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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

From Today's Papers - 21 Aug 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130821/main2.htm

IAF lands Super Hercules near LAC

Tribune News Service

 

New Delhi, August 20

In a major strategic feat, the Indian Air Force today landed its special operations plane Super Hercules C-130J on a mud-paved airstrip at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) in eastern Ladakh at an altitude of 16,614 feet - the highest landing strip in the world.

 

The airstrip, known as advanced landing ground, is of compacted mud and is located just south of the 18,290-foot Karakoram pass connecting India with Xinjiang in China.

 

DBO is wedged between the eastern edge of the Siachen glacier and the un-demarcated Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

 

The April-May standoff between Indian and Chinese troops had taken place 30 km south-east of this airstrip. Its location gives India tactical advantage as the nearest Chinese airstrip is located 200 km to its east at Qazil Jilga.

 

So far, the Russian origin twin-engine AN-32 planes had been landing at DBO ferrying supplies for the Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police.

 

The C-130J, with its four turbo-prop engines can carry 20 tonnes of payload, which is six times more than AN-32’s lift capacity after restrictions.

 

The IAF also operates the latest Mi-17V-5 helicopters to drop supplies at the DBO, a desolate but strategically important spot that is part of the greater Aksai Chin area.

 

The C-130J today took off from Hindon on the outskirts of New Delhi and took 90 minutes to reach DBO. The Commanding Officer, Group Captain Tejbir Singh, and the crew of “Veiled Vipers” squadron along with senior officers touched down at DBO at 6.54 am. IAF sources said the four engines were kept running as they were unsure if the engines would restart in the rarefied air. A similar practice is followed when the AN-32 and Mi-17V-5 touch down at the airstrip. The team stayed there for 40 minutes before flying back.

 

“With this enhanced airlift capability, the IAF will now be in a better position to meet the requirements of our land forces who are heavily dependent on the air bridge for sustenance in these higher and inhospitable areas,” IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Gerard Galway said. “Today’s achievement will enable the forces to exploit the inherent advanced capabilities of the aircraft by increased capability to induct troops, improve communications network,” he said. The C-130J can fly in all weather conditions, including airdrops and landings on unprepared or semi-prepared surfaces.

 

DBO was first used during the Indo-China conflict in 1962 and came into prominence when Packet aircraft of the IAF operated there between 1962 and 1965. It was reactivated and made operational after 43 years when an AN-32 aircraft from Chandigarh landed in 2008.

 

Apart from DBO, the IAF has fully paved and operational landing airstrips at Leh, Thoise and Kargil in Ladakh. Mud-paved runways similar to the one at DBO exist at Nyoma, Fukche and Chusul - all in eastern Ladakh.

 

Today’s development will be watched in Pakistan, China and also the US as its company produces the plane.

 

The Pakistan Air Force operates a similar variant called C-130H. The same aircraft had landed at the small Dharasu airstrip on June 22 during the Uttarakhand flood relief operation carrying fuel for helicopters.

 

big advantage

 

    The mud-paved airstrip at Daulat Beg Oldie in eastern Ladakh is located at an altitude of 16,614 feet

    Its location gives India tactical advantage as the nearest Chinese airstrip is located 200 km to its east at Qazil Jilga

    C-130J can carry six times more payload than Russian-built AN-32 aircraft

    AN-32 and Mi-17V-5 helicopters have so far been ferrying supplies to Daulat Beg Oldie

    Similar runways exist at Nyoma, Fukche and Chusul - all in eastern Ladakh

 

 

 

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130821/main5.htm

India, China discuss steps to maintain peace

Ashok Tuteja/TNS

 

New Delhi, August 20

On a day when an Indian warplane made a historic landing at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) in Ladakh which was the scene of a face-off between the armies of India and China in April-May, top officials of the two countries considered steps for maintaining peace along the Line of Actual Control. (LAC) and expanding bilateral trade and investment to address the yawning bilateral trade deficit faced by India.

 

At the 5th Indian-China strategic dialogue held here, the two sides also considered the dates for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Beijing. Indications are that the proposed Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) between the two countries could be signed during the PM’s visit, expected to take place in October.

 

The Indian side at the meeting was led by Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh while the Chinese team was headed by Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin. This was the first interaction Singh had with the Chinese after assuming charge as India’s top diplomat on August 1.

 

“We had a very fruitful dialogue…both sides are determined to maintain peace and stability along the border,” the Chinese Minister said after the talks. According to an official statement, the discussions covered bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.

 

“Taking stock of the developments in bilateral ties since the successful visit to India of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the two sides discussed several issues, including enhancing understanding on the utilisation of trans-border river waters, expanding bilateral trade and investment while addressing problems of the large and growing deficit faced by India, ways of maintaining peace and tranquility along the LAC in the India-China border areas, methods of boosting cultural cooperation as well as people-to-people exchanges and expansion of scientific and technological cooperation,” the statement added.

 

The potential and prospect for the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic cooperation were also touched upon. Future cooperation in the BRICS framework, ways of ensuring an open, inclusive and transparent architecture in the Asia-Pacific region and the outlook for Afghanistan in 2014 and beyond were among other areas of discussion between the two sides.

 

PM’s China visit

 

    At the 5th Indian-China strategic dialogue, the two sides discussed the dates for PM's visit to Beijing

    Indications are that the proposed Border Defence Cooperation Agreement between the two countries could be signed during the PM's visit, expected to take place in October

    The Indian side at the meeting was led by Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh while the Chinese team was headed by Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin.

 

 

 

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/yet-another-ceasefire-violation-by-pakistan-no-casualties-408259?pfrom=home-otherstories

Yet another ceasefire violation by Pakistan, no casualties

Poonch, Jammu and Kashmir: In fresh incidents of ceasefire violations, Pakistani troops today fired at Indian posts in Hamirpur and Mendhar along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, drawing retaliation from Indian troops.

 

Indian soldiers guarding the border line retaliated strongly, sparking an exchange of fire, a defence spokesman said tonight.

 

The firing took place around 1600 hours and it continued till 1645 hours, he said.

 

However, there was no loss of life or injury in the firing, the spokesman added.

 

At around 8:30 AM this morning, Pakistani troops opened fire from automatic weapons and mortars in Hamirpur and Mendhar along the LoC in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

The troops of the neighbouring country had yesterday fired in the same area, leading to exchanges between the two sides.

 

They had earlier fired heavily on Indian posts in Hamirpur and Balakote border belts along the LoC in Poonch and also pounded civilian areas in Mankote and Mendhar belts.

 

This year, there have been 82 violations by Pakistan till August.

 

From August 6, there has been increase in frequency with over 20 violations taking place including the tragedy in which five soldiers were killed in Poonch by Pakistani troops.

 

 

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-08-18/india/41422481_1_army-chief-indian-army-border-action-team

Pak troops making serious mistake by violating ceasefire, Indian Army warns

RAJOURI: Sending a strong message to Pakistan over repeated ceasefire violations and BAT attacks, a top Army commander on Sunday warned it was making a "serious mistake" and said a befitting reply would be given with "full force" at the time and place of its choice.

 

"You (Pakistan) are making a serious mistake (with regard to ceasefire violations and BAT attacks)- do not do it," General Officer Commanding (GOC) 25 Infantry Div, Major General VP Singh told reporters here.

 

He was replying to volley of questions about what strong message he wants to convey to Pakistan with regard to increase in ceasefire violations, cross border firing and Border Action Team(BAT) attack on forward Indian posts along LoC in Poonch.

 

India has blamed BAT, which is a mix of Pakistani special forces personnel and terrorists, for the brutal killing of its two soldiers in January, one of whom was beheaded, and killing of its five personnel along Line of Control in Poonch sector.

 

"...what you are putting across - it is not going to affect, deter us or weaken our resolve," General Singh said.

 

He further said that the Army is here to respond to each and every act of Pakistan in which ever way it feels so.

 

Regarding Army's strategy in the wake of the BAT attacks engineered by Pakistan, Gen Singh said "as far as BAT action is concerned, we are absolutely aware what kind of response it is going to get - that response will be delivered".

 

"It will be delivered in our own time and at the place of our own choosing and with full force, that you shall see.

 

"It is a military matter - as and when the response is delivered - you will see", he said, adding "the response would be delivered-- we will select our time and place to give a befitting reply to Pakistan with full force," he said.

 

Gen Singh said the Defence Minister and the Chief of Army Staff have given his command clear directions that violation of ceasefire or any other act of infiltration from acros LoC will be met resolutelywith power and full force.

 

"As far as I am concerned, those directions are with me - we are responding and retaliating to the situation as per the requirements with full force", Gen Singh said.

 

He further said that Army Chief had also made it clear that Army is free to reply and respond to the BAT attacks as per opportunity and strategy.

 

"As per opportunity and situation, what is to be done - everybody knows it and reply accordingly will be given."

 

At another media briefing at Bhimbher Gali in Poonch sector along LoC, Brigade Commander, 120 Infantry Brigade, Brig A Sengupta said Army has inputs about Pakistan trying to engineer more BAT attacks along the border.

 

 

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/654-militants-killed-in-army-operations-in-last-three-years/article5041682.ece

654 militants killed in Army operations in last three years

 As many as 645 militants have been killed in over 232 anti-terrorist operations conducted by Army in Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern states in the last three years.

 

This was informed by Defence Minister A.K.Antony in reply to a written query in the Lok Sabha.

 

He also said of the 68 cases received by National Human Rights Commission for inquiry during the period, 60 have been investigated but no punishment has been awarded in any of them. Eight cases are still under investigation.

 

The Minister said the highest number of operations were carried out in 2010 where 329 terrorists were killed in 103 actions by the Army.

 

He said in 2013, till August 14, the army has conducted 33 counter terrorists operations in which 53 ultras have been killed.

 

Army has been engaged in counter terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern states for several decades.

 

Replying to another query, the Defence Minister said the Army was facing a shortage of 9,590 officers and 22,841 jawans against the sanctioned strength of 47,762 and 11,50,191 respectively.

 

The minister said the government has set up the second Officers’ Training Academy in Gaya to do away with the shortfall of officers in the force.

 

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