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Showing posts from November 18, 2007

Accountability begins at home Rahul Rahul Gandhi’s maiden speech at the AICC since being “annointed” General Secretary and Congress Working Committee Member has evoked mixed reactions. Although the Talkatora Indoor Stadium was echoing with cries of ‘Rahul, Rahul’ when he started his Hindi-cum-English speech, by the time his comments of barely 10 minutes ended there was widespread dismay despite the applause.Addressing 3,000 All India Congress Committee delegates, he said the party should be relevant to ‘a broad range of young Indians’ and become ‘meritocratic’ where progress is linked to performance and accountability. For someone who got “annointed” to his position within the party on account of his lineage it perhaps was jarring to his partymen to hear him speak of “merit”, “performance” and “accountability”. While Rahul’s lack of “merit” and a cropper of “performance” is well known its his emphasis on ”accountability” that should have “mamma” and “chacha manmohan” in trouble. S

INDIA : Naxalites and Narcotics

Over the years, cultivation of hemp or ganja or its like in the interior areas never visited by any official has become a major source of money for the Left wing ultras. The Maoists are repeating the time-tested method already used by their cadre in neighbouring Jharkhand to fund the banned group’s activities. READ MORE EXCLUSIVE COMPILATION


Source: SAAG By B.Raman Physical security regulations in the office of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) at Rawalpindi exempt officers of the rank of Brigadier and above coming in their own vehicle from frisking at the outer gate. They undergo a frisking only after they have entered the premises, parked their car in the space alloted to them in the garage and then enter the building in which their office is located. Officers below the rank of Brigadier undergo frisking twice, whether they are in their own vehicle or in a bus ----at the outer gate and again inside before they enter the building. At the outer gate, they have to get out of their vehicle, undergo frisking and then get into their vehicle and drive in. 2. Since all officers travel in civilian clothes in unmarked vehicles, which cannot be identified with the Army or the ISI, there is a special hand signalling system for Brigadiers and above by which the security staff at the outer gate can recognise thei

Bloggers versus Journalists - An Offstumped Re-run

Source: Offstumped In the past few weeks Offstumped has been attracting a few comments from Journalists as well as there have been oblique references in the mainstream media on the line taken by Offstumped on Tehelka and more recently on Nandigram. On 1st October 2006 Offstumped had reacted to a piece in the TOI critical of Bloggers. A re-run of that piece follows. Shobhan Saxena of the Times News Network has written a piece titled “Bloggers’ rubbish” which appeared on the TOI website. Offstumped has taken a detour from National Security issues to issue a rejoinder from the Blogger community. Shobhan takes on the ever expanding blogosphere claiming that it is filled with half-wits, religious maniacs, failed writers, sociopaths and cold-blooded Shobhan may have a point there, but thats hardly something new, the internet has always been a haven for all individuals of all mental persuasions. So why expect the blogosphere to be any different from the rest of the internet.Shobhan the

Digging In Deeper in Pakistan Published: November 23, 2007 Gen. Pervez Musharraf has done far too little to drive Al Qaeda and the Taliban from its Pakistani sanctuaries over the last six years, but President Bush still insists on linking America’s interests to the general’s erratic and authoritarian whims. The Board Blog Even with Pakistan under martial law, Mr. Bush claimed preposterously this week that the general “truly is somebody who believes in democracy.” Some American military planners, meanwhile, are proposing digging in even deeper. A story in Monday’s Times reported on a Pentagon proposal to sponsor and underwrite alliances between Pakistani Army units and tribal fighters near the country’s border with Afghanistan where Al Qaeda and the Taliban are strongest. The plans also call for increasing the size and role of American special operations forces working in those regions. The Pentagon has had successes working with tribal groups in northern Afghanistan against t

Nandigram : Silence of the activists

http://www.asianage .com/presentatio n/leftnavigation /opinion/ op-ed/silence- of-the-guilty. aspx Silence of the guilty By Balbir K. Punj West Bengal’s Marxist cadres have kept the media out of Nandigram with a ferocity that clearly betrays the nature of their activities in that troubled land. Yet we do not find anguished journalists and their organisations protesting this interference with the freedom of the press. In December 2002 , when the Babri agitation peaked and several journalists were manhandled by the agitators, these same organisations walked down the streets of Lutyens’ Delhi demanding the public hanging of the BJP leaders. The leftist intellectual bastion, Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), was aflame with posters condemning the BJP. Why are they silent now? The others with a selective memory are the human rights activists of the Left variety. Reports about the violation of women’s bodies, killing of minorities and the driving out of hapless people from th


* MARXIST SECULARISM* * * After Gujarat riots, the Marxist Government of West Bengal went out of the way to give asylum and rehabilitation to a harassed Qutbuddin Ansari, victim of Gujarat riots-- whose face adorned the covers of leading magazines--to prove their secular credentials! By sending away Tasleema Nazreen, who sought asylum in Bengal unceremoniously from Kolkatta at the first signs of trouble from fundamental Muslims has exposed the communist "secular" hypocrisy for ever! Brig VRP Sarathy Ansari's a different picture now Author: Publication: The Indian Express Date: March 3, 2007 Read more Anybody who's seen Qutbuddin Ansari's picture will never forget his face. But his fame as the face of the 2002 Gujarat had come at a cost just short of his life. Five years down the line, things have changed for the better for Ansari. He now earns a decent living by running a unit stitching branded shirts along with his brother. Ansari, who avoids any m


By B.Raman Thirteen persons were killed in seven well-synchronised explosions near court premises in three cities of Uttar Pradesh---Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad---on the afternoon of November 23,2007. 2. The explosions took place within about five minutes of each other. The improvised explosive devices (IEDs), attached to bicycles, do not appear to have been of a sophisticated kind. Initial reports indicated the possible use of ammonium nitrate, which has been increasingly used in different terrorist incidents in many parts of the world since the explosion in the New York World Trade Centre in February 1993. But the synchronisation of the blasts in three different cities around the same time indicate a certain sophistication in planning and execution. We have had well-synchronised multiple explosions in Mumbai in March 1993 by the mafia gang of Dawood Ibrahim and in July, 2006, allegedly by the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), and in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu in February,1998 by Al Umma

International Kashmir Alliance condemn the killing of Balach Mari

Toronto Mumtaz Khan vice chairman International Kashmir Alliance-IKA, in his statement has strongly condemned the killing of Balach Mari, son of Baluch Nationalist leader Khair Bakhsh Marri, and former member of assembly, which is largely believed to be killed by the Pakistan’s security forces. Balach Marri, who after the death of Nawab Akbar Bugti, had become the symbol of Baluch resistance in Baluchistan, and is believed to be the head of BLA. The death of Balach Marri is not going to affect the Baluch resistance, stated by his father Khair Bakhsh Marri. He further said that more Baluch would join this movement day by day because there is no other solution except the gun, words can’t silence the guns those used against the Balochis. Mumtaz Khan has called a tragedy to death of Balach Marri, who was fighting for their people to seek the social justice for their people and control on their resources and land. Baloch are largely alienated after the Bengali’s in Pakistan, who own the r

UAE Baloch mourn Balach Marri untimely death

UAE Baloch mourn Nawabzada Balach Khan Marri's untimely death caused by attack of Pakistani military . Gazain Marri , elder brother of Balach Marri organised this condolence meeting in Dubai .

How Rudy Served as Midwife to Greenspan's `Wall of Money' Policy

This article appears in the November 23, 2007 issue of Executive Intelligence Review. THE GHOULIANI FILES by Harley Schlanger In the 1980s, the ambitious Rudy Giuliani built his reputation as a tough fighter in several high-profile prosecutions of New York City mob figures. However, it was his prosecution of Michael Milken, and his role in bringing down Drexel Burnham, Milken's junk bond fiefdom, which gave him an image as the protector of the people, who was looking out for the interests of the "little guy," against the newly rich predators of Wall Street, during the "era of greed." The reality is quite different. Just as Rudy is really not a great counter-terror figure, his reputation as the defender of the little people against Wall Street is a fraud. In fact, his work on Wall Street served the purposes of the old establishment, in that he enabled them to dump Milken and Drexel Burnham, which had outlived their usefulness by 1987, and move on to the

Sino-Indian Co-Operation in Counter-Terrorism

Source: SAAG By B. Raman (To be read in continuation of my earlier paper of May 25, 2007, on the same subject at Shri Pranab Mukherjee, India's then Defence Minister, had visited China on an official visit in the last week of May, 2006, at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Gen. Cao Gangchuan. During his visit, the two Ministers signed on May 29, 2006, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Defense Cooperation. It was the first such agreement between the two countries. 2. The MOU provided for the following: Frequent exchanges between the leaders and high-level functionaries of the Defense Ministries and the armed forces of the two countries; An Annual Defense Dialogue at a mutually agreed level to be hosted alternatively by the two sides; Joint military exercises and/or training programmes in the fields of search and rescue, anti-piracy, counter-terrorism, and other

Baloch leaders react over killing of Balach Marri

Balach was like my brother: Brahamdagh Azizullah Khan QUETTA: Brahamdagh Bugti, grandson of Nawab Akbar Bugti, denied the allegations that he took the revenge and involved in Balach Marri's killing. Brahamdagh told BBC from an unidentified place that Balach was like his brother and he even can not think of it. He said that such statements could only be the creation of cheap mentality. He termed all allegations baseless and said that such statements were made to create differences among the Baloch. "What can I say, it is astonishing. I believe that I have no brother but Balach was like his brother, and I can not say anything else", he added. 3 cops killed in Quetta violence QUETTA: Three policemen and a minor girl were killed in three separate incidents claimed by the BLA, while several vehicles and officia

'Pac-Man defence'

Animal instinct also exists in the corporate world: a Pac-Man defence describes a scenario in which the target of a hostile takeover turns the tables to bid for its would-be buyer. Computer gamers will recall Pac-Man, the character of the eponymous videogame, turning around to devour the ravenous ghost chasing him. Media reports suggest that UK mining giant Rio Tinto will deploy the defence against BHP Billiton this week. On Monday, the company unveils its defence strategy -- and that strategy may be a counter-bid for its larger rival. Rio has already rejected BHP's unsolicited all-share bid worth $142 billion -- which would be the second-largest takeover in corporate history, and create the world's largest diversified mining company with a market cap of $382 billion -- as 'seriously inadequate'. Yet a David-swallowing-Goliath coup is unlikely: If Rio were to mount a Pac-Man defence, they would be admitting there was an economic case to be made for the deal. A Pac-Man

Dawood Ibrahim , terrorist groups target India’s oil assets

by Swati Chaturvedi New Delhi, November 21 TRIBUNE INDIA India’s high value oil assets are being targeted by an unholy nexus of the underworld and terrorist groups such as the Jaish-e-Mohammed, says a report by the National Security Adviser, M K Narayanan, to the Cabinet Committee on Security Affairs. Interestingly, the entire Dawood Ibrahim family has been awarded high educational qualifications by the ISI to facilitate fake travel documents and visas. In one passport issued to Ibrahim he holds a doctorate and is called Dr Altaf Mohammed while his wife Mehjabeen who is not even a matriculate has been given a post-graduate degree. His 20-year-old son and other family members have also been given assorted higher education qualifications by the ISI. Copies of the passports and other documents are available with the IB. This also points to the fact that the entire clan still travels pretty freely. And Dawood is still roaming around without getting caught in the Indian net. Quotin

Russia: the plot thickens

Moscow has become a crucible of plot and intrigue -- and it is being played out in both public and private. Recent weeks have seen a succession of curious 'spontaneous' rallies and meetings in public squares and theatre halls in support of President Vladimir Putin. And Russia's ruling elite, who profit from Putin's presidency, are hatching a plot to allow Putin to run for a third term without amending the constitution. Yet Putin is invariably one step ahead of the pack; he refuses to run for a third term and is devising a far more ingenious plan to retain power. 'Moral authority' Putin's plan depends on pro-Kremlin United Russia's performance in parliamentary elections on December 2. United Russia is likely to emerge victorious, scooping the majority of seats in the State Duma, though it may not win the two-thirds required for a constitutional majority. The party -- until recently widely perceived as a faceless gaggle of bureaucrats -- is actively seekin

India a new hub for climate change research

Source: Rediff Sreelatha Menon in New Delhi November 23, 2007 India has emerged as a hub for climate change research in Asia with UK emerging as a key partner. While the Chief Scientific Advisor to UK David King has been on a lecture tour of India exhorting scientists to move fast on climate change, the government on its part is moving fast. It is all set to announce the first research institute for climate change to be set up in the Indian Institute for Tropical Meteorology in Pune. The proposal, which awaits Cabinet approval, is expected to boost studies into climate predictions and impacts. This apart, the UK India Education and Research Initiative formed in 2005 is backing joint research activities with top institutions in the country, while the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), another arm of the British High Commission, is engaging in research with the ministry of environment and forests. This week the UKERI launched its first ever climate

India is converging, but why?

Arvind Subramanian: India is converging, but why? Arvind Subramanian / New Delhi November 23, 2007 Policy reforms interacting with fundamentals explain Indian performance Indian economic growth seems to have transitioned from a turnaround to a take-off phase. In the former, between1980 and 2002, economic growth averaged about 6 per cent a year. Since 2002, growth has soared to close to 9 per cent. In the medium run, the difference in living standards between the growth rates in the turnaround and take-off phases is staggering because of the “magic of compound interest,” as Keynes put it. At 6 per cent growth, the standard of living of the average Indian increases four-fold over a generational span of 40 years. At 9 per cent, it increases sixteen-fold. How special is India’s recent performance? The International Monetary Fund’s recent World Economic Outlook illustrates the dramatic improvement in economic performance across the developi