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Monday, 7 September 2009

From Today's Papers - 07 Sep 09

Kashmir Times

Kashmir Times

Kashmir Times

Asian Age

Telegraph India

The Pioneer

Asian Age

Asian Age

The Pioneer

The Pioneer

Asian Age


Times of India

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Times of India

DNA India

DNA India

Hindustan Times

DNA India

China violates LAC in Ladakh
Chinese have made forays into these areas for the first time since Independence. They have sprayed the area with red markings as deep as 1.5-1.7 km

Leh, September 6
After helicopter incursions into Indian airspace, the Chinese Army has brazenly violated the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh region and painted boulders and rocks in the area red.

The Chinese troops entered nearly 1.5 km into the Indian territory near Mount Gya, recognised as International Border by India and China, and painted the boulders and rocks with red spray paint, official sources said.

The incursions were reported from the area, generally referred in the Chumar sector in east of Leh, and painted “China” in Cantonese with Red spray paint all over the boulders and rocks, they said. The 22,420 ft Mount Gya, also known as “fair princess of snow” by the Army is located at the tri-junction of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, and Tibet. Its boundary was marked during the British era and regarded as International Border by the two countries.

The border patrol discovered red paint markings on various rocks and boulders along the Zulung La (pass) on July 31, the sources said.

Senior Army officials said the issue was being downplayed as three of its Generals were currently in Beijing and Lhasa under an exchange programme.

This incident was viewed with seriousness by the officials as the Chinese have made foray into these areas for the first time since Independence and sprayed the area with red markings as deep as 1.5-1.7 km of the Indian territory.

The border forces talked to the locals and were informed about the incursions by the People's Liberation Army of China in this area.

Before this, Chinese helicopters had violated Indian air space along the LAC in Chumar region in June and also Helli-dropped some expired food.

Reacting to this, the Army spokesperson had said: “There was a report of a helicopter flying in the area south of Chumar, where India and China have differences in perception on the LAC. It was reported by grazers.”

India and China have been engaged in talks over the Line of Actual Control and had exchanged maps in 2002. In the western sector (East Jammu and Kashmir), the Samar Lungpa area, between the Karakoram Pass and Chipchap river, is contentious, with Chinese maps showing the LAC to be south of the Samar Lungpa. — PTI

Couldn’t get key radars before Kargil due to DRDO, says Malik

New Delhi, September 6
Former Army chief VP Malik, who led the army during the 1999 Kargil war, has said casualties in the conflict could have been reduced had DRDO “not come in the way” in the acquisition of weapon-locating radars.

“We had one or two incidents particularly on the weapon-locating radar. If the DRDO had not come in the way we would have got them before the Kargil war and that would have definitely reduced our casualties,” he told Karan Thapar on Devil’s Advocate programme on CNN-IBN.

Asked whether DRDO was “slight boastful” in claims over developing weapons, Malik said, “Well that has been our (armed forces') experience over the development of weapons and equipment the DRDO has delivered or not delivered.”

On whether APJ Abdul Kalam, during his stint as the Director-General of the DRDO, overestimated the country’s capacity and ability, Malik merely said. “I do not want to go more into that.”

Amid claims by some scientists that Pokhran-II in 1998 was not a complete success, Malik says armed forces were “affected” by doubts over its efficacy and need to be “reassured” by the nuclear establishment on the exact yield of the atomic tests. Malik also said the statement by former president APJ Abdul Kalam, the DRDO chief when India exploded the bombs in 1998, rubbishing the claims of his colleague and defence scientist Dr K Santhanam, was “unconvincing.”

Santhanam said the tests were a fizzle, which were rejected by Kalam, who said Pokhran-II was a complete success. “They (armed forces) need to be reassured about the weapon system they use and about the planning of what kind of the yield they have when they hit the target,” said Malik. He dubbed as shocking the recent comments of Santhanam, questioning the yield of the thermonuclear device tested on May 11, 1998. “Yes, it affects the armed forces. Particularly, because, when they plan the task given to them then they have to know what kind of yield that each nuclear weapon has,” he said, stressing that it was important to remove doubts.

“Let us not forget that Dr Santhanam was part of his (Kalam’s) team. And it came as quite a shock with Dr Santhanam himself mentioning that it was a fizzle. Of course, again he was referring to the thermonuclear weapon. So, Dr Kalam's statement was not quite convincing,” he said. Malik said the team of scientists led by then chairman of the Atomic Energy commission R Chidambaram should reassure the armed forces on the yield of the weapons. — PTI

India all set to renew claim for UNSC seat
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 6
With the 64th session of the UN General Assembly slated to be convened later this month, India is all set to renew its bid for permanent membership of the all-powerful Security Council.

The upcoming session has once again set off a debate in political, diplomatic and media circles over India’s candidature for occupying a seat at the highest forum in the UN system.

The tone has already been set by Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur and India’s permanent representative to the UN Hardip Singh Puri by making a strong case for the country’s inclusion in the Security Council while addressing international forums. As the General assembly meet comes closer, New Delhi will seek to bolster its campaign.

“Today, it makes no sense to conceive a world structure without India…we have come a long way since the inception of the UN,” said a Union Minister, who did not wish to be identified. He said a membership of the Security Council would be recognition for India more than anything else of its immense contribution to the UN system. “We are willing to serve the world more responsibly…today there are 192 members of the UN which are being represented on the Security Council merely by less than 8 per cent of the total members.’’

According to the minister, India should have actually gone for the kill in 1997 when working groups of UN reforms had made far-reaching recommendations for strengthening the world body. “We really missed the bus in 1997, thanks to an uncertain domestic political situation,” he rued. Thereafter, so many countries ganged up to oppose the candidatures of G-4 countries-India, Germany, Brazil and Japan.

But Indian officials say India’s legitimate claim can’t be ignored for long by the world community, taking into account the fact that it is a responsible nuclear power, has the world’ 12th largest economy, third largest armed force and is the largest contributor of troops to UN peacekeeping missions.

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna will lead India’s charge at the UN since the Prime Minister will not be attending the meet this year. Manmohan Singh would, however, be in the US around the same time for the G-20 Summit on global economic meltdown at Pittsburgh.

There is a growing sense of frustration in the corridors of power here over the attitude of the US on the proposed expansion of the Security Council. In a sense, the US approach is being seen as supportive of the initiatives of the so-called ‘Coffee Club’, comprising countries like Pakistan, Italy, Argentine and Mexico, which have been opposing the expansion for obvious reasons. Pakistan would not like India to be there on the powerful body while Italy is opposed to Germany’s candidature and Argentina and Mexico are uncomfortable with Brazil’s bid.

India supports expansion of the Security Council in both permanent and non-permanent members’ categories. It is of the firm view that any expansion of the permanent members’ category should be based on an agreed criteria, rather than be a pre-determined selection.

Britain, France and Russia fully support India’s admission to the council as a permanent member. China, despite reluctance to strongly back New Delhi’s case, supports greater role for India at the UN but the US is turning out to be the biggest hurdle. While Washington appreciates India’s growing stature as a world power, it has so far refrained from supporting New Delhi’s candidature for a permanent seat on the Security Council.

Super Viper aircraft weapons testing in Rajasthan
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, September 6
Weapons testing of the F-16 IN Super Viper aircraft for the MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) purchase trials of the IAF will be carried out in the deserts near Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.

Michael Griswold, director, advanced development programmes, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, revealed this to the TNS during an interview here. Orville Prins, Vice-President, business development for India, and Jack Giese, a senior Lockheed Martin (LM) manager, were also present.

Officials of the American aeronautics giant, which is the largest supplier of hardware to the US air force, are here in connection with the evaluation by the IAF of the Super Viper, a fourth-generation fighter aircraft from the LM stable.

The IAF had earlier said weapon testing of the six shortlisted bidders would take place in the countries of their origins to avoid legal tangles and unavailability of the infrastructure necessary for carrying out the tests. It could not be immediately confirmed if the LM was the only bidder to have made arrangements for weapon testing in India. The Super Viper team will shift base to Rajasthan toward the end of this month.

F/A-18E/F Super Hornet of the Boeing, the Russian MiG 35, the Swedish JAS 39 Gripen, the Eurofighter Typhoon (manufactured by an European consortium) and the French Rafale are the other competitors in the race.

On the presence of F-16 aircraft in the Pakistani air force, Griswold said the aircraft being offered to India had been “tailor made” for the IAF. “The IAF had specified what they were looking for and the aircraft is equipped to meet those requirements”, he said.

He said a unique feature of Super Viper is the AESA (active electronically steered array) radar. The radar, apart from tracking enemy targets, will also help the pilot in carrying out low flying missions.

Test pilots of the IAF are now working on simulators at the Aircraft and System Training Establishment (ASTE) here to get familiarised with the Super Viper control system. This will be followed by actual flying of the aircraft by IAF pilots together with the LM test pilots. Three Super Vipers, having tandem seating arrangements, have been flown to Bangalore from UAE for this purpose.

“The IAF pilot will sit in the front cockpit and our pilot will handle the rear control. Solo flying by IAF pilots of Super Vipers will take place in the US in early 2010”, Griswold said.

The IAF had earlier placed order with the Lockheed Martin for supplying six C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft. These aircraft would be given to the IAF in 2011, the officials said.

The MMRCA contract for supplying 126 fighter jets to the IAF is worth Rs 42,000 crore (US$ 10.5 billion). It is said to be the single largest defence deal ever in the history of IAF.

China's strategy on India: provoke, pressure


TimePublished on Sun, Sep 06, 2009 at 23:49, Updated on Mon, Sep 07, 2009 at 00:00 in India section

New Delhi: Chinese troops are challenging India again. Reports say Chinese troops entered the international border in Ladakh and painted “China” in Cantonese on boulders and rocks in Indian territory.

Indian border patrol found on July 3 that Chinese troops had entered nearly 1.5 km into Indian territory near Mount Gya, which is recognised as international border by both countries.

A week ago it was reported that Chinese helicopters came into Indian air space along the Line of Actual Control in Chumar region of Jammu and Kashmir in June. The Indian Army recorded 270 border violations and nearly 2,300 cases of “aggressive border patrolling” by Chinese soldiers last year.

Are these intrusions intended to provoke India? Does China want to convey some message through these intrusions?

The answer is complex and related to the negations the two countries are conducting to resolve their territorial and border disputes, said C Uday Bhaskar, strategic expert, columnist and director of National Maritime Foundation.

“There seems to be an attempt from China to step up the kind of leverages they have as far as India is concerned, particularly over complex territorial disputes,” Bhaskar told CNN-IBN.

“India and China, over the last few years, have had a number of incursions and ‘violations’ of the Line of Control they both recognise. Just as we have instances of Chinese coming into this side, there are instances of China similarly making allegations about Indians entering Chinese territory.”

Bhaskar, a former director of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, believed there has been a “steady pattern” in Chinese strategy in the last few months.

“Whether it’s violation of air space or the kind of reportage that has come from some Chinese journals, there is an anxiety growing in India that is China increasing pressure at a time when the two sides are engaged in a formal dialogue on the complex territorial and border issue.”

India has publicly said that it is committed to improving infrastructure along its border with China in order to help its armed forces. Could the Chinese be warning India not to go any further?

“I think this is a complex kind of signaling that is going between India and China.” China, last year, took a position that was detrimental to India at the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which was discussing the India-US nuclear deal.

China, earlier this year, tried to block a $2.9 billion dollar Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan to India. It said part of the loan was intended for water projects in Arunachal Pradesh, which includes Tawang, an area which the Communist nation says is disputed.

China, in May 2007, refused to grant visa to an IAS officer from Arunachal Pradesh. Bhaskar said by these actions China is “pressing its own case” in talks with India.

“I call this complex signaling. India’s relationship with China will really be predicated on its capacities: political capacity, economic capacity and military capacity. We have to work on all three fronts,” he said.

Need reassurance on nuclear deterrence: ex-Army chief

Karan Thapar


How do the armed forces respond to reports that cast a doubt over either the credibility of India's nuclear deterrent as well as reports that suggest that Pakistan's nuclear capacity has enhanced and its delivery improved? Karan Thapar asked one of India's former Army chiefs and the victor of Kargil, General V P Malik.

Karan Thapar: General Ved Malik, three leading Indian scientists, Dr Santhanam, Dr Sethna and Dr Iyengar, have raised doubts about India's nuclear as well as thermo-nuclear tests of 1998. The thermo-nuclear test is said to have been a fizzle and the nuclear test is said to have been done in haste. Have these comments said to have cast a shadow of doubt over the credibility of India's nuclear deterrent?

General V P Malik: I don't think that out ability to produce nuclear weapons and to deliver them is in doubt. However, what is in doubt today is the yield of these weapons. That is linked to whether we need more tests or not.

Karan Thapar: So in a sense if the yield is in doubt then there are also question marks about the efficacy of them?

General V P Malik: Yes, that is true. It affects the armed forces particularly because they have to plan. When they do the planning they have to execute the task given to them, then they have to know what is the kind of yield that each bomb or nuclear weapon has.

Karan Thapar: Now, the armed forces will have question marks assessing the yield because there is a dispute about it?

General V P Malik: Particularly about the mega-tonne weapons, I'm talking about the fusion weapons, the thermo nuclear ones.

Karan Thapar: And therefore there will be question marks within the armed forces about the efficacy of the weapon and their own planning?

General V P Malik: They need to be reassured, there is no doubt about it. That the weapon system that they are going to use and for which they have to do their planning, about what kind of yield it has and what kind of damage it can cause at the target.

Karan Thapar: Now if there are doubts in the minds of the Indian armed forced and they need to be reassured, what would the same comments have done to the planners in Pakistan and in China in a sense to have strategic opponents. How will they view these doubts?

General V P Malik: As I said earlier, right in the beginning, that we have the weapons and we can deliver them. The question is that we would probably have to over-ensure in places we feel the yield may be less.

Karan Thapar: Also the Pakistanis and the Chinese, having heard what our three scientists have said, will themselves question marks about the credibility about India's nuclear deterrent?

General V P Malik: Well, credibility and deterrence is about how you convince people and how they take it. And therefore to that extent they could have.

Karan Thapar: The truth is that these doubts have existed for a while. In fact, even in 1998 after the tests, when you were Army chief, one of the former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, Dr Iyengar, came to meet you and expressed these doubts to you at that time. How did you respond?

General V P Malik: Well he met me and many others also. I had a long chat with him, then he gave something in writing to me and I told him that I would put it across to the National Security Advisor and which is what I did.

Karan Thapar: Which was Mr (Brajesh) Mishra, what happened after that?

General V P Malik: When I met Mr Mishra he told me that the matter had been discussed with the scientists and they are quite convinced that the indicated yield is correct.

Karan Thapar: And Mr Mishra and the government of the day left the matter at that point?

General V P Malik: That is right.

Karan Thapar: But the truth again is that these meetings did not assure someone like you. As in 2008 to mark the tenth anniversary of Pokhran you wrote an article for the United Services Institute Journal in which you write 'technical claims of Pokharan too have been challenged by some scientists who need to be allayed convincingly'. You further wrote many of our own scientists have created fear in the minds of public and more importantly the armed forces. So, even after 10 years later you still had doubts which needed to be convincingly allayed?

General V P Malik: Because there had been so much of writing, talk about it, not only for Mr Iyengar, but some foreign scientist had also written about it. The doubts were only about the thermo nuclear weapons.

Karan Thapar: And if you, as the former army chief, expressed these concerns last year, on the tenth anniversary of Pokhran they I assume that these concerns have worried several of your successors as army chiefs and in fact have worried the armed forces as a whole?

General V P Malik: Look, I can't say about my successors but I will say one thing that this is a very important issue. And therefore, to build your credibility in the minds of the adversaries, as well as for your proper planning and execution, you do need to be reassured on things like this.

Karan Thapar: And to be reassured these doubts as you put it have to be allayed convincingly?

General V P Malik: Yes, that is right.

Karan Thapar: Now after these doubts appeared in the last 10 days, Dr Abdul Kalam who was he head of the DRDO at the time of the Pokhran test, issued a statement effectively rubbishing what Dr Santhanam said. Did that convince you?

General V P Malik: Let's not forget that Dr Santhanam was part of his team and it came as quite a shock when Dr Santhanam himself mentioned that it was a fizzle, of course he was referring to the thermo-nuclear weapon. So, Dr Kalam's statement was not quite convincing.

Karan Thapar: In fact in your article of 2008, you said: the doubt is compounded by the fact that our DRDO scientists are well known for claims and over-optimistic public statements. In a sense their boastfulness has added to the problem?

General V P Malik: Well that has been our experience over the development of the weapons and that equipment that the DRDO has delivered or not delivered.

Karan Thapar: In fact, Dr Kalam when he was the head of the DRDO, it established a small track record for committing the Government to creating weaponry in India, which clearly India couldn’t create. As a result the Army went short of critical things like weapon locating radar and radio sets which was needed particularly during Kargil, but you didn't have?

General V P Malik: Yes, we had one or two incident particularly on the weapon-location radar. If the DRDO had not come into the way, we would not have got them before the Kargil war and we would have definitely reduced our casualties.

Karan Thapar: In a sense Dr Kalam over-estimated India's capacity and ability?

General V P Malik: Well, I don't want to go more into that.

Karan Thapar: A second response from the government to the recent that questions the credibility of our deterrent is an interview given by our present national security advisor to The Hindu, where he dismissed Dr Santhanam as a bit of a maverick. He questioned why is he (Dr Santhanam) speaking up now? But is that in your mind a convincing way to allaying the doubt

General V P Malik: Look, you can convince people only through the scientists and particularly those contributed to the exercise, I'm referring to Chidambaram and his whole team from the economic energy commission, so I don't know if we can be convinced so easily by people who are not scientists. It is a matter of technology and these are the people who can discuss and reassure people.

Karan Thapar: So in other words what you are saying it that if the Government wants to convincingly allay these doubts then scientists Chidambaram and Kakotkar need to speak up. And secondly they need to speak put with detailed fact and not just make a simple assertion.

General V P Malik: It's not a political or military matter alone, but it is primarily a scientific issue.

Karan Thapar: And it needs to be done convincingly and with detail?

General V P Malik: Obviously.

Karan Thapar: So when the Prime Minister last Sunday on a visit to Barmer just spoke two sentences, 'We believe in our scientists. It is very clear that the test was successful' that is not sufficient?

General V P Malik: Well, that is a political statement. But for things like this, particularly for the armed forces they have to be convinced by the people who have developed these weapons.

Karan Thapar: If the sort of convincing rebuttal of these doubts doesn't come from the Government or the scientists, then what will be the impact on the armed forces?

General V P Malik: Look, it is not necessary to bring it out in the open. I also don't believe it is a public debate.

Karan Thapar: But it can be done privately, reassuringly?

General V P Malik: That is right.

Karan Thapar: If it is not done privately then what will be the impact on armed forces and the confidence in the nuclear deterrent?

General V P Malik: I'm sure there will be questions and answers within the establishments and if the armed forces raise this point they will have to be reassured.

Karan Thapar: Do you think the armed forces are likely to raise this point, though not in public but privately?

General V P Malik: I think they should discuss this matter.

Karan Thapar: Because it is important to remover doubt?

General V P Malik: Yes, it is important to remove doubts.

Karan Thapar: Is it also important to remove doubts that may be in the minds of strategic planners in Pakistan and China, that if they are taking any joy from what the Indian scientists have said, do we need to remove that joy?

General V P Malik: The issue is only of thermo-nuclear weapons so when it comes to its use, if we want to make use of those, which means it has to be counter-value target then only this doubt creates this kind of problem.

Karan Thapar: But with regard to the thermo-nuclear weapon you are also saying that we do need to remove it?

General V P Malik: Yes, that is right.

Karan Thapar: And that doubt has to be removed for both our armed forces but also from the minds of our potential enemies and adversaries?

General V P Malik: To make our deterrence credible yes that is required. But more importantly it is the end user, as he must know what and how he has to plan.

Karan Thapar: So it is critical that for the Indian armed forces these doubts be removed?

General V P Malik: It is important.

Karan Thapar: Side by side with doubts being cast over the credibility of India's thermo-nuclear deterrent, there are also reports from America which say that Pakistan could have anywhere between 70-90 nuclear weapons.

It has the nuclear-capable ballistic missile ready for deployment, it has nuclear-capable cruise missiles which are being developed and in addition it is developing chemical separation facilities as well as plutonium production reactors.

As a former army chief how do you respond to these reports?

General V P Malik: We have to go into the details of these reports both from the points of view of the intelligence and to prove their credibility. It does affect us because it creates the imbalance of the deterrence level that we have got and particularly when we are banking on our second-strike capability. In the sense that we believe in no first use. So, when your adversary accumulates such large number of weapons, you have to worry about your survivability.

Karan Thapar: And when there is an imbalance in the deterrent that suggests that both quantitatively and qualitatively that they are better or gaining an edge that is worrying?

General V P Malik: Yes, that is true because the report which has been published talks both about the quantity as well as quality being improved.

Karan Thapar: And that again would worry our armed forces because it would suggest that since we are entirely dependant on the second strike, their first strike imbalance could be a matter of great concern?

General V P Malik: Yes it is, as I said both quantity and quality-wise it would be worrisome.

Karan Thapar: Is there a second problem that arises from these reports as this could boost Pakistan's confidence to carry out low-intensity warfare in the belief that they have such a large deterrent India wont react?

General V P Malik: That is true, because if you recall even in 1999, one of the reasons why Pervez Musharraf and his colleagues carried out this incursion in the Kargil was because they thought that with the nuclear symmetry we will not be able to wage any type of conventional war.

They were quite confident about it and that was their belief and that is how they carried out the incursion. So it's not only the low intensity conflict but even the ongoing proxy war may get extended because they are so confidant the we will not be able to do anything. Of course Kargil-type incursions can take place.

Karan Thapar: If Kargil happened because of nuclear symmetry then in fact the situation could be much worse and imbalance in Pakistan's favour?

General V P Malik: Well that is true, it makes them more confident and reassured. But I'm not saying that it was the only reason that Kargil happened, it was one of the important reasons.

Karan Thapar: And clearly this imbalance would once again give them the opportunity for that sort of behaviour Kargil, proxy wars or even low-intensity warfare?

General V P Malik: That is true, it can impact that.

Karan Thapar: So this is a very worrying situation?

General V P Malik: Yes that is true. There is one more reason and that is that we now have good relations with United States and we are in the process of buying a number of weapons and equipments from them. But now what we see is that Pakistan is violating the weapons export laws of the United States.

Karan Thapar: Now you are referring to the reports in the ‘New York Times’ that Pakistan has the American delivered Harpoon to make it both nuclear capable and also enable it to hit land targets.

General V P Malik: This is another report which appeared in the ‘New York Times’ and I'm referring to that.

Karan Thapar: This is a clear violation of the agreement and because this violation is targeted directly at India, you are worried this will effect India's relations with America.

General V P Malik: Obviously they continue Indo-centric and they are not as concerned about counter-terrorism for which they are being so much of aid $ 7.5 billion in the next five years.

Karan Thapar: This is a proof in fact that they are using it to target India?

General V P Malik: Well as I said they continue to remain indo-centric.

Karan Thapar: Do these two reports - ‘New York Times’ and the American Bulletin of Scientists - suggest that the perception of the strategic threat that India faces from Pakistan has increased significantly in the recent days.

General V P Malik: Yes, they have to be taken note of because of these developments that are taking place. We have to take note of these and think of how to counter them.

Karan Thapar: And on the converse the doubts which have been created of our own nuclear deterrent suggest that the perception of India's ability to stand up to these strategic threats may now have a few question marks around it?

General V P Malik: We have to strengthen our deterrence capability. Unfortunately over the years because of so many weapon system that we need and haven't been able to get, both referring to missiles in terms of conventional weaponry, we have been lagging behind.

So, obviously our deterrence capability both for deterrence and other nature of conflict has got eroded and we have to build it, particularly now with the kinds of reports that are coming it. When you mention about these Harpoons being modified what it really means is, they will be able to target any of our establishments along the coastline, not only from the ships but also from the aircrafts.

Karan Thapar: Which means cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai but also cities right around eastern and western coast of the peninsula are now vulnerable which they weren't earlier?

General V P Malik: It gives them extra capability now and it's not only the cities, lets not forget our important establishments like the atomic energy commission, the headquarters and the ONGC platforms that we have in the seas are all vulnerable.

Karan Thapar: the govt has called the American ambassador on Saturday and filed a formal protest, but is that a sufficient response, surely this isn't a diplomatic issue but a strategic planning and response which I take you are more interested in?

General V P Malik: One aspect is strategic response and the other is diplomatic as it effects indo-us relations, particularly of the kind of weapons system we are going to but from them. If they are going to find their way to Pakistan obviously we have to be worried.

Karan Thapar: Side-by-side you also want to see the govt respond strategically building up its own equipment and strength.

General V P Malik: I'm absolutely convinced that we need to build our deterrence capability much more than what we have today.

Defence Day celebrated with enthusiasm

* Ceremonies held at Lahore Garrison, PAF base

* Floral wreaths placed at memorials of martyrs

* PAF marks day with traditional air show

LAHORE: The Defence Day of Pakistan was celebrated throughout the city on Sunday with traditional fervour and enthusiasm to commemorate the deeds of the Pakistan armed forces during the 1965 war against India.

One of the major commemorative ceremonies was held at the Lahore Garrison, the Inter-Services Public Relations Directorate stated in a press release. It said the daylong celebrations started with a Quran Khawani, following which special prayers were offered for the sovereignty, solidarity and integrity of Pakistan. The day’s dawning was marked with the hoisting of the national flag at all Formation Headquarters, Units and Army installations, the Online news agency reported. Lahore Corps Commander Lieutenant General Ijaz Ahmed Bakhshi paid rich tributes to the nation’s valiant soldiers, who laid down their lives in defence of their country.

A changing of the guard ceremony was also held at the Mazar-e-Iqbal to pay homage to the national poet. During the proceedings, attended by civil and military officials, Garrison Commander Major General Shafqat Ahmed – who was the chief guest at the occasion - laid floral wreaths on the grave of Allama Iqbal and offered fateha for the deceased poet.

Remembering martyrs: Following the changing of the guard ceremony, Major General Shafqat visited the Miani Sahib Graveyard and offered prayers for the souls of the men who sacrificed their lives for Pakistan during the 1965 war. A special ceremony was held to mark the sacrifice of Nishan-e-Haider Major Shabir Shaheed. The garrison commander, along with the family of the martyr, laid floral wreaths at Major Shabir’s grave and offered fateha for his soul. Throughout the day, people kept visiting the grave to pay their respect to the war hero.

Similar ceremonies were held at the Army Graveyard, Lahore and the Gunj-e-Shuhada near Kasur, where floral wreaths were laid on the memorial of Hilal-e-Jurrat Brigadier Ahsan Rashid Shami and the graves of other shuhada. Special durbars were also held at all Formation Headquarters and Units, with a message from Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani was read out to the troops.

Air show: The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) also marked Defence Day to pay tribute to the men who laid down their lives in encounters with the enemy on September 6, 1965. Air Vice Marshal Sohail Aman inaugurated the celebrations during a ceremony at the PAF base in Lahore. Air Commodore Mumtaz Ahmad Shahi, other PAF officials and children of different schools also attended the ceremony, the APP news agency reported.

The PAF had also set up various stalls to remember the sacrifices of the warriors who were martyred during the 1965 war. Visitors appreciated a static display where various PAF aircraft, in addition to ground support and other auxiliary equipment, were on display. A solo flying display of a F-16 was also performed, drawing the admiration of the visitors present at the venue. Additionally an aero-modelling display was also presented. September 6 is marked as the Defence Day of Pakistan as on this day in 1965, the armed forces of the country successfully defended Lahore against the Indian army. agencies\09\07\story_7-9-2009_pg13_5

1 in 3 hand grenades is a dud: Defence survey

Shishir Arya, TNN 7 September 2009, 12:25am IST

NAGPUR: Imagine a scenario in which an Indian soldier's life and the life of his mates depends on a grenade — may be the last one with the jawan

— to stop an advancing enemy. He takes the pin out and lobs it. But, instead of hearing an explosion, the jawans are met with a hail of bullets.

Unthinkable? Think again. A recent official survey of weaponry being used by soldiers guarding our borders reveals that about 30% of hand grenades used by jawans don't explode — which means an alarming one in three is a dud. The survey, carried out by weapons experts from the Army and defence organisations, is based on interviews with jawans posted in border areas.

Sources with access to the survey report did not share the exact figures and causes of failure citing secrecy involved with defence projects, but preliminary investigations have shown that it's not unusual for detonators used in the grenades to surpass their shelf life by the time they reach the hands of a soldier in a conflict zone.

It's the detonator that separately triggers the blast in the grenade. The grenade, a crucial weapon in a soldier's armoury, is often used as the last resort to thwart the enemy in close quarter battle. Grenades supplied to the Army are made by ordnance factories under Indian State Ordnance Factory Board.

"Soldiers said the grenades often go blind — meaning they don't explode in purely technical terms — putting them in a precarious situation," said a source. Defence experts and ex-servicemen say this is an old problem that has never been properly addressed.

Col (retd) RSN Singh of 'India Defence Review' says the figure of 30% duds is stupefying. Singh, who retired from the Infantry six months ago, says, ‘‘A soldier normally carries four grenades in a counter-insurgency operation. Even a single dud can prove disastrous as it would leave the soldier vulnerable. Such duds can shake a soldier’s confidence.’’

Defence expert Col (retd) U S Rathore says India still uses World War-II vintage hand grenades. He says there are chances that the detonators are susceptible to chemical degradation and adds that terrorists have far superior Belgian grenades that explode in 2.5 seconds compared to the four seconds it takes for the Indian grenades.

India may have made an indigenous nuclear submarine. But it appears its defence establishment is yet to make a fail-proof grenade. Incidentally, a grenade can be propelled through rifles or an under-barrel grenade launcher (UBGL). But the Insas rifles used by the army don’t have launchers for grenades; soldiers have to carry the old 7.62mm rifles for that.

Top Article: To Fight A Necessary War

Gautam Adhikari7 September 2009, 12:32am IST

WASHINGTON: A disturbing pressure is building up in the United States against the Afghanistan policy of the Barack Obama administration. It's

disconcerting for South Asia, certainly for India, and it should make the world uneasy. But no one can do much about it unless President Obama remains determined to resist that pressure.

A new opinion poll says that more than half the people of America 53 per cent want US forces to get out of Afghanistan. That proportion, of Americans against US forces going to Afghanistan, was just 6 per cent in a poll taken in 2002, shortly after the war had begun. Meanwhile, reports suggest that the Taliban appears, for the moment, to be winning by becoming a more potent adversary than before through improved tactics. Add to that the inability of the US forces to protect Afghan citizens, and the pressure on Obama for a unilateral US withdrawal mounts by the day.

In his election campaign, Obama had described the Afghan war as "necessary" for long-term US and global security, in sharp contrast to the resource-draining and unnecessary Iraq war launched by the Bush administration. In power, he has so far not wavered from that position. Earlier this year, he announced a new approach towards Afghanistan, pointing out that the previous administration had starved that war of attention and resources. He changed the top leadership of his armed forces there, sanctioned increased manpower and asked Congress for more money.

In any democracy, however, public opinion matters. And public opinion amplified through the megaphone of 24-hour news media cannot be ignored. Today, public opinion in America is not as supportive generally of Obama as it was in the initial months of his presidency. At the same time, his attention span is dominated by a raging debate over his health care reforms initiative, which he still has to sell convincingly to a majority of the people amidst a growing feeling that he is unable to do so. Selling the Afghan war as necessary in such circumstances is going to be hard.

Yet, for the sake of American and world security, he must remain resolute. He must convince the American public that Afghanistan cannot be abandoned again, like it was after the Soviet forces had withdrawn 20 years ago. The rise of the Taliban to power, with active assistance and tactical guidance from Pakistan's armed forces, was an outcome of that earlier neglect. Today, the long-term security and stability of Afghanistan and, more importantly, of Pakistan must remain the world's clear goal.

Obama, therefore, has to answer his critics. To cite an example, the influential conservative columnist George Will on Tuesday last recommended, in an article in the Washington Post entitled 'Time to Get Out of Afghanistan', that US forces should be substantially reduced. The US should "only do what can be done from offshore". Instead of stationing troops there, it should use "intelligence, drones, cruise missiles, airstrikes and small, potent Special Forces units, concentrating on the porous border with Pakistan, a nation that actually matters".

Yes, that's precisely it. Pakistan matters. And that's why it is imperative that the US maintains a powerful presence in the area, especially on that porous border. For what Will recommends is like what the Bush administration did for many years: kept a small number of troops in Afghanistan and outsourced the war not so much to a weak team of NATO troops but, effectively, to Pakistan's army and intelligence forces. In other words, they let the fox guard the chicken coop. Moreover, the Bush administration gave Islamabad's then military rulers, with scarcely any supervision, huge sums of money to boost the army's capacity to take on the Taliban and al-Qaeda; in fact, as reports later revealed, the money went some way to boost that army's nuclear and conventional capabilities against a traditional adversary, India.

To be fair, the Bush administration realised what was happening late in its second term. It then mounted pressure on Islamabad to take serious action. And it did its bit to encourage the return of democratic politics in Pakistan. President Obama has not only continued that revised policy, he has intensified it by leaning harder on Islamabad and by increasing the US armed presence in the area. We must continue to hope that the US will help Islamabad to carry on a genuine fight against all terrorists and the Taliban within its territory for the sake of Pakistan's very survival.

For, the Taliban has to be tamed within Pakistan before the capacity of the Afghan Taliban to wreak mayhem can be effectively rolled back. The world, with an unwavering commitment from the US, will have to support Pakistan's democratic forces while choking those shadowy folk in the Inter-Services Intelligence and Pakistan's army who tell their pet hare how to run while they hunt with the hounds.

In short, Obama has to stay the ground. More, he has to go out and tell the people why the stability of Afghanistan-Pakistan is vitally important for America's as well as the world's safety.

Now, Chinese violate international border in Ladakh

After helicopter incursions into Indian airspace, the Chinese Army has brazenly violated the International Border in Ladakh region and painted boulders and rocks in the area red.

The Chinese troops entered nearly 1.5 kilometres into the Indian territory near Mount Gya, recognised as International

border by India and China, and painted the boulders and rocks with red spray paint, official sources said.

The incursions were reported from the area, generally referred in the Chumar sector in east of Leh, and painted

"China" in Cantonese with Red spray paint all over the boulders and rocks, they said.

The 22,420 ft Mount Gya, also known as "fair princess of snow" by Army is located at the tri-junction of Ladakh in

Jammu and Kashmir, Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, and Tibet. Its boundary was marked during the British era and regarded as International border by the two countries.

The border patrol discovered the red paint markings on various rocks and boulders along the Zulung La (pass) on July

31 and the Chinese had entered into the area and written "China" and "China" all over the place, the sources said.

When asked to comment on the issue, an Army spokesperson declined to answer any queries regarding this saying it was an

operational matter.

Though the spokesperson refused to answer further questions, senior Army officials said the issue was being downplayed as three of its Generals were currently in Beijing and Lhasa under an exchange programme.

This incident was viewed with seriousness by the officials as the Chinese have made foray into these areas for

the first time since independence and sprayed the area with red marking as deep as 1.5 to 1.7 kilometre of the Indian


The border forces talked to the locals located along the border in Ladakh and Spiti from where they came to know about

the incursions by the People's Liberation Army of China in this area.

River Pareechu, which runs through Himachal Pradesh, has been a headache for frequent floods, enters Tibet from this

region only.

Before this, Chinese helicopters had violated the Indian air space along the Line of Actual Control in Chumar region

only in June and also Helli-dropped some expired food.

Reacting to this, the Army spokesperson had said "there was a report of a helicopter flying in the area south of

Chumar, where India and China have differences in perception on the Line of Actual Control. It was reported by grazers."

India and China have been engaged in talks over the Line of Actual Control and had exchanged maps in 2002. In the

western sector (East Jammu and Kashmir), the Samar Lungpa area, between the Karakoram Pass and the Chipchap river, is

contentious, with Chinese maps showing the LAC to be south of the Samar Lungpa.

This is the northernmost part of the border, far to the north of Leh. But while the Indo-Tibetan Border Police

operates north of the line the Chinese claim to be the border, they remain south of the Lungpa.

South of the Chipchap River are the Trig Heights, comprising Points 5495 and 5459. Chinese troops frequently enter the area and in fact, they have a name for Point 5459; Manshen Hill. The area, south-east of Trig Heights, called Depsang Ridge is also contentious. Differences were found when Chinese small-scale maps were interposed on large-scaled Indian ones.

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