Indian cricketer Suresh Raina’s links with bookies disclosed

Raina Alleged For Having Relations With Bookies

MUMBAI: A British newspaper has revealed Indian cricketer Suresh Raina’s links with a bookmaker but the Indiana cricket board on Sunday described the report baseless while the International Cricket Council (ICC) refused to give any comment.

The ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit is probing why the Indian Board kept quiet about a report of its player Suresh Raina being seen in the company of a woman linked to an associate of an illegal bookmaker, a media report said in London.

Making it clear that Raina was not suspected of any wrongdoing, ‘The Sunday Times’, quoting a senior ICC source, said the incident related to India’s tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year.

With the heightened security concerns following the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in Pakistan, the Sri Lankans deputed a former general to look after the Indian team.

CCTV Cameras installed at the Indian team hotel showed that on more than one night Raina was in the company of a woman known to be an associate of a man allegedly linked to a bookmaker.

A report, including the CCTV footage, was submitted by the Sri Lankan Cricket Board to their Indian counterparts.

BCCI keeping quiet on Suresh Raina accompanying a woman allegedly linked to bookies during the Sri Lankan tour as “baseless”, saying that she was the agent of the Indian batsman.

Source: Geo News

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The Kalash People of Pakistan

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Lahore Suicide Attacks:Indian Proxy War against Pakistan

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By Zaheerul Hassan

On March 13, 2010, two suicidal bombers walked up to Pakistan military vehicles and exploded themselves in densely populated area RA Bazar of Lahore cantt. In these attacks 45 persons included five soldiers killed and more than 120 individuals sustained injures. This is the second attack of on going week.

Earlier on March 8, 2010 Pakistani Intelligence Agency’s “sub-office” in Model Town Lahore was rocked at the time of a suicide attack and killing 15 people and many injured. It is also added here that since January 2010 twenty suicidal attacks have been launched against soldiers and citizens. In the night at about 0830 PM third bomb exploded near Moon Market ,in which many individuals got injured. Out of revealed suicidal attacks, 12 have been carried out against the security forces. President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani condemned the Lahore blasts of March 12. They expressed condolences with the families of those who lost their lives in the dastardly terrorist act. The President said the government and people are determined to defeat terrorism and such gruesome acts cannot deter the national spirit is ready to defeat terrorists. It is also mentionable here that last year five attacks were launched in Lahore:

15 October 2009: Terrorists attacked Federal investigation Agency
12 June: a prominent anti-Taliban cleric killed by a suicide bomber at his religious school.
27 May: a car bomb attack on police buildings killed 23 persons.
30 March: Gunmen attacked a police academy, killing eight people
3 March 2009: Gunmen killed six police guards in an ambush of the Sri Lankan cricket team.

The conspicuous increase in volatility has been noticed since after ‘Mumbai attack”. India has started all out proxy war against Pakistan. Her Intelligence agency is using criminal elements of FATA and remote areas of Pakistan for fomenting terrorism. Indian Interior minister P Chidambaram and chief of Army Staff repeatedly threaten Pakistan. In a ceremony held on March 12, 2010 Indian home minister once again alleged Pakistan for their domestic ongoing violence and militancy. He said that any act of terrorism from Pakistani territory against India will be taken as not be tolerant in future. In fact the purpose of such types of statements political and military leadership is to justify Indian covert and open sabotage activities against Pakistan. The statements have to be analyzed keeping in view of the on going war on terror. New Delhi is using criminal and militants to terrorize the determined Pakistani Security Forces and general masses. Pakistan Ambassador at New Delhi Shahid Malik while answering to journalists rejected Chidambaram stance and said that India is involved in spreading terrorism in Balochistan instead of resolving burning issue of Kashmir and water.

Indian Chief OF Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor has also clearly shown her desire of striking Pakistan on November 22, 2009 when he warned that a limited war under a nuclear overhang is still very much a reality at least in the Indian sub-continent. On November 23, 2009 Pakistan Foreign Office Spokes man Abdul Basit asked the world community to take notice of remarks passed by the Indian Army Chief. He also said that India has set the stage and trying to impose a limited war on Pakistan.

In this context, earlier Pakistan Army Chief of Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has categorically expressed at number of occasions that Indian attack would be responded in full strength while using all types of resources.

Pak investigation agencies have collected the solid proves in the shape of fake Pakistani and American currencies, Indian made armaments, medical equipments and passports. The dossiers composed of evidences regarding Indian involvement in fomenting militancy in Pakistan has been provided to Indian authorities in recently held sectary level negotiations at New Delhi. It is also notable here that the terrorist are also being imparted training in Afghanistan and India for launching and targeting security agencies and important installations. A wave of suicide and bomb attacks across Pakistan has killed more than 3,000 people since 2007.

Hindus extremists are creating problems in Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. India is giving the money and weapons to the terrorists in these countries. India wants to destabilize his neighbours. But she should not forget the result of the Russia / Soviet Union. If India did not changed its behavior then soon would be disintegrated into in 27 parts. Though secular India claimed that she is the most religious in tolerance but on ground facts are quite difficult. Muslims, Christens and Sikhs even cannot shake hand with extremist Hindus. India is the only country in which there are always riots, killing of minorities, raping Tamils, Maoists and Kashmiries innocent women. Yearly more than 3000 individuals of minorities are being killed by Hindus extremists. Sikh still crying for justice and cannot forget the incident of Golden Temple in 1984. The killings of Muslims after Babri Masjid Shahdat went to its extreme where more than 3000 Muslims killed in Gujrat in 2002.
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Training offer to Afghan Army

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Dr Raja M Khan:

On January 26-27, 2010, the NATO’s Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence Staff (CHODs) held its meeting in Brussels. Sixty-two chiefs of defence staff attended it from NATO as well as other troops contributing countries. As a coalition partner in the global war on terror, the Pakistani Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, was also invited to participate in the meeting. During the meeting, General Kayani adequately highlighted the role played by Pakistan in the war on terror. Indeed, Pakistan lost over twenty five thousand innocent lives during last nine years, since the beginning of this war. The casualties of security forces of Pakistan are many times more than what the coalition and Afghans forces have collectively suffered in these years. General Kayani’s presentation on the Pakistan’s contribution indeed, removed the misperception of the NATO countries about the Pakistani role in the global war on terror. Sequel to this meeting General Kayani, briefed the foreign and domestic press about the outcome of the meeting in Rawalpindi. During the course of the meeting, he categorically said that, “We cannot wish for Afghanistan anything that we don’t wish for Pakistan.” Since Pakistanis desire peace, stability, and economic prosperity for their country, therefore, they ought to wish similar comforts for their brethrens of Afghanistan. Furthermore, three decades of war, factional fighting, and the internal instability in Afghanistan has brought us to the conclusion that, stability and peace in Pakistan is directly proportional to these factors in Afghanistan.
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Cricket terrorism

Sultan M Hali | India has used every excuse possible to turn it into an instrument of terror. It has used coercive diplomacy, taking full advantage of the reconstruction opportunity in Afghanistan to launch terror attacks in Pakistan. 9/11 was used as a ploy to ditch its erstwhile ally Russia and join the US camp to take up cudgels against Pakistan. The Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline was employed as a tool of intimidation and blackmail. The Confidence Building Measures by Pakistan were misused by India as a ploy for oppression and viewed as a sign of Pakistan’s weakness. Other nations including Pakistan make use of sports, culture and fine arts to enhance relations especially when tensions are rising. Pakistan’s president Zia-ul-Haq used cricket diplomacy to diffuse the chances of conflict between Pakistan and India when there was fear of war between the two during the Operation Brass-tacks era.

Unfortunately, India is exploiting the event of sports, especially cricket for terrorizing Pakistan. Earlier too Hindu extremists have threatened to attack and maim Pakistani cricketers in pursuance of their nefarious chauvinistic designs. They have dug up cricket pitches, created furor by inciting crowd vandalism to disrupt matches which appeared to be going against India. In the early days of Pakistan-India cricket fixtures, readers may recall an incident when Pakistan team was visiting India for a cricket series, Pakistan’s star batsman Hanif Muhammad was approached by an Indian fanatic posing to be a “fan”, who wanted to shake hands with the “Little Master” on the eve of the match. Innocently Hanif Muhammad extended his hand, but a blade concealed between the fingers of the “fan” cut his hand badly. That is another story that with a bandaged hand and three stitches, the master player went on to score 202 runs. Pakistani players playing for the Indian Premier League (IPL) who were stuck in Mumbai following the attacks on 26/11/2007 were threatened to be assassinated by Hindu militants as retaliation for the assault. Pakistani teams have time and again been threatened to desist from visiting India.

The forthcoming cricket “World Cup”, which is to be hosted by South Asia in 2011, with the venues to be divided between Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India was sabotaged for Pakistan. Initially India raised the specter of terror threats to visiting teams in Pakistan, which caused Australia, New Zealand and England to abstain from playing in Pakistan. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, in a show of solidarity with us, decided to send their cricket teams to Pakistan. Reportedly, Indian intelligence agency RAW organized a deadly attack on the visiting cricket team at Lahore, sealing the fate of Pakistan as venue for the World Cup. This is not only going to deprive Pakistan of revenues and Pakistani fans the chance of witnessing exciting cricket matches, but also divest the national team of vital match practice, contributing to its dismal match performance in the recent past. The latest machination by the protagonists of Hindutva and Indian extremists, in humiliating Pakistani cricketers in the IPL is not only distasteful, but requires condemnation at the international level. Pakistani cricketers are not only the world champions in the 20/20 form of cricket, but have also rendered match winning performances in their various teams during the previous IPL tournaments. They should have been in demand by each and every team contesting in the IPL. Initially, problems were created in the issuance of visas for the Pakistani players, and then they were told to face the ignominy of facing auctioneering by different team sponsors/proprietors. Once the Pakistani players were placed for bidding, to their utter humiliation, not a single Pakistani cricketer was bid for. It has now emerged that the farcical auction was engineered by RAW and militant Hindus. Rajasthan Royals’ co-owner Shilpa Shetty, co-owner of Kings XI Punjab Preity Zinta and Shahrukh Khan of Kolkata Knight riders have confirmed that the Hindu Extremist organization Shiv Sena and goons of RAW’s underworld mafia threatened the bidders to refrain from hiring Pakistani Cricket stars at the auction of the players for the 3rd session of IPL.

Without clearly naming Shiv Sena and RAW goons, the Bollywood sensations have expressed that they were threatened that if they would opt for hiring Pak cricketers, they (Pak Cricketers) would be badly harmed by them ( the Shiv Sena and RAW goons). Apart from the showbiz beauties who were amongst the bidder at the IPL auction some business tycoons at the auction, including Ness Wadia and Mukesh Ambani have also expressed the same while talking to media or commenting over the situation at private functions in Mumbai. The bidders have confirmed that the Pakistani cricketers were in great demand while some impartial and saner elements of the Indian media have disclosed opinion polls reflecting the choice of Indian fans who voted in the excess of 72% to see the star performers from Pakistani cricket playing on their soil.

On the other side, Indian belligerent leaders continue to threaten Pakistan with dire consequences if 26/11 type attacks are repeated. Indian threatening attitude has taken the extreme situation, where they see PAF’s preparations for war games at Sargodha as threatening for India. Sargodha is situated in the heart of the Punjab and is a Main Operating airbase, yet it is being described as a border city and the trenches and tunnels dug for war-games, have been construed as threatening postures. Indian Air Defence has gone so berserk that it mistook its own aircraft on the radar and declared them as hostile intruders and was preparing to take punitive action. Under these circumstances, Pakistan should boycott the IPL matches. No Pakistani cable operator should broadcast the IPL matches in Pakistan. During the Cricket World Cup, Pakistan should refuse to play any match on Indian soil. In one of the previous World Cup cricket tournaments, Australia had refused to play in Sri Lanka; we can adopt a similar policy for India. Such drastic steps will expose Indian belligerence and cricket terrorism and bear pressure on it from using sports fixtures for its nefarious ends.


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USA is targeting CHINA through Yemen

The head of the US Central Command, General David Petraeus, dropped in at Sana’a, the Yemeni capital last Saturday and vowed to Saleh increased American aid to fight al-Qaeda.


You cannot fight China without occupying Yemen…


A year ago, Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh made the startling revelation that his country’s security forces apprehended a group of Islamists linked to the Israeli intelligence forces. “A terrorist cell was apprehended and will be referred to the courts for its links with the Israeli intelligence services,” he promised.


Saleh added, “You will hear about the trial proceedings.” Nothing was ever heard and the trail went cold. Welcome to the magical land of Yemen, where in the womb of time the Arabian Nights were played out.


Combine Yemen with the mystique of Islam, Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and the Israeli intelligence and you get a heady mix. The head of the US Central Command, General David Petraeus, dropped in at the capital, Sana’a, on Saturday and vowed to Saleh increased American aid to fight al-Qaeda. United States President Barack Obama promptly echoed Petraeus’ promise, assuring that the US would step up intelligence-sharing and training of Yemeni forces and perhaps carry out joint attacks against militants in the region.


ANOTHER AFGHANISTAN?


Many accounts say that Obama, who is widely regarded as a gifted and intelligent politician, is blundering into a catastrophic mistake by starting another war that could turn out to be as bloody and chaotic and unwinnable as Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, on the face of it, Obama does seem erratic. The parallels with Afghanistan are striking. There has been an attempt to destroy a US plane by a Nigerian student who says he received training in Yemen. And America wants to go to war.


Yemen, too, is a land of wonderfully beautiful rugged mountains that could be a guerilla paradise. Yemenis are a hospitable lot, like Afghan tribesmen, but as Irish journalist Patrick Cockurn recollects, while they are generous to passing strangers, they “deem the laws of hospitality to lapse when the stranger leaves their tribal territory, at which time he becomes ‘a good back to shoot at’.” Surely, there is romance in the air – almost like in the Hindu Kush. Fiercely nationalistic, almost every Yemeni has a gun. Yemen is also, like Afghanistan, a land of conflicting authorities, and with foreign intervention, a little civil war is waiting to flare up.


Obama at Mid-Pacific Country Club, in Kailua, Hawaii. While playing golf what else has the president on mind?Is Obama so incredibly forgetful of his own December 1 speech outlining his Afghan strategy that he violated his own canons? Certainly not. Obama is a smart man. The intervention in Yemen will go down as one of the smartest moves that he ever made for perpetuating the US’s global hegemony. It is America’s answer to China’s surge.
A cursory look at the map of region will show that Yemen is one of the most strategic lands adjoining waters of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula. It flanks Saudi Arabia and Oman, which are vital American protectorates. In effect, Uncle Sam is “marking territory” – like a dog on a lamppost. Russia has been toying with the idea of reopening its Soviet-era base in Aden. Well, the US has pipped Moscow in the race.


The US has signaled that the odyssey doesn’t end with Yemen. It is also moving into Somalia and Kenya. With that, the US establishes its military presence in an entire unbroken stretch of real estate all along the Indian Ocean’s western rim. Chinese officials have of late spoken of their need to establish a naval base in the region. The US has now foreclosed China’s options. The only country with a coastline that is available for China to set up a naval base in the region will be Iran. All other countries have a Western military presence.


The American intervention in Yemen is not going to be on the pattern of Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama will ensure he doesn’t receive any body bags of American servicemen serving in Yemen. That is what the American public expects from him. He will only deploy drone aircraft and special forces and “focus on providing intelligence and training to help Yemen counter al-Qaeda militants”, according to the US military. Obama’s main core objective will be to establish an enduring military presence in Yemen. This serves many purposes.


A NEW GREAT GAME BEGINS:


First, the US move has to be viewed against the historic backdrop of the Shi’ite awakening in the region. The Shi’ites (mostly of the Zaidi group) have been traditionally suppressed in Yemen. Shi’ite uprisings have been a recurring theme in Yemen’s history. There has been a deliberate attempt to minimize the percentage of Shi’ites in Yemen, but they could be anywhere up to 45%.


More importantly, in the northern part of the country, they constitute the majority. What bothers the US and moderate Sunni Arab states – and Israel – is that the Believing Youth Organization led by Hussein Badr al-Houthi, which is entrenched in northern Yemen, is modeled after Hezbollah in Lebanon in all respects – politically, economically, socially and culturally.


Yemenis are an intelligent people and are famous in the Arabian Peninsula for their democratic temperament. The Yemeni Shi’ite empowerment on a Hezbollah-model would have far-reaching regional implications. Next-door Oman, which is a key American base, is predominantly Shi’ite. Even more sensitive is the likelihood of the dangerous idea of Shi’ite empowerment spreading to Saudi Arabia’s highly restive Shi’ite regions adjoining Yemen, which on top of it all, also happen to be the reservoir of the country’s fabulous oil wealth.


Saudi Arabia is entering a highly sensitive phase of political transition as a new generation is set to take over the leadership in Riyadh, and the palace intrigues and fault lines within the royal family are likely to get exacerbated. To put it mildly, given the vast scale of institutionalized Shi’ite persecution in Saudi Arabia by the Wahhabi establishment, Shi’ite empowerment is a veritable minefield that Riyadh is petrified about at this juncture. Its threshold of patience is wearing thin, as the recent uncharacteristic resort to military power against the north Yemeni Shi’ite communities bordering Saudi Arabia testifies.


The US faces a classic dilemma. It is all right for Obama to highlight the need of reform in Muslim societies – as he did eloquently in his Cairo speech last June. But democratization in the Yemeni context – ironically, in the Arab context – would involve Shi’ite empowerment. After the searing experience in Iraq, Washington is literally perched like a cat on a hot tin roof. It would much rather be aligned with the repressive, autocratic government of Saleh than let the genie of reform out of the bottle in the oil rich-region in which it has profound interests.


Obama has an erudite mind and he is not unaware that what Yemen desperately needs is reform, but he simply doesn’t want to think about it. The paradox he faces is that with all its imperfections, Iran happens to be the only “democratic” system operating in that entire region.


Iran’s shadow over the Yemeni Shi’ite consciousness worries the US to no end. Simply put, in the ideological struggle going on in the region, Obama finds himself with the ultra-conservative and brutally autocratic oligarchies that constitute the ruling class in the region. Conceivably, he isn’t finding it easy. If his own memoirs are to be believed, there could be times when the vague recollections of his childhood in Indonesia and his precious memories of his own mother, who from all accounts was a free-wheeling intellectual and humanist, must be stalking him in the White House corridors.


ISRAEL MOVES IN:


But Obama is first and foremost a realist. Emotions and personal beliefs drain away and strategic considerations weigh uppermost when he works in the Oval Office. With the military presence in Yemen, the US has tightened the cordon around Iran. In the event of a military attack on Iran, Yemen could be put to use as a springboard by the Israelis. These are weighty considerations for Obama.


The fact is that no one is in control as a Yemeni authority. It is a cakewalk for the formidable Israeli intelligence to carve out a niche in Yemen – just as it did in northern Iraq under somewhat comparable circumstances.


Islamism doesn’t deter Israel at all. Saleh couldn’t have been far off the mark when he alleged last year that Israeli intelligence had been exposed as having kept links with Yemeni Islamists. The point is, Yemeni Islamists are a highly fragmented lot and no one is sure who owes what sort of allegiance to whom. Israeli intelligence operates marvelously in such twilight zones when the horizon is lacerated with the blood of the vanishing sun.


Israel will find a toehold in Yemen to be a god-sent gift insofar as it registers its presence in the Arabian Peninsula. This is a dream come true for Israel, whose effectiveness as a regional power has always been seriously handicapped by its lack of access to the Persian Gulf region. The overarching US military presence helps Israel politically to consolidate its Yemeni chapter.


Without doubt, Petraeus is moving on Yemen in tandem with Israel (and Britain). But the “pro-West” Arab states with their rentier mentality have no choice except to remain as mute spectators on the sidelines.


Some among them may actually acquiesce with the Israeli security presence in the region as a safer bet than the spread of the dangerous ideas of Shi’ite empowerment emanating out of Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah. Also, at some stage, Israeli intelligence will begin to infiltrate the extremist Sunni outfits in Yemen, which are commonly known as affiliates of al-Qaeda. That is, if it hasn’t done that already. Any such link makes Israel an invaluable ally for the US in its fight against al-Qaeda. In sum, infinite possibilities exist in the paradigm that is taking shape in the Muslim world abutting into the strategic Persian Gulf.


IT’S ALL ABOUT CHINA:


Most important, however, for US global strategies will be the massive gain of control of the port of Aden in Yemen. Britain can vouchsafe that Aden is the gateway to Asia. Control of Aden and the Malacca Strait will put the US in an unassailable position in the “great game” of the Indian Ocean. The sea lanes of the Indian Ocean are literally the jugular veins of China’s economy. By controlling them, Washington sends a strong message to Beijing that any notions by the latter that the US is a declining power in Asia would be nothing more than an extravagant indulgence in fantasy.


In the Indian Ocean region, China is increasingly coming under pressure. India is a natural ally of the US in the Indian Ocean region. Both disfavor any significant Chinese naval presence. India is mediating a rapprochement between Washington and Colombo that would help roll back Chinese influence in Sri Lanka. The US has taken a u-turn in its Myanmar policy and is engaging the regime there with the primary intent of eroding China’s influence with the military rulers. The Chinese strategy aimed at strengthening influence in Sri Lanka and Myanmar so as to open a new transportation route towards the Middle East, the Persian Gulf and Africa, where it has begun contesting traditional Western economic dominance.



China is keen to whittle down its dependence on the Malacca Strait for its commerce with Europe and West Asia. The US, on the contrary, is determined that China remains vulnerable to the choke point between Indonesia and Malaysia.

An engrossing struggle is breaking out. The US is unhappy with China’s efforts to reach the warm waters of the Persian Gulf through the Central Asian region and Pakistan. Slowly but steadily, Washington is tightening the noose around the neck of the Pakistani elites – civilian and military – and forcing them to make a strategic choice between the US and China. This will put those elites in an unenviable dilemma. Like their Indian counterparts, they are inherently “pro-Western” (even when they are “anti-American”) and if the Chinese connection is important for Islamabad, that is primarily because it balances perceived Indian hegemony.

The existential questions with which the Pakistani elites are grappling are apparent.

They are seeking answers from Obama. Can Obama maintain a balanced relationship vis-a-vis Pakistan and India? Or, will Obama lapse back to the George W Bush era strategy of building up India as the pre-eminent power in the Indian Ocean under whose shadow Pakistan will have to learn to live?


US-INDIA-ISRAEL AXIS:


On the other hand, the Indian elites are in no compromising mood. Delhi was on a roll during the Bush days. Now, after the initial misgivings about Obama’s political philosophy, Delhi is concluding that he is all but a clone of his illustrious predecessor as regards the broad contours of the US’s global strategy – of which containment of China is a core template.


The comfort level is palpably rising in Delhi with regard to the Obama presidency. Delhi takes the surge of the Israeli lobby in Washington as the litmus test for the Obama presidency. The surge suits Delhi, since the Jewish lobby was always a helpful ally in cultivating influence in the US Congress, media and the rabble-rousing think-tankers as well as successive administrations. And all this is happening at a time when the India-Israel security relationship is gaining greater momentum.


United States Defense Secretary Robert Gates is due to visit Delhi in the coming days. The Obama administration is reportedly adopting an increasingly accommodative attitude toward India’s longstanding quest for “dual-use” technology from the US. If so, a massive avenue of military cooperation is about to open between the two countries, which will make India a serious challenger to China’s growing military prowess. It is a win-win situation as the great Indian arms bazaar offers highly lucrative business for American companies.


Clearly, a cozy three-way US-Israel-India alliance provides the underpinning for all the maneuvering that is going on. It will have significance for the security of the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula. Last year, India formalized a naval presence in Oman.

All-in-all, terrorism experts are counting the trees and missing the wood when they analyze the US foray into Yemen in the limited terms of hunting down al-Qaeda. The hard reality is that Obama, whose main plank used to be “change”, has careened away and increasingly defaults to the global strategies of the Bush era. The freshness of the Obama magic is dissipating. Traces of the “revisionism” in his foreign policy orientation are beginning to surface. We can see them already with regard to Iran, Afghanistan, the Middle East and the Israel-Palestine problem, Central Asia and towards China and Russia.


Arguably, this sort of “return of the native” by Obama was inevitable. For one thing, he is but a creature of his circumstances. As someone put it brilliantly, Obama’s presidency is like driving a train rather than a car: a train cannot be “steered”, the driver can at best set its speed, but ultimately, it must run on its tracks.

Besides, history has no instances of a declining world power meekly accepting its destiny and walking into the sunset. The US cannot give up on its global dominance without putting up a real fight. And the reality of all such momentous struggles is that they cannot be fought piece-meal. You cannot fight China without occupying Yemen.
Source: Geopolitical blog


Pakistan's Road To Glory

T20 Best Picture – This One Captures It All

Celebrations In Indian Occupied Kashmir After Pakistan Win

Residents in Indian Occupied -ruled Kashmir Sunday fired crackers in the region’s main city after Pakistan beat Sri Lanka to win the World Twenty20 championship, witnesses said.

pakistan_cricket_twenty_20_match_lords_london_uk

Srinagar — the Kashmiri summer capital — erupted in celebration after Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets and as scores of Kashmiri youth poured on to the streets and lit firecrackers.

The youths also chanted pro-Pakistan and pro-freedom slogans as Indian paramilitary troops stayed in their bunkers, witnesses said.

Thousands of Kashmiris, including women and children, were glued to their televisions sets to watch the tense final.

“It is a great victory and one day I hope we will merge with Pakistan,” said a die-hard Pakistani cricket fan, Mohammed Yaseen.

Residents in Muslim-majority Kashmir valley traditionally support Pakistan in sports events.

Indian-occupied Kashmir is in the grip of a nearly 20-year insurgency that has so far claimed more than 47,000 lives by an official count.

India annexed Kashmir almost half a century ago and does not recognize U.N. resolutions that India’s leaders accepted earlier to allow the Kashmiris a free and fair referendum on whether they want to join Pakistan or India. The issue remains an unfinished business of the British withdrawal from the region after two centuries of colonization. India was ruled Muslim emperors from what is now Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia before the British invaded the region in late 18th century.

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Cornered tigers roar once again

Pakistan T20 ChampionPak championpak_team_celeb6pak_team_celeb2Shahid Khan AfridiAfridiUmar Gulfans_celeb_pak_glory8Pak fans

A Pakistan with momentum is a beast that cannot be contained. England discovered that fact to their cost in 1992 at Melbourne, when Imran Khan’s cornered tigers sprung at their throats to seize the country’s first major global title. And now, a generation later but in a campaign of distinct and glorious parallels, Sri Lanka have also sampled the unstoppable alchemy that occurs when cricket’s most emotional and temperamental participants find a way to meld their ambitions to their deeds.

It doesn’t always end up this way. Two years ago against India, in the inaugural World Twenty20 final in Johannesburg, Pakistan blew their chance for glory when Misbah-ul-Haq choked on his emotions at the end of a stunning match-turning counterattack, and chose the wrong ball to flick over fine leg. And then, of course, there was Pakistan’s last appearance in the 50-over World Cup final, against Australia right here at Lord’s in 1999, when the conviction in the performance and the margin in the result – eight wickets – exactly mirrored today’s effect and upshot.

In fact, it is a decade and a day since Pakistan’s demolition at the hands of Australia, and only two players remain from that match. Abdul Razzaq bowled two overs that day for 13, having limped to 17 from 51 balls while batting at No. 3; Shahid Afridi flogged two fours in 16 balls, and wasn’t called upon to put his legspin into practice. Ten years and a thousand memories later, Razzaq and Afridi rose to the needs of the hour and turned themselves into the game’s critical performers. Like the identities of the teams in this poignant final, it was a detail that can only have been scripted by the fates.

“Me, Shahid and Razzaq, we were chatting with the guys: ‘Please this time we will hold our nerves and make our final touch’,” said Younis, who added how surprised he had been by the maturity of Afridi’s batting. “He took singles,” he said in admiration of a man who added calculation to his aggression, and paced the chase to perfection. Two lusty swipes into the stands thrilled a packed Lord’s, but not half as much as the scruffy leg-bye with which the title was sealed. Rare is the Pakistan team that puts substance over style, but when it occurs, the overall effect is electrifying.

As for Razzaq, he had his own reasons to impress – his omission from the last World Twenty20 in South Africa was the catalyst for his defection to the ICL, which in turn led to his two-year exile from international cricket. He cut through the red tape last month, but only returned as a replacement for the injured Yasir Arafat last week. Nevertheless, he slipped effortlessly into his time-honoured utility role, this time as an under-rated old hand to balance the youthful aggression of Wasim Akram’s acolyte, Mohammad Aamer. After nine deliveries of the final, old and young had claimed a pair of ducks between them. And those lead weights of expectation had been alchemised into gold.

Younis has now stepped aside from Twenty20 cricket, much as Imran Khan bowed out on a high in 1992. For all his quiet insistence that this competition lacks the prestige of the 50-over World Cup, he knows that he and his players have achieved something wonderful, and every bit as lasting as the memories forged by Imran, Miandad, Wasim and Mushtaq, way back in the mists of time.

“I’m the second Khan winning a World Cup for Pakistan, so I’m very proud of my Khans,” said Younis. “This is my dream. I dreamed all the time of lifting the World Cup. My thinking in all my career is that I will be remembered for a team like 1992. I was not in the Imran Khan team, and this is a dream come true. I’m really happy. Though this World Cup is Twenty20, at least we won our second World Cup. This is a gift to our whole nation.”

He is not wrong. To get a sense of how much Pakistan needed this victory, you have to look beyond the bedlam in the stands at Lord’s where a shimmer of bouncing green shirts gave a surface-level glimpse of the euphoria, and instead burrow deep into the parks and gullies of Karachi, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Peshawar, where a nation starved of joy has been given the timeliest succour. It is arguable, in fact, that there has been no more timely sporting victory since a newly unified South Africa won the Rugby World Cup back in 1995.

Where Francois Pienaar’s Springboks drew a newly unified nation ever more tightly together, the achievement of Younis’s men has been to help slow the fragmentation of a state that is rapidly being considered by the world at large to have failed. Both the captain and his Man of the Match hail from the troubled North West Frontier Province, and Afridi himself from the Khyber Agency, the symbolic frontline of Pakistan’s War on Terror. Chaos can seem at times to be embedded in the Pakistani DNA, but as both men showed in their performances in this tournament, it does not have to be this way.

“If you see the whole nation, where law and order is not good, we are from them,” said Younis. “How can we be consistent? With these kind of things going for us, if you see our cricket it is all the time suffering from a lot of things. After that we are still winning the World Cup. It is a great achievement for us. I am requesting to all of the countries you must come to Pakistan. Everybody knows law and order is not good but it is not our fault.”

For the moment, any prospect of cricket resuming in Pakistan is futile, despite the joy of this occasion and the hope for the future that it generates. But in the shorter term, what we witnessed at Lord’s today was the will of a troubled nation to pull in the same direction. From the fight within the team to the reaction around the stands, it was clear how much the notion of Pakistan still means. Next summer, the prospect exists of England hosting their “home” Test series against Australia. Today was a taster of the euphoria that would bring. It must be allowed to happen.

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