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Showing posts from December 13, 2009

Chinese Economy Monitor--- Note No 9: REAL ESTATE TIGER & HIDDEN CREDITS ICEBERG

B.RAMAN (What will be the impact of the global financial and economic melt-down on the Chinese economy? This question should be of interest to the other countries of the South and the South-East Asian region. If the Chinese economy is badly affected, they too are likely to feel the negative consequences of the down-turn in the Chinese economy. Keeping this in view, we have been bringing out a periodic "Chinese Economy Monitor" based on open information. This is the ninth in the series) MY ASSESSMENT If official Chinese statistics are to be believed, the Chinese economy is showing signs of coming out of the down-turn into which it has got consequent upon the global economic meltdown of 2008 and 2009. The Chinese authorities believe that the worst in the export sector will be over in 2010 and the unemployment situation which they faced consequent upon the closure of a large number of export-dependent industries, has been satisfactorily managed. New jobs are once again bein

Pakistan finally admit to holding missing Baloch journalist

12/18/2009 http://www.rsf. org/spip. php?page= article&id_article=35381 PAKISTAN - Police finally admit to holding missing Baloch journalist Reporters Without Borders condemns the behaviour of the authorities in the southwestern province of Balochistan in letting seven days go by before admitting that they were holding Rehmatullah Shaheen , a reporter for the Baloch nationalist newspaper Daily Tawar in Bolan District. Shaheen was reported missing on 8 December but it was only after a wave of protests that the local authorities finally acknowledged on 15 December that he had been arrested. Reporters Without Borders is also concerned about the disappearance of a radio station presenter in the northeastern city of Faisalabad. “Arresting and holding a journalist incommunicado for a week without notifying his family or lawyer is unacceptable,” the press freedom organisation said. “By acting in this way, the local officials are exceeding their authority and are violating the fundame

Did America keep mum on 26/11?

Vir Sanghvi , Hindustan Times Email Author December 20, 2009 First Published: 01:09 IST(20/12/2009) Last Updated: 01:14 IST(20/12/2009) Did the Americans have detailed advance information about the 26/11 plot which they did not share with India, only passing on a watered-down warning? And was there an American spy within the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba who kept Washington (or Langley) informed of terror acts planned against India — even if this information was never handed over to us? It is certainly beginning to look that way. When Headley was first arrested, the Americans declared that they had foiled a plot to kill a Danish cartoonist. Then, more details began to trickle out. The terror suspect, we were told, was a US citizen of Pakistani origin. He had some links with the LeT. He had visited India. He may have been part of an advance team for 26/11. Indian investigators, in

India wants tapes from FBI to identify 26/11 handlers

Sachin Parashar & Vishwa Mohan, TNN 20 December 2009, 02:00am IST NEW DELHI: India is looking forward to getting from FBI the voice recordings of the phone conversations between David Headley and his Pakistani handlers to ascertain the identity of those who sent out instructions to the perpetrators of 26/11. Sources said that Indian agencies want to compare them with the voicerecordings of the 26/11 masterminds to find out if these men indeed were Headley's handlers too. The US agency has in its possession recordings of Headley's conversations with LeT member A, not yet identified, and individual A identified by the FBI as Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed alias Pasha. Pasha is said to be the link between Headley and Ilyas Kashmiri and the person who had informed Rana in advance during a meeting in Dubai that the Mumbai attack was happening. Indian agenc

Why India should send troops to Afghanistan It’s about strategy, not popularity There is often a negative correlation between popularity and good policy: what is popular is often not good policy, and vice versa. This is especially true when it comes to foreign policy. For instance, the Times of India thinks nothing of publishing an op-ed article titled “Call Pakistan’s bluff”, in other words, “Let’s attack them and see if they respond with nuclear weapons”. It seems unimportant to consider the question of “what if they press the red button first”. Since no political leader will accept such a policy recommendation, perhaps writing and publishing it just serves the purpose of playing to the galleries. (Forget newspaper columns, even the FICCI task force report on national security & terrorism identifies surgical strikes, all-out war and ‘leveraging the water issue’ as among the hard options for the Indian government’s consideration.)

Why does India need a strong BJP? An interesting way to look at the evolution of political parties in India is to try and understand each party's idea of India, their views on the relative powers of the Center and the states, the class and caste base of the leaders and the voters. CJ: SHAILESH Thu, Dec 17, 2009 04:17:29 IST AS ALL the hyperbole about elections 2009 recedes, I think it is appropriate to objectively discuss the elections. Some of the things that are interesting are the failures of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Left (seemingly parties with committed voter bases) to enthuse the voters, the inability of psephologists and markets to predict the results and the decline of regional parties. I think no person is (or should be) politically neutral, it is necessary to have a stand as long as the stand is not dogmatic and as long as one is upfront about this and doesn’t pretend to be unbiased. This piece is about th

Copenhagen: Three Lessons

(1) Vast majority of countries do not support any renegotiation or dilution of UNFCCC (2) Kyoto Protocol should remain a valid legal instrument (3) any agreement on climate change should respect the need for development and growth in developing countries MANMOHAN SINGH Remarks by PM at the Informal Plenary of Heads of States/Governments at the 15th COP at Copenhagen I would like to thank Prime Minister Rasmussen for his efforts in trying to build a global consensus on highly complex issues, involved in climate change, attempting to balance divergent and varied interests. We have all worked hard to reconcile our different points of view. The outcome may well fall short of expectations. Nevertheless, it can become a significant milestone. I therefore support calls for subsequent negotiations towards building a truly global and genuinely collaborative response to climate change being concluded during 2010. As we embark on future

In Pakistan, a Sex Industry Has Begun to Boom

Jump to Comments SEX IN DEPTH By William Sparrow BANGKOK – Prostitution in the Islamic nation of Pakistan, once relegated to dark alleys and small red-light districts, is now seeping into many neighborhoods of country’s urban centers. Reports indicate that since the period of civilian rule ended in 1977, times have changed and now the sex industry is bustling. Early military governments and religious groups sought to reform areas like the famous “Taxali Gate” district of Lahore by displacing prostitutes and their families in an effort to “reinvent” the neighborhood. While displacing the prostitutes might have temporarily made the once small red-light district a better neighborhood for a time, it did little to stop the now dispersed prostitutes from plying their trade. Reforming a neighborhood, instead of offering education and alternative opportunities, appears to be at the core of early failures to curb the nascent sex indust

A military coup in Pakistan?

Restive generals represent the backers of the Taliban and al-Qaeda – bad news for the war next door By Tarek Fatah 09 Dec 2009 The Globe and Mail (Canada) A military coup is unfolding in Pakistan, but, this time, there is no rumbling of tanks on the streets of Islamabad. Instead, it seems the military is using a new strategy for regime change in Pakistan, one that will have adverse consequences for Western troops deployed in Afghanistan. A year after rogue elements of Pakistan’s intelligence services disrupted Indian-Pakistani peace talks by staging the Mumbai massacre, the democratically elected government of President Asif Zardari is facing a putsch from within its ranks, engineered by the men who run Pakistan’s infamous military-industrial complex. The men who wish to replace Mr. Zardari represent the religious right-wing backers of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, adding a new obstacle in Barack Obama’s war effort in Afghanistan. A change of guard in Pakistan will also place Canadia


B.RAMAN A somewhat amateurish attempt to clandestinely transport a large consignment of weapons from North Korea to an as yet unknown destination has ended in the consignment, the aircraft transporting it and its crew falling into the hands of security officials from the US and Thailand, who are presently interrogating the crew and examining the consignment and its documentation. 2. The aircraft, which was transporting the consignment, has been identified as an Ilyushin 76 of a dubious background whose operators figured on the black-list of many countries either because of their poor safety standards or because of the suspicion that they were involved in gun-running. The aircraft had a crew of five of whom four were reportedly from Kazakhstan and the fifth was from Belarus. 3.The “Wall Street Journal” has quoted the AeroTransport Data Bank, an Internet service that tracks aircraft, as saying that the plane had recently been seen at airports in Podgorica, Montenegro, and Buj

Pak meltdown & India

The Manmohan Singh government couldn't have chosen a worse time to withdraw troops from J and K under US pressure, says N.V.Subramanian. 18 December 2009: The Manmohan Singh government couldn't have chosen a worse time to withdraw thirty thousand troops from Jammu and Kashmir, because Pakistan is facing an unprecedented meltdown situation, and the reflex of the Pakistan army and terrorists is to engage India in hostile action to divert attention from internal crises. What's the internal crisis this time? The Pakistan Supreme Court, while voiding the NRO (see Commentary, "The Pakistani cooker," 16 November 2009), has permitted prosecution of the country's corrupt politicians belonging to the Asif Zardari / Yousef Raza Geelani government and of the ruling PPP. As Pakistan's president, Zardari is immune from prosecution, but he can hardly enjoy that immunity if PPP ministers and functionaries

Tokyo Plays Hard to Get with Washington

18 Dec 2009 Japan drags its feet over a US base relocation agreement, perhaps hoping to finally earn a bit of respect from Washington, but the new government in Tokyo has few, if any alternatives to offer, Dr Axel Berkofsky writes for ISN Security Watch. By Axel Berkofsky in Tokyo for ISN Security Watch Much to Washington’s growing annoyance, the newly elected Japanese government led by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has yet to announce whether it will or will not seek to reduce the US military presence on Okinawa, home to 75 percent of the roughly 50,000 US troops stationed on Japanese soil. On the campaign trail, Hatoyama - who came to power after a landslide election victory over the incumbent Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP) this August - pledged to review a 2006 agreement codifying the relocation of the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from the residential area of Ginowan in the densely populated southern part of Okinawa to Henoko, a

USA: What’s So Special about Special Ops?

SOURCE The U.S. military’s elite training programs offer a model for the strategic deployment of human capital and for building effective teams. by Andrew Sobel Illustration by Lars Leetaru During the fall of 2001, a small task force of U.S. military special operations forces arrived in Afghanistan. It was named Task Force Dagger, and its mission was to work with the Northern Alliance to overthrow the Taliban and uproot the terrorist training camps they were harboring. In just a few months, fewer than 200 Army Special Forces, Navy SEALs, and Air Force Special Tactics operators expelled nearly 100,000 entrenched Taliban and al Qaeda forces. It was an extraordinary success, and one that drew heavily on the multifaceted capabilities of special operations forces, who can build alliances with local fighters (all Army Special Forces must learn a second language, for example), infiltrate enemy lines, and bring to bear intense firepowe