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Thursday, 26 March 2009

From Today's Papers - 26 Mar 09

DNA India

DNA India

Indian Express

Asian Age

Asian Age

Asian Age

Asian Age

Hindustan Times

Hindustan Times

Times of India

Asian Age

Telegraph India

Asian Age

Telegraph India

Asian Age

Asian Age

Indian Express

Asian Age

Defence Minister reviews security situation
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 24
With Lok Sabha polls round the corner and the threat of terror strikes looming large, Union Defence Minister AK Antony today directed the Indian Army to deal with utmost firmness the situation arising out the recent spurt in terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

At a meeting held today to review the security situation, Antony emphasised that the J&K incidents highlighted the nature of threat the country faced from terrorists. Besides, inputs had come from intelligence agencies as well about attempts at pushing in more foreign mercenaries to disrupt the polls.

The Minister was apprised of how the situation had changed in the past few weeks, with Pakistan violating the ceasefire (first time this year) only a few days ago. The matter was being taken up with Pakistan high-ups.

Then, 16 militants have been killed by the security forces in Kupwara district in the last five days. Eight Armymen, including an officer, too, lost their lives.

Among others, the meeting was attended by Chief of Army Staff General Deepak Kapoor, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Suresh Mehta, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major and Defence Secretary Vijay Singh.

Antony also reviewed the maritime security with Admiral Mehta, Coast Guard Director General Vice-Admiral Anil Chopra and other senior officers of the Navy, Coast Guard and MoD.

Woman Army officer commits suicide

Nagpur, March 25
A 29-year-old lady Captain employed with the Army Hospital in Pune committed suicide here, the police said today. The incident took place last week, they said. Captain Bharti Devikant Naranje had come to her parents’ house and injected some poisonous substance, they said.

When family members broke open the door of the room, Naranje was found unconscious with a syringe lying close to her body, they said adding she was immediately rushed to a private hospital where she breathed her last yesterday. A suicide note was recovered from her room in which she said she was committing suicide and that no one should be held responsible for it, they said.

Further investigation is on in the matter, the police added. — PTI

Navy copter crashes in Goa

Mumbai, March 25
An Indian Navy helicopter, out on a routine sortie, today crashed off Goa coast. However, all three members onboard are safe, a Navy spokesperson here said. The incident took place at around 11 am, about 22 miles from the Goa coast, the spokesperson said.

The crew members, who were rescued by a light helicopter, have sustained minor injuries, the sources said . — PTI

Army chief does not rule out Pak Army support to terrorists

NDTV Correspondent

Wednesday, March 25, 2009, (Srinagar)

Not ruling out Pakistan Army's support to terrorists involved in Kupwara encounter in Jammu and Kashmir, Army chief General Deepak Kapoor on Wednesday said Lashkar-e-Toiba was still active in Pakistan despite the action that Islamabad claims to have taken against the outfit.

He said that about 40 to 50 terror camps were operational across the Line of Control (LoC) and terrorists are waiting for an opportunity to infiltrate.

"The fact that there are camps on the other side obviously indicate that the possibility of involvement (of Pakistan Army) cannot be ruled out," Kapoor told reporters here on the sidelines of a reception to gallantry and service medal winners here.

The Army chief was responding when asked if the terrorists, who were engaged in a five-day battle with the Army troops in the forests of Kupwara and Handwara had Pakistan Army's assistance.

Asked if the arrest of senior LeT operatives by Pakistan had any impact on its activities, Kapoor said the terrorist outfit was still "very much active".

"I can definitely say that Lashkar is very much still active and as to the amount of difference those arrests have made, its for you all to judge and see for yourselves," he said.

He added that there was still a very large component of foreign militants operating in the border state.

The forests of Kuwpara in the Kashmir Valley saw one of the longest and bloodiest encounters in recent times. Seventeen militants have been killed but eight Army personnel including a Major also died. The gunfight is over and the search operations are on.

The Army on Wednesday said equipment and material seized from Lashkar-e-Toiba militants killed in Kupwara indicated that Pakistani security forces provided assistance to the ultras, mostly comprising heavily-armed foreign terrorists, to infiltrate into Indian territory.

"The map, guidance systems and equipment (with terrorists) is indicative that the state and security forces assistance from across the border was there as such material is not usually there in the civil domain," said General Staff Brigadier Gurmit Singh, Army's Srinagar-based 15 Corps Brigadier.

No fresh exchange of fire has occurred since last evening and the Army was carrying out combing operations in Drangyari and Hafroda forest area after the five-day encounter, which left eight Army personnel, including Major Mohit Sharma, and 17 terrorists dead.

The Army officer strongly refuted Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba's (LeT) claim that they killed 25 soldiers during the encounter saying, "Only eight soldiers including Major Mohit Sharma made the supreme sacrifice."

Claiming responsibility for Kupwara encounter, a spokesman of the LeT claimed that 25 Army personnel were killed and 50 others injured in gunbattles.

Singh said 23 AK assault rifles, one pistol, four Under Barrel Grenade Launchers (UBGLs), 19 UBGL grenades, two hand grenades, two global positioning systems and 10 radio sets were recovered from the slain militants. (With PTI inputs)

Eight foreign militants killed in US drone attack in Pakistan

Press Trust of India

Wednesday, March 25, 2009, (Islamabad)

At least eight foreign Al-Qaida militants were killed in a missile attack carried out by a US drone in Pakistan's restive tribal belt bordering Afghanistan on Wednesday.

The drone struck a pick-up truck carrying the militants in the Makeen area of South Waziristan region, military sources were quoted as saying by TV channels. All those killed in the attack were foreign militants.

There was no official word on the attack in South Waziristan, considered a stronghold of Pakistani Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud.

Pakistan's tribal belt has witnessed dozens of drone attacks since mid-last year. Several top Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives have been killed in these attacks.

Islamabad has strongly opposed the drone attacks describing them as a violation of the country's sovereignty and said they are counter-productive for the war on terror.

It has called for the new US administration headed by President Barack Obama to change the policy of missile strikes in view of collateral damage, including the death of dozens of civilians.

Wednesday's attack was the seventh missile strike carried out by US drones in the tribal belt since Obama took office.

Kashmir weeps for its martyred soldier

March 25, 2009

Hundreds turned up to attend the funeral ceremony of Shabir Ahmad Malik, the Kashmiri soldier killed in the army's ongoing encounter with Lashkar-e-Taiyba militants, at Dab Wakoora village in north Kashmir's Ganderbal district.

The gunfight between militants and the army in north Kashmir's Shamsbhari mountain range in the frontier Kupwara district has claimed 25 lives till now.

The Army has so far eliminated 17 militants while it has lost eight troopers, including Major Mohit Sharma.

Pentagon questions growing Chinese military power

By PAULINE JELINEK – 4 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — China's rapidly growing military strength is shifting the military balance in the region and could be used to force its claims in disputed territories, a Pentagon report said Wednesday.

Beijing continues to develop weapons that threaten longtime rival Taiwan, even though tensions between the two have been reduced significantly, the report said. It added that China is also developing longer range capabilities that could have an affect beyond the Asia-Pacific region.

The latest in a series of annual assessments for Congress of China's military power, the report says the U.S. "welcomes the rise of a stable, peaceful and prosperous China and encourages China to participate responsibly" in world affairs.

"However, much uncertainty surrounds China's future course, particularly regarding how its expanding military power might be used," the report said.

It comes in the wake of heightened tensions between the U.S. and China. Chinese vessels this month harassed the Navy surveillance ship USNS Impeccable in international waters in the South China Sea; and U.S.-China military-to-military talks had just been resumed a week earlier after a five-month suspension over U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.

During meetings with China officials after the Navy incident, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said both sides have agreed on the need to reduce tensions and avoid a repeat of the confrontation.

The new report notes that the People's Liberation Army is remaking itself into a force that can fight and win short, intense conflicts against high-tech adversaries.

"The pace and scope of China's military transformation have increased in recent years," fueled by the purchase of advanced foreign weapons, continued high rates of spending on new technologies and far-reaching reforms in the armed forces, the report said.

"It's armed forces continue to develop and field disruptive military technologies," it said, referring to anti-satellite weapons like one tested in 2007, satellite communications jammers and others.

Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949 and Beijing says it is intent on eventual unification, by persuasion if possible but by force if considered necessary. The report said China's growing muscle could be used to pressure Taiwan toward a settlement on the issue "while simultaneously attempting to deter, delay or deny any possible U.S. support for the island in case of conflict," the report said.

At this point, the U.S. still is able to defend against a Beijing attack on Taiwan, it said.

It said some of Beijing's new capabilities could allow China to "project power to ensure access to resources or enforce claims to disputed territories."

Among its disputes, for instance, China claims sovereignty over the Spratly and Paracel islands — claims challenged in part or whole by Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. While China and India have improved relations, tensions continue along their shared border.

House Armed Services Chairman Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo. said he was concerned that China's military budget continues a trend of double-digit increases and that "questions remain about China's strategic intentions." The report estimated 2008 China's military-related spending at between $105 billion to $150 billion, roughly double that of a decade ago.

The report noted China has also used its new powers for good, such as in relief missions.

"I am also encouraged by China's recent involvement in counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden," Skelton said in a statement. "This demonstrates a responsible use of China's military power, in line with its international responsibilities, of which I hope to see more."

Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report.

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1 comment:

  1. Hello, I like the blog.
    It is beautiful.
    Sorry not write more, but my English is bad writing.
    A hug from Portugal



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