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Thursday, 15 October 2009

From Today's Papers - 15 Oct 09

Indian Express

The Pioneer

The Pioneer

Telegraph India

Indian Express

Indian Express

Asian Age

Asian Age

Asian Age

Asian Age

The Pioneer

Kashmir Times

Asian Age

Asian Age

The Pioneer

The Pioneer

Kashmir Times

Asian Age

The Pioneer

The Pioneer

Asian Age

Indian Express

Asian Age

The Pioneer

The Pioneer

The Pioneer

Mint

Mint

Times of India

Times of India

Times of India

DNA India

DNA India

DNA India

Hindustan Times

India ups the ante, tells China to keep off PoK
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
The simmering tension between India and China aggravated today with New Delhi strongly objecting to China’s decision to continue to undertake projects with Islamabad in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and asking Beijing to cease such activities.

A day after India angrily rejected Beijing’s objection to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh for electioneering, New Delhi upped the ante against China in the backdrop of a meeting between Chinese President Hu Jintao and Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Reza Gilani in the Chinese capital yesterday.

“We have seen a Xinhua (Chinese official news agency) report quoting the President of China as stating that China will continue to engage in projects in PoK with Pakistan. Pakistan has been in illegal occupation of parts of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir since 1947,’’ External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said.

Emphasising that Beijing was fully aware of India’s position and its concerns about Chinese activities in PoK, he hoped that the Chinese side would take a long term view of the India-China relations, and cease such activities in ‘areas illegally occupied by Pakistan’.

New Delhi has been monitoring the ongoing four-day visit of Gilani to China, primarily to attend the Prime Ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states. However, it is his meetings with Chinese leaders on the margins of the SCO engagements that have been the focus of attention.

Yesterday, he met President Hu during which the Chinese leader reportedly told him that Beijing was happy to witness the smooth progress of major projects under the joint efforts of the two countries, such as the Neelam-Jhelum hydro-electric project and the Karakorum Highway upgrading project.

As if to cock a snook at India, Hu said howsoever the international situation might change, the people of China and Pakistan were ‘always joined in hearts and hands’.

Officials here acknowledged that the developments over the past few weeks have definitely given a setback to Sino-Indian political and diplomatic ties, though the trade and commercial links remain unaffected. Recent incursions by Chinese troops into the Indian territory, China blocking aid for a developmental project for Arunachal Pradesh at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its attempt to stonewall a clean waiver for India at the nuclear suppliers’ group (NSG) meeting in September last year have given clear indications that all is not well on the Sino-Indian front.

Yesterday, China had expressed dissatisfaction over Manmohan Singh’s October 3 visit to Arunachal Pradesh, a major part of which, Beijing claims, belongs to it. New Delhi hit back shortly thereafter, asserting that Arunachal Pradesh was in integral and inalienable part of India.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20091015/main2.htm

No pull-out from Afghanistan, says US

Last updated on: October 15, 2009 01:40 IST

The White House on Wednesday categorically ruled out that the US is planning to leave Afghanistan, as President Barack Obama [ Images ] held the fifth round of the "situation room meeting" to chalk out a strategy for Af-Pak region.

"We are not leaving Afghanistan," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters at his daily press briefing.

Gibbs said Obama held his fifth situation room meeting on Wednesday at the White House, which lasted for more than three hours.

However, Gibbs did not say how long it would take the President to come out with the "right strategy" that would not only work, but would also help in achieving the goal of defeating the Al Qaeda [ Images ] and the Taliban [ Images ] in the region.

"The President has not made a decision yet," Gibbs said, adding that at today's meeting among other things the issue of training Afghan police and army was also discussed along with civilian military capabilities.

He said the political situation in both Pakistan and Afghanistan was also discussed at the meeting. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton [ Images ], who is travelling participated in the meeting through phone.

The previous meetings included discussion on intelligence information not only Afghanistan and also Pakistan, he said.

Gibbs said the meeting began with an update of the political and security situation in Afghanistan.

"The President received a report on our efforts to strengthen our civilian mission within Afghanistan, particularly as it relates to our effort to partner with the Afghan government," he said.

Obama then received a report on efforts to train Afghan security forces. "And as usual, the president heard from many of his advisers and was joined via videoconference by Ambassadors Patterson and Eikenberry and General McChrystal, from Islamabad [ Images ] and Kabul, respectively," he said.

"Like the other meetings, there wasn't one magic sentence or one magic phrase, but again, a fairly comprehensive meeting to go through remaining situation that hadn't been covered and needed to be covered more in depth in Afghanistan," Gibbs said.

"I think this was, again, a continuation of the series of meetings; some of -- some of what we went through were questions from -- from last meeting, as I read out the – an update on the political situation and an update on – on security force training, meaning ANA and ANP, Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police," he said in response to a question.

"Obviously, integral in ensuring that, at some point, the Afghans are providing security for their own people," Gibbs said.

http://news.rediff.com/report/2009/oct/15/us-rules-out-pulling-out-from-afghanistan.htm

How two Pak Armymen saved their skin in GHQ attack

October 13, 2009 15:13 IST

The attack on the Pakistan Army [ Images ] headquarters in Rawalpindi reportedly saved two top officers from being sacked for creating misunderstanding between the Army and the President House, according to a Pakistani daily.

'It was decided in a high-level meeting on Friday that these two men, considered close to the president, would be sacked from their jobs. The decision had also been conveyed to the Army leadership. However, the attack on the GHQ delayed the implementation of the decision for some time,' The News daily reported.

The decision to sack these officials could have its roots in the growing influence of private US security firms Blackwater and DynCorp in the country.

'DynCorp is a US-based private security firm, which receives more than 96 per cent of its $2 billion annual revenues from the federal government. The US administration has hired its services in Iraq, Gaza Strip, Bosnia and Afghanistan,' The News said, adding that five employees of DynCorp were fired for being involved in trafficking of child sex slaves in Bosnia.

It is learnt the Army high command wants action against all those who facilitated DynCorp secretly and illegally for establishing its network in Pakistan, which is not aimed against the Taliban [ Images ] and Al Qaeda [ Images ] but to break Pakistan's nuclear security, the newspaper added.

The recent revelation by Howard Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, that the Pakistani military was familiar with provisions made in the bill while it was tabled in the US House and Senate could have further rung alarm bells in the Army establishment.

'I have been in touch with them (the military) through this whole process. I have spoken with Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. It's a common strategy,' Berman had told a foreign news agency.

Berman is the House sponsor of the Kerry Lugar Bill that was drafted by Senate sponsors John Kerry and Richard Lugar.

Pakistan Army's top brass is not amused by the stern conditions entailed in the controversial Kerry-Lugar Bill, which offers Pakistan 1.5 billion dollars yearly over the next five years.

Highly placed sources said the US bill may ultimately sour the relationship between the armed forces and the government, which has been describing the assistance as its 'big success'.

What has sent alarm bells ringing for the Pakistan Army is a clause calling for an assessment of how effectively the government controls the military, including oversight and approval of defence budgets, chain of command, promotions of senior commanders and civilian involvement in strategic planning.

http://news.rediff.com/report/2009/oct/13/how-two-pak-armymen-saved-their-skin-in-ghq-attack.htm

India, Argentina sign N-accord
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
India today signed an agreement for civil nuclear cooperation with Argentina, making it the seventh nation to ink such an accord with this country after New Delhi secured a waiver from the nuclear suppliers’ group (NSG) to undertake nuclear commerce.

The agreement for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy was among the 10 accords signed by the two countries following wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kichner during which they desired to establish strategic partnership between their two nations. The two leaders discussed a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.

The nuclear accord was signed by Vivek Katju, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, and Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Talana. India has already signed nuclear accords with the US, Russia, France, Kazakhstan, Namibia and Mongolia after the NSG amended its strict regulations in September last year to allow India to engage in nuclear trade and meet its growing energy needs.

A joint statement issued by India and Argentina after the visiting dignitary concluded her talks with Indian leaders said the two sides shared the view that civil nuclear energy could play an important role as a safe, sustainable and non-polluting source of energy in meeting rising global demands for energy.

“Taking into account their respective capabilities and experience in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, both India and Argentina have agreed to encourage and support scientific, technical and commercial cooperation for mutual benefit in this field,” it added.

India and Argentina, as active countries with a long tradition in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, reiterated their intention to develop, promote and cooperate in this field in accordance with their respective international obligations and commitments. They would make use of synergies existing between the two countries and the vast experience of their nuclear scientists and technologists.

The other nine accords signed between the two sides include: exchange of letters for business visa providing for five years multiple entry gratis visa for a single stay of 90 days; programme of cooperation in science and technology for 2009-11; MOU between ONGC Videsh Limited and ENARSA; MOU on sports cooperation; MoU on cooperation in the field of trade promotion and technology transfer in international trade; and agreement on outer space.

The two sides also agreed on the need to give a new impulse to multilateral negotiations in the area of disarmament, especially weapons of mass destruction.

The Argentine leader expressed shock over the terrorist attacks in Mumbai terrorist attacks and reiterated the need for intensifying global cooperation in combating international terrorism.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20091015/nation.htm#2

Defence high-ups take on China
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
Two senior Indian Defence officials today took on China, rather carried out a major military-diplomatic “pin-prick”. Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor announced help in building roads in Myanmar, a major ally of China, while the Indian Air Force today asserted that the ongoing work on six airstrips in Arunachal Pradesh would carry on and China “should have nothing….” to object.

This comes on a day when India’s External Affairs Ministry opened up a “verbal offensive” against China. The Indian Army Chief, who ends his three-day visit to Myanmar today, has announced help in providing building material and equipment to Myanmar in building its road infrastructure. Sources here said the announcement of Kapoor was made in Myanmar as he met the top leadership of the Military-Junta regime there. Both China and India enjoy good relations with Myanmar (formerly Burma) and have been competing for projects in the field of oil, gas, sea ports, road infrastructure and telecom.

The other notable part of the “verbal attack” against China came in the morning when IAF Vice-Chief, Air Marshall PK Barbora made it clear that that the IAF does not “fear” the Chinese military. Replying to queries on upcoming six airstrips in Arunachal Pradesh, Barbora said “We have not said anything against their military activities in Tibet. They should have nothing (to do)…. when we build defence capabilities in our areas”.

The Indian government has allocated Rs 2,000 crore to build six additional air strips in Arunachal Pradesh in order to have round-the-year movement of material and men. This will enable the landing of medium sized and large-sized transport planes, Barbora clarified when he was pressed for the size of the air strips.

A mediaperson asked The IAF Vice-Chief that if the IAF “feared” an adverse Chinese reaction to it upgrading of the six existing advanced landing grounds in Arunachal Pradesh into fully paved airs strips for operating heavier transport aircraft. To which he replied that the IAF mandate was to improve the ALGs, helipads and also the IAF air bases in the border state, Barbora said.

On further strengthening of air defence in the Northeast he said the IAF was acquiring more 'Akash' medium range Surface-to-Air missile squadrons for deployment in the Northeast. This is apart from the Sukhois that it would base at Tezpur and other air bases there.

For the Northeast the IAF has two squadrons of Akash at present. “We are asking for more to upgrade our air defence capabilities. It is a good missile and we have also asked for some improvements in it," Barbora said.

He opined that the Chinese reactions to the Prime Minister's visit to the border state should be "read between the lines," as democratic elections were taking place in the state.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20091015/nation.htm#11

IAF: Work on Arunachal airstrips to go on
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
Two senior Indian defence officials today took on China, rather carried out a major military-diplomatic “pin-prick”. Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor announced help in building roads in Myanmar, a major ally of China, while the Indian Air Force today asserted that the ongoing work on six airstrips in Arunachal Pradesh would carry on.

This comes on a day when India’s External Affairs Ministry opened up a “verbal offensive” against China. The Indian Army Chief, who ends his three-day visit to Myanmar today, has announced help in providing building material and equipment to Myanmar in building its road infrastructure. Sources here said the announcement by Kapoor was made in Myanmar as he met the top leadership of the military-junta regime there. Both China and India enjoy good relations with Myanmar (formerly Burma) and have been competing for projects in the field of oil, gas, sea ports, road infrastructure and telecom.

The other notable part of the “verbal attack” against China came in the morning when IAF Vice-Chief, Air Marshall PK Barbora made it clear that that the IAF does not “fear” the Chinese military. Replying to queries on upcoming six airstrips in Arunachal Pradesh, Barbora said “We have not said anything against their military activities in Tibet. They should have nothing (to do)…. when we build defence capabilities in our areas”.

The Indian government has allocated Rs 2,000 crore to build six additional air strips in Arunachal Pradesh in order to have round-the-year movement of material and men. This will enable the landing of medium sized and large-sized transport planes, Barbora clarified when he was pressed for the size of the air strips.

When a mediaperson asked if the IAF “feared” an adverse Chinese reaction to it upgrading of the six existing advanced landing grounds in Arunachal Pradesh into fully paved airs strips for operating heavier transport aircraft, he replied that the IAF mandate was to improve the ALGs, helipads and also the IAF air bases in the border state, Barbora said.

On further strengthening of air defence in the northeast he said the IAF was acquiring more 'Akash' medium range surface-to-air missile squadrons for deployment. This is apart from the Sukhois that it would base at Tezpur.

For the northeast, the IAF has two squadrons of Akash at present. “We are asking for more to upgrade our air defence capabilities," Barbora said.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20091015/nation.htm#15

China’s posture
India can’t accept its stand on Arunachal

THE expression of “strong dissatisfaction” by the Chinese government on the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Arunachal Pradesh earlier this month is an outrageous attempt to score more than brownie points. Though in a sense it is only an extension of the hawkish posture that the Chinese have been adopting in recent times on Arunachal Pradesh, which it claims as its own, it shows that they are upping the ante on this. That India has vehemently opposed the Chinese statement is as it should be. Dr Singh’s visit to Arunachal to elicit support for his party’s candidates in the assembly election was perfectly in order. Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna’s prompt re-assertion that Arunachal is an inalienable part of India and that the Chinese statement does not help the process of ongoing negotiations on the boundary question is an appropriate and clear response to the games the Chinese are playing. That the turnout in the elections was an impressive 72 per cent only goes to show that the people of this region are emotionally integrated with this country and are partners of India’s democratic system, like other citizens of the country.

Until some time ago, China’s interest in Arunachal was limited to Tawang, given the spiritual links between Tibetans and the people of this area. But it now encompasses the whole state. Evidently, the Chinese are eyeing Arunachal’s huge mineral deposits, its hydro-electric power potential, its scope as a tourist attraction and its use as an “eastern gateway” from the Brahmaputra valley to China’s Yunnan province. In addition, Arunachal also offers strategic advantages in terms of providing a base to gain contiguity with Bhutan along its eastern flank as well as permitting access to the entire Southeast Asian market.

India, therefore, needs to maintain utmost vigil against Chinese attempts to label this territory as its own. Though the chances of India and China going to war on the issue are remote, the Chinese are apparently calculating to use this as a bargaining plank in border negotiations to extract major concessions from India in the western sector. That heightens the need for India to strengthen its defences all along the northern borders, even if there are no signs of the two countries going to war.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20091015/edit.htm#2

Pakistan in turmoil
Army challenges the government’s writ
by G. Parthasarathy

THE tranquillity around Pakistan’s Army Headquarters in Rawalpindi, where the Army’s X Corps, whose main claim to fame is its propensity to stage coups against civilian governments, is also located, was rudely disturbed on October 11. A small group of militants clad in military uniforms from the “Amjad Farooqi Group” of the Tehriq-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) struck at the hallowed precincts of the Army Headquarters, killed army personnel, including a Brigadier and Lieutenant Colonel and held the entire Headquarters of the Pakistan army hostage for around 18 hours.

A few days earlier, a militant dressed in the uniform of the predominantly Pashtun Frontier Constabulary carried out a suicide bomb attack on the UN offices at the very heart of the capital, Islamabad. In both cases, the attacks had evidently been planned by people with inside knowledge of security, arrangements in the most sensitive areas of the national capital.

These terrorist strikes came at a time when Pakistan was witnessing an unseemly tussle between the elected government headed by President Zardari and the Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani over the provisions of the Kerry-Lugar Act passed by the US Congress, authorising $ 7.5 billion of economic assistance to Pakistan.

A statement issued last week by the Army Headquarters, after a meeting of Corps Commanders presided over by General Kayani, alleged the provisions of the US legislation violated Pakistani sovereignty and called on the country’s Parliament to decide whether the provisions of the Act should be accepted.

Interestingly, this army intervention, quite obviously intended to create a rift between President Zardari, who is a supporter of the US legislation and Parliament, came after an unprecedented meeting in Rawalpindi between Shahbaz Sharif, the Chief Minister of Punjab and brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was accompanied by the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhury Nisar Ali Khan on the one hand and Army Chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, on the other. Chaudhury Nisar is spearheading the opposition to the Kerry-Lugar-Act in Parliament.

Responding to the army’s insubordination, Zardari’s spokesman noted that it was inappropriate for the army to comment publicly on a sensitive issue with political overtones and that its concerns should have, more appropriately, been placed before the Defence Committee of the Cabinet.

The furore in Pakistan on the Kerry-Lugar Act, which has been fomented by General Kayani, is largely contrived. No one denies that the cash-strapped country desperately needs foreign economic assistance. Like past US Aid Legislation, the Kerry-Lugar Act reflects American and international concerns about Pakistan. It requires the Secretary of State to certify the Pakistan government has acted to prevent “Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and associated terrorist groups like the Lashkar e Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed from operating in the territory of Pakistan, including carrying out cross border attacks, into neighbouring countries”.

There are also provisions seeking certification that entities in Pakistan are not involved in nuclear proliferation, that the Pakistan army is under effective civilian and parliamentary scrutiny and control and that all support for terrorist groups from “elements within the Pakistan military or its intelligence services” has ceased. These provisions for monitoring the role of Pakistan’s military and its intelligence services have obviously rattled General Kayani and his cohorts.

The US has made no secret over its displeasure at the ISI’s support for Mullah Omar and Taliban military commanders like Sirajuddin Haqqani, who are spearheading attacks against American forces in Afghanistan.

The actions of the Pakistan army suggest that while it may reluctantly take on Taliban groups which question the writ of the Pakistan State, like Maulana Fazlullah’s supporters in Swat and the Tehriq-e-Taliban led now by Hakeemullah Mehsud, in South Waziristan, it will continue to support Afghan and Pakistani Taliban groups waging Jihad against the Americans in Afghanistan.

During the past three months, the army has been preparing to attack the strongholds in South Waziristan of Hakeemullah Mehsud and his Uzbek allies from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which was led by Tahir Yuldeshev. Yuldeshev had close links with the ISI since the 1990s, when the ISI facilitated his links with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and used his Uzbek forces to target the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, led by Ahmed Shah Masood.

Yuldeshev was reportedly killed in a US drone attack on September 26. The Pakistan army has now amassed around 28,000 soldiers for an assault, backed by air power and American drones, in South Waziristan. The assault by the TTP on the army Headquarters in Rawalpindi is a clear warning to the Pakistani military establishment that the TTP will hit at targets across Pakistan, if the army attacks it.

Past operations of the Pakistan army in South Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan, have failed miserably. It remains to be seen whether the army has the ability and courage to take on the TTP and its Uzbek and other allies in South Waziristan successfully. Moreover, there had to be support from elements within the security forces, in recent terrorist attacks in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, as the militants evidently had inside information on the vulnerabilities in the security structure.

Can the army and Frontier Constabulary now be sure that Pashtun soldiers, who hail from the tribal areas and constitute a substantial portion of the security forces, will remain steadfast in their resolve in operations, which target the homes of their kith and kin? Moreover, while there was widespread political consensus within Pakistan, in army operations in Swat, which is very close to the capital Islamabad, will there be a sustained political consensus if operations in South Waziristan are prolonged?

Finally, the impending operations in South Waziristan are based on the assumption that Taliban groups elsewhere in the tribal areas will remain not come to aid of their erstwhile allies in South Waziristan. Is this a realistic assumption? As more and more groups once supported by the ISI turn against the Pakistan army, US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson recently remarked: “You cannot tolerate a viper in your bosom without getting bitten”!

Pakistan is moving into even more turbulent and troubled waters as its army, given to dictating the national agenda, confronts new challenges. But, perhaps the most shocking aspect of these developments is that Mr Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted in a military coup a decade ago, now finds it expedient to make common cause with General Kayani. It was precisely such misguided opportunism that led to the destabilisation of democratic governments in the 1990s. Moreover, even the political establishment seems divided on the utility of terrorist groups in Pakistan’s relations with its neighbours.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20091015/edit.htm#4

Future trends in IAF maintenance discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Future trends and contemporary issues were discussed at a day-long seminar on “Technological and Maintenance Challenges of an Aerospace Power”, held at No.3 Base Repair Depot here today.

The seminar was organised jointly by the IAF’s Maintenance Command and the Centre for Air Power Studies, a Delhi-based think tank.

The seminar included detail presentations by experts on perspectives and perceptions on equipment maintenance in the coming decades and the likely problems and their redressal. Organisational restructuring and streamlining methods to meet future requirements were also discussed. Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance Command, Air Marshal PV Athawale delivered the inaugural address, while the Additional Director, CAPS, Air Vice-Marshal Kapil Kak (retired) outlined the theme of the seminar.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20091015/cth1.htm#6

EME observes 66th Corps Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
The Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME) observed its 66th anniversary at the Headquarters Western Command, Chandimandir today.

A wreath laying ceremony was held at the Veer Smriti war memorial to pay tributes to those who had made the supreme sacrifice. A sainik sammelan, barakhana and pagal gymkhana were other events organised to commemorate the event.

A social get-together was also organised at the Shivalik Officers Institute, which was attended by a large number of distinguished guests, serving as well as retired EME officers and their wives.

The corps provides engineering support to the Army for all types of vehicles and equipment, including tanks, guns, missiles, radars, electronic items and helicopters in service with the forces. The Corps has also excelled in the field of sports and adventure activities.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20091015/cth1.htm#7

Book Rodrigues, demands Congress
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
In the wake of the special audit report of the Chandigarh administration, the Congress has demanded the registration of an FIR against the administrator, Gen SF Rodrigues (retd), and a CBI probe into the omission and commissions in the allotment of land for mega projects in the city.

Interacting with the media here today, the vice-president of the local unit of the Congress, Subhash Chawla, and other party members stated that there was no clause under which action could not be taken against the administrator if any discrepancy was found against him.

They said an FIR should be lodged against him on the basis of the MHA report. They said a number of officials were involved in the allocation of these projects and they were not with the administration now, so a CBI inquiry should be ordered to take action against them also.

He said after the submission of the report, the union government should issue directions to the UT administrator not to take any major policy decision. He alleged that the administrator was still calling officers to Raj Bhavan and pressuring them to remove discrepancies in files relating to the projects.

Chawla said for the past three years, they had been raising a voice against the administration for doing injustice with farmers by giving them less price for prime land acquired for projects. He said this land was allotted to a few companies on “nominal prices”.

Former Mayor Pardeep Chhabra questioned the administration for asking the MC to impose property tax in the city when it could easily raise revenue by auctioning land allocated on cheap rates for these projects.

He said the administration imposed these projects on the corporation without considering if these were feasible or not. Referring to the multi-level parking and fruit and vegetable terminal market, he stated that these were not required.

He claimed that according to information, the administration was planning to allot land for the bus stand at Sector 17 to a company for the construction of a mall.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20091015/cth1.htm#8

The Vices Of India

October 14, 2009: India, a regional superpower and the worlds largest democracy (with a population of over a billion), lives in a very rough neighborhood. To deal with that, India has always maintained large armed forces, and one of the largest armies (a million troops) on the planet. But keeping these troops equipped, for what is expected of them, has proved to be very difficult. The army keeps falling behind in replacing aging weapons (like artillery) and obtaining new technology (missiles and smart munitions). Getting the money from the government has been the least of their problems. The biggest hassles are with corruption, and efforts to develop local weapons manufacturers.

In a sense, the effort to create domestic defense industries has been crippled by corruption. Several major weapons development projects have failed because bad ideas kept getting funded, and the effort never produced anything the military found acceptable. For example, the 5.5 ton Dhruv helicopter was in development for two decades before the first one was delivered seven years ago. Since then, over 80 have been delivered, mostly to the Indian Army. But some foreign customers (Nepal and Myanmar) have also taken a few. A series of crashes indicated some basic design flaws, which the manufacturer insists do not exist. The navy disagrees, even though the fleet is desperate to replace over three dozen of its elderly Sea King helicopters (a 1950s design, and the Indian Navy models are 20-35 years old.)

Then there the effort to develop and build a tank. Many of the problems with Arjun tank project had to do with nothing more than government ineptitude. The Ministry of Defense was more interested in putting out press releases, about how India was becoming self-sufficient in tanks, than in attending to the technical details needed to make this happen. The Ministry of Defense crowd has done this sort of thing many times. Moreover, if it isn't incompetence screwing things up, then it's corruption. Cleaning up the Ministry of Defense, and all the politicians that get involved with it, so far, a problem without a solution.

Efforts to develop missile systems has also been a long running failure. Work on indigenous missile designs, under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP), managed by the Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO), India's equivalent to the U.S. DARPA. (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) have gone on for decades, with no useful weapons to show for it. The most common problems were apparently caused by inept software development. While India has a lot of local talent in this department, creating this kind of specialized military software is very difficult. But India is determined to develop the capability of designing and building high-tech weapons, something few countries can do. India is following in the footsteps of China and Russia, two nations that still had most of their population living in poverty, while the state concentrated resources to create the technological base needed to build modern weapons.

There are also some obvious cases of corruption. Some were almost comical, as in the case of the army ordering electric carts, "for use in hospitals", and then delivering most of these golf carts to a military golf club. Another time, golf carts were ordered as special engineer vehicles, and these also ended up at the same golf course.

But the defense ministry also has a knack for sheer ineptitude. For example, the procurement bureaucrats allowed the war reserve of shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles to fall below acceptable levels. Once discovered, the bureaucrats took four years to get additional missiles from Russia. Meanwhile, the army decided that it would replace the Russian missiles, beginning in 2013.

Finally, there's the ever persistent demand for payoffs from foreign suppliers of weapons. For the last sixty years, India has had to buy major weapons, and high tech items, from overseas. When Russia was the only supplier, there was less opportunity for extorting money from multiple suppliers, because these were state owned arms manufacturers, and there was not a lot of variety. But once the Cold War, and the Soviet Union, went away in 1991, India began to seek better quality weapons from the more numerous Western suppliers. Demanding bribes from suppliers, to be selected, became a major draw for senior government officials. It was big money, easily obtained. This was so widespread that it became widely known, and eventually the media was able to expose a lot of it. In the last decade, it's become much more difficult to score a bribe. But this has resulted in many suppliers being blacklisted, or for purchasing of new weapons getting bogged down in investigations of whether or not the suppliers had bribed someone.

The Indian government bureaucrats have a well deserved reputation of gumming up the works, and preventing needful things from getting done. For the military, this has meant an aging stock, or increasingly obsolete weapons, that they cannot get replaced, or even updated.

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htproc/articles/20091014.aspx

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