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Monday, 28 February 2011

From Today's Papers - 28 Feb 2011

Defence industry remains an Achilles’ heel
Air Marshal R.S. Bedi (Retd)  India's phenomenal economic growth and rising profile has led to its enhanced strategic relevance. It is fast emerging as an important factor in the global strategic calculus. Most western economies, unlike that of Asia, have not performed well in recent years. They are thus compelled to seek and engage the fast growing Asian economies in search of better prospects. This is resulting in a gradual shift of power from the west to the east. Can India like some other emerging powers rise to the occasion in this new scenario?  Foreign aircraft on display on the tarmac at Aero India — 2011. An increasing number of western defence manufacturers are looking towards India for a slice in the huge defence and aerospace market envisioned to be generated by proposed procurements, which will also yield big opportunities to the Indian industry Foreign aircraft on display on the tarmac at Aero India — 2011. An increasing number of western defence manufacturers are looking towards India for a slice in the huge defence and aerospace market envisioned to be generated by proposed procurements, which will also yield big opportunities to the Indian industry.  We are surrounded by neighbours who are not necessarily friendly. Some are out right hostile. Historically, some of the states in the region are not only unstable but tend to remain under the control of the military that wields unprecedented power and spends millions on re-armament. The Pakistani army is always in control of national affairs, whether overtly in power or otherwise, The People's Liberation Army of China too has emerged rather hawkish in matters of territorial and maritime claims vis-à-vis its neighbours.  Government supportive, but issues remain  Opening up of the Indian economy during the early nineties heralded an era of unprecedented industrial growth in India. The growth rates seen match those of the fastest growing economies. A confident and resurgent Indian Industry is making forays into almost all the sectors of manufacturing. Lately, the huge opportunities for growth within the domestic and global defence and aerospace industries have attracted the attention of Indian industry.  The current profile of equipment held by the Indian armed forces with regards to “state-of-the-art”, “matured” and "obsolescent" is 15, 35 and 50 percent respectively. This suggests that the government will have to make serious efforts towards upgrading its defence resources either by developing or procuring defence equipment and systems. Moreover, modernisation, upgradation and maintenance of the existing equipment will also provide immense opportunities to the industry.  India is one of the largest global military spenders. The huge opportunity has attracted the attention of not only a few large players but also a sizable number of micro, small and medium sized enterprises that visualise this unprecedented opportunity as a gateway towards entering into the domain of defence production. The slowing down or saturation of markets in other sectors has also been responsible for directing their interest towards the unexplored defence sector, which promises sustained business opportunities.  The private sector is enthusiastic about its ability to play a larger role in contributing to the total defence related production, both within the country as well as for export, once sufficient experience has been gained in particular areas. The need of the hour is to combine the skills of the public and private sector, developing this into a partnership with the aim of achieving self-reliance in defence production, creating an environment where both sectors grow together and partner with each other, thereby contributing towards the national growth.  At the policy level as well, there is support for achieving the long cherished goal of self-reliance in the defence sector. The government has been receptive to suggestions and has been willing to make the required policy changes whenever required. Initially promulgated in 2002, the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) has undergone several revisions.  DPP-2011 introduces a number of measures to make the acquisition process industry friendly and to increase transparency. In some quarters, it is seen as a move towards fast tracking the existing procurement procedures, facilitating absorption of offsets and introducing industry friendly procedures, but as far as measures for indigenisation or achieving a level playing field for domestic private industry is concerned, DPP-2011 does not live up to its expectations.  —  The rate at which China is modernising its armed forces is a cause for serious concern. China has been increasing its defence budget by more than ten percent annually. Reforms introduced by China in the 1990s are now manifested by enhancing its military capabilities and also the prowess of its military-industrial complex that is producing a wide range of advance weapon systems.  The Chinese are currently in the process of launching their 12th five- year plan (2011-2015). Reforms visualised in this plan will further boost China's indigenous and the technological capabilities, besides integrating civil and defence enterprises. The pace and scope of China's modernisation are alarming indeed. This will "increase China's options for using military force to gain diplomatic advantage or resolve disputes in their favour."  This is a clear message for India and the reason why the dilly-dallying Chinese do not allow resolution of the border disputes, despite having met fourteen times at the political level. India must take note of this in dealing with China and try to resolve disputes expeditiously. Chinese proclivity of dragging its feet and raising new issues without resolving the pending ones is a part of their strategy. Dams across the Brahmaputra, military presence in POK, changing stance on Kashmir and the visa issue are all pressure tactics to keep India on tenterhooks  In contrast, India is still in the process of talking about reforms in the defence sector. The defence minister has recently unveiled future plans in regard to procurements, indigenous production and deeper and transparent involvement of the private sector in various areas of defence production. The Army Chief too has spoken about these reforms within the army itself.  On our western borders, the Pakistani army, which had lost its primacy to some extent in the 90s, has once again managed to create political space for itself. Under Gen Ashfaq Kayani, it has emerged as the dominant force in Pakistan and behind the civilian façade, exercises full control over national policies and ensures a lion's share of the national budget for itself. Last year, it increased its defence spending by as much as 17 per cent. Large chunk of US aid also continues to be siphoned off towards building the Pakistani military.  The security situation in India's near as well as distant neighbourhood has rarely been comfortable. Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal and even Sri Lanka too keep India under pressure one way or the other. They tend to leverage the China card in their dealings with India. That's how China invests heavily in these countries. With an economy growing at 10 per cent, China can afford to aid these developing countries. Pakistan, in particular, occupies a special place in the Chinese calculus of arming South Asia. Politico-military succour available to Pakistan is in keeping with the Chinese strategy of tying India down perpetually in a proxy war and preventing its rise.  India has little or no military-industrial capability to invest similarly in its neighbourhood. India has to go in for comprehensive defence production capability that would not only take care of indigenous requirements but also help service the needs of South Asian neighbours. Induction of private sector will go a long way in this endeavour. The only way to dilute Chinese influence in the neighbourhood is to compete with it.  Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, have all embarked upon re-arming themselves. Obviously, the China factor is behind this. Malaysia has recently acquired new submarines worth $1 billion to safeguard its waters claimed by others. Indonesia has acquired a large number of fighter aircraft. Two blatantly hostile neighbours in the north and the west and progressively arming immediate and the distant neighbourhood does not auger well for India. India finds itself presently in an unprecedented security quagmire. Its claim to a rising power status rings hollow when viewed in terms of its indigenous capabilities.  President Obama's exaggerated rhetoric during his address to the Indian Parliament that "India is not the rising power but a risen power and an indispensable strategic partner of the US", however sweet to the Indian ears, is indeed far from reality. Similar statements made by other leaders visiting India do not make India a great power. Obama, Sarkozy, Medvedev, Cameron and Wen all came not because India was a comprehensive and a great power but because they were looking for jobs, economic and trade benefits. They were all competing with each other for the lucrative $12 billion aircraft deal that India is in the process of negotiating. According to recent reports, India will be spending around $100 billion on defence purchases over the ensuing decade.  The deteriorating security environment in and around India requires it to continuously modernise and upgrade its armed forces. Unable to meet the target indigenously, it is driven to meet the needs of the armed forces from foreign vendors. The Air Chief was blunt enough to concede openly that half of the weapon systems used by the IAF were either obsolete or obsolescent. The army too feels that it would take years to achieve full operational capability. The navy has also been harping on its progressively declining power. With the ever increasing strategic importance of the Indian Ocean, it has an added responsibility. Sixty years after Independence, we still import almost everything that our armed forces need. Studies done by numerous committees only gather dust in the archives of the bureaucracy. One such study of which this writer was a member along with the three services vice chiefs and former DRDO head, Dr Abdul Kalam as its chairman, submitted a ten-year plan for indigenisation in 1992. Nearly two decades later, we are no better.  Our indigenous component continues to be no more than 25 to 30 percent, with core components being imported. The Light Combat Aircraft's engine, fly-by-wire control system and radar are procured from abroad. The story about the army's Arjun MBT and other weapon systems is no different. India's inability to produce weapons and total dependence on foreign vendors only reflects its hollowness as a major power. The vendors can withhold spares and supplies at any time and bring the nation to a grinding halt at critical junctures. India can hardly afford to forget the way the western powers applied sanctions against it after 1998 nuclear tests. Our strategic autonomy remains at risk even today.  Really speaking, it's sound economy coupled with indigenous defence technology and production capabilities that make a power. When Pakistani terrorists attacked the Indian Parliament and later carried out attacks in Mumbai, India failed to respond. A resurgent economy notwithstanding, we did not have the requisite military prowess. These incidents were strong enough reasons for military options. No wonder, Pakistan continues with its nefarious designs with impunity against its much larger neighbour. It's because we are unable to impose any cost on our adversary. Under the circumstances, indigenous military-industrial complex is as vital a strategic imperative as the national economy.

Name ministers who okayed chopper deal: CIC 
New Delhi, February 27 The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the Defence Ministry to disclose the names of ministers and officials who had given the go-ahead for the procurement of six "phased-out" helicopters from the US, for which it had received a rap from CAG.  The Indian Navy had earlier refused to disclose any information about the deal saying disclosure would compromise national security and cited exemption under section 8(1)(a) of the RTI Act to withhold the details.  RTI applicant Subhash Agrawal had sought from the Navy information about the deal, including the objections raised by the Comptroller and Auditor General, the replies given by force, and the names of ministers, defence secretaries and other officials who had cleared it.  Hearing the plea of Agrawal, Information Commissioner M L Sharma asked Navy to give reasons why the information which was already in public domain because of the CAG report was being withheld. A Navy official said they cannot tell who were the ministers who handled the file and that defence ministry would be in the best position to explain it.  Sharma then ordered the Defence Ministry to provide the names of its ministers and secretaries who had handled the file and given the go-ahead for the deal.  The Navy official also said there was a Parliament question about the deal and they had sent a "confidential" reply to the defence ministry. The official, however, said he was not sure if the reply was tabled in Parliament.  Sharma said as per the transparency law any information which can be provided to Parliament or any state Assembly cannot be withheld from RTI applicants.  The Navy had acquired six decommissioned UH3H helicopters under the Foreign Military Supply (FMS) programme of the United States in November 2006, along with training and support facilities at an approximate cost of Rs 182.14 crore.  The deal was criticised by the CAG which found that the procurement "would ultimately compromise operational effectiveness" of the force. The 35-40 years old helicopters "were on the verge of completing their air frame life and are on extended life," CAG had noted. — PTI

Fighting rodents in Ladakh, Army hunts for a Pied Piper 
New Delhi, February 27 The Army is searching for a Pied Piper in Ladakh where rats are gobbling up its ration, which reaches there through a long and arduous supply route.  The Army stocks supplies for winter in the summer itself as the road-links to higher altitudes remain cut off from the rest of the country in winter due to heavy snowfall for around six months. As the roads are too narrow, they take the help of mules to carry these rations and other essential supplies to an altitude of over 15,000 feet.  Since there is significant rodent infestation in the Army settlements in higher altitudes, the medical research wing of the Armed Forces Medical Services is going to undertake a study to find out the extent of the problem of rodent nuisance in eastern and western Ladakh armed forces settings.  “Rats cause a great deal of nuisance everywhere. They spoil precious stocks, lead to nuisance and also spread diseases. Army settlements in higher altitudes are not spared from this as these rats are spoiling the winter stocks. “All conventional methods of controlling them are not as effective as they are in the plains,” said Lieutenant General Naresh Kumar, Commandant, Army Hospital Research and Referral.  Conventional methods to control rodent nuisance like rat traps, rodenticides and repellents have failed in Ladakh. “None of these conventional methods are of help to us.” — PTI

ATF slaps Rs 1 lakh fine on pension officer
Vijay Mohan Tribune News Service  Chandigarh, February 27 Taking the pension disbursing authorities to task for virtually forcing a 100 per cent disabled soldier into litigation to get his due pensionary benefits, the Armed Forces Tribunal has imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on the Defence Pension Disbursing Officer (DPDO), Pathankot.  The tribunal’s bench, comprising Justice NP Gupta and Lt Gen NS Brar, also granted liberty to the government to recover the said amount from the salary of the officer concerned.  The case related to a 100 per cent disabled soldier, Havildar Hari Singh of Manwal Upperala village near Pathankot, who was granted a constant attendance allowance (CAA) by the government on being medically boarded out. Vide orders issued in May 2009, the allowance was revised to Rs 3,000 per month after the 6th Pay Commission with retrospective effect from January 1, 2006.  However, the DPDO, Pathankot, instead of releasing the amount to the soldier from January 2006, paid it only from July 2009 onwards. Constant requests of the soldier as well as the Army to the DPDO fell on deaf ears. Thereafter the veteran was forced to knock the doors of the tribunal. On filing of the case, the DPDO immediately released the balance amount of about Rs 1 lakh.  The bench, however, took strong exception to the fact that economically weak, disabled veterans were being forced into litigation even on issues which did not require any interpretation or clarification by the authorities concerned. In the instant issue, the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions) as well as the Army had issued clear directions to the DPDO for grant of arrears with effect from January 2006, but despite the orders issued in May 2009 the veteran was paid his dues in January 2011 and that too after he filed a petition before the tribunal.

Defence outlay may retain trend of steady rise 
Special Correspondent  NEW DELHI: The trend of steady rise in outlay for Defence in the Union Budget is expected to continue as the Ministry exudes confidence of utilising the allocation, especially toward Capital expenditure completely.  Modernisation of armed forces has been the emphasis of Defence Minister A.K. Antony, which over the past few years has seen steady induction of modern military equipment - especially for Navy and the Air Force. The Indian Army too hopes to benefit from this focussed approach, with a distinct possibility of a decision, to acquire artillery guns being taken in the coming financial year.  Last year, the Ministry got an outlay of Rs. 1,47, 344 crore of which Rs. 60,000 crore was earmarked as capital funds and the rest towards revenue expenditure. The 10 {+t} {+h} Finance Commission had recommended an increase of over eight per cent annually till 2014-15, with capital expenditure growing by around 10 expenditure. While last year the hike was about 4 per cent more than the previous financial year, the Ministry is hoping to get more hike.  In the previous years, the Ministry had attracted criticism for its inability to utilise the capital expenditure.However, this time the government is confident that it will not have to surrender any amount under this head.  Last week, Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju said in the Rajya Sabha that the Ministry would be able to spend the amount allocated in the budget. He intervened to counter the criticism by the Opposition leader Arun Jaitley in this regard.  Even the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has been critical of the Ministry. In its last report on Demands for Grants for 2010-11, it did not appreciate that substantial portion of allocation was being spent in the last quarter.  One of the factors for an increased outlay is that the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft deal is expected to be finalised during 2011-12. The Indian Air Force, which plans to acquire 126 aircraft initially, has completed its assessment, while the Ministry has done the evaluations on offset obligation; it is for the government to take a decision.

More women will be taken in armed forces: Antony
 G. Anand The percentage of women in the armed forces will be increased in phases, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said on Sunday.  Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Sainik School at Kazhakuttom, he said the Armed forces would employ women only in non-combat jobs. They would have equal opportunity as men for employment in such disciplines. (The Indian Air Force has the highest percentage of women on its rolls, followed by the Navy and the Army.)  Mr. Antony said his Ministry was processing requests from the State governments for more Sainik Schools. It was obligatory for the States to provide land and infrastructure for setting up the schools. They also needed to bear a part of the cost of providing top-class military-oriented residential education to the cadets.  The Centre, he said, provided Rs.44 crore in budgetary support to all 24 Sainik Schools this year. It would seriously consider whether the allocation needed to be increased.  He said Upamanyu Chatterjee, Joint Secretary, Training, had been asked to look into the requests of parents to further undercut the cost of education of cadets.  Mr. Antony inaugurated the Golden Jubilee gate and the new Olympic standard swimming pool. He laid a wreath at the war memorial and received a guard of honour by cadets.  Shashi Tharoor, MP; M.A. Vahid, MLA; Indian Air Force Southern Air Command Chief, Air Marshal S. Mukerji; and Old Boys Association president Ajith Kumar were present.

BAE sights £372m order from India
By Tom McGhie 27 February 2011, 10:12am  India is ready to place a £372m order for 145 field guns from BAE Systems.  The M777 howitzer, designed in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, has become one of Britain's most successful defence exports.  Development started in 1999 and has been worth more than £1bn to the UK economy, with orders from America, Canada and Australia.  The Indian army has been testing two M777s and Financial Mail understands it has expressed an interest in buying 145 plus a support package.  News of the potential order came as the Pentagon took delivery of 46, taking the total number to 1,001.  The M777 is so accurate it can drop a shell within a six-yard radius from 25 miles.  The 9,700lb gun can be carried by helicopter and has been used in Afghanistan since 2008.

Army Chief to visit US Centcom HQ
Express News Service Posted online: Sun Feb 27 2011, 01:01 hrs New Delhi : The India-US military relationship is set for a qualitative leap with the first ever visit of an Indian Army Chief to the headquarters of the US Central Command (Centcom), which has charge of Af-Pak, the Middle East and Iraq.  Gen. V K Singh will visit the Tampa, Florida-based Command in his 10-day trip to the US between March 6 and 15 with an aim to set up a Brigadier-level direct liaison with the Indian Army. India liaises only with the US Pacific Command, and having a liaison officer in Tampa will signal a recognition of Indian interests in the arc from the Gulf of Aden to the Straits of Malacca, government sources said.  The Centcom liaison and acquisition of M777 ultralight howitzers will figure in the bilateral Defence Policy Group meeting, for which a high-level delegation led by Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar is going to Washington on March 1. Sources said Gen. Singh will meet Centcom Commander Gen. James Mattis on March 8 to discuss the situation in Af-Pak, the Arab world and Iraq. Gen. Singh will also hold talks with his US counterpart Gen. George W Casey Jr.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

From Today's Papers - 27 Feb 2011

PAC slams MoD over submarine purchase
Tribune News Service  New Delhi, February 26 The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the highest statutory body of Parliament, has expressed its displeasure at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for its “unwarranted stubbornness” in not quantifying the exact monetary loss due to delayed procurement of submarines for the Indian Navy.  This is in context of Scorpene submarines that are now being co-produced with French company DCNS at Mazagon docks in Mumbai.  The PAC, in an earlier report, had observed that the delay led to escalation in the price of submarines by more than Rs 2,800 crore and an additional Euro 27 million commitment on procurement of missiles due to delay in the finalisation of the contract for three years from 2002 to 2005. The ministry had not quantified the loss.  The PAC, headed by Murli Manohar Joshi, tabled its report in the Parliament a couple of days ago, reiterated the need for quantification of financial losses accrued due to delayed procurement of equipment (for the submarines). It asked the ministry to indicate exact losses, the action it has taken to recover the same and also fix responsibility to check recurrence of such incidents.  The committee said it did not agree with the contention of the ministry that “highly complex nature of the procurement” had delayed the project.

No rules of engagement for troops training in Chhattisgarh's Maoist belt
February 24, 2011 14:51 IST No "'rules of engagement" for Army troops in Chhattisgarh since they are not being deployed for any operations, reports RS Chauhan   The home ministry has decided not to formally spell out any rules of engagement for the Army troops who will begin their training in the Narayanpur area of Chhattisgarh from the first week of March.  Sources in the Chhattisgarh government and the Union home ministry said the Army had asked for clarifications from the state government on what its response should be to "unforeseen" situations.  The request had been made after the Army decided to send two brigades (6,000 troops) from the its Central Command for training and jungle manoeuvres in the largely unadministered Abujmarh jungles located at the tri-junction of Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.  The Army mainly wanted to know from the state government what its stand would be when the Army retaliates if its troops are attacked by Maoists cadres who have bases in close proximity to the areas where the Army is planning to conduct its basic infantry training.  Army Chief Gen VK Singh [ Images ], in a recent interview, had said that troops will fire back if fired upon but had also emphasised that the Army would not be launching any proactive operations against the Maoists.  Now, the home ministry has told both the Army HQ and the Chhattisgarh government that there was no need to spell out "'rules of engagement" for the Army troops in Chhattisgarh since they are not being deployed for any operations.  Army sources say that first of the six battalions, earmarked to train in Chhattisgarh, will start moving into the area by the first week of March.  The Chhattisgarh government had agreed to provide the army an area of about 800 sq km for training. Three main conditions have been agreed upon by the two sides. They are:      * Army will not build any permanent structure in the area     * Army will not cut trees     * Army will not displace people  Security sources say it will be interesting to observe the reaction of the Maoists once the Army's begins its movement in the area. Will the cadres keep away from the Army? Or will some local Maoist commander decide to attack the troops to provoke the Army into a conflict?  These are some of the questions that are at the top of the decision-makers' mind both in South and North Block.

An era is ending and we must be on the right side of history
Feb 27 2011  M.K. Bhadrakumar, a former Indian diplomat with considerable experience of West Asia, says an era is ending in West Asia and it is necessary for India to be on the right side of history. Here are excerpts from his interview with Ramesh Ramachandran.  India has millions of its citizens living and working abroad in the Gulf and the Maghreb countries. Do you think the Indian Government has a workable evacuation plan in place when situations such as the current uprising in West Asia arise? Even if we had an evacuation plan it would have gathered dust, and its relevance to the actual ground situation would be questionable because there is nothing like an ideal evacuation plan. In a broader context, we could have imagined that West Asia and the Persian Gulf inherently is an unstable region and that there was a kind of a crisis brewing, because even former US president George W. Bush had spoken of a ‘New Middle East’. Today, no one can tell what forms the unrest is going to take. Definitely there is an Arab awakening, a surge of popular aspirations for a different kind of political system and governance and a peaceful regional environment. But this will take different forms in different countries. So, how different regimes are going to react, and in what form these developments will unfold is going to have a bearing on evacuation plan. In some cases evacuation may not be necessary. On the contrary, in the case of Libya or Saudi Arabia, tendencies towards fragmentation regionally and on tribal lines may lead to a collapse of central authority and anarchical conditions can come to prevail. At the end of the day, therefore, I would hope the government mobilises contingency plans that adapt quickly to emergent crisis situations.  India is being criticised as not being vocal enough. There is another view that India cannot be too vocal as the livelihoods of Indians who live in those countries are at stake. Also, India sources most of its oil and gas from the Arab world. What is an optimal approach for India?  An era is ending, and it is necessary for us to be on the right side of history. India's initial reaction to the Egyptian situation was over-cautious to the point of being timid. Now we have spoken about Libya in a strong language. India had to take a stance in the United Nations Security Council. But, I think India is right if it is taking a stance on Libya. This Arab awakening cannot fizzle out and the ancien regimes cannot continue as if it is business as usual. But it shouldn't be that Barack Obama said harsh things about Gaddafi, and Western policy became very tough, and so India also should speak out.  What strikes me is that violence was let loose by the regime in Bahrain, too, where half the population is Indian and most of it actually from Kerala, and we didn't say a word. Frankly, I have no idea whether we really have a big picture in mind. And it is very important that we have one. This is not a situation where you think merely in terms of evacuation, a few hundred thousand barrels of oil, and so on. We have to look at the new forces that will emerge in the region that is our extended neighbourhood, what their expectations will be, and whether we are acclimatising ourselves with these winds of change. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening in Delhi.  Does our West Asia policy need a complete overhaul? Let me first speak of positive aspects. The Arab people are on the whole favourably disposed towards India. We aren’t carrying any historical backlog; we've never been invaders; we’ve never been prescriptive or exploitative; and I think the Indian expatriate community has acquitted itself well. Also, there is a fair awareness in the region that India is an emerging power, and it is useful from their point of view to have a good relationship with India. Now, to speak of the problem areas, in the recent years our West Asia policy underwent a big shift towards exclusively strengthening India’s relations with those regimes which are “pro-US”. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, but he seems adamant he won't visit Iran. So, India has been robustly working on tie-ups and strategic understanding with “pro-US” regimes and it has not gone unnoticed in the region. The Iranians and others know it, Arab popular opinion is aware of it, Turks know it and certainly, it has pleased the Israelis to no end.  Now, if tomorrow these regimes get swept away by representative rule, they will definitely reflect the popular opinions on regional and international issues. For example, they will take a genuine position on the Arab-Israel and Israel-Palestine issues. They are bound to be critical of the seamless US support for Israel and about Israeli belligerence. One major problem for India would undoubtedly be its relationship with Israel. The Arab street is bewildered why a great civilisation like India should sit at Israeli feet to learn about security issues or buy weapons that brought big budgetary support for Israeli economy. Palestinian prisoners have seen Indian security people visiting Israeli prisons to learn 'efficient' interrogation methods. This sort of ghastly behaviour does not cast India in a positive light. In 2008, we had the Israeli army chief taken to Srinagar for a 'Kashmir darshan'. Now, linking Israel with the situation in Jammu and Kashmir was in my opinion downright stupid. Having said that, I don't know how India can easily roll back its ties with Israel because there is a big military relationship and vested interests have accrued on both sides, including within our security and defence establishments.  Yet another problem area is the way we allowed our relationship with Iran to be degraded. The sum total of the developments in West Asia, in geopolitical terms, is that Iran’s rise has become unstoppable. There is no way the US can again put together a phalanx of Arab regimes plus Israel to put a containment ring around Iran. We could have easily foreseen that Iran is a genuine regional power and containing such a power is against the grain of history — and political realism should have demanded that we preserved our strategic understanding with Tehran. This is not the first time we came across American or Israeli pressures. American arm-twisting over Iran has always been a fact of life - from Indira to Rajiv to Rao, they all faced it, but Dr Singh seems to have a problem.  In your assessment, how far-reaching are the Arab uprisings; which countries are vulnerable and why? The faultlines are Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan and it can spill over into Saudi Arabia. But the West will not easily allow comprador regimes to go away because the West sells arms to them and there are financial stakes. Bahrain has majority Shia population but it has a Sunni ruler. Change is inevitable there, but the Americans are trying to establish a dialogue with the Shia forces, and are trying to roll back the revolution's dynamics so that when tomorrow dawns, they are on talking terms with the new elites. Shia empowerment will cast its shadow on Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Kuwait, which have got sizeable Shia populations. From the Indian perspective, what happens in Saudi Arabia becomes extremely crucial. Two million Indians live there.  The eastern regions of Saudi Arabia which are Shia-dominated are also the oil-rich regions. Incidentally, 22 per cent of Saudi population is below its poverty level and unemployment is close to 20 per cent. And there is a class dimension to the Shia problem. So the struggle is going to be I think quite violent. Saudi Arabia is an arbitrarily demarcated country on the map - like Libya.  Unfortunately the propensity will be to use violence of a very extreme kind like in Libya, but, unlike in Libya, the West may acquiesce with it. I think the disaffection in Saudi Arabia is simmering and over a period of time things may gain traction. So the Saudi regime has got some time available to it for reform. Whether it is capable or willing is a different matter. What complicates the situation is that there is a leadership vacuum in Riyadh. All in all, the coming Haj season will be a highly sensitive time.

Is Pakistan in Control of its Nukes?
By Bruce Riedel Created: Feb 25, 2011 Last Updated: Feb 25, 2011  Pakistani Army soldiers guard nuclear-capable missiles at the International Defence Exhibition in Karachi on November 27, 2008. Pakistani Army soldiers guard nuclear-capable missiles at the International Defence Exhibition in Karachi on November 27, 2008. (Rizwan Tabassum/AFP/Getty Images) WASHINGTON: Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world. The arsenal is well protected, concealed and dispersed. The Pakistani army makes every effort to deny information about the locations of its weapons out of fear of any falling into enemy hands, especially American hands. The army is ready to use its nukes to defend their country, holding onto the national deterrent against any foreign threat.  But the international community questions Pakistani control: Are the nukes safe from Pakistan’s own home-grown opponents? The assassination of Salman Taseer—the governor of Pakistan’s largest province, Punjab—by his own bodyguard raises serious new questions about the process of vetting key employees in the Pakistani security infrastructure. And there’s compelling reports that Pakistan is prepared to share its weapons with its closest ally, Saudi Arabia, if Riyadh feels threatened by Iran.  The Pakistani nuclear button is in the control of the country’s military leaders.The democratically elected leadership has only nominal authority over them. If the country fell into the wrong hands, those of the militant Islamic jihadism and Al Qaeda, so would the arsenal. The United States and the rest of the world would face the worst security threat since the Cold War. Unique Nuclear Weapons State  Pakistan is a unique nuclear weapons state. It’s been the recipient of proliferation technology transfers, by theft (from the Netherlands) and from others (China), and it’s been a supplier as well (North Korea, Iran, Libya). Pakistan has been a state sponsor of proliferation and tolerated private-sector proliferation as well. As a weapons state it has engaged in highly provocative behavior against its neighbor India, even initiating a limited war in 1999, and its intelligence service, the ISI, has sponsored terrorist groups that have engaged in mass-casualty terrorism inside India’s cities, most famously in Mumbai, November 2008. Related Articles      * How to Keep the Nuclear Genie in the Bottle     * Power Game in Asia Erodes Nuclear Non-Proliferation    Pakistan’s fourth military dictator, Pervez Musharraf, created a Strategic Plans Division (SPD) in the army to provide security for the arsenal. Its director, Lieutenant General Khalid Kidwai, has lectured across the world on the extensive security layers developed by the SPD, for facilities and personnel to prevent unauthorized activity by those overseeing protection of the weapons. The U.S. has provided expertise to the SPD to help ensure security, but is kept at arms length from facilities and personnel. Pakistanis don’t trust Washington’s intentions.  Former deputy of the SPD, Brigadier General Feroz Khan, noted that Pakistan had up to 120 nuclear warheads, as reported by the Washington Post in December 2007. Since then Pakistan has brought new reactors on line and undoubtedly produced more. Pakistan can deliver its weapons by both intermediate-range missiles and jet aircraft, including American-supplied F16s. The bombs and the delivery systems are dispersed around a country twice the size of California, often buried deep underground.  The SPD personnel vetting process has been largely an enigma to outsiders. The ISI, which monitors military loyalty, does the bulk of the vetting. And so the assassination of Taseer by his own Elite Force bodyguard, which was angered at Taseer’s support for efforts to amend Pakistan’s blasphemy laws that impose death for any anti-Islamic statements, raises questions about the vetting process. According to the Pakistani press, the assassin had a track record of sympathy for extremist Islam, yet also guarded the president or prime minister 18 times during the last three years and was assigned to guard two foreign dignitaries, unnamed, before he shot the governor, according to the Associated Press.  If bodyguards for the leadership are not properly vetted, how well protected are the arsenals? We simply don’t know.  Of course, if Pakistan becomes a jihadist state, then the extremists inherit the arsenal. A jihadist takeover is neither imminent nor inevitable, but it’s a real possibility. After all, one of Pakistan’s four previous military dictators, Zia ul Haq, was a jihadist and turned the country radically toward extremist Islam.  In this scenario, the international community could issue calls to “secure” Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, but since no outsider knows where most are located, such calls would be a hollow threat. Even if force was used to capture some of the weapons, Pakistan would retain most and the expertise to build more. Finally Pakistan would use its weapons to defend itself.  Pakistan may also continue to contribute to nuclear proliferation. There are persistent, but unverified, reports of an understanding between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia for Islamabad to provide nuclear weapons to Riyadh if the Saudis feel threatened by a third party with nuclear weapons. Then Saudi defense minister and now also Crown Prince Sultan Ibn Abdul Aziz Al Saud visited Pakistan’s laboratories amid great publicity in the late 1990s. Some sensationalist reports claim the Saudis keep aircraft permanently deployed in Pakistan to rush a bomb or two to Riyadh if needed. Both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia deny any secret deal, but rumors continue to surface as Iran moves closer to developing its own bomb. U.S. Pakistan Policy  U.S. policy toward Pakistan in general and the Pakistani bombs in particular has oscillated wildly over the last 30 years between blind enchantment and unsuccessful isolation. President Ronald Reagan turned a blind eye to the program in the 1980s because he needed Zia and the ISI to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. President George H.W. Bush sanctioned Pakistan for building the bomb in 1990; President Bill Clinton added more sanctions after the 1998 tests. Both had no choice as Congress had passed legislation tying their hands.  George W. Bush lifted the sanctions after the 9/11 attacks and poured billions of dollars into the Pakistani army, much of it unaccounted for, in return for Pakistan’s help again in Afghanistan. Bush’s civilian nuclear deal with India in 2005 left many Pakistanis angry at what they view as a double standard that gives India access to technology denied to Pakistan.  President Barack Obama has inherited a full agenda with Pakistan, burdened by the war in Afghanistan, the hunt for Al Qaeda and internal crisis inside Pakistan. But the nuclear issue will not go away. Obama’s call for a world without nuclear weapons and his pursuit of Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty will inevitably mean arms control will return to the U.S.-Pakistan agenda. Islamabad already presses for a civil nuclear deal like India’s, but there is virtually no chance of such a deal. The international community and the Congress would oppose it given Pakistan’s history of proliferation.  In the meantime Americans should stay away from idle talk in newspaper op-eds and elsewhere about “securing” Pakistan’s weapons by force. Such chatter is not only unrealistic, but counterproductive and poisons the atmosphere for serious work with Pakistan on nuclear security. General Khan rightly called it “very dangerous.” It gives the jihadists further ammunition for their charge that the United States, in cahoots with India and Israel, secretly plans to disarm the only Muslim state with a bomb.  Now the entire relationship is threatened by the case of Raymond Davis, a U.S. diplomat accused of murdering two Pakistanis in Lahore. Washington wants him freed citing diplomatic immunity, many Pakistanis demand his trial in Pakistan. Some in Congress want to cut aid, which will only antagonize Pakistanis more.  The U.S. needs a policy toward Pakistan and its weapons that emphasizes constancy, consistency and an end to double standards. Increasingly, people in Pakistan recognize that the existential threat to their freedoms comes from within, from jihadists like the Taliban and Al Qaeda, not from India or America. Now is the time to help them and ensure a rational hand is on the nuclear arsenal.  Bruce Riedel is a senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy in the Brookings Institution. A former CIA officer, he chaired President Barack Obama’s strategic review of policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2009, and he is author of “Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America and the Future of the Global Jihad”. With permission from YaleGlobal Online. Copyright © 2010, Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, Yale University.

USA eyes on Army for 'safe water on move' technology  
The Press Trust of India February 25, 2011  Us-based Seldon Technologies today announced its foray into India to market its potable high capacity self-contained water treatment boxes and water sticks for Army and the domestic market in Jammu & Kashmir.  The company had developed the "safe water on move" technology for the US Army that is engaged in operations in various conflict areas across the world.  "We are focusing on the Indian Army as a major client for our products preliminarily produced for USA Army as safe water on the move," Seldon Technologies Inc President Roger Miller told reporters here.  Miller in joint collaboration with Aquanomics Systems Limited, launched Seldon products of water boxes and Seldon sticks manufactured under Carbon Nano Water Filteration Technology in the state today.  Flanked by Aquanomics Systems Limited Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Sapra and Nidheesh Group Managing Director Murti Gupta, Miller said, "The Defence Department of USA and NASA had provided us grants for development of this technology for the US forces."  We produced mobile equipments for safe drinking water which are user friendly and suitable for their use in any climate and geographical conditions, he said.  Sapra said "We will be meeting the officers of the armed forces at the conference here tomorrow, wherein we will showcase our technology which would be best suitable for the troops working in the harsh and unfriendly climates and terrain conditions during operations in the state.

Changing the lives of 5 ordinary Indian Citizens – Nat Geo ‘Mission Army – Desh ke Rakshak’ 
By admin at 26 February, 2011, 5:30 am  SOURCE : Nat Geo PR  Geographic Channel is all set to give its viewers unprecedented access into the most prestigious and revered institution of the country – The Indian Army. The long awaited mega programme “Nat Geo Mission Army – Desh ke Rakshak” will track the lives of 5 ordinary Indian citizens who have surpassed grilling tests of physical endurance and mental toughness to win the honour of stepping into the shoes of an Indian Army soldier.  But only one amongst them will emerge as a true hero and will win a never before opportunity and honour of being a part of an Indian Army Training mission abroad. To witness the making of true heroes, tune into Mission Army – Desh ke Rakshak only on National Geographic Channel at 10 PM on Monday, 28th of February, 2011.  The 5 finalists of the series have surpassed physical and mental tests akin to the actual Army standards during the auditions across Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi. These auditions saw 30,000 participants from different corners of the country come together to win a chance of being a part of this mega reality show. The selected few were further shortlisted based on army medical benchmarks & tests which were conducted in New Delhi. In the end only 5 emerged as deserving candidates who will undergo a training capsule at the prestigious Indian Military Academy in Dehradun. They will complete assignments at key Indian Army establishments such as – Commando school in Belgaum, Combat Army Aviation Training School in Nasik, The Corps Battle School at Srinagar, The Parachute brigade at Agra, the Armoured Corps Centre at Ahmednagar and Artillery Centre in Deolali. Besides this, the candidates will also be experiencing the grilling regimental routines from the snow peaks of Srinagar to the deserts of Rajasthan. The candidates will be trained and evaluated by combat experts of the Indian Army.  “After grilling 30,000 enthusiastic and patriotic youth applicants across the country, Nat Geo has selected the final five who will embark on a journey to win themselves a never before opportunity to experience the life of an Indian Army Officer. National Geographic Channel has taken the viewers to locations and places that no other TV channel has and our Mission’s in the past have lived up to this tradition. We have worked closely with the Indian army for our biggest Mission ever – Mission Army “Desh ke Rakshak” and will take our viewers into the second largest army of the world – The Indian Army. I firmly believe that in the age of scripted reality shows, a docu-reality programme like Mission Army will attract millions of people from different age groups across the country. We firmly believe that this programme will showcase the Grit, the Valour & the Glory of the Indian Army and encourage brave young men & women to join the Indian Army.” said Mr. Keertan Adyanthaya, Managing Director, Fox International Channel and National Geographic Network India.  The series is being promoted heavily through a 360 degree marketing activation spanning robust On-air, Print, Outdoor, Online & Radio.  Get ready to see the action unfold starting 10 PM, Monday, February 28th as the five go all for glory and the chance of lifetime.      * Over 30,000 entries received across the country for Mission Army      * The new 10 part series will offer five Indian citizens from different walks of life a chance to experience life in the Indian Army      * Each week, these 5 candidates will be in a new location and establishment from Chennai to Siachen      * They will be trained and tasked at each of these places and evaluated by the Army      * Only one amongst the five will win the honor of being a part of an Indian Army Training Team abroad.      * The selection procedure included physical test, psychological test followed by final round of Interview with the Army personnel      * Targeting candidates above the age of 18 years.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

From Today's Papers - 26 Feb 2011

11 people allowed to enter India across LoC 2011-02-25 22:10:00 Keep Your Heart Young Ads by Google Find Out Your Heart's Age For Free! Free Tests, Diet Plan & Doc Advice  Jammu, Feb 25 (IANS) A group of 11 people including seven children were taken into custody after they were allowed to enter India across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district Friday, defence officials said.  The group comprised two families headed by men, both named Shaukat Hussain, along with their wives and seven children. They were apprehended after they entered the Indian territory at Nakarket. Both had fled to Pakistani Kashmir in August 2001.  'They were challenged but the troops did not open fire at them and allowed them to enter this side on humanitarian grounds,' an army spokesman said in a statement here.  Shaukat Hussain, son of Mohammad Ismail of Surankote, Poonch, was accompanied by his wife Zaida Parveen and four children - daughters Malaika, 8, Saima, 4 and a half, Muqaddas, 3 and a half, and son Abdullah, one and half.  The other Shaukat Hussain, son of Raaz Mohammad, came with his wife Iqbal Bibi and three sons - Hamza, 8, Mustafa, 5 and a half and Ali, 2 and a half.  The spokesman said that the two revealed that in Pakistani Kashmir, they received training in handling of arms and ammunition at Bagh until they came to Surankote in October 2001 to take their wives with them. Then they started working as labourers in Bagh as they were lodged in a 'Mohajir' (refugee) camp.  All the eleven people have been handed over to Jammu and Kashmir Police.  This was the largest-ever group allowed to cross into Indian Kashmir from across the LoC in the past 20 years. Earlier, the first family was allowed to enter the state in 2006, but those were in groups of two or threes.
First lady officer receives gallantry award in Indian Army  Hisar, Feb 25 (PTI) Major Mitali Madhumita today became the first lady officer to receive a gallantry award in the Indian Army. She was honoured along with 21 Army personnel for acts of bravery and distinguished service at Military Station here during the South Western Command Investiture Ceremony. Madhumati became the first lady officer to get Sena Medal (Gallantry) in the Indian Army, a defence spokesman said. Two Yudh Seva medals, nine Sena medals (Gallantry), two Sena medals (Distinguished) and eight Vishisht Seva medals were presented by Gen Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South Western Command Lt Gen SK Singh. Sepoy Jagtar Singh of the Punjab Regiment was awarded Sena Medal (Gallantry) posthumously, the spokesman said. His wife Ranjit Kaur received the award on his behalf. The soldier was martyred on June six, 2009 in an anti-terrorist operation in Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir. Sepoy Purna Limboo was also awarded Sena Medal (Gallantry) for displaying exemplary coverage during a search operation in Kulgam, Jammu and Kashmir wherein he successfully eliminated terrorists, while under heavy fire. Speaking on the occasion, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, lauded all the soldiers for their exemplary dedication and devotion to duty and upholding the highest traditions of Indian Army.
Seldon USA eyes on Army for ''safe water on move'' technology  Jammu, Feb 25 (PTI) Us-based Seldon Technologies today announced its foray into India to market its potable high capacity self-contained water treatment boxes and water sticks for Army and the domestic market in Jammu & Kashmir. The company had developed the "safe water on move" technology for the US Army that is engaged in operations in various conflict areas across the world. "We are focusing on the Indian Army as a major client for our products preliminarily produced for USA Army as safe water on the move," Seldon Technologies Inc President Roger Miller told reporters here. Miller in joint collaboration with Aquanomics Systems Limited, launched Seldon products of water boxes and Seldon sticks manufactured under Carbon Nano Water Filteration Technology in the state today. Flanked by Aquanomics Systems Limited Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Sapra and Nidheesh Group Managing Director Murti Gupta, Miller said, "The Defence Department of USA and NASA had provided us grants for development of this technology for the US forces." We produced mobile equipments for safe drinking water which are user friendly and suitable for their use in any climate and geographical conditions, he said. Sapra said "We will be meeting the officers of the armed forces at the conference here tomorrow, wherein we will showcase our technology which would be best suitable for the troops working in the harsh and unfriendly climates and terrain conditions during operations in the state. (More) PTI AB DK

Friday, 25 February 2011

From Today's Papers - 25 Feb 2011

Draft paper thwarts intelligence body plan Ajay Banerjee/TNS  New Delhi, February 24 The much talked about project of the Union Home Ministry to have an over arching intelligence body seems to have run into rough weather. Two key bodies working closely with the government on reforming India’s intelligence structure have prepared a draft report which makes it clear that having such an umbrella body will not be feasible.  The report prepared by the Government of India backed Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and Observer Research Foundation (ORF) was discussed last evening. The report deals with the working of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), including Air Research Centre, Intelligence Bureau, National Technical Research Organisation besides Defence Intelligence Agency.  Home Minister P Chidambaram had unveiled his plan of having an ‘umbrella body’ at an Intelligence Bureau Endowment lecture in December 2009. This proposed the setting up of a National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) working under the Home Ministry with representation from all security and intelligence agencies that work under the PMO, the Home Ministry, the Defence Ministry and also the Finance Ministry. Former NSA, MK Narayanan, who pitched for a status quo, was removed.  During the discussions today, it emerged that the NCTC will be one of the probing agencies and not an over arching body that will control every input of information, sources privy to the report said.  Politically, the NCTC was seen as empowerment of Home Minister over Prime Minister. Intelligence agencies carry sensitive information like assessment of relations with other countries. Besides, global business houses, large financial transactions, defence purchases in other countries and military build-up in rival countries are watched and reported by various agencies which, as of now, do not report to the Home Ministry.
SC: Compare pay of forces, civilians Legal Correspondent  New Delhi, February 24 The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to give a comparative picture of the calculation procedures adopted at the time of implementing the Fourth Pay Commission recommendations from January 1, 1986 for the armed forces personnel and civil servants.  The court wanted to know from Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium as to how the integrated pay of a Captain in the Army, who was getting a basic pay of Rs 1,300 prior to the 4th Pay Commission, was arrived at for implementing the commission’s recommendations.  Justice Lodha suggested that a comparison be made between the fixation of the integrated pay of the Captain and of a civil servant.
Indian Navy sending 3 ships to evacuate Indians from Libya  NDTV Correspondent, Updated: February 24, 2011 19:28 IST Ads by Google  Invest in the Best Always – Our Homes Command a Premium as they are Always in the Best Locations!  New Delhi:  India is sending three Naval ships to evacuate its citizens from Libya. 18,000 Indians are currently based in Libya, many of them work for construction companies.  Government sources say two destroyers and INS Jalashawa (USS Trenton) will be dispatched from Mumbai in the next few hours. They will take 12 days to reach Libya.  In the meantime, the government has hired a private cruise ship that was already in the region. It can accommodate 1200 passengers and is sailing now from Egypt to Benghazi, the centre of the revolt in Libya. Government and medical officials will be on board the ship to provide assistance.
Omaxe arm bags contract worth Rs1.36bn            India Infoline News Service / 17:48 , Feb 24, 2011 The project would involve construction of 194 blocks of single to four-storeyed buildings with a total of 1111 residential units for JCO’s, OR’s and Officers.  Omaxe Infrastructure & Construction Ltd (OICL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Omaxe Ltd, has bagged a contract from Director General Married Accommodation Project (DGMAP), Ministry of Defence, Government of India to construct residential accommodation including allied services for Officers, JCO / ORs at Deolali (Army) and Nasik (Air Force), Maharashtra. The total order book in Omaxe’s infrastructure & EPC projects is increased to Rs. 1386.68 crores with the addition of this new contract which is valued at Rs. 1.36bn.  The project would involve construction of 194 blocks of single to four-storeyed buildings with a total of 1111 residential units for JCO’s, OR’s and Officers. The work also includes internal electrification, internal water supply, road path, area drainage, security walls, fences and gates, street lighting, etc as part of the project.   Commenting on the development, Mr. Rohtas Goel, Chairman and Managing Director of Omaxe Group said “It is a proud moment for us as we have been awarded another project from DGMAP, Ministry of Defence, GOI. We are also happy to share that we have successfully handed over a township at Dariba near Udaipur. The contract for this township was awarded by M/s Hindustan Zinc Ltd. This project is a proof of our commitment towards delivering work of superior quality and this I would attribute to our competent team that works hard towards every project. Our wide experience and expertise in construction of residential campuses will help us to construct the project in sync to the requirements of defence personnel.” The project will be completed in 25 months.   Omaxe group had recently bagged orders from DGMAP (Director General Married Accommodation Project), Ministry of Defence to construct residential complex at Nagrotra in J&K and Indore (MP). Apart from this, Omaxe had received contracts from Air Force Naval Housing Board (AFNHB) to construct a Housing colony at Meerut (UP), Manyavar Kanshiram Allopathic Medical College and its Associated Hospital at Saharanpur (UP), Modern Jail at Faridkot and Kapurthala in Punjab. The company is also engaged in the modernization of ESI Hospitals at Cuttak and Bhubneswar, construction of Convention Centre, Library & Computer Centre at Deenbandhu Chhottu Ram University at Murthal in Sonepat (Haryana). The total value of the Infrastructure & EPC projects including recent contract is approx. Rs. 13.86bn.
India warned about imminent China-Pak military threat  (, Feb24, 2011)  As China and Pakistan prepared to hold two joint military exercises this year, India’s former defence Minister and Samajwadi Party chief Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav has alleged Feb 22 that the two countries had a strategy to invade India. PTI Feb 22 said Yadav made his comment in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian parliament) while participating in a discussion on the motion of thanks to the President for her address to Parliament.  "China and Pakistan can invade India. They are having a strategy to invade India. The House must be assured that India is safe, when PM gives reply," Yadav was quoted as saying, without referring to the planned joint military exercises. "Their armed forces are ready. They may invade at any time,” he has warned.  Yadav had said India no longer had friends like the former USSR and also alleged that the country’s foreign policy was in the hands of the US.  "China is our No 1 enemy. It is time to save our country," Yadav was further quoted as saying.  Meanwhile, China’s official Xinhua news agency said Feb 22 that Pakistan and China would hold an air force and an army joint military exercise each in 2011 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties. The report, given as General Khalid Shameem Wynne, chairman of Pakistan's Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, was visiting China for five days, also said the two countries would also participate in a multinational navy drill in Mar’11.  "The China-Pakistan partnership is a source of comfort and stability for the entire region," Xinhua quoted Wynne as saying, clearly endorsing the Pakistani emphasis on the partnership’s anti-India posture.  The report said that in Jul’10, Wynne led a joint anti-terrorism drill between Pakistan and China in Qingtongxia in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
Indian Army opens automobile training centre in Congo  By admin at 24 February, 2011, 12:36 pm  SOURCE : PTI  In a bid to provide basic training in automobile repairs and maintenance to the locals in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Indian Army has opened a training centre there.  “The soldiers of 18 Madras regiment posted in DRC inaugurated the Eagle Automotive Training School at Focolari Camp, Goma on February 18. Four batches of 25 students will undergo a four week long training programme,” Army officials said.  Indian Army has also provided the students with training kits and ready reckoners. The training would be imparted in French of local Swahili language.  As part of its commitment to United Nation’s peace keeping mission, India has deployed an army brigade in DRC.


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