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Saturday, 17 October 2009

From Today's Papers - 17 Oct 09

18 Oct - no updates today as newspapers have a holiday on account of Diwali.

Wishing Everyone a very Happy Diwali

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NSG to get hi-tech arms: Chidambaram
Tribune News Service

Manesar/Gurgaon, October 16
Admitting that the role of the National Security Guard (NSG) has been re-defined following the Mumbai terror attacks in November last year, the Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram today said the process of inducting state-of-the-art weapons for the elite commando force is in its final stages.

Listing out the changes following the attacks last year, Chidambaram said now the NSG has been authorised to requisition civil aircraft to ensure speed. Besides, it will soon have high-technology and new weapons. The process of inducting sophisticated state-of-the-art weapons is in the final stages. He was speaking at the 25th raising Day celebrations of the NSG here.

The decision to allow the NSG chief to requisition aircraft holds significance in light of the Mumbai terror strike last year when NSG commandos, headquartered in Manesar - some 35 kms from new Delhi — could reach Mumbai only seven hours later. An IAF aircraft was called in from Chandigarh.

The delay could have been avoided if senior officials had been empowered to requisition aircraft from any operator.

Further, more four-regional hubs of the NSG have been established at Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata. These will have an essential force of 5,000 each, Chidambaram said. Later the Director-General of the NSG NPS Aulakh said that hubs have started functioning with small detachments.

Re-counting the role of the NSG to an audience of about 5,000, including families of the commandoes, the Home Minister said he himself has small role to play when the force was founded 25 years ago. He re-collected its existence, saying “How can we forget Operation Black Thunder… when the siege on the Golden Temple was lifted in 1988 and Operation Vajra Shakti, when the Akshardham temple in Gujarat was saved in 2002.” Operationally, Black Thunder in Amritsar was deemed to be a success as some 120 militants were forced to surrender.

On the Mumbai attacks he said the country would never forget the supreme sacrifice made by the NSG commandos during the Mumbai terror attacks and went on to make a special mention of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and Havildar Gajender Singh, who lost their lives.

Chidambaram, who has been on spree to “reform” the security agencies, today said the country needs the NSG as an elite and well trained, fully equipped and always alert group of commandos in order to tackle the threat of terrorism.”

France offers assistance

GIGN, National Gendarmerie Intervention Group, which is an anti-terrorist force of France, has offered to provide special training to NSG commandos. The NSG is considering to move a proposal to the government of India for sending a team of commandos to France for training on a reciprocal basis, DG, NSG, NPS Aulakh confirmed

New Army division to be raised in Nagaland
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Rangapahar (Dimapur), October 16
Notwithstanding the much better infrastructure and road connectivity on the Chinese side of the frontier in Arunachal Pradesh, the Army exudes confidence to tackle any eventuality even as a new Army division is being raised in Nagaland.

“In security parlance, infrastructure has a different connotation and road connectivity is only one aspect of preparedness. We are very confident today. We have come a long way since 1962 (when China invaded India), and in 1967 (Nathu La operation) the Army responded very well. Our preparedness is very much at place,” said GoC 3 Corps, Lieutenant General NK Singh.

The 3 Corps, besides looking after Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and North Cachar Hills of Assam, also takes care of east Arunachal Pradesh after the Upper Assam-based 2 Mountain Division was put under its command in May this year. When asked about reports on the much better infrastructure on Chinese side across the McMohan Line in Arunachal Pradesh, the Army commander said the terrain was not as difficult on the other side of the frontier as on the Indian side in Arunachal Pradesh. “The terrain has both advantages and disadvantages. Our confidence is certainly in place,” he added.

He informed a new division of the Army was being raised in Nagaland at Jakhama near Kohima, an overnight journey away from Arunachal Pradesh. The new division will also add teeth to the counter insurgency operation both in Nagaland and North Cachar Hill district in Assam.

The 3 Corps already has two Army divisions — 57 Mountain Division based at Limakhong in Manipur, and 2 Mountain Division at Upper Assam - while a large number of Assam Rifles battalions are under its operational command.

The new division is being raised in Nagaland even as the Centre is preparing to offer a ‘broad-based political package’ next month for resolution of the decades-old Naga political conflict taking rebel groups NSCN-IM, NSCN-K, the public and Church on board.

PM likely to meet Chinese premier in Thailand
Anita Katyal
Our Political Correspondent

New Delhi, October 16
After the recent war of words between India and China raised tensions in the neighbourhood, the political leadership of the two countries will be meeting in the coming days where an attempt will be made to put their relations back on course.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to meet Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Thailand later this month on the fringes of the Association of South East Asian Nations Summit. This will be followed by a meeting between India’s External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi when the two travel to Bangalore in the last week of October for the trilateral meeting betwen India, China and Russia.

Since both these meetings are being held in the backdrop of angry exchanges between New Delhi and Beijing over the border dispute in Arunachal Pradesh, the Prime Minister Singh and Krishna are expected to use this opportunity to reaffirm India’s position on this vexed issue but will not allow their differences from moving ahead with their relations.

These proposed meetings have also had a sobering affect on officialdom. After several days of sabre rattling, External Affairs Ministry officials today tended to take a more balanced view of relations between New Delhi and Beijing.

Official sources emphasised that the relationship is not focused solely on the boundary dispute though it remains crucial for the normalisation of their ties. In this context, it was disclosed that the proposed hotline between the two Prime Ministers will be operational soon.

Keen to emphasise that the “complex” relationship between India and China cannot be held hostage by a single issue, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told the All India Radio today that the two can cooperate on a number of important global issues, like reform of the international financial system, climate change and Doha round of trade talks, as “we have common ground where there is a meeting of minds”.

Speaking in the same vein, official sources maintained that China had not violated any agreement with India by building a dam on its side of the Brahamaputra as it only a “run of the river dam” and there is no diversion of water. Describing the boundary issue between India and China as “one of the most complicated” border disputes in the world, Rao emphasised that both countries were determined to resolve it through dialogue.

Test flight of Tejas a success
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, October 16
Continuing its quest for achieving initial operational capability by 2010-end, a pair of the indigenously built ‘Tejas’ light combat aircraft (LCA) successfully operated for five weeks from an IAF airbase in the South Western Air Command area. This was the first time the single-seat fighters operated away from their Bangalore home base for so long.

Two prototypes took part in the trials - prototype vehicle-3 (PV3) and limited series production-2 (LSP-2). The trials entailed flight envelope expansion in various stores configurations as well as air-to-ground weapon delivery trials in different modes of weapon delivery. The aircraft successfully demonstrated its ability to tackle targets that were spotted visually by the pilot.

In the next phase the Tejas will take on targets whose parameters in terms of location and altitude are fed to the onboard navigation and attack computer. The target does not have to be visible to the pilot at the point of delivery of a weapon.

The trials were conducted by the flight test crew of the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC), who deployed test pilots, flight test engineers and instrumentation specialists for the task. Support provided by personnel of the Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd - Tejas’ manufacturer - ensured this homegrown fighter aircraft was able to take to the skies regularly. The IAF teams working at the Aeronautical Development Agency and the air base where the trials were conducted also significantly contributed to the success of the trial.

Last March the Tejas underwent extensive weapon tests, focusing on safe separation and accuracy of weapon delivery, at an IAF base in the northwestern sector. The results validated the aircraft’s aerodynamic interference data as well as weapon release algorithms in different modes of release.

Limited series production of the Tejas, expected to get the IAF’s clearance sometime next year, commenced in 2007.

Projects in PoK
India has reason to protest to China

India’s strong protest to China over President Hu Jintao’s statement that his country would continue to support projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir clearly enunciates this country’s position on what may emerge as an other prickly between the two nations. The Chinese have been making unwarranted statements, like the one criticising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which it claims is Chinese territory. The manner in which Beijing sought to block Asian Development Bank aid for a project in Arunachal earlier this year was clearly unhelpful.

The message therefore needed to go out to the Chinese government that India would not brook any attempts to browbeat her. The prompt Ministry of External Affairs statement in response to the Chinese president’s commitment of assistance to a project to upgrade the Karakoram highway and the Neelam-Jhelum hydroelectric project in PoK is unexceptionable considering that PoK is Indian territory that is under Pakistani occupation since 1947. India has reason to be wary of China and Pakistan joining forces in PoK.

Significantly, Home Minister P Chidambaram said in Srinagar on Wednesday that India would issue only employment visas to the Chinese, no longer business visas, and this had been conveyed to the Chinese government. While asserting that employment visas would be issued only to highly skilled workers Mr Chidambaram softened the blow by saying that this would apply to other countries as well. Considering that Sino-Indian economic relations have been on the upswing, the implication is that the relationship in future would have to be on the basis of reciprocity in the overall context.

Yet, the new rigidity in postures does not necessarily presage a worsening of relations between the two neighbours. A meeting of Foreign ministers of India, China and Russia is due in Bangalore in a fortnight. While that could bring back an element of bonhomie, the scheduled visit of Dalai Lama to Arunachal next month would need to be watched for the reaction it might evoke in Beijing.

Air Marshal visits IAF station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Air Marshal TS Randhawa, Director-General, Inspection and Safety at Air Headquarters, arrived at the Air Force Station, High Grounds, near here on an inspection today. He was received by Gp Capt S Padegaonkar, Station Commander, No 1 TETTRA School.

Addressing the trainees and personnel on the focus areas for reducing accidents in the IAF, the Air Marshal gave a presentation on data analysis on the last five years’ accidents and air incidents. He reiterated that flight safety concerns everyone and all personnel play a major role in ensuring flight safety.

An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Air Marshal Randhawa assumed his present appointment in January this year and has over 3,000 hours of flying to his credit. He was the leader of Thunderbolts, IAF’s erstwhile aerobatic display team of Hunter aircraft. During his tenure as the Assistant Chief of Integrated Defence Staff at Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff in the Ministry of Defence, he conceptualised and evolved the joint doctrine for the armed forces and joint doctrine for amphibious operations.

Rodrigues serves notice on CNN-IBN

Chandigarh, October 16
UT Administrator and Punjab Governor SF Rodrigues has served a legal notice on a news channel, CNN-IBN, seeking an apology for “indefensible slander” on his alleged involvement in the questionable land deals in the mega projects in the city.

The notice said: “The report repeatedly and dramatically telecast by your channel on October 15 that the PM summoned Rodrigues over the issue and that he had to rush to Delhi last Tuesday to explain his position to the PM and that the PM asked Rodrigues to quit as Governor. The sheer recklessness with which all this has been disseminated by your channel and you all is indeed astounding.”

The notice has sought immediate apology, failing which legal/judicial proceedings will be initiated against the channel. — TNS

People's Liberation Army influencing China's policy to India

October 15, 2009 19:52 IST

B Raman asks why the Chinese media has taken a harsh anti-India line.

Simultaneously with the publication of a strong anti-India editorial by the Global Times of China on October 14, the party-run People's Daily has come out with an equally-strong anti-India editorial the same day under the title 'Indian hegemony continues to harm relations with neighbours.' The text of the editorial is annexed at the end of this column.

The Global Times belongs to the People's Daily group of publications of the Communist Party of China. While the Global Times seeks to project itself as an independent newspaper not necessarily voicing the opinion of the party, the People's Daily continues to be the voice of the party. It is generally believed that the editorials and op-ed articles carried by it have been pre-approved by the party before publication.

Ever since the Global Times started publishing editorials and articles critical of India and making derogatory references to India after April, the People's Daily followed the policy of occasionally reproducing some of the Global Times comments without identifying itself with those comments. It did carry opinion pieces on Tibet [ Images ] and His Holiness the Dalai Lama [ Images ], but they were largely free of any negative references to India.

Thus, till recently, one saw a three-pronged approach by Beijing [ Images ] in matters relating to relations with India. Governmental spokespersons continued to be conciliatory while referring to issues relating to India. The Global Times was increasingly critical of India -- even virulently sometimes -- and the People's Daily sometimes reproduced Global Times comments without any anti-India comments of its own editorial department.

This policy seems to have changed from October 13. The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson's comments on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's [ Images ] recent electoral visit to Arunachal Pradesh are anything but conciliatory. Instead of following its past policy of seeking to lower the rhetoric in the local media, the foreign ministry itself seems to have taken the initiative in stepping up the rhetoric. Taking the cue from the foreign ministry, the Global Times and the People's Daily have come out with no-holds-barred criticism of India.

Whereas the editorial of the Global Times was Arunachal Pradesh-centric in the context of our prime minister's visit to that Indian state, the People's Daily's criticism is focussed on the general directions of Indian policy towards its neighbours. It tends to be critical as well as derogatory.

It does not contain the kind of warnings to India that one noticed in the editorial of the Global Times but the bluntness of its depiction of India and its attitude to its neighbours recalls to one's mind the similar depiction of India by the Chinese media and party circles before Deng Xiaoping introduced a more nuanced and a more conciliatory policy towards India starting from 1978.

The People's Daily's projection of India as a hegemonistic power, its underlining of the common experiences and common difficulties of China and Pakistan in dealing with India with which both have pending border disputes and its references to India's war with China and Pakistan disturbingly indicate a reversal to the pre-Deng projection of India in negative terms and to the pre-1978 rhetoric.

Its description of India's policy of 'befriending the far and attacking the near' is unmistakably a reference to the developing strategic relations between India and the US the foundation for which was laid by the previous US President George W Bush [ Images ]. Since President Barack Obama [ Images ] assumed office, he has been trying to exclude from this relationship aspects which could cause concern to China.

Despite the Obama administration's positive attitude to China, Beijing continues to view the India-US strategic relations with suspicion and continues to suspect a common Indo-US objective of countering China.

The anti-India rhetoric in the party-controlled media and even from the foreign ministry has come at a time when there has been speculation of a weakening of President Hu Jintao's position following the July outbreak of violence in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang province, which forced him to cancel his participation in the G-8 summit in Italy [ Images ] and return ahead of schedule to Beijing to handle the situation in Xinjiang.

Reports from Tibet and Xinjiang indicate that the People's Liberation Army has been increasingly in the driving seat of decision-making in matters relating to these two provinces and China's relations with India.

The more hawkish line adopted by the Chinese foreign ministry and the party media indicate that the hawks in the PLA and the party have started influencing the policy towards India.

It is important for the leaders of the two countries to get in touch with each other to eliminate the possibility of trans-border incidents caused by a misreading and misinterpretation of each other's intentions and moves.

It is clear from the present campaign against India that Beijing has come to the conclusion that it has made whatever concessions it could to India and that it is India's turn to make concessions to China in the negotiations on the border dispute.


People's Daily editorial, October 14,2009

Indian hegemony continues to harm relations with neighbours.

Nobody can deny that today's India is a power. In recent years, Indians have become more narrow-minded and intolerable of outside criticism as nationalism sentiment rises, with some of them even turning to hegemony. It can be proved by India's recent provocation on border issues with China.

Given the country's history, hegemony is a hundred-percent result of British colonialism. Dating back to the era of British India, the country covered a vast territory including present-day India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh as well as Nepal. India took it for granted that it could continue to rule the large area when Britain ended its colonialism in South Asia. A previous victim of colonialism and hegemony started to dream about developing its own hegemony. Obsessed with such mentality, India turned a blind eye to the concessions China had repeatedly made over the disputed border issues, and refused to drop the pretentious airs when dealing with neighbours like Pakistan.

Many Indians didn't know that Jawaharlal Nehru [ Images ], the first Prime Minister of India, had once said that India could not play an inferior role in the world, and it should either be a superpower or disappear.

Although the pursuit of being a superpower is justifiable, the dream of being a superpower held by Indians appears impetuous. The dream of superpower is mingled with the thought of hegemony, which places the South Asian giant in an awkward situation and results in repeated failure.

Throughout the history, India has constantly been under foreign rule. The essence for the rise of India lies in how to be an independent country, to learn to solve the complicated ethnic and religious issues, to protect the country from terrorist attacks, to boost economic development as well as to put more efforts on poverty alleviation.

Additionally, the hegemony can also be harmful in terms of geopolitical environment. The expansion of India is restricted by its geographic locations. It has Himalaya Mountain to its north, a natural barrier for northward expansion; it has Pakistan to the west, a neighbor it is always at odds over the disputed border issues.

To everyone's disappointment, India pursued a foreign policy of "befriend the far and attack the near". It engaged in the war separately with China and Pakistan and the resentment still simmers. If India really wants to be a superpower, such a policy is shortsighted and immature.

India, which vows to be a superpower, needs to have its eyes on relations with neighbours and abandon the recklessness and arrogance as the world is undergoing earthshaking changes. For India, the ease of tension with China and Pakistan is the only way to become a superpower. At present, China is proactively engaging in negotiations with India for the early settlement of border dispute and India should give a positive response.

Pakistan civilian-military ties hit new low

As a wave of militant attacks hits Pakistan, tensions between the army and the civilian government have hit a new high, despite promises by the military establishment that it would no longer intervene in politics. Guest columnist Ahmed Rashid has this assessment.

The renewed tension comes as feverish speculation has gripped the country about the army's intentions, after it forced the government to backtrack on a US bill which provides Pakistan with millions of dollars as long as it pledges to eradicate Taliban and al-Qaeda militancy.

At least nine Taliban suicide attacks have hit Pakistan's security forces in the days from 5 October - including a devastating and embarrassing siege inside the army's General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi that claimed 22 lives, and three attacks on a single day in Lahore.

Over 150 people have been killed and several hundreds injured.

However, these attacks did not stop army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani from challenging the government and the US administration as Washington's crucial aid bill - which has taken more than a year to pass through the US Congress - was finally ready for signing on President Obama's desk.

Caught by surprise

It was while on a visit to Kabul in late September that Gen Kayani first conveyed to Gen Stanley McCrystal, the US commander in Afghanistan, that he found the bill insulting and demeaning to the army.

On 7 October Gen Kayani summoned the army's most powerful assembly - a meeting of the nine corps commanders - who questioned the bill saying it impacted on Pakistan's national security.

In the meantime the military launched a massive public relations exercise, briefing sympathetic TV talk show hosts and journalists, who were encouraged to whip up public opinion against the bill.

Gen Kayani also secretly met the main opposition politician Shahbaz Sharif, the chief minister of Punjab province, who the army had ostracised until now.

Caught completely by surprise, President Asif Ali Zardari and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) government faced an onslaught of accusations in parliament and in the media that they were traitors who had sold out to the US.

“ There had clearly been ample opportunities for the army to voice any objections to the bill months before ”

The US bill will provide Pakistan's civilian and development sector with $1.5bn a year for the next five years while the military would have a separate aid bill worth over $1bn a year.

It would be the first time in the history of the relationship between the US and Pakistan that Washington would be giving so much money to a civilian government - in the past it had lavished its cash on military regimes.

The bill set tough conditions for a military that has never been questioned before or come under democratic supervision.

It demanded that Pakistan remained a democracy and that civilian control was maintained over the army and the defence budget, while the government continued to fight extremism.

However, these conditions were wrapped in a let-off clause that gave the US president waiver rights to continue aid, even if the bill's conditions were not met.

Ample opportunities

The bill had been through multiple drafts and had been watered down considerably after negotiations with the Pakistan government, foreign ministry and army which had objected to language used in earlier drafts, especially about Pakistan's nuclear programme.

US officials told the BBC that Congress Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman had personally briefed Gen Kayani, while Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry visited Pakistan several times over the past two years and met generals from the army and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

There had clearly been ample opportunities for the army to voice any objections to the bill months before.

Moreover, the US bill was critical to convince the European and Arab donors to give more aid to Pakistan. They have held up some $5bn in aid, waiting for the Americans to commit their money first.

Pakistan is battling the Taliban in the midst of a huge economic downturn, massive unemployment and an acute energy shortage - there is no electricity in major cities for up to 10 hours a day.

The government is bankrupt and is surviving on a $11.3bn loan from the International Monetary Fund.

US legislators were furious with the army's statement. Mr Berman told the Washington Post that although "billions have gone down a rat hole in the past" in Pakistan, he did not want to "micromanage" the country's use of the new money.

State Department officials said they were trying to restrain angry legislators from saying anything more.

On 14 October Mr Kerry and Mr Berman released an "explanatory" statement saying that the US had no desire to impinge on Pakistan's sovereignty.

The PPP government was left holding the baby, abandoned by everyone and becoming the sole defenders of the bill.

Not surprisingly they are convinced that the army's move was part of a long term plan to unseat Mr Zardari as president and bring in someone more compliant - or at the very least force the president to sack some of his advisers whom the army loathes.

Mr Zardari, the widower of slain political icon Benazir Bhutto, has long taken a diametrically opposite view to the army on foreign policy - he would like peace with India, closer ties to the US and an end to the safe havens the Afghan Taliban have in Pakistan.

However, the president has not helped build his case with the public because his government is considered weak, incompetent and corrupt.

Moreover it has handed over command and control of the war against the Pakistani Taliban to the army. In the recent army offensive to clear the Taliban out of the Swat valley, the army rather than the civilian government led the relief effort for two million displaced people.

Now with the army promising to launch an offensive against Pakistani Taliban leaders holed up in South Waziristan, the Obama administration cannot afford to annoy the military.

The Pakistan Taliban are not only fighting the Pakistan state but also the US troops in Afghanistan.

However, the problems between the army and the civilian government will not go away and the inherent dangers associated with that have only increased the problems for President Obama as he decides on a strategy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Corruption in Indo-Israeli defence deals

Sultan ul Islam

India recognised the State of Israel in 1950, two years after its establishment in 1948. But the diplomatic relations between these two States were established in 1992. India is dependent on Israel for sustaining its local defence industry and Israel has always been dependent on its defence industry weapons exports to boost its economy. This growing defence collaboration has also increased corruption scandals. India suspended construction of State Ordnance factory at Bihar due to corruption charges against a former Chief of Ordnance Factories. This factory is being built with the assistance of Israeli Military Industries, which signed a 230 billion dollar contract but was blacklisted due to corruption charges by the Indian Government. Robert Tracinski said: “Money doesn’t corrupt politics - politics corrupts money.” It is true in the case of Indo-Israel relations. It is estimated that about one-fourth Indians are living below poverty line and still India is the leading weapon buyer among developing countries, maintaining the third largest Army in the world. Indian defensce budget for 2009-10 is 141,703 crores with an increase of 34.19 per cent over the previous year’s budget estimates. Additionally, India will spend 562 million dollars exclusively for boosting border security. While announcing the budget, Parnab Mukherjee, the acting Finance Minister of India said: “We are going through tough times. Mumbai terror attacks have given an entirely new dimension to the security situation”. The increase of 34.19 per cent defence budget is a lame excuse to block Ajmal Kasabs. Post 9/11, in the name of tackling so-called insurgency, India and Israel have adopted the policy of killing innocent Muslims in Kashmir and Palestine. India and Israel twisted the Mumbai drama for the achievement of their evil objectives against Pakistan. Historically, the Jews of Khyber had joined hands with kufar against the State of Madina. History repeats itself and today India and Israel are hand in hand against, Madina-e-Sani, Pakistan. Founding father and first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion, said,: “It is important that we strike and crush Pakistanis, enemies of Jews and Zionism, by all disguised and secret plans”. India and Israel have established close collaboration in the area of security, intelligence and military equipment. Israel is ranked as world’s third largest weapon exporter and India purchases 900 million dollars in arms from Israel every year. This defence collaboration between India and Israel is alarming for Pakistan because Israel is providing logistical support and surveillance equipment to India against the Liberation movement of innocent Kashmiris. India and Israel are two democratic countries who killed more than a million people in the name of insurgency from 1947 to 2008. Indian intelligence agency RAW and Israel’s MOSSAD are directly supporting insurgency in Pakistan through TTP and BLA. Pakistan Army has captured Indian and Israeli made weapons in Baloch insurgency and in ongoing operation in FATA and Swat region. Also Israel greatly opposes Pakistan’s nuclear weapon programme by propagating it as an “Islamic Bomb”. Israel is involved in activities challenging “National Interest” of Pakistan, Pakistan must declare Israel as its permanent enemy. It is truly said: “Corruption of the best becomes the worst”. Indo-Israeli alliance has proven fatal for one another because of the level of corruption involved in their mutual defence collaboration. In 2009 Indian Government suspended six companies along with Israeli Military Industries due to bribery allegations against the former head of Indian Ordnance Factories Board. Israeli Military Industries (IMI) make most of the small arms and ammunition for the Indian Military. Israeli Military Industries signed a deal to build five factories in India to produce ammunition. The Indian Army and Special Forces are heavily dependent on IMI for weapons but now Israeli Military Industries is blacklisted due to corruption charges. Indian Defence Minister A. K. Anthony said that the Government would take strict action against the Israeli company and the Indian middlemen involved in corruption. Several major figures in the Indian military and Government have been arrested for taking bribes in Indo-Israeli defence contracts. Two other Israeli companies, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael are also involved in huge corruption. Israel Aerospace Industries is already under the investigation of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on charges of bribery and corruption for the Ship-Mounted Barak Missile System. But this company is not blacklisted because of its role in modernization of Indian military. On February 27, 2009, just two days before the announcement of Lok Sabha elections the Indian Government quietly signed a massive 10,000 crore defence deal with Israel Aerospace Industries, ignoring the investigation of Central Bureau of Investigation. According to Indian opposition parties Israeli Aerospace Industries bribed Indian Government officials to secure this contract. This deal will automatically paralyze Indian effort to build its own surface-to-air missile, for which millions of dollars have already been spent. The Indo-Israeli alliance is a sheer threat to the peace and stability of the world. Israeli scholar, Professor Benjamin Beit-Hallahni, wrote about Zionists’ hatred towards the Muslim World and their support for anti-Muslim insurgencies and covert military and intelligence operations to destabilize the Muslim countries which do not recognise the State of Israel. It is an open secret that Indian RAW and Israel’s MOSSAD planned to infiltrate Pakistan to target patriotic Pakistanis. Indo-Israeli nexus is involved in exporting terrorism to Pakistan. CIA, RAW and MOSSAD are directly supporting Taliban and Baloch Liberation Army against the State of Pakistan. Israel is also in search of strategic depth by setting up logistical bases in Indian Ocean for its navy which is posing direct threat to the “National Security” of Pakistan. It is the responsibility of Pakistani government to raise voice against these aggressors.

Govt moots Arunachal Scouts plan

New Delhi October 16, 2009

The Centre seems to have belatedly woken up to Chinese belligerence over Arunachal Pradesh. The UPA government has agreed in principle to raise an Arunachal Scouts regiment on the lines of the Ladakh Scouts formed in 1963.

"Lakhs of local youth who are eager to serve the Indian Army and fight for the motherland are eager to join the Arunachal Scouts regiment," said a prominent Congress leader from the state. The Scouts regiment, familiar with the local terrain and conditions, could bolster and supplement the Indian Army in its fight against Chinese aggression.

Sources said the Arunachal government recently took up the proposal with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and defence minister A.K. Antony. All of them have okayed the proposal, but the finance ministry is yet to give its nod.

Takam Sanjoy, Lok Sabha MP from Arunachal West, adjoining Tawang and Itanagar, said the state government is confident that the finance ministry will clear the proposal.

A 10-member delegation led by chief minister Dorjee Khandu and including three MPs are meeting the Prime Minister, Congress president, finance minister, defence minister and national security adviser on October 19 to apprise them of the situation in the sensitive border state.

They would also press for the Scouts regiment, demand acceleration of development and infrastructure projects and increase defence preparedness along the border.

Sanjoy said India should have taken a strong and assertive stand on Arunachal much earlier. He, however, said there is no need to panic.

"No force on earth can alienate Arunachal Pradesh from India. It is not disputed. The laws for the state are made by Indian Parliament. I am an elected MP, we are Hindustanis (Indians)," he said.

Seeking a review of India's defence strategy for the eastern sector, he said China's only agenda is expansionism. "We would request the Centre to strengthen the existing infrastructure in the forward locations to ensure better surveillance and preparedness," Sanjoy said.

"The people of the state must feel secure. For strategic reasons, we need better surveillance along 1,080-km international border," he added.

The Arunachal West MP urged prompt decisions. "If you need a green airport, sanction it in two months. Slow decision-making process and red tape are affecting the growth of the border state." He said Google's maps showing Arunachal as a part of China are "part of an international conspiracy".

Hawaii Strykers roll into India for Exercise Yudh Abhyas 09

Posted on October 15, 2009. Tags: 2nd stryker brigade combat team, exercise yudh abhyas 09, schofield barracks, strykers

First Sgt. Devin Winnegan, senior enlisted Soldier for Troop B, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment "Strykehorse," 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, gives soldiers a safety briefing before driving their recently unloaded Stryker vehicles. The squadron is participating in Exercise Yudh Abhyas 09 in Babina, India, which is scheduled for Oct. 12-27 and is a bilateral exercise involving the Armies of India and the United States. The primary goal of the exercise is to develop and expand upon the relationship between the Indian and U.S. Army. (Photo courtesy 2nd Stryker Brigade 25th Infantry Division)

First Sgt. Devin Winnegan, senior enlisted Soldier for Troop B, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment "Strykehorse," 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, gives soldiers a safety briefing before driving their recently unloaded Stryker vehicles. The squadron is participating in Exercise Yudh Abhyas 09 in Babina, India, which is scheduled for Oct. 12-27 and is a bilateral exercise involving the Armies of India and the United States. The primary goal of the exercise is to develop and expand upon the relationship between the Indian and U.S. Army. (Photo courtesy 2nd Stryker Brigade 25th Infantry Division)

Special to Hawaii247 by Staff Sgt. Cristina Yazzie

CAMP BUNDELA, India – The first mechanized Exercise Yudh Abhyas 09, an annual bilateral battalion-level field training exercise between the Indian and U.S. armies, kicked off with a ceremony at the Babina Indian army base, Oct. 12.

Soldiers from the Indian army’s 7th Mechanized Infantry Battalion, 94th Armored Brigade, 31st Armored Division, is the 2009 host of the exercise.

They are joined by Soldiers assigned to the U.S. Army’s 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

“Today, as we stand here, at the Babina ranges, this is the first time in the history of these Armies together where two mechanized forces join for this exercise, both 2-14 Cavalry and 7th Mechanized Infantry,” said keynote speaker Indian army Maj. Gen. Anil Malik, general officer commanding, 31st Armored Division. “Today is a meeting point and an historical occasion, a meeting point of the two greatest democracies of the world.”

YA09 consists of two weeks of Peace Keeping Operations, along with the exchange of staff organizational tactics related to peace operations at various levels.

Participants will be engaged in a variety of missions, from joint planning and executing, a variety of artillery ranges both in and out of vehicles, to cordon and search operations as well as search and rescue training.

“The United States and India have historical ties, and over the last few years, these ties have graduated onto cooperation in the military, wherein both of us; as partners in peace and prosperity in the world, join hands to understand each other, to synchronize with each other, adopt an interoperability, so that we can understand how we can best utilize the resources of each other towards achieving the overall aim,” Malik said.

The 17 Strykers, which are now in India, represent the largest deployment of Strykers outside of Iraq and Afghanistan for Pacific Rim Forces, and will play a vital role in the exercise as the U.S. Soldiers show off one of the Armies newest vehicles.

Armored vehicles the Indian army will use during the exercise include the Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty, or BMP, a Russian tank similar to the Bradley Tank, and the T-90, a Russian Main Battle Tank, which is similar to the U.S. M1 Abrams tank.

“The size and scope of this combined exercise is unparalleled and will be characterized not only by realistic and challenging training, but by regular athletic, academic and cultural exchanges,” said Lt. Col. Jim Isenhower, commander, 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt. “Our Soldiers are excited to engage in the exercise during the upcoming two weeks and feel a distinct sense of privilege as participants in Yudh Abhyas.”

After the ceremony, Soldiers and commanders from both armies began their exchange by showing off their various weapons systems, vehicles and other equipment used by each force.

“Before today, I didn’t know the Indians had a mechanized force of this magnitude with so much of a rich tradition,” said Sgt. Logan Anderson, Personal Security Detail non-commissioned officer, 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt. “Since this unit of the Indian army is mechanized and we’re a Stryker unit, I’m really looking forward to how we’re going to maneuver together.”

Malik expressed a similar sentiment, stating a desire for all training and endeavors of participants to be successful.

“I wish you all that the aims set forth by both the armies are fully achieved, and we are in a position to carry forward the lessons learned,” said Malik. “I wish you all the very best, a comfortable stay here, and that the training that you receive here will bring you all to greater glory.”

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