India-Pakistan Relations

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by ajtr, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Felt the need for separate thread to discuss news related to ino-pak relations and news items pertaining to both countries.

    India resigned to ‘holding pattern’ with Pakistan

    With the SAARC summit only a week away, and India and Pakistan still unable to agree on talks about talks, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with his Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of Thimphu will have the limited but important aim of preventing further deterioration in an already fraught relationship, Indian officials say.

    “What we are really looking at is a holding pattern”, a senior official told The Hindu, using the aviation industry phrase for when an aircraft circles around an airport at a fixed altitude awaiting clearance to land. “It is clear that they are not ready to move forward. Nor, quite frankly, are we, until we see some movement on the issues we have raised".

    Pakistan wants nothing short of the resumption of the composite dialogue. It has refused to invite Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao to make a return visit to Islamabad nearly two months after its foreign secretary, Salman Bashir, came to Delhi, unless India accepts this condition. On its part, India says resumption is not possible till more is done on the terrorism front but is willing to discuss “humanitarian and other issues”. Under the circumstances, said the official, the best Dr. Singh can hope for from his Bhutan meeting with Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani is to keep alive the idea of engagement, even if Islamabad is not in a position to deliver on terrorism or discuss the possibility of incremental steps forward.

    “It’s sad, really, because there are lots of little things that you could do together even now”, the official said. Indian proposals on enhancing cross-LoC trade have not been answered and meetings of business chambers from both sides have not been held. Though the Indian side has not helped matters with its non-tariff barriers, the official said Islamabad’s reluctance to let the chambers meet means solutions to the complaints of Pakistani businessmen cannot be found.

    The official mentioned the ongoing visit to India of Pakistan’s population minister, Firdous Ashiq Awan. “We indicated to them that if they wanted, we were ready to build in some political content to her visit. But they were not interested. Our sense is that nobody in their system wants to take the risk of engaging with India”, he said. The official also mentioned Pakistani interior minister Rehman Malik’s recent meeting with visiting Indian journalists. “He was willing to brief them on how the trial of 26/11 suspects has progressed. But [Indian high commissioner] Sharad [Sabharwal] has not heard from him about this since September.”

    But if the prospect for gains in Thimphu is close to zero, not meeting Mr. Gilani, or meeting him too perfunctorily, could actually damage relations between the two countries, another official said, explaining the Prime Minister’s dilemma. The Pakistani side has a similar assessment of what is at stake. Neither side is looking for a joint statement but some minimum preparation is considered necessary. “Both of us know the drill”, the senior official said. Asked for his assessment, a senior Pakistani diplomat said it was likely that the two foreign secretaries would hurriedly sit down before their principals meet to sketch out the ground rules.
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    No India-Pakistan PM talks planned in Bhutan: official

    NEW DELHI: No meeting is slated so far between the premiers of India and Pakistan on the margins of a South Asian summit to be held next week in Bhutan, a senior Indian official said Thursday.

    Ties between the nuclear-armed South Asian rivals have been strained since the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 10 gunmen targeted multiple locations in India's financial capital killing 166 people and injuring scores of others.

    “The answer is no. As of now there is no such meeting,” Indian foreign secretary Nirupama Rao told reporters.

    “I don't believe in making forecasts. I would say you should wait and let's see. There has been no request from the Pakistan side as of now,” she said.

    Talks between the rivals have always overshadowed summits of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which groups eight nations in the region including India and Pakistan.—AFP
     
  4. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    High time Pak took action to match its words: Antony

    Pakistan continues to support terrorists ranged against India, Defence Minister AK Antony said on Monday.

    "We recently restarted the dialogue with Pakistan. However, there has been no change in Pakistan's policy of extending support to the terrorist activities and the terrorist infrastructure on its soil," Antony said while inaugurating Indian Air Force commanders' conference in New Delhi.

    "It is high time that Pakistan took action on the ground to match its words. On our part, though we want peaceful relations with Pakistan, we must keep a strict vigil on the developments in Pakistan and further strengthen our defence forces," he added.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/High-...atch-its-words-Antony/H1-Article1-535994.aspx
     
  5. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    Still stonewalling

    “India has rightly ruled out handing over Kasab.”

    Pakistan’s continuing stonewalling in bringing to justice its nationals who plotted and facilitated the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai has been laid bare yet again. It has responded to the three dossiers India handed over to its officials in February this year by claiming that the evidence is not credible or enough to prosecute Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six others who are being tried in a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court for their role in the Mumbai attacks. To facilitate their prosecution it has requested Delhi to hand over Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist from the Mumbai attacks and his associate Fahim Ansari to Pakistani authorities. It has also asked for three Indian officials — two magistrates and an investigating officer — to testify in the ongoing trial in Rawalpindi.

    India has rightly ruled out handing over Kasab to Pakistani authorities. Even if there were no legal obstacles in the way — there is no extradition treaty between the two countries — handing over Kasab to Pakistan is a bad idea. Kasab admitted his role in the terrorist attacks — although he went back on that statement later — and provided much information on the role of Pakistani citizens, including senior officials in the military, in the plot. His confessions put Pakistan in an embarrassing spot. Many in the LeT and the Pakistani military are therefore likely to be keen to silence him. There is a possibility too that Kasab’s friends in the military might facilitate his escape while in Pakistani custody.
    Some will argue that Pakistan’s request for Kasab is aimed at putting the onus of responsibility on India to take forward the trial of the LeT operatives. There is no need for Kasab’s physical presence in Pakistan. The testimony of the magistrates, in writing if not in person, should be enough to convict the LeT operatives. India has already provided Pakistan with enough and more evidence on the role of the LeT in the Mumbai plot. If Pakistan has not been able to convict them yet this is because of the absence of political will to do so. It is not just bilateral ties that are being marred by Pakistan’s obstinate refusal to act against the accused. The failure to act against the terror networks is threatening the very survival of Pakistan.

    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/66541/still-stonewalling.html
     
  6. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    India concerned over thriving terror camps in Pakistan: Antony

    India is concerned over thriving terror camps in Pakistan, but the bilateral talks between the two sides would continue, Defence Minister A K Antony said on Wednesday.

    "Still, more than 40 terror camps are working across the border still intact. It is a matter of concern to us. On that, Pakistan should take action to dismantle the terrorist outfits.

    "That apart, dialogue will continue," Antony told reporters on the sidelines of Defence Accounts Controllers conference in New Delhi.

    "Talks will continue. But at the same time, we are concerned about existence of more than 40 terror camps. Pakistan must take sincere and strong action to dismantle terrorist outfits," he added.

    To a query on the Defence Ministry appealing against a Delhi High Court order to accord permanent commission to women officers in the Army, Navy and Air Force, Antony said he would not "ignore" the views" of the armed forces on the matter.

    He said after 60 years of India's independence, the government had in 2008 decided to accord permanent commission to women officers in seven streams of service in the armed forces for the first time.

    "We have taken another policy decision to include more streams (to provide permanent commission to women officers). Before that there was no policy on this. Also, I cannot ignore the view of the armed forces," he added.

    On UPA-II completing one year on office, Antony said on the day the government completes one year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would meet the media and talk about it.

    Asked if a decision had been taken on the action against Navy Commodore Sukhjinder Singh, who had come under the scanner for his involvement with Russian women while posted in Moscow for Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier repair project, the minister said he was yet to receive the probe findings in the case.


    http://www.ndtv.com/news/india/indi...rror-camps-in-pakistan-antony-25000.php?u=149
     
  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Can't redraw border but can make it irrelevant: Rao


    NEW DELHI: India is resurrecting PM Manmohan Singh’s vision for a Kashmir solution — no redrawing of boundaries but making them “irrelevant” by encouraging cross-LoC trade and movement of people. This was part of the peace process during the Musharraf years between 2004-2008, which stopped abruptly after the Mumbai attacks.

    For the first time, India put a stamp of approval on the “complex negotiations and unsung efforts” on a Kashmir “solution” that was the subject of deep discussions in the “back channel” for three years until Pervez Musharraf’s troubles overwhelmed him in 2007. On Sunday, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao said, “We have to reaffirm the progress made through complex negotiations and dialogue through patient and unsung effort whether in the composite dialogue or back-channel diplomacy, during this period. We must seek creative solutions.”

    In a significant speech before the next round of talks with Pakistan in July, Rao addressed the J& K issue as well as Pakistan’s major issues with India. Rao told delegates from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India at a thinktank here that India wanted to “build” on the “progress made based on the common understanding that boundaries could not be redrawn but we could work towards making them irrelevant; and people on both sides of the LoC should be able to move freely and trade with one another”.

    The four-year-old peace process saw a “number of cross-LoC CBMs put in place, which included the opening of five crossing points on the LoC; introduction of triple-entry permits; increase in frequency of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalkot bus services; starting of cross-LoC trade on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakot routes”, she said. India’s veiled approval of the back-channel diplomacy as well as the achievements of the Musharraf years is significant as Pakistan army chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani has openly declared his opposition to both the back channel and the J&K peace process.

    According to reports, the back channel struggled for three years, with meetings in third country capitals to thrash out the contours of a Kashmir solution. It is premised on exactly the “irrelevant boundaries” that Rao resurrected on Sunday. Drafts of the deal apparently included free movement and trade between Kashmiris on either side of the LoC, greater autonomy on both sides of the LoC, and a subsequent withdrawal of troops. A “joint mechanism” was also envisaged which would have Kashmiris, Indians and Pakistanis discussing issues like water rights, which would be important in light of the recent water agitation in Pakistan.

    Flaying Pakistan’s “water” propaganda, Rao said, “The myth of water theft does not stand the test of rational scrutiny or reason. India has never sought to deny Pakistan its fair share of the Indus waters.” But in a sign that New Delhi wants to be “reasonable” and “forward looking”, India offered to set up another bilateral mechanism to share “best practices” in water utilisation and irrigation. It might give Pakistan a face-saver on the water issue.
     
  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    India draws contours of its approach in engaging Pakistan


    Special Correspondent
    “Creative solutions” sought on issues under discussion
    India ready to bridge trust deficit: Nirupama Rao

    “Use of terrorist groups as strategic assets against India cannot continue”

    NEW DELHI: A week ahead of the talks with Pakistan, India suggested “creative solutions'' on issues that were under discussion between the two countries either through composite dialogue or backchannel diplomacy.

    Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, who is scheduled to travel to Islamabad next week, drew the contours of New Delhi's approach in engaging Pakistan. Addressing an India-Pakistan-Afghanistan trialogue organised by the Delhi Policy Group here on Sunday, she said that on Jammu and Kashmir progress was made based on the common understanding that boundaries could not be redrawn. However both sides could work towards making them irrelevant and allowing people on both sides of the Line of Control to move freely and trade with one another.

    “On the way forward, we have to build on these achievements. We also have to reaffirm the progress made through complex negotiations and dialogue through patient and unsung effort whether in the composite dialogue or back channel diplomacy, during this period. We must seek creative solutions,'' Ms. Rao said.

    She said India-Pakistan discussions under the composite dialogue resumed in June 2004, predicated on the commitment by Islamabad that it would not allow any territory under its control to be used for terrorism directed against India. The process was paused after the terror attack on Mumbai.

    To bridge the ‘trust-deficit' she said India was ready to address all issues of mutual concern through dialogue and peaceful negotiations. However, she said progress in the composite dialogue process between 2004-08 and back channel deliberations did not diminish the import of the dilemma as to how to deal with the persistent threat of terrorism, which has been the bane of the region.

    “Every terrorist attack, including the one in Mumbai, hardens Indian public opinion, making our task more difficult. Terrorism as a continuation of war by other means, and the use of terrorist groups selectively, as strategic assets against India, cannot and must not, continue,'' she said. In the interest of the close relations Pakistan desires to have with India, it must act effectively against terrorist groups that seek to destroy prospects of peace and cooperation between the two countries.

    Responding to reports on Pakistan's apprehension about India's conventional defence superiority and growing strategic capabilities, she said New Delhi's defence posture and capabilities were not of an offensive nature and not targeted against any country including Pakistan.

    “Asymmetries in size and development, should not prevent us from working together, building complementarities, and realising a vision of friendly, bilateral relations,'' she said.

    On Afghanistan, Ms. Rao emphasised that New Delhi saw it neither as a battleground for competing national interests nor assistance to Afghan reconstruction and development as a zero sum game.
     
  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Pakistan holds inter-ministerial consultation ahead of bilateral talks


    ISLAMABAD: In a bid to ensure that the “resumed engagement” with India has the support of all stakeholders within the country, the Foreign Office had an inter-ministerial consultation this week to formulate Pakistan's position for next week's Foreign Secretary-level talks.

    The inter-ministerial consultation was presided over by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and is seen as a bid by the political leadership of the country to keep the security establishment on board.

    Confirming that such a consultation was held on Wednesday, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit on Thursday said the aim was to formulate recommendations to the leadership.

    “Now after consultation with all the stakeholders, we are in the process of formulating and submitting our recommendations to the Prime Minister,” he said.

    Stating that Pakistan was “keenly looking forward to our engagement with India,” Mr. Basit said Islamabad was approaching the upcoming bilateral meetings with a positive mindset and hoped for a “sustained and meaningful” dialogue that would lead to results which are in “our mutual interest and yield long-term benefits to people on both sides of the border.”

    While there was no official word from the Foreign Office on what Pakistan would bring to the table — except that Islamabad agrees with New Delhi on the need to address the “trust deficit” — Mr. Basit did indicate that Balochistan and “India's hand in the unrest” could come up for discussion.

    “We have been making our point with regard to this particular issue,” he said to a question on whether Pakistan would raise the Balochistan issue.
     
  10. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Indo-Pak dialogue: undertones and ramifications —Shahzad Chaudhry


    Pakistan must stay the course against terrorism and its deadly manifestations along its own timeline as per the dictates of its own priority list

    McChrystal’s sacking was dramatic and carried that underlying sensitivity to the Pakistani sentiment of seeing civilian superiority assert itself over the military — something the Pakistani political system has not yet been able to establish with any assurance. It was an operationally wrong move to sack McChrystal. While principle trumped operational sense — this may be the only redemption for the US political cause — US policy will most certainly go into hibernation and, as time is lost significantly, reduce its options. As the demoted and tired Petraeus takes on yet another operational responsibility, kicked down from his rather hallowed position of Commander CENTCOM, he will need time to reorient himself to the field, re-energise to put his fighting boots back on and reconnect to the sweaty, dirty world of war — fighting a morally resurgent Taliban. A weakened Petraeus with suspect political support from his own authorities will have circumscribed ambitions and a more realistic approach to seek an honourable exit; he will need Pakistan even more to help reconcile and reintegrate Afghan groups within the available time.

    Change the scene to Indo-Pak parleys as late as the last week and those that are impending, of the two foreign ministers in July, and one can sense the apprehensions and foreboding that these two regional neighbours of Afghanistan are undergoing to wrest with the fall-out of a US withdrawal. It is propitious that the two have begun talking to each other. Indian interests in their dialogue with Pakistan are wider. These are essentially three: terrorism as an opening gambit and something to keep Pakistan under pressure with, Afghanistan and India’s desperation to get a foot in on a more than likely closed door and a possibility to seek an expanded trading area covering the region and extending up to Central Asia.

    Sidelined at the London Conference and increasingly discounted in the emerging Afghan situation, it is to recover their lost position on the table that India seeks to engage Pakistan. With a more amenable Pakistan willing to let the Indian foot in, in turn for a promising bilateral engagement that will deliver peace in the wake of, perhaps, the most challenging time since the break-up of the country in 1971, the chances for India in Afghanistan look better. That such Indian flexibility in post-conflict Afghanistan can augur well for India’s extended interests in Central Asia for trade and for energy, and for the larger South Asia and South-West Asian region of influence, especially when the Indian economy is past its critical mass, will be the real picking. This is where Pakistan has leverage — with India’s desperation and its real interest to keep a toehold in Afghanistan. Without Pakistan enabling transit trade through its territories from India to Afghanistan, the return remains minimal even if India can curry favour separately with Karzai. India’s Dilaram-Chabahar road option remains suspect and extremely cumbersome, exponentially increasing the cost of business. With a less than helpful Afghan government in place after US withdrawal, India’s hopes for a reasonable return may remain entirely stalled. Enter the need to break the logjam with Pakistan.

    India’s second interest in the Pakistani dialogue is in its overstated but opportune concern for terrorism. India has found a handy cause to flog Pakistan with. Even if Hafiz Saeed and all those under trial for their alleged role in the Mumbai incident were to be incarcerated and punished, it may only serve to satisfy India’s bloated sense of self-importance, seeking manifest redemption of its wounded pride but in no way can it provide the assurance of immunity from further terrorist activities within India, whether home-grown or arising out of Pakistan. India’s refrain on terrorism is thus weak and reeks of a self-serving insidious agenda of Pakistan-bashing than a real concern to seek cooperative ways to recover from the malice that this menace has unleashed. India’s growing Naxal insurgency itself is a plate-full and may, at some time, need wider cooperation. Terrorism will continue to serve India’s cause till it gets nastier and needs a more serious Indian approach. Till then Pakistan will just need to find a way around Indian barbs. In the meanwhile, Pakistan must stay the course against terrorism and its deadly manifestations along its own timeline as per the dictates of its own priority list.

    On trade, more informed heads need to gather. Nay-saying to an existing reality in denial is self-defeating. Trade and trading infrastructure — the means of communication, travel and transportation — are the fastest means to economic integration; economic integration increases interdependence and eliminates conflict much faster and more effectively than any superiority in weapons. It also helps create jobs, spreads well being and a sense of common stakes ensuring societal cohesion, integration and stability. Identity becomes possible, moorings remain intact and radicalism is defeated. With India, an additional benefit is the possibility of in-coming investments. We may determine what may be our sensitivity in a particular industry and not make that available for foreign investment, just as India has done in some cases, but we need to open up all the same. Otherwise trade, like water, has this habit of going around when an obstruction seems too stubborn. This too is part of India’s grand design and therefore a Pakistani leverage. It also is a Pakistani compulsion and must therefore find favour. For this to happen, we will need to dump archaic notions of security and access and instead redouble efforts to channel potential in the right directions.

    Pakistan’s interest in dialogue with India are also three: peace for that will deliver Pakistan of this unending need to match India’s growing military prowess — tank for tank, plane for plane, making minimum credible deterrence, both conventional and nuclear, actually possible; Kashmir, which India will be happy to divert to the back channel as a preferred option since it finds useful promise in the Musharraf formula away from the stubborn sense of the UNSC resolution or a damaging possibility of a rebellious state of Kashmir seeking independence rather than autonomy, rendering the issue to a belaboured, slow process and, finally, water, which for some insane reason has trumped even Kashmir — to India’s glee. A distorted and ill-informed discourse on water in Pakistan has generated such hype and sensitivity that it beats the real magnitude of infringement by India. While the spirit may have been a minor casualty in an odd case, chances are that no neutral expert will be able to find the letter grossly violated. Hence India’s ready sense of offering all support and cooperation to Pakistan on the water issue; since nothing much is wrong, nothing much needs to be offered.

    On the face of it, the need for an Indo-Pak dialogue seems like a pretty straightforward case of mutually beneficial adjustments, of using space intelligently and with imagination, trust, thought, dourness to prevail. And, we would have lost yet another opportunity to overcome history.
     
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  11. Patriot

    Patriot Senior Member Senior Member

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    Indo Pak Rapprochement: Unexplored Option of Military to Military Engagement
    Harinder Singh and Ramesh Phadke
    [​IMG]

    In the past six decades Indo-Pakistan relations have been driven by mutual suspicion and military rivalry. The two countries have engaged in four military conflicts, repeated diplomatic brinkmanship and even military posturing. Despite periodic dialogues, confidence building measures and agreements, the lack of faith in each other’s intentions remains alarmingly high. It is, therefore, not surprising that both sides keep their military options open. Each new round of talks begins with hype and enthusiasm, only to degenerate into a slanging match. The forthcoming talks could well follow the familiar trend unless the two countries strive towards focussing on a creative approach, and put aside difficult issues.

    This comment attempts to examine the option of military to military engagement between the two countries. The suggestion, however, does not relate to the timing, scope or desirability of initiating such talks since there are serious reservations in India about talking to Pakistan at this time. The nay-Sayers oppose this Indian initiative since Pakistan has treated Indian requests and dossiers to prosecute the master-mind and planners of Mumbai 26/11 with utmost contempt and disdain. Many in the military top echelons and the civilian bureaucracy may well be against the initiative. There is also a widespread feeling in India that this is at the behest of the United States. Nevertheless, the necessity of engaging the Pakistani military cannot be ignored. Such an engagement may help us better understand Pakistan’s world view and in particular its insecurities vis-à-vis India.

    It is interesting to note that while India has established defence cooperation with all its neighbours, including China, it has excluded Pakistan from the gamut of military diplomacy. Such a stance could possibly be attributed to several reasons. First and foremost is the fact that Pakistan’s military alliance with the Western world in the 1960s and 70s seriously clashed with India’s non-alignment ideals. Perhaps, both ideologically and as a fall out of the geo-political dynamics of the bipolar world, military engagements with Pakistan were an anathema. Another, and possibly a bigger inhibitor may have been the issue of diplomatic protocol in engaging a military which was at the helm of affairs in Pakistan from 1958 to 1971, 1978 to 1988 and 1999 to 2007. Pakistan military’s Kargil adventure in 1999 was also a major cause of loss of trust.

    It could even be argued that our efforts have suffered because of an unexplained hesitation within the Indian establishment to including the country’s military in the conduct of foreign relations. After all, if successive Indian military commanders responsible for the Eastern Theatre have engaged in talks with their counterparts in Chengdu Military Region, the hesitation to start a similar exercise with Pakistan is inexplicable. It would be relevant to recall that many countries, including the United States, routinely use their military commanders in a variety of mutually beneficial military exchanges. The famous Admiral Kickleighter proposals of 1991 are a case in point. The talks paved the way for more substantial military cooperation between India and the US. The PLA Generals have also been holding useful talks with their US counterparts, even when the overall environment was tense e.g. US weapon sales to Taiwan.

    Several well intended peace initiatives between the two countries involving people to people contact have simply not taken off due to our inability to engage Pakistan Army, the main arbiter of its destiny. The objectives of building peace and harmony in the sub-continent would likely be better served by engaging this powerful constituency in Pakistan. Faced with a host of seemingly irreconcilable differences, it may be logical to probe the efficacy of possible military to military engagement. It might help assuage its insecurity about India’s intentions and even assist in developing a cordial and a less hostile atmosphere in our relationship. In any case, the two militaries have operated in a fairly cordial manner in UN missions across the world. An incremental engagement without compromising the country’s core interests could be a good way to reduce mistrust and suspicions. Apprehensions that the Pakistan military hierarchy may show reluctance to engage the Indian military may also not be correct. The incumbent DG ISI had suggested such a move last year.

    The foregoing may appear difficult to achieve at first glance. The process could well begin with a visit by the Raksha Mantri or the Service Chiefs. Having broken the ice at that level the initiative could be given further momentum by undertaking such exchanges at different levels. For instance, it could extend to exchanges of military delegations, visits to premier training establishments, increased frequency of border meetings and conclaves, combined deployment of forces in UN missions, and non-military interactions at other levels.

    In our quest to seek peace in the neighbourhood, it would be fair to believe that no option is left un-exercised. A military to military engagement (this surely does not mean supping with enemy) could help pave the way for greater understanding and opening up in the troubled relationship. A word of caution would however be necessary. Expecting a high dividend from this initiative may be too premature given the subterranean hostility between the two militaries. However, it does hold out the promise of some dividends in a relationship that refuses to thaw.






    http://www.idsa.in/idsacomments/IndiaPakistanRapprochementUnexploredOptionofMilitarytoMilitaryEngagement_250610
     
  12. EagleOne

    EagleOne Regular Member

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    Pak trashes Musharraf's 4-point Kashmir formula

    ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government has trashed former President Pervez Musharraf's four-point formula to resolve Kashmir issue, saying it was "his thinking" which did not have the endorsement of Parliament or Cabinet and suggested a fresh approach to address the vexed problem.

    Foreign minister shah Mahmood Qureshi, who will be meeting external affairs minister S M Krishna here on July 15, said the two countries should build on progress made in any area and look at ways to make progress where it has not been done.

    "We will not like to ignore anything. We will not like to ignore any development or any positive development that has taken place between India and Pakistan," he said in an interview here.

    He was responding when asked to comment on India's emphasis that there was a need to "reaffirm" the progress made through "complex negotiations and dialogue through patient and unsung effort" whether in the composite dialogue or back channel diplomacy.

    "Any issue, whether it is Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Water, any issue where progress can be made, should be made. Where it hasn't been made, we should look at ways and means how to make progress. Where progress has been made, let us build on it further," Qureshi said in a wide-ranging interaction.

    Asked whether his government endorses the four-point formula floated by Musharraf in December 2006 to resolve Kashmir issue, he said, "The four-point formula that Gen Musharraf made then was his thinking. It was being done through quiet back-channel diplomacy."

    The formula envisaged softening of Line of Control (LoC), self-governance, phased withdrawal of troops from entire Jammu and Kashmir and joint supervision by India and Pakistan.

    "We are a democracy, Parliament has to own them, Parliament has to endorse them, Cabinet has to discuss them," the foreign minister said, adding these proposals were "neither discussed by Cabinet, nor endorsed by Parliament. So, as democrats, there are certain Parliamentary procedures that we have to fulfil."

    Qureshi noted that over the last six decades many proposals have been made for resolution of Kashmir issue.

    "Over 61 proposals have been under discussion, some (given) by India, some by Pakistan and some by third party experts on how to resolve it," he said.

    "It is a complex problem, there are no easy solutions, but if environment is created, then both sides can see what lies in their interest," the Pakistan foreign minister said.

    Queried whether he had any proposals to resolve Kashmir issue, he responded, "I have ideas but can't share with you. I can share with Mr Krishna... I would like to be transparent with him, I would like to be candid, I would like to be honest and I would like to be constructive."

    On whether he planned to share these ideas with Krishna during their upcoming meeting on July 15 here, he indicated that he may not do so.

    "This is the first meeting after a considerable pause. We will have to build on confidence level on both sides," he said.

    Asked whether he had any new confidence-building measures in mind, he said this aspect could be talked about "when the time comes".

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...point-Kashmir-formula/articleshow/6109996.cms
     
  13. Yatharth Singh

    Yatharth Singh Regular Member

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    IAF gets feel of latest Pak fighter aircraft

    The Indian Air Force (IAF) has got a feel of Pakistan’s most modern fighter aircraft during a multi-nation exercise in France even before the aircraft have been delivered to the Pakistani Air Force (PAF).

    Later this week, Pakistan will get its most modern fighter aircraft when the US delivers the first four of the advanced Block 52 F 16 aircraft as part of a deal to upgrade its military.

    However, the IAF has sparred with the Block 52 version of the fighter — which is considered to be a generation ahead of the existing F 16 fleet of the PAF — during Exercise Garuda that is currently underway at the Istres Air Base in France. The IAF, which has deployed its SU 30MKI fighters for the exercise, has conducted aerial duels and joint missions to fully gauge the capabilities of the ‘enemy’ fighter. Pakistan is to get 18 of the Block 52 versions of the F 16 fighters under a deal with the US.

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/iaf-gets-feel-of-latest-pak-fighter-aircraft/637758/
     
  14. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    Pakistan violates ceasefire again, BSF jawan killed

    Violating the ceasefire yet again, Pakistani troops fired at a forward Indian border outpost along the border in Jammu this morning, killing a BSF jawan.

    Pakistani troops fired at the Chak Fagwari Border Out Post in Pargawal sub—sector, 20 kms from here, around 6:15 am, BSF officials said.

    BSF jawan Sultan Ali was killed in the firing.

    Indian troops guarding the border retaliated and the firing ended at around 6:30 am.

    Pakistani troops also fired at forward positions along the Line of Control in Krishnagati area of Poonch sector late last night, they said.

    However, Indian troops guarding the LoC did not retaliate, they said, adding there was no casualty in the firing.

    There have been many ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops this year.

    Pakistani troops had last violated the ceasefire on June 21 when they fired at a forward outpost along the International Border (IB) in Jammu where the BSF foiled an infiltration bid by militants.

    http://thehindu.com/news/national/article502709.ece?homepage=true
     
  15. EagleOne

    EagleOne Regular Member

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    PoK 'PM' asks Pak govt to put Kashmir issue on hold for now

    In a major policy shift, the PoK 'Prime Minister' has advised Pakistan government not to link ongoing negotiations with India to resolution of the Kashmir issue, saying this is not the right time as Islamabad's position is "quite weak" due to "internal vulnerabilities".

    Raja Farooq Haider suggested that Pakistan should first resolve "small irritants and controversial issues" before finally sorting out the "core issue of Kashmir."

    He told 'The News' daily that Pakistan and India should maintain status quo on Kashmir for "some time."

    He said he believed that India and Pakistan "should resolve other issues before taking up Kashmir."

    It would be "wiser for Pakistan to wait for the right time to restart negotiations" on the Kashmir issue, Haider said.

    He explained that he was giving this advice because he believed "this was not the right time for Pakistan to press for a Kashmir settlement."

    At the moment, Pakistan is facing a "formidable security challenge from the militants" and is not in a position to effectively fight the case of Kashmir, he added.

    Haider said that his comments did not mean a "reversal of Pakistan's traditional stand on Kashmir, as many emotional people might instantly try to infer."

    "What I am trying to suggest is that this is not the right time to negotiate Kashmir with the Indians as Islamabad's position is obviously quite weak because of its internal vulnerabilities," he said.

    Asked about former military ruler Pervez Musharraf's four-point proposal to resolve the Kashmir issue, Haider said no Kashmiri would have accepted it.

    Haider backed the proposal to give the status of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) to India and to allow the country to use Pakistani territory as a transit route for trade, including with Afghanistan.

    He also strongly backed India's inclusion in the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project.

    However, he contended that the Pakistani media is not giving importance to the current protest in Jammu and Kashmir.

    The Pakistan government has been insisting that efforts to resolve the Kashmir issue must be made part of any dialogue with India.

    On the other hand, India has said it favours a phased approach to the resumption of the talks process.

    India has also granted MFN status to Pakistan, which is yet to reciprocate.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/PoK-P...ir-issue-on-hold-for-now/Article1-568163.aspx
     
  16. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-n...ns/06-Jul-2010/Actionreaction-syndrome--AFSPA
     
  17. x0700

    x0700 Regular Member

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    a good start for pakistan would be to tell it's army that it works for it's people, not the other way around,
    another area is to infuse social and democratic control on the army and also to tame the ISI, which will one day bring disgrace to the Islamic country if it continues on the path it is on today and has been since it's creation.
     
  18. venkat

    venkat Regular Member

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    i have a feeling, that i dont think that CRPF is so insensitive, in the wake of our govt strict orders to show restraint and goes on shooting spree in Srinagar!!! I think pak backed militants infiltrate the stone pelting mobs,once stone pelting starts,CRPF and police respond. in the melee , these pak agents take out their AK or pak agents hiding in the nearby buildings start shooting at bystanders or civilians peeping through their windows!!! Another sinister strategy of the pak agents could be , kidnap some youngsters or teenagers in srinagar, kill them and dump their bodies to create an impression that CRPF has done all this. Thats it!!! CRPF will get the blame and pak's game plan of keeping Kashmir in turmoil will be achieved. its impssible to verify under those situations whose bullet killed whome!!!surely LeT is behind the killings in srinagar!!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  19. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    An additional dish for the India-Pakistan platter



    Ali Ahmed

    July 5, 2010
    In a recent IDSA Comment, “Indo Pak Rapprochement: Unexplored Option of Military to Military Engagement,” the authors write: “Faced with a host of seemingly irreconcilable differences, it may be logical to probe the efficacy of possible military to military engagement. It might help assuage its insecurity about India’s intentions and even assist in developing a cordial and a less hostile atmosphere in our relationship.” They suggest measures to include “exchanges of military delegations, visits to premier training establishments, increased frequency of border meetings and conclaves, combined deployment of forces in UN missions, and non-military interactions at other levels.” Critics may attempt to kill the idea stating that it is ‘ahead of its time’; instead, it is an idea whose time has come. This article attempts to suggest a way ahead to operationalise the idea.

    Relations between India and Pakistan have been held up by the persistence of the Pakistani military in stalling Indian initiatives reaching out to Pakistan. The sabotage of the Lahore process by the Kargil intrusion is an obvious example. Pakistan has a praetorian military that plays a ‘guardian’ role. Huntington’s observation on professional militaries being realists, and findings of organisational theory that institutional self-interest often as not trumps national interest, helps in understanding a military’s actions. Militaries when viewing threat perceptions typically take ‘capabilities’ as central, rather than ‘intentions’. Since the military in Pakistan has commandeered security policy, in particular Pakistan’s India, military, Afghanistan, Kashmir and nuclear policies, its interests have to be factored in separately and in addition to those of its state.

    The Pakistani military, albeit self-servingly, reads the power asymmetry in India’s favour as a ‘threat’. The Pakistani military - being conservative and realist in the tradition of militaries in general - can be expected, in the realist paradigm, to react through internal and external balancing. This is in keeping with the ‘security dilemma’. The resulting Pakistani sense of insecurity - as perceived by its military - can be taken as the ‘core’ problem area. Understanding the mindset of the Pakistani military and attempting to address it is the recommended direction for India’s Pakistan policy. Addressing this one-among-other ‘root causes’ of strained relations, such as the Kashmir issue, would be an additional step towards easing India’s Pakistan problem. Towards this end a standing strategic dialogue mechanism for balancing of strategic doctrines has been voices on these pages (IDSA Comment, “For an Indo-Pak strategic dialogue forum,” 5 August 2009).

    Strategic dialogue is not impossible to visualise at the current geopolitical juncture. It is apparent that the strategy of proxy war has exhausted its utility. Not only is India in control, but Pakistan is suffering blowback from its ‘strategic assets’. Further provocations are not without risks both from Indian action, but also from the Pakistan `Army losing space to Islamists domestically. The strategy of hostility to India also has a diminishing marginal utility. India has succeeded in de-hyphenating itself from Pakistan. India’s economic trajectory continues to show promise, making greater resources available for the Indian military. The power asymmetry is irreversible.

    In such a circumstance, what are the dictates of political realism subscribed to by the Pakistani military? Realism is firstly about survival and thereafter about security. Offensive realism is in terms of maximising ‘power’; defensive realism is in terms of maximising ‘security’. Offensive realism has been tried by Pakistan and has not succeeded. The alternative - defensive realism - suggests itself. Tackling the security dilemma is not only by addressing the relative power balance. If benign intentions are mutual, the ‘security dilemma’ stands considerably mitigated. Pakistan has to be coaxed down this path. India has been able to, at best, manage problems posed by Pakistan. The challenge to India’s strategic thinking is to suggest innovative means to end these.

    Presently India’s strategic doctrine is one professedly of deterrence. The contours of the 2004 ‘Cold Start’ doctrine involve limited offensives keeping below Pakistani nuclear thresholds. A nuclear doctrine positing ‘massive’ nuclear retaliation has been promulgated in 2003. The promise of ‘massive’ retribution exacting ‘unacceptable damage’ is to stay the Pakistani nuclear card from checkmating Indian proactive conventional offensives. Taken together, they are to refurbish the conventional deterrent. This is not without risks. India’s military and nuclear doctrines, complemented by actions on the diplomatic and intelligence fronts, are liable to interpretation in Pakistan as offensive and quasi-compellent. Pakistan can be expected to look at the business end of the stick in India’s ‘carrot and stick’ policy. Therefore, its military sees continuing utility for its ‘strategic assets’. Changing its perception can only begin by engaging with it.

    While India has attempted reaching out to Pakistan several times earlier, the Pakistani military has succeeded in stalling most initiatives. If the aim is to cast off this millstone, then an efficacious strategy needs to be tried out. The current ‘trust deficit’ based impasse testifies that strategies like containment, coercion and deterrence have not worked as well as intended and have carried unrecognised dangers. A change of tack is warranted. Is getting Pakistan to bandwagon with India thus at all possible?

    The benefits are obvious for Pakistan. Selling the idea to the Pakistani military would need highlighting benefits in terms of its corporate interests. Not only would the military commercial foundations find an enlarged market, but an expanding economy would enable access to a larger resource cake for the military. Reliance on external powers, such as the US - having proved a double-edged sword in the past – can be done away with. It would be more prudent to rely instead on an expanded domestic economic base. Future problems, such as over the emotive water issue and protection of Pakistani interests in Afghanistan and Baluchistan, would be subject to Indian goodwill. Building this may require reaching out reciprocally to India. Rethinking of its India policy is therefore necessary.

    A nationalist and professional military can be expected to think this through for itself, particularly in the realist lens of its preference. Realist thinking implies being sensitive to power imbalances. Where balancing is not possible or is counter productive, then the alternative, bandwagoning, comes to fore. Seeing that it cannot keep pace, Pakistan – operating in the realist mode - could consider this. How can this be done?

    A strategic dialogue mechanism with Pakistan that networks its military and addresses core questions like strategic balance is advocated. The discussions need to be at the level of respective National Security Advisers assisted by representatives of the national security establishment, including the military, on both sides. The theme would be to balance strategic doctrines. Pakistan is manifestly offensive at the subconventional level. India’s is seemingly offensive on the conventional level. A reciprocal pulling back from offensive doctrines needs to be arrived at. This would entail discussing threat perceptions and security positions in a mechanism created for the purpose. The ‘trust deficit’ can best be bridged in this way. Optimistically, the route is then cleared for eventual movement towards mutual and balanced forces reduction. Arriving at shared security perceptions for South Asia can follow; and, thereby, recreation of South Asia as a single strategic entity. At a minimum, the mechanism once set up would be available as a confidence building measure as envisaged in the first and sixth points of the Lahore MOU.

    Certain actions of the Pakistan Army are suggestive as ‘feelers’. The ISI reportedly invited India’s defence attaches in Islamabad for a lunching out (“In rare move, ISI hosts Indian attaches at its officers mess,” Indian Express, 13 June 2010). The attaches had also been invited for a briefing as per a Stratfor report (“India, Pakistan: An ISI-Army Seat at the Negotiating Table?” 25 July 2009). Last year, The Hindu (16 September 2009) reported that the ISI chief had attended the Iftar at the Indian High Commission at Islamabad. This indicates the possible disposition of the Pakistani Army. It also suggests that the ‘strategic communication’ intrinsic in the move towards offensive doctrine by India – as observed by Arun Sehgal - has succeeded to an extent. Sehgal, writing in Force (“Summer Heat,” June 2010), notes that the recently concluded Azm-e-Nau exercise indicates that India’s doctrine has unsettled Pakistani calculations on the elasticity of India’s tolerance threshold. India is, therefore, in a position to capitalise on the gains the doctrinal movement made.

    The forthcoming meeting of the two foreign ministers at Islamabad, mandated by their prime ministers at Thimpu to explore the ‘trust deficit’, could provide the forum for testing waters. The idea can then be taken forward within the respective security bureaucracies. It can be broached officially at the next round of composite dialogue if and when held, in case resumption of the peace process emerges from the mid July meeting.
     
  20. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    A South Asian legacy?




    Wednesday, July 07, 2010
    M Saeed Khalid

    The writer is a former envoy to the European Union.

    Pakistan has experienced so many dramatic events in the last three years that it is no longer the country the world knew in 2007. Back then, a supremely confident Pervez Musharraf moved between international power centres with ease and basked in the fame of his memoirs, In the line of Fire. He had a plan for another general election under his guidance and the question of taking off his military uniform was more a talking point in meetings with foreign visitors than a clear prospect. The Americans had grown used to dealing with one man in Pakistan who controlled the military as well as the political levers of power. While the exiled political leaders manoeuvred for their return, the west favoured a patch-up between Pervez Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto. Reconciliation with Nawaz Sharif, who had been toppled by the military, did not seem feasible for either party. And then, all hell broke loose.

    What followed the fateful meeting between President Musharraf and Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was tumultuous even from the known standards of Pakistan's turbulent history. It was reality more powerful than fiction and nobody, including the main players, knew where they were heading. It was as if a powerful hand had clicked "fast forward" for Pakistan for the rest of 2007. But as the year wound to an and, the screen suddenly went black when Benazir Bhutto rose perilously from the hood of her armoured car to touch base with the people and was mercilessly assassinated. Her abrupt departure set into motion a new series of happenings culminating in the rise to power of Asif Ali Zardari and the ouster of Pervez Musharraf.

    How many of us have given a second thought to all that the peaceful departure of a military strongman from power means for the future of this nation? It is hard to come across a serious analysis of the implications of Musharraf's reluctant handover of the post of army chief while continuing to serve as president. Nor do we hear much about the impact of Musharraf's ambiguous status of an exile for the future of civil-military power play in the years ahead. Will it encourage or deter a potential Bonaparte now that a precedent of dispatching a military ruler has been set?

    Admittedly, we have pressing domestic and foreign issues to address and cannot go into soul-searching right now. Foreign diplomats posted in Islamabad aver that with so much happening in and around Pakistan, they never have a dull moment. Afghanistan, Kashmir and parts of FATA are likely to remain theatres of military operations for years to come. With domestic political, economic and judicial crises aplenty, the international community is not betting on the return of stability to Pakistan in the foreseeable future. But our partners do realise that whatever happens to Pakistan in the months and years ahead is not merely going to profoundly affect this country but is full of far-reaching implications for South and Central Asia.

    It is one thing to speculate on the map of Pakistan in a few years' time while sitting in well-resourced American think tanks, but more challenging to forecast the ripple effects of destabilisation of Pakistan on countries like India, Iran and Afghanistan. When the Indian leaders speak of their good wishes for a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan, these should not be considered as empty words. India, more than any other country, will receive the fallout of trouble in Pakistan. The US and the EU want to develop ties with India for their own interests and pay lip-service to India's claim for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. They quietly caution India that the settlement of disputes with Pakistan would only help strengthen its candidacy for a seat at the world's premier forum. But the underlying concern is that their investments in India would not be secure without security and stability on the Subcontinent. Therefore, the imperatives of dialogue process between Pakistan and India have to be considered beyond the bilateral context and assessed in a regional and global setting.

    India's willingness to resume the dialogue with Pakistan signals New Delhi having reached the conclusion that the policy of no-talks had run its course. Or that India could maintain pressure on Pakistan within the framework of the dialogue process or through the intermediary of big powers for cracking down on anti-India militants. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh might have leaned on the opponents of talks with Pakistan in his well-known persuasive manner. Pakistan had adopted a reasonable but firm position of being interested in a result-oriented dialogue and not mere talks. Why would Mr Singh push for jumpstarting the dialogue when he could easily take shelter behind the pretext of Pakistan-based groups still remaining active? The answer probably lies in the life-long struggle of a man who had to study by candlelight, as his native village of Gah in Chakwal District had no electricity. He would later excel in studies at Chandigarh, Cambridge and Oxford. The boy from Gah rose through the ranks of international civil service and India's academia and financial institutions to become the country's reformist finance minister.

    The same Manmohan Singh has emerged as India's great benefactor since Jawaharlal Nehru. If Nehru consolidated India's democracy, Singh transformed an outdated Licence Raj into a liberal economy and turned India into an economic player of world standards. He could never get elected to the Lok Sabha and accepted to be in the upper house against the reserved quota of Assam. But that did not stop him from becoming the first prime minister since Nehru to get re-elected after completing a full five-year term.

    Manmohan Singh's legacy for India is already firmly in place. What more can he wish at the age of 78 with four years to go before the next general election? Can this time be used to extend his legacy beyond India's borders into something more durable on the scale of the Subcontinent? One thing is almost certain. There might not be another prime minister of India born on this side of the border. It is difficult to imagine two leaders so markedly different in their outlook as Manmohan Singh and Pervez Musharraf, but they shared the belief that having taken birth on the other side of the divide, they could work together with greater conviction to reduce acrimony between the two countries. Manmohan ji is not our last hope for Indo-Pak rapprochement but as good as there will ever be.
     
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  21. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Narashimha Rao is the actual architect of liberalisation and freeing India from the licence raj. His is the true visionary who had the courage to put India on the path to success. At the same time, it has to be conceded that Nehru laid the foundation to India's industrialisation, which has benefited India to chart the current course.

    The successor governments, including the NDA, were but extending his courage to wean India away from the womb to the tomb socialist philosophy.

    It is for a different reason that Narashimha Rao is not given the credit. Manmohan Singh was but the instrument to implement Rao's vision.

    Narashima Rao's strategic vision was equally formidable. He was bold enough to open up ties with Israel and yet, at the same time, ensured that India did not lose the Middle East countries.

    Rao's 'Look East' policy that was to some extent followed by the NDA has got lost in the bonhomie exhibited for the Look West adherents. The first and current Minister Mentor of Singapore is Lee Kuan Yew, who himself changed Singapore into a power engine, had great respect for Rao's vision. In fact, Lee Kuan Yew wanted a strategic relationship with India, but that was not to be so, for the short-sightedness of the successor govts, though AVB attempted to extend it to further east i.e. Vietnam.

    PMs are but captives of their party's politics. It is only the visionary who can tear himself away from the pettiness of national politics and think of India in its holity!

    This book is worth the read:

    LOOKING EAST TO LOOK WEST: LEE KUAN YEW’S MISSION INDIA
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
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