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Monday, 5 December 2011

From Today's Papers - 05 Dec 2011

NHRC calls for AFSPA’s repeal
India could face uncomfortable questions from UNHRC Aditi Tandon/TNS  New Delhi, December 4 When India faces the UN Human Rights Commission next year for a universal periodic review of its human rights situation, it will face some very tough questions over the continuation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).  In a major revelation of India’s contradictory position in respect of this Act, which guarantees protection to armed forces operating in troubled areas, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has shown that India, in a recent report to the UN, has said that it faces no conflict situation. By that yardstick, AFSPA should go.  NHRC’s India report for the Second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of human rights in the country states, “The Armed Forces Special Powers Act remains in force in Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern states, conferring an impunity that often leads to the violation of human rights”.  This, despite the fact that India's 2011 report on the Optional Protocol to the CRC (Convention on Rights of the Child) states that India does not face either international or non-international armed conflict situations.”  The report, released today, is ready for submission to the UN for next year’s UPR of India. Speaking to The Tribune exclusively, NHRC member Satyabrata Pal said, “When the government has itself said it faces no conflict situation, we see no reason for it to continue with the Act. Considering the enormous opposition the Act has generated in the states where it is in force and considering the evidence we have on record to show how the military is using it, the Act should go.”  The UPR mechanism was created by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on March 15, 2006 and is undertaken every four years to ensure universal coverage of human rights across the world. The mechanism calls for three reports from every country to judge its performance on human rights - the report by the country’s human rights commission; another by the civil society and a third by the government.  The NHRC-India UPR report further makes a strong case for the repeal of the AFSPA, with the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah already calling for it.  The report also raises concerns on the attitude of the police, stating in its report that 35 pc complaints it receives annually are against the police. “In 2006, the Supreme Court issued seven binding directives to start police reforms but little has been done,” the report says, painting a grim picture on the civil and political rights situation.  It documents cases of custodial injustice and says jails remain overcrowded and unhygienic. “Over 67% prisoners are under trial, unable to raise bail or confined far longer than they should be because of the huge backlog of cases. Over 56,383 cases were pending in the Supreme Court at the end of October 2011. At the end of 2010, 4.2 million cases were pending in high courts and 28 million in subordinate courts,” the report says. In a shocking documentation, the commission also finds that the Indian Railways are the largest users of manual scavengers, whereas the government has committed itself to abolishing the practice.
Pak army under pressure Will it snap ties with US?
Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaque Pervez Kayani asking his commanders in the areas bordering Afghanistan to retaliate in the face of an attack from the US-led NATO forces in the region shows growing frustration in Rawalpindi vis-à-vis Islamabad’s relations with Washington DC. The Pakistan army cannot afford to keep quiet under the circumstances when there is so much revulsion among the Pakistani public against the US following the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in an attack by American troops. Whether the tragedy occurred because of the mistake of Americans or Pakistani forces, the development came at a time when the Pakistan army had been under tremendous pressure to snap its relations with Washington DC owing to the unending US drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Pakistan is obviously not in a position to respond to the Americans militarily, but it immediately ordered stoppage of supplies to the NATO troops in Afghanistan through Pakistani territory. On its part, the US ordered an enquiry into the incident and suspended some of its soldiers. But all this has failed to assuage the hurt feelings of the Pakistani public. This is proved by the massive demonstrations against the US throughout Pakistan.  The US seems to have realised that the emerging scenario may nullify the gains made in the fight against Al-Qaida and the Taliban. The US and Pakistan being on a collision course suits the terrorist and extremist forces. These forces had no love lost for the Pakistan army after it launched limited operations in Waziristan following the pressure from Washington DC and other important world capitals. The US, therefore, has done well by softening its stand by declaring that Pakistan has “the right to self-defence” and that Washington DC will ensure that what happened in Mohmand agency does not occur again.  Despite all that is being done to deprive the extremist forces of the advantages that they may have today, the mistrust between the US and the Pakistan army is likely to increase. The US may no longer depend on Islamabad for protecting its interests in post-troop-withdrawal Afghanistan. Pakistan, too, will continue to play the double-game it has been playing in its western neighbourhood. This is not a happy scenario as far as the war on terrorism is concerned.
Challenges from China India needs to review its security strategy
by Rakesh Datta  Describing the relationship between India and China, it is often said that the two countries should remain good neighbours in geopolitics, good friends in economic cooperation and good partners in international affairs. However, the reality is that they have been uncomfortable neighbours, estranged friends and cool partners. Though both countries boost of civilisational linkages, they have hardly anything in common. India somehow, willingly or unwillingly, is carrying the burden of a much compliant, obliging and ever-pleasing neighbour.  It was nearly five decades back that the two countries fought a war, resulting in politico-military humiliation for India. Addressed variously as India’s China war or the Sino-Indian conflict, India is much to be blamed for it since Chinese advances were too evident to be ignored.  Lately, responding to the concern expressed over China’s plan to build a dam across the Psangpo river — a source river for the Brahmaputra — Dr Manmohan Singh said China had assured India that nothing would be done against its interests in the distribution of Brahmaputra waters. Earlier, Chinese Vice-Premier had said, “The survival of the Chinese nation is threatened by the country’s shortage of water.” In fact, the planned dam on the Brahmaputra has been a cause for serious concern since the Chinese are quite capable of exploiting their advantages, given the past experience. Such assurances had also been the hallmark of the era preceding 1962, when Jawaharlal Nehru, Krishna Menon and the then senior military officers would assert that there would be no war with China. Perhaps, we do not believe in learning lessons from history. We could have built a reservoir on the river, keeping in view the likely contingencies.  It was only when China got busy with military modernisation that its potential competitors like India started showing uneasiness. The fundamental objective of such modernisation was to create a force level sufficient to counter any threat in areas of information warfare, long-range precision strikes, strategic manoeuvring and space combat, besides building comprehensive national power. This has only reinforced the Chinese imperial ambition of dismembering India.  India is a large democracy with a multi-party system as against the one-party rule in China. This, perhaps, is the one fundamental reason why China has a focussed agenda whereas India dithers on it. For the last over six decades after Independence, India has pursued a national security policy by cultivating, nurturing and executing a “please all strategy” in defence and foreign affairs-related dealings. Consequently, we have lost one-third of Kashmir to Pakistan; allowed China to become a stakeholder in the Kashmir dispute; almost surrendered Aksai Chin; made Arunachal Pradesh and the Northeast politically vulnerable to neighbouring countries, including China, besides being habitual of underplaying rather confronting any adversary. Here one is reminded of the briefing Jawaharlal Nehru got from K.M Pannikar, the first Indian Ambassador to China, that Beijing would not create any problem so long as India keeps it pleased. In fact, it became the standard policy guideline to deal with other nations as well.  Incredibly, a country enjoying global eminence in terms of its size, economic growth, industrial potential, population and armed forces is sadly losing its stature due to a leadership deficit, political indecisiveness and the security syndrome. Consequently, our core principle of national security — territorial integrity — is breached perpetually with impunity and there is a lack of apparent ability to meet the challenge.  According to Mao, “decisive engagements under unfavourable conditions be avoided.” Deng, another modern Chinese statesman, said, “secure positions; cope with affairs calmly; hide capacities and bid time; there is a need to build firm strategies to combat national security issues”. The Chinese grand strategy also rests on the belief that strengthening conventional and strategic deterrence is important because, as it is said, “intention changes, but capability stays”.  There is a continuous endeavour by India to increase bilateral trade with China. Trade is a “sinew of war”, but India has adopted it as a strategy thinking that more trade with China shall provide the much-needed succour to ward off threats from the communist giant. We certainly are not raising our military capabilities vs-a-vis China.  China has been nibbling India at the politico-military front despite certain confidence-building measures in action between the two countries. China has chosen Pakistan as a conduit in its game-plan of bleeding India continuously, besides cultivating relations with other countries in the region to encircle India. Looking at Chinese behaviour, India too needs to deal with the countries in the neighbourhood more pragmatically.  There is great need to improve our basic inventory to deal with China. The later has reorganised its ground forces into group armies. Significant to mention here is the building of the elite Rapid Response Force, composed of eight types of troops belonging to scouts, infantry, artillery, signals, engineers, anti-chemical warfare automobile corps and airborne fighters. Intended to engage in small-scale intensive regional military operations, these are highly technology-based forces and competitive in character.  India, too, has come out with its Cold Start doctrine against Pakistan. Designed as small composite units to cut down on the period of mobilisation, such rapid action troops could well be organised for the China border as well. But, sadly, buckling under US pressure, the present Army Chief has denied altogether the existence of any such doctrine.  There is need to create such specalised units in the Indian Army and the Navy to meet contingencies such as sea-borne threats. Efforts should also be made to reduce the period of acclimatisation for troop deployment on the Himalayan frontiers.  India started its military modernisation in 1963 after the 1962 war. China, instead, began much later in 1978. However, unlike the Chinese defence industry, which has produced some of the relatively modern weapon systems besides the development of missiles, India has manufactured very few major weapon systems so far. China, in contrast, possesses a whole range of missiles, including ICBMs and SLBMs, whereas, but for Agni and Prithvi missiles, all other Indian missiles remain technological demonstrators..  India’s offensive capability in high altitude areas is hardly dependable. Our perspective planning for building a force structure must be based on a central agenda directed towards projected capabilities. China is adopting a new military strategy based on unrestricted warfare where there are no rules with nothing forbidden. In this context, apart from designing some innovative response strategies vis-à-vis China, India must look for and cultivate certain dissident Chinese political leaders settled abroad and use them to its advantage. India needs to exploit Chinese vulnerabilities in socio-economic, technological and geo-strategic areas, besides concentrating on ways of waging asymmetrical warfare against more powerful hegemonistic presence in our neighborhood.  Though India cannot stop China from developing infrastructure in its own territory across the border, we must give up our irrational idea that developing border infrastructure is detrimental to national security. There has been some change in thinking with regard to our borders with China in Arunachal Pradesh, but nothing substantial is seen on the ground. Taking into account China’s achievements in militarising space and in the Indian Ocean region, India needs to adopt a focussed and fast-track approach to harness measures most effectively as it has reasons to be wary of China. Above all, it is in India’s political direction and will where lies the country’s actual potential in formulating and executing counter-threat strategies keeping in view the designs of China.n  Professor Datta, Chairman of the Department of Defence and National Security Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh, was a member of the National Security Advisory Board.
Govt, army urged to withdraw all facilities given to US
Religious and political leaders in the Defense of Pakistan Council (DPC) have demanded the rulers and the armed forces to withdraw all facilities to the US forces they are using to kill Muslim Afghan brothers, get all the bases like Shamsi airbase vacated and shoot down US drones flying in Pakistani airspace.  Addressing a consultative meeting of the platform at the Jamia Manzoorul Islamia here on Sunday, the DPC leaders warned the rulers that after facing defeat against ill-armed Afghans during a decade-long war, the US was desperately trying to deprive Pakistan of its nuclear assets and to install India as the regional superpower to cut down China’s global influence.  While briefing the media persons after the meeting, the leaders called upon all the religious and political parties to join the non-political, non-electoral platform of the DPC to counter US aggression against national security and unity. They announced holding a large public meeting, Defense of Pakistan Conference, on Dec 18 at Minar-e-Pakistan to chalk out a strategy on the issue.  Stressing that Pakistanis were a patriotic nation and every citizen was prepared to fight against the US forces, they warned the US of another Afghanistan-like defeat if it ventured to colonise Pakistan or attack it for ulterior motives.  The meeting was chaired by its chairman and chief of JUI-S Maulana Samiul Haq while prominent participants included Jamaatud Dawah (JD) ameer Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, JD leader Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki, Pir Saifullah Khalid, Maulana Fazlur Raheem Naqshbandi, Jamia Ahle Hadith leaders Hafiz Abdul Ghaffar Rupari, Qari Hajif Jallundhari, Maulana Shamur Rehman, Qari Yakoob Sheikh, JI deputy ameer Dr Muhammad Kamal, JUI-S secretary general Maualan Abdul Rauf Farooqi, Mufti Hameeduallh Jan, Maulana Naeem Badshah, Maulana Abdul Hayee, Maulana Mahmoodur Rasheed, Allama Yunus Hasan, Hamidul Haq Haqqani, Maulana Abdul Jabbar, Abdul Wahab Rupari, Hafiz Khalid Waleed, Maulana Asim Makhdoom, Maulana Yusuf Ahrar, Maulana Muhammad Ramzan, Yahya Mujahid and others.  Samiul Haq said after dissolving the USSR and eliminating Saddam’s threat to Tel Aviv, the expansionists in Washington were trying to neutralize the only nuclear power of the Muslim world. He said Jihad against the Zionists controlling Washington’s policies had become an obligation for every Pakistani since they were now out to destroy it. He said mere vacation of Shamsi airbase and temporary cut off of the US supply line were not enough but all kind of cooperation with the US against the Afghans should be stopped permanently to appease the nation. He said shouldering the US war against Afghans had seriously damaged national unity and present and past rulers were responsible for the subversion and destruction it had caused in the country.  He emphasized that the DPC was a purely non-political platform and expressed hope that Dec 18 conference would prove that entire nation was standing by it.  Hafiz Saeed said the US was bent upon taking revenge of its shameful defeat from Pakistan by establishing Indian hegemony in south Asia. He demanded immediate severing of all kinds of cooperation with the US forces in its war on terror in Afghanistan which was a prerequisite to forge unity among the nation. He said the US could aid and instigate Delhi for attacking Pakistan on the pretext of Mumbai attacks or infiltration.  He said only the parties which had created Pakistan in the name of Islam could now defend it against the western aggression. He said US was about to make a humiliating retreat from the region and Pakistan must display courage to prevent it from shifting its lost war into its own territory.  Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki asked the Ulema and scholars to highlight in their sermons and meetings the US conspiracies and threats lurking against Pakistan’s security.  The DPC consultative meeting formed a five-member committee to contact religious elders and heads of religious seminaries, Ulema, teachers and students for obtaining their support for the cause of DPC and its upcoming public meeting in Lahore on Dec 18.  The committee is headed by Pir Saifullah Khalid and comprised Maulana Abdul Rauf Farooqi Qari Yakub Sheikh, Maulana Shamsur Rehman Muavia, and Amirul Azeem.
India must show more spine when dealing with China: Omar
India's financial and entertainment capital got a first-hand account of the goings-on in the distant and often restive state of Jammu and Kashmir from its young and articulate Chief Minister Omar Abdullah: from how it can be a scary job to run the state to his run-in with the Army over the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), and his light-hearted advice to Rahul Gandhi that he will probably learn more if he loses an election like Abdullah did.  While militant violence has fallen sharply in the last decade and the state has conducted a hugely successful panchayat election for the first time in 30 years, India should give up the idea of getting Pakistan-occupied Kashmir back, Abdullah said. He also urged the Centre to show more spine when dealing with China since Beijing calls Kashmir a disputed region and questions parts of India’s sovereignty.  “If I go to sleep at night in the same frame of mind I woke up in, I think it’s a day I can be fairly satisfied with. I have had more days like that this year than I had last year,” Abdullah said on Saturday at the Olive Bar and Kitchen in Mumbai. He was speaking at the Express Adda, a series of conversations that The Indian Express Group organises with people at the centre of change.
Madras Regiment celebrates 253rd anniversary?
UDHAGAMANDALAM: The oldest regiment in the Indian army, Madras Regiment Centre (MRC), celebrated its 253rd Raising Day on Saturday. A prominent institution of the Nilgiris, MRC was raised in 1758 at Chennapatnam, later known as Madrasand now Chennai, and is now headquartered at the scenic Wellington in the Nilgiris.  The celebrations commenced with a wreath-laying ceremony at the War Memorial at the MRC. Tributes were paid to war heroes of the regiment.  A large number of serving officers, ex-servicemen and other dignitaries participated in the ceremony under the leadership of Brigadier SS Jadhav, VSM, and commandant of the MRC. As part of the ceremony, a special sainik sammelan was organized at the Srinagesh Barracks. Jadhav extended greetings to all 'veer madrasis' and their families. A cash award of Rs 2 lakh was presented to Naik Manish P V, a Shaurya Chakra winner, who fought terrorists at the Trident Hotel in Mumbai on November 26, 2008.  Jadhav also declared open the state chapters of Ex-servicemen Welfare Association and inaugurated the Kerala chapter as a pilot project. A blood donation camp was organized on the occasion. marked the occasion as maximum number of troops, including the Commandant of the MRC, and their dependents of the regiment participated voluntarily in the camp.  Fireworks and a band performance were also conducted.  The origin of MRC is traced to December 4, 1758, when two battalions were raised under Colonel Robert Clive consequent to the siege of Fort St George by the French. Madras troops fought in the battle of Seringapatnam and battle of Assaye under Arthur Wellesley, who later became the Duke of Wellington. Madras regiment is the only regiment in the Indian Army that was not bifurcated after independence.  The regiment is very proud of having had Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw at the Military Hospital, Wellington for his age related treatment since May 2006 till his death on June 26, 2008. And 'The War Hero's lying 'in state' military ceremony was conducted with precision, perfection and professionalism at the Srinagesh Barrack in MRC.
Why I find US attacks on Pakistan satisfying
What goes around comes around… The US military has spanked the Pakistani army and humiliated its leadership by attacking outposts on the Af-Pak border and killing 24 soldiers.  Normally, I feel strongly against such blatant violations of the sovereignty of independent nations. But, and only as an exception, I must confess, the US action is giving me immense pleasure.  Adding to my satisfaction, even unconcealed glee, is the decision of US President Barrack Obama not to tender an apology for the attack.  A respected colleague is aghast at my reaction. He accuses me of being intrinsically anti-Pakistani.  I’m not.  But I also don’t believe, even for a minute, that it is a friendly country; that engagement with it is the best way forward for us; that a strong and stable Pakistan is in our best interest; and that we must do our bit to strengthen its democratically elected government and the civil society from which it draws its authority.  And that’s why I feel vindicated when the US gives Pakistan a solid hiding and a very visible black eye – something that the Indian government seems singularly incapable of doing.  For decades, India and its citizens have been at the receiving end of a well-documented, highly visible but never publicly acknowledged war declared by the rulers of Islamabad.  For decades, Indians have been chaffing at the impunity with which the perpetrators of terror from across the border have been plying their craft in this country and the brazenness with which their political masters in Islamabad and Rawalpindi have been denying their complicity and even defending them as so-called freedom fighters, social workers and heroes.  So, it comes as a delicious irony to see Pakistan at the receiving end of its own medicine; to see Pakistani sovereignty violated with impunity by a “friendly nation”, which refuses even to apologise for the havoc it caused.  And how have the Pakistanis reacted – to this attack as well as the one six months ago that killed terror mastermind Osama bin Laden right under the noses of his hosts in that country’s establishment?  “We will not tolerate this.”  “Next time, we will hit back.”  “We will retaliate.”  The impotent rage ringing out from those words is music to my ears.  We’ve heard our leaders repeat them thousands of times in the past. We know them for just what they are: false bravado.  There’s nothing the Pakistani government or military can do about it. The Pakistani leadership knows it, too. They’ve heard it for decades from their Indian counterparts – and chuckled.  Now, they’re being forced to parrot these same lines. And I can bet my bottom dollar that they’re not chuckling this time.  The Indian government is also not chuckling – at least not publicly. Officially, India wants the US and Pakistan – “two friendly powers” – to resolve their differences.  All right… we may not have the means to punish Pakistan for being the neighbourhood delinquent, but we can at least call a spade a spade!  What amazes me is the continued belief across the Indian political spectrum – right, left and centre – in the face of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, that peace with Pakistan is possible on respectable terms and that India must somehow try and help that country’s civilian government consolidate its grip on power.  Complete tosh.  Look at the evidence:  * Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, a civilian, reneged on the Simla Pact as soon as India returned 93,000 Pakistani prisoners of war;  * Gen Zia ul Haq, his successor, began exporting thousands of jehadi fighters into India to bleed this country to death by a thousand cuts;  * Bhutto’s daughter Benazir, despite publicly wanting peace with India, set the Kashmir valley in flames in 1989;  * Kargil happened during the reign of Nawaz Sharif;  * Gen Parvez Musharaf, who overthrew Sharif in a coup, is widely believed to be the author of Kargil; and  * Pakistan planned and executed the 26/11 attack on Mumbai when Benazir’s husband, Asif Ali Zardari, was (and remains) President. Indian home minister P Chidambaram complained only last week that Pakistan continues to protect the perpetrators of that attack even as it continues to stonewall Indian demands to bring them to justice.  So, no Pakistani ruler over the last 40 years – whether civilian, military or civilian-backed-by-the-military – has seriously pursued peace with India.  And the peace overtures by every Indian leader – Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh – have been rebuffed with asymmetric warfare, political doublespeak, diplomatic grandstanding and brazen deceit.  Pakistan’s bottom line has always been: give us Kashmir, or else…  It has not budged from this position since Independence.  All the concessions, it has demanded overtly and covertly, have to come from India. Regrettably, successive rulers in New Delhi have, in their eagerness for peace, willingly suspended disbelief and fallen into the Pakistani trap.  Tell me: which book of strategy, which master of real politick, which treatise on international relations has ever said: It is in your best interest to strengthen your enemy.  Even the US, without whose military and financial support Pakistan will collapse, has not been able to make Pakistan behave like a responsible member of the international community.  Then, Pakistan’s foundational premise was anti-Indian and it continues to define its existence on an anti-India paradigm.  So, New Delhi’s hopes of responsible behaviour and neighbourliness from Pakistan is nothing but the victory of irrational expectation over experience.  Already, many influential circles around the world consider Pakistan a failed state. It may be in India’s best interest to let it fail completely. And if its constituent parts – Sindh, Balochistan, Northwest Frontier Province and Punjab — want to go their own way, let them.  My respected colleague is getting very agitated, almost on the verge of having a fit. How can you consider Pakistan an enemy? he demands. That is the language of 19th century geopolitics.  And that, to me, is the language of post-modern denial.  Friendly, it isn’t; neutral, it can’t be… I’m sorry, but I can’t find any other word to describe Pakistan. Let’s face it, the Allies didn’t win the Second World War by calling Nazi Germany a friend; the West didn’t win the Cold War by describing Soviet Bloc inhabitants as comrades; and the Indian Army didn’t liberate Bangladesh by being buddies with General Niazi’s hordes.  That still leaves the main question unanswered: how do we deal with our troublesome western neighbour?  War is not an option, India lacks the capability for covert action and talks have not yielded any results.  The honest answer is, like the Indian government and, indeed, the rest of the world, I don’t know.  But I do know this: the first step towards resolving the problem of Pakistan is to acknowledge that Pakistan is, indeed, a problem. And considering Pakistan a friend is not a step in that direction.  Meanwhile, I continue to savour the quiet satisfaction of seeing Pakistan getting what it had coming for a long, long time.
Scandal hit army willing to correct image   Read more at:
The armed forces' strong citadel of integrity was seen to be crumbling after some senior officers were caught on the wrong side of the probity divide, threatening to disturb a highly respected equation of trust between the services and the masses.  In the scam-a-day era, no institution has managed to escape the blemish. When all other pillars of the Indian democratic system showed signs of decay, the armed forces, too, were not seen far behind.  But there is one key difference between the civil and military establishment. In the army, those found guilty were tried, sentenced and punished in time. Even the generals could not escape punishment.  The involvement of senior generals in dubious deals, such as Sukna land transfer and Adarsh expose, was unprecedented, but they were not spared.  When General V.K. Singh took over as the army chief, he acknowledged that the organisation's image had taken a blow because of a series of scandals involving some of the top ranking officers. He promised action to cleanse the system.  The top officers in the army have been bestowed with a lot of power. A corps commander controls almost 1/12th of the army. Any wrongdoing at that level can have far reaching implications.  General Singh has showed earnestness in treating this illness - asking the soldiers, who are the backbone of the country's defence - not to lose confidence in their commanders.  The message from the army headquarters could not have been clearer - only a handful was spoiling the name of the institution and they were being dealt with.  Retired officers are confident that the army is capable of dealing with these "aberrations" and that such incidents would have no impact on the operational preparedness. They also contend that young officers are competent to set the high standards.  The former officers agree that money has been a big corrupting influence on every section in society, including the military. But at the same time, they do not buy the argument that corruption in the armed forces is a reflection of what is happening in society.  Even army chief General Singh has been quoted in interviews dismissing this notion.  According to defence experts, institutional checks and balances have been diluted over the period of time. The erosion of institutions has led to a decay in the system.  Some also blame the political leadership and the bureaucracy - which holds sway in policy decisions in the sphere of defence - for their failure to take corrective measures.  But at the same time, both serving and retired officers insist that the mechanism to make the culprit pay for his mistakes is very much alive in the armed forces and this would be exercised to correct the course.  The armed forces will continue to go after those who have fallen on the wrong track, unlike other institutions, where guilty often go scot free, they say.   Read more at:

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