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Friday, 7 August 2009

From Today's Papers - 07 Aug 09

Asian Age

The Pioneer

Asian Age

Asian Age

Asian Age

Asian Age

Telegraph India

Asian Age

Telegraph India

Asian Age

Asian Age

The Pioneer

Times of India < img src="" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5367055528757681474" border="0" />

DNA India

‘Abducted’ colonel found with woman

Guwahati, August 6
A serving Indian Army colonel, who was reported abducted from Assam’s main city of Guwahati Thursday afternoon, was found by a police team along with a woman in an adjoining town, a police official said.

Col Dayal Kakoty of the Mahar Regiment was believed to have been kidnapped from the Sarania area here when he came to visit his mother. A police spokesperson said Col Kakoty was found with a woman near Rangiya, about 70 km from here.

“We cannot say anything now as we have to first interrogate the army officer. He was found with a woman near Rangiya,” a senior police official said. Earlier in the day, family members of Col Kakoty filed a police report that he was kidnapped by someone when he was on his way to visit his mother. "There were two youth on motorcyles and a woman in an autorickshaw.

The woman, assisted by the youth, forcibly shoved the army officer into the autorickshaw and sped away,” a witness told police. Col Kakoty was in Guwahati on way to Tezpur in Assam to join his new assignment after being transferred from Jammu and Kashmir. — IANS

Cabinet nod to GSAT-10 satellite
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 6
The government today gave its clearance for the development of a communications satellite that would have a GPS-based navigation system. The approval came at the meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The design and development of GSAT-10 spacecraft would cost Rs 735 crore with a foreign exchange component of Rs 634 crore, the government said. The 3.3-tonne satellite, one of the heavier spacecrafts to be developed by space agency ISRO, will replace INSAT 2E and INSAT 3B, an official release said.

The GSAT-10 satellite will have 12 high power Ku-band transponders, 12 C-band and 12 extended C-band India coverage transponders that would create additional capacity for direct-to-home like operations.

In another decision, the Cabinet approved the revision of pay scales of faculty, design and scientific staff and other academic staff of the centrally-funded institutions. It also approved financial assistance to states for implementing the above revised scales. This will enable the institutes to recruit and retain qualified faculty and provide them working conditions will encourage them to enhance their performance and capacity.

The Cabinet also approved the scheme for providing homestead sites to the rural BPL households and its basic parameters. The beneficiaries will be selected through permanent IAY waitlists as per priority. Only those BPL households who have neither land nor house will be eligible.

The state governments will regularise the land as a homestead site if it is presently occupied by a BPL household. If not, the state government will allot suitable government land as homestead site to the eligible BPL household. In case government land is not available, private land may be purchased or acquired.

Financial assistance of Rs 10,000 per beneficiary or actual, whichever is less, will be provided for purchase or acquisition of a homestead site of an area around 100-250 sq. mt.

Funding will be shared by the Centre and states in the ratio of 50:50 while in the case of UTs, the Centre will fund 100 per cent.

China denies reports of diverting Brahmaputra: Govt

Press Trust of India / New Delhi August 6, 2009, 15:39 IST

The government today said that China has denied reports suggesting it was planning to divert the course of the Brahmaputra river.

"Chinese foreign ministry has denied such reports," MoS for External Affairs Preneet Kaur said in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha query. She said the government was regularly monitoring the flows of the river.

"India and China have established an expert-level mechanism to discuss interaction and cooperation on all issues regarding trans-border rivers," the minister said.

Preneet Kaur said the government was giving "careful and special attention" to the development of infrastructure in the border areas opposite China to meet the security requirements and facilitate economic development there.

In reply to another query, Preneet Kaur said that over two lakh Chinese nationals have visited India on business visas till June 2009 from 2004.

The Minister added that an advisory has been issued to Indian missions and posts abroad to observe norms for grant of business visas to prevent their potential misuse.

UN Peacekeeping mission mandate be clear and achievable: India

Press Trust of India / United Nations August 6, 2009, 10:21 IST

As a major contributor to the peacekeeping missions of the United Nations, India today said the mandate of the world body's peacekeeping missions are too broad and there is very little co-relation with its ability to deliver.

"As a nation that has provided and continues to provide the UN thousands of soldiers and policemen, in addition to a large proportion of operating air assets, we feel that the nature of the Security Council's mandates and the manner in which they are generated is an area of major concern," Indian Ambassador to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said.

Addressing a special meeting of the Security Council on Peacekeeping here Puri said: "Mandates are too broad and have very little correlation with the ability of the organisation to deliver."

Reiterating the importance of Brahimi committee recommendation that mandates be clear and achievable, Puri said: "We also reiterate that this will not be possible without substantively involving countries who contribute manpower and resources to Peacekeeping Operations."

Taking note of the Council's intention to increase interaction with the Secretariat during drafting of a mandate on the rule of law and peace building dimensions of an operation, he said: "We believe that the future effectiveness of the United Nations in the maintenance of peace and security in the context of peacekeeping lies in its ability to harness national governance capacities in affected countries."

These national capacities, as the post-colonial experience in many societies reveal, usually exist in ample measure. The challenge lies in applying the capacities and knowledge of countries that have undergone successful post- colonial nation-building exercises to these situation, Puri said.

"The Council therefore needs to expand the ambit of its consultations to include these countries," he said.

Observing that the UN Secretariat has a predilection for codification, he said doctrines and benchmarks are constantly being written and updated.

"While we have no argument with the need to set standards, we need to remind ourselves that standards should be set in a manner which is realistic and relevant to the operating environment in which UN peacekeepers deploy," he said.

"Doctrines and standards must not become like mandates - statements rather than a blueprint for action," Puri said.

The Indian Ambassador said India is of the view that the Department of Field Support needs far greater internal coordination and client-orientation.

"It has also been our view that the Department of Field Support needs to function as a military support operation with a lean command structure. We feel that there is a need for far greater engagement of Member States on functioning of the DFS," he said.

Cyber security threat to India is real

India has a dedicated organisation, CERT-In -- which operates under the auspices of the department of communication and information technology -- to tackle cyber crimes. However, the agency is not a prosecuting body.

An officer at CERT-In told over the telephone from New Delhi [ Images ] that although the agency does not have the legal power to examine cyber crimes, it can probe cases referred to the organisation.

CERT-In, which covers both government and military areas, says the threats relating to cyber security are on the rise. Common targets include critical infrastructure like telecommunication, transportation, energy and finance.

The attackers are not confined to information infrastructures and geographical boundaries. They exploit network interconnections and navigate easily through the infrastructure. More worryingly, these cyber criminals are becoming more skilled at masking their behaviour.

CERT-In consists a group of professionals headed by a director who investigate cases referred to the agency. It submits a report to the police station that has sought the agency's help following which a chargesheet is filed.

Why not a single agency?

Senior police officers say it is difficult to have a single agency looking at such cases.

If a crime is committed in a particular state, it is easier for police officers of that state to probe the case. At present, one police officer adds, no one person has complete charge of cyber security.

Although the Union government drafts all cyber laws and CERT-In assists in investigations, the final call can be taken by the cyber crime wings based in the states.

The only other national agency which can probe cyber crime cases is the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The prosecuting agency

The ministry for communication and information technology governs the system pertaining to cyber security. While the ministry is largely involved in drafting laws, the actual job on the ground is handled by the cyber-crime wings in the states.

The law is clear that a complaint pertaining to a cyber crime or threat can be assigned only to the jurisdictional cyber crime wing in each state. An inspector general of police heads each cyber crime wing; a superintendent of police, inspectors and sub inspectors report to her/him. Only this department can file a chargesheet and prosecute individuals involved in cyber criminal activity.

The inspector general of police reports to the state police chief.

An officer in the Karnataka cyber crime wing said it is often difficult to crack a case as the cell does not have enough IT professionals. In such cases, CERT-In's assistance is sought.

Experts feel the process of investigating a cyber crime is cumbersome under the present set-up. It is difficult to have a national level agency which takes a final call since Indian law clearly states that cases will be probed on a jurisdictional basis for all practical purposes.

R Srikumar, a former Karnataka police chief and chairman of the Cyber Society of India (Karnataka chapter), says that trained personnel could be inducted into cyber crime cells so that the procedure of referring the matter to another agency and then waiting for a report to proceed with the prosecution can be avoided.

Professor Chandrashekar, a forensics expert and a member of the CSI, believes dedicated teams of IT professionals should be appointed by respective state governments to work with the cyber crime wings.

Former CBI Director R Raghavan launched the first cyber society in Tamil Nadu. Professor Chandrashekar explains that the society's role is to train professionals in cracking cyber crimes.

He says the society will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Law School, Bengaluru [ Images ], to introduce a course in cyber security. The course will issue a certificate to certified cyber crime investigators.

Cyber crime wings in the states could then employ such certified investigators.

Although private security agencies investigate cyber crimes, the Union government has not made full use of their services as is the case in some countries.

Sources say the government may seek the skills of private agencies in select cases, but would prefer to improve official cyber crime wings since such cases often involve national security.

Why not a military option against Pakistan?

If diplomacy could be translated into actual warfare, then the joint Indo-Pak statement at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt [ Images ] would be tantamount to a massive decisive victory for Pakistan and a colossal defeat for India leaving it with a near defunct armory. In fact, India's composition exemplified everything that a country should not do in international parley: barter away ones advantage and willingly handover to its foe a new issue much to its own detriment. No wonder Pakistan walked away from this summit a clear winner having successfully set the agenda and manipulated the conclusion to suit its interests.

However to decipher the true significance of this encounter, we need to reach beyond the innuendos and the syntax inherent in the documentation. Lost in the polemics of delinking terrorism from the composite dialogue and the reference to Balochistan is a far more important nuance of Indo-Pak relations. A message that rings loud and clear and which India has repeatedly failed to comprehend: Pakistan has not changed its attitude and continues to indulge in wordplay that is plain chicanery.

The entire document reads like an exercise in deception. Compartmentalising terrorism and the composite dialogue gives Pakistan maneuvering space to drag its feet. It can claim to be in the process of normalising relations with India while covertly abetting terror on the side. If Pakistan's intention was beyond reproach, then the need for this clause, "action on terrorism should not be linked to the composite dialogue process and these should not be bracketed", would be redundant. Moreover, Balochistan is a red herring thrown in to muddy the picture, place India on the defensive and an issue to be resurrected at a later time as an equalizer to Kashmir [ Images ].

Making a bad situation worse is India's gullibility which it flaunts as moral bravado.

"Just put the cards on the table, I am not scared," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [ Images ] is quoted to have remarked to Yousuf Raza Gilani [ Images ] at the recent summit in his trademark self effacing style; a characteristic that may be an asset in domestic politics when confronting political adversaries but is a definite liability on the international stage. The net effect of PM Singh's candor was the inappropriate and self incriminating reference to Balochistan.

India's display of naiveté becomes all the more unacceptable in light of the premonitory events preceding this arbitration. A few days prior Lashkar-e-Tayiba [ Images ] founder Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, who had been in custody since December for his role in masterminding the Mumbai [ Images ] attacks, was released from jail. Apart from indicating a lack of resolve on reigning in terror, what this release signified was Pakistan's blatant disregard for India's sensibilities. In effect Pakistan was cocking a snook at India, ahead of this deliberation.

In lieu of a firm, uncompromising stand that this delinquency warranted India responded with its standard accommodating nature which only reinforces the concept of India as a soft nation that is incapable of hard decisions: in other words a wimp. Terrorism [ Images ] remains the contention numero uno between the two countries as far as India is concerned. Yet India readily acquiesced to the Pakistani version of the draft.

For Pakistan treachery has always been second nature. Kargil [ Images ] stands out as another example of this continuing deceit. In February 1999, Atal Bihari Vajpayee [ Images ], the leader of the hardline Bharatiya Janata Party [ Images ], shed his inhibitions and hopped onto a bus to Islamabad [ Images ] carrying with him a message of peace and goodwill. On his trip he made it a point to visit Minar-e-Pakistan (a monument built at a site where Indian Muslims first articulated their demand for Pakistan) to affirm India's recognition of Pakistan as a nation and to allay any misgivings that Pakistanis had about India's notion of their existence. In return, barely two months later, Pakistan sent hordes of army personnel disguised as militants to invade a large swath of Indian territory triggering the Kargil conflict.

Since the early 1990's Pakistan, through its proxy agents, has conducted a relentless campaign of terror against India, bombing its cities, hijacking its planes and attacking its Parliament with the Mumbai attacks of 26/11 being the most recent in this endless and more to come series of diabolical acts.

Every terror attack has engendered a stereotype sequence of events that religiously repeats itself at regular intervals. Terrorists attack India, India seethes with anger and lodges a protest with Pakistan. Pakistan initially denies any involvement and then reluctantly agrees to look into it under world pressure. Months later the whole episode is forgotten and we are back to square one.

The tenor post 26/11 however did seem slightly different at the outset. People's wrath had prompted the Indian government to mount a sustained diplomatic offensive. And for once Pakistan appeared to be responding positively to India's concern. The present resolution throws a monkey wrench into the whole process. Again Pakistan has managed to wriggle out of a tight corner, thanks to India's naivete. The cycle repeats itself.

The top leadership of the two countries has met several times over the last decade starting with Vajpayee's historic bus ride. Each time Pakistan has chanted the same mantra: we will not let terrorists use our soil to launch attacks against India. But terrorists continue their activities unabated with India appearing as a hapless victim incapable of protecting itself.

An analysis of the decade long tete-a-tete between the two countries leads one to the following conclusions. One, Pakistan on its own will not act to eradicate anti-Indian terrorists from its midst for its own official machinery is inextricably intertwined with this anti-India strategy. Two, the present civilian government even if it appears sincere at times is incapable of countering the diktat of the all powerful Pakistan Army [ Images ] that calls the shots in that country and whose anti-India mindset is impregnable. If that is the case aren't we wasting our time dealing with a powerless broker?

Lastly, it is obvious that India does not have the diplomatic finesse or clout to force Pakistan's hand.

That brings us to an existential conundrum: what do we do in this setting? The joint statement at Sharm-el-Sheikh indicated that both "Prime ministers recognised that dialogue is the only way forward."

Let me play devil's advocate and pose the question: why? Is it essential that we cling to an approach that has yielded no results? We have persisted with this policy for over a decade. We have shown exemplary restraint in the face of extreme violent provocation and dutifully internalised the loss of lives of our citizens. How long can we wait and for what? Another attack like Mumbai 26/11 or until our country is completely devastated and destroyed? After all terrorists have vowed to bleed us to death through a thousand cuts.

Diplomatic correctness warrants that we eschew a military option and India's ethical values have always nudged us in this direction. But do we have a choice when there is no authority in Pakistan capable or willing to stem the rot? Does it not then become our bounden duty to take all measures to safeguard the lives of our citizens?

Precision surgical strikes covered by the readiness for wider military involvement if necessary must be a standing, practical option executable as a last resort to extract a permanent and lasting peace from our wayward neighbour. Yes, there is a definite downside to such a venture: the danger of conventional warfare escalating into a much dreaded nuclear combat. And it is this concern that has repeatedly kept our leaders from pursuing this path and it is this bogey that Pakistan has repeatedly flagged to blackmail India into inaction.

But we must remember that this is a bogey that cuts two ways. Our neighbours despite their macho talk suffer from the same trepidation that we harbor. They must realize and probably do, that they are not be immune to the deadly consequences of a nuclear fallout. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, a nuclear war between India and Pakistan is a mere chimera, not a practical possibility.

India's naivete and Pakistan's deceit have inadvertently conspired to produce a stalemate that maintains a dangerous status quo between Pakistan aided terror and India's inertia. To break this logjam, we need to be pragmatic. A military option kept hanging like a Damocles sword in tandem with an ongoing dialogue is vital to ensure results.

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