September 19, 2017

‘Vistar dalam’ centre-stage in conf on Naxal strategy

Soumitra Bose | TNN | Updated: Sep 3, 2017, 02.08PM IST


NAGPUR: The formations and functional aspects of Naxalites' 'Vistar dalam', active at the tri-junction of Gondia (Maharashtra)-Balaghat (Madhya Pradesh)-Rajnanadgaon (Chhattisgarh), was discussed in the inter-state conference on Naxalites held at Gadchiroli on Friday. The conference was organized and conducted by DIG, Naxal range, Ankush Shinde.

The main aspects of the conference, also attended by officials from Kanker district of Chattisgarh, revolved around 'operational coordination' and 'information sharing'. Officials from Gondia too had participated in the conference. It's learnt that the officials from Border Security Force (BSF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) too were present from both Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.

Shinde, who had chaired the conference, said much emphasis has been laid on the intelligence collection and activities of the vistar dalam which is required to be nullified. "We have discussed the Standard operational procedures (SOPs) to remove glitches in the communication. In future, the aim would be to improve communication," he said.

It was also learnt that inter-state operations along the borders and other joint actions were also discussed. The information regarding the dalam members, key leaders, their locations and movements too were discussed among the officials. The inputs regarding formations of other new outfits and groups among the Naxalites, active in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, too were exchanged.

Information regarding urban cadres too were exchanged along with the reds' latest strategies and plans of the Naxalites from the seized materials and literature

The Hidden Magic of Uncertainty

Geoff Pilkington

Futurist, Neo-Generalist, Minimalist, Millennial, Indigo Kid, Actor, Blogger, Podcaster, and Content Creator.

Sep 15

“All Great Changes Are Preceded By Chaos.”

~ Deepak Chopra

Who made the rule that we had to have an answer to everything? Who made the rule that we had to know who we are, what we want to do with our lives, what career we want to have, what religious doctrines (if any) we want to follow, who we want to marry, and what are hobbies, interests, or lack thereof entail? Who said there are these rules about being decisive? Everyone likes to give people reasons to “find themselves”. I want to take a step back today and examine the idea of the question. I digress. I know I’m asking a lot of questions here. But what if the answer was in that questioning and undecided state? We do not have answers without questions right? So as you’re wondering if you are interested in someone, if you should take this job or that job, or if you should get a salad at Whole Foods vs. drive through at Taco Bell take a step back and realize that we are constantly finding answers within our uncertain states. Want to know why?

Let me tell you a secret:

Uncertainty = Vulnerability

That’s where the magic is.

By not allowing ourselves to be vulnerable we deprive ourselves of feelings. Without feelings, we are lost. We are talking heads. In a society that endlessly pounds away at us to have the answer to the question, who’s to say “I don’t know.” is not the right answer? What is Vulnerability? What are some examples of it?

The dictionary defines it as:



the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

What does this evoke? Fear. And fear is scary. It goes without saying. But only by facing these fears, does change occur. So what are some examples of vulnerability?

In a recent presentation Melanie Childers (MA, MDiv, BCC, LPC) gives some great examples:

Telling my CEO that we won’t make payroll next month

Laying off employees

Presenting my ideas to the world and getting no response

Standing up for myself and for friends when someone else is critical or gossiping

Being accountable

Asking for forgiveness

Having faith

Waiting for the biopsy to come back

Saying no

Calling a friend whose child just died

First date after my divorce

Getting fired

Trying something new

Sharing an unpopular opinion.

Wow. Uncertainly requires bravery. It’s hard to be brave in 2017.

But ultimately…

Vulnerability = Facing Fears

Anyone ever been SkyDiving? I have. In Australia above the Great Barrier Reef. I must say it was a peaceful experience. Surprised? It was a lot of fun. And a rush. What is it about skydiving? Most people’s reaction is it seems like something incredibly scary. But once you’re in the air if you open your eyes it’s really not. Truly. It’s a “BLISSFUL” experience as Will Smith describes in the video I’m about to share.


~Will Smith

Take a look at Will Smith talking about FEAR and SkyDiving:

I can personally confirm what he is saying is 100% correct. What can we learn from this? Ultimate serenity is on the other side of fear.

With that being said here are a couple of phases of our humanity and and proof that being a little uncertain in each phase that proves that uncertainty actually is a hidden answer in and of itself.

1. Vulnerability In Romance aka. The Problem with Dating Apps

Oscar Wilde once brilliantly proclaimed that the very essence of romance is uncertainty. Dating Apps are cool but wow do they strip away the real you. You can hide behind whatever you want. You don’t ever have to meet the person. You can put whatever your best photo is forward. You can show yourself doing fun things in exotic places. All this is wonderful, but it’s rare we see someone laying on their couch watching TV and eating Doritos.

Here’s another secret. The best moments expose real vulnerability and often lead to romance and connection.

Regarding the boom of online dating apps in the past few years, writer Cassie Werber in her article “Dating Apps Make People Less Attractive In Real Life”writes:

This is quite different from the traditional romantic trajectory, in which two people get to know each other and become closer over time. “Tinder feels more like a huge menu than mutually dependent reciprocal choice,” Hall says. Based on general evaluability theory, “people devalue their partner when they rate their conversation partner against attractive others, because they had other people they would have wanted more.”

The bottom line is to find a potential mate we have to love. We have to be out in the world and raw and real. I also truly believe that most of the time the person you meet in online dating is not what you expected when you see them in person. This is not always the case however it is very easy to be let down. Want to know why? Several reasons.

Our mind creates an imaginary, idealistic view of the person on the other end making it virtually impossible to ever match it. There’s many times when a person idolizes a movie star, band, or TV personality only to meet them and be let down when they realize they are actually just another person. Same goes with dating apps but on a smaller scale.People tend to make themselves look better on dating apps instead of being true to their own inner being and inner vulnerability.We are currently living in a spur-the-moment age of wanting it all fast and now. People want something right now and are easily distracted. They play into the idea that there is always something better around the corner.

But being vulnerable is not easy to do. We have to face things we don’t want to face. Living in the raw so to speak isn’t fun at first. But once we’ve jumped out of the airplane, realize we have a parachute, and see the beautiful view, fear turns to bliss.

The fact is:

Facing Fears = Not Comfortable

Finding love online is a tough game going in. That’s not to say plenty of people don’t meet their future soulmates on apps. But it is a hard platform to find connection on. The best thing you can possibly be is you and being you comes with allowing yourself to not necessarily be a perfect 10 in your real life or online life. There’s magic in vulnerability. There’s a hidden truth in uncertainty. Embrace this and you’ll be surprised what turns your life takes.

2. Vulnerability in Career

We are constantly told we have to be ready for job interviews. You better go in and know the answer to every questions, say the answer with confidence, and do all the right things or you don’t get the job. Bit of pressure no? First off, who says you have to have the answer to every question? Even in the biggest job interview of your life, not knowing the answer could be what makes a company hire you. The reason for this is it’s the moment we are most vulnerable is when we are most connected to our inner truth and humanity. Those moments of brash rawness are a beautiful and very authentic thing.

Mallory Blair, Co-founder of Small Girls PR met with a woman recently from an investment firm who runs communications for a portfolio that includes companies such as ASOS and Facebook. The woman asked her if she felt, at 25 years old and new to the PR world, vulnerable and insecure. It reminded her of an important human truth that is often overlooked.

Mallory writes:

So yes, I definitely feel vulnerable. Some days more than others. But it’s knowing that I don’t know everything that causes me to live by these four rules:

Hire people more experienced and smarter than I am

Be clear and upfront about anticipated results and capabilities

Charge based upon the value I can confidently deliver

Work tirelessly

Those are the same four rules that end up defining the quality of my personal output and, in turn, contribute to the character of our company.

Mallory realizes the power in vulnerability and in being honest with people about it. See, vulnerability drives progress. If we aren’t vulnerable, we are comfortable. Mallory concluded that not being comfortable meant change was inevitable.

Not comfortable = Change

If we are comfortable we are at a standstill. And last I checked you can’t steer a parked car. Identifying weaknesses improves strengths. There’s no better example of this than the gym. Breaking down muscle tissue builds stronger muscle tissue. See any La-Z Boy recliners at a gym recently? Comfort is boring and not attractive to the onlooker. I was working out with professional host and fitness trainer Brittani Zonkerrecently and she mentioned focusing on the parts of the body that are weakest during the workout. Not just to go in and work out those parts. But WHILE you’re working each part think about the part. Think about the muscles moving. This is what really builds muscle. It occurred to me afterwards that by identifying those “parts” in our day to day life, we build each muscle. So it’s best to embrace this power of not knowing the answers, seeing and recognizing your flaws, and embracing your vulnerable side. This will ultimately catapult you forward.

What have we learned so far?

Uncertainty = Vulnerability

Vulnerability = Facing Fears

Facing Fears = Not Comfortable

Not comfortable = Change

So what can we conclude?

Uncertainty = Change

You must live in and embrace uncertainty if you want to build a path to change. There’s magic in vulnerability. There’s hidden truth in uncertainty. What if the real answers to the questions of life were in the questions themselves?

By Geoff Pilkington

You can connect with me on my website, or a recent podcast I was on discussing my theories on ADHD

Time for Turkey and Iran to recognize Kurdistan state as an asset

Hemin Hussein Mirkhan

Source : Kurdistan 24

The highly anticipated meeting between the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, and Turkey’s Minister of National Defense Nurettin Canikli and their views on the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) upcoming referendum was the trending headline of the Turkish and Iranian media in mid August. The current state of affairs is a strong feeling of Déja-Vu. The neighboring countries' strategy is to subdue the Kurds’ ambition of having their own state. Both countries perceive any given initiatives from the Kurds as a common threat. Ever since the emergence of modern Turkey and Iran, both governments have been fighting a disgruntled Kurdish entity in their respective backyards. The main theme and challenge of the KRG’s diplomatic missions, to Baghdad and abroad, has been to alter the regional power’s misperception toward the Kurds’ political agenda. The historical context of the Turkish-Iranian cooperation/alliance against Kurds reveals how an independent Kurdistan would be an asset to other countries.

Turkey, Iran, and Iraq‘s Saadabad’s non-aggression pact was the first significant act of cooperation to avert and destroy the Kurdish movement in the region in 1937. Even though some claim the reason for the treaty was to stop Iran from reclaiming Afghanistan and the east of the Tigris River, the underlining purpose was to subdue any Kurdish movement in their respective territories. This was part of their nation-building process, a vain effort to homogenize the identity of their countries. In 1975, after over a decade of a war of attrition between Iraq and Mustafa Barzani’s so-called Aylul revolution, the regional powers were against the Kurdish nationalist's aspirations. Ultimately, they managed to end the Kurdish movement, not by force, but through diplomacy. As anticipated, it did not have a happy ending. Iran and Iraq's eight years of war were the result of that. Turks' exhausting reluctance of dealing with its resident Kurds is another example. In short, substantial facts show that military means undermine the security of the region.

The KRG can upend the century-long neighboring countries' security dilemma. It is conspicuous that the mainstream discernment of neighboring countries' – Turkey, Iran, and now Iraq – views differ from KRG’s position on an independent Kurdistan. Political theories refer to this as fear of the domino effect, which some have cited as an excuse. These countries have been unsupportive of Kurdish aspirations in Iraq as they believe the same scenario would occur within their regions. The status of the Kurds in those areas however is dependent on their situation within those states. Irrespective of what happens to the Kurdistan Region, Kurds in Turkey and Iran have to cope with their own problems. Given the increasingly globalized setting, the Kurdish issue in Iran and Turkey will last for the foreseeable future. The trend is such that nations all around the world are becoming conscious of their rights. Therefore, Turkey and Iran are going to encounter ongoing threats: dealing with non-state actors, Kurds within their countries. To solve their prolonged security issues, both countries should think twice about a new independent Kurdistan in Iraq.

The rugged-mountainous terrain of Kurdistan has been a blessing and also a curse to the Kurds. It has deprived them of access to the sea and, therefore, international commerce and modern trade. The blessing is that the national armies of their adversaries cannot efficiently operate. Last century’s “Kurdish Issue” illustrates that very compellingly. Therefore, Turkey and Iran would have an unprecedented opportunity to cooperate with independent south Kurdistan to contain these Kurdish non-state actors. Turkish Kurdish Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), Iranian Kurdish Parties such as the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and Komala are applying guerrilla warfare methods. An independent Kurdistan would only eliminate the threats of Turkey and Iran through full and sound security collaborations. The term is known as “triadic deterrence,” wherein “one state uses threats and punishments against another state to coerce it to prevent non-state actors from conducting attacks from its territory.”

The past 20 years of self-rule highlights the Kurdish leadership’s priority on national security and economic prosperity. Thus, from an economic standpoint, an independent Kurdistan, as other rentier states, would be an importing country. According to the KRG’s investment board, “Imports account for 85 percent of the estimated USD 5–5.5 billion of annual external trade in the Kurdistan Region.” Turkey and Iran share almost 90 percent of the imported goods and services. As such, this makes a landlocked Kurdistan ever dependent on these two countries. It would benefit both sides to maintain a partnership with Kurdistan. Turkey has a strategic economic interest in Kurdistan’s cheap natural resources. Iran’s export and trade with Kurdistan contribute to Iran’s employment growth and well-being, especially in its western borders. A strategic tri-lateral relation (Turkey-Iran- Kurdistan) based on common interests and opportunities would eliminate the common security threats and work on economic incentives.

The other side of the coin is maintaining the status quo, preserving Iraq’s territory, which by all standards has been unsuccessful. The failed state index placed Iraq on the alert category. Currently, Iraq is on the brink of an economic and security collapse. The United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq’s (UNAMI) monthly report on civilian and military killings in Iraq are extremely alarming. Thanks to Peshmerga forces and the coalition’s campaign against the Islamic State (IS), Iraq was saved from external military invasion. Intra-rivalries among the Shia, who have had a majority representation in the Iraqi Parliament since 2005, is discouraging. On the other hand, Sunnis neither have a strong leader nor see hope in a foreseeable future. Furthermore, relations between Baghdad and Erbil are minimal as both sides accuse each other of dishonoring the constitution. As a result, Iraq is, and will be, the source of instability for Turkey and Iran.

Baqeri and Canikli met to put pressure on the Kurds in Iraq to halt their upcoming referendum. Overtly, they asserted they wanted to secure their borders and deter terrorist activities. Nonetheless, both sides acknowledge the fact Iraq is a failed state. Excluding Iraq in the aforementioned meeting is a clear indication of their views on Iraq’s future. Therefore, the KRG’s policy-making intention is for an independent Kurdistan to be an asset to both Iran and Turkey. Against their conventional misperception toward an independent Kurdistan, these countries have a lot to lose if they try to mend an already broken Iraq. The Kurds are vigilant enough to sell their argument: An independent Kurdistan would be a source of stability and prosperity in the region.


Hemin Hussein Mirkhan is the Director of Centre for Regional and International Studies (CRIS) at the University of Kurdistan – Hewler (UKH).


The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Kurdistan 24.


Editing by G.H. Renaud

September 18, 2017

Pakistan has been the face of international terrorism

Permanent Mission of India


India’s Right of Reply

in response to Pakistan's Statement under Agenda Item 3

General Debate at the 36th Human Rights Council Session


  Mr. President,

       I am taking the floor to exercise India’s right of reply in response to the statement made by Pakistan.

 2. Pakistan has been misusing this august platform to pursue its perverse political objectives. Let me reiterate, Mr. President, that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India and will remain so. Pakistan is in illegal occupation of parts of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan's unsolicited and unwarranted comments pertaining to the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir are factually incorrect and absolutely misleading. We outrightly reject them.

 3. The foremost challenge to the stability in Kashmir and in the region is the scourge of terrorism. Pakistan’s malicious attempt to hide its interference behind the facade of domestic discontent carries no credibility with the world.

 4.  In fact, Pakistan has been the face of international terrorism. Even the Foreign Minister of Pakistan has admitted recently that internationally banned outfits, including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), are operating from within Pakistan. In the wake of growing international concern, Pakistan must shut down its terrorist manufacturing units and bring the perpetrators of terrorism to justice.

5. Concrete evidence on cross-border support for the terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir has been handed over to Pakistan. Instead of working with a sense of purpose to address these issues, Pakistan resorts to shortsighted tactics of diverting the attention of this Council, as we have once again seen today.

Mr. President,

6. The people of Jammu and Kashmir have chosen and reaffirmed their destiny repeatedly through India's well-established democratic processes. On the otherhand, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is run by a ‘deep state’ and has become an epicenter of terrorism. Its human rights record in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and Baluchistan is deplorable. Pakistan is known for using air-power and artillery against its own people, not once but repeatedly over the years.

7. It is high time for Pakistan to do some deep introspection and focus its energies on improving the human rights situation and dismantling the terrorist infrastructure - in Pakistan and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. This would go a long way in bringing peace and stability to the region and beyond.

Thank you, Mr. President

18 September 2017 Geneva