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Showing posts from January 6, 2008

Is US Planning To Hit Pak Tribal Areas?

Divya Kumar Soti Pak Army’s increasing inefficiency in dealing with extremists is making the matters worse. Last week ,in a low key event, Governor of Pakistan’s Frontier province Retd. Gen Jan Mohmmad Urugzai submitted his resignation, on ground of some private reasons. Resignation was accepted readily and Governor of Balochistan was given charge of NWFP for the time being. This is seen as an ominous event in diplomatic circles. Gen Urugzai favored a political solution to current crisis in NWFP. He was a key figure in arranging past ceasefires arranged in this Jehadi hotbed. That is reason he was not liked by hawkish & deeply irritated NATO and Afghan commanders across the Durand line. Western diplomats operating on field in Pakistan who are shocked & overawed by the pace of deteriorating security situation in Pakistan are not in mood to buy any sort of new ceasefire. So, Gen Urugzai had been shown the way. This many think, is the first sign that US may be planning to

INDIA : Collapse of a culture

The Moving Finger Writes By M.V. Kamath The media which tried to cover the event were pounced upon, beaten up and had their cameras smashed. All by the CPM cadres or their police counterparts. Has the RSS ever been guilty of such behavious anywhere in India, including Gujarat? Now Karat is frightening the UPA that if it goes ahead with the talks with the IAEA, then it would withdraw its support to the coalition. What have we come to? To what depths of political degradation have we fallen that the politicking especially prior to the first phase of elections to the Gujarat State Assembly should be turned into name-calling and mud-slinging? One is ashamed of our leaders. One expected some high class speechifying from the Congress leaders in fighting the elections. As it turned out, both Sonia Gandhi and the party general secretary Rahul Gandhi could only engage themselves in slovenly shouting unworthy of any leader. The idea, apparently, was to run down the Gujarat Chief Minister in

Implications of the New Kurdish-Sunni Alliance for Security in Iraq’s Ninawa Governorate

http://jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?articleid=2373891 By Ramzy Mardini As the U.S. military “surge” and the activities of Iraq’s Awakening Councils drive al-Qaeda and other insurgent groups into northern Iraq, a new and largely overlooked accord between Kurds and Sunnis could have enormous implications for the security situation in the Ninawa governorate. On December 24, the two major Iraqi Kurdish parties—the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)—signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP). Though the agreement was grossly underreported in Western media, the event may presage a gradual but significant change in Iraqi politics with great importance for the political security of Ninawa and the rest of northern Iraq: the formation of a Kurdish-Sunni alliance. Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President and KDP leader Massoud Barzani, Iraqi President and PUK leader Jalal Talabani and Sunni Vice Pre

Insurrection in Iranian Balochistan

From jamestown.org : Volume 6, Issue 1 (January 11, 2008) By Chris Zambelis Issues of dissent and rebellion amongst Iran's elaborate patchwork of ethnic and sectarian minority communities are receiving increasing international scrutiny. Many advocacy organizations representing Iranian minorities accuse Tehran of operating a policy of cultural subjugation aimed at erasing identities distinct from Iran's dominant Persian culture and Shiite brand of Islam. In some cases, these grievances have led to unrest and bloodshed. The latest round of violence between ethnic Baloch nationalists led by Jondallah (“Soldiers of God”) and Iranian security forces in the province of Sistan-Balochistan is indicative of this wider trend in Iranian society. The shadowy Jondallah group emerged sometime in 2003 to advocate on behalf of Baloch rights. It has been known to operate under other monikers as well, including the People's Resistance Movement of Iran (PMRI). Tehran has implicated Jon

Israel, Iran and the United States : Trita Parsi discusses

Trita Parsi, author of Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States. Markos Kounalakis is a print and network broadcast journalist and author who covered wars and revolutions, both civil and technological. He worked as the NBC Radio and Mutual News Moscow correspondent and covered the fall of the Soviet Union as well as the war in Afghanistan. He reported the overthrow of communism for Newsweek in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria, the rise of both democratic institutions in Hungary and of ethnic strife in Yugoslavia. He was based in Rome and Vienna and later ran the magazine's Prague satellite bureau for over a year. World Affairs Council of Northern California - San Francisco, CA Trita Parsi discusses Israel, Iran and the United States. With talk of the Iranian nuclear threat heating up, tension between Iran and Israel is dangerously high and the risk of a war involving the United States looms. To Trita Parsi, efforts

'Queen of Balochistan' passes away

SHAHZADA ZULFIQAR http://www.nation.com.pk/daily/jan-2008/13/index5.php QUETTA - Irish-born Jennifer Musa, who had tied the knot with Qazi Mohammad Musa in 1940, the younger brother of Pakistan Movement’s prominent figure Qazi Essa, died in Pishin on Saturday morning. She was 90-years-old. She was suffering from memory loss. “She breathed her last at 8:30am Saturday,” Hayat Khan, the personal family servant told The Nation. She will be laid to rest at Qazi’s ancestral graveyard close to Sheikh Farid Baba’s tomb on Sunday (today) afternoon. Her son Ashraf Jahangir Qazi, family members and others will attend her funeral.Jennifer Musa chose Pishin town as her permanent residence in 1956 when her husband Qazi Musa died in a road accident. Jennifer, who was the second wife of Qazi Musa, married him in 1940 in London and agreed to live in the remote town of Pishin, some 50km north of Quetta. She was the mother of Ashraf Jahangir Qazi, a career diplomat who was last posted as Pakistani Ambass

Are we losing Afghanistan?

http://www.sundayherald.com/ Part two: On the trail of the Taliban Eyewitness by Nick Meo in Helmand Province SERGEANT DAVID Baxter, a tall, bearded gunner from Glasgow, was describing life in the forward operating base (FOB) - nicknamed "Incoming" - when the machine gun fire started. It was the third Taliban attack of the day. The noise was a few hundred yards off with no rounds whipping overhead, so even though he was standing out in the open, albeit inside the base's perimeter, Baxter hardly batted an eyelid. Instead, he just muttered something about the Afghan army soldiers shooting at stray dogs. Then the crump of mortars started, much closer this time, and the siren to take cover went off while the gun battle at the Afghan army's position rose to an angry crescendo. The bunker, a 50-yard sprint across open ground, was full of laughing gunners pulling on body armour and helmets after their lazy afternoon under a winter sun had been rudely interrupted. "

On the Campaign Trail in Pakistan

dispatches http://www.slate.com/id/2181778/entry/2181795/ "Why should I vote in a Pakistani election? I don't recognize Pakistan." By Nicholas Schmidle Updated Friday, Jan. 11, 2008, at 7:49 AM ET From: Nicholas Schmidle Subject: "Benazir Didn't Just Belong to the PPP" Posted Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008, at 12:51 PM ET KARACHI, Pakistan—I arrived in Karachi on New Year's Eve, just as the seaside metropolis was limping back to normal after four days of rioting and looting in the aftermath of the Dec. 27 assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The day felt like the first after a blizzard, but instead of snowdrifts blocking driveways, burnt-out vehicles littered the road. More than 900 cars, buses, and trucks were torched in Karachi alone. Shocked by the violence, investors panicked, and when the Karachi Stock Exchange opened Monday morning, it was down almost 5 percent. Long lines of cars streamed out of gas stations, where pumps had been closed for days. Shopk

Golbang : Band of Exile Iranian Baloch in Sweden

Göteborgsposten, Bengt Eriksson Golbang (consisting of seven exile-iranians and one swede) has brought with them musical memories from their homecountry, and at the same time kept a window open for other influnces. Electronic keyboards interplays with western and arabian drums. Two folksongs, one from Sweden, the other one from Afghanistan harmonizes perfectly. The rest of the melodies, old and new originates from Iran. The word golbang means the nightinglae's song in persian. But Golbang could easily be used to describe the singer Rostam Mirlasharis voice soft yet rythmic, softly and gently swaying. Abdul Rahman Surizehis benjo jingles like a zither. until he turns the power on and makes the benjo sound like an electronical guitar!! Oriental sounds comes out from Daniel Carlssons saxophone. This is one of the best bands in Sweden- all categories!But to most people Golbang is a secret. So far that is. Vash Malle - Live performing

Iran May not Sign Gas Pipeline Pact with Pakistan Next Week

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran is unlikely to sign next week a bilateral agreement with Pakistan for export of natural gas and has said it was keen on India joining the tri-nation 'peace' pipeline project. "As we speak, there is no ceremony scheduled for signing of Gas Sales Purchase Agreement (GSPA) with Pakistan next week," a senior Iranian official told PTI from Tehran. While New Delhi has since June 2007 left unattended meetings on the seven billion dollar Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project over the issue of transit fee payable to Islamabad. Iran and Pakistan have held several rounds of discussions and were reported close to signing a bilateral deal. Pakistan's caretaker Petroleum Minister Ahsan Ullah Khan had earlier this week stated that an economic coordination committee of the Pakistani Cabinet had cleared sovereign guarantees for gas imports from Iran and a GSPA with Iran was likely to be signed next week. "Those are statements made by Pakistan.

TURKEY : Time for energy in energy policy

Friday, January 11, 2008 Turkey’s energy strategy needs to include domestic sources to reduce dependency on Russia , experts say. Procurement from Iran is another problematic matter, as Tehran’s capability to meet its obligations is questioned MUSTAFA OĞUZ ANKARA - Turkish Daily News Against the backdrop of a widening energy crisis begun when harsh weather forced Iran to curtail gas exports to Turkey, the chief of the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) yesterday scored the government f or idling on development of an energy policy while surrounded with ample and underused resources. Fatih Birol, the IEA's chief economist, was joined by another prominent energy analyst Faruk Demir in decrying a situation where use of energy resources from neighbhoring countries is less than optimal and Turkey's own ample resources of hydroelectic supplies, solar potential and wind energy are all but untapped. “Turkey also has a stronger economy that its neighbors; nevertheless

Chinese cyberwarfare

Intel Brief: Chinese cyberwarfare Governments are likely to become targets of increasingly sophisticated Chinese cyber warfare attacks over the next three to five years as the PLA assembles an advanced cybermilitia. Intel Brief by Rachel F Kesselman for ISN Security Watch (11/01/08) A Chinese hacker community, referring to itself as "Honker Union," declared war on US government and business websites in 2001. The group claimed responsibility for attacks against the US Geological Survey, NASA, Cornell University and more than 100 other US government and business sites since 30 April of that year. Honker Union's website directed interested hackers to contact "Lion," a hacker believed to be responsible for spreading the Lion Worm, a program that captures passwords from operating systems and transmits them to an e-mail address in China. In 2002, another Chinese group by the name of "netXeyes" developed additional Microsoft Windows NT/2000/XP hacking