South Asia Theater

Imam calls for peace after Delhi mosque blast

From Gulf News, United Arab Emirates, via TMCNet, April 15:

New Delhi: Delhi was put under red alert after two low-intensity blasts rocked the historic Jama Masjid yesterday.

Nepal: violence meets four-day strike against king

Police in Nepal opened fire to break up anti-King protestors. Separately an attack by Maoist rebels last night left 22 people dead. Opposition parties said authorities detained dozens of protest leaders in Kathmandu. The four-day protest was called against the seizure of power by King Gyanendra about a year ago. The main rally will take place on Saturday. The strike left roads deserted with business and schools closing down. Police in armoured vehicles stood guard over empty streets where only protestors could be seen setting fire to tyres. (NDTV, India, April 7)

India school textbook: donkeys better than women

A school textbook used in India's western Rajasthan state compares housewives with donkeys and says the animals are more loyal and make better companions, The Times of India reported. The book was approved by the state's governing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and has set off protests by the party's women. (Reuters, April 5)

India: Naxalite rebels in new attacks

India's Maoist Naxalite rebels have been very busy lately, but the wave of attacks is going virtually unreported outside India. From PTI via The Hindu, March 14:

Naxalites this morning released the passenger train that they had seized last evening in a thick forest area in Jharkhand, without causing any harm to the passengers.

India: explosions rock Hindu holy city

From AP, March 7, links added:

VARANASI - Explosions rocked a packed railway station and crowded Hindu temple Tuesday in Hinduism's holiest city, and at least 12 people were killed and dozens injured, officials said.

US signs nuclear pact with India

From China's The Standard, March 3:

US President George W Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday sealed what they hailed as an "historic" nuclear deal, seen as the bedrock of a new strategic partnership.

Protests banned in Pakistan; opposition vows defiance

The anti-cartoon protests in Pakistan seem to be mounting towards a national revolutionary movement. The government has banned the latest march in Islamabad, arrested some 200 followeres of the organization that called it, and placed its leader under house arrest. But the organizers pledge defiance, even as army troops have been called to the streets. Note that even the government spokesman feels obliged to diss the protests as part of a Jewish conspiracy to defame Islam. From Pakistan's Dawn, Feb. 19:

UN censors rape victim

The heroic Mukhtar Mai is exploited by the Bushes for war propaganda—then sold down the river by the UN to appease Pakistan. Did the US protest this cynical capitulation? We doubt it. From the New York Times, via India's Deccan Herald, Jan. 22:

Mukhtar Mai, the Pakistani woman whose defiant response to being gangraped by order of a tribal court had brought her worldwide attention, was denied a chance to speak at the United Nations on Friday when Pakistan protested that it was the same day the country's prime minister was visiting.

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