May 06, 2017

Sarfaraz Bugti heckled by Baloch activist in Brussels

http://www.aninews.in/newsdetail-NA/MzEyODIy/sarfaraz-bugti-heckled-by-baloch-activist-in-brussels.html


Updated: May 07, 2017 01:19 IST      

Brussels [Belgium], May 7 (ANI): Baluchistan's Interior Minister Sarfaraz Bugti was heckled by Baloch activist Munir Mengal in an event in Brussels where the delegation highlighted the economic potential of the southwestern Balochistan province.

A nine-member delegation of Government of Balochistan, led by Bugti, was on a visit to Brussels to brief Belgian businessmen on the economic opportunities in Balochistan in the wake of Gwadar Port and China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

While heckling the minister, Munir asked, "Why Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri calls himself Nawab, why not 'Khan of Kalat'?"

Zehri participated in a loya Jirga in September 2006 called by the Khan of Kalat, Mir Suleman Dawood Jan, following the death of Akbar Bugti during a military operation ordered by former General Pervez Musharraf.

Accusing Pakistan Government of distorting the historical facts of Balochistan, Munir presented the document dated August 4, 1947 which proves Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah acknowledged Balochistan as an independent state.

As the Minister refused to answer Munir, the official spokesman of the Government of Balochistan Anwaar Ul Haq Kakar said, "You are distorting facts. The document you have brought is from the book titled 'Inside Pakistan', I am not a lecturer of history to give history lessons."

The verbal spat intensified between Munir and the spokesperson as Kakar accused "all human rights activists, exiled Balochs, including the Baloch leaders, to be paid RAW agents."

Munir said, "How can you accuse of being a RAW agent."

The event took place on May 3 at the European Institute for Asian Studies where some journalists asked the Minister why there is no access for free journalists and human rights organizations to Balochistan.

Earlier, Balochistan's Chief Minister was to attend the event but he later back traced.

The delegation included Minister for irrigation and energy Nawabzada Changez Khan Marri, Minister for Home and Tribal Affairs Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti, Minister for health Rehmat Saleh Baloch; members of Balochistan assembly Nasrullah Khan,Ahmed Ali, Tahir Mahmood and Muhammad Raza and tribal notable Umair Ahmed Hussaini.

Bugti said that his government grants free access to Balochistan for "independent organizations and governments and institutes to investigate the facts."

The Economic Minister of Embassy Omar Hameed gave a presentation on the economic and investment paradigm of Pakistan with particular reference to Balochistan. The meeting was attended by a large number of Belgian businesspersons from different sectors including agriculture, energy and shipping

Vanishing Telugu proverbs

మరుగున ( మడుగున) పడుతున్న కొన్ని తెలుగు సామెతలు.

1. అంత్యనిష్ఠూరం కన్నా ఆది నిష్ఠూరం మేలు
2. అంబలి తాగే వారికి మీసాలు యెగబట్టేవారు కొందరా
3. అడిగేవాడికి చెప్పేవాడు లోకువ
4. అత్తలేని కోడలుత్తమురాలు కోడల్లేని అత్త గుణవంతురాలు
5. అనువు గాని చోట అధికులమనరాదు
6. అభ్యాసం కూసు విద్య
7. అమ్మబోతే అడివి కొనబోతే కొరివి
8. అయితే ఆదివారం కాకుంటే సోమవారం
9. ఆలూ లేదు చూలు లేదు కొడుకు పేరు సోమలింగం
10. ఇంట్లో ఈగల మోత బయట పల్లకీల మోత
11. ఇల్లు కట్టి చూడు పెళ్ళి చేసి చూడు
12. ఇంట గెలిచి రచ్చ గెలువు
13. ఇల్లు పీకి పందిరేసినట్టు
14. ఎనుబోతు మీద వాన కురిసినట్టు
15. చెవిటి వాని ముందు శంఖమూదినట్టు
16. కందకు లేని దురద కత్తిపీటకెందుకు
17. కత్తిపోటు తప్పినా కలంపోటు తప్పదు
18. కుక్క కాటుకు చెప్పుదెబ్బ
19. కోటి విద్యలూ కూటి కొరకే
20. నీరు పల్లమెరుగు నిజము దేవుడెరుగు
21. పిచ్చుకపై బ్రహ్మాస్త్రం
22. పిట్ట కొంచెం కూత ఘనం
23. రొట్టె విరిగి నేతిలో పడ్డట్టు
24. వాన రాకడ ప్రాణపోకడ ఎవరి కెరుక
25. కళ్యాణమొచ్చినా కక్కొచ్చినా ఆగదు
26. మింగమెతుకులేదు మీసాలకు సంపంగి నూనె
27. ఆడబోయిన తీర్థము యెదురైనట్లు
28. ఆడలేక మద్దెల వోడు అన్నట్లు
29. ఆది లొనే హంస పాదు
30. ఏమీ లేని యెడారిలో ఆముదము చెట్టే మహా వృక్షము
31. ఆకలి రుచి యెరుగదు నిద్ర సుఖమెరుగదు
32. ఆకాశానికి హద్దే లేదు
33. ఆలస్యం అమృతం విషం
34. ఆరే దీపానికి వెలుగు యెక్కువ
35. ఆరోగ్యమే మహాభాగ్యము
36. ఆవులింతకు అన్న ఉన్నాడు కాని తుమ్ముకు తమ్ముడు లేడంట
37. ఆవు చేనులో మేస్తే దూడ గట్టున మేస్తుందా?
38. అబద్ధము ఆడినా అతికినట్లు ఉండాలి
39. అడగందే అమ్మైనా అన్నము పెట్టదు
40. అడ్డాల నాడు బిడ్డలు కాని గడ్డాల నాడు కాదు
41. ఏ ఎండకు ఆ గొడుగు
42. అగ్నికి వాయువు తోడైనట్లు
43. ఐశ్వర్యమొస్తే అర్ధరాత్రి గొడుగు పట్టమంటాడు
44. అందని మామిడిపండ్లకు అర్రులు చాచుట
45. అందితే జుట్టు అందక పోతే కాళ్ళు
46. అంగట్లో అన్నీ ఉన్నా, అల్లుడి నోట్లో శని ఉన్నట్లు
47. అన్నపు చొరవే గాని అక్షరపు చొరవ లేదు
48. అప్పు చేసి పప్పు కూడు
49. అయ్య వారు వచ్చే వరకు అమావాస్య ఆగుతుందా
50. అయ్యవారిని చెయ్యబొతే కోతి బొమ్మ అయినట్లు
51. బతికుంటే బలుసాకు తినవచ్చు
52. భక్తి లేని పూజ పత్రి చేటు
53. బూడిదలో పోసిన పన్నీరు
54. చాదస్తపు మొగుడు చెబితే వినడు,
గిల్లితే యేడుస్తాడు
55. చాప కింద నీరులా
56. చచ్చినవాని కండ్లు చారెడు
57. చదివేస్తే ఉన్నమతి పోయినట్లు
58. విద్య లేని వాడు వింత పశువు
59. చేతకానమ్మకే చేష్టలు ఎక్కువ
60. చేతులు కాలినాక ఆకులు పట్టుకున్నట్లు
61. చక్కనమ్మ చిక్కినా అందమే
62. చెడపకురా చెడేవు
63. చీకటి కొన్నాళ్ళువెలుగు కొన్నాళ్ళు
64. చెరువుకి నీటి ఆశ నీటికి చెరువు ఆశ
65. చింత చచ్చినా పులుపు చావ లేదు
66. చింతకాయలు అమ్మేదానికి సిరిమానం వస్తే,
ఆ వంకర టింకరవి యేమి కాయలని అడిగిందట
67. చిలికి చిలికి గాలివాన అయినట్లు
68. డబ్బుకు లోకం దాసోహం
69. దేవుడు వరం ఇచ్చినా పూజారి వరం ఇవ్వడు
70. దరిద్రుడి పెళ్ళికి వడగళ్ళ వాన
71. దాసుని తప్పు దండంతో సరి
72. దెయ్యాలు వేదాలు పలికినట్లు
73. దిక్కు లేని వాడికి దేవుడే దిక్కు
74. దొంగకు దొంగ బుద్ధి, దొరకు దొర బుద్ధి
75. దొంగకు తేలు కుట్టినట్లు
76. దూరపు కొండలు నునుపు
77. దున్నపోతు మీద వర్షం కురిసినట్లు
78. దురాశ దుఃఖమునకు చెటు
79. ఈతకు మించిన లోతే లేదు
80. ఎవరికి వారే యమునా తీరే
81. ఎవరు తీసుకున్న గోతిలో వారే పడతారు
82. గాడిద సంగీతానికి ఒంటె ఆశ్చర్యపడితే, ఒంటె అందానికి గాడిద మూర్ఛ పోయిందంట
83. గాజుల బేరం భోజనానికి సరి
84. గంతకు తగ్గ బొంత
85. గతి లేనమ్మకు గంజే పానకం
86 గోరు చుట్టు మీద రోకలి పోటు
87. గొంతెమ్మ కోరికలు
88. గుడ్డి కన్నా మెల్ల మేలు
89. గుడ్డి యెద్దు చేలో పడినట్లు
90. గుడ్డు వచ్చి పిల్లను వెక్కిరించినట్లు
91. గుడినే మింగే వాడికి లింగమొక లెఖ్ఖా
92. గుడిని గుడిలో లింగాన్నీ మింగినట్లు
93. గుడ్ల మీద కోడిపెట్ట వలే
94. గుమ్మడి కాయల దొంగ అంటే భుజాలు తడుముకొన్నాడట
95. గుర్రము గుడ్డిదైనా దానాలో తక్కువ లేదు
96. గురువుకు పంగనామాలు పెట్టినట్లు
97. తిన్న ఇంటి వాసాలు లెక్కపెట్టినట్లు
98. ఇంటి దొంగను ఈశ్వరుడైనా పట్టలేడు
99. ఇంటి పేరు కస్తూరివారు వీధిలో గబ్బిలాల కంపు
100. ఇంటికన్న గుడి పదిలం
101. ఇసుక తక్కెడ పేడ తక్కెడ
102. జోగి జోగి రాసుకుంటే బూడిద రాలిందంట
103. కాచిన చెట్టుకే రాళ్ళ దెబ్బలు
104. కాగల కార్యము గంధర్వులే తీర్చినట్లు
105. కాకి ముక్కుకు దొండ పండు
106. కాకి పిల్ల కాకికి ముద్దు
107. కాలం కలిసి రాక పోతే కర్రే పామై కాటు వేస్తుంది
108. కాలు జారితే తీసుకోగలము కాని నోరు జారితే తీసుకోగలమా
109. కాసుంటే మార్గముంటుంది
110. కడుపు చించుకుంటే కాళ్ళపైన పడ్డట్లు
111. కలకాలపు దొంగ ఏదో ఒకనాడు దొరుకును
112. కలి మి లేములు కావడి కుండలు
113. కలిసి వచ్చే కాలం వస్తే, నడిచి వచ్చే కొడుకు పుడతాడు
114. కంచే చేను మేసినట్లు
115. కంచు మ్రోగునట్లు కనకంబు మ్రోగునా !
116. కందకు కత్తి పీట లోకువ
117. కరవమంటే కప్పకు కోపం విడవమంటే పాముకు కోపం
118. కీడెంచి మేలెంచమన్నారు
119. కొండ నాలికకి మందు వేస్తే ఉన్న నాలిక ఊడినట్లు
120. కొండల్లే వచ్చిన ఆపద కూడా మంచువలే కరిగినట్లు
121. కొండను తవ్వి ఎలుకను పట్టినట్లు
122. కొన్న దగ్గిర కొసరే గాని కోరిన దగ్గర కొసరా
123. కూసే గాడిద వచ్చి మేసే గాడిదను చెరిచిందిట
124. కూటికి పేదైతే కులానికి పేదా
125. కొరివితో తల గోక్కున్నట్లే
126. కోతికి కొబ్బరి చిప్ప ఇచ్చినట్లు
127. కొత్తొక వింత పాతొక రోత
128. కోటిి విద్యలు కూటి కొరకే
129. కొత్త అప్పుకు పొతే పాత అప్పు బయటపడ్డదట
130. కొత్త బిచ్చగాడు పొద్దు యెరగడు
131. కృషితో నాస్తి దుర్భిక్షం
132. క్షేత్ర మెరిగి విత్తనము పాత్ర మెరిగి దానము
133. కుడుము చేతికిస్తే పండగ అనేవాడు
134. కుక్క వస్తే రాయి దొరకదు రాయి దొరికితే కుక్క రాదు
135. ఉన్న లోభి కంటే లేని దాత నయం
136. లోగుట్టు పెరుమాళ్ళకెరుక
137. మెరిసేదంతా బంగారం కాదు
138. మంచమున్నంత వరకు కాళ్ళు చాచుకో
139. నోరు మంచిదయితే ఊరు మంచిదవుతుంది
140. మంది యెక్కువయితే మజ్జిగ పలచన అయినట్లు
141. మనిషి మర్మము.. మాను చేవ...
బయటకు తెలియవు
142. మనిషి పేద అయితే మాటకు పేదా
143. మనిషికి మాటే అలంకారం
144. మనిషికొక మాట పశువుకొక దెబ్బ
145. మనిషికొక తెగులు మహిలో వేమా అన్నారు
146. మంత్రాలకు చింతకాయలు రాల్తాయా
147. మీ బోడి సంపాదనకుఇద్దరు పెళ్ళాలా
148. మెత్తగా ఉంటే మొత్త బుద్ధి అయ్యిందట
149. మొక్కై వంగనిది మానై వంగునా
150. మొరిగే కుక్క కరవదు కరిసే కుక్క మొరగదు
151. మొసేవానికి తెలుసు కావడి బరువు
152. ముల్లును ముల్లుతోనే తీయాలి వజ్రాన్ని వజ్రంతొనే కొయ్యాలి
153. ముందర కాళ్ళకి బంధాలు వేసినట్లు
154. ముందుకు పోతే గొయ్యి వెనుకకు పోతే నుయ్యి
155. ముంజేతి కంకణముకు అద్దము యెందుకు
156. నడమంత్రపు సిరి నరాల మీద పుండు
157. నేతి బీరకాయలో నెయ్యి యెంత ఉందో నీ మాటలో అంతే నిజం ఉంది
158. నక్కకి నాగలోకానికి ఉన్నంత తేడా
159. నవ్వు నాలుగు విధాలా చేటు
160. నీ చెవులకు రాగి పొగులే అంటే అవీ నీకు లేవే అన్నట్లు
161. నిదానమే ప్రధానము
162. నిజం నిప్పు లాంటిది
163. నిమ్మకు నీరెత్తినట్లు
164. నిండు కుండ తొణకదు
165. నిప్పు ముట్టనిదే చేయి కాలదు
166. నూరు గొడ్లు తిన్న రాబందుకైనా ఒకటే గాలిపెట్టు
166. నూరు గుర్రాలకు అధికారయినా, భార్యకు యెండు పూరి
167. ఆరు నెళ్ళు సావాసం చేస్తే వారు వీరు అవుతారు
168. ఒక ఒరలో రెండు కత్తులు ఇమడవు
169. ఊపిరి ఉంటే ఉప్పు అమ్ముకొని బ్రతకవచ్చు
170. బతికి ఉంటే బలుసాకు తినవచ్చు
171. ఊరంతా చుట్టాలు ఉత్తికట్ట తావు లేదు
172. ఊరు మొహం గోడలు చెపుతాయి
173. పనమ్మాయితొ సరసమ్ కంటే అత్తరు సాయిబు తో కలహం మేలు
174. పాము కాళ్ళు పామునకెరుక
175. పానకంలో పుడక
176. పాపమని పాత చీర ఇస్తే గోడ చాటుకు వెళ్ళి మూర వేసిందట
177. పచ్చ కామెర్లు వచ్చిన వాడికి లోకమంతా పచ్చగా కనపడినట్లు
178. పండిత పుత్రః పరమశుంఠః
179. పనిలేని మంగలి పిల్లి తల గొరిగినట్లు
180. పరిగెత్తి పాలు తాగే కంటే నిలబడి నీళ్ళు తాగడం మేలు
181. పట్టి పట్టి పంగనామం పెడితే, గోడ చాటుకు వెళ్ళి చెరిపేసుకున్నాడట
182. పెదవి దాటితే పృథ్వి దాటుతుంది
183. పెళ్ళంటే నూరేళ్ళ పంట
184. పెళ్ళికి వెళుతూ పిల్లిని చంకన పెట్టుకు వెళ్ళినట్టు
185. పేనుకు పెత్తనమిస్తే తలంతా గొరికిందట
186. పెరుగు తోట కూరలో, పెరుగు యెంత ఉందో, నీ మాటలో అంతే నిజం ఉంది
187. పిచ్చి కోతికి తేలు కుట్టినట్లు
188. పిచ్చోడి చేతిలో రాయిలా
189. పిల్లి శాపాలకు ఉట్లు తెగుతాయా
190. పిల్లికి చెలగాటం ఎలుకకు ప్రాణ సంకటం
191. పిండి కొద్దీ రొట్టె
192. పిట్ట కొంచెము కూత ఘనము
193. పోరు నష్టము పొందు లాభము
194. పోరాని చోట్లకు పోతే , రారాని మాటలు రాకపోవు
195. పొర్లించి పొర్లించి కొట్టినా మీసాలకు మన్ను కాలేదన్నదడట
196. పుణ్యం కొద్దీ పురుషుడు, దానం కొద్దీ బిడ్డలు
197. పువ్వు పుట్టగానే పరిమళించినట్లు
198. రాజు గారి దివాణంలో చాకలోడి పెత్తనము
199. రామాయణంలో పిడకల వేట
200. రామాయణం అంతా విని రాముడికి సీత యేమౌతుంది అని అడిగినట్టు
201. రామేశ్వరం వెళ్ళినా శనేశ్వరం వదలనట్లు
202. రెడ్డి వచ్చే మొదలెట్టు అన్నట్టు
203. రొట్టె విరిగి నేతిలో పడ్డట్లు
204. రౌతు కొద్దీ గుర్రము
205. ఋణ శేషం శత్రు శేషం ఉంచరాదు
206. చంకలో పిల్లవాడిని ఉంచుకుని ఊరంతా వెతికినట్టు
207. సంతొషమే సగం బలం
208. సిగ్గు విడిస్తే శ్రీరంగమే
209. శివుని ఆజ్ఞ లేక చీమైనా కుట్టదు
210. శుభం పలకరా వెంకన్నా అంటే పెళ్ళి కూతురు ముండ ఎక్కడ అన్నాడంట!

May 05, 2017

Belt and Road can ‘solve global woes’

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1045273.shtml


By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2017/5/3 23:53:40

China's One Belt and One Road initiative, which takes the form of six "economic corridors" connecting China and other countries with infrastructure projects and investments, will benefit the economies of the participants and stabilize many regions, experts said.

Given that the slow improvements in transport connectivity and infrastructure among different countries are a major obstacle to global economic recovery and cause conflicts and disputes, "the Belt and Road initiative will build infrastructure to bridge different economies and countries, and it can solve the global problems or at least stabilize many regions with economic growth," said Wang Yiwei, senior research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of the Renmin University of China.

The ambitious initiative, comprising the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, will contain six "economic corridors," according to an official document released in 2015.

The Belt focuses on bringing together China, Central Asia, Russia and Europe (the Baltics); linking China with the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea through Central Asia and West Asia; and connecting China with Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Indian Ocean. The 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road is designed to go from China's coast to Europe through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean in one route, and from China's coast through the South China Sea to the South Pacific in the other, said the document.

On land, the initiative will focus on jointly building a New Eurasian Land Bridge and developing China-Mongolia-Russia, China-Central Asia-West Asia and China-Indochina Peninsula economic corridors by taking advantage of international transport routes, using key economic industrial parks as cooperation platforms. 

At sea, the initiative will focus on jointly building secure and efficient transport routes connecting major ports. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor  require closer cooperation among the concerned countries, said the document.

However, due to geopolitical reasons, such as strategic games between major powers and sovereignty disputes between countries in some regions, there are obstacles to progress in the initiative, Lin Minwang, a professor at the Institute of International Studies of Fudan University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"As an important country in South Asia, India's economy accounts for 80 percent in the region, so if New Delhi is reluctant to get involved in China's development plan, other countries in the region will also be impacted when participating in the B&R initiative. That's why the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor's progress is very slow."

India is concerned that port construction and economic corridors will provide excuses for China to send its navy and increase military presence in the region, and India's status in the region will be challenged, Lin said.

Economic vision

However, the Belt and Road is not a military project aimed at any country. "The initiative is an economic vision of opening-up of and cooperation among countries. Countries should work together and move toward mutual benefit and common security," said the document. 

China is experienced in engaging Russia in the initiative. Russia was initially reluctant to be part of the initiative, as it sees Central Asia as its traditional sphere of influence.

"China connected the initiative with Russia's "Eurasian Economic Union," which won Russia's support, as Russia acquired more rights to know and a bigger say in the cooperation," Lin said.

India has its own strategies to promote trade and infrastructure: Project Mausam and the Spice Route.

Akhilesh Pillalamarri, an Indian international relations analyst, wrote in the Diplomat that these strategies are Prime Minister Narendra Modi's answer to China's 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. They are similar to China's Belt and Road, Lin said; unfortunately India lacks the capability and money to push them forward.

"So this is an opportunity for China and India to cooperate on the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor issue. Provide India more right to know, to decide and to speak, and build a multilateral dialogue mechanism between China, India and other countries in South Asia, just as was done for Russia and Central Asian countries. Then the mistrust between China and India would be minimized," he added.

Newspaper headline: B&R can ‘solve global woes’

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Conference on OBOR hosted in the European Parliament

http://eptoday.com/conference-on-obor-hosted-in-the-european-parliament/

by RAUL MCKENZIE

May 5, 2017

A conference titled ‘European Union and OBOR’, hosted by the Brussels-based South Asia Democracy Forum (SADF), was held in the European Parliament (EP) on May 5, 2017. The objective of the conference was to discuss and understand the China-initiated ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR)project, Beijing’s economic, geo-political and strategic motivations behind launching this initiative, and best responses by countries in the EU, to it. Moderated by Paulo Casaca, Executive Director of the SADF, among those who participated in the event were Ryszard Czarnecki, MEP and Vice-President of the EP, Fulvio Martusciello, MEP, Siegfried Wolf, Senior Researcher on OBOR at the SADF, and Mehran Marri, Baloch representative to the EU.

 

In his opening remarks, Casaca spoke of the need for greater clarity on OBOR, in view of its still ambiguous nature, and the rapid pace at which it was being used by China to make economic and strategic inroads into Europe.

 

Providing a perspective, Siegfried Wolf described OBOR as the most ambitious foreign policy initiative undertaken by China since 1949, and highlighted the fact that through this mega-project, China aimed to build a multi-polar world conducive to its national interests, using its economic prosperity over the previous decades to create more political and strategic space for itself, internationally. Discussing the various components of OBOR, he stated that while China describes it in relatively altruistic terms, namely as being based on the principles of mutual benefit and win-win, many of the participating countries and partners like the EU, remain sceptical. Identifying the drawbacks of OBOR, he stated that it had no formal institutional structure, China preferred to negotiate though bilateral arrangements with individual states rather than multilaterally, there was a lack of transparency in decision-making, leading to corruption, and China preferred negotiating with the national elite in the countries concerned, to the exclusion of local actors, leading to resistance from within. He also highlighted the fact that OBOR had long-term geo-political and strategic implications for Europe, creating political and economic dependencies, accompanied by the real threat of poorer EU states succumbing to the political leverage exercised by China, through massive infrastructure investments.

 

In his address, Ryszard Czarnecki, MEP, cautioned European countries not to take at face value, Chinese claims that OBOR would result in a win-win situation for all partners. He drew specific attention to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship OBOR project being implemented on the ground, which had run into deep opposition from locals, who saw it as a means of further exploiting their resources, in keeping with the Chinese track record in Africa. In his remarks, Fulvio Martusciello, MEP, referred to the currently stalled Belgrade-Budapest railway project, and stated that the unscrupulous methods adopted by China only further confirmed suspicions about the long-term objectives of OBOR. He opined that through OBOR, China would not only acquire companies in Europe, it would also try and impose Chinese regulations, standards and gradually increase its influence over countries in the region, making their economic growth dependent on China.

 

In his remarks, Mehran Marri referred to the first-hand experience of local Pakistani communities and the Baloch people, through whose lands the CPEC was passing, and highlighted their suffering and repression at the hands of the Pak army. Holding up the mirror to countries in Europe hoping to benefit from OBOR, he stated that as the CPEC experience clearly showed, China was not driven by any altruistic motives, and was not promoting OBOR to improve the lives of the local people. On this occasion, a short film on opposition to the CPEC in Pakistan, was also screened.

 

The event, held days ahead of the Belt and Road Summit in Beijing, witnessed a lively discussion, and was attended by MEPs, diplomats, academics, opinion-makers and journalists

How the intelligence services are diversifying

https://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/twt/no-longer-just-male-and-pale

No longer just male and pale

GCHQ’s Nikesh Mehta on how the intelligence services are diversifying

We live in an increasingly complex world, one marked in recent years by terrorist attacks across Europe inspired by a group hidden in the recesses of the internet and the turmoil of Syria and Iraq. In such hazardous times, the UK intelligence community must ensure we have the right people to keep Britain safe.

Following the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, the government announced that an additional 2,000 intelligence officers would be hired across the Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ, MI5 and the Secret Intelligence Service, or SIS, by 2020. This amounts to a 15 per cent rise in agency ranks – the biggest expansion since the 7/7 bombings.

But the number of new recruits joining our ranks is not the only factor that will determine our success in disrupting terrorist attacks or organized crime. Critically it is who those people are that matters – their experiences, backgrounds, perspectives, mindsets and approaches to the work we do.

This richness of our workforce is more than just a moral imperative for GCHQ and the other intelligence services − it is mission critical. That means we need to embrace diversity in all its forms, whether gender, race, sexuality or disability. To play our part in solving some of the hardest technology problems in the world, we need all talents and those who dare to challenge convention, think differently and be different. But that is easier said than done.

We face three big challenges in recruiting such a breadth of professionals. Firstly, as our mission changes so too does our demand for the best and brightest technologists – and it is here that we encounter difficulties in recruiting the best and brightest women. Britain, like other countries, has historically had a poor record of encouraging girls to take up STEM subjects – that is Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

The second challenge we face is competition. The UK intelligence services must compete with highly attractive and innovative technology companies for this diverse and skilled talent. Many of these companies enjoy a much greater degree of brand awareness than we do. Research shows that half of the UK population knows little or nothing about us.

Finally, we suffer from the ‘James Bond effect’, which skews perceptions and reinforces messages from pop culture that the intelligence agencies hand-pick recruits from Oxbridge and favour particular class brackets and backgrounds. As a result, many potential recruits, particularly from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME) simply rule themselves out of a career in intelligence.

Thankfully these challenges aren’t intractable. But they are complex and intertwined with cultural obstacles that will require sustained, collective action to overcome.

So what are we doing about it? While closing the gender gap in STEM requires effort at the national level, for our part, we are doing our bit to change the perception that cyber-security is ‘just for boys’. More than 8,000 school girls aged 14-15 took part in our CyberFirst Girls online competition, with the winning team crowned at the end of March.

We are working hard to promote ourselves as the employer of choice for top BAME graduates amid tough competition and challenge the ‘James Bond’ perception. In November 2016, six of our BAME staff collaborated with the BBC on a ground-breaking radio documentary. They talked honestly about their experiences and were able to tackle head on some of the perceptions that we know hold back their peers from joining us. I took part in a live on-air Q&A on the BBC’s Asian Network directly answering questions posed by the public and we are starting to see the impact of this effort in our current recruitment round.

We’re also establishing ourselves as a world-class employer for LGBT staff. This year, for the first time, GCHQ featured in Stonewall’s top 100 employers in their Workplace Equality Index. This is quite an achievement when you consider that up until the 1990s homosexuals were banned from working in GCHQ.

When we projected rainbow colours on to our headquarters in 2015 to mark International Day Against Homophobia, there was a surge of interest on our recruitment website. This was because people looked at it and thought ‘that’s an organization whose values I share and where I’ll probably be happy working’. They would be right − it’s a great place to work no matter your background.

While we should be proud of the progress we have made, we recognize that there is a long road ahead. GCHQ is committed to playing our part in ensuring the intelligence agency is diverse and inclusive. It is only by encouraging diversity of thought and emboldening the richness of our workforce that we will be successful in our mission to keep the people of Britain safe

- See more at: https://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/twt/no-longer-just-male-and-pale#sthash.yJSjYlAE.dpuf

How a Secretive Special Operations Task Force Is Taking the Fight to ISIS

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/9848/how-a-secretive-special-operations-task-force-is-taking-the-fight-to-isis


Special operations personnel in Iraq and Syria have been responsible for nearly one third of all the brutal terrorist group's casualties.

BY JOSEPH TREVITHICKMAY 1, 2017

YOUTUBE SCREENGRAB

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While body counts are not a particularly useful metric of a military operation’s success, they can be a good indicator of how intense things have been on the ground. So, if the official tally is accurate, the U.S.-led special operations task force fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria, which includes America’s shadowy Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), foreign partners, and private contractors, has had a massive and potentially lopsided impact on the mission.

On April 14, 2017, members of Special Operations Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve’s (SOJTF-OIR) headquarters element received new, distinctive unit patches at a ceremony at an undisclosed location somewhere in “Southwest Asia.” Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), the overarching U.S.-run force battling ISIS, which oversees SOJTF-OIR, released a number of pictures of the event.


Though they were full of small, interesting details – like the presence of both U.S. Army and Marine Corps special operators, along with British and Turkish officers – the most eye-opening information was in the caption. “Since its establishment, SOJTF-OIR has liberated over 45,000 square [kilometers] previously held by ISIS and has killed over 21,00 [sic; 21,000] ISIS militants," the text read.

Sometime afterwards, CJTF-OIR quietly deleted this information from the pictures. However, in an Email to The War Zone, one of command’s public affairs officers confirmed the figure and the apparent typo.

“SOJTF-OIR since its inception has greatly contributed to the degradation of the enemy, ISIS,” the media office added. “The…number is an estimate. Body count is not the focus of the coalition's efforts. It is the ultimate defeat of this barbaric and inhuman enemy, ISIS.”

U.S. ARMY

A U.S. Army member of SOJTF-OIR wears the unit's new patch at a ceremony in April 2017.

Though not the focus of their activities, SOJTF-OIR’s kill count is both massive and accounts for a huge proportion of the total figure across the entire American-led coalition. As of April 2017, CJTF-OIR estimated it had killed approximately 70,000 ISIS fighters since 2014. This means that SOJTF-OIR – and possibly its predecessor organizations – has been responsible for around 30 percent of all dead terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

Yet, the special operations forces do not receive nearly the same amount of attention as the air war, or even the increasing use of conventional artillery. Of course, we don’t know whether SOJTF-OIR counts terrorists who died in air or artillery strikes its personnel called in among the task force’s final count. But after digging into the available information, along with various documents The War Zone obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), we can share a more complete picture of the intelligence-driven campaign focused on killing the terrorist group’s leader and attacking other high value targets.

The most obvious, but least visible part of this effort has been the work of a JSOC task force. Publicly referred to as the “Expeditionary Targeting Force” (ETF) in 2015, these elite forces were going to Iraq and might even cross the border for missions into Syria, according to then Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.

“Special operators will, over time, be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture ISIL leaders,” he explained to lawmakers in a statement on Dec. 1, 2015, using another acronym for Islamic State. “That creates a virtuous cycle of better intelligence, which generates more targets, more raids and more momentum.”

As the Pentagon described it, this concept seemed very similar to the controversial special operations forces-led push against Al Qaeda in Iraq – the predecessor to ISIS – and other terrorists during the American-led occupation of the country between 2003 and 2011. This plan is often described as the brain child of Army General Stanley McChrystal, who commanded a JSOC task force in Iraq until he took over as head of the super-secretive command in September 2003.

"It’s  a tool that we introduced as part of our – the accelerated operations  to conduct raids of various kinds, seizing places and people, freeing  hostages and prisoners of ISIL, and making it such that ISIL has to fear  that anywhere, anytime, it may be struck," Carter added during a public briefing at the Pentagon on Feb. 29, 2016. "The only thing I’ll say is  the ETF is in position, it is having an effect and operating, and I  expect it to be a very effective part of our acceleration campaign. I  don’t have any more on that.”

Though Carter didn’t explicitly say JSOC was leading the force, he did admit elements of the command were operating in the region during a press conference with his French counterpart, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, on Oct. 25, 2016. “We have put our Joint Special Operations Command in the lead of countering ISIL's external operations,” he declared, using another term for ISIS. “And we have already achieved very significant results both in reducing the flow of foreign fighters and removing ISIL leaders from the battlefield.”

Thanks to FOIA, the War Zone has obtained a more in depth view of these operations from the U.S. Army’s official report on the crash of a mysterious spy plane with the civilian registration code – N6351V – and paint job to match crashed into a field outside the town of Kawrgosk in northern Iraq on March 5, 2016. Though accident report is both heavily redacted and significantly abridged to begin with for operational security reasons, the formal review confirmed the aircraft was supporting JSOC’s forces.

U.S. ARMY VIA FOIA

The formal chain of custody starts with U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM), the service’s top manager for aircraft of all types. Then it moves down through Program Manager-Fixed Wing (PM-FW) and Program Manager-Sensors-Aerial Intelligence (PM-SAI) and finally to U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). At the very end, JSOC is listed as the “organization involved” at the time of the incident.

Despite the sensitive nature of the mission, the Army’s protocols required an investigation into the Class A accident, meaning the incident either caused more than $2 million in damage to the plane or someone died. In this instance, thankfully, there were no fatalities, but the crash totaled the aircraft.

“The accident aircraft was…assigned to a task force (TF) located at Erbil International Airport, Erbil, Iraq,” Army investigators explained in their narrative. “The accident aircrew was scheduled to conduct their standard mission in the local area, which was captured on the TF's flight schedule.”

U.S. ARMY VIA FOIA

The wreckage of N6351V in a controlled hangar at Erbil Airport after the accident in March 2016.

The results of the investigation itself were inconclusive. Both of the engines on the modified King Air 300-series failed after smoke suddenly began filling the cockpit. After finding evidence of debris inside, the Army sent the two PT6A turboprop engines to the Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) facility at Bridgeport, West Virginia for further analysis. Investigators forwarded fuel and oil samples to a military laboratory for separate tests, which did not turn up any dangerous impurities.

“The number one engine forward gearbox housing fractured from the engine combustion housing, revealing extensive internal damage to the gearbox planetary gears. Removal of the exhaust stacks revealed extensive internal combustion housing and power turbine damage. The number one engine chip detector revealed a copious amount of metallic debris,” the investigators found when they began to inspect the wreckage at a controlled hangar at Erbil Airport. “The number two engine did not reveal any notable damage.”

U.S. ARMY VIA FOIA

The remains of N6351V's right wing.

But the details about the aircraft itself are particularly interesting, illuminating how JSOC is operating in Iraq and Syria, as well as procedures it might apply to operations globally. Though an official document describes it as an MC-12W Liberty aircraft, we now know that N6351V was actually a government-owned, contractor-operated Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System (MARSS).

This aerial-intelligence system includes day- and night-vision cameras, a combination laser range-finder and designator, as well as signals intelligence (SIGINT) equipment to find and monitor enemy communications. In 2009, the Army had initially hired contractors to fly this same gear in various aircraft, including both King Air 200- and 300-series planes and larger Bombardier Dash-7s.  

The MARSS went to Afghanistan to form the basis for the service’s Task Force Observe, Detect, Identify, and Neutralize-Enhanced (ODIN-E), which was primarily hunting for militants planting roadside bombs. ODIN-E built on the concept the original Task Force ODIN pioneered in Iraq. According a separate FOIA request, the Army said it had bought N6351V outright, along with a second MARSS aircraft with the registration N8007U, sometime between 2013 and 2014. A table from July 2015 noted both aircraft, along with eight other King Air 300-based aerial spooks, were all situated at Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia. The decision to collocate these two JSOC aircraft with the other planes, all of which shared many of the same basic airframe and engine components, would have eased maintenance requirements and kept them obscured from the Army’s own fleet.

In addition, fuel and oil purity tests from Corpus Christi Army Depot attached to the main incident report suggested that JSOC may swap these registrations between aircraft to help conceal their activities. In his 2015 book on JSOC, Relentless Strike, journalist and author Sean Naylor talks extensively about the command’s use of “covered air,” which involves elements “whose personnel and aircraft operate under cover.” The War Zone has already written an extensive look at what we know of the U.S. military's most secretive aviation elements.

U.S. ARMY VIA FOIA

In this case, the review included historical sampling data for N6351V from August 2014 to March 2016. The last three entries listed “N166BA” as the so-called “End-Item Serial Number” or EISN. In 2016, plane spotters repeatedly tracked this aircraft, as well as a second apparent Beechcraft King Air 300 spy plane with the registration N80BZ, over Iraq using websites like FlightRadar24.com. To persistently track Islamic State fighters and the movements of particular targets for long periods of time in order to build a so-called pattern of life,” JSOC would definitely need more than just one aircraft.

It is also possible the Army for some reason intentionally or accidentally combined the fuel and oil testing history for both at some point or that when the service purchased the airframe itself that it changed the serial. A picture of N166BA from 2009 does show a similar aircraft to N6351V, but in an overall gray paint scheme.

To persistently track Islamic State fighters and the movements of particular targets for long periods of time in order to build a so-called pattern of life, JSOC would need more than just one aircraft. An Army table from July 2015 included N6351V and what could be another contractor-operated MARSS –  N8007U – along with eight other King Air 300-based aerial spooks, all situated at Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia. The decision to collocate these two JSOC aircraft with the other planes, all of which shared many of the same basic airframe and engine components, would have eased maintenance requirements and kept them obscured from the Army’s own fleet.

US ARMY

A MARSS aircraft in Afghanistan.

Regardless of the origins of the aircraft itself, and just how many JSOC actually has under its control, the most interesting detail about N6351V from the accident report may be its crew. Of the four crew members, only one was actually a member of the U.S. military. This U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant acted as the aircraft’s “tactical systems operator” manning the SIGINT system. Censors redacted this individual’s name and there is no mention of their unit, but they could have been assigned to JSOC from Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) or one of the Corps’ three obscure communications-grabbing radio battalions.

U.S. ARMY VIA FOIA

The remaining individuals on the plane – the pilot, co-pilot, and full-motion video specialist – were all contract employees from ASKII Technology, Inc. Not surprisingly, on its website, this New Jersey-headquartered firm proudly declares past support for SOCOM, Task Force ODIN, and the Multi Sensor Aerial Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (MAISR) program, which supplied contractor support for Task Force ODIN-E.

Shortly after the crash, on March 23, 2016, elite troops, likely from the ETF, killed Islamic State's then number two leader, Rahman Mustafa Qaduli, during a raid in Syria. On April 6, 2017, another such special operation in Syria resulted in the death of Abdurakhmon Uzbeki, an ethnic Uzbek foreign fighter who the Pentagon described as a "close associate" of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. 

It is important to note that we don’t know the exact relationship between JSOC’s elements in Iraq and Syria and the over-arching SOJTF-OIR. In Afghanistan, a similarly unspecified “task force” tasked with targeted strikes against terrorists in that country is at least nominally part of the larger Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan (SOJTF-A).

U.S. ARMY

American special operators and members of the USAF pose for a picture during Exercise Eagle Resolve 2017 in Kuwait.

On top of that, even before Carter revealed the Expeditionary Targeting Force, there was already evidence the U.S. military was looking to start a more specialized campaign against ISIS. In July 2014, U.S. and Jordanian special operations forces tried and failed to rescue two dozen hostages from ISIS. Afterwards, the terrorists publicly beheaded a number of them, including Americas James Foley, Steve Sotloff, and Peter Kassig. Later that year, elite troops also failed in another rescue mission to free American humanitarian Kayla Mueller, who the brutal militants had forced to "marry" their leader Baghdadi and became a sex slave. She died in captivity in February 2015.

When it came to direct against against terrorist leaders, according to a summary table of civilian casualty allegations, at least one A-10 Warthog ground attack aircraft attacked a high value individual codenamed “ANDERS MESA” on or about April 12, 2015 near Hawija, Iraq. In May 2015, a ground raid in Syria, reportedly involving Delta Force and the British Special Air Service (SAS), killed then-ISIS deputy commander Abu Sayyaf and led to the capture of the militant's wife, Umm Sayyaf. The two had reportedly held Mueller captive at one point.

“HVI [high value individual] strikes have killed approximately 70 senior and mid-level leaders since the beginning of May,” Army Col. Steve Warren, then the main spokesman for CJTF-OIR, told reporters on Oct. 13, 2015. “That equates to one HVI killed every two days.”

Then, on Oct. 22, 2015, Army Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler died during a combined raid with Kurdish commandos on a terrorist prison camp near the town of Hawija in northern Iraq. It later emerged that Wheeler had been a member of Delta Force, which works exclusively as a force provider for JSOC operations.

U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND VIA FOIA

By 2014, the Pentagon had already created larger, multi-national special operations task forces for both fronts – Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Iraq (CJSOTF-I) and Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Syria (CJSOTF-S) – as well. When SOJTF-OIR stood up, the Pentagon dictated that its commander be dual-hatted as the head of the Combined Joint Interagency Task Force-Syria (CJIATF-S), effectively bringing the entire special operations enterprise pointed at ISIS under the guidance of a single individual.

While the primary job of these forces has been and continues to be training and advising local forces in both countries, these activities have brought American special operators closer and closer to the front lines. As already noted, it could be here that SOJTF-OIR has scored most of its kills by calling in air strikes and artillery fire during grueling battles for critical cities, such as Mosul, which was ISIS’ de facto capital in Iraq.

Some of the aerial attacks could conceivably have come from within the task force itself. In its Email to The War Zone, CJTF-OIR’s media office confirmed the existence of a Joint Special Operations Air Component within the unit, though they declined to specify what types or how many aircraft it had on hand. MH-60M and MH-47G helicopters from the Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), as well as at least one of the U.S. Air Force’s 27th Special Operations Wing’s AC-130W Stinger II gunships, have appeared in publicly available images and video clips. Some of the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper drones zipping around Iraq and Syria could have come from other Air Force special operations squadrons. In addition, the service's CV-22 Ospreys have joined Marine MV-22s to shuttle elite forces around.

The MH-60Ms can carry miniguns, 2.75” rockets and Hellfire missiles. Pentagon data suggested the 160th SOAR  fired a significant number of the rockets, which could include laser-guided Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System-II (APKWS-II) variants, in both Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan. Similarly, for a period in 2016, SOCOM reported special operations units around the world were firing an average of two AGM-176 Griffin missiles, which have laser- and GPS-guidance, every day.

The AC-130W, MQ-1 and MQ-9 can all carry these small weapons. The Stinger II also has a 30mm cannon and can carry Small Diameter Bombs (SDB) glide bombs, while the Predators and Reapers can lob Hellfires and GBU-12 laser-guided bombs, as well. All of these weapons could be potent in targeted strikes or while the aircraft were providing close air support for specialized missions, such as the raid on Al Tabqa Dam near the Syrian city of Raqqa. There might be heretofore unseen weapons in the mix, too. 

There’s always the possibility elite American troops, including snipers, could have claimed even more ISIS fighters with small arms and light weapons as they advance alongside Iraqi, Syrian, and Kurdish forces. And despite the willingness of President Donald Trump’s administration to send more conventional troops to the region, these special operations missions will likely remain a critical part of the broad campaign against the terrorist organization. After Trump’s election victory in November 2016, President Barack Obama had already reportedly expanded JSOC’s worldwide authorities to go after militants.

Trump’s Defense Secretary James Mattis has taken his own hard line against ISIS. In February, he gave the White House a new plan on how to break the terrorists in Iraq and Syria, as well as elsewhere around the world. "It is a plan to rapidly defeat ISIS," Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesperson, said during a briefing on Feb. 28, 2017.

However, Mattis has also expressed his general distaste for body counts. “For many years, we have not been calculating the results of warfare by simply quantifying the number of enemy killed,” he told reporters as he toured American military operations throughout the Middle East in April 2017. “You don’t want to start calculating things, as far as what matters, in the crude terms of battle casualties.” )

But whether SOJTF-OIR’s estimated kills are a useful metric, or not, it does make one thing clear, the Pentagon’s revised strategy for defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria continues to rely heavily on special operators hunting down relatively small terrorist groups or even going after specific individuals.

Contact the author: jtrevithickpr@gmail.com

How Africans are battling deep-rooted prejudices and biases in India

http://m.economictimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/how-africans-are-battling-deep-rooted-prejudices-and-biases-in-india/articleshow/58085950.cms


By Rajiv Singh, ET Bureau | Apr 09, 2017, 06.26 AM IST


John Uche Jesus, fashion designer. A Nigerian, John came to India in 2010 to study fashion from JD Institute in Delhi Turned entrepreneur in 2012 by starting his own fashion label Diamond Ark

It’s 8 pm on a muggy Tuesday. Saffron Restaurant in Jagat Farm shopping centre inAmritpuram is just 2.5 km from Ansal Plaza mall in Greater Noida, where a bunch of African students were brutally thrashed by a mob on March 27. A week later, it seems as if things have returned to normal for African students in the locality, who are celebrating a birthday at Saffron. 

The students are mostly from Noida International University. The boys are dressed in Bermuda shorts, funky sleeveless Tees and sporty caps. The girls are clad in Tees and jeans or long skirts and sport vibrant scarfs. An effort has been made, it appears, to be ‘fully covered’. At least by most of the girls. 

Charles Kennedy, vice-president of the Nigerian Citizen Welfare Association in Uttar Pradesh, spots a girl in a short dress, who evidently hasn’t followed the unwritten dress code. “Which country are you from ma’am,” he asks politely. 

“Tanzania.” “Please go back and dress yourself properly. You can’t be here like this.” Kennedy then fires a barrage of instructions to the youngsters: “Don’t stay late. Don’t go back alone, stay in a group, and take an Ola or Uber. Avoid an auto.” Kennedy, who is ‘big brother’ to most of the students gathered, is answerable to their parents back in Nigeria. He came to India as a student in 2008, began a professional career with Apollo Hospitals as a facilitator, assisting African nationals coming to India for medical tourism, and married a Punjabi. Now a father of three, Kennedy has a day job at Jaypee Hospital in Greater Noida. But it’s the other hat he wears, as a community leader, that’s taking more of his mind space these days. 

The African community may want to get on with life, and business — and the party. But it may not be quite that easy. Since March 27, Kennedy’s cellphone has been constantly buzzing with calls from anxious parents. “I have barely been able to sleep over the last week,” he confesses. 

Checking Stereotypes 

Though the attack on March 27, which drew global outrage and condemnation, was described by the heads of several African missions as racist and xenophobic, Charles stays away from making a sweeping statement. Had the country been racist, he lets on, he would not have been able to marry an Indian and live in India with his three kids. Admitting that the India he is seeing now is not what it used to be when he came to the country in 2008, Charles doesn’t want to tar all Indians with the same brush. “It’s a country that still gives me hope.” 

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj labelled the attacks as “criminal acts” and said that they could not be called racist — at least not before the inquiry was complete. That’s difficult for many of the 2.5 lakh-oddAfricans in the country to swallow, as they battle deep-rooted prejudices virtually on a day to day basis. 

Misperceptions that range from the stereotypical to the primitive abound. For instance, it’s common to typecast an African as a drug dealer, never mind that it’s only a fraction of the community that may be involved in peddling narcotics. The more bizarre rumour that spread in Greater Noida was that the community was partaking of human flesh, which led to the Greater Noida police actually entering homes for a check. 

“We are black. We are Africans. But we are not cannibals,” thunders Kennedy. It’s devastating, he adds, when the police barge into your home and search your refrigerator for human flesh. “There is an urgent need to dispel the ignorance about Africans.” 

Over 70 km from Greater Noida, at Vikaspuri in West Delhi, ignorance about the community is in ample display. “Ye habshi insaan kha jaate hain (These Africans are cannibals),” insists Avtar Singh, a shop owner. Singh proudly discloses his credible source: my father and grandfather used to say so. Habshi is a term used to describe Africans who traditionally came to India as merchants, fishermen and slaves. 

Gulveen Kaur, another resident of the Punjabi-dominated locality that has seen a steady influx of Africans over the last three years, harbours a similar perception. “Ye janwar hote hain. Jungle main rehna chahiye (These are animals. They should live in forests),” says the 35-year-old homemaker. There’s no particular reason for her prejudice as she has never encountered any problem with the African community in her area. Blame it perhaps on conditioning. 

Problem of Perception 
Oblivious to whatever his Indian neighbours think about Africans, John Uche Jesus has been busy with his small fashion boutique. A Nigerian, Jesus came to India in 2010 to study fashion The African community may want to from JD Institute in Delhi, and turned entrepreneur after two years by starting his own fashion label Diamond Ark. 

“At times, it is best to ignore, to pretend that you haven’t heard anything,” says Jesus, who named his three year old son Rahul after the eldest son of his landlord. Attacks like the one in Greater Noida notwithstanding, he prefers to look at the brighter side. “I am what I am because of India.” 

Had the entire country been hostile, he would have never been able to stay and do business. “The problem is not racism but the perception.” A n t h o ny Re g a l Ibokette, who came to India three years back to study information technology at Lovely Professional University in Punjab, agrees. Generalisation, he reckons, has done more harm than good to the African community across the world. The erroneous perception that all blacks are drug dealers would be equivalent to an equally misleading conclusion. “It won’t be fair to label the entire country as racist,” says Ibokette, adding that it was only because he had met enough “good” Indians back in Nigeria that he came to the country. 


While conceding that he was heartbroken to see the video of the Greater Noida violence which went viral across the world, Ibokette believes it was the work of a few who were uneducated and unexposed (to other lifestyles). “Such things can happen anywhere in the world. It can’t be said to be an India-specific thing.” Ibokette, one of three Africans who stay together at Rani Bagh in north-west Delhi, is emphatic that he has not encountered any racist comments or violent behaviour either in his locality or at his college. “We are the only blacks in this part of Delhi,” he says, “and I hope that things get back to normal as soon as possible.” 

Ibokette is not the only African who hopes that India will remain true to its nature: “magnanimous and welcoming”. 

Blessing Freeman too decided to continue her stay in Delhi, in spite of few shameful incidents that tarnished the image of the capital city over the last few years. 

In 2014, a mob attacked three African men in a metro station. The same year, Delhi’s former Law Minister Somnath Bharti led a vigilante mob in Khirki Extension in south Delhi, accusing African women of being prostitutes. But what caused a global outrage was the way in which a student from the Democratic Republic of Congo was beaten to death following an argument in May last year. 

Badly shaken after the Greater Noida incident, Blessing who is pursuing dentistry from a college in Ghaziabad was in a dilemma: to go back or to stay. A call from her mother in Nigeria reinforced her hope. “Don’t worry. God will protect you.” Staying with her younger sister since the past five years, Blessing contends that socially it will take India years to evolve and mature. Asserting that while the cultural norms in Africa are as strict as India, people back home in Nigeria don’t judge on the basis of clothes that one wears. “Here people keep staring and laughing. I don’t like it,” she says, adding that it has become increasingly difficult to hold onto the belief that the country has place for those with black skin. “But I have not given up hope.” 

Meanwhile, the ripples of the Greater Noida incident are being felt in Bengaluru, home to a 25,000-strong African population. The fury of Russell (he didn’t want to reveal his full name) is evident on a phone call with this writer. “We are not slaves, and we won’t tolerate violence,” says the 21-year-old studying in a private college. What really worries and scares him is that African students have not yet been violent in India, but he contends that they are fast running out of patience. “It’s no more about if, but about when,” he says, hinting that unless the students retaliate they will continue to be treated as punching bags. “Imagine if we start hitting Indians back in Africa. What happens then,” he asks, adding that Bengaluru too has been infamous for mistreating Africans. 

In March 2015, four African nationals were assaulted by a group of locals at Byrathi in Bengaluru. Last year in February a mob attacked a 21-year-old African woman and set her car ablaze. Last month, a Nigerian man died in an apparent accident, but the African community alleged it was a murder. 

Keeping emotions and tempers in check can be difficult in such times, and that’s precisely what keeps Bosco Kaweesi busy. A social activist and legal adviser to the Africa Students’ Association, Bosco came to India in 1995. “It’s tough to preach tolerance to people on both the sides: locals as well as young African students,” he says. The biggest challenge, he reckons, is to make the local population understand that it’s not fair to judge the Africans by their accent and tone. 

“It’s their normal accent that makes them sound aggressive. They are not violent,” he says, adding that the task becomes all the more complex because at times the local authorities too are not aware of the culture. 

Bosco, along with the local police authorities, has been conducting campaigns to sensitise the local population and the African community about the need to be tolerant and understand each other. “The more they mix, the more they will understand each other.” 

Seeing Beyond Colours 
Back in Delhi, slowly but surely perceptions may be crumbling. Harleen Goyal, a homemaker, impression that all Africans are drug dealers, to the recurring news African nationals being arrested on charges of drug peddling. It was quite rare, she confesses, to read about people from other nationalities being indicted for illegal drugs. “This made me believe that all Africans are into the business of selling drugs,” she says, adding that her perception reinforced because she had never interacted with an African. Her outlook changed when she enrolled her 11-year-old son for football coaching by a Nigerian, OA Jeshurun, aka Jessy, at Sujan Singh Park near Khan Market in January this year. 

“Jessy has been terrific,” she says, adding that she could not have hoped for a better coach for her son. Somebody who till recently would have been perceived to be an “alien from dark lands and jungles” is now a “polite, modest and nice human being”. “We have to see beyond black and white and get rid of our prejudices,” shrugs Goyal. 

Ranjana Kumari, a social scientist and director for Centre for Social Research, explains how the imagery of Africans being ‘uncivilised and alien’ got built. Indians were always made to believe that ‘foreign’ means ‘white.’ So for an Indian, a foreign land would be Australia, America, Canada or Europe. “It would never be Africa.” 

Another issue that helped shaped the perception about blacks was the colonial hangover of Indians. “Being ruled by white skinned for so long, we started emulating our masters,” explains Kumari, adding that caste system too played a part in perpetuating the stereotypes. In the Brahmanical scheme of things, people from socalled lower castes were the ones who were dark skinned, if not black. And those were the ones who had been exploited. “Caste and colonial ideology made only a fair-skinned superior.” 

So can Indians break away from their prejudices and stereotypes? Kumari reckons it won’t be easy. It will take at least a century for Indians to evolve sociologically. “We are racists,” she says. “The growth of fairness and skin-whitening market in India underlines our love for white skin. As long as we don’t accept the way God made us, the problem will persist. Africans in India are as hard-working and honest as any Indian.” 

Meanwhile at Sujan Singh Park on a Wednesday evening, Jessy is training hard with the kids. The toughest task is to make them realise that football is team work, and that they need to pass the ball to their teammates, he says. “Keep passing, keep rolling,” he screams. A professional football player from Nigeria, Jessy came to India in 2013 for greener pastures and turned coach in a few months. Conceding that the Greater Noida incident was devastating, Jessy calls for some introspection by the African community in India. “We must learn to assimilate and be sensitive to the local culture,” he says. Playing loud music or going overboard with celebrations shouldn’t cause inconvenience to locals. Jessy contends that the gulf between the two communities would get bridged as more and more Indians start talking in English. Though he himself has learnt Hindi ‘thoda thoda’, he reckons that mastering the language is a tough ask. 

As the coaching session comes to an abrupt end with children running for cover due to an unexpected evening drizzle, Jessy packs his bag, and waits for the parents to take back their children. “The kids are my responsibility,” he says. The trust displayed by the parents is a small beginning in tearing down barriers and fallacies built over decades, even centuries