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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

From Today's Papers - 23 Apr 2013






http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130423/nation.htm#4
Army leads the way in organ transplant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
While India has one of the lowest organ donation rates in the world, the armed forces have taken the lead in the field of organ retrieval and transplant.

Over 8,000 soldiers and their families have registered with the Armed Forces Organ Retrieval and Transplantation Authority (AORTA) pledging their organs in the event of a brain death since the organisation was set up in 2007. AORTA looks after all activities related to organ donation, harvest, storage, transport and transplantation in the armed forces. Considerable success has been achieved since then with 113 brain death declarations and 37 multiple organ donations at Army Hospital (Research and Referral). The multiple organ donations have facilitated 44 liver, 70 renal and three heart transplants. These numbers are the highest by any single government institute in the country, a statement issued here said.

In addition, several people have benefited from eye donation. A patient who is declared brain dead, with irreversible loss of brain functions, can donate more than 34 organs and tissues. The idea of organ donation in India, when compared to many developed countries, is still in its infancy, with the donation rate being just 0.08 per cent per million population. Every year many patients die waiting for an organ.

The Research and Referral is the armed forces’ nodal centre for undertaking transplant surgeries. The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra and his wife Anshul Chachra, also pledged their organs this week.

saving lives

* Over 8,000 soldiers and kin have registered with the Armed Forces Organ Retrieval and Transplantation Authority

* The multiple organ donations have facilitated 44 liver, 70 renal and three heart transplants 

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130423/nation.htm#12
Quattrocchi stands discharged in Bofors case: Antony

New Delhi, April 22
The government does not plan to launch any fresh probe into the Bofors gun deal and Ottavio Quattrocchi stands "discharged" as he could not be extradited even after 20 years of registration of the case, Defence Minister AK Antony said here today.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, he said, "An application for withdrawal of the court case against Ottavio Quattrocchi was filed by public prosecutor on October 3, 2009 in the court of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, who passed an order allowing withdrawal of the prosecution case against Quattrocchi."

Quattrocchi had left India on July 29-30, 1993, before the CBI had any material evidence warranting his arrest, he said.

"Consequently, he (Quattrocchi) stands discharged from the case," Antony said. He said the measures to get Quattrocchi extradited from Malaysia and Argentina could not succeed.

"As per the information provided by the CBI, the measures taken for extradition of accused Quattrochhi from Malaysia and Argentina could not succeed even 20 years after the registration of the case," he said. — PTI

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130423/edit.htm#4
Musharraf a commando at heart
Lands himself in trouble
by S. Nihal Singh

THE see-saw in the fortunes of Pervez Musharraf, the retired general and army chief and the master of all he surveyed in Pakistan for nine years, is an object of wonder and bewilderment for the outside world. After nearly four years of self-exile shuttling between London and Dubai, was it hubris that brought him home to be disqualified from contesting the first normal elections in the country’s history? Instead of saving Pakistan, which he promised to accomplish, he has found himself in a sub-jail, mercifully his own well-guarded luxurious farm house on Islamabad’s outskirts.

We must remember that General Musharraf remains very much a commando at heart, both by training and instinct. But a good commando calculates his risks calmly, and the retired general has shown a characteristic flaw in his make-up in banking upon instinct and impulse to take decisions, as was evident in his Kargil misadventure. He has, of course, immense self-confidence in his own capabilities and, in his extraordinary career he has often succeeded in his overweening, almost braggart ways.

The problem in his present predicament is that he totally misread the mood in Pakistan and was so certain of the people waiting to embrace him with open arms after the warts of five years of rule of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) that he refused to read the signs since the first day of his homecoming. The crowds that greeted him on his airport arrival were pitifully small. And as his nomination was rejected from one constituency to the next and even his last attempt was finally dismissed, he flitted from one court to another seeking bail extensions until one judge refused to grant him one and he made a hasty exit in his black plated SUV with his armed escort only to surrender the next day. There in an instant ended his dream of leading his country again, this time as an elected civilian leader.

General Musharraf is, of course, facing a string of charges ranging from his initial act in arresting the superior judges to his administration’s responsibility for the shooting death of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. It was apparently his belief that he could keep these charges at bay by seeking snowballing postponement bails while he appeared in shining armour to save his country. Signs of his discomfiture were apparent from his strained appearance as he was hustled into and out of courts.

   Now that General Musharraf finds himself in a hole, what conclusions can the outside world draw? First, five years of rule of the Asif Ali Zardari government, however wobbly its performance at times, has changed the country’s landscape. Second, although the Army remains a power centre in fields such as nuclear arms, Afghanistan, Kashmir and relations with India, apart from protecting its vast economic interests, it is no longer the sole power.

It is also an open secret that the General’s former colleagues, including the present Army chief, General Ashfaque Pervez Kayani, had warmed him not to return home, a wise counsel, he chose to disregard with his habitual stubbornness. The question everyone is asking is, what now? Both the judiciary and the legal fraternity are relishing their opportunity to turn the tables on the former all-powerful ruler. But the picture is complicated by the looming puzzle: how far will the Army allow its former chief to be humiliated? One secret agreement between the Army on the one hand and the superior judiciary and the civilian leadership on the other could be that he be allowed to go in exile again, despite orders preventing him from doing so.

Humiliating as General Musharraf’s position is, of greater importance are the consequences of the present drama on Pakistan’s future. The Pakistan People’s Party government completing its full five years in office – a first for the country – was a landmark event. In compliance with law, a transitional government is now in charge until elections are held next month. In the process, the civilian-military relationship has changed in subtle ways.

This in itself is something to be welcomed by the people of the country and the outside world. To anyone familiar with its history, the arraignment of a former Army chief and all-powerful ruler in civilian courts would have been unthinkable only a few short years ago. The world will hope that the election next month will further the process, whoever emerges as the winner.

For India, the continuing drama is pregnant with possibilities. Although relations between the two countries fluctuate with times, the strengthening of the democratic process in its neighbourhood would be a good omen. There remain many actors, both of the state and non-state varieties, ever eager to put a spanner in the works and India too has its share of cold warriors. But the chances of a more level-headed relationship increase every time the civilian leadership assumes power, even with caveats.

In a strange way, General Musharraf’s misfortune could help in removing recent strains in Indo-Pakistani relations. This would be irrespective of the return of the PPP to power or the revival in the fortunes of Nawaz Sharif’s Muslim League. India, therefore, has a vested interest in the completion of a remarkable transition in Pakistan’s history.

A major distraction for Pakistan’s civilian and military rulers will be the looming end of the American military phase in neighbouring Afghanistan. The future civilian dispensation will inevitably listen to its Army’s pleas to ensure Pakistan’s dominant role in that country’s affairs, particularly with the aim of sidelining India to the extent possible. And this compulsion could affect the nature of ties between Islamabad and New Delhi.

That lies in the lap of the future. For the present, most people in India would wish Pakistanis well as they climb another hillock in their journey to democracy. There is still a mountain to climb, but given the history of the past 65 years, it is a revolutionary process.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130423/edit.htm#6
Expanding India’s maritime footprint
While the Indian Navy addresses the security aspect, the Ministry of Shipping must ensure adequate administrative and budgetary support to expedite development of modern ports and remove hurdles for speedier growth of private shipping
Capt KS Sujlana
THE tradition of celebrating the Maritime Day of India in April was started in 1964 to mark the day when the first Indian owned ship, SS Loyalty of the Scindia Steam Navigation Company set sail from Bombay for the United Kingdom in 1919. This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the pioneering voyage. Over these past 94 years India has taken tremendous strides in the realms of sea trade and warfare and is a sea power of reckoning. The rugged races of the land locked northern region of the country, imbibed with an intense spirit of adventure and entrepreneurship, have made noteworthy contribution to the tradition of the seafarers since centuries. Besides contributing along the 7,517km of the Indian Coast in varied roles they have ventured out unhesitatingly into uncharted waters to work and inhabit in new lands across the seven seas.

The renowned 17th century trader-mariner, Baba Makhan Shah Lobana, in whose memory stands the Baba Makhan Shah Lobana Foundation in Chandigarh, was one of the stalwarts. It is also apt to remember and honour this gallant sailor who traded fearlessly over the Arabian Sea during the same era when the notorious sea pirate Captain Kidd roamed and ravaged the seas from the east coast of Africa to the Indian subcontinent, plundering soft targets. It was during one of Makhan Shah's many voyages that he encountered a furious storm. His fully laden ship creaked and tossed in the heavy treacherous gale. The sail was ripped to taters and the small ship drifted dangerously towards the shore. With disaster imminent and heavy assured loss by nature's fury at sea, he remembered the Sikh Guru, Teg Bahadur, and prayed for a safe passage and pledged the 500 gold mohars (coins) belted around his waist. A miracle followed, the wind subsided and sea calmed down, the ship safely took refuge in the Gujarat port of Surat.

The northern region's seafarers pay homage to the seadogs, both men and women who work endlessly year after year in one of the most dangerous professions in the world. Be they fishermen in their small dhows or seasoned sailors on mighty battleships, cargo vessels or tankers, they are always prepared to face the numerous natural and man made rigors of the sea. The word 'seadog', synonymous with adventurous seamen and pirates, originated in the sixteenth century. However today it is oblivious of gender.

India's Maritime Doctrine

Today its time to revisit and ponder on India's maritime doctrine and India's maritime agenda. In the rapid changing geo-strategic environment with increased emphasis on maritime affairs, India desires to occupy its appropriate place in the global maritime arena. Towards achieving this, India launched a two pronged implementation of its maritime doctrine by the Indian Navy and maritime agenda by the Union Ministry of Shipping. It is focused to expand India's maritime footprint with the futuristic economic and security imperatives in mind. It also aims to stay aligned with growing influence of other nations in international affairs through their sea power along with China.

India released its maritime doctrine in 2004 and revised it in 2009 to maintain its temporal relevance. From the earlier inward looking coastal defence centric strategy it has shifted to an aggressive competitive strategy aimed to enhance its strategic presence, pursuing its littoral interests in the Clausewitzian sense -- stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Malacca Straits. The Indian Navy is flexing its muscles by regularly conducting numerous joint exercises with navies of other nations, making port calls in many nations and security patrolling in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). This has had the desired effect and is gradually becoming a force to reckon with.

Presence of the Indian Navy in conjunction with international forces has drastically reduced piracy off the coast of Somalia. As per the International Maritime Bureau, a body that monitors crime at sea, piracy attacks worldwide last year were down to 297 in contrast with 439 in 2011. The number of attacks off the Horn of Africa also tumbled from 236 in 2011 to 72 in 2012. The momentum at this stage is reaching a cusp of success in not only controlling piracy but possibly leading to its complete elimination. Presence of the naval forces is forcing the pirates to look for alternatives. The surrender of the feared Somali pirate 'Big Mouth' Mohamed Adbi Hassan, from what he calls 'gang activity' is a major success. He in turn has urged his colleagues to also quit. The romantic image of the pirates created by the media needs a relook as it is in stark contrast to reality. The fear of pirates, to live in inhuman conditions if captured, with the proverbial Sword of Damocles hanging over the captives head, induces angst, anxiety and depression in sailors. The maritime community has heaved a sigh of relief over the recent release of the Indian seafarers held in pirate captivity.

The Maritime Agenda

The Maritime Agenda-2020 released by the union shipping minister envisages to increase fleet strength under the Indian flag, upgrade existing ports and develop new ports, strengthen cargo handling capacity, develop and install security related real time Kinematic system in sensitive sectors and expedite marine human resources development. Simultaneously multiple intervention is planned to achieve other goals congruent with the economic growth. Top priority is for new ports. The 7,517 kms of Indian coastline has only 13 ports whereas the Hamburg Le Harve Range (in Europe) of 1,000 Kms has 11 ports. This comparison says it all.

Indian tonnage in global shipping which stood at 0.19 GRT at Independence, crossed 11 million GRT last year. The plan is to increase this from the present one per cent to five per cent of global tonnage, for which investments of Rs 1.2 lakh crore is earmarked. For infrastructure development of ports to cater for larger vessels and deeper drafts another Rs 3 Lakh crore is in the pipeline.

To fulfill its future energy and minerals requirement, India scouts for coal and oil in the mineral rich Africa and other destinations like Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar. As such there is a need for India to invest and own foreign assets for sourcing the same. To help meet this need and reinforce the nation's growing influence in international trade, the Indian Ports Limited (erstwhile Indian Ports Global) has been streamlined to be a special purpose vehicle for investment and become a dedicated company to compete with international giants like Dubai Port International, Singapore's PSA International and Maersk. Besides this, a host of Indian private sector companies led by the Tatas, Essar, Adani, JSW and Jindal Steel have already ventured onto foreign shores to set up ports.

Human Resource Development

As a part of the maritime agenda, human resource development contemplates to increase the global strength in the maritime industry of officers from the present five per cent to nine per cent and of seamen from 7.5 per cent to nine per cent. To achieve this, the National Policy on Skill Development has shifted from the traditional government institutionalised model of skill development and vocational training to one that lays emphasis on private training sector led initiative.

As such a number of marine training institutions have mushroomed in the country. It is important that these institutions take cognition of the diverse characteristics and valuation requirements in the international market, no longer can the training institutions focus only on the financial imperatives of the institutional profit margins. They have to shift gear from the present thrift dominant value for money to the future quality, immaterial of the cost. They have to deliver high quality training and create the marine manpower which strives to excel and compete world-wide following the adage, top bucks for top quality. The burden of responsibility is not only on the maritime institutions but equally, if not more, on the marine manpower to sustain this initiative. The institutions have to be dynamic. They must upgrade with the latest equipment and faculty to produce quality manpower.

Today the international community exercises its choice to take the best from the available pool of multi-ethnic resources from the major players like India, China and Philippines. The marine manpower on the other hand is responsible to train conscientiously and be knowledgeable of current and future technologies. They cannot remain buoyed on the past success of Indian mariners and have to take head on the pressure being generated by the far east marine force. Trends world-wide are indicating a eastward tilt in recruitment. The annual matrix mix of international employment will vividly give credence to institutional as well as mariners' commitment. Based on this the winnowing of perfidious institutions must be exercised through a regulator. With the current down turn in the world economy and the slow down in the world's major industrial nations dragging on, the subsequent pressures on the freight and charter rates, the subdued effect on movement of goods and the pressures on profit margins is making ship owners take a hard look at manpower.

The maritime doctrine and maritime agenda must be pursued vigorously. While the Indian Navy addresses the maritime security doctrine, the Union Shipping Ministry must make adequate budgetary allocation to expedite upgradation of existing ports with modern infrastructures, develop modern ports and remove hurdles to enable speedier growth of private shipping. National institutions like the Indian Marine Institution and National Maritime Foundation must play the role of strategic think tanks for the maritime sector. All these steps will give a clear signal that the nation is committed to meet its interests and take its rightful place by expanding its maritime footprint.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130423/main2.htm
Chinese incursion: Army rushes troops to Ladakh
Beijing says its soldiers patrolled the Chinese side of LAC without ‘trespassing’ it
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

New Delhi, April 22
In what could be seen as an escalation of tension between India and China on the icy heights of northern Ladakh, the Indian Army has rushed a contingent of 60 troops to the area.

Ladakh Scouts men are now in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation with the Chinese east of Daulat Beg Oldie — the highest advanced landing ground (ALG) close to the Karakoram pass. The men have been tasked to keep a watch on the Chinese. So far, Beijing has not responded to the Indian message for conducting a second flag meeting after talks at the first one failed.

China tonight suggested a resolution of the vexed issue ‘through talks’ while denying that its troops have crossed the Line of Actual control (LAC), which divides the two Asian neighbours.
Defence Minister AK Antony said, “India will take every step to protect its interests.” New Delhi has informed Beijing that its troops have entered an area that is in India and is not one of the five recognised disputed sections of the (LAC) in Ladakh. Hence, the principle of a ‘varying perception of the LAC’ does not apply in this case.

The LAC is not demarcated on the ground. Either side accepts some portions of the LAC alignment while others are disputed. This leads to ‘varying perceptions’ of the LAC. Troops, some times, on either side, therefore, patrol in ‘disputed areas’.

Minor incursions are common, but the situation leading to pitching of tents has not occurred in eastern Ladakh since 1962.

The 4,000-km-long LAC is disputed at five stretches in Ladakh. The dispute is a legacy of the British times and has been lingering since the latter part of the 19th century. The present flare up is “very close to the disputed section but not part of the recognised disputed sections by either side,” top sources told The Tribune.

Meanwhile, China has rejected reports of intrusion by its troops in Ladakh, saying the People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers patrolled the Chinese side of LAC without ‘trespassing’ across it. Presenting China's stand, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, was quoted from Beijing as having called “for a resolution of the issue through talks.”

http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/12039
Indian Army matches China man-for-man on the border
As the Army’s Military Intelligence (MI) and Military Operations (MO) directorates study the Chinese troop incursion into Indian territory at Daulat Beg Oldi, below the towering Karakoram Pass in Ladakh, military analysts are also scanning a newly-released Chinese document for information that might be of help.

Issued on April 16 by the State Council Information Office, the defence White Paper titled “The Diversified Employment of China’s Armed Forces” (hereafter ‘China’s Armed Forces’) provides an unusually clear look into the structures and missions of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The PLA includes China’s ground, air and naval forces, and the Second Artillery Corps that operates that country’s strategic arsenal of ballistic and cruise missiles, including those that carry nuclear payloads.

The document, ‘China’s Armed Forces’, has surprised Indian analysts by revealing the PLA land forces (long regarded as the largest standing army in the world) are actually just half the size that intelligence agencies worldwide had estimated. India has always estimated that the PLA Army (PLAA) numbers 1.6 million soldiers but the White Paper says the PLAA was just 850,000 strong. (SINO-INDIA BORDER: TROOP DEPLOYMENTS)

If these figures are authentic, the Indian Army, with 1.2 million soldiers, is 50 per cent larger than the PLAA.

The PLAA’s numbers do not include the People’s Armed Police Force (PAPF) and the militia, both of which operate behind the frontlines. The Indian Army, too, gets assistance from central police organisations like the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the Border Security Force and the Sashastra Seema Bal.

According to the White Paper, 400,000 airmen man the PLA Air Force (PLAAF), while the PLA Navy (PLAN) has 235,000 sailors.

Indian military planners who prepare for eventualities like the current PLA incursion spiraling out of control, perhaps even into actual fighting, focus less on total numbers than on the units and formations that can quickly come into action. The White Paper fully corroborates the Army’s estimates of Chinese formations on the Sino-Indian border.

MI has long known that two of China’s seven Military Area Commands (MACs) -Shenyang, Beijing, Lanzhou, Jinan, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Chengdu – are responsible for the Indian border. The Lanzhou MAC, which includes the 21st and 47th Combined Corps (earlier known as Group Armies), is responsible for operations on the Ladakh border. The Chengdu MAC, which includes the 13th and 14th Combined Corps, is responsible for the Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh borders.

Between them, these four Chinese combined corps muster nine divisions and five mechanised brigades. The Indian Army matches that with nine divisions on the Sino-Indian border – one in Ladakh, three in Sikkim, four in Arunachal and two in Nagaland and Manipur. In addition, India plans to raise a mountain strike corps during the 12th Defence Plan (2012-2017), which would add two more divisions. These would be stationed in the Brahmaputra Valley for launching offensive operations into Tibet.

India not just matches the PLAA division-for-division but, given the PLAA’s revised overall numbers, China’s formations could have significantly less troops than what had been earlier anticipated. That means numerical superiority on the Sino-Indian border quite clearly lies with India.

However, China’s road and rail infrastructure allows it the major advantage of being able to move troops rapidly, even from other MACs. This would permit the PLAA to quickly concentrate a large number of troops in a small area, attack and overwhelm the Indian defenders at that point. Since the Sikkim and Arunachal roads are poor and railways non-existent, the Indian Army would find it difficult to move defenders as quickly to the threatened sector.

The White Paper reveals the PLAA has extensively practiced concentrating troops in a conflict zone. The document says, “Since 2010, a series of campaign-level exercises and drills code-named “Mission Action” for trans-MAC maneuvers have been carried out…. In 2011, relevant troops from the Chengdu and Jinan MACs were organised and carried out the exercise in plateau areas (i.e. Tibet). In 2012, the Chengdu, Jinan and Lanzhou MACs and relevant PLAAF troops were organised and carried out the exercise in southwestern China (i.e. Tibet).

‘China’s Armed Forces’ is apparently Beijing’s response to the international community’s repeated demands for clarity on China’s worrying military build-up. Beijing’s projection of a benign and responsible international image goes hand-in-hand with its rather more bare-knuckled handling of the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands dispute with Japan, its insistence on control over the South China Sea and its recent protests over Washington’s decision to sell F-16 fighters to Taiwan.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/168-militants-killed-in-JK-in-last-two-years-Antony/articleshow/19678673.cms
168 militants killed in J&K in last two years: Antony
NEW DELHI: A total of 168 terrorists were killed by the Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir in the last two years, with 63 of them being neutralised in the hinterland last year, defence minister A K Antony informed the Lok Sabha on Monday.

In a written reply to the House, Antony provided the figures relating to terrorists killed in the state along the Line of Control (LoC) and the hinterland.

In 2012, 73 terrorists were killed with 10 of them being neutralised along the LoC. The remaining 63 were killed by the Indian Army in the hinterland.

In reply to a question whether the pickets near the border are lying vacant, Antony said, "Posts along the LoC are occupied based on terrain and tactical consideration. Few specific posts in higher reaches are vacated in winter owing to high snow levels and increased avalanche threat."

The Union minister said that surveillance and domination of these areas during this period is ensured by maintaining an effective vigil by employing helicopters and other aerial methods.

"These posts are re-occupied as soon as feasible, once the snow level recedes," he said.

On whether reports of terrorists trying to capture these pickets have come to the notice of the government, Antony said, "Attempts by terrorists to infiltrate from across the border and cause damage continues. Surveillance and dominance is ensured to defeat the designs of infiltrators."

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/indian-army-to-store-soldiers-dna-profile/article4643751.ece
Indian Army to store soldiers’ DNA profile
Indian Army soldiers will have their DNA profile stored in a data bank under a project launched by the Armed Forces Medical Services that will facilitate identification of bodies during any operation, attack or mishap.

Defence Minister A. K. Antony in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Monday said a pilot project is in progress at Armed Forces Medical College, Pune to conduct DNA profile of soldiers and develop necessary protocol for identifying them from their body tissues. The strength of the Indian Army is around 1.1 million.

“The objectives of the project are to devise a protocol for collection, preservation and transportation of blood samples of the soldiers, maintain absolute accuracy in personal information and tagging of specimen and to devise protocol for procedure for identifying service personnel from any fragment of body tissue,” he said.

The project ‘Development of Protocol for DNA Profiling (Identification) and Repository of Personal of Armed Forces’ has been approved by the Armed Forces Medical Research Committee and the pilot project will be completed by 2014.

It envisages collection of blood samples of the troops and analysis and confirmation of their tests for storing them in a DNA data bank.

DNA profiling is accepted as the most advanced and reliable method of establishing identity of living individuals as well as dead bodies and body remnants.

The armed forces in the United States and Israel are known to use such facilities. The need for DNA profiling was felt in the United States after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Knowing the identity of each soldier, especially those deployed in the forward areas, is critical in case of deaths in the battlefield or in action. The profiling helps to identify the remains of the soldier including those mutilated beyond recognition.

There is no time-frame set for completing the project considering that it’s a long-drawn process of collecting samples from various formations and units.

Post-pilot study, blood samples of all soldiers are expected to be collected by doctors working at their respective field units. These samples can be stored up to 21 years at the repository of the profiling centre and will be tested by using modern equipment and machines.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/india-will-take-every-step-to-protect-its-interests-defence-minister-ak-antony-on-china-incursion-in-357177
India will take every step to protect its interests: Defence Minister AK Antony on China incursion in Ladakh
More than a dozen Chinese soldiers  continue to be stationed  a remote camp some 10 kilometres (6 miles) within Indian territory  in Northen Ladakh. 

"India will take every step to protect its interests," Defence Minister AK Antony said today. 

The Indian army set up its own temporary camp just 500 meters (1600 feet) from the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers after the incident on April 15.  "On April 17, 5th Battalion of Ladakh Scouts was sent to the sector to take on the PLA challenge and they are also camping there now," a senior official said to Reuters.
The assessment  in the Indian government is  that the Chinese will eventually withdraw but will use this 'occupation' to lay claims to the area at a later stage of border negotiations.

Top sources told NDTV that 15 to 20 soldiers of the People's Liberation Army  continue to be stationed in tents pitched in open ground in Indian territory.

China has denied its troops crossed into Indian territory. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, "Our troops are patrolling on the Chinese side of the actual line of control and have never trespassed the line."  (Read)

Small incursions are common across the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto border that runs some 4,000 kilometres (2,500 miles) across the Himalayas, but it is rare for either country to set up camp so deep within disputed territory.

The two countries hold frequent meetings to diffuse tensions, but high-level talks to resolve the dispute have not produced results.

The latest incident took place at Daulat Beg Oldie, where India established a landing strip during the 1962 war. At 5,100 meters (16,700 feet), the strip is one of the world's highest. It was reopened in 2008.

Last week, a meeting between an Indian team led by a Brigadier-level officer and a senior Colonel from the Chinese side failed to break the deadlock.  Although the Indians have asked for another delegation-level meeting with the Chinese, there has been no response to the proposal yet.

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