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Bound hand & foot, nuclear-wise in Tokyo and the cost of delaying Brahmos to Vietnam

by: Bharat Karnad:- Prime Minister Narendra Modi is Tokyo-bound, there to sign a nuclear cooperation deal along the lines of a similar deal in 2008 with the United States. Have often wondered in my writings this incomprehensible desire of the Indian government headed by whosoever Manmohan one year, Modi the next to hamstring the country strategically. This deal with Japan too will have the clause of the deal-break in case India resumes nuclear testing at any time in the future. Because Japan has grown more hypocritical with the years even when compared to India, this anti-nuclear attitude of the Shinzo Abe regime occasions even less understanding, given Japan can become a nuclear weapon state quite literally over little more than a weekend.But the Japanese government, long in the American shadow, is habituated to aping the US. However, this N-testing provision as deal breaker is sought to be kept hidden by GOI and, at Modi’s request, Tokyo agreed not to mention this conditionality in the public document, but rather in a separate “secret” document, as if this basis for the deal is a big secret. The Modi PMO, however, fears it will unnecessarily remind and rile up the few of us who remain concerned about GOI so easily surrendering its sovereign right to credible nuclear security, by postponing open ended N-tests and thereby persisting with untested and unproven fusion weapons arsenal. There’s also some doubt whether Modi will be persuaded by Abe to be a bit bolder in his foreign policy where China is concerned, because New Delhi’s posture turns leonine only when Pakistan comes into view. The Indian PM hasn’t had the strategic wit to shrug off American pressure and expeditiously transfer the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile to Vietnam. So, it is unlikely he appreciates the need to strategically hamper China all along its coastline in the South China Sea, the East Sea, and the Yellow Sea, or the value of intensive military cooperation with Japan. This reluctance of Modi’s makes no sense whatsoever in the light of China shopping its supersonic cruise missile CM-302 in its export form, YJ-12 at the Zhuhai Air Show. How long do Modi, Doval & Co. believe it will be before the Pakistan Navy secures this missile? It stands to reason they will not even appreciate the fact that India’s repeated buckling under US pressure and postponing the Brahmos transfer has lost New Delhi the opportunity to leverage the threats of arming other states on China’s periphery with this sea-skimming anti-ship missile to prevent to, at least, limit the sale of the YJ-12s to Pakistan.

ISIS Bomb Aimed at Shiite Pilgrims in Iraq Kills at Least 80

24 Nov, 2016: MOSUL, Iraq (AP) The death toll from a car bombing south of Baghdad claimed by the Islamic State group rose to 73 on Friday, including about 40 Iranian pilgrims, as Iraqi forces fought house to house to dislodge the extremist group from the northern city of Mosul in a five-week-old campaign slowed down by stiff IS resistance and fears of massive civilian casualties.  It was the deadliest IS attack in Iraq since July, when a car bomb killed about 300 in a commercial district in Baghdad.

Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims still in dreadful conditions: UN
The United Nations has warned that persecuted Rohingya Muslims continue to live in “dreadful conditions” despite promises by the election-winning opposition party to protect the rights of the minority in the Southeast Asian country. John Ging, director of operations at the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), made the remarks on Tuesday after paying a visit to western Rakhine state, where Rohingya Muslims have faced violent attacks by Buddhist majority as well as discrimination.Some 140,000 displaced Rohingya Muslims live in camps after their villages were torched down in 2012. Ging said he was shocked to see the conditions of the temporary shelters as many of them were on the verge of collapse, adding that many of the Rohingya Muslims were denied medical treatment because of their religion.”It was heartbreaking to see so many children in these dreadful conditions. One mother told me that her baby, less than a month old, died from lack of oxygen in December after she was denied access to treatment at the nearby township hospital,” the UN official said. This came while Myanmar’s opposition party, National League for Democracy, won last November’s parliament elections. The party leader Aung San SuuKyi has said she will protect Muslims in the country. The UNOCH also said in an accompanying statement that the Muslim minority “must not be forgotten” following the votes. “Myanmar is going through an impressive democratic transformation, which is unlocking significant economic growth and development. However, not everyone in Myanmar is benefiting in this transition,” the statement added. Over 1.3 million Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar face discrimination, including controls on their movements, family size and access to jobs. In recent years, a large number of Rohingya Muslims have been killed and thousands displaced in attacks by extremist Buddhists, especially in Rakhine State.  Myanmar denies full citizenship to Rohingya population in the country. According to the United Nations, Rohingya Muslims are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. The violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has triggered an influx of refugees into neighboring countries, namely Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Rohingya Muslims flee Myanmar amid deadly attacks At least 86 people have been killed and 30,000 displaced as violence continues unabated in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar poured into neighbouring Bangladesh this week with some feared drowned after a boat sank in a river during a bid to flee escalating violencethat has killed at least 86 people and displaced about 30,000.

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