Custom Search Engine - Scans Selected News Sites


Saturday, 31 July 2010

From Today's Papers - 31 Jul 2010

Extension for Kayani Will the Pak Army Chief follow Obama?
by K. Subrahmanyam  In its 63 years of independent existence, Pakistan has had 14 Army chiefs. The first two were Britishers. Of the other 12, five had either two tenures or were Army chiefs for longer durations. Generals Ayub Khan, Mohammed Musa and now Kayani have had two tenures sanctioned by superior authority, democratic or otherwise.  Three Generals had one tenure. They were Generals Tikka Khan, Aslam Beg and Abdul Waheed Kakkar. Two dictator Army chiefs, Generals Zia-ul-Haq and Musharraf remained as army chiefs for 11 and nine years respectively. In four cases, the incumbents could not complete the tenure. General Yahya Khan resigned after losing the Bangladesh war. General Gul Hasan was forced to resign after being accused of Bonapatism by Z.A. Bhutto, the President. General Asif Nawaz died in office under mysterious circumstances. Jahangir Karamat voluntarily tendered his resignation when accused of impropriety by Prime Minister Nawaz Shariff.  The Pakistan Army prides itself on its discipline. The story of betrayals, however, begins with Ayub Khan overthrowing his long-term patron Iskander Mirza. Yahya Khan toppled his benefactor, Ayub Khan. The charge against Gul Hasan was Bonapartism. Zia-ul-Haq turned on his patron Z.A.Bhutto.  The widely believed version of Zia’s death is that he was assassinated by disaffected army personnel. General Musharaff deposed the Prime Minister who selected him superseding his senior. Kayani had no compunction in joining with the civilian politicians and packing home the man who made him the Army chief.  This tendency to turn against one’s benefactor is not confined to the Pakistani military only. Z.A.Bhutto owed his meteoric rise to Ayub Khan. He helped to bring him down. Benazir Bhutto made Farooq Leghari the President. He sacked her in 1996. Once General Zia explained to an Indian Editor that in Islam, according to his interpretation, it did not matter how a ruler came to power, but he must implement the Shariah. The Pakistani politico-strategic culture displays a distinct loyalty-deficit among majority of politicians and generals.  In Pakistan, though there is an Election Commission, the ultimate control over the elections vests in the Army which conducts it. One General explained that the voting in Pakistan has always been free. It is at the counting stage that angels intervened. The counting was usually rigged. And this came out clearly at the time Musharaff stood for elections for the first time.  One of Kayani’s qualifications for extension was he held the second free and fair elections in the entire history of Pakistan. The first was held under General Yahya Khan in 1970 when the Inter-Services Intelligence predicted a hung National Assembly. Contrary to the prediction the election returned Mujibur Rahman as a clear majority leader. The Army would not accept that verdict, leading to the civil war which resulted in the emergence of Bangladesh.  This time, since Kayani was one of the architects of the Musharaff-Benazir reconciliation deal, presumably, the ISI assessment was a victory in the polls for Benazir’s Pakistan People’s Party, especially after her assassination. Therefore, there was perhaps no problem in the Army in conducting a free and fair election.  Kayani earned his popularity by enabling the return of the sacked Chief Justice and other judges and quietly showing the door to Musharaff to vacate the presidency and exit. In Pakistan, there is a very apt description of the state of their politics. Either the General is standing behind the chair or actually sitting on the chair. General Kayani has been a far more sophisticated person than the brash commando, Musharaff, he succeeded.  He has left the day-to-day governance to the politicians and got them to face all the unpopularity and disaffection arising out of misgovernance. He has kept in his hands the reins of real power by keeping the veto on defence, foreign affairs and intelligence fields. He has clearly demonstrated that he is in change in several ways. Prior to the strategic dialogue with the US, he summoned all concerned civilian Secretaries to the General Headquarters and finalised the agenda for the dialogue.  On her two visits to Islamabad, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spent more time talking to the Army Chief than to any other minister including the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister. In the Washington strategic dialogue, Foreign Minister Quereshi was only the nominal head and the Pakistani delegation was, in fact, headed by the Army Chief. The US Administration accepted that reality.  Though the Pakistan civilian government moved the UN Security Council to appoint a panel to investigate the circumstances of Benazir murder, it was compelled to protest against the criticism of the panel against the establishment (Army) and the Intelligence Services (ISI) in particular. The Army Chief and the corps commanders were critical of the provisions of Kerry-Lugar legislation on aid to Pakistan and US rushed Senator John Kerry, the author of the legislation and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to mollify the Army leadership.  The Wikileaks covering 90,000 documents over a period of five years have clearly exposed the double game played by Pakistan Army during the period 2004-09 when pretending to cooperate with US, the Pakistan Army had been financing, equipping, sharing intelligence with and providing logistic support for the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Haqqani Faction and other Jehadi groups.  From 2005 to 2008, General Kayani was the Director-General of ISI and then Army Chief. In fact, he was the person who executed the policy of double dealing with the US for the last five years. The Prime Minister of Pakistan has extended his tenure to ensure continuity of policy and direction for the counter-terrorism operation launched by the Army after 2009 when the Tehrik-e-Taliban-Pakistan (TTP) turned rogue and launched terrorist attacks on Army and intelligence installations.  Though the US has been urging the Pakistani Army to launch attacks on all terrorist groups, the Pakistan Army has not complied with the US request. US officials have told their Legislatures Intelligence Committees that the Pakistan Army considered some of the terrorist groups as their strategic assets against India and to hedge their bets in the post-US withdrawal phase in Afghanistan.  In those circumstances, extension of tenure for Kayani is a direct rebuff of President Obama strategy to disrupt, dismantle and defeat the five terrorist groups having safe havens in Pakistan and hitherto shielded and nurtured by the Pakistani Army and ISI. After the leaks, US Vice-President Biden said that the problems Wikileaks described within Pakistan’s Intelligence Services were being dealt with and things were changing.  The next few weeks will reveal to the world whether General Kayani will fall in line with Obama strategy or continue to pursue his double-dealing game with the US.

Five CRPF men killed, 44 hurt in blast
Bijay Sankar Bora/TNS  Guwahati, July 30 Five personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed and 44 others injured when militants from the banned United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) detonated a blast targeting a bus carrying CRPF men along the road at Bhalukdubi inside Salbari Reserve Forest in Goalpara district of western Assam this morning.  Senior Assam minister Dr Bhumidhar Barman stated that the blast was a handiwork of the anti-talks faction of the ULFA led by fugitive commander-in-chief Paresh Barua. He said it was aimed at scuttling the initiative taken by the government to hold dialogue with top ULFA leaders, including its chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa now lodged in jail  Superintendent of Police Luise Aind said four CRPF men were killed on the spot while one died on way to Guwahati Medical College Hospital. He said 32 personnel were injured seriously. It was an improvised explosive device (IED) that was planted on the road. The CRPF men from 12th Battalion were coming back to Goalpara town after attending routine morning drill when the explosion hit them.  Explosive experts suspected that a mixture of TNT and RDX were used in the explosive device. Twenty-one seriously injured jawans were admitted to the GMCH while the rest were being treated at the Civil Hospital in Goalpara.  Meanwhile, a ULFA spokesman Anu Buragohain called up media here claiming responsibility for the blast and warned that the situation in the state would turn for the worse unless the government act responsibly in tackling the ULFA problem.  The blast occurred at a crucial juncture when the government has initiated a process to facilitate talks with ULFA top leaders including its chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa. Centre’s interlocutor for peace talks with insurgent groups in Assam, PC Haldar met with top ULFA leaders in Guwahati jail on Saturday last raising hopes for a dialogue.

US wants India to continue dialogue with Pak
 Lalit K Jha/ PTI / Washington July 30, 2010, 9:28 IST  Even as the ISI stands completely exposed in the eyes of the public for its terror links, in particular those against India, the Obama Administration has argued that New Delhi should continue its dialogue process with Islamabad.  "So we are simply encouraging Pakistan and India to pursue a dialogue that we think is fundamentally in the interest of both countries," State Department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters at his daily news conference.  "We encourage dialogue between India and Pakistan because it's in the interest of both the countries and in the interest of the US that these countries that have gone to war multiple times in the past 60 years need to build their own relationship, need to find ways beyond military conflict to remove tensions in the relationship, gain a greater understanding that can be of substantial benefit to both the people of India and the people of Pakistan," Crowley explained.  "As the (US) President said, we think that while there might be granularity in some of the material that's released, and again we emphasize that we think this release has done damage to our national security, there's no startling revelations in these documents," he said.  "Pakistan's relationship with elements that morphed into the Taliban go back to the Soviet occupation were very well known. They're known to the United States, they're known to India, and they're known to Afghanistan," Crowley said.  Crowley said the US itself is taking steps to bridge its trust deficit with Pakistan.  "We have demonstrated over the past couple of years our commitment to civilian government in Pakistan. And we understand that going back several years, the commitment to civilian government in Pakistan by the US has been uneven," he said.  "So this is part and parcel of improving the relationship with Pakistan. We are committed to civilian government in Pakistan. Our investments in Pakistan are geared towards helping that government build its capacity and deliver effective services to its people," he said.  The US is committed to helping Pakistan improve its economy, including the economy in the tribal areas, and the frontier areas where the US is concerned about the presence of extremist elements and safe havens that affect the security of Pakistan and the security of the United States.  "So, ultimately, we're trying to both improve relations with Pakistan and US, but we're trying to help Pakistan improve relations between its own population and its own government," he said.

VIEW: Idealism versus pragmatism
 —Mohammad Jamil  Pakistan is at war with terrorists and there are internal and external threats to its security. In such circumstances, extension of the army chief is justifiable. The Pakistan Army has avoided politics and one should appreciate an army chief who performs his duties within the parameters of the constitution  If idealism is pursued, no extension of extension of service should be given to the army chief, but for continuing the counter-terrorism measures, the extension can be looked upon as logical and inevitable. Ideally speaking, ad hoc judges should not be appointed, as it is against the established norms and principles, but after the PCO judges were shown the door, the chief justice sought appointment of ad hoc judges to ensure quick dispensation of justice. Also, in the case of the extension of the chief of army staff (COAS), pragmatism has taken precedence over idealism because of the dire conditions and the existential threat to Pakistan from local and foreign-inspired terrorists. But the debate continues to rage in the media, and many analysts oppose it on the grounds that individuals are not as important as institutions. Secondly, they state that it will deprive many officers of a promotion, which automatically comes with the retirement of the COAS. One has to remember that Pakistan is at war with terrorists and there are internal and external threats to its security. In such circumstances, extension of the army chief is justifiable. Similarly, in the US, Admiral Mike Mullen has been given a one-year extension because the war on terror has entered a very crucial stage.  But the problem is that our leaders have the penchant of making good decisions look bad by implementing them in a dubious manner. The prime minister’s remark that all major stakeholders — the president, the prime minister, the Supreme Court, chief justice and the army chief — were in a ‘secure position’ until 2013 is a case in point. On the other hand, detractors of the government and a few media personnel, who had supported the appointment of ad hoc judges, are opposing the extension of the army chief. By highlighting the ‘heartburn’ of the military officers who will lose their promotions, efforts are being made to undermine respect for the chain of command, a hallmark of the Pakistan Army. These groups do not realise that by doing so, they are wittingly or unwittingly trying to sow seeds of dissension among the army personnel, who are known for their sacrifices. Forgoing a promotion would be a trivial matter for them. Nonetheless, there was no dearth of patriotic media persons who wrote appreciatively about the extension, which they considered to be imperative in order to take the military campaign against terrorists to its logical conclusion.  Almost all political parties have supported the move or given comments like those given by PML-N. Some PML-N leaders complained that the prime minister did not discuss the matter with Mian Nawaz Sharif. Maulana Fazlur Rehman also hinted that he was not taken into confidence. If we walk this road, then other questions emerge. Did Mian Nawaz Sharif take the late Benazir Bhutto into confidence when he showed the door to then COAS Jehangir Karamat? Had Mian Nawaz Sharif consulted Mohtarma Bhutto when he appointed Pervez Musharraf as COAS, superseding General Ali Quli Khan, who immediately resigned? Knowing Mian sahib’s temperament, one could say that no such matters were discussed in the cabinet. According to reports, at the sacking of Pervez Musharraf, Mian Nawaz Sharif called the then Defence Secretary General Iftikhar and discussed the matter. General Iftikhar had reportedly suggested letting Pervez Musharraf return from Sri Lanka and then be shown a ceremonial exit, but the suggestion was ignored. The problem with our leaders is that they do not want to consult others on issues of national importance but expect others to take them into confidence.  There is no denying that General Kayani has conducted himself admirably during the last three years and stayed away from politics. He salvaged the situation when the government and opposition were on a collision course during the movement for the restoration of the judiciary. He is perhaps the first army head that strictly directed all officers of the Pakistan Army to avoid politics in line with the established rules and did not call any politician to GHQ. In a letter written to officers, he stated the role of the armed forces was already defined in the country’s laws and constitution, adding that the officers should not indulge in any profit-making venture other than their salary and perks as per their ranks. Following his directives, army officers deployed in civil departments were recalled to their units, a move that was appreciated by the people at large. The point here is that while people have often welcomed the promulgation of martial law, the writers and intellectuals have criticised and condemned it because the constitution is thrown to the winds. Nevertheless, one should appreciate an army chief who performs his duties within the parameters of the constitution.  Except for pseudo-intellectuals, who have a passion for Pakistan-bashing and wish to see clashes between the state’s pillars, all other groups will admit that the military is not involved in politics today and, according to reports, the political wing of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was also closed three years ago. The self-righteous and ‘paragons’ of scruples should not offer suggestions to the army chief to not accept the extension, which reportedly has been done. It is noteworthy that when General Kayani took over as COAS, terrorists had traumatised the people of the northwest and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The writ of the state did not exist in Swat and Malakand, as the civil administration was on the run. Even political leaders had abandoned their abodes to find safe havens. In FATA, extremists had either killed political agents or forced them to quit the region. Today, however, Swat and Malakand have been cleared and the operation in South Waziristan has been completed. A lot still has to be done, which justifies the extension of the COAS. It is hoped that he will lead the military to higher pinnacles of professionalism and preparedness during his next three years.  The writer is a freelance columnist. He can be reached at

Defence budget reasonable, says Chinese military
Beijing, July 30, PTI:  The world's second biggest military spender, China, today defended its whopping USD 77 billion defence expenditure, insisting it was strictly aimed at protecting its sovereignty, and pegged at nearly 1.4 per cent of the GDP, it was far below than other countries.  Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said that the country's defence expenditure was maintained at a reasonable and appropriate level.  Geng who took over the post today, was quoted as saying by Xinhua, that China's annual defence expenditure has been pegged around 1.4 per cent of its GDP in recent years while the share of some major world powers is between two and four per cent.  "We have always coordinated the national defence building with the country's economic development," Geng said, adding that China pursed a purely defensive national defence policy.  China will not enter into an arms race or militarily threaten any other country nor will seek hegemony and engage in military expansion, he said.  "The fundamental task of the Chinese military is to protect the nation's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity," he said.  He said China's current security environment is generally stable, but some threats do exist.  China this year increased its defence budget by 7.5 per cent to 532.115 billion yuan (USD 77 billion).  Last year China hiked the defence 14.9 per cent. Despite the modest increase this year, China would still continue to be second largest spender on defence, next only to United States. It spends twice as high as India on the defence head.  India increased its defence spending by 3.98 per cent this year to USD 32 billion. A number of foreign media reports in the recent months have said that the official announcement about reducing the increase of defence spending does not reflect the actual expenditure which could range from of USD 140 to 150 billion.  Decades of rapid growth has made Chinese Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) the largest standing army in the world with more than 2.3 million men.  Its Navy has about 255,000 men and its air force about four lakh men and officers.

DRDO employees threaten strike
30 Jul 2010, 1531 hrs IST,Peerzada Abrar,ET Bureau Topics:     
BANGALORE: All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF), which represents 4.5 lakh defence and civilian employees, threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike on Thursday. The AIDEF employees are protesting against the defence ministry’s approval for private sector participation in defence technology in order to revitalise the DRDO and give a major boost to defence research. “We will fight tooth and nail against any such government decision. We are putting the Indian defence industry on its death bed and killing research in the name of restructuring DRDO,” said SN Pathak, president, AIDEF.  The restructuring will follow the recommendations of two review panels, one headed by former secretary in the department of science and technology, P Rama Rao, and the other, chaired by defence secretary Pradeep Kumar. The Rao committee was set up in February 2007 to suggest steps to improve the functioning of the DRDO, after legislators raised a furore over delayed projects and cost over-runs.  Among the projects running behind schedule is the development of the Light Combat Aircraft, the Kaveri engine and an interception, monitoring, direction finding and analysis system, known as ‘Divyadrishti’. Tactical Communication System (TCS) modernisation has also been delayed for years. “The government is acting under the pressure of Indian industry lobbies, lead by CII, FICCI, Assocham, multinational corporations and foreign lobbies, who are eager to snatch the increasing defence budget and earn their profits,” said Mr Pathak.  The federation plans to start a series of agitation programmes such as demonstrations, dharnas and hunger strikes, culminating in a one-day general strike by DRDO unions, if the government fails to settle all the pending demands of the employees, including the withdrawal of the decision to reorganise DRDO. DRDO’s top management said that public private partnership is the way ahead as the defence demand of the country is increasing and the government alone cannot meet this demand. “We spend Rs 50,000 crore on defence acquisitions abroad every year.  We have to become self reliant. Revamping the DRDO, collaborations and joint ventures with the private sector is the way ahead to achieve this goal,” said a top DRDO official, who did not wish to be quoted. “This strategy won’t have any impact on employees, as the work includes within the government and outside the government circle,” he added. The federation fears a reduction in the number of employees at DRDO as a result of the restructuring programme. “At present, there are around 7,000 top scientists and 27,000 group C and group D employees in the DRDO and once the commercialisation of the defence agency takes place, this will drop,” said Saila Bhattacharya, AIDEF general secretary.  Under the recommendations of Dr P Ramrao Committee report on DRDO, the government had in May decided to revamp the DRDO into 7 cluster groups. Some of DRDO’s 51 laboratories across the country will be merged with other public-funded institutions that have similar interests and administrative structures. AIDEF said that the decision by the government to throw 11 out of 51 DRDO laboratories including laboratories in Mysore, Kanpur, Tejpur and Gwalior and merge them with Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), is also a serious concern.  India is set to spend about US$ 200 billion on defence acquisitions over the next 12 years to replace its outdated Soviet-vintage inventory. According to a study by the India Strategic defence magazine, nearly half of this funding, or $100 billion, will go to the Indian Air Force (IAF) which would need to replace more than half of its combat jet fleet as well as the entire transport aircraft and helicopter fleet. The army needs new guns, tanks, rocket launchers, multi-terrain vehicles while the navy needs ships, aircraft carriers, an entire new range of propeller and nuclear-armed submarines.

'Corrupt' Colonel turns to god
By: Anshuman G Dutta                           Beleaguered soldier, who allegedly received kickbacks in Army transportation, seeks divine intervention  An Indian Army Colonel, who is awaiting court martial and dismissal from service, has sought divine intervention to correct his faulty grah-nakshatra. Interestingly, the colonel sought the solution for the 'errant stars' on an astrology website, mentioning his rank and name besides posting important dates related to disciplinary action against him.    Time for Tarot: A webshot of the site on which the colonel posted his details  Colonel Sanjay Jethi, the former commandant of Ordnance Depot at Mumbai was responsible for delivery of truck tyres to army units located across the country. But in connivance with private contractors and transporters, the colonel allegedly developed a unique strategy to fleece the army.  The ordnance depot hires private trucks to transport the material which lands at Mumbai dockyard. Colonel Jethi's modus operandi - which has surprised every one in the military fraternity- was to hire trucks of 9-tonne capacity for the job but record them as 16-tonne trucks in the account books. With the aid of the private transporters the colonel also made necessary modifications in the truck to give it the appearance of a bigger truck. The material used for the modification was mostly canvas.  "The cost of hiring a 16-tonne truck is much higher than a nine-tonner and there is a price difference of at least 1.5 times between the two," said a Ministry of Defence (MoD) official. According to sources, during the court of inquiry (CoI) the total misappropriation of funds were recorded to the tune of about Rs 50 lakh. During the CoI, which was headed by a brigadier rank official, few more surprising facts sprang out against the colonel. It was also discovered that on various occasions the trucks laden with goods existed only in the records and account books only. The colonel did maximum misappropriation of funds with the transportation of truck tyres to army units posted at different locations in the country.   The colonel's misdeeds were revealed when the authorities compared the chassis number of the trucks. "The chassis number of two trucks can never be the same but the account books gave same chassis numbers for nine and 16-tonne capacity trucks," said the officer. The CoI found the colonel guilty and recommended his dismissal from service.  Besides approaching the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) where he has challenged the recommendations of the CoI, the colonel also contacted a famous astrology website - for astrological help.

Friday, 30 July 2010

From Today's Papers - 30 Jul 2010

CoI ordered against Major caught with sensitive papers
Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service  New Delhi, July 29 A court of enquiry has been ordered against a Major of the Indian Army, posted at the Andaman Nicobar-based strategic command. He was found in possession of top secret and sensitive documents of the Indian Armed forces. A probe had suggested a Court of Inquiry.  A joint probe conducted by the National Investigation Agency and the Army authorities had earlier revealed that the Major was attached with the 21 Bihar regiment and posted to the Andamans. He had more than 2000 sensitive documents on his personal computer.  Sources confirmed that a Court of Inquiry has been ordered against the Major under the Army rules and the strictest possible action will be taken. The Army Act is very stringent and unlike civilian procedures it is quicker and action is time-bound.  The documents, which should not have been in the Major’s possession, were normally handled at a very senior level. A large amount of data from his personal computer in the Andamans was being regularly transferred to the Pakistan’s ISI, it was detected. The US agencies picked up the flow of data and informed their Indian counterparts some time in April.  The joint NIA and Army probe has ruled out the angle of espionage but serious questions have been raised about the source of documents and his negligence because he put these documents on a personal computer with an Internet connection. Standard operating procedures of the Armed forces forbid storing of data on computers with an Internet connectivity.  So far, it has been found that the Major’s computer was “attacked” or “hacked” by the ISI. When the NIA got the computer analysed by the Hyderabad-based Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), it was found that files had been deleted from the hard disc. Using a restoration technique, the CFSL found how the files were deleted.

Make the border more secure, pleads Punjab
Jangveer Singh Tribune News Service  TERROR TRAIL IN JULY      * Khanna police arrested Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) militant Harminder Singh responsible for October 2007 Shingar cinema bomb blasts on July 18.     * Three associates of Harminder arrested with 3 kg RDX and one AK 47 rifle.     * Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) militant Pargat Singh arrested by Patiala police.     * Five Babbar Khalsa militants, including a French national, arrested by Amritsar police on July 28. Two AK 47 rifles seized from them.  Chandigarh, July 29 Alarmed at increased militant activities in the state, Punjab is pleading with the Centre to plug the international border with Pakistan ‘more effectively’.  Seizures of narcotics, arms, fake currency, point out senior officials, have all gone up in recent months, indicating heightened activity from across the border. And although much of the border has been fenced, more effective measures are needed to curb infiltration, they felt.  Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal told TNS on Thursday that he would be writing to the PM and plead for more intensive patrolling. “We have reports that militants as well as drugs are being pushed into Punjab from Pakistan,” he said , and added that, if necessary, more security personnel need to be deployed on the border.  Punjab would also demand better use of technology and more sophisticated cameras on the border, he said.  Police and Intelligence sources said that recent arrest of militants indicate clear attempts to revive terrorism in the State. They claimed that radical elements across the border were feeling the pressure from the ISI and were trying to increase terrorist activities in Punjab.  Emerging trends show that youngsters who are desperate to settle abroad are being instigated to indulge in terrorist activists. Rattandeep Singh, who had planted a bomb in a car in Amritsar recently, was found to have his family in Canada and he himself was keen to save enough money to enable him to migrate.  The sources said militants also wanted to take their families out of the country while citing the case of Harminder Singh, who was involved in the Shingar cinema blast of October 2007. It is claimed that Harminder returned to make arrangements for his family to migrate.  Most of the militants are flying to India from either Malaysia or Nepal after procuring travel documents from Pakistan. Sources said the militants now prefer to land in South Indian cities and then make their way to Punjab, making it a little more difficult for law-enforcement agencies to nab them.

Pakistan has made strategic shift on war against terror: US
Lalit K Jha/ PTI / Washington July 29, 2010, 9:14 IST  Notwithstanding the concerns, the US has about the continued links that some elements of ISI has with terrorist outfits like the Al Qaeda and Taliban, the Obama Administration has said that Islamabad in the last one year has made strategic shift in the war against terrorism.  "Pakistan has, in our view, made a strategic shift in the last year or more. It has taken aggressive action at considerable expense to Pakistan," State Department spokesman P J Crowley, told reporters at his daily news conference.  "The Pakistani people are suffering as much if not more than any other people in the world from terrorism. But there is clearly more to be done," he said.  "Our joint concern here is to eliminate the safe havens that exist in the region and to prevent the emergence of new safe havens from which there can be the export of terrorism that can threaten US, Europe, or other parts of the world," Crowley said.  When asked about the comment made by British Prime Minister David Cameroon, that his country would not tolerate export of terrorism by Pakistan, the State Department spokesman said US does not want to see the export of terror by any country.  "We are concerned about and have said many times that extremist element within the borders of Pakistan, in the tribal areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan, first and foremost, it represents a threat to Pakistan, it represents a threat to Afghanistan," Crowley said.  "As we have seen, extremists with links to these areas have made their way to Europe, have made their way to the United States.  This is an important component of our relationship and our strategic dialogue with Pakistan, and we are both satisfied with the aggressive steps that Pakistan has taken in recent months at considerable expense to Pakistan," he said.  "As we've made clear, we want to see Pakistan stay on the offensive in combating these extremist elements.  I know Pakistani officials in recent days have publicly stated their commitment to continue to do that," Crowley said.  The spokesman said there is a vast difference between the previous Musharraf regime and the current civilian government.  "Oh, is there a difference between a military-led governments and is there a difference between a civilian-led government with the kind of legitimacy that General Musharraf lacked?  Of course there is.  This is a new government, and even the decision to extend the term of General Kayani was the Pakistani civilian government's decision to make," he said.  "There is a vast difference in this current government. It enjoys more support from its people. And we are trying to help Pakistan build even more trust and support within its population.  Some of its institutions are fragile," he said.  "It is expressly why the supplemental is important to us that was passed by the House yesterday, to provide the resources so that we can continue to assist Pakistan, build up its institutions of government, have the government be able to deliver stronger services, more reliable services to its people.  Through that public support, that's how you narrow the space that extremists currently have to function," Crowley said.

UN chief concerned over Kashmir situation; calls for peace
Betwa Sharma/ PTI / United Nations July 29, 2010, 9:17 IST  UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern over the unrest in Kashmir, which exploded last month claiming the lives of seventeen people.  "In relation to recent developments in Indian-administered Kashmir, the Secretary-General is concerned over the prevailing security situation there over the past month," Farhan Haq, Ban's spokesperson, said in a statement.  "He calls on all concerned to exercise utmost restraint and address problems peacefully," it added.  Meanwhile, the Indian government said that it was aware of anti-India elements based in Pakistan provoking the people of Jammu and Kashmir with the support of certain sections of secessionist groups based in the state.  Kashmir Valley has been wracked with demonstrations since June 11, which led to the police and military cracking down on protestors.  Among the several victims was a 17-year-old boy who died after being hit by a police tear gas shell.  The state government announced that a commission would be set up to inquire into the deaths of civilians during the recent protests.  The commission will be headed by a retired high court judge and it will look into 17 incidents in which people died since June 11.  The government also announced a compensation package of Rs 100,000 and government job to a member of each family.  The inquiry commission is expected to report back in three months. The UN chief also welcomes the recent talks between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan.  "He encourages both sides to rekindle the spirit of the composite dialogue, which was initiated in 2004 and had made encouraging progress on some important confidence building measures, and to make renewed efforts to address outstanding issues, including on Jammu and Kashmir," the statement said.  "He (Ban) underlines the need for patience, perseverance and compromise on all sides," it added.

Maj Gen SS Pawar, COS, 3 Corps, retires
Source: Hueiyen News Service  Imphal, July 29 2010: Maj Gen SS Pawar, VSM the Chief of Staff 3 Corps will bid adieu to the Indian Army on 31st July 2010.The General Officer has put in an illustrious service of thirty-eight years in the army and has served in all terrains and theatres in varied commands, instructor and staff appointments in India and abroad.  An alumni of National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy, Maj Gen SS Pawar, VSM was commissioned in The JAT Regiment in Mar 1972 .  Having served in mountains, glaciers, desert and semi arid areas, he has vast experience of operations in active areas of the borders.  He commanded an Infantry Brigade in a very active area of Jammu & Kashmir during OP PARAKRAM.  The Gen is a graduate from Defence Services Staff College and has held Staff appointments at various level The General took over as the "Chief of Staff 3 Corps" in 2008 and for his meritorious services was awarded the VISHISHT SEVA MEDAL by President of India in 2010 .  As the 3 Corps bids farewell to Maj Gen and Mrs SS Pawar with our best wishes, we also look forward for continued association.

India, U.K. to give fillip to trade, security ties
Sandeep Dikshit    Manmohan, Cameron to step up cooperation in counter-terrorism  India and the United Kingdom decided to give an impetus to their trade and security ties during high level talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his counterpart, David Cameron, here on Thursday.  Following a detailed discussion on global security challenges, the Prime Ministers decided to step up their cooperation in counter-terrorism and welcomed the development of broad-based cooperation in the defence sector. They noted the joint army exercises that took place in India in June, the joint naval exercises now under way and looked forward to the joint air exercises scheduled for October.  In a joint press statement, the two leaders felt a civil nuclear cooperation declaration signed earlier this year had created opportunities for wide ranging cooperation, especially with regard to exchanges between scientific institutions.  India and the U.K. decided to constitute a joint CEOs Forum to be co-chaired by Peter Sands and Ratan Tata and an India-U.K. Infrastructure Group in order to double bilateral trade in the next five years. Building upon past experience, the two sides also agreed to launch a new phase of the U.K.-India Education and Research Initiative.  The Infrastructure Group will address India's particular interest in attracting international as well as domestic investment in infrastructure over the next decade and how best the two governments can enable and encourage this.  “With Prime Minister David Cameron's visit we have set in place a new momentum to drive our strategic partnership forward. I have no doubt that this will be good for both our countries, and it responds to the wishes and aspiration of both our peoples,” observed Dr. Singh.  In order to give a fillip to bilateral ties with the help of existing mechanisms, India and the U.K. also agreed to review the mandate, composition and structure of existing bilateral bodies in trade, investment and economic cooperation.  Discussions were also held on a Memorandum of Understanding between the government of India and the U.K. Trade and Investment to enhance investment in the roads sector, and the two sides looked forward to its early finalisation. Both sides also agreed to explore initiatives that will create resources and incentives to help businesses deploy renewable energy, particularly for the poor.  The lone agreement signed between the two countries pertained to culture. It was hoped that the India-U.K. Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Co-operation will provide a framework for a significant expansion of the rich cultural exchange between the two countries.

Indian MoD comments various defence and security issues 
 14:12 GMT, July 29, 2010 According to the Indian Press Information Bureau, the following information was recently given by Indian Defence Minister, Shri AK Antony in written replies to members of the Parliament of India:   Weapons for Low Intensity Conflict  Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is involved in development of defence technologies and now focusing on customization of certain technologies already developed for military operations to these new emerging security threats and development of new technologies and devices as projected by security forces, both military and para military, during recent interactions with them. Based on security forces’ needs and DRDO capabilities, the requirements have been grouped in various technology heads, like technologies and devices for surveillance and Reconnaissance; Enhancing Day and Night Vision capability; Incapacitation; Arms and Ammunitions; Detection and Diffusion of Explosive and IEDs; Communication and Jamming; Personnel Protection and Support Systems. A comprehensive mission mode programme with participation of many DRDO labs, security forces and industries is being formulated. Some of the weapons developed by DRDO which are quite useful for LIC Operations are as follows:  (i) INSAS Rifle (Weight with loaded magazine - 4.1 Kg and effective range – 400 m). (ii) Modern Sub Machine Carbine (MSMC) (Weight with loaded magazine – 3.4 Kg and effective range – 200 m). (iii) Oleo-Resin (Chilli) Based Hand Grenade. (iv) CR Based Shells. (v) Tear Gas Grenades (To incapacitate terrorists and flushing them out from their hideouts and for mob dispersal / riot control operations). (vi) Plastic Bullets (Non-lethal & non-poisonous bullets do not expand after penetration and cause only superficial injuries).   Blacklisting of Companies Dealing in Arms by CBI  Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has recommended blacklisting/debarring of following firms in recent past:  (i) M/s Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd (STK), Singapore (ii) M/s Israel Military Industries Ltd. (IMI), Israel (iii) M/s Rheinmetall Air Defence (RAD), Zurich. (iv) M/s Corporation Defence, Russia (CDR). (v) M/s Denel, South Africa (vi) M/s Varas Associates, Isle of Man. (vii) M/s Soltam, Israel  CBI has filed chargesheet before court against M/s TS Kisan & Co. Pvt Ltd., New Delhi, M/s RK Machine Tools, Ltd., Ludhiana, Shri Sudipto Ghosh, former Director – general & Chairman, Ordnance Factory Board and others for corruption charges.   Cap on FDI in Defence Manufacturing Sector  Ministry of Commerce and Industry has circulated a discussion paper suggesting the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cap in the Defence manufacturing sector at 74 per cent raising it from the existing 26 per cent. The response of Defence Ministry is under formulation.   Transparency in Defence Deals  Central Bureau of Investigation has recommended blacklisting of following firms on the basis of their investigation of FIR against Shri Sudipto Ghosh, former DGOF and others regarding illogical gratification:-  (i) M/s Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd (STK), Singapore (ii) M/s Israel Military Industries Ltd. (IMI), Israel (iii) M/s TS Kisan & Co Pvt Ltd, New Delhi (iv) M/s RK Machine Tools, Ludhiana (v) M/s Rheinmetall Air Defence (RAD), Zurich. (vi) M/s Corporation Defence, Russia (CDR).  Further action in the matter will be taken after obtaining the advice of CVC and the Ministry of Law. Nexus, if any, between Indian and foreign companies does not appear to have been investigated by CBI in this case.  To infuse greater transparency in the procurement process, the role of independent monitors has been enhanced and made more elaborate in the Defence Procurement Procedure – 2008 (Amendment-2009).  The role of independent monitor now envisages the following:  (i) All complaints regarding violation of integrity pact, received by the buyer, will be referred to Independent Monitors for comments/enquiry. (ii) Independent Monitors have been provided access to the relevant records of the buyer, connected with the complaint. (iii) The report of enquiry, if any, made by the Independent Monitors shall be submitted to the head of the Acquisition Wing of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India for a final and appropriate decision in the matter keeping in view the provision of Integrity Pact.   Self-Reliance in Defence Production and Equipment  ‘Self-reliance’ has been a significant goal in defence production. Towards this end the Government has so far taken the following steps:  (i) The defence manufacturing sector was earlier reserved for the public sector only. In May, 2001 the Central Government opened it for participation by the private sector to the extent of 100%, with Foreign Direct Investment permissible upto 26% both subject to licensing. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has notified detailed guidelines for licensing production of arms and ammunition. So far 135 licenses have been issued to 75 companies in the private sector.  (ii) The Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and Ordnance Factories have been upgrading and modernizing their plants to upgrade their production capacities.  (iii) DPSUs and Ordnance Factories have been advised to invest significantly in Research and Development (R&D) efforts.  (iv) The Defence Procurement Procedure – 2008 (DPP-2008) provides for the following categories of purchases / acquisition of defence equipment for boosting indigenous production of defence goods: (a) ‘Buy (Indian)’ means buying from Indian vendors only. In this case where the systems are integrated by an Indian vendor, a minimum of 30% indigenous content is required. (b) ‘Buy & Make’: Means purchase from a foreign vendor followed by licensed production / indigenous manufacture in the country. (c) ‘Make’ – high technology complex systems to be designed, developed and produced indigenously. (d) ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ means purchase from an Indian vendor, including an Indian company forming joint venture / establishing production arrangement with the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) followed by licensed production/indigenous manufacture in India. ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ must have a minimum 50% indigenous content on cost basis. (e) Cases where capital acquisitions under ‘Buy (Global)’ or ‘Buy and Make with Transfer of Technology’ with foreign vendors are for more than Rs. 300 crore, the ‘Offset’ clause gets invoked. The minimum offset is 30% of the estimated cost or foreign exchange component.  Five Sectoral Multi-Disciplinary Indigenisation Committees have been set up in the Department of Defence Production for the sectors Lands, Navy, Air, Missile and Electronics, to promote indigenisation in these fields.   Special Clothing for Army Personnel Posted in high Altitudes  Special clothing, Ski and Mountaineering Equipment authorized to the troops posts at locations characterized by extreme cold climate conditions, including Siachen/Kargil, comprise 55 items. Of these, 36 items are being procured indigenously and only 19 items are being procured ex-import.  In order to streamline above procurement as per approved quality and user requirement, an Empowered Committee under the Chairmanship of Master General of Ordnance (MGO) of Army Headquarters with full powers of competent financial authority, has been approved and functioning since August 2007. Sufficient quantity of Special Clothing and Mountaineering Equipment are kept as reserve to avoid any shortage and soldiers posted at these areas are being provided with Special Clothing items as per the authorisation. Improvement in quality and development of indigenous sources for Special Clothing and Mountaineering Equipment is a continuous process.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

From Today's Papers - 29 Jul 2010

CVC nod a must before blacklisting cos
Tribune News Service  New Delhi, July 28 The Ministry of Defence will consult the Central Vigilance Commission and also the Law ministry before black-listing companies named by the Central Bureau of Investigation in its probe.  The CBI has recommended blacklisting of six firms after lodging an FIR against Sudipto Ghosh, former DG of Ordnance Factory. The CBI named Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd (STK), Singapore, Israel Military Industries Ltd, Israel, TS Kisan & Co Pvt Ltd, New Delhi, RK Machine Tools, Ludhiana, Rheinmetall Air Defence (RAD), Zurich and Corporation Defence, Russia (CDR) for blacklisting.  Defence Minister AK Antony in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha said “Nexus, if any, between Indian and foreign companies does not appear to have been investigated by CBI in this case”.  It was due to this cloud of suspicion that the Singapore Technologies was cold shouldered and the ongoing process to procure artillery guns was stalled.  Antony also said to infuse greater transparency in the procurement process, the role of independent monitors has been enhanced and made more elaborate in the Defence Procurement Procedure — 2008 (Amendment — 2009). Independent Monitors have been provided access to the relevant records of the buyer, connected with the complaint.

  Instability in Afghanistan Elusive prospects of regional consensus
by Anita Inder Singh  WITH Nato casualties on the rise, with President Karzai and his western backers keen on reconciliation with the Taliban and the prospect of American withdrawal after July 2011, insecurity and instability sum up the current situation in Afghanistan. With Nato failing to win out, the idea of regional cooperation on Afghanistan, presented by many western officials from time to time — and by Mr S M. Krishna at the Kabul Conference on July 20 — is an appealing one.  Which countries would be involved and what are the chances of their reaching a consensus — whether on the political future of Afghanistan or on promoting its economic development? The countries likely to be involved in any regional dialogue would be the US, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China and Russia.  The US has contributed some 100,000 troops to Nato’s Afghan campaign and staked its global reputation on defeating the Taliban. With military victory seemingly elusive, Washington would not be averse to countries in Afghanistan’s neighbourhood to work out an agreement that is in line with its interests.  Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai would like to build a strong democratic Afghanistan under the 2003 constitution — a goal he shares with the US. But Nato’s failure to make headway, and his own inept brand of governance are obstacles to the achievement of this aim. Meanwhile, Nato’s deficiencies have reportedly prompted him to seek reconciliation with Taliban hardliners like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Jalaludin Haqqani and the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar. This has caused some consternation in New Delhi, which regards all extremists as bad.  India does not share a border with Afghanistan, and like Russia and China, is not contributing troops. But its goals are closest to those of the US — to defeat the Taliban and to build a strong state in Afghanistan which can develop the country.  India is opposed to both Al-Qaeda and the Taliban if only because there is ever-growing evidence of their links with the Pakistani-based extremists who continually try to destabilise its half of Kashmir.  Pakistan has sustained, trained and exported terrorists to Afghanistan since the US overthrew the Taliban regime in 2001. So innate in President Obama’s concept of Af-Pak is the idea that the key to Afghan security lies in Pakistan. Along with the Taliban, Islamabad can claim to share the dubious credit for frustrating the success of Nato’s Afghan campaign over the last nine years.  It is determined to use its hold over the Afghan Taliban to as a lever to secure a decisive say in Afghanistan’s political future, and the current signs are that the US and its Nato allies may not be averse to giving it an important place at the negotiating table if it can use its clout to persuade militants to ceasefire.  Pakistan will not be interested in the neutrality of Afghanistan – neutrality would restrict its influence there. It wants to persuade its Afghan puppets to keep India out of Afghanistan, though India has no military presence there and has given $1.3 billion in reconstruction aid. That is unlike Pakistan, whose political method of choice is to export extremism and to ‘bleed’ Nato and the Karzai government until they make “peace” on its terms.  Iran, which is Afghanistan’s western neighbour, remains opposed to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Its historical and cultural links with Afghanistan are symbolised by the latter’s Persian-speaking and Shia minorities. Like India and Russia, it does not want to see Pakistan calling the shots in Kabul. Teheran favours more regional trade with Afghanistan and would benefit from a reduction in the cross-border drugs trade. It has given around $600 million in reconstruction aid, and invested in electricity, transport agricultural projects in Afghanistan, notably in the area around the city of Herat. But Iran’s relations with the US are fractious largely because of its nuclear programme and its uncompromising stance on Israel.  Saudi Arabia was one of three countries — including Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates — to recognise the brutal Taliban regime until 2001. The links between Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda, the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban have sharpened its interest in Afghanistan, as had talk of Nato’s retreat from Afghanistan. It has bestowed some $500 million in reconstruction aid. It has also been involved in ad hoc and informal reconciliation talks between the Karzai government and the Afghan Taliban. To no avail: every confabulation only confirmed the wide gap between Kabul and extremists.  Riyadh has a fractious relationship with Shia-dominated Iran and a close one with Sunni-dominated Pakistan. Riyadh and Islamabad are at one in wanting the Taliban included in a future government in Kabul and having a government and society steered by religious “Islamic” (read Sunni) law. That puts it at odds with the US, even as the Saudi desire for a stable Afghanistan coincides with US aims.  Russia would like to see Nato succeed in Afghanistan, the Taliban put to rout, and an end to the narcotics which enter its territory from Afghanistan. It has allowed Nato troops to transit its territory en route to Afghanistan and has supplied fuel to Nato via Central Asia. It is disturbed at attempts by Karzai and the West to work out some sort of reconciliation with the Taliban.  For, like India, Russia does not distinguish between good and bad extremists and does not wish to see Kabul coming under the influence of extremists exporting Islamabad. Moscow also fears that a war-weary US could beat a hasty retreat from Afghanistan, paving the way for resurgence of the Taliban, and the spread of extremist influence into its sphere of influence in Central Asia.  China has fragile historical links with Afghanistan. It would gain from the defeat of the Taliban and the establishment of a stable state in Afghanistan. Both could help check the flow of extremists into its western province of Xinjiang, where it confronts the possibility of growing extremism among its Uighur minorities.  China has invested $ 3.5 billion in the Aynak copper mine in Afghanistan and also in various infrastructure projects in irrigation, communication and health. As an economically expansive power and potentially the largest investor in Afghanistan, it would welcome a politically strong government in Kabul.  But China has close strategic ties with Pakistan. So far it has been unwilling to put pressure on Pakistan to stop shoring up extremists. China fears that Nato’s success would consolidate the US position as the dominant power in South and Central Asia, and that its Asian rival, India, would benefit from a prolonged American presence in Afghanistan.  China probably hopes that the US will gain the military vantage point in Afghanistan while refraining from putting pressure on Pakistan to give up its alignment with extremists. Like Russia, China does not have a large stake in Afghanistan at the moment. Both could increase investments there if security were assured.  If New Delhi wants to explore the possibility of a regional approach, it would have to contend with Pakistan’s pathological fear and hatred of India, reflected at one level by Islamabad’s paranoia about the presence of less than 4,000 Indians in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s use of terrorist exports rather than reconstruction aid to counter Indian influence and to increase its clout in Afghanistan does not augur well for the emergence of Indo-Pakistani cooperation on Afghanistan’s political future. Added to that is the continuing western military dependence on Pakistan even as it plays its old double game of giving some military facilities to Nato while giving safe havens and training to the Afghan Taliban — and getting American largesse in return.  More generally, divergent national interests and cross-cutting rivalries between the US, Pakistan, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia and China could block the emergence of a regional consensus on Afghanistan. India would have to work around these differences if it tries to forge a regional approach on Afghanistan. Such an approach could well turn out to be elusive.

British PM ticks off Pak on terror export
 n Backs India’s claim for UNSC seat n Bags deal worth £500 m for UK firm  Shubhadeep Choudhury/TNS  Bangalore, July 28 The British Prime Minister David Cameron asserted here today that Britain shared India’s concern over Pakistan exporting terror. “ We cannot tolerate in any sense the idea that this country is allowed to look both ways and is able to promote the export of terror, whether to India or Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world,” he declared in response to a question while adressing techies and invited audience in the campus of IT major Infosys.  Also, he expressed support for India’s ambition to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.  Cameron, on maiden visit to India as PM, said he had discussed the issue with President Obama and would discuss it with PM Manmohan Singh when they meet in New Delhi. “ It’s not right to have any relationship with groups that are promoting terror”, he added while indicating that Pakistan needed to do more to curb activities of the terror groups operating from its soil.  Cameron’s visit to Bangalore reaped dividends for the British aerospace major BAE Systems, with it bagging a new order worth over £500 million for supplying additional 57 Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer to India for the IAF and Indian Navy. While the IAF will get 40 of these aircraft, the Navy will get 17.  The aircraft will be manufactured at HAL’s facilities in Bangalore. BAE Systems will provide specialist engineering services, raw material and equipment necessary for airframe production and support package for IAF and the Navy.

Indian, Pak army officers should attend joint classes in US' 
Press Trust of India, Updated: July 28, 2010 15:29 IST  Washington:  A top US General today said that senior military officers from India and Pakistan should jointly attend military classes in the United States and study American civil war together. Such a move, General James Mattis said, would create the much needed trust between the military leaders of the two countries, which is required in addition to the diplomatic efforts between the leaders of India and Pakistan.  "As we all know, they (India and Pakistan) have fought several wars over a number of issues. There's the Kashmir issue. There's any number of terrorist attacks," General Mattis said in his confirmation hearing before the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee. "But I think the most important thing we can do in support of the diplomatic efforts which will fundamentally be how we change something like this, is to help bring the officer corps of both militaries together and create trust between them, allow them to perhaps attend our school together," Mattis said.  US President Barack Obama has nominated General Mattis as his Commander for the US Central Command, which handles Afghanistan and Pakistan. India comes under the jurisdiction of the Pacific Command.      As they do, they get to know each other there and even do some of the things we've done elsewhere in the world where we bring different sides during frozen conflicts together," he argued. "For example, at the Army School at Leavenworth, they're up at Carlisle Barracks, and let them study our Civil War together. And after a few days, they start warming up. I think there are ways for us to build trust between officer corps that will help stabilize these issues, but it's fundamentally a political problem, not a military one of course," Mattis said in response to a question from Senator Scott Brown.  Earlier in written response to senators' questions, Mattis said that Pakistan has concerns about any military cooperation between the US and India, which affects both their relationship with Islamabad and, indirectly, the US efforts in Afghanistan.  "However, we make clear to Pakistan that our military cooperation and engagement is not a threat to Pakistan and that this is not a zero-sum game. We have important relationships and strategic partnerships with both countries that are not at the expense of either," Mattis said.  The US General said close coordination between Central Command (CENTCOM) and Pacific Command (PACOM) is a recognized condition for the regions' challenges to be addressed. "Though some advantages could be realized with India and Pakistan in one AOR, PACOM and CENTCOM, with adequate coordination mechanisms to address US interests in the region, can work symbiotically on long-term security measures," Mattis said.

Chhattisgarh faced highest Naxal attacks in 3 months
 Press Trust of India, Updated: July 28, 2010 20:25 IST  New Delhi:  At least 500 Naxal attacks have been reported in nine states across the country in the last three months, with the highest number reported from Chhattisgarh, government said on Wednesday.  A highest of 140 instances were reported in Chhattisgarh, 111 in Jharkhand, 88 in West Bengal, 78 in Bihar and 43 in Orissa, according to data given in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha by Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Maken.  Twenty incidents including attacks on police and civilians by the Maoists were reported in Maharashtra, followed by 17 in Andhra Pradesh, two in Madhya Pradesh and one in Uttar Pradesh, it said.  According to the data, 348 people, including security force personnel were killed in such attacks. A highest of 194 casualties were reported in Chhattisgarh, followed by 66 in West Bengal and 23 in Orissa.      * NDTVShare on Twitter     * NDTVShare on Social     * NDTVGmail Buzz     * NDTVPrint   In reply to another question, Maken said a total of 378 Naxalites were arrested in the last two months.  "The CPI (Maoist) and other Left Wing Extremist groups source their weapons primarily by looting the same from security forces. In areas of Maoists influence, they also loot weapons from arms license holders. They also manufacture country made weapons in their arms manufacturing units," he said.  "Central Government grants, under security related expenditure scheme, ex-gratia payment of Rs three lakh to family of security personnel killed due to Naxal attacks. In addition, ex-gratia compensation of Rs 15 lakh is paid to the next of kin of personnel of Central para-military forces killed in action," Maken added.

India Orders 57 Hawk Jet Trainers From BAE
 By ANDREW CHUTER Published: 28 Jul 2010 08:51 India has ordered 57 Hawk jet trainers from BAE Systems in a deal worth more than 500 million pounds, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced during a visit to New Delhi.  The contract covers 40 aircraft for the Indian Air Force and 17 for the Indian Navy. All of the aircraft will be assembled in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The air force is already part way through taking delivery of 66 Hawks signed for in a deal earlier this decade. The first 24 of those aircraft were supplied directly from the U.K., with the remainder being built under license by HAL at its Bangalore facility.  HAL is also assembling the Rolls-Royce Adour Mk871 engine used by the jet trainer. The British aero-engine maker said the contract for an additional 57 engines is worth up to 200 million pounds.  Guy Griffiths, the international group managing director at BAE, said the new order highlights the importance of India as a home market to the company.  Earlier this year in a joint venture with local company Mahindra & Mahindra, BAE launched Defence Land Systems India. The company is pushing the sale of mine-protected vehicles locally. BAE will also use the joint venture if it secures a major 155mm howitzer contract for which it is competing to equip the Indian Army.  BAE is also looking to expand in the marine sector and has been talking to potential warship support partners locally for the last couple of years.  India is one of several nations globally where BAE is establishing what it terms a home market. Other home markets, where the company has a significant presence with opportunities to expand, include Saudi Arabia, the U.S., the U.K., Sweden, South Africa and Australia.  Figures released last week by the U.K. governments export arm, the Defence & Security Organisation, pointed to India being the second largest global importer of military equipment after Saudi Arabia.  The DSO figures showed between 2000-09 Indian defense imports totaled $39 billion, compared with Saudi Arabia's $56 billion and the U.S.'s $29 billion. India was Britain's third top destination for exports during the period after Saudi Arabia and the U.S.  Prime Minister David Cameron is currently in India along with other senior cabinet ministers and leading business executives, including BAE chairman Dick Olver, to try to improve political and trade ties with the New Delhi Government. Advertisement Defense News Media Group Armed Forces Journal Armed Forces Journal is the leading joint service monthly magazine for officers and leaders in the United States military community. C4ISR Journal Logo C4ISR Journal, published 10 times per year, is a professional journal dedicated to the rapidly advancing, high-tech realm of military intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Training & Simulation Journal Training & Simulation Journal, often referred to as TSJ, is a bimonthly journal that provides information on the latest trends in products and opportunities in the global military training and simulation market.     

Govt examining CBI recommendation on blacklisting 6 firms: Antony
TNN, Jul 29, 2010, 03.32am IST NEW DELHI: The defence ministry is yet to take a decision on CBI's recommendation to blacklist four foreign and two Indian armament companies for their alleged involvement in the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) scam.  The international firms are Israeli Military Industries (IMI), Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK), Rheinmetall Air Defence and Russian Corporation Defence, while the Indian ones are T S Kissan & Co and R K Machine Tools.  Defence minister A K Antony on Wednesday told Rajya Sabha that the CBI report was still being examined by his ministry. "Further action in the matter will be taken after obtaining the advise of the CVC and the law ministry,'' he said.  Incidentally, the CBI has also recommended the blacklisting of three other foreign firms -- Israeli Soltam, Varas Associates of Isle of Man and South African Denel -- in the recent past.  The defence ministry, however, has scrapped the trials of the 155mm towed artillery guns once again since only one contender, BAE Systems, was left in the race after the other, STK, was named in the OFB scam, as reported earlier.  A series of scandals, beginning from the infamous Bofors one in the mid-1980s, have stymied the long-delayed acquisition of different types of 155mm/52-calibre guns, under the Army's artillery modernisation programme worth well over Rs 20,000 crore.  The most badly-hit has been the over Rs 12,000-crore towed guns project, under which 400 howitzers are to be bought from a foreign vendor and another 1,180 howitzers manufactured indigenously after transfer of technology.  The planned artillery acquisitions, stuck at different stages, include 1,580 towed guns, 814 mounted gun systems, 180 self-propelled wheeled guns and 100 tracked guns.  The OFB scandal has also hit the Rs 1,200-crore OFB-IMI project to set up an ordnance complex of five plants at Nalanda in Bihar to manufacture propellant charges for heavy calibre artillery ammunition for Bofors howitzers and other guns.

Kayani to ensure army calls shots till 2013 polls
Indrani Bagchi, TNN, Jul 29, 2010, 12.01am IST NEW DELHI: When Pakistani PM Yousaf Raza Gilani went on national TV to announce a three-year extension for army chief general Ashfaq Kayani, the news was not unexpected. Kayani’s extension was widely desired by the US and within Pakistan as a sign of solidity and continuity. What it signifies immediately is that Kayani will continue to be the power behind the civilian facade in Pakistan, all the way until the next scheduled elections in 2013, which he is likely to preside over.  The development has not seen wild cheering in India. Because, by India’s assessment, Kayani remains one of the traditional, congenitally anti-India commanders of the Pakistan army. In fact, India need not have torn its heart out worrying about the failure of the foreign ministers’ talks in Islamabad. The army, particularly Kayani, did not want talks with India at this point.  So we have three more years of a man who, as DG ISI between 2004-07, ran the Taliban and the Haqqanis against Indian interests in Afghanistan. As army chief, he has been upfront with his demand that India should exit Afghanistan if he is expected to play ball on a resolution there, with the Taliban in tow. Most of all, while he may be running operations against the Pakistan Taliban and Swat and South Waziristan, he wants to protect two of his most precious assets — Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Haqqani network — to use them against India.  Kayani, who started out as an apolitical army chief, is now in the driving seat in Pakistan. Built in the traditional mould of the Pakistan army, he has gone back to a determinedly anti-India stand as the cementing factor for the army. His stance matters because he has quietly occupied the top slot in the leadership stakes in Pakistan. A day before the foreign secretary talks in February, Kayani told a defence committee in the National Assembly that under him, the army would remain "India-centric". "India has the capability, intentions can change overnight," he said.  Pakistan’s strategic outreach has been managed by Kayani — with a buzzing power-point presentation at the Nato headquarters in Brussels on how he could help the west get out of Afghanistan, getting the Turks to keep India out of a key conference on Afghanistan, starring in the lead role in the strategic dialogue with the US as well as being China’s pointperson in Pakistan.  By 2010, Kayani also had US generals David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal convinced that he would be part of the solution in Afghanistan, even though they knew in their intel assessments that he was the problem.  Kayani, say Pakistani experts, brought back to the Pakistan army its quintessential value — conviction about its centrality as the bulwark of the Pakistan state. That means keeping India, Kashmir etc in the forefront, and reclaiming strategic depth in Afghanistan. Until PM Manmohan Singh complained bitterly to Barack Obama in April, the US was quite happy to keep Kayani flush with weapons — all of which are directed against India.  Kayani belongs to a middle class family in Gujjar Khan tehsil, Rawalpindi district. His father Lehrasab was a naib-subedar in the Pakistan army, so he is steeped in the old Pakistan army values. This makes him a relative rarity among Pakistan’s privileged leadership. He cut his teeth in the army during the 1971 India-Pakistan war. Thirty years later, as director-general military operations (DGMO), Kayani directed the 10-month standoff against India.  The question remains how much Kayani is willing to let groups like LeT and HuJI carry on their activities against India, with ISI support. Pakistan refuses to acknowledge Indian concerns on LeT or on the Haqqani network, Ilyas Kashmiri etc. Despite the US tut-tutting to Kayani about these groups, he has remained adamant. "Pakistan’s long-term national interests would never be sacrificed on someone else’s short-term interests," he has maintained.

155-mm gun contract: DRDO enters the fray
Ajai Shukla / Pune July 29, 2010, 0:36 IST  With the international procurement of the 155-mm towed gun for the Indian Army dogged by controversy and failure, India’s Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) has made the potentially game-changing decision to jump into the fray. The DRDO’s most productive laboratory, the Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE) in Pune, could soon become the hub for developing an indigenous 155-mm towed gun, with the DRDO partnering private industry giants such as Bharat Forge and Larsen & Toubro.  A DRDO project to produce a 155-mm towed gun indigenously would introduce an Indian consortium into a jinxed procurement confined to foreign vendors, many attended by controversy. Today, defence minister A K Antony informed Parliament that the Central Bureau of Investigation had recommended the blacklisting of four companies that had been involved, at various stages of this procurement: Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK); Germany’s Rheinmetall; Israel Military Industries (IMI); and another Israeli company, Soltam. Denel, a South African company, had been blacklisted earlier; and the only other gun on offer, the BAE Systems FH-77B-05 howitzer, is a modernised version of the controversial Bofors gun.  In these circumstances, say MoD sources, an indigenous 155-mm gun could be a politically palatable choice. Anil Datar, the ARDE Director, told Business Standard, “Within the DRDO, we are discussing how to develop a 155-mm gun. We can make it, no problem, with the help of Indian industry. A 155mm gun requires high-class manufacturing; we have Bharat Forge and L&T in and around Pune, which are keen to join us.”  While the ARDE — the DRDO’s facility for developing small arms, guns, howitzers, and rockets — has worked on gun technology earlier, now the army appears to have also concluded that indigenous development might be a faster route than international procurement.  The DRDO spokesperson in New Delhi, Ravi Gupta, confirmed to the Business Standard, “The DRDO is very keen to develop 155-mm guns for the army. We had formed a team to work on this more than a decade ago, but the army did not give us a firm requirement then. Now, the army has expressed interest in the 155-mm gun project and preliminary work has already begun.”  The selection of a 155-mm towed gun has dragged on for eight years without result. On Friday, the MoD cancelled army trials of two guns — the Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK) IFH-2000; and the BAE Systems FH-77B-05 — after the CBI’s announcement about STK left only the Bofors gun in contention. MoD insiders say it was impossible to select that gun on a single-vendor basis.  The contract, worth an estimated Rs 8,000 crore, envisages buying 400 towed guns off the shelf and building 1,180 in India from transferred technology.  Highlighting the ARDE’s experience in guns and artillery systems, Datar says: “The army is currently inducting our Pinaka multi-barrelled rocket launcher, a world-class system. Our 120-mm gun for the Arjun tank has outperformed the T-90 gun in army trials. In 1972, ARDE developed the 105mm Indian Field Gun (IFG), which was a mainstay of the Army’s field artillery. We assisted with up-gunning the army’s 130mm gun to 155-mm. And, ARDE produced a heavy 185-mm gun, but that never entered service because the army was not interested then.”  Datar claims ARDE — given adequate support from the private sector, and from the DRDO network of 50-odd laboratories — could develop a world-class 155-mm gun within three to three and a half years. The Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory, in Hyderabad, would develop special alloys and materials for the gun. Ammunition would be tested at the Proof and Experimental Establishment at Balasore, Orissa. Warheads would be tested at the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory, Chandigarh.  The ARDE is one of DRDO’s star laboratories, having developed over 200 items that are in service with the military today. With just one per cent of DRDO’s total budget and five per cent of the DRDO’s manpower (1,300 persons, including 220 scientists and 250 technical officers), the ARDE has developed 70 per cent of the equipment that the Ordnance Factories have manufactured for the military.


Mail your comments, suggestions and ideas to me

Template created by Rohit Agarwal