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Many killed in India Maoist attack

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The Indian prime minister says the Naxalites are the gravest threat to India's internal security [AP]
Hundreds of Maoist fighters in India's eastern Orissa state have attacked police stations in a district close to the provincial capital, killing 14 people and looting weapons, police and officials said.
At least 1,000 pistols were stolen during the co-ordinated attacks on Friday in Nayagarh district, about 80kms from the city of Bhubaneswar.

Rajesh Kumar, the Nayagarh police chief, said the attack lasted several hours.

All but one of the dead were policemen and there was no word of casualties among the Maoists.

Simultaneous attacks

"About 500 armed rebels rushed to Nayagarh town in vehicles and attacked a police station, armoury and police training centre, hurled bombs in several places and looted huge quantity of arms and ammunitions," Kumar said.

Another 12 policemen were wounded in the assaults.

Gopal Chandra Nanda, Orissa's director general of police, said hund…

Indian Maoist violence

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BHANUPRATAPUR FOREST RESERVE, India — The gray light of dawn broke over the bamboo forest as the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army prepared for a new day.

With transistor radios tucked under their arms, the soldiers listened to the morning news and brushed their teeth. A few young recruits busied themselves making a remote-control detonator for explosives.
The company commander, Gopanna Markam, patiently shaved.
"We have made the people aware of how to change your life through armed struggle, not the ballot," said Mr. Markam, who is in his mid-40's, describing his troops' accomplishments. "This is a people's war, a protracted people's war."
Mr. Markam's ragtag forces, who hew to Mao's script for a peasant revolution, fought a seemingly lost cause for so long, they were barely taken seriously beyond India's desperately wanting forest belt. But not anymore.
Today the fighting that Mr. Markam has quietly nurtured for 25 years looks inc…

Maoist activities on the rise in India

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NEW DELHI, March 3 (UPI) -- India says incidents of Maoist violence in various parts of the country increased in 2007 compared with the previous year.
Junior Interior Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said in a statement Monday there were 1,565 incidents and 696 causalities in 2001, compared with 1,509 incidents and 678 causalities in 2006.

He said rebels have been targeting road and rail transport facilities and power-transmission facilities.

Maoists are fighting to replace India's democratically elected government with a Maoist state. They are active in seven states across India and have made major inroads in two of those states: Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be reproduced, redistributed, or manipulated in any form.

India struggles for strategy in war on Maoists

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DANTEWADA, India (AFP) — Combining violence with rhetoric that appeals to the hundreds of millions living in poverty, India's Maoist rebels have left the government looking for an effective counter-insurgency strategy.

The dilemma boils down to two options: strike the militants hard in their strongholds or address the abject poverty that has created fertile ground for the Naxals, as the Maoists are known.

India says it is fighting on both fronts against what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called the greatest threat to domestic security. But observers say it is making little headway on either.

"The effective force actually engaging Naxals is not more than 1,800 to 2,000," said Ajai Sahni, executive director of the New Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management.

The numbers are quickly diluted in the epicentre of the Maoist conflict -- a 40,000-square-kilometre (15,500 square mile) heavily forested region in central Chhattisgarh state.

Police officials in the largely trib…

India's Congress party faces triple northeast insurgent test

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By Biswajyoti Das
Reuters
Thursday, February 21, 2008
GUWAHATI, India: Elections in three small states in India's remote and revolt-racked northeast will provide another test for the ruling Congress party as it seeks to boost its shaky morale ahead of a national poll due next year.

While the states are small and lack political weight nationally, elections in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland over the next few weeks will give Congress another sign of whether its popularity is falling across the country.

Congress suffered defeats to the rival Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the states of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh last December.

"The results of these smaller states will matter for the Congress," said Mahesh Rangarajan, a political analyst and history professor at Delhi University.

"These elections are crucial for the Congress to boost its declining popularity, ahead of a series of coming elections in bigger states."

Elections will be held on February …

Six separatist rebels killed in India's restive northeast

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GUWAHATI, India (AFP) — Six separatist militants were shot dead in a gunbattle with Indian paramilitary troops in the restive northeastern state of Manipur, officials said.

The shootout between the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) rebels and the paramilitary Assam Rifles personnel took place in the thickly forested Hangbungminou area, 130 kilometres (81 miles) southeast of Manipur's capital Imphal, a defence spokesman said.

"We had specific information about UNLF militants in the area and when our troopers reached the place the militants challenged us and in retaliatory attacks six rebels were gunned down," Colonel Lalil Panth told AFP by phone.

There were no casualties among the security forces, he said. A large cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from the dead rebels.

The UNLF is an influential militant group fighting for an independent homeland for the majority Metei community in Manipur, which has a population of 2.4 million people and borders Myanmar.

There…

India's Naxalite Insurgency Grows, Targets Landowners, Business

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By Jay Shankar

Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- India's communist rebels, known as Naxalites, are winning support from the rural poor as they expand an insurgency into 17 of the country's 28 states, targeting landowners and industry, Mehda Bisht, a defense analyst, said.
The government has deployed a force of 1,500 soldiers and policemen in the eastern state of Orissa where the rebels last week killed 14 policemen.
``Naxals are very incipient now,'' said Bisht of the independent Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses'' and called for a special force to tackle the groups. The rebels operate across India in regions that contributed about three-quarters of the country's $775 billion gross domestic product in the financial year ending March 2006, according to government figures.
The states include Maharashtra in the west, Uttar Pradesh in the north, the eastern state of West Bengal and the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
The rebels, inspired by China's former…

Gwadar Oil City: Pakistan, China to sign agreements in early 2008

By Sajid Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD: During the forthcoming visit of Chinese president in early 2008, Pakistan and China are set to sign agreements on Chinese investments in Gwadar Oil City, incentives for setting-up of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Gwadar seaport development programme for expansion of bilateral trade and strengthening of investment relations.

All these initiatives are considered to be essential for the success of Trade Energy, Transport and Industrial Corridor between Pakistan and China, a senior government official told Daily Times on Tuesday.

A steering committee headed by deputy chairman Planning Commission and comprising minister of State for investment, secretary general revenue division, prime minister’s advisor on energy and members from all four provinces, and concerned federal ministries have been directed to prepare well before the visit of Chinese president and within 90 days incentive packages for realising the targets of the corridor.

Energy advisor has bee…

Beijing intended to do more investment in Gawader Port Project

ISLAMABAD: China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Luo Zhao Hui has said that Beijing intended to do more investment in Gawader Port Project as great investment opportunities are available in Pakistan. Addressing the inaugural ceremony of Hashoo Group’s Zaver Pearl Continental Hotel, Gawadar at a local hotel here on Friday, he said China would like to take advantage of the investor-friendly opportunities initiated by the government of the Pakistan. He said that Gwadar Project which is to be completed with China’s cooperation would prove a milestone in the country’s development. He observed that the future of Gwadar is bright as it connected China and Central Asian states to East and South Asian countries which would benefit the whole region in the near future.

The Chinese envoy lauded Hashoo Group for establishing an international standard hotel in Gawadar and urged the need for further development of hotel industries in the area. He said that Pakistan offered vast investment opportunities and…

Two Big Shipyards To Be Constructed In Pakistan

KARACHI, Feb 28 Asia Pulse - Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir says there is a plan to construct two big shipyards - one each at Gwadar on Balochistan coast and other at Korangi Creek in Karachi.

Speaking at keel laying of first small-cum-utility ship Wednesday at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works KSEW, he these shipyards would be "fairly big ones. A great deal of work is going on in this regard."

Admiral Tahir said it would be his desire to try and reactivate KSEW. Naval Chief, who is also Chairman, KSEW Board of Directors said he is doing whatever he could in this connection.

"We also have the support of government and its functionaries for such a programme," he stated.

Baluchistan, Pakistan

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ZAHID KHAN, QUETTA

Balochistan, besides being the largest province in terms of area, is strategically located and rich in mineral resources. The prosperity of the province has been held hostage by the military operation resulting in an ‘insurgency’. In this scenario, the completion and operation of mega projects such as the Gwadar Port cannot be guaranteed without the participation of the local people.

The unrest in Balochistan also undermines Pakistan’s status as a reliable transit route for the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline. Unless the causes of the local people’s resentment are addressed by the government, instances such as blowing up of gas pipelines will continue. It should have been clear to the government that resorting to force will not lessen the friction between the province and the federal government. The government should understand that the only way is to adopt a participatory approach, which has been the missing link in finding a solution to the Balochistan issu…

Pakistan, Afghanistan & The Durand Line

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Sir Henry Mortimer Durand


By Sikander Hayat

I believe that there are two main solutions which can help resolve the issue of Durand line between Afghanistan & Pakistan.

The first solution is that Afghanistan accepts Durand line. Both countries should remain in their boundaries and there are no more fights. But this solution is hard to sell to people on both sides of the border.

These are same people with same ethnic origin, same religion and same values.

The second solution is that Afghanistan and Pakistan form a confederation with no border checks so that people can cross over whenever they want. But people will only have the right to vote in one of the countries.

This means that it will have to be declared where the permanent home of an individual is and they can only vote in that country.

Pakistan and Afghanistan will keep their political entities intact but the free movement of people and finance will be guaranteed. Both countries will keep their separate armies, currencies…

Regional peace pre-requisite for Gwadar’s success

By Khalid Hasan

WASHINGTON: The Gwadar deep sea port will only reach its full potential if there is peace and stability in the region, Ambassador Mahmud Ali Durrani told a meeting here on Wednesday evening.

Addressing the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Durrani said with the network of modern highways being built interlinking the region, Pakistan will become a trade and energy corridor bringing development and prosperity to not only the central Asia republics, but also to Iran, Afghanistan and India

He could foresee a future where Indian goods will go Afghanistan and all the way beyond through Pakistan and Iranian gas could flow to India through Pakistan. The potential of the project could be
gleaned from the fact that the Singapore Port Authority had signed on to manage Gwadar for the next 40 years.

Pasni: The next port to be developed by Pakistan, he added, would be Pasni, which would bring the number of the country’s outlets to sea to four. He sai…

Gwadar Export Processing Zone may get 20 year tax holiday in Pakistan

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Friday, 15 February 2008
Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet, which is scheduled to meet on Friday with caretaker Prime Minister Mohammedmian Soomro in the chair, is likely to approve a package of incentives for Export Processing Zone (EPZ) top of which would be grant of 20 years tax holiday. In September last, the ECC under the chairmanship of former prime minister Shaukat Aziz did not approve a similar proposal rather directed the sponsoring ministry ie Industries Ministry to redraft special incentives for the investors interested in setting up industrial units at EPZ of Gwadar.

The sources said, Industries Ministry has now proposed to the ECC that 20-year income tax exemption may be granted as was given to the Gwadar Port developers despite disagreement by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) which supports grant of such incentive for not more than five years.

The sources said 1,000 acres of land has already been leased out free of cost, adding that incentives pac…

First ship anchors at Gwadar Port on March 15

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'Pakistan Times' Wire Service

GWADAR: The very first cargo ship carrying wheat will be anchored at Gwadar Port on March 15 following the installation of gantry cranes at the port.

Caretaker Minister for Shipping and Ports, Faheem Ansari said that the very first ship carrying 50 thousand tonens of wheat will be anchored at Gwadar Port on March 15.

The largest deep water port is being operational after one year of its inauguration. Initially the port will be used as captive cargo or trans-shipment purpose only.

The port will be put to its optimum use by trade through routes leading to China and Middle East after building of road and railway network●

Gwadar Pakistan Airport project to be completed by 2010

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Friday, 29 February 2008
Caretaker Minister for Defence Salim Abbas Jilani Wednesday said the Gwadar Airport project would be completed by August 2010 at a cost of Rs 7,885 million.
In a written reply to question raised by Muhammad Ismail Buledi in the Senate, he said after the completion of planning and designing process the physical execution of Gwadar Airport project is scheduled to start in March this year.

To another question, he said PIA has implemented nominal fuel surcharge keeping in view continuous increase in fuel prices and operational cost due to inflationary pressure.

The Minister said PIA has implemented Revenue Management System from June 2007 to provide a competitive pricing structure to its customers and optimize the revenue generation opportunities by effective demand management.

Under the system, he said the pricing structure provides extremely competitive fares in various nested classes in the low season and gradually increases the fare levels in line with inc…

Energy task force decides to build oil terminal at Gwadar

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By Zafar Bhutta

ISLAMABAD: Energy Task Force of Planning Commission decided to establish oil terminal worth over Rs 2 billion at proposed Gwadar Oil City and has set a deadline for finalising the agreement for setting up of LNG Terminal at Port Qasim by April 15, 2008, sources told the Daily Times on Wednesday.

The Task Force while reviewing the CNG sector situation recommended discouraging new applications for setting up of CNG stations and directed the authorities concerned to ensure the gas availability to the operational CNG stations across the country. Sources said that Task Force backed the idea that new CNG stations should not be set up during the gas deficit scenario.

The Task Force headed by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Akram Sheikh met here to review the energy conservation situation. Secretary water and Power Ismail Qureshi, secretary Petroleum Farrukh Qayum and other concerned officials, attended the meeting.

Sources said that The Task Force also directed ENER…

In Acapulco, a Return to Glamour

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March 2, 2008
By ARIC CHEN
IT was a balmy evening in Acapulco, and up and down the town’s main drag, the college party crowd was again on its nightly pub crawl, belting out one too many Jimmy Buffett tunes and guzzling a few too many Coronas. Nearby, the famous La Quebrada cliff divers had finished the evening’s last show, sending moms and dads to Planet Hollywood to keep their antsy kids distracted, as two hulking cruise ships sat towering on the waterfront.

But on the other side of Acapulco Bay, perched high above the tourism mayhem, a stark wood-and-glass pavilion offered an escape hatch from the city’s clichés. Inside, a sparkling white restaurant opened up like a giant flashbulb onto the glittering coastline beyond, with house music throbbing to the clinking of wineglasses and the clattering of stilettos on polished concrete floors. A crowd of young Mexicans in open-collar Gucci shirts and fluttering Pucci dresses circulated about, perhaps hoping to catch a glimpse of the actress…

Afghanistan. Pakistan. Forgotten.

March 2, 2008
By JOE BIDEN

THE next president will have to rally America and the world to “fight them over there unless we want to fight them over here.” The “over there” is not, as President Bush has claimed, Iraq, but rather the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

That is where those who attacked us on 9/11 came from, where the attacks in Europe since originated and where Al Qaeda is regrouping. It is the real central front in the war on terrorism.

Afghanistan is slipping toward failure. The Taliban is back, violence is up, drug production is booming and the Afghans are losing faith in their government. All the legs of our strategy — security, counternarcotics efforts, reconstruction and governance — have gone wobbly.

If we should have had a surge anywhere, it is Afghanistan. And instead of eradicating poppy crops, which forces many farmers to turn to the Taliban, we should go after drug kingpins.

We also need to make good on President Bush’s pledge for a Marshall Plan for Afghanist…

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