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Thursday, 22 August 2013

From Today's Papers - 22 Aug 2013
Pak Army says Capt killed in LoC firing
Tribune News Service & PTI

Islamabad, August 21
Violating the ceasefire yet again, Pakistani troops resorted to "unprovoked" firing on Indian posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Marol sector in Kargil last night. The Pakistani troops used small arms, automatic weapons and mortars to target the Indian side, said official sources.

"Appropriate retaliation was carried out by the Indian Army," official sources said. In Islamabad, Pakistan Army said one of its officers was killed and a soldier was injured in unprovoked firing by Indian troops. A senior military official said the incident took place in Shakma sector near Skardu on the LoC. "A Pakistan Army officer, Captain Sarfraz, (was killed) due to unprovoked Indian firing. A soldier was seriously injured due to the shelling," a Pakistani Army officer said.

Indian Army officials said they had no knowledge about any deaths or injuries on the Pakistani side.

New Delhi’s statement came hours after Pakistan summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gopal Baglay to the foreign office in Islamabad and registered a protest over what it described as "Indian aggression" on the LoC. The two armies have blamed each other of several violations of a 2003 ceasefire on the LoC. The firing began after five Indian soldiers were killed in an attack by Pakistani troops along the LoC about two weeks ago.

New Delhi, meanwhile, remained non-committal on whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New York next month on the margins of the UN General assembly.

MEA spokesman said New Delhi expected Pakistan not to allow the misuse of its territory or the territory under its control to be used for activities against India.
India: Terror networks in Pak need to be dismantled
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 21
Reacting to the US designating a Pakistani madrassa as a terrorist organisation, India today said Washington’s move had only confirmed New Delhi’s view that terror networks existing in the neighbouring country must be dismantled.

“This merely underscores our long-held position that there exists a terrorist network and support framework in that region that needs to be targeted and dismantled,’’ MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said at a media briefing here.

Washington had yesterday designated Ganj Madrassa in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar as a terrorist organisation supporting the LeT, Al-Qaida and Taliban.
US eyes Trivandrum airbase
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 21
A top US military official has said that its air force looked forward to use Indian Air Force’s base near Trivandrum in Kerala. The Ministry of Defence here has, however, denied any such move.

A US base in India, that too in Kerala, Defence Minister AK Antony’s home state, would be a proverbial “political hot potato”. Political ideologies in the state are closer to the Left and Antony allowing any such US base could back fire.

General Herbert J Carlisle, Commander of the US Air Force’s Pacific Air Force command, has claimed that under the Pacific Security Plans, the US Air will expand engagements and have a rotational presence through the Pacific.

He named Trivandrum as one of the bases for that. “In a lot of ways we’ll increasingly move south and west with rotational presence. Darwin, Tindal, (Pilbara), Changi East in Singapore, CARAT in Thailand, Trivandrum in India,” he had been quoted in the US media as having said. The Defence Ministry here denied this categorically, saying: “There is no such proposal. Nothing of this sort has even been discussed by the US in any of the meetings with Indian authorities.” India had denied the US the use of its airbases when the US forces started moving to Afghanistan in 2001. In July 2009, a military plane flying over the Indian airspace without any advance notice was asked to land at Mumbai for an inspection.
Chinese troops intrude into Arunachal
Enter 30 km inside Indian territory, stay for over two days before withdrawing
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

New Delhi, August 21
Indian and Chinese troops had a tense eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation in the eastern-most part of India in Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh, ratcheting up tension and raising questions among Indian security circles about the latest moves by China.

The Chinese troops arrived on August 11 at Plam-Plam in Anjaw district. On being noticed on August 13, Indian troops asked the Chinese to withdraw, using ‘banner drill’ under which soldiers of either side, on coming face to face, unfurl a banner asking the other to go back. This is part of a protocol already decided between the two countries to avoid any gunshot being fired.

The area is so remote that India has not deployed soldiers right at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), but keeps them a few kilometres in the rear and send out patrol teams, a practice also followed by China. At an altitude of 12,000 feet (approx), there is no nomadic or settled population.

Army sources told The Tribune that the Chinese soldiers had withdrawn from there, a fact confirmed by sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs. On being confronted, the Chinese had claimed they had been patrolling this area since 2001, indicating that they have evidence of their previous visits.

BJP’s Kirran Rijju, former MP from the area, claimed “the face-off continues till date”. Sources in the Army and the MHA have refuted Rijju’s claims categorically. The face-off occurred at the spot which India perceives as its territory and China claims its own.

As per Indian claims, the area is 30 km inside the Indian territory. The Army categorises this as ‘Chaglagam sector’. This incident does not qualify in the same category as the Depsang plains face-off in the eastern Ladakh which lasted some three weeks. Fully armed soldiers on either side stood ground. Ultimately, both sides withdrew on May 6.

A Brigadier-rank Indian Army officer went on a recce sortie with two choppers to assess the ground situation. Sources said the Chinese troops towed along heavy machinery aimed at cutting a track through the mountains.

“On account of differences in perception of the LAC, transgressions do take place. The government regularly takes up any such incident with the Chinese,” Defence Minister AK Antony had told Parliament at the start of the ongoing monsoon session.

Incidentally, the location of the face-off is near Walong, where the two armies fought a pitched battle in 1962. Rather, this was one sector where the Indian Army held back the Chinese in 1962.

Extremely remote area

    As per Indian claims, the area, where the face-off took place, is 30 km inside the Indian territory and the Army categorises this as ‘Chaglagam sector’.
    The area is so remote that India has not deployed its soldiers along the LAC, but keeps them a few kilometres in the rear and sends out patrol teams
    The practice has also been followed by China.
    At an altitude of 12,000 feet (approx), there is no nomadic or settled population.

China ‘creating’ evidence

    As per Indian assessment, China is creating evidence of its claims along the 4057-km long un-demarcated LAC.
    Since there is no demarcation of the LAC on the ground, this is done by taking pictures of its patrol parties.
    The second modus operandi is to build structures to show presence and claim as on territory. This is common on the sections of the LAC which are in dispute.
    China has been following the same pattern in Ladakh.
China provokes India again, its troops enter Arunachal Pradesh and camp for 3-4 days: reports
In a repeat of the April incident in Ladakh, Chinese troops reportedly intruded into Arunachal Pradesh at two places last week. Army and police sources have confirmed that they camped for at least three to four days in one area, about 20 km within Indian territory.
The first intrusion in Arunachal Pradesh was discovered by the Indian Army on August 11 at Plam Plam, a high-altitude, sparsely-populated and very remote area. The second was a few kilometres away on the Hadig La pass, just two days ago.
News of these incursions comes as India landed a C-130J Super Hercules transport plane at an airstrip in Daulat Beg Oldie near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, the site of the India-China stand-off in April, in a flexing of muscle before border talks.
Sources said when the Indian troops chanced upon the Chinese soldiers camped at Plam Plam, they made a tactical retreat to come back with a reinforced patrol. But before they did, the Chinese soldiers told them, through interpreters present in both patrols, that they were building a track to Kapatu, about 20 km into what India considers its territory.
They also said that they had been coming into the area for the last 12 years, since 2001.
The Indian Army launched a reinforced patrol on August 15, which went back to Plam Plam to find that the Chinese troops had withdrawn. But on August 19, they ran into a different group of Chinese soldiers in Hadig la. This group did not camp on Indian territory and withdrew immediately. As did the Indian troops.

"We don't take up non-events in diplomatic practice. The Army has refuted it," said Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs.
However, the Army is tight-lipped and only said, "We patrol up to our area of perception, the Chinese troops patrol up to their area of perception."
China for many years claimed entire Arunachal Pradesh as its own territory. There have been intrusions in the past, but the Chinese have always gone back immediately. This was the first time a camp was discovered in recent times in Arunachal, much like the one in Ladakh in April, when the Chinese camped for 21 days in Depsang leading to diplomatic tension for days, which was de-escalated after many rounds of talks and tough negotiations.
Pakistan summons Indian Deputy High Commissioner to lodge strong protest over India's 'aggression' at Line of Control
Pakistan today summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gopal Baglay and registered a protest over what it described as "Indian aggression" on the Line of Control.

Pakistan's Foreign Office summoned Mr Baglay and registered a strong protest following fresh firing on the Line of Control in Kashmir, officials said.

In New Delhi, officials said Indian troops had only responded to unprovoked firing by Pakistani forces in Marol sector of the ceasefire line.

Pakistani forces at a post in Marol Sector resorted to unprovoked firing at an Indian post in Kargil sector from 2100 hours on August 20 to 0400 hours on August 21, the officials said.

The Pakistani troops used small arms, automatic weapons and mortars to target the Indian side.

"Appropriate retaliation was carried out by the Indian Army," an official said.

The Indian Deputy High Commissioner was summoned hours after the Pakistan Army claimed "unprovoked" Indian firing across the LoC had killed a captain and injured a soldier.

The two armies have blamed each other of several violations of a 2003 ceasefire on the LoC. The firing began after five Indian soldiers were killed in an attack by Pakistani troops along the LoC about two weeks ago.

The civilian leadership in Islamabad is trying to create peace and the Foreign Office spokesman said last week that all diplomatic and military channels between the two sides were open.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in his first televised speech on Monday, said he wants to work with India for regional peace and prosperity. Mr Sharif has repeatedly said he wants to meet his Indian counterpart on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September.
India's aircraft carrier INS Vikrant a threat: Chinese media report
Describing the launch of India's aircraft carrier and Japan's biggest warship since World War II as a threat to China, a report in the state-run media today alleged some countries are backing New Delhi to balance Beijing's power.

The launch of India's INS Vikrant and Japan's helicopter carrier serve as a warning for China, said an article on the state-run Global Times' website.

"Some Chinese scholars emphasise that India has yet to grasp the key technologies of the carrier and that it will rely on other countries to maintain and upgrade the carrier. But it is also a fact that many countries are supporting India in developing advanced weaponry, not only for profit but also to balance China's power," said Liu Zongyi, an assistant research fellow with the Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, in the article.

"India is well aware of the intention of the Western countries. Some politicians and media outlets in India deliberately stress the role of India's military buildup in containing China so as to please those traditional powers," it claimed.

But at the same time it said the launch of India's home-built aircraft carrier is indeed worth celebrating, because it marks a firm stride toward the indigenization of arms. The triumphant launch of the hull demonstrated India's progress in building giant surface carriers, it said.

"The launch also shows that the Indian government has had preliminary success in localising arms production. The government has invested billions of dollars in the construction, research and development of domestic ship-building," it said.

Together with the launch of domestically-built nuclear submarine INS Arihant, it will help boost the ruling Congress Party's election chances next year.

While China's rise is mainly an economic one, India's emergence is more prominent in the military sphere, it said quoting Stockholm International Peace Research Institute report stating that India has been the largest weapons importer ever since 2011.

"The so-called external threats may serve as an excuse for engaging in military expansion as well as corruption, which has been endemic in India's scandal-ridden weaponry development in recent years," it said.

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