30.4.15

Iran is not so close to the Houthis

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Iran is not so close to the Houthis. 

Since the Mullahs were installed by the USA/UK in 1979, there hasn't been a huge volume of traffic/exchange between Tehran and Sana regarding co-religious matters and security matters.

Yemen anyway is awash with arm dumps since the 1960's, and support and supply from Sunni President Saleh and his orders to stand down the regular Yemen when he requested the Houthis to negotaite a national government. The Houthis are/were pawns of Saleh, not Iran.

Iran is militarily more active in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq which are geo-strategically far closer to Iran than Yemen, and thus have immediate implications vis a vi the Shia elements in those countries.

Iran may not wish to be painted in the Middle East as the savior of ALL Shia's....whoever they may be, and however tenuous the link they may have with Mullah Iran. 

The Houthis for their part have not shown over excitement about Mullah Iran, and never directly requested Tehran to save them from the clutches of Saudi Sunni Wahabism. The Houthis are Yemeni nationalists trying to form a fair NATIONAL UNITY government that represents ALL, and which marginalizes the role of Saudi Arabia. It is SUNNI Saleh who asked for the Houthis to take over Sana only recently.

The devious JEWSA on the other hand may wish to paint a SUNNI vs SHIA rivalry, even as they fund Israel and promote ISIS via Sunni Turkey, and Sunni Jordan....with the money of Sunni Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others.

The invitation from the JEWSA may be too tempting for the mullah puppet donkeys.

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US Asks Iran to Help With Yemen Peace Talks

Hopes Iran Can Help Get Houthis to the Table

by Jason Ditz, at antiwar.com
US officials today confirmed that during Monday’s talks between Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian FM Javad Zarif, Kerry had asked Iran to help facilitate peace talks in Yemen.
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Interestingly, Iran has been the one pushing for peace in Yemen for weeks now, while the US has loudly endorsed the Saudi war. US officials now seem to think Iran is the key to getting the Houthis to the negotiating table.
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Yet the Houthis never seemed to be averse to negotiations in the first place, and it has been the Saudis and their allies that have demanded unconditional Houthi surrender before any talks would even be considered.
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It’s unclear what the US expects Iran to do in this case, as their influence with the Houthis is almost certainly overstated, and their ability to get them to agree to terms agreeable to the Saudis, who seem eager to continue the sectarian war, is likely non-existent.

The Journey of a 1000 miles begins with the first step......Shahbassh

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Its a sure fire vote winner....because it is the aam adhmi who use this resource the most, and benefit the most. Populist governments from Hitler, Mussolini, FD Roosevelt and the Chinese government have focused enormous resources on this. 

In the case of the first two leaders, road construction was a priority for military purposes, and in the case of the second 2, for economic growth and connectivity.

Macaulay Brown Sahib do nothing Congress, did nothing in this area and forever had the proverbial finger up their fat asses. As a result India's road network is akin to Myanmar and Cambodia, two of the poorest countries in Asia.

Of all the roads in India only 57% are covered, whilst 43% are dirt roads. The 57% of roads that are covered by concrete or Asphalt are also in a poor state. 

Roads are more important than railways in most countries for economic activity. If the BJP government intends to spend $180 billion over the next 5 years on railways, then it must spend at least $500 billion on roads, between cities and towns. 

India will need to invest US$1.9 trillion on infrastructure projects before 2020 to meet its economic needs, a part of which would be in upgrading India's road network.[10] The Government of India is attempting to promote foreign investment in road projects.[10][11][12] Foreign participation in Indian road network construction has attracted 45 international contractors and 40 design/engineering consultants, with Malaysia, South Korea, United Kingdom and United States being the largest players...WIKIPEDIA.

Road transport is vital to India's economy. It enables the country's transportation sector to contribute 4.7 percent towards India’s gross domestic product, in comparison to railways that contributed 1 percent, in 2009–2010. Road transport has not gained in importance over the years despite significant barriers and inefficiencies in inter-state freight and passenger movement compared to railways and air. The government of India considers road network as critical to the country's development, social integration and security needs of the country.[19]

India's road network carries over 65 percent of its freight and about 85 percent of passenger traffic........... Wikipedia
Investment in road infrastructure is Non-inflationary growth that provides vital jobs from the construction sector.


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d2/Renumbered_National_Highways_map_of_India_%28Schematic%29.jpg

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Govt plans Bharat Mala, a 5,000km road network

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By Times of India


The government is proposing to build about 5,000 km of road network all along the borders and coastal areas under a new scheme to be called "Bharat Mala". If former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's scheme of building Golden Quadrilateral gave a fillip to the highway construction in the country, the new plan will connect all untouched areas in the hinterland to push development and economic activities. Construction of the huge network would need at least Rs 50,000 crore, road ministry sources said.

Officials said the project would be part of 'work plan' the road transport ministry will submit to PM Narendra Modi on Thursday when he takes the first meeting on infrastructure sector in the current financial year. The road network will pass through all bordering states - Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan and Bhutan - besides covering the vast coastline.

"Already we have good road network in these stretches. We will build the missing links and also extend the network where no road exists at present. These will provide connectivity to the huge number of ports, which will be part of the 'Sagar Mala' project. Once completed, these will provide seamless connectivity along the borders, which is crucial for strategic reasons," said a ministry official.



According to sources, Rajasthan is likely to get a maximum of about 1,000 km road network under this programme while Tamil Nadu and Odisha will also get substantial portion. The roads will provide connectivity from Gujarat in the west to Mizoram in the northeast and across all other major states.

"We are identifying the stretches and will soon start preparation of the plan. We have also started consultations with state governments to get their views and to take them on board. The width of roads will differ from state to state and it will depend on the traffic demand," an official said.

He said the project could take off this year and the ministry targets to complete it in the next five years.

 

28.4.15

Artillery

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The Jaivana Gun built around 1700 by the Rajputs. Look at the exquisite superior engineering.
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India has a fine history of producing artillery going back to 1500, when Emperor Babur hired Turkish Ottoman gunsmiths to manufacture mortars and cannons for his ultra modern muskets and canon army of 12,000 which spectacularly defeated the Afghan Lodhi army of 100,000 from Delhi.



Indian steel based weapons was especially sought after in the Greater Middle East and Asia generally. Wootz steel dating back 4000 years.



 When Western colonialism arrived de-industrialisation took place, economic contraction, and for the first time in Indian history, mass poverty.



By 1947, the Raj left a meager 16 ordinance factories in India, for a nation that was once the unofficial arsenal of ASIA.


Tata develops artillery gun. But the scamsters will never buy it

 Macaulay Brown Sahib do nothing Congress, loathsome and suspicious of the military, especially after events in neighboring Pakistan never bothered fully to focus on security and the Indian military, maintaining a paltry 30 + divisions, and a small military of about 1.2 million relative to India's size, and International pretensions ( Though I'm not a fan of pretensions) Under Congress the ordinance factories number increased to 20!!!! by 1980, and 39 by 2005.



What India of course needs is about 2000--3000 ordinance factories, and 20,000 defense related factories employing 5,000,000 people. Thats a proper legit defense manufacturing sector on a par with China, Russia and the USA. 

Maybe be then India will FINALLY get a permanent Security Council seat at the UN?


London, the fifth column and the arms industry middle men scamsters based around Delhi will push back against such a rationale policy, for their own reasons. India will continue to be a major arms importers even though its makes strategic sense to make your own arms, as is the case with the USA, Russia and China.



The humble old artillery is not sexy.....unlike Mars probes, Moon probes, stealth submarines, stealth destroyers, aircraft carriers and foreign manufactured jet fighters, BUT it is the most BASIC, and important component of defense for a THIRD WORLD developing LAND POWER.


India should have 5000 155mm artillery, 5000 105mm artillery, 20,000 81mm/120mm mortar................ 30,000 23mm,40mm, 100mm, 130mm AA......and 100--160,000 recoiless hand held guns.


Indian politicians aversion to the ARMY has to be overcome........buy everything else, make everything else BUT for the ARMY has to be overcome. Aversion to properly sized and funded MOUNTAIN units have to be overcome.....1,000,000 men.....in 50 divisions, without any Anglicized provocative corps names. Can't even fund a proper 90,000 force let alone 1 million. A force of 90,000 is a token force...a holding force in any case.

It is simply a joke that failed State Pakistan, with one tenth of the economic size of India...and with Chinese and Israeli assistance (Nuclear, missiles with the later country) has a better ordinance sector than India.


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Trials a hit, desi Bofors outguns Swedish original

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By Rajat Pandit of the Times of India


This is one 'Make in India' defence project that is now finally booming. The desi howitzer, christened Dhanush, can outgun the original Swedish Bofors 155mm artillery gun in range, accuracy, reliability, angle of fire and shoot-and-scoot capabilities.

The Army is now getting set to induct the first battery of six Dhanush guns, which will be the first 155mm howitzers to be acquired by the force since the infamous Bofors scandal torpedoed all its artillery modernisation plans in the mid-1980s.

Recurring scandals in artillery procurement projects kept it derailed thereafter, with the infamous Bofors ghost looming large over attempts to plug the Army's operational gaps in long-range, high volume firepower.

Ironically enough, it's the original Bofors gun that came to the rescue of the beleaguered force. The Army-DRDO-OFB team kicked off work on the long-forgotten original designs, obtained under transfer of technology provisions in the infamous Rs 1,437 crore Bofors contract of 1986, a few years ago. It has led to the electronically upgraded Dhanush howitzer now.




Defence minister Manohar Parrikar told the parliamentary consultative committee on defence on Monday that the 155mm/45-calibre Dhanush howitzers had "successfully met all technical parameters" during the winter and summer trials at Sikkim and Pokhran. Dhanush incorporates "many improved features" over the Army's existing artillery guns, he added.

While the first battery of guns would be ready "in a couple of months", the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is stepping up its manufacturing line for "bulk production" at the Jabalpur Gun Carriage Factory from 2016 onwards.

"The first order for 114 guns worth Rs 1,260 crore, already indented by the Army, would be completed in a three-year timeframe. The production capacity will go up to 30-35 guns a year. The Army has said it eventually requires 414 such guns," said a source.

The desi howitzer has been upgraded to 45-calibre from the 39-calibre of the original Bofors gun to extend its strike range to 38 km with "extended range, full-bore" ammunition. Costing around Rs 14 crore apiece, the Dhanush is about 83% indigenous. "The ore to steel for the gun barrel is made by the OFB. The only imported parts are the auxiliary power units, electronic dial sights and some others," said the source.

There was a major hiccup in the project when a Dhanush prototype's barrel burst during firing trials at Pokhran in August 2013. But a detailed analysis showed the problem was due to the usage of 12-year-old ammunition rather than the howitzer itself. "The trials took around two years to reach this stage," he added.

The Dhanush, however, will plug just a small operational gap. The overall artillery modernisation plan for 155mm/52-calibre guns, worth around Rs 1 lakh crore, envisages the induction of 814 mounted, 1,580 towed, 180 wheeled and 100 tracked guns, among others.
 

27.4.15

Iran-India cooperation

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India willing to play bigger part in Iran's economic projects: Ambassador

By Presstv.com

 

Indian ambassador to Tehran says his country is willing to play a bigger part in various economic projects in Iran, including in the development of the southeastern Iranian port city of Chabahar.
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According to Fars news agency, in a meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday, the outgoing Indian envoy, Dinkar Prakash Srivastava, also announced New Delhi’s readiness to take part in the development of Iran's economic projects, especially those related to petrochemical sector.
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He noted that India’s Minister of Transportation Nitin Gadkari will pay a visit to Iran in the near future to sign a memorandum of understanding for the implementation of development projects in Chabahar port.
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During the meeting, Zarif, for his part, expressed hope that cooperation between the two countries will further develop in the light of longstanding relations between Tehran and New Delhi.
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Zarif emphasized that India is a major partner for Iran in various projects, including development of coastal installations in Iran's Chabahar port.
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“Development of Chabahar port can give a further boost to trilateral cooperation among Iran, Afghanistan and India,” Zarif added.
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During recent years, India has frequently indicated its willingness to participate in various economic and development projects in Iran.
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That willingness has been increased after Iran and P5+1 group – the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China – reached an interim agreement on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in the Swiss city of Geneva last November, which led to relative loosening of sanctions against Iran, paving the way for further cooperation in various economic fields between Iran and other countries.
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The sanctions were imposed at the beginning of 2012 by the US and EU claiming that there is a military aspect to Iran's peaceful nuclear program, an allegation Iran categorically rejected.
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The two sides also reached a mutual understanding in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2, which will be used as a framework for the formulation of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
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Earlier in April, India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd indicated its interest in developing Iran's Farzad B gas field in the Persian Gulf waters, which is estimated to hold 21.68 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas in place, of which 12.8 tcf is recoverable.
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The New Delhi-based Business Standard newspaper also reported last week that India is moving closer to finalizing a crucial plan to invest in Iran’s southern Chabahar port, which would open a new economic corridor rival to what China plans to do in Pakistan’s Gwadar port.
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It added that India’s Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari will finalize a deal on the project during his forthcoming visit to Iran which is expected to take place in near future.

 

Post Nuclear talks agreement prospects

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Iran sets rules for JVs with US carmakers 

By Presstv.com

Iran says there is no obstacle for investment of US companies in its auto sector, but they should respect certain rules.   

A top Iranian official said on Sunday the country is interested in the prospects for domestic carmakers to form joint ventures (JVs) with their American companies in the Iranian auto market “provided that they accept seven key preconditions”.

Mohsen Salehi-Niya, a deputy industries minister, told reporters that there is no obstacle for US companies to form partnerships with Iranian automakers.
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However, he said, this needs to be carried out through a set of policies that the Ministry of Industries, Mines and Trade determines. 
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“In this partnership, there should be 7 preconditions,” Salehi-Niya was quoted as saying by Mehr news agency. “They are mutual cooperation, creation and expansion of industrial units, investments, creation of platforms and developing them, promoting [Iran's] domestic industries and using the capabilities of domestic parts producers”. 
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The official further emphasized that the preconditions apply to any form of partnership between Iranian and foreign auto companies. 
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Earlier, Mohammad Reza Najafi-Manesh, a member of Iran’s Car Manufacturing Policymaking Council, had told reporters that US car manufacturers are waiting for the lifting of sanctions on Iran in order to win a toehold in Iran's auto market.
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“Talks have already been held [US automakers' presence in Iran], but details should be announced at a more appropriate time,” said Najafi-Manesh.
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The automobile industry is seen as Iran’s biggest non-oil sector. It accounts for nearly 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
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Latest data shows that Iran ranks 18th on the list of the world’s top auto manufacturers.

 

 

Russia and Iran getting closer

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Iran, Russia ditch dollar, trade in ruble 

By Presstv.com

Bank officials in Tehran say a mechanism to transfer money to the country’s banks from Russia is now on stream.   

Bank officials in Tehran said on Sunday that a mechanism to transfer money to the country’s banks from Russia is now on stream.  
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Gholam-Reza Panahi, the deputy governor for currency affairs of Bank Melli of Iran (BMI), said the mechanism enables Iranian exporters to transfer payments in rubles from their Russian clients to Iran through the Moscow-based Mir Business Bank.  
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Panahi said BMI is ready to support Iranian exporters to receive the ruble payments of their Russian clients through Mir Business Bank, IRNA reported.
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He said Iranian exporters can even choose the same bank for opening letters of credit. 
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Both countries are subject to a series of draconian US-engineered sanctions. They had already announced plans to ditch the US dollar and trade in their own currencies. 
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The US and the European Union have imposed an array of embargoes on Russian individuals and businesses over the crisis in Ukraine. They accuse Moscow of supporting anti-Kiev protesters in eastern and southern Ukraine. Russia denies the allegation.
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The US and its European allies have also imposed sanctions against Iran over Tehran’s civilian nuclear activities.

 

25.4.15

Iran steel production soaring

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Iran plans to increase steel exports to 10m tonnes a year

 By Presstv.com

 

Iran's minister of industry, mine and trade says the country is planning to increase its steel exports to 10 million tons a year by attracting new investments in the sector.
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Addressing the inauguration ceremony of an iron smelting plant in Iranian city of Shahroud, Mohammad Reza Ne’matzadeh said on Thursday that the country exported 2.5 million tonnes of steel during the preceding Iranian calendar year (ended March 20, 2014), “despite the fact that we were importing steel in previous years.”
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He added that the Iranian administration has plans to boost steel exports to 10 million tonnes a year by attracting new investments in the sector, thus, turning into a major steel export hub in the region.
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Emphasizing that steel production is among the most important industries in the country, Nematzadeh said, “At present, the country is producing about 18 million tonnes of steel and through adequate investment, this figure can increase to 55 million tonnes in 10 years.”
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He added that Iranian industries should invest in processing of raw materials and exporting final product in order to totally end export of raw materials from the country.
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Shahroud iron smelting plant is expected to be commissioned within the next two years, creating 240 direct jobs.
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In early February, Nematzadeh was quoted by the Iranian daily Ebtekar as saying that USD 2.2 billion had been allocated to funding seven new steel projects across the country.
File photo shows employees working at an Iranian iron smelting plant.
On Wednesday, Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization, IMIDRO, announced that Iran’s raw steel output has increased by nearly 10 percent in the first quarter of the current year.
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It added that Iran produced over 4 million tonnes of raw steel in the first three months of 2015, showing a 9.6-percent increase compared to the same period last year.
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The organization noted that Iran’s sharp steel production growth came at a time when the global output of the metal decreased by 1.8 percent during the same period.
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According to a report by the World Steel Association (WSA), Iran is the largest producer of crude steel in the Middle East and Africa and ranks 14th in the world.
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Iran is among the 15 major mineral-rich countries of the world and exports its industrial and mineral products to more than a hundred countries.

The USA arms Pakistan against India

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Pakistan has a right to buy arms in the international market just like any other country. On the other hand the suppliers of the arms to Pakistan have to ask where that equipment ends up, and how it is used.
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Pakistan to use US weapons in fight against India, not jihadists: Hussain Haqqani, former diplomat

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By Times of India and PTI



The nearly USD one billion worth of attack helicopters, missiles and other defense equipment being sold to Pakistan by the US will end up being used in the fight against India instead of being deployed against jihadists, according to a former Pakistani diplomat.

Pakistan's former Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani said the Obama administration's decision to sell US-made attack helicopters, missiles and other equipment to Pakistan will "fuel conflict in South Asia without fulfilling the objective of helping the country fight Islamist extremists."

"Pakistan's failure to tackle its jihadist challenge is not the result of a lack of arms but reflects an absence of will. Unless Pakistan changes its worldview, American weapons will end up being used to fight or menace India and perceived domestic enemies instead of being deployed against jihadists," Haqqani wrote in the Wall Street Journal in the piece titled 'Why Are We Sending This Attack Helicopter to Pakistan'.

He said that given Pakistan's "past behavior", it is "likely" that the 15 AH-1Z Viper helicopters and 1,000 Hellfire missiles as well as communications and training equipment will be used against secular insurgents in southwest Balochistan province and along the disputed border in Kashmir rather than against the jihadists in the northwest.

"Competition with India remains the overriding consideration in Pakistan's foreign and domestic policies. By aiding Pakistan over the years—some USD 40 billion since 1950, the US has fed Pakistan's delusion of being India's regional military equal. Seeking security against a much larger neighbor is a rational objective but seeking parity with it on a constant basis is not," he said.

Haqqani said that instead of selling more military equipment to Pakistan, US officials should convince Islamabad that its ambitions of rivaling India are "akin to Belgium trying to rival France or Germany."

Drawing a comparison between the two South Asian nuclear- armed rivals, Haqqani said India's population is six times as large as Pakistan's while India's economy is 10 times bigger, with India's USD 2 trillion economy managing consistent growth whereas Pakistan's USD 245 billion economy growing sporadically and undermined by jihadist terrorism.

He said Pakistan continues to depend on Islamist ideology — through its school curricula, propaganda and Islamic legislation — to maintain internal nationalist cohesion, which inevitably encourages extremism and religious intolerance.

Haqqani recalled that between 1950 and 1969, the US gave USD 4.5 billion in aid to Pakistan partly in the hope of using Pakistani troops in anti-communist wars, but Pakistan did not contribute a single soldier for the wars in Korea or Vietnam but went to war with India over Kashmir in 1965.

Again during the 1980s, Pakistan "diverted" the US aid toward its "obsessive rivalry" with India, training insurgents to fight in Kashmir as well as in India's Punjab.

Haqqani said even after the December attack on a Peshawar school where the Taliban killed 160 people, including many schoolchildren, the "destruction, demobilisation, disarmament or dismantling" of Afghan Taliban and other radical groups is "clearly not on the Pakistani state's agenda."

 

24.4.15

Provocations against Russia near the border....Operation Barbarossa II

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The Russians are polite understanding people, even where the threat from the USA is so apparent.

Comrade Putin calls for dialogue and understanding with the JEWSA.....EVEN IN THIS LATE HOUR.

Comrade Putin allows American forces in Afghanistan to be re-supplied via Russia......STILL, so that the Jewish bank coffers can be filled with laundered drugs money in London and New York.

Comrade Putin ALLOWS Afghan Heroin to be flooded into Russia, under the direction of the Americans.

But then again...........Comrade Putin was brought into power by the Jewish Oligarchs to consolidate their mafia loot after the USA Chicago School liberalization program, UNDER Washington's direction. Boris Berezovsky.

Whilst Comrade Putin must show some decisive leadership in the face of JEWSA threats to maintain some Yeltsin credibility with the people, some things in the mafia network never changes.

I suppose the Russians will still be supplying/facilitating the Americans drug peddlers in Afghanistan, even as American military forces participate in the East Ukraine war?



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Russian DM: US Troops Training Ukrainian Forces Near Conflict Zone

Pentagon Rejects Reports as 'Ridiculous'

by Jason Ditz at antiwar.com


Though they confirmed that the majority of the US troops deployed to Ukraine are indeed training in the far west of the country, Russia’s Defense Ministry claims a small portion of the US force has gone east, near the contested civil war territory, on apparent training operations there.
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Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the US troops have been in sites near the contested zone, including Mariupol and Severodonetsk.
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The Pentagon denied the report, saying that it was a “ridiculous” allegation. The US announced Monday that around 300 troops who arrived in Ukraine over the weekend would be training in Lviv.
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As with US allegations about Russia’s presence in Ukraine, Russia offered no evidence of the US presence in the east. though they claimed footage was being shown of US troops in Mariupol on Ukrainian television.

22.4.15

Bose and Macauley Gunga Din's

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In addition.......

What was the full nature of the illegal surveillance?

Why was it continued for 20 odd years, after independence?

Who had a need to know access to the surveillance?

How and with which foreign entities was the sensitive state surveillance shared with? 

Why was it shared with foreign entities?

Does Indian Intelligence, and the IB STILL defer to gora sahib from the USA, and especially the UK?.....or Israel? In matters relating to Indian national security?

With which matters do they defer to gora sahib and why?

Why did the FBI request the RAW to compile the list of 9/11 suspects? Why would Indian foreign intelligence know any  more about the fake event in NY than 'American intelligence'.

Why do certain Indian judges allege that Mossad, CIA and possibly RAW killed Rajiv Gandhi ? Rajiv if elected again was, it is alleged, seriously going to wind down the Indian involvement in the Sri Lankan civil war, and thus end the gravy train of faggotty security and war in that theater  (Just to prove that I'm not going on a Congress bashing crusade when they are down and out).

What is the rumor that 26/11 was a CIA, Mossad, RAW operation in conjunction with the ISI?.....To get India to fight Pakistan, and to bolster the electability of the BJP in 2009.....AND that intelligence agencies don't have particular loyalty to any state, but only to shifting geo-strategic and financial interests, and the mafia?



Starring a Hindu actress
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Reveal names of those who ordered surveillance on Netaji: TMC MP Sugata Bose


By Times of India


TMC MP Sugata Bose, who is grand nephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, on Tuesday raised the issue of his family having been put under surveillance by the Jawaharlal Nehru regime in Lok Sabha.

Bose expressed anguish over reports that the late freedom fighter's kin were spied upon and demanded that the Centre make public the name of those who had ordered it.

Raising the issue in Zero Hour, Bose sought the release of all files related to Netaji and sharing with public "the reason of this gross invasion of privacy" of his family members.

At the same time, he made it clear that this was not a family matter and the issue should not be allowed to degenerate into a political fight. "The government must immediately clarify the reason of this (surveillance) and who ordered it," said Bose, who is a historian and has written a biography of Netaji.

Underscoring the greatness of Netaji, Bose said he was among the three stalwarts of freedom struggle whose voices were played in the Central Hall of Parliament during its Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Ruling BJP has used the report to attack former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Congress, saying the spying was done at his behest. Home minister Rajnath Singh was present in the House when Bose was speaking. He also used the opportunity to call for protecting the rights of minorities to "honour Netaji's memory".  
 

21.4.15

Chinese mega investment in Pakistan

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America's Waning Influence: Beijing to Invest $46 Billion in Energy and Infrastructure for U.S. 'Ally'

Chinese investment in Pakistani infrastructure may be a welcome replacement for American sanction threats and drone attacks



By Zero Hedge and Russia Insider. 

China is looking to succeed where the United States has failed. Beijing — which, as a reminder, has claimed it will not use its regional infrastructure development initiatives as a tool of foreign policy — is now set to facilitate the construction of nearly $50 billion in power plants, roads, and railways in neighboring Pakistan. The proposal, which will give China access to the Indian Ocean via the Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea, is part of President Xi Jinping’s ambitious “Silk Road” Economic Belt, a plan announced last year that aims to connect China with Europe via a series of infrastructure projects. As a reminder, here’s a description via Xinhuanet:
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The Silk Road Economic Belt focuses on bringing together China, Central Asia, Russia and Europe (the Baltic); linking China with the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea through Central Asia and the Indian Ocean. The 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road is designed to go from China’s coast to Europe through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean in one route, and from China’s coast through the South China Sea to the South Pacific in the other.
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China also hopes the partnership with Pakistan will act as a check on the spread of fundamentalism into its Western Xinjiang region which is predominantly Muslim.
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Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, President Xi’s investment in Pakistan will likely include nearly $2 billion in loans for the construction of Pakistan’s portion of the long-delayed Iran-Pakistan natural gas pipeline (the so-called “Peace Pipeline”). Iran’s section is complete, but the Pakistani side of the equation has been complicated by Washington which has threatened sanctions against Islamabad should the Pakistani government trade with Tehran. The prospect of an Iranian nuclear deal (as elusive at it seems) and the willingness of Beijing to invest in the country mean the project may finally be completed with China building some 435 miles of pipeline from Nawabshah to Gwadar (where an LNG terminal may be built and incidentally, where the proposed economic corridor from China to the Arabian Sea will dead-end) while Pakistan will construct the remaining 80 miles of pipe to the Iranian border. Here’s WSJ:
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China will build a pipeline to bring natural gas from Iran to Pakistan to help address Pakistan’s acute energy shortage, under a deal to be signed during the Chinese president’s visit to Islamabad this month, Pakistani officials said.
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The arrival of President Xi Jinping is expected to showcase China’s commitment to infrastructure development in ally Pakistan, at a time when few other countries are willing to make major investments in the cash-strapped, terrorism-plagued country.
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The pipeline would amount to an early benefit for both Pakistan and Iran from the framework agreement reached earlier this month between Tehran and the U.S. and other world powers to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The U.S. had previously threatened Pakistan with sanctions if it went ahead with the project.
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“We’re building it,” Pakistani Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasitold The Wall Street Journal. “The process has started.”
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The pipeline will bring much-needed gas to Pakistan, which suffers from a crippling electricity deficit because of a shortage of fuel for its power-generation plants. Pakistan has been negotiating for months behind the scenes for China to build the Pakistani portion of the pipeline, which will cost up to $2 billion…
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Pakistan hasn’t begun construction, however, in light of threatened U.S. sanctions for trading with Iran. Islamabad had sought to work around the sanctions by asking the Chinese to build the pipeline but not yet connect it to the Iranian portion. The prospect of an Iran nuclear agreement, which would ease sanctions in stages once the deal is completed, has given Islamabad further impetus to clear the project…
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Islamabad believes the Iranian gas is the cheapest and simplest energy supply option for Pakistan. Pakistan will also start to take liquefied natural gas from Qatar, and it remains in protracted multicountry negotiations over a pipeline that would bring gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to supply Pakistan and India. Washington had long lobbied Pakistan to go for the Turkmenistan pipeline instead of the Iranian one…
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Pakistan has had a close strategic alliance with China for decades—aimed mostly against common foe India—but now Beijing is seeking to add an economic dimension to the relationship. Islamabad and Beijing plan an “economic corridor” linking the Pakistani port of Gwadar, which is under Chinese management, to southwestern China with road and rail connections.
Aside from advancing its economic and security interests, the move by China also represents an effort on the part of Beijing to prove it can be successful where Washington has failed. Despite efforts to present an ostensibly united front against terrorism, relations between the US and Pakistan have suffered from mutual mistrust for years, and the new commitment by China may serve to further diminish American influence in Islamabad. Indeed, the $46 billion China is set to invest is 53% more than the US has invested in the country in 13 years and is six times as much as what Washington promised under a recent program which the New York Times notes is generally considered a “dramatic failure.” Here’s more:
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China’s president, Xi Jinping, travels to Pakistan on Monday laden with tens of billions of dollars in infrastructure and energy assistance on a scale the United States has never offered in the past decade of a close relationship, a gesture likely to confirm the decline of American influence in that nation.
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Mr. Xi, making his first overseas trip this year, and the first by a Chinese leader to Pakistan in nine years, will arrive fortified from the robust reception to the new China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and is looking to show that China can make a difference in a friendly, neighboring country troubled by terrorism.
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Pakistani officials say that Mr. Xi will be signing accords for $46 billion for the construction of roads, rails and power plants to be built on a commercial basis by Chinese companies over 15 years.
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Just as the United States sought to stabilize Pakistan during the war in Afghanistan, so China wants to prevent the spread of militant groups in Pakistan into Xinjiang, the far western region of China with a large Muslim population…
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A significant amount of China’s new assistance … will be in areas close to the tribal areas where the militant groups operate…
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“The Chinese are stepping in, in a much, much bigger way than the United States ever contemplated,” said Jahangir Tareen, a Pakistani businessman, and the secretary general of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party. “The assistance is far, far more than the United States government offered under the United States Agency for International Development.”
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Most striking about the visit is the scale of Mr. Xi’s aid announcement compared with the American effort from 2009 to 2012 spearheaded in Congress by John Kerry, then a senator, and pressed in Pakistan by Hillary Rodham Clinton, then secretary of state. The program designated $7.5 billion for development projects over five years.
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That effort was a “dramatic failure” because the resources were scattered too thinly, and had no practical or strategic impact, said David S. Sedney, a former senior official at the Pentagon responsible for Pakistan during that period.
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The Chinese appear to have learned from the American program, including the notion that the American plan was designed to deliver a strategic result — deterring terrorism — but failed to do so, Mr. Sedney said.
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To do better than the United States, the Chinese have come up with “a much larger financial commitment — and it is focused on a specific area, it has a signature infrastructure focus and it is a decades-long commitment,” he said.
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As FT reports, the new partnership comes on the heels of the announcement that Pakistan will purchase eight submarines from China, which is now the world’s third largest arms supplier and which, readers are reminded, has been keen to project its military prowess of late between a rescue effort in Yemen and the construction of a 10,000 runway atop reclaimed islands in the South China Sea.
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In a show of deepening military ties, Mr Xi’s visit was preceded by confirmation that the Pakistan navy will buy eight Chinese submarines after failing to strike an agreement with other suppliers. The types of submarines and their expected cost has not been revealed, but analysts say the contract could be worth $4bn-$5bn and would be the largest defence contract for both countries.
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While it isn’t yet clear what portion of the investment in Pakistan will come from the AIIB, the China-led infrastructure investment bank which recently staged a major coup by attracting membership bids from US allies despite the protestations of The White House, what is clear from the numbers is that the new bank, by virtue of its singular purpose may be far better at facilitating regional development than its rival. Here’s Bloomberg:
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If it can overcome operational and political challenges, the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank may reduce infrastructure bottlenecks and boost developing Asia’s potential output by more than 1 percentage point. The AIIB is poised to emerge as Asia’s biggest investment-focused multinational development bank…
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World Bank data show a big gap between infrastructure in Asia and developed countries. 
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Compared with India’s 2.3 telephone lines per 100 people, the U.S. has 42.2. While Indonesia has 1.3 fixed broadband Internet subscribers per 100 people, the U.S. has 29.3. Least-developed Asian countries’ disparities are even more stark…
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The AIIB’s expected paid-in capital of $20 billion would give it about the same lending capacity as the ADB. The ADB committed about 60 percent of its $21 billion in new loans in 2013 to infrastructure projects, or about $12.6 billion. Given the AIIB’s sole focus on infrastructure, its capacity to make loans toward building Asia’s bridges and power plants might be 60 percent to 70 percent greater than its Manila-based rival’s.
Of course the encumbents will be resistant to change as it represents a threat to the way things have been for decades, which is why the following comments from the head of the ADB come as no surprise. 
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Via FT: 
“I’m not trying to belittle the initiative,” he said. “I think it is understandable.”
But the ADB, he said, had almost $100bn in loans outstanding in Asia, twice the initial capital proposed for the AIIB. The ADB’s total authorised capital stands at more than $150bn.
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“It’s a huge amount of money. I’m not boasting that we are bigger. But we have a history and a certain lending capacity and expertise and persified staff. We can continue to play a role,” he said.
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“I don’t think there will be major change to the world of development finance [because of the creation of the AIIB], although there can be interpretations as to the symbolic meaning of this.”
*  *  *
Even as Beijing seeks to play down the degree to which its regional development initiatives are indicative of a larger plan to supplant the post WWII economic order, the evidence is mounting that in fact, China does indeed intend for the AIIB and Silk Road Belt to serve as instruments of foreign policy and, despite explicit denials, recent reports suggesting Beijing will push for the yuan to have an outsized role in deals financed through China-led initiatives seem to indicate that China no doubt understands how powerful of a tool the new funds could be in terms of helping to establish the yuan as a viable alternative to the dollar which, as a result of the crumbling petrodollar system and a shift towards institutions like the AIIB, may see its reserve currency status slip in the coming years. We’ll close with the following from China Daily:
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In a rare case of disagreement with the US, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Switzerland all applied to join the AIIB. This symbolic development marks the rise of emerging economies, with China as their representative, and is a prelude to the restructuring of the global financial system.
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The AIIB and the Belt and Road Initiative could be the platform to turn promises into action for the benefit of all members, developing as well developed.
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More importantly, the efficiency with which China transformed the Belt and Road Initiative from a proposal into a grand executable plan in about a year shows its determination to make them succeed.
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China’s belief and engagement in trade, cooperation and investment for mutual benefit could further facilitate the success of the AIIB and Belt and Road Initiative, while the cost-performance advantages some Chinese industries enjoy and the country’s huge foreign exchange reserves and high savings are factors that constitute a solid foundation for the country’s «go global» strategy for its enterprises to increase overseas operations.

Russian fifth column

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A 5th column in the Russian media? Absolutely!

By Vineyard of the Saker blog

Is there a 5th column in the Russian media?
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Hell yeah!
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It is literally all over the place!
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Like during the latest Q&A with President Putin.  I don’t know if anybody else noticed this, but it really pissed me off.  Check out who got to ask a question from the studio:
Khakamada Venediktov Kudrin Remchukov
Khakamada Venediktov Kudrin Remchukov
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For those who don’t know these faces – they are some of the worst “demofreaks” in Russia.  Meet:
Irina Khakamada: bigtime Nemtsov groupie, professional protester and feminist.
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Alexei Venediktov: editor in Chief of the rabidly anti-Russian “Ekho Moskvy” (Echo of Moscow) Radio Station, aka “Ekho Matsy” (Echo of the Matso) due to its russophobic political line.  He is actually a “true believer” in western democracy.
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Alexei Kudrin: one of the figureheads of the Atlantic Integrationists, a hardcore market economist, forever offended since he was fired (by Medvedev, of all people!).
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Konstantin Remchukov: owner and editor in chief of Nezavisimaya Gazeta, who has received the official imprimatur of the Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty.
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Just look at their faces!  They have that “eternal sadness of the professional dissident” in their eyes.  Clearly, they “suffer” from the “regime” and they feel like 21st century versions of Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn.  They also feel hurt, because the barbaric, reactionary and ungrateful Russian people never gave them the support they feel that their courageous stance deserves, and so, not a single one of their candidates made it into the Duma.  Not one!
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That’s right.  These guys represent at most 5% of the Russian people.  And yet, they are treated by the state media like some kind of honored guests, as if they were literally all Heroes of Russia, with something important and enlightening to say.
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Personally?  I would not even invite them at all.  None of them. I despise their ideas, their attitude, their hypocrisy, their russophobia and their sickening sniveling about how hard it is to be a “dissident” in Putin’s Russia (even when they get invited by the state TV).
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But nevermind them.  The real question is this: who invited them and why?
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So yes, there is a 5th column in the Russian media.
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The Saker

 

Iran's outmoded, ailing Petro-Chemical Industries require $70--$100 billion investment over the next few years.

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This can only happen if the sanctions are lifted.

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Iran petrochemical industry ready for $70bn in investment

By Presstv.com

An Iranian petrochemical industry official says the country’s petrochemical sector is capable of attracting USD 70 billion in domestic and foreign investment.
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Ahmad Mahdavi Abhari, secretary of the Association of Petrochemical Industry Corporations (AIPC) was quoted by Fars news agency on Saturday as saying that the value of half-finished projects in Iran's petrochemical sector amounts to USD 70 billion, proving that the sector has a good potential to attract foreign investment.
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He added that Iran's petrochemical companies are in a very good shape in terms of export and sale of petrochemical products.
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“A total of USD 14 billion of petrochemical products was exported” by Iranian companies last year, showing good potential of these companies to attract domestic and foreign investments, Abhari said.
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The official noted that Iran has rich resources that can be used as feedstock for petrochemical companies, adding, “Iran ranks the first in the world in terms of gas reserves and ranks fourth in terms of oil reserves,” which constitute good feed for petrochemical industry.
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Abhari added that recent statement issued following intense nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group in the Swiss city of Lausanne has greatly motivated domestic and foreign investors to bring their capital to Iran's petrochemical industry.
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“If the Lausanne statement leads to a final [nuclear] agreement, the way will be totally paved for foreign investments in this industry, which has high potential for the attraction of such investments,” he said.
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AIPC’s secretary further stated that a final nuclear agreement will greatly facilitate transfer of money and technology to Iran, thus delineating a promising outlook for investment in the country’s petrochemical project.

Ahmad Mahdavi Abhari, secretary of the Association of Petrochemical Industry Corporations (AIPC)
At the beginning of 2012, the United States and European Union imposed sanctions on Iran to prevent other countries from investing in the country’s oil and gas industry. The sanctions were imposed under the pretext that there is a military aspect to Iran's peaceful nuclear program, an allegation Iran categorically rejected.
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The Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries – the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China – reached an interim agreement on Iran's nuclear program in the Swiss city of Geneva last November, which led to relative loosening of sanctions against Iran, paving the way for further cooperation in various economic fields between Iran and other countries.
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The two sides also reached a mutual understanding on April 2, 2015 in the Swiss city of Lausanne, which is considered a prelude to the achievement of a comprehensive deal before a self-designated deadline at the end of June. A key point of Lausanne statement was a promise to lift a series of economic sanctions on Iran – including those imposed on the country’s oil industry.
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Following the Lausanne understanding Iran's oil industry officials said international companies have voiced interest in taking up projects in the country’s oil, gas and petrochemical industries.


Why Iran defintely wants a civilian nuclear deal, and sanctions lifted (transparent)

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Iran could get $50bn right after signing final nuclear deal 

By Presstv.com

As Iran and the P5+1 are moving toward a final agreement over the country’s nuclear energy program, speculations are rising in the media over the immediate benefits for Tehran. 
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The Wall Street Journal has emphasized in a report that there will be an immediate windfall for Tehran of between $30 billion and $50 billion from access to frozen offshore accounts. 
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This, the Journal said, is based on comments made to reporters by White House sources. 
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It had earlier said Iran has between $100 billion and $140 billion of its oil revenue frozen in offshore accounts as a result of sanctions.
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The Journal had further quoted US officials as saying that they expect Tehran to gain access to these funds in phases as part of a final deal.
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Iran and the P5+1 group of countries are working on a final agreement over the Iranian nuclear energy program that has a deadline of June 30. A key point of the agreement will be the removal of a series of economic sanctions on Iran including those that have resulted in the freezing of Iranian petrodollars in overseas banks.  

Iran has already received about $12 billion of its frozen petrodollars in a series of installments after it signed an agreement with P5+1 in Geneva back in 2013 that laid the grounds for cooperating toward the final comprehensive nuclear agreement. The last installment – with a value of $490 million - was delivered to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) on March 31.    

 

Iran-German trade on the up

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Iran-Germany trade to double

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By Presstv.com

German businesses expect to see their trade volume with Iran double within the next five years if the sanctions against Iran are removed as the result of an emerging final agreement with P5+1 over the Iranian nuclear energy program.
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Michael Tockuss, the president of German-Iran Chamber of Commerce, has emphasized that the value of trade between the two countries could reach at least €5 billion from the current level of €2.4 billion once the sanctions against Iran are lifted.
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Meanwhile, the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) has been quoted by the German media as announcing that Iran-Germany trade will reach €12 billion over the coming years in spite of tough Russian, Turkish and Chinese competition on the Iranian market.   
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Also, the German Machinery and Mechanical Engineering Association (VDMA) has emphasized that it expects a rising Iranian demand for German industrial machinery once the sanctions against Iran are removed.
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VDMA, which represents over 3,100 mostly medium­sized companies in the industrial machines sector, has also called on German banks “to end their restrictive monetary policies' when it comes to trade with Iran”, reports add.
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“The revision by German banks on their policy on conducting business with Iran needs to be done now and not in late summer,” said Ulrich Ackermann, the head of VDMA foreign trade section, as quoted by IRNA. 
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Iran and the P5+1 group of countries are working on a final agreement over the Iranian nuclear energy program that has a deadline of June 30. A key point of the agreement will be the removal of a series of economic sanctions on Iran.

 

 

Iran sticking to its end of the bargain transparenty

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IAEA: Iran Still Respecting Interim Nuclear Deal

Latest Monthly Report Reiterates Iran's Implementation of Pact

by Jason Ditz at antiwar.com

While a lot of the focus remains on coming to terms on a final nuclear deal with Iran, the IAEA today issued the latest in a line of monthly reports reiterating that Iran is meeting all of its obligations in the interim nuclear deal.
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The interim deal was signed in late November of 2013, and went into effect on January 20. The deal limits Iran’s civilian enrichment of uranium to 3.5%, the level used at the Bushehr Power Plant, and obliges Iran to leave a number of centrifuges inactive.
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Since then, the IAEA has issued reports every month confirming that Iran is doing exactly what they agreed to do. The interim deal was initially meant to only be a brief move before the final pact, but delays in getting everybody on board with the final settlement has left it in place for much longer.
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The framework agreement reached in recent weeks on the final deal is the first major public progress in the talks since the interim deal, though since the framework deal remains largely secret exactly how much it differs from the interim language isn’t entirely clear.

19.4.15

Clearing the logjam of mega projects

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Purportedly there are between $400-500 billion worth of projects waiting clearance from the center.

Imagine the massive boost to the economy from such an investment.



 Project clearances are notoriously slow in India, because there are several layers of power in India, and several layers of red tape....center and local. And then you factor in the local mafia's and police. In certain countries the strong central government have erased such nefarious elements.

This is one of the factor's which discouraged Steve Jobs from investing the world's largest technology company in India...with its natural pool of IT talent, which otherwise ethnically has a very prominent presence in Silicon Valley (34%).....$600 billion??? market capitalization company, where most of its products are MANUFACTURED elsewhere.



Steve Jobs FIRST came to India, and was discouraged. Then he went elsewhere.

Some in the BJP foolishly think that project clearances should be used as political bargaining chips....BUT then again if all the big projects are merely cleared in Gujarat and Maharashtra...then where will India be?

Narendra Modi needs to produce a new system of project clearances...for small medium and large mega projects...domestic and foreign.......which are cleared even before they are submitted.

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PMO hawk-eye on progress of mega projects  

By Times of India .  

The PMO will monitor big projects involving large investments, Narendra Modi assured investors on Monday.

He assured them an open environment that would encourage investment and reward enterprise. Modi gave this commitment as he accepted the proposal of an India-US Forum representative to personally track progress of these mega projects. The project monitoring group, set up by the UPA is under the cabinet secretariat and has helped clear several stalled projects.

However, investors would prefer the PMO monitoring the larger projects to accelerate decision making. Getting stalled projects off the ground is important to reviving the manufacturing sector and boosting overall growth.


After listening to suggestions made by business leaders, the PM said the solutions to most issues mentioned would be found through three things: Proactive, pro-people good governance, a policy-driven state and consistency in policy.

Conceding that intellectual property rights are an important issue, he said all countries should together find a solution to it. Modi highlighted key priorities of his government, including improving "ease of doing business", and the "Make in India" initiative. He mentioned the importance of investment in infrastructure, especially in the railways.

He said, in agriculture, his "per drop more crop" vision would help tackle farmers' problems, and cope with climate issues and water shortages. The PM said it is important to listen to investors, as this helps speed up decisions. Modi mentioned his mantra of skill, scale and speed, and said he keeps states on board while taking key decisions.


The "Make in India" tableau at 66th Republic Day parade at Rajpath, New Delhi, on January 26, 2015. (PTI photo)

"It will make it easy to do business; our immediate target is to bring us from the rear ranks of the world into the top fifty," Modi told the India-US business summit. "You'll find a tax regime that's predictable and competitive. We've removed some excesses of the past. We'll now address the remaining uncertainties," he said.

READ ALSO: Modi meets top US CEOs, pitches for big-ticket investments

Modi listed opportunities for businesses in the government's plans to upgrade infrastructure. He included opportunities in railways, the Clean Ganga mission, urban waste management, connecting villages and homes for every Indian in seven years as areas where opportunities exist.

The PM called for strong partnership with the US saying the two countries joining hands would make the world a better place. "India will be an important anchor of stability for the global economy; and an engine for its growth. Above all, a prosperous India will be a force of peace and stability in the world," he said.