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India And The World
No matter what OBL wants or wishes, IMO, he would be betrayed at the last minute by Mushy. Right before the next presidential elections in the US, either he gonna be captured or 'encountered.'
The Bubble of American Supremacy

A prominent financier argues that the heedless assertion of American power in the world resembles a financial bubble—and the moment of truth may be here

by George Soros

I t is generally agreed that September 11, 2001, changed the course of history. But we must ask ourselves why that should be so. How could a single event, even one involving 3,000 civilian casualties, have such a far-reaching effect? The answer lies not so much in the event itself as in the way the United States, under the leadership of President George W. Bush, responded to it.

Admittedly, the terrorist attack was historic in its own right. Hijacking fully fueled airliners and using them as suicide bombs was an audacious idea, and its execution could not have been more spectacular. The destruction of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center made a symbolic statement that reverberated around the world, and the fact that people could watch the event on their television sets endowed it with an emotional impact that no terrorist act had ever achieved before. The aim of terrorism is to terrorize, and the attack of September 11 fully accomplished this objective.

Even so, September 11 could not have changed the course of history to the extent that it has if President Bush had not responded to it the way he did. He declared war on terrorism, and under that guise implemented a radical foreign-policy agenda whose underlying principles predated the tragedy. Those principles can be summed up as follows: International relations are relations of power, not law; power prevails and law legitimizes what prevails. The United States is unquestionably the dominant power in the post-Cold War world; it is therefore in a position to impose its views, interests, and values. The world would benefit from adopting those values, because the American model has demonstrated its superiority. The Clinton and first Bush Administrations failed to use the full potential of American power. This must be corrected; the United States must find a way to assert its supremacy in the world.

This foreign policy is part of a comprehensive ideology customarily referred to as neoconservatism, though I prefer to describe it as a crude form of social Darwinism. I call it crude because it ignores the role of cooperation in the survival of the fittest, and puts all the emphasis on competition. In economic matters the competition is between firms; in international relations it is between states. In economic matters social Darwinism takes the form of market fundamentalism; in international relations it is now leading to the pursuit of American supremacy.

Not all the members of the Bush Administration subscribe to this ideology, but neoconservatives form an influential group within it. They publicly called for the invasion of Iraq as early as 1998. Their ideas originated in the Cold War and were further elaborated in the post-Cold War era. Before September 11 the ideologues were hindered in implementing their strategy by two considerations: George W. Bush did not have a clear mandate (he became President by virtue of a single vote in the Supreme Court), and America did not have a clearly defined enemy that would have justified a dramatic increase in military spending.

September 11 removed both obstacles. President Bush declared war on terrorism, and the nation lined up behind its President. Then the Bush Administration proceeded to exploit the terrorist attack for its own purposes. It fostered the fear that has gripped the country in order to keep the nation united behind the President, and it used the war on terrorism to execute an agenda of American supremacy. That is how September 11 changed the course of history.

Exploiting an event to further an agenda is not in itself reprehensible. It is the task of the President to provide leadership, and it is only natural for politicians to exploit or manipulate events so as to promote their policies. The cause for concern lies in the policies that Bush is promoting, and in the way he is going about imposing them on the United States and the world. He is leading us in a very dangerous direction.

<span style='color:red'>The supremacist ideology of the Bush Administration stands in opposition to the principles of an open society, which recognize that people have different views and that nobody is in possession of the ultimate truth. The supremacist ideology postulates that just because we are stronger than others, we know better and have right on our side. The very first sentence of the September 2002 National Security Strategy (the President's annual laying out to Congress of the country's security objectives) reads, "The great struggles of the twentieth century between liberty and totalitarianism ended with a decisive victory for the forces of freedom—and a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy, and free enterprise."</span>
The assumptions behind this statement are false on two counts. First, there is no single sustainable model for national success. Second, the American model, which has indeed been successful, is not available to others, because our success depends greatly on our dominant position at the center of the global capitalist system, and we are not willing to yield it.

The Bush doctrine, first enunciated in a presidential speech at West Point in June of 2002, and incorporated into the National Security Strategy three months later, is built on two pillars: the United States will do everything in its power to maintain its unquestioned military supremacy; and the United States arrogates the right to pre-emptive action. In effect, the doctrine establishes two classes of sovereignty: the sovereignty of the United States, which takes precedence over international treaties and obligations; and the sovereignty of all other states, which is subject to the will of the United States. This is reminiscent of George Orwell's Animal Farm: all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

To be sure, the Bush doctrine is not stated so starkly; it is shrouded in doublespeak. The doublespeak is needed because of the contradiction between the Bush Administration's concept of freedom and democracy and the actual principles and requirements of freedom and democracy. Talk of spreading democracy looms large in the National Security Strategy. But when President Bush says, as he does frequently, that freedom will prevail, he means that America will prevail. In a free and open society, people are supposed to decide for themselves what they mean by freedom and democracy, and not simply follow America's lead. The contradiction is especially apparent in the case of Iraq, and the occupation of Iraq has brought the issue home. We came as liberators, bringing freedom and democracy, but that is not how we are perceived by a large part of the population.

It is ironic that the government of the most successful open society in the world should have fallen into the hands of people who ignore the first principles of open society. At home Attorney General John Ashcroft has used the war on terrorism to curtail civil liberties. Abroad the United States is trying to impose its views and interests through the use of military force. The invasion of Iraq was the first practical application of the Bush doctrine, and it has turned out to be counterproductive. A chasm has opened between America and the rest of the world.

The size of the chasm is impressive. On September 12, 2001, a special meeting of the North Atlantic Council invoked Article 5 of the NATO Treaty for the first time in the alliance's history, calling on all member states to treat the terrorist attack on the United States as an attack upon their own soil. The United Nations promptly endorsed punitive U.S. action against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. A little more than a year later the United States could not secure a UN resolution to endorse the invasion of Iraq. Gerhard Schröder won re-election in Germany by refusing to cooperate with the United States. In South Korea an underdog candidate was elected to the presidency because he was considered the least friendly to the United States; many South Koreans regard the United States as a greater danger to their security than North Korea. A large majority throughout the world opposed the war on Iraq.

<span style='color:red'>S eptember 11 introduced a discontinuity into American foreign policy. Violations of American standards of behavior that would have been considered objectionable in ordinary times became accepted as appropriate to the circumstances. The abnormal, the radical, and the extreme have been redefined as normal. The advocates of continuity have been pursuing a rearguard action ever since. </span>
To explain the significance of the transition, I should like to draw on my experience in the financial markets. Stock markets often give rise to a boom-bust process, or bubble. Bubbles do not grow out of thin air. They have a basis in reality—but reality as distorted by a misconception. Under normal conditions misconceptions are self-correcting, and the markets tend toward some kind of equilibrium. Occasionally, a misconception is reinforced by a trend prevailing in reality, and that is when a boom-bust process gets under way. Eventually the gap between reality and its false interpretation becomes unsustainable, and the bubble bursts.

Exactly when the boom-bust process enters far-from-equilibrium territory can be established only in retrospect. During the self-reinforcing phase participants are under the spell of the prevailing bias. Events seem to confirm their beliefs, strengthening their misconceptions. This widens the gap and sets the stage for a moment of truth and an eventual reversal. When that reversal comes, it is liable to have devastating consequences. This course of events seems to have an inexorable quality, but a boom-bust process can be aborted at any stage, and the adverse effects can be reduced or avoided altogether. Few bubbles reach the extremes of the information-technology boom that ended in 2000. The sooner the process is aborted, the better.

The quest for American supremacy qualifies as a bubble. The dominant position the United States occupies in the world is the element of reality that is being distorted. The proposition that the United States will be better off if it uses its position to impose its values and interests everywhere is the misconception. It is exactly by not abusing its power that America attained its current position.
Where are we in this boom-bust process? The deteriorating situation in Iraq is either the moment of truth or a test that, if it is successfully overcome, will only reinforce the trend.

Whatever the justification for removing Saddam Hussein, there can be no doubt that we invaded Iraq on false pretenses. Wittingly or unwittingly, President Bush deceived the American public and Congress and rode roughshod over the opinions of our allies. The gap between the Administration's expectations and the actual state of affairs could not be wider. It is difficult to think of a recent military operation that has gone so wrong. Our soldiers have been forced to do police duty in combat gear, and they continue to be killed. We have put at risk not only our soldiers' lives but the combat effectiveness of our armed forces. Their morale is impaired, and we are no longer in a position to properly project our power. Yet there are more places than ever before where we might have legitimate need to project that power. North Korea is openly building nuclear weapons, and Iran is clandestinely doing so. The Taliban is regrouping in Afghanistan. The costs of occupation and the prospect of permanent war are weighing heavily on our economy, and we are failing to address many festering problems—domestic and global. If we ever needed proof that the dream of American supremacy is misconceived, the occupation of Iraq has provided it. If we fail to heed the evidence, we will have to pay a heavier price in the future.

M eanwhile, largely as a result of our preoccupation with supremacy, something has gone fundamentally wrong with the war on terrorism. Indeed, war is a false metaphor in this context. Terrorists do pose a threat to our national and personal security, and we must protect ourselves. Many of the measures we have taken are necessary and proper. It can even be argued that not enough has been done to prevent future attacks. But the war being waged has little to do with ending terrorism or enhancing homeland security; on the contrary, it endangers our security by engendering a vicious circle of escalating violence.

The terrorist attack on the United States could have been treated as a crime against humanity rather than an act of war. Treating it as a crime would have been more appropriate. Crimes require police work, not military action. Protection against terrorism requires precautionary measures, awareness, and intelligence gathering—all of which ultimately depend on the support of the populations among which the terrorists operate. Imagine for a moment that September 11 had been treated as a crime. We would not have invaded Iraq, and we would not have our military struggling to perform police work and getting shot at.

Declaring war on terrorism better suited the purposes of the Bush Administration, because it invoked military might; but this is the wrong way to deal with the problem. Military action requires an identifiable target, preferably a state. As a result the war on terrorism has been directed primarily against states harboring terrorists. Yet terrorists are by definition non-state actors, even if they are often sponsored by states.

The war on terrorism as pursued by the Bush Administration cannot be won. On the contrary, it may bring about a permanent state of war. Terrorists will never disappear. They will continue to provide a pretext for the pursuit of American supremacy. That pursuit, in turn, will continue to generate resistance. Further, by turning the hunt for terrorists into a war, we are bound to create innocent victims. The more innocent victims there are, the greater the resentment and the better the chances that some victims will turn into perpetrators.

The terrorist threat must be seen in proper perspective. Terrorism is not new. It was an important factor in nineteenth-century Russia, and it had a great influence on the character of the czarist regime, enhancing the importance of secret police and justifying authoritarianism. More recently several European countries—Italy, Germany, Great Britain—had to contend with terrorist gangs, and it took those countries a decade or more to root them out. But those countries did not live under the spell of terrorism during all that time. Granted, using hijacked planes for suicide attacks is something new, and so is the prospect of terrorists with weapons of mass destruction. To come to terms with these threats will take some adjustment; but the threats cannot be allowed to dominate our existence. Exaggerating them will only make them worse. The most powerful country on earth cannot afford to be consumed by fear. To make the war on terrorism the centerpiece of our national strategy is an abdication of our responsibility as the leading nation in the world. Moreover, by allowing terrorism to become our principal preoccupation, we are playing into the terrorists' hands. They are setting our priorities.

<span style='color:red'>Recent Council on Foreign Relations publication sketches out three alternative national-security strategies. The first calls for the pursuit of American supremacy through the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive military action. It is advocated by neoconservatives. The second seeks the continuation of our earlier policy of deterrence and containment. It is advocated by Colin Powell and other moderates, who may be associated with either political party. The third would have the United States lead a cooperative effort to improve the world by engaging in preventive actions of a constructive character. It is not advocated by any group of significance, although President Bush pays lip service to it. That is the policy I stand for. </span>
The evidence shows the first option to be extremely dangerous, and I believe that the second is no longer practical. The Bush Administration has done too much damage to our standing in the world to permit a return to the status quo. Moreover, the policies pursued before September 11 were clearly inadequate for dealing with the problems of globalization. Those problems require collective action. The United States is uniquely positioned to lead the effort. We cannot just do anything we want, as the Iraqi situation demonstrates, but nothing much can be done in the way of international cooperation without the leadership—or at least the participation—of the United States.

Globalization has rendered the world increasingly interdependent, but international politics is still based on the sovereignty of states. What goes on within individual states can be of vital interest to the rest of the world, but the principle of sovereignty militates against interfering in their internal affairs. How to deal with failed states and oppressive, corrupt, and inept regimes? How to get rid of the likes of Saddam? There are too many such regimes to wage war against every one. This is the great unresolved problem confronting us today.

I propose replacing the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive military action with preventive action of a constructive and affirmative nature. Increased foreign aid or better and fairer trade rules, for example, would not violate the sovereignty of the recipients. Military action should remain a last resort. The United States is currently preoccupied with issues of security, and rightly so. But the framework within which to think about security is collective security. Neither nuclear proliferation nor international terrorism can be successfully addressed without international cooperation. The world is looking to us for leadership. We have provided it in the past; the main reason why anti-American feelings are so strong in the world today is that we are not providing it in the present.
<b>Great Game</b>
Yesterday Libya made an announcement to dismantle WMD program. For long Libya was painted as Terror country but this announcement and immediate pat on Gaddafi back is signal to other dictators in middle east to follow his path. China and North Korea was main technology supplier to Libya and other Middle Eastern countries. This will check China entry into Middle East and US/UK control over these dictators. North Korea who was looking for cash will crumble.
This will bring pressure on India and Pakistan also. Pakistan will follow other Middle Eastern dictators but India will be left free to check China.
Saudi Arabia who was working hard to attain these goodies, for long, from China through Pakistan will be in swamp also.
How long cash strap North Korea will survive will be worth to watch?
Interesting great game of US/UK with china will be interesting to watch in near future.
by B.Raman
18. The US and other coalition troops will continue to bleed till they are able to get a better measure of the resistance fighters and the external jihadi terrorists and their modus operandi. While the short-term prospects remain negative, the US should still be able to turn the tide in the medium and long term and soften and win over the resistance fighters if only it tries and succeeds in winning the co-operation of the estranged and sulking Iraqi elite of the Saddam days. Continued reliance on stooges could prove counter-productive.

19. As I have been repeatedly reiterating in my writings and talks, it is not in India's interest that the US fails to prevail in Iraq. Whatever its past mistakes---there have been many and of a very serious nature---some of the adversaries which it faces in Iraq post-May are India's adversaries too. Many of them were previously killing hundreds of innocent civilians in India, Russia (Chechnya) and other countries. They are now killing Americans and Iraqis. If they succeed against the US, they will receive a shot in the arm and will gravitate to other jihadi fronts, including India, with renewed confidence and heightened morale. This has to be prevented.

20. India's decision not to send troops to Iraq was the right one. We cannot afford to get involved in a counter-insurgency or counter-terrorism role in a Muslim country. At the same time, we should not hesitate to consider other ways of discreetly assisting the US such as intelligence-sharing, training of the new Iraqi bureaucrats, including military, police and intelligence officers, in Indian institutions and acting discreetly as an interface between the US and the angry and sulking Iraqi elite in an attempt to bring the two together.
Finally, the truth is out. It is not so much that they(the Tony Blairs of the world) are concerned about India's weapons of mass destruction, nor are they concerned that India is spending too much on defense (although that may also be true) , what they are really concerned is that India has invested heavily in higher education and is now reaping the rewards. IOW, India is spending too much on education and they the high tech industrialized world are running scared that they cannot compete against the pajama clad IIT Graduate

Get educated to fight India: Blair

LONDON: Tony Blair has controversially named the Indian threat to British jobs and economic growth as the main reason he is pushing ahead with fiercely resisted plans for English university funding reform, despite indications the proposals might finally and humiliatingly sink Blair and Blairism .

Though no one is calling it the backlash to Indian outsourcing just yet, Blair said the proposals were right for a Britain whose workforce was increasingly being challenged by highly-educated, high-growth India and China.

"Look at India, China and the United States. Look at India and China, the top countries in the world are already putting 50% of their people through university," Blair said early on Sunday, as he argued the two Asian giants would take away more UK service sector and manufacturing jobs if Britons remained poorly skilled and under-educated.

He said, "The only way we are going to survive is more and more people getting top quality education ... and you cannot do that unless you get a sustainable system of funding."

Blair’s government is controversially piloting plans through parliament for the UK’s under-funded universities to charge thousands of pounds a year from British undergraduates. He says it is his government’s "flagship" proposal because it is so "important for a country (faced with the Indian-Chinese giants)".
<b>Are we scared yet?</b>
By Daniel Sneider

The year 2003 was the year of Iraq. No other event compared in reshaping America's role in the world.
And in 2004, the occupation of Iraq is sure to remain on center stage.
But it would be a big mistake to let Iraq block our vision. Many other developments in the wider world this coming year could change our lives.
Some are opportunities. Unfortunately, others are threats that could thrust us into new crises.

My list of opportunities may strike some as naively hopeful. And at the risk of scaring the heck out of you, I have drawn my list of threats at their darkest. But they are all real.
Here they are:


• <b>North Korea goes boom</b> -- Negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program collapse in the spring when the U.S. demands full dismantling as a first, non-negotiable step. China denounces the U.S. for the handling of the talks and refuses to join in imposing a total economic embargo. North Korea celebrates the anniversary of the Korean war later in the summer by testing a nuclear weapon.

• <b>Taiwan tensions</b> -- Taiwanese nationalist Chen Shui-bian wins re-election as president in March and a simultaneous referendum reveals strong anti-Chinese feeling on the island. China, which had hoped for Chen's defeat, mobilizes its armed forces, charging that Chen is leading Taiwan to declare independence. The Bush administration sends the Pacific Fleet to the Taiwan straits, setting up a military confrontation.

• <b>Pakistan goes rogue</b> -- Pakistan leader Gen. Pervez Musharraf is assassinated by Islamist terrorists, leading to a takeover by radical pro-Islamist elements of the Pakistani army. The new government backs an upsurge in anti-Indian violence in Kashmir. India mobilizes its army, bringing the region to the brink of war.

• <b>China's economy slows</b> -- China's shaky state-run banking system has a crisis, forcing a massive bailout and an upsurge in inflation. The government moves to cool down the economy, sending Korea, Japan and the rest of Asia, which have been pouring goods into China, into a downturn. The U.S. economy's faltering recovery ends abruptly.

• <b>Russia loses a nuke</b> -- Al-Qaida agents, aided by Chechens, raid a nuclear weapons storage site in southern Russia, successfully making off with nuclear warheads. Al-Qaida threatens to explode a bomb unless the U.S. withdraws immediately from Iraq. When the U.S. refuses, a nuclear weapon wipes out the Russian Far Eastern port of Vladivostok, sending a radioactive cloud toward Japan.


• <b>India and Pakistan peace</b> -- talks beginning in February lead to a blossoming of economic and cultural exchanges between India and Pakistan. Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government wins a massive mandate in elections. The two countries reach a deal in the fall to settle the Kashmir dispute.

• <b>Brazil emerges</b> -- led by its charismatic president ``Lula,'' Brazil experiences an economic turnaround, triggering a dramatic upturn in Latin America. Riding this wave, viewed as confirmation that there is an alternate path to Washington's `free trade' pact, Brazil and Argentina lead a move to form a Latin American economic union.

• <b>Iran and the U.S., again</b> -- a reformist upsurge sweeps Iran, forcing Islamic clerics to yield real power to the president and a reformist-controlled parliament. The new government restores diplomatic relations with the U.S. Economic ties with the U.S. and Europe expand.

• <b>Japan's economy revives </b>-- Japan's economy experiences surprising growth, led by consumer spending and a new wave of technological innovations led by the auto and electronics industry. The growth allows government reformers to finally tackle the debt-ridden banking system, setting the stage for an end to Japan's era of stagnation.

• <b>Osama gets cornered</b> -- After months of delay, NATO and the U.S. put 50,000 troops into Afghanistan to beat back a Taliban insurgency. Carrying out a sweep through the mountains along the Pakistan border, German troops capture Osama bin Laden in a well-stocked cave, along with his senior deputy.

As 2004 unfolds, keep these in mind. Myself, I hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
DANIEL SNEIDER is foreign affairs columnist for the Mercury News
Swedish PM backs India's Security Council bid

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The future credibility of the United Nations Security Council will depend on India being offered a permanent seat, Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson said here Wednesday. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I dont know how impotant it is for India to have a UNSC for it's future aspirations. It is a good thing to have , but what real difference does it make. I feel like the world is holding it in front of us like a bait . Just talk about India and UNSC to placate us. I think we should totally ignore the UNSC thing for the next 5 to 10 years. I do not mean not engage in the UN or even campaign for UNSC , but not attach too much importanc to it. UN seems to be a paper tiger.
<b>35% of India's population is under 15</b>!
<b>EU's relations with India</b>
A UNSC seat is worthwhile if it comes with a veto. if it is a watered down UNSC seat, it may not be worth a hill of beans. A veto is a powerful weapon indeed. Note that a country with a veto power will never have any adverse resolutions passed against it.
<b>India Shining and the British Media</b>
India Shining campaign is not sitting well with the Western media. British press in particular has again taken the lead to negate this assertion. The Americans have also followed the suit a bit more cautiously. The “Economist” of London did not like the new slogan of progress and prosperity in India and wrote a major article on “ India Not Shinning”. <b>It would appear that this conservative British weekly has taken the role of the opposition in the upcoming Indian elections</b>. The opposition parties (more specifically the Congress) has lost the propaganda war ahead of elections, hence have come out critically against the India Shinning campaign. The Economist just reflected their views. The US weekly “Time” also wrote a similar article in its last issue, but was less critical as compared to the Economist. <b>If you read the two articles together, they appear to be the pen work of two people sitting side by side and using same notes to pooh-pooh the India shining assertion.</b>

Let us examine the roots of these unpleasant British feelings. The mentality of the British Raj never left British public psyche. They wish, they were the rulers and had taken the credit for India Shinning. <b>Since India is independent, they just cannot believe that India can shine without them</b>. The Economist has discovered other malaise with the Indian economy, even though the economy is doing very well. The new British mantra about the state of Indian economy is, widening fiscal deficit and unemployment. These have always been there with India and have wreaked havoc with most of the Western Economies including British from time to time. Still the nations prosper. So why target India to highlight this issue
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan : March 04 (PNS) - <b>Pakistan on Wednesday said it was opposed to India becoming a permanent member of UN Security Council in line with its principled position against creation of new "power centers" in the world body. </b>

"Our position is clear, we are opposed to India joining Security Council as a permanent member," Foreign Office spokesman Masood Khan told a questioner at a weekly briefing here. But, he added, Pakistan's position, which had been there for sometime, was based on its principled position as it was opposed to the creation of any new centers of powers.

"<b>The UNSC has to be made more representative so that we do not create new centers of powers," </b>he said. The world body needed to be democratized to create balance between the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly. He said at the moment there could not be any increase in the permanent membership but added that the increasing seats of non-permanent membership could be looked into.

Responding to a question on the unabated violence in the Indian held Kashmir, the spokesman said that peace was a challenge to the two countries and would not happen automatically. He said end to repression and human rights violations in the Indian held Kashmir would provide a better environment for the on-going peace initiatives by Pakistan and India.

In this regard, he referred to the string of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) by the two sides last year which, he said, created a salutary environment for President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to make difficult announcement over the resumption of stalled talks. "We need a different kind of backdrop, violence must come to an end - huts and homes (of the Kashmiri people in held Kashmir) have to be made safe," he added.

The Spokesman said end to human rights violations will make the Kashmiri people reassured and encouraged to participate in the peace process. On the issue of erecting fencing along the LoC, the Spokesman reiterated Pakistan's position that it was in violation of the bilateral agreement as well as UN Security Council resolutions.

<b>Indo-Pak cricket goodwill stumbles on UN pitch </b>
Saurabh Shukla
New Delhi, March 25

The goodwill generated by Indo-Pak cricket does not seem to extend to diplomacy.

<b>Despite assurances to the contrary, Pakistan has raked up the Kashmir issue at the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) in Geneva, leading to sharp exchanges between the two sides</b>.

Pakistan, which raised the issue at the UNHRC’s 60th session last week, questioned the legality of Kashmir's accession. The mention came during a session on self-determination for people under foreign occupation, sources said.

Making a statement on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), Pakistan's ambassador to the UN at Geneva, Shauna Umber, made a strong pitch for Kashmiris' right to self-determination.

Diplomatic sources said the Pakistani envoy raised the prickly issue despite the thaw in ties and an unwritten agreement between the two foreign ministers to avoid raking up contentious issues at international fora.

The Indian side comprising foreign secretary Shashank, India's ambassador to the UN at Geneva Hardeep Puri and senior diplomats contested Pakistan’s charges.

Asserting that the Pakistani envoy’s remarks were unacceptable, they said J&K was an integral part of India and the OIC had no locus standi on the issue.

The Pakistanis again took to the floor and said they were “surprised” by the Indian statement. They said Kashmir was a “dispute” that needed to be resolved.

The Indian delegation hit back, contesting the Pakistani statements. A reference was made to the successful elections in J&K.

<b>Sources said a furious Shashank is believed to have told the Indian envoy to go tough if the Pakistanis continued with their tirade.</b>

Diplomatic sources in Geneva told the Hindustan Times that the incident demonstrated Pakistan's negative mindset ahead of the peace talks.

External affairs minister Yashwant Sinha and national security advisor Brajesh Mishra have been apprised of the matter. Puri has formally protested to the Pakistani envoy.

Analysts said it was no coincidence that Pakistan's remarks came shortly after the US gave Islamabad major non-NATO ally status.

Pakistan, which was part of the US-backed CENTO and SEATO pacts during the Cold War, had used its diplomatic leverage at that time to take pot shots at India on Kashmir.
New World order in making.... - <i>should we start separate thread on this topic</i>
<b>Russia for new bloc against US </b>

31 March 2004: Angered by NATO’s decision to admit seven countries as new members, Russia has proposed an anti-US bloc to twenty-eight countries, but America and the UK have disdainfully said it will fail.

On Monday, in a <b>White-House ceremony, US President George Bush welcomed prime ministers of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to NATO, and an angry Russia retaliated, saying it could no more be expected to honour past agreements on arms control, the war against terror, and against WMD proliferation.</b>

Estonia and Latvia border Russia, while Lithuania abuts Moscow’s Kaliningrad enclave, and Russia has taken serious objection to NATO plans to patrol their airspace.

Since the seven East-European countries joined NATO, <b>the Russian foreign ministry has made contact with twenty-eight countries, including India, China, France, Germany, the ASEAN states, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, stressing on the need to create a multipolar world against 'American hegemony'</b>.

Russia has stressed that these countries must agree on a minimum political-military charter, gain the recognition of the UN, and then create a peacekeeping and anti-terrorism force.

While the United States and NATO have separately clarified that Russia’s security won’t be affected by the new memberships, Russia is not convinced, and believes this is another American attempt to encircle it.

Diplomats would not say how the twenty-eight contacted countries have responded, but Russia would be satisfied even if it can create churning for the moment against the US.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Russian foreign ministry has made contact with twenty-eight countries, including India, China, France, Germany, the ASEAN states, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Hope our babus keep a mum on this. No point making a comment on this either way. Let others keep guessing. Also no point taking sides - India should develop to be a force in itself. <!--emo&:blow--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blow.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blow.gif' /><!--endemo-->

BTW isn't Turkey part of the NATO ghetto? Aint' Egypt already a MNNA like our recently batptized Lotta neighbour?
Kuwait's turn today <!--emo&:lol:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='laugh.gif' /><!--endemo--> to join MNNA
very soon cukoo island will get MMNA status.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Concluding Observations: India’s strategic priorities at this stage lie in husbanding and building up her strategic assets. India’s security environment is once again being muddied by American ill-advised strategic moves in South Asia. Once again, the United States on the pretext of conflict resolution in South Asia is inadvertently sowing the seeds of conflict generation. 

With the scenario above not beyond the realms of possibility and with India now necessarily becoming circumspect of a US-India strategic partnership, India should not be tempted to step into the domains of an American sponsored PSI .PSI membership does not promote India’s military power or India’s power status. 

Remember the "axis of willing"? Keep an eye for likes of Equatorial Guinea, Micronesia, Burundi, Nauru, Suriname, Timor-Leste etc to be soon getting a <b>M</b>u<b>NNA</b> Bhai style <i>"Jadoo ki Jhapki"</i> soon.

Who knows, NATO has to prepare for the Martian invasion no ? <!--emo&Rolleyes--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rolleyes.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='rolleyes.gif' /><!--endemo-->
As Biden interviews and neo con analyst, US needs muslim force to do police work in Iraq. All proud new MMNA will be a part of police work in Iraq.
I am waiting for other stan will be joining soon.

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