Sunday, October 26, 2008



In pursuance of my article titled "Kilinochchi: The Spectre of Stalingrad", I have been in receipt of many messages---- some complimentingme for drawing attention to the Battle of Stalingrad and others pointing out previous references to it by some LTTE cadres. I do not claimany credit for originality. For some months now, there have been reports from West Europe claiming that pro-LTTE elements in the SriLankan Tamil diaspora have been buying up all the books on the Battle of Stalingrad available in the local bookshops. This reminded one ofa pre-1994 report from the British and others that pro-LTTE Tamils in their countries were spending a lot of money buying up books on flyingand aircraft maintenance and that Flying Clubs in the UK and Switzerland had reported that some Sri Lankan Tamils were learning flying. Inrecent months, some persons , who have been following the fighting in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka closely, have been referring toKilinochchi as a "Stalingrad in the Making", the well-known Indian news web site, had also referred to the Stalingrad precedent ina report on the reactions in Tamil Nadu. The question is not whether Kilinochchi would turn out to be a Stalingrad-in-the-making. Mostprobably not. The question is how the LTTE's mind works and how it tries to draw lessons from history. It is surprising that the Sri Lankanauthorities, despite their having an inflated Deputy High Commission in Chennai---- which one fears meets the intelligence requirements ofSri Lanka as well as Pakistan---were not aware of the perceptions in Tamil Nadu. (26-10-08)

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute for Topical Studies,Chennai. E-mail: )


AQ Khan asks rulers not to take people for a ride
From "News" of Pakistan, dated, October 26, 2008
New desk
RAWALPINDI: Nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan has advised all the government functionaries, including the president, prime minister and ministers to refrain from making false statements adding being highly educated, the people of the country are not blind, deaf and foolish.

In a despatch received here Saturday evening, Dr AQ Khan, the founder of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, said: “You have seen the end of Musharraf and Q League. Impossible becomes possible here very soon.”

Referring to signing of an agreement with China recently for setting up of two nuclear reactors, Dr Khan described it as commendable and said the two reactors would produce 650 megawatts of electricity. But, he said, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi mentioned the setting up of the two reactors as it would help Pakistan overcome its total power shortage and this thing is far from reality.

The incarcerated Dr Khan said the country is facing shortage of power by thousands of megawatts and the industry and agriculture sectors have been hit badly. He said any expert must tell the foreign minister that a period of eight to 10 years as well as an amount of $2 billion would be needed to install the two reactors that would generate only 650MW of electricity. He said this could not meet the power shortage in any way.

Recalling an instance when the then chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) had announced in 1980 that one nuclear reactor would be installed every year and 20 of them would be installed by 2000, Dr Khan said this kind of misstatement and fraud with the rulers as well as people was unbecoming. He said when some people deceive the rulers, the experts must unmask their lies.

Citing an example, Dr Khan recalled that some people had made late Benazir Bhutto believe during her first stint in office that had the nuclear reprocessing plant been installed, thousands of megawatts of electricity could have been generated. He said that a prominent scientist of the PAEC, Dr Hasnain, who was then serving as director general of the Institute of Electronics, had issued a press statement contradicting statement of Ms Bhutto and that the reprocessing plant could not generate electricity. He said that the rivals got Dr Hasnain suspended but soon some of his sympathises told Ms Bhutto that whatever Dr Hasnain had stated was correct and he had stated this with good intention. Dr Hasnain was immediately reinstated, he said.

Saying that Raja Pervez Ashraf daily solves electricity problems through statements and loadshedding, Dr Khan pointed out that Balochistan was producing gas and residents of Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar were benefiting from it but it was only during General Ziaul Haq’s era that Quetta was supplied gas. He said power shortage in Balochistan could be overcome by installing big gas-fuelled power plants in major cities. He said the Frontier province, where major chunk of hydel power is generated, should be provided electricity on priority basis.

Pointing out that the young generation was not fully aware of the Independence Movement, Islamic history and world history, Dr Khan lamented that modus operandi of Adolph Hitler and Goebbels of continuously telling lies has taken roots in the country. He said that everyone sees the politicians making false statements with a smile on their faces. “They do not get ashamed of telling lies but we do while listening to them,” he said.

Referring to the unfulfilled promises of the president, the prime minister, information minister and law minister regarding reinstatement of deposed judges, Dr Khan said Farzana Raja and Fouzia Wahab were in the forefront to defend the then president and prime minister. He said Farzana Raja has got an office with the status of a federal minister while certainly Fouzia Wahab would too succeed in achievement of her objective. He ridiculed the stance of Fouzia Wahab while defending non-restoration of the deposed judges in a television talk show wherein she stated that let bygone be bygone and said that it tantamount to killing somebody and asking his heirs not to pursue what had happened.

Mentioning his reservations regarding the performance of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and rejoinder to his statement in this regard, Dr Khan said he respects Dr Attaur Rahman wholeheartedly and know Dr Atta and his family very closely. He said that nobody could question the academic capabilities of Dr Atta or doubt his good intentions and honesty but what he left behind as performance as the HEC chairman is not worth a pride. He said a joint secretary of the Education Ministry used to send hundreds of people abroad for higher education and if funds are provided, anybody could do this job. He said that what to talk of 47 universities, had Dr Atta set up four quality technical universities — one each in the four provincial capitals — it would have been a great service to the nation. “However, if Dr (Attaur Rahman) Sahib was hurt by my criticism, I apologise for that. I respect him wholeheartedly,” Dr Khan concluded.

About the training of Pakistani troops by Americans, Dr Khan said if such training was unavoidable, a few Vietnamese military officers should have been invited for the job.

Asking whether they did not defeat two major powers — France and the US — Dr Khan said that they are straightforward people and their remunerations could be paid by only writing off a small loan. He said that whenever Pakistani armed forces got suitable leadership and were clearly told about the objectives, they did never disappoint the nation and crushed the enemy.