November 27, 2010

Unearthing China’s Rare Earths Strategy

The lack of long-term strategic thinking has led the West and its industries to sleepwalk into a great dependency on Chinese production, lulled by the belief that the days of cheap rare earths would never end. These rare earths cut-offs should now jolt it back into action.

By Roderick Kefferputz
Trade Developments CEPS Policy Briefs
Date of publication: 16 November 2010
Pages: 5
Free download (pdf, 134.05 Kb)

Relations between China and the West have been difficult for some time.
Recently, however, one issue in particular has made the headlines: rare earths. Vital for the production of low-carbon products such as hybrid cars and wind turbines, consumer goods and sensitive military hardware like cruise missiles and smart bombs, rare earths are indispensable for high-tech industries and emerging technologies.

With China responsible for the production of almost 97% of these rare earth elements (REE), recent Chinese reductions in exports, coupled with increasing export taxes, are causing jitters not only in the markets but also politically.

Roderick Kefferputz, Associate Research Fellow at CEPS, takes a look at China’s long march towards dominance of this all-important market and, ahead of the European Commission’s publication of its Raw Materials Strategy, considers options for the future

CIA successfully inherited KGB's psychoactive drugs technology

26.11.2010 05:43

Igor Sutyagin, one of four Russians, who was exchanged within the scope of the US-Russian spy swap in early July, claimed that he was given psychotropic drugs dissolved in cognac during interrogation in Moscow's Lefortovo detention center.

Spokespeople for Russian special services dismissed Sutyagin's claims. "There is nothing strange about Sutyagin launching this PR campaign at this particular time, because he needs to attract attention to himself and develop the subject of the recent spy scandal. The remarks were ordered by those, for whom Sutyagin works," Russian official said.

According to Sutyagin, a former disarmament researcher, who currently lives in Britain, said that the drugs, which he had been given during interrogation in Lefortovo, made him pliable. He also said that he started suffering from memory lapses after the interrogation.

In 2004, Sutyagin worked at the department for foreign political research of the Institute for the United States and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In the spring of 2004, a Moscow court sentenced him to 15 years for state treason (espionage).

Sutyagin was found guilty of delivering secret data about submarines and missile warnings systems to a British company under CIA's order. The scientist did not plead guilty to the charges.

However, in July of 2010, after the pseudo-spy scandal in the USA, Sutyagin and three other Russians, charged of espionage in the Russian Federation, were swapped for Chapman and Co. All this means that Sutyagin still poses an interest to the West.

Do Russian special services really possess and use the psychotropic drugs? There were many stories during the Soviet times about the KGB, which supposedly started using the drugs during interrogations. Is the situation still the same?

Alexander Kolpakidi, a historian of special services, said in an interview with Pravda.Ru that he did not exclude such a possibility.

"Technically, such drugs could be used against Sutyagin. During the Soviet times, there was the so-called Laboratory X chaired by Dr. Mairanovsky, where they used to make and test the "truth serum." The tests were conducted on military criminals, the Germans, who were especially atrocious during the Great Patriotic War. However, the laboratory was unexpectedly closed at the end of the 1940s, whereas Dr. Mairanovsky was fired. The activities of the laboratory were subsequently used against Comrades Beria, Abakumov and legendary Soviet intelligence officer Sudoplatov.

"Soviet intelligence officers achieved significant progress in developing the desirable substances. NKVD had strong drugs to make people sleep, to immobilize and even kill suspects. They also had very good invigorating and pain-killing drugs.

"All German diversionists, who took part in Operation Monastery in Moscow during 1943-1944, were put to sleep and arrested without a single gunshot. Most likely, all those technologies were lost after Laboratory X had been closed. In 2004, when Russian special services conducted the special operation to release Nord Ost hostages in Moscow, they apparently used sleeping gas of foreign origin - that's why many people died in the siege.

"Special services also used biological substances, which paralyzed victims, making them completely immobile. Such a drug can kill a victim leaving absolutely no traces of violent death. Forensic experts would conclude that a person died of flu, pneumonia, etc.

"As for such substances, I would name one known as "Novichok" ("Newcomer"). This drug triggers artificial biological aging and reduces a person's lifespan catastrophically. There is also a drug known as 2.4-Pyrolo, which develops complete memory loss. There are other variants too. For example, alcohol, when combined with other chemicals, may produce the effects, which special services need. Alcohol and sarin may lead to lethal outcome, experts say.

"Simplified forms of psychotropic drugs were used in Ancient Rome. They used to follow "In vino veritas" principle there - "In wine there is the truth". The legendary Sigmund Freud believed that the sleeping underconsciousness can be awakened with the help of cocaine intoxication. Such substances are still used in the West. A trial in San Francisco of January 3, 2000 proves that. Two years before that, in 1998, human rights activists launched unprecedented proceedings regarding the problem at the European Court of Human Rights.

"Modern science refers to the method of obtaining truthful testimony with the help of chemical drugs as "narcotic analysis". The testimony obtained under narcosis is not considered evidence of confession, though. Such actions are not prohibited either, because their results give investigators an opportunity to find other ways for obtaining confession.

"The idea to use narcotic substances for special services appeared in medicine. When using narcosis as anesthetic drugs in child labor, medics noticed that women would often reveal the secrets which they would never even think to unveil in other circumstances.

"The USA pioneered in the use of psychotropic drugs. In 1922, Texan doctor Robert E. Haus, the father of the serum of truth, wrote an extensive article about the use of scopolamine in criminology. The scientist concluded that the use of the substance was a sure-fire way in obtaining necessary testimony. An injection of scopolamine makes a person speak the truth like a baby - straightforwardly, without making any attempts to conceal anything.

"In the States, they also used local unique drugs such as mescaline, a narcotic derived from peyote, a Mexican cactus. The legendary Carlos Castaneda made a name for himself on mescaline. Mexican Indians used peyote to publicly declare their misdeeds. Nazi scientists subsequently established as a result of experiments in concentration camps that mescaline makes a human being lose their will and loosen their tongue.

"The Americans use marijuana during interrogations too, as it happened in the case of Augusto del Garcio who narced out New York crime lord Lucky Luciano under the influence of marijuana. In 1970s, the CIA conducted experiments with psilocybin mushrooms and even curare poison.

"They used such drugs against Russian special services too. For example, they did so in the kidnapping of KGB officer Yuri Nosenko in February of 1964 and KGB Colonel Vitaly Yurchenko in 1985 in Rome.

"The most important evidence to prove the use of psychotropic substances in "the land of the free" is the "KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation" manual, which was declassified in 1997. The manual was used by CIA counterintelligence from 1963 to 1985. According to the document, US special services used such methods as disrupting human biorhythms, threats, physical violence, hypnosis and narcotics.

"The USA used such methods in all armed conflicts in which the country was involved. Now look at what they do to Guantanamo prisoners. To crown it all, The Washington Times wrote in 2001 that US federal courts could approve the use of the serum of truth in the search for Bin Laden.

"Therefore, it does not seem appropriate for Americans or British to stir hysteria about "brutal Russians using inhuman methods for obtaining confessionary statements," the historian said.

Sergey Balmasov

Russia: Crisis, Crime, and Police Reform

The economic recession in Russia has not produced the expected rise in organised crime. The answer to this conundrum lies in the politics of security reform.

By Gavin Slade for openDemocracy

The familiar nexus between an economic downturn, social and economic upheaval, and an increase in crime has acquired an intriguing twist in Russia. A close look at it may even offer some insight on the country’s current politics.

Russia in 2009 was one of the countries worst hit by the global financial crisis. The economy shrank by around 8%. The contemporaneous trends for crime, according to official statistics, show a mixed picture: overall crime actually decreased by 6.7% year-on-year, though economic crime increased almost eight-fold. A report from the interior-ministry’s investigative committee found that 429,000 economic crimes had been uncovered, 172,800 of which were deemed especially serious; exposed instances of bribery rose by 13%; and the cost of economic crime was accounted at an astounding $33 billion.

Indeed, an independent study by the auditing company PriceWaterhouseCoopersconcludes that Russia is the world leader in economic crime (a category that includes misappropriation, fraudulent accounting, corruption, money-laundering, tax-fraud, price-fixing and cartelisation). As many as 71% of Russian companies have experienced some form of economic crime at their firm, an increase of 12% on the previous (2007) survey - compared to the average of 30% of firms globally which reportedly experienced economic crime (see Economic crime in a downturn: the 5th Global economic crime survey, PwC, 2009).

The criminal markeplace

Where does organised crime fit into this picture? When the economic crisis hit, the Russian media voiced fears of a return to the “mob wars” of the bloody 1990s. This has not happened: of the total of 2.47 million crimes committed in Russia in 2009, only 31,600 (according to the interior ministry) were connected to organised-crime groups.

True, some high-profile incidents have taken place. In late July 2009, one of Russia’s most notorious mobsters - Vychaslav Ivan’kov, known as Yaponchik - was shot in Moscow, and later died in hospital of his injuries. Yaponchik had reportedly been arbitrating between two Georgian gangs headed by Tariel Oniani and Aslan Usoyan, and in the process alienated Oniani - who had allegedly sought payback.

A further assassination attempt in September 2010 that left Usoyan hospitalised (while Oniani, his rival, was in jail) suggests that this conflict at least may be simmering. Yet in a parlous economic environment, where moreover the government department devoted to the fight against organised crime was disbanded in September 2008, it is striking that the notorious mafiya have not become more visibly active.

There is a paradox here, which can be expressed in market terms. In principle, an economic downturn increases the “demand” for organised criminal groups able to “sell” protection and arbitration. At a time of economic pressure, businesses have an incentive to seek alternative credit-flows, to default on debt, engage in the bribery of officials, and price-fix with competitors. These actions create openings for violent protection-rackets, the infamous krysha (roof) whereby groups provide loans, collect debts, pressure officials, and enforce agreements made amongst cartel members. In addition, criminals with legitimate business interests get squeezed during tough economic times, and this incentivises them to return to more traditional racketeering activities.

There is also in Russia a ready supply of experienced and skilled people with the capacity to meet a demand for these services - all the more since 2005, when their numbers were swelled by the arrival of many vory-v-zakone (thieves-in-law) from Georgia - that is, criminal “authorities” fleeing draconian laws against organised crime introduced by Mikheil Saakashvili’s government after the “rose revolution” (see "Georgia's mafia: the politics of survival", 20 August 2010).

The fact that this crisis has not been followed by a rise in organised crime indicates that the “wild” Russia of the 1990s, apparent at the time of the rouble crash in 1998, has been overtaken. Today, such organised-crime groups that exist are are now either awed or co-opted by the power of the state. Any incentive to move back into racketeering and conduct turf-wars is offset by an aversion to upsetting the authorities. This provides a key to the question of who is meeting the demand for protection in a difficult economic environment.

The security archipelago

The place to look for an answer is Russia’s burgeoning security sector. The Russian legal expert Vladimir Pastukhov estimates that if all those working in the militsia(police), the federal security service (FSB) and intelligence services, the military, border-and-customs control, and private security are included, the numbers working in this sector may amount to 10 million. These forces have, over the last decade,regained the state’s monopoly on violence from the organised-crime gangs of the 1990s. The law professor Yakov Glinsky paraphrased a police respondent who told him: “Who is protecting stalls and businesses? The police….Today, all small retail businesses - small and mid-size businesses - are controlled by the police” (see "On the State of Organized Crime in Russia", RFE/RL, 14 October 2010).

Perhaps this helps explain why 2009 was a year more of police scandals and outrages than of renewed mob wars. A shocking case involved the death of Sergei Magnitsky in police custody in November 2009; he was a lawyer with Hermitage Capital, an investment fund that accuses Russian law-enforcement officials and the courts of complicity in a massive tax fraud initially conducted via a hostile takeover of Hermitage companies by convicted criminals. The police also engaged in extortion and raiderstvo (corporate raiding), whereby legitimate business owners are forced to transfer ownership of their businesses on the basis of falsified documents and legal and physical threats.

At the same time, efforts are underway more closely to scrutinise the militsia, and presidential decrees have been issued to reform its structures, reduce its numbers, and raise salaries. In 2010, top police commissioners have lost their jobs, and substantial changes to the 1991 law on the police are passing through parliament. The department for economic crime will be streamlined, and take on the work of the department for tax crime (which will be eliminated). The interior minister (currently Rashid Nurgaliyev) is to be deprived of the right to appoint the head of internal investigations into the ministry. Moreover, both Vladimir Putin (the prime minister) andDmitry Medvedev (the president) have been vocal on the need for new laws to preventraiderstvo.

The political satellite

These changes can be explained in economic terms: namely, that they were born in panicky times of economic turmoil, and fast-tracked in order to curb an overgrown police force that had ousted the traditional mafiyas and were engaging in and facilitating massive economic crime at a cost the country could no longer afford.

But if the economic crisis was a catalyst for the reforms, there may also be a political dimension - even if it is unclear what they signal in terms of Russia’s power politics. They could be an attempt by Dmitry Medvedev to bring the power-structures under control before the next presidential election in 2012, or just more superficial adjustments vetted by the siloviki and those close to Vladimir Putin to assuage popular feelings of mistrust towards the police.

The police reforms are a step in the right direction, though conflicting interests and ideologies amongst Russia’s political elite mean they will be limited and compromised. This is likely to ensure that the next time an economic crisis hits Russia, the likely result will be a new wave of economic crime and related increases in corruption and predation by law-enforcement officials.

Gavin Slade is researching a doctorate at the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford on "Alienated Statehood and the Problem of Thieves-in-Law". His work includes The Threat of the Thief: Who Has Normative Influence in Georgian Society?"(Global Crime, 8/2 May)

Editor's note:

To view the original article, click here.

TTD cancel it’s own Dharma Sadassu

TTD cancel it’s own Dharma Sadassu; Hindu Temple cannot have meeting with Hindu Leaders; Sonia’s contempt for Hindu Swamijis

"Hatred is the vice of narrow souls; they feed it with all their littleness, and make it the pretext of base tyrannies." Honore De Balzac

The hatred of Sonia Gandhi, the President of Congress Party, for Hinduism, it’s leaders, Sadhus, Swamiji’s and Peethadhipathis as well as Hindu Temples is obvious, visible, rampant, widespread, compulsive, neurotic, uncontrollable and epidemic. Her contempt for Hinduism is unmatched, her commitment to destroy Hindu Temples is unparalleled, her hatred for VHP, BJP and RSS is unsurpassed, her disdain for Hindu leaders and Acharyas is unparalleled, her zeal to taint Hindus as Saffron terrorists is overpowering, and her passion to destroy Hinduism is overwhelming.

But her fanaticism to implant Christianity, her unbridled fervor to convert India into a Christian land, her mindless obsession to destroy Hindu way of life, her blind support in “planting the cross” over Bharath as suggested by the Pope in 1999, her open invitations to all Christians in foreign countries to pour money to convert gullible Hindus, her selfish determination to use Hindu Temple money to propagate Christianity, and her deliberate mania to replace the Hindu symbols with Christian symbols, will continue to undermine Hinduism. In fact her sole and exclusive mission is to pull out the roots of Hinduism from Bharath.

A born Christian, she wields complete, absolute control over the leaders of Congress Party. She will entice them, blackmail them, use them, and dump them. Although as many as 70 percent of Congress MLAs and MPs are Hindus, they cannot call themselves Hindus. They will be branded “Hindu fundamentalists.” Congress Party made them feel so little, so pride less, so insensitive to their religion, they act as robots; no independence, no pride, no thinking, no personality, no values, no ethics, no morals left any more among Hindu congress leaders and the government officials who work for them. Congress leaders play the role of eunuchs in front of her because they cannot look like effective, efficient, dynamic, forceful and powerful. They have to look meek, obedient, ignorant, submissive, docile and slavish. They have to look castrated.

Government officials who work in these “so called” secular governments are no different. They cannot question, they cannot challenge, they cannot protest and they cannot disobey the orders. Like brain dead people they do not think, they do not express, and they do not defy. They act like robots; they refuse to understand the role, the goal and the mission of Hindu Temples; they simply rubber stamp the orders from the government; they are silent partners and witnesses to implement government orders that undermine the very existence of Hindu Temples they work for. Some of them who are working in the Hindu Temples may apply Tilak on their forehead, wear classical Hindu clothes, but they fail to challenge the policies of the secular governments that are at odds with the mission of these Temples.

Here is an example of Sonia Gandhi’s unyielding power over the state government, the Hindu Temples and the employees of the state government including the employees of all the Temples controlled by the Central and state governments.

TTD Plans to hold Dharma Sadassu was cancelled – Sonia’s Supersonic Power.

On behalf of TTD in Andhra Pradesh, Sri PVRK Prasad conducted two Sanatana Dharma Prachara Sadas (known as Dharma sadassu) in 2006 and 2007. Sadassus (gatherings) are conducted to discuss spiritual, religious, ethical and moral aspects of Sanatana Dharma; to make the Endowment officials responsible to protect, propagate and preserve Sanatana Dharma; to discuss about the effective use of Temple money for preservation of our religion, to discuss the plans to deter the well laid out plan to convert Hindus and how to deter them, to discuss the much needed facilities for Hindu pilgrims to the Temples, etc. As many as 60 Acharyas, Swamijis, Peethadhiapthis and Hindu Leaders participated and provided valuable suggestions to TTD and the government for the survival and revival of Sanatana Dharma.

Sri Adikeasavulu Naidu, the liquor baron with no basic understanding of Hinduism and has little appreciation for the heritage of the Temples, was a appointed as Chairman Of TTD which is the most sacred, sacrosanct and holy place for all Hindus. His servitude and subjugation to the then Chief Minister was total to the extent of belittling the pilgrims and denigrating the age-old cultural heritage. During those two years, Dharma Sadassu was planned, Hindi saints were invited, and agenda was sent to them. Here comes the Chairman Adikesavulu who cancelled the Dharma Sadassu for both the years. Let us all remember that he was supposed to have been appointed to preserve, manage, and meet the needs of Hindu pilgrims.

Proposed Agenda for Dharma Sadassu

In October 2010, 68 Hindu saints were invited to attend the Sanatana Dharma Prachara Sadas to be held in Tirupathi on November 29 and 30. The proposed agenda was extensive and inclusive of many issues facing the Hindus. The agenda covers wide range of areas in six different sessions. They are as follows:

1) How to make each Temple a Dharmic Center? How to involve temple personnel to get involved in dharmic activities; role of Board and Endowment Department in achieving the objectives; How to involve local Hindus to execute dharmic activities; etc

2) How to protect the vulnerable Hindus from being targets of conversions; how to protect SC/ ST/ Fisherman form the conversions tactics; train a cadre of archakas to prevent conversions; role of Swamijis in arresting the conversions; etc

3) How to counter the negative propaganda of other faiths; create a cell to monitor and collect propaganda material; prepare materials to counter the allegations and misinterpretations by other faiths; Counter media bias; etc

4) Discuss the objectives and the present status of Dharmic Parishad of Andhra Pradesh; earmarking temple resources toward dharma prachara; efforts be made to see that the Government accepts the recommendations; etc

5) Identify the issues related to the dharmic activities at different levels: state level, district level, and mandal level.

6) Suggest and improve the dharma prachara schemes already undertaken by TTD – TV channel, Kalyanamasthu, Dalith Govindam; Bhajan Mandals, Annamayya Projects, Dasa Sahitya project, Veda Rakshana, Sashtra Rakshana, etc.

Why did TTD cancel the Dharma Sadassu?

Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samith, T T D Parirakshana Samithi and a number of Hindus concerned about the cancellation of the Dharma Sadassu have talked to some of the officials who were planning to organize the meeting and also some of the Hindu leaders who expressed their dismay over the cancellation.

It appears that Adikesavulu Naidu, who wanted to be re-appointed as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of TTD for another two year period, approached Sri Veerappa Moily to cancel the meeting for a number of reasons. Moily, in charge of Andhra Pradesh Congress Party and Ahmed Patel, General Secretary of AICC, complained to Sonia Gandhi about this Dharmacharya Conference. Sonia Gandhi in turn, called the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri Rosaiah and ordered the cancellation of this event. Shri Rosaiah in turn ordered the Executive Officer of TTD to cancel the event and send out Telegrams to all the invited Swamijis. This kind of cancellation in the last minute is happening for the 3rd time in the last 3 years.

TTD is an independently run Hindu religious organization. Neither political nor Government intervention is needed for the administration of this institution. Neither Rosaiah nor TTD officials had the guts to say ‘no’ to Sonia Gandhi, the lady who did not have stomach to digest the very thought that the Swamiji’s may be very powerful to curb the conversion. With her Christian agenda following the dictates of her “jealous” God, Sonia Gandhi ORDERED Sri Rosaiah to cancel the meeting. Poor guy, what else can he do? For that matter which Congress leaders would dare and defy their MADam? These are little people with little vision with little brains.

Sri Kamal Kumar Swami

Undaunted and fearless Sri Kamal Kumar Swami is heading to Tirupathi and is holding a News Conference on November 28, 2010 along with few other Swamijis and local people demanding answers to a set of questions: Who is responsible for the cancellation of Dharma Sadassu? Who prompted the cancellation? What was the reason to cancel? Is TTD planning to have another Dharma Sadassu? Why no official of TTD or Sri Rosaiah objected to the cancellation? Is the agenda inconsistent with the mission of TTD? Why this silence on the part of Specified Authority? What is the difference between Specified Authority and the earlier Board if it would blindly follow the dictates of Sonia Gandhi?

He will be heading to Chennai to attend the Dharma Rakshana Samithi meeting on 29th.

Swamijis are meeting in Chennai

In the meanwhile, Dharma Rakshana Samithi headed by Sri Dayananda Saraswathi has taken up this sacred task of inviting and holding a meeting with all these Swamijis in Chennai on November 29, 2010. We are hoping that they would discuss about preservation, protection and propagation of Hindu ideals, morals and principles; and also address the broader issue of curbing CONVERSION of vulnerable Hindus. All Hindus should be proud of this effort by Dharma Rakshana Samithi to address the issue and come up with a plan to execute the policy recommendations. Mere passing the resolutions would not have enough strength. An action plan has to be developed to make sure that the sinister conversion efforts by other faiths are thwarted.


We need your assistance to continue our mission of abolishing Endowment Act and free Temples from the government control. If we have to make an impact on our movement to bring changes to preserve our culture, we need you financial support. Your generous donations to continue our efforts to free Hindu Temples from government control, awaken the Hindus about the plight of Hindu Temples and the impending danger of illegal conversion techniques are essential. We are requesting all the individuals and organizations to support financially to continue our movement to free Hindu Temples from the government control and stop these conversions.

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BALOCHISTAN CRISIS: World turn a deaf ear and blind eye

Ali Akbar Says

It appears that the US and allies have bargained with Pakistan that they will turn a deaf ear and blind eye on the violations of human rights in Balochistan on a mass scale with arrests and eliminations under custody of all Baloch democratic and secular forces in return of permission of the presence of US forces in Quetta what is now the Taliban-ruled city of Balochistan. It is shameful how the so-called civilised world and champions of democracy have adopted a myopic stance on the Baloch sufferings and adopted a tomb’s silence on the systematic elimination of Baloch democratic forces and on the brutal suppression of Baloch collective national struggle for their democratic rights and human dignity. Qambar Chakar is not a terrorist, he is not a guerrilla, he is not an out-law, not a petty or big thief, as the CM Aslam Raisani has shamefully called Baloch democratic forces, he is a shining student who was earlier arrested, kept in illegal detention in Nazi-like torture cells, later released as a living dead, and now kidnapped once again. And the world is silence because Pakistan is in an ally in the war against whom nobody knows as the Taliban are still headed by ISI high-ups as the recent Wikileak documents reveal. It is really disgusting to see how the Baloch are left alone by the world powers as well as by Pakistani so-called democratic forces and human rights organizations who never tire of presenting buttered bhashans at seminars but keep dumb and deaf when it comes to Baloch. It seems that on one side are the Baloch and on the other side the whole world united against them and patting on the back of Pakistani state to kill the last raising voice in Balochistan. No Islamic brotherhood, no democratic values, no human rights champions, and no ……. no …… no ……. Now the Baloch are left with their nails to cling on to one another and struggle to survive or die collectively so to not mourn the death of one by one of all.


Pakistan is more a geographical expression than a nation

By Dr Jumma Khan Marri

The Baloch and Pushtuns tell here Punjabi jokes especially against the Punjabi-dominant Pakistani army.“The Pakistan army has glorious record,” they say they lost in Kashmir and they lost in Bangladesh. But they have conquered Pakistan four times; they are refereeing to military coups and martial law regimes of Ayub Khan, Yahiya Khan, Zia-ul Huq and Musharraf. “Whenever something goes wrong in Islamabad, it’s off with the heads of the Baloch”.

Pakistan is more a geographical expression than a nation, with no common culture, ethnicity or language; it merely derives from an anagram based on territorial provinces.

Char’es Burton Marshall, an American who played a major role in drafting Pakistan’s Constitution, wrote in the 1950’s: “‘Freedom,’ said Matthew Arnold. Is a good horse, but a horse to ride somewhere,’ The Pakistanis have ridden it in circles and have tired it out.” By C. L. Sulzberger

Armed confrontation between Baloch and first Pakistani invading military forces in Balochistan and than physical occupation of Balochistan by Pakistani imperialists’ forces goes back to 1948. The history is full of bloody pages that show the true nature instead of made-up picture of the relations between Balochistan and the Pakistani colonial rule. The struggle has gone through different stages and periods. Throughout this entire fight, which at times would subside but then break out again with increased intensity, the Baloch people have been relying exclusively on their internal resources and on their love for freedom. Historical facts unambiguously show that in all times the Baloch nation has been fighting for freedom, independence and ethnic survival with dignity.

Current state of the Baloch-Pakistani relations is a logical continuation of the trend on one side; it is trying to suppress, physically exterminate and Pakistanize the Baloch nation, and on the other side Baloch are fighting for the preservation of Baloch traditions and ethnic identity, national freedom and state independence. Baloch have always resisted the Pakistani fundamentalism, extremism, expansionism and colonialism in the south west Asia.

The entire history of Baloch after Chakar Khan the great there has been no historical tendency towards expanding its territories. Punjab’s post colonial history consists of predatory wars and territorial claims towards neighboring nations, which Punjabis are very proud of. Baloch in turn are proud of the fact that they have never engaged in unjust wars and have always been trying to get along with their neighbors guided by the principles of justice and non interference.

The opinion that the Baloch are belligerent was formed because Baloch do not accept slavery. And when the destiny would make them face a historical choice of whether to live in peace but in slavery or be free but die in a war, the Baloch would choose war. This needs to be taken into consideration while evaluating the situation.

The west and Balochistan

Today it would be wrong to be viewing the Western alliance as a single whole thing, the way it was viewed during the Cold War. The Iraqi crisis has shown that Washington's imperial tendencies do not always find support among the European states. The debates about acceptable model of the New World Order and other issues are aggravating the split and the final loss of the UN authority. But there are very serious suspicions that with all of their internal disagreements, members of the Western alliance keep some basic strategic settings unchanged, one of them being: not to allow their puppet states like Pakistan and Israel to vanish in their own crimes and guilt they support them and hold them afloat artificially on expenses of their tax payers. These two are constant headache for both US and rest of the Europe and due to them the world has seen night mares in form state terrorism and their created and sponsored terrorism.

This is the general setting in the policymaking of the Western leaders, dictated by imposed false fear before world. And this is the source of the inconsistency, inertia, discrepancies and outright immorality, which they discover in their attitude towards the genocidal war of Pakistan against the Baloch and Israel against Palestine it should be noted that both Pakistan and Israel were artificial states created by Britain under the slogans of religion.

Here are the most obvious facts concerning the attitude of the Western countries towards the "Baloch problem".

-Not once over the past 63 years the so-called international community, any particular state, or any international organization have ever taken any sensible or purposeful action to stop the oppression of the Baloch people or condemn the inhuman nature of the Islamabad's murderous deeds.

-When the most scandalous facts of atrocities by the Pakistani warmongers become known public, for example within one month Pakistan arrested and extra judicially executed 25 Baloch civilians, the Baloch activists and human right defenders held demonstrations in Europe and North America no European politician expressed "concern" only Asian based Human right organization mutely expressed concern. But at the same time they would not freeze the funding of the genocidal war in Balochistan.

-Actions of some Western politicians, when they prosecute Milosevic in the international tribunal for genocide of Muslims, can only be interpreted as a complicated legal puzzle. But for the same crimes in Balochistan, for 63 years an immeasurably large numbers of the Baloch people have been exterminated, and yet they close their eyes on those crimes and give a pompous reception to Pakistani dictator who is not only protected but given VIP reception in London and Washington. The world has witnessed how the British and US Governments accorded a cordial welcome to the murderer of Nawab Akbar khan Bugti Balach Marri and thousands Baloch women and children. This is where the silent approval of genocide and almost outright financial and political help to Islamabad in extermination of the Baloch people comes from.

The "set of interests" dictates its own priorities. As the West has been explaining, this is where the priority of so-called "partnership relations" with Pakistan comes from, despite of the criminal nature of the Islamabad regime, which tramples on all elementary principles of so-called "democratic norms": crushing its political opposition (including physical violence) and independent media and judiciary inside the country, and genocidal war in Balochistan. Besides, Europe and the US are explaining that the Western alliance is too afraid that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal may be uncontrollably scattered all around the world.

Independent Baloch State might be falsely viewed as a threat to stability and security in the region, while it is the other way around: occupied Balochistan has always remained and will remain as the center of permanent instability, which will pose a threat to all who are trying to establish their interests in the central Asia and /Caspian region. And this is a historical fact.

References to the allegations that Baloch state cannot be a viable and governable territory which will have negative implications on the overall situation in the region are totally unsubstantiated. This spurious argument that the Islamabad has been using is a malicious fabrication of Pakistani secret services in their secret war against Baloch freedom struggle. Some Baloch politicians are unfortunately repeating this fabrication for their short-term interests.

Thus, it is obvious that the existing priorities that the Western alliance has in the Balochistan and in the region as whole are based on false premises and will take the international community only towards more problems in the present and future.

Dr Jumma Khan Marri a Baloch leader and president of the Baloch Unity Organisation who, while living in exile in Moscow, highlights his people's struggle for self-determination through the blog

Arming Without Aiming: Where is the Strategy?

Gurmeet Kanwal

Posted online: Sat Nov 27 2010, 23:56 hrs

According to a recent KPMG report, India is likely to spend up to $100 billion on the purchase of military equipment over the next 10 years. During the last decade, India acquired T-90S main battle tanks, the USS Trenton, an amphibious warfare ship that can lift an infantry battalion, and weapon-locating radars, and signed deals for six Scorpene attack submarines and for the upgrade of Mirage 2000 fighter-bomber aircraft. Admiral Gorshkov, a Russian aircraft carrier, will soon be on its way after a prolonged refit and INS Arihant, an indigenously designed, nuclear-powered submarine, is undergoing sea trials. India also acquired a host of low-end equipment for counter-insurgency operations and for upgrading the infantry’s combat efficiency. Besides these purchases, the acquisition or manufacture of 126 MMRCA fighter aircraft, almost 1,500 155mm howitzers, about 250 light helicopters, P8I Poseidon maritime reconnaissance aircraft, C-130J Super Hercules aircraft for Special Forces, C-17 Globemaster heavy lift aircraft and many other items of defence equipment are in the pipeline.

Are these defence acquisitions part of a carefully structured strategy for military modernisation or are these piecemeal purchases that will only replace obsolescent weapons and equipment with more modern ones but will not add substantially to India’s comprehensive military power? In Arming Without Aiming: India’s Military Modernisation, Stephen P. Cohen and Sunil Dasgupta carefully analyse the plans for and the thought process behind India’s ongoing military modernisation and aver that the process lacks political support and guidance, is haphazard and bereft of strategic direction and is not in consonance with evolving doctrinal and organisational changes. They conclude rather pessimistically: “We believe that this state of arming without aiming will continue into the future.”

Debates Affecting Military Modernization

The strategic debate: multipolarity today or when?

The debate over the use of force: conventional and nuclear

The modernization debate: technology vs. organizational reform

The hardware debate: make or buy, US or Russian

The procurement debate: is a corruption-free system possible?

Some Conclusions

• India neglects organizational modernization in favor of hardware modernization, but changes are coming
•Procurement decisions are foreign policy decisions: Russia, Israel, the US
• Will there be a tighter alliance relationship between the US India? Probably not: cannot be against Pakistan, premature to align against China; India a long-term strategic investment

US needs a regional approach: CENTCOM vs PACOM, AF-Pak vs India

Principle: support military modernization where American and Indian goals overlap.

Afghanistan best prospect for strategic partnership with India and Pakistan;

Avoid fueling both sides of an arms race, but take advantage of good relations with both countries

Given the absence of a resolute strategic culture and keeping in view of India’s gross neglect of long-term national security planning, it is difficult to dispute Cohen and Dasgupta’s finding that India is arming without aiming. India lacks not only a coherent national security strategy, but also the tools and processes necessary to formulate such a strategy. As the authors argue, civilian distrust of the military has been deep-rooted since the Nehru era and the armed forces have little say in national security decision-making. While there is the National Security Council for long-term defence planning, its apex body — which essentially comprises the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) plus the National Security Advisor (NSA) — seldom meets to deliberate on long-term threats and emerging challenges and on the adversaries’ military capabilities that should together drive military strategy, force structures and the modernisation plans necessary to meet and defeat future threats.

The armed forces have drawn up a long-term integrated perspective plan (LTIPP), but it is yet to be approved by the government. The 11th Defence Plan (2007-12) is now in its fourth year and has not been accorded formal approval. The armed forces are left with no choice but to stumble along from one financial year to the next. The defence-acquisition process is plagued by tardy decision-making, and large amounts of budgetary allocations on the capital account are surrendered every year, leading to completely haphazard military modernisation. In FY 2009-10, the Ministry of Defence surrendered Rs 5,439 crore over the budgetary estimates for the year. Cicero, the Greek philosopher, wrote almost two millennia ago, “Armies can signify but little abroad unless there be counsel and wise management at home.”

However, not all is lost. The two new mountain divisions by the army clearly indicate that the emphasis has shifted from Pakistan, whose military power is rapidly declining, towards a rising and increasingly assertive China, which shall indisputably remain a long-term military threat as long as the territorial dispute is not satisfactorily resolved. The acquisition of strategic sealift and airlift capabilities and air-to-air refuelling for fighter aircraft signals India’s attempts to build intervention and rapid reaction capabilities in keeping with its regional power status. The importance being given to upgrading command and control systems shows the aspirations of the armed forces to acquire the tools necessary to benefit from the combat synergies provided by network-centric and effects-based operations.

Yet, as Cohen and Dasgupta, who have competently covered a fairly wide canvas in a short book, point out, India’s military strategy has not evolved in concert with its nuclear power status. While analysing the complexities of the modernisation of the military (army, navy, air force and paramilitary), they examine the contours of India’s emergence as a “reluctant” nuclear power and discuss the fragility and ambiguity of strategic stability in south Asia. They also delve into the factors behind India’s famed strategic restraint and abnormally high threshold of tolerance and conclude that India is unlikely to dramatically change its policies with increasing affluence and growing military power. Finally, the authors highlight the common concerns and the congruence of interests between India and the US and recommend that the US must support India’s military modernisation plans.

As with previous books on south Asia by Cohen, which were very well received, Arming Without Aiming presents a masterful analysis of the complex strategic realities that confront India and the inadequacy of India’s response. The authors have identified the fault lines very well and while they have refrained from being too prescriptive, they have offered many positive suggestions for Indian policymakers to consider. This book must be read by all those who are involved in national security decision-making and policy-analysis.

(Gurmeet Kanwal is director, Centre for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi)