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Wednesday, 28 April 2010

From Today's Papers - 28 Apr 2010

Asian Age
Indian Express
Indian Express
The Pioneer
Indian Express
Indian Express
The Pioneer
Telegraph India
The Pioneer
Asian Age
Asian Age
Indian Express
Times of India
Times of India
Times of India
DNA India




ISI’s mole in MEA held
Tribune News Service  New Delhi/Thimphu, April 27 A woman diplomat posted at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad has been arrested for allegedly passing information to Pakistani intelligence agencies.  Madhuri Gupta, a promotee officer of the Ministry of External Affairs who was posted as Second Secretary at the Indian mission for the last three years, was arrested by Delhi police four days ago on the charge of passing sensitive information to her contacts in Pakistan’s ISI.  “We have reasons to believe that an official at the High Commission of India in Islamabad had been passing information to Pakistan intelligence agencies. The matter is under investigation… The official is cooperating with our investigations and inquiries,’’ MEA spokesman Vishnu Prakash said in Thimphu, declining to share any more information on the plea that it could amount to compromising with national security.  The matter is understood to have been discussed at length by External Affairs Minister SM Krishna with Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, both of whom are in Thimphu in connection with the SAARC Summit. Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Sharat Sabharwal is also believed to have been questioned in this connection.  Madhuri had allegedly been passing on sensitive information to her contacts in ISI till her movements came under surveillance. Reports say the station head of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in Islamabad, RK Sharma, has also come under scanner for allegedly abusing his position and passing on information to Madhuri.  Fifty three-year-old Madhuri, who is a spinster, was summoned to New Delhi on the pretext of discussions on the SAARC Summit when she was taken into custody.  Back  







Spy story: RAW official in Pak under the scanner
April 28, 2010 00:11 IST
The information allegedly passed on to Pakistani intelligence agencies by Madhuri Gupta while working in the Indian High Commission in Islamabad [ Images ] was not very serious in nature, Intelligence Bureau sources told rediff.com on Tuesday.  Gupta, 53, a promotee officer of the ministry of external affairs, was arrested in New Delhi [ Images ] four days ago on charges of spying for Pakistan.  According to IB sources, Intelligence officials are currently interrogating her to probe her links with a RAW official currently posted in Islamabad.  "She had passed on minor information regarding India's [ Images ] plans in Afghanistan. She was a second secretary in the Media and Information Cell in the Indian embassy in Islamabad. It is impossible to get information on sensitive matters in her position," said an IB official.  He added that the RAW official under scrutiny, who might have been working with her in passing on information to Pakistan, could have leaked crucial information.  But IB officials are confident that no major information could have been leaked by Gupta as she had been put under the scanner several months ago. "We had managed to cut off her sources and were able to prevent a major information leak," said the official.  During interrogation, Madhuri told IB officials that she had agreed to spy for Pakistan's intelligence agencies as she was dissatisfied with her salary.  Gupta told her interrogators that when the Inter Services Intelligence had offered her a large amount of money to pass on information, she had readily agreed. She had reportedly been working for the Pakistan spy agency for nearly a year.  Intelligence officials are interrogating Gupta to find out if another Indian was involved in the spying operation.  IB officials are trying to ascertain the role played by the RAW official in the whole affair.  "We need to find out if he had passed on any information. He could have discussed certain pieces of information to her casually, without being aware of Gupta's plan. But he did abuse his position by discussing confidential information with a person who had no access to such information. We don't have concrete proof of his involvement but we are investigating the matter," said an IB source.  The IB sources also informed that they are probing the role of a man called Rana, who is believed to be Gupta's handler in Pakistan.  They suspect that she was involved in a romantic relationship with him, and he could have been the man who got her in touch with the ISI.







Sri Lanka - Supreme Commander of Military displays political will – Defence Secretary 
President Mahinda Rajapaksa took several brave decisions. In the final analysis, it was the cumulative effect of those decisive, brave decisions that enabled Sri Lankan Armed Forces to liquidate the LTTE, Defenece Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said.  "When President Rajapaksa assumed office in 2005 we studied all previous war operations. The objective of our study was to arrive at conclusive reasons for our previous failures to comprehensively finish the war against the LTTE in the last 30 years.  All four previous Presidents had resorted to military means and yet had failed. So a political decision was made by President Rajapaksa to comprehensively study all previous war operations and arrive at a solution for every factor of failure or inability to win to the war. For every factor we found a solution," the Defence Secretary said in an interview with the Indian Defence Review.  “President Rajapaksa was determined to single-handedly absorb the pressure of deaths and causalities,” the Deefence Secretary said. “In three and half years nearly 6,000 soldiers were killed. You can imagine the political pressure on the President when body-bags come home from the battlefield.  The President was determined to absorb the political pressure generated by battlefield casualties. He committed his Presidency and his government to achieving the objective of winning the war. He demonstrated his courage to continue the war till the military objectives were completely attained.  This is what made him different from all previous Presidents. After all, the President is responsible to the people and the fact is that he needs the support of the people to be elected back to power. He knew that he was risking his political career because any other President in his place would have succumbed to the enormous political pressure created by mounting casualties in war operations.”  Mr. Rajapaksa said: “Usually in a military operation the world outside the conflict theatre, domestic and international, see only soldiers fighting. They see tanks, guns, armoured vehicles, artillery weapons and men and women in battle fatigues. What is not visible to the people, to the outside world, is the strategy.  What is also not visible immediately and also not recalled at that moment in time is the history that led to the current context of military operations. What was that context? Eight previous governments led by four different Presidents had failed to end the war. They had failed to rein in the LTTE.  It is not as if those eight governments and four Presidents did not have under their command good military leaders and soldiers. In fact, when President Rajapaksa’s government assumed charge in 2005, around 26,000 SLAF soldiers had already sacrificed their lives.”  “We found that there was really no ‘failure factor’ attached to the military. In fact, we realized a simple fact in 2005, that if we launched war operations against the LTTE then we would have to fight with the same military that had fought the LTTE in the last 30 years. We were confident of winning with the same military and its Special Forces and commandos.  They were already there! Yet, what explained the inability of the previous governments led by four different Presidents to utilize the country’s military strength effectively? We came to the conclusion that the solution was to increase the force strength. The key factor of SLAF’s previous inability to finish the war was inadequate numbers. We realized the expansion of military would have a definitive impact on LTTE.  President Rajapaksa, therefore, made a political commitment to ensure that his government will find the resources to expand the SLAF to ensure that there were enough armed forces personnel available to hold the ground,” he said, therefore, the second decisive political decision was to expand the SLAF.  “When the security forces cleared the Eastern Province, the LTTE said they were not defeated and that its forces had merely staged a tactical withdrawal. The LTTE was confident that the SLAF will not have the troop strength to hold the ground in the Eastern Province.  Like all earlier occasions the LTTE believed that if it opened sporadic operations along the Northern Frontlines then the SLAF will be forced to redeploy enabling LTTE to regain ground in the East. Several opposition party leaders, too, openly declared that the military operations in the East will not be sustainable.  We lulled everyone into believing that the previous status quo will prevail - that the SLAF will fight and win, then the LTTE will open a new front, and the SLAF will redeploy and fail to hold ground and consolidate in the areas where they had attained victory - this would enable LTTE to regain control over lost areas. Little did the LTTE know that we had prepared a new war doctrine! That we were indeed prepared to fight war on a broad front, along multiple frontlines.”  Referring to the service rendered by Navy and Air Force the Defence Secretary said “We had taken the decision to increase the numbers, but we knew it couldn’t happen overnight. So we decided to re-invent the role of the Navy and the Air Force by taking them out of their classical roles and deploying them in ground roles as well. We trained them for ground roles.  So, overnight our strength to hold the ground increased. We used the Special Task Force for the same purpose. We also used the Sri Lanka Police Units to buffer the strength of our combined forces deployed to hold the ground.”  We recruited able bodied men from villages threatened by the LTTE, trained them, provided these recruits with automatic weapons. Their task was to defend their villages from LTTE counter-attacks. In fact, within two weeks in the last month of the war (May 2009) in the summer of 2009 we inducted 5,000 Civil Defence Force members into the Army.”  “We were able to operate on a broad front. We had the tactical freedom and maneuverability to surround the LTTE from multiple directions. The re-invention of the roles of the Navy, Air Force and Police Units gave us the breathing space to induct and train the new SLAF recruits. With combined forces holding ground in the East and with the SLAF dedicating itself to operations along multiple Northern Frontlines, we not only mounted pressure on the LTTE, but also ensured that we could secure time-bound expansion of the SLAF.  We were forming new battalions, new task forces by adding 5,000 troops every month. We tripled the strength of the Army from 100,000 to 300,000 in three years. In fact, in the 1980s the strength of the military (Army, Navy and Air Force) was 30,000. In 2005 when President Rajapaksa assumed charge the strength was 125,000.  Between 2005 and 2009 the figure swelled to 450,000 out of which 300,000 is the strength of the Army. This increase in numbers enabled us to quickly replace those injured in the battlefield. It helped us to ensure adequate rest and rehabilitation for our troops. It helped us to mount military pressure on the LTTE.”  The Defence Secretary said President Rajapaksa clearly outlined the India Factor at the very outset as a key strategic factor that could either influence victory or bring defeat “The President realized that keeping India aligned with us was important. Our study of previous war operations led us to examine in detail the reasons why we could not sustain the successful Vadamarachchi Operations of 1987.”  Brigadier Denzil Kobbekaduwa and Colonel Vijaya Wimalaratne, two SLAF war heroes in the annals of Sri Lanka’s military history had assured the then President, Junius Richard Jayewardene and the then minister of National Security Lalith Athulathmudali that the LTTE will be militarily defeated.  “President Rajapaksa decided that he would consciously go out of his way to keep New Delhi aligned to Colombo’s military objectives in its battle with the LTTE. He did not want a repeat of Operation Vadamarachchi. During the course of the three and half years of war between 2005 and 2009, there were several instances where India could have forced us to stop the operations. We did not allow such a situation to arise because we kept New Delhi briefed properly.  We realized that the UPA government headed by Dr Manmohan Singh was a coalition government and so the Congress Party was sensitive to the concerns of its coalition partner, primarily the DMK. We realized the sensitivity of the issue with regard to civilian causalities in Tamil Nadu. So President Rajapaksa ensured that he briefed the Indian leadership. We also ensured that our line communications were open at all times.  “The manner in which President Rajapaksa tackled India was a key factor of our military success. We knew that only India influences us militarily. India is a huge power in our neighbourhood and our proximity to Tamil Nadu with 60 million Tamils sensitive to what’s going on in Sri Lanka made the situation extremely complex for us.  We knew that while other countries could or would resort to economic sanctions, only India had the power to militarily influence the course of our war operations. So it is to the credit of President Rajapaksa that he was successful in keeping New Delhi aligned with Colombo’s military objectives.”  The Defence Secretary said President Rajapaksa repeatedly emphasized that sustaining a war campaign over a long period of time will require public support. He directed his government officers and ministers to ensure public support for the war campaign. "Public support was also critical to ensuring that we succeeded in getting new recruits for the SLAF," said the Defence Secretary.  "Even as the war campaign continued in the North, the government embarked on mega development projects in other parts of the country. The government also became one of the biggest employers in the country by recruiting for various public sector enterprises. In the course of the three and half years of the war, the President also effected a pay hike for public sector and government employees. He managed the economy in such a manner that he did not allow the public support for the war campaign to diminish,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.





IAF to induct one squadron of land attack BRAHMOS
Last Updated: Apr 27, 2010     
 NEW DELHI (BNS): The Indian Air Force will acquire and induct one squadron of the land attack version of BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missiles in mobile complex for its land-based air defence wing.  A deal in this regard has been signed following the Government of India's approval in March this year to induct the weapon system in the IAF, Defence Minister A K Antony told the Parliament on Monday.  The Government had finalised a Rs. 11,600 crore agreement in March 2010, paving the way for the induction of BRAHMOS in the IAF.  “The Government has also approved development of Air launched version of the BrahMos missile to be fitted with Sukhoi SU-30 MK-1 to be ready in 2012,” the Defence Minister said.  The Air launched version of the missile has been modified with a reduced weight of 2.5 tonnes, Antony said.  The multi-platform BRAHMOS missile has already been developed for the Indian Army and Navy. Its submarine-launched version is getting ready for test soon.  The cruise missile has a flight range of up to 290-km with supersonic speed all through the flight, leading to shorter flight time, consequently ensuring lower dispersion of targets, quicker engagement time and non-interception by any known weapon system in the world.
http://www.brahmand.com/news/IAF-to-induct-one-squadron-of-land-attack-BRAHMOS/3748/1/10.html
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