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Wednesday, 5 May 2010

From Today's Papers - 05 May 2010

Indian Express
Asian Age
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  A new beginning? Terrorism to be discussed as core issue
 by K. Subrahmanyam  AT the end of the Thimphu SAARC summit and after the one-on-one meeting between the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan, the Indian Foreign Secretary made a rather bland announcement while summing up the bilateral interactions of Dr Manmohan Singh with other SAARC leaders. She said the two Prime Ministers had agreed that the Foreign Ministers and the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan would be charged with their responsibility of working out the modalities of restoring trust and confidence in the relationship and thus paving the way for a substantive dialogue on all issues of mutual concern.  Many in India are disappointed with this very unspectacular announcement. They expected that Dr Manmohan Singh should have berated and held Pakistan responsible for inadequate progress on the trial of 26/11 accused and not taking vigorous action against Hafiz Saeed and the Lashkhar-e-Toiba. A section among them was even opposed to continuing any dialogue with Pakistan till Islamabad acted against the LeT. In Pakistan, the development has been welcomed as a U-turn by India under international pressure. Such an interpretation is likely to add to the unhappiness of the Indian critics who complain that the Indian Prime Minister has been soft on Pakistan since Sharm-al-Sheikh and this is attributed to US pressure. The issue of how India should deal with Pakistan will continue to be debated endlessly in this country.  What does the present announcement mean? Both sides now accept that there is an enormous trust-deficit between the two nations, which is not news. But what constitutes a departure is that for a substantive dialogue on all issues to start, it requires that the way should be paved for it through restoring confidence, and for that modalities need to be worked out by the Foreign Secretaries and Foreign Ministers. While Kashmir, trade, water, Siachen and Sir Creek are all substantive issues, ensuring that there are no terrorist attacks on India and taking action on internationally recognised terroristic organisations are steps in confidence building and bridging the trust deficit.  With the present formulation, the order of business and priorities of tasks have been clarified. Confidence building and bridging the trust deficit call for the issue of terrorism to be addressed first. Secondly, it will also call for each party to explain to the other that to promote confidence building and for bridging the trust deficit, what it is doing to address the concerns of the other on terrorism.  While it will be open to Pakistan to put on the table its alleged concerns on Indian actions in Balochistan and FATA, it must also explain what investigations it has conducted on the activities of Hafiz Saeed and the LeT beyond repeating that evidence supplied by India is not enough. In other words, the confidence building and trust restoration exercise will be a free and frank exchange of views on the action taken by each country against terrorists threatening the other country. While Pakistani allegations of Indian activities in Balochistan or the FATA have not evoked any international credibility, US National Intelligence Adviser Dennis Blair in his annual threat assessment to the US Congress has stated, “Islamabad’s conviction that militant groups are an important part of its strategic arsenal to counter India’s military and economic advantages will continue to limit Pakistan’s incentive to pursue an across-the-board effort against extremism.”  Therefore, it is inescapable that terrorism will be the core issue on which the confidence building and trust restoration exercise will be conducted. In that sense, there has been no U-turn by India. All that has happened is the Pakistan has agreed to discuss terrorism as the core issue in confidence building and trust restoration while saving its face by its being presented to the world as the resumption of the Indo-Pakistan dialogue.  Pakistan’s agreement to get into a dialogue at the Foreign Secretaries and Foreign Ministers level has to be viewed in the light of the impending military developments in the war in the AfPak area. The US troop surge will be completed by May-end. Operations against Kandahar to free it completely of the Taliban is scheduled in the next few weeks. The drone strikes against the various extremist groups in the FATA area are being intensified and are likely to gather further momentum in June. That will be a moment of truth for the Pakistan Army.  What will the extremist groups like those headed by Haqqani and Gul Bahadur do when directly attacked by US forces? Will they fall back into the safe haven of Pakistani plains with all the consequent implications for the Pakistani state, or will the Pakistan Army act to stop them from doing so? It is reported that the Pakistan Army has shifted 100,000 troops to their western front. That shows a newly acquired confidence in India that it will not come in the way of the Pakistan Army acting against the extremists. The dialogue between the two sides can be a channel to reassure Pakistan that India has a stake in the Pakistan Army taming the terrorists on the western border. By July-August there will be monsoon rains in Punjab and that is not the preferred season for military activity on the eastern front of Pakistan while it will permit activity in the FATA region and beyond.  In his two speeches during his six-hour stay in Kabul on March 29, 2010, President Obama made two points clear. First, he said, “And I want to send a strong message that the partnership between the United States and Afghanistan is going to continue…. But we also want to continue to make progress on the civilian process of ensuring that agricultural production, energy production, good governance, rule of law, anticorruption efforts — all these things end up resulting in a Afghanistan that is more prosperous, more secure, independent, is not subject to meddling by its neighbours, a transition will be able to occur so that more and more security efforts are made by the Afghans.”  He further said while addressing the American troops, “We did not choose this war. We were attacked viciously on 9/11. …. Plots against our homeland, plots against our allies, plots against the Afghan and Pakistani people are taking place as we speak right here. And if this region slides backwards, if the Taliban retakes this country and Al-Qaeda can operate with impunity, then more American lives will be at stake. … And as long as I’m your Commander-in-Chief, I am not going to let that happen. That’s why you are here …….. Our broad mission is clear: We are going to disrupt and dismantle, defeat and destroy Al-Qaeda and its extremist allies. That is our mission.” Al-Qaeda and its allies are not in Afghanistan but in Pakistan. It is against this background that Pakistan has agreed to discuss the confidence-building and trust restoration measures with India.








What Pak media says on Kasab verdict
Press Trust of India, Tuesday May 4, 2010, Islamabad Ajmal Kasab's conviction by an Indian court for involvement in the Mumbai attacks drew mixed reaction from the Pakistani media on Tuesday, with a section saying that it should help the victims' families to put a lid on an "ugly chapter" while another warning that it "will impact" the Indo-Pak ties.  As Pakistan is still blamed by India for not doing enough to clamp down on "groups that are capable of future Mumbai-style attacks," Islamabad could "wash away this perception" by proceeding expeditiously with the trial of seven Pakistani suspects, including LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, accused of involvement in the carnage, the Dawn said.  "Like it or not, there are fundamental issues between the two countries that have to be resolved; but by holding everything hostage to the terrorism issue, India may have in fact given the terrorists a perverse incentive to try harder the next time," it warned in an editorial.  "India needs to accept that peace in South Asia will not be possible until the legitimate and genuine issues of concern to Pakistan are resolved to the satisfaction of both sides," it said.  However, the conviction on Monday of Pakistani national Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist from the Mumbai attacks, should "help give some closure to the victims' families and India on an ugly chapter in the country's history."  The Dawn said Pakistan and India also need to learn "the right lessons from experience," including measures to prevent another Mumbai-like incident.  It said, "First, it is fairly clear that the attacks were launched to push Pakistan and India apart, and perhaps even to the brink of war. That common sense ultimately prevailed is a good thing. But there were enough warning signs to suggest that common sense may not necessarily prevail the next time, so everything possible must be done to prevent a repeat."  Both countries also need to realise that "South Asia and the relations between Islamabad and Delhi are only becoming more complicated as the years pass by," it said.  The two sides will need "great will" to tackle several pressing issues, the daily cautioned.  "Afghanistan has become a bone of contention; military doctrines such as India's Cold Start can lead to undesirable consequences in a nuclear-armed subcontinent; and perhaps potentially more serious than any other dispute the water shortage places an increasing burden on the leadership of the two countries," it said.  The Nation, which is known for its anti-India views, said Kasab's conviction "was no surprise, given how the deck was loaded against him from the start."








US has 5,113 nuclear warheads: Pentagon
Lalit K Jha/ PTI / Washington May 04, 2010, 9:54 IST  The United States has a total of 5,113 nuclear warheads in its stockpile as of September 30, 2009, the Pentagon has revealed, following which Congressmen sought similar move from India, Pakistan, China and Russia.  The newly declassified information was released as part of America's effort to increase the transparency of global nuclear stockpiles -- a step which it thinks is important to nonproliferation efforts.  "This number represents an 84 per cent reduction from the stockpile's maximum (31,255) at the end of fiscal year 1967, and over a 75 per cent reduction from its level (22,217) when the Berlin Wall fell in late 1989," the Pentagon said in a fact sheet released yesterday.  A total of 8,748 nuclear warheads were dismantled during the period between 1994 and 2009.  Several thousand additional nuclear weapons were currently retired and awaiting dismantlement, it said, adding the number of non-strategic nuclear weapons declined by approximately 90 per cent from September 30, 1991-2009.  "This is not the first time that data on the nuclear stockpile have been released. The total size of the stockpile had been previously disclosed. That went through 1961, so we're updating it to 2009," a senior Pentagon official told reporters.  "The numbers of weapons dismantled had previously been released. That went through early part of 1994, and again we are updating it in that case," he added.  The official, however, said that the figure does not include the weapons that were currently retired and awaiting dismantlement.  This includes warheads, which include both active and inactive, in the stockpile. "It includes all the deployed warheads, and it includes a number of non deployed warheads."  Welcoming the move of the United States to reveal its nuclear stockpile, Congressmen demanded that other nuclear powers including India, Pakistan, China and Russia do the same.  "This announcement demonstrates good faith in reducing the number of US nuclear weapons and provides momentum to encourage other countries, including Russia, China, India and Pakistan, to provide more information about their arsenals," House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Jim Langevin said.  "The Obama Administration has demonstrated such leadership in negotiating the new START treaty, pressing the world to secure all vulnerable weapons - usable nuclear materials in four years, and now through its efforts at the NPT review conference," Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said.  Earlier, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressing the NPT Review Conference said the move is aimed at promoting transparency in the nuclear disarmament regime and encouraging other nations to comply with it.  "For those who doubt that the United States will do its part on disarmament, this is our record, these are our commitments and they send a clear unmistakable signal," she added.








JK: Army Captain, trooper hurt in terror attack
May 04, 2010 23:42 IST Tags: Army Captain, Bandipore, Chattibandi, Kashmir Email this Save to My Page Ask Users Write a Comment Two army troopers were wounded on Tuesday evening when terrorists opened fire during a search operation in north Kashmir's [ Images ] Bandipore district.  A senior police officer said army and police had jointly surrounded Chattibandi area of the Bandipore district on Tuesday evening on specific information about the presence of terrorists there.  "As the security forces were laying the cordon, hiding terrorists opened fire at them injuring an army captain and a trooper. The injured were evacuated to hospital for treatment," the officer said. More reinforcements have been rushed to the encounter site to strengthen the cordon as it is raining heavily in the area, according to latest reports.








Special: 10 things you must read about Kasab verdict
Last updated on: May 04, 2010 11:55 IST Tags: Kasab, David Headley, India, Judge Madan Tahilyani, Mumbai Email this Save to My Page Ask Users Write a Comment The verdict in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks [ Images ] case was extraordinary in many ways. Sheela Bhatt lists the 10 most important things to understand about the judgment.  First, as Home Minister P Chidambaram [ Images ] said after the judgment that this is a message to Pakistan: Don't export terror.  After the Mumbai attacks, many liberal India [ Images ]ns wanted Pakistan to act against the terror aimed at India. By completing the trial in more or less a fair manner, India has shown its resolve to fight back -- legally and ethically -- Pakistan-based terrorists and their supporters' evil designs.  Second, the 26/11 attacks have not divided India. And that is an achievement. As Rehana Bastiwala, a Mumbai-based journalist, said, "Pakistan should get the message clear unlike the 1993 serial Mumbai blasts that divided Indian society; the 2008 terror attacks united India."  Hopefully, the times are changing. Hindus and Muslims --- urban and rural India, rich and poor and the middle class -- all felt strongly for those 166 families whose relatives were killed by 10 Pakistani terrorists.  Irrespective of the legal weaknesses or strengths of Judge Madan Tahilyani's verdict, generally, Indians would be happy that the trial took place with a speed not common in India and that the judge delivered a sound judgment.  Despite the police having inherent limitations of investigation because the conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan and there was no access to some 35 accused who masterminded/planned/executed the dreaded plot, the city police connected the dots on the basis of Ajmal Kasab's [ Images ] interrogation.  Third, the international community, particularly the Islamic world, will see the contrast between India and Pakistan. In their journey to realise their dreams after 1947 both these countries have drifted apart and how!  Ajmal Kasab is the symbol of the frustrations of elements in Pakistan that have captured and monopolised political, religious and social power structures in that country. The powerless class of Pakistan deserves justice as much as the Indian victims of Pakistani terrorists.  Kasab, a foot soldier, was sent by religious fundamentalists who have been misusing a potent weapon of ultra nationalist and fanatic religious emotions.  India's endeavour, although not yet fulfilled, is to remain pluralist and centrist. That has, thankfully, not yet created a Kasab. It is dreadful to think of any Indian's trial on similar charges in Islamabad [ Images ]. (Espionage is altogether a different story and category.)  There can't be a bigger humiliation than this for any country whose history of culture and religion is all about fusion of various cultures.  Fourth, Judge Tahilyani has for some reason not taken into account American terror suspect David Headley's [ Images ] emergence in the Mumbai attacks case. His 1,500-page verdict has missed out the entire Headley saga.  Ujjwal Nikam, the public prosecutor, told reporters that no instruction to include Headley in the case came from the central government. This makes the entire case incomplete because the investigation into Headley was not produced in court by the Mumbai police which had fresh material on hand.  Fifth, after the 26/11 attacks, a small, but vocal, section of Indian society, particularly in Mumbai, dominated television news debates, seeking reprehensible and extremely violent views on Kasab. Even Chidambaram in his statement on the judgment said that, 'Despite criticism from certain quarters (swayed by emotion and anger), we maintained that Kasab and the other accused ought to be tried in accordance with law and that they should have all the rights that are available to an accused under Indian law.'  The victims' relatives' feelings are understandable, but Hemant Karkare's [ Images ] wife Kavita also said that Kasab should be hanged in public. How can you condemn the savagery of Kasab and his nine associates by recommending the medieval practice of hanging Kasab in public?  By giving Kasab a fair trial India is arguing that it is not a banana republic. Slain police officer Tukaram Omble's relative said on television that Kasab's limbs should be cut into pieces in public and then salt should be applied on it. This view is just not Indian.  Sixth, the biggest point in favour of Kasab's trial is that it was open. The media had access to the proceedings throughout its duration. However, Kasab was not represented by a high-profile or senior counsel. Also, some reporters noticed that inside the court room, when the trial was on, a kind of haste was shown. This led to the sacking of Kasab's lawyer Abbas Kazmi, who was accused of non-cooperation.  As Supreme Court lawyer Fali S Nariman wrote in the Mumbai Mirror on Monday: 'Mere non-cooperation is no ground for removing the lawyer when the accused has his confidence in him, and this may perhaps vitiate the final verdict in the case. However, whether it will vitiate the entire trial, there is no answer except to say that "it all depends" -- on the facts of the case, one would have to see why it was done, when it was done, and what the problem was. Under the Criminal Procedure Code, the dismissal of such an advocate would be an "irregularity" and not an "illegality". But somehow with my limited knowledge of the case, the advocate's dismissal does not appeal to my sense of justice.'  Seventh, it's shocking that Judge Tahilyani rejected the Mumbai police's investigation against Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed. The judge demolished all the arguments so bluntly that Public Prosecutor Ujwal Nikam was seen fuming before the media.  The acquittal is a scary reminder that the Mumbai police could still produce 'quick-fix' results, even in a case of national and international importance. It is not known yet if it was done with malafide intentions or not.  The judge simply refused to believe that the map found in the slain terrorist Abu Ismail's pocket was a genuine. In other words, it meant the police manufactured the map and lied that they found it in Ismail's pocket to fix Ansari and Ahmed in the case.  Instead of finding local involvement, if any, in a professional manner without coming under political pressure, the acquittal of two key accused is a slap on the Mumbai police's face.  Eighth, India has limited reasons to rejoice that Judge Tahilyani declared Kasab guilty. His mentors and the devious minds in Pakistan's establishment, who probably worked behind the scenes in facilitating the Mumbai attacks, are not going to be affected by the trial. They care a damn for it.  The judge has relied heavily on Kasab's statement -- which he later retracted. Beyond his statement, not much has been found by the investigation agencies to fix Kasab's mentors in Pakistan.  The verdict pronounced many Pakistan-based accused guilty on the basis of circumstantial evidence in form of Kasab's statement.  The evidence against Kasab are many and beyond doubt, but his handlers are convicted on the basis of the terrorist's retracted statement.  As Nariman wrote in the Mumbai Mirror: 'However, I would not like to see the death penalty administered solely on the basis of a retracted confession howsoever flimsy the retraction.' He quoted former President Ramaswamy Venkataraman that, 'confessions' -- whether before the police or before a magistrate -- drained the Indian criminal law of its force and vitality.'  India was lucky to get Kasab alive. But, beyond getting his confession and fixing his culpability convincingly, the Mumbai police has not been lucky to get any fresh insights.  Their argument was that the conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan so they had limitations. But then how does one understand the 'fixing' of Ansari and Ahmed in India's most important terror case?  Ninth, it is ironic that when the judgment arrived, the headlines were shared by the news of the arrests of Devendra Gupta and Chandrashekhar, who are indirectly connected to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in the Ajmer, Malegaon and Hyderabad blasts cases. Though the RSS strongly denied any links, the police in three states and the Central Bureau of Investigation are probing Hindutva outfits in small towns. This is no small news.  Lastly, the verdict shows how important interrogating David Headley is for India; the Pakistani-American is directly linked to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba [ Images ] and the Mumbai attacks. The judgment in Mumbai lacks better evidence against Kasab's mentors because India does not have the desired access to Headley.  India is at a deadend in getting more than circumstantial evidence against anti-India forces who planned the Mumbai attacks.  America needs to play a fair game with India and be sincere in supporting global war on terrorism.







Made in China: Cyber-spying system, with focus on India
Rajeev Deshpande, TNN, May 5, 2010, 12.37am IST NEW DELHI: Reports of a China-based cyber spy network targetting the Indian military and the consequent alert sounded by Army authorities may be only the tip of the iceberg -- investigations have revealed a fully dedicated India-specific espionage system aimed at business, diplomatic, strategic and academic interests.  The detailed research and investigations carried out by Canada-based authors of the report 'Shadows in the Cloud' and experts from India's NTRO have pointed to a command and control system that used free web-hosting services and social networking sites like Twitter, Baidu blogs and Google. These accounts were manipulated by a "core" of servers based in Chengdu in China.  The report, released in early April, received fairly wide publicity but its fuller implications are only now beginning to sink in. The largely India-centric cyber warfare system is described as "son of ghost net", an allusion to a Chinese effort to infiltrate the Tibetan exile community. The current investigations also began in Dharamshala but revealed a larger intent linked to an underground hacking community in Chengdu.  An email used in ghostnet turned up in the Shadows probe as well and is identified as losttemp33@hotmail and was associated with Xfocus and Isbase, two popular Chinese hacking forums and possibly was a student of master hackers Glacier and Sunwear. The individual is believed to have studied at University of Electronic Science and Technology at Chengdu in Sichuan.  The Canadian team used a domain name system (DNS) sinkhole to turn IP addresses into domain names by grabbing suspect servers abandoned after ghostnet investigations. The list of compromised Indian computers is disturbing: machines at Indian missions at Kabul, Moscow, Dubai, Abuja, US, Serbia, Belgium, Germany, Cyprus, UK and Zimbabwe were infected.  A machine at the National Security Council Secretariat was tapped as were computers at military engineering services at Kolkata, Bangalore and Jalandhar. Computers linked to the 21 Mountain Artillery Brigade, the Air Force Station at Race Course Road opposite the PM's residence, the Army Institute of Technology at Pune and Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering at Secunderabad were also compromised.  Thinktanks such as the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses and publications like India Strategic and FORCE were also targeted as were corporations like DLF Limited, Tata and YKK India. Computers at the National Maritime Foundation and Gujarat Chemical Port Terminal Compnay were also hit.  On-ground investigations at Dharamshala, where the Tibetan exile community is headquartered, showed that computers were beaconing with server 'jdusnemsaz' in Chongqing in China. Interestingly, while Chengdu has a military research bureau, Chongqing is host to several triads -- criminal networks with connections to the Chinese government and Communist Party.  In a lucky break, the Canadian team was able to recover data being removed by attackers and discovered a list of compromised computers. Registering and monitoring four of the domain names revealed by the earlier ghostnet probe, they reached those used in the shadows network like www.assam2008.net, aaa.msnxy,net, sysroots.net, www.lookbyturns.com and www.macfeeresponse.org.  The investigations showed that the infected email or social networking accounts were infiltrated with malware which then allowed the compromised computer to receive more sophisticated software through attachments. All through, there was a core of master servers based in China that kept a close check on infiltration of computers and transfer of all sorts of documents from personal details to missile analysis to safe drop zones.








Anand Mahindra elected chairman of Mahindra-BAE defence JV
5 May 2010, 0218 hrs IST,PTI  NEW DELHI: Mahindra Group Vice Chairman Anand Mahindra was elected as chairman of Defence Land Systems India, a Mahindra and BAE Systems joint venture company.  The inaugural board meeting held here declared the joint venture company operational and also appointed BAE Systems' managing director international operating group Guy Griffiths as vice chairman of the joint venture's board.  Other board members confirmed at the meeting were Mahindra and Mahindra Limited's executive vice president V S Parthasarathy, Mahindra Defence Systems chief executive Brigadier (Retd) Khutub Hai, and BAE Systems Global Combat Systems managing director David Allott.  The executive officers of Defence Land Systems India were also appointed during the meeting.  Brigadier (Retd) Khutub Hai was appointed managing director and CEO, Arne Berglund as deputy CEO, and Anil Chugh as the CFO.  "Defence Land Systems India hits the ground running with existing products, business and facilities, as well as a strong experienced team.  The company has great potential and plans to become a leading player in the Indian defence industry," Brig Hai said on the occasion.  Defence Land Systems India's existing business includes products that are now part of the joint venture business such as the up-armoured Scorpio, the Axe, the Marksman and the Rakshak.  The first new product of the JV, the Mine Protected Vehicle India (MPVI), was successfully blast-tested and was launched at the DefExpo in February.  MPVI will be offered for induction in the police, paramilitary forces and the Army.  As well as expanding the existing vehicle business and increasing its capabilities, Defence Land Systems India will play an important role in the BAE Systems bids for a number of artillery programmes, such as FH77 B05 for the towed 155mm 52cal howitzer requirement.  "It is intended that the company will become a national centre of excellence for design, development, manufacture, final assembly, integration and test of artillery systems in support of the Indian Army's Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan and upgrade programme for artillery," a press release issued here said.  Defence Land Systems India is a 74:26 joint venture between Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd and BAE Systems.  Defence Land Systems India is headquartered in New Delhi with manufacturing at a purpose built facility South of Faridabad, just outside of Delhi.  The company is focused on the manufacture of up-armoured light vehicles, specialist military vehicles, mine protected vehicles, artillery systems and other selected land system weapons, support and upgrades.







Will have Indian Army create Tamil Eelam: Jayalalithaa
Stepping up her pro-Eelam rhetoric, AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalithaa on Wednesday said if the people elected a government at the Centre that heeded her, she would ensure that the army was sent to Sri Lanka to create a separate ‘Tamil Eelam’ by force.  Answering critics, especially Congress spokesman Kapil Sibal, who had termed her call for carving out a separate homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka as ‘anti-national and irresponsible’, Jayalalithaa told an election meeting in this western Tamil Nadu town that she would follow the same norms and provisions of international law that Indira Gandhi had used to win freedom for Bangladesh and Rajiv Gandhi had invoked to send troops to Sri Lanka.  “If a government that listens to me is formed at the Centre, I will take action for the despatch of the Indian army to the island nation and create a separate Tamil Eelam,” the AIADMK leader said. “Will the Congress spokesman say Indira Gandhi was unaware of international law when she sent troops to Bangladesh? Or will he say Rajiv did not understand international law?”  It was advocating the bifurcation of India that could be termed anti-national, and not the partition of another country. “The real act of treason was done by the Congress government at the Centre and the DMK regime in the state in 1974 when Kachchativu, an islet that was part of India, was ceded to Sri Lanka, ignoring a constitutional bar on ceding of territory and a Supreme Court verdict,” Jayalalithaa said.  She also ridiculed DMK president and chief minister M Karunanidhi’s fast for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka, dubbing it a drama. “He called off the fast after a few hours claiming that the neighbouring country had declared a ceasefire. However, even before he reached home, Sri Lanka had clarified that there was no ceasefire. Attacks using heavy weapons including multi-barrel rocket launchers are continuing,” she said. – (Times of India)



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