Sid,true.However,if we are always seen as a soft state,compromising in incidents like this,our ability to walk the talk in international disputes and fora will be severely diminished.Look at the way in which even the US has denied the release of Jonathan Pollard,who spied for Israel.Pollard has recd. massive support from various Israeli govts.,Jewish organisations in the US,streets have been named after him inIsrael, but the US govt. has not budged an inch and Pollard still serves his term of Life.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Pollard
In addition to the release requests by the Israeli government, there has been a long running public campaign to free Pollard. The organizers include the Pollard family, his ex-wife, Anne, and Jewish groups in the US and Israel. The campaign's main points claim that Pollard spied for an ally instead of an enemy, that his sentence was out of proportion when compared to similar crimes, and that the US failed to live up to its plea bargain. Some Israeli activists compared President Bush to Hamas and Hezbollah leaders who have taken Israeli soldiers prisoner.
 Pro-Pollard efforts
An Israeli billboard comparing former US President Bush to Hamas and Hezbollah leaders Ismail Haniyah and Hassan Nasrallah (shown left and right of Bush respectively). The people in blue text were taken prisoner by these groups. Bush is shown above Pollard's name, in red.
Pollard's supporters argue that his sentence was excessive. Although Pollard pleaded guilty as part of a plea bargain for himself and his wife, he was shown no leniency and was given the maximum sentence with the exception of death, because he allegedly broke the terms of that plea agreement even before the sentence was handed down.
The issue of his imprisonment has sometimes arisen amidst Israeli domestic politics. Benjamin Netanyahu has been particularly vocal in lobbying for Pollard's release, visiting Pollard in prison in 2002. Netanyahu raised the issue with President Bill Clinton during the Wye River peace talks in 1998. In his autobiography, Clinton wrote that he was inclined to release Pollard, but the objections of U.S. intelligence officials was too strong:
For all the sympathy Pollard generated in Israel, he was a hard case to push in America; he had sold our country's secrets for money, not conviction, and for years had not shown any remorse. When I talked to Sandy Berger and George Tenet, they were adamantly opposed to letting Pollard go, as was Madeleine Albright.
Alan Dershowitz has been among Pollard's high-profile supporters, both in the courtroom as a lawyer and in various print media. Characterizing the sentence as "excessive," Dershowitz writes in an article reprinted in his bestselling book Chutzpah!, "As an American, and as a Jew, I hereby express my outrage at Jonathan Pollard's sentence of life imprisonment for the crime to which he pleaded guilty." Dershowitz writes:
[E]veryone seems frightened to speak up on behalf of a convicted spy. This has been especially true of the Jewish leadership in America. The Pollards are Jewish... The Pollards are also Zionists, who--out of a sense of misguided "racial imperative" (to quote Jonathan Pollard)--seem to place their commitment to Israeli survival over the laws of their own country... American Jewish leaders, always sensitive to the canard of dual loyalty, are keeping a low profile in the Pollard matter. Many American Jews at the grass roots are outraged at what they perceive to be an overreaction to the Pollards' crimes and the unusually long sentence imposed on Jonathan Pollard.
The Jerusalem City Council has also acted in support of Pollard, changing the name of a square near the official prime minister's residence from Paris Square to Freedom for Jonathan Pollard Square.
Pollard has at times claimed that he provided only information that, at the time, he believed was vital to Israeli security and that was being withheld by the Pentagon, in violation of a 1983 Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries regarding the sharing of vital security intelligence. According to Pollard, this included data on Soviet arms shipments to Syria, Iraqi and Syrian chemical weapons, the Pakistani atomic bomb project, and Libyan air defense systems.
 Official requests for clemency
Yitzhak Rabin was the first Israeli prime minister to ask for the release of Pollard, requesting US President Bill Clinton to pardon him in 1995. Among the many requests for Pollard's release was one at the 1998 Wye River conference, where Netanyahu recalls, "if we signed an agreement with Arafat, I expected a pardon for Pollard". Of his meeting with Netanyahu during the Wye River talks, Bill Clinton writes, "Netanyahu was threatening to scuttle the whole deal unless I released Pollard. He said I had promised him I would do so at an earlier meeting the night before, and that's why he had agreed on the other issues. In fact, I had told the prime minister that if that's what it took to make peace, I was inclined to do it, but I would have to check with our people." Clinton states that Madeleine Albright, Sandy Berger, and George Tenet were all "adamantly opposed" to letting Pollard out of prison.
Another Israeli request for Pollard's release was made in New York on September 14, 2005 and was declined by President George W. Bush. A request on Pollard's behalf that he be designated a Prisoner of Zion was rejected by the High Court of Justice of Israel on January 16, 2006. Another appeal for intervention on Pollard's behalf was rejected by the High Court on June 8, 2006.
On January 10, 2008, the subject of Pollard's pardon was again brought up for discussion, this time by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, during President George W. Bush's first visit to Israel as President. Subsequently, this request was turned down by President Bush. The next day, at a dinner attended by several ministers in the Israeli government (in addition to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice), the subject of Pollard's release was again discussed. This time however, Prime Minister Olmert commented that it was not the appropriate occasion to discuss the fate of the convicted Israeli spy.
As President Bush was about to leave office in 2009, Pollard himself requested clemency for the first time. In an interview in Newsweek former CIA director James Woolsey endorsed Pollard's release on two conditions: that he show contrition and decline any profits from books or other projects linked to the case. Bush did not pardon him.
The New York Times reported on 21 September 2010 that the Israeli government (again under Netanyahu) informally proposed that Pollard be released as a reward to Israel for extending by three months a halt to new settlements in occupied territories.
In 2010 representatives Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) and Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) wrote a letter which "notes the positive impact that a grant of clemency would have in Israel, as a strong indication of the goodwill of our nation towards Israel and the Israeli people", On November 18, 2010, 39 members of Congress submitted a Plea Of Clemency to the White House on behalf of Pollard, asking the president for his immediate release: "Such an exercise of the clemency power would not in any way imply doubt about his guilt, nor cast any aspersions on the process by which he was convicted."
On December 21, 2010, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would formally and publicly call for Pollard's release. This was the first formal request made by Israel. On January 4, 2011 Netanyahu formally submitted a letter to President Obama requesting clemency. The White House issued a statement saying the letter would be reviewed.
Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State, wrote in a letter to Barack Obama, "I believe justice would be served by commuting."
Lawrence Korb, former assistant secretary of defense under Ronald Reagan, has called on the Obama Administration to grant clemency to Polard:
Some now argue that Pollard should be released because it would improve US-Israeli relations and enhance the prospects of success of the Obama administration’s Middle East peace process. Although that may be true, it is not the reason I and many others have recently written to the president requesting that he grant Pollard clemency. The reason is that Pollard has already served far too long for the crime for which he was convicted, and by now, whatever facts he might know would have little effect on national security.
In August 2011 Barney Frank sought permission from Congress to discuss the incarceration of Jonathan Pollard and called on Barack Obama to "answer the many calls for Pollard's immediate release." According to activists promoting the release of Pollard, Frank said Pollard has paid a price much higher than anyone else that spied on a friend of the United States and more than many who spied for its enemies.
At the 1998 Wye River Conference, Benjamin Netanyahu demanded Pollard's release, and President Clinton made a public statement about reviewing the case. This precipitated an "incredulous" reaction in the American intelligence community. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, as well as six other former U.S. Secretaries of Defense (Melvin R. Laird, Frank C. Carlucci, Richard B. Cheney, Caspar W. Weinberger, James R. Schlesinger and Elliot L. Richardson) spoke out in opposition to clemency for Jonathan Pollard. They were joined by several senior congressional leaders.
Four past directors of Naval Intelligence, William Studeman, Sumner Shapiro, John L. Butts, and Thomas Brooks, authored a response to the talk of clemency and what they termed "the myths that have arisen from this clever public relations campaign... aimed at transforming Pollard from greedy, arrogant betrayer of the American national trust into Pollard, committed Israeli patriot". They asserted that Pollard passed information to three other countries before engaging in espionage activity on behalf of Israel, and that he had offered his services to a fourth country while he was spying for Israel.
With that amount of pressure upon the US govt. from Israel and the jewish lobby,and it still has not budged,why on earth should India compromise in this instance? We owe Italy no favours (that is if you discount their "gift" of SG to us!) and need not buckle under to pressure from an EU state on the verge of bankruptcy.
"Unknown merchant vessel". The waters off our western coast esp. the Kerala coast is becoming very dangerous given the amount of international traffic on the high seas and coastal traffic.Monitoring them is a massive task.A media report today showed a pic of the surveillance radar now being fitted to all our lighthouses to monitor all shipping,fishing boats,etc.,within a 20km (NM?) range.
The sooner we start to install RFIDs on every fishing boat ,the easier it will be to monitor the high seas and our extremely porous coastline.
PS: The Pollard case highlights the fact,as I've highlighted in the quotes,that the US as far back as 1983 knew about Pak's N-bomb project and were denying the Israelis details,most probably because they thought that the Israelis would tip India off! It exposes the enormous duplicity of the US which knew about Pak's N-bomb all along,kept quiet and who are we to know if it actually assisted Pak in acquiring N-weapons to counter India as it was a key US Cold War ally! This may be the hidden secret between Pak and the US which is why the US always hesitates to punish Pak despite its perfidious behaviour in Af-Pak. Any revelation by pak that the US secretly helped it to acquire N-weapons would expose US hypocrisy and duplicity and dramatically see many nations with N-ambitions,like Iran,to accelerate their programmes .