No good or bad terrorist, President tells Beijing
Fixing issues ‘test of political acumen’: Pranab; China says be realistic
Tribune News Service
Beijing, May 26
President Pranab Mukherjee today reached out to China over resolving differences saying it was “a test of our political acumen”. The tone was distinctly conciliatory, and China also said both countries need to be “realistic” when it comes to resolving the differences.
In the morning, the President addressed a lecture at Peking University where he said: “I consider it a test of our political acumen when we are called upon to draw upon our civilisational wisdom and resolve these differences to the mutual satisfaction of both sides.”
“Both sides should work with the aim of ensuring that we do not burden our coming generations by leaving our unresolved problems to them. I am confident that by ensuring that these matters are not aggravated and by remaining sensitive to mutual concerns, we can minimise our differences and maximise our convergences,” he said.
The President later met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and National People’s Congress Chairman Zhang Dejiang. At a media briefing, Xiao Qian, DG, Asia at the Chinese Foreign Ministry, pointed in the same direction indicating both nations had agreed to keep talking while realising that the issues between the two should not come in the way of development and closer co-operation.
The issue of counter-terrorism also came up during the President’s meetings with the Chinese leadership.
The Chinese side said while the issue of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar was not raised, the two countries discussed counter-terrorism and agreed to co-operation exchanges under the framework of the United Nations, BRICS and other international agencies.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar while briefing journalists said India conveyed that both India and China were affected by terrorism and that there was no such thing as a good terrorist or a bad terrorist.
He added that both nations must have an understanding, both bilateral and multilateral, in fighting terrorism and that both nations would strike together on this in the UN. The President’s visit to China is primarily being seen as a signal from both leaderships that they are committed to talking and to strengthening the relationship. The contentious issues will take their time to get sorted out but the talks must continue.
‘At LAC, we’re defensive, not offensive’
As NDA govt completes 2 years in power, Ajay Banerjee talks to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on the nation’s future plans and readiness on security front
After assuming charge as the Defence Minister in Nov 2014, how difficult it has been to balance military ties with the US, Russia, China and Japan?
If you have an autonomous independent decision-making ability and do not enter the campus (camps or groups), you can maintain good relations with all four.
Russia had made public its disappointment over deepening India-US relations.
Those are just media reports. Maybe the disappointment was aired during the previous government. This government has maintained balanced relationship with all countries. No one needs to fear unnecessarily.
Is India thinking of following the US-style theatre military commands?
I have been talking on this for the past one year. It’s wise to debate for people to start finding options.
What progress has been made on maintaining peace along the Line of Actual Control with China?
The border issue will be resolved when both sides will have confidence in each other. It will take some time. A beginning has been made.
Amid peace talks, China is building up a Tibetan military command and we are raising a mountain strike Corps. Is there dichotomy in this?
I don’t think so. Even the best of friends have some border patrolling. We are not making aggressive postures. We are building up military position as a defensive mechanism, not as an offensive mechanism. We are not adding anything.
Will the Logistics Support Agreement (Logistics Exchange Memorandum Agreement) be signed during the PM’s visit to the US in June?
I don’t link it with the PM’s visit. If it happens, it will be good. We are trying. A draft has been exchanged and I will receive the file in a day or two. Minor issues remain but we are close to an understanding.
Have you taken any steps to address the shortage of fighter jets in the IAF?
We will not allow any major dip (in squadron strength, which is now at 34 squadrons of 16-18 planes each against the needed 42). The Design and Development contract for the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) with Russia will be signed soon. It will take 8-10 years. Three squadrons of Sukhoi will reach India. It will be followed by the Tejas and French-origin Rafale.
You have cracked down on AgustaWestland. Its mother company Finmeccanica is in the race for other bids in India.
We will have to ask for fresh tenders in all such cases. Can’t help it. We have to thank the Congress for this situation. We can opt for a direct government-to-government deal if the national security is affected. But it cannot be a general _decision. I will not allow blacklisting at the cost of national security.
Is the ministry being bifurcated for a separate procurement cell?
A specific cell will be created comprising experts to take care of the acquisitions. It will be within the Defence Ministry, but won’t be an integral part of it. They can do their own work and give an outcome.
What is your vision for the next three years?
To have a very fit, effective and properly equipped force. I am trying to ensure that it happens.
What has been your toughest moment so far?
The decision to hit back after 18 soldiers of the 6 Dogra regiment were ambushed in Manipur. The decision was not tough, but its execution was.
Lt Gen KJ Singh exhorts students to join armed forces
Tribune News Service
Solan, May 26
In a bid to inspire students from elite public schools to join the armed forces in view of their declining interest towards this profession, Lt Gen KJ Singh, General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC in C), Western Command, today addressed the students of The Lawrence School at Sanawar and motivated them to choose a career in the armed forces.
Delivering a talk on “Leadership – A Way of Life” in the school, he reminisced his days as a trainee at the National Defence Academy where he came across officers from this school and always looked with awe at Sanawar. He inspired the students to opt for a career in the armed forces, which helped in bringing out the cutting edge leadership in an individual.
He said,“It is the leadership packaged into a concept called management, which has evolved as an important tool of running corporate sectors in today’s world.”
Delving into the essence of the Indian Army, he described it as a secular and apolitical entity, which was living and fighting for the name of the battalion (naam), owing allegiance (namak) to the nation while upholding its honour (flag or Nishaan).
He said, “The officers laying down their lives are far more in the Indian Army than other armies, as we are trained to lead from the front.” As future leaders, administrators _and business tycoons of the country, he urged the students to employ the soldiers who superannuate at a young age for their sense of loyalty and discipline.
He said, “You cannot fool the world, your character should be strong and only then will you be followed by the people. He advised the students to be proactive and realise their aims. He said they should inculcate various qualities like a strong will-power, physical and moral courage, quick decision making, human-relation skills, tolerance for ambiguity, wisdom and vision, equanimity, team-building and apt management skills.
He compared the Army to a mobile with dual SIMs of one’s family and regiment, where regiment takes precedence over the family owing to a sense of camaraderie. He concluded his address by saying that “if you want to thank a soldier, be the kind of Indian worth fighting for”.
Headmaster Vinay Pandey gave a memento to the GOC in C as a token of appreciation and gratitude.
J&K: Three militants killed as Army foils infiltration bid in Nowgam sector
Joshi said that the slain militants were infiltrators who had sneaked into the Valley through Nowgam sector. "Our troops are still engaged in encounter," he added.
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Three militants were killed on Thursday as army foiled an infiltration bid in north Kashmir’s Nowgam sector, the operation is still underway and more troops have been rushed to the area.
An army official said that on Wednesday evening they spotted a group of militants near the LoC at Tootmar Gali in Nowagam sector where the first encounter had begun. The army had reports that five to six militants had sneaked into the Valley through Tootmat Gali in the past few days.
Defence spokesman, Lt Col N N Joshi confirmed that the three militants have been killed in the gunfight. “The operation is still underway at Nowgam forests. The militants were spotted late last night and the encounter began in the morning,” he said.
Joshi said that the slain militants were infiltrators who had sneaked into the Valley through Nowgam sector. “Our troops are still engaged in encounter,” he added.
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