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Showing posts from August 16, 2009

Mand: Operation and Protest in Balochistan (Photo)

The Fashion of Confession

Divya Kumar Soti American diplomats at one time pioneered the concept of “Politically Correct Polite Words”, famously abbreviated as PCPWs in diplomatic slang. Now Pak politicians and Generals have invented what may be loosely termed as “Politically Correct Impolite words”. These days Islamabad is open to candid confessions about more than friendly relations with Taliban. Pak Army spokesperson Maj Gen Abbas reportedly told CNN that Pak Army is in touch with Taliban leaders like Mullah Mohammed Omar, Haqqani and Hikmatiyar among others. He went futher and said that Islamabad is ready to arrange a peace deal between Taliban and Kabul, if Washington addresses Pakistani concerns vis-à-vis India. It is another thing that Gen Abbas soon retracted from his verbal bravery-a usual thing in politics these days. Since everybody involved in stabilizing Afghanistan knows that ISI is playing host to Mullah Omar and Quetta Shura and Haqqani network is now ISI’s chosen tool in Afghanistan, the ques

Strategic blunder?

Kanwal Sibal Monday, August 17, 2009 21:18 IST Email The controversy over the End Use Monitoring Agreement (EUMA) reflects the political difficulty in establishing "strategic ties" with the US. Many countries are now our strategic partners but what it means in practical terms remains undefined. It implies that India and our partners have long-term common interests which our respective policies will promote to mutual advantage on a sustained basis. In reality, either manifest differences of policies and interests exist between us and our declared strategic partners, or on issues of critical importance mutual support is not extended because of a reluctance to take a clear position as other interests have to be balanced. How is US arms aid to Pakistan, which bolsters our strategic enemy, compatible with an India-US strategic partnership? How is its position on Kashmir consistent with it? Instead o

Two days after Jinnah book, Jaswant expelled from BJP

INTELLIBRIEFS strongly condemns this harsh and immature decision of BJP to expel Mr.Jashwant Singh. This act further corroborates the point that BJP is still a hostage of radical Hindutva forces, such indifference and callousness to freedom of opinion and reason is pathetic to say the least. Shimla, Aug 19 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) expelled its veteran leader Jaswant Singh from the primary leadership of the party Wednesday, two days after the release of his controversial book in praise of Pakistan's founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah. The decision to expel the 71-year-old leader, who has held the portfolios of finance, defence and external affairs in BJP-led governments, was taken by the party's parliamentary board, said BJP president Rajnath Singh. He has also been stripped of all party posts. 'He is now not a member of any forum of the party. I tried to inform him yesterday on the phone but he had left for Shimla,' the BJP chief said about the leader w

A "second coming" for Angela Merkel?

19:5418/08/2009 MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Andrei Fedyashin) - Local elections will be held in five German provinces on August 30, and Bundestag elections will be held on September 27. These elections will decide who will govern Germany for the next four years. Although the election campaign is in full swing, the current chancellor, Angela Merkel, has only recently returned from a vacation in Italy's South Tyrol. The German political culture has never been too impassioned compared to neighbouring countries, but this year's elections are unusual even for Germany. Elections are less than two weeks away, and yet campaigning has not yet begun in earnest. It may mean that Germans have become disillusioned, which in the past meant that they vote either contrary to the overwhelming appeals, or not at all. In light of this fact, the two leading parties of the Grand Coalition - Merkel's Christian Democrats and Social Democrats led by Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who

Costs of War: Paranoid Populism

18 Aug 2009 The loud, occasionally violent protests at public meetings held by US lawmakers to discuss health care reform highlight a deep, powerful and rather ugly current of angry, paranoid populism in American politics, Shaun Waterman writes for ISN Security Watch. By Shaun Waterman in Washington, DC for ISN Security Watch The angry scenes - by now familiar to anyone who watches TV news - of lawmakers being heckled or shouted down by chanting protestors in their own districts, have spilled over into violence at only a handful of events, but passions are running high enough that some observers are dubbing the congressional recess 'The Summer of Hate.' One of those jeered, Arlen Spector, the Pennsylvania senator who recently defected from the Republicans to the Democrats, echoed the views of many commentators when he blamed the anger on the fear the horrendous state of the economy is inducing in blue collar America. “Millions of people have lost their jobs,” P

Central Asia: China Holds the Cards

18 Aug 2009 While Russia is footing the bill for Central Asian security and attempting to curb US influence, China is benefiting by pursuing a smart economic policy that aims to buy dominance, Anna Arian comments for ISN Security Watch. By Anna Arian for ISN Security Watch The dissonance between Russia and China in Central Asia is being played out between two organizations: the Moscow-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Beijing-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). In the long run, China will win. At the beginning of August the heads of states of Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia and Kyrgyzstan conferred at the Kyrgyz resort of Cholpon-Ata for a three-day informal summit of the CSTO. This assemblage of countries, which was founded in October 2002, is essentially a Russian instrument aimed at preserving its influence in the former Soviet republics and to scotch the gradually growing US military presence in oil-

China Displeased!

By Bhaskar Roy Very little has come out from the Indian foreign ministry about the recently concluded 13th round of Special Representative (SR) level talks (August 7-8) between India and China in New Delhi. There is an agreement between the two sides that the real contents of the talks on the border issue be not made public. The Chinese, however, are a little more generous than the Indians in giving out hints as to what they thought of the talks which include issues other than the border. Having assessed sharply criticising reports in the Chinese official media in recent months, the Indian government apparently decided not get pushed over. It was made clear that India’s sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh was an established “truth” (as opposed “fact”), and there was no question of discussing it as a “disputed” territory. Since the 13th round of SR level talks was being held in India, the Chinese played a softer line in the run up to the talks. There were, however, two comments no


By Dr. Subhash Kapila Introductory Observations Triangular strategic configurations seem to be more of a feature of international strategic discourse on Asian security. It is a favorite theme for examination and discussion especially when the global security landscape becomes more fluid and uncertain. As per international studies on this subject the search for triangular configurations have become more strategically marked in the post-Cold War period when either the United States assumes unquestioned global strategic dominance or when the United States global power is perceived to be declining. In the later stages of the Cold War, it was former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who perceptibly introduced triangular configurations when he sought to balance Russia with US quasi-strategic alliance linkages with China. Today one witnesses a lot of feasibility studies of the Russia-China-India Triangle, the Japan-China-United States Triangle, the United States-China-India Triangle


B.RAMAN ( Talk delivered on August 17,2009, under the auspices of the Indo-Japan Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Chennai) Since taking over as the Prime Minister in 2004, Dr.Manmohan Singh has visited Japan twice. His first visit was from December 13 to 16,2006, when Mr.Shinzo Abe was the Prime Minister. His second was from October 20 to 22,2008, when Mr. Taro Aso was the Prime Minister. Mr.Aso continues to be the Prime Minister of Japan and is facing election on August 30. Japanese analysts say that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which has been in power for 52 of the last 53 years, has been facing difficulty. The centre-left Democratic Party of Japan ( DPJ), led by Mr.Yukio Hatoyama, has been ahead in the public opinion polls and may cause an upset by defeating the LDP. 2.If it does, it is expected that the foreign policy of Japan may not be the same as it has been till now. The DPJ leaders have been talking of a review of Japan's post-war security relati

Don’t make a big deal of Shah Rukh’s detention THE TIMES OF INDIA Anand Soondas Saturday August 15, 2009 After a long time actor Salman Khan has come up with a real gem. On hearing about Shah Rukh Khan being questioned by US security at Newark, New Jersey, he said it’s good that the country has such a tight set-up. And that ``there has been no attack after 9/11 because of this.’’ Salman has a point. SRK might be an icon to Indians and many in the subcontinent, even to the desi diaspora spread across the globe, but to America he’s just a visitor. We may be convinced he cannot be involved in anything that’s remotely violent, but the guard given the responsibility of stopping something like 9/11 from happening in his country again will want to take no chances. And what is the possibility that he’s a die hard fan of the Khan and Bollywood? Very slim. Interestingly, the same day that SRK was detained in Newark, there came news that the great Bob D

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat terms Sharm el-Sheikh a diplomatic faux pas

Source: ORGANISER By Virag Pachpore Shri Bhagwat said that the reference to problems of Balochistan included for the first time in any dialogue between the two neighboring countries is not a good omen for India. The UPA government has not bothered to take the Opposition into confidence on matters of such diplomatic importance and thereby failed to maintain transparency in such sensitive matters. "Inclusion of the reference to Balochistan and dropping of action against terrorism as a precondition to resuming the dialogue with Pakistan was a serious blunder. It exposed the chinks in diplomacy of Government of India. This has not only brought the issue of happenings in Balochistan to the notice of the global community, but has also created a confusion within the country vis-à-vis our foreign policy and transparency therein." These views were expressed by RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat at the "Meet the Press" programme organised by the Nagpur Union of Wor

INDIA: CMs Conference underlines need to strengthen police for improved internal security

CMs Conference underlines need to strengthen police for improved internal security CHIDAMBARAM SAYS, STATES HAVE PRIMACY IN MAINTAINING PUBLIC ORDER 18:34 IST The day-long Conference of Chief Ministers on internal security concluded this evening with the CMs underlining the need to strengthen police force to ensure improved internal security environment. The Union Home Minister Shri P.Chidambaram summed up the issues on which the participants needed to reflect and take further steps. He acknowledged the primacy of State Govts. in maintaining public order. Following is the text of the concluding statement by the Home Minister. “I am grateful to the Governors, Chief Ministers and other Heads of Delegation who have responded to our invitation and participated in the deliberations today. In my opening statement I had, towards the end, listed a number of key issues on which I requested you to make your observations. In addition, I wish to remind the Chief Ministers that on

Pak-based terror groups planning new attacks on India: PM

SOURCE: REDIFF.COM The Centre on Monday observed that the gravity of the threat of terrorism was undiminished and that the nation could not afford to lower its guard. Addressing a conference of chief ministers in New Delhi [ Images ], Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [ Images ] said, "We have put in place additional measures after the Mumbai [ Images ] terrorist attack in November last year. But there is need for continued vigilance. There is credible information of ongoing plans of terrorist groups in Pakistan to carry out fresh attacks," the prime minister said. "The area of operation of these terrorists today extends far beyond the confines of Jammu & Kashmir and covers all parts of our country," he added. "In dealing with the terrorist challenge we need to be prepared for encountering more sophisticated technologies and enhanced capabilities. We also need to guard our sea frontier as vigilantly as our land border." "Four regional hubs

India to set up Regional Intelligence Centres

New Delhi, Aug 17 (ANI): Union Home Minister P.Chidambaram on Monday said the Central Government is considering to set up Regional Intelligence Centres (RIC) to train personnel in intelligence gathering and analysis. Chidambaram was addressing at the daylong chief ministers’ conference on internal security in the national capital on Monday. “While some States have set up a separate intelligence cadre, there are inadequate training facilities for intelligence gathering and intelligence analysis. The Central Government may consider setting up Regional Intelligence Centres to train State intelligence personnel in intelligence gathering and intelligence analysis,” Chidambaram said. Chidambaram informed that only 12 State Governments and Union Territories had sent their responses to the questionnaire sent by the Union Home Ministry asking about the preparation of the states for this conference. He asked the others States to respond quickly so that the Centre could facilitate the formul