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Friday, 6 September 2013

From Today's Papers - 06 Sep 2013








http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130906/nation.htm#4
Truce violations create fear in the vicinity of LoC
Vijay Mohan/TNS

Along the Line of Control, September 5
Caught between the crossfire of Indian and Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC), it is the locals residing in the villages in the vicinity that are affected the most. The ceasefire violations have created fear in the vicinity of the LoC, with schools being shut and general life being disrupted. The children, say villagers, are scared the most and people to move about or even to go to the market.

“We were preparing to go to sleep in the late evening, when firing began. There was chaos and panic, with several people sustaining injuries,” recalled Mohammad Salim, a 45-year old resident of Uchhad village that lies close to the LoC ahead of Mendhar. “People were running here and there to seek safety and nobody really knew what to do,” he added.

Three persons from this village had sustained injuries last month. The remote border area has no proper medical facilities and no access to public transport. Villagers said the injured had to be transferred to Mendhar for treatment, the nearest town over 20 kms away by arranging private vehicles and then on Rajouri and Jammu for admission in hospital. “Before the ceasefire came into effect in 2003, we used to come under regular shelling and firing, which had caused a lot of death and destruction. Houses and buildings were damaged and livestock was killed,” Mohammad Arif, a local school teacher said.

“There was peace for some time, but now the ceasefire violation has again created fear among us. There is nothing for our safety and we have nowhere else to go. The government should construct bunkers in the village where at least we can take shelter during such situations,” he added.

“The fear for our lives is constant,” says Haji Mansoor Ahamed, head of the village panchayat. “I still have memories of scurrying through rivulets and forests with my father during the 1965 war when there had been a lot of shelling and firing in this area,” he added.

Just 10 years old at that time, he said a lot of people had then been killed and most families had been scattered while fleeing for safety. “The area had remained littered with bodies for months afterwards,” he recalled.

Villagers point out that with regular cross-border firing, things have become difficult. People are unwilling to work in the fields, nor is labour available to carry out the day-to-day tasks. Development works, or whatever little is being carried out, comes to a halt as contractors and traders are wary of venturing into the area over safety concerns. Even government functionaries tend to keep away.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130906/nation.htm#11
Troops ‘not allowed’ to patrol up to LAC

New Delhi, September 5
A committee tasked by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to assess the situation on the China border is understood to have reported that Indian troops are not being allowed to patrol up to the perceived Line of Actual Control (LAC) by the Chinese Army.

The team, headed by National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) chairman Shyam Saran, visited Ladakh between August 2 and 9 to review the border infrastructure development and the situation there.

It is believed to have said that Chinese troops have built motorable roads inside the LAC perceived by India in Daulat Beg Oldie and other sectors in Ladakh and that patrolling by Indian troops was being prevented, sources said. The issue was raised in the Lok Sabha today by BJP leader Yashwant Sinha who said media reports have quoted the committee as having concluded that 640 sq km of Indian territory has been occupied by China.

He wanted Defence Minister AK Antony to immediately clarify the situation in Parliament. Government agreed, saying Antony will be requested to make a statement by 1 PM tomorrow or as early as possible.

" Parliament is unaware of this... The Defence Minister should be called immediately to the House and he should clarify on the issue. There should be a debate in the House," Sinha said. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said the government understands the seriousness of the matter but cannot make a statement immediately. "I will request the Defence Minister to make a statement tomorrow," he said. — PTI


http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/chinese-army-indian-territory-status-quo-lac-top-general/1/305719.html

Acting in good faith, we restricted our Army only to see the Chinese altering status quo along LAC, says top general
Jugal R Purohit  New Delhi, September 5, 2013 | UPDATED 00:42 IST
Reacting to the report submitted to Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) and accessed by Headlines Today of the Chinese gaining over 600 sq km of Indian territory in Eastern Ladakh, Lt. Gen (retd) JS Bajwa (60), among the most credible experts on China, made his displeasure at India's handling of the issue known.

"We all know that you can press your claims only from a position of strength. We have been acting in good faith with the Chinese," he said. Further elaborating, he stated, "Our agreements on maintaining peace and tranquility with China are based on the premise that all along status quo will be maintained. This was stressed even in the Joint Working Group (JWG) to the Chinese and agreed upon. And this information is implies they are trying to alter that."

General Bajwa, retired recently as Director General of the Infantry directorate, had a four decade long stint in the army where he held key positions from where he got opportunities to deal with and observe China at close quarters. An officer to the Kumaon regiment, he authored a book on the modernisation of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) last year.

Addressing his point, the general said, "Since the 80s, the China Study Group (CSG) had laid down the limits of patrolling even in areas which we claimed. Army, mind you, all along wanted to patrol the entire region where the Line of Actual Control (LAC) runs. Depsang bulge was one such area where the complete geography was within India's map and yet, troops were being allowed to patrol only west of Budsa and Chungtash."

He went on to blame the 'wisdom of powers that be' for the current situation where despite the Chinese not building any permanent structures and India claiming the region, our troops do not patrol these zones. Not surprising then that in the report submitted to CCS by former foreign secretary Shyam Saran, Depsang is listed as an area which has now become inaccessible to Indian troops, especially after the stand off over there in April-May this year.

He added that the day India's political entities became willing to take on the onerous task of defending the country, "Army will ensure it is done."

Historical perspective

According to general Bajwa, "The way our LAC alignment is placed is based on our position as on September 7, 1962. At that time, the Chinese were far to the east. Subsequently, after November 1962, China claimed the area that they had conquered so there are bound to be perceptional differences."




http://www.firstpost.com/india/chinese-army-not-allowing-indian-troops-to-patrol-up-to-lac-report-1088507.html
Chinese army not allowing Indian troops to patrol up to LAC: report

port-1088507.html?utm_source=ref_article
New Delhi: A committee tasked by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to assess the situation on the China border is understood to have reported that Indian troops are not being allowed to patrol up to the perceived Line of Actual Control (LAC) by Chinese Army. The team, headed by National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) chairman Shyam Saran, visited Ladakh between 2 and 9 August to review the border infrastructure development and the situation there. It is believed to have said that Chinese troops have built motorable roads inside the LAC perceived by India in Daulat Beg Oldie and other sectors in Ladakh and that patrolling by Indian troops was being prevented, sources said. The issue was raised in the Lok Sabha today by BJP leader Yashwant Sinha who said media reports have quoted the Committee as having concluded that 640 sq km of Indian territory has been occupied by China.

He wanted Defence Minister A K Antony to immediately clarify the situation in Parliament. Government agreed, saying Antony will be requested to make a statement by 1 PM tomorrow or as early as possible. “The Parliament is unaware of this… The Defence Minister should be called immediately to the House and he should clarify on the issue. There should be a debate in the House,” Sinha said. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said the government understands the seriousness of the matter but cannot make a statement immediately. “I will request the defence minister to make a statement tomorrow,” he said. However, this did not satisfy the opposition benches and members from BJP, Shiv Sena and SP, among others were on their feet. Nath then assured the House that Antony will make a statement by 1 PM tomorrow and he will request him to make a statement as early as possible. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said he is not aware about the report’s “factual assessment” but whatever it has produced will be examined very carefully. “It has come from somebody who is held in high esteem and somebody who within the system is very important,” he said. Referring to recent landing of Super Hercules aircraft by IAF at Daulat Beg Oldie, which had seen incursion by Chinese Army, Khurshid said India is “alert and equipped” and the government would not be found wanting in protecting country’s sovereignty. There has been several intrusions into Indian territory by Chinese army of late, raising concern.



http://www.business-standard.com/article/politics/cost-of-syria-strikes-won-t-be-extraordinary-us-navy-113090501199_1.html
Cost of Syria strikes won't be 'extraordinary': US Navy
The cost of possible military strikes against Syria would not be "extraordinary," the US Navy chief said today, downplaying the potential price tag of the operation.

Admiral Jonathan Greenert's comments appeared to confirm a rough estimate from Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel yesterday, who told lawmakers the punitive strikes would likely cost "tens of millions" of dollars.

Naval ships and submarines equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles are expected to play the primary role in punitive strikes proposed by President Barack Obama, who has asked Congress to back intervention to punish Damascus over the alleged use of chemical weapons.

In outlining the funds required, Greenert said that a single Tomahawk missile costs $1.5 million and that keeping some ships in the area would costs millions more.

"The numbers are nagging but they're not extraordinary at this point," Greenert said at an event organised by the American Enterprise Institute think tank.

The Navy currently has four destroyers in the Mediterranean ready if called upon as well as the aircraft carrier Nimitz and accompanying warships in the Red Sea.

"Many of these ships were going to be out there anyway," Greenert said.

"In the case of the Nimitz, she was to be headed home," he said. "So if we extend her much beyond say a week or so, she starts going in that theatre longer than what we had planned."

He said a carrier strike group costs up to $40 million a week if its aircraft are engaged in special combat-related flights, as opposed to routine operations that cost $25 million a week.

It was the first time a senior US military officer had openly acknowledged the Obama administration was considering using Tomahawk missiles in a strike against Syria, though officials had privately leaked that possibility previously.

The ships deployed in the region "are fully ready for a vast spectrum of operations, including operations that they may be asked to do, from launching Tomahawk missiles to protecting . . . The ships themselves," he said.

The admiral described Tomahawks as an effective weapon that provided "a really good option" for commanders.

At a House hearing yesterday, lawmakers asked the defence secretary about the possible cost of military action.

"It would be in the tens of millions of dollars, that kind of range," Hagel said.


http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/russia-prepares-navy-for-possible-us-military-strike-on-syria_874428.html
Russia prepares Navy for possible US military strike on Syria
Johannesburg: Russia has reportedly prepared its naval forces to respond to a possible missile strike in Syria by the United States.

A Russian military source confirmed that their naval vessels in the Mediterranean were capable of influencing any kind of military situation arising due to escalation in the Syrian conflict, News24 reports.

According to the report, the anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleyev has already entered its zone of operation as the flagship of the current rotation of the naval grouping in the Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, the missile cruiser Moskva, from the Black Sea fleet, is also on its way to the eastern Mediterranean to assume the role of the Russian flagship.

The US already has a strong naval presence in the region and the possible US military strike against Syria is widely expected to be launched from the sea.

Moscow has warned that the US-led plans for military action against the regime of Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapon against civilians on the suburbs of Damascus will destabilise the entire region.

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