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Saturday, 9 January 2010

From Today's Papers - 09 Jan 10

Pak Army gets additional Rs 35 billion to counter India: Report
Press Trust of India, Friday January 8, 2010, Islamabad

The Pakistan government on Friday allocated an additional amount of Rs 35 billion for the 2009-10 defence budget due to expenses on anti-militancy operations and the need to acquire modern equipment to counter a perceived threat from India, according to a media report.

Following the additional allocation, Pakistan's defence budget will increase to about Rs 378 billion.

In June, Pakistan hiked its defence spending for 2009-10 to Rs 342.9 billion, marking a 15.3 per cent increase over the outlay of Rs 296 billion for the previous fiscal.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani approved the additional outlay following demands from army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Gen Tariq Majid, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Dawn News channel quoted sources as saying.

The military told the government that the additional amount is needed for expenses on operations against the Taliban in Swat and Waziristan tribal region and to procure modern equipment in the face of a perceived threat from India, the sources were quoted as saying.

Pakistan has mobilised over 30,000 soldiers to flush out Taliban militants from South Waziristan.

Troops are also conducting operations against rebels in the northwestern Swat valley.

China allegedly stops NREGA projects in Ladakh
Pawan Bali
ON THE BORDER: The labourers have stopped making a road under the NREGA scheme.

Ladakh: A letter from a village in Ladakh, bordering China, has sent alarm bells ringing in the security establishment in New Delhi.

The letter says that Chinese army officers have been threatening labourers who are making a road under the NREGA scheme.

The threats are verbal, but they are enough for the workers to completely abandon the project.

LAHDC Chairman Chering Dorjay said, “People of Demochok were building a road under NREGA scheme, while doing they were threatened by Chinese army. It’s not true that Government had asked them to stop work, people stopped work after they were threatened and subsequently we reported the matter to Deputy Commissioner (DC), Leh.

The incident directly contradicts the state government's position, which had claimed that work on the road had stopped because the defence ministry had not cleared it.

“NOC from Army is a new thing for us. We have many village just on the border, we carry construction there without any NOC from the army. Chinese army should not deal with the civilians directly they should raise the issue through flag meeting and MEA,” said Dorjay.

Meanwhile, the Ladakhi authorities say that last January, Chinese army men went as far as to enter Indian territory and assault nomads camping on the winter pastures.

Dorjay said, “They came in large numbers and verbally threatened our people and there are incidents when they physically assaulted our people. Last year they burnt one of the tents of our nomad Demchok winter pastures.”

In the past, in Ladakh, Chinese helicopters have violated the airspace and their troops had walked way inside Indian territory and painted on the rocks, perhaps all these signs are enough for the Indian side to sit and take a strong note.

US-Pakistan bickering get ugly as ISI fingers American diplomats
Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN, 9 January 2010, 01:14am IST
WASHINGTON: The wheels seem to be coming off US-Pakistan relations with the once close allies squabbling publicly even as Islamabad is whipping up hysteria over the so-called Indian threats and American machinations to weasel out of its obligation to combat home-grown terrorism.

The simmering discord between Washington and Islamabad came to a boil this week when the US ambassador to Pakistan publicly complained about harassment of American diplomatic personnel by Pakistani authorities and obliquely hinted that Islamabad risked losing US aid and projects if they continued to deny visas to US officials and space for the US mission to fulfill its multi-billion assistance program.

Ambassador Anne Patterson’s warning at a business meeting in Karachi was followed up by a rare public admonition of Pakistan from the US mission in Islamabad in which it expressed concern about the ''continued provocative actions and false allegations against US personnel working to implement the new partnership between the leaders of Pakistan and the United States.''

The wording of the statement suggested that the US believes there is a growing militaristic constituency in Pakistan that is now operating independently of the civilian government. The blog Politico put it rather more
bluntly under the headline, "Pakistan’s ISI steps up harassment of US Embassy," reporting that the ISI had even been putting pictures (with addresses) of US diplomatic personnel in Urdu newspapers" putting their lives in danger.

"Several times recently the RSO (Regional Security officer) at the Embassy has had to contact folks in their offices during the day, and tell them that they can’t go home to their house tonight because of the unwanted attention caused by the ISI/Journalist provocations. Station and Embassy have complained to ISI - but no acknowlegement (not surprising) and no abatement of the activity (worrisome)," it quoted an Af-Pak hand as saying.

Egged on by a hysterical section of the media promoting wild conspiracy theories, hard-line elements in the police and military have been detaining US vehicles and personnel, often accusing them of not carry proper
diplomatic papers and registration and carrying weapons. US vehicles and personnel typically do not display diplomatic registration or identity so they cannot be identified by terrorist hit squads. One Pakistani newspaper called "Nation," which specializes in rabid conspiracy theories, ran a Wall Street Journal
correspondent out of the country recently by alleging he was a CIA agent, recalling the horrible tragedy which befell his predecessor Daniel Pearl. The same paper has carried many stories about the alleged suspicious activity of US diplomats.

In a stern warning to Pakistan, the US Embassy called for ''immediate action'' by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which it said ''has responsibility to facilitate proper arrangements under which a foreign mission
may operate with full security.'' The mission also asked Pakistani officials ''to implement immediately the mutually agreed upon procedures for the issuance of license plates to US. Mission vehicles and to cease these contrived incidents involving US Mission vehicles and personnel.''

In the same toxic spirit, hard-line sections in Pakistan have also willfully contrived to distort remarks by the Indian Army chief Deepak Kapoor to drum up hysteria over the alleged Indian threat. Familiar policy formulations by the Indian general that New Delhi has to prepare for a war under a nuclear overhang because of Pakistani provocation under nuclear cover, has been conflated to ''Indian General threatens Pakistan with nuclear war'' (despite India’s professed policy no-first-use of nuclear weapons).

In the most recent instance, Kapoor’s remarks about the need for India developing capability to fight a two-front war has been translated to ''Indian General threatens Pakistan and China with war.'' While a few Pakistani analysts have responded soberly to the new doctrines being discussed in New Delhi, most commentators, including current and former generals, diplomats, and military frontmen, have reacted hysterically to what would be considered doctrinal deliberations in any mature society.

The idea behind the whipping up of mass hysteria against US and India in what is now being dubbed ''Paranoidistan'' appears to be a ploy by hard-line elements in Islamabad to disengage from fulfilling its bilateral and international obligations to tackle terrorist elements. With each terrorist incident, Pakistan is coming under increasing pressure from US to give up its obsession with the non-existent threat from India and focus on confronting its home-grown threats eating away at the country.

The Pakistani military has signaled clearly that it does not subscribe to the US prescription, and General Kapoor’s outline of new Indian doctrines has come in handy for this escape act. After distorting Gen Kapoor’s remarks and generating a sulfurous discourse in the media, the Pakistani military high command and the civilian cabinet defense committee both met last week to assert that ''Pakistan would never allow its security to be jeopardized.'' Pakistan’s beleaguered president Asif Ali Zardari, under pressure from the army, also joined this military-ISI generated hysteria by promising a 1000-year confrontation with India over Kashmir.

None of this has escaped the attention of Washington, which this week dispatched yet another high-powered Congressional delegation led by former presidential candidate John McCain to talk sense to Pakistan. McCain was unrelenting in response to the familiar Pakistani protests against drone attacks, bluntly insisting that the ''(drone) attacks are imperative to defeat the enemy,'' and ''with an improved decision making process the civilian causalities are totally minimized.''

The US delegation also heard protests from the Pakistani leadership about security measures introduced by Washington for screening Pakistani nationals among citizens of 13 other state sponsors of terrorism and
''countries of interest.'' But with new arrests in the Najibullah Zazi case and developments in the CIA forward base bombing case both revealing links to Pakistan, US threshold for Islamabad’s antics is diminishing all the time even as Pakistan is seen as a state sponsor of terrorism in all but formal designation.

In fact, Pakistan – or Paranoidistan, as some officials refer to it in private – becomes the immediate focus of attention after any terrorist attack, including ones like the Christmas Day bombing attempt of an airplane in Detroit, where there was no immediate Pakistani link. ''The fact that this particular person was not trained in Pakistan does not change the fact that the inspiration for all of this comes from al-Qaida, and al-Qaida's
leadership is based in the remotest areas on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border,'' US special representative to Af-Pak Richard Holbrooke, who will head to Islamabad next week, said at a meeting on Thursday.

Separately, John Brennan, President Obama’s assistant for counterterrorism, said al-Qaida in Yemen, which trained the Christmas Day Nigerian bomber, ''is an extension of the terror outfit's core coming out of Pakistan.''

1st female battalion of Indian Army goes pregnant in held Kashmir

—RDevelopment raises panic amongst Indian Army, Government —Army Chief seeks help from Home Minister Chidambaram after soared ties with Defence Minister —Home Affairs Ministry purchases bulk of contraceptive manufacturing machines —Condom making machines being installed at battalion headquarters across border areas —Both male, female soldiers developing serious diseases due to unsafe sex practices —Special team of IAMC gynecologists rushes to Military hospitals in Kashmir region to handle situation

From Christina Palmer & Ajay Mehta in New Delhi
and Nandita Bhat in Udhampur

New Delhi- The first battalion of Indian army that actually comprises sex workers, recruited from relight areas across India with the help of RAW and posted as Border Guards in the occupied Kashmir by Indian army in September 2009, with aims to provide “fun” to soldiers in the area who were constantly committing suicide, is now reported to be suffering from some serious medical problems due to unsafe sexual activities while at least 63 out of the total 178 female “soldiers”, posted under Northern Command in September last, are reported t have been tested positive in the pregnancy tests, carried out at military hospitals while many male soldiers have also been diagnosed with serious sex related diseases, reveal the investigations of The Daily Mail.
The Daily Mail’s investigations reveal that the problem started occurring when in the month of December a large number of female “soldiers” started reporting SIQ (Sick-In-Quarter) at different formations with complaints of minute illness like vomiting and headaches. However, as the number of complaints in this direction started rising dramatically, the patients were referred to Military Hospital at Badamibagh cantonment in Srinagar. At Srinagar’s Military Hospital, after different tests, it was found that the female soldiers sent there from different formations were mostly suffering from no disease but were found to pregnant while a few others were treated for different unsafe-sex related minor diseases. Captain Dr. Jyoti (name changes on source’s request) of the IAMC (Indian Army Medical Corps), posted at the Military Hospital told The Daily Mail that at least 63 female soldiers, sent to the base hospital from different field units were tested positive in the pregnancy tests. “It was something unusual that these women were found 8 to 10 weeks with pregnancy while they were not sent on leave since their posting some 12 to 14 weeks back. Similarly some other 38 were found having some minor diseases but these were sex related diseases that occur normally due to unsafe sexual activities and thus we reported the matter to the commandant of the hospital who forwarded the same to the high command”, asserted Dr. Jyoti.
The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that the situation rang alarm bells in the Eastern Command’s headquarters where an emergency meeting was held which, apart from others, was attended by Major General Harinder Singh, Commandant of the IAMC of Northern Command. Since the matter was of very serious nature, it was decided in the meeting that was held under the command of the Commander of the 14th corps to bring the matter to the notice of the Army Headquarters at New Delhi. The News arrived at Army Headquarters at New Delhi as a bomb because the headquarter was already suffering from a high profile controversy of land scams and the rift between Army Chief and Commander Eastern Command over the issue was at the peak and Defence Minister was in no mood to give any support to Army Chief Deepak Kapoor.
The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that since the project of posting sex workers in the disguise of female soldiers in Kashmir was initiated by the orders of General Deepak Kapoor without seeking any formal approval from the Defence Minister, the news cam as a big shock as General Kapoor was already at odds with the Defence Minister A.K Antony over the issue of corruption in sale of army lands. Our sources reveal that upon this, Army Chief held a classified meeting with his confidants and aides and also invited Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services Lt. General N.K Parmar. In the meeting, it was decided to dash a team of gynecologists from Delhi to Northern Command to tackle the situation on emergency, yet confidential basis. Upon this, a team of 9 gynecologists from IAMC was sent to Northern Command. The team performed the abortions upon some 56 “soldiers while rest of the 7 were shifted to Udhampur-based military hospital as their ‘cases’ were reported to be bit complicated and required some serious surgeries. The said team of Army Gynecologists, headed by Lt. Colonel. Bharti Sharma, not only treated the patients but also gave them tips to follow the safe sex practices. In the meanwhile, several male soldiers from the same region were also reported SIQ with sex related diseases.
The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that as the situation started worsening, the Army Chief General Kapoor contacted Lt. General. Raj Kumar Karwal, who was the head of the committee which recommended the posting of undercover sex workers in Kashmir to meet the natural requirements of the sex starving male soldiers. Sources reveal that General Karwal told General Kapoor that while following his committee’s recommendations, the recommendations, regarding the provision of safe sex devices like the condoms and educating the soldiers about safe sex practices were not followed at all as the committee had recommended that prior to the posting of sex workers amongst the ranks of soldiers, the soldiers must be provided with precautionary measures and should be given tips regarding the safe sex practices.
Sources revealed that upon this, General Kapoor, who had hopes of a support from Defence Minister Antony in this matter, decided to approach the Home Affairs Minister P Chidambaram. Upon contacting, Chidambaram promised general Kapoor of his all out support.
The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that hiding behind the notion of helping the Paramilitary forces, Chidambaram ordered the Home Affairs Ministry to procure condom making machines to be given to military and paramilitary authorities for installing at remote areas of deployment, particularly along the borders. According to a report, released by Indian’s State news agency Press Trust of India (PTI), Indian Government is procuring more than 1,000 units of condom vending machines to promote safe sex practices among its military and para-military deployed in far flung areas.

The machines, the PTI reports further, for the men of forces like CRPF, CISF, SSB, ITBP, BSF and NSG will be installed at the battalion and sector headquarters of the forces, especially along the borders.

"A total of 1,080 machines are being procured by the Home Ministry. The idea is to promote safe sex practices amongst the soldier who are deployed at far off places for long durations," PTI reports, quoting a senior para-military officer.

The PTI further reports that the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has been appointed as nodal agency by the Home Ministry for procurement of these machines as well as all health related purchase and activities.

“The condoms, to be provided through these machines, have been procured from different companies and would be provided to the soldiers free of cost but on rationing basis every month,” concludes the PTI report.
The Daily Mail’s finding further indicate that the soldier of Indian army, posted in Indian Occupied Kashmir and other border areas of India often indulge into unsafe sexual activities including rapes and prostitution. While the complaints of rapes and gang rapes by Indian soldiers are fairly common in Kashmir valley, the border natives other regions are also constant victims of brutal forced rapes of women by the frustrating Indian soldiers. The female villagers along the either side of Indo-Myanmar border, Indo-Bangladesh border and Indo- Nepal border are often sexually assaulted by Indian soldiers while visiting the prostitution dens and opting for paid, yet unsafe sex is a common practice throughout the Indian Army and at many garrisons, Indian Army High Command has taken stringent measures to curb prostitution and have even displayed sign suggesting a ban on prostitution in the area. However the number of such incident had reached alarming limits and the Indian soldiers got into a severe trauma of sexual and mental frustration due to continuous bans on different recreational facilities by the top authorities and thus they started indulging into suicide practices and killing the colleagues as well. The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that adding to the miseries of soldiers in Kashmir, the Indian Army announced imposing a ban on use of mobile phones by soldiers, posted in the Occupied valley. These findings indicate that senior medical officers of the Indian armed forces believe that just engaging the sex workers under the grab of female soldiers was not enough to rid the soldiers of frustration and mental stress but the use of mobile phone by troops was also a permanent source of stress and strain for the soldiers, deployed in the occupied valley.
“The problem is not the stress in the encounter, the problem is the cell phone and that should be banned,’’ said Lt-General Dipankar Ganguly, speaking on the occasion of the 246th anniversary of the Army Medical Corps
The top General said that cell phones allowed the soldiers to maintain regular contact with their families and get updated on their problems, which led to higher levels of stress among them.
Armed Forces Medical Services Director General Lt-Gen N K Parmar, in his observation, said that the armed forces had taken a number of steps to tackle stress-related issues among the troops.
But, as reported earlier, armed forces continue to grapple with stress-related deaths in the shape of suicide and `fragging’ (to kill a fellow soldiers) cases. In 2008, for instance, there were 151 suicide and four `fragging’ cases in the three Services.
While prolonged deployment in operations in Indian occupied part of J&K and North-East are exacting a heavy toll on the physical endurance and mental health of soldiers, they also undergo tremendous stress for not being able to take care of the problems facing their families back home. The problems could range from property disputes and harassment by anti-social elements to financial and marital problems.
Soldiers, of course, also have to grapple with paltry salaries, lack of basic amenities, ineffectual leadership, humiliation at the hands of their officers, and the constant fear of being accused of human rights violations.
The Daily Mail’s findings further reveal that not just the soldier but a number of Indian Army Officers are working in the institution against their wills but as a bonded labour. These findings indicate that since the Officers sign a bond while joining the army under which they have to pay a huge amount of money to army in case of quitting the job, they do not dare to do so due to poor financial conditions but work with a dead heart after being posted to duties at stations like Kashmir. These findings indicate that even young female commissioned officers are no exception in this direction. These findings indicate that a female officer of the Indian Army committed suicide by shooting herself in Udhampur, headquarter of the army's Northern Command, a couple of years back as she was "dissatisfied and unhappy with her job".

According to police and army officials in Udhampur, about 65 km north of Jammu, the 25-year-old officer Lt. Sushmita Chakravorty of 5071 ASC Battalion went to a guest house near her official quarters on Thursday evening and asked the sentry there for his rifle "as she wanted to get her photo with that".

The unsuspecting sentry handed his weapon and in moments Lt. Chakravorty shot herself with it. She was shifted to the army hospital where she was declared brought dead.

This was the first incident of its kind in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir of a female army officer committing suicide.

The officer's mother Sadhana Chakravorty told media persons in Udhampur that Lt. Chakravorty had "unwillingly joined the army about 10 months ago".

Lt. Chakravorty had returned from two months leave. "I came with her as she was feeling very low," her mother said.

Sadhana told reporters that her daughter had become very short tempered soon after joining army and being posted in Kashmir "disillusioned with her present job". She wanted to quit the army but could not do so as "she had to pay the bond money to the army".

"We had told her that the money could be arranged by selling off the house in Bhopal," Sadhana said. But Lt. Chakravorty did not agree to it "because she was concerned about her younger brother too who had just passed Class 12."
The Daily Mail’s finding that the female members of the Indian Army have always been serving under very miserable conditions as they are often sexually harassed and abused by seniors at workplaces “in the line of duty.” These findings indicate that in most of the cases the female officers of the Indian army remain silent over the sexual assaults and sexual abuses by seniors because even if they report so, instead getting justice, they are always victimized even loose jobs.
The Daily Mail’s findings further indicate that just in July 2009, an army court martial ordered “dismissal” of a woman officer Captain Poonam Kaur, who a year back had accused her seniors of sexually harassing her, but her allegations were found false.

Kaur , in 2008 alleged that three officers of her unit, the Army Supply Corps (ASC) in Kalka, Haryana had physically and sexually harassed her and confined her illegally when she resisted their advances.

A court of inquiry (COI) had then been ordered to investigate the allegations of physical and mental harassment leveled by Capt Kaur against her superior officers.

She had accused three of her seniors, including her commanding officer, the unit’s second-in-command and adjutant, a Colonel, Lt Col and a Major rank officer respectively, of harassing her over the past few months.

However, in an immediate reaction then, the army had denied the charges.

“The court martial proceedings, which were initiated, against Capt Kaur, in its order at Patiala, have ordered her dismissal from service, which will be subject to confirmation by the Western Command chief, a process which may take two months,” was the official announcement to conclude.

India’s Shattered Hope of War

Friday, January 8, 2010 at 5:54 pm under Opinions  Buzz up! (1) India’s Shattered Hope of War

Confused in achieving its secret designs to become a super power of Asia, now India has started intimidating declared nuclear powers like Pakistan and China through threat of open war. In this regard, Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor vocally revealed on December 29, 2009 that Indian Army “is now revising its five-year-old doctrine” and is preparing for a “possible two-front war with China and Pakistan.”

India has received a matching response from Islamabad. Responding to New Delhi’s open threat, on January 1, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani warned that the situation would get out of control in case of any dangerous adventurism of New Delhi. A day after, Pakistan’s Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC) Chairman Gen. Tariq Majid stated, “The Indian Army Chief’s statement exhibits a lack of strategic acumen. He further said that such a path could “fix India on a self-destructive mechanism.” In this connection, taking cognizance of Indian new war-mongering style, on January 6, Gen. Kayani also chaired the meeting of corps commanders, and showed satisfaction over the operational preparedness of the Pakistan Army.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s military and the political leadership has decided to be in active contact and to chalk out an effective strategy to counter hostile approach of India.
While taking notice of India’s tactics to disturb the regional balance of power in South Asia, the cabinet’s defence committee underscored that Pakistan would never allow its security to be jeopardised at any cost. It was decided in the meeting that until and unless South Waziristan operation and rehabilitation of war torn areas in Swat is not completed, no new military front would be opened and no foreign pressure would be tolerated in that respect.

As regards New Delhi’s belligerent approach, it is the result of Indian shattered hope to intimidate other regional countries especially Pakistan whom the former considers a continuous obstacle in the way of its ambitious policy. In fact, both the neighbouring adversaries are nuclear powers, Indians cannot ignore the principles of deterrence, popularly known as balance of terror.

In 1945, America dropped atomic bombs on Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as Tokyo had no such devices to retaliate. After the World War 11, nuclear weapons were never used. These were only employed as a strategic threat. During the heightened days of the Cold War, many crises arose in Suez Canal, Korea, Cuba and Vietnam when the US and the former Soviet Union were willing to use atomic weapons, but they stopped due to the fear of nuclear war which could culminate in the elimination of both the super powers. It was due to the concept of ‘mutually assured destruction’ that the two rivals preferred to resolve their differences through diplomacy.

Political strategists agree that deterrence is a psychological concept that aims to affect an opponent’s perceptions. In nuclear deterrence weapons are less usable as their threat is enough in deterring an enemy that intends to use its armed might.

A renowned scholar, Hotzendorf remarks that nuclear force best serves the interests of a state when it deters an attack.

It is mentionable that a few days after the November 26 tragedy of Mumbai, New Delhi, while embarking upon a hot pursuit policy towards Islamabad, under the pretext of that carnage, endeavoured to isolate Pakistan diplomatically in the comity of nations. For this purpose, India sent a number of diplomatic missions to various western capitals to convince them that Pakistan is officially behind Mumbai terror events, emphasising them to pressurize Islamabad in handing over the militants, responsible for the catastrophe.

By exploiting its self-contradictory evidence, full of loopholes, Indian rulers had also rejected Pakistan’s offer for joint investigation, and left no stone unturned in threatening Pakistan with an allout war including ‘surgical strikes.’ It was owing to our nuclear weapons that despite creating war-hysteria inside its country, New Delhi did not dare to attack Pakistan as any aggressive attempt could result in the national suicide of India.

Moreover, Pakistan’s successful military operations have surprised the international community as our armed forces dismantled the command and control system of the Taliban militants within a few months. They did in eight months what the US-led NATO forces could not do in Afghanistan in eight years. In this context, while praising Pakistan’s security forces, western high officials insisted upon New Delhi to observe restraint. It is due to these developments that the US and European countries have donated million of dollars for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Regarding Indian blame game against Pakistan, the US and UK have already refused official involvement of Islamabad in the Mumbai carnage. Besides, in the recent past, a team of Indian intelligence officials left the US disappointed after a week-long stay as they were not allowed interrogating a Pakistan-born American national David Coleman Headley, arrested by the FBI on charges of plotting a major terror attack in India, lodged in a Chicago jail. Failed in their efforts to implicate Islamabad, Indian officials termed “bureaucratic” and “procedural” hurdles as the main obstacle in their way.

On the other side, with the realistic approach, America officials and media have started focusing on Hindu fundamentalism in face of leakage of the Justice Liberation Commisssion, admitting the official involvement of the leadership of the BJP in connection with the destruction of the Babri Masjid—and over other developments like human violations in the Indian-held Kashmir including violence against the Muslim and Christian communities.

Presently the positive image of Pakistan has irked the eyes of New Delhi. Despite their diplomatic defeat, Indian leaders have still been blackmailing Islamabad through threats of war.

Depressed in their anti-Pakistan aims, Indian lobbies are also making strenuous efforts in maligning Islamabad in the western countries. It could be judged from a recent attempt. The Australian government has played down a travel advisory issued by Indian warning in relation to risk of violence against Indian students in Melbourne—after an Indian graduate, Nitin Garg, was stabbed to death in the city, and New Delhi pointed finger at Pakistanis indirectly. But acting Australian Foreign Minister Simon Crean urged Indian leaders to avoid fuelling hysteria and said that Melbourne was safe for visitors.

Nevertheless, Indian rulers should keep it in mind that no war is limited. When started, course of war is expanded by the circumstances just like the water of flood. For example, in the beginning, World War 1 was a local conflict between the two tiny states of Balkan, but within a few days, it involved the major countries.

In the present circumstances, India is badly mistaken if it overestimates its own power and underestimates Pakistan’s power. As our country lacks conventional forces and weapons vis-à-vis India, so it will have to use atomic devices during a prolonged conflict.

Nonetheless, ‘nuclearized’ India may apply its coercive diplomacy and threat of war against the non-nuclear states of South Asia in exerting psychological pressure, but it will prove India’s shattered hope in case of Pakistan whose deterrence is credible.

While taking lesson from the recent history, the best way for New Delhi is that instead of raising war hysteria, present issue of Mumbai terror attack could be resolved through joint investigation which Islamabad has repeatedly offered. And India must better pay attention to her home-grown Hindu terrorists by abandoning irrational allegations.

In wake of its shattered hope of war, India should better return to negotiating table to resolve all issues with Pakistan including the core dispute of Kashmir. Otherwise, war-mongering pose is likely to prove self-destructive for the Indian union, where separatist movements have already reached their climax in most of its states.

The Making of the Military’s Standard Arms

In a pair of posts late last year (Part 1, Part 2), this blog covered several arguments surrounding the American military’s primary rifles, the M-16 and M-4, which are also widely used by police departments, counterterrorism units and other federal agencies. (Among those using M-4 rifles are the C.I.A., the State Department and the New York Police Department.)

The posts were prompted by the leak of an official historian’s account of the battle of Wanat in 2008, in which a remote Army outpost in eastern Afghanistan was nearly overrun by insurgents. Nine American soldiers were killed that day. The historian’s draft study suggested that at least a few American weapons failed in the fight, perhaps because of overheating.

The reports of weapons’ stoppages in combat resurrected longstanding controversies surrounding the M-16 line.

Some of the arguments (the problems with M-16s jamming during their Vietnam-era rollout) were historical and of marginal relevance to the current generation of rifles. The causes of jamming in the jungle and deltas of Vietnam were isolated more than 40 years ago, and the rifles and ammunition in use today are significantly changed. Complaints from Afghanistan and Iraq are also on a far smaller scale than those of yesteryear, when the early generation of the M-16 became a national scandal.

But other arguments remain germane, including the question of whether the rifles are susceptible to stoppages caused by the intrusion of sand and dust, and whether the standard military ammunition they are firing is well suited for killing lightly clad men.

The current round, the M855, was designed for penetrating Eastern Bloc body armor. Some soldiers believe it passes too easily through victims wearing everyday clothes.

There is also a camp – and when discussions turn to infantry arms there are many camps, with many motivations — that claims the M-4, which has a shorter barrel than the M-16, does not fire bullets with enough muzzle velocity to maximize soft-tissue damage in a struck man. (I mentioned in a previous post that I will discuss arguments about bullet composition, barrel length and wounding potential in a future post, and I will. I will also look at the questions and test results related to stoppages caused by dust and sand.)

But now it is time to turn back to a question that followed Wanat: whether the rifles are prone to failures caused by overheating in intensive combat, when a soldier or a Marine might fire multiple 30-round magazines in rapid succession. This causes heat buildup in the barrel that can extend down the rifle to the weapon’s guts, and — in theory if more than in practice – make a rifle too hot even to hold.

Next week we will post a pair of videos of post-Wanat M-4 heat testing, and discuss a recommendation made to the Army by the manufacturer to address heat-buildup concerns. In the interim, via the photographer Todd Heisler, the blog offers an unusual look inside the plant where almost all M-4s and M-16s are made.

The two rifles are principally manufactured by Colt Defense L.L.C., of Connecticut, the descendant of the company that sold the original M-16s to the United States in the 1960s. That company in turn descended from the original Colt Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company, the brainchild of Samuel Colt, who in the 19th century ushered the revolver into common use with a factory in New Jersey and then Hartford. The Hartford plant later produced Gatling Guns and Thompson submachine guns under contract, and manufactured the M-1911 .45-caliber pistol and machine guns under its own name.

The military firearms business is prone to booms and busts linked to the cycles of war and military expansions and contractions. Colt’s many incarnations have flirted with insolvency several times. The M-16 line has been its savior. (A sister company manufactures civilian firearms, and Colt Defense has been expanding business to include manufacturing spare barrels for the M-240 machine gun used by the American military.)

The company’s latest incarnation is run by a retired Marine Corps general, William M. Keys, and privately owned by about 30 different shareholders, with the bulk of the shares held by Sciens Capital Management, an equity group in New York. It operates a factory and small corporate office in West Hartford, Conn., where it employs about 800 workers, most of whom are members of the United Auto Workers union.

A decade ago, the plant made as few as 150 rifles a week, General Keys said in an interview on Tuesday. It now manufactures 4,000 rifles weekly, many for the United States military but others for police agencies and international customers, including Mexico, Malaysia and India. The factory runs full production from Monday to Friday, with a two-week shutdown each summer and again around Christmas and New Year’s. (The factory restarted production on Monday after a seasonal break.)

For bulk purchasers, a new M-4 costs about $800 per rifle, though the price is often higher when after-market rail systems, used for mounting optics and lights, are included. For rifles used by the American military, the United States Army requires Colt to install a rail system manufactured by Knight’s Armament Company of Vero Beach, Fla.; this pushes the price per piece to about $1,100.

The photographs above offer a feel of the plant and show some of the processes of machining and assembly.

Several steps occur at other companies. Colt has no foundry or injection-molding shop, for instance. It purchases the sleeves of steel from which it manufactures barrels, and it subcontracts for the aluminum casts that, after machining inside the plant, are ground and cut for many of the rifle’s parts.

Similarly, it buys its rifles’ hand-guards and stocks. The rifles’ phosphate protective coating, which gives the metal parts their non-corrosive black finish, is also outsourced.

But the main operating parts are all machined here, and final assembly occurs in one corner of the plant, where the rifles come together and then are subjected to inspections and firing tests, including by government inspectors who work full-time on-site.

Controversies over what rifle is best for American military use continue. In all likelihood, they always will. Infantry rifle selection has always been about compromises, and arguments of which rifle, caliber and bullet composition are ideal for combat are a perennial infantryman’s dispute. But for now, Colt Defense has the market.

(Todd Heisler’s photographs in today’s blog post show the origins in New England of almost all of the American service rifles seen in the footage and images from Afghanistan and Iraq.)

Indian Army demonstrates air defence capability near Berhampur city
BERHAMPUR: A fire power demonstration was conducted by the Gopalpur based Army Air Defence College (AADC) near Berhampur. It was a display of might of air defence capability of the Indian Army. Around 270 officers of Indian Army, Navy, Air Force and friendly foreign countries witnessed this fire power demonstration. Staff and student officers of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington in Tamil Nadu took part in it as part of their study tour. A group of around 17 foreign delegates from defence forces of friendly countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Mangolia, Canada, United Kingdom, South Africa, Afganistan, Maldives, Bhutan Ethiopia, Tanzania and United States were also guests at this display of air defence strength of our Army. The demonstration also included visit of the delegates to various training facilities in the AADC. Lieutenant General Kuldip Singh, Commandant of the AADC was the chief host of the occasion. It was second demonstration of air defence fire power at the AADC. The last demonstration was held in January last year. The AADC authorities said they would make this display of fire an annual affair to be held in January every year.
Also see Dharitri ( and the Samaja ( for the news on AAD College.
The missile systems which were fired included the OSA-AK weapon system, Strella 10 m missile, Igla-1M shoulder fired missile. It may be noted that the OSA-AK weapon system is a highly mobile, low altitude, short range tactical surface to air missile system. The anti air-craft guns demonstrated included Schilka weapon system, L/70 gun and ZU-23 mm twin barrel gun, which play a major role in the air defence of the Indian Army. The aerial target support was provided by state-of-the-art Inter Services Pilotless Target Aircraft, Lakshya produced indigenously by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The Lakshya is a remotely piloted high speed target drone system. Aeromodels of 26 cc and 7.5 cc, Air Target Imitator (ATI), Aeromodels with infra red flares were also used as targets. Para-barrels dropped from AN-32 aircraft of Indian air Force from a height of 5000 metres were also used for target practice.

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