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Saturday, 10 October 2009

From Today's Papers - 10 Oct 09

The Pioneer

Kashmir Times

Kashmir Times

Asian Age

Asian Age

Asian Age

The Pioneer

Asian Age

Asian Age

The Pioneer

The Pioneer

The Pioneer

Kashmir Times

Times of India

Times of India

Times of India

DNA India

DNA India

DNA India

Government declares war on Naxals

NDTV Correspondent, Friday October 9, 2009, Mumbai

24 hours after 18 policemen were massacred by Naxals in Maharashtra, the government is ready for a newer, bigger war. And it's setting aside 7300 crores for this.

16,000 additional security men are being sent to Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand to help battle Naxals. The Border Security Force will also contribute to this new mission. They will work with the 40,000 men already stationed there. The additional forces will be moved after the Maharashtra elections.

The Anti-Maoist Task Force, a special command, will handle operations in border areas between states. The first line of defence will be the state police. If the Air Force is called in, it will not be allowed to fire back on any Naxals, not even in self-defence.

The new operations are scheduled to start on the 1st of November. But that may be pushed back to allow new forces to get familiar with the terrain.

Operations will follow the pattern of Lalgarh in West Bengal -forces will enter areas controlled or dominated by Maoists, and clear the Naxals from there. The forces will then "hold" or guard that area while infrastructure and a local administration is strengthened.

AFWWA’s gift of love to orphans
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
As part of the Air Force Day commemorations, the Air Force Wives Welfare Association (AFWWA) extended humanitarian aid to Snehomoyee, an orphanage located at Maloya village near here.

The AFWWA members, led by Geethanjali Nair, president of the local chapter, donated a large number of blankets, clothing, board games and recreational toys to children. They also provided items for regular use to the inmates. As many as 250 orphans, including 60 girls will be benefitted out of this gesture.

India must redefine engagement with China

TNN 10 October 2009, 05:22am IST

PUNE: India ought to redefine her terms of engagement with China in the wake of the recent row over Chinese incursions across the Line of Actual

Control (LAC) that separates the two countries, said Major General (retd) V K Madhok here on Friday.

Madhok was addressing a seminar on Chinese incursions into Indian territory' organised by the Yashwantrao Chavan National Centre for International Security and Defence Analysis (YC-NISDA) at the University of Pune.

Air Marshal (retd) Narayan Menon from Bangalore and M L Sali, head of the department of defence and strategic studies at the Bhonsla Military School, Nashik, were among the prominent speakers at the event.

The overall opinion that evolved at the meet was for precaution on the part of both India and China to see that problems along the Sino-Indian borders do not go out of proportion and acquire a situation of full-scale confrontation.

Madhok initiated the discussion by giving his overview of Has China surrounded and engaged India: Chinese incursions, intentions, current and future security threats'. He said, "The recent developments were far too serious cause of concern for the Indian armed forces because ultimately it will be the forces who will face the brunt."

Citing contradictions in the statements emanating from the armed forces and the Indian defence and external affairs ministries, Madhok wondered why the government was in an appeasement mode whereas India ought to be more aggressive in taking up issues with China.

He said, "Why are we reluctant to ruffle the Chinese feathers by not talking about the problems of Uighurs in the Xing Jiang province, the human rights violation in Tibet and the billions worth of investment by China in areas such as Gilgit and Baltistan."

Madhok said, "Instances of direct on ground incursions, which can be seen, have gone up steadily since 2006 and each year, they have numbered around 140-plus. Even in the instant case, the incursions that happened in June/July came to light through the media as late as in September and still we have contradictory statements from Indian authorities. India is reacting mildly to the situation."

According to Madhok, "Indian government ought to issue clear cut orders to the troops as to what is needed to be done in the case of incursions, rather than be in an appeasement mode. The present political leadership wants to take the easy way out by passing the problem to the next generation."

Madhok said, "The need is for strengthening the armed forces by way of supplementary units like a largely expanded territorial army as well as having a reservist military officers corps. This is critical considering that India faces 14,000-odd shortage of officers in the armed forces." Indigenisation of defence equipment and having a comprehensive national security doctrine was essential, he said.

On China surrounding India, Madhok said, "The Sino-Indian border dispute over Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim remains unresolved; China has kept alive its dispute with Bhutan; Nepal has gone the communists way and the Chinese interests in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Tibet can hardly be ignored."

Air Marshal Menon, speaking on the border issues and impact of air power, said that Indian air strike power was needed to be enhanced in a large way considering that Indian air force is only 1/3rd of its Chinese counterpart. "China has already started making combat aircraft of their own based on Russian technology," he pointed out. "The one bright spot that can be seen is the operationalisation of the airfields in the Ladakh region," he said.

Bhonsla school's Sali traced the history of the Sino-Indian border dispute by going into the geographical aspects of the dispute, starting with China's takeover of Tibet.

A S Dalvi, head of YC-NISDA, and senior academician Ram Bapat chaired the discussion sessions.

Politics hampering UPA's anti-Naxal policy

Pallavi Ghosh


BATTLE READY: TUnion Home Minister is keen on a tough battle plan but others disagree.

New Delhi: In the fight against Naxals the biggest cause of concern could be the confusion within the Union Government on how to tackle the Red ultras.

Union Home Minister may be keen on a tough battle plan but there are others who disagree and political compulsions may be delaying a reasonable counter Naxal strategy

Centre stand on the Naxals has toughened following the killing of 17 policemen in Gadchiroli on Thursday and the brutal beheading of a Jharkhand Police officer Rancis Induwar in Ranchi on Tuesday.

Home Minister P Chidambaram has promised strong action against Naxal violence but not all within the United Progressive Alliance agree.

While most agree that the Naxal violence is a grave threat but some are apprehensive because of political compulsions and it is this dilemma which may make things a bit difficult for the Home Minister.

Sources reveal that a prudent approach would be the Rahul Gandhi line that Naxalism is basically a socio economic problem. So the "tough action, no talks" approach would have to be tempered by pumping in more money for development.

The goodwill that Naxalites have garnered among tribals, farmers and land tillers is also another worry and an argument against all out attack.

"People have got high expectations. When they are not getting the basic amenities there is every possibility of revolt," says Union Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge.

The high decibel ally Mamata Banerjee, who is charged with taking Maoist help in her popular agitations in Singur and Nandigram, is believed to be against any strong action. Faced with such apprehension some clauses had to be toned down.

The proposal to use Indian Air Force planes in combat against Naxals was shot down by some UPA members.

The Cabinet Committee on Security then decided to restrict it for relief and combing operations.

Lalu Prasad, with an eye on Jharkhand elections and the Left Front, which is fighting the Naxals in West Bengal, are also saying no to the Chidambaram approach.

The CCS may have waved the green flag to an anti-Naxal policy but as usual politics works as a speedbreaker.

Coping with rising China

K. Subrahmanyam

Chinese President Hu Jintao greetis Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after a joint declaration in New Delhi in 2006. File Photo: V.V. Krishnan

The Hindu Chinese President Hu Jintao greetis Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after a joint declaration in New Delhi in 2006. File Photo: V.V. Krishnan

There is no reason to assume that India’s rapidly rising neighbour, set to become the world’s largest economy in the next two decades, will not play the normal game of nations. But the current hawkishness and jingoism in sections of the media and strategic circles in India is without basis and uncalled for, argues a veteran strategic affairs specialist.

In the last few weeks a number of accounts have appeared in our media of ‘incidents’ on the Indo-China Line of Actual Control (LoAC) that portrayed China as exerting military pressure on India. There were also reports of China objecting to the Asian Development Bank loan to a development project in Arunachal Pradesh on the ground that it is a disputed territory and issuing stapled instead of stamped visas for travellers, of Kashmiri residence to China.

Very hawkish articles appeared in the media on both sides. In China, an analyst repeated the argument of the 1960s that India cannot stay united. In India, the ghosts of 1962 were resurrected and there were predictions that there was likely to be a Chinese attack on India by 2012. The retiring Naval Chief’s sober assessment that militarily India is not in a position to catch up with China on equality of forces and equipment in the conventional sense and therefore India should consider technological solutions to cope up with, and not confront a rising China, was misinterpreted as defeatist sentiment in certain media and strategic circles.

It is no doubt significant that while all this tension generation is in the media of the two countries the two governments have sought to reduce the tension and discourage the hype in the media. Some political parties, ex-service officers, and strategists have drawn totally inapt comparisons with 1962. I am one of the few surviving senior citizen civil servants who were in the Ministry of Defence at that time. I functioned as a member of the Joint Intelligence Committee from November 1962 till December 1964.

Year 2009 is not 1962. In 1962, China was isolated from the international system. It was conducting a ‘Hate America’ campaign annually and also denouncing the Soviet leadership as revisionists and capitalist roaders. The Chinese attack on India was launched to coincide with the Cuban missile crisis to make sure that the two superpowers would be preoccupied with each other and not be able to apply pressure on China. The Chinese also promptly withdrew from the Arunachal Pradesh territory they occupied back to the McMahon line.

At that time under the advice of American Ambassador J.K. Galbraith the Indian leadership did not use the Air Force for fear of superior Chinese retaliatory capability. The truth, which we did not know at that time, was that the Chinese Air Force was totally grounded as the Soviets had denied them spares and aviation fuel — not because of the attack on India but because of the ongoing ideological dispute. The debacle in Sela-Bomdila happened not because the Indian Army was outgunned and outmanned but because the divisional commander did not fight and attempted to withdraw from a well entrenched position due to sheer panic. There are books on the ‘unfought war’ by people who were there at that time. Since then the Indian Army has faced the Chinese under valiant leadership and acquitted itself very creditably.

China of today is not the Maoist country that argued that power grew out of the barrel of a gun and that even if 300 million Chinese perished in a nuclear war 300 million would survive to build a glorious civilisation. Times have changed since the ideology of countryside surrounding the cities was advanced during the Cultural Revolution. ‘Dig tunnels deep and store grain everywhere’ was the Maoist slogan in preparation for a nuclear war. China of the 1960s was an isolated country and today it is one of the largest trading nations of the world. Those who build skyscrapers and Three Gorges dam will not be thinking of war in the same way Mao did. China is energy-import dependent and its energy transit lanes through the Indian Ocean and Malacca Straits are very vulnerable

China has a much greater stake in Taiwan than it has in Arunachal Pradesh, which it totally vacated after occupying large sections of it in 1962. It has not risked a war on Taiwan over the last 60 years. It has been extraordinarily patient about it since it understands the risks involved in using force on Taiwan recovery. There was a time (the whole of the 1950s and 1960s) when U.S. aircraft and warships would violate Chinese airspace and Chinese territorial waters regularly. China issued the relevant 437th and 593rd serious warnings to the United States. That continued until it allied itself with the U.S. in 1971 faced with the perceived Soviet nuclear threat. Ideology did not stand in the way.

There are valuable lessons for India in China’s patience and purposive response, untrammelled by ideological baggage or the overburden of memory. When Henry Kissinger started his secret trip to make up with Beijing, he told the doubters that the Chinese were pragmatists.

China is a rising power and is most likely to overtake the U.S. as the country with highest GDP in the next couple of decades. It wants to be the dominant power of Asia in the immediate future and that will mean an unequal relationship with other major Asian powers. The only nation that is perceived to have the potential to challenge China, not in the short run but over the longer period, is India — with a comparable population, a similar civilisational heritage, and the advantage of a younger age profile. While a meaningful challenge from India to China is not likely to come for at least a couple decades, India is in a position to play the role of a balancer in the ongoing rivalry between China and the U.S.

Chinese policies towards India have subtle elements of sophisticated coercion to attempt to prevent a closer partnership developing between India and the U.S. China may also have plans to shape a final settlement of the Tibetan issue on the passing of the present Dalai Lama. The pressure on Arunachal and procrastination in finalising the border may be a part of a long-term strategy to compel India to accept a post-Dalai Lama dispensation in Tibet and bring the matter to a closure.

China asserts that it will be rising peacefully. There is no disputing that peaceful rise is in its interest. But that does not preclude the normal practices in the game of nations of pressure, influence, and dominance — economically, politically and even militarily but without recourse to the actual use of force. That has happened all through history and there is no reason to assume that China will not practise the normal game of nations.

India has to learn to cope with this challenge without getting hysterical. Nor should it hamper in any way the growing trade relations between the two countries. There is, in fact, a good case to develop mutual dependencies in a globalised world, with due care to ensure that the dependency does not become unfavourably one-sided against our interest. The most effective way of doing it is to step up our economic growth to 10 per cent by exploiting all available favourable factors in the international economic and political system, as China is doing; develop rapidly our border infrastructure; augment our military capability without delays; and attempt to develop stakes for all major powers in our growth and security.

While doing all this, there is no need to indulge in jingoistic rhetoric. There can be firmness in dealing with the LoAC or other issues where there are attempts at exploiting unequal advantages in situations. India has arrived at a stage in international politics when it has to demonstrate maturity in playing the game of nations.

Eye on China, Army chief on Myanmar visit

Rajat Pandit, TNN 10 October 2009, 02:48am IST

NEW DELHI: Army chief General Deepak Kapoor will be leaving on Sunday for Myanmar, a country with which India has ramped up diplomatic as well as military ties to counter China's deep strategic inroads there.

Gen Kapoor, who is also chairman of the chiefs of staff committee, will seek to further boost bilateral defence cooperation as part of the continuing efforts to ensure China does not manage to outflank India once again in the region.

"During the three-day visit, Gen Kapoor will hold talks with the military top brass as well as visit different defence establishments in Myanmar,'' said an official.

Incidentally, the visit comes at a time when the US, a long-standing bitter critic of the Myanmarese ruling military junta, has announced its intention to actively work with countries like China and India to enter into a dialogue with Myanmar.

Though a detente between Myanmar and the West, which has imposed sanctions on the former, is still a long way off, the military junta's declaration about introducing a new constitution and holding elections in 2010 is being followed closely across the world.

India, of course, has its own concerns. It went in for a realpolitik change in its policy after several years of supporting Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi and the democratic movement in Myanmar, during which New Delhi found much to its dismay that Beijing had deftly stepped into the vacuum to forge strategic links with Yangon.

Casting aside western concerns about supplying military equipment to Myanmar, the only Asean country with which its shares land and maritime borders, India has since then transferred four Islander maritime patrol aircraft as well as 105mm light artillery guns, naval gun-boats, mortars, grenade-launchers and rifles, among other equipment, to Yangon.

India, in turn, has got some support from the military junta to flush out Indian insurgent groups operating from its soil. The Indian and Myanmarese armies, for instance, have conducted `coordinated operations' along their 1,643-km land border against outfits like United Liberation Front of Asom, United National Liberation Front, People's Liberation Army and Kannglei Yawol Kanna Lup.

There have been developments on other fronts like economic cooperation, energy security and connectivity as well. India and Myanmar, for instance, have launched the Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project, which will provide India with an alternate gateway to its northeastern states by bypassing Bangladesh.

India, of course, also remains keen that Myanmar expedite the process of national reconciliation and political reforms, and make it broad-based to include all sections of society and different ethnic groups.,prtpage-1.cms

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