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Thursday, 9 June 2011

From Today's Papers - 09 Jun 2011

Adarsh Land ownership Maharashtra Govt, MoD at loggerheads
Shiv Kumar/TNS  Mumbai, June 8 The stage is set for a legal battle between the Maharashtra government and the Defence Ministry over ownership of the plot of land on which the controversial Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society stands. The Maharashtra government has already submitted before the Bombay High Court that the plot on which the building stands belongs to it.  The Collector of Mumbai City had earlier filed an affidavit stating that the plot of land belonged to the Maharashtra government. In land survey records the property identified as Number 87-C, Block Number VI, located at Prakash Pethe Marg, Backbay Reclamation measures 3,758 sq m. A similar affidavit was filed by former CM Sushil Kumar Shinde who was one of the leaders who cleared construction of the Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society.  This has however been contested by the Army through the Defence Ministry which claims that the plot was transferred to it in the 1950s and on which a park known as Kukhri Park was constructed some years later.  The Army has decided to start legal proceedings challenging the stand of the state government. Sources said Defence Minister AK Antony has already given the go-ahead to the Army in this regard. Sources said as per procedure, counsel for the Army will file a title suit before the Small Causes Court claiming ownership of the plot of land on which Adarsh Society stands. Reports also said the defence secretary could issue a notification to acquire the property in a bid to avert to legal proceedings.

Warship INS Kabra joins Navy
Kochi, June 8 India's latest warship "INS Kabra" was today commissioned at the naval base here by Vice-Admiral KN Sushil, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command.  Speaking on the occasion, the Vice-Admiral stressed the importance of relatively smaller ships like Fast Attack Crafts for a blue water Navy, pointing that these were essential inventory for low-intensity conflicts and anti-piracy operations.  The ship is named after an island in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago.  Rear-Admiral KC Shekhar, chairman and managing director, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata, said INS Kabra was a cost-effective and fuel-efficient platform.  INS Kabra is the eighth of a series built at GRSE.  With a top speed of over 35 knots and manoeuvrability offered by her water-jet propulsion, the ship was ideally suited for high-speed interdiction of fast-moving targets and useful in search-and-rescue operations, he added.  INS Kabra complies with the latest regulations of the International Maritime Organisation on sea pollution control.  The main armament of the ships is an indigenous 30 mm CRN-91 gun, along with an optical sight manufactured by Ordnance Factory Medak and Bharat Electronics Limited, Chennai. It has an overall length of 49m, beam of 7.5m and a standard displacement of 320 tonnes.  The ship has a crew of three officers and 39 sailors. ― PTI

Pakistan's miscalculations
China not helping in countering US pressure by G. Parthasarathy  American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's assertion that "the US had absolutely no evidence" that "anyone in the highest levels of the Pakistan government" knew that Osama bin Laden was hiding less than a kilometre away from the Pakistan Military Academy in Abbottabad is not surprising. Despite substantive evidence to the contrary, the Americans had earlier asserted for over a decade that they had no evidence that Gen Zia-ul-Haq was acquiring nuclear weapons, as they needed his cooperation to "bleed" the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. They are today adopting the same approach in addressing what the whole world knows about the ISI complicity in global terrorism, because they fondly hope that General Kayani and General Shuja Pasha will cooperate in eliminating terrorism in Afghanistan. While this statement giving the Pakistani military some room to save its face was welcomed with relief in Rawalpindi, there were also admonishments delivered, which Pakistan's military cannot ignore.  A grim-faced Secretary of State reportedly warned her Pakistani interlocutors, including President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani and General Kayani that "There can be no peace, no stability, no democracy, no future, for Pakistan, unless the violent extremists are removed." She warned that "in solving its problems, Pakistan should understand that anti-Americanism and conspiracy theories will not make Pakistan's problems disappear". She stated that she had told the Pakistani leadership that they will have to take "very specific actions", warning that the US would act unilaterally if the Pakistanis balked.  The "specific actions" she alluded to were immediate operations to eliminate Al-Qaida leaders Ayman al-Zawahiri and its military commander, Libyan terrorist Afsya Abdel Rehman. The other two against whom "immediate action" was demanded was Taliban military commander  Sirajuddin Haqqani and long-term ISI asset and terrorist leader Ilyas Kashmiri, since reportedly killed in South Waziristan in an American Drone attack.  Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar, who has enjoyed ISI support while residing principally in ISI safe houses in Quetta since he fled from Kandahar in 2001, falls into a special category. He has been designated as being wanted in order to determine "whether he can be part of a political reconciliation in Afghanistan". Pakistan's assistance has been sought to facilitate this effort. Mrs Clinton specifically alluded to a Pakistani role in carrying forward the process of "reconciliation" in Afghanistan.  The Americans have established direct and indirect contacts with Taliban leaders close to Mullah Omar and expect Pakistan to facilitate this process. But whether Mullah Omar will accept American requirements of his abiding by the Afghan constitution and renouncing violence and links with Al-Qaida and its affiliates is doubtful.   Significantly, Lashkar-e-Toiba leader Hafiz Mohammed Saeed is not a high priority target for the Americans. The omission of Hafiz Saeed has serious implications for India, as it sends a signal to the ISI that India-centric terrorist groups are not of primary importance to the US despite the assertion by Janet Napolitano in New Delhi, equating the dangers posed by Al-Qaida and the Lashkar.  Pakistan appears to have seriously miscalculated in its belief that advocacy of a closer Sino-Pakistan alliance to undermine US strategies in its neighbourhood will be welcomed by Beijing.  American annoyance on this score was evidently conveyed to the Chinese during the bilateral strategic dialogue in Washington on May 9-10 when President Obama received a highly publicised telephone call from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the Abbottabad operation.   The fallout was almost immediate, when Prime Minister Gilani visited Beijing on May 16. While the Chinese were willing to pander to Pakistan's quest for "parity" with India, by agreeing to expedite the delivery of 50 JF-17 fighter aircraft and launch a satellite manufactured in Pakistan, they are also reported to have advised Gilani to "remove irritants" in relations with Washington and New Delhi. At the same time a Pakistani proposal that China should induct the JF-17 in its own air force and agree to its export by Pakistan appears to have been rejected.  Perhaps the biggest setback for Pakistan in its efforts to demonstrate to the Americans that China would step in to bail them out in the face of US assertiveness was China's rejection of Pakistan's proposal that it should immediately take over the management of the strategic Gwadar Port, located near the entrance to the Persian Gulf. The Chinese made it clear that they could consider this offer only after Pakistan's existing contract (valid till 2047) with the Singapore Ports Authority expired.  In a more direct snub to Pakistan, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu categorically rejected an assertion by Pakistan's Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar that he had asked China to build a naval base in Gwadar. Jiang stated that she had not heard of any such proposal being made during Gilani's visit. Clearly, the Chinese are in no mood to give credence to American allegations that China's growing naval expansion is fuelling concerns across the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.  President Zardari fared no better than his Prime Minister during his visit to Moscow on May 11-13. President Medvedev and his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov welcomed and lauded the American operation in Abbottabad as morally and internationally justifiable. What the Pakistanis seem to have failed to recognise is that while the Russians do have concerns about a US presence in Central Asia, they are also providing logistical support for the American presence in Afghanistan and making military supplies available to the embattled Karzai regime.  Interestingly, despite its close relations with Moscow, the Kazakhstan Parliament approved a proposal on May 19 to deploy armed forces in Afghanistan to join NATO forces there. More importantly, Nikolai Bordyuzha, the Russian Secretary-General of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (comprising Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) stated that foreign troops needed to stay on, with the Editor of Russia's influential Global Times asserting that Russia and the neighbouring countries were not interested in a hasty withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.  The elimination of Osama bin Laden has increased calls within the US for an early withdrawal from Afghanistan at a time when the Obama Administration is hoping, somewhat unrealistically, that it can get Pakistan to persuade the Taliban to lay down arms and embrace the virtues of democratic pluralism! India should realistically recognise that the Americans are not going to use their time and effort to eliminate India-centric groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba. The American end-game in Afghanistan is just starting, and we need to be proactive in anticipating the forthcoming challenges, countering motivated propaganda and seizing diplomatic opportunities.

China preparing to take over Gilgit-Baltistan, warns think tank
Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service  New Delhi, June 8 India's leading strategic affairs think tank has recommended a change of 'discourse' on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and suggests a multi-pronged approach to counter Pakistan. Besides, it is of the view that the growing influence of China in the region too needs to be tackled.  The Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in a study "PoK: Changing the discourse" released last week warns against China's growing designs in the vital Gilgit-Baltistan area that borders the Kargil-Drass region of India. "If the current pace of Chinese penetration is sustained then China may completely take over Gilgit-Baltistan by the year 2020", says the study. The study had a sharp focus on the mountainous region of Gilgit-Baltistan.  Explaining the Chinese interest, it says the Gilgit-Baltistan region is contiguous to China's Xinjiang province where Muslim separatist feelings are strong. Therefore, China seems to be preparing to take over control over Gilgit-Baltistan, should the central authority in Pakistan becomes ineffective. "China has a strategic intent to dominate PoK in general and Gilgit-Baltistan in particular", the 54-page study report says, while adding that Pakistan has ignored the resentment of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan against the increasing Chinese penetration into their area.  There is a suspicion that the Sunni majority state of Pakistan along with China may exterminate the Shia minority in Gilgit-Baltistan in order to silence all opposition.  According to one of the recommendations, "A message needs to be conveyed to China telling it that its role in PoK is totally unjustified in line with China's stand that Kashmir is a 'disputed territory'. China should be made to explain as to why it is engaging itself in developmental works in a region, that is claimed by India, without its consent". The IDSA opines that the International community is waiting for India's response to the presence of Chinese troops in Gilgit-Baltistan.  Suggesting an approach towards Pakistan, the IDSA study says: "There was greater need for India to take a more proactive approach on PoK, not only because it is a part of its territory but because of the high strategic stakes." India should openly claim PoK in international fora. Also mentioned is how the discourse on autonomy in J&K needs to be dove-tailed in the context of what is taking place across the LoC in PoK. The study highlights how in PoK the term 'Azadi' does not go beyond the name 'Azad Kashmir'.  The IDSA wants that the Indian government should provide scholarships to students from PoK and engage them in including the diaspora, especially those based in the West, in discussions. "Special documents should be issued to PoK residents. They may be allowed to visit India after a proper check of their antecedents. India must engage with the new emerging political leadership in PoK which is disillusioned with Pakistan's approach".  The IDSA had also conducted a round table in August last year on the subject by inviting global experts. IDSA started its research project in October 2009. It tracks developments in PoK and conducts in-depth research on the region. 

China's Grand Periphery Military Strategy And The Survival Fits
'Grand Periphery Military Strategy' (da zhoubian guojia junshi zhanlue) is the new cliché in vogue in the lexicon of Chinese think tanks. It appeared first, in a story in a Hong Kong based Chinese vernacular daily Ta Kung Pao on September 24, 2009 that doubted the capabilities of the People's Liberation Army to defend its 'far flung borders'.[i] The views were subsequently echoed elsewhere including another prominent Hong Kong based vernacular daily Jing Bao in its despatch on January 29, 2010. As it could impinge on geopolitics of a number of countries in China's periphery including India, it calls for due academic understanding.  The concept strikingly received doctrinaire fillip three months late in April 2010in a paper of Chen Xiangyang, an associate researcher at the Chinese Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR). He spelled out the dynamics and espoused the imperatives of the strategy for China in the face of fast changing geopolitics in Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Northeast Asia. This thereafter found ready audience in a section of both serving and retired People's Liberation Army (PLA) brass, including the deputies to the just concluded annual conclave of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, notably Rear Admiral Yin Zhou and Major General Luo Yuan, with a difference.[ii] China's J20  China's J20?  Some of the China watchers, including Christina Lin look at the Chinese move to expand the high speed rail networks, and equipping over 1000 railway stations with military transportation facilities as a step forward in the direction.[iii] The analysts tend to link up the involvement of PLA General Logistics Department (GLD) in the design, planning and operations in strategically located railway projects as a testimony. Nonetheless, the PLA decision to take to Shanghai-Nanjing Express train to transport back military contingents to barracks in November 2010 has been hailed as a pilot run towards the military goal of rapid deployment in hours of need.  Adherence to 'grand peripheral strategy' in China's case, ipso facto, would mean proactive military actions along several theatres, including maritime border countries. However fast and secure rail communications, already built in Tibet and put on the drawing board to connect to Nepal, and for that matter, the future plans to expand the networks to other country locations in its periphery will have limited end operational bearings for a variety of reasons.[iv]  It would still call for doctrinal reforms in its approach, which can come only at a substantially high costs in the multipolar world of tomorrow. As China presently stands on the right side of the changing international power balance, a frea unilateral military option can not be completely ruled out.  The paper explores the dynamics of China's craving for 'Grand Periphery' strategy', and delves into plausible contours of its strategic bearings. As an heir of a distinct strategic culture, built assiduously on the conceptual edifice of Shi, putatively an approach to turn the strategic configuration of power to ones side, the Chinese elites are least likely to speak out of turn. It is thus, postulated that media articulation on the issue as such constituted China's 'strategic deception' (Zhanlue Zhali) to hoodwink the world at large, much in tandem with Sun Zi's strategic edict bing yi zha li (war is based on deception), and something that the folk tales of Zhuge Liang goes to speak about China's strategic culture.[v]  Official silence, including conspicuous absence of the concept in the just published White Paper, "China's National Defence in 2010", can not be any different either. Every time China has acquired a measure of economic and military muscle, it has revised its doctrine. The media adulations of the concept, as such, could be assumed as a concomitant but planned, outcome of China's surge on international scene, both as a reckonable economic and military power.  Schematically, the paper focuses on: Doctrinaire Roots and Elbow of the Approach; Fault Lines in the Evolving Strategic Disposition; and, the Vulnerability and Survival Fits against the Chinese Adventure. The assumptions of the study include: the changed phenomenon in China's strategic disposition from defensive to offensive as a product of China's growing stature in economic and military might; the Chinese decision makers are cognizant of the fault lines and hence, the media articulations underway largely lacks teeth in the final go which the peripheral countries can not afford to be sanguine..  Doctrinaire Roots and Elbow of the Approach  Successive generations of Chinese leadership including Hu Jintao is credited for upholding in age old parabellum strategic culture with a difference, where the concept of Quan Bian (absolute flexibility) constitute a key decision axiom.[vi] It is meticulously grooved in the fundamentals of the concept of Shi (strategic advantage), which gives Chinese leadership a measure of leeway in strategic positioning with regard to time, place, and correlation of forces and deception to magnify limited resources and deter enemies from taking to adventure either by way of military attacks or ideological subversion. [vii] It draws on Sun Zi's maxim of 'war as vital function of state'.  As the study of Michael D. Swaine and Ashley J. Tellis bears out, China has gone for use of aggressive coercive and/or pacifist non-coercive measures, either to secure Chinese heartland against foreign invasion or annex peripheral country all through its imperial and modern epoch in full calculation of its comparative advantages.[viii] Expansion and contraction of control and influence over its extended boundary and periphery has constantly been a function of rise and fall in its China's comprehensive national power (CNP). It has historically used military force while in strong position to establish relations of deference towards China, to absorb nearby areas and to deter or end attacks from the near and/ or distant periphery.[ix]  Strategic culture produces tendencies or creates predispositions. It has thus a discernible role in developing attitudes and shaping behavior. This is why China under nationalist (Kuomintang) or communist (Gongchangdang) rule has been no different on the issue. Though with limited success, during 1911-35 epochs, China under the nationalist rule launched military campaigns in Tibet, Xinjiang and Mongolia to create strong buffers against the British and Russian powers in the periphery. As against all social, cultural, linguistic and historical factors in vogue, the nationalists blatantly took pretext of suzerainty and/or limited control of the last Qing emperor to justify the adventure. In 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, under the communist reign again, China has gone to undertake similar campaigns in its periphery with a variety of military and political objectives, ranging from formal incorporation of peripheral region that had taken place during the Qing and early Republican periods to invade other sovereign powers such as India and Vietnam. Differences, whatsoever, can be seen in the case of policy which is a function of an array of factors including technology. China's successive quest for doctrinal reform in military strategy (Junshi Zhanlüe) in the past six and odd decades testifies to this hypothesis.[x]  While integral to China's strategic thinking, the doctrinal sheath of China's 'peripheral strategy' has been shedding opaqueness at a gradual but slow pace. This can be again a studied move in the context of Chinese leadership, embedded to their strategic past, expressed in two metaphors, the Great Wall (chang cheng) and the Empty Fortress (kong yanwuting), the symbols of an intermix of weaknesses and strength. There have been discernible shifts and swings in the connotations of key concepts in doctrinaire writings of Chinese think tanks at all the four levels strategic contemplations- the military thought (junshi sixiang), military strategy (junshi zhanlue), military campaign (junshi Zhanyi) and military tactics (junshi zhanshu).  For long until 1985, the Central Military Commission (CMC) resolutions that endorsed Deng Xiaoping's stand on the 'local wars' (jubu zhanzheng) as against total war (quanbu zhanzheng), the Chinese think tanks did not speculate beyond the precepts of People's War (renmin zhanzheng) and Active Defence (jiji fangyu). There was perhaps no alternative either. China's subsistence economy must not have afforded in equipping 2.8 million strong People's Liberation Army (PLA) properly.[xi]  People's war strategy just called for broad based people's support and three stage strategy of protracted warfare (chijiuzhan) with guerilla warfare (youji zhanzheng) as the mainstay.[xii]  Mao Zedong defined Active Defence in contrast to passive defence. In operational setting, it stood for seizing initiative of first strike. While intrinsically 'offensive in substance', the Chinese approach to war thus, measured 'defensive in form'. Drawing on Sun Zi's strategic palliative of 'strong-weak' state calculation, the strategy enabled China to make a virtue of its necessity. All Chinese military campaigns in the past, including Sino-Indian War of 1962 theoretically stand ground to this set of periphery strategy.  The changed phenomenon, carrying seeds and sprouts of relative transparency in words and deeds, is a product of hard debate in face of an array of developments, though within the four walls of set national military objectives.[xiii]  The Science of Military Strategy (zhanluexue), brought by the Academy of Military Science (AMS) in 1987, offered a limited approach to strategy of 'local wars' with offensive intent and purpose, based on people's War under modern conditions, using positional and mobile warfare along with combined arms operations to counter plausible Soviet invasion.  The 1999 volume of the Science of Military Strategy, by contrast, outlined a broader approach to strategy based on preparing to fight a range of 'local wars under modern high-tech conditions' (gaojishu tiaojian xia jubu zhanzheng) that vary in objectives, intensity and lethality. Two other works of the year, one by Gen. Zhang Wannian and the other by Gen. Ma Baoan under the captions Contemporary World Military Affairs and China's National Defense (Dangdai Shijie Junshi Yu Zhongguo Guofang) and Strategic Theory Study Guide (Zhanlüe lilun xuexi zhinan) respectively added technological dimension to the thesis. The critique of the 1991 Gulf and 1999 Kosovo Wars rather served as the living justification. The rhetoric of US promoting 'python strategy' and reaping the best of two worlds in selective use of "Monroe Doctrine," the "Open Door" policy, and the "Truman Doctrine' served as a teacher by negative example in goal setting for the strategy. Study Guide for Strategic Theory (Zhanlüe Lilun Xuexi Zhinan), brought out by the Chinese National Defence University in 2002, contains firmed up stance of the Chinese think-tanks on the nature and character the concept of 'local wars under modern high-tech conditions'.  Fault Lines in Offensive Strategic Disposition  Paradigm shifts in China's doctrinaire approach to war runs along the startling changes in the institutional capacity and operational capabilities of the Chinese war machines. All this has come about with a change in China's threat perception. Break up of Soviet Union reduced the casus belli of a total war to a point of nullity. There were yet scores of flash points. It forced Chinese leaders and military planners to think of inevitability of 'local wars'. Nonetheless, the speed and lethality of the Gulf war got Chinese strategists to think of 'local wars under modern conditions'.  Track change in China's strategic disposition while a reality, the decision matrix of 'offensive'-'defensive military option in respect of either of the periphery countries including India can not be straight and simple for the Chinese decision makers. Proponents of politico-military 'offence-defence theory' (ODT), in particular Stephen Van Evera, Geroge H. Quester, Thomas J. Christensen, Keir A. Lieber and Jack Snyder, offer invaluable insights, though with varying thrust on technology and strategy respectively independent and dependent variables.[xiv] They talk of Offensive-Defensive Balance' (ODB) as the prime determinant of decisions. Among the contemporary Chinese military writers, Xu Jin and Tang Shiping tend to uphold the preeminence of ODB factor in strategic field decisions of either offensive or defensive disposition.[xv] The predictive strength of the theory while not absolute, the changes in China's ODB in comparative perspective of one or the other periphery country including India can stand stead as veritable indicator of China's defensive and/ or offensive strategic disposition.  Drawing on the constructs of 'defensive realism', it is hard to imagine that the Chinese leadership and military planners would ever hold offensive strategic disposition while the ODB was tipped in favour of defence of the national interests.[xvi] Preemptive strikes as part of offensive strategic disposition had the potential of draining out China's military, economic and diplomatic resources without tangible gains. It can better live with politico-military smoke screen of mighty military power until comparative technological advancement comes to give a fillip to its offensive advantages. This is with a caveat that the adherents of John J. Mearsheimer's theory of 'offensive realism' among the Chinese academics do not get an upper hand.  Military technology and military strategy respectively constitute the independent and dependent variable of ODB in the ODT.[xvii] In the decision matrix, the tactical and strategic advantage over the individual and/ or group of target countries would call the shots lest the adventure should turn counter productive. Again, the advantage of the kind can not be absolute for all times and against all target countries. The military technology is again both defensive and offensive in nature. The chasm whatsoever would stand as the fault line against adventure.  For long, the second-strike capable nuclear arsenal was often understood to indicate the supremacy of the defence in the offence-defence balance, essentially guaranteeing security for the state which possessed it. China has been assiduously working for it with a measure of reckonable success.[xviii]. However, it has yet to cross quite a few mile stones of aggressive strategic disposition. The epoch of information based warfare has come to put all pervasive premiums for China turning berserk. Sun Zi's heritage stands for 'victory without war'. Chinese leadership and military planners could then pull all stops for aggressive disposition only when 'strategic advantage and strategic positioning' against the adversary could look plausible.  Plausible Chinese Adventure and the Survival Fits  China's ODB stands positive against most peripheral countries. Save the neutralizing effects of extra-ODB factors at work, the probability of China wantonly flexing military muscles to settle scores and much less secure core interests look immensely high. With the projected exponential growth in some of the components of China's zonghe guoli (comprehensive national power) while the archaic institutional structure of the state responded sub-optimally in addressing the ever growing contradictions in what the Chinese call shehui guanli (social management), the fears of China using military means to safeguard core interests and/ or settle score with peripheral countries with relatively low ODB would theoretically remain real. The refrain of Chen Xiangyang and his ilk in the Chinese media articulation in favour of China better holding aggressive disposition in face of unstable neighbourhood could turn prophetic for all practical purposes in times to come.  Perceived Diaspora effects of the April 2010 Kyrgyzstan crises on the political movements in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) perhaps lay at the back of China's concern. Ulumuqi is just an hour long flight away from the riot-stricken Osh in south Kyrgyzstan. As an editorial in the Global Times suggested, China feared a Balkan-type crisis to the detriment of its strategic interests.[xix] A wide range of Chinese think-tanks including Xu Xiaotian, an expert on Central Asian studies at the high-profile China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) and Dong Manyuan, an anti-terror expert at the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) looked rather askance with a difference on the viability of regional security arrangements to stop the untoward developments.[xx]  The Russian factor obliquely stood in the way of the Chinese leadership and military planners to think of military measures while the future hangs in balance. Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, The impact of over 60 million Kazakh, Tajik, Uzbek, and Turkmen populace, in the homes of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan sympathetic to the political aspirations of their brethren is understood.  In the world view of Chen Xiangyang and his ilk, the other peripheral countries encountering political instability as well will fall in the line of fire of China's aggressive strategic disposition. In South Asia, it included the so called all weather friend Pakistan besides Afghanistan and India. In Southeast Asia, Thailand and Myanmar and in Northeast Asia, Mongolia, the Korean Peninsula stand to bear the brunt.  While farfetched, the Chinese strategists have the prescription for Japan. Chen Xiangyang and his ilk are painfully aware of China's Achilles heels, too. While warning against "spillover effects" of unstable neighbourhood, and suggesting the imperatives of aggressive strategic disposition, they have called for caution against blind plunge and differentiate between the periodic flip-flops of political unrest in matured democracies to near anarchic scenario in countries with transplanted democracies. India, South Korea and Pakistan figured in the former category and Afghanistan, Myanmar, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the latter.  The studied responses of the development have set off a clarion call against the Chinese moves to bolster the war machines, in particular its logistics capabilities. Christina Lin talks of 'China threat' zone, where the existing and/ or up coming Chinese rail-road networks promise fast mobilization of troops.[xxi]  Her concern has come to be shared by a large number of analysts, notably Konstantin Syroyezhkin of Kazakhstan's Institute of Strategic Studies.[xxii] Some of the PLA troop mobilizations in the recent past through the Chinese rail networks are looked at as being innocuous trial test. In early September 2010, China largely moved its PLA contingent, consisting of over 1000 ground force officers and men, a logistics group and an air force combat group to Kazakhstan by rail.[xxiii] Two months later in November 2010, the PLA again moved its huge contingent from the site of Shanghai World Expo to its barracks in Nanjing.  The events go to testify China's increased force projection potentials. China has since built rail lines to Tibet, and it would link Nepal before long.[xxiv] China is planning high-speed rails to Laos, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar. Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan have agreed to cooperate with China to build a China-Iran rail link from Xinjiang, passing through Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and finally arriving in Iran. As part of the UN sponsored Trans-Asia Railway, it would extend westward to Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and connect Europe. Subject to a large number of dependent and intervening variables, China's aggressive strategic disposition could hypothetically thus, affect all these countries.  Survival fits against China's aggressive strategic disposition has to be multidimensional. There can be little in the name of thumb rule. Within the four wall of ODT, the peripheral countries shall have to create a hedge of collective bargains while reinforcing the soft and hard sides of ODB to stay safe against China's aggressive strategic disposition. A win-win situation would be to call the "rising China" to come forward with acceptable agreements on critical issues including border disputes.  (Dr. Sheonandan Pandey is a China watcher with a long stint in the Government of India and finally retied from National Technical Research Organization. He can be contacted at and Prof. Hem Kusum is a teacher on Chinese language and culture at Vishwa Bharati, Santiniketan)  End Notes  [i] Founded in 1902, Ta Kung Pao (大公报) is the oldest Chinese language news paper in China. For long, it sported no political affiliation with a widely talked bout aphorism of '4-no' (大公报). However, it is now mouth piece of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and normally goes to pilot otherwise contentious issues to test the water in public domain.  [ii] Rear Admiral Yin Zhou, a senior officer at the PLA Navy Equipment Research Centre and Chairman of the Navy Experts Advisory Committee. And Major General Luo Yuan, a researcher with the PLA Academy of Military Sciences hold voice by virtue of their long standing as strategic thinkers.  [iii] Christina Lin, "The PLA's "Orient Express": Militarization of the Iron Silk Road" , Institut für Strategie- Politik- Sicherheits- und Wirtschaftsberatung (ISPSW), Berlin, Germany, March 28, 2011.  [iv] As one of the signatories of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) sponsored 80,900 km long Trans-Asian Railway, China has already come out with plan to build high-speed rails to Laos, Singapore, Cambodia (Kampuchea), Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar along its Southeast Asian periphery. It has got nod of Iran to construct China-Iran rail that will pass through the Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. China's long term plan included connecting China's rail networks with Europe through Middle East countries, including Iraq and Syria.  [v] Zhuge Liang's legend goes back to China's Three Kingdom (220-280 AD) epoch. He is credited for harnessing deception to get over the stronger enemy. While the strong enemy contingent had encircled the Kingdom of Shu, he is said to have sunbathed on the rampart. The invader thought that the Kingdom of Shu was per se well defended and hence, retreated without engaging in the battle.  [vi] Alastair Iain Johnston, Cultural Realism: Strategic Culture and Grand Strategy in Chinese History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), p. x. Also see Alastair Iain Johnston, 'Cultural Realism and Strategy in Maoist China' in Peter J. Katzensterin, ed., The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996), pp. 216�68; Alastair Iain Johnston, 'International Structures and Chinese Foreign Policy' in Samuel S. Kim, ed., China and the World: Chinese Foreign Policy Faces the New Millennium (Boulder: Westview Press, 1998), pp. 55�90; Alastair Iain Johnston, 'Realism(s) and Chinese Security Policy in the Post-Cold War Period' in E. B. Kapstein and M. Mastanduno, eds, Unipolar Politics: Realism and State Strategies After the Cold War (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999), pp. 261�318.  [vii] The concept of Shi is the cornerstone of Sun Zi's 'Art of War' (孙子兵法). There is perhaps no equivalent of it the western lexicon. In warfare, when Shi is translated as strategic advantage, on both sides of the conflict, including numbers, terrain, logistics, morale, weaponry, as they converge on the battle field to give one side the advantage over the contestant. In over all perspective, it can be explained as being "the alignment of forces," the "propensity of things," or the "potential born of disposition." Sun Zi has discussed four key aspects of shi: First, it is the idea of qi and zheng. Zheng is the regular way of doing things, or in military terms, the regular order of battle. A commander deploys troops in regular (zheng) ways. However, the commander must mobilize his troops to engage the enemy in extraordinary (qi) ways. Zheng is, in essence, a given. It is open knowledge to friends and foes. Yet qi is a variable and its variation inexhaustible. The 2 second aspect of shi is about creating an overwhelming force with irresistible unleashing power (a grindstone against eggs, and the strike of a hawk at its prey). The third aspect of shi is about developing a favorable situation with great potential to achieve the political objectives. Finally, shi is about taking and maintaining the initiative. As Sun Tzu puts it, "those skilled at making the enemy move do so by creating a situation to which he must conform."  [viii] Michael D. Swaine and Ashley J. Tellis, Interpreting China's Grand Strategy Past, Present, and Future (Santa Monica: Rand, 2000).  [ix] Ibid  [x] In Chinese doctrinal writings, strategy (战略) and military strategy (军事战略) are used interchangeably.  [xi] Founded on Aug 1, 1927 after Nanchang Uprising, the force level of the PLA ran to 5 million. After a wave of demobilization of what has come to be known as ill-trained and / or politically incorrect personnel, the strength of the PLA dropped to 2.8 million in 1953.It included 10,000 troops in PLA Air force and 60, 000 in PLA Navy, raised respectively in November, 1949 and September, 1950.  [xii] In advocating the viability of protracted war, Mao Zedong drew on classic Chinese military writings as well as Western military theorists such as Clausewitz, where the principle of 'Unity of Opposites', enshrined in the Chinese concept of 'Yin' and 'Yang' hold the key. Guerrilla tactical doctrine can be summarized in four character Chinese compound 'shengdong qixi' which means 'uproar in the east and attack in the west'. It measures well with Chinese classic strategic culture of deception to pursue the core interests.  [xiii] China's national military objectives have been quite often aired by the top PLA brass. It is thus, evolutionary in nature. In 1996, for example, Qiushi (No.8, April 16, 1996, pp. 8-14) quoted the then Chinese Defence Minister Chi Haotian say that the basic objectives of China's national defence constituted of solidifying the defensive capacity, resist foreign invasion, and safeguard the unification and security of the country. In 1998, the Deputy Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Xiong Guangkai said, "the basic objectives" of China's armed forces are to consolidate national defense, resist aggression, defend the nation's sovereignty over its territorial land, sea, airspace as well as its maritime interests, and safeguard national unity and security. Subsequently, the then Chief of the General Staff Department (GSD) General Fu Quanyou provided this iteration: "the PLA's mission is to strengthen the national defense, fend off aggression, safeguard territorial sovereignty and the rights and interests of territorial waters, and maintain national integrity and safety."  [xiv] Stephen Van Evera, Causes of War: Power and The Roots of Conflict (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1999); Geroge H. Quester, Offense and Defense in the International System (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1977); Thomas J. Christensen and Jack Snyder, 'Chain Gangs and Passed Bucks: Predicting Alliance Patterns in Multipolarity,' International Security, Vol. 44, No. 2 (1990), pp. 137�68.  [xv] Xu Jin, The Strategic Implications of Changes in Military Technology, Chinese Journal of International Politics (2006) 1 (2): 163-193. doi: 10.1093/cjip/pol014;Tang Shiping, Offence-defence Theory: Towards a Definitive Understanding, Chinese Journal of International Politics (2010) 3 (2): 213-260. Doi: 10.1093/cjip/poq004.  [xvi] Defensive realism looks at states as rational player, and differs with its counterpart, the offensive realism on points whether or not states must always be maximizing relative power ahead of all other objectives. Tang Shiping holds that the Chinese state under Mao Zedong spell subscribed offensive realism and the Deng Xiaoping epoch lives of defensive realism.  [xvii] Lieber, Keir A., The New History of World War 1 and What it Means for International Relations Theory, International Security, Volume 32, Number 2, Fall 2007, pp 155-191  [xviii] China is totally secretive about its nuclear arsenal. According to the estimates of Stockholm International Peace Institute, China has since acquired limited deterrence capability with the deployment of 186 strategic nuclear warheads. The prospect of China augmenting its submarine fleet to 75 by 2020 with 12-16 JL-2 or DF-31 ballistic missiles has triggered speculation about China's capability to survive first attack on its military assets. The deployment of Chengdu J-20 stealth aircraft has added to the sensibility still further.  [xix] China and Kyrgyzstan share a 1,100-km porous land border, with two main border crossings at the Irkestan and Torugart passes through the XUAR. It has around 250000 Uyghur populations who are sympathetic to the East Turkestan Movement in the region.  [xx] Kyrgyzstan happened to be a member of three high-profile regional security outfits including Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). While a forerunner of the group, the Chinese leadership preferred stoic silence as the regime crumbled to their utter displeasure for a variety of reasons. Kyrgyzstan was besides a member of Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.  [xxi] Christina Lin, "The PLA'S Orient Express: Militarization of the Iron Silk Road", James Town Foundation, China Brief, Volume: 11, Issue 5, MARCH 25, 2011.  [xxii] Syroyezhkin, Konstantin, China's Expansionist Policy Toward Kazakhstan Takes a New Turn, Eurasia Daily Monitor, November 17, 2010; Kazakhstanskaya Pravda, November 9, 2010.  [xxiii] Xinhua News Agency, Sep. 7, 2010.  [xxiv] The 253 km long Nepal link of the Qingzang rail will pass through strategically located Xigaze in the foothills of Mt Everest. The total length of Qingzang railway is 1,956 km (1215 miles). Construction of the 815 km (506 mile) section between Xining and Golmud was completed by 1984. The 1,142 km (709 mile) section between Golmud and Lhasa was inaugurated on 1 July 2006. The Nepal link of the rail was initially expected to take four years.
Indian Army chief arrives on two-day visit to Valley
Indian Army chief arrives on two-day visit to Valley  Srinagar: Indian Army chief, General VK Singh on Wednesday arrived on a two-day visit to review security scenario in the Kashmir Valley.  A statement from Public Relations Office, Ministry Of Defence here said that Gen V K Singh arrived in Awantipora in south Kashmir this afternoon and was received by General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps Lt General Syed Atta Hasnain and Major General Gurdeep Singh, GOC Victor Force.  Later, Lt Gen Husnain briefed him on various security related issues, official said. The visit of Gen V K Singh comes in the backdrop of a faceoff between army and state administration following alleged misbehavior of an army unit with tourists. According to PBI, this is the third visit of the army chief to Jammu and Kashmir division this year. On March 21 last, Gen V K Singh chaired reviewed operational preparedness here.  On February 15 last, the Army chief reviewed the security situation at the headquarters of the Northern Command in Udhampur Jammu. (PBI)

India Defense Deal To Boost Jobs At Boeing
India's proposal to acquire ten Boeing C-17 military cargo planes has given a boost to the U.S. aircraft major as it will support jobs at its beleaguered Long Beach plant in California through 2014, media reports said on Tuesday quoting a Boeing official.  "The deal should keep things humming at the sprawling plant through 2014," Boeing spokesman Jerry Drelling said, adding that the order "helps us keep the line alive and supports jobs."  The largest employer in Long Beach, the Boeing plant had an estimated $5.8 billion annual economic impact as about 25,000 workers in 44 States depended on it, Drelling said.  The C-17 heavy lift aircraft is expected to enhance the capability of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to swiftly transport combat equipment and troops over long distances.  The four-engine C-17 plane can lift two T90 tanks and artillery guns and is capable of performing tactical airlift, medical evacuation and airdrop missions. It could also carry more than 130 fully-equipped combat ready troops to operating bases throughout the world.  The White House said the deal was expected to support 22,160 American jobs and would make the IAF the owner and operator of the largest fleet of C-17s outside the U.S.  Boeing had lost out in a $10-billion fighter jet deal involving 126 aircraft for the IAF in April.  The aircraft acquisition is part of India's program to upgrade and modernize its Air Force, which largely comprises Russian-built transport aircraft Ilyushin-76 and Antonov-32.

China aircraft carrier confirmed by general
The head of China's General Staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has confirmed that China's first aircraft carrier is under construction.  Gen Chen Bingde refused to say when the carrier - a remodelled Soviet-era vessel, the Varyag - would be ready.  A member of his staff said the carrier would pose no threat to other nations.  The 300m (990ft) carrier, which is being built in the north-east port of Dalian, has been one of China's worst-kept secrets, analysts say.  Gen Chen made his comments to the Chinese-language Hong Kong Commercial Daily newspaper. Symbol of power  The PLA - the largest army in the world - is hugely secretive about its defence programme.  The carrier was constructed in the 1980s for the Soviet navy but was never completed. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the rusting hull of the Varyag sat in dockyards in Ukraine.
A Chinese company with links to the PLA bought the Varyag claiming it wanted to turn it into a floating casino in Macau.  The carrier is thought to be nearly finished, and is expected to begin sea trials later this year.  But the BBC's Michael Bristow in Beijing says that does not mean it will then be ready to undertake operational duties.
Learning how to operate it - and fly planes off it - will take a few more years to master, our correspondent says.  Lt Gen Qi Jianguo, assistant chief of the general staff, told the Hong Kong Commercial Daily that even after the aircraft carrier was deployed, it would "definitely not sail to other countries' territorial waters".  "All of the great nations in the world own aircraft carriers - they are symbols of a great nation," he was quoted as saying.  Lt Gen Qi said China had always followed a "defensive" principle for its military strategy.  "It would have been better for us if we acted sooner in understanding the oceans and mapping out our blue-water capabilities earlier.  "We are now facing heavy pressure in the oceans whether in the South China Sea, East China Sea, Yellow Sea or the Taiwan Straits," he said.  China is engaged in maritime border disputes with several countries - including Vietnam and the Philippines.  The US, which has 11 fully-capable carrier strike groups, has also expressed concern about its rising naval ambitions.  The PLA has invested heavily in submarines. It is believed to be close to deploying the world's first "carrier-killer" ballistic missile designed to sink aircraft carriers while they are manoeuvring at sea up to 1,500km offshore, and it is building its own stealth fighter aircraft along with advanced carrier-based aircraft built from Russian designs.  All of these can target US bases, US ships and US carriers in Asia.  India is another emerging power pursuing a similar path - with an ex-Soviet carrier being modified for the Indian Navy, and work already under way on a first home-built vessel as well.  Over time, these developments will affect the maritime balance of power in Asia, says the BBC's defence and security correspondent Nick Childs.  China says other countries have nothing to fear, but its recent assertive diplomatic and military muscle-flexing has created waves in the region, he says.

Defence budget in the realm of power politics
As per the realist's school of thought, the international system is essentially based on power politics. The agents of the international system; the states, always aspire to acquire power. The most significant and the tangible element of the power is the hard military power, though, economy of a country plays a significant role in its attainment. A strong diplomacy is yet another tool of power politics. Classical realists strongly believe that, relations between states are determined by their levels of power derived primarily from their hard military power, diplomacy and economic capabilities. Under the hostile global environment, maintenance of power (both hard and soft) and clearly defined national interest are crucial for pursuance of the state's security and survival in the global international system, essentially based on anarchy. To attain these, a state has to help itself with the aim to ensure its safety and survival rather depending on other states or institutions, may it be the United Nations Organization even. In this entire episode, a state has to augment its own power capability through military arms build-up for its ultimate survival or to achieve a balance of power viz-a-viz its adversary. In the process of accumulating more power and to take military lead from each other, United States and former Soviet Union, spent trillions of dollars on their defence budgets during the period of cold war. US maintained its military spending even after the collapse of the USSR. In the past two decades, there has been a constant increase in the defence budget of US. Even for the fiscal year 2011, US Congress provided $668.6 billion for the US defence budget. Defence budget of US has been further enhanced for the fiscal year 2012. US House of Representatives' Armed Services Committee has approved $690 billion as the defence budget of this sole superpower for year 2012, having no peer competitor ever since the collapse of USSR. Compared to US Chinese defence budget is less than $100 billion. As per Dr Sam Perlo-Freeman, head of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Military Expenditure Project, United States, has increased its "military spending by 81 per cent since 2001, and now accounts for 43 per cent of the global total, six times its nearest rival China. At 4.8 per cent of GDP, US military spending in 2010 represents the largest economic burden outside the Middle East." As per the latest figures provided by SIPRI, the top 10 military spenders of the world till 2010 are: United States ($698 billion), China ($119 billion), Britain ($59.6 billion), France ($59.3 billion), Russia ($58.7 billion), Japan ($54.5 billion), Saudi Arabia ($45.2 billion), Germany ($45.2 billion), India ($41.3 billion), and Italy ($37 billion).In the Sub-continent, India has been spending a huge sum of amount on its military budget ever since. Being in the club of top ten military spenders, there has been a constant increase in the Indian defence budget since last two decades. India is modernizing its three services on the lines of the militaries of United States, Britain, and Russia. It has just completed the new raising of the two new mountain divisions of 36,000 troops each. Two new battalions of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim scouts, comprising 5,000 locally recruited troops, are also being raised, with plans for a new mountain strike corps and a third artillery division for the area. Indian Army has placed a large order for the indigenous Arjun tank, and the Agni-III ballistic missile was confirmed ready for induction into the army's missile regiments. Simultaneously, India is in the process of acquiring new fighter aircraft for its air forces from US and other Western countries. Indian air force has begun to deploy two squadrons of Su-30MKI aircraft to Tezpur air base, close to the LAC. It is also upgrading six airstrips in Arunachal Pradesh, as it has already started to do in the Ladakh region of the occupied Jammu & Kashmir bordering Pakistan. Along with the acquisition of AWACS aircraft, ground-based air defence close to the LAC has reportedly been bolstered with 19 low-altitude transportable medium-power radars. India has activated its forward air bases all along the Indo-Pak border and the LoC. This indeed is part of Indian Cold Start Strategy, primarily aims against Pakistan. In 2009, Indian Military formally threatened Pakistan and China for a two-front war. Indian Maritime Doctrine, revised in 2009, was aimed at transforming it from a 'brown water' coastal defense force to a formidable 'blue water' navy. Technically, Indian Navy would have the capability to operate 200 nautical miles from its seashore into the deep sea for extended durations, whereas politically, it would be a long-range extension of the state's presence as a power projection. Following the naval strategy of U.S Admiral Mahan, India desires the Indian Ocean to become 'India Ocean' and the way U.S entered the club of global powers in the beginning of the 20th century; India does the same in 21st century. Indian Naval strategy includes; controlling the choke points, significant islands, and trade routes in the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and in the Bay of Bengal at regional level. Strategically, it sees at the arc from the Persian Gulf to the Straits of Malacca as a legitimate area of interest. Operationally, Indian Navy envisioned undertaking three tasks; the conduct of joint operations; information warfare and littoral warfare. However, the proactive role of the Indian Navy would be the projection of its power beyond the limits of Indian shores. It has to counter the distant emerging threats and protect extended 'Sea Lines of Communication' (SLOC). India desires making its navy as the oceanic ranging navy, securing of extended SLOCs and domination of Indian Ocean and its adjoining high seas. There are two interconnected motives, which are acting as the catalyst for all this. First; politically, India will have a say in the global politics and second; securing of economic interests for sustaining its rapidly developing economy and industrial enhancement. Development and expansion of its naval power will enable it to ensure uninterrupted flow of energy resources and other supplies related to economic development. At the strategic level, India intends operating its naval power in conjunction with the United States for countering the Chinese naval influence and advancing its own naval ambitions by reaching out to the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. Regionally, India intends to have complete control of the Indian Ocean while effectively dominating the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. This out of proportion strength of Indian Navy and domination of the regional waters would bring littoral states under Indian domination. There would be serious ramifications of Indian Naval build-up both regionally and at the global level. The Indian navy also plans to strengthen its eastern fleet, notably by basing an aircraft carrier in the Bay of Bengal. At the same time, India has stepped up its naval interactions with the US and with Southeast and East Asian states. With this military build-up of our adversary, Pakistan has to maintain a balance of power at least to survive in this anarchic and highly competitive international system. In fact so far in our history we have been fighting the war of survival with India and now on multiple fronts with enemies all around. Right from its inception, Pakistan is confronting a situation, where it's much larger and militarily stronger adversary has been making all out efforts to undo it. In this regard, Pakistan had to fight a war over Kashmir, to counter the Indian aggression, thrust upon it, on the very first year of its independence. Fearing a military defeat at the hands of poorly equipped Pakistani troops, India, took the Kashmir case to UNO, where it was decided that, the future of state would be decided as per the wishes of its people through impartial plebiscite. In the subsequent years of its history, Pakistan survived the Indian aggression in September 1965. However, through global conspiracies and Indian military might, India was able to disintegrate Pakistan in 1971. This was not the end, as in 1974, this South Asian giant exploded its first nuclear device, 'Smiling Buddha' to prove itself militarily superior in the regional power play. This Indian act further alarmed the defence planners of Pakistan, who already were in a state of shock, upon the disintegration of Pakistan at the hands of Delhi.Since last one decade, Pakistan is fighting a war against terrorism. In the process, it has lost over 35,000 people, with a vast majority of armed forces personnel. During this tenure, the weapons and equipment, otherwise meant for the war with its adversary have been extensively used, thus causing extensive wear and tear. With half of its Army deployed to counter terrorism, there has been no worthwhile increase in its defence budget. This is contrary to Indian defence budget, which is constantly increasing, without Indian involvement in any such type of anti-terror derive.Traditionally, Pakistan has been reactionary to Indian actions. From Pakistani side, there never has been any attempt to compete any country including India. However, its defence budget has been based on, "providing stringent funding for the military to maintain a minimum deterrence capability against India." This can be accessed from the budget allocation of India and Pakistan for the current fiscal year. Compared to $32 (actually $41.3) billion Indian defence budget for the fiscal year 2011, Pakistan's defence budget is around $5 billion for the year 2011-2012. Most of the defence budget of Pakistan is being spent to counter the terrorism within the country. "In 2009/10, Pakistan's revised defence budget was approximately Rs 378 billion, while proposed allocation for 2010-2011 is Rs 442 billion showing an increase of 16.5%. Considering an official inflation rate of 12.5%, in real terms it reflects a marginal increase of only 4%. India's defence allocations for 2010-11 is Rs.147, 344 corer (Rs.1.47 trillion), up 8.13 per cent from the revised estimates of the previous fiscal." Owing to its weak economy, Pakistan cannot match the Indian defence spending; however, it should maintain at least the minimum credible deterrence to ensure its safety and security in the wake of enmity all around; domestically against extremists and terrorists and externally, those also promote internal instability too. This aspect has become more significant after the unilateral US military operation on Pakistani soil (Abbottabad), to kill OBL, where Pakistani sovereignty and national integrity has been compromised by our ally. Attack on PNS Mehran has further aggravated the situation. This US act essentially proves that in the realm of international power politics, there is neither a permanent friend nor a permanent foe and US cannot be trusted in future. Essentially, these are national interest of the countries and preservance of the national sovereignty, which nations pursue to safeguard. Pakistani armed forces too need to jealously guard the geographical and ideological frontiers of their homeland. The nation would surely not disappoint them financially. In this struggle of safeguarding our homeland, we have to follow the neo-classical realists, who discard the dependency on any external power. This comes true on Pak-US relationship, where we did everything for them since 1950s. But, did they do anything for Pakistan, except embarrassing us on each mile of our relationship. This is high time that we must re-evaluate our strategic alignment and diversify our future relationship, which should be based on mutual trust and respect. While making this future alignment, nothing should be dearer than the national sovereignty and integrity. Let us explore our potentials and exploit our over 50% youth to change the destiny of Pakistan in the days to come.

Indian Army engineers summit Mount Kamet
A team from the Indian Army's Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME) has scaled the 7,756-metre Mount Kamet in the Gharwal Himalayas as part of an adventure expedition.  The 12-member team, led by Major Vishal Ahlawat, summitted the peak on Tuesday with the assistance of four sherpas, an army release said here Wednesday.  The "unique attempt" was part of the EME's 'Josh-2011' adventure expedition that involves mountaineering, mountain cycling, whitewater rafting and road cycling. Summiting Mount Kamet was the expedition's first milestone.  The twin peaks of Mount Kamet and Mount Abu Gamin were scaled 31 years ago by an EME team under the leadership of then Major J.K. Bajaj.  The present team, comprising an officer, a junior commissioned officer and 10 other ranks, will commence the second leg of the expedition on June 10 by cycling the "treacherous" Garhwal mountains from Niti village to Rudraprayag, covering 238 km, followed by whitewater rafting over a 158-km stretch from Rudraprayag to Rishikesh, the release said.  The multi-dimensional expedition was flagged of from New Delhi on April 19.

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