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Sunday, 18 December 2011

From Today's Papers - 18 Dec 2011

Soviet role in ’71 win was vital: Ex-envoy
Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service  New Delhi, December 17 More than 40 years ago, the US Secretary of State, the powerful Henry Kissinger, termed the India-Soviet Union treaty of 1971 as a ‘bombshell’. Yesterday, former diplomat Ronen Sen narrated the sequence of the treaty and emphasised its importance saying that it played a major role in the war against Pakistan.  In August 1971, India and the Soviet Union signed an agreement on peace, friendship and cooperation. This agreement was not to the liking of the US which was any way funding Pakistan with arms and aid.  Sen, who as a young officer was then posted to Moscow as special assistant to the then Ambassador DP Dhar, said, “We had kept the treaty under wraps, but when it was announced, it had an electrifying effect and put everyone off balance.”  He was speaking at a lecture on Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw organised by the Conclave of Defence Services Veterans and backed by the Tata group.  Sen narrated the sequence of events that led to the war and also the tough stand taken by Indira Gandhi as a treaty was being trashed out between India and the Soviet Union.  “She was no stooge of the Soviets,” remarked Sen. Indira Gandhi refused to concede ground while negotiating with Soviet leader L Brezhnev and his team, he said.  “The Soviet support was not spontaneous, but once committed, it was firm. Yet it was not unconditional,” the former Ambassador said.  The US was paranoid that India was trying to alter the geography of the area and annex Bangladesh, besides making inroads into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).  The Soviets were assured that the operations in west Pakistan were only “holding” operations needed for war. There was no move to annex territory, Sen added as he explained the conditions of the treaty.  Russians conveyed to the US that India had no other option but to go to war. It then advised India that it should inflict a fatal blow during the war.  The Soviets helped further when they vetoed a UN Security Council resolution (number 303) against India on December 3 and again, the Soviet Union, along with the UK and France, abstained from voting on December 6 when the resolution was re-introduced.  This provided ample time for Indian forces to slide through Bangladesh as the US seventh fleet sailed in towards Bangladesh.  Sen, who, during his career has served in the US, Germany and Bangladesh among other places, termed the events of 1971 as a “superb example of coordination and seamless integration of political and military leadership”.  It would be incorrect to say what the Army gained in the battlefield was lost on the negotiating table, Sen added.
All set for Defence of Pakistan Conference today
THE Pakistan Defence Council (PDC) has completed all arrangements to hold Defence of Pakistan Conference at Minar-e-Pakistan on Sunday (today) which primarily aims to build national consensus against countering US aggression like Nato attacks on Pak army post in Mohmand Agency besides condemning pro-US policies of rulers and MFN status to India, and to pressurise government for quitting US war on terror.  The leadership of the PDC, a platform of over two dozen religious and political parties, was recently formed to highlight the impending dangers of national defence and security as a result of complete surrender before Washington dictates by rulers in Islamabad.  The PDC conference will be presided over by PDC Chairman and JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq whereas other major speakers include Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Syed Munawwar Hasan, JD Ameer Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Gen Retd Hameed Gul and other leaders of Pakistan Tehrik Insaf, PML-N, Jamiat Ahle Hadith, JUP, Millat Jafaria Pakistan, various religious organisations and heads of seminaries. Several minority leaders from Sikh, Christian and Hindu communities will also address on the occasion to express their solidarity with the Muslim majority against the US aggressive designs against the country.  The PDC leadership is expecting a large participation of people from all spheres of society with an aim to chalk out a future line of action for pressing Islamabad for taking strict stance against the Washington and to convert the present temporary break in Nato arms and food supply line from Pakistan into a permanent dissociation from War on terror. In addition to that, they also want to send a strong message to the west that people of Pakistan are prepared to face every kind of aggression against their country.  PDC Chairman Maulana Samiul Haq who is in Lahore from Thursday said the conference would prove to be a milestone in pushing out America from our soil. He emphasised that the PDC and its conference was not pursuing any political objectives and its sole aim was to strengthen the defence of the country by rising above political and personal motives and only to stop the crusaders’ onslaught.  He warned that successive rulers from Musharraf to Gillani had weakened the national defence and destroyed national security by surrendering before the US demands of do more. It is high time that rulers give up becoming agents and spokesmen of the Washington and work for consolidating national security.  Various religious leaders from the PDC parties visited the Minar-e-Pakistan ground to witness the preparation and expressed satisfaction over the arrangements. These leaders include JD’s Maulana Ameer Hamza, Qari Yaqoob Sh, Maulana Asim Makhdoom and Hafiz Khalid Waleed who issued necessary directions to workers to make foolproof security arrangements.  In Lahore, the JD workers took out motorcycle rallies in different parts of city to muster public support for the upcoming conference. The JD has also set up welcome camps at several city squares and main streets where national songs are being played and announcements on speakers are being made to invite masses to support the cause of national defence and security. While several vehicles mounted with loud speakers were taking round on busy city streets to apprise the masses about the objectives of the conference.

UAV makers expect U.S. defense demand to continue
DAYTON — The recent crashes of U.S. unmanned military drones in Iran and Seychelles won’t be major setbacks to America’s unmanned aircraft program, a defense industry analyst said.  “Unmanned systems, people recognize, are more liable to crash than other aircraft,” said Philip Finnegan, an analyst with Teal Group Corp. in Fairfax, Va. “They’re too expensive to be expendable. The goal is to bring them back.  “But, at the same time, there’s a recognition that the loss of an unmanned system doesn’t involve a loss of life,” Finnegan said.  The Air Force is investigating what caused its MQ-9 Reaper unmanned surveillance and attack plane to crash Tuesday on the Indian Ocean island nation of the Republic of Seychelles. The
MQ-9 was not armed and no injuries were reported, the Air Force said.  A separate crash in Iran early this month of a classified, radar-evading RQ-170 spy drone has American officials worried that the Iranians may be able to learn details of the plane’s stealth technology.  The Pentagon has pushed the Air Force and other services in recent years to get more unmanned aerial vehicles aloft — and more pilots trained to fly them from afar — to provide better surveillance and intelligence without exposing human pilots to potential harm. The Predator, Reaper and Global Hawk UAV programs are managed by the Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.  The Defense Department’s current budget allocates $5.6 billion for development and procurement of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), the umbrella term for UAVs and their sensors and other payloads.  UAV manufacturers expect that demand to continue, even in light of defense budget cuts that Washington has mandated, said Lindsay Voss, spokeswoman for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a trade organization of UAS manufacturers.  Manufacturers have increased
their production to meet the demand.  UAVs remain a critical part of the U.S. military’s inventory because of their ability to stay aloft for extended periods and “loiter” longer than manned aircraft could over areas.  The military’s interest in UAVs, and a civilian market that could include agricultural, law enforcement and commercial customers, is driving efforts to make the Dayton area a center of UAV manufacturing and operations expertise.  The Air Force has lost 71 remotely piloted planes since 1997, according to records through fiscal 2010, including 64 MQ-1 Predators, the largest and longest-flying of the current unmanned aerial vehicles, said Maj. Chad Steffey, an Air Force spokesman at the Pentagon. A total of four MQ-9 Reapers have been lost since 2004, and three RQ-4 Global Hawks since 1999.  The losses of the UAVs run into the hundreds of millions of dollars, given the replacement costs of the aircraft and their support systems. The Air Force said Wednesday it was unable to provide the precise financial loss.  Still, the Air Force puts the replacement cost of an MQ-9 Reaper at $53.5 million for four sensor-carrying aircraft that are operated as a continuous patrol unit. The MQ-1 Predator costs $20 million for four aircraft, a ground control station and a satellite link. Global Hawks can cost between $37 million and $81 million, depending on the models and support equipment required. The aircraft require remote support teams on the ground including pilots and operators of the aircrafts’ sensors and, if applicable, on-board weapons.  Rates of “mishaps,” the Air Force term for anything from tire blowouts on landings to the crashes that destroy UAVs, vary among the types of aircraft. The MQ-9 Reaper has an accident rate since 2004 of 3.92, which the Air Force calculates as the number of mishaps multiplied by 100,000 flight hours and divided by total flight hours. The RQ-4 Global Hawk’s mishap rate is 7.59 since 1999, according to the Air Force.  Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, the Pentagon has also had an increasing appetite for small, hand-launched UAVs. AeroVironment Inc., a California-based manufacturer of the Wasp, Raven and Puma UAVs that range in weight from one to 13 pounds, designed them to be assembled in the battlefield and hand-launched by one or two U.S. troops for aerial surveillance to learn what is over the next hill. Customers include the Air Force and Army.  The four-pound Raven is sold in sets of three planes, two ground stations and spare parts that cost the government between $100,000 and $200,000, AeroVironment spokesman Steve Gitlin said. The Air Force and other federal agencies have been funding AeroVironment’s development of the Global Observer, a much larger plane with a 175-foot wingspan whose weight approaches 10,000 pounds. It underwent flight testing earlier this year at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and is designed to be able to stay aloft for a week at a time with a hybrid-electric power system, Gitlin said.
Pak army violates cease-fire agreements, accuses India
NEW DEHLI, (SANA): India as usual started its formal tactics due to the uncertainty in internal situation of Pakistan. The occupied forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir blamed that Pakistan army is violating the cease-fire agreement and continuing aggressive activities from last several months.  The Deputy Inspector General of Boarder Security Forces (BSF) at Rajori Sector in an interview with British News Agency said that the Pakistani force is conducting aggressive activities across the boarder, adding that approximately the Pakistani forces five times violated the case fire agreement in last several months.  It is worth mentioning here that Indian government has deployed more than 0.7 million armed personnel in Indian Occupied Kashmir since 1989, while Pakistan has said that more than 0.15 million army personnel has been deployed along with frontiers with Afghanistan due to which Pakistan military also deployed necessary forces along with Pak-Afghan boarder.
Army Chief asks students to draw inspiration from the army
Indore, Dec 17 (PTI) The Chief of the Army Staff General V K Singh today exhorted students of Daly College, Indore to draw inspiration from the defence forces. Recalling that two regiments of Indian army had trained at the Daly College in the past, Singh said, "The rich traditions of the college should inspire the students to define their career in the army." In his short speech at the annual function of the college, Singh congratulated the principal and the staff for maintaining a high standard. He asked the students to cherish simplicity, punctuality, honesty, and straight-forwardness. Field Marshal Cariappa, the first Indian chief of the army staff, was among those who had received training at the Daly College.

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