Roberto, Nehru and Sonali

In his eyes, her beauty, intelligence, grace and, not least, her wondrous enigma incarnated the very soul of India.
As we all know, Bong girls are more daring than most (and prettier than most, though personally speaking, we fancy Vidya Balan).

Questions: she was obviously seduced but what gave her courage to jump into the fire feet first and settle down with a rogue? Yes, girls are fascinated by bad boys, but it seems there is something more than meets the eye. Given Nehru’s background and role as a family friend, was it right and proper for him to aid and abet adultery (ho ho ho)? Finally, why did Sonali’s daughter pick up a rigid form of Islam- was it a reaction to her mother’s wayward ways? It would have been nice to hear her speak as well. Finally, dont pay any attention to hand-wringing libs, nice (dull) boys do finish last.

It was the scandal of the ’50s: a doe-eyed
Bengali beauty leaves husband, child to elope with celebrated Italian
filmmaker Roberto Rossellini. But for Sonali Dasgupta, who died in Rome
on Saturday, the love story didn’t have a happy ending.

Except for a few months in 1957, when she was thrown in the vortex of
a scandal that made headlines in the yellow press across the world,
Sonali Dasgupta lived her life behind a thick veil of anonymity. Before
the scandal erupted, she led the humdrum existence of a housewife,
resigned, unhappily no doubt, to playing second fiddle to her husband,
Harisadhan Dasgupta, a gregarious, ambitious and talented documentary

She had studied at Shantiniketan and took a lively interest in Indian culture.

But no opportunity came her way to turn that interest into a
vocation. Her lot was to bask in the reflected glory of Harisadhan —
first in Kolkata, where he had founded a film society along with
Satyajit Ray and Chidananda Dasgupta, and later in Mumbai, where he
directed documentaries for the Films Division and for major business

His success allowed him to socialise with Mumbai’s commercial film
industry circles, including, especially, with fellow Bengalis like Bimal
Roy who happened to be a relation as well. It is at a film party, held
in December 1956, that he learnt of the imminent arrival in Mumbai of
Roberto Rossellini, the great Italian film director, to direct, at the
behest of Jawaharlal Nehru, several documentaries, and perhaps also a
feature film, to mark ten years of India’s independence. All that
mattered to him now was a chance to serve as an assistant to Rossellini.
That would be another feather in his cap.

But that was not to be since he was in the midst of shooting a film
for a corporate house. So he tried another tack: persuade Rossellini to
hire Sonali to help him write the scripts for his films even though she
had no experience in script-writing.

Nor did she fancy herself in that role.

Not that Rossellini, whose marriage to Ingrid Bergman was on the
rocks, needed much persuasion. The very first time that he set his eyes
on Sonali he was seized by a mighty passion to seduce her.

In his eyes, her beauty, intelligence, grace and, not least, her wondrous enigma incarnated the very soul of India.

Discomfited yet flattered by the attention Rossellini lavished on her, Sonali succumbed to the charms of the Italian.

Her chagrined and outraged husband threw her out of the conjugal
home. Soon two scandal sheets — RK Karanjia’s Blitz and Baburao Patel’s
Filmindia — ran a series of salacious and concocted reports for weeks on
end. That prompted Hollywood gossip columnists to join the fray.

Pressure mounted on the government to cancel Rossellini’s visa. It
was Nehru who saved the day. He had known Sonali whom he affectionately
called Monkey.

She was given a passport and arrangements were made to dispatch her
to Paris along with her younger son — then a mere toddler. Rossellini
joined her a few weeks later.

Not long afterwards they shifted to Italy where she gave birth to a
daughter, opened a fashion boutique that boasted of a high-end
clientele, helped Rossellini in his novel film ventures and got along
famously with his children from his two previous wives. But the idyll
didn’t last long.

One tragedy after another marked her final years: Rossellini,
estranged from her, succumbed to a heart attack; Harisadhan, wasted by
drink, died in appalling penury; Gil, her younger son, passed away after
a freak accident. Her daughter, who trained in the theatre, reportedly
embraced a rigid form of Islam and migrated to the Middle East.

I met Sonali two days running in Rome while doing research on
Rossellini’s sojourn in India. She was poised, serene, stoic. She spoke
little. But the little she spoke was singularly free of bitterness,
remorse or chagrin. She had fulsome praise for Rossellini’s
accomplishments as a filmmaker. But at the end of our last conversation
she also said with just a hint of irony: “Ask me what it means to live
with a genius.”






Pakistan and Terrorism; Rocket Science?

Terrorists attacked Karachi Airport today. Fortunately the airport security force managed to keep them away from the passenger terminal and the army responded effectively and now claims to have killed all the terrorists with relatively limited damage to the airport.

Terrorists also killed at least 23 Shias in Balochistan, but nobody seems to consider that to be big news (man bites dog is news, dog bites man is just dogs being dogs). In the last few hours, I have not seen news of this attack on any major Pakistani channel. Shias on Twitter are reporting that the death toll may be higher than 23. But no news anywhere on mainstream media. Its almost as if it did not happen…

This is not the first major terrorist attack in Pakistan and unfortunately it will not be the last.  Efforts to blame India for the attack have moved ahead remarkably quickly (both ARY news and Express News are highlighting that the weapons used by the attackers are of Indian manufacture).
Alhamdolillah, the script has not changed.
NOTHING it seems can ever change the script. Pakistan is always the innocent victims of conspiracies launched by RAW, MOSSAD and CIA. We are caught in someone else’s war. Yadda yadda yadda. You know the drill..
Who are we to challenge the geniuses who make policy in Pakistan, but is it possible that there could have been a different script? Let us try the following script (and dear Paknationalists, do take my word for it, its in YOUR interest to think about this version, it sounds harsh, but in the long run, it will help…a lot):

1. Pakistan was the base for an international operation directed against the Soviet/pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan. For this operation we happily cooperated with the CIA, Saudi intelligence and others. We invited highly motivated mujahideen from all over the Muslim world to please come and join this effort. We provided them facilities, we provided them training and we provided them weapons. To improve the flow of Islamic fanatics, the CIA, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan spared no expense, building international networks of the same and building a network of thousands of Islamic seminaries across the length and breadth of Pakistan. In 1989, the Russians left Afghanistan and in 1992 the pro-Russian regime there collapsed and “our boys” won…and proceeded to rape and pillage across the length and breadth of the country. America having accomplished its mission of bleeding Russia and “avenging Vietnam”, left the place, but Pakistan’s strategic planners were not done.
2. The vast jihadist infrastructure created for the Afghan war was reoriented to Kashmir and towards internal “Islamization” in Pakistan, and continued to expand. More terrorists were trained in the 1990s AFTER the CIA had left than were trained during the Afghan war. An alphabet soup of terrorist organization was created and operated openly throughout the 1990s. Some of them went beyond the call of duty and attacked Shias in “settled areas” (attacking Shias in tribal areas was never a high-priority crime) and also attacked some “brother Arab regimes” (e.g. the Egyptian embassy). Such rogue elements were targeted by security agencies to various extents, but NO attempt was made to slow down (much less reverse) the larger Jihadi effort.
3. By chance or planning or both, a pro-Pakistan regime under the Taliban was established in most of Afghanistan and became a refuge for various groups of Islamic terrorists. Some of them were approved of, some were left alone, some were considered hostile by us. Details remains murky and confused.
4. In 2001 America was attacked in New York and Washington DC. The mainstream opinion is that this attack was launched by Islamist terrorists whose group was headquartered in Afghanistan. The US decided to invade Afghanistan to clear them out. Whatever other motivations the US may have had (let us assume there were some), it does seem that the US became more or less anti-Jihadist (at least in the Afpak region) at that point. Pakistan publicly announced it was switching sides and would henceforth support the US operation in Afghanistan and would no longer allow Jihadists to operate freely from Pakistan.
4. If various people who write about Pakistani security agencies are to be believed, we did not actually switch sides. In fact our president (Musharraf) even made a speech to the nation in which he gave the example of “sulah e Hudaybia” (a pact the prophet of Islam made with his enemies in Mecca, but which was followed a few years later by the complete defeat of the Meccan pagans; the link was EXPLICITLY made that we are making a similar deal with America; our aims remain unchanged, but we will adjust course temporarily). Instead of truly switching sides, our “strategic geniuses” decided to keep Afghanistan “simmering but not boiling” (to quote the most recent “authoritative” article by Waj Khan). We continued to support “good Taliban” in order to make sure the new regime did not stabilize in Afghanistan. We continued to maintain Kashmiri terrorist organizations in some sort of cold storage (these are not controversial claims. Bona fide patriotic strategic thinkers have said all this and more at various points). We cleared some areas of some terrorists but not all areas of all terrorists. We continue to try and separate good jihadis from bad jihadis etc etc.
5. Within Pakistan, various “bad Jihadists” have launched countless spectacular attacks. They are usually said to be on the payroll of Indian intelligence. They are also said to be reacting to drone attacks. They are also said to be misguided brothers. They have even been described as patriots and strategic assets. And even as some “bad jihadists” have been targeted, the wider Jihadist-Islamist network has not been touched. Their seminaries continue to train new generations of fanatics (including “students” from overseas. who still come to Binoria town and similar centers of excellence in Islamic fanaticism). Political parties that support Islamist terrorism in principle and provide them with political cover continue to operate with government support. In Balochistan there are accusations that anti-Shia terrorists have been protected because their wider network provides muscle against separatists. But all these claims are contested and confused. Let us leave them as unclear. What is clear is that “sensitive agencies” and the ruling elite did not fundamentally change course when it comes to the following:
        A. Afghanistan. We did NOT unequivocally support the ISAF supported regime. And it is likely that we continue to support the” good Taliban” whose declared aim to overthrow this regime. It is not clear if the “good Taliban” still support us, but that seems not to bother us.
      B. Kashmir. We have not given up on the notion of wresting Kashmir from India. There being on conceivable “peaceful means” by which this can be accomplished…well, do the math.
      C. Propaganda: blame is never clearly placed on Islamist terrorists. Terrorists who attack us are always Indian agents. The propaganda war continues to be fought on the same familiar ground.

What would a different strategy look like:

1. We should have switched sides completely in 2001. Calculating that Islamist terrorism will be a problem for us, a problem for India, for China, for Afghanistan, for Central Asia, for America, etc etc and we are better off having normal relations with these countries, we should have dropped the whole Jihadi option. Entirely. Completely. No good jihadists, no good taliban, no good Kashmiri militants, etc etc. In other words, we should have taken the opportunity to completely reverse a policy that was always a bad idea. We should have sided WITH America, with China, with the new Afghan regime and even with India against the Jihadist network.
2. Of course, the details of any such switch would have been a bit murky. Some lying would have been involved. But at least the people on top would have been clear about what they were trying to do. That has NOT been the case. If we had switched sides in 2001, by now the mess could have been sorted out. But 13 years were wasted while we tried to double-cross Amrika (this is not a controversial claim, many patriotic Pakistanis miss no opportunity to crow about the American failure in Afpak and to take some credit for wrecking it). We also kept alive a terrorist option against India. After Mumbai, we did not unequivocally act against the terrorists. In fact, our propaganda effort has been focused on creating doubts about the loyalties and identities of the perpetrators. This again is not a secret, or a controversial claim. It is also a mistake.

There is no way win the war against Jihadist terrorists by picking on some of them and by spreading mass confusion about their identity and aims. Terrorists dont just appear out of thin air to attack an airport. They have places of refuge, they have trainers, they have leaders, they build bombs and make plans in some physical location. These networks can be traced, their leaders killed or captured and their political supporters isolated and condemned. It is not rocket science. And it does not seem to be happening nearly to the extent which it should.

And when we do go after them, we will also have to ally WITH America, with China, and yes, even with India. Otherwise, it wont work. Good terrorists will provide cover to bad ones. Approved Islamists will help out unapproved ones. Propaganda will remain confused. and the general public will not be successfully mobilized in the effort. Law enforcement agencies will continue to hesitate to take action against particular terrorist networks and supporters because they will never know for sure who is currently approved as good and who has become bad.
It is possible that the deep state is now truly committed to defeating these groups. But if that is so, they are doing poor job of showing their priorities.

What do you think.. Has the policy now changed? Will it change soon?

The following screen captures of Paknationalist tweets after the Karachi airport attack do not raise hope..

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btw, this is Waj Khan’s tweet

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I urge everyone to read his latest article to see what I mean by unnecessary and self-defeating double games and triple-crosses. Why take my word for it. Take his…

POSTSCRIPT: 2 additional thoughts/clarifications
1. Vali Nasr tweeted something about “Pakistan’s other deadly campaign” in reference to the massacre of Shias in Balochistan. But of course, there is nothing “other” about that campaign. The campaign against Shias is a central and essential component of the larger Jihadist campaign. And for very good reasons (good from their point of view): the existence of a Shia minority in positions of power and privilege in Pakistan makes the project of a true Jihadist Sunni state an impossible project. Their loyalties are considered suspect, their connection to Iran is considered a problem, their role as enemies of Islam is fixed in the Wahabi project, etc etc, but most of all, their very existence means the Sunni extremist vision of Islam, Islamic history and Islam’s mission IN history will remain disputed (not just be infidels, but by people within the fold of Islam). They must be silenced. This is not a side-show.
2. Some people have noticed that I did not really tackle the Humera Iqtidar/Madiha Tahir/Saadia Toor brand (or brands…the factions of the People’s Front of Judea are legion) of objections to my script in this article. All I will say is that this is the new me. To get into an argument with them is pointless. More than that, it is a conceptual labyrinth from which one may not escape for several lifetimes.  I am trying very hard to stay away…(and in NO OTHER way do I claim the faintest resemblance to Jules Winnfield)


Karachi Airport terror attack

Scores of people are dead (official toll for now is 20). Jinnah Terminal flights will remain suspended for now.

Hopefully any and all people who we know here on BP are safe and sound (and their families as well).

This cult of suicide bombing is just madness. This will have to be dealt with philosophically (reverse brain-washing if you will) and not through force. Brute force alone will not win the war.

At least 20 people have been reportedly killed, including security personnel and civilians. Ten terrorists were also among the dead.

Some eight to 10 attackers were said to have engaged in a gun battle with security forces.
Army troops were called in to deal with the situation and troops from
Malir Cantonment have been dispatched, while police commandos and
Karachi Rangers are assisting.

A huge explosion was heard over
two hours into the attack. A second large explosion was heard near the
airport workshop. A third massive explosion was heard a further 30-40
minutes in. Huge clouds of smoke continue to dominate the skyline. Intermittent firing took place at the airport, while large plumes of smoke were seen over the cargo terminal.

One plane each of PIA and AirBlue, and a cargo plane of a foreign company were reported to have been damaged.
A hand grenade attack was also carried out on the Isphani Hanger.

Suicide bombers were reportedly part of the terrorist squad that has infiltrated the airport.
is being rescued by the security personnel and moved to safer areas.
Rescue teams are being allowed in after being checked thoroughly.
Passengers have been evacuated and moved to a secure location.

Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif called DG Rangers Sindh and asked him to ensure the safety of passengers.

All flight operations at Jinnah Terminal have been suspended and flights have been diverted to other airports.





Forget Pak, Focus on Chinese Challenge: RSS

Says Ram Madhav in his recent article . Some excerpts (in italics)

On Indo-Pak Relations: Hype without any substance

India and Pakistan have had chequered relations from day one…the BJP is seen as a hardline party when it comes to relations
with Pakistan…

..Many Indians have, for
several decades, been obsessed with Pakistan… They fail to appreciate that India is miles ahead of its
failed western neighbour. They also fail to realise that Sharif is not
the right man to deliver anything.. all-powerful
Pakistan army and the mercenaries of the ISI are baying for his blood…the attack on the
Indian consulate in Herat by ISI cronies on the very day of Modi’s
swearing-in was more a warning to Sharif than to India.

Real challenge is from China 

Modi government should realise that the real foreign policy
challenge comes not from Pakistan but from China… Unlike
Pakistan, China is a big and successful country. 

Need for change in China Policy

Indian government should
revisit its China policy…should understand one
basic truth. It hardly matters in China’s context as to how many times
our leaders have visited China or vice versa. 

Panchsheel is DEAD (interestingly includes its exercise by Vajpayee Government too)

Successive Indian leaders, including A.B. Vajpayee, never
missed the opportunity to refer to Panchsheel and “peaceful coexistence”
as enshrined in it in bilateral talks. No wonder, if the present
leadership is also forced to continue the ritual by MEA mandarins. But
we forget that the obituary of Panchsheel was written by Mao in 1962
itself when he told Zhou Enlai that India and China should practise not
“peaceful coexistence” but “armed coexistence

Claims India lacks knowlege of Chinese civilisation, needs to be corrected

Pakistan, our obsession is security, whereas with China we are overawed
by the talk of development there… China is not just a country or a government; it is a
civilisation. To understand China, our leader should better understand
their civilisational behaviour
... Sun Tzu’s Art of War.. Confucius. China’s policy behaviour is largely shaped by
its civilisational experience. Diplomacy, for them, is an art of

But at the same time, also claims mass ignorance of Indo-China relations is an asset though advises caution

The Indian government enjoys one advantage in India-China relations,
that of the ignorance of the masses in India about the complexities
involved in it. In the case of Pakistan, the people of India are very
aware of the sensitivities, forcing government’s options to a limited
few. However, in the case of China, no such constraint in the form of
popular backlash is going to happen
But the government must understand that this popular approval, born of a
lack of knowledge, can be dangerous if it decides to take things easy
with China.



Why were the Jihadis created?

Mr Haji Sriram Pasha ( ) has a theory:

I have said it before, but it’s worth often repeating. The Taliban, the sectarians, and the Kashmiri jihadi were raised to intimidate, harass, and browbeat people of Pakistan. Their ops outside of Pakistan were merely training missions in the art of subversion and terror within the country. The strategic depth had nothing to do with India. It was all about raising a militia to keep the people of Pakistan down.
In the Geo affair, the Army trained outfits assisted to surmount aggressive questioning. Inquiring minds terrified by multiple means. During all the hoopla, terrorist assassinated a human rights activist in Multan without a whimper.
The terrorist group MQM already occupies Urban Sindh. Now PTI is set to repeat the same in Punjab. PTI Youthias are not any different than the young Urdu speaking that were the first victims of MQM. The MQM job is to frighten the intelligentsia and business. PTI will do the same in Punjab and perhaps in KP too.

My comment was this: Absolutely spot on, at least about the Jihadis…. The only thing I would add is that within GHQ only a few people probably had any clue about what they were setting out to do. The other morons were held in place using bullshit like “strategic depth”, “Force multipliers” and “two nation theory”….

Has any army, even a moronic army, armed and trained half a million fanatics and let them loose within its own borders? We did. And they are doing what they were always meant to do. America, China, India, even Afghanistan, its all collateral damage…


Another desi tale from Kla

I’m currently playing poke with a bunch of Gujarati industrialists (I’m the only Teetollar in a bunch of Hindus, Jains, Sunnis & Ismailis).

At any rate Sid’s encouragement has spurred me to share my last tale about Desis in Kampala.
I was going to the Electronics shop in the new (but less popular mall, another newer one opened and has just killed it) and I saw two Desis manning the shop who just had the most Pakistanis mannerisms + appearance.
Even their nicknames were Ummahistic but imagine my surprise when they happened to be from India (Mumbai) and Hindus. But even so that time I let it go and did not pry, they didn’t have the brash Punjabi way about them but they reeked of the Indus.
A few days later I drop in the shop and I ask about them, turns out they are from Kalian, Bombay. But as I asked if they were Punjjus I finally got the answer to my riddle, they were Sindhis.
The mark of the Indus is always strong..

MH-370- eyewitness account?

In her account, Katherine
Tee has described seeing “an elongated plane glowing bright orange, with
a trail of black smoke behind it”,
heading from north to south.

With all the wonders of modern technology they still have no clue about what happened to the plane. But astonishingly enough, there may have been an eyewitness. Is she credible? That is now the million dollar question.
….She said: “I saw something that looked like a plane
on fire. That’s what I thought it was. Then, I thought I must be mad

It caught my attention because I had never seen a plane with orange
lights before, so I wondered what they were.


British woman who was sailing near Indonesia at the time Malaysia
Airlines flight MH370 disappeared has said she believes she saw the
plane “burning” and billowing smoke before it crashed in the southern
Indian Ocean.

An eyewitness account from yachting enthusiast
Katherine Tee, 41, has now been filed with the Joint Agency Coordination
Centre (JACC) leading the search based in Australia, which is yet to
find any trace of the missing jet.

In her account, Katherine
Tee has described seeing “an elongated plane glowing bright orange, with
a trail of black smoke behind it”, heading from north to south.

The object was flying at “about half the height” of two other flights
in the same patch of sky at the time, she said, in a series of posts
detailing the sighting on the yachting website Cruisers Forum, where
Katherine Tee is a moderator.

later told the Phuket Gazette that she initially dismissed the incident
as being “just a meteor” or even a figment of her imagination — until a
recent check of GPS logs confirmed that the plane’s projected track may
have taken it very close to where the yacht was sailing at the time.
“This is what convinced me to file a report with the full track data for our voyage to the relevant authorities,” she said.

As for whether or not what Katherine Tee saw really was a burning
plane, she has admitted on the forum that she was going through a
particularly stressful part of the journey at the time, including
difficulties in her marriage, and that her judgment may have been

She said: “I saw something that looked like a plane
on fire. That’s what I thought it was. Then, I thought I must be mad …
It caught my attention because I had never seen a plane with orange
lights before, so I wondered what they were.

“There were two
other planes passing well above it — moving the other way — at that
time. They had normal navigation lights. I remember thinking that if it
was a plane on fire that I was seeing, the other aircraft would report

When the pair arrived in Phuket everyone was talking about
the missing jet, and asked if they had seen anything. Ms Tee said she
told them what had happened, but that she “didn’t think anyone would
believe me when I was having trouble believing my own eyes”.

The JOCC has reportedly told Katherine Tee it will use her data logs
alongside those of the British satellite operator Inmarsat in its
ongoing investigation The JOCC has reportedly told Ms Tee it will use
her data logs alongside those of the British satellite operator Inmarsat
in its ongoing investigation “I didn’t even consider putting out a
Mayday at the time. Imagine what an idiot I would have looked like if I
was mistaken, and I believed I was.”

She has now filed two
reports to the JACC, which she said had replied to say her data logs
would be looked into. The Phuket Gazette reported that officials are yet
to confirm the account will be investigated in full.





Justice (for the dead) and dignity (for non-dead)

It is very unlikely that justice will come in time for all the internally displaced people (IDP) who are literally dying in the refugee camps in South Asia, Australia and elsewhere. At the least we should try and make sure that the survivors are able to live with dignity. 
A 29-year-old asylum seeker…Seemanpillai died
of his injuries after burns to 90% of his body and is the second Sri
Lankan asylum seeker to have self-immolated in Australia this year.


But…as the bishop says…we are all one people. We must have faith in this sentiment
even while all over South Asia, one community after another, is trying
to create high purity enclaves in which no minority voice will be

resettlement process in Sri Lanka cannot move forward without India’s
assistance and the country can do more to help thousands of widows and
children who have been rendered orphans, Bishop of Jaffna diocese Daniel
S Thiagarajah said on Tuesday.

And if we find the will-power to help Sri Lankan Tamils let us also be mindful about the Gujarati Muslims and the Kashmiri, Bengali, and Sindhi Hindus (and many others).

It would be also nice if the Pankajists spend even one percent of their ink on ALL of the forgotten South Asians (Hindus mainly). Arundhati Roy has even claimed that the India has let the Pandit refugees suffer on purpose so as to discredit Kashmiri muslims. She needs to grow up and remove her ideological blinkers.

Not to diminish the suicides noted above, it is women who suffer the most from such adverse social dynamics. They suffer during war and they suffer during peace. They suffer because men (collectively, individually) act as if deprived of any conscience whatsoever.

To our elites one simple message: stop bickering and start governing. Maintain law and order and provide the basic amenities of life. Stop purchasing submarines and aircraft carriers till you can stop the society from sinking into the mud. Above all stop polarizing communities against each other for petty gain. 
A 29-year-old asylum seeker who died after setting himself on fire
has been named as Leo Seemanpillai, a Tamil man who lived in Geelong,

Seemanpillai died of his injuries after burns to 90% of his body and is the second Sri Lankan asylum seeker to have self-immolated in Australia this year.
Tamil Refugee Council said Seemanpillai had set himself alight on
Saturday evening and died on Sunday morning at Alfred Hospital.

arrived in Darwin by boat in January 2013 and was said to be suffering
depression for more than a year. He was being held in community
detention on a bridging visa with work rights. His refugee claim was
still being processed, Scott Morrison said on Monday.

Arasa Ratnakanthan, a Sri Lankan refugee activist
who spoke to Seemanpillai’s flatmate on Monday morning, said the asylum
seeker had left Sri Lanka in the early 1990s aged just three or four.

said Leo had spent more than 20 years as a refugee in India and had
tried to return to Sri Lanka in 2002 but had been persecuted by the Sri
Lankan military and so had returned to India.

Ratnakanthan said Leo’s family had been members of the Tamil political movement.

Australian government has close diplomatic ties with Sri Lanka and many
Sri Lankan asylum seekers have been subject to a fast track “enhanced
screening” process, which human rights groups say denies them due
process as many have their claims assessed without the presence of a lawyer before being returned. More than 1,000 Sri Lankans have been returned by Australia in recent years.

Seemanpillai was not subject to the enhanced screening process, but in October the immigration minister warned Sri Lankan asylum seekers who planned to enter Australia by boat: “Anyone who may have come from Sri Lanka should know that they will go back to Sri Lanka.”

resettlement process in Sri Lanka cannot move forward without India’s
assistance and the country can do more to help thousands of widows and
children who have been rendered orphans, Bishop of Jaffna diocese Daniel
S Thiagarajah said on Tuesday.

He said the Church of South India has set up a centre in Jaffna to help
those who witnessed the war and to help them overcome their fear.

He stressed that the church was focusing on the well-being of all
people in the country. “We are all one people. Ahead of us is a
challenging task of rehabilitation of our people who have gone through
the darkest period in our history,” he said.

Link (1):

Link (2):



Crisis in Karachi: Altaf Hussain arrested

Altaf Hussain head of Muttahida Qaumi Movement has been arrested in London, supposedly on money laundering charges. Why now. after all these years? We presume this is all rolling in the context of a Pakistan-West entente in which long-time POWs are being swapped between the USA and the Taliban.   

PM Nawaz Sharif is likely to get a significant boost out of this, which will silence his main opposition (Imran Khan and the Deep State). A truly master-stroke from a political genius, but the fall-out must be now handled carefully.

We do not expect AH to be extradited to Pakistan (the European Court does not permit extradition to a country where death penalty is legal and there is also a legitimate fear of torture at the hands of the state authorities).

For now Karachi is in crisis mode and we hope that peace will be maintained at all costs. The British High Commission is closed. We wish the hapless citizens all the best. Please stay safe!!!!
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain
was arrested on Tuesday in London on suspicion of money-laundering as
thousands of people in his home city of Karachi staged a sit-in calling
for his release.

The London Metropolitan police
confirmed that a 60-year-old man had been arrested from a northwest
London property on charges of money-laundering, but they declined to
disclose the exact identity for “legal reasons.”

The police said a Specialist Operations unit was currently carrying out a search operation at the property in northwest London.
DawnNews quoted the Scotland Yard as saying that the investigation would continue for 24 hours.
Moreover, London police has said that an audio-video statement has been recorded of the arrested man. 

Moreover, a spokesman for the British High Commission said that the UK’s consulate in Karachi has been temporarily closed down.
deployed extra security at the British High Commission in the southern
part of Karachi as soon we learnt about Altaf Hussain’s arrest in London
through media,” Deputy Inspector General Abdul Khalique Shaikh told

“We have increased police patrolling and we are making further deployments at sensitive spots in the city,” he added.

Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the issue of Hussain’s arrest was of an
extremely sensitive nature, adding that the government would take all
legal angles into account.

The premier has directed parliamentarians and members of the PML-N not to comment on the news.




Indian Friends of Hitler (and Tojo)

Liberals everywhere are shocked at the BJP victory and wondering how did India get to this point. The backs of envelopes are filled up with sketches of straight lines drawn between two co-ordinates (Jews, 1939) and (Muslims, 2014). The imaginary gas chambers have also been fired up and are ready to go.

Assuming however that such an extreme scenario is unlikely (we are hopeful), there are still important questions to be asked (and a few history lessons to be learned) which may point to where Modi plans to go from here to the future. 

Is BJP truly a fascist party? Yes, the gloves do seem to fit quite snugly.  
Are there RSS honchos who carry feelings towards Muslims just like Hitler once (and many many German leaders) felt about Jews? Yes, however the favored approach now is assimilation and not assassination (for muslims, same difference).  
Finally, is it true that there were Indian nationalists who supported Hitler and Tojo in order to get rid of the Holocaust architects of South Asia- the British? Why, yes, that is also very much a part of Indian history, even though the Nehru-Gandhis have tried hard to rub it out. And Netaji Subhash Bose has plenty of fans even to this day, and not just in liberal-left Bengal.
It was not just Netaji though, was it? There were famous muslim partners of Hitler, including a number of Waffen-SS divisions comprising of Bosnians-Kosovars-Albanian muslims. The Mufti of Jerusalem (Haj Amin Al-Husseini) raised 20,000 troops for Hitler and was a proud partner of the Third Reich. It will be no surprise if some of these valiant leaders/soldiers and  their exploits have found a pride of place in the History of Ummah.

Love of Hitler, or to be precise, love of the Fuhrer’s Friends now and in the past, seems to be much more universal than the liberals in the West are willing to let on.

To Muslims in both India and Pakistan, Modi
may represent the devil they know;
a leader whose economic success and
reputation for leadership provides stability and confidence. 
importantly, given Modi’s Indian nationalism, these voting patterns
suggest India’s Muslims who supported the BJP see themselves as Indians
first and Muslims second.

The powerful Indian nationalist sentiment
Modi has tapped into draws upon allegiances and ties some Americans
might find troubling. At a May 8 BJP rally in Varanasi, Modi honored a
115 year old Indian colonel who served under Subhash Chandra Bose in the
Indian National Army (INA). 
Known to most Indians as Netaji, Bose was
recognized by the Axis Powers during World War II as India’s rightful
government, whose support he sought against the British to help India
achieve independence. INA soldiers fought alongside the Japanese against
the British in the Burma campaign, were defeated, and 300 officers were
tried for treason. In August 1945, Netaji (Bose) died in a plane crash
in Japanese-occupied Taiwan.

Outside of India, the INA’s legacy has been
mostly forgotten. But within the country—and especially among India’s
rising business titans—Netaji is revered.  
“I believe India would have
been a powerful exporter much before China if only Netaji had a front
seat in our policy making along with (Jawaharlal) Nehru,” said Infosys
Technologies founder Narayana Murthy at Netaji’s 114th birthday celebration. “Netaji was one of the most courageous leaders in India.”

It is the name absent from that list which
speaks loudest. Mahatma Gandhi, whom many Americans see as India’s most
important founding father, does not command the same respect throughout
his country.  
Although Gandhi’s 1948 assassination inspired national
mourning, it was sponsored by the Hindu Mahasabha, the spiritual and
political forerunner to the BJP. The conspirators saw killing Gandhi as a
necessary evil, believing his policies would destroy India.
In the
Hindu nationalist view, although Gandhi led a powerful nonviolent
resistance movement, he was responsible for giving away Pakistan,
setting India on a ruinous economic course, and promoting the country’s
cultural division into 22 official languages.

Although Gandhi had few good options for
evicting the British and uniting India, Hindu nationalists believe his
nonviolence and socialism were fine for spirituality but had no place in
statecraft. Ironically, this makes Modi the Mahatma’s antithesis and
populist successor. Like Gandhi, Modi’s charismatic patriotism, austere
lifestyle and disciplined leadership have won India’s trust. But Modi’s
conservative policies run contrary to the socialist Congress, and thus
the vote is a clear mandate for change. “He is our Obama,” several Modi
voters told me, perhaps unaware of how far off the mark our current
president fell from his soaring campaign rhetoric.

No one really knows how Modi will affect
India’s international relations, but his hardline conservatism and long
memory suggest he will be friendly towards countries who have
steadfastly supported India’s independence.
Ties to Russia have endured
since the Cold War, when India embraced the Soviet Union after the
United States supported Pakistan. 
In 2007, Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe visited Netaji’s memorial in Kolkata, a gesture Modi is
unlikely to forget. 
Relations with China could benefit from India’s
economic rise, should India grow as a consumer market, or become
strained through geopolitical competition, if skirmishes occurred over
the Arunachal Pradesh or Aksai Chin border disputes.

In the Mahabharata, the epic Hindu
scriptures, Lord Shiva is depicted as a multi-formed enigma, embodying
both honor and brilliance as well as invincibility and terror. Modi
supporters treat the 2002 violence—in which they tacitly acknowledge his
responsibility—with an Indian equivalent of a Gallic shrug: it was
unfortunate, they say, but sometimes good people are forced to do bad
things. His opponents respond, correctly, that Modi’s victory repudiates
Gandhi’s vision of religious unity, and is thus an Indian tragedy.
Shiva has many forms in the Hindu tradition, but the two most dominant
are as either a benefactor or a destroyer.

One of every five people—22% of the world’s
population—lives in either India or the United States. By 2025,
according to current projections, India will overtake China as the
world’s most populous country. “They are much the most interesting
people in the world—and the nearest to being incomprehensible,” Mark
Twain concluded about Indians. “Their character and their history, their
customs and their religion, confront you with riddles at every
—riddles which are a trifle more perplexing after they are explained
than they were before.” 
If Ma Ganga could speak, she could not have
better explained the man poised to lead her dynamic and paradoxical
nation. Only time—or, perhaps, the sacred river—can tell which of Lord
Shiva’s many incarnations the devout Hindu leader will become.

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