Friday, July 31, 2009

Self-help is the best help

This is the first time that Pakistan has ever formally briefed us on the results of an investigation into a terrorist attack in India. It has never happened before and I repeat this is the first time. It is also the first time that they have admitted that their nationals and a terrorist organisation based in Pakistan carried out a ghastly terrorist act in India.

The reality is that this is far more than the NDA Government was ever able to extract from Pakistan during its entire tenure despite all their tall talk. They were never able to get Pakistan to admit what they have admitted now. So the UPA government needs no lessons from the opposition on how to conduct foreign affairs or secure our nation against terrorist threats.

I say with strength and conviction that dialogue and engagement is the best way forward.

I told them that the operations of all terrorist groups that threaten India must end permanently. I urged them to make no distinctions between different terrorist organizations. I said that it was not enough to say that Pakistan is itself a victim of terrorism. They must show the same political will and take the same strong and sustained action against terrorist groups operating on their eastern border as they now seem to be taking against groups on their western border.

I told them that another attack of this kind will put an intolerable strain on our relationship and that they must take all possible measures to prevent a recurrence.

I believe that it is as much in Pakistan’s vital interest as it is in ours to make peace. Pakistan must defeat terrorism, before being consumed by it. I believe the current leadership there understands the need for action.

We know this, but in the past there have been hurdles in a consistent pursuit of this path. As a result, the enemies of peace have flourished. They want to make our alienation permanent, the distance between our two countries an unbridgeable divide. In the interests of our people, and in the interest of peace and prosperity of South Asia, we must not let this happen.

US bails out India from Balochistan wrangle

In fact, Holbrooke's briefing following his latest visit to the region was notable for its dire tone with regard to Pakistan, a country which he characterized as "facing a staggering number of front-page story problems at one time." Describing Washington's efforts to stamp out terrorists in Pakistan frontier province, Holbrooke said it "hard to imagine a more dangerous area on the face of the earth today than an area which contains al-Qaida, Pakistani Taliban, Afghan Taliban, two and a half million refugees. It's just extraordinary how difficult it is."

The US envoy also trashed speculation about a rift with India that led to the reported cancellation of his visit to New Delhi with an extraordinary revelation. "You know, if there's a rift between me and India, it would be the first rift between me and India since I was seven years old. You know, India was the first country in the world I was ever aware of. I have a very special feeling for it," Holbrooke said.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Iran intimidates western powers

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday Iran's intentions were unclear following its election and that President Barack Obama's offer of talks with Tehran was not open-ended.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

US plans to halt Iran by ‘defence umbrella’

The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, warned Tehran on Wednesday that Washington may extend a “defence umbrella” over the Middle East to negate any advantage Iran might seek in developing nuclear weapons. Previously, senior US government officials maintained Iran ultimately would be prevented from building a bomb. Tehran insists its nuclear programme solely for the peaceful generation of electricity.

“We want Iran to calculate what I think is a fair assessment: that if the United States extends a defence umbrella over the region, if we do even more to support the military capacity of those in the Gulf, it’s unlikely Iran will be any stronger or safer, because they won’t be able to intimidate and dominate, as they apparently believe they can, once they have a nuclear weapon.”

“Gulf leaders are very worried about Iran’s nuclear programme –it’s their top priority at the moment, even more than the Israeli-Palestinian question. Of course, these countries will also end up financing any defence umbrella.”

ISI fomenting 'chaotic activity' in Kashmir: US

Elaborating, he said the ISI has been supporting militant groups in Kashmir and the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) bordering Afghanistan.

"There are discussions which have been ongoing in respect to that and the leadership recognises that and there is a big challenge dealing with that based on what their history is and what they need to do for the future," he said.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pak should use same force against anti-India groups as Taliban

Let the process and that's the right process, continue

"If Pakistan is sincere about fighting terror, they must expedite the trial. So far, they have not even commenced the trial, so how can we say they are serious about prosecuting those responsible for 26/11," he told CNN-IBN.

"Remaining on death row is not a happy situation. A prisoner on death row suffers more then a person who will hang tomorrow."

"We have a slow and deliberative process to come to a conclusion and nothing needs to be done about it. Let the process and that's the right process, continue," he said.

Pak kills 106 Taliban in fresh operation

Thursday, July 23, 2009

How can an insurgent group offer ceasefire to a sovereign nation

"Let there be no illusion. The terror threat to the country has not diminished. During the last six months, a significant number of potential terrorists including Madani have been arrested.

He said terror was a global phenomenon but that did not give any solace to India because "one of the epicentres of terror is the country on our border".

"As long as they indulge in murder, threat, extortion, there's no question of talking to them. How can an insurgent group offer ceasefire to a sovereign nation," he said ridiculing reports that government would accept ceasefire offer by DHD-J alias "Black Widow" militant group in Assam.

The Home Minister said the government has two-pronged approach to deal with the Left Wing extremism -- clear and hold the territory held by Naxals and then carry out development. "We will face the challenge squarely," he said.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We have to look for ways to support those who oppose terror

New Delhi (PTI): US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday said there has been "real will" on the part of Pakistan to tackle terrorism and that her country will enlist the help of India in fighting the menace.

"I have seen a real will on the part of Pakistan government to tackle terrorism...It is their government which is being attacked and people who are being mistreated," said Ms. Clinton while addressing students of Delhi University here.

She also said, "We have to look for ways to support those who oppose terror".

Emphasising that combating terrorism is the "number one" challenge, Ms. Clinton said the US will enlist the help of everyone including India.

Acknowledging India's growing stature, she said the world is now wanting to know where it is headed to.

"Military strength does not define greatness of nation... Soft powers are more appealing," she said.

Ms. Clinton also noted that the relationship between India and the US was growing day by day and wanted to use diplomatic tools to seek common ground.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dismantle terror outfits, Hillary tells Pakistan

However, she said was satisfied with Pakistan’s efforts towards cracking down on the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks. “The days to come hold the promise of greater commitment and concerted efforts from that country …Much greater effort and commitment to combat terrorism has been seen at the government level,” and more so from civil society, she said.

Referring to Friday’s bombing in Jakarta, Ms. Clinton said such acts of “violent extremism” were “ruthless, nihilistic and must be stopped.” Vigorous efforts were needed to create more space for “progress, peace and prosperity” and less for “intolerance, violence and pain.”

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The goal of the United States is to disrupt, dismantle, and ultimately defeat Al Qaeda

"Our national security as well as the future of Afghanistan depends on a stable, democratic, and economically viable Pakistan. We applaud the new Pakistani determination to deal with the militants to threaten their democracy and our shared security," Ms. Clinton said on Wednesday.

In Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ms. Clinton said, the goal of the United States is to disrupt, dismantle, and ultimately defeat Al Qaeda and its extremist allies and to prevent their return to either country.

"Yet Americans often ask why do we ask our young men and women to risk their lives in Afghanistan when Al Qaeda's leadership is in neighbouring Pakistan? That question deserves a good answer," she said.

Any recurrence of Mumbai-type attack will be "intolerable"

He emphasised that "So long as Pakistan territory continues to be used for perpetrating acts of terrorism directed against India, I think, the dialogue, even if it starts, cannot move forward."

Noting that there is no option but to have dialogue with Pakistan, he said, however, that he could not say what kind of talks will happen. This, he said, will be determined by the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries who will keep meeting as often as possible.

Singh said that any recurrence of Mumbai-type attack will be "intolerable" and that would affect the ties from moving forward.

Bring 26/11 attackers to justice, PM tells Gilani

Singh and Gilani agreed that dialogue is the only way forward.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Terrorists and those who aid and abet them must be brought to justice.

In recent years, terrorist groups have become more sophisticated, more organised and more daring. Terrorists and those who aid and abet them must be brought to justice.

"The infrastructure of terrorism must be dismantled and there should be no safe havens for terrorists because they do not represent any cause, group or religion. It is time that we agree on a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism," he said.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pakistan should take credible action against terrorists: Manmohan

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Saturday that India was “willing to walk more than half the distance” to normalise relations if Pakistan reaffirmed that it would bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai massacre to justice and would not allow its territory to be used for terrorist attacks against India.

“But it requires credible action, on the part of Pakistan to deal with terrorist elements directing their energy to disrupt and destabilise our economy and polity,” he said.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Defence Ministry, in its annual report for 2008-09

Suspected US strikes kill 45: Pak officials

Zardari admits terrorism nurtured by govt for tactical use

In an astonishingly candid admission - a first by any Pakistani head of state - president Asif Ali Zardari has admitted militants and terrorists were wilfully created by past Pakistani governments and nurtured as a policy to achieve tactical objectives.

``Militants and extremists emerged on the national scene and challenged the state not because the civil bureaucracy was weakened and demoralized but because they were deliberately created and nurtured as a policy to achieve short-term tactical objectives. Let's be truthful and make a candid admission of the reality,'' he said at a gathering of civil servants in Islamabad on Tuesday night.

``The terrorists of today were heroes of yesteryear until 9/11 occurred and they began to haunt us as well,'' Zardari said, emphasising that Pakistan can't be left alone at this stage of the war on terror. He also pointedly said that the future generations won't forgive the current leadership if it does not take corrective measures.

India has long charged Pakistan with sponsoring terrorism in Kashmir by providing arms, ammunition and training to the militants who have been engaged in a war of secession.

``Pakistan is a frontline state in the war against terror and we have pledged to eliminate this scourge. I have taken charge of the country at a difficult time and will meet the challenges facing the country,'' he said.

``The heroin mafia, which arose as a consequence of the efforts to implode the Soviet Union, now takes in $5 billion a year, twice the budget of our Army and police. This is the price Pakistan continues to pay,'' wrote Zardari in the article, `The Frontier Against Terrorism'.

Kashmir-----I think it is an issue. It's a delicate and sensitive issue

"It's one that — we would diplomatically encourage that the Pakistanis and the Indians first of all improve their relationship, their ties, their trade, their exchanges, to foster peace and more prosperity in that area between their two countries," he said.

"I think it has been an extremely sensitive hotspot for the world and for the region, where we've almost experienced thermonuclear war on several occasions," said the former lawmaker who was the president of the Centre for National Policy (CNP), a Washington, D.C.-based national security think tank at the time of his nomination.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

No nation has suffered more from terrorism than India: Kerry

The greatest resource of any nation in the 21st century is its people

"We meet in the midst of the worst global recession in a generation. I believe that the market is the greatest force for creating and distributing wealth that the world has known," Obama said addressing the 'New Economic School' in Moscow.

However, he said that wherever the market is allowed to run rampant -- through excessive risk-taking, a lack of regulation or corruption -- "then all are endangered, whether we live on the Mississippi or the Volga."

"And while this crisis has shown us the risk that comes with change, that risk is overwhelmed by opportunity. Think of what's possible today that was unthinkable two decades ago. A young woman with an Internet connection in Bangalore, India can compete with anyone, anywhere. An entrepreneur with a start-up in Beijing can take his business global," he said.

He said the greatest resource of any nation in the 21st century is its people, and the countries which tap that resource are the countries that will succeed.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Pak appeals against release of Mumbai terror accused Hafiz Saeed

New Delhi has never said no to talks with Islamabad

That is the only thing India is asking for and we are waiting." "I have repeatedly said that it has to be visible and it has to be credible. There must be some commitment on the part of Pakistan that they are going after the Mumbai attackers," he underlined.

On suggestions from the international community that India should talk to Pakistan, Mr. Krishna said New Delhi has never said no to talks with Islamabad.

"India has never said no to talks with Pakistan. India has taken a very consistent position that we will talk. But we will talk about terror. We will discuss about terror. India is ever willing to talk about terror," he underlined.

"I do not know whether I would agree with the projection that Kashmir is the key among Indo-Pak issues.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Changing face of the United States towards Muslim world

The Pakistanis weren't there then.

An ingenious example of speech and politics occurred recently in the United Nations Assembly that made the world community smile.

A representative from India began: 'Before beginning my talk I want to tell you something about Rishi Kashyap of Kashmir, after whom Kashmir is named. When he struck a rock and it brought forth water, he thought, 'What a good opportunity to have a bath.' He removed his clothes, put them aside on the rock and entered the water. When he got out and wanted to dress, his clothes had vanished. A Pakistani had stolen them.' The Pakistani representative jumped up furiously and shouted, 'What are you talking about? The Pakistanis weren't there then.' The Indian representative smiled and said, 'And now that we have made that clear, I will begin my speech. 'And they say Kashmir belongs to them...................................................