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Showing posts from July 4, 2010

THE SHADOWS IN J & K

B.RAMAN In his message of February 12, 2007, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the No.2 to Osama bin Laden, has spoken of a global Jihadi Intifada. Has he spoken of any special areas of focus for this Intifada? Whenever he talks of a global jihad or now of a global Jihadi Intifada, Zawahiri makes it clear that this has to cover all lands in the world, which rightfully belong to Islam. After saying so, he specifies certain areas, which he thinks should receive special attention first. Of these, he gives the topmost priority to Afghanistan and Iraq. He says the future of Islam and of the global Intifada itself will be decided in those countries. If they can defeat the Americans there, the jihadis' victory in the rest of the lands will be assured. After mentioning these two countries, he mentions certain other areas specifically. He believes that the victory of the jihadis in these areas would also be crucial for the ultimate victory of Islam. These areas are Palestine, including Gaza, the Leban

AL QAEDA & TERRORIST STRIKES IN INDIA

B.RAMAN “The Hindu” of July 7,2010, has carried an article by its terrorism analyst Praveen Swami titled “Pakistan’s Competing Jihadists.” The article refers to a message purported to have been issued before his death (confirmed by Al Qaeda) in a US Drone strike in May last by Sai’d al-Masri (al-Masri means the Egyptian) also known as Mustafa Abu al-Yazid. He was reputedly the No.3 in Al Qaeda and was in charge of operations in Afghanistan. 2.According to Shri Swami, an English translation of this message was made available to him “by the Washington DC based Middle East Media Research Institute”. This Institute is popularly known as MEMRI. It is alleged to have close links with the Israeli Military Intelligence and the Likud Party. 3. Wikipedia comments as follows on MEMRI: “The Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI for short, is a Middle Eastern press monitoring organization. Its headquarters is located in Washington, DC, with branch offices in Jerusalem, Berlin, London,

Jolt to Aryan-Dravidian divide theory

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/77496/jolt-aryan-dravidian-divide-theory.html M R Venkatesh, Coimbatore, June 25, DH News Service: The intelligentsia and even the politicians were in for shock at the World Classical Tamil Conference here on Friday, when a Finland-based Indologist turned the spotlight on a Dravidian-Aryan continuum while demolishing the Aryan-Dravidian divide as a myth. In a landmark presentation that was a complete turnaround from singing paeans to the 86-year-old Dravidian patriarch M Karunanidhi and Tamil culture’s glory, renowned Indologist, Prof Asko Parpola, presenting the conclusions of his three decades-long research on ‘A Dravidian Solution to the Indus Script Problem’, told a stunned gathering that “an opening to the secrets of the Indus Script (which is yet to be deciphered) has been achieved”. Older forms of Tamil, Kannada and other ‘Dravidian languages’ in his firm opinion hold the key to take forward this finding that the underlying language

SINGAPORE AND AL QAEDA

B.RAMAN While the main wing of Al Qaeda based in Pakistan’s tribal areas continues to draw its recruits, volunteers and supporters from the Arabic-speaking residents of West Asia and North Africa, with little command of the English language, its branch based in Yemen known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has been drawing its adherents not only from the Arabic-speaking population of the region, but also from the community of Muslims in the English-speaking world who feel more comfortable with English than with Arabic. 2. its recently started English web journal called “Inspire” is directed to the Muslims of the English-speaking world. It will serve the dual purpose of acting as the propaganda journal of AQAP and on line training facility for enabling self-radicalised jihadis in the English-speaking world to acquire expertise in the use of weapons and explosives and techniques of waging a jihad without having to visit the training camps of AQAP in Yemen. 3. T

The Pakistani surge: The way forward for counter-insurgency in Pakistan

Friday, 2 July 2010 This paper examines the recent progress in, and challenges to, Pakistan’s counter-insurgency strategy and advances four main recommendations on how to make international support to Pakistan effective and worthwhile. The author of this Special Report is Mr Haider Mullick, a Fellow at the US Joint Special Operations University. Download PDF

An Azeri-Turkish deal on gas - a partnership renewed ?

Agata LOSKOT- STRACHOTA Edito Energie, juin 2010 http://www.ifri.org/?page=detail-contribution&id=6127 The package of the Azeri-Turkish gas agreements signed in Istanbul on 7 June in the presence of President Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister Recep Erdogan certainly makes cooperation easier in a sector which both parties consider to be strategic. It does not, however, specify all details of the sale and transit of gas (see e.g. EurasiaNet, 7 June). The documents above all have important political significance. The resumption of gas negotiations and the ability to reach a compromise on gas cooperation to the satisfaction of both Azerbaijan and Turkey serve as proof of a warming of relations between the two countries. Good, bilateral relations will make it easier for both Azerbaijan and Turkey to implement their regional political interests (in the south Caucasus and also, as an example, in dealings with Russia) and bring them tangible economic benefits. The further specification of

US, Russia vie to sell choppers to IAF

Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service http://www.tribuneindia.com/ 2010/20100705/main5.htm New Delhi, July 4 Another “fight” is set to begin in the Indian defence sector in the next couple of weeks. On one side is India’s long standing defence partner Russia and on the other is its new-found strategic friend the USA, which is vying to further chip away at the largely Russian hold over the sector. Within next three weeks, the Indian Air Force will commence field trials to select a heavy lift helicopter for its operations. The trials will be conducted in hot conditions of deserts and on Himalayan heights. US company Boeing with its “Chinook”, which operates for NATO forces in Afghanistan, will compete with Russian Mi-26 for the deal. The IAF is looking to replace the ageing lot of the previous generation Mi-26 inducted in the mid 1980’s. Russia’s Rosoboronexport, the makers of the chopper, have offered the latest version. A heavy lift chopper is of immense strategic value as it can lift

Thinking Ethically:A Framework for Moral Decision Making

This article appeared originally in Issues in Ethics V7 N1 (Winter 1996) Developed by Manuel Velasquez, Claire Andre, Thomas Shanks, S.J., and Michael J. Meye r Moral issues greet us each morning in the newspaper, confront us in the memos on our desks, nag us from our children's soccer fields, and bid us good night on the evening news. We are bombarded daily with questions about the justice of our foreign policy, the morality of medical technologies that can prolong our lives, the rights of the homeless, the fairness of our children's teachers to the diverse students in their classrooms. Dealing with these moral issues is often perplexing. How, exactly, should we think through an ethical issue? What questions should we ask? What factors should we consider? The first step in analyzing moral issues is obvious but not always easy: Get the facts. Some moral issues create controversies simply because we do not bother to check the facts. This first step, although obvious, is also a

Reading in a Whole New Way: From print to pixel

Books were good at developing a contemplative mind. Screens encourage more utilitarian thinking. A new idea or unfamiliar fact will provoke a reflex to do something: to research the term, to query your screen “friends” for their opinions, to find alternative views, to create a bookmark, to interact with or tweet the thing rather than simply contemplate it. Book reading strengthened our analytical skills, encouraging us to pursue an observation all the way down to the footnote. Screen reading encourages rapid pattern-making, associating this idea with another, equipping us to deal with the thousands of new thoughts expressed every day. The screen rewards, and nurtures, thinking in real time. We review a movie while we watch it, we come up with an obscure fact in the middle of an argument, we read the owner’s manual of a gadget we spy in a store before we p urchase it rather than after we get home and discover that it can’t do what we need it to do. Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag

Editorial: Unreasonable Obstruction To A US Consulate In Balochistan

http://thebalochhal.com/2010/ 07/editorial-unreasonable- obstruction-to-a-us-consulate- in-balochistan/ If the United States of America, the leader of the international battle against global terrorism and a strategic partner of Pakistan, can have consulates in three provinces –Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pashtunkhawa –then what is wrong with establishing a consulate in secular Balochistan? Who are holding the strings of power in the province to resent a decision announced earlier this year by the US government about the establishment of a consulate in the country’s largest province? Maulana Abdul Wasay, the parliamentary leader of pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-Fazal) who is also the senior provincial minister in the Balochistan government, has flabbergasted everyone with a public announcement that the government of Balochistan had refused to allot a piece of land to the US and UK governments to set up their consulates in Balochistan. Many people are still in a dilemma whether

Why Hafiz Saeed is raking up the Indo-Pak Water Issue?

By Divya Kumar Soti Recent indications from Pakistan suggest some intriguing inferences about Hafiz Saeed’s political motives. In a rally organized by Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) last month in Lahore- which was attended by representatives of all major political parties- Hafiz Saeed alleged that India is diverting water from major rivers flowing into Pakistan and the Indian conspiracy is to turn Pakistan barren. Jamat ud Dawa activists attending the rally were sporting the posters with messages like ‘Water flows or blood’. Hafiz Saeed called for Jehad against India. In the whole drama, two themes are notable. Hafiz Saeed has chosen an issue that is very sensitive politically in Pakistan and has for decades created tensions between Sindh and Punjab. Alleged biased distribution of water has led various movements in Sindh in past against what is termed as Punjabi oppression by political parties based in Sindh. So, propagating a conspiracy theory around Pakistan’s chronic water shortage solves v

The Tigress burning bright

http://www.monocle.com/monocolumn/2010/07/04/2112/ July 4, 2010 — Budapest Writer: Adam LeBor They call her the Tatra Tigress, the fiery sociologist with flowing blonde hair who is set to take office as Slovakia’s first female prime minister on 8 July. Dr Iveta Radicova is the leader of the SDKU, the largest of the four centre-right parties that won 79 out of 150 seats in the June elections, toppling the left-wing populist, Robert Fico. The sighs of relief could be heard from Washington to Brussels when Ivan Gasparovic, the president of Slovakia, asked Dr Radicova to create a coalition government. Slovakia’s friends and allies hope that her coalition government will mark the start of a new era, turning away from the old-style authoritarian, nationalistic politics and towards a forward-looking modernity – with a decidedly feminine touch. Dr Radicova, 53, is a widow, and her late husband, Stano Radic, was one of Slovakia’s best-known comedians and intellectuals. She models herself