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Wednesday, 10 July 2013

From Today's Papers - 10 Jul 2013
Ladakh again, Chinese troops take away camera
Return it before Antony’s Beijing visit
Not an incursion: Govt
Tribune News Service
Jammu/New Delhi, July 9
The ground situation along the Indian-China border remains hazy, notwithstanding the recent announcements by the two countries to scale up their defence ties.

Nearly three months after a bitter border standoff, Chinese troops reportedly entered the disputed section of the Line of Actual Control in the Chumar sector in Ladakh and took away a non-functional secret camera.

“The incident happened on June 17. The camera had been placed at an altitude of almost 13,000 feet and it was taken away by a patrol team of the Peoples Liberation Army,” said Army sources. On June 19, India took up the issue of the missing camera at a routine border meeting. The matter was resolved on July 3, just before Defence Minister AK Antony’s China visit, following a flag meeting at the Spanngur Gap in Eastern Ladakh. The camera has been returned by the Chinese side, said sources.

The camera had been placed to see any incoming Chinese patrol teams, said sources, adding that it was a normal military practice. The camera has the facility to beam live pictures to the nearest Army post, some 5 km away, but it was non-functional, said Army sources.

Government sources said India was not treating the incident as an "incursion" by the Chinese, as the incident happened on a disputed territory. Both Indian and Chinese troops routinely patrol the area.

Under a 2005 protocol on patrolling on disputed sections of the LAC, armies of either side show a banner to the other on coming face-to-face and retreat. In April this year, a Chinese platoon had entered and set up tents around 19 km inside Indian territory in the Daulat Beg Oldie sector in Ladakh.

Antony and his Chinese counterpart had on July 6 pledged to strengthen the existing agreements on maintaining peace and tranquility along the LAC.

The two sides also promised speedy negotiations on new Border Defence Cooperation Agreement. China keeps on staking its claim over Chumar where India has road connectivity and is at strategic advantage. China, on the other hand, faces steep mountains on its sides and has no permanent posts or infrastructure in its area.

Armyman killed in Uri

An Army soldier was killed on Tuesday in an encounter with the militants in the Uri sector in north Kashmir. “The militants, who were trying to sneak into the Indian side, opened fire near the Rustum post, resulting in the death of Havildar Yem Bahadur of 7 JAK Rifles,” said Army sources.

Fresh border tussle

    Chinese troops reportedly entered the disputed section of the LAC in the Chumar sector in Ladakh and took away a non-functional secret camera
    On June 19, India took up the issue at a routine border meeting. The matter was resolved on July 3 following a flag meeting at the Spanngur Gap in Eastern Ladakh
    In April this year, a Chinese platoon had entered and set up tents around 19 km inside Indian territory in the Daulat Beg Oldie sector in Ladakh
Sukhoi pilot sacked over affair with woman officer
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 9
A young Indian Air Force pilot has been sacked from service after a Court of Inquiry (CoI) found him guilty of having an extramarital affair with a fellow woman officer.

Flight Lieutenant Ishant Saran, a fighter pilot with Su-30MKI squadron at Jodhpur, was dismissed from service on July 5.

“The CoI found him guilty, and the dismissal was recommended and carried out,” Defence Ministry spokesperson Colonel SD Goswami told the TNS over the phone from Jodhpur.

Sources said Flight Lieutenant Saran, who is already married, was allegedly having an affair with the wife of a fellow fighter pilot with the same squadron.

The woman officer, Squadron Leader Anandita Das, had committed suicide in her IAF allotted house at the Jodhpur airbase in November 2012. A CoI was later constituted to probe Flight Lieutenant Saran’s role.

To have an affair with a colleague’s wife is considered a serious punishable offence in the armed forces and is termed “stealing of brother officer’s wife’s affection”.

After the CoI was completed, the South Western Air Command forwarded its recommendations to the Ministry of Defence giving its approval for the action recommended by the force, sources said.

Squadron Leader Das from Kolkata was found hanging from the ceiling fan by her husband on November 28. IAF sources said the couple had some argument before they retired on the fateful night. Anandita, who was on ground duties, was commissioned into the service in 2006 and got married in 2008.

Act of betrayal

Squadron Leader Anandita Das, wife of another IAF officer, committed suicide at her airbase residence in Jodhpur on November 28, 2012

A CoI was constituted to probe the role of Flight Lieutenant Ishant Saran, a fighter pilot with Su-30MKI squadron

The CoI found him guilty of having an extramarital affair with the woman officer
The Osama bin Laden files
Leaked report shows how world’s most wanted man was able to hide in Pakistan
Nikhil Kumar and Richard Hall
osama bin Laden was able to hide undetected in Pakistan for years because of a “collective failure” of the country’s “military authorities, the intelligence authorities, the police and the civilian administration,” according to a damning report kept secret by the Pakistani government.
The former al-Qaida leader was gunned in a US raid on his compound in the garrison city of Abbottabad in May, 2011, prompting Pakistan to set up a special commission to investigate how his presence in the country went undetected for nearly a decade and, later, how US Special Forces pulled off the raid deep inside Pakistan without being detected.

The result, a more than 300-page report based on interviews with more than 200 witnesses, including members of the Bin Laden family and four ministers from the federal and provincial governments, accuses Pakistani authorities not just of “negligence and incompetence” in detecting the terrorist leader’s presence, but also leaves open the door to the possibility of connivance, saying the failure to discover him in Abbottabad “may or may not have involved” what the commission called a “grave complicity” at some “undetermined level.”

The blistering report calls the night time raid on Abbottabad an “American act of war against Pakistan” and slammed America’s “contemptuous disregard of Pakistan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity in the arrogant certainty of its unmatched military might”.

It also gives a detailed insight into how Bin Laden evaded capture for so many years, and how close he came to being captured during more than nine years he spent on the run.

In one extract, the wife of one of Bin Laden’s courier recounts an incident in 2002 in which Bin Laden himself was stopped by a traffic policeman in Pakistan’s Swat Valley for speeding while travelling in a car to the local bazaar. Maryam, who was married to Ibrahim al-Kuwaiti, one of Bin Laden’s most trusted associates and couriers, said her husband “quickly settled the matter”, allowing the former al-Qaida leader to remain under the radar.

Apparently aware of the possibility that its findings might be suppressed by Pakistani authorities, the commission in its report called on the government to make the text public. That did not happen. The commission’s critique of Pakistan’s civilian, military and intelligence apparatus has only come to light because of a leaked copy of report obtained by the Al Jazeera television network.

Not only was Bin Laden able to hide undetected in his compound, but “to crown it all, the (house) was enumerated in a house survey with the comment that it was ‘be-chiragh’ i.e. uninhabited!”

“Since August 2005, there were never less than 25 people living in it! The extent of incompetence, to put it mildly, was astounding, if not unbelievable,” the report says in its findings. Of more than nine years that the former al-Qaida leader was on the run, he was a resident of Abbottabad for six, according to the report.

The commission adds, “It is clear that someone from the civil administration, police security and intelligence services should have noticed but did not notice, anything odd about the compound over so many years.”

That Bin Laden went undetected in the city of Abbotabad for so long, despite it being home to a large military academy for former army officers led to speculation that he may have been helped by military intelligence. The report does not go so far as to point fingers but does say that “connivance, collaboration and cooperation at some levels cannot be entirely discounted.”

Citing testimony gathered from Bin Laden’s wives and other associates, it tells a story of a family living in isolation, taking very few risks. According to the testimony and diaries discovered in the compound, Osama bin Laden entered Pakistan in early 2002, after evading capture by the US in the Battle of Tora Bora in Afghanistan in December 2001.

Later that year, Bin Laden travelled to Pakistan’s Swat Valley with al-Kuwaiti and his brother Abrar. The two men acted as Bin Laden’s couriers throughout his stay in the country. Maryam described to authorities the presence of a “tall Arab” who, a man she would later identify as Bin Laden.

While in Swat, Bin Laden was visited by Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, who stayed with the group in Swat for two weeks. A month later, a report on Al Jazeera alerted Bin Laden of Mohammad’s arrest by the CIA and Pakistani intelligence in Rawalpindi. He then decided to move to a safer place — Abbottabad — with his couriers and their families.

“According to Maryam,(Bin Laden) reposed complete faith in her husband Ibrahim who had been with him ever since he was introduced to him by Khalid Shaikh Muhammad [sic],” the report says. “Ibrahim and Khalid... had practically grown up together in Kuwait and were as close as brothers.”

According to testimony from Bin Laden’s wives, the group lived “extremely frugally.” Bin Laden reportedly owned three sets of clothes for summer, three for winter, a single black jacket and a sweater. He also wore what is described in the report as a “cowboy hat” to avoid detection from above.


The former al-Qaida leader stayed hidden in Pakistan for long. The 336-page report, based on testimony from more than 200 witnesses, official documents and site visits, alleges:

nOsama bin Laden wore a cowboy hat when he moved around the compound to avoid detection from above.

nOsama bin Laden came close to capture in 2002 or 2003 when he was living in the north-west Swat Valley, according to the wife of Bin Laden’s courier, Maryam. It occurred after a policeman pulled them over for speeding as they were on their way to a bazaar but Maryam’s husband, Ibrahim al-Kuwaiti, quickly settled the matter before the officer recognised him, she said.

nThere was no evidence that current or former Pakistani officials helped Bin Laden hide, although it couldn’t rule it out completely.

nThat little was known about any network of support that Bin Laden enjoyed in Pakistan, other than the group of family and backers that lived with him in Abbottabad.

nThat all levels of Pakistani government, including the army and intelligence services, failed to detect Bin Laden as he lived in six different places in Pakistan over nine years. The report’s conclusion was scathing. “To summarise, negligence and incompetence to a greater or lesser degree at almost all levels of government are clear,” it said.
Five guerrillas dead as Army foils Kashmir infiltration bid
Five separatist guerrillas were killed in north Kashmir's Kupwara district on Tuesday where the army foiled a major infiltration bid from across the line of control (LOC), a military official said.

Colonel AS Pendharkar, spokesperson of army's 28 division, told IANS: "Based on specific information about the terrorist plans to sneak into our side of the LOC, alert troops at Ustad Post in Keran sector detected movement of heavily armed eight to nine terrorists in the forest area some 800 metres ahead of the border fencing on our side of the LOC.

"The terrorists were immediately fired upon resulting in an encounter during which five terrorists were killed. Taking advantage of the thick foliage in the area, the remaining terrorists fled towards the LOC."
The spokesperson said the bodies of the slain guerrillas could not be recovered as these were lying in an inaccessible area near the LOC.

Earlier, Naresh Vig, defence spokesperson had said that heavy casualties had been inflicted on intruding guerrillas on the LOC, but Vig had not specified the number of guerrillas killed in the operation.
Army to open new land route to Kedarnath shrine
NEW DELHI: With rains hampering aerial operations in rain-ravaged Kedarnath area, the Army today said it is opening a new land route to the holy shrine on the request of the Uttarakhand government.

"On being requested by the civil administration and the NDRF, Army has planned to open a new route to the Kedarnath shrine," an Army statement said.

"Army teams conducted a reconnaissance of the area and are planning to open a route along a fresh alignment. The new route is likely to follow the alignment from Sonprayag-Gomkar -Dev Vishnu-Dhungaj Giri-Kedarnath and will be approximately 20 km in length, passing over an altitude of over 13000 feet," it said.

In the last few days, the hill state witnessed incessant rains due to which helicopters have not been able to fly and the relief work was severely hampered. The weather cleared up only today.

The land routes had suffered extensive damage during the cloud burst and flash-floods of June 16-17 and access to the Kedarnath shrine is still cut off.

Army officials said as meteorological forecasts predict more rains in the near future, opening a new land route was the only solution to gain continued access to the shrine.

Officials said currently one team is trying to construct a crossing over the Vasuki Ganga at Sonprayag and troops for opening the route will be inducted only after this crossing is successfully made.
PLA vandalises Army post, cameras; AK Antony visited China despite 2nd incursion
NEW DELHI/ LEH: The Chinese incursion into the Indian territory did not end after the Daulat Beg Oldie incident in May. Troops of the People's Liberation Army intruded across the Line of Actual Control in Chumar on June 17 and destroyed Indian Army's observation posts and cameras, it has now emerged.

The incident took place less than a month after Chinese premier Li Keqiang's successful May visit to India, during which he called for maintenance of peace and tranquillity at the border. In the last week of June, National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon visited Beijing for border talks. Last week, Defence Minister AK Antony also visited Beijing and held talks with his counterpart, General Chang Wanquan.

According to an Indian Army source in New Delhi, the Chinese troops patrolling the area took away a camera installed by the Indian side on a knoll, or raised platform. The Indian Army lodged a complaint with local PLA commanders on the 17th. A flag meeting was held subsequently and the camera was returned by the Chinese side on July 3.
"It is not correct that they have destroyed any posts," a person familiar with the border developments said. The incident occurred in a disputed area where both sides patrol, the person said.

The Defence Ministry did not comment on the news report.

Officials of the External Affairs Ministry could not be reached. The 21-day face-off between the two sides in the remote Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector on April 15 was triggered by construction of an observation tower in Chumar division, which was subsequently dismantled by the Army on May 5 before the crisis was defused.

Strategic affairs analyst Brahma Chellaney said the incident appears to have been hushed up to facilitate the visits of the NSA and the Defence Minister.

"The incident happened on June 17. It was kept under wraps till today. This was done so that first the National Security Advisor and then the Defence Minister could visit Beijing. The question it raises is why are we persisting on engaging with Beijing when they are sending the wrong signal repeatedly? After the April-May incident, we should have reassessed the process of engagement with China and what it is yielding.

Instead, we have sent the NSA and Defence Minister and announced that we are resuming joint military exercises with China in October. All of this only reinforces the Chinese perception that India can be pushed around," Chellaney said.
Shape up or lose promotion, Army officers told
As lifestyle disorders take a large number of people into their grip, leading to several ailments, the Indian Army is concerned about the fitness level of its officers.

In a bid to make its officers fall in line and follow strict fitness regime, the Army has come out with a new diktat for the officers above the age of 50 years — No fitness, No promotion.

After crossing 50 years, military officers generally took it easy in terms of fitness, as they were no more subjected to regular fitness tests. This, Army sources feel, was turning out to be counterproductive as growing number of senior offices were reporting lifestyle ailments.

Military personnel, who generally follow better health regime, in terms of exercise and eating habits, have of late started showing signs of complacency, resulting in obesity, pre-hypertension conditions and dangerously high-level of bad cholesterol.

On the recommendations of Army Institute of Physical Training, Pune, which carried out a comprehensive analysis of fitness regime of military personnel, particularly of high-ranked officers, the Army has given its nod to new fitness tests.

Under the new fitness regime, every officer will have to pass a physical fitness test, which will include 2500 metres running, a 100-metre sprint and sit-ups and push-ups. The tests would be carried out three to four times annually. The officers will also have to undergo a Battle Proficiency Test also under which an officer will be made to run five km, including 60 metres of sprint in combat dress and jumping across a nine-foot-wide ditch.

The Combat Tests will test the officer’s endurance to the hilt as they will be asked to pass a 20-km route-march. According to Army officials, this is a must to keep army higher-ups fit and fine as they are expected to perform their duties in diverse, tough and demanding terrains.
Chinese Army took away Indian camera
Just over a fortnight ahead of Defence Minister A. K. Antony’s maiden visit on July 4 to Beijing, a small flap took place near the Line of Actual Control (LAC), but both sides utilised the existing mechanisms to defuse the situation.

A People’s Liberation Army (PLA) patrol in Chumar sector in Southern Ladakh took away a camera placed on the ground, about six km ahead of an Indian Army post.

India raised the issue of missing camera at a meeting of border personnel two days later on June 19 and China returned the non-functional camera earlier this month, government sources here said on Tuesday.

Seeking to play down the incident, the sources were not inclined to describe it as an “incursion’’ in the disputed territory where perceptions about the LAC differ.

The sources said the camera was placed ahead of the Indian post to monitor the movement of Chinese troops along the LAC, which was probably not to the liking of the PLA. The Indian side is in an advantageous position in Chumar as there is a road right up to the Army post whereas the area is not easily accessible from the Chinese side. In fact, the situation here is reverse. Instead of smooth roads for the Chinese, it is the Indians who have a motorable track to their forward locations while PLA troops have to travel by mules.

The camera would alert India about the movement of Chinese patrol and because of the relatively better infrastructure, Indian security forces beat their Chinese counterparts on occupying a hillock that gives a clear line of sight for several km. In fact, it was here the Indians had built a temporary tin shed after the Chinese set up camps in Depsang. The shed was dismantled in return for the Chinese restoring the status quo by removing the tents.

Both the Indian Army and the PLA patrol the desolate region, about 200 km from the Depsang plains where a Chinese platoon entered in April and set up camp about 19 km inside Indian territory.

Diplomatic channels on both sides worked overtime to defuse the tension and face-off in that region in eastern Ladakh that lingered on for nearly three weeks. At that time India agreed to dismantle some bunkers in the area.

Pointing to the joint statement issued at the end of Mr. Antony’s visit on July 6, the sources said the two sides noted that peace and tranquillity on the border was an important guarantor for the growth of bilateral cooperation. The two Defence Ministers also emphasised the importance of enhancing mutual trust and understanding between the two militaries.

It was also agreed to enhance visits of border troop delegations to promote dialogue and strengthen trust and cooperation. Similarly, it was also agreed to have Border Personnel Meetings with greater frequency.
Nagpur youngsters' love for Defence Forces is increasing
Even though we have the second largest Army, fourth largest Air Force, and fifth largest Navy in the world, according to a report, Indian Defence Forces are short of more than 10,000 officers.

This shortage is said to be responsible for a "soured relationship between officers and jawans, and also creating administrative problems." Interestingly, in this scenario, a good number of youngsters from Nagpur are getting selected in the Armed Forces. And they are loving it too! TOI tells you why city youngsters are opting for defence as a career option...
Taking the legacy forward

While most of the families do not want their children to join the Armed Forces, some of them are stoically entering the defence fray to carry forward their family legacy. One of them is Flying Officer Pranav Pande, who says, "It was my childhood dream to join the Armed Forces. My father is an ex-sergeant and my sister is a commercial pilot. So, it's in my blood to serve the country. My family has given me all the strength and support in my career. Information about the exams and the preparation is easily available on the defence sites, which are very helpful for the aspiring candidates."

Not everybody can get there!
It is very depressing to read the reports of shortage of officers, and lack of awareness is said to be the main reason for this abysmal situation. But, the real picture seems to be very different. As Lieutenant Jatin Paghdal says, "I don't agree with the concept that youngsters lack awareness about Short Service Commission and National Defence Academy etc. It's not even lack of patriotism that is responsible for it. The point is that it's very difficult to crack these exams. The panel looks for the overall personality of the candidate and not merely his intelligence. That's the reason when thousands of people apply for the entrance exam, only a few hundred reach the next level, and barely 20 or 30 get commissioned in defence. But, those, who have it in them, do manage to surge ahead!"

Motivating seniors
"When we see one of our seniors in college getting into defence, according to me that is one of the biggest motivations. I know so many of city youngsters who recently got selected in the Armed Forces in different categories, and there are others who are working hard for the exams and interviews to join the eclectic ranks. To bag a job in defence, one needs to showcase everything in his/her personality, which he/she has absorbed from the society through his/her upbringing," says Lieutenant Nupur Dube.

Expert speaks
A career with all the possible luxuries and comfortable life scores high on the priority scale of youngsters, but getting laurels in the Defence forces has its own grace and charm. Despite all the hardships involved in the training and job, a reverse trend can be seen in youngsters from Nagpur region. "We are getting thousands of registrations for the entrance exam i.e. FCAT every year and the number is growing by the year. Recently, five NCC candidates from the region have been recommended by Service Selection Board, and they are likely to join the Armed Forces. Agreed, that very few candidates get selected, but that does not affect the enthusiasm of the city youngsters. People serving in the Defence sector have all kind of facilities these days, which is one of the biggest attractions for the Nagpur youngsters," says Defence PRO, group captain Mahesh Upasane.

Defence Ministry diktat on cutting fuel use by 40% stumps armed forces
NEW DELHI: The defence ministry has asked the armed forces to reduce fuel use by 20-40% as the sharp increase in prices has upset budget calculations, leaving soldiers, commanders and analysts bewildered and worried about the country's overall defence preparedness.

Pilots are wondering if they should fly fighter jets with half-full tanks while the army is struggling to find ways to economise on crucial movement of men and material across rough terrain or to cut the use of diesel in lighting up camps and barracks in remote areas along the 15,000-km international border, where many stretches are not connected to the electricity grid.

Official sources said the supplies and transport directorate under the defence ministry recently wrote to defence commands, saying allocation of various fuels would be cut by 20-40% in the current fiscal, depending on specific requirements and unique needs of the army, navy and air force. Rising electricity tariff across the nation too has inflated expenditure on large cantonments and defence establishments.

International crude prices, which have risen 8% in the past week, as well as the depreciating rupee, which is sinking to record lows, have made diesel for bulk buyers nearly 20% costlier than the state-set rates for motorists. While state transport undertakings have happily switched to petrol pumps, the defence forces have no such option.

Experts are worried. "As it is, the frequency of core-level exercises has come down due to limited fuel. Mechanised exercises of defence forces are becoming expensive. If fuel prices go up further, there will be more limitations in training our armed forces," said Lieutenant General (retd) Prakash Katoch, who has co-authored the book India's Special Forces.

Defence forces, among the biggest fuel consumers in India, spent over Rs 7,000 crore on petroleum products in 2012-13. This includes Rs 4,090 crore spent by the air force and Rs 1,661 crore by the navy, according to Laxman Behera, research fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA).

The defence budget for 2013-14 rose barely 5.3% to Rs 2,03,672 crore, compared with the 17.6% expansion in the previous budget. Behera terms this growth as negative in view of rising fuel prices and inflation.

Air Commodore (retd) Jasjit Singh, director-general of the Centre for Air Power Studies, questioned the wisdom of cutting fuel supply. "It is possible for private airlines to save fuel by managing routes efficiently. But you cannot fly combat aircraft with half-full tanks. I am not aware on what basis the instructions have been given to reduce fuel consumption. I don't know how to save ATF in training. Movement of all supplies requires fuel. What we need is more efficient vehicles. However, changing your fleet also involves a huge cost," Singh said. He said inadequate fuel may hit peacetime activities such as training and overall preparedness.

Oil industry executives said prices had been adjusted in line with market trends. "In the past six to eight weeks, with the weakening of the rupee against the dollar and firming up of crude oil prices, the difference between retail and bulk diesel price has gone up by over 9 per litre. With diesel price rising for institutional consumers, state transport undertakings are purchasing fuel from our retail network resulting in a 60% drop in our bulk trade," said N Srikumar, executive director of IOCBSE 0.97 %. The state-run company meets most of the petroleum product needs of defence forces. Defence personnel said the forces were doing their best to save on costs. "In the past five years, prices of diesel and LPG have gone up by 20-25% and 150-300%, respectively. The quantities of fuel allotted to the commands are enhanced or reduced based on the change in prices. However, austerity measures have been instituted to save revenue expenditure as fuel prices are going up. Energy conservation is something all of us are seized of and we are trying to save costs," said a defence ministry official, who did not want to be identified. He said the ministry has not sought any relief from the ministries of finance and petroleum.

Sources said the annual allocation of jet fuel will be reduced by 20% of the average consumption last year while petrol and diesel supplies will be reduced even more.

"You cannot cut salary, LPG consumption to feed personnel and certain other operations in defence activities. Hence, decision-makers prefer to control spend on energy first, when they have to reduce revenue expenditure. However, cutting down energy consumption hits your defence preparedness as soldiers are less mobile and not very well-trained, especially in case of air force and navy, where one must gain experience of a certain numbers hours of flying and sailing every year," said Behera of IDSA.
Indian air chief leads military delegation to South Korea

Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, who is also the chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC), is on a four-day official visit to South Korea leading a tri-service delegation comprising senior Indian military officers.

Accompanied by Indian Ambassador Vishnu Prakash, Browne Monday called on South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, who fondly recalled his visit to India last year, including to the 60th Parachute Hospital Unit of the Indian Army at Agra. The unit had given an exceptional account of itself during the 1950-53 Korean conflict.

Kim expressed happiness at expanding strategic and defence engagement between the two countries, underlining the desirability of greater cooperation and coordination on regional and international security issues. He appreciated India's positive role in maintaining peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.

India and South Korea are in the midst of expanding bilateral cooperation and finding common ground on regional and international issues. There is a regular exchange of high-level visits between the two countries.

Browne invited his counterpart, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) General Jung Seung-jo to visit India. Over the next couple of days Browne and his delegation will visit South Korea's military operations and training establishments as well as defence industries.

The visit of the air chief and the Indian delegation is taking place within the framework of the 40th Anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. It comes close on the heels of the visit of India's National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon's visit to Seoul.

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