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Friday, 29 July 2011

From Today's Papers - 29 Jul 2011





India, Mongolia sign three agreements, including pact on defence

Ulaanbaatar (Mangolia), July 28 (ANI): In an endeavor to strengthen bilateral ties, India and Mongolia on Thursday signed three agreements, which includes defence cooperation, media exchanges and cooperation between their planning commissions.    Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, who is presently on a four-day visit to Mongolia, also announced that India would extend a 20 million USD line of credit to set up a joint IT, education and outsourcing centre.

Describing talks with her Mongolian counterpart, Tsakhia Elbegdorj, as warm and friendly, President Patil hoped that the momentum between the two countries would continue to expand.    "A bilateral Defence Cooperation Agreement was signed. May I state, that India is willing and ready to expand collaboration in this sphere. President Elbegdorj and I discussed ways to further our cooperation, in the peaceful use of radioactive minerals and nuclear energy," said President Patil.    "(With a) Memorandum on Media Exchanges signed between the two Governments, we can now hope to see more media persons from Mongolia in India. We will also send more Indian journalists here. We also agreed to explore the possibilities of improving air connectivity between our two countries so as to enhance contacts between our peoples, including through tourism," she added.    President Patil, at the end of the media briefing, thanked Mongolia for extending support to India's long-held demand for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.    "I thanked Mongolia for its support extended to India in becoming a Permanent Member of a reformed and expanded United Nations Security Council," she said. (ANI)








China defends carrier plans, neighbors fret over buildup

(Reuters) - China's neighbors are worried its aircraft carrier program may in time intimidate regional rivals but its military on Thursday defended the plan as vital for maritime security.  A day after China confirmed it was refitting an old Soviet vessel, and sources told Reuters it was building two of its own carriers, the official Liberation Army Daily stressed the mix of patriotic glory-seeking and future security worries behind the decision.  China's humiliations at the hands of Western powers in the past centuries "left the Chinese people with the deep pain of having seas they could not defend, helplessly eating the bitter fruit of being beaten for being backward," said a front-page editorial in the paper.  That trend is changing as Beijing ramps up its military spending while Washington discusses cutting its much larger defense budget. Growing Chinese military reach is triggering regional jitters that have fed into longstanding territorial disputes, and could speed up military expansion across Asia.  In the past year, China has had run-ins at sea with Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines. The incidents -- boat crashes and charges of territorial incursions -- have been minor, but the diplomatic reaction often heated.  "The issue of transparency regarding China's defense policy and its military expansion itself are concerns not only for Japan but for the region and the international community," Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said on Thursday.  In the 2012 budget submitted to Congress this week, the Philippines wants to raise military spending to 8 billion pesos ($190 million) per year from a previous 5 billion.  "(China's military modernization) serves as a clarion call for the Philippines to also upgrade its military capability to patrol its waters," said Rommel Banlaoi, executive director at the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research.  The Chinese carrier program could fuel the drive for submarines in Southeast Asia, said Rory Medcalf, program director of International Security at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney.  "There is already a submarine race, or submarine capability competition, in the region. This could add to that dynamic but I do not think it will be fundamental driver of it," he said.  COUNTERMEASURES  Japan's plan to boost the number of its submarines to 22 from 16, announced last year, was mainly a response to China's naval buildup, said Narushige Michishita, associate professor at Japan's National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.  "Japan is already taking some countermeasures," he said.  As well as refitting the old Soviet-era carrier bought from Ukraine in 1998, China is building two indigenous aircraft carriers as part of a broad modernization program, sources told Reuters on Wednesday.  "Putting it in the overall context of China's expanding and modernizing military, there is some cause for concern," said Daniel Pinkston of the International Crisis Group in Seoul.  South Korea disputes territory with China, which is the major backer of the principal threat to security on the Korean peninsula, the North.  Taiwan, the self-ruled island China claims as its own and has never renounced the use of force to recover, will also be watching closely. It warned again last week about Beijing's growing military threat.  "In the previous 60 years, the threat to Taiwan was all from the west," said Alexander Huang, professor of strategic studies at Taipei's Tamkang University. "But with a moving platform, China can pose a threat to Taiwan from the eastern side, which means that Taiwan is threatened from all directions."  Others point to India, China's great rival as an emerging Asian economic and military powerhouse.  "If the Chinese leave the west Pacific, there's only one areas they're interested in, the Indian Ocean. In that sense, competition with (India) is inevitable," said Raja Menon, a former rear admiral in the Indian navy.  China's Liberation Army Daily identified future risks as a rationale for the carrier program, which will take many years to create an operational carrier force.  "The struggle to win maritime interests is increasingly intense," the editorial added. A powerful navy is "an inevitable choice for protecting China's increasingly globalised national interests," said the paper.  President Hu Jintao has made the navy a keystone of China's military ramp-up, and the carriers will be among the most visible signs of the country's rising military prowess.  China has repeatedly denied its military modernization is for anything other than defensive purposes, pointing out it that it spend far less than the United States on its military. ($1 = 42.110 Philippine Pesos)









US designs to destabilise Asia

During the last two decades, political experts have already been saying that the US which is acting upon a secret strategy, wants to make India the superpower of Asia in order counterbalance China, while this game has openly been disclosed by the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who was on three-day trip to India. In this regard, on July 20 this year, Hillary Clinton urged India to be more assertive in Asia, saying that the country should play more of a leadership role. She explained, “India has the potential to positively shape the future of the Asia-Pacific.” Clinton further said, “India should play a role as a US ally in regional forums such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).” On the other hand, while showing US paradoxical approach towards Pakistan, and concealing American double game, She remarked, “New Delhi could also help promote trade links in violence-wracked South Asia, which would bring prosperity and peace to India, Pakistan and Afghanistan…Pakistan must do more to tackle terror groups operating from its territory being used for attacks that destabilise Afghanistan or India.” In 2010, US President Barrack Obama’s visit to India had left a negative impact on the whole region. He announced $10 billion in trade deals with New Delhi to create more than 50,000 US jobs, declared the measures, America would take regarding removal of Indian space and defence companies from a restricted “entities list”, and supported Indian demand for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. Owing to various agreements with New Delhi, India will purchase latest defence-related equipments from Washington.  America which signed a nuclear deal with India in 2008, intends to make India a great power of Asia to contain China and destablise Pakistan and Iran. On the other side, by ignoring Sino-Pakistan peace-approach, on October 15, 2010, Indian Army Chief General VK Singh had openly blamed that China and Pakistan posed a major threat to India’s security, while calling for a need to upgrade country’s defence. Indian former Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor had also expressed similar thoughts. In fact, Pakistan’s province, Balochistan where China has invested billion of dollars to develop Gwadar seaport which could link Central Asian trade with rest of the world, infuriates both US and India. With the help of India, US desires to control Balochistan as an independent state in containing China and restraining Iran. It is due to these reasons that Washington and New Delhi are creating instability in Pakistan by backing Baloch separatists to complete their hidden strategic agenda. In this connection, the separatist group, Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) gets logistic support from India, while another American and Indian-backed separatist group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) is also working against the cordial relationship of Pakistan with China and Iran. In the past few years, their militants kidnapped and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan, while committing other subversive acts in the province. In this respect, on October 18, 2009, a deadliest suicide attack had killed dozens of officers in the Sistan-Baluchistan. On December 15, 2010, two suicide bombers blew themselves up near a mosque in southeastern Iran, killing at least 39 people. In both the cases, Iran had directly accused US and its CIA for patronage and funding of that type of terrorist attacks.  It is of particular attention that Islamabad and Tehran have signed the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project without New Delhi as the latter was reluctant in this matter owing to its pro-US tilt. Under the pretext of Talibinisation of Afghanistan and Pakistan, American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad have well-established their networks in Afghanistan from where well-trained militants are being sent to Pakistan to commit various terror-acts. Besides, in the past few weeks, these foreign secret agencies have also started backing heavily armed insurgents who enter Pakistan from Afghanistan and continue attacks on our country’s infrastructure and military check posts intermittently. As a matter of fact, before leaving Afghanistan, US is determined to shift Afghan war to Pakistan so as to weaken the country in wake of a perennial wave of CIA-operated drone attacks by ignoring the public backlash. In fact, Pakistan is the only ‘nuclearised’ country in the Islamic World. Hence US, India and Israel either want to destabilise it or to ‘denulearise’ it. In this respect, US also takes Islamabad as an obstacle in obtaining its Asian designs by boasting up Indian role. It is mentionable that in the recent past, more than 180 persons died in ethnic riots occurred in Urumqi, the capital of China’s Xinjiang province. In fact, New Delhi which has given shelter to the Tibetan spiritual leader, Dalai Lama and his militants has been playing a key role in supporting upsurge in the Tibetan and Muslim areas of China. Knowing the US-Indian secret aims, China has signed a number of agreements with Islamabad to help the latter in diverse sectors. And Chinese engineers are working on multiple projects in Pakistan. However, Washington has further emboldened India to keep on going with human rights violations in India and the occupied Kashmir—to continue its anti-Pakistan and anti-China designs.  Besides, American strategic thinkers presume China’s fast-growing economy and military modernization including its cooperation with Iran, Middle East and other African countries as a great threat to American interests. Nevertheless, in its pursuit to make India a great power of Asia, US is likely to initiate a new cold war between China and India, and will divide the world between two blocks—China block and the US-backed Indian block. Main players of the game such as North Korea, Pakistan, Iran and Asian Republics are likely to align with China alliance. On the other side, Japan, Georgia, Ukraine, South Korea will join the US-backed Indian block. After the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, the latter could also join the China block. As regards Russia, apart from differences over American occupation of Iraq and its national missile defence system (NMD), differences exists between Moscow and Washington over the US-led NATO’s attack on Libya. So Russia could join the China block as a leading member.  It is noteworthy that it is due to the US ill-conceived policy that it will compel India and China to follow the bygone days of the Cold War—deadly arms race, increase in the defence expenditures at the cost of development of public sectors and proxy wars including all the tactics of psychological warfare in wake of the modern world trends like renunciation of war, peaceful settlement of disputes and economic development. Meanwhile terrorism is likely to add a dangerous element of ‘hot war’ to the future cold war. In this regard, an unending ‘different war’ between the sovereign and non-sovereign entities in Afgahanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen etc. and other Middle East countries will make the matter worse. All these negative developments are likely create political and economic instability in Asia where some less developed countries are already facing multi-faceted crises at various level, but these will also envelop the developed countries such as Japan, South Korea etc.  Even India will badly be affected by following American such a strategy. India has already been facing separatism in more than seven states where terrorist incidents have become a routine matter. In case of Maoist insurgency, it has increased to a greater extent. On September 21, 2009, even Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had admitted that the Maoist “insurgency is the single biggest threat to India’s security” and, “Maoist violence affects a third of all districts…India is losing the battle against the rebels.” As regards the Indian-held Kashmir, Indian forces have failed in suppressing the freedom movement by employing all the possible tactics of military terrorism. Besides, fundamentalist parties like BJP, RSS, VHP, Shev Sina and Bajrang Dal have missed no opportunity to communalise national politics of India, posing another major threat to the country. Notably, on July 17, this year, Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh called for investigations into the role of all Indian terror groups in relation to serial blasts in Mumbai, adding, “RSS runs bomb-making factories to spread terrorism in the country, and its role should be probed.”  New Delhi must also know that militants are well-organised from Somalia to Afghanistan and from Uzbekistan to the Occupied Kashmir. So after withdrawal of the US-led NATO forces from Afghanistan, these insurgents will not only roll back Indian networks from that country, but could also create unrest inside India. Nonetheless, it looks surprising that by learning no lesson from a prolonged war against terrorism, defeatism in Iraq and Afghanistan, heavy cost of war, acute financial crisis inside America, as to why the US has nourished designs to destabilise Asia by entangling India and China in a new cold war, which will ultimately damage American regional and global interests.








Jawans to wait longer for better quality sports shoes

New Delhi, Jul 28 (PTI) Indian Army jawans will have to wait for superior quality sports shoes as the project to procure these footwear has been put on hold after a protest over the use of cow leather to produce them.The sports shoes were to be issued free of cost to all Junior Commissioned Officers and Personnel Below Officer Ranks (PBOR) in the next few years, replacing the old brown canvass PT shoes given to them presently, Army sources said here."The project has been put on hold after protests were registered with the Defence Ministry by some animal rights activists over the use of cow leather to produce the shoes in large numbers," they said.Sources said earlier specifications for procurement said the shoes had to be made of either leather, canvass or cloth but it was amended by the Master General Ordnance (MGO) branch, which included cow leather also in it."We had carried out a feasibility study and found that shoes made of cow leather would have lasted longer and they were found to be fit for use by our soldiers," the MGO said.The Army had started the process of issuing better quality sports shoes to replace the basic brown canvas PT shoes provided to jawans in 2008.Trials were also carried out and some of the companies were also shortlisted for the possible award of the tender for over eight lakh shoes.



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