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Showing posts from June 21, 2009


B.RAMAN Two soldiers of the Pakistan Army were killed and three others injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK), early on the morning of June 26,2009. 2. The Pakistani media has carried conflicting versions of the suicide attack. The "News" ( June 26) reported that "a suicide bomber ripped through an Army vehicle near Shaukat Lines, Muzaffarabad" without giving other details. The "Daily Times" of Lahore (June 26) reported that "he blew himself up near an army vehicle." 3. However, in its online edition of June 26, the "Dawn" of Karachi gave a different and more detailed version. To quote it: " According to witnesses, a bearded man in his twenties walked through a ground used by army personnel for physical training and local youths as a playground and entered the barracks of non-commissioned army men at about 6.30am. 'The bomber was intercepted by a sol

The US military in Africa

Listen (Duration: 11 minutes) BBC World Service (see all broadcasts ). Synopsis In a few weeks, President Obama will be off to Ghana - on his first visit to Africa since taking office. Our Africa editor Martin Plaut looks at Washington's little discussed military relationship with the African continent.

Nabucco, an American piece for a European orchestra

19:3724/06/2009 MOSCOW. (Alexander Knyazev, director of the regional branch of the Institute of the CIS, for RIA Novosti) - The European Union and Turkey plan to sign an intergovernmental agreement on the Nabucco natural gas pipeline project on June 25 in Ankara. Why such a romantic name? "Nabucco" is an opera by Giuseppe Verdi based on a biblical story about the plight of the Jews as they are assaulted and subsequently exiled from their homeland by the Babylonian King Nabucco (Nebuchadnezzar). It is also an enchanting story of love and struggle for power. The latter element of the story is probably the only thing in common between the opera and the gas pipeline project initiated by U.S. President George W. Bush and based on some European and post-Soviet countries' non-love of Russia, as well as the global battle for elbowing Russia out of the Eurasian gas market. Since Nabucco is mostly a political product, Turkey's efforts to use its transit location to its b

Third Force in Iran Power Struggle

26 Jun 2009 While it’s too early to predict the outcome of the current struggle for power in Iran, the battle is clearly one of seismic proportions and the emergence of a Third Force is stirring things up, Kamal Nazer Yasin writes for ISN Security Watch. By Kamal Nazer Yasin in Tehran for ISN Security Watch As expected, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s vow to violently crush Iran’s nascent democratic movement has been successful so far. On 20 June, the full panoply of repressive forces at the disposal of the Iranian state - other than the military, that is - were deployed against the fewer than 3,000 demonstrators congregated in downtown Tehran. The outcome seemed pre-ordained. These forces consisted of contingents from the Basij militia, Revolutionary Guards (RGCI), regular police, anti-riot units, the Ministry of Intelligence and armed vigilantes, around half of whom were brought in from other regions. As ISN Security Watch reported earlier, the RGCI is now in charge

Gazprom: no reason to panic

16:2726/06/2009 MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti economic commentator Oleg Mityayev) - The economic downturn has hurt both the price and the volume of the natural gas Russia exports to Western Europe. However, some analysts attribute the drop in Russian gas exports to another major reason, Gazprom's inflexible pricing policy, which could eventually lose the gas monopoly its European customers. However, officials at Gazprom do not plan a policy change. Neither do they see any reason to panic. Deputy Energy Minister Sergei Kudryashov said on June 23 one of the problems with Russian gas exports was the lack of flexibility in liberalized European markets when the competition grows fierce. By Kudryashov's estimate, demand for gas in Europe dropped by a mere 5% in the first quarter, while Russian exports plummeted by nearly 60%. It transpires that, along with the shortfall in earnings, the key Russian gas exporter lost part of its control of the European gas market to competitors. The next

BALOCHISTAN: Women and Children protest in Karachi Int’l torture day

BALOCHISTAN: Memories of another day

The 1973-77 struggle for rights had proved to the Baloch people, and to the world, that the struggle for their rights could bear fruit with tenacious dedication and perseverance. The Baloch have not been cowed down by the ever-increasing presence of the army and have stood up for their rights, which no government here is ready to concede or even listen to. The Baloch have resorted to the use of arms only because their rights have been trampled upon and all other avenues of redress have been blocked. by Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur The Baloch resistance to the unwarranted and unjust military operations, after the equally illegal and unfair dismissal of Sardar Ataullah Mengal’s government in February 1973, only 10 months after being sworn in, was the most protracted, pervasive and forceful struggle which demonstrated the determination and resilience of the Baloch when faced with overwhelming odds. The Mengal government was sworn in on May 1, 1972 amid hope and expectations, but from the

India’s trajectory to regional and global power: Risks, Obstacles and Strengths

By A. K. Verma (This paper was prepared & published by Cenjows) Many observers have commented that the 21st century belongs to India (and China). Since economics is increasingly becoming the currency of power this statement acknowledges the changing balance of power in the world and is a tribute to the growing economics muscles of India. Since the 1990s India is on a new economic path. The forecast was that by 2020, its economy would treble and by 2050 it will leave US economy behind. That surely implies that India will by then be seated on the high table because with economic power will also come the political strengths. As a result courting of India by other powers has already begun. Globalization, with new interconnectivity and fillip to trade through opening of markets, has brought new prosperity to India. Liberalization enabled India’s economic revolution to match the levels achieved by East Asian Tiger states. The credit for the new economic momentum goes to Prime

INDIA: Intelligence Reforms

By A. K. Verma (This paper was prepared and published by G-files) More than 50 years after gaining independence from the British, Indian Intelligence continues to operate within the same framework left by the British. The system was created to deal with problems and requirements of a different age. Since then we have moved into a new era where the national security architecture of the world keeps changing in a kaleidoscopic pattern, creating new axess of conflicts and conciliations. Times have changed enormously and the world has become far more complex. Unfortunately, Indian Intelligence has not kept pace with the changes. It is high time that an Indian Intelligence Reforms Commission is appointed on the lines of the Administrative Reforms Commission to overhaul the old system. There are a whole lot of new paradigms requiring to be considered. If in today’s world intelligence has become the first line of defense, there is not a moment to be lost. The very first reform

DMITRY MEDVEDEV:in Africa: Answers to Questions from Russian Journalists

Russia: Answers to Questions from Russian Journalists PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to begin by asking a question. Can you believe that we are here, this far south in Africa? And did you know that the area of Namibia is equivalent to the area of Ukraine and Belarus combined? Whereas population density is equivalent to that of Mongolia. REPLY: You’ve been doing your homework. DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Of course I have. QUESTION: We also did some homework. Our country has a history of relations with African nations. Before, there had been some talk of providing non-repayable aid. How would you formulate Russia’s current policy in this respect? How advantageous are these contacts? And naturally, we would be interested in hearing about your first impressions of Africa itself. DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Thank you. Our policy on these matters will be very friendly, but at the same time, pragmatic. Le

Russia's plans for Africa

Medvedev looking for diamonds in the rough in Angola Diamonds are every countrys best friend when it comes to trade relations with Angola. Russias President Dmitry Medvedev is due in this gem-rich country on the final stage of what's been dubbed his ... Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Africa this week is Russia's latest attempt to shift the global balance of power away from the west Irina Filatova, Friday 26 June 2009 11.30 BST Article history Russia's president Dmitry Medvedev spent this week in Africa, visiting four countries, Egypt, Nigeria, Angola and Namibia. Russian official sources present the visit as purely economic, stressing that its goals are to assist Russian business and to develop mutually beneficial relations with African countries. The president is accompanied by a 400-strong business delegation, and a number of important economic agreements have been

The three dangers that India faces

REDIFF.COM Bharat Verma June 25, 2009 Very few policy makers in India dare to acknowledge the danger to the nation's territorial integrity. The security and integrity of the nation has become hostage to vote-bank politics. Democracy and more than eight percent economic growth will be of no avail if the country as such withers away. India is not only being frayed at its borders by insurgencies, but its very writ in the heartland is becoming increasingly questionable. The rise of a nation is predicated upon unity, peace and stability, which are essentially determined by good governance. The prevailing security scenario poses the serious question -- Is India's development and economic growth becoming unsustainable due to poor handling of the security? There are three dangers to the territorial integrity that bedevil the nation. Danger-1 New Delhi [Images] and the state capitals have almost ceded the governmental control over 40 percent of the Union's terri