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Altamash Hashmi
Tuesday , November 20, 2012

Israel vs Gaza: Fight for Lebensraum


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The Israel-Palestine crisis is once again at the center of world attention and the suspects are the usual: Israel blames Iran for arming Hamas and Palestine blames Israel for worsening the crisis and that Israel's ruling party was never interested in peace. The Palestinian ambassador also hinted at the usual American backing for Israel. It's been more than half a century since Israel was created out of British Palestine. It immediately gained recognition from the United Nations and the United States. Overtime, Israel's economic influence has majorly increased around the world. It's defense force is no less to be amongst the best in the world. But Palestine is still struggling for a statehood status from the UN and its economy runs mainly on financial aids. Even during this crisis, which reportedly began with the killing of a Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari on Nov 14th, President Obama reached out....


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Jamui Diaries: Bihar has changed for good


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As I walked through the streets of Jamui, a district in southern Bihar, I kept wondering what has changed in this region since my last visit in 2009. It was only after travelling a little inside Bihar that I could understand the changes taking place in Bihar. I last visited my ancestral town in Chewara, Sheikhpura, which is nearly 39 kilometers from Jamui back in 2009. It took us almost 5 hours to cover this distance back then. But today we covered that same distance in just 45 minutes. Similarly, we covered a distance of 159 kilometers from Patna to Jamui in just 4 hours, unlike our previous experience of covering the same distance in at least 6 to 7 hours. We literally found roads everywhere we traveled in south of the river Ganges which was comparatively less developed than the north. This was not a common sight back....


Thursday , May 17, 2012

India losing track of national interest in the Iran-US melee


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The growing rift between Iran and the United States took me back to my days at the United Nations(UN) in New York last year. I remember my conversation with an American journalist at the UN who would simply not stop criticising countries which do not serve the national interest of the United States, especially Iran. This made me think about India's relationship with Iran and our own national interest. India has been constantly cutting down its oil imports from Iran for the past five years which reached its peak of 34 per cent last month. But the United States maintains that India needs to do more to get sanctions waiver. In fact, India is planning an overall reduction of 11 per cent more in oil imports from Iran for the financial year 2012-13. But the question is: 'Why India should cater to their demand?' Iran has been....


Friday , May 11, 2012

The 7 days that changed the way I look at Maldives


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It has been more than two months since the Maldivian island experienced political turmoil but the scars of the crisis still seem to run deep. The new President of the Maldives, Mohammed Waheed Hassan Manik, is visiting India for the first time and he has all the reasons to be worried about the kind of questions he might face during his visit. He has been accused by his predecessor Mohamed Nasheed of orchestrating a coup in February in which he had allegedly aligned with the military and the police to throw Nasheed out of power. But the situation in the Maldives seemed a little different when I visited this island country sometime back. On the very first day of my trip to Male, the capital, I met Attorney General of the Maldives Aishath Azima Shakoor who told me that the change in government was open to debate until an....


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