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Friday, 13 November 2009

Obama Wants to Know 'How We're Going to Get Folks Out' of Afghanistan

White House officials said that in a meeting with Pentagon chiefs Mr Obama had made clear he wants his decision on troop reinforcements to offer a strong suggestion of when and how responsibility for security would be turned over to the Afghans.
After two months of discussions with his advisers he rejected all four options they had touted on the number of troops to be sent, in a surprise move that risked provoking further allegations of “dithering”.
While he is still expected to announce that he is sending reinforcements, Mr Obama insisted that a broad framework for handing over control of security to the Afghan army is written in, as he sought to warn Afghan leaders - and reassure the US public - that the mission is not "open-ended".
Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, said on board Air Force One, said: “The president believes that we have been there for eight years, and we're not going to be there forever. And it's important to fully examine not just how we're going to get folks in but how we're going to get folks out.”
The move followed a forceful intervention about the troop build-up from General Karl Eikenberry, the US ambassador to Kabul.
In two classified cables and comments he made to Mr Obama by video link late on Wednesday, he came out firmly against bolstering the American presence unless President Hamid Karzai seriously addresses corruption, and argued that more US troops would only make the Afghans more dependent.
As the US commander in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, Gen Eikenberry’s views will carry extra weight, as well as annoying his successor, Gen Stanley McChrystal, who has requested a “surge” of up to 40,000 troops.
Mr Obama’s aides said he made clear he wants his long-awaited decision on troop reinforcements to offer a strong suggestion of when and how responsibility for security would be turned over to the Afghans.
Mr Obama is now expected to opt for at least 20,000 extra troops, many of whom would be engaged in training Afghan recruits, when he finally makes his announcement after returning from a tour of Asia next week.
“The president believes that we need to make clear to the Afghan government that our commitment is not open-ended,” said a White House official after the meeting.
“After years of substantial investments by the American people, governance in Afghanistan must improve in a reasonable period of time to ensure a successful transition to our Afghan partner.”
Tensions between the White House and the Pentagon over the deployment have already bubbled to the surface. Senior presidential advisers have accused generals of leaking the misinformation that Mr Obama has all but decided to dispatch more than 34,000 additional troops, in a bid to force his decision. There are currently 68,000 US military personnel in Afghanistan.
Developments in Washington and recent comments by Gordon Brown suggest that Nato allies are moving towards a twin approach of deepening commitment - particularly on training Afghan security forces - while increasing pressure on Kabul to assume responsibility in specific locations at the earliest possible opportunity.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Nato Secretary-General, said yesterday after a meeting with the Prime Minister in London that “we can and should start next year to hand lead responsibility to Afghan forces in a coordinated way through Nato where conditions permit”.
Mr Brown said earlier this week that handovers in the volatile southern province of Helmand, where most of Britain’s 9,000 troops are based, could begin as early as June.
“Our exit strategy is a function of Afghanization,” said Simon Lewis, Mr Brown’s spokesman, who stressed that handing over responsibility for security would “not necessarily” mean any immediate reduction in troop numbers.
Both London and Washington have sharpened the tone of their rhetoric against Mr Karzai, who was found to have committed major electoral fraud in the August election but is nonetheless forming a new government.
Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, yesterday reiterated US concern about Afghanistan’s “corruption, lack of transparency, poor governance [and] absence of the rule of law”.
Mr Karzai’s spokesman said the government was committed to tackling corruption, but put some of the blame on the West.
A palace spokesman said: “We’ve pledged to the international community to further intensify our efforts against corruption. We are serious.
“At the same time, we want the international community to do more to eliminate corruption in spending aid money. We want the international community to eliminate corruption that exists in the contract systems.”

India’s 21st-Century War

In an age of climate change and deepening inequality, the spreading Naxalite insurgency in India - not al-Qaida - may show the world its future.

A year on from the election of Barack Obama as United States president, the conflicts that dominated Washington’s concern under his predecessor are still raging - and even increasing in intensity. This is particularly true of the arc of insecurity that stretches from the middle east through to southwest Asia, where - from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Israel-Palestine and Iran - the reality and potential of violence have hardly been diminished as a result of the change of administration.
Moreover, alongside the high-intensity conflicts where Washington is directly or by proxy involved in this region, there are other slow-burn insurgencies that often receive less attention than they deserve. The persistent rebellion in India of the Maoist guerrilla movement known as the Naxalites is one such. A reason for paying more heed to this issue is that the evolving nature of the Naxalite conflict - including the Indian government’s approach in attempting to combat the movement - may represent a more accurate indicator of future trends in global insecurity even than the al-Qaida network.

A potent legacy
The internal United States debate about its future strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan in particular has as much of its specific focus the current status of al-Qaida, and whether it still represents a major threat to US security interests.
The argument over whether (and by how much) to increase US deployments in Afghanistan - prompted by General Stanley A McChrystal’s request for at least 40,000 more troops - is now complicated further by the political fallout of the now aborted rerun of Afghanistan’s presidential election. The effect of the confirmation of Hamid Karzai as the election winner and thus president for a third term in office (after the withdrawal on 1 November 2009 of his rival, Abdullah Abdullah) makes it even harder for the pro-”surge” advocates to make their case.
Many of those who oppose such a move argue that the US is making a strategic mistake by seeing the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban groups as the main focus of its efforts. These are so embedded in local societies on either side of the border that they cannot, so the argument goes, be defeated in the conventional sense. It is far more important in this view to concentrate specifically on the al-Qaida leadership and that movement’s most determined adherents. By doing so, the US military will lead the task of defeating terrorism and making the world a safer place.
This argument, though yet to be won, can be seen as a significant departure from the dominant thinking of George W Bush’s “war on terror” - especially its tendency to describe any radical paramilitary group anywhere in the world as “terrorist”. The logic of this view, embraced with glee by the neo-conservatives that provided the Bush administration’s ideological fuel, was the radical division of the world into two absolutely polarised sides: with us or against us, there is no room for doubt or compromise.
The search for a more nuanced and targeted approach reflects a degree of new thinking from Barack Obama. The problem he faces is that the mentality of the “war on terror” has proved so influential, including by other states facing their own domestic insurgencies, that it is very difficult to change course.

A hidden rage  

A case in point is the New Delhi government’s developing assault on the Naxalite rebels in India. The Naxalite movement has its origins in a land dispute near the village of Naxalbari in the northern part of West Bengal in 1967. This lasted several years and appeared to have been brought under control. But later, a number of leftist groups fired by a Maoist ideology made links with disadvantaged peoples in parts of rural eastern India; in the early 2000s, this coalesced into a renewed movement.
Since then, the Naxalites have grown in power and influence. They are often brutal in their methods but have managed to win support from huge numbers of marginalised people, in part because of the great brutality inflicted by security forces in the areas the guerrillas control. The Indian authorities are increasingly concerned at the threat the movement poses to the country’s internal security - and even its much-vaunted economic miracle. For the state, and much of the economic elite, the Naxalite/Maoist rebels are simply terrorists who must be put down with whatever force is necessary. Since then, the Naxalites or Maoists have grown in power and influence, as part of a conflict with the authorities in which there has been great brutality on both sides. They are reported to be active in 220 of India’s 602 districts across fifteen of India’s twenty-eight states.
Much of the activity is spread across India’s so-called “red corridor”, which stretches from the Nepalese border down to the southern state of Karnataka. A current report says: “With a force of 15,000 armed cadres, they control an estimated one-fifth of India’s forests. They are also believed to have 50,000 underground activists. Around 100,000 people, including the intelligentsia, are associated with various front organisations in different parts of the country”.
The problem with this view is that the guerrillas draw on the genuine injustices inflicted on poor Indians in rural areas, including (for example) the many thousands dispossessed of their lands and livelihoods by mining corporations and new industries. These injustices are part of the entrenched and increasing disparities in wealth and poverty that India’s breakneck race for growth has created. The war between the Indian state’s security forces (including the armed militias it has organised) and the Naxalites is taking place amid this landscape of desperate poverty and inequality. The rebels’ tactics include the use of roadside-bombs and ambushes, which have helped them kill over 900 Indian security personnel in 2006-09. In the period from April-June 2009 alone, they killed 112 security personnel in four key regions of combat: Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa; over three days in early June, twenty police lost their lives in two attacks. In Maharashtra, two Naxalites lured a police patrol into a trap and in an hours-long fight, seventeen policemen died.
The authorities are now being shocked by years of accelerating conflict into raising the level of their response. New Delhi is mounting a large-scale operation - Operation Green Hunt - that is expected to involve some 70,000 paramilitary forces. The aim is partly to counter the spread of Naxalite influence beyond the most densely forested areas that have been their core domain into open countryside; Operation Green Hunt seeks to force the rebels back into the forests where they can (it is supposed) be more easily contained.
The carefully planned operation could take several years to complete. At its root is the firm belief that the target groups, however strong their support, constitute a threat to the emergence of the new India as a global economic power. In such circumstances, strategic ores must be mined and factories built on suitable land. Those in the way - leftist rebels or local villagers - simply cannot be allowed to interfere with India’s onward march to western-style modernity.
It is especially pertinent to note that this rebellion has caught India somewhat by surprise. At the very time that India has finally embraced the consumer society, when burgeoning cities are replete with shopping-malls, entertainment venues and gated communities - violent extremists appear, as if from nowhere, to wreck the party and threaten the future. The fact that much of what is happening can be understood as a desperate response from intensely marginalised people is discounted.

A warming conflict
The import of the Naxalites and other Maoist groups in India may go far beyond the major internal-security problem they pose. From another perspective, they represent an early example of the kinds of radical response that could - if present dominant policies continue - become far more widespread in the coming decades. In the 2010-40 period, climate change will affect the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world in ever more pervasive ways. As the continents warm up much faster than the oceans and the croplands dry out, the consequence will be a sharp decline in the land’s ecological “carrying-capacity”. This is also a world where there are enormous gaps in living-standards, life-chances and access to resources; where 10% of the world’s people have over 85% of the household wealth; and where hundreds of millions of people in the global south (and north) are marginalised and resentful. The results, if such trends are allowed to continue, will be a combination of more fragile and failing states with intense migratory pressures; in turn this will reinforces the tendency of the world’s elites to seek to “close the castle gates”.
In this perspective, the rational approach would be led by an awareness of how the dangers of socio-economic divisions and environmental limits make a new definition of security essential. A continuation of the current path may mean that al-Qaida will be seen as a short-term problem that withered away - and the Naxalite rebellion as the prototype conflict for the 21st century.

Kashmir and Indian Identity

They were up from their seats some pointing aggressively towards this man standing on the raised stage other shouting and physically assaulting. I stopped on these chaotic scenes on NDTV while flickering channels this morning of Monday 9th November 2009. On most of the other news channels the main highlight of day was 20th years of the fall of Berlin Wall and on one of the channels Hilary Clinton was saying that we have to bring down all the walls that exist in 21st century and confront those who hide behind these walls. But what i saw on NDTV was happening in India’s Maharashtra State over an oath taking or ‘swearing in’ ceremony for ministers. The news unfolded and it became clear that the chaos was over a member assembly Abu Azmi taking oath in Hindi rather than Marathi.  Soon Mr Azmi started taking oath in Hindi, the members of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in the assembly jumped out of their seats and stopped the ceremony because they wanted the oath to be taken in Marathi, the State language despite the fact that Mr Azmi is not a Marahashtrian and cannot speak Marathi.

While there are several aspects to this incident and it will be analysed and commented upon by Indian politicians, commentators and social scientists for some time to come, my purpose of raising this issue here is not to analyse the behaviour of MNS that is an off shoot of India’s communally violent extremist party Shiv Sena. I am just thinking loud to describe how the news about the Marathi and Hindi controversy in one of the Indian states made me think about my country that is divided and occupied by India and Pakistan and that too is multilingual and multicultural and multi faith or in one word a ‘multi identity’ state and where the process of national identity construction has been halted and distorted due to the occupation for over 60 years.

While watching the scenes my mind went back to a conference in London few years back organised by a British based Kashmiri NGO, the International Kashmir Alliance (IKA). For the first time State Subjects of different shades of views and opinions from all parts of the divided state of Kashmir including those in diaspora sat together and discussed their issues under one roof and on a common platform. However, what stuck to my mind was a question asked by a BJP representative from Jammu and has been repeatedly posed by many Indian and Pakistani nationalists. The question is ‘how can a unified and independent Kashmir is possible when people of Jammu and Ladakh has nothing in common with Kashmiris?’.

In the conference my friend Adalat Ali tried to give conversation a humorous touch by ‘accusing’ the BJP chap of indirectly arguing for the breakup of India where so many tribes, languages, religions, cultures, ethnicities and nationalities live in the same country. To this the respond by the BJP guy was that they have a common Indian identity.

Although i disagree but can see the point in claiming that Kashmiri means Kashir in Kashmir and Indian identity is not the identity of any particular State or region within India so the Indian identity is acceptable to all Indians. However, if we seriously look at the growth of Indian identity it appears that its origins are in the Indus River and from there it gradually evolved into Indian that has been constructed through political processes and struggles into a wider national identity beyond Indus people. The fact that the struggle for constructing a national identity in multiethnic states always faces some serious problems and big challenges is evident from what happened in the Maharashtra Assembly. Here the MNS members though not openly challenged the Indian identity though they might prefer Baharat over India or Hindustan over India or may be Hindu Desh over India, but they do challenge the Hindi which is seen by some as India’s national language and synonymous with India as Kashir and Kashir (the Kashmir valley) with Kashmir. Indeed there is no Kashmiri language in Kashmir. The Kashir or Koshar is called Kashmiri by outsiders as the term of Kashmir was used by outsiders to describe the Kashir Valley and its surrounding territories. Almost in a similar fashion as the outsiders made Indus as reference point to describe the people who inhabited beyond that river that is called Sindhu in Sanskrit and Sindh in Urdu.

Now would the BJP or others who object to the emergence of Kashmiri as the national identity of the State, argue for the disintegration of the Indian state because there is no one common language of the Indian people? Are would the State Subjects who while support the unification of the State but oppose its independence because regions do not have anything in common be open and accept that actually they oppose independent Kashmir because they want its accession with India on the basis of religion? And that primarily the argument is a communal argument?

The author can be reached via email: shamakashmiri@yahoo.co.uk

India's tit for tat against China

Iftikhar Gilani
 India on Thursday made it clear that any paper visa "stapled" to the passport in separate sheets rather than pasted will be treated as invalid for travel out of the country. The government order has sent a wave of concern amongst Kashmiri students and businessmen studying or trading in China. They were still awaiting the governments may find a middle ground to save their career prospects.

"It has come to the attention of the government that the Chinese
Embassy here and its Consulates in Mumbai and Kolkata are issuing visas on a separate piece of paper stapled to the passport (rather than "pasted" as is the usual practice), to certain categories of Indian nationals on the basis of their domicile, ethnicity and/or
place of issue of the passport. Such paper visas stapled to the
passport are not considered valid for travel out of the country,"
Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement here.

The snub comes in the wake of the reports that some Kashmiri students and businessmen were given visa by the Chinese embassy on a separate piece of paper, stapled to the passport. Immigration officials at the airport denied permission to such travellers to fly out.

The Ministry of External Affairs also asked its citizens to ascertain from the Chinese embassy or Consulate whether the visa issued to them will be affixed to the passport or will be in the nature of a stapled paper visa to avoid any inconvenience or financial loss.

"All Indian citizens intending to travel to the People's Republic of
China are advised that before making any travel arrangements they should first ascertain from the Chinese Embassy or Consulate, as the case may be, whether the visa being issued to them will be affixed to the passport or will be in the nature of a stapled paper visa, so that they are not inconvenienced or put to any financial loss later on this count," the ministry said.

Chinese embassy officials here have been maintaining that stapling of the visas on a separate piece of paper was a "usual practice" for last few years and the problem was from the side of Indian immigration officials at the airport.

The Chinese Embassy's practice of stamping visas to some Kashmiris on a separate sheet of paper instead of passports was seen as a new front in needling it, evoking a strong reaction from India. The visas were stamped on separate papers as was the practice for those hailing from Arunachal Pradesh.

The action with regard to Kashmiri travellers is seen as an attempt by China to question the status of Jammu and Kashmir as part of India. Upset over the development, India had said, "it is our considered view and position that there should be no discrimination against visa applicants of Indian nationality on the grounds of domicile or ethnicity."

[Kashmir Times]

India's Naxalites: Wages of feudalism

In 1966, on hearing of a peasant rebellion that had erupted in Naxalbari, a small hamlet in West Bengal in India, Chairman Mao Zedong of China said that “a single spark can light a prairie fire”. He likened the forays of the small group of Maoists as sparks that would ignite agrarian unrest in India to a level unbearable for the government. In a year’s time, West Bengal saw the formation of a government led by the the Communist Party of India -Marxist (CPM), but those who began the “Naxalite” movement saw this party as dominated by the “oppressor classes” and had formed their own “Communist Party of India Marxist-Leninist (CPI-ML), that rejected the peaceful path of elections in favour of armed struggle. Its leader,the frail but charismatic Charu Mazumdar, was soon captured by the security forces,and died in custody. His followers took to the jungles but soon fizzled out.

Why? The reason was that the Indian peasantry - especially the landless - were too scared of the big landowners to risk their lives in armed assaults. A few “class enemies” were killed,and some of them publicly beheaded, but such sights failed to ignite rebellion in the broad masses,who stayed quiet. Most had an option to armed struggle and used it: elections. In the 1967 elections the once all-powerful Congress Party was reduced to a minority in several states, including in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Or perhaps it was not the din of democracy that blocked the spark from settling the prairie aflame but the bitter memory of the Communist agitation of the 1950s in Telengana ,which too had been suppressed viciously . Hundreds of revolutionaries had been killed,and the trauma was great enough to convince the Communist Party of India that elections rather than armed struggle was the way of the future, a course rejected by its “Maoist” cousin. By 1973, the Maoist “Naxalite” movement had been brutally stamped out, although several of the cadres of the CPI(ML) escaped death and imprisonment. Indeed, many went: aboveground” and took to conventional careers. It was only during the last years of the 1980s that the movement revived again, regaining its 1960s strength by the end of the 1990s. The reason was the income inequality created by economic reform. While the new policies had made about a quarter (and thereafter a third) of the Indian population prosperous, the gap between them and those at the bottom of the ladder increased enormously. Cable television,which spread from the 1980s, opened the eyes of the rural poor to the lifestyles of the rich,and although incomes grew,wants increased by much more. In several parts of the country,those at the lower ends of the social ladder began moving up,helped by a policy of providing low-cost education.In the South, because unlike in the north of the country, the Muslim elite had not migrated to Pakistan, the Muslim community began to prosper,matching the rest of the population in education and income. Land reform began to get implemented across the country in the 1970s,following Indira Gandhi’s spectacular 1972 victory on the slogan of “Garibi Hatao” ( “Abolish Poverty”). In Kerala,each landless labourer was given a tenth of an acre of land on his landlord’s farm,thus making eviction impossible. As a result of this new-found security, agitations for higher farm wages multiplied,and Kerala farm wage rates went up by several times.In Karnataka too, a vigorous labd reform was implemented that took land away from landlords and gave it to tenants who till then did not own the land they tilled. Wherever such reforms were successful, the local economy flourished. However,in some parts of the country,diehard feudal interests prevented land reforms from getting implemented. They ignored the many laws passed in favour of the landless and the small peasant,and continued to have despotic control over the many who worked on their fields. Even today,a third of the country still retains vestiges of feudalism.This includes parts of the states of Maharashtra,Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh,Orissa, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh. Not surprisingly, it is in such places that Naxalism has reared its violent head. Because the landlords control the voting booths, and have the local administrative machinery in their pockets,the very poor find that democracy does not deliver for them. So they get attracted to the simple message of the Naxalites: join us,and we will together vanquish your oppressors. Since the 1990s, a tenth of India’s 600-plus districts have come under the control of the Naxalites (or Maoists,as they are also called), at least during the nights,when police dare not venture out from their stations.

The only panacea for this situation is inclusive development, that ensures a reasonable distribution of income to the underprivileged.The problem facing authorities in India is that the Maoists seem totally opposed to any form of development. They block the building of factories,and sometimes even roads. Interestingly,in India,they have been in the forefront of moves to ensure that the country’s uranium reserves remain unmined. In each location where uranium gets mined,Maoists protest. As a result,India’s nuclear reactors were starved of fuel,until the 2008 nuclear agreement signed with the IAEA ensured a steady supply. Maoist activities have held back development, so that some claim that they wish to ensure that poverty continues,till such time as they themselves will come to power.

In the meantime, areas where the insurgents are strong suffer.An example is Nandigram in West Bengal,where a giant factory was to be set up by the Tata Group to produce the world’s cheapest car,the Nano ( at a price of Rupees One Lakh each). Political rivals of the ruling CPM party joined hands with Maoists to ensure that the factory was not built, despite the fact that more than 70,000 jobs would have been created locally by the factory. In all regions controlled by them,the Maoists are against big projects,fearful thatthe spread of prosperity will affect their popularity, and bring in outsiders who are less amenable to their control than the poor (largely tribal) population that forms the bedrock of CPI(ML) support.

In Nepal, Indian government agencies stood aside as the Maoists took control of the state. Only when they began to reveal their bias towards China (and their hatred of India) did the Government of India realise that it had been nurturing a Frankenstein. Till last year,Nepalese Maoists were given sanctuary in India, especially in West Bengal. They were assisted in numerous ways by officials in Delhi against the Monarchy in Nepal, an institution that has always had a tense relationship with Delhi,which has always favoured the democratic parties rather than the Palace. In the 1980s, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi blockaded Nepal in order to force the King to abdicate his powers in favour of elected representatives. The last King of Nepal,Gyanendra, has seldom hidden his distrust of Delhi, a sentiment that was reciprocated. However, once the Maoists came to power,they showed their true colours. These days,there are reports that the Maoists (Naxalites) in India are getting help from across the border in Nepal.If so,this would be a worrisome development.

In India,the policy has always been to ignore a problem until it gets too painful to remain unaddressed. Today,the Naxalite movement has become - in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s words - the Number One security problem in the country.The newly-appointed Home Minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, has vowed to tear up the roots of this violent insurgency,and is creating special units for the purpose.Defense Minister A K Antony has said that if needed,the armed forces will go into operation against the Maoists. However, such police action should be accompanied by anti-feudal measures as well as by an acceleration of development projects. Economic growth fused to social justice is the best defense against the Maoist insurgency that is growing in India.


China gave Pakistan bomb-grade uranium for nukes’

China provided Pakistan with weapons grade uranium for two bombs in 1982, according to notes made by Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Washington Post reported Friday. In written accounts cited by the newspaper, Dr Khan said China also supplied a blueprint for a simple bomb that significantly speeded Pakistan's nuclear weapons program.
The Post said the deliberate act of proliferation was the culmination of a secret nuclear deal struck in 1976 by Chinese leader Mao Zedong and Pakistan's prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
‘Upon my personal request, the Chinese Minister ... had gifted us 50 kg [kilograms] of weapon-grade enriched uranium, enough for two weapons,’ Dr Khan wrote in what the Post said was a previously undisclosed 11-page narrative of the Pakistani bomb program.
Dr Khan prepared the narrative for Pakistani intelligence officers after his January 2004 detention for unauthorised nuclear commerce. He is still under house arrest.
In a separate account sent to his wife several months earlier, he wrote, ‘The Chinese gave us drawings of the nuclear weapon, gave us kg50 enriched uranium.’
The Post said China has long denied helping any other nation acquire nuclear weapons, but that Khan's accounts confirm the long-held conclusion of US intelligence that China provided such assistance.
US President Barack Obama is expected to raise nuclear proliferation issues with China when he visits Beijing on Tuesday.
Dr Khan, the alleged mastermind of a nuclear proliferation network that stretched to Libya and possibly Iran, stated that top politicians and military officers were immersed in Pakistan's foreign nuclear dealings, the Post said.
‘The speed of our work and our achievements surprised our worst enemies and adversaries and the West stood helplessly by to see a Third World nation, unable even to produce bicycle chains or sewing needles, mastering the most advanced nuclear technology in the shortest possible span of time,’ Khan boasts in the 11-page narrative
                                       Pak rejects report of uranium supply from China 

Pakistan on Friday angrily rejected a US newspaper report that China provided the nuclear-armed Muslim state with weapons grade uranium for two bombs in 1982.A spokesman for Pakistan's foreign ministry rejected the allegations in a Washington Post article as "baseless."
"Pakistan strongly rejects the assertions in the article that is evidently timed to malign Pakistan and China," the spokesman said in a statement.
In written accounts cited by the newspaper, Abdul Qadeer Khan, who is the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb, said China also supplied a blueprint for a simple bomb that significantly speeded Pakistan's nuclear weapon program.
The Post said the deliberate act of proliferation was the culmination of a secret nuclear deal struck in 1976 by Chinese leader Mao Zedong and Pakistan's prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
The foreign ministry spokesman, however, slammed the report as an attempt to detract attention from India, Pakistan's arch atomic rival, which like Pakistan is not signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
"This is yet another attempt to divert attention from the overt and covert support being extended by some states to the Indian nuclear programme since its inception and intensified more recently," he said.
Pakistan and China had "comprehensive and all-dimensional" cooperation, which includes civilian nuclear cooperation for peaceful purposes, he said.
"This has always been above board. Pakistan and China have always respected their respective international obligations and non-proliferation norms," the ministry spokesman said.
US President Barack Obama is expected to raise nuclear proliferation issues with China when he visits Beijing on Tuesday.
Khan, the alleged mastermind of a nuclear proliferation network that stretched to Libya and possibly Iran, stated that top politicians and military officers were immersed in Pakistan's foreign nuclear dealings, the Post said.
Security arrangements have been imposed on Khan after a five-year period of house arrest for operating a proliferation network was lifted in February.

Blast near ISI building kills eight in Peshawar

Suicide car bombs tore through security offices in Pakistan on Friday, killing at least 13 people and heavily damaging the Peshawar headquarters of the country's top intelligence agency.The deadly assaults on Pakistan's police and intelligence agents come with 30,000 troops pressing their most ambitious offensive to date against homegrown Taliban networks in their mountain strongholds on the Afghan border.
The three-storey Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) provincial headquarters in the northwestern city of Peshawar was heavily damaged, with huge clouds of smoke spewing into the sky and debris littering the ground, witnesses said.
The front and middle of the building collapsed, and five bodies lay on the road after the attack, said an AFP reporter in Peshawar, on the edge of Pakistan's lawless tribal belt which is infested with Al-Qaeda and Taliban.
"I was busy at work then suddenly I heard gunfire. I saw a vehicle moving towards the ISI building and then there was a huge blast. I was thrown to the ground," Azmat Ali, a 30-year-old mechanic told AFP in hospital.
"I don't remember anything else, but there was dust everywhere," he added after being treated for a broken shoulder.
The United States has put Pakistan on the frontline of its war against Al-Qaeda and has been increasingly disturbed by deteriorating security in the country where attacks and bombings have killed about 2,500 people in 28 months.
Pakistan's military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said it was a suicide car bombing outside the intelligence office building.
"Five official personnel have been martyred," Abbas told AFP.
Security officials put the overall death toll at 10 with more than 30 wounded.
"Ten people are dead... Up to 300 kilograms (661 pounds) of high explosives and mortars were packed into the car bomb," North West Frontier Province police chief Malik Naveed told AFP.
"Our engineers are checking the rubble to see if anyone is trapped," a senior military official told AFP.
A second suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into a suburban police station in the garrison city of Bannu, southwest of Peshawar, killing three policemen and wounding 12 others, police said.
"The number of casualties is likely to rise because the injured are being pulled out from the rubble," police chief Iqbal Marwat told AFP from the garrison town.
Peshawar has become a target for major attacks by suspected Taliban militants.
The most devastating bomb attack in Pakistan in two years killed at least 118 people in a crowded Peshawar market on October 28 as militants put ordinary civilians in the crosshairs of their bloody campaign.
Pakistan's powerful and shadowy intelligence agencies have a history of supporting Islamist groups in a bid to counter rival India, but militant attacks have increasingly focused on domestic targets in the last two years.
Friday's bombing in Peshawar was the first major attack outside an ISI installation since May, when a suicide attack on a police building in the city of Lahore killed 24 people.
The government blames increasing attacks on Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which is the target of the ongoing offensive and which wants to avenge the killing of their leader Baitullah Mehsud by a US missile in August.
The latest attacks came after stiff Taliban resistance killed at least 17 Pakistani soldiers Thursday in the military's deadliest day since launching a major offensive in South Waziristan, security officials said.
Pakistan has pressed around 30,000 forces, backed by war planes and attack helicopters, into battle in a US-endorsed mission to wipe out the chief strongholds of Tehreek-e-Taliban in the tribal district of South Waziristan.
On Tuesday, a Taliban spokesman told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location that the militia had embarked on a guerrilla war from the mountains of South Waziristan and would attack cities as a matter of course.