Archive for the ‘Indian’ Category

China-Made Toys Banned in India

January 23, 2009

India on Friday banned imports of several types of toys from China for six months without saying why, a move that pleased local manufacturers but shocked importers, Reuters reported.

Related:
Economy, Reputation Causing China’s Toymakers To Take a Beating

A government statement issued late on Friday did not give details but industry officials said the order would ban imports of almost all toys from China.

China and India have a long history of animosity and there could be many good reasons for excluding China made toys from the Indian market.  China has produced millions of toys in recent years that contained lead-based paint which can be poisonous to children.

China also just completd a trial in the case of hundreds of thousands of Chinese children sickened by poisoned milk.

But in the current global economic downturn, china’s toy industry has been hard hit: causing massive unemployment within China.

Related:
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleN
ew.asp?col=&section=business&xfile=data/
business/2009/January/business_January733.xml

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/BUSINESS/
01/23/china.india.toys/index.html

Related:
 China Killed Children With Poisoned Milk, Held “Show Trial,” Absolved Government Regulators
.
Death, Life in Prison Sentences in China Poisoned Milk Trial

Keeping the spirit alive 
Jobless Chinese toymakers turned vendors.  Photo by  Barbara Demick, The Los Angeles Times

India Looks Great on the Outside; Work Needed on the Inside

January 1, 2009

India has not developed as the West did: slowly, systematically; first getting railroads right, then cars, then planes; first bringing drinking water and toilets to people, then figuring out how to bring them Wi-Fi. No: India prefers Last Things First.

Indian engineers are so sophisticated that Airbus has outsourced to them the building of certain airplane doors. But Indians have yet to build doors for their own commuter trains in Mumbai, which carry millions of people every day and kill hundreds of them every year simply because they have no door.

From the International Herald Tribune

India has become an automotive powerhouse, with a single company, Tata Motors, producing both the world’s cheapest car and the expensive Jaguar brand. But it has yet to teach the people in those cars to wear seat belts and stay on their own side of the road.

India roars ahead in education. Its Indian Institutes of Technology are among the world’s best engineering schools, and it is building more. Which is good news for everyone – except the millions of schoolchildren who could never dream of getting in, since their teachers are absent, their textbooks arrive months after school begins and they “graduate” unable to read, write or add.

Read the rest:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/01/0
1/asia/letter.php

Pakistan’s Ugly, Dangerous Game

December 30, 2008

Today Pakistan closed the U.S. and NATO supply line from Pakistan into Afghanistan in a move it said allowed Pakistan to chase down and kill anti-U.S. Taliban members in the tribal areas.

The fact is that the U.S. and NATO needs those supplies from Pakistan into Afghanistan and they also need the Pakistani army to fight the Taliban and al-Qaeda.  One without the other is a fool’s errand.

For some months now, Pakistan resisted U.S. pleas for the Pakistani army to take a greater role in fighting the Taliban in the tribal areas.  When Pakistan ignored U.S. requests, the U.S. targeted key Taliban men and positions using drone aircraft armed with missiles.

An unmanned Predator drone. Six suspected militants were killed ... 
An unmanned but missile-armed U.S. Predator drone.(AFP/USAF/File/US Air Force)

But Pakistan is trapped by conflicting loyalties: to allow the U.S. drone overflights and attacks caused militants inside Pakistan to revolt.

Pakistan again wrestled with a long standing dilemma: to appease the U.S. and continue to suck up U.S. money and supplies or to suffer the consequences of further internal and border violence from Islamic militants.

Pakistan is using the unsettled situation with India over the Mumbai massacre as a ruse to move troops away from the tribal areas and the border with Afghanistan and toward India.  This allowed rebels to attack the NATO supply system for Afghanistan inside Pakistan.

Pakistan is playing an ugly and dangerous game.  The Islamic militants inside Pakistan have no real love for the government of President Zardari — nor did they for his predecessor General Musharraf. 

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari, widower of former ... 
Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari.REUTERS/Nadeem Soomro (PAKISTAN)

In Pakistan, the government leadership reaps most of the wealth from U.S. assistance and little trickles down.

So Pakistan’s gamesmanship only further annoys the militants.

India has lost all regard for Pakistan and its games, too. India wants answers and action from Pakistan following Mumbai: not war.  And Pakistan seems to be stonewalling while saying all the right things, as usual.

And the U.S. should be weary too by now of Pakistan’s clumsy chicanery…..

This now is the challenge for Barack Obama and India.  The militants in Pakistan have already decided they can’t tolerate the Zardari regime.  Obama’s play is not known.  But in India, patience is wearing thin.

By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:
Pakistan Closes NATO Supply Line to U.S., Afghanistan

Pakistan: India moves troops toward shared border

Pakistan army: We must ‘avoid conflict’ with India

From CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf
/12/30/pakistan.afghanistan.border/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/1
2/30/pakistan.india.tensions/index.html

http://pakistankakhudahafiz.wordpress.com
/2008/12/30/the-brass-tacks-of-indias-duplicity/

Pakistan army: We must ‘avoid conflict’ with India

December 29, 2008

Pakistan’s army chief stressed Monday the need to avoid conflict with India, days after he ordered troops toward the rivals’ shared border amid tensions following last month’s terror attacks on Mumbai.

Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani made the remarks to a top Chinese diplomat who was visiting Islamabad to try and ease the situation between nuclear-armed Pakistan and India.

Kayani‘s remarks were believed to be his first about the tensions with Pakistan’s traditional rival and could help reassure a jittery region that the country does not intend to escalate the crisis further.

On Friday, Pakistani intelligence officials said thousands of troops were being shifted toward the Indian border, though there has been no sign yet of a major build up at the frontier.

Without referring specifically to the situation, Kayani told Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei of the “need to de-escalate and avoid conflict in the interest of peace and security,” a brief army statement said.

India blames Pakistani militants for the slaughter of 164 people in its commercial capital and has not ruled out the use of force in its response. Pakistan’s civilian leaders have said they do not want war, but will retaliate if attacked.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081
229/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan_india

China To Reap Most of Myanmar’s Oil

December 29, 2008

Military-run Myanmar has signed a deal with South Korean and Indian companies to pipe natural gas from the energy-rich nation’s offshore fields to China, state media reported Monday.

The Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise inked the deal last Wednesday with South Korean companies Daewoo and Korea Gas Corporation and Indian energy firms ONGC Videsh and GAIL to supply gas to the China National United Oil Corporation.

AFP

Myanmar soldiers parade during a ceremony marking the country's ... 
Myanmar soldiers parade during a ceremony marking the country’s Armed Forces Day in the country’s new capital, Naypyidaw. Military-run Myanmar has signed a deal with South Korean and Indian companies to pipe natural gas from the energy-rich nation’s offshore fields to China, state media have reported.(AFP/File/Khin Maung Win)

“The agreement was signed to export natural gas to China from Shwe natural gas project at Block A-1 and A-3 at Rakhine coastal region through pipelines,” the New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.

The paper gave no other details of the project, but Beijing media reported last month that China was planning to start construction on a gas pipeline to Myanmar in early 2009.

Related:
 Get the Feeling Russia and China Are Slicing Up The World and the U.S. Will Be Left Out?

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081229/bs_afp/m
yanmarskoreaindiachinaenergygas_081229075537

View From India: Pakistan Building War Hysteria

December 28, 2008

Are you as surprised as I am by the war hysteria that suddenly seems to have become the defining feature of India-Pakistan ties? In the aftermath of 26/11, many of us took pride in the maturity of the Indian reaction. Even though we knew quite quickly that the attacks were the work of terrorists based in Pakistan, Indians refused to give in to the knee-jerk response to retaliate.

By Vir Sanghvi
Hindustan Times

We had telephone intercepts that demonstrated that the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyeba was behind the attacks. Phones recovered from the dead terrorists offered proof of regular calls to Pakistan. And Ajmal Kasab, the one terrorist to be captured alive, soon confessed to his Pakistani origins.

There were two ways we could have responded to this mountain of evidence. The first was to say that this proved that Pakistan was involved and to then launch surgical strikes on terrorist training camps in Pakistan. The second was to buy Asif Zardari’s claim that while the terrorists may have had Pakistani origins, they had no state sponsorship. In fact, said Zardari, the same terrorists were the ones who had killed his wife and launched attacks within Pakistan.

A Pakistani policeman stands guard in a bunker in the village ... 
A Pakistani policeman stands guard in a bunker in the village of Subhan Khaur.(AFP/File/Hashaam Ahmed)

I reckoned we had been reasonable in choosing the second path. We rejected the war option and, somewhat surprisingly, Indian public opinion did not demand a retaliatory strike.

Instead, most of us trusted Zardari, or at least gave him the benefit of doubt, believing that he was sincere when he talked about wanting peace with India and appreciating his offer not to launch a first nuclear strike made at the HT Summit.

Plus, we had faith in America. Many foreign policy experts told us that America was on our side; that Pakistan was so indebted to America that it could not afford to offend Washington; and that diplomatic pressure from the likes of Condoleezza Rice would ensure that Pakistan cracked down on the groups that had organised the Bombay attacks.

One month after those terrible incidents, two things have happened. The first is that Pakistan has gone back on its early willingness to help India get the perpetrators of the terror strikes. An offer to send the ISI chief to India was hurriedly withdrawn and the current position of the Zardari government appears to be that there is no evidence at all of any Pakistan involvement in the attacks. Even Ajmal Kasab, whose Pakistani origins have been unearthed by Pakistan’s own media is sought to be denied his rights as a Pakistani citizen. We do not know who he is, says Islamabad, and we don’t believe that he is a Pakistani.

 

The second development is that while we have congratulated ourselves on our restraint, Pakistan has built up the war hysteria on its own anyhow.

Read the rest:
http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?
sectionName=HomePage&id=94a16469-92ce-4287-b236-1a
6f396c7ae8&MatchID1=4874&TeamID1=1&TeamID2=3
&MatchType1=1&SeriesID1=1229&PrimaryID=4874&
Headline=Round+One+to+Pakistan

Indians Warned To Stay Clear of Pakistan; PM Meets Military Chiefs

December 26, 2008

India has advised its citizens against travelling to Pakistan as tension continues in the wake of last month’s deadly attacks in Mumbai.

India’s foreign ministry said travel was “unsafe” after reports Indians had been detained following recent bomb attacks in Pakistani cities.

Pakistani officials say the tension has meant scaling down military operations against militants and redeploying east.

The attacks on several targets in Mumbai left more than 170 people dead.

BBC

India blames militant groups based in Pakistan for the attacks. They and Pakistan’s government deny any involvement.

Redeployment

The Indian foreign ministry statement follows recent bombings in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Multan.

One woman was killed and four people injured on Wednesday in Lahore.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7800329.stm

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From Reuters

India warned its citizens on Friday it was unsafe to travel to Pakistan after the prime minister met military chiefs, and Pakistan canceled army leave and moved some troops from its western border.

The warning marked a dramatic rise in tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors after last month’s attack on Mumbai, in which 179 people were killed and which India has blamed on Islamist militants based in Pakistan.

 

It followed media reports in Pakistan and India that “several” Indian nationals had been arrested in the last two days after bombings in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Multan.

 

“Indian citizens are therefore advised that it would be unsafe for them to travel (to) or be in Pakistan,” India’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement.

 

Another Foreign Ministry official contacted by Reuters said the warning referred to all travel to Pakistan.

 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s office earlier said Singh had discussed tension with Pakistan during a scheduled meeting about military pay with the chiefs of the army, navy and air force.

 

“The prime minister met the tri-services chiefs to discuss the pay commission issues but obviously the situation in the region was also discussed,” said an official from Singh’s office, who asked not to be identified. There were no other details.

Read the rest:
http://www.reuters.com/article/world
News/idUSTRE4BP16V20081226

Pakistan moves troops toward Indian border

December 26, 2008

It is difficult to determine what exactly is going on between India and pakistan just now.  News sources say Pakistan has cancelled all army leave and has started to move troops toward the border with India.  But yesterday, Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani said there was ‘absolutely no chance of war” with India.  Pakistan and India are both flying war aircraft in close proximity with one another making the situation very tense…. began moving thousands of troops away from the Afghan border toward India on Friday amid tensions following the Mumbai attacks, intelligence officials said.

Related:
 India, Pakistan Hysteria and Jaundiced Eye:
Distrust, Discontent Since Mumbai Has Not Abated

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Pakistan

The move represents a sharp escalation in the stand off between the nuclear-armed neighbors and stands to weaken Pakistan’s U.S.-backed campaign against al-Qaida and Taliban close to Afghanistan.

Two intelligence officials said the army’s 14th Division was being redeployed to Kasur and Sialkot, close to the Indian border. They said some 20,000 troops were on the move. Earlier Friday, a security official said that all troop leave had been canceled.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

By SEBASTIAN ABBOT, Associated Press Writer

Indian officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

An Associated Press reporter in Dera Ismail Khan, a district that borders the Afghan-frontier province of South Waziristan, said he saw around 40 trucks loaded with soldiers heading away from the Afghan border.

India is blaming Pakistan-based militants for last month’s attacks on Mumbai. Islamabad has said it will cooperate in any probe, but says it has seen no evidence backing up India’s claims.

Both countries have said they hope to avoid military conflict, but Pakistan has promised to respond aggressively if India uses force, an option the Indian government has not ruled out.

Pakistan has deployed more than 100,000 soldiers in Waziristan and other northwestern regions to fight Islamic militants blamed for surging violence against Western troops in Afghanistan.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081226/ap_on_re_a
s/as_pakistan;_ylt=As.nsBzyzQ9kaZgnr9ldh3FvaA8F

Related:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/12
/26/india.pakistan.tensions/index.html?section=cnn_latest

Pakistan: Turning Military Away From Taliban, Afghanistan and Toward India?

India, Pakistan Hysteria and Jaundiced Eye: Distrust, Discontent Since Mumbai Has Not Abated

December 25, 2008

A certain hysteria has set in among Indian and Pakistani people — many of which watch the other side with a jaundiced eye.  Both sides continue a war of words and bluster weeks after the attacks in Mubai.

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Words like unguided missiles have raised the spectre of an air war between India and Pakistan.

Pakistan’s fighter aircraft are forward deployed and are flying ear-shattering sorties over its major cities, creating a war hysteria among its public.

By Sujan Dutta  
The Telegraph (London, UK)

Pakistani fighter jets on Sunday attacked suspected Taliban ...
Pakistani jets

In India, a preparation for the worst is not accompanied by a declaration of intent for hostilities. But the chief of the Indian Air Force’s largest command today chose to claim that the IAF is capable of hitting “5,000 targets” in Pakistan.

“The IAF has earmarked 5,000 targets in Pakistan. But whether we will cross the LoC or the International Border to hit the enemy targets will have to be decided by the political leadership of the country,” P.K. Barbora, the air officer commanding-in-chief of Western Air Command, said in Guwahati today

The words evoked shock and awe among diplomats because the political leadership is signalling otherwise. Air headquarters in New Delhi may still tamp down what Barbora has had to say. But that is in the very nature of brinkmanship.

It is now time for bluster, not boom-boom.

It is apt. Inside the defence ministry in South Block, army, navy and air force officers display letters and postcards from citizens who are praising the armed forces and are urging war. Some of the postcards are colourful with “Attack Pakistan” written in bold capital letters.

The remarks of Barbora, the decorated, chain-smoking officer, are in keeping with the mood that is gripping the military. They do not constitute a call to arms.

“Air power is lethal and escalatory and is therefore to be used with great caution,” said Air Marshal (retired) Padamjit Singh “Pudding” Ahluwalia, Barbora’s immediate predecessor as the Western Air Command chief. “And war plans are based on objectives. What kind of objective you must have is the crucial decision that has to be handed down. Ideally, you must have the capability to defeat the adversary’s will to fight,” he added.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraphindia.com/108122
5/jsp/frontpage/story_10299108.jsp

Related:
http://salmanlatif.wordpress.com/2008/1
2/26/indo-pak-tension-the-many-facets/

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War of Words Too Intense; Coverage Too “Hyped”?
.
By Daniel Pepper
Christian Science Monitor

Emerging from decades of government control and regulations, India’s media are quickly evolving into a boisterous, zealous fourth estate, most observers agree. But coverage of the 67-hour Mumbai (Bombay) terrorist attacks has caused unprecedented condemnation, especially toward 24-hour television news channels. Critics describe it as “TV terror” for showing gory scenes, being too aggressive, and often reporting incorrect information as fact.

“They don’t need to apologize as much as they need to introspect – figure out how to operate in a time of crisis,” says Dipankar Gupta, sociology professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

A vendor sells newspapers featuring front page stories and photos ... 
A vendor sells newspapers featuring front page stories and photos from the attacks in Mumbai, India, Sunday Nov. 30, 2008.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

On the evening of Nov. 26, well-coordinated attacks against two five-star hotels, a hospital, a popular cafe, a railway station, and a Jewish center brought the financial capital of India to its knees, leaving at least 171 dead and more than 230 injured.

In the following days, critics say, many Indian journalists were overly dramatic, sensationalist, and quick to report live “exclusives” of unconfirmed rumors. Many say TV anchors, who are minor celebrities in India, were overwrought with emotion and were quick to blame Pakistan for the attacks.

“It’s high time we realize and accept that we are at fault,” said Shishir Joshi, editorial director of Mid-Day, a Mumbai newspaper. “We did well getting into the line of fire, but from an ethical point of view we screwed up big-time.”

Recognizing the missteps in coverage, the recently created National Broadcaster Association revealed a new set of rules for the industry last week. The guidelines ban broadcasting of footage that could reveal security operations and live contact with hostages or attackers.

The association, which represents many of the country’s top news channels, hammered out the new regulations after several meetings with government officials. At the same time, India’s Parliament is considering the creation of a broadcasting regulatory agency for private news channels.

Read the rest:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/1224/p01s01-wosc.html

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Pakistan Warns India

Associated Press

Pakistan warned India on Thursday not to launch a strike against it and vowed to respond to any attack — a sign that the relationship between the two nuclear powers remains strained in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.

Though the South Asian rivals have engaged in tit-for-tat accusations in recent weeks, both sides have repeatedly said they hope to avoid conflict. But India has not ruled out the use of force in response to the attacks, which it blames on a Pakistan-based militant group.

“We want peace, but should not be complacent about India,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters in his hometown of Multan in central Pakistan. “We should hope for the best but prepare for the worst.”

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since they were created in the bloody partition of the Indian subcontinent at independence from Britain in 1947.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani echoed Qureshi’s sentiments Thursday and urged the international community to pressure India to defuse the current tension.

He also repeated Pakistan’s demand that India provide evidence to support its claim that the 10 gunmen who killed at least 164 people in Mumbai last month were Pakistani and had links to the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,472863,00.html

India terror group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, the new Al Qaeda?

December 21, 2008

U. S. intelligence was caught off-guard by Lashkar-e-Taiba‘s “highly sophisticated” Mumbai terror strikes last month, which top spies now consider the debut of a new “brand name” to rival Al Qaeda.

The Islamist group was formed with Pakistani government help decades ago, but U.S. officials admit underestimating Lashkar’s shift from waging a minor conflict in the Kashmir region to threatening Westerners and Jews.

By James Gordon Meek
New York Daily News
.
“There is real concern over the fact LeT has raised its profile,” a U.S. counterterror official told the Daily News. “A lot of people are watching closely now to see if they’re plotting new attacks.”

The group is as mainstream in Pakistan as its ally Hamas is in the Palestinian territories.

Before the mayhem that began Nov. 26, no Lashkar camps in Pakistan’s tribal areas had been targeted during an intense CIA offensive in the fall, a senior intelligence official confirmed.

The agency has used unmanned drones to fire missiles at Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives directing the insurgency in Afghanistan. Lashkar cross-trains with the two terror groups.

But U.S. counterterror efforts are now getting beefed up, sources said.

“Assume that the intelligence community has new targets it previously hoped would be only distractions, of which LeT is one,” a third U.S. official told The News.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Lashkar – which once focused on the India-Pakistan fight over Kashmir – hit a “new threshold” of terror by killing Americans, Brits and Jews.

Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm., ... 
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, seen, during a press conference at a
U.S base in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008.
(AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

“They specifically targeted a Jewish center that was off the main drag,” Mullen recently told reporters. “It raises this outfit to a much higher level than where it was before.”

Brooklyn Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivkah, were slain there, leaving their baby, Moshe, an orphan.

Many also were surprised by what one internal U.S. government document called “hit and run” tactics that killed scores of Indians and six Americans.

Mullen said the 10 thugs “in a highly sophisticated manner [held] at bay an entire city.”

They had been trained by military pros in small arms and close combat for a year near Kashmir – though evidence isn’t a slam dunk that Pakistani spies aided them, sources said. The killers used satellite GPS units and phones and Google Earth to plan and execute the attacks.

Ex-CIA analyst Michael Scheuer declared it “a superb operation.”

Americans and Jews now face greater danger from Lashkar overseas, officials said.

“There are a lot of tourists in South Asia, and there’s really not a lot we can do,” Scheuer said.

“The question,” said another intelligence official, “is whether Mumbai is a ‘one-off’ or if such operations could be sustained.”

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2008/12/21/2008-12-21_india_terror_group_lashkaretaiba_the_new.html