Articles by neutral observers

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by SATISH, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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  3. SATISH

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    The Indian Ocean: A Critical Arena for 21st Century Threats and Challenges

    By Ellen Laipson

    January 12, 2009




    Think of the Indian Ocean as a geographic region, where more than two dozen states along its rim interact as neighbors and sometimes competitors, where outside powers pass through, for economic and strategic purposes, and where resources vital to international trade and environmental stability must be managed and protected. Are we confident that the rules for governing this region are fair and accepted by all the key players? Where do states’ interests intersect with global interests? How do questions of sovereignty get resolved in maritime space? Does everyone know the rules and abide by them?

    These are some of the questions explored at a workshop in Dubai in October, which gathered experts from Indian Ocean states as diverse as Kenya and Indonesia. Experts from the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Malacca, as well as Sri Lankans, Indians and Pakistanis were included. The topics ranged from fisheries to coastal zone management to piracy and prospects for regional cooperation on traditional and non-traditional security problems. Eventually, all discussions came back to questions of governance.



    The nature of the problem

    There is no doubt that the Indian Ocean is becoming a more critical area of the world, when measured by the share of the world’s energy and commerce that crosses it. Roughly one third of the world’s population resides in states that have a coast on the Indian Ocean. One fifth of the world’s energy supplies travel across it, largely in a west (Persian Gulf) to east (India, China, Japan) direction. In reverse direction, superships carry manufactured goods from Asia to Middle Eastern and European destinations

    The sea itself is an economic resource. Fisheries issues vary across the region: in some cases, overfishing in the sea has been replaced with inland fishing, or, in the dramatic case of Somalia, a displacement of fishermen to illicit activities, including piracy. In other cases, fisheries provide a small portion of national income, but a significant portion of the economy for coastal communities, and their interests sometimes conflict with national development plans and the larger scale fishing activity of outside powers. Environmental concerns include the degradation of coastal mangroves, erosion of coral reefs, and the disappearance of a startling 70% of biomass, across the entire Indian Ocean region.

    In recent years, this compelling economic and ecological story has been complicated by other trends from the dark side of globalization: human trafficking, smuggling of illicit goods and materials, movement of proliferated weapons and weapons components, and piracy. The prosperity of the Indian Ocean rim states and the economic value of the cargo that plies the seas have stimulated various forms of predatory and exploitative behavior that risks lives and livelihoods, and adds cost and risk for those that use these vital trade and commercial sealanes.

    An asymmetry of interests and power also compounds the challenge. Great powers use the high seas for strategic objectives, including energy security. They are less sensitive to the impact that their economic and security-driven activities have on the sea itself, as compared to rim countries with developing economies and island states for which the sea is vital to survival. Priorities for preservation of natural habitats and for preventing maritime pollution are not shared among the Indian Ocean’s users. The Indian Ocean and its adjacent bodies of water (the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf) play a role in conflicts: the Sri Lankan struggle with Tamil separatists has a naval dimension; India and Pakistan have had maritime disputes as part of their long-standing rivalry, and Gulf Arab states share the narrow and strategic Gulf waters with the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet and with Iranian Revolutionary Guard naval forces, to name a few.



    Finding Solutions and Addressing Governance Gaps

    It is a daunting task to balance economic, environmental and security interests at the national level. Countries around the Indian Ocean approach maritime policy in sharply different ways:

    • For Kenya, maritime policy is driven by economic interest and the centrality of the port of Mombasa as an entry point for African trade. The navy is a minor player.
    • For Sri Lanka, the conflict defines maritime policy. Coastal areas are off-limits to civilians, who forgo rich fishing opportunities to allow the government to deny the Tamil Tigers use of the sea for insurgency operations.
    • For Singapore, the stewardship of vital sealanes is its highest national security mission, and has led to productive cooperation with Malaysia and Indonesia, to ensure safe passage for commercial ships.
    • India sees the maritime space as an important dimension of its rising power status, and this will have consequences for how its neighbors view the Indian Navy and its ability to contribute to regional peace and security.

    Maritime policy can be seen as the purview of coastal defense, so that a navy or coast guard would have the lead or sole role in determining policy. Maritime policy can also be deeply domestic, directed by those responsible for tourism, or fisheries, or other basic economic interests. Few countries have addressed the challenge of integrating complex and diverse national interests into a coherent maritime policy. Even large countries with long coastlines concede that their border with the Indian Ocean is often considered the hinterland, not the heartland, of the nation, and policy-making reflects a passive or underdeveloped approach to maritime governance. Archipelagic states like Indonesia or small countries with strong seafaring traditions like Oman are important exceptions.

    At the regional level, there are many positive examples of cooperation and ad hoc regional organizations created to manage a distinct maritime issue, such as:


    • the Gulf organization on port security and control (2004 Riyadh Memorandum of Understanding, headquartered in Oman),


    • an anti-pollution institution of eight Persian Gulf states based in Kuwait (1981 Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment - ROPME),


    • a fisheries management initiative based in Kenya (the 2004 South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission), or


    • an anti-piracy coalition to guarantee free movement in the Strait of Malacca (2004 MALSINDO – the Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia organization).

    These efforts have narrow mandates and can readily identify the stakeholders and the official counterparts in each participating state. One should applaud such initiatives, but also hope that they can be lashed up with other national and regional maritime players, in the cause of information sharing and coordination. Often well-intended actions in one sphere can unintentionally have adverse effects on another: destruction of mangroves, coastal tourism and other activities to promote development, for example, exacerbated the effects of the tsunami in Sri Lanka and in other Indian Ocean islands.

    What is missing are initiatives at both the national and regional levels that take an inclusive and comprehensive approach to maritime cooperation, to grapple with the difficult tradeoffs between short-term economic interest and the long-term stability and viability of the Indian Ocean as a natural resource for littoral states and communities, or the security of local actors vice the strategic interests of great powers. Economics, environment and security interact in the Indian Ocean in dynamic and potentially destructive ways. Today the region has generated many well-intended but incomplete forms of governance – national, regional and global regimes and mechanisms are not as robust as need be for the tasks of maintaining the Indian Ocean as a sustainable zone of commerce, energy security and peace.


    http://www.stimson.org/pub.cfm?id=733
     
  4. SATISH

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    ''The Implications of the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership''
    ust prior to the July 18, 2005 meeting between U.S. President George W. Bush and India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a senior official commented that the two parties would talk about "whatever is on their minds"; apparently, this turned out to be a lot. Some pursuits, such as a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, did not come to fruition. Still, India made major gains in one area of particular note: access to dual-use technology. Nuclear technology will lift India's masses to a higher level of electricity and convenience. Rocket technology will offer India's space program a giant leap forward.

    However, this same equipment and technology has another possible function: serving as a means to build a better bomb or a longer range missile. India and the United States have charted a course toward transforming India into a "major world power in the 21st century." While the joint U.S.-India statement issued on July 18 represents a significant step forward in strategic bilateral relations, it presents an equally significant step backward in nonproliferation norms.

    One may well ask whether India has taken the steps necessary to merit concessions in the domain of the "grand bargain" of signing onto the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (N.P.T.). India remains outside of the N.P.T., as well as outside the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime. However, India has not been plagued with the widespread proliferation scandals that sully its neighbor Pakistan.

    As of April 2005, India passed its Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Bill to cover activities of its nationals, whether domestic or abroad. Many of India's recent technological advancements, especially in the nuclear field, have been indigenous. This is exemplified by India's reprocessing of mixed uranium and plutonium carbide fuel in its Fast Breeder Test Reactor at Kalpakkam in June 2005 and construction on the 500 MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor in October 2004. While largely self-sufficient, India continues its pursuit of technology to advance its nuclear and rocketry programs forward. The United States, for its part, has chosen to tread into the supplier territory that it once admonished Russia for entering.

    Prior U.S.-India Steps

    While nearly a year ahead of schedule, the July 18, 2005 U.S.-India joint statement is not a sudden tectonic shift. The erosion of export controls on India began nearly as soon as they were imposed. Following India's May 1998 underground nuclear tests, President Bill Clinton placed sanctions on India. However, merely a day after imposing sanctions, the U.S. Department of Commerce approved the sale of computer software for designing printed circuit boards to Bharat Dynamics Limited, a known missile maker.

    A few months later, this individual sale no longer appeared to be an example of an item that simply slipped through the cracks. On October 21, the U.S. Congress authorized the president to waive the existing economic and financial sanctions against India and Pakistan for up to 12 months. By February 1999, citing a more flexible policy on India and nuclear nonproliferation, the Clinton administration relinquished objections to India's request for a $150 million World Bank loan. By October 15, 1999, Congress adopted an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill that granted the U.S. president the authority to waive all sanctions against India.

    Clinton never had the occasion to take this next step of eliminating sanctions. Instead, President George W. Bush did it for him. In October 2001, Bush waived sanctions placed on India following the 1998 tests. By November 2002, India and the United States agreed to set up the High Technology Cooperation Group (H.T.C.G.), a body to facilitate the transfer of sophisticated civilian and military technology and to discuss space and nuclear cooperation.

    Following its establishment, former Under Secretary of Commerce Kenneth I. Juster lauded the H.T.C.G.'s contribution to the United States' 90 percent approval rate for dual-use licensing applications for India in 2003, more than doubling the value of such approvals to $57 million. This organization soon became a part of the larger India-United States Next Steps in Strategic Partnership (N.S.S.P.) initiative begun in January 2004. The N.S.S.P. assumed the function of expanding U.S.-India cooperation in civilian nuclear activities, civilian space programs, and high-technology trade, leading to modification of the United States' export licensing policies.

    By May 31, 2005, U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman and the deputy chairman of India's Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, had formed five working groups and nuclear technology exchanges under the "India-U.S. Energy Dialogue." Discussion topics are anticipated to include "fusion science and related fundamental research topics," which would ostensibly not require approval under the U.S. Department of Energy's regulations for "fundamental" technology transfer. Still, fusion technology may also be used to create an energy boost for nuclear weapons, allowing the same destructive yield with a smaller size and weight for deployment.

    Finally, in a decidedly overt military development, India's Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee and United States Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld signed a 10-year defense agreement entitled "New Framework for the U.S.-India Defense Relationship" on June 27, 2005, just prior to the U.S.-India joint statement. This agreement called for expanding the bilateral defense trade including technology transfer, as well as joint research, development, and production programs.

    The Newest Step

    As the most recent and contentious measure, the joint U.S.-India statement creates a political quagmire in which strategic and economic bilateral gains affect the international community's nonproliferation momentum. In terms of the United States' part of the bargain, the decision to sign a Science and Technology Framework Agreement for joint research and training and public-private partnerships posits U.S. provision of high-technology to India. These transfers could extend to any number of exchanges previously banned under U.S. sanctions and export control legislation.

    Both sides agreed to build closer ties in space exploration, satellite navigation and launch and in the commercial space arena through mechanisms such as the U.S.-India Working Group on Civil Space Cooperation. Yet, space technology also doubles for missile technology and U.S.-provided advances could be used in enhancing India's pursuit of intercontinental ballistic missile (I.C.B.M.) and submarine-launched ballistic missile capabilities.

    The United States also pledged to work to achieve "full civil nuclear energy cooperation and trade" with India, seeking congressional adjustment of U.S. regulations. Specifically, the July 18 joint statement mentions fuel supplies for safeguarded nuclear reactors at Tarapur. Tarapur is under International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) safeguards, but more than a dozen of India's nuclear reactors, heavy water production facilities, enrichment plants, and uranium purification sites are not. Full civil nuclear cooperation lends itself to dual-use dangers given the near impossibility of separating between civilian and military nuclear facilities and India's already selective approach to safeguards.

    India has already demonstrated its shaky commitment on both of these counts since plutonium used in its initial 1974 nuclear detonation originated in its Cirus reactor, supplied under a civilian use pledge. Even if India fulfills its pledge to place a few more civilian facilities under I.A.E.A. safeguards, the Indian Express stated it best in exclaiming that India would retain its "nuclear jewels" and keep Cirus, Dhruva and other weapons-related nuclear reactors away from inspectors. Moreover, full civil nuclear energy cooperation with a non-signatory to the N.P.T. contravenes the very essence of the treaty.

    India's promise to continue its unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing demonstrates an offer that, while feasible, already exists in practice. Similarly, in promising to refrain from the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technologies to non-nuclear weapon states, India is merely reiterating its current stand and does not represent new initiatives. In promising to work with the United States for the conclusion of a multilateral Fissile Material Cut Off Treaty, India has furthermore signed onto a promise of working toward a treaty that is not expected to succeed. While the United States has relinquished many of its former policies, India has merely restated its own.

    The Role of U.S. Interests

    While the July 18 joint statement in terms of technological gains is weighted in India's favor, this does not indicate that there are no advantages for the United States. For the United States, benefits rest in the financial gains to be made through military sales to India and the preferential placement of U.S. military bids vis-à-vis European, Israeli, and Russian competitors. The Indian Air Force plans to purchase 126 new jets over the next four to five years. Not coincidentally, on March 25, 2005, the United States agreed to allow Lockheed Martin to sell F-16 fighter planes, which may be used to deliver nuclear weapons, to both India and Pakistan. If F-16s are selected over Swedish, Russian, and French competitors, the total price tag for supplying India alone could reach $3 billion.

    The U.S. also has been looking for markets to peddle such wares as the much touted and much failed PAC-III missile defense system, which figures prominently into the Rumsfeld-Mukherjee "New Framework for the U.S.-India Defense Relationship." Strategically, India offers the potential for increased cooperation with a country that is rapidly growing as an economic and military power in a region increasingly dominated by China. The United States has also been searching for a means of expanding the Proliferation Security Initiative and interdiction into the Indian Ocean. On issues of terrorism, India has also presented itself as a point of intelligence sharing in a crucial region. [See: "India's Project Seabird and the Indian Ocean's Balance of Power"]

    Among the negative points for the United States, many of India's gains demand few if any new requirements. India remains outside of the nonproliferation regime. Cooperation on dual-use technology may one day threaten regional and international stability since India will be gaining access to missile and nuclear technology that could be used in an I.C.B.M. or for expansion of or improvements in its nuclear weapons program.

    While India does not have a reputation for proliferating to other countries, it remains a source of concern for its own capabilities and for its impact on other states wishing to proliferate. The United States nonproliferation principles and arguments used vis-à-vis Iran and North Korea will become more tenuous. The United States will also increasingly find pressure from Pakistan to provide similar technological exchanges, potentially leading to greater strains on U.S.-Pakistan cooperation. [See: "Pakistan: a Geopolitical Crux"]

    In fact, on July 25, 2005, just a week after the U.S.-India joint statement, Pakistan's foreign office spokesman Naeem Khan voiced his government's interest in U.S. cooperation on "nuclear energy, high technology and the peaceful use of space technology." Ominously, that same week, Pakistan's Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz cancelled his visit to the United States. For Russia and China, criticized in the past for their assistance to India, Iran, and Pakistan's nuclear programs, the U.S.-India joint statement opens up the playing field for future transfers to more countries than just India.

    The Role of Indian Interests

    For India, domestic news articles lament India for selling out to U.S. demands with particularly sharp criticism emanating from India's left and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. On the whole, however, the removal of sanctions and mitigation of dual-use restrictions work in India's favor. India will gain access to technology that will enhance its civilian nuclear and space programs, as well as its nuclear weapons and missile fields. Not only will access expand, but India's market and negotiating leverage will grow vis-à-vis Russia, Israel, France and other suppliers.

    Russia and France have already voiced approval of the United States' broad lifting of constraints on trade with India, hoping soon to be able to provide fuel and technology for India's nuclear, space, and defense programs. Increased U.S. presence also creates an incentive for China and other states to engage India further economically, politically, and militarily to prevent the U.S from becoming India's primary partner. Cooperation in the nuclear and missile realm will spill over into all areas of trade and economic cooperation with India.

    On the negative side, India will be losing a degree of its non-alignment policy, and its military policy will face greater U.S. interference. U.S.-India alignment, even if only nominal, could lead to other countries regarding India as a U.S. lackey. This newfound role will limit India's ability to intervene as an international player, especially in areas of nonproliferation. Not only will it be seen as a U.S. "ally," India will also serve as a shining example of to what some countries would aspire, establishing a nuclear weapons program outside of the N.P.T. and later receiving acceptance and rewards. India may also wind up fulfilling the dire predictions of Indian analysts that see the United States attempting to dominate the Indian Ocean. Finally, if the cooperation develops a heavier strategic tone, any inkling of the U.S. using India to balance China or Pakistan could endanger India's own security through regional arms racing.

    Conclusion

    India has eschewed nonproliferation constraints and tested nuclear weapons. Yet, less than a decade later, India receives benefits in not only the military realm, but also with nuclear and missile-related dual-use technology. This sends a hypocritical message to countries playing by the nonproliferation "rules," as well as to those that are trying to break them.

    The U.S.-India joint statement has already set in motion mechanisms that promise to test the U.S. Congress and the Nuclear Suppliers Group as to their stand on nonproliferation. While the parties pushed the joint statement nearly a year ahead of schedule, the outcome remains distant due to demands for changes in U.S. and international nuclear legislation.

    In the meantime, the United States has tied its hands on demanding more concrete pledges from India on cutting its fissile material production, much less placing its nuclear facilities under feasible safeguards. The United States stopped just short of calling India a nuclear weapons state and yet it conferred upon India the same benefits as an N.P.T. signatory.

    Cooperation between the United States and India has the potential to generate economic and strategic benefits for both parties in military exchanges and confidence-building measures. For the moment, however, the scale is decidedly tipped in India's favor on technology transfers. India is on its way to becoming a great power in the 21st century, and for India a large part of this accomplishment will remain vested in its nuclear weapons and missile programs.

    Ultimately, while the U.S.-India joint statement is bilateral in tone, its repercussions will be global. Nuclear weapon states and military suppliers such as Russia, China, and France are carefully observing the outcome to guide their own future sales. Similarly, countries outside of the N.P.T. or countries contemplating violation of the treaty are also watching. If the agreements and changes in U.S. or international legislation that come out of the joint statement are not made with this understanding, India's gain may be the nonproliferation regime's loss.

    Report Drafted By:
    Lora Saalman

    http://www.pinr.com/report.php?ac=view_report&report_id=341
     
  9. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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  10. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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  11. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/apr/14/pakistan-taliban-india-petraeus-afghanistan
     
  12. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Thanks Vinod this is exactly my point. India needs to recognize the opportunity to lend a helping hand towards those in Pakistan who are willing to recognize the problem and solve it, rather than going back to the old blame-sulk-threaten cycle which gives us nothing but more terrorists to contend with.

    If India's leaders have foresight, they will grab this opportunity. The Chinese character for crisis, as the cliche goes, is the same as the one for opportunity. Maybe we can learn something from this and use the instability in Pakistan to our mutual advantage.
     
  13. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    Perhaps you are right. I am however starting to think that India should prepare for the aftermath (5 months and a week left now in the ticking clock ;) ) rather than help or try prevent the inevitable.

    Pakistan's hostility seems insatiable even though there may be large number of reasonable people there. We showed our magnanimity in 1971 by releasing the 90,000 POWs for their assurances. What did we get in return? A terminal hostility and wave of terror from the ungrateful! India should have pressed home the advantage then.

    Anyway I don't think there is much point wasting energy on trying to help them. Instead it should be to get it over with and manage the aftermath.
     
  14. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    ^Well that depends on whether you take those reports seriously :). I do not, because the Taliban have not managed to enter the 'core' provinces of Sind and Punjab so far, and the PA will probably not sit idly by if those two provinces are affected.

    Nevertheless, the issue is not about magnanimity and/or betrayal. Frankly it doesn't matter because it is not a question of trusting Pakistan, its a question of supporting those in Pakistan and extending a friendly hand to those who are our friends rather than our enemies.
    The USA is doing the same, and that has worked out much better for them than to simply blame the country for harbouring terrorists.

    I"m quite sure that Pakistan WILL wake up to the Taliban threat sooner or later, maybe it will even have an all-out civil war, but its rather foolish of India's leaders to sit and watch rather than back our friends across the border.
     
  15. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    Let's wait and watch. At this point it's not entirely clear if it is not the PA itself playing with fire by promoting the Taliban. If reports are to be believed, all major cities of Pakistan inclusing Karachi and Lahore have a big Taliban presence already. People in posh areas of Karachi are getting threats from Taliban for letting their girls out and so on.

    I have no faith in PA, in their intentions or their will to act against anyone other than the mortal enemy. They have lost in SWAT and Bajaur by force of arms! There is no reason to believe it can't happen elsewhere including in the core provinces.

    USA is seemingly doing that while preparing for the worst. I doubt we have any friends in Pakistan capable of anything. Any Induan help will anyway be refused and create more enemies. Such is the mindset there.

    Yes, wait and watch is out of the question. I am not sure we have any friends or any leverage. The best we can do is prepare for any eventuality including the worst possible one.
     
  16. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    flint,
    you are assuming that PA and taliban are mutually exclusive. you are also assuming that pakistan's core provinces are opposed to taliban. these two are just assumptions since they have not been validated by any evidence so far.

    I agree with vinod, we should prepare for the aftermath. infact, we should go one step further and create aftermath. CIA seems to have balkanisation of pakistan in mind, why not help them. let us give peace a chance in sub-continent by dividing pakistan.
     
  17. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    People this thread was created for just posting articles for future references. We can take the discussions somewhere else.
     
  18. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    I'm not assuming anything, but I'll be damned well assuming something if I take it that nobody with any influence in Pakistan is willing to fight the good fight with the Taliban.

    Regarding your second para, as much as we would love to see our old foe destroyed once and for all, lets hope that the replacement is not a multi-headed hydra that is far more difficult to contend with.

    Clearly, from a conventional point of view splitting Pak is a victory. But the enemy we face is not a conventional one. It thrives in places where the influence of state institutions is weak.
     
  19. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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  20. SATISH

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