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Tuesday, 20 May 2008

From Today's Newspapers - 20 May





















CIC wants IAF to disclose training costs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
The chief information commission (CIC) has directed the Air Force to consider disclosing the cost of training of officers in the deputation orders for greater transparency. This would also enable officers to know the liability they have occurred if they wish to seek premature retirement.

Disposing off an application by Wg Cdr Alok Joshi, CIC Wajahat Habibullah also directed that the applicant would be entitled to disclosure of the notings on the file concerning his premature retirement.

The officer had sought details from the Air Force about notings on his file, remarks of all interviewing officers and all internal and external correspondence, including that with the defence ministry, in this regard. He had also sought details of the amortisation period for fighter pilots and relevant financial implication of their training.

The IAF had withheld some information on the grounds that the views recorded on file were held in confidence by superior officers and the disclosure may lead to acrimony. The IAF had also maintained that details of financial implication were inconsequential as there was no policy on amortisation of training costs for pilots in the IAF.

Wg Cdr Joshi had first been asked to pay a large substantial sum if he were to be allowed voluntary retirement. Subsequently, when he agreed to pay this amount, he was told that his application for premature retirement had been rejected.

The CIC observed that the information sought by the applicant could not bee treated as invasion of privacy as maintained by the IAF as the same concerned the applicant himself. The CIC also observed that details of financial implication concerned a public activity that was in the disposal of liabilities under training programmes financed with public funds.


3rd ceasefire violation in a fortnight
Jawan dies in Pak firing
Shariq Majeed
Tribune News Service

Poonch, May 19
In yet another ceasefire violation, the Pakistani army resorted to indiscriminate firing from across the Line of Control (LoC), killing an Army jawan in Nangi Tekri area of Mendhar in Poonch sector this morning.

(Pakistan has denied as "baseless" the Indian Army's assertion that one of its soldiers was killed in cross-border firing in Jammu and Kashmir, saying there was "no such incident".)

This is the third incident of ceasefire violation within a fortnight in the state by the Pakistani army, which resorted to unprovoked and indiscriminate firing on the Indian positions on May 8 and May 13 in Samba and Tanghdhar sectors in the Jammu and Kashmir regions, respectively, prompting the Indian defence authorities to lodge a protest with the Pakistani counterparts.

Sources in the Rajouri-based 25 Infantry Division said the Pakistani army resorted to unprovoked and indiscriminate firing in Nangi Tekri area of Mendhar sector in Poonch at 7.15 am. The fire was retaliated by the Indian troops and in the ensuing gun battle, which lasted for 20 minutes, an Army soldier was killed, they added. The jawan has been identified as Jayashwar of the 2/8 Gorkha Regiment. He hailed from Uttar Pradesh.

“The Pakistani troops opened fire with light weapons on a patrol party near Kranti post in Nangi Tekri area under the jurisdiction of 10 Brigade,” informed senior Army officials of the 25 Infantry Division. “The Army has lodged a complaint with the director general military organisation (DGMO) of Pakistan and has requested for a flag meeting,” they added.

Speaking over the phone, Jammu-based defence spokesman said an Army jawan was killed in firing from the Pakistani side. “Besides the firing, the Pakistani army fired rockets, RPGs, UBGL grenades. Our troops did not retaliate the fire,” the spokesman claimed.

The incident comes ahead of the first high-level contact between the two countries after a new government in Pakistan assumed office. While foreign secretaries of the two neighbours are scheduled to meet tomorrow in Islamabad, external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee would hold parleys with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday.

Soldier Killed in Firing from Pakistan,
Six Militants Sneak In


Jammu
On the eve of India-Pakistan talks, an Indian soldier was killed in firing from Pakistan across the Line of Control (LoC) in the Krishna Ghati sector of Jammu and Kashmir Monday morning - a second incident of its kind within a week.

The gunfire in Poonch district, about 200 km north of Jammu, started around 7.15 a.m., killing Naik Yashwant Rai of the 2/8 Gorkha Rifles in the initial burst. The LoC is the effective border between India and Pakistan across much of Jammu and Kashmir.

Lt. Col. S.D. Goswami, defence spokesperson in Jammu, said: "There was unprovoked firing from Pakistan on an Indian Army post, in which one soldier of the 2/8 Gorkha Rifles was killed. He has been identified as Naik Yashwant Rai."

"Rockets, UBGLs (under barrel grenade launchers) and small arms were used in the firing," he added.

There were unconfirmed reports that at least six militants infiltrated into India under the covering fire from the Pakistani side.

Sources in the 2/8 Gorkha Rifles said two soldiers were killed in two similar incidents of firing in 2007.

An official of the Gorkha Rifles, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "We have instructions to play down such incidents."

Mondays' firing was the second major incident of firing across the LoC in less than a week. On May 13, Pakistani troops fired on Indian positions from across the LoC in the Tangdhar sector of the Kashmir valley.

That was the first time in four and a half years that the Indian Army charged the Pakistani Army of violating the ceasefire.

On May 8, a group of militants infiltrated into the Samba sector. Two days later, two of them killed six people including two soldiers before getting killed in a day-long gun battle.

The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan are meeting in Islamabad Tuesday, followed by a meeting of the foreign ministers a day later, to take the bilateral peace process forward.

May 19, 2008

3rd ceasefire violation in a fortnight
Jawan dies in Pak firing
Shariq Majeed
Tribune News Service

Poonch, May 19
In yet another ceasefire violation, the Pakistani army resorted to indiscriminate firing from across the Line of Control (LoC), killing an Army jawan in Nangi Tekri area of Mendhar in Poonch sector this morning.

(Pakistan has denied as "baseless" the Indian Army's assertion that one of its soldiers was killed in cross-border firing in Jammu and Kashmir, saying there was "no such incident".)

This is the third incident of ceasefire violation within a fortnight in the state by the Pakistani army, which resorted to unprovoked and indiscriminate firing on the Indian positions on May 8 and May 13 in Samba and Tanghdhar sectors in the Jammu and Kashmir regions, respectively, prompting the Indian defence authorities to lodge a protest with the Pakistani counterparts.

Sources in the Rajouri-based 25 Infantry Division said the Pakistani army resorted to unprovoked and indiscriminate firing in Nangi Tekri area of Mendhar sector in Poonch at 7.15 am. The fire was retaliated by the Indian troops and in the ensuing gun battle, which lasted for 20 minutes, an Army soldier was killed, they added. The jawan has been identified as Jayashwar of the 2/8 Gorkha Regiment. He hailed from Uttar Pradesh.

“The Pakistani troops opened fire with light weapons on a patrol party near Kranti post in Nangi Tekri area under the jurisdiction of 10 Brigade,” informed senior Army officials of the 25 Infantry Division. “The Army has lodged a complaint with the director general military organisation (DGMO) of Pakistan and has requested for a flag meeting,” they added.

Speaking over the phone, Jammu-based defence spokesman said an Army jawan was killed in firing from the Pakistani side. “Besides the firing, the Pakistani army fired rockets, RPGs, UBGL grenades. Our troops did not retaliate the fire,” the spokesman claimed.

The incident comes ahead of the first high-level contact between the two countries after a new government in Pakistan assumed office. While foreign secretaries of the two neighbours are scheduled to meet tomorrow in Islamabad, external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee would hold parleys with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday.

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