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Tuesday, 25 January 2011

From Today's Papers - 25 Jan 2011

How long will Pak Army be a spectator?
Rampant population growth, illiteracy, corruption and lack of opportunity make a lethal mix. Thus far the military`s attitude has been that none of these issues are its problems and should be addressed by politicians and government functionaries Irfan Husain  WHEN we learned via WikiLeaks that the Indian Foreign Secretary thinks the Pakistani military is "hypnotically obsessed" with India, we were hardly shocked. Over the years, many (including this columnist) have commented on this obsession.  Why, they have repeatedly asked, does the Pakistani army not thin out its troops along the Indian border in order to face the more immediate threat in our tribal areas along the Durand Line? After all, India is highly unlikely to attack Pakistan while we are preoccupied with the jihadi threat.  The reality is that the Pakistani officer corps has been trained to view India as our primary foe. But, more importantly, defence planners everywhere analyse the capability of potential enemies, not their intentions. In this calculus, India looms large on our military`s horizon.  In most countries, while the defence ministry carries out analyses of dangers posed by possible foes, it is the foreign office that assesses their intentions. Based on these two inputs, the political leadership decides on resource allocations to the military, keeping in view budgetary constraints as well as the needs of the social sector.  These competing demands are mediated first in the Cabinet and then debated in parliament before being approved through a vote. The budget document that emerges at the end of this process reflects the priorities and constraints agreed upon by all major stakeholders.  In Pakistan, however, budgetary allocations are skewed by the fact that the army plays such a dominant role in the process. Not only does it assess military risks, but it evaluates intentions as well.  Finally, it virtually dictates to the government what resources it wants. Such is its stranglehold over the institutions of the state that the single-line entry for defence in the budget is not even debated in the National Assembly.  Ultimately, it is the allocation of resources and the taxation structure that reflect the true distribution of power. In Pakistan, the military siphons off the lion`s share of resources and the feudal class pays no taxes, while the business community gets away without paying anywhere near what it should. In this sense, both our income and expenditure are off-kilter.  This state of affairs has persisted for decades, and its effects are obvious in the shape of a poorly educated, undernourished population with high levels of unemployment. Whether we talk about the dangers posed by home-grown terrorists in the tribal areas and southern Punjab or about gangsters in Karachi, we need to ask what options these young killers have. They have effectively been denied any meaningful education and the opportunities that would flow from it. We criticise the mushrooming of madarsas but fail to tell poor parents where they should educate their children in the absence of the required state investment in education.  So when the country is near collapse, we should not just wring our hands over the end result but look at the causes behind it. And these are, I fear, all too evident: it does not require a rocket scientist to point out that when the state is unable or unwilling to invest in its people, frustration and poverty will drive them to desperation.  But it is not very helpful to go on beating the drum about the army`s acts of omission and commission. After all, any institution that wields unchallenged power will use it for its own ends. Their vision confined by the blinkers of purely military threat perceptions, defence planners have failed to see that their `hypnotic obsession` with India has bred internal foes that the army is ill-equipped to fight.  It is also true that India has done little to reassure Pakistan that it means us no harm. Over the years its defence budget has grown steadily and it has embarked on an alarming arms procurement and development programme. Whenever I have written about this, I have instantly been deluged with angry emails from Indian readers who loftily remind me that India is playing on a much larger stage and has preoccupations other than Pakistan.  While this might be so, it is scant comfort to Pakistani defence planners who see a huge buildup on their eastern border. It would be irresponsible for any military commander to close his eyes to such developments in his neighbourhood, especially given the antagonistic history India and Pakistan share.  Nevertheless, if Pakistan is not to become a failed state, it needs to get its act together. For starters, there needs to be a clear understanding of the factors that have brought Pakistan to the brink. Rampant population growth, illiteracy, corruption and lack of opportunity make a lethal mix. Thus far the military`s attitude has been that none of these issues are its problems and should be addressed by politicians and government functionaries. — By arrangement with Dawn

Case for Indo-Pak talks
No solution is possible without dialogue  There is no dearth of concerned individuals on both sides of the India-Pakistan divide who think alike on how to remove tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. Thus, it is not surprising that while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's special envoy for Afghanistan-Pakistan S. K. Lamba was stressing on the need for India and Pakistan to remain engaged at a recent function in Delhi, Pakistan's former Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri was at another venue in the city talking of maintaining regular contacts at the highest levels to resolve the lingering disputes between the two countries. Mr Lamba was more emphatic in saying that despite Pakistan's polity being "fragile" and its interest in peace with India being "uncertain", it will not be wise for New Delhi to reject the process of engagement. We all know that there is no alternative to dialogue to normalise relations between the two.  Revival of the India-Pakistan dialogue process can help in weakening the forces of extremism in Pakistan, which is in the interest of peace in the entire region. An atmosphere of tension suits these elements, doing all they can to capture power in Islamabad. One can imagine the consequences of extremists controlling the levers of power in Pakistan. Of course, it is the primary responsibility of the saner elements in Pakistan to ensure that their country remains stable and free from chaos. But instability in India's immediate neighbourhood with a stockpile of nuclear weapons can lead to "unpredictable consequences", as Mr Lamba rightly pointed out.  Pakistan has been insisting on full resumption of the composite dialogue process which got snapped in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist strike. The two countries have had an extensive exchange of views through the diplomatic channel in the run-up to the scheduled India-Pakistan Foreign Secretaries' meeting on the sidelines of the February 6-7 SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) summit in Thimpu (Bhutan). No more time needs to be wasted on deciding whether full or partial dialogue should be resumed at this stage. An early India-Pakistan engagement is a must to enlarge the constituency of peace on both sides and defeat the forces of disruption in the region.

India Makes the Corrupt Generals Accountable 
 On January 22, this year, Lt. Gen. P.K. Rath was handed down a sentence including a two-year seniority loss and forfeiture of 15 years of service for pension purposes when an Indian army court found him guilty of approving the construction of a school near military land, signing an agreement with a builder and not informing the command headquarters about his decisions.  In this regard, The Times of India reported, "The senior officer was involved in an illegal land deal—Lt. Gen PK Rath is the highest ranking serving officer ever to be convicted in a court martial in India."  However, Gen Rath gave approval to a builder to develop cut-price land near an army base, and the court martial also found three other officers to face charges.   According to the Press Trust of India, "One of them, Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash, is the most senior of the four and also faces a court martial…the other two face "administrative action." It further disclosed that lieutenant generals had been court-martialled in India before, but only after they had retired. The Sukhna land scam case came to light in 2008. Gens Prakash and Rath were accused of favouring a private builder based in the town of Siliguri in West Bengal state, while Gen Rath's court martial began in September 2009.  Although lower-ranking officers of the Indian Army were found involved in corruption, yet involvement of the highest-ranking officers in this mal-practice is surprising.  In this connection, some recent reports has disclosed that Indian Army Headquarter has issued orders for a general court martial of Lt. General (R) Surendra Kumar Sahni including some other officers for their role in committing irregularities in procuring meat and dry rations for the troops, stationed at Siachen and other high altitude areas.  A recent report of the Controller of Auditor General (CAG) paved way for the action against Lt. General(R) SK Sahni. The report revealed that soldiers were supplied wheat, rice, pulses and edible oil after 28 days of their expiry date. In this respect, food items were bought at cheaper rates by the contractors and then supplied to various army units, while rations worth of Rs. 1.92 crore were untraceable in the Northern Command as of March 2008.  On July 10, 2010, the summary of evidence was completed; giving recommendations to continue disciplinary action against General Sahni and orders for general court martial were issued. In this regard, a Court of Inquiry which was constituted in 2005 had recommended disciplinary action against him in connection with the case. After his retirement from army in 2006, the inquiry was initiated. In order to avoid the legal proceedings, recently, he has claimed to have developed a serious heart problem including a very painful spinal disorder.  Surprisingly, even Indian Chief of Army Staff, Gen. V.K. Singh has also been found involved in corruption. In this context, on August 6, 2009, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India (CAG), tabled in Parliament indicted Indian Gen. V.K. Singh (without naming him or his current position) for misusing his financial powers when he was earlier heading the Ambala-based "Kharga" 2 Strike Corps to sanction unauthorised construction of a golf club building at Ambala cantonment.  The CAG report blames the (then) commander of the Headquarters 2 Corps (GOC), who was the sanctioning authority in December 2006. The GOC at the time was none other than General Singh, then a Lieutenant-General heading the 2 Corps.  The Indian army sources acknowledged that General V.K. Singh had been commanding the 2 Corps earlier for some of the time when the work on the building was being carried out, but claimed that "all proper sanctions were taken" and that "there was no misappropriation or misuse of funds". In this regard, army officials, while trying to save the skin of General V.K. Singh and the image of the Indian Army elaborated, "It is a procedural issue. All proper sanctions were taken. Sanctions have gone through various headquarters. There is no misappropriation or misuse of funds. Works have been physically executed on the ground, checked, and handed over to the unit. Being a procedural matter, it will get resolved. Regarding 'special repairs', if something happens to a building, there is a provision that the whole architecture can be changed."  Army sources severely criticised the CAG's genuine findings, saying that "the local auditor at Ambala is unable to understand the point" and "in any case, golf is an officially-recognised sport in the armed forces."  On the other side, CAG report clearly states: "In yet another case of misuse of financial powers, Commander of HQ 2 Corps…got a building constructed for a Golf Club in Ambala Cantonment under the cover of sanctions issued for carrying out special repairs."     The report explained, "An unauthorised club building, i.e. a double-storey building having a restaurant, kitchen, bar, committee room, museum, library, golf secretary's office, reception, toilet block etc., were got constructed in Kharga Environmental Park and Training Area (KEPTA), another name for the Golf Club." It was also revealed that another "building, P-258 was demolished by the contractor and a new building for the golf club came up at the site."     The CAG report noted that an earlier CAG report in 2008-09 had blamed a former head of the Western Command (and another officer) of allegedly misusing financial powers for the purchase of golf carts.     Nevertheless, Indian newspapers also disclosed the corruption of  General V.K. Singh with referece to the GAG report. For example, on July 12, 2010, The Tribune reported, pointing to "misuse of the special financial powers delegated to Army Commanders, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India said that funds meant for operational requirements were used to procure things like golf carts for golf courses maintained by the Indian Army at certain places…these vehicles were required for transporting aged/handicapped patients in the military hospitals. These carts were received by the Research and Referral Hospital, Delhi. Three motorised carts were issued to Command Hospital, Western Command, Chandimandir, and one each was issued to military hospitals at Amritsar and Jammu. The three motorised carts received by Command Hospital, Chandimandir, were allocated to Shivalik Environmental Park and Training Area (SEPTA). CAG says this is another name for the golf course at Chandimandir."  It is mentionable that in December 2009, a fire had broken out in the Indian occupied Kashmir near Pakistani Balakot sector Poonch. Brigadier General 16 corps, Brigadier Guredeep Singh and local troops commander tried to hush up the matter while declaring; it was an accidental fire caused due to dry grass on both sides. In fact, it was the deliberate attempt made by local Indian troops to hide out their illegal cutting and selling of trees. Sources suggested that Indian Brigadier and other local officers are earning millions of rupees in the name of forest fire. Such type of fire incidents are occurring as routine matter along the Kashmir border to earn handsome amount illegally from the timber mafia of the Indian-Held Kashmir. Reports also suggest that some of the Indian highest-ranking officers like lieutenant generals are part of the timber mafia clandestinely as they are working behind the low-ranking military officials.  In the recent past, Major General AK Lal was also dismissed after having been found guilty of sexually assaulting a junior woman officer. The woman's parents had lodged a written complaint against the Major General to the then Army Chief General JJ Singh.   In 2007, the defence circle was also being memorized as year of corruption. During the said year, two Lieutenant Generals, S.K. Dahiya and S.K. Sahni including two Major Generals, Anand Swaroop and SP Sinha were charged in separate cases of irregularities. Again in 2007, the CBI sorted out Major General Anand Kapoor for possessing disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs. five crore. In another case, Major General Gur Iqbal Singh Multani was found guilty in smuggling of large quantities of defence liquor to his hometown. He was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment, stripped of his rank and dismissed from service by a military court.  Nonetheless, almost every month, we see some odd case of corruption in the Indian armed forces, but involvement of the senior ranked army officers like Major Generals, Lieutenant Generals and full Generals in corruption cases is a matter of concern for the whole Indian Army. It is due to this fact that over the years, the confidence of the soldiers over their military leadership has been dwindling because of their mall-practices, raping women, involvement in sex scandals, becoming party to land mafia groups and involvement in financial embezzlements.     Sajjad Shaukat is a regular writer for Opinion Maker. he writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.

Major suspected of spying, Indian Army probes
 A court of Inquiry has been ordered against an Indian Army Major by the Western Command Headquarters, on the suspicion that he may be involved in espionage.  An officer in the armoured regiment, which is currently based in Roorkee (Uttar Pradesh), he has allegedly been seen in the company of foreign women in various cantonment areas.  2 Corps, Ambala, will conduct the CoI against the Major. The Western Command has sent a team to Roorkee, and his computer and mobile phone have been seized.  When contacted, Defence Public Relations Officer refused to comment.  Sources said the Army has photographs and video recordings which show the officer taking a tour of the Chandimandir Military Cantonment, Subathu Cantonment and Ambala Cantonment with nationals of countries such as Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.  He allegedly kept in regular touch with his foreign associates and used multiple phone numbers, which were not subscribed under his name and were issued from Maharashtra. His phone details reportedly reveal that he used to call up foreign countries very frequently and sent messages.  For a few days in August, his phone was allegedly found to be diverted to a Nepal number. Later, the Western Command had reportedly traced some SMSes sent from his mobile to a woman in Nepal.  Currently posted in Roorkee, the Major has served in Ladakh and Mau.  Army personnel are not allowed to have contact with foreign nationals (unless they are relatives) or visit aboard without prior permission.

Bangladesh liberation fighters say a loud thank you to India
DNA / Ashok Mehta / Tuesday, January 25, 2011 1:22 IST  For the second time in the almost 40 years since its creation, Bangladesh invited a delegation of Indian war veterans who had fought alongside the Mukti Bahini freedom fighters in the 1971 War of Liberation that comprehensively defeated the Pakistan army. The first invitation was extended by the caretaker government in 2007, while the second, by the Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League government in 2009, could not materialise due to the mutiny of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel. That aborted invitation was made good last month.  "Without you, we would not be a country" acknowledged the freedom fighters, some on wheelchairs and some on crutches among the many able-bodied. The outburst of sentiment, generosity and plain thank you was moving. Indian war veterans were feted by the freedom fighters, Awami League politicians, and the three armed services. Equally striking was the absence of the leader of the opposition, Bangladesh National Party (BNP) leader Khaleda Zia. She was absent from the official wreath laying ceremony at the national Martyrs' Memorial, though she did attend after her bĂȘte noire, prime minister Sheikh Hasina had left the victory parade.  The arrest by the government of BNP's standing committee member from Chittagong, the self-confessed Pakistan sympathiser, Salauddin Qadir Chowdhury, on the same day for war crimes merely added fuel to the fire.  This was part of the government's drive to bring to book those who collaborated with the Pakistani military crackdown in 1971. After Zia's eviction, following court orders from Army House and her grievous electoral decline in 2008, she was in need of comfort and found no better place for solace than Beijing where the Chinese accorded her honours reserved for state visitors. Khaleda Zia, along with her husband, the late President Gen Zia-ur Rehman, have ruled Bangladesh for almost half of its existence and systematically distanced the country from India.  Bitter rivals, the two begums have divided the country's politics between themselves. The army-backed caretaker government of 2007-08 had unsuccessfully sought to keep them out of politics in what was called 'minus two'. What one is observing today is transition from 'minus two' to 'plus two' — the nurturing of the sons, Sheikh Hasina's Sajib Wajid and Khaleda Zia's Tariq Zia.  Bangladesh has seen army rule twice: first under Zia-ur Rehman and later under Mohammad Ershad. The army has a Chinese bias with the US and UK involved in training and consultancy. Conspicuously, India, along with its military, is peripheral to the Bangladesh military's overall disposition. Its linkages with the Pakistan army and the ISI, despite the genocide of 1971, have not gone away. All three service chiefs in Dhaka are now from the post-1971 Liberation War vintage. Unlike the Pakistan army that seeks revenge against India for 1971, the Bangladesh military does not seem to want to avenge the genocide of Bangladeshis.  In some quarters, India is portrayed as the enemy to help build the primacy of the military as the ultimate protector of the nation.  The military is under civilian control for the present. Last year, the BDR had revolted and targeted their commanding army officers with immense brutality. The hangover of that mutiny is still in the air as the BDR is being overhauled. An army takeover was averted during the caretaker regime, with the international community threatening to keep the Bangladesh army out of UN peacekeeping operations. At an average, every soldier earns one if not two lucrative tenures abroad, which make UN missions the biggest driver of recruitment.  The military, which shares some traits with its Pakistani counterpart, is a potent factor in keeping the country united and the civilian government mindful of good governance. As a professional force, it knows its red lines. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is also her own defence minister and has inherited an effective military apparatus carved out by Gen Ershad, notably the Armed Forces Division. The head of the AFD reports directly to the prime minister, bypassing the ministry of defence, making it a dream outfit for any military.  From India's point of view, prime minister Sheikh Hasina has ensured that Indian insurgent groups and leaders thriving inside Bangladesh in the past have no safe havens now. This has been her biggest gift to India and after Bhutan's Operation All Clear, it has secured India's eastern flank internally.  With Sheikh Hasina in office, the exchange of war veterans must be institutionalised to initiate defence cooperation, which is virtually non-existent. This will help erase the India bogey and bolster confidence-building measures. New Delhi must cautiously draw maximum mileage while Sheikh Hasina is in power and help replicate the win-win situation of 1971.

Inevitable Sino-USA Meditation over Kashmir Conflict  
Kashmir Watch, Jan 24  By Zaheerul Hassan  Kashmir valley is known as heaven on earth because of its scenic beauty, Chinar, Deodar and Alpine trees, grassy slopes full of flowers, fresh water lakes, water falls, crystal blue sky and snow covered high peaks and brave inhabitants of the valley. Unfortunately this valley is passing through a horrible era of her history since 1947. The disputed state is located north of India. It consists of area of 139,000 Sq Km (53,700 Sq Mi) with population of OVER 10 million (2001). The state is bounded to the west by Pakistan. The 1971-72 Line-of-Control separates it from Azad Kashmir and in the East by Ladakh, Tibet and Aksian China. The state is drained by numerous rivers which include Indus, Zanskar, Suru, Nubra Shyok, Jhelum, and Chinab.  The tranquility of Kashmir converted into aggression when Hari Singh, Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir against the wishes of locals announced its accession with India in October 1947.  In retaliation Kashmiri stood up and started struggle against Indian aggression. However, to crush the moment, occupied Indian security forces murdered thousand of innocent people; raped hundred of women and young girls.  The occupied forces also abducted and killed thousand of young and old freedom fighters. The tension between two neighbours provoked further and made them dagger drawn each other.  Pakistan and India four times went to war against each other and out of which three were due to Kashmir issue. The population of Kashmir with the help of Pakistani comrades tried to liberate their motherland form Indian occupied forces. New Delhi started yelling against Pakistan and freedom fighters just to avoid her forces' defeat in the hands of liberators. Thus, it was India which first time took the Kashmir dispute to the United Nations on 1 January 1948. UNO helped in cease firing between two neighbours on 1 January 1949. Because of mutual consent of two countries UN Security Council (UNSC) and UN Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) passed number of resolutions. Anyhow, The UNSC Resolution of 21 April 1948--one of the principle UN resolutions on Kashmir�stated that "both India and Pakistan desire that the question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite". On this issue UNSC Resolutions of 3 August 1948 and 5 January 1949 reinforced UNSC resolutions, which were also been acknowledged by India and Pakistan. But India never implemented over UNSC resolutions and always tried to put the issue in the cold storage.  In 1962, India took up arms against China. She used American influence to restrict Pakistan from launching any offensive to unshackle Kashmir. Pakistan and India went to war over Kashmir and East Pakistan issues in 1965 and 71 respectively. As result of East Pakistan debacle, Bangladesh appeared on the world map due to Indian intrigues against Pakistan. However, Kashmir conflict again remained the basic bone of contention and also again been acknowledged as disputed territory by two countries in Simla Agreement of July 2, 1972.  Interestingly, the super power (US) that gave assurance of resolution of Issue in 1962 but it backed out from his promise just after the culmination of Indo-Sino War. Moreover after disintegration of Great Soviet Union, she totally disengaged herself from under discussion core issue of South Asia. The simple reason could be that annoying India is not affordable and part of her strategy. Therefore, USA never openly supported Pakistan's stance over Kashmir. In this context, Obama too after wining the election negated his own statement of acting as mediator over Kashmir Issue between India and Pakistan. In fact US has special agenda of containing China with the help of India. She also knows that the natural resources and its connectivity with Pakistan, India and China made its location very sensitive and strategically important for the regional and global players too.  US probably is interested to promote the idea of independent Kashmir or under the control of India. The purpose behind her notion could be accomplishing her strategic interest of containing china. Moreover her revealed interest is only corresponding to New Delhi's aim of superseding China in Asia. US is providing tacit support in piling up of arms heaps. According to AFP news of January 17, 2011, the World Bank announced $1.72 billion in loans to India, including $1.5 billion to build 24,000 kilometers (14,880 miles) of roads across seven states of the country. Development of infrastructure is directly related to the hegemonic design of India since where it would be supportive in boasting her economy but at the same time it would also be helpful in offensive launching against China and Pakistan. There are news that India will use this loan in developing defence related infrastructures in the area connected to Kashmir, Bangladesh and Himachal Pradesh state. China. Bangladesh and Pakistani authorities should approach World Bank that India should be asked not to use loan in improving infrastructure in the disputed territories.   USA seem to be having doubles standard, since on  one side she is asking China to  assist in dragging  her out from existing  economic crunch whereas on the  other side taping India against China. Thus, Beijing very rightly says that its president's recently concluded state visit to the United States was "fruitful" but the two countries need to work on trust so that sensitive issues do not create misgivings.  It is added here that China is facing direct threat to her border from India. Recently, the 'discrepancy; of 1,500 km is a clear pointer to Beijing's position, not only on its boundary dispute with India but also on Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). While India holds about 45% of J&K territory and Pakistan controls 35%, China occupies about 20% which includes Aksai Chin.  An official briefing by China's Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue on the eve of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao's recent visit to India triggered the alarm. He said, "China and India share a 2,000-km-long border that has never been formally demarcated." India has held that Sino Indian border is 3,488 km long.  China refused to issue visa to a very high level Indian Defence delegation since one of the top commanders Lt-Gen B S Jaswal was General Officer Commander of Northeran Area. It is notable here that General V K Singh, the Army chief was supposed to lead the delegation. Anyhow New Delhi has canceled defense exchanges with China after Beijing refusal. It is pertinent to mention here that General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Area Command is responsible for Jammu & Kashmir, a state that China and Pakistan consider it disputed territory. Jammu and Kashmir.  China always favoured Pakistan's stance over Kashmir and never acknowledged Indian illegal rights over Kashmir valley. She also knows that one of the aims of US is to contain China and in this context India is one of the most favourite allies of America.  She is well aware of the fact that New Delhi always sheltered Dalai Lama's and supported his stance over Tibet.  The china position is directly connected to Pakistan argument on Kashmir too. She always condemned Indian brutality against Kashmiri innocent people. Her ties with Pakistan are ever lasting and deep routed too. Recently despite Indian hue and cry, China announced the supply of two nuclear plants to Pakistan.  Pakistan being agro based riparian country is facing dilemma of shortage of water because of Indian illegal construction of 172 dams in occupied Kashmir.  Its agriculture is at the stake since head works of the all the rivers flowing in her territory are located in Indian occupied Kashmir. Apart from threat to agriculture sector, Pakistan always considered Kashmir as her integral part because of its geographically connectivity and blood relations with 95% population.  In nut shell Pakistani and Kashmiri nations would keep on struggling for independence of Kashmir under the UN charter.  According to media reports the recent peaceful movement of Kashmir is likely to convert into an arms struggle because of continue Indian defiance policy over implementations of UN Resolution. All political parties of Kashmir strongly condemned the pathetic violation of Human Rights. Recently , the Chairman of All parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) and the President of Tahreek e Hurriyat (Teh) Jammu & Kashmir, Syed Ali Shah Geelani has urged the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) to initiate a probe into the killings of 17 innocent Kashmiri by Indian armed forces during protest demonstrations, last year.  In short, South Asian peace is directly connected with the burning issue of Kashmir. The acceptable solution to the Kashmiri nation revolves around the UN Resolution passed in 1948 and 1949. But India is reluctant to resolve the conflict bilaterally, which proves that mediation of third party is inevitable between two nuclear states. Both China and US should come head to play the role of mediator   for avoiding future nuclear conflict of in Asia.  Pakistani nation, Muslim Ummah should come out on February 5 to display solidarity with Kashmiri nation and condemn Indian brutality against innocent freedom fighter, children, women and old aged people.

Antony assures funds for modernization of military hospitals
 2011-01-24 20:10:00 Defence Minister AK Antony on Monday assured that there would be no funds constraint for the modernization of 'Armed Forces Hospitals'.  Addressing a select gathering after presenting the Raksha Mantri's trophies for the best command hospital here, Antony noted with satisfaction that the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) have utilized their entire annual budget of Rs 90 crores for the current financial year.  "All hospitals will be modernized at par with the best hospitals in the country in a phased manner," he said.  Antony further said that a proposal for the restructuring of the 'Military Nursing Service' has also been approved by the Defence Ministry and would soon be examined by the Union Cabinet.  He lauded the contribution of the AFMS in various missions abroad including under the UN Flag such as Ethiopia, Lebanon, Golan Heights, Congo and Afghanistan.  Earlier, the Defence Minister presented the Raksha Mantri's Trophies for the best command hospital for the year 2010 to Mumbai based Indian Naval Hospital Ship Asvini. Surgeon Rear Admiral YP Monga, Commandant of the hospital received the trophy and a cash prize of Rs ten lakhs.  The Southern Command Hospital, Pune, was awarded the second best command hospital trophy, carrying a cash prize of Rs. three lakhs, which was received by Major General SS Panwar, Commandant of the hospital.  Army Chief VK Singh, Air Chief Marshal PV Naik and Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma were present on the occasion, which was also attended by Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar and Lt. General Naresh Kumar, Officiating Director General, AFMS.  The best command hospital trophy is being awarded since 1989 and the second best hospital trophy was introduced last year. (ANI)

India's military might on show this Republic Day
 Monday, January 24, 2011, 14:07 [IST]
 India is all set to show its might and power to the world this Republic Day on Jan 26. The R-day parade will definitely be a proud moment for Indians across the globe when India showcases its various achievements in the area of defence technology, including the latest indigenously-developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) that debuted in the skies recently.  Buzz up! The trainer version of the LCA will be displayed on a tableau at the parade. The BrahMos cruise missile will also be displayed in all its might. The missile is a Indo-Russian joint venture that has a target range of 290 km and is said to be only one of its kind that can touch supersonic speed up to Mach-3 (three times the speed of sound).   India's military might will be witnessed in full splendour by the President, Prime Minister, and Ministers in the government apart from other dignitaries. The Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will be the Chief Guest in this years Republic Day.  The Indian Air Force will show its strength with a 25-aircraft fly past, including front line Sukhois, Jaguars and MiG-29s that will blaze the skies this year. The army will join in with three indigenous 'Dhruv' Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs) from its aviation wing as well.  "Marching contingents on the Rajpath would include mounted troops from 61 Cavalry, mechanised columns and eight regiments of the army, navy, air force, coast guard and other paramilitary forces," the parade's second-in-command and Deputy General Officer Commanding of Army's Delhi Area Brigadier Kuldeep Singh said. The parade commander will be the Delhi Area General Officer Commanding Major General Manvendra Singh.  The parade will begin with the national salute and awarding of the Ashok Chakra to Major Laishram Jyotin Singh, who lost his life fighting a suicide bomber in the Indian Embassy, Kabul. "The parade would begin with the three Param Vir Chakra awardees marching on Rajpath, followed by the mounted cavalry troops, mechanised columns and other marching contingents," Colonel AS Mahela said while briefing the media on the parade.

Copy India to end corruption in Pakistani military: daily
2011-01-24 13:30:00
Islamabad, Jan 24 (IANS) Pakistan should emulate India and act against corrupt military officers, a daily said Monday, noting that no action has ever been taken against retired or serving soldiers.  'The only way Pakistan can ever become a real democracy is when we stop treating some institutions as `sacred cows',' the Daily Times said in a hard hitting editorial.  The editorial followed the Indian Army's decision to court martial Lt Gen P.K. Rath for his involvement in a land scam.  Rath was found guilty over the issue of a no-objection certificate to a private realtor to transfer a 70-acre plot of land adjacent to a military station in West Bengal's Darjeeling district.  'The conviction of a senior army officer in India should serve as a wake-up call for Pakistan. We should emulate their example,' the daily said.  It said that although India and Pakistan became independent in August 1947, 'the way these two countries progressed is completely different'.  'India is the world's largest democracy. On the other hand, Pakistan has been juggling between military rules and inefficient democracies all these years. Even now, it continues to remain under the khaki shadows despite the fact that a democratic set-up is in place.'  Noting that there have been many corruption scandals in Pakistan's military, it said 'no action has ever been taken against either retired or serving officers'.  'As far as the politicians are concerned, alleged corruption charges against them make headlines but when it comes to corruption scandals in the military, they are either swept under the carpet or never come out in public.'  It added: 'Land scams are a norm in our military while other corruption tactics involve kickbacks on arms deals... No government, military or civilian, has held any army officer responsible for the massive corruption that takes place on a regular basis.  'It is because of the military establishment's strong hold over our political system and the media. Fear of retribution is one of the foremost reasons why military scandals are always ignored.  'Transparency in the military, starting from the defence budget, should be mandatory.'

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