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Monday, 20 December 2010

From Today's Papers - 20 Dec 2010

China fires fresh salvo in border dispute Official agency describes Sino-Indian border as 2,000 km, omitting almost 1,600 km Tribune News Service  New Delhi, December 19 China has sought to give a new twist to its border dispute with India. A news report filed by the Chinese official news agency Xinhua describes the Sino-Indian as 2,000 km, taking away almost 1,600 km from the existing border between the two countries. The claim has caught India by surprise, which has always claimed that its border with China is more than 3,500 km.  Xinhua’s reference to the border issue was based on an official briefing by Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue on Premier Wen’s visit to India. China has also been questioning the status of J&K for the past two years by issuing stapled visas to Indian residents of the state. Now, it has omitted some 1,600 km border separating J & K from Xinjiang and Tibet from the boundary length.  There has been no official reaction from New Delhi to the latest salvo fired by Beijing, but sources wondered why China was yet again seeking to create a controversy over the border issue. The two countries have committed themselves to settling the border issue through peaceful talks at an early date.  The 14th round of talks between the Special Representatives (SRs) on the border issue was concluded just last month, sources noted. Sources also drew attention towards Premier Wen’s remarks in New Delhi during his visit that the boundary issue was a ‘historical legacy’ and it would not be easy to completely resolve it. Asked if the Chinese move was aimed at questioning India’s sovereignty over J & K, sources said it appeared to be so.
Terror, Af-Pak on agenda Ashok Tuteja/TNS  New Delhi, December 19 India and Russia will discuss at length the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the context of the developments in the region when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hold their annual summit here on Tuesday.  Briefing reporters here today, MEA spokesman Vishnu Prakash said the issue of terrorism and how the two countries could jointly fight the menace would also figure prominently during the discussions between the two leaders. India, meanwhile, admitted that Moscow has sought certain clarifications from New Delhi over the applicability of the civil nuclear liability law to future projects to be undertaken by the two countries as part of their civil nuclear cooperation.  “Technical discussions are on between the two sides and we will resolve every issue amicably,’’ Ajay Bisaria, joint secretary in-charge of Russia in the ministry, said.  The two officials said a number of agreements would be signed between the two countries in different areas after the meeting between the Russian leader and the Prime Minister.  Bisaria noted that the agreement for cooperation between India and Russia for Kudankulam I and Kudankulam II nuclear projects in Tamil Nadu was signed long back, much before the civil nuclear law was enacted by India. The discussions were now on between the two countries for Kudankulam III and Kudankulam IV projects for which the framework accord was signed during Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit to New Delhi in March.
Obama's war strategy has failed in Afghanistan: Taliban Taliban insurgents have dismissed the review of United States President Barack Obama's war strategy in Afghanistan, saying it has failed on both military and the civil administration fronts. Source : ANI   Sat, Dec 18, 2010 16:57:53 IST Views:                5    Comments: 1 Rate:  1 out of 5 2 out of 5 3 out of 5 4 out of 5 5 out of 5 0.0 / 0 votes       TALIBAN INSURGENTS have dismissed the review of United States President Barack Obama's war strategy in Afghanistan, saying it has failed on both military and the civil administration fronts. In an e-mailed statement, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the last nine years of war had proven that increased troop levels had no effect.  "It is a failed strategy, not only on the military side but also in civilian and administrative affairs. Public services in Afghanistan have failed. Corruption, insecurity and also the civilian casualties are a result of failed American strategy," The Nation quoted Mujahid, as saying.  "President Obama is also talking about progress, but it is clear for everyone that the reality is completely the opposite of what he says," he added.  Mujahid vowed the Taliban would continue to fight coalition troops, and that "with the presence of foreign forces in our country there will be no peace and security. The interference of foreign forces in the affairs of Afghanistan ... will only increase casualties."  The Taliban claimed that Obama's aim of starting to withdraw US soldiers from Afghanistan next year is the result not of success, but of "the pressure on the US forces in Afghanistan, the high casualties of the US forces and the high cost of the war ... which they can no longer afford."
Selective listening By Dinesh Kumar  The wife, in anger, had switched off her phone and I could not help the guy.  Every word written here, I swear, is truth and nothing but the truth and I am not swearing like our politicians do. They swear to preserve the constitution and then go about shredding it.  I knew this guy, the way he was walking around the park, was an ex-soldier and to test my assumption, I said, “Ram, Ram, sahib”, a traditional way of greetings in the Indian army. He responded in the same manner and we got talking and discovered that we both had defence services background. He is an ex-army havildar and I, a former air force officer. Soon he started addressing me sahib, and whenever we met we would jog and walk together sharing our experiences of those days.  One morning, I bumped into him after a long gap and we set our course together recapping the interim. A telephone call on his mobile interrupted our conversation and I knew that he was talking to his wife who was quizzing him about his whereabouts and was not willing to believe that he was, as usual, walking around the park. The reason: His wife had heard some women giggling away in the background and had concluded that there was some hanky panky going on. She would not buy his defence that there were college girls around the park. When nothing worked, he told her to talk to me, the sahib he had often mentioned about at home.  The line went dead the moment I said ‘Hello’. Suddenly, a brave soldier who had fought wars and had been decorated for bravery was on retreat mode, a recommended defence strategy followed in woefully unequal battle conditions. I could empathise with him. We spent some time discussing ways that would carry conviction that he was stating the truth. Knowing his predicament and assessing the situation to be grave, I offered to call his wife, if he permitted, to tell her that both of us were indeed together, doing nothing fishy but just exercising. Like it happens with spouses’ numbers, he had to look at the call log to recall his wife’s number. I dialled it from my mobile phone. The wife, in anger, had switched off her phone and I could not help the guy.  Our pace slowed down and I offered to accompany him to his home with him, if needed, but he declined my offer. I asked him how he would get out of the mess. Like an honest soldier, he said, may be, one day, he would get his wife to the park in the morning to see that college girls do come between classes, giggle and have fun.  We parted company and I came home and narrated the incident to you know who. Response: I am sure there must be some previous history that the wife suspected him. Pronounced guilty, without evidence.  May be that is why many soldiers opt for repeat field area postings.
Indian army chief arriving Monday                          REPUBLICA KATHMANDU, Dec 19: Indian Army Chief Vijay Kumar Singh is arriving here on Monday on a three-day official visit upon the invitation of Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) General Chhatra Man Singh Gurung.  President Dr Ram Baran Yadav will confer the honorary title of Nepal Army general on Singh amid a function at Shital Niwas on December 22.   According to a statement issued by Nepal Army Directorate of Public Relations, Singh is scheduled to lay a wreath at the memorial in Tundikhel followed by a visit with Gen Gurung at the Army headquarters on Monday.  On December 21, Singh will visit Mustang district´s headquarters Jomsom-based Mountain Warfare Training Center.  He is also scheduled to visit Pokhara-based Indian Pension Center and Western division of NA.  Singh is scheduled to call on Prime Minister Madhav Nepal and Defense Minister Bidhya Bhandari on December 22. He will return home on December 23.

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