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Tuesday, 15 September 2009

From Today's Papers - 15 Sep 09

Asian Age

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The Pioneer

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Asian Age

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Kashmir Times

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Kashmir Times

Times of India

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Times of India

Musharraf's confession a trouble for Zardari?

Maya Mirchandani, Monday September 14, 2009, Islamabad, New Delhi

AP image

It's a candid confession from Pervez Musharraf. He says that Pakistan has been diverting American military aid to use it against India. These are funds that were supposed to be used to fight terrorism. But according to Musharraf, they were used to build up conventional strength against India.

According to Musharraf, the money was used to arm troops and stayed with them wherever they went.

"As far as Pakistan is concerned, if our security is threatened, whether it is through Taliban we will use it against them, and if it is from India, we will use it against India. We will certainly use all our equipment against that threat," said Musharraf.

While the comments come as no surprise, Delhi stepped up India's demand that the US closely monitor all the help it is giving Pakistan.

"It doesn't come as a surprise. We have been for some years now arguing that the only problem we have with the US military aid to Pakistan is its misuse against us," said Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor.

"We do not feel that such assistance should be turned around and used against us. We pose no threat to Pakistan and we find that this kind of diversion is neither in the interest of the sub-continent nor in those who are giving assistance," he added.

Pakistan has earlier dismissed similar charges of American funds being misappropriated, and as part of its new AfPak policy, the US has recently given Pakistan $10 billion to fight Al-Qaida.

Many say these latest comments are Musharraf's payback, his way of getting back at President Asif Ali Zardari. While former dictator may be miles away from Pakistan, he's proven yet again that he can cause trouble for a government already under global pressure to deliver in the war on terror.

Pak-based outfits helped by disgruntled elements: Chidambaram

Press Trust of India / New Delhi September 14, 2009, 15:09 IST

Pakistan-based groups like Lashker-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed are continuing to plot terror attacks against India where they are finding support from disgruntled elements, Home Minister P Chidambaram warned today while describing Mumbai attacks as a "game changer".

This is perhaps for the first time that the Home Minister has publicly spoken about LeT and JeM getting help from disgruntled elements in the country.

He also said that there were attempts from across the border to forge unity among separatists in Jammu and Kashmir and escalate violence.

"Terrorist groups including LeT and JeM persist in their endeavour to launch terror attacks. They continue to innovate new ways and means of deniability. They find support among disgruntled elements within India," Chidambaram said while inaugurating a three-day conference of Directors General and Inspectors General of police organised by Intelligence Bureau.

In some hard talk, Chidambaram described the Mumbai attacks as a "game changer", saying "we can no longer afford to do business as usual".

"Let me state our position clearly. On terrorism, our stance is zero tolerance. We shall raise our level of preparedness to fight any terror threat attack and, in the case of threat or attack, our response will be swift and decisive," he said.

Terming cross-border terrorism as a matter of deep concern, Chidambaram said policing in India was always a challenge and after "26/11, the challenge has become more grave".

He said the security agencies have neutralised 13 terror modules in the first six months of this year.

On the threat posed by Left-Wing extremism, he said various groups were adhering to this "outdated ideology" and had pockets of influence in 20 states with the banned CPI (Maoist) remaining the most potent of the naxal groups. It has a presence in 17 states and a 90 per cent share in naxal violence.

In a bid to expand its network and influence, the Maoists have been seeking alliances with North-East insurgents, he said.

"It has been keenly seeking ideological resonance and tactical understanding with the North-East insurgents and has begun to lend support to their secessionist ideology and demands," he said.

The Home Minister said "endemic insurgencies" in the North-eastern states also posed a security challenge.

"The trend of gradual deterioration in security situation during last several years seems to have been checked this year with relative decline in overall violence. Sharp shrinkages in social resonance has rendered the ULFA a much weaker organisation," he said.

Chidambaram expressed concern over the situation in Manipur but said insurgencies have been contained in Meghalaya and Tripura.

Availability of arms in SE Asia sustaining NE militancy: Govt

Press Trust of India / New Delhi September 14, 2009, 13:47 IST

The Centre today said insurgency in the North-East has been sustained due to the extensive international border which the militants could freely cross over and take shelter in the neighbouring countries where arms and ammunition are easily available.

Inaugurating a three-day conference of Directors General and Inspectors General of police, Home Minister P Chidambaram described endemic insurgencies in the North-East as yet another security challenge before the country.

"Insurgency in the North-East has been sustained to a significant extent due to an extensive international border, safe sanctuaries in the neighbouring countries and easy availability of sophisticated arms in South-East Asia," he said.

Chidambaram said large scale diversion of development funds to the militants gives them easy access to critical resources which helps them recruit new cadres as well as procure arms.

"This Conference should dwell on finding workable ways and means to curb illegal diversion of funds to the militants," he said.

Chidambaram said the trend of gradual deterioration in security situation during the last several years seems to have been checked this year with relative decline in overall violence.

"Sharp shrinkage in social resonance has rendered ULFA a much weaker organisation. A significant chunk of the NDFB choosing to abjure violence and seek redressal through constitutionally available means has marginalised the anti-talks faction and has led to a perceptible reduction in violence in lower Assam," he said.

Maintaining that the hill districts continues to remain disturbed, he said the government welcomes the recent decision of the DHD(J) to surrender arms, remain in camps and talk to the government of Assam on their demands.

"The security situation has improved perceptibly in Meghalaya and Tripura where insurgencies have been contained. Regretfully, Manipur remains resistant to counter-insurgency interventions. It is the most insurgency-affected state in the North-East," he said.

57 Moutain Division to be replaced soon

Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, September 13, 2009: A division of Army of 3 Corps is expected to be stationed at Leimakhong in Manipur to take care of the India-Myanmar and India-Bangladesh borders.

The Ministry of Defence, Government of India is learnt to have taken decision in this regard.

Reliable sources said, following this decision, the Army authorities have started taking steps to raise two more divisions under the Eastern Command, located in Kolkata.Troops of 57 Mountain Division stationed at Leimakhong are likely to be shifted to Southern Assam.

During the interchanging period of the Army troops, Assam Rifles (Central Paramilitary Force) will handle, besides guarding the Indo-Myanmar border, additional responsibility of counter insurgency operations which the Army was engaged in, the sources said.It may be noted here that sources in the Army have always maintained that the Army is taking a major role in the counter insurgency operations in Manipur, while sources in the AR have always contended that the AR are the force which are playing a significant role in countering the insurgent activities.

At the same time, two new divisions are proposed to be raised and they would be under the respective controls of the 3 Corps and 4 Corps.

One which would be stationed in Arunachal to take care of the China-India-Myanmar axis has been raised while the other which would be stationed at Leimakhong, Manipur to cover the Bangladesh-India-Myanmar axis is yet to be raised.

Although the two divisions together make up a Corps' strength, they would be separated and placed under the respective controls of the 3 Corps and 4 Corps, sources said.

The division at Leimakhong will be under the 3 Corps, based at Rangapahar near Dimapur in Nagaland.

The one in Arunachal will be under the 4 Corps, based in Upper (eastern)Assam.

Source further said that the new division at Leimakhong which would replace the existing 57 Mountain Division will be under the 3 Corps, based at Rangapahar near Dimapur in Nagaland.

The one in Arunachal will be under the 4 Corps, based in Upper (eastern) Assam.

During the process of raising of the two new division, army troops will be busy in moving in and out which would not be able to handled the counter insurgency operation which mainly handled by the army in Manipur.

Additional responsibilities will be given to the paramilitary force - Assam Rifles in Manipur, source said adding that in Manipur, counter insurgency operation has been handled mainly by the army.

A highly reliable sources here said that move of troops of 57 Mountain Division from Manipur is as part of pulling out of army units from across the country for raising two more divisions to make up make up a Corps' strength.

The necessity to strengthen the army corps in the north eastern region arises since the army sounded red alert.

The army has sounded an operational alert on the India-China Line of Actual Control (LAC) after reports of a Chinese military exercise involving 50,000 troops in Tibet, where Beijing has increased its activities.

The 57 Mountain Division headquarters are at Masimpur near Silchar.

The formation and units of 57 Mountain Division are deployed in some of the remotest corner of Manipur and Indo-Burmese border.

As of 2004, between 57 Mountain Division, Imphal Sector of Assam Rifles, and Local Commanders of CRPF & BSF, about 16,000 17,000 troops deployed in Manipur, of which 5,000 troops were on patrol at any point of time.

Both Army & Assam Rifles wanted clear-cut directions for an end result.

This above the 73 Mountain Brigade is deployed in Bishnupur district.

The Bishnupur Brigade under the aegis of Red Shield Division has established itself firmly in the district.

The steps of moving Army troops is amidst the process of shifting of BSF from the state for deployment in the state affected naxal violence states across the country.

Authorities so far replaced BSF posted at Wangjing and Nongpok Sekmai in Thoubal district, at Ethai, Wangoo, Moirang INA Complex and Kwakta in Bishnupur district was withdrawn and sent to the naxal hit states.

After the withdrawal of the BSF personnel, IRB replaced the Wangjing, Moirang INA Complex, Kwakta posts while CRPF replaced Ethai and Wangoo posts.

The BSF post at Nongpok Sekmai has been destroyed by insurgents before IRB take post.

More Indian troops on China border

* 15,000 troops stationed in Manipur to counter threat from Chinese influence in Myanmar

By Iftikhar Gilani

NEW DELHI: Is a repeat of the 1962 Sino-India war looming large? Though played down by the Indian government for diplomatic reasons, 30,000 additional troops – with weaponry and artillery support – are being rushed to the country's northeast region bordering China. Indian troops deployed on the disputed border with China are also being reinforced, following the second incursion in the Ladakh region in the last eight months.

More worrisome for India is the Chinese claim on Arunachal Pradesh and repeated incursions into border villages and reports of a Chinese military exercise involving 50,000 troops in Tibet. A highway built by China parallel to the border, with approach roads intruding into Arunachal Pradesh, is also a matter of concern as it can be used by the Chinese Army to move quickly – with artillery – to capture parts of the state. Not taking these developments lightly, the Indian Army is preparing for any eventuality, putting the troops deployed on the border on operational alert and increasing vigilance in Arunachal Pradesh. A full mountain division of about 15,000 troops, under the command of three brigadiers, is being stationed in Arunachal Pradesh in areas where border fortifications may be weak. This division would be attached to the 4 Corps unit, based out of Tezpur in Assam.

Growing influence: A second division of the same strength is being deployed in Manipur and attached to the 3 Corps, based out of Dimapur in Nagaland. This division would be placed on the Bangladesh-India-Myanmar axis to counter any threat from China's growing influence in Myanmar. Since raising new divisions takes a lot of time, sources said the Indian Army is pulling officers and troops out of peace-time postings from across the country to form the two divisions quickly.

Defence experts in India are already warning the government that China might resort to a 1962 war-style gamble, though maybe not on the same scale, to divert attention from rising inflation in the country. Writing in Defence Today, a strategic journal, editor Bharat Verma claimed that China might make the move as early as October. According to government sources, such a perceived threat has been already discussed by the army's top brass, following which the decision to fortify all positions on the Sino-India border was taken.\09\14\story_14-9-2009_pg7_40

BOLT system to give Indian army an edge on the battlefield


City-based communication technology solutions company Transworld has developed Battle Online Tracking (BOLT) system for the Indian army, which will have tracking systems for tanks and heavy vehicles on the battlefield to ensure timely logistical support.

"The army formations will have a combination of communication capabilities like encrypted or local radio apart from GPRS and GSM. The solution will enable the officer concerned to see all his assets and it will be possible to zero-in on a particular tank or truck in the battlefield right from the army headquarters through an online platform," Transworld Compressor Technologies Limited managing director Vikram Puri told Sakaal Times.

The solution, provided through a device called Mobile Eye, has already been successfully tested at the Armoured Corps Centre and School, Ahmednagar.

The Northern Command has also started implementing Mobile Eye on their convoys for security against terrorist attacks, Puri said.

To win any battle, the most crucial aspect is timely and adequate logistics support. A tank division of 10,000 troops on the battlefield needs huge amount of logistics, including fuel, food, water and air support.

"A lot of time is spent on the battlefield to ascertain the exact position of assets like tanks. This is traditionally done manually. The information can be intercepted by the enemy, which could be used to block our supply routes. In this case, every device is independent of any communication system and the message is encrypted. It can't be intercepted by enemy," he said.

Moreover, since the exact location of the tanks are known, logistics support like refuelling, air and artillery cover can be provided precisely.

"The fuel and ration stock can be replenished without delay. This will not hamper the advancement of the troops. The reinforcements can be sent in exact numbers to the exact location. Most importantly, in case of air force or artillery cover, the exact location of our assets will not only help in preventing hitting our own troops, but also attain greater degree of accuracy in destroying the enemy," Transworld director Khursheed Panthaki said.

Even if the enemy knocks out a few tanks which have the device, the communication system would not be affected as long as two tanks having the device installed are functional. "It is a self-healing network. As long as two devices are alive, information flow will continue," Panthaki said.

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