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Showing posts from December 6, 2009

Official: US, Saudi Responsible for Fate of Iranian Scientist

TEHRAN (FNA)- An informed Iranian foreign ministry official said the US and Saudi Arabia are responsible for the fate of Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri who went missing in Mecca. "There is reliable evidence showing that Mr. Amiri was kidnapped by the US and according to international conventions the US and Saudi Arabia are responsible for his health and fate and these two countries should answer." Also regarding Saudi Arabian claims on Amiri, the official said, "The reality shows something else, Iran has held talks with Saudi Arabia on the issue several times and it has sent several messages. Tehran also appointed a representative in its embassy in Riyadh to pursue the case, the Iranian students news agency reported. Elsewhere, regarding a Saudi Arabian foreign ministry official who claimed Iranian mission in the Arab country has left Saudi Arabia's questions on Amiri unanswered, the official said, " unfortunately, Saudi Arabian official

Pakistanis most likely to be turned down for UK visas The Home Office dismisses claims of discrimination over the applications Pakistanis are more likely to be turned down for visas to visit the UK than any other nationals, figures show. Some 41% of applications for family visitor visas from Pakistan were rejected in the last year, according to Home Office statistics seen by the BBC. Bangladeshis were the second least successful with a refusal rate of 31% but the figure for India was just 14%. Sarah Teather, Lib Dem MP for Brent East, blames discrimination by the Home Office, but the government denies this. Tougher controls are thought by some people to be due to growing controversy over immigration, and fears visitors are staying beyond their visa and disappearing into the UK. Critics say many genuine applicants are not being allowed to visit their relations for important occasions such as weddings and funerals. 71-year-old Abdul Rahman, from Cricklewood, north London, is one of

WORKSHOP: 'Philosophy of Oneness: Bridging East and West'

Chinmaya International Shodha Sansthan[CIFSS] announces A eight day Textual Workshop on 'Philosophy of Oneness: Bridging East and West' from 24th to 31st December 2009 at Chinmaya International Foundation, Adi Sankara Nilayam, Veliyanad, Ernakulam, Kerala. Subjects: Idealism : East & West : Prof. R. Balasubramanian, Formerly Chairman, ICPR, New Delhi Advaita Makaranda : Prof. Godavarisha Mishra, Member Secretary, ICPR, New Delhi Vishaya Parichheda of Vedanta Paribhasha : Dr. Goda Venkateshwara Shastri, Traditional Scholar, Chennai You are welcome to join this Textual Workshop and benefit from the study of these texts. IInd class shortest route rail fare for students will be reimbersed and lodging & baording will also be provided. For further information contact: The Director, CIFSS Ph: 9567761194, 0484-2747104, Email : Kindly forward this information to your contacts who would be interested in this Textual Workshop. Since the seats are li

NAXAL MENACE : 83 districts under the Security Related Expenditure Scheme

INDIA: Coastal Security Scheme

A comprehensive Coastal Security Scheme was approved in January 2005 for implementation over a five year period commencing 2005-06, to enhance coastal security by strengthening infrastructure for patrolling and surveillance in the coastal areas. The Coastal Security Scheme, which is supplemental in nature and, is being implemented in nine coastal States, viz. Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal,and four coastal Union Territories, viz. Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, Pondicherry and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Under the Scheme, 73 coastal police stations, 97 check posts 58 outposts and 30 operational barracks have been approved. The Police Stations will be provided with 204 vessels fitted with modern navigational and maritime equipment. 153 jeeps and 312 motorcycles have also been approved. A lump sum assistance of Rs.10 lakhs per police station is also provided for computers and equipments, etc. The approved five-year outl

What Obama’s Af-Pak Strategy-II Portends

By Bhaskar Roy When US President Barack Obama, in his address to the nation, unveiled his new Af-Pak strategy at the West Point Military Academy on December 02, did he really believe that he had laid the road map of victory and withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan? Very unlikely. This is another interim strategy to see how far it can go, and use the time to think up a strategy-III for Afghanistan. Just hours before Mr. Obama’s speech, the US Commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, in a six-hour meeting with Pak Army Chief Gen. Asfaq Kayani at the Pak Army Headquarters, extracted a promise that the Pak armed forces will counter all Taliban which target US and NATO forces. This would mean the Pakistani Taliban a.k.a. Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP), its many factions, and the Afghan Taliban of Mullah Omar. Gen. McChrystal would have held Gen. Kayani’s feet to the fire and a lolly-pop in his mouth to extract


B.RAMAN In what appears to be a carefully scripted prosecution process , the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the US has been trying to have the prosecution of David Coleman Headley, the Chicago-based US citizen of Pakistani origin, who allegedly helped the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) in carrying out the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai last year, conducted in such a manner as to avoid any focus on his alleged links with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA ). 2. These links were recently alleged by “The New York Times” in a profile on Headley. It alleged that in 1998, Headley (then known as Daood Gilani) was convicted of conspiring to smuggle heroin into the US from Pakistan. It added: “Court records show that after his arrest, he provided so much information about his own involvement with drug trafficking which stretched back more than a decade and about his Pakistani suppliers that he was sentenced to less than two years in jail and later went to Pakistan to conduct u

27/ 11 & Hadley : India has to ask tough questions of the US on the Bombay carnage

India has to ask tough questions of the US on the Bombay carnage, and cannot withdraw troops from J and K, says N.V.Subramanian. 11 December 2009: The troubling questions raised by David Coleman Hadley's arrest for the 26/ 11 terrorism are further interrogated by the Manmohan Singh government's decision to drawdown troops in Jammu and Kashmir. While announcing the drawdown in the Rajya Sabha earlier this month, the Union home minister, P.Chidambaram, refused to specify the number of battalions to be withdrawn, but latter reports suggested that the Union home secretary, G.K.Pillai, due to visit Jammu today, was slated to discuss paramilitary pullouts, keeping the army's strength intact. This was in line with J and K chief minister Omar Abdullah's 24 November statement where he said, "The army wants to do its primary duty, but the time is not conducive for its withdrawal from the state." But the

Turkey and Israel: Ends and Beginnings

11 Dec 2009 The new chill between once close Middle-Eastern neighbors reflects both Ankara’s desire to chart a new course and structural changes in the region’s geopolitics. The outcome of both shifts remains open, says Kerem Oktem for openDemocracy. By Kerem Oktem for The states of Turkey and Israel have a lot in common, notwithstanding their many differences - in size, history, political background, social character, and religious composition: * they were founded and built by old-style ethno-nationalists - Zionists in Palestine, Kemalists in Anatolia - inspired by a desire to create homogeneous nation-states * they are the only two democracies - incomplete and contested, yet lively - in a region of authoritarian regimes and brutal dictatorships * they have the two strongest armies in the middle east and host the region’s largest non-oil economies * they have been staunch military allies whose foreign policies were until recently guided by a securitised

Investigation of the Human Rights Violations in Balochistan

His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon Secretary- General of the United Nations United Nations New York, NY 10017-3515 9th December, 2009 Subject: Investigation of the Human Rights Violations in Balochistan Dear Mr. Secretary General, This letter is to urge you to take immediate and practical efforts to investigate and address human rights abuses that have occurred and are ongoing in the Pakistani occupied Balochistan. Over the past few years the people of Balochistan have witnessed immense and hard-line measures from the State of Pakistan in response to their legitimate demands of fundamental human rights of civil liberty, justice and right of self determination ie Free Balochistan. The Pakistani State has responded with the bloody attacks committed by its military and paramilitary forces. Thousands of innocent men, woman and children are killed, thousands arrested, imprisoned and are persecuted, tortured, and sexually abused by security and intelligence officials, for the sole reason of th

For the Pentagon, the Pakistan Army can do no wrong

December 11, 2009 14:20 IST Tags: Pakistan Taliban, Pakistani Taliban, US, Afghanistan, David Petraeus Let's face it. When it comes to the Pentagon [ Images ], the Pakistani military can do no wrong. Even if it's going after only the Pakistani Taliban [ Images ] and not the Afghan Taliban, which it apparently continues to promote for strategic depth against India [ Images ] and as a hedge in case the US decides to cut and run as it did in the immediate aftermath of the erstwhile Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan nearly three decades ago. During the past few days, top US military officers with direct command of American troops in Afghanistan and strategic policy toward Pakistan and the south and central Asian region, testifying before Congressional committees continued to heap praise on the Pakistani Army's forays against the Pakistani Taliban and extremist groups in the

Balance of power in Asia

India gets realistic on China by G. Parthasarathy THE visit of Dr Manmohan Singh to Washington signalled a new and more realistic approach to India’s relations with China. For decades, our leaders and diplomats have been defensive, apologetic and even obsequious when speaking about China and our relations with our northern neighbour. China, in turn, has never hesitated to speak disparagingly about India in the capitals its leaders visit. Moreover, apart from transferring nuclear weapons technology and arming Pakistan to the teeth, China has continuously encouraged anti-Indian sentiments in South Asia and spared no effort to undermine our “Look East” policy by seeking to exclude India from the emerging economic and security architecture of East and South-East Asia. New Delhi has remained tongue-tied even on the Chinese behaviour of violating its international commitments by its nuclear weapons and missile proliferation to its “all-

Asia's new strategic partners

By BRAHMA CHELLANEY The recently concluded India-Australia security agreement has come at a time when tectonic power shifts are challenging Asian strategic stability. Asia has come a long way since the emergence of two Koreas, two Chinas, two Vietnams and a partitioned India. It has risen dramatically as the world's main creditor and economic locomotive. The ongoing global power shifts indeed are primarily linked to Asia's phenomenal economic rise.Even so, Asia faces major challenges, as underscored by festering territorial and maritime disputes, sharpening resource competition, fast-rising military expenditures, increasingly fervent nationalism and the spread of transnational terrorism and other negative cross-border trends.In that light, an expanding constellation of Asian countries linked by strategic cooperation and sharing common interests can help foster power stability and build institutionalized cooperation. A cl

Nuclear weapons: The modernization myth

BY KINGSTON REIF | 8 DECEMBER 2009 Article Highlights Although the United States no longer regularly produces new warheads and missiles, its nuclear arsenal is still the world's dominant force.Washington uses life-extension programs and stockpile stewardship to maintain confidence in the safety and reliability of its arsenal; in fact, its arsenal is more lethal today than during the Cold War.Slow-paced Russian and Chinese strategic modernization programs neither increase the threat to the United States nor threaten U.S. nuclear dominance.The belief that the United States is the only declared nuclear power that isn't modernizing its nuclear arsenal is fast becoming an article of faith in nuclear weapon policy circles. As Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl put it last summer, "Every nuclear weapons power--with the exception of the United States--is currently modernizing its nuclear weapons