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Saturday, 5 September 2009

From Today's Papers - 05 Sep 09

Telegraph India

Indian Express

Asian Age

The Pioneer

Telegraph India

The Pioneer

Kashmir Times

Kashmir Times

Asian Age

Asian Age

Asian Age

Asian Age

The Pioneer

The Pioneer

The Pioneer

The Pioneer

The Pioneer

The Pioneer

Times of India

Army chief slams Pakistan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 4
Army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor today termed the unprovoked firing by Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir as a “diversionary tactic” to sneak in infiltrators before the winter sets it. We understand this tactic and have been taking action against it, General Kapoor said.

General Kapoor was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function today when he commented on the firing from across the LoC. The Army chief refused to comment whether the ceasefire violations have the support of Pakistan’s leadership. That only the Pakistani leadership can tell, he said, when asked to comment.

Whenever a ceasefire violation will take place, we will take retaliatory action. We try to exercise maximum restraint but if ceasefire violations continue to happen, we will have to retaliate, the General said.

The cross-border infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir has been registering an upward trend with attempts being made to “push in” as many terrorists as possible before the winter sets in.

Attempts are being made to disrupt peace in the Kashmir valley. This period is critical as we have a peaceful valley... Attempts will be made from across the border to try and disrupt that.

India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire on the LoC November 2003. However, Defence Minister AK Antony had recently disclosed in Parliament that 110 incidents of ceasefire violation had taken place along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir since 2006.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090905/nation.htm#5

NATO airstrike kills 40: Afghan officials

Associated Press, Friday September 4, 2009, Kabul

Officials in northern Afghanistan say NATO airstrike on hijacked fuel tankers has killed at least 40 people.

Chief of Police Gulam Mohyuddin says the airstrike hit two tankers in Kunduz Province near the Tajikistan border.

He said the incident occurred around Thursday midnight after the Taliban hijacked two trucks delivering fuel to NATO forces. He said the trucks were hit by a NATO airstrike.

ISAF confirmed that there was an airstrike in Kunduz Province overnight but gave no details.

The police chief says 40 people were killed.

However, Governor Mohammad Omar of Kunduz province says at least 45 were killed in the strike. He says the dead included the senior Taliban commander for the district and four Chechen fighters.

http://www.ndtv.com/news/world/a_nato_airstrike_kills_40_afghan_officials.php

British defence minister's key aide quits over Afghan war

Agence-France Presse, Friday September 4, 2009, London

A key aide to Britain's defence secretary resigned on Thursday over the war in Afghanistan.

Eric Joyce, the parliamentary private secretary to Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth, said there were "problems" over Prime Minister Gordon Brown's government's handling of the war "which need fixing with the greatest urgency".

"I do not think the public will accept for much longer that our losses can be justified by simply referring to the risk of greater terrorism on our streets," he said in a resignation letter quoted by Channel Four television.

"I think we must be much more direct about the reality that we do punch a long way above our weight, that many of our allies do far too little, and that leaving the field to the United States would mean the end of NATO as a meaningful proposition."

Joyce, a former army major and lawmaker, added there was a perception that "Britain fights; Germany pays, France calculates; Italy avoids" within NATO.

Ainsworth rejected the comments, saying the mission in Afghanistan was vital to Britain's national security and "we will not walk away from that responsibility."

http://www.ndtv.com/news/world/british_defence_ministers_key_aide_quits_over_afghan_war.php

Despite Pak 'modifying harpoons against India,' US aid is assured

September 05, 2009 01:18 IST

The New York Times report that Pakistan illegally modified the harpoon anti-ship missile provided by the United States apparently to bolster its conventional weaponry against India, has embarrassed the Obama administration and Senators John F Kerry and Richard Lugar -- the chairman and ranking Republican on the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- just as Washington is poised to provide Islamabad [ Images ] with a massive economic and military largesse of $ 7.5 billion over five years.

Kerry and Lugar are the co-authors of this massive aid bill to Pakistan -- a clone of which was authored by Congressman Howard Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee -- that has progressed through the Senate and House Committees and after a final vote in the two chambers is to be signed into law by United States President Barack Obama [ Images ].

Aides to both the lawmakers contacted by rediff.com, refused comment beyond saying 'we are studying this report,' and waiting for 'the investigation to be completed,' before reacting to the New York Times story, but expressed confidence that they do not see the aid package to Pakistan being adversely impacted.

But, aides to Senators Carl Levin and Robert Menendez, both Democrats, with Levin being the chairman of the Armed Services Committee and Menendez, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee -- who have both expressed deep concern over continuing to provide Pakistan with massive amounts of aid since the Congress's investigative arm, the General Accounting Office, has in recent reports found that US military aid to Pakistan meant to fight the insurgency in Pakistan and the threat posed by the Taliban [ Images ] and Al Qaeda [ Images ] had been diverted to beefing up its conventional arsenal to target India -- and strongly expressed these fears during the Pakistan aid deliberations, said they would seek answers to this report and try to put a hold on the aid package, although however acknowledging doubts they would succeed.

But one aide told rediff.com, "Clearly, this report, it true, lends credence to our long-held concerns that Pakistan continues to misuse the security assistance that we provide for counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations and is more interested in building up a stockpile for a possible conflict with India."

"We will certainly pursue the facts behind this very troubling report," when Congress reconvenes this week, the aide added, but reiterated that Kerry and Lugar had steamrolled their legislation (first proposed by then Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman and now vice president Joe Biden along with Lugar) with strong support from the Obama administration eliminating several proposed amendments that would specifically condition this aid, and predicted that it was highly unlikely that the latest report of alleged Pakistani chicanery would throw a spanner in the works of a bill on the verge of signature by President Obama as vital to the efficacy of his Af-Pak strategy.

When State Department spokesman Ian Kelly was asked about the report of Pakistan's illegal modification -- which Islamabad has strongly denied with its Ambassador in the US, Husain Haqqani even going to the extent of alleging that it's all a part of an anti-Pakistan conspiracy by vested cabals--and India's concerns, he bristled, and retorted, "You'll have to talk to the government of India if they've had any reaction to these press reports."

He said, "We've seen these reports in The New York Times. We take the possibility of any potential of any violations of obligations entered into pursuant to the Arms Control Act -- we take these allegations very seriously."

Kelly, confirming the contention in the report that US intelligence had found such a violation and Washington had taken it up with Islamabad, said, "We have engaged the government of Pakistan at the highest levels."

"We recently negotiated an agreement in principle to establish mutually agreed inspections to address possible modifications to any arms that we've transferred, and we've notified Congress of potential violations of obligations entered in pursuant to the Arms Control Act to ensure that key leaders are provided information on US efforts to address them," he said.

When asked if the President's Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke [ Images ] during his recent trip to Pakistan had raised these questions with the Pakistani authorities, Kelly said, "First of all, I am talking in very general terms. I am not addressing these -- this particular allegation. And I am not aware of any representations by Ambassador Holbrooke."

Between 1985 and 1988, when the Central Intelligence Agency and the Inter Services Intelligence were working in concert to train and equip the Afghan Mujaheddin fighting the erstwhile Soviet troops following Moscow's [ Images ] invasion of Afghanistan, the Reagan administration delivered 165 harpoon missiles to Pakistan.

In the wake of the NYT report, Congressman Ed Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, and the fiercest non-proliferation advocate in the US House, who also vehemently opposed the US-India civilian nuclear deal, fired off a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [ Images ] requesting information on the report saying "If (recent media reports) true, the modification of these would be a violation of the Arms Control Act."

"In addition," Markey, he founder and co-chair of the House Bipartisan Task Force on Nonproliferation, said, "This would be yet another provocative and destabilizing action which threatens the delicate relationship between India and Pakistan."

The lawmaker in his missive to Clinton argued, "The nascent nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan is extraordinarily worrisome, as both countries appear to be increasing their ability to manufacture nuclear weapons. It is for this reason that I opposed both the US-India nuclear deal, which will allow India to free up extra domestic uranium for nuclear weapons production if it chooses, as well as the construction of new plutonium production reactors in Pakistan, which could increase the size of Islamabad's nuclear arsenal."

Markey wrote Clinton that it is imperative that "the United States must discourage the development of destabilizing offensive weaponry by either country, such as the alleged modification of harpoon."

"In order to understand the facts and circumstances surrounding Pakistan's actions," Markey sought answers to specific questions on the reported modification of the Harpoon. The questions mentioned in the letter are as follows:

* Did the United States government lodge a protest or otherwise communicate either formally or informally, with the government of Pakistan regarding that country's US-exported harpoon missiles? If so, what was the content of that protest?

* Has Pakistan, as reported, allowed American officials to inspect Pakistan's harpoon inventory to determine if modifications have been made? If so, has that inspection taken place? Were all of the harpoon missiles exported by the United States to Pakistan inspected? Were any modifications made to the missiles?

* Does the Department of State believe that the harpoon missiles in Pakistan's inventory can be armed with nuclear warheads? Does the Department of State believe that Pakistan has armed or intends to arm any of its harpoon missiles with nuclear warheads?

* Does the Department of State believe that Pakistan has violated its commitment made under the harpoon export licenses? What repercussions are stipulated by the Arms Export Control Act in such a case?

http://news.rediff.com/report/2009/sep/05/pak-harpoon-row-embarrasses-us.htm

Tribunal quashes court martial proceedings against Lt-Gen
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
Disposing-off one of the first major cases that came up before it, the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has quashed the court martial proceedings against a Lieutenant-General. It was for the first time that an officer of the rank of Lieutenant-General was facing a court martial for corruption.

In its order passed yesterday, a bench comprising AFT chairman Justice AK Mathur and former Army vice-chief Lt-Gen M L Naidu, held that the Army could not rely on the same court of inquiry proceedings that had earlier been quashed by the high court to convene the GCM.

Lt Gen SK Sahni, former Director-General Supplies and Transport (DGST), had been attached to Headquarters 11 Corps in September last year for disciplinary proceedings. The GCM was ordered in November and he was to be tried on nine charges. He had retired from service by that time and had been recalled from retirement under provisions of the Army Act.

General Sahni had moved the Delhi High Court, which stayed the court martial in November and the matter was still pending before it. When the AFT became functional last month, the case was transferred to it

A court of inquiry (COI) had, in 2006, indicted General Sahni and several other officers including a Major-General and two Brigadiers for alleged irregularities in procurement of dry rations for the army. In July 2006, the GOC-in-C, Western Command, had ordered disciplinary action against the General and Brigadiers, while administrative action was recommended against the Major-General.

The Delhi High Court had, subsequently set aside the COI on grounds that mandatory provisions of law were not complied with during the proceedings, but also gave liberty to the Army to exercise any other power available to proceed against the accused.

Procurement of cereals with lower specifications, improperly upgrading stock of dal arhar knowing that it contained harmful elements and failing to withhold payment worth lakhs for a consignment while quality inspection report was still pending were charges pertaining to his tenure as DGST that cropped up during the proceedings. Charges pertaining to his tenure as Commandant included financial misappropriation.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090905/cth1.htm#10

Infiltration in Kashmir: Worried Omar meets army commander

September 4th, 2009 - 8:50 pm ICT by IANS Tell a Friend -

Srinagar, Sep 4 (IANS) Worried over the spurt in militant incursions from across the border with Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah discussed the matter with his military advisor Friday.

Official sources said that Abdullah met General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 15th Corps Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh, who is the chief minister’s top advisor on security matters in the terror-infested state.

The chief minister and Singh discussed the security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir in the aftermath of recent violations by Pakistan of the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) to enable terrorists to sneak into India, an official said.

During their half-an-hour meeting, Singh briefed Abdullah about the situation in the state and the rise in infiltration attempts from across the border.

The Indian Army has alleged that the ceasefire violations by Pakistani troopers were “diversionary tactics” to push terrorists into India.

The first casualty during a ceasefire breach this year at the LoC took place Sep 1 when an Indian soldier was killed in Poonch district in Pakistani firing.

India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire on LoC in November 2003. Defence Minister A.K. Antony recently disclosed in parliament that 110 incidents of ceasefire violations had taken place along the LoC since 2006.

“Ceasefire violations have increased because this enables infiltration to be carried out when the firing is on and (it) can also be used as a diversionary tactic,” Indian Army Chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor had told reporters in Delhi.

“Their (Pakistani army’s) attempt is to infiltrate more and more people during the ceasefire violation. But we understand their tactics and take appropriate steps,” he said.

On Wednesday, five guerrillas attempting to cross over from Pakistan were killed by Indian soldiers in the Gurez sector along the LoC.

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/south-asia/infiltration-in-kashmir-worried-omar-meets-army-commander_100242922.html

Pakistan helping terrorists sneak into India: army chief

(Source: IANS)

Published: Fri, 04 Sep 2009 at 17:53 IST

New Delhi: Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor Friday accused Pakistan of violating the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir to enable terrorists to sneak into India.General Kapoor said the ceasefire violations at the LoC were "diversionary tactics" meant to enable terrorists to cross into India.

"Ceasefire violations have increased because this enables infiltration to be carried out when the firing is on and (it) can be used as a diversionary tactic," Kapoor told reporters here.

"Their attempt is to infiltrate more and more people during ceasefire violation. But we understand their tactics and take appropriate steps," he added.

The first casualty during a ceasefire breach this year at LoC, which divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan, happened Sep 1 when an Indian soldier was killed in Poonch district in Pakistani firing.

Kapoor termed the unprovoked firing a "diversionary tactic" to sneak in terrorists.

India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire on LoC in November 2003. Defence Minister A.K. Antony recently disclosed in parliament that 110 incidents of ceasefire violation had taken place along the LoC since 2006.

Gen Kapoor refused to say if the ceasefire violations had the backing of Pakistan's leadership.

"That only the Pakistani leadership can tell," he said. "But as far as we

are concerned, whenever a ceasefire violation will take place, we will take retaliatory action.

"We try to exercise maximum restraint but if ceasefire violations continue to happen, we will have to retaliate at some stage," he said.

As another fierce battle raged between security forces and a group of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants in Reasi district, the general said that attempts were being made to disrupt peace in the Kashmir Valley.

"This period is critical as we have a peaceful valley... Attempts will be made from across the border to try and disrupt that and push in as many infiltrators as possible before the winter sets in," he said.

He added that the army had put up a "multi-tier" defence system to check infiltration at the LoC.

There has been a surge in incidents of infiltration. Soldiers foiled an infiltration bid in Gurez sector Wednesday, killing five men attempting to cross over from Pakistan.

http://www.samaylive.com/news/pakistan-helping-terrorists-sneak-into-india-army-chief/654378.html

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