Oil or grease? Vitol - Masefield AG - Sonia Gandhi (one million barrels $16.8 m)
Here are the key contact details for Vitol. In the chart appended to the Deccan Chronicle report (Nov. 12, 2005), Volcker report cites the LCs assigned by BNP Paribas SA for each oil lift, and information sourcd through SECO.

Volcker report Table 4 notes two contracts and two LCs.

1. Contract No. M/10/57 (LC N 731924); and Table 3 provides details of Non-contractual beneficiaries. On this LC, VOlcker report claims Masefild AG lifted oil against contract M/10/57 for a non-contractual beneiciaty it claims was the CONGRESS.
2. Contract No. M/09/54 (LC D726806); and Table 3 of Volcker Report claims Masefild AG lifted oil against contract M/09/54 for a non-contractual beneficiary it claims was former external affairs minister NATWAR SINGH.

Now the questions to be answered by Antonia Maino (aka Sonia Gandhi, President of Congress Party) are:

1. When did Congress Party register with Govt. of India as a oil-dealer or oil-broker?

2. Why is Congress Party interested in acquiring oil?

3. Is it unhappy with the likes of Reliance or IOC or other oil companies operating in Bharat?

4. Is Congress Party a public or private limited or privately-held company?

It is one thing to claim comraderie between Baathist Party and Congress Party as two parties representing two great civilizations (assuming that the representation is true); it is quite another to follow up the two letters Sonia Gandhi (aka Antonia Maino, President of Congress Party) wrote to Saddam Hussein with special meetings between Natwar Singh (and his comrades) with Tareeq Aziz and Saddam Hussein.

What benefit did Bharat receive from this international dealing by Congress Party without getting prior permission from the 'executive' branch of the then government in powe in Bharat to meet foreign dignitaries in Iraq?

Sonia, aka Antonia, come clean. There is a lot of cleaning-up called for. Pathak commission or inquiry authority will not be this clean-up.

5. Why hasn't an FIR beeen lodged against the President of Congress Party in this act of financial impropriety causing loss to the nation's exchequer?

6. Answer this simple question of fact: did Congress Party did or did not receive the benefit cited in Volcker Reprot as a non-contractual beneficiary, through Masefield AG/Vitol financial link-up? (We are assuming that oil did get delivered by the Congress Party).

7. What oil? What grease?

Vitol Asia Pte Ltd., India Liaison Office
617 Maker Chambers V, 6th Floor, 221 Jamnalal Bajaj Road, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021 India
Tel (91 22) 2288 5615
Tel (91 22) 2287 5069
Tel (91 22) 2283 1843
Fax (91 22) 2287 5070
Tlx 1183786


New Delhi, Nov. 11: The Volcker Committee report on the Iraq-oil-for-food programme has alleged that a global oil trading company named Vitol is the "underlying financier" for the oil barrels allegedly lifted by Masefield AG of Switzerland.

Masefield is the company that the Volcker report claimed had lifted oil for the Congress and former external affairs minister K. Natwar Singh, who it listed as "non-contractual beneficiaries" in the Iraq oil-for-food programme.

The UN-ordered probe report defines "underlying financier" as the "entity or party assuming financial responsibility for letters of credit (LC) used to buy oil in the programme..." A letter of credit links a company to the recipients of moneys.

Vitol is a global company involved in physical oil marketing with offices in many countries. It has an India liaison office at Maker Chambers V, Nariman Point, Mumbai. When the Vitol India liaison office was contacted by this newspaper in Mumbai on Friday, a Mr Sumeru Hattiramani there said he knew nothing of this matter and referred this newspaper to their Singapore office.

The office of Vitol Singapore Pte Ltd, when called, said it would not comment on anything and asked for a written set of questions to be faxed to them. This was done on Friday and this newspaper was awaiting a response from them at the time of going to press.

Both, the Congress and Mr Natwar Singh, have repeatedly denied any connection to the Iraq oil-for-food programme. The Volcker report has said the persons or entities who made surcharge payments may not have been aware that their payments were in contravention of the UN guidelines for the oil-for-food programme.

Table 3 of the Volcker report, titled "Non-Contractual Beneficiaries", has given contract number M/10/57 for the transaction it claimed involved Masefield AG and for which it alleged the Congress party was the "non-contractual beneficiary". In the case of its allegations against Mr Natwar Singh, the Volcker Committee says one of two contract numbers for the oil transactions was M/09/54. Both contract numbers next appear in Table 4, titled "Known Underlying Oil Financiers", and are listed under "Underlying Financier VITOL". The entries in Table 4 also mention Masefield AG as the "contracting company".

Table 4 claims Vitol was the "underlying financier" for the contracting company Masefield AG for "contract number M/10/57". Against this, it lists letter of credit number N731924 for the lifting of 1,000,896 barrels of oil for LC amount $16,808,457. This is the same contract number as that listed under the Congress party's name (against Masefield AG) in Table 3 of non-contractual beneficiaries.
Against contract number M/09/54 it lists letter of credit number D726806 for contracting firm Masefield AG for the lifting of 300,000 barrels of oil for LC amount $5,669,919. This contract number is the same as that listed under Mr Natwar Singh's name (against Masefield AG) in Table 3 of non-contractual beneficiaries.


They protect our borders...the least we can do is protect their dignity.

They protect our borders...the least we can do is protect their dignity.

Jai Hind!

Lt. Saurabh Kalia of 4 JAT Regiment of the Indian Army laid down his
life at the prime age of 22 for the Nation while doing duty of guarding
the frontiers at Kargil. The parents,the Indian Army but the whole
nation lost a dicated, honest and brave son. He was the first officer
to detect and inform Pak intrusion.
Pakistan captured him and his patrol party of 5 brave men alive on 15th
May, 99 from our side of LOC.

They were in their captivity for 3 weeks and subjected to unprecedented
brutal torture as evident from their bodies handed over by Pakistan
Army on 9th June, 99.They indulged in dastardly acts of burning bodies
with cigarettes, piercing ears with hot rods, removing eyes before
puncturing them, breaking most of the bones and teeth, chopping off
various limbs and private organs of these soldiersbesides inflicting
unimaginable physical and mental tortures. They were shot dead
ultimately. (A detailed post-mortem report is with the Indian Army)
this continued for about 22 days.

Pakistan dared to humiliate India this way flouting all international
norms. To what an extreme humanity can be degraded, Pakistan provided
an example.
However,the Indian soldiers did not break while undergoing all this
unlimited barbarism. This speaks volumes of their patriotism, grit,
determination, tenacity and valour and the whole nation should be proud
of them. All over the country there is unprecedented anger and outrage
at this tragedy. Sacrificing oneself for the nation is an honour every
soldier would love to do but no parents, army or nation can accept what
happened to these brave sons of India.

I am afraid every parent would thinktwice to send their wards in the
armed forces if we all fall short of our duty of safeguarding the
may also send a demoralising signal to the Army personnel fighting for
the Nation that our POWs in Pak cannot be taken care of. It is a matter
of shame and disgust that most of Indian Human Rights Organisations by
and large, showed apathy in this matter. Through this humble
submission, may I appeal to all the civilized people irrespective of
colour, caste, region, eligion and political lineage to stir their
conscience and rise to take this as a NATIONAL ISSUE?

International Human Rights Organisations must be approached to expose
and pressurise Pakistan to identify, book and punish all those who
perpetrated this heinous crime to our men in uniform. If Pakistan
isallowed to go unpunished n this case, everyone can imagine the

This is the list of 5 other soldiers who preferred to die for the
country rather than open their mouths infront of enemy.

1. Sep. Arjun Ram s/o Sh. Chokka Ram;
Village & PO Gudi. Teh. & Dist. Nagaur

2. Sep. Bhanwar Lal Bagaria h/o Smt. Santosh Devi; Village
Sivelara; Teh. & Dist. Sikar (Rajasthan)

3. Sep. Bhikaram h/o Smt. Bhawri Devi;
Village Patasar; Teh. Pachpatva; Distt.
Barmer (Rajasthan)

4. Sep. Moola Ram h/o Smt. Rameshwari Devi;
Village Katori; Teh. Jayal; Dist.Nagaur

5. Sep. Naresh Singh h/o Smt. Kalpana Devi;
Village Chhoti Tallam; Teh. Iglab; Dist.
Aligarh (UP)

Yours truly,
Dr. N.K. Kalia
Saurabh Nagar,
Himachal Pradesh

Tel: +91 (01894) 32065

Please Sign in by writing ur name & then copy & paste it again to
forward it to all . Let Us Give some supporting hand to Dr. Kalia for
his efforts to get justice. Lt Kalia Died on the front so that we could
sleep peacefully in our home so let us get united & help Dr Kalia to
get atleast some satisfying sleeping moments.

Jordan: Jordan's Capital Hit by Multiple Terrorist Attacks

Suicide bombers yesterday launched simultaneous attacks in the heart of the capital, Amman, causing scores of fatalities and shattering the kingdom's fragile calm.

Global Insight Perspective

The Jordanian authorities have confirmed that over 67 people were killed and more than 200 injured in three closely coordinated attacks against the Grand Hyatt, the Radisson SAS and the Day's Inn hotels in central Amman, the capital.

Implications The hotels are popular with Western businesspeople and tourists. Although Jordanians are known to have borne the brunt of the fatalities, foreigners may still be among those dead or injured.

Outlook An attack on this scale was widely feared. In August this year, a botched attempt was made against a U.S. naval ship in the port city of Aqaba, with the Jordanian authorities also having foiled a number of terror plots, including a planned chemical attack against government targets.

Worst Fears Realised

Jordan's capital yesterday became the scene of a major terrorist attack, which confirmed existing fears over such an event occurring. The first and largest blast, thought to have been detonated by a suicide bomber, struck a Jordanian wedding celebration in the banquet hall of the Radisson SAS hotel in western Amman; the building was previously the target of a foiled millennium celebration plot. The authorities have confirmed that the party, speculated to have been attended by prominent Jordanian officials, bore the brunt of the fatalities. An eyewitness speaking to the CNN news agency reported seeing the car of Jordanian Prime Minister Adnan Badran at the time of the blast. Badran is a U.S.-educated former academic and staunch supporter of the Jordanian monarch's domestic political reform and economic liberalisation agenda (see Jordan: 6 April 2005: Academic to Become New Jordanian PM and 8 April 2005: Reformist Jordanian Cabinet Sworn In).

The bomb was followed almost simultaneously by attacks in the lobbies of the Grand Hyatt and Days Inn hotels. The latter is located in the Rabiyeh district of Amman, close to the Israeli embassy. The hotels house Western business travellers, journalists, aid workers and contractors, including Israeli nationals, with many using Jordan as a gateway into Iraq (see Jordan: 15 September 2005: Jordanian Economy Continues to Sizzle in Q2). Until yesterday afternoon, the calm of downtown Amman stood in sharp contrast to the almost daily attacks that affect neighbouring Iraq. Jordan's King Abdullah, who was on an official visit to Kazakhstan at the time of the blasts, issued an immediate statement condemning the attacks and saying that 'Jordan remains determined to pursue its fight against the criminals who wanted by their acts to target innocent civilians ... and will remain a safe country.' The country has closed its land border and announced that government offices and schools will be closed today, underscoring the severity of the event.

Jordan is well acquainted with the threat from militant Islamic elements, as seen by the botched attack against the USS Ashland in August this year, the killing of US Agency for International Development (USAID) employee Lawrence Foley in October 2002, and by the number of thwarted terror plots, which include an attempted chemical attack. The scale of yesterday's event has led to inevitable speculation that an al-Qaida affiliated group was responsible (see Jordan: 19 August 2005: Reports Emerge of Blast in Jordanian Port City of Aqaba). The style of the attacks - well coordinated and apparently carried out by suicide bombers - also bear al-Qaida hallmarks. Jordanian-born Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who was convicted with a death sentence in absentia for the Foley killing, heads the insurgency in neighbouring Iraq (see Jordan: 24 August 2005: Jordanian Authorities Point to Involvement of Al-Qaida Iraq Head in Recent Attacks).

The American Connection

The targets were all American chain hotels, repeating a familiar pattern of striking at sites that are commercially, militarily or politically linked to the United States. The White House has reacted by saying: 'Jordan is a close friend of the United States, and we will offer every possible form of cooperation in investigating these attacks and assisting in efforts to bring these terrorists to justice.' By selecting targets linked to the United States, the attackers are hoping to accentuate the discomfort felt by many Jordanians at the kingdom's close and longstanding strategic, political, economic and military ties with Washington, owing to what is perceived as American regional bias towards Israel. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 fuelled anti-American sentiments in the kingdom, where Palestinians constitute the majority of the population. However, the epicentre of yesterday's strike was a Jordanian wedding party celebration, and images of Jordanian women and children injured and killed in the attacks were broadcast on Arabic news networks, prompting what some eyewitnesses describe as a small but vocal demonstration in support of the Jordanian royal family in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. Significantly, Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood unequivocally condemned yesterday's attacks, with its head, Abdel Majid Zuneibat, telling AFP: 'These are criminal and terrorist acts which no Muslim can accept and which go against our religion...The enemies of the nation will only profit from this crime.' The attacks may yet manage is to create a national consensus and strengthen the authorities' hand in their campaign against militant cells operating in the kingdom.

Outlook and Implications

The British Foreign Office has amended its travel warning to Jordan in light of the development, saying that is a ' high threat' of terrorism in the kingdom. We advise potential travellers to the country to review their immediate plans. Although a repeat of yesterday's events are not anticipated, follow-up or 'copycat' attacks of a similar nature - such as the 21 July 2005 bombings in London (U.K.) - cannot be ruled out. At this time of heightened tension, foreigners currently in Jordan are strongly advised to avoid large crowds and demonstrations and take extra safety precautions.

In the long term, the attack will not in any way affect Jordan's strategic alliance with the United States. Rather, the attacks may inject renewed momentum into the king's liberalisation agenda, enabling the monarch to overcome critics within parliament. We also expect the economic fallout from the attacks to be contained, with Western businesses continuing to use Jordan as a transit point for entering Iraq.

American, Indian Airmen ‘mix it up’

American, Indian Airmen ‘mix it up’

by Capt. John Redfield
Cope India Public Affairs

11/10/2005 - KALAIKUNDA AIR STATION, India (AFPN) -- For the first time, U.S. pilots faced the Indian Air Force’s most advanced, and newest, fighter -- the Su-30 MKI -- during an exercise Cope India 06 mission here.

F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots Capt. Martin “Gabby” Mentch and 1st Lt. Robert “Pipes” Stimpson were the first to mix it up with the Su-30s Nov. 9.

The Airmen, deployed here with the 13th Fighter Squadron from Misawa Air Base, Japan, flew against the new jets, which have a thrust-vector capability and updated avionics.

The MKI “is an amazing jet that has a lot of maneuverability,” an essential trait when fighters fly within visual range of their enemy during combat missions, Captain Mentch said.

The American fighters are also squaring off against an older version of the Su-30 Flanker during the exercise, which runs through Nov. 19. The Indians are also flying the MiG-21 Fishbed, MiG-27 Flogger, MiG-29 Fulcrum and Mirage 2000 against U.S. Airmen participating in the exercise.

With all these different types of aircraft, the training the pilots are getting here is invaluable, said Lt. Col. Hugh “Hef” Hanlon, the Misawa squadron commander.

“Flying against dissimilar aircraft gives us a different level of training than if we were back home just flying against ourselves,” he said.

Colonel Hanlon also said flying against the Indian aircraft is a thrill.

“In all my 18 years in the Air Force, I’ve dreamed of going up against these aircraft,”
he said.

In addition to the initial MKI-F-16 encounter, the exercise has another piece of history to it.

Americans are learning from their Indian counterparts that this is the first time U.S. Airmen have operated from here since World War II. Back then, Army Air Forces pilots flew supply missions from here. Many of those missions were to China, over “the hump” of the Himalaya Mountains.

About 250 U.S. Airmen from throughout the Pacific region are participating in the exercise, which Colonel Hanlon said is “a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

"We’re proud to represent the Air Force and the United States of America,” he said.

USA : First Exercise tests aircrews in virtual reality by linking simulators nationwide

11/9/2005 - KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFPN) -- The first nationwide virtual reality exercise, Virtual Flag 06, used networked simulators to create a realistic and cheap simulated battlespace to test aircrews and space and ground operators.

The exercise, led by the Distributed Mission Operations Center here, ended Nov. 4. The networked simulators -- from across the center and the nation -- made the training authentic.

“Think of Virtual Flag as a huge simulation in which our aircrews, space warriors and ground operators -- in the air operations center, control reporting center and Patriot missile batteries -- ‘fight’ the enemy completely in a virtual reality environment,” said Lt. Col. Gordon Phillips, the 705th Exercise Control Squadron commander.

Demand for Virtual Flag’s services is on the rise. The list of participants in the exercises, held quarterly by Air Combat Command, has continued to grow since it began in 2000, Colonel Phillips said.

“We can replicate numerous worldwide theater environments and populate that environment with most types of threat that our aircrews may encounter -- that’s a valuable capability for a global force,” he said. “You can’t do the training we do any other way.”

Because the exercise takes place in cyberspace, many of the aircrews can participate from their home station.

“Approximately 75 percent of our aircrews participate from home. We’re expanding our training audience with every exercise while saving each unit and the Air Force a lot of money,” Colonel Phillips said.

He said exercise planners are working to make virtual exercises simple for participants, who can use simulators to into the fight.

“No more long TDYs away from home, airline and billeting costs,” the colonel said. “And best of all, you’ll be home for dinner every night.”

To Airmen like Maj. Mike Ray, a weapons system instructor at Detachment 4, 53rd Fighter Wing -- who works with the 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas -- Virtual Flag is much more than a life-sized simulation.

“The possibilities are endless,” he said. “Our aircrews get to learn how their aircraft is integrated into a large-force package … it’s a communications and task-intensive environment that they won’t get anywhere else — except combat.”

One of the key differences between training in virtual reality versus live aircraft (like in exercises such as Red Flag) is that exercise controllers can modify the intensity of the training, or even “freeze” the action.

“During flying operations there’s no time to pause and explain a procedure or tactic,” Major Ray said. “But during Virtual Flag we can reposition the aircraft in time and space to hit every one of our training objectives.”

For aircrews used to training with live ammunition and aircraft, Virtual Flag’s scale can be daunting.

“During a Red Flag exercise (a live-fire exercise in Nevada) an airborne warning and control aircraft might control 30 aircraft taking part in a battle,” Colonel Phillips said. “But because we can scale the simulation to simulate a major theatre war, a crew may have to contend with 300 aircraft flying over to their targets at one time.”

Virtual Flag 06-1 marked several firsts for the exercise. Simulated Navy E/A-18G Hornet aircraft participated in virtual missions from their development facility in St. Louis, Miss. Defense contractor Boeing networked into the exercise to validate the weapons system and test its integration into an air campaign.

Guardsmen from New Mexico’s 150th Fighter Wing “Tacos” flew enemy MiG-29 Fulcrum missions as the scenario employed “Red,” or enemy, pilots for the first time. The MiGs dynamically interact with participants while electronic attacks on U.S. command and control systems wrecked havoc on communications.

The center also unveiled its “multi-level security solution.” This allows different classified systems to participate in the exercise and interact fully with other players while preserving varying security levels.

This computer protocol is an important advancement for Virtual Flag as planners work to add future weapons systems and new scenarios to challenge participants. The system was completely developed, tested and integrated in-house.

“The MLS system is a big advancement for the Air Force in that it will allow us to fully integrate coalition and NATO participants, new technologies, capabilities and weapons systems -- such as the F/A-22 Raptor and the Joint Strike Fighter -- into Virtual Flag and other simulations,” Colonel Phillips said.

China's challenging rise

A new superpower in the making
Andy Clark, transmission date 22 October 2005

Source : Radio Natherlands

"There have been generals in the Chinese military telling us that China would be prepared to lose all the economic progress of the last years if the independence of Taiwan was proclaimed. You never know how likely this is: nationalism is a very strong and potentially dangerous force everywhere in the world."

Jan van der Putten

Chinese Taikonauts back on Earth - China's space programme is a source of national pride
China's economy has trebled since 1980 and, if it continues on the same trajectory, it will be the same size as the US economy by 2020.
But will the US accept this challenge to its economic dominance from China?

It is, after all, a communist country, and an ideological adversary.

Could a standoff develop, as China becomes more of a rival? Amsterdam Forum focuses on China this week.

Click to listen to the programme

Lanxin Xiang, professor of international relations at the East China Normal University in Shanghai and the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, and journalist and consultant Jan van der Putten, a long time China watcher who runs the Dutch company Eyes on China, joined forum host Andy Clark for the discussion.

Key quotes:

Professor Xiang - can China surpass the US economically?

"I don't really think so, I don't think any economy can sustain itself forever. If history is a mirror it will run into difficulties."

"Everything depends on whether or not China will be able to have a soft landing in its political reform which I believe is already beginning to start. The leadership is under enough pressure so they couldn't postpone reform any longer."

Jan van der Putten on China's ability to surpass the US economically:

"Can China catch up with the United States economically? Yes it can because of its huge potential in the west of China, where one billion people have not participated until now in economic development. So, it is a huge reservoir for development."

Professor Xiang on fears about China's military build up:

"China is not trying to seek a place in the sun, so to speak, it is an effort of seeking a place in the shade, meaning it wants to be secure. The basic point is security and defence. I do not see aggressive projection of military power."

Chinese troops - US is concerned about Chinese defence spending
Professor Xiang on an ideological clash with US:
"The neo-conservatives in the US believe that the post-Cold War world is moving inevitably towards a universal democratic picture and therefore any political system that will continue to be different from what Americans project will be an obstacle to the American universalism and they believe peace and security depends on the success of democratisation of the global system."

"That is something the Chinese will never share and will never agree with because this is essentially a western view and it is an extreme view of Christian tradition which creates something called good and evil - they believe between dictatorship and democracy there will be no alternative and this is a view the Chinese will never share."

Jan van der Putten on US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's recent visit to China:

"Rumsfeld just left China and not without warning China to control its military power - I think at this stage it is a little exaggerated. If we see the military budget of the United States, the Chinese one is a dwarf in comparison."

Professor Xiang on Taiwan as a potential flashpoint between the US and China
[China says it will invade Taiwan if it declares independence - the US currently supplies weapons to Taiwan]:

"The Taiwan issue is not an issue that mainland China itself can decide, this is a three-way game. The United States happens to be a decisive factor in that three way game and it all depends on whether or not the United States plays a fair game."

"China will not invade unless Taiwan declares independence. If Taiwan did there would be 24 hours, maybe 48 hours, before the Chinese will have to take action. This is nothing to do with it being a communist regime; any regime that was in place would not be able to accept Taiwan being independent. The question is whether or not the US can mediate or play a role to ensure that the Taiwan Straits are not flaring up, but the US, so far, has not done a very good job, they try to restrain the Taiwan president but it's not clear whether or not they are going to be successful."

Jan van der Putten on the Taiwan question:

"There is always the danger of a fierce nationalistic reaction. There have been generals in the Chinese military telling us that China would be prepared to lose all the economic progress of the last years if the independence of Taiwan was proclaimed. You never know how likely this is: nationalism is a very strong and potentially dangerous force everywhere in the world."

Boom times - downtown Beijing
Professor Xiang on why China may develop in unexpected ways:
"We have to guard against the argument that China will behave exactly like previous empires in history. The Chinese tradition is different, China is the only civilisation that has continually been in existence, which means it has developed a set of behaviours which is going to be different [from the western model].

Jan van der Putten on the new situation of China's relation as it rises on the world stage:

"Before, when a rising power was striving to catch up with the existing great power they were not linked together economically. This is the first time that a country, which is a candidate to become a great power, has such intense economic and financial ties with the existing world power - the US."

"Forty percent of the public debt in the US will be in Chinese hands after the re-construction of New Orleans. This has never before been seen in history - it makes a military scenario more difficult."

Professor Xiang on China's political progress:

"The leadership now realises their problem, they know the problems and they are willing to deal with it, unlike in the past when the party was supposed to be 'great', 'glorious' and correct all the time, with no questions asked. There is no totalitarianism today, there is something called authoritarianism so we are moving to a second stage and perhaps moving further."

Jan van der Putten on changes that may come about due to China's rise:

"Maybe another scenario is possible where the world anymore be a world in which only one superpower is dominating but maybe we will see a return of a multi-polar world with countries like the US, like China, like India like Brazil maybe South Africa, maybe Russia - I'm quite sure, I'm convinced that for the health of the world this would be a better situation."

A selection of the emails you sent us:

Alexander Baldal, A Dutchman living in the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten: "Sure, China will take over the US economically, military, morally and ethically. Perhaps also in human abuse and war crimes, but that aspect of the USA will prove hard to surpass. That China is a one-party government instead of a two-party system like the US makes little difference. After hurricane Katrina we have seen how the US has created misery for millions of poor people for decades, despite their so-heralded Freedom. China's socialist system may suppress some freedom of speech or religion, its health and educational systems are far superior. Bless the day China will curb USA's arrogant military world dominance."

Anti-Japanese protests earlier this year
Zam Chukwudike Benson Abraham, Nigeria: "The world is truly changing, what China has to prove to the rest of the world is that no nation leads others forever. Their current effort in the area of economic improvement is surprising, they deserve to take over from US, if they can, why not?"

Toni La Tegola, Kenya: "The Rise of China is an undeniable fact. This makes the only global superpower insecure, but they will have to deal with it in a positive, meeting-of-equals, sort of way. China's rise will re-align global economic, military and political power to an East-West Axis, something that I personally find very positive."
Fritz Seefeldt, Ohio USA: "In many ways China has already overtaken the United States as a world power. We in this country have become dependent on a steady supply of inexpensive products to fuel our consumer driven economy. This has resulted in an enormous trade deficit with the PRC. The Chinese government is able to exercise enormous control over the policies of our government in many areas due to their critically important investment in our treasury bills. The United States has become dependent on this investment to fund our burgeoning budget deficits that, in large part, are the result our own military adventurism around the globe. I believe that this influence will determine policy decisions concerning our defence of Taiwan for example. The 21st century may well become the Chinese century in many of the same ways that the 20th was called the American Century."

Chun-Quan, Xi'an, China: "China is the most populous country in this 'earth village,' its rapid development since late 1970s 'shocked' some western countries, the US in particular. A booming China's undoubtedly conducive to the world peace. In my opinion, maybe in 50 years, China will overtake the United States as both an economic and military power!"

Barbara Hasslacher, Australia: "It seems inevitable that China will one day be the next dominant world power. The question is merely when and how will they try to re-organise the world."

Isaac Opoku-Gyamerah, Ghana: "If I think of what happened to other equally powerful countries, like Greece, Rome, Great Britain, throughout history, I am tempted to believe that China can overtake the USA."

Matthew Dovell, South of Boston Massachusetts, USA: "It is nearly certain that China can overtake the USA in some areas. No one can dispute however that much of this is due to their gigantic population. However most Americans care not for where the products they buy come from. If China gives the USA problems companies would shift production to India, Pakistan etc. 40 percent of Chinese exports go directly to the USA. What other country (ies) could pick up that type of extra imports? I can't name any."

Michael Mullock, Philadelphia, USA: "China has been remarkably successful, selling a
dollars worth of goods for fifty cents, exploiting workers in a way not seen by the West in over a century. The southern Chinese cities are polluted to an extent that would shock most Americans or Europeans. Political repression, theft of intellectual property, military threats to Taiwan and exploitation of the environment and workers is creating 'something' that is inevitable but not necessarily great power status. There is nothing positive the West should or can do to influence the outcome. Should the EU unwisely trade in high technology armaments with China, the US, at great expense, would adapt. Europe on the other hand could gleefully celebrate its new freedom from American military alliances by attending prayer services at the local mosque."

Andrew, NJ, USA: "As long as America continues to send more jobs there, and doing nothing about China while waging unnecessary wasteful wars, China will definitely overtake the US Their population and military size are a big enough concern as it is. Meanwhile, the US continues to waste military strength and budget while dumbing-down its own people with its bias and misguiding media. Not to mention the fact that the US is no longer handling its own problems in reasonable ways."

Cassie Keller, WV, United States: "Currently, if China were to attack the US then they would have a good chance at overtaking us because all of our focus is on Iraq. But at a period of time when we weren't distracted then no, I don't believe that China could overtake us."

Michael Hackett, The Hague: "China's rise is unsettling. You think the USA is a huge consumer of natural resources? Well, China has 1 billion+ people who would love to own and car and live a western lifestyle. And I don't think their government will care one bit about environmental concerns!"

Mario, Australia: "I've studied the US and other countries for a while and China will not overtake the US. With what the US is planning in the Middle East, they are getting stronger, even with the small struggle. They just should be careful of not making too many enemies."

Alex Citurs, Connecticut, USA: "China will surpass the USA no doubt. The two questions are: 1) Will they do it respecting intellectual property rights (patents, copyrights, digital property, etc.) or by leaving their eyes closed on this issue? Some companies I work with claim that the product lines they have off-shored to China have zero value to them in less than five years. Secondly, will the EU and the rest of the world be as open and trusting of Chinese businesses as the US has? The answer to these two issues to me will shape much of the political, business and environmental climates during the next twenty years."

Ann, UK: "As long as force rules we will always have stronger powers coming along. In a world of lies people only know what they are told. Until people of the world are blinded by lies there will always be other powers that will take over, that is the way of propaganda. Until people understand how blind they are they will always be driven by fear."

PJ Allen, Phoenix, AZ, USA: "Red China is 'rising' economically because the cost of doing business there is very cheap: slave-labour wages and no environmental costs. 'Re-locating,' transferring, manufacturing to China has been like free-base cocaine for US business. But people in America have to be doing something productive to have the money to buy the goods. Red China won't be 'rising' with everyone in America on the dole, having no money to buy junk at Wal-Mart. It's all been very one-way; we've yet to see any considerable Chinese purchases, importation, of anything much more than raw materials and some commodities."

Jack, Canada: "It means that a few capitalist communists who run the country are going to get richer... it's really that simple."

Carlos, Ecuador: "I agree with Mr van der Putten that the big (global) question is how reasonable America's reaction to China's rise will be. The problem is that despite American's 200 years of wealth and comfort, they are a particularly unreasonable bunch (not surprising, since America was colonised by Europe's ideological and economic dregs). Probably there will be a Red Scare-style campaign in America that will escalate until they invade and occupy China, followed by neutralization of any other large potential rivals (Russia). Then we'll all be under American global martial law (like the ultimate Nazi ambitions); it'll be 'for our own good.' If Republican marketing can put someone as worthless as Bush II in the White House and get Americans to support the war in Iraq, they can get Americans to do anything; just cater to their pathetic egos and bank on their stupidity. The ambitions of Christian fundamentalist whackos, like the ones who advise the Bush II regime, are pretty extreme."

Paris: the ticking time bomb goes off

by Frank Renout in Paris, 4 November 2005

In Aulnay-sous-Bois, north-east of Paris, a fire engine hurtles through the evening streets. After a tour around the long, high blocks of flats, the vehicle stops in front of a school building.

Flames are leaping from the window frames. “The glass has been smashed in,” says resident André Sirguey, angrily. “They’ve set it on fire. Again!”

It is nine o’clock, and a new evening full of violence and arson has begun. Every evening since Thursday, 27 October, the suburbs of Paris have been struck by serious riots. Youths take to the streets, light fires and engage in battles with the police.

Raising hell
Mr Sirguey’s neighbour comes to watch what is going on this evening. “The school?” he yells, while clouds of black smoke hang around the apartment complexes. “Have those jerks really set it on fire? My daughter goes there!” He begins to gesticulate wildly. “If you really think it’s necessary to raise hell, then set fire to the town hall, or a government building, but not a school!”

Suddenly, there’s the sound of shouting from the end of the street. André Sirguey and his neighbour walk over, and see a line of about 30 police officers, helmets on, shields in hand. They’ve sealed off the street. Opposite them: the banlieu youths; immigrant boys with their hoods pulled over their heads, who stand defiantly in the middle of the street, yelling “come on then! Come on if you dare!” at the riot squad facing them.

Scarcely two minutes later, and the street has been transformed into a battlefield. The youths hurl petrol-bombs, bottles and rubbish at the police. A shrubbery is set on fire and a skip is pushed into the middle of the street. It is also set alight.

The officers stay in their places, deflecting bottles with their shields. When the young men come too close with their petrol bombs, rubber bullets are fired. Tear gas is kept near to hand, but it isn’t used. Again, this evening, Aulnay-sous-Bois is the stage for what some people say is urban guerilla warfare and what the extreme right calls ethnic civil war.
The riots began in the north-east of Paris, but, in a couple of days spread to suburbs around the whole of the French capital. Within a week, more than 140 rioters had been arrested.

People getting angry
In the mosque at Clichy-sous-Bois, a couple of kilometers south of Aulnay, its chairman Abderrahmane Bouhout wants to give his analysis of the situation. The visitors to the mosque, however, are getting angry. Why talk to the press? They only paint a negative picture of Muslims here, they snarl at him.

Later on, outside the mosque, Mr Bouhout tells his side of the story. “People in this area don’t have any work, the young people don’t have anything to do,” he says, as the mosque fills up with men for evening prayer. It only needed something to spark it off.” A youth-worker, who has also come to pray, adds his opinion. “It’s a timebomb here! They’ve created ghettos, shoving all the immigrants together and then just letting things run their course over the years. Now the bomb has exploded.”

In Aulnay-sous-Bois, the police and fire services withdraw at around 11 o’clock at night: they’re needed elsewhere. On the other side of the city, a police station and a garage have been set on fire. The burning skip stays on the street.


41-67 Judge Street (5P)
Elmhurst, N.Y. 11373
(Tel: (718-478-5735
Nov. 4, 20005
Sunday, December 4th, 2005 at Shaan Restaurant
Snacks and Lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Seminar from 01:00 to 04:00 p.m.

A Luncheon Seminar titled “HOW TO COUNTER GLOBAL TERRORISM� will be held Sunday, December 4, 2005 at Shaan Restaurant (tel: 212-977-8400), 57 West 48th Street, New York City. Names of the prominent speakers are being finalized and will be communicated to you shortly. We are also in touch with nationally renowned experts on terrorism, to speak on the seminar. You are cordially invited to participate in the Seminar.

Mr. Jeff Epstein, President of Peoples Truth Forum, a Connecticut based organization has kindly accepted our invitation to speak on the seminar.

If you are planning to present a paper on the subject, please prepare a write up in not more than 700-800 words and e-mail it to the undersigned at your earliest convenience. We will distribute copies of your write-up at the seminar.

With your cooperation, we hope, we will be able to start our program exactly at 01:00 p.m.

Seats are limited. You are requested to reserve your seat latest by Nov. 20th by sending an e-mail at or by calling at (718) 478-5735.

Contribution: $30.00
Please draw your check in the name of "Shaan".

With highest regards,

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Note: Discounted parking @ 12 West 48 Street @ $15 is available.

November 10, 2005

Plight of Hindus in Sindh and Balochistan

Author: Khaled Ahmed
Publication: The Friday Times
Date: May 14-20, 2004

We don't know much about Hindus living in Sindh and Balochistan. Because the mainstream media remain silent we don't get to know about their real plight. The TV channels in the private sector should focus on these forgotten communities

The Commission sent a team to the province, which observed the Hindus of Kalat, Mastung, Machh and Kolpur and discovered that the Baloch and Brahui tribes kept them to do jobs (musicians, carpenters, merchants) considered below their honour by the Muslims. The author noted that Hindus were visible in Baloch areas but were scarce in the Pakhtun areas although in 1941 most of the 54,000 Hindus of Balochistan lived in the Pakhtun areas. After 1947, the Hindus in the Pakhtun areas declined by 93 percent but only by 11 percent in the Baloch areas. Now Balochistan had 27,000 Hindus in all,

The incidents of atrocities and caste-based discriminations on Dalits are increasing day by day in Tharparkar - a district where 35 per cent people belong to different Dalit communities among a million people - because of growing awareness and assertiveness of the Dalits. Several hundred Dalit employees of low-caste communities were transferred to far-flung areas under different obnoxious pretexts. Cases were initiated against the Dalit political activists. Their rural folks were threatened and even disallowed to graze their livestock on government lands called Gauchar.

Speaking on Geo TV (25 March 2004) federal education minister Zubaida Jalal said that she had grown up reading the same (biased) textbooks and that Pakistan had not been harmed by them. She said the Hindus of Balochistan and Sindh had not suffered because of these textbooks.

There is very little information about the minorities in Pakistan, which are 5 percent of the total population and are remembered in the flag of Pakistan by the white stripe. While Christians have highlighted their problems in Punjab, very little is known about the Hindus of Balochistan. Scheduled caste (Shudra) and Untouchable (Dalit) Hindus in Sindh have been hit by the double whammy of ill-treatment at the hands of the Muslim feudal lords and the upper caste Hindus. They have also been targeted at times by the intelligence agencies because they live close to the Indian border in Tharparkar and are suspected of spying for India. Bheels and Kolis, untouchables or Dalits, have been in the news for bonded labour.

In Balochistan, Hindus were 22 percent of the population in 1941; today they are only 1.6 percent, according to the 1998 census report, which may be 27,000 Hindus in all. After 1947, their exodus from the Pakhtun areas of Balochistan was considerable while they tended to stay in the Baloch areas. The exodus was the characteristic of the entire population of Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan. There was a tendency among the lower caste Hindus not to migrate. The pattern of settlement today is such that Sindhi-speaking Hindus live in the Baloch areas bordering Sindh while further West near Quetta and the region called Jhalawan the Seraiki-speaking Hindus call themselves Punjabi.

Hindus in Balochistan: The latest facts about the Hindu community in Balochistan have come to light in a report by Minority Rights Commission of Pakistan titled Religious Tolerance in Balochistan: Myth and Reality (2003) by Akram Mirani. The Commission sent a team to the province, which observed the Hindus of Kalat, Mastung, Machh and Kolpur and discovered that the Baloch and Brahui tribes kept them to do jobs (musicians, carpenters, merchants) considered below their honour by the Muslims. The author noted that Hindus were visible in Baloch areas but were scarce in the Pakhtun areas although in 1941 most of the 54,000 Hindus of Balochistan lived in the Pakhtun areas. After 1947, the Hindus in the Pakhtun areas declined by 93 percent but only by 11 percent in the Baloch areas.

In Kalat there are seven Hindu temples but the Hindu streets are separate from Muslim streets. There are even two Hindu doctors in Kalat. The only Brahman in town is Maharaj Roshan Sharma in charge of the Shiv Mandar there. Hindu merchants still control the wholesale trade of the area. But in 1992, after the Babri mosque incident in India, it was the Pakhtun community who intruded and subjected the Hindus to violence. The police in Balochistan is hardly organised. It keeps no record of violence against the minorities and is barred from operating anywhere outside the province's major cities. Conditions have been bad in the Pakhtun areas of Balochistan.

Anti-Hindu violence in Balochistan: The Friday Timesreported in its issue of March 23-29, 2001, as follows: 'Hundreds of Hindus have been forced to flee their homes and cross over into Sindh. Three Hindus were reported to have been killed in the town of Chaman after clashes between Hindus attempting to protect their homes and Muslim mobs in October. Temples and homes were set ablaze and property, including Hindu shops, destroyed as the growing social intolerance assumed alarming new proportions in Balochistan. In all cases, local extremist groups played a role in triggering the attacks.

'Though the precise number of families which fled was unknown, reports suggested almost half the community of 10,000 Hindus in Lasbela had been forced to leave their homes over the year. In almost all cases, the increased activism by militant religious groups imposed new strains on relations between the majority Muslim and the Hindu communities, who had lived peacefully alongside each other for many decades. The efforts to forcibly convert the Hindus, especially female school students, had a direct role to play in violence against Hindu settlements. At least five Hindu temples were vandalised over the year, with their structures damaged and the idols and other objects of worship broken. Amidst the uproar caused by the conversion issue in Lasbela, activists of religious parties launched an assault on two old Hindu temples and threw to the ground the idols placed in them.'

At the time of partition, when sectarian riots ravaged the subcontinent, the Hindu population of Balochistan remained unharmed, mainly due to two factors. First, the major portion of Balochistan native/princely Balochistan where majority of Hindus lived was under the Khan of Kalat, the chief ruler of Kalat state, Yar Mohammad Khan, who respected indigenousness of the Hindu community. He had assured them of economic and religious freedom in case they decided to continue living in Balochistan. Second, reciprocity of mutual relationship between Muslims and Hindus, and prosperity in business encouraged them to abandon the idea of migrating to India. They live in Quetta, Kalat, Sibi, Mastung, Dahdar, Duki, Dalbandin, Chaman, and Gandawa. In Gandawa, a tiny town and newly raised headquarter of Jhall-Magsi district, they have a big temple, which is claimed to be the fifth largest Hindu temple in the subcontinent. They dwell in their own little colonies, usually not away from their temples. They belong to business class, without any major interest in education and government offices. Some of them are wealthy merchants owning large jewellery and general stores, but the majority is of middle and lower middle class businessmen with their shops/stores in the bazaars of various towns.

Plight of Hindus of Sindh: Newsline(Dec 2000), pages 77-79, stated that 'the status of the 2.7 million Hindus in Pakistan, who are largely concentrated in Sindh, does not make for a very encouraging picture. Despite the fact that the Hindus in Pakistan have generally maintained a low profile, the general attitude towards them is one of suspicion. A case in point: the editor of a Sindhi newspaper demanded a car from a Hindu businessman. When he refused the former wrote an editorial in his paper declaring that the gentleman was a RAW agent who had been supplying weapons to terrorists in the country. In another incident in Hyderabad in September, Ashok Kumar, a Hindu inspector of the Income Tax Department, along with the army monitoring team went to Sadar to collect tax return forms from shop owners. Instead of complying with the authorities, one of the shop-owners alleged that the Hindu inspector had threatened to grab him by his beard if he did not give him the form. Within no time the shopkeeper managed to muster a group of his colleagues, who shuttered their shops and took out a procession demanding that the government hand them the Hindu so that they "could teach him a lesson." There followed a two-day strike in the city, as a result of which Ashok Kumar was not only suspended from his job, but also jailed after a case of 'blasphemy' was registered against him.

'Hindus in Pakistan have faced the greatest trials when there has been tension between India and Pakistan. Says an analyst, "From the first Indo-Pak war to the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya, Hindus in Pakistan have been perceived as enemies and persecuted." Kidnapping, extortion, and even killing are, meanwhile, common crimes perpetrated against Hindus in Sindh today. In September this year, Dr. Kanaya Lal, a Hindu eye specialist, was kidnapped from Larkana from the heart of the town. He was released after one week following a ransom payment of 5 lakh rupees (500,000 rupees). Another Hindu, Dr, Darshan Lal, was killed in Badah town in Larkana when he offered resistance to dacoits who were attempting to kidnap him from his house. At least four Hindu have been kidnapped from Sukkur during the last two months, and remain in the custody of the dacoits who have demanded hefty amounts of ransom for their release. 'Many Hindus pay regular sums as 'bhatta' to different groups of extortionists merely in order to be aloud to live in peace. Pak Autos, an automobile outlet belonging to a local Hindu trader in Larkana, was torched a couple of months ago when he refused to cough up the sum demanded by activists of a political party. Another Hindu businessman disclosed that he had received a call at his Karachi residence a few months ago from an activist of a Sindh nationalist party who demanded the payment of a sizeable sum from him. He tracked down the number the caller had phoned from and discovered it belonged to an agency. When he contacted the authorities and gave them this information, he was not only refused help, he was told that "the activists of different groups are important to the establishment, while the Hindus are of no use," thereby implying that he should not expect any assistance. Says the businessman "Instead of concentrating on business, most Hindus in Pakistan are expending their energies in developing their PR with the authorities and entertaining various influentials to try and build up a support base for themselves."

Dalits of Sindh want justice: The Scheduled Castes Federation of Pakistan has a website which addresses a petition to the President of Pakistan asking for a redressal of the plight of the Dalits. It a flattering website as it talks more about Islam than about Hinduism.

'In Pakistan, the Dalits face different issues. Since they are part of a tiny minority that is 5 per cent of country's total population, and due to also lack of education and literacy, they continue to stick to different forms of Hinduism whatever their half-literate Gurus impart them. Caste Hindus continue their domination only in southern part of Pakistan, especially former Mirpurkhas division, where more than one million Dalits dwell as landless peasants and labourers. The Caste Hindus, though small in numbers, dominate the minority politics through support of their convert relatives and government functionaries. The incidents of atrocities and caste-based discriminations on Dalits are increasing day by day in Tharparkar - a district where 35 per cent people belong to different Dal it communities among a million people - because of growing awareness and assertiveness of the Dalits. Several hundred Dalit employees of Dalit communities were transferred to far-flung areas under different obnoxious pretexts. Cases were initiated against the Dalit political activists. Their rural folks were threatened and even disallowed to graze their livestock on government lands called Gauchar.

'Dalits also suffer in many instances from de facto disenfranchisement. During elections 2002, those unpersuaded by typical electioneering were routinely threatened and beaten by a pro-government political party strongmen in order to compel them to vote for certain candidates. Already under the thumb of local landlords and police officials, Dalit villagers who do not comply had been victimized, beaten, and harassed. In Tharparkar, violence against Dalits is normally treated as a very minor and marginal issue, even by the law-enforcement machinery, whether be it police, the prosecution, or the medico-legal fraternity or often even the judiciary. Non-registration of crimes against Dalits is one of the main problem in Tharparkar. Political influence over the police, and caste, class, religion and gender biases are rampant. It is extremely difficult for helpless Dalits to file complaints, particularly against the powerful individuals and or perpetrators. The theft of livestock of Dalits in Tharparkar is rampant as police never registers any such case. These are very few examples as to how Dalits are dealt with if they display an act to show equality. Hundreds of the incidents of caste discrimination go unreported.'
Volker committee report and its impact on Indian polity
Amitabh tripathi

Findings of Volker committee report has put some questions before Indian polity .Congress party which has long history of Muslim pampering first time has been caught red handed for its financial support with Muslim countries. This is not the question of corruption only it has some implications on national security also.

Some years back Congress president made a lecture in an Islamic institute which is headed by a brother of international Islamic terrorist. Few years back an influential young Congress leader(now MP) was questioned by American security agencies on the suspicion of being drug runner.
Since the installation of UPA government at center how this government has tackled terrorism is a big shock for everyone. They repealed anti terrorist act POTA and went soft on the terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir in the name of healing touch policy. This policy rewarded a lot of causalities in state even government authorities are not secure today.

Congress president shared dais with Jamait-e -Islami office bearers in its annual conference .Human resource development minister Arjun singh declared minority status to Aligarh Muslim university later on which was nullifiedby Uttar Pradesh high court .Government of Andhra Pradesh headed by close confident of Mrs Sonia Gandhi announced 5% reservation for Muslimsin government jobs this decision was again confronted with the same fate as it was in Aligarh Muslim university case.Now A million dollar question is still unanswered why Congress is setting aside constitutional norms in appeasement of Muslims.Is it merely a vote bank politics or Congress is allying with radical Islam?

Story do not end here. Close confident of Nehru-Gandhi family and former foreign minister Natwer singh lobbied strongly to not vote against Iran in IAEA and not only this he repeatedly made statements against America and in favor of Iran, Iraq and other Arab countries.
Those who have close look on international politics can not dismiss these developments as coincidental. It is an ideological committment .In this era of global jihad role of Arab-Israel conflict has come in the center. Global jihad has polarized World diplomacy so much as it was never before you have to decide in whose favour you are, if you have sympathy for Arab interest it is clear indication that you are not allying with America. In this era of globalization no country can claim about its policies as their internal matter and country like India who have great responsibility on its shoulders in fight of global jihad.

It is naive to believe as America has nothing to do with Volker committee report but it can not be denied that America has close watch on foreign policy of India particularly its stands on Arab and Israel.Several times left demanded Indian government strongly to review its relationship with Israel it has worried Israel to some extent but America still have big expectation from Manmohan singh but his position in congress tells some other story .

Volker committee findings will widen the gulf between congress party which will ultimately affect UPA government also to some extent. High voltage drama on Natwer singh resignation is a beginning . The manner in which Natwer singh threatened America repeatedly on the issue of Iran was a great embarrassment for prime minister Manmohan singh but he is so helpless that he can not sack his minister from his cabinet who his going against the principle of collective responsibility of cabinet .If Natwer singh do not have any support from 10janpath then what problem Dr Manmohan singh have in expelling him from cabinet not only he retained him in cabinet he came out openly in his defence also. If you think that those statements of Natwer singh were result of his frustration then you are simplifying things it indicates where congress stands on the issue of global jihad. Congress is comfortable with alliance of radical Islam and left and do not want to give space to some new arrangement on the platform of anti American sentiments. But obsession of congress to Muslims states clearly it do not have any interest fighting against Islamic terrorism.

It could be a question of probe why congress is allying with radical Islam but there should be no ambiguity in this fact that growing proximity between India and America has some implications on Indian polity as well as on congress also
. IS IT BECAUSE OF SONIA TERRIFIED OF ISLAMIC TERRORISTS AND BEING BLACKMAILED It will be to early to conclude how much Iran diplomacy will affect stability of UPA government at center but shadow of middle eastern politics has started haunting Indian polity.

Indo-US joint Exercises : Cope India 2006 began

11/9/2005 - KALAIKUNDA AIR STATION, India (AFPN) -- Cleaned, inspected and fully maintained, 12 neatly aligned F-16 Fighting Falcons stand poised for their daily battle.

Beside them, their adversary -- an assortment of Indian Air Force MiGs, Mirages and Su-30s -- are also ready for the day’s dissimilar air combat training.

The jets are all taking part in exercise Cope India 06, which began Nov. 7 and lasts through Nov. 19. It is the third such exercise held between the U.S. and Indian air forces.

Just three days into the exercise, the F-16s have flown 52 missions with no sortie cancellations due to maintenance. However, for the 74 Airmen deployed from the 35th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Misawa Air Base, Japan, operating out of India hasn’t been easy.

“At first it was a bit of a challenge. Some of our equipment was slow in getting here,” said Capt. Robert Clark, the squadron maintenance officer. “But we improvised with what we had and made the mission happen the first day.”

Working around the clock, the maintainers have focused on the mission -- not on being deployed.

“No matter where we work -- Misawa or India -- our maintainers have to put in a lot of hours to ensure our jets are ready to go,” said Tech Sgt. Neil Kellahan, a flightline expeditor. “As a result, the jets have been flying really well. We have had minimal, or no problems.”

Between flights the Airmen take the time to interact with their Indian counterparts. In doing so they have found many similarities and differences in the way the two air forces maintain aircraft. The biggest difference is in who performs the actual maintenance.

Captain Clark said in the Indian Air Force, mostly officers perform the heavy aircraft maintenance.

“They seem quite amazed that we have all enlisted troops taking care of the jets,” he said.

Ultimately, the maintainers are here to ensure the aircraft are mission ready.

“The pace has been unreal. The first day was just go, go, go,” said Senior Airman Troy Herberholzt, an F-16 crew chief. “The heat here is a definite challenge, and we are out in the sun all day with jets coming and going nonstop.”

Still, the Airmen’s morale is exceptionally high.

“I don’t think anyone came here thinking it would be easy,” Sergeant Kellahan said. “But as long as the jets are flying good, then we are all having a good day!”

11/8/2005 - KALAIKUNDA AIR STATION, India (AFPN) -- The U.S. and Indian air forces opened the next chapter in their growing relationship when exercise Cope India 2006 began here Nov. 7.

About 250 Airmen from Pacific Air Forces join several hundred of their Indian counterparts for the two-week, dissimilar air combat training exercise in which simulated combat flying takes place among different types of aircraft.

“The reason we have come together for this exercise is so that we can work together,” said Indian Air Force Group Captain Hari Kumar, exercise director.

There are F-16 Fighting Falcons from Misawa Air Base, Japan, and an E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control system aircraft from Kadena AB, Japan, taking part in the exercise. The Indians will fly several MiG model aircraft, as well as the Su-30.

Airmen are also participating from Yokota AB, Japan; Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii; and Andersen AFB, Guam.

“This exercise is a great opportunity for a number of reasons,” said Col. Rusty Cabot, the deployed U.S. forces commander. “It increases the interoperability between us and our fellow airmen from India, enhancing our collective ability to help maintain peace and stability in the region.

"And we can cultivate our shared bonds as we train together side-by-side," he said.

Even before the exercise kicked off, the sharing of knowledge had begun in earnest. On Nov. 5, about 75 Indian airmen toured the AWACS, learning more about its mission. Pilots, air traffic controllers and leaders were impressed with what they saw, said Lt. Col. Pete Bastien, the AWACS detachment commander.

“In the same way we Americans are excited to see the MiGs up close so, too, were our Indian counterparts excited to see our aircraft,” he said.

In fact, one Indian pilot returned early from his mission “because he heard we were giving tours of the aircraft, and he wanted to be sure to see it,” Colonel Bastien said.

This exercise is the third Cope India in three years. In 2002 the focus was on airlift operations. In 2004 F-15 Eagles from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, deployed to India for an air combat exercise.

To prepare specifically for this exercise, Airmen from the two countries had a pair of exchange visits this past summer. Six Indian Airmen members visited Misawa, and two Misawa Airmen came here.

Indian PM sets up Task Force to examine global trends

According to a PTI report, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has constituted a Task Force on Global Strategic Developments under the chairmanship of K Subrahmanyam, noted strategic affairs analyst.

The Task Force will examine various aspects of global trends in strategic affairs.

It will be serviced by the National Security Council Secretariat and is expected to submit its report within six months, stated the Prime Minister’s Media Advisor Sanjaya Baru.

The members of the Task Force are P Rama Rao, former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, R K Pachauri, director of the Energy and Resources Institute, Arvind Virmani, director of Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, Tarun Das, former director- general, CII, Air Marshal (Retd) Vinod Patney, M S Ananth, director of IIT, Madras, Uday Bhaskar, deputy director general, Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis. Bhaskar will also function as Member-Secretary of the Task Force.

In the following article -- though the title of the article looks misleading -- K Subrahmanyam, Chairman of the Task Force, draws on post-independence history to pinpoint India’s lack of "a culture of making strategic assessments."

The fault, he says, lies not just with the government, but with the fact that India’s "political classes by and large are not interested in national strategy and security." (Perhaps, I may add, to see some evidence of strategic thinking in India, one has to go back more than 2000 years -- to the time of Chandragupta Maurya advised by Chanakya)

Some other interesting points made by Subrahmanyam:

" In India, there is a tendency to extrapolate the Cold War mindset and persist with an unjustified image of the US"

"US expects to have India as a natural partner, and not a natural ally"

"He [Manmohan Singh in his address to the combined commanders’ conference on
October 21] pointed out that playing the balance-of-power game was a more
sophisticated exercise than what we had been playing all along."

" Singh is not afraid to deal with the US as one among several partners, though as the most important partner. He understands US motivations for seeking a partnership with India, and that gives him an advantage in making better bargains with the US."

"However, he faces a major task in educating our political classes, media and academia on the politics of international balance of power."


Checks and balances are hogwash


The reaction in sections of the media, academia and political classes to India’s interaction with the US is a throwback to 1962, when India dealt with China.

At that stage the Indian intelligentsia, including the armed forces, had conjured up an image of China as a mighty power which had the backing of the Soviet Union. It was felt that the Chinese could not be tackled militarily.
This perception so deeply influenced sections of our armed forces that at Sela-Bomdila, in spite of its superiority in manpower and equipment, the leader-ship of Fourth Indian division chose to withdraw without offering a battle.

Though the Soviet Union had cut off its supply of spares to China and the Chinese air force was in no position to take to the skies, the Indian Air Force was not used. Before the battle was lost on the ground, it had been lost in the minds of our intelligentsia and armed forces leadership.

Similarly, there is an unreal image of the US today. No assessment was made then of the Sino-Soviet relationship and Chinese capabilities; now, there is no attempt to objectively assess US power and its role.

Sensible and advantageous bargains with the US are interpreted as surrender, ironically strengthening the hands of US negotiators in some cases, though fortunately not in all. We lack a culture of making strategic assessments, thereby being unable to appreciate US vulnerabilities.

Often, this deficit is justifiably blamed on the government. However, it cannot be denied that our political classes by and large are not interested in national strategy and security.

That was evident from the way in which the Kargil committee report, defence reforms and nuclear doctrine were ignored by our political classes and not discussed in Parliament.

It is wrongly assumed that the end of the Cold War and break-up of the Soviet Union transformed the international system from bipolarity to unipolarity. Once the Soviet Union imploded, major powers dependent on the US for its security umbrella became relatively autonomous, such as Europe and China.

The rest of the world had advanced in terms of GDP, commerce and techno logy. The world is no longer unipolar with the US as the hegemon; it is polycentric.

That explains why Germany and France took an independent line on Iraq, or why Europe is attempting to develop an independent defence capability. Long-term US assessments such as the one produced by the National Intelligence Council forecast that by 2020 China will be close to overtaking the US in terms of GDP.

The overall perception is that China will be the principal rival, though not necessarily an adversary of the US. Therefore, today’s world has a balance-of-power system consisting of the US, EU, China, Japan, Russia and India, even as the US continues to be the most powerful among the six.

The other powers recognise this. Therefore, the US, EU and Russia have entered into independent strategic partnerships with India. However, in India, there is a tendency to extrapolate the Cold War mindset and persist with an unjustified image of the US.
In a balance-of-power system with five of the six power centres having nuclear weapons and missiles, the probability of a nuclear war is negligible.

The pre-eminence of a nation will now depend upon its innovation and productivity. Knowledge will be the currency of power in the 21st century.

These considerations have impelled the US to seek partnership with India. It needs to be emphasised that US expects to have India as a natural partner, and not a natural ally. Manmohan Singh articulated this worldview in his address to the combi-ned commanders’ conference on October 21.

He pointed out that playing the balance-of-power game was a more sophisticated exercise than what we had been playing all along.

Singh is not afraid to deal with the US as one among several partners, though as the most important partner. He understands US motivations for seeking a partnership with India, and that gives him an advantage in making better bargains with the US.

However, he faces a major task in educating our political classes, media and academia on the politics of international balance of power.