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Saturday, 25 December 2010

From Today's Papers - 25 Dec 2010



India-China ties after Wen’s visit The missing ‘stabilising effect’ by Balbir K. Punj  Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit was described by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as indicating a transformation in Sino-Indian relations before the event. After the event, all that South Block let it be known was that it had a “stabilising effect” on the relationship.  Wen has lost no time in disabusing Delhi of any such optimism. From here he flew down to Islamabad. And the balance-sheet of the two visits speak for itself about what the communist Chinese think of our Prime Minister’s soft power. Wen announced in Pakistan deals worth $25 billion. In India, he had concluded commercial pacts worth only $16 billion. And that, too, did not narrow the huge gap in favour of China in Sino-Indian trade — the Wen deal only widens that gap. So, South Block has yet to explain in what way its promised pressure on Wen to narrow the trade gap in favour of India has worked.  Not only did Wen not give any assurance or even distant hope of a Chinese aboutturn on India’s attempt for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, in Islamabad he made it clear that he was firmly behind his Pakistan ally on most international political questions. And no one needs to be told what Pakistan thinks of the Indian plea for this seat. Our officialdom has sought to find some solace in his private dialogue with Dr Manmohan Singh. The distinguished visitor, the “sources” assure us has said that China would not be an obstacle in the Indian quest for this seat, but how convincing such a promise from Wen is when that indication was not there in any of the Chinese Premier’s public statements? Read in the context of what he later said in Islamabad in complete backing of Pakistan, the green shoot New Delhi thought there has simply been shown as an illusion, if not a delusion of his host, Dr Manmohan Singh.  The Chinese visitor did not give any assurance either on the stapled visa issue or on Pakistan’s sponsorship of terror against India. If New Delhi was looking for some bright spots in the long dialogue between the two Prime Ministers here, Wen made it clear in Islamabad what his stand is. He praised Pakistan for its attempt to tackle Al-Qaeda terror but said nothing on Pakistan’s own sponsorship of Jihadis across the border into India. During the Indian visit, the Chinese Premier did not say a word about the 26/11 attack or on Pakistan’s contretemps on prosecuting the perpetrators of that attack. Instead, during his Pakistan visit, Wen was saying that terrorism was not to be linked to any country or religion. “Let us not have any dual standards in this regard”, Wen told the Pakistan Parliament-that was perhaps a line from our own Digvijay Singh’s mouth because as against New Delhi’s official stand of Pakistan-based terrorism, abetted by the government there, the Congress party itself now speaks of “majority terrorism” in India, thereby giving solace to Pakistan. Wen could point to this and talk back at New Delhi.  The Chinese Premier said that Pakistan and his country were “all-weather strategic partners”. That means “the Chinese government and people will stand by you to face all challenges together”. That leaves no scope for China to annoy Pakistan by making any concession in its disputes with India. Hence no Chinese commitments on issues concerning India. The Wen visit to India has gone all the way the Chinese wanted.  New Delhi is sulking and seeking to cover up its failures by finding some hope in the small mercies that Wen Jiabao showed. As small as the visiting Prime Minister agreeing to raise the level of economic dialogue and have the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia to chair the economic strategic dialogue between the two countries, is considered as “a big plus”. In the absence of anything else from the visit, the UPA government is clutching on the straws.  After what the Chinese Premier said in Pakistan there should be no doubt left anywhere that Beijing will use Islamabad to counter and harass India. There is no change in that strategy that communist China adopted long ago taking a lesson from the Nehruvian lollypop treatment towards emerging China. We wrote off Tibet without a protest and let the Chinese occupy it. And then closed our eyes when they went about building roads and occupying chunks of our territory in Aksai Chin and elsewhere. Remember Nehru’s blue-eyed boy Krishna Menon describing that territory in the 1960s as one “where not a blade of grass grew”.  If Dr Manmohan Singh had any illusion that the Chinese are now coming round — “sources” claimed they are citing China’s acceptance of Sikkim as an Indian territory — Beijing had disabused them of it. Just before Wen set foot on India, Beijing had said that the Sino-Indian border was only 2,000-km long. The official position of New Delhi is that it is 3,600 km even without including Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’s border with China. That means China has already claimed as its some 1600 km of the border area. So, it is as usual heads-I-win, tails-you-keep” syndrome. Parts of Kashmir’s border with China is not considered a Sino-Indian border by Beijing. This is a new element in the dispute between the two countries. And this is linked to China’s refusal to consider J&K as an integral part of India.  For all the red carpet that Dr Manmohan Singh rolled out for his Chinese counterpart, there was total opposition from premier Wen regarding the Kashmir question. The issue of stapled visas for anyone going from J&K to China was supposed to have been discussed by the two Prime Ministers. Apparently, the issue was discussed among the two Prime Ministers. But the Chinese leader stood his ground and would not even acknowledge the existence of the legal position. Obviously, all this partly linked to the position China has taken that it considers J&K as a disputed territory. That provides advantage to its friend Pakistan.  New Delhi claims a weak defence of its position by revealing that in the joint communique it has also not allowed any reference to “one China” policy as a retaliation. But that hardly matters for Beijing that has consolidated its position in Tibet with new roads and rail link to Lhasa and from there to the border and total suppression of Tibetans. Further, China has encouraged Chinese to occupy chunks of Tibet and change its demographic environment. Tibetans are now a minority in their homeland. History records how the Nehru government disregarded its own ambassador’s advice not to sign off Tibet.  In recent months India has, through its short-sighted policy of playing second fiddle to America, agreed to resume talks with Pakistan despite Islamabad making no concessions on any issue. Therefore, the Obama visit, despite much trumpet-blowing, brought no concrete results. Now the Wen visit has followed suit. Only New Delhi goes on claiming “stabilising effect” without specifying where that “stabilising effect” of the visit is being felt.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101225/edit.htm#4
Death be not proud by Lieut-Gen Baljit Singh (retd)  It would have been easier to accept, had he gone doing what he cherished the most: a solo commando mission deep behind the contact-battle, pioneering a near impossible route up a mountain rock-face, expounding on the “body” and “bouquet” of a good wine ………… .  Almost all paratroopers would want to “jump” every morning but Balwant Sandhu was among the few who did just that. Besides setting an example, he was also driven by two personal needs. The peace-time safety regime preparatory to a jump takes nearly two hours which for this voracious reader was the ideal uninterrupted reading session. The other compelling urge arose from his belief that the pull of gravity on the paratrooper was the perfect anti-dote for the hangover of the night before!  Balwant was among the probables for the 1964 Indian Everest expedition. During the course of training-cum-selection under Tenzing in West Sikkim, one aspirant fell critically ill and Balwant volunteered to safely evacuate his ”rope” buddy to Darjeeling. Despite this lost opportunity, he would nevertheless enter the Hall of Fame of great mountaineers.  The breakthrough came when he climbed the Sickle Moon Peak and then with Sir Chris Bonnington, he summited Changabhang in the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, rated among the world’s technically most difficult climbs. And in 1975, Balwant became the first Indian atop Nanda Devi. With several other peaks and Principalship of the Uttar Kashi Mountaineering Institute to his credit, his selection for the Arjuna Award was applauded the most.  When an instructor at the Infantry School Mhow, he qualified for the Defence Services Staff Collage Course at Wellington. It made no sense that he would sit in one train compartment while his Bullet motorbike stood idle in the adjoining one. So he drove, resting wherever refuelling and three days later walked into our room for the sun-downer.  Days later, he would create another landmark. After a Saturday late evening at the Gymkhana, the speeding Bullet jumped the parapet at a sharp curve and the duo fell twenty feet below in the rose-bed of his instructor’s bungalow. But the faithful Bullet responded to the kick and together they made a neat exit before detection!  His cup of joy was full when he won the tough, Point to Point horse race and carried the Peter Pan Cup to the cheering German who would later take marriage vows with him inside the regimental gurdwara.  Now on the evening of December 2, an errant driver threw this good man up into the air like a rags-doll. All effort by the Army’s R&R Hospital, New Delhi to mend and revive failed and he passed away a weak later. The evening after, as leaping flames consumed the body, Balwant’s physical presence was reduced to memories alone. Farewell friend, till you and us reunite in Valhalla.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101225/edit.htm#5
How the US Air Force will track Santa on radar  Indo-Asian News Service, Updated: December 24, 2010 10:28 IST ad_title  Washington:  The US Air Force plans once again to follow Santa's journey around the world starting Friday about 0700 GMT, when the legendary Christmas character will begin packing his sleigh and hitching his reindeer at the North Pole.  The US Air Force will use a special kind of radar to track Santa's progress across Russia, down through the South Pacific, and then westward across the globe, an Air Force spokesman told DPA.  An animated re-play of last year's journey is posted on the tracking website, www.noradsanta.org by NORAD, operated by the North American Aerospace Defence Command. The replay shows the sleigh whooshing across the Kremlin, the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower and the Tower of London before reaching the Empire State Building in New York City.  The website offers multiple languages including German, Spanish, French, Italian.      * Share this on Rediff.com Rediff.com     * NDTVTwitter     * NDTVNDTV Social     * Share with MessengerLive Messenger     * NDTVGmail Buzz     * NDTVPrint   According to legend, Santa makes his journey on Christmas Eve so the toys are under the special tree by Christmas morning - on Saturday this year.  The tracking tradition began in 1955 after an advertisement intended to entice callers to the Sears Roebuck store in Denver, Colorado, misprinted the telephone number - which turned out to be the hotline for US air defence, also located in Colorado.  The director of operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, played along with the first caller and had his staff "check" radar for Santa's position. Children who called in were given updates on the progress. In the following years, volunteers were enlisted to answer the calls, and now the internet provides the fantasy tracking.  On the website, viewers can link through to Santa's workshop, where a click offers games such as tic-tac-toe - quick entertainment for children impatient for Christmas morning to arrive.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/how-the-us-air-force-will-track-santa-on-radar-74625
Younger brother joins elder brother as third Brigadier from State 3 Manipuris now in the rank of Brig in Indian Army Source: The Sangai Express  Imphal, December 24 2010: Strong will conquers all.  Hard work, firm determination and puntuality never fails to pay.  A perfect testimony to these adages are the three Manipuris who have been promoted to the post of Brigadier in the Indian Army in spite of all the short-comings and weaknesses associated with the trouble-torn State of Manipur.  Among the three Brigadiers, two are brothers.  While Laiphrakpam Nishikant Singh was promoted to Brigadier in 2006, his younger brother Laiphrakpam Ibotombi Singh was promoted to the same post recently.  This is a rare distinction, perhaps in the entire country, to have two brothers as Brigadiers at the same time.    Saluting the new Brigadier   The two army brothers hail from Thangmeiband Khomdram Selungba Leikai in the heart of Imphal.  The State has so far produced three Brigadiers in the Indian army.  The other Brigadier, K Himalaya Singh is senior to the two siblings.  Notably, Brigadier Ibotombi (47) who is commanding a Mountain Brigade somewhere in the Eastern Sector did his primary education in a local school before shifting to Sainik School Imphal in 1972 a year after its establishment.  More interestingly Ibotombi, son of late L Thakendrajit Singh and L Kanon Devi has also become the first alumni of Sainik School Imphal to rise to the post of Brigadier earning accolades from the institution.  The officer, popularly known as Brigadier LI Singh in the defence circle, belongs to the second batch of the School.  A jubilant Kanon Devi said hours after her third son Ibotombi got his promotion to the post of Brigadier, he informed the great news to her.  "Now I am a proud and happy mother that my two sons are Brigadiers.  They will definitely discharge their duties towards the country with distinction," Kanon said.  Headmaster of Sainik School Imphal, Wing Commander Srinivas said they are elated to have an alumni who holds the post of Brigadier in the Indian army.  "We are really proud of the senior officer.  We wish him all the best in his future career," the Headmaster said.  Even though Manipur is one of the most violence affected States, Sainik School Imphal has been continuously producing a number of military officers.  Of the total 39 students who appeared in the current year's NDA written examination, 24 have cleared the first hurdle, said the Headmaster.  An alumni of NDA, Brigadier Ibotombi, was commissioned into 13 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry on December 17, 1983 .  He is a graduate from Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Higher Defence Management Course, Secunderabad.  In his 27 years span of service profile, he has held various staff and instructional appointments including General Staff Officer-3 (Intelligence) of the Siachen Brigade, General Staff Officer1 (Operations) of Assam Rifles, Col Military Secretary of a Strike Corps and Col General Staff of a Mountain Division, beside having done a tenure as an instructor at Infantry School, Mhow.  The officer was also posted in Somalia during 1993-94 as part of the United Mission In Somalia-II .  Besides earning General Officer in Chief Commendation Cards from Northern and South Western Commands, he was awarded Yudh Seva Medal during his command of a J&K LI battalion in Drass Sector (Jammu and Kashmir) during 'Operation Parakram' .  Sainik School, Imphal has been performing consistently in the last few years and it has even over shadowed the Goalpara Sainik School.

http://www.e-pao.net/GP.asp?src=1..251210.dec10
Let fact-finding mission visit both sides of LoC By Ashraf Javed Submitted 1 day 6 hrs ago  LAHORE – If someone tries to accumulate all the leaves of blame-games unleashed by India, a heap so created would make Mount Everest look small like a molehill in the world. According to the WikiLeaks Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor has told US National Security Adviser James Jones that Pakistan is home to 43 terrorist camps, out of which 22 are located in Azad (Independent) Kashmir. Track history of Indian allegations has revealed many stark realities, which are beyond anybody’s guess. There is an important missing link in his statement which convinced former president Bill Clinton to say ‘what a strange human breed these Indian are’. Did the ‘honourable’ Indian General really have credible proof of such training camps? What description of the training camp he has in his mind or what did he learn from his sources? Maybe tomorrow, India mistakenly find a group of hunting party, some clowns fond of playing with toy guns, police training centres, boy-scout camp, play station game or a computer training workshop, a house having one or two weapons, legally acquired for self-defence might have been misinterpreted as the terrorists’ training centres. When the people in Pakistan became homeless, penniless, without food and shelter and entire world really shocked after watching with their own eyes, the magnitude of the deaths and devastation, the Indian intellectuals created their own myth that the international aid would be used against India and the funds being given to Pakistan would ultimately go into the pocket of terrorists or extremists for buying weapons. When the people were dying with hunger and ferocity of natural calamities, India that considers Pakistan no match, as its rival suddenly became scared of Pakistan’s growing defence clout. If 180 million population of this land is extremists, terrorists or militant, the world should look into the matter so that reality should dig deep crystal-clear and all contours of perception playing with human innocence should be declared intellectual rogues of the world community to guard against their venom of perceptions. What pinches the ‘independent’ observers is the Indian denial to allow the peacekeeping and fact finding missions to enter Kashmir and seven states of North-East India for their reality-checks. New Delhi has always expressed its disapproval whenever the US tried to offer mediation for the resolution of Kashmir issue, on the request of Pakistan. New Delhi always interpreted US willingness as a blatant act of foreign intervention in their sovereignty. But if the US signs an agreement to share the nuclear secrets under the umbrella of bilateral exchange for peaceful energy generation, Indian leaders do not see anything fishy, if the same is suspected to be used against Pakistan. In fact, every unit generated from such deal is invariably going to be used against the security of Pakistan, as energy is mother of all economic activity, be it industrial or defence production. It is agonising to note that a country claiming itself the `Largest Democracy’ of the world and the most powerful unilateral global power has even lent her support for UNSC Seat has started believing in its hollow claims. If the minimum benchmarks of democracy are anything to be something - a virtue or blessing for the world, Indian qualifying criteria should be critically evaluated. Does a country with such a cruel racial apartheid, poor governance, level of corruption, repression, oppression, double-standards really come up to bare minimum standard to bestow this title? Self-proclaimed status of being the `Greatest’ is secondary question. It is humble submission to global intellectual community not to play with the sanctity of words. Let there be some seeds of credibility to grow a crop of mutual trust. Either check the veracity of training camps or let the international fact finding missions enter the Kashmir valley to visit both sides of the Line of Control to see with their own eyes where the reality lies. They would finally the same conclusion which all Pakistani bemoan that Pakistan is victim malicious propaganda that has tarnished its true image. This is one of the key elements of Indian diplomatic and journalistic success.
http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online//International/24-Dec-2010/Let-factfinding-mission-visit-both-sides-of-LoC
Let fact-finding mission visit both sides of LoC By Ashraf Javed Submitted 1 day 6 hrs ago  LAHORE – If someone tries to accumulate all the leaves of blame-games unleashed by India, a heap so created would make Mount Everest look small like a molehill in the world. According to the WikiLeaks Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor has told US National Security Adviser James Jones that Pakistan is home to 43 terrorist camps, out of which 22 are located in Azad (Independent) Kashmir. Track history of Indian allegations has revealed many stark realities, which are beyond anybody’s guess. There is an important missing link in his statement which convinced former president Bill Clinton to say ‘what a strange human breed these Indian are’. Did the ‘honourable’ Indian General really have credible proof of such training camps? What description of the training camp he has in his mind or what did he learn from his sources? Maybe tomorrow, India mistakenly find a group of hunting party, some clowns fond of playing with toy guns, police training centres, boy-scout camp, play station game or a computer training workshop, a house having one or two weapons, legally acquired for self-defence might have been misinterpreted as the terrorists’ training centres. When the people in Pakistan became homeless, penniless, without food and shelter and entire world really shocked after watching with their own eyes, the magnitude of the deaths and devastation, the Indian intellectuals created their own myth that the international aid would be used against India and the funds being given to Pakistan would ultimately go into the pocket of terrorists or extremists for buying weapons. When the people were dying with hunger and ferocity of natural calamities, India that considers Pakistan no match, as its rival suddenly became scared of Pakistan’s growing defence clout. If 180 million population of this land is extremists, terrorists or militant, the world should look into the matter so that reality should dig deep crystal-clear and all contours of perception playing with human innocence should be declared intellectual rogues of the world community to guard against their venom of perceptions. What pinches the ‘independent’ observers is the Indian denial to allow the peacekeeping and fact finding missions to enter Kashmir and seven states of North-East India for their reality-checks. New Delhi has always expressed its disapproval whenever the US tried to offer mediation for the resolution of Kashmir issue, on the request of Pakistan. New Delhi always interpreted US willingness as a blatant act of foreign intervention in their sovereignty. But if the US signs an agreement to share the nuclear secrets under the umbrella of bilateral exchange for peaceful energy generation, Indian leaders do not see anything fishy, if the same is suspected to be used against Pakistan. In fact, every unit generated from such deal is invariably going to be used against the security of Pakistan, as energy is mother of all economic activity, be it industrial or defence production. It is agonising to note that a country claiming itself the `Largest Democracy’ of the world and the most powerful unilateral global power has even lent her support for UNSC Seat has started believing in its hollow claims. If the minimum benchmarks of democracy are anything to be something - a virtue or blessing for the world, Indian qualifying criteria should be critically evaluated. Does a country with such a cruel racial apartheid, poor governance, level of corruption, repression, oppression, double-standards really come up to bare minimum standard to bestow this title? Self-proclaimed status of being the `Greatest’ is secondary question. It is humble submission to global intellectual community not to play with the sanctity of words. Let there be some seeds of credibility to grow a crop of mutual trust. Either check the veracity of training camps or let the international fact finding missions enter the Kashmir valley to visit both sides of the Line of Control to see with their own eyes where the reality lies. They would finally the same conclusion which all Pakistani bemoan that Pakistan is victim malicious propaganda that has tarnished its true image. This is one of the key elements of Indian diplomatic and journalistic success.
http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online//International/24-Dec-2010/Let-factfinding-mission-visit-both-sides-o

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