Category Archives: Indian Foreign Policy

The Indo-US Nuclear Deal Plods On

The Public spotlight that was on the Indo-US nuclear deal until it was passed by the US Congress and signed by President Bush into law in December last year has dissipated. But it is now that the real drudge work to hammer out an 123 agreement, getting NSG approval and an India specific safeguards agreement with the IAEA has to be done.

Brahma Chellaney in an op-ed piece titled Long-Maul Exercise in The Asian Age analyses the action that is taking place behind the scenes.

The controversial US-India nuclear deal may not be in the news these days but it quietly continues to ferment new issues. Even as America and its friends persist with their hard sell of the deal, increasing doubts about the wisdom and costs of pushing ahead with it on terms set by the US Congress have gripped the Indian establishment.

The projected timeframe for stitching up the final deal continues to slip. When the agreement-in-principle was unveiled on July 18, 2005, it was sanguinely claimed by both sides that by spring of 2006, the deal would take effect. Then when the Hyde Act was passed, US officials voiced optimism that the final deal would be before Congress by July 2007.

Now Washington has further revised the deadline to late 2007 or early 2008. Even that seems overly optimistic when one bears in mind that after almost 20 months, only the first of the five phases has been completed to clinch the final deal. There is still a long road ahead for the two sides to traverse.

Let’s not forget that the US-China nuclear deal, signed in 1984, took nearly 14 years to come into force, and another nine years thereafter for Beijing to place its first import order for US reactors. The US-India deal, in fact, involves more processes and complicating factors. Long after the original actors involved in the July 18, 2005, accord have faded into history, India would still be grappling with the deal-related issues.

Indeed the deal’s main benefit for India remains the symbolically important message of July 18, 2005 that the United States, reversing a three-decade punitive approach toward India, has embraced it as a “responsible” nuclear state.In other words, India is already savouring the main gain from the deal.

The actual incentive proffered by the US — the lifting of civil nuclear sanctions — is of less significance because high-priced imported commercial power reactors can play only a marginal role in meeting India’s energy needs.


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Filed under Geopolitics, India, India and the World, Indian Foreign Policy, Indo-US relations, International Politics, Neglected/Sidelined News

B Raman’s Open Letter to Kasuri

B Raman writes a open letter to Kasuri who called for intelligence co-operation between Indian and Pakistani agencies, recounting the history of the attempted Indo-Pak intelligence co-operation from the 1980s onwards calling it a dialogue of the deaf where the Pakistanis repeatedly stonewall and lie through their teeth even in the face of overwhelming evidence.He ends his letter by summarizing as follows.

You would now understand, I hope, why there is not much enthusiasm in India to the idea of a Joint Mechanism for Counter-Terrorism Co-operation. They say once bitten, twice shy. India has been bitten thrice — after the Shimla talks between Indira Gandhi and Z A Bhutto; after the meetings between Verma and Hamid Gul; and after the meeting between A B Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif at Lahore in February 1999.

Mr Foreign Minister, Pakistan has handed over so many terrorism suspects to the US and other countries. Forget about terrorists. Can you recall even a single instance where Pakistan has handed over even a cattle-lifter to India? Whenever India has asked Pakistan to hand over a terrorist or other criminal, Pakistan’s response has been that India has not been able to produce convincing evidence against him. And whenever India has asked Pakistan to hand over a non-Muslim terrorist, Pakistan’s response has been: ‘Yes, we agree you have good evidence against him, but your information that he is in our territory is wrong.’ The handing-over of the Sikh army deserters is the only instance of such action by Pakistan that I can recall. I cannot understand even today why Gul did it. Was he planning to use them to collect military intelligence from India?

All Pakistan has to do to demonstrate its sincerity is to hand over some of the terrorists from India living in Pakistani territory before the first meeting of the Joint Counter-Terrorism Mechanism. It will have a big impact in India and many sceptics will start supporting the mechanism.

India would do well to heed this lesson of history and dump that nonsense called the joint anti-terrorism institutional mechanism. It too is doomed to suffer the same fate as above.

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Filed under History, India, Indian Foreign Policy, International Politics, National Security, Pakistan, Terrorism, The Indian Subcontinent

Gas Pipeline Blown Up by Baloch Rebels

That too in the very area where that accursed pipeline from Iran to India will have to pass through if built.

Quetta, Balochistan: Suspected Baloch militants blew up a gas pipeline near Quetta on Tuesday, cutting supplies to a power plant and several areas, a gas company official said. Gas supplies were cut to four districts near Quetta and a 95 MW city power plant. Supplies might be restored to some areas within 24 hours, Nawaz said. No one was hurt in the early morning blast in the outskirts of Quetta. “They planted explosives under an 18-inch pipeline that blew out a 4-foot piece of the pipe,” said Sheikh Nawaz, general manager of Sui Southern Gas Company.

If that pipeline is built not only will India have sleepless nights worrying about when the Paki goverment will pull the plug on this vital line. One has to also worry about when the Baloch militants will want to use it for some target practice.

Added to that India will have to pay several hundreds of millions of dollars as transit fees to Pakistan. That’s a lot of easy money for Pak to finance its terrorist campaigns against India.

The whole hair brained pipeline deal therefore is a lose-lose bargain all the way and should be scrapped right away, if it has not been already. A very viable alternative to this is to use the sea route since

1) India can then import all the gas it needs from every friggin part of the world including Iran and even Venezuela.

2) The Indian Navy can very much handle anyone who wants to play some mischief along the way.

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Filed under Geopolitics, India, India and the World, Indian Foreign Policy, Indian Politics, Infrastructure Politics, International Politics, Liberal Extremists, National Security, Pakistan, The Indian Subcontinent

The Chinese Regime is Nobody’s Friend

The people who get variously excited about the desirability of a so called India-Russia-China Axis should wake up and smell the coffee. The Chinese regime is nobody’s friend.It is a selfish, egotistic, arrogant and paranoid thug bent on getting its own way by hook or crook.

It is like we all know by now is involved in anti-Indian activities upto its ears, plus terrorising and torturing of its own citizens, picking fights with all its neighbours such as Japan, Phillipines, Taiwan, Vietnam and South Korea. It is stridently anti-American ofcourse even though it needs American wallets to buy its cheap, shoddy goods produced by forced prison labour or workers forced to work in slavish conditions without any rights to form labour unions to fight for their cause. It is also deeply involved in an organ harvesting scam selling organs of prisoners executed without a proper trial( Hello! Amnesty, HRW, UN, anyone listening?).

And what about Russia? Well China long had a boundary dispute with Russia, which it found in its interest to “solve” in 1997. But it was always clear to everyone that the Chinese regime greedily eyes the vast expanses of the sparsely populated Russian Far east rich in natural resources and ofcourse more land for its exploding population to settle.

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Filed under Geopolitics, India and the World, Indian Foreign Policy, International Communism, International Politics, National Security, Opinion, PRC

Chinese Government Censors the “Chinese Government”

The Chinese government’s paranoia has reached such a crescendo that it is now seeing enemies behind every curtain, under every bed, inside every book and even in innocous search engine terms such as “Mao Zedong”, “Zhu Ronji” and even the “Chinese government” itself.

CHINA—The phrase “Chinese government” has been censored on China’s official Web sites. If one searches for “central government of the People’s Republic of China” on the Best Tone 114 Web site (China Telecom’s Internet phone service and information platform), one gets: “Sensitive phrase: [we] can only provide news search service.” An Internet user from China told the reporter that even “Mao Zedong” is listed as “illegal information” in some of China’s search engines.

On the Best Tone 114 Web site, not only is “central government of the People’s Republic of China” censored, but “democracy” and “National People’s Congress” are also sensitive information. Zhou Guoqiang, an Internet user from Beijing, said he often comes across such disconcerting situations.

Zhou said, “When you search ‘Mao Zedong,’ ‘Zhu Rongji’ [China’s previous premier], and ‘Wen Jiabao’ [China’s current premier], many Internet search engines will tell you these are illegal phrases. Some chat Web sites won’t even let you key in these phrases.”

One would like to ask the Indian diplomatic establishment that is so keen on pursuing the so called “Confidence Building measures” with the “Chinese Government” that what kind of confidence building process can one establish with such a paranoid bunch of tyrants and mass murderers who are so afraid of their own shadows.

Fang Jue, a commentator on China issues who currently resides in the U.S., said, “Censoring the phrase ‘Chinese government’ tells people that government control over the media is way too much. Internet control in China blocks all phrases that can possibly lead the people to ponder democracy, freedom, and human rights. The range of control is going too far. They are blocking every neutral phrase that relates to politics.”

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Filed under Freedom of Speech & Information, Geopolitics, India and the World, Indian Foreign Policy, International Communism, PRC

Pak Politicians want Terrorism to Continue in J&K

So much for the “Peace process”. The mainstream Indian media never tires of repeating ad nauseum that the majority of Pakis are peace loving and it is only a “tiny minority” of extremists who are against peace with India. But the reality on the ground looks so very different from their make believe world.

Asserting that any decision on Kashmir must not be made without the approval of Parliament, leaders across Pakistan’s political spectrum have rejected President Pervez Musharraf’s proposals to resolve the vexed issue and asked for continued “jihad” in the state.

A conference on Kashmir, which was attended, among others, by Pakistan Muslim League-N Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq, General Secretary of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal Maulana Fazlur Rehman, President of Pakistan People’s Party Makhdoom Amin Fahim and PoK President Raja Zulqarnain, demanded a discussion of the government’s policies on Kashmir in Parliament.

Participants adopted a resolution rejecting the four-point proposals of Musharraf, which include demilitarisation and joint control of the disputed state by India and Pakistan.

They also demanded that the Kashmir policy be discussed in Parliament in 2008 after the next general elections and that jihad should be continued, the Daily Times reported.

Lets face it. In their culture any compromise or treaty is just Hudna- a mere timeout to rearm and reengage from a stronger position.

And the dichotomy is even more revealing. Our peaceniks shout at the top of their voices all the time that it is the Pakistani Army alone that has a selfish interest in keeping the embers of kashmir issue burning and if Pakistan becomes a democracy there will be peace.

Unfortunately the above stand taken jointly by all the political parties of Pakistan pours cold water on that theory. Even if there are free and fair elections tomorrow it will only put the above worthies in power, nothing is going to change from their end.

It is better we Indians see this situation for what it really is rather than let ourselves get carried away by the shenanigans of the “peace” process.

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Filed under India and the World, Indian Foreign Policy, Indian Politics, Liberal Extremists, Media, National Security, Opinion, Pakistan, Terrorism

Indian Foreign Policy: Frozen in Time

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Filed under Geopolitics, Governance, Humour, India and the World, Indian Foreign Policy, International Politics, National Security