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Tuesday, 8 September 2009

From Today's Papers - 08 Sep 09

The Pioneer

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Asian Age

The Pioneer

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Times of India

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Hindustan Times

India intensifies patrolling along LAC
Ashok Tuteja and Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 7
Even as External Affairs Minister S M Krishna sought to play down fresh reports of Chinese incursions, the armed forces have intensified patrolling along the line of actual control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh and the entire area is expected to be brought under radar surveillance.

Though New Delhi is not perturbed over the reports of Chinese incursions, official sources said there was no question of India lowering its guard. In a brief interaction with the media outside his ministry, Krishna said there was an inbuilt mechanism between the two sides to deal with any border violations.

It is learnt that the two sides had held a border meeting in Ladakh in August at which the Indian officials took up this matter with the China while drawing up India’s own strategy to deal with any future violations. In the defence establishment, recent acts of China are being seen as attempts to provoke India.

Krishna’s statement this morning came as a surprise to the defence establishment, indicating differences between the Defence Ministry and the Foreign office over the Chinese incursions.

‘’Let me go on record to say that (border with China) has been one of the most peaceful boundaries that we have as compared to boundary lines with other countries,’’ Krishna said when his reaction was sought to incidents of China violating the Indian airspace and the LAC. Krishna did not agree with a suggestion that these incursions were a cause of concern.

Home Minister P Chidambaram had also told a television news channel that reports of Chinese incursions should not be overplayed and that talks were on between the two sides to resolve the boundary issue. Cross-border violation would continue until the boundary issue was settled for good.

Defence sources, however, pointed out that while Indian soldiers have been detained by China in the past for violation of LAC, the Indian stand in the matter is ambiguous. China has been applying intense pressure not only in Ladakh but also at the tri-junction of the India-China-Bhutan border near Bumla in Arunachal Pradesh.

Last year, there were as many as 223 Chinese incursions while nearly 75 border violations from the Chinese side have already taken place in the past three months.

However, officials say many of these incursions could be the result of difference in perceptions between the two sides on LAC. “India has proposed an early clarification and confirmation of the LAC…that, however, is awaited,’’ the officials said.

They pointed out that the two countries have put in place a mechanism to deal with any border transgression that comes to the notice of either side. The issue is settled either through meetings between border personnel of the two countries or at the level of diplomats.

The Special Representatives (SRs) of the two countries had met in New Delhi last month and decided to resolve the boundary dispute peacefully. Pending the settlement of the boundary issue, it was decided that the two sides would maintain peace and tranquility in border areas.

The officials pointed out that in fact the SRs for the first time went beyond their brief and discussed expansion of bilateral cooperation in areas such as trade and investment, defence, culture, education and people-to-people exchanges. They noted that India had issued nearly 58,000 business visas to Chinese nationals last year.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, who was until recently India’s envoy to Beijing, meanwhile, is said to be getting a regular update on the situation from Indian Ambassador to China S Jaishankar. The envoy is also reported to have brushed aside reports of conflict along the border as “sensational” and “alarmist”.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry also today said the reports of yet another Chinese incursion into India were groundless. “Reports of any incursion into India are groundless and based on incidents which never happened.” Beijing said China sought a fair and mutually understandable solution through peaceful and friendly negotiations between the two sides. Attempts to get a response from the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi on the development, however, did not yield result.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090908/main2.htm

Planeload of ammunition sets alarm bells ringing
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 7
A plane load of ammunition destined for China has set the Indian security establishment thinking on why the cache of arms and ammunition is being flown to its neighbouring country. Does this indicate something else that has larger game plan behind it?

The CISF and the Customs Department last night detained a United Arab Emirates Airforce plane that landed in Kolkata for re-fuelling on its way to China after discovering arms and explosives on board. The plane, a US manufactured C-130 cargo plane, having a huge capacity was carrying “tonnes of ammunition” sources said.

The C-130 is among the bigger cargo planes. The military transport plane was given permission to land in Kolkata yesterday for routine refueling on its way to Hanyang, part of the city of Wuhan in China's Hubei province, from Abu Dhabi. The crew of nine was questioned by central agencies.

The security agencies have been in a tizzy over the developments. One is why did the plane not declare its cargo and why was it flying on a civilian code despite being a military aircraft. The C-130 is huge plane and it carrying ammunition means two things, either some ammunition is being urgently flown into China or some country that has been procuring arms from China was sending back the same for servicing or returning some unused pieces.

Another theory doing the rounds is that China may have set up a secret arms and ammunition manufacturing base in some other country. Also intriguing is the fact, as to why would the UAE give its military aircraft to a third country to ferry arms to China. The UAE itself is more aligned towards the NATO block of countries and has no arms manufacturing base.

Another source said, “The Chinese would never make a mistake a land such cargo on Indian soil just for re-fuelling of the aircraft. They could have landed the same in Dhaka Bangladesh, located just a 30-minute flight away from Kolkata”. Could this be a psychological operation by the Chinese? A source shot down suggests that it was some secret cargo meant for the protestors in Xianjang province saying just that the plane originated in the middleeast does not mean the cargo was for the muslim dominated area Ughirs. A plane of this size cannot land secretly inside China.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090908/main7.htm

China training, arming militants against India

Nitin Gokhale, Monday September 7, 2009, New Delhi

China denies incursions by its troops into Indian territory across the Line of Actual Control. But NDTV has exclusive information that China is actively training and arming insurgent groups in Manipur and Nagaland.

On video, an alleged Manipur militant is interrogated. Intelligence officials say he confirms that China is training Manipuri militants.

Sources say at least 400 cadre of a Manipuri insurgent group, the People's Liberation Army (PLA), have been undergoing arms training in China's Yunnan province for the last year. Ronie, alias Robindro, a self-styled major of the Manipur PLA, brags "16 platoon went to China recently, some of them have come back."

The insurgents travel to Yunnan via Myanmar. Arms for these militants also come via this route. And China's role doesn't stop at training militants.

Issac Chisi Swu, chairman of the NSCN, a Naga insurgent group, which is still upholding a ceasefire with India, has been hosted in Beijing and Kunming this May. His main officer in charge of acquiring weapons has also been twice to China.

According to intelligence operatives, a Chinese company supplies machine guns and hi-tech communication equipment to both Naga and Manipuri militants. Anti-aircraft guns have also been acquired from China by these groups, which are currently in Myanmar.

The arrested Manipuri militant has told interrogators that the PLA and other Manipuri groups are being armed and trained by Chinese experts in Myanmar. This is apparently in preparation for a major showdown with Indian security forces next year.

http://www.ndtv.com/news/india/china_training_arming_militants_against_india.php

'India has right to respond to ceasefire violations by Pak'

Press Trust of India / Rajouri September 7, 2009, 12:31 IST

In the backdrop of recent ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said India has the right to respond to them.

"It is our right to respond in case of ceasefire violations," he told reporters at an army function here yesterday.

He hoped that Pakistan will keep its promise of holding truce along the LoC as it has helped people on both sides. Abdullah said the army will return to the barracks only when the situation improves in the state.

"Stay of the army depends on the ground situation and as the situation improves the army will definitely go back to barracks in Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

Without pointing to any political party or organisation, he alleged that some vested elements were hell-bent upon creating an atmosphere of mistrust against Army and advocating revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and recalling army back to barracks.

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and separatists are demanding revocation of the AFSPA and Disturbed Areas Act (DAA) in Jammu and Kashmir and subsequent troops withdrawal from the state.

http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/%5Cindia-has-right-to-respond-to-ceasefire-violations-by-pak%5C/72777/on

Border with China most peaceful, says Krishna
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 7
Though New Delhi is not perturbed over fresh reports of Chinese incursions, official sources today said there was no question of India lowering its guard along the line of actual control (LAC).

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna sought to play down the alleged incursion by a Chinese helicopter in Ladakh, saying there was an inbuilt mechanism between the two sides to deal with such issues.

“Let me on record to say that (border with China) has been one of the most peaceful boundaries that we have as compared to boundary lines with other countries,” he told reporters when his reaction was sought to incidents of China violating the Indian airspace and the international border. Krishna did not agree with a suggestion that these incursions were a cause of concern.

Home Minister P Chidambaram also told a television news channel that reports of Chinese incursions should not be overplayed and that talks were on between the two sides to resolve the boundary issue. Cross-border violation would continue until the boundary issue was settled for good.

Statements from the two top UPA ministers came even as there were reports that the Army’s Northern Command chief, Lt Gen P C Bhardwaj will visit the Leh-based 14 Corps headquarters over the next few days to verify reports of Chinese incursions in the Ladakh area.

Last year, there were as many as 223 Chinese incursions while nearly 75 border violations from the Chinese side have already taken place in the past three months.

However, Indian officials say many of these incursions could be the result of difference in perceptions between the two sides on LAC. “India has proposed an early clarification and confirmation of the LAC…that, however, is awaited,” the officials said.

They pointed out that the two countries have put in place a mechanism to deal with any border transgression that comes to the notice of either side. The issue is settled either through meetings between border personnel of the two countries or at the level of diplomats.

The Special Representatives (SRs) of the two countries had met in New Delhi last month and decided to resolve the boundary dispute peacefully. Pending the settlement of the boundary issue, it was decided that the two sides would maintain peace and tranquillity in border areas.

The officials pointed out that, in fact, the SRs for the first time went beyond their brief and discussed expansion of bilateral cooperation in areas such as trade and investment, defence, culture, education and people-to-people exchanges. They noted that India had issued nearly 58,000 business visas to Chinese nationals last year.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, who was until recently India’s envoy to Beijing, meanwhile, is said to be getting a regular update on the situation from Indian Ambassador to China S Jaishankar. The envoy is also reported to have brushed aside reports of conflict along the border as ‘sensational’ and ‘alarmist’.

Incursion reports baseless: China

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the reports of yet another Chinese incursion into India were groundless. “Reports of any incursion into India are groundless and based on incidents which never happened.’’ Beijing said China sought a fair and mutually understandable solution through peaceful and friendly negotiations between the two sides.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090908/nation.htm#4

India: Diffident over growing Chinese Incursions

Rishabh..

Mon, Sep 07, 2009 16:43:04 IST

OVER THE last year or so, the incursion of Chinese troops on Indian soil has gone up. Indian Army has said that it has registered the protest with Chinese officials but it still looked lethargic in their approach to me.

The government is just playing down these border violations by saying that it is not a big deal since the Line of Actual Control is not clearly defined. Whatever the case, if these issues are not addressed seriously then India will face tough times ahead.

China is clearly a stronger power than India, both militarily and economically. As former Indian Navy Chief, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, put it, “The power gap between the two is just too wide to bridge and getting wider by the day.” The day China will be confident enough; it will assert its claim on disputed land more aggressively. Diplomatically also India has performed very badly.

The talks over the border dispute have been going on since the year 1981, making them already the longest and the most-barren process between any two countries in modern history. Thus, the longer the process of border-related talks continues without yielding tangible results, the greater the space Beijing will have to mount strategic pressure on India.

The futile discussion and time buying process will put India under even tremendous pressure. It seems the only progress here is that India's choice of words in public is now the same as China's. “Both countries have agreed to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of this issue,” Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna told Parliament on July 31. “The matter, of course, is complex and requires time and lots of patience.”

It was as if the Chinese foreign minister was speaking. Isn't it odd for India, the country at the receiving end of growing Chinese hostility, to plead for more time and patience after nearly three decades of negotiations?

One thing is clear that New Delhi does not have any well defined plan and strategy to go around settling the disputes. More time means, more time for Beijing to define its strategy. Today, China's muscle-flexing along the Himalayas cannot be ignored. After all, even when China was poor and backward, it employed brute force to annex Xinjiang (1949) and Tibet (1950), to raid South Korea (1950), to invade India (1962), to initiate a border conflict with the Soviet Union (1969) and to attack Vietnam (1979).

India's long record of political diffidence only emboldens Beijing. India accepted Chinese annexation of Tibet and surrendered its own British-inherited extraterritorial rights over Tibet on a silver platter without asking for anything in return. Now, China wants India to display the same 'amicable spirit' and hand over to it at least the Tawang valley. Indian diplomats failed miserably and even in registering protests they appear to be defensive. It gives a feeling that they are clueless about China.

If the situation goes like this then one day, the duo might again be at war. The history has shown that the cost of weak politics and diplomacy has been paid by the soldiers.

http://www.merinews.com/article/india-diffident-over-growing-chinese-incursions/15783670.shtml

UAE air force plane carrying arms, admits pilot

TNN 8 September 2009, 03:44am IST

KOLKATA: After trying to fob off Indian officials and investigators all of Sunday night, one of the pilots of the United Arab Emirates air force

aircraft detained at Kolkata airport since Sunday finally admitted to the plane carrying a consignment of weapons.

The C-130 Hercules among the biggest transport aircraft in the world was on its way to Xiangyang, China, from UAEAF's Western Air Command base in Abu Dhabi. Although the UAE government had the necessary clearances from Indian authorities for the flight to land in Kolkata, it had not informed that the aircraft would be carrying weapons.

Indian Customs and airport officials interrogated the nine-member crew till Monday afternoon. After that, the ministry of defence (MoD) took over. Talks are on in Delhi to avert a possible diplomatic row. Officials here are tight-lipped.

On September 3, the UAE government had applied to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for a flight information centre clearance that was necessary for a military aircraft not only to overfly Indian airspace but also land at a civilian airport.

An air defence/AOR clearance was also sought from MoD through proper channels. "As permission was sought through proper diplomatic channels and UAE is a friendly country, the clearances were given. Both applications were made in specific proformas with columns where the UAE authorities were supposed to mention if the aircraft would be carrying any weapons. These columns were marked 'nil' in both applications. Later, it was discovered that the aircraft was indeed carrying weapons. This was in clear violation of rules and the crew was detained," said a senior officer.

The aircraft was to land in Kolkata around 4 pm on Sunday, refuel, stay for the night and take off for China at 10.30 am on Monday. Crew members were booked for the night at a star hotel.

It was 5.30 pm on Sunday by the time the Hercules captain, Ismail Samsi, sought permission from Kolkata ATC to land. The details of what happened after this are slightly hazy. One version is that the pilot was asked upon landing whether his aircraft was carrying any weapon. He answered in the negative. But an alert Customs officer saw a sidearm on one of the crew members. Soon, a team from air intelligence arrived to check the plane for its cargo.

According to another version, every foreign aircraft parked in the bay overnight is checked. Customs officials accompany the crew on board for an inspection before the doors are sealed. That was when they noted something amiss.

There is a third version, which speaks of a tip received by Indian intelligence agencies from an undisclosed source.

A team from the air intelligence wing, led by B Jha, boarded the aircraft around 7 pm on Sunday and found three boxes that resembled those for carrying rifles. The pilot admitted there were weapons inside but that he did not have any details. He allegedly told officials that he was a mere courier and would often fly weapons to China for 'tests'.

The crew who were in military uniform were detained and led to the airport lounge. The plane was towed to hangar 14 and sealed. No effort was made to open the boxes in the cargo hold. The interrogation lasted till 2 pm on Monday after which the nine crew members now in civilian clothing were transferred to a hotel. According to the customs department, the ministry of defence would interrogate the crew there.

"Although the pilot's declaration regarding the weapons on board has dismissed the theory of the crew being involved in gun-running, the aircraft cannot be allowed to leave. All clearances granted have expired. There are some issues that still need to be checked out. We have also demanded an explanation from the UAE embassy in New Delhi," an officer said. The army is guarding the plane.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/india/UAE-air-force-plane-carrying-arms-admits-pilot/articleshow/4984394.cms

Indian army to deploy prostitutes as women battalion in Held Kashmir

From Christina Palmer

Special Report

New Delhi—The Indian Army is deploying around 200 prostitutes under the cover of Border Security Force’s constables in the Indian occupied Kashmir along with the Line of Control., The Daily Mail has learnt through authoritative sources.

According to the sources, the decision of recruiting prostitutes for deployment in the held valley was taken some six months back and Indian Army Chief General Kapoor finally approved it. The Daily Mail has learnt that this decision was taken as result of discussions and consultancies regarding the alarmingly increasing incidents of suicides and killing colleagues by soldiers of Indian army that are deployed in the Indian Occupied Kashmir to fight insurgency. The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that the factor of suicides and random shoot outs on colleagues by Indian soldiers in the held valley had become a big dilemma for the Indian army top brass. When this exercise gained momentum earlier this year, the army leadership approached different consultants and analysts. The consultants and analysts reached to the conclusion that Indian soldiers, deployed in the valley were committing suicides and killing colleagues out of acute frustration and depression. Medical and psychological consultants and analysts were of the view that since majority of the soldiers, deployed in the valley were married and were away from their wives for very long time, they were gripped by sexual frustrations which ultimately transformed into mental frustration. These consultants suggested that the soldier posted in the valley should be sent on leaves to be with their wives once a month. This came as another dilemma for the Indian Army’s top brass as it was not possible at all to send such huge number of soldiers on leaves with regular intervals. The Daily Mail’s investigations further reveal that upon this a Major General was sent to Moscow to get some solution to the problems as Russians have been having some sort of similar problems around 2 decades back. This General, identified as General Kumar, returned with a very strange solution. The Russian consultants told the Indian army that the since the soldiers in the valley were women starving, they should be provided with women to meet their genuine and natural needs.

The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that at this stage, the Indian Army Chief constituted a committee under the command of Lt.General. Raj Kumar Karwal who currently posted as Director General of a training facility of the Indian army while Major General. Sanjeev Loomba, Brigadier. Anil Sharma, Colonel.. N K Khunduri and Colonel. Sanjay Rai were members of the committee. The committee finally came up with the solution that since it was not possible to provide street whores directly to the soldier thus professional prostitutes should be recruited with title of sex workers and than they should be given basic military training and should be posted in Kashmir sector as soldiers so that the male soldiers can establish relations with them. It was also decided that the recruitment should not be made publicly but RAW’s help should be sought as RAW was having a huge network of prostitutes in different cities of India. The Daily Mail’s investigations reveal that RAW completed the assignment successfully and provided a batch of some 300, semi educated prostitutes to the General Raj Kumar committee after proper medical checkup of every individual. The committee then approached the Army Chief and it was decided that these new recruit should not be made part of mainstream army but should be adjusted in Border Security Force (BSF) and from there their services would be made available for Northern Command. The project was completed by the end of August when the new recruited batch of 300 completed a basic military training and Army Chief was informed that recruits were ready for deployment in the valley.

When contacted by this correspondent, Inspector General of BSF Himmat Singh confirmed that a batch of 178 female soldiers was being sent to Northern Command where they would be deployed along with Indo-Pak border to check the border violations by women, working in the field. Mr. Singh further stated that these women were not fully trained for operational military duties however in the next phase, after further training, they would be given the duties of operational Border security. Mr. Singh refused to admit that these female soldiers were actually prostitutes and were being dispatched to the valley as undercover sex workers. When contacted, Rohit Sharma, a senior defense analyst here in New Delhi, said that the move was a wonderful step by Indian army leadership as it would boost the medical and mental health of the soldiers, posted in the valley and they would come up with better results.

http://dailymailnews.com/0909/08/FrontPage/FrontPage5.php

Army’s Northern commander to check out Chinese incursion report

Ani

September 7th, 2009

UDHAMPUR - The Indian Army’s Northern commander, Lt. Gen. P. C. Bhardwaj will visit the Leh-based 14 Corps headquarters over the next few days to verify reports of Chinese incursion in the Ladakh area.

Sources say the matter will also be raised at the next border meeting between Indian and Chinese officials.

Officials sources have said that Chinese troops entered nearly 1.5 kilometres into the Indian territory near Mount Gya, which is recognised as the international border by India and China, and painted the word ‘China’ in Cantonese on the boulders and rocks there with red spray paint.

The incursions were reported from the area generally referred in the Chumar sector in east of Leh.

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 is 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” all over the place, the sources said.

Indian soldiers later erased the text, writing ‘India’ instead.

This is not the first such reported intrusion. On June 21 Chinese helicopters had violated the Indian air space along the Line of Actual Control in Chumar region. The Chinese troops also reportedly dropped expired tinned food packets in the area.

Some people blame the problem of Chinese incursions on lack of infrastructure. (ANI)

http://blog.taragana.com/n/armys-northern-commander-to-check-out-chinese-incursion-report-161454/

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