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  • Macaca
    12-20 08:07 AM
    Key Setbacks Dim Luster of Democrats' Year (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/19/AR2007121902643.html?hpid=topnews) By Jonathan Weisman and Paul Kane | Washington Post, Dec 20, 2007

    The first Democratic-led Congress in a dozen years limped out of Washington last night with a lengthy list of accomplishments, from the first increase in fuel-efficiency standards in a generation to the first minimum-wage hike in a decade.

    But Democrats' failure to address the central issues that swept them to power left even the most partisan of them dissatisfied and Congress mired at a historic low in public esteem.

    Handed control of Congress last year after making promises to end the war in Iraq, restore fiscal discipline in Washington and check President Bush's powers, Democrats instead closed the first session of the 110th Congress yesterday with House votes that sent Bush $70 billion in war funding, with no strings attached, and a $50 billion alternative-minimum-tax measure that shattered their pledge not to add to the federal budget deficit.

    "I'm not going to let a lot of hard work go unnoticed, but I'm not going to hand out party hats, either," said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.).

    On Iraq, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said yesterday: "Nobody is more disappointed with the fact that we couldn't change that than I am." But Pelosi was not about to accept Republican assertions that her first year as speaker has been unsuccessful, saying: "Almost everything we've done has been historic."

    Unable to garner enough votes from their own party, House Democratic leaders had to turn to Republicans to win passage of a $555 billion domestic spending bill after the Senate appended $70 billion to it for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The war funding passed 272 to 142, with Democrats voting 141 to 78 against it.

    The Democratic leaders again had to appeal to Republicans to win passage of a measure to stave off the growth of the alternative minimum tax, because fiscally conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats were in open revolt and refused to go along. The Blue Dogs insisted that the Senate offset the bill's cost with tax increases on hedge-fund and private-equity managers.

    Needing two-thirds of the House to pass under fast-track rules, the tax measure was approved 352 to 64, with all 64 "no" votes coming from Democrats standing by their pledge not to support any tax cut or mandatory spending increase that would expand the national debt.

    The year's finale angered the entire spectrum of the Democratic coalition, from the antiwar left to new Southern conservatives who helped bring Democrats to power last year.

    "This is a blank check," said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.). "The new money in this bill represents one cave-in too many. It is an endorsement of George Bush's policy of endless war."

    Still, the Democrats delivered much of what they promised last year. Of the six initiatives on the their "Six for '06" agenda, congressional Democrats sent five to the president and got his signature on four: a minimum-wage increase, implementation of the homeland security recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, college cost reduction, and an energy measure that requires conservation and the expanded use of renewable sources of energy.

    Federal funding for stem cell research was vetoed by Bush.

    Congress also boosted spending on veterans' needs. Just yesterday, Democrats unveiled a proposal to create the first nonpartisan ethics review panel in House history and passed the most significant gun-control legislation since the early 1990s, tightening the instant background-check process.

    Beyond those, Democrats secured the biggest overhaul of ethics and lobbying rules since the Watergate scandal. And they passed a slew of measures that have received little notice, such as more money for math and science teachers who earn more credentials in their field, tax relief for homeowners in foreclosure, a doubling of basic research funding, and reclamation projects for the hurricane-devastated Gulf Coast.

    With the exception of the new energy law, Pelosi characterized most of the year's accomplishments as a cleanup after years of Republican neglect or congressional gridlock.

    But the long-awaited showdown with Bush on the federal budget fizzled this week into an uncomfortable draw. The president got his war funding, while Democrats -- using "emergency" funding designations -- broke through his spending limit by $11 billion, the amount they had promised to add after Republicans rejected a proposed $22 billion increase in domestic spending.

    Remarkably, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) praised the final omnibus spending bill in glowing terms, while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called keeping federal spending at Bush's preferred level "an extraordinary success."

    "Our work on holding the line on spending gave us an omnibus that is better than I've seen in my 17 years here," Boehner said yesterday. Twelve of those years were spent under Republican rule.

    But the disappointments have dominated the news, in large part because Democrats failed on some of the issues that they had put front and center, and that their key constituents value most.

    The military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, remains open. Bush's warrantless surveillance program was actually codified and expanded on the Democrats' watch. Lawmakers were unable to eliminate the use of harsh interrogation tactics by the CIA.

    Democratic leaders also could not overcome the president's vetoes on an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, despite winning over large numbers of Republicans. Policies that liberals thought would be swept aside under the Democratic majority remain untouched, including a prohibition on U.S. funding for international family-planning organizations that offer abortions.

    Efforts to change Bush's Iraq policies took on the look of Pickett's charge at Gettysburg. From the first days of the 110th Congress to its last hours this week, Bush prevailed on every Iraq-related fight, beginning with February's nonbinding resolution opposing the winter troop buildup and ending with this week's granting of $70 billion in unrestricted war funds. Emanuel tried to call the $70 billion funding a partial Democratic victory because it was the first time the president did not get everything he sought for the war. Bush had requested $200 billion.

    Some senior Democrats have grown so distraught that they do not expect any significant change in Iraq policy unless a Democrat wins the White House in 2008. "It's unfortunate that we may have to wait till the elections," Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.) said yesterday.

    This has left many Democrats resorting to openly political arguments, picking up a theme that Republicans hurled at them -- obstructionism -- during their many years in the minority. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) conceded that it is time for Democrats to forget about trumpeting accomplishments that voters will never give them credit for -- and time to change the message to a starkly political one: If you want change, elect more Democrats.

    Sen. Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), the Senate Democratic whip tasked with trying to find 60 votes for a filibuster-proof majority, acknowledged this week that Democrats' biggest failure stemmed from expecting "more Republicans to take an independent stance" on Iraq. Instead, most of them stood with Bush.

    "Many of them will have to carry that with them into the election," Durbin said.





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  • alisa
    12-27 02:09 AM
    The world is more worried about Militants getting their hands on Nukes and has some confidence in India's caution. Madeline Albright recently said pakistan is like a migraine for the world. How many times we have seen stories where leaders after leader, strategists after strategists express concerns that Militants may get the nuke trigger.
    I believe the world has a stake in neutralizing Pak's Nukes. Do you believe the Nukes are partially controlled by US at present? Or is it Zardari who has the complete control?
    I am ambivalent about eliminating Pakistan's nuclear program. On the one hand, you are right that nukes in the hands of militants is a scary scenario. (Ironically, you increase the probability of the nukes falling into wrong hands by having a destabilizing war between Pakistan and India.)
    But then equally scary is a defenseless Pakistan against India. Atleast, thats our perception.
    I don't know who all controls the nukes. The army is certainly one part of it.





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  • nk2006
    09-30 10:13 AM
    I was schocked to find out on Sep 22 that my I-485 has been denied. My wife is on AP and can't enter U.S now withot her H4.

    Sorry to know your troubles. I am curious about the reason for 485 rejection and how you are going about it (is it because of using AC21 and I140 revocation by previous employer?) - there is an effort to deal with I-485 rejections without NOID - there is a separate thread on that with conf call today. Please join the call and give your details. Thanks.





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  • rockstart
    07-14 02:07 PM
    See if things spill horizontally or vertically Eb3(I) is still last in the chain. So many people have demonstrated it. All these days Eb3 (ROW) was gaining from spill over. Now CIS feels that Eb2 takes preference over Eb3 ( which for practical purpose is ROW and not India/ China) so that is why Eb2 is moving forward, else like eb3 eb2 India was also struck. What you are asking is complete re-working of spill over rules. That is not what CIS can do on its own. The rule was always clear Eb1 spill goes to Eb2 and then to Eb2 if some one needs to complain it should be Eb2 who did not get these numbers much earlier.

    * When was it unclear?
    * Why did it take so long for USCIS to see that the law was unclear?
    * What caused USCIS to realize that the law was unclear?
    * What caused them to change their interpretation?
    * How did USCIS use up all of EB2-I numbers in the very first quarter? (Very illegal thing to do)

    Come on, dont be so picky. You know what I mean when I said USCIS changed the law. Dont argue on syntax.



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  • xyzgc
    12-26 04:21 PM
    Look at stratfor.com

    Let us prove India is not a land of cowards, let us show that we are strong and we don't allow terrorists to attack our cities and our senate with impunity.

    Remember, even your favorite Obama would not have hesitated to attack Afghanistan and Iraq post 9-11. He maintains he was opposed to the war on Iraq, but he has never said anything about Afghanistan. In fact, nobody did.

    Most americans have supported the attack on Afghanistan, where Osama is believed to hiding along with other terrorists. Most americans oppose war on Iraq, because over 10k american soldiers have died, Isince the Iraq war began and the economy is in shambles and Iraqis are a drain on the failing economy.

    In Obama's reminders that he opposed the Iraq war in 2002, he contrasts his record with that of Hillary Clinton, who voted for the war.
    Yet a comparison of all 85 votes the Senate has held on Iraq since Obama entered the chamber shows he and Clinton differed only once -- when Obama voted to support the nomination of Gen. George Casey, the top commander in Iraq for nearly three years, to become the Army chief of staff.





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  • jayleno
    10-01 07:58 PM
    I'm a great fan of Obama for what he has achieved so far and in all probability he will win in Nov. I hope the new CIR will not be similar to CIR 2007 as far legal immigration is concerned. After 8 years of paying taxes I would definitely feel greatly disappointed if we get a raw deal for being legal



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  • unitednations
    03-26 08:41 PM
    So then lets take an example

    1. Company Files H1b from NJ
    2. Consultant gets a job in NY or OH or xyz state. Employer files 'amend location' each time. The work and keep on moving like that
    3. Time comes up for renewal of H1, if the employer gives the current client's contract in a different location, it will definitely trigger USICS to possibly deny the extension? Since the original H1 petition did not mention this place or since they filed amend its ok?
    4. When they file for amend, do they need to give a contract/client letter to justify the amend? If yes then will it trigger an RFE?

    According to you anything is possible with USCIS these days.

    My original request still stays. I want some advise, I will definitely use an attorney but wanted your opinion on it..

    -cheers
    kris

    Every time you amend the petition; it technically would be another h-1b; when you come up for extension (assuming when you amend the petitoin that you are not requesting for more time); you would be extending the latest h-1b that has been approved. You would have been complying with the terms and conditions of that particular h-1b so you shouldn't have any issues.

    California service center when adjudicating person B's H-1b asks for payroll reports of all employees. They will cross reference the h-1b's filed for other employees from the list and if they see even one person who has been paid lower then what their h-1b was filed for then they will deny person b's h-1b. California service center is relying on a case precedent that if a petitioner has not complied with a previous petition (even if it is a different persons petition) then they can't rely on their certification in the instant petition and deny it. Funny thing is that when I looked up that case precedent that they continually site; it is a marriage base case when a person tried to file a second petition. Another example of uscis doing what it wants to do.

    Now; I think everyone will start to understand why so many companies are cancelling h-1b's; revoking h-1b's for people on bench and generally not filing many h-1b's in this year quota or filing h-1b transfers for people without projects. I wans't too vocal when some members on the forums were trying to gather support for lifting country quotas; contacting media; etc., because I was well aware of what was going on behind the scenes and we are definitely in a defensive mode right now.





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  • xyzgc
    12-22 11:31 PM
    Though I strongly disagreed with some points made by the initial poster, some of your points look like they are out of the VHP's handy book. Muslims do have a slightly higher fertility rate, this is falling fast and there is only a slight difference between hindus and muslims. Partly it has to do with religion but there are various other reasons including higer female numbers and better mortality rate.

    See article. http://signal.nationalinterest.in/archives/madhu/63

    Another article(slightly older): http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/mag/2002/11/10/stories/2002111000610300.htm

    That's very positive news. Its not like every muslim has ten wives and produces 50 children.And for that matter, every Hindu widow doesn't commit sati.

    I don't know whether VHP has a hand book. At least, I have not read it even if there is one. If they have it and they have expressed similar thoughts, there is nothing I can do about it.

    There are several issues in Indian society. We are not denying it.
    What we are demanding is that Pakistan should stop sponsoring terrorism. Not only that the nation must take active steps to root it out instead of simply disowning the terrorists. That's all.



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  • insbaby
    03-23 12:20 AM
    If you want to buy a home after you get your green card, mostly you will get after your retirement.

    I don't want to feel "my home" when I am 68 and after my kids are out on their own. So I decided, dump the H1B, H4, 485, 131, 761, 797, 999, 888, I94, EAD, AP... AAD, CCD etc crap in trash, and bought the home.

    I am happy. Even if I am asked to leave the country tomorrow, I just lock the door, throw the keys in trash and take off.

    Who cares when life matters.





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  • texcan
    08-05 01:43 PM
    Agree with you...
    Also let me share a story ....

    Once upon a time, two ferries were taking passengers to an Island called Green Land. First ferry was calle EB2 and the other ferry was Eb3. Both these ferries were jam packed with little or no room. But EB2 was in slightly better position with few spaces to spare.

    These ferries were navigating at legendary slow speed because the crew and the drivers (read USCIS) were very slow. Also the fuel (read visa numbers) was not enough so now and then it needed to get some assitance from the base (read lawmakers).

    The base has put out an option to move from one ferry to another. So the people in Eb3 ferry decided to swim to EB2. One who could not start cursing their fate and the ones in EB2 boat start screaming to prevent that happening.

    Soon the passengers forgot that the reason why the ferries are running slow and start blaming each other.

    An old man on the shore sighed and said to himself, wouldn't it be nice if these people had concentratred their effort on the right place.


    Sunnysurya,

    Thanks for giving me ear, and thought to my points.

    Indians(myself included) were ruled by British for years, i never believed history that people can fight so much with each other that they forget to work together; now i know better.

    We got to get togther and work with each other (add efforts), but sometimes we are working together but ironically against each other and net result is wasted effort.

    Lets not waste energy by stopping people from actions even if we may not like their tools or techniques. Lets work more and get something done.


    Thanks SunnySurya.



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  • sledge_hammer
    03-24 12:26 PM
    I have full sympathy for anyone that has not broken any laws including OP and 'leoindiano". If I had the powers to approve green cards, I would give them away to him and his brother!

    The problem here is no one (consulting company/employee) bothered to make sure that a person on H-1B was allowed to do consulting. I'm not sure who dropped the ball - companies, employees, or the immigration lawyers. But someone should have raised a flag when the type of job was really a temp job. Unfortunately that did not happen.

    Now that the damage has been done, and USCIS is coming after such folks, they are upset that it is happening to them. Again, do note that I am not saying the consultants themselves are less skilled than anyone with FT job. I'm just saying that at the time they got into consulting they did not think of the various consequences. Maybe because no one ever thought that working at different locations, benching, temp nature of the jobs were all against H-1B visa rules?

    You get my point?

    face it as long as the economy is tanking this is going to be an ongoing debate. Everything goes thorugh stages of high and low and we are now expereincing the lows of having the h1b's.

    Sledge While your points are valid, remember folks do not choose consulting (nor do students) as a first choice but I have friends who were employed without any issues directly with client companies who in the midst of recession decide to fire everyone. What are you options if your GC is denied because the company declared bankruptcy? How do you justify to yourself staying with the employer when they files you under Eb3 category when you a master's degree holder from one of the 10 best universities in the US? What are the employee choices here, just pack up and leave? leave houses, friends and people you stayed with many years.

    You think they haven't searched for full time positions with other companies only to be turned back? or worse case restart the entire GC process and forgo the 6+ years?

    And the experiences I am relating are from the 2001 recession. I have already seen history repeat itself now but my more fear is that tomorrow USCIS will unfortunately hit the person who followed all the rules After all how is the USCIS knowing which are the good companies and which are bad? These very things are happening and very much can happen to you as well. Do not sit on a high perch and think it will not trickle down to me





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  • bharol
    01-06 11:33 PM
    I don't know of any religion which touts killing on innocent people just because they don't believe in your ideology which for me is the biggest crime against humanity.

    I know.



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  • suavesandeep
    06-26 03:05 PM
    Would you share what calculator are you using.

    I used one here:
    Mortgage Calculator - Bankrate.com (http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/mortgages/mortgage-calculator.aspx)

    Loan Amount: 600K (Note much less than million dollars)
    Period: 30 years fixed
    Interest Rate: 5% (On the lower side using historical averages)
    Monthly Payment: 3220.93

    Total Interest Paid across 30 years: 559,534.71

    In general the thumb rule is across 30 years you will always pay interest which is approx equal to the principal you signed up for.

    Am i missing something here ?



    Yes its not clear cut but lets replace your X, Y and others with numbers

    Suppose your rent is 1500$ a month

    You pay 540,000 $ in 30 years

    so your point 1 - the interest payment is always going to be less than rent if you look over the 30 year term of mortgage since there is no way to pay 540,000 dollars in interest in 30 years looking at the amortization table unless you are buying a million dollar plus house. ( I assumed 5 % rate of interest )





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  • amoljak
    07-10 09:14 AM
    Did anybody contradict this caller on the show? Is the recorded show available online?



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  • hopefulgc
    08-06 11:13 PM
    Abe.. lets call it "manhole".

    coz these days the environment is no better than that :D:D:D

    Mohol --> :D





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  • Carlau
    08-12 07:14 PM
    If you enter http://www.flcdatacenter.com/CaseH1B.aspx
    H-1B efile 2005
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    state Georgia
    You will see many H-1B positions but one of these is "Systems Software Developer" valid from Jan 2005 to Jan 2008, something that according to him, America is not short of.



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  • redcard
    12-23 12:03 AM
    I feel the mood getting a little lighter here and about time. What happened in Mumbia was dastardly and the responsible gotta pay. Lets keep the pressure and focus on it.

    What I dislike though is the attempt by extremists to generalize a group of people to make them less humane and easy for the other group to kill them or worse ethnic cleansing. The point you mentioned is very often quoted to scare/anger the majority. The muslims have been guilty of been easily misled too so this is not unique to hindus.

    Amen to the end of terrorism but India is way ahead of its neighbors. I do not even wish to compare us to our neighbors though I hope they wake up and get their act together

    I am sure that once muslim community or for that matter any community prospers the radicalism reduces. Unfortunately the religious muslim leaders dont want the community to get educated, prosper and westernized because than they would loose control..its precisely for this reason that the religious leaders of this community have for centuries scared the followers of the community with gods wrath if they changed. The Muslim religion has to become progressive and moderate.

    About the terrorism was thinking what options does India have to fight against this. Yes military action definitely is an option but it does more harm to India than to Pakistan. Attacking Pakistan, India has a lot to loose while Pakistan has nothing loose. It would make Pakistan from a failing state to a failed state, but would put India years behind as far as economy is concerned and create the biggest headache for India for decades to come. A military confrontation and weakening of Pakistan’s military establishment would let Pakistan slip fully into the hands of Religious fanatics and produce million more terrorist who will be a long-term headache for India.

    If one back goes back in the history, Pakistan has lost a lot more than India in the last three wars, and that is the only reason why the establishment in Pakistan including the Military has preferred encouraging and sponsoring cross border terrorism which is of very little cost to Pakistan but a constant headache to India. India has lost more from these terrorist attacks including Kargil war than they would if they had gone through a one time direct confrontation. I personally feel that if India does decide to go in for a military confrontation it has to be long term strategy to occupy the country and wipe out terrorism and help to nurture the economy so that prosperity and wealth creation takes a front seat and religion moves low in the peoples priority. In fact if Pakistan can ever have a strong economy and strong democracy, I am sure the country will move towards a moderate religious society. Lets face it, man is a very selfish being, it will never put its personal prosperity at stake for a larger cause even it that happens to be religion. An example of this is the Middle East Kingdom where the monarchs including the common folk is very possessive about personal wealth and will go to any extent to preserve it.

    The only way this can ever happen is by a willing global coalition, which is ready to be there for a long haul and not by India alone. If India did do a quick military action and left the country, Pakistan would move to become another Afghanistan creating the biggest headache for India for decades and decades to come and effectively dragging Indian economy and prosperity.

    Its sad that India let this headache linger on for so long, had it taken remedial action by taking control of complete kashmir and installing a pro Indian govt in 1971 we would not be confronting an nuclear dragon with very little option to fight it.





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  • BumbleBee
    03-24 02:41 PM
    Again, I am not the one you should be asking to define "full-time" and "temp" type jobs. Ask USCIS or DOL or whoever is going to adjudicate your green card.

    I am simply saying that if USCIS has made a distinction between perm job and temp job, AND if they feel that consulting job is of temp type, someone along the line has dropped the ball and missed this. They also missed the fact that the employee needs to work at the LCA specified location. They also missed (or circumvented) that benching is not allowed.

    You can blame anyone and everyone for it. Maybe the immigration attorneys were the ones that should have warned both the employers and employees that consulting jobs do not fit the H-1B requirement. Maybe USCIS was sleeping all the while and suddenly they decided to start enforcing this. But the fact that they can ALL-OF-A-SUDDEN claim that H-1B visa is for permanent jobs only, AND that employees need to stay in the LCA location means that our lawyers, employers, and employees were incompetent in their judgment and did not do their due diligence to protect against potential audits and queries.
    I am telling you the same thing I told the other guy .... you don't need to give me justifications.

    Just hope that USCIS will buy your story!

    http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=bac7d92e8003f010VgnVCM1000000ecd190aRCR D&vgnextchannel=1847c9ee2f82b010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1 RCRD

    Q : What is an H-1B?

    The H-1B is a nonimmigrant classification used by an alien who will be employed temporarily in a specialty occupation or as a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.

    As per USCIS, H1B is for temporary job





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  • Green_Always
    03-28 11:42 AM
    This Thread is UN's -- :-)





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    engineer
    01-03 12:31 AM
    Writer, Shuja Nawaz
    http://www.shujanawaz.com/index.php?mod=about


    Brinksmanship in South Asia: A Dangerous Scenario
    December 26, 2008 10:32 | PERMALINK (http://www.shujanawaz.com/blog/brinksmanship-in-south-asia-a-dangerous-scenario)
    Reports of military movement to the India-Pakistan border must raise alarums in Washington DC. The last thing that the incoming Obama administration wants is a firestorm in South Asia. There cannot be a limited war in the subcontinent, given the imbalance of forces between India and Pakistan. Any Indian attack across the border into Pakistan will likely be met with a full scale response from Pakistan. Yet, the rhetoric that seemed to have cooled down after the immediate aftermath of the Mumbai attacks is rising again. It was exactly this kind of aggressive posturing and public statements that led to the 1971 conflict between these two neighbors. Pakistan has relied in the past on international intervention to prevent war. It worked, except in 1971 when the US and other powers let India invade East Pakistan and lead to the birth of Bangladesh. What makes the current situation especially dangerous is that both are now nuclear weapon states with anywhere up to150 nuclear bombs in their arsenal. If India and Pakistan go to war, the world will lose. Big time. By putting conventional military pressure on Pakistan, is India calling what it perceives to be Pakistan�s bluff under the belief that the United Sates will force nuclear restraint on Pakistan?
    The early evidence after the Mumbai terrorist attack pointed to the absence of the Pakistan government�s involvement in the attack. Indeed, the government of Pakistan seemed to bend over backwards to accommodate and understand Indian anger at the tragedy. But, in the weeks since then, as domestic political pressure mounted on the Indian government to do more, talk has turned to the use of surgical strikes or other means to teach Pakistan a lesson. It was in India�s own interest to strengthen the ability of the fledgling civilian government of Pakistan to move against the militancy within the country. But it seems to have opted for threats to attack Pakistan, threats that, if followed up by actions, may well derail the process of civilianization and democratization in that country. India must recognize the constraints under which Pakistan operates. It cannot fight on two fronts. And it lacks the geographic depth to take the risk of leaving its eastern borders undefended at a time when India has been practicing its emerging Cold Start strategy in the border opposite Kasur. Under this strategy, up to four Integrated Battle Groups could move rapidly across the border and occupy a strategic chunk of Pakistani territory up to the outskirts of Lahore in a �limited war�.
    For Pakistan, there is no concept of �limited war�. Any war with India is seen as a total war, for survival. It risks losing everything the moment India crosses its border, and will likely react by attacking India in force at a point of its own choosing under its own Offensive-Defensive strategy. (That is probably why it is moving some of its Strike Force infantry divisions back from the Afghan border to the Indian one.) As the battles escalate, Indian�s numerical and weapon superiority will become critical. If no external intervention takes place quickly, Pakistan will then be left with the �poison pill� defence of its nuclear weapons.
    The consequences of such action are unimaginable for both countries and the world...
    The NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) conducted an analysis of the consequences of nuclear war in South Asia a year before the last stand-off in 2002. Under two scenarios, one (with a Princeton University team) studied the results of five air bursts over each country�s major cities and the other (done by the NRDC alone) with 24 ground explosions. The results were horrifying to say the least: 2.8 million dead, 1.5 million seriously injured, and 3.4 million slightly injured in the first case. Under the second scenario involving an Indian nuclear attack on eight major Pakistani cities and Pakistan�s attack on seven major Indian cities:
    NRDC calculated that 22.1 million people in India and Pakistan would be exposed to lethal radiation doses of 600 rem or more in the first two days after the attack. Another 8 million people would receive a radiation dose of 100 to 600 rem, causing severe radiation sickness and potentially death, especially for the very young, old or infirm. NRDC calculates that as many as 30 million people would be threatened by the fallout from the attack, roughly divided between the two countries.
    Besides fallout, blast and fire would cause substantial destruction within roughly a mile-and-a-half of the bomb craters. NRDC estimates that 8.1 million people live within this radius of destruction.
    Studies by Richard Turco, Alan Robock, and Brian Toon in 2006 and 2008 on the climate change impact of a regional nuclear war between these two South Asian rivals, were based on the use of 100 Hiroshima-sized nuclear devices of 15 kiloton each. The ensuing nuclear explosions would set 15 major cities in the subcontinent on fire and hurl five million tonnes of soot 80 kilometers into the air. This would deplete ozone levels in the atmosphere up to 40 per cent in the mid-latitudes that �could have huge effects on human health and on terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems.� More important, the smoke and sot would cool the northern hemisphere by several degrees, disrupting the climate (shortening growing seasons, etc.) and creating massive agricultural failure for several years. The whole world would suffer the consequences.
    An Indo-Pakistan war will not cure the cancer of religious militancy that afflicts both countries today. Rather, India and Pakistan risk jeopardizing not only their own economic futures but also that of the world by talking themselves into a conflict. The world cannot afford to let that happen. The Indian and Pakistani governments can step back from the brink by withdrawing their forces from their common border and going back to quiet diplomacy to resolve their differences. The United States and other friends of both countries can act as honest brokers by publicly urging both to do just that before this simmering feud starts to boil over.
    This piece appeared in The Huffington Post, 26 December 2008 (http://www.shujanawaz.com//)



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