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Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6
[url="http://news.rediff.com/report/2010/feb/24/pak-sikh-refugees-demand-indian-citizenship.htm"]Pak Sikh refugees demand Indian citizenship[/url]

Quote:The Sikh refugees said that they approached the government several times and even sent request letters but many of them are still to get the Indian citizenship.

"We demand that the Indian government should give us citizenship so that we can bring our relatives here from Peshawar. We want them to live a safe and secure life, with their brothers here," said Satbir Singh, another refugee.
[size="4"]Is al Qaeda Bankrupt?

Nathan Vardi, 03.01.10, 12:00 AM ET[/size]

Jihadists had a name for Abd al Hamid al Mujil--"the million dollar man." Al Mujil had forged a personal relationship with Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, spending parts of the late 1990s in Afghanistan. In those days the Kuwaiti-born al Mujil traveled to various Arab countries to meet with bin Laden's deputies. As recently as 2006 al Mujil conducted fundraising in Saudi Arabia, where he was executive director of the eastern province branch of the International Islamic Relief Organization, a charitable group. He provided donor funds directly to al Qaeda, says the U.S. government, and was particularly focused on helping al Qaeda affiliates in the Philippines by handing out cash to a supporter who pretended to be on an Islamic pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. These days al Mujil is out of business. That's largely thanks to efforts by the U.S. Treasury Department and the U.N. Security Council. Designating al Mujil as a terrorist financier and singling out the Philippine and Indonesian offices of his charity, they have prohibited U.S. financial firms from conducting any transaction with him or those offices and required U.N. member states to freeze his assets. The Saudi Arabian government has met that requirement, in addition to restricting the transfer of iiro funds outside of the kingdom. The charity's U.S. lawyer says the iiro is not a terrorist organization and has done nothing wrong. Al Mujil, he adds, no longer has a role with the charity.

Such actions, across many fronts, have made a significant dent in al Qaeda's treasury. On the eve of the attacks on America al Qaeda was running a $30 million annual budget, according to the CIA. The terrorists were tapping into deep-pocketed Saudi and other Arab donors. Now they are hard up. Witness the pathetically ill-equipped and mistrained underwear bomber.

Video: Al Qaeda's Cash Crunch

As the feds continue to track, cut off and prosecute al Qaeda financiers, European nations, particularly the U.K., have stepped up their work in this area. Saudi Arabia has finally cracked down on contributions from charities and donors that used to flow to terror groups. International bodies, like the U.N. and the Financial Action Task Force, have sustained a coordinated effort with rules that have been adopted by many governments and banks in places where bombers used to get funds. "Al Qaeda is in a weaker financial state than it has been for a number of years," says David Cohen, the Treasury Department's assistant secretary for terrorist financing (See Sidebar: David Cohen's War). As evidence of success he points to the rush of public pleas for financial help coming from al Qaeda leaders, outstretched turban in hand. He hastens to add: "No one is arguing that because al Qaeda core is in a weakened financial state that it is disabled."

Slide Show: How al Qaeda Makes Its Money

Shallower though its pockets may be, the group still poses a threat: A small sum spent cleverly on the right explosive in the right place can do a lot of damage. The Christmas Day bomber, a rich kid from Nigeria, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, paid for his own ticket in cash but got training and equipment from a then little known affiliate in Yemen, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Al Qaeda is much less of a top-down organization than it once was, when it called the shots and funded terrorist operations from Afghanistan. Then, it told operatives to focus on assignments and not to worry about how to subsidize them. Today it's a much looser organization of affiliates--more of a McDonald's, if you will, than a General Motors. Its decentralized partners and cells around the world pick their own targets, concoct their own strategies and raise their own funds. They may draw inspiration from al Qaeda headquarters somewhere in the Chitral region of northwest Pakistan, even kick back money to the leadership. But, like franchisees, they are largely on their own.

The change, U.S. officials like Cohen say, is a direct result of the pressures the U.S. government has placed on terrorist money men. That has forced al Qaeda to go underground. While it still relies on individual donations from the Persian Gulf region, these contributions now move outside the formal financial system, through cash couriers and informal money transfer shops known as hawalas. In addition, the network seems to be turning to organized crimes like kidnapping and drug running. The shipment of cocaine from Latin America to Europe is a source of funding.

Fundraising efforts have also embraced new technologies--like the bit of telemarketing by Ayman al Zawahiri, al Qaeda's second-in-command, who solicited donations through cell phone recordings that were distributed in 2008. Last June Abu al Yazid, a former al Qaeda money man who now runs its Afghan operations, made his pitch on a Web site controlled by al Qaeda leaders: "If a holy fighter does not have the money to get weapons, food, drink and the materials for jihad, he cannot fight jihad." The Internet, of course, is a terrorist's best friend when it comes to recruiting. Not that they've given up on old-school methods like extortion. "A broader trend that shows their financial troubles is they are shaking down recruits for money," says Michael Jacobson, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who specializes in terror financing. A handful of people, arrested in 2008 by French and Belgian authorities, had traveled to Pakistan for al Qaeda training--and were forced to cough up euros for courses, a room and weapons.

Clearly the money hasn't stopped; it is coming in smaller dollops via other channels. That fact has prompted critics to complain that the U.S. government has wasted its efforts trying to cut off the visible end of financing. They point out how little the most destructive attacks cost--an estimated $500,000 for Sept. 11, $70,000 for the 2004 Madrid train bombings, $10,000 for the 2005 London transit attacks. By forcing terrorists to resort to more subterfuge, they claim, the U.S. has lost opportunities to glean vital intelligence. "A lot of what has happened is overreach by the so-called financial warriors," says Ibrahim Warde, a professor of international business at Tufts University. "It is not the most productive way of using the money trail, and you achieve hollow victories."

That's not the view from the highest levels in Washington, where the Pentagon has taken a keen interest in the financial front on terror and is forming a new threat-finance strategy. The repeated pleas for money from al Qaeda leaders over the last year are seen as evidence the group is desperate for funding and that it has gotten more difficult for operatives to grease the right palms along the way. "It is not just about funding the attacks, they must pay the operatives and families of suicide bombers, bribe public officials, travel, purchase travel documents and provide training," says Stuart A. Levey, under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at Treasury. "They need money, and they are now under financial stress."

With al Qaeda's home office no longer able to subsidize operations, affiliates and cells have turned more frequently to crime. On what scale? No one knows. Still, law enforcement is taking the issue very seriously. In January the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan merged its narcotics and terrorism units. A few weeks earlier the Drug Enforcement Administration pulled off a sting operation in Ghana, snatching three men--Oumar Issa, Harouna Touré and Idriss Abdelrahman--and shipping them to New York City to face charges of narco-terror conspiracy and providing material support to al Qaeda.

According to the DEA the three men were connected to al Qaeda's most hardened criminal element, its North African affiliate. Known as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the group appears to be involved in the trafficking of Latin American cocaine through Africa to Spain. The indictment accuses the men of agreeing to transport a series of 1,000-kilogram loads of cocaine for $2,000 a kilogram--a portion of which was to be turned over to Islamic Maghreb in return for protection along the route. The court filings claim that Islamic Maghreb had worked with Touré to move two tons of hashish to Tunisia and also smuggled human beings--undocumented workers, it seems--from Bangladesh, Pakistan and India into Spain.

The criminal filings also indicate that al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb had recently nabbed Belgian citizens and collected a big ransom. Richard Barrett, who keeps an eye on al Qaeda for the U.N., says kidnapping has been the biggest moneymaker for Islamic Maghreb. "Hostage taking has proved lucrative for them," he says, adding the group is currently holding seven foreigners and ransomed others for $3 million each. "You can keep going for a long time down there with that kind of money."

While kidnapping is probably as old as warfare, its latest incarnation owes much to al Qaeda in Iraq, a now largely defanged affiliate. It made piles of cash grabbing foreigners a few years ago and supplemented that income with extortion rackets and black market oil sales. The group became so rich that its leader at one point got a letter from al Qaeda's number two, Zawahiri, requesting a substantial sum.

Within the al Qaeda network there is a sharp debate on just how far to push criminal ventures. Some members have advocated for more illicit sources of funds, including branching out into piracy. Others within the core of the group argue that criminal activity creates bad p.r. and erodes the brand within Muslim communities.

Officials across the U.S. government insist they have no proof that al Qaeda's leadership is involved in the drug trade. But Michael Braun, chief of operations at the DEA until 2008, says they are in denial. "There is more clear evidence showing al Qaeda's growing involvement in the Afghan heroin trade on the Pakistan side of the border--al Qaeda proper," says Braun, now a managing partner at Spectre Group International, a security firm in Alexandria, Va. "There are growing numbers of investigative leads headed in that direction."

Al Qaeda's association with big-time criminal groups is undeniable. Dawood Ibrahim is one of the world's most infamous gangsters, operating a 5,000-member criminal syndicate that engages in everything from narcotics to contract killing, working mostly in Pakistan, India and the United Arab Emirates. Ibrahim shares smuggling routes with al Qaeda, says the U.S. government, and has collaborated with both al Qaeda and its South Asian affiliate, Lashkar-e-Taiba, which pulled off the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, possibly with Ibrahim's help.

The $3.4 billion Afghan heroin trade is a critical source for the well-financed Taliban, which has also developed a rich donor network. The Taliban encourages and taxes poppy farmers and collects transit and protection fees related to the drug trade. How does al Qaeda benefit? At the very least the drug trade helps the Taliban create safe havens for al Qaeda fighters.

Some counterterror officials see an opportunity in the convergence of crime and terrorism. They point out that police in most countries are mobilized to tackle the drug trade, making it more likely that a terrorist who also runs narcotics will get caught by the cops. But the flip side is that crime, particularly the rich drug trade, could help sustain terror groups for years. Farc, a Marxist terror group in Colombia, has kept itself going for 46 years with the help of profits from cocaine and kidnapping. A report by James Fearon, a political science professor at Stanford University, studied 128 civil wars since 1945 and concluded that, on average, civil wars lasted 39 years longer when insurgent groups were financed by contraband like heroin or cocaine. Big bucks could spawn truly dire scenarios. "Criminal syndicates have the organizational and financial wherewithal that could potentially allow them to acquire and sell radioactive materials," David Johnson, head of the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics & Law Enforcement Affairs, warned in January.

Yemen is an epicenter of what is brewing. The affiliate there, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, claimed responsibility for the botched Christmas Day plane attack. Not particularly well financed, according to a U.S. official, the group is resorting to crime. Some al Qaeda members there reportedly tried their hand at bank robberies and considered going into the kidnapping business. For now its chief source of funds is cash contributions from donors in Yemen and the Arabian Gulf. Couriers are still able to move easily in much of the area--in one example last September agents carrying tens of thousands of dollars for al Qaeda were stopped in Kuwait, says the U.N.'s Barrett.

Yet, to the dismay of the U.S., Kuwait has done little to crack down on such donations, even resisting basic terror finance laws. In 2008 the U.S. highlighted the role the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society, a prominent Kuwaiti charity, played in funding al Qaeda's network. The group has denied any terror ties and continues to operate. Couriers carry as much as $100,000 per trip between Afghanistan and the Gulf, the funds coming from legitimate commerce as well as from heroin trafficking. Hawalas also rely on couriers to settle up paper transactions with fellow money transmitters. It is easy for al Qaeda or Taliban donations to get mixed in. "The difficulty is trying to identify the part of that which is illicit," says Treasury's Cohen.

To say nothing of where the cash might turn up. According to a January federal indictment, in 2006 a Pakistani financier for Lashkar-e-Taiba handed David Headley of Chicago $25,000 to conduct video surveillance in India in preparation for the Mumbai attack. In 2007 Headley also met with his terrorist money man in Pakistan, who forked over another $2,000 in Indian currency, according to the indictment, which charges Headley and his contact, Ilyas Kashmiri, a terrorist linked to al Qaeda, with conspiracy to murder (173 people died in the attack).

Al Qaeda has reaped direct benefits from Lashkar's ability to raise and move funds. As recently as 2008 Fazeel-A-Tul Ameen al Peshawari, a Lashkar fundraiser and recruiter, was providing financial aid to al Qaeda, says the U.S. government. Arif Qasmani, a chief Lashkar coordinator who has raised funds from crime boss Ibrahim, has been providing al Qaeda with supplies and weapons. In return al Qaeda loaned to Lashkar operatives who helped carry out the 2006 train bombings in Mumbai. Raising funds was so easy for Lashkar that in 2004 its finance chief, Haji Ashraf, traveled to the Middle East to collect donations and manage financial networks in Saudi Arabia.

But Ashraf probably isn't collecting as many frequent-flier miles these days. The Saudi government finally cracked down on terrorist financiers after it became alarmed by homegrown insurgents and those arising next door in Iraq. In 2007 the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia urged citizens not to finance terrorism and to be mindful of how their charitable contributions were being distributed. A 130-man Saudi financial investigative unit has been set up, and 96 suspected terrorist financiers have been arrested. Getting Saudi officials on board is a big victory. But the kingdom's charities are another matter. "There continues to exist a pool of donors who are ready, willing and able to contribute to al Qaeda," says Treasury's Cohen. "We have at least temporarily disrupted some" of them.

[url="http://news.rediff.com/report/2010/feb/25/pak-army-chiefs-agenda-overshadows-indo-pak-talks.htm"]Pak army chief's agenda overshadows Indo-Pak talks[/url]
Quote:General Kayani has been offered a two-year extension by President Asif Ali Zardari's [ Images ] government as has the DG, ISI. Foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's shrill and uncharacteristic rhetoric -- within days of India going public with its offer for talks -- is another indicator. Days ahead of the Delhi dialogue, Pakistan cited the Indo-US nuclear deal to reject multilateral discussions on freezing production of nuclear material.
Nightwatch laments on the TSP hatred despite Billions of aid money sent by US.

Quote:Pakistan: Special note. The second part of yesterday’s PBS show Frontline concerned the condition of the public school system in Pakistan. It has collapsed in nearly every respect.

The video report noted that nearly half of the 65 million school age kids in Pakistan do not attend public schools. It did not follow-up that datum to report that a large percentage of the children not in public school learn to read and write in religious schools associated with mosque. The madrasah teaches boys and girls to read, write and recite the Quran, among other basics. In many regions and cities of Pakistan, attendance at the madrasah is the only path to semi-literacy for the children of the poor.

The collapse of the public school system has been the subject of editorials and studies for decades. The video report was not newsworthy on that account. It was significant that the overcrowded, open air school that was the subject of the video is in Lahore, one of the largest cities of Pakistan. The visual setting looked like a remote tribal village, not part of a large urban center.

Of great interest were the reporter’s brief interviews with a pre-teen Pakistani girl who attended the open air school in Lahore. The girl believed in education and said she wanted to be a teacher. Concerning the US, she said her teacher told her to hate America.

The vast majority of Pakistanis outside the political elite hate the US. The polling data of the past decade is consistent and unambiguous. A question that has been dodged invariably is who formulates the anti-US attitudes, irrespective of the tens of millions in aid sent to Pakistan. This video showed the face of the man who taught the young Pakistani girl to hate the US. It was her class teacher.

This is a profound discovery because it means that anti-US attitudes are being instilled at very young ages and reinforced through the duration of primary school education. In short, Pakistani kids grow up learning to hate Americans because that is what they are taught in public school. In the madrasahs, they are taught not only to hate Americans but how to fight American soldi4ers … and to die by suicide-murder bombings.

No agency in Pakistan or elsewhere views primary school teachers as agents of subversion. The Pakistani government is unwilling or unable to restrain the anti-American political bias of teachers in its failed school system. There is no tradition of protecting children from adult prejudices.

The Frontline video was stark, but, on balance, it understated the education problems in Pakistan by not addressing the insidious, seditious and subversive ideas nearly half the children of Pakistan receive in the madrasahs.
FS level talks with the Pakis turned out to be a PR disaster for India with the Paki secy abusing his hospitality and media not questioning his claims.

Kind of eroded MMS goodwill among aam janata which went along with his plea for talks. Now they get abused in New delhi.
[quote name='ramana' date='26 February 2010 - 04:04 AM' timestamp='1267136763' post='104543']

FS level talks with the Pakis turned out to be a PR disaster for India with the Paki secy abusing his hospitality and media not questioning his claims.

Kind of eroded MMS goodwill among aam janata which went along with his plea for talks. Now they get abused in New delhi.


ramana Ji :

Ataa me kai sangu?

All the man could do was "mouth off". However, reality is "Dawning" on the Pakistani Intelligentsia and here is a rare occasion where Khalid Ahmed tell it "like it is" :

Received the following by E-Mail :

Friday Times – Latest issue

[center][color="#FF0000"]Getting ready for a ‘water war’?[/color]

Khaled Ahmed

For once Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah is right. He sees no violation of the Treaty. And he has no jurisdiction over the new issue of scarcity of water because the Treaty doesn't deal with it

Pakistan may be getting ready to go to war with India, not over Kashmir, which it finds futile, but over the river water India is supposed to insist on stealing from it despite the Indus Water Treaty of 1960. Pakistan’s army chief has mentioned ‘water’ in his last challenging statement, followed by the Prime Minister, and there is a one-sided media war going on as the Indian side, still angry over the Mumbai attack, is poised to jump in, all guns blazing. One chief editor in Pakistan says Pakistan should nuke the Indian dams stealing Pakistani water – with him as human payload tied to a nuclear missile!

The world is waiting for this to happen. Water wars have been predicted by the UN, but statistics show that states continue to be sane over shared waters. The Economist wrote on May 1, 2008, ‘Researchers at Oregon State University say they have found that the world’s 263 trans-boundary rivers generate more co-operation than conflict. Over the past half-century, 400 treaties had been concluded over the use of rivers. Of the 37 incidents that involved violence, 30 occurred in the dry and bitterly contested region formed by Israel and its neighbours, where the upper end of the Jordan river was hotly disputed, and skirmished over, before Israel took control in the 1967 war’.

Alarmism of the Lower Riparian : The Economist ends by stating : ‘And some inter-state water treaties are very robust. The Indus river pact between India and Pakistan survived two wars and the deep crisis of 2002’. We may be about to prove the observation wrong. As we go for the next round of Indo-Pak talks – with the Indian army chief alleging cross-border infiltration in Kashmir – Pakistan’s lawyer Ahmer Bilal Soofi, writing in Dawn on February 20, 2010 focuses on the real issue : scarcity rather than theft of water, and recommends fresh talks to consider supplementing the 1960 Indus Water Treaty with a water regime during scarcity of water. The Treaty did not take into account the ecological change that would occur half a century later, depriving the subcontinent of rains and run-off from its mountain glaciers.

Today, water management is akin to conflict management. But India and Pakistan are busy conflict-creating: they started with Kashmir and have ended up with half a dozen more casus belli issues even as they talk peace. Water is the latest such issue. Before we as a lower riparian state raise the ante, let us consider some aspects of the developing confrontation. As a lower riparian, Pakistan is naturally alarmist. This is true of lower riparians anywhere in the world including lower riparian provinces in India and Pakistan. We don’t want water storage on our rivers in Kashmir; Sindh doesn’t want water storage on its rivers in Punjab. And Sindh is as alarmist and non-trusting vis-à-vis Punjab as Pakistan is vis-à-vis India.

Treaty good despite universal hatred of Treaty : In India everyone thinks signing the Indus Water Treaty was wrong. They know that not having a waters treaty is advantageous to the upper riparian if it is militarily strong. In Pakistan, even as Punjab and Sindh fight over waters, both sides denounce the 1960 Treaty. No one says how it would have benefited Pakistan if there was no treaty reserving certain rivers for Pakistan. In India those who hate the Treaty have a good reason for doing so : take all the water and make Pakistan suffer. One is astounded by the intensity of the warmongering in Pakistan over the waters, especially as one looks at the record of Pakistan’s past behaviour under the Treaty.

The Indus Treaty envisages three kinds of complications over waters. The first type is ‘questions’ which are resolved by the two sides through their water commissioners at the Indus Water Commission. The second is ‘differences’ for which the two sides approach the World Bank which appoints a neutral expert. The third type is ‘disputes’ which goes to a Court of Arbitration assembled by the World Bank for the purpose. Both sides fund the process; and the Court can also award costs. So far ‘questions’ have been many, but only one difference, over Baglihar Dam, which turned out to be not as grave as Pakistan had thought, which must have been chastening for our watchdog water commissioner, Jamaat Ali Shah. There has never been a ‘dispute’. It is on the basis of this record that the world thinks the Indus Treaty such a good bilateral arrangement. Have we learned anything from this record?

India allowed storage and some use of Western Rivers : Our bearded Water Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah once symbolised our lower riparian alarmism, returning from his meetings in India with his dire warnings about the male fides of Indian intent. Today he is being castigated and even insulted on TV programmes because his accumulated knowledge prevents him from crossing the line on the jurisprudence of the 1960 Treaty. Discussants fall into red-faced paroxysms [color="#FF0000"]when he says India is not in violation even though it is in the process of building dozens of dams over our rivers – Indus, Chenab, Jhelum – and diverting water from Kishenganga.[/color]

As stated above, an upper riparian will not enter into a water treaty unless it sees advantage in it – an advantage over the lower riparian. Although Nehru is cursed in India for having signed the Indus Treaty, the truth is that he did extract from it the advantage of using some water from our three Western Rivers for consumptive use, that is, agriculture. Annexure C of the Treaty is about India diverting certain amount of water in certain months from the Western Rivers. Then, there is no bar on the building of water storage for electricity production or any other non-consumptive use on Western Rivers (Annexure E). [color="#FF0000"]If anyone complains in Pakistan about India building dams and taking some water out of our rivers, he speaks out of ignorance[/color].

Water-management is conflict-management : [color="#FF0000"]For once Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah is right. He sees no violation of the Treaty. And he has no jurisdiction over the new issue of scarcity of water because the Treaty doesn’t deal with it.[/color] He can only say he doesn’t believe what the Indians are saying; and he is saying that. India and Pakistan are facing a calamity they can’t quantify and that pertains to climatic change as never seen in human memory. This calamity is the ‘third party’ against which both should unite, taking along also the other states of South Asia. But this can only happen if India and Pakistan normalise their relations and become ‘sympathetic’ rather than ‘punitive’ in their view of each other. It has been observed in the context of riparian relations that water disputes can be resolved if relations are normal, that is, allowing interpenetration of interests through free bilateral trade and investment.

As a lower riparian Pakistan has no aggressive advantage, nuclear weapons or no nuclear weapons. All advantages lie in its median status and the potential it has as a trading corridor with regional states dependent on it for the movement of their goods and for the transit of their oil and gas pipelines. As stated above, 263 trans-boundary rivers in the world have caused the riparian states to cooperate rather than go to war. Many Pakistanis believe they have the advantage of leverage over America and can go on benefiting from America despite being anti-American. One has to look at Pakistan’s record with India to see how much leverage Pakistan has seen seep away as it follows its aggressive approach. Those who denounce the Indus Treaty in India want Pakistan to go on acting like this. We must remember that the Treaty can be set aside in the case of a hostile escalation; [color="#FF0000"]and the world will find itself siding with India if it thinks Pakistan is in the wrong[/color].

Shahid Javed Burki’s advice for normalisation : Pakistan’s former finance minister and ex-vice president of the World Bank, Shahid Javed Burki, anticipating the Indo-Pak ministerial talks in late February 2010, wrote in Dawn (16 Feb 2010): ‘If thinking outside the box is to be encouraged, my suggestion would be that Islamabad base the dialogue on an entirely new consideration : how to bring about greater economic integration between the two countries.

‘The objective should be to develop a stake for India in the Pakistani economy and also in its stability. This would entail a number of things including unhindered flow of trade between the two countries, encouraging the private sectors on either side of the border to invest in each other’s economy, the opening up of the border that separates the two parts of Kashmir to trade and movement of people, and grant of transit rights to each other for trade with third countries. As the experience of Europe shows, economic integration among states with a history of hostility towards one another is a good way of easing tensions. Taking that approach would constitute real thinking outside the box’.

Burki the berk may have his views but i don't think that the Indian Investors will "rush" into Pakistan with their Investments.

Of course Mani Shanker Aiyer would want that as his father must have made quite a packet trying to sort out the Indian Commercial Properties and Investments that Pakistan "took over" after the 1965 conflict. Thank God that we only have a limited number of the MSA Ilk!

Cheers[Image: beer.gif]

[url="http://http://indiabudget.nic.in/ub2010-11/bag/bag3.htm"]INDIA : 2010 – 2011 : BUDGET AT A GLANCE[/url]

Defence allocation :

1. Revenue.....Expenditure : INR 087,344 CRORES

2. Capital.......Expenditure : INR 060,000 CRORES

Total Defence Expenditure : INR 147,344 CRORES

This is about Eight Per Cent Rise on the previous year’s Budgeted Defence Expenditure

Cheers[Image: beer.gif]
[url="http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010/02/26/story_26-2-2010_pg5_14"]1. Leather industry on verge of collapse: Export declines 22% in 7MFY10[/url]

KARACHI : The current export figures of leather products for 7-months period are $480 million as compared to $613 million in the same period of last year, Pakistan Tannery Association said Thursday. “This shows a decline by 22 percent in the total exports of leather sector industry and this situation needs a bail out package to come out from deep crisis”, PTA Chairman Gulzar Firoz said.

[url="http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=226302"]2. 100 locomotives await funds for repairs, NA told[/url]

ISLAMABAD : Minister for Railways Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour on Thursday told National Assembly that as many as 100 locomotives are lying inoperative and await release of Rs4.5 billion funds for their repairs and import of spare parts.

Replying to a calling attention notice, the minister told the house that the previous governments neglected the railways and paid more attention to the National Highway Authority and other sectors. He said currently nine trains run form Karachi while another 25 remain awaiting there due to lack of locomotives, adding that if the shortage of locomotives is addressed, the deficit of the railways can be bridged.

He said the locomotives were imported from the United States, Japan and China but all of them have become 40 years old, so they need proper repairs.

“All such locomotives need Rs4.5 billion as repair of each locomotive would cost Rs4.5 million. Work on the project would be initiated once the finance department releases funds,” the minister assured the house. He said out of the 35 locomotives that were burnt during the riots after the assassination of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, 20 were repaired by the railways own engineers whereas the rest 15 await spare parts to be imported form different countries subject to release of funds

Cheers[Image: beer.gif]

[url="http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=226316"]Domestic debt increases 11pc in 7 months[/url]

Quote:KARACHI : The country’s domestic debt [color="#FF0000"]surged 11 per cent to Rs 4.292 trillion[/color] in seven months from June 2009 to January 2010, as the government continued to issue bonds and treasury bills to bridge the fiscal deficit.

Cheers[Image: beer.gif]
Hillary is asking Paki's elite to start paying tax.
[quote name='Mudy' date='27 February 2010 - 06:38 AM' timestamp='1267232456' post='104580']

Hillary is asking Paki's elite to start paying tax.


Mudy Ji :

Hillary is "Baying at the Moon"!

Cheers[Image: beer.gif]
Nareshji aap ki seva mei

[URL="http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2010/02/pakistani_court_bloc.php"]Pakistani court blocks transfer of Mullah Baradar and four senior Taliban leaders to Afghanistan[/URL]
Quote:The Lahore High Court has prohibited the Pakistani government from transferring Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Afghan Taliban's second in command, and four other members of the Quetta Shura to foreign custody after receiving a petition from a lawyer with known links to the Taliban and al Qaeda.
[quote name='Mudy' date='28 February 2010 - 09:07 AM' timestamp='1267327791' post='104624']

Nareshji aap ki seva mei

[URL="http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2010/02/pakistani_court_bloc.php"]Pakistani court blocks transfer of Mullah Baradar and four senior Taliban leaders to Afghanistan[/URL]


Mudy Ji :

Another Nail in the Terroristanis' "Coffin Claiming that All of Pakistan along with its Army and ISI are not in anyway connected with the Taleban-Al Qaeeda!"

Parunto Hum Bhi Kissi Say Kum Nahin (as I focus on Economy, Defence and then on Social Sector and finally on Pakistanism i.e. Terrorism). Lo, Khaled Ahmed kay baad, ham bhi aap ki seva mein yeh prustoot kartay hain :

[url="http://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/feb2010-weekly/nos-27-02-2010/spr.htm#6"][center][size="7"][color="#FF0000"]Spirit of the letter[/color][/size][/center][/url]

Quote:The time has come to rethink the IWT and rework it in a way that it addresses the issues we will face in the next 50 years instead of harping on issues we faced in the last 50 years

It would perhaps surprise Pakistanis to know that the rising crescendo in Pakistan over India's alleged 'water terrorism' is so far a complete non-issue as far as Indian public opinion is concerned. Other than the strategic community and journalists covering foreign policy, the Indian public opinion is unaware of the concerns in Pakistan over river waters flowing from India into Pakistan. Even the strategic community in India is somewhat bemused by the furore in Pakistan. The debate in Pakistan, which is generating more heat than light, is hardly helping matters. If anything, it appears ill-informed and more rhetorical than real because while a lot of noise is being heard about 'water theft' by India, there is as yet no evidence that would lend credence to this allegation -- a classic case of smoke without fire.

An example of this was a TV programme in which, while Pakistan's Indus Waters Commissioner insisted that there was as yet no violation of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) by India, [color="#FF0000"]a PML-Q politician on the panel insisted that India was depriving Pakistan of its waters (although he admitted he was no expert on the issue!) and the legal expert continued to talk of the spirit of the Treaty, prejudging all the time that the spirit of the treaty must have been violated by India.[/color] Even the manner in which [color="#FF0000"]the issue has been raised in Pakistan's parliament suggests that it is more about grandstanding rather than any grievance based on any wrongdoing on India's part.[/color]

Despite all the emotions that water can excite, the IWT is really a technical issue more than a political issue between India and Pakistan. This is not to deny an element of politics that invariably creeps in over the issue of river waters. Over the last couple of years, the IWT is becoming an issue in the politics of Jammu and Kashmir with talk of how India and Pakistan have deprived J&K of waters over which it has the first right. Even in the Pakistan administered Kashmir, this issue has been recently raised by the AJK prime minister.

There is also a body of opinion in India that has for long been exhorting the Indian government to use water as a weapon against Pakistan. For people adhering to this view, the water weapon is a fair payback for the use of jihad as a weapon by Pakistan. But successive governments in India have desisted from going down this path. At the same time, growing water requirements as well as shortages, and rising energy needs, is forcing the government to exploit all available water resources to their maximum potential.

According to technocrats, while the eastern rivers -- Ravi, Beas and Sutlej -- have been exclusively granted to India, a lot of water still spills over into Pakistan from these rivers, which is a bonus for Pakistan if one goes by the letter of the IWT. They say that the government has neglected developing the infrastructure needed to stop this water flowing into Pakistan, water that is required for growing needs of Indian agriculture and drinking water needs of Indian cities. What is more, some estimates suggest that if this water can be utilised properly, it will go a long way in addressing river water disputes between Indian states like Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

As far as the western rivers -- Indus, Chenab and Jhelum -- are concerned, [color="#FF0000"]the IWT grants certain rights to India on these waters. For instance, India is permitted to build run-of-the-river hydroelectric plants. There are also provisions for using these waters for drinking water as well as agricultural use in J&K.[/color] Given the massive energy needs of the Indian economy, the government is now trying to use these waters, but without violating the IWT. And this is the critical point that seems to be missing in the debate that is currently underway in Pakistan over the Indian plans to build a series of dams on the main western rivers and its tributaries.

The issue of IWT is at one level a simple technical issue : if India is indeed violating the IWT, then Pakistan is well within its rights to invoke the dispute clauses and approach the international guarantors and seek the opinion of a neutral expert which will be binding on both countries. The case of Baglihar Dam is instructive. Pakistan had objections to the design of the Baglihar Dam, objections that India rejected. Pakistan sought the intervention of the neutral expert, whose ruling was accepted by both countries. The fact of the matter is that India is well aware of the diplomatic and political repercussions of violating the IWT and is, therefore, not interested in violating the Treaty. And yet, India wants to use modern engineering techniques that enhance the life of a dam project, techniques that were not available when the IWT was signed. In this, the Baglihar ruling has come as a shot in the arm for Indian dam designs because the neutral expert ruled in favour of such modern techniques.

Pakistan's fears are misplaced also because regardless of the dams that India plans to construct on the western rivers, India cannot stop the water flowing into Pakistan unless it builds the canal infrastructure that can divert this water away from Pakistan. And, as yet, there is absolutely no such infrastructure that is on the design board. In the case of the Kishenganga river (Neelam), the dam that India is building will keep the total quantum of water in Jhelum the same; only the water will be diverted from Kishenganga into Jhelum. The point of contention in the case of the Kishenganga project is that Pakistan too is building a dam on the same river downstream and the Indian dam will render the Pakistani dam useless. In the case of these two projects, [color="#FF0000"]the country that finishes its dam first wins because the other country will have to give up on its project.[/color]

While this is something that is part of the Treaty, the Neelam-Kishenganga project has become a metaphor that the two countries need to use to think out of the box on the issue of river waters. In other words, rather than follow a competing model, the two countries need to consider following a cooperative model in which a common resource can be exploited jointly to maximise welfare on both sides. The fact is that rising population and increasingly agricultural and energy needs are raising the water requirements on both sides. At the same time, hydrological factors and environmental factors are reducing the water flows in rivers. This makes it imperative for both countries to use a scarce resource like water optimally.

In the case of water, more is not necessarily better than enough. This means that irrigation techniques need to change from flood irrigation to drip irrigation that uses water far more efficiently. While this will necessitate a change in cropping patterns, it will also mean investing in a modern irrigation technique that takes care of agriculture (which consumes close to 90 percent of water) and leaves enough for water requirements of growing cities. The problem is that for politicians and bureaucrats it is so much easier to excite and incite people on the issue of water, but so much more difficult to do the hard work to invest in systems that utilise a scarce resource in a more efficient manner.

Perhaps, the time has also come for India and Pakistan to rethink the IWT and rework it in a way that it addresses the issues we will face in the next 50 years instead of harping on issues we faced in the last 50 years. But if this is not acceptable, then at least the two countries can work together on joint projects that will serve both their peoples and becoming a huge CBM that can effect a paradigm change in their perceptions of each other. The salvation and indeed the survival of the subcontinent depend on the ability of the two countries to cooperate and manage a joint but scarce resource like water efficiently and sensibly.

Mudy Ji : [color="#FF0000"]Just goes to show that the Terroristani Media is s-l-o-w-l-y accepting that their Leadership is suffering an acute attack of Verbal Diarrhoea (To maintain the sanctity and decorum of the Forum one does not want to use unparliamentary language!)[/color]

P. S. [color="#FF0000"]When are you going to reinstate the "Beer Guzzling" Icon?[/color]

Added Later : Mudy Ji, I suggest you read the Editorial and the Six Articles- seems Terroristanis have started “Seeing the Light”!!!

[url="http://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/feb2010-weekly/nos-27-02-2010/spr.htm"][color="#FF0000"]NEWS ON SUNDAY – SPECIAL REPORT[/color][/url]

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[url="http://www.telegraphindia.com/1100302/jsp/frontpage/story_12165515.jsp"]Air force drops war game bombs near Pak border[/url]
Quote:Pokhran, March 1: Fighter jets of the Indian Air Force participating in war game Vayu Shakti pounded mock enemy bunkers in Pokhran, close to the Pakistan border, yesterday.

The event, being organised a few days after foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan, is being held at the Chandan range in Pokhran, just 70km from the Pakistan border.

The whole range was lined with 18 targets — enemy bunkers, unfriendly radars, mock terror camps and under-siege buildings to create the ambience of a 26/11-style attack.

[url="http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010/03/02/story_2-3-2010_pg7_2"]Budget deficit jumps to Rs 403bn in first six months[/url]

* Rs 909.9bn generated as consolidated revenue over six months, expenditures recorded at Rs 1.313 trillion

ISLAMABAD: The consolidated budget deficit of the federal and provincial governments has jumped to [color="#FF0000"]Rs 403.25 billion[/color] in the first half of the ongoing fiscal year, according to a Finance Ministry report issued on Monday.

While consolidated revenues for the same period, July to December, amount to Rs 909.926 billion, expenditures have been recorded at Rs 1.313 trillion – translating into a deficit of Rs 403.25 million, which has been financed through external debts amounting to Rs 110.25 billion and domestic debts amounting to Rs 293 billion.

According to the consolidated report on federal and provincial budgetary operations in the first half of 2009-10, Rs 659.12 billion were generated through tax collection: the federal government’s collections totalled in at Rs 635.5131 billion, while collections by provincial governments stand at Rs 23.654 billion.

The ministry said the revenue generated over the six months was 6.1 percent of the gross domestic product, while the budget deficit was 2.7 percent of the GDP.

“The state generated Rs 211.401 billion through direct taxes, Rs 2.812 billion through property tax, Rs 242.871 billion through sales tax, Rs 58.291 billion through excise duty, Rs 71.248 billion through taxes on foreign trade and Rs 51.877 billions through the petroleum levy, while the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) earned a profit of Rs 135 billion during between July and December 2009,” said the ministry.

The report showed that Rs 165.968 billion were spent on defence affairs and services related to the war on terror during the last six months of 2009, while Rs 2.841 billion had been spent on healthcare and Rs 175.557 billion on the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

“[color="#FF0000"]Punjab was the one and only province to spend ... more than the revenue generated of Rs 162.530 billion [/color]... [with] total expenditures of Punjab recorded at Rs 188.026 billion ... Sindh, Balochistan and NWFP had the closing balances of Rs 4.747 billion, Rs 14.534 billion and 13.050 billion at the end of 2009,” said the ministry.

According to Punjab’s revenue and expenditure details, the provincial government generated Rs 192.53 billion as revenue.

“Punjab paid Rs 4.877 billion to the federal government as interest on domestic debts amounting to Rs 27.63 billion, and Rs 46.301 billion were spent on the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), while the province’s total expenditures have been recorded at Rs 188.026 billion,” according to the report.

Sindh’s revenue and expenditure details showed that provincial government generated Rs 107.95 billion as revenue, while its expenditures were recorded at Rs 103.302 billion.

NWFP’s details showed that the provincial government generated Rs 75.175 billion as revenue, while its total expenditures were recorded at Rs 62.126 billion.

Balochistan generated Rs 39.817 billion as revenue, while the provincial government’s expenditures stood at Rs 22.955 billion.

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[url="http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=226684"]A country of dying rivers[/url]

PAKISTAN has been dubbed a country of dying rivers in view of the dwindling river flows as a result of obstructions being created by India on the western rivers coupled with unprecedented surrendering of water rights of eastern rivers, namely Ravi, Beas and Sutlej.

Being an arid country, Pakistan solely depends on water flows, originating from three mountain ranges-Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindu Kush. World highest snowcapped mountains lie in the region besides vast glaciers that have the biggest reserves of fresh water in the form of snow outside north and south poles due to which the area is labeled third pole. Groundwater reserves, feeding the plains, are also recharged from this source and flow of fresh water right from foothills is, therefore, rightly called lifeline of the country. But shortage of water for drinking as well as irrigation purposes is a common thing nowadays in various parts of country.

This was the crux of a seminar where experts blamed the lack of proper management as one of its key reasons. They warned that the country was heading towards a disaster-like situation as the gap between demand and supply of water was increasing rapidly.

Hammad Naqi Khan, Director, Freshwater and Toxics Programme, WWF-Pakistan, presented his keynote presentation “Promoting Actions to Stop our Rivers Running Dry - Case of Indus” at an interaction with stakeholders of water sector in the country.

In his presentation, Hammad Naqi Khan has shared sets of recommendations/institutional reforms to face future challenges related to water resource management. He also threw light on the aquatic pollution and climate change.

With the passage of time, he observed, population growth, urbanisation and unsustainable water consumption practices had placed immense stress on the quantity and quality of water resources.

“Pakistan is now being ranked among the water scarce countries as per capita availability of water is decreasing gradually,” he said, adding that the flow of river could be affected adversely due to multiple factors ranging from climate change to excessive irrigation. He said at present, irrigation used about 90 percent of the water being utilised in the country and the rest was used for supplies to urban and rural population and industry. However, he said, obsolete agriculture practices were adding to the problem of water shortage. He lamented that there was no effective National Water Policy and strategy to cope with such issues.

Hammad said water requirement of the Indus Delta should be catered as it was indispensable for sustainable development of the region. He said we should not ignore supplementing loss of water storage capacity that had been declining due to siltation.

Chaudhry Hamid Malhi, Coordinator, Punjab Water Council, talked about the impact of water shortage on agriculture. He said Punjab contributed around 80 percent of agriculture produce while it was getting only 50 per cent of the river water share. The province badly suffered from the step motherly treatment, he said, adding that the policy against Punjab was against the interest of the whole country as the province served as its food basket. He stressed the need to build dams, including Kalabagh Dam, in order to ensure smooth

irrigation supplies for the agriculture sector. A fair distribution of water supplies was need of the hour and Punjab should not be pushed against the wall, he said, adding that the disparity in representation in Irsa should be removed immediately. The country was already importing food items worth billion of rupees and the farmer was also suffering, he said.

Hamid said if anyone had sympathies for environment-related issues of the Indus Delta, he or she should also have sympathy for drying rivers of Chenab, Ravi and Sutluj.

Habib Akram, a local journalist, talked at length on the issue of ‘Creating Awareness on Water Distribution Through Media.’ He said water-related issues were being highlighted through the media, however, they were not given due importance due to a variety of reasons. First reason behind was the lack of required staff, he said, adding that the quality of persons being produced by educational institutions was not up to the mark, making it difficult for the media groups to effectively focus social issues.

Sarmad Bashir, President Lahore Press Club, spoke on ‘Importance of National Media Policy With Reference To Promotion of Development Journalism.” He said no policy, in fact, had been the media policy of several governments since independence which only tried to make the media an instrument of the establishment. Various governments, including democratic ones, could not prepare a comprehensive national media policy, he said, stressing that the national media policy should focus on development journalism -a term referring to the role of the press in the process of socio-economic development.

Ayub Mayo, President Mutahida Kisan Mehaz, spoke on ‘Indian Water Aggression.’ He cautioned the audience that Pakistan was heading towards a catastrophe due to water shortage. He blamed India for blocking Chenab and other westerner rivers. He said a shortfall in the River Chenab was the result of Indian water aggression in the form of construction of Baglihar Dam on it. He said 8 million acre land was facing water shortage as a result of construction of the Baglihar Dam. Water supply to 14 major canals, 1,125 distributaries and 6,391 water channels was being affected adversely as a result of the construction of the dam, he said and added India was completing the Kishan Ganga Project on the River Jhelum. He said we had already lost waters of eastern rivers to India.

The chairperson of the seminar, Abdul Qadir Hassan, said he was a farmer however, he left behind everything and came to Lahore several decades back in a bid to become a journalist. He said the country had one of the largest irrigation systems of the world but it still could not get its benefits fully. The basic reason behind the inefficiency was mismanagement which needed to be corrected.

Dr Mugheesuddin Sheikh, Dean Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Punjab University, said the media had not succeeded in producing quality work, especially to highlight the development issues. He underlined the need to highlight issues without any bias and expressed hope that proceedings of the seminar would help understand the issue of water distribution.

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[size="6"]Analysis: Pakistan grandstanding spells a diplomatic disaster[/size]

[Image: 25nlook31.jpg]

At the end of it, the much talked-about India-Pakistan talks turned out to be the case of the glass being half full.

The talks that began at 11 am on Thursday went on for some three hours, even spilling over onto lunch. Things seemed to go well and an impression was forming that after a hiatus of over a year, the India-Pakistan dialogue was taking off.

But then came the bolt from the blue -- the classic reality check.

Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, at his press conference, tore asunder the feel-good atmosphere.

He dealt a series of lethal blows with a belligerence rarely seen in conventional diplomacy.

One of the major reasons behind Bashir's raised pitch seems to be the inclusion of two serving Pakistan army officers -- Major Iqbal and Major Samir Ali -- in one of the three dossiers that India handed over to Pakistan on Thursday. India wants to prosecute the duo for their involvement in the Mumbai attacks. New Delhi also asked Islamabad to hand over 33 other terrorists.

Now, it is quite clear that the real 'talk' Pakistan wanted to have with India was done by Bashir at his press conference at the Pakistan embassy.

In the full media glare, Bashir told India: "Do not lecture us." He ticked off the Indian Army chief. He repeatedly seemed to single out Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as the only man with a "vision" in the Indian government.

He also said that Pakistan was not desperate for talks. He harped on Kashmir being the "core issue". He pressed the demand for concluding "do-able" things like an agreement on the Siachen Glacier and Sir Creek. He demanded that India prune its defence purchases and curb its missile development.

In his outburst, Bashir did not make one conciliatory gesture to India's persistent demand to tackle the terrorist infrastructure based on Pakistani soil.

No matter what he said or didn't say, the main thing was his tone and his body language. He spoke as if he was programmed before he left Islamabad and the talks, as such, were a sideshow.

The Indian side has agreed that they were a "bit surprised" by the Pakistan foreign secretary's press conference.

However, an experienced retired diplomat, who has served in Pakistan, told rediff.com that the biggest mistake Indian side made was why the post-talk events were kept open-ended when New Delhi knows Pakistani bureaucrats and politicians so well.

India has not learnt its lessons from the 2001 Agra summit where then Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf took maximum advantage of the media attention.

If a joint press conference had been arranged with a controlled crowd and limited questions, Bashir would not have got such a free hand to carry on for 90 minutes on what all Pakistan wants from India.

Many Pakistan experts are trying to assess why Bashir almost blasted India's idea of arresting and punishing Lashkar-e-Tayiba co-founder Mohammad Saeed. Was Pakistan's aggressive stance at the press conference pre-planned or was it triggered by India's insistence on the issue of terrorism for 85 per cent of the duration of Thursday's talks?

A top-ranking Indian diplomat said Bashir was expected to say a few harsh things directed at the audience back home in Pakistan, but they never expected a diplomat to speak in the language of a politician.

"(Indian Foreign Secretary) Nirupama Rao is not trained like that," the diplomat said. "She could not have matched Bashir's performance. She never had that mandate."

Another diplomat well versed with such talks, said: "Our (Indian) style is different. We talk differently."

Three major reasons have been cited for Pakistan's hard talk in New Delhi. One, Pakistan knows that the United States and Britain are on its side while India looks alienated in Afghanistan. Pakistan is on a strong wicket in the world of geo-political realities. Islamabad is bullish about its position and its agenda in the region.

Second, during the talks, the Pakistan side noticed that India refused to move forward on the issue of composite dialogue; rather, the Indian side had its way in dominating the dialogue by talking about terrorism and little else.

Lastly, Bashir surely is reflecting the domestic power tussle in Pakistan between the civilian forces and the military.

Another reason that may have added to Pakistan's rough stance is the three dossiers given to Bashir's team.

A senior ambassador, who writes frequently on Pakistan, says: "It is possible that the leaks given to the media about the three dossiers were a well-calculated move to malign Pakistan by a section in the government who, in the first place, never supported the talks."

The dossiers even quotes a serving Pakistan army officer without mentioning his real name. This inclusion surely touches a raw nerve in the Pakistani military establishment.

Bashir may have felt his one-upmanship over his Indian counterpart won the day, but it may turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory.

His hard talk turned into a failure for all those on both sides of the Wagah border who were holding their breath with cautious expectation that there could be stirrings of change in the air.

Till Bashir tore into Indian policies at around 5.40 pm, it did seem as if a lot had been achieved and the prophets of doom were way off the mark in their prognosis.

Restrained, gracious and focused, Rao avoided the minefield and handled her press conference in a constructive spirit.

When the Indian and Pakistan delegations -- in all, some 25 diplomats and bureaucrats from both sides -- spoke at the oval shaped table at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, negative vibes were absent, the Indian side said after the meeting.

The atmosphere was relaxed and cordial; even the rhetoric remained under control.

Pakistan spoke about Kashmir and the water issue to which India responded with the well-known national position. When Pakistan raised the issue of India's involvement in Baluchistan, India said it was baseless, and India does not have any desire to destabilise Pakistan.

Till the Pakistani foreign secretary spoke out, one felt the baby step India had taken had opened the window for further progress. The Indian side had a tough task to handle the talks because the Opposition parties were against it.

Many domestic critics had voiced their concerns over inviting Pakistan for talks without New Delhi having enough manoeuvring space in the geo-politics of the region in view of Pakistan graduating as a key ally in the US's regional strategy in Afghanistan and Central Asia.

There was a disconnect within India as well between the government and the people who were not ready for a sudden U-turn in India's policy with Pakistan. This disconnect will haunt the government after Bashir's "do not lecture us" statement.

His statements could have been taken in their stride or could have been underplayed, but the wounds of the Mumbai attacks are still sore. A source in the Indian government told the media that while Rao had got her brief for the talks from a democratic government, her Pakistani counterpart had got the same from "GHQ (the Pakistan army's General Headquarters) and men in khaki."

If Pakistan scoring points was wrong, then India's attempt to counter-score was meaningless. Even before the talks, one knew who calls the shots in Islamabad and who briefs whom in Pakistan.

The big question is how the US will take stock of Thursday's diplomatic debris. After all, senior US officials have repeatedly harped on the great importance of the talks. By now, it is clear that it takes two to tango.

Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi

[url="http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/02-jamaat-shah-02"][center][size="6"][color="#006400"]"We will have to look beyond the Indus Water Treaty”[/color][/size][/center][/url]

Quote:At the recent foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan in New Delhi, Pakistan’s foreign office team presented a paper on water issues to India prepared by Pakistan’s Indus Water Commission. Although water is not a core issue for the resumption of talks between the two nuclear neighbours, differences over the use of rivers assigned according to the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty have undercut peace-making efforts. As Pakistan and India’s populations grow, water for agriculture and electricity generation is in short supply. Pakistan’s Indus Water Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah talks to Dawn.com about the urgent need to resolve water-sharing disputes.

Q. India says the Kishenganga project does not violate the Indus Waters Treaty. What is Pakistan’s position?

A. The Kishenganga River runs through Kashmir, and becomes the Neelum River. Water flows through Azad Jammu and Kashmir for 165 km before joining the Jhelum at Muzaffarabad. Now 70-80 kilometres of this river also run through Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. So the water re-routed by the Kishenganga power project reduces the flow of water going to Muzaffarabad. And then, Pakistan also has one project on the Jhelum River – the Neelum-Jhelum hyrdro-electric power project.

What are the adverse impacts of this one project according to the Indus Water Treaty? One, it reduces our annual energy generation. Two, the Kishenganga project also has an environmental impact because the depth of the water is reduced and this has an impact on the flora and fauna in Azad Jammu and Kashmir through which the Neelum flows. Three, there are technical problems in the design of the Kishenganga project such as the height of the gates and so on.

Q. But India contends that that it started its Kishenganga project earlier than Pakistan’s Neelum-Jhelum project. According to the Indus Water Treaty, India may construct a power plant on the rivers given to Pakistan provided it does not interfere with existing hydro-electric use by Pakistan. Is this true?

A. Yes. But the Jhelum waters were given to Pakistan. And going by the spirit of the treaty, while the waters are Pakistan’s to use, both countries can accrue benefits. When India made its plans known to Pakistan, that did not mean Pakistan did not have the intention [of constructing a plant]. In 1989, we told India that we are constructing a project there. India wanted to inspect the site. At the time, it was only a small exploration tunnel. Now the intention has been shown, with the Chinese being given the project. So we have a legal case.

Moreover, while the total quantity of water has not been changed, there are no guarantees that India will not store or divert water into the Wullar barrage. Certainly, re-routing will impact the flow-time and therefore reduce the quantum of water [to Pakistan].

Q. Where are talks between India and Pakistan on the Kishenganga project now?

A. In 1988, we came to know about Kishenganga and we asked for details. We were told that India was just conducting investigations. India is obliged by the treaty only to give detailed plans six months prior to construction.

In 1992 or 1993, India asked to conduct its first inspection of the site of the Neelum-Jhleum project in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. That was when there was just an underground tunnel. India told us unofficially that the tunnel was an eye-wash.

Then in 1994, we were officially informed about Kishenganga, which was to be a 330 watt storage work. Now in a storage work, there is no mention of diversion.

The commission held five meetings between 1994 and 2006 and the storage height of the dam was ultimately reduced by 40 metres. But by 2006, Kishenganga became a run-off project. Pakistan’s position was that this is a new project, the run-off was not in the 1994 project, and the 1994 project should be considered abandoned.

In June 2006, we raised objections. Between 2006 and 2008 the commission held three meetings. In 2008, Pakistan informed India that it intends to seek the opinion of a neutral expert appointed by the World Bank. India said Pakistan has no case and that there is no controversy since the Kishenganga project does not harm Pakistan’s usage. India wanted to resolve the issue at the level of the commission. So the government of Pakistan agreed to meet representatives of the government of India, but the meeting proved inconclusive.

So India and Pakistan agreed to negotiations, and in March 2009, Pakistan proposed two names of negotiators. But the Indian stance remained the same. According to the treaty, if negotiations reach a deadlock than a court of arbitration can be constituted with seven experts: two from the government of Pakistan, two from the government of India and three jointly named umpires. If these names are not jointly agreed upon, then the World Bank would help.

Pakistan’s point of view is that the direction of flow and environmental impact of the dam should be addressed by the court of arbitration, while the matter of design would be decided by the neutral expert.

Now, the Pakistan Indus Water Commission has shortlisted several names and these are with the foreign office and the law and justice ministry who have to finalise Pakistan’s two names.

Q. Will Pakistan be taking up other Indian projects with the World Bank?

A. As I said, India is planning two more power projects on the River Indus. But those of concern are the ones on the Chenab because we don’t have any storage site there. So the Chenab is more vulnerable. After constructing three, including Baglihar, India intends to construct 10 to 12 more dams on the Chenab and its tributaries.

Certainly, the treaty gives India the right, but the designs should be compliant. Already, India constructed the Wullar barrage unilaterally without informing Pakistan.

Q. It is said that the Baglihar dam issue was settled by the World Bank in India’s favour because Pakistan did not raise the objections in time. Do you agree with that?

A. Both parties had different points of view. When we approached the World Bank, India blocked us because it did not want a neutral expert. So the fact that a neutral expert was appointed was a small victory. The expert asked for documentation from us, which we provided. India believed that Pakistan was maligning them, but the fact is that the neutral expert settled three points in favour of Pakistan and one in India’s favour. And both parties bore the cost of the proceedings.

Both India and Pakistan need these waters and there is a need for candidness and transparency. Political considerations should not shadow the technical aspects. Unfortunately, the technical side is subordinate to the political side.

For example, India did not provide us updated flow data. In August 2008, India violated the treaty by not providing accurate data on the initial filling of the Baglihar dam. The treaty says the initial filling should not reduce the water flowing into Pakistan. So the initial filling of the Baglihar reduced Pakistan’s water and India should compensate for the lost water.

Q. What impact has the construction of Indian power projects had on Pakistan’s waters? We are, after all, facing shortages for agricultural use and electricity generation.

A. Apart from the Baglihar dam, neither Pakistan nor India has had problems with the Indus Water Treaty. But looking to the future, I foresee problems, especially given climate changes. India has already constructed 50-60, medium-sized projects and it plans more than a hundred. One hundred and fifty will be in the small catchment areas in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. This is human intervention: imagine how many trees will be cut, and the resulting environmental impact? They will also impact Pakistan’s water, given the environmental degradation and increased sediment flow.

I think we will now have to look beyond the treaty for solutions. India is allowed run-off hydro-electric projects according to the treaty, but two or three is different from more than a hundred.

In 1960, Pakistan did not want to give three of its rivers to India, but it did. But clearly the World Bank had not factored in climate change and the impact of human intervention. I think the World Bank treaty is likely to be jeopardised. Already, we are facing a shortage in the western rivers, how can we then compensate for the lack of water in the eastern rivers?

Q. Do you think it is time to expand the scope of the treaty?

A. There are some issues with that. Right now, we need to protect and implement the treaty in its full spirit without re-visiting it. But both governments should initiate talks along with expert stakeholders.

Q. Would this be in India’s interest?

A. Yes, because we are neighbours. The Indus Water Treaty was not a happy marriage but we accepted it. But Pakistan should take action at the appropriate time: what happens to the state of Bahawalpur where the rivers Sutlej and Ravi are dry?

Cheers[Image: beer.gif]
Quote:A country of dying rivers

curse of SHIVA.

<img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />
[size="5"]Pakistan: Christian couple gets 25 years in prison for allegedly touching Qur'an with "dirty hands"[/size]

Islamabad (AsiaNews) - A court in Kasur district, Punjab, convicted a Christian couple, Munir Masih and Ruqqiya Bibi, to 25 years in prison. According to the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), judge Ajmal Hussein convicted the couple for touching the Qur'an without washing their hands.

Munir Masih and Ruqqiya Bibi were released on bail last January, but were re-arrested after the judge ruled against them. The husband was locked up in Kasur's district prison; the wife was sent to the women's prison in Multan. Both have started serving 25 years behind bars.

CLAAS, an association that fights for the rights of the poor and marginalised, said that the couple was accused of "contaminating" the Qur'an when they touched it "without washing their hands".

The incident, which dates back to December 2008, unleashed the fury of Muslim extremists who put pressure on police. Unconfirmed reports suggest that extremists paid off police agents to discover "new evidence" to justify the sentence.

At the end of the police investigation, husband and wife were charged with blasphemy.

The blasphemy law is the harshest tool for religious repression available in Pakistan. It was adopted in 1986 by then dictator Zia ul-Haq to protect Islam and its prophet, Muhammad, from attacks and insults.

In fact, it is actually comprised of sections 295-B and 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, which respectively punish with life in prison anyone who defiles, damages or desecrates a copy of the Holy Qur'an, and imposes the death penalty on anyone who defiles the name of the Prophet Muhammad.

In the last two months, there were two more convictions against Christians in Pakistan.

On 11 January, a court in Faisalabad sentenced Imran Masih, a 26-year-old Christian man, to life imprisonment for insulting and desecrating the Koran. He was accused of deliberately burning Qur'anic verses and an Arabic book in order "foment interfaith hatred and hurt the feelings of Muslims."

On 25 February, a court in Karachi sentenced Qamar David, also a Christian, to life imprisonment for hurting the religious feelings of Muslims when he sent blasphemous SMS.

CLAAS announced that it was filing an appeal with the High Court in Lahore to have the 25-year sentence against Munir Masih and Ruqqiya Bibi overturned.

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