Hindu Muslim marriages: what gives?

It is, however, the elopement of
Priyanka Wadhwani, a girl from a wealthy Sindhi family, and Umar, also
from a leading Muslim family in Bhopal, that triggered the biggest storm
in the city.


On a personal note, we know of a “developing” situation where a working class boy (muslim) and girl (hindu) would like to tie the knot. Both families (back in the village) are highly distressed and have requested us to put a stop to this. We support the choice these kids have made (why not?) but have insisted on a civil marriage. Incidentally, we also had a civil marriage followed by a ritual marriage.

Why insist on a civil marriage? Tariq Ansari explains in Outlook as part of a larger argument as to why he supports an uniform civil code:
…..Third, at least half of all Muslims are badly served by the Muslim Personal Law. Triple talaq, no rights to
maintenance (thank you, Rajiv Gandhi!) and subordinate rights of inheritance are all examples of how my Muslim
sisters labour under an unfair and, dare I say it, unIslamic set of regulations.
I have a daughter and if she
should want to marry a Muslim it will be under the Special Marriages Act, thank you very much.

That said, even with the protections of a civil marriage in place, Hindu-Muslim marriages will remain highly controversial (amongst Hindus and Muslims within India as well as without).

This article below by Saba Naqvi Bhaumik shines a spotlight on the dimensions of this social problem and a Pakistani (Shia) site responds by mainly focusing on the fact that a Shia lady has a Hindu surname!!!
Sad to say, in a few decades even Shia-Sunni marriages may become as controversial as Hindu-Muslim ones.
(1) Muslims are doing it more and more. Well, at least to ME they are unislamic. Bharati Muslims may think otherwise. Look at this article from some shia lady with Hindu surname. Perhaps this is a way for Bharati Muslims to prove their love of Bharat-Mata.

(2) The Muslim idea of ‘practicing religion’ is unique among religions. In
other faiths it depends on how you define ‘practice’. It is near
impossible for practicing Muslim to get into an interfaith marriage and
sustain it successfully thereafter.
If one is a true practicing Muslim,
come what may, he/she will not choose to marry a person outside the
religion. Because even if they marry civically, the marriage is void
Islamically and equal to fornication.

(3) We cannot make any generalizations here. It’s obvious that *only*
non-practicing muslims will marry hindus. Non-practicing muslims in
Pakistan, Iran, SA, also indulge in all sort of hanky panky too. A
practicing muslim will make sure his or her kids are raised according to
islamic tradition. As a shia we don’t even agree to a permanent
marriage with a a jew or a christian lady, let alone with a hindu, who
have no or little respect for the Abrahamic tradition.
But for those who
follow the sharia of Bollywood, this is a non-issue. In short, the
problem is not where people live, but how they live. 


It is, however, the elopement of
Priyanka Wadhwani, a girl from a wealthy Sindhi family, and Umar, also
from a leading Muslim family in Bhopal, that triggered the biggest storm
in the city. Incensed, the Sindhi community convened a panchayat. Much
deliberation later, the elders concluded that it was mobile phones and
two-wheelers that were leading their daughters astray and perhaps a curb
was required on these. 

A “distinctly Islamic” influence was also
discerned in the practice of Bhopal girls covering their heads while
“They say they do it to protect themselves from heat and dust,”
said Madhu Chandwani, general secretary of the Sindhi panchayat. “But
it’s clearly a fashion picked up from some Muslim girls. We Sindhis left
Pakistan to protect our daughters, and here in India they are moving
around with their heads covered.”

The girls, however, did not
take kindly to the panchayat’s diktat and took out a procession. Sindhis
in Indore too expressed reservations. Confronted with all the
opposition, the panchayat backtracked and said these were just views and
not a firman on the community.

As for Priyanka and Umar, they
are in hiding in Mumbai and are said to have contacted activist Teesta
Setalvad. Umar’s family thinks it would be foolish for them to return as
Umar could be attacked or even thrown into jail in bjp-ruled Madhya
Pradesh. Never mind if the court has ordered that the couple be given

Priyanka and Umar’s troubles have been compounded by
the fact that Priyanka’s family has close links with the parivar.
Outlook met her uncle Lajpat Rai Wadhwani in the company of known
parivar activist Bhagwandas Sabnani, who is also said to be a close aide
of Uma Bharati. Uncle Wadhwani was categorical that “Priyanka is dead
for us”.
More vocal was Sabnani who was not only instrumental in
organising the panchayat but was also behind the creation of the Hindu
Kanya Suraksha Samiti, another parivar front organisation that will
largely be run by the Bajrang Dal.

Love doesn’t enter into the
picture for Sabnani; it’s all part of a larger conspiracy to convert
Hindus to Islam.
He outlines the diabolical design Muslim boys
perpetrate: wear tilaks to disguise themselves as Hindus and hang around
girls colleges; threaten and force the girl to run away with them and
then abandon them since they can marry many times.

Bhopal girls cover their heads against the dust, but for Sindhis it’s Islamic

both Umar and Rehan have converted to Hinduism is not enough to wash
their sins. “It’s meaningless,” says Sabnani. “Done under pressure.”
With the families of both boys under attack in Bhopal, the Hindu
conversion could indeed have been a tactical move. For Sabnani, there is
no doubt: “In no time, they will reconvert.” 

The most sensible thing
for the couple to have done was to marry under the Special Marriages
Act, but it’s a long bureaucratic process that requires a month’s notice
during which anyone can object to the proposed marriage.

of Umar’s eight brothers, the eldest too is married to a Hindu,
Aparajita Sharma, daughter of a police DG and an IAS officer herself.
Reports in the media said the second daughter-in-law too was a Hindu but
she is in fact Muslim, and goes by the name of Zeba. The rest of the
brothers are unmarried. When Umar disappeared with Priyanka, it was
Zeba’s husband and Umar’s brother who was picked up by the police and
questioned repeatedly for five days.

All their connections and
wealth can’t stop Umar’s family from feeling nervous, enough for them to
refuse being photographed or be directly quoted.
They say people who
tried to help them were asked to lay off by the highest authorities in
the state. The police would land up at their house at odd hours and
without warrants. Umar’s conversion is hardly an issue for them. As a
family member says, “He is a 22-year-old child. We are worried only
about his security and health.” Currently the family has round-the-clock
police protection.

Hardly surprising, as many think that the
state government would have allowed a riot had the regime in Delhi been
friendly. But as Sajid Ali, a senior lawyer and Congressman, says, “We
recently complained to the minority commission in Delhi how there have
been 112 incidents of communal tension since the BJP came to power.” 

Ultimately, the BJP dispensation decided to back off and told its
Bajrang Dal/VHP cadres not to agitate further. Even the devout doubted
the intentions of the agitators. The general secretary of the All India
Sindhi Sadhu Samaj, Mahant Baba Ramdas Udaseen, told Outlook: “Social
outrage is not surprising in such cases. But these days such issues are
also highlighted for the political agenda of dividing communities.”

no one did it better than the parivar outfits in Bhopal. They made
political capital out of the state’s practice of tabulating such
marriages, something it has no business doing. The Bajrang Dal went to
town distributing an ‘official’ list of 341 Hindu-Muslim marriages in
Bhopal between 1997 and 2004. Hardly an alarming figure but enough to
reinforce parivar lore of venal Muslim characters pursuing innocent
Hindu damsels. 

Some years ago, VHP leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore had
gone on record to tell this correspondent: “There is a physical reason
Muslims can seduce Hindu girls. They give them more sharirik anand
(physical pleasure) because they have a surgery, Hindus don’t.” 

Kishore’s view, circumcision is the Muslim’s secret weapon. In the face
of such seductive logic, can reason have a chance?


Link (1): http://communalism.blogspot.in/2007/04/hindu-muslim-marriages-give-saffronites.html

Link (2): http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/234941571-hindu-muslim-marriages-in-bharat/

Link(3): http://www.outlookindia.com/printarticle.aspx?220920



President 007

How Chindia and other links were broken up just in time by super-agent Obama, with a bit of assist from a lady who made the Hard Choice of cutting through the human (??) chain of Chinese Secret Service agents.

The action sequence was in our opinion slightly more dramatic than the kill Osama elect Obama venture. Bravo!!!

Obama is a true hero for liberals in America and the world, but we still feel that impact-wise “Mr Premier, are you ready?” pales in comparison to those magical words: “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall”
Eventually they discovered the meeting’s location…...
Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, got tangled up with a Chinese guard, she adds.
In the commotion the president slipped through the door and yelled, ‘Mr Premier!’ really loudly, which got everyone’s attention.
“The Chinese guards put their arms up against the door again, but I
ducked under and made it through,” Clinton writes recounting the

“In a makeshift conference room whose glass walls had
been covered by drapes for privacy against prying eyes, we found Wen
wedged around a long table with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and South African
President Jacob Zuma.

Jaws dropped when they saw us. ‘Are you ready?’ said President Obama, flashing a big grin,”  


At the
international conference on climate change in Copenhagen in December
2009, US President Barack Obama forced himself into a room where the
then Chinese premier Wen Jiabao was holding a secret meeting with the
then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other leaders.

Giving a blow by blow account of the incident, of which she was part as
the then secretary of state, Hillary Clinton in her memoirs ‘Hard
Choices’ writes that the purpose of China was to isolate the United
States by bringing together countries like India, Brazil and South
Africa on its side.

But Obama’s determination and presence of mind thwarted such a move, she writes.

“President Obama and I were looking for Premier Wen Jiabao in the
middle of a large international conference on climate change in
Copenhagen, Denmark,” she recalls.

“We knew that the only way
to achieve a meaningful agreement on climate change was for leaders of
the nation’s emitting the most greenhouse gases to sit down together and
hammer out a compromise — especially the US and China,” she said. “But
the Chinese were avoiding us.”

Worse, we learned that Wen had
called a ‘secret’ meeting with the Indians, Brazilians, and South
Africans to stop, or at least dilute, the kind of agreement the United
States was seeking.
When we couldn’t find any of the leaders of those
countries, we knew something was amiss and sent out members of our team
to canvass the conference centre,” she writes.

“Eventually they discovered the meeting’s location.

After exchanging looks of ‘Are you thinking what I’m thinking?’ the
president and I set off through the long hallways of the sprawling
Nordic convention center, with a train of experts and advisers
scrambling to keep up,” she writes in her book.

we’d joke about this impromptu ‘footcade’, a motorcade without the
motors, but at the time I was focused on the diplomatic challenge
waiting at the end of our march. So off we went, charging up a flight of
stairs and encountering surprised Chinese officials, who tried to
divert us by sending us in the opposite direction. We were undeterred,”
she says.

When they arrived outside the meeting room, there was a jumble of arguing aides and nervous security agents, she says.

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, got tangled up with a Chinese guard, she adds.

In the commotion the president slipped through the door and yelled, ‘Mr Premier!’ really loudly, which got everyone’s attention.

“The Chinese guards put their arms up against the door again, but I
ducked under and made it through,” Clinton writes recounting the

“In a makeshift conference room whose glass walls had
been covered by drapes for privacy against prying eyes, we found Wen
wedged around a long table with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and South African
President Jacob Zuma.

Jaws dropped when they saw us. ‘Are you ready?’ said President Obama, flashing a big grin,” Clinton claims.

“Now the real negotiations could begin. It was a moment that was at least a year in the making,” she adds.

Link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Clinton-reveals-how-Obama-forcibly-prevented-Chinas-secret-meeting-with-India-to-isolate-US/articleshow/36394480.cms




Karachi: After Altaf, the deluge?

Karachi, Pakistan’s Economic capital (contributing around 1/4th to national GDP) and South Asia’s largest city- more than twice the area of Delhi with more people than Mumbai in city proper (due to lack of recent census, exact numbers may be debatable here), is also  an extremely violent place- no other megacity’s homicide rate comes within 25 per cent of Karachi’s.

Laurent Gayer


Laurent Gayer

Ordered Disorder and the Struggle for the City

Laurent Gayer

Laurent Gayer

Ordered Disorder and the Struggle for the City

Laurent Gayer

As if the current levels of violence are not bad enough, Dr Christophe Jaffrelot argues that

things may get out of hand in near future:

Until recently, The combination of electoral politics and paramilitary
techniques helped MQM, retain control over urban Karachi. But growing Pashtun assertiveness has gradually
become a major challenge. According to the 1998 census, only 49 per cent
of the city population are Urdu-speakers (to whom the Gujaratis, with 8
per cent, must be added to obtain the proportion of mohajirs), whereas
Pashto-speakers made up 11.50 per cent, Punjabis 14 per cent, Sindhis 7
per cent and Balochis 4 per cent. But the war in Afghanistan that
started in 2001 and the growing instability in Pakistan’s Pashtun belt
resulted in the migration of one million people to Karachi, the largest
Pashtun city today. The mohajirs felt threatened by these Pashtuns also
because of the growing number of Sunni militants and Taliban supporters
among them.


To resist the Pashtun more effectively, the MQM has further refined
its paramilitary style and introduced sophisticated weaponry. This has
meant an unprecedented escalation of violence in Karachi. While the
previous wave of killings had resulted in 1,742 deaths in 1995 before a
quick return to normalcy, the number of casualties has been rising since
2006 to reach the unprecedented number of over 3,200 casualties in
2013, partly because of the tensions generated by the elections. But it
is not that Karachi is mired in chaos. As the mixed strategy described
above suggests, and as Laurent Gayer has recently shown in his book,
Karachi: Ordered Disorder and the Struggle for the City, there is a
rationale behind the conduct of the parallel state that the MQM in
Karachi has become.

The judicial vulnerability of Hussain, who had been arrested on
suspicion of money laundering and who will have to report to the police
again in July, may affect this relatively stable brand of instability.
Hussain is the one who keeps the MQM united and has no obvious
successor. If the party breaks apart, an already volatile atmosphere may
spin out of hand — in spite of the ongoing deployment of security

To an outside non-expert, things do look grim for South Asia’s largest city or  perhaps I am papering over the stabilising forces of modern economy, self-preservation capacity of local elites/bourgeoisie, spread of PakNationalist brotherhood and the ‘spirit’ of the port city?


Tea Party Zindabad

We are not ideological enough to be termed left-liberals but we are compassionate enough to start feeling sorry for the coconut people. They are getting thrashed everywhere  in the polls and how. In each case the victories (defeats) have been correctly described as historical.

It’s a historic defeat. Not since the 2004 defeat of Tom Daschle has a
party’s congressional majority leader lost an election; I’m still
struggling to find a case where a majority leader lost a primary. 

In India the LLs fought hard against a chai-wallah’s son. They wrote passionate letters to the Guardian. They formed voter advisory groups who pointed out how best to carry out tactical voting against the BJP. Their campaign was so effective that even a business-focused mag like the Economist urged Indians to vote against Modi. They still lost.

In UK/Europe the LLs went up against the UKIP and other far-right forces. The only defeat that they could claim was that of mad-man Geert Wilders of Holland (who in effect promised that Moroccans will be kicked out of the country). And in Greece the anti-austerity left won as the people are facing extreme hardship (by western civ standards). Everywhere else, the liberal-left was badly crushed.

Now in breaking news from the land of the free, we have a grand Tea Party upset- Eric Cantor, the Republican Leader (#2) in Congress, dethroned by a college professor!!! What must really hurt is the fact that Profs are overwhelmingly left-lib, however David Brat is an econ prof.

Eric Cantor is clearly no darling of  the left. But of late, the LLs have been quite optimistic about the demise of the Tea Party and a swing back to the middle (from the devastation of 2010). Indeed, there were tell-tale signs that Cantor would help out in the legalization of (Hispanic) migrants. The LLs just did not imagine a Tea Party victory of this magnitude (just as everyone failed to anticipate an outright BJP majority). Now no Republican would dare move forward (left-ward) on the Dream Act.

How will Arundhati Roy (as the leading thinker in the world) respond to this global Tea Party take-over? The familiar angle to explore is how minorities will suffer- in India there are already communal incidents flaring up from Haryana to Maharashtra. In Europe the fire will be directed against muslims as well. And in the home of the brave it will be Hispanics that will face the mood music. But all past battles have been waged and lost on this ground and we are not sure of the efficacy of her high-voltage campaigns (and silver tongue) going forward.

If General #1 is no good, will the Left-Libs be able to find other strong (and smart) voices to guide them in these dark days? Our opinion is that they enlist the services of  Dr Omar Ali of Brown Pundits. We are sure that they will not be unhappy with results.

There’s not too much happening tonight — oh, apart from two fun
races that will be analyzed and over-analyzed and then analyzed some
more for signs of Tea Party fever.

UPDATE: If I were a prouder man, I’d delete my first
line about how much was happening tonight. Obviously, quite a lot is
happening: Eric Cantor, who was all-but-assured to become Speaker of the
House when the gavel grew too heavy for John Boehner, has lost his
primary. He has lost it resoundingly, losing by huge margins in rural
parts of the district, losing even in population centers like Henrico
County (the Richmond suburbs).

It’s a historic defeat. Not since the 2004 defeat of Tom Daschle has a
party’s congressional majority leader lost an election; I’m still
struggling to find a case where a majority leader lost a primary.
And while I covered David Brat’s race against Cantor a few times, I
joined the vast majority of journalists in assuming Cantor would take
this. After all: He seemed to spot the voter unrest early on, and he
spent nearly $1 milllion in the final weeks, while Brat struggled to
spend six figures.

How did this happen?

Immigration reform. Yes: Eric Cantor managed to be
sunk by immigration reform without even bringing a bill to the floor.
Like John Boehner, Cantor reached out to pro-reform groups and was seen
by the GOP base as open to some eventual bill. This riled activists and
opinion leaders like the radio hosts Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham.
“Eric Cantor is an ally in the biggest fight that will occur in the
next six months in Washington,”
Ingraham said at a weekend rally for
David Brat, “and that is the fight over immigration amnesty.”


Link: http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2014/06/10/the_official_live_thread_of_the_south_carolina_and_virginia_primaries.html




Comrade Tariq Ali comments (not)

I have not seen any comment from comrade Tariq Ali for a while, but there is a hashtag on Twitter called #HowNotToEliminateTaliban and @hussainjahanzeb tweeted about that:

#HowNotToEliminateTaliban By reading Tariq Ali and thinking they are just anti-imperialist freedom fighters.

That tweet reminded me of a press release I composed in honor of Tariq bhai. With minimal editing, I  reproduce it here for those who may be missing the wisdom of the great man:

“A pre-revolutionary situation appears to be developing in Pakistan. The proletariat, long suffering under the yoke of neo-colonial exploitation, has begun to stir. Identifying the US as the head of international capital, the working class is ready for a complete overthrow of the oppressive system. In Peshawar, samizdat texts smuggled across the border under the noses of CIA-trained security forces are already circulating in the barrios. Relatively sophisticated elements of the ruling classes, fearful of losing their grip, but unable to rely on American tanks and drones in the dense urban landscape of Peshawar, are trying to pre-empt the revolution by installing a Kerensky-like figure in Islamabad. Others anticipate a turn towards terror even as they prepare Thermidor while checking the balance in their Swiss accounts. American “advisers in the fortress-like American embassy still believe that the jackbooted thugs of the puppet Sharif regime will be able to hold off the revolutionary surge.
Meanwhile the young men (and women; contrary to Western stereotypes, women are an important behind-the-scenes component of the Islamist militias now being organized in working class neighborhoods) are moving on from the sometimes simplistic anti-imperialism of the Taliban; Islamic socialists will soon insert class and gender issues into the emerging debate. With the capitalist media increasingly discredited by their association with the White Russian forces in Afghanistan, these new voices may suddenly emerge on Friday to announce to the world a new dawn of hope. Aging revolutionaries across the globe may yet see that light burst forth from a region presented by FOX news and the New York Times as the heart of darkness. But the revolution will need our support as the forces of reaction in London and Washington attempt to land troops on the borders of Islamic soviets under the guise of protecting human rights and bourgeois democracy. Massive civil disobedience in Western capitals will be the only way these interventions can be thwarted.  Let us not be found wanting.”


Hilary, ISI and Osama

Snippets of interest from “Hard Choices” the book tour that will allow Hilary to make the next hard choice – to run for a two-term president (with daughter Chelsea waiting in the wings). Eventually Americans will tire of electing Clintons (hopefully), at that point they can chose available members of the Bush family.

“I had invested considerable time and energy in the Pakistan
relationship over the years, and I knew how offended they would be if we
did not share this information with them. But I also knew that elements
in the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI, maintained ties to the
Taliban, al-Qaeda, and other extremists”

The story behind the Kill Osama Elect Obama story.

The US decided not to inform Pakistan about its top-secret mission to
kill Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad as it knew that elements in the ISI
maintained close ties with the al-Qaeda and the Taliban, according to
former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In her memoir Hard Choices, which hit book stores today, Clinton
says that top US officials, including President Barack Obama and the
then Defense Secretary Robert Gates, had detailed discussions on the
issue including the possibility of Pakistan using the occasion to launch
an attack on India.

But finally it was decided not to inform Pakistan.

“Our relationship with Pakistan, America’s nominal ally in the fight
against terrorism, was already very troubled. If the Pakistani military,
always on a hair trigger out of fear of a surprise attack from India,
discovered a secret incursion into their airspace, it was possible
they’d respond with force,” 66-year-old Clinton writes.

“We had debated whether to inform Pakistan about the raid ahead of time
in order to avoid this scenario and the complete breakdown in relations
that could follow. After all, as Bob Gates often reminded us, Pakistani
cooperation would continue to be needed to resupply our troops in
Afghanistan and pursue other terrorists in the border region,” she says
in the book.

“I had invested considerable time and energy in the Pakistan
relationship over the years, and I knew how offended they would be if we
did not share this information with them. But I also knew that elements
in the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI, maintained ties to the
Taliban, al-Qaeda, and other extremists,” Clinton writes.

“We had been burned by leaks before. The risks of blowing the whole
operation were just too great,” said the former Secretary of State, who
is considered as a strong potential presidential candidate for the 2016

Bin Laden was killed in the garrison town of Abbottabad on May 2, 2011,
in a covert raid carried out by the Navy SEALs on a special order issued
by President Obama.


Link: http://www.outlookindia.com/news/printitem.aspx?843921



Britain responsible for Taliban-led atrocities

This is what brown liberals (aka coconuts) have been saying for some time and who knows, there may be some truth in it after all. It is well documented that South Asians are unable to govern themselves responsibly, we do not have the tools to finish the job. The British as our colonial masters should have educated us on the specifics of managing a liberal democracy (as opposed to the divide and rule policies and the free trade for me but not for thee policies and the food for british soldiers alongside mass starvation for native civilians policies and the… you get the idea).

Presently in our discussion of tools and British responsibility we have something a bit more specific in mind and which concerns a massive fraud that has been effected in the present. We frequently see such bomb detectors in operation and we are unhappy (but unsurprised) to know that they do not work (we are under the impression that sniffer dogs work very well but that may not be an appropriate suggestion for Pakistan).  

Thus the fact that more of us are not dead from terrorist attacks is not because the security is so efficient, rather the terrorists are simply exhausted by the demands of the job. Now that is a comforting thought.
It is is one of the world’s most obvious terrorist targets. So how
did a group of 10 militants armed with guns, bomb vests,
rocket-launchers and grenades get into Karachi’s Jinnah airport?
Part of
the answer, incredibly, may lie in the fact that Pakistani security
personnel still guard the outer perimeter using versions of the phoney
bomb detector sold by the convicted British conman Jim McCormick.

device, which he called the ADE 651, was itself a variation of a common
design. Essentially, a telescopic radio aerial is attached by a hinge
to a plastic handgrip.
When used by a “properly trained” operator, who
must first sensitise it to the “molecular frequency” of explosives, it
was supposed to point out bombs by swinging towards them.

In fact, all this was nonsense.
The aerial swings because of unconscious movements by the operator,
known as the ideomotor effect – the same thing that gives rise to the
common belief in dowsing.
Nevertheless, McCormick and other fraudsters, such as Gary Bolton, exported thousands to clients around the world, including in Iraq and Pakistan. Less ambitious criminals used to sell them as golf ball detectors in the 1990s.

Like dowsers, though, many security personnel continued to keep the
faith. In 2010, even after McCormick had been charged with fraud,
Pakistan’s Airport Security Force admitted to the Dawn newspaper that they were continuing to use a device of their own design that operates on the same principle.

Iraq, which had been McCormick’s largest market, still uses them too,
despite repeated warnings. In 2009, the New York Times confronted bomb
squad commander Major General Jehad al-Jabiri with evidence of the ADE
651’s fraudulence, yet he insisted that it was effective,
“Whether it’s magic or scientific, what I care about is it detects
bombs.” In 2011, al-Jabiri was charged
and later jailed for – of all things – taking bribes from McCormick.
And still the ADE 651s were being used, as recently October 2013.

At the same time it was apparently common to find Beirut security guards still scanning cars for explosives with an ADE 651, or something similar. And there are reports of other devices being used in the south of Thailand.
Indeed, according to Detective Sergeant Steve Mapp, who led the
investigation into McCormick, some people’s belief in the ADE 651 is
almost unshakeable. As he told Business Week, “In Kenya they said, ‘No, we know about Mr McCormick’s conviction, but we’re really glad we’ve got them – and they do work.'”


Link: http://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2014/jun/09/fake-bomb-detectors-british-conman-pakistan-karachi-airport



Cold storage horror

And while the military was trying to break-down the cold storage walls, did anyone think of switching off the power to the facility? Probably it would not have mattered, the poor folks were probably long gone before anyone noticed.

To an outsider this all looks like Pashtun nationalism fighting for its version of “pure lands for pure people,” not dissimilar to the earlier movements by Sikhs, Muslims (and even Hindu groups) in the sub-continent.

The only problem is the access to the sea from Peshawar (Khalistan maps used to show a corridor from Punjab to sea- via Karachi).  Thus the Pashtuns have decided that they will keep their lands AND re-create Pakistan in their own image.
At least seven bodies were recovered in the early hours of
Tuesday morning from Karachi airport’s cold-storage facility, DawnNews

The rescue operation continued nearly for 28
hours. The rescue workers finally broke down three walls of the
cold-storage facility to retrieve the victims.

Meanwhile, talking
to media persons Sindh Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed said that the
corpses were immediately shifted to Jinnah Hospital for DNA tests in
order to identify them, after which they would be handed over to their

Ahmed said that the bodies were badly burnt and were
beyond recognition and the process of identification would take three
weeks time.

He added that if the deceased could not be identified, they would be buried after being provided temporary identification.

One of the Airport Security Force (ASF) personnel was still missing, Ahmed claimed.
According to sources, the deceased were employees of a private cargo company.

to the fact that Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) lacked heavy machinery,
many prominent social workers voluntarily sent cranes to rescue the

The army also assisted in the recovery of bodies in the rescue operation.
The deceased had taken refuge in the cold-storage facility to escape the carnage where they were earlier trapped.

are looking into this and according to the families some seven people
were trapped inside the cold storage and were in contact with the
families on cell phone,” said Abid Qaimkhani, a spokesman for CAA.

Earlier last night, the families of seven airport workers had blocked Shahra e Faisal demanding that authorities work towards freeing their relatives who were trapped.

Link: http://www.dawn.com/news/1111784/seven-bodies-recovered-from-karachi-airports-cold-storage-facility



Karachi Airport (repeat attack)!!!!

TTP has claimed responsibility for the latest attack. They have become completely brazen (also what is this obsession with planes??).
Attackers managed to flee as a heavy contingent of security forces
reached Airport Security Force (ASF) camp number 2, which came under a
fresh attack on Tuesday, DawnNews reported. 

Flight operations resumed
after being temporarily suspended.

The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan
(TTP) claimed responsibility for the second attack near the Karachi
airport. A security sweep and search operation is underway at the ASF
academy, which is located in Bhitai Abad, Pehlwan Goth.

Public Relations (ISPR) spokesperson Asim Bajwa posted on Twitter that
the “chase is still on”. “Three to four terrorists fired near ASF camp,
ran away. No breach of fence, no entry.Chase is on, situation under
control,” he posted, soon after the attack.

Deputy Director
General ASF, Colonel Tahir Ali said there were no casualties in the new
attack. He also said the the airport is secure at that operations have
resumed. He said that two attackers opened fire near the ladies hostel
near D gate, which is located behind the ASF camp. “The ASF checkpost is
about 100 metres from the scene. We were informed of the incident by
our sentry posted there,” he said.

Heavy firing was reported at
the ASF camp in the metropolis on Tuesday after unidentified men entered
the premises. Initial reports suggest that the number of attackers
could be between four and seven.

DawnNews reported that explosions
were also heard, causing panic among citizens in the vicinity. The
Director General of Rangers has reached the site to oversee the


Link: http://www.dawn.com/news/1111791/attackers-flee-karachi-asf-camp




Modi-Sonia combo for women’s lib

Hinduism teaches us that God is half man half woman (unfortunately, this does not quite meet the feminist threshold set up by brown liberals) – ardha-narishwara – combining the masculine (purush) and feminine (prakriti) energies of the universe.

The larger than life presence of Sonia (dynasty) and Modi (hindutva) in Indian politics is frankly bothersome for us. If India must have a future as a (flawed but improving) democracy she should be ruled by non-communal left/right (-of-center) parties (ideally with alternate party rule every five years- the so-called Kerala model). Highest votes for the best governance should be the motto.

In the short term, the focus must also be to win the vote by showing what you can do for
We do not have to look afar. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have shown
the way, India just needs to follow.

That said, you go to battle with the army you have. The first step initiated by Modi (and supported by Sonia) on the Women’s Reservation bill is a hopeful sign. We look forward to many more of such initiatives.
Congress and Left had joined hands to get the women’s reservation bill
passed in March 2010 but it has since languished because the UPA
government could not get past the resistance of SP, BSP, JD(U) and RJD
who insisted on reservation for OBCs and Muslims within the larger
gender quota

 Mukherjee also said the government
will work to ensure that by 2022, every family has a “pucca house with
water connection, toilet facilities, 24×7 electricity supply and

The President’s speech was a bouquet of beautiful (if familiar) words, there must be now be consistent action and accountability.
to the backburner for the last four years, the women’s reservation bill
appears closest now to being passed with the Narendra Modi government
expressing its commitment for 33% reservation for women in Parliament
and state assemblies.

Spelling out the Modi government’s agenda
in his address to the joint sitting of Parliament, President Pranab
Mukjerjee said on Monday, “My government recognizes the important role
our women play in the development of our society and growth of the
nation. It is committed to providing 33% reservation to them in
Parliament and state legislative assemblies.”

While similar
resolves for women’s quota in legislatures were expressed in the past as
well, the fresh pledge sounds credible both because of BJP’s absolute
majority in Lok Sabha as well as the near-rout of SP, BSP, JD(U) and RJD
who vetoed the implementation.

Stressing that women’s welfare
will be one of the thrust areas for the new government, Mukherjee
announced the launch of a country wide ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ (save
girl child, teach girl child) campaign to save the girl child and
enable her education and prevent crimes against women by strengthening
the criminal justice system.

He also put the challenge of
communal violence on the same footing as terrorism, extremism and crime,
stressing that the government would follow a “zero tolerance” approach
towards all. “A national plan will be chalked out in consultation with
the state governments to effectively curb incidents of communal violence
and the challenges posed by left wing extremism,” said the President

Congress and Left had joined hands to get the women’s reservation bill
passed in March 2010 but it has since languished because the UPA
government could not get past the resistance of SP, BSP, JD(U) and RJD
who insisted on reservation for OBCs and Muslims within the larger
gender quota.

the Modi government can get the bill through the Lok Sabha on its own
steam, its task will be made that much easier because of the support
from Congress and Left. In fact, Congress president Sonia Gandhi thumped
her desk in approval when the President listed protection of women
among priorities of the new government.

About the ‘Beti
Bachao-Beti Padhao’ campaign, the President said, “It will structure a
comprehensive scheme, incorporating best practices from states in this

The President was speaking against the backdrop of a
spate of horrific crimes against women in UP and elsewhere, and he
referred to that. “In the recent past, the country has witnessed some
gruesome incidents of violence against women. The government will have a
policy of zero tolerance for violence against women, and will
strengthen the criminal justice system for its effective
implementation,” he said.

Mukherjee also said the government
will work to ensure that by 2022, every family has a “pucca house with
water connection, toilet facilities, 24×7 electricity supply and

He also said that the government would set up Lokpal and would spread e-governance.


Link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Modi-signals-womens-quota-in-Parliament-zero-tolerance-for-riots/articleshow/36315396.cms