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Wednesday, 7 January 2009

From Today's Papers - 07 Jan 09

Mumbai Attack
Now, proof against Pak shared with UNSC envoys
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 6
India today continued with its diplomatic offensive against Islamabad by briefing envoys from different countries on the involvement of elements in Pakistan in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

The government is also considering a proposal to send special envoys to some key countries to brief them on how the perpetrators of the attack received support from the Pakistani establishment.

A day after he briefed envoys of Russia and the countries whose nationals were killed in the Mumbai mayhem, Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon shared the material proving the involvement of LET men in the terror strikes with envoys of other members of the UN Security Council and seven heads of mission of neighbouring countries.

Nalin Surie, Secretary (West) in the External Affairs ministry and N Ravi, Secretary (East) also met envoys from European, African and Latin American countries and underlined the necessity for the world to prevail on Pakistan to sop exporting terror.

Indian envoys in different world capitals have also started briefing their host governments on the implications of the Mumbai attacks for the world's fight against terrorism. Briefing the envoys in South Block, Menon is understood to have impressed upon them the need for the international community to mount pressure on Pakistan to eliminate terror infrastructure.

Meanwhile, reacting to Pakistan's consistent denial of the involvement of its nationals in the massacre, MoS for External Affairs Anand Sharma said the acceptance of Pakistani nationality of Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist from the Mumbai attack, would be the "first step" to indicate Islamabad's intention to cooperate.

Pay commission for armed forces is an eyewash

The armed forces have been let down as the assurances given by the Defence Minister to the services chiefs have not been fulfilled. Out of the four core demands, only one has been met and Lt Colonels have been placed in pay band four albeit with riders.

The demands regarding the parity between the defence services and their civil counter part have been turned down. The hype about the separate pay commission is an eyewash, as the implementation of the decision after 10 years will depend upon the political will of then prevailing government.

To undo the anomalies created by the 6th Pay Commission, it is imperative that the separate pay commission is created immediately.

WG CDR J S BHALLA (retd), Chandigarh


The monumental bungling by the 6th Pay Commission in respect of pay and allowances for the defence services and subsequently by the Committee of Secretaries, without any representation from the defence services, led to much heartburn among the serving defence personnel and the ex-servicemen community.

So, the PMO announced a separate pay commission for the defence in the future. It is a welcome step but the next pay commission is about a decade away. No one can foresee what will happen in the intervening period.

Also, going by the previous record of the government reneging on its promises, like 'One rank one pension', what is the guarantee that it won't go back on its commitment yet again?


Stage set for commando action in Bhatti Dhar
Shariq Majeed
Tribune News Service

Rajouri, January 6
With the security forces locked up in a gun battle with militants from the last seven days, Bhatti Dhar is ready to witness commando action.

Army sources said the security forces were also adopting wait and watch policy in view of the hostile terrain and adverse weather condition in the area. The fact that encounter had prolonged, the authorities were contemplating a Commando action in Bain forest. Sources said the Army could go for final assault even now, but it might suffer huge causalities in that case and wanted to avoid such scenario.

Another reason for the Army to adopt such a tactic is to get the arms and ammunition, food and water of the militants (who have quite a huge store of the same as was suggested after the Army busted a hideout and recovered arms and ammunition and food items from it), exhausted before the final assault, they added.

Even Chief of the Indian Army General Deepak Kapoor has said the operation is taking time as the Army wanted to minimise its own casualties.

"The operation is very much on. We are trying to ensure that we do not suffer any casualty. We are hopeful that we will be able to get most of the terrorists," Kapoor said at a function in Delhi.

The Army claims to have gunned down four militants whereas it had lost two of its men, besides a Special Police Officer (SPO) has also lost his life, in one of the longest gun battle between the security forces and militants.

Army sources had told The Tribune that it might take the security forces another few days to sanitise the area.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Defence spokesperson said the Army operation presently was in progress in Bhatti Dhar area with the troops in full control of the situation.

"There are no fortified structures or bunker in the area, however, the topography and terrain has possibly provided cover and hideouts for the militants. The Army had laid a proper cordon in the area and is taking adequate measures to prevent any escape of terrorists. Owing to the heavy winter fog, thick vegetation and difficult terrain conditions, the operation is being undertaken with due care and precautions. The operation is in progress and will be continued till the terrorists are completely eliminated," the Defence spokesperson said.

Air strike ruled out
Tejinder Singh Sodhi
Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 6
The ongoing encounter has become one of the longest encounters between the terrorists and the security forces after the declaration of November 2003 ceasefire between India and Pakistan.

Though initially the Army was said to be contemplating on the idea to use the Air Force to flush out the terrorists, it later ruled out deploying the air power.

"We won't take the services of the Air Force to neutralise the holding terrorists as the Army itself is capable to bring them down," Brigadier General Staff of the Nagrota-based 16 Corps Gurdeep Singh told The Tribune.

According to defence sources, the Army has conducted an aerial survey of the forest region where the militants were holding and found that the militants had used CGI sheets to construct the bunkers, which are scattered over a large portion of the jungle.

Don't let Indo-Pak war history repeat itself

The 1965 war was initiated by Pakistan without any formal declaration of war. This leads us to believe that Pakistan does have a hidden agenda. 'History repeats itself' and our politicians should take all measures to secure our country from threats .

THE SECOND Indo-Pakistani conflict (1965), was fought over Kashmir and started without a formal declaration of war. The war began in August 5, 1965 and ended on Sept 22, 1965. The war was initiated by Pakistan who since the defeat of India by China in 1962, had come to believe that Indian Army would be unable or unwilling to defend against a quick military campaign in Kashmir and because the Pakistani government was becoming increasingly alarmed by Indian efforts to integrate Kashmir within India. There is also a perception that there is widespread popular support within Kashmir for Pakistani rule and that the Kashmiri people were dissatisfied with Indian rule.

The war was initiated by Pakistan without any formal declaration of war. This leads us to believe that Pakistan does have a hidden agenda. 'History repeats itself' and our politicians should take all measures to secure our country regardless of whether we are going to war with Pakistan or not. The war was initiated by Pakistan in the year 1965 and we cannot rule out the possibility that it will not happen again.

Our politicians should take this also into account and do whatever is necessary to secure our country and our citizens at large. Pakistan has bought huge amount of ammunition and fighter aircrafts from America and China during the regime of their former president, Pervez Musharraf. They have been giving rigorous training to their terrorist network at large in Pakistan. Our defence minister should see to it that we are well prepared to face any eventuality arising from our conflict with Pakistan. Pakistan is not a neighbour whom we can trust with diplomatic talks.

Our politicians should discuss the future events and take collective decision to strengthen our military, air force and navy, including our police, coast guards and intelligence agencies.

We have to unite and this is the time when we have to come together as a nation to help secure our nation. The attack by terrorists in Mumbai, on November 26, 2008, was a tragic reminder of the threats that loom large over our country.

The international efforts to eliminate terrorism would need a long-term strategy. Are we going to sit and wait for Pakistan to react? What will be our next step? We have to come together as a nation to fight terrorism even if it means war with Pakistan. We should not rely on other countries to support us in our war against terrorism. We have to show our strength as a nation that we will never ever give up our fight against terrorism. Let us take steps and not rely on other nations and countries for support against this terrorist attack by the Pakistanis.

India to Turn to UN Pacts
On Maritime Security, Hostages

By Devirupa Mitra

New Delhi
With no bilateral pact on extradition with Pakistan, New Delhi has specifically gone on a strategy of stressing Islamabad's commitment to offences ranging from marine security to terrorist bombings to make the international community party to the pressure build-up against the Mumbai attack masterminds.

This strategy had been referred to repeatedly by India, with top officials referring to "international conventions" that make Pakistan obliged to take action on India's evidence relating to the conspiracy being hatched on Pakistani soil.

This had also been referred to by India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee in a statement Monday, when he said he hoped Pakistan would "implement her bilateral, multilateral and international obligations to prevent terrorism in any manner from territory under her control".

Out of the 13 UN conventions on terrorism, the external affairs ministry has identified four, which are applicable to the Mumbai attacks. "We have not mentioned these by name in the note that we handed over to Pakistan along with the material evidence, but Pakistan is aware of which ones are being talked out," Mukherjee said.

These are regarded as "extraditable offences", and the signatories are obliged to either extradite or prosecute the offenders, cooperate in preventive measures, and exchange information and evidence needed in the related criminal proceedings.

As per the confessional statement of the lone terrorist caught alive, Ajmal Amir Kasab, his band of 10 terrorists had left Karachi and hijacked an Indian trawler, MV Kuber, once they entered India's territorial waters. They had also killed the ship's captain, whose body had been found later by the coast guard on the abandoned vessel.

These acts are liable for persecution as per the 1998 convention for the suppression of unlawful acts against the safety of maritime navigation, which had been ratified by Pakistan in 2000. This convention covered offences such as seizure of ship and violence against a person on the vessel.

According to Kasab's statement, each of the 10 terrorists were given 200 grenades among the ammunition provided. Security officials said the use of grenades by the holed-up terrorists, who were on higher floors of the buildings they took siege to, was one of the primary reasons for the operations taking three days.

All these acts fall under the 1997 international convention for the suppression of terrorist bombing, which not only applies to the actual perpetrator, but also to the organisers of these acts.

While it came into force in 2001, Pakistan acceded to the treaty only a year later - but even then with a caveat. It said the convention will not be applicable "to struggles, including armed struggle, for the realization of right of self-determination launched against any alien or foreign occupation or domination, in accordance with the rules of international law".

This had been objected by India as it unilaterally limited the scope of the convention and had been echoed by other major signatories like the US, Britain, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Japan.

At each of the three targets for terrorists attacks, Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, Oberoi Trident and Nariman House, survivors recounted how they had been rounded up by the terrorists to act as human shields during the first day of the attacks. While some guests managed to escape from the two hotels, there were no survivors at Nariman House, which was the Mumbai headquarters of an orthodox Jewish charity group.

Therefore, the other UN convention applicable in the attacks is the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages, which came into force in 1983. India ratified the treaty in 1999, while Pakistan accepted it in 2002.

Another treaty which the ministry believes could be relevant here is the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, which has however, not been signed by Pakistan.

But an MEA official said the provisions of the convention were referred to in an additional protocol to the Saarc regional convention on suppression of terrorism, which was signed by all the members of the South Asian body in 2004.

"Therefore, even if they are not party to the earlier treaty, by accepting the Saarc additional protocol, they have to accept those provisions," the official said.

The 1999 UN treaty makes it punishable to collect fund that could lead to acts, which had been covered in previous terrorist treaties, including the three applicable to the Mumbai attacks.

"If Pakistan has signed this multilateral pacts, it is also a responsibility of the international community to ensure that it acts as per their provisions and lives up to its obligation," the MEA official said.

Each Police Station in Delhi to have 10 Commandos
By Sahil Makkar

New Delhi
The sight of slothful, pot-bellied policemen in the Indian capital hardly makes the public feel safe. But now at least 10 constables at each police station here will be turned into commandos and equipped with AK-47 assault rifles to counter terror strikes.

Stung by the 26/11 Mumbai attack, Delhi Police have decided to transform into a fitter, fighting force.

"In order to make available a group of constables who are physically fit and well trained in the handling of weapons, a 10-day module has been prepared for constables at police stations," said Joint Commissioner of Police S. Nithiyanandam.

"Its emphasis is upon improving physical fitness and intensive weapon training and firing practice. The course will continue till at least 10 constables of each police station are trained in the module," Nithiyanandam added.

Delhi Police have 11 districts - divided into 133 police stations that provide security cover to a population of nearly 17 million. The force has a strength of 60,000 personnel and more than half of them serve as constables.

Police sources said the course took off in December last year, especially after the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes that saw bloodbath for nearly 60 hours. Over 170 people lost their lives.

"The first batch of 110 constables have received training and another started Monday. We have chosen only fit constables for this training and they will be pressed into service first in case of any hostile situation," a top Delhi Police official told IANS.

"All these constables are preferably below 30. After they finish their training they will be equipped with weapons like AK-47 and MP5 machine guns," the official said.

The official said Delhi Police are buying more AK-47 and MP5 machine guns that are used by law enforcement agencies and military across the country due to their accuracy, reliability and a wide range of attachments and variants.

Nithiyanandam said in order to meet the requirement of well-trained commandos, particularly on the occasions of Republic Day, Independence Day and major festivals, they have designed another training module of 45 days.

"The first training course of 100 constables for 45 days has been started in mid-December with the aim of improving their strength and stamina, intensive weapon training practice, knowledge of explosive, raid on hostile hideouts and modules on rescue operations," he added.

"This training module would continue till a large reserve of commandos is trained," he added.

He said they were also planning to give the same training to all probationary sub-inspectors in batches of 75 immediately after completion of their basic training.

Apart from a series of anti-terror measures, Delhi Police have redesignated the inspector, law and order, at each police station as the inspector (Anti-Terrorist Operation). The station house officer (SHO) has been assigned the additional duty of law and order.

The inspector (Anti-Terrorist Operation) will be responsible for beat patrolling and the Eyes and Ears scheme.

Oppn seeks deadline to seal Indo-Bangla border
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, January 6
The opposition in the Congress-ruled Assam today demanded a deadline to seal the Indo-Bangladesh border in the state to prevent cross-border movement of anti-social elements that are out to destabilise the country.

The Assembly today witnessed a heated exchange between the members of the treasury bench and the Opposition, particularly from the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), after the government failed to give answer to the question about the deadline for completion of the border fencing.

The opposition lambasted the government for not setting up adequate number of river police posts and facilitate floating border outposts along the border. Leader of the Opposition and AGP president Chandra Mohan Partway also demanded a detail statement about the border fencing done so far.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram have also commented during their visit to the region after January 1 serial blasts in Guwahati that the porous border with Bangladesh has been a problem in tackling terror," he said.

Leader of the Assam United Democratic Front Badaruddin Ajmal said: "The government is committed as per the clauses of the Assam Accord of 1985 to fence the Indo-Bangladesh border. If needed, an all-party delegation should be sent to New Delhi to apprise the Prime Minister of the situation." Earlier, Assam Accord Implementation Minister Bhumidhar Barman informed the House that border-fencing work had run into the wall because of dispute over land between the two countries.

Kargil scam: SC seeks report from CBI

New Delhi, January 6
The Supreme Court today directed the CBI to submit its status report within four weeks in connection with the alleged bungling in the purchase of over Rs 2,000 crore arms and other necessary equipment for the Army during the Kargil war. A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam issued the directions when D K Garg, counsel for the petitioner, submitted before the court that the CBI was deliberately dragging its feet and during last seven years no progress has been made in the investigation.

The scandal came to light when Comptroller and Auditor General of India in its report suspected the involvement of senior defence and Army officers in it. A PIL was filed in the Supreme Court by one K G Dhananjay demanding a CBI investigation into the scam.

More than six senior officers are suspected to be involved in the scandal. — UNI

India should learn to strike silently

B Raman | January 06, 2009 | 14:32 IST

Ever since Israel started its military strikes in Gaza a week ago, against Hamas's terrorism, there have been demands from sections of analysts and the general public in our country that India should emulate Israel. They believe that India should retaliate in a similar manner against Pakistan, for its complicity in the terrorist attack in Novembe 2008 by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba in Mumbai.

Nobody can question Israel exercising its right to self-defence, to protect the lives and property of its citizens from rocket attacks in Gaza by the Hamas, which has been going on for weeks and months now. As the deputy permanent representative of the United States to the United Nations -- in a press interview after the US had refused to join in the condemnation of Israel's action by the UN Security Council -- said, 'Israel, like all other members of the UN, has the right of self-defence. This right is not negotiable.'

Like Israel and other members of the UN, India too has the right to self-defence against acts of terrorism emanating from Pakistani territory and sponsored by the State of Pakistan. It has the right to retaliate against Pakistan and the duty to do so to protect the lives and property of its citizens.

The question is not whether we should retaliate. We should if we want Pakistan and the hordes of terrorists nursed by it to take us seriously. The question is, whether a direct military strike will be the wise and appropriate way of retaliating against Pakistan or whether we should do it through political and diplomatic measures, followed by deniable covert actions, if those measures do not make Pakistan change its ways.

For many years, Israel has been the victim of acts of terrorism by organisations such as the Hamas and the Hizbollah, sponsored mainly by Syria and Iran. Its retaliation has been directed against these terrorist organisations and not against their State-sponsors.

After the Arab-Israeli war of 1967 and the Yom Kippur war of 1973, Israel has indulged in military strikes in the territory of a sovereign state and a member of the UN only on two occasions -- against the Osirak nuclear reactor under construction in Iraq in the early 1980s, and against the Hizbollah's infrastructure in Lebanese territory in 2006. In the past, Israeli armed forces have operated in Lebanese territory on other occasions too.

Isreal's action against Osirak in Iraq was a success, but its action in Lebanon in 2006 against the Hizbollah was not. Despite its concerns over the nuclear sites in Iran producing enriched uranium, Israel has till now avoided any military strikes on these sites, despite public pressure from sections of the Israeli people to do so.

It did launch an attack on a suspected nuclear site in Syria last year, but as a deniable covert action and not as an admitted military strike. It has also indulged in covert actions against suspected Hamas operatives based in Syria.

It is able to indulge in openly admitted military strikes against the Hamas in Gaza because Gaza is not part of any sovereign State. In the past, Israel's retaliatory militarystrikes have been against terrorist organisations posing a threat to its citizens and property, and not against the States sponsoring them. Its actions against States sponsoring terrorism have been in the form of covert actions and not direct military strikes.

Practically all States facing the problem of terrorism have a covert action capability, because it givesthem a third option if political and diplomatic measures fail. Without this option, a nation has to rely only on military retaliation, which could be messy when used against a next door neighbour. When a nation doesn't use military strikes and doesn't have a covert action capability, the State-sponsor and the terrorists sponsored by it develop contempt for such a nation.

The US has bombed Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan in retaliation for their perceived anti-US acts, but it has never taken a similar measure against Cuba, its next door neighbour.

It has declared Cuba a State-sponsor of terrorism and constantly keeps trying to undermine its political stability and economy, but avoids direct military action against it, despite it being a superpower. America knows that military action against a neighbour could get messy.

It is hoped that the government draws the right lessons from its dilemma after the Mumbai terror strike and tries to revive our covert action capability, which was discarded more than a decade ago as an ill-conceived unilateral gesture to Pakistan.

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retired), Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India, New Delhi and, presently, Director, Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail:

Pakistan must deliver
World knows about its involvement in terror attack

While India's impatience is growing by the day, Pakistan continues to deny its involvement in the November 26 terrorist strike on Mumbai. After providing information to prove Pakistan's complicity India has now categorically stated that an attack of such a big scale could not have been carried out without the involvement of the Pakistan Establishment.

The dossier provided by New Delhi to Islamabad and other world capitals clearly proves the links between the terrorists who came all the way from Karachi to Mumbai to do what they did with the help of Pakistan's agencies and their handlers in Pakistan. The proof provided by India is based not only on the confessions of arrested terrorist Ajmal Qasab but also the intercepts of communication between the terrorists and their masters in Pakistan as also reports from other sources. They were in constant touch with each other. The details in the dossier tally with the intercepts the US and the UK have collected, proving Pakistan's hand in the attack launched from its territory.

Thus, Pakistan must hand over to India terrorist masterminds like Z. R. Lakhvi, Zarar Shah, Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed and other wanted men as demanded by New Delhi. India has every right to try them under the SAARC convention on terrorism and many other international instruments.

Pakistan now has no excuse for not taking action against those who planned and carried out the terrorist attack. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's communication to his counterparts in different countries is obviously aimed at keeping the world informed about all this.

The world must not forget that Pakistan has continued to use terrorism as an instrument of state policy. As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pointed out while addressing chief ministers on Tuesday, "some countries like Pakistan have in the past encouraged and given sanctuary to terrorists and other forces who are antagonistic to India."

India and the international community have to take steps to force Pakistan to give up this policy and take action against the terrorist monster threatening the peace in the region. The world is interested in concrete action, not just denials by Islamabad. Prevarication on any pretext will not be acceptable.

What India wanted to achieve

Amanat Ali Chaudhry

Following the Mumbai terror attack on November 26, the clouds of war that hovered over the subcontinent have been cleared at least for now. So real was the threat of breaking out of hostilities between the arch-rivals that the world diplomacy led by the US got into top gear to avert the imminent clash. As the war mongering subsides and saner voices take control, there is a need to analyse the Indian approach with regard to the broad objectives India wanted to achieve and determine how far it has been successful.

This time India combined its military prowess with diplomatic offensive with the latter taking lead. This is something in contrast to the Indian approach when it brought its forces to the borders with Pakistan in what came to be known as an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation following attack on the Indian parliament building in December 2001. It relied heavily on its military strength to 'browbeat' Pakistan. The world did not buy Indian line urging both countries to come to the negotiating table for resolution of all issues.

The Indian establishment has tried to right the wrong now as it moved the UN Security Council to pass a resolution against the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its top leaders. It also convened a high-level conference of its ambassadors and high commissioners for 'consultations' with a clear aim to pressurize and isolate Pakistan diplomatically. One very sinister implication of the Indian diplomatic offensive might have been to win over the world community in its purported plan to undertake 'surgical' strikes within Pakistan. This internationalization of Pak-lndia conflict is interesting that it presents a clear departure from the Indian emphasis on bilateralism. How far this approach has been successful is manifest from the following excerpts of the Hindustan Times, Times of India and India Today.

The Indian policy of brinkmanship failed miserably as is clear from the comment of the Times of India: "While the de-escalation should soothe the tense nerves of the international community, it was being feared that Islamabad, by raising the bogey of war, may have edged out India's concerns. By feeding fears of an imminent conflict between two nuclear-armed rivals, it had ensured that the focus would shift towards conflict prevention. Indian security experts noted that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani made it a point to mention that our friends are persuading India against aggression."

Indian analyst K Subrahmanyam wrote: "It was diplomacy by fear, and Pakistan played it effectively. As it allowed passions to run high and let known terrorists join in the show of national belligerence, it was also playing victim. As part of the script, its foreign secretary, it now turns out, even summoned the Indian high commissioner in Islamabad, Satyabrata Pal, on Friday to lecture him on the need for India to bring down tensions. Vir Sanghvi of the Hindustan Times wondered how things could have gone so wrong: "I am now coming round to the view that they've only gone wrong for us. They've gone very right for Pakistan. Islamabad has got exactly what it needs, and what it always wanted."

Through the policy of brinkmanship, India wanted to tame Pakistan down in a bid to carve out its international role. It has long been eying its role beyond Asia. Its bid to get a permanent UNSC position is reflective of the same intentions. This is Pakistan, which stands in its way. In the Mumbai attacks, India found an excellent opportunity to 'remove' Pakistan from its way. The Indian establishment thought that by linking one particular incident of terrorism i.e. the Mumbai attacks with the grand scheme of international terrorism, it would take care of the Pakistan question. This explains why India spurned all offers of cooperation and joint investigation by the Pakistani leadership.

The government deserves appreciation that it worked behind the scene to convince international community of its point of view, at the same time, not appearing lax on the matters of national security and defence of the motherland. The convening of the All Parties Conference by the prime minister constitutes a milestone as the united Pakistan sent a clear message to India about the kind of response it would get if it dared attack Pakistan in any manner. It also sent an assurance to the army that the nation stood united behind the efforts of its armed forced to ensure territorial integrity against any external aggression.

This also goes to show the importance of secret diplomacy away from the glare of media in achieving the objectives. The Indian leadership should learn necessary lessons from its failure in browbeating Pakistan. Terrorists are friends of no one. Pakistan is itself victim of terrorism. If India is serious, it should pay attention to the offers of the government instead of indulging in blame game. Recently President Asif Zardari offered a regional approach involving China and Iran to fighting the menace of terrorism. India needs to ponder it seriously.

Boeing to sell military planes to India

| Tribune staff reporter

Boeing Co.'s defense group said Tuesday that the government of India has decided to acquire eight reconnaissance and anti-submarine aircraft for use by India's naval forces.

The Chicago aerospace concern didn't disclose financial terms for the planned sale of the eight maritime patrol aircraft, which are to be a variant of the P-8A Poseidon plane Boeing is currently developing for the U.S. Navy. India marks the first international customer for the P-8, the company said.

Delivery of the planes will begin 48 months after formal signing of the order, and will be completed by 2015, according to a statement from Boeing's St. Louis-based Integrated Defense Systems group.

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