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Monday, 25 October 2010

From Today's Papers - 25 Oct 2010

Arming Pakistan to the teeth US must heed India's word of caution
With US President Obama's visit to India just a few days away, the Obama
Administration has ridden roughshod on Indian sensibilities by announcing a
whopping $2.9 billion in fresh military aid to Pakistan. India's concerns
that Islamabad has been diverting a portion of such assistance against it
has indeed fallen on deaf ears once again. There is silence even on India's
suggestion that there be a monitoring mechanism to ensure that this aid is
used only for the purpose for which it is being given - fighting terror. At
the US-Pak Strategic Dialogue where US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
made the announcement, she said the US had no stronger partner than Pakistan
when it came to counter-terrorism efforts against the extremists. It is not
for India to grudge a cozy relationship between the US and Pakistan, but
this does not mean that it should ignore all of Pakistan's sins in fomenting
cross-border terrorism in India, diverting military aid to building its
arsenal against this country and providing sanctuary to 9/11 mastermind
Osama bin Laden and his close associates who contribute to terror even in
India. It is indeed American double standards that come out of all this in
sharp focus. Only last week, the Americans were waxing eloquent on how the
US Government planned to cut military aid to several Pakistani military
units as punishment for human rights abuses, including torture and
extra-judicial executions. Even as the new military aid package was
announced, the US Secretary of State indicated that military aid to one of
the army units had been withheld. Predictably, the Pakistani Army will make
good that unit's purported loss and the Americans, if they do get to know,
will look the other way. The Americans have also just about woken up to
Pakistan's civilian nuclear deal with Beijing and are seeking answers but
how doggedly they will pursue the issue is anybody's guess. When President
Obama is in New Delhi, India must convey its displeasure to him about the US
treating Pakistan with kid gloves. Pakistan is the world's epicentre of
terror and caution must be exercised in arming it to the teeth.
Soon, device to help troops read enemy minds
Vijay Mohan Tribune News Service Chandigarh, October 24 A soldier's sixth
sense often proves to be his saviour during face-to-face confrontation with
a potential adversary. This instinct comes from years of experience and the
prospect of facing death at the hands of an unknown and often unseen enemy.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is now engaged in
developing devices that would enable soldiers to "read" the mind of the
individuals and assess their intentions. "Our focus on cognitive science,
which is a kind of brain mapping through sensors, has started this year," VK
Saraswat, scientific adviser to the Defence Minister and DRDO chief, said.
"It would be of immense advantage to troops, particularly those deployed in
low-intensity conflict or anti-terrorist operations," he said. Saraswat was
here on a two-day visit to review the ongoing projects at the Terminal
Ballistics Research Laboratory and the Snow and Avalanche Studies
Establishment, and discuss future programmes with their top scientists.
Cognitive science has been defined as the interdisciplinary study of the
mind, which examines how information concerning faculties such as
perception, language, reasoning, and emotion is represented and transformed
in the brain. Devices to assess human intention would involve remotely
sensing and interpreting neurological signals and electromagnetic impulses
transmitting through the body. This is a part of DRDO's recent focus on
meeting the requirements of the Armed Forces and paramilitary organisations
for anti-terror operations. With cyber security being a major issue in the
wake of a series of attempts to hack networks, Saraswat said DRDO was
developing its own computer operating system that would be much more
resistant to penetration as the source codes for the software would not be
Pakistan formally asks US to mediate in Kashmir dispute
Obama must get involved because a crackdown against the people of Kashmir
threatens the entire region, said Qureshi, adding that it is in 'the US
strategic interest to work for peace, stability and resolution of the
disputes in South Asia.' CJ: Vikram Kamble
STEPPING UP the pressure on United States ahead of President Barack Obama's
visit , Pakistan has formally asked it to mediate over the longstanding
Kashmir dispute, a proposal which is anathema to India as it considers
Kashmir issue as a bilateral issue. "President Obama has always understood
the importance of Kashmir solution. His coming visit to the region is the
time to begin to redeem the pledge that he made earlier," a Pakistani
newspaper quoted Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, as saying,
while co-chairing the third round of the US-Pak Strategic Dialogue with
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on its closing day. It must be
mentioned that Obama during presidential campaign had suggested that it
could encourage and help both countries to resolve the dispute, which would
ultimately help in fighting the radicals in Afghanistan. Obama must get
involved because a crackdown against the people of Kashmir threatens the
entire region, said Qureshi, adding that it is in "the US strategic interest
to work for peace, stability and resolution of the disputes in South Asia.
The starting point in this quest is justice for the Kashmiri people."
The minister went on to say, "People of conscience have protested the use of
force against the defenseless people of Kashmir, in particular the targeting
of the Kashmiri youth... "But the Kashmiri mothers are baffled by the
deafening silence of the world's leadership. History has proved that the
force of arms cannot suppress the legitimate aspirations of the Kashmiri
people." Just a few days back, US State Department Spokesman PJ Crowley
had ruled out US mediation in the dispute, saying that both countries should
resolve it bilaterally.

Pak army men, civillians killed in bomb attacks
A lieutenant-colonel, five soldiers and five civilians were killed in bomb
attacks on a paramilitary convoy in Orakzai Agency as well as a mosque near
Peshawar. Lt-Col Mohammad Yousaf and five soldiers were killed, while two
were injured. CJ: Akbar Majid (ANI)
A LIEUTENANT- Colonel, five soldiers and five civilians were killed in bomb
attacks on a paramilitary convoy in Orakzai Agency as well as a mosque near
Peshawar. Lt-Col Mohammad Yousaf and five soldiers were killed, while two
were injured in the convoy attack, the Dawn reported. Although the area
was cordoned off and a search operation was carried out, no arrest could be
made. In another incident, at least five people were killed and thirty
injured in the bomb attack on the main mosque of Peshtakhara Bala near
Peshawar. Most of the injured were young men and children. Peshawar Police
Chief Liaquat Ali Khan told reporters that the explosive device was placed
beside a pillar in the veranda, and was detonated by a remote control.
He noted that while security had been beefed up around all the mosques in
bazaars and congested areas, securing such places in villages was almost
impossible. He said that the attacker apparently entered the mosque when
worshippers were gathering for Friday prayers. The explosion took place at
about 1. 55pm when people had started leaving. In view of the situation,
people should set up local peace committees, keep an eye on suspicious
people and provide information about their movement to police, he added.
Senior provincial minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour said that terrorists, who
were in disarray because of action taken against them, had started attacking
innocent people in places of worship. The government was determined to
continue to mount pressure on terrorists till their elimination, he said,
while announcing a compensation of 300,000 rupees for each deceased and
100,000 rupees for the injured. Cantonment Circle SP Shafiullah Khan
disclosed that a search operation had been launched in the area close to
Khyber Agency.

Indian Air Force could soon get Brahmos missile
India and Russia are jointly designing the BrahMos missile. It is a
supersonic cruise missile capable of being launched from submarines, ships,
aircraft and land-based Mobile Autonomous Launchers (MAL). CJ: Abu Sheikh
SIVATHANU PILLAI, Chief Executive and Managing Director, BrahMos Aerospace,
has said that the development and induction of BrahMos, India''s supersonic
cruise missile for the Indian Air Force will be completed soon. Talking to
reporters here on Saturday, Pillai said: "Recently the missile was tested
for ''steep dive attack'' capability, as demanded by the Army. "The recent
attempt was to see that it gives higher performance. On that ground we
thought that we should prove the attack mode as well. That is how we did
steep-dive mission, which also went very successfully. So we have got a
missile, which is capable of multiple missions... form, multiple platform,
with multiple types of trajectories. And which has become very universal,
which nobody in the world has got today," he added. The missile had
already been inducted into the Indian Army and Navy. The missile had a speed
of Mach 2.8. "We are producing now for the navy, as well as for the army.
Large numbers of ships in the Indian Navy will be having BrahMos missiles
and also the army will be having at the land range," he said. Pillai
further said efforts were underway to increase the speed of the missile from
Mach 2. 8 to Mach 5 or Mach 7, taking it from the supersonic to hypersonic
category. India test-fired an advanced version of a supersonic cruise
missile in September, as part of the country''s drive to boost its defence
system. The missile can fly at 2.8 times the speed of sound, and can carry
conventional warheads up to 300 kg for a range of 290 km. India and Russia
are jointly designing the BrahMos missile. It is a supersonic cruise missile
capable of being launched from submarines, ships, aircraft and land-based
Mobile Autonomous Launchers (MAL). The BrahMos missile is a two-stage
vehicle that has a solid propellant booster and a liquid propellant ram-jet

India-Russia joint Army exercise underway
Press Trust of India, Updated: October 24, 2010 12:07 IST Chaubattia
(Uttarakhand): With terrorism spreading its tentacles globally, India and
Russia are getting ready to wage battles as "allies" against future threats,
even as their armies concluded a major joint military exercise in
Uttarakhand's Chaubattia on Saturday. Exercise Indra-2010 - held in a
counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency operations backdrop in a mountainous
terrain - witnessed participation from 250-strong Russian infantry troops
and an equal number from an Indian battalion, who practiced 'cordon, search
and destroy' operations and elimination of terror groups and leadership.
"Yes, certainly," Russian Federation Ambassador to India Alexander M
Kadakin, who witnessed the exercise, told reporters when asked if he
envisaged future joint operations against terrorists around the globe. "The
two countries have been fighting against global terrorism. We are not just
friends, but allies too. India and Russia know well about it (terrorism),
not from a bird's eye view, but as nations that have faced it practically on
the ground. So we consider this exercise very significant," Kadakin said.
Emphasising the importance of the exercise, he said during the talks
between Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and his Indian
counterpart A K Antony during his visit to New Delhi this joint army drill
was highlighted as an example of growing military-to-military relations
between the two countries. Kadakin was seconded by Major General Rajesh
Arya, Commander of Indian Army's 6 Mountain Division, who said two or more
countries coming together to fight terrorists when they threatened their
common interests anywhere on the globe could not be ruled out. "As we have
seen in the last 20 years, terrorism and insurgency have been emerging and
spreading internationally. So is the magnitude of terrorist threats, which
were earlier minor, but has taken large proportions in the last couple of
years. "Therefore, in certain areas where there are common interests,
couple of countries operating together cannot be ruled out. When terrorists
try and disturb those interests, we cannot say we are not prepared to take
on the threats jointly. Therefore, one has to train well in advance," he
said. He was referring to the experience of international joint naval
operations against piracy in the Indian Ocean in the recent years as an
instance. To achieve interoperability in joint real life operations in the
future, troops from the Russian 1st Cavalry of 34th Independent Motorised
Brigade (Mountain) and Indian Army's 99 Mountain Brigade acquainted
themselves with the arms and equipment, command and control system and
operational tactics of each other. Later, they went into cordon and search
operations and later destroying the terrorist hideouts and capturing their
leaders through a simulated counter-terrorism scenario using heliborne
troops in the Kumaon hills around a 20-km radius here. The exercise, since
October 15, was carried out in three phases - familiarisation, Exercises
Prabhav and Talaash special search, and debriefing. Kadakin, who also
interacted with the Indian and Russian troops over day, said the exercise
was "significant" in the sense that this was the first time the two armies
were training in joint counter-terrorism operations over a vast canvass of
tactical manoeuvres, though there had been two earlier Indra series exercise
in 2005 and 2007. "What is significant in this exercise is the experience
the two armies being shared and learning from each other on terrorist
situations they (India and Russia) faced and operated in (such as Kashmir
and northern Caucasus). When the two armies' personnel meet, it is a
learning experience. "It is not to compare each other's drills, but to
share lessons so that we are richer in this fight against terror," he said.
Noting that the two armies needed to be ready for any eventuality, Kadakin
said, "I do not pray that a situation should arise when this experience and
lessons comes in handy, but the situation we are in today warrants it, be it
due to threats from your country's vicinity or our northern Caucasus. This
exercise will be fruitful and beneficial." When asked about the three-year
gap between the previous and this exercise in the Indra series, the
Ambassador said apart from financial constraints of the Russian defence
forces, it was also due to the reform process that they were going through
in the recent years. "Very simple... our army is now in the process of
reform. That is why when reform is going on it is very difficult to distract
oneself. It is better to complete the reform and start the exchanges. I am
happy that this exercise has started. There were also financial constraints.
There were no other reasons at all," he added.

Army jawan injured in ceasefire violation by Pak
Press Trust of India, Updated: October 24, 2010 23:10 IST Poonch: An Army
jawan was injured when Pakistani troops opened heavy fire this evening on
Indian positions in the Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir in yet another
ceasefire violation--the third this month alone. Armed with heavy machine
guns, the troops fired rockets on the Indian forward posts in Krishnaghati
sub-sector along the Line of Control, Brigadier Gen Staff (BGF) of 16 Corps
S Dua said. The Pakistani troops fired on the Indian posts for an hour
wounding a jawan, he told PTI. This is the third ceasefire violation by
Pakistan this month in Poonch sector.
Indian troops maintained restraint and did not retaliate, Brigadier S Dua
said, adding a protest would be lodged tomorrow. Pakistani troops had fired
on Indian posts in Kerni at Jallas sub-sector along the Line of Control
(LoC) in Poonch district on October 1 and 2. In the last one month, the
ceasefire was violated by Pakistani troops on September 28 and 29 in the
Krishnaghati sub-sector.

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