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Showing posts from February 19, 2009

There’s merit in reticence

Hiranmaey KarlekarPakistan must do more to prove its commitment The statement by Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Mr Rehman Malik, at a news conference last Thursday that perpetrators of the sea-borne attack on Mumbai on November 26, 2008, could have been from Pakistan, marked a shift from Islamabad’s familiar tactics of denials, prevarications and attempted deflections; so did his remark that “some part of the conspiracy” had been hatched in Islamabad. He also said that Pakistan had registered a case against nine suspects on the charges of abetting, conspiring at and facilitating a terrorist act, and that six of them, including Lashkar-e-Tayyeba leaders Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah, named by India as masterminds of the attack, were already in custody. Reacting to Pakistan’s admission, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee stated in Parliament last Friday that “much depends on actions in the Mumbai case reaching their logical conclusion”. While describing the development as …

Can Pakistan be trusted?

C. Uday Bhaskar
FEB.19 : India’s most viable diplomatic options now would be to maintain the current posture vis-a-vis Pakistan, while simultaneously trying to prevail upon the international community to encourage Islamabad to respond to India in a positive way. Any attempt to intimidate and disparage Pakistan in public would be counter-productive.
We should accept Pakistan’s official response and give whatever information they seek — to the extent that we deem it appropriate — but simultaneously insist that Pakistan respond positively to India’s objectives which were conveyed to it in January this year.
The United States is a very important interlocutor and it has a number of leverages over Pakistan which India does not have. As regards the rest of the international community, China is a swing state in many ways but Beijing has its own interests in relation to Pakistan that do not necessarily correspond to India’s.
Army GHQ-civilian government relations in Pakistan is a complex contestat…

Talibanisation in practice

Sandeep BThe current political creed ruling India wears the secular tag like a talisman. Yet, it drugs itself asleep during incidents that actually threaten true secularism Yatha raja tatha praja (As the king so are the people) is a timeless Sanskrit proverb. With her clarion ‘pub bharo’ battle-cry, Ms Renuka Choudhury has become an overnight role model of sorts for thousands of urban Indian youth. Not merely content with force-crowding pubs, our urban youth decided to launch a love-battle against Pramod Muthalik by gathering a nationwide arsenal of dirty pink underwear. But the average urban youngster’s profile forbids us to expect that he/she knows Ms Choudhury’s antecedents as a staunch crusader against liquor during her TDP days. But then, the quality of Ms Choudhury’s leadership can only beget such behaviour.If anything, the mindless youth-hysteria is actually an overwhelming tribute to her sheer genius. The ‘underwear campaign’ swiftly exposed the yawning intellectual vacuum of …

India gets FBI evidence linking Pak to 26/11

Washington: A Mumbai Police team is headed home armed with crucial evidence provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicating that the November 26 Mumbai terror attacks were planned in Pakistan.
A three-member Mumbai Police team headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police Deven Bharti left US for Mumbai on Wednesday with details of how the Mumbai attackers kept in touch with their Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) masters in Karachi.
The US investigating agency that deals with protecting the US against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats provided India details of calls made through the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), a satellite phone as also documents relating to the Global Positioning System used by the terrorists while sailing from Karachi.
The forensic examination of the bullets used by the terrorists in Mumbai was also a part of the evidence collected from FBI by Mumbai Police.
The evidence from FBI is expected to make the case against the terrorists water-tight and n…

Purohit obtained explosives for Malegaon blast: Co-accused

MUMBAI: Arrested Army officer Prasad Purohit had allegedly obtained the explosives used in the 2008 Malegaon blasts and supplied them to two other
accused, Rakesh Dhawade, another accused, has said in his confession. "In August 2008 Purohit told me that two persons associated with Sadhvi Pragya, Ramji Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange, had asked him for RDX. He said RDX has to be given to them at all costs," Dhawade said in the confession given to the police in December 2008. Dhawade said he refused to assist Purohit in obtaining the explosives, but after a few days the Lt Colonel telephoned him and told him that he had obtained the RDX. "Using that RDX, Pragya's associates carried out the blast in Malegaon." However, when produced before a magistrate later, Dhawade denied making such statements and said his signature had been taken on previously typed sheets of paper. He also denied any involvement in the September 29 Malegaon blasts in which six persons were killed…

PM is a night watchman: Jaitley

NEW DELHI: Opposition unleashed a scathing attack on the government in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, with the principal opposition, the BJP accusing
it of being a disaster on all parameters. Participating in a debate on President's address to the joint session, BJP's Arun Jaitley accused the UPA government of compromising the nation's security, both internal and external, and of frittering away the gains of economy clocked under the NDA. Jaitley came down hard on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, accusing him of failing to provide inspiring leadership when the country was in the grip of a serious crisis. The former union minister, who wished Singh, convalescing from a heart surgery, a speedy recovery, pulled few punches as he hammered home his argument that the PM could not lead because he was not the first choice for the top job. "The prime minister is merely a stop gap arrangement in a stop gap job. The PM of the world's largest democracy cannot be a night watchman,…

You don't deserve one paise of public money, Somnath tells MPs

NEW DELHI: "You do not deserve one paisa of public money," an angry Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said as members of several political parties stormed

the Well of Lok Sabha raising a spate of issues and disrupted Question Hour. So annoyed was the Speaker with the behaviour of some members, he said that he believed Parliament should be adjourned sine die. "I think Parliament should be adjourned sine die ... public money should not be spent on useless allowances for you," he said as some members of the BSP, BJP, TDP, RPI, PMK and MDMK stormed the Well and raised slogans against the government on several issues. BSP criticized the UPA government for "being anti-Dalit" as it had "ignored" the backward classes in a new draft legislation on universities introduced in the House. BJP members joined them on the same issue, while members of PMK and MDMK trooped into the Well demanding that the government make efforts to "stop war" in Sri Lanka. TDP …

Monkey cartoon sparks racial row in US

NEW YORK: A New York Post cartoon that some have interpreted as comparing US President Barack Obama to a violent chimpanzee gunned down by police
drew outrage Wednesday from civil rights leaders and elected officials who said it echoed racist stereotypes of African-Americans as monkeys. The cartoon in Wednesday's Post by Sean Delonas shows two police officers, one with a smoking gun, standing over the body of a bullet-riddled chimp. The caption reads: ``They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.'' The cartoon refers to a chimpanzee named Travis who was killed on Monday by police in Stamford, Connecticut, after it mauled a friend of its owner. Some critics called the cartoon racist and said it trivialized a tragedy in which a woman was disfigured and a beloved chimpanzee killed. Others said the cartoon suggests that Obama should be assassinated. Many urged a boycott of the Post and the companies that advertise in it. ``How could the Post let this …