Sunday, June 25, 2017

World Champ Pakistan; Modi in Washington; Jadhav's Video

How did bottom-ranked Pakistan defeat higher-ranked teams, including the defending champion India, to win the Campions Trophy? Did the Pakistan Super League contribute to it? How did Mohammad Amir's return help Pakistan cricket? Who deserves credit and why? PSL Chief Najam Sethi? Captain Sarfaraz Ahmad? Coach Mickey Arthur? Aggressive new youngsters emerging from PSL?

What is the agenda for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the White House to meet President Trump? Defense deals? F-16s? Drones? H1B visas for Indians? US-India Alliance to check China's rise? Will the timing of a white ex-employee's lawsuit against Infosys influence the H1B discussion? Will this visit fuel US-China competition for world leadership? Is this a Thucydides Trap that could lead to war between US and China in South Asia region?

What is in the accused Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav's latest video recorded after his death sentence and released by Pakistan ISPR this week? Is the timing of the release important? Are additional new confessions of sponsoring acts of terror and the the mercy appeal part of Jadhav's attempt to save his life?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with panelists Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)


https://youtu.be/FhP9FHDrItM




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

PSL's Role in Pakistan Winning Champions Trophy

Pakistan Cricket Board Revenue

History of US-India Partnership

How Strategic Are China-Pakistan Ties?

Trump Cracks Down on H1B Visas

Why is India Sponsoring Terror in Pakistan? 

Kulbhushan Jadhav's 2nd Confession Video

Talk4Pak Youtube Channel


22 comments:

Riaz Haq said...


The Economist Damns ‘Nationalist Firebrand’, ‘Chauvinist’ PM #Modi. #India #BJP

https://www.thequint.com/india/2017/06/23/the-economist-on-pm-narendra-modi

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Cow Mightier Than Economy
Modi has been careful to cater to both “militant Hindus and to jet-setting businessmen”.
Recently, the government’s decision to to stop cattle slaughter has hit the booming beef business, citing the cow to be sacred to the country’s majority.

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“India’s prime minister is not as much of a reformer as he seems” – The Economist’s title reads, adding that “he is more of a nationalist firebrand”. From calling the much-awaited Goods and Services Tax (GST) “unnecessarily complicated and bureaucratic” to his decision to elevate Yogi Adityanath as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, the magazine takes Modi down strongly.

On the GST
Although it’s acknowledged that the country has grown faster from 2013 to 2015, the article argues that Modi has taken decisions that have done more harm than good to the country’s nascent economy.
He has managed to get the GST passed and put in place a bankruptcy law, that is true.
“He has pushed through reforms that had stalled for years, including an overhaul of bankruptcy law and the adoption of a nationwide sales tax (GST) to replace a confusing array of local and national levies. Foreign investment has soared, albeit from a low base.”
But it is pointed out that the GST was proposed under the UPA regime, and its current implementation under the NDA is turning out to be inefficient.

The bankruptcy law too, it says, doesn’t go far enough.

As for dealing with economic problems, The Economist contends that the government has taken an easy way out:
“The central government’s response to a host of pressing economic problems, from the difficulty of buying land to the reform of rigid labour laws, has been to pass them to the states.”
On Falling GDP
The Economist says the GDP grew from 6.4 percent in 2013 to 7.9 percent in 2015.
One of the biggest reforms the government took was demonetisation, to cripple the black market economy – but it turned out to be “counterproductive, hamstringing legitimate businesses without doing much harm to illicit ones.”
This dragged the economy down to 6.1 percent during the first quarter of 2017.

Where Are the Reforms?
Modi has announced schemes and taken initiatives in every sector but The Economist points out that he has not churned out any big ideas of his own. The GST and bankruptcy law came were in debate long before he was elevated to office.
His image of being a friend to the businesses rests on the ability to help them out of fixes but not much else, the article says.

Recapitalising state-owned banks and selling them to get loans flowing again should be done by Modi, The Economist elaborated.

Golden Opportunity Squandered
The recent BJP wave that swept the country and Modi’s government and party is as strong as it has been in decades.
With a majority in Lok Sabha the party is inching closer to one in Rajya Sabha as well.
A majority of India’s population is young, which works in its advantage when compared to the West and China, from the perspective of a robust workforce. The Economist finds that between now and 2025, over a quarter of the world’s workforce will be Indian.
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Modi is revered as though the idol of a “sycophantic cult”. While he may see all this as indicators of future wins, The Economist warns that it can easily go wrong as well.
His admirers portray him as the man who at last unleashed true potential, the article says, but he may go down in history as the man who stifled the country’s shot at sustained, rapid development. Worries of a darker future still loom ahead.

Riaz Haq said...

#China media warns of 'Catastrophic Results' Of #India-#US 'Cozying Up' to Counter #China's Rise #ModiInUS http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/catastrophic-results-possible-from-india-us-cozying-up-chinese-media-1717561 … via @ndtv

"Washington and New Delhi share anxieties about China's rise. In recent years, to ratchet up geopolitical pressure on China, the US has cozied up to India," said an article in China's state-run newspaper, the Global Times.

Underlining that India is not a US ally like Japan or Australia, it said, "To assume a role as an outpost country in the US' strategy to contain China is not in line with India's interests. It could even lead to catastrophic results."

The newspaper said that if India becomes a "pawn" for the US in countering China, new geopolitical friction will be triggered in South Asia.

After their meeting at the White House last night, PM Modi and Mr Trump, who bear-hugged, agreed that a close partnership between the United States and India is central to peace and stability in the region.

With an eye on China and its growing military ambitions in the Asia-Pacific area, both sides called for freedom of navigation and resolving of territorial and maritime disputes peacefully in accordance with international law, a reference to Beijing's aggression in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.

President Trump also endorsed India's objections to the new economic corridor that China is building through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir as part of its gigantic initiative to unlock new land and sea routes to Central Asia. India says the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, being developed at a cost of at least $54 billion, violates its territorial sovereignty.

Thought President Trump has sought to curb China's regional clout, in part by questioning the "One China" policy employed by the US for decades, he has been courting China to persuade it to do more to rein in North Korea.

Riaz Haq said...

#Trump ponders crackdown on #Pakistan over alleged #terror ties despite experts' warnings #India #Afghanistan #China

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/27/trump-pakistan-terror-afghanistan-china-russia

As US mulls strategy over country’s support for terrorist groups in Afghanistan, experts say tougher stance could drive Pakistan toward China and Russia

The Trump administration is considering taking a harder stance against Pakistan for supporting terrorist groups in Afghanistan, but experts warn that pressure alone will not bring peace.

Similar tactics have failed in the past, and analysts warn that the US can only influence the south Asian country by coupling force with diplomacy, which Donald Trump seems to shun.

And attempts to strong-arm Islamabad could push it deeper into a growing alliance with China and Russia, and lead to more instability.

China in particular offers Pakistan an opportunity to counter the strengthened union between the US and India, whose presence in Afghanistan the Pakistani military considers an existential threat.

Among the tools considered by the Trump administration, according to Reuters, are expanding drone strikes, withholding aid and revoking Pakistan’s status as a major non-Nato ally.

But attempts to bully Pakistan into submission will only drive Islamabad further toward China, said Ayesha Siddiqa, author and research associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

“It also means that in Afghanistan, there will be more violence. Pakistan sees Afghanistan as an American-Indian project against Pakistani interests,” she said.

Pakistan is widely believed to harbour and support Taliban militants, and has been regarded as a spoiler in peace talks.

US policy on Afghanistan is evolving at a time when the defence department is particularly powerful in policy-making, after Trump delegated authority to his defence secretary, James Mattis, to set troop deployment levels there.

Meanwhile the state department is weakened by a continuing outflow of veteran diplomats and a notable lack of urgency in replacing them on the part of the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who has backed plans to cut the departmental budget by a third.

On Friday, the acting special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP), Laurel Miller, left the post along with her deputy, leaving doubts over the future of the position, which was created in 2009 by Barack Obama. A state department statement said that Tillerson “has not made a decision” on the issue.

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Afghans have lived under a geopolitical tug-of-war since Russia’s and Britain’s 19th century Great Game. Now it seems more countries than ever are willing to expend political and economic capital to maintain a foothold.

“Unless there is an agreement about Afghanistan between Iran, Russia, China, Pakistan, India and the US, Afghanistan will be unstable,” Rubin said. “And if the idea is that Afghanistan is defended and secured by becoming an American base, there won’t be an agreement.”

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #Modi is a serial hugger | New York Post #ModiMeetsTrump

http://nypost.com/2017/06/27/indian-prime-minister-is-a-serial-hugger/

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Modi offered yet a third, public embrace as he departed the White House, resting his head first near Trump’s left shoulder, then near his right. By then Trump appeared to be ready, and welcomed the parting gesture by patting Modi kindly on the back.


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NEW DELHI — President Donald Trump should have been ready as he met with India’s prime minister, an unabashed hugger.

Smiling widely at a news conference Monday during a visit to Washington, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the president’s outstretched arm not as an invitation for a handshake, but as a pull toward an embrace. Then he did it again in the White House Rose Garden. Then once more before leaving.

Trump appeared stiff and uncomfortable with the first hug, smiling thinly and patting Modi on the back a couple of times. But it was the same folksy, effusive greeting Modi has used with Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, and a host of foreign dignitaries and celebrities, from former French President Francois Hollande, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Hollywood’s Hugh Jackman.

“Modi doesn’t hug just anyone,” said political scientist Sreeram Chaulia, dean of the Jindal School of International Affairs in New Delhi. “If you look at the list of people he’s hugged, these are people who matter for India’s interest.”

Leaders and celebrities should be prepared for Modi’s embrace by now, but they often aren’t — sometimes nearly getting knocked off balance. Much like Trump’s own see-saw style of shaking hands, analysts said the Modi hug has become a signature move, and is meant to be physical.

“Modi believes that trust can only be built through personal rapport and friendship, which includes positive body language and physical closeness with his counterparts,” Chaulia said. “He may have been trying to maintain the bromance that he had with Obama.”

There also may have been an element of relief in Modi’s hugs of Trump, launched at the end of a two-day visit described as “cordial” by Indian aides.

“Some people were worried about the outcome … in view of an unpredictable Trump,” retired Indian diplomat Rajeev Dogra said. “But he has gone out of his way to reach out to India.”

Anonymous said...

Modi is conducting non-stop foreign travel. He is not Rajiv Gandhi where hell would break loose over how much these jaunts cost. He is now a god, along with cronies like Shah, Togadia, Bhagwat... His skin is saffron colored.Ask the minorities in his country. He shakes hands with international Christian and Muslim leaders who eat beef and do not support for one second "Hindu Rashtra". Will oil from the Islamic world fuel his Hindu Rashtra?. Totally bizarre. Recently, a beef exporter was given a top export award. H also stands for hypocrisy.

Riaz Haq said...

Modi and Trump: When the titans of hate politics meet
Narendra Modi's meeting with Donald Trump was nothing more than a publicity stunt.


http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/06/modi-trump-titans-hate-politics-meet-170627071921536.html

Modi would like to do all he can to please the Americans, but he would be met with a million mutinies within his own governing bloc if he does so. Nationalism is a curious device. It can easily give you votes, but it also raises the expectations of your voters.

But what Modi can do for Trump is buy more US weapons. India is the world's largest importer of weapons, while the US is the world's largest seller of weapons.

It is of course a vulgarity that India - where 50 percent of the population lives in deprivation - spends so much of its budget on weapons. But today it is how the government chooses its priorities - ignoring the pressing needs of its population in order to service Western arms dealers.

Nationalism is no enemy to defence spending. Just before Modi's trip to the US, his government sealed a deal to buy 22 US Predator drones at a price of $2bn. Trump surely liked that. He likes to brag about such deals. That it will be the impoverished Indian population paying for it is irrelevant to both heads of state. How 22 drones will help alleviate poverty is something that no reporter could have asked them at their joint news conference. Such a question would have been too vulgar.

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But apart from this arms deal that came before Modi arrived in the US, little else was accomplished during Modi's visit.

During his meeting with Trump, Modi avoided explaining how his protectionist policies would accommodate balancing the trade deficit between the US and India. Trump, on the other hand, dodged the question on pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, which Modi so adamantly supports.

The two men - pickled in the politics of hate - got to know one another and nothing more.

There was a great deal of back-slapping, mutual praise and displays of machismo. There was a great deal of bragging and making big promises.

This is something that Modi and Trump share: empty rhetoric delivered with no care that policies will not follow. Drama is everything. Publicity matters the most.



Anonymous said...

Were there not international travel restrictions on Modi post Gujarat Riots?. Have those 3000 or so dead Muslims been brought back to life?.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan says Indo-US statement emboldens #India, aggravates already tense situation #ModiInUSA http://ecoti.in/yVjLsY via @economictimes Pakistan today criticised the Indo-US joint statement asking Islamabad to rein in cross- border terrorism, saying it failed to address key sources of tension and instability in South Asia and "aggravates" an already "tense situation".

The meeting in Washington between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a missed opportunity to induce India to alter its policies inimical to peace in the region, the Foreign Ministry said here in a statement.

"Any attempt to equate the peaceful indigenous Kashimiri struggle with terrorism, and to designate individuals supporting the right to self determination as terrorists is unacceptable," the foreign office, apparently referring to the designation of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a "global terrorist".

Equally unacceptable is the "willful disregard of the atrocities being committed by Indian security forces against innocent Kashimiri civilians". This undermines the ideals ..

Regrettably, those who seek to appropriate a leadership role in the fight against terror are themselves responsible for much of the terror unleashed in recent years in Pakistan, it said.

"India has supported the Tehrek-Taleban as a proxy against Pakistan from across the border. India's culpability in creating this further source of regional insecurity cannot be ignored," the foreign office said.

Pakistan is also deeply concerned on the sale of advanced military technologies to India. Such sales accentuate military imbalances in the region and undermine strategic stability in South Asia, it said.

This further emboldens India to adopt aggressive military doctrines and even contemplate military adventurism. Transfers of modern military hardware and technologies as well as repeated exceptions made for India have dis-incentivised India to engage in efforts to establish a strateg ..

Riaz Haq said...

Toll From Vigilante Mobs Rises, and #India Begins to Recoil. #hinduterrorism #Modi #Lynchistan #Islamophobia #Cow

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/29/world/asia/india-lynchings-attacks-on-muslims.html

“It does no damage whatsoever to Modi and his party, because what this protest says is, ‘Muslims are getting lynched,’ and a lot of Hindutvas out there will say, ‘That’s the point,’ ” Mr. Vij said, referring to far-right Hindus. “Society at large is turning right-wing. How long that crest is going to be is the most interesting question, and the fact is nobody knows. Not anytime soon.”

On Thursday, Junaid Khan, a 15-year-old madrasa student, was riding a crowded passenger train home from Delhi when a group of assailants, after deriding him as a “beefeater” and removing his skullcap, fatally stabbed him and threw him off the train. The same day, in Kashmir, Mohammed Ayub Pandith, a plainclothes police officer, was beaten to death outside a mosque by members of a mob who took him for an informer.

The hashtag “Lynchistan” trended on Twitter. “May the silent be damned,” wrote the scholar Pratap Bhanu Mehta in a furious column. And Saba Dewan, a filmmaker living outside Delhi, wrote a Facebook post calling for a protest against rising violence toward Muslims and lower-caste Indians, and the idea spread with extraordinary speed, inspiring demonstrations in 11 cities. On Wednesday evening, about 2,000 people gathered at sunset in central Delhi, carrying posters with the words “Not in My Name.”

“One needs not only to protest, but to record our complete anguish,” said Amitabha Pande, a retired civil servant who voted for Narendra Modi in 2014, in the hope that as prime minister he would modernize India’s economy. He said his faith in Mr. Modi collapsed the following year, when the prime minister failed to condemn the lynching of Mohammad Ikhlaq in the village of Dadri.

“He has forgotten the fundamentals of the Constitution that he was supposed to uphold, which is the right to life,” Mr. Pande said. “The fact that he did not come out openly and condemn the Dadri murder, that is when I decided this man does not deserve to be here.”

Riaz Haq said...

Arundhati Roy: 'In the air in #India now is pure #terror' #Kashmir #CowVigilantism #HinduTerrorism http://to.pbs.org/2tphI6O via @NewsHour

Much of what is in the air in India now is pure terror, in Kashmir, in other places. Every day you are reading about lynching, killings, even in the presence of police. In New York when I did an event in the Brooklyn Academy of Music, one of the people in the audience who came up to me, she was the daughter of Ehsan Jafri, a former member of the legislative assembly in Gujarat, who was taken out of his house and hacked to death. That was in 2002, Modi was not yet prime minister. Now, the [right-wing] vigilantes have been let loose.

There have been massacres before, even under the Congress party, [which was in power before Modi’s party, the BJP]. But I’ve never felt like this. There was a degree of hypocrisy, they spoke about secularism. But now there is this open [intolerance] — where language is being used publicly that could not be used before. Members are campaigning saying why should Muslims have graves? Or that they should go to Pakistan. And every time an atrocity is committed, TV channels applaud, even the mainstream television especially has turned into a lynch mob.

The Gujarat massacre in 2002 was different from the Sikh massacre of 1984 [which left nearly 3,000 members of the Sikh community dead], because in 2002 it was part of the stated ideology. It was the approval, that it’s alright to do that. Modi was interviewed by Reuters afterwards, and he said even if I ran over his dog, he would regret it, [as if the massacre was comparable to that].

And today, every institution is being peopled by the RSS, [a Hindu nationalist group that helped elect Modi], and history textbooks are being rewritten, whether it’s a journalist or NGO, they’re going after people one by one. It’s a very, very dangerous time. Even the economic despair, the demonetization [where the government, in 2016, seeking to crack down on illicit money, demonetized bank notes, leading to prolonged cash shortages]. The growth in India does not show up in a growth in jobs. The farmer suicides — it’s all being converted into the price you pay for the Hindu nation. It’s like pain is pleasure.

And at a point it invades people’s lives. It’s not a theoretical exercise. It’s bludgeoning people. In 2002, the massacre that happened in Gujarat — it happened. What’s happening in Kashmir, you cannot fully tell in reportage. What does it mean for a society to live under that kind of terror? Those are complications only fiction can portray.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan pivots to #China amid fresh concerns over #US ties with #India. #ModiInUS #Trump

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/pakistan-pivots-to-china-amid-fresh-concerns-over-us-ties-with-india/2017/06/29/63e377d2-5cc9-11e7-aa69-3964a7d55207_story.html?utm_term=.b453ecd1e6f9

Islamabad – The words from Pakistan’s top foreign policy adviser could not have been clearer. At a news conference welcoming China’s foreign minister to the Pakistani capital this week, Sartaj Aziz declared, “Pakistan’s relations with China are the cornerstone of our foreign policy.”

It was a blunt signal of change by a country that has long been a key ally and aid recipient of the United States, from their Cold War alliance against Soviet meddling in Afghanistan to a more recent, uneasy partnership in the fight against Islamist terrorism in the region. Today, Pakistan continues to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. annual support.

But Islamabad’s political pivot from Washington to Beijing, already its dominant investor and increasingly important global interlocutor, is hardly surprising, experts said.

Pakistani officials have been worried for months that the Trump administration will put heavy pressure on their government, possibly by cutting aid or even declaring it a “state sponsor of terrorism” – a giant black mark -- due to complaints by Afghan officials, U.S. military officials and members of Congress that Pakistan continues to harbor anti-Afghan insurgents.

At the same time, Islamabad has been concerned about Washington’s emerging friendship with India, Pakistan’s much larger, nuclear-armed rival and immediate neighbor. This week’s upbeat state visit to Washington by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was received enthusiastically by President Trump, raised new alarm bells here.

On Thursday, Pakistani newspapers featured a photo of Trump and Modi hugging goodbye, along with anxious headlines and a testy statement from the Pakistan foreign ministry that called a joint statement by the two leaders “singularly unhelpful” in achieving stability and peace in South Asia, and said it “aggravates an already tense situation.” The ministry also said that China had endorsed Pakistan’s view.

Pakistan was especially upset that Modi and Trump spoke about the importance of reining in regional terrorism – referring indirectly to Pakistan’s alleged support for anti-Afghan insurgents -- but ignored Pakistan’s denunciations of human rights abuses by Indian forces against protesters in the contested border region of Kashmir, as well as its charges of Indian support for anti-Pakistan militants.

Amneel said...

Pakistan is now trapped. If executes KJ then it will face substantial international backlash. If it doesn't execute KJ then it will face severe domestic backlash.

Riaz Haq said...

Amneel: "Pakistan is now trapped."

To the contrary, India is now trapped with a real live agent sponsoring terror on Indian government's behalf on a UN member nation's soil.

Pakistan will now decide whether Jhadav is worth more alive than dead.

The most ICJ can do is allow consular access to him. It can not prevent his execution if Pakistan decides to proceed with it.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #Modi Goes to #Jerusalem: A Rundown of India's Hefty #Arms Deals With #Israel #ModiInIsrael read more:

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.799076

One of the deals includes a missiles sale worth $500 million, which, if signed, would make 2017 a record year in terms of Israeli weapons sales to India


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to sign an agreement to purchase more weapons systems during his visit to Israel on Tuesday, Indian media outlets have reported. 

One of the likely deals includes the purchase of 8,000 Spike anti-tank missiles, worth about $500 million, from Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. The sale has been delayed for about two years, but in the past few weeks it was brought to the Indian cabinet for approval. If the deal is finalized, 2017 will be a record year in terms of Israeli weapons sales to India, a major client of Israeli defense industries.  

Last year, the Indian government signed two large deals with the Israel Aerospace Industries, a government-owned company that develops and sells defense and weapons systems. IAI reported the signing of the deals in the past few months: One worth almost $2 billion includes the land-based version of the Barak 8 air defense system, as well as the naval version to be installed on the Indian navy’s aircraft carrier. 
The second deal, worth $630 million, was signed with the Indian state-owned company Bharat Electronic Limited for the installation of the Barak 8 systems on four navy ships. This aerial defense system was developed as a joint project between India and Israel, and the sales are a continuation of the policy of cooperation between the countries.

India and Israel also cooperate to a great extent on defense matters, in particular the air forces and navies. Last month, the commander of the Indian navy visited Israel. In another three months, Indian pilots will participate in the Blue Flag air force training exercise held in Israel, along with representatives of a number of other countries.

India has also expressed great interest in Israeli methods to protect offshore gas drilling platforms in its economic waters in the Mediterranean Sea. A working group was established between the navies of the two countries as part of India’s interest in the matter. The work is focusing on the ability to monitor and protect the large maritime region. “They have a threat from Pakistan, so India is trying to learn from things that are similar here,” a senior officer in the Israeli navy told Haaretz.  “We intend on continuing to cooperate and see where the challenges overlap. It is a joint need, both for them and for us,” said the officer.
Over the past few years, India has shown interest in buying additional weapon systems from Israel, including the Phalcon early warning, command and control and intelligence planes or drones. The $1 billion-Phalcon deal, also considered to be a huge contract, has yet to be implemented even though it was approved by the Indian cabinet.
Israeli companies are also discussing the sale of drones with the Indian government, including the IAI’s Heron TP, known in Israel as the Eitan, which was shown at a defense show in India this year. Despite the optimism concerning the weapons deals, Israel is not at all certain that Modi’s visit will bring about significant progress in these agreements.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.799076

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi’s #Israel visit: #India must be wary: arms deals will worsen its security issues. #ModiInIsrael https://scroll.in/article/842441/modi-visit-india-must-be-careful-military-deals-with-israel-always-carry-an-additional-price-tag … via @scroll_in

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Israel on July 4 on an official visit to celebrate 25 years since the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the two countries. Unlike other heads of state, and notwithstanding the fact that the world has just marked 50 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Modi has decided not to visit the Palestinian Authority. This has not come about by chance.

One can assume that Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will get along well. After all, both are nationalist leaders who have been accused of manipulating feelings of fear among the public, attempting to weaken democratic institutions and restricting the right to free speech. Under their watch, their security forces have also been accused of violating human rights and attempted to cover up these violations – in the West Bank and Gaza in the case of Israel, and in Kashmir and the North East, in the case of India.

According to publications in Israel and in India, Modi’s visit is to take place against the backdrop of one of the largest arms deals ever involving Israeli security industries. The deal, worth an estimated Rs 3,200 crores, includes, among other things, missiles, surveillance and monitoring systems, reconnaissance planes and weaponised drones.

Although one cannot overlook the tremendous security challenges that India faces while protecting its 1.3 billion citizens, the people of India should keep in mind that military deals with Israel carry an additional price tag – the importation of a militaristic Israeli model, and the Israeli state’s expectation that a government that purchases arms from it will stand alongside it against the Palestinian people in international forums.

Israel’s security model
Not only does Israel sell security systems to other regimes, it also sells a concept – the militarisation of civilian institutions and forces, endless war, and the viewing of large parts of one’s own citizenry as enemies.

Israel’s Palestinian citizens are second-class citizens whose citizenship is disposable, according to Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who seeks to transfer them without their consent to the Palestinian Authority. Regardless of their level of education, their involvement in Jewish society, and even their positions in civil service or government institutions – when these Palestinian citizens wish to fly from Ben Gurion International Airport, enter a shopping mall in one of Israel’s main cities or apply for a job, they are automatically considered potential terrorists.

This applies all the more to the civilian Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, who are considered to constitute a high security risk by the State of Israel, and are under constant military surveillance. Every Palestinian who opposes the Israeli occupation – even if they act nonviolently, or take no action at all on this issue – has no right to political expression and protest as far as the military occupation regime is concerned.

The Israel Defence Forces Military Order 101, which has been in effect in the West Bank since 1967, bans the assembly of more than 10 people and any political expression unless a military commander has issued a permit for it. According to the order, anyone who violates its stipulations may be imprisoned for up to 10 years. There is no need to deliberate at length as to what Mahatma Gandhi would have made of this order.

Anonymous said...

The Hindu Brahmin and Middle classes are gloating at state sponsored minority bashing.Tolerating inflation and corruption as though these do not affect them. Also cannot see that non-Brahmin control via Modi and company may become a permanent feature.Demonetization has brought a 2000 rupee note into circulation. Need any more be said?

NBRX said...

Sorry to break this to the Pakistanis but, business and economy are taking center stage more than ever in India. Modi belongs to a lower caste but these caste issues are eroding - Pakistanis should get used to this as well. Modi got elected because of his faith in business and his acumen to get things done. I know Pakistanis like to conveniently think otherwise - that he got elected because of his anti-pakistan stance. According to Modi, however, Pakistanis do enough to make the world anti-Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Billions of $$ of #Israeli weapons will bolster #India's military against its arch-rival #Pakistan's. #ModiInIsrael

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/05/asia/israel-courts-india-modi/index.html

The Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced a deal worth nearly $2 billion in April making it the largest defense contract in Israel's history. The package provides sophisticated air and missile defense systems to the Indian army.

Israeli weapons will bolster India's armed forces against the country's main geopolitical rival Pakistan. But they could also be used against China, another of India's rivals, though one which Israel is currently courting for investment.

"Israel isn't the only country that seeks to have good relations with both Asian powers," says Gold. "This is a challenge that many countries experience; it is what diplomacy is all about."

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We would prefer it if the prime minister of an important country, like India, who is visiting the region, should also visit Palestine when he visits Israel," Jaradat told CNN.
The Palestinian frustration with India started more than a year ago when India abstained from a UN Human Rights Council vote, which shocked the Palestinians. Historically, India was one of the main supporters of the Palestinian political movement.
According to Jaradat, the Palestinians feel that India has decided to enhance its cooperative relationship with Israel at the expense of the Palestinians.
In an interview with the Times of Israel, Indian Ambassador to Israel, Pavan Kapoor, said, "It's our sense of confidence that we can deal with both relationships independently and on their own merits. We don't see the need to hyphenate them."
In May, Modi hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for a state dinner in New Delhi. The Indian Prime Minister reaffirmed the country's commitment to a two state solution and the Palestinian cause.
"We will continue to work with the Palestinians because we do support their cause. But at the same time we want to keep our relations with Israel independent of their relationship with Palestine," Kapoor added.

Riaz Haq said...

"We are very close to #Ahmadiyya" - say #ModiInIsrael in meeting with #Ahmadiyya leaders. #IsraelWelcomesModi

https://www.facebook.com/RabwahTimes/videos/1392246667518182/

Anonymous said...

Many Ahmadiyyas supported Jinnah's quest for Pakistan migrated to live there. Today they are forbidden to call themselves Muslim.
That's a tragedy.

Riaz Haq said...

#India journalist Thapar's tough questions re #KulbhushanJadhav: fake name #passport, #India's #Iran abduction claim

https://www.dawn.com/news/1328538

Simply but aptly titled “The mysterious Mr Jadhav”, well-known journalist Karan Thapar has written a hard-hitting article about the Indian spy who has been sentenced to death by a military tribunal in Pakistan.

The sub-head coined for the piece — published on Friday on the website of the Indian Express — was equally instructive in that it succinctly summed up what kind of an article it was. This standfirst said: “The case of the Indian sentenced in Pakistan offers more questions than answers.”

Mr Thapar said he was intrigued by Kulbhushan Jadhav’s story. So he began reading about it, but the more he read about it the more he became confused. “Alas, all I’ve ended up with is questions. The more I learn, the more they multiply,” he wrote.

The first thing that troubled the Indian journalist was why Jadhav had two passports, one in his own name and the other one in the name of Hussein Mubarak Patel.

“According to the Indian Express, the second passport was originally issued in 2003 and renewed in 2014. The passport numbers are E6934766 and L9630722,” he wrote.

When the journalist contacted the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), he was told that the answer could be obtained only if Indian officials managed to gain access to Jadhav. Mr Thapar responded to the suggestion by writing: “But why not check the records attached to the passport numbers? Surely they would tell a story?”

The Indian government claimed that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran and forcibly brought to Balochistan. Mr Thapar said that New Delhi did pursue the matter with Iran. “But, as the MEA spokesperson admitted, they don’t seem to have responded or, perhaps, even conducted an investigation yet. We seem to have accepted that. Odd, wouldn’t you say?”

The Indian journalist went on to ask what was so special about Jadhav that only he was kidnapped by the Pakistani sleuths and not any other Indian living in Iran. “After all, there are 4,000 Indians in Iran — and no one else has been abducted.”

The Indian journalist quoted A.S. Dulat, a former chief of RAW, as saying unhesitatingly that Jadhav could be a spy. “As he put it, if he was the government, he would hardly admit it,” he wrote.

Turning to the disappearance of Lt Col Mohammad Habib in Nepal, the Indian journalist said: “Was Jadhav convicted and sentenced to pre-empt India from claiming it had caught a Pakistani spy? And now, is an exchange of ‘spies’ possible?”

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/the-mysterious-kulbhushan-jadhav-death-sentence-by-pakistan-double-passport-hussein-mubarak-patel-spy-4621558/

Riaz Haq said...

The mysterious Mr Jadhav
The case of the Indian sentenced in Pakistan offers more questions than answers

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/the-mysterious-kulbhushan-jadhav-death-sentence-by-pakistan-double-passport-hussein-mubarak-patel-spy-4621558/

First, why does Jadhav have two passports, one in his own name and another in the name of Hussein Mubarak Patel? According to The Indian Express, the second passport was originally issued in 2003 and renewed in 2014. The passport numbers are E6934766 and L9630722. When asked, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson would only say that India needs access to Jadhav before he could answer. But why not check the records attached to the passport numbers? Surely they would tell a story?
Additionally, The Times of India claims that since 2007, Jadhav has rented a Bombay flat owned by his mother, Avanti, in the name of Hussein Mubarak Patel. Why would he use an alias to rent his own mother’s flat?
Perhaps Jadhav changed his name after converting to Islam? But then, why did he deliberately retain a valid passport in his old name? Indeed, why did the government let him, unless he deceived them?
Second, the government claims Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran and forcibly brought to Balochistan. A former German ambassador to Pakistan, Gunter Mulack, at least initially suggested this was true — but has the government pursued the matter with Mulack?
If it has, that hasn’t been reported, nor has what he revealed.
However, we did pursue the matter with Iran, but, as the MEA spokesperson admitted, they don’t seem to have responded or, perhaps, even conducted an investigation yet. We seem to have accepted that.
Odd, wouldn’t you say?
If Pakistan did abduct Jadhav, don’t we need to ask why? Doesn’t that raise the question of what was so special about him that made them do this? After all, there are 4,000 Indians in Iran — and no one else has been abducted.
Third, both The Indian Express and Asian Age suggest that Jadhav has links with the Pakistani drug baron Uzair Baloch. Did he play dirty with him and get caught in a revenge trap set by the drug mafia? Given that Jadhav was arrested a month after Baloch, this could be part of the explanation.
Finally, The Indian Express has reported that between 2010 and 2012, Jadhav made three separate attempts to join the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW). The paper suggests he also tried to join the Technical Services Division. What more do we know about this? Even if the media doesn’t, surely the government does? A. S. Dulat, a distinguished former chief of R&AW, has unhesitatingly said Jadhav could be a spy. As he put it, if he was the government, he would hardly admit it.
Just a few days before Jadhav’s sudden conviction and death sentence, the Pakistani media claimed a retired Pakistani army officer, Lt. Col. Muhammad Habib Zahir, had gone missing in Lumbini, close to the Indian border. The Pakistani media is convinced he’s been trapped by R&AW. Was Jadhav convicted and sentenced to preempt India from claiming it had caught a Pakistani spy? And now, is an exchange of ‘spies’ possible?
I’m not sure who will answer these questions, and perhaps it would not be proper for the government to do so, but whilst they hang in the air, the mystery surrounding Jadhav will only grow.