RAW organizes seminar with aim to target Baluchistan


—‘Selected’ participants invited to discuss issue of Autonomy of Baluchis and Kashmiris n show set to be held mysteriously at Delhi’s India International Centre

From Christina Palmer

NEW DELHI—While a leading media group of Pakistan has signed an agreement with an Indian media group to promote peace between Pakistan and India with the title Aman Ki Aasha( the hope for peace), the Indian Intelligence Agency Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) is organizing a charade seminar at New Delhi’s India International Centre from January 10th to January 12th, 2009, reveal the findings of The Daily Mail.

These findings indicate that the seminar, titled ‘India-Pakistan Conference-A Road map towards peace” is being hosted by a RAW-run organization Focus on Global South, in a rather mysterious manner as a very few people have been informed about it and there has been no publicity about the event made by the organizers and even a very few people from amongst the Delhi-based local and foreign journalists have been informed and invited to the said seminar. The Investigations indicate further that even the official website of the India International Centre (IIC) does not indicate that the said seminar is amongst the event, listed to place on the said dates at IIC.

The Daily Mail’s investigations reveal that though a reasonable number of participants have been invited from Pakistan to take part in the seminar but one particular segment of the seminar that targets Baluchistan province of Pakistan, titled “ Issue of Autonomy: Kashmir and Baluchistan”, is epically drafted by RAW to draw a comparison between the freedom movement in Indian Occupied Kashmir and the RAW sponsored separatists movements in Baluchistan province of Pakistan where RAW is super-actively engaged for years. For this part of the seminar, The Daily Mail’s findings indicate, no senior journalist or intellectual from Pakistan has been selected to speak but merely one nationalist journalist from Baluchistan who runs a separatism nationalists Online newspaper from Baluchistan and got his Journalism degrees from Asian College of Journalism, Chennai India and is known for toeing the RAW lines regarding Baluchistan has been invited from the Media side. The Baluchistani journalist, Siraj Malik has graduated from Asian College of Journalism at Chennai India while Chennai is known as the hub of RAW-run think tanks and it is an established fact that the RAW people keep nurturing the foreigners, linked to Indian education or research organizations.

The Daily Mail findings indicate that the overall Pakistanis, invited for the said RAW arranged seminar include former Information Minister (PPP) Ms. Sherry Rehman, former Law Minister (PPP) Iqbal Haider, Human Rights activists Aasma Jehangir, Baluchistani journalist Malik Siraj Akbar, Senator Hasil Khan Bazinjo, some Farooque Tarique of some Pakistan Labour Party, some economist Akbar Zaidi, defence analyst Ayesha Siddiqua, and women rights’ activists and theatre artist, Madeeha Gauhar, all known for having a very soft corner for India and having a very pro-India mindset. However the speakers for the main target and rather the nucleus of the seminar that would bee focusing on Baluchistan, the “selected” speakers from Pakistan include, Asma Jenagir, Malik Siraj Akbar and Senator Hasil Khan Bizenjo. While all the participants of the overall seminar from the Indian side are very well known for their staunch anti-Pakistan mindsets.

The Daily Mail’s finding indicate that through the particular segment of the seminar that relates to Baluchistan, RAW plans to draw parallels between the freedom movement in Indian Occupied Kashmir and the RAW funded separatists’ drives in Baluchistan.n however, surprisingly the organizers have neither invited anyone from among the officials of Pakistan government or Delhi-based Pak diplomats nor have they opted to invite anyone from amongst the Baluchi tribes that confront the militant and rebellion Sardars like Bugtis Marris etc.

The Daily Mail’s findings also reveal that the said scheduled seminar is not the first of its kind to promote the separatism in Baluchistan as in past, many foreign intelligence organizations have been indulging in such exercises. These finding indicate that RAW, in connivance with the British and Israeli intelligence agencies, has been organizing many such forums to benefit the separatist movements in Baluchistan. According to these findings, different foreign agencies including India’s RAW have remained actively involved in the formation of different militant and separatist outfits like Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA), Baluchistan Rights Movement (BRM) etc. these foreign agencies have been continuously using such outfits in Baluchistan and have been patronizing them. The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that apart from the funding and provision of arms and ammunition to the militants in Baluchistan, these foreign intelligence agencies have been organizing media and intellectual support programmers for these organizations.

These findings reveal that in one of such endeavors,on 27th June 2006, when Pakistani security forces were gaining immense success in restoring peace and disarming the militants in Baluchistan and hundreds of mercenaries started surrendering to the government authorities, a UK based , so called think tank Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) organizes a highly confusing seminar on Baluchistan, titeled ‘Baluchistan at the crossroads’. Surprisingly, the FPC organized the said seminar with open collaboration of Baluchistan Rights Movement (BRM), which is merely an extension of BLA, an outfit that has been banned and declared as a terror organization, not only by Pakistan government but also by the government of England while the FPC organized the seminar at no where else but right at the committee room number 16 of the House of Commons. To add to it, and make the credentials of the said seminar even dubious, the organizers neither invited anyone from among the officials of Pakistan government or UK-based Pak diplomats nor did they bother to invite anyone from amongst the Baluchi tribes that confront the militant and rebellion Sardars like Bugtis, Marris etc, just the way it is happening at New Delhi in this latest episode. However there was a comprehensive representation from the three Militant tribes and leaders and workers of BLA and BRM. It is learnt that that a Board member of FPC, a British politician and a fomer member of British Parliament, Stephen Twigg was the main spirit behind the holding of this seminar.

The UK Seminar. The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that in the said seminar, chaired by Hugh Barnes of FPC Mehran Baluch, an active member of BLA and a senior activist of Baluchistan Rights Movement, Mr. Sanaullah Baloch, whose, close association with warlords of Baluchistan and millatnt outfits like BLA are known to everyone, Dr. Naseer Dashti another associate of Bugti and Marri and BLA, Fredric Grare of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace etc expressed their views and analysis about situation in Baluchistan. All the participants of the said seminar blamed Pakistan government for usurping the human rights in Baluchistan and treating the people of Baluchistan like animals. They also declared Baluchistan to be a separate state and accused Pakistan of illegally occupying it. They one-sidedly accused Pakistan government and people of Punjab in particular for usurping all rights of people of Baluchistan and portrayed militant Sardars like Bugti and Marri as heroes of Baluchis people. Fredric Grare blamed Pakistani media being in control in Pakistan Army while member of European Parliament from Poland Ryszrd Czarnecki went on to claim that Baluchistan was not a part of Pakistan and a “Punjabi Army” was ruling them he also went on to say that Pakistan came into existence through a restrictive voting. So in other words, the seminar was merely an attempt to malign Pakistan, Pakistan government and Pakistan Army and media as well. All attempts were made to lay the fundaments for the separation of Baluchistan from Pakistan and to encourage the separatists and militant activists in Baluchistan while the seminar concluded with pledge from the chair to hold more sessions on similar debate in near future. A similar conclusion is expected when the Delhi seminar’s episode regarding Baluchistan would end as the Chairman of the said segment former Indian Judge Rajendra Sacchar is expected to come up with similar conclusions, as desired by RAW and the government at New Delhi.

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Rift Among Indian Army Top Generals Over Corruption


Chief Gen. Kapoor locks horns with his possible successor Gen. Singh

A Daily Mail investigation Gen. Kapoor is trying to minimize Gen. Singh’s chances of promotion.

Singh responds by exposing his real estate interests. This is why Lt. Gen. P.C. Bhardwaj was promoted by Kapoor as the Indian Army’s vice chief in September. Looks like Gen. Kapoor is wrong about his theory that his army will have to fight on two fronts. Here’s a third front, General.

Commander of Indian Army’s Eastern Command Lt. Gen. V. K. Singh [LEFT] has found Indian Army Chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor [RIGHT] involved in improper real estate deals. Gen. Singh is the senor most Lt. Gen. in the Indian army, but Gen. Kapoor superseded him in Sept. when he promoted a junior officer to the position of vice army chief. The tussle between the two bigwigs has paralyzed the Indian army.”]

NEW DELHI, Pakistan—An outrageous feud has erupted amongst the top brass of India Army as two top Generals, the chief, General Deepak Kapoor, and his putative successor and the Eastern Command boss, Lt. General V.K. Singh, have locked horns over the issue of corruption scams in the army , reveal the findings of The Daily Mail.

According to the findings of The Daily Mail, the difference between the Indian army Chief General Kapoor and the Chief of Army’s Eastern Command, Lt. General V.K Singh, who is the senior-most Lieutenant General, were emerging for the past few months after the inquiries into a military land scam began. These finding indicate that this tension between the two top general officers of the Indian army reached to the extreme when a Court of Inquiry, convened by the Eastern Army Commander who is based in Fort William in Calcutta, started the proceedings and recommended the sacking of Army Chief General Kapoor’s Principal Staff Officer (PSO) and Military Secretary Lt. Gen. Avadhesh Prakash.

According to the sources in the in the Indian army, the Army Chief General Kapoor has made an abortive attempt to defend his top confidant. Our sources in the Ministry of Defence informed that General Kapoor has officially informed the Defence Minister A.K. Antony that Lt. Gen. V.K Singh was taking an over enthusiastic and “undue interest” in the land scam case of North Bengal

The Daily Mail’s investigations further indicate that the Court of Inquiry, presided over by Commander 4 Corps, based at Tezpur-based, Lt. Gen. K.T. Parnaik, had forwarded its findings to Lt. Gen. Singh. Based on the findings and on consultations with the Judge Advocate General (JAG) in his command, the eastern army commander recommended the “termination of services” of Lt. Gen. Prakash because of his alleged involvement in a land scam case. The army sources say that this situation has paralyzed the entire military establishment as the scuffle between the 2 bigwigs of the Indian Army is rising day by day with Army Chief trying to show his muscles to Commander Eastern Command and resisting JAG branch’s recommendations while Commander Eastern Command sticking to the set rules and procedures.

The Daily Mail’s investigations further reveal that the Indian Defence Minister, who istrying hard to stay away from this controversy over the corruption scam of the Generals of the Indian army, held a confidential meeting with his Army Chief General Kapoor on the eve of Christmas and asked General Kapoor to go easy on the case of his PSO Lt. Gen. Prakash. The sources say that upon this Gen. Kapoor demurred and defended his confidant but failed to convince the Defence Minister.

These investigations further indicate that while the report of the Court of Inquiry was being “studied and analysed”, another probe from the central command brought out “the involvement without blaming” of the military secretary in awarding an Rs 1.7-crore contract to a north Bengal-based realtor, Dilip Aggarwal.

Brigadier (Rtd) M.K Singh, a former Indian army officer and is one way or the other, associated to the state of affairs, upon contacting by The Daily Mail said that it was all indicative of a serious communication gap between Army Headquarters and the Eastern Command, a fully operational authority whose area of responsibility covers the maximum length of international borders. According to Brigadier Singh, after the report of the Court of Inquiry (CoI) was hand-delivered from Calcutta at 9.30 on the morning of December 23, Wednesday, Army Chief Kapoor was summoned for an unscheduled meeting by the Defence Minister in his office and he discussed the matter with General Kapoor for about two hours but general Kapoor remained stick to defend ‘his’ men and the meeting ended with no positive outcome.

Brigadier Singh says that there was cold war going on between general Kaporr and the Fort William boss Lt.. General V.K Singh for the past few months over some personal issues. He says that since Gen. Singh had convened a Court of Inquiry that indicted Lt. Gen. Prakash in the land case. Gen. Kapoor felt that the Eastern Commander did not have the authority to summon the army chief’s principal staff officer and he did so with ill-intentions. He further said that Lt. Gen. V.K. Singh, whose age was caught in a discrepancy, was bypassed earlier for the post of Vice-Chief of the Army staff and somehow blamed General Kapoor for it and that is perhaps from where the row between the two began.

The Daily Mail’s findings reveal that a meeting between Defence Minister and Army Chief General Kapoor was held in the afternoon of December 24 after the minister had returned from Hyderabad. This meeting lasted for 40 minutes. During the meeting the Defence Minister and the army Chief discussed the Eastern Command’s recommendation to “terminate the services” of Prakash over the alleged Rs 300-crore land scam in north Bengal. Sources in the defence Ministry say that Minister Antony sought a summary of the investigation and the recommendations and directed that the military secretary be prevailed upon to put in his papers to avoid further embarrassment to his ministry and the army.

The Daily Mail findings suggest that Gen. Kapoor protested and defended his PSO’s position and pleaded to the Defence Minister that the Eastern Command under Lt. Gen. Singh, who was the convening authority of the court of inquiry that has indicted the military secretary, has taken an “undue interest” in investigating Lt. Gen. Prakash. The military secretary was called as a witness to the court and the eastern commander does not have authority to investigate him or recommend action against one of the eight principal staff officers.

The Daily Mail’s findings further indicate that the army Chief suggested that the recommendation to “terminate the services” in other words, cashier or sack the military secretary should be toned down to “administrative action” that could involve cutting his benefits but will not drape an officer with such a long career in ignominy but the minister did not agree to it and instead conveyed that Lt. Gen. Prakash should be persuaded to put in his papers if he does not do so voluntarily.

These findings indicate that the next day, December 25, Gen. Kapoor visited the defence minister at his residence, ostensibly to wish him on Christmas. Staff at the defence minister’s residence expected the meeting to last about 30 minutes or so. But it ended after 10 minutes in a very cold manner.

The Daily Mail’s investigations reveal that during the time of the first unscheduled meeting, the Defence Minister was not properly briefed about the second investigation in Lucknow by a Major General. That investigation indicted seven officers, including a Major General, in the Ranikhet Kumaon Regimental Centre land scam while Military Secretary Lt. Gen. Prakash is the Colonel Commandant of the Kumaon Regiment. It was a double whammy for the Army Chief General Kapoor and his Principal aide.

The defence analysts here at New Delhi believe that this state of affairs where the Chief of Army Staff is patronizing the officers that have been proved guilty of corruption, the Indian Army is bound suffer badly. They suggest that general Kapoor should either be removed or be asked for a volunteer retirement from the service to save the image and reputation of the institution that is already suffering from big blows of corruption.

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RAW operates against Pakistan using Mukti Bahni model


India today is trying to blindly follow the policies of her military Guru Chankiya, where she is frantically driving for fulfillment of her eventual trance of Greater India and emergence of a sole regional power of South East Asia. India has long-standing policies and strategies to make and keep Pakistan as a lame duck and now taking advantage of the current situation she wants to destabilize a sole nuke Muslim power. Perception is there that India in collaborations with USA and Israel is imposing pressure and polices on Pakistan. Manomohan Singh is visiting USA now. Thus, Obama if serious in fighting war against terror has to chain his Asian watchdog (India). He should ask Indian Prime Minister to stop interfering in Pakistan’s domestic affairs.

Following the same motive of “Greater India” RAW has gone all out in destabilizing Pakistan. A Multi pronged strategy is executed through planned combination of overt and covert inventiveness thus shifting the battlefield to Pakistan from Afghanistan. RAW is operating both from Afghanistan and Iran to encircle Pakistan.

A major objective of India in Afghanistan is to use Afghanistan as launching pad to attack Pakistanis by sponsoring dissident / militants. It is on record that India has spent immense amounts over the years to make the Northern Alliance into its stooges. There is the Indian strategy of the encirclement of Pakistan by making Afghanistan into a vocal anti-Pakistan client state, with five very active Indian consulates there. Unfortunately the crooked Afghan government has also fallen pray to RAW policies by providing shelter to Brahamdag Bugti and allowing RAW to operate in Balochistan in collaboration with newly established Afghan intelligence agency RAAM (earlier name KHAD). RAW has organized a network of training schools/ Centres throughout Afghanistan. Some of these training centres are operating in Kabul, Jalalabad, Khawaja Ghar (Takhar Province), Khost, Paktia, Urgun, Khandar, Spin Boldak and Dranj (Badakhshan Province).

All these training centres are being used for indoctrinating minds of innocent people of FATA and Balochistan to work against Pakistan. Refugee camps for Balochistan dissidents have been established in bordering towns of Kandahar, Spin, Bodlak, Helmond and Nirmoz where RAW has been given free access to interact for spotting / cultivating them. Raw with the help of local Officials is providing financial support to Brahamdagh Bughti for undertaking terrorist’s activities in Balochistan. Some weeks ago Barahamdag reportedly met Amarullah Saleh and asked for additional money to undertake sabotage activities in Pakistan. He was promised a handsome amount and Commander Raziq Achakzai of Spin Boldak was made instrumental. Funds and explosives have been supplied by a man namely Abdul Sattar. The money is even transferred to such elements in Pakistan through Afghan based militant leaders/”Hawala Business. A number of Afghan officials are facilitating Indian agents in crossing the border. Earlier this year, two border police personnel and one political figure were arrested while crossing the border without documents. Spin Boldak is said to be the main hub of anti-Pakistan activities and the town is being used as a launching pad. RAW-RAAM used to providing weapons via Bajaur, Dir, Pewchar (ex-headquarters for Fazlullah). In order to subvert loyalties of Young Generation, Young Baloch Students are spotted / cultivated through senior Balochistan Student Orginastion (BSO) hardliners, taken to Kabul for indoctrination, issued with Afghan passports and selected individuals then dispatched to training centres in various countries.

According to resources, financial assistance is provided by RAW for publication of propaganda material against Pakistan in Balochi Language, which is later distributed in Quetta, Khuzdar, Turbat, Gawader and Dera Bugti.

In this context, Premier Gillani handed over these proofs to his Indian counterpart in Sharm el-Sheikh and provided pictures of Brahamdag and other terrorists showing them meeting with Indian agents in Afghanistan as well as in India. This was the proof of Indian involvement in recruiting, training, financing and arming terrorists being infiltrated into Pakistan.

It is worth mentioning here that Indians are also operating in Iran through their embassy at Tehran and two consulates at Zahidan and Bandar Abbas. The interesting point to note is the establishment of Indian consulate at Zahidan where Indian population is limited to only few houses (21 x Sikh families).Obviously it is the proximity of Zahidan to Pak-Iran border that is of interest to the Indians. The consulate is a special RAW outpost and is always headed by a RAW officer and is operating freely against Pakistan. RAW is using every possible means to gain her objectives by exploiting Pakistan- Iran border population ethnic, cultural and sectarian bond.

Indian propaganda which has a connected strategy of stating, again and again, that Pakistan is a terrorist state and needs to be rebuked by USA rather than promoting it . India’s clients in Afghanistan and some in Pakistan, USA and elsewhere also echo these “sentiments”. Moreover, New Delhi while staying all along eastern and western border is almost controlling the terror activities in Pakistan. New Delhi must realize this fact that there are a lot of ethnic, linguistic, religious and territorial separatist movements inside India, instead of destabilizing her neighbouring countries. She must focus her attention in resolving her internal turbulence. By terrorizing the neighboring country neither she can hide her weakness nor can she gain any advantages. So my advice to Indian’s top brass is to refrain from using terrorism as a state tool and come on the table and work for establishing permanent regional peace. Obama must convince Manomohan Singh to stop Indian terrorism in Pakistan. it is the only way that the world can be successful in war against terrorism.

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Revealing Press Report: On the Maoist Revolutionaries of India


Obviously this report is not from our perspective — but it is, nonetheless, revealing of the situation and possibilities.

Transcripts (thanks to D Pugh):

Here is a transcript of Radha’s comments if you don’t have time to watch this 30 minute video.

India’s Battle against Its Maoists
by Nick Clark, Inside Story, Al Jazeera

Full map of the Maoist Red Corridor (note: Nepal is at the northern edge of that corridor)

India says it’s adamant to finish off what it calls “leftist extremism” as its army prepares for an all-out assault on Maoist rebels. . . . The conflict between the two sides has been going on for more than four decades, and now the government hopes an all-out assault would end the insurgency once and for all. It’s expected some troops will be withdrawn from the troubled Kashmir to fight the so-called Naxalites in an operation of more than 100,000 troops. . . . The Maoists have been active since the 1960s. According to the Indian intelligence, up to 22,000 Maoist rebels are active in more than half of the country’s 29 states, creating what’s known as the “Red Corridor” from the country’s northeast to the deep south. The movement is fragmented into several disputing factions: some of them are politically inclined, while others are involved in armed guerrilla fighting. In recent years, they’ve dramatically stepped up their attacks; thousands have died in Maoist campaigns right across the country. They say they are fighting for the rights of the poor, but the Indian government considers them terrorists and recently banned their political wing from Parliament. . . .

Radha D’Souza, Reader in Law, University of Westminster

Yes, the Indian government is throwing resources at it. One only wishes that the resources were thrown at the issues that Maoists are raising. If you look at the national debate on this issue, everybody, across the political spectrum, agrees that there has been a serious failure of social justice, of development, and serious injustices to the poor. On this I think everybody agrees. But the thing is, what are we doing about it? Instead of sending the armed forces there, if the government were to spend that money in actually doing something for the people there, I think they will have less of a problem on hand, but they’re not doing that. They see the military solution as the only option. . . .

This operation, what is called the “Green Hunt,” has been planned for one year now. They were planning to send 20,000 troops. 35,000 troops are already there. This is on top of 75,000 to 100,000 paramilitary forces, like the border security force and others, who have already been deployed there. Plus the state police. Every state police is a pretty large force. . . .

I know that, some years ago, the Andhra Pradesh High Court — I’m not talking about intellectuals here — the High Court said that, increasingly, people are seeing Naxalism as their only political option. In 2006, the Planning Commission set up a special committee — the Planning Commission is an advisory body to the federal government — the Planning Commission said that there is institutionalized violence against the poor. Now, the point is, when these, the government’s own advisory bodies, are saying this, when the judges of the High Court are saying this, what was the government’s response? They set up on a trial basis, they tried to set up, the militia group called Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh, which was financed and trained by the paramilitary forces and the state. Actually, the Supreme Court had to say in a recent judgment that the government can’t arm paramilitary forces. Therefore, having failed in that attempt to privatize terror and to privatize repression, they have now had to directly come into confrontation. The point is that these are the issues that have been raised for a long time, but the government cannot deal with it in any other way, because democratic political spaces in the country have shrunk. We talk about violence and Maoists, with regard to the Maoists, but look at all political parties in India: the BJP engages in violence; we have the memories of Gujarat and all the atrocities against Muslims fresh in our minds; we have Shiv Sena, which engages in violence; we have a large number of Members of Parliaments who engage in violence. . . .

[The Maoist] movement operates within the violent context of India’s political environment, and today the reality is that it is not possible for people, for ordinary people, to engage in the political process if they do not have the support of some armed militia or some armed group somewhere. The BJP, as I said, has a number of MPs in Parliament with criminal record. It has been a longstanding debate. The point is all political processes have been criminalized, they have become violent, and India has become increasingly a violent society. . . .

Mamata Dash, National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers:

It is a political issue, and it has to be dealt with politically. Staging or waging a war against whether Maoists or resistances brings no solution.

Radha D’Souza:

You can’t fight your own people. That is a fair point. As far as I’m concerned, I’m a lawyer — my obligation is to defend the Constitution. The Constitution says the institutions of the state are obliged in the first instance to enforce the Constitution, which says that we will strive for justice, social, economic, and political. That’s what the Indian Constitution says. It doesn’t just say Liberty, Equality, Fraternity; it defines what justice means, and justice is social, economic, and political. Now, when, for sixty years, the people have not seen any of that, and when we find that political space is shrinking and that political means for alternate solutions have not worked for whatever reasons, and, on the one hand, the government is sending the military — look at today — the government is sending the military one the one hand, on the other hand, it has enacted the Special Economic Zones Act, which is going to acquire land in 552 Special Economic Zones throughout the country, it has nominated land acquisition for nuclear plants in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and so many other places, and now it has introduced a new bill on the Land Acquisition Act, which is going to redefine the meaning of “public purpose” for land acquisition. . .

As far as social statistics are concerned, we have seen an alarming rise in malnutrition. I think if the government is serious about engaging with this issue politically and serious about its claim to do social justice, first it must demonstrate that it is serious by taking some concrete action. For example, most of the recent struggles are around land and the Special Economic Zones Act. Let them repeal that act, let them withdraw it, let them withdraw the bill on the Land Acquisition Act, and then the nation will know that they are serious about political justice and that they can come forward to engage with the process. But they are not doing anything.

On the one hand, they’re sending the military; on the other hand, they’re having more and more legislation to take more and more land. Why should people believe in that? This is the problem because we talk about economic issues in a separate box and we talk about military issues in a separate box. Simultaneously the government is doing both things. It is saying that they are for social justice, but it is introducing legislation and now the current bill pending. Let them withdraw all these things. Let them demonstrate that they are serious about social justice.

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Pakistan ahead of India in literacy rate: UN


UNITED NATIONS: A United Nations agency UNFPA has said in its report that India lags behind Pakistan in literacy rate as the literacy rate here in Pakistan is much more higher than that of its rival neighbor.

According to report, total 32.3 percent male while 60.4 percent female aged above 15 years are literate in Pakistan,

But however, on the contrary to aforementioned calculation, there are only 23.1 percent male and 45.5 percent female aged over 15 years enjoy education in India.

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Slap to India – Kashmir is not Indian territory: World Bank


—Says ‘NO’ to release funds to India for project in disputed region

NEW DELHI, India—The World Bank has refused to accept Indian Occupied Kashmir as an integral part of India and has rather insisted upon a disclaimer from the Jammu and Kashmir government that funding for a project will not be seen as recognition of India’s territorial claim on the state. The agency has put a ‘disclaimer clause’ for bankrolling a key project in the disputed state which indicates that funding of projects in disputed areas should not be used to endorse territorial claims.

“If you have a query on World Bank’s decision on J&K, Ask Prabhu now”. This has been communicated to New Delhi by the occupying state government which wants the World Bank-funded Rs 740 crore ‘Participatory Watershed Management Project’ to be completed.

Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir’s Forest Minister Mian Altaf Ahmad, along with MPs from the state met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee recently in New Delhi to discuss the issue.

Jammu and Kashmir’s occupying government wants the New Delhi to settle issue with the World Bank, which has refused to fund more projects in the state, treating it as disputed territory between India and Pakistan. Ahmad said the World Bank had raised the disclaimer issue last year after assessment of the project which was then at the funding stage.

He said if the Centre pursued the matter; the bank could be convinced to give up the disclaimer condition. Despite Ahmad’s views to the contrary, this is a shocking development. The World Bank was instrumental in committing India to allow the waters of the state’s three principal rivers – the Indus, the Jhelum and the Chenab – to flow unimpeded under the Indus Water Treaty of 1960.

Article XI of the treaty is quite emphatic in that it will deal with only the water-sharing issue and its implementation will not acknowledge or waive any other rights other than those specified in the treaty. In other words, it will have nothing to do with the territorial dispute between the two parties.

In the troubled history of India-Pakistan relations, the Indus Water Treaty stands out as a major success for which the World Bank, the third signatory to the treaty, deserves great credit. As party to the treaty, the bank created an $895 million Indus Basin Development Fund to which India contributed some $174 million.

This is the second time this year that India has had friction with a multilateral development agency over project funding in a state that has a border dispute. An Asian Development Bank (ADB) country loan to India had run into trouble because it included funding for a watershed development project in Arunachal Pradesh – a point that was objected to by the Chinese at the ADB meeting. The World Bank had funded two projects in Jammu and Kashmir under the integrated Watershed Development Programme with Rs 90 crore from 1990 to 1999 and Rs 198 crore from 1999 to 2005 without bringing up the disclaimer issue.

A team of the World Bank headed by Norman Piccioni had visited the occupied state from May 5 to May 12 last year to assess the feasibility of the Participatory Watershed Management Project.

The project is likely to cover 3,14,705 hectares for adopting integrated watershed management to reverse the degradation of the natural resource base and improve the livelihood of poor rural households in the project area.

The World Bank will finance 80 per cent of the project and the state government 17 per cent. Participatory communities will contribute 3 per cent.

If implemented 1,74,250 households will be covered while 50,675 households will directly benefit from the project. Overall, it is expected to benefit over 10 lakh people and generate 45 lakh person-days of wage employment besides providing jobs to 2,000 people regularly for seven years.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah first raised the issue in a June 24 letter to the Union finance minister.

He said the project was appraised by the World Bank for international development assistance credit of US$ 120 million equivalent in May 2008. After the appraisal, the director of the World Bank sent a letter on May 21, 2008 announcing the tentative dates of negotiation for the project in June last year. But no final date was conveyed by the bank.

The Chief Minister said the state government also did not get any communication from the department of economic affairs of the government of India in the matter. “I therefore request you to have a special consideration for the state of Jammu and Kashmir and ask the department of economic affairs to immediately take up the issue with the World Bank so that the project can be negotiated and taken up for implementation during the current financial year itself.” Efforts to contact World Bank officials in Delhi on Sunday failed.

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On religious discrimination, India next only to Iraq: US thinktank


Source: Indiatimes

NEW DELHI: For India, international recognition of its free and pluralistic society has always been hard to come by and while things are changing, they are clearly changing slowly. A study carried out by Washington-based Pew Research Centre, the highly respected US thinktank, said India is next only to Iraq when it comes to social hostility and religious discrimination perpetrated by individuals and groups.

The study titled `Global Restrictions on Religion’ took into account the situation in as many as 198 countries, North Korea being the only notable exception, to derive the conclusion. India was just below Iraq and well above countries like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan when it came to social hostility in the country. Pakistan is at the third place right below India.

The study, which claims to cover 99.5% of the world population, deals with restrictions imposed on religion not just by social groups and individuals but also by the government. Even in the case of government induced restrictions, India fares badly with its position in the top 40 countries out of the 198 mentioned.

Even though the report says that “the highest overall levels of restrictions are found in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran, where both the government and society at large impose numerous limits on religious beliefs and practices” India is ranked well above them in the social hostility index.

While India has fared badly on both, China has done remarkably well when it comes to social hostility even though it has done badly in the government imposed restrictions section. “Vietnam and China, for instance, have high government restrictions on religion but are in the moderate or low range when it comes to social hostilities. Nigeria and Bangladesh follow the opposite pattern: high in social hostilities but moderate in terms of government actions,” it says.

The report clubs India with Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Bangladesh as countries where large segments of the population want to protect the special place of one particular religion. This is how it explains the high social hostility index for these countries. “Many of the restrictions imposed in these countries are driven by groups pressing for the enshrinement of their interpretation of the majority faith, including through Shariah law in Muslim societies and Hindutva movement in India which seeks to define India as a Hindu nation,” says the report.

In preparing this study, states the report, the Pew Forum devised a battery of measures, phrased as questions, to gauge the levels of government and social restrictions on religion in each country. “To answer these questions, Pew Forum researchers combed through 16 widely cited, publicly available sources of information, including reports by the US State Department, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, the Council of the European Union, the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, the Hudson Institute and Amnesty International,” it states.

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