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Saturday, 16 March 2013

From Today's Papers - 16 Mar 2013






http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130316/nation.htm#5
Gen: Can’t shake hands with ‘terror-exporter’ Pak
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 15
In a tough message today, Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh said India cannot shake hands with Pakistan which exports terror to India while he advised the Indian politicians that time was not right to remove the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and Kashmir.

Speaking at a function organised by a news organsiation, the Army Chief responded to a question by a visiting Pakistani journalist saying you can’t expect us to shake hands when you send terror across the border.” India and Pakistan must first address trust deficit. “You can’t export terrorism to India and expect to talk Siachen.” Gen Bikram Singh said.

On the issue of removing the AFSPA, he said: “We (Indian Army) only make recommendations. If I was to be asked, I would say that the time is not right at the moment to tamper with this enabling act. We should not take away AFSPA at this juncture.”

He was responding to queries on the matter especially since Union Minister Farooq Abdullah’s demand for repeal of the AFSPA. There have been similar demands voiced by his son and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, other political leaders and separatists in the Valley.

Further elaborating his argument, the General said: “It was important to observe the situation and it is important to understand the security contours before we take a decision. It should be a pragmatic one, it should be in national interest and it should not be politicised.”

Army Chief on AFSPA

We (Indian Army) only make recommendations. If I was to be asked, I would say that the time is not right at the moment to tamper with this enabling act. We should not take away AFSPA at this juncture. — Gen Bikram Singh

http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/attack-on-army-patrol-carried-out-by-pak-army-s-ssg-group_835096.html
'Attack on Army patrol carried out by Pak Army's SSG group'
New Delhi: The attack on an Indian Army patrol in January, in which one soldier was beheaded, was carried out by Special Services Group of Pakistan Army, Defence Minister AK Antony told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

In a written reply to a question in the House, he also said that intelligence reports have indicated that Chief of Lashkar-e-Toiba Hafiz Saeed had visited the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir prior to the attack.

"On January 8, 2013 the Special Services Group of Pakistan Army executed an attack on an Indian Army patrol in which two Indian soldiers were killed. One soldier was beheaded in the attack," he said.

The Defence Minister further informed the House that inputs analysed by Military Intelligence indicate that, "terrorists affiliated to LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammad were involved in the attack".

"Intelligence reports also indicate that Pakistani terrorists and Chief of LeT Hafiz Saeed was reported to have visited the LoC areas prior to the attack," Antony said.

In reply to a separate question whether government has announced to consider to award the two soldiers on Republic Day, who were killed in the incident, Antony said, "As on date, no citation/ recommendations pertaining to the specific incident have been received."

Each year gallantry awards are announced on the eve of Republic Day and Independence Day to recognise the acts performed by the individual beyond call of their duty, he said.

"As per existing procedure, a case for award is initiated by the Unit and forwarded to Service HQs duly recommended by the Commanders in chain for consideration by their Honours and Awards Committee. If the case if found fit, the same is forwarded to the Defence Ministry for further consideration by the government," he said.

New Delhi: The attack on an Indian Army patrol in January, in which one soldier was beheaded, was carried out by Special Services Group of Pakistan Army, Defence Minister AK Antony told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

In a written reply to a question in the House, he also said that intelligence reports have indicated that Chief of Lashkar-e-Toiba Hafiz Saeed had visited the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir prior to the attack.

"On January 8, 2013 the Special Services Group of Pakistan Army executed an attack on an Indian Army patrol in which two Indian soldiers were killed. One soldier was beheaded in the attack," he said.

The Defence Minister further informed the House that inputs analysed by Military Intelligence indicate that, "terrorists affiliated to LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammad were involved in the attack".

"Intelligence reports also indicate that Pakistani terrorists and Chief of LeT Hafiz Saeed was reported to have visited the LoC areas prior to the attack," Antony said.

In reply to a separate question whether government has announced to consider to award the two soldiers on Republic Day, who were killed in the incident, Antony said, "As on date, no citation/ recommendations pertaining to the specific incident have been received."

Each year gallantry awards are announced on the eve of Republic Day and Independence Day to recognise the acts performed by the individual beyond call of their duty, he said.

"As per existing procedure, a case for award is initiated by the Unit and forwarded to Service HQs duly recommended by the Commanders in chain for consideration by their Honours and Awards Committee. If the case if found fit, the same is forwarded to the Defence Ministry for further consideration by the government," he said.

http://www.indiapost.com/time-not-right-for-removal-of-afspa-army-chief/
Time not right for removal of AFSPA: Army Chief
NEW DELHI: The time is “not right” for the removal of AFSPA from Jammu and Kashmir, Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh said today emphasizing that any decision on this “should not be politicized”.

“We only make recommendations. If I was to be asked, I would say that the time is not right at the moment to tamper with this enabling act. We should not take away AFSPA at this juncture,” he said when asked to comment on the issue.

The Army Chief, who was speaking at the ‘India Today’ conclave was asked to comment on Union Minister Farooq Abdullah’s demand for repeal of the AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) from the state.

There have been similar demands voiced by his son and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, other political leaders and separatists in the valley.

“It is important to observe the situation and it is important to understand the security contours of the situation before we take a decision. The decision should be a pragmatic one, it should be in national interest and it should not be politicized,” he said.

Gen Singh said the Indian Army was working for strengthening the hands of the State Government and the day it feels it can handle the situation on its own, “then period. Go ahead”.

The Army Chief observed that the terror infrastructure across the Line of Control (LoC) was still intact. One of the terrorists killed in the Tuesday attack on CRPF troops in Srinagar was of Pakistani origin and a number of external factors were “impinging” on the security environment in the State, he said.

“This decision (on AFSPA) has to be taken in the backdrop of violence profile, in the backdrop of what can happen in future, in the backdrop of futuristic contours. We have to be very confident that it does not relapse. We shall not be left in a position of disadvantage,” Gen Singh said.

On suggestions that the Army was not listening to the Government on the issue as Finance Minister had stated that the Government wants the law to go but Army has objections on it, he said, “If a decision is taken by the Government, we are ready to relocate.”

Replying to a query whether the Army did not want to move out of the counter-insurgency roles, Gen Singh said, “We are losing our officers and men day in and day out. We are not there for fun.

“We are there as the nation wants us to be there. We are not getting fun out of dying. We are there because we are mandated to do so.”

He said it was seen that when the conditions are not good, “no one says anything but whenever things are improving in the counter-insurgency operations, you will find that there is anti-army rhetoric.”

The Army Chief said the force was not in the state for any “army centric” agenda and was performing its tasks in the national interest.

The army, he said, did not want to be involved in internal security operations for very long.

In the recent past, political outfits in the state and its Chief Minister Omar Abdullah have been advocating the removal of the controversial act from some parts of the state but the Army has been in opposition to this demand. -PTI

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