January 17, 2014

Mischievous British and the Blue Star Operation

K.Gajendra Singh 16 January , 2014

Presstitute; Short for press and prostitute coined by trend forecaster Gerald Celente for journalists and talking heads who give biased and predetermined views in favor of corporations & the government .

Whore: (verb) to debase one by doing something for unworthy motives, typically to make money.     -The New Oxford American Dictionary

According to media reports, the government of India under resolute and doughty Indira Gandhi sought the advice of the British (intelligence or special forces ) in connection with the blue Star operation in June 1984. Indian media is controlled by corporate interests and government and hence is called pressitute and is generally clueless about foreign affairs .In spite of the wealth generated by incessant advertisements , mostly well-connected relatives of the powers that be and even their  girlfriends, wives are employed .Little money is spent on research or having correspondents abroad . Western media has gone down completely and become a handmaiden of the governments which are controlled by corporate interests, so there is very little honest research or reporting. That also holds true for most of Indians think tanks, many of which are financed by Western sources directly or indirectly, or corporate interests. The media is led by the likes of Yankee count, Shekhar Gupta, a corporate whore and government pressitute.

It was fortunate that after 1958 no IFS trainees were sent to British universities and the Commonwealth office of United Kingdom. I was therefore very delighted when a team of British diplomats who had been put in charge of establishing a training school for British diplomats came in 1988 to foreign service training institute, FSTI  now known as FSI to learn how to organize training for British diplomats.

Unfortunately, our security services like IB and RAW were trained by the British and then taken over by the American CIA and FBI and probably now they sit at the feet of Mossad. I met many of police officers, some from my own batch of 1961, who in the 80s treated some of the British officers by whom they were trained or security officers visiting India as almost like demigods. Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), whose reputation and prestige is rightly in mud has become a totally unaccountable organization and this fact is known to everyone. Recruited by itself it has become like a private uncle-nephew corporation.  Perhaps the ruling party uses it for its personal and political party advantage abroad as they openly use IB when in power or CBI. Many of the raw officers would talk glowingly of CIA, because in the American diplomatic system, which has hardly proved effective, with tens of $ billions spent on CIA, FBI and other intelligence agencies .RAW tried to mould itself like CIA, hoping that one day having failed to make into the foreign service, they will rise under the cover of diplomats and even become ambassadors as in CIA.

With some support from Raw, fully from IB, civil aviation and home affairs I had organized the following training module in 1988 for officers, not only from the foreign service, but also from other services, including defence on how to counter terror attacks.

Crisis Management Program Outline and Daily Schedule  

                          MONDAY JUNE 12

0915                  Registration
0930                  Inauguration by Hon'ble M.O S
10151115     Political Violence and Terrorism a historical overview
1115-1130     Tea break
1130-1300        Foreign Policy and Legal Aspects of Terrorism
1 300-1400       Working Lunch
1400-1 530      Psychodynamics of terrorism
1530-1600       Tea break
1600-1730        Theories and practices in Crisis Management
1000 1300         Dealing with crisis situations- negotiating skills and techniques
1300-1400        Working Lunch
1400-1600        Dealing with terrorists— a simulation exercise
1600-1630        Tea break
1 630-1 730      Organisation of terrorist and militant groups in India

0930-1100        Media and Crisis Management
1100-1130        Tea break
11301300      International Terrorist Groups I
1300-1400        Working Lunch
1400 1 530       International Terrorist Groups-ll
1530-1600        Tea break
1 600 1 730       Smuggling and Narco-terrorism

                     THURSDAY JUNE 15
1000 1300        Case study of terrorist incident : analysis and conclusion
1 300 1400        Working Lunch
140O-1730      Case studies in terrorism
1) Mhatre murder case (Birmingham)
2) Hijacking of Indian Airlines plane in Dubai
3) Attempted hijacking of PAN AM Aircraft at Karachi (Sept  1986)
4) Dec 1988 PANAM Aircrash

1000-1300        Simulation exercise: Indian Ambassador held hostage
1300-1400        Working Lunch
1400-1 530       Institutional Arrangements for Crisis Management
1530-1545        Tea break
1545-1630        Video film —'Crisis Management’
1630-1730        Review/Assessment

Note ( FSTI was started in mid 1980s  with barely 5or 6 officers with a part-time dean of faculty, secretary A. B Gokhale .No credit is now given to Mr Gokhle , with later Deans having added little to the number of courses )

This module was very well received, but I am not sure if it is being organised now.

Probably we have too many agencies at cross purposes in our so called national intelligence agency, whatever its name. One of the comments made by the some of the police and security services trainees was after that module was,apart from appreciating the program that it was better than something similar in UK .But some were not too happy because officers from security services were deputed to such programs in UK, which was not as good, but they used this occasion to save money for goodies which at that time were not easily available in India.

A Raw chief in late-1980s was telling a number of officers in South Block, where MEA is located, that he could make LTTE leader Prabhakaran do whatever he wanted to. This was the most absurd statement that I ever came across. The Indian troops were sent to Sri Lanka without taking into account what were India’s objectivists and what would be the cost and loss of life .Were we prepared to bear the losses to achieve those objectives. I had asked this question in the class, which had been organized for the Foreign Service trainees from the visiting head of Indian mission in Colombo. I had added that was it like Syria's strategic interests in Lebanon for its security. There was no clear cut answer or even a reasonable response. We all know what happened in the end; Rajeev Gandhi was assassinated as a byproduct of this misadventure. All those connected with advising him like foreign minister, Narsingh Rao, ambassador to Sri Lanka, joint secretary dealing with Sri Lanka all did very well in the careers and professions.

The point I am trying to make is that ours intelligence services especially RAW is hopeless and not accountable to anyone. Even the Vice President in a lecture suggested that there should be a Parliamentary committee to look into that. Both Raw and IB, especially Raw, had been known through the corridor gossip, that they misadvised the Indian government on the situation in Sri Lanka. It is true of almost of all crises and wars involving an input from Raw whether it was 1962, 1965 and even 1971. Or Blue Star.

In 1962 when Raw was part of IB from all accounts available ,the first boss of our intelligence services dealing with internal and external intelligence services was a disaster, both in preparation and information regarding Chinese intentions and preparations and later suggestions to fight the occupation. They took stand on the basis of advice of the Americans who wanted to keep China entangled at least on the southern border. China after teaching a lesson to India withdrew , as one Chinese diplomat arrogantly told me and was also repeated when FM AB Vajpayee was visiting China , then at war with Vietnam ,who gave the Chinese a bloody nose .The Chinese withdrew  from India and concentrated on their main preoccupation in the Pacific .Indians have still not recovered from the shock.

Indian diplomats even those posted to China, parody, the American line that India should not have recognized Tibet as part of China. What would have India done with a dismally prepared armed forces, a profession, which before 1962 was considered to be best sporting and entertainment club East of Suez. The Chinese were determined and their armed forces, the People's Army after the revolution was much better battle tested than India’s ill-prepared soldiers, their arms and even the uniforms. Political parties specially BJP, which is feeling frustrated make silly noises on ill-informed corporate channels without any sense.

What tickles me most and what is most pathetic how RAW boasts of its performance in 1971.More than half of Pakistanis ie now Bangladeshis were falling head over heal to defect to India or give intelligence  about Pak army in East Pakistan .I handled some of such cases in Ankara.

Some well-known RAW officers, like others keep on writing articles on international situation when they are ill informed even about the situation in Pakistan. I had to tell one of them when after the 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq by US led Western forces, possibly briefed by his American handlers he wrote that Washington will sort out Iraq, then Syria and finally Iran. It was a good buy for Shekhar Gupta, who even added Pakistan and said it was of the good of India" and democracy.

 We all know what actually happened. West has created tens of thousands of terrorists. USA and its allies have destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and were stopped from doing so in Syria by Iran, Russia and even China, a major turning point for our times .The criminal Western leadership led attempts to establish bases and control central Asia were rebuffed back , after having been thrown out from airbases in Uzbekistan .The struggle  is still contested in Ukraine, but in favor of Russia. In Georgia Western puppet president’s powers have been circumscribed.

Some of the speakers and writers who know about international situation, which does not include our so-called talking non-sense heads on TV channels, understand that information is exchanged between intelligence services of all countries, even when they are at war with each other or in hostile intense situations... Thus, the claim of the British even at that time, while hyperbolic, is a lie, a point which is being uncovered from to time and time. Some low level contacts might have been made. During Blue Star , UK was allowing freedom to Khalistani separatists .BBC telecast Khalistanis celebrating the assassination of Indira Gandhi .In fact many terror groups are allowed to operate in UK .UK like USA is already in 1984 , as affirmed  by Snowden. While Indian police is venal and inefficient and destroyed by the political class, the performance of Scotland Yard was laughable in 2005 terror attacks following which a Brazilian was shot dead. UK will one day pay the price for harboring Muslim and other terror groups in their country.


Reimagining India: Creating partnerships for the future

In short excerpts from Reimagining India, two CEOs from very different industries reflect on how global companies can succeed in India.
January 2014 | byHoward Schultz and Miles White
The power of partnership
Howard Schultz

We hope to have thousands of stores in India. I look forward to a day in the not-too-distant future when India takes its place alongside China as one of our two largest markets outside North America. But we know getting there won’t be easy. And our successful beginning in India has not been without hurdles; on the contrary, it was a complicated six-year journey. Along the way, we learned a lot about India and ourselves.

One key to our success has been our partnership with the Tata Group. We announced our joint venture with Tata in January 2012. Ten months later, the Indian government loosened restrictions on foreign investment in the retail industry. From a legal standpoint, we could have tried to set up shop in India on our own. But I can’t imagine bringing Starbucks to India without the assistance we’ve received from Tata. They helped us find great locations for our stores. They helped with store design and in getting the food menu right (tandoori paneer rolls and cardamom-flavored croissants!). They helped us overcome the many logistical and infrastructure obstacles to make sure everything on our India menu is fresh. They also helped with recruiting, which is crucial for us because no matter how big we get, the essence of Starbucks is to make that human connection: serving coffee one person, one cup, one neighborhood at a time.

The other unique aspect of our alliance with Tata is the ability to source and roast coffee beans locally in India. India is the only major market in the world where we can do that, and it is only because of our relationship with Tata, which is the largest coffee-estate owner in all of Asia. They not only own farms but also operate their own roasting facilities. We were able to work with them to develop an India-only espresso roast, designed specifically for India, that is every bit as good as the espresso we serve all over the world.

Developing that blend required us to do some things differently. We created a unique blend for India, and it’s not roasted by our team, which is something we had never done before. It was a real test of our trust in our new partner because it required us to share with Tata some of the roasting secrets we have perfected over four decades and guarded very closely. But the result has been well worth it. In the process, we learned that not everything needs to be invented in Seattle, and that with the right partner, we can collaborate and coauthor, as long as there is a foundation of trust.

Finding the right prescription
Miles White

In business, sometimes you find the most valuable insights in places you’d least expect them. In my case, it was a crowded Mumbai alley full of “chemist” shops where I went to buy some medicine. That brief visit helped me understand why, after imagining India for a long while, my company had to become an integral part of it.

It was 2009. I had embarked on what might be called an immersion course in India—in particular in its health system. I toured its hospitals and other health-care facilities, at all levels of service. I visited private homes across a broad spectrum of socioeconomic levels. I tried to understand as well as I could what it was like to be an Indian citizen during this extraordinary moment in the country’s history and what it was like to provide and receive health care.

As it happened, in the course of investigating India’s health-care system, I came to need a little care myself. That’s how I found myself in the lanes surrounding Bombay Hospital, where about 30 chemist shops, each with a storefront perhaps three to five meters wide, serve the hospital’s many patients. The scene I encountered was eye-opening. Clerks clamored for my attention as I walked past. Indian pharmacies function as informal doctors as well as medicine purveyors, but the people manning these shops were unexpectedly young and could have been selling any commodity. Once I chose a shop, the young man at the counter asked numerous questions about the malady I wanted to treat. After a loud discussion between him and someone in the back—during which passersby could easily overhear details of my symptoms—I received a small bag of generic medicines. The drugs prescribed were just what I needed, and I was stunned by how little they cost—a fraction of the price I would have paid for them in the United States or almost any other developed country. In a way that no spreadsheet or PowerPoint ever could, this experience drove home to me how crucial it was for us at Abbott to be part of India’s health-care solution.

The medicines I bought that day were what are known as “branded generics,” and their prevalence in India underscores the essence of the country’s health-care system. At the tip of the iceberg is outstanding care for the relatively few who can afford it. But the overwhelming majority of people receive a very different level of care, if any. For this majority, branded generics are appealing because, although their patent protection has expired, they offer the quality of manufacture and trustworthiness of consistency that comes with the imprimatur of a major pharmaceutical firm, at a much more accessible price than newer, patent-protected drugs. India is a powerhouse for these drugs, due to its wealth of scientific and managerial talent and its low production costs. We concluded that securing a major foothold in India would provide Abbott an ideal base from which to sell not only to the 1.2 billion people in India but also to fast-growing markets throughout the developing world.

We made a series of key transactions in 2010, acquiring the pharmaceutical business of Belgium-based Solvay, which had an Indian operation larger than our own, and forming a partnership with a major Indian pharmaceutical maker to market drugs in emerging economies outside India. Then came the deal that was fundamental to our vision: our $3.7 billion acquisition of Piramal Healthcare Solutions, a part of Piramal Group, one of India’s largest companies. These actions made us one of the largest players in the health-care system of the second-most-populous nation on earth. In just four years, we’ve achieved our goal of attaining a number-one position in India’s pharmaceutical sector where we have about 7 percent of the market. India now represents more than 4 percent of our total sales and almost 5 percent of profits—percentages that will surely grow.

About the authors

For “The power of partnership,” author is Howard Schultz, chairman, president, and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company. For “Finding the right prescription,” author is Miles White, chairman and CEO of Abbott Laboratories. These essays are excerpted from Reimagining India: Unlocking the Potential of Asia’s Next Superpower. Copyright © 2013 by McKinsey & Company. Published by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

January 15, 2014

‘Vegetarians are rapists’: US diplomat expelled in Devyani row is racist

 by Uttara Choudhury Jan 15, 2014 #Devyani Khobragade #

New York: The US State Department should stop posting diplomats to India who are more interested in denigrating the country than building ties. The American diplomat and his wife who were expelled in tit-for-tat action last week in the Devyani Khobragade case were clearly racist. Wayne May, who headed the US embassy's security team in New Delhi, and his wife Alicia Muller May, who worked as the embassy's community liaison officer, posted several unflattering comments about India on Facebook. Devyani Khobragade. Image courtesy:

 Twitter May was expelled last week in retaliation for the expulsion from the US of Khobragade, who was arrested and strip searched for allegedly underpaying her nanny Sangeeta Richards. May and his wife were involved in spiriting three members of Richard's family from India two days before Khobragade was arrested on visas for victims of human trafficking. “The implication that an Indian diplomat in a wage dispute with her maid is guilty of human trafficking understandably riles Indian diplomats as much as the treatment of Khobragade after she was detained.

The American habit of imposing its worldview self-righteously on others is deeply unwelcome,” wrote Shashi Tharoor in Project Sydicate. Given the American couple’s general disdain of India and Indians, one wonders whether they were trying to champion Richards, or embarrass India by dragging one of its senior diplomats into a scandal. In their three years in India, the couple let their dislike for the country they served in run freely on Facebook. May’s wife Alicia joined a discussion over an article that claims non-vegetarians are more inclined to commit violence and sexual crimes to say, "It's the vegetarians that are doing the raping, not the meat eaters — this place is just so bizarre." When another friend said that he had never raped anyone, Alicia wrote, "Applies only to Indians, not westerners!" The Indian "holy cow" is a recurring theme in their posts, starting from the time May was posted in New Delhi in 2010 where he bemoans the unavailability of beef in India. His wife Alicia captions another photo "Stupid Cow".

A friend comments, "You just insulted their god...," Alicia retorted, "Not the first time, not the last time." In a photograph posted online, they commented that their pet dog Paco looked bigger and in better health than their Indian gardener. May crowed that this was because his dog got more protein in his diet than the gardener did. Without listing all their nauseating Facebook threads, it is suffice to say that their utterances smack of disdain for India and its culture. With the US trying to restore damaged ties, the State Department tried hard to distance itself from the disparaging comments. "Those comments absolutely do not reflect US government policy, nor were they made on any official US government social media account," said State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf.

Sadly, this is not the first time we are seeing this sort of thing. In August 2011, US diplomat Maureen Chao enrolled in a cultural sensitivity class after she gave a speech in SRM University in Chennai that was interpreted by some as deeply racist and by others as an unfortunate gaffe. A former Fulbright scholar, Chao came under fire when she spoke to a group of Indian students participating in SRM University’s Semester Abroad Programme. During her talk, Chao recalled her own experience as a study-abroad student in India 23 years ago, saying, "I was on a 24-hour train trip from Delhi to Orissa. But, after 72 hours, the train still did not reach the destination... and my skin became dirty and dark like the Tamilians." Chao’s attempt at humor fell flat and roused Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha to demand an apology. The US Consulate assuaged the chief minister by issuing a remorseful statement, "Chao made an inappropriate comment. Chao deeply regrets if her unfortunate remarks offended anyone, as that was certainly not her intent." Given that several American diplomats demonstrate they can’t be trusted to be “diplomatic,” the US State Department should enroll most of them in cultural sensitivity classes before sending them abroad.

 It goes without saying that the clearly racist ones like Wayne May and his wife Alice should never be posted to India. India had handled American diplomats with a generosity of spirit that it felt the bilateral relationship deserved. But there is no sign, in the short term at least, that India is ready to forgive and forget as the US has shown no signs of moving to drop the charges against Khobragade. “The zealous (Preet) Bharara seems to have slipped up, because Khobragade was arrested at a time when she enjoyed full diplomatic (not just consular) immunity as an adviser to India’s United Nations mission during the General Assembly. The State Department’s handling of the matter – which included approval of Khobragade’s arrest – has been, to say the least, inept,” added Tharoo

Read more at: http://www.firstpost.com/world/vegetarians-are-rapists-us-diplomat-expelled-in-devyani-row-is-racist-1340773.html?utm_source=ref_article

What executives should know about open data


Novel and more accessible forms of information from government and private sources represent a new and rapidly growing piece of the big-data puzzle.

January 2014 | byMichael Chui, James Manyika, and Steve Van Kuiken

Not all data that’s valuable is internal and proprietary. New initiatives by governments as diverse as those of the United States, Mexico, and Singapore are opening the spigots of readily usable public data. Corporate information too is becoming more “liquid,” moving across the economy as companies begin sharing data with their business partners and, sometimes, consumers. Also surging is the richness of the information from data aggregators, which are assembling, rendering anonymous, and selling (to interested third parties) a wide range of data flows. Then add huge volumes of data from social-media interactions, available from providers of digital platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.1

These new sources of open data represent an expanding trove of largely unexploited value. One everyday illustration of open data at work is a smartphone app that uses real-time data (provided by transit authorities) to tell commuters when the next bus or train will arrive. Using open or pooled data from many sources—all the businesses in a particular sector, for example—often combined with proprietary big data, can help companies develop insights they could not have uncovered with internal data alone.

Demographic data, financial transactions, health-care benchmarks, and real-time location data are among the myriad new information sources a company can exploit to create novel products and services and to make its operations more effective and efficient. New research from the McKinsey Global Institute, the McKinsey Center for Government, and McKinsey’s Business Technology Office suggests that $3 trillion or more in annual value could arise from the use of open data in applications across seven domains of the global economy (exhibit). About a third of those potential benefits would involve the use of benchmarks to identify areas for improvement.


Open data can help unlock $3 trillion to $5 trillion in economic value annually across seven sectors.


Whether or not individual executives at large companies choose to work with open data of various types, the magnitude of the value at stake suggests that some of them will—and that these applications will probably affect a wide range of industries, markets, and customers. Layering open-data mandates into the ongoing development of data and analytics strategies by considering both the use and sharing of more liquid data should therefore become an increasingly important priority for a wide range of companies. Here are a few examples of open data’s potential:

Energy exploration. As new technologies have made it possible to drill in a wider range of geological formations, reservoirs have become more complex. That’s raising costs and risks—estimated ratios of prospects to explored targets can be as high as 50 to 1. The sharing of information on drilling permits and on seismic and other data across companies could reduce the number of dry holes and help optimize investments. While the widespread sharing of seismic data is unlikely, sharing among even a few companies could produce significant new value in the oil and gas industry. Governments keen on maximizing resource wealth could take the lead in structuring processes for granting permits so that grants of initial drilling licenses would require greater sharing of seismic data. Sharing data on projected costs and development timetables (through third parties) could establish benchmarks that, we estimate, would reduce per-project costs by 15 to 25 percent.

Consumer insights. In the consumer-products sector, sharing data among retailers and manufacturers in limited circumstances—avoiding exchanges with direct competitors, for example—could lead to marketing approaches not possible with proprietary data alone. Take Nectar, a UK-based program for loyalty cards, which can be used at Sainsbury’s for groceries, BP stations for gasoline, and Hertz for car rentals. Sharing aggregated data allows the three companies to gain a broader, more complete perspective on consumer behavior, while safeguarding their competitive positions.

Agriculture. San Francisco–based Climate Corporation combined more than 30 years of weather data, 60 years of data on crop yields, and multiple terabytes of information on soil types—all data from public sources. With that reservoir of historical information and real-time data flows, the company offers fee-based advice to farmers and customized crop-and weather-insurance products based on sophisticated algorithms. The company was recently acquired for about $1 billion by Monsanto.

Other possibilities abound. Premium pricing for some goods could be facilitated if companies shared detailed information about products, such as the materials they use or the conditions under which they were manufactured (for example, with renewable energy). On the flip side, open-data applications may also create new areas of consumer value. In a budding trend known as MyData, organizations share information they have collected about individuals with them, in useful forms. Patients could access targeted medical data from a hospital, for instance, to help them manage their health.

Powerful as open data can be, many companies have valid concerns. Consider the sharing of data to establish industry benchmarks. Even if a company uses a third party and gets assurances of anonymity, there’s always a risk that its identity might be revealed and that competitors could see how well or poorly it was doing. Shared data also could give away sources of competitive advantage or compromise intellectual property. Similarly, tapping social data could heighten privacy worries among consumers.

Still, it’s hard to imagine that the open-data wave will slow down. Third-party open-data aggregators will certainly proceed to sell and publish corporate data, such as customer ratings, safety records, defect complaints and recalls, and comparative price data. Open-data initiatives also continue to proliferate in the public sector. In June 2013, G8 governments adopted an Open Data Charter, which establishes the expectation that the default policy should be the open publication of government data. Traditional competitors and entrepreneurial attackers can take advantage of open-data sources such as social-media comments and crowdsourced ideas to come up with new products and services. Open data, in short, seems to be another of the many relentless shifts in the digital landscape to appear unexpectedly, create new opportunities and strategic complexities, and leave established players with no place to hide.

About the authors

Michael Chui is a principal of the McKinsey Global Institute, where James Manyika is a director; both are based in McKinsey’s San Francisco office. Steve Van Kuiken is a director in the New Jersey office.

The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of Diana Farrell and Peter Groves to this article.

January 14, 2014

Why leadership-development programs fail

Sidestepping four common mistakes can help companies develop stronger and more capable leaders, save time and money, and boost morale.

January 2014 | byPierre Gurdjian, Thomas Halbeisen, and Kevin Lane

For years, organizations have lavished time and money on improving the capabilities of managers and on nurturing new leaders. US companies alone spend almost $14 billion annually on leadership development.1 Colleges and universities offer hundreds of degree courses on leadership, and the cost of customized leadership-development offerings from a top business school can reach $150,000 a person.

Moreover, when upward of 500 executives were asked to rank their top three human-capital priorities, leadership development was included as both a current and a future priority. Almost two-thirds of the respondents identified leadership development as their number-one concern.2 Only 7 percent of senior managers polled by a UK business school think that their companies develop global leaders effectively,3 and around 30 percent of US companies admit that they have failed to exploit their international business opportunities fully because they lack enough leaders with the right capabilities.4
We’ve talked with hundreds of chief executives about the struggle, observing both successful initiatives and ones that run into the sand. In the process, we’ve identified four of the most common mistakes. Here we explain some tips to overcome them. Together, they suggest ways for companies to get more from their leadership-development efforts—and ultimately their leaders—as these organizations face challenges ranging from the next demanding phase of globalization to disruptive technological change and continued macroeconomic uncertainty.

1. Overlooking context
Context is a critical component of successful leadership. A brilliant leader in one situation does not necessarily perform well in another. Academic studies have shown this, and our experience bears it out. The CEO of a large European services business we know had an outstanding record when markets were growing quickly, but he failed to provide clear direction or to impose financial discipline on the group’s business units during the most recent economic downturn. Instead, he continued to encourage innovation and new thinking—hallmarks of the culture that had previously brought success—until he was finally replaced for underperformance.

Too many training initiatives we come across rest on the assumption that one size fits all and that the same group of skills or style of leadership is appropriate regardless of strategy, organizational culture, or CEO mandate.

In the earliest stages of planning a leadership initiative, companies should ask themselves a simple question: what, precisely, is this program for? If the answer is to support an acquisition-led growth strategy, for example, the company will probably need leaders brimming with ideas and capable of devising winning strategies for new or newly expanded business units. If the answer is to grow by capturing organic opportunities, the company will probably want people at the top who are good at nurturing internal talent.

Focusing on context inevitably means equipping leaders with a small number of competencies (two to three) that will make a significant difference to performance. Instead, what we often find is a long list of leadership standards, a complex web of dozens of competencies, and corporate-values statements. Each is usually summarized in a seemingly easy-to-remember way (such as the three Rs), and each on its own terms makes sense. In practice, however, what managers and employees often see is an “alphabet soup” of recommendations. We have found that when a company cuts through the noise to identify a small number of leadership capabilities essential for success in its business—such as high-quality decision making or stronger coaching skills—it achieves far better outcomes.

In the case of a European retail bank that was anxious to improve its sales performance, the skill that mattered most (but was in shortest supply) was the ability to persuade and motivate peers without the formal authority of direct line management. This art of influencing others outside formal reporting lines runs counter to the rigid structures of many organizations. In this company, it was critical for the sales managers to persuade the IT department to change systems and working approaches that were burdening the sales organization’s managers, whose time was desperately needed to introduce important sales-acceleration measures. When managers were able to focus on changing the systems and working approaches, the bank’s productivity rose by 15 percent.

Context is as important for groups and individuals as it is for organizations as a whole: the best programs explicitly tailor a “from–to” path for each participant. An Asian engineering and construction company, for example, was anticipating the need for a new cadre of skilled managers to run complex multiyear projects of $1 billion or more. To meet this challenge, it established a leadership factory to train 1,000 new leaders within three years.

The company identified three important leadership transitions. The first took experts at tendering (then reactive and focused on meeting budget targets) and sought to turn them into business builders who proactively hunted out customers and thought more strategically about markets. The second took project executors who spent the bulk of their time on site dealing with day-to-day problems and turned them into project directors who could manage relationships with governments, joint-venture partners, and important customers. The third targeted support-function managers who narrowly focused on operational details and costs, and set out to transform them into leaders with a broader range of skills to identify—and deliver—more significant contributions to the business.

2. Decoupling reflection from real work
When it comes to planning the program’s curriculum, companies face a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, there is value in off-site programs (many in university-like settings) that offer participants time to step back and escape the pressing demands of a day job. On the other hand, even after very basic training sessions, adults typically retain just 10 percent of what they hear in classroom lectures, versus nearly two-thirds when they learn by doing. Furthermore, burgeoning leaders, no matter how talented, often struggle to transfer even their most powerful off-site experiences into changed behavior on the front line.

The answer sounds straightforward: tie leadership development to real on-the-job projects that have a business impact and improve learning. But it’s not easy to create opportunities that simultaneously address high-priority needs—say, accelerating a new-product launch, turning around a sales region, negotiating an external partnership, or developing a new digital-marketing strategy—and provide personal-development opportunities for the participants.

A medical-device company got this balance badly wrong when one of its employees, a participant in a leadership-development program, devoted long hours over several months to what he considered “real” work: creating a device to assist elderly people during a medical emergency. When he presented his assessment to the board, he was told that a full-time team had been working on exactly this challenge and that the directors would never consider a solution that was a by-product of a leadership-development program. Given the demotivating effect of this message, the employee soon left the company.

By contrast, one large international engineering and construction player built a multiyear leadership program that not only accelerated the personal-development paths of 300 midlevel leaders but also ensured that projects were delivered on time and on budget. Each participant chose a separate project: one business-unit leader, for instance, committed his team to developing new orders with a key client and to working on a new contract that would span more than one of the group’s business lines. These projects were linked to specified changes in individual behavior—for instance, overcoming inhibitions in dealing with senior clients or providing better coaching for subordinates. By the end of the program, the business-unit head was in advanced negotiations on three new opportunities involving two of the group’s business lines. Feedback demonstrated that he was now behaving like a group representative rather than someone defending the narrow interest of his own business unit.

The ability to push training participants to reflect, while also giving them real work experiences to apply new approaches and hone their skills, is a valuable combination in emerging markets. There, the gap between urgent “must do” projects and the availability of capable leaders presents an enormous challenge. In such environments, companies should strive to make every major business project a leadership-development opportunity as well, and to integrate leadership-development components into the projects themselves.

3. Underestimating mind-sets
Becoming a more effective leader often requires changing behavior. But although most companies recognize that this also means adjusting underlying mind-sets, too often these organizations are reluctant to address the root causes of why leaders act the way they do. Doing so can be uncomfortable for participants, program trainers, mentors, and bosses—but if there isn’t a significant degree of discomfort, the chances are that the behavior won’t change. Just as a coach would view an athlete’s muscle pain as a proper response to training, leaders who are stretching themselves should also feel some discomfort as they struggle to reach new levels of leadership performance.

Identifying some of the deepest, “below the surface” thoughts, feelings, assumptions, and beliefs is usually a precondition of behavioral change—one too often shirked in development programs. Promoting the virtues of delegation and empowerment, for example, is fine in theory, but successful adoption is unlikely if the program participants have a clear “controlling” mind-set (I can’t lose my grip on the business; I’m personally accountable and only I should make the decisions). It’s true that some personality traits (such as extroversion or introversion) are difficult to shift, but people can change the way they see the world and their values.

Take the professional-services business that wanted senior leaders to initiate more provocative and meaningful discussions with the firm’s senior clients. Once the trainers looked below the surface, they discovered that these leaders, though highly successful in their fields, were instinctively uncomfortable and lacking in confidence when conversations moved beyond their narrow functional expertise. As soon as the leaders realized this, and went deeper to understand why, they were able to commit themselves to concrete steps that helped push them to change.

A major European industrial company, meanwhile, initially met strong resistance after launching an initiative to delegate and decentralize responsibility for capital expenditures and resource allocation to the plant level. Once the issues were put on the table, it became clear that the business-unit leaders were genuinely concerned that the new policy would add to the already severe pressures they faced, that they did not trust their subordinates, and that they resented the idea of relinquishing control. Only when they were convinced that the new approach would actually save time and serve as a great learning opportunity for more junior managers—and when more open-minded colleagues and mentors helped challenge the “heroic” leadership model—did the original barriers start to come down and decentralization start to be implemented.

Another company decided that difficult market conditions required its senior sales managers to get smarter about how they identified, valued, and negotiated potential deals. However, sending them on a routine finance course failed to prompt the necessary changes. The sales managers continued to enter into suboptimal and even uneconomic transactions because they had a deeply held mind-set that the only thing that mattered in their industry was market share, that revenue targets had to be met, and that failing to meet those targets would result in their losing face. This mind-set shifted only when the company set up a “control tower” for reflecting on the most critical deals, when peers who got the new message became involved in the coaching, and when the CEO offered direct feedback to participants (including personal calls to sales managers) applauding the new behavior.

4. Failing to measure results
We frequently find that companies pay lip service to the importance of developing leadership skills but have no evidence to quantify the value of their investment. When businesses fail to track and measure changes in leadership performance over time, they increase the odds that improvement initiatives won’t be taken seriously.

Too often, any evaluation of leadership development begins and ends with participant feedback; the danger here is that trainers learn to game the system and deliver a syllabus that is more pleasing than challenging to participants. Yet targets can be set and their achievement monitored. Just as in any business-performance program, once that assessment is complete, leaders can learn from successes and failures over time and make the necessary adjustments.

One approach is to assess the extent of behavioral change, perhaps through a 360 degree–feedback exercise at the beginning of a program and followed by another one after 6 to 12 months. Leaders can also use such tools to demonstrate their own commitment to real change for themselves and the organization. One CEO we know commissioned his own 360 degree–feedback exercise and published the results (good and bad) for all to see on the company intranet, along with a personal commitment to improve.

Another approach is to monitor participants’ career development after the training. How many were appointed to more senior roles one to two years after the program? How many senior people in the organization went through leadership training? How many left the company? By analyzing recent promotions at a global bank, for example, senior managers showed that candidates who had been through a leadership-development program were more successful than those who had not.

Finally, try to monitor the business impact, especially when training is tied to breakthrough projects. Metrics might include cost savings and the number of new-store openings for a retail business, for example, or sales of new products if the program focused on the skills to build a new-product strategy. American Express quantifies the success of some of its leadership programs by comparing the average productivity of participants’ teams prior to and after a training program, yielding a simple measure of increased productivity. Similarly, a nonprofit we know recently sought to identify the revenue increase attributable to its leadership program by comparing one group that had received training with another that hadn’t.

Companies can avoid the most common mistakes in leadership development and increase the odds of success by matching specific leadership skills and traits to the context at hand; embedding leadership development in real work; fearlessly investigating the mind-sets that underpin behavior; and monitoring the impact so as to make improvements over time.

About the authors

Pierre Gurdjian is a director in McKinsey’s Brussels office; Thomas Halbeisen is an associate principal in the Zurich office, where Kevin Lane is a principal.

The authors wish to thank Nate Boaz, Claudio Feser, and Florian Pollner for their contributions to this article.


Press Release Grenoble France:

13 January 2014

We the participants of the International Conference titled “Baloutchistan : un peuple oubliĆ©, un peuple en souffrance ”, organized by “Baloch Voice Association and Baloch Diaspora France with the support of Centre d’information Inter-Peuples (CIIP) in Grenoble ” on 13th  January 2014 unanimously;

Commit ourselves to the struggle for our just and inalienable rights both as individuals and members of the Baloch community and take all measures possible through peaceful means to protect our language, culture and separate identity as Baloch and build a society based on values that affirm human dignity and freedom, emphasise diversity and inter-religious and sectarian harmony, and promote equality and justice;

Pay homage to the family members of Baloch Missing Persons and companions, who have completed a run of more then 700 Miles from Quetta to Karachi and are moving ahead to Islamabad, by walk with injured feet and heart to raise voice for the involuntary disappeared persons.

Appeal to the conscience of the International Human Rights Organizations, particularly United Nations Organization and European Union to take effective measures for the recovery and safe release of the Involuntary Disappeared Baloch Persons.

Denounce in strongest terms the continuing perpetration of heinous crimes against peace-loving Baloch people by the Pakistani and Iranian armies, which has resulted in one of the worst human rights violations that has largely been ignored and gone unreported in the history of humankind;

Call upon the international community and urge it to take note of the crimes being committed against an entire community in the name of ‘national and territorial integration’, and put pressure on the Pakistani state to honour its international commitments in cases involving torture, forced disappearances and ensuring the operation of an impartial justice system;

Demand to declare Baloch people kept in custody as ‘prisoners of war’ and to treat them as per the UN Conventions; and establishment of a International War Crimes Tribunal to try the perpetrators of the crimes against the Baloch people; also express our disaffection about the performance of the judiciary of Pakistan in the context of the missing persons and do not expect any justice under this system;

Express our deep concerns about the gross indifference and arrogance with which Pakistan has been conducting itself in its mission to reduce Baloch to a minority in their own land, subjugate an entire nation by brute force, seal their future by liquidating its young dynamic and promising leadership, exploit the natural resources of the Baloch lands to fill the coffers of the Pakistan state and its army and perpetuate its colonialism;

Hold that Balochistan’s forced accession to Pakistan was in violation of the decision of the elected assembly and was thus an act of historical injustice, where the leaders were coerced into accepting the decision imposed on them by the leadership of the Pakistan state;

Take appropriate steps to raise the issue of legality of accession of the Baloch state to Pakistan at the international level;

 Apprehend that Gwadar will serve as a strategic and financial backbone for the Islamic radicals backed by the state and contribute to regional tension;
 Protest against the bestowing of the Baloch Resources to the Dragon, for the implementation of it’s strategic designs. The Baloch never accept the building of Chinese Naval Bases at the mouth of Gawadar Port.

 Stop and expose the Pak-China secrete joint venture plan for the extraction of Uranium from the mountains of Balochistan.
 Concerned that the establishments of cantonments and continuous deployment of about 150,000 Pakistani forces will further exacerbate the human rights conditions in Balochistan and perpetuate the genocide being undertaken by the Pakistan state;

 Remind our brethren and International Community that the ideology of Pakistan will never be in consonance with the secular credentials of Baloch identity and International Community, and given the inherent contradictions in the Pakistani state, the persisting domination of the fundamentalism in the statecraft and the insipient sense of conceit, dishonesty and deception in its leadership, the Baloch have to struggle to Re-gain their sovereignty and independence;
 Draw attention of the international community to the brazen use of Islamic radicalism against the Baloch in the name of patriotism and nationalism to wipe out the liberal and secular ethos of the Baloch nation and condemn the nexus between the Pakistani military and such militant groups to subdue and suppress the genuine voice of the Baloch people;

 Realise the need to work in coordination with International Organizations in a concerted manner towards effective propagation of our language, culture, our political agenda and our national interests through audio-visual and electronic media and provide a forum for regular exchange of views, ideas, options and strategies which will guide us in our most critical struggle for existence;

 Appeal to the peace building France Government to take lead step for an international intervention to help the secular Baloch people to regain their sovereignty and end the forced occupation of Balochistan;

 Baloch Voice Association and Baloch Diaspora France are thankful to CIIP for their kind co-operation and support to organize this valuable conference to raise the voice of the Baloch People;

Balochistan Aajoi Juhd Zindagbath

Devyani case: Sangeeta's in-laws had worked with expelled US diplomat

The writer has posted comments on this articleTNN | Jan 12, 2014

The parents-in-law of Sangeeta Richard, the domestic help at the centre of the India-US diplomatic spat, worked with US diplomat Wayne May who was expelled by India for his role in the Devyani Khobragade episode. This seems to be the main reason why May is said to have gone out of his way to facilitate the "evacuation'' of Sangeeta's husband Philip and children by arranging T-visas (trafficking) for them.

Many have wondered as to why US authorities approved surreptitious evacuation of Sangeeta's family even at the cost of antagonizing a strategic partner. India had said May was responsible for the unilateral action by the State Department in evacuating the family and the subsequent arrest of Khobragade. May left India on Saturday.

May worked as the chief of the embassy's security service representing US' Bureau of Diplomatic Security. He was also looking after issues related to trafficking. The diplomatic security service was responsible for the arrest and handcuffing of Khobragade before she was handed over to US marshals. There is suspicion that the counselor, who has put in more than 27 years of service, may have used his influence with the diplomatic security in New York to ensure that Khobragade was subjected to the ``standard operating procedure'' after she was picked up from outside her children's schools.

May's conduct is said to be primarily the reason for the government's assessment that the US embassy had acted in "bad faith''. The action by May disregarded prior legal processes in India, including a case of cheating against Sangeeta's husband and a non-bailable warrant against Sangeeta, which insisted that the dispute between Khobragade and Sangeeta had to be contested in an Indian court. Sources here though said the government is not looking at the alleged role of May's wife in procuring air tickets for the Sangeeta's family.

External affairs minister Salman Khurshid on Saturday blamed the US for what he described as a 'mini- crisis'' saying that the incident could have been avoided if the US had warned foreign secretary Sujatha Singh and other senior Indian officials who were in the US just before Khobragade's arrest on December 12. In a television interview, he said India's "immediate, immediate'' concerns had been addressed.

Later talking to reporters, he said there was "no stand-off'' between India and the US. "There is no reason now to feel any immediate concern about any outcome that might be adverse or particularly disturbing in nature," he said. Khurshid and Singh met Khobragade at South Block on Saturday. She told journalists that the government and her lawyer would speak on her behalf.

Speaking to Devil's Advocate on CNN-IBN, Khurshid also said there was going to be no rethink on withdrawal of privileges to the US embassy staff "at least for now''. India has said the decision to withdraw diplomatic privileges and pull out barricades from outside the embassy was reciprocal, and not retaliatory, measure.

Wayne’s World: Was expelled US official a bleeding heart or an Ugly American?

Chidanand Rajghatta,TNN | Jan 13, 2014

WASHINGTON: The US official who was expelled in a tit-for-tat diplomatic battle over Devyani Khobragade was nearing the end of his posting in India, scheduled to leave New Delhi in February. But in their three years in India, Wayne May, who headed the US embassy's security team in New Delhi, and his wife Alicia Muller May, who worked as the embassy's community liaison officer, revealed conflicting impulses and contradictory outlook towards the people and country they served in.
On the one hand, it was evidently their bleeding heart concern for housekeeper Sangeeta Richard, whose in-laws worked with them and a succession of US embassy officials, that led them to "rescue" the nanny's husband and children from the strong-arm tactics of the Indian judicial and police system that the diplomat Devyani Khobragade unleashed on them after Sangeeta fell out with her. On the other hand, their facetious comments about a stereotypical India abounding in chaos and filth, which some might see as offensive, shows them as the archetypal "ugly Americans."

They laid out their opinions and views quite guilelessly on social media through photographs and comments that were quickly seized on and distributed by bloggers and trolls ever sensitive to any perceived insult of India. Although the comments are often flippant, the kind many people make on social media without fear of consequence, they sound extremely offensive now given the fraught context of the diplomatic spat. Their profiles, pictures and comments were removed and their social media presence sanitized soon after they were discovered, but not before the online warriors had saved and uploaded them on other social media sites, portraying them as ''racist American diplomats.''

The Indian ''holy cow'' is a recurring theme in their entries, starting from the time Wayne May was posted in New Delhi in 2010. The first of the pictures appears in June 2010 with a comment from Wayne saying, ''No eating the sacred cows.'' A little later, he adds, ''one week in country and I already miss steak.''
His wife Alicia captions another photo ''Stupid Cow.'' A friend comments, ''You just insulted their cow,'' to which May responds, ''Not the first time, not the last time.'' But a short time later, she shows the kind of frustration that many Indians might also share: ''Just wait till you have to dodge these beasts in your car because they are laying in the middle of the road blocking traffic - they lose their "holiness" real fast. And, as holy as they are supposed to be, most of them are bodyline starved. It's awful to see. Everything is a contradiction here...''

There is other banter in which enraged nationalists see signs of Indian laws being broken by the meat-loving diplomats. ''Had real American Hamburbers for dinner last night. A friend smuggled them in his suitcase last night,'' Alicia Muller May writes in September 2010, soon after their arrival in India, adding, ''water buffalo burgers just aren't cutting it. Oh, the simple pleasures of life....'' Another time, she alerts her friends in Delhi to ''a good friend in Beijing who is coming to the CLO office with beautiful pearls for sale...'' - which some see as evidence that embassy premises were being used for commercial activities.
In one bizarre exchange in November 2012 in response to a Huffington Post article on claims that are meat eaters being more prone to violence and sex crimes, Alicia May says ''I'd like them to do a follow up article on how many vegetarians rape women here every day.'' It is the vegetarians that are doing the raping, not the meat eaters, she says, later adding, ''applies only to Indians, not westerners.'
The domestic Indian staff for whom they professedly had concern don't come out very well either in their corrosive social media exchanges. In one photograph, it is pointed out that their pet dog Paco looks bigger and in better health than their Indian gardener. Paco, says May, gets more protein in his diet. Another times, May goes to a mosque in Delhi with two visitors where they get a VIP tour because they are from the US embassy.
"I hate the taste but I have to be polite,'' she says about having to drink tea at the mosque. Her friend: ''Tea? I thought it was coffee.'' ''If it tastes like rancid mushroom, don't drink it.'' Friend (who is evidently serving in Afghanistan): ''Everything is rancid in Afghanistan. That's how you know it is farm fresh.''
To be sure, most of the exchanges are frivolous and typical of social media tattle. But given the sensitive positions they occupied in the US embassy, they are, particularly in hindsight, astonishingly offensive, robbing the couple of their "bleeding heart" credentials that is said to have led them to spirit out Sangeeta Richard's family from New Delhi.

Devyani Khobragade row shows India fell off Obama's map


Rajeev Deshpande,TNN | Jan 12, 2014

Devyani Khobragade row shows India fell off Obama's map
Diplomat Devyani Khobragade at South Block in New Delhi on Saturday.

NEW DELHI: The bitterness in India-US ties over the Devyani Khobragade case is likely to linger as India squares up to the Obama administration's indifference to a rusting "strategic partnership", glaringly exposed by the diplomat's humiliation.

Khobragade's on street arrest, the indignities she was subjected to in custody and her return amid heightened acrimony strongly point to the much-hailed partnership's decline with US not caring to mask its disinterest.

The vehemence of India's response possibly surprised US, but India could hardly have done otherwise as the deliberation with which the US diplomatic security service acted almost suggests she was being made an example of.

Claims that authorities merely followed the book seem unconvincing as the view grows that US increasingly sees ties with India in transactional terms, with a crib list over market access and stalled reforms obscuring a larger confluence of interests.

US prosecutor Preet Bharara's suggestion that a "legal process was started in India against the victim, attempting to silence her, and attempts were made to compel her to return to India" revealed a view of the Indian system otherwise hailed as a democratic marvel. His wonderment at why outrage in India ignored the "victim" in the case only made matters worse.

The disdain, bordering on insolence, with which US not only shunned subtler ways of dealing with the case filed by Khobragade's former maid but spirited away her family - all Indian citizens - point to a high degree of premeditation.

Despite the quibbling over the scope of consular immunity as against diplomatic immunity, US manuals themselves make it quite plain that handcuffing, leave alone a strip search, is usually precluded in such cases.

The drift in ties has seen the very American business interests like Westinghouse and General Electric that rooted for India bemoaning restricted access and ensuring their woes figure on the agenda of US leaders meeting Indian counterparts.

A deadening of sensitivities has meant that mid-level officers dealing with a case like Khobragade did not think that a higher call is needed as the events could impact relations with an important partner in south Asia.

The all too visible downgrade in priority accorded to India can only expose New Delhi to ridicule in Islamabad and Beijing, given the top billing accorded to the perceived synergy between the two large democracies.

Despite the congealing ties, the nonchalance with which US treated the fallout of the case has not been fully explained, though some quarters see it as a reflection of just how far off India has fallen off the map for the Obama White House.

The audacious disregard of India's legal system and extraction of the maid's family in order to preempt anticipated reprisals against Khobragade's impending arrest points to a return to an older, and what was till recently was felt to be an obsolete, formulation of estranged democracies.

January 13, 2014

The Baloch want to tell their story


Vikram Sood

In 2011, an innocent Baloch student, Nasir Baloch along with another student, was abducted by Pakistani security forces, interrogated, tortured and shot.

Both were left for dead but Nasir survived to tell his tale. David Whitney wrote Nasir’s story and produced and directed a short documentary film called The Line of Freedom. This is a harrowing tale of what seems to be a frequent occurrence in Balochistan. The film is available on the Internet.

 In 2011, an innocent Baloch student, Nasir Baloch along with another student, was abducted by Pakistani security forces, interrogated, tortured and shot.

Both were left for dead but Nasir survived to tell his tale. David Whitney wrote Nasir’s story and produced and directed a short documentary film called The Line of Freedom. This is a harrowing tale of what seems to be a frequent occurrence in Balochistan. The film is available on the Internet.

US intelligence documents given by Edward Snowden revealed senior Pakistani military and intelligence officers resorting to extrajudicial killings of terrorism suspects, which included Baloch nationalists

Jalil Reki Baloch, another student was not so lucky. He was abducted, tortured and killed. His father, the 70-year old Mama Qadeer Baloch began his protest in August and later in October led a march from Quetta to Karachi, which came to be known as the The Voice of Baloch Missing Persons. Others like Farzana Majeed Baloch, whose brother had been abducted with others joining this 756-kilometre march reaching Karachi on November 23. Disregarding their blistered and bleeding feet, the protesters have now commenced their march to Islamabad.

The Pakistan Human Rights Commission report of August 2012 which said that at least 57 persons were missing since January and the situation was no different from the previous year. It also reflected increased incidents of Shia Hazara killings and other extrajudicial killings. The South Asia Terrorism Portal has given a figure of 690 Baloch civilians who were targeted in 2011 and these included students, teachers and journalists. This pattern remained unaltered in 2013.

These are symptomatic of a deep malaise that afflicts Balochistan and the silence of the two major political parties, the PPP and the PML (N), the civil society and the media indicates a padded cell approach with recourse to harsh measures. Classified US intelligence documents that were given by Edward Snowden to Washington Post revealed that senior Pakistani military and intelligence officers were resorting to extrajudicial killings of terrorism suspects and other militants. Surely these included Baloch nationalists.

The situation is Balochistan is no longer just that of nationalists versus the state. In the five years up to 2012, 758 Shias were killed by Sunni sectarian militants belonging to the Punjabi Sipaha Sahaba also known as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat. About 570 bodies were found dumped in sacks. The Baloch are convinced that sectarian mafia have been let loose in the province deliberately by the army to coerce Baloch nationalists into submission. Curfews without a break are the usual response to any incident when all medical help is barred.

Balochistan has been a suspect province and the Baloch a suspect people from 1947. There were Baloch revolts and military operations against them in 1948, 1958 and 1974. The current uprising began in 2004 and picked up momentum after the murder of Akbar Khan Bugti in August 2006. Traditionally, the battles have been between the army aided by other elements of the ‘deep state’ and the Baloch nationalists.

The Baloch have been fighting from early days against political, economic and social discrimination and deprivation, as well as humanitarian excesses by a Punjabi dominated establishment.

Statistics speak for themselves. 92 per cent of the districts in Balochistan are classified as highly deprived as compared to 29 per cent in the Punjab and 88 per cent of Balochis live in these districts while in the Punjab the figure is 25 per cent. This is despite the fact that the province is resource rich in copper, gold, chromite, iron ore, coal and, of course, natural gas. Sui produces 45 per cent of the country’s natural gas but Balochistan gets only 3.4 per cent of the gas for consumption whereas Punjab gets 51 per cent of the gas. Child mortality owing to malnutrition is the highest in Balochistan.

Baloch nationalism was punished by brute force and deprivation. This only led to greater nationalism. Unfortunately removal of grievances and deprivation now may not lead to any lasting solution. Yet a political accommodation would be possible only if there were one Baloch voice. Whatever be the demands of the Baloch nationalists, the situation now is that of a growing humanitarian crisis that the rest of the world chooses to ignore. Continued indifference will not help the problem go away but will only exacerbate it further and make it more intractable.

The usual response of blaming the crisis on external powers (meaning India) evades the issue and reflects continued denial that there is a serious problem in Balochistan which successive regimes are not willing to or are unable to handle. There are many Baloch who try to tell their story on Twitter and Facebook, but there is no Baloch Spring for them because there is very little interest across the world.

The writer is a former chief of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)