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Showing posts from January 22, 2006

PAKISTAN : Political alienation and the response

VIEW: Political alienation and the response —Dr Hasan-Askari Rizvi The federal government’s efforts to promote stability, economic development and contain religious extremism and terrorism are likely to be undermined by its political strategies that have accentuated divisive trends and given primacy to local and regional issues for political articulation and mobilisation. Its policies have also strengthened Islamist parties Authoritarian civil and military regimes often become victims of their governance and political management. These governments pursue centralisation, administrative assertiveness and limited power sharing with people who are prepared to work within a delimited political space. They pressure those who openly question their power management or exclude them from the political process. Authoritarian governance and political management may address the immediate needs of entrenching the rulers and creating a semblance of stability. However

Sorry Rahul: Yours faithfully, Congress

Sorry Rahul: Yours faithfully, Congress Ashok Kumar New Delhi, January 28: It is the last day of the plenary session of the Congress. The President of the party Sonia Gandhi, while speaking over the occasion, was trying her level best to dwell on the priorities of the party in light of the challenges lurking in its path. But those present on the occasion, it seems, did not give much heed to what their party president was trying to highlight. For the majority of them, somebody occupying the helm of affairs from the Gandhi family is enough; her priorities can take a back seat so far as that ‘Magic Presence’ is maintained in the party. Meanwhile the Congress people do not want to let go the opportunity to milk this ‘status’ of the party whenever and wherever the elections happen. The basic requirement of the party is of course to win elections and when someone from the Gandhi family is at the helm of affairs, the victories are taken for granted. This huge gap (between Cong

The "Triple A" Theory in Pakistan's Drift to Extremism news/archives/2005/02 /_the_triple_a_t.html Fletcher PhD candidate Hassan Abbas originally set out to disprove the popular “triple A” theory of Pakistani power and politics: that most events in Pakistan were attributable to either “Allah, the army, or America.” In the course of researching for his most recent book, however, he began to believe that aspects of the theory “actually have some merit.” The result, Pakistan's Drift Into Extremism: Allah, The Army, And America's War On Terror, offers an in-depth analysis of the factors shaping Pakistan today. On February 4, Abbas presented his book at a reception sponsored by the Program for Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization and the Ginn Library Book Talk series. In his remarks, Abbas recalled that within twenty-four hours of Pakistan’s 1947 inception, its leadership had announced a policy of religious freedom and equality. “How, then” Abbas asked, “did such a transformation occur over the las

Karnataka -- end of pseudosecularism?

January 29, 2006 COMMENT BY N.S. Rajaram The real significance of this is teh JDS - BJP alliance. The JDS leader Kumarswamy has said that the people are not interested in the past-- or in secular-communal debate but want development. This essentially debunks congress pretensions and changes the rules of debate and campaigning. Expect this to be the key in future elections. So congress can longer hide its dismal record behind the smokescreen of secularism. Expect also Narendra Modi, with his stellar record as CM to be the star campaigner in the next election. So the importance of the alliance goes beyond Karnataka: it focuses on real issues rather than on the metaphysics of secularism. Cong bastion at BJP's feet Pioneer News Service/ Bangalore Kumaraswamy wins war of nerves ---- Ending the 10-day filibustering tactics of the Congress to remain in power, Karnataka Governor TN Chaturvedi on Saturday invited rebel Janata Dal (Secular) lead

Government ignored brave jawans during Republic Day

1/27/2006 12:22:45 PM HK Correspondent NEW DELHI : The Republic Day parade of 2006 was conspicuous by the absence of any investiture ceremony. The President, during the Republic Day parade, honour the soldiers of the country with gallantry awards like Ashok Chakra, Keerti Chakra and Showrya Chakra. The announcer used to read out a citation extolling the great works done by the winners of these medals. Most of the times, the awards used to be posthumous since the infiltrators and terrorists would have finished off our brave jawans by ambushes and claymore mines. It goes without saying that the terrorists are all funded by the ISI and the Pakistan Army. There were no gallantry awards announcements during the 2006 Republic Day parade. There is no need to probe further since the reason lied in the presence of this year’s Guest of Honour. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was the royal guest of honour for this year’s Republic Day parade. Since he happens to be the protector and preser

PETN has been recovered for the first time from HuJI militants

Devesh K. Pandey PETN has been recovered for the first time from HuJI militants PETN is a plastic explosive that comes second only to RDX in terms of lethality and impact Due to earlier constraints Bangladeshi militants used `homemade' or crude improvised explosive devices These militants seems to have managed to carve out a route for procurement of such explosives A very dangerous trend, say senior police officers -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NEW DELHI: The seizure of deadly Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate (PETN) explosives and electronic detonators from the two alleged Harkat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami (HuJI) militants arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi police on Tuesday indicates a sudden change in the choice of explosives by Bangladesh-based militants to carry out terrorist acts. This is probably the first time that the police have recovered PETN from Bangladesh-based militants. PETN is a plastic explosive that com

India, Saudi Arabia agree to cooperate on fighting terrorism

India, Saudi Arabia agree to cooperate on fighting terrorism New Delhi, Jan 27, IRNA India-Saudi Arabia-Joint Declaration Noting that terrorism is a scourge for all mankind and there is a need to intensify and coordinate bilateral, regional and global cooperation to combat and eradicate the menace, the two countries agreed to cooperate to fight this and other transnational crimes like money laundering, drugs and arms smuggling in a sustained and comprehensive manner. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saudi Friday signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on combating crime that would help in the fight against terrorism, extremism and criminal elements, it said. The MoU said the two countries shall make concerted efforts for an early realization of the proposals to conclude a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism which is before the UN General Assembly and the setting up of an International Counter Terrorism Centre as called

Piece by piece, information can yield secrets when put together

by Senior Airman Jessica Switzer 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs /26/2006 - INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey (AFPN) -- These days modems come built into computers and Internet access many times is cheaper than regular telephone service. It seems everyone has a license to cruise the information super highway. There are a variety of ways for people to interact across the globe, such as e-mail, chat rooms and instant messaging services. However, some of this interaction may not be on the level. “People seem to think that talking to others about unclassified information is harmless, but it’s not,” said Capt. Eric Eibe, 39th Air Base Wing operational security program manager. “Enough unclassified information pieced together may likely form a classified picture. I’ve seen too many times where a deployed military member will advertise in a chat room their full name, rank and unit and where they are currently deployed.” Like any other kind of anti-terrorism and force protection actions, peop

US Defense review addresses uncertain, unpredictable world

by Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service 1/26/2006 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- The Quadrennial Defense Review, to be delivered to Congress Feb. 6, will be dominated by two words: uncertainty and unpredictability, senior defense officials said Jan. 25. Congress mandates that the Department of Defense conduct the QDR every four years to ensure the armed forces have the right mix of people, skill sets and capabilities to meet current and future challenges to national security. "We cannot predict with any certainty whatsoever how our forces may be used in the future," an official said. "We can say with a very high probability that in the next 10 years, U.S. forces will be employed somewhere in the world where they are not today." Officials said the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, forced a change in U.S. security and military strategies. While transforming the Defense Department was already a priority, the attacks imposed a "powerful sense of urgency" on the

India Says U.S. Envoy Expresses Regret over Nuclear Comment

India Says U.S. Envoy Expresses Regret over Nuclear Comment By REUTERS, NEW DELHI The U.S. envoy to India on Jan. 26 expressed regret over his comments that a nuclear deal between Washington and New Delhi may stall unless India votes against Iran next month at a meeting of the U.N.’s atomic energy agency. Ambassador David Mulford’s statement came a day after he told an Indian news agency that if India decided not to vote against Iran, “the effect on members of the U.S. Congress with regard to the civil nuclear initiative will be devastating.” The remarks upset New Delhi, which rejected attempts to link the vote to the landmark India-U.S. nuclear cooperation pact. Mulford was called in by the Indian foreign secretary on Jan. 26 and told that his remarks were “inappropriate and not conducive to building a strong partnership” between the two countries, an Indian Foreign Ministry statement said. “The ambassador expressed his sincere regrets, saying that his remarks had been taken o

A Complex and Changing Air War

The top airman in Southwest Asia discusses air operations over Iraq and Afghanistan. A Complex and Changing Air War By Marc V. Schanz, Associate Editor AFA.ORG Lt. Gen. Walter E. Buchanan III, commander of USAF’s 9th Air Force and US Central Command Air Forces, met on Oct. 27, 2005, with the Defense Writers Group in Washington, D.C. What follows are excerpts of his remarks about unmanned aerial systems, air support for urban combat operations (especially the November 2004 fight for Fallujah), and ways of performing new missions in the war on terror. You’ve Come a Long Way “In March of 2002, the mission briefings over Southern Iraq at that time, the mission commander would get up and he’d say, ‘OK, we’re going to have the F-15Cs fly here, the 16s are going to fly here, the A-6s are going to fly here, tankers are going to be here today.’ Then they would say, ‘And oh by the way, way over here is going to be the Predator.’ We don’t go over there, and he’s not going to come over h


by Dr Subhash Kapila Introductory Observations Pakistan’s “Western Frontiers” today are in an explosive state as manifested by the armed rebellion in the Waziristan Region of the North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) and Baluchistan. Violent uprisings are also taking place in the so-called Northern Areas, which formed part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). While strategic analysts and media analysts have focused individually on the explosive situation in each of these regions, there seems to be an absence of an over-all integrated analysis of Pakistan’s explosive “Western Frontiers” and its impact, particularly on the United States and its policies in the region. It also has implications for China, India and Iran. The impact on Pakistan, if it does not handle the situation with political adroitness, could be suicidal. At the outset, for international observers, the point needs to be made that Pakistan’s “Western Frontiers” do not rest on India, and

BALOCHISTAN : Baloch leader Akbar Bhugti living in mountains

’Military action forces Bugti to live in mountains’ DERA BUGTI: Veteran Baloch leader and former Chief Minister of Balochistan Nawab Akbar Bugti has said that it was because of ’kindness’ extended by the state towards him that he was living in mountains. Taking on telephone from an undisclosed location on Wednesday, Mr Bugti said the area where he was living right now belongs to him and he used to hunt when he was young and he had plenty to eat and drink and generally speaking he was quite fine despite the fact that government machinery had been used to take control of the area. Referring his attention to his native town, Nawab Akbar Bugti said the situation in Dera Bugti was very awful as most of the houses and building have collapsed due to bombardment and inhabitants of the area have been forced to flee their homes. He said it is common observation that nation do face tough situations but they fight for their rights and never let go the cause and keeping in view this, whatev

CRISIS IN BALOCHISTAN : Attrocities of Pakistani Army against Hindu and Sikhs

CRISIS IN BALOCHISTAN : HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF PAKISTAN REPORT Below are excerpts from the report released by Human Rights commission of Pakistan on crisis in Pakistan where Hindu and Sikh community has paid heavy price at the hands of Pakistani Millitary . 1. In both Dera Bugti and the Kohlu area, HRCP received evidence that action by armed forces had led to deaths and injuries among civilians. Populations had also been subjected to indiscriminate bombing. Many of the victims were women and children. Lists of casualties are included in the report. The dead included some Hindus, many of whom had been forced to leave their homes due to the fighting. ( Page 1) 3. The Hindu Community HRCP met a delegation of the Hindu community, who had left the town of Dera Bugti and were taking refuge in Sui. They told the team that all members of their community had shifted out of Dera Bugti. Some were in Sui, while others had migrated to other parts of Pakistan. They presented a home vid

Pak hardliners oppose Sohni Mahiwal

Pak hardliners oppose Sohni Mahiwal Jan. 24, 2006 Pakistani hardliners pledged on Tuesday to protest against the country's plans to screen an Indian movie for the first time in 40 years, accusing Bollywood films of spreading "obscenity and vulgarity". Film fans and the movie industry reacted with delight after officials said on Monday that cinemas in Pakistan will be permitted to show the 1984 love story Sohni Mahiwal. There were calls for the government to completely overturn its ban on all Indian films, which was imposed after the two countries fought a war over Kashmir in 1965. "This will strengthen and promote friendly relations between Pakistan and India," Pakistani movie star Nirma said. "There is no harm in the exhibition of Bollywood movies in Pakistan and likewise Lollywood movies in India," she added. Despite the government ban, Bollywood films have long had a massive audience in Pakistan on pirate DVDs and via cable channels. Amid

'No foreign support to Baloch unrest', says a French diplomat

From M Rama Rao reporting for Asian Tribune from New Delhi New Delhi, 24 January, ( ): A senior French diplomat has publicly contradicted Pak President Musharraf's claim that India has been helping Baloch insurgents. In fact, the diplomat Frederic Grare contends that foreign support to Baloch movement doesn't appear even imminent. Grare report, 'Pakistan: a resurgence of Baloch nationalism', was released by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington this past week. What qualifies his study is his personal knowledge of the scene as he had a posting in Pakistan. He also had a four year stint in New Delhi. The French diplomat makes two broad conclusions which are not going to please Islamabad. First the Baloch issue is going to be a pestering sore. 'The risk of a prolonged guerrilla movement in Balochistan is quite real', he says. Second the possibility of a civil war is not ruled out. 'The outbreak of another civil war

China's pearl loses its luster

By Sudha Ramachandran Tuesday Jan. 24, 2006, BANGALORE: The port project at Gwadar in Pakistan's restive Balochistan province appears to be in trouble. Baloch insurgents battling Islamabad are opposed to the project and have been attacking people working on it. Besides, some differences appear to have cropped up between the Pakistan government and the project's main funder - China - over financial aspects of the project. Gwadar is on Pakistan's Arabian Sea coast, just 72 kilometers from Iran. It is near the mouth of the Persian Gulf and is 400km from the Strait of Hormuz. The Pakistani government identified Gwadar as a port site way back in the 1960s, but it was only in 2001-02 that concrete steps on the proposal were taken. It was the arrival of US troops in Afghanistan - literally at China's doorstep - in the autumn of 2001 that spurred Beijing into action. China agreed to participate in funding, construction and development of a deepsea port and naval base in Gw

F-22A Raptor flies first operational missions

by Staff Sgt. Thomas J. Doscher 1st Fighter Wing Public Affairs 1/23/2006 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- The F-22A Raptor showed another of its capabilities when it flew its first two operational sorties over the United States in support of Operation Noble Eagle Jan. 21 and 22. The Raptor mission came one week after the 27th Fighter Squadron -- the first unit to fly the jet -- converted to the Air Force’s fifth-generation stealth fighter. The jet just reached its initial operational capability in December. "Since becoming IOC, we have the ability to deploy," squadron commander Lt. Col. James Hecker said. "This is our first operational mission, the first mission where we've carried live ordnance.” Operation Noble Eagle provides air defense over the United States and Canada. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the nation, North American Aerospace Defense Command fighters have responded to more than 2,000 air events over the two countries. Aircraft have

Elite J-K cop unit nabs its own for militant links

SOG Harkat commanders cellphone with cops phone number leads to arrest of 2 cops MAJID JAHANGIR Posted online: Monday, January 23, 2006 at 0221 hours IST SRINAGAR, JANUARY 22: Sending a wake-up call to security forces in the Valley, the Special Operations Group (SOG), the elite counter insurgency unit of the J&K Police, have arrested two of their own members for links with Pakistani militants. The two men, a senior police official said, had not only planned to assassinate a SP but were even tipping off militants about security operations. We have arrested constable Mohammad Rafiq Dar and SPO Nazir Ahmad who were part of the SOG in Pulwama district. They were working for Harkat commanders, providing them information about our operations. This was on for a long time. During interrogation, they told us about their involvement in three murders. They stole an Ak-56 rifle and sold it to militants for Rs 40,000, the official said. Sources said it was sheer luck that led to t