PAKISTAN / INDIA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


PAKISTAN / INDIA

Jan 16 12:57

Social Media Might Ban the Pakistani Map at India’s Behest

An alarming piece of legislation is about to enter into force in India next month mandating that social media platforms such as Facebook remove “unlawful content” such as posts that affect the “sovereignty and integrity of India”, meaning that this law could easily be abused by New Delhi to demand that the internationally recognized Pakistani map be banned because it contradicts India’s maximalist claims to Kashmir.

Jan 16 11:39

Iran, India Ditch Dollar In Oil Trading To Counter 'Bullying' US Sanctions

In an effort to circumvent US-imposed sanctions, India and Iran have reportedly ditched the US dollar and are trading oil in rupees. The reason becomes clear after considering the dynamics at play in the region.

In mid-February last year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited India, and the two countries signed nine agreements signalling a strengthening of ties. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared to celebrate the growing relationship, stating that it was “a matter of great pleasure” for India that an Iranian president came to India “after a gap of 10 years.”

Fast-forward a few months later, and then-UN ambassador Nikki Haley was bluntly telling India that they should rethink their relationship with Tehran.

Jan 12 10:40

Pakistani Commander Praises Iranian Navy for Establishing Security in Indian Ocean

Commander of Pakistan’s Peace and Friendship Fleet Admiral Mohammad Salem underlined the Iranian Naval forces' key role in the establishment of peace and security in the Indian Ocean.

Jan 09 11:57

Iran turns to traditional partners as EU tarries on bypassing US sanctions

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran is working with its traditional partners such as China, Russia and India to circumvent the US sanctions.

Zarif told reporters in New Delhi Tuesday that the European Union is moving more slowly than expected to facilitate non-dollar trade with Tehran through a mechanism called the special purpose vehicle (SPV).

"We continue to work with the Europeans for the special purpose vehicle but we will not wait for them [to act]," said Zarif who arrived in the Indian capital late Monday for a three-day visit.

"We are working with our traditional partners like India, China and Russia so that we continue to serve the interests of our people," he added.

Jan 09 11:28

India Begins Paying For Iranian Oil In Rupees

Three months ago, in Mid-October, Subhash Chandra Garg, economic affairs secretary at India’s finance ministry, said that India still hasn’t worked out yet a payment system for continued purchases of crude oil from Iran, just before receiving a waiver to continue importing oil from Iran in its capacity as Iran's second largest oil client after China.

Jan 08 10:53

MONSANTO CAN CLAIM PATENT ON GM COTTON IN INDIA, TOP COURT RULES

After a long-standing legal battle, India's top court ruled on Tuesday that Monsanto can own patents on genetically modified cotton seeds, overturning a Delhi High Court ruling that said plant varieties and seeds cannot be patented under the country's laws, according to media reports.

The Supreme Court decision is a rare win for the seed giant—now owned by Germany's Bayer—which is facing more than 9,300 U.S. lawsuits over the safety of its controversial Roundup weedkiller.

Monsanto introduced its GM-cotton seeds to India in 2002, and now more than 90 percent of the country's cotton crop is genetically modified. These crops have been inserted with a pest-resistant toxin called Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt.

Today's decision could "encourage biotechnology firms to step up investment in the country," Reuters reported, adding that firms such as Dupont Pioneer and Syngenta had previously been concerned about losing patents on GM crops in India.

Jan 07 07:20

‘GLOBAL ZERO’ DOUBLE STANDARD FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS

In the coming clash between President Trump’s $750 billion defense budget and House Democrats’ desire to cut Pentagon spending, especially on nuclear weapons, there will be tremendous fiscal pressure to shortchange the almost $30 billion annual cost to modernize America’s strategic deterrent. The ideological cover for such penny-wise, pound-foolish cuts is the so-called Global Zero movement to eliminate all nuclear weapons.

But in reality, the global-zero idealists practice a dangerous double standard: They push the US to unilaterally cut its nuclear arsenal even as they ignore or excuse nuclear buildups by Russia, China, North Korea, and (under the table) Iran. Even if they were consistent, their pursue of zero nuclear weapons would still make no sense when none of the nine existing nuclear powers has any interest in completely disarming.

Jan 06 14:45

It Begins: Russia, China, and India Are Now All Dumping the US Dollar

(RT) — The past year was full of events that inevitably split the global geopolitical space into two camps: those who still support using US currency as a universal financial tool, and those who are turning their back on the greenback.

Global tensions caused by economic sanctions and trade conflicts triggered by Washington have forced targeted countries to take a fresh look at alternative payment systems currently dominated by the US dollar.

RT has taken a deeper look into the recent phenomena of de-dollarization, summing up which countries have taken steps towards eliminating their reliance on the greenback, and the reasons behind their decision.

Jan 06 14:05

The new Great Game on the Roof of the World

On top of the graceful Baltit Fort, overlooking the Hunza Valley’s Shangri-La-style splendor, it’s impossible not to feel dizzy at the view: an overwhelming collision of millennia of geology and centuries of history.

We are at the heart of Gilgit-Baltistan, in Pakistan’s Northern Areas, or – as legend rules, the Roof of the World. This is an area about 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 square miles) crammed with spectacular mountain ranges and amidst them, secluded pristine valleys and the largest glaciers outside of the Polar region.

The location feels like vertigo. To the north, beyond the Batura Glacier, is the tiny northeast arm of Afghanistan, the legendary Wakhan corridor. A crest of the Hindu Kush separates Wakhan from the regional capital Gilgit. Xinjiang starts on Wakhan’s uppermost tip. Via the upgraded Karakoram highway, it’s only 240 km from Gilgit to the Khunjerab Pass, 4,934 meters high on the official China-Pakistan border.

Jan 02 08:28

Construction of warship for Pakistan underway

China recently started construction of an export version of one of its advanced warships and will deliver it to Pakistan as part of a major arms deal, according to China State Shipbuilding Corp, a large State-owned defense contractor.

It said the ship is a version of the Chinese Navy's most advanced guided missile frigate, without specifying its type.

In late December it said the ship is under construction at its Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai, noting it will be equipped with modern detection and weapon systems and will be capable of anti-ship, anti-submarine and air-defense operations.

According to the Pakistani Navy, the ship's class is Type 054AP, which means it is based on the Type 054A of the People's Liberation Army Navy. It previously said four such ships had been ordered.

Dec 28 09:12

India Wants Tech Platforms To Break Encryption, Scrub "Unlawful" Content

The government of India wants tech platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Google to remove content it deems "unlawful" within 24 hours of official notice, and develop "automated tools" which would "proactively identify and remove such material," reports BuzzFeed, citing the publication of the proposed rules by India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
The rules would also require companies to break end-to-end encryption to allow the government to snoop on communications.

India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) published the proposed rules on its website following a report on Monday by the Indian Express revealing the government’s proposal to modify the country’s primary IT law to work them in. The report comes days after India’s government seemingly authorized 10 federal agencies to snoop into every computer in the country last week.

Dec 24 11:09

UK Taxpayers Funded Pakistani Death Courts As They Handed Down "Blasphemy Law" Sentences

New details from a secretive UK aid program reveal controversial Pakistani death sentence courts have been funded by the UK government for the past few years, even while Christians languished on death row as a result of the country's notorious "blasphemy laws". And while the program began as a "counter terrorism" initiative with a British ally, it's come under increased scrutiny after a Pakistani Christian woman was recently acquitted following 8 years on death row for "blasphemy charges". The Guardian reports:

British taxpayers are funding prosecutions in Pakistan that have led to dozens of death sentences, according to newly disclosed details of a secretive UK aid programme.

The documents reveal that the Foreign Office is supporting specialist civilian courts that prosecute terrorist suspects in what the UK government’s global security strategy calls a “rule of law” programme in Pakistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Absolutely...horrifically... amazing!! And one of the myriad reasons that I never will travel to Islamabad this lifetime.

Dec 23 10:32

INDIAN GOVERNMENT TO INTERCEPT, MONITOR, AND DECRYPT CITIZENS’ COMPUTERS

The Indian government has authorized 10 central agencies to intercept, monitor, and decrypt data on any computer, sending a shock wave through citizens and privacy watchdogs.

Narendra Modi’s government late Thursday broadened the scope of Section 69 of the nation’s IT Act, 2000 to require a subscriber, service provider, or any person in charge of a computer to “extend all facilities and technical assistance to the agencies.” Failure to comply with the agencies could result in seven years of imprisonment and an unspecified fine.

In a clarification posted today, the Ministry of Home Affairs said each case of interception, monitoring, and decryption is to be approved by the competent authority, which is the Union Home Secretary.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A memo to the citizens of India; your government has now declared that you have utterly no right to internet privacy, no matter how "vanilla" your messages, and documents sent and received may be.

Dec 21 11:44

Videos show Indian security forces opening fire on protesters

The videos show a chaotic scene. People are throwing rocks at vehicles as shots ring out. This footage was captured in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir on December 15. On that day, security forces opened fire on civilians, killing seven people. The protesters had taken to the streets to show their support for separatist rebels after the rebels faced off with security forces in a gun battle.

On December 15, a gun battle broke out between security forces and separatist rebels in Kharpora Sirnoo, a village in the Pulwama district. Four people were killed in these clashes.

Hundreds of civilians then poured into the street to protest in support of the separatist rebels. Some of them started throwing stones at the security forces, who then opened fire on them.

Dec 20 18:52

2018, the bloodiest year of decade in Kashmir

Unrest has intensified over recent weeks in Indian- administered Kashmir between government forces and pro-independence fighters, who are seeking an end to the Indian rule in the disputed valley. At least seven people died when Indian forces opened fire at people protesting the killing of several pro independence fighters shot dead earlier in the day.

Speaking to media during news conference on Dec. 16, Pakistani FM said 14 people were killed and 300 injured with many in critical condition.

With Saturday’s bloodshed, 2018 is now the deadliest year in the disputed region since 2008.

Dec 19 10:33

Pakistan Sentences Two Christians to Death for Blasphemy

A Pakistani court has sentenced two Christians in Punjab to death for the crime of blasphemy, following their arrest in 2015.
The two brothers, Qaisar and Amoon Ayub, were accused in 2011 of posting material offensive to Islam on their website, and subsequently sent to the Jhelum prison in Lahore in 2015. Qaisar testified that he had shut down the offending website in 2009 but that a Muslim acquaintance of his had resurrected the site keeping the copyright in Qaisar’s name.

On December 13, Judge Javed Iqbal Bosal heard the case in the Jhelum prison for security reason, and there declared the brothers guilty and sentenced them to death. The men are both married and Qaisar is the father of three children.

Dec 17 10:00

How Britain stole $45 trillion from India

There is a story that is commonly told in Britain that the colonisation of India - as horrible as it may have been - was not of any major economic benefit to Britain itself. If anything, the administration of India was a cost to Britain. So the fact that the empire was sustained for so long - the story goes - was a gesture of Britain's benevolence.

New research by the renowned economist Utsa Patnaik - just published by Columbia University Press - deals a crushing blow to this narrative. Drawing on nearly two centuries of detailed data on tax and trade, Patnaik calculated that Britain drained a total of nearly $45 trillion from India during the period 1765 to 1938.

Dec 11 12:09

Israel fears India could scrap $500m arms deal

Israel is afraid that India is planning to scrap a $500 million deal of anti-tank missiles claiming that more tests are needed on the arms, Ma’an reported yesterday.

The Marker, an Israeli economic outlet, noted that the Indian deal to purchase Spike anti-tank missiles is facing major difficulties, noting that India wanted the missiles to be better tested.

However, it said: “The real reason for the additional experiments is the claim of the Indian defence that the missiles should be tested in a high-temperature atmosphere.”

Citing foreign reports, the Marker said that India feels worried because the missiles are planned to operate in a hot desert weather.” However, it reported unnamed Israeli officials saying that this request is a sign that India “is looking for an excuse to scrap the deal.”

Dec 09 10:15

Iran Navy to stage military maneuver in Indian Ocean: Commander

Iranian naval forces plan to stage a large-scale drill in the Indian Ocean to boost and put on display the country’s military prowess, a senior commander says.

The maneuver will be held this winter within the perimeters of Iran's southern territorial waters and high seas, Deputy Navy Commander for Coordination Rear Admiral Hamzeh Ali Kaviani told IRNA on Saturday.

He added that the Navy's state-of-the-art equipment, including two Ghadir-class submarines that recently joined Iran's naval fleet, would take part in the drill.

Dec 09 10:15

Bye-bye dollar: India & UAE agree to trade in local currencies

New Delhi and Abu Dhabi have inked a currency swap agreement to boost trade and investment without involvement of a third currency like the US dollar.
The swap is for an amount of two billion UAE dirham or 35 billion Indian rupees (US$495 million), according to the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

“The bilateral currency swap agreement between India and UAE is expected to reduce the dependency on hard currencies like the US dollar,” the embassy said.

Dec 09 10:14

Imran Khan’s Pakistan stands up to US like a sovereign nation: Analyst

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan Pakistan has stood up to the United States from its position as a sovereign nation, and is demonstrating a clean break from the past, according to Adam Garrie, an independent political analyst and writer based in London.

Garrie made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Saturday while commenting on a statement of Prime Minister Khan where he expressed regret over Pakistan’s past dealings with the United States, adding that Islamabad will not act as a “hired gun” for the US anymore.

“I would never want to have a relationship where Pakistan is treated like a hired gun — given money to fight someone else’s war. We should never put ourselves in this position again,” Khan said in a Washington Post interview on Thursday.

Dec 05 12:20

America’s imperial hubris is pushing Pakistan into the arms of Russia & China

The Trump administration’s strong hostility towards Pakistan has pushed the only nuclear-armed, majority-Muslim nation into the arms of America’s reinstated foes, Russia and China.

The US has suspended $3 billion in security assistance to Pakistan this year after Washington accused its former ally of failing to do enough to combat terrorism, according to a report. This figure is much higher than the $1.3 billion quoted by the Trump administration earlier last month as well as the $1.66 billion reported by the Pentagon not long after.

Regardless of which figure is correct, the general consensus appears to be that US President Donald Trump’s tough war of words on Twitter has been more than just the Twitter tirade of a madman, but has actually evolved into concrete action which will directly affect Pakistan’s economy and its relationship with the outside world.

Dec 05 11:55

Putin Initiates Trilateral Summit With India And China

The trilateral summit meeting of Russia, India and China on the sidelines of the G20 at Buenos Aires on December 1 becomes a landmark event in Asian security and global politics. The so-called RIC format has taken a big leap forward with the leaderships of the three countries agreeing “to hold further such trilateral meetings on multilateral occasions” – to quote from an Indian External Affairs Ministry statement.

What is of particular interest is that Russian President Vladimir Putin took the initiative and both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese Presdient Xi Jinping instinctively warmed up to the idea. The three leaders were intensely conscious of the backdrop in which the meeting took place.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

You've got to hand it to Putin; he is, most generally, one thousand economic chess moves ahead of his opponents.

Dec 03 03:55

Trump’s Crucial Test at San Ysidro

Among the problems facing America, in the eyes of her people in November, not one of the top ten involved a foreign threat. In the following order, all involve the troubled state of our splintered nation: immigration/illegal aliens; dissatisfaction with government/ poor leadership; health care; unifying the country; race relations/ racism; lack of respect for each other; ethics/moral/ religious/family decline; economy in general; unemployment/ jobs; and education. Immigration, race, culture, the economy and education appear to be the agenda Americans want addressed in 2020 ... Progressives fail to understand that what they describe as greater and ever more desirable diversity, millions of Americans see as the conquest of their country by an endless flood of uninvited strangers.

Nov 27 08:05

Russian large anti-submarine ship enters Pakistan’s port of Karachi

A group of ships of the Northern Fleet led by the Severomorsk large anti-submarine ship entered the port of Karachi in Pakistan while implementing its long-voyage tasks, the fleet’s press service reported on Tuesday. "The program of the unofficial visit, that will last a few days, includes social events with participation of the command of the group of the Northern Fleet ships and the command of the Pakistan Navy, and the attendance by the Russian sailors of the international exhibition of weapons and military equipment IDEAS-2018," the press service reported. During anchorage at the port of Karachi the Russian large anti-submarine ship will also replenish fuel, water and food supplies. The crew will have a short rest ashore and visit local places of interest. It is not the first visit of Russian sailors to the port of Karachi.

Nov 25 09:16

Dharam Sabha: Dates for Ram temple construction will be announced in 2019 Kumbh, says Ramji Das

Addressing the Sabha after the inauguration marked by chanting of mantras at the Badey Bhaktmaal ki Bagia, Ramji Das said, "The date for construction of the Ram temple will be declared in the 2019 Kumbh which will be held in Prayagraj. It is only a matter of few days, and I request you all to show some patience," the seer remarked.

Nov 23 10:54

30+ KILLED, MANY INJURED AS TERRORIST ATTACK ROCKS PAKISTANI MARKET

Over 30 people were killed and 50 injured after a blast hit a market in Pakistan. Conflicting reports say that either a suicide bomber carried out the attack or the explosive device was hidden in vegetables.
Three children and 28 mourners are believed to be among the 31 victims, according to local Geo TV. The network says that another 33 people were injured in the suicide blast on Friday after the attacker went to the market on a motorcycle.

Meanwhile, AFP citing local officials gives a different account, saying that the improvised explosive device was hidden in a carton of vegetables. The agency also put the death toll at 31 and said that 50 more people were injured, with 17 in critical condition.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I hope this uptick in violence, coupled with the attack against the Chinese Consulate in Pakistan, is not a harbinger of worse times ahead for the Pakistani people.

Nov 23 10:50

TWO KILLED AFTER REBELS STORM CHINESE CONSULATE IN PAKISTAN

In a tentative indication that superpower influence in Asia is shifting away from the US and to China, two police officers were killed and a security guard wounded after three suicide attackers stormed the Chinese consulate in the diplomatic quarter of downtown Karachi in southern Pakistan amid a series of gunshots and an explosion on Friday, but were killed before they could get into the building in a car packed with explosives, Reuters reported citing police.

Brazen terror pic.twitter.com/Dlqn7V5F6Z

— Syed Talat Hussain (@TalatHussain12) November 23, 2018
All Chinese staff at the consulate were safe, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and China’s foreign ministry said. Notably, this was one of the first times a Chinese offshore mission was the target of local insurgents, not the traditionally "imperialistic bogeyman", the United States.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We have a companion piece on this attack from globalresearch.ca:

The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) Attack on China’s Consulate in Karachi, Ahead of President Xi’s Meeting with Donald Trump

This is a clear explanation of the attack and its timing.

Nov 23 07:42

China can stop the Quad before it even starts

By reaching out to Japan and reassuring India, China can stop the Quad before it even starts
Vasilis Trigkas says the US has the determination and military credibility to make the Quad into an Asian Nato. But the alliance won’t work unless all partners are on board, and China can sink it with some careful strategic outreach

The recent war of words between China and the US at the Apec summit in Papua New Guinea stunned geopolitical pundits around the world and attests to the ominous dynamics in the Asia-Pacific. As the two nations increasingly see issues in terms of security, there is a real danger of matters escalating into a strategic competition for regional alliances.

Just two days before the opening of the summit, an informal meeting took place in Singapore. There, US Vice-President Mike Pence met the leaders of India, Japan and Australia. This was the third meeting of leaders of the four democratic Asia-Pacific states known as “the Quad”, and while the structure has not been institutionalised into an alliance, American strategists have called for the crystallisation of an archipelagic Nato.

Never has the United States faced a challenger with the geo-economic and military might of China>>>

Nov 20 05:52

Pakistan Summons US Envoy to Protest Trump's Tweets on Osama Bin Laden

***
"The Foreign Secretary called in the US CdA Ambassador Paul Jones to register a strong protest on the unwarranted and unsubstantiated allegations made against Pakistan. Rejecting the insinuations about OBL [Osama bin Laden], Foreign Secretary reminded the US CdA that it was Pakistan’s intelligence cooperation that provided the initial evidence to trace the whereabouts of OBL," Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that "baseless rhetoric about Pakistan was totally unacceptable":

>>>

(*Let's Face It! Trump has it all (*ABCNNBCBS&FOXNEWS) wrong on 9/11 . )

Nov 09 12:00

US Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan Killed 500,000 People

Brown University has released a new study on the cost in lives of America’s Post-9/11 Wars, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The study estimates between 480,000 and 507,000 people were killed in the course of the three conflicts.

This includes combatant deaths and civilian deaths in fighting and war violence. Civilians make up over half of the roughly 500,000 killed, with both opposition fighters and US-backed foreign military forces each sustaining in excess of 100,000 deaths as well.

This is admittedly a dramatic under-report of people killed in the wars, as it only attempts to calculate those killed directly in war violence, and not the massive number of others civilians who died from infrastructure damage or other indirect results of the wars. The list also excludes the US war in Syria, which itself stakes claims to another 500,000 killed since 2011.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This study reminds me that, as Karl Marx so succinctly stated, all wars are economic in origin.

In Afghanistan, you have the pipelines; the rare earth minerals, and the poppy crops; in Iraq, you have the pipelines; and in Pakistan, you have an embarrassment of resources: Natural Resources of Pakistan

The US government's MO, in more recent years, post 9/11, has been to destabilize, regime change, insuring that they are installing a US-centric government, then selling that countries only through "approved corporations, and only in US dollars.

But that even one person dies, let alone numbers like these, are appallingly immoral, and as though the US government, collectively, will be able to continue these practices with complete impunity.

Unfortunately, however, as history has taught us, the US government may find itself on a "bridge too far" from one of these future military misadventures, and unable to extricate itself from the potentially very brutal results of these wars.

Nov 09 09:28

US Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan Killed 500,000 People

Brown University has released a new study on the cost in lives of America’s Post-9/11 Wars, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The study estimates between 480,000 and 507,000 people were killed in the course of the three conflicts.

This includes combatant deaths and civilian deaths in fighting and war violence. Civilians make up over half of the roughly 500,000 killed, with both opposition fighters and US-backed foreign military forces each sustaining in excess of 100,000 deaths as well.

This is admittedly a dramatic under-report of people killed in the wars, as it only attempts to calculate those killed directly in war violence, and not the massive number of others civilians who died from infrastructure damage or other indirect results of the wars. The list also excludes the US war in Syria, which itself stakes claims to another 500,000 killed since 2011.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Nov 06 14:51

The niqab represents a pernicious ideology and its spread should worry us all

Mohamed El-Doufani says the proliferation of the Muslim veil, the niqab, and its equally primitive variants is an indicator of the spread of a pernicious ideology propagated by the Muslim Brotherhood and other ultra-reactionary Salafists and should be of concern to everyone of us. >>

Nov 06 14:49

The niqab represents a pernicious ideology and its spread should worry us all

Mohamed El-Doufani says the proliferation of the Muslim veil, the niqab, and its equally primitive variants is an indicator of the spread of a pernicious ideology propagated by the Muslim Brotherhood and other ultra-reactionary Salafists and should be of concern to everyone of us. >>

Nov 06 08:30

'Dead' old man comes back to life in Rajasthan's Jhunjhunu, family calls it a 'miracle'

A 95-year-old man in Khetri tehsil in Rajasthan's Jhunjhunu district came back to life hours after his death leaving his aggrieved family members in a state of pleasant shock.
According to reports, 95-year-old Budh Ram Gujjar, a resident of Bakhtanwalan Ki Dhani, had fainted on Saturday afternoon. His family members then rushed the old man to a private doctor who declared him dead.

Nov 04 18:10

OUTRAGE as India spends £330MILLION of £1billion UK foreign aid on GIANT BRONZE STATUE

While the UK was sending India £1.17billion in aid, the Indian government was spending nearly half of that on the world’s tallest statue.

This new statue is twice the height of the US’ Statue of Liberty and has been met with condemnation for the large bill that it carried.

Over the 56 months it took to build India’s Statue of Unity, the government spent around £330million of UK taxpayer’s aid.

Nov 03 12:25

Moscow Initiates De-dollarization: India To Pay For S-400 Systems In Rubles

Since it became evident last summer that India was moving forward with purchase of at least five of Russia's S-400 air defense systems, the controversial initiative which is part of India's big ambitions for regional dominance immediately ruffled relations with Washington, resulting in the complete cancellation of at least one planned visit of Mike Pompeo and Jim Mattis to New Delhi.

The S-400s can detect, track and destroy supersonic bombers, drones, fifth-generation fighters, spy planes, and supersonic missiles at a range of up to 400km and altitude of 30km - in what many Indian officials have praised as a game-changing military acquisition which has further cemented the Russian-Indian defense relationship which includes Moscow now accounting for 62 percent of New Delhi’s arms imports.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That Trump and his people couldn't see this coming, in terms of the rapidity with which the US dollar is being shunned in favor of other currencies, is nearly terrifying.

Nov 01 10:48

World's tallest statue unveiled in India: At nearly 600 feet, it's almost twice as tall as Statue of Liberty

The prime minister of India today unveiled the world’s largest statue, dedicated to Sardar Patel, a nationalist who helped unite modern India after its independence from Britain.

"We are doing everything possible to turn Sardar Patel's vision into a reality and ensure a good-quality life for our fellow Indians," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

Oct 30 12:45

Gaza's drinking water spurs blue baby syndrome, serious illnesses

This article is the first of a two-part series on Gaza’s water crisis. The second, which examines solutions to Gaza’s water and health catastrophe, was published on Tuesday, October 30.

Gaza - The unshaven doctor with circles under his eyes enters the children's ward at Al Nassar hospital in Gaza City. It's a Thursday evening, almost the weekend. The ward is bleak and eerily quiet, but for the occasional wail of an infant.

But in recent months Dr Abu Samia has seen sharp rises in gastroenteritis, kidney disease, paediatric cancer, marasmus - a disease of severe malnutrition appearing in infants – and "blue baby syndrome", an ailment causing bluish lips, face, and skin, and blood the colour of chocolate.

Before, the doctor says, he saw "one or two cases" of blue baby syndrome in five years. Now it's the opposite - five cases in one year.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Israelis have a multitude of ways toward insuring that Palestinians don't survive for very long; prohibition of clean drinking water for Gaza's children, is one of those ways.

Depriving anyone of clean water, is a act criminal.

But then again, what else would one expect of a wretchedly apartheid, self-proclaimed theocracy with nuclear weapons?!?

Oct 29 10:47

Pakistan's president says no ties with Israel

Pakistan's President Arif Alvi says the country will not establishing ties with Israel and that it supports the Palestinians because the Gaza Strip has also faced "unprecedented atrocities" like Kashmir.

Alvi, before departing to Ankara on a three-day visit Sunday, told reporters that all speculation about the landing of an Israeli jet at an Islamabad airport was baseless. Since he assumed office last month, this is Alvi's first foreign visit following an invitation from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Israeli journalist Avi Scharf tweeted on Thursday that a private Israeli business jet had flown to Islamabad from Tel Aviv and remained in the Pakistani capital for nearly 10 hours, fueling media speculation. Several Pakistani ministers and the Civil Aviation Authority denied the report.

Oct 22 18:10

India offloading US Treasuries to support national currency & buy gold

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is cutting down on its holding of US Treasuries, joining a number of countries which have been dumping US debt to bolster domestic economies.

The country’s share of US sovereign debt saw a gradual decline from $157 billion in March to $140 billion as of the end of August, according to the latest US Treasury report. RBI needed US dollars to sell in the market to stop the steep slide of its currency, the rupee. The bank has sold foreign currencies worth $18.6 billion in the spot market since April to rein the value of the rupee.

Oct 19 08:49

More than 50 killed as train runs over people watching 'Ravana dahan' in Amritsar

At least 50 people are feared dead after being mowed down by a speeding train in Punjab's Amritsar. Several others, who got injured, were rushed to nearby hospitals. Authorities fear that the death toll may rise.
The incident occurred on Friday when people went to witness burning of Ravana effigy near Dhobi Ghat area of Amritsar. News agency ANI reported that a train ran into a burning effigy of Ravana.

Oct 15 09:35

Pakistan: Thousands of Muslims rally to demand death for Christian woman accused of blasphemy

Several thousand protesters hit the streets of Pakistan calling for the Christian woman accused of insulting Islam be put to death. Asia Bibi would become the first person executed for blasphemy if her appeal fails.

The Pakistani city of Lahore was the center of Friday’s protests, which were organized by the anti-blasphemy party Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP). Demonstrations also took place in a number of other cities across the country, including Karachi and Rawalpindi.

The rallies came after Pakistan’s Supreme Court heard the final appeal of Bibi, a Christian laborer accused of blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed in 2009 by Muslim women she was working with in a field.

Oct 15 09:21

India fares worse than 102 countries in global hunger index, neighbours rank better

The Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide says India is among the 45 countries that have "serious levels of hunger".
India has been ranked at the 103rd position among 119 countries on the Global Hunger Index, says a report.
According to the report, prepared by Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide, India is among the 45 countries that have "serious levels of hunger".

Oct 13 10:23

Outside In: The Trump administration’s plan to remake the Middle East

The only promise that is new about the promised peace plan is the way it will be forced on the Palestinians: no one has promised that the plan itself will be new. With Saudi Arabia and Egypt—the outside—brought onside with the promise of continued military aid despite their crimes against humanity and violations of international law and the Palestinians weakened by being silenced, economically crushed and stripped of any friends to help them, the United States and Israel are now free to attempt to impose a peace plan on the Palestinians.

Oct 12 10:34

Yemen’s Military Adopts More Aggressive Strategy, Captures Saudi Military Sites in Jizan

The media branch of Yemen’s Ansar Allah military released footages on Friday showing the moment that strategic Saudi military locations were captured in the eastern al-Doud mountains and al-Reqa’h military bases deep inside of Saudi Arabia. The bases are located in the southwestern region of Jizan, some 900 kilometers (559 miles) south of the Saudi capital of Riyadh. Saudi Arabia has not yet commented on the recent attacks.

Yemen’s army launched two ballistic missiles at a gathering of Saudi military forces, including mercenaries, just east of al-Doud. A group of Saudi-allied mercenaries south of al-Khobeh in Jizan was also targeted. Later in the day, Yemen’s army struck a Saudi military base in the kingdom’s Jizan region with two ballistic missiles, killing a number of Saudi soldiers, according to two military sources in Yemen’s army.

>>>

Oct 10 10:00

Wait And Watch US Sanctions Implode: Ex-Envoy's Advice To India On Iran

India need not take an aggressive position in public on the issue of US sanctions on nations defying its directive to bring their oil imports from Iran to zero by November 4, says a former Indian diplomat.

India has to play a cautious role, in that priority should be the country's national interests, former Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia Oman and the UAE Talmiz Ahmad said.

"India's national interests lie in maintaining relations with Iran while at the same time not totally alienating the United States", he told PTI.

"And what India will do and I think that's the correct policy that there will be some reduction in oil imports for a short period and at the same time discussions with the United States will continue in order to ensure that the US policy becomes more accomodative", Mr Ahmad said.

He was of the view that over a period of time or as early as six months, the entire sanctions regime would "collapse".

Oct 09 11:06

Pakistan To Request IMF Bailout Over US Opposition

The long-running speculation whether Pakistan will follow in Argentina's footsteps and demand an IMF bailout was answered this morning.

As a reminder, following a July 12 report from the Financial Times that senior Pakistani finance officials were drawing up options for Pakistan's new prime minister Imran Khan to seek an IMF bailout of up to $12 billion, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned against providing an International Monetary Fund bailout for Pakistan's new government that includes funding to pay off Chinese lenders.

In an interview on CNBC on July 30, Pompeo said the United States looked forward to engagement with the government of Pakistan's expected new prime minister, Imran Khan, but said there is "no rationale" for a bailout that pays off Chinese loans to Pakistan.

Oct 08 08:17

Pakistani Poker: Playing Saudi Arabia Against China

Desperate for funding to fend off a financial crisis fuelled in part by mounting debt to China, Pakistan is playing a complicated game of poker that could hand Saudi Arabia a strategic victory in its bitter feud with Iran at the People’s Republic’s expense.

Oct 08 08:00

‘WE’RE INDEPENDENT’: INDIA DEFIES US SANCTIONS OVER BILLION-WORTH S-400 DEAL WITH RUSSIA

India’s not cowed by US threats of sanctions for buying Russia’s S-400 missile systems, as it follows an “independent policy,” an army chief said, adding that his country had to think of what is “strategically important.”
General Bipin Rawat implied that his country is no vassal state, and it has every right to go ahead with a $5.4 billion purchase of five surface-to-air missile systems from Russia.

He spoke at the General K V Krishna Rao inaugural memorial lecture in the Indian capital, New Delhi.

“When Russians asked about the American sanctions, my reply was, ‘yes, we do appreciate that there could be sanctions on us, but we follow an independent policy,’” the general said after a six-day visit to Russia, during which he met a string of top Armed Forces officials.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There are a number of countries which are eager to ditch both the dollar, and the SWIFT system of exchange, in order to do what is best for their countries and economies, and buy Russian-made military equipment.

This threat of sanctions will only push India and Russia close together, just as have sanctions on Iran pushed it closer to Russia and China.

Sorry, but I don't think that this was the design intent of those in the bowels of power in DC, who decided that sanctions....could resolve everything; in fact, these sanctions appear to be exploding, collectively, like a box of bad trick cigars, right in their faces.

Oct 06 10:33

India Defies US, Signs $5.4BN Arms Deal With Russia Amid Promises Of Closer Ties

In what amounts to Russia's latest act of defiance against the US and its Western allies, and a sign that India is slowly moving away from the US sphere of influence, New Delhi has signed a $5.4 billion deal for the delivery of five S-400 weapons systems, one of Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft weapons, RT reported. The deal risks provoking more sanctions against Russia from the US. The arms deal was finalized at a summit involving Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in New Delhi.

Oct 04 02:52

India is seeking a US waiver for its planned purchase of S-400 air defense missile systems from Russia.

The United States has warned that India’s planned purchase of the state-of-the-art S-400 air defense missiles from Russia could lead to sanctions by Washington.

According to the Press Trust of India, the warning made on Wednesday followed reports of New Delhi’s intention to sign an agreement on the acquisition of Russian missiles during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s two-day visit to India starting on Thursday.

"We urge all our allies and partners to refrain from engaging in transactions with Russia that would trigger sanctions under the CAATSA," the agency quoted an unnamed State Department official as saying.

The official added that the purchase of S-400 missiles would fall under Article 231 of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or CAATSA.

Sep 29 09:57

40 Kashmir Cops Quit In 4 Days Amid Hizbul's "Resign Or Die" Threat

To prevent cops from uploading such videos on social media, as had been directed by the Hizbul in its threat video, the government has blocked internet services in south Kashmir.

Days after the centre rejected resignation videos of Special Police Officers (SPO) as "false propaganda" by terrorists, the Jammu and Kashmir government today admitted the quitting spree in south Kashmir, but played it down by saying that the number is negligible.
"The state has over 30,000 SPOs. If you compare the number of people who have resigned, it's negligible," said BVR Subramanium, Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir.

The resignation videos of policemen surfaced following the kidnapping and killing of three cops in Jammu and Kashmir, just days after Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists had put out a "resign or die" threat. Sources say more than 40 SPOs and policemen have resigned since Friday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Would that the Indian government gave the Kashmiri people the opportunity to decide their own fate; if they want independence; wish to remain a part of India, or become a part of Pakistan.

This promise of a referendum has never been fulfilled by the Indian government, although it has been long promised.

This referendum is the only way to stop the never-ending violence here, but the Indian government, collectively, has to have the strength of character and moral courage, to allow this to happen.

Sep 27 12:18

India will continue to buy Iran’s oil: Iranian foreign minister

India is committed to buying Iranian oil and continuing the two nations’ economic cooperation, the Iranian foreign minister said after a meeting with his Indian counterpart and ahead of US sanctions aimed at halting Tehran’s oil exports.

US President Donald Trump’s May withdrawal from an international nuclear pact with Iran was followed up with plans to impose new sanctions against the third-largest producer among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Sep 25 08:38

India Cautiously Accepts Pakistan’s Offer for Meeting Between Foreign Ministers

India has agreed to hold a bilateral meeting at the foreign ministry level with Pakistan in response to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's letter to his Indian counterpart earlier this week.

"I can confirm that on the request of the Pakistani side, a meeting between India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will take place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly at a mutually convenient date and time," Raveesh Kumar, India's minister of external affairs spokesperson, said on Thursday.

This should not be confused with the resumption of any dialogue. This meeting has been agreed to on the basis of the request we have received from the Pakistani side. … This does not indicate any change in policy as far as our stand on terrorism and cross-border terrorism are concerned, Kumar further stated.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Color me slightly hopeful here; I would like to believe that neither nuclear-armed country wants to start a war with the other, and that issues, like the ever-explosive situation in Kashmir, can be rectified, with logical and moral means.

Sep 20 11:18

China, Pakistan look to strengthen bilateral military ties

China and Pakistan have expressed their intention to strengthen bilateral military ties.

“The two countries? militaries should further deepen exchanges and co-operation in various fields and at all levels, take resolute measures against terrorist forces, make efforts to ensure the security of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor [CPEC] construction, and serve as a reliable safeguard for the common interests and common development of the two countries,” Chinese President Xi Jinping was quoted by the Xinhua news agency during a meeting in Beijing with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa on 19 September.

Sep 20 10:46

Pakistan's army supporting terrorist in Tribal Areas of Pakistan to attack Afghan, US and NATO forces

Pakistan's army supporting terrorist in Tribal Areas of Pakistan to attack Afghan, US and NATO forces

Sep 13 12:08

Iran WARNING: US tells airlines not to fly through airspace as WW3 fears rise

The advisory also warns military activities linked to the bloody conflict in Syria have been ramped across Iran's airspace.

Tensions between Tehran and Washington are running high following Donald Trump’s controversial decision to pull out of the landmark Iran nuclear deal re-introduce economic sanctions last month.

Flight Service Bureau, which provides safety information on airspace to airlines, said "without seeming alarmist", the deteriorating relationship between the US and Iran must be taken into account when planning flights in Iran's airspace.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is getting just about as serious as is a heart attack: I find myself very alarmed at these developments.

Sep 12 10:11

South China Morning Post: FASCIST FEST AS TRUMP’S AMERICA MEETS MODI’S HINDUS

The recent World Hindu Congress in Chicago, an attempt to endow the intolerant majoritarian philosophy of Hindutva with international legitimacy, couldn’t have chosen a better time to bring the party to the US
***

Nominally, at least, the event was homage to the Indian monk Swami Vivekananda, who 125 years ago inaugurated a civilisational dialogue between Hinduism and the West by delivering a landmark speech in the Windy City. Yet, far from being an inclusive event aimed at building bridges, the World Hindu Congress was essentially dedicated to propagating the Hindu majoritarian philosophy of Hindutva and seeking to endow it with international legitimacy.

Inspired by European ethno-nationalism and fascism, and by figures such as Giuseppe Mazzini and Hitler, Hindutva rejects the constitutional secularism of the Indian state; proposes that India is fundamentally a Hindu nation; and insists that minorities, especially Muslim and Christian Indians, are aliens in a Hindu country.

With the election victory of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2014, an unofficial government scheme of targeting minorities has been well under way in India. Lynchings of Muslims by vigilante Hindu groups on the pretext of possessing beef, a crime in numerous Indian states given the sacred status of the cow for many Hindus; assaults on Dalits, or former “untouchables” located beneath the caste hierarchy of Hinduism; and a strident jingoism stoked by openly partisan state officials and media persons have been accompanied by a crackdown on dissenting voices in the academic, artistic, and activist communities.

>>>

Sep 11 07:17

India Diversifying Reserves Away From Dollar, Buying up Gold

The world's second biggest gold consumer continues to replenish its bullion reserves, a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) report shows. At the same time, New Delhi is slowly but surely reducing its share of US debt bonds. The annual report from the Indian financial regulator reveals that the country followed other BRICS partners in adding physical gold to its foreign exchange reserves. The RBI reportedly bought 8.46 metric tons of gold during the last fiscal year ending in March. As of the end of June, the country’s central bank held 566.23 metric tons of gold against 557.77 metric tons a year ago. The RBI purchased gold for the first time in nearly a decade. The regulator acquired 200 metric tons of the precious metal in 2009 shortly after the global financial crisis. According to the RBI, India’s international reserves rose by five percent from June 2017 to June 2018 in comparison to the 6.3 percent growth seen in the same period in the previous year...

Sep 10 15:52

Ban cheese imports? Pakistan discusses out-of-the-box ideas to avoid IMF bailout

Pakistani economic advisors discussed banning imports of luxury cars, smartphones and cheese in a wide-ranging strategy session on how to avoid seeking a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a senior government advisor said.

While no decisions were made, the floating of radical measures to tackle Pakistan’s ballooning current account deficit by the newly formed Economic Advisory Council (EAC) underscores the new government’s determination to avoid another IMF bailout.

The EAC held its first session last week, chaired by finance minister Asad Umar, who took office last month.

Sep 10 09:35

India petrol price SOARS to record high: Chaos on streets - ‘Rupee has never been WEAKER'

NATIONWIDE protests against record high petrol and diesel prices shut down businesses, government offices and schools in India today, and in some places protesters blocked trains and roads and vandalised vehicles as the leader of congress fumed the “rupee has never been weaker”.

Sep 07 12:09

Pakistan will not fight anyone else's war, says PM Imran

Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that the country will not be part of anyone else's war.

The premier said that he was against the involvement of armed forces in the foreign war from the very first day, while addressing defense day ceremony at the GHQ.

Families of martyrs, members of the federal cabinet, heads of political parties, lawmakers and celebrities were also among the attendees at the ceremony.

PM Imran said that Pakistan Army is the only intact and functional institution of the country.

“The Pakistan army is running at its best because of non-political interference and its priority for merit,” he said. "Political interference destroys institutions.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I'd say the guy is off to a good start.

Now, when will he be accepting high-level ministers from India to encourage a permanent end of hostilities between the two countries, and when will New Dehli reciprocate?!?

Sep 07 09:26

India getting rid of US Treasury securities and buying gold

The world's second biggest gold consumer continues to replenish its bullion reserves, a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) report shows. At the same time, New Delhi is slowly but surely reducing its share of US debt bonds.

The annual report from the Indian financial regulator reveals that the country followed other BRICS partners in adding physical gold to its foreign exchange reserves. The RBI reportedly bought 8.46 metric tons of gold during the last fiscal year ending in March.

Sep 05 11:18

Pakistan: US aid cut was money owed, not assistance

The significance of United States cancelling $300m in security assistance to Pakistan has been downplayed by the country's foreign minister who said the amount was a reimbursement and not assistance.

Relations between the US and Pakistan have been increasingly frayed since January, when US President Donald Trump suspended more than $1.1bn in security assistance to the country over allegations that it was not acting against armed groups such as the Afghan Taliban.

Pakistan denies the charge, saying it has conducted indiscriminate military operations against all armed groups operating on its soil.

Sep 05 07:49

India Joins China In Defying Trump, Will Allow Imports Of Iranian Oil

Two weeks after China - the top importer of Iranian crude oil - defied the White House, disclosing that it would continue importing Iranian oil ignoring US sanctions on Tehran, India, the second biggest buyer of Iranian oil exports, has given permission to its state refiners to import Iranian oil using a similar scheme as China in which Tehran would arrange tankers and insurance after firms including the country’s top shipper Shipping Corp of India halted voyages to Iran due to U.S. sanctions.

Sep 04 07:34

FORCING IMPROVED RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA: Trump Cancels $300 Million Aid To Pakistan

The US military plans to cancel a $300 million aid package to Pakistan because of Islamabad’s lack of “decisive action” in support of US strategy in the region, the Pentagon said on Saturday.

The US has pushed Pakistan to crack down on the havens of militants in the country and announced a freeze on aid earlier this year, which, according to one official, could be worth almost $2 billion.

The US Department of Defense has tried to cut aid by $300 million “because of the lack of decisive Pakistani actions in support of the South Asia Strategy,” Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner said in an e-mail to AFP.

Aug 30 09:43

Golden BRICS Rising: India’s First Official Gold Acquisition Since 2009

While the volume of gold added to the international reserves at the Royal Bank of India (RBI) is not a huge amount, a mere 8.46 tons, the significance, and timing, can not be overlooked.

With the geopolitical landscape, basically, sitting on shifting sands, with trade wars, shooting wars and economic sanctions flying around like another flight leaving O’Hare International Airport it seems that India is making a “good faith” showing to her allies in the BRICS alliance by adding a small amount of gold to their official international reserves. We don’t know that this is the reason for the gold addition but let’s take a look at some of the puzzle pieces.

Aug 25 09:20

America’s Pakistan policy shows White House ignorant of major geostrategic shift

While observers point to similarities in the rise of Donald Trump and Pakistan’s new prime minister, Imran Khan, that’s where they end as relations between the US and Pakistan enter into a serious period of political uncertainty.

The Trump administration recently froze some $255 million in aid to Pakistan for continuing to harbor “terrorists” – in this case, Afghan Taliban, which was created years ago by Pakistan’s military intelligence, Inter-Service Intelligence, (ISI). In this year’s Pakistani election, ISI apparently supported the former cricket player and playboy, Khan – who is known for his anti-American rhetoric.

Aug 17 12:04

Imran Khan elected Pakistan's prime minister

Khan will take oath on Saturday, form a cabinet and assume control of the government.

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NEWS/PAKISTAN
Imran Khan elected as Pakistan's prime minister
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief, who will take oath of office on Saturday, promises an era of 'accountability'.

by Asad Hashim
4 hours ago
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Imran Khan elected as Pakistan's prime minister
Khan, and others, took oath as members of the parliament last week [AFP]
Islamabad, Pakistan - Pakistan's parliament has elected Imran Khan as prime minister after his party swept the general election last month, vowing to bring an era of accountability and prosperity to the South Asian country.

Members of the National Assembly voted in the capital, Islamabad, on Friday for Khan to be leader of the house, making him Pakistan's head of state.

Khan secured 176 votes on Friday, beating Shehbaz Sharif, president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, who got 96.

>>>

Aug 12 08:16

Passports Damaged In Kerala Floods

(*have a better chance in a fire that could melt steel girders ?)

Aug 11 08:34

Saudi Arabia and Iran Woo Incoming Pakistani Prime Minister

An offer by a Saudi-backed bank to lend financially strapped Pakistan US$4 billion is likely intended to bolster Saudi influence when former international cricket player Imran Khan is sworn in in the coming week as the South Asian country’s next prime minister.

The offer was most immediately related to a statement by Asad Umar, Pakistan’s new finance minister-in-waiting, that Pakistan would decide on whether to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or friendly nations such as China and Saudi Arabia by the end of September.

Pakistan reportedly is looking to possibly ask the IMF for a US$12 billion bailout package. The country’s foreign exchange reserves have plummeted over the past year. Chinese loans have so far kept Pakistan afloat. Pakistan’s currency, the rupee, has been devalued four times since December and lost almost a quarter of its value.

Aug 09 10:27

India Folds: Top Refiner Buys US Oil To Partially Replace Iranian Crude

Indian Oil Corp, the biggest refiner in India, has purchased a total of 6 million barrels of U.S. crude oil for delivery between November and January, as it has started to look for a replacement of Iranian oil cargoes ahead of the U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil exports returning in early November.

Aug 01 10:59

Election of Islamist Pakistani Leader Imran Khan Stokes Fears of Christian Persecution

Christian watchdog groups have voiced concern over last week’s election of former cricket star and Islamist Imran Khan as Pakistani Premier, noting Khan’s public support for the nation’s harsh blasphemy laws.

Shortly after the election, Khan—who attributed his victory to the will of Allah—told the nation that his preferred form of government is “the Islamic State as established by the Prophet Mohammad in Medina.”

“Today in front of you, in front of the people of Pakistan, I pledge I will run Pakistan in such a way as it has never before been run,” he said.

Aug 01 09:17

HOW BRICS-PLUS CLASHES WITH THE US ECONOMIC WAR ON IRAN

The key take away from the BRICS summit in Johannesburg is that Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – important Global South players – strongly condemn unilateralism and protectionism.

The Johannesburg Declaration is unmistakable:

“We recognize that the multilateral trading system is facing unprecedented challenges. We underscore the importance of an open world economy.”

Closer examination of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech unlocks some poignant details.

Xi, crucially, emphasizes delving further into “our strategic partnership.” That implies increased BRICS and Beyond BRICS multilateral trade, investment and economic and financial connectivity.

And that also implies reaching to the next level;

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The reimposition of sanctions against Iran start next Monday; the drop-dead date by which no countries on earth will be allowed to purchase Iranian crude or face US sanctions is Sunday, 4 November, two days away from Midterm elections in the US.

Countries around the world are scrambling to see what they can barter for Iranian crude, to get around potential sanctions, and there are many ways in which this could happen.

IF President Trump is going to "do something" regarding Iran which is military in nature, I would suggest that it will be the 4th or 5th of November, primarily to insure that his faithful go to the polls, and keep a Republican majority in both the House and Senate.

A cynical use of international military power to insure domestic political victory?!?

It wouldn't be the first time that has happened in America's history.

Jul 29 12:10

India Launches Formal Probe of Illegal Data Mining by Cambridge Analytica

After the UK-based data mining and analysis firm failed to respond to successive notices by the Indian government on whether it had harvested the user profiles of Indians, the country’s apex investigation agency has been asked to launch a probe, India’s IT Ministry stated.

The Indian government has ordered a probe into the Cambridge Analytica data mining case. The government today informed Parliament that it has written to the country's apex federal investigation body, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), seeking an inquiry against the UK-based data mining and analysis firm.

Jul 27 11:55

Electing the Cornered Tiger: Imran Khan in Pakistani Politics

Tariq Ali, whilst having a lunch in Knightsbridge with the Pakistani cricket colossus, Imran Khan, suggested that retirement should not be too problematic for him. (Khan had seemed gloomy, deep in thought about post-retirement prospects at the age of 30.) Consider, posed Ali, film, or at the very least funding for a film institute. “You could be an enabler or you could act. A film with you in it would be a surefire hit and help fund more avant-garde productions.”

Khan did not bite. He preferred politics, an area which has its fair share of thespians staking their wares. His stewardship of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice) has been in years in the making, a gradual yet relentless push into the limelight since its establishment in 1996. When first assuming the mantle of politician, he was a clear target of ridicule.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I hope that this guy does get Pakistan moving into a more positive direction; for decades, the Pakistani people have deserved better than they have received, in terms of political leadership.

Jul 27 08:53

Iran, Pakistan to jointly produce defense equipment: Top general

Iran’s top military commander has emphasized the importance of enhancing defense relations with Pakistan, saying the two neighbors are seeking to jointly manufacture defense equipment.

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri made the remarks following a meeting with Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain in Islamabad on Tuesday.

During the talks, the two sides touched on the commonalities between Iran and Pakistan as well as the almost 1000-kilometer border between the neighbors, stressing that Tehran-Islamabad ties should be further enhanced in different areas.

The Iranian general said that during his visit, he had discussed with Pakistani officials topics such as military education, pilot training, military drills and contacts between the two countries’ defense industries.

Jul 25 08:54

China, Bhutan Resume Border Talks a Year After Doklam Spat Involving India

China and Bhutan share a 470 kilometer long border. Territorial disputes have been a source of potential conflict, the most contested area being the Doklam plateau, where China allegedly tried to build a road last year, resulting in military intervention by India, Bhutan’s all-weather friend.

New Delhi (Sputnik): China and Bhutan have discussed the border issue at length during a three day trip of Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou to the Himalayan nation, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, which has claimed that China holds its traditional friendship with Bhutan in high regard.

"Both sides should continue to promote border talks, abide by the principles and consensus already reached, and jointly protect peace and tranquillity in the border region to create positive conditions for a final resolution," the Chinese Foreign Ministry statement cited Kong as saying.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a positive development between two nuclear-armed nations; let us hope it bears fruit.

The last thing this planet needs... is a nuclear conflict between China and India.

Jul 23 08:55

Germany Encourages India To Keep Buying Oil From Iran

Germany’s minister of state for foreign affairs has encouraged India to continue buying Iranian oil, despite pressure from the United States, which Niels Annen called “irritating, to put it mildly.”

“I am not a salesman for Iran but I have an impression that India is willing to continue buying oil from Iran and this will be a very important statement,” Annen told Indian media, as quoted by Sputnik, also noting that whatever New Delhi decided, it would be a sovereign decision.

India is Iran’s top oil client, and it is also one of the countries that are most heavily dependent on oil imports. This means that the consequences of U.S. sanctions on Tehran will spread to India, which already has a problem with too high international oil prices.

Jul 17 09:24

‘US law doesn’t apply here’: India’s defense chief resists pressure over S-400 deal with Russia

American laws are their own matter locally and have nothing to do with India, the country’s defense chief said, refusing to bow to a US sanctions threat over its planned purchase of Russian S-400 air-defense systems.

New Delhi has relayed to Washington that the threat of unilateral US sanctions will not have an impact on its decision on the possible purchase of S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems from Russia.

“We have told the US Congress delegation that this is US law and not a UN law,” India's defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman noted, apparently referring to a US federal bill that was implemented in 2017.

Jul 13 13:35

Massive Blasts Kill 128 Ahead Of Pakistan Elections; Ousted PM Arrested At Airport

The deadliest terror attack in over a year has rocked Pakistan as bombs went off at two campaign rallies in different cities. The massive death toll climbed by the hour throughout Friday after a suicide bomber struck a convoy headed to an election-related event in Mastung near the southwestern city of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan Province.

Pakistani authorities said 128 were killed and over 150 wounded in a suicide attack reportedly claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS).

Some observers have noted that the spot is close to where Pakistani forces had previously claimed to have eliminated an ISIS base in the province.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The violence, poverty, and corruption in this country just never seem to end.

Condolences to those injured, and to the families of those who have been killed.

But the big question here is, cui bono?!? Who benefits getting this guy out of the race through an assassination?!?

Jul 05 11:39

The New Oil Cartel Threatening OPEC

When reports emerged that India and China are in talks about forming an oil buyers’ club, OPEC was probably too busy with its upcoming June 22 meeting to concern itself with that dangerous alliance. Now, it may be time for it to start worrying.

Jul 04 10:33

Imran Awan Gets Sweetheart Plea Deal; DOJ Won't Prosecute Alleged Spy Ring, Cybercrimes

The Department of Justice won't prosecute Imran Awan, a former IT administrator for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and dozens of other Democrats, for allegations of cybersecurity breaches, theft and potential espionage, as part of a plea agreement one one count of unrelated bank fraud.

After the entry of your client’s plea of guilty to the offense identified in paragraph 1 above, your client will not be charged with any non-violent criminal offense in violation of Federal or District of Columbia law which was committed within the District of Columbia by your client prior to the execution of this Agreement -Awan Plea Agreement

Awan withdrew hundreds of thousands of dollars after lying on a mortgage application and pretending to have a medical emergency that allowed him to drain his wife's retirement account. He then wired large sums of money to Pakistan in January, 2017.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF this deal does not prove to the American people how politicized and corrupt the DOJ has become, nothing, unfortunately, will!!

Jun 29 08:52

More Countries Start Exploring Alternatives To The US World Order

There are two countries that more than others show how the Western world order is undergoing a profound change. Japan and Turkey occupy two distinct and diverse geographical areas, yet they share many of the same strategic choices about their future. Their geopolitical trajectory is increasingly drifting away from Washington and moving closer to China, Russia, India and Iran.

Jun 28 08:28

US tries to stop S-400 deal with India

In much the same manner as the US attempted to kill the S-400 deal with Turkey, they are now setting out to end India’s defense relationship with Russia, especially if they can manage to undermine this SAM deal. The idea is to utilize sanctions to get the job done. If the US can manage to dissuade India from buying their SAM systems from India over fear that they might contravene some sanction issued by Washington, then that’s what they aim to do, while simultaneously offering America’s THAAD system to New Delhi as a replacement.

Jun 25 15:30

India to buy Iranian oil with rupees in order to skirt US sanctions

Another country buying oil with something other than the USD

Jun 25 07:44

India tells its banks to get Windows XP off ATMs – in 2019!

The Reserve Bank of India has given that country's banking sector a hard deadline to get Windows XP out of its ATMs: June 2019.

That's more than five years beyond the May 2014 end of support for the OS.

Jun 19 10:52

Russia And India Ditch Dollar In Military Deals

With the US increasingly willing to use the dollar, and SWIFT, as a strategic weapon against the country's sovereign enemies (as Iran learned every 5 or so years), Russia and India are preparing to bypass US sanctions on Moscow by using the rupee and the ruble in bilateral trade involving military deals, the Economic Times reported.

Some $2 billion in weapons deals between India and Russia have been hit as a result of the recent US sanctions, as payments get stuck. The countries are seeking to bypass such monetary bottlenecks this by switching to settlements in domestic currencies and ditching the greenback.

Senior officials told ET that after several rounds of consultations, it has become clear that a rupee-rouble transfer, pegged to the exchange rate of an international currency, is the solution. A top official said that a foreign currency, such as the Singapore dollar, could be used as the benchmark.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So what is the US government going to do, invade every country ditching the US dollar?!?

That... is going to be one heck of a lot of invasions, given the tempo at which the US dollar is being abandoned.

Jun 18 09:14

India to resume military operations in Kashmir

India will resume military operations against armed groups in disputed Kashmir following the end of a rare 30-day suspension for Ramadan.

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in a post on Twitter that the New Dehli forces were being directed to take all necessary actions to prevent "militants" from launching attacks.

"While the security forces have displayed exemplary restraint during this period, the terrorists have continued with their attacks, on civilians and SFs (security forces), resulting in deaths and injuries," the minister said. "The security forces are being directed to take all necessary actions as earlier to prevent terrorists from launching attacks and indulging in violence."

Singh's office said in a separate statement on Twitter that the Indian government had decided "not to extend the suspension of operations."

Jun 16 07:34

Indians with advanced degree may have to wait 150 years for green card in US: Report

Indians with advanced degrees may have to wait for over 150 years for a green card which authorises them to live and work in the US permanently, according to projections by a think-tank.

The new calculation on the Green card wait period by Cato Institute, a Washington-based think-tank, comes after the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently released number of applicants for such cards.

Jun 08 08:45

Monsanto challenges Indian court’s decision that undermines its GMO cotton monopoly

In something of a compromise gesture, the justices gave Monsanto a three-month window to register the Bt seed varieties under the Plant Varieties Act (PVA), which would still allow the company to collect a trait fee but lose control of the plant's genetic material. The ruling would also allow Indian farmers to use Monsanto’s know-how for future research and development of the cotton industry.

Refusing to accept the new arrangement, Monsanto appealed the court’s decision, Reuters reported on Friday. NSL, meanwhile, announced that it will uphold the court's decision.

“In the Supreme Court, we'll maintain our stand that agricultural products, including seeds, cannot be patented in India,” said Narne Murali Krishna, a company secretary for NSL. “The judgment of the Delhi High Court has already vindicated our stand.”

Jun 08 07:57

India Calls Washington's Bluff, Will Buy Russia's S-400 Despite Empty Sanctions Threat

India will press ahead with the procurement of five regiments of Russian-made S-400 Triumf advanced Air Defense Systems (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) intended for service in the Indian military notwithstanding U.S. sanctions, Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at a recent press conference.

Speaking to the press on June 5, the defense minister emphasized the close defense ties between India and Russia. “In all our engagements with the U.S., we have clearly explained how India and Russia’s defense cooperation has been going on for a long time and that it is a time-tested relationship,” Sitharaman said. “We have mentioned that CAATSA cannot impact the India-Russia defense cooperation.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What is the US government going to do, declare war on India for having gone ahead with a purchase of a Russian defensive system far superior to anything the US military industrial complex could have provided to them?!?

Jun 07 11:39

Israel agents trained India commandos leading Sikh temple raid

Commandos who conducted one of India’s most controversial military raids against a militant Sikh group were trained by Israeli Mossad agents, an Indian paper has reported.

Writing for India Today to mark the raid on one of the most sacred sites in the Sikh tradition, Prabhash K Dutta claims that the attack known as “Operation Blue Star” was conducted by Indian commandos trained by Israeli agents when India refused to have any diplomatic ties with Israel.

The commandos who entered the Golden Temple on 6 June 1984, Dutta says, were part of Special Group of the 56th Commando Company of the Indian Army. They were the only unit of the Indian forces to have received specialised training. The Special Group or SG commandos, as they were called in those days, had been trained by an expert team of the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence organisation.

Jun 06 06:48

India to proceed with purchase of Russian S-400 units despite possible US sanctions

India will proceed with the purchase of Russia's S-400 surface-to-air missile units despite possible US sanctions, the country's defense minister has confirmed, citing a “time tested” relationship between Delhi and Moscow.

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