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Thursday, 15 September 2011

From Today's Papers - 15 Sep 2011






IAF suspends Group Capt Amit Gupta

New Delhi, September 14 Group Captain Amit Gupta was today suspended from service by the Indian Air Force after he was arrested in connection with the alleged suicide of former officer Anjali Gupta.  "Amit, who is currently posted at the Nagpur air base, has been suspended under the Air Force Act after he was arrested and taken into judicial custody by the local police authorities in Bhopal," IAF officials said here. They said the officer would remain suspended till the completion of the judicial process. Amit was arrested under Section 306 of the IPC in connection with the suicide committed by Anjali at his residence here on September 11.  Family members of Anjali, who was the first IAF woman officer to be dismissed from service, have alleged she was in a live-in relationship with Amit since 2001 and that continued even after she was court-martialled in 2006. They have claimed Amit had promised to marry her but as it did not materialise, she committed suicide. — PTI


Chinese troops enter Indian side, Army denies it

Leh, September 14 Chinese troops are reported to have entered into Indian territory and destroyed some old Army bunkers and tents in the Chumar division of Nyoma tehsil, about 300 km from here.  While some reports suggested that the Chinese troops in helicopters entered one-and-a-half km into Indian airspace, other reports said the helicopters landed in Chinese territory and then the troops marched into the area to dismantle the bunkers, a move aimed at displaying that the area belonged to them.  The Army denied that any such incident had taken place.  The Chinese troops attempted to dismantle an old Army bunker, which was not used by the troops for long, sources said. — PTI


Winning hearts Anti-Naxal operations must be more nuanced

Addressing Collectors from 60 Naxalite-affected districts on Tuesday, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram underlined the urgency to win the “hearts and minds” of people. Somewhat ironically at the same meeting, plans were unveiled to recruit retired Armymen to deal with Left extremism in these districts. Above all, the Home Minister called upon Ministers and Chief Ministers to spend “ a couple of nights” in Naxalite affected areas, presumably to inspire confidence among the people. Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh repeated the ‘development mantra’ and exhorted the Collectors to ensure that centrally sponsored schemes for rural roads and employment are implemented faithfully. The workshop was aimed at the 60 districts in which the Government launched the ‘Integrated Action Plan’ last year with 18 more districts being added to that list this year.  The jaded and worn out prescriptions indicate how clueless the Government still is. It is not as if funds were not available for development schemes in the past. Ministers and Chief Ministers too have visited Naxalite dominated districts and some of them also tried to promote sports and cultural activities. At least one Member of Parliament was gunned down by Naxalites while watching a football match sponsored by him. The terror unleashed by the Naxalites put an end to all mainstream political activities and the political parties abdicated the turf, allowing Naxals to fill the void. Government employees rarely visit the areas. Schools are occupied by security forces and teachers either skip classes or barely spend an hour before scurrying back to their nearest urban sanctuaries. Policemen in these areas are often more scared than the common man but the fear factor has not prevented them from being repressive. Therefore, cosmetic solutions like changing the colour of the police uniform, as suggested at the workshop, are unlikely to usher in dramatic changes.  The Government needs to address the people’s needs for energy, water, education, health, employment and entertainment in these areas. But the state governments have been far more successful in protecting the interests of forest contractors, industries and mining companies active in these areas. Those priorities need to change if the Government is serious about a breakthrough.


Myanmar acts on Indian concerns, but doesn’t deliver

Myanmar’s military action against insurgent camps in Sagaing province last week may have been aimed at sending a message to New Delhi that India’s security concerns were being addressed, rather than wipe out camps of insurgent groups such as the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).  Last week, Myanmar sent two heavily-armed army battalions into the dense forests of Sagaing province 800 km north of the capital, Yangon, and attacked two insurgent camps, including the one where Ulfa commander-in-chief Paresh Barua was holed up.  The Ulfa faction led by Paresh Barua and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) are among the eight insurgent groups that have bases in Myanmar. Barua escaped unhurt, possibly helped by a tip-off about the impending attack, a government official said.  According to communication intercepted by intelligence agencies, Ulfa had about 200 cadres in and around the camp and sent another 200-250 cadres to cross the border into Myanmar.  A security official said the military operation had been on for the last few days but wondered why they were not picking any information about casualties of any side. Or why Myanmar did not inform them about the operation and “request for steps to move Indian forces closer to the border to block gaps,” he asked.  The military action was in response to rising concerns in New Delhi about the ease with which insurgent groups were able to operate out of Myanmar. This has particularly been a sore point with Delhi, particularly since other eastern neighbours – Bhutan in 2003 and later Bangladesh in 2010 – had shut their doors on insurgent outfits.  Most of the insurgent groups had moved into Myanmar, from where some of them not only access arms from China but also are believed to have come in contact with Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI.  Myanmar shares 1,643 km land boundary with India’s four northeastern states.  India would like Myanmar to address its security concerns as China partakes in the economic development of that nation in a bigger way.  Officials concede one reason why the army in Myanmar doesn’t go all the way on India’s security concerns was that India has not invested in developing security ties.  New Delhi intends to address this gap by proposing interactions between the army and police forces at different levels during President Thein Sein’s State visit to India in October.


Waging a deadly battle on two fronts

The terrorists nurtured by Pakistan’s army and intelligence network have now returned to haunt these institutions, writes Abhijit Bhattacharyya

Like the Indian armed forces, the army in Pakistan, too, is the creation of the British. However, unlike India, Pakistan’s army has been the most prominent ruling class of that nation. Further, unlike India’s armed personnel, the Pakistani army believes that “Islam is... the basis of the country’s identity and source of culture.” Moreover, for the soldiers, this is also a “defining aspect of the profession of arms” as that “faith is said to owe more to the power of the sword... and remains a potent inspiration for the Pakistani army.”  Today, the same army faces a grave threat from within — a threat, which, over the years, has been the creation of the army itself. Pakistan’s army is being confronted by an increasing number of jihadis and rogue elements within its own ranks even as it attempts to curb violence in the restless and reckless north-western frontier.  Interestingly, the second Caliph, Umar, had sent an expedition to the same area during his campaign to conquer Persia. Here is what the expedition is said to have reported: “O Commander of the faithful! It is a land where plains are stony; where water is scanty; where the fruits are unsavoury; where men are known for treachery; where plenty is unknown; where virtue is held of little account; and evil is dominant; a large army is useless there; and a less army is useless there; the land beyond it is even worse.” Taking cue from this description, one can visualize the nature of the terrain in which the Pakistani soldiers are operating.  One can thus understand how things are today and what could happen tomorrow. The nexus between the military and the terrorist outfits in Pakistan is a reality. It has resulted in many a coup and plots, assassination attempts on civilian leaders as well as terror attacks on Pakistan’s cities, navy bases, air force stations and even on the army headquarters in Rawalpindi.  The list of wrongdoings by the military is a long one. In1995, a couple of Pakistani army officers, including a major general and a brigadier, were arrested for planning to take over the army headquarters and a civilian government “for the establishment of a strict-Islamic political system in Pakistan.” Soon after, in October 1999, Pervez Musharraf, the then army chief, defied the constitutional authority and resorted to a coup. Understandably, when the chief resorts to insubordination and treachery, can the juniors lag far behind? Two attempts were made on Musharraf’s life in December 2003. They resulted in the arrest of at least 57 Pakistani air force personnel, the dismissal of 24 servicemen as well as the passing of the death sentence on six officials.  After 9/11, the media in Islamabad reported that several Pakistani army officers had taken ‘official leave’ and gone to wage jihad in Afghanistan against the United States of America. According to the sources in Pakistan’s army, a number of Pashtun personnel, junior commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers had also gone to Afghanistan to participate in the jihad.  In August 2003, a Lahore daily had reported that 12 Pakistani officers had been arrested in Afghanistan’s Zabul province for having links with militants belonging to the Taliban and the Hizb-i-Islami. In October 2006, 40 mid-ranking Pakistani air force officers were arrested for being involved in an abortive coup against the then Pakistani president and army chief. In March 2006, the deputy chief of air staff operations, Marshal Khalid Chaudhry, too, complained that “airmen of Pakistani air force were sabotaging F-16s deployed for security operations against the Taliban in the tribal region.”  Things started deteriorating further from 2007-2008, even as the army and the Inter-Services Intelligence made desperate attempts to unite their scattered resources by orchestrating the deadly attacks on Mumbai. Yet, it was fairly evident by then that terrorists belonging to the Taliban and al Qaida, who had been nurtured by the army and the ISI, had come back to haunt them. The sensational assassination of a retired major general, Ameer Faisal Alavi, by another former armyman-turned terrorist was a case in point. The signal had become loud and clear. The army in Pakistan had to prepare itself for a nightmare — a war on two fronts. One was a civil war to appease its American ally; another was the battle to take on its arch enemy, India.  The army-terrorist entente surfaced once again in 2009. Ahsanul Haq, a former major of the Pakistani army, was linked to the heinous attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. Haq, who has now aligned himself with the Tablighi Jamaat, a revivalist, Islamic movement, is alleged to have given logistical support to fighters belonging to the Taliban. The summer of 2011 has shown that the situation has become even more bleak than what it was for the once-admired armed forces of Pakistan. The killing of Osama bin Laden deep inside Pakistani territory is a clear indication of the deep roots sprouted by the army-terrorist-fundamentalist combine inside Pakistan’s defence apparatus.  To the acute discomfiture and embarrassment of Pakistanis, it has now emerged that a former commando of the Pakistani navy and his brother were directly connected to the terror attack on PNS Mehran. In June 2011 came the confirmation from the army that a serving brigadier was found to have ties with the Hizb ut-Tahrir, which has been proactive in seeking the recruitment of serving Pakistani soldiers to engineer an Islamic revolution in the country.  What is the message of all the turbulence within the armed forces in Pakistan? During the last two decades, the army’s ‘strategic assets’ — the various militant outfits that were waging the proxy wars against India on behalf of the army — have opened a new front against their mentors in Islamabad. Nonetheless, one should remember the chilling words used as a warning by Ilyas Kashmiri and his 313 Brigade in February 2010: “We, the Mujahideen of 313 Brigade, vow to continue attacks all across India until the Indian Army leaves Kashmir and gives the Kashmiris their right of self-determination....We again warn the Indian government to compensate for all its injustices. Otherwise they will see our next action.”  The writing, therefore, is on the wall for India. The Pakistani army and the ISI which had raised, trained and nurtured the motley band of extremists to bleed India will never cease doing what they consider to be their foremost duty. But the extraordinary changes that have swept through the globe have resulted in the creator and the created getting embroiled in a deadly war inside Pakistan. Nevertheless, there still exists a formidable, ‘anti-India’, agenda that revolves around the ‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’ (the promised Battle for India). Hence the overall security situation looks grim for this country.


Indian army said the target may be an air strike in Pakistan

China News Network December 21, 21, according to Indian media reports, the Indian military in the evening local time at high level military conference to reassess the security situation around India and the Indian Army’s fight preparations. At this meeting, the Indian cross-border terrorism may still persist, and does not rule out a number of targets in Pakistan, “surgical” military strike.  of anonymity, sources told reporters that the Indian army on the 20th evening held a high-level military meeting, participants included Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister AK Antony, Army chief Deepak – Kabul, Navy Commander Surui Shi – Mehta and Air Force, FH-maga. The high-level meeting focused on India is currently facing the regional security situation, and fight the Indian army’s readiness. While also meeting officials from both positive and negative aspects of a detailed assessment of the Indian army’s combat capability. At this meeting, the Indian military has once again confirmed in the joint may be necessary when cross-border terrorism against Pakistan, and does not rule out targets in Pakistan, “surgical” military strike. Participating officials that, despite India’s pressure in Western countries do not want to select the priority of force, but Pakistan can not continue to delay in the fight against terrorism.  sources told reporters that “the implementation of cross-border military strikes against the surgical option has not been abandoned, the military is currently being maintained in accordance with orders from their superiors on high alert to deal with any eventuality that may occur events. “But in the open interview with reporters, the Indian Defense Minister AK Antony has declared Pakistan, India has no plans for military attack, he only stressed the need to take measures against terrorists in Pakistan, so that improved relations between India and Pakistan. Anthony said, “We have no plans to take any military action, but at the same time, unless Pakistan against India in its territory against terrorists and against the owner behind the Mumbai attacks, or else things will change.” Turning to India deploy troops in the border with Pakistan when Anthony said the current situation is normal, the army had already done the relevant preparation. Anthony also denied that India plans to break India and Pakistan last more than five years of cease-fire.  U.S. Department of Defense officials also believe that the Indian Air Force is to make early preparations for the attack on Pakistan. A U.S. Defense Department official told reporters in Mumbai after the incident the Indian Air Force has been “upgraded alert.” This is the first public release U.S. military might of India and Pakistan war of information. Then there were three U.S. defense officials told the media that the U.S. got the news that India is deploying air forces may attack. Indian army has entered the “alert”, one of whom said the United States identified the preparation will help India and Pakistan for terrorist targets in rapid air strikes. Shortly thereafter, the Indian fighters in the early evening of 13 to 14 has entered the period of Lahore in eastern Pakistan and Kashmir over the Pakistan then send machine to intercept the Indian fighters expelled. Refers to the Pakistani authorities, Indian military aircraft after the recognition of “straying” Pakistan’s airspace.  Lahore region of Pakistan army commander stationed in raso – Mu Shaer General said that the Pakistani Frontier Corps has begun to take strong military action to crack down on raids and terrorist attacks in Mumbai Pakistan will not tolerate terrorists use Pakistani territory as a hiding place. If you do not get India in Pakistan without the consent of the so-called cross-border attacks on terrorist targets in Pakistan, Pakistan will be treated as armed aggression, and was Pakistan’s military response. (Xiao Xi)  Related Reading: India’s attention, said China is Pakistan military consultation mediation


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