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Showing posts from August 26, 2007

Iran-Pakistan hold talks on Peace Pipeline

ISNA - Tehran Service: Economy TEHRAN, Sep. 01 (ISNA)-Iran and Pakistan are currently holding talks on the Peace Pipeline project. Iran's representative to these talks said, "Currently we are holding talks with Pakistan on the Peace Pipeline project and both sides are reviewing the agreement draft." Hojatollah Ghanimifar expressed hope that this draft is approved and agreed upon within the three day talks which are held in Islamabad. The Iran-India-Pakistan gas pipeline, also known as the Peace pipeline, is a proposed 2,775 km gas pipeline project to deliver natural gas from Iran to Pakistan and India. The project is expected to take three to five years to complete and would cost $ 7 billion. The project is expected to greatly benefit both India and Pakistan which do not have sufficient natural gas to meet their rapidly increasing domestic demand for energy. India is predicted to require 400 million cubic meters of gas per day by 2025, up from 90 million cu

HYDERABAD : What works for the South, works against it too

Aditya Ghosh, Hindustan Times Hyderabad, September 02, 2007 First Published: 00:11 IST(2/9/2007) Last Updated: 00:58 IST(2/9/2007) They are brand ambassadors of a transforming India. Everyone realises their advantages and are migrating to this part of the country — technologists, scientists, bankers, MBAs, doctors, nurses. And terrorists. Ironically, the reasons any aspiring professional would consider while shifting base to Bangalore or Hyderabad are the same as those that are attracting terrorists, says Sushant Mahapatra, Bangalore’s additional director general of police (cyber offence division). As the upwardly mobile flock to Hyderabad and Bangalore for basking in the glory of India’s IT boom, for better connectivity, for the boom in real estate, and for a cosmopolitan culture — they are catching the attention of troublemakers aiming at India’s knowledge hubs. Both the cities offer a high degree of technical support, particularly in IT, which helps the terrorists not only

Pakistan: Systemic Change in the Making

Source: Stratfor Stratfor's Free Intelligence Reports August 31, 2007 21 29 GMT Summary It no longer is a matter of if, but of when Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf will leave the helm in Islamabad. The judiciary and the man he ousted from power, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, are threatening to throw a monkey wrench into his evasive maneuvers. The issue, however, now turns from the day-to-day drama of internal Pakistani politics to the much deeper issue of whether Musharraf's fall from grace will be paralleled by that of the Pakistani military as a whole. Analysis Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced Aug. 30 that he will return to Pakistan from forced exile Sept. 10. The same day, another exiled former leader, Benazir Bhutto, announced breakthroughs in negotiations with President Gen. Pervez Musharraf that would ease the general out of power. Meanwhile, the country's Supreme Court began proceedings on petitions challenging on co

HYDERABAD BLASTS: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

By B.Raman (I was in Chengdu, China, from August 26 to 31,2007, for a discussion on likely threats to security at the Beijing Olympics of 2008. Hence was not in a position to write on the Hyderabad blasts of August 25,2007, except for a small piece for Rediff.com, which was carried by it on August 26 morning. This article seeks to answer some of the questions received from readers in my absence) WHY ARE PAKISTANI JIHADI TERRORISTS REPEATEDLY TARGETING HYDERABAD & WHEN DID THEY START DOING SO? The Pakistani jihadi terrorist organisations look upon Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh and Junagadh in Gujarat as rightfully belonging to Pakistan because, according to them, the then rulers of these two States, who were Muslims, had pronounced themselves in favour of the two States acceding to Pakistan at the time of the Partition of India in 1947. They allege that the Government of Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister, rejected their stand and forcibly occupied these States. Th

Russia: Moscow flexes its muscles and attempts to conquer status and influence

At 12am, on 17 August, fourteen Tupoleve Tu-160 heavy bombers took off from seven air force bases in Russian territory, signalling the first long-range reconnaissance flight undertaken in 15 years since the Cold War. The move was officially announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, where, in the framework of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), a massive joint military simulation took place involving Russia, China and several Central Asian Republics. Alessandro Savaris Equilibri.net (31 August 2007) Russia's new foreign policy Long-range reconnaissance missions are but one example of the Kremlin's provocations over the last several months. Just barely a week ago, several Russian bombers flew within 100 miles of the American air force base of Guam, in the Pacific, forcing American fighter planes to take precautionary flights. Almost simultaneously, Georgia announced the explosion of a Russian missile launched by a Sukhoi Su-24 fighter

Iran: regional alliances and the dilemma of stability in Afghanistan

The weakening of Sunni cells in Iraq, as a result of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, has recently prompted a rise of the Islamic Republic of Islam in the region. Diplomats in Tehran have kept close relations with the Afghan executive, as reconstruction in the country has helped Iran strengthen its presence both in Afghanistan and within Central Asia, apart form becoming a mediator of two opposing fronts, Pakistan on the one hand and Afghanistan on the other. As such, the country has guaranteed itself the neutrality of the two countries vis-à-vis continuously hostile US foreign policy. Elisa Morici Equilibri.net (31 August 2007) Accused of fuelling instability in Afghanistan, expelling refugees and selling weapons to rebel groups, Iran's strategy in the war-torn country could seriously deteriorate relations with its neighbours and catapult an unpredictable crisis that would trigger the destabilisation of Afghanistan and pitting Pakistan as a future enemy in the p

Infinity Foundation : Openings for Research Assistant/Fellow Positions

Infinity Foundation has two announcements for positions below. The first is for individual applicants and the second is for institutional collaborations: Individual Openings: Research Assistant/Fellow Positions Infinity Foundation seeks scholars to help research, review, prepare manuscripts, and coordinate in various phases of publishing. The scope of the subject matter of interest is broad, and covers the study of Indic civilization/culture across the humanities and social sciences. For example, topics of interest include but are not limited to: history of Indian contributions to science/technology, economic history of India, India's precolonial educational institutions, the impact of Islamic intrusions and European colonialism on India, post-independence India, history of jati/caste, Indian religions and epistemologies, representations and misrepresentations of Indian civilization, and impact of Indic visions upon the world. Of special importance are areas with entrenched conc

BALOCHISTAN : Net Pool says Dr.Wahid Baloch as their Leader

If we held national elections, who would you select as your leader?

Ambassador of China: China and the United States

Aug 21st, 2007 World Affairs Council of Oregon - Portland, OR The Ambassador of China, H.E. Mr. Zhou Wenzhong discusses China and the United States Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong served previously as Assistant and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs in Beijing. He was earlier China's Ambassador to Australia, as well as to Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda, He has previous experience in the U.S. as Minister in the Embassy in Washington DC and Consul General in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Ambassador Wenshong studied at Bath University and the London School of Economics in England.

China: Central Asian Rumbles

Source: Stratfor Stratfor's Free Intelligence Reports August 31, 2007 18 05 GMT Summary China is making a bid for Central Asia's energy resources -- a move that will ultimately expand into a bid for geopolitical control of the entire region. Russia is waking up to the threat and starting to take countermeasures, setting the stage for a broad Sino-Russian conflict in Central Asia. Analysis Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov on Aug. 31 inaugurated the construction of a new natural gas project that will ship Turkmen natural gas currently destined for Russia to China instead. The event marks the formal beginning of a conflict between Russia and China for control of the entire Central Asian region. The Chinese Gambit China's desire for strong connections with Central Asia is neither new nor secret. Ever since China opened up to the world in 1979, it has been apparent that the country needs access to ample markets and resources, and that in turn has m

Azerbaijan: Mounting Pressure in the Space Between

Source: Stratfor Stratfor's Free Intelligence Reports August 31, 2007 17 54 GMT Summary Azerbaijan is finding itself in a very vulnerable position at the front line of the Russian resurgence. It also finds itself in a pressure cooker as Russia and Iran attempt to redefine their neighborhoods. Analysis New Kremlin point man Sergei Naryshkin arrived in Azerbaijan for wide-ranging talks Aug. 31 with the Azerbaijani leadership. After 17 years of working with Western powers, Baku is finding itself drawn back into the Russian sphere of influence. Sparks really will begin to fly as the former Soviet republic returns to its standard geopolitical status as a (shrinking) buffer between Russia and Iran. Azerbaijan has enthusiastically courted Western powers ever since the Soviet breakup, seeking investment in its military and energy industries. But it has always known that its pro-Western proclivities could only exist at the pleasure of Moscow. Unlike Georgia to its west, Azerbai

Needed: war on error in India

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/213413.html Ajit Doval Posted online: Thursday, August 30, 2007 at 0000 hrs Print Email Hyderabad blasts were waiting to happen; why they weren’t prevented is a longer story of deliberate diversion For nations, it matters what happens to them; but the course of their history is often determined less by what happened and more by how they reacted. What is happening to India on the terrorist front is bad, but what is worse is the way we are reacting to it. The worst reaction of a government to such a serious national challenge would be to underplay it, divert the discourse from core issues to the peripherals. Asserting that all is well and nothing needs to be changed, emphasising maintenance of social harmony as the core concern, complimenting people for bravely suffering losses and returning to normal lives, talking about human rights and protection of minorities — these are all laudable objectives. No one disputes them, but they do not address

New Arabian Gulf Oil Pipeline Network Will Detour Hormuz

From DEBKA-Net-Weekly Aug. 10, 07 - Updated by DEBKAfile August 27, 2007, 1:10 PM (GMT+02:00) Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen have launched the vast Trans-Arabia Oil Pipeline project with encouragement from Washington, DEBKA-Net Weekly 313 revealed on Aug. 10, 2007. By crisscrossing Arabia overland, the net of oil pipelines will bypass the Straits of Hormuz at the throat of the Persian Gulf and so remove Gulf oil routes from the lurking threat of Iranian closure. Click HERE to see the full-size map. The 35,000-strong new Saudi security force, disclosed this week, will protect the new project, together with the oil installations of the world’s biggest oil exporter, from attack by such enemies as al Qaeda or Iran. The first 5,000 recruits are already in training, as plans advance to start laying the first section of the new pipeline system in November, 2007. Because of the sensitivity of their mission, Saudi security

IRAQ: Shia rivalry sees cleric cease fire

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22335717-31477,00.html Correspondents in Baghdad | August 31, 2007 RADICAL Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's surprise declaration that he was suspending his Mahdi Army militia's operations was seen in Iraq yesterday as an attempt to halt the outbreak of bloody inter-Shia violence, which erupted earlier this week in the holy city of Karbala. The declaration came after Mahdi Army fighters waged running battles with Iraq's Shia government forces in Karbala, killing 52 people and wounding 279. The government forces are dominated by the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council and its armed Badr movement. Many fear the Karbala clashes were a sign of Shia rivalries between the Sadr and Badr movements, which are vying for power in Shia southern Iraq. Reports yesterday said Sadr's ceasefire -- which includes a declaration not to attack US troops -- was seen as an acknowledgement that inter-Shia fighting had damaged the reputation of t

INDIA : Women officers demand equality

Nitin Gokhale, Kadambini Sharma Source: NDTV Friday, August 31, 2007 (New Delhi) For 15 years now, women have become an integral part of the Indian Armed Forces. They fly transport planes and helicopters, have administrative and operational duties and yet the ministry of defence finds them unfit for a permanent commission. Currently they can't serve for more than 15 years and they don't get pension when they retire. But now two serving Indian Air Force women officers have decided to fight back. They have filed a petition in the Delhi High Court, demanding a uniform policy for men and women. Their lawyer says the Air Force does not have a case. It's just hiding behind technicalities. ''All that we are asking for is a clear-cut policy on permanent commission for women. The argument put forth by the Air Force that women cannot be given that chance because the current policy does not allow women a combat role does not hold water,'' said Prashanti Prasad

IAF makes its first casualty evacuation using night vision devices

http://www.domain-b.com/industry/defence/20070831_evacuation.htm 31 August 2007 The Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully completed a casualty evacuation at night using night vision goggles, in a narrow valley close to the border somewhere in the north-east sector, for the first time in its history. An Indian Army division contacted IAF Eastern Air Command HQ with an emergency request at 1630 hrs on 20 August to evacuate two casualties, one with a serious head injury. The helipad was located in a narrow valley close to the international border. Despite being on the same longitude as places that have a time zone a full hour ahead of Indian Standard Time (IST, based on the longitude of Nagpur, in central India), India's north eastern states are still forced to follow IST. This results in very 'early' sunrises and sunsets. Dawn breaks around 0330 hrs in the summer, and the sun sets at around 1600 hrs. Consequently, by the time the request came in, darkness was rapidly de