Shaila’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘politics

NEW DELHI: Britain has put a roadblock on India’s efforts to get Jaish-e-Mohammad founder Maulana Masood Azhar on the UNSC terror list. India’s request to put the JeM chief along with Lashar-e-Taiba intelligence chief Azam Cheema, who is an accused in the Mumbai train blasts, on the list has hit a hurdle after Britain asked for a confirmation of the evidence provided by India. China has also raised similar objections, but it is the British doublespeak that has angered India more and is being seen as an attempt by Britain to play both sides.

China, sources point out, has been consistent in its position of trying to block such bids. It was China’s opposition that had kept the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its chief Hafiz Mohammad Sayeed off the UNSC terror list for a long time. After the Mumbai terror attacks, even China could not block India’s renewed bid to proscribe the JuD as a Let front.

After getting the JuD proscribed in December, India had then move to put Maulana Azhar, who was released by India in exchange for hostages of the hijacked IC-814 flight, on the UNSC terror list. Since the Jaish e Mohammad and LeT are already proscribed by the UNSC, New Delhi had hoped that complications would not arise in getting the two on the list even though it anticipated opposition from known quarters.

However, it was certainly not anticipating Britain to seek more evidence. The British move is being seen as unpalatable considering that the UK has also been the target of a series of terror attacks.

The British themselves have tried to justify their move by saying that they want to ensure that India has a foolproof case against Masood Azhar and Cheema. But this explanation has failed to find any takers in New Delhi which is confident of the case it has against Masood Azhar, who is accused of masterminding the Parliament attacks, and Cheema, who is wanted for the Mumbai train blasts.

This episode has once again revived memories of Mr Miliband’s disastrous visit to India in January this year. Mr Miliband managed to kick up a diplomatic storm after he linked the resolution of the Kashmir issue to the Mumbai terror attacks. He was further accused of being arrogant during bilateral talks.

In spite of the road block, India will continue with efforts to get the two on the UNSC list of terrorists and terror organisations, which was set up through the “Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions” resolution (1267). Individuals and groups on this list are subjected to a travel ban, freezing of accounts and a travel ban.

India is keen to get the JeM chief on the UNSC list even though Pakistan has continued to express ignorance about his whereabouts. This is seen as one of the ways to put pressure on Pakistan. After the JuD was proscribed, Pakistan was forced to arrest Sayeed and take some preliminary action against the JuD, which had for long been operating as a charity organisation.

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Free Carla Bruni CDs anger French taxpayers

A French government initiative to give away thousands of Carla Bruni CDs for free to promote exports has sparked an outrage in France amid plummeting popularity of President Nicolas Sarkozy, whom she married after a lightning romance last year.

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The album will be dispatched to admirers of the former Italian supermodel-turned pop singer with wine and cheese vouchers.

French taxpayers are outraged that up to 1 million pounds of their money has been transferred to marketing agency Sopexa to plug the Italian-born singer’s songs.

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Many believe France has still not digested the initial “bling bling” phase, symbolised by Sarkozy’s whirlwind romance with the Italian heiress.
At least 14,000 people in 19 countries have applied to receive one of the gift packs through the Ministry of Agriculture initiative.

Those set to get the free Bruni CDs have been asked to organise “Gallic evening” to showcase France’s best exports and then put their promotion on internet sites.

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The former supermodel’s third album was released soon after her marriage to Sarkozy last year but sold less than 90,000 copies in France.

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Bruni shrugged off the vitriolic reviews of her last album, saying: “It’s understandable that people can’t help mixing up my work as an artist and my official role.

As Sarkozy completes two-year in office, sixty-three per cent have written off his first 24 months as a failure, according to a poll today for Metro newspaper, with only 28 per cent holding a positive opinion.

The Russian Navy or VMFR (Russian: Военно-Морской Флот (ВМФ) России- Voyenno-Morskoy Flot Rossii (VMF) or literally Military Maritime Fleet of the Russian Federation) is the naval arm of the Russian Armed Forces. The international designation of Russian naval vessels is “RFS” – “Russian Federation Ship”.

The Russian Navy possesses the vast majority of the former Soviet naval forces and currently comprises the Northern Fleet, the Russian Pacific Fleet, the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Russian Baltic Fleet, the Russian Caspian Flotilla, Naval Aviation, Naval Infantry (marines) and coastal artillery.

Broadly speaking, the navy’s role is to provide sea-based nuclear deterrence and to support Russia’s wider interests. Roughly one-third of naval personnel serve on the high seas, with other concerns being naval aviation, training, coastal defence, shore support, communications and maritime border duties.


While the SSBN fleet is contracting – perhaps to a force of 25-30 vessels – there is considerable effort in developing the SSN fleet, with the `Akula II’ and Severodvinsk classes replacing dated `Victor I’ and `II’ class submarines. The construction of surface vessels, by contrast, is slow and largely limited to smaller combatants, notably the Neustrashimy class frigate and Sovremenny II destroyer.


There is a realisation among Russian policy makers of the need to maintain a credible naval capability. Speaking in November 1999 Prime Minister Putin announced that a decree on the modernisation of the fleet was to be drafted and that the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was to be deployed to the Mediterranean in 2000. This marks a pattern of increasing Russian naval activity that has seen attack submarines operate in the Cold War stamping grounds of the Mediterranean and Eastern Pacific, carrying out simulated attacks on US naval forces. According to senior US intelligence analysts the Russian Navy is operating in a manner very similar to that of the Soviet fleet during the Cold War. Crucially however, Russian naval strength has seriously declined, with only 20 first class attack submarines in operating condition.


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