Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Indian's quest for SURYA ICBM has more to do with its payload capacity than its distance flying capabilities. SURYA means SUN.

CAG has recently castigated the deep security holes in India’s defences. Be it ships, submarines, aircrafts, radar coverage, India is deeply at risk from a sudden Pakistani attack, leave aside China. That Pakistan today is embroiled in a war within, and the US is at its western borders, limits its chances to play prank. India must quickly utilize the time and the threat perception to get its act together. Be it Phalcon AWACS, advanced fighter jets, air-craft carriers, nuclear submarines and even pay-scales of the armed force – the overhaul is required and NOW.

However, the worst kept secret is India’s nuclear capability. It is here that Pakistan is vastly superior not only on technology but on delivery platforms.

(I have been lamblasted for stating that Pakistani nuclear arsenal is vastly superior. But that is the truth. There is a difference between "re-inventing the wheel" and "buying into a tried and tested wheel". Pakistan's methods in buying into a tested wheel may have been dubious, but no one can deny them success in achieving the end objectives.).

Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal are in excess of 60 (probably 100) compared to India’s 35 to 50. Pakistan’s sophisticated nuclear weapons are all missile based, whereas India’s is not. India still has to deliver its nuclear weapons by its air-force.

This places India at a serious disadvantage today. Both China’s and Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal are missile based.

India’s nuclear bombs are heavy and bulky and cannot be fitted on unreliable missiles India has. Even if the Indian missiles become “reliable”, India has NOT been able to miniaturized the nuclear warheads adequately to fit the cones of these missiles.

All of India’s indigenous missiles have been abject failures. This is where Surya: Surya 1 & Surya 2, with a range of 8000 to 20,000kms – the ICBM (Inter Continental Ballistic Missile) comes in.

India’s satellite program has been a tremendous success, unlike its missile program. Surya ICBM will borrow heavily from the satellite program, making the missile more reliable and “worthy”. Also, Surya will be able to carry the “heavier” Indian payloads as India has not mastered the “miniaturisation” technology that will allow the nuclear warhead to be fitted on the cones of a smaller missile.

To counter the threat from China and Pakistan, all India needs are short and medium range missiles and not ICBM. Ideally, the supersonic Brahmos would have given a game changer advantage for India over Pakistan, if it were “nuclear weaponised”. While efforts are on towards this, India has so far not been successful.

Therefore, India does not have a proven nuclear warhead in the 1000 kg range for fielding in Agni missiles. Thus, SURYA comes in to correct the serious flaw in our nuclear deterrent. ICBM Surya is therefore not required for its delivery range but for its payload capacity.

ERIC MARGOLIS states: For the past decade, India has been quietly developing a series of ICBM's under cover of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The GSLV-III heavy space launcher, which India has used to put numerous satellites into orbit, has been transformed into its new, three-stage Surya ICBM with a range of 6-7,000 miles. A missile that can launch heavy satellites can also deliver warheads at long range.

Why does India need ICBM's? India's Agni-III medium range nuclear-armed missile can cover nearly all potential enemies, such as China, Iran, and Russia. India's short-ranged Prithivi missiles can cover all of Pakistan.

Over 60% of Indians subsist on less than $2 daily. About 75% lack indoor plumbing. Yet India, one of the world's poorest nations, has embarked on a buildup of hugely expensive strategic arms that has made it the world's third or fourth nuclear weapons power after the U.S., Russia, and Israel.

Since India is most unlikely to war with Europe, Australia, or Latin America, the only other conceivable target for India's long-ranged ICBM's would be the United States.

Eric Margolis gets the last part wrong. The target is not the United States, but countries nearer to India. And as stated before, we need the ICBM more for its "PAYLOAD CAPACITY" and not for its "RANGE".

A look back at the Indian missiles:

PHRITHVI: MIXED. The only reliable delivery system inducted is the 300 kms range. Subsequent versions of this missile are undergoing tests and are not “accurate”. Hence there are 2 old missile groups (222 & 333) and two new groups (444 & 555).

AKASH: Failure. Akash was meant as a substitute for Pechora. After several years of testing, Akash has been shelved.

TRISHUL: Failure. It has been tested over 80 times without coming anywhere near being operational. Trishul is now being replaced by Israeli BARAK and Russian systems.

NAG: Failure. This anti-tank missile was a colossal failure with the Army refusing to place order for this missile.

AGNI: Failure. Agni I (range: 700 -800 kms) and Agni II (range upto 2500 kms) were both failures. The jury is still out there on the Agni III launch (3500 kms). The last Agni test landed 800 kms off its intended target. In an earlier test, the navy personnel were eagerly awaiting a few kms off the intended splash down point of Agni, and they could not see any splash down. No one knew where it splashed down, or how far. To the media, we shouted that the test was a resounding success. 2 Missile groups have been cleared (334 for Agni I) and (335 for Agni II), but whether they are operational is not known.

BRAHMOS: Success.

In midst of all these failures (barring Brahmos) of our missile program, ISRO with its satellite launch technology shines bright.

In fact, a Pakistani think tank commented: “How could a country that cannot feed, or clothe its population build space vehicles. How can a country whose entire missile program was scrapped by the military send rockets into space? How can a country which takes 10 years to design a plane creates a dud, explore the moon? How can a country where 75% of the population lives below Sub-Saharan poverty find the money to spend on satellite technology (India: More than 75% live below Sub Saharan poverty line ). How can the hungriest country in Asia compete with the Chinese and the Japanese?”

ISRO is indeed India’s pride. It has launched flawlessly and at far cheaper cost than any of its competitors and with the recent launch of a vehicle to the moon, Chandrayaan-1, ISRO has added another deserving feather in its cap.

The technology for SURYA ICBM would be that of a space launch vehicle, directly via the PSVL (Polar Satellite Vehicle Launch).

ROAD TO INDIA’S ICBM CAPABILITY: (Sequence taken from and corroborated from various sites, articles. Mostly from

1960s: NASA trains Indian scientists at Wallops Island, Virginia, in sounding rockets and provides Nike-Apache sounding rockets to India. France, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union also supply sounding rockets.

1963-1964: A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, an Indian engineer then, works at Wallops Island, where the Scout space-launch vehicle (an adaptation of Minuteman ICBM solid-fuel rocket technology) is flown.

1965: Following Kalam’s return to India, the Indian Atomic Energy Commission requests U.S. assistance with the Scout, and NASA provides unclassified reports.

1969-1970: U.S. firms supply equipment for the Solid Propellant Space Booster Plant at Sriharikota.

1970s: Kalam becomes head of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), in charge of developing space launch vehicles.

May 1974: India conducts a “peaceful nuclear explosion.”

1980s: The United States and its six economic summit partners secretly negotiate the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). After one and a half years of difficult negotiations on the question of space launch vehicles, all partners agree that they must be treated as restrictively as ballistic missiles because their hardware, technology, and production facilities are interchangeable. The MTCR is informally implemented in 1985 and is publicly announced in 1987.

July 1980: India launches its first satellite with the SLV-3 rocket, a close copy of the NASA Scout.

February 1982: Kalam becomes head of the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in charge of adapting space-launch vehicle technology to ballistic missiles.

May 1989: India launches its first Agni “technology demonstrator” surface-to-surface missile. The Agni’s first stage is essentially the first stage of the SLV-3. Later, the Agni becomes a family of three short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

1990: The United States enacts a sanctions law against missile proliferation. Two weeks later, the Soviet Union agrees to supply India with cryogenic upper-stage rockets and technology, and the two parties become the first countries sanctioned under the new U.S. law.

1993: The United States lifts sanctions on Russia after Moscow agrees to limit the transfer to a small number of rocket engines and not production technology.

1994: India launches the Polar Space Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Stages 1 and 3 are 2.8-meter-diameter solid-fuel rockets. Stages 2 and 4 are liquid-fuel Vikas engines derived from 1980s French technology transfers.

May 1998: India tests nuclear weapons after decades of protesting that its nuclear program was exclusively peaceful. The United States imposes broad sanctions on nuclear- and missile/space-related transfers.

April 1999: India launches the Agni II, an extended range missile that tests re-entry vehicle “technology that can be integrated with the PSLV programme to create an ICBM” according to a defense ministry official.

May 1999: Defense News cites DRDO officials as stating that the Surya is under development.

November 1999: India ’s minister of state for defense (and former head of DRDO), Bachi Singh Rawat, says India is developing an ICBM known as Surya that would “have a range of up to” 5,000 kilometers. A little more than two weeks later, Rawat is reportedly stripped of his portfolio because of his disclosure.

April 2001: Khrunichev State Space Science and Pro duction Center announces that it will supply five more cryogenic upper stages to India within the next three years.

September 2001:The United States lifts many of the technology sanctions it imposed in 1998. Subsequently, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visits the United States amid agreement to broaden the technology dialogue.

December 2001: A U.S. National Intelligence Estimate states, ” India could convert its polar space launch vehicle into an ICBM within a year or two of a decision to do so.”

July 2002: Kalam becomes President of India.

September 2002: The United States tells India it will not object to India launching foreign satellites as long as they do not contain U.S.-origin components.

January 2004: President George W. Bush agrees to expand cooperation with India in “civilian space programs” but not explicitly to cooperate with space launches. This measure is part of a bilateral initiative dubbed “Next Steps in Strategic Partnership.”

October 2004: A Russian Academy of Sciences deputy director reportedly states that India is planning to increase the range of the Agni missile to 5,000 kilometers and to design the Surya ICBM with a range of 8,000-12,000 kilometers.

July 2005: Bush agrees to cooperate with India on “satellite navigation and launch,” and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agrees to “adherence to Missile Technology Control Regime guidelines.”

August 2005: According to Indian Ministry of Defense sources, there are plans to use the non-cryogenic Vikas stage for the Surya and to have the missile deliver a 2.5-3.5-metric-ton payload with two or three warheads with explosive yields of 15-20 kilotons.

11th October 2008: Indo - US Nuclear Deal signed and ratified.

Why 15-20 kilotons?

The nuclear tests carried out at 3:45 pm on May 11th were claimed by the Indian government to be a simultaneous detonation of three different devices - a fission device with a yield of about 12 kilotons (KT), a thermonuclear device with a yield of about 43 KT, and a sub-kiloton device. The two tests carried out at 12:21 pm on May 13th were also detonated simultaneously with reported yields in the range of 0.2 to 0.6 KT.

However, there is some controversy about these claims. Based on seismic data, U.S. government sources and independent experts estimated the yield of the so-called thermonuclear test in the range of 12-25 kilotons, as opposed to the 43-60 kiloton yield claimed by India. This lower yield raised skepticism about India's claims to have detonated a thermonuclear device.

Observers initially suggested that the test could have been a boosted fission device, rather than a true multi-stage thermonuclear device. By late 1998 analysts at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory had concluded that the India had attempted to detonate a thermonuclear device, but that the second stage of the two-stage bomb failed to ignite as planned.

Given that India’s claim of detonating a thermo-nuclear device is contested and is probably correct, India’s reliance back to bulky nuclear payload and an ICBM as a delivery platform starts to make sense. Multiple warheads : Sounds good.

The news gets better. Surya may have a healthy competition from HSTDV - The Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle. This is beyond Brahmos, but incorporates the success of this superonic cruise missile. India is working on Brahmos II which will have hypersonic speed - Mach 5. Taking the lessons from here, India is collaborating with Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) for a long range hypersonic cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads - the HSTDV. Of the many missiles that India is developing or has tried to develop, I am bullish about HSTDV as it is based on a proven stable platform of Brahmos, and in the hands of the Brahmos Team and IAI. It is the pre-cursor to a "re-usable" platform too !

Monday, October 27, 2008

FROM GREAT GAME TO GREAT BARGAIN. Ending chaos in Afghanistan & Pakistan



Authored by : Barnett R Rubin and Ahmed Rashid.

Barnett Rubin is one of the foremost scholars alive with impeccable insider knowledge on Afghanistan having worked in “special diplomatic” and other capacities in helping Afghanistan through its turbulent period. He is currently Director of Studies and Sr Fellow at the Centre on International Co-operation at NYU.

Ahmed Rashid is an immensely respected journalist synonymous with the seminal book “Taliban” and the recent best selling author of “Descent into Chaos.” Ahmed Rashid had an interesting life earlier, along with the likes of Najam Sethi, in the mountains of Baluchistan.

Both the above gentlemen are extremely important, they form the core group that Gen Patreus has formed to understand the ground situation (historical, ethnic, religious etc) in Afghanistan – hence any article of theirs should be given due importance.

NEWS AS ON OCTOBER 30TH 2008: Dr Rubin's allegiance to the quaint concept of civilian control over foreign policy may have cost him a seat at General Petraeus's round table of knights questing for the counter-insurgency grail. Jim Lobe reports that Rubin's collaborator on the think-piece "From Great Game to Grand Bargain", one of the seminal documents of the Taliban engagement policy, Ahmed Rashid, was invited to join the general's brain trust. But Dr Rubin apparently was not.


"The Great Game has never been 'fun' for anyone except the Pakistani elite and their Western drinking buddies - the Great Game has meant death to thousands and hundreds of thousands if not millions of less privileged innocents in the region at every turn of the chakkar.

Each time the West panders to the Pakistani elite in the name of the Great Game, millions end up dead and Pakistani elite ends up richer by millions, with hundreds if not thousands of acres of more land in each one's name, a fatter foreign bank balance, a more ironclad grip over their hapless subjects and of course their 'sense of seige' intact to scam the West yet again in the future.

Whenever the West pandered to the Pakistani elite's sense of seige, first a million odd Punjabis died, in 1947, then a million odd East Bengalis died in 1971 and ultimately a million odd Afghans, if not more have been killed since in the two decades since the Soviets left.

Far from accepting or assigning any responsibility for these millions of deaths and prolonged conflict fueled by Pakistani rulers, the West seeks to continue to pander to Pakistani elite and to continue to justify the violence this ruling elite perpetrates on unarmed innocents in the name of 'insecurity'.

What the West must understand is that it(the West) is becoming more and more complicit in these close to genocidal acts and in the continuing irresponsible attitude of the Pakistan elite about their sins of omission towards their own 'subjects'(ordinary Pakistanis can be called nothing else) and their sins of commission against the region.

It is disappointing that the two authors whom I consider have done the most to honestly and bravely document these acts of commission by Pakistani strategic elite have been taken in enough by the said elites' smooth talk and 'sweet reasonableness' into rationalising them.

For instance, the Taliban, Afghan or Pakistan, or the Pak Army will not give up their links to Al Qaeda or global jihadi groups, because they can't. Jihadis don't magically transform into 'secular' or 'political' or 'nationalist' activists because America decreess they can only attack Indians and Afghan Shias, Uzbeks and Tajiks, jihadis still remain Al Qaeda fellow travellers deriving funding from Sunni Wahabis, and ideological justification from whatever Islamist mishmash the Pak govt allows its school system and religious madrassas to propagate.

Offering to give up links with Al Qaeda does not translate into actually doing so, because those offering know that the West cannot enforce any agreement on them to give up links to Al Qaeda.

What is needed is a combined top-down and bottom-up approach in Afghanistan on the ground not an elite compromise in some foreign city(which will never ever be sustainable as long as Pakistani top brass is part of it, as history in the last 20 years is witness).

The Afghan government and the West must win over Taliban fighters at the grassroots, and then take that strength of support with them to the puppet-masters in Pakistan to COERCE them to compromise.

Begging for compromise which you cannot impose by your own strengths will never work, and will only be taken as weakness. Working at reform and rehabilitiation of Taliban fighters from village to village, district to district, region to region is hard hard work, but will be the only durable solution. Anything else(such as taking the Pakistani military or Mullah Omar or Haqqani or Hekmatyar's words for anything) will be just yet another unenforceable military-political compromise (of which Afghanistan has seen dozens), which will collapse on the whims of any single party."

Summarizing the article:
Rubin & Rashid (R & R) state that Afghanistan is a poor country. 50% of its GDP is in illicit form (opium). The Afghan govt collected 7% of a licit GDP est at $ 9.60 Billion in revenue = $ 670 million. R&R go on to extrapolate increasing collection efficiency on an increasing GDP and state that at best in 10 years time, the total domestic revenue of the Afghan govt would be $ 2.50 billion.

The current expense on the Afghan National Army (@70,000 troops today) is $ 2.50 billion and another $1 billion for the police. Thus R&R argue – Afghanistan economy will not be able to sustain this economically. The funding has to come from US & NATO budgets, which probably will not work because ANSF might have to take actions that foreign taxpayers might find reluctant to fund.

R& R solution : The conditions in the region must be changed so that Afghanistan no longer needs such a large and expensive security force. Changing those conditions mean changing the behavior of actors not only inside but outside the country.

My 2 bit: US has decided to increase the ANSF numbers to 122,000. It flies in the face of the suggested R&R solution. The US feels it is a far cheaper long term option that its own “boots on street” which will cost many billions more and in the face of the economic meltdown – simply unsustainable. There are too many players in Afghanistan and Afghanistan simply does not have the luxury of time to wait out the R&R option of “conditions in the region must be changed”. Afghanistan will have to be internally strong to thwart designs from any / all of these actors that are detrimental to its national interests. Assuming for a moment that R&R&Co. manage to change the conditions TODAY conducive for a small Afghan force, can R&R&Co guarantee that these "conducive conditions" will be frozen ad infinitum. Realistically, conditions change and evolve over time - and in an adverse climate in future, Afghanistan will find itself hostage and vulnerable with its small force. Reducing forces as R&R suggest – will be disastrous for Afghanistan.

R&R state : The Pakistani military does not control the insurgency, but it can affect its intensity. Pakistan kept this area deliberately under developed and over armed as a barrier against invaders and also to conduct asymmetric warfare in both Afghanistan and Kashmir. Pakistan’s military command wants to incorporate Kashmir into Pakistan and considers Afghanistan as within Pakistan’s security parameter. Pakistan does not have a border agreement with Afghanistan, which has never recognized the Durand Line. This strategy for external security has undermined its internal security.

R&R solution: Integrate FATA into Pakistan as one of its provinces.

My 2 bit: DURAND Line was a border imposed ON the Afghans by the British Empire in 1983 to mark the frontier between British India and Afghanistan. This ARBITRARY line through the mountains had purposefully divided the Pushtun population of the region. It was agreed at that time that, on the HONG KONG model, after 100 years all of what became the North West Frontier Province (NWFP which incl FATA) would REVERT TO AFGHANISTAN. Hence R&R what you are stating is just the reverse and would help Pakistan but not Afghanistan, and you are going against a historical pledge to right a wrong.

R&R state: Unless the decision makers in Pakistan decide to make stabilizing the Afghan government a higher priority than countering the Indian threat, the insurgency conducted from bases in Pakistan will continue. The Pakistani security establishment believes it faces both a US-Indian-Afghan alliance and a separate Iranian – Russian alliance, each aimed at undermining Pakistani influence in Afghanistan and even dismembering the Pakistani state. Pakistan’s strategic goals in Afghanistan place Pakistan at odds not just with Afghanistan and India, and with US objectives in the region, but with the ENTIRE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.

R&R solution: Do not place Pakistan in a revised “axis of evil”. The international community should genuinely assuage legitimate sources of Pakistan’s insecurity while increasing the opposition to its disruptive actions. Pressurizing or giving aid to Pakistan, without any effort to address the source of its insecurity, cannot yield a sustainable positive outcome. China, being the largest investor in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, should play an increasingly significant role as should Saudi Arabia being the former supporter of Taliban and custodian of the two holiest Islamic shrines.

My 2 bit: China and S. Arabia are more Pakistan’s friends than Afghanistan’s. It was the erstwhile princes of S. Arabia that used to come to Afghanistan for “gaming” under Taliban patronage riding rough shod over the local Afghan population. R&R prescribes that Pakistan should be forgiven for its past sins, overlooked and pardoned and then compensated by integrating NWPF for its evil acts. Looks like R&R –your heart and mind are set with Pakistan while paying lip service to Afghanistan.

Short term – Long term solutions:
R&R state: US & Global objectives would require to acknowledge two distinctions:

1. Between ultimate goals and reasons to fight a war (eg: Preventing Al Qaeda from re-grouping – justifies war)
2. Among the time frames for different objectives (eg: strengthening the state & economy of Afghanistan – does not justify war.)

This medium to long term objective would require reducing the intensity of armed conflict, including by seeking a political settlement with current insurgents.
Therefore goals before international community:

1. Do they want to guarantee that Afghanistan’s territory will not be used to attack them?
2. Do they want to impose a particular government in Kabul?
3. Do they want to use the conflict to establish permanent bases in Kabul?

My 2 bit: Withdrawal of foreign troops are linked to number one above – but R&R do not say who will be providing the “guarantee” that the soil of Afghanistan will not be used for terrorism. By past history, only one country comes to mind and that is PAKSITAN.

R&R state that the Pakistani security forces lack the numbers, skills, equipments and motivation to confront the growing insurgencies in the two countries (Pakistan & Afghanistan) or to uproot Al Qaeda from its new base in FATA.

Dear R&R, in that case why are you both having selective amnesia and forgetting that Pakistan took $11 billion from US to buy hardware to fight the terrorists in FATA and Pakistan has blown up this money mostly into buying hardware that will help them militarily against INDIA and not against these forces in SWAT.

Can we trust Pakistan? The answer is NO. Be it Nuclear Wal – Mart, or jehad factory, the duplicity of Pakistan has been laid bare.

R&R state that US should make discussions credible by speaking with Islamists who have national objectives (as against Al Qaeda who have international objectives).
Dear R&R: Is there any distinction between Al Qaeda and Taliban anymore? Is Lashkar e Jahngvi an arm of Al Qaeda? Is Haqqani or Hekmatyar better than Mehsud – depends on which country you represent?

For the distinction between Taliban, the distinction between Taliban and Pakistan army has eroded. Zia’s Islamisation of Army and state has come to a full circle. Forget the fact that Pakistani army regulars were fighting side by side the Taliban before the “life-saving” evacuation at Kunduz. Three recent incidents:

1. After the Kargil cease fire, the Indians had informed their Pakistani counterparts that one of the peaks in Kargil – Drass was occupied by Pakistani soldiers contrary to the terms of cease fire agreement. A senior officer investigated and ordered the Captain in charge of the peak to return to the Pakistan side of line of control. The Captain accused his senior officer and the military high command of betraying the Islamist cause and shot the Senior Officer dead. The Islamist officer was finally disarmed, tried by a secret court martial and executed.

2. British officials covered up evidence that a Taliban commander killed by special forces in Helmand in 2007 was in fact a Pakistani military officer. The commander, targeted in a compound in the Sangin valley, was one of six killed in the past year by SAS and SBS forces. When the British soldiers entered the compound they discovered a Pakistani military ID on the body.

3. Blowing up of the Indian embassy in Kabul. American and French secret service have picked up telephonic intercepts beween ISI and Jalaluddin Haqqani led Taliban planning and orchestrating the attack. The Pakistani embassy in Kandahar was the local staging ground and planning was made in the Afghan desk of ISI. The Americans have so far to say that the Army chief Gen Kayani was aware of this plot. And why not? ISI falls under Pakistani Army. Since ISI is headed by a 3 star general, he is incumbent on keeping his Army boss fully on the loop - even for "deniable operations".

Pakistan army gives daily cover fire to infiltrate insurgents across to Afghanistan and to Kashmir, which actually led to a US retaliatory raid on Pakistan post killing 11 soldiers.

Dear R&R – these are not isolated incidents. The Talibanisation is not only the Pakistani army apparatus, it has seeped into general life too. Its cricket team has vociferous members of Tableeghi Jamaat (Inzamam Ul Haq, Md Yousuf and Mushtaq Ahmed – just to draw attention to the glamour world too). Recently, Hanif Md., author of the brilliant "A Case of Exploding Mangoes", left his self imposed exile in London and came back to Karachi, only to find nearly all the beautiful villas lining the Defence area going vacant. The original landowners are fleeing a more "Talibanised" Pakistan and are moving lock, stock and barrel to Dubai, London, Toronto make a decent living and providing their children a better future.

R&R – that Afghanistan possesses 5 million cell phones and as a nation incomparably stronger than it was 7 years ago does not make it a blank cheque on whose body the Taliban can come again, rape women and burn girl’s school and regress it back to stone ages. Afghanistan is in the dark ages, as it is today.

Please do not prescribe a pill that is ONLY good for Pakistan to digest and cause serious angst all around. Forget India, the serious concerns of Iran and Russia have not even been discussed. Note that - the prime benefactors of ANTI-TALIBAN forces in Afghanistan i.e. The NORTHERN ALLIANCE were : IRAN, INDIA & RUSSIA.

RUSSIA: At a press conference in the UN headquarters, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov alleged that in a spirit of "prejudiced bias", the US was blocking the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization from helping to stabilize Afghanistan. Indeed, cracks are appearing in the US-Russia understanding over the anti-terrorism campaign in Afghanistan. A turf war is ensuing - Washington is determined to exclude Russia from Afghanistan and Moscow insisting on its legitimate role.

IRAN: Tehran has invited former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani, who led the anti-Taliban coalition (Northern Alliance) in the 1990s to visit Iran. Iran has curiously propped up Alaeddin Broujerdi - the principal designer and architect of the Northern Alliance and a key strategist of the anti-Taliban resistance in the 1996-98 period. Iran has dropped hints and more: If US is planning to bring any form of Taliban rule into Afghanistan, IRAN will unleash its contacts in Northern Alliance as counter.

Dr. Rubin, recently came out with an interesting article :The US & IRAN in Afghanistan: Policy Gone Awry - a must read.

Friday, October 24, 2008


This makes for a fascinating read - truth blends with belief and backed by research. There is a major movie by Universal Studios coming soon on this subject : JESUS IN INDIA.

Ahmediyya sect believes that Jesus Christ is buried in Kashmir (tomb of Yuz Asaf in Srinagar). Coincidentally, Ahmediyya Muslims are categorized as Muslims all over the world, except PAKSITAN.

Many Sunni Muslims regard the Ahmediyyas as non-Muslims, because, unlike Sunnis, they do not believe that the Prophet Mohammed was the last Muslim prophet.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmed was the founder of Ahmediyya sect. He was born in Qadian in 1835, the grandson of a Muslim general who fought under the legendary Sikh ruler Maharaja RANJIT SINGH. Mirza became a religious scholar and mired himself in Persian and Arabic manuscripts and books on early Islam. His writings impressed even Tolstoy.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmed entered into dangerous territory when he proclaimed that he received a divine revelation entrusting him with a divine mission. The revelation that he received was : JESUS, SON OF MARY, HAD NOT DIED ON THE CROSS, HAD NOT ASCENDED TO HEAVEN, BUT HAD RATHER BEEN RESCUED OFF THE CROSS BY AN INTREPID BAND OF DISCIPLES, CURED OF HIS WOUNDS, AND HELPED TO ESCAPE FROM PALESTINE. JESUS REACHED KASHMIR, WHERE HE LIVED A LONG AND HAPPY LIFE AND DIED A NATURAL DEATH."

The rescue of Jesus and his asylum in Kashmir negated any idea of literal Resurrection. What it means, according to ISLAM: Someone with all the attributes of Jesus would one day appear among the followers of Phrophet of ISLAM. Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, he pronounced, was none other than THAT PERSON and should be accordingly greeted and treated as the MESSIAH, whose arrival had been foretold.

Mainstream ISLAM responded with a shower of FATWAS but the Ahmediyya sect continued to grow.

More than Christianity, if actual proof of burial of Jesus is proved - this will have cataclysmic effect on the Muslim world. A carbon dating on the corpse of Yuz Asaf should be the first step.


The Russian scholar, Nicolai Notovich, was the first to suggest that Christ may have gone to India. In 1887, Notovich, a Russian scholar and Orientalist, arrived in Kashmir during one of several journeys to the Orient. At the Zoji-la pass Notovich was a guest in a Buddhist monastery, where a monk told him of the bhodisattva saint called "Issa". Notovich was stunned by the remarkable parallels of Issa's teachings and martyrdom with that of Christ's life, teachings and crucifixion.

For about sixteen years, Christ travelled through Turkey, Persia, Western Europe and possibly England. He finally arrived with Mary to a place near Kashmir, where she died. After many years in Kashmir, teaching to an appreciative population, who venerated him as a great prophet, reformer and saint, he died and was buried in a tomb in Kashmir itself.

The first step in Christ's trail after the Crucifixion is found in the Persian scholar F. Mohammed's historical work "Jami-ut-tuwarik" which tells of Christ's arrival in the kingdom of Nisibis, by royal invitation. (Nisibis is today known as Nusaybin in Turkey) . This is reiterated in the Imam Abu Jafar Muhammed's "Tafsi-Ibn-i-Jamir at-tubri." Kersten found that in both Turkey and Persia there are ancient stories of a saint called "Yuz Asaf" ("Leader of the Healed"), whose behaviour, miracles and teachings are remarkably similar to that of Christ.

The many Islamic and Hindu historical works recording local history and legends of kings, noblemen and saints of the areas thought to be travelled by Jesus also give evidence of a Christ like man; the Koran, for example, refers to Christ as "Issar". Further east, the Kurdish tribes of Eastern Anatolia have several stories describing Christ's stay in Eastern Turkey after his resurrection. These traditional legends have been ignored by the theological community.

Kersten also suggests that prior to Christ's mission in the Middle East, he may have been exposed to Buddhist teachings in Egypt. After his birth in Bethlehem, his family fled to Egypt to avoid Herod's persecution. Surprisingly some scholars now acknowledge that Buddhist schools probably existed in Alexandria long before the Christian era.

More clues are drawn from the Apocrypha. These are texts said to have been written by the Apostles but which are not officially accepted by the Church. Indeed, the Church regards them as heresy since a substantial amount of the Apocrypha directly contradicts Church dogma and theology. The Apocryphal 'Acts of Thomas', for example, tell how Christ met Thomas several times after the Crucifixion. In fact they tell us how Christ sent Thomas to teach his spirituality in India. This is corroborated by evidence found in the form of stone inscriptions at Fatehpur Sikri, near the Taj Mahal, in Northern India. They include "Agrapha", which are sayings of Christ that don't exist in the mainstream Bible. Their grammatical form is most similar to that of the Apocryphal gospel of Thomas. This is but one example giving credibility to the idea that texts not recognised by the Church hold important clues about Christ's true life and his teachings.

In tracing Christ's movements to India and beyond, Kersten also discovered that many of his teachings, which have been gradually edited out of the modern Bible were originally Eastern in nature. Principles such as karma and re-incarnation, for example, were common knowledge then, and seem to have been reaffirmed by Christ. Imagine the implications that this discovery holds for Western Christianity and its churches, who have kept Christ in their doctrinal top pockets and have constrained the entire Western culture within the narrow teachings of blind faith, organised religion and original sin!

Further clues are cited from The Apocryphal Acts of Thomas, and the Gospel of Thomas which are of Syrian origin and have been dated to the 4th Century AD, or possibly earlier. They are Gnostic Scriptures and despite the evidence indicating their authenticity, they are not given credence by mainstream theologians. In these texts Thomas tells of Christ's appearance in Andrapolis, Paphlagonia (today known as in the extreme north of Anatolia) as a guest of the King of Andrappa. There he met with Thomas who had arrived separately. It is at Andrapolis that Christ entreated Thomas to go to India to begin spreading his teachings. It seems that Christ and Mary then moved along the West coast of Turkey, proof of this could be an old stopping place for travellers called the "Home of Mary", found along the ancient silk route. From here Christ could easily have entered Europe via France. He may have even travelled as far as the British Isles, for in England there is an ancient oak tree called the "Hallowed Tree" which (says local legend) was planted by Christ himself.

In his travels through Persia (today's Iran) Christ became known as Yuz Asaf (leader of the Healed). We know this because a Kashmiri historical document confirms that Isa (the Koranic name for Christ) was in fact also known as Yuz Asaf. The Jami - uf - Tamarik, Volume II, tells that Yuz Asaf visited Masslige, where he attended the grave of Shem, Noah's son. There are various other accounts such as Agha Mustafa's "Awhali Shahaii-i-paras" that tell of Yuz Asaf's travels and teachings all over Persia. It seems that Yuz Asaf blessed Afghanistan and Pakistan with his presence also. There are for example two plains in Eastern Afghanistan near Gazni and Galalabad, bearing the name of the prophet Yuz Asaf. Again in the Apocryphal Acts of Thomas, Thomas says that he and Christ attended the Court of King Gundafor of Taxila (now Pakistan), in about 47AD, and that eventually both the King and his brother accepted Christ's teachings. Kersten claims that there are more than twenty one historical documents that bear witness to the existence of Jesus in Kashmir, where he was known also as Yuz Asaf and Issa. For example the Bhavishyat Mahapurana (volume 9 verses 17-32) contains an account of Issa-Masih (Jesus the Messiah). It describes Christ's arrival in the Kashmir region of India and his encounter with King Shalivahana, who ruled the Kushan area (39-50AD), and who entertained Christ as a guest for some time.

Christ's life in India, after the crucifixion, challenges current Church teachings at their very foundation. The theology of Saint Paul, the major influence on modern Christianity, is empty fanaticism in the light of this discovery.

The historian Mullah Nadini (1413) also recounts a story of Yuz Asaf who was a contemporary to King Gopadatta, and confirms that he also used the name Issar, ie. Jesus. There is also much historical truth in the towns and villages of Northern India to prove that Jesus and his mother Mary spent time in the area. For instance, at the border of a small town called Mari, there is nearby a mountain called Pindi Point, upon which is an old tomb called Mai Mari da Asthan or "The final resting place of Mary". The tomb is said to be very old and local Muslims venerate it as the grave of Issa's (ie Christ's) Mother. The tomb itself is oriented EAST - WEST consistent with the JEWISH tradition, despite the fact it is WITHIN a Muslim area. Assuming its antiquity, such a tomb could not be Hindu either since the Hindus contemporary to Christ cremated their dead and scattered their ashes as do Hindus today.

Following Christ's trail into Kashmir, 40km south of Srinagar, between the villages of Naugam and Nilmge is a meadow called Yuz-Marg (the meadow of Yuz Asaf, ie. Jesus). Then there is the sacred building called Aish Muqam, 60km south east of Srinagar and 12km from Bij Bihara. "Aish" says Kersten is derived from "Issa" and "Muqam" place of rest or repose. Within the Aish Muqam is a sacred relic called the 'Moses Rod' or the 'Jesus Rod', which local legend says, belonged to Moses himself. Christ is said to also have held it, perhaps to confirm his Mosaic heritage. Above the town of Srinagar is a temple known as "The Throne of Solomon", which dates back to at least 1000BC, which King Gopadatta had restored at about the same time as Christ's advent. The restoration was done by a Persian architect who personally left four inscriptions on the side steps of the temple. The third and fourth inscription read: "At this time Yuz Asaf announced his prophetic calling in Year 50 and 4" and "He is Jesus -- Prophet of the Sons of Israel"! Herein lies a powerful confirmation of Kersten's theory. Kersten suggests that Christ may have travelled to the South of India also, finally returning to Kashmir to die at the age of approximately 80 years. Christ's tomb, says Kersten, lies in Srinagar's old town in a building called Rozabal. "Rozabal" is an abbreviation of Rauza Bal, meaning "tomb of a prophet". At the entrance there is an inscription explaining that Yuz Asaf is buried along with another Moslem saint. Both have gravestones which are oriented in North-South direction, according to Moslem tradition. However, through a small opening the true burial chamber can be seen, in which there is the Sarcophagus of Yuz Asaf in EAST - WEST (JEWISH) orientation! - VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE THIS FACT !

According to Professor Hassnain, who has studied this tomb, there are carved footprints on the grave stones and when closely examined, carved images of a crucifix and a rosary. The footprints of Yuz Asaf have what appear to be scars represented on both feet, if one assumes that they are crucifixion scars, then their position is consistent with the scars shown in the Turin Shroud (left foot nailed over right). Crucifixion was not practised in Asia, so it is quite possible that they were inflicted elsewhere, such as the Middle East. The tomb is called by some as "Hazrat Issa Sahib" or "Tomb of the Lord Master Jesus". Ancient records acknowledge the existence of the tomb as long ago as 112AD. The Grand Mufti, a prominent Muslim Cleric, himself has confirmed that Hazrat Isa Sahib is indeed the tomb of Yuz Asaf!

Thus Kersten deduces that the tomb of Jesus Christ Himself is in Kashmir!

The implications of Kersten's discovery are monumental. Christ's life in India, after the crucifixion, challenges current Church teachings at their very foundation. The theology of Saint Paul, the major influence on modern Christianity, is empty fanaticism in the light of this discovery. Threatened also are the doctrines of obedience to the Church, original sin, salvation through blind faith and the non-existence of reincarnation, etc. Yet these ideas underlie the morality and ethics, (or lack of them), that govern the entire Western social structure, from the legal system to medical health care schemes. It is no wonder that the modern Churches and their secular interests refuse to consider such a proposition as Kersten's!

Truth is stranger than fiction. While we will not be over awed by history whose pages have dissappeared, we should have a healthy respect for research and cross-country historical tales. Till then, Indian government must provide strictest protection to this tomb in Kashmir.

Who knows? This could either start a major war or usher in peace. And if there is peace, Srinagar will outpace Bethlehem, as tourists pour in by millions !!

Bamiyan Buddha statues were blown up by Taliban. Main stream Islam does not tolerate any other religion or its religious heads. If it predated Islam - more the fury. Given this context, I will not at all be surprised if a major attack takes place on the tomb of "YUZ ASAF" blowing it to smithereens. Do we wait for such an eventuality or do we give Category Z protection to the tomb.

(Whether JESUS is buried in Kashmir or not, this act of providing Category Z protection will provide all round confusion as to the motives of the Indian Govt. It will be a pyschological warfare if India were to do so with adequate publicity. It will bring Kashmir international attention. With movies being released and more people around the world reading Dan Brown etc, India should seriously consider this. It will make it impossible for Paksitan to take Kashmir. After Bethlehem, one cannot let go of another "Christ site" under Islamic occupation).


My take on Mirza Ghulam Ahmed : He was a learned scholar. It would not have taken too much to deduce that there was a probability that Jesus survived crucifiction (amongst other things - Jesus was on crucifiction was only a few hours, when it requires a good 2 days + to die in that fashion). Moreever, Mirza Ghulam Ahmed could have seen the resting place of Yuz Asaf and the nail marks on the feet imprinted on coffin and came to his conclusions. Whether this fact was also buttressed by a divine revelation I leave it to the judgement of readers. Quite clearly, in marketing terms, Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, saw an opportunity. Dan Brown and others made it fashionable to West today, what was already known in the East for centuries.

Is Jesus buried in Kashmir? If Jesus was saved, he would be buried somewhere, and four possible places are said to have been the final resting place: One in Israel, One in France, One in Syria and One in Kashmir. I hope, if Jesus is indeed buried, let Him be in Kashmir - for indeed if there is paradise here on earth - it is here, it is here, it is here in Kashmir.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


ISRO - Thank you for the flawless launch, our mission to moon and beyond begins.

22nd OCTOBER 2008 - 06:22 hrs: Chandrayaan 1, India’s maiden lunar mission blasted off from Sriharikota perfectly. Chandrayaan-I is carrying an Indian flag which will be placed on the lunar surface when the Moon Impactor Probe lands on the moon during the course of the two-year mission.

Amongst its various uses, two most important are :

1) paving way for Chandrayaan 2, 3 …. Essentially manned moon missions and then setting up a base in moon for further probe to Mars

2) Accessing Helium 3

Helium-3 is considered a safe, environmentally friendly fuel and while it is scarce on Earth it is plentiful on the moon. As a result, scientists have begun to consider the practicality of mining lunar Helium-3 as a replacement for fossil fuels.

NASA plans to have a permanent moon base by 2024, but America is not the only nation with plans for a moon base. China, India, the European Space Agency, and at least one Russian corporation, Energia, have visions of building manned lunar bases post-2020. Mining the moon for helium-3 has been discussed widely in space circles and international space conferences.

Leading Chinese scientist Ouyang Ziyuan was quoted by Southern Metropolis News as saying, “China will make a a manned moon landing at a proper time, around 2017.” The project also includes setting up a moon based astronomical telescope, measuing the thickness of the moon’s soil and the amount of Helium-3 on the moon. Some scientists believe that there is enough Helium-3 on the moon to power the world for thousands of years. “We will provide the most reliable report on Helium-3 to mankind,” Ouyang said.

ISRO, I am sure, will differ with Ouyang.

Normal helium has 2 protons and 2 neutrons in its nucleus, giving it an atomic weight of 4.
Now, if you take out one of neutrons, you get helium-3. This happens once in a while in very energetic nuclear reactors, especially the sun. The sun produces helium by fusing hydrogen atoms together, but about one in every ten thousand helium atoms comes out missing a neutron.

He3 casts lustful eyes upon that neutron in the deuterium, and will grab it if it gets a chance.

The Mixture:

He3 is used in a reaction with deuterium to produce energy:

This is a nuclear fusion reaction. The deuterium and helium-3 atoms come together to give off a proton and helium-4. The products weigh less than the initial components; the missing mass is converted to energy. 1 kg of helium-3 burned with 0.67 kg of deuterium gives us about 19 megawatt-years of energy output.

The fusion reaction time for the D-He3 reaction becomes significant at a temperature of about 10 KeV, and peaks about about 200 KeV. A 100 KeV (or so) reactor looks about optimum.

A reactor built to use the D-He3 reaction would be inherently safe. The worst-case failure scenario would not result in any civilian fatalities or significant exposures to radiation.

Note: MeV and KeV are measures of energy, standing for mega-electron volts and kilo-electron volts, respectively. In nuclear physics, these terms are used to refer to the amount of energy in a nuclear reactor. One electron volt is the energy acquired by one electron falling through a potential of one volt, equal to approximately 1.609 E-19

Lunar Supply Potential

In their 1988 paper, Kulcinski, et al., estimate a total of 1,100,000 metric tonnes of He3 have been deposited by the solar wind in the lunar regolith. Since the regolith has been stirred up by collisions with meteorites, we'll probably find He3 down to depths of several meters.

The highest concentrations are in the lunar maria; about half the He3 is deposited in the 20% of the lunar surface covered by the maria. To extract He3 from the lunar soil, we need to heat the dust to about 600 degrees C.

The Energy

That 1 million metric tonnes of He3, reacted with deuterium, would generate about 20,000 terrawatt-years of thermal energy. The units alone are awesome: a terrawatt-year is one trillion (10 to 12th power) watt-years. To put this into perspective, one 100-watt light bulb will use 100 watt-years of energy in one year.

That's about 10 times the energy we could get from mining all the fossil fuels on Earth, without the smog and acid rain.



About 25 tonnes of He3 would power the United States for 1 year at the current rate of energy consumption. To put it in perspective: that's about the weight of a fully loaded railroad box car, or a maximum Space Shuttle payload.


India’s total yearly consumption being far less at 130,000 MW, the same 25 tonnes of He3 will fire India’s consumption for several years. India has an ambitious dream of producing 400,000 MW by 2030.

The He3 reactors will only become a reality 50 years hence, It is a futuristic fuel, if at all.


Not at all. Chandrayaan 1 will answer a few questions and India must be at the forefront of the space frontier to map and close in on its quest for a secure supply of energy. If its in space – so be it !!


Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to send its second lunar odyssey, Chandrayaan-2, an Indo-Russian joint venture, likely by the end of next year or early 2010. The second mission, for which the ISRO and Russian federal space agency have already signed a pact, would feature a lander and a rover for a soft land on moon.

"We are planning to carry two human beings into the space in our first manned space mission by 2015. The project report has been cleared by the Space Commission. The project outlay is Rs 120 billion ($2 44 billion)," G. Madhavan Nair, chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), told reporters on Wednesday.

Interesting, the Chinese stated 2017 for its manned mission date. Both these dates (India’s and China’s) are going to change.


And let this logic sink in: If India is truly able to extract a "container" load of Helium 3 in the foreseeable future, it should sell a quarter portion to China.


Monday, October 20, 2008


First there was the Indus water treaty and subsequently there has been talk that J&K be bifurcated along ethnic lines – Muslim majority areas acceding to Pakistan and Hindu majority areas to India. Essentially this means Kashmir valley and its water resources move on to Pakistan – essentially Pakistan wants control of the waters. Importance of Baglihar dam comes in.

This shall never happen and if any Indian government dare contemplate this, it will be writing its political obituary for eternity.

Why is Pakistan hyperventilating on the Baglihar Dam?


Lt Gen (r) Hameed Gul (ISI-Pakistan) has said that India has so far built 62 dams and hydro-electric units on Pakistani rivers to deprive Pakistan of water and render into a desert. He said Pakistan was being deprived of water under an international conspiracy to conquer it. At this stage, some insane people were opposing construction of Kalabagh Dam in Pakistan, he added. He said that Shaukat Aziz’s influx in Pakistan was also part of the conspiracy as he formulated such policies, which put the country into crisis. He said that Shaukat Aziz created food shortage. He said the mujahideeen damaged Baglihar Dam and it could not be reconstructed. *

Hameed Gul, however, warned that the mujahideen would damage all dams. Sindh Water Council Chairman Hafiz Zahoor-ul-Hassan Dahr said that when the dispute on water would not be resolved, there would be conflict between the two countries. He said, “India is not building dams under the Indus Water Treaty but on the Pakistani rivers.” He said that the food shortage would be forty per cent next year that would increase starvation in the country. He warned, “Pakistan can become Somalia and Ethopia,” he added.

*Hamid Gul got it wrong. The Baglihar Dam was constructed and PM Manmohan Singh gifted India with the 450 MW Baglihar Hydro Project on 10th October 2008.

HOW IT HAPPENED? India claimed a "moral victory" in 2007 in its dispute with Pakistan over the Baglihar dam, on the Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir, after the World Bank-appointed neutral expert held that India had not violated the Indus Waters Treaty, 1960. He also said the dam could be completed with slight modifications in design and without any impact on the 450 MW power component. There will, however, be "marginal" additional financial burden on India for the estimated Rs. 4,000 crore project, scheduled to be completed by early 2008.

Impact on Pakistan : A report in New Scientist discussed the following issues for Pakistan:

1. Hydrologists in Pakistan believe that a breakdown of the treaty could lead to widespread famine, and further inflame the ongoing conflict over Kashmir,
2. Pakistan relies on the Indus river and its tributaries for almost half its irrigation supplies,
3. Pakistan relies on the Indus river and its tributaries to generate up to half of its electricity,
4. Pakistan fears that India would use the Baglihar dam as a coercive tool by causing floods in Pakistan through release of dam waters.

Accordingly, in researching and producing a case study analysis of this dispute, there are 4 main issues to be investigated. First is the explicit poverty and ecological effects construction of the dam would have in Pakistan.

Second is the effects on agriculture the dam would have- according the CIA World Factbook 21.6% of Pakistan’s Gross Dometic Product is agricultural and 42% of its labor force is engaged in agriculture.

Third is the production and consumption of energy. This issue is as much a factor for India as it is for Pakistan. Pakistan may not allow India to access the Iranian gas through its territory, if it ever came to such a pass. One of the many possibilities Paksitan may use against India.

Fourth and finally is the threat that the dam could also be used as a weapon by India. Pakistani seem to have been confirmed in July of 2005 when India released 564,000 cubic feet per second of water into the Chenab from the Baglihar dam thus flooding portions of Pakistan.

The interplay of various environmental factors are illustrated in the image above (Image : New Scientist). Red arrows indicate a negative relationship (ie increasing stress or decreasing the affected variable); green arrows indicate a positive (increasing) relationship with an affected variable. The hexagons represent variables of strategic interest.

So, is it any surprise that the Pakistani air force as recently as few months back war gamed an air attack on the dam sites in Kashmir?

Ahmed Quraishi, a right winger with close contacts with ISI, wrote on his site : Three years ago, a Pakistani military school war-gamed over the question of India’s Baglihar Dam. Civilian and military officials were divided into mock governments that wrestled with the future prospect of India stopping the water flow in Chenab. An assertive mock government went as far as using Pakistani air force to strike down the Indian construction on the river after the collapse of the water treaty with India.

India’s response : September 2008 – India has deployed six Sukhoi-30MKI jets in Kashmir. The fighter planes are currently housed at the Avantipura air force base near Srinagar, where they will help reinforce a number of aging MiG-21 jets. The Sukhois are reportedly slated to execute “pervasive missions” over Kashmir and the mountainous Ladakh sector.

Wow! In a long time, I am seeing a pro-active India and not a reactive India.

On October 12th 2008, Pakistani President Zardari warned India that any breach of water treaty would harm ties with Pakistan. Pakistan would be paying a very high price for India’s move to block Pakistan’s water supply from the Chenab River, said the President in a statement to the press.

Going by my “wow statement” a little earlier – it seems India is at last playing the game right with Pakistan. With railways being flagged for the first time in Kashmir, we must ensure that infrastructure spending is increased manifold and integrate the Kashmir valley logistically with Jammu. After economic integration, we can move for the final solution on the Kashmir issue.

Till that time, hold on the Baglihar and its gains tightly.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Is there a GORKHALAND?

Is there a Gorkhaland? If not, then why should there be car number plates starting with the alphabets GL plying in North Bengal. Cars belonging to the state of West Bengal start with WB, and these are being erased and re-painted illegally GL. Not only car number plates, but WB is also being erased from government buildings in Darjeeling and neighbouring districts.

“We would continue making the alterations on the signboards. Changes will be made on the signboards of shops and private establishments as well. Also, any vehicle — save a few which we will consider — has to sport ‘GL’ number plate while plying in the hills,” said Binay Tamang, the media and publicity secretary of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).

What has the government done? District magistrate Surendra Gupta said seven FIRs have been filed against the Morcha for changing signboards of state government offices.

Fantastic, as if this will deter GJM.


This is pure and simple anti-national activity and the state should have come down hammer and tongs at GJM. Because of weakness of the state apparatus, the militant outfits get breathing space to form outfits and special interest groups – that take the form of committed people forming a vote bank. This “corrupted and special interest” vote bank then blackmails the government to listen and accede to its demand, else it resorts to civil disobedience and riots. We should never fall victim to such blackmails and we are willing to sweat it out a little – but the government should come crushing down on GJM and charge them under stringent anti-national acts.

The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 37 of 1967 penalises advocacy of secession or questioning of India's "territorial integrity".

The typical Bengali mentality of doing nothing and waiting for the Centre to intervene will have disastrous consequences. Terrorism breeds terrorism and other special interest groups that feel threatened. This is the natural life cycle of such movements and in this case, we have the following “outfits that are feeling threat from GJM”.

1. SHIV SENA has threatened with a 48-hour bandh in Siliguri sub-division, parts of Jalpaiguri and the Dooars from Tuesday (21st Oct’08).

2. BANGLA O BANGLA BHASHA BACHAO Committee has called a 24-hour shutdown in north Bengal on Wednesday (22nd Oct’08).

3. AMRA BANGALEE agreed to postpone its indefinite bandh after the additional district magistrate of Siliguri purportedly sought 24 hours to see if the organisation’s demand could be met. “If the administration fails to provide us with satisfactory evidence, indicating that steps have been taken to curb the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s highhandedness, we would be forced to go on an indefinite strike from Tuesday,” said Khushiranjan Mondal, the north Bengal zonal secretary of Amra Bangalee.

Shiv Sena, which is active in Maharashtra, is active in North Bengal. By giving space to GJM we have led in the reactionary politics of Shiv Sena into Bengal and this will change the character of politics in the days to come. We have to deal with goons from Trinamool Congress, the goons of CITU, the goons of GJM and now goons of SHIV SENA. How much space you have given for these "goonda outfits" to take shape, dear Chief Minister?

Dear CM, we do not like GJM, we do not like CITU, and most certainly we do not like Jamaat and its new found friendship with Trinamool.

Let the police do their job. Let the corrupt be caught and punished irrespective of the party – let the citizens know that you are against the corrupt and anti-national elements, and not against any party or community.

That is the only way forward Mr Buddhadev Bhattacharya.

Friday, October 17, 2008

JET Employees are happy - it will be short lived !

Today is 18th October, 2008, and as I read articles on Jet employee reinstatements and see the happy faces splashed in technicolor, I truly believe that they are being led to the garden path before being slain.

What might happen:

1. Jet is forced to reinstate 1900 employees based on threat. Its not sound economics, after all Jet Airways is not a not-for-profit social air carrier - it is here to make money.

2. With the reinstatement, the airline will continue to bleed faster. Salary cuts of top management can never fully compensate for this 1900 intake. And what happens next?

3. The airline will declare bankruptcy. Remember - East West Airlines, Modiluft, Damania. And what happens then to the re-instated employees?

Wait for this drama, soon to be re-enacted in a city near you. Bring back the camera to film the tears this time.

Friday, October 10, 2008



I remember reading somewhere (and I cannot recollect where) : “Indira Gandhi’s personal secretary read some classified documents regarding Netaji’s death/ dissapearance, in British archives and stated if ever these documents were released there will be RIOTS IN INDIA TODAY.

That got me thinking – what could cause riots in India today? What is the government trying to hide? I am yet to come up with any compelling answers.

In the early days of the struggle for India’s freedom, Netaji’s influence and impact on the freedom movement was equal to (if not more than) that of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru…Unfortunately the relationship between Netaji on one hand, and Mahatma on the other was uneasy and fraught with disagreements.

Netaji’s re-election to the post of Congress President in 1939 created further tension between him and the Mahatma - especially as he had won the post defeating Pattabhi Sitaramaiah (who was Gandhiji’s nominee).

Gandhiji apparently took Sitaramayya’s defeat personally and is believed to have remarked: “I consider Pattabhi’s defeat as my own”. (VERY IMPORTANT & SIGNIFICANT REMARKS).

In a letter dated March 28, 1939, from Manbhum, Bihar - Bose complained bitterly to Nehru of Gandhi’s quiet campaign of non-cooperation with him. Bose had just won the Presidency of the Indian National Congress, defeating Gandhi’s chosen nominee, Dr Pattabhi. At first, Gandhi had tried to talk Bose out of running for the post, and tried to work out a backroom deal for Dr Pattabhi’s ascension (as he had done on many earlier occasions). But Bose was determined to seek the mandate of Congress activists, and won by a handsome margin in an election where the official machinery of the Congress had put all its weight behind Gandhi’s hand-picked nominee.

But Gandhi, along with Patel and Nehru formed a tactical block against Bose, and prevented him from functioning effectively as leader of India’s preeminent national organization. In vain did Bose make his case with Nehru, who remained unmoved, and eventually, it led to Bose having to quit the Congress, and organize outside it’s tedious confines.

Gandhi’s supporters now resigned, and Bose found himself unable to form a new Working Committee against Gandhi’s opposition. He tried hard to work out a compromise with Gandhi. He even offered to let Gandhi nominate the entire Working Committee, if Gandhi would only accept Bose’s plan to launch an agitation for immediate independence. Gandhi politely refused, and Bose had no option except to resign, four months into his second term as president.

One of the interesting things about this whole episode is that Bose blamed Nehru more than he blamed Gandhi. He never completely cut his ties with Gandhi, and continued to try to rebuild his bridges. But he never forgave Nehru for not helping him during this crisis.

Late Amritlal Seth, editor ‘Janmabhumi’

Late Amritlal Seth, former editor of the Gujarati Daily Janmabhumi, who accompanied Nehru during his visit to Singapore told late Sarat Chandra Bose immediately after his return from Singapore that Panditji was warned by the British Admiral that, according to his report, 'Bose' did not die in the alleged air crash and if Nehru played up too high with the legends of Bose and demands for re-absorption of the INA (Azad Hind Fauz) in the Indian Army, he would be taking the risk of presenting India on a platter to Bose when he reappeared.

Journey of Gold-Diamond loaded Trunks:

What happened after August 18 remains shrouded in mystery. While conducting her research in Moscow and England Professor Purabi Roy pursued a war time major of MI5 who had snooped around Bose. Roy met the agent in Oxford and he told her that a huge amount of 'INA money' was handed over to Lord Mountbatten and a senior Congress leader in Singapore, and that is the key to Bose's disappearance (and the subsequent reluctance to unravel the mystery) could be solved to a great extent by ascertaining the route that the funds travelled."

Research scholar Purabi Roy on Wednesday claimed that thousands of men belonging to the Indian National Army (INA) were massacred at a camp in 1946. She made this revelation while addressing a discussion on the implications of the Justice Manoj Mukherjee commission report.

“When Nehru visited Malaya to meet the INA men captured by the British forces, three ships had already left for Chittagong, Madras and Calcutta carrying the soldiers. About 29,000 INA men were taken to a camp in Nilgunge and massacred when negotiations for the INA property were on,” Roy said.

“INA’s property was worth $72,000 and that was divided among India, Pakistan and Britain,” she pointed out. Roy also claimed that the INA owned gold mines, diamond mines and rubber plantations. Commenting on the Centre’s rejection of the Justice Mukherjee commission report, Roy said successive Congress governments have not allowed the facts regarding Subhas Chandra Bose to come out.

“Whenever they are in power, inquiries into Netaji’s life and death are aborted. For 12 years, I have been struggling with this subject. Hopefully, one day we will be able to answer the questions raised by Justice Mukherjee about what happened to Netaji if he did not die in the air crash,” she added.

Former Union human resources development minister Murli Manohar Joshi said the Centre had not extended full cooperation to the Justice Mukherjee commission. “Unless the Centre takes up the matter with the Russian government, the archives there will not open their doors,” he claimed.

“In 1954, Prime Minister Nehru as foreign minister had received the ashes and remains. If this is true then whose ashes are kept in Renkoji? When the Shahnawaz committee was set up, the Indian government was aware that the death certificates issued in Taiwan were not related to Netaji but this fact was suppressed,” he added.

Joshi said Netaji’s early life has also been ignored. “It is not just that his death is shrouded in mystery. Even his earlier life is not presented properly. The history books eulogise only a few leaders. He was the first person to set up an Indian government in-exile. He was the first to declare India free.”


Hats off to Narendra Modi ! Hate him or love him, he has single handedly taken the initiative to industrialize Gujarat and made things happen. As Mr Tata opined : "In Gujarat things happen and move. I chose the good M over the bad M."

There was a RESPONSIBLE OPPOSITION in Gujarat - who welcomed the NANO project. They realized that Nano will benefit Modi's supporters as well as theirs - and indeed the average Gujarati citizen.

Modi got the land deed done in record time, and won the NANO project, under the noses of Maharastra and Andhra Pradesh government. Ambassador car moved out of Gujarat and into Bengal and today NANO took the reverse gear from Bengal. Ambassador car never reinvented itself, and like Bengal, remains in a time warp.

Buddha Babu is faced with an irresponsible opposition - and single handedly MAMATA BANERJEE derailed this industrialization process. An interesting snippet heard - during the Durga Puja celebrations (Oct'08), MAMATA was visiting pandals and in one such visit, she was stopped at the gate by a 70 year old lady who told her (I am translating into English here) : "You have no right to enter our Puja Pandal after destroying the lives of our children. Get the hell out." Of course, MAMATA ran for cover. Wish she could run away from INDIA too !


And you know what, I think the answer is YES.

There is no bi-partisan support for Brand Bengal. It is time CPI(M) sat down together with the Opposition and devised a strategy for BRAND BENGAL together. It is the ONLY WAY.


It is sad that 80% of villagers gave land willingly only to see their dream vanish. How 20% can over ride the wishes of the majority is an example of "vote bank" politics that will have wider implications in INDIA.

TATAs, I feel will do the following:

1) Singur residents were trained to work in the Singur Nano factory. TATAs will surely relocate them to other plants - possibly to SANAND, GUJARAT. TATAs will earn brownie points and it will need that.

2) TATAs may pay the Govt of West Bengal some sum per month to lock the Singur land for some time and not allow competing industry to set up base there. By keeping the plant area vacant, in a few months, the price of land will come crashing down - this will be exacerbated by the stock market crashing in tandem with global economic meltdown.

3) After a considerable time, TATAs may bring in a plant in Singur, that may be highly automated, requiring only a few hundred people. The factory and its ancilliaries will work within 700 acres.


There were pictures in Sanand, where cutting across communal lines, the Muslims were celebrating. And rightly so, economic boom is not meant for any particular community and GUJARAT IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

Remember the face of Qutubbudin Ansari, that was hyped up by the media. He apparently fled GUJARAT to live in WEST BENGAL. And WHAT HAPPENED? Mr Ansari is back in GUJARAT - doing what he knows best - business.

Dear Ms Teesta Setalvad and Arundhuti Roy, these Muslims also understand the economic realities in resurgent Modi led GUJARAT - so you ladies are requested to TAKE A HIKE to CUBA and write how the Cuban FIDEL CASTRO slept with 35,000 women.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


In an earlier article I wrote “Why Islam does not integrate with host countries?”

In his article I am writing, how two countries are trying to integrate Islam into their host countries.


Insisting that FRANCE is not discriminating against Sikhs wearing turbans, President Nicholas Sarkozy on Monday said that he expects the community to respect the customs and traditions of the French people.

"We respect their traditions and customs and I hope they also respect France's rules," Sarkozy said in a joint interaction with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who also belongs to the Sikh community, after the India-EU summit.

"We respect Sikhs, their customs, their traditions. They are most welcome to France. But we have rules concerning the neutrality of the civil servants, rules concerning secularism and these rules don't apply to just Sikhs, they apply to the Muslims, they apply to all on the territory of the French Republic." Sarkozy said.

My comment: Actually France wanted the ISLAMIC HEAD SCARVES to be BANNED, and Sikh community got entangled into it as they too have a head scarf (turban).


Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks. 

Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote: 'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.

This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.

We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society . Learn the language!

Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.

We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.

This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.

If you (MUSLIMS) aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.


Shah Bano case is a case in point, so no use blaming only Manmohan Singh. All governments including that of BJP, skirted this issue for vote bank politics.

It was well said by Arif Md Khan in a recent article and I quote him : “Sohail Abbas, a leading Pakistani psychologist, in his recentlypublished study based on personal interviews of 517 mujahideen arrested in Afghanistan and later lodged in two Pakistani jails, asserts that the figures on rural/urban jihadis become even more interesting as all the jihadis, barring just a few, belonged to the Deobandi school of thought.

Keeping in mind the gravity of the threat posed by terrorism, it was
the duty of the government to keep the public informed about all its
dimensions. But when you pin your hopes on the clergy to deliver
electoral dividends, then it becomes difficult to bring to light facts
that may displease it.”


We are apologist as a secular country. We need to take at some of these more “open” democracies including USA and understand that if Muslims are not integrating, we have to make them integrate, or as John Howard states – “they are free to leave”. We are tolerant and open society and if Muslims insist on imposing their obscurantist views on our society, we will rise as one and demolish their institution of Wahabbi madrassas (DEOBAND) that makes them intolerant. It is the only way forward, and the quicker we understand this, the less painful it will be for us. It is ultimately a fight to preserve “OUR WAY OF LIFE” – tolerant, open, free – completely opposite of what Deoband Madrassas are teaching. It starts with UNIFORM CIVIL CODE for all.