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Thursday, 31 March 2011

From Today's Papers - 31 Mar 2011

The winding India-Pak peace path
Ashok Tuteja/TNS  Mohali, March 30 When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invited Pakistani leaders to witness the cricket World Cup semifinal, the nation was taken by surprise. But this is not the first time that the PM has embarked on the path of peace with Pakistan, much against the opinion of his own Cabinet colleagues.  Manmohan Singh had his first encounter with the Pakistani leadership after the Mumbai terror attacks at Yekaterinburg (Russia) on the margins of the SCO Summit in June 2009. Fresh from his electoral triumph, he firmly told President Asif Ali Zardari in front of the international media that his mandate was to ask Pakistan to stop terrorism emanating from its soil against India. A dumbfounded Zardari has ever since avoided another meeting with the Indian Prime Minister.  However, Manmohan Singh earned the ire of his own party as well as the Opposition for the joint statement he agreed upon with his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani at the Egyptian sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on the margins of the NAM Summit in July 2009. The controversial statement gave an impression that India had decided to delink talks with Pakistan from the issue of terrorism. It also found a mention about Balochistan for the first time in an India-Pakistan joint document. Sensing the mood of the nation, the UPA Government gave a decent burial to that statement.  But the Prime Minister remained unruffled in his vision for peace with Pakistan. He met Gilani on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit in Bhutan in last April. This turned out to be a highly productive meeting. The two premiers produced a joint statement, deciding to take steps to put the peace process back on track.  However, history shows that the peace process between the two South Asian neighbours is very fragile, given their respective positions on the Kashmir issue.  After the 1971 military humiliation that saw the creation of Bangladesh, then Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto came to Shimla for peace talks with Indira Gandhi. That, perhaps, was the best opportunity for India to exploit the situation to its advantage on the Kashmir issue. Bhutto pleaded with Gandhi not to include Kashmir in the final document on the ground that he was leading a weak government.  It was after the 1987 rigged elections in Jammu and Kashmir, which sparked unrest in the Valley, that Pakistan started sending militants into the Valley. Gen Zia-ul-Haq’s cricket diplomacy bore no fruits as Pakistan continued with its policy of ‘bleeding India through a thousand cuts’.  The peace process launched in 1996-97 was short-lived due to instability at the Centre in India where the Deve Gowda and Gujral governments bowed out of office in quick succession. The Vajpayee government embarked upon a fresh initiative for peace with Pakistan after the two countries conducted tit-for-tat nuclear tests in May 1998.  Atal Bihari Vajpayee undertook a historic bus journey to Lahore in February 1999 but Pakistan stabbed India in the back just three months later in Kargil. Then came the hijacking of the Indian Airlines aircraft to Kandahar in December 1999. Another attempt was made when Gen Pervez Musharraf came to Agra for a summit with Vajpayee. The Kashmir issue became a sticking point between the two sides and the meeting failed to produce any result.  However, the audacious attack on the Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001 by Pakistan-trained terrorists was seen by India as a clear attempt to challenge the sovereignty of the country.

30 Naxals gunned down in Chhattisgarh
Police on Monday claimed to have gunned down 30 Naxals in a fierce encounter in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district after an ambush by the extremists left three policemen dead and nine others injured.  Additional Director General (Naxal operations) Ram Niwas said that a police team of 145 troopers was on a search operation in the Chintalnaar area, when the Naxals struck.  "In the ambush by the Naxals, three of our men were killed and nine were injured," said Niwas.  He said that the police believe "to have killed 30 Naxals" in retaliatory action.  "Firing has stopped. We are now looking for bodies," Niwas said.  Reinforcements were being sent to the area and the injured are being air-lifted, police.

Corps of Signals 100th Anniversary 1911 - 2011
After a year of planning and last minute route changes, 10 members of the Indian Army Signal Corps Motorcycle Expedition 2010 finally completed their month long 3000 mile journey to Blandford Camp on Friday 17 Sep 10,2010. The team led by Lt Col Vks Tomar which included 2 female officers, Captains Ravinder Kaur and Tashi Thapilyal arrived at RHQ Royal Signals to be greeted by the fanfare trumpeters of the Corps Band and a reception party headed jointly by the SOinC(A), Brig Tim Watts OBE ADC and the Military Attache, Brig Anil Mehta from the Indian High Commission in London. After the team was introduced to the SOinC a special introduction was made to Maj (Retd) Tom Bewsey OBE (93 years of age) the last Chairman of the Indian Army Signal Corps Association. With only 3 members still living it was a particular privilege for the visiting riders that one of the surviving veterans who served in the Indian Army Signal Corps before partition in 1947 could also make the journey to Blandford. The motorcycle expedition was devised as a suitable way in which the Indian Army Signal Corps could reconnect with their heritage and visit the Home of the Royal Corps of Signals to make a small presentation in their Centenary celebration year. The Indian Army Signal Corps will officially reach its 100th birthday on 15 Feb 2011 when the major commemorative events including a reunion will take place at the Signal Training Centre at Jubbulpore. Following their epic journey and the formal arrival and presentation ceremony the riders were entertained to an evening of well deserved relaxation and reminiscing before once again mounting their 250cc Royal Enfield motorcycles in order to watch the White Helmets undertake their last performances for this display season at the Royal Berkshire Show. The expedition members have been on the road for almost a month and after completing a number of wreath laying and other ceremonies in Brighton, London and Camberley will return to India by air on 29 Sep 10, 2010. THE INDIAN ARMY SIGNAL CORPS MOTORCYCLE EXPEDITION 2010 Related Blog Report Siver Stride Motorcycle Expedition  Oldest British Officer from Indian Signal Corps Maj (Retd) Tom Bewsey OBE of Indian Signal Corps, talking on "Operation Overlord". Tom is known to a very large section of the local community where he he has been involved in many activities notably being a founder member of the Sidcup Symphony Orchestra, being a Governor of Harenc School, and three times President of this Society. War time experience in the Royal Corps of Signals led him to a peacetime career in maritime radar and marine engineering. The talk on " Operation Overlord" was a lucid and interesting account of Tom's involvement with the planning of the Royal Signals part in the D Day landing. He showed how extreme secrecy was maintained before the actual invasion. His Signals unit was stationed on the Isle of Wight where they were aware of the possibility of a German Paratroop landing which however did not occur. Occupying high ground on the Isle of Wight gave him a ring side view of "the greatest amphibious operation in history". Although the story of the Normandy landings is well known much of Tom Bewsey's talk was of the part played by Royal Signals in carrying out a meticulously planned deception campaign. This resulted in the retention by the Germans of 12 divisions in the Calais area and a further 12 divisions in Norway. Fictitious military units were set up in Scotland and in the South East of England with dummy tanks and trucks. This deception was planned by Jasper Maskelyne, the grandson of the famous Edwardian Illusionist. Not all the Signals activities involved 20th Century science. Carrier pigeons were used to convey messages from France and one particular bird received the Dickin Medal for Animal Bravery on account of several successful flights.

Rethinking Pakistan
“Cricket diplomacy” and the meeting of the Indian and Pakistan home secretaries are important because these were approved through the back channel maintained by Delhi with the Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani — the hub of power in Pakistan. Whatever one may think of the Pakistan Army, it is a professional force driven by cold calculation. If it thinks it can get away with some outrĂ© action or the other against India, it does not hesitate to prosecute it (think Kargil). Equally, it will do an about-turn and sue for “honourable peace” if some adventurist action misfires (recall Pervez Musharraf’s prodding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to seek US intervention in the Kargil conflict, and his virtual mea culpa of January 12, 2002, after the December 13 terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament the previous year, in order to pre-empt a punitive Indian response and potentially uncontrollable escalation).  Apparently, Gen. Kayani and his uniformed cohort believe that the policy of orchestrated terrorist outrages has run its course, at least for now, as the Pakistan Army, in the grip of excesses at home by the Tehreek-e-Taliban outfits, unremitting drone attacks by its ally US and of the pressure of the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) forces in Afghanistan on the Pashtuns of North Waziristan that’s skewing the delicate tribal balance the Pakistani state has obtained over the years in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, needs relief on its eastern border. The question is can India capitalise on what seems to be rethinking underway in the Pakistan Army?  Alas, there is surprisingly less give here than is generally assumed. Rewind to the aftermath of Sharm el-Sheikh and how quickly the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, was forced to backtrack on the issue of supposed concessions to his Pakistani counterpart. This is because India’s Pakistan policy is hostage to the petty calculations of the political class in the country and powerful ministries within the Indian government with vested interest in portraying Pakistan as menace. Pakistan Army’s nursing of terrorism as an asymmetric tool to keep India discomfited sustains this impression. But it does not over-ride the facts of the neighbouring country being economically weak, politically in a pitiful state and destabilised by unending violence and internal strife perpetrated by Islamic extremists. Nor does it preclude the need for a realistic assessment of the “Pakistan threat” given the sheer disparities.  The trouble is that for the Indian politician ties with Pakistan are an externalisation of the sometimes tense Hindi-Muslim relations at home and both are manipulable for electoral gain. This is crass cynicism at work but the “Pakistan threat” also powers the Indian military’s existing force disposition and structure. Then again, how else can three strike corps worth of tanks, armoured personnel carriers and towed artillery accounting for 26 per cent to 32 per cent of the defence budget be justified if not with reference to Pakistan? Meanwhile, the far more substantive and credible threat emanating from China is only minimally addressed.  The nine Light Mountain Divisions desperately required as offensive capability to keep the People’s Liberation Army ensconced on the Tibetan plateau honest is nowhere as glamorous as armoured and mechanised formations. Like the IAS that ensures its group interests are never compromised come hell or high water, “cavalry” generals too are loath to see a reduction of armoured strength.  Indeed, Pakistan is now the touchstone to get the government to wake up to even strategic deficiencies that are far more telling vis a vis China. Rapid Chinese strategic nuclear buildup was met with passivity, but recent press reports about Pakistan surpassing Indian nuclear weapons strength galvanised the government into ordering some remedial action.  Such Pakistan-centricity is ironic in light of the severely controlled wars of manoeuvre India is politically compelled to wage against Pakistan owing to the organic links of kinship and shared religion, culture, language and social norms binding the two countries. There is, moreover, the factor of the politically conscious Muslim electorate wielding the swing vote in almost half the Lok Sabha constituencies, who may countenance bloodying Pakistan but not its destruction. Such systemic constraints are not acknowledged by either side but have been in force from the 1947-48 Kashmir operations onwards. In any case, which Indian government would order a military dismantling of the Pakistani state resulting in 180 million Muslims, pickled in fundamentalist juices for half a century, rejoining the Indian fold?  The home ministry, intelligence agencies and Central and state police organisations, animated by an institutional habit of mind, are, likewise, Pakistan-fixated and feed the popular paranoia of a rogue Pakistan always preparing for the next terrorist spectacular on Indian soil. As the 2002 Operation Parakram showed, the right response to Islamabad-supported jihadi actions is not mobilising field armies but instantaneous retaliatory airstrikes on terrorist installations in Pakistani Kashmir in tandem with targeted intelligence operations elsewhere in that country. Combine the stick of such pressure with the carrot of incentives to wean Pakistan from its hostility, such as unilateral easing of the visa regime, and offer of open trade and investment. It is a policy mix Delhi has not seriously pursued.  But, surely nuclear Pakistan poses a threat? Short of total demolition, which India has not intended even with conventional military means, Pakistan will be offered no excuse for going nuclear.  However, if despite the nuclear taboo the General Staff in Rawalpindi contemplates nuclear weapon use for any reason, including in what passes for “wars” in these parts, they’ll be ultimately dissuaded by an “exchange ratio” prohibitively stacked against their country. Loss of two Indian cities is not recompense enough for the certain extinction of Pakistan. It is simply a bad bargain.

Indian Army distributes high yielding hybrid seeds to J-K villagers
Leh, Mar 30: As a part of its co-operation with the general public, the Indian Army distributed high yielding hybrid seeds to the locals villagers in Jammu and Kashmir's Ladakh region.   Around 1500 villagers from various parts of Ladakh were present on the occasion on Tuesday to receive the seeds of various vegetables such as cabbage and onion, brought from Jammu by the III Division of the Indian Army.  Brigadier Ajay Kumar, Deputy General Officer Commanding of III Division, who was the chief guest at the formal function, said that this act would benefit around population of 1500 people residing in the region.  "Through this we believe that around seven villages with a population of around 1500 of public are being benefited by this. We have got this request from the villagers that they do not have good quality seeds, due to which the crop grown here is not good," said Brigadier Ajay Kumar.  "Looking at this condition, we studied it and then especially from Jammu we have brought these special hybrid seeds. And we hope that this will benefit all the villagers and hope that their production will increase and they will prosper," he added.  Thinley Dawa, Sub-Divisional Agriculture Officer, said that this measure would result in increased production and consequent enhanced income of the villagers.  "In many places in India people are being neglected in the agriculture sector. This is because of lesser yield and lesser production, so now recently for the past few years we have come to know that production is increasing with the use of hybrid seeds or seeds of high quality," said Thinley Dawa.  "So, due to these seeds distribution, people will get double income than the normal seeds. The quality of the crop would be better, it will be marketable," he added.  Thinley Dawa further noted that these hybrid seeds would lead to a reduction in the expenditure incurred on pesticides and fertilisers.  The aim of the camp is the 'Rural Community Development Programme' mooted by the Indian defence forces in the remote villages of Ladakh and to strengthen the bond between the locals and the security personnel.

Defence secretary talks to take a shot at resolving Siachen tangle
NEW DELHI: Ever since he visited the forbidding glacial heights in June 2005, PM Manmohan Singh has been keen to convert Siachen into "a mountain of peace''. With cricket diplomacy now injecting some momentum into Indo-Pak talks, whether this enduring "vision'' can translate into reality will be tested in the coming days with the defence secretary-level talks.  It's not as if the military face-off in the world's highest, coldest and costliest battlefield is intractable. A draft agreement on the festering Siachen Glacier-Saltoro Ridge imbroglio was reached in 1989, when Rajiv Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto were at the helm, and both India and Pakistan have accepted the need to demilitarize the glacial heights ever since.  The sticking point in the protracted negotiations, however, has been the "authentication'' of the 110-km Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) beyond the NJ-9842 grid reference point, where the well-delineated Line of Control simply stopped dead in the 1972 Simla Pact, right till the Karakoram Pass.  India has been consistent in pressing for ironclad guarantees for the AGPL authentication, both on the maps and the ground, because its troops occupy most of the "dominating'' posts on the Saltoro Ridge, before there is troop disengagement, withdrawal and the final demilitarization of the glacier.  This is deemed crucial because if Pakistani troops move into the positions vacated by Indian troops, it will be virtually impossible to dislodge them from there. The Indian Army has worked on the political leadership to make this aspect "non-negotiable'' since it has occupied the "strategic'' heights at great cost.  "If Pakistan could violate the well-defined LoC during the 1999 Kargil conflict, it would be foolhardy to expect the undemarcated AGPL to be respected without concrete guarantees in place,'' a senior Army officer said.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

From Today's Papers - 30 Mar 2011

Adarsh scam Show-cause notice to Maj Gen  
New Delhi, March 29 After completing its Court of Inquiry into the Adarsh Housing Society scam, the Army has issued show cause notice to a serving Major General about his alleged role in allowing the private building to be constructed on defence land.  “After the Court of Inquiry (COI), the Army has issued a show cause notice to Maj-Gen Ram Kanwar Hooda, the then General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa Area about his role in the whole issue and he has also submitted his reply," Army sources said here.  The Army had ordered a CoI under Pune-based Military Intelligence School Commandant Lt-Gen JS Rawat after the scam broke out to probe the role of serving officers, including Hooda in the scam.  After the COI was ordered, Hooda, serving as Additional Director General (Mechanised Forces) at the Army Headquarters here, was put under Discipline and Vigilance (DV) ban by the Adjutant General's branch.  Any officer under such a ban is not considered for any course or promotion by the authorities.  The CoI was completed in January and had concluded that the land on which the society was built belonged to the Army and was wrongfully given away to private builders.  The 104-apartment society got embroiled in a controversy after the Navy had raised concerns over security as the building over-looked important military installations.  On December 9 last year, Defence Minister AK Antony had ordered a CBI probe to fix responsibility of the armed forces and defence estates officers in the housing scam. — PTI

NATO in Libya Gaddafi must be made to look for the exit door
 With the entry of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) in Libya, replacing the troops of the US and its Western allies, the intervention by the international community has taken a new turn. Now the Libyan dictator’s argument will have no meaning that it is not fair for foreign forces to meddle in the “internal affairs” of a sovereign nation. NATO’s action comes after the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1973 to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya and to prevent the killing of civilians by Col Muammar Gaddafi’s forces. The Security Council has also imposed an arms embargo on Libya, which will be enforced strictly now. NATO’s involvement, however, does not mean an end to the military role of the US, France, Britain and other Western powers. However, they will not be able to use their military-related activities in Libya for reaping political capital back home. This was a major charge against French President Nicolas Sarkozy, as France is slated to have elections soon.  One question that seems to have divided the international community is whether NATO’s intervention will remain impartial. Will NATO not provide cover to the Libyan rebels, who are disorganized and unable to consolidate the gains they initially made? First it was Turkey which expressed doubts over the real purpose of bringing NATO in the Libyan war theatre. Now Russia has warned the world that foreign intervention in a sovereign country has not been mandated by Resolution 1973. These questions have found mention at the on-going London conference of the UN, NATO, the African Union and the Arab League on Libya.  The truth is that the global community indirectly wants regime change in Libya but no one is prepared to admit, not even President Barack Obama, that all that is being done under the cover of Resolution 1973 is aimed at ending the dictatorship of Colonel Gaddafi. The US appears to be under tremendous pressure from its allies in West Asia like Saudi Arabia not to take any step which may make people get the impression that the Western forces are there in the Arab world to instal rulers of their choice in the garb of bringing about democracy. The ideal course can be to create a situation in which Colonel Gaddafi is forced to leave the country to the people of Libya as it has happened in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco.

Obama cites limits of US role in Libya
Washington:  President Obama defended the American-led military assault in Libya on Monday, saying it was in the national interest of the United States to stop a potential massacre that would have "stained the conscience of the world."  In his first major address since ordering American airstrikes on the forces and artillery of Col. Moammar el-Gaddafi nine days ago, Mr. Obama emphasized that the United States' role in the assault would be limited, but said that America had the responsibility and the international backing to stop what he characterized as a looming genocide in the Libyan city of Benghazi.  "I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action," Mr. Obama said.  At the same time, he said, directing American troops to forcibly remove Colonel Gaddafi from power would be a step too far, and would "splinter" the international coalition that has moved against the Libyan government.  "To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq," Mr. Obama said, adding that "regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya."  Speaking in the early evening from the National Defense University in Washington, Mr. Obama said he had made good on his promise to limit American military involvement against Colonel Gaddafi's forces -- he did not use the word "war" to describe the action -- and he laid out a more general philosophy for the use of force.  But while Mr. Obama described a narrower role for the United States in a NATO-led operation in Libya, the American military has been carrying out an expansive and increasingly potent air campaign to compel the Libyan Army to turn against Colonel Gaddafi.  The president said he was willing to act unilaterally to defend the nation and its core interests. But in other cases, he said, when the safety of Americans is not directly threatened but where action can be justified -- in the case of genocide, humanitarian relief, regional security or economic interests -- the United States should not act alone. His statements amounted both to a rationale for multilateralism and another critique of what he has all along characterized as the excessively unilateral tendencies of the administration of George W. Bush.  "In such cases, we should not be afraid to act -- but the burden of action should not be America's alone," Mr. Obama said. "Because contrary to the claims of some, American leadership is not simply a matter of going it alone and bearing all of the burden ourselves. Real leadership creates the conditions and coalitions for others to step up as well; to work with allies and partners so that they bear their share of the burden and pay their share of the costs; and to see that the principles of justice and human dignity are upheld by all."  Mr. Obama never mentioned many of the other nations going through upheaval across the Arab world, including Yemen, Syria and Bahrain, but left little doubt that his decision to send the United States military into action in Libya was the product of a confluence of particular circumstances and opportunities.  He did not say how the intervention in Libya would end, but said the United States and its allies would seek to drive Colonel Gaddafi from power by means other than military force if necessary.  Speaking for 28 minutes, Mr. Obama addressed a number of audiences. To the American public, he tried to offer reassurance that the United States was not getting involved in another open-ended commitment in a place that few Americans had spent much time thinking about. To the democracy protesters across the Middle East, he vowed that the United States would stand by them, even as he said that "progress will be uneven, and change will come differently in different countries," a partial acknowledgment that complex relations between the United States and different Arab countries may make for different American responses in different countries.  "The United States will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of this change," Mr. Obama said. But, he added, "I believe that this movement of change cannot be turned back, and that we must stand alongside those who believe in the same core principles that have guided us through many storms: our opposition to violence directed against one's own citizens; our support for a set of universal rights, including the freedom for people to express themselves and choose their leaders; our support for governments that are ultimately responsive to the aspirations of the people."  The president's remarks were timed to coincide with the formal handover of control over the Libya campaign to NATO, scheduled for Wednesday. But in the wake of criticism from Congressional representatives from both sides of the aisle that Mr. Obama overstepped his authority in ordering the strikes without first getting Congressional approval -- and the return of lawmakers to Washington after their spring recess -- Mr. Obama had another audience: Congress.  Mr. Obama said that he authorized the military action only "after consulting the bipartisan leadership of Congress," which White House officials have maintained is sufficient for what they have described as a limited military campaign.  Whether his comments will do much to calm the criticism on Capitol Hill remains unclear. Some liberals remain unsettled by the fact of another war in a Muslim country, initiated by a Democratic president who first came to national prominence as an opponent of the Iraq war, even as others backed the use of force to avert a potential massacre.  Some Republicans continued to criticize Mr. Obama for moving too slowly, while another strain of conservative thought argued that the intervention was overreach, a military action without a compelling national interest.  "Since the allied military campaign began in Libya, President Obama's seeming uncertainty about the parameters and details of our engagement has only inspired a similar uncertainty among the American people," Representative Tom Price, Republican of Georgia, said in a statement after the speech. "The president's speech this evening offered very little to diminish those concerns."  From the start, Mr. Obama has been caught between criticism that he did not do enough and that he had done too much. He continued to try to explain some seeming contradictions on Monday evening, including that while the United States wants Colonel Gaddafi out, it would not make his departure a goal of the military action.  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, he said, will attend a meeting in London on Tuesday where the international community will try to come up with a separate plan to pressure Colonel Gaddafi to leave.  "I know that some Americans continue to have questions about our efforts in Libya," Mr. Obama acknowledged. "Gaddafi has not yet stepped down from power, and until he does, Libya will remain dangerous."  But, he said, "if we try to overthrow Gaddafi by force, our coalition would splinter. We would likely have to put U.S. troops on the ground, or risk killing many civilians from the air. The dangers to our men and women in uniform would be far greater. So would the costs and our share of the responsibility for what comes next."  Aaron David Miller, a State Department Middle East peace negotiator during the Clinton administration, said Mr. Obama described a doctrine that, in essence, can be boiled to this: "If we can, if there's a moral case, if we have allies, and if we can transition out and not get stuck, we'll move to help. The Obama doctrine is the 'hedge your bets and make sure you have a way out' doctrine. He learned from Afghanistan and Iraq."  White House officials said the American strikes in Libya did not set a precedent for military action in other Middle East trouble spots. "Obviously there are certain aspirations that are being voiced by each of these movements, but there's no question that each of them is unique," Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough said on Monday. "We don't get very hung up on this question of precedent."  But the question of precedent is one that Mr. Obama is clearly still grappling with. "My fellow Americans, I know that at a time of upheaval overseas -- when the news is filled with conflict and change -- it can be tempting to turn away from the world," he said.  But, his conclusion was ambiguous at best: "Let us look to the future with confidence and hope not only for our own country, but for all those yearning for freedom around the world."

No signs of ceasefire in Libya: UN chief
Before heading to London to attend a conference on Libya, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said that there were no signs of a cease-fire in the North African country where Muammar Gaddafi's forces are battling rebels.  "Despite repeated claims by the Libyan authorities, we continue to see no evidence of a cease-fire, nor any steps by the Libyan authorities to fulfill their obligations under resolutions 1970 and 1973," Ban told the General Assembly yesterday.  "We continue to have serious concerns about the protection of civilians and respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, and we continue to stress the urgent need for humanitarian access," he added.  "For my part, I will continue to engage in wide-ranging diplomatic efforts aimed at a cease-fire and a political solution," Ban told members of the world body.  Ban's special envoy to Libya, former Jordanian foreign minister Abdelilah Al-Khatib, will join him at the London conference, which will be attended by more than 40 countries.  On February 26, the Council slapped sanctions on the Libyan regime including an arms embargo, an asset freeze and travel ban on Gaddafi and his loyalists, and a referral to the Hague-based International Criminal Court.  In March, the Security Council called for an immediate ceasefire, establishing a no-fly zone and authorized "all necessary measures" for protecting civilians in Libya.  India, China, Russia, Brazil and Germany abstained from voting on the resolution, which was co-authored by Britain and France.  The committee to monitor the sanctions against Libya is set to begin work, according to Portuguese Ambassador Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral.  "Broadly speaking, the Committee's tasks include overseeing the arms embargo, travel ban, assets freeze and, ban on flights of Libyan aircraft," he told the Security Council.  Cabral said that the request will be sent to the member-states of the UN to inform the committee about how they are implementing the sanctions.

Singapore and Indian Armies Conduct Armour Exercise
13:40 GMT, March 29, 2011 The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Indian Army conducted the seventh bilateral armour exercise, codenamed Exercise Bold Kurukshetra, from 1 to 29 Mar 2011. Held at the Babina Field Firing Range in central India, more than 700 soldiers from Headquarters 4th Singapore Armoured Brigade, 42nd Battalion, Singapore Armoured Regiment and 38th Battalion, Singapore Combat Engineers, as well as the Indian Army's 34th Armoured Brigade, 12th Mechanised Infantry Regiment and 15th Armoured Regiment, participated in this year's exercise.  During the exercise, the two armies conducted joint planning and training, and executed an integrated live-firing involving the SAF's BIONIX 1 Infantry Fighting Vehicle and Mortar Track Carrier, as well as the Indian Army's BMP-2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle and T-90 Main Battle Tank. Chief Armour Officer, Colonel Benedict Lim and the Indian Army's 21 Corps Commander, Lieutenant-General Sanjiv Langer, witnessed the live-firing and met with the SAF and Indian Army troops as part of their visits to the exercise.  Exercise Bold Kurukshetra is held annually and underscores the warm defence ties between Singapore and India. Aside from joint exercises, the SAF and the Indian Armed Forces also interact regularly through visits, courses, seminars and other professional exchanges.

Infiltration bids by terror outfits in J&K on the rise: Army
New Delhi, Mar 29 (PTI) Infiltration attempts by Pakistan-based terrorist organisations into Jammu and Kashmir increased slightly last year with 500 such bids recorded in 2010 as against 490 in the previous year. "In 2009, the Pakistani terrorist organisations made a total of 490 attempts to cross over to Indian territory whereas 500 were made by them in 2010," Army sources said here today.In these attempts, they said, 120-125 militants were able to sneak into Indian territory. In 2009, only 105 could cross over to our side of the perceived border. The number of militants killed in several encounters with the Army was between 250-255 out of which 120-125 were killed while infiltrating. They further added that the 42 terrorist camps operating in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) are still training militants for anti-India activities. Indian Army is deployed along the Line of Control (LoC) and has its troops positioned in the hinterland also where they have formed a three-tier counter-infiltration grid to tackle militancy. In January this year, Defence Minister A K Antony had also voiced his concern over the rise in infiltration from Pakistan. Giving his assessment of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Antony had said, "Inimical forces across the border are jittery as they saw normalcy returning to Jammu and Kashmir." PTI AD

India’s Geopolitical Future: How Critical Is Naval Power? – Analysis
Down the centuries, the build up of naval power by seafaring nations remained a crucial factor in shaping history and changing the geography of the world. Colonization of third world countries by European nations with a strong maritime tradition is a clear pointer to the significant role played by naval forces in the global power equations. And notwithstanding the mind boggling technological changes that have now brought about a paradigm shift in the way defence forces operate, the importance of a naval force in the current overall strategic scenario of the world cannot be undermined by any stretch of imagination. For a strong and forward looking maritime force equipped with an array of state of the art war fighting equipment is as critical to the geopolitical security of the country as a land-based army supported by a well organized air power.  Not surprisingly then the well known US based geostrategist, Parag Khanna, who is also the founding director of the Global Governance Initiative at the New American Foundation think-tank, noted,”In terms of geopolitics, India’s influence is still very limited…What underpins that is the reality that India is not going to be what initially was thought and hoped it would be a land based continental rival to balance China. Now India is seen as much more of a naval power – overseeing and having a strategic role with respect to the Indian Ocean and the trade routes there. That actually is the geopolitical future of India. It is a very strong future”. India  India  In fact, in the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks engineered by Pakistan-trained terrorists who reached mainland India through the Arabian sea lanes, there has been a growing realization of the need to monitor and protect India’s coastline much the same way as the landlocked border is defended. Clearly and apparently, the long, porous and poorly guarded coastal stretch had for long remained a safe stamping ground of smugglers, drug-runners, arms-traffickers as well as terrorists and criminal gangs. However, the most complex threat to India’s maritime security arises from the Sudanian origin sea brigands expanding their operations to the Arabian Sea region.  In response to this challenge, the Indian navy along with the Coast Guard has stepped up its vigil in the high seas around India to subdue sea pirates who pose a threat to sea trade routes of vital importance. For instance, ‘Operation Island Watch’, launched by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard in March this year resulted in the capture of Somalian pirates operating west of the Lakshadweep Islands after a fierce gun battle. The Indian navy is fully well aware that India’s island territories could become a target of attack by pirate gangs. “The island territories are becoming increasingly vulnerable in view of piracy. There were as many as 14 incidents of piracy near the Minicoy islands in Lakshadweep recently. Uninhabited islands are being monitored,” said Indian Defence Minister AK Antony. There is palpable concern in India’s defence establishment over the shifting of piracy southwards down the east coast of Africa and threatening the island nations of Seychelles, Mauritius and Maldives, all of which could serve as an ideal base to promote terrorist activities.  Against the fast changing global maritime dynamics, the Indian navy has drawn up an ambitious plan to transform itself into a three-dimensional, network-enabled force to take care of Indian “interests and assets” across the high seas of the world. The Indian navy is clear in its perception that futuristic threat would be dynamic and could emanate from multiple sources. The long-term vision of the Indian navy is to position itself as a robust blue-water maritime force capable of responding to situations across the global seas with swiftness and deep strike capability. To this end, the Indian navy is looking at acquiring ‘space assets’ building up network-centric capability. But in terms of conventional weapons, there seems to be quite a few gaps. In particular, the navy should strengthen its fleet of attack aircraft and helicopters along with submarines.  While boosting the strike capability and reach as well as the technological base of the Indian navy, one would need to take into account a variety of factors including the changing orientation of naval warfare and radical transformation in global maritime scenario. Augmenting a naval force is both a cost-intensive and technology-intensive exercise. Perhaps the most striking feature of the ongoing programme for modernization launched by the Indian navy is its thrust on sourcing its requirements through indigenous routes by harnessing the potential of the Indian industry. The Indian navy has already made it clear that its plan for modernization is not China-specific but based on meeting the multiple threats facing India.  In particular, the sea-based nuclear strike capability being put in place by the Indian navy would provide credible second strike capability. Incidentally, the nuclear strike capability based on a submarine platform has the advantages in terms of stealth and survivability in case of a first attack. In the ultimate analysis, the Indian navy is looking at drawing inspiration from India’s rich maritime tradition to position itself as an ocean-based force multiplier capable of defending Indian interests in all its dimensions.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

From Today's Papers - 29 Mar 2011

China’s growing military might A major challenge for India
by Harsh V. Pant  After announcing a mere 7.5 per cent jump in its defence budget, the first time since the 1980s when its defence spending increased in single-digit percentage, China is back to its double-digit defence budget. Beijing has announced that its official defence budget for 2011 will rise by 12.7 per cent from the previous year.  China’s largely secretive military modernisation programme is producing results faster than expected. Beijing is gearing up to challenge the US military prowess in the Pacific. It is refitting a Soviet-era Ukrainian aircraft carrier for deployment next year and more carriers are under construction in Shanghai. China’s submarine fleet is the largest in Asia and is undergoing refurbishment involving nuclear-powered vessels and ballistic missile-equipped subs. Its anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) system, developed specifically to target US carrier strike groups, has reached initial operational capability much earlier than expected. And earlier this year, photographs appeared on Chinese Internet sites of what is apparently China’s first stealth fighter during a runway test in western China.  China has already shown its prowess in anti-satellite warfare and has redeployed its nuclear warheads onto mobile launchers and advanced submarines. In a marked shift in China’s no-first-use policy, Chinese leaders have indicated that they would consider launching pre-emptive strikes if they found the country in a “critical situation”, thereby lowering the threshold of nuclear threats. There is a growing debate in the PLA about whether to discard conditionalities on China’s commitments to no-first use.  China is a rising power with the world’s second largest economy and a growing global footprint. It would like to have a military ready and willing to defend these interests. But it is the opaqueness surrounding China’s military upgradation that is the real source of concern. China does not believe in transparency. In fact, the PLA follows Sun Tzu who argues that “the essence of warfare is creating ambiguity in the perceptions of the enemy.”  China continues to defend its military upgradation by claiming that it needs offensive capability for Taiwan-related emergencies. But clearly its sights are now focused on the US. China wants to limit American ability to project power into the Western Pacific. It wants to prevent a repeat of its humiliation in 1996 when the US aircraft carriers could move around unmolested in the Taiwan Strait and deter Chinese provocations. Not surprisingly, the steady build up of a force with offensive capabilities well beyond Chinese territory is causing consternation in Washington and among China’s neighbours. This comes at a time of Chinese assertiveness on territorial disputes with Japan, India and Southeast Asian countries.  Beijing has started claiming that the bulk of South China Sea constitutes Chinese territorial waters, defining it as a “core national interest,” a phrase previously used in reference to Tibet and Taiwan. This has come as a shock to regional states such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan who also have territorial claims in the sea. This sea passage is too important to be controlled by a single country and that too by one that is located far away from these waters. China would like to extend its territorial waters, which usually run to 12 miles, to include the entire exclusive economic zone, which extends 200 miles. China is challenging the fundamental principle of free navigation. All maritime powers, including India, have a national interest in the freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons and respect for international law in the South China Sea.  American technological prowess and war-fighting experience will ensure that China will not be able to catch up very easily. China is still at least a generation behind the US militarily. But the Pentagon’s most recent assessment of China’s military strategy argues that despite persistent efforts, the US understanding of how much China’s government spends on defence “has not improved measurably.” It is clear now that Beijing is configuring its military to fight the US. China’s focus on anti-access and area denial weapons is designed to prevent the US from operating without fear in the Western Pacific.  At a time when the US is increasingly looking inwards, China’s military rise has the potential to change the regional balance of power to India’s disadvantage. It is not entirely clear that China has well-defined external policy objectives though its means, both economic and military, to pursue policies are greater than at any time in the recent past. Yet, there is no need for India to counter China by matching weapon for weapon or bluster for bluster. India will have to look inwards to prepare for the China challenge. After all, China has not prevented India from pursuing economic reforms and decisive governance, developing its infrastructure and border areas, and from intelligently investing in military capabilities. If India could deal with stoicism the Chinese challenge in 1987, when there was a real border stand-off between the two, there should be less need for alarm today when India is a much stronger nation, economically and militarily. A resurgent India of 2011 needs new reference points to manage its complex relationship with the super power-in-waiting — China.  China’s Global Times had warned last year that “India needs to consider whether or not it can afford the consequences of a potential confrontation with China.” India’s challenge is to raise the stakes high enough so that instead of New Delhi it is Beijing that is forced to consider seriously the consequences of a potential confrontation with India. But it is not clear if the political leadership in New Delhi has the farsightedness to rise to this challenge.  The writer, who teaches at King’s College, London, is the author of “The China Syndrome”.

Singh, Gilani to hold informal talks
Ashok Tuteja Tribune News Service  New Delhi, March 28 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani are likely to hold informal talks in Mohali, where they will reach on Wednesday to witness the India-Pakistan World Cup semi-final match.  Official sources discounted the possibility of the two leaders holding discussions on all outstanding issues which have bedevilled relations between the two countries.  The sources said the idea behind ‘cricket diplomacy’ was to provide an opportunity to the two PMs to meet in a relaxed atmosphere and enjoy the game, which could help reduce tension between the two nations.Gilani, however, has no plans to come to Delhi and will be reaching straight to Chandigarh, the sources said. He will be accompanied by the Senate Chairman, some parliamentarians and top aides. Besides, some media personnel will also be part of the nearly 50-strong Pakistani delegation.  The Indian PM will also be accompanied to Mohali by a few ministers and top officials, including National Security Adviser Shivshanker Menon. Indications are that Gilani will head straight to the PCA Stadium at Mohali on his arrival to watch the match. Singh will be hosting a dinner in honour of Gilani at the stadium itself.  Asked if the Pakistan Premier would return to Pakistan after the match, the sources said his programme was still being finalised. “Everything is in a flux…we should be in a position to give some concrete details by tomorrow,’’ they added. The Congress party, meanwhile, made it clear that Singh’s invitation to Gilani did not in anyway mean any compromise by New Delhi on the issue of cross-border terrorism.  Party spokesman Manish Tewari said the PM’s overture was reflective of India's "holistic" approach towards friendly relations with the neighbouring country and it did not mean any compromise on the issue of terrorism.  Pakistan media reports quoted Gilani as telling his Cabinet colleagues that he accepted Singh’s invitation in national interest. He said it was also a timely opportunity for the two governments to show the world that the two nations could play together and sit and deliberate together on issues of national importance.

India, Pak secy-level talks positive
Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service  New Delhi, March 28 Some 28 months after the ghastly November 2008 Mumbai attacks, India and Pakistan today re-started the dialogue process at the secretary-level at a conference hall that was christened “Friendship Room”. The venue was a grand five-star hotel in South Delhi where and the home secretaries of India and Pakistan, GK Pillai and Chaudhary Qamar Zaman, respectively, accompanied by a bevy of officials and top security officers started the two-day talks on a wide range of issues.  Expectedly, the five-hour session on the first day of the dialogue centred around the Mumbai attacks. It was after these attacks that the dialogue was suspended in 2008. Emerging from the meeting both sides mouthed one-liners about being “positive” and termed the progress as going “in the right direction”. A joint statement is expected tomorrow. The Pakistan Home Secretary is slated to fly out to Agra after the talks to visit the iconic Taj Mahal once the talks are over.  Sources said India asked Pakistan for voice samples of the suspected Mumbai terror attack plotters believed to be in Pakistan. The neighbouring country will have to challenge a court ruling that prevented it from sharing voice samples of those being prosecuted for the attacks.  India has been demanding voice samples of seven Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists - including top leader Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, Abu al-Qama and Zarar Shah - suspected to have masterminded the Mumbai carnage that killed 166 people. Indian investigators want to match the voice samples with taped telephone calls between the 10 terrorists who unleashed the Mumbai mayhem and their Pakistani handlers. “Talks were extremely positive. Progress was made in certain direction and in the right direction,” Indian Home Secretary G K Pillai told reporters at the end of the first day. Last July, Pakistan had blamed Pillai for the collapse of the Indo-Pak talks when the foreign ministers of the two countries had met in Islamabad.  Zaman, who is leading a 12-member delegation, also said talks were "very positive". “We have another day for the talks to follow through”, he said while adding that he would not go into the specifics. “But I can tell you with good amount of certainty that its been a very positive attitude displayed on both sides and I am really confident about tomorrow's proceedings also,” Zaman said.

Indian army organises Human Rights Camp in Doda
AS PART of the awareness drive related to Human Rights, the Indian army organized a day-long Camp for the villagers of Bhart and Udianpur blocks, on 26 Mar 2011 at Village Bagla under the aegis of its village committee with the aim of spreading the message “Army for Human Rights”.   The Camp was also supported by local NGO's working in Human Rights field.    The focus of the HR camp was primarily to educate villagers about the exact idea of Human Rights, which is right to life, right to freedom, right to no torture, right to  education and right to equality amongst others.    Other aspects covered were Human and Fundamental Rights as guaranteed by the constitution of India, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Articles under it and action we can take on violation of any of these Rights.   The Army has played a key role in ensuring the Human Rights of people by bringing in peace and harmony, there by paving way for the unhindered developmental activities and emphasis on issues like health care, education and employment.   The conducting RR Unit has also established a Human Rights Cell named “Khuda Ke Bande HR Cell” at their Battalion HQ at Arnora, Ghat in Dist Doda and established a SAATHI telephone helpline @ 9419169094, where people can call 24 x 7 regarding reporting any violations of Human Rights, RTI related issues, guidance regarding education or scholarship schemes for children, career counselling for youth, guidance for recruitment in the Army / Police and for participating in the Army's efforts towards development of the area.   By organising this camp Army has given a clear message to people that they are working as the saviours of their Human Rights rather than violating it.   A total of appox 800 people attended the Human Rights Camp, which was followed by a Medical Aid Camp conducted with the help of both military as well as volunteer civilian doctors. Availability of lady doctors proved to be of great use for most of the women staying in the remote areas, who rarely get opportunity to visit doctors for medical assistance.    The Addl DC Mr A.R.Natnoo was present at the Camp to note the problems and suggestions of the people, first hand. The camp received a very positive response both from the local populace and the civil administration.     People were all praises for the awareness drive started by the Rashtriya Rifles Battalion.

India army building luxury golf courses: auditor 
(AFP) – 18 hours ago  NEW DELHI — The Indian army has developed a sideline in running golf courses using government land but returning no revenue to the state, the nation's auditor claims in a damning new report.  The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) found that at least 32 square kilometres (12 square miles) of rent-free land had been handed to a privately-run company, Army Zone Golf, which operates 97 luxury golf courses.  The defence ministry is the largest state landowner, holding 80 percent of the 7,000 square kilometres of government land, much of it now prime real estate, according to the CAG report released Friday.  Golf memberships are being sold to present and past service personnel as well as civilians and foreign nationals, the report said, with revenue credited to a private regimental fund which could not be accessed by the auditors.  Army authorities "earn large amounts of revenue by allowing persons other than service personnel to use these facilities," the report said.  "Heavy amounts of revenues were being earned without paying any lease rent and allied charges for use of government assets," it added.  The CAG's account of the misuse of public land will add to growing worries about the military's slide into corruption following a string of recent scandals.  In January, the government ordered a 31-storey apartment block in Mumbai to be demolished after it emerged army officers and local politicians had usurped apartments originally meant for war widows.  Army Zone Golf claims to promote the sport in the armed services and runs "some of the most spectacular golf courses of India," according to its website. No one at the company responded to calls for comment from AFP.  The company's organising council includes several retired army officers, and was once headed by Joginder Jaswant Singh, former army chief of staff and now the governor of the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.  The CAG has been instrumental in exposing mismanagement and possible fraud in the sale of telecom licences in 2008 which it said had led to a loss to the state of up to 39 billion dollars.  The telecom minister at the time, A. Raja, has since been arrested and awaits trial.

Pakistan Centric: ‘The Indian Army’ – Analysis
 Written by: Masood-Ur-Rehman Khattak Bookmark and Share  India has always claimed that the Indian army is “China Centric” and its military transformation is not against Pakistan. But ground reality is quite different from the Indian military’s claims. This article will focus on three main issues, first the Indian military’s formation and deployment against Pakistan, secondly the Indian military’s Pakistan focused arms acquisition and thirdly the Indian military’s aggressive doctrines and strategies against Pakistan.  The Indian Army is divided into six operational commands. 1. Northern Command- Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir. 2- Southern Command- Pune, Maharashtra, 3- Eastern Command Kolkata-West Bengal, 4- Western Command- Chandimandir, 5- Southwestern Command- Jaipur, Rajasthan, 6- Central Command- Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.  Out of these six commands, three are Pakistan centric. Firstly, the Northern Command, which is headquartered at Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir. It possess three Corps under its command, which are XIV Corps, headquartered at Leh, Jammu and Kashmir, XV Corps, headquartered at Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir and XVI Corps, headquartered at Nagrota, Jammu and Kashmir.  The Second command, which is focused on Pakistan is the “Southern Command”, is Headquartered at Pune, Maharashtra and responsible for border areas of Rajasthan. It possesses XII Corps, which is headquartered at Jodhpur, Rajasthan close to the border with Pakistan. It is equipped with Armour brigade and Mechanised brigade along with two infantry divisions for swift and quick thrusts into Pakistan.  The third command which is focused on Pakistan is the Western Command,  headquartered at Chandimandir, Indian Punjab. This is the most important Indian command as far as Pakistan is concerned. This command holds extensive strike power. There are four Corps under this command and includes, the II-Corps, X Corps, IX Corps, and XI Corps.  II-Corps is the most important of the Indian Army’s three strike formations. Initially it was tasked to cut across the Cholistan desert towards Jacobabad cutting Pakistan in two. But after the induction of nuclear weapons in south Asia, its role has been transformed; now it will support Indian army’s proactive military operations to carry out swift and quick limited assaults against Pakistan.  This Corps (II-Corps) holds almost 50 per cent of the Indian army’s strike capabilities. It is responsible for guarding the borders till Ganganagar. II-Corps is a strike force that includes an armoured division, which is capable of intruding deep into enemy territory. Its Armoured Division is located at Patiala; it has also placed Reorganised Army’s Plains Infantry Division (RAPID) located at Dehradun. India Army (Click on image to enlarge)  India Army (Click on image to enlarge)  The Indian Army has four RAPID (Reorganized Army Plains Infantry Division) formations each consisting of two infantry brigades, one mechanised brigade with brigade-sized mechanised assets, one artillery brigade, one recon & support battalion, one engineer regiment, one signals regiment and vastly improved surveillance with target acquisition equipment and dedicated aviation units. RAPID formations are attached to the Holding Corps in Punjab and Rajasthan and provide these essentially defensive formations with an extremely flexible unit that dramatically enhances their ability to withstand offensive operations against Pakistan. All these capabilities shows that most of the Indian strike formations are focused on Pakistan – not China.  X Corps which is headquartered at Bhatinda, Punjab also comes under the Western Command; this Corps also possesses adequate strike power including an Infantry Division two RAPID, an Independent Armoured brigade, an Independent, an Air defence brigade and an Engineering Brigade. Due to its proximity with Pakistani Punjab, this Corps is also considered to be Pakistan focused.  IX Corps, headquartered at Yol, Himachal Pradesh also comes under Western Command. This Corps also posses plenty of strike forces including two Infantry Divisions, and three Independent Armoured brigades, giving enough fire power to launch quick assault against Pakistan within short span of time.  XI Corps, headquartered at Jalandhar, Punjab is also part of Western Command. This Corps is also Pakistan centric, because of the propinquity with Pakistan. This Corps possesses enough fire power to launch a quick, swift and sudden attack giving no response time to Pakistan army. This Corps is armed with three infantry divisions, one armoured brigade and Mechanised brigade for rapid intrusion inside Pakistani territory.  In 2005 Vajra Shakti Exercise, India brought flexibility in its Holding corps. These holding Corps were designated as Pivot Corps. Pivot Corps can initiate offensive if required in the battlefield. According to the then Chief of Army Staff, Gen J J Singh, ‘‘They (Pivot Corps) have assigned roles, which are offensive as well as defensive and the doctrine does not spell them out in detail. The decision making has been left to theatre commanders, depending upon their assessment and evaluation of the situation. Purpose of these Corps was to give an offensive punch to its Defensive Corps for any rapid assault against Pakistan.  After the brief assessment of the Indian army’s deployment patterns, we can assess that most of the Indian Army is deployed against Pakistan. Such a deployment has compelled Pakistan to adopt counter measures and devote most of its resources at Eastern border to avoid any coercion by the Indian Army. The next paragraphs of the article will assess the Indian military’s Pakistan focused arms acquisition and its impact on Pakistan.  In last five years the Indian military has brought dramatic transformation in its weapon and equipment. In 2004 Indian army introduced LORROS- Long Range Reconnaissance and Observation System. This is a high quality, remotely controlled; observation system designed for medium and long range surveillance. India has already utilised this system in Indian Held Kashmir-(IHK) against Mujahideen, and it has also used this system against the Pakistan Army to keep a constant check on the deployment and movement Pak-Army at the LoC. Its main aim is to provide border surveillance, Intelligence gathering, Reconnaissance, Artillery spotting & target acquisition.  The Indian Army has also introduced Weapon Locating Radar (WLR). WLR is mobile artillery locating Phased array radar developed by India. This counter-battery radar is designed to detect and track incoming artillery and rocket fire to determine the point of origin for Counter-battery fire. India practiced this radar in the 2009 military exercises. In the same year the Indian army introduced Battle Field Surveillance Radar- Short Range (BFSR-SR). This is a man portable 2D short range Battle Field and Perimeter Surveillance Radar developed by the Indian Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Both these Radars are Pakistan specific and were practiced in 2009 military exercises, closed to the border with Pakistan – which shows Indian military’s Pakistan centric approach. India has also extensively practiced Network Centric and electronic warfare capabilities in the last few years.  It is necessary for the Indian Military to acquire latest fighter jets along with fast mobility latest Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), because any rapid assault (against Pakistan), would require mechanized armour and latest fighter jets to carry out swift, quick, day and night operations with lightening speed. India in last five years has added 82 Sukhoi-30 MKI fighters and 300 T-90 tanks from Russia, and A-50/Phalcon Airborne Early Warning (AEW) system from Israel and Russia. By 2015, India would be able to have 272 SU-30 fighter Jets in its air force and approximately 1000 T-90 tanks by 2020. Such a huge air force and Mechanised force is mainly for Pakistan, because of the geographical compulsions. India cannot use its tanks and other Mechanized forces against China because of the rugged mountainous terrain. So as far Indian arms acquisition is concerned it is mainly to coerce Pakistan and establish its regional hegemony in the subcontinent. The next part of the article would briefly assess the Indian military’s aggressive doctrine and its impact on Pakistan.  Initially Indian Military’s doctrine (Sunder Ji Doctrine) was aimed to dissect Pakistan in two parts but after the nuclearisation of the region and threat of nuclear retaliation by Pakistan, India brought change in its military doctrine and introduced Cold Start Doctrine in 2004. This doctrine is aimed against Pakistan and urges Indian military to carry out quick and swift operations against Pakistan within 72-96 hours and give no response time to Pakistan Military. To operationalise this doctrine Indian military would require Network Centric Warfare (NCW) and Electronic Warfare (EW) capabilities in its Army and air force with robust command and control at its core. Synergy and integration between the Indian forces would be essential elements of this Doctrine. To operationalise this doctrine the Indian military has carried out almost 10 major exercises in last six years close to the border with Pakistan. it has practiced all those elements which are required for Cold Start based operations. Because of this doctrine deterrence in South Asia is in danger because of the rapid militarization and operationalisation of Cold Start Doctrine. It has the potential not only to operationalise Indian military doctrine on the basis of pre-emption but can also trigger a nuclear conflict.  Most of the Indian army is deployed against Pakistan, which shows that Indian army is Pakistan centric. India is improving its ties with China and it is a possibility that their mutual trade may cross 100 billion dollars mark in next few years. Recently India and China have also carried out joint military exercises which show, they are improving their bilateral relationship at a rapid pace and it would be unwise to expect any clash between China and India in the foreseeable future. But with Pakistan, India is in a constant clash over many issues starting from Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Water distribution and terrorism. It is a possibility that India may launch a limited war (under the nuclear umbrella) against Pakistan to intimidate Pakistan economically and militarily. In such a scenario it would be difficult to assess Pakistan’s response. Any provocation against Pakistan, may lead to nuclear exchange. It is imperative for the Indian strategic thinkers to think wisely and forget the approach of “immediate neighbour as an enemy” and work for the peace and development of the region. Pakistan centric military build up will not benefit either party. The Indian Military must take concrete steps to build confidence with its small neighbours, only then we can expect long term peace and stability in South Asia.


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