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Wednesday, 15 December 2010

From Today's Papers - 15 Dec 2010

Punjab to counter narco-terrorism Two IRBs to be posted behind BSF along Pak border to check smuggling Jangveer Singh/TNS  Chandigarh, December 14 In a biggest initiative ever to counter the threat of narco-terrorism, the Punjab Police has planned a second line of defence behind the Border Security Force (BSF) along the border with Pakistan to stop the continued influx of both drugs and arms from across the border.  The move, which involve stationing of two Indian Reserve Police Battalions (IRBs) along the border, had received a favourable response from the Union Home Minister, state DGP PS Gill told TNS here.  The Punjab Police wants to station two battalions, comprising 2,000 men, at Kalanaur in Gurdaspur district and between Fazilka and Jalalabad in Ferozepur district. The two new battalions will cover areas both north and south of the Sutlej in a bid to check narcotics and arms being smuggled into the state from Pakistan, both through the riverine tract and from across the barbed wire fence.  The DGP said the battalions would establish permanent checkpoints on link roads emanating from the border as well as conduct patrolling behind the BSF areas to plug current leakages.  Punjab is very concerned over narco-terrorism, joint smuggling of narcotics as well as arms. This trend has been on the rise since 2006 with Punjab becoming the biggest transit point for heroin in India. This has been corroborated by an increase in heroin as well as drug seizures in the state in the past few years. A report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime also corroborates this. What is worrying the Punjab Police is the increase in heroin smuggling into the state with investigators claiming that it is just the tip of the iceberg. Heroin seizures by the state anti-narcotics cell have increased from 32 kg in 2005 to 75 kg in 2009. This is besides the seizures made by the BSF as well as the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, all of which are worth more than Rs 600 crore in the past two years.  Sources claimed drugs worth Rs 2,000 crore could be transiting through Punjab with Gurdaspur district being the new epicentre. Earlier, Amritsar was known to be the main centre for drug smuggling.  Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, who also heads the Home portfolio, says there is a need for effective sealing of the border and that the government had brought this to the notice of the Union Home Ministry also. He said the state had also simultaneously started a policy of zero tolerance for drug smugglers and initiated the process of auction of their properties.
ISI man who died in Delhi a martyr for Pak Tribune News Service  New Delhi, December 14 It took over a decade for the Pakistani army to accept that its 500 soldiers and officers were involved in infiltrations along the Line of Control and were killed during during the 1999 Kargil war with India. Their names were recently listed as “martyrs” in ‘Shuhada’s (martyrs) corner’ of the Pakistan army’s website. And yesterday, there was another addition to the list: Naik Zulfiqar Ahmed — an ISI operative who was on a “suicide attack mission” to India.  Pakistani army’s website,, claims that the ISI operative died at New Delhi’s Ganga Ram Hospital on November 16, 2007. Notwithstanding the fact that he was on a suicide attack operation, Naik Zulfiqar Ahmed’s name has been listed in the “martyr’s corner”.  The listing stated that Ahmed was on a “suicide attack” operation at the time of his death. The cause of death was given as “neptrrotic syndrome/ARI”. Nephrotic syndrome is a kidney disorder while ARI refers to acute respiratory infection.  Ahmed’s army serial no was 1726016 and he belonged to the engineering wing. His formation or unit was HQs 30 Corps/Dte Gen ISI, according to the listing, which has a picture of Ahmed.  As expected, the move invited sharp reactions from New Delhi. The (Indian) Army said the “intentions and ways” of Pakistani army had “become clear” with the neighbouring nation owning up a suicide bomber.  Chief of Indian Army Staff General VK Singh said: “I have nothing to say on what they (Pakistani Army) have put up on its website. But if it has (owned up), then it clearly show what their intentions and ways are and what their next move will be.” “All I can say is we have to be more alert and only then we can protect our people and troops,” Gen Singh said while speaking to reporters here on the sidelines of an Army function.
When time stood still by Major-Gen G.G. Dwivedi (retd)  It was a race against time. Over the fortnight, we traversed half the breadth of War Zone; i.e the erstwhile East Pakistan. Advance across the vast golden-brown paddy fields and endless water bodies was marked by some bloody hard-fought battles. Each of the 14 days were, hence fully accounted for.  Every mile we covered was most rewarding as it brought seismic change in the destiny of thousands of people; liberation from brutal subjugation and oppression, unleashed by the Pakistani Army. Scantly clad, semi starved, with misery written large on the faces, these hapless brave hearts had nothing to share but deep anguish and grief.  Hysterically, they narrated the horrid stories of terror and torture. Devastated and battered, their hutments barren and bare, what kept them going was sheer conviction; ‘hope never dies’. The only words that were discernable in their chocked voices were Bandhu and Joi Bangla.  By the 16th December morning, we closed on to Narainganj, after a fierce battle for Bandar Railway Station, the previous night. It was one of the key outposts of Dhaka Garrison. The town wore a desolate look. As we were in the process of clearing pockets of resistance on the outskirts, suddenly, small groups of people began to show up on the streets. Soon the crowds began to swell. Many were holding piece of green cloth with an orange circular patch, symbolising Bangladesh national flag and chanting slogans of triumph. It was an indication that the Pakistani troops were evacuating Narainganj and surrender was in the offing.  The sounds of firing gradually died down, engulfed in the echoes of Joi Bangla. There was outburst of emotions, volatile mix of agony and ecstasy. Commotion and bewilderment were visible all around. Tables had been turned and frenzy of revenge was looming large. Now it was the colluders and collaborators who were on the run. A few were even lynched by the violent crowds to mete ‘on the spot justice’.  As the darkness fell, we deployed astride the banks of mighty Buriganga River. Since the start of the Bangladesh War (Operation Cactus Lilly), it was for the first time we had a proper wash and hearty meal. Puri-Halwa prepared from captured rations was a rare delight.  Despite the moonlit night, the serene flowing river wore a ghastly look, with number of bodies floating — a tell tale sign of the last minute carnage. The uneasy calm was occasionally shattered by the victory shots or barking dogs, busy digging up the wayside shallow graves.  To stretch out in the open, rather than being cramped in a trench appeared to be a luxury after a long time. Strolling past the resting men of my platoon, I found a few were peacefully snoring, while others were tossing on their ground sheets, yet to reconcile to the fact that the war was over. In sombre mood, they were scanning the sky, perhaps searching in vain, for their fallen comrades.  It was ‘nine month’ long ordeal for the Bangladeshis. They endured horrific atrocities and indignation, the ugliest side of humanity. The dawn was yet a few hours away. However, the time appeared to have stood still; to condole the unparallel sufferings and immortalise the martyrs, marking an end of a gory saga, awaiting for the newborn nation to announce its arrival.
Pak army website honours 'suicide attacker'  NDTV Correspondent, Updated: December 14, 2010 14:57 IST ad_title  New Delhi:  An entry on the Pakistani army website on Monday claimed that an ISI agent who was on a "suicide attack" operation died in a New Delhi hospital on November 16, 2007.  In a section titled Shuhada or Martyr's corner, the website lists the ISI agent Zulfiqar Ahmede as a martyr.  Reacting to the entry, the Indian Army Chief VK Singh said, "This is the real face of Pakistan."
IAF helicopter crashes in Jammu, all safe  NDTV Correspondent, Updated: December 14, 2010 12:09 IST ad_title  PLAYClick to Expand & Play Jammu:  An Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter crashed in Jammu on Tuesday morning. The crew and eight people on board are, however, said to be safe.  The Mi-26 crashed at the Jammu Air Force Station just above the runway after it had attained a height of 100 meters. It is the largest helicopter in the world. The IAF operates only a handful of these choppers.  The helicopter was on Indian Railways duty
WikiLeaks spurs a scramble for arms December 15th, 2010 By Huma Yusuf Share  Buzz up!      * Bookmark and Share      * Email this article     * Printer friendly version  Decrease text sizeIncrease text size  Karachi, Pakistan  News reports, which have since been retracted, cited fake leaked cables in which US diplomats described senior members of India’s military as egotistical, geeky, and even genocidal, while Indian politicians were accused of maintaining ties with Hindu fundamentalists. The propagandistic use of the “leaked cables” occurred at the expense of the local media’s credibility, but in the publication of these false reports lies a vital reminder about Pakistani foreign policy.  Notably, reports about the fake cables were sourced to an Islamabad-based news agency that has been described in the international media as having close links to the Pakistani intelligence services. Writing in the Guardian, Declan Walsh rightly pointed out that the readiness of news organisations to publish the false reports without verifying their content indicates the Pakistan Army’s continued influence over the supposedly free media landscape.  The fact that America’s lowest moment in public diplomacy and international perception can be reoriented as a critique about India in the Pakistani public sphere is telling. The incident reiterates what the WikiLeaks made clear, and what we all already knew even before the document dump: Pakistan’s foreign policy — and the national conversation about it — is being carefully micromanaged by the Army.  Few will have missed the fact that in addition to disparaging remarks, the fake anti-India cables are peppered with praise by the US generals for Pakistani generals, implying a close, trusting relationship (which, ironically, the real WikiLeaks cables about nukes and ongoing military ties to terrorist groups made clear is severely strained).  This added flourish can only be understood as an attempt at damage control in the aftermath of the WikiLeaks during which Pakistan’s relationship with the US has been widely panned — terms deployed to describe our country include “lackey”, “client”, “stooge”, “banana republic”, “colony”, “satrapy”, “puppet”, and those are the ones I can put in print. The reasons the security forces would want to mend the public perception of this relationship, and try and deflect some negativity across the eastern border, are known.  The Pakistan Army perpetuates the foreign policy narrative about the abiding threat next door, which is balanced by strategic ties elsewhere abroad for the advancement of its own interests. As an institution, the Army prioritises modernisation, weapons procurement, and access to cutting-edge technology and training.  It remains invested in foreign policy issues because connections with western states are seen as a way for the Army to fulfil these institutional goals. In the case of the Pakistan, as in other poorly governed countries where the military is entrusted with state survival, the Army’s institutional imperatives outweigh the demands of democracy, diplomacy, multilateralism and public participation. In the coming years, one can expect to see more heavy-handedness on the part of the security forces in response to regional military developments. The fact is, Pakistan finds itself in the most rapidly militarising neighbourhood of the world.  In 2010, Chinese year-on-year defence spending has risen 7.5 per cent; meanwhile, India’s defence allocation has grown by almost four per cent. China currently has the most active land-based ballistic and cruise missile programme, and is heavily investing in anti-satellite weapons and surveillance technologies, and boosting its cyber-attack capabilities. Working on the premise that the Indian Ocean is the Silk Road of the 21st century, China is also seeking to transform its navy from a “green water” to “blue water” force in an effort to secure maritime routes. The People’s Liberation Army Navy has therefore invested in stealth submarines, anti-ship missiles and conventional warships.  For its part, India’s military modernisation plan comprises a $100 billion allocation for weapons procurement over 10 to 20 years. This includes $11 billion for a 126-unit medium, multi-role aircraft competition and $12 billion to expand the Indian Navy to 160 ships by 2022 in an effort to balance China’s increased naval presence.  US responses to China’s rising military might are expected to add further impetus to India’s military modernisation plan (consider India’s purchase of 10 cargo planes during US President Barack Obama’s visit in November). This plan faces a variety of problems, including corruption, entangled procurement protocols and a lack of vision and coordination so endemic that the Brookings Institution’s Stephen Cohen and Sunil Dasgupta have described it as “arming without aiming”. But no matter.  In an effort to balance the Indian Army’s weapons procurement and growth, the Pakistan Army will seek to pursue and legitimise those foreign policies that yield the best real returns (read arms deals). The past week’s fake cables saga heralds what shape that legitimisation process might take.  And so it is that regional military developments will exacerbate Pakistan’s domestic political turmoil. As the Pakistan Army’s need to access to more weapons, technology, and training becomes urgent, the civil-military power struggle for control over politics, policy-making, and the public sphere’s perception of these matters will intensify. The Army knows that its institutional development depends on its foreign policy credentials and its political capacity to emerge as a guarantor of regional diplomacy.  Instead of the secretive diplomacy embodied in the real WikiLeaks, or the manipulative politicking of the fake leaked cables, Pakistan deserves a channel for public diplomacy to transparently pick through these issues. Pakistan’s governance, civil society and free press cannot be held hostage by regional militarisation trends.
Bangladesh to honour 226 Indians for role in 1971 'Liberation War' PTI, Dec 14, 2010, 07.43pm IST DHAKA: Bangladesh will honour some 500 foreigners, including 226 Indians, for their crucial support to the country's 1971 'Liberation War', as it marks the 40th Victory Day anniversary next year.  "The cabinet approved the proposal to accord reception to distinguished foreign nationals and organisations for their extraordinary contribution in our Liberation War," Abul Kalam Azad, the press secretary of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said.  Former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi would be conferred with a special honour for her "immense" support for Bangladesh's independence, officials earlier said.  "Though we have already prepared a draft of the awardees but at this moment it is difficult to say what could be the size of the list," Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, who heads the committee, said yesterday.  A member of the committee on condition of anonymity said they were holding meetings for the past two days to prepare the citations and the list included 226 Indians and 40 Pakistanis.  " India backed us crucially during the Liberation War, but we also want to acknowledge the role of Pakistanis who defied the Pakistani junta risking their safety to support us," he said.  Apart from the late Indian Prime Minister, then Indian army chief, Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw and the army commander in India's eastern theatre, Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora, figure in a list of eminent people to be honoured by Bangladesh.  The honour list includes eight Russians, 35 Britons, two Irishmen, five Australians, three Dutchmen, three Argentinians, eight Swiss, two Germans, 13 Frenchmen, three Butanese, 13 Japanese, two Sri Lankans and 15 Nepalese, a committee members was quoted as saying by  Former Indian Prime Minister I.K. Gujral, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar and painter M.F. Hussain are among living Indians to be honoured.  Other Indian recipients include former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu, former defence minister Krishna Menon, former Congress leader Sachindra Lal Singha, diplomats D.P. Dhar, P.N. Dhar, film maker Satyajit Ray, singer Manna Dey, artist Bishnu Dey and singer Mohammad Rafi, the report said.  Those honoured will receive a 50 gram gold (18 carat) crest and an honourary citizenship of Bangladesh, the report said.  On March 26, 1971, Bangladesh - then East Pakistan - declared its independence from West Pakistan.  According to official figures, Pakistani troops, aided by local collaborators, killed an estimated 3 million people, raped about 200,000 women and forced millions more to leave their homes during the bloody nine-month guerrilla war.
Naga Insurgency and the China Factor  Dec 14, 2010 Madan Singh Nagaland state seal - unknown Nagaland state seal - unknown The Naga insurgency is going on since 1955 and now the weary Naga leadership is into peace talks with India, but China is fishing in these troubled waters  Nagaland is a small state in the North East of India. It borders Burma on one side and the state of Assam on the other side. It was earlier part of the composite state of Assam, till Indira Gandhi broke the North east into 9 states. Nagaland is inhabited by tribes, which just about a hundred years back were head hunters.  The Raj and the Nagas  Ads by Google Jobs in Hotel 2-10 years Exp. Salary 3-15 Lakhs. Register and Apply on Cake Decorating Watch Amazing Cake Decorating Tips Tricks & Secrets Of The Pros Today!  During the days of the Raj the state of Naga land was kept insulated from the rest of the country and to visit this area a person had to take a special permit called the inner line permit from the Deputy Commissioner. All this had its repercussions and the Naga tribes never integrated with the rest of India.  The Naga Insurrection  When India gained independence, Nehru in his mistaken zeal continued with the inner line permits and the areas were not opened up. The insular Naga tribes then launched an armed struggle against India in 1955. The Indian army soon had to move in to quell the Naga rebellion. The Naga tribes failed to win independence and by a carrot and stick policy some Naga groups realized the futility of fighting a war with the Indian Army and agreed for a cease fire and peace talks. In fact the armed revolt has not led the Naga tribes anywhere during the last 50 years.  The China Factor  China with its desire to fish in troubled waters has been courting the Naga secessionists. Now reports have surfaced that Naga insurgents are giving away details of the Indian Army's deployment in the Northeast to China. These details emerged after the interrogation of a key leader of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland Isak-Muivah (NSCN (IM), who the Indian intelligence agencies have caught a couple of months ago.  The NSCN of Isak-Muivah have been passing positions of aircraft and missiles to the Chinese, with particular reference to Arunachal Pradesh and the monastery town of Twang which the Chinese claim as part of Tibet. Twang was in the news when the Dalai Lama visited here this year.  But the matter is further complicated. The NSCN(IM), which has been engaged in peace talks with the Indian government for the last 15 years, is reportedly gifted $ 700,000 for weapons by China.This shows that despite the peace talks the Naga tribes are arming themselves, with help from China.  During the negotiatons the Indians took up the matter with NSCN (IM). The Naga Negotiator coceded to buying the weapons, but said those arms have not been brought into Naga Land. This episode again shows the fragile nature of the cease fire and the fact that some of the Naga tribes have not reconciled to be part of India. The army and the Government must keep this at the back of their mind while negotiating with the Naga insurgents. At the same time the China factor in this troubled region needs to be taken care off.
Indian MoD Reports Steps Toward New Tank Requirements for the Indian Army's Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT) have been finalized, the Defence Ministry here announced Dec. 6, and the tank will be developed by the government's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) by 2020.  The Army has completed its Preliminary Staff Qualitative Requirement for the tank, according to the ministry's official statement. The DRDO is carrying out FMBT feasibility studies. Defence Minister A.K. Antony told the Indian parliament of these developments Dec. 6, the statement said.  Sources in the Indian Army said the proposed tank will be in the 40-metric-tons category and will be mounted with a 125mm gun. Six prototypes will be developed by 2020 before the FMBT enters bulk production.  The tank will be difficult to detect by enemy radar, according to the Army's requirements.  Other advanced features will include capability to fire kinetic weapons and missiles, an active protection system, and hybrid armor to protect the tank against improvised explosive devices. The tank will be capable of night combat operations, surveillance and reconnaissance, and strategic mobility. It will have a third-generation transmission system, integrated fire-control system with laser finders, battlefield management system and mine-detection system.  The FMBT project is a follow-up of the Indian-built Arjun main battle tank project, which started in 1973, though the tank has yet to be adopted by the Army for combat.
India links Siachen demilitarisation to progress on Mumbai attacks Posted by Army Optimist Monday, December 13, 2010 Labels: Current Affairs, News 0 comments By Khalid Mustafa ISLAMABAD: In a major breakthrough, India has agreed to demilitarise the Siachen Glacier and resolve the Sir Creek issue provided ‘reasonable’ progress is made on the Bombay attacks.  The Siachen Glacier is the second longest glacier of the planet that regulates the climate in the region and is also the water tank for both Pakistan and India. India showed its willingness during the three-day dialogue with Pakistan held in Dubai under Track-II diplomacy on December 3-6. Noted international experts also attended the meeting.  India acknowledged that its troops’ presence on the Siachen Glacier played a major role in its fast melting, putting the agrarian economy of Pakistan at stake. Experts of both sides will send to their respective governments their recommendations on demilitarising the Siachen Glacier and for joint watershed management in Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh to reinstate the degraded environment for sustainable flow in rivers that also include Jhelum and Chenab Rivers, for the initiation of an official dialogue to develop a framework for the implementation of the proposed measures. Former chief secretary Ashok Jaitley, General Ashok Mehta and Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal represented India at the talks while General Hamid Khan, Ayesha Siddiqa, General Moin Uddin Haider, former foreign secretary Tanvir Ahmad Khan, Rahimullah Yusufzai, Arshad H Abbasi represented Pakistan. Sectray Saarc Muhammad Iqbal Tabish also participated in the talks.  The News had highlighted on November 26 and 29 that the Siachen Glacier could disappear in future, as major cracks, streams, lakes and even rivers had appeared in the glacier mainly because of the ‘human intervention’ much before the Cancun climate conference that was currently held in Mexico.  Although, Pakistan’s delegation that attended the Cancun moot on climate failed to highlight the issue of the fast melting Siachen Glacier, but during the dialogue under Track-II diplomacy, experts from Pakistan succeeded in highlighting the issue and prevailed with arguments due to which Indian water experts, intelligentsia and the international community acknowledged the fact that the cause of these cracks was not global warming; rather it was the presence of the Indian Army on the Siachen Glacier since 1984. The glacier is melting at an unprecedented rate and this has already been reported. The melting has been attributed to the deployment of troops and establishment of permanent cantonments.  Both sides in the Dubai talks also developed an agreement that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for all trans-boundary hydropower development projects should be carried out. This is allowed under the provisions of Annexure ‘D’ and should be conducted before physical execution of projects and India ought to send all the EIA reports to Pal-EPA for comments, reservation and mitigation measures, if any.  India has also agreed for joint watershed management in Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh to reinstate degraded environment for sustainable flow in rivers that also include Jhelum and Chenab Rivers. Reports have appeared in the Pakistani media that water flows in these rivers has decreased manifold. Both these rivers play a pivotal role in irrigating the province of Punjab, the food basket of the country.  When contacted, General (retd) Hamid Khan, who participated in the Dubai dialogue, confirmed that India had agreed to demilitarisation of the Siachen Glacier and resolution of Sir Creek but linked it with progress on the Mumbai attacks. The Indian side has agreed to submit its recommendations on demilitarisation of Siachen to its government. This is really a positive development.  According to water expert Arshad H Abbasi, who also participated in the Dubai talks, the watershed of the two rivers in Kashmir has been destroyed because of the massive cutting of trees by the Indian troops to apprehend the freedom fighters. Now India has agreed to jointly develop and monitor the watershed of the said rivers in held Kashmir.  The joint statement issued after the Dubai dialogue, a copy of which is exclusively available with this scribe, says: “It is a matter of immense satisfaction that Indian water experts, intelligentsia and international community have acknowledged and endorsed the following steps of cooperation between the two nations under the domain of Real Time Water Monitoring Quality and Quantity: i) To preserve Siachen and other Himalayan glaciers, it is the only effective strategy to declare protected areas and immediate demilitarisation from Siachen should be done immediately to save the second longest glacier of planet; ii) An EIA for all trans-boundary hydropower development projects should be carried out. This is allowed under the provisions of Annexure ‘D’ of treaty and should be conducted before physical execution of projects and India ought to send all EIA reports to Pal-EPA for comments, reservation and mitigation measures if any; iii) Independent Indus Water Commission (IWC) must be reinforced with experts of international independent agencies such as UNEP, World Bank and working of new IWC should be benchmarked with organisations dealing in similar nature of task such as Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), Mekong Rivers Commission, International Commission for the Protection of the Danube; iv) Joint Watershed in Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh to reinstate degraded environment for sustainable flow in rivers.  “The aforementioned points were deliberated upon and there was a unanimous agreement on them. This has to be sent to respective governments for the initiation of an official dialogue to develop a framework for the implementation of the proposed measures. This is the only way to consolidate the linkage between the two countries, with respect to trans-boundary dialogues.”

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