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Showing posts from January 11, 2009

Why did Poonch not become Kaluchak?

The terrorist attack on the Parliament of India on 13 December 2001 resulting in the death of a dozen people, including five terrorists, was viewed as a blatant attack on the most revered symbol of Indian democracy. Revelations that the terrorists were linked to the LeT and JeM and that the attacks were conducted with the knowledge of the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan precipitated a crisis between India and Pakistan. War clouds began to loom as both sides began troop mobilization and conducted military exercises and missile tests. At the height of bilateral tensions, on May 14 a group of three terrorists attacked a tourist bus and Indian Army personnel in Kaluchak, Jammu killing 31 people. The incident turned the possibility of war between India and Pakistan into a reality. From May 16 to 26 May India and Pakistan exchanged intense fire across the Line of Control along with the severance of diplomatic ties. Following international diplomatic efforts tensions between the

Baloch Young women held in military torture cells and forced into sexual slavery

Baloch Young women held in military torture cells and forced into sexual slavery FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AHRC-STM-012-2009 January 12, 2009 A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission Ms. Zarina Marri, a 23-year-old schoolteacher from Balochistan province, was arrested in late 2005, and has been held incommunicado in an army torture cell at Karachi, the capital of Sindh province. She has been repeatedly raped by the military officers and is being used as a sex slave, to induce arrested nationalist activists to sign state-concocted confessions. One man, who was arrested by a state agency and kept in military torture cell almost for nine months, narrated the story of this young woman to Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontières, RSF);; the International Red Cross; and at Woolwich Court in London. The current whereabouts of the young woman are not known. It has been asserted that women who are fighting for the greater autonomy of Balochistan are being a

ISI launches cy-war against Durrani

Friday, 16 January , 2009, 09:44 Last Updated: Friday, 16 January , 2009, 10:25 (Copyright AFP. Any unauthorised reproduction is prohibited.) Islamabad: The Inter-Services Intelligence agency in Pakistan appears to have launched a coordinated cy-war (psychological war ) against the country’s former National Security Adviser, Major General (retired) Mahmud Ali Durrani, aimed at proving that he was an American agent in Islamabad working for American and Indian interests. Journalists and publications who are close to the establishment in Islamabad are being used to project the line that after Major General (retired) Durrani, the “agents” who are pushing Islamabad into publicly accepting the “half-cooked evidence” provided by the United States and India in relation to the November 26, 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai, are Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Hussain Haqqani and Information and Broadcasting Minister Sherry Rehman. According to one report, a powerful group,

India’s future political masters Priyanka Bhardwaj - 1/12/2009 The run up to India’s general elections in summer 2009 requires a legislative majority within the democratic idiom. Most analysts agree that the ‘pack of three’, Rahul Gandhi, Mayawati and Narendra Modi will play crucial roles in the world’s biggest democracy India. Rahul Gandhi, Congress scion In 2008, 37-year-old Rahul Gandhi became the Congress party general secretary, considered a pivotal post. This is believed to be a ‘grooming program’ for the future Prime Ministerial candidate. Rahul is the fourth generation scion to India’s first political family the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has led the Congress Party for 124 years and dominated the political landscape for 4-decades of independent India. Rahul’s great grandfather, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, grand mother, Indira Gandhi and father Rajiv Gandhi, were India’s Prime Ministers, and mother, Sonia Gandhi, heads the governing coalition and ranks among the mo

Pakistan : Rape as an instrument to terrorize Baloch Nationalists

In response to Kristof's blog on Secretary of State Designate Hillary Clinton's comments about women's rights during her US Senate confirmation hearing . NY Times on-line: 6. January 14, 2009 3:44 pm Link An important issue that must be dealt with is that military forces around the world often use rape as an instrument to terrorize the population. Sometimes the US is in alliance with military forces using such practices and is reluctant to bring the abuses into the limelight. For example, the Asian Human Rights Commission reports that the Pakistani military– supposedly a US strategic ally–is using rape as an instrument of torture against the Baloch women (Pakistani military is fighting against against a secular independence movement by the Baloch, who are disturbed in part by a Pakistani backed influx of Pushtun Taliban). Based on the testimony of a distinguished journa

Durrani Episode: Two Hypotheses

By Divya Kumar Soti The Sacking of Mahmud Durrani from the post of National Security Advisor of Pakistan, on admitting Pakistani nationality of Azmal Kasab; by Prime Minister Gilani is a quite mysterious episode. This episode leads to confusing indications about political equations in Islamabad. However some concrete inferences will have to be drawn as they are vital to future policy decisions. Mahmuud Ali Durrani was instrumental in arranging the deal between Musharraf and PPP that led to Benazir’s return to Pakistan. In current regime he was considered by many, as someone who had good relations with PPP leadership as well as what may be loosely termed as ‘Musharraf lineage’ in Army and politics. It is unlikely that he made such a statement without backing of President Zardari and/or Musharraf faction. He had the backing of President Zardari is also corroborated by the fact that Pak Information minister Sherry Rahman- who is considered very close to Bhutto Family- sent a SMS to th


Published in January 2009 issue 'Eternal India' Vikram Sood This essay begins with quotations from essentially non-Indian sources to buttress the arguments that follow and assert that these arguments do not reflect a preconceived notion about Pakistan but depict a stark reality that many perceptive Pakistanis also see today. And they worry about the future of their country. We too should be concerned about the fate of a neighbour who has been consistently hostile to India, has been internationally delinquent and in the process has become economically weak, with a weak middle class a polity in disarray and now has a highly Islamised Army in control not only of the country but also the nuclear button. The mosaic of quotations from Pakistani, American and British authors will indicate the problems that confront Pakistan and its neighbours. "If the British Commonwealth and the USA are to be in a position to defend their vital interests in the Middle East, then the best

Nabucodonosor and Europe's gasification

20:21 | 11/ 01/ 2009 MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Andrei Fedyashin) - Mr. Reinhard Mitschek, managing director of the Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH, must be Giuseppe Verdi's most ardent admirer in today's cold Europe. The name of his company comes from Nabucodonosor, or Nabucco for short, a Verdi opera of an Italian libretto based on the biblical story. It follows the plight of the Jews as they are released from Babylonian captivity and portrays Nabucodonosor's temporary insight into the gist of the events. This could be taken as a clue hinting at Europe's desire to rid itself of Russia's gas captivity. From the 21st floor of a skyscraper near the Danube River in Vienna, Mr. Mitschek can already see Europe's bright gas future, free of Russian gas dependence and Russian-Ukrainian gas squabbles. He is convinced that now everyone in Europe is aware of the urgent need to build the Nabucco gas pipeline, which is supposed to bring

Are Terror-Finance Tracking Priorities Screwed Up?

SOURCE: SPY TALK A scatttering of dots spilled in two seemingly unconnected stories over the weekend adds up to a dispiriting conclusion about one of the most important programs in the our post-9/11 national security arsenal: tracking the movement of money through banks and charities to terrorist groups may be way out of whack. The first dots fell out of an interesting piece by Anna Louise Bardach in the Sunday Washngton Post's " Outlook " section, about prospects for changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba in the Obama administration. One of the "losers" under the new regime, Bardach speculates , will be the Cuban program in the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) . "OFAC's chief mandate is to enforce sanctions against countries harboring terrorists," writes Bardach, author of " Cuba Confidential " and the forthcoming " Without Fidel: A Death Foretold in Miami, Washi

Countering piracy: maintaining the status quo

22:38 | 12/ 01/ 2009 MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti military commentator Ilya Kramnik) - The U.S. Navy is finally joining international forces in the fight against the Somali piracy. The U.S. Fifth Fleet is going to deploy its forces specifically for this purpose, teaming up with the Combined Task Force 151. Supposedly, it will be composed of U.S. allies' ships and units, hence its name, the Combined Task Force. Thus, the world's most powerful fleet will embark on ensuring navigation security off the Somali coast, where the ships of the European Union's Naval Task Force, as well as the Russian, Indian and Chinese navies, have been carrying out this mission. Navigation security is ensured by caravans of two to five ships, which convoy civil vessels through the dangerous area and patrol the coast to detect and search waterborne vehicles suspected of being piratical. The patrolling is performed also by shipborne helicopters and patrol jets, which aim battleships at detected

New details on the National Cyber Range

New details on the National Cyber Range without comments DARPA has announced its Phase I awards to six competing companies for the design and creation of the National Cyber Range: BAE Systems$3.3 million General Dynamics $1.9 million Johns Hopkins University $7.3 million Lockheed Martin $5.3 million Northrop Grumman $344,097 Science Applications International Corp. $2.8 million Sparta $8.6 million Aviation Week explains DARPA’s intentions for project: The range is intended to become the premier U.S. cyber test facility, according to DARPA officials. The products will be unbiased and quantitative assessments of information assurance and survivability tools. The laboratory is to replicate complex, large-scale, heterogeneous networks for current and future Defense Department weapons and operations. The capabilities to be tested are host-security systems, local-area-network security tools and suites, wide-area network systems operating on unusual b

Comparison of military power, Pak-India

Air Marshal Ayaz A Khan (R) Unfortunately India and Pakistan had adversarial relations since sixty years. After the Mumbai carnage Pakistan is under threat of pre-emptive strikes. Fourth Indo-Pakistan war could be triggered by another terrorist attack anywhere in India. This is a dangerous scenario. India and Pakistan have fought three wars, and war drums for the fourth war are getting louder. It is in order therefore to comprehend Indian military capabilities, and Pakistan's ability to defend itself. Defense capability is an interplay of economic and military potential. Indian economy is booming, and its GDP growth is in double digits. The global recession has impacted Indian economy, but its defense capability remains intact. Military power and capabilities are sustained by economic and industrial potential. Geography, demography, population, oil resources and reserves, industrial capability including defense production, dollar reserves, self reliance, education, quality of manp

Terrorism & Security In South Asia: Likely Scenarios During 2009

By B. Raman (A paper submitted by me to the annual Regional Outlook Forum , 2009, organized by the Institute For South-East Asian Studies of Singapore on January 7, 2009. An article based on my extempore remarks in continuation of the paper will follow) Executive Summary Al Qaeda is organizationally intact, but operationally weakened because of the losses suffered by it in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and because of the strong anti-Al Qaeda measures taken by many countries. It has not been able to organize any major terrorist strike outside Pakistani territory. Two of the 2008 terrorist strikes in Pakistan----the attacks on the Danish Embassy (June 3, 2008) and the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad (September 20, 2008)--- had definite Al Qaeda signatures. However, while claims of responsibility in respect of the attack on the Danish Embassy were made on behalf of Al Qaeda, no such claims have been made in respect of the Marriott Hotel attack. The attack in Mumbai from November 26 to