Sunday, July 26, 2009

Why Obama wants to split Pakistan

When this classified US map leaked last year, showing Baluchistan as a separate country, it created an uproar in Pakistan. Rightly so, because no nation would want see a large part of itself carved out into a separate country.

Yet, it is the consistent foreign policy of superpowers to carve up countries in smaller multiple countries, so as to keep them under control and weak.

Under the Clinton administration, Yugoslavia was carved up into 3 countries: Coratia, Serbia and Montenegro.

Under the next Presidency, the Bush administration, Iraq was carved up into 3 autonomous regions, Basra, Kurdistan and Central Iraq

Now under the Obama administration we are likely to see Pakistan carved up into 2 countries, or at the very least 2 autonomous regions: Baluchistan and Pakistan.

But wait, isn't the US Pakistan's ally, giving it millions of dollars of aid every year? Yes it is.

But Pakistan's sin appears to be its growing proximity to China:

Hu Jintao has described relations with Pakistan as "higher than the mountains and deeper than the oceans"

- Lately, military cooperation has deepened with joint projects producing armaments ranging from fighter jets to guided missile frigates. The MBT 2000 tank and JF-17 Thunder Fighter Aircraft are some of the recent products of this deep co-operation.

- Since 1986, China and Pakistan have been co-operating on Nuclear Technology, having setup a 300MW power plant in Punjab in 1999, building another to go live next year; and widely suspected to have supplied critical knowledge and components for Pakistan's military nuclear program.

The US would thus like to move very quickly to carve up Pakistan, so that it always has atleast one part under its control and Baluchistan, by the sea is just perfect.

So why does the US need yet another base in Central Asia? After all it has Afghanistan.

Afghanistan, is landlocked, making it a fairly poor US base, thus a fairly ineffective staging area against Iran or China.

Baluchistan, with one edge sitting on the Arabian sea and its borders nicely touching Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, is the perfect base in Central Asia both for Military purposes and as a vital transportation link of the vast oil and natural gas reserves of Central Asia. An added bonus: Baluchistan itself is rich in gas and oil!

And who is helping Obama goto Baluchistan? None other than that lovely excuse to take over any country: Osama bin Laden. He's in Afghanistan, take it over. Oh, now he's escaped to North West Pakistan, bomb the place; now he's escaped into Baluchistan, enter Baluchistan. Love it, what a simple and wonderful excuse - and people called the Bush Administration stupid!

Ofcourse the Indian perspective in the matter is that it will be all the more happy with a carved up Pakistan, the smaller the better, easier to dominate and control.

Oh, but please note, China is not letting go so easily. It's helping build a deep sea port in Baluchistan at Gwadar at this very moment, so it has already established its direct presence in the region.

So folks, with Pakistan, US, China and India jostling over Baluchistan, and Iran probably entering the fray soon, the great game continues, get set for a bloody 7 years to see it through!

Friday, July 24, 2009

A July tale of 2 investments

July '09 will go down as a very interesting month in memory for me. For the 1st time one of my investment companies has attracted keen interest from several VC firms, so exciting times for us there. I am so proud of the founder and his hard work.

On the exact opposite end, another one of my investments, this time a web media business, which was not going anywhere in the 1st place, the founder copied all the data and users of the original website to start a parallel website! How sad! I guess some people just don't have it in them when it comes to building something.

More to come in later posts on the business that is attracting VC investments...

Monday, July 13, 2009

UH? Udaipur voted World's best city ahead of even NYC!!!

How do they do these thing? How does boring Udaipur win ahead of New York (which came in at no. 8).

I was in Udaipur for friend's wedding a few years back. We landed at a tacky airport and drove for 1.5 hrs through dusty roads to get to our "Palace" hotel: A brand new hotel designed like Palace.
We had a great time because the whole hotel was taken over by our gang and 2 days we didn't venture out. There was a man made island in Udaipur lake (yes Dubai, the maharajas beat you to it by a 1000 years), where there is a pleasure palace(no other word for it), which took centerstage. We rocked 48 hrs non stop and loved it.

But I saw the place on my way in and out, not worth a 2nd visit and not worth a visit unless your'e going with a big group and staying in one of the Palace hotels.

Not sure how a place like Udaipur comes in at No. 1, read the link and find out !