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Carnage in Paris

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By K.N. Pandita

Paris has come under the attack of Islamic militants. It is the bloodiest after World War II. Reports are that 127 innocent people are massacred and 200 injured some seriously. The most beautiful capital in Europe could never imagine that carnage of this brutality would ever befall it. This attack has come close on the heels of January attack in which 17 people were killed in Paris including Charlie Hebdo the editor of satirical magazine, and a Jewish supermarket. Terrorists targeted restaurants, concert halls and market places sending down terror and chaos in the city. The President who was at a stadium watching a friendly football match between France and Germany was evacuated under close security arrangement as the terrorists conducted attack outside the stadium. Continue Reading…

Critical turn in national politics

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By K.N. Pandita

The apprehension was that majority mandate in the Parliamentary elections would turn the head of BJP. Unfortunately, that happened. The glamour of victory overshadowed the need for astute state management.

The more powerful sections within BJP leadership drew inspiration from RSS think tank. Seniors and veterans of the party knew the risks involved in party looking for brainwaves from that source. Continue Reading…

The passion for self- mockery

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By K.N. Pandita

About three dozen Sahitya Akademi awardees reportedly returned their awards. They did not say whether they returned the accompanying amount also.

Evidently, they had received award for contribution to India sahitya (literature) not politics. It was literature when they received award and it is politics when they return it. A question arises: Was it then their mock contribution. We do not comment on their literary acumen; we talk of their sincerity to the profession. Continue Reading…

Nostalgia of personality cult

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By K.N. Pandita

Recently, the NDA government expressed its intention of revamping the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML). It has stirred commotion in Nehruite and Congress circles. They see something sinister in it, like ideological assault on Nehruvian philosophy.

To reinforce their adherence to personality cult and swear by Nehruvian loyalty, they do not hesitate to misinterpret, rather distort, the idea of revamping the said museum. The truth is far from it. Revamping carries no apprehension of denigrating the stalwart of India’s freedom struggle.   Continue Reading…

Obama’s Security Adviser visits Pak

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By K.N. Pandita

Susan Rice, President Obama’s National Security Adviser, who rarely goes on foreign trips unless necessary, was on one-day visit to Islamabad on Sunday, the 30th of August.

A recent VOA broadcast said that Rice had always planned to stop in Islamabad after two days of high-level talks in Beijing ahead of next month’s White House meetings between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping.   Continue Reading…

The Captain steers the Ship

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By K.N. Pandita

Historians will record Modi’s two-day visit to the UAE and Dubai as a landmark in opening up his country of 1.25 billion people to incredible investment by the Emirates. To two main categories of people in the Emirates, Modi’s visit has brought immeasurable cheer. First is the 2.7 lakh strong Indian industrial work force most of them labourers, factory workers, wage earners and office goers who earn their wages through honest labour, and in the process, have helped build the Sheikhdoms brick by brick. The second category of beneficiaries is of the investors in the Gulf who have the capital and now have the opportunities of investing it in a mega investment venture. Therefore, the most important takeaway of the prime minister’s visit is that it will open this door of foreign direct investment towards India.   Continue Reading…

India on SC restructuring

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By K.N. Pandita

A vigorous debate has been raging in political circles about restructuring of the Security Council and bringing about some important and much-needed reforms in the international organization. What will be the future shape of the organization and how will it impact inter-continental strategies is what is hotly debated.

There are two issues: India seeking permanent membership of SC, and India proposing reforms in the UN.

Actually, besides India, Germany, Brazil and South Africa are among the seekers of SC membership. Continue Reading…

India and de-nuclearized Iran

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By K.N. Pandita

India’s long time cordial relations with Iran came under temporary stress with the change of regime in Iran in 1979. However, as the fervour of the ouster of monarchy and induction of revolution subsided, and Iran inched towards normalcy, Indo-Iran relations began making steady come back. However, the things were not the same. In the wake of Iran-US stand off, and Teheran’s unabashed hostility towards Israel, India had to handle Washington-Tel Aviv- Teheran axis with singular caution. Continue Reading…

The farce of sidelines diplomacy

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By K.N.Pandita

Indo-Pak sideline talks, scheduled or unscheduled, are generally announced with an element of excitement on both sides. Traditionally, these end up in smoke; no two words about that. Recent Ufa meet between Modi and Nawaz will not meet a different fate. That is what political pundits augur. They cannot be wronged.

The harsh reality is that talks between the two will be fruitful only when Army in Pakistan decides not to play politics. However, that will never happen because of Punjabi hegemony. Therefore “democracy” has different connotation in the context of Pakistan; it is something like militrocracy. The US, annoyed with autocratic regimes elsewhere, is very happy with militrocracy in Pakistan. She has been funding it. Continue Reading…

Debating controversial resolution

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By K.N. Pandita

Occasionally, Markandey Katju comes under limelight in national media. To many people, his statements on political and social issues spring surprise because these seem outlandish or at least bizarre to them.

Known for stirring hornet’s nest, Katju has recently made his observations about some of the leading national figures. Our parliamentarians considered his observations derogatory. In a show of respect for outstanding figures of national politics, the parliamentarians passed a resolution condemning the comments of Katju as something tantamount to national insult. Continue Reading…

The art of subtle denial

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By K.N. Pandita

In recent attacks carried out by ISSI crusaders in France, Tunisia and Kuwait, the count of fatalities has risen to over sixty. In the tiny state of Kuwait it was the first bomb explosion inside a Shia mosque. Earlier a Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia was also targeted.

Contrary to the established Islamic tradition of observing Ramadhan as the month of peace and virtuous deeds, ISIS spokesman gave a call to the mujahideen to strike at identified targets and create mayhem. Simultaneously, two youth have been beheaded for alleged non-observance of fast. Continue Reading…

Incoherent diplomacy

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By K.N. Pandita

What would be the appropriate term to appraise Modi government’s latest Kashmir move? We are at a loss to explain. What one can say about the happenings on Pakistan National Day celebrations at Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi is that our country’s take has been farcical to say the least. It makes our previous stand look ridiculous and ill-conceived especially the decision taken in August last to call off foreign secretary meet for a reason that the government itself has torn into shreds. Continue Reading…

Do Taliban threaten us?

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By K.N. Pandita

Afghan Talban are to be differentiated from ISIS marauders and Pakistan-based various terrorist outfits. Recapitulating the narrative of emergence and evolution of Taliban in Kandahar, and their ability to establish a government in Kabul in 1996, we find that their interests lay essentially in creating the Islamic Caliphate of Afghanistan with no agenda for carrying the fight for Islamic Caliphate to any other part of the world, much less to India. Continue Reading…

India: The Emerging Power

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By K.N. Pandita

President Obama as guest of honour at the 66th Republic Day parade on January 26 in New Delhi has created ripples in regional politics. China and Pakistan are irritated, of course essentially for different reasons.

Obama’s Indian itinerary did not include visit to Pakistan. Islamabad considers it barefaced tilt in US’ long-pursued parity politics in the subcontinent. Days before the visit, Nawaz Sharif told him in a telephonic conversation to pursue Indians to resume bilateral talks. Strangely, this contradicts what Nawaz Sharif’s foreign adviser Sartaj Aziz had said to the visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry earlier. Continue Reading…

Global anti-terror strategy

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By K.N. Pandita

President Barack Obama’s visit to India as the chief guest on our 66th Republic Day parade is an historical occasion to be remembered for long time to come. He is the first US President who came as chief guest on the Republic Day parade and he is also the first US President to visit India twice during his tenure in the office.

For long, political commentators in both the countries and abroad will seriously discuss the results of the visit and the impact of bilateral talks and agreements that have been arrived at in the course of presidential visit. Continue Reading…

Knee-jerks after Peshawar

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By K.N. Pandita

Pakistani nation came together to condemn terrorist attack on school children in Peshawar. Nawaz Sharif called all party meeting and resolved to lift moratorium on capital punishment. Unconfirmed sources say about a thousand terrorists of different hues remain interned in Pakistani jails.

Prime Minster hastened to announce that his government believes there are no good or bad Taliban. He has vowed to eradicate terrorism from Pakistani soil.   Continue Reading…

Putin-Modi dimensional meet

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By K.N. Pandita

This year’s India-Russia two-day annual meet has concluded and President Putin is back in Moscow.

Indian side focused on energy while Russia bid for expansion of trade in Asian Continent, India in particular. Putin wants Indo-Russian trade touch 100 billion dollars a year from present 10 billion dollar. Continue Reading…

Universal Human Rights Day

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By K.N. Pandita

By 1948, the United Nations’ new Human Rights Commission had captured the world’s attention. Under the dynamic chairmanship of Eleanor Roosevelt—President Franklin Roosevelt’s widow, a human rights champion in her own right and the United States’ delegate to the UN—the Commission set out to draft the document we now know as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Roosevelt, credited with its inspiration, referred to the Declaration as the international Magna Carta for all mankind. It was adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948. Ever since, 10 December came to be observed year after year as Human Rights Day.   Continue Reading…

Jihad on way to India

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By K.N. Pandita

In an article titled Ghazavatu’l-Hind: A Matter of Faith published elsewhere, I had cited various ahadith (Arabic plural of hadith meaning traditions come down by word of mouth) handed down by Arab theologians or historians that speak about Muslims enjoined by faith to wage holy war for the conquest of al Hind – India.

Ayman al Zawahari, the lieutenant of Osama bin Laden, has, in recent past, broadcast the scripturally ordained Indian mission of his organization al-Qaeda. He professed to move beyond India— into Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Kashmir in South Asian region. Traditional Muslim historians clubbed all these countries as part of the region known to Arabs as al-Hind, and those living there were called Hindi in Arabic lexicon.   Continue Reading…

Bukhari’s dangerous move

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By K.N. Pandita

The Shahi Imam of Jamia Masjid Delhi is in news. He has stirred a controversy without realizing it could have serious consequences.

He has announced anointment of his son to make him his successor when he is no more in this world. The fundamental question is whether Imamate in Islam is by heredity or by acquisition? An Imam’s son does not become the Imam-regent by virtue of his descent; he becomes Imam by virtue of his scholarship in Islamic studies and his popularity and acceptance among the people of the faith. Continue Reading…