Friday, July 7, 2000,
Chandigarh, India






THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
E D I T O R I A L   P A G E


EDITORIALS


It is “tiger-slaughter”
THE death of at least 10 tigers at the famous Nandankanan Zoo in Orissa has given animal lovers an issue which deserves serious discussion. Chief Minister Navin Patnaik convened a "high-level meeting" of experts and even visited the zoo, evidently to sustain a tradition, established by political leaders, which in effect serves no purpose.

A relic on the way out
ARELIC of the planned economic development era, the Monopoly and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTP) Act is awaiting imminent demise, along with the Commission set up under it. Its unpopularity with businessmen of all types is only matched by its ineffectiveness during all the past three decades. 

ROOTS OF KASHMIR PROBLEM
Time to learn from past follies
by Hari Jaisingh
JAMMU AND KASHMIR Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah is caught in a web of his own making. Autonomy is not as simple an issue as he thinks it to be. It is a highly complicated matter which cannot be viewed through simplistic angularities. In fact, Dr Abdullah has had the taste of his own rhetoric right in the Ladakh region where the local people have raised the banner of revolt against this demand. Even the people in Jammu are agitated, and understandably so.


EARLIER ARTICLES
 
OPINION

Fruitful visit to Russia

by M. L. Madhu
“Sovereign India can develop its relations with any country it likes”.
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov
THE above given quotation is the answer of the Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov to a question asked by a correspondent in the joint press conference of India’s External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh and Mr Ivanov during Mr Singh’s recent official visit to Moscow. The question was — After the visit of President Bill Clinton the relations between India and the USA have improved. Does it in any way reflect adversely on Indo-Russian relations?


WORLD IN FOCUS

Only EU can checkmate USA

By M.S.N. Menon
IT was good of the EU Parliament to invite India for an annual summit talk. The 15-member EU, with a share of 40 per cent of the world trade, is today the most important economic partner of India. By 2010, the EU may have a membership of 25-30. It will then move further to the Left and gain a decisive voice in the global economy.

Pak missile programme Ďadvancedí
ISLAMABAD (IANS): Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar has said that the country’s missile programme is sufficiently advanced and is not at present receiving any cooperation from China.



Top



 

 



 

It is “tiger-slaughter”

THE death of at least 10 tigers at the famous Nandankanan Zoo in Orissa has given animal lovers an issue which deserves serious discussion. Chief Minister Navin Patnaik convened a "high-level meeting" of experts and even visited the zoo, evidently to sustain a tradition, established by political leaders, which in effect serves no purpose. The damage has been done. Seven of the 10 victims of a combination of illness and medical neglect belonged to the rare species of white tigers. The number of deaths may go up because even the Director of Project Tiger was not too optimistic about saving the lives of another six critically ill tigers. They were given the same anti-viral medication which was administered to the dead tigers. On the basis of available information a case of "tiger-slaughter" can be made out against those responsible for the well-being of the animals at Nandankanan, a favourite destination of international wildlife experts. The zoo is globally popular because it has the world's largest collection of tigers. It is among the few zoos in the country which is entitled to global funding for the conservation of white tigers, which is on the endangered list of animals. That is the reason why the tragedy at Nandankanan deserves a wider debate. It may help experts and ordinary animal lovers to understand the depth and scale of neglect of the basic needs of animals and birds at what is touted as the country's top national zoological park. If this is the state of affairs at the "best" zoo in the country, the plight of animals living in captivity at other zoos is bound to be worse. The first tiger died of blood infection on June 23 and yet the zoo authorities took no measures to stop the infection from spreading. A shot of berenil, an antibiotic, was believed to be responsible for the death. Yet the vets persisted with the same line of treatment when the blood infection took the form an epidemic among the tiger population at the zoo.

The Nandankanan episode has also exposed the lack of coordination and interest in sharing medical notes and maintaining case files of serious illness among zoo animals. Four tigers had died at Nandankanan under similar circumstances four years ago. The medical factors responsible for the deaths of tigers in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Patna over three decades ago too were similar in nature to the ones which seem to have caused the deaths at Nandankanan. But the vets had no clue about how to contain the epidemic and save the lives of the suffering from blood infection. Of course, those responsible for not being able to save the lives of the tigers at the zoo should be punished. At the same time, the authorities concerned should pay heed to the suggestion from wildlife experts that the number of zoological parks in the country should be drastically reduced. Zoos are not serving the purpose - that of providing an opportunity for studying the behaviour of animals generally found in the wild - for which they were established. Circus-owners are under pressure to cut out the performances involving animals from their shows because of the element of cruelty involved in their training plus the fact that the ferocious animals like tigers and lions are kept in cramped cages. Roadside animal performances too have been banned because they too violate the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Most zoos in the country too would fail to pass the PCA test. Therefore, the better option would be to set up centres for the protection and rearing of only endangered species of animals to be run by top professionals. Instead of maintaining ill-equipped zoos, where the animals are ill-treated both by visitors and keepers, the focus should shift to preserving their natural habitats for them to roam and breed freely in harmony with the laws of nature.
Top

 

A relic on the way out

ARELIC of the planned economic development era, the Monopoly and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTP) Act is awaiting imminent demise, along with the Commission set up under it. Its unpopularity with businessmen of all types is only matched by its ineffectiveness during all the past three decades. This is the reason why the recommendation for its winding up by the Competition Policy Commission headed by Mr S.V.S. Raghavan did not provoke any protest from any quarter; business newspapers hailed this proposal. Even now when the government has let it be known that it is ready with a draft to bury it, there is no one to shed tears. It was set up in a radically different milieu when the government was keen on encouraging state-owned monopolies (under the Industries Development and Regulations Act, 1951) and erecting several laws to restrict the growth of the private sector. The MRTP Act was expected to intimidate and rein in the big baddies from running amuck. But after the initial bout of exuberance, faith in such an approach weakened and persons openly sceptical of excessive boost to import substitution and the corresponding protection to indigenous units came to guide the Commission. No doubt it evoked more laughter than fear.

It is not as though only the MRTP Commission is slated for early closure; with it will disappear a clutch of laws and institutions which reflect the old philosophy. From now on the emphasis will be on protecting consumer interests and not limiting the size of manufacturing and trading houses. Consumer courts and the apex tribunal are taking care of private complaints much more efficiently and promptly than the old commission ever did, and the government is actively encouraging mergers and acquisitions in the name of economies of scale and concentrating on core competence. Thus the old mindset and legal framework have no place in today’s scheme of things. But two things stand out. The government is trying to slur over the mounting pressure from multinational corporations, which is at the bottom of the new policy. Not only on the present government but on the successive ones since the liberalisation year 1991. The argument is two-pronged: liberalisation and globalisation wither away in a restrictive environment and the WTO rules bristle at all such structures. The focus should be on ensuring fair competition through a competition regulatory commission. In other words, the idea is to foster competition and not smother initiative.

Another reform move will affect the labour and hence the utmost secrecy on the draft taking shape in the Law and Labour Ministries. The aim is ostensibly to improve the working conditions of contract labour, the backbone of several industries. It is said they are an exploited lot, forced to part with a good part of their wages to the contractor and not having any other rights either. So the new Act will banish all these things by permitting an employer to directly engage workers on contract. Neat? The problem is that this approach has another name: exit policy. A non-contract worker too will have only those rights that a contract labourer has, or the whole employment system will shift to the hire-and-fire mode. Labour unions are waiting for some official indication before setting off the alarm bells. Incidentally, such a law already operates in the newly established special economic zones.
Top

 

ROOTS OF KASHMIR PROBLEM
Time to learn from past follies
by Hari Jaisingh

JAMMU AND KASHMIR Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah is caught in a web of his own making. Autonomy is not as simple an issue as he thinks it to be. It is a highly complicated matter which cannot be viewed through simplistic angularities. In fact, Dr Abdullah has had the taste of his own rhetoric right in the Ladakh region where the local people have raised the banner of revolt against this demand. Even the people in Jammu are agitated, and understandably so.

Do these developments worry him? Perhaps not. He has been playing to the gallery to rehabilitate himself in the valley politics. He has probably succeeded in this gambit, but in the process has helped the Hurriyat to come into focus. It can pose a major challenge to Dr Farooq Abdullah who continues to be vulnerable in the murky politics of Kashmir.

Like his father, Dr Abdullah is a good orator. His dramatics are well known. He knows how to play with the people’s emotions. However, what the Chief Minister has failed to grasp is the erosion of his popularity base in the two regions of the state as well as in the rest of the country.

It is no secret that the Ladakhis have lived under the shadow of highly volatile valley politics. They have remained a neglected lot because of the discriminatory attitude adopted against them by the authorities in Srinagar.

The rulers generally see things through set angles of the valley politics. They also tend to communalize issues and non-issues. What is regrettable is that Central leaders remain mere spectators to innumerable bizarre goings-on in the name of secularism!

In a way, secularism has become a dirty word in politics. It has been used by vested interests to promote petty communal interests. Even some of the known communal persons have thrived in the Indian system by putting on a secular mask!

The communal card apart, the autonomy issue has often been raised by the valley politicians as part of their competitive politics. Small wonder that Dr Abdullah has managed to bring himself to the centrestage of Kashmir politics. But at what cost? He has virtually given a new lease of life to the All-Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC). It is a matter of time when the Hurriyat leaders openly challenge him. Where will he then turn to? Dr Abdullah needs to realise that he must not waver on the basic issue of working harmoniously with the Centre within the existing constitutional and political framework.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s message is clear and categorical: “There is no going back to the pre-1953 position in Kashmir”. I wish the Central leaders were more alive to the situation than has been the case. Their response system is either slow or lopsided or both.

As for the Chief Minister, it is in his interest to tackle the forces of fundamentalism and foreign mercenaries in close cooperation with the security forces. At stake is the future of Kashmir. It must not be allowed to become a plaything of the various interest groups operating freely in the valley.

Of course, the people’s emotions can be exploited either way. They can be incited for and against India. Most politicians in Kashmir play such games. Even Sheikh Abdullah was no exception.

Looking back, it is a fact that Dr Farooq Abdullah is following in the footsteps of his father. The ethnic policy then pursued by the Sheikh helped the growth of fundamentalism.

In the pre-1947 days, the Sunnis, the dominant group in the valley, constituted half the population. The rest was made up of Hindus and Shias. Even today, there are about a million Shias in the state. While the Shias were engaged in handicrafts, the Sunnis dominated agriculture but mainly as landless cultivators. The Hindus were either landlords or employees of the state administration.

Being a Sunni, Sheikh Abdullah was often accused of being partial to his sect. He introduced land reforms soon after assuming power in 1947. Fine. But, ironically, he denied compensation to Hindu landlords.

The Sheikh was obviously partial to the Sunnis. He was surely a proud Kashmiri. He played a major role in evolving the ethnic identity of the Kashmiris, broadly called Kashmiriat. This identity does not have much to do with their ancient culture. His aim was mainly to isolate the Kashmiri Muslims from other Muslims. For this purpose, he adopted four different methods: (i) isolated the Jammu Muslims (mostly Punjabi-speaking and pro-Pakistan); (ii) prevailed upon Nehru not to cross Uri during the advance of the Indian Army (for beyond Uri lay regions where the Muslims were anti-Sheikh); (iii) denied refugee status to non-Muslims who migrated from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to the valley (they were forcibly marched off to Jammu from the valley); and (iv) opposed the secularisation of the Kashmiri Muslim society.

Interestingly, the Sheikh was even ready to rehabilitate Muslims from Central Asia in the valley, but not the Hindu refugees from Punjab. In the early 1950s, the Sheikh invited 5,000 Kazakh Muslims to settle in the valley.

Again, in the late 1950s, when the Dalai Lama fled Tibet, the Sheikh invited the Tibetan Muslims to come and settle in Kashmir. But he refused to allow even a single Tibetan Buddhist refugee to settle in the valley, not even in Ladakh. So much for the Sheikh’s secularism!

During the 1977-82 period, the Sheikh tried his best to undermine the authority of the Centre in the state. Among other things, he opposed the appointment of IAS officers in the State and disallowed Income Tax Department officers to work. He encouraged the opening of Jamaat-e-Islami schools and liberally allowed the use of foreign money to finance certain fundamentalist bodies.

It may be worth recalling the assessment of the Janata Party (J&K unit) about the National Conference as was reflected in the former’s poll manifesto in 1977. It stated candidly:

“The Kashmir nobobs resorted to blackmailing the Central leaders to achieve their personal ends and would raise, at times, the slogan of plebiscite and right of self-determination if the Central leadership slightly tried to resist the fulfilment of their extravagant ambitions. The unprincipled self-seekers had one purpose in mind: to amass wealth, whether coming from indigenous sources or from foreign countries.” (Pyare Lal Kaul, Crisis in Kashmir, p. 143).

Though the players have changed, it is, more or less, the same setting even after 18 years. The Indian tragedy is that our leaders hardly learn from history. In the absence of consistent policies and strategies, they try to thrive on ad hocism. They also lack a broad vision and the political will to set things right.

The Sheikh died in September, 1982. Before his death he made his son, Dr Farooq Abdullah, the President of the National Conference, and asked the Kashmiris to place their trust in him, for, he said, his son would accomplish what he had not been able to.

It must be said that at one stage Jawaharlal Nehru did try to help Sheikh Abdullah. But before his death, the Indian Prime Minister realised that the Sheikh had been playing games.

B. N. Mullik, then head of the Intelligence Bureau, has recorded Nehru’s reaction in his book. He wrote:

“Suddenly to our utter surprise, Pt. Nehru started talking bitterly against Sheikh Abdullah’s communalism (at a Cabinet Committee meeting). He traced the Sheikh’s history from 1930 onwards and mentioned how he had started his career with the Muslim Conference, which was an out and out communal organisation. He said that as a result of pressures from outside and seeing developments of the State people’s movement in the rest of India and for purely tactical reasons and probably on the advice of some of his more liberal followers, the Sheikh had converted the Muslim Conference to give it a non-communal appearance. At this time, Pandit Nehru suddenly looked at me and enquired whether I had not come across some information of possible British connivance in that movement (Muslim Conference). I replied in the affirmative.”

Mullik further wrote: “He continued his talk against the Sheikh and mentioned all his communal activities throughout the period he had acted as the National Conference leader. It was the Pakistan aggression which had mellowed him a little for a short time, because the tribesmen had committed gruesome atrocities on the Muslim population in the valley. But as soon as he became the Prime Minister, he came out in his true colours, praised Bakshi and Sadiq for their completely non-communal outlook.... Pandit Nehru said that all the trouble in Kashmir was due to the Sheikh’s communal outlook and it was he who was not allowing the state to settle down to peace and stability” (B.N. Mullik, My Years with Nehru, p.134).

Nothing much has changed. As already stated, the old players have been replaced by new ones. If anything, things have got further complicated because of the free play of foreign hands, mainly Pakistan. In fact, over a long period we have tied ourselves into a knot. This has happened mainly because we have not evolved a policy which is in the country’s interest. Things can certainly be set right if we learn from our past mistakes and give up marketing ad hoc responses as policy matters.
Top

 

Fruitful visit to Russia
by M. L. Madhu

“Sovereign India can develop its relations with any country it likes”.
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov

THE above given quotation is the answer of the Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov to a question asked by a correspondent in the joint press conference of India’s External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh and Mr Ivanov during Mr Singh’s recent official visit to Moscow. The question was — After the visit of President Bill Clinton the relations between India and the USA have improved. Does it in any way reflect adversely on Indo-Russian relations?

The answer was quite short, simple and assuring — India is a great sovereign country and can develop its relations with any country it likes. When looked from the present day world situation, Mr Ivanov’s statement seems quite logical and befitting a seasoned diplomat. After all, gone are the days of cold war and the division of the world in two confronting camps. Russia itself is keen and trying hard to develop its relations with the USA and the West. Why should it then feel unhappy or hurt if India or any other country does the same in its own interests?

Theoretically it is so, but practically sometimes some misunderstandings can crop up and reflect adversely on the long and healthy traditions of friendship and fruitful cooperation even between very close friends. It is, therefore, not only desirable but absolutely necessary that the leaders of the two countries meet from time to time, review the various aspects of bilateral relations, remove hurdles and misunderstandings; if any, and create the possibility of achieving new levels of proximity. President Putin’s forthcoming visits to India in October this year is likely to have great significance for our two countries.

Mr Jaswant Singh’s official visit will help in preparing the necessary basis and important ground for the Indo-Russian summit. The two Foreign Ministers discussed almost all the aspects of our bilateral relations, including the question of the release of the five Russian pilots serving life imprisonment in India. Mr Jaswant Singh assured Mr Ivanov that he was personally looking into this matter and keeping in view the Indian law and security regulations all the necessary steps will be taken to solve this problem. During his meeting with the Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Mr Sergei Ivanov, the problem of terrorism, narcotics, and illegal migration etc figured prominently. Religious extremism, terrorism and border security concerns are of equal importance for the two countries. The question of terrorism was raised and discussed in the joint press conference of the two Foreign Ministers also.

In this connection, it will be quite relevant to mention that the leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) held a one-day summit in the Kremlin on June 21, to discuss the alarming problem of terrorism, especially taking a serious form after the Taliban victory in the neighbouring Afghanistan. Most of the states, which were the republics of the former Soviet Union, are very close to the Afghanistan border and are afraid of the activities of the Afghani Islamic fundamentalists in their nations. Russia is experiencing the same in Chechnya. Hence the summit of these states decided to establish a joint anti-terrorist centre in Moscow which will be headed by a Russian General from the Federal Security Service. Anti-terrorist methods and measures of this centre can be of much use for India also which is facing a similar situation in Kashmir and some other parts of the country.

Mr Jaswant Singh reviewed the technical, scientific, commercial and trade matters with the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Victor Khristenko, who is the co-chairman of the Indo-Russian Joint Commission. There is a good deal of scope for further technical and scientific cooperation. Special concern is being expressed in the field of our bilateral trade which has gone down several times since the disintegration of the Soviet Union. India’s debt to Russia is also not being utilised properly to increase the trade and investment of this money in joint ventures for the benefit of both sides. These problems are also likely to be the subject of serious discussions in the Indo-Russian summit.

Defence cooperation is another important area of our bilateral relations. About 60 to 70 per cent of our defence equipment is of Soviet or Russian origin. Improvement and upgrading of some of this equipment is essential for India’s defence capability. Next to China, India is the biggest customer of Russian defence equipment and Russian defence industries are keen to receive new orders of hard currency payment which are of immense importance for them in these difficult and hard times.

In the international political and economic affairs, India and the Soviet Union, now Russia, have also been cooperating with each other considerably. This aspect of our relations was also reviewed during Mr Jaswant Singh’s visit. One very significant result of this discussion was Russia’s declaration of its whole-hearted support to India’s claim to the membership of the UN Security Council. Mr Singh later visited St Petersburg.

During Defence Minister George Fernandes’ meetings with the Russian Deputy Defence Minister, other high officials and Defence Minister Igor Sergeev important matters of defence cooperation between the two countries were reviewed and new possibilities explored. The status of the Joint Defence Commission has been raised to ministry level and various new fields of cooperation have been identified. Mr Fernandes’ meeting with President Putin was most pleasant. Mr Putin said that he is “the best friend of India”. What more warmth of feeling could one expect from the head of a friendly country!

We may hope that President Putin’s visit to India from October 2 to 4 this year will further strengthen the ties and open new horizons of cooperation, and the visit of our two senior ministers will prove fruitful.

The writer is based in Moscow.
Top

 

Only EU can checkmate USA
By M.S.N. Menon

IT was good of the EU Parliament to invite India for an annual summit talk. The 15-member EU, with a share of 40 per cent of the world trade, is today the most important economic partner of India. By 2010, the EU may have a membership of 25-30. It will then move further to the Left and gain a decisive voice in the global economy.

This is why our talks are important — not only because we are the fourth (after the USA, Japan and China) to be called for the talks. In fact, Pascal Lamy, the chief trade negotiator of the EU, places India in the third position in EU’s priorities the USA and Japan.

This high rating of India is explained by the new way the EU looks at this country. Hubert Vedrine, the French Foreign Minister, says: “Today, India’s role is defined by its emergence as one of the six or seven major powers in a multi-polar world, and, of course, by being the world’s largest democracy. It is taking this reality into account which has brought France to seek a long-term global partnership with India.”

It is true, the EU’s intentions are not truly reflected in the overall relationship between the EU and India. The present trade turnover between the EU and India is no more than $ 20 billion, that is less than 2 per cent of EU’s trade. And there is not much to talk of cooperation in the defence field. There are other problems: out of the FDI approvals of $ 13 billion, the actual flow from EU to India was just $ 3 billion, that is 25 per cent.

But that as it may, for India the EU connection is highly significant in other ways too. Because it provides a counter-force against excesses in American policies. This is untold purpose of the summit talks.

The capitalist world is not a monolith. The EU’s economic outlook is not a copy of the US ideology. For instance, the EU does not subscribe to laissez-faire as America does. The EU countries are mostly social democracies. Out of its 15 members, 13 are Left of centre regimes, with commitment to full employment. Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the UK, calls it the “Third Way.” He says: “I believe we can construct a new and different kind of politics for the 21st century.”

With 12 per cent unemployment and 3 per cent annual growth, Europe’s future has become a matter of concern. There is a growing feeling among European thinkers that the Anglo-Saxon formula for global competitiveness runs counter to Europe’s notion of a fair and prosperous society.

EU-US ideological differences can be traced back to the postwar years. But, then, the EU was highly dependent on the USA and had to accept its postwar arrangement. Western Europe accepted the dollar as an international currency even though it was against it.

As the sole creditor of the world, America was able to assert its economic supremacy. But not for long. By 1958 or so, European nations were strong enough to challenge the USA. They started their own aid programme. But Western Europe remained part of the American bloc. This was because of the compulsions of the cold war. There was need for the Western world to stand united in the face of the Soviet challenge. And yet not everything was fine on the economic front. European nations, particularly France, were not happy over the dominance of the dollar and the advantages it was able to derive, being the only international currency. From the sixties, France began to insist on payment in gold, which forced President Nixon to abolish gold payment. The idea of a European currency was born then. It took a long time for the Euro and the European Monetary Union to emerge, but when they did, in 1992, it was seen clearly as a political project. The EU was ready to sustain it at any cost. Thus, the EU took the first steps towards its independence.

Then, how is one to explain the EU’s support to NATO and globalisation? There are matters of some subtlety and complexity. One must try to understand these properly.

The EU accepts American political and economic leadership because it suits its interests. But the EU is in favour of a multi-polar world and a multi-model economic system. This is the crucial difference. In short, the EU is not in favour of American hegemony and an economic system modelled on that of the USA. The legitimacy of the idea of a single integrated world market system is already forfeited by the continuing crises in world economy. Claude Smadja calls such efforts to create a single world as sheer “arrogance.”

It is true, American military leadership ensures security and saves billions of dollars for the EU. And American leadership of capitalism helps to create favourable global conditions for the EU countries. Also, Europe could not have opened up the world market on its own. Only America could have done it. But the EU will not allow globalisation to erode its social security system. In fact, in France, Germany and Italy, the laws are still in favour of labour, although there is considerable pressure from industrialists to abolish such laws.

The USA is for free flow of capital. It brings more profit than from the sale of commodities and services through speculation. The EU has neither such capital nor is it willing to allow “free” capital flow, for it creates instability in the economy. The EU is thus for capital control. So are the Asian nations after their bitter experience. Washington does not like this convergence of opposition.

India is opposed to unregulated globalisation. It has thus a common interest with the EU to oppose America’s selfish policies. Only the EU can checkmate the USA in this matter. Neither Russia nor China, not even Japan.

In the world of diplomacy, one must concert with like-minded nations. The coming together of the EU and India is, therefore, welcome. But in the final analysis, India must remain united, stable, militarily and economically strong and technically self-reliant as far as possible if it wants to have leverage in the world. It is because India is moving in this direction that it has become suddenly important to the Western world. The world must now recognise that generating pressures against India will be counter-productive.
Top

 

Pak missile programme ‘advanced’

ISLAMABAD (IANS): Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar has said that the country’s missile programme is sufficiently advanced and is not at present receiving any cooperation from China.

“Pakistan’s (missile) programme is sufficiently advanced so that we can continue the process of research by ourselves. At the moment, there is no cooperation with China,” Sattar told the Far Eastern Economic Review.

The report quoted a senior Pakistani diplomat as saying that the country, like India, was not a signatory to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), “so we don’t have to answer to anyone”.

Sattar said China and Pakistan had explained to the United States and other governments in 1993 that Beijing had supplied “a limited number of short-range tactical missiles” to Islamabad, a transfer that did not violate the MTCR.

“Since then,” he said, “there has been no allegation against China having done anything inconsistent with its commitment to the MTCR — not only in the supply of hardware but also in technology”.

The report said Pakistan was watching from the sidelines as the United States and China fought over missile proliferation.

U.S. intelligence reports that China was continuing to help develop Pakistan’s missile programme may be another embarrassment for the Clinton Administration’s China policy. But while the repercussions could be damaging for China-US relations, Islamabad appears confident that it’s not going to face any unwanted fallout, the report said.

“Pakistani officials say the issue wasn’t mentioned when Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar met US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott in Washington in mid-June, as part of routine talks on nuclear and missile restraint,” the report said.

“This is not an issue between the USA and Pakistan,” a Pakistani diplomat said. “It never came up,” he added. Privately, US diplomats confirm that the subject wasn’t raised, the report said.

Pakistani officials believe Islamabad is caught in the crossfire of a long-standing spat between the Clinton Administration and anti-Chinese US Congressmen who oppose normal trade relations with Beijing.

Moreover, with Washington anxious to defuse tension between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, the USA is seen as unwilling to further harm ties with Pakistan. Relations are already strained by Pakistani support for Afghanistan’s Taliban and the suspension of democracy in the country.

“At the core of the matter are U.S. concerns, first reported by the Review, that China may have resumed work on an M-11 missile plant being built in Pakistan, and could possibly be building another. The Federation of American Scientists and other U.S. sources say the factory is located at Fatehjung, a small town 40 km west of Islamabad,” the report said.

US diplomats believe Pakistani Chief Executive, Gen. Pervez Musharraf is making adequate conciliatory noises towards India. If the summer passes without a major escalation in Kashmir, Washington will aim to persuade India and Pakistan to hold a summit in New York in September during the United Nations General Assembly meeting, the diplomats said.


Top

 

SPIRITUAL NUGGETS

Because we see the variegated world,
a single source, with unlimited powers has to be accepted.
The seer, the seen, the screen
on which is projected the light,
are all only He, the One.
All religions begin with the existence of the individual, the world and God.
So long as the ego lasts these three will remain separate.
To abide, egoless, in the Self, is the best.
Of what use are disputes such as “world is real”, “no, it is a mirage”,
“it is conscious energy”,
“no, it is matter”, “It is happiness”,
no it is sorrow”?
Abidance in the exalted state where
neither the ego nor the world exists is acceptable to all.
So long as one thinks he has a form:
the world and God too have forms
When one is the formless Self,
who is there to see?
It is itself the eye,
complete, limitless.

— Sri Ramana Maharishi, Sat-Darshanam (Forty verses on Reality)

***

As water poured into water milk poured into milk
ghee into ghee becomes one without differentiation,
even so the individual soul and the Supreme Self (become one).

Paingala Upanishad, IV. 10

***

The reality of world is the body
The reality of body is organs,
The reality of organs is Prana,
The reality of Prana is mind,
The reality of mind is intellect,
The reality of intellect is ego,
The reality of ego is individual,
The reality of individual is the Consciousness, and it is God.


Impossibilities Challenged,
1172, Anonymous

***

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

— The Gospel According to St. Matthew, 5:5

***

A poor spirit is poorer than a poor purse.

Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 358

***

Humility, like darkness reveals the heavenly light.

— Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Top

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
|
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
|
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |