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Thursday, 14 January 2010

From Today's Papers - 14 Jan 10







No change in LAC, says Antony
Dismisses reports of China grabbing Indian territory
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 13
Just days after a Jammu and Kashmir government report said India had lost “substantial” land to China in the Ladakh along the Line of Control, Defence Minister AK Antony today (on the basis of a briefing by senior army commanders) differed with the report saying “…there is no change in the LAC”.

Speaking on the difference of opinion between the Eastern Command and the Army Headquarters on the Sukna land issue, Antony said the Defence Ministry received a report from the Army Chief that he was going to take disciplinary and administrative proceedings against some of his colleagues, who were involved in this inquiry. 
Antony, who was in Jammu and Kashmir yesterday, told the media on the sidelines of a defence industry function here in reply to a query on China “… yesterday at a meeting this subject was raised. Intelligence agencies, state government agencies, the Chief Minister, Army chief and defence secretary attended… The Corps Commander (14 corps Leh) reported that as far as they are concerned, there is no change in the Line of Actual Control. There is not much change in the situations. This is the position explained by the Army commander and in the meeting nobody expressed a different view. But I told them to further study this in detail.”
Just three days ago, it was reported in the media that Leh Commissioner AK Sahu had in a meeting chaired by him said “….it is clear and be accepted that we are withdrawing from LAC and our area has shrunk over a period of time. Though this process if very slow but we have lost substantial amount of land in 20-25 years." A brigadier and colonel of the Army were also present at the meeting
Actually not just Antony, the Indian Army in its internal assessment had said, “ The Army does not agree with the position and perception expressed (by the Commissioner of Leh). There is no change is established demarcation and claim along the LAC.” Sources said the Army opines that though its officials were attending the meeting with the Leh Commissioner, this does not mean that it subscribed to the view.
On infiltration in J&K he said we had a detailed discussion with the Chief Minister, intelligence agencies and the Army top brass. In 2009, the violence levels had come down. “My assessment is inimical forces across the country, across the border they are jittering. They feel if the situation continues like this, the state will fast be normal,” Antony said. 






Ahmedabad, January 13
Seven Pakistani nationals have been arrested from a boat in Cori Creek area in Arabian Sea, off the coast in Gujarat's Kutch district, a top BSF official said today.

"Our men intercepted a vessel, which had crossed into Indian waters yesterday near the Cori Creek mouth in the Arabian Sea. There were seven men inside the vessel who have been arrested and are being handed over to the local police," BSF Inspector General AK Sinha said.
"During preliminary investigation, the men said that they have come from Karachi and were here for fishing purpose," Sinha said, adding nothing incriminating was recovered from the boat.
The vessel has also been seized and handed over to the local police, he said, adding further investigation would be carried out by the district police. — PTI




Pak claims India 'interfering' in Balochistan
Press Trust of India / Islamabad January 13, 2010, 19:42 IST

Pakistan today claimed that India is "interfering" in its southwestern Balochistan province, a charge New Delhi has repeatedly denied.

Making a statement in the Senate or upper house of Parliament in response to points raised by lawmakers, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Pakistan has evidence that India is "interfering" in Balochistan.

He did not give details about his charge, which has already been dismissed by India.

Malik also claimed that Pakistan has identified terrorist training camps established inside Afghanistan for interference in Balochistan. This issue has formally been taken up with the Afghan government, he said.

Some persons reported missing from Balochistan were forcibly taken to these training camps in Afghanistan, he alleged.

Though the Baloch Liberation Army said 6,000 people were missing from Balochistan, this was later reduced to 1,133.

Balochistan government provided a list of 992 missing persons, which included 600 without necessary particulars, Malik said.

An advertisement was published in newspapers asking people to provide details about missing persons and only 43 applications had been received by authorities so far, he said.




'India poised to become major defence sourcing hub'
Press Trust of India / New Delhi January 13, 2010, 15:24 IST

The government should establish a dedicated defence-specific Special Economic Zone (SEZ), apart from tax equalisation subsidy, as fiscal regime played a critical role in the defence market growth, an industry study today said.

It also sought exemption from Research and Development (R&D) Cess for joint ventures implementing the offset obligations under the Defence Procurement Procedure introduced a couple of years ago to energise the defence market.

"The government is urged to consider the establishment of dedicated defence-specific SEZs, establishment of a tax equalisation subsidy linked to value of goods and services supplied to the defence sector, and exemptions to offset joint ventures from R&D Cess," a joint study by industry association CII and audit and advisory firm KPMG released here said.

"The fiscal regime plays a critical role in any defence market in creating an environment that incentivises and supports the long term risk taking, investment and R&D required by the industry," the report said, adding the general view of global defence industry was that India currently has a comparatively aggressive and complex tax regime.

It said with skilled intensive manufacturing capabilities and a world class IT base, India had the "right ingredients to become a key link in the global defence supply chain.

Welcoming the changes made in the DPP-2009 that provided for direct Indian industry participation in Defence tenders on par with public sector undertakings (PSUs), the study also sought new initiatives such as improving visibility of government defence order book, increasing industry output and feedback into the tender process and reduction in bidders' costs.

It, however, noted that the defence procurement policy (DPP) had evolved significantly since its first edition in 2002.

"For India to realise its objectives of building a military capability it requires, the government needs to develop a comprehensive industrialisation strategy for defence," it said noting that the country currently procured about 70 per cent of the armed forces' needs from abroad.

"But India aims to reverse this balance and manufacture 70 per cent or more of its defence equipment in India," it added.

"There is strong support (within industry) for extending the use of offset credit banking, allowing offset credit trading, and introducing the use of multipliers," it said.

The DPP stipulated that any deal for defence equipment with foreign suppliers worth over Rs 300 crore would attract the offset clause under which about 30 per cent to 50 per cent of the contract costs would have to be ploughed back into Indian defence industry.

On foreign direct investment (FDI) cap of 26 per cent, the study said though the opinion was divided on increasing the FDI limit due to security considerations, there was clear expectation from the industry that it would be hiked from the present level.






'Army chief to take action against Generals in land scam'
Press Trust of India / New Delhi January 13, 2010, 12:30 IST

Army chief Deepak Kapoor will take "some disciplinary and administrative action"against the four Generals involved in a land scam in Darjeeling, Defence Minister A K Antony said today.

The Ministry had received a report from the Army Chief in this regard only last night and, therefore, it was "too early" for him to comment on the action to be taken against the Generals, he told reporters on the sidelines of a CII defence seminar.

"The Defence Ministry received a report from the Army chief that he is going to launch some disciplinary and administrative proceedings against some of his colleagues, who are involved in this inquiry.

At this stage, it is too early on my part to comment on this," he said here. Refusing to be further drawn into the issue, Antony said he was yet to examine the report and as the information provided by the Army Chief was for the Defence Ministry only, it would not be possible for him to make any remarks.   

"This is an information only for the Defence Ministry. I told you, I got it yesterday night only.

The recommendation is for the Ministry's information only. I still have to examine it," he said.   

The Army chief has initiated disciplinary proceedings against former 33 Division Commander Lt Gen P K Rath.     He has also issued show cause notices to Military Secretary Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash, 11 Corps Commander Ramesh Halgali and Major General P Sen to take administrative action.The Army Chief had on Monday directed Adjutant General Mukesh Sabharwal to issue 30-day show cause notices to Lt Gen Prakash, Lt Gen Rath, Lt Gen Halgali and Major General P Sen after a probe had allegedly held them culpable in the land scam.

Disciplinary action was initiated against Lt Gen Rath, who had allegedly played a major role in the issuance of a No Objection Certificate to a private realtor for buying a 70-acre plot adjacent to the Sukna military station near Darjeeling.

Army's Eastern Command chief Lt Gen V K Singh would proceed against Lt Gen Rath, who had reportedly also signed a memorandum of understanding with the private realtor for allotment of seats to Army personnel's wards in the school that was to come up on the land.

Rath, whose appointment as Deputy Army Chief was scrapped last year after a probe was ordered into the land scam, is currently attached to the Eastern Command headquarters in Kolkata.

In the case of Lt Gen Prakash, who is set to retire on January 31 and Lt Gen Halgali and Maj Gen P Sen, the administrative action could lead to punishment from a minor censure or recording of displeasure in their service records to loss of pension benefits or dismissal from service.

The land scam came to light after it became known that the private realtor, Dalip Aggarwal, who is said to be close to Lt Gen Prakash, "falsely" represented to the Army that his trust would open an affiliate of the Ajmer-based Mayo College.




DPP revision focusing on reducing the delays in the procurements: AK Antony   
Written by Anand  
Thursday, 14 January 2010
New Delhi: Shri AK Antony, Hon’ble Raksha Mantry, Government of India said that the next revision of the Defence procurement Procedure would be focusing upon reducing delays in the procurement process. The Government of India will be further revising the Defence procurement Procedures in the year 2010.

The minister further added that public and private sector should work together to explore the ever expanding domains of defence sector. The available resources should be utilised in a judicious manner, towards the goal set by the Government to reduce dependence on imports, which currently stands at 70%.

Shri AK Antony was speaking at International Seminar on ‘Army Air Defence in 21st Century’ organised by Corps of Army Air Defence, Integrated HQ of MoD (Army) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

He also said that the army needs to be prepared for asymmetric and non conventional warfare.

Baba Kalyani, Chairman, CII National Committee on Defence & Aerospace & CMD, Bharat Forge Limited outlined that the Government has been undertaking forward looking reforms and streamlining defence procurement procedures. In this backdrop he called for a level playing field for Indian private players. He welcomed DPP amendments that have been recently announced. He highlighted issues of concerns such level playing field vis-à-vis foreign players with regards to the foreign exchange rate variations, issues of taxation structure, facilitating capabilities development for SMEs. Mr. Kalyani also urged the Government to work out some kind of arrangement to allow prototype import for the benefit of the indigenous industry. Self sufficiency in large range of defence equipments will translate in win-win situation for all. CII believes that the defence industry can rise up to this challenge.

Gen Deepak Kapoor, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC, Chief of Army Staff stated that technological breakthroughs like attack helicopters, cruise missiles etc. have added new dimensions to ariel defence domain. Therefore continuous upgradation and revamping of technology is imperative. It is also required that infrastructure and technological prowess are being developed keeping in consideration nation’s security needs.

Lt. Gen Ram Pratap, AVSM, VSM, Director General, Corps of Army Air Defence, Integrated Headquarters of MoD (Army) said that the years ahead will see upgradation of existing policies, coming of age of defence R&D, etc. It is extremely crucial to sensitise the industry both indigenous and international about the road-map of defence preparedness.

Mr. Satish Kaura, Co Chairman, CII National Committee on Defence & Aerospace & Chairman Samtel Group, said that a nation’s strength is dependent upon its defence preparedness and its aspirations to become a big player in geo-political theatre. CII has been working with an overall objective to bring the industry and army to a common platform so that mutual issues could be resolved.






Pakistan alarmed over 'massive' Indian arms buildup
Reuters
ON GUARD: Pakistani Rangers stand near the Indian (R) and Pakistani flags at the International Border.

Islamabad: Pakistan expressed concern on Wednesday about a "massive" buildup of arms by old rival India, warning that it could jeopardise a regional balance.

The statement by the National Command Authority (NCA), which oversees Pakistan's nuclear weapons, came a day after Russian and Indian officials announced that Russia would lease its new Nerpa nuclear-powered submarine to India this year.

Relations between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have been strained since Pakistan-based terrorists raided Mumbai in November 2008, killing 166 people.

Recent reported remarks by Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor that his country was capable of fighting Pakistan and China at the same time, raised alarm in Pakistan.

The NCA said while Pakistan wanted to avoid an arms race, it would not compromise on its security interests and the imperative of maintaining a credible minimum nuclear deterrence.

"Massive inductions of advanced weapon systems including installation of ABMs (anti-ballistic missiles), build-up of nuclear arsenal and delivery systems ... tend to destabilise the regional balance," the NCA said in a statement.

"This relentless pursuit of military preponderance will have severe consequences for peace and security in South Asia as well as for the Indian Ocean region. Pakistan cannot be oblivious to these developments," it said.

The Indian Army Chief was also reported to have said in his recent remarks that India was capable of conducting conventional military strikes "under a nuclear umbrella".

"Such irresponsible statements reflected a hegemonic mindset, oblivious of dangerous implications of adventurism in a nuclearised context," said the NCA, which is headed by Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.

Pakistan tested nuclear devices in 1998 in response to tests by India.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars, two of them over Kashmir, since their independence from British rule in 1947.

Their relations improved after they launched a peace process in early 2004. But India suspended the peace process after the Mumbai assault.

Pakistan and Indian leaders and senior officials have met several times on the sidelines of international gatherings but New Delhi insists Pakistan must take forceful action against militants before talks are resumed.

Analysts say al Qaeda and its Islamist terrorist allies want to provoke confrontation between India and Pakistan which would force Pakistan to withdraw troops form its western border and deploy them on the eastern frontier with India.





Cold Start: Indian Threat to Pakistan & China
Thu, 2010-01-14 05:45 — editor

By Farzana Shah

Farzana_3.JPG
In 2005 India announced a new military doctrine called Start Cold mainly targeting Pakistan as its potential enemy. In November 2009, Indian army chief made a statement that there is a possibility of a limited war between Pakistan and India in a nuclear overhang. In December 2009, Indian chief announced that India is ready to take on both Pakistan and China in a ‘two front war’ simultaneously. These statements spurred a quick reaction in Pakistani media and military establishment.

Indian statements

Indian army chief statement came in a closed door seminar in Shimla based military academy on five year review of its military doctrine and operational preparedness. Full details of the Indian chief speech are not known but what is released to media can be summarized as under;

1.            India is in position to mobilize its forces so that they can move into enemy territory within 96 hours to execute its Cold Start military doctrine.

2.            India is now ready to take on Pakistan and China both in a “two front war” in a nuclear over hang.


3.            India is going to enhance its “strategic reach and out-of-area capabilities” to protect its interests from Malacca strait to Persian Gulf.

4.            To achieve above mentioned goals India would attain “operational synergy” between the three services


5.            Countering “both military and non-military facets of asymmetric and sub-conventional threats.”

Indian army chief’s statements met with prompt reply from Pakistani military top brass. “Proponents of conventional application of military forces, in a nuclear overhang, are charting an adventurous and dangerous path, the consequences of which could be both unintended and uncontrollable,” said General Kiyani, CoAS Pakistan army. The next day Chairman joint Chief of Staff General Tariq Majeed responded to two front war doctrine in these words, “Leave alone China, General Deepak Kapoor knows very well what the Indian Army cannot and the Pakistan Army can pull off militarily”. He said the Indian Army chief “could not be so outlandish in strategic postulations to fix India on a self-destruct mechanism”.

Although Pakistan army made it clear that it is alive to the threats faced by the nation and recent history has proved that despite its numerical advantage and bigger economy, India was not able to initiate a war against Pakistan. It is important to look at drivers behind these statements by Indian army chief and how come this time Indian military establishment is so confident about their preparedness to take not only Pakistan but also China in a future war whereas in a previous stand off just 8 years ago the same Indian army could not fire a single bullet?

First it would be prudent to seek why these statements by Indian army chief came at this point of the time.

Indian army chief’s statements came when there are lots of things taking place in Pakistan’s internal politics at a rapid pace.

There is a critical political turmoil in the country especially after the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s decision on controversial NRO case. Though no final judgment has been issued but it seems that a large number of government members and ministers would be disqualified as their legitimacy for an elected parliamentarian would nullified once the final decision is announced and these members and ministers would have to leave their seats and criminal cases against them would be reopen in the courts. The danger of disqualification is not limited to ministers but president of Pakistan is also endangered by this decision of SC. If the court decided that President Zardari must come to court to clear allegation of corruption against him this would create another political crisis in the country where law and order situation is already very fragile due to war on terror.

Law and order situation in Pakistan has turned worst in year 2009 due to suicide attacks throughout the country. At the beginning of 2010, situation in previously the calm Karachi city has also turned worrisome regarding law and order. The city witnessed worst kind of riots and arson in history during last three weeks.

Militarily Pakistan army is stretched from Khyber to Karachi, now on both Eastern and Western borders. Pakistan army currently is combating TTP in South Waziristan after taking back Malakand division. According to recent news, Pakistan army has sealed roads to Orakzai agency before launching a full fledge operation there as well.

Recently a group of US senators visited Pakistan and had meetings with top brass of Pakistan army during their visit. It was also indicated by some senators that Pakistan army soon would launch an operation in North Waziristan as well. This will stretch Pakistan army further along with Afghan border. Active part of ‘Operation Rah-i-Rast’ in Swat/Malakand is over though but still Pakistan army units are there as civilian forces, and are not ready to take control of the whole region. Army and the provincial government are building community police setup there, but it would take some time to get control.

Pakistan armed forces are undergoing a massive modernization program which is about to be completed not earlier than 2019. Modernization enhances skills of any force but it also includes a learning cover and time to absorb technology. Pakistan air force would go nearly a complete overhaul as almost entire fleet of PAF would be eventually replaced with new one till 2019.

On the other hand Indian forces are getting latest weapon system since long and are in better position and have a clear numerical strength against Pakistani forces. All above factors made current time more feasible for India to launch its preemptive strikes against Pakistan army and its infrastructure by executing Indian Cold Start doctrine.


Ultimate Indian Plan: Cold Start & 4th Generation warfare (4GWs)

Though Pakistani response at military level was well calculated and prompts along with a strong response from Pakistani foreign office, but still it would be prudent to study Indian military preparedness and the doctrine

The Indian army plan is not new, but Indian military establishment devised this plan to take on Pakistan and China in a war simultaneously some five years ago. A careful look at statement of Indian army chief makes it clear that Indians are eying establishing a strong military footprint in Indian Ocean from Malacca strait to Persian Gulf.

"This would enable us to protect our island territories; also give assistance to the littoral states in the Indian Ocean Region," said Gen Kapoor.

Cold start doctrine is not about capturing Pakistani territory but inflicting as much damage as possible to enemy forces and infrastructure within matter of hours. It is more like a hit and run tactics giving no time to Pakistan to react.

Indian military adopted Cold start on April 28, 2004, after a 10 months long standoff (Operation Parakram) with Pakistan army along 2500 kilometer Indo-Pak border in 2002. In this stand off Indian army strike formation took almost a month to be mobilized. Contrary to this Cold Start emphasizes on quick deployment of forces and synergize operations of all three services towards destruction of Pakistan army defenses and units in short possible time. But is it all that easily possible? Does Indian military have that kind of inter service coordination to implement Cold Start in real war? This is the point where some Pakistani analysts believe that India still doesn’t have the capability to carry on its Cold Start doctrine against Pakistan. An objective analysis of this aspect is only possible after studying Indian strategic military planning against Pakistan during last five years can answer this important question.

To overcome inter services coordination a separate South-Western Army Command has been formed since 2005 which deals with Indian military deployment and operations along with Pakistani borders only. One of the major reason for raising new command was to fulfill the demands of integrated battle groups consisting Indian army and air force units and squadrons. India is working on its preparedness for surgical strikes with these battles group since 2005, now and the job of fine tuning these tactics is assigned to Army Training Command (ARTRAC) and the Army War College. From statement made by Lt. Gen. Labama it is evident that India is ready to go to war with Pakistan and China simultaneously.

Another reason for adopting Cold Start by India is to minimize the reaction time available for diplomatic solution of any potential crisis like one emerged after Mumbai attacks in November 2008. Indian government and forces were under pressure to carryout some surgical strikes on so called terrorist infrastructure on the Pakistani soil. Under Cold Start Indian military would make sure that any diplomatic solution comes after India gets all its objectives. A war between Pakistan and India would jeopardize the entire war on terror. But still India would need a pretext to execute its Cold Start doctrine and this is where 4th generation warfare comes into equation.

Use of 4th generation warfare against Pakistan is a more dangerous and disturbing angle of Indian designs which most defense analysts in Pakistan have overlooked. This paradigm of warfare revolves around asymmetrical warfare to get a moral victory with minimum nation state involvement. It is necessary to understand major difference between various generations of warfare and figuring out which one of these Pakistan is facing now. First generation revolved around conscription and firearms. Nepoleon wars can be categorized in this generation. Second generation involved nation-state armies, alignment of warfare resources and raw firepower. WWI can be categorized as 2nd generation warfare. Third generation warfare included armored warfare and maneuvering and best example of this generation of warfare was WWII which ended only after usage of nuclear weapons in Japan in 1945.

By the end of 20th century Russia invaded in Afghanistan and this was the start of a new generation of warfare. Though guerilla warfare is very old but in 1982 after direct involvement of CIA in this conflict, this guerilla warfare gave birth to fourth generation warfare (4GWs) that works on principle of lesser to no nation state involvement but rely on ad-hoc warriors and moral conflicts. Other imperatives of 4GWs include adaptation of technology to surprise the enemy and information warfare.

A careful look at what Pakistan army is combating in FATA makes it clear that Pakistan army is dealing with first phase of Indian design against Pakistan which deals with winning a moral war by adopting 4GWs.It cannot be a coincident that Pakistan army is facing an enemy who has; ad-hoc fighters, propaganda warfare capabilities in form of FM radios, very advanced weaponry and communication gear. This is indeed not a war waged just for revenge against Pakistan army to side US after 9/11. If it is then how come the poor tribesmen gathered all these assets within a short period of time and mastered the skills to use them against world’s 6th largest military machine i.e Pakistan army.

Pakistan army and security management have no doubts about Indian support to TTP, a banned terrorist organization committing horrific terrorism nationwide since its inception in 2005 (The same year when India adopted new military doctrine and raised a new military command along with Pakistani border). Pakistan army has seized not only Indian made weapons in Swat and FATA but also has eliminated number of Indian combatants. Proofs have already been given to civilian government to take up the matter at world forums but there is no sign of urgency in this regard in Islamabad which is not only strange but questionable as well.

Though Pakistan army has fought successfully with Indian 4GWs in Swat and FATA but due to lack of political will was unable to gain any higher moral ground in community of nations. On the other hand India already has built a case against Pakistan as a country being used as staging ground for terrorism against its neighbors.

Chinese Slant

Although China is also mentioned in the statement by Indian army chief as a potential enemy in the war along with Pakistan but it is no secret that India has always used foreign military aid against Pakistan. India has one clear advantage over China in current geopolitics in the world. There is an embargo on China for Western high tech military equipment after Tiananmen Square incident 1989. On the other hand India along with a healthy economy has no such restrictions imposed for military hardware despite worst human right conditions thanks to global hypocrisy and double standards of West and US. Still India lacks in many areas when it comes to military balance vis a vis China.

China sensed the importance of indigenization a long ago and started to develop its military production facilities in 1960s. Now Chinese military complexes not only supply advanced weapons to its own forces but also export large amount of these weapons to other countries including Pakistan. Not only this, but China helped Pakistan to build its own military industry after debacle of 1971.

With its well established economy and knowledge base China has crossed many milestones in military hardware production. Now apart from US and Russia China is the only country in the world to run a 5th generation military jet fighter project. Apart from its indigenization efforts sheer number of Chinese forces is another factor why India would never think about carrying out any military adventure against China. Apart from this military comparison China unlike Pakistan or India is a veto power in UN Security Council and can dissuade any move by India in UN against Pakistan or China.

The mentioning of China in Indian chief statement is a mere indication to West and US that now India is ready to take a role of regional power and both US and West can trust India as any ally against communist China. US is banking on India to compete with China in economics and military fields but friendship of Pakistan and China is a big hurdle for India in both these fields. India is eyeing permanent seat in UN since long now and the current statement can also be a signal to US and West to accept India as a big player in the region along with China.

All the military aid would be used against Pakistan in actual war that is evident from history as well when US helped India against China in 1962. Most of US weapons were used against Pakistan in 1965 war.

Cold Start and Possible Pakistani Response

As indicated in its response Pakistani military leadership has made it clear that any misadventure by India can result in unavoidable consequences. Indian doctrine is flawed at many places.

Firstly ,India would have to have a solid reason and pretext to launch any attack no matter low limited against Pakistan.

Secondly, Indians have no gauge of Pakistani military planning to counter Cold Start. It must be bear in mind that Pakistan military announced in July 2005 that it is fully aware of Indian Cold Start doctrine. Pakistan may deploy its unconventional arms much earlier than India has envisaged.

Thirdly, Due to Pakistani preparedness there is clear lack in synergy required in Indian forces to implement Cold Start successfully. Indian Navy would not be able to blockade Pakistani Navy in Karachi as now Pakistan Navy has two more naval bases in Omara and Gawadar. Likewise if Indian air force deploys its front line jet fighter and bombers on forward air bases (FABs) Pakistani cruise missile can come into equation much earlier.

Fourthly, a time line of 48 hours or 96 hours to put Pakistan in a military submission to India with help of armor corps and air support can be proved as dangerous as claims of capturing Lahore in one day proved in 1965. A prolonged combat on borders can put strategic Indian infrastructure in danger. Pakistan air force can launch attacks on dams built on Chenab and Jehlam rivers in Kashmir, Pakistan strategic force command would be in position to hit Indian economic centers like Silicon Valley in Banglore.


Fifthly, Indian military establishment failed to see how a handful of Kashmiri fighters made 700,000 Indian army troops permanently stationed in one valley since decades. Despite presence of this force, which is more than total regular army of Pakistan, Indian government has failed to curb freedom struggle in Kashmir and this circumstances any war between Pakistan and India would be last thing the Indian army would ever dream in Kashmir. Indian military would be in no position to control Kashmiris and fight Pakistan army at same time.

Sixthly, Indian military establishment is relying much more on President Zardari’s announcement that Pakistan will not use its nuclear weapon as first strike. In reality it is Pakistan army who will decide which weapon is to be used when and where.

Last but not the least India is relying on its ever increasing air power not only for Cold Start but to neutralize any Pakistani deployed missiles in a preemptive strikes. It seems that time for such an operation has almost gone for Indian air force. In 2010 PAF would be reshaped to take on the challenges of 21st century. PAF has already established parity in Air Born Early Warning capability after inducting SAAB Erieye AEW&C platform. In June 2010 Pakistan would start receiving state of the art F-16 Block52 fighters from US and PAF Air defense system is going to enhance its capabilities manifold by inducting MBDA’s Spada2000 medium range SAM system. Though Indian air force currently is enjoying numerical superiority but India can’t put all its war assets against Pakistan in a war keeping in view size of India.

Another problem which India is going to face during any execution of Cold Start is the gauge of nuclear threshold of Pakistan, a point where Pakistan would decide to go for unconventional warfare. This is where Army Chief Asfaq Perviz Kiyani hinted that consequences of any misadventure in a nuclear overhang can be suicidal for India.

Suggestions

Indian aggression in future would increase. Recent trends of buying military hardware by India are a clear indication to this fact. Pakistan armed forces don’t need to match Indian counterparts but rather require higher level of preparedness. It is not Cold Start that must alarmed security managers but it is 4th generation warfare by Indian intelligence and military establishment that must be a source of contention for Pakistan. Pakistani military and civilian government needs to take some steps in order to defeat Indian 4GWs tactics in FATA and to prevent India from deploying its forces ever again.

Pakistan must maintain a strategic ambiguity about first use of its nuclear weapons against any enemy including India. An early announcement would always put Pakistan on wrong footing as it will provide another opportunity to Indian and world media to talk about Pakistan’s obsession against India.

Pakistan army must complete all the counter insurgency operation as soon as possible and strike units must report back giving control to the civilian forces in areas which have been cleared of militants. The good news is Pakistan army has realized the importance of civilian forces. Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Kiyani vows to support NWFP police with equipment and training while speaking at police academy in Peshawar.

In any future force stand off Pakistan military must make sure that it has deployed enough strategic weapons that can not be compromised by a pre-emptive strike by Indian air force or other strikes.

Pakistan must build a strong case against India and her involvement in Pakistan particularly in supporting terrorism in Baluchistan and FATA. Pakistan army has given proofs to government and the ball is in democratic government’s court to take the case on international forums like UN where Pakistan easily can seek Chinese help in order to unearth Indian intentions against Pakistan and peace in the region.

In any future political crisis in the country, Pakistan army must keep itself isolated from political turmoil and remained focused on external threats as any involvement in politics would degrade Pakistan’s ability to respond to a prompt military challenge posed by India.

Government must ensure that Pakistan armed forces modernization program remain on track and government always has a reliable financing on short notice for an urgent need if armed forces raise a demand.

Pakistan must quit current defensive foreign policy adopted in Musharraf era. Pakistan must make it clear to world that any act of terrorism must not be linked to Pakistan without proper investigations. Recent student crisis in UK has exposed this weakness in foreign policy where government was failed to react in time when innocent Pakistani students were charged for planning a terrorist attack. Similar ineptness was evident on part of government in case of Samjootha Express incident, which was wrongly blamed on Pakistan but the government was failed to respond on international forum.

Media management of Pakistan armed forces and its operations inside country has always been weak. In Pakistan, unlike India, media is not always behind army. Despite the gains by Pakistan army in war on terror in time span of three to five months in Swat and South Waziristan there is still a perception that Pakistan army is unable to combat terrorism and some even go to an extent that Pakistan army might be supporting Taliban. These perceptions are culmination of a weak media policy by government and needs an urgent attention to change these misperceptions.

- Asian Tribune –





50% Indian arms obsolete: Report
Josy Joseph / DNA
Thursday, January 14, 2010 0:11 IST
New Delhi: Fifty percent Indian military equipment is ‘obsolete’, according to a study by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the consultancy firm KPMG.

The report comes a few months after the army admitted to a Parliament standing committee that it had just over 50% of the required capability.

The CII-KPMG report, ‘Opportunities in the Indian Defence Sector: An Overview’ says India is set to undertake one of the largest procurement cycles in the world in the light of the situation.

“The current profile of the equipment held highlights the need for modernisation with ‘obsolete’ equipment currently accounting for 50% equipment,” says the report. According to the required equipment profile of the government, at any given point of time, only 30% equipment should be ‘obsolete’.

In an ideal situation, the ministry of defence contends, 30% equipment should be “state-of-the-art”, 40% “mature” and only 30% “obsolete”. The reality, says the report, is that only 15% equipment is “state-of-the-art”, 35% “mature” and 50% “obsolete”.

“During the last decade, the Indian defence industry has been in the process of undertaking one of the largest procurement cycles in the world. The current cycle, which includes the acquisitions drafted under the long-term integrated perspective plan (LTIPP), is expected to include procurements worth $100 billion by 2022,” the report says.

The report has identified three areas where industry is “seeking further government input” —the procurement process, the need for a defence industrial strategy for India and tax and regulatory incentives.

CII representatives said the government should take steps to improve visibility of the government’s defence order book, increase industry’s input and feedback into the process, improve predictably and flexibility of the procurement process and reduce bidders’ costs.






The war within

Teenagers thrive on half-truths and absolute realities.

India was still Indira when I first saw those army regiments marching down Rajpath. To a small-town boy who came from the baking, backward Deccan — a land of quiet desperation, black magic and lost glories — a Republic Day parade conveyed an absolute reality: That these magnificent men marching to Saare Jahan Se Achcha were a cut above, that they could do no wrong.

A half-truth mired in a perceived reality fades hard. Whatever I may write today, I guess I still like to believe that India’s defence forces, and its judiciary, are the nation’s last bastions of righteousness.

With the judiciary closer to our lives, the incorruptibility of judges is a weaker half-truth, but it endures. For this I blame my father’s old friend, the late James Sequeira Esq., a morally upright district judge in Karnataka. In a time before self-made tycoons and powerful politicians, the judge, collector and superintendent of police were the most prominent men in town. Yet, Judge Sequeira travelled in his personal car, a white Fiat. His wife usually travelled by a tonga or cycle-rickshaw. He practised all that he often preached to wide-eyed me, about simple living and high thinking.

Understanding a teenage state of mind is important because India is younger now than ever before. More than 550 million are below 30 years of age, and in their formative years, they will form warped realities from the half-truths on offer today.

The army chief is now accused by his rank and file of being soft on some of his generals in a dubious land deal. The Chief Justice of India is not only refusing to open himself and his justices to the Right to Information Act — as politicians and bureaucrats are — but is also seen as reluctant to clean up an admittedly overburdened but increasingly dishonest and opaque system.

If these gentlemen do not act immediately, they should never blame young people in this age of media-delivered reality for instant beliefs that permanently damn both institutions and damage India’s strongest foundations. General Deepak Kapoor must realise that even modest hopes of filling his 11,000 officer vacancies will quickly evaporate.

Absolute realities don’t die easily. So, it is important that the truths on offer not just look, but are, complete.

Even a depressing first brush with the dark side of the defence forces eight years ago wasn’t enough to scrub my reality.

In consternation, I watched a neat patch of green — called the Field Marshall Cariappa Park, no less — being demolished in Mumbai’s Colaba military area in collusion with a builder. All manner of law was sidestepped and ill-considered permissions granted by an unholy confluence of army officers, bureaucrats and politicians. Not surprisingly, representatives of all three branches of government got flats. My colleague Shailesh Gaikwad (now bureau chief at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai) and I reported the dark deal as it unfolded. The apartment block was delayed, but it was built, and even as I wrote it, I kept asking myself, “Have we got it wrong? How could army and navy officers be a part of this?”

So, I was less disbelieving but still crestfallen when news broke last year that four top army generals helped reverse an army objection to the transfer of 70 acres of land near an army base in West Bengal to a dubious educational trust run by a real-estate developer called Dilip Agarwal, a friend of Military Secretary Lt. Gen. Avadhesh Prakash, an officer who the Eastern Army Commander says must be dismissed. That may still happen, but why has he been spared a court martial, under which all army officers accused of wrongdoing, except murder and rape, are tried? As embittered junior officers point out, many have been court martialled for less: fake allegations of sexual harassment and pilfering the odd shipment of supplies.
Only one of the generals, Lt. Gen. P.K. Rath (once slated to be Deputy Chief of Army Staff, now thankfully dropped from consideration), faces a general court martial. The others, Gen. Prakash, 11 Corps Commander Lt. Gen Ramesh Halgali and Major General P. Sen, have been asked to explain their actions. The Eastern Army Commander said last month in an internal inquiry that Lt. Gens. Rath and Sen should face a court martial.

It is certainly true that these officers have not been proven guilty. But the Indian Army’s summary court martials, introduced after the Indian mutiny of 1856, don’t require counsel, detailed judgement or evidence.

In trying to find out why their regular army units had rebelled when the Punjab Irregular Force (PIF) — its origins in the old Sikh army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh — had not, the British found that a PIF commanding officer also served as judge and civil authority, feared and respected by his men. The army chief’s actions presently invoke no fear among his officers or respect in the young nation beyond the cantonments.

Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan will see a greater erosion of faith, a process accelerated in his tenure, unless he starts doing the right thing quickly. As a three-judge bench of the Delhi High Court — an institution that has been a particularly strong votary for justice and truth this past year — said on Tuesday: “A judge must keep himself absolutely above suspicion.” If Justice Balakrishnan appeals this judgement in his own court, the suspicion that he has something to hide will stay.





India Inc seeks greater role in defence supplies
IANS

The government on Wednesday released a report that says industry wanted India’s defence order book to be more visible, and that more tenders be issued for domestic companies to bid for military equipment supply.

“Feedback from industry reveals that it is seeking clearer definition and enhanced visibility to be given to the government’s order book,” said the report released by Defence Minister A.K. Antony.

Titled “Opportunities in the Indian Defence Sector —— An Overview”, it said the move would help domestic companies to align business planning with the country’s defence needs, and provide the government “the benefit of greater security of supply”.

India, dependent on imports for 70 percent of its defence equipment requirements, is the world’s 10th largest spender in this area, with its payout growing at 9.3 percent annually.

“Companies believe there should be greater participation by industry during the formulation of the RFPs (Request for Proposals),” said the report prepared by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and consultancy KPMG.

“There is common consent that the RFI (Request for Information) process is not being used to provide sufficient rationalisation of requirements.”

The report also said that in “single vendor situations”, the government should act with discretion and avoid competition.

“Industry also felt that on certain occasions, avoidable expenses are incurred through the use of competition where a particular product or technology was clearly preferred,” it said.

“There should be procurement procedures which allow for and dictate the circumstances wherein a single source procurement can be made.”

India has doubled its direct capital acquisition budget from Rs. 62 billions in 1999-2004 to Rs.137 billions in 2004—2009.

However, industry believes that to avoid underspending of the defence budget, rolling budgets should be introduced.

“A second major source of concern for industry over the procurement process, once commenced, is the lack of predictability and flexibility. A consequence of this is the annual defence underspends.”

In this connection, the report noted that the surrendered amount is relocated to the finance ministry and may not be available for the defence sector the following year.

“Hence, there has been a demand from industry to introduce the concept of rolling budgets, allotting the ‘underspends’ from prior years to the following year’s annual budget in order to ensure that ongoing procurements are not stopped for lack of funds.”





Defence Minister Antony Denies Any Comment On Sukhna Scam
Last Updated : 2010-01-13T16:30:03+05:30

Defence minister A.K. Antony denied commenting on the involvement of top army officials in a land scam in Sukhna cantonment in West Bengal. He refused to state anything on the matter and just mentioned that Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor would take necessary action.

Antony in his statement said, "The defence ministry received reports from the army chief on the issue. He will launch some administrative and disciplinary action against his colleagues who are involved in this inquiry. At this stage it is too early on my part to comment.”
Kapoor presented his report to the defence ministry on Monday. While the army chief has suggested court martial for one of the officers Lt. Gen. P.K. Rath, Kapoor has "only sought an explanation" from his own close aide Lt. Gen. Awadesh Prakash, who is due to retire on Jan 31.

The army's court of inquiry submitted its report in the scam last December.

The army court has accused two officers for their role in issuing a no-objection certificate to a private establishment that falsely claimed to be establishing an affiliate of the well-known Ajmer-based Mayo College on a plot adjacent to the Sukhna military station in Darjeeling district.

Prakash is one of the eight Principal Staff Officers (PSOs) at Army HQ who act as advisers to the army chief. As Military Secretary, he is responsible for the promotions and postings of officers. Rath was commander of the Sukhna-based 33 Corps when the alleged land scam took place.




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