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Sunday, 19 May 2013

From Today's Papers - 19 May 2013
Army foils infiltration bid in Kupwara; JCO killed
Majid Jahangir
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, May 18
A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) was killed and a soldier injured in the early hours of Saturday as the Army foiled an infiltration bid by militants in the Machil Sector of Kupwara district of north Kashmir. The militants left behind two assault rifles and some war-like stores before crossing back into Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

An Army patrol of 56 RR noticed movement of four to six militants near the Dapal post close to the Line of Control (LoC) in Machil around 2.30 am, sources said. When the group — which was nearly 4km inside the LoC fence — was challenged, militants opened fire on the troops. JCO Subedar Arun Kumar was killed on the spot, while soldier Solanki Raju was injured in the exchange of fire that lasted for almost an hour.

The infiltration bid came at a time when the Army and Special Operation Group of the Jammu and Kashmir Police have been involved in one of the longest combing and search operations along the LoC in Kupwara district since May 7. The joint searches are being carried out to track a group of heavily armed militants believed to have infiltrated from Pakistan.

“This morning an infiltration bid was foiled in Machil sector and in the gunfight a JCO Subedar identified as Arun Kumar was killed while a soldier Solanki Raju was injured,” Defence spokesman Northern Command Col Rajesh Kalia said. “The search operation is continuing in the forests.”

The militants are believed to have returned back to Pakistan, sources said. They left behind two assault rifles and some war-like stores before crossing back into Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The search operation in the area is continuing.

The militants had crossed the nine-foot-high first tier of LoC fencing, known as the Anti-Insurgency Obstacle System, and infiltrated nearly 4km into Indian territory, but were intercepted by the Army before they could cross the second barbed tier fence.

Militants returned to PoK

    May 7: Army, police launch massive joint search operation along LoC in Handwara and Kupwara forests after spotting a group of heavily armed militants in Budnambal, Chowkibal forests
    May 18: An Army patrol notices movement of four to six militants near the Dapal post close to the LoC in Machil
    They had crossed the nine-foot high first tier of LoC fencing and infiltrated nearly 4km into Indian territory, but were intercepted before they could cross the second barbed tier fence
    The militants are believed to have crossed back into Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
N Korea fires 3 short-range missiles

Seoul, may 18
North Korea fired three short-range missiles from its east coast on Saturday, South Korea's defence ministry said, but the purpose of the launches was unknown.

Launches by the North of short-term missiles are not uncommon, but the ministry would not speculate whether these latest launches were part of a test or training exercise.

"North Korea fired short-range guided missiles twice in the morning and once in the afternoon off its east coast," an official at the South Korean defence ministry spokesman's office said by telephone.

The official said he would not speculate on whether the missiles were fired as part of a drill or training exercise. "In case of any provocation, the ministry will keep monitoring the situation and remain on alert," he said.

A Japanese government source, quoted by Kyodo news agency, noted the three launches, but said none of the missiles landed in Japan's territorial waters.

Tension on the Korean peninsula has subsided in the past month after running high for several weeks following the imposition of tougher U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang following its third nuclear test in February.

The North had for weeks issued nearly daily warnings of impending nuclear war with the South and the United States.

North Korea conducts regular launches of its Scud short-range missiles, which can hit targets in South Korea.

It conducted a successful launch of a long-range missile last December, saying it put a weather satellite into orbit. The United States and its allies denounced the launch as a test of technology that could one day deliver a nuclear warhead.

During the weeks of high tension, South Korea reported that the North had moved missile launchers into place on its east coast for a possible launch of a medium-range Musudan missile. The Musudan has a range of 3,500 km, putting Japan in range and possibly the US South Pacific island of Guam. — Reuters
India, China to take up border row
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives today
Visit to spur economic ties between 2 nations
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 18
The boundary dispute, against the backdrop of the recent incursion by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Ladakh, will top the agenda of talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang who arrives here on Sunday on a three-day visit to India.

However, a border defence cooperation agreement (BDCA) proposed by China is unlikely to be signed though the two countries would ink accords in other fields such as micro irrigation, waste water management and translation of classic and temporary works after delegation-level talks between the two leaders on Monday.

The two countries are also looking at the possibility of issuing a joint statement at the end of the visit. Mandarins at the Foreign Office are quite relieved that the 20-day face off between the troops of the two countries at the Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) Sector was resolved through some quiet diplomacy, paving the way for the Chinese Premier’s visit.

Had the border tension continued, it would have led to the derailment of Li’s trip, seriously affecting the bilateral relationship. It would have been much more embarrassing for Beijing since Li is said to be keen on visiting India as his first port of call after assuming the Premiership in March, realising the huge potential of the vast Indian market for the Chinese economy, which is currently witnessing some turbulence.

With the focus of the visit shifting to the boundary dispute, Beijing is expected to nudge New Delhi to take an early decision of the BDCA, which, among other things, proposes more communication and expansion of friendly contacts between the two troops on the two sides. Briefing the media here today, Gautam Bambawale, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the External Affairs Ministry, said the BDCA was being discussed between the two sides and it would continue to be discussed even during the upcoming visit.

While India is yet to make up its mind on the proposed accord, it is, in turn, understood to have, suggested to the Chinese a military commander-level mechanism to deal with incidents like the one that recently occurred in Ladakh.

Brahmaputra Dam issue likely to figure too

    A border defence cooperation agreement proposed by China is unlikely to be signed though the two countries would ink accords in other fields
    India is understood to have suggested to the Chinese a military commander-level mechanism to deal with incidents like the one that recently occurred in Ladakh
    Another ticklish issue likely to figure during the talks will be Chinese construction of dams over the Brahmaputra River, affecting the flow of water to the Indian side
    The two countries are also looking at the possibility of issuing a joint statement at the end of the visit
China has chance to explain Ladakh incursion: Ex-envoy
KV Prasad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 18
Suggesting that the recent Ladakh incursion by China has cast a “dark shadow” over its relations with India, a former envoy has said the Beijing leadership after having resolved the issue in a mature manner will have the opportunity to tell New Delhi the reason behind the move.

As new Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives here tomorrow on his first overseas visit to any country after assuming office, former Indian Ambassdor to China Nalin Surie feels Premier Li and his team have an opportunity to explain why the incident occurred. “It is an advantage for Premier Li and his team to explain why it happened while India can understand the aspirations of the new Chinese leadership,” Surie said in an interaction here today.

A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Office had recently told Indian mediapesons that the Ladakh incursion was an “isolated incident”, which Surie felt was not an adequate explanation.

Surie, who succeeded current National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon as Indian Ambassador to China, said the new Chinese leadership had been groomed for the task and was well aware of the aspirations of the country and the world.

Referring to the recent statement by Li during an interaction with an Indian youth delegation that it was time to look ahead, Surie said while it was good to think of the future, this constant testing by Beijing in the form of Ladakh incursion sets back the trust that should be built in the relationship between the two most populous neighbours in Asia.

Surie, who retired last year after serving as the Indian High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, felt while there were no differences between the Chinese leadership in government and military, whoever ordered the Chinese platoon to move into the Ladakh region made an “error of judgement”.

Citing his lecture at a conference on Sino-Indian relations at Thrissur, Kerala, earlier this year, Suire said both India and China were too big and growing in power to be contained and even when India was less powerful, both countries were not susceptible to containment.

The relationship between the two countries would in the foreseeable future continue to be a mix of competition and cooperation, he said, adding that the key resentment in Beijing was that while its rise was seen as being threatening, India’s rise wasn’t.

It is an advantage for Premier Li and his team to explain why it happened while India can understand the aspirations of the new Chinese leadership.
—Nalin Surie, former Indian envoy
Senior army officer killed in Kashmir gunfight
NEW DELHI, May 18 (KUNA)-- A senior ranked officer of the Indian army was killed and another injured in a brief gunfight with rebels along the Line of Control in disputed Kashmir, army sources said Saturday.
The army's Junior Commanding Officer (JCO) identified as Arun Kumar was killed while another soldier Solanki Raju was injured early Saturday morning when a group of rebels attempting to sneak into the Indian portion of Kashmir was intercepted by the army triggering a gunfight in North Kashmir's Machil sector, some 110 miles from the summer capital Srinagar.
The rebels fled back from the cease-fire line, dividing Kashmir between Pakistan and India, to the Pakistani side of Kashmir leaving behind some arms and ammunition near the Dingri post manned by army's 56 Rashtriya Rifles.
About a dozen Muslim rebel groups are fighting for Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with bordering Pakistan since 1989.
More than 70,000 people have been killed in the region, according to one estimate. India maintains over half-a-million troops in the Himalayan region to contain rebels it says Pakistan supports, a charge Islamabad denies.
Earlier in March this year, two rebels in a suicide attack owing allegiance to Hizbul Mujahideen, the largest armed separatist group in Kashmir, shot dead five Indian paramilitary soldiers in Srinagar, who authorities had claimed to have entered Kashmir from the LoC. (end) mub.gta KUNA 181631 May 13NNNN
Man found working for ISI in Indian Army unit for yrs, held

Jaipur, May 18: A man working with an Indian Army unit in Jaipur has been spying for Pakistani intelligence agency ISI and used his position to leak confidential strategic information about the Army to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, police sources said on Friday. It has been going on for several years now. B K Sinha, 43, an upper-division clerk, was arrested by the special branch for allegedly sharing secret information with the ISI through a Nepal-based agent. Sinha is an employee of Army Supply Corp and was posted in the South Western Command in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Additional Director General, Intelligence, D S Dinkar said Sinha is a resident of Karimganj in Assam and was working closely with the Nepal-based agent. Sinha joined the Army Supply Corp in Jaipur in 1995 and was posted in Siliguri in northern West Bengal from 2000 to 2011. He was promoted thereafter and came back to Jaipur. Dinkar said that Sinha had met the Nepal agent through a colleague in the Army and he often went to Kathmandu to share strategic information about the Army and its plans with the ISI agent. Sinha confessed to spying when interrogated by the special branch of Rajasthan Police under the Official Secrets Act and important documents were reportedly found in raids at his house. Sinha allegedly revealed that a retired Army officer helped him to meet the ISI agent and the Pakistani intelligence agency paid for his trips to Kathmandu and he was compensated in Nepalese and Indian currency for delivering the crucial information. Various agencies were interrogating Sinha. The man used code language with the ISI agent to share classified information about the Indian Army's movement on the western front. Sources in the defence said the case did not come under the Army Act since Sinha was a defence civilian employee posted in a Army unit in Jaipur. The Army will cooperate with the police in investigating the matter, he said. Sinha has been taken into seven-day police custody and will be produced in a local court.
Karzai for Indian arms, stronger military ties
As plans to reduce Western troops gather pace in Afghanistan, the war-torn country on Thursday hoped to establish enhanced defence ties with India, including the supply of lethal and non-lethal military equipment.

Kabul’s demand also comes just ahead of President Hamid Karzai will visit to India next week from May 21-22.

Asked about what kind of defence assistance Afghanistan was looking to get from India, Afghanistan’s ambassador to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali said, “The partnership agreement does not distinguish between lethal and non-lethal (military equipment). We have talked about security and defence cooperation.”

Abdali also talked about interest in Indian Army training for troops.

“Other assistance in small stages is most welcome... but we would like to go beyond the current trend of cooperation between the two countries in the defence sector,” he added.

At present, India provides training to some Afghan Army officers. Pakistan has been wary of India’s role in Afghanistan and any move to step up defence ties would add to scepticism.

This demand is also coming at a time, when Pakistan-Afghanistan ties are frayed. India has followed a policy of keeping the military engagement to a minimum with Afghanistan in the past.

“It is a critical time for all of us and we need to do more than what we are doing right now,” he said.

The Afghan envoy also welcomed India’s recent commitment of upgrading the strategically important Chabahar port in Iran that would help India get access to land-locked and resource- rich countries. An estimated $100 million (approximately R548.7 crore) is required for the modernisation of the port.

“We would like to see the conclusion of the agreement on the Chabahar port,” Abdali said.

“We are very happy that this is gathering momentum. We hope that we sign the trilateral trade agreement among India, Afghanistan and Iran as quickly as possible. We are optimistic after Indian external affairs minister Salman Khurshid’s visit to Iran.”

Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) special representative for Afghanistan Vygaudas Ušackas, who is presently visiting India, also sought Indian government’s active cooperation in the development of the country.

Ušackas said the EU is committed to long-term association with the development of the region, which became centre of US’ ‘War on Terrorism’ after the September 11, 2001, attacks there.
Indian Army asks all units to take steps against drug trafficking
New Delhi: Against the backdrop of the arrest of an Army Colonel in connection with a narcotics smuggling case, the Indian Army has issued an advisory to its units to take steps to curb any such illegal activity.

An advisory has been sent to all the units and formations on the issue of drug trafficking for "curbing tendencies and activities" in that direction, sources said here on Friday.

In the advisory, the Army has also expressed concern over the increasing use of drugs in the society, they said.

The advisory comes against the backdrop of the arrest of a defence ministry public relations officer at Imphal and six others in Manipur, with illegal drugs worth Rs 15 crore, meant to be smuggled out to bordering Myanmar.

On the arrest in Imphal in February this year, the Army Headquarters had said that the group was ferrying tablets of the banned pseudoephedrine, a decongestant that can be abused as stimulant, among other contraband, in three vehicles towards Moreh, a border town in Myanmar. The other drugs included Respifed, Omkop, Hilcold, Polyfed and Actidin tablets.

Army officers besides the civil police in Manipur are probing the case and are expected to file their report in this regard soon.
'ISI spy' held in Jaipur for leaking Army secrets
For the past several years, a Pakistan spy had been working with an Indian Army unit in Jaipur and used his position to leak sensitive strategic information about the Army to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, police officials said on Friday.

The upper division clerk, B K Sinha (43), was arrested by the special branch, for allegedly sharing classified information and documents with the ISI through a Nepal-based agent.

The accused worked as an employee of the Army Supply Corp and was posted in the South Western Command in Jaipur. "The accused is a resident of Karimganj in Assam and was working closely with a Nepal-based ISI agent. He joined the Army Supply Corp in Jaipur in 1995 and was posted in Siliguri from 2000 to 2011 after which he was promoted and came back to Jaipur," said Additional Director General (Intelligence) DS Dinkar.

"Through another colleague in the Army, Sinha had met the ISI agent in Nepal. He frequented Kathmandu to share strategic information about the Army and its movement with the ISI agent," Dinkar said.

After receiving a tip-off from sources, the special branch of Rajasthan Police interrogated Sinha under the Official Secrets Act. Sinha confessed to spying and important documents were recovered in raids conducted at his house, the police said.

Different agencies are interrogating Sinha, who allegedly divulged that a retired Army officer helped him meet the ISI agent in Nepal. The police said he confessed that the ISI paid for his trips to Kathmandu and that he was compensated in Nepalese and Indian currency for the information he delivered.

Officials said that Sinha used code language with the ISI handler to share classified information about Army's movement on the western front.

"He is a defence civilian employee posted in one of the Army units in Jaipur. It is a police case as he is not subjected to Army Act. The Army will extend full cooperation to the police investigation," said defence spokesperson Colonel S D Goswami in an official statement.
Indian Army Launches Facebook Page
It looks like the Indian Army has launched a Facebook page that goes by the name ‘ADGPI – Indian Army‘, thereby expanding its social media presence after launching its Twitter account few months back.

The page seems to have been launched earlier this week, on May 15, 2013 and seems to be currently updated on a daily basis. It currently provides information like the welfare schemes available for soldiers, photos from the ongoing training programs like Yudh Abhyas 2013 and Army-related news like the Border Personnel Meeting with the Chinese Army among others.

While the page is still relatively new, what’s particularly interesting is the way the Indian Army is approaching social media in general. Remember that unlike other departments, the Indian Army is typically more reserved in providing public information, more so in real-time, due to the high security risks these information might pose, and the user’s knowledge on Indian Army initiatives is majorly limited to what they read and see on various media platforms. Hence, social media platforms can be used by the army to spread more awareness and possibly motivate more youngsters to join them. However, maintaining a balance between engaging the audience with more information while avoiding any leaks of classified information is crucial.

Its also essential to adapt to each social media platform and use them effectively. For instance, Twitter allows only 140 characters in each tweet and it works more like a river of real-time information, while Facebook allows one to elaborate more on each topics and offers a conversation-based approach. Its quite interesting to see that Indian Army adapting to both the platforms. It uses its Twitter account to post short news bits like any specific terrorist arrests and select photos from its training programs, while at the same time, it directs users to Facebook in case the information is more elaborate. We believe the organization will therefore probably use Facebook as a medium to elaborate on a few Army related initiatives and probably feature photos from various training camps from across the country.
Now, govt wants space to park chopper at Annandale
The tussle between the Himachal Pradesh government and the Indian army's tussle over historic Annandale ground seems to have not yet been resolved despite the fact that Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had reversed the earlier government's order to get the historic ground vacated of army.

On Tuesday, when top army officials reach Shimla for annual civil-military liaison conference, which the Chief minister will inaugurate, one of the crucial issues on the table will be Annandale ground.

The lease allowing the army to use the ground for its operations in the national interest expired in 1982. The army is insistent on retaining the ground for country's strategic needs "and because it is critical for defence requirements". However, the state government is in no mood to sign a fresh lease. Yet, through an understanding reached at between the Chief Minister and Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, in January, the army will continue to maintain the ground and use it for emergency mock drills or other operations.

The Virbhdra government has already withdrawn the arbitration proceedings started during the BJP regime to take over the ground. The BJP government wanted to take possession of the ground and develop an international level cricket stadium there.

Now, the state government has put forward a proposal asking the army not to create hindrances and let it park its 26-seater 'Hans Jawan' helicopter on one corner of the ground. The army had long been objecting to the use of the ground by the civil administration or by the tourism department.

The government helicopter, used for VVIP flights and emergencies, has no permanent hangar.

"The helicopter on wet-lease with the government has no shelter. There are issues of its security as it remains parked in the open within an earmarked space. This is one of the important issues, which the government will like to be resolved at the conference," said Bharat Khera, secretary, General Administration Department (GAD).
Arms dealers thrive in India as foreign firms find complexity in process
NEW DELHI: Imagine for a moment that you grow tired of your life one day. You want more money, excitement, adventure, foreign vacations, fancy cars and suchlike. Nothing could help you achieve your dreams better and faster than becoming an arms dealer. Who owns a certain five-star hotel in Lutyens' Delhi? An arms dealer. Which Indian was among the largest donors to the Liberal Democrats in Britain? An arms dealer. Who has enough clout to influence domestic politics in Slovakia? An Indian arms dealer.

If you are inspired by these big guns and want to take the plunge, there are a few things you need to know. India is the world's largest arms importer and will remain that way for years. There will be plenty of work to go around. India officially disallows arms dealers. But that doesn't seem to deter anyone. You will need a front business. Cigars, stud farm, vintage cars, real estate - take your pick.

Competition is formidable. The field is dominated by longstanding Delhi figures and families. These people have been in the business for long and they have intimate knowledge of procedure and people that you won't be able to figure out if you dial the defence ministry phone directory for 10 years. So to give you a headstart, we did some research on how the procurement process works. We are using the example of the Indian Army. The specifics may vary depending on the service and size of procurement, but all defence procurement in India more or less follows the following path, whether you are selling handguns or a fleet of fighter jets.

If you don't make it to the end of this story, it is safe to conclude that you are not cut out for this business.

But then, foreign arms companies rely on agents here precisely due to the complexity of this process, in addition to the perception - fair or otherwise - that everything can be fixed here.


Any request for new equipment for the Indian Army originates from an office called Deputy Directorate General (Weapons and Equipment). This office is held by an officer of the brigadier rank and has one colonel and two majors under him. Army units such as infantry, artillery, signals, ordnance, etc, all have a DDG (WE).

This office draws up a draft request for weapons in a format known variously as qualitative requirements (QR), general staff qualitative requirements (GSQR) or services qualitative requirements (SQR). This is the birth of a potential order. This goes up through a chain of command involving three Additional Director-Generals (major general rank), one Director-General (WE) of lieutenant general rank onwards to a vice-chief of army staff, who also holds the rank of lieutenant general.

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