Would you like an atheist American as Chairman of WAPDA? A white City Nazim for Karachi or for that matter a British Director General of FIA in Punjab? Would you encourage wine shops and dance bars across Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad? How would you react to roving half-naked girls at Constitutional Avenue in Islamabad and at Millennium Mall in Karachi? Just as you don’t want significant titles in your country given to westerners and your way of life swayed by secular thoughts, same is the case in United States, Europe and India. They don’t want their culture altered under the shadow of Islamic civilization.
Archive for the ‘India’ Category
Suman K. Chakrabarti and Omar Warraich
“At 53, she was bored, alone and attractive. Single, but definitely one step ahead to mingle.” That’s how the man who led the operation to bust Madhuri Gupta, the first Indian diplomat to be found spying for Pakistan, described her. For most of her two years in espionage, Gupta was a lone-wolf, conducting a classic spy operation from her base in Islamabad. Old-school “dead drops,” in which she passed off information without even meeting her Pakistani handlers, were her signature style. Yet it was a silly indiscretion — sending e-mails to her spy bosses from her office computer — that finally led to her arrest.
Gupta has not exactly been near the center of Indian decision-making, posted as a second secretary in the media section of India’s high commission in Pakistan’s capital, where her job had been to provide English and Hindi summaries of Pakistan’s Urdu-language newspapers. On April 22, the 53-year-old was summoned back to New Delhi ostensibly to help colleagues prepare for the ongoing South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) summit in Bhutan. After landing at Indira Gandhi International Airport, she was whisked away by officials of the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (IB), India’s internal intelligence agency, straight to an interrogation chamber in an undisclosed location. Twenty-four hours later, she was handed over to Delhi police, charged with treason and accessing confidential documents under India’s Official Secrets Act.
Before President Hamid Karzai arrives in Washington next month, President Obama has to make clear key decisions on the course of war and peacemaking in Afghanistan.
Neighboring countries and most Afghans believe that the endgame has begun for a post-U.S. Afghanistan. There are just 14 months for the U.S. military surge to show results while Washington simultaneously prepares to begin its July 2011 troop withdrawal and handover to the Afghan government. Already, efforts to jockey for future control of Afghanistan have been seen among Pakistan, India, Iran and even Russia. Several NATO countries eager to withdraw forces are frustrated. It is clear in the region that someone will have to mediate with the Taliban, but in the absence of U.S. leadership, a tug of war is taking place over who will do it, when, how and where.
KABUL — Across Afghanistan, behind the obvious battles fought for this country’s soul, a shadow war is being quietly waged. It’s being fought with spies and proxies, with hundreds of millions of dollars in aid money and ominous diplomatic threats.
The fight pits nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan against one another in a battle for influence that will almost certainly gain traction as the clock ticks down toward America’s military withdrawal, which President Barack Obama has announced will begin next year.
The clash has already sparked bloody militant attacks, and American officials fear the region could become further destabilized. With Pakistani intelligence maintaining ties to Afghanistan’s Taliban militants, India has threatened to draw Iran, Russia and other nations into the competition if an anti-Indian government comes to power in Kabul.
By allowing foreign militaries a free reign in our tribal belt to kill hundreds of innocent Pakistanis, Pakistan is committing the same mistake as Putin’s, who initially did well a decade ago by crushing the rebellion in Chechnya but now is creating more rebels because of highhandedness. Also, Pakistan has no business eliminating the Afghan Taliban, who survived the 2001 war thanks to US mismanagement. The problem should be solved inside Afghanistan, not Waziristan.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—It was brave on the part of Pakistan army chief to publicly apologize for mistakenly bombing and killing tens of innocent Pakistanis in a Khyber Agency village. In a similar incident in 2006 during the reign of his predecessor, where a US missile killed up to 80 children in a school, the action was not only defended but the Pakistani military was forced to own it, giving the first signal to everyone that innocent Pakistanis can be killed with impunity as part of the war on terror. Since then, more than a thousand innocent Pakistanis have lost their lives as collateral damage in these ‘successful’ drone attacks. This would remain one of the darkest spots in our history where our rulers shirked their responsibility for the protection of every Pakistani citizen on our soil.
The silver colored material spewing gamma radiation that slipped into a scrap dealer’s shops causing at least six persons to fall ill has exposed gaps in India’s mechanisms to preserve radiological safety.
Department of atomic energy official said that the scrap dealer and five workers have fallen ill with symptoms of radiation exposure after they tried to work with scrap that contained a highly radioactive element called cobalt 60.
Cobalt 60 is used as a source of radiation in cancer radiotherapy and in industrial inspection equipment, but scientists investigating the incident said the origin of the material found in the scrap dealer’s shops was still unknown.
‘India’s evidence against Saeed not admissible under our law’
Times of India
NEW DELHI: Pakistan has contended that the Indian evidence against LeT founder Hafiz Saeed of his involvement in Mumbai terror attack is not admissible under their laws for prosecution.
In a dossier given to India in which it asked for handing over of Ajmal Amir Kasab, Islamabad has also asked New Delhi to give all additional evidence related to 26/11 to it by the middle of next month, sources said.
Washington: Arguing that some tactical successes will not defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan, a top US thing tank has sought opening of talks with the militant group but said India should not be included in any such parleys as it would antagonise Pakistan, in particular its Army.
“The negotiating framework should be determined during a secret contact phase mediated by the Pakistani Army prior to the strictly diplomatic phase conducted under UN auspices,” the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said in a report yesterday.
While you were glued to your flat screen, with your eyeballs popping out every time the ball was hit for a six, in a dark corner of India – in a Haryana village very close to the national capital – a dog was barking. Since it was a Dalit dog (in India, even dogs have caste), the upper caste Jaats were getting all riled up. So they decided to teach the dog a lesson. A bunch of them surrounded a Dalit house and set it on fire. Inside the house were trapped an 18-year-old girl and her old father. Since the girl was physically challenged and could not move out of the burning house, she and her father were engulfed and consumed by the fire. This is how people teach a lesson to dogs in New India: by making the poor, lower castes die like dogs.
Even as you were glued to TV, watching the IPL drama – both on the field and off field – a few more things happened. Highly dangerous radioactive material affected several people in a scrap market of Delhi; more than 100 people died in the cow-belt areas as mercury touched 43 degree mark; more people died of hunger and starvation across the country; new figures revealed that the number of poor in India stands at 800 million and not 327 million as claimed by the government; and it was reported that the government was tapping the phones of important political leaders. It may also be tapping the phones of ordinary citizens.
ISLAMABAD: Islamabad asked Delhi on Saturday to facilitate the transfer of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving Mumbai attacker, to Pakistan for recording his statement in the trial of the suspects here.
The request was conveyed by Interior Minister Rehman Malik in a meeting with Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal.
SHANGHAI: It is easy to keep Pakistan out of the IPL. But when it comes to attracting eyeballs of Chinese visitors and international businesses, Pakistan has beaten Indian hands down at the World Expo in Shanghai.
The Pakistani pavilion is attracting thousands of people by the hour for the past week while the Indian pavilion is far from complete.
United States, Britain, Canada and Australia warned their citizens of serious security risk and terror threat in India. The current situation raises serious concerns over Indian hosting of Commonwealth Games 2010 and the Cricket World Cup.
New Delhi – Australia and Britain on Thursday warned tourists of the increased risk of militant attacks in New Delhi, joining Canada and the US, which have urged foreigners to avoid parts of the Indian capital.
The new alerts updated long-standing general advice for Western visitors to India that they should exercise caution and underlined security risks in the city as it gears up to host the Commonwealth Games in October.
The US said on Wednesday it had information of a “specific” threat to half-a-dozen of the city’s shopping areas and markets which it described as “especially attractive targets”. It advised Americans traveling or residing in India to maintain “a high level of vigilance” and watch out for unattended packages.
The Canadian government said on its website that an attack could be carried out “in the following days or weeks in market areas” of Delhi frequented by foreigners, specifically in the Chandni Chowk area in Old Delhi.
Following this new advice, the Australian High Commission in New Delhi said on Thursday it “strongly” advised Australians “to minimise their presence in market areas of New Delhi”.
India is home to a wide range of separatists and insurgents. A growing Maoist insurgency, so far concentrated in remote rural areas of northern and eastern India, also threatens to spread to urban areas, with the eastern city of Kolkata seen as particularly at risk.
NEW DELHI: India now has 100 million more people living below the poverty line than in 2004, according to official estimates released on Sunday.
The poverty rate has risen to 37.2 percent of the population from 27.5 percent in 2004, a change that will require the Congress-ruled government to spend more money on the poor.
The Global Nuclear Security Summit, which concluded in Washington yesterday, was remarkable for its revelation that India cannot hope to be a global power of any significance unless it gets over its petty obsession, as a nation, with Pakistan. At the press conference that the foreign secretary gave immediately after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with the president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, on Monday, there were as many as 30 direct or indirect references to Pakistan.
Nirupama Rao is free of any blame for this predicament. Of the 13 questions that she took at the press conference, 11 were on Pakistan. If she had refused to answer any questions on Pakistan because the subject of her press conference was the highest level Indo-US meeting, there would have been only her opening statement and two questions: one about Obama’s forthcoming visit to India and another about the sanctions Obama wants to impose on Iran soon.
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Hamid Mir & Muhammad Anis
BAHAWALPUR: In an unprecedented move, the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) exhibited their professional capabilities by targeting a drone in front of not only the prime minister, many federal ministers and parliamentarians belonging to different parties but also more than 30 military attaches of different countries, who witnessed the heavy firepower of the Pakistani armed forces on Sunday afternoon in the desert of Khairpur Tamewali near Bahawalpur.
The presence of the country’s top political leadership in a very hot desert boosted the morale of Army troops, who have been engaged in a six-week-long Azm-e-Nau-III military exercise for the last few days.
NEW DELHI: A whopping 45% of IAF air crashes in the last six years have taken place due to human error.
The IAF has informed the parliamentary committee on defence that it had recorded a total of 74 air mishaps between April 2004 and March 2010, of which a high of 42% was due to technical faults in the aircraft and a mere 6% due to bird-hit.
The figures in percentage would mean the IAF has suffered 33 crashes out of 74 due to human errors, 31 due to technical errors in the aircraft and another 4 due to bird hit. Reasons for the remaining six crashes have not been given to the committee.
There are fears about the safety of the IPL as well as the safety of the Commonwealth Games. There have been several terror attacks in India, and the organizers of the Commonwealth Games, already jittery are getting a bit nervous.
India’s Olympic chief on Tuesday sought to allay security fears at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi saying the country was committed to providing a “safe and secure” environment.
Many are not convinced.
NEW DELHI: The authorities may have refrained from calling the blasts in Bangalore a terror act, but the incident can well be a wake-up call ahead of the Delhi Commonwealth Games as it exposed chinks in the armour of the security agencies.
The low-intensity explosions were set off by devices with timers, pointing to an expertise that can be used to engineer mayhem on a bigger scale. In fact, in crowded settings, even low-intensity blasts can exact a disproportionate toll by triggering panic leading to stampede.
That the packets carrying explosives went undetected in an area which is supposed to be thoroughly scanned, considering the known plan of terrorists to target Bangalore and sports venues across the country, has distressed the authorities.
There is a window of opportunity for peace in Afghanistan. It has to be grabbed. For the first time in a decade the U.S. and the U.K. are acting in concert with Pakistan to proffer real solutions for Kabul. The former allies, turned protagonists, turned friends are once again on the same side–this time working for peace.
Mr. Karzai is once again calling his favorite friends for a big powwow which he calls a “Jirga” or tribal council. It is to be held in Kabul in two weeks. Pakistan is working with the UK and the US to ensure that this Loya Jirga represents all the Pakhtuns so that it becomes a vehicle for peace in West Asia. Islamabad has offered to hold a joint Loya jirga between the Afghan and Pakistani Pakhtuns. The last time Mr. Karzai hijacked the societal consensus for ending the war through the traditional means of a consultative assembly. Mr. Karzai used the grass-roots method to rubber stamp his own brand of government. Obviously the corruption, lack of peace, and loss on the ground has proven that a repeat of the previous methodology will not work.
WASHINGTON: Pakistan has said that it has acquired advanced nuclear fuel cycle capability and can offer it to the rest of the world under IAEA safeguards.
The offer, contained in a national statement presented at a two-day summit which concluded in Washington on Tuesday, reflected Islamabad’s desire to gain recognition as a nuclear state.
“As a country with advanced fuel cycle capability, Pakistan is in a position to provide nuclear fuel cycle services under IAEA safeguards, and to participate in any non-discriminatory nuclear fuel cycle assurance mechanism,” the document said.
At the summit, Pakistan also reiterated its proposals for establishing a strategic restraint regime in South Asia.
The policy paper released during the conference stressed that such a regime would “promote nuclear and missile restraint, a balance in conventional forces, and conflict resolution”.
— More than 80% of India’s nuclear and missile infrastructure based in the insurgency-hit areas or extremists’ dominated region
—Growing Moist insurgency, Nexal dominance in India’s Red Corridor ring alarm bell across the globe with regard to nuke safety
—The reasons behind fire at India’s top nuke facility further panics global community
—Indian Premier Manmohan Singh still shows the shameless cheeks to express reservations over safety of Pak nukes at Nuclear Summit in US
—46 world leaders, attending nuke summit having serious reservations about safety of nukes in India
Makhdoom Babar (Additional reporting by Christina Palmer & Ajay Mehta in New Delhi & Kapil Verma & Priyanka Joshi in Mumbai)
While the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has expressed his reservations over the safety of Pakistan nuclear assets at the 2-day Nuclear Summit being held at US capital Washington and is being attended by 46 world leaders from across globe, he appears to have completely forgotten the actual state of affairs with regard to the safety of India’s own nuclear and missile infrastructure back home, where the situation is highly alarming, reveal the findings of The Daily Mail’s investigations into the matter.
According to The Daily Mail’s investigations, the Indian government, in bid to keep it maximum possible away from the striking capabilities of Pakistan that lies across India’s northern borders, decades back decided to install all its nuclear and missile facilities in the Eastern zone of the country. However, with the passage of time, the eastern region of India emerged as the most disturbed, fragile and ungovernable region of the country with a variety of insurgency movements including that of Naxal rebels, emerging in that very part of the country.
Here is a chance that India blew to send a strong message for peace with both Pakistan and China. An Egyptian diplomat based in New Delhi apparently offered recently to help Indian Air Force overcome its shabby pilot training program.
According to a report by the Indian magazine Business Standard, the Egyptian official offered a novel solution: An Egyptian Air Force training crew flown from Egypt to India to train Indian pilots using Karakoram-8, the multirole trainer jointly developed by both Pakistan and China and now used by a growing list of countries, including Egypt, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Namibia, not to mention the air forces of both Pakistan and China.
Says the Indian magazine: “Since the offer was not followed up in writing, the Indian Air Force (IAF) was spared the embarrassment of having to reply.”
KABUL: Militants launched a pre-dawn attack on an Indian road construction camp in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, burning vehicles and equipment and sending the crew fleeing, authorities said.
No deaths or injuries were reported in the attack in Khost province’s Domanda district, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. Suspected Taliban, who are active in the mountainous eastern region bordering Pakistan, descended on the camp around 2 a.m.
Such raids seek to discourage foreign involvement in Afghanistan and destabilize the central government, which is struggling to bring development to the impoverished countryside and extend its mandate outside the capital, Kabul.
General in the ‘reverence’
ISLAMABAD: Kayani’s worldview is Pakistan centric; he is respected as his military has won victories against enemies where the superpower could not succeed; like all good military leaders, he has good political sense; having recognised the failure of pre-emptive kill-capture doctrine, the US and West are listening with more attention to his advice; the strategic and operational framework outlined by him for ongoing conflict is in-sync with the national interests and good news for Pakistan.
Having gone through the article ‘General in the hood’, one gets more convinced that a lot needs to be thought right first, before endeavouring to put right, between the two countries. The article reinforces the perception; ‘What is good for Pakistan gets portrayed as bad for India’. The urge to write became more compelling due to a deliberate effort of quoting issues, which actually form the basis of threat to Pakistan. Interestingly enough, Pakistan’s predicament is that if it is not successful against the extremists, it gets portrayed as epicentre of terrorism and threat to world, especially India, and if it succeeds, our neighbour still feels threatened and portrays these as back to Brass Tacks. The blame game continues, despite knowing far too well, the extent to which Pakistan has gone against the miscreants with tangible results.