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Friday, 8 January 2010

From Today's Papers - 08 Jan 10

Video on Tamil killings by Lankan troops authentic: UN
Associated Press
WAR CRIMES: 7,000 civilians were killed in the final spasm of fighting between Lankan govt forces and LTTE.

United Nations: A UN human rights investigator said on Thursday that a videotape of an apparent execution of blindfolded and naked Tamils by Sri Lankan soldiers probably is authentic and called for a war crimes investigation.

Philip Alston did not specify who should undertake his recommended investigation into war crimes and other grave violations of human rights allegedly committed in Sri Lanka.

The government's 25-year war against Tamil Tiger rebels ended in May, with UN reports saying more than 7,000 civilians were killed in the final spasm of fighting as government forces closed in.

Hundreds of thousands of ethnic minority Tamil civilians were trapped in a sprawling tent city along a northeastern coastal strip of Sri Lanka.

Only months after winning Sri Lanka's brutal civil war, President Mahinda Rajapaksa is locked in a bitter election contest against the former army chief.

Rajapaksa, a war hero among the Sinhalese majority, is ironically competing for Tamil votes — and dividing Sinhalese loyalties — vying against retired General Sarath Fonseka, who led the army to victory and is a surprise candidate.

Alston, the UN Human Rights Council's investigator on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions, told reporters that his review of the videotape, based on the work of three independent forensic experts, showed that most of the arguments used by the Sri Lankan government to impugn a video released by Britain's Channel 4 television were flawed.

The TV station released the video footage last August showing what appeared to be the summary execution of Tamils by Sri Lankan soldiers.

The video had been shot by a Sri Lankan soldier in January 2009 using a mobile phone, according to the group Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan government said it concluded the video footage was fake, but Alston said the reports by three US-based experts on forensic pathology, video analysis and firearm evidence "strongly suggest that the video is authentic."

The experts concluded the footage of the apparent shootings showed the use of live ammunition, not blank cartridges, and there was no evidence that the images of two people being shot in the head at close range had been manipulated.

Alston, however, said there were some unexplained elements such as the movement of certain victims in the video, 17 frames at the end and the date of 17 July 2009 encoded in it.

But he offered some speculative reasons for why those could be explained away.

The US State Department has accused Sri Lanka's government and the rebels of possible war crimes in the killing of civilians during the fighting that ended in May.

UN spokesman Martin Nesirky backed the need for such a probe, saying Thursday that Alston's conclusions show "the need for a credible, independent and impartial investigation into allegations of violations of human rights and international law by all sides in the conflict in Sri Lanka."

An earlier call by the UN's top human rights official, demanding an independent investigation into atrocities allegedly committed by both sides in Sri Lanka's civil war, has produced scant results.

Last May, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told an emergency meeting of the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council that investigation was needed into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians resulting from intense fighting between the government and Tamil rebels.

Pillay said the Sri Lankan government had an obligation to respect humanitarian law at all times, even when fighting terrorism. But a majority of the 47 countries on the council, which has no enforcement power, appeared unwilling to heed her appeal for a war crimes probe.

Sri Lanka, which has strong support in the 47-member council, proposed a resolution of its own stressing "the principle of noninterference in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of states."

Obama presses security overhaul, Nigerian indicted
WASHINGTON: US president Barack Obama is "not patient" and is demanding immediate changes in airline security, the top US military officer said on Wednesday, as a grand jury indicted a Nigerian man for trying to blow up a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas Day.
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there was concern that potential extremists could be inspired by the bombing attempt blamed on 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has claimed responsibility for the attempt, one of the most serious US security breaches and intelligence breakdowns since the September 11 attacks.

"Certainly there is the concern that this would bring more, generate more support from young males who might be on the fence about what to do with their lives," Mullen said.

A grand jury in Michigan indicted Abdulmutallab on six counts, including attempted murder of the other 289 passengers and crew on board the plane, and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. He faces life in prison, if convicted.

The bomb, which Abdulmutallab has told investigators was given to him by al Qaeda in Yemen, contained the highly explosive ingredients Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate, or PETN, and Triacetone Triperoxide, or TATP, the indictment said.

US attorney general Eric Holder held out the possibility of others being charged, saying, "Anyone we find responsible for this alleged attack will be brought to justice using every tool — military or judicial — available to our government."

Jitters have gripped the US travel industry in the aftermath of the bombing attempt. In the latest security scare, an unruly passenger on a Hawaii-bound airliner on Wednesday prompted the pilot to return the plane to Portland, Oregon, escorted by two military fighter jets.

Obama called the Detroit incident a potentially disastrous "screw-up" by the intelligence community during a two-hour meeting with his national security team on Tuesday.

"The president — he's not patient about this at all. These changes have to be made immediately," Mullen told university students at a seminar in Washington.

The Los Angeles Times, citing senior law enforcement officials, reported on Wednesday that US border security officials learned of intelligence about Abdulmutallab's alleged extremist links as he was en route to Detroit and had decided to question him when he landed.

"The ... database had picked up the State Department concern about this guy, that this guy may have been involved with extremist elements in Yemen. ... They could have made a decision on whether to stop him from getting on the plane," the Times quoted a senior law enforcement official as saying.

Obama will address the issue again in a public statement on Thursday, when the White House will release a review that will make recommendations on plugging holes in security, including changes in passenger screening and terrorism watch lists.

"The review will simply identify and make recommendations as to what was lacking and what needs to be strengthened," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said, adding it would be "comprehensive."

US spy agencies and the State Department had information about Abdulmutallab but they never pieced it together to put him on a no-fly list. Instead, passengers and crew subdued the Nigerian bomb suspect as he tried to detonate the device.

Mullen said part of the problem was intelligence sharing and filtering through the extraordinary amount of data collected by US spy agencies.

"It does have to do with sharing information and it does have to do with huge bureaucracies. And we collect an extraordinary amount of data," Mullen said.

Obama has been lambasted by Republicans who accuse his Democratic administration of being weak on terrorism and unable to fix intelligence gaps that have lingered since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States involving hijacked planes.

Senior Republican lawmakers on Wednesday called on Obama to take more concrete steps to improve security and challenged the decision to try Abdulmutallab in federal court.

"All jihadist attackers should be charged as enemy combatants, taken into military custody, interrogated for vital intelligence, and tried in military courts under the laws of armed conflict," they said in a letter to Obama.

Since the Christmas bombing attempt, there has been finger- pointing within the US intelligence community, including at the National Counterterrorism Center, created in 2004 to serve as the main repository for counterterrorism intelligence.

Asked whether people might lose their jobs over the incident, Gibbs said, "I don't know what the final outcome in terms of hiring and firing will be."

"This is a failure that touches across the full waterfront of our intelligence agencies," he said.

How China views India's new defence doctrine
January 07, 2010 14:13 IST
China experts feel Indian defence strategy treats China, not Pakistan, as priority target, which they also believe provides for a partial border war, writes D S Rajan.

Reports on India's revision of its defence doctrine to meet the challenges of a 'two front war' with Pakistan and China have of late received media focus. Pakistan has been prompt in its response, describing India's reported move as 'betraying hostile intent' and reflecting a 'hegemonic and jingoistic mindset'.

The People's Republic of China does not appear to have come out so far with any official reaction on the subject; interesting however is that the same theme of India's 'two front war', worded a bit differently as 'two front mobile warfare' has figured in an in-depth authoritative Chinese evaluation of India's defence strategy, done as early as November 2009; it raises a question whether or not Beijing [ Images ] already knew about India's reported revision of its defence strategy. This apart, it would be important to have a close look at what has been said in that analysis, for drawing meaningful conclusions. What follows is an attempt in that direction.

Titled 'Great Changes in India's Defence Strategy -- War objective shifts to giving China importance, while treating Pakistan as lightweight', the analysis contributed by Hao Ding, a researcher of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences, published in the Party-affiliated Chinese language organ, China Youth Daily, on November 27, 2009, identifies following five shifts that have taken place in India's defence strategy:

'In terms of goals, India now aims at becoming a global military power in contrast to its earlier objective to acquire a regional military power status.' (The author's comments say in this connection that prior to end of the cold war, India followed an expansionist and hegemonic policy in South Asia, dismembered Pakistan, annexed Sikkim kingdom and dispatched troops to Sri Lanka [ Images ] and Maldives [ Images ].

In the 21st century, India's national interests are expanding and accordingly, it is striving to protect its strategic superiority in the South Asian sub-continent as well as the Indian Ocean region. Simultaneously, India is actively projecting its power into the Asia-Pacific region, attempting to gradually become an Asia-Pacific power instead of being only a South Asian power. It is taking efforts to emerge as 'a major and positive geo-strategic player' in the Eurasian political chessboard. For this, India would require to work towards achieving strategic balance of power with countries outside like the US and China, operate beyond South Asia and Indian Ocean region and develop as a world military power.

'From the point of view of strategic guidelines, India has shifted to a line of 'active and aggressive defence', as a departure from the past position of 'passive defence'. (The analysis views that India has realised that in the 21st century, security threats to it are coming from 'three evil forces' -- the low intensity conflict with Pakistan over Kashmir [ Images ] which can trigger a large scale conflict, the risk of a nuclear confrontation among the two nations and terrorism in South Asia.

The Indian defence strategy has been revised in such circumstances; The 'active defence' concept has replaced the old line of passive defence, the basic 'regional deterrence' principle has been given a new meaning with 'punishment deterrence' concept taking place of the old principle of 'only deterrence'. India is stressing on taking initiatives so as to be able to conduct a hi-tech 'limited conventional war' against the enemy 'under conditions of nuclear deterrence'.

'Looking from the angle of war objectives, India is now laying emphasis to giving China importance while treating Pakistan as lightweight, as compared to the past equal emphasis to China and Pakistan.' The write-up says that in 21st century, India has done a reassessment of the military threats coming from Pakistan and China. It considers that in Pakistan, the internal situation has become unstable, economic development has slowed down, development of military faces restrictions and the overall national strength and military capabilities show a downward trend, in comparison to the situation in India. India believes that as such, there is a weakening of real threat to it from Pakistan.

On the other hand, in China, there is stable political situation, a fast developing economy, a continuously accelerating military modernisation drive and growing comprehensive national strength. India thinks that therefore, the potentials of 'China threat' to it are on the rise. It wants to correctly treat the dialectic relation between the changes that have occurred in military threats posed by Pakistan and China and prepare for all types of military struggles. Based on such reasoning, India has proposed the doctrine of 'two front mobile warfare'.

'In matters of strategic deployment, India has shifted to a strategy of stabilising the western front and strengthening the northern front as well as giving equal emphasis to land and sea warfare, in contrast to the earlier stress only on land warfare.'

The Chinese scholar elaborates this theme under three points (1) in recent years, India has carried out adjustments in its defence system to suit to the new needs. 'Stabilising the western front and strengthening the northern front' is a step in this direction. India has already made plans to dispatch additional forces- two mountain divisions- to the Sino-Indian border and deploy Su-30 fighter aircraft as well as missiles there in order to further strengthen its 'partial military superiority' vis-à-vis China, sufficient to fight a 'middle or small-scale partial border war under hi-tech conditions', (2) India is increasing its deployment of mobile warfare-capable troops. Some units, on 'double combat missions', can launch mobile operations in both China and Pakistan fronts and (3) India's past attention only to land warfare is now getting shifted in the direction of the Indian Ocean, creating a deployment position capable of paying importance to both land and sea. A part of Indian troops so far located in the rear of the borders is being diverted for coastal defence purposes and a new naval fleet has come up in the south to increase strength in respect of the Indian Ocean.

'India is making efforts to create long-range mobile operational strength and gain capacity to launch cross-combat missions.' The Chinese military expert comments that structural adjustment of the Indian military is in progress with focus on building Indian Navy and Air Force as well as rapid action troops, leading to building up of global combat capability of Indian armed forces. The expert cites in this connection the war doctrines of the Indian Army [ Images ] (2004), Indian Navy (2005) and Indian Air Force (2007).

The analysis above needs to be examined together with a very recent Chinese assessment. Given under the title 'Panoramic View of International Military Situation in 2009', the analysis contributed by Ma Kang, deputy director, Institute of Strategic Studies, National Defence University, Liberation Army Daily, December 29 highlights the defence budget increases in the US, Russia [ Images ] and India. It points to India's '24 percent defence budget increase' in 2009 as compared to previous year as well as efforts to build an aircraft carrier of its own, launch of first home made submarine Arihant and goals set towards possessing 'three dimensional nuclear strategic capability.'

What stand out are the unmistakable adversarial tones with which the two highly placed Chinese experts have talked about India. Especially, the evaluation of Hao Ding runs contrary to the officially declared perceptions of India and China that each nation is not a threat to other. Observers in India have reasons to raise their eyebrows on the reappearance of the terminology 'partial border war' after some gap, more so in a contribution made by an academician close to Chinese hierarchy (the last such reference figured in an unofficial strategic affairs website in November 2008).

Also odd is the timing of such comments when India-China bilateral defence, political and economic ties are progressing steadily -- senior Chinese military officers including the Tibet [ Images ] commander have visited India recently, the Indian defence secretary is scheduled to visit Beijing for talks, both India and China have coordinated their actions in the conference at Copenhagen on climatic change, preparations are being made by both sides for the scheduled visit this year to China by the Indian President and lastly, India-China trade volume is slated to touch $60 billion by this year.

A basic question would therefore be what is the real meaning of the latest Chinese assessment of Indian defence strategy as above, which, judging from the affiliation of the analyst concerned, can definitely be considered as reflecting official views, especially that of the military. First comes the apparent dichotomy in the thinking of the civilian and military apparatus in China on relationship with India. However, when looked carefully, the reality looks different.

China has always been encouraging expression of strategic opinions and treating them as inputs for decision making at appropriate times. It has at the same time been taking care to see that the required diplomatic options, whether relating to India or other countries, are not prejudiced by such opinions. Specifically, this premise explains the rationale behind China's support to holding diplomatic initiatives, like talks between special representatives, to solve the boundary issue with India, while at the same time allowing hostile articulations on the subject by its strategists.

Beijing's such two-track mindset may also be seen as setting a context for understanding the opinion expressed by the Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh [ Images ] during his recent visit to the US regarding China's 'assertiveness' vis-a-vis India of late.

Secondly, it is probable that the analysis clearly bringing out the 'India threat' theory, albeit after a gap, has something to do with the US factor. No doubt, it makes no mention of the US, but its appearance subsequent to the issuing of US-China Joint Declaration of November 17, 2009, may have its own meaning. Undeniably, reasons seem to have arisen for Beijing to feel that a qualitative change in its favour has occurred in the triangular China-US-India relations consequent to the opening of a new foreign policy course based on a 'smart power' concept (said to be a mix of hard and soft power) by the Barack Obama [ Images ] administration.

The US imperative towards China has undergone a shift to encompass a wider vision -- from one seeking China's emergence as a responsible stake holder in the international system to that aiming to establish a 'positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship' in the 21st century. In addition, the US has chosen to adopt a 'pragmatic' approach on human rights issue in China. If China thinks that it has as such come to occupy a superior position in the Sino-US equation at this juncture in the background of it having emerged as America's biggest creditor, the same may not be misplaced.

For Beijing, the same reason may hold good in believing that the US will be inclined to tone down its support to India on sensitive issues like the boundary problem and that the time is opportune to intensify its strategic pressure on India.

Its readiness to agree with Washington to 'cooperate' on India-Pakistan issues, which touched Indian sensitivities, may relate to such thinking. It may at the same time be not wrong to assume that some Chinese pronouncements (official journal Liaowang, December 1, 2009) considering China-US and China-India relations not as a zero sum game, are only for public consumption.

Lastly, China can be expected to factor the latest views of experts in formulation of its own defence strategy vis-a-vis India. The assessment that China, not Pakistan, is India's priority military target is not going to be missed by the defence policy planners in China. But China may not need to make fresh responses. It has already consolidated its troop strength in the border, established firm defence ties with Indian ocean littorals and stepped up military help to Pakistan; On the last mentioned, Beijing's recent justification of its military aid to Pakistan as a response to India's getting arms from the US and Russia, unveils what could be in store for future.

China's occasional talks on partial border war with India need close attention of New Delhi [ Images ] as they could be in conformity with the need expressed by China to 'win local wars under conditions of informatisation' (China's latest Defence White Paper). In a broader sense, trends in China towards enhancing its extended range force projection capabilities and establishing overseas naval bases, may have implications for the entire region, especially for countries like Japan [ Images ], India and South China sea littorals, all having territorial problems with China.

One has only to take note of the US position that China's military modernisation is changing the balance of power in East Asia.

China is giving mixed signals, but it would be in India's interests to continue 'engaging' China. It should at the same time take all necessary steps to protect its strategic interests; India's revised defence strategy proves that it is prepared to do the same.

D S Rajan is director, Chennai Centre for China Studies.

Generally speaking
K. Subrahmanyam Posted online: Friday , Jan 08, 2010 at 0316 hrs
The speech made by the Army Chief of Staff, General Deepak Kapoor, at a recent Training Command seminar about India getting prepared for a two-front war both on the northern and western fronts has received a lot of publicity and attention both in Pakistan and China. The criticism is very strident as is to be expected, particularly in Pakistan. It is also understandable since General Kapoor’s speech marks a point of departure in terms of style and content from the views that used to be voiced by all previous army chiefs. We could have done without it at a time when the Indian defence secretary is meeting his Chinese counterpart.

It is necessary to start with a clarification for both Indian and foreign audiences. Unlike in Pakistan, the Indian army chief is not the final authority to decide on the strategy to be adopted in case of any hostilities. As General Malik has explained in his book, at the time of the Kargil war, Prime Minister Vajpayee directed that the Indian military operations should be restricted to the Indian side of the Line of Control. That was strictly implemented irrespective of the views that might have been held by other military and civilian leaders. Unlike in China, the Indian army does not function under party control with a military commission which excludes the prime minister and has a majority of the military leadership and is dominated by it. In other words, strategic policy-making in India is exclusively a political function and not a military one. No doubt, ultimately at the time of the decision, if at all such need arises, it will be to a great degree influenced by the inputs of the chiefs of staff of the time but the final decision-maker will be the prime minister.

The present criticism of the views of General Kapoor highlights the need for early establishment of a National Defence University and imbuing our senior service officers with adequate diplomatic skills besides their military ones. In the present day globalised world professional soldiers also need to be diplomats when they deal with international situations. General Kapoor is due to retire in the next few months. In a democracy like ours he is entitled to have his views and also express them at professional seminars, provided he makes it clear they are his personal views. Surely the Indian audience at the seminar would have interpreted them in that way. Perhaps his personal caveats were not reported in the media. It would be a pity if because of embarrassment caused there are attempts by politicians and the civil bureaucracy to stifle such frank expression of opinions in professional debates and seminars.

As the American strategist Bernard Brodie pointed out, in the earlier periods the role of the armed forces was to win a war after diplomacy failed and in the nuclear age their role is to prevent a war from breaking out. It can perhaps be argued that by talking about India getting prepared for a two-front war the purpose was to discourage the two anti-status quo neighbours who have committed aggression against India in the past. Professionally, Indian armed forces officers have a duty to anticipate such adventures by our potential adversaries in future and plan to forestall them. It would be justified to think about such a contingency since this country was threatened with such a possibility in 1965 and in 1971. However the international situation has radically changed with the end of the Cold War. Most strategic opinion today discounts the possibility of a war among major powers with nuclear weapons. Pakistan tested out the old Maxwell Taylor thesis of salami slicing in Kargil and had to withdraw when it met with an effective flexible response.

Today the main threat is that of terrorism, the sub-conventional asymmetric war behind the shield of nuclear deterrence. Some Indian strategists are trying to follow the Brodie maxim of formulating a strategy to prevent state-sponsored terrorist aggression by threatening a cold start or limited war under a nuclear overhang to punish such terrorist aggression. They are also influenced by the fact that China armed Pakistan with nuclear weapons and missiles and continues to provide the bulk of its conventional arsenal. However the term “two-front war” reminds people of the superpower idiom of the Cold War era. Irrespective of the proliferation relationship between China and Pakistan and the former using the latter as a surrogate, the nature of the security problem this country faces in respect of each country is different. As a status-quo power India is interested in forestalling threats as they arise and cannot be planning for any pre-emptive moves. In such circumstances what should be planned for is exercise of deterrence and dissuasion in each case using the most modern technology available. How realistic are scenarios of wars for even a week or two in the present international strategic environment? If deterrence and dissuasion fail, will a limited war or a cold start army operation be the first logical steps or are there other possible alternatives? These have to be thought through in interdisciplinary fora which include all the three services, the foreign service and intelligence services. Since the nature of the threat and conflict on the two fronts are vastly different the choice of the term “two-front war” appears to be inappropriate.

While stressing particular strategic responses may be deemed part of the exercise of nuclear deterrence, if it is done by the political leadership at appropriate levels surely nations do not emphasise particular strategic and tactical responses in terms of contingency planning in conventional operations and make a doctrine out of it. The adversary is best left in uncertainty while attempting to assess one’s own response. Part of the Indian problem, both in the diplomatic and military fields, is the absence of a national intelligence assessment of potential adversaries. So, each service, agency and ministry makes its own assessment and attempts to formulate its own plans on that basis. That invariably results in linear extrapolation of the past behaviour pattern of the adversaries, overlooking the possible discontinuities and innovations in their behaviour. It has been said often that people tend to prepare for the last war and not for the next conflict.

The country needs more such debates. India should cultivate the healthy practice of officers coming out with the caveat that the views expressed are personal and not those of the service or the government. If the Pakistanis and the Chinese confuse the views of senior Indian officers expressed in seminars as policies of the government, let them be confused more and more. No harm done from the point of view of our national interest or security.

The writer is a senior defence analyst

Indian doctrine of ‘cold start’ to be repelled strongly, says Kasuri

Staff Report

LAHORE: Pakistan has made appropriate arrangements to repel any misadventure by the Indian forces and a befitting reply would be made if and when needed, former foreign minister and PML-Q Steering Committee Chairman Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri said on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference at PML house after a meeting of the PML-Q Steering Committee, Kasuri said the committee denounced the statement made by Indian Army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor as it reflected the adoption of a highly hazardous strategy that might jeopardise the security of the entire South Asian region. PML-Q Secretary General Humayun Akhtar Khan, Additional Secretary General Nasir Mehmood, Punjab Secretary Information Mian Asif, Women’s Wing Vice President Uzma Kardar and other party leaders were also present at the meeting.

“Pakistan’s defence establishment has taken serious notice of the Indian doctrine of ‘Cold Start’ and all necessary arrangements have been made for an appropriate and timely response in case of any Indian misadventure,” Kasuri said.

However, he ruled out any possibility of a war between India and Pakistan, saying that the warmongering statement by the Indian army chief was “highly irresponsible”.

Kasuri stated that during the past seven years, the PML-Q led government adopted successful diplomatic relations with India as well as the rest of Pakistan’ neighbours. However, he regretted how the incumbents had no understanding of the severity of the situation. He also stated that the water issue between India and Pakistan needed to be resolved with prudence as it could stir tensions and hinder the dialogue process between both the countries.

To a question regarding US forces in Afghanistan, Kasuri said that the US could not withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in 18 months, as it would take more time.

CBI arrests defence supplier for supplying sub-standard material
Express News Service Posted online: Friday , Jan 08, 2010 at 0226 hrs
Pune : The Central Bureau of Investigation – Anti Corruption Bureau (CBI ACB) registerered a case against Kalyan Ramakrishnan, managing director, M/s ELCA Quality Systems and Calibrations Pvt Ltd, loacted at Bhosari under Section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) along with Sections 420 (cheating and deceit), 468 (forgery) and 471 (using as geniune a forged document or electronic record) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant sections of the prevention of corruption Act. The case pertains to cheating the Ministry of Defence by supplying 4,304 units of substandard mudguards of BMP infantry combat vehicles of the Indian Army amounting to Rs 5.49 crore.

During the investigations it was found out that Ramakrishnan had conspired and got false test certificates issued for low quality aluminium sheets for manufacturing mudguards from substandard and cheaper material and thus cheated the Indian Army.

Following this, based on prima facie evidence, the CBI ACB arrested Ramakrishnan on Thursday.

Senior CBI officials had recently said that that two material suppliers of the Indian armed forces were under the scanner of the CBI for defrauding the defence ministry of Rs 6.7 crore.

At that time it was stated that a defence equipment manufacturer from the city had supplied 4,000 low quality mudguards worth Rs 5 crore to the armed forces but his identity was not disclosed.

The mudguards are used in all terrain vehicles procured by the Army from Russia.

A CBI officer said investigations revealed that though the company was given a contract to do the job, other local units with hardly any infrastructure were executing the work. The quality control department did not take any corrective measure in spite of being aware of the quality standards prescribed for the products by the defence ministry.

New Delhi, Beijing hold defence dialogue

Ananth Krishnan

India willing to work with China to fortify mutual trust and increase consensus: Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar

Liang: both countries need to do more to “exert a positive impact on media and public opinion”

Meeting viewed by officials and strategic analysts in both countries with particular significance

BEIJING: India and China on Thursday concluded a two-day defence dialogue, exploring new ways their militaries could further confidence in the backdrop of recent border tensions.

Officials said the talks saw “positive progress” with both sides discussing new confidence building measures (CBMs) and a joint military exercise, which is to be held later this year.

Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar held talks with People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Deputy Chief of General Staff Ma Xiaotian on Wednesday, and met with Defence Minister Liang Guanglie on Thursday.

Mr. Kumar told his Chinese interlocutors New Delhi was willing to work with Beijing to strengthen mutual trust and “increase consensus,” as well as expand co-operation on security issues. He said the two countries would push forward military exchanges “on the basis of mutual respect and trust.”
Chance for clarification

Mr. Ma said the talks gave both sides a chance to “clarify concerns, deepen mutual trust and coordinate stances.”

Officials familiar with the talks said regional security issues, including the recent tensions along the disputed border and the two countries’ naval strategies, were on the agenda.

This week’s meeting was the third round of the annual bilateral Sino-Indian Defence Dialogue. It was viewed by both officials and strategic analysts in both countries with particular significance.

The talks come after a period of strained relations between the two neighbours, with a number of media reports in India suggesting increased incursions by Chinese troops along the disputed border. Mr. Kumar’s is also the first ever visit by an Indian Defence Secretary to China.

In Thursday’s talks, Mr. Liang called on both governments to do more to “exert a positive impact on media and public opinion,” to improve the strained atmosphere, State-run Xinhua news agency reported.

It is understood that the two sides discussed the recent tensions and stressed the need to maintain the existing CBMs, such as local-level Brigadier meetings and regular exchanges along the Line of Actual Control, effective demarcation along the border.

Both sides also agreed to increase the frequency of exchanges to improve transparency and reduce mistrust. Last year saw both nations intensifying efforts to improve military communication. PLA General Wu Quanxu visited India’s Eastern Command and an Indian Army delegation visited Tibet and the PLA base in Chengdu.

The first round of the annual defence dialogue was held in December 2007, when the two militaries also conducted a joint exercise at Yunnan in China’s southwest.

The second round was held in Belgaum, Karnataka.

The timing of this round has placed added significance on this week’s talks, analysts said. “There is a substantial difference because both civil and military leaderships realise the continuing uncertainty on the border is not in the interests of both countries,” said Srikanth Kondapalli, chairman of the Centre for East Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University. “They have now renewed efforts to push the CBMs forward.”

Strategic analysts in China viewed the dialogue as an opportunity for both nations to turn the corner. “The current situation is not very bright, and we have seen negative trends, especially in the media of both countries,” said Zhao Gancheng, director of South Asia Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies. “In this context, this kind of defence dialogue, and a push to increase exchanges, is a positive development that will increase mutual understanding.”

Lab MD held for issuing false certificates to defence equipment
TNN, 8 January 2010, 12:19am IST
PUNE: The managing director of a Bhosari-based materials testing laboratory was arrested by the anti-corruption unit of the CBI on Thursday for issuing false test certificates to equipment supplied to the Indian Army.

N Kalyan Ramkrishanan (60), managing director of Elca Quality Systems and Calibrations private limited, has been accused of okaying sub-standard quality raw material used in making mudguards, which are supplied to the Army.

As many as 4,304 sub-standard quality mudguards costing over Rs 5.49 crore had been supplied to the Army between 2005 and 2007 for their BMP Infantry combat vehicles.

The CBI is yet to zero in on the Pune-based group which supplied the mudguards. Giving details of the case, Vidya Kulkarni, superintendent of police, CBI, anti-corruption branch, Pune, said the supply of sub-standard mudguards first came to light in July 2008. During investigation it was revealed that Ramkrishanan had conspired with the supplier to certify aluminium metal sheets as grade A1 54300 while actually they were of grade A1 53000 (a sub-standard quality).

Kulkarni said that the Elca Quality Systems and Calibrations Pvt Ltd, which has been functional since 1996, has been approved by NABL (National Accreditation Board for testing and calibration Laboratory). Ramkrishnan, who stays in Thane, will be produced in the court on Friday.

India. China prepare for another joint military excercise
Saibal Dasgupta, TNN, 7 January 2010, 09:05pm IST
BEIJING: India and China appeared to be working on a plan to hold another joint military exercise with the purpose to reducing areas of misunderstanding and ensuring harmony along the vast border areas. This is one of the indications available after two days of defense dialogue between the two countries held between Indian defense secretary Pradeep Kumar and Chinese officials.

Kumar and Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the People’s Liberation Army discussed the regional security situation and the ways to further develop relations between the two militaries and introduced the national defense policy to the other side. The holding of the dialogue, the second one since 2008, is in itself a significant step towards enhancing defense cooperation between the military of the two countries.

The Chinese ministry of national defense said the officials from the two countries “exchanged views on such issues as regional security situation and the relations between the two militaries and introduced the national defense policy to the other side”. The Indian side refused to discuss what was discussed at the meetings.
India is willing to work together with the Chinese side to strengthen mutual trust, increase consensus, expand the field for the reciprocal defense security cooperation between the two countries, the Chinese ministry quoted Pradeep Kumar as saying, New Delhi wants to promote stable development of the relations between the two countries and the two militaries, he said.

Ma Xiaotian said the two countries have reached consensuses on different issues through consultation and exchanges including visits of military delegations, joint training, personnel training and academic exchange in recent years.

He said defense security consultation can serve as a good platform for the two sides to expound concerns, enhance mutual trust and coordinate stand, and communicate and discuss the exchanges and co-operation between the two militaries as well as other important international and regional security issues.

Pakistan Strong Response on Indian Threat
Thursday, 07 January 2010 16:46 Zaheerul Hassan Current Affairs
Is India really heading for nuclear war? Is she trying to divert world attention from her domestic communal violence, regional terrorism and brutality against minorities? Is she making efforts to stop emerging new states of Maoists and Kashmir? Is Indian leadership have been asked to go for war against China and Pakistan by her master (USA)? Can she afford war on two fronts? Has she prepared herself for the aggression? These are those questions which are longing in our minds after reading the Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor recent statement. On last day of year 2009 he said that India is capable of fighting a two-front war with Pakistan and China. His statement came after the Manmohan Singh visits of USA and Russia. Moreover, Israel Army Chief Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi also carried out Indian visit in December 2009. He called on Indian Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma, Air Force (IAF) Chief, Air Chief Marshal P V Naik and Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor. Israeli visit has been carried out just after one month of his counter part visit to Israel. Earlier too on November 22, 2009 General Kapoor  Indian Chief warned Pakistan that a limited war under a nuclear overhang is still very much a reality at least in the Indian sub-continent.

Pakistan's has shown serious concerns over Indian chief threat. On January 6, 2009 Pakistan political and military leadership decided not to adopt any soft posture towards India. Pakistani President, Mr. Asif ALI Zardari too earlier said that India should not underestimate Pakistan.  According to an electronic channel President of Pakistan while talking to a media group revealed that Pakistan has always taken positive steps in making cordial relations with India but later always displayed negative attitude in normalization of relations.

Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) meeting has been held under the chairmanship of Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani. In this connection DCC decided to bring Pakistan’s diplomatic and military policies in line in response to Indian aggressive stance towards the country. Earlier 125 Crops Commanders has also been held in Rawalpindi .The Corps Commander Conference has been chaired by Pakistan Army Chief of Staff Army Chief General Ashfaq Pavez Kayani.  ISI chief Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha has also attended conference. The DCC and Corps Commanders Conference made a plan to strengthen Pakistan’s strategic and conventional capabilities. The committee was also briefed on the latest security situation in the troubled areas by the top military officials. Sources revealed that the leadership also analyzed the likely repercussions of post suicidal blast against CIA Base at Khost (Afghanistan). The participants of the meeting agreed that the final decision regarding a military operation in North Waziristan would be taken only after assessing ground realities.  The leadership has discussed the measures undertaken to eradicate the militancy and showed satisfaction over the operational preparedness of the Army.

In fact the Indian threat cannot be taken as normal and routine political statement because New Delhi is preparing and enhancing her capabilities since couple years. Her preparedness and hegemonic design can push this region in nuclear war. The world community must take notice of it and ask India to resolve regional issues and let Pakistan to pay more attention on global war against terrorism. Otherwise, Indian threat to Pakistan will force Islamabad to move her forces from western to eastern border. American leadership should know that if Pakistan decides to move her forces to western border then the move of troops would ultimately damage the war against terror. In short current prevailing security situation dictates that  Pakistani civil and military leadership would not going to accept any solo USA flight on her western front in future.
Anyhow , according to “The Jerusalem Post’ Israel and India enjoy close defense ties and in 2008 year Israel overtook Russia as the number one supplier of military platforms to India. Now, India is interested in working with Israel on submarine-launched cruise missiles, ballistic missile defense systems, laser-guided systems, satellites as well as unmanned aerial vehicles. She is trying to enhance her nuclear capabilities despite occurrence of number of incidents at nuclear plants.  The nuclear deals with Washington and India plans to increase its army from 1.13 million to 2 million in the next couple of years are clear cut examples of her war phobia.  In this regards, in recent years, Indian armed forces acquired military products from Israel ranging from unmanned aerial vehicles to truck-mounted cannons. According to the press reports India was amongst ten military spenders of the world and Pakistan was no where. Indian defence spending in 2008 was 30 billion of dollars which has been increased about 20% in 2009.

General Kapoor is in the habit of pocking his nose in the internal problems of neighbouring countries. In this context he also said that the Maoists combatants should not be integrated in the Nepal Army. New Delhi also tried to stop Nepal from extending relations with China. Similarly her interference in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are now an open secret. Sri Lanka defeated the Maoist chief had lashed out at Kapoor’s statement, saying that his remarks were “naked” interference in Nepal’s internal affairs. It is also worth mentioning here that Nepali leadership has very cordial relations with China and Pakistan.  Chinese leadership has also visited Nepal recently and ensured them that India will not be allowed to use Nepali territory   against Beijing. Indian always blamed China and Nepal for supporting Maoist movement. In fact Indian leadership knows that Maoists and Kashmiri movements are on its peak and soon separate state of Maoists and Kashmir on the world map. The political and security experts are in the opinion that General Kapoor statements reflect Indian hostile intent, hegemonic design and jingoistic mindset of inhaling regional states.  But Indian leadership is out of step with the realities of the times. Indian government probably does not know that her Army Chief is challenging two nuclear states instead of controlling corrupt generals of his army.

Concluding, I must say that General Kapoor statement would be taken as serious threat to China and Pakistan. India would not be on world map, if kapoor going to implement his strategy of fighting two fronts simultaneously. Pakistan top political and military brasses have timely warned India about the perils of her planned misadventure. New Delhi must know that Pakistan cannot afford limited war. Though, she has second strike capability but not likely to wait. She will definitely go for first strike. I would be leaving the results of nuclear on the imagination of General Kapoor.  At end, I suggest to Indian government to chain Gen Kapoor otherwise inhabitants of South Asia might face nuclear war because of his irresponsible statements. India rulers should sack the general since he has become wild and lost mental balance.

Naval chief gives no importance to Indian army chief?s remarks
Posted by GEO RSS Feeds - Pakistan News

Jan 7

PETARO: Naval chief Admiral Noman Bashir has said that country?s sea borders will be fully protected.

Speaking at a ceremony in Petaro Cadet College on Thursday, he said: ?I don?t attach any importance to the statement of Indian army chief as he is well aware of the armed forces? capability.?

Admiral Bashir said that navy was keeping a close eye on the illegal activities and terrorists in sea. He said that country?s sea borders would be fully protected.

Praising the education standard of the Petaro Cadet College, he said that cadet colleges were performing a remarkable job in the education sector.

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