The interview was an admission for the first time by the Hindutva brigade of their direct role in the carnage which saw over 2,000 deaths, uprooting of lakhs of people from their homes and hearth and loss of hope and peace for millions of people. Rarely had one come across an interview so direct and so chilling……
S. Binodkumar Singh
"I want to assure you [people and the opposition] that the elections will be held in a free and fair manner. I urge the opposition leader to join the elections and the people will decide who assumes power." ....
When it comes to India’s leading Bollywood and cricket stars, Pakistanis have always found it easy to put political differences aside. And none has been more popular than Mr Tendulkar. That India’s greatest cricketer of modern times played his first international game—way back in November 1989—in Karachi is a source of considerable pride to many Pakistanis…….
National oppression, Balochistan notwithstanding, is also an alien concept for the PTI. Hence, the system that generates an atmosphere for corruption is not questioned. Understandably, the way the World Bank has failed Africa, the PTI is failing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa....
Everything had been planned down to the last, small detail — but one. Late on the evening of October 12, 1999, as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif swore in Lieutenant General Khwaja Ziauddin as Pakistan’s new army chief, there was no star to pin on his shoulder, to add to the three already there. Mr. Sharif’s military secretary, Brigadier Javed Malik, took one from his own uniform, so that it could be put on to his new chief’s shoulder……
Out of this theorem emerges the phenomenon of the Islamic soldier who heroically questions the legitimacy of Pakistan’s clinch with the US, thus enlarging the challenge of the army’s mission statement and making it potentially adventurist and dangerous. The most dangerous aspect of this nationalism is the nexus the army developed with the “non-state actors” and the aggressive seminaries, called madrasas, in the state’s hinterland....
Considered one of Modi's trusted backroom boys, he is said to have the Gujarat chief minister on speed dial, predictably earning brickbats for "backstabbing" community members who oppose Modi's Hindutva ideology. But Sareshwala, whose family hails from Ahmedabad, maintains that engagement with Modi and the BJP is the only way forward for the Muslims of Gujarat….
“You can’t run your space programme, or Army, with people on deputation. You can’t run your intelligence services that way, either.” IB sources said the staffing shortages have hit efforts to expand counter-terrorism operations. The Bureau’s operations directorate — the hub of its counter-terrorism effort — has some 30 analysts and field staff, all told; another 30-odd track Maoists. Local counter-terrorism teams set up in 2008 have been dismantled due to staff shortages……
India's capacity for self-deception is extreme, and this constitutes the gravest threat to national security. The state's counterterrorism (CT) 'policies' have been based principally on political posturing, and not on objective and urgent considerations of strategy and response….
Hormis Tharakan, Former RAW Chief
Ajay Kumar Singh, a former police chief of Karnataka widely admired for his professionalism, once told me that whenever terrorists are asked why they turned to terror, they invariably give three reasons: the Babri Masjid demolition, the post-Godhra riots, and faked encounters resulting in deaths of innocent persons. It is beyond the police to correct the first two factors. But they can do a lot to avoid faked encounters and the indiscriminate rounding up of suspects....
The United States plus five world powers reached a landmark deal with Iran on Sunday to curtail the Persian country's purported march towards nuclear weapons. The agreement, when fully realized, has the potential to dramatically alter the geo-political landscape of the Middle-East, Gulf, and South Asia, affecting the strategic outlook and orientation of major countries from Israel to India and in between.....
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In the coming days, if the electoral polarisation persists, India and its interests will be dragged into the internal politics. It is in India’s interests that political rivalries in Maldives be blunted and ended. Both the new President Yameen and the defeated aspirant Nasheed have made positive noises about reconciliation in the interest of democratic stability in Maldives. The extent to which these noises will be turned into concrete actions will of course, depend upon the new rulers……
"Main Aur Mere Parivar Ke Sadasya Apne Gram Mein Hui Hinsatmak Ghatnaon Se Bhayakant Hokar Gaon Va Ghar Chhodkar Aaye Hain, Tatha In Kinhi Bhi Paristhitiyon Mein Ab Apne Mool Gaon Evam Ghar Nahin Lautenge (I and my family left our village and our home due to the violent incidents there. We will not return to our village and home under any circumstances)," says the affidavit……
A strong India, where the majority of the people can move forward, united in harmony, disturbs the balance of power. Despite our poverty, malnutrition and lack of proper governance to encourage human resource development, the average IQ of our people is far higher than that of many developed nations. If this is garnered constructively towards building the nation, without divisive forces and corruption wrecking them from within, India can become an economic and political giant……
The intolerance against the Shias in Kashmir that started decades ago is still visible today. Some people from the majority communities find it easy to attack and develop insecurity in the minds of Shias. This can be gauged through various social networking websites where hate pages against Shias are created quite often, and where the Shiites face criticism on various fronts. Counter attacks and criticism from the Shiites follow suit….
But no strategy will succeed unless supported by the military in Pakistan and the Opposition in India. Lacking access to the former, I cannot analyse the potential for change; but as far as the latter is concerned, the BJP’s approach appears to be: wait until we come to power and then we will allow progress. That is surely morally unacceptable: no party should hold a peace process hostage until its turn at power. Indeed, Mr. Vajpayee’s peace initiatives gained traction because the Congress supported them….
Imagine waking up one day to find that essential services are no longer functioning because the workers they rely on are hiding from a government campaign against illegal residents. This is the reality of Saudi Arabia. A grace period had allowed many illegal residents to correct their legal statuses, but since its expiry, old neighborhoods in Riyadh have been transformed into havens for illegal residents….
The situation is in a flux. The question here is: Will state agencies (Afghans, Pakistanis and Americans) take advantage of the shifting dynamics to scuttle the groups from within. Before you answer that, factor this in: In 2012, after Malala was shot, the Americans refused to hunt down Mullah Fazlullah in Afghanistan, as they viewed him as an ‘other-side-of-the-border’ problem.....
"There was one common strategy running from Godhra to Patna that is to engineer killing of Hindus and Muslims for political polarisation." "BJP is conspiring to divide society for political gains," he alleged. "It does not bother them whether those being killed are Hindus or Muslims if it helps them grabbing power," said Vaghela, who also has roots in the RSS…..
The spate of scheduling, cancelling and annulling elections and election results over the last three months in the Maldives has eroded whatever little legitimacy was left in its public institutions. Instead of a return to democracy that should have happened in September 2013, when the first of many ill-fated presidential elections was held and then declared invalid, we have a charade of votes being faithfully cast and thrown into the dustbin or waiting room....
Talking about religion conversions and temple destructions by the early Muslims in India, Eaton argued that these were political acts rather than acts of religious fanaticism. He emphasized the fact that not all temples were destroyed by Mughal invaders. Only those associated with the royalty that suffered defeat were destroyed, as was the norm back in the day. “They were political, not religious desecration”…..
The treaty will also clear the way to bring back criminals like Subrata Bain and Sazzad Hossain to Bangladesh from India. Bain and Hossain are currently lodged in Delhi's high-security Tihar Jail. Bain was charged with carrying Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN), illegal arms and for illegal immigration into India. Hossain is wanted in cases of murder in Bangladesh. The Awami League government of Bangladesh contends that Bain and Hossain were involved in attacks that targeted its top leadership.....
Puritans have been unnecessarily incensed by the global bestseller, ‘I am Malala’, Malala Yousafzai’s biography. Thanks to the legacy left behind by General Ziaul Haq, we no longer waste time reading books. In other words, 70 percent Pakistanis do not read books (54 percent in 2002 would stay away). How frequently? Forty-eight percent read once a week, 31 percent once every two weeks, and 21 percent once a month….
Yasser Latif Hamdani
That you should never underestimate your enemy is common sense. Tragically, it seems in Pakistan common sense is in short supply. Our old hands, who continue to pontificate on strategies as if the world was a board game, are almost patronising in the way they talk about the Taliban. “They are our boys”, “We have to win their hearts and minds”, “Taliban were our allies”, “We can still convince them”, “We can bring them in the framework of our constitution”, etc, are the kind of statements that we have heard for over a decade now.
Eric S. Margolis
Israel denies the murder, though some of its leaders have openly stated their desire to “liquidate” Arafat. Israel is the only Mideast nation that can produce polonium-210 in its reactors. Still, Israel insists it was not responsible, though no tears were shed over Arafat’s death. Israel says the culprits were Palestinian rivals....