Custom Search Engine - Scans Selected News Sites


Thursday, 3 February 2011

From Today's Papers - 03 Feb 2011

India keeps China, Iran & Pak out of aero show Ajay Banerjee Tribune New Service  New Delhi, February 2 India has decided to keep China out of the forthcoming aero-India show at Bangalore, indicating that defence ties with its neighbour will remain frozen for the time being. Pakistan and, surprisingly, Iran have also not been invited for the five-day event beginning February 9.  India had suspended all defence exchange programmes with China nearly six months ago after the Chinese authorities refused visa to Lt Gen JS Jaswal on the grounds that he holds a command in the Jammu and Kashmir. Jaswal intended to travel to Beijing to take part in the Annual Defence Dialogue between the two sides.  Beijing describes the J&K area as 'disputed territory' and issues stapled visas instead of the proper stamped ones to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh.  The Defence Ministry, acting on the advice of the External Affairs Ministry, has kept these three countries out. Asked why China was not invited to participate in the biennial exhibition, Secretary, Defence Production, RK Singh said yesterday, "China was invited in the last edition of the show but it didn't come."  "The answer would be better given by the External Affairs (ministry) as we go by their advise," he said while confirming that China, Iran and Pakistan were not sent invites for the show. Officials said the names of these three countries were not considered by the committee, which selects countries to be invited for the show. On whether the Defence Attaches of these countries in India would be invited, RK Singh said the decision in this regard would be taken by the MEA.  India has also blocked Chinese journalists from visiting the show. Media in China is largely state owned and controlled by the ruling Communist party. New Delhi did not keep any slot for Chinese journalists to apply online on its website to make them eligible to cover the event.  The issue of Chinese journalists being unable to register for accreditation was raised by a Chinese journalist at a press conference addressed by RK Singh here. "As far as accreditation is concerned, the list of countries is given by the External Affairs Ministry. We go by their advice on these issues," replied Singh.  Pakistan and India have no military-to-military contacts and the snub was on expected lines. Singh did not comment on New Delhi's decision to keep Iran out.  A delegation from Afghanistan has been invited. As many as 29 countries are bringing their aerospace products, including fighter jets and transport aircraft, for showcasing in the event.
MI gets its first Lieut Gen Vijay Mohan Tribune News Service  Chandigarh, February 2 The Corps of Military Intelligence (MI) has got its first-ever officer of the rank of Lieutenant General. Till now, the senior-most rank that officers could attain in the MI, responsible for counter-intelligence, field security and information gathering, was the Major General.  Sources said Maj Gen JDS Rawat, Commandant of the MI School and Depot, Pune, was approved for promotion to the rank of lieutenant general by the Centre last week.  Even though the MI now has a three-star general, sources said it was unlikely that the Director General of Military Intelligence (DGMI) at the Army Headquarters, also a lieutenant general, would be an MI officer.  At present, there are vacancies for two officers of the rank of major general in the MI. One is the depot commandant at Pune and the other is the Additional DGMI at the Army HQs. The third vacancy at the level of major general in the MI at the Army HQs is also on the cards. There would then be three ADGMIs, with one of them, as is the practice, being from the other arms.  The new vacancies at the level of lieutenant general and major general are consequent to the implementation of the third stage of the AV Singh Committee recommendations on cadre restructure. The government had approved the implementation of the recommendations in phases from in 2005. This has also led to creation of some additional vacancies down the hierarchy and the upgrading of some posts.  The MI, which was upgraded from a support service to a combat support arm, is in the process of expansion and restructuring. Some additional units were raised and posts created to cater to the raising of a new Army command, corps and divisions. The manpower has also been increased over the past few years.
Pak nuclear card limits Indian anti-terror options Lt Gen Harwant Singh (Retd)  ITS three decades since Pakistan has been fermenting trouble in India. It started with Punjab and later in Jammu and Kashmir, followed by sporadic terrorist attacks in rest of India. While it is a cheap option for Pakistan, it has cost India thousands of lives and has been a heavy burden on the exchequer. India has failed to deter Pakistan from pursuing this nefarious activity. Pakistan's policy of bleeding India by a thousand cuts has never been suitably addressed by us. There have been somewhat feeble and ill-conceived attempts, both military and diplomatic, to make Pakistan desist from is activities, but to no avail.  If the aim of Operation Parakam, launched after the terrorist attack on the Parliament in 2001, was to coerce Pakistan and deter it from sponsoring terrorist attacks, then the manner of implementation of this operation conveyed a different message. Civil rail and road traffic was not to be disrupted and consequently it took rather long to concentrate troops at their battle locations. Since there was no urgency, it gave the impression that India was not serious and was merely saber-rattling. At the same time, Pakistani intelligence had that much more time to gather information on the movement and forward locations of these formations.  Later, some on this side opined that India missed a "window of opportunity", though no one defined this "window". Even under the best conditions for mobilisation, when the highest priority over road and rail traffic is accorded to the military in India, Pakistan is still able to mobilise in about half that time because of shorter distances and the advantage of operating on interior lines in that country. So, per se, Pakistan will leave no "window" open for India to exploit. Nor was there any such "window" during Op Parakaram. The term "window of opportunity" was brought into use to cover up certain other failings.  In the Indo-Pak context, a "window" will have to be created by holding back strike formations at locations from where multiple options for offensives are available. This will keep the enemy guessing and, in fact, bring in uncertainty and put him on the horns of a dilemma. Thereafter, through surprise and deception, create that "window" in the enemy's defences and then with rapid movement of troops and competent generalship fully exploit the developing situation. Gen J.N. Chaudhuri did this in the 1965 war against Pakistan.  Concurrently, some defence experts and perhaps those at Army HQs and the Training Command propagated another concept, "Cold Start". Reference to this recently surfaced in the Wikileaks expose, where the US ambassador to India talked about India adopting the Cold Start concept, and that was the excuse Pakistan advanced for not shifting more troops from its eastern front against India to the AF-Pak border for anti-Taliban operations.  Cold start implies that offensives can be launched "at a moment's notice". This would require either pre-positioning of offensive formations well forward or their components grouped with defensive elements for a quick but limited offensive. In both cases the enemy can acquire information regarding their presence and take adequate counter-measures. Further there will be no surprise in such type of operations. Splitting resources of strike formations and locating these with defensive elements have their own implications. Be that as it may, the Army Chief has stated that the army does not subscribe to such a concept.  Some other armchair experts have been propagating that a number of battle-groups should be launched over a wide front. Perhaps they are ignorant of the time-honoured principal of concentration of forces and the prospects of defeat in detail. Defensive formations would merely unbalance themselves were they to undertake any offensives, even a limited strike, on their own.  Indian defence experts have been seeking solutions to problems and scenarios of their own making but missing out on the core issue of factors inhibiting military response to continuing Pakistani mischief. India's option for punitive military action is completely overshadowed by Pakistan's threat of retaliation by nuclear weapons. Pakistan is well aware that threat of nuclear strike frightens India. This deterrence works well on India, because we have some how convinced ourselves, that Pakistan will be rash enough to press the nuclear button, as soon as an Indian offensive takes off. Equally, some in Delhi feel that it is the Pakistani military that controls the nuclear button and would act on its own.  Some experts have been talking of air strikes on terrorist training camps. In this case the Indian intelligence is more likely to have incomplete information on their exact location, number under training, routine at these camps or the best time for an air strike. These camps have hardly any infrastructure and what air strikes may eventually achieve is, knocking out some rudimentary obstacle course or result in civilian casualties. In any case, even punitive action in the way of air strikes or limited ground action is stymied by the apparition of a nuclear retaliation. A Catch-22 situation of our own making!  Kargil presented a great opportunity to put an end the repeated needling by Pakistan once for all, but unfortunately the weak politico-military leadership proved quite incapable of grasping it. In fact, the leadership showed extreme pusillanimity. It was left to a brigadier from the Pakistan army to spell out in the Dawn newspaper, an appropriate Indian response and the great opportunity India missed - to settle the Siachen problem and gain control over the Northern Areas.  This would have forestalled Chinese troops moving into this area and casting an altogether new dimension to the Kashmir problem. Failure to deal appropriately with Pakistan at Kargil led to more terrorist attacks, in J&K and elsewhere. It also resulted in deploying additional troops by India in an area of no strategic importance and the consequent heavy financial burden. It reconfirmed that Pakistan's nuclear deterrence works well and it can continue terrorist attacks on India.  India has mainly relied on feeble diplomatic moves and half-hearted military posturing to make Pakistan desist from terrorism. These efforts have had little or no perceptible effect on a recalcitrant and hostile Pakistan. Though, that country itself has become the target of the same set of terrorists, Pakistan finds them a useful tool to keep targeting India. Therefore, if India is serious in putting an end to terrorist attacks by Pakistan inspired elements, it must call off this nuclear bluff by Pakistan. It must be made clear to Pakistan, in unequivocal language, that in the event of a nuclear strike against India, we will retaliate immediately and massively, which would reduce Pakistan into a wasteland. Further any terrorist attack on India, sponsored or emanating from Pakistan, will surely invite Indian military reaction. Sooner than later, India will have to bite the bullet and bring to end this continuing perfidy by Pakistan.
2 Army officers die in chopper crash  Nashik, February 2 An Army helicopter crashed in a residential area here today killing both its pilots but there was no casualty on the ground.  The Cheetah helicopter of the Army Aviation Corps crashed around 8.55 am at Jachak Nagar, killing both its occupants, Captain Bhanu Pratap Gupta and Major Atul Garje, Army officials probing the crash said.  They said as the chopper crashed in an open space there was no casualty. Major Garje and Capt Gupta of Jodhpur Army aviation base had arrived at the Army's Combat Aviation Training Centre at Gandhinagar two days back and had taken off this morning for Goa en route Pune.  Later, they were to fly to Bangalore for the Aero-India show that kicks off next week, Army sources said.  Eyewitnesses said the rotor blade of the helicopter stopped moving mid-air and the aircraft hit the terrace of a residential building before crashing to the ground.  The bodies of both pilots have been retrieved from the debris of the ill-fated chopper by the fire service and army rescue teams. "There has been no significant damage to the building nor is there any civilian casualty," Nashik fire brigade Chief officer Anil Mahajan said.  Forensic experts from the army are busy gathering material from the crash site for an inquiry.  Nashik District Magistrate P Velarasu said there was no civilian casualty and the helicopter as per the preliminary investigation crashed due to possible technical failure.  "All we can say is that both the pilots on board are dead. The helicopter crashed in a civilian area and there is no civilian casualty. Investigations are on," he said. The bungalow was locked and its owners were out for work when the mishap occurred. — PTI
New defence land policy soon: Antony Tribune News Service  New Delhi, February 2 In the backdrop of a series of scams relating to transfer of defence land to private builders, Defence Minister AK Antony today said that a new policy is being framed which will define how a No Objection Certificate (NOC) is to be issued in the future.  Two policy issues that have attracted a lot of attention in the recent times pertain to the issuance of NOCs and ceding of land under occupation of defence forces. At present, local military authorities are consulted by the state governments for an NOC in the case of a construction adjacent to a defence installation. Antony said in case a state law does not require so, no NOC would be issued, especially to private builders directly by the local army authorities.  In the two most recent land scams relating to an NOC for a plot next to the Sukna military station in Darjeeling and to the Adarsh society in Colaba South Mumbai, the local military authorities had issued NOCs. Antony said the ministry is giving priority to computerisation of land records. "Without computerisation, it will be difficult to manage our vast land records", he said. The Ministry of Defence is one of the largest land holders in the country with over 17 lakh acres of land.  Elaborating on the difficult nature of the task of defence land management, Antony said, under the Constitution of India, land is a state subject. The MoD has a system of keeping land-title records, yet there exists a revenue system in each state. In case ownership records do not tally both in the records, then there is problem. Moreover, vested interests lose no time in exploiting gaps in the system, he said.  Antony also disclosed that suitable amendments to the Works of Defence Act, 1903, which provides for restrictions on building activity around defence installations, would be brought about to make it relevant. The Act has not been amended for the last over 100 years.
IAF airlifts stranded passengers in Kashmir Valley During the closure of Sonamarg-Gumri road, the Indian Air Force operates weekly Air Courier service between Kargil and Jammu every Tuesday and thrice a week between Kargil and Srinagar on every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, subject to weather. CJ: Aamir Ali          Wed, Feb 02, 2011 17:11:35 IST Views:             8    Comments: 1 Rate:  1 out of 5 2 out of 5 3 out of 5 4 out of 5 5 out of 5 5.0 / 1 votes               SIXTY TWO stranded passengers were airlifted between Bandipora and Gurez in Indian Air force (IAF)  Mi-17 helicopter today. Forteen passengers were airlifted from Bandipora helipad to Neeru and 3 passengers to Baduab, 16 passengers were lifted from Neeru to Bandipora, 29 passengers were airlifted from Baduab to Bandipora.   The passengers were facilitated at Bandipora by Addl. Deputy Commissioner, Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Gasi and at Gurez by Sub Divisional Magistrate, Mohammed Ashraf. Gurez Sub Division had got cutoff from rest of the Kashmir Valley after the recent snowfall and the temperature in Gurez having dipped to minus 15 degrees. The passengers airlifted were old-aged patients, ladies and small children, who appreciated state government IAF authorities for arranging the helicopter service.   MLA Gurez, Nazir Ahmed Gurezi and Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir Dr. Asgar Hassan Samoon conveyed their thanks to Air Officer Commanding J&K Udhampur,  Air Vice Marshall P S Gill (AVSM, VSM) and Group Captain S. Srivastava (Air-2) for making the airlift facility available for the civilians.   Meanwhile, 162 passengers were airlifted in Indian Air Force AN-32 Kargil Courier. Thirty six passengers were airlifted from Kargil to Jammu and 53 passengers from Jammu to Kargil. Twenty nine  passengers were airlifted from Kargil to Srinagar and 44 passengers from Srinagar to Kargil.   During the closure of Sonamarg-Gumri road, the Indian Air Force operates weekly Air Courier service between Kargil and Jammu every Tuesday and thrice a week between Kargil and Srinagar on every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, subject to weather.
Sukna, Adarsh scams put armed forces in bad light: Antony February 02, 2011 21:09 IST Tags: Antony, Sukna, State for Defence M M Pallam Raju, Director General Defence Estates Ashok Harnal, Defence Research and Development Organisation Share this Ask Users Write a Comment Noting that land scams such as Sukna and Adarsh Society have projected armed forces in a "bad" light, Defence Minister A K Antony said on Wednesday that policies would be framed to bar local military authorities from directly issuing 'no objection certificates' to private realtors.  Addressing a meeting of the parliamentary consultative committee, he said the scams have exposed the "gaps" in the defence land management system and their records will be computerised.  "The defence ministry will shortly be framing policies covering the issue of NOCs. No NOC would be issued, especially to private builders directly by the Local Military Authorities," he said.  The recent Sukna, Kandivli and Adarsh land scams related to issuing of NOCs by local military commanders to private realtors have led the ministry to change its policies for granting permission for construction on defence land or in areas adjacent to military stations.  The defence minister, who maintained that the land scams have projected the armed forces in "bad" light, said a policy is also being framed for cases where the local laws require consultation with local military authorities for construction of buildings on lands adjacent to defence installations.  Antony said the Works of Defence Act, which provides for restrictions on building activity around defence installations, would be amended to make it relevant to present day situations.  "The Act has not been amended for the last over 100 years. The government is also looking at the de-hiring policy to avert any misuse," he said.  The minister said after the scams, the ministry is giving top priority to computerisation of the records of the 17 lakh acres of land under it as "without computerisation, it will be difficult to manage our vast land records." He said a number of decisions have been taken by the ministry regarding land management and proper storage of important title-related records.  Elaborating on the difficulties in defence land management, Antony said under the Constitution of India [ Images ], land is a state subject and if for a particular piece of land the ownership records tally both in ministry records and state records, there is no problem.  "But in some instances, this is not so. Moreover, vested interests lose no time in exploiting gaps in the system," Antony said.  After the scams surfaced, the army had to change its policy for issuing NOCs and had made it mandatory for LMAs to seek permission from their superior authorities before granting any permission.  In the meeting, the parliamentarians suggested that the defence ministry should physically survey the land under its control besides undertaking computerisation of records.  MPs Murli Manohar Joshi [ Images ], Manish Tiwari, Gajanan Dharmshi Babar, Shivaji Adhalrao Patil, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Kailkesh N Singhdeo, Lalit Mohan Suklabaidya, Gopal Singh Shekhawat, Shivanand Tiwari and Janardhan Waghmare attended the meeting. Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju, Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, Defence Research and Development Organisation chief V K Saraswat and Director General Defence Estates Ashok Harnal were also present.
An architect of India's nuclear doctrine Elizabeth Roche K. Subrahmanyam, widely described as the doyen of Indian strategic thinking and one of the most respected voices on global security issues, passed away in Delhi on Wednesday. Deemed an authority on security issues, the prolific 82-year-old writer and columnist was at the time of his death chairman of the Prime Minister's task force on global strategic developments. He had recovered from cancer but succumbed to lung and cardiac problems. "He declined the trappings of power to work in a think tank," said close associate and head of the National Maritime Foundation C. Uday Bhaskar , referring to Subrahmanyam's two terms as head of the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (Idsa)—in 1968-75 and 1980-87. "He was the father of India's nuclear thinking." B.G. Verghese, another close associate and former editor of the Hindustan Times and The Indian Express, said during his association with Idsa, Subrahmanyam "nurtured generations of scholars". Narendra Sisodia, Idsa's current head, described Subrahmanyam as an "intellectual genius". "From being considered pro-Soviet, he became one of the biggest proponents of the Indo-US partnership. He was also influential when it came to the (landmark 2008) Indo-US nuclear deal" that has seen the ties between the one time "estranged" democracies warm to the level of "strategic partners" Sisodia added. Amit Mitra, secretary-general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), in his tribute praised Subrahmanyam as an "iconic figure" and "master strategist". "I still recall the day in 1969 when he came to the Delhi School of Economics to debate the issue of the economics of the atomic bomb and its strategic value,"Mitra said. "Over the decades, he became the game-changing thinker, respected for his clarity and strategic thinking to maximize India's interests in the global matrix." A stickler for detail and discipline, Subrahmanyam joined the Indian Administrative Services in 1951 and held several top positions including those of home secretary, Tamil Nadu; additional secretary, cabinet secretariat; chairman, Joint Intelligence Committee (1977-79); and secretary, defence production (1979-80). Verghese recalled his first meeting with Subrahmanyam in 1966, soon after joining then prime minister Indira Gandhi's office as information adviser. "In 1966, within three months of Mrs Gandhi taking office as prime minister, China conducted its third nuclear test and the Prime Minister was called upon to make a statement in Parliament. This led me to suggest the need to set up a group that might spell out the political, security, technological and economic aspects of a national nuclear policy. I then invited a small group a week later for a brainstorming session over lunch. But who could speak from the defence angle? Someone named a bright deputy secretary in the defence ministry, K. Subrahmanyam. And so I contacted him," he said. Known for his formidable intellect and razor-sharp analyses, Subrahmanyam, or "Subbu" as he was commonly known, was respected by political parties across the spectrum. He was appointed convener of the first National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) in 1998 that was constituted by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and then as the head of the Kargil Review Committee in 1999. This was followed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calling him to head the Prime Minister's task force on global strategic developments. The first NSAB produced the draft nuclear doctrine, which the Vajpayee government adopted in its entirety, said Verghese. It now governs all policy aspects relating to usage and deployment of nuclear weapons, including the key "no first use policy". As head of the Kargil Review Committee, Subrahmanyam was tasked with investigating how hundreds of Pakistani infiltrators, including army regulars, managed to establish themselves in Kashmir's Kargil region, many kilometres inside the Line of Control (LoC) in 1999. It took more than two months and the deaths of some 500 Indian soldiers to evict the infiltrators. He was a strong votary of India developing a nuclear deterrent—something that  earned him the title of "prime nuclear hawk". "I

No comments:

Post a Comment


Mail your comments, suggestions and ideas to me

Template created by Rohit Agarwal