March 07, 2013

Baloch Rally in front of the White House asks President Obama to intervene in Balochistan.




March 6, 2013: Baloch Community in US protest Rally in front of White House
 
WASHINGTON, D.C - The members  of the Baloch community in United States held a highly successful protest rally in front of the White House to draw the attention of President Obama to the ongoing Pakistani military operation, human right violations, arbitrary arrests, extra-judicial killings, disappearances and genocide in Balochistan. The protest rally was organized by the Baloch Society of North America (BSO-NA) and Balochistan National Congress (BNC), Washington D.C chapter.

 Despite the heavy rain, snow and stormy bad weather the protestors carried on to make the history. Many people flew from far away to attend the rally. Arshad Umrani, from Balochistan Strategic Forum and President of BNC - Chicago Chapter, came all the way from Chicago with his friends to attend the rally.

 

Andrew Eiva, who is working with Sudanese resistance forces in Sudan came with Sudanese community members to join the rally.

 

The participants were chanting slogans; 

PAKISTAN: STOP the human Right Violations in Balochistan
PAKISTAN: STOP Killing in Balochistan
PAKISTAN: STOP "Kill and Dump" in Balochistan
PAKISTAN: STOP Disappearances in Balochistan
PAKISTAN: STOP Genocide in Balochistan
PAKISTAN: STOP military Operation in Balochistan
OBAMA: STOP Funding Terrorist Pakistan
OBAMA: We want intervention in Balochistan
OBAMA: We want Freedom
OBAMA: Balochs want Freedom
FREE FREE Balochistan
FREE FREE Balochistan
LONG LIVE Baloch Struggle for freedom
PAKISTAN: END THE OCCUPATION of Balochistan
IRAN: END THE OCCUPATION of Balochistan
China:  Hands OFF Balochistan
China:  Hands OFF GWADAR

 
Speaking at the rally, Dr. Wahid Baloch, the organizer and President of Baloch Society of North America (BSO-NA) and Balochistan National Congress (BNC), Washington D.C chapter, said that the Pakistani and Iranian occupying forces have intensified their military aggression and Baloch genocide in Balochistan. Target killings, arrests, kidnappings and raids on Baloch houses have increased manifold and these are all being done in the name of responding to the sectarian killings, orchestrated by jihadi/sectarian groups transplanted in Balochistan to spread Islamic radicalism, to counter Baloch nationalists. Over the past two years more than seven hundreds bullet riddled dead bodies of "Baloch missing persons" detained without charge by Pakistani security forces have been found all across Balochistan, he said.

 

"There passes not a single day when a Baloch mother, father, sister or brother does not collect the bullet riddled tortured dead body of their love one", he said. He ask President Obama to intervene in Balochistan.
 

"Balochistan is burning Mr. President and calls for international intervention. The international  Intervention in Balochistan is long over due in and it must be carried out to save the lives of Baloch people in their own homeland Balochistan", he said.


 "How long Baloch people have to wait for your attention and help Mr. President"? He asked.


He said that the Chinese Government have also joined hands with Pakistan to kill and dump more Baloch and loot and plunder the Baloch resources against Baloch people's will and consent. Pakistan recently sold strategic port Gwadar to China. 
 

"We strongly condemn, oppose and reject this unilateral decision of handing over our port to china and We warn Chinese Government to not be a partner of Baloch "kill and dump" and disappearances with Pakistan and exploitations of Baloch Natural resources against Baloch wishes", said Dr. Baloch. 
 

He said, Balochistan belongs to Baloch people and China or Pakistan has no right to decide about Balochistan, Baloch Coasts and resources without their consent. Only Baloch people can exercise such right. 

 

He said, China must leave Balochistan.



Here is the full text of Dr. Wahid Baloch's speech.

 

Andrew Eiva in his speech condemned the ongoing genocide of Baloch and Sudanese people in Balochistan and Sudan. He said Baloch and Sudanese share the same situation and urged the world community to take action to end the killings of innocent Baloch and Sudanese people. 

 

 

At the end of the protest the following resolutions were passed.

 

TEXT OF THE RESOLUTION:

1.       This protest strongly condemn the ongoing military operation, human right violations, arbitrary arrests, extra judicial killing, "kill and dump" policies, disappearance, genocide 
and Pakistani and Iranian State terrorism against the defenseless Baloch, Sindhi and Pashtun people in Balochistan, Pashtunistan and Sindh.
2.       This protest denounce the illegal and unjust occupation of Balochistan by Pakistan and Iran and demands from the President Obama and the International community to physically intervene in Balochistan and send peace keeping troops on the ground in Balochistan to end the illegal occupation of Balochistan and save the lives of Baloch people..
3.       This protest denounce the artificially drawn British borders of the Durand line and Goldsmith line and demands the redrawing of the map of the region based on ethnic, linguistic and cultural lines and peaceful balkanization of Pakistan on ethnic, linguistic and cultural lines to eliminate and eradicate Islamic extremism and terrorism once and for all.
4.       This protest strongly condemns the violence, terrorism and extremism in all of its forms and shapes.
5.       This protest strongly condemns the looting and plunder of Baloch resources by Pakistan, Iran, China and all other private companies, including Barrack Gold, who are involved in the exploration of Balochistan's rich mineral resources and ask Chinese Government and all these other companies to stop their robbing of Baloch resources without the Baloch consent and to leave Balochistan peacefully until its freedom and sovereignty is restored. Once Balochistan is free, they can resume their work with Baloch consent and cooperation.
6.       This protest demands from the US government and world community to declare Pakistan and Iran as terrorist states and suspend all military and economic aid to Pakistan until Pakistan complies with the UN and international laws, respects, honors and safeguards human rights and stops its terror campaign and genocidal polices against the Baloch, Sindhi and Pashtun people and all religious minorities, including Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Zikris and Hazaras in Pakistan, scraps off its nuclear weapons and stops supporting and financing global jihad and Islamic terrorism.
7.       This protest strongly condemns the ongoing daily intimidation, harassment, killings, attack and burning of Hindus, Christian, Sikh and other minorities in Pakistan by Pakistani Taliban and Islamic extremists and fanatics and asks the US Government and world community to take notice of these inhuman acts and ensure the safety and security of all minorities in Pakistan.
8.       This protest demands the honorable return and rehabilitation of all Baloch IDP's in their homes in Balochistan and asks the US Government and UN to provide them with security and desperately needed food, water, shelter and medicine.
9.       The protest strongly condemns the Chinese Govt for taking over Baloch strategic port bypassing the Baloch will and mandate and ask China to "hands off Balochistan".
10.   The protest strongly condemns the Chinese Govt for joining hands with Pakistan to intensify the  "kill and dump", disappearances and Baloch genocide in Balochistan, and loot and plunder of Baloch resources without the Baloch will and consent.
11.   This protest demand from the President Obama to direct the State Department and CIA to reach out to Baloch freedom and help them in their fight for freedom and Justice against the illegal occupation of their land and exploitations of their resources by Pakistan, Iran and China.

 
                                                                                                                                   ######



Following Memorandum was sent to White House to President Obama.

                                    

                                                                                                                                           MEMORANDUM


March 6, 2013


To:


The President of Unites States of America,
Mr. Barack H. Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW  
Washington, DC 20500



Dear Mr. President,





We the Baloch community in North America, have gathered here, in front of your house, the white House, to draw your kind attention towards the ongoing Pakistani and Iranian military 
aggression, human right violations, arbitrary arrests, extra-judicial killings, disappearances of Baloch people and genocide in occupied Balochistan.


Mr. President, here we are knocking at your door for help. Today Baloch people have come to your doorstep to ask for your help.

Mr. President, today, Balochistan is burning. Baloch citizens are being kidnapped and target killed every day by Pakistani and Iranian occupying forces. Balochistan has been turned 
into the killing field and the Baloch peoples are living under siege, in fear and in hopelessness in their own homeland, Balochistan.

How long this will go on Mr. President? How long will the innocent be butchered for claiming their genuine rights?

How long the Baloch people have to wait for your attention, Mr. President?

In the days of communication revolution, it is strange that the plight of the Baloch people has not drawn enough International attention.

Balochistan is a fit case for international intervention. The situation in Balochistan is worse than Kosovo. International intervention is long over due in Balochistan. In order to save the 
Baloch people from extinction it is imperative for the international community to act and restore them their right to freedom and liberty.

Mr. President, no country, other than the USA in the entire world, understands the value of freedom better.

Mr. President, the US should not be selective when it comes to the issue of human rights violations around the world? If the US can intervene in Sudan, Libya and in Syria, why not in 
Balochistan?

Are the Baloch people any less human, Mr. President?

Is the Baloch blood cheaper than that of others, Mr. President?

Mr. President, certain facts are to be told here. Balochistan was never a part of Pakistan or Iran, but an Independent sovereign state and was illegally occupied, divided and forcefully 
annexed into these countries against the will of the Baloch people. Therefore, both Pakistan and Iran are in violation of International law for occupying Baloch land illegally against the 
will and consent of the Baloch people.  

Ever since the illegal and unjust occupation of Balochistan, the Baloch people are fighting for their freedom to regain their freedom. Thousands Balochs have died in this un-ending 
and unresolved conflict, and several hundred thousands are living as IDPs with no food, water and shelter, Mr. President.

The Baloch people, despite being weak and with no international support, are bravely fighting the occupying forces against all odds and have demonstrated their resolve to free their 
homeland from the occupiers.

Mr. President, Balochistan is burning. Baloch citizens are being kidnapped and target killed every day by Pakistani and Iranian occupying forces. Balochistan has been turned into the 
killing field and the Baloch peoples are living under siege, in fear and in hopelessness in their own homeland, Balochistan.

How long this will go on Mr. President?

How long will the innocent Balochs be butchered for just claiming their rights?

Mr. President, How long the Baloch people have to wait for your attention and help to arrive?

In the days of communication revolution, it is strange that the plight of the Baloch people has not drawn enough International attention.

Balochistan is a fit case for international intervention. The situation in Balochistan is worse than Kosovo. International intervention is long over due in Balochistan. In order to save the 
Baloch people from extinction, it is imperative for the international community to act and restore their right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Mr. President, no country, other than the USA in the entire world, understands the value of freedom better.

Mr. President, the US should not be selective when it comes to the issue of human rights violations around the world? If the US can intervene in Sudan, Libya and in Syria, why not in 
Balochistan?

Are the Baloch people any less human, Mr. President?

Is the Baloch blood cheaper than that of others, Mr. President?

Mr. President, certain facts are to be told here. Balochistan was never a part of Pakistan or Iran, but an Independent sovereign state and was illegally occupied, divided and forcefully 
annexed into these countries against the will of the Baloch people. Therefore, both Pakistan and Iran are in violation of International law for occupying Baloch land illegally against the 
will and consent of the Baloch people.  

Ever since the illegal and unjust occupation of Balochistan, the Baloch people are fighting to regain their freedom. Thousands Baloch have died in this un-ending and unresolved 
conflict, and several hundred thousands are living as IDPs with no food, water and shelter.

Mr. President, The Baloch people, despite being weak and with no international support, are bravely fighting the occupying forces against all odds and have demonstrated their 
resolve to free their homeland from the occupiers.

Mr. President, we want the end of the illegal occupation and re-unification of our land Balochistan.

Mr. President, we are one nation spread across three states. We have been divided by artificially drawn borders, which we do not recognize. These artificial borders are separating us 
from our families and friends.

Mr. President, Our land, Balochistan, must be re-united and our families must live together in peace with honor and dignity in our own homeland, Balochistan. Like any other nation in 
the world, it is our inalienable right to be re-united and to live as one Baloch Nation, in our own homeland.

Mr. President, under illegal occupation for last more than six decades now, the Baloch people are being subjected to systematic discrimination and humiliation, military aggression, 
threats, harassment, intimidation, political marginalization, torture and disappearances, "kill and dump", ethnic cleansing and Genocide by Pakistan and Iran.

The genocidal policies of Pakistan and Iran are in place ever since they illegally occupied our land. The human right violations by the Pakistan army and Iranian terrorist revolutionary 
guards against the innocent Baloch people in occupied Balochistan have surpassed all limits. Not a single day passes without a Baloch mother, father, sister or brother collecting 
the bullet riddled mutilated tortured body of their loved ones.

Mr. President, we have given Pakistan more than 20 billion dollars in aid and we are sending more money to Pakistan. Please stop funding Pakistan, a country aiding and abetting 
terrorists and using them against us. Pakistan does not deserve our taxpayer's money.

Mr. President, we must take note that the money and military hardware we gave Pakistan to fight Taliban and Al-Qaida terrorist have been used to conduct Genocide in Balochistan. 
Pakistan is a terrorist State and should be declared as such. It has misused billions dollars of aid provided to it by the USA and built nuclear weapons, instead of feeding its hungry 
people. American aid has strengthened its military power with which it has massacred the Baloch people— the real and natural friends of the US. It has also used the US aid to train, 
equip and enable Taliban and Al-Qaida as Pakistan's strategic assets, who have killed many American and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

It is well known now that Pakistan military and its ISI were involved in the US embassy attack in Kabul and not to mention they hid our most wanted enemy, Osama Bin Laden next to 
their military academy not very far off from Islamabad.

Mr. President, We should not give more money to a terrorist state like Pakistan, until Pakistan complies with International laws, stops it genocidal policies and military aggression 
against Baloch people and withdraws its occupying forces from Balochistan.

Pakistan must be asked to honor and respect the Baloch sovereignty over their land, coasts and natural resources, to honor and respect the rights of minorities, including Hindus, 
Sikhs, Christian, Hazara and Zikris, to scrape off its nuclear weapons and withdraw its support from Islamic extremists and terrorists and close the terror training camps, safe havens 
and sanctuaries.

Mr. President, Chinese Government has also joined hands with Pakistan to kill more Balochs and exploit Baloch resources. Recently, Pakistan gave Baloch strategic port Gwadar to 
China, bypassing the Baloch will and mandate. We strongly condemn and oppose this unilateral decision made by Pakistan and warn China to not be a part of the Baloch killing. 
Moreover, Pakistan has no right to make any deal against the Baloch wishes because it about their land and resources. Only Baloch people have the right to exercise such right. 
China must leave Balochistan. China's presence in Gwadar is not good for the US interests and the interests of the world community. A free and independent Balochistan would 
rather welcome the US control of Gwadar port in exchange of the US helps to Baloch in their struggle for freedom and justice. The US has championed the values of freedom and 
dignity all throughout history and its support for the Baloch struggle will reinforce its commitment to these eternal values once again.

Mr. President, Baloch people are fighting their war of independence. They are not fighting this war for themselves alone but for the entire region and world community against the 
Pakistani and Iranian Islamic extremists and terrorists, who wants to use Balochistan as a safe heaven and use strategic Gwadar port as a launching pad against the US interest in 
the region to block the strait of Hormuz with the help of China and terrorize the civilized world.

Mr. President, Baloch must win this war. Losing this war is not an option. If Baloch lose, we all lose to terrorists and extremists and Chinese expansion in the region.

Mr. President, We strongly believe that a FREE, United, Democratic and Independent Balochistan is the answer to all the problems that the US and the world community are facing in 
the region. It will not only protect the US interests in the region, but will also help to secure the Strait of Hormuz from Iranian threats, help stabilize Afghanistan by eliminating and 
eradicating terrorists safe heavens in Balochistan (provided to Taliban and Al-Qaida by the Pakistan's army) and it will help build peace and stability in the entire region spanning 
from the Mediterranean to the Bay of Bengal and beyond.

Mr. President, we are asking for your help. Please ask the state department and CIA to reach out to the Baloch freedom fighters and help them in their fight for freedom and justice. If 
we can reach out to Syrian freedom fighters why can't we reach out to the Baloch freedom fighters in the interest of the larger cause of human freedom and liberty? If the USA cannot 
do it, who else will? We must not be silent spectators and watch helplessly as an entire community is being wiped out by the inhuman policies of rogue governments.


Thank you Mr. President.


Dr. Wahid Baloch, President
--
Baloch Society of North America (BSO-NA)
1629 K Street NW, Suit 300
Washington D.C., 20036
Tel: (202) 349-1682
Fax: (202) 331-3759

March 06, 2013

ISLAMIC EXTREMISM IN BD: A SET-BACK, BUT NOT YET A DEFEAT

B.RAMAN


The Shabag movement of  Dhaka, which is also referred to as Bangladesh Spring, has been like the Tahrir Square movement of Egypt (2010), a spontaneous uprising of the youth of Dhaka demanding the death penalty for leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) of Bangladesh presently under trial before an international criminal tribunal for their role in opposing the liberation movement of Bangladesh in 1971, collaborating with Pakistan and carrying out the massacre of a large number of civilians, including well-known intellectuals, for supporting the liberation.


2. Like the Tahrir Square movement, the Shabag movement, named after a locality in Dhaka where it started on February 5,2013, is an iconless movement triggered off by spontaneous public (mainly the youth) anger and outrage over the non-award of the death penalty to a prominent leader of the JEI and imparted momentum through social media networks. But, whereas the Tahrir Square movement was against the dictatorial rule of the Hosni Mubarak Government and not against Islamic extremism, the Shabag movement has been against the JEI and other Islamic extremist groups, which tried to impose their stamp on the liberal society of Bangladesh.


3.Whereas the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt has been an ultimate political beneficiary of the Tahrir Square movement, if the Shabag movement maintains its momentum and succeeds, it could mark the triumph of liberal political forces in Bangladesh over the Islamic extremist elements with close links with Pakistan.


4. Even the mainstream political parties of Bangladesh, including the Awami League of Sheikh Hasina, which has been a relentless opponent of the JEI, and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party of Begum Khalida Zia, which has been a political ally of the JEI, were taken by surprise by the spontaneous Shabag movement and the demand of the youth not only for  death penalty to the war criminals of the JEI, but even for a ban on the JEI and other Islamic extremist groups.


5.The mainstream political parties had totally underestimated the depth of the hatred of the youth of Dhaka for the Islamic extremists. Their ill-concealed attempts to take advantage of the mass uprising for their political benefit have been rebuffed by the youth, who are not prepared to be co-opted by any of these parties.


6. While traditional liberal forces in Bangladesh and in the international community, including India, have reasons to be gratified by the mass movement spearheaded by the enlightened youth of Dhaka against Islamic extremism and for justice to those who were butchered by these elements in pre-1971 East Pakistan, it is still uncertain how the movement will evolve and where it will ultimately lead Bangladesh to.


7.While wishing success to the movement, one should avoid wishful-thinking that the movement will finally bury the JEI and other Islamic extremist forces which have managed to survive 1971.It is still largely a Dhaka movement confined to the intellectuals and the working class. The JEI never enjoyed much popularity among these elements.


8.The JEI drew its following largely from among the peasants in rural Bangladesh. There are no reports of the rural youth rallying against the JEI. The JEI's support base in the rural areas consists not only of the little-educated and impoverished peasant class, but also of the die-hard core of jihadi elements belonging to organizations such as the Harkat-ul-Jihad-Al-Islami (BD), which had fought along with the Afghan Mujahideen, the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan before 9/11. The successes scored by the BD intelligence and security forces against the jihadi forces after Sheikh Hasina returned to power have definitely weakened them, but not rooted them out of rural Bangladesh. The JEI, which is not presently in a position to retaliate against the youth of the Shabag movement on the ground, will focus on rallying its rural supporters and cells in order to maintain Islamic extremism as a relevant force in BD. It is already trying to discredit the Shabag movement psychologically in the minds of the people by projecting the youth organizers as anti-Islam and atheists.


9.The JEI will also try to target the Hindu minorities in order to create a diversionary movement. One can be reasonably certain that the Government of Sheikh Hasina and her intelligence agencies and security forces would be aware of the tactics that the JEI would use to tire out the Shabag movement and create new pockets of polarization in the BD society. It is a matter of gratification that the security forces have been confronting the JEI and other extremist forces with determination in the rural areas. This would indicate that the JEI and its allies have not been able to penetrate the security forces so far in any substantial degree.


10.BD society has extremist forces of two vintages--- the pre-1971 vintage constituted by the pro-Pakistan JEI and its allies and the post-1971 vintage constituted by  new Islamic organizations such as the Hizbut Tehrir (HT), which advocate an Islamic Caliphate to be achieved through penetration and not through violence. The HT has been active in BD too, but it has been lying low in the present situation. It will try to benefit ideologically from the present movement against the JEI.


11.The liberal forces in BD society have asserted themselves dramatically, but one cannot take for granted their ultimate success. Islamic extremism of different hues will continue to be a danger to be reckoned with in BD society. Any over-confidence of the liberal forces that they have given a death-blow to the Islamic extremists will be unwise. The extremists have suffered a set-back, but not a defeat. ( 7-3-13)


( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. Twitter: @SORBONNE75 )

Wharton and Modi: Political gamesmanship won over business savvy


Last updated on: March 06, 2013 11:53 IST


'I agonise for these students that only desired to create a platform to discuss India's [ Images ] challenges and opportunities for growth. The students and the Wharton administration must learn the lessons of consequences even as they seek redemption that can be theirs with the right moves forward, argues Dr Aseem Shukla.

The Wharton India Economic Forum, a completely business student organised event, leverages the weighty Wharton imprimatur and has been a signature event in Philadelphia, the United States, for seventeen years, basking in the media spotlight.


 
This year, that spotlight is more a glare because of a profound and disturbing (mis)handling of an invitation to their chief guest, Narendra Modi [ Images ].

These students showed savvy in inviting Modi, elected thrice as the chief minister of Gujarat.
Known as one of the most effective managers and leaders of a state, when other states in India as well as the central government are rocked by scandals, riddled with corruption, and rife with ineptitude, Modi has attracted the attention of people all over India, and business leaders around the world.
Then the students buckled under threats of disruption and dis-invited Modi. Political gamesmanship won over business savvy, and the losers are not just the students, but free speech, democratic ideals, and the leaders of Wharton and Penn.

With Montek Singh Ahluwalia [ Images ], deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, also to speak, the Wharton students had prudently set up a balanced panel representing the two largest parties in power in India, with two varied views on business and economic development.
Javed Akhtar [ Images ] and Shabana Azmi [ Images ] presenting alongside Suresh Prabhu of the Shiv Sena [ Images ], diametrically different ideologies would also get their play.
In short, the Wharton Forum chairs had succeeded in setting up a real, diverse, and potentially vibrant dialogue for the thousand odd guests expected to descend upon Philadelphia for the event later in the month.

Ah, but it was not to be. As expected, given the pariah status Modi enjoys among the Indian radical Lft academy, Wharton students were scolded by a couple of Indian-American Penn faculty for daring to host Modi via video.
What was unexpected was the capitulation in rescinding the invite within 24 hours of the signature campaign against Modi over the weekend.

As a faculty member at Penn and active in advocacy and global medicine work, I was approached by a forum organiser to speak at the forum and recommend speakers for a few panels at the event.
I found the students to be truly idealistic, sincere, and committed to the huge task of organising an event of this magnitude. They invited Modi because the Gujarat growth story is a model for B-school inquiry and because he represents a massive polity in India.
The Ambanis, Adanis, Tatas, Deepak Parekh -- all business titans in India, all participants in the Wharton forum this year or before -- have lauded Modi and his standard of governance. Modi and India Inc are synonymous -- this is no political statement -- and Modi was an appropriate panelist.

The 'strongly worded' petition that the media sourced as the reason WIEF rescinded its well publiclised invitation rests its case on the repetition of a Human Rights Watch report written mere months after the mayhem in Gujarat after the Godhra train massacre over eleven years ago.
That report and several cursory US State Department statements on Gujarat were thoroughly rebutted by the Indian Supreme Court's Special Investigation Team that absolved Modi completely -- the only comprehensive, impartial, and definitive report on the Gujarat riots.
Even as the European Union, the United Kingdom, and others scrub previous hesitations and meet with Modi, the hypocritical US visa revocation of Modi's diplomatic credentials present a usual handle to leverage opposition.
Most Americans know that the Modi alienation disregards India's fiercely independent Supreme Court, condescendingly ignores India's democratic elections, and foolishly enrages millions of Gujaratis whose state is the preferred destination for investment.

But what gives away, perhaps, the real motivation of increasingly vociferous anti-Modi attacks is the manifest whiff of ideology in the petitioners' pen:
'Our role as scholars and students -- and indeed as would-be entrepreneurs and business managers -- must be to develop conscientious and efficacious modes of economic organisation, not to piggy-back onto the inhuman policies of politicians who not only lack a commitment to human rights and to ideals of social justice, but whose political success is based on the suppression of substantial sections of their own citizens.'
So the organisers of the petition -- English professors, a social work teacher, and a few anthropologists at Penn -- got together just a dozen or so faculty members from the College of Liberal Studies, and then presume to lecture Wharton B-school students as to the economic model right for India!
A precious irony, laughable even, but I believe the forum organisers reacted to this line in the petition:
'We urge the Wharton India Economic Forum to revoke their invitation to Narendra Modi. If it does not do so, we pledge to protest his presence -- virtual as it will be, given that he remains ineligible for a US visa -- in a variety of ways, including at the meeting of the forum.'
This pledge to protest in a 'variety of ways' is carefully chosen syntax -- not without precedent at Wharton -- and likely what spooked the conference organisers. Just over a year ago, Penn students supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement forced House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to cancel a Wharton speech with threats to disturb his speech after storming the Wharton campus and forcing a lockdown of classes.
One of the Indian-American professors spearheading the Modi protest gained notoriety after being arrested during the Occupy protests, and with his leadership in the anti-Modi efforts at Penn, the Wharton student organisers may have blanched at visions of organised protests outside their venue.

I am not privy to the position of the Wharton Business School administration vis a vis polemics of free speech on a private school campus. Still one cannot but decry the extent to which many in the academy inform their academic work with personal grouses and biased conceptions of social justice, group morality, or ideological posturings.
As Stanley Fish argued in Save the World on Your Own Time, the stated goal of the academe to yes, actually teach, is too often superseded by the force-feeding of political ideology.
A few of my Indian-American liberal arts colleagues, apparently, seek to cow down students through rabble-rousing, name-calling, and outright threats. Demagoguery has replaced debate, and that is a shame.

The red sandstone rotunda capped by a terraced bronze roof standing above the University of Pennsylvania campus is the imposing home of the Wharton Business School -- fondly known to students and alum as the 'Death Star'. The B-school matriculates future titans of business, or Jedis, as it were, on their way from Walnut to Wall Street enjoying a rarefied reputation of excellence. 

The Wharton organiser Jedis said initially that they would battle boldly and there was no question of acquiescing to the petition. That was before they did just that.
Adani pulled out after that, Prabhu is gone, and one wonders if future Ambani auditoriums -- Wharton's largest hall -- are endangered by this rejection of one of modern India's most popular leaders. 

With the only question being how many cancellations are yet to come, I agonise for these students that only desired to create a platform to discuss India's challenges and opportunities for growth.
They shot themselves in the foot and the students and Wharton administration must learn the lessons of consequences even as they seek redemption that can be theirs with the right moves forward.

Aseem Shukla, MD, is an associate professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and a co-founder of the Hindu American Foundation. The views presented herein are entirely his own.
Dr Aseem Shukla 

March 04, 2013

How Iran Went Nuclear


Veteran weapons inspector Olli Heinonen on how the U.N.'s 'Stockholm Syndrome' has aided Tehran's drive for the bomb—and why an unsettling secret may be lurking in the Iranian desert.
 
By DAVID FEITH

Cambridge, Mass.


It has been more than three years since President Obama revealed the existence of the secret Iranian nuclear facility at Fordo—a uranium-enrichment plant buried deep inside a mountain and surrounded by missile silos and anti-aircraft batteries. Is the world due for another surprise soon?

If anyone has standing to speculate, it is Olli Heinonen, who says he first "got a whiff" of Fordo six years before Mr. Obama acknowledged it. In the fall of 2003, Mr. Heinonen was in his office at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna when a man appeared unannounced. The "walk-in"—whom Mr. Heinonen hasn't previously discussed, and whose nationality he won't disclose—claimed that Iran was replicating its existing uranium-enrichment facility in an underground site near the holy city of Qum. And so it was, as the IAEA and Western spy agencies later confirmed.

But that isn't all the walk-in shared in 2003. Also under construction in Iran, he said, was a duplicate of the Arak heavy-water facility designed to produce plutonium. In other words, the walk-in said that Iran had at least two secret sites, and he was correct on the first. What about the second—is there a plutonium facility that remains secret today?

Enlarge Image

Ken Fallin
Mr. Heinonen can't say as we sit in his office at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he has been a senior fellow since retiring as IAEA deputy director-general in 2010. Yet he offers a warning based on his 27 years of IAEA nuclear-inspection work in Iran, North Korea, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere:

"People talk a lot about how intelligence has penetrated all this," he says of Iran's weapons program, "but if you go back to the nuclear programs which have been revealed [elsewhere], they all came with a surprise. If there is no undeclared installation today . . . it will be the first time in 20 years that Iran doesn't have one."

A native of Finland, Mr. Heinonen speaks in upbeat, accented English, though his message is a grim one for a grim time. In February alone, North Korea conducted its third and most successful nuclear test; Iran announced plans to install advanced centrifuges that could speed its uranium enrichment by 200%; satellite photos published in Britain's Telegraph newspaper suggested that some operations have begun at the Arak facility; multilateral talks with Iran mostly yielded plans for more talks (again); Iran rebuffed America's offer of direct talks (again); and the Senate confirmed as defense secretary a man who couldn't articulate whether the U.S. intends to prevent an Iranian bomb or live with it.

Mr. Heinonen is emphatic that the IAEA is in the prevention business, yet he also explains that Iran might be past the nuclear point of no return—and that years of IAEA missteps are partly to blame.

Even assuming that Iran's regime has no secret facilities, it could go the North Korea route—defined by Mr. Heinonen as deciding "Enough is enough, to heck with this, we'll build a nuclear weapon"—in "a month or two," he says. The precise timing would depend on how (and how well) Iranian engineers go about enriching their uranium stocks to weapons-grade purity. But in any case, Mr. Heinonen notes, Iran's breakout would likely outpace the ability of the "international community" to respond.

First, IAEA inspectors would have to detect the breakout. This could take up to two weeks because they visit Iran's major uranium-enrichment facility about 24 times a year. (Roughly half of the visits are announced, meaning inspectors give the Iranians 10 days' notice, and the rest are unannounced, meaning about two hours' notice at any time of day.) Once inside, inspectors would quickly recognize from the enrichment machinery that Iran was dashing to a bomb, says Mr. Heinonen, but that would hardly be the end of the story.

The inspectors would formally alert the IAEA board, which takes "a few days' time." The board would meet and pass a resolution (which "needs a few days") and then engage the United Nations Security Council ("also not an overnight decision"). "In reality," he says, "one month is gone. Well, during that one month [Iran] may have achieved their goal, at least to have enough high-enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon. What next?" Iran would have become the world's ninth confirmed nuclear state.

Mr. Heinonen's implication is that an Iranian bomb is now simply a matter of Tehran's will, not capability—despite two decades of international effort to prevent it. How did this happen?

Short of military force, there is only so much that outsiders can do to stop a determined regime. But in Iran's case, Mr. Heinonen says, matters weren't helped when the IAEA developed "Stockholm Syndrome," akin to hostages who identify with their kidnappers. Though he praises the professionalism of the IAEA's world-wide efforts on nuclear safety, Mr. Heinonen is mystified by parts of its record on Iran.

Mohamed ElBaradei's tenure as the IAEA's director-general from 1997-2009 wasn't distinguished by its vigilance regarding Iran. He constantly downplayed suspicions (both from Western governments and within his own agency) about Iranian activity, and in 2008 he blessed almost all of Iran's claims about its nuclear program as "consistent" with IAEA findings. He also wrote articles criticizing international nonproliferation policies for favoring nuclear haves over have-nots.

Mr. ElBaradei's willingness to give rogue regimes the benefit of the doubt extended to Syria: After Israel bombed a site in the Syrian desert in 2007, he told the New Yorker magazine that it was "unlikely that this building was a nuclear facility." In fact it was—supplied by North Korea, no less.

Of Mr. ElBaradei, Mr. Heinonen says, "We had our differences." He praises his former boss for raising concern about the possible military dimension of Iran's nuclear program in 2004, but he notes that two events seemed to affect Mr. ElBaradei's determination.

One was the U.S.-led war in Iraq, which Mr. ElBaradei "felt was unjust," Mr. Heinonen says, and was launched on what Mr. ElBaradei regarded as "a pretext" that the Bush administration might also invoke to attack Iran. The other was the Nobel Peace Prize awarded in 2005 to Mr. ElBaradei and the IAEA. "It had an impact"—a softening one—"on the way we dealt with [Iran]," Mr. Heinonen says.

The main problem, however, was an entrenched practice of credulous diplomacy, says Mr. Heinonen. "If you ask whether things went wrong in 2003 and 2004, actually I would say it went wrong much earlier. It went wrong at the time of Hans Blix"—the IAEA chief at the time—"in 1993 and 1994."

That is when IAEA officials conducted "transparency visits" in Iran, prompted by various concerns, including that China had secretly diverted two tons of uranium to the Islamic Republic. As Mr. Heinonen tells it, inspectors declared "Everything is OK, we saw nothing." Actually, he notes, "there were two laboratories which were undeclared and became obvious during this visit."

Yet the IAEA stayed mum and remained so for three years while Iran delayed putting the facilities under agency safeguards. "This was never mentioned in public," says Mr. Heinonen, adding that as he rose through the agency he learned of other such nondisclosures by Vienna's supposed enforcers of transparency.

"I cannot understand logically why you would behave like that," he says, though he notes that the "Iranians are very good negotiators."

To this day, Iranian negotiators manage to dampen IAEA criticism despite Tehran's continued obstructionism. Inspectors have been blocked for years from the suspicious Parchin complex and from Arak, too, for the past 18 months. But by making promising public statements—like those this week announcing further negotiations in March and April—the Iranians "build a kind of hope, and the diplomats buy it," Mr. Heinonen says.

Speaking of hope, the former inspector says that he still sees a chance for a U.S.-Iran grand bargain. In his view, the Iranian regime isn't a "homogenous" revolutionary group bent on getting the bomb. "If you look," some members of the Tehran establishment may be "pretty hardline" but "are more oriented on having business relations with the outside world."

Such figures, he says, can exert a moderating influence on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Here Mr. Heinonen cites a 2003 episode in which former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani helped convince the supreme leader to reverse his public position against signing an additional-protocol agreement with the IAEA.

Then again, as Mr. Heinonen confirms, Iran cheated on that agreement and terminated its implementation after two years, so it doesn't inspire much confidence. If a grand—and honest—bargain can't be struck, and Iran is recognized as a de facto or overt nuclear power, then what? Will the Middle East see a nuclear-arms race as rival nations try to catch up?

"Yes, it might, but not overnight," Mr. Heinonen says. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and others would need five to 10 years to build a bomb "even in a crash course."

Yet that is only if the countries are "starting from zero," he notes. Saudi Arabia may already be on the move.

In 2011, the kingdom announced plans to build 16 nuclear power reactors by 2030. "That's actually a funny number," Mr. Heinonen says—just what a country would need to justify developing domestic fuel-cycle capabilities that could have both civilian and military uses. "If you want to maintain your own uranium enrichment, that's the right number. . . . It's a perfect match." He adds: "Remember, there was no one military program which took place without civilian. It's always under the civilian umbrella."

For now, Mr. Heinonen is most concerned about Pakistan. The country is unstable, its nuclear arsenal huge, and "they are building these tactical nuclear weapons, which means that they need to move them around. . . . So how do you maintain the control?"

Any warehouse or convoy poses a proliferation risk. "Look at what happened with A.Q. Khan," he says, referring to the godfather of the Pakistani bomb who sold nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea and Libya. "Either the military was entirely incompetent, or they knew what Khan was doing. . . . I think they all knew about it, and some of them got their own kickbacks."

An afternoon with Mr. Heinonen provides a sobering counterpoint to happy talk from the Obama administration about "a world without nuclear weapons." Mr. Heinonen, in his engineer's uniform of tie and short-sleeve button-down shirt, maintains a certain equanimity about world affairs. Yet the parade of horribles rolls on.

Mr. Feith is an assistant editorial features editor at the Journal.

A version of this article appeared March 2, 2013, on page A13 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: How Iran Went Nuclear.

An Inconvenient Truth

2010 Budgets of FBI, NSA and TSA vs. 2010 GDP of Nicaragua

4-Year Government Deficit or Surplus Since Reagan's First Term

INDIAN POLICE: Punjab Cops hit woman who asked for help

Watch live footage of a woman beaten up brutally by the Punjab policemen on road. Reportedly the woman had complained to the police of a teasing with her at a wedding ceremony which led the Policemen beat her up without any provocation on the road

As Europe goes down, we need to be prepared for consequences


March 4, 2013 · by Prof Vaidyanathan · in Economy, Globalization,  niticentral.com

The European economic and social crisis is becoming worse with each passing day. One business channel asked me in 2008 how long it might take to recover and I responded saying 40 quarters — they never came back to interview. But now I forecast it may never recover.

Sri Aurobindo said that India will rise on the ashes of western civilisation and it seems to be coming true. It is important to recognise that the dominance of the West has been there only for last 200 odd years. According to Angus Maddison's pioneering OECD study, India and China had nearly 50 per cent of global GDP as late as the 1820s. Hence India and China are not emerging or rising powers. They are retrieving their original position. In 1990, the share of the G-7 in world GDP (on a purchasing power parity basis) was 51 per cent and that of emerging markets, 36 per cent. But in 2012, it is the reverse. So the dominant west is a myth.

Europe is facing three types of crisis – economic, demographic, civilisational and it is not in a position to come out of these. All three are not recent ones; they were developing over a period and are now culminating into a catastrophe.
The Debt to GDP ratio of most of Europe is at unsustainable levels with our own Britain having above 500 per cent — I say our own since we are going to have to help them run their country sooner than later. There are three major constituents of debt — Government debt, corporate debt and household debt. Of the three, we find household debt has reached nearly 80 to 100 per cent of GDP in most of these countries. The reason is simple — unlike India, households in Europe and USA have forgotten one simple word — savings. They live on debt and are interned by debt.

The situation is made worse by the unemployment situation. Youth unemployment has reached 55 per cent in Spain and hovering above 30 per cent in most of the other countries. Youth is defined as being between the ages of 16 to 24, unlike in India where even a 43-year-old is a 'youth icon'. The overall unemployment is at more than 25 per cent in most countries and it is creating social turmoil.

Along with this is the demographic crisis. The population of Europe during the First World War was nearly 25 per cent. Today it is around 11 per cent and is expected to become 3 per cent in another 20 years. This is mainly due to low reproductive rates and in some countries is as low as 1 when 2.1 is considered as equilibrating rate. Europe will disappear from the world map unless migrants from Africa and Asia take it over. That is why Europe is being referred to as Eurobia and London as Londonistan.

The root cause of the issue is the attempt in Europe to nationalize families and privatize business. Old age issue/ health issues/ child care issues are all normal family activities that have been taken over by the state and the state is broke. Funded security schemes are facing crisis since not enough numbers are getting in to labor force due to low reproductive rates and unfundedsecurity system is in difficulty since taxes are not adequate due to low population growth.
Coupled with economic and demographic crisis is the crisis of civilization in Europe. It has renounced the Church and has become secular. Church attendance has fallen significantly and churches have become tourist attractions rather than places of worship.

Most of the migrants, particularly those doing 'brown colour work' – like garbage removal, cleaning plates in restaurant, porter jobs, and grape-picking — are people from Mauritania/ Somalia/ Algeria etc and most are Muslims by faith. Due to a high degree of unemployment, there is resentment against migrants and this anger is turning into anger against Muslims. Added to this is the new front started by France in Mali to fight Islamic fundamentalists. Africa may become a new Vietnam for Europe.
Europe is sitting on a time bomb and any small spark could ignite it. Remember that all conflicts in the last 2000 years h
ave started in Europe and became 'world' conflicts. India has already given $10 billion or Rs 56,000 crore – nearly one per cent of GDP to help Europe. Not a single European paper or leader has thanked us openly. One can only hope that we need not give more of our GDP or become cannon fodder in anglo-saxon conflicts.
We can never be certain about our Government. It may involve us in the emerging conflicts since our foreign policy is generally subservient to the anglo-saxon interests and we muddle along instead of doing strategic thinking. The sooner we evolve a strategy, the better, and it should be de-coupled from conflicts and focus on the eastern front.
 
Author is professor at IIM-Bangalore --Views are personal
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March 03, 2013

The cacophony of the world

By Dominique Moïsi  -  01.03.2013 / 17:48 CET 
Fragmentation is the current leitmotif of international geopolitics.

In his masterpiece Diplomacy, Henry Kissinger describes, probably too idyllically, the international balance-of-power system that, following the Congress of Vienna in 1814-15, produced what came to be called the 'Concert of Europe'. As Kissinger describes it, after the Napoleonic Wars, "There was not only a physical equilibrium, but a moral one. Power and justice were in substantial harmony." Of course, the concert ended in cacophony with the outbreak of the First World War in the summer of 1914.   

Today, after the brutality of the first half of the 20th century, the temporary bipolarity of the Cold War, and the United States' brief post-1989 hyper-power status, the world is once again searching for a new international order. Can something like the Concert of Europe be globalised? Unfortunately, global cacophony seems more probable. One obvious reason is the absence of a recognised and accepted international referee. The United States, which best embodies ultimate power, is less willing – and less able – to exercise it. And the United Nations, which best embodies the principles of international order, is as divided and impotent as ever.   

But, beyond the absence of a referee, another issue looms: the wave of globalisation that followed the end of the Cold War has, paradoxically, accelerated fragmentation, affecting democratic and non-democratic countries alike. From the collapse of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia's violent self-destruction, and Czechoslovakia's peaceful divorce to today's centrifugal pressures in Europe, the West, and the major emerging countries, fragmentation has been fundamental to international relations in recent decades.   

The information revolution has created a more global, interdependent, and transparent world than ever. But this has led, in turn, to an anxious, Balkan-ising quest for identity. This effort to recover uniqueness is largely the cause of the international system's growing fragmentation.   

In the Concert of Europe, the number of actors was limited, and they were mostly states, whether national or imperial. Essential values were widely shared, and most actors favoured protecting the existing order. In today's world, by contrast, the nature of the actors involved is no longer so clear. Trans-national forces, states, and non-state actors are all involved, and their goals are complex and sometimes contradictory, with no universal commitment to preserving the status quo.   

The US may be intent on creating a transatlantic trade-and-investment pact with Europe, which would make a political statement to the world that the West writ large constitutes the universal normative reference point. But does such a West exist? In our era of fragmentation, there is a more powerful and dynamic American West, a globally more problematic European West (itself fragmented between a prosperous north and an economically lagging south), and even a British West and, in Japan, an Asian West.   

The concept of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) may have been an astute branding tool. But, aside from its members' high growth rates, has it had any real significance? Indeed, China is clearly in a category of its own, as a source of perceived (or real) risk to its regional environment. If the BRICs' growth slows (as has begun to happen), the concept's artificiality will become widely apparent. What unites emerging powers today is more their denial of international responsibilities than their joint diplomatic efforts.   

Fragmentation also affects societies internally. Deep partisan divisions – whether over the role of government or social/cultural issues – are leading to near-paralysis in democratic societies like the US. In non-democratic societies, they can lead to revolution and violent power struggles. This has been the case in much of the Arab world since late 2010.   

Even power itself is more fragmented than ever. Indeed, Moises Naim proclaims its demise in his latest book, "The end of power: From boardrooms to battlefields and churches to states, why being in charge isn't what it used to be". While Naim's conclusion may be premature, he is right about one thing: "Power no longer buys as much as it did in the past." It is "easier to get, harder to use – and easier to lose."   

Some analysts maintain, reassuringly, that rapprochement between Asia and the West is possible, given symbiosis between Western democracy and authoritarian Confucianism. This is Kishore Mahbubani's argument in his book "The great convergence". But the harmony stemming from the encounter between different cultures and systems is nowhere near – and will not be as long as the rule of law has not taken hold in the emerging world and a culture of modesty has not made headway within the plural West.   

The cacophony of the world has replaced the concert of Europe. And this may very well be the case for the foreseeable future.   

Dominique Moïsi, a professor at L'Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), is senior adviser at IFRI (The French Institute for International Affairs). He is currently a visiting professor at King's College London. © Project Syndicate, 2013.
© 2013 European Voice. All rights reserved.

Pakistan Ulema Permits Suicide Attacks


Abdul Haq Omari, 02 March 2013 13:18
http://tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/9627-pakistan-ulema-permits-suicide-attacks

The Chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council on Friday said that suicide attacks in Afghanistan are permitted as long as US forces are present in the country."Palestine is occupied by Israel, Kashmir by India, and Afghanistan by the US. So if the Muslims don't have the atomic bomb, they should sacrifice their lives for God," head of Pakistan Ulema Council Alama Tahir Ashrafi said in an interview with TOLOnews.
"We are asking America to leave the region in order for the region to become peaceful," he added.Afghanistan's Ulema Council has rejected his comments, stressing that suicide attacks are unlawful under Islam."Pakistan does has the atomic bomb, so why are they carrying out suicide attacks? Suicide bombing is unlawful in Islam religion," member of Afghanistan's Ulema council Abdul Qayoub Hafiz told TOLOnews.

Afghan political analyst Mir Ahmad Joyenda said Ashrafi's comments show that Pakistan's Ulema supports the insurgency."I think they don't know enough about Islam or they are supporting Pakistan's intelligence office jobs. There is nothing about the suicide attacks in Islam. They [the Ulema] are permitting suicide bombings and showing their support," he said.It comes after Pakistan's council of religious clerics recently announced that they will not attend a planned joint Ulema summit between the two countries to build support against suicide bombings and facilitate the Afghan peace process.

In an official letter addressed to the Afghan clerics, Mufti Abu Huraira Mohiuddin, head of the Pakistani clerics, said they are not willing to criticise any of the Afghan Taliban's past activities, nor would they issue a fatwa against them. The Pakistani council had previously said that they wanted the Taliban to also attend the conference.The religious conference between Kabul and Islamabad was agreed on about three months ago in a meeting between Afghan and Pakistani government officials.

Hidden Secrets of Money: Mike Maloney

Response to WSJ Op-Ed Calling For Bible Education In Public Schools

Posted: 03/03/2013 2:35 am
 
The Wall Street Journal's recent editorial has the bold title: "Public Schools Should Teach the Bible: Westerners cannot be considered literate without a basic knowledge of this foundational text. While I certainly support the idea that students should be better informed about world religions, I vehemently oppose giving special preference to the Bible over other faiths.

The WSJ op-ed's argument is that America is a Western nation with the Bible as its foundation. This is a racist assumption which ignores that for most of its 10,000 year history America was unknown to Europeans and was inhabited by the Native Americans, originally from Asia. OK, I agree that today we are where we are, and must deal with the practical reality that Europeans dominated this land for the past few centuries after "emptying" it of the natives -- a euphemism for getting rid of them by various means. But the very same pragmatic view also suggests that by 2050, whites (i.e. people of European or "Western" descent) will be less than half the population of America. Going forward, we are not going to be a Eurocentric nation, but a microcosm of the world's diverse peoples. The premise of being a Western nation must be re-examined.

The majority of the world's population is neither European nor Christian. In a global society, our future generations must be better equipped to deal with the diverse religions and cultures of all nations abroad and of all citizens at home. Inevitably, a white kid in the next generation will have "non-Westerners" in her life -- as classmates, doctors, colleagues at work, bosses, business suppliers, customers, or even as spouse. "Western" chauvinism is rapidly becoming obsolete, being often a politically correct substitute for "white Christian" supremacy.
A better idea is to teach the world's great classics that ought to be selected for their value as sources of ideas and inspiration. Why not also teach Patanjali's yoga text, Buddha's and Gandhi's philosophies, the world's first and still most comprehensive grammar (of Sanskrit) written by Panini prior to the time of Jesus, and a whole library of such great non-Western texts. Aryabhatta's famous mathematics and astronomy influenced later European developments. Kautilya's political thought anticipated Machiavelli and other Europeans by more than a millennium. Bharata's multi-volume natya-shastra must be appreciated alongside the Greek writings on aesthetics.

T.S. Eliot, one of America's foremost thinkers, was a Sanskrit scholar all his life, and remarked that compared to the Sanskrit classics the greatest Western philosophers "look like schoolboys." Indeed, the library of major works from India alone is far greater than the Greek and Roman classics combined, and one must add to this the classics of other civilizations such as China. My point is that we must raise kids to be world citizens with a broad foundation of the greatest ideas from every corner.

The WSJ op-ed is also plain wrong in citing that the movie Star Wars was inspired by the Bible. In fact, Infinity Foundation sponsored a research book in the 1990s that traced Ramayana (a Hindu text) as the source which had inspired George Lucas. Lucas acknowledges that he got his ideas from Joseph Campbell who had interpreted Indian narratives as a student of Sanskrit and Hinduism. The book that came out of this project, titled, The Jedi in the Lotus, gives details of how various characters and stories from Ramayana were incorporated into Star Wars.

The authors of the WSJ op-ed want to play the game: "XYZ would not have existed in America without the influence of the Bible." But by the same token, I would point out that Christopher Columbus would not have found America had he not been sent by Queen Isabella of Spain to look for a sea route to India. India and China were known as the centers of world manufacturing and as the source of goods that were highly sought after in Europe. But once the Ottoman Empire captured the land routes from Asia to Europe, these Asian goods became very scarce in Europe. Queen Isabella invested in a risky venture with a huge potential payoff - finding a sea route to import Indian goods and thereby bypassing the Ottomans. Thus, India is the reason for the existence of what later became the United States of America. Certainly, this bit of history should be taught in every American school.

Balochs take their voice to the door step of White House.

 
 
WASHINGTON D.C: A peaceful protest rally is being organized by the Baloch community in North America in front of the White House to draw the attention of the Obama Administration towards the ongoing military operations, human right violations, arbitrary arrests, extra-judicial killings, disappearances and genocide in Balochistan. 


"The Obama Administration must also take note of the brazen and unmindful exploitation of Baloch resources by Pakistan and Iran to fill their coffers, strengthen their might and unleash a reign of terror on the poor Baloch people, with the help of China", said Dr. Wahid Baloch, the organizer of the rally and the President of Baloch Society of North America, a Washington D.C based Baloch human right organization, dedicated to highlight the plights of Baloch peole and human right violations in Balochistan by Pakistan and Iran.
 

"Balochistan is going through the most critical time in its history. The Pakistani aggression is at its peak. The occupying forces of Pakistan have recently  intensified their military operations in Balochistan", He said.
 
 
"Target killings, arrests, kidnappings and raids on Baloch houses have increased manifold. Ironically, they are doing it in the name of responding to the sectarian killings orchestrated by jihadi/sectarian groups transplanted in Balochistan to spread Islamic radicalism as a counter to Baloch nationalism", he continued.
 
 
Over the past two years more than seven hundreds of bodies of "Baloch missing persons" detained without charge by Pakistan security forces have been found across Balochistan.


Balochistan, an independent sovereign state, was occupied and forcefully annexed into Pakistan by Pakistani army in 1948 against the Baloch people's will and mandate. The Baloch people are resisting the Pakistan illegal occupation of their homeland and exploitation of their natural resources from the day one and are resolve to 'free' their motherland from illegal occupation by Pakistan. 



Recently, Pakistan sold Balochistan's strategic port Gwadar to China bypassing the Baloch will and mandate.
 
 
" We strongly condemn and oppose this unilateral decision to bring in China. China must leave Balochistan immediately. Its presence in a strategic place like Gwadar does not bode well for the region and the world, given the Chinese ambition to be a world power and dominate the politics of the region, said Dr. Baloch. 

 
Moreover, Pakistan has no right to make any deal against the Baloch wishes. Only Baloch people can and should be allowed to exercise such right, he said.

 
We stage this protest to demand that the Obama Administration to intervene in Balochistan to save the innocent defensless Baloch people from being butchered by Pakistan forces and to ensure that China does not use Baloch land to strengthen itself and use its might against the larger interests of the international community, said Dr. Baloch.
 
" A free and independent Balochistan would rather welcome US control of Gwadar port in case the US helps the Baloch in their struggle for independence. The US has championed the values of freedom and dignity all throughout history and its support for the Baloch struggle will reinforce its commitment to these eternal values once again", he elabotrated.


"We strongly believe that a FREE, United, Democratic and Independent Balochistan is the answer to all the problems that the US and the world community is facing today, especially in light of the threats emanating from the extended region of Middle East and South Asia. It will not only protect the US interests in the region, but will also help to secure the Strait of Hormuz from Iranian threats, help stabilize Afghanistan by eliminating and eradicating terrorists safe heavens in Balochistan (provided to Taliban and Al-Qaida by the Pakistan's army) and it will help build peace and stability in the entire region spanning from the Mediterranean to the Bay of Bengal and beyond", he argued.


He said, Pakistan is a terrorist State and should be declared as such. It has misused the billions dollars of aid  provided to it by the USA and built nuclear weapons, instead of feeding its hungry people. American aid has strengthened its military power with which it has massacred the Baloch people— the natural friends of the US. It has also used the US aid to train, equip and enable Taliban and Al-Qaida as Pakistan's strategic assets, who have killed many American and NATO forces in Afghanistan. It is well known now that Pakistan military and its ISI were involved in the US embassy attack in Kabul and not to mention they hid our most wanted enemy, Mr. Bin Laden next to their military academy not very far off from Islamabad.
 
He asked the Obama Administration to tie its aid to Pakistan with stopping genocide against the Baloch people, scraping off of its nuclear weapons, and  withdrawing its support for Islamic extremists and terrorists.
 
 
"In order to defeat the Islamic Extremism and Terrorism in Pakistan, and counter the strategies of countries like China and Iran in the region, the US, instead of sending billions of dollars to Pakistan, should extend a helping hand to the secular Baloch people, in Balochistan, in their struggle for freedom and justice, who are the best ideological friends for the US in the region against the Islamic extremists and terrorists, he demanded.
 
 
he asked  all the peace and freedom loving people in the United States to come and join the rally on March 6th, in front of the White House between 12pm to 3pm to show their support to the oppressed Baloch people in their fight for freedom and justice against the Illegal occupation of their land and the genocidal policies of Pakistan and Iran, and Chinese involvement in Balochistan.
 
                                                                                       ###########
 
Media Contact:
Baloch Society of North America (BSO-NA)
1629 K Street NW, Suit 300
Washington D.C., 20036
Tel: (202) 349-1682
Fax: (202) 331-3759