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Sunday, 20 September 2009

From Today's Papers - 20 Sep 09

The Pioneer

Kashmir Times

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Telegraph India

Asian Age

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The Pioneer

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Asian Age

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Kashmir Times

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Hindustan Times

No real threat, leaders in touch: Govt

Border with China peaceful, media hype can mar it

Ashok Tuteja

Tribune News Service

Media hype could lead to unwarranted incident or accident that could create problems with China

— MK Narayanan, NSA

The leaders of the two countries are in constant touch. There is regular communication and a mutual recognition that outstanding issues can be resolved through dialogue and communication

— Nirupama Rao, Foreign Secy

There was no increase in the number of Chinese intrusions as compared to last year. There is no cause for worry or concern

— Gen Deepak Kapoor, Army chief

New Delhi, September 19

Dismissing the recent Chinese incursions into its territory as ‘not a new phenomenon’, India today said the situation along the line of actual control (LAC) had remained peaceful for decades, contrary to popular perception. The Army chief General Deepak Kapoor also downplayed the reports of intrusions and said there was no increase in the number of such incidents as compared to last year.

A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had downplayed reports of border violations by China, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said there had been no significant increase in intrusions across all sections of the LAC and emphasised that the leaders of the two countries were in constant touch.

Addressing a press conference to announce that the PM would be leaving for Pittsburgh (US) on Thursday for the G-20 summit of major and emerging economies, the top diplomat pointed out that there was no mutually agreed to delineated border with China. “This is an issue which has to be resolved,” she added. Meanwhile, National Security Advisor MK Narayanan cautioned that media “hype” could lead to “unwarranted incident or accident” that could create problems with China.

In a television interview, he acknowledged that incursions were taking place but said there was “hardly any increase” in these activities and the situation was not “alarming.”

The Foreign Secretary also brushed aside alarming reports in the media on Chinese intrusions. “There has been a hype in the media and a certain intensification of volume about the manner in which it has been reported.” Rao said there were established mechanisms like border personnel meetings to address issues relating to intrusions, and stressed that they have “worked well.” Underlining the developing nature of relationship between India and China, Nirupama, a former ambassador to China, said the leaderships of the two countries were in regular communication over important bilateral issues. To a question, she said no bilateral meeting was planned between the PM and the leader of the Chinese delegation on the margins of the G-20 Summit.

Addressing mediapersons after reviewing the passing-out parade at Officers’ Training Academy in Chennai, the Army chief said, “There is no cause for worry or concern: over Chinese incursions.

“The Prime Minister has made a statement yesterday that there has not been any more incursions or transgressions as compared to last year. They are almost at the same level,” he said.

On ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Kapoor said there were “some” ceasefire violations but the Indian troops had “responded suitably.” A mechanism was in place to deal with such ceasefire violations, with hotline present on either side of the border, he said.

The militants would attempt to infiltrate before winter, he said, adding that “the troops are well-deployed to meet and combat any such threats.”

Earlier, addressing the cadets, General Kapoor said external threat to the country had acquired a new dimension through global terrorism and the newly emerging threat of bio and nuclear terrorism. He said a more challenging role awaited the young officers owing to the changed security environment.

A total of 187 cadets (157 Gentleman Cadets and 30 Lady Cadets) were commissioned as officers in the Indian Army following the completion of their training at the academy.

Cadets marched out from the hallowed precincts of the Parameshwaran Drill Square to the tune of ‘Auld Lang Syne’. Parents of the cadets, dignitaries and members of the diplomatic fraternity witnessed the parade.

Cadet PS Bisht, who also received the coveted Sword of Honour for being the best all-round GC of the course, commanded the parade. Academy under officer Suchi Durga Pal got the gold medal for standing first in overall order of merit. The silver medal went to PS Bisht. (With inputs from N Ravikumar in Chennai)

No increase in Chinese incursions: Army chief

NDTV Correspondent, Saturday September 19, 2009, Chennai

A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accused the media of blowing the Chinese incursions issue out of proportion, Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor reiterated PM's stand on the issue saying that there has not been any increase in the Chinese incursions this year.

Speaking in Chennai, he also made comments on border infiltration and Kashmir as well.

The Army Chief's statement comes a day after the prime minister downplayed the issue of transgression by Chinese troops into India. The prime minister said, "The issue has been blown out of proportion. We see no evidence of increased aggression. Yesterday, the Chinese ambassador met the national security adviser and the two had a good discussion".

Women in the army: Separate and inequal

Neha Khanna, Friday September 18, 2009, New Delhi

For 4 years, women in the army have been fighting a battle of their own: to be treated at par with men. But in a huge setback, the government has told the Delhi High Court that this is not possible; not yet, anyway.

The issue is that women officers cannot serve for more than 14 years. The government's rationale for this has puzzled many experts. It argues that granting permanent commission to women would be very expensive. Currently, the army has not budgeted for long-term salaries for women.

So in order to keep them on beyond 14 years, it would have to find additional funds. But mainly, the issue seems to be this: that getting cadres to accept women would be a huge problem.

Women were first allowed into the army in 1992 but in non-combat jobs.

A year ago, the government did revise its rule to allow women the same tenure in the Medical and Ordinance Divisions. So women officers in these positions will be entitled to pension, but those who've already retired will not be eligible. That rules out nearly 1500 women. Like Major Sandhya Yadav, who retired a few months ago, after putting in 14 years. "Corporates don't value army experience much. To top it all, there's a recession in the market. Where do we go from here?" she asks.

The Delhi High Court will next hear the case in November.

NSA says media hype on Chinese intrusions risky


LOUD AND CLEAR: NSA MK Narayanan says India will not allow a repeat of 1962.

A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh played down reports of Chinese incursions along the Sino-Indian border as media hype, the National Security Advisor MK Narayanan has warned that the hype could result in a serious accident, although he ruled out a 1962-like situation. He said there has been no increase in Chinese incursions and so there was no cause for alarm.

Narayanan, who is handling the border talks with China, spoke exclusively to CNN-IBN on Devil's Advocate.

MK Narayanan: I am unable to explain why this kind of - well one can always argue that any incursion - small or big could be a cause of concern, but having been through this, not only now but in the past, I don't think there is any reason for us to feel particularly concerned as to what is happening. I mean I don't want to blow on to blame the media, I don't know what the reason is why there is so much reporting, I don't even want to use the word exaggerated reporting on this point, but I think this is a national security issue.

It isn't the kind of a game that we are playing, and the more you raise people's concerns, the tensions could rise and we would then be facing a situation of the kind that we wish to avoid.

Karan Thapar: In other words the media by its over reaction could end up creating a problem, that it wants to avoid.

MK Narayanan: It could create a problem of a kind and I have been through 1962, I am aware of , then of course we didn't have the media of this kind . You can. What we need to be careful of is that we don't have an unwarranted incident or an accident of some kind, that's what we are trying to avoid. But there's always concern that if this thing goes on like this someone somewhere might lose his cool and something might go wrong.

Narayanan also dismissed suggestions that India has a China complex after the 1962 war, but he admitted that India has been careful in its dealings with China because "no one wants to provoke a situation that we do not wish to have".

MK Narayanan: I think the first thing I would like to sort of wipe out is the question of the repeat of 1962. I think India of 2009 isn't India of 1962 and I want to make that point very clearly.

Karan Thapar: People say, and I want to put this to you deliberately and bluntly, that India is reluctant to face up to China, that India thinks of excuses and justifications to explain away Chinese behaviour. Do we have a China complex particularly after the 1962 war?

MK Narayanan: I don't think so, we are careful , I think we are careful partly because of what happened in 1962 - that we should not provoke a situation which we do not wish to have . I do not think anybody in India wishes to have a conflict with China. I think that goes also for China. I think both sides are therefore careful. But there are issues between the two countries, I don't think we have answers to all these issues, but the whole purpose of dialogue is to see where are the areas of congruence and where are the difference.

(Watch the full MK Narayanan interview at 8:00 PM on CNN-IBN's Devils Advocate and read the full transcript on

Pawlenty Hammers Obama on Missile Defense Decision

Update, 9:30 p.m.: Democratic National Committee spokesman Hari Sevugan has hit back at Pawlenty following his remarks. "It looks like Tim Pawlenty isn't even going to offer the pretense of being anything but an extreme right wing radical anymore," said Sevugan.

Original Post

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) will raise the specter of appeasement in regards President Barack Obama's decision earlier this week to abandon a missile defense system in Europe, according to excerpts of remarks he will deliver at tonight's Value Voters Summit obtained by the Fix.

"The lessons of history are clear: Appeasement and weakness did not stop the Nazis, did not stop the Soviets, and did not stop the terrorists before 9/11," Pawlenty plans to say. "We must stand strong with allies like Israel and eastern Europe in the face of growing challenges to our national security."

Obama's decision to suspend the program has drawn a huge reaction -- both domestically and internationally. Arizona Sen. John McCain, the party's 2008 presidential nominee, has strongly condemned the decision, as has House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio).

It's no secret that Pawlenty has aspirations to run for president and, as a two term-governor, his resume is thin on foreign policy. Engaging the president on an issue near and dear to the heart of the Republican base is an attempt by Pawlenty to show those voters that he is more than up to the task of battling Obama on foreign affairs if he is the nominee.

It's an interesting (and aggressive) gambit -- let's see how it plays over the weekend.

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