July 29, 2011

NSG GUIDELINES: POSSIBLE IMPLICATIONS FOR INDIA

Pradeepa Viswanathan
Research Intern, IPCS
email: viswanathan.pradeepa@gmail.com


http://www.ipcs.org/article/india/nsg-guidelines-possible-implications-for-india-3434.html

The decision of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on 23-24 June 2011 to strengthen guidelines on the transfer of sensitive enrichment and reprocessing technologies concerns countries which are non-NPT members, and those who have not adopted IAEA full scope safeguards. India fits both criterions, but was depending on the ‘clean waiver’ given to it by the NSG to bypass these norms.

Some groups in India, however, have cried foul over this ruling, with the government being largely silent on the issue. The communications received so far from Government sources, minimal as they are, have tried to allay criticism and evade misgivings over the nuclear agreements. The following discussion assesses the possible implications of the guidelines for India.

What is ENR technology and why is it vital for India?
Enrichment and Reprocessing (ENR) technology is a part of the comprehensive nuclear fuel cycle. Enrichment is the process by which uranium is refined for use either for energy or military purposes depending on the percentage of purity. Reprocessing or separation of spent fuel is undertaken to make it safe but also to extract by-product isotopes for other civil or military applications. ENR technology therefore can be used to manufacture highly enriched uranium (HEU) or separate plutonium, both of which are fissile materials required for building a nuclear weapon. It is primarily this weaponization possibility which has led to tightened guidelines over transfer of ENR technology.

India is among the few countries to possess an indigenous ENR capability. However, it still requires access to advanced ENR technology. Given the target to expand its nuclear energy production from the current 3 per cent to an ambitious 25 per cent by the year 2050 to meet its growing energy demand, the import of these sensitive technologies will save India the cost of constructing advanced indigenous ENR facilities.

How do the guidelines affect Indian interests?
Technological implications:
It would be an aberration to suggest that the guidelines put India’s nuclear interests at peril. It is so because, first, although the guidelines restrict the transfer of ENR technology they do not affect the commerce relating to nuclear reactors (including their fuel supplies) or New Delhi’s rights to reprocess and recycle spent fuel. Second, the NSG not being a formal organization, its guidelines are not legally binding. So member states have the flexibility to deal individually with issues relating to nuclear commerce.

This right became evident with statements from India’s three major nuclear technology partners, the United States, Russia and France, affirming bilateral commitments to take precedence over the renewed guidelines. For instance, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton during her India visit had stated, “Nothing about the new restrictions...should be construed as detracting from the unique impact and importance of the US-India civil nuclear agreement.” This clarification is important, given the willingness of French and Russian suppliers to look past NSG guidelines to further their trade with India, and the inability of American firms to rival European entry into the Indian market.

Political Implications:
Contrary to the technological implications, the guidelines have succeeded in generating domestic political heat. The Indian ruling elite has been vulnerable since the details of the Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement was tabled in Parliament. The current ruling simply strains the existing position. Internally, this issue appears to have divided those who feel ‘betrayed by the NSG’ and those who feel ‘betrayed by the Government’.

The former portray the guidelines as contradicting the spirit if not the letter of the nuclear deal and the exemptions provided to India. Anil Kakodkar, former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, viewed the ruling as a "big departure, or betrayal of the exemption NSG had granted India." The latter, led by the opposition, notably by BJP’s Yashwant Sinha and other political leaders against the deal, assert that the government knew of this impending decision and should have prepared for it. These groups have stated that not just the citizens but the Parliament of the country has been misled by the ruling elite as well.

What could be a possible Indian response?
The decision has more political than technological consequences for India. The ruling has undermined, on one hand, the promise of the deal and the exemption leading to domestic discontent against the Indian Prime Minister, and on the other, India’s faith in its ‘impeccable non-proliferation record.’ A possible Indian response to the decision should feature two imperatives: external and internal. Externally, New Delhi should exert the available leverages in bilateral dealings with its nuclear partners and internally, it should pursue a more transparent approach towards securing domestic consensus.

This said, the possible Indian response, whether it takes stock of these effects and whether it remains prepared to incorporate the leverages, continues to remain uncertain and unclear.

The end of the Norwegian fairytale

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2816378.html
ROSE-ANNE MANNS

The well worn tourist route between Norway's quaint capital of the Middle Ages, Bergen, and its modern day equivalent, Oslo, is one of the most enchanting on the globe. The 12-hour journey via heritage train, ferry and bus took our tour group on a tranquil crossing of a fiord ringed by shroud-covered peaks, followed by a steep zig zag up to 900-metre snow-caps, and ending with a ride across glacier-covered plains. It was lovely, peaceful voyage, punctuated only by the constant click, click, click of cameras. Amidst this spellbinding scenery, the only imaginable danger seemed to be mythical trolls emerging from the thick forest to menace any children who refused to come in before nightfall.

As we descended to Oslo on the afternoon of July 22, dozing after a dreamy day, I remarked to a fellow traveller on the unusual number of ambulances racing past us in the opposite direction. Approaching the city centre, our bus driver seemed confused by the congested traffic and frustrating detours, so rare in well ordered Norwegian cities. On disembarking at our city hotel, our tour guide shakily informed us that a bomb had ripped through the city centre a few hours earlier and that a gunman was currently on a rampage shooting youths on a nearby island. She instructed us that we were confined to the hotel. Inside, the lobby was mobbed with tourists who had been relocated from the one-kilometre area around the government buildings, now strewn with shattered glass and debris. With internet access congested due to people wanting to reassure loved ones back home, the hotel allowed me a free call so I could reassure my own small children that I was unharmed. Our fairytale journey through Norway had just come to an abrupt end.

Likewise, Norwegians all over the country that day were awakening to the realization that their reputation as a peaceful, stable and tolerant society was no more. We would later learn that the city bombing was only a sideshow, a distraction created by the perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik, so he could gun down children attending a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utoya while police and soldiers were preoccupied reacting to the earlier drama in the heart of the city. The tragedy that would eventually claim the lives of 76 people, most of them aged between 15 and 19, ushered Norway into the reluctant group of nations that have experienced horrific instances of politically motivated violence. It is a shock to a nation renowned for being the custodian of the Nobel Peace Prize, and one that quietly celebrates the notion of "jante" - someone who doesn't think he is better or worse than the next man; he is always in the middle. The shock was magnified by the fact that the perpetrator was one of their own: a blond-haired, 32-year-old ethnic Norwegian.

Homegrown extremism is a foreign concept in Norway.

The following day, as locals slowly returned to the deserted city centre, many I spoke to told me they were surprised the attack hadn't come from a Muslim extremist. They commented that this is what they had long expected, given Norway's active role in NATO forays in Libya and Afghanistan, and its open borders. But Breivik is a Christian conservative opposed to the "islamification" of Norway. His target was the "watermelon" coalition government (Labour and the Greens) and what he perceives as lax laws on immigration. Terrorism, it's clear, is not exclusively a Muslim weapon.

The incident represents a loss of innocence that parallels Norway's other coming of age tale: its transformation over the past 20 years from a poor nation of fishermen and ship builders to an oil- and gas-rich economic powerhouse, thanks to the discovery of massive offshore fields in the late 70s. Its emergence as the wealthiest nation in Europe has raised its profile, and its attraction to migrants. Once one of the poorest countries on the continent in the years following WWII, Norway today is the wealthiest in the world measured by per-capita income. It has enough resources to fuel Europe's energy needs until 2050, and taxes on oil profits have generated a sovereign wealth fund (the Norwegians refer to it as a "pension" fund) valued at more than $500 billion. Norway sailed through the global financial crisis and is easily weathering Europe's repeated convulsions over the Greece credit crunch, thanks to its decision to retain its own currency and remain separate from the European Union. In short, Europe needs Norway more than Norway needs Europe.

Wealth has brought rapid change to the country's 4.9 million inhabitants. The country's cost of living is the highest in the world, as measured by the Economist's reliable Big Mac index (it costs almost $10 in Oslo, the most expensive capital on the planet). Its lowest-paid workers earn amongst the highest rates in the world (about $28 an hour), and residents enjoy free education up to tertiary level, socialised medicine and plentiful public transport (including an abundance of clean, green trams in most big cities).

It's an attractive proposition to refugees - economic and political - looking for a better life. Three per cent of Norway's population are refugees fleeing political persecution. The biggest group is from Iraq, followed by Somalia. Most refugees resettle in Oslo. Norway does not detain asylum seekers while they are having their refugee status confirmed. In addition, Norway has huge number of Pakistani migrant workers. The most common name for new born babies last year was Mohammed.

Scratch the surface of ethnic Norwegians and you'll quickly find there's a perception that many of these recent arrivals are taking advantage of generous government handouts. This fuels a growing anti-immigration backlash, shrewdly exploited by the opposition Progress Party, which is calling for huge cuts in immigration. This was a policy keenly embraced by Breivik in his statement to police.

The Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, has vowed the incident will not change Norway's way of life. But it is inevitable that some things will change. The low security traditionally provided for ministers and the royal family is bound to increase. There are no barriers or bomb-proof glass in government buildings - this is bound to come under review. And the debate on immigration is certain to escalate.

There is one other thing that is likely to change, too: the Norwegian national sense of their place in the world, their perception that they are somehow protected due to their historical role as mediator, a nation adept at helping others find the middle way. At about the same time the first bomb was exploding in the centre of Oslo, on our bus our tour guide was preparing us for our approach to Oslo by describing the typical Norwegian character: he is most comfortable in his hut, far from the city, in tune with nature, away from crowds and the need to communicate any more than necessary to get along with the outside world.

After last week, the winds of change have blown open the door to that idyllic hut, and a new, uncomfortable reality is settling in at home.

Rose-Anne Manns is a journalist with the Australian Financial Review

QUOTE OF THE DAY: On Norway

INTELLIBRIEFS Note: Our Empathy to families who lost their loved one.

To outsiders, Norwegian nationalism seems a robust, if romantic, affair. Independence was hard won, shaking off Swedish and Danish occupying neighbours only to be lost again under Nazi occupation. The country went to work after the war to rebuild its ruined cities and, parallel to the physical reconstruction, a remarkable cradle-to-grave welfare state.Financed by high taxes, it has given Norway one of the highest living standards in the world.

Unscathed by the recent financial crisis – and with a €370 billion sovereign wealth fund from oil revenues – Norway has managed better than its neighbours to hold together the Nordic social model.

This model, equidistant from the Anglo-American and continental European social models, pushes an unfettered individualism, underpinned by solidarity and trust in fellow citizens and state institutions. The shock left by Breivik’s attack is not just down to his bullets and bombs but his hate-filled attack on the country’s centuries-old social contract.

It’s a contract that is feeling the strain of late: this small country of 4.8 million people has an immigrant population of 10 per cent, half of whom are from non-European backgrounds.

FROM IRISH TIMES

Cash-Starved Bankers and Terrorists Keep Asia Narcotics Boom Going

This article appears in the July 29, 2011 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
1 MILLION AFGHAN ADDICTS

by Ramtanu Maitra

[PDF version of this article]

July 21—On June 23, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released its World Drug Report 2010. Replete with data, the voluminous report (307 pages) gives the impression that drug production and consumption have stabilized. However, this could not be further from the truth.

In fact, what is happening today, due to the globalization and hot-money transfers that drive the drug trade, is an opening up of new drug-consumer markets among the drug-producer countries.

For example: Afghanistan, now flush with cash, shows a huge growth in the number of addicts. Deputy Counter-Narcotics Minister Mohammad Ibrahim Azhar estimates that at least 1 million Afghans, including a large number of women and children, are addicted to heroin. India, which is not far from Afghanistan, is also becoming an illicit producer and consumer of drugs. This new phenomenon spells real danger to the lives of hundreds of millions, in the same way that Britain's Opium War did in the 19th Century.

Equally important, but omitted from the UNODC report, is the reality that illicit, mind-destroying drugs have not only addicted millions of human beings, but fully hooked the corrupt, bankrupt financial system itself. Dope, Inc.'s illegal drug money is keeping the system afloat, while it funds the terrorism and arms traffic that the financial oligarchy uses to maintain control over the world's populations. The financial institutions which organize this drug money flow are buying up political figures who are becoming increasingly brazen in demanding legalization of their menticidal crimes. Unless this top-down financial reality is taken on, the drug- and crime-fighters at the UNODC will be helpless in defeating the drug scourge.

And UNODC head Antonio Maria Costa knows this.

The Banks Are Addicted to Drugs

In January 2009, by which time, the world financial system's collapse had become obvious even to the most short-sighted observer, Costa told the Austrian magazine Profil that drug money has been the only thing that has kept many major banks in business: "In many instances, drug money is currently the only liquid investment capital. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor." Costa went on to say that the UNODC has discovered that "interbank loans were funded by money that originated from the drug trade and other illegal activities." He pointed to "signs that some banks were rescued in that way."

It is evident that the world financial system is now in its death throes. Non-payable European sovereign debts of trillions of dollars have shaken up the European Union and the United States. The latter, under the Obama Administration, has gone so deeply into debt that it is teetering on the verge of default, while the Wall Street and City of London banks, which have created a new financial bubble, are now bankrupt and desperately looking for cash. Under the circumstances, as Costa pointed out earlier, a major cash-generating source for the banks is the drug traffic, which thrives on continuously expanding drug addiction.

Take the case of the Wachovia bank, which is now part of the Wells Fargo Company (WFC), one of the top five U.S. banks. Michael Smith of Bloomberg reported in June 2010, that Wachovia admitted it didn't do enough to spot illicit funds in handling $378.4 billion for Mexican currency-exchange houses from 2004 to 2007. That's the largest violation of the Bank Secrecy Act, an anti-money-laundering law, in U.S. history—a sum equal to one-third of Mexico's current gross domestic product. Wachovia was charged, but what happened? The bank paid $160 million in fines and penalties, and the company is now off the hook for further punishment.

One explantion is that President Obama's political campaigns, beginning with his run for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, were funded by the number one drug pusher in the United States: George Soros. Soros is also part of the drug-money dependent Wall Street elite. As Lyndon LaRouche recently noted, it was Soros's dirty money that brought Obama the White House.

Fallacy of Composition

According to the UNODC report, there has been a stagnation in production of narcotics because of a drop in production of opium in Afghanistan. Such a drop, about 30% of the peak value in 2007, occurred after Afghanistan's opium production went up 40-fold (!) between 2001 and 2008. In fact, in 2007, Afghanistan alone produced at least 3,000 tons more opium than the entire world's addicts could consume.

Following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, and after the poppy fields were transferred from Osama bin Laden's watch to the care of the British troops, Dawood Ibrahim, a major smuggler and former Mumbai mafia boss, became a transporter of drugs from Afghanistan to Dubai by means of his "mules," protected by the intelligence agencies and his beneficiaries. It is said that containers that carry large equipment to Dubai from Kandahar and elsewhere in southern Afghanistan for "repair," also contain drugs.

The drugs were converted to cash in Dubai. The tax-free island-city, sitting at a strategic crossroads of the Persian Gulf, South Asia, and Africa, is a major offshore banking center. With the development of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the latest free-trade zone there, flexible and unrestricted offshore banking has become big business. Many of the world's largest banks already have a significant presence in Dubai: Abbey National Offshore, HSBC Offshore, ABN Amro, ANZ Grindlays, Banque Paribas, Banque de Caire, Barclays, Dresdner, and Merrill Lynch all have offices there.

Outside of Dubai, most of the offshore banks are located in former British colonies, and all are involved in money laundering: Legitimizing cash generated from drug sales and other contraband for the "respectable banks" is the lifeblood of these offshore institutions. Arguably, the most important of the Caribbean offshore financial centers is the Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory run by a royal governor appointed by Queen Elizabeth II. The Caymans are mainly a mail drop and regulation-free zone, a place where hot money is welcome, and few questions are asked.

In 2001, a French parliamentary report exposed the connection between the drug money laundered by terrorist groups through the City of London. In a Guardian article Oct. 10, 2001, John Henley, citing an exhaustive 180-page French report, wrote that up to 40 companies, banks, and individuals based in Britain can legitimately be suspected of maintaining direct or indirect relations with the narcoterrorists. The report is based on interviews with senior Metropolitan Police officers, leading City financial regulators, and European judges investigating cross-border financial crimes in Spain, Belgium, and France.

According to a 70-page addendum, "The Economic Environment of Osama bin Laden," attached to the French report, compiled by an independent team of financial experts whose identity has not been revealed, the structure of bin Laden's financial network bears a striking similarity to that used by the collapsed BCCI bank for its fraudulent operations in the 1980s.

The report establishes numerous links between bin Laden and international arms and oil traders, and even members of the Saudi elite. It also pinpoints the relationship and its subsequent breakdown between bin Laden and his family's holding company, the Saudi Binladin Group, and its multiple subsidiaries, investments, and offshoots in Europe. The names of half a dozen former BCCI clients and officials, including Ghaith Pharaon, wanted by the U.S. authorities for fraud, and Khalid bin Mahfouz, a Saudi banker who was closely involved with the bank before it was closed down by the Bank of England in 1991, recur throughout the report, and are directly linked to Osama bin Laden through banks, holding companies, foundations, and charities, at least one of which, the International Development Foundation, is headquartered in London.

"This document clearly shows the great permeability of the British banking and financial system and the fragility of the controls operated at its points of entry," the French report concludes. A copy was obtained by the Guardian.

Many of the individuals concerned, several with British connections, were also involved in various senior roles with BCCI, the now-defunct drug bank set up in the 1970s, the report says. Hundreds of banks and companies are mentioned, from Sudan, Geneva, and London, to Oxford, the Bahamas, and Riyadh, Henley wrote.

"The convergence of financial and terrorist interests, apparent particularly in Great Britain and in Sudan, does not appear to have been an obstacle with regard to the objectives pursued [by bin Laden]," the report concludes. "The conjunction of a terrorist network attached to a vast financing structure is the dominant trait of operations conducted by bin Laden."

Less Production, More Addiction, More Cash

The World Drug Report 2010 does not deal with where the money goes and how it gets there. The report shows that drug use is shifting towards new drugs and new markets. It claimed that drug cultivation is declining in Afghanistan for opium. While last year's Afghan poppy crop was reportedly damaged by blight, the news from Afghanistan suggests that this year's crop is robust, and that opium production will show a significant jump over last year's harvest. Also, in Afghanistan, more and more provinces have taken up opium cultivation, unlike in 2007, when more than 50% of opium was produced in the southern province of Helmand. Cannabis production has also skyrocketed.

Opium production is moving northward in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Soros and his Open Society Foundation have been extremely active over the years in the social and political scene in Central Asia—particularly in what are known as the "stan" countries. The objective of the drug lobby that Soros represents is the Ferghana Valley. With its abundant water and fertile soil, the valley sits between two potential large consumers—Russia and China. Moreover, the area, like southern Russia and western China, is full of terrorists who are sustained by the drug money.

The UNODC report says that drug (coca) cultivation in the Andean countries is declining, and drug use has stabilized in the developed world. However, there are signs of an increase in drug use in developing countries, and growing abuse of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and prescription drugs around the world. It shows that the world's supply of the two main problem drugs—opiates and cocaine—continues to decline. Coca cultivation, down by 28% in the past decade, continued to decline in 2009. World cocaine production declined by 12-18% over the 2007-09 period.

Pointing out that the drop in potential global heroin production by 13% to 657 tons in 2009, reflects lower opium production in both Afghanistan and Myanmar, the report said the actual amount of heroin reaching the market is much lower (around 430 tons), since significant amounts of opium are being stockpiled. The UNODC estimates that there are currently more than 12,000 tons of Afghan opium, or around two and a half years of global illicit opiate demand, being stockpiled. However, supplies are abundant despite small declines—and the threat as dangerous as ever, not only in terms of funding terror, but destroying lives and minds.

The report says that Afghanistan produces most of the world's opiates, but it seizes less than 2% of them. And this is despite the fact that almost 150,000 foreign troops are based in Afghanistan, in addition to 200,000 Afghan National Army personnel. What that means is that those who need the drug-generated cash to stay afloat, or to carry out terrorist activities, have become a part of an "arrangement" which allows the poppies to grow, become laden with opium sap, then harvested, refined, and transported. The entire operation takes months from seeding to final product, getting saddled on a mule, or carried on a truck, or flown out by a helicopter.

In Iran and Turkey, the interdiction is significant, accounting for over half of all heroin seized globally in 2008. Interdiction rates elsewhere are much lower. Along the northern route, the countries of Central Asia are only seizing a meager 5% of the 90 tons of heroin that cross their territory heading towards Russia. In turn, Russia, which consumes 20% of the Afghan heroin output, seizes only 4% of this flow. The figures are even worse along the Balkan route: Some countries of southeastern Europe, including EU member-states, are intercepting less than 2% of the heroin crossing their territory, the report says.

Terrorists also need the drugs to buy arms and to bribe officials. They provide protection to the drug growers and traffickers; they take their cut before handing the rest over to the bankers. Around the globe, more and more irregular conflicts are opening up, and many more are expected to do so, as the global financial collapse begins to bring down the social systems in various countries. Who will fight whom cannot be foretold, but what is certain, is that the treasure trove of unaccounted for money—coca, heroin, cannabis, and chemical drugs, bought with cash—will continue to flood the world, bringing further misery to the suffering populations and hopelessness to the generations to come.

In one chapter, the report touches upon, but does not go into detail, the security threats posed by the drugs and drug trafficking, focusing in particular on the case of cocaine. It points out how underdevelopment and weak governments attract crime, while crime deepens instability. Drug-related violence in Mexico receives considerable attention, but the Northern Triangle of Central America, consisting of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, is even more badly affected, with murder rates much higher than in Mexico. Venezuela has emerged as a major departure point for cocaine trafficked to Europe: Between 2006 and 2008, over half of all detected maritime shipments of cocaine to Europe came from Venezuela.

Also highlighted in the report is the unstable situation in West Africa, which has become a hub for cocaine trafficking. It notes that "traffickers have been able to co-opt top figures in some authoritarian societies," citing the recent case of Guinea-Bissau.

Cocaine Market Is Shifting

The World Drug Report 2010 shows that cocaine consumption has fallen significantly in the United States in the past few years. To some extent, the problem has moved across the Atlantic: In the last decade, the number of cocaine users in Europe doubled, from 2 million in 1998, to 4.1 million in 2008. By 2008, the European market (US$34 billion) was almost as valuable as the North American market ($37 billion). The shift in demand has led to a shift in trafficking routes, with an increasing amount of cocaine flowing to Europe from the Andean countries via West Africa. This is causing regional instability. "People snorting coke in Europe are killing the pristine forests of the Andean countries and corrupting governments in West Africa," said UNODC director Costa.

In addition, the report says the global number of people using ATS—estimated at 30-40 million—is soon likely to exceed the number of opiate and cocaine users combined. There is also evidence of increasing abuse of prescription drugs. "We will not solve the world drugs problem if we simply push addiction from cocaine and heroin to other addictive substances—and there are unlimited amounts of them, produced in mafia labs at trivial costs," warned Costa.

Manufacturers are quick to market new products (e.g., ketamine, piperazines, Mephedrone, and Spice) and exploit new markets. "These new drugs cause a double problem. First, they are being developed at a much faster rate than regulatory norms and law enforcement can keep up. Second, their marketing is cunningly clever, as they are custom-manufactured so as to meet the specific preference in each situation," said Costa. The number of ATS-related clandestine laboratories reported increased by 20% in 2008, including in countries where such labs had never been detected in the past.

Meanwhile, another "designer drug," Desomorphine, unmentioned in the report, is wreaking havoc in Russia. Nicknamed krokodil, it is horribly dangerous, the British newspaper The Independent reported. A drug user named Sasha described a friend who refuses hospitalization because she wants to keep on using krokodil. "Her flesh is falling off, and she can hardly move anymore," Sasha told the newspaper.

Viktor Ivanov, head of the Russian Drug Control Agency, said that sales of codeine-based medicines have skyrocketed in the past five years: "It's pretty obvious that it's not because everyone has suddenly developed headaches." Ivanov estimates that 1 in 20 of the 2 million drug abusers in Russia use krokodil and other home-made preparations. Some claim the explosion of krokodil is a combination of price and of the crackdown on the heroin traffic from Afghanistan.

The report concludes that cannabis remains the world's most widely produced and used illicit substance: It is grown in almost all countries of the world, and smoked by 130-190 million people at least once a year—although these parameters are not very telling in terms of addiction. The UNODC found evidence of indoor cultivation of cannabis for commercial purposes in 29 countries, especially in Europe, Australia, and North America. Indoor growing is a lucrative business, and is increasingly a source of profit for criminal groups. Based on evidence gathered in 2009, Afghanistan is now the world's leading producer of cannabis resin, otherwise known as hashish.

Emerging Markets for Drug Traffickers

The primary reason that drug abuse in the developing world had remained confined within a small community was that it did not fetch sufficient amounts of cash. The report indicates that that situation has begun to change. Russia, for instance, is now a lucrative market for the drug dealers since it is brimming with cash. A similar situation is developing in India, where not only a significant amount of heroin moving in from Afghanistan, but the drug producers, utilizing the weak government of the present Manmohan Singh Administration, have begun cultivating drugs in the northern part of the country, particularly in the tourist-infested state of Himachal Pradesh.

In May 2010, OneIndia.in noted that illegal opium cultivation was on rise in Himachal Pradesh. The illegal cultivation of poppy and cannabis has increased in the state with each passing year, particularly in the regions bordering Shimla district. This has posed a threat to the credibility of the state government and the police, as critics are of the view that top brass in the police administration have failed to tackle this social hazard. The estimated land used for cultivation of opium in these areas is believed to be 175 hectares.

Himachal Pradesh has also become a major center for cannabis production. Vishal Gulati in the TheWeekendLeader.com reported on July 16, that women in the Chamba district have formed a group using sickles to destroy cannabis. They have been provided protection by the local police and employed by the village panchayat (a council elected by the villagers) under the central government's rural jobs guarantee scheme—as per the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).

Costa cites the boom in heroin consumption in Eastern Africa, the rise of cocaine use in West Africa and South America, and the surge in the production and abuse of synthetic drugs in the Middle East and South East Asia. "We will not solve the world drugs problem by shifting consumption from the developed to the developing world," he writes.

'Pakistan army, ISI complicit in supporting terrorist sanctuaries'


29 Jul, 2011, 02.15PM IST, PTI
WASHINGTON: Asserting that America's soft policy with Pakistan with regard to terrorist sanctuaries has failed, an influential US lawmaker has said that there is no doubt that thePakistan Army and the ISI are complicit in supporting terrorist safe havens.

"To succeed in Afghanistan, something must be done about the sanctuaries. A few points of emphasis: We lack a regional strategy for South Asia, whichAfghanistan and Pakistan are an important part," Gen (retd.)John Keane told US lawmakers at a Congressional hearing.

"We must recognise our soft policy with Pakistan as it pertains to the sanctuaries has failed. There is no doubt that General (Ashfaq Parvez) Kayani and Lt General (Ahmeda Shuja) Pasha, the chief of staff and the director of ISI are complicit in supporting the sanctuaries," he said.

"We need a new approach diplomatically that recognizes their manipulation of theUnited States government and frankly, how destructive the military oligarchy is to the future growth and development of Pakistan," Keane said.

"We all know that the Pakistanis are paranoid about their political and competitive struggle with India, but we should recognize that the Pakistanis have clearly lost. India is a democracy which is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and Pakistan is moving in the opposite direction," he said at the Congressional hearing on Afghanistan convened by the House Armed Services Committee.

"And moreover, in reference to the sanctuaries, we must consider covert and overt military options against the sanctuaries. It should be on the table," he argued.

"I think this whole thing with Pakistan, as I mentioned in my remarks, has got to be relooked because our current policy has not succeeded and those sanctuaries, as they currently exist, do protract the war and put us in a situation of unacceptable risk, in my mind, as we continue to move towards 2014," he said in response to a question.

Lt Gen (retd.) David Barno said that the new approach to Pakistan of putting everything on a transactional basis, you get this money only if you do something, is the only way to deal with them.

"They need that money for their lifestyles. So we have more leverage than we think we have," he said in response to a question.

"I think that fight in the mountains with Pakistan is going to just go on and on and on, but the Taliban have very rudimentary weapons. I noticed that Pakistan hasn't been foolish enough to give them modern weapons. So you could see the border, in the mountains, ending up a mess for a long, long time, but you still could have some relative stability in Afghanistan," he said.

Fight India’s secular British Liberals & strengthen the Northwestern Frontier - I

Ramtanu Maitra 28 Jul 2011

India’s northwest frontier will remain a security threat for years, if not decades, to come. Any effort from any quarter to slacken up on that area’s security instead of further strengthening it, at the behest of India’s secular and internationalist crowd who are still under the spell of their former British Liberal masters, will inevitably lead to a war and the eventual dismemberment of Kashmir from the Republic. In effect, the British Empire’s objective, carried out partially by Louis and Edwina Mountbatten when they seduced Nehru and his ilk into the breaking up of Kashmir, will be fully attained if New Delhi continues its mumbling and deliberately refrains from doing what needs to be done.

What has happened in the Kashmir Valley since the early 1990s is not a matter of conjecture. The Muslims of Kashmir - controlled by the British imperialists working through a gaggle of Mirpuris based in London, Birmingham, Bedford, Dewsbury and elsewhere in the UK and through Pakistan’szamindar, the Pakistan military - have become virulently anti-India across the board. All these anti-India operatives are facilitated by a number of terrorist groups, such as Hizbul Mujahideen Islami (HuJI), Harkatul Mujahideen (HuM) and a horde of others unleashed from Pakistan and funded by Saudi Arabia, drumming out the British mantra that Kashmir will be separated from India. What these terrorists provide is the killing power to weaken the will of the population.

The British are not altogether off their rocker. The kind of leadership that has existed in New Delhi for decades, and the support the British have garnered from Indians who advocate “secularism” and some such mumbo-jumbo religion, has weakened India’s northwest frontier. If the trend is allowed to continue, it will only be a matter of time until things get out of control. At that point, the “peace-loving secularists” will openly advocate separation of Kashmir from India. That is the British plan; it would satisfy not only the zamindars of Pakistan, but also the Kashmiri Muslims who have guided the situation on this dangerous path.

Though brimming with vim and vigor but virtually void of grey matter, Pakistan’s zamindarsdo not understand the long-term British plan to take Kashmir from its native inhabitants. Witness the Pakistan military’s ineptitude in handling the Pushtun crisis along the Durand Line in Pakistan’s west. First, by changing the Northwest Frontier Province to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, they laid the foundation for an independent Pushtunistan.

In addition, in acceding to the Saudi plan to spread Wahabism, and by promoting themadrassa-trained Taliban and training them with arms, they have groomed these militant Pushtuns to break up Pakistan itself. Many Pakistani military officials, enamored by Islamic zealotry and Saudi money, have joined the jihadis and are undermining the zamindariestablishment. One must also note the role of the Pakistan military over the years in turning Karachi into another Beirut, where the law of goons and killers prevails over the law of the land. If, and when, Kashmir is separated from India and becomes a part of Pakistan, the British imperialists will move in to make it an “independent” country dependent on Britain.

Setting up the Game Board

There is no doubt in my mind that the dismemberment of Kashmir militarily is out of the question. However, what could bring it about is continuation of the present policy by New Delhi. That the game plan is to separate Kashmir from India is not hidden. It is a stated objective and most, if not all, Kashmiri Muslims endorse that plan. What should have been visible to all, but has been deliberately ignored over the years, is how the game board was being set up.

To begin with, since the 1990s, more than 500,000 Hindu Kashmiris, under physical attack from the local Muslims and their controller terrorist group members from Pakistan, have left the Valley. As of now, less than 100 Hindu families live in the Valley. What did New Delhi do about it? Not much, other than dispensing substantial compensation to the departing Kashmiri Hindus. The size of the compensation is large enough to shut the mouth of these “refugees in their own country.”

Barring a handful, these Kashmiri Hindus, feeling safe and comfortable outside of the Valley, have virtually given up speaking out against their former neighbours, despite what was done to them and their families. The de-Hinduization and Pakistanization of the Valley began on February 27, 1990, when Tej Krishan, a Hindu, was hanged to death at Yachikot Lidder near Pahelgam in the Anantnag district. That was the opening salvo. But under the pretext of serving their secular masters, New Delhi’s response was that of the three monkeys: I see no evil, I hear no evil, and I speak no evil. New Delhi, in effect said: I embrace evil.

But the game board had been set up long before that. In the 1980s, Pakistan’s then-newzamindar, Gen. Zia ul-Haq, hands dripping with former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s blood, began relocating Wahabi-indoctrinated Saudi-funded militant varieties to Gilgit, Baltistan and the Pakistani-part of Kashmir along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The militants were sent to these areas not only to gain control of that territory by subjugating the locals, but also because they were imbued with the British-Saudi-Pakistani mantra of “liberating” the Muslims of Kashmir as their principal mission.

Gen. Zia, who lived by violence and met his death through violence as well, was a hand-held puppet of the Saudi Wahabis. One of the reasons he was so eager to kill Bhutto was because Bhutto’s wife was an Iranian Shia and the Bhuttos were Shias. Besides setting up the game board that led to the exit of Hindus from the Kashmir Valley, Gen. Zia was involved in sectarian cleansing within Pakistan, also at the behest of his masters in Riyadh, during his more than a decade rule of the country.

During Zia’s rule, dozens of terrorist training camps, inhabited by such violent Sunni terrorist groups as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and supervised and monitored by Pakistan’s zamindars, operated for years close to the LAC. Again, the objective was to unleash hordes of terrorists inside the Kashmiri Muslim-dominated Valley with the message: “We will liberate you from the Hindu Indians.”

The game plan was unfolding right before the eyes of any who chose to keep their eyes open. But New Delhi was busy misinforming the population about Kashmir and the Kashmiris; when too much blood had flown to keep the situation under wraps, New Delhi would indulge in mindless and sporadic retaliation, giving the false impression that they were putting things back on an even keel. Things were never on an even keel because the very leaders - Kashmiri Muslims, of course - who were kept in power in Srinagar to amuse New Delhi’s powers-that-be, were hand-in-glove with the same crowd that was crowing for Pakistan.

What must be done… even now

If Indians do not want the Kashmir Valley to become a part of Pakistan, they must take a leaf out of China’s policy book. In Tibet, a sparsely populated area inhabited wholly by Tibetans practicing Buddhism, China, after moving into that area in the late-1950s, systematically migrated people of Chinese origin to change Tibet’s demography. The central government of the People’s Republic of China followed an active policy of migration of Chinese to Tibet, luring them there with attractive bonuses and favorable living conditions. Since the end of the 1990s, there are more Chinese than Tibetans in Greater Tibet (but still a minority in the designated Tibetan Autonomous Region). As of 2003, the population consisted of an estimated 6 million ethnic Tibetans and 7.5 million non-Tibetans of different ethnic groups. In 2008, the capital Lhasa had 400,000 people with a majority still being Tibetan Chinese. In contrast, it had only 5,000 inhabitants in 1959.

In the western Chinese province of Xinjiang, where various ethnic groups from different religious traditions reside, a majority of the population follows Islam. Among various ethnic groups of the Muslim faith residing there, Muslim Turkic people - including Uyghur, Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Tatars, Kazakhs, and some Muslim Iranian peoples including Tajiks and Sarikolis/Wakhis (often mixed as Tajiks) and Muslim peoples such as Sino-Tibetan and the Hui (Chinese Muslim that is) - are the principal ones. Many among the Muslim Turkic population do not accept Chinese rule. There were violent incidents against the Chinese, and some of this violence was triggered by Uyghur terrorists sheltered and trained in Pakistan.

As a result, Beijing has moved in with the policy it has successfully exercised in Tibet. Beijing began migrating Han Chinese from the eastern part of the country to populate Xinjiang. The proportion of ethnic Chinese in Xinjiang increased from 6 percent in 1949 to an official count of more than 40 percent today. This figure does not include military personnel or their family members, or a lot of people without papers. Demographic changes have been carried out to undermine the threatening Uyghur independence movement and the demand by other non-Han people for the preservation of their culture. At the same time, minorities in Xinjiang have been freed from the one-child policy carried out in the eastern and southern part of China. This by itself will change the demographic pattern over the next decades in a direction more satisfactory to Beijing.

It should also be noted that China did not merely shift the population. Beijing’s leaders built extensive and modern infrastructure that laid the foundation for burgeoning manufacturing and commercial sectors in these provinces. The leadership in these provinces was in the hands of Han Chinese brought in from other provinces, and it was that, along with Beijing’s drive, that allowed these developments to take place.

Taking a leaf out of the Chinese policy book, India must flood the Kashmir Valley with non-Kashmiris from other states of India. They must be provided with security, and that means flooding the state with security people as well. Over a period of time, such a large migration of non-Kashmiris into the Valley will shift political and other powers away from the pro-Pakistan Kashmiri Muslims to the hands of individuals who identify themselves with India. Simultaneously, building up manufacturing and commercial sectors on extensive infrastructural development, as the Chinese did, will be a necessary step.

Meanwhile, educational opportunities should be opened up for the next generation of Kashmiri youth. Each of India’s 270-plus universities must provide scholarships to at least 20 Kashmiris for higher education. It is important to change the outlook of the next generation of Kashmiris and relieve them of the misery of living like frogs in a well with only one objective - to become a Pakistani.

(To be continued…)

The author is South Asian Analyst at Executive Intelligence Review News Services Inc.

July 28, 2011

PROJECT: Death in Custody


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Death in CustodyThe research project on death in custody is an interdisciplinary project involving different domains from legal medicine, international humanitarian law to human rights law. It is administered by the University Centre for Legal Medicine of Geneva, conducted by the Academy and developed in cooperation with the ICRC and The International Centre for Prisons Studiesamong others. The project is funded by the Swiss Network for InternationalStudies-SNIS and is designed to produce a wide database on State’s obligation to investigate death occurring while in State’s custody in times of peace as well as during armed conflict.

Throughout the duration of the Research a comparative analysis of the existing national or international guidelines on investigating death in custody is carried out. This aims at drawing a comprehensive set of minimum standards on the terms under which an effective investigation shall be launched by the State and which shall be in line with international humanitarian law and human rights law tenets. In addition personal interviews are held with numerous experts (from the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, the ICRC, relevant NGOs, etc.) in order to compare existing strategies for investigation of deaths in custody and basic forensic techniques feasible in countries where local forensic specialists or infrastructure are not available.

After examining the international and regional legal documents stipulating State’s obligation to investigate death in custody, the Academy will offer an online database mainly with regards to the jurisprudence of the leading human rights judicial bodies. Moreover, several legal contributions addressing different components and aspects of the obligation to investigate death in custody will be provided by the Research team and the supervising Professors and published online at the Academy’s website and elsewhere by the end of the Research.

Among other steps taken to promote this Research, an international conference on the topic was held in Sweden in May 2010, co-organized by the Academy and other academic institutions and funded by the European Science Foundation. The Conference attracted legal scholars as well as practitioners from the legal medicine and international human rights fields to delve into issues related to the obligation to investigate death in custody.

The Research is carried out by Samar Khamis, Gloria Gaggioli and Patrick Mutzenberg under the supervision of Professors Bernice Elger from the University Centre for Legal Medicine of West Switzerland and Paola Gaeta, Director of the LL.M. programme at the Academy.

For more information please visit the official page of the Research at SNIS website:
http://www.snis.ch/call-proposals-2008_249_elger

Or please contact:

Prof. Bernice Elger, Bernice.Elger@unige.ch

Prof. Paola Gaeta, Paola.Gaeta@unige.ch

Ms. Samar Khamis, samar.khamis@adh-geneve.ch

Mr. Patrick Mutzenberg, patrick.mutzenberg@unige.ch

Download the flyer




http://www.adh-geneva.ch/research/ongoing/death-in-custody

Can Entrepreneurship Be Taught?

http://shloky.com/?p=3525
A study shows that the more entrepreneurial classes taught at the MBA level, the more likely students are to become entrepreneurs.

Professors at the Wellesley, Massachusetts-based college analyzed a survey of some 3,755 alumni and found that two (“or better yet three”) entrepreneurship classes strongly affected students’ decisions to pursue start-ups, and that writing a student business plan also had some influence, though not as strong.

It doesn’t, however, explain what kind of entrepreneurship these graduates engage in. If the metric is as basic as ‘started a business’, this is next-to-useless knowledge. Why?The kind of entrepreneurship matters.

Rentiers coming out of an MBA and domain squatting, starting a GroupOn clone, door-to-door insurance, or worse, realtor etc shouldn’t be weighted the same as catalysts – who shatter old assumptions, build out new markets, etc.

That is, those who create opportunity and not simply capture it are the kind of entrepreneur the world needs. If that’s what these 3-entrepreneurship-class-graduates are doing, then great. Else, this study in no way proves the idea that entrepreneurship can be taught, despite the declarations of this MBA program, these professors, and these students (all of whom share a huge financial interest in doing just that)

“It’s time to cast off the prejudiced question, ‘Why teach entrepreneurship?’, because we now have excellent empirical evidence that it makes difference. We think that entrepreneurship should be taught not only for the production and training of entrepreneurs but also to help students decide if they have the right stuff to be entrepreneurs before they embark on careers for which they may be ill-suited,” they write.

Of course entrepreneurship can be taught. But the solution isn’t the superficial application of two, maybe three classes when you’re 30 and paying a $100k entrance fee to the upper class.

Like any other form of thinking, it’s a lifelong process, and not a destination. Institutionalize that, and the world changes.

CREDIT SUISSE/UBS Q2 RESULTS






Credit Suisse reported a 52% drop in second quarter net profits (SFr768 million) compared with the same period last year. Revenues fell by a quarter to SFr6.32 billion.

Investment banking profits fell from SFr784 million in Q2 2010 to SFr231 million in the last three months.

Net new money coming into private banking totaled SFr11.5 billion.

UBS posted SFr1 billion profits in the second quarter, compared with SFr1.8 billion in the first three months of this year and SFr2 billion in Q2 2010.

Group revenues fell 14% from the first quarter to SFr7.2 billion.

Investment banking proved to be the biggest drag on numbers, with a 71 per cent year-on-year fall in profits to SFr376 million.

Net new money inflows amounted to SFr9.3 billion in the quarter.

IRGC Not to Stop Operations against PJAK Headquarters

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior official of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps stressed that unless the forces of Iraq's central government are deployed at the Iran-Iraq borders, the IRGC will not stop its operations against the headquarters of the PJAK (the Party for Free Life of Kurdistan) terrorist group.




"By deploying the security and military forces of the central government or the Kurdistan region to the joint border of Iran and Iraq's Kurdistan, Iraq's government must accept the responsibility of guarding common borders," a military official of IRGC's Hamzeh Seyed al-Shohada base said on Wednesday.

The official added that an area inside Iraqi soil has been given to the PJAK by Iraq's semi- autonomous Kurdistan region without receiving permission from the country's central government.

"Under pressure from this terrorist group, Iraqi people have been deprived of their rights to live and use the land and resources near the borderline," the source said.

The Iranian official also noted that in the operations of the IRGC against the PJAK group during past weeks, more than 50 members of the counterrevolutionary forces have been killed, 100 others injured, and a number of them have been captured.

The IRGC has deployed 5,000 military forces in the northwest of the country along its common border with Iraq's Kurdistan, and has been fighting the PJAK terrorist group over the past weeks in order to establish security and stabilize the area.

On July 25, Iranian forces killed 35 PJAK members, captured a number of others and took control of the terrorist group's bases in the heights of Sardasht near Iran's border with Iraq.

In an operation on July 20, IRGC forces also killed a number of PJAK terrorists, and forced a group of them to escape.

On July 17, the IRGC disbanded a terrorist cell linked to PJAK, killing at least five members of the group.

Members of the terrorist PJAK group - an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - regularly engage in armed clashes with Iranian security forces along the country's Western borders with Iraq's Kurdistan region.

Recognized as a terrorist group by Turkey, Iran, Iraq, the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations, the PKK is responsible for many deadly operations in Northern Iraq and Southern Turkey.

Swiss government sets up anti-jihad commission.

Stopping terrorist propaganda

Islamic fundamentalists often use the internet to drum up support for holy war. The Swiss federal government wants to prevent calls for jihad originating from Switzerland, so it’s set up a specialised team to tackle the problem. Swiss TV gained access to exclusive footage recorded by this new commission. (SF/swissinfo.ch)

VIDEO http://media.swissinfo.ch/videos/swissinfo/2011/07/terroristpropganda-30687452-800k.m4v

US debt crisis poses 'contagion threat' to eurozone

As the US battles the threat of a debt default, concerns for the impact on the eurozone have risen. Fabian Zuleeg, economist at the European Policy Centre, warns that the US crisis could have a serious knock-on effect.

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15270738,00.html

The deadline for the United States to raise the debt ceiling above $14.3 trillion (9.9 trillion euro) is just a week away. Republican and Democratic leaders are caught in a standoff with little hope of a compromise. Worst case scenario, the US government could be unable to pay its bills come August 2.

The stalemate is rattling investor's worldwide, sending stocks and the dollar down, while pushing gold prices to a record high. Deutsche Welle asked Fabian Zuleeg, economist at the European Policy Centre in Brussels, how serious the crisis could be for the eurozone.

DW: What impact has the dispute had on the European single currency?

Fabian Zuleeg: There is of course an immediate impact on the exchange rate between the euro and the dollar in the sense that given the uncertainly in the US at the moment, the dollar is weakening. But I think what is far more important is what longer-term impact this might have. Certainly it's drawing some of the attention away from the euro, but I don't think it helps the world economy to have even more uncertainty in the system.

Analysts are saying that if the worst comes to the worst and the US government can't pay its bills on August 2 then there will be a severe shock to the global economy. President Obama has been referring to Armageddon. What's your view?

I think that's slightly overstating the case, but certainly it would be a shock to the global economy. The US government is a major spender in the world system, so if it really comes to a complete freeze of the US budget, then that could well have an impact beyond US borders. But I think talking about Armageddon is overstating it a little bit.

What would the impact be on the eurozone?

Well I think the impact would possibly be through a knock-on effect. If we have a situation where American banks are starting to feel that activity is slowing down in the US and they react to that, then that could well have an impact on the European banking system and that European banking system is still fragile given the euro crisis.

What are the differences and the similarities between the debt crises in the US and the eurozone?

IMF chief, Christine Lagarde IMF chief Christine Lagarde has also warned of the threat a US default poses in EuropeI think there are major differences. What we are seeing in the US is pretty much an entirely a political crisis. It's about the republicans and the democrats locking horns over what the priorities are in terms of fiscal policy. What we have in the EU is far more about structural factors. It's about the long-term reasons why economies such as the Greek economy and the Portuguese economy are struggling to have healthy growth rates and are continuing to run up big deficits and big debt.

As the two blocks struggle with their respective crises, what can they learn from one another?

I think the key thing which should be on the minds of decision makers on both sides of the Atlantic is that you don't get driven by the markets. Instead, you make decisions which pre-empt what happens in the markets. Once you are in a situation where the markets are speculating, where the markets are driving the situation it becomes very difficult to get out of it and very often it becomes more costly.

And the markets are driving this crisis on both sides of the Atlantic? Have I understood you correctly?

The markets are a big factor in continuing to drive the crisis. Of course the underlying reasons are in the political decisions which are taken, but the markets are certainly not helping to calm the situation.

Is the future of the United States dollar remaining the world's reserve currency in doubt?

I don't think it is in doubt because of this immediate crisis, but it just adds to a long list of doubts over why the dollar might loose its status as a reserve currency. But this is a long-term development and to some extent we had the competition from the euro. But I don't think that many people see the euro as the next reserve currency given the crisis we have just had.

So it would be simplistic to suggest that the euro could benefit in any way from the dollars weakness?

I think it might benefit in the short-term, but I think the long-term situation is far more worrying. What we should be worried about is the global economy and the health of the global economy. If anything takes more of the recovery out of the system, if the US slows down, then I don't think that will help the eurozone.

Interview: Mark Caldwell / ccp
Editor: Rob Turner