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Friday, 9 July 2010

From Today's Papers - 09 Jul 2010






Indo-Pak talks aim to build trust: Krishna
Ashok Tuteja Tribune News Service  New Delhi, July 8 Ahead of his much-anticipated meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmud Qureshi on July 15 in Islamabad, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna today declined to pre-judge the outcome of the talks, saying these were primarily aimed at reducing the “trust deficit” between the two countries.  “Let us not pre-judge the outcome. An initiative has been taken by Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and PM Manmohan Singh. This is primarily to reduce the trust deficit. This is a confidence-building measure," Krishna told reporters when asked if the Sir Creek issue would figure in the talks. He was speaking on the sidelines of the All India Annual Conference for Haj.  When asked about China's attempt to build a rail link with Pakistan through Karakoram, Krishna said, “Our National Security Adviser (Shivshankar Menon) went to China as Prime Minister's emissary. I have not got a chance to discuss the issue with him yet. But we are closely watching what is happening.”  On talks with Pakistan, New Delhi obviously is not keen on raising the level of expectations from what will be the first formal interaction at the political level between the two countries after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.  Officials said India would again ask Pakistan to speed up the trial of the seven LeT operatives arrested by the Pakistani authorities for their involvement in the Mumbai attacks. It would also like to know from Islamabad whether it had provided to the Pakistani courts the evidence supplied by India linking JuD chief Hafeez Saeed with the Mumbai carnage.  Krishna, who leaves for Islamabad on July 14, is also expected to call on President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani before returning home on July 16. Issues like trade and people-to-people contacts are likely to come up in a big way during his talks with Qureshi.









  Signals from Srinagar Limited use of the Army unavoidable 
The Army staging a flag march in parts of Srinagar sends out a signal that the situation is quite alarming in the valley. Despite the efforts by the police and the paramilitary forces (read the CRPF) for the past few days, people have continued to indulge in violence on various pretexts. Even the imposition of curfew has not brought about the desired result. The trouble-makers, indulging in stone-throwing at the slightest pretext, have been able to violate curfew orders with impunity. Why? Perhaps, they have come to believe that even if they are arrested on charges of stone throwing at security forces, nothing much will happen to them. The law needs to be amended to send across the message that anyone indulging in the hurling of stones, using these as a weapon, will invite severe punishment. Such elements must be dealt with sternly.  The security forces cannot keep quiet when they are attacked by elements specialising in throwing stones. And once the men in uniform open fire in self-defence, there are chances of protesters succumbing to injuries. This will obviously further antagonise people, contributing to their alienation. This vicious circle must be broken for peace to prevail in the valley.  In such a situation, deploying the Army to serve as a “deterrent” is understandable. What can the nation do when the situation threatens to worsen. The step has been taken with the state government asking for it. The Cabinet Committee on Security, which met in New Delhi on Wednesday to take stock of the growing crisis in Kashmir, has done well to make it clear that the Army will be there only in “peripheral” areas in Srinagar and elsewhere so that Pakistan-trained saboteurs can be prevented from taking advantage of the situation. In any case, using the Army for crowd control, and that too in a sensitive border state like Jammu and Kashmir, is fraught with enormous risks. In fact, it will be better if more paramilitary forces are deployed to bring the situation under control. This will be in the larger national interest. Ideally, the Army should step in with full force only when all measures have failed.








  Pak-China N-nexus India must step up diplomatic pressure 
India has reason to be concerned over Pakistan’s nuclear reactor deal with China, given Islamabad’s record of nuclear proliferation and China’s proclivity to build up that country as a potential threat to India. When India got a waiver for nuclear commerce from the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group, which controls the export and sale of nuclear technology worldwide, there was universal acceptance that India had an impeccable non-proliferation record. By contrast, Pakistan’s record of proliferation is appalling. Equating the two countries on this vital issue of international security would be dangerous indeed. The father of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, A.Q. Khan, had at one stage openly acknowledged his country’s proliferation to Iran and North Korea. Pakistan is also believed to be the fountainhead of the proposed Islamic bomb. The threat due to Pakistan’s enhancement of nuclear capability is, therefore, not just to India but to the world at large.  Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s claim that the agreement for China to build two nuclear reactors in Pakistan was inked in 2009 though China notified the NSG only last month does not detract from the gravity of the deal. Mr Zardari’s statement in Beijing that his current visit is the fifth since October 2008 only strengthens suspicions that the two countries have been up to something. It would be wrong for the NSG to allow the deal on grounds that it was initiated in 2004 when China was not a member of the NSG. India’s stand that the pre-2004. China-Pakistan pact accounted only for the Chashma-2 reactor and some research reactors and that this deal for nuclear reactors is in the aftermath of the NSG”s waiver to India is weighty.  It is now up to India to raise the pitch of its diplomatic opposition to the China-Pakistan deal so that the NSG, if approached, does not brush aside Pakistan’s proliferation record. While the Pakistan government’s own intentions are suspect, there is a big question mark also over the security of Pakistan’s nuclear assets which the world cannot brush aside.








Stone pelting Intercepts show Pak link
Tribune News Service  New Delhi, July 8 The trail of ongoing series of stone-pelting incidents in Jammu and Kashmir is being traced to persons based in Pakistan and also hardline instigators based here, intercepts by intelligence agencies have indicated. Separately, the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram made it clear that the Army will be in Kashmir “as long as it is necessary” to deal with the situation there.  Chidambaram’s was briefed by the Union Home Secretary GK Pillai, who had visited Kashmir yesterday. This morning Chidambaram told reporters that the purpose of moving in the Army was to “serve as a deterrent…Army has been kept ready in case it becomes necessary to deploy it…….But I sincerely hope that it will not be necessary for too long.”  On the involvement of hardline separatists in engineering some of the violence in the Kashmir valley, sources said the home ministry has been supplied with transcripts showing two persons discussing about a procession near Srinagar yesterday.  As per sources, two office-bearers of the hardline Hurriyat faction led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani discussed how to “create casualties”. According to sources, one Ghulam Ahmed Dar was heard telling Shabir Ahmed Wani, another office-bearer, that a procession of nearly 20,000 people had started. Wani told Dar, "You guys enjoy payments sitting at home and do nothing." Dar, in his response, says, "the management of crowd becomes difficult later.....It gets difficult to manage the mob later." Dar then ends up by saying, "At least 15 people should be martyred today", source said while quoting from the transcript.  Luckily the police dispersed the procession with a mild cane charge and no untoward incident took place.  Most of the stone-pelting is being attributed to the disgruntled elements out to de-rail the Indo-Pak peace process. Boys are being paid up to Rs 300 for each incident of stone -pelting and the money is transferred using a popular money transfer agency via the Gulf.  Last week the Home Minister had made a categorical statement saying the Lashkar-e-Toiba was instigating people in the valley.  Official sources said the thinking in the government was that once normalcy is restored all shades of opinion could be invited for a dialogue to evolve a political solution. During the interaction of the Home Secretary state government officials have been told to crack down and no one involved in violence or mischief should be spared. They state has been asked to register specific FIR’s against stone-pelters. The state government must be seen taking action, said sources.  Earlier, in the day the Home Minister said the Jammu and Kashmir government requested for deployment of Army. The curfew is in place only for a couple of days.









   ’62 Warrior Jawan’s body found after 48 years
Ashok Raina  Kangra, July 8 Karam Chand Katoch, a jawan representing the Dogra Regiment during the Chinese aggression of 1962, who was claimed to be missing, had attained martyrdom at the China’s border in Arunachal Pradesh. His body remained dumped for 48 years under the glaciers of the area and was recovered a few days back.  Jaswant Singh Katoch, nephew of the martyr, said today that following the Chinese aggression of 1962 his grandfather Kashmir Singh Katoch of Agochar village in this district received a message from the Army that his 21-year-old son had gone missing during the war. His name never figured among the prisoners of war. Kashmir Singh and his wife Gaytri Devi had waited till their last breath to know about the whereabouts of their son, but no information was received till then. Kashmir Singh passed away in 1985 while Gaytri Devi died in 1990.  Jaswant said, “I received a communication on July 6 from Col SK Singh of 4 Dogra Regiment that mortal remains of KC Katoch were recovered and will be brought from the China border to Teensukhia in Assam from where it will reach Agochar village between July 11-14.” Jaswant, who is serving the SSB in Assam, was on a leave here and had got it extended in order to perform the last rites of his uncle.  He said had his uncle’s body been traced when his grandparents were alive, their urge to know about the fate of their missing son would have relieved them of the mental trauma that they carried with them till their last breath.









Defence Ministry examining CBI advice
K. V. Prasad
The Defence Ministry is examining a recommendation of the CBI to blacklist six firms, including four international companies, for their alleged involvement in the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) scam.  Sources in the Ministry told The Hindu that the communication to this effect was received on Wednesday and put up for consideration at the top level. Reports, quoting sources in the CBI, said the four companies were one each from Singapore, Israel, Russia and Switzerland.  According to the CBI, which filed a chargesheet on June 30, a Letter Rogatory was issued by the CBI court in Kolkata to the Central authority in Singapore seeking assistance, and this was pending execution.  Last year, Defence Minister A.K. Antony put on hold all acquisition cases in the pipeline in respect to seven companies, including the Israeli Military Industry, Singapore Technologies Kinetics and two Indian companies, T.S. Kishan and R.K. Machine Tools, following an FIR by the CBI in the OFB case.  Singapore Technologies Kinetics is among the two companies that were short-listed by the Indian Army to supply 155mm towed guns, but after the decision of the Defence Minister things came to a standstill.  Earlier this year, the Ministry allowed the Army to conduct trials in which the Singapore Technologies Kinetics was also permitted with a caveat that the final decision will be subject to the CBI case. The Ministry had obtained the views of the Central Vigilance Commission before giving the go-ahead for trials.









Tragedy strikes Jamwal family again
Jul 9, 2010, 12.00am IST Gladwin Emmanuel I TNN  Tragedy struck the well known Jammu-based Jamwal family for a second time when the elder son, Rear Admiral Satyendra Singh Jamwal was accidentally killed while examining a firearm at the INS Dronacharya in Kochi on Wednesday.  The Rear Admiral, 51, was Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command. He was at the naval base to inspect the coastal security training for new cadets. While examining their weapons, the officer, often referred to as Arnold Schwarzenegger by friends for his machismo, said he’d like to fire a few shots.  “He first fired with an INSAS rifle and changed over to a pistol, but unfortunately the pistol misfired. After it misfired a couple of times, Jamwal decided to examine the cause, but the muzzle was pointing at him,” Commodore MR Ajayakumar, Naval Officer in Charge, Kerala, told reporters in Kochi. Unfortunately for Jamwal, the pistol misfired again, fatally injuring him.  As the news of Jamwal’s injury spread, it recalled another accident about 15 years ago involving his younger brother, Kunwar Rameshwar Singh Jamwal. The latter, better known in Mumbai haute society as Jammie, is married to interior designer and socialite Nisha Jamwal.  Days after his wedding to Nisha, Jamwal, who graduated from IIM Ahmedabad, jumped into a pool for a swim, not realising that all the water had been drained out. He suffered injuries that left him paralysed. Writer Jeffrey Archer has fictionalized the turbulent ups and downs of Jammie and Nisha’s romance in his new book of short stories.  Both brothers went to Lawrence School, Sanawar, where they were keen athletes, specialising in discus and javelin throw. Both had won the Hodson’s Cup in school. As she and her husband prepared to leave for Kochi, Nisha recalled her late brother-in-law as a “gentle, athletic man.”  Rear Admiral SS Jamwal was commissioned in the executive branch of the Indian Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer on July 1, 1980 and had specialised in Anti Submarine Warfare. After school, he went to the National Defence Academy, Grechko Naval War College USSR, Defence Services Staff College Wellington, and Army War College.  He is survived by his wife, two children and his father, General JS Jamwal. The Navy has ordered a board of inquiry to go into the details of Wednesday’s accident.




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