May 05, 2007

The Islamic Revolution eating the Islamic Republic




By Safa Haeri
Posted Saturday, May 5, 2007


Paris, 5 May (IPS) The surprise detention of a senior Iranian diplomat and former nuclear negotiator on alleged charges of espionage and passing sensitive nuclear information to foreigner is likely to ignite an unprecedented power struggle at the highest echelon of the Iranian clerical establishment, political analysts expects.

The fifty years-old Mohammad Hoseyn Moussavian was arrested on Monday first of May 2007 at his residence in Tehran by plainclothes security agents and taken immediately for interrogation to the notorious Evin prison while another group of agents was raiding his office, taking away his computer and all other documents, according to un-identified official sources.

The arrest of Mr. Moussavian is a direct attack on Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani.

A former ambassador to Moscow and Berlin, Mr. Moussavian, a deputy to Hojjatoleslam Hassan Rohani, the former Secretary of the Supreme Council on National Security (SCNS) and top coordinator of Iranian nuclear negotiators under the presidency of Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Khatami is known to be a a close aide and “protégé” of Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the virtual number two man of the Iranian regime after Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“The arrest of Mr. Moussavian is a direct attack on Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani. At the same time, no authority could dare to take this decision without the prior authorisation from Mr. Khameneh’i”, one highly informed analyst told Iran Press Service, adding: “however, by giving his green light to the arrest of Mr. Moussavian, whom some consider as the Achilles Heel of the powerful Chairman of the Expediency Council (Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani), Mr. Khameneh’i might have himself crossed a red line”.

School mates as theological students and as followers of Grand Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini fighting the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the relationship between the two revolutionaries turned to a “velvet fight” after the death of the founder of the Islamic Republic in 1989, when Mr. Khameneh’i was elected by the Assembly of Experts – mostly thank to the behind the scene maneuvering of Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani -- as the new Head of the Iranian theocracy and his friend was elected as president.

Quickly, they became know as the “two wings” of the regime, Mr. Khameneh’i taking the leadership of the hard line faction and Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani symbolising the so-called “pragmatic” group of the ruling establishment, with the fight between the two wing centering of the major issue of normalizing relations with the United States, the deposed Shah’s major ally and protector the leader of the Islamic Revolution had labeled as “the Great Satan”.

One must not forget that ever since the creation of the Islamic Republic in 1980, Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani has always been the number tow man after the founder of the Iranian theocracy, as the speaker of the Majles (Iranian Parliament) and the coordinator to the eight years war against Iraq while Mr. Khameneh’i was a powerless president, the affairs of the nation being conducted by Mr. Mir Hoseyn Moussavi, then prime minister.

”Khameneh’i always suffered a terrible inferiority complex facing Hashemi Rafsanjani. He was dubbed as Ali geda (Ali the beggar) and Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as Akbar Shah. So, once solidly installed in the char of the leader, his first thought was to revenge all the years he was in sidelined by his comrade, looking for the best ways to crush him”, observed Mr. Alireza Nourizadeh, a veteran independent journalist based in London.

“To destroy the political-financial of the Hashemi Rafsanjani empire, Khameneh’i, known to be utterly revengeful, narcissistic, egocentric and stubborn, needed a robo-cop, a fanatic-ambitious adventurer. All the people he had tried for this operation had evaded the responsibility, knowing the power of Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani. Finally, his head hunters found Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad, an obscure former revolutionary guard officer teaching civilian engineering at the Tehran University”, he added.

Ushered into the presidential race of 2005, he did not minced his words promising to fight big “corrupt fishes” until “uprooting them”, letting it be known that he is aiming the former president and his family, believed by many Iranians to be among the 100 richest families of the world.

Once elected as president with the help of ayatollah Khameneh’i, Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad renewed his attacks against Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani to the point that the Chairman of the Expediency Council openly complained to the leader, warning him to shut the new President or he would “open the Pandora Box”.

Khameneh’i, nicknamed Ali geda (Ali the beggar) always suffered a terrible inferiority complex facing Hashemi Rafsanjani, dubbed as Akbar Shah.

For some insiders, the fact that the seasoned diplomat and nuclear negotiator was detained on charges of espionage and passing nuclear information to foreign agents is not a coincidence, taking into account that there are more and more talks about a possible compromise in the nuclear standoff between Iran and the 5+1, namely the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany in the one hand and rumours about possible direct meetings between Tehran and Washington concerning normalization of relations.

“If Mr. Moussavian is not freed in a relatively near future, one might expect further arrests and on bigger scale, including some higher ranking personalities like Mr. Rohani”, speculated Mr. Ali Afshari, a former students leader now attached to the Democracy Centre in Washington D.C.

On Saturday 5 May, the Public and Islamic Revolution Prosecutor for Tehran, Sa’id Mortazavi, a protégé of Mr. Khameneh’i, became the first official to confirming that Mr. Moussavian is arrested and in the custody of the Information (Intelligence and Security) Ministry, which in general deals with anti-State, anti-revolutionary and espionage activities.

While the authorities have until now refused to spell out the exact charges against the former senor nuclear negotiator, a new service close to the Revolutionary Guards said two days ago that Mr. Moussavian had been detained on accusation of espionage and passing nuclear information to foreigner, whom the Fars news agency did not named.

Whatever the reasons, political observers have no doubt that the detention of Mr. Moussavian, a personality much respected outside the country, would backfire on both the leader and the president as well as on the Iranian regime.

Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani has suffered many humiliations at the hands of Mr. Khameneh’i and every time, he has bowed, probably aware of the fact that in case he rebels, it could cost the whole of the theocratic system. But it seems that this time, the threats against him and his family by the hard liners, led by Mr. Khameneh’i, is getting too close for not reacting. ENDS MOUSSAVIAN 5507

Finland, Sweden and the Lure of NATO

Source: Stratfor
May 04, 2007 15 48 GMT


Summary

With some of the largest political shifts in decades beginning in Europe, military security is one of the hottest topics on the Continent today. In this atmosphere, two Nordic countries that have long resisted NATO -- Finland and Sweden -- are eyeing membership in the regional security organization. Joining NATO, however, would raise the ire of Russia, perhaps the only military threat they have to fear.

Analysis

With some of the largest political shifts in decades beginning in Europe, military security is one of the hottest topics on the Continent today. In this atmosphere, two Nordic countries that have long resisted NATO's pull -- Finland and Sweden -- are eyeing membership in the regional security organization. However, the missile defense shield proposed by the United States in former Soviet Union (FSU) states already has raised Russia's ire, and future NATO expansion -- right up to the Russian border -- would further rankle Moscow.

NATO was founded with the sole intention of defending Western Europe against a military invasion by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, a legacy that creates complex political and security ramifications for the two potential new members, both of which are traditionally neutral.

With its capital, Helsinki, only a stone's throw from St. Petersburg, Finland has only ever had one security concern: Russia. In fact, Finland fought the Soviet Union twice during World War II (1939-1940 and again in 1941-1944). Since declaring independence from the Russian empire in 1917, Finland has attempted to remain neutral, fearing any hint of Western leanings would bring the wrath of the Soviets down upon it. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, however, a good deal of political discourse in Finland has addressed the issue of closer ties with Western Europe. For the Finns, NATO membership is a means to this end.

Sweden has always been the superpower of the Nordic region (particularly during the Cold War, when Germany was a military pigmy) since it boasts the largest population and economy, as well as a stellar defense program. As a result, Sweden historically has been indifferent to NATO's military umbrella. Of course, with nearly all of Sweden's neighbors -- and soon perhaps Finland, too -- in NATO, the best way for Sweden to influence its own regional defense policies would be to join the alliance as well, since NATO dictates the policies of member countries. For Sweden, keeping Russia content is now less important than finding a way to remain the regional power.

The Nordic states' regional and geopolitical space was altered drastically after the demise of the Soviet Union, and has slowly led to the current shift in the security landscape. On May 9, 1994, Finland and Sweden joined the NATO project Partnership for Peace, which was intended to create trust between NATO, European states and the former Warsaw Pact members. Russia joined the program June 22, 1994. Partnership for Peace, however, is a confidence-building program, not a strategic defense arrangement. Russia remains on the dark side of NATO, highlighted in February when Russian President Vladimir Putin questioned the very "value of NATO membership." Further expansion into the Nordic states would take NATO's geographic border uncomfortably close to Moscow and St. Petersburg, exposing the heart of Russia to the NATO alliance.

Finland and Sweden announced April 15 their intention to join the NATO Response Force (NRF) within the year. The role of the NRF is to provide collective defense to all NATO states. Though this does not equate to actual NATO membership, it is a move away from neutrality toward military alignment. Both states already have troops under NATO command in Kosovo and Afghanistan, and have undertaken military developments over the last decade with NATO compatibility in mind.

From the Western European standpoint, NATO membership for Finland and Sweden is not a controversial issue, since both already are politically integrated as members of the European Union. The other Nordic states -- Norway, Denmark and Iceland -- joined NATO at its foundation in 1949. Finland and Sweden simply need to demonstrate that they can meet the obligations and commitments of membership (criteria that should pose no problem for the politically stable, militarily competent and economically sound states) and then formally start the application process.

Finland's new administration has revived the debate over NATO, and will consider arguments for and against membership as soon as it becomes apparent that any new version of the European constitution will not contain a meaningful defense identity. Finland, however, has a gentleman's agreement with Sweden that Helsinki will make no new security arrangements without consulting Stockholm -- raising the possibility that Finland would not join NATO unless Sweden does as well. The defense ministers of the two states met in January, when NRF participation was discussed. Sweden's strict military nonalignment presents an obstacle to NATO membership, though in 2006 the state recognized that future security is based on "community and cooperation" with other countries -- a stance that would lead to consideration of NATO membership at the very least.

Contemplating NATO membership means the Finns and Swedes must seriously consider the pros and cons of abandoning the policy of military nonalignment -- a huge foreign policy shift. The Nordic states are eyeing NATO now, however, for two reasons: First, the heyday of Soviet power is long past, and Finland and Sweden are aware that any pressure on European states regarding their NATO membership would have huge negative political consequences for Russia. Second, FSU states have lately been testing their mettle against Russia without catastrophic consequences. If states within Russia's traditional sphere of influence can show their independence, so can the Nordic states.

For Finland and Sweden, the question of membership ultimately depends on geopolitical security. As matters stand, such security will come via integration with NATO -- the regional collective defense pact that also boasts global reach. Member states will be protected from any military threat by NATO's collective security agreement, but one major and rather obvious fact remains. The only potential military threat that either Finland or Sweden is likely to face is Russia, and joining NATO is certain to take the threat to new heights.

Heroes, not wimps, make nations

Swapan Dasgupta



A controversy being played out in Britain may offer lessons for India's war on terror. During the 'fertiliser bomb' trials that led to the conviction of five British Muslims, it emerged that the intelligence agency MI5 had put two of the perpetrators of the ghastly July 7, 2005 London bombings under surveillance in 2004. However, owing to a misjudgement the monitoring was discontinued, with tragic results.


The revelation that Mohammed Siddique Khan and Shehzad Tanveer were actually on the police radar before they killed 52 people in the London Underground has outraged many people. The police and MI5 have been mercilessly pilloried in the media and there are demands for a public inquiry into the costly lapse. If only, it is being said, the surveillance had gone on many lives would have been saved.


Wisdom in hindsight being a part of the popular discourse, the anger is understandable. In India, every successful terrorist attack is followed by shrill accusations of "intelligence failure". Yet, it is entirely possible that had Khan and Tanveer been detained by the authorities in a pre-emptive move, there would have been charges of human rights abuse by the same people who are today demanding an inquiry. In all likelihood, the 7/7 plot hadn't fully materialised in 2004 when the two came under the scanner and it is unlikely that a conspiracy charge would have stood judicial scrutiny.


The question of how much leeway the police should be given to fight fanatical terrorists has agitated democratic societies. Pre-emptive action is, of course, the best recourse but this may also lead to some wrong numbers being dialled. Arguably, many of those incarcerated by the Americans without trial in Guantanamo Bay were harmless cranks. Yet, can we honestly say that the world would have been a better place if Taliban-trained radicals were roaming free, plotting vengeance?


In striking a balance between civil liberties and national security, the authorities have a daunting task. The Indian experience clearly suggests that it is extremely difficult to get a terrorist convicted through the ordinary process of law. Whether in Punjab during the Khalistan troubles or Jammu & Kashmir today, legal niceties have routinely been discarded because fear overwhelms witnesses, lawyers and judges. This is equally true of the war against Maoist terror in Andhra Pradesh. And even when there is due process, as with the conviction of Afzal Guru for the attack on Parliament, there are enough terrorist-friendly activists to claim that the evidence was fabricated and the verdict flawed.


The conflict between robust anti-terrorism and cynical politics is at the heart of arrest of DG Vanzara and two other IPS officers on charges of killing Sohrabuddin Sheikh, a known extortionist and gun-runner, and his partner in a "false encounter". The English-language media, especially that section which blends visceral hatred of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi with a perverted sympathy for Islamist causes, has gone apoplectic. With indignation running riot, there are wild suggestions that Gujarat has made it its business to target "innocent" Muslims (like Ishrat Jehan whose death was commemorated by the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba website) in false encounters. A reputed newspaper with Communist sympathies has, in defiance of all journalistic norms, even published a forged document, purporting to be a CID report, implicating the Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah.


That the Gujarat Police shed niceties in fighting terrorism is undeniable. It is also likely that there was some collateral damage, such as the killing of Kauser Bi. Two years ago, the British police erred in gunning down an innocent Brazilian in London. Did that lead to the demand for the interrogation and arrest of the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister? No doubt the Supreme Court will do what it considers best for national interests, but it would be prudent to see the case beyond narrow legal terms.


India has had a long history of counter-terrorism. In the 1970s, with the full support of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, West Bengal acted decisively in putting down the Naxalites. Yes, there were many "false encounters" but at the end of the day, the menace was eradicated. Likewise in Punjab, Prime Minister PV Narsimha Rao gave blanket powers to the police under KPS Gill to do what was necessary to save the State for India. A highly effective strategy lay in combining aggression with deterrence.


If both West Bengal and Punjab are normal today, the credit must go to the policemen who showed exemplary courage and leadership, and the politicians - the names of Siddhartha Shankar Ray and Beant Singh come to mind - who backed them all the way. Yet, the tragedy is that many of those who defended the nation against serious internal threats have been hounded by those bent on using democracy to subvert the country. The tragic circumstances which led to Amarjeet Singh Sandhu, a brave and outstanding policeman in Punjab, committing suicide after being harassed by the so-called civil liberties lobby, is well known. The system, it would seem, proved incapable of distinguishing between normal circumstances and conditions of war.


Terrorism can't be fought by the Queensbury rules. The index of success is effectiveness. Since the Akshardham attack in October 2002, Gujarat has not witnessed any major terrorist attack, despite the State and its Chief Minister being top of the hit lists. Zero-tolerance of terrorism, not circumscribed by electoral compulsions, has paid dividends. It is also yielding returns in Congress-ruled Andhra Pradesh where the top leadership of the CPI(Maoist) has been eliminated.


The quantum of "excesses" has to be measured against the magnitude of the challenge. India is pitted against hardened fanatics who gun down pilgrims in the Akshardham temple, bomb crowded market places and blow up commuter trains in Mumbai. The terrorists have no heart, no compassion and no sense of discernment. To treat them with kid gloves is certain to be interpreted as signs of colossal weakness.


The country owes a deep debt of gratitude to Vanjara and the other officers who are being subjected to a vicious trial-by-media. They are the real heroes and patriots. It is time the silent majority stands up against the articulate minusculity that, in putting its liberalism above nationalism, ends up giving succour to those who are out to destroy India. Decency cannot coexist with the obscenity of terrorism

Quote of the day: Swapan Dasgupta


"The country owes a deep debt of gratitude to Vanjara and the other officers who are being subjected to a vicious trial-by-media. They are the real heroes and patriots. It is time the silent majority stands up against the articulate minusculity that, in putting its liberalism above nationalism, ends up giving succour to those who are out to destroy India. Decency cannot coexist with the obscenity of terrorism."

Videoconference Roundtable on Competitive Intelligence, Corporate Espionage and Technology

ITechLaw Sponsors Videoconference Roundtable on Competitive Intelligence, Corporate Espionage and Technology

WAKEFIELD, Mass.--The International Technology Law Association (ITechLaw) (www.itechlaw.org) today announced that it is sponsoring a videoconference roundtable on May 16, 2007. The videoconference, hosted by 15 legal firms in the U.S., Canada and Brazil, will examine issues such as: the legality and ethics of information gathering, strategies for guarding against the theft or misappropriation of trade secrets, dealing with internal leaks, and how to achieve compliance with the Economic Espionage Act of 1996.

The ITech Law videoconference will feature Jon Olson, Division Counsel from Alcatel-Lucent, as guest speaker. Mr. Olson reports to Alcatel-Lucent’s General Counsel, and he is responsible for the integration, operations and strategy for Alcatel-Lucent’s Law Division. Mr. Olson is an expert in the area of competitive intelligence.

"Corporate scandals have recently focused new attention on the legal issues concerning how far corporations can go to safeguard their business intelligence," said Enrique Batalla, president of ITech Law. "Whether it’s understanding the legal and ethical boundaries of information gathering, or knowing how best to respond to an industrial espionage attack, this videoconference offers vital information for any company that wants to remain both competitive and legally protected."

With increasing globalization, understanding the competition is absolutely essential to corporate success. It can make the difference in winning an RFP or a new customer. However, there are boundaries in place for gathering competitive intelligence legally. In this videoconference, Mr. Olson will shed light on the legal ‘dos’ and don’ts’ for members of the audience.

"Competitive intelligence is a critical issue for any organization," said Mr. Olson. "There are two sides to competitive intelligence. The organization needs to gather as much legal information as possible about competitors to arm its business. But it also needs to understand the law so that it can protect itself from competitors who are after trade secrets. I look forward to delving into these and other exciting topics during the videoconference."

Mr. Olson will discuss both international and domestic corporate espionage examples, and how they relate to current laws. He will focus on external as well as internal attacks, and the legal ways in which organizations can protect themselves.

The videoconference roundtable will be held on May 16, 2007, at 12:00 PM EDT for east coast locations, and 12:00 PM PDT for west coast locations. The cost is $30 for members and $60 for non-members. To register, please go to Roundtable Registration. Interested parties can learn more about the event, including how to register, by contacting memberservices@itechlaw.org, or call 781-876-8877.

About the International Technology Law Association

Founded in 1971, ITechLaw (formerly the Computer Law Association) is the world’s premier organization representing lawyers in the technology sector. The organization has more than 1000 members worldwide, representing six continents and a broad spectrum of expertise. For more information, visit the ITechLaw Web site at www.itechlaw.org or call (+1) 781-876-8877.

How to become an Intellectual in India

We received this note from a person who wish to be anonymous , exposing duplicity of so called "secular" leaders in India.



For getting the status of an intellectual, the caste, religion, sex, age,language or any other regional or linguistic parameters are not a criteria.

* It is easy to get the status, if you are a Hindu who always criticizes his own religion and sanathana dharma

* Your education qualification, actual intelligence, vocabulary, position, etc do not have any bearing for getting the status

.* You should always be little and denigrate Indian heritage and culture,whenever you get opportunity or even by creating opportunity.

* Always make fun of Hindu dharma and ancient Hindu scholars, saffron colour, Omkar, temples and priests

* You have to make the show that you have the authority to criticize Hindu dharma.

* Try to find a good place in the electronic media screen and print media.

*Keep a charisma for attracting the media people; give them whatever they need for doing so.

* Keep the relation with them very strong.

* Tell always the positives about other religion while degrading and denigrating Hindu dharma.

* This will give a good image as an 'impartial and unbiased scholar'

* You will automatically become famous as a pakka secular leader and other intellectuals push you up.

* What ever you say- think- or do look only for your personal benefit.

* Take the opportunity to understand the future benefits also, even if the ruling ministers and ruling party change.

* Speeches should be so designed to get maximum clapping/ applause from the audience.

* Keep appropriate facial expression depending upon what and where you say.

* Create an impression that you are a sincere and dedicated leader of the common man.

* Use as much confusing words as possible so that in future you can easily change you words, opinions and visions.

* Select words in such a way that nobody understands what you really mean by saying so.

* If anything wrong happens in the future from your expressions you can easily put all the blame on the media.

* You should never quote anything from Indian heritage or ancient Indian books because it is cheap to quote indigenous knowledge.

* Quote always the Russian, Chinese or even from Iraq leaders.

* If you are compelled to quote from India, quote only from Jawaharlal Nehru's words.

* For justifying your view point take quotations from great (late) foreign scholars even if they have not told so.

* This will help you in the long run because those leaders will not come back for questioning you.

* You should only be careful to note that when and where you are quoting.

*Use as many quotations as possible from foreign scholars of your status for denigrating Indian heritage and culture.

*You can use even outdated scientific data and observation for this purpose.

*You can add your own words while quoting their words, because nobody is going to verify those statements.

* Only try to create an impression that your quotations originally belong to a great foreign scholar. * Inform indirectly, the audience that you also read books.

* your speech, or writing should never give any doubts to your audience or readers about its authenticity and originality, even if it belongs to others.

*Never praise the past - present and future India.

*Never do so for Sanskriti and make it a point that you never quote from Sanskrit books.

*Keep this in mind even if you are delivering lecture in Sanskrit institutes.

* You can see many intellectuals of your type in almost all the Sanskrit institutes, Ayurveda colleges and Vaastu gurukulam

*share your views with them for further degrading our cultural heritage.

* If you have time to spare tell all the memorable negatives about Hindu dharma in Sanskrit institutes also. So that people will appreciate you secular, rational and scientific vision which can even fetch you some Sanskrit based awards.

* Due to the circumstances, if you are forced to say something good about our heritage, take all precaution and say as though you are quoting from a foreign leader.

* But create an impression, that you are also an authority to talk about India and inform indirectly that you also know about Indian culture at an equal level to some of our prime ministers.

* Keep in your mind that even when you protest against cocoa cola, Pepsi and American multinationals use similar words against Indian contribution to science or technology.

* Appreciate only foreign scientists and scholars, if possible from Russia or China.

* Belittle and denigrate Indian scientific and technological heritage whenever and wherever possible and encourage younger generation to do so.

* But make sure that your children are studying in reputed excellent dharmic institutes where Indian culture is taught to the core, preferably outside your State.

* If you have the qualification to read the school books and happen to read any heritage knowledge in the syllabus, proclaim that it is Hindu fundamentalism and the protest against the move towards Saffronisation, Hinduisation, Indianisation and so on.

* If you have enough followers and they have cour age, declare a Hartal against all type of saffronisation.

* If you are quoting the words of someone, try to make sure that the name of the scholar is not familiar to the audience, and also see that the book is not available in printed form.

* Tell that the 'particular' scholar said it in Rangoon or Korea, in 1938 Feb 28th.

*Make sure that nobody verifies your statements or quotations

* Since your future as an intellectual remains exclusively on how many press conferences you hold and press release you give, make sure that at-least one per week is done.

* You can get sponsorship for the expenses without any difficulty

* Express your shock through media on the sad and sudden demise of other
intellectuals.

* Try to become one of the speakers for giving felicitation address in as much meetings as possible.

* Praise the organizers as much as possible, which will benefit you in the course of time.

* Try to participate in funerals processions, chain making, group running for building patriotism, etc. if possible be in the front.

* Stand near by the famous people so that your photo also will appear in the media.

* You elevate all useless (of course useful for you) fellows, in return they will elevate you, so help each other

* Always put the first signature in mass memorandum, preferably in presence of the media photographers.

* Do not follow law and order; this can get a place in media easily.

* You have to say that you are violating the law and order for the people.

* Even if you lack professional or technical qualification, try to get a seat as syndicate or senate member of the Universities, or at least as Devaswom Board president, or Chairman, etc which does not need any qualification and quality. Getting higher position as the Toddy Workers Welfare Board, Fisher Men Welfare Board, etc., need higher qualifications.

* If the press reporters or general public ask some general question to you, say 'you know much better than me' and save yourself.

* If the situation goes little negative and more questions flow on the same subject, tell something about Aryan Invasion.

* If the situation further worsens and more questions come, criticize the caste system in Hindu dharma.

* If nothing else is available for saving yourself from the press people tell something negative about Amma, Swamy or Guruji, and declare that all the present problems in India are created by them

*Make sure to tell good about Mother Teresa, Bukari Imam and St Xavier Francis, even though he has destroyed 480 temples and converted thousands of Goan Hindus to Christianity in Goa.

*Or as the last tool, before attempting a walk out, tell that all the problem including Tsunami, Katrina, Rita, Wilma and the Plague in Surat and Iraq problem are all created by Sangha Parivar organizations.

*Talk like a genius who can speak about any subject at any time.

* In foreign countries, before delivering lectures, do not 'drink' too much, even if the organizers are giving free

* See that your tongue is not slipping while delivering lecture.

* Make sure that you read from paper, in foreign countries if you have consumed drinks beyond the limit.

* Remember that it is natural many intellectuals consume more when they visit foreign countries, because better quality and unlimited quantity liquor is available free of cost for the guests.

*Still keep a 'natural seriousness' of an intellectual in your face.

*If you are sure that your control on leg and tongue is loosing, give the written matter to one of your colleagues to read, if he has a better control over his body.

* Create an impression that you are not 'speaking' because of jetlag or you are tired

* Tell in one line that "I am not well and hence giving the paper to so and so to read my message".

* Try to build your own style in using words and hand action during speech

* If you cannot build an original set of natural action during for the speech, copy the method followed by someone who is no more.

*Try to build up associations 'fans' or followers.

* Criticize any Indian at any level either going up or down, but keep a minimum standard while criticizing a foreigner.

*You should always remember that the memory of the 'reacting people' is less and really memorizing people will not react.

*Whenever you are contradicting your own earlier statements, inform the audience that it is because of their ignorance they feel that you are contradicting the earlier statement.

*Make the audience feel that you know about India also.

* While talking something about India, ask what happened in 1936 Feb 29 (after making sure that it is a leap year), as though something happened on that day.

*If you are forced to resign from some position due to your criminal background, tell that it is for the people you threw the position and tell that let the people decide on your quality.

*Declare those statements with dignity and at low voice.

*If you get some negative points on others from the newspapers, use those statements appropriately in your speech. Create an image that you are also aware about what is happening around us.

* Make the people aware that you know what are all happening in Iraq, Houston, Iran, Korea, Lanka and also in Mizoram.

*Quote something from Ethiopia and never say anything negative about Tianen men square or Cuba.

*Never say any negative about Kashmir and Nagaland or the activities of the minorities in those States.

*Tell anything negative about Military or police action in Kashmir or Nagaland making sure that you do not touch anything against minorities.


*Even if you have to say something about minority fundamentalism, say that it is due to majority fundamentalism.

*At times when you have to tell something about yourself, tell politely with tears in eyes that you are a freedom fighter, and son of the great freedom fighter so and so (give the name) who worked with Mahatma Gandhi and Jinna.

* You have to say proudly that you have inherited the dharmic values from your parents, also patriotism and nationalism, which is in your blood.

*Whenever you have to apologize do it boldly and say that you are apologizing for the people and nation.

*Express your gratitude to the great scholars for elevating you to this level after making sure that those people are already dead.

*While expressing your gratitude, try to become over polite and if possible weep or make weeping sound.

* Create an impression that you are a simple man.

*At the time of apologizing create a philosophical environment by quoting Bhagavad-Gita, even if you are quoting wrongly, no body is going to ask any questions because generally the audience who come to listen to your speech, will be ignorant about Geetha.

*Whenever you have to change your vision and opinion, tell that opinion is not iron pestle. Hence change and changing the opinion are the rule of the nature.

*You can even suddenly jump from atheism to religion, because everyone of the atheists does it in the last part of their life.

* If you feel bad for doing so, tell that you have done it for your wife.

* Also inform that you will repeat it for your wife, so that no body will criticize you.

*While delivering lectures to Christians tell that in the next janma you want to be Christian, to the Muslim audience tell that you want to become a Muslim, in the next janma.

*Tell them, in your speech that Upanishads and Vedas are taken from Koran and Bible.

*Try to attend 'all religious meet" as a representative of Hinduism and tell negative about Hinduism. It will be printed in big letters in media.

*Learn two or three lines from Koran or Bible and quote appropriately for getting the applause.

* Give as much good messages from Hindu books and tell that these are all from Koran and Bible.

* You will definitely get many more chances.

* Remember many speakers are charging Rs.3000+ TA + 'something' for delivering such lectures against Hinduism in Kerala.

*If you are a failure as an 'intellectual speaker', write books by copying from some old foreign books in full or chapter wise.

* Remove few lines here and there add something special, without grammar mistakes, give a novel title and release the book.

* Take sponsorship from wherever possible it will fetch you the livelihood for many generations.

* Take the 50 :50 share, if you are giving the inauguration session for contract.

*Spend some money for getting a court ban on the book, file a petition, this will give enough publicity for the book.

* Intentionally put few controversial lines in the book, so that getting a ban becomes easy.

*There are many Christian writers who write about Hinduism, they will help you how to write on the subjects in which you are fully ignorant.

* You can start writing against Hinduism first, with their help, so that the marketing is easy and building your career also becomes easy.

* Many churches and Christian agents will help you directly and indirectly for propagating your anti Hindu messages.

* Be in contact with the media people, whenever you are travelling.

*Offer a cup of tea or something and keep the friendship strong always.

*Build relationship with five star hotel owners, workers, toddy shop workers union, minority leaders during travelling from place to place.

*This relation will have life long benefit for an intellectual.

*When you get some award, tell that at this age you are not thinking about the award.

* Give some money to some organization and tell them to give half of that as an award to yourself.

* It is the easiest method for getting awards.

*When you stand for receiving the award, keep a philosophical facial expression that you are much beyond the level of accepting an award.

* By following these techniques, you can spend your manushya janma fruitfully for making enough money, position, name and fame, even though it may not have any use for anyone other than yourself.

*Definitely some ministers will inaugurate your bust/ statue for the crows to sit.

* They may also venture to put your name for some drainage canals.

TIPS FROM KERALA INTELLECTUALS TO ALL INDIA LEVEL INTELLECTUALS!

*Support the minorities always even when they destroy temples, go for terrorism, do anti national activities, attack police or media persons.

*Keep silence against all minority mooted terrorism.

*Always justify the bomb blasts, killings, storing weapons in houses and religious institutes, if done by minorities.

*Do not say anything about foreign fund flow for conversion and terrorism.

*Partake in hartal for releasing the terrorist leaders and put your signature in mass memorandum.

*Be an active human right activist for minorities only.

* Support UGC salary for the urdu and Arabi teachers in Madrasas even though they are illiterate.

*Support grant for building Madrasas, mosques, and pension for mullahs and moulavis.

*If a Hindu priest is murdered, do not utter even a single word, but a sand particle fallen on minority priest, straight away blame Hindu fundamentalists.

*If any Hindu institute is taken over by government justify it with powerful words.

*If minority gundas attack the press people, tell to suspend the police or taking action against the police even though they were 200 kilometres away from the site of attack.

*Always speak against the atrocities against minorities by majority community and police, particularly when the election season approaches.

*If the heritage subjects are to be included in the syllabus, divide it 1:1:1 for Hindus, Christians and Muslims.

* For the Muslims support Arabian history and for the Christians something from the life of St George, St Philomena or something what happened in Jerusalem.

* If your supporters destroyed public property, say that it is the second freedom struggle.

* If others did so tell that it is against democracy.

* If your followers attach police or police station say that it is the second Chowri Chowra.

*If your followers happened to be a killer, make sure that he gets the pension for freedom fighters.

*Justify Gherao, hartal, bandh if and only if your followers did it.

* When you approach to old age, tell that you are not an anti hindu.

*Declare that your wife going to temple and you accompany your wife in the old age are personal affairs.

*When you follow religious customs, make it sure that no one tells it publicly.

* Select your own cast for the post of son in law and daughter in law, even when you fight vigorously against cast system.

* If you are an atheist, say that even in Russia and China people go to Budha vihar. So you also follow their footsteps and that too for seeing what is happening in Hindu temples.

* You should know that all intellectuals, atheists and progressives in Kerala go to temple when they cross the age of 65.

* You have also to find a suitable justification for that like Kerala intellectuals.

*Remember that for getting the certificate of an intellectual, no quality or qualification is required.

* Neither poorva janma punyam, poorva janma karma phalam, blessings of your parents or blessings of your gurus nor even your horoscope factors.

*You should only learn how to use your eyes, ears and tongue.

*You should have a thick skin and highly flexible tongue, suitable friends and adjustable wife.

*All the above special qualities are given only to very selected people by the creator. Hence the intellectuals are very few in numbers.

*If you fall within this, you can spend this janma lavishly, under others expenses, without working much, with name and fame. Your janma can be made useful to you and your family, by cheating others and making everyone fools.

*Let god bless all intellectuals who are the assets of India for misguiding all the good people.

Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism in the 'New South Africa'

ntisemitism and Anti-Zionism in the 'New South Africa'

By Milton Shain

Abstract: The article explores antisemitism and anti-Zionism in the new South Africa, arguing that Jews have come to terms with a powerful anti-Zionism which includes some classic anti-Jewish motifs. In the 'new South Africa' traditional antisemitism is of little concern, notwithstanding indications that hostile stereotypes of Jews are held by significant sectors of the wider population. Particular attention is focused on the Muslim minority that has increasingly vilified Zionism and Israel. This roots of this hostility can be traced to wider political currents, both global and domestic. Given the ANC's opposition to racism, the climate for opposing antisemitism in South Africa is more favorable than it has been in the past. But the question of Zionism remains a concern, as do the connections between anti-Zionism and age-old antisemitism.




It is by now a truism that when the temperature rises in the Middle East--more particularly between Israel and her enemies--verbal and media attacks on Jews and Israel increase proportionately. This was once again evident during the recent war in Lebanon. A mass anti-Israel march of 10,000--largely Muslims--took place at the height of the conflict and regular protests were held outside the Israeli embassy in Pretoria. In the heat of battle, the largest trade union federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, called for the severance of diplomatic ties with Jerusalem. One week after the cessation of hostilities, Parliament held a special debate on the Middle East which demonstrated little sympathy for the Jewish state.

These developments hardly surprised South Africa's 80,000 Jews who have become inured to a widespread anti-Zionism. Whereas in the 'old' South Africa--at least until the early 1980s--the Palestinian question was hardly raised and Israel was above reproach, media comment and analysis in South Africa today is invariably hostile. By coincidence, the mainstream press is owned by Independent Newspapers' Tony O'Reilly, an Irishman who has within his stable the well known anti-Zionist, Robert Fisk. It is very seldom that O'Reilly's group uses an equivalent polemicist writing from the other side.

Jews have also been bombarded from within by the 'Not in My Name' campaign, led by Ronnie Kasrils, a veteran of 'the struggle' and now Minister of Intelligence. Although on the extreme fringe of Jewish opinion, the Kasrils' group attracts substantial attention, especially in the Mail & Guardian, widely read by elites and opinion formers. 'Not in My Name' emerged in the wake of the Oslo failure and has recently been reincarnated under the banner of 'Concerned Jews': those disturbed by Israel's alleged disproportionate response to Hezbollah. The signatories are few and by and large not connected to formal Jewish life.

With the hostile anti-Israel bias in the media now de rigueur, Jews spend much time responding to columnists. They give as much as they take. The same is true on the ever popular talk shows that saturate South Africa's airwaves. Debate includes a widespread anti-American sentiment that was especially evident in the build up to the Iraq War, seen by many observers as being fought in the interests of Israel. Bush and Blair are today considered rogues. Few South Africans--at least publicly--have positive things to say about the two leaders. The majority black population--including Indians and those of mixed descent, or 'Coloureds' in South African parlance--are particularly hostile. These sentiments are informed by a broad 'third-worldism' in which imperial-like actions are condemned and in which support is given to the underdog. Certainly, most South Africans see the Palestinians as the equivalent of blacks in the old apartheid South Africa.

Nonetheless, the African National Congress (ANC)-led government does recognise Israel's right to exist. But South African Jews are increasingly concerned about its lack of even-handedness when discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The ANC's long established ties in exile with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have generated a great deal of sympathy for the Palestinians who are seen to have morality on their side. Columnists and intellectuals invariably frame the conflict through a South African prism: Israel is seen to be a colonial settler state offering 'Bantustans' for Palestinians on the West Bank. The 'apartheid wall' generates obvious comparisons. It is increasingly argued that if blacks and whites could reconcile their differences in South Africa, Israelis and Palestinians could do the same within a constitutional single state. There is little understanding of Zionism as a movement of national renaissance, nor for the context within which it arose.

And yet, for all these difficulties surrounding Zionism and Israel, most Jews do not consider hostility towards Israel as a form of antisemitism. To be sure, they do not consider antisemitism as a problem in South Africa. In a survey just completed by the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research at the University of Cape Town, Jews indicated that antisemitism was a greater problem beyond South Africa's shores than within.

There is some justification for this view: in democratic (or post-1994) South Africa, classical 'Jew-hatred' is demonstrably at a low level. Very few incidents are reported and great respect is accorded to cultural and religious diversity. Government ministers speak positively about the Jewish community when they do make public pronouncements. Most importantly, the legacy of apartheid has ensured a discourse that eschews any form of stereotypical and essentialist expression. This would run counter to the country's mantra: non-racism, non-sexism and democracy.

Nevertheless, the language and iconography of hostility towards Israel must raise questions as to whether anti-Zionism is--at least in some quarters--a respectable guise for age-old antisemitism. There are some indications that this may well be the case. Specifically "Jewish capitalists" have been identified by the African black population in some industrial protests in the past and antisemitic placards have on a few occasions been displayed at strikes around the country.

At least some black Africans appear to have imbibed well-worn anti-Jewish stereotypes. This should not come as a surprise. Over three decades ago, in a study of matriculation students in Soweto, Melville Edelstein showed that blacks experienced a greater "social distance" in relation to Jews than toward English-speakers in general, although less than towards Afrikaners. They told him that an African who was loath to part with his money was described as being as "stingy as a Jew." Edelstein thought that such prejudice arose from New Testament teaching in school and church. There may well be an added cause: the historical resentment of blacks against Jewish traders in town and
In a survey conducted in 1990 among urban South African 'elites' it was shown that black 'elites' harbored substantial antipathy towards Jews. Almost one in five said that the Jewish community "irritated" them because, in descending order of frequency, they were parasites, snobs, racists, anti-Christ, and unpatriotic; almost the same proportion approved of right-wing antisemitic actions and nearly one in three considered the Jewish community to be "mostly a liability" to South Africa. It needs to be noted that this was a methodologically questionable survey and that there are no indications that these sentiments have been translated into action. But it may well be that some of these sentiments are driving the anti-Zionist mood.

Be that as it may, it would be wrong to assume that the Black population is obsessed with Jews or that a 'Jewish question' exists. This is not the 1930s when the white Radical Right placed the 'Jewish question' firmly on the political agenda. Even the government's policy in the Middle East cannot be defined as driven by anti-Jewish sentiment. The ANC is fully entitled to maintain close ties with the PLO. These ties date back to its years in exile when they had every reason to look askance at Pretoria's cozy relationship with Jerusalem.

Jews have indeed come to terms with the paradox that some of the people whose struggle for freedom they supported are hostile to the Zionist cause and genuinely sympathetic to the Palestinians. Certainly former President Mandela saw Yasser Arafat and Mouamar Gaddafi as comrades-in-arms and loyal friends who had helped the ANC with funds, training and international support. However, applauding notions such as 'Zionism is Racism'--as happened in South Africa's Parliament when Arafat visited in 1996--did raise serious questions for most Jews. In addition to this slogan contradicting United Nations General Assembly resolution 46/86 of 1991 which revoked the equation of 'Zionism and Racism,' it ran counter to the ANC's stated position on the Arab-Israeli conflict--that is, accepting a Jewish state alongside a Palestinian state.

Of course the ANC alone does not define popular attitudes to Zionism. A number of black leaders have visited Israel in the past, spoken highly of its achievements and have availed themselves of Israeli expertise. Furthermore, the majority of blacks are Christians, with a deep attachment to the 'Holy Land.' Should Israelis and Palestinians resolve their differences, it is possible that tensions surrounding Zionism could disappear.

Of much greater concern for South Africa's Jews is the minority Muslim population which numbers around 750,000 or 1.5 percent of the total population. It is apparent that a significant element among this community share conspiratorial ideas long associated with the now moribund far 'white' Right. These ideas are manifested in the letter columns of the daily press and articulated in radio talk shows. Much anti-Zionist rhetoric from this sector reveals classic anti-Jewish motifs. A special hatred seems to go beyond the bounds of normal political conflict. Jews or Zionists have become, at least for some, diabolically evil. One sees this invariably in the rhetoric associated with Al-Quds Day, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and in protest marches. Often anti-Zionist rhetoric and propaganda degenerates into blatant antisemitism with an emphasis on Jewish power, cunning and duplicity.

Holocaust denial has also crept into Muslim anger. In 1996, Radio 786, a Muslim radio station, had to apologize for airing an interview with Dr Ahmed Huber who spoke of the 'Holocaust swindle'. Two years later the same radio station interviewed Dr Yaqub Zaki who, besides claiming that the "million plus" Jews who died in the Second World War had died of infectious diseases, spent much of his time engaged with elaborate Jewish conspiracies, including a bizarre connection between Jewish financiers, the Boer War, Alfred Milner and Zionism. In June this year (following an eight year legal wrangle brought by the Jewish Board of Deputies against the radio station and lengthened by technical disputes) the Independent Broadcasting Authority found Radio 786 guilty of contravening its broadcasting codes.

There can be little doubt that Muslim-Jewish relations have deteriorated over the past two to three decades. But one should not treat the Muslim community as a monolith. Various intellectual discourses operate and compete. Some are innovative and progressive, with an emphasis on Islamic humanism and universalism; others such as those espoused by Qibla and the Islamic Unity Convention are conservative or Islamist, at odds with religious pluralism and ecumenism. The latter's discourse is heavily influenced by Khomeinism and some of the more radical schools of Islamic thought. Common to both the 'progressive' and Islamist discourses, however, is a hostile critique of Zionism.

But this hostility needs to be put in perspective. In the first instance, the Muslim population is small and there is little chance of South Africa taking on an Islamist character. Moreover, the vast majority of Muslims appear happy to share a multi-faith and multi-cultural South Africa. Only a small minority, albeit growing, seem intent on dragging the Middle East conflict with all its problems into local politics. Nonetheless, these elements are increasingly vocal. More disturbing, they are finding partners beyond the Muslim community.

Muslim hostility emerged most vividly at the time of the Lebanon War of 1982. The Sabra and Shatilla massacres generated great anger among students (including non-Muslims) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and at the University of Cape Town. These sentiments grew out of a new youth politics, combined with a greater acquaintance with anti-Zionist polemics. Scholars like Sayyid Qutb, Ali Sha'riati and Ayatollah Khomeini were increasingly read by the younger generation of Muslims. Their new found militancy was already evident in the wake of the United Nations resolution of 1975 that equated Zionism with racism, and which was hailed as a victory for the Palestine Liberation Organization and a defeat for the United States and Israel. Further impetus was given by the Iranian Revolution.

From the late 1980s, Muslims in the 'Colored' areas began to take part in mass demonstrations which revealed a greater identification with the Muslim community worldwide (the ummah). These demonstrations were also indicative of a powerful anti-Zionism that constantly drew parallels between the former apartheid state and Israeli oppression of Palestinians. At an international Muslim conference titled 'Creating a New Civilisation of Islam', held in Pretoria in 1996, speakers referred to Jews as a powerful economic force and to Zionists as responsible for all of society's evils.

In January 1997, following a bombing in a mosque in Rustenburg, members of the Muslim community accused the Mossad of responsibility. A month later, Qibla led a vociferous march on the Israeli embassy, culminating in the usual Israeli flag-burning. A similar march took place in Johannesburg, organized by the Islamic Unity Convention. On the eve of Yom Kippur that year, Muslims held pro-Hamas demonstrations outside a Pretoria mosque and placed a full-page advertisement in the Pretoria News criticizing the newspaper's "biased and one-sided version of events in the Middle East." An incident in Hebron (in which a Jewish extremist distributed posters depicting Mohammed as a pig) led to heated protests in Pretoria and Cape Town. Shortly thereafter, a home that housed a Jewish book center in Cape Town was firebombed, and phone threats were made against a Jewish home for the elderly and a synagogue. Although Imam Rashied Omar, the vice president of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, issued a condemnation, the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC)--the representative body of South African Muslims--kept silent.

Tensions between Muslims and Jews have been exacerbated by the stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. When the mayor of the Cape Metropolitan Council, the Reverend William Bantom, was invited to attend an international mayoral conference in Israel in May 1998, Muslim organizations (supported by the ANC provincial caucus) pressured him not to attend. Israeli jubilee celebrations in Cape Town that month were marred by Muslim protestors, led by Qibla, who chanted "One Zionist, one bullet" and "Viva Hizbollah and Hamas." In an exchange of letters to the Cape Times, Sheikh Achmat Sedick, the secretary general of the MJC, condemned South African participation in the jubilee. South Africa's refusal to issue a visa to Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, then spiritual leader of Hamas, sparked another round of protests. In a telephone interview from Kuwait that was broadcast on a Cape Town Muslim radio station, Yassin denounced all Zionists as terrorists. Qibla protested against the government decision outside the gates of Parliament, and Sheikh Ebrahim Gabriels of the MJC declared that Muslims "did not recognise the Israeli State which was founded illegally on Palestinian land."

There can be little doubt that in a global world, informed by the electronic media and the internet, Muslims are deeply connected to international trends and events and especially to the Middle East. All of this was palpable at the now infamous United Nations conference against racism and xenophobia in Durban in 2001. This hate fest demonstrated the depth of anger against Israel and the co-ordination of her enemies. Relations between Muslims and Jews in South Africa have never recovered. So long as the Israeli-Palestinian question is unresolved there is little cause for optimism. Only a few months ago posters denying the Holocaust were displayed at a mass protest in Cape Town against the 'Mohamed' cartoons.

These developments have not unhinged the Jewish community. On the contrary, Jews are paradoxically more confident of their future in South Africa than they were in the late 1990s. The same Kaplan Centre survey referred to above indicated that Jews are less likely to emigrate than seven years earlier. The younger generation in particular appears more comfortable. It would seem that the leader of the opposition Tony Leon (a Jew) was correct when he pointed out a few years ago that Jews are better off under the new government than under the old. There is, he maintained, no specifically "Jewish problem"! Certainly compared to the 1930s, Jews have little reason to be fearful.

Of course, Jews do share the same concerns as all other middle class whites, arising from crime, economics, education and health care. But antisemitism as such is of marginal significance in public life. And given the ANC's opposition to racism, the climate for opposing antisemitism in South Africa is more favourable than it has been in the past. But the question of Zionism remains a concern, as do the connections between anti-Zionism and age-old antisemitism.



About the Author
Professor Milton Shain is Director of the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research at the University of Cape Town.

COUNTERING JIHADI TERRORISM IN UK

By B.Raman

(To be read in continuation of my paper of October 29,2000, titled "ISLAMIC JEHAD & THE US", which is available at http://www.saag.org/ papers2/paper154.html and my paper of June 21,2002, titled "THE TERRORIST METEORITES & THE PAKISTANISATION OF AL QAEDA" which is available at http://www.saag.org/ papers5/p aper480.html )

The post-9/11 security and immigration control measures taken by the US have made it very difficult for the Arabs to operate again in US territory and do a repeat of 9/11. Al Qaeda is as determined as ever to repeat 9/11 in US territory. At the same time, it has realised that it might not be able to use Arab terrorists for this purpose since they are subjected to strict checks in the US. It has, therefore, been wanting to use non-Arabs for this purpose. Muslim migrants from Pakistan, who have settled down in the UK and North America, are its favourite choice.

2.The trend towards the Pakistanisation of Al Qaeda to which I had drawn attention on June 21,2002, has since spread to the UK and is threatening to spread from there to the US and Canada. The presence of a large number of persons of Pakistani origin----Pakistani as well as local nationals---in the UK, the US and Canada has provided a fertile soil for Al Qaeda. It has already taken advantage of this to develop extensive roots in the UK. It is still to develop similar roots in the US and Canada, but there is a danger of this happening in the not too distant future if the local authorities in the two countries do not take precautions to protect their countries from the ideological ill-winds of the Al Qaeda inspired jihad blowing from the UK and to prevent jihadi foot-soldiers from the UK extending their operations to North America.

3. The role played by some members of the Pakistani diaspora in the UK in the London blasts of July,2005, is well-known. So too the unsuccessful attempts of some other members of the diaspora in August last year to mount an audacious operation to blow up a number of US-bound planes through explosives fabricated on board the aircraft by mixing chemicals of ordinary day-to-day use. More details of the role of some members of the UK-based Pakistani diaspora have since become available from what has come to be known as the fertiliser bomb case which ended in conviction on April 30,2007.

4.London's Old Bailey Court convicted that day five British Muslim males aged between 24 and 35 of conspiring to carry out Al-Qaeda-inspired bombings of targets across Britain that ranged from nightclubs to trains, football stadiums, a shopping centre, part of Britain's gas and electricity supplies, as well as the Parliament. They have been sentenced to long terms of imprisonment.

5.The group had procured about 600 kilos of ammonium nitrate for this purpose.Four of the five convicted jihadis---- Jawad Akbar, Omar Khyam,the leader of the group, Salahuddin Amin and Waheed Mahmood ---- are of Pakistani origin. The fifth , Anthony Garcia, was born Rahman Benouis in Algeria. All five had visited Pakistan and four had reportedly attended jihadi training camps there. Amin emigrated to Pakistan sometime after '9/11' and acted as a jihadi facilitator, according to the Deputy Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner Peter Clarke.A key piece of evidence linking them to Al Qaeda was the sighting on four occasions by officers from Britain's Security Service known popularly as MI5 of at least one of them in the company of the London suicide bombing ringleader Mohammed Sidique Khan and his alleged accomplice Shehzad Tanweer.

6.Two other persons of Pakistani origin from the US and Canada were also involved in this plot. Mohammad Junaid Babar, a US national of Pakistani origin, reportedly organised the training of the plotters in Pakistan.Momin Khawaja, a Canadian national, allegedly helped them in the procurement of detonators. The security agencies of the UK, the US and Canada got scent of the plot before it could be carried out and arrested the perpetrators in March,2004. The Pakistani-American has made a plea bargain with the Federal Bureau of Investrigation by helping in the investigation and prosecution. The Canadian is being tried separately before a Canadian court. It has been alleged that all the perpetrators were in contact with Abdul Hadi, stated to be a senior Iraqi member of Al Qaeda, who is presently in US custody.

7. A study of the details of the case leads to the following observations:

The perpetrators were radicalised and motivated to take to terrorism by Omar Bakri Mohammed , a radical cleric of al-Muhajiroun, who used to live in the UK and now lives in the Lebanon.
None of them was a product of the anti-Soviet Afghan jihd of the 1980s. The jihads in Chechnya, Bosnia and Iraq had a greater impact on their mind than that in Afghanistan.
Their anger was more the result of the British support to the US in Iraq and Afghanistan than the result of perceived instances of discrimination against the Muslims in the UK.
They were not recruited by Al Qaeda. To give vent to their anger, they volunteered their services to Al Qaeda.
They did not subscribe to Al Qaeda's pan-Islamic ideology of an Islamic Caliphate. Instead, they had planned their attacks, which were thwarted, as well-merited acts of reprisal terrorism against the UK for its support to the US' so-called war on terror, which was viewed by them as a war on Islam.
They wanted to carry out acts of jihadi terrorism in the British territory not for Islamising the UK, but for punishing it for its foreign policy, which was perceived by them as anti-Islam, and not for its domestic policy towards the Muslims.
8. This anger, which shows no signs of abating as a result of continuing violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, could facilitate Al Qaeda's plans for another 9/11 in US territory by using the radicalised members of the Pakistani diaspora in the UK. Since the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan is likely to continue in the short and medium term, this anger will encourage the emergence of more self-motivated jihadis, who look upon themselves as the Jundullah (soldiers of Alla) and volunteer their services to Al Qaeda.

9. Since the removal of this anger is going to take a long time, the counter jihadi terrorism strategy has to be based on a policy of containment of the anger and enforcement of strict physical security and immigration control measures to prevent this anger from leading to major acts of terrorism. A strategy of containment of anger demands avoidance of disproportionate use of force in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has been leading to large-scale civilian casualties. It also demands that the international community exercises pressure on President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan to effectively close down Al Qaeda and other jihadi terrorist infrastructure in Pakistani territory, which exploit this anger for their own purpose.

10.The perceived failure of the London Police and the MI-5 to prevent the London blasts despite their prior knowledge of the involvement of Mohammad Sidique Khan and Tanweer with this fertiliser bomb group has led to strong criticism of the MI-5 in the British Parliament and media.Demands for an enquiry have been rejected by the Government of Prime Minister, Mr.Tony Blair. The MI-5, in its web site, has responded to the criticism in detail. Its response is annexed.

11. There were two intelligence tasks involved here. The first task was neutralising an on-going plot to carry out acts of terrorism by identifying the paricipants and arresting them before they could carry it out.The second was identifying all the members of a wider network, which came to notice during the investigation and arresting them in order to prevent similar plots in future. The first task was performed competently by the MI 5. The relatives of some of those, who died in the London blasts, and the opposition parties have criticised the MI 5 for not performing the second, which, in their view, could have prevented the London blasts.

12. The MI 5 has strongly refuted this criticism. It has stated that it had to give greater priority to the neutralisation of an on-going plot and that constraints of manpower and financial resources would not have permitted it to give equal priority to the second. The relevant question is: did the MI 5 bring to the notice of the political leadership the indications of the existence of a wider network and ask for extra staff and funds to perform the second task? If it had done so and its request for extra staff and funds had been rejected by the Government, the political leadership has to be blamed for failing to prevent the London blasts. But, if the MI 5 had not taken any such action, it is guilty of deficient leadership, which enabled the jihadi terrorists to plan and carry out the London blasts.

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, the Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: itschen36@gmail.com )


ANNEXURE
THE RESPONSE OF MI 5 (http://www.mi5.gov.uk/output/Page603.html )


RUMOURS AND REALITY

Since the 7 July London bombings, a number of rumours and misunderstandings have emerged concerning investigations into the bombers and their links to other extremists, particularly the fertiliser bomb plotters. This page addresses a number of these rumours and provides the facts behind the myths.

RUMOUR:-Khan and Tanweer were under surveillance by the Security Service before 7 July but this was called off before the attacks.
REALITY:- They appeared as unidentified contacts during surveillance of those central to the fertiliser bomb plot. They were not fully identified until after 7 July.

RUMOUR:-The Security Service and Police had tapes of the 7/7 bombers discussing bombing attacks and tapes of Khan discussing the planning of terrorist attacks.
REALITY-: The Security Service did record conversations involving an individual identified after 7 July as Khan. However, he did not discuss either the planning or execution of terrorist attacks in these conversations. The only discussions of bombing attacks that were recorded involved the people who have just been tried/convicted for their participation in the fertiliser plot.

RUMOUR-:Khan and Tanweer were closely involved with the fertiliser bomb plot and therefore known terrorists.
REALITY:- Neither Khan nor Tanweer were involved with the fertiliser bomb plot. They appeared as petty fraudsters in loose contact with members of the fertiliser plot and the intelligence collected on them gave no indication that they posed a terrorist threat.

RUMOUR-:Khan's car was bugged by the Police/Security Service so why was he not prevented from carrying out an attack?
REALITY:-Khan's car was not 'bugged'. After 7 July, the Police identified material recovered from the bomb site at Edgware Road tube station as belonging to Khan. Because they suspected his involvement, they put a tracking device (not a listening device) in his car. Forensic evidence confirmed later that he had died in the attack.

RUMOUR:-There were recordings of Omar Khyam (one of the defendants in the fertiliser plot trial) talking to Khan about bomb-making.
REALITY-:The Security Service did record conversations involving an individual identified after 7 July as Khan. However there is no recording of Khyam discussing bomb-making with Khan.There does however appear to have been a misinterpretation, by some sections of the media, of a ruling given by the Judge at the beginning of the fertiliser plot trial. These stories misinterpreted the ruling to mean that Khan was present when the fertiliser bomb plotters discussed bomb making. In response, the Judge made a second ruling in June 2006 to make it clear that this reporting was 'based on a false interpretation' of his original ruling.

RUMOUR-:Khan had visited the US to associate with Islamist extremists and planned attacks on US cities in 2003. The FBI had put him on their 'no fly' list - preventing any aircraft from landing in the US with him on board. He had also been refused a US visa.
REALITY:-The Security Service has no record of Khan ever visiting the US, nor is there any information to suggest he was planning attacks on US cities. These claims are likely to be based on misidentification as some of these circumstances are true of a Mohammed Ajmal Khan. The FBI has stated that Khan was not on their 'no fly' list. There is also no record of Khan ever having been refused a US visa. See the FBI's press release, "FBI Responds to Report on London Bomber", of 22 June 2006.

RUMOUR-:A detainee, who identified Khan after the 7 July attacks from pictures in the media, was not shown a surveillance photo of Khan taken during the fertiliser bomb plot investigation.
REALITY:-The detainee was shown surveillance photographs of Khan but failed to recognise him. The same detainee went on to identify Khan from photographs in media reporting, but only after the 7 July bombings and only as 'Ibrahim'.

RUMOUR:-Convicted terrorist Mohammed Junaid Babar had tipped off the FBI and New York Police about Khan.
REALITY:- Prior to 7 July 2005 there is no record of Babar (who was called as a prosecution witness at the fertiliser plot trial) identifying either to the FBI or NYPD someone called 'Khan' as a threat. Only after 7 July did Babar identify Khan as somebody he knew.

RUMOUR:-Tanweer was identified by non-UK intelligence agencies as someone accessing radical internet websites.
REALITY:- No such report was received by any of the UK intelligence agencies.

RUMOUR-The Security Service held back intelligence information when giving evidence to the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) hearings into the 7 July bombings.
REALITY:-The Security Service did not withhold any evidence from the ISC. The chair of the ISC, Paul Murphy MP, made this clear when he spoke in the debate on the ISC Annual Report on 11 July 2006. He said: "Some allegations have been made that material was withheld from the Committee during the course of our investigations into the events of July last year and, indeed, that we were misled by the agencies. We have examined each and every one of those claims, whether they were made verbally or in the media, and are satisfied that they are not true." (Hansard, 11 July 2006, column 1323).

RUMOUR:A criminal mastermind responsible for orchestrating the attacks left the UK the day before 7 July.
REALITY: This is not the Service's current assessment. It was an initial strand of investigation in the immediate aftermath of the 7 July attacks but it was subsequently discounted.

RUMOUR:-The Saudi authorities warned the UK agencies about the 7 July attacks.
REALITY:-No prior warning of the attacks was received from any source. The Saudis provided information about possible planning for an attack in the UK which was materially different from the attacks that took place in London on 7 July.

RUMOUR:A Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre report was issued in May 2005 assessing that there was no danger of an attack in the UK.
REALITY: A JTAC report was issued in May 2005 but it did not state that there was no danger of an attack. The text of the assessment is reproduced in paragraph 82 of the ISC report into the 7 July bombings . It includes the warning that there was 'a continued high level of threat and that an attack might well be mounted without warning'.

RUMOUR:-In February 2004, the Security Service recorded Khan's wish to fight and him saying goodbye to his family - a clear indication that he intended a suicide mission.
REALITY:-The Security Service did record conversations involving an individual identified after 7 July as Khan. From the context of the recorded conversation it is probable that Khan was talking about going to fight with militia groups in the Pakistan border areas. He was not talking about acts of terrorism in the UK.

RUMOUR:-Khan travelled to Indonesia and associated with known Jemaah Islamiyah extremists.
REALITY -There is no intelligence to suggest this took place.

May 04, 2007

India-Pakistan : Emerging Threats in the 21st Century

The Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich and the Global Futures Forum (GFF) - a multinational, multidisciplinary, and cross-sector group formed in November 2005 at an international conference hosted by the Global Futures Partnership of the US Central Intelligence Agency - have joined efforts to conceive of new ways of thinking about strategic warning in the changing global security environment. The second of three seminars built upon the theoretical foundations presented in the first seminar and focused on methodological approaches for establishing early-warning systems. It referred to concrete methods, instruments, and tools; presentations were delivered on cognitive mapping, horizon scanning, quantitative models, and other methodologies.



2nd CSS/GFP Seminar on "Emerging Threats in the 21st Century"
Sense-Making and Warning: How to Understand and Anticipate Emerging Threats , Click for report

On India and Pakistan


The group reporting on a potential India-Pakistan conflict found that a transboundary warning system would need to highlight any deterioration in relations potential, critical events and changes in the possibility of war. The system would also have to provide information on motivations and the red-lines on both sides (including the “where” and “how” of India’s pressure on Pakistan), while providing objective risk calculations and trajectories. Such a system would have to draw on a truly diversified network of contacts that are well-placed, willing and incentivized, and able to monitor and report on critical information as well as be provided with such information. The group highlighted the importance of creating a network with a degree of shared purpose and the ability to cater to the need for timely and continuous reporting. The group cautioned, however, that there were real concerns about how tasks would be organized and managed in such a network. Would it have a central control mechanism or a server (enabler) function? Should the approach be active or passive? Would this network engage in probing? The group also noted that a shared purpose or mission statement could be necessary.

US Air Force pioneers new frontier :Cyberspace


Air Force pioneers new frontier
By: Karl Duckworth
Last Updated: 4/30/2007 9:00:39 AM


Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base Montgomery, Alabama

As the Air Force relies more on operations within cyberspace, the Eighth Air Force under Lt. Gen. Robert J. Elder Jr. and headquartered at Barksdale, La., has been tasked as the service's lead command for the cyberspace domain.

General Elder spoke on the subject when he was at Air University to receive a medal for his service as Air War College commandant from July 2004 to June 2006.

During his trip, he met with faculty and students from various colleges at Air University, and said that organizations across Air University, Gunter Annex and the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, will be instrumental in helping to conceptualize resolutions for issues the Eighth Air Force faces as it gears up for its new mission.

According to General Elder, treating cyberspace as a warfighting domain is a cultural shift for the Air Force. Though people have always looked to the Air Force as a global service, many people in the military tend to think of themselves in certain functional roles, or as part of geographic theaters, or part of traditional domains, such as sea, air and land.

“We have to take a different look at cyberspace from a warfighting standpoint,” said General Elder. “One of the biggest challenges we have is that everyone has an idea of how they define cyberspace. It may not really comprise the totality of what it really is.”

“Cyberspace is a manmade domain,” said General Elder. “To take advantage of the full area of cyberspace, you do not want to be bounded by political or military seams. Part of this culture shift is to rethink of ourselves as a global service that provides global effects across all boundaries.”

Cyberspace, as defined by the new command, encompasses everything that operates on electronics or in the electromagnetic spectrum. When Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne announced Nov. 2, 2006, the Eighth Air Force’s role as lead command for cyberspace, he noted that cyberspace operations can include far more than computer network attack and defense.

He cited the use of improvised explosive devices in Iraq, terrorist use of Global Positioning Satellites and satellite communications, Internet financial transactions by adversaries, radar and navigational jamming, and attacking American servers as just a few examples of operations that involve the cyberspace domain.

“Some people like to think that cyberspace means non-kinetic or non-lethal,” said General Elder. “Actually it does not mean either. Electronics themselves are physical; you potentially could deal with electronics by taking them out kinetically.”

Because of its all-encompassing nature, one priority on the mind of General Elder is, “How do you present cyberspace capabilities to a joint forces commander?”

“When you take a look at what cyberspace encompasses, it has so many ramifications,” said General Elder “You have to look at it as a triangle. There is a foundation or an infrastructure piece, which is all the things that are required to have cyberspace … then there are two other sides composed of offense and defense, which can overlap.”

Having an accurate idea of the boundaries and capabilities of the cyberspace domain is the key to exploiting it.

According to the general, other issues involved in unlocking the capabilities of the cyberspace domain are to develop the technology and train the forces needed to fight in the domain and develop a cyberspace major command.

“The way we conducted air operations in the early 1900s, we had airplanes made of canvas and wood frames, and we used to drop bombs by hand out of the side of cockpits,” said General Elder. “In some ways, that is conceptually where we are with cyberspace now. We have now just begun to really think about how we will exploit that domain.”

Space ops critical to air, ground, naval forces

5/3/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- With the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility spanning 6.5 million square miles and 27 countries, the high ground of space continues to be critical to coalition air, ground and naval forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Space Coordinating Authority, Combined Forces Air Component Commander Lt. Gen. Gary North, relies on Col. Cary Chun, the director of Space Forces, or DIRSPACEFOR, at the Combined Air and Space Operations Center to ensure theater commanders' space support needs are met whenever and wherever possible.

In April, DIRSPACEFOR officials report U.S. Air Force space professionals used space assets to fulfill 22 Space Support Requests, or SSRs, for Operation Enduring Freedom, delivering 246 separate and specific effects. Another 22 SSRs were serviced in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, delivering 217 separate and specific effects.

Effects included surveillance, tracking and targeting; position, navigation and timing; communications, weather and intelligence, and planning support.

Space forces continued to support Carrier Task Force-50 through space-based battlespace characterization in the North Arabian Sea, the Arabian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz. Space forces also supported Carrier Strike Group-8 as it moved within the CENTCOM area of responsbility.

Additionally, the DIRSPACEFOR officials coordinated with the Army's Commercial Imagery Exploitation Team to provide imagery to International Security Assistance Force headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, to support relief planning for heavy flooding north of Bagram Air Base.

DIRSPACEFOR officials also submitted new SSRs to the Joint Space Operations Center in support of on-going deployable Silent Sentry operations. These operations play a key defensive counterspace role for CENTCOM forces.

USAF crafts cyberwar doctrine

USAF crafts cyberwar doctrine
By JOHN T. BENNETT
April 30, 2007

A new irregular warfare doctrine document working its way through the U.S. Air Force spells out how air power can aid U.S. and coalition forces in nontraditional fights, and says that disrupting adversaries’ actions in cyberspace is increasingly important.
“The cyberspace domain may present numerous opportunities to directly target insurgents or to positively influence the population. Like air operations, cyber operations can strike directly at the node of interest, without first defeating ‘fielded forces,’” says a draft version of the service’s irregular warfare doctrine document. “For example, computer network attack may hinder or disrupt insurgent operations, or at least require them to expend resources defending their cyberspace assets.”
The document, dated March 21 and stamped, “Draft – Not For Implementation,” was obtained by Defense News this week. Gen. T. Michael Moseley, the Air Force chief of staff, has approved the draft document, it says.
During an irregular fight, coalition air commanders are more often using cyberspace to target the enemy, says the document.
“Critical to strategy development is the integration of cyberspace capabilities. Due to the political and operational sensitivity, some capabilities may not be viable,” says the draft doctrine.
Moseley and service Secretary Michael Wynne have sought to elevate the service’s actions in cyberspace.

“Our enemies are already operating [in cyberspace], exploiting the low entry costs and minimal technological investment needed to inflict serious harm,” Moseley said during a speech last September. “We cannot allow them to expand a foothold in this critical strategic domain, much less find sanctuary.”
The service secretary, speaking at the same event, warned that because the military is increasingly dependent on network- and computer-based systems, all other aspects of war fighting could be hindered without an increased focus on cyberspace.
“This domain offers many unique opportunities and highlights a new inviolate principle: Without cyber-dominance, operations in all of the other domains are in fact placed at risk,” Wynne said.
One of the first things Moseley and Wynne did after assuming their jobs in late 2005 was to revise the service’s mission statement. Their version reads: “The mission of the U.S. Air Force is to deliver sovereign options for the defense of the United States of America and its global interests — to fly and fight in the air, space and cyberspace.”
The revised strategic statement added “sovereign options” and “cyberspace.” In a December 2005 statement, Wynne said, “We have quite a few of our airmen dedicated to cyberspace ... from security awareness, making sure the networks can’t be penetrated, as well as figuring out countermeasures.”

The 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review also says that cyberspace is playing an increasingly important role in U.S. military operations.

The service’s move to bolster its efforts to conduct cyberspace missions comes as Islamic extremist groups like al Qaeda and other U.S. enemies have demonstrated expanded capabilities in using the Internet to spread their messages, transfer funds and communicate.
Groups like al Qaeda and other extremist organizations can be effective using cyberspace because “as a war fighting domain, it’s different than the land, air and space domains,” one Air Force cyberspace official told reporters late last year.

Insurgent and extremist groups use the Internet to “recruit, train and direct” their activities and operations, says the document, which adds that the U.S. military should target its enemies’ activities in the new domain.
“Degrading the adversary’s use of cyberspace can prove detrimental to their operations. Network attack destroys, disrupts, corrupts, denies, delays or degrades information that resides in telephone and data service networks,” says the document. “Attacking the networks will not only influence the adversary’s decision making, but can also affect the target audience of the networked information.”

C4ISRJournal.com - USAF crafts cyberwar doctrine

Analysis: India to open power distribution

Published: May 3, 2007 at 2:14 PM E-mail Story | Print Preview | License

By KUSHAL JEENA
UPI Energy Correspondent

NEW DELHI, May 3 (UPI) -- India plans to open up its power-distribution sector to allow multiple global and domestic private firms to deliver electricity directly to consumers, ending the monopoly of government-controlled companies.
The federal government asked the Power Ministry to put in place a mechanism that could boost competition in the power-distribution sector.

The move, if implemented, would end the monopoly of the government-controlled power companies, which are not only inefficient but are also responsible for large-scale power shortages. The Finance Ministry prepared a note that would be placed shortly for the approval of a federal Cabinet committee for infrastructure.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh heads the committee formed to recommend measures to boost investment in the infrastructure sector. India says it requires foreign direct investment of $320 billion for its infrastructure sector by 2010. The ruling United Progressive Alliance government included power as one of the main components of the infrastructure sector in its national common minimum program, a policy document prepared for governance by the alliance partners before assuming power.

Elaborating upon the details of the proposed power-distribution mechanism, the note says the distribution-wires business should be de-linked from the business of last-mile operations of delivering electricity to the end consumer. Under this provision, the transmission and distribution of wires in a particular area would be placed under a new company, which would allow distribution firms to have access to its network and source power from the grid to deliver it to the final consumer.

Provincial power grids will now only sell power to private companies and bill them under the proposed mechanism. Currently, state-run power companies have sole control over the grids and the distribution network. The new mechanism would transfer the existing distribution network to private companies either on a one-time charge or monthly renting system.

This new mechanism has already been put in place in Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh states, where private majors such as Reliance and Tata are controlling the transmission and distribution network. The success of this experiment has encouraged the government to extend it to the national level. A Power Ministry spokesman said the proposed mechanism would be placed before the committee on infrastructure at its next meeting. The ministry has also been asked to prepare a success-story presentation of this mechanism in the states where it has been tried and tested.

"Once the two businesses are separated, multiple players can use the services of the distribution-wire company and compete for consumers. In return, they would have to pay the wire-company wheeling charges. They would also pay the charges of maintenance of the distribution network to the government," said K. Subramaniam, an energy analyst.

The Finance Ministry, meanwhile, sent copies of the detailed note to the affected departments, seeking suggestions. The ministry also asked the state governments to adopt this model, once it is cleared by the infrastructure committee, in the ultra-mega power projects. India suffered a massive shortfall of 20,000 megawatts in power-capacity addition in the 10th five-year plan that ended in April.

India initiated power-sector reforms in 1991 to encourage competition and seek private participation in each sub-element of the sector: generation, transmission and distribution. It also announced fast-track private-sector projects with government guarantees. It was followed by the announcement of mega and ultra-mega power projects to attract large-scale global and domestic investment.

The efforts yielded no results, however. The government carried on with the reform plank and proceeded to bring in an independent and transparent regulatory regime. It set up a central electricity regulatory authority in 1998 to control all components of the power sector. The move was initiated to help state electricity boards recover their huge losses. They, however, continued to make losses because of an unsustainable level of aggregate technical and commercial losses.

The government then realized that the distribution system holds the key to the power sector's long-term sustainability. The distribution sector was privatized initially in Delhi and Orissa states, and the government got mixed results. It was extended to another two states -- Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh -- to further the experiment. Now, the government wants to usher the idea throughout the country. No global power major has, however, shown interest in participating in India's power transmission and distribution sector.

The presence of private players in the country's power sector remains limited to 12 percent and covers distribution only in a few cities. The government launched an accelerated power development and reforms program to further encourage reforms in the distribution sector. This program showed success, and the aggregate transmission and commercial losses were brought down to 15 percent from an estimated level of 42 percent in 2002.

"It might be argued that in the electricity sector, competition should be encouraged rather than taking it as a default principle," said D. S. Rawat, an energy expert at the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industries, a key Indian trade body. "The lumpy investments needed to create capacity, the relatively large incremental step when new capacity is added, the gestation lag in creating additional capacity and environmental and logistical issues create hurdles to perfect competition in the power sector with available technology choice."

He said these measures should not be taken as a vote against the entry of the private sector into power, adding competition is possible in each element of electricity.