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Evidence of Trouble in India

August 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Evidence of Trouble in India

After ruthless and indiscriminate attacks on the security forces and police stations, it is would not be wrong to infer that the followers of the Mao’s movement are rapidly increasing. According to a recent study, Naxalite groups are busy extending their influence, with rough estimates about their strength suggesting a number running into tens of millions. Recent incidents such as attacks on police stations in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa, and the storming on the house of a Congress leader A.S. Gautam, in Dantewada, suggests that this revolutionary struggle is now getting out of hand.

Whilst the Indian security forces have increased their efforts to crack down on the revolutionaries, little if any attention has been giving to ascertaining the causes behind the rapid rise in the popularity of the movement. While India has always tried to shift all the blame concerning terrorism on Pakistan, it has conveniently ignored the factors which are helping spawn the menace within its own boundaries. The deprived and discriminated masses, which form about 40 to 50 percent of the population, are subject to poor governance and social injustice. A close analysis of the situation on the ground renders the old argument about infiltration from the Pakistani side, an old cliché; without any rhyme or reason.

The Indian region is a unique example in the world as the region that continues to be in a perpetual state of war. The cut-throat political vendetta between warlords (both local and outsiders), clashes of egos, simmering religious and sectarian tensions are compounded by the complex linguistic and literary developments, all of which have led to the proliferation of a suicidal culture during the last three millennia.

In hindsight, it is obvious that most of the efforts launched by Delhi to bring a lasting “peace” in India have proved to be unsuccessful. Despite the claims of a miracle economic growth and the world’s largest democracy, issues such as racial apartheid, expansionism and hegemonic muscle-flexing have not been addressed properly, which has led to poor relations with the neighbouring states as well.

Since its establishment, the caste system in India has persisted as a strong social and economic divide. Even during the Raj, it was only the Brahmans who were selected to fit into the British scheme of sharing power with the locals. Interestingly, prominent leaders such as Nehru and Gandhi too emerged from the higher castes, with lower castes often having little representation. Leaders belonging to the Dalit caste, the bottom rung of the ladder, such as the Indian constitutionalist Ambedkar were often overlooked
Dalits, who constitute approximately 20 percent of India’s one billion plus population, have often struggled against the caste hierarchy, a system which has sentenced them an the eternal yoke of serfdom. The continuation of such a discriminatory outlook has led to a vicious cycle among the caste systems due to the excessive feelings of discontent amongst “lower” classes. Thus, the concept of a unified nation still seems to be elusive as far as India is concerned.

Since philosophy of Communism relieves the society from any polarisation, it is considered by a growing number of people as the only panacea to overcome class differences. Mao’s political theory has not only gained popular support amongst the lower sections of Indian society, but has also alienated the privileged and dominant groups, as they are not ready to share their perks and privileges with the ‘have-nots’. Now the former group has turned to force, as a tool to fight for their betterment. It is thus no wonder that the Indian Prime Minister has come out and stated that India is facing its most grave threat from the Maoists, and this factor must be not be overlooked if we are to tackle the terrorism issue in the region.

The Nation

Iran and Pakistan sign gas export agreement

Iran and Pakistan formally signed yesterday an export deal which commits the Islamic republic to supplying its eastern neighbour with natural gas from 2014.

The contract is the latest step in completing a multi-billion dollar gas pipeline between Iran and Pakistan within the next four years.

“This is a happy day,” Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister Javad Ouji told reporters at the contract signing ceremony in Tehran. “After decades of negotiations, we are witnessing today the execution of the agreement… to export more than 21 million cubic metres of natural gas daily from 2014 to Pakistan,” he added.

He said that from today, Iran will start building the next 300-kilometre leg of the pipeline from the southeastern city of Iranshahr to the Pakistani border, through the Iranian port of Chabahar.

Iran has already constructed 907km of the pipeline between Asalooyeh, in southern Iran, and Iranshahr, which will carry natural gas from Iran’s giant South Pars field. Pakistan’s Deputy Energy Minister Kamran Lashari, who was present at the signing ceremony, said Islamabad will conduct a one-year feasibility study for building its section of the pipeline.

It will then “take three years for constructing the 700km pipeline” from the Iranian border to the Pakistani city of Nawabshah, he added. The pipeline was originally planned between Iran, Pakistan and India, but the latter pulled out of the project last year. Pakistan plans to use the gas for its power sector.

Pakistan starts Domestic Production of Fighter Avionics

Pakistan starts Domestic Production of Fighter Avionics

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan said it has commenced domestic production of avionics for the Sino-Pak JF-17 Thunder combat aircraft.

The announcement came May 28 at a ceremony attended by Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in Kamra, just outside Islamabad.

To date, the majority of avionics produced in Pakistan have been manufactured under license from foreign companies, most notably Selex Galileo radars for the Air Force’s Mirage III and F-7P Fishbed fighters. However, this looks set to change.

During the May 28 ceremony, the PAC’s chairman, Air Marshal Farhat Hussain Khan, outlined the JF-17 avionics, in which he stated, “four indigenously designed and developed avionics systems were also being produced,” and that the “production scope would be progressively broadened to include the production of a complete JF-17 avionics suite at the complex.”

Officials at PAC could not provide any details on the announcement, and Air Force officials declined to answer any queries.

It is believed, however, that at least two of the domestically designed and produced systems include a head-up display and a weapons and mission management computer.

Past indigenous avionics projects have included a radar homing system in the 1960s for the F-104 fighter jet; an IRST pod and modifications to the GEC 956 HUD (Head Up Display); and the HUDWAC (HUD Weapon Aiming Computer) for the F-7P in the 1990s.

Efforts to sustain avionics design in Pakistan have not succeeded.

Retired Air Commodore Kaiser Tufail said he believes the reason is because it has “not been a viable proposition so far.”

However, large-scale indigenous production of the JF-17 and potential export sales mean such a move is now more economically viable, he said.

Tufai said the Air Force has the potential to succeed because it has “a very large pool of highly qualified avionics engineers at the bachelor’s, master’s and even doctorate level, both serving and retired.”

If that potential does result in a focused effort, “the next decade may well see Pakistan establish itself as one of the leading Asia-Pacific producers of avionics hardware and software,” he said. Pakistan Begins Domestic Fighter Avionics Production, By USMAN ANSARI, Published: 4 Jun 2010 18:01