Custom Search Engine - Scans Selected News Sites

Loading

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

From Today's Papers - 12 Jan 10






Sort out land issue with China: Farooq
New Delhi, January 11
Expressing concern over reports of China taking substantial portion of land in Ladakh, Union Minister Farooq Abdullah today said the Centre should take up the matter with Beijing at the earliest and sort out the boundary dispute.

“This seems to be happening for the last 25 years. One cannot be absolved of the responsibility by just merely saying the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has not been demarcated,” he said.
The former Chief Minister said the Government of India should hold talks with China at the earliest and solve the boundary dispute.
“Now this boundary dispute cannot hang in balance for eternity. Earliest, the best,” Abdullah said.
Asked whether he had come to know about the Chinese incursions during his tenure as Chief Minister, he said, “This has started coming out in the public domain only in the later part of 2009”.
The remarks of the Union Minister came in the wake of a news report that area along Line of Actual Control with China has “shrunk” over a period of time and India has lost a “substantial” amount of land in the last two decades. — PTI





Army land scam: Top officer gets away lightly
Nitin Gokhale, Monday January 11, 2010, New Delhi
It's a scam that has embarrassed the Indian Army. Yet, the officer at the centre of it all will get away with little more than a slap on the wrist. Lt General Avadhesh Prakash will be asked to explain his role to the Army Chief, General Deepak Kapoor. This means Kapoor has overturned what the Army recommended - that Prakash be sacked.

As the Army's Military Secretary, Prakash is one of eight principal staff officers to the Army chief.  An  Army inquiry found that he misused his position to help a businessman wanted a piece of land next to the Army's 33 Corps Headquarters in Siliguri in West Bengal. The Army's inquiry  said Prakash should be sacked for he "became a facilitator in promoting (his friend) Dilip Agarwal's business. He took undue interest in furthering the vested agenda of the businessman and family friend by using his position."

Agarwal reportedly wanted to open a school using this land. The Army, which had earlier told the government that this land could not be sold to any commercial developer for security reasons, okayed the transfer of the land to Agarwal.

Two other senior generals, Lieutenant General PK Rath and Major Gen PC Sen, who were indicted by the same inquiry, are likely to face court martial proceedings.

Sources say the Army is worried that the lack of action against Prakash will affect morale, and will send the message that senior officers  face no consequences for corruption.





Army to act against four generals in land scam
Press Trust Of India
TIME TO ACT: Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor issued directions to Adjutant General Lt Gen Mukesh Sabharwal.

New Delhi: Indian Army Chief on Monday decided to issue show cause notices to a top General and three other senior officers named in a land scam in Darjeeling, amidst speculation that soon-to-retire Military Secretary Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash may escape sacking.

The four officers will be given 30 days time to show cause why action cannot be taken against them for issuing a No Objection Certificate(NOC) to a private realtor in Siliguri to purchase a 70-acre land adjacent to Sukna military station.

Sources said the show cause notices will be issued in a couple of days.

A decision on possible further action would depend on the replies to the show cause notices, top army officials said on Monday night. Prakash effectively would have retired on January 31 before the expiry of the 30-day notice period escaping dismissal.

Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor issued the directions in this regard to Adjutant General Lt Gen Mukesh Sabharwal on Monday evening, the officials said.

However, under Army law, Gen Prakash will be liable to punishment, disciplinary action or administrative action up to three years after his retirement. It could be loss of pension and other retirement benefits.

Gen Prakash as Military Secretary is one of the top eight advisors to Gen Kapoor.

"Only after the replies are received by the Army Headquarters would a decision on whether administrative or disciplinary action should be taken in the case be arrived at," the officials said.

Lt Gen Prakash, along with Lt Gen P K Rath, Lt Gen Ramesh Halgali and Maj Gen P Sen were found "culpable" by an Army probe in the sale of the 70-acre land to a private realtor on the basis of a No Objection Certificate issued by the Sukna military station.






Balasore (Orissa), January 11
Indigenously developed and beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile “Astra” was today test-fired from the integrated test range (ITR) at Chandipur in Orissa.

The missile was fired from a launcher in the launch pad No. 2 of the ITR complex at about 9.45 am, defence sources said. After thorough data analysis of the flight test, another test is expected to be conducted shortly, they said. "Before being made fully operational, the complex missile system will undergo some more trials, tests on its navigation, control, air frame, propulsion and other sub-systems have been validated," said a source from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at ITR.
“The single-stage, solid fuel ‘Astra’ missile is more advanced in its category than the contemporary BVR missiles and is capable of engaging and destroying highly manoeuvrable supersonic aerial targets," the source said. Describing ‘Astra’ as futuristic missile, DRDO scientists said the weapon could intercept a target at supersonic speeds between mach 1.2 and 1.4 (mach one is equivalent to 1236 kmph).
Though the exact range of today's trial was not disclosed, scientists are working to ensure that ‘Astra’ performs effectively at different altitudes - one cruising at an altitude of 15 km with 90 to 110 km range, another at an altitude up to 30,000 ft, having a range of 44 km and the third at sea level with a range of 30 km. — PTI






Land Scam
Army to slap show-cause notices on 4 Generals
New Delhi, January 11
The Army today decided to slap show cause notices on four of its senior officers, including Military Secretary Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash, for their alleged involvement in a land scam at a military station in Darjeeling. A decision on possible further action would depend on the replies to the show cause notices, top army officials said.

Army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor issued the directions in this regard to Adjutant General Lt Gen Mukesh Sabharwal this evening, top Army officials said here. Lt Gen Prakash, who retires on January 31, will get 30 days to reply to the show cause notice.
Lt Gen Prakash, along with Lt Gen PK Rath, Lt Gen Ramesh Halgali and Maj Gen P Sen were found “culpable” by an Army probe in the sale of a 70-acre land to a private realtor on the basis of a No Objection Certificate issued by the Sukna military station. — PTI





Land Scam: Army moves in to punish 4 Generals
January 11, 2010 22:52 IST
The Indian Army [ Images ] on Monday decided to issue show cause notices to a top General and three other senior officers named in a land scam in Darjeeling, amidst speculation that soon-to-retire Military Secretary Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash may escape sacking.

The four officers will be given 30 days time to show cause why action cannot be taken against them for issuing a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to a private realtor in Siliguri to purchase a 70-acre land adjacent to Sukna military station.

Sources said the show cause notices will be issued in a couple of days.

A decision on possible further action would depend on the replies to the show cause notices, top army officials said tonight. Prakash effectively would have retired on January 31 before the expiry of the 30-day notice period escaping dismissal.

Army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor issued the directions in this regard to Adjutant General Lt Gen Mukesh Sabharwal on Monday evening, the officials said.

However, under Army law, Gen Prakash will be liable to punishment, disciplinary action or administrative action up to three years after his retirement. It could be loss of pension and other retirement benefits. Gen Prakash as Military Secretary is one of the top eight advisors to Gen Kapoor.

"Only after the replies are received by the Army headquarters would a decision on whether administrative or disciplinary action should be taken in the case be arrived at," the officials said.

Lt Gen Prakash, along with Lt Gen P K Rath, Lt Gen Ramesh Halgali and Maj Gen P Sen were found "culpable" by an Army probe in the sale of the 70-acre land to a private realtor on the basis of a No Objection Certificate issued by the Sukna military station.





Army promotion could prove a ‘turning point’ for Prince’s relationship
Jan 11
Article Published on 1/11/2010 9:32:41 PM IST   
Army bride? Harry’s promotion could bring him and Chelsy closer to the altar.
Prince Harry is to be promoted to captain after serving just under five years in the Army – in a move that could help cement his relationship with Chelsy Davy.
Friends say his additional responsibilities could prompt the sometimes wayward Royal to curb his partying and consider settling down with his on-off girlfriend of five years.
A source said: ‘Harry will be made a captain around May, and it will be a real turning point for him.’
Harry’s promotion from lieutenant is in line with his length of service rather than on merit, Army sources said last night.
The Prince entered Sandhurst in May 2005 and normally would have been expected to become a captain after six years, in 2011.
But the war in Afghanistan means his promotion will come slightly earlier, to fill gaps left by men in his regiment, the Blues and Royals, who have deployed to the front line.
Harry is likely to become an acting captain in May before being ‘made up’ to full captain.
Promotion would mean a £5,000 rise to £37,000-a-year, increasing later to £44,000 – although the £8million fortune Harry was left by his mother means he won’t be too concerned by the extra salary.
Significantly, it will bring 25-year-old Harry to the equivalent rank of his elder brother Prince William, a Flight Lieutenant in the RAF, levelling the scores in their sibling rivalry.
Friends joke that their competitive spirit could drive Harry to announce his engagement first, too.
Harry is expected to start training soon to be an Apache attack helicopter pilot, which might also benefit his relationship with Chelsy.
He has expressed his desire to fly on the front line – following his stint as a forward air controller in Afghanistan two years ago – and the training would take place at Middle Wallop in Hampshire, closer to Chelsy’s London home.
Zimbabwean-born Chelsy, 24, will also be ready to settle down once she returns from travelling the world this year. She is due to start work as a trainee at City law firm Allen & Overy in September, where she is expected to earn about £46,000.
A source said: ‘Harry is thrilled that he will be just an hour away from Chelsy when he’s at Middle Wallop. He already spends a lot of time at her flat in Belgravia’s Eaton Square.
‘Harry’s got most of the partying out of his system and when Chelsy returns from her travels, she will also be ready to cut out her wild nights to focus on her career.
‘They have thrashed out their differences, stopped their mad blow-outs and are looking forward to spending their lives together.’
Later this month, Harry will fly to Barbados to play polo. Chelsy hopes to join him ahead of her planned trips. The couple intend to reunite in the summer for the World Cup in South Africa, where Chelsy grew up.
A source added: ‘Friends have joked that Harry and Chelsy will make an engagement announcement before William and Kate at this rate’. ‘Kate and William are taking so long to announce their plans, but Harry and Chelsy have sorted through their differences and are ready to settle down together’. ‘Friends are joking that they will pip them to the post, even though they know that won’t really happen’. ‘The boys are very competitive and the news of Harry becoming captain will no doubt ignite rivalry between them.’





India, China to revive joint army drills
Manu Pubby Posted online: Tuesday , Jan 12, 2010 at 0338 hrs
New Delhi : India and China have decided to resume joint army training exercises from 2011, three years after the last round of bilateral anti-terror war games were conducted in Belgaum.

A contingent of Indian soldiers will visit China next year for a new series of training exercises. This was decided during the visit to Beijing by a high-level military team led

by Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar.

The two countries have also decided to exchange information and intelligence on anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden. “The two sides have identified a number of areas of cooperation, one of them being joint military drills. The next round of joint exercises is likely to be held in China in 2011,” sources in the Defence Ministry said.

India and China conducted their first joint army exercise at Kunming in 2007 and followed it with another in India the following year. But this was on hold in the last two years with both sides unable to decide on a roadmap to enhance military cooperation.

Last week’s meetings were part of the first ever Defence Secretary-level talks that were held between the countries. “A number of areas were cooperation could be enhanced were discussed. These included counter terrorism measures and maritime security cooperation,” sources said.

While intelligence sharing on counter-piracy missions — both nations have committed significant resources in the Gulf of Aden as part of the international effort to curb piracy — is a new area of cooperation, the two sides will also increase military exchanges and cross-training in military institutions.






Ajai Shukla: Muzzling the military
Ajai Shukla / New Delhi January 12, 2010, 0:08 IST

Newsprint and public energy have been expended this fortnight, both in India and Pakistan, in debating whether India’s Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor was belligerent and impolitic in telling his officers that China and Pakistan might band together for the next war against India.

The controversy still simmers as low-intensity media sniping. But it is important to note that this was about neither warmongering nor diplomacy. At a fundamental level, the dust-up stems from long-standing tensions within the Indian state over muzzling the military.

For those not in the picture, the controversy began with a Times of India news report, which had General Kapoor warning his officers in an “internal seminar” of the danger of a “two-front war”. The report failed to mention that a two-front threat had been the basis of India’s defence planning for decades. Security establishments in India, China and Pakistan know this well; but not the Pakistani press, which went wall-to-wall the next day with reports about Indian bellicosity.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office shot off a nasty comment about General Kapoor’s “hegemonic and jingoistic mindset”; and his opposite number, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani — clearly susceptible to Pakistani media pressure — began the New Year by threatening India with nuclear retaliation.

Next, The Indian Express entered the fray, reporting in a front-page story that the army chief’s verbal indiscretions were repeatedly embarrassing the government. Then, in the same newspaper, came an opinion editorial by K Subrahmanyam, the doyen of India’s strategists, castigating General Kapoor for lack of sensitivity, suggesting that all senior military officers be put through diplomacy school, and recommending that pronouncements by military chiefs on strategic matters be accompanied by the caveat that those were only personal views. The cherry on this cake was the insulting reminder that this was not Pakistan, where the army chief formulated strategy.

Such articles could be dismissed as nonsensical were they not accurate portrayals of the government’s approach towards the military. The genesis of this vitiated relationship lies in the political and bureaucratic insecurity of the post-Independence period, when democracies across Asia, Africa and South America were falling like skittles before interventionist militaries. Today, even with India’s military, acknowledged worldwide as laudably apolitical, that destructive relationship continues.

In contrast to India, other mature democracies impose far looser censorship over their militaries, without unleashing a monster. Samuel Huntington’s widely acclaimed theory of “objective control” of the military — a model of civil-military relations that is implemented almost universally — grants the services autonomy in their professional realm. A military that has ownership of its professional bailiwick, the “objective control” thesis postulates, has little incentive for involvement in the political sphere. Civilian control is not abandoned, but asserted mainly on broader political issues.

In contrast, “subjective control” rests on neutralising the military through restrictive civilian controls, extending civilian oversight into spheres within the military domain. Subjective control is predicated on “civilianising the military”, while objective control aims at “militarising the military”, encouraging professionalism and responsibility within its realm. That includes negotiating within the public domain.

When the British Army Chief, General Sir Richard Dannatt, felt that his forces were strained from sustained deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said so publicly, forcing his government into remedial measures. US generals talk publicly about their need for certain kinds of equipment or resources; America views that as democratic bargaining for budgetary resources.

But the Indian generals of today, intimidated and silenced by Ministry of Defence (MoD) diktats, would never dream of publicly standing up for their organisation. A succession of generals has silently acquiesced in sending lakhs of soldiers to face bullets in J&K without quality bulletproof jackets and helmets. No general has spoken out against the MoD’s repeated failure to buy modern defence equipment, while returning thousands of crores of unspent rupees from the defence budget. Clearly, silencing the military by invoking propriety keeps many skeletons confined to the cupboard.

But, even within such a dispirited community, a rubicon is crossed when the MoD looks away while an army chief is humiliated, including within Pakistan. No government statement has clarified that General Kapoor was discussing a possible two-front war to an army audience, in a closed-door planning session, in a high-security building next to his headquarters in Delhi. Nor was there support from Defence Minister Antony, who assured reporters that India was not a war-mongering nation. By not mentioning the army chief, Antony effectively indicted him.

Close to the end of his tenure, General Kapoor is under a cloud after failing to act decisively in a succession of scandals: from dubious procurements during his command in Udhampur, to the recent land scam allegedly involving his close affiliate. While investigating those unsparingly, the MoD owes support to a respected institution — the Chief of Army Staff — when it is under gratuitous media attack.

Tailpiece: A legitimate accusation against the army chief could be that his threat assessment is outdated. Today’s threat, for which the military must plan, is of a three-front war. Besides the two unnamed countries, an internal front could be required against Pakistan-sponsored militants in Kashmir and a coordinated Naxal offensive.





* No Sino-Indian Army war game this year

STAFF WRITER 19:4 HRS IST

New Delhi, Jan 11 (PTI) There won't be the annual Sino-India joint army exercise this year too.

The two sides, however, are now working towards holding the counter-terrorism war game in 2011.

A decision in this regard was taken by the two countries at their annual defence dialogue held in Beijing during Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar's two-day visit last week.

"The 2011 Sino-Indian joint Army exercise will be held in China. There will be no exercise in 2010. The preparation for the 2011 exercise has begun," a Defence Ministry official said here today.

The two sides had not scheduled any exercise in 2009, as People's China celebrated its 60th anniversary.

"Now that the first official meeting between the two countries took place, they have begun preparations for the 2011 exercise," the official said, explaining why there would be no war game this year.





As LoC hots-up, Antony to visit Jammu


Srinagar: Amid reports of fresh infiltration and alleged firing by Pakistan, Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony will visit areas along the Line of Control (LOC) in Jammu on Tuesday, official sources told Press Bureau of India.

Accompanied by Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor and Pradeep Kumar, the defence secretary, Antony will take stock of the ground situation by visiting places close to the border in Rajouri and Poonch districts, they added.

Sources said Antony will review the situation with regard to recent reports about fresh infiltration and alleged firing from Pakistan.

Later in the day, they said, he will address a meeting at the Unified Headquarters to be attended by the representatives of various forces including the State Police and Central Para Military Forces.

Before his return to New Delhi, the Defence Minister will have lunch with Army Personnel.

It would be the first visit of any Indian official after 23-hour siege in Lal Chowk, the commercial hub of the Kashmir.  Two militants were killed in the attack that started on 1400 hours last Wednesday. (PBI)











1 comment:

  1. We don’t need profiling to identify Individuals like the Christmas-Day Bomber!

    Virtually all media outlets are discussing whether we should be profiling all Arab Muslims; I will in the one-page explain why we don’t need profiling. Over 15 years ago, we at the Center for Aggression Management developed an easily-applied, measurable and culturally-neutral body language and behavior indicators exhibited by people who intend to perpetrate a terrorist act. This unique methodology utilizes proven research from the fields of psychology, medicine and law enforcement which, when joined together, identify clear, easily-used physiologically-based characteristics of individuals who are about to engage in terrorist activities in time to prevent their Moment of Commitment.

    The Problem
    Since the foiled terrorist attack by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian national on Northwest Flight 253 to Detroit, the President has repeatedly stated that there has been a systemic failure as he reiterates his commitment to fill this gap in our security. This incident, like the Fort Hood shooting, exemplifies why our government must apply every valid preventative approach to identify a potential terrorist.

    The myriad methods to identify a terrorist, whether “no-fly list,” “explosive and weapons detection,” mental illness based approaches, “profiling” or “deception detection” - all continue to fail us. Furthermore, the development of deception detection training at Boston Logan Airport demonstrated that the Israeli methods of interrogation will not work in the United States.

    All media outlets are discussing the need for profiling of Muslim Arabs, but profiling does not work for the following three reasons:

    1. In practice, ethnic profiling tells us that within a certain group of people there is a higher probability for a terrorist; it does not tell us who the next terrorist is!

    2. Ethnic profiling is contrary to the value our society places on diversity and freedom from discrimination based on racial, ethnic, religious, age and/or gender based criteria. If we use profiling it will diminish our position among the majority of affected citizens who support us as a beacon of freedom and liberty.

    3. By narrowing our field of vision, profiling can lead to the consequence of letting terrorists go undetected, because the terrorist may not be part of any known “profile worthy” group – e.g., the Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh

    The Solution
    Our unique methodology for screening passengers can easily discern (independently of race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, age, and gender) the defining characteristics of human beings who are about to engage in terrorist acts.

    The question is when will our government use true “hostile intent” through the “continuum of aggressive behavior” to identify potential terrorists? Only when observers focus specifically on “aggressive behavior” do the objective and culturally neutral signs of “aggression” clearly stand out, providing the opportunity to prevent these violent encounters. This method will not only make all citizens safer, but will also pass the inevitable test of legal defensibility given probable action by the ACLU.

    As our Government analyzes what went wrong regarding Abdulmatallab’s entrance into the United States, you can be assured that Al Qaeda is also analyzing how their plans went wrong. Who do you think will figure it out first . . . ?

    Visit our blog at http://blog.AggressionManagement.com where we discuss the shooting at Fort Hood and the attempted terrorist act on Flight 253.

    ReplyDelete

 

Mail your comments, suggestions and ideas to me

Template created by Rohit Agarwal