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Saturday, 16 October 2010

From Today's Papers - 16 Oct 2010

Pak, China key security irritants: Army Chief 
New Delhi, October 15 Describing Pakistan and China as "two major irritants" for India's security, Army Chief Gen VK Singh today said the armed forces should ensure the country has a "substantial" conventional war capability to fight in a nuclear scenario.  "We have two major irritants. One, there is a problem of governance in Pakistan where terror outfits receive support and where internal situation is not very good. And, therefore, it can have a fallout in terms of how these things impact India. Till the time the terrorist infrastructure remains intact on the other side, we have something to worry," he said inaugurating a seminar on 'Indian Army: Emerging Roles and Tasks' here.  He also referred to the threat posed by China which was rising both economically and militarily. "Although we have a very stable border, yet we have a border dispute. And, therefore, the intentions need to be looked at along with this additional capability that is coming out," he said. — PTI

Pakistan, China biggest irritants to national security: Army Chief 
Press Trust of India, Updated: October 15, 2010 19:05 IST
 New Delhi:  Vying Pakistan and China to be "major irritants" to India's security, Army Chief General VK Singh on Friday said the nation should be ready with "substantial" conventional war capability in a nuclear backdrop.  Singh, who inaugurated an Army seminar here, said the threats from Pakistan were caused by its governance problems and support to terror outfits, while the challenge from China was in the form of its military capabilities.  However, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik, who was asked about Singh's comments at another function, said he was not willing to be drawn into the debate on which country was the biggest threat to India's security.  Naik said the country's military modernisation should be capability-specific and not adversary-specific, lest it led to an arms race in the region
"We have two major irritants. One, there is a problem of governance in Pakistan where terror outfits receive support and where internal situation is not very good. And, therefore, it can have a fallout in terms of how these things impact India.  "Till the time the terrorist infrastructure remains intact on the other side, we have something to worry," Singh said at the seminar on 'Indian Army: Emerging Roles and Tasks' organised by Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), an Army-sponsored think-tank.  Referring to the threat posed by China, which was "rising both economically and militarily," the Army Chief said India needed to keep a watchful eye on the military intentions of the eastern neighbour.  "Although we have a very stable border, yet we have a border dispute. And, therefore, the intentions need to be looked at along with this additional capability that is coming out," he said.  An all-out conventional war with China was "not not certain", but skirmishes were "certainly possible," he added.  "We must have a substantial conventional war-fighting capabilities with the ability to fight in a nuclear scenario," he stressed.  The Army chief said, China's military modernization "impacts the way we will task our army and the role that we will give to it so that it can do the task that the nation wants. So, with this, let's also see what are some of the threats that we face or the challenges that we have".  He, however, noted that India had no "extra-territorial ambitions."   Naik, meanwhile, said the country should have long-term military development plans that are capability-specific and not country or threat specific.  "We (armed forces' modernisation) have to be capability specific... We have realised that being country-specific or threat-specific will lead us into an arms race," he said at a CII event.  Singh and Naik's comments come a fortnight after Defence Minister A K Antony had said China's "military assertiveness" was a matter of concern and asked the armed forces to remain vigilant to counter any threat.  Naik said the military of any country looked at the entire security environment taking into account all factors affecting its growth and hence could not have country-specific military plans.  "The plans have to be capability-specific. You have to decide the particular capability that we should have in 2022, because the country would need it, and you continue developing your forces on those lines," he said.   Read more at:

Country-specific approach will lead to arms race: IAF 
Press Trust of India, Updated: October 15, 2010 20:42
New Delhi:  India's military development has to be capability-specific and not country-specific as such an approach would draw it into an arms race, IAF chief P V Naik said on Friday amid concerns over military build-up by Pakistan and China.        "We have to be capability specific.... We have realised that being country-specific or threat-specific will lead us into an arms race," the Air Chief Marshal said at a CII event here.  Defence Minister A K Antony had recently said that India's neighbours were building their military capabilities at a "feverish pace" and the country has to be vigilant and prepared at all times to meet the challenge
When asked to comment on army chief's statement terming Pakistan and China as irritants for India's security,  Naik said the military of any country looks at the entire security environment and all the factors affecting its growth and it can't have country-specific plans.        "The plans have to be capability-specific and you have to decide that in 2022, we should have a particular capability because the country would need it and you continue developing your forces on those lines," he added.  Earlier in the day, Army chief General VK Singh had described Pakistan and China as "two major irritants" for India's security and said the armed forces should ensure the country has a "substantial" conventional war capability to fight in a nuclear scenario.  Meanwhile speaking at the event to launch the brochure for the forthcoming 'Energising Indian Aerospace: Achievements and Future Strategies' seminar, the IAF chief said efforts have been made to indigenise the aerospace sector but the progress has been a very "restrained" one.  "It seems that it is a design that we have to be dependent on others for our needs," Naik added.  He further stated that the defence production policy is in the pipeline with the prime objective of creating a level playing field for the private industry.  Naik said the private sector should also be involved in the research and development activities.  "Private sector entrepreneurship and innovation can help augmentation of research and development base and creation of system integration capabilities," he added.   Read more at:

Taliban's No. 2 killed in US drone attack in Pakistan 
Press Trust of India, Updated: October 15, 2010 22:09 IST Ads by Google  Luxury Home Doors Windows – European Quality. Made for India. India's #1 Window & Door Company  Peshawar:  In a major setback to Taliban, missiles fired from US drones have killed its top commander and group's deputy chief Qari Hussain Mehsud, mastermind of many suicide attacks across Pakistan, sources claimed on Friday.  The drones hit a militant compound in Jungle Khel area near Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan Agency, killing four militants including Qari Hussain on October 7.  There was no word from the Taliban on whether the dreaded commander, best known as a trainer of suicide bombers, had died in the attack.  Qari Hussain is the deputy chief of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and a first cousin of the group's chief Hakimullah Mehsud.     
He is regarded as being highly skilled in training militants for suicide attacks. Qari Hussain trains such bombers in schools in South Waziristan.  He built his ruthless image around one activity the training and indoctrination of suicide bombers. As a senior commander of the Pakistani Taliban, Qari Hussain takes pride in recruiting individuals to carry out attacks on Pakistani and Western targets.  Until recently, Qari Hussain's operations were primarily confined to Pakistan but a video released on May 1 claimed he and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan were behind the foiled car bombing in New York's Times Square by Pakistani-American national Faisal Shahzad.  Shahzad was trained at a Hussain-run camp in South Waziristan, where he was brought by a Jaish-e-Muhammad intermediary named Mohammed Rehan.  Qari Hussain is a member of the Mehsud tribe which has produced Pakistani Taliban commanders like Hakimullah and Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed in a drone strike last year.  Qari Hussain was linked with terror groups from an early age. He completed his early religious education at a seminary near Kotkai and underwent formal religious training at Jamia Farooqia madrassa in Karachi.  As a member of the sectarian Sunni group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Qari Hussain was actively involved in that group's activities targeting the minority Shia sect.  Following his stint with LeJ, Qari Hussain operated for a short period with Ilyas Kashmiri, a notorious militant commander and leader of the Harkat-ul-Jihad Al-Islam who focused on attacking Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir before relocating to Waziristan in 2005.  Qari Hussain then joined the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and made the transition from being an unknown commander to a possible contender for the chief of the group.   Read more at:

China, Pakistan major irritants to India's security: Army Chief 
Describing China and Pakistan as two irritants to India's security, Army chief General VK Singh ruled out the possibility of an all-out conventional war with the neighbours but cautioned against skirmishes.  "An all-out conventional war may be highly uncertain, nevertheless skirmishes can occur. We should have a great amount of conventional capability…yet be prepared to function in a nuclear backdrop," Singh said on Friday.  His comments came at a seminar on Indian Army: Emerging Roles and Tasks, organised by defence think tank Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS). Singh flagged concerns about the border dispute with China, its rising military capabilities and the flourishing terror infrastructure in Pakistan.  The Army chief said the border with China might be stable but the armed forces could not take any chances as the dispute remained unresolved. He said India should be watchful of Beijing's intentions and its rising military and economic capabilities.  Defence Minister AK Antony had drawn attention to China's increasing assertiveness last month. On Pakistan, the General said, "There is a problem of governance in Pakistan where terror outfits receive support and internal situation is not very good…Till the time the terror infrastructure remains in tact there, we have something to worry."

 Racing club in new turf war 
More trouble for the sport as RWITC and Army squabble over who should have possession of prime land in Pune race course  Usman Rangeela  Posted On Saturday, October 16, 2010 at 01:13:20 AM    This signboard at the race course clearly mentions that except for tracks, all land belongs to the Army This signboard at the race course clearly mentions that except for tracks, all land belongs to the Army This map of the race course shows the land that the Army had leased to the RWITC in 1907. The main area of dispute is the land circumscribed by the racing track, which has been marked in blue This map of the race course shows the land that the Army had leased to the RWITC in 1907. The main area of dispute is the land circumscribed by the racing track, which has been marked in blue  Already embroiled in a tussle with Mumbai's municipal corporation for control of the Mahalaxmi Race Course post 2013, the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) is now in danger of losing its sprawling Pune property to the Indian Army.  Over the last few months, the turf club has been stripped of a large piece of vacant land, bang in the middle of the race track, by the Pune Sub-Area Headquarters, which cites a General Land Register entry dating back to 1938.  This entry, it says, gives it control of a 65.5 acre stretch inside the race course premises that is central to the functioning of normal racing activities.  Hoardings have already come up close to the entrance of the jogging track, that a large chunk of the land, with the exception of the race track itself, belongs to the Local Military Authority (LMA) and not the RWITC.  The LMA has started levelling the area, which it says is a General Parade Ground, and truckloads of debris is being dumped at the site every day. This, professionals and horse owners fear, is just the first step towards a complete takeover.  But what has made this battle more intriguing is the sudden emergence of the original, hand-written agreement (a copy of which is with Pune Mirror) that gives the RWITC control of the entire premises, including the full 111.5 acres lying within the circumference of the race track.  While the Army disputes the club's interpretation of this original document, the RWITC says it changes the classification of the vacant racecourse land to a category that does not warrant a military occupation.  It is over this technical point now that the two sides are squabbling, with the future of racing in the city depending on who eventually gains the upper hand.  When contacted, RWITC chairman Vivek Jain told Pune Mirror: "We would like to resolve this matter by mutual discussion, and a meeting with the Defence Secretary has been sought.  I have also spoken to the General Officer Commanding, Southern Command, of the desirability of using the centre for equestrian/ thoroughbred stabling.  He requested that we submit a plan, which is also under our consideration. Whatever the outcome, we wish to conclude this amicably while at the same time protecting our legal position on the areas."  How the conflict began The RWITC has enjoyed the possession of the Pune race course by way of old grants, which were converted into a perpetual lease in 1907, for a consideration of Rs 20,000 and an annual rent of Rs 600. Though the land belongs to the Army, this lease essentially means that the turf club can use it for as long as it wants.  The LMA, however, approached the RWITC in 2000 and told the club that it was occupying a major part of the land illegally.  Citing the 1938 GLR entry, it got into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the club in which the RWITC's then office-bearers admitted that they had unauthorised possession of approximately 25 acres.  In the MOU, the Army asked the club not to object to a helipad inside the race course and secured permanent local membership of the Turf Club House for 300 officers, both retired and serving.  But in 2003, with the discovery of the hitherto untraceable perpetual lease agreement dated 1907, the RWITC started to believe that it may have been misled into signing the MOU.  Appeal to Defence Ministry While the matter has remained unresolved for the several years, racing has not been hampered so far. But with the LMA's active use of the land this summer, the dispute has taken centre-stage again.  The RWITC, through R Srinivasan, a retired Director General of Defence Estates, has approached the Ministry of Defence appealing for a clarity on who should enjoy possession of the race course land.  "The lease deed of 1907 is clear in that the Race Course has the right and enjoyment of the general parade ground as the licensee of the MoD, Government of India.  This is more or less similar to the old grant, where the land annexed to the grant buildings, though remaining as the MoD land, continue to be under the enjoyment of the grantee," Srinivasan told Pune Mirror.  "The main dispute centres around the legality of the LMA treating the land circumscribed by the race tracks as under active occupation of the army, or Class A1.  This is historically and legally not borne out by the facts on record. Instead, it has to be classified as B3, which simply means owned by the government of India.  The Principal Director has agreed with the contentions of the RWITC on the basis of an independent verification. The decision is pending with MoD for necessary directions," he said.  On the other side, Dr T Arockianathan, Defence Estate Officer (Pune) who looks after Army land, while acknowledging there was a dispute, declined to comment on its merits. "I have to study the lease deed and also the other files on this issue. If you meet me after a month, I will be in a position to give you some information," he said.  Sources in the club, however, said several meetings had taken place between the RWITC and the LMA in recent weeks. "At a meeting last month, attended by the RWITC Chairman and the Sub-Area Commander, the subject of a joint survey of the land was proposed."

Cash bonanza for armed forces CWG medal winners
2010-10-16 05:30:00  New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) Defence Minister A.K. Antony Friday announced a cash bonanza of Rs.12 lakh for each of the gold medal winning armed forces sportspersons, Rs.7 lakh for those who won silver and Rs.5 lakh to the bronze medal winners at the just concluded 19th Commonwealth Games (CWG).  The armed forces sportspersons have won 25 medals -- 10 gold, seven silver and eight bronze -- out of India's total tally of 101. There were 50 sportspersons drawn from the three services who competed in 10 Games events.  Antony commended the contribution of the armed forces in making the Commonwealth Games a success.  Besides participating in the competitions, the services were involved in the day-to-day management of the Queen's baton relay during its over 100-day journey across the country.  Armed forces bands participated in the opening and closing ceremonies, and flag hoisting during the medal presentations.  Indian Army engineers also built in record time a footbridge near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium after an under-construction footbridge near the main venue of the Oct 3-14 sporting event collapsed barely days ahead of the sporting gala.

Suresh Bangara: Learning from CWG
Suresh Bangara  | 2010-10-15 01:40:00  
 If India can organise a Republic Day parade every year with great efficiency, and could recently host successfully World Military Games, why did it mess up the organisation of the Commonwealth Games (CWG)?  What is common to successful mass events is an empowered structure with clear demarcation of responsibility and accountability. The CWG failed due to an absence of a centralised command structure. Responsibilities were not demarcated, there were too many "Indians" and no chiefs, and, what is more, everyone had an excuse not to own up responsibility.  November 13, 2003 was the date on which the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) resolved to hand over the Games to Delhi. In accordance with article 10A, the host city contract was inked by the Government of India (GoI), the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi(GNCTD), the IOA and the CGF. The organisation of the entire event was allotted to the Organising Committee (OC) of the CWG.      * The key delivery partners listed on the website are the CGF, the IOA, the OC CWG, the GNCTD and the GoI in that order. It also states that several ministries of the GoI and several organisations under the GNCTD and others would be involved in execution.              * Even a prima facie analysis of this structure would point to the fact that the coordination of such a complex body cannot be vested with a committee which has no authority over the key delivery partners. In the Indian context, hierarchy and individual egos play a vital role in the smooth functioning of the organisation. At times, collective organisational goals are sacrificed to appease individual aspirations. Presumably, these considerations caused undue delays of about two years before the OC came into existence on February 10, 2005 â€" a faulty and toothless structure from day one.  Although representatives of all the delivery partners were constituted on the committee, raising alarms at the CWG meetings, when deadline after deadline failed to be met by their parent organisation, is not a practical proposition. Having taken full responsibility for staging the best ever Games, as outlined on the website, the OC perhaps continued at best as a mute spectator to inter-ministerial red tape and embarrassing delays in execution.  What is needed in the globalised, highly competitive and demanding environment is to professionalise our decision-making structures to include experts in negotiations, project management and other niche areas.  A look at the ministry which manages the armed forces of India in the above context would be instructive. The defence ministry has the responsibility to handle the rapidly increasing defence budget, which is more than twice the amount allotted to the CWG, but on a yearly basis. Is it structured to meet all the requirements of the armed forces of India?  First, since 1952, the three chiefs along with their headquarters were removed from the decision-making structure of the GoI. They were designated as the "attached offices" of the ministry. In effect, all communications from the armed forces were to be addressed only to the ministry and no decision-making power and executive power was to reside with the chiefs, save those related to operations. Not even the revenue budget could be operated by the chief to merely run the service as it existed. The chiefs could send their recommendations and plans for modernisation, which effectively rested at the table of some functionary without even an acknowledgement. The ministry continued to be manned by generalists â€" civil servants who often learnt about the armed forces after they were placed in the chair.  While the authority to take decisions with the concurrence of the minister was vested with the ministry, there were no provisions for accountability. Having been removed from the chain, the chiefs could only make proposals and could not be held accountable. The procurement of Advanced Jet Trainers(AJTs) for the Air Force took over two decades, by which time costs had escalated by 500 per cent. The decision to induct Gorshkov took over a decade, by which time the deteriorating cables of the ship warranted doubling of the original cost. Many thousand crores are surrendered unspent year after year despite the urgent operational needs of the Army. There are no clear-cut penalties for procrastination and opportunity costs incurred thereof. Are these not the ills of the CWG as well?  Second, integration of the ministry with the armed forces by placing uniformed professionals at appropriate desks of the ministry is a successful model practised by other democracies. Similar structures were recommended by the Committee on Defence Management after the Kargil war. Cosmetic changes in nomenclature with no corresponding powers were the only action taken to show compliance.  Thirdly, the Kargil Review Committee did recommend the creation of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) as a single-point adviser to the defence minister on all matters of planning, acquisition etc. This has been stalled by status quo-ists within and without the armed forces. The result is the continuation of a toothless Chiefs of Staff Committee, which was first recommended in 1924 and which is still in existence only in India. Almost all armed forces of countries that matter have opted for a fully integrated structure with accountability, while we continue to live in denial of a serious structural infirmity.  The CWG 2010 has brought disrepute to the country due to delays in implementation despite seven years to prepare. We can live with it, for soon it will be forgotten. However, continued denial of structural weaknesses in the defence department has the potential to lay our country in the dust. Until then, incapability to modernise, lack of timely decision coupled with conflicting demands of the three services can only be offset by the ability of our officers and soldiers to lay down their lives â€" even if it is to achieve a pyrrhic victory.

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