From Volume 6, Issue 42 of EIR Online, Published Oct. 16, 2007
Asia News Digest

Manmohan Singh Blinks on Nuclear Deal

Oct. 11 (EIRNS)—Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, following his meeting with visiting International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohammad ElBaradei, told ElBaradei that when India is ready to seek agreement with the IAEA on issues of modes of inspection by the IAEA to ensure India's safeguard measures, a precondition for the U.S.-India nuclear deal, he would notify the UN.

The nuclear deal is opposed by India's left parties, in addition to the main opposition. The left parties, whose support is need to keep the minority United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in power, believe the deal would compromise India's foreign policy-making capabilities, and had been urging Manmohan Singh not to pursue talks with the IAEA on the issue. Until today, the Indian Premier was indicating that he would not capitulate to what he called the left's "pressure tactic."

At an ongoing Congress Party conference in New Delhi, Singh indicated he is prepared to forgo cooperation with the U.S. on nuclear energy to prevent the collapse of his government. Singh said he hasn't "given up hope" on a 2005 agreement, which is opposed by Communist members of the ruling coalition. "We are not a one-issue government," Singh, said.

LaRouche Issues Statement on U.S.-India Nuclear Policy

Oct. 12 (EIRNS)—In a statement released today, Lyndon LaRouche responded to the recent comments by India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, that he would be willing to abandon the U.S.-India nuclear deal to prevent the collapse of his government.

LaRouche observed that it may be in India's national interest to take a second look at the U.S.-India nuclear deal, given that, so long as Vice President Dick Cheney remains in office, the Bush Administration is thoroughly untrustworthy, and no agreement worked out with the Administration can be considered viable. LaRouche further proposed that the U.S.-India deal be suspended, pending the U.S. adoption of the proposal presented to President Bush in early July at the Kennebunkport, Maine summit, by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader proposed a U.S.-Russian strategic partnership, including on the issue of ballistic missile defense—modelled on the March 23, 1983 Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) offer of then-President Ronald Reagan (see for the complete statement).

Malaysian Journal: War Clouds Over Iran

Oct. 10 (EIRNS)—Asserting that Britain and France have now joined Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as allies in a new war against Iran, the Malaysian journal Midweek said that the government of Prime Minister Nicholas Sarkozy has made France an unreserved U.S. war ally, and last month Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner warned the world to prepare for a war against Iran. In recent days, the Britain of Prime Minister Gordon Brown has gone further, reportedly supporting the drive to war with an offer of British special forces troops.

Midweek cites a U.S. general who said Iran needs to wreak only as much damage as ten dead American soldiers and four burnt trucks to trigger a full-scale U.S. war against it. Tehran has already said it would do much more by unleashing missiles if attacked, even in a tactical strike.

Meanwhile, an Oxford-based think tank, the Oxford Research Group, warned the West that whatever the problems with Iran, military aggression should be avoided at all costs. "Going to war with Iran will make matters far worse," the British think tank said in a warning against bombing Iran over its nuclear standoff with the West.

British media reported that London had held talks with the White House, to discuss the possibility of war against Tehran.

Britain's Assets Score a Big Hit in India

Oct. 11 (EIRNS)—Having succeeded in lighting a fire, using its old Islamic militant assets, which could one day burn down Pakistan's western provinces, Britain is pushing the same assets within India to trigger a sectarian war. After a series of simultaneous explosions on a suburban train in Mumbai in July of 2006, that killed more than 200 people, two major attempts were made in the once-Muslim-majority city of Hyderabad. The objective was to ignite Hindu-Muslim riots.

Since the Mumbai and Hyderabad attacks failed to unleash the planned sectarian killings, on Oct. 11, a bomb attack was carried out at the Sufi shrine of Khawaja Moinuddhin Chishti in Ajmer in northern India. The bomb went off where thousands of worshippers gathered to break the day-long Ramadan fast, killing three, and wounding 18 others. The crude bomb, planted near a tree at Aasthan-e-Noor, went off a minute after the fasting period ended at 18:16 hours, Deepak Upreti, Divisional Commissioner of Ajmer, told the Press Trust of India.

Union Home Ministry sources in Delhi said it was a terror strike in which militants had used a low-intensity improvised explosive device. Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)—India's largest paramilitary unit—battalions based in Ajmer have been put on alert in readiness for deployment at the shrine.

Handful in India Got Economic Benefits

Oct. 12 (EIRNS)—In line with what EIR has been reporting, India's National Family Health Survey, interviewing 200,000 people from urban and rural India, issued a report on Oct. 11 which says while many development indicators are improving, including literacy and child mortality rates, malnourishment is by some measures getting worse. The survey was carried out by the health ministry with the help of several multilateral aid agencies. The wealthy, mostly urban Indian middle class, enjoying the fruits of an economy growing annually at near double figures, seem all but invisible in the new data. Instead, hundreds of millions of poor, undernourished, undereducated agricultural workers dominate the picture. The same groups continue to be the worst off.

The report is indicative of the total neglect of the vast majority of those who live in rural India and depend on agriculture-related activities. Driven by the economic liberalization and globalization mantra, during the last eight years, the Indian powers-that-be had focussed on generating GDP growth rate, foreign exchange reserves, and enhanced trade.

Nearly a quarter of infants are wasting (have low weight for their height), up from a fifth of all infants found by the last survey in 1998-99. Nearly half of all children under three years have stunted growth, a sign of prolonged undernourishment. That figure was 51% in 1998-99. Nearly 80% of infants now have anemia, up from 74% in 1998-99. The condition can damage mental development in young children. More than half of all women are anemic.

South Korean Minister Sees Hopeful Future with North

Oct. 11 (EIRNS)—"I am sure that, in the not too distant future, Korea will be connected to Germany through the Trans-Eurasian Railway, comprising the Trans-Korean Railway (TKR) and the Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR) or Trans-China Railway (TCR)," South Korean Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Song Min-soon said in a speech delivered to the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin on Oct. 9, the Korea Times reported. "I look forward to the day when we will be able to leisurely travel by train from Seoul to Berlin, passing through North Korea and crossing over the Eurasian continent," he added.

Song drew the parallels between the reunification of Germany—where he had served as a diplomat beginning 28 years ago—and the potential for Korea. Song said that the North Korean nuclear issue can be resolved, and even "will offer an opportunity for a new peace and security order in Northeast Asia." The Six-Party talks have achieved several important milestones recently, including the North Korean agreement to disable three key nuclear facilities in Yongbyon by the end of this year, and the expectation that the U.S. will remove North Korea from the list of "state sponsors of terrorism" and from its Trading with the Enemy Act.

"The closer Asia and Europe get to each other, the greater the role Germany and Korea will be able to play," Song said.

Japan, South Korea Move To Restrict Foreign Takeovers

Oct. 8 (EIRNS)—Japan and South Korea have announced measures to protect national industries from foreign vultures attempting to grab companies that are strategic to the national interest of their country.

The South Korean measures are similar to the "Exon-Florio" provision first used by the United States to allow the President to prevent foreign takeovers of companies that are of strategic importance. The Korean restrictions go beyond defense-related firms to those which involve "confidential national information," according to the Oct. 8 Korea Times.

In Japan, the government has "given itself broader say in mergers and acquisitions that could affect national security, tightening rules regarding foreign investment in strategic local companies," the Oct. 5 Wall Street Journal reported.

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