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Wednesday, 16 June 2010

From Today's Papers - 16 Jun 2010

Alert pilot diverts MiG before crash, saves township
* Mishap near Ludhiana * 3rd MiG crash this year * IAF orders probe Kanchan Vasdev Tribune News Service  Raikot (Ludhiana), June 15 A major tragedy was averted when an alert pilot of the Indian Air Force (IAF) tilted a crashing jet fighter MiG-21 towards fields saving lives and property before ejecting safely here on Tuesday.  The incident took place at 11.15 am. The pilot, Wing Commander Sandeep Singh, posted at the Pathankot Air Base, was on a routine sortie and was to reach SK Firing Range in Sidhwan Bet near here.  “The pilot faced some technical difficulty while flying and decided to divert the plane to Halwara. But it crashed about 10 km south of the Halwara air base,” said an IAF spokesperson. The MIG’s wreckage was strewn in an area of about four acres.  Eyewitnesses said the tail of the plane caught fire when it was flying over Goindwal village, 3 km away from the crash site. The pilot then flew the plane towards Raikot before ejecting at Raikot-Johlan Road and the plane finally fell on the fields belonging to Jaspal Singh and Sher Singh.  “I was working in the fields when I saw a fireball in the sky approaching towards us. We panicked and ran for cover. We saw two parachutes in the air and the pilot ejecting. Within a few minutes, the plane crashed with a loud blast,” said Harnek Singh and Gurmeet Singh, both Raikot residents.  The shocked pilot was taken to the house of one Bhola, who offered him water and eatables. The pilot was later shifted to a Halwara hospital.  Defence PRO (Punjab), Naresh Vig said the IAF has ordered an inquiry to ascertain the cause of the crash.
Raikot hails the hero Tribune News Service  Pilot Wg Cdr Sandeep Singh Pilot Wg Cdr Sandeep Singh  Raikot (Ludhiana), June 15 Raikot owes it all to Wing Commander Sandeep Singh. The pilot of the ill-fated MIG -21 that crashed here today risked his life to save this small town.  Singh kept his nerves when the plane caught fire and did not choose to eject immediately as he was flying over the township. He diverted the aircraft towards the fields before bailing out safely. And as soon as he landed, the first question he asked was whether the town was safe or not.  “He was in shock. But when I approached him, he enquired about our safety. I was bowled over by his sense of duty. He is our messiah,” said Karamjeet Singh, a local youth.  The city has decided to honour the brave son of the soil on Independence Day this year. “We will hold a function and proclaim him as the Hero of Raikot,” said Amandeep Gill, president of Raikot Municipal Council.

Fighter plane crashes in Moga in Punjab
Press Trust of India, Updated: June 15, 2010 13:18 IST, Moga A MiG-21 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed near Halwara air base in Punjab on Tuesday, but the pilot bailed out safely.  The crash took place at around 11.15 hours just outside the Sidwan Khas Range in Halwara, 33 km from Ludhiana.  "A MiG-21 Type-96 aircraft crashed around 11.15 hours near S K Range near Halwara air base. The pilot ejected from the cockpit safely," an Air Force spokesperson said in New Delhi.  "The pilot had flown the plane from Pathankot air base for a routine armament training sortie at the range in Halwara when the mishap occurred," he said.  With Tuesday's crash, the IAF has lost three fighter jet planes this year.  It had lost a MiG-27 warplane on February 16 this year in a crash near Hashimara and a MiG-21 Type-77 fighter aircraft on February 19 at Bagdogra, both in West Bengal.  In the Hashimara crash, the pilot, Wing Commander Oswald, was killed, while in the Bagdogra mishap, the pilot ejected out of the cockpit safely.  Last year, the IAF was hit by 11 crashes and five of them involved variants of the MiG-21 fighter planes.   :

Pak 'wants peaceful resolution of all disputes with India'
June 16, 2010 02:57 IST Tags: Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan, NATO, Abdul Quyyum Khan Jatoi, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar Email this Save to My Page Ask Users Write a Comment  Pakistan wants the peaceful resolution of all disputes with India [ Images ] and the willingness of Indian leaders to resume dialogue is a step in the right direction, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani [ Images ] said on Tuesday.  "Pakistan is a peaceful nation. We are against territorial aggrandisement and seek the negotiated and peaceful resolution of all disputes with India," Gilani said in an address at the National Defence University.  "The Indian leadership's willingness to resume stalled dialogue is a step in the right direction for regional peace and progress," he told an audience that included Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Defence Production Minister Abdul Quyyum Khan Jatoi and senior military officials.  Gilani's remarks came ahead of a meeting between the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan to be held in Islamabad [ Images ] on June 24. The meeting will finalise the agenda for talks to be held by the Foreign Ministers in the Pakistani capital on July 15.  Referring to other aspects of Pakistan's foreign policy, Gilani said the country attaches "great importance" to its long-term strategic partnership with the US.  "During my recent visit to the US, I made it clear that Pakistan rightfully expects the US to adopt non-discrimination in terms of civil nuclear deal with Islamabad. We need to explore viable options to meet the energy demands for our socio-economic development," he said.  Gilani said he also told the leadership of the European Union and NATO during recent interactions that Pakistan is looking forward to "greater market access for its exports".  Pakistan's foreign policy is guided by the protection of the country's interests at the regional and international levels, he added.

US asks China to clarify details of its nuke deal with Pak
June 16, 2010 02:43 IST Tags: Nuclear Suppliers Group, China, P J Crowley, State Department, Pakistan Email this Save to My Page Ask Users Write a Comment The United States has asked China to clarify details of its agreement with Pakistan to supply two nuclear power plants to the latter.  "We have asked China to clarify the details of its second sale of additional nuclear reactors to Pakistan," State Department spokesperson P J Crowley told mediapersons.  "This appears to extend beyond cooperation that was grandfathered when China was approved for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group," he said in response to a question.  "We believe that such cooperation would require a specific exemption approved by consensus of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, as was done for India [ Images ]. So we're not looking at any difference between the two," Crowley said.  The State Department spokesman said that the US has been taking up this issue with the Chinese periodically.  "I believe this was an issue that we've had, you know, periodic discussions with China for some time," he said.  The China-Pak nuclear deal is expected to come up before 46-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meeting next week in New Zealand [ Images ]. NSG monitors such transactions.  In a recent article, a prominent American nuclear expert believes this would breach international protocol about the trade of nuclear equipment and material.  "In the coming weeks, China is expected to announce that it intends to export two nuclear-power reactors to Pakistan. The move would breach international protocol about the trade of nuclear equipment and material," Mark Hibbs said in the latest issue in the June issue of the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine.  The Washington Post said China has suggested the sale is grandfathered from before it joined the NSG in 2004, because it was completing work on two earlier reactors for Pakistan at the time. But US officials disagree. © Copyright 2010 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

Army chief inaugurates ex-servicemen's polyclinic
2010-06-15 21:10:00  Indian Army Chief Gen. V.K. Singh Tuesday inaugurated a polyclinic for ex-servicemen in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of the national capital, that will provide quality services to nearly 22,000 former defence personnel and their families.  The polyclinic, constructed at the military station in Dundahera, was built at a cost of Rs.49.07 lakh. 'It will provide quality OPD services to 22,000 ECHS (Ex-servicemen's Contributory Health Scheme) beneficiaries,' an army spokesperson said.  On May 26, in a major effort to boost the quality of medicare provided to India's 34 lakh ex-servicemen and their dependents, the cabinet approved the creation of 199 additional polyclinics at a cost of Rs.141 crore ($30 million), to take their total number to 426.  As part of this, another polyclinic will be established at Gurgaon's Sohna Road, one the eight more coming up in the National Capital Region, which presently has six such clinics.  The ECHS was started in April 2003 to meet the long-standing demand of the armed forces veterans for comprehensive medical cover.  Nearly 11 lakh ex-servicemen have joined the scheme, and together with their dependents, the beneficiary base of the scheme has crossed 34 lakh.  A total of 1,355 hospitals and diagnostic centres are empanelled in the country for providing cashless treatment to the ECHS beneficiaries. SEARCH

Malicious Propaganda of the Western Media 
Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 6:11 pm under Opinions  Buzz up! (1) 0  Listen to this article. Powered by  While Pakistan’s armed forces and intelligence agencies have broken the backbone of the Taliban militants, but still malicious propaganda of the Western media continues against Islamabad in one or the other form.  In this connection, on June 13, this year, a report, of the London School of Economics (LSE) alleged, “the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) not only funds and trains Taliban fighters in Afghanistan but is officially represented on the Quetta Shura, giving it significant influence over operations.” The report also accused President Asif Ali Zardari of visiting “senior Taliban prisoners in Pakistan earlier this year, where he is believed to have promised their release and help in militant operations…support for the Taliban is approved at the highest level of Pakistan’s civilian government”.  The ISPR spokesman Maj-General Athar Abbas has strongly rejected the report of the LSE as baseless. Presidential spokeswoman Farah Ispahani dismissed the allegations in the report as “absolutely spurious”. And Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, “When the entire world is recognising our efforts against terrorism, allegations against the ISI published in this controversial report are deeply hurting.”  However, Western malevolent propaganda against Pakistan army and ISI continues unabated. In this regard, on May 24, 2010, The Long War Journal, while quoting US military intelligence officials wrote, “The Pakistan-based Haqqani Network carried out suicide attack in Kabul on May 18 that killed a Canadian colonel, two lieutenant colonels, two US soldiers, and twelve Afghan civilians.” The Journal further elaborated, “The US officials disclosed the information that the attack was organized in Pakistan with the help of ISI.” On the same date, The New York Times also reported same allegation in one or the other way.  It is notable that India is also part of the propaganda campaign of the US-led Western countries, directed against Pakistan. In this respect, on May 16, 2010, while quoting Indian intelligence agencies, Indian Express allegedly reported, “Nearly three months after the attack on Indians in Kabul, Afghan Security agencies have traced back recent anti-India operations in Afghanistan to an ISI outfit located inside a military cantonment in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan.”  These are not new blames against ISI, but are part of a continued campaign against the agency which is the first defence line in thwarting the foreign plot against Pakistan. In 2009, The New York Times and Washington Post had disclosed in a series of allegations regarding presumed ties between our country’s intelligence service and militants of Pakhtunkhwa—aiding Afghan Taliban and in bombing of Indian embassy in Kabul. In that respect, New Delhi had said that ISI must be destroyed. However, all these accusations cannot be seen in isolation, they are linked with all the related-developments which themselves are part of a conspiracy against Pakistan.  The fact of the matter is that after fighting for nine years, the US-led NATO countries have been facing defeatism in Afghanistan. Their political and defence analysts have realized that war against the Afghan Taliban cannot be won. Even the commanding general, Stanley McChrystal who had indicated that there was no guarantee to win over the Taliban, recently announced to delay the offensive in the Taliban’s home base of Kandahar due to stiff resistance of the militants. Notably, in the recent weeks, Taliban have intensified ambush attacks on the NATO bases and convoys, rapidly increasing the death toll of the foreign forces. Besides, particularly, US cost of war against terrorism has been increasing day by day in wake of acute financial crisis at home. Americans have started equating the war in Afghanistan with that of the Vietnam. On the other side, Canada has announced to withdraw its troops this year, while other NATO countries like France and Germany are reluctant to maintain their troops in Afghanistan for a long time. Keeping in view all the ground realities, the US President Barrack Obama has decided to withdraw American troops, which will start from July 2010. Frustrated in coping with the Afghan Taliban, especially America and its some allies want to make Pakistan a scapegoat by which they can fulfill a number of aims. First of all, they need a justification in order to pacify their public in connection with their misadventure in Afghanistan. In this context, before leaving Afghanistan, the US may demand to send NATO troops in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or otherwise could intensify its air strikes and ground shelling in the tribal areas of Pakistan under one or the other pretext. In order to create justification for such a strike, Western media has increased its hostile propaganda campaign against Pakistan and its superior agency ISI.  On May 29, 2010, while quoting the US officials, under the caption, “Options studied for a possible Pakistan strike”, The Washington Post disclosed: “The US military is reviewing options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan in the event that a successful attack on American soil is traced to the country’s tribal areas…ties between the alleged Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, and elements of the Pakistani Taliban have sharpened the Obama administration’s need for retaliatory options.” The Post further explained: “The US options for potential retaliatory action rely mainly on air and missile strikes, but could also employ small teams of US Special Operations troops already positioned along the border with Afghanistan.”  The Post also quoted Obama who said “during his campaign for the presidency that he would be willing to order strikes in Pakistan”, and cited Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying after the Times Square attempt that “if, heaven forbid, an attack like this that we can trace back to Pakistan were to have been successful, there would be very severe consequences.”  In this regard, the report of LSE is also part of this sinister campaign against Pakistan. Besides, timing of the report is mentionable. Recently, the UN Security Council has imposed new sanctions on Iran regarding its nuclear programme, while Pakistan and Iran has finalised the $7.5 billion gas agreement as a “peace pipeline” to start the supply of natural gas to Islamabad from 2014. In fact, Washington is against this project.  It is noteworthy that Pakistan’s image had been improved in the eyes of the western public owing to successful military action against the Taliban insurgents, while India faced a diplomatic defeat as it had failed in isolating Pakistan under the pretext of the November 26 terror-attacks of Mumbai. Due to these reasons, Indo-Israeli lobbies in America and Europe have become active against Islamabad with the support of their western partners. It is because of the influence of these lobbies and combined interests of Washington, New Delhi and Tel Aviv against Pakistan that India, Afghanistan and some American officials including their media have again started a blame game against Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI, while giving strong signals to widen the course of drone strikes in Balochistan. They are also misperceiving that Al Qaeda’s top leaders including Mullah Omer has taken shelter in Balochistan.  It is mentionable that BBC, on October 7, last year displayed a documentary movie regarding the eighth anniversary of the US-led NATO invasion of Afghanistan. It stated that now this war is being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and “it will soon spread in Pakistan.”  Especially, the report of LSE does not have vigorous academic references in connection with Pakistan and ISI. It has been prepared with the help of unauthentic information of American CIA, Israeli Mossad and Indian RAW.  In this regard, America has been playing a double game with Islamabad, sometimes by cajoling it with economic and military aid, and sometimes by accusing it of supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Again, it is most surprising to note that Pakistan’s armed forces and ISI have broken the backbone of the Taliban militants in their own country—as to how it is possible that they are supporting militants in Afghanistan.  It is of particular attention that Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic world. Hence, it has become special target of the malicious propaganda of the US-led West including India and Israeli.  By Sajjad Shaukat :- Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Computer could reveal Army major a spy Computer sent information to Pakistan
15 Jun 2010 09:29 | by Nick Farrell | posted in Security      * 0 Comments     * Bookmark and Share  Computer could reveal Army major a spy -  Confusion reigns over whether an Indian Army major had been sending secret emails to Pakistan.  The Army and the Ministry of Defence think that the Army major based in the Andamans was the victim of a hacking by Pakistan. But spooks at the National Investigation Agency (NIA) are not so sure.  The major was brought back to the Indian capital for questioning by the NIA  after US intelligence picked up some unusual traffic from his computer.  US spooks were looking into the activities of Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley. They found a user in Andaman and Nicobar Islands dispatching to a computer in Pakistan a picture of a serving Indian brigadier who was attending a training programme in the US.  The Indians started looking at the major and found that sensitive information was being accessed from two proxy servers one of which was based in Pakistan.  A forensic report has also pointed out that some key files and e-mails were deleted from the computer after it was seized by authorities.  The major has pleaded ignorance and the army and the defence ministry have ruled out espionage, saying it was a cyber security breach.  The NIA say that the major had been breaching the stringent Official Secrets Act. He had more than 2,500 defence presentations on his personal computer, much beyond his sphere of work. Some of these files, the sources said, are "secret and even top secret".  The computer is currently with the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in Hyderabad.

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