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Showing posts from February 21, 2010

BANGKOK CONFERENCE: Governance in Balochistan

by Wendy Johnson (, Feb 22, 2010 Below is the text of paper presented by Ms.wendy Johnson at Bangkok conference, title "Governance in Balochistan" Three images I have seen cross my website over the past few years abide in my memory. One is a photo of students in Quetta—dressed in white dress shirts and black slacks, lying on the street, protesting the lack of places for them at a university. Another is a video of a woman with ropes over her shoulders, dragging something. As the camera follows her, in what appears to be a desert, it soon becomes apparent—and this video is very cinematic—that she is laboriously drawing water from a well. This is 2009, mind you. A third image is a photo of a woman, her face an expression of anguish—resting her cheek against posters depicting the disappeared and the dead in Balochistan. What these people have in common is a desperate need for a solution to their troubles—a decent and representative government. When my friends and

Sham el-Sheikh in New Delhi

Source: Daily Pioneer Chandan Mitra The dialogue of the deaf last Thursday had one clear winner, Pakistan, and one comprehensive loser, India. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh capitulated again and will live to regret it Last week India talked to ‘Pakistan’ amid much fanfare and media hype. I say Pakistan within quotes because that country cannot be described as a composite nation-state in the conventional sense. And, on issues relating to India, Pakistan is divided into many segments, at least five. First there is the Army, which controls Pakistan’s political, economic and military destiny whether formally in power or nominally in the barracks. Next is the ISI, the all-encompassing superpower in the Pakistani establishment, which functions as a state within the state. Third is Pakistan’s civilian Govern- ment, an insecure entity that has little popular legitimacy, is powerless against the Army and ISI and hopelessly divided within. The fourth consists of jihadi groups, both overgr

IRAN: MKO Gravely Affected by Rigi's Arrest

TEHRAN (FNA)- The plots hatched by the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) for stationing troops alongside Iran's eastern borders were defused after Tehran arrested Abdolmalek Rigi, the most notorious terrorist ringleader at its eastern borders, an Iranian lawmaker said Saturday. "The MKO's members were hopeful that after expulsion of the group from Iraq, they could establish a joint den of corruption in the eastern Iran in coordination with (Abdolmalek) Rigi, but this plot fell flat with the capture of Rigi," Mohammad Reza Khabbaz told FNA. Last Tuesday, Iran announced that it has arrested Abdolmalek Rigi after intensive intelligence and security operations. Rigi on June 2 admitted receiving assistance from the MKO, but relations between the two anti-Iran terrorist groups had surfaced a long time ago when US started plans to coordinate anti-Islamic Republic moves. In August, the Jundollah terrorist group warned the Baghdad government th

RUSSIA: Simmering Stalinist Passions

February 26, 2010 By Roland Oliphant Russia Profile Plans to Put “Stalin Booths” On Moscow’s Streets Have Stirred Up A Perennial Quarrel, But May Not Be Realized On Wednesday, February 18 city hall announced that “information stands” about Stalin’s role in the Second World War would be on the streets of Moscow for the 65th anniversary of the 1945 victory. Liberals – and Boris Gryzlov of all people – responded with predictable outrage. The Memorial human rights group has said it will launch counter posters detailing Stalin’s crimes. Can Russia have a debate about Stalin – and should it? The city government’s Committee for Advertising, Information and Decorations broke the news on Wednesday. While trumpeting its time table for Victory Day posters (three waves of posters, building facades and “large-scale panels on military themes” will be unleashed on the city on April 1, 15 and 20 respectively, RIA Novosti dutifully reported), the committee’s press service also let slip that “informa

Chinese Foreign Policy: A Chronology April – June 2009

Defence Academy of the United Kingdom Chinese Foreign Policy: A Chronology April – June 2009 Catharine Melvin Click here to get the file

Pakistani Newspaper Attributes Mystical Powers to Diplomat pakistani-newspaper-attributes-mystical-powers-to-diplomat/ By ROBERT MACKEY Harish Tyagi/European Pressphoto Agency “ Take a good look at my face .” Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in New Delhi, India on Thursday. In advance of talks in New Delhi on Thursday between Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart, Salman Bashir — which touched on a number of sensitive issues — a Pakistani newspaper suggested that Mr. Bashir’s delegation included a secret weapon: a diplomat “who can read the faces of people and predict what they are actually thinking and feeling — an art known as physiognomy.” The News, a Pakistani broad sheet, reported on Wednesday that Afrasiab Hashmi, the director-general for South Asia in Pakistan’s foreign ministry, “is an expert in judging a person’s character or personality from that man’s facial characteristics and structure.” The News added: Ph

Robot to detect and decontaminate landmines Mrigank Tiwari, TNN, Feb 26, 2010, 11.02pm IST ALLAHABAD: For war ravaged third world countries like Afghanistan and Iraq battling with casualties and serious injuries to civilians on account of undetected landmines and for security personnel taking on the naxals in Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand, the news would certainly be a welcome one. The scientists from Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (IIIT-A) are on course to developing a robot which can detect landmines and decontaminate them easily. Moreover, what is heartening to note is that the prototype of the robot is already on the verge of completion which means that once tested successfully it would make way for the production of the said robot on a large-scale. The project entitled `Designing an Intelligent Robot for Explosive Detection and Decontamination' funded by MHRD, government of India, taken up by a student, Ashish Kum

Baloch Hal Closed: Malik Siraj writes Malik Siraj The Baloch Hal was the dream of a few young educated Balochs. They wanted to make a difference for their oppressed and repressed people. The online paper got extraordinary national and international attention. Launched by three young Baloch based in three different locations yet simultaneously coordinating to put the online paper together, the team approached anybody who was somebody to seek help to sustain this paper. The paper was the brainchild of a young Baloch daughter who had never visited Balochistan but was deeply in love with her motherland. Yet, we wanted to tell our people that change was not impossible if we worked with commitment. The Baloch Hal, without a penny in its accounts, did what government ministries with a budget of several million rupees could not do. We literally went to the homes of every Baloch and non-Baloch friends of Balochistan, including scholar, leader, bureaucrate, intellectual and

China, Iran and the United States

Expert Comment , 22 February 2010 Dr Kerry Brown , Senior Fellow, Chatham House The following article is from the forthcoming March 2010 issue of The World Today . Where does China stand on Iran and its nuclear plans? The two are tied together by huge energy deals. But Beijing is not best friends with Washington just now, so feels little pressure to help in its dispute with Tehran. Can it continue to stay on the diplomatic sidelines? The announcement in late January that Iran is China's third largest supplier of crude oil underlined for many the real heart of the relationship between these two countries. Despite all the warm words at the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation, established by China almost a decade ago to bring together central Asian states and Russia about their close political and diplomatic links - which Iran attends as an observer - energy supply is the one thing that consistently appears in assessmen