Custom Search Engine - Scans Selected News Sites

Loading

Friday, 4 December 2009

From Today's Papers - 04 Dec 09




Baloch Unrest
Pak fabricating evidence: India
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 3
Accusing Islamabad of ‘striving hard’ to fabricate evidence to somehow link India with the unrest in Balochistan, the government today ruled out the resumption of the composite dialogue process with Pakistan until it brought to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack.

Responding to queries of members in the Rajya Sabha, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna asserted that India had never interfered in the happenings in Balochistan. Asked by Congress member Rajiv Shukla if Pakistan had provided any evidence to India to substantiate its allegation of India’s alleged role in Balochistan, Krishna asserted: “Not even a shred of evidence…nothing has been heard from Pakistan.’’
He also drew attention of the House to two contradictory statements made by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in this regard. In August, the Pakistani minister had stated that evidence of India’s involvement in Balochistan would be communicated to New Delhi through diplomatic channels at the right time, while on November 22 he had stated that the evidence was being compiled. “Two statements of the Pakistani foreign minister read together make it evident that Pakistan is fabricating evidence.”
Rajiv Pratap Rudy of the BJP and Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party wondered why India allowed a reference to Balochistan in the controversial Indo-Pak joint statement issued at Sharm-al-Sheikh in July. Rudy wanted to know from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was present in the House, if the reference to Balochistan was a mistake on the part of the government.
While the PM preferred to remain silent, the Foreign Minister said this question had been answered by the government twice in the last session of Parliament. “It is a fact that Balochistan is mentioned in the joint statement. The PM has made a detailed statement on how it happened. India’s stand is an open book and we stand committed to that statement.”
The minister said India had no interest in destabilising Pakistan. “We want a stable Pakistan so that peace and tranquility prevails in the region.”
When Shobna Bhartia asked if India’s position of not resuming the dialogue process with Pakistan was sustainable in the long run, Krishna said it was true that the talks were suspended for the time being. India had time and again made it clear to Islamabad that it would not resume dialogue unless Pakistan conducted investigations in a transparent manner to bring to justice those who conspired and executed the Mumbai terror attack.
“In the meanwhile, Indian leaders have been meeting their Pakistani representatives on the sidelines of international events but we will stick to the statement of the Prime Minister (on resuming dialogue).’’
The statement came within days of the Pakistani leadership once again appealing to India to come to the negotiating table without setting any preconditions.






Battery blast: Army doesn’t rule out sabotage
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, December 3
The forensic experts from Chandigarh today found vital clues and evidences from the blast site at 20 SATA Regiment of Vajra Corps here.

While the Army authorities had initially claimed it to be an accidental blast, they had not so far ruled out the possibility of sabotage. Though the Army authorities remained tight-lipped on the issue, sources said the blast could have been due to a bombshell or an explosive.
Meanwhile, a four-member medical board conducted the post-mortem of the four jawans at the local civil hospital this afternoon. Civil Surgeon Dr SS Walia said they found pellets in the bodies. “We have forwarded our findings to the forensic lab at Chandigarh,” he said.
When asked about the post-mortem reports, sources said nothing could be disclosed. The Army authorities were also probing the angle that the victims were planning to steal equipment and parts lying in the workshop.





Chandigarh, November 3
The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command Lt-Gen SR Ghosh today said though some level of tension is expected to continue across the western border, there was no need to panic. Speaking to mediapersons soon after assuming charge as the Western Army Commander at Chandimandir here, Ghosh said the situation along the international border was peaceful and under control.

He said as chief of the operationally vital Western Command his focus would be to ensure a high level of operational preparedness, motivation and welfare of troops. Prior to this appointment, the top-ranking officer was posted as the GOC 1 Corps at Mathura. He takes over from Lt-Gen TK Sapru, who has retired.
Earlier, Gen Ghosh paid tributes to the martyrs at the Veer Smriti War Memorial and reviewed a guard of honour presented to him by a contingent of 6 Sikh. He also met all the senior officers of the Command. Lt-Gen Ghosh’s wife, Bulbul Ghosh, presently serving as the Controller General of Defence Accounts, took over as president of the Army Wives Welfare Association (Regional).
An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Gen Ghosh was commissioned into Brigade of The Guards on November 14, 1971 and immediately participated in the Indo-Pak War in Jammu and Kashmir. His earlier appointments include a stint in the Directorate of Military Operations at Army Headquarters, Defence and Military Attache at Embassy of India in the USA and additional DG (Manpower) at Army HQs. He has commanded brigade in an active Sector on the Line of Control, where he was awarded the Sena Medal.





Militarisation of water resources causes water crisis
The main water resources occupied by the troopers in the Jammu and Kashmir state has caused severe water crisis and people have demanded government to immediately evacuate the troopers to settle the crisis.
jammu and Kashmir News :
Civilian army cricket matches in Kashmir
REELING UNDER the severe water crisis the main water resources here in various parts of the Jammu and Kashmir are under the trooper’s occupation from decades of time.

Locals alleged that government never bothers to evacuate the public property forcibly occupied by troopers.

To end- up the water crisis locals demanded the evacuation of water resources occupied by the troopers here in various areas of Bandipora, Baramulla, Sopore, Kupwara and Anantnag etc where people facing acute water crisis from decades of time.

Local people alleged that once busy springs and wells are now under trooper’s occupation here in Bandipora and people are suffering due to the water shortage day in and out.

The main two natural water bodies or springs in Bandipora town located near Nishat Park is under the border security forces while the other is inside the supply camp of army in Bhag Bandipora.

Locals told Rising Kashmir that both the springs which were once feeding the whole township including adjoining villages are now under trooper’s occupation and locals are not allowed to get benefit from the springs.

“These water bodies are now under trooper’s occupation and locals never dare to approach troopers for the water,” said Ghulam Ahmed, adding “sometimes when they face serve water crisis, troopers open the outlet and local fill up their pots.”

“A trooper on duty acts as a dictator when opens the outlet during the water crsis, how many people can get filled their pots it depends upon the mood of the trooper on duty,” said another person Shah Muhammad.

Similarly, people from various villages alleged that the only water reservoir available for the local populace has been occupied by the troopers and they (troopers) hardly allow locals to get benefit from the water bodies.

Locals in far-flung village of Vewan told Rising Kashmir that the troopers of seven Para camped in the village have occupied the government water reservoir which was constructed for the locals of the village.

It is here pertinent to mention that the Vewan hamlet of Bandipora has no source of water other than the occupied water reservoir and local women have no option other than to fetch water from River Athwatoo walking through dangerous track trough forest.

"We have no water resource in the area on reservoir construed by the government after long struggle but that has been occupied by the troopers of 7 Para," said a local wishing anonymity.

“Around five women died of bears’ attacks and few drowned in the river while they were on their way to fetch water from the River Athwatoo,” a local added.

Meanwhile, the locals in the area complained that the troopers camped in the area by opening the latrine outlets t have polluted the water bodies in the area.

“Besides occupying the main water natural resources, troopers are responsible of polluting the remaining water besides,” said Ghulam Muhhmad, adding a small stream which passed from Sonarwani to Dachigam via Nowpora has been polluted by troopers of 14 RR camped at Kharpora.

Senior citizens in the locality have appealed the government to evacuate the water resources from the trooper’s occupation so to avoid the daily water problem in the area.
To avoid the water crisis in the area, it will be enough if government evacuates the troopers from the spring occupied in Bandipora Township at Nishat Park and Bhag Bandipora,” said Muhammad Jamal.

Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Muhammad Sharif Sood told Rising Kashmir that the water crisis in the area will end up within a few days.

Similarly, the people in other district where troopers have occupied the main water resources are facing the water shortage and demand the evacuation of the water sources to end the crisis.

“I will look into the matter, if there is any main water resource under the troopers’ occupation,” DC said.





Italy May Add 1,000 Extra Troops in Afghanistan
By ALAN COWELL

PARIS — As political and military leaders across the globe pondered President Obama’s announcement of his Afghan strategy, European allies offered a mixed response, with some of the biggest contributors to the NATO coalition withholding promises of immediate troop reinforcements.

But with NATO foreign ministers set to hold two days of talks at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels starting Thursday, Italy was reported to be considering the biggest increase among European allies made public so far, about 1,000 soldiers.

Corriere della Sera, a daily newspaper, quoted the Italian defense minister Ignacio La Russa, as saying the scale of reinforcements would be discussed at a meeting between the Italian foreign minister, Franco Frattini, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Asked if the number was likely to be around 1,000, Mr. La Russa said: “Yes, I’d say so.”

According to the NATO command in Afghanistan, Italy has 2,750 soldiers currently serving in western Afghanistan. An increase of 1,000 soldiers would put the Italian deployment on a par with France.

The NATO secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said Wednesday he believed members of the alliance would contribute 5,000 soldiers — and possibly more — to make a “substantial” increase to the 42,000 NATO troops already ranged against the Taliban.

“This is not just America’s war,” he said at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.

But the president’s entreaties drew an ambivalent response in some European nations where the war is broadly unpopular among voters who question why it is being fought and whether it can be won.

France and Germany ruled out an immediate commitment, saying they were awaiting an Afghanistan conference in London in late January. Other nations offered only limited numbers of soldiers.

Álvaro de Vasconcelos, director of the European Union Institute for Security Studies in Paris, said the war was “badly perceived in Europe, contaminated by the Iraq war, the killing of civilians, the collateral damage, all of which has contributed to a widespread opposition to the Afghan war among Europeans.”

“If the civilian side is as important as the military one — training the Afghan police, judiciary and doing development, which Europeans know very well how to do and consider their main expertise — it will make it easier for European leaders to get support.’”

“More troops for a very unpopular war, without knowing where we’re going, doesn’t work — you can’t sell it to Europeans,” Mr. de Vasconcelos said. “But you can sell the transition from war to crisis management.”

Mr. Obama’s plan to send around 30,000 more American soldiers was closely watched in Pakistan, gripped by a Taliban insurgency intertwined with Afghanistan’s.

There, distrust of American intentions runs deep, partly because the United States is seen as having abandoned the region after the Soviet Union’s withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, and there is widespread fear in the security establishment of a repetition of those events. And Pakistanis remain concerned about the possible implications of a huge troop surge just across their long and porous border with Afghanistan.

“Pakistan looks forward to engaging closely with the United States in understanding the full import of the new strategy and to ensure that there would be no adverse fallout on Pakistan,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Shireen Mazari, editor of an English-language Pakistani daily newspaper, The Nation, said the American surge was unlikely to bring success and would force Taliban insurgents into Pakistan. “Their policy is flawed, and it has to be changed. Playing the numbers game has to be stopped,” she said.

Mehmood Shah, a former military official and a security analyst based in Peshawar, Pakistan, said: “The biggest apprehension is that our international borders will be crossed by the U.S. military. It can create a big dilemma for us.”

In Europe, some analysts also said Mr. Obama’s speech had fallen short of expectations.

“This is one of Obama’s most important foreign policy decisions,” said Ayesha Khan, an analyst with Chatham House, a policy institute in London. “It comes after months of deliberation and a painstaking consultative process, but the outcome to this much-anticipated and long-awaited announcement has been an anticlimax for those who expected a paradigm shift.”

Mr. Rasmussen, the NATO secretary general, did not say where he expected additional coalition forces to come from. Britain, the second-largest contributor after the United States, has promised to add 500 to its 9,000-strong Afghan deployment, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Wednesday that Britain would “continue to play its full part in persuading other countries to offer troops to the Afghanistan campaign.”

Poland’s defense minister said the country would increase its contingent by 600 from its current level of 2,000, to serve in combat, reconnaissance and training missions, The Associated Press reported, but the decision awaits governmental approval. A Spanish newspaper said Spain might increase its deployment by 200 soldiers to 1,200. Britain pledged to press other allies to boost their contingents in the patchwork of foreign troops in Afghanistan, known as the International Security Assistance Force.

With more than 2,800 soldiers on the ground — and a relatively high casualty rate among them — Canada welcomed Mr. Obama’s decision, with Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon saying the “additional U.S. resources will help to provide a more secure environment for the Afghan people.”

The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, called Mr. Obama’s speech on Tuesday night “courageous, determined and lucid, giving new impetus to the international commitment” but he did not commit to adding to France’s nearly 3,750 troops now in the war zone.

“France expects clear commitments from Afghan authorities, in answer to the strong commitments of the international community, on policy, economic and social development and on fighting drug trafficking,” he said.

The foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, said in a radio interview Wednesday that France had increased its force levels in September and, in its area of operations, “our zone doesn’t need a troop increase. Our area is well taken care of.”

But he did not rule out further adjustment, referring to the international conference on Afghanistan in London in late January. “We will see how to adjust things then.”

Germany, too, is awaiting the gathering in London to decide whether to increase the size of its contingent. “We hear the wishes of the United States, but we will not decide in the coming days. We will decide only after the Afghanistan conference,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Several German newspapers have reported that Washington is pressing for up to 2,500 more German soldiers. As the third-largest contributor in the alliance with 4,300 troops on the ground, Germany is currently debating a one-year renewal of a parliamentary mandate for the deployment which sets a maximum level of 4,500 troops.

An increase would need fresh parliamentary approval.

In a statement issued in Kabul on Wednesday Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said the president’s review of Afghan strategy had “provided me with a clear military mission and the resources to accomplish our task.”

General McChrystal had sought up to 40,000 American reinforcements in addition to the 68,000 already there.





Kashmir initiatives
Troops cut, talks deserve a cautious welcome
Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s announcement of a reduction in the deployment of armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir as a response to the incidents of violence being the lowest in 2009 during two decades of Pakistan-sponsored militancy is doubtlessly a bold move. By his own admission, it could be a risky step but it stands to reason that such a step be taken with adequate safeguards built in so that law and order as a subject could progressively be restored to the state police as is the case in other states. 
It goes in Mr Chidambaram’s favour that in the one year that he has handled the Home portfolio, there have been no major incidents of terrorist attacks both in Kashmir and the rest of the country. The situation in Jammu and Kashmir has improved substantially with a growing number of tourists, both Indian and foreign, making a beeline for the ‘Switzerland of the East.’
It is indeed noteworthy that the Manmohan Singh government has, in conjunction with a reduction of troops, signalled its willingness to engage in talks with all shades of opinion, including those who are considered hardline separatists. There is a fresh earnestness to find a peaceful solution to the Kashmir imbroglio which deserves to be welcomed. With Pakistan being pre-occupied with its own survival in the wake of Taliban and Al-Qaeda attacks on it, this is a time when outfits like the ISI have loosened their sinister grip on Kashmir separatists. It is, therefore, prudent to deal with misguided groups and to seek to bring them into the mainstream now. It is understandable that Mr Chidambaram has favoured “quiet” talks and “quiet diplomacy”, away from media glare.
All this is not to detract from the need to tread with utmost caution. The reduction of troops must be a gradual and well-calibrated process. The government must be ready to send reinforcements anytime on short notice. Any attempts at third-party mediation must be resisted and the Pakistan government must be kept at bay. The effort being made to solve the long-festering problem could well be worth the while.





Israeli military delegation to visit India to strengthen ties
Submitted by admin4 on 3 December 2009 - 12:31pm.

By IANS,

New Delhi : An Israeli military delegation will visit India next week to boost defence ties and strengthen the joint counter-terrorism network, officials said.

The two-day visit starts Dec 8. The delegation will be led by Israel's chief of defence staff, Lt Gen Gabi Ashkenazi.

"The delegation will meet chiefs of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force and the national security advisor (NSA)," a senior defence official said requesting anonymity for speaking on such sensitive military issues.

Though the government has been circumspect about its military ties with Israel, there have been regular interactions at various levels.

Indian Army chief, General Deepak Kapoor, had visited Tel Aviv last month.

In September 2008, then Israeli army chief, General Avi Mizrahi, visited India and held talks about joint exercises on counter-insurgency and anti-terror operations. He had also made a trip to Jammu and Kashmir.

India is Israel's biggest customer for weapons and has a longstanding relationship with Tel Aviv. India has bought military hardware and software from Israel worth about $8 billion since the 1999 Kargil conflict with Pakistan.

In 2004, India ordered three Phalcon Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), fitted on Russian-built Ilyushin II-76 aircraft. The first of the AWACS were inducted in the Indian Air Force in May this year. Israel has also sold IAI Malat-built Searcher MkII and IAI Heron unmanned aerial vehicles to the Indian Air Force. The IAI recently upgraded 32 Hind Mi-24 helicopters for the Indian Army.

Rafael is a major company vying for a $10 billion contract for the supply of 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft to the Indian Air Force.

In 2008, Rafael won the Indian order for low-level quick reaction missile system (LLQRM), which was competing with the mobile SPYDER (Surface-to-air Python and Derby) short-range air defence system. The company is now competing for India's quick reaction missile (QRM) and medium range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) order with the SPYDER-SR (short-range) and SPYDER-MR (medium-range) missile systems.





Indian Light Combat Aircrat trainer makes successful maiden flight
November 26th, 2009 | email this | digg it
Posted by Frontier India Strategic and Defence
Published in Defence Research and Development, General Indian Armed Forces News

Two seater Trainer version of Tejas (PV-5) made its maiden flight on 26 Nov 09. The flight took off from HAL,Airport at 1300 hrs. The successful maiden flight covered an altitude of 9km and Mach number 0.85. The prototype was flown by Gp Capt Ritu Raj Tyagi of the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC). Air Cmde Rohit Varma, Project Director (Flight Test) flew in the rear cockpit. Wg Cdr (Retd) PK Raveendran, Group Director (Flight Test) was the Test Director. Extensive preparatory work that has gone in resulted in the first flight profile being executed with clock work precision. All the objectives set out for the flight were achieved and all the systems on board the new prototype performed well through out the sortie.

Successful flight of Tejas trainer is a major milestone for Tejas programme and a significant achievement for all the stake holders in the programme, which include ADA, HAL, NAL, ADE, CEMILAC, DGAQA, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy. With the Tejas scheduled to be cleared for Initial Operations with the Indian Air Force by end 2010, successful maiden flight of Tejas trainer has given a fillip to the programme. The trainer when fully developed will have the full operational capability from the rear cockpit as well. As Tejas Trainer has a lot of commonality with Tejas Naval version, even Tejas Navy programme would see accelerated progress as a result of the successful first flight.

As the first flight coincided with the programme review by the Air Force, the historic event was witnessed by Air Mshl NV Tyagi, AVSM, VM, VSM, who was the Chairman of the Review Committee along with Mr Ashok Nayak, Chairman, HAL, Chief Controller, DRDO Dr D Banerjee and Mr PS Subramanyam, Programme Director (Combat Aircraft) & Director, ADA.






Australian defence and homeland security companies evince interest in India
Posted by Frontier India Strategic and Defence
Published in Defence Products Manufacturing Companies

An Australian Defence & Homeland Security Business Delegation, Comprising of 6 companies, recentely visited New Delhi and Mumbai. The Australian defence homeland & security delegation showcased Australia’s niche expertise and capabilities in defence & homeland security and offered the expertise to the Indian government agencies as well as explored partnership opportunities with suppliers of defence & homeland security equipment in the private sector.

The participants at the Australian Defence & Homeland Business delegation met and interacted with key decision makers in the Home Departments in State Governments; State Police in a few states; Army, Navy, Air Force; Para-Military; Coast Guard. Besides the team also met with Private & Public Sector enterprises catering to the Defence sector. Given that this is the first visit, there is good interest both from the government agencies and the private sector.

Participants at the delegation included

• C&I Projects Group – C&I Projects is an Industry Participation and Offsets advisory group working to structure offset fulfilment projects under India’s defence offset program.

• Deakin University – Deakin University’s Centre for Intelligent Systems Research (CISR) develop semi-autonomous systems.

• Intl. Truth Verification Technologies Institute (ITVT) – Developer & manufacturer of a forensic voice stress analyser software used for detection of deception in vocal responses.

• Leisure Cat Australia – Manufacturers of fibreglass powered catamarans.

• Lockheed Martin Australia Electronic Systems – Lockheed Martin Australia Electronic Systems (LMAES) develops software, integrates hardware, tests and evaluates and delivers total systems.

• SOS Marine – Manufacturer of a wide range of custom engineered safety and survival products for a diversified range of projects and operational requirements, including water rescue and high risk marine tactical situations.
(From L to R) Mr Ross Spencer (Company Director - SOS Marine), Mr Peter Forby (Australian Consul General & Trade Commissioner), Mr Malcolm Taylor (Managing Director - C&I Projects Pty Ltd), Captain Percy Jokhi (Vice President- Security, Firstsource Solutions Ltd), Mr Jinendra Khara (Business Development Manager – Austrade), Mr Kevin Horsley (Sales & Marketing Director – Leisure Cat Australia/Malaysia), Mr David Das (Deakin University), Lt.Col. John W Ryan (Director of Training – ITVT Institute), Mr Mark Elbrow (Deputy Technical Director – Lockheed Martin Australia Electronic Systems)

(From L to R) Mr Ross Spencer (Company Director - SOS Marine), Mr Peter Forby (Australian Consul General & Trade Commissioner), Mr Malcolm Taylor (Managing Director - C&I Projects Pty Ltd), Captain Percy Jokhi (Vice President- Security, Firstsource Solutions Ltd), Mr Jinendra Khara (Business Development Manager – Austrade), Mr Kevin Horsley (Sales & Marketing Director – Leisure Cat Australia/Malaysia), Mr David Das (Deakin University), Lt.Col. John W Ryan (Director of Training – ITVT Institute), Mr Mark Elbrow (Deputy Technical Director – Lockheed Martin Australia Electronic Systems)

Australia’s defence & homeland security industry defence products and services includes military combat vehicles; complex systems support; naval systems design, engineering, support and shipbuilding. Australia also has expertise in homeland security spans crime and law enforcement; surveillance; border security; intelligence and electronic protection of critical infrastructure.

This delegation is a initiative by the Australian Trade Commission, organised to specifically assist Australian organisations in the Defence and Homeland security business to enter or expand their business in India.





No comments:

Post a Comment

 

Mail your comments, suggestions and ideas to me

Template created by Rohit Agarwal