When the Prime Minister of India and the President of the United States signed a joint Statement on July 18 last year, which included, inter alia, a move towards lifting the three decades old regime of technology denials on India and an implicit recognition of India's nuclear weapons programme, negative reactions were expected: disbelief and distrust in India, and outrage from the non-proliferation lobby in the US, still deeply convinced of the need, even after thirty years, to "cap, roll back and eliminate" India's nuclear weapons ambitions.
One of the major objectives of the United States in entering into the Indo-US nuclear co-operation agreement is to bring about an early freezing of the Indian weapon-usable nuclear materials stock at the minimum possible level. India, in turn, obviously wants to retain all the accumulated inventory of such materials, as well as the facilities to produce the additional material we consider essential for a minimum deterrence, out of IAEA safeguards. Obviously, each country wants to manoeuvre the separation plan to suit its specific objective.
Two rounds of negotiations have been held between Indian and US officials to negotiate implementing the Indo-US nuclear agreement, embedded in the Joint Statement issued by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President George W Bush on July 18, 2005. Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran's talks with Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas D Burns in Washington last week was the second round.
The feud between the two Asian giants is getting shriller. No sooner China had announced its 'peaceful development' policy through a White Paper than the Japanese foreign minister voiced his concern about the 'considerable threat' that Beijing posed. The latest spat in the running battle of charges and counter-charges is the controversial suicide by a consular staff in Japan's embassy at Beijing. The frosty relationship between the two countries is bound to cast a big shadow over the entire East Asian region in the coming years.
Bangalore's prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISc) was the venue of an attack by an unidentified gun-toting killer on December 28. Delhi based professor, Professor M.C. Puri - participating in an international conference - was killed and four other scientists seriously injured in the attack. The incident must be termed as one of 'terrorism', even if the identity of the perpetrators is to be definitively established, for it amounted to the pre-meditated killing of innocent people.
The Russia-Uzbekistan Treaty of Alliance Relations signed by President Vladimir Putin and President Islam Karimov at a glittering Kremlin ceremony on November 14, 2005 marked the completion of a full circle in Tashkent's relations with Moscow following the collapse of the Soviet Union. It also signified the Central Asian Republic's return to the Russian orbit.
The inaugural East Asian Summit (EAS), representing nearly 50 per cent of the world's population with 20 per cent of global trade, and comprising 16 nations that are on a dynamic path of economic development, is obviously a mega event. For India, it is yet another opening to increasingly align itself with this region and play a commensurate political and security role. There is no question that the centre of gravity is decisively moving to East Asia and developments in this region will offer great economic opportunities and pose serious challenges as well.
Threats to human, national and international security as a result of biological warfare and pandemics are inadequately discussed in the popular media. Non-state actors are expected to use innovative methods to execute acts of terrorism. It is often contended that a terrorist organisation may well get the best results using conventional high explosives. This trend is clearly discernible in the methods used by terrorists worldwide. Manufacturing terror-grade dirty radiological or biological bombs that can be delivered effectively is far more difficult than using conventional explosives.
Nepal has been in turmoil ever since the king sacked the duly elected Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and took over the direct control of government on February 1, 2005. Since then Nepal has been engulfed by relentless violence as conflict between Royal Nepalese Army, which has always been the king’s army as opposed to a national army, and the Maoist rebels has intensified and resulted in a large number of deaths and destruction. Frequent violations of human rights by the two sides have been reported.