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US desperate in Waziristan hotbed

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By K.N. Pandita,

On 31 December 2008, barely two days after the assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the Pentagon quietly announced approval to the defence giant Lockheed Martin transferring eighteen F-16 warplanes to Pakistan.

The deal had been on tabletop for a long time, and Pakistan had made the payment long back. However, the timing of the announcement did spring surprise in some circles in the US.

The Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joseph Biden said. ” The decision to go ahead with half a billion dollar sale of advance fighter aircraft to Pakistan shows how dangerous misguided President Bush’s policy is. How can the White House even think of green-lighting such a sale at such an incredibly sensitive time? It sends exactly the wrong message to Pakistan Generals and to the Pakistani people. This is the time we should be putting pressure on the government and the military to fully investigate the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, and to hold free and fair elections and not let them off the hook.”

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Letter to the Editor

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To The Excelsior:

Dear Shro Rohmetra Namaskar,

Hope you are fine. As you know, I have long personal association with Excelsior and I have also personal relations with you. I had the great honour of working with Excelsior in the past and I pray for its progress.

For last one year or more I have observed that my articles are not given space in the esteemed paper. This is despite the fact that I have written very good articles without bias and prejudice on international, regional and national issues. Friends have always appreciated my analysis. But why Excelsior has not given them space is not understandable to me. I feel that the editors do not go through the contents carefully and leave it there.

I shall feel happy if Excelsior shows me the same consideration as it has been showing in the past. Friends usually ask me why I dont write in the Excelsior as they would like to read my writings and analysis. It is difficult for me to convince them that I do write but these are not published.

I hope you will  kindly react to this observation and oblige. I attach a piece to this letter. Hopefully I will come to see you personally  next week.

With warm regards,
K.N. Pandita, 19.01.2008.

Ban the bomb

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By K.N. Pandita

Internal situation in Pakistan, an Asian nuclear state, must trigger off a fresh debate on the question of UN imposing wholesale ban on nuclear weapons. Some sensitive circles in the west are already seized of the issue.

Pakistan, a long time military dictatorship, made a couple of attempts to stabilise democracy. It failed. The main reason is the creation of a State on the basis of religion, which did not prove a viable proposition.

With fundamentalist-terrorist combine holding Pakistani civil society a hostage, and the government playing seek and hide with these outfits, the danger of her nuclear arsenal falling in the hands of crusading legions holed up in the NWFP has increased manifold.

There is hardly any confirmation from any reliable source that the US wields control, full or partial, on Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. Washington can and may trust Musharraf’s assurance that Pakistan’s nuclear muscle is in safe hands, but Musharraf himself is far less safe in his position today than at any time in the past.

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