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Monday, 4 October 2010

From Today's Papers - 04 Oct 2010

AFT denies pension to Maj-Gen in CBI net
Vijay Mohan Tribune News Service  Chandigarh, October 3 The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has declined to release pension benefits to a Major General who has been booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The tribunal has said that all post-retiral benefits can be adjusted only after the criminal prosecution concludes.  Maj Gen AK Kapur had challenged the Disciplinary Vigilance (DV) ban on the release of full pension and other retiral benefits after the CBI registered a case against him for allegedly possessing assets disproportionate to known sources of his income. The matter is pending before the competent civilian court.  The CBI registered an FIR against General Kapur in October, 2007, on the basis of sourced information, which the officer contended were anonymous complaints against him. The FIR was lodged just prior to the Special Selection Board (SSB) meeting and the case prompted the Army Headquarters to impose a ban on his promotion.  The tribunal’s Bench comprising Justice AK Mathur and Lt Gen ML Naidu observed that the petitioner was facing DV ban “Type-C” which was invoked when the competent authority accorded approval for prosecution of the officer by the CBI in the civil court. As per provisions, all his retiral benefits would be paid after adjudication of the case, be it in his favour or against.  The petitioner submitted that as per the policy of the DV Ban, the relation with the Army had ceased to exist with effect from the date he retired and therefore, the matter should be dealt under Section 123 of the Army Act. Further, his leave encashment should have been released.  The Bench ruled that it did not make any difference for the simple reason that as per the policy, the incumbent who was facing criminal prosecution by the CBI and as per “Type-C” ban, all his retiral benefits had to be determined after decision of the criminal trial in accordance with the pension regulations for the Army.

IAF to buy pilot security systems 
New Delhi, October 3 With air mishaps dogging its fleet, the IAF will buy a Search and Rescue System (SRS) for post-crash recovery of crew, aircraft and helicopters, be it during war or peace.  “The Defence Ministry intends to procure the SRS for carrying out secure rescue of aircrew and aircraft during combat as well as peace time for which a Request for Information has been issued,” a senior IAF officer said.  “The IAF intends to employ the equipment for recovering downed aircrew and aircraft. The system being bought will be put to use by IAF for over 20 years,” the officer said.  On an average, the IAF suffers about 10 air crashes a year involving its fighter jets, transport aircraft and helicopters. It had recorded 14 mishaps in 2009, including two Sukhoi fighter jet crashes. This year, it has already had over half-a-dozen mishaps, including three MiG-27 crashes.  The light weight SRS would consist of personal rescue beacons, emergency locator transmitters, automatic locator transmitter and programming units based on 406 MHz frequency.  “SRS is an equipment that can be carried on fighter and helicopter crew flight jackets, be fitted on airframe of various transport aircraft and helicopters, be these slow prop or fast jets,” the officer said. — PTI

Pak Blockade NATO mulls alternate route to Afghanistan
  Islamabad, October 3 Incensed over the terror attacks on NATO supply trucks travelling to Afghanistan through Pakistan, US-led allied forces have warned Islamabad they would abandon Pakistan as a major supply route to the war-torn country if such assaults are not prevented.  The increase in the number of terror attacks on NATO convoys coupled with the floods in Pakistan that washed away several key bridges and highways have forced the US-led allied forces in Afghanistan to seek alternative supply routes, the News International quoted diplomatic sources in Islamabad as saying.  The NATO convoys passing through Pakistan are the principal source of logistical support for the US-led allied forces in Afghanistan. It is the shortest and most economical route and almost 75 per cent of ammunition, vehicles, foodstuff and around 50 per cent of fuel have been transported through Pakistan.  Islamabad receives a massive reimbursement of economic and military assistance from the US for providing these logistical facilities to Afghanistan.  On September 30, a cross-border helicopter attack killed three Pakistani troops, prompting Pakistan to block a key supply route for the US-led NATO force in Afghanistan.  Around 100 NATO vehicles are held up at Pakistan's border with Afghanistan and 27 oil tankers carrying fuel for the NATO forces were set ablaze by Taliban-linked militants in the Shikarpur district of the Sindh province Thursday night.  Interior Minister Rehman Malik had said a few weeks back that NATO was responsible for the safety of its supply lines, and that Pakistan cannot provide security to the 4,000 trucks that travel across the country every day.  Statistics show that in a brief span of one month, in September, as many as 22 NATO convoys were targeted by the militants, taking the tally of such assaults for the year 2010 to 55.  The US was keen to secure three different alternative supply routes for Afghanistan.  The first one is the northern route that starts in the Latvian port of Riga, the largest all-weather harbour on the Baltic Sea, where container ships offload their cargo onto Russian trains. The shipments can then go south through Russia, then southeast around the Caspian Sea through Kazakhstan and finally south through Uzbekistan until they cross the frontier into north Afghanistan.  The second alternative is the southern route that transits the Caucuses, completely bypassing Russia, from Georgia. Starting from the Black Sea port, Ponti, it travels north to Azerbaijan and its port, Baku. Landfall is Kazakhstan, where the goods are carried by trucks to Uzbekistan and finally Afghanistan.  A third one is a spur of the northern route and it bypasses Uzbekistan and proceeds from Kazakhstan via Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which has a northeast border with Afghanistan. But this route is hampered by bad road conditions in Tajikistan. — IANS

US issues terrorism alert for travel to Europe 
Scott Shane, New York Times, Updated: October 03, 2010 19:09 IST Ads by Google  Luxury Home Doors Windows – European Quality. Made for India. India's #1 Window & Door Company  Washington:  The State Department issued an alert on Sunday urging Americans traveling to Europe to be vigilant about possible terrorist attacks in a statement that specifically cites the potential involvement of Al Qaida.  The decision to caution travelers comes as counterterrorism officials in Europe and the United States are assessing intelligence about possible plots originating in Pakistan and North Africa aimed at Britain, France and Germany.  A travel alert merely urges extra caution during a specific time and does not discourage Americans from visiting Europe. An American official who confirmed the warning on Saturday, who did not want to be identified speaking about internal government deliberations, said a stronger "travel warning" that might advise Americans not to visit Europe was not under consideration.  European officials have been concerned about the impact on tourism and student travel from any official guidance to American travelers "Current information suggests that Al Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks.  European governments have taken action to guard against a terrorist attack," according to the statement.  "U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure," the State Department said. "Terrorists have targeted and attacked subway and rail systems, as well as aviation and maritime services."  American intelligence officials said last week that they were pursuing reports of possible attacks against European cities, including information from a German citizen of Afghan origin captured in Afghanistan in July. The German, said to be named Ahmed Sidiqi, 36, from Hamburg, had traveled to the Waziristan region of Pakistan and received firearms and explosives training, a senior European official told The New York Times.  Mr. Sidiqi described plans for attacks by small armed groups in European cities, the official said. Other officials have said such attacks might be modeled on the 2008 assault in Mumbai. Those attacks, attributed to a radical Islamic group based in Pakistan, killed at least 173 people.  In August, the State Department renewed a "worldwide alert," saying officials remained "concerned about the continued threat of terrorist attacks" against Americans overseas. Any new alert would presumably be more narrowly focused.

Army rescues civilian and kills 4 NDFB terrorists 
NDTV Correspondent, Updated: October 03, 2010 20:08 IST Ads by Google  Luxury Home Doors Windows – European Quality. Made for India. India's #1 Window & Door Company  Guwahati:  The Army's Special Forces undertook a major operation, killed four NDFB terrorists and safely rescued Katan Nandi, son of Parikshit Nandi, a shop owner of Dimu Police Station area under Dhemaji District.  Katan Nandi was kidnapped from his house on 24 September. The militants had demanded a ransom of Rs. 50 lakh from his parents.    Assam Police on getting some leads of the whereabouts of the terrorists, informed the Army's Special Forces. The Army launched an immediate surveillance operation lasting several days.   Finally, on night of October two, success came their way and the terrorist hideout was located in the dense jungles The group of NDFB cadres were located in a remote location, North of village old Deka, bordering East Siang District.    The Army cordoned the area by about 4:15 am on October three.    After keeping the area under watch and deliberate planning, the forces launched a swift and surprise attack on the terrorists during the day.    The victim was rescued safely, four terrorists were killed in the operation and three lethal weapons and a large amount of war like stores have been recovered.    The party was still on its way back to their base location to handover Katan Nandi to his relatives.  The NDFB terrorists had been spreading terror in the area by indulging in rampant extortion and abduction activities.

Why US officials are unhappy with the Pakistanis
 October 03, 2010 15:35 IST Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, US, Al Qaeda, Pakistan, NATO Share this Ask Users Write a Comment  Top US officials are unhappy over some Inter-Services Intelligence elements continuing to support the Haqqani network to counter India's [ Images ] presence in the region, amid fears that Pakistani military is "unable or unwilling" to act against Taliban [ Images ] and Al Qaeda [ Images ] in the restive tribal belt. Click!  The US campaign against Taliban and Al Qaeda militants in Pakistan's restive tribal region bordering Afghanistan is being beefed up by the Central Intelligence Agency, the Wall Street Journal reported.   It said US officials are also unhappy that some ISI elements continue to support the Haqqanis to counter India's presence in the region, and have not dismantled the group.  The CIA is using aerial drones and weaponry being diverted by the US military from Afghanistan to step up its anti-terrorism operations in Pakistan, the report said.  "The shift in strategic focus reflects the US view that, with Pakistan's military unable or unwilling to do the job, more US force against terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan is now needed to turn around the struggling Afghan war effort across the border," the Journal said.  Pakistan's inability to act against the militants on its own soil leaves a gap that Americans need to fill, according to a former senior intelligence official.  The Pakistani military is tapped out, the former official said, adding "They've gone as far as they can go."  The US military has reportedly loaned Predator and Reaper drones to the CIA, which allowed the intelligence agency to escalate the number of strikes in September, the report said, adding that agency averaged five strikes a week in September, up from an average of two to three per week.  The report said the Pentagon [ Images ] and CIA have ramped up their purchases of drones, but the demand still outweighed the supply.  The campaign escalated in the wake of intelligence reports that the world's most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden [ Images ] and senior Al Qaeda operatives were plotting to attack a European country -- Britain, France [ Images ] or Germany [ Images ].  The Journal further said that US officials were speaking about unilateral action inside Pakistan if a terrorist attack hatched inside the country was actually successful.  The secret deal to increase the campaign against Pakistan is indicative that the US sees the tribal regions on the Af-Pak border as a source of many of the attacks being plotted and executed against US and NATO troops.

Joint forces India’s future, ANC’s success to be emulated
 Chethan Kumar, Port Blair/Carnicobar:  ''Jointness is success'' is what the tri services command in Andaman and Nicobar Islands is chanting and the mantra seems to be bearing fruit for the Indian armed forces.  A brain child of the Kargil Committee, the Andaman Nicobar Command (ANC) –– a joint force of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force –– has finally borne the tag of being a ‘model’ for the Defence Ministry, which is said to be planning to set up more of such commands in the country.  Started as an experiment for the Centre to test for the first time operating all its armed forces, including a Coast Guard unit, from one base with one command, the ANC in October next year will celebrate its 10 years of working as a “single force”.  Addressing a group of visiting journalists from Bangalore, Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command (CINCAN) Vice Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi while conceding that there were differences in the initial stages of ANC’s creation said: “We’re happy we’ve been able to iron out all differences and are carrying out operations in tandem,”adding that the command has seen tremendous success in working jointly.  He stressed on the fact that going forward, India must adopt this formula through out the country and that the nation is growing in that direction. The Defence Ministry, which is trying to bring all the services under one act – the Tri Services Act – is probably a gesture of this acceptance.  ANC has been conducting many joint operations involving the Army, Coast Guard, Navy, Marine Police, etc, which include operations like patrolling,  rescue operations et al. Further, for the first time in the country, the Centre has set up a tri services training school at Port Blair which is training personnel from all the units together, helping each other in understanding the nuances of the other units, as well as enhancing the ability of operating together.  ANC has also to its name the tag of being a major amphibious warfare hub with training facilities, including a sea-land fighting unit.  Command centre key to counter China  Sitting literally on China’s life line – the Malacca Strait – the ANC command will prove key to countering China’s string of pearls strategy around India. China’s uninterrupted oil/power supply from the Gulf to China needs to pass through the strait before touching Pakistan and Sri Lanka and go towards Bangladesh. While China has already geared up with ports in Chittagong in Bangladesh and a port in Sri Lanka to keep its supplies secure, India is gearing up with an infrastructure boost. Joshi said that the command is looking for expansion, mainly in terms of infrastructure, training, equipment, etc. He said the command will convert its uni-directional air strips into multi-directional all weather strips to get a fighter detachment unit in Carnicobar among other things to check on China.

Hats off to Indian Army for reconstructing footbridge in record time
  The Indian Army has once again proved that they are one among the best troopers in the world. On September 21st we all read the collapse of  foot-over bridge near Jawahar Lala Nehru  (JLN) stadium injuring 27 people in regards with the Commonwealth Games. Upon special request of the Delhi government the army has taken over the construction of the bridge with an engineering regiment including 1000 men. In record time of just 8 days they have completed the construction of the bridge which is much more stronger & beautiful than the old one. Hats off Indian Army!  Army reconstruted bridge  Unfortunately the media is not giving any importance for this and are busy reporting the Ayodya verdict & negatives of CWG. Shame on you media !

DRDO Develops Honda CRV Based Unmanned Ground Vehicle Prototype
DRDO Develops Honda CRV Based Unmanned Ground Vehicle Prototype  2010-10-01 The Defence Research Development Organization of India (DRDO) and the Defence Research and Technology Office, Singapore, have together developed an unmanned ground vehicle that can be used during nuclear blasts and wars for a reconnaissance to help find injured people.  The project was is executed at the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), Chennai, and according to the scientist (robotics division) and manager of the project, Dr N. Seetharaman, the objective of the project is to create the technology to develop an unmanned ground vehicle.  "We started the project in 2007 and as part of the first phase, we have developed the drive by technology using which, we can drive the vehicle from a distance of anywhere between 500 meters to five km," said Dr Seetharaman. Explaining the way the vehicle works, the experts said that the unmanned vehicle was connected to an operator computer via wireless technology. The team at the CVRDE has fixed the actuating device in a Honda CRV that has automatic transmission gears.  An operator then operates the car through a laptop using software developed by DRDO. The car has an obstacle avoidance radar and a stereo-vision 3-dimension device that transmits a three dimensional view of the car's path to the operator.  "We can even fix a light machine gun to the car for defence purposes," informed Dr Seetharaman.  The CVRDE is demonstrating the capabilities of the car at Shaastra, the technical festival of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

 Antunov to Deliver Upgraded An-32 Transport Aircrafts to Indian Air Force
Antunov to Deliver Upgraded An-32 Transport Aircrafts to Indian Air Force  2010-10-03 The Indian Air Force will receive two modernized An-32 light transport planes built by Ukraine this month under a USD $600 million deal, the biggest bilateral agreement between the two countries. The planes which were modernized by Ukraine's Antonov state enterprise under the Ukrainian-Indian contract for repairs will be delivered to India in October, Antonov's President and Director-General Dmitry Kiva was quoted as saying by Russian new sagency Itar-Tass yesterday.  According to Kiva, the planes were modernized under the Ukrainian-Indian contract for repairs, modernization and extension of service life of 105 An-32 planes up to 40 years. It is the biggest deal in the entire history of the Ukrainian-Indian relations as the sum of the contract signed in June 2009 stands at USD 600 million.  First five An-32 planes were delivered to Kiev in March 2010, followed by five more planes in June. The first two planes were completely modernized in July, another one in September.  According to Kiva, the market capacity for the new An-32 is estimated at 45 planes. The Antonov Kiev-based plant plans to manufacture seven An-32 planes till the year 2015, including three in 2010, three in 2011, and one in 2012. One An-32 planes has already been manufactures, and the other two will be made till the year end, as provided in the production plan.

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