Posts Tagged ‘India’

Euphimisms: Obama asks for ‘Kashmir’ resolution without using ‘K’ word

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Euphimisms: Obama asks for ‘Kashmir’ resolution without using ‘K’ word

Marking the three regions of the Indian state ...Image via Wikipedia

We know that Richard Holbrooke was prohibited from using th “K” word. It seems Obama is also not allowed to mention Kashmir publicly. He did however mention it. Everyone who understand the language of politics knew what Obama was alluding to when he talked about “more controversial issues”. White House officials have already dropped hints that Kashmir will be discussed in private.

MUMBAI – President Barack Obama called on India on Sunday to bolster peace efforts with Pakistan, a country that he said was not acting quickly enough to deal with militancy within its borders.

Obama faces a diplomatic tightrope in fostering ties with India as its economic and geopolitical importance grows while at the same time helping Pakistan with billions of dollars in aid and promoting wider peace in Afghanistan.

“My hope is that over time, trust develops between the two countries, that dialogue begins, perhaps on less controversial issues, building up to more controversial issues,” Obama told a meeting of students at a college in Mumbai.

“There are more Pakistanis who’ve been killed by terrorists inside Pakistan than probably anywhere else,” Obama said. (Reuters)

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It is disgusting that President Obama has to go to such lengths to hide his discussions with the Bharati government. Kashmir is disputed territory per several UN resolutions and the US recognizes the dispute. President Obama has let down millions of Kashmiris and Sikhs during this trip by not addressing them while in the land of the Call Centers.

Another Man Caught With Uranium in India, This Time in Purulia

October 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Another Man Caught With Uranium in India, This Time in Purulia

Man caught with uranium in Purulia


PURULIA: A criminal with alleged links to gangs across the country and even Afghanistan was nabbed in Purulia with nearly 1 kg of uranium on Sunday. The market value of the radioactive element is said to be about $7 million.

When police raided Ishtaq Ahmed’s house at Dubra village in the Maoist-dominated Para area after a tip-off, they found a box with ‘URM, Made in USA’ stamped on it. An automatic revolver, a pipegun and 21 rounds of ammunition were also discovered during the search. Ahmed was arrested and a case filed at Para police station mentioning uranium seizure.

Police haven’t opened the sealed box as the substance inside could be dangerously radioactive. It is being sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory for tests.

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Half of Indian air force equipment obsolete: official

October 5, 2010 1 comment

Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, addresses the media at Gandhinagar, India, April 7. — Photo by AP

NEW DELHI: Half of the weapons and equipment used by the Indian Air Force are obsolete and need urgent replacement, a top Indian defence official has said.

Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, pointing to investment by the government in defence, said half of the existing fighter jets, radars, transport aircraft and air defence weapons will be upgraded by 2014-15.

The country is reportedly negotiating a 3.5-billion-dollar aircraft defence deal with the United States that will be signed in November when President Barack Obama visits the Indian capital.

Naik said the air force was also likely to agree a 25-billion-dollar defence deal with Russia by 2010 to buy advanced stealth fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

“Around 50 per cent of our equipment is obsolete and needs to be replaced,” Naik told reporters on Monday, in comments reported by local media.

“Ten years ago we had no money for modernisation. This caused some delays.
Subsequent planning will fructify by 2014-15,” he said.

India’s air force is just a third of the size of rival China’s and far short of what is needed to meet the security challenges facing the country, he said.

In February, New Delhi announced a 32-billion-dollar defence budget, a four per cent increase on 2009, when spending was hiked by a quarter.

The Indian Air Force has also contracted 18 Spyder low-level quick reaction missile systems from Israel and is jointly developing a medium-range surface-to-air missile system with them.

The US agreement will see the Indian air force buy 10 C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft, which are expected to replace the ageing fleet of Russian Ilyushin IL-76, India’s The Economic Times newspaper reported recently. — AFP

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INDIAN TERRORISM : Police attack worshippers in Kashmir

October 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Zubair Ahmed, who was wounded by gunfire, is wheeled on a stretcher at a hospital in Srinagar on October 1, 2010.
Paramilitary troops in Indian-administered Kashmir have opened fire on several Muslim worshippers as they were heading to a mosque for Friday Prayers.

Police say one person was injured when they opened fire on stone-throwing demonstrators who defied a curfew in the southern parts of Kashmir.

The families of the victims, however, say they were shot by Indian police while en route to the Friday Prayers in the predominantly Muslim region.

A Press TV correspondent said several injured people were rushed to the hospital after scuffles with police in the disputed Himalayan valley.

The developments come as authorities decided to extend the curfew on Friday, to prevent further protests after prayers.

Meanwhile, key separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has called for a 10-day protest across the Muslim-majority region.

Kashmir has been in a siege-like state of strikes and curfew since June when a 17-year-old student was killed by police. More than 110 people have been killed over the past few months in protests, which are the biggest pro-independence rallies in decades.

Amnesty International has recently called on India to take immediate steps to protect and respect human rights in Kashmir.

“Security forces should use the minimum force necessary to defend themselves or others against an imminent threat of death or serious injury. They should not employ intentional lethal use of firearms except where such use is strictly unavoidable in order to protect life,” an Amnesty International statement said.

Babri Mosque verdict discloses real face of India

October 1, 2010 1 comment

Babri Mosque verdict discloses real face of India

ISLAMABAD: Religious leaders on Thursday condemned the decision of the Babri Mosque case by an Indian court, saying that the verdict has disclosed the real face of India.

“We condemn this verdict. We reject this as well. This will create resentment on an international level,” said Sahibzada Fazle Karim, who is a senior member of Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP).Talking to a private news channel, he said that the Organization of International Conference (OIC) should take serious steps. .

He said that it is an international conspiracy and added that such a decision was not expected. Religious and sacred places are not safe in India.

Allama Abbas Kumaili said that the decision is unjustified. “We condemn the court’s verdict.” He said that the court is under the influence of the majority (Hindus).

“It is a diplomatic decision,” said Chairman Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman. He said that Indian Muslims should keep peace. “I appeal to Indian Muslims not to take to violence. The way of protests should be peaceful.”

He said India is a secular country and it had to respect the rights of minorities. Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman said that Muslims cannot worship where idols are placed.

And, Minister for Religious Affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi said on Thursday that the Indian Court has issued a political verdict over Babri Mosque issue and termed it “totally in favour of the Hindu community.”

Muslims in India have been deprived of their right due to the one-sided decision on the Mosque, he told Pakistan Television. Kazmi said “the court cited Babri Mosque as a birth place of Ram and recommended a little piece of place for Muslims like a donation.”

He said the decision to equally distribute the land of mosque among Muslims, Hindus and state is quite complicated which would create problems for the faithful in offering prayers.

He asked the Indian Muslims to file an appeal against the decision in the Supreme Court, urging them to make more efforts for their rights.

The Minister said,” in Pakistan we have always raised voice against any injustice with the minority communities while in India the state is not showing solidarity with the Muslims”. Kazmi asked the people from all walks of life to raise their voice against the unjust decision.

Kaira on Minorities’ Security

Meanwhile, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira has said that minorities have full protection under Pakistan’s constitution and the government was committed to ensure their security.

In a brief telephonic interview with a private television channel telecast Thursday the Minister said that the verdict of Indian court on Babri Mosque case would have no impact whatsoever on the minorities in Pakistan.

In Pakistan the minorities have equal rights and they are fully allowed to perform their religious rituals at their worship places he said adding it is the duty of government to protect their worship places.

Kaira said that the Indian judiciary would hopefully keep the sensitive nature of issue in mind while deciding the case on Babri Mosque.

To a question he said that security of Pakistani contingent participating in the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi is the responsibility of Indian authorities and they would hopefully ensure it.

The Verdict

An Indian court ruled Thursday that a disputed holy site in Ayodhya with a history of triggering Hindu-Muslim clashes should be divided — a judgement seen as favouring the Hindu litigants.

“All three sets of parties, i.e. Muslims, Hindus and (Hindu religious organisation) Nirmhoi Akhara are declared joint holders of the property in dispute,” Justice S.U. Khan said in a ruling on the website of the Allahabad High Court.

Several of the litigants in the case said they would appeal the judgement to the Supreme Court, meaning the already 60-year dispute will continue in India’s notoriously slow justice system.

Some 200,000 police and paramilitary forces had been deployed ahead of the court verdict to pre-empt any violent reaction.

In 1992 the demolition of a 16th-century mosque on the Ayodhya site by Hindu activists sparked riots that killed more than 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, in some of the worst sectarian violence since partition of the Indian sub-continent in 1947.

The process to divide the site would begin in three months, the court said. A third will go to Muslims, a second part will become a temple for Hindus, while another third will go to the Ayodhya-based Nirmhoi Akhara.

India’s involvement in terrorism exposed at UN

October 1, 2010 Leave a comment

India’s involvement in terrorism exposed at UN

UNITED NATIONS – India supported terrorist elements in neighbouring countries and even it helped set up the most lethal terrorist organisation, Tamil Tigers, which introduced suicide bombings in South Asian region, Pakistan told the UN General Assembly Wednesday.

In a forceful rebuttal of Indian External affairs Minister S.M. Krishna’s accusation that Pakistan was linked to terrorism, Pakistani delegate Amjad Hussain Sial told 192 members that India had conducted state terrorism in Kashmir where people resorted to revolt against New Delhi’s rule marked by repression.

The tough Pakistani response led to a verbal clash between delegates of India and Pakistan towards the end of the Assembly’s high-level debate.

“India … conceived, created and nurtured the most lethal terrorist organisation, which introduced suicide bombings in our region,” he said, in an obvious reference to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
“Still India has the nerve to give lectures on morality to others,” Sial said in a sharp rejoinder to Krishna’s claim that Kashmir was the target of “Pakistan-sponsored militancy and terrorism.”

Indian delegate, Manish Gupta, did speak in right of reply, but did not specifically address Pakistan’s statement about India’s role in creating the terrorist outfit.

Referring to Krishna’s “self-serving claim” that Jammu and Kashmir was part of India, the Pakistan delegate said nothing was farther from the truth. The disputed territory was on the agenda of the United Nations, which had passed resolutions to that effect. The first Prime Minster of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, had also made commitments – reaffirmation of which Pakistan welcomed – noting that Kashmir was not the property of either India or Pakistan, but belonged to the Kashmiri people.
He went on to say that India had failed to fulfil its commitments, but still had the audacity not only to claim democratic credentials, but also to aspire to be a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Pakistan had only echoed non-governmental organisations and the media as to the ongoing situation concerning human rights in India, as well as Kashmir.

India has maligned Pakistan on terrorism in order to hide its own behaviour, he went on to say, while adding Pakistan’s role in fighting terrorism had been stated by the international community, and security forces in Pakistan continued to try to make the world safer, although countries continued to provide weapons and money to create havoc.
Gupta, the Indian delegate, accused Pakistan of making “false allegations” about his country. In fact, he said, Pakistan needed to tackle many of its own problems, rather than making comments on what he called the internal affairs of India. Pakistan should focus particularly on the issue of terrorism and devise ways to dismantle it. The violence in Jammu and Kashmir was being waged by “forces that don’t want peace,” the Indian delegate said. He noted that free elections in Jammu and Kashmir had been conducted.

“The ongoing indigenous peaceful, unarmed, non-violent and widespread movement for ‘Azadi’ i.e. freedom in Indian occupied Kashmir has once again proved that despite facing decades of repression and some of the worst forms of human rights violations at the hands of Indian security forces, Kashmiris refuse to accept any other solution than the exercise of their just right to self-determination,” the Pakistan delegate said.

India, he said, had no other option but to implement Security Council’s demand for free and fair plebiscite under the UN auspices. Sial declared that Pakistan would continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support to the just struggle of Kashmiri people to exercise their right of self-determination.

NATO Expands Afghan War Into Pakistan

September 30, 2010 1 comment

On October 7 the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization military allies will begin the tenth year of their war in Afghanistan, over 3,000 miles from NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

The following month midterm elections will be held in the U.S. and NATO will hold a two-day summit in Portugal. The American administration is eager to achieve, or appear to have achieved, a foreign policy triumph in an effort to retain Democratic Party control of the Congress and NATO something to show for the longest and largest military mission in its 61 years of existence.

President Barack Obama has tripled the amount of American combat troops in Afghanistan to 100,000 and along with forces from other NATO member states and partner nations there are now over 150,000 foreign troops in the nation, the most ever stationed in the war-wracked country. 120,000 of those soldiers are now under the command of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the most ever serving in a North Atlantic Alliance-led military operation. NATO Kosovo Force at its peak had 50,000 troops, but they entered the Serbian province after an almost three-month air war had ended.

The 120,000 NATO forces currently in theater – from 50 nations already with more pegged to provide troops – are at the center of the world’s longest-lasting and increasingly deadly hot war. NATO’s first ground war, its first combat operations in Asia.

Last year was the most lethal for the U.S and NATO in what is now a nine-year conflict and this year has already proven even more costly in terms of combat deaths. And there are three more months to go.

Washington and Brussels could decide to save face and end the fighting through some combination of an internal political settlement and a true international peacekeeping arrangement – rather than the subversion of the International Security Assistance Force that was established by a United Nations mandate in December of 2001 but which is now the Pentagon’s and NATO’s vehicle for waging war in Afghanistan. And in neighboring Pakistan.

But the military metaphysic prevalent in Washington over the past 65 years will allow for nothing other than what is seen as victory, with a “Who lost Afghanistan?” legacy tarnishing the president who fails to secure it and the party to which he belongs being branded half-hearted and defeatist.

As for NATO, the Strategic Concept to be adopted in November is predicated upon the bloc’s expansion into a 21st century global expeditionary force for which Afghanistan is the test case. A NATO that loses Afghanistan, that loses in Afghanistan, will be viewed more critically by the populations of its European member states that have sacrificed their sons and daughters at the altar of NATO’s international ambitions. In the words of then-Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer six years ago: “What is NATO doing in Afghanistan? Defending values at the Hindu Kush in the present day international climate. We have to fight terrorism wherever it emerges. If we don’t do it at the Hindu Kush, it will end up at our doorstep. In other words, this perception gap [of the North Atlantic military alliance operating in South Asia] in the long run must be closed and must be healed – that is, for NATO’s future, of the utmost importance.” [1]

Not satisfied with the Vietnam that Afghanistan has become, NATO has now launched its Cambodian incursion. One with implications several orders of magnitude greater than with the prototype, though, into a nation of almost 170 million people, a nation wielding nuclear weapons. Pakistan.

As the U.S. delivered its 20th deadly drone missile attack of the month inside Pakistan on the 27th, five times the amount launched in August and the most in any month since they were started in 2004, NATO conducted a series of attacks with helicopter gunships in Northwest Pakistan. Claiming the “right of self-defense” and in “hot pursuit” of insurgents that had reportedly attacked a NATO camp, Combat Outpost Narizah, in Afghanistan’s Khost province near the Pakistani border, this past weekend NATO attack helicopters conducted two forays into the Federally Administered Tribal Areas where U.S. drone strikes have killed a record number of people this month.

Estimates of those killed, dutifully referred to in the Western press as insurgents, militants or terrorists, were 30, then 50, afterward 60, 70 and later “82 or higher.” [2]

The amount, like the identify, of the dead will never be definitively known.

Press reports stated the targets were members of the Haqqani network, founded by veteran Afghan Mujahedin leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, who when he led attacks from Pakistani soil against Afghan targets slightly over a generation ago was an American hero, one of Ronald Reagan’s “freedom fighters.” Two years ago the New York Times wrote: “In the 1980s, Jalaluddin Haqqani was cultivated as a ‘unilateral’ asset of the CIA and received tens of thousands of dollars in cash for his work in fighting the Soviet Army in Afghanistan, according to an account in ‘The Bin Ladens,’ a recent book by Steve Coll. At that time, Haqqani helped and protected Osama bin Laden, who was building his own militia to fight the Soviet forces, Coll wrote.” [3]

As to the regret that the otherwise praiseworthy Haqqani has of late allied himself with the Taliban, one voiced by among other people the late Charlie Wilson who once celebrated Haqqani as “goodness personified,” in an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press last year Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari told his American audience that the Taliban “was part of your past and our past, and the ISI and the CIA created them together. And I can find you 10 books and 10 philosophers and 10 write-ups on that….” [4]

On September 27 two NATO helicopters attacked the Kurram agency in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, killing six people and wounding eight. A local Pakistani government official described all the victims as civilians. According to Dawn News, “Nato has also shelled the area before.” [5] Three attacks in three days and as many as 100 deaths.

On the same day a U.S. drone-launched missile strike killed four people in the North Waziristan agency. “The identities of the four people killed in the attack were not known….” [6]

The above events occurred against the backdrop of the revelation in Bob Woodward’s new book Obama’s Wars that “a 3,000-strong secret army of Afghan paramilitary forces run by the Central Intelligence Agency had conducted cross-border raids into Pakistan.” [7]

After mounting in intensity for two years and consisting in part – helicopter gunship attacks and special forces assassination team raids – of covert operations, the U.S. and NATO war in Northwest Pakistan is now fully underway and can no longer be denied.

The Pentagon – the helicopters used in the attacks on September 25 and 26 were American Apaches and Kiowas – defended the strikes over the weekend as falling within its rules of engagement and Defense Department spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said the U.S. had adhered to “appropriate protocol” and “Our forces have the right of self-defense.” [8]

A spokesmen for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force initially denied that Alliance forces had launched any attacks inside Pakistani territory, although Afghan police officials had confirmed that they did. On September 27, however, the International Security Assistance Force verified that NATO forces had conducted the deadly strikes. As the third attack by NATO helicopters occurred on the same day, “Coalition officials said the cross-border attacks fell within its rules of engagement because the insurgents had attacked them from across the border.” [9]

A NATO official informed the press that “ISAF forces must and will retain the authority, within their mandate, to defend themselves in carrying out their mission.” [10]

Mehmood Shah, former top security official of the Pakistani government in the region where the helicopter gunship and drone strikes have killed over 200 people so far this month, said of the recent NATO attacks: “This should be considered a watershed event. They [Nato] must be warned: the next time you do this, it can lead to war. Our units should be deployed to fire upon them. This border has sanctity. Nato must realise they have a mandate to operate in Afghanistan, not in Pakistan.” [11]

On September 27 Interior Minister Rehman Malik denounced the NATO raids as a violation of Pakistani territorial integrity and national sovereignty and told the nation’s Senate that the Afghan ambassador to Islamabad would be summoned to explain the attacks. Malik and the Pakistani government as a whole know that the Hamid Karzai administration in Kabul has no control over what the U.S. and NATO do in its own country, much less in Pakistan. The interior minister’s comment were solely for internal consumption, for placating Pakistani popular outrage, but as Pakistan itself has become a NATO partner and U.S. surrogate [12] its officials, like those of Afghanistan, will not be notified of any future attacks.

Nevertheless domestic exigencies compelled Malik to denounce the strikes inside his country and assert “I take the drone attacks in Pakistani territory as an attack on the sovereignty of Pakistan.” A senator from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz “asked the government to inform the parliament about any accord it had reached with the US under which drone attacks were being carried out.” [13]

At the same time Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit went further and lodged what was described as a strong protest to NATO Headquarters in Brussels over the weekend’s air strikes, issuing a statement that said in part: “These incidents are a clear violation and breach of the UN mandate under which ISAF operates,” as its mandate “terminates/finishes” at the Afghan border.

“There are no agreed ‘hot pursuit’ rules. Any impression to the contrary is not factually correct. Such violations are unacceptable.” [14]

By the evening of September 27, after the Pakistani complaints were registered, NATO’s ISAF attempted to conduct damage control and reverted to the military bloc’s original position: That it has not launched attacks inside Pakistan at all. On that very day it had dispatched two more helicopter gunships for the third raid in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

NATO will continue to launch lethal attacks inside Pakistan against whichever targets it sees fit and will proffer neither warnings nor apologies. The U.S. will continue to escalate attacks with Hellfire missiles against whomever it chooses, however inaccurate, anecdotal and self-interested the reports upon which they are based prove to be.

The death toll in Pakistan this month is well over 200 and for this year to date over 2,000. The justification for this carnage offered by the U.S. and NATO is that it is intended to extend the policy of Barack Obama to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat” insurgent networks in Afghanistan into Pakistan, supposedly the sooner to end the war.

Forty years ago Obama’s predecessor Richard Nixon began his speech announcing the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia with these words: “Good evening, my fellow Americans. Ten days ago, in my report to the nation on Vietnam, I announced the decision to withdraw an additional 150,000 Americans from Vietnam over the next year. I said then that I was making that decision despite our concern over increased enemy activity in Laos, in Cambodia, and in South Vietnam. And at that time I warned that if I concluded that increased enemy activity in any of these areas endangered the lives of Americans remaining in Vietnam, I would not hesitate to take strong and effective measures to deal with that situation.” [15]

He claimed that “enemy sanctuaries” in Cambodia “endanger the lives of Americans who are in Vietnam,” and “if this enemy effort succeeds, Cambodia would become a vast enemy staging area and a springboard for attacks on South Vietnam along 600 miles of frontier: a refuge where enemy troops could return from combat without fear of retaliation.”

The course he ordered was to “go to the heart of the trouble. And that means cleaning out major North Vietnamese and Vietcong occupied territories, these sanctuaries which serve as bases for attacks on both Cambodia and American and South Vietnamese forces in South Vietnam.”

The practical application of the policy was that “attacks are being launched this week to clean out major enemy sanctuaries on the Cambodian-Vietnam border.”

In language that has been heard again lately in Washington and Brussels – with nothing but the place names changed – Nixon claimed: “We take this action not for the purpose of expanding the war into Cambodia, but for the purpose of ending the war in Vietnam….”

Washington indeed expanded the Vietnam War into Cambodia, with what disastrous effects the world is fully aware, and soon thereafter departed Southeast Asia in defeat, leaving vast stretches of Vietnam and Cambodia in ruins.

Afghanistan and Pakistan will not fare any better.