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Showing posts from September 25, 2011

PAKISTAN: The All Party Conference (APC) and after

By Inayatullah | Published: October 1, 2011 The patriotic politicians met at the All Parties Conference (APC), held at the Prime Minister’s residence, to deal with the "American threats" to Pakistan. The proposal for the conference emanated from the GHQ. Kayani and two other key generals attended the meeting. It was preceded by a special consultation of the Corps Commanders, last Sunday. Marked absentees were PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, the Baloch leaders and Mumtaz Bhutto - (the latter two were not invited). (Asif Ali Zardari, the Baloch leaders and Mumtaz Ali Bhutto did not wanted to sit down with Taliban Supporters and be a part of a resolution against the United States to blackmail US and to back ISI for its complicity with Haqqani group). The draft resolution prepared by the ruling party was rejected. However, the revised resolution, which was approved unanimously, has much to do with the tough talk that came from Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan and

China’s people problem

Life expectancy JULY 2011, by Philippe Rekacewicz Although life expectancy at birth has risen fast as a national average, there is a considerable discrepancy in between the richest regions of China and the poorest, with as much as 10 years’ difference between Guizhou (central China) and Guangdong (on the coast). In Beijing, life expectancy is 78 years. Number of Boys per 100 Girls Total Population and Population Growth in India and China Median Age and Age Distribution across Populations( India, China, JApan)

The depopulation of the Russian Far East The map of population change in over the last 20 years is one off sharp contrasts. Apart from the Northern Caucasus, the regions that have seen growth are those with gas and oil (western Siberia) and those with a dynamic industrial base that is attracting labour (Saint Petersburg, Moscow, the Volga republics).

Asia: in the pipeline

MOSCOW AND BEIJING, ASIA’S ROARING ECONOMIES Russia has huge oil and gas reserves, from the Urals to Siberia. The dynamic economies of Asia want those energy supplies, preferably delivered as directly as possible by pipeline. The scramble to invest and construct new pipelines and rehabilitate old transit routes is now intense. by Rafael Kandiyoti RUSSIA’S economy relies on crude oil and natural gas exports. The formidable dynamism of the east Asian industrial giants promises an excellent market for Russia’s oil and gas export potential. But the contrast of this dynamism with the vast untouched emptiness of east-central Siberia makes the region seem vulnerable. Adjacent China has the men and now it has the means. The Russians are in a position of both strength and weakness. How will they move in north-east Asia? During the past decade China has joined Japan and South Korea as a major importer of crude oil. Almost 50% of China’s oil comes f

China’s war potential a threat to India: Lt Gen (Retd) Sinha

R Dutta Choudhury GUWAHATI, Sept 30 – China’s growing war potential poses a threat to the security of India and the possibility of United Liberation Front of Asom, (ULFA) commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah receiving help from that country cannot be ruled out, said former Governor of Assam and Jammu and Kashmir, Lt Gen (Reid) SK Sinha. Sinha also said that India must take adequate steps like some western countries did to deal with the threat of Islamic militancy. Following are excerpts from an interview with The Assam Tribune : Assam Tribune: How do you rate the security scenario of Assam and other parts of North East at present? SK Sinha: The security sit-uation in the North East today is much better than in the past although the China factor looms large and is a matter of grave concern. China’s grow-ing war potential poses a threat. No matter how friend-ly a neighbour may be, we must always be prepared to counter its potential threat. Policy changes can take place in a short time fr

Pak making error by supporting terror groups against India: US

PTI | Oct 1, 2011, 10.43AM IST WASHINGTON: Stating that Pakistan has used terror groups in Kashmir against India, the US has cautioned Islamabad that it is making "a serious, grievous, strategic error" by supporting these outfits. Pakistan believes that it can keep a "wild animal in the backyard" and it will only go after its neighbour, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. But, there are too many stories where that doesn't turn out like that, she said. "We are pressing and pushing on every lever that we have in the relationship, and we have to be effective in trying to achieve our strategic goal, which is to prevent any attacks against us emanating from Pakistan, as well as to try to help stabilise Pakistan against this internal threat, and to create the best possible circumstances for Afghanistan to be able to have control over its own future," Clinton said. "Those are all extremely difficult and we are learning it, each piece of

Indian Privacy Law: Sensitive Personal Information

Posted September 30, 2011 by Bierce & Kenerson, P.C. · Print This Post In May 2011, the Indian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology issued a press release clarifying the rules framed under Section 43A of the Information Technology Act, 2000. This clarification is important for companies that handle sensitive personal information in India. For more, click here. Section 43A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, deals with disclosures by Indian governmental bodies (a “body corporate”) of sensitive personal information to other Indian governmental bodies. Under rules adopted under such law, each Indian “body corporate” must adopt and provide a policy for privacy and disclosure of information. The “clarification” notes that “Any such disclosure of sensitive personal data or information by body corporate to any third party shall require prior permission of the provide

Finance for democracy in North Africa

Privatising the Arab Spring The US and Europe won’t pay. Other Arab countries won’t pay. So Tunisia and Egypt hope to improve their national futures through public-private finance deals, which are hard to set up and even harder to run by Akram Belkaïd Tunisia and Egypt face economic challenges besides the difficulty of achieving political stability. The collapse of the previous systems of sinecure will release individual energies and initiatives, but these will go nowhere unless the new administrations find the financial resources to make up for lost time and achieve more egalitarian development. According to the first estimates from the Tunisian Central Bank and the Egyptian economics ministry, the countries will need between $20bn and $30bn over the next five years to improve their standards of living and open up regions through investment in transport, energy and technological infrastructure. Conscious of how high the stakes are, promi

How Syria works

The military are the executive arm of the security services A senior Sunni army officer explains how Bashar al-Assad uses the Alawite minority in Syria to control his authoritarian regime. He has few hopes that the demonstrations will succeed in bringing change by Zénobie “The Syrian army is the army of the Syrian security services”, said Muhammad (1), a senior Sunni Muslim army officer. To understand how this happened, you have to go back to the 1960s, when the current political structure was created during four coups. The Alawite minority came to political power and the army dominated the Ba’ath Party. When Hafez al-Assad (father of Bashar) seized power in 1970 in the last coup, he finalised this authoritarian system, tightly weaving Syrian society around the army, the security services, the party and the administration. The regime also used family, clan, regional and sectarian loyalties to form a clientele, who were rewarded with civil servi

QUOTE OF THE DAY: U.S. playbook on Pakistan

"In the long run, the U.S. playbook on Pakistan should grow to resemble that of India’s. The way to neuter an enemy is to carve them up into multiple states — such was Germany’s treatment by the allies after World War II, as well as the Soviet Union’s fate after its fall. India has already cut Pakistan in half, dividing it between modern Pakistan and Bangladesh. It seeks to do so again, exploiting the ethnic fault lines in Pakistani society to carve it up even further. With its parting shots in Afghanistan, the U.S. should use its military might to aid in this strategy. In its least extreme form, this strategy might merely ensure that Baloch-dominated provinces within Afghanistan retain a high degree of autonomy from the Afghan federal government. In its most extreme form, the U.S. could funnel arms to Baloch nationalists in southern Pakistan or take direct action in support of a free Balochistan. Where the U.S. should fall on this spectrum of policy choices is open to debate — w

Opinion: Turning to the Haqqanis, Pakistan has made its choice

The ISI’s ties to an insurgent network undermine any hope of real cooperation with the US By Keith Yost STAFF COLUMNIST September 30, 2011 A pitfall of writing for this newspaper as frequently as I do is that sometimes a major event comes along and I find that I’ve already said most of what I wish to say. Such is the case with Admiral Michael G. Mullen’s recent admonishment of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence for its ties to the Haqqani insurgent network. It’s difficult for me to add more than what I’ve already written in “While Karachi Slowly Burns” (Sept. 10, 2010), or “Mission Accomplished” (May 6, 2011). Pakistan is a state with a major security problem — India — and two mutually-exclusive strategies to deal with that problem: a stable security partnership with the United States, or an increasing reliance on jihadi proxies. The former is a realistic path, as Pakistan and the United States have considerable mutual interests, while the latter is a monumental blunder,

America loses patience with Pakistan

Relations between the US and Pakistan have reached a breaking point. By Shashank Joshi 8:34PM BST 29 Sep 2011284 Comments Pakistan’s deposed military dictator, Pervez Musharraf, told The Daily Telegraph yesterday that “the United States must accept the compulsions of Pakistan” in using terrorist groups as instruments of foreign policy. For a decade, the US did just that, even in the face of mounting evidence that Pakistan was responsible for derailing the war in Afghanistan and killing allied forces. But America’s top military officer has now taken the gloves off. Admiral Mike Mullen, regarded as one of the most pro-Pakistan officials in the US government, has informed the Senate that the Haqqani network – a Taliban-linked insurgent group – is a “veritable arm” of the ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence service. “With ISI support,” said Mullen, the Haqqanis had bombed the US embassy

Baloch nationalists boycotted Pakistan sponsored All Parties Conference (APC)

Balochistan boycott the All Party Conference (APC). Friday, September 30, 2011 QUETTA: All major Baloch nationalist parties including Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal) and the National Party (NP) on Thursday boycotted the All Parties Conference (APC) convened by Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani on Pak-US relations. “How can we attend the APC when Baloch people are facing the wrath of the government,” he said, adding that on the one hand the rulers had launched the military operation and on the other hand they were inviting “us to sit with those elements involved in the excesses against Baloch people”. Said Akhtar Mengal, the top Baloch Nationalist leader from exile in Dubai. The leadership of these both parties believes that the government should have convened the APC on the Balochistan issue where target killings, sectarian violence and kidnappings for ransom have become a routine matter. They say the rulers are oblivious to the gravity of the situation in the province

PAKISTAN-US : You scratch my back, I stab yours

Friday, 30 September 2011 23:49 Mike Honda To Indians, it’s no rocket science that Pakistan is a byword for treachery. Earlier this week we watched with passing interest the highest US military official, Admiral Mike Mullen, throw his hands up when it became clear that the limits had been crossed. A lot of huff and puff later, America went back to business — and we produce this article by a Congressman which encapsulates how willingly the US is returning to the snake pit With the United States accusing Pakistan of using insurgent groups to fight proxy wars, issuing a recent ultimatum demanding that Islamabad sever ties immediately, it is clear that Washington’s patience is nearing its end. The United States, meanwhile, is reducing aid packages, increasing drone strikes in the tribal areas and moving American troops in Afghanistan eastward to the mountainous border with Pakistan. In sum, Was

Pakistan Student Association in US/Canada: Clear and present Danger

The video is produced by the Pakistan Student Association. It has several chapters in North America also (list below). I urge the authorities to investiage if U.S./Canada based PSA students Pakistani students are somehow linked to this video, and if they are, appropriate actions initiated to ensure their deportation immediately. They represent a clear and present danger to Americans. The PSA North America must unequivocally break their relationship with Pakistan based PSA, if not shut down entirely. I shouldn't be subjected to seeing Pentagon as a possible target from a U.S. origin/linked video. These videos nuture jehadi mindset similar to Pakistani-Americans Shazad and Shamin Khan killed yesterday in Yemen. Pakistan students show anger at America indiarealtime/2011/09/29/ pakistan-students-show-anger- at-u-s/ This Pakistan Student Association advert, aired on Pakistan television, shows the level of anger among some in the country at U.S. claims that it