to cooperate with India on N-energy
July 18: The US has agreed to cooperatre with India on civilian
nuclear energy to India and also reiterated that the Kashmir was
a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and the issue had
to be resolved by the two countries.
a joint press conference along with the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan
Singh, in the White House, the US President, Mr George Bush, said
that there was no change in America's policy on Jammu and Kashmir
and reiterated the policy laid down by President Clinton that
the sanctity of the Line of control will be maintained.
expressed confidence that the Kashmir issue would be solved by
the two countries and hailed Dr Singh's leadership and added the
prime Minister had taken several peace initiatives with Pakistan
and was committed to peace. "We will encourage leaders from
both sides to work in good faith to resolve the long-standing
problem," he added.
Prime Minister informed that the US had agreed to increase cooperation
on civilian nuclear energy, space, and high-technology issues.
He said "we like Bush's strong leadership on this important
issue," he said.
a strong case for India's candidature for permanent membership
of the expanded UN Security Council, Dr Singh said New Delhi can
"significantly contribute to decision-making" of the
world body. Dr Singh said India favoured a credible and effective
UN institution that reflected contemporary reality and its decision-making
that India was in transition from a developing country to the
fast developing economy that is being appreciated, the Prime Minister
said India's sustained economic growth has a strong support of
the US and "the US support means a lot to us".
press conference was held at the East Room of the White House,
where a section of seats were reserved for the Indian media and
another section for the Pakistani media. Present were members
of both the US and Indian Cabinets. Also present were the top
line of US and Indian business. Among the latter were Ratan Tata,
Mukesh Ambani, Ashok Ganguly, Yogi Deveshwar, Dr Pratap C Reddy,
Deepak Parekh, Baba Kalyani and Nandan Nilekani.
President and the Prime Minister each took two questions each.
The two questions from the American media focused on the President's
advisor Karl Rove and the choice US Supreme Court judge. The two
questions from the Indian media were on the US policy on Kashmir
(posed by the editor of The Tribute, H K Dua), and on a deal between
the two countries on nuclear energy and transfer of fuel (posed
by editor of The Hindu, N Ravi).
the press conference, the two heads of state left for the meeting
of the CEOs' Forum that President Bush described as "a definite
landmark in Indo-US ties".
his opening remarks, Mr Bush said India and the US were charting
new steps in defence relationship and working together on counter-terrorism.
The President said "we are charting new steps in our defence
relationship with the recently signed new framework that will
help our two nations work towards common security objectives."
said both India and the US were "working together on counter-terrorism
to help protect our people and make the world a safer place".
"We are also committed to increasing the prosperity of the
people of India and America alike. Today, we mark the completion
of the completion of the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership.
this partnership will help us further to enhance our cooperation,
Bush's commitment to meeting challenges of terrorism, Dr Singh
asserted there can be "no cause that justifies killing of
defenceless civilians". The Prime Minsiter said there should
be an "international norm for zero tolerance."
agrees to visit India
July 18: The US President, Mr George Bush, has agreed to visit India
at the earliest, according to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Addressing a joint press conference with Bush after wide-ranging
talks here, Singh said "the US President has accepted my invitation
to visit India at the earliest".
the two countries as "vigorous and vibrant democracies",
he said the results of the understanding reached between the two
countries during his current visit would be fully evident by then.
pays up Hindu veggie groups in US
July 13: Several Hindu and vegetarian groups in the United States
had a happy surprise in the mail last week. Healthy cheques for
sums ranging from $50,000 to $1.4 million -- part of the $10 million
court-ordered settlement in the case involving their beef against
four years after Seattle-based Indian-American lawyer Harish Bharti
sued the fast food giant for misleading customers by claiming their
French fries were vegetarian, McDonald's mailed out the cheques,
in addition to the apology it issued in March 2002.
money, McDonald's said, will go "to Hindu, vegetarian and other
groups whose charitable and educational activities are closely linked
to the concerns of these consumers (having dietary restrictions)."
the groups that benefited from the class-action bonanza are International/American
Gita Society, which got $50,000; Hinduism Today Endowment, $250,000;
Supporting Excellence in Education, $900,000; Council of Hindu Temples
of North America $200,000; SSV Temple, $50,000; and Hindu Students
groups that were awarded include Vegetarian Resource Group ($1.4
milion), ADAF Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group ($600,000),
Preventive Medicine Research Institute ($550,000), North American
Vegetarian Society ($1 million) Vegetarian Vision, Inc.,($250,000);
and American Vegan Society, $500,000.
are among the 24 groups selected to receive compensation from over
250 groups that were initially considered under the terms of the
among the beneficiaries were Jewish, Muslim and Sikh groups which
joined the lawsuit claiming that the fries were not kosher/halal
etc. "It was quite a surprise," said Paramacharya Palaniswami
of the Hindu Monastery in Kaui, Hawaii, which received a check for
$ 254,773.19 drawn on Chicago's Banco Popular. "I guess we
will be inspired to do more things for vegetarianism." As a
first step, the monastery plans to place the amount in an endowment
for publication of its Hinduism Today magazine.
of the principle will be touched, so that it will be a perpetual
source for funding outright 1,000 or more free subscriptions a year
forever, or subsidize a larger number, the Paramacharya told TNN
in an interview from Hawaii.
also said the "the supersized endowment will educate Americans,
especially youth, about the merits of a veggie lifestyle, which
has been a Hindu ideal for 6,000 years."
victorious groups have however asked customers to take note of the
fact that McDonald's made no changes in their fries, which still
have beef-flavoring. Under the terms of the settlement, McDonald's
is only required to make a better disclosure, not change the way
its fries are made.
the oil is vegetable. But make no mistake about it. There is meat
in those luscious Golden Arches french fries," Paramacharya
Palaniswami said. Attorney
Harish Bharti did not return calls seeking comment.
House says no shift by Bush on climate change
July 5: President George W. Bush has not shifted his position on
climate policy, a White House spokeswoman said on Tuesday ahead
of the Group of Eight summit.
Prime Minister Tony Blair, the summit's host, said last week he
had been having tough negotiations with the United States, the world's
biggest polluter, before the summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, which
runs from July 6-8.
has refused to ratify the co-called Kyoto Protocol on carbon dioxide
emissions and the greenhouse effect.
response to speculation in the British media that the U.S. administration
was softening its stance ahead of the meeting, the spokeswoman said
this was not the case.
Bush has stated his climate policy in 2001 and it remains the same,"
Michele St. Martin, a spokeswoman for the White House Council on
Environmental Quality, said from Washington.
believes that in order to address climate change it must be through
the development and deployment of clean energy technologies,"
will visit Denmark ahead of G8 talks, where climate change will
be on an agenda that is topped by aid to Africa.
an interview with Britain's ITV1 television that was broadcast on
Monday, Bush opposed the Kyoto Protocol.
Kyoto treaty would have wrecked our economy," Bush said in
the other G8 powers -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy,
Japan and Russia -- have signed on to the treaty to cut emissions
of carbon dioxide, which came into force in February.
Kyoto treaty wouldn't work unless all nations were involved. And
as you know, many of the developing nations weren't involved in
Kyoto," Bush said in the interview.
some of the discussions we're going to have at the G8, thanks to
Tony Blair's leadership, is to work with India and China as to how
to share technology with them, so that we can all work together
to clean up the environment, and at the same time have sustained
economic growth," he said.
rejects Kyoto-style G8 deal
George W Bush has ruled out US backing for any Kyoto-style deal
on climate change at the G8 summit.
to British broadcaster ITV, he said he would instead be talking
to fellow leaders about new technologies as a way of tackling global
he conceded that the issue was one "we've got to deal with"
and said human activity was "to some extent" to blame.
Blair is hoping for agreements on climate change and Africa when
he hosts the summit in Scotland this week.
Bush said he would resist measures that were similar to the 1997
UN Kyoto protocol, involving legally binding reduction on carbon
emissions, that Washington never ratified.
this looks like Kyoto, the answer is no," he said in an interview
with ITV's Tonight With Trevor McDonald programme to be broadcast
on Monday evening.
Kyoto treaty would have wrecked our economy, if I can be blunt."
said he hoped the other G8 leaders would "move beyond the Kyoto
debate" and consider new technologies.
said the US was investing in developing clean energy techniques
such as sequestration of carbon dioxide in underground wells, hydrogen-powered
cars and zero emission power stations.
Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett told the BBC's Today programme
that negotiations were likely to "go to the wire".
think what matters more than the exact theology is where people
end up," she said.
we hope for is quite an ambitious action plan on steps that the
international community can take and also agreement to try and take
forward discussion and dialogue about the future."
President Jacques Chirac has said he is hopeful of reaching a deal
on climate change, but German Environment Minister Juergen Trittin
said he was "very sceptical on the willingness of the US to
of Mr Bush's main domestic critics on global warming, Senator John
McCain, called the president's approach on the issue "disgraceful".
not quite sure how you'll bridge the gap," he told the BBC's
Today programme, but he said he hoped the president and Mr Blair
would be able to forge a compromise.
the ITV interview, Mr Bush showed signs of coming into line with
general world opinion by describing climate change as "a significant,
long-term issue that we've got to deal with".
has previously opposed action on climate change in favour of further
studies on the issue.
he rejected the idea he should support the British prime minister's
G8 plan in return for his support over Iraq.
Blair made decisions on what he thought was best for keeping the
peace and winning the war on terror, as I did," he said.
I go to the G8 not really trying to make him look bad or good, but
I go to the G8 with an agenda that I think is best for our country."
the issue of tackling African poverty, President Bush signalled
he was ready to abandon US farm subsidies - but only if the European
Union was prepared to scrap its Common Agricultural Policy.
subsidies are said to unfairly distort the world market faced by
got agricultural subsidies, [but] not nearly to the extent that
our friends in the EU have," he said.
G8 leaders - from Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan,
Russia and the US - meet in Gleneagles on Wednesday for the start
of the three-day summit.
appeals for end to US nuclear curbs
DC, June 28: India's Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee appealed
on Monday for a quick end to restrictions on nuclear and technology
cooperation with the United States, saying they limit India's ability
to become a stabilizing force in Asia.
his first visit to Washington since taking up his post, Mukherjee
said such limitations were among factors "that prevent India
from realizing its potential to contribute to international peace,
stability and development."
a speech to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, he said
India and the United States have a "convergence of our security
concerns," including "fundamentalist activism and terrorism"
and weapons proliferation. India is on the front line of this struggle
and hence merits Washington's assistance, Mukherjee added.
met earlier in the day with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
and is due to visit Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Tuesday
at the Pentagon.Mukherjee is preparing the way for a White House
visit next month by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
George W Bush has greatly accelerated predecessor Bill Clinton's
initiative to strengthen ties between the world's two biggest democracies,
at odds through most of the Cold War and the years immediately afterward.
Since then economic and diplomatic relations have improved. But
nuclear, military and other technology dealings have been more cautious,
largely because of US concerns over India's status as an undeclared
nuclear power that has refused to join most international non-proliferation
administration has begun to cooperate on nuclear-related safety
programmes with India. But US Undersecretary of State Robert Joseph
said last week "we're moving forward in an incremental and
reciprocal way" in this regard and no immediate changes in
US law or policy are contemplated.
said if India is to realize its economic potential, it needs alternative
sources of energy and foremost among those available is nuclear
India's nuclear energy and weapons programmes are separate, he said,
"Restrictions against India's nuclear energy programmes are
to address a joint session of the US Congress on July 19
'happy' Burns fine-tunes agenda for PM's visit
By Deepak Arora
DELHI, June 25: The US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs,
Mr Nicholas Burns, has expressed his happiness and satisfaction
over talks with Indian officials and said the two-day deliberations
were very explorative and comprehensive in nature.
Besides holding talks with the Foreign Secretary, Mr Shyam Saran,
the visiting US official held talks with the National Security Adviser,
Mr M K Narayanan, to fine tune the agenda for the Prime Minister,
Dr Manmohan Singh's visit to the US from July 18 at the invitation
of President George Bush.
Mr Burns also had a separate meeting with the Deputy Chairman of
the Planning Commission, Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, to review progress
on the ongoing energy dialogue between the two countries.
Mr Burns said "we have had very good, substantive bilateral
discussions with the Indian leadership here. We are looking forward
to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the United States next
month, and to his discussions with our President." He said
a number of agreements are expected to be firmed up and several
initiatives announced during Dr Singh visit.
On his current visit, he said "we have had a very good, productive
bilateral interaction." Apart from Mr Saran, Dr.S.Jaishankar,
Joint Secretary (Americas) and other officials took part in Saturday's
After the first round of talks on Friday, Mr Burns had said that
his talks with the Indian leadership had focussed on issues like
UN reforms, how to take the Next Steps in Strategic Partnerships
(NSSP) forward, ways to enhance cooperation in sectors like energy,
agriculture, science and technology, defense and security.
The focus, however, remained on what steps the US would be taking
to induct new permanent and non-permanent members into the United
Nations Security Council. He said that Washington was not averse
to India staking a claim for a membership in the UNSC, and added
that any such decision was a political one that would be attended
to by the President of the United States.
According to reports from Washington, the Prime Minister will address
a joint session of the US Congress on July 19 during his three-day
visit to the country. A release by the US-India Political Action
Committee (USINPAC) quoted House of Representative's Speaker Dennis
Hastert as saying that Dr Singh, who would visit the US from July
17 at the invitation of President George Bush, will address the
joint session of Congress on July 19.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, in a discussion with USINPAC members,
said that he is excited and delighted that Prime Minister Singh
will address Congress and is looking forward to welcoming him. The
proposal to the Speaker that the Prime Minister should be invited
to address Congress was made by about 70 members of both Republican
and Democratic parties.
entitled to bid for Security Council seat: US
DELHI, June 24: The US has said that India met the criteria laid
down by it for inclusion of new permanent members in the UN Security
Council but a decision on it will be taken by President George Bush.
a meeting with the Foreign Secretary, Mr Shyam Saran, the visiting
Under Secretary of State, Mr Nicholas Burns, said "India meets
the criteria laid down by the US. As to whom the US chooses will
be a political question on which a decision will be taken by the
US President," according to Mr Navtej Sarna, spokesman of the
Ministry of External Affairs.
Sarna said that the issue of reform of the United Nations, including
that of the Security Council, formed the major part of discussions
between Mr Burns and Mr Saran. "Both sides put forward their
perspective on the issue," he said. The Indian side, he said,
conveyed to Mr Burns the progress made in the G-4 Draft Framework
Resolution and the intention to go forward on the resolution as
per the decision taken by the four countries in Brussels.
Burns and Mr Saran also reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations
in view of the visit of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to
the US next month. The focus of the talks was on energy and economic
cooperation, the spokesman said. The two sides were also fine tuning
a range of bilateral documents that will be signed during the Prime
Minister's visit to Washington the invitation of President Bush.
Burns said the two sides discussed cooperation in civilian nuclear
energy and space programmes, non-proliferation, missile defence
and high technology. National Security Adviser M K Narayanan has
already initiated considerable work in this direction during the
recent visit to the US.
Next Step in Strategic Partnership (NSSP) was also discussed with
both sides feeling that progress had been made in this regard. The
talks between Burns and Saran will continue on Saturday.
Kuldeep bags three patents
a feat that goes unparallel, Kuldeep Singh, an Indian American,
has successfully registered three IT-related patents in his name
in the United States. The patents are about Focus Navigation of
widgets in a mouse (or mouse like) less environment and on how to
identify if a widget handles Mouse events.
senior software engineer manager with over 15 years of broad experience
with Communication and Collaboration, Unix Device Drivers, Switching
Firm wares, Internet development, Kuldeep said he started working
on the project seven years ago. Kuldeep, who currently works with
Sun Microsystems and is a former student of Sainik School Balachadi
in the State of Gujarat in India, said it takes about three to five
years to get a patent registered.
said he had started working on s set top box like Web TV. "If
you have used any of the old Set Top Boxes, they had no pointing
devices like Mouse. My main responsibility was to implement a Windowing
System as part of implementing Personal Java on this set top box."
said the box already had a primitive Windowing System. The user
experience with this Windowing system was so horrible that users
weren't able to use it effectively, specifically because there was
no mouse like device to move (navigate) from one Widget to another.
Widgets are control objects like buttons, text field/area, links
in browser and drop/pull down menus.
a result, he said what was happening was, when a user wanted to
move to a right widget (with right arrow) the user ended up somewhere
else - not at all intuitive. User had tried many a times to arrive
at a particular widget and required efforts -- frustration. This
problem bugged him even more because Java required a more complex
started looking for better solutions. I looked at Apple's Mac. I
looked at WebTV, I looked at Microsoft's Windows and Sun's Solaris.
To my dismay, they all had similar problems. The problems on these
platforms were not critical since these platforms supported mouse
and expected users to use mouse. But in case a user did not want
to use Mouse, the user would have run into similar problems as the
set top box."
Kuldeep always says problems are good. "They let you think
about solutions. Every problem provides an opportunity." So,
he started thinking about various solutions. Since he knew the problem
very well, he proposed a couple of solutions that were turned down
by his senior counter parts.
Kuldeep did not give up. One day, he discussed it with a User Interface
designer (Human Computer Interface designers). He liked the idea
but did not trust him with implementation. Coolly and calmly, he
started implementing it and showed the demo in less than two weeks
showcasing the navigation design he had in my mind. Everyone was
says: "This invention was based on the direction and distance
(horizontal and Vertical) or proximity of the widgets. When a user
wanted to move to a right widget, I determined the best possible
target widget by calculating distance between various widgets on
the right of the original widget and selected the one that was the
closest and in the right direction. It worked and it made user interface
much more effective and intuitive. This was not the end. I wasn't
satisfied as it failed in certain corner cases. That's where I came
up with an idea that I got granted earlier. Currently, these two
ideas, particularly the advanced one, are being used in many a products
from Sun, including Java."
another invention, Kuldeep and his partner worked on an idea that
identified the widgets that handled mouse events and then for those
widgets they faked mouse events. As mentioned earlier, the environment
is mouse-less but the widgets are platform independent (Java) and
expected some of the widgets to handle mouse events.
the process, Kuldeep said that once they had an idea, it was disclosed
to their Company ie Sun Microsystems. Then Sun reviewed the ideas
and identified the ones that were worth filing for and assigned
patent attorneys to work with them. The patent attorneys worked
with us and translated our technical idea into legal terms that
is difficult for a common man to understand.
patent attorneys then prepared the drafts that were review by us.
On finalizing the drafts, the application was filed with US patent
office and European Patent office and probably in Japan too.
external attorneys and the US and European patent offices ensure
that the same work has not been done by someone else, and if so
they grant the patent. Now a day it takes over five years from conceiving
and idea to getting it granted," said Kuldeep in conclusion.
American gets New York excellence award
YORK, June 7: New York City has honoured Indian American Andy Shenoy
with the 2005 Governor's Award of Excellence for his significant
contribution to improving relations between the state and India.
is great honour for me personally. I remember having recommended
others for the honour in the past but never thought it would come
to me," Shenoy said. The award picks only one person from each
country every year.
who is originally from Goa with strong connections in Karnataka,
has been in the US for well over two decades. Primarily interested
in the diamond business, he said he decided to diversify because
of the fluctuating conditions. He is the president of the Trivision
Group, Inc. In 1993, when a relatively unknown George Pataki decided
to jump into the race for governor of New York, Shenoy decided to
throw his weight behind the Republican leader.
did not think Governor Pataki could win but out of a personal friendship
with Senator Alfonse Marcello D'amato I decided to stand by him.
I helped raise funds for his campaign. A lot of people thought I
was backing the wrong horse," Shenoy, a diamond, real estate
and software businessman, recalled. On the day the results were
to be declared, Shenoy and some of his friends got together to "celebrate
Pataki's defeat" because they had done their best and could
not do much more than preparing for what they thought was a defeat.
the news came that, in fact, their candidate had won. "From
then till now the governor has not forgotten us. He values our friendship
now as much as he did then," Shenoy said. That is evident,
with Shenoy being awarded so many years later.
Shenoy is working on a visit by Pataki to India. The original plan
was to visit in May last year but because of India's parliamentary
elections, the plan was put on hold. "I have always been passionate
about building ties between the state of New York and India because
I see some strong alliances," Shenoy said.
are planning to go later this year. We have not finalised the date
yet but it will probably be after September when Governor Pataki
visits China. I am travelling with him there as well," Shenoy
said. The proposed India visit will be a focused one with the governor
specifically exploring business opportunities between the state
are looking at bilateral trade in terms of infrastructure, IT, biotech
and finance. There are tremendous opportunities between the companies
in the state and India.
the context of the Indian American community's involvement with
politics, Shenoy said, "We should be everywhere irrespective
of the party. Our focus should be on anyone is who is helpful to
our cause and India. I have friends both among the Democrats and
why many more Indian Americans tend to support the Democratic Party
than the Republican Party, Shenoy said, "Because minorities
think Republicans support only the rich. That is of course not true.
It is a question of perception. I am not a big, wealthy businessman.
But I see a lot of strengths in the Republican Party."
said bilateral relations between India and the US had picked up
much greater momentum under President George W Bush than before.
"So, one cannot make a general statement that only one party
is good for the community," he said.
energy dialogue launched
June 1: India and US have launched a new bilateral dialogue on energy,
which envisages setting up working groups focusing on, among other
things, clean coal technology. Planning Commission Deputy Chairman
Montek Singh Ahluwalia and US Secretary for Energy, Samuel W Bodman
met in Washington on Tuesday to launch a new bilateral 'India-US
establishment of the dialogue reflects the transformed strategic
relationship between the US and India as called for by President
George W Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Secretary Bodman
and Dr Ahluwalia agreed that it was important to show progress in
the Energy Dialogue before the US visit of Prime Minister Singh,"
said a joint staement issued after the meeting.
the issue of nuclear energy, the statement laid out the tasks of
working groups, including dialogue and action on issues associated
with civilian uses of nuclear energy and its control. Foreign Secretary
Shyam Saran and US Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and
Renewable Energy, David Garman, will co-chair the Steering Committee
supervising the five working groups.
accused of raping a nurse
June 2: Former US President Bill Clinton has been accused of raping
a nurse, in a shocking new book, called Their Lives - the women
targeted by the Clinton machine.
to Contactmusic, author of the book lawyer Candice E Jackson was
so disgusted by the fact that Clinton neatly ignored his infidelities
in his bestselling autobiography My Life, she decided to expose
several women she claims he sexually abused.
controversial book focuses on seven women, including Clinton's alleged
mistress, Gennifer Flowers, radio host Sally PerdueE, White House
intern Monica Lewinsky and the alleged rape victim, Juanita Broaddrick.
Broaddrick says she met Clinton, then the Arkansas Attorney General,
in 1978, when he made a campaign stop at the nursing home where
she alleges he asked if he could have a coffee with her in her hotel
room to avoid reporters, but when she let him in, he reportedly
forced her onto the bed and raped her. Broaddrick reportedly told
Jackson, "It was a really panicky situation. I was even at
the point where I was getting very noisy, you know, yelling to please
issue will remain till Pak accepts LOC as border
May 24: The
Kashmir issue will go on for a "very long time"
unless and until Pakistan reconciles itself to accepting
the LoC as the border, former US Ambassador to India
Robert D Blackwill has said.
and until Pakistan reconciles itself to accepting the
Line of Control as the border, the Kashmir dispute will
go on for a very long time and cross-border terrorist
violence from Pakistan against India would resume,"
Blackwill, also a former strategic adviser to US President
George W Bush in the National Security Council, said.
will not succeed in Kashmir," he said writing in
"The National Interest," a leading American
former envoy said for more than fifty years, young cadets,
including Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf himself,
have been taught in Pakistan's military academies that
their "holy mission" was the "liberation"
of all of Kashmir and that the central purpose of Pakistan
itself was to further this task.
in 1947, Pakistan's attempts to accomplish this directly
by military force have failed. Thus thwarted, in the
past decade and a half, Pakistan has used terror as
an instrument of attempted change in Jammu and Kashmir.
This too has not succeeded," Blackwill wrote.
faced with such a fruitless strategy, a Government has
three choices: It can stick with the losing strategy,
develop a new strategy or change objectives. "In
my judgment, Pakistan has not yet made a strategic shift
away from its long-time policies of territorial acquisition
and cross-border terrorism," he said.
said although Pakistan has reduced its effort to push
"killers" across the Kashmir border, Musharraf
implicitly holds out the possibility of Pakistan resuming
terror against India if the bilateral talks with New
Delhi do not produce favourable results regarding Kashmir.
terrorist infrastructure inside Pakistan -- the camps
and the instructors, the weapons caches, the communications
capabilities, the terrorists themselves -- is still
in place. Nevertheless, Islamabad holds a losing hand."
The former envoy said that Pakistan is unstable as a
government and society and it "continues to worry
both India and the United States".
were two serious assassination attempts on Musharraf's
life last year or so, one of which came very close to
succeeding. "Add to that the thousands of madrassas
inside Pakistan and the hundreds of thousands of potential
jihadis, as well as Taliban sympathizers who travel
back and forth across the border between Pakistan and
problematic is Musharraf's unwillingness to promote
genuine democracy inside Pakistan, despite the fact
that the only long-term answer to the problem of systematic
instability in Pakistan is pluralism and democratic
expression," Blackwill said.
Indian Government will give up no territory it now controls,
including Jammu and Kashmir," Blackwill said in
a leading American quarterly. "Officially,
India remains committed to the return of Pakistani-controlled
Kashmir to India. But the Indian elite would likely
settle for the permanent international border being
drawn along the current Line of Control.
unless the Pakistani Government and Army change for
good their objective and accept the current division
of territory, the Kashmir dispute will go on for a very
long time," the former US Ambassador to India said.
two countries that would be most negatively affected
by a convulsion within Pakistan, a country with dozens
of nuclear weapons, are India and the United States,
Administration policy regarding Pakistan has been adept
and effective to this point, but that could change if
Musharraf is murdered. This is why both India and the
United States have such a stake in the emergence of
a democratic, stable and prosperous Pakistan. Washington
and New Delhi should have a sustained secret dialogue
on how best to promote that historic goal," Blackwill
said many Indians believe that the US-Pakistan relationship
is based on an incandescent double standard. "They
think that although the Administration declares that
state supporters of terrorism will be viewed the same
way as terrorists themselves, the quintessential state
sponsor of terrorism, including against India across
the Kashmir border, is in their view given a pass by
Washington," Blackwill said.
clears decks for 20,000 more H-1B visas
May 5: The US has finally cleared the decks for the
grant of an additional 20,000 H-1B visas for the fiscal
2005. Ending the speculation as to who qualified for
them, an official announcement said the new visas will
be reserved exclusively for foreign candidates with
master's or higher degrees from American universities.
May 12, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services
(USCIS) will start accepting applications from American
employers. A large number of Indian students, who have
been waiting in the wings with advanced US degrees,
are expected to benefit from the move. Although the
Congress had approved the increase of 20,000 visas last
November, the USCIS had delayed its implementation because
of differences over interpretation of the provisions
of the legislation.
month, the USCIS had in fact held that the new visas
would be available to all eligible non-immigrant aliens
and not limited to those with a master's or higher degree
from an American institution. That had prompted lobbying
groups like 'Compete America' to join issues with the
USCIS, leading to a rethink. The new visas will be over
and above the annual 65,000 H-1B visas for all categories
that were snapped up in a single day on October 1, 2004,
namely day one of American fiscal 2005.
US industry has been actively lobbying for a substantial
increase in the number of H-1B visas, arguing that the
annual cap of 65,000 (lowered from 195,000 two years
ago) was too low when compared to its needs. Last week,
Microsoft chief Bill Gates went on to demand scrapping
this visa cap.
like 'Compete America' expressed relief on Thursday
after the belated USCIS announcement. Sandra Boyd, who
heads the 'Compete America' group comprising over 200
corporations and universities, said the USCIS' dithering
had created much uncertainty both for employers and
the prospective tech workers.
The H-1B visa programme is used by US businesses to
employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. Indian
engineers, computer programmers and scientists have
been the principal beneficiaries of this visa programme.
Visa: In a nutshell
US announced 20,000 additional visas to foreign workers
in the H1-B category.
* H1-B is mainly availed by Indian information technology
* US businesses can submit applications for additional
H1-B visas beginning May 12.
* Visas only to foreign workers with at least a master's-level
degree from a US academic institution.
* Congress approved the additional 20,000 visas last
year after complaints that the reduced 65,000-worker
cap was too low.
blasts at British Consulate in NYC
YORK, May 5: Two small makeshift grenades exploded outside
the British Consulate early Thursday, Election Day in
England, causing slight damage to the building but injuring
no one, officials said. The blasts happened at 3:50 a.m.
grenades had been placed inside a cement flower box outside
the front door of the midtown Manhattan building that
houses the consulate, police spokesman Noel Waters said.
After piecing together the shrapnel, police determined
the devices were toy grenades that had been filled with
gunpowder. Officers estimated that one was the size of
a pineapple; the other the size of a lemon.
blasts shattered a panel of glass in the building's front
door and ripped a one-foot chunk from the planter. The
department's bomb squad was at the scene and streets were
closed in the area.
London, Britain's Foreign Office said there were no provisions
for Britons to vote at overseas consulates. No further
information was immediately available, the spokesman said.
Calls to the British Embassy in Washington went unanswered
early Thursday morning. Britain's national elections have
been dominated by anger with Prime Minister Tony
Blair's support for the Iraq
14-story glass and metal building, on 3rd Avenue at 51st
Street less than a mile from the United
Nations headquarters, has retail shops on the lower level.
Authorities closed streets around the site, causing some
rush hour disruptions. Trains on one subway line skipped
the stop close to the site.
vows to take US-India ties to 'much higher level'
April 15: The US President, Mr George Bush, on Thursday
made a strong personal commitment to build on the flourishing
US-India relations and take them to "a much higher
level" during the next four years of his second term.
Receiving India's External Affairs Minister, Mr Natwar
Singh, at the Oval Office for an extended meeting, Bush
spoke about India as "a global power" with which
the US wanted to work very closely in the interest of
world peace and mutual economic benefit.
the meeting, which was characterised by exceptional warmth,
Bush offered to cooperate with India in the critical area
of energy, including civilian nuclear power. Details in
this regard are expected to be gone into at a meeting
between the two sides in the State Department later in
told the minister that he was "extremely excited
and pleased" about the state of US-India relations.
He expressed his admiration for India's "flourishing
democracy of one billion people", its diversity and
the talent of its people. Remarking that he could not
wait to visit India, Bush hinted at the possibility of
making the visit before the end of the year. He also said
that he looked forward to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's
visit, slated for July.
thanked the US President for his personal initiative in
developing relations with India right from the beginning
of his first term in the White House. "As a result,
India-US relations are probably the best we have had in
a very long time," he said adding New Delhi was looking
for an even greater push during his second term.
Briefing Indian journalists after the meeting that stretched
for half an hour, Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said the
"extremely warm and friendly" session had set
the stage for a very productive deliberation.
of State Condoleezza Rice, National Security Adviser Steve
Hadley and White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card were
present at the meeting. Apart from the minister, the Indian
side included Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek
Singh Ahluwalia, the Foreign Secretary and Indian Ambassador
to US Ronen Sen.
and other members of the delegation were slated to have
a full meeting with Rice and other senior American officials
in the afternoon. A host of bilateral issues are expected
to be taken up, including the F-16s issue and bilateral
cooperation on nuclear energy and space programme.
ties heading for qualitative change
By Deepak Arora
DELHI, March 27: Despite Washington's decision to supply
the remaining 28 F-16s to Islamabad, Indo-US relationship
is going to see a qualitative change. The US has not only
offered to co-produce 126 F-16s and F-18s in India, but
has also offered civilian nuclear energy and high technology
cooperation in space. The US has made it clear that it
intends to upgrade the Indo-US strategic partnership.
As President George Bush told Prime Minister Dr Manmohan
Singh that US-India relations were being raised several
notches to a new high.
Prime Minister expressed his "great disappointment"
to Bush over sale of F-16s to Pak, Foreign Ministry spokesman
Navtej Sarna informed tghat the US Government has now
conveyed that it has approved participation of US Defence
companies in the bidding for the Multi Role Combat Aircraft
(MRCA). "A US team is expected to visit India shortly
to hold discussions," he said.
US state Department sources have indicated that India
would co-produce 126 aircraft, including F-16s and F-18s
with US firms Lockheed Martin and Boeing. The aircraft
would be produced in India and built to meet Indian specifications.
"That is not just F-16s. It could be F-18s (a more
advanced aircraft). But beyond that, the US is ready to
discuss even more fundamental issues of defence transformation
with India, including transformation systems in areas
such as command and control, early warning and missile
defence," a US official said.
will be recalled that during her recent visit to Delhi,
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has declared that
US wishes to be a reliable defence partner with India.
" This is a package of measures by the United States
on India-US cooperation. The US has conveyed that it intends
to upgrade the Indo-US Strategic Partnership. A number
of initiatives have been announced in this regard,"
sale of F-16s to Pak, the State Department said "We
have begun our five-year, $3 billion assistance program
... and have agreed to sell F-16 aircraft. The sale of
F-16s will not change the overall balance of military
power in the region and are vital to Pakistan's security
as (Pakistan's) President (Pervez) Musharraf prosecutes
the war on terror."
the supply of nuclear technology, the spokesman said "we
have been informed that the US Government is considering
offering civilian nuclear energy and nuclear safety cooperation
to India. These subjects were discussed during the visit
of the Secretary of State on March 16. The decision by
the US Administration to move forward on nuclear energy
cooperation is welcome and reflects an understanding of
India's growing energy requirements. We expect further
substantive discussion within the ambit of the Indo-US
Energy Dialogue, which is proposed to be set up shortly."
State Department also announced that the US would be supplying
nuclear fuel energy reactors. This is the first time after
the first Pokhran blasts of May 1974 that US is renewing
its co-operation with India in this field. At a press
briefing, the State Department said that several "key
collaborative ventures" agreed upon in principle
during the recent visit of Condoleezza Rice had been okayed.
These include creation of a high-level strategic partnership
to be headed by Rice on the US side. Key areas would include
co-operation in defence and energy, including civilian
This will go beyond NSSP (Next Step in Strategic Partnership),
it was indicated.
State Department officials also said the United States
is weighing an expansion of its strategic partnership
with India, with cooperation on a range of economic, commercial
and security issues, including missile defense. President
Bush and Secretary of State Rice had developed an outline
for a "decisively broader strategic relationship"
with India and presented it to Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh during her recent visit to New Delhi, a senior US
official said. The goal of the outline was "to help
India become a major world power by the 21st century,"
he said. "We understand fully the implications, including
the military implications, of that statement," he
United States has also proposed a Joint Working Group
on Space Cooperation between the two countries. "This
is a positive development and opens up a new and promising
area for high technology cooperation," said Sarna.
Indo-US Strategic Dialogue, he said "we already have
a regular dialogue with the United States on global and
regional issues. The US initiative to upgrade and broaden
this dialogue giving it a much more global character reflects
the further strengthening of the Indo-US Strategic Partnership."
disappointed over US decision on F-16s to Pak
DELHI, March 26: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
on Friday conveyed to President George W Bush India's
"great disappointment" on US proposal to sell
F-16 fighter aircraft to Pakistan. "The Prime Minister
received a telephone call from the US President this evening.
They had a wide-ranging conversation," PMO spokesman
Sanjaya Baru said.
US President, among other things, spoke about his administration's
decision to propose the transfer of F-16 aircraft to Pakistan.
The Prime Minister expressed India's great disappointment
at this decision which could have negative consequences
for India's security environment," Baru said.
had registered its opposition to US sale of F-16 multi-role
nuclear-capable fighters to Pakistan last week also when
the issue figured in the talks between External Affairs
Minister Natwar Singh and visiting American Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice. "We did express certain
concerns on certain matters on the defence issue. It might
create some complications," Singh said referring
to F-16 issue after the talks.
dismisses India's concerns on F-16 sale to Pak
March 26: Dismissing India's concerns over supply of multi-role
F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, US has said there was "no
contradiction" between encouraging Islamabad to advance
towards democracy and seeking a military relationship
with that nation. "There is no contradiction between
encouraging Pakistan to advance towards democracy and
seeking a deeper military relationship with that nation",
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in an interview
to the Washington Post yesterday.
"dismissed concerns" (of India) that the sale
of F-16s to Pakistan would send a contradictory message
in view of the fact that Pakistan's government came to
power in a coup and the country has developed nuclear
weapons. Such ties could help anchor Pakistan in the ranks
of the world's democracies, she said.
US decision to transfer the aircraft to Pakistan was conveyed
by President George W Bush over telephone to Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh last evening. Singh expressed India's disappointment
over the US move which could have "negative consequences"
for New Delhi's security environment.
bought 40 F-16s from the United States during the 1980s,
but Congress halted the sales in 1990 because of Islamabad's
efforts to develop nuclear weapons in defiance of US nonproliferation
has come a long way" since then and that under (President
Pervez) Musharraf at present, the country is "on
a better trajectory than it's ever been," Rice said.
denied US visa again
DELHI, March 21: Despite the Indian Government's request
to reconsider the issue, the United States will not grant
an entry visa to the Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi.
This was communicated by the U.S. Embassy here to the Ministry
of External Affairs (MEA) today.
a brief statement to the press, the U.S. Ambassador, David
C. Mulford, reiterated Washington's earlier stand that Mr.
Modi could not be granted a diplomatic visa as the purpose
for which he wished to travel to the U.S. did not make him
eligible for one. As for the Gujarat Chief Minister's existing
tourist/business visa, he said this had been revoked under
Section 212 (a) (2) (g) of the Immigration and Nationality
Act, which made any foreign government official who "was
responsible for or directly carried out, at any time, particularly
severe violations of religious freedom" ineligible
for a visa.
MEA requested that the Department of State review the decision
to revoke his tourist/business visa," Mr. Mulford said.
"Upon review, the State Department re-affirmed the
to the decision, the MEA spokesman said that the Government
of India "regrets that in spite of its demarche ...
for an urgent reconsideration of their decision to deny
a visa to Mr. Modi ... the U.S. has not revised its decision
... This disregards the fact of the constitutional position
of the Chief Minister of Gujarat as a democratically elected
leader and appears to be based on selective judgment."
his statement, Mr. Mulford stressed that the visa ban "applies
to Mr. Narendra Modi only" and not to the Bharatiya
Janata Party as a whole. "It is based on the fact that,
as head of the State Government in Gujarat between February
2002 and May 2002, [Mr. Modi] was responsible for the performance
of state institutions at that time. The U.S. State Department's
detailed views on this matter are included in its annual
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and the International
Religious Freedom Report. Both reports document the violence
in Gujarat from February 2002 to May 2002 and cite the Indian
National Human Rights Commission report, which states there
was `a comprehensive failure on the part of the State Government
to control the persistent violation of rights of life, liberty,
equality, and dignity of the people of the State'."
U.S. Ambassador rejected the charge that the denial of visa
to Mr. Modi was "directed at the BJP institutionally
or Gujaratis as a community." The U.S., he said, "is
deeply appreciative of the role that the BJP, and the Vajpayee
Government in particular, played in opening the way for
the positive transformation in U.S.-India relations. I would
note also the great respect the U.S. has for the many successful
Gujaratis who live and work in the U.S. and the thousands
who are issued visas ... each month."
Mr. Mulford said that the U.S. and India, "as two great
and vibrant democracies, share common values on the freedom
of speech, freedom of religion, and representative government,"
the MEA spokesman said the denial of a visa to Mr. Modi
was "not in keeping with the objectives that India
and the U.S. share as democratic countries." Every
country has a sovereign right to issue or deny visas, he
said, but democratic tradition and practice "must uphold
the dignity of political office that is the result of elections
and a mandate given by the people of a country or State."
hoteliers cancel invite to Modi
DELHI, March 20: In a new twist to the Modi controversy, Asian
American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) in US has decided
to cancel invitation to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi
following the decision of Bush administration to deny him
a visa to travel to the country. Announcing this, the founder
chairman of the Association and advisor on minorities to the
US President George W Bush, Mike Patel, said Gujaratis settled
in USA have decided to stand by the decision of the US administration
on the visa issue.
Patel said, "We support the decision of the American
government on this issue." Mr Patel pleaded with Modi
to expedite the process of justice for the riot victims in
Gujarat and should help in removing whatever obstacles come
in the way of giving speedy justice. He said Modi should try
to sort out all the problems and issues as early as possible.
He also pleaded with the people of Gujarat not to boycott
the goods of American companies because lots of Gujaratis
are also settled in America and many are in queue for getting
visas to US. Modi was scheduled to address the AAHOA in Fort
Lauderada, Florida, during his five-day visit to US from March
the Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations
(FIACONA) has welcomed AAHOA's decision to rescind the invitation
to Modi. Expressing this over the phone from Washington DC,
Rev. Bernard Malik, the President of FIACONA said, "AAHOA
could have avoided all these discomfort and unnecessary controversy,
had it just made the same decision four weeks ago when we
called them to express our concern over Modi's invitation."
AAHOA had snubbed us at that time and informed that it was
none of our business.
is sad to hear the leaders of India including the Ministers
of the UPA government call this episode as an 'insult to India'.
What happened in Gujarat from 1998 until now (especially in
Feb/March of 2002) is the real 'insult to the nation' and
holding the perpetrators of that violence accountable for
their action is not what we call an insult to the nation,"
said Mr. John Prabhudoss, the Chairman of Governmental Affairs
Committee of FIACONA.
Prabhudoss said every civilized citizen should appreciate
holding those hardcore Hindutva leaders responsible for their
action. He said that he was very disappointed in the UPA government's
reaction to the visa episode.
the obvious violators of the letter and spirit of the Constitution
of India, to freely travel around the world and spread hatred
and venom among the sections of the Indian Diaspora is a serious
issue. Mr. Prabhudoss said, "If the UPA Government wants
to facilitate spreading the venom among the overseas Indians,
they can continue to advocate Modi's case."
Sampson, the General Secreatry of FIACONA said, "In India,
just because the process of justice take too long to bring
the guilty to the book for their crimes against humanity,
the international community should not shy away from exercising
their common sense."
presence in the US would cause the same damage that it has
caused to the civil society in India by pitting neighbors
against neighbors on religious lines. It is time to say enough
is enough to the politics of divisiveness and hatred. If the
government in New Delhi has not yet understood that yet, it
is time they did," he said
is no question of issues to do with Sovereignty and Constitution
in Modi's episode. If Modi had any respect for the Constitution
of India and the Sovereignty of the nation, he would not have
insulted it by having planned and executed the massacre of
the Sovereign people who live under that same Constitution,"
said Mr. George Abraham, a member of the Board.
is laughable to see Modi speaking of human rights while he
continues to harass the Christians, Muslims and the Hindus
who disagree with the hardcore version of Hindutva.
Verghese, the Member of the Executive Board said, "US
must now add the RSS and the Sangh Parivar to the list of
terrorist organizations as they have qualified themselves
to be on the list by damaging US company properties and US
interests yesterday in Surat."