« »

Monday, 31 August 2009

Altaf Hussain Ke Ansoo

Brig Imtiaz Ahmed: Jinnahpur conspiracy

June 19, 1992 military operation against the MQM..

Altaf Hussain met President Asif Ali Zardari

Tumhe Yaad ho ya Na Yaad Ho

Facts of Jinnah Pur : MQM

MQM: Jinnahpur conspiracy

India Ends Lunar Mission

India's space agency has abandoned its inaugural moon mission a day after scientists lost communication with the orbiting Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft.

"We don't have contact... and we had to terminate...," said the head of Isro - the Indian Space Research Organisation.

The unmanned craft was launched last October in what was billed as a two-year mission of exploration.

The launch was seen as a major step for India as it seeks to keep pace with other space-faring Asian nations.

Despite the termination of the mission, Isro chief G Madhavan Nair told reporters that the project was a great success and 95% of its objectives had been completed.

"We could collect a large volume of data, including 70,000 images of the moon," he added.

Isro scientists said the agency was in talks with the US and Russia to track the spacecraft, which was orbiting 200km from the surface of the moon.

Following its launch from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh last October, it was hoped the robotic probe would orbit the Moon, compile a three-dimensional atlas of the lunar surface and map the distribution of elements and minerals.

Useful mission?

Last month the satellite experienced a technical problem when a sensor malfunctioned.

An Isro spokesman said at the time that useful information had already been gathered from pictures beamed to Earth from the probe, although the picture quality had been affected by the malfunction.

Powered by a single solar panel generating about 700 watts, the Isro probe carries five Indian-built instruments and six constructed in other countries, including the US, Britain and Germany.

The mission was expected to cost 3.8bn rupees (£45m; $78m), considerably less than Japanese and Chinese probes sent to the Moon last year.

But the Indian government's space efforts have not been welcomed by all.

Some critics regard the space programme as a waste of resources in a country where millions still lack basic services.

The forgotten Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari

Pakistan seeks Chinese help to replace satellite

Pakistan yesterday decided to approach China for arranging over $200m financing for the replacement of PAKSAT-1 with a new communication satellite PAKSAT-1R by 2011.

A loan agreement would be signed with China soon to make sure availability of required financing for launch of a new communication satellite PAKSAT-1R by 2011.

Federal Secretary Economic Affairs Division, Furrukh Qayyum said China would provide 85 percent of the total required financing of the project and government of Pakistan would arrange the rest. “The foreign exchange component of the project is estimated at just over $200m that would be financed by China,” he added.

Federal Cabinet is expected to accord approval to a summary of Economic Affairs Division allowing it to sign a loan agreement with China.

The total cost of the project is Rs17.594bn with foreign exchange component of Rs16.101bn. The government has allocated Rs2.8bn for this project for the ongoing fiscal year 2009-10 with foreign exchange component of Rs500m.

Pakistan’s SUPARCO signed in October 2008 a contract with China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) for the on orbit delivery of the Paksat 1R communication satellite.

The DFH-4 based satellite will have a service life of 15 years and will be launched in 2011 on a CZ-3B booster.

Pakistan's SUPARCO signed in October 2008 a contract with China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) for the on orbit delivery of the Paksat 1R communication satellite. TheDFH-4 based satellite will have a service life of 15 years and will be launched in 2011 on aCZ-3B booster.

By the end of 2011, Pakistan plans to replace Paksat 1 with the new communication satellite Paksat-1R which will be manufactured exclusively for Pakistan. The satellite will support all conventional and modern Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) applications. The satellite will have a total of up to 30 transponders: 18 in Ku-band and 12 in C-band. To ensure high degree of reliability / availability of the system, two fully redundant Satellite Ground Control Stations (SGCS) would be established in Karachi and Lahore, one to act as the main and the other as backup respectively.

Indian Nuke Programme

On August 27, 2009 in an interview with Times of India K Santhanam, senior scientist and DRDO representative at Pokhran II admitted that the only thermonuclear device tested was a “fizzle”. In nuclear parlance, a test is described as a fizzle when it fails to meet the desired yield. Santhanam, was director for 1998 test site preparations in Pokhran test range, has stated hat the thermonuclear explosions conducted at that time were ‘actually of much below expectations and the tests were perhaps more a fizzle rather than a big bang’. This is the first time some Indian senior scientist gave some reservation about the nuke programme. He was the closely associated with the 1998 tests.

The government officials did not endorsed Santhanam’s point view. In this connection Interior Minister R. Chidambaram was in state of confusion while talking to the journalists after the meeting of Lok Sabha Chidambaram, who was the Chairman of the Department of Atomic Energy in 1998, totally dismissed the scientist statement and said that there is no controversy over the yield of Pokhran-II nuclear tests. The world’s analysts have number of times raised questions about the security of Indian nuclear programme. British nuke experts have challenged the claims while saying that the actual combined yield for the fission device and thermonuclear bomb was not more than 20 KT. Santhanam’s view was shared by nuclear scientist Subramaniam, who said “there was something wrong with the seismic signals which seemed pretty weak to me then… so I would tend to agree with Santhanam”.

The Santhanam’s disclosing uncovered the face of Indian leadership. In short the recent revelation of senior nuke scientist put the question mark on the credibility of Indian nuke prgramme. The exact position of the explosion of 1998 can be judged from the following:-

Fission device18 May 197412-15 kiloton4-6 kiloton
Shakti 1Thermonuclear device11 May 199843-60 kiloton12-25 kiloton
Shakti 2Fission device11 May 199812 kiloton??
Shakti 3Low-yield device11 May 19980.2 kilotonlow
Shakti 4Low-yield device13 May 19980.5 kilotonlow
Shakti 5Low-yield device13 May 19980.3 kilotonlow

Indian nuclear controlling authorities yet to formulate elaborate arrangements to control and secure their nuclear programs. But the biggest dilemma is that US and Russia have concluded number of nuclear deals with India while ignoring all international rules and regulations in relation to the safety features of nuclear programme. In addition to the Russian deal, the French nuclear conglomerate Areva concluded an agreement Dec. 18 to provide India with 300 tons of uranium for reactor fuel.

Currently; India has a total of 17 operating nuclear power reactors and has plans to construct an additional 25-30 by 2030 to meet expected civil and military future needs. At present she has 35 – 45 nuclear arsenals of various yields but security aspects of these weapons always remained concern to the world community and sincere Indian officials too.

According to the Uranium Information Center (UIC), India’s program extends from uranium exploration and mining through fuel fabrication, heavy water production, reactor design and construction, to reprocessing and waste management. India, the UIC says, has a small fast breeder reactor and is about to build a much larger one. It is also developing technology to use its abundant resources of thorium as a nuclear fuel. It has 14 small nuclear power reactors in commercial operation, nine under construction – including two large ones, and more planned.
It’s an eye opener and point of concern to US nuke experts that Indian nuke progrramme is one of the most risky programme.

There are 152 financial corruptions and theft cases of uranium have also been reported and registered with the police since 1984. The cases include crimes like abductions and murders of staff, stolen of uranium, transfer of technology to other countries through underworld, smuggling of weapons and electronic equipment being used for preparation of nuke arsenals and disappearance of complete shipment of uranium. The increase in rate of incidents in is becoming great security hazard to the mankind and threatening regional security too.

According to Fairness.com, a US-based information clearinghouse, radiation emitted from the country’s nuclear reactors is three times higher than international norms allow. Of its 14 nuclear power reactors, only three reportedly meet international standards. Indian governments always tried to hide about leaks and accidents from the reactors. An Indian scientist who prefers not to be named reported, “An estimated 300 incidents of a serious nature have occurred, causing radiation leaks and physical damage to workers.”

The reports further reveal those famous politicians, top brass of intelligence agencies and scientists those remained involved in illegal smuggling and transfer of nuclear technologies to other countries and local extremists Hindu organizations.

On June 13, 2009 Indian famous nuke scientist Lokanathan Mahalingam found dead from Kali River. The scientist had been mysteriously disappeared from the Kaiga Atomic Power Station on June 8, 2009. The Kaiga plant is located near one of the biggest naval bases, Project Seabird. The scientist was working on the atomic plant since last eight years. Reportedly, he was in possession of highly sensitive information and might be doubted for Indian nuke proliferation. Mahalingam was involved in training apprentices on a replica of the actual reactor. So he had knowledge of working of the reactor. Earlier too on November 11, 2006, Director of Uttaranchal Space Application Centre, Dr Anil Kumar Tiwari, was also shot dead by an unidentified person near his residence. About six weeks ago, another NPC non-technical employee Ravi Mule was found dead in the township. He too had gone for morning walk. Police have not cracked the earlier cases and similarly still is clue less in the current case of scientist.

The contents revealed in above Para confirmed that the world most treacherous nuke proliferation is going on in India which made her nuclear programme unsafe and the most dangerous too. The Hindu extremists with the help of Indian nuke scientists seem to be involved in illegal transfer of nuclear technology to Israel and some western countries through underworld organizations to generate the funds for the completion of “Maha Baharat agenda.

There have been widespread allegations that well-connected manufacturers cut deals with politicians selling defective parts to build reactors. Thus general masses rightly in the state of panic with regard to the safety of nuke programme. The series of incidents at India’s nuclear plants has raised fears of a disaster equivalent to or bigger than the American nuclear leak at Three Mile Island in 1975 or the horrendous accident at Chernobyl in what was then the Soviet Union in 1986, which so far is responsible for the deaths of at least 6,000 persons, with many more expected to die later.

According to the South India Tribune, India has ordered two plants shut over the last two years because of safety reasons in the face of plans to generate 20,000 megawatts of nuclear power by 2020. Serious accidents and shortcomings have been reported starting in 1969 at the Tarapur, Rajasthan, Madras, Narora and Kaigba Atomic.

In 2008 Russian President Medvedev and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed nuclear co-operation accord for construction of the four new plants at Kundankulam stipulated under the Russia. Similarly Washington too has finalized 123 Nuclear Civil deal with New Delhi. However, in this regard only some procedural issues and formalities are left in the way of implementation of the accord.

French, Russia, America and IAEA are having double standards over the further nuclear proliferations. The revealed countries and UN nuclear watch dog IAEA always tried to put sanctions and criticize over Pakistan peaceful nuclear programme. Iranian nuclear program which was started with the support of US in 1950 has only been targeted after Iranian Islamic revolution. India had always neglected international laws in relation to its nuclear programme. She has refused to signed CTBT and NPT. But US, Russia and America too have not care about the humanity and went for agreement with India while putting a side security concern of world community. In short the recent statement of K Santhanam, repeated incidents and nuke proliferation have made the India Nuke Progemme world dangerous programme. IAEA should carry out detail inspection of her civil and military nuke plants. US, Russia and French should reconsider their decisions of further continuation of pacts without elaborate security arrangements and command control authority. Indian authorities should devise some system to enhance security arrangements to minimize the incidents at their nuke plants. Z Hassan

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Jaswant Singh Yatra

Problems in Balochistan!!

Brig.Imtiaz Breaks Silence.

Nawab Bugti's grave

بگٹی قبیلے کے نواب اکبر خان بگٹی کی ہلاکت کے تین برس بعد ڈیرہ بگٹی شہر کے علاوہ سوئی اور دیگر علاقوں میں جہاں بے گھر بگٹیوں کی واپسی سے زندگی معمول کی طرف آنے لگی ہے وہاں بظاہر سیکورٹی فورسز کے رویہ میں بھی ماضی کی نسبت قدرے مثبت تبدیلی دیکھنے کو ملتی ہے۔

بگٹی قبیلے کے نئے بننے والے نواب میر عالی بگٹی کے سینکڑوں مسلح حامیوں نے ڈیرہ بگٹی شہر میں ’بگٹی قلعہ‘ کا انتظام سنبھال لیا ہے اور آس پاس پہاڑیوں پر مورچے قائم کر لیے ہیں۔ بگٹی قلعہ کے ویران اور اجڑے ہوئے مہمان خانے میں پلمبر، الیکٹریشن، کارپینٹر نیز ہر قسم کے مستری کام میں مصروف ہیں اور ایسا لگتا ہے کہ نواب میر عالی بگٹی جلد ہی اپنے قبیلے کی نوابی کی ایک بڑی علامت ’بگٹی قلعہ’ سنبھالنے والے ہیں۔

بگٹی قلعہ کے صحن کے سامنے اور قبرستان کے درمیان والی جگہ میں آج بھی فرنٹیئر کور کا بسیرا ہے۔ جب پولیس اور بگٹی محافظوں کے ہمراہ قبرستان پہنچے تو ایک ایف سی اہلکار نے کہا کہ نواب بگٹی کی قبر کے قریب مت جائیں کیونکہ خدشہ ہے کہ وہاں بارودی سرنگیں نہ ہوں لیکن بگٹی محافظوں نے بتایا کہ وہاں ایسا کچھ نہیں۔

نواب اکبر بگٹی کی قبر کی حالت ایک لاوارث قبر جیسی لگی۔ بارش کی وجہ سے قبر کے اوپر والی ریت بیٹھ اور بکھر چکی ہے اور قبر کے اوپر جھاڑیاں اْگ چکی ہیں۔ پہلے تو قبر پر ایف سی والے کسی کو آنے کی اجازت نہیں دیتے تھے لیکن اب کچھ نرمی ہے۔ ایک کلاشنکوف بردار دبلے پتلے بگٹی نے کہا کہ ’ آپ پہلے صحافی ہیں جو تین برسوں کے بعد دوبارہ آئے ہیں۔‘

دو فروری سنہ دو ہزار چھ کو جب نواب اکبر بگٹی کے انٹرویو کے سلسلے میں بگٹی قلعہ آنے کا موقع ملا تھا تو اس وقت جدید اسلحہ سے مسلح بگٹی قبیلے کے لوگ جس طرح وائر لیس سیٹ اٹھائے ایک منظم ملیشیا دکھائی دیتی تھی اور اب بھی بالکل اْسی طرح بگٹی فورس سرگرم ہے لیکن فرق یہ ہے کہ پہلے یہ فورس نواب اکبر بگٹی اور برہمداغ کے حکم پر عمل کرتے تھے لیکن آج کل ان پر نواب میر عالی بگٹی کا حکم چلتا ہے۔

فرنٹیئر کور ( ایف سی ) اور بگٹی قلعہ کے درمیان جہاں تین برس قبل ایف سی کا ایک بہت بڑا مورچہ قائم تھا اب وہ ختم ہوگیا ہے اور ٹریفک پولیس والوں کے بارش سے بچنے کے لیے جس طرح کوئی چبوترا ہوتا ہے، وہ تعمیر کر کے اس چوراہے کو پاکستان چوک کا نام دیا گیا ہے۔ بگٹی بازار کی دکانوں کے دروازوں اور دو رویہ سڑک کو تقسیم کرنے والے آہنی جنگلے کو نیلے رنگ سے رنگ دیا گیا ہے۔

دکانوں کے شٹر تو دور سے ایک نیا روپ پیش کرتے ہیں لیکن دکانوں کے سائن بورڈ یا تو اکھڑ چکے ہیں یا زنگ آلود ہوچکے ہیں۔ دکانوں کے اندر کچرے کی بدبو آتی ہے اور مکڑی کے جالے بھی نمایاں طور پر نظر آتے ہیں۔ بگٹی قلعہ کے سامنے تو بازار ویران ہے لیکن پاکستان چوک کے آس پاس چلتی پھرتی بے خوف سی زندگی کا ایک نیا روپ نظر آتا ہے۔
ڈیرہ بگٹی شہر میں پنجاب کے ضلع لیہ سے تعلق رکھنے والے خالد حسین نامی حجام نے اپنی دکان بھی دوبارہ کھول لی ہے اور وہ اس پر بہت خوش ہیں۔ ’میں چاہتا ہوں کہ عید آنے سے پہلے کچھ پیسے جمع کرلوں کیوں کہ عید پر لیہ جاوٴں گا۔‘

ڈیرہ بگٹی شہر میں روزمرہ کی تمام اشیاء تو دستیاب ہیں لیکن مقامی لوگوں کو اشیاء خوردو نوش کی قیمتیں مہنگی ہونے کی شکایت ہے۔ایک سبزی فروش نیاز علی نے بتایا کہ وہ ٹماٹر بیس روپے، بھنڈی اور پیاز تیس تیس روپے، آلو اور توری بیس بیس روپے، بینگن پندرہ روپے اور آم پچاس روپے کلو بیچ رہے ہیں۔ ان کے بقول چیزیں اتنی مہنگی نہیں ہیں۔

اس دوران اسکول کی چھٹی ہوئی تو نیلے رنگ کی قمیص اور ہلکے سیاہ رنگ کی پتلوں میں ملبوس کئی بچے بستے اٹھائے گھروں کو جاتے نظر آئے۔ بازار میں رمضان کے باوجود کئی مقامی لوگ کھاتے پیتے نظر آئے اور ایف سی اہلکار جو خود روزہ رکھے ہوئے تھے لیکن ضیاء الحق کے نافذ کردہ احترام رمضان آرڈیننس کے جرم میں کسی کے خلاف کارروائی سے گریزاں نظر آئے جس کی ایک بڑی وجہ بعض مقامی لوگوں کے مطابق یہ ہے کہ انہیں لگتا ہے کہ موجودہ حکومت نے سیکورٹی فورسز کو احتیاط برتنے اور مقامی لوگوں کو تنگ نہ کرنے کی ہدایات دے رکھی ہیں۔

لیکن ڈیرہ بگٹی کے ایک بڑے شہر سوئی کے رہائشی وڈیرہ شیر محمد سیکورٹی فورسز کے رویہ میں بڑی تبدیلی آنے کا کریڈٹ اپنے نواب میر عالی کو دیتے ہیں۔ ’دیکھیں جناب چند ماہ پہلے میرے گھر کے سامنے فراریوں (برہمداغ کے حامی) نے بجلی کے ٹاور کو ریموٹ کنٹرول بم سے اڑایا تو فوج اور ایف سی والوں نے ہمارے اہل خانہ کے تمام لوگوں کو سڑک پر کھڑا کردیا لیکن گزشتہ رات وہیں پر ایک اور کھمبے کو اڑایا گیا تو کسی نے ہمیں نہیں پکڑا۔

تاہم انٹیلی جنس والے بھی مجھ سے فون پر تفصیل پوچھتے رہے۔مشرف کے جانے کے بعد نئی حکومت کے قیام اور ہمارے نواب میر عالی بگٹی کے سوئی میں آنے سے یہ بہت بڑی تبدیلی آئی ہے۔اللہ کرے حالات مزید بہتر ہوں۔‘

ڈیرہ بگٹی اور سوئی کے شہروں میں بجلی کے کھمبوں میں قائد اعظم کی تصاویر نصب کی گئی ہیں۔ سوئی کے بازاروں میں نواب میر عالی بگٹی کی جماعت جمہوری وطن پارٹی کے دو رنگوں اور چار ستاروں والے پرچم جگہ جگہ نظر آئے لیکن ڈیرہ بگٹی شہر میں ان کے پرچموں سے زیادہ پاکستان کا سبز ہلالی پرچم لہراتا ہوا نظر آیا۔

اکثر عام لوگ کہتے ہیں کہ اب خدا کرے دوبارہ کوئی لڑائی نہ ہو اور وہ پرسکون زندگی گزار سکیں لیکن کچھ بگٹی قبیلے کے لوگوں کو خدشہ ہے کہ نوابی کے لیے برہمداغ اور میر عالی کے حامیوں میں ایک بار پھر جھڑپیں ہوسکتی ہیں۔

ڈیرہ بگٹی شہر کے علاوہ سوئی اور دیگر علاقوں میں جہاں بے گھر بگٹیوں کی واپسی سے زندگی معمول کی طرف آنے لگی ہے وہاں بظاہر سیکورٹی فورسز کے رویہ میں بھی ماضی کی نسبت قدرے مثبت تبدیلی دیکھنے کو ملتی ہے۔ ۔۔۔۔بشکریہ : بی بی سی

China and India

China's think tanks are different. Unlike US think tanks that are ostensibly independent of government, and a few really are, in China they are tied to the State Council or the Communist Party of China, which itself is the country's leading think tank in terms of effectiveness. They are different too because they are run by genuine intellectuals and scholars, unlike ours, which are packed with retired bureaucrats, generals and air marshals and journalists who couldn't really make it because most are government funded. Which is not to say that good papers do not sometimes come out of them or they are not used by governments for work that needs to seem non-governmental, like the Track II diplomacy with India. But they have little or no impact on government policy. Chinese think tanks have to be taken seriously, especially when they go public, for they definitely reflect government's thinking, and few more so than the China Institute of Strategic Studies. Thus the BBC News report earlier this month that the China Institute of Strategic Studies had come out with a study penned by someone with the pseudonym of 'Zhan Lue', which apparently means 'Strategy', that India should be broken into 30 independent states, made people sit up. We who had grown so used to the perennial claptrap that America would fragment Pakistan never thought that China would talk of fragmenting India. Obviously it put a cat of tiger proportions amongst India's pigeons. The Indian foreign ministry dismissed Zhan's report as "the work of an individual that did not reflect the official Chinese position." The question arises that if this is all that it was, why did the Indian government even have to take notice of it and thus bring it to world attention? The inevitable conclusion is that the report is serious and has to be taken seriously. Zhan suggests that a fragmented India would lead to prosperity in the region and would be in China's interest. The latter is stating the obvious; the former merits consideration because a country as large as India run on an alien political system cannot relieve the poverty of so many people, as China has done and continues to do with its homegrown system. (The same holds true of Pakistan, by the way). Despite 62 years of endless elections that pass for 'democracy', 76 percent or more of India's people remain desperately poor, earning $2 per day or less. (The figure is a couple of points lower in Pakistan, which is equally disgraceful).

The Book I Really cant,t put down

India's 1998 Nuclear Test Was A Failure

Jaswan Singh ki Book Aik Sach

Jaswant Singh

India’s first moon mission ‘over’

Well done, Jaswant!

Now that Jaswant Singh is all set to visit Pakistan with his book after Ramazan, let us await reactions there. Some will find Jaswant’s book heart-warming. But there are also those in the post-Zia-ul Haq establishment who will find Jinnah’s lukewarm approach to Islamism an affront

Lord Denis Healey, the best prime
minister Britain never had, told me a story some years ago which might be of interest now that India is in a scrum re-evaluating Jinnah.

During a general election in the first quarter of the 20th century (Healey’s memory is hazy on the exact date), a short list of three Labour Party candidates from South Leeds contained a surprising name: Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Healey peered through his bushy eyebrows and asked, “Don’t you think Indian history would have been different if Jinnah got the Labour ticket and won?”

Healey’s question is another one of those “what-might-have-been” quantities in the history of the subcontinent.

The hullabaloo that has followed publication of Jaswant Singh’s book is, quite honestly, because Jaswant happens to be a senior BJP leader who praised Jinnah.

As far as the Sangh Parivar is concerned, any appraisal of Jinnah was a settled issue: our (Sangh) appraisal versus their (secularists) appraisal. What Jaswant’s book has done is to upset this “Us vs Them” status quo.

This kind of deviation was first attempted by LK Advani himself when, during a visit to Pakistan, he praised Jinnah’s August 11, 1947 address to the Constituent Assembly in Karachi in which Jinnah spoke with clarity of his vision of a secular Pakistan. The entire Sangh Parivar, led by the RSS, pounced on Advani. Even Congress leaders did not spare him. This despite the fact that Advani returned with a huge sweetener to soften Hindu sentiment: a commitment by President Musharraf to restore the ancient Katasraj temple site. Temple or no temple, Advani must recant. Advani lost nerve and backed off.

Jaswant has not been asked to recant as Advani was. He has been summarily sacked. What were the reasons for Jaswant having been treated in this fashion?

The book was released on the eve of the BJP’s Chintan Baithak (brainstorming session) in Shimla. The session itself took place when the party was in terminal decline after the Lok Sabha debacle.

In any event, the party was in no mood to allow Jaswant to cock-a-snook at the galaxy gathered in Shimla. Instead, someone had a brainwave: turn the tables on Jaswant and extract political mileage. Precipitate action against Jaswant (what Arun Shourie in another context calls “jhatka”), would deflect attention from all the guilty men responsible for the party’s downhill acceleration. It would delay the ignominious departure of leaders who are so mesmerised by their own presence on the wobbly political stage that they have forgotten their exits.

Take precipitate action on what count? After all, even assuming that all those sunk in deep thought in Shimla do read books, how on earth do they claim to have read a 700-page tome overnight?

Was it media initiative or the publishers’ imaginative marketing strategy, that bits from Jaswant’s pre-launch interview to a channel were splashed across the front pages of newspapers the next morning? There was enough material here for the Chintan Baithak to go into convulsions: the Sangh Parivar’s villain, Jinnah, had been cast as a hero; their hero, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, had been shown as being complicit in partition. But what really drove them to distraction was something else:

Woh baat saare fasaney

mein jiska zikr na thaw

Woh baat unko bahut

Nagawar guzri hai!

(The fact which was not even there in the narrative is precisely the one that has hurt them the most.)

For a full fifty years, the Sangh Parivar has persisted with its chant of “Muslim appeasement”. And here, one of their top leaders talks of Muslim pain, the Sachar Committee, the fact that the guilt of partition was heaped on Muslims when Hindus took a lead in the tragedy.

This reversal of fifty years of assiduously sustained propaganda is what jolted those assembled in Shimla. When BJP leaders charged Jaswant of “denigrating” the party’s “core” ideology, this is the pain they were giving vent to. Jaswant is simply teasing the Parivar spokesmen when he asks with feigned innocence: “What is so core about Sardar Patel?”

“Patel united the country,” they scream in chorus.

“But Patel seconded the resolution moved by Jawaharlal Nehru for the country’s partition at the crucial Congress Working Committee meeting,” retorts Jaswant.

It is conceivable that the Parivar has made an admission here: that Sardar Patel integrated the 600 odd princely states, including Hyderabad, into the Indian Union, and it is on this count that they consider him the nation’s unifier. Ostrich like, they have simply buried their heads in the sand on Patel’s established complicity in partition.

Of course, there were petty reasons too for the party to expel Jaswant. Narendra Modi was quaking because the alleged criticism of Sardar Patel would affect his Patel votes in the coming by-elections in Gujarat. By way of bonus, some juice may well be extracted from the controversy in the Maharashtra elections.

By one courageous act of having written a straightforward book on Partition in which Jinnah is cast as a man of honour, Jaswant has thrown a huge boulder in the pond. The waves are affecting Congress too.

The Parivar has rushed to protect Sardar Patel. Does the Congress watch this appropriation of one of their icons by the RSS-BJP combine in silence? Or do they go out beating their breasts (as they appear to be doing in Gujarat) to the accompaniment of a chant: “Sardar Patel is ours! Sardar Patel is ours!”

In this public reacquisition of Sardar Patel, do they completely ignore Nehru? But if they bring Nehru into the discourse, what do they say?

That it was he who moved the partition resolution at the crucial CWC?

In his book, India Wins Freedom, Maulana Azad, Congress President from 1939 to 1946, blames Nehru and Patel squarely for partition. Jaswant quotes him.

In brief, Maulana Azad and Badshah Khan, two Muslim members of the CWC, are fiercely opposed to partition. Now Jaswant reinforces the uncomfortable reality that Jinnah, another Muslim, was pushed into a corner only by the Congress leaders.

Why is this reality so disturbing for most of us? It is disturbing because the basic perception that has sunk into the Hindu psyche over the past 62 years is that Muslims divided the country and also stayed on. It is just the sort of turf on which communalists pitch their tent.

Jaswant’s is a laudable effort. A pity he has not had access to Mushtaq Naqvi’s remarkable and much neglected book Partition: The Real Story. The following data from Mushtaq’s book would have strengthened his argument:

During the 1945-46 elections in UP, the total electorate was only 10.2% of the province’s Muslims. Of these only 52% of the electorate voted; in other words, nearly 5% of the total electorate. The Muslim League won only 37.3% of the total electorate.

UP was the epicentre of Muslim League activity. If the returns of UP are superimposed on the rest of the country, we end up with the startling truth that only three out of a hundred Muslims wanted Pakistan.

How then did Partition happen?

Well done, Jaswant, for having opened up this debate. But who has the stamina or even the minimal interest to sustain it?

And now that Jaswant is all set to visit Pakistan with his book after Ramazan, let us await reactions there. Some will find Jaswant’s book heart-warming. But there are also those in the post-Zia-ul Haq establishment who will find Jinnah’s lukewarm approach to Islamism an affront.

Pakistan slams US media report on upgrading missile

Pakistan's Ambassador in the United States Hussain Haqqani on Sunday termed a U.S. newspaper report, alleging Pakistani engineers have upgraded the range of U.S.-made Harpoon missile and test fired, baseless and incorrect.

The Pakistani private TV channel GEO News quoted Hussain Haqqani as saying that such news reports were designed to target and scuttle the U.S. Congress lawmaking process underway for sanctioning aid to Pakistan.

He urged upon the U.S. media to halt hurling blames on Pakistan and help it in war against terror, and said Pakistan would continue aligning with the U.S. in war against terrorism.

The Obama administration has accused Pakistan of illegally modifying U.S.-made missiles earlier given to Pakistan to expand its ability to hit land-based targets, which would constitute a threat to India, The New York Times reported in Sunday editions.

Citing senior administration and Congressional officials, the newspaper said the charge came in late June through an unpublicized diplomatic protest to Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and other top Pakistani officials.

The accusation which comes at a particularly delicate time, when the administration is asking Congress to approve 7.5 billion U.S. dollars in aid to Pakistan over the next five years, triggered a new round of U.S.-Pakistan

Pakistan illegally modified US-made missiles: White House

The US government has accused Pakistan of illegally modifying US-made anti-ship missiles to make them capable of striking land targets and thus creating a new threat for India, The New York Times reported late on Saturday.

Citing unnamed senior administration and congressional officials, the newspaper said the accusation was made in an unpublicized diplomatic protest delivered in late June to Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

At the center of the row were Harpoon anti-ship missiles that were sold to Pakistan by the administration of former US president Ronald Reagan as a defensive weapon during the Cold War in the 1980s, the report said.

US military and intelligence officials say they suspect that Pakistan has modified the missiles in a manner that would be a violation of the Arms Control Export Act, the paper said.

Pakistan has denied the charge, saying it developed the missile itself. But according to the report, US intelligence agencies detected on April 23 a suspicious missile test that appeared to indicate that Pakistan had a new offensive weapon.

The missile would be a significant new entry into Pakistan's arsenal against India, The Times said. It would enable Pakistan's navy to strike targets on land, complementing the sizable land-based missile arsenal that Pakistan has developed.

That, in turn, would be likely to spur another round of an arms race between the nuclear-armed rivals that the United States has been trying to halt, the paper noted.

‘The potential for proliferation and end-use violations are things we watch very closely,’ The Times quotes an administration official as saying.

‘When we have concerns, we act aggressively.’

The United States has also accused Pakistan of modifying US-made P-3C aircraft for land-attack missions, another violation of US law that the administration of President Barack Obama has protested, the report said.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Indian Muslim women stage protest on veil statement

First Published : 29 Aug 2009 08:27:54 AM IST
Last Updated : 29 Aug 2009 10:06:29 AM IST

HYDERABAD: Tension prevailed at Vani Degree College for women at Mehdipatnam after the its principal is said have asked a burqa-clad student to unveil herself for identification before entering the college premises.

At this, hundreds of agitated undergraduates, joined by Intermediate students of the sister junior college, raised slogans against the principal, Y Annapurna. They also pelted the college building with stones, prompting a lathi-charge by the police.

The trouble apparently began on account of the “unveiling” episode, but in fact it had been brewing over the last few days, with the rift between the students and the principal widening.

On Thursday evening, the students staged a dharna in front of the college demanding an apology from Annapurna. The issue seemed to have been sorted out following the intervention of Karwan MIM MLA Afsar Khan. But surprisingly, on Friday morning, the students gathered outside the college and staged a dharna demanding the principal’s suspension.

Anticipating trouble, policemen had been deployed there in large numbers.

Nevertheless, they had a tough time preventing the agitators from trying to storm the college.

On being thwarted by the police, the students began throwing stones at them. West Zone Deputy Commissioner of Police C Ravi Varma narrowly escaped being hit.

At length, the police resorted to a lathicharge and as the girls ran helter-skelter for safety the locality was gripped by fear for nearly half an hour. Traffic came to a standstill for more than an hour till the situation was brought under control.

Later, Afsar Khan arrived on the scene and pacified the agitated students and their parents and held discussions with college authorities and the police. For her part, principal Annapurna apologised to the students.

“The students alleged that the principal asked them not to wear the burqa to college, but the latter has denied it,” Asifnagar division Assistant Commissioner of Police M Venkateshwar Rao said.

Shops in the locality were closed for nearly two hours, and the college was closed for the day.

‘Not against veil’

Asif Nagar police registered cases under sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapons), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to a public servant) of Indian Penal Code against unknown people. Police said that no case was registered with regard to the burqa row as none of the students lodged a formal complaint with the police.

Speaking to ‘Express’, college principal Y Annapurna said some students were annoyed about the discipline insisted by Vani Degree College for Women. “Some students are against the discipline followed in our college and want to make an issue out of nothing.

From our side we will never insist on any student not to wear a burqa,’’ Annapurna clarified.