Category Archives: World News

Palestine flag would be raised at UN

Palestine flag would be raised at UN
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
__________

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.

Cricket: Lankan bowlers promote Indian batboys!

Cricket: Lankan bowlers promote Indian batboys!.

Russian president Putin calls USA a racial state!

Russian president Putin calls USA a racial state!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

____________

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

_______________

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.  .

 

Issues before Indian PM Modi as he visits Bangladesh on June 6-7

Issues before Indian PM Modi as he visits Bangladesh on June 6-7

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

_______________

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaches Bangladesh on June 6 to a red carpet reception to be accorded for two days by the Awami League government of Sheikh Hasina who is eager to use the occasion to settle score with her political opponents led by Khaleda Zia. Reports suggest the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee who stood against Teesta Accord to meet the water requirement of her own state would a part of PM Modi entourage consisting of top business magnets, among others.

While in Dhaka PM Modi would advance Delhi’s long-cherished goal of transit treaty with Bangladesh leaving behind the promised Teesta water sharing agreement for future. Teesta Barrage project in West Bengal is the biggest irrigation project that support irrigation in the entire region. The project provides irrigation to 9.22 million hectares of land and generates 67.50 mw of hydroelectric power. Teesta flow is restricted before it enters West Bengal with construction of more than ten hydro projects in the upstream.  After meeting its own requirement West Bengal has little flow of Teesta water during the dry season to share with Bangladesh. Teesta issue is emerging as a major threat to the two countries’ multi-faceted bilateral ties and raising the wall of mistrust between India and Bangladesh.

Although India is projecting Modi’s ensuing visit as the expansion of trade and mutual cooperation, but his priority is transit corridor for military purposes in North East. Arunachal Pradesh in the Northeast is a disputed area, claimed by China as part of Tibet. India’s intelligence agency claimed China was behind the unity move of the separatist groups and some of their leaders were in Beijing seeking material support in their struggle for independence from India. About two lakh regular army and paramilitary forces remained deployed in the Northeastern States for decades to combat the insurgents in guerrilla warfare. They need quick and smooth supplies.

In fact, Bangladesh has already been providing transit facilities to India. Heavy machinery for power plant in Tripura transported from the West through Bangladesh free of cost. Similarly, rice and other essential goods are transported to the insurgency troubled Northeastern States through Bangladesh territory. The 2010 agreement between Sheikh Hasina and Dr Manmohan Singh ­ a broad ranging communiqué issued after her visit to Delhi marks a dramatic improvement of relations between the two countries. The communiqué included a promise to allow transit facilities and India’s commitment to energize bilateral trade by drawing down tariff and certain non-tariff barriers to Bangladeshi products.

What Narendra Modi wants during his short visit, and Awami League Government in Bangladesh ready to oblige in favor of heavy service charges, is to renew the existing transit facility with amendment for expansion of its scope for greater connectivity. It is worth recalling that after the 1947 partition of India, Pakistan had sought from India transit facility between East and West Pakistan. India had outright rejected the proposal. Pakistan had also sought Calcutta port facility for a period of six months to make Chittagong port operative. India’s then Home Minister Sardar Patel rejected the proposal saying ‘not for even six hours’. Again, President Ziaur Rahman made a treaty with Nepal for bilateral trade through India and port facility to landlocked Nepal. But India denied transit facility over its land and the agreement could never be implemented.

Bangladeshi trade gap with India in the first nine months of the current financial year continued to hover at $4.06 billion despite a slight increase in exports to the neighbouring country. The trade gap was still high as different non-tariff barriers continued to limit Bangladesh’s exports to the neighbouring country, said economists and experts. Bangladesh’s imports from India stood at $4.45 billion in July-March of the FY 2014-2015 whereas exports stood at $396.43 million during the period.  The trade deficit of Bangladesh against India was still high as different non-tariff barriers continued to limit Bangladesh’s exports to the neighbouring country. The businesspeople have long been raising their concern in this connection but the India’s government is yet to mitigate the problem.

Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh executive director Mansur said that the country had been facing a large trade gap with China and India for a long time due to lower export earnings against higher import payments. The country’s industrial sector has also facing a production crisis due to the recent political unrest and that might have played a role in the large trade deficit between the two countries. The government should give pressure to India on political ground so that the country’s businesspeople would be able to increase their export items.  Mansur said the commerce ministry should take initiative to avoid non-tariff barriers with India that would help the exporters to increase their items to India.

India, which has had an uneasy relationship with China for decades, has long fretted over Beijing’s military cooperation with its South Asian neighbours, especially Pakistan. India is also worried China is creating a so-called “string of pearls” across the Indian Ocean by funding port developments in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Bangladesh. China had built close ties with Bangladesh as part of its South Asia diplomacy and that this was a concern for India. The number of PLA (China’s People’s Liberation Army) visits to Bangladesh is nearly the same as to India. Shrewd Modi is trying to counter it with his neighborhood outreach. Narendra Modi has reached out to all of India’s neighbours since he took office a year ago except Pakistan.

Any Indian concerns about Bangladesh’s growing military ties to China, including the planned sale of two Chinese diesel-electric submarines, are likely to fall on deaf ears in Dhaka, said a former Bangladeshi military officer and an Indian expert. China was the source of 82 percent of Bangladesh’s arms purchases from 2009-2013, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), making Dhaka one of the top three buyers of Chinese weapons in the world. SIPRI data showed Bangladesh bought anti-ship missiles, tanks, fighter aircraft and other arms from China between 2008 and 2012. Last year it commissioned two new frigates from China. “China became the largest supplier of military hardware to Bangladesh when relations with India were strained,” said retired Bangladeshi brigadier general Shahedul Anam Khan. A government official in Dhaka said Bangladesh’s first submarines, costing $206 million in total, could be delivered before 2019. China was expected to provide training, said Chinese experts on the country’s ties with South Asia.

China is helping Bangladesh upgrade its main Chittagong port while the China Harbour Engineering Company has been seen as the frontrunner to win a contract to build an $8 billion deep water port on Sonadia Island off the Bangladeshi city of Cox’s Bazaar in the Bay of Bengal. A Bangladeshi government official said it was unclear when a decision on Sonadia would be made, adding that port operators from the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands were also interested. “China, in my opinion, is the best option,” said Munshi Faiz Ahmad, a former Bangladesh ambassador to China, adding that Chinese firms had built big infrastructure projects in a number of countries including Bangladesh, where they have constructed power plants, bridges and roads.

India was alarmed last year when Chinese submarines docked ports in Sri Lanka. A new government in Colombo has since ruled out submarine visits in the near future. China’s defence ministry’s had no immediate comment on military ties with Bangladesh. Cooperation between the two countries was normal, China’s Foreign Ministry said. Bangladesh has never hosted a naval ship from China. Modi will take border settlement and water sharing deals to Bangladesh as part of his drive to erode Chinese influence in South Asia, although Dhaka is likely to remain dependent on Beijing for military equipment.

What worries Indian military planners is that China might see Bangladesh, which shares the Bay of Bengal with India and Myanmar, as an ideal place for its warships and submarines to dock. The Indian Navy is watching China’s growing military ties with Bangladesh closely. It’s setting up missile batteries and radar surveillance on Sagar island, near the Indian-Bangladesh border, with plans to develop a deep sea port there that would provide easy access to the Bay of Bengal, military officials said.  “The worry is not Bangladesh’s military capabilities,” said former Indian ambassador to Dhaka, Pinaki Chakravarty. “It is about Chinese influence next door.”

Modi has won parliamentary approval for an agreement that will transfer a small amount of territory to Bangladesh that previous Indian governments failed to ratify for fear of a domestic backlash. The issue dates back to British India’s partition in 1947. Prime Minister Modi has also persuaded a Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to drop her opposition to share water equally from a key river that flows through India before reaching Bangladesh. The migration of tens of thousands of people from Bangladesh into India has long been a sensitive issue in India, with the then opposition Bharatiya Janata Party making it a key campaign plank. But since coming to power, Modi has fallen silent on the migration issue and has instead focused on securing India’s strategic objectives in Bangladesh.

The Modi government in India said will soon be providing Bangladesh $2 billion line of credit for development of water, rail and road transport. The funds should be used for development of the railway, power, health, education, ICT and water transport on a priority basis. A deal for this is expected to be signed during the Indian prime minister’s visit to Dhaka on June 6. Finance ministry officials said the terms of the LOC will be same as the previous $1 billion line of credit extended by India, under which at least 75 percent of the goods and services for the projects would have to be procured from India. The credit will also have an interest rate of 1 percent which is a little higher than World Bank loans.

India gave Bangladesh $1 billion line of credit in 2010. The then Indian finance minister and now President Pranab Mukherjee later announced that no interest would be charged on $200 million of the $ 1 billion loan. The rest $800 million, on which 1 percent interest would be charged is being used to implement 14 projects, seven of which have already been completed.

India has succeeded in dissuading Sri Lanka to deny China any right to dock its vessel at Lankan ports. The new government under President Sirisena has assured New Delhi not to let the Chinese ships to dock in the Island nation. However, PM Modi would not e able to get Bangladesh on board to be strict with Beijing. China-Bangladeshi military ties have been very strong for years and are indeed growing further. Chinese presence in Bangladesh is being felt as a national phenomenon. India can do very little to disrupt the relationship Dhaka courts with Beijing voluntarily..

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

__________________

 

  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

___________________

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.

________________

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.

——

Implementation of 13th Amendment for national reconciliation after next poll: SL President Sirisena

Implementation of 13th Amendment for national reconciliation after next poll: SL President Sirisena

-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

_________________

New Delhi has been demanding of Colombo to implement the 13th Amendment in order to smoothen and revise the bilateral relations to the benefit of both South Asian nations.

New Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to implement the 13th Amendment quickly, said that the issue would be taken up after the next parliamentary election and asserted that finding a solution to the vexed Tamil issue remains a priority for his government.

President Sirisena and PM Modi have recently undertook mutual visits to  each other’s countries in a way  to promote  the  ties and  blow new  breeze into Indo-Lankan relations, spoiled for years now, owing to  Tamil issue.

Speaking to top newspaper editors and media heads at the Presidential Palace in Colombo, three days after Modi’s historic visit to Lanka, Sirisena said recently he will call a parliamentary election after adopting the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which will be presented in the Parliament soon.

This would mean that Sri Lanka would hold the parliamentary poll after 23 April as pledged in Sirisena’s 100 day program. The 19th Amendment seeks to reduce the terms of office of the President to five years, instead of the current six years and unlimited term.

Sirisena said finding a solution to the ethnic Tamil issue remains a priority for his government. Other possible provisions that could be included in a 19th amendment would limit the powers, given to provincial councils under the 13th constitutional amendment (13A), by which they exercise control over the police and over land issues.

India has been pressing Sri Lanka to implement the 13th amendment on devolution of powers in “letter and spirit” and to fulfill the aspirations of the ethnic Tamils. Tamil Diaspora groups who were earlier seen as anti-Lanka now appear willing to work with the new Sri Lankan government, Sirisena said. Some of the Tamil groups came to see him in London last week, he added. “They spoke in Sinhala and told me that they were willing to engage with government on finding a solution to the Tamil question,” Sirisena said.

Voicing India’s support to efforts to build a future that accommodates the aspirations of all societies, including Tamils for a life of equality and dignity in a united Lanka, Modi had said: “We believe that early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment and going beyond it would contribute to this process.”

Sirisena said that during his visits abroad and since his discussions with leaders visiting Sri Lanka after he took over as President, he noticed the magnitude of the challenges Lanka is faced with internationally. “We have to face this challenge. We have to settle our internal issues. For that a National Government is essential as then we can work out an acceptable solution,” Sirisena said: “We should accept the presence of diverse opinions on this matter. We must find ways to reach a majority consensus to solve this issue if we want to ensure that there will not be another war in our lifetime. The media too have an important role in this and they should take this into serious consideration.”

In a separate development, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the government may lift the ban on Tamil Diaspora groups imposed by the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa government. Samaraweera told parliament that building national reconciliation was important and Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim Diaspora groups have a role to play in taking Sri Lanka forward as a nation.

The Lankan President said his government, in the short time since early January, had managed to turn the international opinion on Sri Lanka. “I was received very warmly by the Queen and the (British) Prime Minister Cameron. Winning over Britain was winning the whole European Union,” Sirisena said.

Recently, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe has come up with an unusually hard and provocative statement suggesting that Indian fishermen would be shot if they were to intrude into Sri Lankan waters. Wickramasinghe alleged that Indian fishermen were taking away the livelihood of Sri Lankan fishermen. “Why are you coming into our waters? Why are you fishing in our waters? You stay on the Indian side, Let our fishermen stay on the Sri Lankan side…Otherwise don’t make accusations of human rights violation by the Lankan Navy. You came in there,” he said.

Wickramasinghe’s remark, coming out of the blue, is unhelpful to the cause of India-Sri Lanka bilateral relations. The Premier’s remark came ahead of his talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who just concluded her first two-day bilateral visit to the island nation on Saturday. Moreover, its timing is suspect as it comes barely a week before Prime Minister Narednra Modi’s visit to the country.

Modi was the first India Prime Minister since 1987 to visit Sri Lanka.

The frequent arrest of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan authorities is a highly emotive issue in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu and no Indian Prime Minister can ever ignore this issue.

However, India must understand that what Wickramasinghe has said is not unjust though he should have refrained from using harsh language to drive his point home. For her part, Swaraj met Wickramasinghe in Colombo told him that the issue of fishermen was a humanitarian one and much different from the Italian marines episode in India. The Indian side has taken Wickramasinghe’s remarks in its stride and is committed to deal with the issue diplomatically.

This is evident from Indian foreign office spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that as a first step the two sides had agreed that after PM Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka the two countries’ fishermen association would meet to take the matter forward.

Much is at stake for India and Sri Lanka. In both countries new governments have been installed. Ties between India and Sri Lanka are currently at an all-time high and the two governments are committed to keep the momentum going. It is all the more important for New Delhi and Colombo to forge closer ties bilaterally at a time when China has been upping the ante. Just last year Chinese warships and nuclear submarines had docked in Sri Lankan ports, much to the chagrin of New Delhi. President Sirisena government has dropped enough hints that Sri Lanka will be pursuing an “India-first” policy.

Incidentally, in the same media interview Wickramasinghe has underlined his country’s policy vis-a-vis India and China, and said Colombo was keeping its ties with New Delhi and Beijing separate and shall not “play India off against China”.

Sri Lanka owes a lot to India for its role to end LTTE. Without the help of India, President Rajapaksa could have not wiped out the LTTE. Colombo may have agreed to give concessions even beyond the 13th amendment. We can expect to hear a great deal more on these lines in India-Sri Lanka bilateral engagement

India raised the “humanitarian” issue of Indian fishermen’s rights with Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, who has stoked a controversy by his remarks that they may be shot if they intruded into Sri Lankan waters.

Wickramasinghe alleged that Indian fishermen were taking away the livelihood of Northern Lanka fishermen. The issue of Indian fishermen also figured in the talks that Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had with Swaraj. This is the first time that TNA has raised the issue of fishermen with the Indian government.

Media reports suggest Wickramasinghe and SL government using the Tamil fishing issue for purposes of parliamentary poll that would take place soon and he wants to end sure all total votes of Singhalese populations for his party. .

Sri Lanka’s indigenous political parties thrive on targeting the Tamils and Muslims, at least till now.  However, the future looks somewhat promising to minorities in the island nation.

It is presumed that China’s economic back up has emboldened SL premier to use harsh language against India. However, after the recent high of Sri Lanka suspending a $1.5 billion Chinese real estate project in Colombo – a development that brought cheers to India – the Maithripala Sirisena government has waved a red rag in India’s face.

World politicians, especially in developing nations, have been habituated to using the minorities for political and poll purposes.  A senior democracy, India wins and losses polls by its ability for misusing the minorities and place Muslims under tremendous strains.

Congress government sold India to benefit the rich: Indian PM Modi!

Congress government sold India to benefit the rich: Indian PM Modi!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

____________________

Taking on Congress over its charge that his government was pro-rich, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 04 accused it of ‘selling the nation to benefit the rich’ when it was in power and asked BJP workers to fight the falsehood with facts and self-confidence.

In his concluding address at the two-day national executive meet of the party in Bengaluru, Karnataka state, Modi said the NDA government was for the poor and weaker sections of society and cited several schemes and decision of the Centre to drive home his point.”We are accused of being a government for the rich but the truth is that the previous UPA government worked for the rich”.

Referring to the coal scam in which several blocks were allegedly given away to a select few, Modi asked if a government is rich, which allocated coal blocks on the basis of a note, not for the rich?

The UPA government sold the nation to benefit the rich and wasted the money of the poor on the wealthy. We have earned Rs two lakh crore by auctioning only 20 coal blocks and this money has come from the pockets of the same rich people. Does the BJP government work for the rich?”, Modi asked, according to a BJP statement.

Stressing the pro-poor credentials of his government, Modi said his it will provide LPG connection to one crore poor households and noted that it brought down the gas price to below five dollar per unit after the UPA government had increased it to 8.4 dollars from 4.2 dollars.

He made a reference to tax on the super rich and said BJP workers should cite facts and respond to these falsehoods targeting the government with self-confidence. Modi asked BJP workers to work towards ending manual scavenging and told them to ensure that this campaign does not remain confined to newspapers’ pages.

The Prime Minister also made a mention of senior party leaders, saying it was due to their guidance that the government had met successes. Senior leaders like LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi have been kept out of the government and also decision-making process in the party.

Although BJP and Congress accuse each other of pro-rich, the fact remains both are pro-rich and promote the multinational corporations and Indian corporate lords who in fact decide Indian policies  and accompany the prime minster and  very high dignitaries  visiting  foreign nations, especially  the USA, Europe, Russia and China to undertake huge  trade with  corporate world.

The BJP has taken a hit in perception battle on three critical governance issues – land acquisition bill, failure to bring back money and the fact that Modi government cares more for the rich than for the poor. Concluding its three day national executive meet in Bengaluru, the party has come out with a new found aggression to ferociously counter these charges and make an all out effort to convince that their government is development and welfare oriented. In his speeches, Modi dwelt at length in countering Congress and other political rivals’ who were engaging in “disinformation campaign” that the BJP government was pro-corporate and anti-poor. In the same vein, he talked about transparency in auction of coal blocks and around two lakh crore rupees collected from it, a large portion of which would be shared with the states concerned.

Meanwhile, Chairman of Armament Research Board, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said India is capable of developing intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) which can hit targets beyond the range of 10,000 kms, In other words,  India missiles can pierce through not  just China but even travel beyond  Asian continent.. India has successfully test fired nuclear capable Agni V missile recently which has a range of 5,000 kms. One does not know if India still focuses on  a veto  in the discredited UNSC.

%d bloggers like this: