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People Aur Politics

A liberation zone for democratic rights, multiculturalism, international brotherhood and peace.

  Freedom, equality of opportunities, defense of collective goods: eventually Turkey found its ideals. With ...
The main battle of the cl ass war in Pakistan will be fought in the ...
writer was Pakistan’s ambassador to the EU from 2002-2004 and to the US in 1999 While ...
A protester holds up a poster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a demonstration against ...
Riot police take up positions as members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted ...
Red and Green: Five Decades of the Indian Maoist Movement by Manoranjan Mohanty, Kolkata: Setu ...
   Today, the socialist left in Europe confronts a situation markedly different than most of the ...
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in New Delhi. (Mansi Thapliyal / Courtesy Reuters) This past fall ...
Publicity for the congress, which declares: “neither capitalists nor bureaucrats, all power to the working ...
The murder of doctors belonging to the Hindu faith in Sindh has evoked considerable protest ...

Archive for November, 2011

The New Authoritarianism: From Decaying Democracies to Technocratic Dictatorships and Beyond-Prof. James Petras

Posted by admin On November - 29 - 2011 Comments Off on The New Authoritarianism: From Decaying Democracies to Technocratic Dictatorships and Beyond-Prof. James Petras


Leon Trotsky – Three Conceptions of the Russian Revolution – 1939

Posted by admin On November - 29 - 2011 Comments Off on Leon Trotsky – Three Conceptions of the Russian Revolution – 1939

Written as an appendix to Trotsky’s projected biography of Lenin, and included in his unfinished biography of Stalin, this work contrasts the perspectives of the Russian Revolution advanced by Plekhanov, Lenin and Trotsky. He outlines the Menshevik position (

The Deep Blue Sea

Posted by admin On November - 27 - 2011 Comments Off on The Deep Blue Sea

Tom Hiddleston and Rachel Weisz in Terence Davies

Nuclear Madness: Iran, Kuwait or the IAEA?- Felicity Arbuthnot

Posted by admin On November - 27 - 2011 Comments Off on Nuclear Madness: Iran, Kuwait or the IAEA?- Felicity Arbuthnot

As the sabre-rattling against Iran becomes more deafening – with threats of potentially creating a few Chenobyls or a Fukushima by bombing working nuclear power plants – another potential nuclear madness is planned.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) appears to be behaving in a partisan and shameless way regarding Iran, much as it did with Iraq.

With Iraq, accusations abounded that the inspection teams were more about spying than neutral observation.

“The way back to the UN was via Tel Aviv,” one former inspector memorably remarked.

Gareth Porter has meticulously and comprehensively trashed the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) latest report on Iran, showing disturbing parallels with the tragic Iraq fiasco.

Iraq had Ahmed Chalabi, Iyad Allawi and the informant Curveball selling fairy stories.

Iran has Vyacheslav Danilenko, an expert in nanodiamonds, apparently doubling as a nuclear weapons expert, along with a plethora of unidentified spokespeople for “member states.” Hardly rigid verifiable scholarship.

Previous concerns expressed include the fact that Iran has vast oil reserves, so there must be a weapons-related rea

son to expand nuclear power.

However, Iran has been under increasingly stringent sanctions since November 14 1979, which ironically necessitates additional sources of energy – for which it is now being threatened with a similar fate to Iraq’s.

Yet the headlines in the Middle East which warn: “Most volatile region in the world is going nuclear,” coupled with a helpful map of “volatile” countries with advanced nuclear ambitions, seem to have escaped IAEA notice.

Iran of course has had no history of belligerence towards its neighbours for decades.

In spite of the terrible cost of the eight-year war after the 1980 Western-driven invasion by Iraq, Washington told that the country was still a “threat to its neighbours.” Tehran repeatedly responded that it was not.

Consider then the case of Kuwait which is “blessed with an abundance of natural petroleum resources,” and that it has advanced plans for up to four nuclear power stations – two to be built on the islands of Warba and Bubiyan.

US writer Theodore Draper outlined the vast complexities in 1993: “The suddenness of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the coverage it has received should not disguise the fact that Iraqi claims to Kuwaiti territory have been pursued with remarkable consistency over the last half century through Hashemite and revolutionary rule alike.

“There is some justification for the argument which predates by a considerable length of time the accession of Saddam Hussain to the Iraqi presidency. These claims will not disappear with a settlement of the present Kuwait crisis, whether or not this involves a change of regime in Baghdad.

“It is necessary to take these historical roots into account because they left such an explosive legacy in the Gulf region – the Iraqi quest for a coastal outlet, the obstruction of the Kuwaiti barrier islands of Warba and Bubiyan, the dispute over Kuwait’s exploitation of the Rumaila oil field, the precarious borders,” Draper explains.

But as Richard Schofield points out: “Thus there was more to Saddam Hussein’s attempt to annex Kuwait than one man’s evil character. Whatever may happen to him, the Iraqi grievances will not go away.

For more than two centuries Kuwait managed to survive by playing off one major power against another. As a nation, it did not have the ancient roots that Iraq has in Mesopotamia. Throughout the 1930s Iraq refused to agree to a demarcation of the boundary with Kuwait unless the latter was willing to give up control of the islands of Warba and Bubiyan and thus secure the narrow Iraqi Persian Gulf coastline. Despite its vulnerability, Kuwait refused to make concessions.

By 1935, Iraqi propaganda openly called for the incorporation of Kuwait.

Three years later Iraq made this claim official, with the same justification used by Saddam Hussein five decades later – that Kuwait had once been attached to the Ottoman province of Basra.

$20 billion is to be spent on the Warba Island nuclear reactor, just 500 metres from the nearest Iraqi inhabited area at the port of Umm Qasr, and 30 miles from Kuwait.

Pointing out that it is on the still disputed border between Iraq and Kuwait arising from further boundary tinkering after 1991’s hostilities, parliamentarian Alya Naseef has called for Prime Minister Nuri Maliki to demand in the strongest terms that the plans be halted.

The main contractors are French giant Areva, into which the Kuwaiti Investment Authority poured $794 million, making Kuwait the third largest investor, with France being the largest. Areva has extensive contracts and mutual interests with the US.

Furthermore, in September last year Kuwait signed a “bilateral agreement with Japan for co-operation on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, covering issues such as expertise exchange, human resource development and nuclear safety following similar deals with France and the US earlier this year.”

The five-year deal with Japan includes “preparation, planning and promotion of nuclear power development.” I wonder if Fukushima’s radioactive airborn or seaborn fallout has reached the Gulf yet?

The Foreign Office website states of Kuwait that ” there is a general threat from terrorism. Attacks cannot be ruled out and could be indiscriminate. These include references to attacks on Western interests military, oil, transport and aviation interests.” What a prize a nuclear power station would be.

“Many areas of the Gulf are highly sensitive, including near-maritime boundaries and the islands of Bubiyan and Warbah. The area in the northern Gulf, between Iran, Iraq and Kuwait has not been demarcated,” reminds the Foreign Office.

It would be hard to find a more volatile place to build a nuclear installation. Oh, and the land is low lying and subject to silting and shifting.

With the IAEA berating Iran for its nuclear programme, it is seem bewildering that the very real and present dangers of these terrifying madcap projects have passed them by.

Heaven forbid that the 50 years of fruitful trade relations between Japan and Kuwait, celebrated in May this year, has tempted Japan’s IAEA head Yukiya Amano to put country before nuclear madness.

And then there’s the potential suicide bombers…

Iran is not the monster it’s made out to be

Posted by admin On November - 27 - 2011 Comments Off on Iran is not the monster it’s made out to be

World View: By blaming the street protests at home on their Shia neighbour, Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are playing with fire
Iran has long been denounced in Washington as the source of much of the evil in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies genuinely see the dark hand of Tehran behind protests in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. As the last US forces leave Iraq by the end of the year, there are dire warnings of Iraq becoming an Iranian pawn.

This demonisation of Iran at times seems to set the stage for a military attack on Iran by the US and Israel. The propaganda build-up is very similar to that directed against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 2002. In both cases, an isolated state with limited resources is presented as a real danger to the region and the world. Unlikely and sometimes comical conspiracy theories are given official credence, such as the supposed plot of

an Iranian-American used-car dealer in Texas teaming up with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington. Iran’s nuclear programme is identified as a threat in much the same way as Saddam Hussein’s non-existent WMD.

It therefore came as a shock when the distinguished Egyptian-American lawyer Cherif Bassiouni, who led the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry into this year’s unrest, said flatly in his 500-page report last week that there is no evidence of Iranian involvement in events in Bahrain. This had been a core belief of Bahrain’s royal family and the monarchs of the Gulf. Fear of Iranian armed intervention was Bahrain’s justification for calling in a 1,500-strong Saudi-led military force on 14 March before it drove demonstrators from the streets. Bahrain even got Kuwaiti naval vessels to patrol the coast of the island in case Iran should try to deliver weapons to the Shia pro-democracy protesters.

No doubt the kings and emirs of the Gulf sincerely believe their own conspiracy theories. Many of those tortured during the brutal repression in Bahrain have since given evidence that their torturers repeatedly asked them about their links to Iran. Middle-aged hospital consultants were forced to sign confessions admitting that they were members of an Iranian revolutionary plot. After accepting the Bassiouni report, King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa said that, though his government could not produce clear evidence, Tehran’s role was evident to “all who have eyes and ears”.

The same paranoia about Iran runs deep among Sunnis across the Middle East.

One Bahrain dissident, who fled to Qatar earlier this year, told me that “people in Qatar kept asking me if there was a tunnel leading from Pearl Square [the rallying point for the demonstrators] to Iran. They were only half-joking.”

The identification of Shia political activism with Iran in the minds of the Sunni has gone too deep to be erased. Last week saw a resurgence of protests among the two million Shia in Saudi Arabia, mostly in Eastern Province. The riots began when a 19-year-old man called Nasser al-Mheishi was killed at one of the many checkpoints in Qatif, according to Hamza al-Hassan, an opposition activist. He says that popular anger was fuelled by the refusal for several hours of the authorities to allow his body to be taken away by his family. As in the past, the Saudi Interior Ministry claimed that confrontations between the police and protesters were “ordered by masters abroad”

Egypt’s liberals are squeezed between Islamists and a flawed regime-Jack Shenker

Posted by admin On November - 27 - 2011 Comments Off on Egypt’s liberals are squeezed between Islamists and a flawed regime-Jack Shenker

A newspaper seller waits for customers in Tahrir Square.

As the body count piled up and popular pressure on the junta mounted

Tensions Flare Between U.S. and Pakistan After Strike-SALMAN MASOOD and ERIC SCHMITT

Posted by admin On November - 27 - 2011 Comments Off on Tensions Flare Between U.S. and Pakistan After Strike-SALMAN MASOOD and ERIC SCHMITT



A police officer guarded trucks, some containing NATO supplies, after Pakistan closed the Chaman border crossing on Saturday

Pakistan: To-date 206 disappeared persons have been extra judicially killed in Balochistan during the past 15 months

Posted by admin On November - 27 - 2011 Comments Off on Pakistan: To-date 206 disappeared persons have been extra judicially killed in Balochistan during the past 15 months

The situation of Balochistan is no different to that of the former East Pakistan (Bangladesh) when the military carried out operations and killed more than 300,000 people in the guise of protecting ideological boundaries.

The government does not consider extrajudicial killings anything out of the ordinary and one of the reasons for this is that they have lost all control over the military, Para-Military forces and state intelligence agencies that control the province. These military forces brook no interference into their affairs and use ‘national security’ and the protection of ideological boundaries to justify the killings and disappearances of innocent persons, particularly students.

Not a single day goes by without an extrajudicial killing. In the recent years a new phenomenon has been introduced in the cases of disappearances where the victims are extrajudicially killed in order to destroy any evidence of wrong doing.

The Voice of Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP), an organization which collects data about the disappearances and extrajudicial killings has compiled a list of 206 persons from July 2010 to the date of this publication from different districts of Balochistan. The victims were extrajudicially killed and their mutilated bodies which bore marks of torture were found on the roadside. Amongst the 206 corpses 32 of them were not identified as their bodies were too badly decomposed. Many persons were identified by their clothes, shoes and personal effects. Please find here the list of 169 persons, who were extra judicially killed after their disappearance.

The provincial government and Federal Minister for Interior Affairs claim that the Balochis were agitating against the government and were killed as a result of their ‘illegal’ actions. They do not accept the claim by activists that the deceased were extrajudicial killed. The media has been prevented from covering the incidents of disappearances and killings by the state forces. However, they do produce reports that anti-state activists were killed due to their militancy or in-fighting between militant groups. It has become increasingly dangerous for the people of Balochistan, particularly students to travel outside the province as they are arrested or taken out from the vehicles and kept in incommunicado and after some time their bullet riddled bodies are found.

The month of October 2011 was selected for dumping the bodies of the missing persons in the province as the Prime Minister of Pakistan was visiting to the province. This act shows the arrogance of the military forces and intelligence agencies operating in the province that no civil authority should question their power. This was a blatant warning to the government when the Prime Minister held his cabinet meeting there in a bid to show the world that the civilian state’s writ of Pakistan is established in Balochistan.

To substantiate their arrogance a massive military operation has been launched in the Chamalang areas of Balochistan. According to reports published in website media, the Pakistani Air Force have pounded the villages with heavy bombardments resulting in the deaths of two women and a child besides the destruction of several homes and live stock. Jet fighters, helicopters and heavy artillery have been deployed and they are constantly pounding area indiscriminately, local reports say. Fear of more deaths and destruction is likely to increase in the affected areas, which is out of bounds to foreign and local media.

In the addition of list of 169 persons extra judicially killed more bodies of activists are found the month of October, 2011within just three days, the tortured and bullet-riddled bodies of nine activists and students turned up on the roadsides in Balochistan. The names of those identified are: Rashid Ali, Shafi Mohammad, Sameer Rind, Abdul Mutalib Baloch, Ghulam Ullah Baloch, Abdul Waheed Baloch.

Sameer Rind, a young man of 20 years, was arrested by the law enforcement agencies in October 10, 2010, and was disappeared. His bullet riddled body was found Kulanch area of Pasni on October 10, 2011 exactly after one year of his disappearance.

This is the dilemma that students and activists and journalists face if their words or political writings offend Pakistan’s army or go against the intelligence agencies. Sameer was among those persons who were pointing out these things to fellow students. In many cases, the abducted persons were not even political activists but were only Baloch civilians.

Another student, Abdul Mutalib was abducted by FC personnel when he was on his way to Gwadar from Jiwani on 14th September 2011 and in less than one month his bullet riddled body was found on October 10, 2011.
Also on October 10, two more bodies of missing persons were found near the Arbab Plaza. Mr. Rashid Ali Baloch of the Baloch National Movement was missing from July 2011and the same day the bullet riddled body of Shafi Muhammad Baloch of Zehri area was found.

Prior to the latest extrajudicial killings, two more bullet riddled dead bodies were found in the month of September 2011, less than a month of their disappearance by the state agencies. That bodies, recovered from Baghbana Khuzdar, were identified as Ghulam Ullah Baloch General Secretary of Baloch Watan Movement (BWM) and Waheed Baloch alias Balach, a member of Baloch Student Organisation, BSO Azad. Ghulam Ullah Baloch was abducted on August 23 2011 from Khuzdar while 17 years old Waheed Baloch was abducted on 8th August 2011 by the police and plain clothed persons.

The people of Balochistan are generally termed as the anti-state elements by the law enforcing agencies and the federal ministry of interior and whenever any citizen of the province talks about their rights he or she has to face the brutal action of the law enforcement agencies who are alien to Balochistan and have no concept of the local culture and traditions. The situation is very much similar to that of former East Pakistan (Bangladesh) where troops from other parts of the Pakistan unleashed terror against the local population and who were totally unaware of the local culture and tradition, which resulted in the killings of more than 300,000 Bengalis and the dismemberment of the country. In Balochistan the local people are treated as agents of India as Bengalis were accused of being so many years ago. The Federal Ministry of the Interior always blames the nationalist as being Indian agents but he rarely visits the province.

Ironically, this same ministry never takes any action against the Jihadis or sectarian militant organizations that kill the people on a daily basis in bomb blasts, terrorist activities or sectarian violence against the religious minority groups. It is said that religious militant groups and Jihadis have the patronage of Pakistani military and the ministry.

In his latest visit to Balochistan, the prime minister ignored the issues of the Balochi people and allied himself with the army forces.

Talking to reporters after attending a passing-out parade at the EME Centre of Baloch youths inducted into the army after completion of training, Prime Minister Gilani said, “Angry Baloch leaders are our brothers and we are ready to go to their doorstep to resolve issues through dialogue.” He talked about the leaders of Balochistan not the people of the province showing his solidarity with those people who are least concerned with the people of Balochistan. His remarks reminds people of the days of military action against Bengalis when military rulers were using the same words to appease the leaders of Bangladesh and ignore the people.

The Supreme Court and the judicial commission formed to investigate forced disappearances have proved totally impotent and more concerned with appeasing the military than providing justice to the families of the disappeared. In the hearings the judges and conveners made loud pronouncements for the sake of the media but do not have the courage to call the military officers and others indentified by the victims and their families to appear.

The entire country of Pakistan is on the brink of a violent movement which may prove more than they can handle. The government has the option of reining in the military and intelligence agencies and providing justice to the victims. However, it would appear that it concerned only with its own survival.

What the government must realise is that the people of Balochistan will only be pushed so far before they start pushing back and that will lead to untold horror and bloodshed.

The acceptance of the government of the absence of the rule of law and the ongoing human rights abuses is not going unnoticed by the electorate. The international community is taking notice of this and the government will not be able to sweep this under the carpet by denying knowledge of what is going on.

The government must come to its senses and put a stop to the endless extrajudicial killings of the citizens of Balochistan and order the immediate release of all those who have been forcibly disappearances. Also, it must urgently pass legislation to make forced disappearances a crime under the laws of the country.

The military presence in Balochistan must be withdrawn and a tribunal formed to investigate the human rights abuses perpetrated by the military and punish those persons found guilty.


The PPP 44 years on

Posted by admin On November - 27 - 2011 Comments Off on The PPP 44 years on

The main battle of the cl ass war in Pakistan will be fought in the PPP, provided it does not collapse as a tradition of the masses in the coming period

On the chilly morning of November 30, 1967, a relatively small gathering of around 300 people was taking place in Dr Mubashir Hasan

Life in symphony

Posted by admin On November - 27 - 2011 Comments Off on Life in symphony

A scene from the film “Nainsukh”
A subtle portrayal of the 18th Century Pahari painter Nainsukh on the big screen has been waking people up to his splendid art and life for some time

During his 46-year association with India, Swiss scholar Eberhard Fischer worked closely with several aspects of Indian culture

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