Send troops under UN command only: Cong tells Centre
Indian Express 13 Jun 03
New Delhi, June 12: The Congress today put the ball in the Governments court on the issue of sending Indian troops to Iraq seeking a clarification on whether it would be with the mandate of the United Nations.
In view of Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advanis US visit, the Congress can take a final stand on the issue only after the meeting between Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee and party chief Sonia Gandhi on Sunday and the visit of the Pentagon officials on Monday.
The party is also working on the interpretation of the UN Security Council resolution 1483 passed on May 22, endorsing a coalition-led administration in Iraq and appointing a UN special representative to Iraq. The Congress is examining the technicality which Sonia had referred to in her June 5 letter to Vajpayee. There, she had opposed any proposal for sending troops under any arrangement other than a UN command or as part of a multi-national peace-keeping force that has the UN mandate.
Speaking earlier, J.N. Dixit stressed that the party is not averse to cooperation. But this should be done keeping in view the Indian interests and the interests of the people of Iraq, he said. At a press briefing earlier in the week, senior leader Natwar Singh had said: We want clarification on a few things. Where will our troops be serving? Under whose command will they be serving? And who will they be reporting to?
The Pentagon team will provide clarifications sought by New Delhi on Washingtons request to contribute troops to Iraq. It will be a one-day affair and the Ministry of External Affairs will be playing the lead, an MEA spokesperson said
Bullet-proof jeeps cant face SLR fire
Indian Express 14 Jun 03
New Delhi, June 13: A batch of 15 police vehicles made bullet-proof by the Ordnance factory in Medak has failed mandatory tests.
Tripura police have written to the Ministry of Home Affairs that bullets from SLRs easily pierced the vehicles during test firing. After the failed tests, the Tripura government has decided to pull out the entire batch. An additional Rs 5 lakh was spent on each Maruti Gypsy to make it bullet-proof.
The complaint from Agartala, sent on May 13, states: These vehicles are unfit for operational duties... please take up the matter with the Ordnance Factory, Medak for arranging immediate replacement of all 15 bullet-proof Maruti Vehicles with proper bullet-proofing at their own cost.
While MHA officials said they did not want to comment on the lapse, A K Bhattacharya, under secretary with the government of Tripura, said the State Government had taken serious note of the failed results.
We have since been informed by the MHA that the matter has been taken up with the Ordnance
factory and that the entire batch of 15 vehicles will be fitted with fresh bullet-proofing, he told The Indian
He pointed out that these vehicles were part of the Special Assistance given by the Centre to Tripura.
The report he sent to the MHA showed that while the rounds fired (at a distanec of 10 metres) from an AK-47 rifle made dents at striking points, the SLR bullets ripped through.
Earlier, following a similar instance of bullet-proof steel manufactured by SAIL failing test-firing, the MHA had given permission to the ordnance factories to import the steel and centralise dispatch of the vehicles to terrorist-effected states from Medak.
posted by promila 11:42 PM
Akash' test-fired The Hindu 11 Jun 03
BALASORE JUNE 10. The medium range surface-to-air missile `Akash' was test-fired today from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-sea, about 15 km from here.
The missile was test-fired at 11.40 a.m. This was the third test-fire of the missile from the ITR in the past fortnight. Scientists of the Defence Research Development Organisation and the ITR witnessed the test-firing. — UNI
posted by promila 9:09 AM
Why India Qualifies to be
Declared a Rogue State
Anwaar Hussain Satribune 8 -14 June03
THE US policy makers define a "Rogue State" as one which supports terrorism and
threatens its neighbors; displays no regard for international law and callously violates
international treaties; discards basic human values; maltreats its own people and
fritters away national resources for the personal gain of its rulers; is determined to
acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), along with other advanced military
technology, to be used as threats or offensive designs of its regimes; and hates the
United States and everything which it stands for.
This last definition has been apparently put there by the US policy makers in case all else
fails to stick. In plain English, as Robert S. Litwak suggests, it means a rogue state is
whoever the United States says it is. Litwak speaks from experience. He served on the White
House's National Security Council staff during President Clinton's first term, as director for
non-proliferation and export controls.
Moreover, the meaning of the term "terrorism" has been left to the imagination of all those
who want to use it for their own purposes as long as their interpretation does not cross
paths with US interests. Despite the apparent ambiguities and dichotomy in the US definition
of such a state, for some time now India has been doing everything within its means to get
Pakistan declared a rogue state.
Interestingly, when the above definition is applied to this mother of all democracies herself,
some awfully remarkable results get thrown up. Let us see how India matches up:
Rogue States support terrorism and threaten their neighbors
All India's neighbors are ill-at-ease with her. India has a running dispute with each and every
one of her neighbors. Be it Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka or the smaller neighbors. In
Pakistan's case her interventionism has gone to the extreme of mid-wifing the birth of
Bangladesh in 1971. It is a documented fact that India has been sponsoring cross-border
terrorism in the Pakistani province of Sindh. India's implicit support for terrorist activity is
consistent with its internal behavior. It has a record of repression of minorities that
undermines its proclamation of democratic values.
Apart from India's State terrorism against Sikhs, Christians, Muslims, and all the other minority
groups, it is funding terrorism in Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Bhutan. Among insurgencies
funded and supported by India, Tamil Eelam of Sri Lanka and Chittagong Hill Tracts in
Bangladesh are well known. India created and supported the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
(LTTE), an organization the US government has called a "terrorist" organization. According to
Internet journalist Justin Raimondo, the Indian Defense Minister, George Fernandes, raised
money and arms for the LTTE. India is also guilty of intervention in the tiny Maldives Islands
in broad daylight.
At the same time India has helped the Nepalese state in carrying out a genocidal war against
Nepalese people who do not see eye to eye with the Nepalese government on various issues.
With the help of Indian advisors the Nepalese state has carried out mass massacres, gang-
rapes and inhuman torture on an expanding scale.
On an average more than a dozen people are killed there every day. In the period of last one
year, more than 3,500 Nepalese have been killed. In its effort to centralize, concentrate and
monopolize state power, the Nepalese monarchy, with the full backing of the so called
biggest democracy in the world, has marginalized the parliament and all other institutions and
agencies of the state. Nepal has suspended all fundamental human and democratic rights,
while killing and arresting progressive journalists and activists. India has collaborated in these
fascist genocidal policies by capturing oppositional journalists and deporting them to Nepal.
People who came to India seeking medical treatment have been abducted and delivered to
the torture chambers of the Nepalese state.
In short, India not only uses terrorism internally but also threatens her neighbors with the
export of her experience in the usage of state terrorism.
Rogue States display no regard for international law and callously violate international
The Amnesty International (AI) has repeatedly warned India that it's anti-terrorism legislation
of "Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act" (TADA) and "Prevention of Terrorism Act" (POTA)
endanger human rights as these neither provide sufficient safeguards to prevent violations
nor are compatible with international treaties. The right to life is laid down in major
international human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights (ICCPR) which India has ratified and in the Indian Constitution.
Article 6(1) of the ICCPR says: "Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right
shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life." POTA and TADA not
only violate rights guaranteed both by the Indian Constitution and international human rights
treaties - most prominently the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which
India ratified in 1979 - but have verifiably been grossly abused.
A report issued last year by the Movement Against State Repression (MASR) showed that
India admitted to holding 52,268 political prisoners. Amnesty International reports that tens
of thousands of other minorities are also being held as political prisoners. These prisoners
continue to be held under the infamous law (TADA), which expired in 1995. It empowered the
government to hold people virtually indefinitely for any offense or for no offense at all.
According to many reports, some of these political prisoners have been in custody for almost
two decades. Amnesty International has been reporting for years now that tens of thousands
of minorities are being held as political prisoners. More than 40 Members of the US Congress
have written to President Bush asking him to work for freedom for these political prisoners.
These draconian laws are in contravention of all Canons of Justice. The continued use of
these black laws adequately demonstrates that India displays no regard for international law
and callously violates international treaties to which she is a party.
Rogue States discard basic human values, maltreat their own people and fritter away
their national resources for the personal gain of the rulers
The Indian ruling class is whipping up big-nation bigotry, in total disregard of basic human
values, to aggressively push their diehard counter-revolutionary agenda. This has been
accompanied by anti-Pakistani war hysteria and unleashing fascist Hindu prejudice. These
once hollow slogans have now taken an extreme and dangerous turn. The ruling B.J.P. and
their fascist thugs are following the strategy to letter and spirit.
The policy of targeting minorities in general, and Muslims in particular has become routine and
institutionalized within the state. The recent state sponsored anti-Muslim pogroms in Gujarat
unleashed by the BJP rulers in the state are a case in point. More than 2500 Muslim men,
women and children have been massacred for short term gains in national politics. In spite of
these confirmed reports, which lay bare the culpability of ruling party men as well as civil and
police functionaries in the ghastly killings of innocent men, women, and children of the Muslim
community, the Narendra Modi Government not only continues to be in place, but is,
ironically, even being acclaimed by the Centre for its handling of the situation. A worse
example of using state resources and patronage for the gain of the rulers cannot be found.
According to very credible numbers published by human-rights groups and the Punjab
judiciary, the government of India has murdered more than 250,000 Sikhs since 1984, in
excess of 200,000 Christians in Nagaland since 1947, almost 75,000 Kashmiri Muslims since
1988, and tens of thousands of Assamese, Tamils, Manipuris, Dalits, and others. In 1994, the
US State Department reported that the Indian government paid out over 41,000 cash
bounties to police officers for killing members of the Sikh minority.
In the same year, the Indian newspaper Hitavada reported that the Indian government paid
the late governor of Punjab, Surendra Nath, the equivalent of $1.5 billion to stir up terrorist
activity in Punjab and in Kashmir. Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal
Pradesh, Meghalaya, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra
are some of the places, other than Jammu and Kashmir, where the mother of democracies is
busy slaughtering its own children in absolute disregard for basic human values.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which leads a 23-party coalition, is a branch of the
Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), an organization founded in 1925 in support of the
Fascists. The governing ideology of the BJP and all the branches of the RSS is Hindutva i.e.
the subjugation of society, politics, and culture to Hinduism. Last year, a cabinet member
said that everyone living in India must either be a Hindu or be subservient to Hinduism. And in
New York in 2000, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said, "I will always be a Swayamsewak."
This is the ideology behind the attacks on Christians, Sikhs, Muslims, and other minorities.
The target of choice these days seems to be Muslims and Christians. Human-rights
organizations report that more than 200,000 Christians in Nagaland have been killed by the
Indian government since partition. These attacks continue a pattern of oppression of
Christians that has been going on heavily since Christmas 1998. Since then, members of the
RSS have murdered priests, raped nuns, burned churches, and committed other atrocities
The RSS published a booklet last year detailing how to file false criminal cases against
Christians and other religious minorities. The RSS objects to the presence of missionaries in
India. The missionaries are having a good deal of success in converting members of the lower
castes, especially Dalits, also known as "Untouchables". This removes the lower-caste people
from the stratification of the caste system, which is essential to the Hindu religion and social
During President Clinton's visit to India in March 2000 the Indian secret agencies massacred
35 Sikh villagers in Kashmir and then blamed the Kashmiri freedom fighters for this barbaric
act. Movement Against State Repression (MASR) co-sponsored with the Punjab Human Rights
Organization an investigation of the March 2000 massacre of 35 Sikhs in Chithisinghpora. It
concluded that Indian forces carried out the massacre. A separate investigation conducted
by the International Human Rights Organization came to the same conclusion.
Is the aforementioned not sufficient proof that India discards basic human values, maltreats
her own people and fritters away her national resources for the gain of the ruling BJP?
Rogue states are determined to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), along
with other advanced military technology, to be used as threats or offensive designs of
The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction--nuclear, chemical and biological--and the
means for their delivery at ever longer ranges has emerged as a central policy objective for
the Indian policymakers and planners. India is now a confirmed possessor of all three WMDs.
India has one of the more self-sufficient missile programs in the developing world and is
expected to become self-sufficient in all areas of production by the beginning of 21st
century. It has the capability to design and build a missile with little foreign assistance.
The Rumsfeld Commission Report on Ballistic Missile Threat to USA reported in as far back as
1998; "India is developing a number of ballistic missiles from short range to those with
ICBM-class capabilities, along with a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and a short
range, surface ship-launched system. India has the infrastructure to develop and produce
these missiles. It is aggressively seeking technology from other states, particularly Russia.
While it develops its long range ballistic missiles, India's space-launch vehicles provide an
option for an interim ICBM capability. India has detonated several nuclear devices and it is
clear that it is developing warheads for its missile systems. India has biological and chemical
Since the Pakistani nuclear tests, India has announced its intention to increase its spending
on missiles and nuclear weapons. India's program to develop ballistic missiles began in 1983
and grew out of its space-launch program, which was based on Scout rocket technology
acquired from the United States. India currently has developed and deployed the Prithvi short
range ballistic missile (SRBM), and is developing longer range, liquid- and solid-fueled missiles.
They include the Prithvi II SRBM, the Agni, Agni-Plus and Agni-B IRBMs, a sea-launched
ballistic missile and an SLBM, the Sagarika. India detonated a nuclear device in 1974,
conducted a test series in May 1998, and it is clear that it is developing warheads for its
missile systems. Indian leaders recently declared that India has developed nuclear weapons
for deployment on the Prithvi SRBM and the Agni Plus MRBM. India has acquired and
continues to seek Russian, US, and Western European technology for its missile programs.
Technology and expertise acquired from other states, particularly from Russia, are helping
India to accelerate the development and increase the sophistication of its missile systems.
For example, Russian assistance is critical to the development of the Indian SLBM and its
related submarine. But India is rapidly enhancing its own missile science and technology base
as well. Many Indian nationals are educated and work in the US, Europe, and other advanced
nations; some of the knowledge thereby acquired returns to the Indian missile program. While
India continues to benefit from foreign technology and expertise, its programs and industrial
base are now sufficiently advanced that supplier control regimes can affect only the rate of
acceleration in India's programs. India is in a position to supply material and technical
assistance to others."
With India's Defense Minister, George Fernandes, openly threatening Pakistan and China with
India's WMDs, the situation is a harbinger of ominous proportions. For a peace loving
democracy, India seems to be rather well-armed with WMDs. A more damning testimony of
India's determination to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), along with other
advanced military technology, to be used as threats or offensively to achieve her aggressive
designs is hard to be found.
Rogue States hate the United States and everything which it stands for
India has a long record of Anti-Americanism. On May 18, 1999, The Indian Express reported
that Mr. Fernandes, the Defense Minister, organized and led a meeting with the Ambassadors
from China, Cuba, Russia, Yugoslavia, Libya, and Iraq to discuss setting up a security alliance
"to stop the United States."
India votes against the United States at the United Nations more often than any country
except Cuba. It had a long term friendship with the former Soviet Union and supported its
invasion of Afghanistan, an invasion fought bitterly by United States and its allies to the
finish. India remained aligned to the then USSR all this while. India always had, and continues
to have, very close relations with Iraq. What else can be called "hating the United States
and everything for which it stands for?"
In the one-eyed war on terrorism the west, led by US, has broken all norms of ignoring
realities for short term conveniences. From the velvet sheaths of its skilled diplomacy, India
has been dealing body blows to the world democracy in the garb of the biggest democracy
on planet earth.
India is a country which, despite its claim to be democratic, is killing Christians, Sikhs,
Muslims and other minorities. India has been using terrorism against her own minorities for
many years now and also exporting terrorism to her neighbors.
Despite intense efforts of the Indian government's to deceive and mislead, these facts are
now increasingly being investigated and commented upon by independent Western
journalists, observers and NGOs working for human rights and other humanitarian concerns.
Even if all other clauses of the US definition of a rogue state are ignored, just one clause is
enough for the mother of all democracies to qualify as one. A State that fails to protect the
lives of its citizens, and rather conspires in their annihilation, is the exact opposite of being
an instrument of rightful authority. It is indeed an agent of unashamed criminality. Such a
state eminently qualifies to be called a Rogue State. It's time the powers that be took
notice. It's also time that the true democratic world body asked India that belated, but
ultimate, question -- Et Tu India?"
The writer is a freelance contributor
posted by promila 9:26 AM
MiG crashes in Rajasthan, pilot killed
By Our Special Correspondent The Hindu 5 Jun 03
NEW DELHI JUNE 4 . Another MiG fighter of the Indian Air Force
crashed this morning shortly after take-off from the Uttarlai air
base in Rajasthan killing the pilot. The crash occurred at a time
when a team from its original manufacturer is studying the
facilities at the HAL-owned factory at Nasik.
IAF sources here said the fighter caught fire shortly after take-off
and plunged into a nearby field killing the pilot, A.S. Jamwal. This
is the sixth military aircraft to crash this year. Contrary to the
general impression, it is the first MiG-21 of Type 75 to crash this
year. The other planes that went down this year included a
Jaguar, a Chetak helicopter and a MiG-23.
Last year, 25 fighter crashes were reported. Of them 12 were
MiG-21 variants. These variants account for almost half of the
total fighter fleet and undertake the maximum number of sorties
Doubts over airworthiness
Today's crash has raised new doubts over the airworthiness of the
Indian Air Force's mainstay, MiG fleet.
An IAF spokesman said the aircraft, which was attempting a low
level flying manoeuvre, apparently went out of control and
A number of Parliamentary Committees have demanded phasing
out of the aircraft in view of the high rate of accidents. They had
also demanded that the Government take quick decisions on the
long-pending induction of Advanced Jet Trainers into the IAF.
Air Force officials said the aircraft which crashed this morning was
among the earliest MiG-21s inducted into the IAF. These fighter
variants are gradually being phased out.
Though the country is in the process of upgrading its MiG-21 fleet,
one of the upgraded versions, christened MiG-21 Bison, which
uses the same R-25 engine, crashed last year.
Since 1998, 56 MiG aircraft have crashed and 32 pilots have been
killed. The crashes have also resulted in the death of 30 civilians
on the ground.
According to official figures, 23 of the crashes were due to pilot
error and 20 due to technical defects.
The Hindu 30 May 03
Balasore (Orissa) May 29. The medium range surface-to-air
missile, Akash, was successfully test-fired from the Interim Test
Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-Sea, about 15 km from here, today.
According to ITR sources, the missile was test-fired at 5 p.m. The
missile possesses advanced booster and ramjet propulsion. - UNI
The Hindu 4 Jun 03
BALASORE JUNE 2. For the second time in less than a week, India
today successfully test-fired the surface-to-air high altitude
interception Akash missile from a mobile launcher with defence
scientists hinting that the weapon system could be developed into
a missile shield system.
The indigenously developed missile with a multi-target
engagement capability was fired at around 1.15 p.m.
No magic wand to stop terrorism: Kasuri
By Hasan Suroor The Hindu 3 Jun 03
LONDON JUNE 2. The Pakistan Foreign Minister, Khurshid
Mehmood Kasuri, has said that Islamabad has no magic wand -
``Alladin's lamp'', as he put it - to stop cross-border terrorism in
Kashmir, but was doing its ``level best'' to control it.
Mr. Kasuri said that those ``fighting'' in Kashmir were not
Pakistan's ``slaves'' though he conceded that ``yes, we have an
influence on them'', having given them moral and diplomatic
support for 50 years. And then, drawing what observers saw as a
rather audacious parallel with the Palestinians, he asked: ``Why
do you think that those who go to fight tell President Musharraf
that they are going to die, or for that matter tell Yasser Arafat
that they are going for martyrdom''.
Answering questions on BBC's phone-in Hindi programme, he
voiced Pakistan's helplessness in putting a complete stop to
crossborder terrorism and pointed out that even the Indian Army,
which had a strong presence along the Line of Control, could not
``If some people go endangering their lives, and if the Indian
Army which is present in lakhs and is also along the Line of
Control cannot stop them... then which Alladin's lamp do we have
that we rub it and it all stops,'' he asked describing the terrorists
as frustrated people who had ``lost all hope''.
Once Kashmiris were given ``hope'' things could change, but for
that to happen it was important for India and Pakistan to start
talking. ``Once Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers talk, I have
full confidence that violence, hostility and militancy from both
sides of the border would come down,'' he said.
Mr. Kasuri insisted that at some stage Kashmiris, on both sides of
the border, would have to be ``involved'' in these talks.
``Wisdom demands that when and if India and Pakistan talk, for
its success the aspirations of Kashmiris would have to be kept in
mind,'' he said but added that at this juncture the important thing
was to get the talks going without getting bogged down in detail or
aiming at an immediate solution. Indeed, it would be ``extremely
foolish'' to talk of a solution at this point because then the two
sides were likely to fall back upon their known positions, creating
Mr. Kauri called for a ``sustained'' dialogue, uninterrupted by the
ups and downs in the relations between the two countries.
``Presently, the problem is that when we start a dialogue, it goes
on only when the relations are good - the moment there is some
deterioration in relations, the dialogue breaks down.... whereas it
is more important to have a dialogue when the relations are not
good,'' he said calling for an ``all-weather'' dialogue.
Mr. Kasuri regretted the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee's
remarks that it was his last chance to normalise relations with
Pakistan, and wondered ``what was going through his mind when
he said this''. He said there was ``no last time'' in giving peace a
chance, and praised Mr. Vajpayee for his ``statesmanship''.
Fire in Army depot
The Hindu 2 Jun 03
By Our Special Correspondent
JAIPUR JUNE 1 . A fire broke out this morning in the ammunition
sheds of the Army at Daburwala in Jaisalmer district, 20 km away
from the international border with Pakistan. The fire sent missiles
flying to the neighbourhood of Sultana village. No casualties were
The blaze caused a minor desert storm in the middle of the Thar,
some 75 km from the district headquarter town of Jaisalmer,
making fire-fighting operations difficult. Fire fighters brought the
inferno under control by 1 p.m. By then two of the sheds were
U.S. drops objections to Phalcon transfer to India
By Atul Aneja The Hindu 23 May 03
MANAMA (Bahrain) May 22. The United States has dropped
objections to the transfer of the Israeli Phalcon technology to India,
paving the way for India to become one of the few countries in the
world to possess an Airborne Warning and Control System
Essentially surveillance planes, AWACS can carry out airborne
searches behind enemy lines for hundreds of kilometers.
Fighter jets can be quickly positioned to an advantageous position
in the sky to tackle a hostile air strike on account of the early
warning that AWACS provide.
According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the U.S. has given an
unconditional clearance for the transfer of the Israeli Phalcon
systems to India after keeping the decision on hold for about a
year and a half on account of the existence of tensions between
India and Pakistan. Inquires by The Hindu show that the U.S.
decision to clear the Phalcon sales has not come as a surprise. In
fact, this subject was raised during the recent visit to India by the
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage.
The Phalcon system that integrates four sensors, including a
highly-advanced phased array radar, will be mounted on a special
Russian IL-76 platform, defence sources said. Once integrated,
India will acquire a state-of-the-art AWACS, which will be capable
of carrying out surveillance sweeps for hundreds of kilometers by
day or night and in any weather conditions.
The combination of Israeli and Russian early warning technology is
expected to encourage the fuller exploitation of some of the high
performance planes with the Air Force such as the long range
SU-30MKI and the French Mirage 2000 planes.
Sources said the U.S., in the past, had objected to the transfer of
the phased array Greenpine radar, which is part of the Phalcon
sensor package. While Israel developed this radar, the U.S.
objected to its sales by pointing out that this sensor was the result
of a joint venture, which Washington had funded.
The clearance for the estimated $ 1 billion phalcon deal is likely to
become a cause for concern for both Pakistan and China. In fact,
China, before India had come into the fray, had been negotiating
the purchase of the Phalcon system with Israel. This deal, which
had nearly closed, however fell through at the last moment on
account of the U.S. opposition to the transfer of an AWACS
package to Beijing.
An Indian Nuclear Insider
Reveals Dangerous 'Fixing'
By N M Sampathkumar SATribune 8-14June03
NEW DELHI: An uneasy question has slowly started worming in the minds of some
people of India.
The sort of people who preferred not to believe the visual and audio clippings of a
septuagenarian defence minister's close woman friend pocketing a paltry Rs.100,000 as speed
money for fixing a defence deal, dramatized by the TV channel Tehelka.
The sort of people who got shocked at the trap laid (by whom?) for the personal assistant of
a Union minister, accepting Rs. 400,000 for fixing a bureaucrat's "lucrative" posting.
The sort of people startled by the suspension on corruption charges of the Chief of the
behemoth Coal India Ltd (CIL).
Are these ugly happenings, just aberrations, or do they represent the state of governance in
the country? Unfortunately, it appears to be the latter.
Particularly so in the arena where compromises in quality of products or services due to
extraneous considerations can cause a catastrophe of unthinkable magnitude.
The state of affairs in Nuclear Power Corporation of India, the monopoly nuclear-electrical
energy utility can make CIL bandicoots seem like saints.
Functioning as a secretive and awfully opaque style, NPCIL appears to have perfected the
technique of "fixing" by adopting certain bizarre procurement practices.
Monstrous amounts of public funds are siphoned off year after year to buy poor quality
components to fabricate nuclear equipment. Apart from sending public money down the drain,
the shenanigans compromise with the safety and subject the public to unacceptable risks.
Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), supposed to monitor lapses in the area environment
and safety, has been rendered impotent by getting "overzealous" regulators unceremoniously
The Corporation enjoys absolute immunity from being scanned by the Comptroller and Auditor
General for irregularities caused by nepotism and kickbacks.
Worse, the judiciary of the country, in its wisdom, has come to the rescue of the powers
that be and upheld the right of nuclear bosses to keep the dirty deals under wraps; the Court
dismissed a petition filed by Peoples' Union for Civic Rights (PUCL) seeking transparency.
For the sake of continuing to enjoy the loot, the nuclear mandarins have even managed to
hijack the program to produce weapons of mass destruction.
The irresponsible proliferation act has fueled a nuclear arms race with Pakistan and
undermined the definite edge the country enjoyed in traditional weapons.
This writer had formally admitted to have supplied to NPCIL 254 numbers of fake 'bearing
sleeves', a critical-application-component used in a coolant channels of atomic reactors.
These were later formally "recalled" after proving that they were "unfit for nuclear
applications." Their use may lead to uncontrollable radioactive leaks and bursts.
This exercise was undertaken with the purpose of exposing (Tehelka-style) a scandal through
which an entrenched cartel of chosen unscrupulous suppliers had palmed off thousands of
fake-quality bearing sleeves.
Understandably, NPCIL is keen to whitewash the whole affair in order to save the skin of
biggies at the helm. Neither NPCIL's Vigilance Chief , nor the CVC, nor the CAG, nor the
concerned Ministry (under PMO) have so far been able to touch the nuclear mafiaso, despite
furnishing all the details.
More than five years ago, the then Prime Minister I.K. Gujral lamented that corruption had
come to pervade all spheres and warned that the corrupt would be jailed. Is it wishful
thinking to believe that the fate of the CIL Chief will soon befall erstwhile and current bosses
of the Department of Atomic Energy?
There will be an additional bonus if the dream comes true quickly enough; the region can be
rid of deadly weapons of mass destruction.
Is Mishra's Suggestion of a
US-India-Israel Axis Workable?
By Surendra Mohan SA Tribune 8-14 June03
PRIME MINISTER Vajpayee's special adviser Brajesh Mishra has advocated the
creation of an alliance of the US, Israel and India, all of which, according to him, are
democratic, civilized and pluralistic countries. This description of the countries is
correct, but the rulers are hardly civilized or pluralistic, including our own,
However, look at the timing of the suggestion. Only a fortnight before it was made, our
Parliament unanimously deplored the aggression of the US against Iraq. The US Government
struck without the sanction of the Security Council and in complete defiance of massive
international public pinion. Three out of five permanent members of the Security Council
namely Russia, France and China had opposed it. The gravity of the offence was highlighted
by the absence of any proof of the charge that Iraq had been storing and manufacturing
weapons of mass destruction to use them against her enemies.
Israel is the major beneficiary of the victory scored by the US and her allies, mainly the
United Kingdom. For, the struggle against the terrorism that her Government has been
indulging against the Palestinians will be eroded by the ferocity of the US attack. Iraq was
supporting them, but the `regime change' brought about by the US has changed the
Syria was warned and has reportedly agreed that the Hezbollah, located in Lebanon, must
not get her support. Syria has also agreed to ensure that her troops vacate Lebanon, even
though they were there on the basis of an agreement among herself, the US and Israel.
Israel controls parts of the territories of Syria, but the US is not asking her to vacate them.
She has continued to set up new settlements in the Palestinian territories which were given
to them under a U.N. agreement.
She has defied over a dozen resolutions, adopted by the UN, asking her to give them up. The
Palestinians, with whatever support they can muster from other Arabs, have been resisting
the expansionism of Israel. They had to resort to human bombs, for they lack a trained army
as the Israelis have, which has over 300 nuclear weapons. The US which destroyed Iraq on
the false pretext that her ruler Saddam Hussain had stockpiled such weapons has never
asked Israel to dismantle them. Israel's response is to call the Palestinian fighters terrorists
and crush even the common citizens as she did when bulldozing the refugee camp at Jenin.
These are the two allies, the US and Israel, whose Governments, civilized and pluralistic,
which Brajesh Mishra, wishes India to court. The other aspect of the timing of his advocacy
is that it was made after the Prime Minister asked for a resumption of dialogue with Pakistan,
ruling out mediation by a third party, including, obviously, the US. Public opinion in Pakistan is
extremely hostile to her. As for Israel, no one there can forget the utter hostility between
her and the Arabs. This suggestion can, therefore, weaken the force of the Prime Minister's
Whether Mishra adopted this course deliberately, one would not know. However, if he
thought that by his suggestion, he was winning over the US to India's side in her dispute with
Pakistan over Kashmir, then, again, he was repudiating the Prime Minister's policy against
allowing mediation. However, he is the special adviser of the Prime Minister and must know
what he was doing. Possibly, he had the boss's blessing. If that were the case, then it would
only expose our duplicity.
On the other hand, the US is quite keen to get involved in settling the Kashmir stalemate. On
April 30, Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, had announced that after they were finished
with Iraq, they would turn attention to South Asia. Later, his deputy Armitage was going
about in Islamabad and New Delhi, carrying Musharraf's message to Vajpayee.
In this context, our Deputy Prime Minister appropriately asked him a straight question: why
cannot Musharraf make the same suggestion directly to Vajpayee? Advani himself is visiting
Washington. President George W. Bush has indicated that he too would like to visit New
Delhi. Yet another visitor might be the Israeli Prime Minister Sharon who has also been invited
by our Government.
If the masses of the Arab people as also those Muslims who consider the attacks of the US
against Afghanistan and Iraq as part of the crusade against Islam get alienated from India, it
might make a rapprochement between us and our estranged neighbor a little more difficult.
Yet another important consideration is: what attitude which all those who opposed the US
aggression against Iraq as inappropriate, will adopt. They include our eastern and south
eastern neighbors; the big powers, Russia, Germany, France and China, north, south and east
Africa and Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Chile and some others, in the American continent. Why
must we lose their goodwill? Why need we to weaken our chances of joining the economic
group of south eastern countries? Why do we become junior, subsidiary partners of the
gendarme of the present uni polar world and sour our relations with the European Economic
Community and the above mentioned countries?
That resistance against this unipolar scenario is bound to grow. It will grow as the US
multinational companies get to monopolize all oil supplies and sell them dearly to other
developed countries, in particular, so as to weaken rival challenges to their dominance over
world markets. It will become deep rooted in the developing world as the US makes another
conspiratorial attempt to oust Chaves, the President of Venezuela, or tries to unsettle the
Brazilian President Lula. It will, or might, snowball, as the US reshapes west Asia as Bush has
pledged to do, mainly to give over the charge of ruling over that huge land mass to her
trusted Arab cronies like the Saudi monarch but more so to her all -time cohort, Israel, hated
Whether it is Africa, South America, or Asia, the developing world everywhere has witnessed
with increasing concern their economic degeneration as the WTO regime rules further ensnare
them into dependencies of the developed countries. Is it too late to recall our Commerce
Minister Murasoli Maran's experience from the WTO ministerial conference in Doha in
November 2001 where India got utterly isolated, had to accept what she did not want to and
Maran returned to emphasize the urgent need to build a `Development Coalition' of the
Instead of building that coalition, Mishra wants India to join those whom that coalition was
sought to contain. Moreover, if the resistance against the unipolar world is going to blossom
and such diverse interests as the EEC, Russia and China and other developing countries of
the southern hemisphere are to make different kind of common causes, why should we give
up all our options in favour of the one with those going to be progressively challenged?
The entire world system is in transition after George W. Bush decided the direction of the
policies of the US. We should certainly cooperate wherever our interests are served; but,
closely watch her general line economically; and as her real agenda for Kashmir unfolds,
politically as well. It is best to remain unaligned, for the present in any case, and hope that
the initiative of the Prime Minister succeeds.
Some Details of the Kashmir
By Arvind Lavakare
SA Tribune 8 -14 June 03
SECTION 153 B (1) (a) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (as amended by the
Information Technology Act, 2000) stipulates that 'Whoever, by words either spoken
or written or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, makes or publishes
any imputation that any class of persons cannot, by reason of their being members of
any religious, racial, language or regional group or caste or community, bear true
faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established or uphold the
sovereignty and integrity of India shall be punished with imprisonment which may
extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.'
In the light of the above provision of an India law, consider the following sentence that was
reportedly uttered by at a public rally in Srinagar on Thursday, May 22, by Sajjad Lone,
chairman of the People's Conference party:
'Kashmir is neither the integral part of one country nor the jugular vein of another, but
belongs to its people who alone will decide its future.' (Report in The Asian Age, Mumbai, May
23, 2003 by the daily's Special Correspondent.)
Isn't Lone's statement a clear case of violating of the Indian Penal Code's above cited
Section? The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is specified in the First Schedule of Article 1
of the Constitution of India as being part of the territory of the Union of India.
Setting out the 'Relationship of the State with the Union of India", Section 3 of the J&K State
Constitution categorically enshrines the fact that 'The State of Jammu and Kashmir is and
shall be an integral part of the Union of India.' Section 147 of the state Constitution also
provides that 'no bill or amendment seeking to make any change in the provisions of section
3…shall be moved or introduced in either House of the Legislature.' Yet, here is this Lone
fellow publicly disowning the nation's and the state's constitution by saying that 'Kashmir' is
not an integral part of India.
But what is done to him? Exactly nothing. The IPC is not slapped on him -- presumably
because, courtesy Article 370, Section 1 of the IPC itself makes it clear that the Act 'shall
extend to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.' And since there seems
to be no law of J&K which treats challenging India's sovereignty over the state as an
offence, civil or criminal, what Lone gets is not a law slapped on him but high-powered
multi-media publicity. The media also gives his political party the label of 'separatist' in
inverted commas, as though it were some sort of a meritorious award. Such a thing can
happen only in our India, softest democracy in the world.
If the blacks of Texas, for instance, agitate to rescind their state's annexation by the
America of 1845, the entire black population of the state would probably get prosecuted and
persecuted under the Patriot Act of George W Bush. By the way, Arundhati Roy's speech at
Harlem, New York, on May 13 this year told us that the world's 'freest' country has the
highest number of prisoners in the world and that George W Bush oversaw 152 executions
when he was governor of Texas.
It would be nonsensical to support the 'separatist' call of Lone and others by citing Quebec
province's quest to be separated from the Canadian Federation. There the Supreme Court
accepts a referendum verdict as a means to grant that separation because the Canadian
Constitution has an enabling provision.
In India, on the other hand, the nation's constitution does not permit secession and,
therefore, does not permit 'plebiscite' or 'referendum' on any issue. Then why and how should
Lone & Co be permitted to continue with their 'separatist' demand? And their talk of the wish
of the people of 'Kashmir' in deciding the future status of their state, what if, tomorrow, the
people of Nagaland wish to be separate of India, and if, day after tomorrow, Tamilians want a
separate nation for themselves? Should we grant these 'separatists' their wishes?
The people of J&K are in no way different from the remaining citizens of India excepting that
they have special rights denied to others in India and are even otherwise the most appeased
people of India though the Muslim majority Kashmir valley has hardly ever shown its gratitude
for what the country has bestowed on the state in several ways. All they do, these valley
people, is crib and cry for more.
The villain of the piece, it would seem, is the Government of India's own timidity on the
subject of 'separatism.' There was that December of 1962 when Sardar Swaran Singh, the
then minister of railways, was appointed leader of the Indian delegation to Rawalpindi for
starting a new round of talks on Indo-Pak problems, including J&K. Nehru's main brief to the
delegation was that while India did claim full and complete sovereignty over the whole of J&K
state, we would be prepared to voluntarily give up our sovereignty over some parts of our
territory in an effort to reach an overall peaceful settlement. A new international line in
'Kashmir' was what Nehru intended to offer to Pakistan and his full-dress Cabinet endorsed it
without a murmur. (Page 255, Outside The Archives, Sangam Books India Pvt Ltd., 1984, by
Y D Gundevia, ICS, foreign secretary to Nehru.) The die had been cast for 'take away.'
Thus it was that on February 10, 1963, in Karachi, the 'Kashmir' map was on the table
between Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan's PM, and Sardar Swaran Singh. Our delegation asked
Bhutto to show on the map what he actually wanted. Bhutto leaned over the table and
pointed to the little town of Kathua on the Kashmir-Himachal border. He drew a circle
somewhere there with his forefinger and said, 'You can have this part of Kashmir. We want
the rest.' (Ibid, page 280)
Memories of that nightmare were aroused by a recent report from The News of May 15
e-mailed by Varsha Bhosle. Based on Geo TV's 'Capital Talk' programme, the report said Niaz
A Naik, former Pak foreign secretary, had, for the first time, disclosed on television that he
had discussed the 'Chenab Formula' with Prime Minister Vajpayee and R K Mishra in 1999 as a
solution to the Kashmir dispute during his back-channel diplomacy in Delhi. Naik claimed he
discussed the formula with a map of J&K in front and that Vajpayee had shown 'a lot of
interest' in the formula. In a nutshell, the Chenab Formula meant that J&K state would be
divided between Hindu and Musli
posted by promila 9:24 AM