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Showing posts from June 24, 2012

Tragedy after the tragedy

Hindustan Times June 29, 2012 First Published: 22:37 IST(29/6/2012) Last Updated: 22:45 IST(29/6/2012)   The Bhopal gas tragedy case is still meandering on, far from any sort of closure. A court in the US on Friday ruled that neither Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), which owned Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) during the mishap, nor its former chairman, Warren Anderson, was liable for  pollution-related claims by those living around the ill-fated plant. It ruled that the responsibility of cleaning up the area lies with the Madhya Pradesh government. In 1989, UCC paid $470m compensation to the survivors through the Union government, and Dow Chemicals, which bought UCC in 1999, insists that the 1989 settlement resolved all claims against the company. At present, no compensation case relating to the disaster is pending in the Indian courts. Official estimates say that 40 tonnes of met

India Says Pakistan Involved in 2008 Mumbai Attacks

Posted Friday, June 29th, 2012 at 1:30 pm   India has again said that the 2008 Mumbai attacks could not have been carried out without "state support," accusing longtime rival Pakistan of helping to coordinate the siege on India's financial hub.   Indian authorities arrested Indian-born Sayed Zabiuddin, who goes by Abu Hamza and Abu Jindal, on June 21 on suspicion of helping plan the attacks that killed 166 people in Mumbai. Zabiuddin is reportedly a member of the Pakistan-based militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is blamed for the attacks.   Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters in New Delhi Friday that during his interrogation, Zabiuddin confessed that he trained the attackers from a "control room" in Pakistan.   Chidambaram said he thinks "such a control room could not have been established without some kind of state support." He also said Indian authorities believe the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hafiz Saeed, was present in the room

Hand over ‘state actors’ involved in Mumbai attacks, says Chidambaram

Sandeep Joshi   Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram along with Home Secretary R. K. Singh addressing the media on the Ministry's report card for June, in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: V. Sudershan   Pakistan provided "safe haven" to Zabiuddin Ansari   Even as Indian investigators continue to grill Syed Zabiuddin Ansari to join missing pieces of the 26/11 conspiracy, Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday asked Pakistan to cooperate and hand over "state actors" and other terrorists involved in the Mumbai terror attack case.   "The terrorists who planned and carried out attacks in Mumbai were trained in several places [in Pakistan], infrastructure was provided to them [to carry out attacks], a control room was set up…the logical inference we have to make is that all this could not have happened without state support. Pakistan should admit this," Mr. Chidambaram told journalists here. "Safe haven" Pointing out that Pakistan provided a "s


B.RAMAN The investigation into the Malegaon blast of 2008 is getting murkier and murkier. 2. From the available reports of the investigation made so far, two things are clear. Firstly, the blast was not carried out by any jihadi organisation. It was carried out by some Hindus who wanted to teach a lesson to the Muslim community for the involvement of some Muslims in acts of terrorism in different parts of India. Secondly, the suspected Hindus belonged to a Hindu organisation called Abhinav Bharat. 3.One aspect that  has remained unclear and is becoming murkier and murkier is the role of Lt.Col.PrasadPurohit, described in sections of the media as a serving officer of the Military Intelligence.It is not clear whether he  was serving at the time of his arrest in the Directorate-General of Military Intelligence (DGMI), which comes under the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) or in the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), which comes under the chief of the Integrated Defence Staff. 4.Lt.Col.P


B.RAMAN The State-controlled Xinhua news agency of China has disseminated the following report at 2-30 PM Indian Standard Time on June 29,2012: "Flight GS7554, which took off at 12:25 from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region's Hotan Airport to Urumqi, was hijacked ten minutes after its departure, according to news from the public security department of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.Six scoundrels were controlled by flight crew and passengers.During the fight with scoundrels, some passengers and flight crew received minor injuries. The plane returned to Hotan Airport immediately after the hijack. The case is under investigation." 2.TheAgence France Presse (AFP) has quoted a spokesperson of the Xinjiang Government as alleging that the six persons who made the unsuccessful hijack attempt were Uighurs. She added: "For the moment, we don't know the purpose of the hijack. It's still under investigation. At least seven crew members and passengers were injured in t

BMW crash case: Supporters plan another candlelight vigil on July 7

Aditya Dev, TNN | Jun 29, 2012, 02.32AM IST   GURGAON: Seeking justice for BMW accident victim Kshama Chopra Shetye, the Facebook group — Justice for Kshama and Shailesh Shetye — has planned another candlelight vigil on July 7. Earlier, the same group had organized candlelight vigils in Gurgaon on May 17 and in Goa on May 19.  Through a recent Facebook post, the group has sought answers on several "unanswered" aspects into the case — status of investigation, result of the DNA test and what authorities are doing about the driver not submitting his driving licence.  The post states, "It's over 50 days now and we have before us several unanswered questions... We are also looking to connect with victims of similar cases who continue to fight for justice. We hope this (vigil) will help us achieve the two causes — justice for the victims and greater awareness and stronger laws which will act as deterrents against rash driving."  The group further stated, "W

QUOTE OF THE DAY: -- Robert D. Kaplan

 The media love people stories; they love to humanize everything about a foreign country. Therefore, you have the obsession with individual Chinese dissidents to the exclusion of other critical developments in China... The media deal with drama -- sudden developments, not with gradual transitions such as China's acquisition of a formidable navy and civilian maritime force. We become preoccupied with the minutiae of every twist and turn in Egypt, Syria and Libya, even as we become blind to a larger and equally profound development elsewhere.  -- Robert D. Kaplan

India's F-INSAS update: Survivability

Contributor:  Defence IQ Press Posted:  06/26/2012  12:00:00 AM EDT  |  0      As we await the outcome of the first phase of India's Futuristic Soldier As a System (F-INSAS) programme, in the first of a series of articles Defence IQ casts an eye over the new features set to revolutionize Indian infantry. First up: Survivability. This is the 'don't be penetrated' layer of the survivability onion. Other areas of the F-INSAS programme incorporate the 'don't be targeted' and 'don't be hit' sections, but when these two barriers are broken down the survivability aspect of a soldier's kit becomes his first line of defence. As with all survivability solutions, be they for man-worn equipment or military vehicles, the challenge in ensuring the maximum level of protection is achieved without compromising on weight and cost. Perhaps this trade-off is no more apparent than for the 'body armour and individual equipment' component of India'

Insurgency and the Protracted War

June 28, 2012 | 0901 GMT     Stratfor By Scott Stewart In recent weeks, insurgent forces in several countries have been forced to withdraw from territories they once held. Somalia's al Shabaab, which was pushed out of Mogadishu in October 2011, was ejected from Afmadow on May 30. The group now runs the risk of losing its hold once again on the port city of Kismayo, an important logistical and financial hub for al Shabaab.  In Syria, the Free Syrian Army and other rebel groups were forced out of the city of Idlib and Homs' Baba Amr district in March. They also withdrew from Al-Haffah on June 13.    Meanwhile in Yemen, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has been forced to retreat from towns it took control of last year in southern Abyan province, including Jaar, Shaqra and Zinjibar. The organization controlled the area it seized from the government through its Ansar al-Sharia front organization. AQAP was able to capitalize on the infighting that began in Yemen in 20

Pakistan Crisis Could Benefit Obama Administration: A Coup in Slow-Mo?

by Ramtanu Maitra   June 23—For a country all too familiar with military takeovers under one pretext or another, it was enough to set alarm bells ringing: Television anchorman Farrukh Pitafi reflected the exasperation of many when he tweeted: "Bhai, takeover kar lo" ("You might as well take over"). On June 19, an already stumbling Pakistan was thrown into another crisis when its home-grown missile, the Supreme Court, evidently in alliance with the once-all-powerful military, struck Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. The Court demanded and obtained his immediate dismissal on a contempt of court charge. After a couple of days of horse-trading by the diverse and highly confused political forces that constitute the government, Pakistan's National Assembly elected former Water and Power Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf as the new Prime Minister on June 22. As of today, the new Cabinet has yet to be announced. The latest crisis centers around the charge of contempt of

Carnegie announces new South Asia scholars

    WASHINGTON—Carnegie Endowment for International Peace today announced the hiring of three leading South Asia experts: Frederic Grare, Sarah Chayes, and Milan Vaishnav. This marks a major expansion of Carnegie's already significant research on India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and supports the planned opening of a Carnegie center in New Delhi. Founded in 1910, Carnegie is America's oldest international affairs think tank. Carnegie is in the process of building the world's first truly global think tank with research centers in Washington, Moscow, Beijing, Beirut, and Brussels.  Making the announcement, Carnegie Endowment President Jessica Mathews said:  "South Asia—with its vast population and growing economic clout—is poised to play a major role on the world stage throughout the decades to come. After careful study and reflection, Carnegie is enormously excited to be opening a center in New Delhi in the near future that will deliver ground-level insights from t


BY DR. A. ADITYANJEE The third India-US strategic dialogue finished this month in Washington, DC generating a multi-dimensional array of bilateral cooperation agreements, favorable atmospherics and genuine mutual understanding. Described in the heady days of of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, as the natural allies, the relationship has had its checkered course. The optics of bilateral relationship have never been so good! Historically, India's episodic romance with the USA started even before it got her truncated independence from the British imperialism in 1947. Indian freedom fighters started the Gadhar movement based in the USA during colonial times. The members of India's constituent assembly did incorporate some features of the US constitution while framing the Indian constitution while adopting a quasi-federal set-up. Despite adopting a Westminster style of parliamentary democracy, the framers of Indian constitution, opted for an indirectly elected President


B.RAMAN The Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), which had refrained from any major terrorist attack in India , including Jammu & Kashmir, after the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai, has been let loose again by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the post-26/11 curbs on its ground operations have been removed. 2. These curbs were imposed under international pressure after a number of foreign nationals, including US and Israeli citizens, were killed by it during its strikes in Mumbai. Following their deaths, the relatives of the Americans and Israelis killed had initiated legal action against the ISI and the LET in US courts for their role in the murder of their relatives. It is this legal action that led to the US announcement of a huge reward for evidence that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of Hazfiz Mohammad Sayeed, the Amir of the LET. 3. These curbs and the legal action initiated in US courts hadled  to the LET suspending its operations outside the Pakistani territory. I

What to do about Pakistan? - Christine Fair. Make Pak part of IOC.

Christine, think again. There is a remarkable opportunity. Form an Indian Ocean Community - a United States of Indian Ocean. That will fix the Pakistan problem created by USA creating a Paki ally, thanks to communism phobia, turning a Nelson's eye to the vivisection of India by a colonial regime -- yes, the same coloniser that colonised USA. Read Will Durant on the impoverishment of India. Read also   Kalyanaraman ____________________________________________________________________ What to Do About Pakistan With an "ally" in a state of perpetual dysfunction, it's time for Washington to reconsider its options: containment or benign neglect. By C Christine Fair, Foreign Policy, June 21, 2012 The last year and a half has been a rocky road for U.S.-Pakistan relations -- and once again, domestic and foreign policy developments seem ever more perilous. The year 2011 opened with the cold-blooded assassination of the go