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Tuesday, 29 December 2009

From Today's Papers - 29 Dec 09

India to receive Nerpa submarine in May 2010
Vinay Shukla/PTI / Moscow December 28, 2009, 14:12 IST

India would receive its first new generation Nerpa Akula-II class nuclear attack submarine by March next year on a 10-year lease with the vessel being inducted into the Russian Navy prior to its transfer.

 The Nerpa submarine was today formally inducted into the Russian Navy with the raising of St Andrews Flag, shipyard officials said.

The commissioning of the submarine coincided with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit to the region, but it was not clear whether he was present at the ceremony.

The submarine will be subsequently leased to the Indian Navy under the name INS Chakra in March under the $650 million for a 10-year lease.

The 12,000-ton K-152 Nerpa, an Akula II class nuclear-powered attack submarine belongs to the class of the quietest and deadliest of all Russian nuclear-powered attack submarines.

The Nerpa was to be initially leased to the Indian Navy in mid-2009, but its delivery was delayed due to a fatal accident killing 21 crewmen and technical staff following the release of lethal Freon gas in the sleeping quarters, while on trial sailing in the Sea of Japan.

Built by the Amur Shipyards in Komsomolsk-on-Amur the submarine has 'successfully passed final trials', a Pacific Fleet spokesman said.

"A state commission has concluded that judging by the results of all trials, the Nerpa nuclear submarine is ready to enter service with the Russian Navy," a Pacific Fleet official was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

According to earlier media reports, an Indian crew is expected to arrive on Russia's Bolshoi Kamen (Big Rock) port on the Pacific Coast in January for joint pre-delivery sailing with the Russian naval crew to be followed by independent sailing under the supervision of Russian instructors.

A Tribune Exclusive
China spied on Dalai Lama in Tawang
Used unmanned aerial vehicle
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 28
In the ongoing game of one-upmanship being played between India and China, it now turns out that China had again intruded the Indian airspace. It sent an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) — also popularly called a drone - on a spying mission over Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh while the Dalai Lama was there for a religious visit in the first week of November.

Indian intelligence agencies immediately reported the sighting of a Chinese UAV, near Bumla, a few km north of the historic Buddhist Monastery at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. Sources said, “A UAV entered the Indian airspace on November 9 from the Sela Pass and was headed (south) towards Bumla/ Tawang.” The time of sighting was around 6 pm.
The Dalai Lama started his week-long visit to the monastery on November 8.
The Sela pass, where the UAV was sighted, is the point where Indian and Chinese troops hold border meetings. It is lowest point in that valley in the lofty Himalayas. Both sides have permanent border patrols and observation posts there and every activity is watched.
A UAV is between 14 to 20 feet long. It is normally fitted with high-resolution cameras, thermal imagers and even “listening devises”. This one would also be carrying all this, otherwise why would China send it across, sources said. It could have been used to know how big were the crowds at the monastery or even intercept some communication over mobile or satellite phones. India could have brought it down, however, this would have caused an international furore amidst the Dalai Lama’s visit.
The spying mission of the UAV is the second major violation of the Indian airspace by China after an intrusion by its choppers over Ladakh in June. Earlier this month, Defence Minister AK Antony had informed Parliament that there had been 11 violations of Indian space between December last year and September this year. This included three violations by China and six by Pakistan. The recent one during the Dalai Lama’s visit was not mentioned as the question in Parliament related to the period ending September 30, 2009.
Just days before the Dalai Lama started his visit in November, China blamed New Delhi for trying to provoke Beijing by orchestrating the Tibetan spiritual leader “controversial visit” to Arunachal Pradesh. India has rubbished the allegation, but had advised the Indian armed forces not to provide any “logistical” help.
The field formations of the Army and the IAF were advised not to be seen facilitating the visit in any manner.
The visit of the spiritual leader to the Tawang monastery was important as it had been linked with Lhasa. Till the early 50s - or before the Chinese took over Tibet - the chief Lama of Tawang was appointed by the Drepung monastery in Lhasa. 

DRDO, IIT join hands to forecast weather
Vijay Mohan/Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 28
In a first-of-its-kind venture, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has joined hands with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi, to develop indigenous capability and methodology for long-term forecast of weather.

Culmination of the project would enable generation of weather forecast reports over the entire duration of a season. At present, accurate weather forecast capability is limited to a week. “We are looking towards predicting weather and climatic formation about one or two months ahead, which would eventually be extended to forecast weather over a seasonal duration,” Ashwagosha Ganju, Director of the DRDO’s Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) said. “The project is expected to take around three years to formulate effective models for long-range weather forecast,” he added.
Engaged in studying snow physics, avalanche mitigation and climatic conditions over the Himalayas, the SASE is the nodal agency for the project. This is for the first time that such a project is being undertaken in the country. It is being funded by the DRDO. At present, accurate weather forecast in the country is limited to 3-5 days ahead, while the medium-range weather predictions done by the central agencies cover duration of a week or so.
Six experts in atmospheric sciences from the SASE and the IIT are engaged in the project. Data would be collected by DRDO observatories and weather stations while the IIT would be primarily responsible for conceiving and developing forecast models.
Recently, the SASE has also extended its mountain meteorology project, heretofore focused on Western Himalayas, to the Central Himalayan axis to improve weather forecast and avalanche warning. Besides the SASE, the India Meteorological Department, the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast, the Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force are stakeholders in the project.

Xe, Formerly Blackwater, Poses Biggest Threat to Pakistan's Nukes
Dr Shahid Qureshi for

Is America out to hurt her trusted ally?
 (LONDON) - Lawyers from the local bar associations protested outside the 'secret base' of US mercenaries (Xe/Blackwater) inside the ‘Sehala’ Police Training College, a few miles from the Kahuta Nuclear Plant. Why did Pakistani media ignore the story?

Kahuta Nuke Plant
As the propaganda that Pakistani nukes are likely to fall into the hands of the Taliban continues in the American press, one wonders what might be the U.S. intent.

Seen in the light that American mercenaries have become overt operationally, it appears that the intent is to use them to ‘lift’ the Pak Nukes using the threat from the Taliban as an excuse.

It is a most ridiculous statement that the Taliban are going to walk into Pakistani nuclear sites and take control. Are nuclear weapons toys that can be taken away from an errant kid?

It is common knowledge that different sections of the system are stored in different places; "how can Taliban take over all sites and put them together” was my response to a question by Adam Brooks, BBC’s Washington correspondent, in a live program on BBC World Service TV on 23rd December 2009.

Some analysts believe that Blackwater is a bigger threat to Pakistan’s nuclear sites than real Taliban. There are reports that (TTP) ‘Tehrik Taliban Pakistan’ is co-sponsored by CIA-Raw-Mossad and perhaps some other interested parties.

In fact TTP is created to fight Taliban in Afghanistan and may be entrapments. The attacks on Pakistan's sensitive institutions are serving the purpose of the enemies of Pakistan including India.

The Al-Qaida threat is like a ‘swine flu’ which can be used anywhere from Yemen, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and FATA depending on the aims, purpose and objectives of the Neoconic emerging policies in the concerned areas.

Al-Qaida is a trump card in the hands of the defence contractors and war profiteers, main benefactors of Global War on Terror and of 9/11 terrorism. Pakistan’s spy chief Lt. General Shuja Pasha reportedly gave proof of the CIA’s involvement into destabilising/terrorist activities in Pakistan.

According to some assessments U.S. mercenaries with support of ‘locally recruited agents’ are behind the targeted killings of senior Pakistani military officers in the past few months.

In the current scenario it is irrelevant who gave permission, freedom of movement and a base in the Police Training College a few miles from the “Kahuta Nuclear Plant” to US private mercenaries (Blackwater/Xe) in Pakistan. The most important question is what Rehman Malik and Zardari are doing about it?

According to reports, four U.S. nationals, who were dressed in Taliban clothes, speaking Pashto, were arrested by the police approximately 1.5 miles from the Kahuta Nuclear Plant. They were carrying explosives and dozens of hand grenades in a 4x4 jeep with some kind of spying and jamming equipments.

When they were brought to the police station, people from Rehman Malik’s Interior Ministry and allegedly Salman Faruqui Zardari’s NRO partner and beneficiary got these criminals released without charge and handed over to the US embassy.”

Lawyers from the local bar associations protested outside the secret base of US mercenaries (Xe/Blackwater) placed inside ‘Sehala’ Police Training College. Even the head of the college, a senior DIG, was not allowed in the US facility.

That reminded me of the reported incident where military dictator General Ayub Khan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs - none other than Zulifkar Ali Bhutto, father in law of President Zardari, wanted to visit a U.S. Base in Peshawar.

His request was turned down by the base commander and he was turned away from the canteen. Soon after, a U.S. spy plane U2 was shot down in the Soviet air space and the pilot was taken into custody. Which obviously resulted in shutting down of the base as well as daily U2 flights.

In the current scenario without making corruption a moral or political issue, Pakistan is facing two major internal threats from two individuals. Asif Zardari and Rehman Malik are two major threats to Pakistan’s security and sovereignty.

Rehman Malik is responsible for providing safe passages to Blackwater mercenaries via corrupt police officials day in day out. When there is overwhelming evidence that Blackwater/Xe are involved in terrorism and anti-state activities against Pakistan’s armed forces, nuclear program and assassination of Benazir Bhutto, according to former Army Chief General Aslam Baig (whom she awarded with a medal).

Rehman Malik should be tried in open court for aiding, abetting and procuring for all the incidents when foreign mercenaries, who were released on the orders of his interior ministry. In mid September 2009 a senior police officer Nasir Aftab was sacked by Rehman Malik because he arrested and apprehended armed Blackwater agents. The incident took place in Islamabad when Superintendent intercepted some officers of an intelligence agency and marines of a powerful country riding in a vehicle. He took them to the Margala police station where a brawl took place.

The SP later lodged an FIR against some officials of the intelligence agency. The Acting Chief of Islamabad Police DIG (Operations) Bin Yamin said, "reasons of officers' removal were not mentioned in the letter”. So the responsibility comes down to Mr. Rehman Malik. He should be questioned. There is a dire need to identify ‘local collaborators’ and ‘enemies of the state’ in Pakistan.

According to a report filed by Fawad Ali of ‘The Nation’ on 14th December 2009, "17 Top Pakistani officials are protecting US interests in (NWFP) province neighbouring Afghanistan. Seventeen officials serving in NWFP on various important posts are active members of the notorious American Khyber Club (AKC) that is believed to be a hotbed of conspiracies against Pakistan; highly placed sources informed The Nation. These officials are facilitating American diplomats, operatives of CIA and mercenaries of Blackwater in their activities stretched across the province and FATA. In reciprocation, the local officials get full support in getting lucrative postings, transfers and getting away with inquiries, etc, sources disclosed and added they are taken care of by Americans who have tons of money at their disposal."

"Those who stand out in serving US interests are posted on the posts of their own choice despite lapse of tenure, and this speaks of increasing American influence in our internal matters," an official said.

Their nominees get U.S. visas in no time and the children as well as siblings of some officials are getting free educations in prestigious institutions abroad.

"These days serving American interests is more fruitful for anyone than serving interests of Pakistan," an official who was made OSD for an unforgivable crime of non-cooperation with foreigners told The Nation.

The top 17 officials who have made American Khyber Club their second home include nine from the District Management Group (DMG), six officers representing the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP), while two are in the Office Management Group (OMG). The PSP officers who take pride in having personal relations with American operatives hail from Peshawar, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Waziristan and Kohat.

They have been spotted roaming around with foreigners in their bulletproof cars and holding secret meetings with them in their offices, which is an open violation of rules and regulations, sources informed.

The DMG officials who are protecting U.S. interests in the region hail from Peshawar, Nowshehra, Swabi, Mardan and Charsadda. They also use the American Khyber Club as their unofficial secretariat.

The officials belonging to OMG and PSC Executive Group hail from Waziristan and Shabqadar. Orders have been repeatedly circulated that government officials can’t meet foreigners (Americans) without prior approval from the authorities concerned but no one seems to be interested in abiding by the rules.

On the other hand, those who are not in the good books of the American Consulate have been given insignificant posts or have simply been made Officers on Special (Spiritual) Duty (OSDs). The sources informed that Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency has reported the matter to the highest authorities in Islamabad.

While talking to the writer the above-mentioned senior journalist, Mr. Fawad Ali confirmed that he has "been threatened by the notorious Blackwater," which forced him to go public to save his life. It looks likes a failed attempt to recruit him? So what did Rehman Malik do as all the police service officers are accountable to his ministry?

Rehman Malik is toeing a "U.S. Plan of using minorities" which is becoming more and more visible - which Iranians clearly understand. The questions one should be asking Mr Malik are:

(a) Why majority of the people and companies hired by Xe/Blackwater are Shias?

(b) Why he always names Sunni sectarian groups/organisations minutes after the incidents.

(c) Is he settling scores for someone in the name of counter terrorism?

(d) Why he never mentioned Indian Raw after the attack on a Sri Lankan team in Lahore, when Punjab CID warned of India's plan long before the incident?

On the one hand they are supporting Shia minority elements in private security agencies business, but on the other making majority Sunnis realize that less then 5% Shias of Pakistan are ruling the country from Presidency, State Bank, and media.

The so called Shia left pseudo intellectuals have jumped on the U.S. bandwagon everywhere, both Pakistan and Iran should be careful with them. The US strategy of creating sectarianism failed in Iraq and it was allegedly Blackwater and private mercenaries bombing both Sunnis and Shia mosques.

The Obama Administration must bring to justice those ‘friendly spies’ arrested in the U.S., who were releasing information about U.S. troop movements in Iraq as IED's were planted on those routes.

A senior based in the region told me that sometimes these private mercenaries establish fake checkpoints, take people away for search, plant remote control bombs in their cars, tell them to collect their papers from the place where explosion is intended, when vehicles get there, devices are exploded.

These people did not know that they were carriers. Private mercenaries are terrorizing people with the help of the locals. The people who killed senior Pakistani military officers were allegedly re-trained by Xe/Blackwater.

It is a fact that soldiers and officers retire at a young age due to type of profession and need to join other professions. Exposure of these snakes in the grass, aiders and abettors of these foreign mercenaries is important.

Blackwater in Pakistan for "Targeted Killings"

According to a report, “The security company of Ikram Sehgal, MD of Pathfinder and Security Management Services (SMS) was brought into the spotlight for being security providers of American embassy, and the strength of 20,000 plus security guards employed in that organization armed with sophisticated weapons and armoured vehicles were discussed."

The cause of frustration is solely based on suspicious activities of foreign agencies and their agents in Pakistan with local backing. It is important to analyze what owners of these agencies are up and to and where they are going. For Example as reported in the media, Mr Ikram Sehgal’s statement, "No harm in recognizing Israel", is not only treacherous but against the state of Pakistan. Mr Ikram Sehgal, chief editor of the Defence Journal, said on Saturday that there would be no harm in Pakistan’s recognition of Israel if Tel Aviv could be pursued to refrain from a pro-Indian policy.

In a lecture at the Department of International Relations at Karachi University, he said if Jordan and Egypt could recognize Israel, why not Pakistan? He does not understand the legality of the issue and historical stands of the father of the nation on the issue. Should this man be allowed to continue run his ‘private army’ which could be converted into Israeli army at any time? A few years back Brinks USA was also among those who jumped into the local security business, but a major cause of panic is the recent recovery of weapons during a raid on the residence of Capt. Zaidi of InterRisk security agency and the discovery of illegal prohibited weapons. It was recently reported that an international company SkyPlan is delivering NATO supplies via Sialkot airport. Why has this matter not been fully investigated as to who is behind these activities?

Did Pakistan Armed Forces train Black water/Xe’s local recruits to work against the national interests of the state? As far as Zardari and Rehman Malik are concerned, they have converted Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party into (PPPP) Pimping, Pleasuring and Profiteering Party.

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