|E D I T O R I A L
P A G E
Friday, October 1, 1999
on seat of power
NOT KASHMIR, IS THE ISSUE
went wrong in East Timor?
Pak mend fences with Central Asia?
October 2, 1924
Attack on seat of power
WEDNESDAY'S multiple blasts on the premises of the Civil Secretariat, Srinagar, is an ominous pointer. In the post Kargil days, daily threats have been issued by the Pakistan army through a large section of the media to the effect that more Kargils are in the offing and the cauldron of terrorism will be kept boiling. It is common knowledge that infiltration has continued despite apparently enhanced vigil on the Line of Control. Remember militancy-rocked Punjab? Until the full assertion of the democratic power of the people, the miscreants ranks did not stop swelling. Local elements gullible, coerced or misguided were exploited by hotheads. There is no let-up in the Pakistani proxy war. There are numerous arms dumps in sensitive parts of the state. One can understand the occurrence of explosions and blasts, say, in Baramulla or in Poonch. But to see the peace in the state capital being rudely breached is to experience a trauma marked by intelligence failure and security lapse. The much-publicised LoC-crossing threat is an action plan aimed at provoking the Indian defenders to take appropriate action. Nothing but force can stop aggressive mobs, secretly armed and supported by mercenaries and the military. Every attempt is being made to scare the government and the people, who have bravely defeated the Pakistani proxy war-mongers. October 4 will be a testing day for the Indian security personnel who have an unblemished reputation as patient and principled protectors of national sovereignty. Are not Wednesdays explosions an odd portent?
Dr Farooq Abdullah, his
ministers and senior bureaucrats sit in the targeted
secretariat. The zone in which it is located has been
provided with high-security wherewithal. And this is not
an onslaught like the previous five attacks on the
heavily guarded building. Six grenades were hurled from a
short distance. The police says that the attackers had
taken their positions in an unknown area.
What part of the state capital is so mysteriously unknown
and without security cover? The time 10.30 a.m
calls the secretariat employees to their seats. It
would be interesting to know how many ministers and
senior bureaucrats were not present at that time in their
offices and why? Perhaps, there are black sheep
among the highly trained security personnel whose list is
expected to be periodically scrutinised. One does not
have to doubt the patriotism of any guard police
or paramilitary. But the police chiefs wisdom in
having a vast number of surrendering insurgents, nearly
one third of whom were employed as Special Police
Officers (SPOs), around the sensitive city or other such
parts of the state must be questioned again as we had
questioned the decision to ignore the practice of
mandatory verification of the antecedents of the
applicants for recruitment as policemen or police
officers. A time-bound enquiry into the latest episode is
Farm exports: the roadblocks
IN the case of economies like that of India, where a large majority of people live in the rural areas, all-round prosperity is almost impossible without satisfactory performance of the agricultural sector. The claim has been made by two experts one is the Chairman of a multinational food giant, Cargill, and the other a Harvard University professor. The claim has the support of a recent study conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute, which brought out that for every increase worth $1 in agricultural output, the economy registers an overall growth worth $2.32 more than 200 per cent. But this can be possible only when there are sufficient opportunities to export agricultural products---of course, keeping in view the domestic compulsions and there are no impediments in the markets abroad. While the government's efforts in India are not as much encouraging as these should be, the major challenge comes from developed countries which have erected insurmountable trade barriers. This is despite the post-Uruguay Round discussions to accord concessions to exports from developing and less developed countries. The developed countries have not only high tariff peaks but also massive domestic support and subsidy packages for their own exports to successfully compete with exports from developing and less developed countries. In such a situation the cause of agricultural growth in the less privileged countries is bound to suffer. This disturbing scenario finds mention in the latest Trade and Development Report of UNCTAD (short for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) in great detail.
The UNCTAD report refers
to India's stand on the issuethat such anti-poor
restrictions have no justification in view of the
multilateral trade negotiations held in the pastand
seeks the removal of the roadblocks hindering the growth
of agriculture-based exports from the disadvantaged areas
of the world. The other day leaders of the Asia Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC), representing 21 countries,
denounced the export barriers existing in the developed
world and forcefully demanded their demolition with the
help of the World Trade Organisation. They proposed a new
round of world-level negotiations with a broad-based
agenda to ensure "timely and effective improvements
in market access for the benefit of all participating
economies". India must renew its efforts in this
respect because it cannot improve the lot of the
peoplethe majority being in the rural
areasunless its agricultural sector grows at a much
TERRORISM, NOT KASHMIR, IS THE
TRANS-BORDER terrorism is the core issue, and not Kashmir. I have been hammering away at this point in my writings for quite some time. I have also conveyed this one-liner to a number of political leaders, including Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. Here the objective is to put the question of terrorism in proper focus. For, the trigger-happy militants have not only shattered normalcy in Kashmir and other parts of the country but have also posed a grave threat to the very survival of democratic nations the world over.
Unless proper notice is taken of the forces aiding and abetting the terrorist groups and ways and means are evolved to counter them, we will be fighting a losing battle against Islamic fundamentalism and the Taliban groups operating freely from across the border as also in other parts of the globe.
The problem of terrorism cannot be wished away by adopting high-sounding resolutions at UN fora. Nor can it be handled successfully without the requisite political will. India, as a suffering nation at the hands of different terrorist groups, mostly sponsored by outside agencies, cannot afford to take the problem lightly. It has to view it in its totality not only in terms of domestic policies but also vis-a-vis our diplomatic and economic relations with the outside world.
Terrorism cannot be viewed in isolation. It has to be seen as a major threat to the very existence of India as a nation. Unless we realise the gravity of the problem we are faced with, we will not be able to take appropriate methods to tackle it. A number of points have to be borne in mind.
One, it is absolutely necessary that we reorganise and further strengthen our internal and external intelligence-gathering networks. Their performance has been far from satisfactory. This has been evident in recent years not only with regard to the Kargil misadventure by Pakistan-supported intruders but also in other areas in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in the country.
There is something wrong both with the approach of and the sort of people manning these organisations. Their working is unprofessional. This is now widely acknowledged by experts. The increasing politicisation and bureaucratisation of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and other related agencies operating at different levels at the Centre and in the states have only made things worse.
A professional response alone can improve matters in this sensitive area. We can easily learn from the working of certain foreign agencies, including the CIA and the FBI.
The moot point is: are we ready and willing to thoroughly overhaul the system? Of course, the final answer rests with the next government to be formed at the Centre. However, whichever government comes to power, it must put the problem of terrorism on the top of its agenda. What is required here is basic honesty and not the competitive game of misinformation and disinformation periodically indulged in by various interest groups connected with national security.
We have already seen how different agencies have blamed one another on the failures on the Kargil front. To indulge in half lies and quarter truths can only harm the nation's interests.
Two, it is equally vital to work out social and political strategies to identify and flush out the groups who thrive on gun and money power under the patronage of outside agencies. Regular monitoring has to be done of the money flowing into their coffers. Why do such elements get protection and political patronage? I am raising this question to emphasise the point that the people must force the authorities to take corrective steps to strike at the anti-national forces ruthlessly.
We cannot afford to be a soft state. The nation has to toughen its will and do proper house-keeping. It is no secret that for every untoward incident, we blame the ISI. Why do our intelligence agencies, paramilitary forces and the police fail to detect such elements? Whatever work has been done in this regard is not adequate, looking at the dimension of the problem we are faced with.
Three, active global cooperation among like-minded nations is very essential to effectively tackle the problem of terrorism. One silver lining in this area has been the growing cooperation between India and the USA. External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh deserves praise for the way he has been able to bring America around during his talks with the US Secretary of State, Ms Madeleine Albright.
Both New Delhi and Washington have taken a serious note of international terrorist Osama bin Laden's threat directed against the world's two largest democracies. To meet the challenge, they have also agreed to coordinate their efforts to combat terrorism, specially emanating from the Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan. In this context, Mrs Albright has rightly stressed the need for concerted action since both India and the USA happen to be in the "exclusive club" of the countries threatened by Bin Laden. What is required now is to transform this expression of cooperation into a concrete plan of action.
It needs to be appreciated that the Taliban stands for the antithesis of democracy. It does not believe in dialogue, in discussion or in consent. It does not believe in representative government.
Today Washington frowns upon the policies of the Taliban and Pakistan's support to fundamentalists. But, with what result? The Taliban defies Washington. It has launched a "jehad" against the USA as well as India.
America could have anticipated all these problems when it was helping in the creation of this monster. But it did not. After the rout of the Russians in Afghanistan, these mercenaries could have been provided alternative jobs once they were demobilised. But neither Washington nor Islamabad had any such plans.
In fact, fearing repercussions within Pakistan, Islamabad decided to deploy them in Kashmir, thus creating a major problem for India. For the past 15 years or so India has been the victim of these killers. In fact, the fundamentalists would have turned the valley into an area for a Talibanese experiment had it not been for the Indian Army.
Kargil must have come as an eye-opener to Washington. Perhaps this explains why it has changed its line of thinking. But this is not enough. There must be prompt coordinated global moves to destroy the "sources" funding and supporting terrorism. Without America's cooperation, this cannot be a success.
The priority in this regard has to be total elimination of the training camps being run under the sponsorship of Pakistan and Bin Laden. This has to be a major area of operation. How far the authorities in New Delhi and Washington can go to accomplish this task is difficult to say at this juncture. But it needs to be appreciated that there can be no half-way house if we are serious about tackling the problem in this region and beyond.
The key country here is Pakistan, the home of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism for over half a century. Can India and the USA come up with a joint strategy vis-a-vis Pakistan and the Taliban and the terrorist groups operating in the region. They are, after all, providing material help for spreading regional and global terrorism in the name of Islam. Needless to say that this is also affecting vital strategic and economic interests of the USA in this region as well as in Central Asia and other parts of the world.
The challenge before Washington is how to make Islamabad give up its plans to spread trans-border terrorism and work in cooperation with this country. The Kashmir question cannot be viewed in terms of outdated UN resolutions and hackneyed theories. It has to be seen as a problem which has acquired monstrous proportions because of Islamabad-sponsored terrorism and Islamic fundamentalist forces which are out to ruin the basic Kashmiriyat for which the people of Kashmir are known.
Once the terrorist elements are eliminated from the valley and other parts of the state, everything will fall in line. Thereafter, it will be possible to have a meaningful dialogue with Islamabad to settle all outstanding issues bedevilling the relations between the two nations. This basic point must be appreciated by the world community and the US Congressmen who try to see the subcontinent with coloured glasses, being swayed by Islamabad's propaganda.
In this context, the suggestion by some of them for the appointment of a special envoy for Kashmir is ill-conceived and mischievous. The State Department and the Chairman of the International Relations Committee of the US House of Representatives have, mercifully, rejected the advice.
It will indeed be
self-defeating for the US leaders to see the Kashmir
issue without understanding the havoc that Islamabad has
caused in the subcontinent by its hit-and-run game of
terrorism and export of Islamic fundamentalism.
What went wrong in East
THE August 30 referendum in East Timor, with a 78.5 per cent vote for independence from Indonesia (from a 98 per cent-plus voter turnout, let loose a reign of terror by the pro-integration militias in that territory. Obviously, all the killings, destruction and forcible displacement of people couldnt have occurred without the involvement of the Indonesian army.
The obvious question: why did Jakarta act as a terribly sore loser when it had agreed, in the first place, to a UN referendum (called an act of consultation) offering the choice of autonomy or independence to East Timor? The simple answer is that Jakarta hoped to control and direct the referendum process to favour integration. Apparently, it was part of President B.J. Habibies on-going attempts to create a democratic image for himself internationally to shoreup his domestic position. As a protege of the discredited former President Suharto, he was a tainted figure. He, therefore, sought to strengthen his position through the international approval of his seemingly democratic credentials.
East Timor, a former Portuguese colony annexed forcibly by Jakarta in December, 1975, had never been recognised internationally as Indonesias sovereign territory. Its record of oppression had generally brought international opprobrium on Indonesia. A democratic initiative of a popular referendum was likely to win Mr Habibie respectability and kudos abroad. Therefore, when Prime Minister John Howard of Australia suggested in a letter, last December, that President Habibie might consider granting long-term autonomy to East Timor through an act of self-determination, it led him to do some re-thinking. His first instinctive reaction was to reject the Australian proposal. But soon after that he decided to even outdo Canberra by offering to hold a referendum for autonomy or independence in East Timor.
After Suhartos fall in 1998, East Timor became an important issue for Australia because of a vocal domestic constituency in its favour. Canberra had long ago recognised Indonesian sovereignty over East Timor for political and strategic reasons. But it had never been a popular move at home, and tended to prop up now and then as a thorn in Canberra-Jakarta relations. Though, because of the largely bipartisan nature of Australias Indonesian policy, Canberra had managed to keep East Timor under wraps. But with Indonesia in flux and ferment, this option wasnt likely to be available for long. Which led Mr Howard to write his letter to Mr Habibie and court popular support at home.
In his letter, Mr Howard didnt advocate independence for East Timor. Indeed, he said that its inclusion in Indonesia had best served the interests of Australia, Indonesia and East Timor. But it would help if, like the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia, it were granted long-term autonomy till the final determination of its status sometime into the future. And who knows it might even result in its willing amalgamation into Indonesia! Indeed, this would have been the ideal solution for Australia as it wasnt too keen on picking up the tab for, what many considered, a non-viable independent East Timor.
In mid-seventies Australia had acquiesced in Jakartas annexation of East Timor as a convenient solution to an otherwise uncertain and unstable new nation emerging in its neighbourhood. The guerrilla movement fighting for its independence was believed to be left-oriented, and might create strategic problems in the midst of an ongoing Cold War. Indonesia, on the other hand, was anti-communist to the boot and a natural strategic partner. Australia was, therefore, relieved that Jakarta was willing to take on the strategic burden of controlling and administering East Timor. The new arrangement suited both countries. Their shared strategic understanding thus forged on East Timor contributed significantly to a further maturing of friendly relations between Indonesia and Australia, leading, in 1995, to the signing of a bilateral defence pact.
It was not surprising then that President Habibies first reaction to Mr John Howards letter in late 1998 was quite negative. But it soon dawned on him, from his Indonesian perspective, that Jakarta had actually been doing Australia and East Timor a favour by governing the territory. It had financially and strategically underwritten this province for so many years. And had also developed its infrastructure after Portugal had abandoned East Timor as a timeless backwater.
Apparently stung by Australias ingratitude, Mr Habibies referendum proposal was, therefore, supposed to put Canberra on the spot, with all it would entail in terms of its relations with Jakarta and the costs (political, strategic and economic) of supporting a non-viable independent state of East Timor. While the offer of autonomy or independence was supposed to furbish Mr Habibies democratic image abroad, he probably thought this could be done without having to pay the price of quitting East Timor. Somewhere along the line, the referendum process, which had multiple stages to go, was likely to flounder.
But Indonesias military brass had serious reservations about their Presidents new initiative on East Timor. To them, the only way to ensure a desired result for continued integration was the old policy of terror, which led to the formation of army-sponsored, recruited and trained militias, and the ensuing reign of terror in the territory. It was only after the UN personnel moved in to organise the referendum that the people of East Timor started to feel some sense of confidence to exercise their right of vote. The UN had assured them safety and security.
But there was no UN armed presence on the island, as Jakarta wanted policing and security tasks to be done by its own forces. And it not only failed to do its duty but also allowed marauding militias to wreak havoc on East Timor and its people for their audacity to reject integration. Indeed, there had been clear warnings from militias and some army quarters that a vote for independence would result in massive retaliation. It was, therefore, grossly irresponsible for the UN to risk peoples lives by organising a referendum in East Timor without the necessary peacekeeping forces to protect them.
At the Australian end, when the reports of the post-referendum mayhem (Foreign Minister Downer described it as holocaust) started to hit the television screens, there was a groundswell of popular hysteria demanding immediate action to stop Indonesian atrocities and destruction. With the issue becoming a hot potato in domestic politics, the government stepped up efforts to put together a UN-mandated international force for peace-enforcement with Australia as its leader.
The images of Australian
forces readying for action across the ocean, with
enthusiastic farewell from Prime Minister John Howard and
Leader of the Opposition Kim Beazley, gave the impression
in Indonesia of an invading force headed for East Timor.
Not surprisingly, Indonesia was witnessing an upsurge of
nationalist revival. It scrapped its defence pact with
Canberra; the latter calling it irrelevant anyway.
THERE is only one thing in the world, said Oscar Wilde, worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
The world would indeed be a dreary place to live in without a little gossip to relieve the boredom of ones daily chores. That cosy chat over the telephone between two wives whose husbands are at work. The whispered conversation at a cocktail party about whose marriage is on the rocks and why. The confidential information that someone in the Cabinet is shortly to be given a gubernatorial appointment (to get rid of him.) The estimated worth of someone in terms of black money.
The titbits concerning the British royal family published in an unauthorised biography. The off-the-screen goings-on of Bollywood stars read in a film magazine. Or the topic discussed by the intelligentsia may be the previously unknown facts about a famous author picked up from a book about him published after his death. How many people, for example, knew that both Somerset Maugham and E.M. Forster were homosexuals?
There is, of course, good gossip and bad gossip. The first has an enlivening quality that is meant to amuse or intrigue us. The second is aimed at harming the reputation of someone who is not there to defend himself, or herself.
Because of the second, gossip has acquired a bad name whereas, in several ways, it is a vital part of living.
The trouble is that there are too many practitioners of the art. Almost everybody, unless he is a recluse living in the upper reaches of the Himalayas, has something to say about somebody else. And bad gossip, once started, spreads like a forest fire. As each listener passes it on to the next he (or she) adds a little masala to it so that after the fourth or fifth retelling the story assumes a magnitude that does irreparable damage to the name of the person concerned.
In 19th century England there was the famous case of Lady Flora Hastings, lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria, whose shape began mysteriously to alter. Court gossip attributed the change to her having travelled down from Balmoral to London on a night sleeper with a doctor. As her stomach grew larger and larger, the Queen dismissed her from court. It was found later that the poor womans condition was due to a tumour. The Queen had the graciousness to send her an apology. But the damage had been done, and Lady Flora died a spinster.
How does one describe good gossip?
The closest I have seen
to an apt definition read like this: It is the sort
of thing you would not say about someone to his face, but
if you were to, he would not really be angry. He would
turn away with a wry smile.
Will Pak mend fences with Central
ONE can never be sure. But it will be absurd to believe that the vast majority of Pakistanis will be willing to make economic sacrifices for Islamisation. Neither past realities nor future compulsions lead to the conclusion that Pakistanis will go for anything but their prosperity.
Pakistan has never been a viable economic state: it has little natural resources: it has never been free from crisis. At present, it is going through one. Will Pakistan come out unscathed? Or, will it collapse?
Remittances from the Gulf, Saudi assistance and IMF loans these have kept the Pak economy afloat. It has been said of the Pakistan budget that it is one-third remittances, one-third revenue and one-third IMF loans. Shows the precariousness of the economic situation.
But Pakistan has been a lucky nation. Ever since 1953, it has been receiving economic and military assistance from the USA.
Perhaps, the first lucky break came with the decision of the Bangladeshis to break loose from Pakistan (East Pakistan was a liability to West Pakistan). The petrodollar boom of the early seventies and the spurt in Arab economies provided the second break. Millions of unemployed Pakistanis found jobs in the Gulf. This not only solved the unemployment problem to some extent but also the foreign exchange crisis as well.
Then came Zia-ul-Haq and his Islamisation. The USA cut off aid during this period. And, as ill-luck would have it, remittances stagnated. But Pakistan was again lucky. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan put Pakistan back in clover. It brought enormous economic and military benefits. As a conduit for arms and economic assistance to the Afghan Mujahideen, Pakistan was able to divert considerable resources for its own use, such as mounting a proxy war against India.
This sunshine continued till 1990. But after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, foreign aid to Pakistan dried up. Pakistan had to fall back on Saudi and IMF assistance. But this time Pakistan had to accept the package of IMF reforms. And one of the conditions was to cut defence expenditure. This created a major problem for Nawaz Sharif. And IMF wanted to close down all uneconomic industrial units and cut the size of the bloated bureaucracy. All these adversely affected the support base of Sharif. He was, therefore, reluctant to comply. And yet Pakistan needed major reforms social, economic and administrative in order to overcome the crisis. There was no other way. Thus Pakistan was forced to close down over 3,000 small scale units.
The US economic sanctions, following nuclear explosions by India and Pakistan, have hurt Pakistan more than India. While Indias large economy was resilient enough to absorb the shock, that of Pakistan was not. And the IMF was not willing to release the loans before Pakistan carried out the reforms. Then, there was the continuing expense of the proxy war, although it was partly met with drug trade proceed. By the way, the world is yet to know the economic fallout of the drug trade on Pakistan.
The present crisis has demonstrated that remittances and Saudi help are not enough to keep the Pak economy afloat. It needs continuous international aid. Already Pakistan is heavily in debt to international creditors (of late, it is being rescheduled) and as the debt mounts creditors are unwilling to give more credits. The terms and conditions for loans are becoming tougher.
Once Pakistan had food surplus. Now it has to import wheat. And this is going to be a permanent feature of Pakistans life.
There is no doubt that Pakistans economic performance was better than that of India earlier. India has now overtaken Pakistan in most of the development indices as per the World Development Report 1998. It is true, the figures do not project a true picture. If the figures are based on purchasing power and not on the GNP, India will appear in a far better light.
What about the economic prospects? Pakistan has a higher birth rate of 5.1 as against Indias 3.1. By 2050 the population of Pakistan is expected to be 500 million. At this level of population, Pakistan will become heavily dependent on food import. An average Pakistani looks better, is fed better, and clothed better than an average Indian. There is no stark poverty in Pakistan. But corruption and violence are rampant and endemic. Pakistan has one of the worst human rights records.
In the years to come, Arab oil producers will be less willing and able to subsidise Pakistan. This is true of even Saudi Arabia. They have to conserve their resources in order to survive.
It is in this context that we have to take into account US plans to open up Central Asia, which is vital for continuing American leadership of the world. One US project is for the construction of a gas pipeline from Central Asia through Afghanistan, Pakistan to India and the Indian Ocean. This will give Pakistan an enormous fee. Will this not change the outlook of Pakistan. As India will be the major user of this gas, surely Pakistan cannot pursue an anti-India policy. These are issues Pakistan can no more ignore.
The opening up of the old Silk Route has reduced the economic significance of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The route has enormous economic significance. Funds for the completion of the route are being provided by the European Union and Asian Development Bank. About 30 nations are involved in this project, which shows its importance. The new Silk Route links Central Asia with Europe via the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.
Pakistan cannot be indifferent to the Silk Route, which can bring immense benefits to it. But to link South Asia with the Silk Route, there is only one route through Kashmir. This explains why Pakistan is desperate to annex Kashmir. India will not permit it. Will economic compulsions make Pakistan see reason?
Central Asia is going to be the most dynamic region in the early part of the next century. It will need men and materials. Can Pakistan take advantage of this boom? This is hardly possible, for it is suspect in the eyes of the Central Asians. If it wants to benefit from Central Asia, it has to change its ways.
The only viable option for Pakistan is to act as a gateway of Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. But, then, Central Asia has the option to use the Iranian route. Pakistans advantages are rapidly diminishing.
However, Pakistan is in no position to play a dog in the manger role, as it had done before in the case of the Asian Highway linking South Asia and South-East Asia under ESCAP auspices and the Asia-EU rail network linking India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Europe. Both these rail and road routes avoid Afghanistan and enter Iran through Pakistan. Will this bring the Taliban to its senses?
These road and rail links are already in an advanced stage of negotiation. Work has already begun on some sections.
Thus, Pakistan is in no position to oppose these international efforts to improve trade. It is all part of the globalisation process. All that Pakistan can do is to fall in line and take advantage of these new prospects.
It is for Pakistan to
make the choice. If it decides to go with international
efforts, the benefits can be great. But, then, no more
Talibanisation of Pakistan. If, however, it chooses to
block the international effort, it will have to pay a
heavy price for its intransigent ways. The choice seems
WHAT effect the assumption by the Grand Duke Cyril of the title of Tsar will have either upon the national or the international position of Russia it is perhaps too early to speculate.
On the face of it, it does not look probable that any section of the Russian people would, after the unparalleled sacrifices of the last few years, show an inclination to revert to the old order of things, and the very fact that the Grand Duke resides and proposes to continue to reside in Germany invests his assumption of the imperial title with a somewhat farcical character.
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