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Indian Foreign Affair

Chidamabaram's perestroika irking babus? (Capital Buzz)

New Delhi, Dec 27 : Winds of change are steadily sweeping through the home ministry ever since P. Chidambaram took over last December. First he introduced the biometric attendance system in North Block to ensure punctuality. Then he began revamping the Intelligence Bureau by setting up the Multi-Agency Centre to analyse intelligence inputs on a real time basis.

Speculation already about next foreign secretary

Quote:Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has set a frenetic pace for herself, travelling almost every week and then staying up late in the office till well past 10 p.m. or working weekends in order to catch up on file work. Even though she is at her job for one more year (she retires on Dec 31, 2010), speculation as usual has already begun in the corridors of South Block and in missions abroad about her successor.

Among the names doing the rounds are those of Hardeep Puri, India's permanent representative at the United Nations; Alok Prasad, who spurned an ambassadorial posting to South Africa to become deputy national security adviser after his Colombo posting; and Ranjan Mathai, India's ambassador to France.

Lakshmi Puri, Hardeep Puri's wife, would also have been a formidable contender had it not been for the fact that she had opted out of the race some time ago to take up a UN assignment in Geneva on deputation from the Indian Foreign Service.
[url="http://www.hindustantimes.com/Four-countries-issue-terror-alerts-Avoid-India/H1-Article1-492258.aspx"]Four countries issue terror alerts: Avoid India[/url]
Quote:Four countries — the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada — have issued travel advisories warning citizens of the high risk of terror attacks in India.

The US and UK advisories follow previous ones complaining about New Delhi’s new visa regulations, which require tourists to maintain a two-month gap between the time they exit the country and re-enter it.

Indian security agencies view the new alerts as “retaliatory”. External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said: “Let me scotch all speculative reports that India is a country infested by terrorists. I reject this totally.”

The advisory issued by the US mission on Tuesday says: “The US government continues to receive information that terrorist groups may be planning attacks in India… their willingness and capability to attack targets where Americans or Westerners visit.”

Last week’s advisory on visa policy referred to “inconsistent implementation” and said the rules weren’t publicised.

The website of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK government says: “Recent announcements by the Indian government on visa rules have caused confusion and concern among British visitors.”

On terror: “There is a high general threat from terrorism throughout India. Recent attacks in Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Bangalore have targeted public places… Future attacks may target public places frequented by Westerners...”

The Canadian version: “High risk of terrorism throughout India.” The Australian one goes: “Exercise caution in India because of high risk of terrorist activity by militant groups…”

At a briefing on Wednesday, Krishna said: “You find thousands of foreigners freely going about... I would like to assure foreign tourists that India is absolutely safe.”

Dumb External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishana came out with dumb policy and now dumb reaction from 4 countries.
<img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':blink:' /> It all started at a lecture by British MP Lord Bhikhu Parekh in New Delhi on Friday. Parekh, in his talk, said Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi's policies presented India in a light of "moral self-righteousness".

A normal Congressman would have either protested or just walked out, but Tharoor was made of different stuff as he agreed with the view point and said he had pointed this out in his books.

Tharoor endorsed the criticism that the foreign policy of Jawaharlal Nehru, the country's first Prime Minister and the Congress' biggest icon, was a "moralistic running commentary".

[url="http://sarvesamachar.com/click_frameset.php?ref_url=/index.php%3F&url=http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/expressindia/iKgY/~3/ouiiym1CvxM/"]Massive earthquake rocks Haiti; no info about Indians[/url]
Quote:The country is home to over 200 Indians, most of whom are policemen deputed as part of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Of the over 200 Indians, some 60-100 live and work in the country and are mostly associated with the UN peace mission.

"We have not been able to contact with the Honorary Indian Consul General in Haiti, Marie Andrine," Deputy Indian Ambassador to Cuba said over phone from Havana. The Indian Embassy in Cuba also takes care of Indian affairs in Haiti.
Central Industrial Security Force CISF said in Delhi that the 141-strong Indian contingent in Haiti was safe, even as eleven UN peacekeepers died in the earthquake.

Eight Chinese and three Jordanian peacekeepers have been killed and hundreds others are unaccounted for including the Tunisian force chief as a 7.3-magnitude trembler shook the country, flattening almost all buildings in the capital Port-Au-Prince.

CISF spokesperson Rohit Katiyar said a part of the outer perimeter wall of the building in which Indian contingent is housed fell down, but the main structure remain intact. India is still awaiting information about 50 other Consular level officers.
SmileProbationers are likely to be sent to the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) in Hyderabad for English courses. In the last two batches, a number of candidates who took their civil services exams in Hindi were selected for the Indian Foreign Service (IFS). The immediate problem was that some of the probationers were unable to follow lectures during their training. “They have varying degrees of English language skills,” said an official. Now the proposal is to train the batches — which have 20-25 probationers each — for a period of 1-2 months, depending on the level of proficiency in the English language.

[url="http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Outside_View_Obama_and_India_999.html"]Outside View: Obama and India[/url]

Quote:by M.D. Nalapat

Manipal, India (UPI) Jan 26, 2009

Once in office, U.S. President Barack Obama apparently decided to abandon his own policy preferences in favor of those of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Given the reluctance of the former president and the current secretary of state to agree to an equal partnership with India, it is no surprise that the past year has seen the killing-off of the tiny shoots of U.S.-India high-tech cooperation promised by former President George W. Bush.

This is despite the eagerness of NASA for joint projects with India. The U.S. space agency is aware that it will continue to be commercially outclassed by the European Union unless it ties up with India's Space Research Organization.

The Indians can undertake space launches that are 40 percent cheaper than the EU. Were NASA to outsource some of its hardware and software needs to India, the agency would outclass the Europeans in almost every segment of space research and exploration. This is why successive NASA administrators have -- on record -- pushed for closer cooperation with India.

However, the death-grip between Washington and Islamabad has sabotaged all such efforts, even though NASA and ISRO have numerous complementarities, such as in hardware and software.

On several occasions, pressure from the White House and the State Department aborted efforts by Taiwan, Malaysia and a Middle Eastern country to put payloads into orbit through ISRO rockets. Taiwan withdrew its request to use Indian launch capabilities more than a decade ago but it has been scarcely five years since Malaysia called off its launch less than an hour before liftoff.

[color="#800080"]The Malaysians were up front in privately telling the Indians that pressure to abort came directly from the White House and hence could not be refused.[/color]

During the 1950s, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson and his successor J. Foster Dulles muddied U.S. relations with several Asian countries by tagging alongside European countries unwilling to put an end to their colonial empires in Asia. This included the French, for example, who sought to hold on to Indochina long after the British had left India.

These days, despite his promise of change, Obama appears to have returned to Clinton-style paternalism toward countries in Asia and Africa, focusing obsessively on the EU as the only U.S. partner of choice.

In the mind war that is being lost by the coalition in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the addition of a few non-EU partners would have done much to remove the fear among the local populations that European-style colonialism was returning via the Pentagon. Media commentators in the West quote high "approval" ratings for occupation forces, unaware that the people polled are simply telling them what they believe the West wants to hear -- the way these same people professed love for former Saddam Hussein and fealty toward the Taliban.

Asian visitors to Iraq and Afghanistan say the local populations are eager to see the back of the hundreds of thousands of coalition troops in their countries.

Indeed, the security situation in Iraq has improved considerably now that U.S. forces have taken a recessed role. In Afghanistan as well, only a withdrawal of coalition forces from the towns and cities will generate public support and participation for the government of President Hamid Karzai as it seeks to fend off the threat from the Taliban -- newly revived by cash from coalition sources buying off opposition and logistical backing from within Pakistan.

Sadly, such advice sounds as outlandish now to coalition ears as did similar advice by this columnist to friends in the Pentagon in 2004, who refused to believe that the high visibility of U.S. troops was in fact the primary engine fuelling recruitment to the growing tide of militancy.

Although George W. Bush understood the imperative of close cooperation between the United States and India, the many Europeanists within his administration -- including Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, though not Donald Rumsfeld -- prevented him from building on the momentum created by his 2005 decision with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India to forge a nuclear partnership.

However, baby steps toward high-tech cooperation were initiated on his watch, including a small easing of visa restrictions on Indian scientists.

Today, thanks to Hillary Clinton, these irritants are back. Indian scientists, including people such as Goverdhan Mehta who is a member of the U.S. Academy of Sciences, are once again being denied visas to enter the United States. Those working in aerospace, physics and chemistry find it next to impossible to visit the United States even to attend a conference.

This has created anger among India's scientists, who are now dismissive of Singh's claim that there has been a qualitative improvement in U.S.-India high-tech cooperation. Of course, a few cosmetic measures have been permitted by Clinton and Obama, such as the sending of a small NASA payload aboard India's recent mission to the moon.

Clinton and Obama have been working overtime to pressure India into giving concessions to U.S. entities that have no place in a market economy. An example is the attempt to fix a cap of $400 million as liability for a nuclear accident involving a U.S. reactor, a figure that would apply even if such a disaster were to claim as many lives as Union Carbide's 1984 Bhopal gas leak did -- around 30,000 over its course.

Of course, a benevolent Indian Supreme Court demanded less than $400 million from the company for the accident. Soon afterward Chief Justice R.S. Pathak was appointed to the International Court -- clearly by coincidence.

Indian civil society is aghast at the way the Nobel Peace Prize-winning U.S. president is permitting his administration to arm-twist the Singh government into placing such a low cap on financial liability for a nuclear accident.

A senior atomic scientist in India's nuclear establishment warned that such a cap "would encourage U.S. companies to make Indians into experimental mice for reactor designs," pointing out that it has been close to four decades since the United States designed a reactor. He warns that the use of technologies with such artificial caps would be hazardous to public safety.

Under President Nicolas Sarkozy, France has become the new poodle of Washington, displacing Britain. As a consequence, Paris is seeking tough conditions for nuclear trade with India -- in the process handing over the advantage to Moscow, which is much more open to equal collaboration.

No wonder Russia has secured 70 percent of the new Indian orders for nuclear reactors, with France taking the rest. Because of its insistence on conditions that are antithetical to a free market, the United States has not secured a single order.

However, this shortfall in cash from India could be made up if the United States emerged as the major weapons supplier to India, displacing Russia. But here as well, a toughening of conditions under the Obama administration -- as well as a repeat of the Dick Cheney policy of thrusting the obsolete F-16 down the throat of the Indian air force -- may mean that defense orders bypass the United States.

By any rational measure, India is at least as important as Britain and France, nuclear weapons states with permanent seats on the U.N. Security Council. Unless Clinton paternalism is discarded in favor of realism, and India is seen as deserving of the same status, the promise of an India-U.S. technology alliance may remain no more than that during the Obama years -- a promise.

(M.D. Nalapat is vice-chairman of the Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair, and professor of geopolitics at Manipal University.)

(United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)
<img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/angry.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':angry:' /> From all appearances it was a dialogue of the deaf. But we were, clearly, the losers. That’s because we abandoned a cardinal weapon aptly described by BJP leader Arun Jaitley as the “diplomatic option of not talking to a hostile country”. Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir can go back home and credibly assert he stood his ground and managed to add water and Balochistan on the agenda apart from pressing for a “solution” to the Kashmir issue (by which Islamabad means handing over the Valley to them). Bashir also spent last Wednesday evening confabulating with three separatist Kashmiri leaders although he was frustrated by their insistence on meeting him separately, presumably to run down one another and seek enhanced funding for their respective outfits. Their Foreign Minister can now feel vindicated; he claimed last fortnight Pakistan had succeeded in dragging a whimpering India to the negotiating table.

Friends , being new to this forum I would like to hear your thoughts about this unusual visit in many respects.I have a few ideas of my own as to what is cooking and will post them soon but would like to hear from somebody else also.
<img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' /> This is based on what's going around; so, no personal knowledge. And there is Shashi saying that Saudi is interlocutor; so, please let us know as to what is cooking:

During the three-day visit, the two sides will sign 10 pacts including Extradition Treaty, Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners and Agreement on setting up Joint Investment Fund.

Singh and King Abdullah will also hold talks on opening "new frontiers" of cooperation in various areas including security and defence.

India's concerns over 'safe havens' of al-Qaeda and Taliban along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border will be also discussed during the talks between Singh and King Abdullah.

Are Saudis planning new round of mosque and madrassa building?

Probably, Manmohan wants Saudis to intervene with Pak over Kashmir. We will give Kashmir a measure of autonomy (Kashmiri green passports, own flag, troop withdrawal, no Tiranga in Srinagar) but we can't have Indian public see this as a win for Pakis, so please reign in the Pakis.... till next election.
World cup Hockey...

Gandhi 4 Jinah 1 - Hindus won hands down - long live Hindus....Its time Hindus win World Hockey Cup. Pakistan got dubbing from India in the opener....
[url="http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=1112"]Self destruction bane of India [/url]

"Perhaps Tharoor does not think at all – he simply tweets at the directives of his western friends."

What is the answer? Manmohan's trip hardly seems a standard diplomatic affair. It has all the marks of a courtship similar to what Obama laid out for MMS a while back. MMS will be goaded to make even more concessions on Kashmir to ease the US burden in AfPak.
Shashi and MMS are two sold out stooges, they will sell India to lowest bidder because both are Babus and had education from Oxford.
Quote:Storm in a Twitter cup over Tharoor comment

Pioneer News Service | New Delhi

Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor has kicked up yet another controversy, this time on foreign shores as part of the Prime Minister’s delegation, with his remark that Saudi Arabia could be a “valuable interlocutor” between India and Pakistan. Later, faced with flak from the Opposition, he blamed the media for “misunderstanding” the word “interlocutor” and quickly clarified that he did not mean that Riyadh should be a mediator.

Tharoor went out of his way to clarify his remark on the social networking site Twitter. His first tweet on the controversy said, “Good day of meetings, marred in some Indian media by misunderstanding of word ‘interlocutor’. An interlocutor is someone you speak to, nothing more.”

A few minutes later, he elaborated, “If I speak to you, you are my interlocutor! I mentioned the Saudis as our interlocutors, ie the people we are here to speak to. Some misinterpretation.”

On the defensive, Tharoor went out of his way to clarify. “No chance of my saying Saudi Arabia should be a mediator. Never said that or anything like it.”

The BJP was quick to pounce on the Minister’s remarks and condemned it as “utterly irresponsible”. It said it would seek a clarification from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Parliament.

“Tharoor’s comment is utterly irresponsible and we thoroughly condemn it,” BJP spokesman Ravishankar Prasad said here.

Somebody teach him ABCD of diplomacy.
What if Tharoor is used to convey the message and later people can claim he was speaking out of turn. In meantime the message is conveyed and the damage is done.
Shashi should be well versed in diplomacy. Who knows probably MMS is using Shashi to test waters and send out feelers.
[Image: 2010030258330101.jpg]

Why this fellow is wearing a green dupatta. Doesn't the indian side have protocol officers to make sure the PM does not look like a joke.

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