|Asia News Digest
India Erects a Brick Wall Against WTO Revival
Aug. 12 (EIRNS)World Trade Organization Chief Pascal Lamy's ongoing visit to New Delhi to attempt to "soften" the Indian stance on the WTO-recommended free-trade policies for agriculture, met with stiff resistance from India's Trade and Commerce Minister, Kamal Nath. Addressing a business seminar while Lamy was meeting the Indian Prime Minister, Nath said: "I can't negotiate attitude, I can't negotiate mindset."
Praising Lamy's having taken the talks to the "last mile," Nath pointed out that "it is for everybody to run this last mile." Critical of Washington, he told the audience that during the Geneva WTO talks early this month, Washington had insisted that extra duties should be allowed only if imports rose by 40%. "By the time imports reach that level, my farmers would have committed suicide," the Indian trade minister said.
"But 'revival of the weakest' and 'not survival of the fittest' must be at the heart of the talks," Nath said, adding that it was in developed nations' interests to have "healthy" developing economies, to give them new markets.
Nath was singled out at the failed Geneva talks as the reason for the collapse of the Doha Round.
The WTO chief told reporters in New Delhi that he would leave India on Aug. 13 with a sense of "the political will" in New Delhi to resume talks, and he would conduct the "same exercise" next week in Washington to gauge the political mood. "I will play the role of a midwife if the negotiating parties want delivery of the baby," he said.
Analysts in New Delhi say it is unlikely that India's government will soften its tariff stance much, because 60% of its more than 1.1 billion people rely on farming for a living.
LaRouche: Musharraf's Removal Threatens Pakistan, India Security
Aug. 15 (EIRNS)The removal of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to serve British and Saudi interests will not only endanger Pakistan's security situation further, but it will pose a serious security threat to India, Lyndon LaRouche warned today.
"If Washington, under London pressure and manipulation, does go ahead and sanction the ouster of President Musharraf, this will lead to increased instability and overall disaster, that will soon spread from South Asia into Southwest and Central Asia as well," LaRouche elaborated. "I strongly urge that cooler heads prevail, and that, before President Musharraf is kicked out the door, the consequences of such an ouster be fully considered."
The presence of Mark Lyall Grant, Director-General, Political Directorate, Foreign and Commonwealth Office of Britain, and a delegation from Saudi Arabia during the talks to remove Musharraf, indicates that the longstanding "Al-Yamamah" covert operations between Britain and Saudi Arabia, is very much in play now in Pakistan. A semi-official biography of Al-Yamamah principal, Saudi Prince Bandar bin-Sultan, acknowledged that the slush fund created by Al-Yamamah was used to bankroll the Afghan mujahideen forces who battled the Soviet Army in Afghanistan throughout the 1980s, and later evolved into the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
There are indications that Pakistani terrorists, aided by British intelligence (MI6) and Pakistani intelligence (ISI), who were earlier based in Pakistan's tribal areas training the Pakistani Taliban, are being shifted steadily in recent days to the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir, to commit violence. The current problem in the India part of Jammu and Kashmir, which has already claimed as many as 40 lives, was provoked to a large extent by these terrorists.
The removal of Musharraf will strengthen the Al-Yamamah operators in Pakistan, further weakening the U.S. position there. Washington has given the green light to remove Musharraf, hoping it will bring about a consensus in Islamabad, which would help the United States and NATO to maintain the valuable supply line from the Port of Karachi to Afghanistan, serving the 65,000 foreign troops there.
However, such a hope is simply "incompetent diplomacy," LaRouche warned. "It is precisely because of the Al-Yamamah complication, that I urge a halt in the drive to remove President Musharraf from power. The Bandar crowd in Saudi Arabia should not be allowed to control the destiny of Pakistan, and that is exactly where we are headed if Musharraf's removal is allowed. There is a serious narco-terrorist factor to deal with, centered around the Taliban and al-Qaeda nexus, which enjoys continuing support from the relevant British and Saudi factions. Given half a chance, they will wreck havoc on the entire region, and that does not serve U.S. or regional interests in the least."
Note: President Musharraf announced his resignation Aug. 18.
Philippines Near Explosion; What Is Role of U.S. Ambassador
Aug. 13 (EIRNS)The aborted peace deal between the Philippines government of President Gloria Arroyo and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has set off a near-civil war in Mindanao, and a political explosion in Manila. The secretly negotiated deal was exposed, just before the government was to sign it, as unconstitutionally setting up a separate state for the MILF in a large section of the southern province. It is certain to be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, which already stopped the signing with a restraining order. The government now admits that the deal was indeed unconstitutionalthat it intended to sign the deal first, and then call for a constitutional change!
The question everyone is asking is: What was the role of U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney, in setting up this scam? In February 2008, Kenney held a private meeting with the chairman of the MILF, Mohammad Murad, in his base camp in Mindanao. According to knowledgeable sources, this meeting was held entirely outside Philippine government procedures and approval. Then, Kenney flew to Malaysia, where the deal was to be signed, to be on hand for the event, only to hear that the Supreme Court had stopped it. Also on hand, were the ambassadors to the Philippines from Australia and Japan, as well as a representative of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).