Category Archives: Palestine

Palestine flag would be raised at UN

Palestine flag would be raised at UN
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
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Obviously, there is a broad light not just in the Mideast tunnels, but also in the corridors of UN General Assembly building with UN itself getting ready to greet the Palestinians, longing for freedom and sovereignty from the occupation forces of Israel, with their official flag unfurled at the UN to decorate the global forum.

The United Nations is expected on 10 September to allow Palestine to raise its flag at its headquarters in New York in a symbolic move highlighting Palestinian aspirations for statehood. The General Assembly will vote at 3 pm (2330 IST) on a draft resolution that diplomats say is almost certain to garner a majority in the 193-nation forum. The Palestinian representative to the UN Riyad Mansour said that it is a positively symbolic thing, but another step to solidify the pillars of the state of Palestine in the international arena.

The UN General Assembly upgraded the status of the Palestinians to that of non-member observer state in 2012, signaling a full statehood for Palestine in due course. Palestinians have been pressing for statehood for years but Israel, brutally occupying the Palestinian territories, employs manipulative strategy to obstruct the Palestinian move for their legitimate rights to have their own home on their own lands.

Every Zionist action, including aggression and expansionist ideology has so far, unfortunately, had the backing of the USA, the most powerful nation on earth and USA has used its veto to shield the Israeli military crimes against humanity.

The UN General Assembly resolution would allow the flags of Palestine and the Holy See — both of which have non-member observer status — to be hoisted alongside those of the member states. If adopted, the UN would have 20 days to implement the move, which would be in time for a visit by president Mahmud Abbas on 30 September.

Mansour said the initiative had the potential to “give our people some hope that the international community is still supporting the independence of the state of Palestine. “Things are bleak, gloomy, the political process is dead, Gaza is being suffocated. This flag resolution is like the small light of a candle to keep hope alive for the Palestinian people.”

Diplomats say the only unknown is how broad support for the resolution will be, and in particular the attitude of the Europeans who have been divided over the initiative. Most Europeans voted for Palestine against the wishes of USA and Israel.

Israel and USA have always hijacked the UN and other world bodies by using the US veto and their coercive efforts to influence many nations. Both Israel and the United States have, as their joint colonialist policy, expressed strong opposition, with Israel’s ambassador to the body Ron Prosor slamming “a blatant attempt to hijack the UN.”

Upon the UN vote last time, making Palestine a observer state, USA is reportedly considering sympathetically the Palestine claims and it supports the Palestine efforts for full membership on UN, it would regain its lost glory of a genuine mediator in regional disputes.

However, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner called it a “counterproductive” attempt to pursue statehood claims outside of a negotiated settlement which is being prolonged by Israel. Officially Washington does not want to seen to abandon a basically criminal state like Israel that kill Palestine children to help fascist minded and illegal settlers win in general elections.

Claiming to be the lone democracy in West Asia with Palestinian blood on its palms, Israel continues to play mischief with Palestinians and UN. Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli PM Netanyahu are among world leaders converging on UN headquarters as of 25 September for an anti-poverty summit and the annual General Assembly debate.

Pope Francis is expected to make a much-anticipated address on 25 September.

The Vatican has officially recognized Palestine as a state.

The very sight of Palestine flag at the UN when it appears would be a positive signal for all freedom seeking nations on this planet.

US President Obama musters more Senate votes for peace, in favor of nuclear deal with Iran!

US President Obama musters more Senate votes for peace, in favor of nuclear deal with Iran!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
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US President Barack Obama has secured 42 US Senate votes for the international nuclear deal with Iran, more than enough to keep Congress from passing a resolution disapproving of the pact., more than enough to block the Senate from passing a Republican-backed resolution to disapprove the deal and to ensure that the Iran nuclear deal will go into effect even as the US Congress returns on 09 September to begin a frenzied fall legislative session to debate the nuclear deal, which will include votes on the Iran deal before a Sept. 17 deadline.
Forty-two votes is one more than the minimum needed in the 100-member Senate to block a Republican-backed resolution of disapproval of the nuclear deal, announced on July 14. That would spare Obama the embarrassment of having to use his veto power to protect a deal reached with five other world powers, seen as a potential legacy foreign policy achievement for his administration.
Obama had been guaranteed enough votes to sustain a veto once he reached 34 “yes” votes in the Senate, but backers say avoiding the veto process would send an important message to Iran, and the world: Washington is unified behind it.

Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal, Gary Peters, Ron Wyden and Maria Cantwell announced they would support the agreement, just as lawmakers returned to Washington from a month-long summer recess. The last hope of bipartisan Senate support was dashed when Senator Susan Collins, the chamber’s last undecided Republican, announced her opposition.
All of the senators supporting the deal are Democrats or independents who caucus with them. Every supporter in the House of Representatives is a Democrat. At least 17 House Democrats have also said they would vote with Republicans against it. Senator Joe Manchin became the fourth Senate Democrat voting against the deal.

As Obama’s support reached on 08th September 41 in the Senate in favor of the Iran nuclear agreement, enough to block the Senate from passing a Republican-backed resolution to disapprove the deal, opponents of the deal began criticizing Democrats for, as they say, preventing an up-or-down vote on the deal by blocking its forward motion.

Republicans are trying to turn the vote for nuclear deal into anti-Iran vote. But Democrats gave President Barack Obama the votes he needs to prevent the Senate from passing a measure disapproving of the Iran nuclear deal. Reaching the threshold to filibuster means the President likely won’t need to veto the measure, even though opposition to the Iran deal enjoys majority support in the House and Senate. Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Michigan Sen. Gary Peters and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden all announced in rapid fire succession they would support the deal, putting Obama at 41 votes of support in the Senate.
That would leave Republicans short of the 60 votes needed to force a Senate vote, unless some members who support the Iran deal argue that the chamber should have a chance to vote on it. The legislation permitting an up-or-down vote was agreed to by Obama after weeks of bipartisan pressure for Congress to have a say. The Senate would need 60 votes to advance a measure rejecting the deal for a floor vote. If all 41 Democrats who support the deal vote to filibuster, it would not reach a final vote in the Senate. Not all have pledged to do so, though they have pledged to vote with the President on the deal otherwise.
Senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Gary Peters of Michigan and Ron Wyden of Oregon said they will support the deal. The three new Democrats’ support came as another member of the party announced his opposition to the Iran deal. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin made a total of four Democrats who have come out against the deal. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he opposes the agreement. The other Senate Democrats opposing the deal are Chuck Schumer of New York, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Bob Menendez of New Jersey. Only one, Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell, remains undecided.
A few senators said they would “reluctantly” vote against a motion of disapproval because I believe that doing so will protect the credibility of the United States to hold Iran accountable to adhere to every single obligation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Many pro-deal senators believe that many overlapping provisions will make it exceedingly difficult for the Iranians to build a nuclear weapon in the short term and will lengthen the time required should they choose to break their commitments and try to build one in the future. “While this is not the agreement I would have accepted at the negotiating table, it is better than no deal at all,” Blumenthal said.
Both camps have been increasing their lobbying efforts on the deal. Republican presidential candidates including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and real estate mogul Donald Trump will headline an anti-Iran deal rally on Capitol Hill. And former Vice President Dick Cheney delivered a fiery speech against the deal, calling it “madness”. Opponents also circulated a letter from 15 governors voicing their opposition to the deal and pledging to keep state-level sanctions on Iran in place. All four of the current governors running for president signed, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. India wants Jindal an Indian to be the next US president.
It seems there is no precedent in recent history for an issue of this magnitude getting consideration in the Senate without having to secure 60 votes. The deal would ease economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on the country’s nuclear program. Obama has lobbied hard for Democratic support and has made pitches to US Jewish leaders to counter opposition to the deal by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said he will insist that 60 Senate votes are required to pass a resolution of disapproval.
Obama’s 41 votes will ultimately protect the Iran deal, seven more than needed to uphold his veto of any measure of disapproval passed by Congress. The 435-seat House has more than the 218 votes needed to pass a resolution of disapproval in that chamber. At least 230 Republicans and 15 Democrats are opposed to the deal. At least 105 of the chamber’s Democrats support the agreement, while the rest have yet to announce their position.
Democratic front-runner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will deliver her own speech on the Iran deal, where she’s expected to unequivocally supporting it. US Congress could still oppose the deal, but Obama has now enough votes to override any resolution of disapproval. He has said the deal cuts off every pathway to a nuclear weapon for Iran. Republicans like Israelis have been unified in their opposition to the Iran accord, saying the deal would only “embolden” Iran.
Like Israel, the republicans are annoyed and disappointed that their dream of a war with Iran has been short lived.
However, it was not just USA or Iran that won the deal but active and pro-active diplomacy did the magic for humanity which is seeking peace in West Asia baldy.
One fails to know as to why Israel is so deadly interested in defeating the Obama deal with Iran, causing damages to US diplomacy and Obama’s efforts for peace in West Asia.
However, that does not matter at all!

Russian president Putin calls USA a racial state!

Russian president Putin calls USA a racial state!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

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Behind all nice “value” smiles and “hearty” talks about democracy and its place in any civilized society, Americans, generally speaking, are also racial by nature and instinct. The regular incidents of attacks on blacks in United States reveal American brand racism even under a Black president which demolishes their claim of being the most civilized people on earth the people from entire world must learn a lot from.

Targeting weak nations to destabilize them, committing awful genocides freely is one thing, but attacking minority people in a country on the on the basis of the skin color is another.  As the only superpower, United States of America, unfortunately, pursues both. However, Americans do not criticize the negative phenomena.

However, facts reveal that the real picture of social relations in USA is quite different from what is being reported in the US media. Racial slurs and attacks on the Blacks, among other minorities, are a common phenomenon across the USA.

The incumbent US President Barack Obama, himself a Black but successful politician, also, like predecessors who were Whites, does not seem to take steps to end racial discriminations in the country.  Racal discriminations have been on the rise even in America.

It is not at all shocking, but quite a valid statement, therefore, that Russian President Vladimir Putin has said racial intolerance in America would have shocked Martin Luther King Jr. In his National Breakfast address in Kremlin on May 13, Putin said that America was “full of magnificent travesty – a place where, in past many years, people of a particular color have, on several or most of occasions, been targeted by peoples of white color, simply due to their skin color and their racism.”

This startling comment from Putin comes on the backdrop of recent racial tensions in United States of America. There were incidents of unrest in Ferguson over shooting of Afro-American youth by a White police. Even after protests and pressure, the deaths of blacks in the hand of white police never reduced. Last week, yet another racial minority youth was killed in police custody.

Explaining to his audience, Putin continued, “It will be better if Obama and his America cared about their internal problems before trying to poke their nose into our affairs. They cry about Crimea, but look at their Crime rates. The rate at which American do crime, they can change their country name to Crimea, so that I can invade it next year.”

After a round of laughter from the audience, Putin continued, “America had blacks as slaves, then they fought a war among themselves on whether to keep blacks as slaves or not. Then, they fought with blacks on suffrage rights of blacks, educational right of blacks, employment rights of blacks. Martin Luther King Jr sacrificed his life to uplift black and end racial discrimination in America. But, now, seeing the current plight of blacks in his country, MLK would have cried in his grave. This kind of racial intolerance in America would have shocked him. I feel sorry for him.”

Raising a cup of wine for a toast, Putin concluded, “I just want to remind Obama to look after his own country and try to solve the racial riots that are happening under his nose. If a black president was unable to create an amicable situation for blacks in USA, then I wonder what the whites will do to those minorities. Stop the killing of blacks or resign Mr. Obama”.

Russians resent anti-Russia rhetoric of US leaders and western media lords made on a regular basis to belittle that nation especially when sanctions have been slapped on it by USA and EU. Putin has repeatedly said anti-Russia campaign is a roaring business of many Americans and it must stop. Maybe, his comments on racial discriminations in USA are to drive home the point that attacking Russian brand democracy cannot go on forever.

Maybe, President Barack Obama thinks the racial discriminations are a necessary evil that needs to be supported for some political expediency reasons, but the approach, if any, is totally wrong and anti-human as it works against the real progress of minorities in the country.

USA should shed its  racist slur and discriminatory practices and become a model secular and truly democratic state for all other nations to emulate.

G7 summit focuses on global economy, sanctions on Russia!

 

G7 summit focuses on global economy, sanctions on Russia!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

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Leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized countries have convened on their annual summit in Germany, where they are expected to discuss current crises, such as the wars in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya, and long-term issues like climate change and the economy.

The leaders of seven major industrialized countries led by supper power USA are meeting for their annual summit, with the first day devoted to the global economy and talks to liberalize trade rules. But the meeting will now focus on the continued sanctions on Russia. The leaders also want to agree on a climate change policy for a key meeting in Paris in December, where the goal will be to reach a global agreement to reduce carbon emissions.

US President Barack Obama said it is a list of difficult challenges. Obama also said: “We’re going to discuss our shared future,” he said, “the global economy that creates jobs and opportunity, maintaining a strong and prosperous European Union, forging new trade partnerships across the Atlantic, standing up to Russian aggression in Ukraine, combating threats from violent extremism to climate change.”

For the second year, a key topic will be Russia’s involvement in Ukraine. Russia was expelled from the group last year after it invaded and annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region, and it continues to support, train and equip rebels in two eastern regions. (The elite G8 group in which Russia is a member is no more existing) G7 countries are among the leaders of an extensive sanctions regime designed to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to change his policy.   Western powers, annoyed that the Kremlin has taken back the Crimea from Ukraine, now demand Russia to end Ukraine crisis by withdrawing Russian forces from east Ukraine, but Putin says Russia supports Russian fight for freedom but insists that Russian forces have not gone to Ukraine. However, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Moscow has sent 9,000 troops into “the area”, but Russia denies the claim.

 

The West accuses Moscow of supporting the insurgents in eastern Ukraine, a charge that Russia denies. The truce singed by Kyiv, Moscow and separatist rebels at talks mediated by Germany and France requires the warring sides to withdraw heavy weapons from the line of contact, but the provisions have been routinely violated.

President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel say economic sanctions against Russia should only be eased with Moscow’s full implementation of a shaky truce in eastern Ukraine to end fighting between pro-Russian insurgents and Kiev’s forces.

The US and German leaders insist that the sanctions should remain in place. The leaders also expected to discuss world crises including gains by the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and the crises in Libya and Yemen.  There are also the pressing issues related to China, which is building islands in the Pacific that could be used to control shipping lanes. The American and German leaders met before the G7 summit in the Bavarian Alps. The White House said both leaders agreed the duration of the sanctions should be “clearly linked” to Moscow carrying out February’s cease-fire deal and showing “respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

More than half the meeting Obama had with Merkel was devoted to show unity in confronting Russia over the destabilizing actions in Ukraine,” the White House said in a statement. Merkel told German public broadcaster ARD that Moscow should stay out of the G7 “community of values” over its actions in Ukraine. “There is a barrier at the moment and I cannot really see how it can be overcome,” she said. European Council President Donald Tusk, said the European Union and the G7 leaders remain firm in their support of Ukraine in its fight against pro-Russian separatists.

Before meeting privately, Merkel and Obama drank beer and ate sausages at a table with local residents in the picturesque Alpine village of Kruen, a few kilometers from the summit site.  Chancellor Merkel called the United States “our friend and our partner” and referred to the American leader as “dear Barack.”

the G7 leaders will be joined by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to discuss the fight against Islamic State, and some African leaders will join the meetings for a discussion of development, women’s rights and health policy.

G7 communiques on such issues are often greeted with indifference. In its annual assessment, the G7 Research Group based at the University of Toronto said the G7 does make a difference, particularly on such issues as financial regulations, health care, helping refugees and infrastructure development in Africa.

Like all G7 summits and similar events, this one has attracted Chanting and singing, some of them briefly blocked roads in the area early Sunday, and one group walked across a field where protesters had been allowed to camp out, trying to reach the summit hotel.

More than 15,000 German security personnel are keeping the protesters who blame the 7 big powers for many of the world’s problems, at bay and ensuring the leaders are safe as they uphold the G7 tradition of spending a couple of days largely on their own, discussing the world’s most pressing issues and deciding a common strategy  against their perceived ”foes” like Russia, China and others.  .

 

Unstoppable Indian corruption – Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa’s illegal asset case to go to Supreme Court! (Part 2)

 

 

Unstoppable Indian corruption – Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa’s illegal asset case to go to Supreme Court!  (Part 2)

 -Dr. Abdul Ruff

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It seems corruption with which India has been afflicted badly for years of misrule could stay intact notwithstanding all anti-corruption laws and powerful the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal. It is primarily because the ruling dispensation of India as well as top political parties and politicians promotes this evil as an unwritten policy of Indian corporatist regime.

 

There is a concerted effort by central government and corporate lords to weaken the Kejriwal’s AAP (Common man’s Party) in Delhi state and obstruct his efforts to cleanse the Delhi polity by containing the corrupt elements.

 

The governments and political parties refuse to acknowledge that t rampant corruption they are promoting to make wealth illegally harms the nation, hampers the life patterns of common masses.

 

Another swearing in

 

 

 

Ms Jayalalithaa was sworn in as Chief Minister for fifth time on May 23, after an eight-month break that was forced upon her when a court in Bengaluru found her guilty of amassing wealth beyond her income during her first term in office two decades ago.  The ruling AIADMK chief was arrested for three weeks before getting bail from the Supreme Court.  She appealed against her conviction in the High Court and won her case this month.  The case against her was originally filed in 1996.  In 2003, the trial was moved to neighbouring Karnataka to ensure that the politics of Tami Nadu would not influence the proceedings.

 

Assembly elections are due in Tamil Nadu elections in less than a year. The choice before Jayalalithaa and the AIADMK is to utilize their limited time in office to win them on sympathy wave. Tamil Nadu can expect more pro-poor welfare measures, fair-price initiatives, market interventions and big bang development announcements to win voters’ attention. In fact, she has already begun that. She does not want to give  the DMK  any chance of returning to power.

 

 

When a trial court in Bangalore had found her guilty in September last year it had led to a short period of imprisonment, disqualification as the Chief Minister, and her disappearance from active public life for nearly eight months.

 

A fresh legal challenge to 67-year old Jayalalithaa has come nine days after she made a triumphant return as Chief Minister with O Panneerselvam making way for her following acquittal by the High Court.

 

 

Ms Jayalalithaa, who has now to win a seat in the state assembly within six months of being sworn in chief minister, is contesting a by-election from Radhakrishnan Nagar constituency later this month. Jaya asked the silting AIADMK MLA to quit enabling herself to contest. 

 

AIADMK’s bitter rival DMK had raised the pitch for filing the appeal against acquittal while the original petitioner Subramanian Swamy had also said he would move the Supreme Court if Karnataka does not challenge the High Court verdict. In a way, Karnataka government has preempted both sources wanting to contest the acquittal in the apex court.

 

Ms Jayalalithaa’s arch rival, former CM M Karunanidhi of the DMK who possibly thinks his time is up in politics, said last week that the Karnataka government must file an appeal against her acquittal. He said in a statement that the DMK too would file its own appeal in the Supreme Court. In the national election last year, the DMK did not win a single seat in Tamil Nadu. Ms Jayalalithaa’s party, the AIADMK, won 37 of the state’s 39, to be the third largest party in the Lok Sabha, (lower house of parliament) after the BJP and the Congress.

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, an eminent lawyer himself at Supreme Court,  backed Karnataka Special Public Prosecutor B V Acharya’s advice to file an appeal against the acquittal of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case. His comments in support of appeal  in the apex court comes in the wake of Acharya and Advocate General Ravivarma Kumar advising the state government to file an appeal against the acquittal of Jayalalithaa, while the legal cell of ruling Congress in the state advising against filing an appeal.

 

Opposition parties in Tamil Nadu welcomed Karnataka government’s decision to appeal against Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s acquittal in a disproportionate assets case, with DMK terming it as the “right” step by the ruling Congress. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) President M Karunanidhi, besides other leaders, had been urging Karnataka government to appeal against Jayalalithaa’s acquittal. Tamil Nadu Congress Committee chief E V K S Elangovan lauded his party-led government in Karnataka for “quickly deciding” on approaching the apex court with an appeal before the 90-day deadline. In his reaction, Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S Ramadoss, who had written to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah asking his government to appeal against Jayalalithaa’s acquittal, said: “albeit a little delayed decision, it is a welcome one.” He said he had been insisting that the verdict had “loopholes”. Ramadoss said if Karnataka government had immediately heeded to his demand, “at least Jayalalithaa becoming Chief Minister could have been avoided” by trying to secure a stay against the High Court verdict.

 

It appears, the entire opposition tries to be united against Jayalalithaa, but BJP seeking to increase its MLAs in the assembly poll, hasn’t been unequivocal. The party’s central leadership seems to have been sufficiently humored, but its state president has been kept out. The BJP, which like Congress party also promotes corruption, also hasn’t made any official statement against the verdict even after the opposition pointed out the alleged errors, hinting at the possibility of an alliance in the next general elections for more assembly seats.

 

 

Final justice

 

 

In his order, the High Court judge had said that her unaccounted part was less than 10 percent of the total income, which according to a Supreme Court order, was permissible. Opposition parties such as the DMK and the PMK immediately found gaping errors in the arithmetic that fixed the disproportionate income at less than 10 percent. Once corrected, her unaccounted income would exceed the 10 percent limit by a mile, they pointed out. Acharya, as well as Subramanian Swamy, the original complainant in the case, also advanced the same argument and wanted an appeal against the verdict.

 

As the Congress government in Karnataka has decided to appeal against the High Court verdict acquitting J Jayalalithaa in a corruption case, which cleared the way for her comeback as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Karnataka government appeal against the High Court verdict in the Supreme Court is the logical development on the issue.  The state government Advocate General Ravivarma Kumar pointed out, had 90 days to decide on an appeal, but had done so in about 20 days after the High Court verdict.

 

Both Karunanidhi and Subramanian Swamy had made it clear that they would go to Supreme Court if the Karnataka government didn’t.

 

The Karnataka government’s decision to file an appeal against the acquittal of J Jayalalithaa, whose PM dream during the parliamentary poll was crushed by Narendra Modi, may not have surprised the ruling AIADMK and its supremo, but it will certainly bring back the uncertainty over her political future.

 

Now that this 18-year-old case will move again against Jayalalithaa, it won’t be an easy ride for her. Buoyed by the acquittal, she was back in the office and was moving fast with a number of welfare and development projects ahead of the by-election she is planning to contest. The appeal, which will still take a few days, may even affect her re-election and stint in the office.  The Supreme Court is likely to stay the faulty HC verdict.

 

More trouble seems to be waiting for AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa. The case was fit enough for appeal because the High Court verdict allegedly based itself on wrong financial figures. It has been pointed out that the numbers and the reason for her acquittal do not match. While the special public prosecutor in the case, BV Acharya, who was re-inducted at the last minute, wanted the government to go on appeal, the legal cell of the Congress unit in the state opposed his suggestion.

 

Correcting the figures without appropriately revising the judgment that was based on the wrong figures wouldn’t have been sustainable. Since the HC couldn’t revise its own judgment, there was no possibility of correcting the figures alone.

 

If the final verdict goes against her, which is quite logical, the DMK opposition, which is literally out of steam, will have some ammunition in the assembly elections next year. Let that be and court needs not worry about that in the delivery of justice to India which suffers owing to rampant corruption affecting the life of common people. 

 

Supreme Court is expected to give a stay order on the High court judgment and proceed with adjudication. Meanwhile reports suggest the highly influential Jayalalithaa, who deliberately use uneducated poor party people as a political shield, would also file a case in the Supreme Court but no details available. 

 

It appears Jayalalithaa and the government of Karnataka, where Jayalalithaa originally belongs, coordinated their steps with Jayalalithaa assuming office of CM while Karnataka assembly beginning its session. Jayalalithaa knew before hand about the assembly session and decided to be the CM and possibly coerced the Congress government to delay the appeal so that she could be CM albeit for a short period. Her thoroughness needs to be appreciated, however.

 

It is also quite possible that judge Kumaraswami delivered a quick but faulty judgment in order to help Jaya resume power and reacquire the right to contest.   Undoubtedly no one, lawyer or judge, renders such a huge-huge service to billionaire Jayalalithaa for free. 

 

Obviously, a person who powerfully influenced the High court and got all punishments withdrawn is no ordinary manipulator.

 

Now the focus is on the Supreme Court if it would stay the flawed HC order or let Jayalalithaa enjoy her newly found chief ministership longer. Speculation, as you say, is indeed thrilling.

 

One, however, has to wait for the final judgment of Supreme Court.

 

Indian judiciary: Public prosecutor considers Jayalalithaa’s acquittal by court flawed!

Indian judiciary: Public prosecutor considers Jayalalithaa’s acquittal by court flawed!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
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The ADMK supremo and ex. CM of Tamil Nadu Jayalalithaa very effectively coerced the judiciary to deliver a judgment in her favor. T he credit for this unique achievement goes to her skillful multi-pronged strategy. She can also declare that money and contracts can do wonders in India.

Now that the AIADMK chief has been acquitted, her counsel B Kumar states that there is no impediment for her to become chief minister. Her party cadres and followers are keen that she does so at the earliest. The current Chief Minister O Panneerselvam is set to submit his resignation. Sources say that she is likely to be sworn in once again as CM on May 17. She may have to contest a by-election within six months, but that may well be a cakewalk for her. Jayalalithaa may now work on rebuilding and strengthening her party in the state once again.
Jayalalithaa was not present in Bangalore at the High Court as it pronounced her acquittal in the disproportionate assets case but it appears she knew the judgment beforehand. She stayed back home in Poes Garden in Chennai, but has reportedly been receiving updates via her party men and media reports. The AIADMK chief issued a statement saying, it was a victory for justice and defeat for those who had conspired to defame and malign her legacy and the legacy of her mentor MGR who was never charged with corruption.
AIADMK suffered a serious setback when she was convicted and if the conviction had been upheld on May 11, it would have shattered the party and led to the likely resurgence and return of the DMK. However, DMK which is now fragmented due to internal politics, is likely to face a tough time now that she has been freed of all charges. There is widespread speculation that Jaya will call for early elections, but her party men say she is likely to wait till May 2016.

All the welfare schemes that Jaya (Amma) had initiated had slowed down since she stepped down. For instance, there are 100 more Amma canteens that are in the pipeline, waiting to be launched. Though O Pannerselvam was her chosen man to be CM, he feared her and didn’t make major decisions during his tenure. In fact even in deciding simple matters he would consult her before making decisions. Initiatives like the Metro rail project and Global Investors Meet were held up as the government didn’t deliberately want to move them forward without her.

In a dramatic manner, Karnataka High Court has cleared the deck for former CM Jayalalithaa to return to power as CM. She can now return as Tamil Nadu chief minister but must be elected as a state law-maker within six months. The 67-year-old had quit office after her conviction last year.

AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa’s cup of woes is just brimming over. Even as her supporters are still celebrating her acquittal, her political opponents and critics have raised doubts that Justice CR Kumaraswamy might have made huge errors in calculations while delivering his judgment yesterday. The errors render the whole basis of the judgment meaningless.

Jayalalithaa’s acquittal on May 11 by the Karnataka High Court has irked many legal luminaries and also provoked severe criticisms, including from senior lawyers. The public prosecutor BV Acharya has alleged that the court decision to declare J Jayalalithaa not guilty in a corruption case may have been based on deeply flawed math. Mere assumptions cannot be the basis of judgments. “In terms of percentage there is a glaring arithmetical error,” he said.

The Karnataka High Court said that the Tamil politician Jaya had been “incorrectly charged” with accumulating wealth disproportionate to her known sources of income during her first term as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. She had said her monthly salary was just a rupee. The prosecution said that in five years, her assets including property and jewelry added up to 66 crores. But the judge in the judgment said that the prosecution had mixed up assets of firms owned by her with her personal wealth.
Justice CR Kumaraswamy, hailing from Tamil Nadu, found that after taking office, Ms Jayalalithaa’s wealth increased by about 8% – which was “relatively small” and “within the permissible limit of 10 per cent”. The prosecution claims that the rise in her illegal wealth was miscalculated and far exceeds the limit.

Prosecutor Acharya said according to page 852 of the Karnataka High Court judgment, the former Tamil Nadu chief minister’s loans add up to almost Rs. 11 crore, while the judge calculated her borrowings at 24 crores – around 13 crores more.

Jayalalithaa’s disproportionate assets, therefore, add up to around Rs. 16 crore and not Rs. 3 crore. “So her assets are disproportionate by 76% and not 8.12 (as stated by the judge). Since the glaring mistake has come to our notice only now, we are considering all options available,” said Acharya, who fought the case on behalf of the government of Karnataka, which is where the trial was shifted from Tamil Nadu in 2003 to ensure it would not be impacted by the politics of Ms Jayalalithaa’s home state.

As per the judgment, Jayalalithaa’s total assets stand at Rs 37 crore. Deducting the total income (Rs 34.77 crore) from this, the judge has arrived at a figure of Rs 2.82 crore. This figure shoots up to Rs 16 crore, once we replace the total income with the correct number of Rs 21.2 crore. As per this calculation, the percentage of disproportionate assets is a whopping 76.5 percent of Jayalalithaa’s income and not 8.12 percent as the judge has said in the judgment

Here’s another explanation of the judgment mistake. As per the table on Page 852 of the judgment, Jayalalithaa and her associates have taken loans worth Rs Rs 24.2 crore, which has been considered by the judge as lawful income. However, a simple addition of all the 10 heads in the table shows that the actual aggregate loan amount was only Rs 10.67 crore. This means there has been an error of about Rs 13.5 crore.
The correct calculation shows that the lawful income of Jayalalithaa would reduce by Rs 13.5 crore to just Rs 10.67 crore. The mistake has been pointed out by the DMK in a statement, according to media reports. Further, as per the judgment, about Rs 6 crore has been deducted from the loan amount as the income assessed by director of vigilance and anti-corruption, which reduces the loan amount to Rs 18.2 crore. According to a report in The News Minute, the loan amount has to be Rs 4.67 crore. Here too the error is Rs 13.5 crore, the report says. The error in the loan amount has a cascading impact as the figure had been used in many other calculations by the judge. On Page 913, in the statement of the income of the accused, the first head, loan as income, has been put at the said Rs 18.2 crore. Once this is replaced with Rs 4.67 crore, it again results in a mismatch of Rs 13.5 crore.

In other words, with a loan amount of just Rs 4.67 crore, the total income drops to Rs 21.2 crore from the judge’s figure of Rs 34.77 crore. The same is the case with calculation of disproportionate assets, where total income is subtracted from the total assets.

It may also explain why BJP leader Subramanian Swamy termed the judgment a “tragedy of arithmetic errors”. Dr. Subramanian Swamy said he would approach the Supreme Court against the judgment. “In my appeal to SC in JJ DA case, I will prove that the KHC judgment is a “tragedy of arithmetic errors”. JJ will have to resign again if CM. Subramanian Swamy, who started the ball rolling, is likely to appeal her acquittal in the Supreme Court. Jayalalithaa and her counsel will fight these charges. Will she be CM again or not? Speculations are indeed thrilling like in movies.
The prosecution has three months to appeal in the Supreme Court against Ms Jayalalithaa’s acquittal. Reports suggest there would many appeals at the apex court against the Karnataka High court in Bengaluru judgment on disproportionate assets of Jayalalithaa who actually belongs to Karnataka.

Nukes of China, India, Israel and Pakistan pose serious threat to Asia, world peace!

Nukes of China, India, Israel and Pakistan pose serious threat to Asia, world peace!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

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  1. Weapons of mass destruction (WMD)

Nuclear weapons are the deadliest tool developed by nuclear powers to end human race and destroy all living beings on earth, do not target only select person in a crowd but annihilated masses in one go and hence they are known as weapons of mass destruction (WMD). However, nuclear powers have not taken the issue as seriously as it really merits.

Nuclear disarmament refers to both the act of reducing or eliminating nuclear weapons and to the end state of a nuclear-weapon-free world, in which nuclear weapons are completely eliminated. Nuclear disarmament groups include the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Greenpeace, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Mayors for Peace, Global Zero, and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Proponents of nuclear disarmament say that it would lessen the probability of nuclear war occurring, especially accidentally. Critics of nuclear disarmament say that it would undermine deterrence.

In 1945 in the New Mexico desert, American scientists conducted “Trinity,” the first nuclear weapons test, marking the beginning of the atomic age. Even before the Trinity test, national leaders debated the impact of nuclear weapons on domestic and foreign policy. Also involved in the debate about nuclear weapons policy was the scientific community, through professional associations such as the Federation of Atomic Scientists and the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs.

On August 6, 1945, towards the end of World War II, the Little Boy device was detonated over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Exploding with a yield equivalent to 12,500 tonnes of TNT, the blast and thermal wave of the bomb destroyed nearly 50,000 buildings (including theheadquarters of the 2nd General Army and Fifth Division) and killed approximately 75,000 people, among them 20,000 Japanese soldiers and 20,000 Koreans. Detonation of the Fat Man device exploded over the Japanese city of Nagasaki three days later on 9 August 1945, destroying 60% of the city and killing approximately 35,000 people, among them 23,200-28,200 Japanese civilian munitions workers and 150 Japanese soldiers. Subsequently, the world’s nuclear weapons stockpiles grew.
Operation Crossroads was a series of nuclear weapon tests conducted by the United States at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean in the summer of 1946. Its purpose was to test the effect of nuclear weapons on naval ships
Radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons testing was first drawn to public attention in 1954 when a Hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific contaminated the crew of the Japanese fishing boat Lucky Dragon. One of the fishermen died in Japan seven months later. The incident caused widespread concern around the world and “provided a decisive impetus for the emergence of the anti-nuclear weapons movement in many countries”. The anti-nuclear weapons movement grew rapidly because for many people the atomic bomb “encapsulated the very worst direction in which society was moving”. Peace movements emerged in Japan and in 1954 they converged to form a unified “Japanese Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs”.

Only insane people can love deadly WMD. One can love Pakistan, India or China as their favorite nation for some specifically positive reasons except for the nukes they possess because loving or supporting their nukes qualifies them to be the enemies of humanity seeking peaceful environment. Jews all over the world can rejoice at the Israeli nuke arsenals obtained illegally without UN approval but the Jewish nukes are not less dangerous as many in USA seem to believe. Israel can destroy the world if it is not allowed to be an arrogantly fascist in Mideast.
Israel, a close ally of USA retains the exclusive right to own nukes illegally without having the obligation to report to the IAEA or UN and big powers, including declared nuclear powers doo not question Israeli nukes, threatening peace in West Asia. They remain monstrous threat to human civilization.
It is argued sometimes by nuclear powers that nuclear arsenals help maintaining peace and therefore they are graceful deterrence. They also argue conventional arms cause tensions between nations. Nuclear powers India and Pakistan in South Asia have sustained mutual hatred, mutual suspicions causing tensions and regular cross fires.

 

  1. Promotion of self-destruction by Asian WMD

The size and shape of the US nuclear arsenal has always been inherently tied to the defense of its Western European allies, with the Asia-Pacific as a secondary consideration. Relatively recent literature on the subject suggests that it is indeed allies that have always been a major hindrance in US-Russian nuclear arms-control negotiations.
Certainly there was constant debate about what constituted “stability” between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, but there were a number of factors that could be applied to evaluating the degree of instability, leading to a nuclear exchange. These included arsenal size, readiness and alertness, MIRV numbers, survivability of forces, and megatonnage. These factors, in turn, would help analysts assess the strength of concepts such as deterrence, pre-emption, second-strike capability, escalation control, and escalation dominance which, in turn, would be used to assess “stability” between NATO and the Soviet Union.

Asia with large sections of hungry people without shelter is in danger. China as the exclusive veto power of Asian continent has freedom to blast and manufacture as many nukes as the red Army desires. India and Pakistan keep on adding more nukes for “peaceful purposes” when many people this largest democracy sleep on pavements and in leaking huts all over the country. In order not to lag behind India, Pakistan too is busy increasing its nuke arsenals, while more and more, and haplessly poor Pakistanis, also terrorized by NATO-Pak joint military attacks on them, continue to eat grass if allowed by the military. Rich Pakistanis, including Islamic media lords, however, enjoy life with cocktail parties in US embassy.
Chinese may love their nukes as much as Indians do the same but Pakistanis love nukes the most because its conventional arm arsenals are inferior to Indians and they would unhesitantly use nukes if India for any reason attacks it for a long war. Islamabad has made the point clear to India as a matter of caution if not warning. So far they fought only short wars and exchanged cross fires over the issue of Jammu Kashmir which both occupy along with China. Indian occupational strategy has been extra brutal.
Humanity in Asian continent should seriously consider the existential threat the nations of this continent face from the ever increasing nuke arsenals of China, India and Pakistan. Thank god Bangladesh is not in nuclear race with India or Pakistan, while Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal do not have the resources for extensive nukes. Afghanistan, badly destabilized by NATO democracies in order to end Islamization process by successfully enacting Sept-11 hoax, has not time to think about nukes at all. Maldives is more worried than Sri Lanka about climate change that threatens its existence than nukes.
The Asian nuke powers – China, India, Israel and Pakistan – must be proud of their nukes and damn sure nothing would happen towards any credible denuclearization or disarmament and world powers are just making gimmicks by way of summits and talks. Arms reduction treaties are also not very encouraging. But people in these nuke enabled countries in South Asia region as well as Asian continent in general should be deeply concerned about the perpetual threat from nuclear arms they face in the neighborhoods.

Pakistan now has an arsenal of as many as 110-120 nuclear weapons and is expected to triple that in a decade, and an increase of that size makes no sense, especially since India’s nuclear arsenal, estimated at about the same 110-120 weapons, is growing more slowly.
Reports emanating from Washington and London say that Pakistan has got the world’s fastest-growing nuclear arsenal, and is unquestionably the biggest concern for Asia, especially in South Asia. Reports say Pakistan plans to purchase eight diesel-electric submarines from China, which could be equipped with nuclear missiles, and test-firing a ballistic missile that appears capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to any part of India. It noted that a senior adviser, Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, reaffirmed Pakistan’s determination to continue developing short-range tactical nuclear weapons whose only purpose is use on the battlefield in case of a war against India – the only country Islamabad fears. When India blasted its first bomb in Rajasthan, close to Pakistan, the ruling elite got panicky as Pakistanis were taken aback by the big explosion in India.
Advanced military equipment – new submarines, the medium-range Shaheen-III missile with a reported range of up to 1,700 miles, short-range tactical nuclear weapons – are of little use in defending against such threats. Even more troubling, the Pakistani Army has become increasingly dependent on the nuclear arsenal because Pakistan cannot match the size and sophistication of India’s conventional forces. But Pakistan is hardly alone in its potential to cause regional instability. China, which considers Pakistan a close ally and India a potential threat, is, according to estimates, continuing to build up its nuclear arsenal, now estimated at 250 weapons.
India, a corrupt but vibrant democracy, has focused so far on becoming a regional economic and political power. Achieving a nuclear free nation is the last thing New Delhi wants because India would not have got nukes in the first place had it not been its motto. In contrast, Pakistan, terrorized by occupation forces for the West and insurgency from within to drive the forces away from Islamabad, has sunk deeper into chaos, threatened by economic collapse, the weakening of political institutions and, most of all, a Taliban insurgency that aims to bring down the state. Islamabad also does not want to make Pakistan WMD free in the region and Asia at large, at least so long as India remains a nuclear power.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, like Indian media lords, thinks that the 2008 Mumbai attack was committed by Pakistanis who had come to India’s financial capital by a fishing boat , unnoticed by Indian Navy’s big high precision radar screens monitored by experts. Under pressure from USA and on duress from New Delhi which wants to increase cross border trade with Indian businessmen Pakistani government tired a few Muslims charging them with terror attack on Mumbai but recently one by one they are set free by the judiciary since they had nothing to with boat or Mumbai attack. However, Narendra Modi has made it clear that Pakistan can expect retaliation if “Islamic militants” carry out a terrorist attack in India, as happened with the 2008 bombing in Mumbai.
Compared to China’s expansionist tendencies today, the role of the Soviet Navy was primarily to defend coastline, and Moscow did not rely on the seas so much for trade as the United States did. But the focus has shifted, with nuclear strategy and conventional deterrence becoming much more important in the Asia-Pacific.

 

  1. Nuclear arms vs. conventional weapons

Nuclear path is very costly and dangerous. Increasing number of nukes is said to be a rationale that denies common people their legitimate share in terms of welfare measures and also allows the generals to maintain maximum power over the government and demand maximum national resources. Military intelligences maintain their control over policies so much that governments have to divert maximum money for military. No questions are asked in parliaments on the military expenditures, making military the super power of governments.
Nuclear reductions and disarmament are not necessarily smart ideas especially no nuclear power wants to rid of its nuke arsenals. Dependence on WMD made the conventional arms look primitive and their role unimportant. Even with the successful elimination of nuclear weapons, the tasks of strategy – deterrence, extended deterrence, and arms control – do not go away. Instead, they become even more difficult to manage. That is disturbing, given that Asia is now the center of global strategic gravity.

Given escalating tensions between the USA and Russia and China, nuclear disarmament will not happen any time soon. US President Barack Obama’s initial goals of further reducing the U.S. nuclear stockpile should force us to think very carefully about the desirability of relying on conventional military balances for deterrence, because a world with significantly fewer nuclear weapons would graphically expose conventional imbalances between states, which in many instances have remained partially hidden in the current nuclear age. It is upon these imbalances that any remaining system of deterrence would increasingly rely.
Historically, the South and East Asian regions, rather the wider Asia-Pacific, has been much less interested in arms control than Europe. Indeed, most arms control and disarmament policies (both conventional and nuclear) have been conceived and adopted by non-Asian countries. Arms control is desirable, and could help alleviate regional tensions, achieving agreement on limitations is fraught with difficulties linked to geography, defense spending, cross-cutting geopolitical interests, alliance dynamics, re-armament capabilities and the dual nature of evolving military technology.
The British did not like submarines, pointing to the indiscriminate destruction they had wrought in previous naval battles. Syria repeatedly stated that it would not agree to a Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone (WMDFZ) unless Israel renounced its air superiority. For Iran to agree, the U.S. would need to significantly reduce its presence in the region, and Israel would need to limit its offensive capabilities and its aggressive rhetoric. Indeed, Syria’s build-up of Scud-B and Scud-C missiles since 1974 was a direct response to Israel’s conventional superiority and Syria’s growing regional isolation. It was believed that, mated to chemical and biological warheads, some of these could provide a deterrent also to Israel’s use of nuclear weapons against Syrian territory.
Do the nuclear weapon states focus on reducing their nuclear arsenals as a precondition for conventional disarmament? It would be a good idea to reduce nuclear weapons before reducing conventional forces. However, the discourse by all the nuclear weapons states except the United States indicates that nuclear weapons are seen as but one component of the overall military balance between states.

Even the Cold War saw significant attempts at non-nuclear arms control, the most important of which was the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty. These initiatives were influenced by the nuclear forces of both the U.S. and USSR. Russia recently withdrew from the Treaty and threatened nuclear weapons against Denmark if it decided to host U.S. missile defenses. For Russia, NATO expansion was a means of bypassing the provisions of the Treaty.
Consider questions about the relationship between nuclear and conventional military power for arms control. Could the United States still continue to “extend” deterrence with conventional forces only? Any buildup of U.S. conventional forces in the Asia-Pacific region would surely be provocative for challengers (say China or Russia) to the current regional order.

Alliances were a major factor in the ultimate failure of the League of Nations that led to its exit and replacement by UN. In all its history up until the Second World War, the United States was a more or less isolationist power. It is also easy to take for granted just how impressive a feat it was for the United States to establish alliances with countries in Asia, for instance, half a world away. U.S. nuclear capabilities, and their long-range delivery systems, played an important part in that enterprise. Without the bomb, Washington might have had neither the appetite nor the audacity to undertake such vast and significant security commitments.

The efforts for total disarmament and denuclearization have failed owing to disconnect between USA and Russia , the nations with largest nuke arsenals, over issue while all nuclear powers have continued to manufacture more nukes even as readying with nuke enabled high precision intercontinental missiles.
The challenges of strategy, both on the road to nuclear “zero” and in a “disarmed” world, are significant. If one advocates for nuclear disarmament, then the responsible corollary task is to advocate for formal arms control agreements that benefit the greatest possible number of states in the international system; to create an alternative system of strategic stability. However, as my research on the historical record shows, international politics has thus far been incapable of yielding any enduring limitation on conventional military forces. Issues of conventional military power will re-emerge with new prominence and increase in danger, especially in the Asia-Pacific where the Asian tigers have not yet figured out how to share a mountain.
The issues of non-nuclear arms control might, in fact, make it even more difficult to assess and navigate the relative balance of power in international politics. Indeed, one of the biggest issues in the realm of conventional arms control is finding any agreed concept of equilibrium. Would the condition for the Chinese giving up their nuclear weapons be the complete withdrawal of US power projection capabilities from the region? Importantly, many issues illustrate the fact that proponents of arms control agreements (especially the NPT, the INF, and CFE Treaties) commit the mistake of assuming that the world can remain static, both geopolitically and militarily.
In January, Pope Francis touted nuclear disarmament as a major goal alongside climate change in his speech to the Vatican’s diplomatic corps and last year the Vatican submitted a paper calling for total nuclear disarmament to the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. However, unless the nuclear powers decide to dismantle their own arsenals first emerging nuclear nations won’t be assured of any nuke free world.
Pope could not lend his high office to repeat what Israel or USA says Iran and would do well by asking Israel to dismantle its WMD at the earliest so that world has at last some hopes for peace. Maybe, he should press the White House, responsible for Israel obtaining nukes illegally, to positively influence Tel Aviv to destroy its deadly nukes.
One more word: Arms control should be able to contribute to reduce the probability of war, and to minimize death and destruction if war comes. But world has not yet begun debating conventional arms control agreements so that credible talks could take place on denuclearization. Many Indians, who are worried about increasing nuke arsenals in India and Asia at large, however, sincerely want more nukes in Indian arsenal until USA and Russia disown their nuke arsenals first, paving way for credible disarmament and denuclearization.
On the way to formal arms control, great powers should be willing to drastically reduce their conventional forces so that denuclearization process becomes credible and serious. World leaders should now ensure that.

There is no alternative to disarmament and denuclearization in a step by step manner!

Comprehending Indian Premier Narendra Modi’s Foreign Diplomacy!

Comprehending Indian Premier Narendra Modi’s Foreign Diplomacy!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

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Obviously, the key foreign policy goal of India has for years been to retain neighboring Jammu Kashmir being occupied by Indian military forces since 1947 aided by special laws and, of late, get an indefinite veto handle on discredited UNSC to control world along with big powers and new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has begun his innings at the crease by undertaking a series of steps necessary for increasing the chances for a veto which many in New Delhi consider as unnecessary an illusion.

As the Hindutva BJP pursues the Congress party policies of politics and economics, PM Modi also pursues India’s new veto diplomacy in a sustained manner just like predecessor, an innocent looking Dr. Manmohan Singh; Singh also promoted rampant corruption for the purpose, oiling the international palms to get continued international support for Indian occupation of Jammu Kashmir and for obtaining much maligned veto that has helped Israeli fascism  in Mideast and ruthlessly crushed Palestinians on the discredited UNSC..

Dreaming very high, India believes nothing is wrong in trying all types of diplomacy for the veto handle all over again and again, although recently Indian ambassador in UN burst into annoyance saying India cannot wait endlessly for a veto.

Narendra Modi has been pursuing multi-prong approach in Indian policy of courting neighbors as well as western powers. Soon after his assuming office, Modi began his diplomatic exercise by quickly visiting Bhutan and Nepal in the Himalayas. In order to present economically and politically vibrant India the undisputed leader in South Asia, PM Modi had invited all leaders of SAARC nations for inaugural ceremony in New Delhi. This is the first stage of Modi’s active diplomacy.

Narendra Modi’s visits to Indian Ocean nations saw New Delhi expanding its existing maritime cooperation framework with Sri Lanka and the Maldives to include Mauritius and Seychelles. The three nation tour on the Indian Ocean Modi used in consolidating New Delhi’s hold over the region. The idea was to show to big powers that India is the tallest leader of South, deserving a veto seat on UNSC to share global control mechanism.  However, USA was not impressed with India parading the rulers of South Asia for his inaugural ceremony last year.

Upon satisfactorily controlling Kashmir crisis, India has been passive in regional activities until recently, except in Afghanistan where it fights a cold war with Pakistan over its role in the new scenario in that destabilized  nation bordering Pakistan.  PM Modi used his first ever shuttle trip in order to advance Indian strategic partnership with regional ocean governments in deepening security cooperation, revitalizing the economic partnership, and advancing critical clean energy and environmental goals.

I

For India, losing South Asia would also mean losing a possible UN veto. Indian PM Narendra Modi’s four minus one nation South Asia tour, therefore, was essentially meant to reclaim its place in the region.

The second level diplomacy as part of the veto dream is to tour South Asia and strike economic deals and drive the regional nations away from Chinese courting. That would make Americans happy although China remains largest lender of money to Washington.

The objective behind undertaking Indian Ocean tour of Prime Minister Modi is to consolidate New Delhi’s strategic position in the region where China wants to make its presence felt through maritime silk route strategy. He sought to woo smaller Indian Ocean states away from increasing Chinese influence but he stressed that India’s neighbors should be the first beneficiaries of India’s economic progress.

Modi undertook visits to Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Seychelles from the second week of March, leaving out Maldives. Ostensibly, this move aims at strengthening New Delhi’s diplomatic and strategic engagement with Indian Ocean countries, but in reality it is taken to checkmate China’s influence in the region on behalf of USA. For this, seeds were sown a few years ago when Indian Ocean security grouping (IO-5) was formed by including Sri Lanka, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles in it. China in recent years heavily funded infrastructure development projects in these countries, making India apprehensive because it perceives the region to be its traditional territory of influence.

Seychelles, together with the navies of 16 other countries, is a part of India’s ‘Exercise Milan’ held annually in the Indian Ocean and the Asia-Pacific region. India and Seychelles (which comprises a group of 115 small islands totaling an area of 455 sq km) are partners in the blue economy, which envisages tapping of oceanic resources in the Seychelles’ vast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The visit was high on symbolism as the two nations are likely to sign a slew of agreements on science, education and health. India may also announce financial assistance for this strategically valuable country.

India handed over the first offshore petrol vessel to Mauritius in December 2014. New Delhi wants closer maritime cooperation from Mauritius, the country which annually sends dozens of cadets for training in India. During Modi’s visit, cooperation between Indian Navy and Mauritian Coast Guard was high on the agenda of the dialogue. There were talks over Agalega islands, which have been much sought after by Indian armed forces. They want to use North Agalega Island to service manned and unmanned reconnaissance aircraft. To improve its air surveillance capabilities in the Indian Ocean region, New Delhi has been persuading Mauritius to hand over on lease both North and South Agalega islands, which are located closer to India than Mauritius.

He avoided visiting the Maldives, which has a pro-China administration and where a supposedly pro-India opposition leader is being tried for terrorism. Modi visited Seychelles and Mauritius before Sri Lanka on his tour of Indian Ocean states. On 15 March, he was expected to land at Male, the capital of Maldives. But this plan changed in the last minute as political situation in this country remained tensed as ex-Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed’s arrest under terrorism charges kicked up a political storm in the country. India has raised concern over the development. Maldivian opposition leaders requested Modi to cancel the first ever prime ministerial visit to the island country.

It seems India had warned the Maldives with cancellation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Indian Ocean nation in the second week of March, unless it ensured a fair trial for former President Mohammed Nasheed, arrested amid a crisis that has caught New Delhi off guard. At the time the Maldives government was preparing to arrest Nasheed the principal Opposition leader in the Maldives, the Indian high commission in Male was hosting a poolside “Bollywood Night” with dancers jiving to popular Hindi film songs. Nasheed has long alleged a witch hunt by the government led by Yameen, cousin of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who ruled the nation for close to three decades before the introduction of democracy. Yameen, who had after coming to power in late 2013 promised strong ties with India, has in recent months been wooing China too. Nasheed’s arrest has precipitated Modi’s biggest diplomatic trial as Prime Minister yet from India’s smaller but strategically critical neighbours. Modi had mocked the previous UPA government for allowing the Maldives to pose a challenge to India.

PM Modi visited India’s sea neighbor Sri Lanka to patch up ties and shore up support for his job at hand. Sri Lanka’s new government has recently suspended the Chinese-funded $1.5 billion Colombo Port City project, citing environmental issues and alleged corruption. It was inaugurated in September during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who included Sri Lanka in a new maritime “Silk Road” linking the energy-rich Persian Gulf with China. BJP ruling India was considered as one overarching positive trend driving the energy and optimism across South Asia. The defeat of Sri Lankan strong mean Rajapaksha by his own minister Sirisena in the presidential poll had a lot Indian fresh air.

Modi became the first Indian leader to visit Sri Lanka in 28 years, reciprocating the trip to India last month by Sri Lanka’s new president. Modi since his election last May has emphasized rally his SAARC neighbors. Modi visited Northern and Eastern regions of the country to see India-funded projects, including 500-MW thermal power plant being built by NTPC in collaboration with Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board in Trincomalee. Modi also unveiled highway and railway projects there. India also announced a fresh financial package for the island nation, which has sought New Delhi’s assistance in the health sector too.

Modi held bilateral talks with Sri Lanka’s new President Maithripala Sirisena, who seems to have made a departure from policies favoring Beijing and toward ethnic reconciliation with his country’s Tamil minority, a sensitive issue in India-Sri Lanka relations. Modi said India has committed $1.6 billion in development assistance for Sri Lanka, promising to continue the development partnership.

The BJP’s and Indian government’s criticism had sharpened when the Maldives government cancelled a 25-year contract to Bangalore infrastructure firm GMR to build an international airport in Male, and then when Nasheed took asylum at the Indian high commission there. Now, with the Maldives in the throes of a domestic political crisis, the Modi government may need to recalibrate its strategy for the region. Despite a series of warnings over the past two months, India did not expect the Yameen government to actually arrest Nasheed and trigger a face-off with the supporters of the MDP, the island’s largest political party.

Those trips were planned to stamp Modi’s emphasis on India’s tinier island neighbours to the south, aggressively wooed by China as part of President Xi Jinping’s “Maritime Silk Route” project to build a new marine route dominated by Beijing. India would like to show to the world that the resurgence of India was evidenced by the vibrant but corrupt elections last year that saw emergence of BJP as the strongest party in India and the ouster of the senior most corrupt Congress led UPA government. However, that optimism of Indian strategists disappeared very soon as the ruling BJP lost in Kashmir, Delhi and elsewhere. The effort to equalize BJP with India failed. India claims to be the sole leader of South Asia and claimed a veto seat but world powers did not take the claim seriously.

Sri Lanka is the last leg of Modi’s tour of the region, PM Modi has already visited a friendly Bhutan and a distancing Nepal. Started with safe Bhutan and Nepal, Modi has ended his South Asia tour in Sri Lanka while he has so far left out Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Maldives – all Muslims countries that New Delhi considers problematic.

II

Asian giant China with which India has territorial disputes vehemently opposes permanent induction of India into UNSC to enable it to be a real strategic partner of big powers. India has realized it needs a veto member China not just for cross border trade and services but also for advancing its veto dream.

In fact, India has been trying to shore up support of all veto members and other major power for its veto position but China has bluntly opposed India from being on UNSC as a permanent member.  India therefore has begun to cultivate good neighborly relations with China with which it has many issues to be sorted out, including territorial.

Recently, contours of India’s countermeasure against Beijing’s influence in the region got reflected when New Delhi and Colombo signed civil nuclear cooperation agreement during Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s four-day visit. The two countries also decided to expand defence and security cooperation between them.

India does not want to give leeway to China in Maldives where Beijing is developing the Ihavandoo and Maarandhoo islands. At Hanimaadhoo, it wants to establish second international airport. It also plans to set up a naval submarine base in Marao.  The naval base issue was raised with the Maldivian authorities during Chinese defence minister Chang Wanguan’s visit in November 2014 close on the heels of the Chinese President’s visit in September. New Delhi believes that the current dispensation in Male, like Sri Lanka’s former President Mahinda Rajapakse, is trying to use ongoing rivalry between India and China to its benefit. Aware of this fact, New Delhi is not in a mood to lose its grip on the Maldives. This is the reason it wanted Modi to visit Maldives.

New Delhi’s move is apparently intended to checkmate China’s growing strategic footprints in the Indian Ocean region. Modi is likely to visit Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Seychelles and the Maldives in the second week of March. However, a visit to the Maldives now appears to be a bit uncertain in the wake of volatile political situation in the island nation following arrest of former president Mohamed Nasheed, the Deccan Herald report further said.

Modi’s China visit in May is likely to be one of his toughest foreign policy assignments in the first year of his tenure as PM? A successful Indian Ocean tour with a focus on increasing security and military cooperation with the smaller island neighbours will help Modi negotiate with the Chinese from a position of strength.  In September 2014, when Chinese President Xi Jinping landed in India for a three-day visit he had already visited Maldives and Sri Lanka – both strategically sensitive nations in the Indian Ocean region. From Male and Colombo, he had secured cooperation for his country’s much vaunted maritime silk route plan. He had also announced Beijing’s plans to intensify defence and maritime engagement with Maldives and Sri Lanka. Such moves were looked upon by India with concern.

Ahead of PM Narendra Modi’s visit to China in May, the government’s Indian Ocean gambit is gathering momentum like it has never before. India has hardly merited consideration until now as a serious player in the maritime great game but that could all be changing with the government lining successive engagements with its neighbours spread across the Indian Ocean region.

Despite India’s reservations over China’s maritime Silk Road project, which entails port-building activities at several places in Indian Ocean, most of these countries India is reaching out to have accepted the Chinese proposal for economic benefits and equally to increase their bargaining power with geographically nearer New Delhi.  India continues to nurse deep insecurities about the project, an initiative of President Xi Jinping.

New Delhi is actually working to blunt the force of China’s proposal by choosing to highlight its own maritime history, including India’s central role in what it calls spice and mausam routes. The government has looked to impart a strategic content to the culture ministry’s Project Mausam, a transnational initiative meant to revive India’s ancient maritime routes and cultural linkages with countries in the Indian Ocean.

 

III

Needless to state that Indian focus today on the western powers has grown rapidly for various reasons and USA remains the epicenter of western world.

Focused on international issues like a seat on the discredited UNSC, PM Modi has been, however, focusing on USA and other western nations. India considers South Asia a play field space to work for advancing major objectives send messages to USA. Modi has visited Washington and met US president Barack Obama on the sidelines of a UN meet and discussed India’s problems and concerns. .

The third stage diplomacy of PM Modi began in USA as part of wooing western powers regarding the veto and American connection indeed matters a lot for New Delhi. Modi had gone to Washington to invite US president to attend Indian Repulbic Day celebrations in January and an innocent looking Obama did oblige PM Modi, he came to New Delhi to meet his “‘friend”.  Obama came to India with a large bunch of US businessmen to strike deals with their Indian counterparts.

India however could not manage a hint from Obama about India’s fate about a veto on the discredited UNSC. As usual the US president did not offer any assurance. However, India achieved one objective: Obama did not even mention about the disputed Kashmir issue but focused on the parade and business.

USA claims to be the net providers of security, together ensuring freedom of navigation and safeguarding the maritime domain. These values are clearly enshrined in two new documents: Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region and the Delhi Declaration of Friendship.

India and USA reached agreement with India to strengthen the India-US partnership on economy, human rights and governance fronts. They seek to elevate the commercial and economic partnership as part of the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue to advance “shared prosperity”. Washington also said the new Indian government had energized the bilateral ties and the two countries were now essential partners in promoting peace, prosperity, and stability across the Indo-Pacific region. By leveraging the private sector and Indian resources, the USA has been getting sizable outcomes out of small inputs.

As India believes insistence would achieve the goal of veto, Americans are skeptical about Indian ability to analyze issues to know that a new veto membership on UNSC, if at all, would go to Germany which has been in wafting or Japan or North Korea or any other nation that shares US values.  It is not cricket that India by virtue of its IPL expenditures could get a series win along with man of match position win by various means including prior fixing or get favorable schedules, but veto is not given just because somebody keeps pestering.

A message New Delhi is seeking to convey is that it is possible for giant nations to have peaceful, mutually beneficial relations with their maritime neighbours. Unlike the case with China, India’s relations with its neighbours across vast bodies of water are not marred by maritime disputes.

The strategic partnership with USA has not solved all its problems, not even in nuclear sector and many Indian sources murmur that India is wasting its resources on USA for nothing in return while Pakistan gets huge sums from Washington as service charges. And Modi’s next journey is towards the Great Wall in the neighborhood followed by Canada, France, and Germany in April. This shuttle diplomacy is supposed to auger well for advancing India’s national interest.

Like Congress party, BJP also has done everything possible to retain Kashmir and to apply pressure on USA for strategic partnership that would also work against Pakistan and China.

One does not know if the rulers of western powers would hesitate to shake hands with blood stained hands of PM Modi, former chief minister of Gujarat state in West India – but the fact that his palms are stained with Indian Muslim blood could make them all feel cool.

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Indian PM Modi’s Active Diplomacy in Neighborhoods!

Indian PM Modi’s Active Diplomacy in Neighborhoods!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

___________________

Obviously, the key foreign policy goal of India has for years been to get a veto handle on UNSC to control world along with big powers and new Indian PM Narendra Modi has begun his innings at the crease by undertaking a series of steps necessary for increasing the chances for a veto which many in New Delhi consider as unnecessary an illusion.

New Indian Prime Minister of Hindutva BJP pursues the Congress party policy of veto diplomacy in a sustained manner just like predecessor, an innocent looking Dr. Manmohan Singh had done; Singh also promoted rampant corruption for the purpose, oiling the international palms to get continued international support for Indian occupation of Jammu Kashmir and for obtaining much maligned veto on the discredited UNSC..

India believes nothing is wrong in trying all over again and again, although Indian ambassador in UN burst into annoyance saying India cannot wait endlessly for a veto.

Till recently, India has been passive in regional activities, except in Afghanistan where it fights a cold war with Pakistan over its role in the new scenario in Afghanistan. Losing South Asia would also mean losing a veto.  Indian PM Narendra Modi’s four nation South Asia tour was essentially meant to reclaim its place in the region.  PM Modi used his first ever trip in order to advance Indian strategic partnership with regional governments in deepening security cooperation, revitalizing the economic partnership, and advancing critical clean energy and environmental goals. The third level diplomacy as part of the veto dream is to tour South Asia and strike economic deals and drive the regional nations away from Chinese courting. That would make Americans happy although China remains largest lender of money to Washington.

Modi has been pursuing multi-prong approach in Indian policy of courting neighbors as well as western powers. In order to present economically and politically vibrant India the undisputed leader in South Asia, PM Modi had invited all leaders of SAARC nations for inaugural ceremony in New Delhi. Soon after his assuming office, Modi began his diplomatic exercise by quickly visiting Bhutan and Nepal in the Himalayas.

The objective behind undertaking Indian Ocean tour of Modi is to consolidate New Delhi’s strategic position in the region where China wants to make its presence felt through maritime silk route strategy. He sought to woo smaller Indian Ocean states away from increasing Chinese influence but he stressed that India’s neighbors should be the first beneficiaries of India’s economic progress. Modi became the first Indian leader to visit Sri Lanka in 28 years, reciprocating the trip to India last month by Sri Lanka’s new president. However Modi since his election last May has emphasized rally his SAARC neighbors. Modi held bilateral talks with Sri Lanka’s new President Maithripala Sirisena, who seems to have made a departure from policies favoring Beijing and toward ethnic reconciliation with his country’s Tamil minority, a sensitive issue in India-Sri Lanka relations. Modi said India has committed $1.6 billion in development assistance for Sri Lanka, promising to continue the development partnership.

PM Modi visited India’s sea neighbor Sri Lanka to patch up ties and shore up support for his job at hand. Sri Lanka’s new government has recently suspended the Chinese-funded $1.5 billion Colombo Port City project, citing environmental issues and alleged corruption. It was inaugurated in September during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who included Sri Lanka in a new maritime “Silk Road” linking the energy-rich Persian Gulf with China. BJP ruling India was considered as one overarching positive trend driving the energy and optimism across South Asia. The defeat of Sri Lankan strong mean Rajapaksha by his own minister Sirisena in the presidential poll had a lot Indian fresh air.

Modi visited Seychelles and Mauritius before Sri Lanka on his tour of Indian Ocean states. China in recent years heavily funded infrastructure development projects in these countries, making India apprehensive because it perceives the region to be its traditional territory of influence. He avoided visiting the Maldives, which has a pro-China administration and where a supposedly pro-India opposition leader is being tried for terrorism.

Prime Minister Modi undertook visits to Sri Lanka, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles from the second week of March. Ostensibly, this move aims at strengthening New Delhi’s diplomatic and strategic engagement with Indian Ocean countries, but in reality it is taken to checkmate China’s influence in the region. For this, seeds were sown a few years ago when Indian Ocean security grouping (IO-5) was formed by including Sri Lanka, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles in it.

Modi undertook the four-minus-one nation tour through the Indian Ocean starting with Sri Lanka and then heading to Mauritius and Seychelles, dropping his sojourn in Male. Those trips were planned to stamp Modi’s emphasis on India’s tinier island neighbours to the south, aggressively wooed by China as part of President Xi Jinping’s “Maritime Silk Route” project to build a new marine route dominated by Beijing.

II

The second level diplomacy of PM Modi began in USA. Modi had gone to Washington to invite US president to attend Indian Repulbic Day celebrations in January and an innocent looking Obama did oblige PM Modi, he came to New Delhi to meet his “‘friend”.  Obama came to India with a large bunch of US businessmen to strike deals with their Indian counterparts.

India could not manage a hint from Obama about India’s fate about a veto on the discredited UNSC. As usual the US president did not offer any assurance. However, India achieved one objective: Obama did not even mention about the disputed Kashmir issue but focused on the parade and business.

As India believes insistence would achieve the goal of veto, Americans are skeptical about Indian ability to analyze issues to know that a new veto membership on UNSC, if at all, would go to Germany which has been in wafting or Japan or North Korea or any other nation that shares US values.  It is not cricket that India by virtue of its IPL expenditures could get a series win along with man of match position win by various means including prior fixing or get favorable schedules, but veto is not given just because somebody keeps pestering.

India and USA reached agreement with India to strengthen the India-US partnership on economy, human rights and governance fronts. They seek to elevate the commercial and economic partnership as part of the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue to advance “shared prosperity”. Washington also said the new Indian government had energized the bilateral ties and the two countries were now essential partners in promoting peace, prosperity, and stability across the Indo-Pacific region. By leveraging the private sector and Indian resources, the USA has been getting sizable outcomes out of small inputs.

USA claims to be the net providers of security, together ensuring freedom of navigation and safeguarding the maritime domain. These values are clearly enshrined in two new documents: Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region and the Delhi Declaration of Friendship.

Focused on international issues like a seat on the discredited UNSC, PM Modi has been, however, focusing on USA and other western nations. India considers South Asia a play field space to work for advancing major objectives send messages to USA. Modi has visited Washington and met US president Barack Obama on the sidelines of a UN meet and discussed India’s problems and concerns. .

III

Recently, contours of India’s countermeasure against Beijing’s influence in the region got reflected when New Delhi and Colombo signed civil nuclear cooperation agreement during Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s four-day visit. The two countries also decided to expand defence and security cooperation between them.

The four nation tour on the Indian Ocean Modi used in consolidating New Delhi’s hold over the region. This is the first stage of Modi’s active diplomacy. The idea was to show to big powers that India is the tallest leader of South, deserving a veto seat on UNSC to share global control mechanism.  However, USA was not impressed with India parading the rulers of South Asia for his inaugural ceremony last year.

India would like to show to the world that the resurgence of India was evidenced by the vibrant but corrupt elections last year that saw emergence of BJP as the strongest party in India and the ouster of the senior most corrupt Congress led UPA government. However, that optimism of Indian strategists disappeared very soon as the ruling BJP lost in Kashmir, Delhi and elsewhere. The effort to equalize BJP with India failed. India claims to be the sole leader of South Asia and claimed a veto seat but world powers did not take the claim seriously.

Narendra Modi was the first Indian PM to visit Sri Lanka in 28 years, to visit Northern and Eastern regions of the country to see India-funded projects, including 500-MW thermal power plant being built by NTPC in collaboration with Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board in Trincomalee. Modi also unveiled highway and railway projects there. India also announced a fresh financial package for the island nation, which has sought New Delhi’s assistance in the health sector too.

On 15 March, he was expected to land at Male, the capital of Maldives. But this plan changed in the last minute as political situation in this country remained tensed. Ex-Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed’s arrest under terrorism charges has kicked up a political storm in the country. India has raised concern over the development. Maldivian opposition leaders requested Modi to cancel the first ever prime ministerial visit to the island country. India does not want to give leeway to China in Maldives where Beijing is developing the Ihavandoo and Maarandhoo islands. At Hanimaadhoo, it wants to establish second international airport. It also plans to set up a naval submarine base in Marao.  The naval base issue was raised with the Maldivian authorities during Chinese defence minister Chang Wanguan’s visit in November 2014 close on the heels of the Chinese President’s visit in September. New Delhi believes that the current dispensation in Male, like Sri Lanka’s former President Mahinda Rajapakse, is trying to use ongoing rivalry between India and China to its benefit. Aware of this fact, New Delhi is not in a mood to lose its grip on the Maldives. This is the reason it wanted Modi to visit Maldives.

From Male, Modi was to fly to Mauritius for a three-day visit. During his stay in Port Luis, he was expected to address the country’s parliament. The bilateral agreements envisaged were during Modi’s visit might include a pact on defence and maritime exercise. It should be noted that India handed over the first offshore petrol vessel to Mauritius in December 2014. New Delhi wants closer maritime cooperation from Mauritius, the country which annually sends dozens of cadets for training in India. During Modi’s visit, cooperation between Indian Navy and Mauritian Coast Guard was high on the agenda of the dialogue. There were likely to be talks over Agalega islands, which have been much sought after by Indian armed forces. They want to use North Agalega island to service manned and unmanned reconnaissance aircraft. To improve its air surveillance capabilities in the Indian Ocean region, New Delhi has been persuading Mauritius to hand over on lease both North and South Agalega islands, which are located closer to India than Mauritius.

Seychelles, together with the navies of 16 other countries, is a part of India’s ‘Exercise Milan’ held annually in the Indian Ocean and the Asia-Pacific region. India and Seychelles (which comprises a group of 115 small islands totaling an area of 455 sq km) are partners in the blue economy, which envisages tapping of oceanic resources in the Seychelles’ vast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Though no defence pact will take place, yet the visit was high on symbolism as the two nations are likely to sign a slew of agreements on science, education and health. India may also announce financial assistance for this strategically valuable country.

Indian foreign ministry is busy. While India signed a civil nuclear agreement with Sri Lanka, which the government expects will restore its primacy for the Indian Ocean Islands, Maldives foreign minister Dunya Maumoon quietly flew into New Delhi a day earlier to discuss with Swaraj the agenda for the upcoming visit by Modi to the archipelago.  Indian FM Swaraj also visited Colombo in the first week of March to cull out talking points for Modi’s return visit to Sri Lanka. Modi himself will embark on a 4-nation Indian Ocean yatra, perhaps one of the most ambitious visits ever undertaken by an Indian prime minister, starting March 10.

While India’s bilateral ties with all the countries are expected to get a fillip, New Delhi is also keen to rope in Mauritius and Seychelles in the trilateral maritime cooperation framework it already agreed upon with Sri Lanka and the Maldives in 2013.

 

IV

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visits to four Indian Ocean nations saw New Delhi expanding its existing maritime cooperation framework with Sri Lanka and the Maldives to include Mauritius and Seychelles.

New Delhi’s move is apparently intended to checkmate China’s growing strategic footprints in the Indian Ocean region. Modi is likely to visit Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Seychelles and the Maldives in the second week of March. However, a visit to the Maldives now appears to be a bit uncertain in the wake of volatile political situation in the island nation following arrest of former president Mohamed Nasheed, the Deccan Herald report further said.

Ahead of PM Narendra Modi’s visit to China in May, the government’s Indian Ocean gambit is gathering momentum like it has never before. India has hardly merited consideration until now as a serious player in the maritime great game but that could all be changing with the government lining successive engagements with its neighbours spread across the Indian Ocean region.

Modi’s China visit in May is likely to be one of his toughest foreign policy assignments in the first year of his tenure as PM? A successful Indian Ocean tour with a focus on increasing security and military cooperation with the smaller island neighbours will help Modi negotiate with the Chinese from a position of strength.  In September 2014, when Chinese President Xi Jinping landed in India for a three-day visit he had already visited Maldives and Sri Lanka – both strategically sensitive nations in the Indian Ocean region. From Male and Colombo, he had secured cooperation for his country’s much vaunted maritime silk route plan. He had also announced Beijing’s plans to intensify defence and maritime engagement with Maldives and Sri Lanka. Such moves were looked upon by India with concern.

Despite India’s reservations over China’s maritime Silk Road project, which entails port-building activities at several places in Indian Ocean, most of these countries India is reaching out to have accepted the Chinese proposal for economic benefits and equally to increase their bargaining power with geographically nearer New Delhi.  India continues to nurse deep insecurities about the project, an initiative of President Xi Jinping.

New Delhi is actually working to blunt the force of China’s proposal by choosing to highlight its own maritime history, including India’s central role in what it calls spice and mausam routes. The government has looked to impart a strategic content to the culture ministry’s Project Mausam, a transnational initiative meant to revive India’s ancient maritime routes and cultural linkages with countries in the Indian Ocean.

A message New Delhi is seeking to convey – that it is possible for giant nations to have peaceful, mutually beneficial relations with their maritime neighbours. Unlike the case with China, India’s relations with its neighbours across vast bodies of water are not marred by maritime disputes.

Ahead of PM Narendra Modi’s visit to China in May, the government’s Indian Ocean gambit is gathering momentum like it has never before. India has hardly merited consideration until now as a serious player in the maritime great game but that could all be changing with the government lining successive engagements with its neighbours spread across the Indian Ocean region.

In the latest instance, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj left on Tuesday for Oman where she is expected to focus on anti piracy operations in Indian Ocean. While India Monday signed a civil nuclear agreement with Sri Lanka, which the government expects will restore its primacy for the Indian Ocean island, Maldives foreign minister Dunya Maumoon quietly flew into New Delhi a day earlier to discuss with Swaraj the agenda for the upcoming visit by Modi to the archipelago.

Swaraj will also visit Colombo in the first week of March to cull out talking points for Modi’s return visit to Sri Lanka. Modi himself will embark on a 4-nation Indian Ocean yatra, perhaps one of the most ambitious visits ever undertaken by an Indian prime minister, starting March 10.

India seems to have warned the Maldives with cancellation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Indian Ocean nation in the second week of March, unless it ensures a fair trial for former President Mohammed Nasheed, arrested amid a crisis that has caught New Delhi off guard. At the time the Maldives government was preparing to arrest Nasheed, on Saturday evening, the Indian high commission in Male was hosting a poolside “Bollywood Night” with dancers jiving to popular Hindi film songs.

Nasheed, the principal Opposition leader in the Maldives, has long alleged a witch hunt by the government led by Yameen, cousin of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who ruled the nation for close to three decades before the introduction of democracy. Yameen, who had after coming to power in late 2013 promised strong ties with India, has in recent months been wooing China too. Nasheed’s arrest has precipitated Modi’s biggest diplomatic trial as Prime Minister yet from India’s smaller but strategically critical neighbours. Modi had mocked the previous UPA government for allowing the Maldives to pose a challenge to India.

The BJP’s criticism had sharpened when the Maldives government cancelled a 25-year contract to Bangalore infrastructure firm GMR to build an international airport in Male, and then when Nasheed took asylum at the Indian high commission there. Now, with the Maldives in the throes of a domestic political crisis, the Modi government may need to recalibrate its strategy for the region. Despite a series of warnings over the past two months, India did not expect the Yameen government to actually arrest Nasheed and trigger a face-off with the supporters of the MDP, the island’s largest political party.

Sri Lanka is the last leg of Modi’s tour of the region, PM Modi has already visited a friendly Bhutan and a distancing Nepal. Started with safe Bhutan and Nepal, Modi has ended his South Asia tour in Sri Lanka while he has so far left out Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Maldives – all Muslims countries that New Delhi considers problematic.

The strategic partnership with USA has not solved all its problems, not even in nuclear sector and many Indian sources murmur that India is wasting its resources on USA for nothing in return while Pakistan gets huge sums from Washington as service charges. And Modi’s next journey is towards the Great Wall in the neighborhood followed by Canada, France, and Germany in April. This shuttle diplomacy is supposed to auger well for advancing India’s national interest.

Like Congress party, BJP also has done everything possible to retain Kashmir and to apply pressure on USA for strategic partnership that would also work against Pakistan and China.

________________

Indian politics: Will efforts to resurrect old Janata Party yield fruits?

 

Indian politics: Will efforts to resurrect old Janata Party yield fruits?

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

__________

India has got many senior politicians and everyone wants to be the prime minister of India and each keeps dreaming…

Recent days saw hectic meetings of non-Congress and non-BJP politicians to relaunch the old Janata party. The six Janata Parivar parties which are in the process of merging together to taken on BJP and its allied parties, are RJD, SP, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United), former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda led Janata Dal (Secular), Om Prakash Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Samajwadi Janata Party (SJP). H D Deve Gowda was chief minister of Karnataka before becoming the Indian PM.

Every leader of these parties dreams of becoming India’s next PM, probably with Congress party support.

According to the media reports, the six parties of the erstwhile Janata Parivar would announce their merger soon following a meeting in which the name of the new political entity and its symbol will be decided. Currently each of the six constituents of the erstwhile Janata Parivar has a separate symbol. A meeting at Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s residence on 5 April was expected to be attended by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, JD-U chief Sharad Yadav, RJD president Lalu Prasad and representatives from Indian National Lok Dal and Samajwadi Janata Party. Mulayam, whose SP has the largest number of MPs among the parties which have planned the proposed merger, will be the chairman of the new umbrella entity.

The wheel symbol of Janata Dal was frozen in 1999 as the party was split into JD-U led by Sharad Yadav and JD-S under HD Deve Gowda when the former decided to join the then NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The two parties were then allotted separate symbols. Sources said what while the new party’s name could be either Samajwadi Janata Party or Samajwadi Janata Dal, the party is actively considering the wheel symbol as well as the cycle, which is currently the SP party symbol.

Janata Party which ruled India under Morarji Desai in the post-Emergency era, collapsed without completing the term and split into several constituent parties, including the BJP as its new avatar of Jana Sangh and it strengthened its position increasingly as the only party with some committed Hindutva carders by using the nomenclature Janata Party prefixed with Bharatiya, meaning India.

Janata party was the first ever political experiment and it failed because of selfish leaders with individual ideas for corruption, leading to sinking of Janata party half way through.

Virtually the same ideas and family rules are going to form a party as another political experiment. If earlier they were opposed to the then ruling party the Congress party, now they are opposed to BJP, the ruling party of today.   Essentially, every political outfit has proven to be of same rats, only the new party while AAP’s credentials remain to be tested.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who now takes initiative for Janata merger for the sake of people of India fed up with Congress-BJP misrule said on April 03 that merger of six parties of the erstwhile Janata Parivar was on course but denied any dates for the announcement of the unification.  The date will be decided by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, authorised to see modalities of the merger,” Kumar said in a function at the Jagjivan Ram Research Centre at Patna, capital of Bihar.

Former Bihar CM and RJD president Lalu Prasad said the merger of six Janata Parivar parties to counter the BJP has already “happened” and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav would make a formal announcement.  RJD president said that party’s national executive meeting on April 5 would discuss the issues related to merger and take stock of current political situation prevailing in the country. “There should be no doubts regarding the merger henceforth and indicated that other “secular” parties may too be invited to join the new entity that emerges out of it. Merger means merger.. We will also ask other secular parties to join the new party to combat communalism,” he said, We all will come under one flag and one symbol to counter the BJP which has cheated the country,” Prasad said.

The RJD chief was speaking to media persons after the daylong national executive meeting of his party got over at a posh hotel here in the state capital. Over 250 representatives from 21 states, including leaders like Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, Bihar RJD president Ram Chandra Purve and others were present on the occasion.

Asked about who will be the leader of the new party after the merger, Prasad said, “It would be declared only after the new party is formed.” Attacking the saffron party, Prasad said, “I charge that BJP is the cheater of the country. Its organisation is based on cheating. It is a party based on lies.” He added that the BJP cheated the people of their votes by first promising to bring back Rs 26.5 lakh crore of black money, stashed outside the country and depositing Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh in everybody’s bank accounts and then saying it was just a “jumla” or a “diplomatic expression”. The RJD leader also charged the BJP of reneging on its promise of creating two crore jobs for the youth every year, and bringing a Land Acquisition Bill that would be very harmful to the farmers. The BJP promised work to every hand and water to every field, but the country is seeing exactly opposite. Jobs have been frozen. It also termed Mahatma Gandhi as a “British Agent”. We are not letting go of these things,” he said.

The six parties are hopeful that the ‘khota’ (beehive) of Narendra Modi will be rooted out from India. Even the BJP is afraid of the scenario that is emerging. Prasad also pooh-poohed the claims of BJP that Bihar was witnessing ‘jungle raj 2’ under the JD (U) rule supported by RJD. “It (BJP) has no right to say such a thing because it has turned the entire country into a ‘mahajungle’ (huge forest),” he said.

The RJD president skirted questions regarding his successor saying his whole family was in the party and the national executive meet was not called to choose his successor. “Am I not still present or what,” asked Prasad, but pointed that only “a son can succeed a father”.

One does not know if the reemergence of Janata Party would help Congress party which is lying very low following its rout at the parliamentary poll, to make a reappearance on the political scene; Because, their antagonism and target of BJP would help the waiting Congress party to obtain a face.

Delhi state poll weakened both Congress and BJP but for the former it again a complete rout. The BJP, ruing India, is aghast silent.  Neither the party leaders, including PM Modi, nor any minister speaks much.  They are totally disillusioned with the Delhi results, because PM Modi wanted to make Delhi. His launching pad for making both houses of parliament BJP dominated.

BJP had not expected such misfortunes awaiting the party and PM Modi in Delhi. But added to that misfortune is the return of Anna Hazare in New Delhi with a popular struggle for farmer lands. When Hazare protested for months in New Delhi, it was viewed essentially as an anti-Congress movement because the Congress led UPA government totally corrupt.

The BJP and its Sangh parivar team took full advantage of Hazare movement and even some top leaders openly supported the movement and condemned the Congress for all evils India has gathered over years.

Many BJP people thought Hazare was fighting for Hindutva forces and actively promoted him. But today, the Hazare phenomenon has come back haunting the BJP which is now ruling India.

Already BJP is unable to comprehend the phenomena of AAP and Arvind Kejriwal. Delhi CM Kejriwal is a nightmare for BJP leaders and they have lost the steam against him. BJP fears if AAP moves beyond Delhi that directly affect the Hindutva fortunes.

As the BJP I was struggling to  find ways and means to contain the Kejriwal phenomenon,  the Hazare phenomenon has added new worries for the  BJP which thought  it is going to  be it s time henceforth.

The pain is too much, unbearable.  The social activist the BJP thought would help it grow further is striking hard at it and, much worse, Kejriwal supports his mentor’s agricultural land bill cause which is genuine. The Hindutva supports now question the logic of Anna Hazare movements and even suggest he has lost the vision and intent he had before.

When, earlier, Muslims used to vote for Congress for free out of fear of BJP as the only available alternative to Hindutva parties now in Delhi they found AAP as the reliable and credible partner in governance. The trend is likely to spread across India. BJP is now worried more than Congress about the change of mind among Muslims.

Anna Hazare has rightly said the Modi wave was bogus and Indians had already deleted the corrupt Congress party and voted for the available alternative. In Delhi they found the right third alternative to vote for.

BJP and PM Modi are watching how their applecart is being rattled by their own nightmares. But  they have to face another nightmare now- new Janata party.  BJP and the RSS establishment which very meticulously planned the rise of BJP and Narendra Modi phenomenon  by very tactfully using the  misrule of Congress led UPA government and anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare and Kejriwal must have now puzzled by the prospects of a formidable Janata Party reemerging to take them head on.

PM Narendra Modi and RSS might believe these third front leaders are not genuine.

All said and done, the new Janata party has the capacity to win maximum number of parliamentary and assembly seats, especially from Bihar, UP, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, etc.

Big head ache for BJP and PM. Modi.

——

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