|AFTER more than five months of
continuous protests, I stand today
in Change Square with thousands
of young people united by a lofty
dream. I have spent days and
nights camped out in tents with fellow
protesters; I have led demonstrations in
the streets facing the threat of mortars,
missiles and gunfire; I have struggled to
build a movement for democratic change
- all while caring for my three young children.
We have reached this historic moment
because we chose to march in the streets
demanding the resignation of President
Ali Abdullah Saleh, an end to his corrupt
and failed regime and the establishment
of a modern democratic state. On June 4,
our wish for Saleh´s departure was granted,
but our demand.
|PERHAPS no Arab ruler
responded as wisely to this
protests as the king of
Morocco - although that is
an exceptionally low bar.
When other dictators in the Arab
world answered protesters with gunfire,
King Mohammed VI grudgingly
accepted demonstrations, at least
when he was in a good mood. His
regime claimed that antigovernment
activism underscored the country´s
openness, and on Friday the king
announced constitutional reforms
that seem likely to reduce his own
role in governing the country.
These days, as much of the Arab
Spring has faded into an Arab winter
of repression, Morocco still feels fairly
spring-like. You can tell that from
the denunciations of the regime...
Terrorism to be key issue at talks with Pakistan, says SM Krishna
NEW DELHI TERRORISM will be the ‘central point’ of New Delhi’s agenda when the Indian and Pakistani foreign secretaries meet in Islamabad on Thursday, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said on Monday, adding that India will also take up the issue of Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Coleman Headley’s revelations about the terror links of Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
He admitted at the same time that incidents like the confrontation at sea between a Pakistani and an Indian naval warship could become an irritant in the talks.
“Of course, terrorism is the central point of our interaction with Pakistan,” Krishna told reporters before leaving for Myanmar on a three-day visit.
Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao will be in Islamabad on June 23-25 for talks with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir.
“This menace (of terrorism) has to be dealt with firmly and in a transparent manner for the common good of India and Pakistan and the region beyond,” Krishna said.
But he underlined that “in the kind of talks we are going to be involved with, patience is something to be called for”.
Krishna also asserted that India will raise the issue of Headley’s revelations during the foreign secretaries’ meeting.
“Whatever Headley has revealed under oath in a court of law in Chicago, would be relevant for the government of India to take up with Pakistan and then try to get Pakistan’s response to that.
Well, that certainly will be taken up with Pakistan,” Krishna said.
Headley, who has pleaded guilty to his role in the Mumbai terror attack, claimed that the ISI and LeT separately gave him identical instructions to scout Mumbai locations to be attacked.
Besides, the two foreign secretaries are expected to talk on various subjects, including the Kashmir dispute.
“We have to be patient, realistic and positive.
As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said on more than one occasion, peace and prosperity of South Asia is interlinked,” Krishna said.
The minister sounded unhappy over the recent brush between an Indian and a Pakistani warship in the Gulf of Aden.
Pakistan says that its PNS Babar was escorting to Oman an Egyptian carrier freed by Somali pirates on June 14 when INS Godavari came dangerously close by.
The incident led Pakistan to protest — and India to deny the accusation.
“It is not desirable that such instances (take place)... On one hand, we are trying to improve our relationship, on other hand, such solitary instance takes place which become cause for irritant for the talks.
“If there is any misunderstanding between the two countries on this score, I think it is necessary to sort them out,” he said.
Krishna also expressed frustration at the pace of the trial in Pakistan against some masterminds of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack .
“Our trial (of sole surviving terrorist Ajmal Kasab) has concluded and an appeal is pending before the Supreme Court.
And virtually, their trial has not even started.
I think examination of witness has begun yet.
It is a sad commentary on what is happening there,” he said.
Krishna added that India has been constantly raising this point with Pakistan.
“Whatever occasion we get, we always convey that it is necessary that the trial should be hastened.
The process should become quicker and the people who are involved in the heinous crime against Mumbai and India should be brought to justice,” the foreign minister said.
Krishna added that India will also keep “pursuing” the extradition of Indian nationals taking refuge in Pakistan, including underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.