Thursday, April 26, 2007

Do I look like BTK Killer eh?

Do I look like BTK Killer eh? Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?Do I look like BTK Killer eh?
Do I look like BTK Killer eh?
Do I look like BTK Killer eh?

Comment posted by blog
at 5/4/2007 2:04:00 PM
Well..........BTK say zyada IMax kay bahar banaya wa potrait lag raha hai., What Say ? :)

Cheers !!!!!!

Comment posted by Creation
at 4/30/2007 6:17:00 AM

Geet ? is it from one of those 1980's ke movies ka ?

Comment posted by Fahd Mirza
at 4/27/2007 5:09:00 AM
May be Not, No I suspect you dont look like any sort of killer.

Nice blog

The Pakistani Spectator

Comment posted by Creation
at 4/29/2007 5:42:00 PM

Comment posted by Maqsood Qureshi
at 4/30/2007 3:33:00 AM
chalaak banti ho tumeh tow pati hi nahi tha BTK kaisa lagta hai You just Googled him up khair yeh batao yeh kaun sa geet hai "jaante ho tum kuch na kahenge hum" chalo chai pitay hai aur DoorDarshan dekhtay hai-kya kahti ho?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


ThurayaDSL offers “always on” high-speed GPRS packet data communication via Thuraya satellite.

ThurayaDSL is a cost effective solution for corporate customers, government agencies, NGOs, news-gathering agencies and individuals for their high-speed data requirements, even in areas where competitive high speed Internet access is not available.

Benefits and Applications of ThurayaDSL
Reliable high-speed connectivity: Up to 144 Kbps anywhere within Thuraya’s coverage area, allowing access to plenty of services and applications including: - Email and web mail - Intranet - Web browsing - E-commerce - File Transfer Protocol (FTP) - Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Competitive: Volume-based usage charging regardless of connection duration.
Choice of subscription plans: Postpaid and Prepaid subscriptions available to meet a wide range of usage and budget control requirements.
Light, compact, portable and user-friendly.
Remote Office: Can be connected to an external wireless LAN device through the Ethernet port to set up a remote office environment anywhere in Thuraya’s coverage area.
Online services at Sea: Can be used with compatible Maritime antennas for affordable high-speed data service at sea.
Public static IP address available.
Online billing inquiry.
Free email account (5 MB)
Free storage account (5 MB)
ThurayaDSL Satellite IP ModemThurayaDSL Service Providers
Postpaid and Prepaid subscriptions are available to meet a wide range of usage and budget control requirements.
Unlimited Plans offer unlimited usage at a flat rate, making it the ideal choice for heavy usage requirements. Contact ThurayaDSL service providers for the plan that best suits your usage demands.
Postpaid Plans–for light to moderate to very heavy users:-Unlimited-Plenty-Extra-Light
Prepaid Plans–for heavy and occasional users with a controlled budget:-Unlimited-Basic
Refill and extend validity of your prepaid accounts using Thuraya Scratch Cards that are available with your service provider.
Thuraya offers scratch cards that are available in various denominations starting as low as 10 units.
To inquire about your prepaid account balance and refill anywhere and at anytime, simply log on to

Satellite Internet Connection

A satellite Internet connection is an arrangement in which the upstream (outgoing) and the downstream (incoming) data are sent from, and arrive at, a computer through a satellite. Each subscriber's hardware includes a satellite dish antenna and a transceiver (transmitter/receiver) that operates in the microwave portion of the radio spectrum.

In a two-way satellite Internet connection, the upstream data is usually sent at a slower speed than the downstream data arrives. Thus, the connection is asymmetric. A dish antenna, measuring about two feet high by three feet wide by three feet deep, transmits and receives signals. Uplink speeds are nominally 50 to 150 Kbps for a subscriber using a single computer. The downlink occurs at speeds ranging from about 150 Kbps to more than 1200 Kbps, depending on factors such as Internet traffic, the capacity of the server, and the sizes of downloaded files.

Satellite Internet systems are an excellent, although rather pricey, option for people in rural areas where Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and cable modem connections are not available. A satellite installation can be used even where the most basic utilities are lacking, if there is a generator or battery power supply that can produce enough electricity to run a desktop computer system. The two-way satellite Internet option offers an always-on connection that bypasses the dial-up process. In this respect, the satellite system resembles a cable modem Internet connection. But this asset can also be a liability, unless a firewall is used to protect the computer against hack attempts.

The nature of the satellite connection is good for Web browsing and for downloading of files. Because of long latency compared with purely land-based systems, interactive applications such as online gaming are not compatible with satellite networks. In a two-way geostationary-satellite Internet connection, a transaction requires two round trips between the earth's surface and transponders orbiting 22,300 miles above the equator. This occurs in addition to land-based data transfer between the earthbound satellite system hub and the accessed Internet sites. The speed in such a connection is theoretically at least 0.48 second (the time it takes an electromagnetic signal to make two round trips at 186,000 miles per second to and from a geostationary satellite), and in practice is somewhat longer. Satellite systems are also prone to rain fade (degradation during heavy precipitation) and occasional brief periods of solar interference in mid-March and late September, when the sun lines up with the satellite for a few minutes each day. Rain fade and solar interference affect all satellite links from time to time, not just Internet systems.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Lessons from Kargil -- Gen VP Malik PVSM, AVSM (Retd)

Lessons from Kargil

Gen VP Malik PVSM, AVSM (Retd)

In February 1999, when Atal Behari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India, journeyed by bus to Lahore at the invitation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan, most people on the sub-continent hailed it as a bold and courageous political act of the two leaders. It was felt that with nuclear weapons capability out of their respective closets in May 1998, India and Pakistan would be less suspicious and more transparent with each other. The conducive strategic environment and common peoples’ desire would enable their political leaders to work genuinely for confidence building measures and improvement of relations between the two nations, which, since Independence in August 1947, had fought four wars and seen several minor actions. But that was not to be. Even as Prime Ministers Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif hugged and talked with each other, and then signed the Lahore Declaration, the Pakistan Army had already initiated a deliberate and well-planned intrusion across the Line of Control (LoC), delineated on maps as part of Simla Agreement in 1972 (Annexure 1). In May 1999, within three months of the Lahore Declaration, a limited conventional war broke out between India and Pakistan in the Kargil Sector. In the preceding winter months, Pakistan Army personnel, dressed as jihadi militants, infiltrated through gaps between Indian defences, in one of the world’s most rugged terrain, to occupy several dominating heights between the LoC and the Road (National Highway 1-A) connecting Srinagar-Kargil and Leh. The Pak Army’s initiative, taking advantage of the terrain and the extreme climatic conditions, achieved a tactical surprise but could not cope up with subsequent Indian military reaction. It failed at operational and strategic levels and thus ended with adverse politico-military consequences for Pakistan. The outbreak of war in Kargil also showed that the Pak political leadership was working out of sync with the thinking and plans of its military brass. As two former Prime Ministers of Pakistan put it, the Kargil War was Pakistan’s biggest blunder and disaster

For the Government in India, the Pak intrusion after its Lahore initiative was a serious political setback. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s National Democratic Alliance had lost its majority in the Parliament in April 1999. It was now governing the country as a ‘caretaker’ Government till the next elections, which were due any time before September 1999.The Indian military had the formidable challenge of getting the Pak intrusion vacated under the most adverse conditions of terrain. This adversity was further compounded by the political mandate that the LoC should not be violated. Nuclear India’s political leadership, despite being stabbed in the back, had decided to act with restraint and maturity.

The War in Kargil

It is now fairly certain that the decision to launch Operation Badr (Pak codename for the operation) across 160 km of the LoC in Kargil Sector was taken soon after General Pervez Musharraf took over as the Pak Army Chief in October 1998. The new Chief made some quick changes in the top echelons of the Army. He brought in Lieutenant General Mohammad Aziz Khan from the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) to take over as Chief of General Staff, without commanding a Corps, as was the usual practice. An old contingency plan was updated, and after carrying out detailed preparations during winter, the operation was launched to coincide with the melting of snow and the opening of India’s National Highway 1A linking Srinagar to Leh via Kargil. The military objectives were to:

Occupy approximately 700 sq km area on the Indian side of the LoC in Kargil-Turtuk Sector.

Interdict Srinagar-Kargil-Leh Road.

Capture Turtuk and cut off Southern and Central parts of Siachin Glacier Sector, and

Intensify militants’ activities in J&K, which had received a setback after the State Assembly and National Parliament elections in 1997-98.

About 1,700 men of the Northern Light Infantry (four battalions) supported by Special Forces, artillery, engineers and other combat support personnel, in the garb of militants and under a well executed cover plan, infiltrated through gaps into Indian territory and occupied mountain tops between the LoC and the Highway at several locations.

As already stated, the Indian military was mandated to get the intrusion vacated without crossing the LoC. However, it had to maintain a strategic balance and a deterrent posture all along the Indo Pak front - on the ground, air and sea - should there be a sudden escalation. A deliberate decision was taken to continue the political and military level dialogue. The politico military strategy made it clear that although India was a victim of intrusion, and exercising maximum restraint, it was determined to get the intrusion vacated. India employed about two divisions (including about 250 artillery guns) on the Kargil front, and mounted 1,200 fighter and 2,500 helicopter sorties. By the time Pakistan sued for peace and withdrawal of its troops from the area of intrusion, nearly 75 per cent intruded area, including all high features dominating the Highway, had been retaken. The War ended on 26 July 1999 when all Pakistani troops were finally evicted from our side of the LoC. During the War, 473 Indian soldiers were killed: Pakistani casualties were estimated to be over 700.

The Kargil War, fought at the turn of the century, has been a major turning point in Indo-Pak security relations. It has left a deep impact. Its lessons are indeed important and are a useful input when we discuss future Indo-Pak relations, or peace and stability in South Asia.

Lesson No 1

A proxy or sub-conventional war in the Indo-Pak security scenario can easily escalate into a conventional war.

Pakistan, since its very inception, has built considerable expertise in militancy and use of irregulars; on their own or as an extension of the Pak Army, for war. It made its first attempt to force accession of J&K with irregular forces, supported by the Pak Army in 1947-48. The same strategy was followed in 1965, when it infiltrated irregulars and some Pak Army personnel dressed as irregulars into the Rajouri-Poonch Sector. On both occasions, however, this strategy led to a conventional war between regular forces of India and Pakistan.

Three significant developments took place thereafter. First, the successful use of irregular forces and political legitimacy to organise and conduct Jihad in the Afghan War. This was an extremely useful experience for the Pak military. Second, the acquisition of nuclear capability by Pakistan in late 1980s, which remained covert till May 1998. This capability encouraged the Pak military to conclude that a conventional war with India was not possible hereafter, and therefore, the sub-conventional could be stretched further. Third, loss of initiative to India in the occupation of Siachin Glacier.4 All these developments prompted Pakistan to make fresh attempts to annex J&K through a proxy war, on the lines of the Afghan War. During the Kargil War, the Pakistan Army took an additional step forward. Regular Army personnel shed their uniforms and dressed themselves as irregulars to intrude and fight on Indian territory.5 It made use of the ongoing irregular Jihadi militant-centred armed conflict in J&K as a deception to launch a war with regular forces.

It is a well-known fact that during the Afghan War, Pak ISI siphoned off a plethora of arms, equipment and funds, meant for Afghan rebels.6 With several million dollars of unaccounted funds, the ISI had at its disposal a large well-oiled machinery for churning out Jihad-oriented trained irregulars to be inducted into J&K. The first wave comprised infusion of extreme Islamic teachings and literature, which was followed by training to Kashmiri locals in the art of guerrilla warfare. A large number of young Kashmiris were covertly exfiltrated to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) through a porous LoC for arms training. The period from 1987 to 1989 saw an increase in violence and prolonged strikes in the Kashmir Valley and attacks on political leadership, police and para military forces. The kidnapping and subsequent release of Dr Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of the Union Home Minister of India, Mr Mufti Mohammed Sayeed – a Kashmiri - in December 1989, in exchange for five top militants proved to be the last straw. The elected J&K Government under Dr Farooq Abdullah resigned in January 1990. The proxy war had truly arrived.

In April-May 1990, due to increased tension, the Armed Forces of India and Pakistan were mobilised and deployed all along the LoC and International Border (IB). A conventional war between the two countries was averted due to efforts of the US Deputy National Security Advisor, Robert Gates, who flew between Islamabad and New Delhi to reduce tension and restore some confidence.

The history of proxy war, since then, is best observed through the statistics given at Annexure. As can be noted, the proxy war has had its ups and down. The downward trend, which commenced in 1994, enabled India to hold State Assembly and Parliamentary elections in the State in 1996-97. The situation had improved considerably when Pakistan decided to launch the intrusion in Kargil in 1999. This initiative was taken because the Pak military felt confident of its success.7 The brief story and result of the Kargil War has already been covered. Unfortunately, since then, there has been a renewal of effort to fuel proxy war. The area covered by it has also been enlarged.

Despite ‘war against terror’ launched by the US and its coalition partners after 11 September 2001, India has continued to face Jihadi terrorists’ attacks on its people and its institutions. On 13 December 2001, suicide terrorists - all from Pakistan - unsuccessfully attacked India’s most venerated democratic institution, the Parliament. These terrorists were stopped and killed very close to the office of the Indian Vice President and other political leaders. This incident, once again, resulted in full-scale mobilisation and deployment of the Armed Forces of both countries. Operational readiness to go to war this time was at the highest level, since the all out war fought by them in 1971.

My aim here is not to go into the details of the decade old proxy / sub-conventional war in J&K or elsewhere in India but to establish its linkage with a conventional war. A proxy war or a sub-conventional war is part of the spectrum of conflict, which can easily escalate into a conventional war; nuclear capability notwithstanding. There may be several situations where both the ‘initiator’ (of the proxy war) and the ‘affected’ nation, are tempted to use conventional weapons and forces. The ‘initiator’ is tempted to give it a greater push with conventional forces to achieve the desired results. Such a situation occurred in 1947-48, 1965, and again in the Kargil War in 1999. On the other hand, the ‘affected’ nation, when pushed to the wall, may use its conventional forces to bring the proxy war into the open rather than fight with all the limitations of a ‘no war no peace situation’. Pakistan did so in 1971, and India was prepared to do so in 1990, and after the terrorists’ assault on its Parliament on 13 December 2001.

Lesson No 2

State sponsored terrorism, due to the nature of socio-politics on the sub-continent, is a double-edged weapon. It is like a wicked dog, which often bites the hand that feeds it.

Here, I would also like to add that state sponsored terrorism, due to the nature of social divides across the boundary on the sub-continent is a double-edged weapon. It is like a wicked dog, which sooner or later bites the hand that feeds it. India experienced it with Bhindranwale, a Sikh cleric who took to politics, and later joined hands with the Pak ISI to collect weapons and equipment in 1983-84. Militancy spawned by him in India’s Punjab with the assistance of Pak ISI lasted nearly a decade. India had a similar experience with the LTTE of Sri Lanka in 1980s. After obtaining training from India, the LTTE went against the Indian forces when, at the request of the Sri Lankan Government, they were inducted for peace keeping in Sri Lanka. Pakistan is facing that situation now after sponsoring Afghan Mujahideen and Taliban in the 1980s and 90s. These organisations were raised during the military government of General Zia-ul-Haq. Since then, elements from these organisations have been sponsored and used by the ISI for proxy war or covert actions in Afghanistan and India. This genie has now grown so big that the Pak Government is finding it difficult to rein it in and reform the Madrassas that are a breeding ground for extremists and terrorists.

Lesson No 3

Acquisition of nuclear weapons by India and Pakistan has not reduced / eliminated the probability of a war between them. A limited conventional war remains possible.

In May 1998, India and Pakistan became overt nuclear states. Indian compulsions had more to do with China than with Pakistan. Although in its security paradigm, Pakistan has been accepted as a nuclear capable state since late 1980s, it is always China that looms large over the Indian security scenario because of the humiliating Sino-Indian 1962 War defeat, the rapidly growing defence, economic capability and political clout of China, and the slow progress on settling the Sino-India border issue. Notwithstanding improvement in Sino-Indian relations, people in India perceive China to be the bigger, long term challenge.The Pakistani nuclear weapons programme has been Indo-centric from the beginning. Pakistan has sought and acquired nuclear weapons and missiles essentially to neutralise India’s conventional military superiority. Many Pakistani leaders have said in the past that the Indian conventional superiority can be neutralised, and Afghanistan type militancy in J&K initiated and nurtured, under a nuclear umbrella.9 As Pakistan’s nuclear weapons capability grew, the sub-conventional war in J&K kept escalating. Its military strategy since late 1980s has been to escalate proxy war, and brandish the likelihood of a conventional war and a nuclear ‘flashpoint’, whenever India threatened to make use of its conventional force. It may be recalled that when tension between the two countries was high after the escalation of proxy war in Kashmir in 1990, Pakistan was reported to have cautioned the US Deputy National Security Advisor, Robert Gates that, in the event of a war with India, nuclear weapons might be used. During the Kargil War too, a Federal Minister of Pakistan and some others spoke about the possible use of nuclear weapons. The international community condemned these statements.

In November 1998, looking at Pakistan’s renewed attempts to escalate proxy war in J&K and recalling the Sino-Russian border confrontation in 1969, in a talk at the National Defence College, New Delhi, I stated that ‘space existed between the proxy war and Indo-Pak nuclear umbrella, wherein a limited conventional war was a distinct possibility’. This statement generated a strong reaction in Pakistan as it contradicted their prevailing military wisdom. Even in India and elsewhere, not many people took my statement seriously, till Kargil happened.

The lesson that I wish to draw from this part is that leading from a proxy war, a limited conventional conflict between nuclearised India and Pakistan cannot be ruled out. In such a situation, there will be a risk of escalation and a testing of patience, nerves and rationality on both sides. The risk is enhanced when one takes into account the lack of safety and robustness of the nuclear command and control structure on the sub-continent. Most political leaders in India do not trust General Pervez Musharraf’s military regime in Pakistan - which has already displayed its mindlessness in the Kargil War, and towards terrorism - in the handling of its nuclear weapons.

Lesson No 4

The imbalance in civil-military relations and lack of strategic culture on the sub-continent has an impact on Indo-Pak security relations.

There was a serious misreading of Pakistani nuclear tests in response to Indian nuclear tests at Pokhran in May 1998 in the political establishments of Pakistan as well as in India. In India, Pakistani reaction to go overt was anticipated, and to some extent even welcomed by some strategists. The Indian establishment generally felt that an overt and transparent nuclear capability is better than a covert or translucent capability. The former would lead to a more stable Indo-Pak security relationship. Perhaps this was also the impression in the Pakistani political establishment. This common impression led to the Lahore Summit and Declaration.

What the political and a large part of the strategic community on the sub-continent failed to perceive was that the overt and neutralised nuclear parity on the sub-continent would lead to unbridling and early escalation of the Indo-Pak proxy war by the military establishment in Pakistan. The changeover of military leadership in October 1998 in Pakistan, from a moderate to a hardliner, led to such a manifestation and launching of Operation Badr within months of the May 1998 nuclear tests.

Why did such a misreading of overt Pak nuclear weapon capability take place in India, and even in Pakistan? For this, I hold the imbalance in civil-military relations in India and Pakistan, and an absence or lack of strategic culture in both countries, responsible. In Pakistan, issues like Afghanistan, Indo-Pak relations, Kashmir and nuclear capability are areas of special concern to the military.14 The political leadership- when there is a civilian government - is either not briefed adequately or finds it difficult to assert on such matters. This is historical, almost traditional, and is expected to continue. The opposite is true of India, where the military functions not only under the political control - as it should - but also under an assertive and suspicious bureaucracy. As a result, interaction and teamwork between military and political authorities on politico-military issues is less than adequate. The Government often decides politico-military issues without adequate military inputs and discussions. A lack of strategic culture in India is well known. George Tanham wrote about it in his research paper.15 However, it must also be mentioned here that the political leadership has now started taking greater interest in national security matters, particularly after the Kargil War.

Lesson No 5

Assumption and misperceptions, a fairly consistent feature, mostly in Pakistan, have been a major cause of Indo-Pak conflicts. Greater transparency and Confidence and Security Building Measures are necessary to reduce tension and chances of a war.

In all Indo-Pak wars, there is continuity not only of objectives but also of wrong assumptions and misperceptions. Before Kargil, Pakistan had assumed that the Indian military, due to prolonged and over involvement in anti terrorist and anti insurgency operations in Punjab, J&K and North East India, was tired and not in a fit shape to fight. Its weapons and equipment were obsolete since no modernisation had taken place for more than a decade; and that there was an acute shortage of officers especially at the junior leadership levels. All this was true but only to an extent.

As mentioned earlier, my statement in late 1998 that ‘space existed between the proxy war and Indo-Pak nuclear umbrella, wherein a limited conventional war was a distinct possibility’, generated a strong reaction in Pakistan. A part of the vernacular media in Pakistan mis-presented the statement as if it was a military threat/challenge to Pakistan. In February 1999, Lieutenant General Javed Nasir, former head of the ISI, then Chief Intelligence Advisor to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a well-known Islamic hawk, wrote a highly publicised article “Calling the Indian Army Chief’s Bluff”. The crux of that article was that the Indian Army was incapable of undertaking any conventional operation. This was not only a gross underestimation of a possible adversary but also a poor assessment and misperception. Some other assumptions and misperceptions which led to the Pakistani offensive operation in Kargil were:

Nuclear umbrella allows “offensive action” without risk.

International community would intervene or stop the war at an early stage.

The coalition government in India, weak and indecisive, will either over-react or under-react.

India is militarily weak and unprepared.

Indian frustration will lead to escalation, putting the onus of escalation on India.

Military operation under the garb of “Mujahideen” would focus attention on Kashmir and Pakistan would be able to claim this as a victory.

There are several such assumptions and misperceptions about the military, including nuclear capabilities, on both sides of the border even now. One of the problems is near opaqueness of matters military in both countries, which leads to considerable speculation and misreporting in the media.

In a highly tense situation, misperceptions of the adversary often lead to a war. The answer lies in greater transparency and confidence and security building measures (CSBMs) at political, and more importantly at the military level. Over the years, several CSBMs have been agreed to between India and Pakistan. However, many of them have got eroded or diluted ever since Pak sponsored militancy was initiated in Punjab and J&K. Although the war in Kargil was another major setback to the CSBMs, hot lines between Prime Ministers and Director Generals of Military Operations were often used, which helped to prevent escalation of the Kargil War.

There is yet another politico-military assumption in Pakistan, that China, its strategic ally, would intervene in an Indo-Pak war. This was so in 1965, 1971, and no doubt in 1999. Kargil and Siachen Glacier lie very close to the Sino-Indian Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. The Pak COAS, its Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, all visited China during the Kargil War. But this assumption does not take into account the changed global and regional geo-strategic environment. The Chinese reaction during the Kargil War at the political level and on the ground was pragmatic and responsible. If anything, China leaned closer to India during the war. Chinese are and would be interested in the sale of weapons to their traditional strategic partner Pakistan, even in the continuation of limited tension between India and Pakistan, but it is highly unlikely today that they would consider physical intervention on the Indo-Tibet border to bail out Pakistan.

Lesson No 6

(a) Kargil War has re-established political sanctity of the Line of Control in J&K with the international community; (b) Militarily, over the years, the defence of Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) in Siachen Sector, Line of Control (LoC) in the rest of J&K, and International Boundary have got linked. Any attempt to disturb status quo and re-draw the LoC or AGPL forcibly, is more likely to lead to conflict all along the Indo-Pak border.

After the first Indo-Pak War in 1947-48, in which Pakistani irregulars backed by Pak Army units attacked J&K, the two countries signed the Karachi Agreement on 27 July 1949 under the aegis of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan. The Karachi Agreement delineated and demarcated a Ceasefire Line (CFL) in J&K, which was signed by Indian and Pakistani military commanders as well as by UN Representatives. In 1965, when Pakistan launched Operation Gibraltar followed by Operation Grand Slam in J&K, India retaliated by crossing the International Boundary (IB) in Punjab and elsewhere. Thereafter, fighting took place all along the CFL and the IB. Following the Tashkent Declaration, the two sides agreed to exchange the territories captured by each other across the CFL and IB and restored status quo ante.

The focus in the 1971 Indo-Pak War was on East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, although the war was also fought along the CFL and the IB on India’s western border with Pakistan. After the war, under the Simla Agreement, both sides kept the gains they had made across the CFL. The resultant line was redesignated as the Line of Control (LoC), which was delineated and demarcated by military commanders of both countries and an agreement signed to this effect in December 1972 (Annexure 3). This was a significant transition from a ‘military line’ separating two armies through an UN arranged ceasefire in 1949 to a ‘political divide’, which could evolve into a boundary. The delineation of the LoC was done on two sets of maps, each containing 27 map sheets, formed into 19 mosaics, each sheet signed by military commanders. The LoC traverses 740 kms from the IB in the South up to NJ 9842, from which, in accordance with the unchanged definition of the 1949 Karachi Agreement, it runs ‘North to the glaciers’. After militarisation of Siachen Glacier’ area in 1984, this part of the line, North of NJ 9842, came to be known as the Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL). Post Simla Agreement, there have been a few occasions when both sides made efforts to improve their tactical positions along the LoC. But there were no major incursions till the Kargil War.

During the Kargil War, the Indian political aim given to the military was to get the intrusion vacated but not to cross the LoC. The international community endorsed the Indian position. The United States also insisted on restoration of the sanctity of the LoC. The joint statement signed by President Clinton and the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on 4 July 1999, states the following about the LoC:

“They (the signatories) also agreed that it was vital for peace in South Asia that the LoC in Kashmir be respected by both parties, in accordance with their 1972 Simla Agreement”.

“It was agreed between the President and the Prime Minister that concrete steps will be taken for the restoration of the Line of Control in accordance with Simla Agreement”.

“The President said he would take personal interest in encouraging expeditious resumption and intensification of those bilateral efforts once the sanctity of the Line of Control has been fully restored”.

If the Kargil War had not ended as it did, the possibility of Pakistani and/or Indian forces crossing the IB could not be ruled out. In fact India had adopted a deterrent posture along the rest of LoC and the IB. Pakistan too had deployed its forces accordingly.

It is obvious that over the years, the sanctity of the AGPL in Siachen, the LoC, and the IB have got linked militarily. Any attempt by either party to redraw the LoC or the AGPL through force can lead to retaliation and escalation of conflict elsewhere. The ‘restrain’ term of reference given to the Indian Armed Forces during the Kargil War came under severe public criticism in India and might not be acceptable next time. The lesson and conclusion we may draw here is that the post Kargil durability of the Line of Control has increased. This durability, or sanctity, provides a longer-term base for a future dialogue between India and Pakistan.

Lesson No 7

Post-Kargil, agreements like the Simla Agreement and Lahore Declaration will not inspire adequate confidence.

The Pakistani Kargil initiative was a major violation of the Simla Agreement, signed by the Prime Ministers of the two countries in 1971, which had maintained a reasonable amount of stability between the two countries for long. This war repudiated two important articles of the Simla Agreement: namely that (a) the two countries will settle their dispute through bilateral negotiation and (b) the LoC will be respected by both sides and not altered. Also, the war coming so soon after the Lahore Declaration (Annexure 4) created a deep sense of betrayal and of being let down in India. It took two years and considerable pressure from the international community for Indo-Pak political level dialogue to be resumed.

No agreement with Pakistan after the Kargil War shall inspire the same confidence in India. Despite the ‘U’ turn taken by Pakistan in its policies on Afghanistan and terrorism under US pressure, the Indian public does not trust or feel confident that President Musharraf’s military regime, which initiated the Kargil War and subsequently took over the Pakistan Government in a military coup, will remain faithful to any Understanding/Agreement with India for long.

Lesson No 8

Secular India, which has a larger Muslim population than the entire population of Pakistan, would find it difficult to live in peace with a less than moderate Islamic Pakistan.

Behind Pakistan’s attempts to achieve politico-military objectives in the Kargil War, the development of a Jihadi culture in Pakistan since the beginning of the Afghan War, the right wing reaction in India, and the thoughtless political rhetoric on both sides of the border, was a strong motivation.

Pakistan was formed on a religious basis; the idea that Islam defines nationhood. Indians accept the establishment of Islamic Pakistan as a sovereign state but they reject the two nation communal ideology because it contradicts and challenges the Indian core values - democracy, secularism, federalism and social justice, as given in the Directive Principles of the Indian Constitution - fundamentally.

With the advent of the Afghan War and development of the Jihadi culture, the social environment on the sub-continent started changing. Increasing Islamisation of Pakistan, with moderate elements remaining mute spectators all through the Bhutto-Zia-Nawaz period, shifted the ideology from Islam being the foundation of its nationhood to being the basis of the state. This has sharpened the ideological conflict with India and also created some internal contradictions within Pakistan. In fact it has rejuvenated communal forces in both countries. While this is constitutionally checked in India, there has been little attempt to do so in Pakistan. The Army, the ISI, which is only an extension of the Pak Army, and some political parties in Pakistan, have continued to encourage this ideology till recently.

My observation is that secular India, which has more Muslim population than the entire population of Pakistan, and a less than moderate Islamic Pakistan, are unlikely to be able to live in peace. After the events of 11 September 2001 and launching of Operation Enduring Freedom, it is obvious that the US is committed to stay in Pakistan and support the Pak President in his efforts to fight terrorism domestically and reform Pak Madrassas which have been churning out Mujahideen and Taliban. This development has far reaching implications for India, the sub-continent, and the region. If this move works out successfully, we may see the emergence of a moderate Pakistan and a more conducive security atmosphere for tackling Indo-Pak disputes.

Lesson No 9

India’s defence modernisation in the coming decade on account of Kargil may cause the arms race between India and Pakistan to continue. However, this would have a serious adverse impact on Pak economy and socio economics.

India spent nearly Rs 30 crore (US$ 6.9 million) per day during the Kargil War. Pakistan’s expenditure would have been fairly close to that. An important strategic lesson for India from the Kargil imbroglio is that Simla and Lahore types of agreements notwithstanding, the country cannot afford to be complacent and cannot let down its guard on matters concerning national security. The progressive decline in the Indian defence budget since early 1990s when the process of economic liberalisation began, had affected its armed forces’ ability to modernise and to prepare for the type of war they were called upon to fight, or were expected to fight. Indians, after Kargil, have started taking greater interest in national security matters and would not be prepared to compromise on its requirements. This led to a 28 per cent increase in the defence budget soon after the War, and about 10 per cent increase in the year 2001.

The Pak economy on the other hand has been under tremendous pressure after Kargil. It was forced to cap its defence budget. In fact, the defence budget was reduced by Rs 2 billion last year and the Soviet Union type of economic phenomenon has been staring it in its face. (An analyst in the US National Defence University, Washington has already drawn the conclusion that acceleration of India’s growth rate and relative stagnation of Pakistan economy will increase India’s economic, military and diplomatic profile.19)

The reduction of Pak defence budget, however, is unlikely to have any significant impact on the Indian defence budget. India is likely to maintain its defence expenditure between 2.5 to 2.75 per cent of its GDP in the foreseeable future to meet modernisation demands of its armed forces.

Lesson No 10

There is no military solution to J&K problem.

Annexation of J&K is more a military agenda than a political agenda in Pakistan.No major breakthrough can be expected on Kashmir dispute in the coming decade unless the military in Pakistan and a strong political centre in India are prepared to change their stance.This was the fourth war over J&K, not counting the ongoing skirmishes in Siachen Glacier area and Pak sponsored proxy war in large parts of the State. That makes it obvious that the J&K problem cannot be resolved militarily by Pakistan or India.

There is no doubt that J&K is an important and a complex dispute identified by most Pakistanis. However, it is worth noting the hard-line consistency of military-bureaucratic elite over the issue, and slight lack of it in Pak political leadership. It allows the military elite to maintain its politico military status in Pakistan. FM Ayub Khan initiated the war in 1965 when he was the military ruler in Pakistan. As Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto raised the pitch of this through shrill speeches and unrealistic promises. The same leader, politically more experienced but out of power now, sounds more conciliatory and accommodating on this issue. For Nawaz Sharif, Kashmir was not an electoral issue when he was returned to power in 1997. During elections, he focused more on domestic issues and seldom made any provocative statements on Indo-Pak relations. In the wake of new pressures due to a socio-economic crisis, the Kashmir dispute, though very much alive, was placed on a back burner. This was reflected in his talks with two Prime Ministers of India, IK Gujral and AB Vajpayee, and in the gradual decline of militancy in J&K. As in the past, Pak military-bureaucratic elite saw it as a threat to its importance, supremacy and status in the national power structure. By launching the war in Kargil, it was able to assert its authority and also revive national and international interest in the J&K dispute.

The Indian legal position on J&K is established through the Instrument of Accession signed by the ruler of J&K in October 1947 and subsequent resolutions in the State Assembly and the Indian Parliament. The problem is more difficult for India where the democratically elected government has to create a political consensus in the country. A ruling party in India would be committing ‘harakiri’ if it backs down from the Parliamentary resolution, without creating such a consensus. A coalition government will find it extremely difficult.My observation is that the J&K dispute, which has been the cause of three wars and also the ongoing proxy war, is more a Pak military agenda for its own vested interest than a political agenda. Over the years, it has become the core issue for the Pak military, which must keep it alive, and at the centre of domestic politics and external policy. India and Pakistan have hardly any option or room for manoeuvre to resolve the J&K problem. This dispute along with other fundamental ideological differences cannot get attenuated in the coming decade.

After Kargil Prognosis

The biggest casualty of the Kargil War, apart from 1,200 lives lost on both sides of the LoC, was trust and confidence in Indo-Pak relations. The two nations took two years to travel the ‘high road’ from the Kargil War to the Agra Summit. Prime Minister Vajpayee’s initiative to hold a summit with the Pak military ruler, considered in India as the architect of the Kargil War, was bold and courageous. Pak President General Musharraf himself acknowledged it. The approach to the Agra Summit was cautious and bumpy when both sides began stating their case through the media. The summit started on a cordial note with the Government of India unilaterally announcing several ‘people to people’ confidence-building measures. But it ended on a jarring note, unable to agree to an acceptable joint statement. General (President) Musharraf, with his suave, clever articulation and repeated assertion of his stand on Jammu & Kashmir to the media, won the Public Relations exercise handsomely but made no long-term gains: a tactical victory but a strategic loss.... like the Kargil War. It is not possible to conduct summit level negotiations through media, much less on the Indian sub-continent. The over enthusiastic electronic media coverage raised hopes of the people high and then brought them down as quickly. However, what also emerged clearly through this media hype was the fatigue and desire of educated people in India and Pakistan to resolve differences.There was too much of ‘form’ and little ‘substance’ in President Musharraf’s visit to India. If you ever need a lesson that adequate preparations are essential before a summit, here is one. The military President of Pakistan might be the sole arbiter in his nation, but the Indian Prime Minister is not. The political decision-making process in both countries is very different.The messages that came across from Agra were that:

According to Pakistan, relations cannot normalise unless India agrees to discuss Kashmir within the framework of Pakistani objectives.

As per India, it is prepared to discuss Jammu & Kashmir, along with other Indo-Pak issues but there can be no surrender of Jammu & Kashmir or its territorial alienation from India. Also, Pakistan must give up sponsoring violence and terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir.

The only gains made during the summit were (a) that the two leaders got to know each other and their constituencies, and (b) they agreed to meet again and continue the dialogue. These gains were not small under the prevailing circumstances.There is another important question beyond the next Summit: that of political, economic and social dynamics in Pakistan.Pakistan today stands torn between democratisation, the demands of military rulers, and of the, till recently, rising strength and influence of its religious leaders. There were about 150 Deeni madrassas (religious seminaries) in 1947. Their number today is more than 5,000. This number is related to the number of people living below the poverty line in Pakistan (130 million), which has increased fourfold in the last 20 years. Will General Pervez Musharraf, with US assistance, succeed in reforming these institutions, eliminating religious fundamentalism, and thus reducing Mullah power in Pakistan? Pakistan’s economy is in a bad state with a total debt amounting to about $ 65 billion. Will it be able to turn the corner now that US and other donor nations and institutions have resumed financial assistance to Pakistan?

Important geo-political developments have taken place on the sub-continent after 11 September 2001 and America’s war on terrorism. Afghanistan is no longer the backyard or ‘strategic depth’ for Pakistan. The new Afghan government due to its own strategic and economic requirements, and under US and UN influence, is likely to follow independent but not unfriendly policies towards Pakistan. We can expect a ‘forget and forgive’ Pak-Afghan relationship if Pakistan does not support Taliban again or interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs. The US, whose influence in the region has increased considerably after the beginning of the war against terrorism, is likely to maintain a close relationship with Pakistan. It will ensure that the Jihadi infrastructure in Pakistan is gradually dismantled through ‘carrot and stick’ means. It is unlikely to abandon Afghanistan or Pakistan as it did from the former after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. The Bush Administration has also declared that unlike in the past, it will not involve itself in a zero sum game and its policies and relationship with India and Pakistan will be independent of each other.

The terrorists’ attack on the Indian Parliament on 13 December 2001 and subsequent deployment of armed forces of both sides on the border has once again increased tension between India and Pakistan. Another war has been averted in the nick of time through US diplomacy. The US has also put some Pak terrorist organisations - Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed on the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organisations.21 This will enable its authorities to deny visas and carry out deportations of suspected members of these organisations. However, if the US is unable to dissuade Pakistan from following its current terrorism/proxy war policies against India, we may expect Pakistan to act bold and continue with its hard-line stance in resolving Indo-Pakistan disputes.

What kind of elected government in Pakistan will there be after President Musharraf’s promised election in October 2002? Will it lead to political stability or instability? The general impression is that in both contingencies, the Pak military would remain a dominant factor. What is also obvious is that a “failed” Pakistan would be disastrous for India and the region. This would lead to mass migration, mostly into India, which the Indian Government would not be able to handle.

As already stated, the Kargil War was the fourth to be initiated by Pakistan over J&K, not counting the ongoing skirmishes in Siachen Glacier and the twelve year old Pak sponsored proxy war. That, along with more difficult strategic and economic conditions prevailing on the sub-continent now, should make it obvious to both India and Pakistan that the J&K problem cannot be resolved militarily. Even when political attempts are made to resolve the issue in a hurry, it could lead to greater violence on both sides of the LoC.

Indo-Pak talks, which began after two years of the Kargil War, have once again got stalled after 13 December 2001. The hawks on both sides have taken over. The Jihadi terrorism in J&K has increased and so has the tension and insecurity on both sides of the border and the LoC. Such a situation between two geographic neighbours cannot go on forever but one can foresee that the talks, whenever resumed next time, will move at a snail’s pace. Failure to move forward would have an adverse impact on both countries. It is also obvious that there is no alternative to a slow, gradual incremental peace process through political, economic and military CBMs. Peace cannot be created by dramatic gestures or a few meetings between the top leaders, but through gradually increased confidence building measures. India and Pakistan have a long way to go before they can create a win-win situation on any of their problems. The best hope is that both countries can agree to create a situation of trust and confidence: to live and let live. Even if India and Pakistan do not fight a war in the future, only a miracle would avoid an ‘armed peace’ between them in the next decade.

Reproduced with permission from Lancer Publishers Ltd - Indian Defence Review Volume 16 (5) 2002.

Copyright © Bharat Rakshak 2002

Identifying Misinformation: Definitions


There are no universally agreed-upon definitions of misinformation and disinformation, but this is how the terms are used on this Web site:

Disinformation refers to false or misleading information that is deliberately spread by a government, organized political group, an individual or other entity. The issue of intent is key; if the intent is to spread false or misleading information, it is disinformation

Misinformation refers to false or misleading information that is spread unintentionally. If one unwittingly spreads false or misleading information, that is misinformation. Of course, many times it is impossible to ascertain intentions, so it may not be clear whether false information represents disinformation or misinformation.

Misinformation can be further subdivided into:

Media Mistakes which happen frequently given the pressure of deadlines and imperfect knowledge

Urban Legends -- Untrue stories that are widely believed because they speak to a widespread fear, hope, or other emotion

Conspiracy Theories -- Belief that powerful, evil hidden forces are secretly manipulating the course of world events and history.

Some examples may make the definitions clearer.

Disinformation: The USSR's disinformation campaign on AIDS is the classic example. The Soviet intelligence and security service, the KGB, had a special service, Service A, for spreading false information. For example, soon after AIDS was recognized as a new disease, Service A concocted the story that the AIDS virus had been developed as a biological weapon by the Pentagon at Fort Detrick, Maryland, and was used in experiments on prisoners, which was allegedly why it initially appeared in New York, described as the largest big city near Fort Detrick. Several major U.S. cities are actually much closer to Fort Detrick than New York, including Washington, DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, but few non-Americans realize that.

On March 17, 1992, Yevgeniy Primakov, who was then head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, a successor of the KGB, admitted that "the articles exposing U.S. scientists ‘crafty' plot against mankind [in allegedly manufacturing AIDS] were fabricated in KGB offices," as reported in the March 19, 1992 issue of the Russian newspaper Izvestiya. The Soviets knew the allegations were false, but spread them as part of their policy of spreading vicious lies about the United States. This is disinformation.

Media Mistakes: On December 6, 2001, the leading French newspaper Le Monde published an article stating that Hamid Karzai, who later became the head of Afghanistan's provisional government and then president of Afghanistan, had "acted, for while, as a consultant for the American oil company Unocal, at the time it was considering building a pipeline in Afghanistan." This statement is not true. Unocal spokesman Barry Lane stated that an exhaustive search of all the company's records made it clear that Mr. Kazrzai was "never a consultant, never an employee" of Unocal. This initial mistake by Le Monde has been repeated numerous times by other publications and websites, spreading the misinformation.

Urban Legends: One classic urban legend is the so-called "baby parts" myth. The false allegation is that Americans or others are kidnapping or adopting children from Latin America or other regions to use in organ transplants. This totally untrue story started as a word-of-mouth rumor, broke into the media in 1987 in Guatemala, and has circulated widely ever since. Media accounts giving credence to this false allegation won the most prestigious journalism prizes in France in 1995 and in Spain in 1996. The origins of this rumor and its spread in the world media are examined in the United States Information Agency report, The Child Organ Trafficking Rumor: a Modern "Urban Legend," which was submitted to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography in December 1994.

The "baby parts" myth was spurned by advances in organ transplantation that made organ theft seem more plausible to some. Other advances in technology have led to similar urban legends. When microwave ovens were first introduced, apprehensions about possible health effects of this new technology gave rise to the story about the person who tried to dry their wet cat or dog in the microwave, only to have it explode. Urban legends give a narrative, story form to widespread hopes and fears, which is why they are widely believed. For example, in the wake of the September 11 attacks, an urban legend arose that someone had survived the World Trade Center collapse by "surfing" a piece of concrete down from the 80th floor to the ground. No such event occurred, but this false report circulated, reflecting the hope that some of the people trapped high in the towers could have miraculously survived their collapse.

Conspiracy Theories: Conspiracy theories are similar to urban legends, but center around the idea that powerful, evil hidden forces are secretly manipulating the course of world events and history and that nothing is as it seems. The book 9/11: The big lie by French author Thierry Meyssan (published as L'Effroyable Imposture ("The Horrifying Fraud") in French) is an example of conspiracy thinking. Meyssan suggests that no plane hit the Pentagon on September 11 and that, instead, a cabal of conspirators within the U.S. government attacked the Pentagon with a cruise missile with a depleted uranium warhead in order to manufacture an excuse for greater defense spending and war against the Taliban. Meyysan did not interview or credit the eyewitnesses to the September 11 events, who reported seeing a plane strike the Pentagon, and he offers no explanation for what happened to American Airlines flight #77 and its 64 passengers and crew, but inconvenient facts such as these are regularly ignored or dismissed by conspiracy theories in favor of extraordinarily complex and convoluted conspiracies, for which there is no evidence, merely uninformed speculation. Nevertheless, by blaming powerful alleged villains, conspiracy theories find a wide audience for whom suspicions are much more powerful in forming beliefs than logic, reason, or facts.

How to Identify Misinformation

How can a journalist or a news consumer tell if a story is true or false? There are no exact rules, but the following clues can help indicate if a story or allegation is true.

Does the story fit the pattern of a conspiracy theory?
Does the story fit the pattern of an “urban legend?”
Does the story contain a shocking revelation about a highly controversial issue?
Is the source trustworthy?
What does further research tell you?

Does the story fit the pattern of a conspiracy theory?

Does the story claim that vast, powerful, evil forces are secretly manipulating events? If so, this fits the profile of a conspiracy theory. Conspiracy theories are rarely true, even though they have great appeal and are often widely believed. In reality, events usually have much less exciting explanations.

The U.S. military or intelligence community is a favorite villain in many conspiracy theories.

For example, the Soviet disinformation apparatus regularly blamed the U.S. military or intelligence community for a variety of natural disasters as well as political events. In March 1992, then-Russian foreign intelligence chief Yevgeni Primakov admitted that the disinformation service of the Soviet KGB intelligence service had concocted the false story that the AIDS virus had been created in a US military laboratory as a biological weapon. When AIDS was first discovered, no one knew how this horrifying new disease had arisen, although scientists have now used DNA analysis to determine that “all HIV-1 strains known to infect man” are closely related to a simian immunodeficiency virus found in a western equatorial African chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes troglodytes. But the Soviets used widespread suspicions about the U.S. military to blame it for AIDS. (More details on this.)

In his book 9/11: The Big Lie, French author Thierry Meyssan falsely claimed that no plane hit the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Instead, he claimed that the building had been struck by a cruise missile fired by elements within the U.S. government. No such vast conspiracy existed and many eyewitness accounts and evidence gathered on the scene confirmed that the hijacked airliner had struck the building. But, nevertheless, the book was a best-seller in France and has been translated into 19 languages, demonstrating the power that even the most groundless conspiracy theories can have. (More details on 9/11: The Big Lie.)

Does the story fit the pattern of an “urban legend?”

Is the story startlingly good, bad, amazing, horrifying, or otherwise seemingly “too good” or “too terrible” to be true? If so, it may be an “urban legend.” Urban legends, which often circulate by word of mouth, e-mail, or the Internet, are false claims that are widely believed because they put a common fear, hope, suspicion, or other powerful emotion into story form.

For example, after the September 11 attacks, a story arose that someone had survived the World Trade Center collapse by “surfing” a piece of building debris from the 82nd floor to the ground. Of course, no one could survive such a fall, but many initially believed this story, out of desperate hope that some people trapped in the towers miraculously survived their collapse. (More details on this.)

Another September 11 urban legend is that an undamaged Bible was found in the midst of the crash site at the Pentagon. In reality, it was a dictionary. But, if a Bible had survived unscathed, that would have seemed much more significant, and been seen by many as a sign of divine intervention. (More details on this.)

Since 1987, the false story that Americans or others are kidnapping or adopting children in order to use them in organ transplants has been widely believed. There is absolutely no evidence that any such event has ever occurred, but such allegations have won the most prestigious journalism prizes in France in 1995 and Spain in 1996. (More details on this.)

This urban legend is based on fears about both organ transplantation and international adoptions, both of which were relatively new practices in the 1980s. As advances in medical science made organ transplantation more widespread, unfounded fears began to spread that people would be murdered for their organs. At the same time, there were also unfounded fears about the fate of infants adopted by foreigners and taken far from their home countries. The so-called “baby parts” rumor combined both these fears in story form, which gave it great credibility even though there was absolutely no evidence for the allegation.

In late 2004, a reporter for Saudi Arabia’s Al Watan newspaper repeated a version of the organ trafficking urban legend, falsely claiming that U.S. forces in Iraq were harvesting organs from dead or wounded Iraqis for sale in the United States. This shows how the details of urban legends can change, to fit different circumstances. (More details in English and Arabic.)

Highly controversial issues

AIDS, organ transplantation, international adoption, and the September 11 attacks are all new, frightening or, in some ways, discomforting topics. Such highly controversial issues are natural candidates for the rise of false rumors, unwarranted fears and suspicions. Another example of a highly controversial issue is depleted uranium, a relatively new armor-piercing substance that was used by the U.S. military for the first time during the 1991 Gulf War.

There are many exaggerated fears about depleted uranium because people associate it with weapons-grade uranium or fuel-grade uranium, which are much more dangerous substances. When most people hear the word uranium, a number of strongly held associations spring to mind, including the atomic bomb, Hiroshima, nuclear reactors, radiation illness, cancer, and birth defects.

Depleted uranium is what is left over when natural uranium is enriched to make weapons-grade or fuel-grade uranium. In the process, the uranium loses, or is depleted, of almost half its radioactivity, which is how depleted uranium gets its name. But facts like this are less important in peoples’ minds than the deeply ingrained associations they have with the world “uranium.” For this reason, most people believe that depleted uranium is much more dangerous than it actually is. (More details on depleted uranium in English and Arabic.)

Another highly controversial issue is that of forbidden weapons, such as chemical or biological weapons. The United States is regularly, and falsely, accused of using these weapons. (More details on this in English and Arabic.)

In the same way, many other highly controversial issues are naturally prone to misunderstanding and false rumors. Any highly controversial issue or taboo behavior is ripe material for false rumors and urban legends.

Consider the source

Certain websites, publications, and individuals are known for spreading false stories, including:, a deceptive, look-alike website that has sought to fool people into thinking it is run by the Qatari satellite television station Al Jazeera
Jihad Unspun, a website run by a Canadian woman who converted to Islam after the September 11 attacks when she became convinced that Osama bin Laden was right
Islam Memo (Mafkarat-al-Islam), which spreads a great deal of disinformation about Iraq.

(More details on Islam Memo and Jihad Unspun in English and Arabic.)

There are many conspiracy theory websites, which contain a great deal of unreliable information. Examples include:
Australian “private investigator” Joe Vialls, who died in 2005
Conspiracy Planet

Extremist groups, such as splinter communist parties, often publish disinformation. This can be especially difficult to identify if the false allegations are published by front groups. Front groups purport to be independent, non-partisan organizations but actually controlled by political parties or groups. Some examples of front groups are:
The International Action Center, which is a front group for a splinter communist party called the Workers World Party
The Free Arab Voice, a website that serves as a front for Arab communist Muhammad Abu Nasr and his colleagues.

(More details on Muhammad Abu Nasr in English or Arabic.)

Research the allegations

The only way to determine whether an allegation is true or false is to research it as thoroughly as possible. Of course, this may not always be possible given publication deadlines and time pressures, but there is no substitute for thorough research, going back to the original sources. Using the Internet, many allegations can be fairly thoroughly researched in a matter of hours.

For example, in July 2005, the counter-misinformation team researched the allegation that U.S. soldiers in Iraq had killed innocent Iraqi boys playing football and then “planted” rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) next to them, to make it appear that they were insurgents.

Using a variety of search terms in “Google,” a researcher was able to find the article and photographs upon which the allegations were based. Because weapons did not appear in the initial photographs, but did appear in later photographs, some observers believed this was evidence that the weapons had been planted and that the boys who had been killed were not armed insurgents.

The researcher was also able to find weblog entries (numbered 100 and 333, on June 26 and July 15, 2005) from the commanding officer of the platoon that was involved in the incident and another member of his platoon. The weblog entries made it clear that:
the teenaged Iraqi boys were armed insurgents;
after the firefight between U.S. troops and the insurgents was over, the dead, wounded and captured insurgents were initially photographed separated from their weapons because the first priority was to make sure that it was impossible for any of the surviving insurgents to fire them again;
following medical treatment for the wounded insurgents, they were photographed with the captured weapons displayed, in line with Iraqi government requirements;
the insurgents were hiding in a dense palm grove, where visibility was limited to 20 meters, not a likely place for a football game, and they were seen carrying the RPGs on their shoulders.

Thus, an hour or two of research on the Internet was sufficient to establish that the suspicions of the bloggers that the weapons had been planted on innocent Iraqi boys playing football were unfounded.

Finally, if the counter-misinformation team can be of help, ask us. We can’t respond to all requests for information, but if a request is reasonable and we have the time, we will do our best to provide accurate, authoritative information.


The Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) is the principal international strategic communications service for the foreign affairs community. IIP designs, develops, and implements a variety of information initiatives and strategic communications programs, including Internet and print publications, traveling and electronically transmitted speaker programs, and information resource services. These reach--and are created strictly for--key international audiences, such as the media, government officials, opinion leaders, and the general public in more than 140 countries around the world.

The Bureau prides itself on using cutting-edge technology and strategic alliances to improve its effectiveness. The Bureau's products and services--including web sites and other internet services, electronic journals, speaker programs, print publications, and CD-ROMs--uniquely are designed to support the State Department's initiatives, as well as those of other U.S. foreign policy organizations. It also manages Information Resource Centers overseas and offers reference specialists based in Washington, DC, to answer specialized information queries from abroad. The IIP was created from elements of the U.S. Information Agency when it merged with the Department of State on October 1, 1999.

IIP, operating as a reinvention laboratory through its team-based management structure, comprises three offices:

• The Office of Geographic Liaison is the first point of contact within IIP for missions overseas and the audiences they serve. Its teams' writer-editors, information resource officers, program officers, and translators provide regionally oriented products and services.

• The Office of Thematic Programs has multifunctional teams organized in one of two ways: along subject-matter lines, such as economic security, or along product lines, such as electronic media. The thematic teams work closely with the geographic teams in preparing products and services that support Washington initiatives and mission requests.

• The Office of Technology Services is responsible for developing, interpreting, and applying government-wide technology policies and procedures in support of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Exchanges, and IIP.

Comment posted by xylem
at 4/25/2007 3:15:00 AM
encapsulating, analysing piece of article.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

My Comments: Rats . . .

Rats have been unstoppably nibbling and gnawing . . . yep-the cable (That's some FETISH!) -- brought 50 percent of the network down -- twice!

My "expert" recommendation to the management: Every employee should adopt a kitty! Do NOT laugh! I'm serious! That's biocontrol, dummy!

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is inhumane!

We mustn't "interfere with" the Food Chain!

Maneka Gandhi won't sue us!

And, I love PUSSY-er-cats! ;-)

Rats! The Cable Is Down Again

Rodents love to chew on them, a problem that costs the industry hundreds of millions each year. One solution: Chile-pepper casings

In a cage in animal psychologist Stephen Shumake's lab at the National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, Colo., a gopher seizes a fiber-optic cable in its front paws and begins to gnaw on it. In short order, the rodent has used its razor-sharp front incisors to chew through the steel coating tape protecting the glass strands that make up the cable.

One of his rodent companions isn't so lucky. Gopher No. 2 has received the "hot pepper cable," which Shumake has smeared with a jelly-like coating spiked with capsaicin -- the chemical that puts the pow in chile peppers. Not realizing that he is chewing on the high-tech equivalent of an eye-watering habanero pepper, the gopher chews for a while before it stops and begins to gnash its teeth. It pauses, as if pondering the scenario, then drops the cable to move on to easier eats.

"It's kind of interesting watching the gophers gnaw on cable samples. They do some gnawing, lift their head up, and mash their incisors back and forth. They are not easily discouraged," says Shumake.

CABLE CONNOISSEURS. Shumake's chile concoction is just one tiny weapon in the wide-ranging battle to keep gophers, woodchucks, beavers, and rats from chomping their way through America's data lifelines. Dow Chemical, which manufactures a specialized steel coating to protect cables from rodents, counts 2,000 animals around the world that are FOC -- fond of cable. Here's a tidbit that may surprise you: The cable industry cites the work of rodents as the No. 1 cause of service interruptions, tied with technical problems.

It's not the taste that attracts the critters. Rodents chew on cable to grind down their incisors, which grow for their entire lives and can become too long. "They love to chew. If they don't chew, their teeth get so big they starve to death," explains Frank Steffen, a managing director at telecom services provider Lexent.

Mankind can claim some victories: For example, big fiber-optic providers Qwest and AT&T, which use heavy corrugated steel to protect their backbone networks, say less than 1% of their outages are caused by animals. Their networks account for only a small portion of the millions of miles of wires strung across America, however.

Many smaller telcos, local carriers, universities, rural cable-TV providers, and others face constant attacks on their aging and sometimes underprotected networks. This problem can be particularly troublesome in outlying areas. "Anything beyond the city architecture, you are often talking about single points of failure," says Jonathan Chauvin-Blitt, president of Network Systems & Services for ITT Industries.

COSTLY CHOMPING. Whenever a cable gets cut or damaged, repair costs start in the thousands of dollars in material and man-hours, not to mention the down time for customers. That adds up to hundreds of millions in worldwide repair costs each year, the cable and wire industry claims.

Even if a rodent barely pierces the sheathing, the cable could be shot. "If they just chew a little on the cable and penetrate the inside jacket, and if moisture or water gets in and freezes, that's the end of your cable," explains Steffen. The ice could expand and break the glass fibers. Even in warmer climes, the water bonds to the silica fiber strands and yellows the glass, reducing transmission efficiency.

Unfortunately, the methods used by telecoms and cable companies to lay fiber networks plays right into rodent paws and maws. The loose dirt left by trenching creates freeways that entice gophers and woodchucks into the path of least resistance. In major metropolitan areas, cable-layers use sewers and dormant steam tunnels instead of digging new tunnels. Such places also appeal to rats.

Steffen recalls entering the sewer system below the New York Transit Authority's subway station at 34th Street and 7th Avenue. The street above was full of fast-food joints, and the sewer pipe rested directly below the sluicing area for an NTA garbage compactor. "People come down from the street, and before they get on the train they throw stuff in the garbage. The NTA dumps it into the compactor that squeezes out all the juice, and it runs down the tracks into a manhole," says Steffen, who claims that when he first lifted the steel cover, "...all I saw were pink eyes."

The NTA gassed the tunnel to allow for the cable-installation procedure, but the rats have likely returned. With that type of rodent concentration, Steffen says he can't imagine any cable lasting too long.

RODENT IRRITANTS. With so many rodents chewing so much cable, scientists such as Shumake have been researching alternative ways to stop the gnawing. One method involves running a light electrical current down the metal jacket to give the rodents "...the same taste you get when you chew on a piece of tinfoil," says Steffen.

At least two companies, Nippon Industries in Japan and Burlington Bio-Medical & Scientific in Farmingdale, N.Y., have created chemicals that can be used to treat cables with concentrated hot-pepper extracts. Burlington also offers extremely bitter substances that can be painted on surfaces or bonded to the plastic sheathing material of cables. The consumer version of the product, used to dissuade animals from eating flowers or wood "...has a truly vile, bitter, lingering taste," according to the company's Web site.

Shumake has created a jelly-like substance laced with high concentrations of capsaicin to smear between the outer and inner layers of fiber-optic cables. Because most rodents' incisors sit outside their mouths, the burning sensation that might send a human running for water merely causes an irritation to rodents, says Shumake. They also rub the capsaicin onto their coats when grooming, causing some unpleasantness, he adds.

One small inconvenience for rodents, one big step for the flow of data through the wired world's increasingly vital fiber networks.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My comments: Linux on 4GB USB key . . .

If you’re a “pathological” Cyber CafĂ©-goer LOL or if you travel a lot – access Net from Hotel Rooms, Airport Net Kiosks etc. then you’d get this . . . this’d surely keep you safe from soft keyloggers etc. – hard keyloggers etc. could still “spook” you! And, Script Kiddies could still sniff you “over the network” – you’d thwart ‘em easily but you need to be a bit info sec savvy!

Mandriva Linux distribution on a 4GB USB key!

3D desktop in your pocket!
Mandriva Flash is a pre-installed Mandriva Linux distribution on a 4GB USB key. Plug in the key, take your Linux system everywhere with you, save and exchange your data in up to 3GB of free space!It is not only practical, easy and pleasant to use but also high-performing and innovative. Mandriva Flash will surprise you whether you are already a Linux user or not.

Flash is the latest innovative product from the Mandriva labs:
Discover Linux in a Flash
Test-drive a real Linux desktop, save your documents and settings on the key – no need to install anything on your hard drive.
Impress your friends with your mobile 3D desktop
Enjoy the latest 3D desktop technology while on the move, and show your friends what their machine can really do with Linux.
Stay connected wherever your are
Wherever you are, and whatever the type of available link, Mandriva Flash connects you with your friends, mail, music and online life.
Offer Linux to the one you love
Protect your loved one from viruses and malware, offer them freedom of choice and the desktop of the future in a small, high-quality USB key.

Discover Linux in a Flash
Ever wanted to try Linux for real? But never got through because you were afraid to format your disk?Mandriva Flash is the key!
Just plug Mandriva Flash in your PC and discover a complete personal Linux desktop in a few seconds.
No need to install anything on your disk, no fear of a messing with your other operating system, no need to format or repartition anything, no heavy manuals or complex documentation : just plug the key and boot into the world of Linux.
Mandriva Flash is a complete and real Linux desktop: you can save your documents and preferences on the key, use all your favourite Internet, multimedia and office applications. You can even install new software and download updates, just like a normal Linux installation. Order Mandriva Flash now and discover Linux during the holiday season.

Impress your friends with your mobile 3D desktop
Mandriva is not only fast and small: with it you can transform a PC in an impressive 3D desktop with lots of animations and effects.
Impress your friends and reveal the true possibilities of their system by plugging in your Mandriva Flash desktop. With its advanced hardware detection and fine tuning of all the latest 3D technologies, Mandriva Flash will choose the best options for you.See the 3D rotating cube to change your workspaces, add a wobbly effect when you move your windows, or enjoy smooth transitions when a new window appears on your screen.

Stay connected wherever your are
Thanks to a huge hardware database and a smooth network configuration tool called drakconnect, you can use almost any means of communication (GPRS, LAN, wifi, DSL, 3G) to stay in touch with your friends.

Offer Linux to the one you love

Mandriva Flash is the perfect Christmas gift for all your non-Linux friends and family or your significant other!
It is also a great present for your favourite geek who has been eating and sleeping Linux for so long. With Mandriva Flash, he can go and explore the outside world again without fear of missing his preciousss! With his personal key in the pocket, nothing will stop him, conquering Windows desktops and booting Linux on them in the flash of an eye!
Mandriva Flash is a compact and robust high-quality USB key. It loads your Linux faster with a High-Speed USB 2.0 interface. And with a 5-year warranty from a renowned manufacturer, you can count on it to protect your personal data.

Monday, April 9, 2007


If there were a competition to decide who is the 20th century's a) most voracious reader; b) most prolific author; and c) assembler of the largest personal library, India would have a candidate. His name is Osho, a spiritual leader, who attained, before his death in 1990, a substantial following both in India and the West. India's esteem for Osho can be measured by the fact that he is one of only two authors whose entire works have been placed in the Library of India's National Parliament in New Delhi. The other is Mahatma Gandhi.

Born in 1931 in a small village in the state of Madhya Pradesh, in central India, Osho did not go to school until he was nine years old. He was a precocious scholar, both in Hindi and English. He read all 3.000 books in the local public library when he was a teenager. Often he would read all night, which occasionally gave him a headache. He would then apply painkilling balm to his forehead to continue reading and at dawn would go to the river for a swim.

From 1958 to 1966, Osho was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Jabalpur. Thereafter, he devoted himself entirely to spiritual study, reading close to 100 books a week. He is said to have read 100-200.000 titles over a period of forty years, some fiction, but mostly philosophy, psychology, religion and science.

In Books I have loved (1985), a book dedicated to the memory of Alan Watts and his effort to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western thinking and spirituality, Osho cites authors as diverse as Walt Whitman, Lewis Carroll, Friedrich Nietzsche, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Book of Mirdad, Lao Tzu, Hahlil Gibran, D R Susuki, Herman Hess, Jean Paul Sartre, Martin Heidegger, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Samuel Beckett, Karl Marx, Turgenev, Herbert Marcuse and Aristotle.

In 1954, at the age of twenty-three, he spent his entire salary for a month (seventy rupees) on a copy of P D Ouspensky's Tertium Organum. He had a particular passion for 19th century Russian novelists and maintained that if he had to count only ten outstanding novels, five of them would be Russian.

Osho first came to the attention of students from the West during his stay in Bombay from 1970 to 1974. Thereafter he settled in Poona, on the edge of the Deccan plateau, 120 miles from Bombay. His mansion, known as Lao Tzu House, is entirely filled with books. His private library of 100.000 volumes is said to be exceeded in the 20th century only by that of Henry Edwards Huntington, the American railway tycoon (1850-1927).

Using Bowker's Books-in-Print, Osho, during his years in Poona, ordered books by the hundreds through Bombay and Poona Booksellers. His days were fully occupied with reading, interrupted only by meals and morning discourses.

He left very specific instructions for the design of his library. No two books of the same size or colour were to be placed next to each other, so that visually the library looks like rainbow-coloured waves. The aesthetic dimension is underlined by glass and metallic silver painting of book cases and mirrors on shelves behind the waving books.

Osho has 600 books of which he is officially the author. They are transcriptions of his talks. Seven thousand of his discourses are also available on digital tape and 1.700 on digital video tape.

Following his move to Poona in 1974, he launched a series of discourses in English entitled My Way: The Way of the White Clouds. It has been estimated that from 1974 to 1981, Osho spoke over thirty-three million words in his daily discourses, averaging 13.000 words per day, for seven days a week. During the same period, he answered over 10.000 questions. In the evenings, at intimate darshans (blessings), he would answer questions on subjects such as love, jealousy and meditation. These darshans are recorded in sixty-four diaries, of which forty have been published.

Today the Lao Tzu Library is basically an archive, with entrance permitted only for copyright and research purposes. Only a few outsiders, mostly American scholars, have been allowed to do their research into Osho's stay in Oregon from 1981 to 1985, where he was known as Bhagwan Shree Rhaneesh ("Lord of the Full Moon") and became a controversial figure, being ultimately imprisoned for immigration violations.

After his move to Oregon, he fell silent until 1984, after which he confined his announcements to answers to questions from disciples. This period was followed by discourses during his travels to five continents, including countries such as Nepal, Crete and Uruguay, where he was allowed to stay without being expelled immediately. He returned to Poona in 1987 and died there in 1990.

Osho took an intimate personal interest in each of his books, involving himself in every phase of production, including choice of title and design of book jackets. All of the books are lavishly produced. Publishing and copyright are handled by the Osho International Centre, New Yorkwhich ensures that nothing can be edited. In the elegant surroundings of the forty-sixth floor of the old General Electric building on 51st and Lexington, dialogues have been conducted for publishers who want to modify Osho's harshness on subjects such as women, the Pope, politicians and Mother Theresa.

In India, Osho is reckoned to be the country's bestselling non-fiction author, selling over one million books and tapes annually, covering 450 titles in thirteen Indian languages. There are more than 2.000 translations into forty other languages, publishers including Mondadori in Italy; Grupa Planeta in Spain; Ediouro in Brazil; Heyne in Germany, St Martin's Press in the US and Element with Penguin in the UK.

Osho's works are featured in Bertelsmann's Chinese Book Club. Half a million books by Osho have been sold in Russia from 1994 to 1997. At St Martin's Press, Osho Zen Tarot cards sold 100.000 copies in two years. St Martins also published The Book of the Secrets, a 1.200-page paperback on Bible paper, which sold 15.000 copies in its first year.

The video library, consisting of 1.700 video tapes, at the Lao Tzu Library is being converted onto Betacam SP, using one of the finest studio facilities in Europe. This will produce noise reduction, effect image enhancement and colour correction.

The Lao Tzu Library can also be consulted on the Web (, which has offered more than 1.000 web pages since December, 1995. By January 1999, the site was receiving 110.000 hits per month.

Osho is today the world's bestselling audio book author, publishers being reconciled to the fact that only the originals can be sold - no readings, no editing. Sales of meditative audio tapes are booming, 20% of all respondents being oriented towards New Age and spiritual matters, 70% of this number being women.

Whatever the merits or demerits of his teachings, Osho is a phenomenon in publishing, reading and book collecting, with an astonishing output recorded and preserved on paper, audio and video.

Pierre Evald
And Another Thing ...

India's greatest bookman

An Associate professor at The Royal School of Library and Information Science in Aalborg, Denmark, Pierre Evald has published numerous books and articles on library management and development, in Danish as well as in English. For more than thirty years, he has been travelling widely in Asia, focussing on anthropology, spirituality and international library development.

Osho: My Mentor

1931 - 1953 Early Years

December 11,1931: Osho is born in Kuchwada, a small village in the state of Madhya Pradesh, central India.

He is the eldest of eleven children of a Jaina cloth merchant. Stories of His early years describe Him as independent and rebellious as a child, questioning all social, religious and philosophical beliefs. As a youth He experiments with meditation techniques.

March 21, 1953: \o becomes enlightened at the age of twenty-one, while majoring in philosophy at D.N. Jain college in Jabalpur.

1953 - 1956 Education

1956: Osho receives His M.A. from the University of Sagar with First Class Honors in Philosophy.

He is the All-India Debating Champion and Gold Medal winner in His graduating class.

1957-1966 University Professor and Public Speaker

1957: Osho is appointed as a professor at the Sanskrit College in Raipur.

1958: He is appointed Professor of Philosophy at the University of Jabalpur, where He taught until 1966.

A powerful and passionate debater, He also travels widely in India, speaking to large audiences and challenging orthodox religious leaders in public debates.

1966: After nine years of teaching, He leaves the university to devote Himself entirely to the raising of human consciousness. On a regular basis, He begins to address gatherings 20,000 to 50,000 in the open-air maidans of India’s major cities. Four times a year He conducts intense ten-day meditation camps.

In 1970, the 14th of April, He introduces His revolutionary meditation technique, dynamic Meditation, which begins with a period of uninhibited movement and catharsis, followed by a period of silence and stillness. Since then this meditation technique has been used by psychotherapists, medical doctors, teachers and other professionals around the world .

1969 - 1974 Mumbai Years

Late 1960’s: His Hindi talks become available in English translations.

1970: In July, 1970, He moves to Mumbai, where He lives until 1974.

1970: Osho - at this time called Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh - begins to initiate seekers into Neo-Sannyas or discipleship, a path of commitment to self-exploration and meditation which does not involve renouncing the world or anything else. Osho’s understanding of ‘Sannyas’ is a radical departure from the traditional Eastern viewpoint. For Him it is not the material world that needs to be renounced but our past and the conditionings and belief systems that each generation imposes on the next. He continues to conduct meditation camps at Mount Abu in Rajasthan but stops accepting invitations to speak throughout the country. He devotes his energies entirely to the rapidly expanding group of sannyasins around Him.

At this time, the first Westerners begin to arrive and to be initiated into Neo-Sannyas. Among them are leading psychotherapists from the human potential movement in Europe and America, seeking the next step in their own inner growth. With Osho they experience new, original meditation techniques for contemporary man, synthesizing the wisdom of the East with the science of the West.

1974 - 1981 Poona Ashram

During these seven years He gives a 90 minutes discourse nearly every morning, alternating every month between Hindi and English. His discourses offer insights into all the major spiritual paths, including Yoga, Zen, Taoism, Tantra and Sufism. He also speaks on Gautam Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tzu, and other mystics. These discourses have been collected into over 600 volumes and translated into 50 languages.

In the evenings, during these years, He answers questions on personal matters such as love, jealousy, meditation. These ‘darshans’ are compiled in 64 darshan diaries of which 40 are published.

The commune that arose around Osho at this time offers a wide variety of therapy groups which combine Eastern meditation techniques with Western psychotherapy. Therapists from all over the world are attracted and by 1980 the international community gained a reputation as ‘ the world’s finest growth and therapy center.’ One hundred thousand people pass through its gates each year.

1981: He develops a degenerative back condition. In March 1981, after giving daily discourses for nearly 15 years, Osho begins a three-year period of self-imposed public silence. In view of the possible need for emergency surgery, and on the recommendation of His personal doctors, He travels to the U.S. This same year, His American disciples purchase a 64,000-acre ranch in Oregon and invite Him to visit. He eventually agrees to stay in the U.S. and allows an application for permanent residence to be filed on His behalf.

1981 - 1985 Rajneeshpuram

A model agricultural commune rises from the ruins of the central Oregonian high desert. Thousands of overgrazed and economically unviable acres are reclaimed. The city of Rajneeshpuram is incorporated and eventually provides services to 5,000 residents. Annual summer festivals are held which draw 15,000 visitors from all over the world. Very quickly, Rajneeshpuram becomes the largest spiritual community ever pioneered in America.

Opposition to the commune and new city keeps pace with its success. Responding to the anti-cult fervor which pervades all levels of American society during the Reagan years, local, state and federal politicians make inflammatory speeches against the Rajneeshees. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Treasury Department, and the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Agency (ATF) are only a few of the agencies spending millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money while harassing the commune with unwarranted and fruitless investigations. Similar costly campaigns are conducted in Oregon.

October 1984: Osho ends three and one half years of self-imposed silence.

July 1985: He resumes His public discourses each morning to thousands of seekers gathered in a two-acre meditation hall.

Sept. - Oct. 1985: The Oregon Commune is Destroyed

September 14: Osho’s personal secretary Ma Anand Sheela and several members of the commune’s management suddenly leave, and a whole pattern of illegal acts they have committed - including poisoning, arson, wiretapping, and attempted murder - are exposed. Osho invites law enforcement officials to investigate Sheela’s crimes. The authorities, however, see the investigation as a golden opportunity to destroy the commune entirely.

October 23: A U.S. federal grand jury in Portland secretly indicts Osho and 7 others on relatively minor charges of immigration fraud.

October 28: Without warrants, federal and local officials arrest at gun point Osho and others in Charlotte, North Carolina. While the others are released, He is held without bail for twelve days. A five-hour return plane trip to Oregon takes four days. En route, Osho is held incommunicado and forced to register under the pseudonym, David Washington, in the Oklahoma County jail. Subsequent events indicate that it is probable that He was poisoned with the heavy metal thallium while in that jail and the El Reno Federal Penitentiary.

November: Emotions and publicity swell around Osho’s immigration case. Fearing for His life and the well-being of sannyasins in volatile Oregon, attorneys agree to an Alford Plea on two out of 35 of the original charges against Him. According to the rules of the plea, the defendant maintains innocence while saying that the prosecution could have convicted him. Osho and His attorneys maintain His innocence in the court. He is fined $400,000 and is deported from America.

Among others, U.S. Attorney in Portland, Charles Turner, publicly concedes that the government was intent on destroying Rajneeshpuram.

1985 - 1986 World Tour

January-February: He travels to Kathmandu, Nepal and speaks twice daily for the next two months. In February, the Nepalese government refuses visas for His visitors and closest attendants. He leaves Nepal and embarks on a world tour.

February-March: At His first stop, Greece, he is granted a 30-day tourist visa. But after only 18 days, on March 5, Greek police forcibly break into the house where He is staying, arrest Him at gun point, and deport him. Greek media reports indicate government and church pressure provoked the police intervention.

During the following two weeks He visits or asks permission to visit 17 countries in Europe and the Americas. All of these countries either refuse to grant Him a visitor’s visa or revoke His visa upon His arrival, and force Him to leave. Some refuse even landing permission for His plane.

March-June: On March 19 He travels to Uruguay. On May 14th the government has scheduled a press conference to announce that He will be granted permanent residence in Uruguay. Uruguay’s President Sanguinetti later admits that he received a telephone call from Washington, D.C. the night before the press conference. He is told that if Osho is allowed to stay in Uruguay, the six billion dollar debt Uruguay owes to the U.S. will be due immediately and no further loans will be granted. Osho is ordered to leave Uruguay on June 18th.

June-July: During the next month He is deported from both Jamaica and Portugal. In all, 21 countries had denied Him entry or deported Him after arrival. On July 29,1986, He returns to Mumbai, India.

1987 - 1989 Osho Commune International

January 1987: He returns to the ashram in Pune, India, which is renamed Rajneeshdham.

July 1988: Osho begins, for the first time in 14 years, to personally lead the meditation at the end of each evening’s discourse. He also introduces a revolutionary new meditation technique called The Mystic Rose.

January-February 1989: He stops using the name "Bhagwan," retaining only the name Rajneesh. However, His disciples ask to call Him ‘Osho’ and He accepts this form of address. Osho explains that His name is derived from William James’ word ‘oceanic’ which means dissolving into the ocean. Oceanic describes the experience, He says, but what about the experiencer? For that we use the word ‘Osho.’ At the same time, He came to find out that ‘Osho’ has also been used historically in the Far East, meaning "The Blessed One, on Whom the Sky Showers Flowers."

March-June 1989: Osho is resting to recover from the effects of the poisoning, which by now are strongly influencing His health.

July 1989: His health is getting better and He makes two appearances for silent darshans during the Festival, now renamed Osho Full Moon Celebration.

August 1989: Osho begins to make daily appearances in Gautama the Buddha Auditorium for evening darshan. He inaugurates a special group of white-robed sannyasins called the "Osho White Robe Brotherhood." All sannyasins and non-sannyasins attending the evening darshans are asked to wear white robes.

September 1989: Osho drops the name "Rajneesh," signifying His complete discontinuity from the past. He is known simply as "Osho," and the ashram is renamed "Osho Commune International."

1990 Osho leaves His body
January 1990: During the second week in January, Osho’s body becomes noticeably weaker. On January 18, He is so physically weak that He is unable to come to Gautama the Buddha Auditorium. On January 19, His pulse becomes irregular. When His doctor inquires whether they should prepare for cardiac resuscitation, Osho says, "No, just let me go. Existence decides its timing." He leaves His body at 5 p.m. At 7 p.m. His body is brought to Gautama the Buddha Auditorium for a celebration, and is then carried to the burning ghats for cremation. Two days later, His ashes are brought to Osho Commune International and placed in His samadhi in Chuang Tzu Auditorium with the inscription:


Never Born
Never Died
Only Visited This Planet Earth Between
11 December 1931 - 19 January 1990