Archive for the ‘New Delhi’ Category

Will US extend the ballistic missile shield to India?

January 8, 2009

Even as India prepares to test its own fledgling ballistic missile defence (BMD) system for the third time “within a month or so”, New Delhi and Washington are moving towards signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the BMD arena.

The Times of India

Sources told TOI on Thursday that some rounds of talks on “possible collaboration on BMD or missile shield systems to enhance cooperative security and stability” have been held between India and US in recent times.

“Most of these discussions have taken place under the Joint Technical Group, a sub-group of the overall Indo-US Defence Policy Group architecture. The US is very keen to work with us in the missile defence arena. A formal MoU is now on the cards,” said a source.

But the MoU does not mean that India is signing up for a proposed American missile defence shield programme on the lines of Poland and the Czech Republic, which has led to a major diplomatic row between US and Russia in recent months.

Instead, the plan is to seek some missile defence technical know-how from the US. As part of this, Indian officials and scientists have already witnessed some simulations and a couple of live tests of the US missile defence system. The US, of course, has even offered to sell the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) system to India.

Read the rest:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Will_US_extend_the_ballistic_mi
ssile_shield_to_India/articleshow/3953112.cms

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China Pips (Screws) India on Myanmar Oil Deal

December 30, 2008

Is it any wonder that China’s offer to be a peacemaker between India and Pakistan was flatly rejected by India?  India sees itself as China’s rival and equal.

China, on the other hand, is often accused of seeing India as a clumsy little brother.

Just this last week, China signed an oil export agreement from Myanmar, in an area once 25% or more controlled by India.

The Business Standard of New Delhi reported the caper under the headline “China Pips India to Sign Gas Deal with Myanmar.”

“Pip”  is a British slang word meaning to screw, best, or take advantage, we are told….

Related:
China To Reap Most of Myanmar’s Oil

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China Pips India to Sign Gas Deal with Myanmar

The Business Standard, New Delhi

China has pipped India to sign a 30-year agreement to import natural gas from fields lying in offshore Myanmar where India’s state-owned companies have a 25 per cent stake.
China’s state oil and gas firm China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) last week signed a Gas Sales Agreement with South Korea’s Daewoo International for buying gas from the Shwe field in A-1 offshore block and the adjoining A-3 block, industry sources said.

Daewoo is the operator in the two blocks with 51 per cent stake, while Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has 17 per cent and GAIL 8.5 per cent. Korea Gas Corporation has 8.5 per cent and Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise the remaining 15 per cent.

GAIL had offered a price of $5.01 per million British thermal unit to buy the entire gas from the offshore fields and pipe it to India through the northeastern states. But the military-rulers of Myanmar have chosen China, which will have to lay a longer pipeline to reach its south-western Yunnan province.

Sources said Myanmar would also be able to tap the pipeline running across its territory to meet its fuel needs once the gas starts flowing sometime in 2013.

Read the rest:
http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/
china-pips-india-to-sign-gas-dealmyanmar/01/0
9/344716/

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 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?

Pakistan Prime Minister Gilani: No Question of War With India

December 25, 2008

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani declared on Thursday that “there is absolutely no question of war” with India and said Islamabad sought “excellent relations” with its neighbour.

“There is no question of war. There is absolutely no question of war,” Gilani told reporters in Islamabad.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani prays at the grave ... 
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani REUTERS/Nadeem Soomro (PAKISTAN)

At the same time, Gilani urged the world to convince India to defuse the situation in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks for which New Delhi has blamed Pakistani terrorists.

“We had good relations with India. I assure you that we want excellent relations with India. We want to maintain good relations with India,” said the prime minister.

–Hindustan Times

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/FullcoverageStoryPage.asp
x?sectionName=HomePage&id=08421d10-2dce-4dc4-a1c4-b7dc87497
82aMumbaiunderattack_Special&&Headline=’No+question+of+war’+wi
th+India%3a+Gilani

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”?
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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

America’s Top Intelligence Officer In India for Terror Talks

December 22, 2008

A top US Intelligence official on Monday held series of meetings with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and senior officials during when the progress in investigations into the Mumbai terror attacks was reviewed.

Director of National Intelligence John Michel McConnell, who flew into the Capital, is also believed to have met National Security Advisor MK Narayanan and discussed issues relating to evidence gathered so far in the probe in the 26/11 terror strikes, official sources said.

Hindustan Times
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The sources said McConnell had a 30-minute long meeting with the Union Home Minister during which the two sides touched upon the progress in the probe into the terror strikes at the country’s financial capital. US Ambassador David C Mulford was also present at the meeting.

Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is considered to be the most powerful intelligence official of the United States government under directs command and control of the US President and reports to him only.

The role of the DNI is to effectively integrate foreign, military and domestic intelligence in defence of the homeland and of the US’s interests abroad from its 16 spy agencies.

McConnell later met investigating officials including those from the US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who are probing the Mumbai attacks, the sources said.

The US Intelligence head also met India’s Intelligence chiefs and discussed the evidence gathered during the probe.

DNI came into existence after the audacious 9/11 attacks in the US. India is hoping to benefit from DNI’s experiences in countering terrorism while it was formulating the policies for a proposed National Investigating Agency, a bill for which was cleared by Parliament.

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

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