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Sunday, 8 November 2009

From Today's Papers - 08 Nov 09

 

 

 

 

US faces potential minefield over Muslims and military

AFP/PTI / Washington November 7, 2009, 14:40 IST

 

The US military faced fraught questions about the recruitment, safety and role of Muslims in the armed services after a shooting massacre blamed on a devout Muslim officer.

 

About 3,500 service members in the 1.4 million-strong US armed forces call themselves Muslim, and the man suspected of slaying 13 people at a Texas army base on Thursday, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, is one of them.

 

It remained unclear what led the army psychiatrist to allegedly open fire on his fellow soldiers, but an emerging portrait of Hasan suggested his Islamic faith and sensitivities may have played a decisive role.

 

His aunt said he had faced anti-Muslim harassment on the job and wanted a discharge, while a co-worker told Fox News he had expressed anger over the US war in Iraq and spoke of the need for Muslims to "stand up and fight against the aggressor."

 

As a criminal investigation got under way, Islamic-American groups called for calm amid fears of a possible backlash while some right-wing commentators spoke of the threat of a Muslim "fifth column" infiltrating the army.

 

The military leadership, which prides itself on a diverse force and a code of tolerance, said there were no immediate signs of an angry reaction against Muslims serving in the armed forces.

 

"I would say I fear it," General George Casey, US Army chief of staff, told reporters at  Fort Hood.

 

Casey said he had told leaders not to "rush to judgement or speculate until the investigation comes out.  "I do worry slightly about a potential backlash and we have to be all concerned about that."

 

The shooting also raised concerns about how to vet soldiers for possible signs of extremism, with security officials warning more often of late about the danger of "homegrown terrorism."

 

Hasan's case serves as a recruiter's ultimate nightmare scenario, even though the military takes pains to check potential recruits on a range of criteria.

 

A spokesman for the top US military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, said it was too early to consider changes in recruiting or related policies.

 

He said the military was not "taking steps at this time to change any of our recruiting, retention or ascension type procedures," Captain John Kirby told AFP.

 

"There is a lot more that we don't know about what spurred this man to do what he did than there is about what we do know," he said.

 

Muslims have been serving in the American military for years and they were as likely to seek discharges over US wars in Islamic countries as they were to enlist to demonstrate their patriotism, said Bill Galvin, a Vietnam veteran and a counselling coordinator at the Centre on Conscience and War.

http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/us-faces-potential-minefield-over-muslimsmilitary/77785/on

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iran to discuss N-issue with India
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 7
Days before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leaves for the US on November 22 as the first state guest of the Obama administration, Iran is sending its Foreign Minister to India for crucial talks with New Delhi on a variety of issues.

Manouchehr Mottaki is expected to be in the Capital in mid-November to meet the PM, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and other Indian leaders. The visit comes at a time when major world powers, led by the US, are engaged in negotiations with Iran over its controversial nuclear programme. Washington has often urged India to use its influence with Iran and persuade it to cooperate with the world community in resolving the nuclear issue.

The Iranian nuclear programme also figured at the India-EU Summit in the Capital here. While recognising Iran’s right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy, both India and the EU underlined the need for Iran to meet all its international obligations.

Besides the nuclear issue, the two countries are concerned over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and cross-border terrorism. Iran recently became a victim of terrorism emanating from Pakistan when a suicide bomber killed 29 persons, including senior Revolutionary Guards commanders, in southeastern Iran. Pakistan-based Jundollah (God’s soldiers), an ethnic Baluch Sunni insurgent group, was said to be behind the attack.

On the economic side, Mottaki is expected to discuss with his Indian interlocutors the much talked about Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline, also dubbed as the peace pipeline.

India has been under pressure from Washington not to participate in the 1,724-mile pipeline that will pass through the Pakistani territory into India from Iran. This is one of the reasons why India is going slow on the project though it has not officially pulled out of it. New Delhi has also expressed apprehensions over the security of the pipeline, transit fee and other logistical issues.

Because of India’s ambivalence, China is said to have conveyed to Iran and Pakistan its keenness to join the pipeline project. The Iranian envoy had recently cautioned India not to delay a decision on the pipeline or Tehran would have no option but to explore the possibility of making China a party in the project.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20091108/nation.htm#3

 

 

 

 

 

All terror camps in Pak intact: Antony
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 7
Defence Minister AK Antony yesterday reiterated his opinion on the Indo-Pakistan relations saying “all terrorist camps in Pakistan were intact with many operating in the vicinity of army bases. There are various terrorists groups operating from Pakistan, but despite India’s repeated requests all terrorist camps are intact. Antony said unless Pakistan makes serious and convincing efforts, it won’t help in improving relations with Pakistan. “We are not lowering our guard. If something happens we will act accordingly,” he said in response to a question about what would India’s reaction be in case of another terrorist attack. Just last week the Home Minister had said “ we will retaliate in case of another attack”.

Asked about reports of the Lashkar-e-Taiba targeting the National Defence College (NDC) an elite boarding school in India, Antony said: “We know very well that there are forces who now and then are creating problems in India. We are making all out precautions across the country.”

On Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, Antony repeated the stance of the Prime Minister saying, he (Dalai Lama) was an honoured guest of India but he would not be allowed to indulge in political activities here.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20091108/nation.htm#9

 

 

 

 

Army offers career help

TNN 8 November 2009, 06:03am IST

CHANDIGARH: An exhibition on career opportunities in Army was held at DAV College premises at Sector 10, Chandigarh on Saturday under the aegis of Headquarters Recruiting Zone, Ambala Cantonment. It was inaugurated by Col (Retd) RK Singh, an alumni of DAV College in presence of principal BC Josan and Brig JS Soin, deputy director general recruiting (States), Headquarters Recruiting Zone, Ambala Cantonment.

 

Brig Soin stated that the elite Indian Army provides an excellent opportunity to the youths to serve the nation and is one of the finest, stable and prestigious careers options today coupled with an unmatched lifestyle.

 

The meet showcased various entry schemes to join as officers and personnel below officer rank into the Indian Army with special emphasis on National Defence Academy, Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Women Entry Schemes, Service Selection Board interview, besides highlighting pay and allowances, facilities and life in the Army.

 

The computerized interactive modules, movies of prestigious training institutions, presentations and distribution of brochures and other training related material gave an impetus to the drive in generating awareness amongst the participants.

 

The recruiting officers from Haryana and Himachal Pradesh helped and counselled prospective candidates to select appropriate mode of entry into the Army.

 

Students, prospective candidates and aspirants from the affiliated colleges of Punjab University and department of higher education of UT, besides cadets of NCC and those from Sainik schools at Kunjpura, Kapurthala and Sujanpur Tira explored the various opportunities available in Indian Army.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/Army-offers-career-help/articleshow/5207954.cms

 

 

 

 

Indian Army holds career exhibition in Chandigarh college        

Punjab Newsline Network  

Saturday, 07 November 2009

 

Army career exhibition

 

CHANDIGARH: A grand Army Career Exhibition was conducted at DAV College premises at Sector 10, Chandigarh on Saturday under the aegis of Headquarters Recruiting Zone, Ambala Cantt.

 

The exhibition was inaugurated by Colonel (Retd) RK Singh, an ex alumni of DAV College in presence of Principal Dr. BC Josan and Brigadier JS Soin, Deputy Director General Recruiting (States), Headquarters Recruiting Zone, Ambala Cantt. Colonel (Retd) RK Singh complimented the Army for organizing the event for the benefit of the student community of Chandigarh.

 

Students, prospective candidates and aspirants from the affiliated colleges of Punjab University and Department of Higher Education of UT, NCC Cadets, Cadets from Sainik Schools Kunjpura, Kapurthala and Sujanpur Tira also witnessed the exhibition helping them to explore, interact and experience various opportunities available to join the glorious Indian Army.

 

The splendid exhibition showcased various entry schemes to join as Officers and Personnel Below Officer Rank into the Indian Army with special emphasis on National Defence Academy, Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Women Entry Schemes, Service Selection Board interview, pay and allowances, facilities and life in the Army etc. The computerised interactive modules, movies of prestigious training institutions, presentations and distribution of brochures and other training related material gave an impetus to the drive in generating awareness amongst the participants.

 

Brigadier JS Soin  stated that the elite Indian Army provides an excellent  opportunity to the youth to serve the Nation and is one of the finest, stable and prestigious careers options today coupled with an unmatched lifestyle. He urged potential and high caliber youth, both boys and girls, with a military bent of mind to seriously consider Army as a successful career and explained to the parents and elders about the advantages of choosing Army as a career by their wards in terms of pay packages ,essential perks,  envious privileges, high social status, better life style and resultant security to the family.

 

The recruiting officers from Haryana and Himachal Pradesh helped and counseled prospective candidates to arrive at a correct decision with regard to selection of appropriate mode of entry in the Indian Army. They were also explained the procedures  and the methodology of selecting Army as a career , like submission of applications, appearing for the written examination, preparation required for going through the SSB etc.

http://www.punjabnewsline.com/content/view/20595/93/

 

 

 

 

* Antony, Kapoor to visit Japan, Israel over the weekend

 

STAFF WRITER 14:11 HRS IST

 

New Delhi, Nov 7 (PTI) Furthering military ties and joint coordination in anti-piracy operations will figure prominently when Defence Minister A K Antony and Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor undertake separate visits to Japan and Israel from tomorrow.

 

Antony's visit will be the first by a cabinet minister to Japan after the new Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) government was formed, Defence Ministry officials said here today.

 

He will hold talks with his counterpart Toshimi Kitazawa to review defence interactions between the two countries and also discuss global and regional issues of mutual interest.

 

Apart from talks on joint army, navy and air force exercises, the two sides would discuss exchange of officers and soldiers to military academies and training establishments of both countries.

 

Already, the two countries' navies are coordinating efforts in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden to share the burden of patrolling in the sea brigand-infested waters.

http://www.ptinews.com/news/366134_Antony--Kapoor-to-visit-Japan--Israel-over-the-weekend

 

 

 

 

Indo-US defence engagement set to grow bigger

 

 

NEW DELHI: India and the US will let their armed forces have more vigorous engagement in the coming year even as agreement on two critical defence pacts _ the logistics support agreement (LSA) and communication interoperability and security memorandum agreement (CISMOA) _ remain elusive.

 

New Delhi and Washington on Friday wrapped up discussions on the future course of their growing strategic ties exhibiting the intent to take forward the relations to a new level. Such issues are discussed under the framework of the Defence Policy Group headed by the Defence Secretary. The group was formed to steer the 10-year defence programme launched in 2005.

 

When the US representative, Deputy Secretary of Defence William J Lynn, met Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, they thrashed out the programme of military engagement for next year.

 

They agreed that the scale will grow only bigger. This year, India and the US carried out two big exercises separately involving air force and army . The US air force brought its big transport aircraft to IAF Air Base in Agra and the US army troops took part in an armoured exercise with the Indian army personnel in the north Indian town of Babina.

 

It was the biggest deployment of US armoured vehicles Strykers outside Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

The defence planners of the two sides have now indicated that the scale of such exercises is only going to get bigger.

 

The visiting US official also kept the Indian side informed about the series of events happening in the region. The US military engagement in Afghanistan was a prime topic of discussion.

 

Washington wants to take India into confidence as it is the biggest stabilising factor in South Asia. Another issue that came up for talks was the status of China and its growing significance in the region.

 

The officials claimed that every issue that concerns the two sides was talked about and discussed. There is an obvious interest in issues like counter-terrorism.

 

The officials hinted that little has moved on the two key defence pacts _ CISMOA and LSA. India is not keen to go ahead with LSA but the US wants to take the discussions ahead and conclude them.

 

India, US for common vision for future

 

INDIA and the US propose to unveil a "common vision for the future" during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit here later this month.

 

Indicating this, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake spoke of the desire of the two countries to work together on the major challenges confronting the world including food security, climate change, green technology and education. The vision document is expected to dwell on cooperation on all these aspects, he said.

 

Speaking at an `India Day' event here, hosted by the US firm Honeywell to celebrate decades of business partnership between the two countries, Blake commented that it was "no accident" that the Obama Administration has handpicked the Indian Prime Minister to be the first pay a state visit to Washington.

 

For the US, ties with India represent one of the most important partnerships of the 21st century, Blake said, recalling the institution of a high-level strategic dialogue between the two countries during Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent visit to India. Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar said the Manmohan Singh Government and the Obama Administration "are equally committed to take our relationship to the next level".

http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=Indo-US+defence+engagement+set+to+grow+bigger&artid=moBsCdXv6ZY=&SectionID=b7ziAYMenjw=&MainSectionID=fyV9T2jIa4A=&SectionName=pWehHe7IsSU=&SEO=India,%20US,

 

 

 

 

 

Indian Army personnel in UP to be exempted from paying VAT on car/two-wheeler purchase

Posted by . at 10:38 AM

 

The UP Government has decided to exempt army personnel from paying VAT on car/motorcycle purchases...

 

The Uttar Pradesh State Government has decided that Indian army personnel – those who are currently serving as well as those who are now retired – will be exempted from paying value added tax (VAT) when they buy a car or a scooter/motorcycle. While the UP State Cabinet took a decision regarding this move last week, the Government is expected to issue a detailed notification on Monday.

 

While the move to exempt army personnel from paying VAT is admirable, it is likely to come with a clause that the vehicle may not be transferred to anyone (other than close relatives like spouse, children or parents) for a period of 10 years! Also, the UP Government will provide tax exemption on only 1,200 cars and 3,000 bikes/scooters in a year, and we really don’t know how that would work, since demand is likely to be much more than those figures.

 

In any case, the rate of VAT on cars/bikes in UP is 13.5%, which should represent a significant saving for army personnel who choose to buy a vehicle and avail the benefit of VAT exemption.

http://www.indiaautomotive.net/2009/11/indian-army-personnel-in-up-to-be.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

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