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Thursday, 20 September 2012

From Today's Papers - 20 Sep 2012
Chinese troops in PoK: Army Chief
Tribune News Service

Army Chief General Bikram SinghNew Delhi, September 19
Army Chief General Bikram Singh today contradicted Beijing’s claims that no soldier of the People Liberation Army (PLA) was in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) saying Chinese troops were present there. The Army Chief, however, said the frontier was well guarded.

“Chinese soldiers are present in PoK to provide security to its ongoing railways and road projects,” the General said. Earlier this month, Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie on a visit to Delhi had told an English daily that not even a single Chinese soldier was stationed in PoK.

“We have already conveyed this to the government. We have our frontiers well guarded,” General Bikram Singh said in response to a specific query whether the presence of Chinese troops in PoK, especially in the Gilgit-Baltistan region, was a matter of concern.

In February this year, External Affairs minister SM Krishna had met his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi and raised concern over the presence of PLA soldiers in PoK. Indian intelligence agencies have been reporting the presence of around 4,000 Chinese troops across PoK, including in the sensitive Gilgit-Baltistan region that borders Kargil, Drass, Batalik and Turtuk (all located east of the Zoji-La connecting Kashmir with Ladakh).

As the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Chinese invasion of India approaches, the Army Chief assured the nation that a repeat of the situation was not possible as enough safeguards were in place along the border. “No it will not be repeated, I am assuring the nation as the Chief of Army Staff that 1962 will not be repeated. The country's borders are secured and the Army will not allow the enemy to cross it,” he said.

The General said there were no transgressions. "The patrols (of India and China) meet and both sides show banners to say that this is our area and both sides disengage and that is an ongoing process,” said General Bikram Singh.

On infrastructure development in the North-East, the General said: “There are ongoing projects and they are time-stipulated. We are trying to meet deadlines.” On being asked if he was satisfied with the pace of development work, the General said: “Yeh dil maange more.”

’62 repeat won’t happen

"I am assuring the nation as the Chief of Army Staff that 1962 will not be repeated. The country's borders are secured and the Army will not allow the enemy to cross it."

— Gen Bikram Singh, Army Chief

Must hold on to Siachen: Gen

General Bikram Singh made it clear that Indian troops would not like to move out of the "strategically important" Siachen Glacier. He termed the glacier as “very important” and said “we must continue to hold it always. These are positions of strategic importance and we have expressed our concern to the government. It’s now for the government to decide.” Pakistan has been pushing for demilitarisation of Siachen while India has asked proper authentication by both sides of the present troop positions on the glacier.
Hizb head on NIA’s wanted list, but faceless on website

New Delhi, September 19
Banned Hizbul Mujahideen terror outfit's head Syed Salahuddin may be on the most wanted list of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), but he remains faceless on the website of the country's premier anti-terror force.

The CBI also was apparently not aware that the image of Salahuddin was not on its website before the probe agency posted it today, 14 years after Interpol had issued a Red Corner Notice against him.

The NIA -- set up in the aftermath of 2008 Mumbai terror attack -- claimed his involvement in funding of various terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir and had put him on its official website as most wanted with a noting "Image not available".

The NIA has given his address and age as 66 years correctly but in the image section, the premier agency apparently has not managed to get a picture posted.

The NIA officials, when contacted, were not willing to comment on the issue notwithstanding the fact that India has handed over many dossiers to Pakistan seeking his deportation from that country.

The NIA had registered a case in 2011 in the wake of allegations that Hizbul Mujahideen, one of the most active terror outfits in J and K with strong bases in Pulwama, Kupwara, Sopore, Budgam, Doda, Baramula and Srinagar, is being regularly and systematically funded from across the border for the purpose of promoting terrorist activities in India.

An Interpol Red Corner warrant "A-66/2-1998" was issued against Mohammed Yusuf Shah alias Salahuddin, who heads a conglomerate of terror outfits-- United Jehad Council, in 1998 at the request of Delhi Police for his alleged involvement in various terror related activities. — PTI
Reforming national security decision-making
Defence planning in India has been marked by knee-jerk reactions to emerging situations and haphazard single-service growth
Gurmeet Kanwal

Members of an inter-services guard of honour march past India Gate in New Delhi after a homage-paying ceremony
Members of an inter-services guard of honour march past India Gate in New Delhi after a homage-paying ceremony. Force structures must be configured on a tri-service, long-term basis to meet future threats and challenges

Snippets from the report of the Naresh Chandra committee on defence reforms have been appearing in various newspapers and have once again focused attention on the hollowness of the national security decision making process and the need for urgent reforms.

For many decades defence planning in India has been marked by knee jerk reactions to emerging situations and haphazard single-Service growth. The absence of a clearly enunciated national security strategy, poor civil-military relations, the lack of firm commitment of funds for modernisation beyond the current financial year and sub-optimal inter-service prioritisation, have handicapped defence planning. Consequently, till recently, the defence planning process had failed to produce the most effective force structure and force mix based on carefully drawn up long-term priorities. With projected expenditure of 100 billion US dollars on military modernisation over the next 10 years, it is now being realised that force structures must be configured on a tri-Service, long-term basis to meet future threats and challenges.

Early efforts

The Sino-Indian Conflict in 1962 had aroused a new defence consciousness in the country after years of neglect and efforts to formalise defence planning began in 1964. Various organisational changes were tried out:

    Defence requirements were assessed on a five-year basis and the First Defence Plan (1964-69) was drawn up.
    A Planning Cell was established in 1965 in the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
    The Second Defence Plan (1969-74) was instituted on a 'roll-on' basis. After a year was completed, an additional year was tagged at the other end so that the armed forces would always have a revised and up-dated five-year plan. This method was found to be impractical.
    In 1974, an Apex Group under the Union Minister for Planning suggested that a steady long-term defence effort would be more cost effective and economical than fluctuating allocations on account of periodic economic and security crises.

Structures for defence planning

Most of the defence planning machinery and planning methodology was developed in the decade 1964-74:

    In order to integrate defence planning within the overall economic planning effort, defence and economic development plans were made co-terminus.
    The Committee for Defence Planning (CDP) was established under the Cabinet Secretary.
    The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) was constituted in the Cabinet Secretariat to provide external and internal threat assessments.
    Planning Units were also established in the Department of Defence

Production and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

    A Planning and Coordination Cell was created in the MoD to coordinate and compile various plans into a comprehensive 'Defence Plan' for Cabinet approval. However, generalist civilian bureaucrats in the MoD lacked the necessary expertise to arbitrate between the three services and only succeeded in appending together the different requirements of individual services without any analysis.
    In the services HQs, perspective planning directorates were established in the late 1970s.
    In 1986, the Directorate General of Defence Planning Staff (DG DPS), comprising officers from the three services, DRDO, MoD and the Ministry of External Affairs, was constituted to coordinate and harmonise defence planning under the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC).


While efforts have been made to improve defence planning and suitable structural changes have been instituted within the defence ministry, implementation of the processes continue to be tardy.

n Guidance: The CCS, chaired by the PM, meets as often as necessary to review emerging situations with adverse impact on national security so as to issue suitable policy directives. However, the National Security Council (NSC), also chaired by the PM, whose charter it is to evolve an integrated national security strategy and provide guidance for long-term defence planning, seldom meets.

n Plans: Five-year defence plans are rarely accorded formal government approval. The Tenth Defence Plan (2002-07) was not approved at all and drifted along on an ad hoc basis. The Eleventh Defence Plan (2007-12), which ended on March 31, 2012, was also not formally approved.

n Funding: Annual defence budgets, in which funds are committed only for one year at a time despite five-year defence plans having been in vogue for several decades, add an element of uncertainty to the planning process. Unutilised funds continue to lapse at the end of the financial year.

n Coordination: The absence of an empowered CDS is a glaring anomaly. The COSC works on the basis of consensus and is unable to agree on inter-service priorities for force structuring and modernisation as every service wants a larger share of the pie. The services HQs make their own assumptions of the likely military strategy for future wars and plan their force structures accordingly. Consequently, the LTIPP is integrated merely in name and is actually only a compilation of single-service plans.

n Acquisition: Despite the much-trumpeted reform in the procurement process, the acquisition of new weapons and equipment by the armed forces is still mired in bureaucratic red tape.

n R&D: There is a dichotomy between the time consuming quest for technological self-reliance and the desire of the services to import arms and equipment based on immediate operational exigencies. The disconnect in the interface between R&D, production agencies and users remains unresolved. As a result, 'make' or 'buy' decisions are still contentious and DRDO projects continue to be delayed with consequent cost overruns.

Defence reforms

In 1999, the Kargil Review Committee headed by the late K Subrahmanyam had been asked to "…review the events leading up to the Pakistani aggression in the Kargil District of Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir; and to recommend such measures as are considered necessary to safeguard national security against such armed intrusions." Though it had been given a very narrow and limited charter, the committee looked holistically at the threats and challenges and examined the loopholes in the management of national security. The committee was of the view that the "political, bureaucratic, military and intelligence establishments appear to have developed a vested interest in the status quo.'' It made far reaching recommendations on the development of India's nuclear deterrence, higher defence organisations, intelligence reforms, border management, the defence budget, the use of air power, counter-insurgency operations, integrated manpower policy, defence research and development, and media relations. The committee's report was tabled in Parliament on February 23, 2000.

The Cabinet Committee on Security appointed a Group of Ministers (GoM) to study the Kargil Review Committee report and recommend measures for implementation. The GoM, headed by the then Home Minister, LK Advani, in turn set up four task forces on intelligence reforms, internal security, border management and defence management to undertake in-depth analysis of various facets of the management of national security.

The GoM recommended sweeping reforms to the existing national security management system. On May 11, 2001, the CCS accepted all its recommendations, including one for the establishment of the post of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) - which has still not been implemented. The CCS approved the following key measures:

    Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) was established with representation from all the Services. The DG DPS was merged in it.
    The post of Chief of Defence Staff, whose tasks include inter-services prioritisation of defence plans and improvement in jointmanship among the three services, was approved. However, a CDS is yet to be appointed.
    A tri-service Andaman and Nicobar Command and a Strategic Forces Command were established.
    The tri-service Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) was established under the COSC for strategic threat assessments.
    Speedy decision making, enhanced transparency and accountability were sought to be brought into defence acquisitions. Approval of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP 2002) was formally announced.
    The DPP constituted the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) and the Defence Technology Board, both headed by the Defence Minister.
    Implementation of the decisions of the DAC was assigned to the Defence Procurement Board (DPB).
    The National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) was set up.
    The CCS also issued a directive that India's borders with different countries be managed by a single agency - "one border, one force" and nominated the CRPF as India's primary force for counter-insurgency operations.

Decision making is gradually becoming more streamlined. The new Defence Planning Guidelines have laid down three inter-linked stages in the planning process:

    15 years Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP), to be drawn up by HQ IDS in consultation with the services HQs and approved by the DAC.
    Five Years Defence Plans for the services (current plan: 2007-12), including 5-years Services Capital Acquisition Plan (SCAP), to be drawn up by HQ IDS in consultation with the services HQs and approved by the DAC.
    Annual Acquisition Plan (AAP), to be drawn up by HQ IDS approved by the DPB. Budgetary allocations for ensuing the financial year (ending March) are made on the basis of the AAP.

Ten years later, many lacunae still remain in the management of national security. The lack of inter-ministerial and inter-departmental coordination on issues like border management and centre-state disagreements over the handling of internal security are particularly alarming. In order to review the progress of implementation of the proposals approved by the CCS in 2001, the government appointed a Task Force on National Security led by Naresh Chandra, former Cabinet Secretary. The task force has submitted its report, which has been sent for inter-ministerial consultations.


A fluid strategic environment, rapid advances in defence technology, the need for judicious allocation of scarce budgetary resources, long lead times required for creating futuristic forces and the requirement of synergising plans for defence and development, make long-term defence planning a demanding exercise. The lack of a cohesive national security strategy and defence policy has resulted in inadequate political direction regarding politico-military objectives and military strategy. Consequently, defence planning in India, till recently, has been marked by ad hoc decision making to tide over immediate national security challenges and long-term planning was neglected. This is now being gradually corrected and new measures have been instituted to improve long-term planning.

It is now being increasingly realised that a Defence Plan must be prepared on the basis of a 15-year perspective plan. The first five years of the plan should be very firm (Definitive Plan), the second five years may be relatively less firm but should be clear in direction (Indicative Plan), and the last five years should be tentative (Vision Plan). A reasonably firm allocation of financial resources for the first five years and an indicative allocation for the subsequent period is a pre-requisite.

Perspective planning is gradually becoming tri-Service in approach. It is now undertaken in HQ IDS, where military, technical and R&D experts take an integrated view of future threats and challenges based on a forecast of the future battlefield milieu, evaluation of strategic options and analysis of potential technological and industrial capabilities. Issues like intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, air defence, electronic warfare and amphibious operations, which are common to all the services, are now getting adequate attention. However, unless a CDS is appointed to guide integrated operational planning, it will continue to be mostly single-Service oriented in its conceptual framework.
Indian Army will hold on to Siachen, says Gen Singh
The Army?s view (that Siachen holds strategic value) has not changed at all. It is very important, and we must continue to hold that area: Gen Singh
Ajai Shukla / New Delhi Sep 20, 2012, 00:40 IST

Chief of Army Staff General Bikram Singh has issued a reality check to those who argued he would be more receptive than his predecessors to a settlement on Siachen with Pakistan. The Army chief here today flatly declared that the Indian Army would continue to hold on to that strategically valuable area.

“The Army’s view (that Siachen holds strategic value) has not changed at all. It is very important, and we must continue to hold that area. That is what we have maintained always,” said General Singh.
Early this year, during the deeply controversial last months of former chief of Army, General VK Singh’s tenure, sections of the Indian media had reported General Bikram Singh would support the prime minister’s wish for an early settlement of the Siachen issue. An English language daily had reported Gen Bikram Singh would “lead the reversal of the Army’s position in order to help Dr (Manmohan) Singh achieve his dream of leaving a ‘peace mark’ on Indo-Pak relations.”

But, today, Gen Bikram Singh stated: “We have lost a lot of lives in those areas. A lot of blood has been shed to occupy those positions (on the Saltoro Ridge). Those positions are of strategic importance to us and we have relayed our concerns to the government. Now, it is for the government to decide.”

Since April, when an avalanche buried alive some 130 Pakistani soldiers in Gyari, in the Siachen sector, Islamabad had pleaded for an early demilitarisation of the entire Siachen sector. But New Delhi’s position remains consistent. Through 13 rounds of Siachen talks led by the two countries’ defence secretaries, India has demanded the authentication of ground positions and their delineation and demarcation as a pre-condition for negotiating a mutual withdrawal. This would constitute documentary insurance against Pakistan sending up troops after a mutual withdrawal to occupy the dominating heights on the Saltoro Ridge that are currently held by India.

Pakistan has resisted this sequencing, including at the recent 13th Defence Secretary dialogue in Islamabad. Islamabad has indicated its willingness to authenticate ground positions, but not to include those in the main body of a Siachen Agreement.

The Army chief made it clear that, while the government will have the final say on any decision, the Army would not be a silent party to an unfavourable settlement.

“Negotiations are done at the government-to-government level…. We have given our concerns to the government,” he said.
Calcutta hotline to China for border peace

New Delhi, Sept. 19: Fifty years after the war, the militaries of India and China are setting new ring tones.

Eastern Command headquarters in Fort William, Calcutta, will have a dedicated telephone hotline with the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army headquarters in the Chengdu Military region, and the Northern Command headquarters in Udhampur with its counterpart in the Lanzhou Military Region.

The hotlines are slated to become operational by the end of the year, a senior defence ministry official has told The Telegraph.

Chengdu and Lanzhou are two of seven Chinese PLA military regions and cover the entire border with India. On the Indian side, the Northern Command, Eastern Command and the Central Command share the responsibility for the frontier with China.

The proposal for telephone hotlines was conveyed by Beijing during the visit of the Chinese defence minister Liang Guanglie to New Delhi in the first week of this month.

Both sides acknowledge that despite the “peace and tranquillity” on the frontier, there is the likelihood of border patrols’ movements being misinterpreted and snowballing because the border is unsettled. The Indian and Chinese militaries are beefing up border defences, raising more troops and redeploying new units.

As recently as July, Indian and Chinese army patrols came face to face at Chumar in Ladakh. The army chief, Gen. Bikram Singh, said today that the Chinese “patrol up to their perception of the border and we up to ours”. The perceptions differ across the frontier.

At Chumar, the patrols held up banners and flags to signal to each other that they were transgressing the Line of Actual Control. There was no face-off as the patrols moved on.

There were more than 200 such transgressions in 2011. This year, the Indian army has listed 90 so far.

The Indian Army currently has a hotline only with Pakistan. The Directors Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan talk over a dedicated line every Tuesday and usually after incidents of firing on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir where a ceasefire has been holding since 2002.

But sector commanders of the Indian and Chinese armies do talk over the telephone and meet periodically at designated places along the border.

The Indian and Chinese militaries have agreed that the hotlines will be set up for the Northern and Eastern Army Commanders before establishing a mechanism at the headquarters-level between the Director General of Military Operations of India and the Chief of General Staff in Beijing.

India and China went to war in September-October of 1962. The Chinese army ran through defences in Arunachal, routing the Indian army before withdrawing unilaterally. China still claims all of Arunachal.

The trust that was lost in that war has never really been restored and even now, despite the overtly friendly gestures, no side loses an opportunity to militarily intimidate the other without really coming to blows.

“Nahi hoga (It will not happen),” the Indian Army chief said, asked if there could be a repeat of the 1962 war. “I am assuring the nation as chief of army staff that 1962 will not be repeated,” Gen. Singh said when he was reminded that 2012 is the 50th year of the only war that India had lost since Independence.

India today tested a 4,000km-plus range strategic Agni IV missile. India has developed the long-range missile to target cities in China from within its hinterland.

A defence ministry release said the missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead was fired from a road-mobile launcher at Wheeler’s Island off the Odisha coast. It splashed down at its designated target in the Indian Ocean in 20 minutes. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) claimed the test was successful.
Concerned over clashes within, Indian Army 'back to basics'
New Delhi : After recent soldier-officer stand-offs in two key units deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, a concerned Indian Army chief General Bikram Singh Wednesday said the 1.13-million force has been asked to focus on "getting back to the basics".

Gen. Singh told reporters here that the endeavour now was to ensure the climate in the army units remained "conducive for growth and cohesion" of the personnel.

"It is nothing else but back to basics," he replied when asked about the troops clashing among themselves and the measures taken to prevent such occurrences.

"As you know, we have had one or two incidents and these are aberrations...they were isolated incidents. Three in 2010 and two in recent months," the general noted.

The recent violence involved 16th Cavalry regiment in the Samba sector of Jammu and Kashmir on Aug 8 when soldiers and officers clashed over the reported suicide of a soldier.

Earlier this year, soldiers and officers of the 226 Field regiment clashed during a field firing training at Nyoma in Ladakh, very close to the Line of Actual Control with China.

In 2010, the incident involved the 45 Cavalry regiment when they were deployed in Gurdaspur, Punjab.

"As a chief, my concern has been to ensure that we get back to basics, we ensure that the climate, the environment is correct, conducive to growth and cohesion, and the core values of the army are upheld," Gen. Singh said.

"That's why, wherever I go, I have been talking about the core values of the army...integrity, loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, courage, honour...these are some of the values I have spoken about and the endeavour is basically to ensure that the climate in all units is conducive to growth and cohesion. That's what I am looking at," he said.

The army chief admitted that shortage in the officers cadre -- about 10,100 vacancies at present -- was "one of the main reasons" for troubles.

Army units are functioning with half the officers' sanctioned strength. Most battalions have just about 10 officers, where the officers strength needed is over 20.

"Yes, that's one of the main reasons...deficiency of (number of) officers. As of now, we have (vacancies of) about 10,100 officers at the moment. The deficiency is impacting the units," he said.

Regarding the two recent clashes, Gen. Singh said the court of inquiry are to be concluded and once the findings are made available to him, necessary measures would be instituted.

"Based on that, we will look if the management of the units is up to the mark and the aspirations of the soldiers and all personnel are fulfilled in a correct manner," Gen. Singh added.
Army forms panel on proposed winding up of controversial unit
Press Trust of India / New Delhi September 19, 2012, 19:25

A high-level committee headed by a Lieutenant General has been tasked by the Army to look into the proposed winding up of a controversial unit set up by its former chief Gen V K Singh against the backdrop of snooping allegations against it.

"We have formed a Committee under Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia, who is Director General (Infantry) to look into the winding up of the Technical Support Division (TSD) against the backdrop of snooping allegations against it," highly-placed army sources said here.

The TSD was formed during the tenure of Gen V K Singh and its existence came to light in March this year when it was alleged that the unit had tapped the phones of Defence Ministry officials at the height of the controversy over the army chief's date of birth.
On excess expenditure of over Rs 25 crore by the Military Intelligence wing, they said the Army will reply to certain observations raised in the internal audit by the Army Headquarters.

The process to disband the TSD was initiated recently after the new army chief took over. The TSD was reporting directly to the then Army Chief and it was alleged that it may have snooped into the conversations of people even outside the Defence Ministry using its off-the-air interceptor equipment.

In recent times, reports have suggested alleged misuse of MI funds by the Army headquarters.

Asked about the outcome of the Army probe against Malegaon-blast accused Lt Col Shrikant Purohit, sources said the probe was still on and no conclusions have been reached by the force so far.
1962 China war can't be repeated: Indian Army chief
New Delhi, Sep 19, 2012, (IANS)

Indian Army chief General Bikram Singh asserted Wednesday that 1962 war with China cannot be repeated and assured that no enemy soldiers could ever set foot on Indian territory.

At an interaction with reporters here, Gen. Singh said India had adequate military plans for its borders to counter any misadventure by any force inimical to the nation.

"Nahi hoga (It will not happen)," the army chief said when asked if a repeat of the 1962 war could happen.

"I am assuring the nation as chief of army staff that 1962 will not be repeated," Gen. Singh said when he was reminded that 2012 is the 50th year of the only war that India had had lost since independence in 1947.

He noted that as the army chief, his mandate was "to safeguard the territorial integrity of the country".

"That's the assurance I am giving. We will not let any enemy enter our territory. Plans are afoot on all borders," he said.

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