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Showing posts from January 15, 2006

Pakistan: The Resurgence of Baluch Natonalism

By Frederic Grare Publisher: Carnegie Endowment Carnegie Paper # 65 Full Text (PDF) A new conflict is emerging in Baluchistan, a vast yet sparsely populated Pakistani province, straddling three countries: Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan. This instability has potential implications for the United States, as it is a launching pad for U.S. military operations against Islamic terrorism. In a new Carnegie Paper, Pakistan: The Resurgence of Baluch Nationalism, Visiting Scholar Frédéric Grare provides insight to the numerous factors that have led to the complex struggle between the Pakistani government and the Baluch population’s fight for independence. Were Baluchistan to become independent, Pakistan would lose a major part of its natural resources and Baluchistan would become a new zone of instability in the region Click for complete paper Click Baloch unrest has no foreign support: study WASHINGTON: “In the absence of foreign support, which does not appear imminent, the Bal

Hindu cultural content in school curriculum

All about inspiration and rejuvenation! A small booklet with a few inspiring words of Swamy Vivekananda was what made an IITian change his perception on life. When jobs were flooding him from every nook and corner, vision sparked off from the words of the spiritualist, prompted M Pramod Kumar to search for the truth and hidden mystery of our past. While graduating as Mechanical Engineer from IIT Madras in year 1997- 2000, Pramod was drawn to the words of Vivekananda. Aspiration and motivation made him form a Vivekananda Study Circle (VSC), a unique autonomous student body, which has made a significant impact in recent years on the cultural atmosphere at IIT Madras. He served as student coordinator of VSC for three years, and also helped in the formation of similar bodies at Anna University and IIT Kharagpur. Meeting French man M Zhelibunin, who was knowledgeable about India, motivated Pramod further to explore the rich history, culture, heritage of India.

Five arrested for forcing woman to convert

Bari: Five persons have been arrested for allegedly assaulting a Hindu woman and setting her house on fire in Matiapada village under Sahupada panchayat after she refused to change her religion, police said Wednesday. The woman Kabita Mallik with two children was eking out a meagre living doing household work, ever since her husband disappeared five years ago in Punjab. Her husband Purnachandra Mallick had gone to work as a plumber, but did not return. Three villagers Gunanidhi Mallick, brother-in-law of Kabita, Tikan Mallick, Kulmani Mallick and other recent converts to Christianity, were persuading her to adopt a similar step, which she was resisting, a senior district police official citing the complaint lodged by the woman said. The trio allegedly assaulted her and set afire her thatched house as she refused to convert, the complaint said. The fire also engulfed five nearby houses. The arrested persons were produced before the local sub-divisional judicial magistrate's cour

PAKISTAN : Sins Of Sindh

Sins Of Sindh 'Appalled' is how Pak liberals, human rights NGOs react ANJALI PURI An investigative report by a respected Pakistani journalist on the abduction, conversion to Islam and forced marriage of Hindu women in Pakistan to Muslim men, carried as a cover story by a liberal Indian newsmagazine—i.e. not Organiser but Outlook! It was bound to create a stir and it did. In a strong response to Mariana Baabar's searing report from interior Sindh (Sindh's Stolen Brides, Jan 23), Amnesty International said the story revealed "appalling abuses" suffered by Hindu girls and women in Sindh province. "The Pakistan state failed to exercise due diligence in not preventing the appalling abuse of Hindu girls." "It indicates that the Pakistani state has failed to exercise due diligence when it failed to prevent such abuses inflicted on Hindu girls and women in Sindh and when it did not ensure that these victims of abuses obtain

Jaswant Singh to visit Hindu shrine in Balochistan

No politics in Pakistan pilgrimage: Jaswant Singh New Delhi | January 21, 2006 8:15:06 PM IST showdetails.asp?id=226909&n_date =20060121&cat=India Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh said Saturday that his pilgrimage to a Hindu shrine in Balochistan that begins Jan 30 was "purely a personal and religious visit" and appealed to the media not to read any politics into it. Singh, a former external affairs minister, was optimistic that this historic visit will "widen the constituency of peace" on both sides of the border and backed the ongoing peace process with Pakistan. "This is a religious visit, and a personal visit. It has nothing to do with politics," Singh, leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, told reporters here. "I am not going for politics. And I do not wish to comment on internal politics of my host country," he said. Singh leads a multi-faith group of nearly 100 p

Jill’s father appeals for her release on Aljazeera

Jill Source: By Natasha The deadline the kidnappers initially gave will expire later today but efforts to save my very dear friend's life are still ongoing, non-stop. The latest major effort was an appeal by her dad who appeared on the Arab world's two most watched satellite TV channels: Aljazeera and Al Arabiya. This is what he said: I want to speak directly to the men holding my daughter Jill because they may also be fathers like me. My daughter does not have the ability to free anyone. She is a reporter and an innocent person. Do not sacrifice an innocent soul ... as a father, I appeal to you to release my daughter for the betterment of all of us. And I ask the men holding my daughter to work with Jill to find a way to initiate a dialog with me. Source: [CNN] Also Friday, Arab satellite channels aired a news conference held by Adnan Dulaimi, head of the Conference for People of Iraq: I urge the men who kidnapped this journalist, Jill Carr

Two LeT men, 5 others convicted web1/06jan18/news.htm#8 NEW DELHI, Jan 17: Two Pakistani Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were among seven men convicted by a Delhi Court today in connection with bomb blasts which rocked various north Indian cities in 1997 killing 17 persons and injuring nearly 300 others. The Pakistanis — Azad Mohammed and Mohd Hussain — were held guilty of conspiring with Amir Khan, Mohd Shakil and Abdul Bagi for waging war against the country. They were also convicted under the Foreigners Act. The other two accused Mohd Umar Ali and Mohd Abdul Qasim were also held guilty for conspiring with them to trigger as many as 37 blasts in Delhi, Panipat, Sonepat, Ludhiana, Kanpur and Varanasi on different occasions in 1997. All the accused except Bagi have been found guilty under various provisions of the Explosives Act. "The identical nature of all the blasts confirmed that they were planned by the same group who had acted in pursuance of a common intention", Additio


By Wenran Jiang China continues to impress the world with its high GDP growth, staggering trading volumes and surging consumption appetite. Most figures out of Beijing look remarkable, indicating a momentum that the Middle Kingdom is reclaiming its great power status at a speed faster than most forecasts. Yet evidence is mounting that the high-GDP-centered development paradigm is too costly to sustain: rural, urban and environment-related protest movements are moving from localized and isolated events to a widespread and serious social crisis. What do statistics, or the lack of them, indicate? Some may point to Beijing’s newly-revised GDP figures as proof of China’s successful modernization: its national strength is now 17 percent more than previously thought, leaping over Italy, France and Britain to become the fourth largest economy in the world; its economic structure seems to be more balanced with a much bigger service industry than previously reported; and China’s foreign trade


By David Kelly For an authoritarian state to recognize in its own councils that social confrontation and protest is on the rise is not something to quibble over, even when the statistical basis of the assertion is cloudy. This is the case in the PRC, where the figure of 87,000 incidents was just announced by the Chinese government on January 19. The figure is no doubt a conservative estimate. Nevertheless, little doubt is left that “social harmony,” an increasingly prominent policy objective of the Hu-Wen administration since its installation in 2003, is no “motherhood” ideal: rather, it signals a regime in crisis management mode. Much of the protest is confined to the countryside, where issues connected with land confiscation, the environment and local exactions have recently produced a series of violent incidents. As these are dealt with in the next article, the present essay confines itself to urban side of these conflicts. The causes of social unrest are likely to be more varied


By Li Fan Unrest, instability, and state-sanctioned repression is on the upsurge in rural China. On January 19, the government announced revised figures that China had 87,000 incidents of internal unrest during the last year. This instability is rising against the background of efforts by the Hu-Wen administration to build a “harmonious society.” Although the causes of instability vary, most arise from conflicts between the interests of local governments and ordinary citizens. Central to those tensions is the uneven distribution of benefits derived from China’s bourgeoning economic development. Reports emerging in recent months provide a snapshot of unrest and instability in rural China. In June 2005, villagers in the town of Shenyou in Hebei Province were beaten with sticks and knives by locally hired thugs after a power company acquired the rights to local farmers’ land. Six farmers were killed and 48 injured in an event that later led to the removal of local leaders by provincial

US Air Force takes delivery of first production Global Hawk UAV's

Air Force takes delivery of first production Global Hawks by Capt. Bob Everdeen Aeronautical Systems Center Public Affairs Office 1/19/2006 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFPN) -- The first of two production Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles began flying missions in support of the global war on terrorism within hours of arriving in theater earlier this month. The aircraft -- managed by the Aeronautical Systems Center's Global Hawk Systems Group here -- are part of the 12th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron at a forward-base overseas. The two UAVs are named AF-4 and AF-5. Just 36 hours after arriving on station, AF-5 flew its first combat sortie, which lasted nearly 24 hours. During this initial aerial reconnaissance flight, the Global Hawk's new production integrated sensor suite performed flawlessly, booting up in half the time of the advanced concept technology demonstration sensor, officials said. AF-4's arrival at its new "home"

Musharraf like Saddam, say Baluch leaders

SOURCE : DNA Amir Mir Friday, January 20, 2006 22:31 IST ''Who is Pervez Musharraf? He is not a constitutionally elected President. He took over the reins in a military coup and has no business to speak about the Balochis who are suffering at the hands of the Pakistan armed forces and the Inter Service Intelligence (ISI),'' Mr Sanaullah told a local daily here in an interview. ISLAMABAD: Accusing the Pakistan army of using poisonous gas to kill innocent civilians in the trouble-stricken Baluchistan province, Baluch nationalist leaders have sought the intervention of the United Nations in the matter. A letter addressed to the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and signed by 13 members of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) brackets President Pervez Musharraf with the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, saying Musharraf’s “ruthless army is using poisonous gas to kill innocent civilians in Baluchistan in the ongoing military operation against those who have d

Explosions continue in Balochistan

Source: Dawn By Our Correspondent QUETTA, Jan 17: A Frontier Corps man was killed in a mine blast near Kahan on Tuesday. In the same area, security forces arrested a man and found six bombs, six Kalashnikovs and two light machine-guns in his possession. The provincial capital was rocked when a home-made device exploded near the boundary wall of a house in a government employees’ colony on the White Road on Tuesday night. The wall was damaged and windowpanes of adjoining houses smashed. Unknown people also blew up a tower of 32kV transmission line in Rakhni area of Barkhan district on Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, the Balochistan home secretary denied allegations that people were leaving Kohlu or Kahan because of a blockade. In a statement, he said the government was willing to provide facilities to people interested in visiting the areas.

Remembering Maniappan Kutty

Remembering Maniappan Kutty R Rajendrababu The photograph of a weeping seven-year old boy lighting the funeral pyre of his murdered father is heart-breaking indeed. His father, Maniappan R Kutty, who was on an assignment with the Indian Army in Afghanistan, was brutally killed by Taliban terrorists. The child may not understand the cruelties and horror of Taliban. But he will surely understand the apathy and ineptitude of our officials in saving his father's life. Soon he will understand how the nation came to a halt to release Rubaiya Syed, the daughter of former home minister Mufti Mohammed. He and his younger brother will also learn about the Kandahar hijack of Indian Airlines flight IC814 and the threatening street processions of Indian communists like Brinda Karat to release the Taliban terrorists. Both the children of Maniappan, Ajay and Akshay, when they grow up will wonder why none of these street leaders, who support the central govt., utter a single word to help their

Two-way communications with a weapon after it's released

Flight showcases future Weapon Data Link Network by Staff Sgt. Ryan Hansen Air Armament Center Public Affairs 1/17/2006 - EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFPN) -- Two-way communications with a weapon after it's released from an aircraft is at the forefront of all new weapons technology, and standards for it has become a priority. Such standards were successfully implemented and demonstrated during a recent series of flight demonstrations here for the Weapon Data Link Network Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration. The Weapon Data Link Network defines a standard way for aircrew, ground controllers or combined air operations centers to have two-way communications with network-enabled weapons after they're already in flight. "This Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration came about because Air Combat Command and the Navy were both looking for a capability to exchange information with in-flight weapons," said Ron Taylor, lead engineer for the demonstration. "

Shiite Muslim custom, temporary marriages ( Mutta ) on raise in Iraq

From the Los Angeles Times THE WORLD Vows of Matrimony Spoken in Passing A Shiite Muslim custom that allows temporary marriages is regaining popularity in Iraq. By Solomon Moore Times Staff Writer January 15, 2006 NAJAF, Iraq — She is a 49-year-old divorced mother of seven children. He is a well-off farmer, with his own wife and children. Theirs is a secret betrothal, with perfunctory vows exchanged alone in a bedroom for an ephemeral union. Mutaa, a 1,400-year-old tradition alternately known as pleasure marriage and temporary marriage, is regaining popularity among Iraq's majority Shiite Muslim population after decades of being outlawed by the Sunni regime of Saddam Hussein. According to Shiite religious law, unmarried women may enter into pleasure marriages with men (married or not) for periods as brief as a few minutes or as long as a lifetime. Dowries, too, range from virtually nothing to millions of Iraqi dinars. Shiite clerics, including Iraq's highest religious a

Panama Canal Authority Announces Fiscal Year 2006 First Quarter Metrics

16 percent Drop in Transit Time; Decrease in Number of Accidents; Increase in Usage of Reservation System, Transits by Vessels 900' or More in Length Overall PANAMA CITY, Panama, Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced today first quarter (Q1) operational metrics for fiscal year 2006. Transit time for booked and non-booked vessels dropped. Additionally, net tonnage and usage of the reservation system increased and official accidents decreased. Transits of vessels 900 feet or more in length overall rose, while total Canal transits remained relatively flat. These metrics are based on operations from October through December of 2005, the first quarter of the ACP's 2006 fiscal year. Canal Waters Time (CWT), the average time it takes a vessel to transit the Canal including waiting time for passage, decreased 16.1 percent -- to 20.57 hours from 24.51 hours. Compared to first quarter metrics for fiscal year

Smith & Wesson Enters Long-Gun Market with M&P15 Rifles

Company Expands Military & Police Series With Rifles Designed for Law Enforcement, Military, and Sporting Shooters SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Jan. 18 -- Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (Amex: SWB), parent company of Smith & Wesson Corp., the legendary, 154-year old, global provider of products and services for safety, security, protection and sport, announced its initial entry into the market for tactical rifles and will begin shipments in early February of the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Rifle and the Smith & Wesson M&P15T Rifle. These tactical rifles are additions to the Company's Military & Police (M&P) series of firearms specifically engineered to meet the needs of global military and police personnel, as well as sporting shooters. Michael F. Golden, Smith & Wesson's President and CEO, said, "We are entering the $1 billion market for long guns with products that provide the exceptional functionality and reliabili

Winners of the 2006 Network Centric Warfare (NCW) Awards

ISELIN, N.J., Jan. 18 -- The Institute for Defense and Government Advancement announced the winners of the 2006 Network Centric Warfare (NCW) Awards. Honors were handed out at the NCW Awards Dinner and Ceremony on January 17, which took place during the Network Centric Warfare Conference in Washington D.C., an annual event that also featured General Richard Myers (former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) and John Ashcroft (former Attorney General) as keynote speakers. According to IDGA Executive Director Megan Knapp, IDGA's Network Centric Warfare (NCW) Awards were established to "honor, recognize and promote initiatives in the US Department of Defense, Coalition Governments, and Defense Industry that exemplify the principles of network-centric warfare and support information age transformation". A panel of respected defense sector leaders to evaluate the nominees and determine the winners. This year's program also featured the introduction of the 1st a