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  • Do you mean to say that the state and the government of Pakistan did this?

    Let me give you an example... Was Lebanon directly responsible for rocket attacks on Israel? No. Was Hezbollah responsible? Yes. Wasn't Hezbollah part of the govt of Lebanon and active in Lebanese politics? Yes. Did Lebanese govt disarm Hezbollah? No. Doesn't it make Lebanon responsible? Like abcdgc pointed out, ISI is very much a part of Pakistan.

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  • Why we must reclaim religion from the right-wing (http://www.rediff.com/news/column/column-why-we-must-reclaim-religion-from-the-right-wing/20101229.htm) By Yoginder Sikand | Rediff

    Decades after the two States came into being, relations between India and Pakistan continue to be, to put it mildly, hostile. This owes largely to the vast, and continuously mounting, influence of the Hindu religious right-wing in India and its Muslim counterpart in Pakistan.

    Seemingly irreconcilable foes, the two speak the same language -- of unending hatred between Hindus and Muslims -- each seeking to define itself by building, stressing and constantly reinforcing boundaries between the two religiously-defined imagined communities.

    Much has been written on the ideology and politics of right-wing Hindu and Islamic movements and organisations in both India and Pakistan, by academics and journalists alike. Yet, almost no attention has been given to how individual Hindu and Muslim religious activists at the local level, as distinct from key ideologues and leaders at the national-level, imagine and articulate notions of the religious and national 'other'.

    Understanding this issue is crucial, for such activists exercise an enormous clout among their following.

    The Lahore-based Mashal Books, one of Pakistan's few progressive, left-leaning publishing houses, recently launched a unique experiment: Of recording and making publicly accessible speeches delivered by maulvis or Muslim clerics at mosque congregations across Pakistan's Punjab province, including some located in small towns and obscure villages.

    These speeches deal with a host of issues, ranging from women's status and scientific education, to jihad and anti-Indianism, all these linked to an amazingly diverse set of understandings of Islam.

    Hosted on the Mashal Books Web site MASHAL BOOKS (http://www.mashalbooks.org), these speeches reflect the worldviews of a large majority of Pakistani maulvis, representing a range of sectarian backgrounds, who now exercise a major influence on the country's politics and in shaping Pakistani public opinion and discourse.

    Of the dozens of speeches hosted on the Web site, only two are classified as relating particularly to India, but these may still be taken to be representative of how a great many Pakistani maulvis conceive of India and of relations between India and Pakistan. Predictably, in both speeches India is depicted in lurid colours, as an implacable foe of Pakistan, of Muslims, and of Islam.

    Not surprisingly, then, efforts to improve relations between India and Pakistan or to work towards rapprochement between Hindus and Muslims are vociferously denounced. The two maulvis appear to insist that Islam, as they understand it, itself requires that Pakistani Muslims must never cool off their anti-Hindu and anti-Indian zeal.

    The first of these two speeches, by the Deobandi Maulana Muhammad Hafeez of the Jamia Masjid Umar Farooq, Rawalpindi, refers to India only in passing. He presents Muslims the world over as besieged by a host of powerful non-Muslim enemies.

    It is almost as if their 'disbelief' (kufr) in Islam goads all non-Muslims, wherever they may be, to engage in a relentless conspiracy against Islam and its adherents, a war, like Samuel Huntington's infamous 'Clash of Civilisations', in which compromise and reconciliation are simply impossible because Islam and 'non-Islam' can, in this worldview, never comfortably coexist.

    It is also as if Muslims have a monopoly on virtue and non-Muslims on vice. 'Islam will rise,' Maulana Hafeez thunders, 'and America and India will fall,' conveniently forgetting (assuming he knew of the fact) that India probably has more Muslims than Pakistan and that if India falls, it will drag its tens of millions of Muslims along with it, too.

    The second speech is by a certain Maulana Mufti Saeed Ahmed of Jamia Masjid Mittranwali, Sialkot, who belongs to the Ahl-e Hadith sect, which closely resembles the Saudi Wahhabis.

    Pakistani Ahl-e Hadith groups, most notoriously the Lashkar-e Tayiba, have been heavily involved in fomenting violence across Pakistan, Kashmir and in India as well.

    Hatred for India and the Hindus seems to be an article of faith for many Pakistani Ahl-e Hadith, as Maulana Ahmed's speech clearly indicates.

    At the same time, it must also be recognised, as is evident from instances that the Maulana cites, that these deep-rooted anti-Indian and anti-Hindu sentiments are constantly fuelled by brutalities inflicted by non-Muslim powers, including the United States and fiercely anti-Muslim Hindu chauvinists in India, on Muslim peoples.

    These brutalities need not always be physical. They can also take the form of assaults on and insults to cherished Islamic beliefs, which inevitably provoke Muslim anger. The appeal of people like Maulana Ahmed lies in their practiced ability to use these instances of brutality directed against Muslims to craft a frighteningly Manichaean world, where all Muslims are pitted against all non-Muslims in a ceaseless war of cosmic proportions that shall carry on until Muslims, it is fervently believed, will finally triumph.

    Recounting a long list of anti-Muslim brutalities (but conveniently ignoring similar outrages committed by Muslims on others), Maulana Ahmed exhorts his listeners to unite and take revenge. 'O Muslims!,' he shrilly appeals, 'get up and take in hand your arrows, pick up your Kalashnikovs, train yourselves in explosives and bombs, organise yourselves into armies, prepare nuclear attacks and destroy every part of the body of the enemy.'

    His speech is peppered with fervent calls for what he terms as 'jihad' against both America and India, these being projected as inveterate foes of Islam and of all Muslims.

    He prays for America to 'be destroyed', and ecstatically celebrates the recent devastating terrorist assault on Mumbai by a self-styled Islamist group that left vast numbers of people dead, unapologetically hailing the dastardly act as a 'big slap on the cheek of the Hindus'.

    Not stopping at this, he calls for continuous terrorist violence against India, including, he advises, unleashing 'bloodbath to (sic) Indian and American diplomats in Kabul and Kandahar'. Only then, he argues, can Pakistan's rulers 'relieve the pressure' on them and being peace to their country.

    The 'enemy', as Maulana Ahmed constructs the notion, could be any and every non-Muslim, particularly Americans, Jews and Hindus or Indians. It is as if every non-Muslim is, by definition, irredeemably opposed to Islam and is necessarily engaged in a grand global conspiracy to wipe Islam from off the face of the earth. It is as if non-Muslims have no other preoccupation at all.

    All non-Muslims are thus tarred with the same brush, and no exceptions whatsoever are made. It is almost as if Maulana Ahmed desperately wants all non-Muslims to be fired by anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic vitriol, for that is his way to whip up the sentiments of his Muslim followers and fire their zeal and faith.

    It is as if further stoking such hatred is crucial to his ability to maintain a following and to claim to authoritatively speak for Islam and its adherents. 'The hatred among the people against the kafirs has reached a new height,' the Maulana exults.

    For the Maulana, fomenting hatred of non-Muslims is his chosen way of realising what has for centuries remained the elusive dream of Muslim unity. That this hatred, which he so passionately celebrates, inevitably further stokes the fires of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim prejudice, already so widespread among non-Muslims, appears of no concern to him at all. In fact, he seems to positively relish the frightening Huntingtonian thesis of the 'Clash of Civilisations'.

    Deobandi and Ahl-e Hadith outfits today enjoy tremendous clout in Pakistan, and they have been at the forefront of Islamist militancy that now threatens to drown the country in the throes of what promises to be an interminable civil war.

    As the speeches of these two Pakistani clerics, one a Deobandi and the other from the Ahl-e Hadith, so starkly indicate, inveterate hatred for India and the Hindus, indeed for non-Muslims in general, is integral to the ways in which vast numbers of Pakistani Muslim clerics understand religion, community, nationalism and the world.

    Such hatred is inevitably further fuelled by acts of brutality directed against Muslims by non-Muslims, including by the United States, India (particularly in Kashmir) and by militantly anti-Muslim Hindu chauvinist groups.

    Muslim and non-Muslim right-wing radicalism and militancy thus enjoy a mutually symbiotic relationship, opposing each other while, ironically, unable to live apart, needing each other even simply to define themselves.

    Religion is too powerful an instrument to be left in the hands of hate-driven clerics to manipulate as they please, most often for fuelling conflict between communities and states.

    As the frightening records of Hindutva chauvinists in India and the Pakistani clerics discussed in this article so strikingly illustrate, leaving religion to the right-wing to monopolise is a sure recipe for bloody and endless conflict.

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  • Originally Posted by razis123
    be it Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan Somalia,Darfur,Chechnya, Kashmir, Gujarat... everywhere muslims are killed for being muslims...noone goes to cuba,srilanka,north korea,zimbawe or whereever for watever reason...just imagine God forbid someone comes into your house, occupies it, kills your family, your brothers and sisters in front of you and kicks you out of your home and you are seeing no hope of justice... you wont stand outside your home sending flowers like munna bhai's gandhigiri.. trust me you will become a terrorist.

    by your explanation, what should hindus in india do? they were attacked, temples destroyed, forcefully converted, killed, lost land to islamic republics like pakistand and bangladesh??? Please read this on wikipedia...Thankfully not whole world thinks like you do.


    An estimate of the number of people killed, based on the Muslim chronicles and demographic calculations, was done by K.S. Lal in his book Growth of Muslim Population in Medieval India, who claimed that between 1000 CE and 1500 CE, the population of Hindus decreased by 80 million. His work has come under criticism by historians such as Simon Digby (School of Oriental and African Studies) and the Marxist historian Irfan Habib for its agenda and lack of accurate data in pre-census times. Lal has responded to these criticisms in later works. Historians such as Will Durant contend that Islam spread through violence.[5][6] Sir Jadunath Sarkar contends that that several Muslim invaders were waging a systematic jihad against Hindus in India to the effect that "Every device short of massacre in cold blood was resorted to in order to convert heathen subjects."[7] In particular the records kept by al-Utbi, Mahmud al-Ghazni's secretary, in the Tarikh-i-Yamini document several episodes of bloody military campaigns.[citation needed] Hindus who converted to Islam however were not completely immune to persecution due to the Caste system among South Asian Muslims in India established by Ziauddin al-Barani in the Fatawa-i Jahandari.[8], where they were regarded as an "Ajlaf" caste and subjected to discrimination by the "Ashraf" castes[9].

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  • Bush boxed in his congressional foes (http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-na-congress21dec21,1,2311328.story) Democrats took the Hill but were stymied by a steadfast president By Janet Hook | LA Times, Dec 21, 2007

    WASHINGTON � Just over a year ago, a chastened President Bush acknowledged that his party had taken a "thumping" in the congressional elections, and he greeted the new Democratic majority at the weakest point of his presidency.

    But since then, Democrats in Congress have taken a thumping of their own as Bush has curbed their budget demands, blocked a cherished children's health initiative, stalled the drive to withdraw troops from Iraq and stymied all efforts to raise taxes.

    Rather than turn tail for his last two years in the White House, Bush has used every remaining weapon in his depleted arsenal -- the veto, executive orders, the loyalty of Republicans in Congress -- to keep Democrats from getting their way.He has struck a combative pose, dashing hopes that he would be more accommodating in the wake of his party's drubbing in the 2006 midterm voting.

    Bush's own second-term domestic agenda is a shambles: His ambitions to overhaul Social Security and immigration law are dead; plans to update his signature education program have foundered; few other initiatives are waiting in the wings.

    But on a host of foreign and domestic policy issues, backed by a remarkably disciplined Republican Party in the House and Senate, Bush has been able to confound Democrats. It has been a source of great frustration to the party that came to power with sky-high expectations and the belief it had a mandate for change. And it is a vivid reminder of how much clout even a weakened president can have -- especially one as single-minded as Bush.

    "We have custody of Congress, but we don't have control," said Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Valley Village). "Bush has shown, time and again, that he's a very stubborn guy. November 2006 didn't change that."

    Many Republicans have been surprised and impressed with Bush's continuing power -- even when he has used it to ends they disagreed with.

    "At the beginning of the year, most of us viewed the president as having less control over the process than ever," said Rep. Michael N. Castle (R-Del.), a moderate who voted against Bush on healthcare, the budget and other issues. "But this year, he realized more goals than in a lot of the years when he had Republicans controlling Congress."

    At a news conference Thursday after Congress adjourned for the year, Bush had kind words for much of Congress' work and did not gloat over his success in keeping Democrats' ambitions in check.

    "What ended up happening was good for the country," he said.

    Democrats blamed this year's congressional gridlock on Bush, but his inflexibility on key issues was just one factor.

    Republican lawmakers showed scant interest in compromise. Democrats were riven by internal divisions. And Bush did little to unite rather than divide the factions on Capitol Hill. He did not much resemble the kind of politician he was as governor of Texas, when he forged a strong relationship with the Democratic lieutenant governor.

    Immediately after the 2006 election, it looked as if Bush might offer Democrats an olive branch and set a more bipartisan tone. He let go controversial Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. He called incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) at home on Christmas. After years of ignoring congressional Democrats, he began inviting them by the dozen to the White House to hear them out.

    But the honeymoon did not last long. Democrats were furious when, after an election they believed was a mandate to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq, Bush in January announced a buildup. A few weeks later, he went around Congress and issued an executive order giving the White House greater control over the rules and policies issued by regulatory agencies. White House meetings with Democrats turned partisan -- and then petered out. Bush repeatedly reached for the bluntest of presidential tools -- the veto.

    His first veto this year nixed a war spending bill that included a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq. Democrats' promise to press the issue all year lost steam after testimony in September from the top commander in Iraq, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, instilled confidence in Republicans whose commitment to the war had grown shaky. Without more GOP defections, Democrats in the Senate were powerless to undercut Bush's war policy.

    Bush also wielded his veto power to great effect on domestic issues.

    He blocked Democratic efforts to expand stem cell research, a popular bill that had broad bipartisan support. The failed effort to override that veto provided a window onto a dynamic that was key to Bush's source of strength throughout the year: Many moderate Republicans parted ways with the president on the stem cell override vote -- as they later did on his veto of the children's health bill -- but there were enough conservatives who agreed with him to sustain his vetoes.

    Bush issued a barrage of veto threats to curb Democrats' domestic spending plans -- an effort that helped him regain some favor among fiscal conservatives who had lambasted him for allowing the Republican-controlled Congress to jack up spending to record levels.

    "Fiscal conservatives can see the president getting stronger on spending this year than in the previous six years," said Brian Riedl, a budget expert at the Heritage Foundation.

    Democrats had wanted to add $22 billion to Bush's funding request. But he drew a line in the sand and guarded it for months. He vetoed a bill packed with spending for education, health and other popular programs. The final budget approved this week adhered to his overall spending limit -- and dropped riders on abortion and other issues he objected to. And it included the money for the Iraq war with no strings attached.

    Bush also held the line against Democrats' efforts to raise taxes, which they proposed to offset the costs of new health spending, energy programs and a middle-class tax break. Faced with Bush's veto, Democrats could not enact taxes on such inviting targets as cigarettes, wealthy hedge-fund managers and big oil companies.

    Bush's Republican allies were almost giddy with their unexpected success.

    "Who would have thought a year ago that Democrats would have come down to the president's budget number, that we would be ending the year by funding the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that we could complete the year without raising taxes on the American people?" said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). "And all despite having a Democrat majority in Congress."

    Heading into the 2008 elections, Democrats will have to keep their supporters from becoming demoralized over not being able to deliver more with their majority.

    "It's hard for them to understand, and it's even harder for us to live with," said Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.).

    But Democrats are trying to turn their tribulations into a campaign issue by telling voters that the party will not really have a working majority until they expand their Senate caucus from the current 51 to 60 -- the number they need to block GOP filibusters and other stalling tactics.

    The tag line on a fundraising pitch by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee: "51 seats is not enough. Help us turn our country around."

    Acknowledging that GOP victories this year consisted simply of blocking Democrats, some Republicans say they will have to develop a more positive agenda to build a successful political brand. Said Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), "The product we're selling is negative."

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  • Married for Money:

    "It's just too hot to wear clothes today," Jack says as he stepped out of the shower. "Honey, what do you think the neighbors would think if I mowed the lawn like this?"

    "Probably that I married you for your money," she replied.

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  • What India Inc. Was Up To in 2010 (http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2010/12/29/what-india-inc-was-up-to-in-2010/) By Tripti Lahiri | IndiaRealTime

    We looked back at almost a year of India Real Time blog posts on business and the economy and here, summed up in five points, are the highs, lows and key things to take away from all the court judgments, reports, numbers and other data that the Indian economy and India Inc. generated this year.

    The Ambani fraternal feud ended, sort of. A Supreme Court judgment in May said a gas price set by the government would prevail over one in an agreement between Mukesh Ambani and younger brother Anil Ambani, ending the long-running legal dispute between the two over at what price Mukesh should sell gas to his younger brother.

    Years on from their father�s death in 2002, and after an acrimonious split of the Ambani business empire in 2005, things seem to be easing between the two. This year the two brother scrapped a noncompete agreement. That move allows firms from each brother�s empire to work in areas that the other brother is already involved in.

    Car sales, viewed as an indicator of overall economic health, chugged along. Even though upgrades to meet new fuel emissions rules made cars more expensive and rate increases made loans more expensive, cars sold like crazy, according to sales figures released each month. Although small, compact cars continue to be India�s top preference, SUVs made a lot of headway in India this year, to the distress of India�s environment minister, Jairam Ramesh.

    Speaking of Jairam Ramesh, the environment minister has been very energetic, to industry�s distress. Mr. Ramesh was quick to act on a panel report that said the India-focused metals firm Vedanta had violated provisions of India�s forest rights law. He halted the company�s bauxite mining plans in Orissa. The Lavasa hill town project in Maharashtra also got a stop-work order from the environment ministry in the wake of complaints from a nonprofit.

    Mr. Ramesh is now debating whether or not to put the green hex on the already vexed Korean steelmaker Posco, which has been trying to bring plans to build a steel plant in Orissa to fruition for five years. What he does�a decision is expected early in the new year�on the steel plant will could help show industry whether Vedanta was a one-off or whether Mr. Ramesh means to continue as he has begun.

    RBI Governor Duvvuri Subbarao is watching inflation like a hawk. It�s true the central bank governor, who likes to crack a joke or two and quotes Chinese leaders from time to time, didn�t raise rates at the last monetary policy review two weeks ago. (He had said in November that the Reserve Bank of India wasn�t likely to do so for about three months.)

    However, inflation has been a key concern all year and the Indian bank has been fairly aggressive about tightening. With a goal of bringing the headline inflation rate, which was 7.48% in November, down by 2 percentage points by March, expect Mr. Subbaro to resume a tight hold of the reins.

    Indian women have a really hard time juggling family and work, and that�s probably not good for the economy. It�s pretty clear that Indian women aren�t shy about leading�a woman runs the ruling party and another woman heads India�s top private bank. More women are CEOs of top companies here than of Fortune 500 companies. But several reports and conferences over the year have said that India needs to do more to take advantage of educated women it has, particularly as firms in the formal sector complain of a shortage (as a country of a billion people, there�s no unskilled labor shortage though).

    Many of them agreed that Indian women face extremely high pressure on the family front, even compared to women in other emerging economies, and that it can be quite hard for them stick with positions and climb up the ladder as a result.

    India Raises Renewable Energy Target Fourfold (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203513204576048870791325278.html) By ERIC YEP | IndiaRealTime

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  • Are you joking????? When was Pakistan stable, that India could destablize it??? A country whose creation itself was based on greed and lies, has just given military coups one after another, because of greed, its politicians, army chief's never gave a chance for Pakistan to stabilize. Hate and terrorism is propagated in all madarasa's, for once just consider all the conflicts and issues between India and Pakistan are solved, do think Pakistan will be stable then, not at all because shite and sunni will start killing each other and destabilize Pakistan. So open your eyes and accept the truth, pakistan was never peaceful since its creation, pakistan is and will remain a problematic country, because its creation is based on greed and hatred. Funny though how pakistan percieves things, previuosly it was trying to call terrorism as freedom fight and now terrorists itself as non-state actors, oh yeah and the famous musharaf's so called democracy. Pakistan is en route to self destruction, sooner pakistani's understand it, the better.

    The Pakistani security establishment believes, and there is probably some truth in it, that India is already supporting groups that are trying to destabilize Pakistan. And because of that, they view India as an existential threat to Pakistan, and justify their own activities.

    Its quite a vicious circle.....

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  • My situation goes something like this.

    1) I got 7th year extension in Sep 2005
    2) Visited India and got stamped and got new I-94 on return.
    3) Applied for 8th year extension without submitting new I-94.
    but applied with old replacement I-94 came with I-797.
    4) So the same I-94 continued on subsequent I-797 extensions.
    5) Recently applied for 9th year extension with the same.

    My Question is, do I need to submit last entry I-94 card that I missed which is expired now, for correction? Or is there any issue with this.
    All these years I have the same employer.

    I appreciate your help on this.


    There are two things

    1. when you got your 7th year extension 797 with I 94 , you were supposed to submit that I 94 ( on 797) along with the i 94 in your passport.
    This is important most people dont do it .
    2. when u aplied for 8th year extension u submitted the 797 of the 7th year along with the i 94 attached to it( which you were suppose to submit when you left the country for 7th year stamping) hence the I 94 number did not change. Your I 94 are out of synch.

    I would suggest to talk to an immigration attorney and i mean a real good one .
    Otherwise you could talk to an immgration officer and expalin your case.
    Or you could now go out get stamped and get a new I 94 9make sure this time you submit both the I 94s when you leave)

    I had a very peculiar situation where i had to travel outside the country when my H1 extension was pending and it got approved when i was out of the country and when i got a new i 94 when i came back with a new number than the one with i 94 on 797 ( which was of a later date)
    I spoke to immigrtaion officer and he heard me my circumstances and said i was in status and my i 94 were in order.
    Last year i went to my home country and got stamped and got a new i 94 but i submiited the two i 94s when i left the country.

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  • Hello Hiralal,

    Indeed! But if the individual 'affordability' is such that you can pay the monthly payments even after moving out of US due to job loss/485 denial, and if the purchase lowers your tax bill, then it may make more sense to buy the house...

    Personally, I've always had intentions of buying real estate in US, EU and India.... have it in India, considering it in US and exploring how to buy it in EU... :) Wish had much more 'cash'... :D
    just thought I would add this as a joke :) ..Personally I have always wanted one house on the Moon and one in Mars ..Earth is too crowded and some countries have big problems in giving us plastic cards which are green in color ;) ..I just want to get away from that.
    That is a nightmare !!! unless you are bill gates, Tata, Ambani etc etc ..if u have a relative in US in the same location then maybe you can manage but still it is problematic ..on top of it, how do you earn money in say India to pay mortgage in US ??
    if my GC (or say residency in any country) is denied, I would not want any immovable property in that place ....break - ins, mntc problems, maintenance etc ..I know there are some agencies which will take care of the property for you but their fees are high. I would rather have my money in liquid form and take it with me (or have the ability to take it with me).
    as someone else said ..maybe an option would be to stay back and sell the house (at a loss I guess) ..and risk going out of status (but re-entry would be problematic).
    I had a question though ..if GC is denied and EAD is valid for 2 years ..can you stay till EAD expiration date ? (I know u have option of MTR ..but say that is denied too ) ..in other words, how long can you stay after GC is denied

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  • China Respects European Unity (http://csis.org/files/publication/pac1062.pdf) By Jonas Parello-Plesner | Center for Strategic and Int'l Studies

    The European Union can work together � at least when it is pushed together. China�s heavy-handed effort to get European nations to skip the Nobel peace prize ceremony in Oslo earlier this month did the trick. Not only did member states show up, but Serbia and Ukraine, countries with EU ambitions, were encouraged to attend as well. Yet this was atypical of a relationship in which China, with newfound power, has found it easy to divide and rule the EU.

    While the European Council focused on the euro crisis last week, away from the limelight, EU leaders were adopting a new China policy. Discussion began four months ago when EU leaders took up Europe-China relations. Then the issue was overshadowed by the internal EU topic of the day: Romas. Dealing with China was relegated to short talks and coffee breaks.

    This reveals a lot about the EU�s strategic outreach. The EU looks inward and seems destined to be an enlarged Switzerland rather than the missing link between the US and Asia in shaping global affairs. China has recognized this, and increasingly sees Europe as an investment opportunity rather than as a global partner.

    On a recent trip to Beijing, I met a range of prominent Chinese officials and academics. Not one asked me how Europe intended to influence US strategy toward Afghanistan or about European views on the upcoming referendum in Sudan. To Beijing, Europe is not so much post-modern as post-global.

    How can the EU�s strategic shrinkage be reversed? EU Council President van Rompuy�s comment in September on the need for �reciprocity� � giving to China only when the EU gets something back � was a good start. In line with this, the draft for the new EU trade policy looks at the possibility of closing off the European public procurement market if China does not give the EU reciprocal access to its market. This tough EU language has not gone unnoticed in Beijing. I was repeatedly asked about it by Chinese interlocutors. China understands a clear but consistent message.

    By itself this new approach will not be enough. The EU must pursue a set of commonly agreed aims. Europe needs to set urgent, coherent strategic priorities, setting aside strategic patience and trust, the key words of the new approach.

    The process of setting new trade policy priorities needs to be extended to the political realm. Member states must select a few priorities on which they really want to engage with China. Non-proliferation, climate change, good governance and human rights are good candidates.

    The big players in Europe have been bypassed economically in the last decade by China. They still have traction individually but much less than their national egos afford � this is true even for Germany, which currently is on its own fast track with large scale exports to China.

    The Wikileaks exposed how the US looks at the political dwarfs of Europe. The Middle Kingdom has a similar take. The feud over Dalai Lama visits in 2007 and 2008 showed that China was capable of hanging out to dry even Germany and France. The old days � the 1990s � when the EU could levy sanctions on China and enforce a change in behavior are gone. The last vestige of this era is the arms embargo. A new era has begun in which China can levy smart sanctions on European countries.

    Resisting the bilateral inclination is difficult. Bilateral visits like David Cameron�s recent tour to China and the Chinese president�s visit to Paris are locked in the logic of bilateral trade promotion. But seeing links to China mainly as a bilateral issue rather than a European-wide concern means accepting a weak position vis-a-vis Beijing. China deals with Europe as it is, not how we dream it is. When European states pursue their own agendas, China will get free traders in the Northern countries to block moves that it sees as too strong, while ensuring that indifferent Southerners dilute policies on human rights.

    A purely bilateral vocabulary seems increasingly anachronistic when an Airbus is assembled with subcomponents from all over Europe. Member countries must acknowledge that signing up to the EU is a binding commitment. A high-level EU official conceded that the just adopted internal strategy paper was kept relatively bland because of suspicion that it would be leaked to China. As a result, it couldn�t contain a more detailed game plan for how to secure EU interests through trade-offs and linkages.

    The EU�s bilateral instinct can be overcome. The internal pressure for multilateral compliance should be stronger once the External Action Service is up and running. But the EAS is no deus ex machina. Member states must be continuously engaged to pursue reciprocal engagement with China. The European Parliament, with its new say over foreign policy, could play an important role by naming and shaming member states that subvert the EU�s strategic priorities in exchange for bilateral advantages.

    A joined-up China policy is urgently needed. Events tend to overtake the EU while it ponders policy and its strategic approach. This year, it was Chinese investments in Europe, particularly in government bonds from Greece to Spain. China�s investment in Europe is a natural diversification from a dollar verdose. Chinese investment should be welcome, but the EU should be an intermediary so that this process is not framed as a bilateral favor that creates political dependency between China and member states. Eurobonds, which have been widely discussed as a solution in the euro crisis, could be a useful tool in this.

    For EU foreign policy �czar� Catherine Ashton and her team, fleshing out the elements of a common EU China policy and being able to apply it in time means anticipating events and providing guidance for how individual actions and bilateral visits play to (or undermine) Europe�s strength. For example, the EU needs a code of conduct for dealing with Liu Xiaobo after the Nobel debacle. Such a code of conduct could be minimal. The important point is that it is adhered to.

    Member states must make strategic choices that do not favor short-term national rewards at the expense of Europe�s strength. The member-states need to move China up the policy agenda and act in unison if they want to reap the benefits of stronger ties to China and avoid being divided and ultimately ruled.

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  • Hi Manu..

    can u pls clarify when u find some time..

    from what I understand and you posted, he changed employers from A to B to C.
    He reentered the US with a visa stamping of AorB and din't get a new H1 visa stamping with C..is that so..?

    but until now 99% of us, are in the same thinking that as long as you have a valid stamping in the passport u r good for rentry..

    so they dig and dig into our passports .. ? we ourselves get dizzy looking into all the pages of our passports.

    Like UN said..wonder what we/they achieve with lawsuits,but we can expect a lot of digging into our cases during AOS...

    (lawsuiting/challenging is no good idea with USCIS/DOS,they will not budge even a mm,they r huge monster govt organizations,it is best to move with the flow and instead work on ideas of allowing to file 485 when dates r not current etc..)

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  • Fighting for change

    At home, religion had started to drive a wedge in Rubina's family. Irfan, when he talked to her at all, often chided her for not covering her hair. He wanted her to quit school and marry a man whose version of Islam was as strict as his. With her father's support, she refused.

    "We don't really talk that much right now," Rubina said of her brother, who declined to be interviewed for this article.

    Her father arranged for her to marry a moderate Muslim, a man who had a promising job as a hotel manager and to whom Rubina felt attracted. Still, his family insisted that she withdraw from college to start preparing for her nuptials. With her brother and father pushing for the marriage, she agreed.

    She gave up her dreams of an English-language degree, a steppingstone for working-class Indians seeking better jobs in the country's booming call centers and outsourcing industries.

    The trajectory of her life suddenly seemed predictable, she thought, from fiancee to wife to mother and, as is tradition in many Muslim families, caretaker of her husband's home and family. But she still refused to cover her hair.

    Not long after she was engaged, 10 gunmen - young Muslims suspected to be part of a Pakistani jihadi group - crossed the Arabian Sea and came ashore in Mumbai, India's financial and cultural capital. During a three-day siege of the city, the assailants killed 166 people and injured scores - including Muslims - in part as retribution for atrocities in Gujarat, according to recordings of their cellphone conversations, which the Indian government later released.

    It was a turning point for India's Muslim community. For the first time in anyone's memory, many Muslim leaders came together to express anger against Pakistan, where the attackers were said to have been trained. Muslims in Mumbai even refused to bury the gunmen, nine of whom died in the attacks. The backlash was also directed at extremists within the Muslim community.

    "Many Muslims were very worried that we would be attacked after the siege of Mumbai," Rubina said. "We stayed at home, closed our shops. But after watching the Muslims of Mumbai protest in the streets, some here found the courage to protest against the terrorists and explain where we stood."

    The anti-extremist movement spread to other Indian cities with large Muslim populations, including Ahmedabad. Rubina and other women in her neighborhood saw it as an opportunity to speak out against extremism at a time when fatwas, or religious decrees, against women were on the rise.

    "Why do Muslim woman have to be so docile and submissive?" asked Khan, the social worker, who opened a chapter of a national Muslim women's group just down the street from Rubina's house. "Everyone is complaining about terrorists. This is the moment for Muslim women to speak up about our rights, too."

    The women's group filed, and later won, a lawsuit against the city accusing it of failing to provide electricity, water, and sewage and trash services in Muslim communities.

    Emboldened by that success, Rubina soon began studying health issues as part of a government campaign to help young mothers in the neighborhood care for sick children, offering health tips and medicine.

    "Many families here still think it's not safe for a girl to be out in offices or on the roads," she said one recent day, braiding her long hair and loading her briefcase with notes about neighbors in need.

    She walked past the mosque where her brother prayed. Nearby, children played hopscotch over open sewers clogged with plastic bags and crushed soda cans. She paused and tried to remember what her life had been like, how safe she had felt before the riots. Now 22, she wondered whether her life would have been different.

    "Would we have a better life?" she asked. "Would Muslims have a better life?"

    Just weeks ago, Rubina married the hotel manager. "My husband and his family will let me work. That is what's important," she said. "I don't want to sit home. There is a lot of work to do in the community. We are still recovering."

    Her brother attended the wedding ceremony and praised her work as a health activist, one of the few times he has let on that he was proud of her.

    Rubina glowed in a red sari, her hands stained with henna. She danced with the women in a midnight celebration at her home. And her father and brother danced in a nearby room.

    Muslim Women Gain Higher Profile in U.S. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/28/world/middleeast/28iht-muslim28.html) By BRIAN KNOWLTON | New York Times

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  • I think we need to find out rival Anchor/Channel for Lou Doobs and inform him with all the facts.

    here is someone who gives the real picture.


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  • I like Mccain to be the president. Based on his experience and his involvement for the country.

    Also Mccain is a great candidate for us.

    "involvement" ...how does that qualify some one to be president, I am not for McSame or Obama but I know one thing for sure... Who ever is the next president has his work cut out and what this country needs is a visionary leader, not some one with the same of what has got this country into this mess.

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  • Sure sometimes change can bring hard-luck, but remember that if you want to change your luck at my expense purely based on your length of wait and regardless of skill level as established by law, then DON'T expect me to not push back. Another letter countering the position can always be written in an individual if not collective capacity.

    I also wonder where was all this thought about change and hard-luck when EB2-I was shafted last year and numbers spilt over to EB3ROW.

    Well, why is there 33% quota for EB1,2 and 3 in the first place. They could have very well made it 100% for Eb1 and if there was any spill over, EB2 gets them and then finally EB3! Because, US needs people from all categories.

    Now all that I am saying is there should be some % on the spill over that comes from EB1.

    If there are 300,000 applicants in EB2 and if the spill over from EB1 is 30K every year, you think it is fair that EB2 gets that for over 6-7 years without EB3 getting anything? That is not fair and if that's what the law says, it has to be revisited. I am saying give 75% or even 90% to EB2 and make sure you clear EB3 with PD as old 2001 and 2002. That is being human. They deserve a GC as much as an EB2 with 2007 (and I am not saying that EB3 2007 deserves as much as an EB2 2007).

    Bottom line, EB3 (or for that matter any category) can't be asked to wait endlessly just because there are some smart kids in another queue! We can come up with a better format of the letter; we can change our strategy to address this issue; we do not have to talk about EB2 and mention only our problems. We want EB3 queue to move.

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  • Lou's opinioins are well known. He's ripped every one across the spectrum.
    The congress, the president and everyone is crazy. Except Lou Dobbs. Lou Dobbs is the only one who is doing the sane talk.

    Read the crazy man's column here:

    The whole world is crazy except me (http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/05/30/dobbs.May31/index.html)

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  • The job description can be put in the way that points to your plus points. If you go the Harvard Biz. school you will have those. I dont think they want you to leave. There will be other avenues out there.


    i am a physician and in the same boat as you. my employer searched high and dry before i came along. but you are missing something here. except universities that can hire the "best candidate", every other employer has to employ a citizen/gc applicant with the "minimum qualifications for the job". please revisit the rules if you do not understand this. your talent and extra skills count for nothing. employers cannot take the best applicant...if an LCA is needed. this is a very significant problem if applied to H1B renewals. Any tom dick and harry can displace you every 3 years. think about it please, not just your own situation. i am strongly in favor of H1B reform. i believe that this if linked with a bill like strive dramatically increase support for retrogression relief. however the reform needs to be thought through carefully. a 6 mnth LCA process for each renewal would kill us. let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater...

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  • From the wikipedia:

    As of October 13, 2006, the Gujarat High Court ruled formation of UC Banerjee committee "illegal" and "unconstitutional". As of now all its probe results stand invalid.

    Thanks for the link, that is exactly my point. One committee/institution comes up with one story and another one denies it. It goes on and on till the common man forget the whole thing. And then a new issue comes up..

    Lets wait and see how 'Supreme Court' appointed R.K Raghavan commission plays out.

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  • Employers dont just go around spending thousands of dollars on H1B fees and greencard fees to hire a guy with foreign accent if a native citizen was available. And they do not underpay them, because they HAVE to pay prevailing wages based on the wages determined by the Department of labor.

    Just wanted to let you know that the employer has to pay at least the prevailing wage for a starter to qualify the petition. The employer also has to pay a median wage to the H-1B holder that is commensurate with similarly qualified employees in the company. Otherwise the employer could be prosecuted for wage violations.

    Norm Matloff's figures are faulty because he measures only the prevailing wage as a yardstick which is the bare minimum for qualification. And then he claims H-1Bs are undercutting American employees. No wonder, if you make calculations with lower figures, on the average, H-1Bs look as if they are getting paid less than American employees. To get the actual picture, Norm needs to know actual wages of H-1B employees, which is not possible because not all employers divulge employee pay. As long as the figures can be taken to one's advantage, we always will have these critics running around with distorted graphs and figures.

    One reform Zazona.com should support and fight for in EB Greencards is making the application employee-centric, not employer-centric. Current procedure is in a way bondage to the employer, especially when USCIS takes a long time with multiple stages (read delays) that too not bothering about how long the application has been pending. If USCIS processing improves and they try to reach out to their customers, then a wait of one or two years for Greencard should not be an issue. Infact, I support instant GC proposal in that case.

    Regarding the claims of stealing jobs, I see tons of job advertisements weekly. Many of these ads specifically exclude non-sponsorship candidates (read H-1Bs). US citizens have a bigger market and better opportunities than H-1Bs. I am not sure how it is not possible for them to get jobs. As Logiclife mentioned, the unemployment rate is 2% in IT field. Perhaps people are not prepared to move to areas where jobs are growing. I can not specukate any more on that.

    Solution to all this is HR 5882. Even if will not make date current for all it will clear major backlog so people will see some hope in next year

    Please call your lawmakers and educate them ... once we reach house floor we might not have time to call all lawmakers.

    Permanent lc for for the future job. Current job is different than future job though they are similar. H1B is for current job.

    But it does not impact much if Skil bill comes. Most of the persons PD will become current and anyone who gets H1b will get GC within 1 or 2 years. So no need for H1b extension. If Skil bill comes with Durbin proposal then most of the negative issues will be resolved by increasing more gcs. Infact substitution elimination also not needed if Skil bill comes as PD will become current always.

    I am talking about people whose permanent labors are approved but they can not get green card for whateever reason. My labor application for future job was applied 3 yeags ago in the past As per my employer job was available 3 years ago and government took its own time to adjudicate the application. Does my last statement sound illogical? Your analysis is same , I mean illogical .

    Who knows what bills congress is going pass and not . I would rather live with status quo rather than things getting worse for me . They dont even let me file for 485 because of per country limits etc...

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