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Showing posts from December 11, 2011


Mail Today(December 15) Kapil Sibal Pakistan is adept at playing the role of a victim at the hands of others. It will not recognize its own felonies and the injuries it causes to others, but will not tolerate any chastisement for its misdeeds. It has rarely been held accountable for its rogue actions and, as a result, the sense of quasi-immunity it has developed gives it the gumption to demand answers from others for their actions when it should be answerable for its own.The US-Pakistan squabble over the recent incident on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed by NATO fire illustrates this particular Pakistani syndrome. Pakistan has used terrorism as an instrument of state policy for almost two decades, killing thousands of innocent people directly or indirectly. It has harboured some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists on its soil. Osama bi Laden was sheltered in a military garrrison town not far from Islamabad. The former US National Sec

By Choosing Arms Over Diplomacy, America Errs in Asia

By STEPHEN GLAIN Washington Published: December 15, 2011 HAWKS on both sides of the Pacific greeted the Obama administration’s decision last month to fortify, rather than throttle back, America’s vast influence in East Asia as a defining moment in a looming confrontation between the United States and China. In the rush to militarize the world’s most important bilateral relationship, however, two questions have not been answered: Are the disputes that roil Asia more effectively resolved through armed might or diplomacy? If the answer is diplomacy, where is American statecraft when it is needed? With the economy in disarray, President Obama chose a costly instrument in deciding to expand the American military commitment in Asia by deploying a Marine contingent to Australia; the move will only help insulate the Pentagon from meaningful spending cuts and preserve the leading r

“India and Japan: Shaping the Indo-Pacific”

“India and Japan: Shaping the Indo-Pacific” 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm: 22 December, 2011 WWF Auditorium, 172-B, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi 110 003 As India and Japan prepare to hold their 6th consecutive Annual Summit at the end of this month, geo-economic imperatives and geo-political convergences continue to drive the Strategic and Global Partnership which the two countries established in 2006. Aspen Institute India invites you to a panel discussion on “India and Japan: Shaping the Indo-Pacific” to examine the economic, security and regional dimensions of this critical partnership between Asia’s largest and most developed democracies. The Speakers at the Panel include H.E. Mr. Akitaka Saiki, Ambassador of Japan to India;Prof. Akihiko Tanaka, Professor of International Politics at the University of Tokyo;Mr. Amitabh Kant, Managing Director & CEO, DMIC; and Mr. Makoto Suzuki, Managing Director Mitsui & Co. India Pvt Ltd . The session will be chaired by Ambassador H.K. Singh, former A

Time to side with India to cut off ISI: US Senator Mark Kirk

December 15, 2011 9:30 pm Washington: Contending that US relationship with Pakistan had reached a dead end, an American lawmaker has said there was a sense among Congressmen that time had come to “side” with India to “cut off the ISI”. Senator Mark Kirk said at a discussion forum by prestigious Washington-based think tank, Foreign Policy Initiative, that a US-India tie-up was ISI’s “horror story” but time had come for it to evolve. “You know, Yogi Bear said when you reach a fork in the road, take it. I think we hit the fork in the road in August and September between the United States and Pakistan. We saw a large truck bomb assembled, lit off next to a US base, 77 US casualties,” Kirk said. In recent times US’ ties with Pakistan have plunged to an all-time low following a series of incidents over the year, including the killing of two people by a CIA contractor, the Abbottabad raid, and finally the NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. “My sense of the Senat

Obama administration wants to sell drones to India

The writer has posted comments on this articleIANS | Dec 15, 2011, 07.46PM IST WASHINGTON: The Obama administration has been quietly pushing to sell armed drones to key allies, including India, but it has run into resistance from lawmakers concerned about the proliferation of technology and know-how, media reports said. The Pentagon wants more North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members to have such pilotless aircraft to ease the burden on the US in Afghanistan, and in future conflicts like the alliance's air campaign in Libya this year, the Wall Street Journal reported. India, which has been purchasing drones from Israel for quite some time now, could also be one of the potential buyers. India has been developing its drone capabilities too, but does not have armed drones like the Predators and Reapers used by US security agencies with devastating

'ISI chief Pasha visited Arab countries to discuss military coup in Pakistan'

The writer has posted comments on this articleANI | Dec 15, 2011, 09.56PM IST ISLAMABAD: Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who is at the centre of the Mullen memo-gate controversy, has now claimed that Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha had visited Arab countries for discussions on a possible coup by the army. Ijaz told The Independent newspaper of Britain that a US intelligence source had told him that "their information was that Pasha had traveled to a few of the Arab countries to talk about what would be necessary to do in the event they had to remove (Pakistani President Asif Ali) Zardari from power and so forth". Ijaz had earlier claimed that the S wing of the ISI was not under the control of Pakistan government and that the army uses it to influence the governments. He ha said that after the death of former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, many things went wrong in Pakistan that showed that there were some

Delhi HC to decide on EVMs

THURSDAY, 15 DECEMBER 2011 00:41 RAKESH RANJAN | NEW DELHI The Delhi High Court will on January 10 next take a call on whether the upcoming Assembly elections in five States will be conducted through the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) or e-ballot papers. Taking a note of the urgency involved in the matter given the Assembly polls in Uttarakhand, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Goa and Manipur early next year, the court allowed the plea of petitioner Subramanian Swamy for urgent disposal of the matter. Janata Party president Swami had alleged that voting through EVMs lacked transparency and either paper printouts should be incorporated in the EVMs or the Election Commission should return to the ballot paper system to avoid tampering at the time of polls. This assumes significance in wake of the controversy surrounding the use of EVMs in India amid allegations that they are not tamper-proof. The row over the

Eight Priorities for Giving New Impetus to Innovation in France "If current trends continue, within the next 10 to 20 years, the West (and specifically Europe) may forfeit its role as scientific and technological leader, losing out to Asia that will become the main base for innovation and R&D. For France, since 2003, the innovation deficit has translated into ongoing trade deficit amounting to 50 billion euros on average per year over the past four years. The market share of 'made in France' within OECD countries, which already dropped 50% between 1998 and 2004, is declining. Without sufficient innovation, the structural deficit of the trade balance will endure, impeding growth and employment and - in the end - the well being of our fellow citizens." These are the opening words describing the alarming situation of the French economy and France's innovation deficit in a book written by Think Tank Innovation of the Association des Centraliens. But the 211-page book

NATO dreams of civil war in Syria

THE ROVING EYE ASIA TIMES 15 December 2011 By Pepe Escobar Every grain of sand in the Syrian desert now knows there won't be a "responsibility to protect"-enabled North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) “humanitarian” intervention to provoke regime change in Damascus. A protracted war like in Libya is not feasible - even though those faultless democratic practitioners, the House of Saud, have offered to pay for it, lavishly. Yet the fog of near war remains impenetrable. What is NATO really up to in Syria? It was already established (see The shadow war in Syria Asia Times Online, December 2, 2011) that NATO had set up a command and control center in Turkey's southern Hatay province - where British commandos and French intelligence are training Dilbert the dodgy Free Syria Army (FSA). The target: to foment a civil war engulfing northern Syria. Now comes the confirmation, via the website of former United States Federal Bureau of Investigation whistleblow

Russia deserts its guns

Twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet union The Russians are currently spending enormous sums on re-equipping and modernising their armed forces, often through the purchase of foreign technology, as they have deliberately allowed their own military industrial complex to decay by Vicken Cheterian SOURCE: Russia’s victory in its lightning war against Georgia in August 2008 did not prevent it from starting to completely overhaul its military soon after. It was a wise decision, according to the military expert Alexander Golts: “It is unusual for a government to carry out reforms after winning a war. But even though various commands had been granted significant resources over 10 prosperous years, the 2008 crisis revealed that the Russian army was ageing, and incapable of handling modern weaponry. That is what drove the minister of defence, Anatoly Serdyukov, to announce the most radical reform in 150 years [since the Crimean war 1853-56].” The

Africa’s disputed trees

The Great Green Wall of Africa can either be a literal project, a 15km-wide west-east forest meant to keep the Sahara out, or a metaphor for the addition of trees to the African landscape wherever they’re needed by Mark Hertsgaard At first the women weren’t sure they could do it. Or should do it. Many in the village agreed. Digging holes, planting trees, being leaders, weren’t these men’s jobs? “Everyone said we were crazy,” said vivacious Nakho Fall. We were in Koutal, a village in western Senegal where goats and chickens amble across sandy lanes that separate households. She was sitting under a shade tree with other women and their children; at 11am it was already very hot. (A month later the summer rains and humidity would make that day’s weather seem sublime.) The men of Koutal could not plant trees, she explained, because they were busy. Some worked in the nearby salt factory, transported there by beat-up vans that did not return the


By B.Raman There have been four mass fatality attacks (with fatalities of more than 100 ) on Indian nationals or foreign nationals of Indian origin by terrorists enjoying sanctuaries in Pakistani territory. Three of these attacks carried out by jihadi terrorists were in Mumbai ( in March 1993,July 2006 and November 2008)and one involved the blowing-up of the Kanishka aircraft of Air India off the Irish coast in June 1985 by Khalistani terrorists. 2. The jihadi attacks in Mumbai were carried out by terrorists who came from sanctuaries and training camps of their organisations in Pakistani territory. Talwinder Singh Parmar of the Babbar Khalsa, who orchestrated the blowing-up of the Kanishka aircraft, came from Vancouver and took sanctuary in Pakistan after having the attack carried out. He was subsequently killed in August 1992 when he crossed over into Indian territory. 3.The two Indian masterminds of the March 1993 terrorist attack in Mumbai----Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon----

THE TURMOIL WITHIN: Pakistan’s future is causing concern all over the world

The Telegraph THE TELEGRAPH THE TURMOIL WITHIN - Pakistan’s future is causing concern all over the world Kanwal Sibal Pakistan’s future is raising concerns internationally. Can this nuclear-armed country step back from the brink by radically changing its internal and external outlook? Pakistan cannot break its Islamic links as it came into being because of Islam. But must it discard the relatively softer face of Islam that connects it to its Indian subcontinental roots and embrace more extremist Islamist ideologies? Externally, can it eliminate the debilitating anti-India toxin that has entered its political veins since its birth and, instead of permanently confronting India, explore cooperative bonds with it? Pakistan has been in turmoil since its creation. It has had several constitutions, its political system has remained weak and several bouts of military rule have altered it. Its political leaders have been assassinated, hanged, mysteriously eliminated, exiled or killed in t

What is Laissez-Faire?

The Daily Reckoning Presents Jeffrey Tucker The latest data show that book sales are way up this season. So much for the prediction that books will be killed by technology. On the contrary, technology has enabled the great literature of the ages and the present to be put in the hands of everyone. I can’t think of a better time to begin refurbishing Laissez-Faire Books (founded in 1972), because it is the market that laissez-faire celebrates that has made all the literature we love more accessible than ever. Addison Wiggin, president of Agora Financial, and I were discussing the various challenges ahead of us as we infuse new life into an old and venerable institution. He drew my attention to a point that I’ve overlooked. Most people don’t know the term “laissez-faire.” They don’t know how to say it (that very day, I was introduced for a speech, and the host mispronounced it) and they don’t know what it means. Once in common circulation, this term has not been in common use, even in

Iran and the Strait of Hormuz, Part 1

STRATFOR Editor's Note: Though this article was originally published in October 2009, the ongoing debate over Iran's capabilities and intentions gives lasting relevance to the analysis within. Media reports continue to focus on efforts to disrupt Tehran's efforts to construct nuclear weapons, but the international community has a much greater strategic interest in ensuring the flow of oil through the Iranian-controlled Strait of Hormuz. It has often been said that Iran’s “real nuclear option” is its ability to close — or at least try to close — the Strait of Hormuz, which facilitates the movement of 90 percent of the Persian Gulf’s oil exports (40 percent of the global seaborne oil trade) as well as all of the gulf’s liquefied natural gas exports. At a time when the world is crawling back from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, this is a serious threat and warrants close examination. Iran actually has a broad range of military options for lashing ou