30.9.10

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'Azadi for us means an end to repressive military rule in Valley'

By Subodh Varma of The Times of India.

A cross section of Delhi's civil society and women activists listened in stunned silence as Parweena Ahangar, a middle-aged Kashmiri woman, narrated the torment of a mother whose son "disappeared" 20 years ago. It's believed that he was killed by security forces. Parweena mentioned her son only once. After that she wept for dozens of others, naming them and describing the circumstances of their disappearance. Parweena is in Delhi with a group of Kashmiri women to narrate the horrors of a society at war, and to make another attempt to seek justice. It's a diverse group including university and school teachers, a hospital worker, a journalist and some housewives. They have been invited here by Women's Initiative for Peace in South Asia (WISPA).

Hameedah Nayeem, a professor at Srinagar University, in a counterpoint to Parweena's choking grief, provides the context in staccato objectivity. She says that the current protests that started four months ago are peaceful. ''Protesters throw stones only after police firing or if a woman's modesty is attacked, like security men forcibly snatching away the head-dress, as often happens,'' she says.

Explaining what ''azadi'' — a slogan voiced routinely in the Valley — means, Nayeem says it means getting rid of the armed forces and their repression, and also, the establishment of democracy.

''In Delhi, you can't understand what it means to live with the military for 20 years. They have taken over all the public space — schools, roads, hospitals, cinemas, everything. They can hold up anyone, enter anyone's house do anything that they feel like,'' she says. According to Nayeem, the military has taken over one million ''kanals'' of land legally and another 2 million illegally in the Valley. ''This has destroyed the normal vocations of thousands of people,'' she says.

The women from Kashmir silently weep as Parweena recounts the chilling story of 8-year old Samir Khan who was going to his uncle's house one afternoon and disappeared. His mutilated body was found the next day in the river. Investigations showed that his frail body had been crushed by boots and a metal rod inserted into his mouth. ''Why is the government honouring policemen who are responsible for killing thousands in Kashmir?'' she asks.

Parweena formed the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) to fight for investigation of all cases of what she calls ''enforced disappearance''. According to her, over 8,000 cases of such disappearance are recorded. In many cases investigations have been done and guilty persons from security forces identified. ''But, we have to run from pillar to post trying to get somebody to hear our sorrow,'' she says. The delegation presented a set of demands to home secretary G K Pillai, which included getting women involved in the peace process, demilitarization, withdrawal of AFSPA and PSA, release of imprisoned youth, prosecution of errant security personnel etc.

Whether it is the agony of Parweena Ahangar or the cold objectivity of Hameedah Nayeem, the message from the women of Kashmir is loud and clear — they will continue the struggle for justice and peace, and for end of what they call military rule in Kashmir. ''It's an oath we have taken in the name of Allah. We will not give up,'' says Parweena softly.

29.9.10

Permanent Seat for India in UN security Council; Number three nuclear/conventional power according to American sources.

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Comparisons between China and India are informative sometimes, in some areas, though both are very different countries.

China got the Permanent Seat in the UNSC in the 1960's, in the Middle of the Wonderful Cultural Revolution, ongoing threats and disputes with Taiwan, no guarantees to the USA that China would not help the North Vietnamese fight the Americans, and hostile posturing against ALL in-sundry including the USA and Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union were so alarmed by Chairman Mao and his antics within and without his country that by the late 1960's they were contemplating a full scale conventional/nuclear attack against China, concentrated in the Manchurian area.

However the USSR was dissuaded from that idea eventually, through concerted American pressure.

China though a significant Third World power, had great limitations in the 1960's. The average Chinese were desperately poor, with millions starving due to Mao's economic policies.

There is however a historical linkage between the USA and China which has been missing between India and the USA, all of which affect relations between nations, great and small alike.

China is a natural country to admire given its ancient civilization, and its sheer size.

Napoleon Bonaparte once said of China, "Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world."?

With the USA this was reinforced by American missionaries further romanticizing the nation, in a Dudley do-right WASP kind of way. I have come across a few of them all glazed eyed.

British Raj rule initially blocked out the USA from India along with British Fabian Socialism until 1991. American perceptions of India were thus not very clear, and heavily influenced by Anglophiles within the USA elite structure (the bald short nasty guy is a metaphor for Mahatma Gandhi.)

Since the 1960's and the "Flower Power era" Americans have become more familiar with India, especially now with 2 million Indians residing in the country. Since 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union along with India's reforms has moved the country further closer to the USA. Economic, cultural and security cooperation is increasing between the two nations. Indian students account for the largest foreign element in American universities. All good, both nations can fundamentally and mutually benefit.

I happen to think a permanent seat on the UNSC is India's natural right, nothing to strive for but a mere formality to be carried through, led and initiated by the USA within a few weeks or even months, just as the USA did with China in the 1960's. Rabid hard line Communist China.

I think putting Sisyphean conditionality's on what is India's natural right is biased and racist. The two are separate issues.

The Kashmir problem on-going for 63 years will take a couple more years to solve.

It is the height of impertinence for the USA to create benchmarks for India over an issue that has seen very little success lately, AND not for any want on India's part for making honest sincere efforts, consistently over many years. Such a peculiar benchmark suggests India hasn't tried hard enough, as per any cliche school masters reports to the parents. It absurdly even suggests that the USA cares more about India/Pakistan peace than India does and realizes.

The USA controls Pakistan. Zardari visits the American embassy, next door to his Presidential Palace every day to consult with his real master who through rigged elections put him in power in 2008.

The USA controls the ISI, which the USA bankrolls and manages most of its operations within Pakistan, if not without. The USA controls the Pakistan army, funding it, and training its top brass in the USA. The USA controls and has exclusive rights to military bases in Pakistan. The USA has the right to kill Pakistani civilians, within sovereign Pakistan territory in the pursuit of utter nonsense, with the aid of the Pakistani military. The USA has marshaled $25 billion over several years via USA direct aid civilian/military for Pakistan, and the IMF and WB, which are essential annexes to American power based in Washington to further reinforce the USA's control of the hapless failed state number 10.


It is the USA which could easily tomorrow order the Pakistani military to sign on any peace declaration with India over Kashmir, and the Pakistani generals would do so.

Certainly one hopes the Obama visit to India in November will produce productive agreements between the two nations which will substantively enhance relations between the two great nations and civilizations. Certainly the Pro-American lobby in India, significant as it is will be hoping for this.

At a minimum the Obama visit in November should not be a repetition of the Clinton visit of 2000 to India, at the very end of his second term. In that 5 day visit there was much fanfare, but NOTHING in the way of significantly upgrading of relations between the two countries....especially in the area of trade and commerce. For Clinton it was more of a State holiday and just another opportunity playing the world statesman role. Empty hollow platitudes, playing India for a sucker whereon much was anticipated in India, and certainly hinted before the visit, but in the end nothing realized.

Trade between China and the USA is worth $400 billion, but heavily in China's favor due to American government action solely ....(MFNs, tax breaks, tariffs, customs checks etc). China exports $340 billion to the USA, and the USA $60 billion to China. Although China is catching up and improving through experience and open competition, but still a lot of the Chinese goods are not of good quality. Astoundingly the USA is buying into Chinese debt at a rate of $300 billion a year, so that now China is the defacto banker to the USA, and American officials such as Geitner et al crawl and grovel to them to increase the currency value of the yuan to a more realistic level, which in turn gives American industry a level playing field.

I can understand the Dudley Do Rights in America and their rather childish puppy love for another nation, which may be subject to change given enough rational nuanced persuasion for the sake of self preservation.

Obviously what India needs is a massive bolstering of trade between the two nations (one tenth of China's....$40 billion India/USA trade 2010) India isn't looking for "free trade" of the USA/China type, but rather one that is more equitable. Mutually beneficial for both nations people, and businesses. It is suggested Obama marshal a small army of trade & commerce experts from the American Chamber of Commerce; India/American PAC and so forth to do a shortlist of the areas where there can be a MASSIVE BOLSTERING of trade between the two nations to say $300 billion by 2015. $150 billion Indian exports to the USA, AND $150 billion USA exports to India.

In between the usual serving of platitudes, pulpit African American style sermonizing and visits to the Taj Mahal blah blah blah....... Obama needs to sign serious significant trade agreements between the two nations which PERMANENTLY jacks up trade, and thus increases the transnational interdependence between the two nations which fundamentally brings them closer in the real sense. We can still love China, it is not at the cost of going against China.
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Obama's pitch: Fix Kashmir for UN Security Council seat


By Chidanand Rajghatta of the Times of India.

Go for a Kashmir solution and help bring stability to the region for a ticket to UN Security Council membership and fulfilling your big power aspirations. That's the broad message President Barack Obama will be bringing to New Delhi during his upcoming November visit to India, preparation for which are in full swing in Washington DC.

The Kashmir settlement-for-seat at high table idea (euphemism for UNSC membership) is being discussed animatedly in the highest levels of the US administration, according to a various sources. President Obama himself has decided to revive the process of a US push in this direction, albeit discreetly, because of New Delhi's sensitivities.

Key administration officials are confirming that the UNSC issue will be on Obama's agenda when he visits New Delhi. The US President is expected to announce an incremental American support to India's candidature during his address to the joint session of India's parliament, depending on New Delhi's receptiveness to resolving the Kashmir tangle.

"[UNSC reforms] is something that is under discussion as we prepare for the President's important visit," US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake confirmed on Monday during a read-out of the meeting between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Indian counterpart S.M.Krishna, saying the two had agreed the "President's visit will be a defining moment in the history of our bilateral relations."

The clearest insight into Obama's thinking on the matter comes from Bob Woodward's latest book "Obama's War" in which top US policy makers are shown mulling on defusing the Kashmir situation as part of an exit strategy for US from the AfPak theater.

"Why can't we have straightforward talks with India on why a stable Pakistan is crucial?" Obama is reported as musing at one meeting. "India is moving toward a higher place in its global posture. A stable Pakistan would help." Implicit in the rumination is the idea that settling Kashmir would mollify Pakistan, where, US officials say, hardliners are using the unresolved issue as an excuse to breed an army of terrorists aimed at bleeding India.

But that is easier said than done, according to Bruce Riedel, author of the Obama administration's Af-Pak strategy, who has canvassed the centrality of the Kashmir issue to peace and stability in the region. The spoiler to any settlement is the hardline Pakistani military and its jihadist proxies for whom attrition and confrontation with India is an article of faith.

In fact, the solution Washington has in mind (also proposed by Riedel) is likely more palatable to New Delhi than to Islamabad. It's on the same lines of what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan's deposed military leader Pervez Musharraf broadly agreed on before the latter was turfed out of office: The Line of Control would become the international border, but it would be a soft, permeable border, allowing Kashmiris on both sides to move back and forth. The rest – safeguards, procedures etc – is a matter of detail.

"President Obama's strategy for dealing with Afghanistan and Pakistan always needed a Kashmir component to succeed; that need is becoming more urgent and obvious now. His trip to India in November will be a key to addressing it," Riedel said in a commentary this week.

"India cannot become a global power with a prosperous economy if its neighbor is a constant source of terror armed with the bomb. A sick Pakistan is not a good neighbor," he added, echoing Obama's words (Woodward's book also suggests he influenced Obama's thinking).

Virtually setting the agenda for Obama's India visit, Riedel says Obama's challenge is to quietly help Islamabad and New Delhi work behind the scenes to get back to the deal Musharraf and Singh negotiated. "He will have a chance to work this subtly when he visits India in November," he writes.

But Riedel and other US policy makers portrayed in Woodward's book also recognize that the biggest hurdle to a settlement is a hardline Pakistani military. While the civilian leadership in Pakistan would like to embrace the deal "it is unclear if the army chief, General Kayani, is on board."

Woodward's book shows that most top US officials, save Admiral Mike Mullen, believe Kayani to be a closet jihadi and a two-faced "liar" intent on perpetuating war with India. "I'll be the first to admit it, I'm India-centric," Kayani is quoted as telling US officials in one exchange.

Although three top cabinet principals from India -- S.M.Krishna, A.K.Antony, and Pranab Mukherjee -- are in the US this week and next, exchanges on the UNSC and Kashmir are said to be taking place directly between President Obama and Prime Minister Singh through trusted interlocutors such as National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, who is also in Washington DC this week.

26.9.10

"Shining India" "Rising India"

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We are the world's biggest Banana Republic
By Shoban Saxena of the Times of India

A couple of days ago, a Scottish delegate got a shock of his life when he saw a dog shitting on a bed inside a 'swanky' apartment at the Commonwealth Games village in Delhi. (metaphorically the best place) The Scotsman clicked a photo of the dog, and now the picture is part of the evidence submitted by the Scottish delegation to the Organising Committee to prove that the multi-million dollar village is not "fit for human habitation". In the past few days, foreign TV crews and photographers have been busy chasing and clicking photos of dogs – peeing and shitting in the apartments, running on practice tracks, jumping into swimming pools and sleeping under the police cars and other vehicles parked at Games sites and venues. The foreigners are horrified – and scared to death – by the sight of street dogs running wild in the "sanitized areas". For them, it's a sign that India is not ready for the Games and the infrastructure here is not "world class".

Now, there is no doubt that India's carefully created, and airbrushed, image of an 'emerging superpower' (heavily promoted by the USA no less) and the 'second-fastest growing economy' in the world rots in the piles of rubbish.(I've never understood why cows are allowed to shit and roam freely in modern Indian cities) The myth of 'India Shining' (BJP's slogan) and 'India Rising' (the Congress' slogan) has been busted. We have proved to the world – and to ourselves as well – that we are a third world banana republic which is sinking into a bottomless pit.

(Third world definitely, but across the board banana republic, NO.....aspects of the Indian justice is not bad{SC}.......and the Indian military is an example of a fine institution for a Third World nation......The Indian media isn't that bad, and Indian rags are probably more liberated then the concentrated ownership wise high street broadsheets of the USA.....India is moving up, and forward, but obviously and glaringly its not all even)

I am not worried about the mismanagement at the Games sites. We shouldn't have organized the Games at all. The country which in 63 years of independence hasn't been able to provide proper living houses, clean drinking water, uninterrupted electricity, fulltime jobs, healthy food, clean air and free education to all its citizens despite spending trillions of dollars, how did you expect the same country to pull off an international sporting event without it sinking into the slime and grime of corruption and bad governance.

I am not justifying corruption, but it's a fact that graft is part and parcel of capitalism, though the level differs from country to country. (Corruption and mismanagement has been worse in some Communist countries-----Soviet Union, 60 million dead, and China 50-60 million died; 43 million in just two years of the "Great Leap Forward" experiment 1958--61) This has been proved by western politicians and Wall Street bankers in the past couple of years. In the US, the bankers and financial giants robbed the American people, mostly the middle and working-class, clean and then declared themselves bankrupt, and they were bailed out by the American government with public money. This was the world's biggest daylight robbery. And no one, except Michael Moore, raised the red flag.(The USA is a MAFIA POLICE state run by Jews)

(Corruption is every where, the issue is who is better at hiding it and selling it.....hey at least India doesn't invade countries and kill millions of people based on shoddy tongue in cheek lies, or make certain Third World nations poverty stricken people grow heroin, and then sell the finished product to their own country, and then launder the money in the biggest High street banks in your country........I mean could you imagine RAW, or the Indian military doing such things!!!!!!!)

In the US, this brazen act of corruption made thousands of houses go under water and millions became jobless, but in India something more sinister and dark has been happening in the garb of the Games. In the past two years or so, the governments of this country and this city have launched a full-scale war on the poor. Millions of poor people from the country's dustbowls have been brought here to work at the Games' construction sites. They have been slogging day and night at the venues and living like animals under plastic sheets, sleeping on wet ground and eating filthy food. That food is just about enough to keep their body and soul together so that they can build the glass and chrome buildings and showcase India Shining to the world.

(Are we talking slave labor here?)

In 21st century India, the street dogs are luckier than the poor. The dogs make news for shitting on expensive beds and the poor workers go to snake-infested swamps to take a leak at night, get bitten and die and not a soul is stirred.

On one hand the government has brought these people from poverty-ravaged villages to work on its corruption-tainted buildings, and on the other hand lakhs of hard-working but poor people have been thrown out of the city so that the foreigners coming here for the Games do not see the ugly, dirty side of India. Thousands of people living in Yamuna Pushta area were plucked from their houses and dumped on a wasteland in Haryana. Beggars were packed off earlier. Now, the police are scanning the slums of Delhi and Gurgaon and people are being forced to board trains back to their villages. These people have been living and working here for years and suddenly they have been asked to leave. The government doesn't want any filth in the city during the Games. It's putting bamboo screens in front of the slums.

But, now the filth is out in the open. The mismanagement and corruption has been exposed by the photos of dirty, filthy and unhygienic apartments at the Games village. And guess who gets blamed for it. Not the politicians or babus or contractors but the poor workers at the site. And when 27 workers got injured on Wednesday, when the footbridge near the JL Nehru stadium collapsed, they were herded like animals into private vehicles and dumped at a sarkari hospital. No ambulance for them, no post-recovery package for them. Just Rs 50,000 in damages for broken legs, cracked heads and damaged spinal chords.

(They need a good lawyer and class action suit)

And, to hide the accident near the Nehru stadium, the area was cordoned off and cops in full riot gear were stationed so that ordinary people and media and foreigners can't get anywhere near the site and see one more horrendous accident. Suddenly, the government has one solution for every problem across the country: post heavily-armed police and paramilitary men at the scene of a "disturbance" and give them license to shoot at will. It happens everyday in Srinagar. It's happening everyday in the jungles of Chhattisgarh. It's happening in the villages of West Bengal. It's happening in the villages of UP. Now, with Ayodhya verdict round the corner, the temple town is being turned into a fortress with men in khaki swarming over it.

These are symptoms of a failed state. We are catching up with Pakistan. We make tall claims about growth, but we treat out poor worse than animals. We aspire to be world power, but we can't even provide drinking water to all our citizens. We claim to be world's biggest democracy, but we 'solve' all our social and political problems with loaded guns in hand. It's time we accepted that we are a banana republic and we are going to the dogs.

(NO, Pakistan is way down the road to failing......unless a miracle power or entity suddenly appears and destroys and dismantles the ISI with the Pakistan military.

In India there is no such "Sword of Damocles" hanging over India which the Indian people must overcome and rise up against. Instead what you have are a handful of Macauley Brown Sahib corrupted politicians educated in the West, some possibly working for foreign powers (Sonia, ManMohan Singh certainly as previously implied) and with them, to complement them, equally corrupt Babus....lacking imagination....national zeal
......self respect.....national pride. Nothing wrong in being a chauvinist PIG a tad bit and channeling in the RIGHT manner.

Smelly filthy Jews are an extreme example of ethnic chauvanism, the sin of which they chide and chastise everybody else about....observing Israeli society closely.....they look after themselves. That is what Indians need to do, without becoming like Jews, heaven forbid.)

Speaking the truth in failed state das Pakistan

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In failed state das Pakistan speaking the OBVIOUS truth can get you beaten up by the military, killed or sacked if you are more important.

But the Pakistan military have been at it for quite a while, especially from 1951 when they assassinated Liakat Ali Khan the last effective leader of the Muslim League. Then what followed were 7 years of destabilization, before their eventual takeover in 1958.

Since that time 3,000,000 East Pakistanis have been killed by the Pakistani military in 1971 with an additional 500,000 rapes, and possibly facing war crimes charges for that event finally, after 38 years. Then there was the Baluchistan insurgency from 1973--1977, which killed another 100,000......and now unending military action against the Pashtuns which has claimed 10,000--20,000 lives.

The main business and occupation of the Pakistani military has been to kill unarmed Pakistani civilians under the guise of national security.

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Pakistan PM Gilani fires minister for criticizing army, judiciary

By Times of India

A Pakistani minister was on Saturday forced to resign after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani took serious notice of his comments criticizing the army and the judiciary and calling for everyone to get a share of the benefits of corruption.

Addressing a news conference in the southwestern city of Quetta this afternoon, minister of state for defense production Abdul Qayyum Jatoi accused the army of targeting unarmed people instead of focussing on its duty of defending the country's borders.

Jatoi, who belongs to the ruling Pakistan People's Party, alleged that Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry belonged to Punjab but had resorted to unfair means to be appointed to the superior judiciary from the quota for Baluchistan.

He also contended that everyone should have an equal right to corruption. Replying to a question, he said everyone - including Sindhis, Pashtuns, Balochis, Seraikis and Punjabis - should get a share of the benefits of corruption.

Jatoi repeatedly urged the media to report his comments. Within hours, Gilani took "serious notice" of Jatoi's statements and summoned the minister to Islamabad to explain his remarks.

Following a meeting with Gilani late in the night, Jatoi submitted his resignation. He said he had made the controversial remarks in a personal capacity.

Jatoi's remarks came at a time when the PPP-led government is facing pressure from the Supreme Court to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari in Switzerland.

The government has also had to contend with speculation about an intervention by the army due to its inept handling of recent floods and economic problems.

Information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said Jatoi's remarks did not reflect the view of the government.

Asked about a possible army intervention, Jatoi said: "Let them come, we don't fear the boots. We fought them for 60 years. We will fight them again. We provided them uniforms and boots not so that they can take away our rights and kill our people and leaders.

We have the army to fight on the borders and not with unarmed people."

Jatoi alleged that former President Pervez Musharraf, former premier Mir Zafarullah Jamali and former Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao were involved in the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti.


Chidambaram the pragmatist.

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When I first fell in love it was with a very beautiful Kashmiri girl at university; I was 19 and she was 18. She represented everything that is Kashmir, beautiful, clear elegant and much more. Kashmiris are not an aggressive warlike people.....they are a soft thoughtful poetic people, ruled and dominated by outsiders taking advantage of this fact.

India/Pakistan it seems are the latest countries which are out to dominate Kashmir, rather than rule it judiciously and effectively. One shudders at the thought of Kala Sala RSS type Maharashtran sepoys fingering Kashmiri women.

If soft touch Kashmiris are up in arms then
THERE MUST BE A GOOD REASON. Yes the battle hardened Islamic Fundamentalists sent by the ISI from Afghanistan to stir the pot from 1989 might appeal to a small narrow section of Valley Kashmiris, BUT after 21 years that can't be the only explanation for the WHOLE Valley being up in arms STILL NOW.

There must be other explanations........the problem thus might be India. What are the problems that India is creating as defacto occupier? How and why have 80,000 people died in Indian Kashmir since 1989? What can India effectively do to make amends? Looking at the long term, and not quick, 'here's a rupee or two" fixes. How can Kashmir be fully integrated into the whole of India, economically and socially?

This is the job of publicly elected officials and babus; that's what they are paid for.

Saving Kashmir by TOI opinion

Valley of Tears

The Killing of Kashmir

The Valley of Despair

Stuck in the Middle

Caught in the Crossfire

Amnesty International

Amnesty International

Amnesty International

Amnesty International


India: Repeal Immunity Law Fueling Kashmir Violence

India: Kashmir Arrest a Step for Accountability

India: Prosecute Soldiers in Kashmir ‘Encounter Killing’
India: Hold Abusers in Kashmir Accountable


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Government in Delhi offers peace to sullen Kashmir Valley.

Times of India

The Centre on Saturday formally signalled its conciliatory intent towards the sullen Kashmir Valley by deciding to appoint a team of 3-4 interlocutors for starting "sustained" talks with all sections and groups including the separatists, as well as by advising the Omar Abdullah government to take a set of measures that would facilitate the engagement.

The measures, which look like an "anger management package" meant to smoothen the way for the "sustained dialogue" the Centre aspires to hold, include an "advice" to the state government to release all stone-pelters and others charged with similar violations of law and to drop all cases against them. Likewise, the state government has also been asked to review the cases of all those detained under the Public Safety Act and to withdraw detention orders in appropriate cases.

However, the Cabinet Committee on Security, which finalised the clutch of measures announced by Union home minister P Chidambaram, steered clear of the vexed issue of what to do with the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. It has, instead, asked the Unified Command headed by J&K chief minister and comprising representatives of armed forces and police organisations to take a fresh look at the deployment of security forces and the areas which are under the Disturbed Areas Act.

Announcing the decisions of the CCS which took into account the inputs from the all-party delegation that visited the troubled state earlier this week, Chidambaram said that a group of interlocutors would be appointed under the chairmanship of an eminent person "to begin the process of a sustained dialogue with all sections of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, including political parties/groups, youth and student organizations, civil society organizations and other stakeholders".

The decision to appoint "interlocutors", at least one of whom should be a politician, came amid indications that a search for those who could play Centre's emissaries to the estranged Kashmir valley has not thrown up exciting results.

The omission of any mention of AFSPA suggests that the CCS has taken into account the concerns of the armed forces who hold the legal cover to be crucial for their operations against insurgency in J&K. In the CCS, defence minister A K Antony steadfastly argued the case of the armed forces, often drawing support from finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Chidambaram said that the Omar Abdullah government has been advised to "immediately convene a meeting of the Unified Command and to review the deployment of security forces in the Kashmir valley, especially Srinagar, with particular reference to de-scaling the number of bunkers, check-points etc. in Srinagar and other towns, and to review the notitification of areas as `disturbed areas'." Given the heavy representation of the Army and security forces in the Unified Command, no dramatic results can come out of the review.

But the Centre can hope to achieve a de-escalation of tensions as the obtrusive presence of security forces along with bunkers and check-points have been sore points with the population who have often complained of harassment and a sense of humiliation.

Other measures announced by Chidambaram are: Rs 5 lakh as ex-gratia relief for each person killed in "civil disturbances" since June 11, 2010, a "request" to the state government to reopen educational institutions, hold special classes to make up for the time lost due to turbulence, and to conduct examinations for the current academic year.

The Union home minister also announced Rs 100 crore as additional central assistance to strengthen their infrastructure.

The CCS also took care to guard against the risk of heartburn in the two other regions of the state -- Jammu and Ladakh -- over the "special treatment" for the valley, by announcing the setting up of two Special Task Forces to examine their developmental needs.

25.9.10

The Treachery of the Punjabi Gunga Din military

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A simple tragic narrative of the conflict in AF/Pak.

'al-Qaeda" doesn't exist, but is a fiction created by American intelligence with Israel to serve their geo-strategic agenda's.......unlimited war, and the weakening of Israel's percieved foes using the cover of 'al-Qaeda" in the Greater Middle East. Osama Bin Laden worked as an American agent until his death in December 2001.(code name:Tim Osman)

The Taliban on the other hand is very real, with about 10,000 regular fighters armed with ak-47 and some RPG's. On the whole it is ineffective in combat sustaining huge losses of 30,000 since 2001, against the alien occupiers losses of about 2000 killed. It has no heavy equipment such as mortar, artillery, light SAM's, ATGW etc........numerically small 10,000 regular Taliban fighters verses 70,000 American troops, 35,000 NATO, 90,000 private contractors from the USA, and about 250,000 Afghan security forces of various quality. The Taliban's strategies are much to be desired. The odds are enormously stacked against the Taliban.

The Taliban were created by the USA in 1994, when Sandy Berger the Jew National Security adviser told the Pakistanis that creating the Taliban would be a great idea, giving Pakistan strategic depth viz India. It never crossed the Pakistanis mind why a filthy smelly Jew from the USA would give such advice to the Islamic Republic "Islamic Bomb" Pakistan.

The greatest weakness of the Taliban is that it is not a true national liberation movement with charismatic leadership (Ho Chi Min, Fidel Castro, Gaddafi ALL of whom at one time were trained and armed by USA intelligence were/are charismatic leaders who overcame severe weaknesses to "win" and maintain power in their countries. In Gaddafi's case Green Berets maintained him in power, and provided him with vital intelligence about his opposition mainly based in Europe). The Taliban thus is an annex to American foreign/security policy, being USED as "Controlled Opposition" to justify long term American occupation of that helpless conflict ridden country. It is directly controlled and supplied by the ISI/Pakistan military to keep the Afghan pot boiling, for the USA which in turn controls and funds the ISI.

Thus the "Afghan Conflict" is wholly artificial, and logically the loss of life, any life whether combatants or civilians are unnecessary in the Afghan theater, but for the faggotty Jew drive of some powerful Americans in the elite structure of that country.(Petraeus with the hook nose). The criminal Jewish elite in America and their associates in the UK, linked to the big high street banks make anything from $50--80 billion laundering the Afghan heroin profits through the high street banks. For the troubled Jew banks, Afghan Heroin is a vital source of liquidity which sustains their greedy corrupt practices.

For the Americans Afghanistan also serves as a launch pad against operations in Pakistan.......long a target of Israel, once it announced its intentions to build nuclear bombs. Iran and Central Asia are also targets from Afghanistan.

For the Pakistani military a mixture of threats and inducements are used by the USA to win their "co-operation".

Since 1965 the USA has made various veiled and unveiled threats against Pakistan. Threats are an integral part of American foreign policy, especially where Third World nations are concerned. In 2001 the USA threatened to bomb Pakistan back to the stone age if it didn't stop supporting the Taliban immediately in the wake of the Israeli orchestrated 9/11 tragedy. MOSSAD Busharaf complied, and gave various significant concessions to the USA since 2001, including control of several Pakistani military bases, and access to sensitive Pakistani military installations with American oversight. Part of that arrangement gives the USA the right to attack sovereign Pakistani territory with drones, with the assistance of the Pakistani military to kill innocent Pakistani civilians, in the pursuit of a FAKE NARRATIVE, which justify's America's presence in Afghanistan, so that they can harvest the Afghan Heroin for as long as possible.

The Pakistan military brass know this as do the Americans.

To reinforce this the Americans have made another veiled threat against Pakistan. America as with the Times Square bomber will manufacture, another fake terror event associated with Pakistanis, and this time the American response against Pakistan will be more severe, as per Hilary Clinton's numerous utterances. So underlying this threat, Pakistan MUST "co-operate" with the USA....capische signor? Or else......."Co-operation" means endless military operations against the Pashtuns in the NWFP , and it seems Baluchistan. One also believes 99% of the so called Islamic fundamentalist terrorism in Pakistan which has claimed the lives of some 3500 people in 300 such incidents mainly again in the NWFP since 2004, is the work of the Pakistani military with American assistance, to destabilize Pakistani society, and weaken civilian rule.

However American policy is not all about threats and generous carrots have been offered towards Pakistan. The USA has marshaled possibly $25 billion over a decade with aid being funneled through USA aid, IMF and WB loans. The money goes primarily to bribe the civilian politicians and of course the military, AND into their Swiss accounts. Pakistani military brass Brigadier up are guaranteed millionaires as long as they don't rock the boat. Only an exceptional character of great integrity would reject such American generosity......and there are not too many of them in the Pakistani military. If they existed at all, they would be screened out after becoming colonel, before being sent to the USA for further training as top brass.

The final inducement for the Pakistan military is the off the books one. 70-80% of the logistics for the occupation troops in Afghanistan goes through Pakistan.........The cost of Afghan operations is officially put at about $90 billion annually, excluding yearly unforeseen supplements, and off the books expenditure. So the logistics going through Pakistan to Afghanistan could be anything from $100---130 billion annually. There most likely is a "fell off the back of the lorry" agreement with the Pakistani military where they might get say 5% of the logistics.....5% of 100 billion is $5 billion worth of logistics; equivalent to the entire Pakistani annual military budget.

Seen from this perspective for the Punjabis in the Pakistani military, a state which is not suffering but prospering further, ANY OPERATIONS against Pashtuns might be seen as an easy sacrifice to make for the 'Greater glory of Pakistan".

However, its obviously not that simple. Strategically speaking American intentions and operations in Afghanistan/Pakistan is doing greater harm than good, OBVIOUSLY, in the long term. Estimates of Pakistani economic losses for sustaining the artificial war against its own people vary from $43 billion to $60 billion by some estimates since 2001. The $25 billion aid marshaled by the USA over 10 years will not cover these losses. The only people who benefit from such a situation in Pakistan are a narrow few politicians and military people who obtain bribe money.........otherwise Pakistan the nation state overall OBVIOUSLY is suffering.

The only solution to this is a popular Revolution against the American imposed puppets of the Zardari civilian government, and more critically the Pakistan military. It is of course easier said then done. The Pakistani military is well organized, and backed by the USA.

However if revolution does occur, the first thing that must be done is the complete elimination and dismantling of the ISI. There are 20--30,000 serving and retired members of the ISI, and after a revolution their members must be hunted down and dealt with, otherwise any popular revolution will be met by a counter-revolution by the ISI. There after the top brass of the Pakistani military Brigadier up must be dealt with..........all of them. Psychologically the ISI and the Pakistani top brass must be treated as one...we are NOT talking about separate entities.

There after once the hardest part is achieved, the corrupt politicians of the PPP must be dealt with. A national government must be established, without having elections immediately. After that quite obviously ALL agreements with the USA, security and economic must be abolished, and the ejection of ALL Americans from Pakistani soil, save a dozen embassy staff.

Pakistan can raise an extra $10--15 billion in revenue annually if the Tamindars/Zamindars and Commercial families are properly taxed......Pakistan does not need a penny of Gora Jew money which any way goes mostly into Swiss accounts and does not benefit Pakistan generally.

Pakistan can live in dignity, and national pride as a prosperous South Asian country which is not a slave of American Imperial designs, AND as a failed state number 10 dominated by USA trained military people who kill Pakistani civilians for a sake of a few $. It no longer has to PRETEND for the USA to be the terrorist number one hub for the sake of American Imperial designs in the region.

For this to be achieved the Mir Jafar's and Mir Sadiq's have to be recognized clearly and dealt with first within Pakistani society.

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The Dead were Completely Unrecognizable


Interview With Family Devastated by US Drone Attack

By Asim Qureshi

CP: Could you please introduce yourself?

Bismillahir rahmaanir raheem

Haider: My name is Haider. My brother-in-law, Mohammed Asghar, lived in Peshawar and worked as a money exchanger in the markets there.

CP: Where did the drone attack take place?

H: The attacks took place in North Waziristan, Miranshah in District Ahmadkheel. My brother-in-law had friends he was visiting in Waziristan. As he was a guest there - and as is the custom of the people - many of the locals gathered to welcome him into the area. He was sat with a group of these people from the community when everybody gathered to pray the evening prayer (‘Isha) together. The drone attack happened in the middle of the prayers and the entire congregation was martyred.

CP: Were there any Taliban or Al Qaeda in the gathering or were they all civilians?

H: All the people gathered were locals from the community who had come to welcome the new guest to the area. The people are renowned for their hospitality and it is unthinkable for them that somebody would come to visit and they would not have a gathering to welcome them. In total, 31 people were killed. Drone attacks are so powerful nobody can escape them merely injured.

CP: How did you find out this happened?

H: Between our area and Waziristan is an 8 hour journey. The drone attack happened at night time and we all knew about it by the following morning. People who had witnessed the attack had come to tell us and described what they saw of the remnants and damage in the aftermath. They said the attack was so severe that they could not even distinguish the bodies from one another- even the bones of the people were completely blown apart. The dead were completely unrecognizable. My brother in law’s coffin was tightly sealed and we were not allowed to open it to view anything. We had the coffin with us for 30 minutes before it was taken away for burial.

CP: Why do you think the US/Pakistan government do this and what do you think they hope to gain?

H: We just don’t know. We don’t know how much authority Pakistan has given the US to attack our areas and we don’t know until when the US are given free license by the Pakistani government to carry out these drone attacks. So far between 1400-1600 people have died as a result of these attacks. Nobody takes responsibility for these civilian deaths. Ask the journalists or officials for the true statistics, we know that it is 1400-1600 civilians, women and children killed. In this, they would have been lucky to even have 11 or 12 ‘militants’ amongst them. These attacks are so widespread that even my brother in law who lives in Peshawar was made a victim of it. Who do I appeal to? Where can I go? I don’t even know who to hold responsible for his death and how I do it.

I am shocked that the US can come to attack Pakistan in this way and Pakistan does not even have the authority to question them on the deaths they are causing. The civilians in all these regions are extremely frightened and fearful. They can’t work in the day, nor can they sleep during the night. As soon as they hear the slightest sound of an aeroplane, they flee in panic from their homes and buildings trying to find a place for security. The whole community is in a state of fear and I just cannot explain to you how unbearable these calamities are for the people. Every household has at least half of its people martyred (i.e.: killed) as a result of these attacks. I simply do not understand what the understanding between Pakistan the US is on this matter.

CP: Haider, thank you for taking the time to speak with us and we are sorry for your loss.

We agree with the playboy

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I am against dynastic politics, which then becomes a sort of family business milking the gravy train of the state, as well connected insiders wheeling and dealing, but not really ruling in the interests of the state. In the case of the misnamed Gandhi's or is it Ganda's its arms purchases from foreign countries which has earned them about $2 billion in Swiss nest egg lolly. OK, OK its now $4 billion.....$2 billion in the early 1980's from commissions from the Soviet Union.

However that does not mean big time crooks are always wrong in what they say, or do.

Hitler wasn't always wrong......he was after all a vegetarian who with the help of his Jewish banker contacts revived the German economy in a few short miracle years.

Stalin wasn't always wrong, turning the Soviet Union from a very backward agrarian society, into the second most industrialized country in just 13 years (1928--1941) with the help of his international Jewish banker contacts from whom he took direct orders, and American technical help.(The Jewish bankers told him to destroy the leadership of the Soviet armed forces in 1937; dismantle ALL Soviet armored formations in 1939, and make an agreement with Nazi Germany for the partition of Poland, which would free Hitler to invade and attack the whole of Europe......thus giving Hitler time and the resources of the whole of Europe to attack and invade the Soviet Union eventually with such devastating consequences in 1941, for which Stalin allegedly never anticipated and seriously prepared for)


But in India we have Rahul the International Playboy(Pizza, Italy), educated at least officially in the USA/UK saying the right things for once. Why not?..........Why not, since what he is saying is already in the minds of most educated Indians of the younger generation, whose vote Congress can count on or would like to attract through Rahul.

The stupid Ayodhya Circus is a silly distraction vehicle invented solely by the BJP, who benefited politically from the circus for a while in the 1990's. The Ayodhya circus is wholly irrelevant to India's needs of good governance, infrastructure investment, industrialization, full free education, economic prosperity and greater trade.(India exports a mere $175 billion, whilst pedophile hub Belgium with 10 million people exports close to $400 billion)

The stupid Ayodhya Circus is almost as bad as the dynasty politics of Indian politics along with its rampant corruption. Lalu has brought out his son, now and why not? It smacks of religious obscurantism of the worst sort.....its fuzzy haired, coconut cracking, grass skirted, kala sala, bongo bongo with spears primitive and ultimately irrelevant. At Ayodhya 1992 and at Godhara 2002, it was after all these low caste illiterate kala sala who were involved in the dirty deeds, and not any noble Aryans with some education??? True?

The BJP as alleged staunch India nationalists should be hopping mad and concerned about India's isolation and diplomatic ineffectiveness in South Asia, rather than dredging up past percieved wrongs and wounds over 1000 years back.......looking to the past with anger and grievance, rather than to the future with optimism, modernity and hope.

The Turco-Afghan rulers may have destroyed 5000 Temples over 1000 years, God knows? They were superior fighters who dominated North India for 600 years. In the case of the Afghans they are directly related to most Brahmin's in India genetically, and many themselves were once Hindus.

But once you set a process of calling all old mosques ex-temples, then you start a very regressive negative trend that empowers the wrong sections of society in India. It shifts the debate to the wrong arena, for all the wrong reasons.

Partition of South Asia on the basis of religion was wrong; The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a failed state number 10 that is destroying itself through religion. The settlement of the Ayodhya Circus purely on the basis of religious sentiment will be wrong.

Babri Mosque was a historical fact established back in the 16th century, what ever its origins, which subsequently should not have been allowed itself to be transferred into the Ayodhya issue of 1992 as a politicized vehicle for the BJP, whilst Congress passively quiesced in its destruction from the sidelines..........it created and simplified the debate in a negative simplified way between 460 million South Asian Muslims, and Hindus, as with Partition. This was a wrong type of debate which aided the wrong type of people. Religious Fundamentalism is bad, progressive modernity implemented effectively is good.

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Congress defends Rahuls Ayodhya remarks

By TOI

Congress on Friday defended party general secretary Rahul Gandhi's remarks that issues like education and development were more important than the dispute over ownership of the Ayodhya site.

The party said the young leader's views expressed during a visit to Guwahati on Thursday had actually reflected the aspirations of the younger generation of Indians. "He contextualised the Ayodhya dispute; his statement reflected the aspirations of a large section of the youth," party spokesman Manish Tiwari told reporters.

He said even at the time of demolition in 1992, a large number of young people felt that issues pertinent to the everyday life of the common man were more important than the dispute.

Replying to a question during a session with IIT students in Guwahati, Rahul had said that issues of education, development and infrastructure were more important than the shrine dispute.

21.9.10

Great power status is not important for India.....history is replete with nations which once were great powers.

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There is a flurry of reports "talking up" India from the USA. I am cynical enough to think that most of it is not altruistic, but that clearly such chatter serve some kind of overall USA agenda, which one might perceive to be ultimately unfavorable to India in its real long term essence.

At a more tangible level it tends to raise tensions with China, though not overtly never the less the Chinese attempt to reduce Indian power in a variety of ways, which may not have originally materialized had such statements not been made. It creates an artificial competition between the two neighbors.

If the USA was serious about such statements, they might have first taken clear steps to guarantee and organize with the UK, France and Russia that India would have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, as befitting a "Great Power" number 3 with nuke weapons, and 1.5 million men under arms. This was after all what the USA anointed to China far back in the 1960's when she barely had diplomatic representation with the USA.

China sees itself as the greatest Asian power, and soon this century will prize the mantle of the greatest power, hence its over reaction to little territorial incidents which smaller nations might have otherwise ignored. If that is China's destiny then that is fine.

But India needs to be careful that through false utterances it does not unnecessarily get into the wrong side of China. Indeed it is encouraged that India becomes a proactive accepted member of the SCO, and not too remote from China.


India should not seek 'great power' status because the USA promises to make India into a great power. There is something truly absurd about such statements from the USA. No nation on earth makes another nation into a great power. Thus India strategically must be wary of such statements from the USA.

The trade between China/US is near $400 billion in 2010. The trade between India/USA is near $40 billion.

Or put it another way, China this year may well export $340 billion worth of goods and services to the USA to the detriment of the USA trade balance, jobs and USA manufacturing base, whilst India will export a paltry $20 billion. These are the real FACTS of the relationship of the two states. Trade between nations don't happen by chance, but through government design and the manipulation of trading laws and taxes. There is no such thing as free trade.

If the USA is serious about improving relations with India onto a more solid foundation, then the USA should help India export substantially more to the USA, and vice versa which is mutually beneficial...say $300 billion worth of trade between the two by 2015. Simultaneously the USA should cut back on its aid commitment to Pakistan which run into possibly $25 billion over several years, through direct USAID, IMF and WB soft loans. Especially defense sales.

Let us not in India be shallow and superficial, when the USA yet again tells India that she is a great power, and the USA will make her a even greater power!!!! Where was the USA in India's strategic spectrum for the last 63 years......in its industry, and arms sector? The bulk of the aid given to India between 1950--1970...$9 billion was food, and other less significant aid, and not in the strategic sectors. On the other hand the USA has continually beefed up Pakistan's armed forces who then used their American arms against India in 1965, and 1971 especially.


It is a well known FACT that American industry/finance built up both the Soviet Union's strategic industries...oil, steel, electricity, automobile and so forth from the 1920's and Nazi Germany's war machine in parallel, to the point where both nations felt they were a dire threat to each other. It was not mere business opportunism which led American industry/finance down that path, but calculated political decision making which resulted in WWII, between essentially two over armed neighbors, thanks to the help of the USA covertly. Initial Soviet Tanks were produced under license from the USA, and initial German warplanes were designed and aided by Americans.

Thus India with its mere 39 ordinance factories, with its 80% imported arms.......and multiple socio-economic problems needs to dream a little less about being a great power. Great power status is not important. What is important is that India is a well balanced prosperous society, which is well educated and All BASIC NEEDS are met for all its people. Finally that India should not be the home for the greatest number of people living in poverty.

I can any day, at any time produce a report which says Lata Mangeshkar is the greatest singer on earth, and say that I love her music. Without much REAL evidence or effort. Opinion is after all opinion. On the other hand if I merchandise and promote Lady Gaga at the same time, to the point of destroying my own career and lifetstyle sycophantically, which then leads her to earn 10 times more than our beloved Lata Mangeshkar, then there is a double standard in my utterance.

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India Third most powerful nation: US report.

By TOI.

India is listed as the third most powerful country in the world after the US and China and the fourth most powerful bloc after the US, China and the European Union in a new official US report.

The new global power line-up for 2010 also predicted that New Delhi's clout in the world will further rise by 2025, according to "Global Governance 2025" jointly issued by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) of the US and the European Union's Institute for Security Studies (EUISS).

Using the insights of a host of experts from Brazil, Russia, India and China, among others, and fictionalised scenarios, the report illustrates what could happen over the next 25 years in terms of global governance.

In 2010, the US tops the list of powerful countries/regions, accounting for nearly 22 percent of the global power.

The US is followed by China with European Union at 16 percent and India at eight percent. India is followed by Japan, Russia and Brazil with less than five percent each.

According to this international futures model, by 2025 the power of the US, EU, Japan and Russia will decline while that of China, India and Brazil will increase, even though there will be no change in this listing.

By 2025, the US will still be the most powerful country of the world, but it will have a little over 18 percent of the global power.

The US will be closely followed by China with 16 percent, European Union with 14 percent and India with 10 per cent.

"The growing number of issues on the international agenda, and their complexity, is outpacing the ability of international organisations and national governments to cope," the report warns.

This critical turning point includes issues of climate change, ethnic and regional conflicts, new technology, and the managing of natural resources.

The report also highlights the challenges proponents of effective global governance face.

On one hand, rapid globalization, economic and otherwise, has led to an intertwining of domestic politics and international issues and fuelled the need for more cooperation and more effective leadership.

But on the other hand, an increasingly multipolar world, often dominated by non-state actors, has put a snag in progress toward effectual global governance, it said.



Taxishila, Nalanda.....where are you?

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India has the largest number of universities in the world at 8600?? And is the nation which was the very first to establish universities at several locations thousands of years back (The higher study of several disciplines under one roof, with the guidance of well versed teachers). India has the highest number of enrolled higher education students in the world??? 18 million.

India has many many words for the seeker/imparting of true knowledge or teacher........The Indian nation in the broadest sense has always prized the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, from swamis, sadhus, yogis, Pandits, Gurus, Maharishis, Sanyasins and Brahmans.

But alas, such impressive statistics mean very little, in the modern shoddy post colonial, Macauley Brown Sahib run India.

The preset government would like to spend maybe 6% of GDP on education in the near future, which I think is an excellent aspiration. There is a clear linkage between a well educated population and economic growth. Guess what the most prosperous, stable and successful nations on earth also happen to be the most educated in the broadest sense....what a surprise. However obviously its not about throwing a greater % of India's wealth towards education generally, but taking a clear strategic look at where the money really needs to be spent. Dare I say it, as the article rightly suggests specific investment needs to be made to create quality education institutions, even if they don't serve the masses. An Ivy league of colleges and universities, which are very well financed. The government can take the initiative on its own, or where individual projects merit embark on joint ventures with the private sector.

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Quality over quantity

By TOI.


The QS ranking of world universities was released recently. Like all such rankings, this one too has many critics who question its methodology and hence the accuracy of its ranking. But Indian universities and educational institutions fare far too badly for this to be attributed to faulty methodology. The highest-ranked Indian institution is IIT, Mumbai, with a rank of 187 in the world. What is perhaps more disheartening is that 35 other Asian institutions have been ranked above it. Clearly, we are falling far behind even countries like South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and, of course, China and Japan in higher education.

Why should we care whether we have a world-class university when we do not have enough primary schools and inadequate healthcare facilities? This may well be the reaction of large numbers of Indians, who view top-quality higher educational institutions as a luxury good that cannot be afforded by developing countries. Unfortunately, this is an extremely myopic view. The absence of Harvards and Cambridges in India has resulted in gigantic outflows of the best Indian students leaving the country to study abroad. In fact, sometimes i feel that i hear more students speaking in Hindi in the University of Warwick campus than, for instance, in the Delhi School of Economics!

This migration would not have mattered if it had been temporary. It is not an overwhelming fraction of Indians who go abroad to study do not return to India. The sheer magnitude of the brain drain from India is mind-boggling. India does benefit from their presence abroad through remittances and goodwill earned overseas. But we suffer a far bigger loss because the direct benefits of their skills as managers, doctors, innovators and researchers accrue to the countries where they reside.

The UPA government started its second innings with the promise to build several world-class universities. We have not yet been told how it intends to keep its promise although half its term is over. Perhaps, the government believes that all it has to do is construct some new buildings and the rest will follow. But what we actually need is a dramatically new approach.

The strategy followed so far in developing higher education in India has been to gradually increase the number of universities, all of them with roughly the same scale of facilities. This emphasis on quantity has had a deplorable effect on quality because resources have been spread too thinly. Even the most well-funded university or research institute in India receives no more than a fraction of the funds available to comparable institutions in several Asian countries.

Consider, for example, the salaries on offer in Indian universities. Despite the quite large increase in salaries after the last pay commission report, university salaries remain grossly inadequate compared to remunerations available elsewhere. A bright young researcher who, after finishing a PhD abroad, has just received an assistant professorship in any North American university would have to attach an exceedingly high premium to the intangible joys of working "back home" in order to actually return to India.

Is it surprising then that even leading universities and research institutes find it impossible to reverse the brain drain? Similarly, a comparison of salaries in the corporate world with those in academia explains why increasingly large numbers of bright students opt for a career in the private sector instead of entering academia.

Of course, salaries are just one component of what young researchers look for when they evaluate alternative job offers. Although the internet, skype and e-mail have made the world a smaller place, it is imperative for young academics to have generous research grants so as to be able to travel abroad to attend conferences and workshops, to collaborate with foreign co-authors. Experimental scientists need state-of-the art laboratories. Which Indian university offers these facilities?

So, the financial requirements of "world-class" universities are very large. This means that the only feasible option is to discard the current policy of uniformity same salary scale, same rules regarding travel grants, etc, across all universities. Instead, the government should build perhaps three or four universities with research facilities and salaries comparable to the best in Asia. Moreover, these universities must be truly autonomous institutions. And they must be completely free from the draconian formulaic regime imposed by the UGC in particular and the government in general. For example, imagine that Harvard wants to hire an outstanding young academic as an associate professor, but is unable to do so because the person has not completed eight years after his PhD!

Ideally, these universities should have both undergraduate and graduate programmes. Moreover, the size of the undergraduate programme should be sufficiently small so that the entire teaching is done by the graduate faculty instead of being farmed out to affiliated colleges. This practice, which has also been advocated by the vice-chancellor of Delhi University in a recent newspaper article, will improve the quality of undergraduate teaching dramatically.

Of course, this will mean inequality in the education sector both in terms of the quality of teaching available to students as well as the remuneration package available to faculty. This will inevitably attract the charge of elitism. Unfortunately, this is the additional price which has to be paid for setting up world-class universities!

The writer is professor, University of Warwick.



20.9.10

Kashmir.

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It is a shame 102 protesting civilians have died in Kashmir in the last few months, where an overall 80,000 people have been killed since 1989. In most civilized countries if their security forces committed such atrocities there would a huge public outcry and several public inquiries, both government and private.

In Democratic India things are a little more callous, in a nation with 32,000 reported homicides annually, 200,000 suicides, 135,000 road fatalities and God knows how many more from the problems of poverty and starvation.

But still Kashmir for India is a sensitive and strategic area, whose problems cannot be ignored and brushed aside. The strife ridden place, initially instigated by Pakistan in 1989, requires special care, attention and love.

Security people don't make good diplomats, or public relations people. They may sometimes be useful for the job which tax payers pay them for, but rarely as good PR/people friendly individuals (one encourages Young Indian journos to go under cover as local Kashmiris for several months Tehelka style to find out the real situation). That is why it is a good idea to keep them away from population areas, especially volatile politicized population areas. You don't need military/paramilitary people near civilians, armed to the hilt fighting a "war" against stone throwing frustrated Indians. The results are all too obvious....102 civilians dead or 80,000 since 1989, and zero losses among the security in the recent altercation. This is a gross imbalance.

The military/paramilitary in Kashmir need to be kept in the Pak/China border areas, and other remote parts of Kashmir, well away from civilian areas. As stated before India for strategic reasons needs to maintain 600,000--800,000 troops in this theater, along with massive stockpiles of arms. The Indian military is a professional force without huge reserves, hence any significant losses in a REAL two front war, quality professional men will never be so easily replaced in a critical area such as Kashmir, .........so India will always need to keep significant forces in this theater, even if there was complete peace in the Valley. Thus logically Kashmir can never be given autonomy given this strategic factor........it will inevitably be read as weakness by India's adversaries.

On the other hand no reason why India shouldn't try to run the state as normally as possible like the rest of India. Psychologically this is important for India and especially for Kashmiris.........special monetary packages (we're talking about 3---5 million valley Kashmiris right???), dole, jobs guaranteed for the young males in public works, revocation of AFSPA.........The trick is to see the problem in Kashmir as a social economic one rather than through the prism of security, and then doing what is required with real action. Rather than let border incidents with Pakistan, and insurgency infiltrations dominate the mindset. SEPARATE INDIAN KASHMIR FROM PAKISTAN PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND IN REALITY.

Lets get rid of the military/paramilitary in the civilian vicinity.

Whats wrong with using teargas, and water canons against youthful stone throwers. India does not make such things?

Direct order from the Home Ministry to the security forces in heavy civilian areas to desist from using guns against unarmed civilians. We can easily stop the killing tomorrow by simple bureaucratic action.

Massive bolstering of the local Kashmiri police, over and above the alien security forces armed heavily and imported from the rest of India......Kashmir Valley police force with local recruitment and "special pay" (15,000 rupees annually, given the dangerous nature of their work).......as a force of 50,000 to secure the valley. With some small arms.

KEEP ISRAELI SECURITY PEOPLE AWAY FROM THE SENSITIVE AREA, DON'T BE STUPID.

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The problem is Delhi

By Samar Halarnkar of the Hindustan Times.

Oi, ruk ja oi! Idhar aa.’ (You there, stop! Come here.) Dawn had broken over Srinagar’s eerie, empty streets. My faulty strolley rattling along, I was trying to walk to a tourist centre, where I was told I might find a government bus bound for the airport. My confident cab driver —who claimed, the previous day, that he had seen much worse — glumly told me he couldn’t make it out of his front door. At 1 am, I heard this announcement: “Please do not move out of your houses at night. You may be shot.”

So, at 5.45 am, I stopped and watched a six-man patrol of the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force approach me. Armed with Insas automatic rifles (cocked, I noticed), heavy anti-riot padding and helmets with grills, they looked menacing. I pride myself on not scaring easily, but I tensed just a bit.

“Where’s Rajbagh?” one asked. The patrol was lost. I wasn’t going to be detained or thrashed for violating curfew.

After bus journeys through barrages of stones, I managed to make it to the last flight out of Srinagar and reach Delhi by 6 pm that day, before all commercial operations were suspended for the first time in 11 years.

I was very lucky. The curfew hasn’t been lifted since I left on Monday, and I did not endure any of the random humiliation, slaps or beatings that most Kashmiris experience at some time. A friend’s husband, the chief of bureau of a national television channel, was recently made to get out of his car and sweep the streets — this on a day there was no curfew. Even ambulance drivers ferrying the wounded aren’t spared.

“Collective punishment” is a buzzword that every Kashmiri now uses, a strong, ever-present alienating factor, largely unrecognised in Delhi.

Wherever I went, whomever I met, I found present humiliations and past wrongs combined seamlessly to create a surge of anger more pronounced than ever before. Stone-throwers, government officials and professors; the classes and the masses, in varying degrees, are now beginning to speak the same language.

Each new death, every humiliation on the streets, each day of curfew draws in more people — and entraps the Indian government in a vicious cycle of narrowing options, making the job easier for a bunch of new radicals. Add the trumping of Kashmir’s traditional and tolerant Sufi faith by a darker, more intolerant Islam — helped in some measure by Delhi’s choking of democratic values and institutions — and it is not hard to see why the separatists India knows so well, like Mirwaiz Omar Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani, are in danger of being eclipsed.

It promises to get worse. As I write this, the all-party meeting in Delhi has utterly failed to address the Valley’s realities. Yesterday’s separatist will now be a moderate, even as the day before’s hero is today’s villain.

I bring to your attention a statement that, at first glance, fits easily into the current stream of anti-India pronouncements: “It is a small matter what happens to me. But it is no small matter that the people of Jammu and Kashmir suffer poverty, humiliation and degradation… my voice may be stifled behind the prison walls, but it will continue to echo and ring for all times to come.”

Familiar? Yes, but this was a 1961 pronouncement by Sheikh Abdullah, the ‘Lion of Kashmir’. Despite being Jawaharlal Nehru’s friend, his sentiments were then regarded so extreme that he spent more than 20 years in jail. Once eulogised, Abdullah (his son is Farooq, grandson Omar) is today reviled on the street as the man who sold out to India.

So, at every opportunity, they attack his mausoleum alongside the Dal lake. “If we do not protect it round the clock,” a senior police officer observed wryly, “the Sheikh would have been dug out of his grave by now.”

Home Minister P. Chidambaram — not particularly liked by his colleagues but perhaps the only minister who recognises how quickly Kashmir is slipping away — has, in Cabinet meetings, stressed India’s history of broken promises in Kashmir. That is a rare, welcome recognition of reality, but he has little support.

It is also important to recognise that Omar Abdullah, heralded as India’s new hope for Jammu and Kashmir when he was elected the chief minister in 2008, could never connect with his people or his colleagues, and showed no indication he cared about Kashmir’s long-festering wounds.

But, in the middle of this crises, it is churlish to lay all the blame at his door. On Kashmir’s streets, Omar is not the issue. Nor is his pet theme, the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). It doesn’t affect the current generation because the army isn’t deployed in civilian areas, as it was during the militancy of the 1990s.

Yes, demilitarisation is a very important symbolic gesture, but the underlying grouse of the Kashmiri is with unaddressed aspirations, of promises broken over 63 years, of the daily humiliations, all of which are blamed directly on Delhi.

Disaffection is now so deep and wide that whatever the Cabinet announces can only be a starting point. Resolution and reconciliation cannot come from a meeting. It must be a process, which is already faltering.

Every delay drags India towards a precipice. If we fall over the edge, expect the current unarmed unrest to turn into an armed insurgency. If that happens, a bloody suppression will follow.

Kashmir, and India, will then be doomed to a future worse than the present — and the past.