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Sunday, 12 December 2010

From Today's Papers - 12 Dec 2010

Terror unacceptable, Germany tells Pak 
Berlin, December 11 In a stern message to Pakistan, Germany today made it clear that terrorism is not a means to solve political problems and this is "unacceptable".  The concerns over terrorism figured during wide-ranging talks Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had with German Chancellor Angela Merkel here.  "It has been made clear to Pakistan that terrorism is not a means to an end to solve political problems. It is unacceptable," Merkel said at a joint press interaction with Manmohan Singh.  The Prime Minister said both sides discussed the possibility of entering into bilateral cooperation in civil-nuclear energy.  If this crystalises, Germany will follow the US, France and some other countries for civil-nuclear cooperation with India.  Manmohan Singh said India deeply valued Germany's consistent support in the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group for the opening of international commerce for New Delhi in the field of civil-nuclear energy.  Both leaders said India and Germany would work hard together to advance UN Security Council reforms for expansion of both permanent and non-permanent seats.  Both India and Germany will assume non-permanent seats in the Security Council from January 1, 2011, for a two-year period.  The two sides agreed to enhance bilateral trade from the present level of 13 billion euro to 20 billion euros by 2012.  On his part Manmohan Singh said relaxation of German export control laws would bring in a new horizon for expanding bilateral trade. The Prime Minister said there were no bilateral irritants in the excellent Indo-German relations and "we believe sky is the limit for their cooperation". He said he had invited Merkel to visit India next year.  He said India would play its part in arriving at a pragmatic and balanced solution within the framework of the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change. "The world must continue to build upon the progress that has been made at the Cancun conference," he said.  Merkel said Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had made an "important contribution" at the Cancun conference.  Manmohan Singh flew in here from Brussels after attending the India-European Union summit for a working visit to Germany at the invitation of Merkel.  Germany is India's largest trading partner in the 27-nation European Union with bilateral trade growing in the recent years to reach 13.4 billion euros in 2008.  Bilateral trade decreased marginally to 13.09 billion euro, but has revived and is growing by over 15 per cent and reached 9.8 billion euro during January-August, 2010.  Ahead of the talks, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India's engagement with Germany was strong and multi-faceted.  Chancellor Merkel replied in the negative when asked if there was a "trust deficit" that was preventing Germany to lift restrictions on technology transfer to India.  "There is no trust deficit. We are taking our strategic cooperation seriously. There is a positive development in military to military cooperation," she said.  Merkel said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Brussels for the India-EU summit has given a push for the negotiations in finalising the ambitious bilateral trade and investment agreement.  With the agreement in the last stage of negotiations, both India and the EU need to make compromises to ensure that the path-breaking pact is finalised by March-April next.  Merkel said India and Germany would work to advance reforms in the UN Security Council. "Now that India and Germany have got non-permanent membership, the two countries will have interest in seeing that reforms advanced." — PTI

Army orders probe into Adarsh scam
 New Delhi, December 11 The Army on Thursday ordered a court of inquiry into the Adarsh Housing Society scam in Mumbai and the alleged role of senior serving and retired officers, including Major General RK Hooda, in it.  “Yes, a court of inquiry has been ordered into the Adarsh Society episode and certainly Major General R K Hooda figures among those who will be examined,” a senior officer in the Army headquarters here told PTI.  The Army’s Pune-based Southern Command headquarters ordered the probe to find out how these officers had issued a No-Objection Certificate to the private housing society to construct a 31-storeyed complex on a plot in Kolaba. Maj Gen Hooda was the Mumbai-based Area Commander for Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa. The 104-apartment society got embroiled in a controversy after the Navy had raised concerns over security as the building over-looked important military installations. Defence Minister AK Antony had on December 9 ordered a CBI probe to fix responsibility of the armed forces and defence estates officers in the housing society scam.  The Congress leadership had also removed Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan. Antony had asked the CBI to look into the circumstances under which an NoC was issued to the Housing Society to construct the building on a piece of land, which was in the "de facto" possession of the Army.  The probe agency was also asked to investigate into the commitments made for allotment of flats in the society for Kargil widows and martyrs' families. Former Army Chiefs General Deepak Kapoor and General N C Vij, apart from former Navy Chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh had flats allotted in their names in the housing society. Soon after the scam came to light, the Defence Ministry had asked the Army, Navy and the defence estates to submit a report on the issue. — PTI

Indian Military Academy’s Passing-out Parade 534 officers pass out
Sandeep Rana/TNS  Sweet success Gentlemen cadets at the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun celebrate after the passing-out parade on Saturday. Gentlemen cadets at the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun celebrate after the passing-out parade on Saturday. Tribune photo: Vinod Pundir  Dehradun, December 11 With the batch of 534 gentlemen cadets (GCs) crossing the “Antim Pagh” to step into the Chetwode Hall of the Indian Military Academy (IMA), the nation’s Army got 518 officers and also achieved the milestone of producing over 50,000 officers.  Out of the total passed-out GCs, 518 will join the Indian Army while 12 are from the Assam Rifles and four are from Bhutan.  The prestigious institution has so far trained over 49,959 officers for the service of the nation. After today’s passing-out parade, the IMA would have trained and commissioned 50,475 officers of the Indian Army.  The GCs today put up an impressive parade on the drill ground of the IMA. The parade started with the sound of a bugle at 8:45 am which signalled the company majors to take their position on the drill square.  This followed the advance call which signalled to the enthusiastic GCs to start marching towards the drill ground. Just as the signal was given, proud gentleman cadets on the tune of the motivating IMA song “Bharat Mata Teri Kasam Tere Rakshak Rahenge Hum” marched into the drill square.  Gajender bags Sword of Honour  All award winners were given awards by the Chief of Army Staff Gen VK Singh.  The Sword of Honour, which is awarded to the best all-round GC, was bestowed upon Gajender Kumawat.  Jaidev, Gajender Kumawat and Gaurav Singh were awarded the gold, silver and bronze medals, respectively.  For standing first in the order of merit from the technical graduate course, Sachin Kisan got the silver medal. Arun S Anand walked away with the silver medal for standing first in the order of merit from the TES-16 course. The prestigious COAS Banner was presented to the Keren company.  The young officers showed tremendous enthusiasm, vigour and zeal to put up an excellent parade before an august gathering. Gen VK Singh, Chief of the Army Staff, who was the reviewing officer (RO), entered from the main gate on the Patiala coach.  He, accompanied by IMA commandant Lieut-Gen RS Sujlana, reviewed the parade. The RO also inspected the guard of honour given by the GCs.  Later, the gentlemen cadets gave a salute to the reviewing officer at an impressive and immaculate march past on the tunes of “Col Bogey” and “Sare Jahan Se Achcha Hindustan Hamara”.  Following this, all cadets marched into the Chetwode Hall crossing the Antim Pagh (final step) as helicopters showered petals on them to congratulate them on becoming new officers in the Army.  After the POP, the piping-in ceremony was held. Proud parents of new officers pinned up the stars on their wards’ shoulders. The new officers were also administered the oath there.  As the function concluded, the new officers hugged and wished one another and bid adieu to their academy.  “From today, you are a leader. Don’t think of the future and enjoy your present. Otherwise, you will spoil your present. The present is a gift that is why it is called present,” said the Army chief VK Singh in his address to the newly commissioned officers.  The reviewing officer congratulated all young officers for choosing this noble profession.

Army to shop for new firing weapons
 Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service  New Delhi, December 11 The Indian Army’s frontline fighting force comprising the infantry units will be equipped with the very latest assault rifles that will enable accurate shooting and faster reaction time. The infantry units will be equipped with rifles that have the latest features. At present, the Army uses the INSAS, which has so far done good service, as its stock weapon. Global suppliers have been asked to send in information about their products.  The requirement is for a rifle that will have a holographic sight as well as a telescopic sight for the shooter. A weapon with a visible laser target pointer and laser Illuminator which can make the target visible enabling the shooter to fire easily, is also being looked at. The Army also wants the rifle to have a de-attachable Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL).  Even as the search is on to provide the very latest in rifles, the Army wants the rifle to be made in a modular fashion. This means the replacement of sub-assemblies of the weapons can be done during an operation without use of any specialist tools. Another important change is the search for a rifle with a multi-caliber barrel. This means that the front firing barrel can be swapped as and when needed during operations. A higher caliber barrel fires a bullet that is more lethal.  The Army is also looking at a weapon that can be fired while the troops have their gloves on as is the need in the mountains where gloves cannot be removed. The Army wants the rifles to have a capability to attach a bayonet which is needed in a hand-to-hand fight.

3 colonels in dock for misconduct 
Tribune News Service  Chandigarh, December 11 Three senior army officers are in the dock for alleged immoral activities and unprofessional conduct while on a study tour as members of the prestigious Higher Command Course.  A court of inquiry ordered into the incident following complaints about the officers’ activities has reportedly held three Colonels prima facie blameworthy for misconduct involving gambling, women and liquor, sources revealed.  Disciplinary action has been recommended against a Colonel, which entails possible trial by a general court martial depending upon the outcome of subsequent proceedings. Administrative action had been recommended against two other colonels.  The court of inquiry ordered by the General Officer Commanding, 17 Mountain Division headquarters on directions of Headquarters 33 Corps, was presided over by the commander of an infantry brigade, Brig Siwach. It concluded this week.  According to sources, the prime accused in the case has been held blameworthy on seven counts, including visiting a casino against orders, misconduct with a woman employee of the hotel where the course members were staying, absent without leave and not reporting for duty at specified time.  Other officers have been held blameworthy for failing to exercise adequate command and control, failing to stop the officer’s misconduct and failure to inform the authorities concerned about the incident.  Following the incident, which took place earlier this month at Gangtok when the course members were on a tour of the north-east, the tour was cut short. While course members proceeded back to the Army War College, five Colonels were retained and attached with 17 Mountain Division for the court of inquiry.  The Higher Command Course, takes in selected officers to groom future leaders of the army. They are trained for command of a division and for holding senior staff appointments

'Vijit' joins the Indian Coast Guard
Vijit, the second of the new class of Offshore Patrol Vessel, indigenously designed and built by Goa Shipyard limited was commissioned into the Coast Guard by MM Pallam Raju, Minister of State for Defence, on Saturday COAST Guard ship, Vijit, the second of the new class of Offshore Patrol Vessel, indigenously designed and built by Goa Shipyard limited was commissioned into the Coast Guard by MM Pallam Raju, Minister of State for Defence, on Saturday at Vasco-Da-Gama. The ship can carry one twin-engine light helicopter and five high-speed boats for search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol.  Coast guard Vijit, the 2nd in the series of 90-meter offshore patrol vessels, has an Integrated Bridge System equipped with a contemporary navigation and communication equipment and is provided with a Platform Management System. Propelled by two MTU engines, this vessel is capable of 26 knots and an endurance of 4,500 nautical miles. The vessel is equipped with a 30mm gun to counter undesirable intruders and is fitted out for helicopter operation.Vijit is the only vessel of this class in the world with the large range of capabilities for pollution control, fire fighting, search and rescue, surveillance and patrol provided in a 90-metre vessel.  Adressing media persons, MM Pallam Raju, Minister of State for Defence, said that Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy have been very effective in containing the piracy threats.  Informing about the various security measures undertaken to strengthen the coastal vigilance and monitoring mechanism, M.M. Pallam Raju also said that the Defence Ministry had asked all the coastal states to come up with marine police stations to thwart any security threat.  Dwelling on the Indian Navy’s controversial move to acquire two Goan islands off Vasco, Minister of State for Defence said that the Indian Government would be very sensitive to the local needs but at the same time will not compromise on the security aspect.  Vice Admiral, Anil Chopra Director General of the India Coast Guard said that the Indian coast guard aims to double its strength in the next few years to transform itself into a total force. Admiral Anil Chopra informed that one more OPV, 33 fast petrol vessels, and 60 intersecoptors boats are already in the process of production in the various shipyards in India.  ‘Vijit’ meaning ‘Winner or Victorious’ is a projection of Indian Coast Guard’s will and commitment “to serve and protect” the maritime interest of the nation. The ship will be deployed extensively in the North Western region, along the sensitive International Maritime Boundary Line with Pakistan. ICGS Vijit, will be manned by eight officers and 82 men under the command of Deputy Inspector General Naresh Kaul and will be based at Porbandar under the administrative and operational control of the Commander, Headquarters, Coast Guard Region.

Army orders probe into Adarsh Society scam, role of officers 
Press Trust of India, Updated: December 11, 2010 22:06 IST ad_title  New Delhi:  The Army today ordered a court of inquiry into the Adarsh Housing Society scam in Mumbai and the alleged role of senior serving and retired officers, including Major General R K Hooda, in it.  "Yes, a court of inquiry has been ordered in the Adarsh Society episode and certainly Major General R K Hooda figures among those who will be examined," a senior officer in the Army headquarters here told PTI.  The Army's Pune-based Southern Command headquarters ordered the probe to find out how these officers had issued a No-Objection Certificate to the private housing society to construct a 31-storeyed complex on a plot in Kolaba.       Maj Gen Hooda was the Mumbai-based Area Commander for Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa.
The 104-apartment Society got embroiled in a controversy after the Navy had raised concerns over security as the building over-looked important military installations.

Terrorists entered India via Nepal 
Sixteen terrorists allegedly entered India via Nepal and proceeded to Kashmir in the first six months of last year--says a fresh release of US diplomatic cables by whistleblower website Wikileaks.  Former Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor made this assertion during a meeting of the then US National Security Advisor James Jones with Defence Minister AK Anthony and defence ministry officials.  The meeting took place on June 26 last year in New Delhi. A cable on the meeting sent three days later was released on Saturday by Wikileaks.  The release termed ‘secret’ was based on a discussion Jones had with Anthony on the India-US security situation and Pakistan.  Replying to a query by Jones on the percentage of infiltrators from Pakistan that manage to get through, Kapoor estimated it to be around 15-20% but cited the challenge posed by India’s open border with Nepal.  “He asserted that at least 16 terrorists this year entered India through Nepal and then travelled to Kashmir,” the cable mentions.  Kapoor also stated that there were 43 terrorist camps in operation in Pakistan, 22 of them in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.  While there has been no reaction yet from Nepal government on the Wikileaks release, it reiterates India’s worry of the open border with Nepal being used by terrorists to enter the country.  “Nearly 20-30 Nepali passports go missing every day and since the document is of inferior nature, they could be used by terrorists to enter India as Nepali citizens,” said a senior diplomat recently.

Why India can’t befriend China
December 12, 2010   8:07:12 AM  This Thursday the Chinese Premier is expected to reach Delhi. His visit gains significance in the wake of China pursuing the Pakistani line on Kashmir, and India giving a tit-for-tat reply in the Northeast over Beijing’s militarisation of Tibet. Utpal Kumar examines all these and more  As India gets ready to welcome Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who is due to arrive here on December 16, the Sino-Indian relationship has never looked so fragile in recent years. PV Narasimha Rao’s 1993 agreement on border peace is all but dead. So is the 1996 agreement on military confidence-building. There is so much distrust in the air that the Indian Army has upgraded the Chinese threat perception from low to medium, forcing the Government to resume Operation Falcon — Indira Gandhi’s 15-year border militarisation programme launched in 1980 and given up in 1993 — under a different name. The situation became so tense that External Affairs Minister SM Krishna had to inform Parliament last month that the Government was keeping “a constant watch” on all developments affecting national security.  Wen’s visit gains significance from the fact that the two countries have, of late, been finding ways to outmanoeuvre each other. To Delhi’s discomfort, the Sino-Indian rivalry has shifted its epicentre from the eastern frontier to the west, with Beijing pursuing the Pakistani line on Jammu & Kashmir. This is a momentous shift for a nation that had refused to come to Islamabad’s rescue during the Kargil conflict, calling Kashmir a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.  Not anymore! Today, Beijing audaciously offers to mediate between India and Pakistan. The shift became unambiguously clear when Chinese authorities began issuing stapled visas on separate sheets to applicants from Jammu & Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh. There is no record of stapled visa to those residing in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK) and the Northern Areas. This means, for Beijing, whereas Jammu & Kashmir is a disputed territory, POK’s forceful merger with Pakistan remains legitimate!  The Chinese impudence came out in open in August when Lt General BS Jaswal, Commander of the Northern Command, was denied a visa. Beijing suggested that another Army official, presumably someone posted outside Jammu & Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh, could be nominated in his place. New Delhi promptly rejected the offer.  Kashmir isn't Tibet  India is expected to raise the stapled visa issue with Wen, but many experts believe the Government could have done more. They are particularly critical of Krishna, who at a recent meeting with his Chinese counterpart, said that Kashmir was a “core issue” for India just as Tibet and Taiwan were for China, thus urging Beijing to show greater sensitivity towards it. Security expert Brahma Chellaney tears apart Krishna’s argument, comparing Kashmir with Tibet and Taiwan. “By placing Jammu & Kashmir on par with Tibet, Krishna has indirectly called his country an ‘occupying power’ in Kashmir — the way China is in Tibet,” he says. “Also, by drawing a parallel between Kashmir and Taiwan, Krishna has made a ridiculous analogy between a State that is part of the Indian federation and an autonomous entity under a permanent threat of force from China.” Advising the country to cultivate friendship with Taiwan, Chellaney insists the latter can be to India what Pakistan is to China.  PR Chari, Research Professor at the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, agrees. “China seeks to keep India off-balance all the time. So, a positive development in one direction is counter-balanced by negative developments in some other direction. In this way, China hopes to dominate the relationship. I wish we had the courage to pursue a similar policy by, for instance, making overtures to Taiwan, and establishing closer relations with Japan and South Korea,” he says.  One also wonders why India didn’t give a befitting reply to China on its visa diplomacy. If Beijing, through stapled visa, can portray Kashmir as a disputed territory, why can’t India do the same on Tibet? Unfortunately, it might be a tough call for a country that has willingly forfeited its Tibet card to China.  The Chinese game, however, didn’t stop with stapled visa. It took a more sinister form when, as reported by The New York Times, China, in the name of fighting calamitous floods in Pakistan, deployed 11,000 of its troops in Gilgit and Baltistan. Floods are long gone, but these soldiers remain well entrenched in these treacherous terrains. The fact that China is going to stay there for long got confirmed when media reports insisted that Beijing was heavily investing in infrastructure projects in POK and the Northern Areas. These reports peg the Chinese investment in hydro projects and road and railway construction at around $30 billion. Also, Beijing has undertaken a strategic rail project that will link the Xinjiang province with the Northern Areas. The plan is to extend this line to Gwadar Port, built in active guidance and support of the Chinese.  INDIAN TIT FOR CHINESE TAT  What has forced China to change its traditional Kashmir policy? The primary reason being India’s ‘assertive’ approach on the eastern front, which in turn was a late recognition of China’s massive deployment of forces on the Tibetan border.  Delhi has deployed two new infantry divisions in the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims as its own. Defence Ministry officials say the two divisions include 1,260 officers and 35,011 soldiers, and that they will be fully operational by 2011. Similarly, the Government is moving ahead with a plan to deploy within six months the first ‘son of the soil’ battalion of Arunachal Scouts.  As if these moves were not enough, the Defence Ministry permitted the Indian Air Force to move a squadron of Sukhoi-30MKI warjets from Pune to Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, just to ensure a swifter and more lethal air strike into Tibet and even further north. And early this year, the 30 squadron of Sukhois flew into Tezpur, Assam, never to leave the place again. To further bolster the forces in the region, three Airborne Warning and Control Systems were also deployed, along with Agni-III missiles with a range of 3,500 km.  It’s not just the Chinese militarisation of Tibet that turned India restless. What has made India more worried is China’s largest ever tactical exercises last year, showcasing the People’s Liberation Army’s capability to airdrop an infantry brigade of 3,000-plus in one airlift and an entire infantry division of about 15,000 troops in a single operation! Experts believe China can now move in two days an entire division into Tibet — and, in 30 days, about 10 divisions can be permanently shifted there.  Highway to confrontation  China has, for quite some time, been upgrading its military infrastructure along the 4,000-km Line of Actual Control, by building roads and rail lines for fast mobilisation of troops. The Lhasa rail line is being extended to Xigaze on the China-Nepal border — eventually, this is supposed to reach Kathmandu. Not to forget the Chinese move to link Lhasa with Nyingchi, close to the Arunachal border, where Beijing is unilaterally building the world’s largest dam on the Brahmaputra, much to Delhi’s concerns.  The development of infrastructure by China in its border regions with India was so rapid and effective, and the Indian response so tepid and lackadaisical, that a Member of Parliament from Arunachal Pradesh had to suggest the Centre to allow the State to get a rail link from China as even 60 years after Independence, India has failed to connect it to the nation’s mainland! The country, too, realised that mere presence of Sukhois or stationing of a few battalions wouldn’t erase China’s strategic advantage in the region, thus foregoing its age-old policy of not building roads near the border.  In September this year, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) told Parliament’s standing committee on defence, “Two years back the philosophy of our nation was that we should not make roads as near to the border as possible... It is only two to three years back that we suddenly decided a change in philosophy and said, ‘no, we must go as far forward as possible’.”  Almost a month before that, on August 11, Defence Minister AK Antony had informed the Rajya Sabha that of the 73 roads on the India-China border, 61 roads in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh were being built by BRO. “Out of 61 roads, 14 have been completed and work is under progress on 42 others,” he said. According to him, 41 roads are planned to be completed by 2013 and the remaining six later.  Last year, Chinese troops made a few snooping intrusions in Ladakh, to which the country responded firmly by not only fast-forwarding the highway project in the region, but also activating landing strips at Nyoma, Fukche and Daulat Beg Oldi. Also, the Government has cleared the contract for building a tunnel in Rohtang, which would make it possible for the troops to move to Ladakh at any time of the year. At present, the Indian troops in Ladakh are supplied food and ammunition through two routes which are mostly blocked by snow in winter and one of them is often the target of Pakistani artillery.  No longer an Indian Ocean  With the largest Asian fleet — third largest in the world after the US and Russia — and a greater economic clout since the recent economic slowdown, the Chinese navy has started to flex its muscles in the region. Japan and South Korea have reasons to get apprehensive, but it is India that has to worry the most. After all, it is Delhi that’s the target of Beijing’s ‘string of pearls’ strategy.  According to defence expert Harsh V Pant, in his book The China Syndrome, “this strategy of bases and economic ties includes Gwadar Port in Pakistan, naval outposts in Myanmar, electronic intelligence gathering facilities on islands in the Bay of Bengal, funding construction of a canal across the Kra Isthmus in Thailand, a military agreement in Cambodia and buildup of forces in the South China Sea”.  China aims to claim the Indian Ocean. This became evident from a secret memorandum issued by the director of the PLA’s General Logistic Department: “We can no longer accept the Indian Ocean as only an ocean of the Indians... We are taking armed conflicts in the region into account.”  It is, therefore, hardly a surprise that China is today Sri Lanka’s biggest aid donor and investor. It supports Kathmandu’s position in most disputes between India and Nepal, gaining sympathy among anti-Delhi elements of this Himalayan nation. Beijing is also the largest foreign investor in Myanmar’s energy sector, with Chinese companies holding stakes in 16 oil and gas blocks.  China’s rising profile in the region is hardly a surprise. What’s astounding is the diminishing role of India and the rapidity with which Delhi is ceding its strategic space to Beijing.  Yeh Dragon maange more!  It is believed among a section of the diplomatic circle that China is deliberately disturbing the Kashmir equilibrium to keep India’s attention away from its activities in the Indian Ocean. This argument can be contested, but everyone seems unanimous on why Beijing is so eager to turn the Indian Ocean into a Chinese one. In August this year, China ran past Japan as the second largest economy in the world, next to the US. Its booming economy is largely dependent on exports — well illustrated by the fact that Beijing today exports in a single day more than it exported in all of 1978!  China consumes 30 per cent of what it produces and exports the rest through the Indian Ocean routes. Besides, according to an Economist report, 80 per cent of its annual 200 million tonnes of oil requirement — second-largest after the US — is brought through the Strait of Malacca. “India’s integrated command base in the Andamans controls access to the Strait of Malacca. The Chinese are worried that in the event of a war, the Indian Navy can interdict and sink Chinese oil tankers. This could impair the export-driven economy of China,” it says. China is, therefore, eager to control the Indian Ocean.  China’s export-driven economy also needs the consistent supply of raw materials. China, after all, accounts for about a fifth of the world’s population, yet it gobbles up half of its cement, a third of its steel and over a quarter of its aluminium. It is spending 35 times as much on imports of crude oil as it did in 1999, and 23 times as much importing copper. What is more, China is getting hungrier. The International Energy Agency expects China’s imports of oil to triple by 2030!  In order to maintain this constant supply of raw materials, China is venturing into virgin terrains of Africa and Latin America, coddling, if needed, dictators and warlords. No wonder one-third of China’s total crude imports come from Angola, Sudan, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Chad and Nigeria. Beijing’s huge purchases of oil and other resources have made it Africa’s third-largest partner, after the US and France.  Trade between Latin America and China also jumped up from $10 billion in 2000 to $140 billion in 2008, driven largely by Beijing’s demand for raw materials.  In his book The Post-American World, Fareed Zakaria quotes Moises Naim, editor of Foreign Policy magazine, telling a story about the Nigerian Government negotiating a $5 million loan for train systems with the world Bank in 2007. The bank had insisted that the Government clean up the notoriously corrupt railway bureaucracy before it approved the loan. The deal was almost done when the Chinese stepped in and offered the Government a whopping $9 billion loan to rebuild the entire train system — with no democratic and human rights strings attached. The World Bank was sent home within days!  This is how China works. And, it’s helping dragon gain some diplomatic points as well. After all, while more than 20 African countries recognised Taiwan in the early 1990s, only four do so now. Herein lies a lesson for India, caught up in the narrow terror-centric mindset and obsessed with ‘idealistic’ foreign policy.  The Chinese enigma  The biggest challenge facing the world, particularly India, is how to deal with dragon. After all, China holds what is antithesis of the generally accepted (Western) norms of statecraft. If talks can bring peace in the rest of the world, in the case of China, only the preparation for war can ensure tranquility along the border!  Why is China such an enigma? To get this answer one must comprehend the fundamental nature of the Middle Kingdom that has mostly eluded the outsiders.  Portuguese missionary Matteo Ricci, too, faced this dilemma in the 1590s when, in an effort to present himself as an honoured figure, he shaved his head and beard and shrouded himself in the robes of a Buddhist, only to find out that monks were not held in high esteem in China. He, then, began travelling in sedan chair as men of rank will do. And it worked. In no time, he found quite a few converts in the Middle Kingdom!  India must understand that China may be a Communist nation, but it is still Confucian in nature. It is this Confucianism that makes China so practical — a nation that understands the measure of power. It is this Confucianism that enables Beijing to forge deals with blood-thirsty dictators across the world. It is this mindset that makes China encourage a large number of Hun population to settle down in Tibet, so much so that the very Tibetans are turned into minority in the land of their own — quite unlike in India where outsiders are constitutionally prohibited from settling down in Kashmir, thereby further strengthening the separatist mindset in the Valley.  The Indian leadership must keep in mind this unique trait of China while holding talks with Wen. Delhi should cease to be defensive. It must understand that Confucian China will take India seriously only when the latter starts taking itself seriously.  As for Beijing’s support for India’s candidature for the permanent UN Security Council seat, Delhi should stop being a pleader; such requests will only make China more obstinate. “Every time India asks for China’s support and gets a negative reply, it only puts Beijing on a high pedestal of the pre-emptive Asian power that reserves the right to grant Delhi the privilege of being in the Security Council,” says an External Affairs Ministry official, seeking anonymity. China’s support on the issue will come when India’s rise becomes a reality that Beijing can no longer afford to ignore.  As for the ongoing India-China tension, this is a test of the nation’s character. India needs to pursue its militarisation plan along the border. As they say in Roman, “If you want peace, prepare for war,” this is the best antidote to strife along the border. After all, Beijing proceeded to teach India a lesson in 1962 when the country under Jawaharlal Nehru preferred to use its arms factories for coffee production!   Tawang to Kashmir  # In 1993, India and China sign a peace agreement, following which Delhi withdraws its troops from the border  # In 1996, the two countries sign an agreement on military confidence-building  # In 1998, India conducts nuclear tests; calls China a threat  # In 2008, Chinese forces move into Tibet to suppress riots. Troops pull back later, but permanent infrastructure remains. Troops also gain mobility for quick induction into Tibet # India moves Sukhois to Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh); China finds Tibet rail line vulnerable  # China builds airfields and roads to move troops  # India retaliates by building roads in Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh  # In 2009, China stages Operation Stride; shows it can move thousands of troops at short notice  # India, in reply, fortifies Tawang by raising two new divisions; moves Sukhois to Tezpur, Assam  # Focus shifts west; China intrudes into Ladakh. Calls J&K disputed; offers to mediate over it  # In 2010, India starts building Rohtang tunnel to enable quick reinforcement of Ladakh  # In August this year, China denies visa to a J&K commander; it also moves troops in POK

Pak has 43 terrorist camps, including 22 in occupied Kashmir: Indian Army chief
 From ANI  New Delhi, Dec 11(ANI): There are 43 terrorist camps in Pakistan, 22 of which are located in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, the then Indian Chief of Army Staff, General Deepak Kapoor, told US President Barack Obama's the then National Security Advisor (NSA), James Jones in 2009, a diplomatic cable unveiled by whistle-blower website WikiLeaks has revealed.   According to the leaked cable, during a meeting between senior US and Indian officials on June 26, 2009, General Kapoor told Jones that the "Pakistani military's statements regarding the Indian threat on its eastern border are wholly without merit. Even after the 11/26 terrorist strikes on Mumbai, he emphasized, India did not make any move of a threatening nature toward Pakistan."  "Kapoor alleged that there are 43 terrorist camps in Pakistan, 22 of which are located in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Although the Pakistanis raided some camps in the wake of 11/26, Kapoor averred, some camps have reinitiated operations," said the document, which was classified as 'secret'.  It said that the Indian army chief "further asserted infiltration across the Line of Control cannot occur unless there is some kind of assistance and/or degree of support that is institutional in nature. He described several incidents of infiltration that occurred this year, including that of 40 terrorists in March who were found possessing significant ammunition and other equipment."  He said that India was worried that some part of the huge US military package to Pakistan would "find its way to the hands of terrorists targeting India,".  Furthermore, if "we can catch them (the infiltrators), why can't the Pakistani military?" the cable quoted Gen Kapoor, as saying. "There's a trust deficit between the U.S. and Pakistan but there's also one between India and Pakistan," he stressed.  When Jones asked him "how the Pakistanis react when the Indians confront them with these incidents," Kapoor replied that the Pakistanis "remain in denial mode, but fortunately today India's counter-infiltration posture is stronger than in the past."  Asked about the percentage of infiltrators that get through, Gen Kapoor "estimated between 15 to 20 percent, but cited the challenge posed by India's open border with Nepal," and asserted that this year (2009), at least 16 terrorists entered India through Nepal and then traveled to Kashmir. Throughout his remarks, Kapoor stressed that infiltration bids were "acts of aggression," said the cable, whose subject was "NSA Jones discusses US-India security.  Regarding terrorist camps in Pakistan, Jones told Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Gen Kapoor that the US "will take up the issue with Pakistan."

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