Following a blueprint of their Pakistani counterparts, the Bangladeshi military is forcing political leaders into exile. On the other hand, the US government, while claiming goals of democracy in Iran, Iraq, etc, stays quite vis-a-vis Bangladesh.

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I am not usually a great defender of United States policies, but I have to admit that in the field of right to information, the US is far ahead of the Indian babus who obstinately block access to Indian archives under the lame pretext that this could ‘endanger national security’. A few months ago, the Office of the Historian at the US State Department released Volume XI of the Foreign Relations of the United States devoted to the ‘South Asia Crisis, 1971’: in other words, the Bangladesh War.

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Recent threats by the Bush administration to cut off billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan have sparked panic in government circles. Likewise, according to the Pakistani ambassador in Washington, military strikes by the United States aimed at Al Qaeda and Taliban havens inside Pakistan’s tribal areas would destabilise Pakistan and “possibly could bring [General Pervez Musharraf] down.” But how worried should the Pakistani authorities really be in the face of growing US pressure to root out Islamic militants?

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Canada wants India to consider a free-trade agreement between the two countries if global trade talks continue to falter, a Canadian lawmaker said. The so-called Doha round of talks among the World Trade Organization’s 150 member governments, which are aimed at lowering tariffs worldwide, have stalled because of disputes over farm subsidies. Canada has said it will seek out bilateral or regional agreements in Asia if those discussions fail.

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Who says that President George Bush and his men and women promote democracy only by destructive wars? They do so also through creative, unconventional diplomacy. Look at their latest achievements in Bangladesh and Nepal. In both these countries bordering India, whose ruling establishment has enlisted in the Bush crusade to save democracy (especially “emerging” democracies), the cause has hit a major roadblock. And it is representatives of Washington who have placed a mega-sized boulder on the path to much-awaited elections in both cases.

(click here to read more from Truthout)

The US has indicated for the first time that it might be willing to back plans by elite echelons of the military in Islamabad to oust Pervez Musharraf from power, as the Pakistani President was beset by major new difficulties over his attempts to sack the country’s chief justice.

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Pakistan would not provide military bases to the USA if it launches attacks on Iran, Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri has said. He said an attack on Iran would leave negative impacts politically and economically not only on Pakistan but in the region as well.

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