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Showing posts from October 2, 2011


B.RAMAN The following are my answers yo E-mailed questions on the above-mentioned subject received from a UK-based analyst: 1) In your view, what is Pakistan's goal in Afghanistan? Do they want their interests to be respected in any peace settlement or do they want their interests to be the settlement? What is the view of the Indian government, officially and unofficially? PAKISTAN'S GOAL IN AFGHANISTAN IS A GOVERNMENT WHICH WOULD NOT CREATE PROBLEMS FOR ISLAMABAD IN THE PASHTUN BELT, WHICH WOULD NOT TAKE SIDES WITH INDIA IN ANY INDO-PAKISTAN MILITARY CONFLICT, WOULD PROTECT PAKISTAN'S ECONOMIC LINKS WITH THE CENTRAL ASIAN REPUBLICS AND WOULD KEEP INDIA AT A DISTANCE.PAKISTAN REGARDS AFGHANISTAN AS WITHIN ITS SPHERE OF INFLUENCE AND WANTS A GOVERNMENT IN KABUL WOULD KEEP AFGHANISTAN THAT WAY. 2) In your view, what are India's strategic objectives in Afghanistan? How does it differ from its stated policy, if at all? INDIA'S STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES IN AFGHANISTAN

Musharraf hires US lobbyist for $25,000 a month

"A monthly payment in the amount of twenty thousand US dollars ($25,000.00) will be paid to Advantage (the lobbying firm) for a period of seven months beginning on September 1,2011 and ending on March 30, 2012. All monthly payments must be made on the first of each month. However, for the last two months and the first month, seventy five thousand US dollars ($75,000.00) will be paid upon the signing of this agreement," Daily News Report WASHINGTON, Oct 8: Former President Pervez Musharraf has hired a US lobbyist at 25,000 dollars per month, official US record on lobbyists reveals. According to the official documents of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), the firm would approach US officials, senators and congressmen to lobby for Gen Musharraf. The document registered as 6062 with the Justice Department, Gen Musharraf remains a political and public figure in Pakistan and throughout the world. The agreement was signed on Sept 1, 2011 and will be good until March 2

Pearls of Wisdom: US Economist On Indian Education

The silliest India commentary comes from Indians in the West. Usually. Exceptions apart. Indian education system has been a matter of interest for the last 10 years at least. (Cartoon by Stuart Carlson, 2005). The failure of the Indian education system must count as the Indian government’s greatest failure. Over 90 per cent of students drop out of school by the 12th grade; only 6 per cent go on to tertiary education, to cite just one dismal statistic. (via Swiping without reading – Indian Express ). Amusing Cut your nose, to spite your face. A product of Indian education system , at least partially, Atanu Dey lacks the grace to admit his debt. Even if he lacks the grace, he must be honest to admit his ignorance and /or expertise. Atanu Dey, by implication, is implying that other State education systems are better. For instanc

INDIA: Swiping without reading

New York Times Posted online: Sat Oct 08 2011, 01:42 hrs In the information technology sector, the two well-known categories of goods are hardware — the stuff you can hold in your hands — and software — the bits that have no weight. The third category is termed vapourware: hardware that exists only in the fevered imagination of their promoters, and which will never hit the stores. The government of India recently unveiled a tablet computer that they claim will revolutionise education. Perhaps vapour does not translate well into Hindi, and therefore they settled on the word for sky, or Aakash, for the tablet. Vapourware does not condense into hardware because it fails the pitiless test of the marketplace: that the product’s benefits exceed its costs. That constraint does not apply to the government-sponsored Aakash, because they can choose to ignore inconvenient costs through the simple expedient of spending other people’s money. The A

New phase in India-Afghan ties: Pakistan feeling uncomfortable

by Harsh V. Pant THE Af-Pak story takes another turn with the visit of the Afghan President, Mr Hamid Karzai, to Delhi earlier this week. In Afghanistan’s first strategic pact with any country, Kabul and New Delhi signed a landmark strategic partnership agreement during Mr Karzai’s visit. As part of the new pact, bilateral dialogue at the level of National Security Adviser has been institutionalised to focus on enhancing cooperation on security issues. New Delhi is hoping that Kabul will take the lead in defining the exact terms of this engagement. Along with this strategic pact, two other agreements on India-Afghan cooperation in developing hydrocarbons and mineral resources were signed further underlining India’s role in the evolution of Afghanistan as a viable economic unit. The two nations agreed to enhance political cooperation and institutionalise regular bilateral political and foreign office consultations. The strategic p

Indian Gold Reserves. Forgotten History! New Opportunity?

Quiet Progress For the last 20 years, World Gold Council has shown India’s annual gold consumption fluctuating from 400 tons to 800 tons. Estimated Indian gold reserves at 25,000-30,000 are double of the next largest country – the USA with 14,000 tons . India has 20% of the world population and also 20% of the world’s above-the-ground gold . Which is quite unlike China ! India and the World For much of the last 2000 years of recorded history, India has been the largest buyer of gold . Roman historian, Pliny, lamented some 1800 years ago, how India, the sink of precious metals , was draining Rome of gold – an appellation that resonates even today. In the Indian North West (modern Afghanistan), Greco-Bactrian coins were made (seemingly) from the “Roman gold coins, which poured into India.” To “manage” this drain of gold , Romans reduced the gold content in coins. Septimuis Severus, (193 AD-211) further d