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Saturday, 4 September 2010

From Today's Papers - 04 Sep 2010






India not happy with China’s reply on PoK
New Delhi objects to Beijing calling J&K as ‘Indian-held Kashmir’ Ashok Tuteja Tribune News Service  New Delhi, September 3 India today lodged a strong protest with China for calling Jammu and Kashmir as 'Indian-held Kashmir' while conveying to Beijing its concerns over the presence of Chinese troops in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK).  Indian Ambassador to China S Jaishankar met Chinese Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Zhang Zhijun at the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing and discussed various issues that have triggered tension between the two countries in recent days, official sources here said. Jaishankar's meeting with the Chinese minister came a day after a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Jiang Yu, denied a report in the New York Times about the presence of about 11,000 Chinese troops in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of PoK, which, she described, as 'northern part of Pakistan'.  While answering another question on China's visa policy towards Indian nationals from J&K, the Chinese spokesperson had said: "China's visa policy towards the residents of Indian-held Kashmir is consistent and remains unchanged.'' It may be pointed out that China has been issuing visas to the residents of J&K on separate sheets stapled on the passports, thus questioning the status of the state.  Jaishankar returned to Beijing from New Delhi on Thursday after attending a meeting of the Indian Heads of Missions. Since he was in the Indian capital, he was also called to a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, convened to discuss relations with China. Jaishankar briefed the CCS on developments relating to China and was told to immediately convey New Delhi's concerns to Beijing on his return to the Chinese capital.  Following the report in the New York Times, New Delhi had said it would independently verify the presence of Chinese troops in PoK. The Chinese side is now believed to have explained that the troops were present in the Gilgit area to help provide assistance to the people affected by recent floods.  Jaishankar is also learnt to have discussed the issue of the denial of visa by China to Lt Gen BS Jaswal on the ground that he headed the Indian forces in J&K.  The sources said New Delhi has been quite surprised over the aggressiveness in China's behaviour in the past two years, in the midst of sincere efforts being made by India to normalise relations. "The Sino-Indian relationship is a complex one, given the nature of the border dispute… but our sincerity is perhaps being misinterpreted as a sign of weakness by Beijing,'' they added.









In Seoul, Antony inks crucial military pact 
Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service  New Delhi, September 3 Signalling a dramatic change in its strategic positioning, especially vis-à-vis China, India today entered into a crucial joint research and manufacturing agreement with South Korea to co-develop and co-produce military equipment.  Both countries are neighbours of China and have a rather testy and tense relationship with it.  On the military front the importance of the agreement can be gauged from the fact that India has such agreements for co-developing and co-producing military equipment with its traditional “friend” Russia and other ally, Israel. It also has product-based cooperation for joint production of key military equipment with the French and Italians. Following the agreement, experts have placed India-South Korea military relations at par with Indian relations with Russia and Israel.  Memorandums of Understanding were signed today following a 90-minute discussion between high-level delegations led by Defence Ministers, AK Antony and Kim Tae-young, respectively, Indian Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said in an emailed communiqué from Seoul, South Korea. This was the first-ever visit of a Indian Defence Minister to South Korea.  The agreements are seen as a strategic counter to China which has its own key military partnerships with Pakistan and North Korea, the respective bitter rivals of India and South Korea.  One of the two MoUs aims at identifying futuristic defence technology areas of mutual interest and pursuing R&D in both the countries. It also envisages co- development and co-production of defence products with Indian industry through the DRDO. Some priority areas are marine systems, electronics and intelligent systems, Sitanshu Kar added.  For India the Chief Controller of Research and Development of DRDO, Dr Prahlada signed the document while the Vice Commissioner, Defence Acquisition and Procurement Agency (DAPA) of South Korea, Kwon Oh Bong signed for his country.









IAF salutes Gp Capt Sachin
A dream come true, says master blaster; wishes to fly in Sukhoi-30 Tribune News Service  New Delhi, September 3 Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was today conferred with the Indian Air Force's honorary rank of Group Captain — equal to a Colonel of the Indian Army. Another cricketing legend Kapil Dev was conferred the rank of Lt Colonel by the Territorial Army in 2008.  According to rules, both cricketing legends can be “promoted” so their fans can wait and watch. Tendulkar is the first sportsperson to be conferred a rank by the IAF and the first personality with no aviation background to receive the honour. It remains to be seen if the cricket score displays will display the rank when the master batsman plays his next game of cricket.  This afternoon, the Mumbaikar arrived at a jam-packed IAF auditorium at Subroto Park wearing a black striped coat and was introduced to Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh. Later the IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal P V Naik, did the honours of piping the epaulettes on the shoulders of the great batsman, who was visibly proud, and even nervous.  Tendulkar saluted the IAF chief in the true tradition of a soldier. The Chief returned the salute with a smile on his lips and shook hands with the new “officer” of the IAF.  Before getting the rank, Tendulkar had gone through a process of familiarisation with the IAF and training in basic military practices and drills. On his part, Kapil has already undergone weapon training with the Army.  Minutes after being conferred the rank, Tendulkar said the honour conferred on him by the Indian Air Force was his greatest achievement and he was indeed happy to be a part of the IAF family. He went on to jokingly say the least he could do to look like an Air Force officer was to wear the signature aviator glasses worn by pilots.  The ace batsman expressed a desire to fly in a Sukhoi-30 — which is India’s frontline fighter and is considered the very best in the category of combat planes. The IAF chief promised a sortie and added that it depended on the master blaster to make himself available for the purpose.  Tendulkar went on to add: “…it was wishful thinking, a dream to be in the IAF… and it has come true today…. I want to urge the youth to join the Air Force and serve the nation.”  The Air chief said the batting legend's association with the IAF would help make the youth more aware about the Air Force. So far, 21 eminent personalities have been granted honorary ranks by the IAF.








Sachin becomes IAF's honorary Group Captain 
NDTV Correspondent, Updated: September 03, 2010 17:32 IST Ads by Google  Luxury Home Doors Windows – European Quality. Made for India. India's #1 Window & Door Company  www.Fenesta.com  New Delhi:  "So dream...because dreams do come true," said Sachin Tendulkar as he was formally inducted as an Honorary Group Captain of the Indian Air Force in Delhi on Friday.  An in-uniform Sachin said after watching Tom Cruise in Top Gun as a teenager, he took to wearing aviator sunglasses. "I was fond of fighter planes, super bikes. But I had the privilege of getting into a fighter plane in 1996 in South Africa...I have never revealed this before but I was really scared."  (Pics: Group Captain Sachin Tendulkar)  The Air Force has conferred the honorary rank on Sachin in recognition of his achievements as an Indian and a cricketer. In June, a formal statement from Rashtrapati Bhawan said, "as the supreme commander of the armed forces of India", President Pratibha Patil had decided to include Sachin "under the provision of grant of honorary rank by armed forces to eminent personalities acknowledging their contribution towards the nation." (Watch)  Tendulkar will function like a brand ambassador, and is expected to inspire many young men and women to join the air force.  He is the first sportsperson to be conferred a rank by IAF and the first personality with no aviation background to receive the honour.      * NDTVShare on Twitter     * NDTVShare on Social     * NDTVGmail Buzz     * NDTVPrint   In 2008, India's World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev had received the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel of the Territorial Army.  The Air Force says that in recent months, Tendulkar has been trained in basic military practices and drills.   Read more at:










India, S Korea sign 5-year defence co-op agreement
Press Trust of India / New Delhi September 03, 2010, 14:55 IST  India and South Korea today entered into a five-year defence cooperation accord by signing two memorandums of understandings on sharing of military expertise and technology.  Defence Minister A K Antony and his Korean counterpart Kim Tae-Young signed the two agreements in Seoul during the former's two-day official visit there.  "Heralding a new chapter in the history of defence cooperation, India and South Korea today signed two landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to give a huge boost to the Strategic Partnership between the two countries," Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said in a release from Seoul.  The two MoUs were signed at the end of nearly 90-minute intensive discussions between the delegations of the two countries, he said.  After the signing of the agreements, Antony said New Delhi would be happy to see the defence industry relationship to be "more than a buyer-seller relationship" and its further evolution into Transfer of Technology, joint production and joint Research and Development.  He expressed the hope that his visit would start a new chapter in the already close relationship between the two nations.  Kim, in his address, said the two MoUs would provide a "win-win scenario" for the two countries in a number of areas.  This was the first-ever visit of an India Defence Minister to South Korea.  Antony is accompanied by a high-level delegation that includes Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, Navy Vice Admiral R K Dhowan, Army Lieutenant General K T Parnaik, DRDO's Dr Prahlada and Adviser to Defence Minister Sundaram Krishna.  The first MoU envisaged exchange of defence-related experience and information, mutual exchange and visits by military personnel and experts including civilian staff associated with defence services, military education and training and conduct of military exercises, exchange visits of ships and aircraft, as jointly decided between the two countries, Kar said.  The MoU also provided for cooperation in humanitarian assistance and international peace-keeping activities.  "The MoU will remain valid for a period of five years with provision for its extension by five more years," he said.









Indian army likes U.S. anti-tank weaponry 
September 3rd, 2010 | U.S. News  Published: Sept. 3, 2010 at 5:51 PM  KOLKATA, India, Sept. 3 (UPI) — India’s Ministry of Defense is placing orders for U.S. armaments following joint exercises with U.S. military forces.  Russia has traditionally been India’s largest arms supplier but following evidence of the capabilities of U.S. military equipment during joint exercises with the Indian army, navy and air force, the Indian army decided to purchase of several hundred Javelin anti-tank guided missiles, demonstrated during the war games, the Telegraph reported Friday.  The Javelins were deployed for Indian forces for the first time in the Yudh Abhyas 09 joint military exercise in Babina, the largest war game that the two armies have had.  A Ministry of Defense source said: “We have sent a letter of request to the U.S. government. We want to procure the Javelin ATGMs with an agreement for transfer of technology.”  One point that has yet to be negotiated is the final cost of the ATGMs, which is significantly higher than the army’s current anti-tank weapon, Milan anti-tank missiles made in India with French collaboration.









India to discuss China with US later this month
Indrani Bagchi, TNN, Sep 4, 2010, 03.18am IST NEW DELHI: Even as India formally protested to China about the presence of its troops in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, New Delhi is getting ready to engage the US on China.  Indian officials, led by Gautam Bambawale, joint secretary, East Asia, in the MEA, will be in Washington later this month for the second round of Asian strategic dialogue with Kurt Campbell, US assistant secretary of state for East Asia. While the dialogue will largely cover the two countries approach to Asian policies and strategies, China is likely to dominate the talks. The first round of the talks was held in New Delhi in April, where India and the US for the first time shared perceptions and assessments about China, followed by other countries like Myanmar.  A lot has happened with China since then. Both India and the US have had several run-ins with China on national security issues all of which are likely to be discussed.  In July, the US barged its way into the South China Sea debate at the Asean conference, what went unnoticed was that India joined 11 other countries to openly declare that the South China Sea should remain open for international navigation. It was an important statement, and it was made at the Asean Region Forum "retreat" meeting by MoS external affairs Preneet Kaur. It was made in response to China's declaration that the South China Sea would to be an integral part of Beijing's "core" interest, along with Tibet and Taiwan.  India retains a strong interest in keeping sea lanes open in the South China Sea. Apart from helping secure energy supplies for countries like Japan and Korea, India has the unique distinction of shipping oil from Sakhalin to Mangalore through this sea route. For China to maintain control over these waters would be very difficult for India to accept.  In the past few months, the US has upped the ante with China on the national security front -- its naval exercises with South Korea in the Sea of Japan raised hackles in Beijing (even though the US refrained from conducting these exercises in the Yellow sea, which would have really riled the Chinese).  China has also stopped defence exchanges with the US, after the Obama administration carried out arms sales with Taiwan.  China has been hurting India's own core interests lately, with the matter coming to a head when Beijing refused to allow the visit of the Indian army's GOC-in-C northern command because his command included Jammu & Kashmir.  There is a growing perception in India that the Chinese military establishment is playing a different foreign policy script than the foreign office in Beijing. This perception has been strengthened over the past couple of years, which makes India's diplomacy on China a lot more difficult.










Pacts signed with South Korea to strengthen defence ties
Aman Malik India and South Korea signed two agreements to boost defence exchanges, including bilateral military exercises, signalling an intent to strengthen their partnership in the area. The pacts were signed during a 2-4 September visit to South Korea by defence minister A.K. Antony. Antony is accompanied by a high-level delegation that includes the defence adviser, defence secretary and senior officials from the army and navy and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Antony’s visit, a part of India’s so-called “Look East” policy, had assumed significance in light of the reports of Chinese troops in the Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and a recent Pentagon report on the Chinese military build-up. India and South Korea will seek to identify futuristic defence technology areas of mutual interest and pursue research and development (R&D) and co-development and co-production of defence products with Indian industry through DRDO, with both countries holding a joint intellectual property rights on all products developed through this mechanism. India presently has a similar deal with Russia, under which the BrahMos missile programme has been jointly developed by the two countries. “New Delhi will be happy to see the defence industry relationship to be more than a buyer-seller relationship and its further evolution into transfer of technology, joint production, joint R&D,” Antony said in a statement. Analysts point out that India could look at developing critical technologies in collaboration with South Korea. “There are indications that apart from ship building and land systems, the two countries could undertake joint development of missile technology in South Korea, but neither country is openly talking about it right now,” an analyst on East Asian affairs said on condition of anonymity. “India and South Korea share a common perception of maintaining peace as well as ensuring safety and security of sea lanes communication in the region. Regular exchanges toward ensuring maritime security is important to both countries, especially in securing vital energy supplies that pass through the Indian Ocean,” said Antony, indicating that the two countries are looking at a long-term strategic partnership.










Government conveysconcern to China
Elizabeth Roche India on Friday formally conveyed its concerns to China over reports of the presence of thousands of People’s Liberation Army troopers in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir—a region India claims is part of its territory. A foreign ministry official confirmed that India’s ambassador to China S. Jaishankar had met and discussed the subject of Chinese “activity and presence” with vice-minister for foreign affairs Zhang Zhijun in Beijing on Friday. The move comes in the wake of a recent report in The New York Times (NYT) that spoke of the influx of 7,000-11,000 Chinese soldiers in the Gilgit-Baltistan region—to ensure unfettered road and rail access to West Asia through Pakistan. That would shorten the time taken by Chinese oil tankers to 48 hours from 16 to 25 days, it said. Many of the Chinese troopers entering Gilgit-Baltistan were expected to work on the railroad project, the report said, adding others were constructing dams and expressways. Some were also building 22 tunnels that could be used for laying a gas pipeline from Iran to China across the Himalayas but could alternatively be used as missile storage sites. The meeting between Jaishankar and Zhang also comes a day after Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu dismissed the NYT report as “totally groundless”. The issue of Chinese troops in Gilgit-Balistan is the latest in a series of developments casting a shadow over the uneasy ties the two countries. Last year, local media was replete with reports of Chinese troop intrusions across the yetto-be demarcated border in eastern India—a legacy of a brief but bitter 1962 border dispute. The Chinese government also protested against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims is part of its territory, during an election campaign. The Indian government allowing the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh despite Chinese protests and China issuing stapled visas to Kashmiris did not help matters. Political and diplomatic ties seemed to be back on an even keel this year with President Pratibha Patil visiting China and national security adviser Shiv Shankar Menon holding talks to resolve differences in July. But in August, India put on hold defence exchanges with Beijing that were started with the aim of eliminating the deep-seated mistrust between the armies of the two countries as Chinese authorities refused to grant a visa to a senior Indian army officer in charge of Kashmir. Sujit Dutta, an expert on China, noted that India-China relations were becoming “more and more complex” and “not conducive to maintaining a happy engagement.” “No doubt, this has to be seen in the context of an increasingly assertive China,” said Dutta, a professor at Jamia Millia Islamia. “This assertiveness is being felt by most of China’s neighbours, barring Russia and Pakistan,” he said, referring to worries expressed by several South-East Asian countries about China flexing its military and diplomatic muscle.










Indian army chief to pay five-day visit to Sri Lanka
Friday, September 3, 2010 16:20 IST  Seeking to give a fillip to bilateral military ties, army chief General VK Singh is set to undertake a five-day visit to Sri Lanka from Sunday to discuss defence cooperation.  During his visit, Singh is scheduled to meet defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, his Sri Lankan counterpart Jagath Jayasuriya and other senior defence officials.  The Indian army chief, who was awarded the 'Yudh Sena Medal' for his distinguished service during 'Operation Pawan' against the LTTE in Sri Lanka, would also visit the war-ravaged Vavuniya in the island nation's north.  His visit to Sri Lanka comes close on the heels of a four-day trip here by Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.  According to sources, as many as five high-level Indian delegations from various fields are slated to visit Sri Lanka this month.  Foreign minister SM Krishna is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka in October end to inaugurate consulates in Hambantota and Jaffna. He will also be attending the India-Lanka joint commission meeting.  Also on the anvil are visits by Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal PV Naik and Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, media reports said.  Naval chief Admiral Nirmal Verma had visited Sri Lanka in June.  Besides an annual defence dialogue, India and Sri Lanka would be looking to step up maritime-security cooperation and would consider increasing the level and frequency of defence exchanges, the reports said.








Consim Info launches portal for the defence personnel
 Submitted by news on September 3, 2010 - 07:22 Consim Info launches portal for the defence personnel  CHENNAI, India - 02 September 2010 - Consim Info Pvt. Ltd., India's leading Internet Company is launching an exclusive site, DefenceMatrimony (www.defencematrimony.com) a part of CommunityMatrimony.com to provide online matrimony services to the Army, Air Force and Navy personnel.  This new exclusive matrimony service addresses the needs of the defence personnel who do not have the time or the opportunity to search and meet potential partners through the usual channels. DefenceMatrimony offers free matrimony services to war widow/widowers and defence personnel who are physically challenged. Further, the site offers lower rates on all membership packages to those currently in defence service and for ex-servicemen. The website not only contains profiles of defence officers and their children but also of personnel below officer rank.  Mr.Mahadevan, Business Head,Consim Info Pvt. Ltd. says "Defence personnel posted in remote areas like Siachen or Kargil have a tough time finding suitable matches. Our portal allows the parents of the defence personnel to choose the right partner for their children. Consim has been an innovator and pioneer in the matrimony space through BharatMatrimony, CommunityMatrimony, PrivilegeMarimony and now DefenceMatrimony to add to the list!”  Chief Guest Air Vice Marshall V.K. Dayalu (AVSM, VSM), says “To be a defence personnel’s life partner, one has to learn to live in all kinds of situations. Moving from civilian life to defence life is a big decision and requires a great deal of understanding, flexibility and mutual support from both parties. I am proud to launch DefenceMatrimony which serves to connect people from the defence field and helps them in finding a life partner within the defence community.




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