|Asia News Digest
China's Shadow Behind U.S.-India Nuclear Deal?
Aug. 20 (EIRNS)The U.S.-India nuclear deal has run into difficulties in the Indian Parliament, along the expected lines. A majority of Indian MPs are opposed to the deal, as posing political threat to the government. Among those who oppose the deal are 70 left MPs, who support the government.
There are reports that the left's opposition could be due to recent reports that China is opposed to the deal. There are media reports on China-Pakistan negotiations over a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement, similar to the deal between the United States and India. This has shaken up India's left.
Also, articles in the official Chinese and English-language media, appearing since the July 27 conclusion of negotiations by the U.S. and India on the implementation of their civil nuclear cooperation agreement, have unstintingly questioned the two countries' motives. This approach stands in contrast to Beijing's willingness, noticed at official levels until recently, to be open-minded on the issue.
The themes in the Chinese media can be summed up as: U.S. double standards; by reaching the agreement with India, Washington has violated international non-proliferation norms and exposed its double standards, as against the different treatment accorded to Iran and North Korea; the wish to draw India into U.S. global strategy; U.S. economic and counter-terrorism interests; U.S. defense-related moves; the importance lent to India's military cooperation with the U.S.A.; India's "Big Power" ambitions and America's global democracy initiative.
Although the initial negotiations have been concluded, the deal will not go to the U.S. Congress for full approval till India gets approval of the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which is responsible for all nuclear-related material trades. The NSG approval is based on consensus, not majority. China is a member of the NSG, and when push comes to shove, India has to seek China's approval. Sources indicate that India's leftist MPs, who support the government, would try to stall the deal before it goes to the NSG. A Chinese denial would cause a serious rift in bilateral relations of the two countries.
U.S. Pushing for Greater Crisis in Pakistan
Aug.23 (EIRNS)It is evident that the plan to strip power from Pakistan's strongman, President Pervez Musharraf, is fully operative. Appearing on the PBS program "Newshour" Aug. 22, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who has been living in exile since 1999, and is being promoted lately by Washington to counter Musharraf, said she has outlined an agreement that would reduce Musharraf's power while allowing her to return from exile in Dubai, UAEand perhaps to government.
"So we're not trying to bail out a military dictator by saying we will come there on your terms. What we are seeking is a compromise that could help bring about a stable, democratic, civilian order," Bhutto stated to Newshour host Jim Lehrer.
On Aug. 23, two other developments pushed Musharraf into the corner. First, Pakistan's Supreme Court, whose Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chowdhury had been sacked by the President, but was reinstated with the help of the "democracy crowd" backed by Washington, said that another former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, a favorite of the Saudi royal household, can return home after his seven-year exile in Saudi Arabia.
Second, dozens of suspected Islamic militants have been released from prison without trial, in a direct challenge to Musharraf by the country's judiciary. These militants were seized by the ISI (intelligence agency), and held without charge for up to three years. A few Baloch dissidents were also released.
The developments raise once again the specter of emergency rule in Pakistan. Musharraf was about to impose such a rule early in August, but was thwarted by the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Since these developments are expected to take a heavy toll on Pakistan's body politic, the Minister of Railways, Shaikh Rasheed Ahmed, told the Daily Times that the next two weeks are critical for Pakistan.
India Joins Anti-China 'Arc of Democracy'
Aug 23 (EIRNS)Having plunged head-first into a civilian nuclear deal with the United States, without explaining to the Indian population why the deal is necessary, and facing strong opposition which has weakened the government significantly, India's blundering Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has now landed himself in "deep kimche" by expressing his intent to join an "Arc of Democracy" with Japan, Australia, and the United States, while keeping China out of it.
Although the very phrase, "Arc of Democracy", was coined by visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the seeds of the proposal were sown by Singh himself, when he visited Japan last December. During that visit, in an interview with the Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun, Singh characterized India and Japan as "the largest and the most developed democracies in Asia, which share a strong commitment to freedom, the rule of law, and respect for human rights." As against this, he characterized India and China as "the two largest developing countries." This has not gone unnoticed in Beijing.
British Carried Out 'Untold Holocaust' in India
Aug. 24 (EIRNS)One of the tragedies of English-speaking British colonies is that their history under British rule was written by British historians, or by colonials who were trained by the British historians. However, it seems the time has come to record history in its true lightat least in India.
Amaresh Misra, writing about India's first War of Independence in 1857, in his recently published book War of Civilisations: India AD 1857, said that there was an "untold holocaust" that caused the deaths of almost 10 million people over ten years, beginning in 1857. British-fed historians, claims Misra, have counted only 100,000 Indian soldiers who were slaughtered in savage reprisals, but none have tallied the number of rebels and civilians killed by British forces desperate to impose order.
"It was a holocaust, one where millions disappeared. It was a necessary holocaust in the British view because they thought the only way to win was to destroy entire populations in towns and villages. It was simple and brutal. Indians who stood in their way were killed. But its scale has been kept a secret," Misra told the London Guardian in an interview.
Misra's calculations rest on three principal sources. Two are records pertaining to the number of religious resistance fighters killedeither Islamic mujaheddin or Hindu warrior ascetics committed to driving out the British. The third source involves British labor-force records, which show a drop in manpower of between a fifth and a third across vast swaths of India, which as one British official records, was "on account of the undisputed display of British power, necessary during those terrible and wretched daysmillions of wretches seemed to have died."
LaRouche Society Rallies Philippines To Go Nuclear
Aug. 22 (EIRNS)Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced Aug. 20 that her government will once again develop nuclear power, 22 years after the U.S. forced that nation to place Southeast Asia's first completed nuclear power plant in mothballs. This decision came in the wake of an intervention by the Philippines LaRouche Society (PLS) and the Philippines LaRouche Youth Movement to rally the business, government, and youth leaders of the nation to face the existential necessity of participating in a global nuclear renaissance. Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes, noting that other nations of Asia are already highly advanced in nuclear development, said the government was organizing a team to prepare a study for the return to nuclear power, and to call up and train a new group of nuclear experts, since most of their former experts have long since left the country.
A high official of the Energy Department told the PLS that the nuclear presentation made by PLS leader Butch Valdes, and the material gathered from EIR and 21st Century Science & Technology, were "very, very impressive." The Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Foundation, which invited Valdes to address their conference on nuclear power and help prepare their proposal to the government, will present that proposal within the coming weeks.