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Friday, 26 February 2010

From Today's Papers - 25 Feb 2010

Trust deficit clouds Indo-Pak talks
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, February 24
Pessimism was palpable in both Indian and Pakistani camps on the eve of Foreign Secretary-level talks between the two countries with the two sides not hopeful of any breakthrough at the first official dialogue between them after more than 14 months.

Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir arrived here this evening at the head of a five-member delegation for a crucial meeting with his Indian counterpart Nirupama Rao at 11 am tomorrow at the majestic Hyderabad House.
Ahead of the talks, Pakistan sought to again hijack the agenda by seeking discussions on all issues that have hamstrung relations between the two countries. India, however, asserted that the talks would focus on the issue of terrorism.
Sources in the Indian establishment said New Delhi was going into the talks with an open mind, fully conscious of the limitation imposed by the trust deficit after the Mumbai terror attacks. However, India was not prejudging the outcome of the talks.
The sources said that given the complexities involved, India would use the opportunity to clear the air as much as possible and seek to take a first step, even if small, towards opening the possibility of future dialogue.
In a clear indication of the approach the two sides would adopt at the talks, the sources said no joint statement was contemplated after the meeting tomorrow. The two sides will hold separate press briefings. The Pakistani delegation is also scheduled to call on External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon.
In a brief statement on his arrival, Bashir said he was happy to be back in India. “I have come here to bridge the differences. I am hopeful of a positive outcome.” However, it was his statement made in Islamabad before leaving for New Delhi that reflected Pakistan’s intention to raise issues like Kashmir and water at the talks. Bracketing the issue of terrorism with talks would be counter-productive since terrorism was an international issue and not an issue restricted to India and Pakistan, he said.
Foreign Minister Krishna set the tone for the meeting by explaining what India expected of Pakistan and making it clear that the talks did not amount to continuation of the composite dialogue process.
“The proposed talks will focus essentially on India’s core concerns regarding terrorism. It is the government’s persistently expressed position that it is necessary to have an environment free of terror or threat of terror if relations between the two countries are to move forward concretely and meaningfully,” he said in reply to a question in Parliament.

BSF ambush party comes under attack from Pakistan
NDTV Correspondent, Wednesday February 24, 2010, Srinagar

A Border Security Force (BSF) ambush party has come under attack in Samba sector at the international border in Jammu and Kashmir.

One BSF jawan has been injured in the firing being reported from the Pakistani side.

Sources tell NDTV that search operations have been launched and senior officers are on their way to the spot.

This comes ahead of the Foreign Secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan in New Delhi on February 25.

Meanwhile, a Pakistan Foreign Office statement has said Islamabad hopes that talks with India would be meaningful.

Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir will be visiting New Delhi for a meeting with Indian Foreign Secretary, Nirupuma Rao on February 25, 2010.

Pakistan attaches considerable importance to this meeting, which it hopes will be productive and serve as a precursor to resumption of a meaningful and purposeful dialogue process.

Sopore encounter: Pride in the midst of grief
NDTV Correspondent, Wednesday February 24, 2010, Ghaziabad

Parents of Captain Devinder Singh Jassare are proud of the 26-year-old Army officer who was killed in a fierce encounter with Lashkar terrorists in Sopore on Tuesday.

Just two days before he died, he had shot down five militants in Sopore.

Captain Singh chose to enlist in the Army in December 2007, instead of a cushy career in the corporate world.

"I received a call from Srinagar that this has happened. All we can say is that we have lost everything. We have a daughter and a son but son is not there now. Our daughter is older and the son was younger. He was 26 years old. What can we say? We read that the encounter has ended now, in which two other soldiers have also lost their lives," said Bhupinder Singh, Captain Devinder Singh's father.

Terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir virtually trapped an elite special forces team and whisked away an Army Captain before killing him in Sopore on Tuesday.

In an encounter that ended after nearly 15 hours of fierce gunbattle, two Army jawans and five terrorists were also killed.

Apart from Captain Devinder Singh Jass, the other Armymen killed are Naik Selva Kumar and Paratrooper Imtiyaz Ahmad Thokar of 1 PARA. Paratrooper Imtiyaz belongs to the Shupiyan district of Kashmir.

The gun battle began at about 5:30 am on Tuesday. The police and the Army learnt about the militants hiding in a house and launched a joint operation.

The militants, however, were well-prepared for an assault.

The Army Captain led his team close to the house, only to be met by a rain of grenades. A jawan was killed and several troops were injured and the Captain was overpowered by militants and taken away into the house.

When a fellow officer called on the Captain's phone to offer safe passage for his release, the militants said: "We are ready to get killed. We've killed your Captain." They also refused to release the Captain's body.

It is believed that between four and six militants were hiding in three houses and firing at the forces. Sources say two militants had escaped after the initial shootout.

The forces denied that there was ever a hostage situation saying the Army Captain had been killed immediately after he was taken captive by the militants.

The officer killed belonged to Ghaziabad. The jawans were from Pulwama and Thanjavur. All thee were from 1 Para SF.

Sena Medal for 23 Armymen
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service
Sriganganagar, February 24
Havildar Saheb Singh of 65 Field Regiment was in charge of a mobile check-post at a bridge in Darrang district of Assam. He challenged a gang of three cyclists approaching the bridge, who in reply opened fire and fled.

Saheb Singh chased the terrorists and kileld one and injured another.In the firefight, he sustained a gunshot wound on his head to which he later succumbed. For his exemplary display of bravery of the highest order, he is being awarded Sena Medal for gallantry (posthumous).This was the citation that was read over at the investiture ceremony held at the local military station today, before Gyanawati Devi, widow of Havildar Saheb Singh received the medal from Lt Gen CKS Sabu, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South-Western Command.
On February 1, 2009, Major Punar Preet Singh Mann of 21 Rashtriya Rifles executed a raid on a hideout in a jungle at a height of 9,000 feet and killed two terrorists He was given the Sena Medal for displaying outstanding tactical acumen in adverse terrain.Havildar, who was among 23 Army personnel who were given the Sena Medal (gallantry), was part of the team inducted inside the Taj hotel, Others who were awarded the Sena Medal included Lt Col Devinder Chaudhary, Major Kamal Thapa, Major Kumar Abhijit Banerjee, Major Rajinder Kumar Saini, Capt Manish Sobti, Capt Aveg Goel, Naib Subedar Jaibag Singh, Havildar Vikram Singh Mehta, Havildar Mukesh Kumar, Havildar Punibor Dihingia, Havildar Santer Pal, Havildar Samandar Singh, Naik Kiran Dev Rawat, Lance Naik Rajeev Kumar, Lance Naik Dev Raj, Lance Naik Vijay Kumar Shan, Lance Naik Hira Bhai Shambhaji, Lance Naik Satish Kumar, Sepoy Chattar Pal Yadav, Sepoy Dusakho Nyekha.

Dialogue with Pakistan
Not talking is no option for India
by Maj-Gen Ashok K. Mehta (retd)
India will start talking to Pakistan 14 months after the Mumbai terrorist attack. The dilemma is that the dialogue process has not led to any outcome. Instead, the tempo of cross-border terrorism after an unprecedented hiatus is beginning to pick up through a refined strategy of bleeding India by a thousand cuts. Pakistan is both unwilling and unable to rein in terrorist groups targeting India. Even if Kashmir and other disputes are resolved, terror attacks and other insidious means to belittle India will continue.
Recalibration of India-Pakistan relations devoid of hostility can result only from engagement whereby the power balance in Pakistan is restructured in favour of the civilian government. This is a realistic view which advocates lowering of expectations on the terrorism front and shaping options and responses of threat mitigation and inflicting punishment. The challenge is preventing a mass casualty, a high-profile Mumbai-like attack.
Last month US Defence Secretary Robert Gates virtually predicted the Pune attack, warning that the Lashkar-e- Toiba (LeT) would launch a Mumbai-type attack to provoke an India-Pakistan conflict. While lauding India’s tolerance and patience, US leaders have always feared that an Indian military response would seriously undermine their war in Afghanistan.
The Director, US National Intelligence, Adm Dennis Blair, CIA Director Leon E Panetta, the Chairman, Joint JCOS, Adm Mike Mullen, National Security Adviser Gen James Jones, et al, (the list is endless) have testified before Congress, unanimous in their assessment that the LeT was not a direct threat just to India and the region but also to the US and its allies. Islamabad has been and will continue to nurse militant groups, its vital assets, both in the west and the east of the country, in the pursuit of strategic depth in Afghanistan and Kashmir.
US military commanders have failed to nudge Gen Ashfaque Pervez Kayani into launching military operations against these groups. For years, Delhi has been frustrated, pressing Islamabad to book LeT mentor Hafiz Saeed for masterminding attacks in India. Pakistanis are quick to remind us that if President Gen Pervez Musharraf could not act against Saeed, how could a weak civilian government do so? General Kayani will certainly not antagonise the LeT, a force multiplier against India’s conventional military superiority, by foolishly opening another front. The military establishment will not act against the LeT and other like-minded groups.
General Musharraf had made two unequivocal commitments in 2002 after the twin terrorist attacks which threatened to escalate into a nuclear exchange: Pakistan would not allow the use of its territory for attacks against India. He gave an undertaking to Deputy Undersecretary of State Richard Armitage that cross-border terrorism will end permanently, visibly, irreversibly and to the satisfaction of India. Despite these commitments, repeated twice more by General Musharraf and President Zardari, Mumbai (and Pune) happened. The charade of regurgitating the pledges for ending terrorism has ended.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said earlier this month before the Pune attack that “Pakistan cannot give a guarantee that another attack will not occur in India”. Moreover, “When we cannot stop attacks in our own country, how can we do in India”, he added. Delhi has done great disservice to the fight against terrorism by equating Pakistan as a victim of terrorism when all acts of violence and terror are sourced from within Pakistan while 90 per cent of violence in India is cross-border terrorism.
Pakistan Home Ministry sources have stated that in 85 suicide attacks this year, more than 2000 persons have been killed. Referring to the carnage, it was Dawn columnist Kamran Shafi who reminded the Pakistanis that “our own pets have started biting us”.
In the refined strategy for terrorism, the bark is louder than the bite. The US has prevailed over Pakistan’s military establishment in restraining the eastern jehadis for 14 months from mounting a mass casualty attack. Calibrated use of sub-optimal terrorist devices, outsourced to LeT- affiliated indigenous militant groups like the Indian Mujahideen and its offshoots, allows minimum tell-tale signs of maximum deniability.
A strange paradox exists in the dialogue-terrorism nexus. Pakistan has been seeking resumption of the composite dialogue process for months which India has stubbornly resisted. Just when Delhi had reluctantly relaxed its opposition to talks, terrorists under the control of the Pakistan military establishment triggered a sub-optimal IED to try to disrupt the dialogue process. This suggests that terrorist groups either enjoy strategic autonomy, which is unlikely, or that the military establishment is not on board with the civilian government over the peace process.
Given the large inventory of negatives surrounding the dialogue, what on earth is aimed to be achieved by the exercise of talking? All the conventional reasoning has been exhausted. It is no secret that the Indian initiative described as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s vision to strengthen the civilian government in Pakistan has come about with US prodding despite reservations among Dr Singh’s Cabinet members. His detractors have not forgotten the delinking of terror from dialogue at Sharm-el-Sheikh and the mention of Balochistan in the text of the joint statement.
The tacit delinking of terror from dialogue by India has a richer history. In 2005, President Musharraf and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reaffirmed their resolve not to let terrorism interfere with the composite dialogue, calling the process irreversible. All this after the NDA government had assiduously sought to hold Pakistan to its pledges on ending cross-border terrorism. Frequent interruptions in the dialogue were caused not just by terrorists but also interlocutors themselves over the primacy of terrorism over Kashmir and vice versa. While India insisted that cross-border terrorism had to end first, for creating the right ambience for dialogue, Pakistan contended that progress on the other subjects of the composite dialogue was contingent upon progress on Kashmir. Hence no outcome.
This time around Delhi has nuanced the nature of talks, saying it is not a resumption of the composite dialogue (which is contingent upon the conviction of the Mumbai attackers) but a dialogue over terrorism-related issues. Whatever the Indian Foreign Office may say, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Quraishi’s jubilation was evident. “They threatened to attack us after 26/11. Now India has come to us for talks. We never kneeled and bowed to their pressure.”
The Indian lobby says this is an opportunity to tell Pakistan clearly that our response to another Mumbai will be, in the words of Home Minister P. Chidambaram, “swift and decisive”, whatever that means.
The US Council for Foreign Relations in its latest report paradoxically argues that the “risk of terrorism increases if relations between India and Pakistan improve”. It adds that India will react militarily if it is clear that the attack was sourced and supported by Pakistan. Evidently, not talking to Pakistan is not an option. On the other hand, if you’re talking you can step back and stop talking, goes the argument. That obviously is the buffer between the next attack and a “swift and decisive response”.
For better or for worse, keeping the lines of communications open is the preferred option.

A two-front defence
Feb.25 : Statements by the Indian Army Chief, General Deepak Kapoor, regarding India’s two-front strategy created an uproar in the Pakistan media and in that country’s strategic community. His earlier statement — about the possibility of a conventional war between nuclear weapons powers — also drew much flak.

The Pakistani media seems to be treating these statements as a virtual declaration of war against Pakistan. Interestingly, a liberal Pakistani journalist has found nothing wrong in them. Ayaz Amir, writing in the News, stated, “What did the Indian Army Chief, General Deepak Kapoor, say that has us so upset? His reported remarks that India was modifying its military doctrine to include the possibility of a two-front war — that is against China and Pakistan — what is wrong with this? If an Indian Army Chief were not to envisage a two-front war and mull over the means of waging it, he would deserve to be sacked”. Amir’s voice is a lone one in Pakistan.
In 1950, the Chinese Army moved into Tibet. Despite the then cordial relations between India and China, Sardar Patel, in his letter dated November 17, 1950, to Jawaharlal Nehru, warned him of the danger that lurked in the north. Four weeks later, Sardar Patel died. Nehru chose to ignore his warning. He told General Cariappa, the then Army Chief, to focus on Pakistan and that he would deal with China. The Army worked on a one-front strategy which led to India suffering a humiliating defeat in 1962.

With a growing Sino-Pak nexus and the continuing hostility of these two countries towards India, a two-front strategy is imperative for the defence of India. During the 1965 Indo-Pak war, China gave us an open ultimatum. In 1971, we worked on a two-front strategy. The war in Bangladesh was deferred till climatic conditions ruled out a major Chinese offensive. Our defences in the Himalayas were kept in situ. The Indo-Soviet treaty of friendship kept China at bay. Thus the desperate pleadings of the beleaguered Pakistan Army in Bangladesh for Chinese intervention went unheeded. Given the above history and Pakistan’s ongoing proxy war, as also increasing Chinese belligerence, it would be an act of madness for India not to have a two-front strategy. In fact, after 26/11, we also need to focus on our coasts, which have now become a third front.
The other statement of Gen. Kapoor, that “a limited war under a nuclear overhang is still very much a possibility in the Indian subcontinent”, has also been disputed. The Kargil war underscored this. The rationale behind India and Pakistan having large armies for conventional war substantiates this possibility. However, the Pakistan Army Chief’s assertion of ruling out a limited war under a nuclear overhang fits in with Pakistan successfully pursuing its policy of nuclear blackmail. This has been providing a shield for Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism and terror attacks. Even in the wake of the two-front controversy, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has flexed Pakistan’s nuclear muscle, pointing out that they have missiles with longer ranges than what India possesses.
Gen. Kapoor’s statement on two-front strategy is perfectly legitimate but is being deliberately misrepresented in Pakistan to promote a war psychosis. The Pakistan government’s official spokesperson had asked the world to take due note of India’s intentions. Its foreign minister, S.M. Qureshi, had called the statement “absurd” and “irresponsible”. General Tariq Majid, Chairman of Pakistan’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, called it outlandish, saying, “Leave alone China, Gen. Deepak Kapoor knows very well that the Indian Armed Forces cannot and what the Pakistan Armed Forces can pull it off militarily”. Gen. Kayani had talked of the Pakistan Army suitably dealing with “Indian military adventurism”. A defence analyst in Pakistan saw in Gen. Kapoor’s statement a shift in civil-military relations in India with the weight moving in favour of the military. Another enquired if Delhi was preventing a fourth battle of Panipat or instigating one.
While reactions in Pakistan have been hysterical, it is significant that there has been no reaction or comment from China. Every country needs a strategy to defend its frontiers in worst-case scenarios. If it had been stated that India was planning to force a two-front strategy on Pakistan, such a virulent reaction from Pakistan would be understandable. The war hysteria in Pakistan is being generated perhaps to find an excuse for not moving troops from Pakistan’s eastern front to pursue the war on terror with greater vigour on the Durand Line, or to get more aid from the US to improve its military strength against India. The second possibility seems to have worked. Pakistan’s long-standing demand for drones has now been conceded.
Gen. Kapoor has also been criticised for talking out of turn. But he discussed the two-front strategy in a closed-door military seminar which was leaked to the press. This has done no harm. After a retired Naval Chief’s public statement that India cannot match China in the Indian Ocean and a serving Air Chief’s concern about the Indian Air Force being one-third the size of the Chinese Air Force, it is good for the nation to know that the Army is capable of defending India with its two-front strategy.
India has never invaded any country nor coveted any foreign territory. Ashoka the Great propagated world peace, the likes of which was never attempted by any other ruler in the history of mankind. He did this from a position of military strength. After Independence, India tried to do so from a position of military weakness. This led to the debacle of 1962. The impregnability of the Himalayas, the invincibility of our Army and the infallibility of our foreign policy were shattered. Today, as never before, we need to promote peace from a position of strength.

Post-26/11, unmanned vehicles ignite interest
With rapid technology advancements robots are now cost-effective and highly accurate soldiers of war
Samanth Subramanian
New Delhi: Not very long ago, in the Afghan theatre of war, the US Army’s method of clearing caves of bombs was so low-tech that it was practically no-tech: A young soldier with a stick, a gun and a flashlight. “Oh, and he’d have a rope tied around his waist,” Joseph Dyer, a division president of iRobot Inc., says wryly. “So that, you know, if anything went wrong, they could haul him back out.”
In 2004, though, the soldier began to be taken out of the equation. That year, 162 robots were deployed to find and dispose of explosive devices, iRobot’s PackBot among them. It was the start of an unmanned battle thrust that reached its technological apogee in the targeted strikes of armed Predator drones. Last August, a drone strike killed Baitullah Mehsud, a Taliban leader in Pakistan; the drone’s images were so clear, according to one report, that they captured Mehsud’s intravenous drip, from a height of two miles (3.2km), as he rested on his terrace.
The publicity accorded to the US drones—as well as the realization, in hindsight, of how valuable robots could have been during the terrorist attacks of 26/11—ignited interest in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) at the 2010 Defexpo last week. At the previous Defexpo in 2008, one participant recalls, there were only two or three exhibitors talking about any unmanned vehicles at all. This year, however, scaled-down replicas of UAVs stood on pedestals in nearly every hall, and UGVs conducted demos for surprisingly well-informed visitors.
The philosophy of war, experts agree, is shifting rapidly. Robots, used until recently just to neutralize bombs, are now incorporated into infantry. Last year, in his book Wired for War, a defence scholar Peter Singer outlined a future in which “our wars are…handed over to machines”. Even with present-day technology, casualty rates can be brought down significantly. “We hear a statistic like: 52% of the US Army’s deaths are in the first contact with the enemy,” Dyer says. “And we think: What a great job for robots!”
In front of Dyer’s stall, two of his robots do their thing. The PackBot, which looks like an overhead projector on steroids, has an arm that extends out many feet, ending in a grip that can handle and dismantle bombs. The Negotiator, a flat creature with a glass dome full of circuitry, is a reconnaissance robot that can crawl on its treads into suspicious rooms and send back images. “It would have been ideal for 26/11, in the hotels,” says Guptha Sreekantha, iRobot’s managing director in India.
The National Security Guard is currently testing a PackBot model out, Dyer says. He is one of several exhibitors at the Defexpo to claim that the Indian defence forces have expressed keen interest in unmanned vehicles, a trend that M.M. Pallam Raju, the Union minister of state for defence, confirms. “Our services and intelligence agencies have suddenly realized the value of (UAVs and UGVs),” Raju said on the sidelines of Defexpo.
Analysts such as Bharat Verma, a retired captain and the editor of the Indian Defence Review, cite the same internal and external uses of UAVs that Raju does. “That kind of intelligence is crucial,” Verma says. “We can look inside enemy territory and even see a guy drinking a glass of milk in his house.”
None of the unmanned vehicles being pitched to India is armed, mostly because such sales are restricted by the governments of these foreign manufacturers. Instead, the UAVs at Defexpo were purely surveillance machines.
Sepp Dabringer, Schiebel’s area manager for India, sits next to what he calls his “camcopter”—a white helicopter, not quite as long as a Tata Nano, capable of flying for eight hours within a 50km-radius and returning to land on any flat surface. “We’ve sold 130 of these to 15 countries in the last four years,” Dabringer says. “The German and French navies have bought it, and Boeing sources it from us, paints its name on it, and sells it to the US forces.” Recently, the Indian Navy tested Schiebel’s camcopter, and Dabringer is sounding out the Border Security Force, for whom he insists it is ideal.
More tireless than rotor-winged aircraft such as the camcopter are fixed-wing UAVs, of which the Predator drone is an example. The Defence Research and Development Organisation is, at present, developing its own fixed-wing UAV, the Rustom. The first flight of the Rustom prototype, last November, did not go well; it crashed, after a “misjudgement of altitude”, in an airfield near Hosur, Tamil Nadu.
Elsewhere in the world, UAV development has progressed “in leaps and bounds”, says Woolf Gross, a corporate director at Northrop Grumman Corp. Prices have dropped —into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for UAVs like the camcopter—and the capacity of technology has improved. With Northrop Grumman’s Fire Scout, a rotor-wing UAV, “we could increase the payload from 250 pounds (112.5kg) to 600 pounds just by adding a fourth rotor blade”, he says.
Gross calls the growth of the UAV market over the last five years “exponential”, and like other firms, he admits that Northrop Grumman’s marketing efforts in India accelerated after 26/11. The option to take personnel out of danger is, he says, attractive, but it is only a secondary driving force. The primary appeal of UAVs is their sheer efficacy.
The ease of waging such war has invited some criticism. In his book, Singer worries that such devices can give the impression that war is “costless”.
Dyer of iRobot, however, doesn’t think an army’s human presence can ever be entirely replaced on the battlefield. “In economic terms, this is just a classic technology-for-labour trade,” he says. There are still plenty of tasks robots cannot perform in the near future, “but they can definitely put distances between our soldiers and harm’s way”.

* Land sharks bid to grab Rs 800 cr army land?


Mumbai, Feb 23 (PTI) Army today alleged that revenue records that had shown a 69-acre land in Pune belonging to military since 1918, were changed in 2008 in favour of certain individuals.

"Survey No 233A of Lohegaon village, Pune is a plot of 69 acres of defence land. This land has been in possession of army since 1920s and the land has been occupied by army units where army has carried out training, plantation, construction of a small temple, a green house and boundary wall," a defence press release said.

"The revenue records clearly show this as military land. In 2008, portion of this land was acquired by the Pune Municipal Corporation for road widening project by paying Rs 4.45 crore to the government of India.

General Deepak Kapoor calls for tie ups with global arms majors
Tuesday, February 23, 2010,7:20 [IST]

New Delhi, Feb 23 (ANI): Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor has said that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) can collaborate with global arms majors to boost indigenous defence industry.

"DRDO can continue to undertake major projects and collaborate with global majors in this field without compromising on security and vital national interest. Global collaboration in building our capability and state-of-art technologies must be aimed towards achieving self-reliance in defence production," said Kapoor, while speaking at the inaugural function of the 34th three-day DRDO Directors' Conference in New Delhi.

He also cautioned that though collaboration allows access to greater resources and expertise, the aspect of Information Security has to be taken care of.
He said that there is a need to increase the country's R and D investment, which is today only 0.9 per cent of our GDP.
General Kapoor also mentioned that world over private sector has proved to be reliable partner in the area of defence production. Hence, the private sector R and D of our country should be now leveraged for defence applications through the changes brought about in Defence Procurement Procedures.
Defence Minister A K Antony lauded the DRDO for pioneering indigenous defence industry despite technology denial regime.

"DRDO has also played a key role in the launch of INS Arihant, India's first nuclear powered submarine. The successful test of the Interceptor missile in endo and exo atmospheric roles has enhanced India's capability in Ballistic Missile Defence Capability. The development of indigenous surface-to-air missile system Akash and its offshoots of Weapon Locating Radar and 3D surveillance radar will boost our defence preparedness," said Antony.

Last week, Antony had said that India is committed to modernisation of armed forces and country's quest for self-reliance in defence underlines the importance of collaboration of various sectors.

India is palnning to spend more than 50 billion dollars over the next five years to modernise its weapon systems, after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks revealed glaring loopholes in the security system. (ANI)

Man posing as army officer held in Indore
A man who approached the police for some work posing as an Indian Army Major has been arrested in Indore and is being interrogated for terror links, officials said Monday.

‘Dharmendra Soni, a middle-aged man, was arrested late Sunday when he was trying to approach some top cops. As the officials became suspicious, his credential were examined,’ Indore Additional Superintendent of Police (Intelligence) Rajesh Singh Chandel said.

Soni earlier telephoned Inspector General (IG) of Police Sanjay Rana introducing himself as a Major in the army intelligence department. He then came in person to the IG’s office carrying a letter on official army letterhead.

Rana became suspicious and directed Superintendent of Police (East) Makrand Deuskar to investigate his credentials.

Intelligence and crime branch officials visited his house in plain clothes and found his photograph in uniform, some seals, letterheads and a captain’s uniform.

Soni has been picked up for questioning and is being interrogated for terror links by Additional Superintendent of Police (Crime) Arvind Tiwari, after which he would be handed over to Mhow military intelligence.

According to police, Soni was a craftsman in the EME unit in Himachal Pradesh from 2001 to 2004. ‘It is, however, not clear whether he is still with the army,’ a police officer said.

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