In India, "Terror alert puts Delhi on vigil."
Poor India. Many people dutifully respond to terror alerts, with vigils for instance. Still. After all these years. After all that has been uncovered about CIA, MI5+6, Mossad, ISI, RAW, etc. It seems that many people do not realize who terrorizes them, because they turn to them pleading for protection instead of watching them like hawks.
Meanwhile, David Coleman Headley, who Indian authorities would like to question about his role in the Mumbai attacks, has an uncle who describes David as literally like two people. He can be a smooth talking Westerner in an Armani suit one minute, and a bearded Pakistani local the next minute, and he will be totally believable either way.
Headley and his uncle exchange letters. Regarding the Mumbai case, the uncle reports that Headley says, "There will probably be a lot of surprises."
Meanwhile, India's access to Headley is being worked out "at the highest levels."
The United States is working at the “highest level” to provide India with access to Lashker-e-Taiba operative David Headley, even as it is sharing “real-time” information with India, U.S. Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer said on Monday.All bottlenecks have been cleared.
Subramanium, who arrived from a five-day trip early Saturday, told reporters: "All bottlenecks (for access to Headley) have been removed and we have a way forward now. So it's up to us to operationalise the plan forward." He said "the access should be possible" once a team of investigators is ready to interrogate Headley, who has confessed to his role in the 2008 Mumbai attack, which left 166 people dead. The top Indian law officer was appreciative of the "unstinted cooperation" from the US. "There has been unstinted cooperation and we have had a very fruitful round of discussions between the American as well as the Indian authorities," Subramanium said after discussing with officials of the US Justice Department, including his counterpart Eric Holder, on the modalities for interrogating Headley....India wants to question Headley to know more about the LeT's terror plot christened "Karachi Project".
Recently in India, Sashi Tharoor lost his job. Sashi Tharoor was a junior foreign minister. He was born in London. He used to work for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva. He almost landed Ban Ki-moon's job as UN Secretary General. (wikipedia) You can see from a cursory look at his wikipedia entry, that Sashi Tharoor has enjoyed an illustrious establishment career with many awards and honors and accomplishments. Clearly he is very intelligent. Good for him.
Tharoor wrote a column two days into Operation Cast Lead describing how some people in India looked with longing on Israel taking vengeance on Hamas and wondering why India can't do the same to Pakistan. (India longs to follow Israeli path of reprisal.)
Vengeance on little children? (source)
But then, after Operation Cast Lead turned out to be a crime against humanity and not some tidy three or four day targeted military strike, Tharoor issued an apologia. I guess despite his monumental intelligence, he didn't see that one coming.
I would repeat that my column was not about Israel, but about India, which in 2008 had already suffered more casualties to terrorism than any country other than Iraq.A victim narrative for India then, vis a vis Pakistan? Let us consider. From my post foreshadowing:
Interesting. Which country has suffered more from terrorism in recent memory? India, or Pakistan?
India had the Mumbai attack in 2008 (173 deaths). India blames Pakistan for Mumbai.
Meanwhile, in 2009 alone, over 3,500 people have died from terrorist attacks in Pakistan.
And who is responsible for all the terrorism in Pakistan? Good question.
In any case, that was then. He recently lost his job because of his girlfriend or fiancee, Sunanda Pushkar, and her involvement with a cricket team that he supports. In a nutshell:
His girlfriend, Sunanda Pushkar, 48, was given shares worth $15 million as “sweat capital” in anticipation that she would promote the new Cochin Indian Premier League team supported by Mr Tharoor. She had no prior experience of sports management or marketing, and Mr Tharoor was forced to resign because the impression that he was the intended beneficiary could not be dispelled.Pushkar a victim of sexism then?
...When his girlfriend’s windfall was unexpectedly disclosed, Mr Tharoor went on the offensive, accusing Indian cricket chiefs of trying to force his winning Cochin consortium to stand aside for more favoured bidders. When commentators questioned whether the payment could be justified, Mr Tharoor accused them of sexism. The media could not understand that a beautiful woman could be successful and deserving in her own right, he complained.
A true victim of sexism. (source)
Who is this woman Sunanda Pushkar? Why should we care?
Her father is a retired Lieutenant Colonel, Poshkar Nath Dass. He chased reporters away and appealed for people to respect Sunanda's privacy, saying:
“Sunanda has gone through many ordeals and faced a troubled life. She should be left alone. Please leave her alone. We have finally got her settled after great effort. We do not want any more trouble for her. Please understand the agony of a father. My daughter has suffered a lot in the past. I want her life to be a happy one devoid of troubles. The media should not forcibly chase us for statements.”
Sunanda Pushkar (source)
What is this suffering about? I am not quite clear on that. Her first husband, Sanjay Raina, divorced her after a short marriage. Reportedly, she may have had a lover on the side. She went to Dubai and married Sujit Menon, a businessman. He died in a road accident, possibly after she racked up a lot of credit card debt. Reportedly she may have had a lover on the side. She went to Canada and lived with Brian McDowell, who also worked in Dubai realty, for four years. She holds a Canadian passport, and she may have worked with Tharoor's wife, Christa Giles, a Canadian civil servant he married in 2007, and whom he is currently divorcing and reportedly planning to marry Sunanda Pushkar. After McDowell possibly couldn't keep up, Pushkar returned to Dubai.
Sunanda, who is in her 40s, runs a spa in Dubai. She also holds an executive's post with an infrastructure company owned by the Emirate government. She has also worked with advertising firms, a travel agency in Dubai as well as with an IT firm in Toronto.So she was widowed and has one son. This has not stopped her from becoming a successful businesswoman. Her story doesn't seem all that tragic to me but granted, I could be missing something important.
I think the most important point is this one:
Sunanda, 48, said she had met Tharoor two years back through a friend Sunny Varkey, and "we got along immediately".
According to this extensive document, that detail would matter, because Sunny Varkey would quite possibly be known to the intelligence agencies.
Sunanda Pushkar was introduced to Taroor, by the Dubai based Keralite Sunny Varkey who is the most notorious womanizer in the Gulf....Sunny Varkey is linked to Dawood Ibrahim as his front man for investments and runs Pakistani schools....All the NRIs in Dubai are in to all types of illegal activities, like audio video piracy, human trafficking, import and export of all spurious products, etc. Sunanda Pushkar's link to Sunny Varkey shows that Sunanda Pushkar is in to really bad company. (page 2)
Dawood Ibrahim then? Dawood Ibrahim... rings a terrorism bell ding ding ding... Let's check with aangirfan:
Dawood Ibrahim, allegedly a CIA asset, has been linked to the 1993 and 2008 Mumbai bombings. Now the American David Headley, allegedly a CIA agent, has been linked to the same bombings....
On 21 December 2009, DNA INDIA had an article entitled US playing own game in sharing intel with India which asks if the CIA is involved in a larger, murkier conspiracy.Let's pause here to recap. Sunanda met the newly resigned and highly intelligent, successful, decorated and connected foreign minister, Sashi Tharoor, through a mutual friend, Sunny Varkey. Sunny Varkey allegedly knows the infamous terrorist Dawood Ibrahim. And some time after meeting Varkey, Tharoor wrote an editorial about those rotten Pakistani terrorists during Operation Cast Lead, those Pakistani terrorists who torment the Indian people almost as much as the Hamas terrorists torment the brave and long-suffering Israelis. (Too bad about all those innocent civilians who were murdered.) And here we find out that the mutual acquaintance, Sunny Varkey, may actually provide some financial services to the infamous Pakistani terrorist, Dawood Ibrahim. OK?
'Dependable sources' told DNA that almost 80% of the intelligence alerts received by India about terrorism in recent times had originally come from the US. "The alerts have mostly turned out be false or unsubstantiated." DNA reports that, according to Indian officials, India let US intelligence tighten its grip on India's intelligence.
According to DNA, sources say that the motive behind American warnings has come under greater scrutiny after Indian intelligence agencies became convinced that Headley was an American agent.
Could this be true?
Who is Sunny Varkey?
Sunny Varkey, noted educator and entrepreneur (source)
Sunny Varkey is a highly respected businessman.
Dubai, January 26, 2009: The Government of India has honoured Mr Sunny Varkey, Chairman of The Varkey Group, which includes GEMS Education and Emirates Healthcare Holdings Limited (operating Welcare and City Hospitals and clinics), with the Padmashri award. It is one of the country's highest civilian awards, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to education and social service.Varkey is also a Kerala Christian. Kerala is a region in south India. The movement traces its roots back to the Jewish diaspora in Kerala evangelized by St. Thomas.
Mr Varkey joins a select list of non-resident Indians to be honoured with the Padmashri, a reiteration of his stature not only in the Middle East but also in India, and across the world.
Mr. Varkey owns and manages the largest network of private schools in the United Arab Emirates and has almost 100 international schools around the world under the aegis of GEMS Education - a company that has contributed significantly to the socio-economic progress of the region.
Mr. Varkey received the Rajiv Gandhi Award for Eminent Educationist last year, and has also received the CEO Middle East Award for Corporate Social Responsibility, the Global Indian Business Award and the Most Outstanding Businessman of the Year by Asian Businessman Awards, Middle East - all for his achievements in education and healthcare.
Traders from Judea arrived in the city of muzirus, in what is now Kerala, in 562 BC. Most Jews, however, came as exiles from Israel in the year 70 C.E. after the destruction of the Second Temple. The distinct Jewish community was called Anjuvannam. the descendants of Sephardim that were expelled from Spain and Holland in 1492.So, perhaps a few Sabbateans then, mixed in among the Kerala Christians?
In June 2004, Varkey had plans to create a "new wave" of private schools to be rolled out throughout the UK. David Miliband had a speech about how the UK government is keen on building partnerships between state and privately run schools.
In Dubai, GEMS has faced severe criticism from parents for arbitrarily increasing fees during the economic crisis. From a fellow blogger, March 2009:
It has been in the news for last couple of months. The issue of a school in Dubai, which raised its fee structure to more than 90 percent and the parents' ongoing agitation over it and the various outcry which followed it.
The institution belongs to Sunny Varkey, owner of the GEMS group of schools, which run around 30 schools in UAE alone, including some upcoming ones, apart from multi-speciality hospitals and other things.
They have arbitrarily raised the fees in almost all their schools and raised it to astounding levels in this particular school. And naturally, the parents are agitated. No wonder. The reason cited for the rise is that this school would be relocated to a more spacious location and with more amenities. Education of course implies basic amenities, everywhere, but definitely it is not amenities that count, but rather, education, itself, for which GEMS and its schools were and are always way behind. But in pickpocketing the parents, there were and are in the forefront.