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Showing posts from November, 2008

Manmohan Singh's opening remarks at the All Party Meeting

PM's opening remarks at the All Party Meeting
November 30, 2008
New Delhi

"Esteemed Chairperson UPA, respected colleagues and friends. I thank you all for being here at such short notice.

The ordeal at Mumbai, which occupied the attention of the entire nation, has finally come to an end. All of us share the grief of those who have lost their loved ones in this dastardly and brutal attack and also the pain and anguish of those grievously wounded. We cannot lessen their grief. But we will do all we can to alleviate their suffering. I give you my solemn assurance that we will look after the needs of those who survive this horrible tragedy.

We salute the bravery of our security forces who fought the terrorists in exceptionally difficult circumstances. They tried their utmost to save innocent lives at great personal risk. Twenty officers and men made the ultimate sacrifice by laying down their lives. The entire nation owes a debt of gratitude to these men that we can never repay.

We hav…

Mumbai attacks ‘were a ploy to wreck Obama plan to isolate al-Qaeda’

The carnage may have been an attempt to put Pakistan and India at each other’s throats and kill US hopes for the region

Relations between India and Pakistan were on a knife edge last night amid fears that Delhi’s response to the Mumbai attacks could undermine the Pakistani army’s campaign against Islamic militants on the frontier with Afghanistan.

Officials and analysts in the region believe that last week’s atrocities were designed to provoke a crisis, or even a war, between the nuclear-armed neighbours, diverting Islamabad’s attention from extremism in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan and thus relieving pressure on al-Qaeda, Taleban and other militants based there.

One analyst even described the attacks as a “pre-emptive strike” against Barack Obama’s strategy to put Pakistan and Afghanistan at the centre of US foreign policy.

The United States and its allies now face a balancing act in supporting India’s efforts to investigate the Mumbai attacks, without jeopardizing Pakistan’s cruci…

Joint Statement from Pakistan and India

Joint Statement was released to the press simultaneously in Pakistan and India
November 30 2008

Mumbai bloodbath

We are deeply shocked and horrified at the bloody mayhem in Mumbai, which has claimed more than a hundred and ninty lives and caused grievous injuries to several hundred people, besides sending a wave of panic and terror across South Asia and beyond. We convey our profound feelings of sorrow and sympathies to the grieving families of the unfortunate victims of this heinous crime and express our solidarity with them.

As usual, all sorts of speculations are circulating about the identity of the perpetrators of this act of barbarism. The truth about who are directly involved in this brutal incident and who could be the culprits behind the scene is yet to come out and we do not wish to indulge in any guesswork or blame game at this point. However, one is intrigued at its timing. Can it be termed a coincidence that it has happened on the day the Home Secretaries of the two countr…

Joint Statement from Pakistan and India

This Joint Statement was released to the press simultaneously in Pakistan and India on November 30 2008.

Mumbai bloodbath

We are deeply shocked and horrified at the bloody mayhem in Mumbai, which has claimed more than a hundred and ninty lives and caused grievous injuries to several hundred people, besides sending a wave of panic and terror across South Asia and beyond. We convey our profound feelings of sorrow and sympathies to the grieving families of the unfortunate victims of this heinous crime and express our solidarity with them.

As usual, all sorts of speculations are circulating about the identity of the perpetrators of this act of barbarism. The truth about who are directly involved in this brutal incident and who could be the culprits behind the scene is yet to come out and we do not wish to indulge in any guesswork or blame game at this point. However, one is intrigued at its timing. Can it be termed a coincidence that it has happened on the day the Home Secretaries of the …

Vishwanath Pratap Singh is dead

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Parliamentary Oversight Committee to monitor the functioning of the intelligence agencies

Former Prime Minister V P Singh, who formed a non-Congress coalition government at the Centre dethroning Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress in the 1989 elections, died in New Delhi on Thursday after prolonged illness.

Battling blood cancer since 1991 and suffering from renal failure, 77-year-old Singh, also known as 'Raja of Manda', breathed his last at the Apollo Hospital in Delhi in the afternoon, his close associate Wasim Ahmad said.

"The end came at 1445 hrs," an Apollo Hospital spokesperson said.

Singh is survived by his wife Sita Kumari and two sons Ajeya Singh and Abhay Singh.

In the present scenario where intelligence failure has become rampant, it is noteworthy that former Prime Minister V P Singh had tried to set up a Parliamentary Oversight Committee to monitor the functioning of the intelligence agencies. He failed mainly on account of opposition from the major political partie…

PM's address to the Nation

November 27, 2008
New Delhi

Dear Citizens,

The dastardly terror attacks that took place in Mumbai last night and today leading to the loss of many precious lives and injuries to many others have deeply shocked the nation. I strongly condemn these acts of senseless violence against innocent people, including guests from foreign countries. I offer my deepest condolences to the bereaved families and sympathies to those injured. The Government will take all necessary measures to look after the wellbeing of the affected families, including medical treatment of injured.

The well-planned and well-orchestrated attacks, probably with external linkages, were intended to create a sense of panic, by choosing high profile targets and indiscriminately killing foreigners.

I salute the courage and patriotism of the police officers, including the Chief of the Anti-Terror Squad, Shri Hemant Karkare and men who have laid down their lives in fighting these terrorists. I assure the country that we will attend …

Be 'effectively collaborative': Sonia Gandhi

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Hindustan Times Leadership Summit
Speech of Hon'ble Congress President, Sonia Gandhi

Mrs Shobhana Bhartia,

Mr Vir Sanghvi,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to be back here in this forum where I see so many friends and familiar faces.

I find a certain comfort in this, and applaud the Hindustan Times for having established such a high reputation for organising these interactions.

If I have any reservation, it is in my own ability to add meaningfully to your deliberations. It is not always easy to find something different to say from the same lectern for five consecutive years. But as it happens, I have been rescued from this dilemma by the global economic downturn which is clearly the big issue of the day.

We are meeting in turbulent times, times that overshadow the larger theme of this year's Leadership Summit. Its focus, "Ambitions for the New Century" will, I am afraid, have to wait a while, as we grapple with the cataclysm that has been thrust upon us.

The year that is …

MY VISION FOR INDIA: ADVANI

Speech by L.K. Advani
Leader of the Opposition (Lok Sabha)
At the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit
LOOKING AHEAD: MY VISION FOR INDIA
New Delhi – November 21, 2008

It gives me great pleasure to participate in the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit. I thank Smt. Shobhna Bhartiya for inviting me to be a speaker at this event, which, over the years, has evolved as a prestigious forum for discussing major national and international issues.

I have been asked to share my vision for India. I must confess that I am a little wary of talking about the so-called ‘Vision Thing’ at a time like the one we are now passing through, which is truly extraordinary in the history of India and the world. Vision refers to the future, which some people can present in beautiful, lyrical phraseology. However, it is the present that demands our most immediate attention. It is good to look at the stars, but one must first know where one is standing. If the ground is full of thorns, or if there is an approaching calami…

Demand for judicial probe following Sadhvi Pragya's Affidavit

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Speech by L.K. Advani
Leader of the Opposition (Lok Sabha)

Demand for judicial probe into charges against ATS by Sadhvi Pragya

Raipur : November 18, 2008

On the flight from Delhi to Raipur today, I read the full text of Sadhvi Pragya's affidavit before the Nashik court. I cannot believe that such barbaric treatment has been meted out to a spiritual person, that too, a woman in a country that prides itself on its democracy and rule of law.

So far I had refrained from commenting on the allegations levelled by the Maharashtra ATS against Sadhvi Pragya and her supposed associates. But after going through her affidavit detailing how she was physically and psychologically tortured and abused in obscene language by her interrogators, I have to express my shock and outrage which I am sure all Indians will share.

It is incredible that the Sadhvi was kept in illegal detention for two weeks while she was tortured in a vicious manner which led to her hospitalisation. Polygraph and narco tests were …

NATO chief calls for re-evaluation of relations with Russia

Valencia (Spain), Nov 18 (DPA) Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), said Tuesday that the alliance should re-evaluate its relations with Russia without severing them.

The relations should be reconsidered after Russia's 'disproportionate' use of force in Georgia, but not broken because the relations were a 'strategic asset', Scheffer said at the 54th annual meeting of the NATO parliamentary assembly.

The assembly adopted a resolution urging Russia to respect the sovereignty of other nations as about 300 delegates from 50 countries were wrapping up their five-day meeting in the eastern Spanish city of Valencia.

Georgian Vice-Prime Minister Giorgi Baramidze warned that a new military conflict was possible unless the international community was on alert against another Russian intervention in Georgia.

NATO parliamentary assembly president Jose Lello said NATO needed to maintain an 'open communications channel' w…