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Indian Foreign Policy

Postby Rakesh » 20 Oct 2006 09:50


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Postby Tilak » 20 Oct 2006 10:09

China above Pak, America on top
Nilova Roy Chaudhury
New Delhi, October 19, 2006

[quote]The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has devised a ‘Relevance for India’ (RX) index that categorises countries on the basis of their political and strategic importance and their economic and commercial value to India over the next decade. The index forms the basis of its ambitious expansion plans.

While it comes as no surprise that the US and UK top the index as the two most important countries in New Delhi’s view, officials are puzzled why China, that is far more crucial to India in proximity and strategic importance, is ranked after Japan.

“The RX index serves as an indicator of the importance of a particular country to India from the political, economic, commercial and cultural perspective on a 1-100 scale,â€

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Postby shyamd » 22 Oct 2006 21:19


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Postby putnanja » 23 Oct 2006 00:05



No wonder our Foreign policy is messed up. If friendly countries in immediate neighbourhood like Bhutan are not in top 10, it shows the short-sightedness of our policy. It appears that the commercial aspect of the relationship has been given more prominence than the security and strategic aspects. Nothing wrong if we were sitting amidst friendly countries on all sides, but given our troubled neighbourhood, commerical and strategic relevance is totally inter-twined.

And these indices are not static but dynamic depending on the prevailing geo-political situtation. Whatever RX value they have calculated probably a few months back might have to be revisited after the NoKo tests :P

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Postby Laks » 24 Oct 2006 15:27

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6079438.stm
India is likely to get a new foreign minister in a cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday, reports say.

Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee is tipped to take over as the foreign minister, reports add.


AK Antony is expected to be RM.

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Postby shyamd » 24 Oct 2006 19:26


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Postby rsingh » 24 Oct 2006 19:48

Officials argued that there were some discrepancies in the way Bhutan, Belgium, Australia, Afghanistan and Thailand were all tied at 67 points.


Wah wah MEAwallah.....Belgium= Afganistan :twisted: No wonder lot of mail addresed to me was diverted to Belgaum :lol:

Raju

Postby Raju » 24 Oct 2006 20:34

Pranab Mukherjee is new Foreign Minister.

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Postby shyamd » 25 Oct 2006 20:47

Passage To India

Foreign minister Dr. Ahmed Shaheed is visiting India this week in a bid to enhance defence cooperation and reassure the Maldives’ most important ally that the government’s increasingly friendly relations with China are not designed to play the superpowers off one another.

He has also used the trip to dismiss the opposition MDP as ‘split’ between moderates and militants, and has called upon India to assist President Gayoom’s reform roadmap.

Shaheed met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday evening. The Indian press reported that they discussed a host of bilateral and regional issues including the expansion of economic ties and enlargement of cooperation in defence and education sectors.

After a meeting with Indian defence minister Pranab Mukherjee, Shaheed raised the possibility of increased defence expenditure.

'India has contributed greatly to capacity-building in our defence sector,' Shaheed told IANS.
He was careful to deny reports that the Chinese have established a naval and intelligence facility on an atoll leased by the Maldivian government.

Shaheed said that the claims of a military base were a ‘canard spread by the opposition’.
The foreign minister also called for Indian assistance with the reform roadmap.

"We want to get India involved in the democratic reform process. India has immense expertise in building of democratic institutions and we want to tap this expertise," he said.

"We want India's help in strengthening electoral machinery, training police personnel and judiciary and the development of media. India is the world's most populous democracy. Therefore, India is a natural source of expertise for us," he added.

Seeking to allay Indian concerns about China’s involvement in the archipelago, Shaheed said: "We see the world through the South Asian perspective. We see no country as having a greater stake in the stability and progress of the Maldives than India."

"In times of national need, India has been there and we can always count on India in the future.’’

In an interview with an Indian news website, Shaheed accused the opposition of only being interested in deposing Gayoom.

"Our vision of liberal democracy is one that protects fundamental rights of the people and involves creating lasting institutions that can empower people."

"We are trying to ensure that our democracy must have organic links to the environment in which it must operate. It must cater to the mindsets and sensibilities of the people," he said.

"The government's vision is that of a working liberal democracy. The opposition is focused on elections. The opposition is talking about a change of persons. What they want is to see Gayoom out. What we are talking about is a change of system.’’

Shaheed said he was confident that free and fair elections will take place in 2008, but he warned that "democracy must provide freedom and stability to people. It can't imperil the country's economy and it can't take the country into chaos."

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Postby Paul » 25 Oct 2006 23:20

All the major foriegn policy initiatives started by UPA may be ending in failure:

1. Shashi Tharoor's sec. generalship fiasco.

2. J18 Nuclear cooperation agreement may also be put into cold storage with NoKo nuke test.

IMO time to start thinking of what the consequences are. It is possible that Pranabda may have moved to MEA to change direction of Foreign policy in a more traditional fashion.

Some major initiatives with Russia could be looked at as Putin is coming in January.

The negotiation process of the J18 deal has given critical information about India's nuclear program to outsiders. Maybe this is what they wanted anyways....and with NoKo test they have an excuse to back off now. The possibility of Sino US collaborating to set India up here cannot be ruled out.

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Postby Kakkaji » 26 Oct 2006 00:44

The 3 Principles of Manmohan/ SG foreign Policy (in the order of importance of the deities)::)

1. Unkillum Sharanam Gachchhaami
2. Musharrafam Sharanam Gachchhaami
3. Chicom Sharanam Gachchhaami

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Postby Pulikeshi » 26 Oct 2006 07:33

Paul wrote:IMO time to start thinking of what the consequences are. It is possible that Pranabda may have moved to MEA to change direction of Foreign policy in a more traditional fashion.


Right, when all else fails, try what was failing again!

Like there is a dearth of smart people or smart ideas in India.
When are they going to involve the next generation?

Our Foreign Policy is considered External Affairs - like we manage the world :mrgreen:
The incoherence is more than what comes out of Pranbda's you know what!

Raju

Postby Raju » 26 Oct 2006 08:27

Hu may address joint session, Left approves

Sutirtho Patranobis
New Delhi, October 25
___________________
When Chinese President Hu Jintao visits India in November, he may do what his United States counterpart George Bush, did not in March -- address a joint sitting of Parliament.

In Bush's case, Washington itself was reluctant to press for this privilege, fearing the embarassment of a likely boycott by the left. In contrast the Communists are more than ready to welcome Hu.

If the government's proposal gets China's assent, the start of Parliament's winter session will have to advanced from November 27 to November 22.

The decision for such a joint address is taken by the governments of the two countries concerned. In India, the tradition is for the government to first sound out its allies and other political parties, including the opposition, on the issue.

On Wednesday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P. R. Dasmunshi discussed the matter with CPI general secretary A. B. Bardhan. Later, Bardhan revealed that Hu might address a joint session. "But a lot of discussion precedes it," he said.

"We were against Bush from the beginning. In the case of Bill Clinton, we did not oppose his address the joint session. We only chose not to attend it. It is a matter between the two governments. The government does not need our permission. He (Dasmunshi) mentioned it. We are fine with it.

Prakash Karat, general secretary, CPI(M), is yet to be sounded out. But he too is okay with it. "Why should we have a problem?" he said. "We opposed Bush because of the US occupation of Iraq. Others have addressed joint sessions before."

Hindustan Times

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Postby hnair » 26 Oct 2006 08:40

Raju wrote:Hu may address joint session, Left approves

Sutirtho Patranobis
New Delhi, October 25
___________________
When Chinese President Hu Jintao visits India in November, he may do what his United States counterpart George Bush, did not in March -- address a joint sitting of Parliament.

In Bush's case, Washington itself was reluctant to press for this privilege, fearing the embarassment of a likely boycott by the left. In contrast the Communists are more than ready to welcome Hu.


:evil: are there no "Dhoti-hoist" exponents in the current parliament to insult this National enemy#1?

Raju

Postby Raju » 26 Oct 2006 08:49

Well..I knew of a certain parliamentarian, who when he got angry; used to strip the dhoti off the person standing next to him.

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Postby hnair » 26 Oct 2006 09:05

Raju wrote:Well..I knew of a certain parliamentarian, who when he got angry; used to strip the dhoti off the person standing next to him.


Good enough. During Hu's "Joint Session", can you ask him to stand next to the Honourable Speaker?

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Postby ManojM » 26 Oct 2006 09:07

Raju wrote:Hu may address joint session, Left approves

Sutirtho Patranobis
New Delhi, October 25
___________________
When Chinese President Hu Jintao visits India in November, he may do what his United States counterpart George Bush, did not in March -- address a joint sitting of Parliament.

Hindustan Times


Where are the jingoist parties when they are needed the most. IIRC, wasn't it uncle Oscar who said China was enemy #1? Give hu a taste of democracy too - freedom to choose and boycott

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Postby Neupane » 27 Oct 2006 05:03

During his tenure as Defence minister Mr.Mokherjee declined to continue arm supply to Royal Nepalese Army. UPA Govt supported the Maoist terrorist leader Pranchanda under the pressure from the Communists and to settle personal score of some of the top Congress leader, which become disastrous for Nepal and his people. Now as a foreign minister, if Mr.Mokherjee can bring back some sense in recovering lost ground with Nepal.


Focus on Nepal

The Pioneer Edit Desk

Reframe policy to regain lost ground

The UPA Government suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder when it comes to foreign policy. Ever since coming to power in the summer of 2004, it has focussed all energy on "improving" relations with Pakistan; not unexpectedly, it has little to show in terms of success despite all its efforts to placate and appease India's irascible and irresponsible western neighbour. Yes, it is true that sections of media driven by fashionable concerns of the day that dominate conversation in the charmed circle of Delhi's deracinated elite, have been heaping praise on the Prime Minister for his untiring efforts to accommodate Pakistani demands over India's interests. No less thunderous is the applause every time the Prime Minister thinks out of the box, only to be rebuffed by Pakistan's recalcitrant ruler who, of late, has taken to lecturing India on how it should behave. In the absence of a Cabinet Minister in charge of External Affairs, the Government's proclivity to pursue elusive peace with Pakistan became a fulltime job for officials, diplomats and advisers. Now that Mr Pranab Mukherjee has taken over as Minister for External Affairs, hopefully we shall see some restraint, if not rollback, in the Government's obsession with Pakistan. Mr Mukherjee, who has served as External Affairs Minister in the past and, unlike the Prime Minister, is no novice to India's geo-strategic concerns, must restore balance and perspective that have been sorely lacking in our foreign policy initiatives. For starters, he could begin with crafting a Nepal policy that will undo the enormous damage caused by the manner in which the Prime Minister allowed his aides and trusted bureaucrats to abandon King Gyanendra and sup with the Maoists.


The disastrous policy of backing anti-India elements in the mistaken hope that it would strengthen democratic forces in Nepal and the sophistry of striking a moral posture totally at variance with its dealings with Pakistan's military ruler have virtually resulted in India becoming a non-player in shaping Nepal's destiny. This is not to suggest that we should be a meddlesome busybody in our neighbourhood, poking our nose in other people's affairs. But the fact remains that an inimical Government in Kathmandu - let there be no mistake, the Maoists are craftily working towards capturing Singha Darbar - will cause us as much, if not more, grief as a terror-sponsoring regime in Islamabad. After the initial bonhomie shown by Mr GP Koirala's Seven-Party Alliance interim Government, a chill has settled on India-Nepal relations. Self-serving bureaucrats in South Block, who blindly follow political directives from the top and are loath to admit mistakes even when they stare them in the face, will no doubt claim otherwise. To believe them would be to deny the truth. Mr Mukherjee, as Defence Minister, was reluctant to agree to the decision to suspend arms supplies to the Royal Nepal Army which could have turned the tide against Prachanda and his thugs. As Minister for External Affairs, he must now embark on a damage control mission and put Nepal back on the radar screen. Perhaps events of the past six months cannot be rolled back. But surely we can influence events over the next six months which are crucial for political stability in Nepal - and for better India-Nepal relations.

http://www.indiapress.org/gen/news.php/ ... r/400x60/0

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Postby shyam » 27 Oct 2006 06:44

ATTN: Bay Area folks:

http://indiacc.org/category.aspx?catid=28#806

India and the World - A Talk by Jaswant Singh


Ex-defense, foreign and finance minister and opposition party leader Jaswant Singh will speak about India and the World at ICC Milpitas, Saturday October 28, 11 a.m. His talk will be hosted by Pradeep Chhibber, Chair of the Department of Political Science, at UC Berkeley.

Singh will address Indo-U.S. relations, nuclear non-proliferation, India and China and terrorism and India. He will accept questions after his talk.

Singh is one of the rarest kind of politicians who has held three of the most coveted ministries. He started in the government of Atul Behari Vajpayee as the External Affairs Minister and later on switched his ministry to Finance with Yashwant Sinha. He moved on to the Defence Ministry when George Fernandes was forced to resign.

Jaswant Singh is among the most respected names in the country's public life, and in the world of diplomacy. He is deservedly given credit for dexterously steering India out of the turbulent diplomatic seas encountered in the aftermath of the nuclear tests of May 1998. He is Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of India's Parliament.

Singh is visiting Professor at Oxford University, an Honorary Professor at Warwick University, and a Senior Fellow at the Harvard University.

Singh's new book, A Call to Honour: In Service of Emergent India is an evocative account about a crucial period in India's history and provides an in-depth look at several vital events that changed the way the world perceived India.

The event is free for all.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Sat, Oct 28
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Free Member
Free Non-Member
JS102800F6
Location: ICC Milpitas
555 Los Coches Street
Milpitas, CA 95035
408-934-1130

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Postby svinayak » 30 Oct 2006 05:01


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Postby shyamd » 30 Oct 2006 05:43

Didn't know where to post
---------------------------------------------
Moving the right men
The reshuffle of the Union Cabinet has demonstrated that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was clearly influenced by the views of the Congress high command while allocating portfolios for two key ministries. The reshuffle was as much about bringing in AK Antony, whose integrity and honesty is beyond doubt, to the Ministry of Defence as it was about giving the External Affairs portfolio to Pranab Mukherjee, who was, at one time, tipped to take over as deputy Prime Minister as per speculation in political circles.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi scotched rumours of the appointment of a deputy PM, at the Nainital conclave. Now, by shifting Mukherjee to a new job, the Prime Minister has conveyed a strong message that there was no move to elevate the status of any member of the Cabinet. Mukherjee is expected to bring in his rich experience to the post, which he earlier held during P.V. Narasimha Rao’s regime for a period of 15 months. It will certainly help restore equity to the ministry, thus ending the domination of the PMO in the formulation of foreign policy.

His seniority and status as leader of the House in the Lok Sabha will ensure that PMO officials, associated with the making of foreign policy, will show greater regard to the MEA’s viewpoint. With his standing as a key person in the decision-making processes of successive Congress governments, Mukherjee has a degree of clout enjoyed by no other foreign minister in recent times. His shifting also indicates that there were never any plans to elevate his status.

The selection of Antony has been influenced by the fact that the Defence Ministry, embroiled as it was in the recent controversy over the purchase of Barak missilies during the NDA rule, is now headed by Mr Clean himself. However, there is also a viewpoint that Antony’s choice for the Defence Minister’s post has not been the best one, since the former Kerala Chief Minister may not be able to speak the idiom that jawans and defence officers are familiar with. He would have been an asset in a ministry with social justice dimensions or could even have excelled in the Home Ministry. But obviously, Antony has been chosen because of his impeccable credentials and to convey the signal that the Congress wants transparency in the Cabinet.

The second and more important signal sought to be conveyed through Antony’s appointment is that people of integrity will be encouraged to be a part of the government. Those already in the council of ministers, and unable to emulate the virtues common to the Defence Minister and the Prime Minister, may face the risk of being dropped in the future. In fact, Antony will perfectly complement the PM and the two will help in giving the government an honest image. This is not to suggest that others are dishonest, but the high standards set by these two would form the basis for future image projections.

The reshuffle has also demonstrated that the party is stronger than ever before. The government cannot ignore its basic views, whether in the sphere of ministry-making or in policy formulation. At Nainital, Sonia Gandhi had stated that the party was not opposed to SEZs. But, that care should be taken to ensure that prime agricultural land was not acquired for the purpose. Soon after this, the government changed its position regarding SEZs and those who were initially very vocal on the subject, all of a sudden, seemed to agree with her. In an interview on Saturday, she denied that the SEZ policy was cleared by her. Even though she said that she did not expect every ministry to clear things with her, it is evident that the ramifications of not doing so would be strong and wide-ranging and could put some ministers or policy supporters in an embarrassing position.

The reshuffle seems to have had a limited purpose. Both the Congress president and the PM have left several questions about regional, coalition and generational imbalances unresolved. There is a view that some states are over-represented in the Cabinet vis-a-vis others. On the induction of younger leaders, Sonia has already made it known that she would prefer that they gain more experience before they are crowned. This is rightly so. Experience plays an important role in understanding governance — and only experienced youngsters had been rewarded.

Ajay Maken, for instance, was elected thrice to the Delhi Assembly and was parliamentary secretary to the Chief Minister, a minister and the Speaker before he defeated Jagmohan in the New Delhi constituency. There was no hesitation in choosing him for a ministerial berth. Similarly, Bharat Solanki was sent to Gujarat as the PCC president because he too had past experience. There seems to be a well chalked-out strategy where younger MPs will be given important positions only when they are acquainted with unfamiliar areas.

Coalition imbalance may remain as these are compulsions of realpolitiks. For instance, all major portfolios in the government other than the railways and agriculture are with the Congress. This may continue for the time being. Apart from its higher numbers of MPs, the Congress has to ensure the PM’s comfort level in the allocation of portfolios.

The reshuffle is certainly a precursor to a bigger one at a time nearer to the assembly elections. It also may now lead to changes in the party organisation and pave the way for the appointment of new governors. But the Sonia-PM team, flanked by Mukherjee, Antony and others symbolises stability of the coalition as well as the fact that there are no contradictions within the government and the party. Between us.

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Postby putnanja » 04 Nov 2006 01:31

From Asian Age dt Nov 4 2006. Posting in full as it isn't archived.

From Brahma Challaney...

Think inside the box 11/3/2006 9:13:55 PM
- By Brahma Chellaney


What India needs is a credible, sustained counter-terror strategy. What it gets is never-ending political rhetoric. There is still no sign that a coherent strategy is being evolved, let alone being put into practice. After every major terrorist strike, the nation hears brave but empty words from government leaders to defeat the forces of terror. Then official New Delhi goes back to its familiar ways, until a major terror attack again stirs up the leadership to make fresh vows.

Given the way India has become an easy target for transnational extremists, it is only a matter of time before the terrorists strike again at a place and time of their choice. In fact, a new report by the online strategic intelligence firm, Stratfor, is titled, "India, Ripe for Another Militant Strike?"

Under Atal Behari Vajpayee’s government, terrorism morphed from hit-and-run attacks to daring assaults on military camps and symbols of national power, as the then Prime Minister vowed "zero tolerance" against terrorism and then declared aar par ki ladai. Now, under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, even when terrorists strike brutally under the nose of the government, authorities present a face of helplessness. Dr Singh, for instance, has sought to rationalise his decision to embrace the sponsor of terror as a partner against terror by asking, "What other option did we have?"

No western democracy allows any major act of terror to go unpunished. In contrast, India has come to stoically live with high incidence of terrorism, taking terror strikes in its stride as if they were the products of its immutable geography or destiny. Not only is there little political will in India to wage its own war on terror, but also the instrumentalities of state have been allowed to decline and decay.

Indian decision-makers give little thought to why their country has turned into a laboratory for international terrorists, who try out and perfect techniques in the world’s largest democracy before replicating them in the West. Among the acts first tried out against Indian targets and then repeated elsewhere are attacks on symbols of state authority, the midair bombing of a commercial jetliner and coordinated strikes on a city transportation system. Methodology employed by the US Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of Terrorism Analysis shows the highest number of terrorist attacks occurring in India.

Yet India has yet to articulate a counter-terror strategy with clear objectives and means. Nor has New Delhi been able to convince the world about the Pakistani establishment’s direct culpability in the daring acts of terror carried out in India.

Many Indians had hoped that the October 8, 2005 earthquake that struck Pakistan’s terrorist-infested areas the hardest would lower the terror level against India. But the terror attacks in India from Mumbai to Varanasi, and from New Delhi to Bangalore, have revealed an increase in the trans-border movement of Pakistan-trained operatives. According to the Army chief, Pakistan is now infiltrating terrorists through new routes, including the Rajasthan, Bangladesh and Nepal borders.

Yet, what Indians read in their national press and what the rest of the world gets to read are two different worlds. For example, a recent New York Times story reported on what it called "a new twist to the abiding India-Pakistan rift over who is responsible for acts of terror on Indian soil, and what to do about it." This is what the October 23 New Delhi-datelined despatch stated: "Neither country seems to be able to veer from an old and familiar script. After every terrorist act, the Indian government blames Pakistan-based groups, and the Pakistani government goads India to furnish specific evidence. India responds by saying that crime suspects, including the leaders of banned groups, like Lashkar-e-Taiba, continue to find shelter in Pakistan, despite Indian demands. Pakistan counters that they have not been charged with crimes. The accusations fly in the other direction as well. Pakistan maintains that India supports a rebel movement among tribal groups in its western Baluchistan Province — a charge India denies."

If the New Delhi-based correspondent of a major American newspaper is not convinced about Pakistan’s involvement in terror strikes in India, how does the Indian government expect others in the world to be convinced?

Nothing better illustrates India’s faltering approach than the wanton way it has confused the world and its own citizens over the terrorist links to the Mumbai train bombings, which left more than 200 people dead. The national security adviser first pronounced, judge-like, that the evidence on the Pakistani connection to the bombings was "pretty good" but not "clinching." The home secretary chimed in with his own judgment: the evidence, he declared, was "fairly solid," with his qualifier, "fairly," adding or subtracting little to the NSA’s claim. Then, like the court of appeals, the PM ruled there was "credible evidence" on Pakistan’s involvement, except that days earlier he had publicly judged that country as a fellow victim of and partner against terror — a verdict he still sticks to.

India’s self-goal epitomises the manner it has fallen victim to its own contradictions. The PM of late has developed a tendency to contradict himself in the same sentence. For example, at Thiruvananthapuram last Wednesday, he said: "We are trying to develop friendly ties with Pakistan despite difficulties arising out of their support for terrorist operations directed against India." What may be more worrying is that the PM actually does not see a contradiction in his seeking to build "friendly ties" with a state that he admits is aiding "terrorist operations" against India.

Despite a national furore, the PM is determinedly pushing ahead with his decision to set up a joint counter-terror mechanism with Pakistan, overriding the concerns of professionals within the system. Yet the PM is unsure whether his radical move would succeed, admitting he is banking on little more than hope: "We have agreed to the mechanism. Let us see how it works. I hope Pakistan is serious about it."

By now, the PM’s style of functioning has become known: when he wishes to put an issue on the back burner, he sets up a panel or a commission, but when he sets his mind on doing something, he presents the nation with a fait accompli. Having sprung a surprise on the nation, he then keeps up the refrain that there is no change in policy. His latest gem is that "there is no change" in foreign policy under him, only an effort on his part to "widen India’s horizons."

Semantics apart, India’s counter-terror policy has never been in greater disarray than today. Not only is there a lack of direction on where India is headed against transnational terrorism, but also there is a lack of concern over what the country has been through. The first anniversary of the New Delhi bombings passed last Sunday without the country or even the city remembering those who fell to the terrorists’ bombs. Contrast this with the way London observed the anniversary of its subway bombings. Yet the fact is that more people died in the synchronised New Delhi bombings than in the London attacks.

Terrorism represents an existential battle that will determine whether India stays a free, secular, united state. The PM himself admits that terrorism constitutes "the biggest challenge" to India. Yet, strangely, the Indian republic is unable to get its act together to wage a concerted war on terror, backed by unflinching resolve.

When escalating terrorism demands action, India has become the master of inaction, making itself an easier prey for terrorists and their sponsors. Without a concerted response, no system can keep up morale. Inaction not only damages a system’s credibility but also saps public confidence to the extent that necessary leads on the movement or hideouts of terrorists may not be forthcoming from citizens.

Instead of acting to stop further attacks by going after terrorist cells and networks and those that harbour or aid such extremists, India seems more interested in collecting and presenting evidence of Pakistan’s terror links. Under Vajpayee, the emphasis was on presenting the evidence to the United States in particular. Now India wishes to present the evidence to Pakistan itself. Returning from his South Africa tour, the PM proclaimed: "If we have evidence, we will hand it to them (Pakistan). We will test the waters."

No state victim of terror has ever emphasised evidence collection as a substitute to counteraction. But India is India — always unique.

Having failed on other fronts, India now is intent on making history: it will seek to convince terrorist-patron Pakistan in high dudgeon through the joint mechanism to own up to its sponsorship of terror. Please. Even if New Delhi had a video that captured General Pervez Musharraf ordering a bomb attack on an Indian city, it will not persuade a military-ruled Pakistan to sever its ties with terrorist elements. After all, the Pakistan military values terrorism as its main instrument to mount pressure on India and wring out concessions in negotiations.

How far divorced from reality does New Delhi intend to become? Before wanting to think outside the box, it ought to learn to think inside the box so it brings credit to Indian democracy, not comfort to terrorists and their patrons.


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Postby Johann » 04 Nov 2006 02:09

RaviBg wrote:No western democracy allows any major act of terror to go unpunished.


I dont know what he means by punished.

What was the European response to the Arab state-sponsored terrorism (inextricably linked to domestic left wing terrorism) of the 1960s, 70s and 80s? For the most part a mix of stronger internal security measures, and a foreign policy appeasement to the Arabs.

What has been the response to jihadi terrorism, starting in France in the 1990s? More of the same for the most part.

UK, and to a lesser extent the Netherlands apart, most of the Europeans are unwilling to put themselves at serious risk even in Afghanistan.

US reaction to much of the Arab and Iranian terrorism of the 1970s and 1980s was similarly weak or non-existant.

What punishing reaction was there to the 1993 WTC bombing or even the 2000 attack on the Cole?

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Postby Laks » 06 Nov 2006 20:30

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/15944.html
Imperial China, neo-colonial India
C. Raja Mohan

[quote]The hat of neo-colonialism will never fall on China.â€

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Postby Rye » 06 Nov 2006 22:15

US Lifafa Rajamohan writes:
Last week, Paul Wolfowitz, the president of World Bank, slammed Chinese and Indian economic policies towards Africa. Even as he quickly retracted at the storm of political reaction from China, Wolfowitz underscored the point that Beijing and New Delhi should not repeat the mistakes of the US and the West in bank-rolling for decades such unsavoury regimes as that of Mobutu Sese-seko in Zaire.

After decades of seeing themselves as victims of imperialism, China and India will find the tag of neo-imperialism and neo-colonialism shocking if not distasteful. Yet Beijing and New Delhi must confront a new reality. The greater their economic and political capacity to influence outcomes elsewhere in the world, the stronger will be international scrutiny of their policies


So, let us see now, the architect of the Iraq War, Wolfowitz, is advising India not to be "imperialist" and this traitorous lifafa/sellout C. Rajamohan seems to think that India should see Wolfowitz's "wisdom" and follow the US's "do as I say, not as I do" dictum... Rajamohan's words have come out of the US SD many times before (people may remember Al Quolin Bin Powell's sanctimonious words to that effect), but I guess they have their agents in India do that job nowadays.

So, just because there is going to be criticism of India pushing for its own interests, the GoI has to stop to appease its competitors? Maybe the dollar amount in the weekly envelope is getting larger with such articles.

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Postby CRamS » 06 Nov 2006 22:32

Brahma Chellaney only confirms what I have had in mind regarding MMS. The problem is that MMS is not outraged by Puki terror as any Indian nationalist ought to be. He views Puki terror against India in the same manner as the western racists do: violence is endemic in the 'South Asian' region and everyone Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs are guilty. In other words, Islamic terror against the west is unadulterated evil, but in India's case, communal violence in India and Paki treachery in the use of Islamic terror against India as an instrument of policy are at the same moral equivalence. Sadly, MMS, who considers himself a 'South Asian' subscribes to this fraud and wants to bring is his long lost Puki brothers into the 'South Asian' brotherhood fold. If this means diluting India's sovereignty over certain regions (Kashmir), so be it. If this means India giving up nukes, so be it. If this means diluting the notion that India is a Hindu civilization, so be it. In short, MMS and his madam Sonia are batting for somebody else, not for India. Of course, an 'Indian', MMS will win the Nobel peace prize if this agenda is successfully executed.

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Postby Rye » 06 Nov 2006 22:37

CRamS wrote:
Brahma Chellaney only confirms what I have had in mind regarding MMS.


Actually, MMS is not doing anything that the "nationalist" BJP didn't. They are both following some script us novices can only infer, so politicizing this just muddies the water. Even now, the peace talks are not relly giving away much, but what else can be done with the pakis in the short term? Do you think there are other options for handling pakistan? Let us keep politics out of this.

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Postby venkat_r » 06 Nov 2006 22:46

Western liberals criticise China and India for being free riders in the international system and taking advantage of the order and stability being maintained by other great powers. They want Beijing and New Delhi to prove they are stake-holders in the global order and work for its maintenance.


This is just psy-ops. India and China would have to demand that stake and never it is going to be given to them by the existing powers, they are not even going to accomodate them without a fight and infact will try to scuttle and choke them at every point. They want these two countries take these stakes only with their permission and under their guidence. Never gonna happen.

[quote]
To be sure, they are not the only instances where major powers have “elevatedâ€

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Postby shyamd » 07 Nov 2006 01:13

CRamS wrote:The problem is that MMS is not outraged by Puki terror as any Indian nationalist ought to be. He views Puki terror against India in the same manner as the western racists do: violence is endemic in the 'South Asian' region and everyone Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs are guilty. In other words, Islamic terror against the west is unadulterated evil, but in India's case, communal violence in India and Paki treachery in the use of Islamic terror against India as an instrument of policy are at the same moral equivalence.

I agree with you, but what do you propose he should do? Leading us into a war can cost our "growing economy". I think we should just increase our covert war against ISI, LeT & so on. Spend more on RAW, IB, make them have the latest tech and start operating in countries in the gulf(since thats where most of the finance is), uproot ISI activity in Bangladesh, Nepal etc. Give them more support. It's cheaper than going to war. But then again, if MMS really wanted to halt terrorism, he would do something about it rather than just pay lip service.

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Postby viveks » 07 Nov 2006 07:52


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Postby Philip » 07 Nov 2006 19:45

China has just finished hosting an unprecented dialogue with almost 50 African leaders in beijing,where the Chinese offered their guests money.goods,technology and most importantly,diplomatic support for many despotic regimes),in exchange for the riches of Africa.I posted some months ago news of the Chinese moves into Africa an said that India had "lost Africa",thanks to our shortsightedness.At the time of the end of colonialism,India was the most admired country in Africa and until recently was still held in high estemm.

We are now seen as mere lackeys of the white man,where our own "dear leader" resembles the familiar turbaned doorman that one sees in many 5* hotels,opening the door (pun intended) for the white man .Let's see whether Pranab can weather the African storm that China has started?

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Postby Airavat » 08 Nov 2006 00:28

New helmsman of India's foreign policy

By Pinaki Bhattacharya


In 1995, Pranab Mukherjee was an aggrieved Commerce Minister. A product of the licence-permit raj, he had taken up cudgels against Manmohan Singh's brand of economic liberalisation and had fallen afoul of some industrial scions. Narasimha Rao had to remove him from Udyog Bhavan but after providing him a sinecure. Like this time, a South Block seat was vacant with the late Dinesh Singh fatally ill. Mukherjee had moved in. Even then the basic matrix was set: India was tentatively moving into the US orbit, though hobbled occasionally by the evangelical Bill Clinton Administration on issues like nuclear non-proliferation and Kashmir.

Most of the foreign policy initiatives, even then, used to be planned in the western side of the South Block where the Prime Minister's Office was situated, while Mukherjee would fill in the detail. A political manager of some excellence, he would be Rao's pointman who had other credentials besides just being the External Affairs Minister. Even then India lacked a strategic vision commensurate with its abilities.

This time around too the situation is not much different. Only Mukherjee is older and possibly, wiser. This wisdom is certainly reflected in the alacrity with which he signed the memorandum with the US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld extending the scope of the NSSP (Next Step in Strategic Partnership). In many ways, a politician of the bureaucratic ilk that Mukherjee is, he may continue to cross the Ts and dot the Is. The only reason which can change the way he looks at his job and instead, find virtue in activism is his changed status as the one he who presided in Union Cabinet meetings as Manmohan Singh's understudy. For like a true blue Bengali, appearances have immense attraction for Mukherjee.

Some believe that his induction in South Block could provide fillip to India's economic diplomacy. It will be worth watching whether he can steal the thunder of a Kamal Nath, the current Commerce Minister, besides informing him about the diplomatic pitfalls of India's negotiating positions in various multilateral fora like the World Trade Organisation (WTO) or the European Union (EU). In fact, in External Affairs he may not find the requisite expertise for activist trade diplomacy.

On the contrary, he is himself considered an efficient bellwether for finding the loci of power. It will thus be interesting to see whether he recognises the diminution of American power- a phenomenon that even well entrenched US columnists like Thomas Friedman consider to be a given as they speculate about a time beyond a ‘‘defeat in the middle east.’’ More importantly, this is also the time when the country needs to understand the other part of the cusp while the global reordering of power and players takes place.

In that job a significant plus for him will be his new Foreign Secretary, Shiv Shankar Menon who is sure to outlast him in office. Menon is an astute Sinologist. And true to that mien, his otherwise inscrutable style will be of deft touches that would sit lightly otherwise. While effectively, Menon will have to serve two masters, the EAM and the PM, Mukherjee will do well to ensure that there are no crossed wires between him and the PMO when the time for political directions to Menon comes.

A first test for the External Affairs duo will be the visit of the Chinese President, Hu Jintao. Recent controversies have cropped up about the national security threats various Government agencies have discovered in the projects the Chinese have proposed. Mukherjee would remember that in during Rao regime's time when the telecommunication sector was being liberalised and various Western companies were showing keen interest in investing in the sector, similar objections were raised that the Government overrode. It will be important to see whether Mukherjee plays a role in assessing the current opposition and recommends to the Government a correct approach. The Chinese too may seek for ‘‘harmonious’’ growth in its relationship with India. CNF

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Postby KLNMurthy » 08 Nov 2006 02:38

Rye wrote:CRamS wrote:
Brahma Chellaney only confirms what I have had in mind regarding MMS.


Actually, MMS is not doing anything that the "nationalist" BJP didn't. They are both following some script us novices can only infer, so politicizing this just muddies the water. Even now, the peace talks are not relly giving away much, but what else can be done with the pakis in the short term? Do you think there are other options for handling pakistan? Let us keep politics out of this.


I think refugees from Pakistan, such as Gujral, MMS, or Advani should not be allowed in the corridors of power. They have too many psychological issues arising from trauma and loss of 'home', which distorts their psyche when it comes to Pakistan. They end up succumbing to a deep inner desire to make 'everything all right' with their erstwhile homeland.

Taking it one step further, no one who is a lover of Urdu, ghazals, or shairi should be allowed to deal with Pakistan in any way. Too much searching for a bogus 'common culture.'

:-)

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Postby ShyamSP » 08 Nov 2006 03:27

As somebody said earlier: Best PM is rice-eating Telugu guy and worst PMs are Parata-eating Punjabi guys. :)

At least Advani has good homebase where he can get elected. Gujral and MMS have no home base to get elected by themselves to think for people concerns.

That brings interesting and my long-standing complaint that we need to abolish indirect elections or abolish Rajya Sabhas and State Legislative Coucils if they can't be made directly electable.

That Brings another complaint that we need to seperate executive and legislative branches ** by increasing presidential powers and making the President directly electable.

** Many warnings by Judiciary on various issues are easily ignored as both executive and legislative powers rest in the PM.


KV Rao wrote:
Rye wrote:CRamS wrote:
Brahma Chellaney only confirms what I have had in mind regarding MMS.


Actually, MMS is not doing anything that the "nationalist" BJP didn't. They are both following some script us novices can only infer, so politicizing this just muddies the water. Even now, the peace talks are not relly giving away much, but what else can be done with the pakis in the short term? Do you think there are other options for handling pakistan? Let us keep politics out of this.


I think refugees from Pakistan, such as Gujral, MMS, or Advani should not be allowed in the corridors of power. They have too many psychological issues arising from trauma and loss of 'home', which distorts their psyche when it comes to Pakistan. They end up succumbing to a deep inner desire to make 'everything all right' with their erstwhile homeland.

Taking it one step further, no one who is a lover of Urdu, ghazals, or shairi should be allowed to deal with Pakistan in any way. Too much searching for a bogus 'common culture.'

:-)
Last edited by ShyamSP on 08 Nov 2006 08:40, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Sri K » 08 Nov 2006 05:30

KV Rao wrote:I think refugees from Pakistan, such as Gujral, MMS, or Advani should not be allowed in the corridors of power. They have too many psychological issues arising from trauma and loss of 'home', which distorts their psyche when it comes to Pakistan. They end up succumbing to a deep inner desire to make 'everything all right' with their erstwhile homeland.

Taking it one step further, no one who is a lover of Urdu, ghazals, or shairi should be allowed to deal with Pakistan in any way. Too much searching for a bogus 'common culture.'

:-)


I am curious, is Pranab Mukherjee a refugee from East Pakistan / Bangladesh? Anyone know?

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Postby Arun_S » 11 Nov 2006 15:15


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Postby JCage » 11 Nov 2006 17:43

KV Rao wrote:
Rye wrote:CRamS wrote:
Brahma Chellaney only confirms what I have had in mind regarding MMS.


Actually, MMS is not doing anything that the "nationalist" BJP didn't. They are both following some script us novices can only infer, so politicizing this just muddies the water. Even now, the peace talks are not relly giving away much, but what else can be done with the pakis in the short term? Do you think there are other options for handling pakistan? Let us keep politics out of this.


I think refugees from Pakistan, such as Gujral, MMS, or Advani should not be allowed in the corridors of power. They have too many psychological issues arising from trauma and loss of 'home', which distorts their psyche when it comes to Pakistan. They end up succumbing to a deep inner desire to make 'everything all right' with their erstwhile homeland.

Taking it one step further, no one who is a lover of Urdu, ghazals, or shairi should be allowed to deal with Pakistan in any way. Too much searching for a bogus 'common culture.'

:-)


I agree 400%.

Added:No disrespect to lovers of Urdu shairo shairi included (like our own Alok and Atish) & even I like ghazals, but if I had a dime for every time I have heard the Mughaliya ethos binds us, line from some GOI/ establishment types in India even when I was a kid, I'd be a millionaire. :(

The misplaced Punjabiyat, the Mughal culture binds us, "Islam has contributed wonderfully to Indian civilization" (trotted out ad nauseum, never that paganism/ animism has contributed equally or the like..) ..sigh, all the cliches that flow from the misplaced "why cant we all be friends" gang, while Pak continues to murder, slaughter Indians..

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Postby Calvin » 11 Nov 2006 22:19

Lets take it a step further, and say that only people from Andaman & Nicobar should be allowed to deal with Pakistan

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Postby aditya » 11 Nov 2006 22:39

KV Rao wrote:I think refugees from Pakistan, such as Gujral, MMS, or Advani should not be allowed in the corridors of power. They have too many psychological issues arising from trauma and loss of 'home', which distorts their psyche when it comes to Pakistan. They end up succumbing to a deep inner desire to make 'everything all right' with their erstwhile homeland.


While this ought to be true in theory, I don't believe it is the case in practice. Just take a look at the composition of NRI leftist-communist activists in the US. A surprising number of South Indians who ought not to be afflicted with the "culture-shulture" and "emotion-vimotion" syndrome with Terroristan.

LKA has never been anything more than Loud Katthor HardVani. Gujral and MMS's actions too stem more from being soft in the head rather than any emotional attachment with Terroristan IMO.

One could next start arguing that South Indians have no grudge against Pakistan whereas North Indians may bear a resentment due to having been ethnically-cleansed from their homes! And so on and so forth...

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Postby shyamd » 12 Nov 2006 01:09

"India ready to invest in Iran's infrastructures"
LONDON, November 4 (IranMania) - India's ambassador to Iran, Manbir Singh, said that his country did not face any particular problem for investing in Iran’s infrastructures, MNA reported.

Currently, we are negotiating to reach agreement on a number of contracts including the building of a steel production plant and a petrochemical production plant in Bandar Abbas, a port city in southern Iran on the Persian Gulf, the Indian official said adding that Indian firms are also planning to build a container depot in Chabahar,another port city located in southeast Iran.

Commenting on an Indian company’s cooperation with Iranian engineers in the development of a railway electric signals project in the Ray-Shahrud railroad, the Indian ambassador to Iran added that India was ready to cooperate in Iran’s other infrastructure projects, the Persian service of ISNA reported here on Friday.

He further referred to India’s investments in Iran’s central province of Semnan and said that the nation was reviewing the possibility of increasing its investments in the province.

Indian companies are prepared to build the Fahrej-Chabahar railroad project, the Indian official announced noting that his country was planning to make significant investments in different parts of Iran.


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