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Friday, 27 June 2008

From Today's Papers - 27 Jun













Sam Manekshaw dead

New Delhi, June 26
Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, whose military victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war led the creation of Bangladesh, died in the Military Hospital in Wellington, Tamil Nadu, late tonight. He was 94.
The Padma Vibhushan and Military Cross awardee, who was admitted to the hospital for some time for “progressive lung disease”, had slipped into a coma earlier in the day and the end came just after midnight at 12.30 am, the defence ministry said in a statement.
Manekshaw had developed “acute bronchopneumonia with associated complications” and was placed under intensive care four days ago after his condition became serious.
In a condolence message to the bereaved family, defence minister A.K. Antony said “his demise has left behind a void that will be really hard to fill... The nation has lost a great soldier, a patriot and a nobel son”.
He said: “I am deeply grieved to learn of his demise. Manekshaw’s nearly four-decade-long career with the Army saw him hold several important positions and he was also one of the most decorated officers”. He also lauded the General’s “rare knack of motivating the jawans” and being “a man of ideas and action by leading from the front in the 1971 war”.
Manekshaw was one of the 40 cadets of the first batch that passed out from the IMA in Dehra Dun and earned the sobriquet “Sam Bahadur” from soldiers of the 8th Gorkha Rifles of which he was Colonel of the Regiment. — PTI

Manekshaw, a soldiers’ General

New Delhi, June 26
A soldier’s General, Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw crafted India’s greatest military victory in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war that created just not history but also a new nation.
Affectionately called “Sam Bahadur”, Manekshaw (94) was the architect of many a military triumph but his finest hour came when Pakistani forces were vanquished in 14 days flat.
And Bangladesh was born.
Handsome, witty and sporting his trademark handlebar moustache, Manekshaw had the rare distinction of being honoured for his bravery - Military Cross - right on the battle front itself during the Second World War. He was also the first Indian officer to command the Gorkhas after India got Independence.
Manekshaw, who got a second life after the young Captain survived near fatal wounds during the Second World War in Burma, is the first of only two Indian military officers to hold the highest rank of Field Marshal of the Indian Army (The other being Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa).
His distinguished military career spanned four decades from the British era and through five wars, including the Second World War.
Flamboyant by nature, Manekshaw always had his way with people, including his seniors and even the country’s head of government.
Just before the Bangladesh operations in December 1971, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asked Manekshaw, who was the Army Chief then, “General are you ready” (for the war).
Pat came the reply from the dapper officer, “I am always ready sweetie.” Gandhi was not unpleased, nor offended.
On another occasion, Gandhi asked him whether he was planning to take over the country. Pointing to his long nose, the General replied: “I don’t use it to poke into other’s affairs.”
When Gandhi asked him to go to Dhaka and accept the surrender of Pakistani forces, Manekshaw declined, magnanimously saying that honour should go to his Army commander in the East (Lt-Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora). Manekshaw said he would only go if it were to accept the surrender of the entire Pakistani army. A shrewd tactician, Manekshaw meticulously planned the Indian attack on Pakistan on both fronts — east and west. While the Indian forces captured the then East Pakistan in the eastern sector, the Army made heavy inroads in the western sector going up to Lahore.
Adopting a mature war strategy, he masterminded the rout of the Pakistan Army in one of the quickest victories in the recent military history to liberate Bangladesh.
Born on April 3, 1914 in Amritsar to Parsi parents who migrated to Punjab from the small town of Valsad on the Gujarat coast, Manekshaw rose to be the Eighth Chief of Staff of the Indian Army in 1969. The year of the General’s birth was around the time when the First World War broke.
During World War II, Manekshaw saw action in the Burma campaign on the Sittang River as a Captain with the 4/12 Frontier Force Regiment. Manekshaw was leading a counter-offensive against the invading Japanese Army in Burma. During the course of the offensive he was hit by a burst of LMG bullets and was severely wounded in the stomach. Major General D.T. Cowan spotted Manekshaw holding on to life and was aware of his valour in face of stiff resistance from the Japanese. Fearing the worst, Major General Cowan quickly pinned his own Military Cross ribbon on to Manekshaw saying, “A dead person cannot be awarded a Military Cross.” But luck was on the young Captain’s side and he survived to be one of India's most popular Army Chiefs. — PTI

Manekshaw dead: Defence Minister sends condolences

New Delhi: Defence Minister A K Antony on Friday condoled the death of Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw. Following is the full text of the message:"I am deeply grieved to learn of the demise of Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw. His nearly four decades long career with the Army saw him hold several important positions. He was also one of the most decorated officers of the Indian Army. In his demise, the nation has lost a great soldier, a true patriot and a noble son.Field Marshal Manekshaw had a rare knack of motivating the jawans and was a man of ideas and action. He led from the front in the 1971 war and on several other occasions. Sam Manekshaw was one of the 40 cadets of the first batch that passed out from Indian Military Academy.His demise has left behind a void that will be really hard to fill. Field Marshal Manekshaw will be fondly remembered by our Armed Forces and the nation alike.I extend my heartfelt condolences to all the members of the bereaved family”

Soldier who created a nation

New Delhi, June 26 (PTI): A soldier’s general, Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw crafted India’s greatest military victory in the 1971 war that created not only history but also a new nation. Affectionately called Sam Bahadur, Manekshaw (94) was the architect of many a military triumph but his finest hour came when Pakistani forces were vanquished in 14 days flat. And Bangladesh was born.
Flamboyant, witty and sporting his trademark handlebar moustache, Manekshaw had the rare distinction of being honoured with the Military Cross on the battle front itself during the Second World War. He was also the first Indian officer to command the Gorkhas after India got independence. Manekshaw, who got a second life after the young captain survived near fatal wounds during the Second World War in Burma, is the first of only two Indian military officers to hold the highest rank of field marshal of the Indian Army (the other being Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa).
His distinguished military career spanned four decades from the British era and through five wars, including the Second World War. Manekshaw always had his way with people, including the head of government. Just before the Bangladesh operations in December 1971, the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, asked Manekshaw, who was the army chief then: “General, are you ready (for the war)?” Pat came the reply from the dapper officer: “I am always ready, sweetie.” Indira Gandhi was not unpleased, nor offended.
On another occasion, Indira Gandhi asked him whether he was planning to take over the country. Pointing to his long nose, the general replied: “I don’t use it to poke into others’ affairs.”
When Indira Gandhi asked him to go to Dhaka and accept the surrender of Pakistani forces, Manekshaw declined, magnanimously saying that the honour should go to his army commander in the east (Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora). Manekshaw said he would go only if it were to accept the surrender of the entire Pakistani army.
A shrewd tactician, Manekshaw meticulously planned the Indian attack on Pakistan on both fronts – the east and the west. While the Indian forces captured the then East Pakistan, the army made heavy inroads in the western sector, going up to Lahore. He masterminded the rout of the Pakistan army in one of the quickest victories in recent military history to liberate Bangladesh. Born on April 3, 1914, in Amritsar to Parsi parents who migrated to Punjab from the small town of Valsad on the Gujarat coast, Manekshaw rose to be the eighth chief of staff of the Indian Army in 1969. In 1937, at a social gathering in Lahore, Manekshaw met Silloo Bode. They fell in love and were married on April 22, 1939.

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw dead

New Delhi (PTI): Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, whose military victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war led to the creation of Bangladesh, died in Military Hospital in Wellington, Tamil Nadu late on Thursday night. He was 94.
The Padma Vibhushan and Military Cross awardee, who was admitted in the hospital for some time for "progressive lung disease", had slipped into a coma earlier in the day and the end came just after midnight at 00:30 am, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
Manekshaw had developed "acute bronchopneumonia with associated complications" and was placed under intensive care four days ago after his condition became serious.
In a condolence message to the bereaved family, Defence Minister A K Antony said "his demise has left behind a void that will be really hard to fill... The nation has lost a great soldier, a true patriot and a nobel son". He said: "I am deeeply grieved to learn of his demise. Manekshaw's nearly four-decade-long career with the army saw him hold several important positions and he was also one of the most decorated officers".
He also lauded the general's "rare knack of motivating the jawans" and being "a man of ideas and action by leading from the front in the 1971 war". Manekshaw was one of the 40 cadets of the first batch that passed out from the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun and earned the sobriquet "Sam Bahadur" from soldiers of the 8th Gorkha Rifles of which he was Colonel of the Regiment.

PTI report adds:

A soldiers' General and man behind Bangladesh's birth

A soldier's General, Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw crafted India's greatest military victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war that created just not history but also a new nation. Affectionately called "Sam Bahadur", Manekshaw (94) was the architect of many a military triumph but his finest hour came when Pakistani forces were vanquished in 14 days flat. And Bangladesh was born.
Handsome, witty and sporting his trademark handlebar moustache, Manekshaw had the rare distinction of being honoured for his bravery - Military Cross - right on the battle front itself during the Second World War. He was also the first Indian officer to command the Gorkhas after India got Independence.
Manekshaw, who got a second life after the young Captain survived near fatal wounds during the Second World War in Burma, is the first of only two Indian military officers to hold the highest rank of Field Marshal of the Indian Army (The other being Field Marshal K M Cariappa). His distinguished military career spanned four decades from the British era and through five wars, including the Second World War. Flamboyant by nature, Manekshaw always had his way with people, including his seniors and even the country's Head of Government.
Just before the Bangladesh operations in December 1971, the then prime minister Indira Gandhi asked Manekshaw ,who was the Army Chief then, "General are you ready" (for the war). Pat came the reply from the dapper officer, "I am always ready sweetie." Gandhi was not unpleased, nor offended.On another occasion, Gandhi asked him whether he was planning to take over the country. Pointing to his long nose, the General replied: "I don't use it to poke into other's affairs."
When Gandhi asked him to go to Dhaka and accept the surrender of Pakistani forces, Manekshaw declined, magnanimously saying that honour should go to his army commander in the East (Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora).Manekshaw said he would only go if it were to accept the surrender of the entire Pakistani army.
A shrewd tactician, Manekshaw meticulously planned the Indian attack on Pakistan on both fronts -- East and West. While the Indian forces captured the then East Pakistan in the eastern sector, the army made heavy inroads in the western sector going up to Lahore.
Adopting a mature war strategy, he masterminded the rout of the Pakistan Army in one of the quickest victories in the recent military history to liberate Bangladesh. Born on April 3, 1914 in Amritsar to Parsi parents who migrated to Punjab from the small town of Valsad on the Gujarat coast, Manekshaw rose to be the Eighth Chief of Staff of the Indian Army in 1969. The year of the General's birth was around the time when the First World War broke. During World War II, Manekshaw saw action in the Burma campaign on Sittang River as a Captain with the 4/12 Frontier Force Regiment.
Manekshaw was leading a counter-offensive against the invading Japanese Army in Burma. During the course of the offensive he was hit by a burst of LMG bullets and was severely wounded in the stomach. Major General D T Cowan spotted Manekshaw holding on to life and was aware of his valour in face of stiff resistance from the Japanese.
Fearing the worst, Major General Cowan quickly pinned his own Military Cross ribbon on to Manekshaw saying, "A dead person cannot be awarded a Military Cross." But luck was on the young Captain's side and he survived to be one of India's most popular Army Chiefs.
Manekshaw became the 8th Chief of Army Staff when he succeeded General Kumaramangalam on June 7, 1969. His years of military experience were soon put to the test as thousands of refugees from the erstwhile East Pakistan started crossing over to India as a result of oppression from West Pakistan. The volatile situation erupted into a full-scale war in December 1971 and the rest is history.
During the 1971 war, Manekshaw showed uncanny ability to motivate the forces, coupling it with a mature war strategy. The war ended with Pakistan's unconditional surrender, and the formation of Bangladesh. More than 45,000 Pakistani soldiers and 45,000 civilian personnel were taken as POWs. This led to the Shimla Agreement which opened the door to the creation of the nation of Bangladesh as separate from Pakistan.
The Field Marshal's wit was legendary. Once on a visit to his unit as Commanding Officer he asked what action was taken against a man who contracted veneral disease and when he was told the man's head was shaved off, he roared. "Shaved off? Dammit. he didn't do it with his head."
After completing his schooling in Amritsar and Sherwood College (Nainital), he joined the first batch of 40 cadets at the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun on October 1, 1932. He passed out of the IMA in December 1934 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Indian Army. He held several regimental assignments and was first attached to the Royal Scots and later to the 4/12 Frontier Force Regiment.
Having recovered from those near-fatal wounds in Burma, Manekshaw went for a course at Staff College, Quetta and later also served there as an instructor before being sent to join 12 Frontier Force Rifles in Burma under General (later Field Marshal) Slim's 14th Army. He was once again involved in a fierce battle with the Japanese, and was wounded for a second time.
In 1937, at a social gathering in Lahore Manekshaw met Silloo Bode. They fell in love and were married on April 22, 1939. Silloo, a graduate of Bombay's Elphinstone College made an admirable wife and a wonderful mother.
Towards the close of World War II, Manekshaw was sent as Staff Officer to General Daisy in Indo-China where, after the Japanese surrender, he helped rehabilitate over 10,000 POWs.
He then went on a six-month lecture tour to Australia in 1946, and after his return served as a First Grade Staff Officer in the Military Operations Directorate.
Manekshaw showed acumen for planning and administration while handling the issues related to Partition in 1947, and later put to use his battle skills during the 1947-48 Jammu and Kashmir Operations.
After command of an Infantry Brigade, he was posted as the Commandant of the Infantry School and also became the Colonel of 8 Gorkha Rifles (which became his new regimental home, since his original parent regiment The 12th Frontier Force Regiment went on to join the new Pakistan Army at partition) and 61 Cavalry.
He commanded a Division in Jammu and Kashmir and a Corps in the North East, with a tenure as Commandant of Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) in between. As GOC-in-C, Eastern Command, he handled the tricky problem of insurgency in Nagaland and the grateful nation honoured him with a Padma Bhushan in 1968.
For his distinguished service to the country, the President of India awarded him a Padma Vibhushan in 1972.
The President conferred upon him the rank of Field Marshal, a prestigious honorary rank, on January 1, 1973. Manekshaw retired a fortnight later (although technically Field Marshals of the Indian Army never retire because the rank is conferred for life), on January 15, 1973, after completing nearly four decades of military service.
In 1961, his outspoken frankness got him into trouble with Defence Minister V K Krishna Menon and his protege of the time Lt Gen B M Kaul. He refused to toe Menon's line and was sidelined.
Manekshaw was vindicated soon after when the Indian army suffered a humiliating defeat in North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), now Arunachal Pradesh, the next year, at the hands of the Chinese that led to Menon's resignation. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru rushed Manekshaw to NEFA to command the retreating Indian forces. This had an electrifying effect on the demoralised officers. In no time, Manekshaw convinced the troops that the Chinese soldier was not "10 feet tall". His first order of the day said, "There will be no withdrawal without written orders and these orders shall never be issued." The soldiers showed faith in their new commander and successfully checked further ingress by the Chinese.
After retirement, Manekshaw settled down in Coonoor in the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu.

Cols, Brigs to be moved into higher pay band
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
Officers of the rank of brigadier and equivalent in the armed forces are now expected be placed in the pay scale recommended for major generals. Similarly, colonels and equivalent would be moved up in the pay-scale ladder after they compete a certain length of service.
Sources associated with the empowered committee of secretaries looking into perceived anomalies in the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations said that the upward revision in pay scales for brigadiers and colonels had been agreed to during deliberations between the committee members and defence ministry representatives. A final decision in this regard, however, is yet to be taken and there could be some modifications.
The committee is headed by the cabinet secretary, K M Chandrasekhar. The committee was set up after there was widespread discontent in the armed forces, Indian Police Service, para-military organisations as well as other central government services over the pay panel’s recommendations. The committee’s recommendations would be sent to the cabinet for its approval.
Sources said that it was now proposed that brigadiers would be moved into the pay scale of 39,200-67,100, which had been recommended by the pay panel for major generals. Colonels and equivalents would also be moved into a higher scale after they put in at least 20 years of service.
Sources added that no changes in the basic pay of officers of other ranks were expected, though revision of certain allowances and benefits is on the cards. Middle-rung officers were said to be the worst hit by the pay panel’s proposals.
Also on the cards is an upward revision of the grade pay for armed forces officers from captain to brigadier. While fixing grade pay, armed forces officers where recommended a grade pay that was one level below that of civil service officers for the same basic pay. For example, the same pay scale was recommended for a captain in the army and a senior time scale officer in the civil services. The grade pay recommended for a captain, however, was Rs 5,700 per month where as that for the civil service officer was Rs 6,100. Similarly, the grade pay of Rs 6,600 was proposed for a lieutenant colonel, while that of Rs 8,300 was proposed for his IAS counterpart.
Grade pay is an important issue as it is the sole determinant of status of central government employees vis-à-vis the civil services. Military personnel have been pointing out that successive pay commissions have been consistently downgrading their status.
Another important issue if the newly introduced Military Service Pay (MSP), recommended at Rs 6,000 per month for officers and Rs 1,000 per month for personnel below officer rank (PBOR). It has now been agreed to double the MSP for PBOR to Rs 2,000.
Introduction of the MSP would also result in working out a modified parity for personnel who have retired before January 1, 2006, the retrospective date for which the approved recommendations of the pay panel are to be implemented. Sources said that earlier retirees would be benefited by an amount equivalent to 50 per cent of the MSP in their pension fixation.

Indian military calls meeting to plug frontline exodus

NEW DELHI (AFP) — India's top military brass are to hold a crisis meeting Thursday to look at ways of stemming an exodus of soldiers to the country's flourishing private sector, officials said. The chiefs of the air force, navy and the million-plus army will hold talks with Defence Minister A.K. Antony and other top officials on tackling the widening wage gap between civilians and men and women in uniform. More than 120 middle-rung officers have sought early retirement after the government's Pay Commission submitted its report on salary revisions in late March.
Lower-ranked commanders are upset because they received a modest 15 percent pay rise in the 10-yearly salary revision for federal government workers, while civil servants were given hikes of more than 40 percent. "The issue of wage disparity which has been highlighted and other urgent issues will be discussed and decisions are expected," a defence ministry official told AFP on condition he not be named. The military pay rises fell way short of increasingly lavish private-sector salaries and benefits. The resignations, following on the heels of a wave of suicides by military personnel, came at a bad time for the army -- which is already facing a shortage of about 11,000 trained officers.
The pinch is especially felt at India's heavily-militarised border with Pakistan in Kashmir, the subject of two of the three wars between the two nuclear-armed rivals since 1947. The ministry official said the security cabinet in a separate meeting this week was also likely to offer promotions to 4,000 officers in the army, navy and air force in a bid to open up bottlenecks.
Military veterans spearheading an agitation for higher pay for serving personnel however warned they would step up the protests if New Delhi failed to increase salaries of soldiers by 62.5 percent and 56.5 percent for officers.
"Our expectation from this meeting is zero as serving officers are not invited to it," said retired major general Satbir Singh, leading a spirited nationwide campaign for higher pay. "If our demands are not met then from July 6 we will kick off protest marches in each of India's 29 state capitals and in 300 districts on behalf of our comrades who are in service," the general warned. Enlisted soldiers in India, which has the world's fourth largest military, are prohibited from taking part in demonstrations.
According to available military figures, nearly 2,420 defence personnel including 544 officers have died in clashes with Islamic militants in Kashmir or ethnic guerrillas in restive north-eastern states in the past two decades. "Add to that some 5,000 personnel maimed for life," said former colonel Pratap Singh, another campaigner. "Has any commissioner or government secretary who draws twice the salary of their military equivalent laid down their life for the country?" he added.

Militarisation of space
India cannot afford to lag behind
by Gurmeet Kanwal

Inaugurating the Centre for Land Warfare Studies seminar on the “Indian Military in Space” on June 16, 2008, the Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor noted with concern the recent developments in India’s neighbourhood, including China’s ASAT (anti-satellite) test in January 2007, when it successfully shot down an ageing satellite with a ground-launched missile.
The Army Chief said, “The Chinese space programme is expanding at an exponentially rapid pace in both offensive and defensive content… There is an imperative requirement to develop joint structures in the Indian armed forces for synergising employment of space assets.”
Earlier in June, speaking at the Combined Commanders’ annual conference, Mr. A K Antony, the Defence Minister, had announced the setting up of an Integrated Space Cell at Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff to act as a planning and coordination centre for the military use and security of space resources.
The military space cell is also expected to perform the role of providing an interface between the armed forces and the Department of Space and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Clearly, the inescapable requirement of optimising the utilisation of India’s meagre assets in space, the need to synergise civilian and military applications of India’s satellites and the emerging military threats to these assets, have been well understood and necessary steps have now been initiated to overcome earlier shortcomings in this critical field of command and control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, usually referred to by the acronym C4I2SR. (The missing ‘C’ and ‘I’ stand for computers and information, respectively.)
Modern armies, as well as navies and air forces, are heavily dependent on space for their C4I2SR systems. Space-based military applications such as communications, intelligence, surveillance (optical and infra-red photography and electronic eavesdropping), mapping and navigation through GPS-type systems are now commonplace and have played a dominant role in all recent conflicts.
The precision guidance of missiles, rockets and, in future, perhaps even artillery shells is another application that is maturing quickly. However, it will become practicable in the Indian context only when the country launches dedicated military satellites in low-earth orbit (LEO) that carry tailor-made military applications suites on board as no foreign country, however friendly it might be, will provide such capabilities unless India is willing to enter into a military alliance - an option that India has rightly abjured so far.
The most significant surveillance application is satellite photography. Militarily usable photos are obtained from satellites that provide resolutions of less than one metre. In simple terms this means that objects smaller than one metre across do not appear as mere blips among the background clutter, but can be distinguished clearly as recognisable military objects, for example jeeps, mortars and small bunkers.
Tanks and guns being relatively larger in size are more easily picked up. For this, LEO satellites, which are placed in orbit a couple of hundred kilometres above the surface of the earth, are required to cover the areas on the home side as well as across India’s borders. The numbers required are a matter of fine calculation as there are usually large gaps between two ‘passes’ of any one satellite over the same point.
These gaps must be covered by other satellites if continuous surveillance is considered necessary by day and night, for example during war or when hostilities are imminent. Also, adequate redundancy must be built in to allow for unforeseen eventualities such as enemy counter measures and technical down time.
Similarly, while the armed forces can continue to use civilian communications satellite at present, in about 10 to 15 years their requirement of band width will outstrip the likely availability from the INSAT series of satellites.
Also, though communications satellites are normally in geo-stationery orbit about 36,000 km above the earth and are therefore extremely difficult to shoot down, their ability to provide fail safe communications can be disrupted and degraded by other means. Hence, the armed forces will soon require their own communications satellites as well.
ISRO’s upcoming Indian Regional Navigation System (IRNSS), based on seven satellites, which will establish an Indian-controlled GPS system will also need to provide military specifications (milspecs) that are more accurate than civilian ones.
It emerges quite clearly that the armed forces are moving gradually but inexorably towards establishing their own space-based applications centres including ground control stations to control and, in due course, even manipulate military satellites in orbit.
While the DRDO can build these satellite in partnership with the Indian defence industry, ISRO must continue to provide the launch vehicles as well as launch facilities as setting up dedicated launch facilities for military use only would be prohibitively expensive.
Military launches will present ISRO with a new challenge as it will come into conflict with many Western governments and agencies that have nuclear proliferation concerns as most space technologies are dual-use technologies.
India is a signatory to the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 and has steadfastly opposed the weaponisation of space. However, a distinction must be made between weaponisation that involves the emplacement of weapons, which can attack surface targets from space, and the militarisation of space, which merely enables qualitatively better C4I2SR.
Given the breathtaking advances that have taken place in developing military applications of space technology, the Indian armed forces will be severely handicapped if they do not also join the bandwagon and exploit space for enhancing their C4I2SR capabilities. The time has come for the Indian armed forces to move into space – the ultimate high ground.

The writer is Director, Centre for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi

TI report on corruption lauds Indian SC, criticises Pak army
26 Jun, 2008, 0839 hrs IST, PTI


NEW YORK: An independent group has praised Indian Supreme Court for its efforts to fight corruption in government and political life but strongly criticised the Pakistani military for perpetuating corruption and flouting law for "grabbing land and companies" for its officers.
"The Supreme Court takes corruption seriously in both the general and political domains. Political corruption is not confined to monetary considerations but extends to making false promises to secure votes, helping colleagues, conflicts of interest and manipulating law to help interested parties," the report by Transparency International (TI) says. The apex court also brings the issue of corruption into its judgments, it says.
It particularly refers to more than 300 laws placed in the "ninth schedule" to grant immunity from being tested in the courts. But the Supreme Court, it says approvingly, did away with immunity by observing that since the basic structure of the Constitution includes some of the fundamental rights, any law granted ninth schedule deserves to be tested against these principles. Referring to Pakistan, the report says that the share military controls was a "carefully guarded secret" until July last year when Ayesha Siddiqa, a civil servant who worked in defence accounting, published her book.
According to her, full generals enjoy individual wealth of USD 8.3 million and President Pervez Musharraf has "converted USD 690,000 of army granted farmland into USD 10.3 million moveable assets," it says and accuses military of "grabbing" land and companies. Pointing out the military has held power for most of the 60 years of the Pakistan's existence, it says it is not surprising that arms procurement has provided a flourishing channel for corruption as "it also has in India and Sri Lanka."


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