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Monday, 16 September 2013

From Today's Papers - 16 Sep 2013






http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130916/main2.htm
N-capable Agni-V clears 2nd hurdle; closer to induction
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

New Delhi, September 15
India successfully test-fired its inter-continental surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni-V from Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast today. The missile has a strike range of over 5,000 km and the ability to deliver a nuclear warhead with precision.

The successful testing brings India a step closer to matching China’s prowess in long-range missiles. Beijing’s nuclear missiles can reach targets up to 11,000 km away.

A longer distance firing ability ensures the missile can be fired from deeper within own territory, making it less vulnerable to enemy strikes.

New Delhi is now racing to induct the missile by late 2014 or early 2015. Work is under way to get the missile mobile and fire it using a road-mobile launcher. Agni-V is 17 metres tall and weighs 50 tonnes with three-stage rocket motors to power it on its trajectory. It was first tested in April 2012.

In its second test today, the missile rose to an altitude of 220 km above the earth’s surface when the last of the boosters was jettisoned. It put the “warhead projectile” in place for its final descent. The 1.2 tonne projectile hit the target in southern Indian Ocean after travelling at a speed of 6 km/second (21,000 km/hour).

The carbon composite of the projectile maintained its temperature at 40 °C despite atmospheric friction raising the temperatures to 2,500 °C, official sources said. Classified as an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICMB), Agni-V has the capability of delivering a nuclear warhead with high precision. A few more tests will now have to be carried out before the missile is formally inducted. DRDO spokesperson Ravi Kumar Gupta termed today’s test a success. “Agni-V flew on a predefined path and reached its destination with expected precision.” Defence Minister AK Antony congratulated DRDO scientists for “making the country proud”.

National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon said the event marked a milestone in the long-range missile era of India. The next challenge for the DRDO is to develop a hermetically sealed canister to encase the missile when it is mounted on a launcher-truck.

Chinese missile DongFeng 31-A is road mobile and can hit targets 11,200 km away. The canister-launch system enhances storage, operational readiness, transportability, response time and shelf life.

A road-mobile Agni-V will be able to hit even the northernmost part of China if fired from close to the Line of Actual Control.

The DRDO is currently working on Agni-VI with a strike range of 8,000-10,000 km and technology to evade incoming enemy missiles.



http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130916/main6.htm
Pak General, Colonel killed in Taliban blast
Afzal Khan in Islamabad

A roadside bomb attack on Sunday killed Pakistan's two senior military officers and a soldier in the country's troubled northwest, the military said. Major General Sanaullah Niazi and Lieutenant Colonel Touseef were visiting troop posts in the Upper Dir district of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, along the Afghan border, when their vehicle hit a planted bomb killing them and a soldier.

The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have accepted responsibility for the attack, which was confirmed by its spokesman Shahidullah Shahid in a statement. "We are at war with the Pakistan Government and we are assessing their sincerity about peace talks. If we find that the government is serious, we can talk. Otherwise, we will continue our attacks." He said that troops must pull out of militancy-affected areas before any talks.

A military in a statement said, “Maj Gen Sanaullah and Lt Col Touseef embraced martyrdom this morning. They were returning after visiting troops posts on Pakistan-Afghanistan border.” The incident resulted from a remote-controlled IED planted on the road near the border.



http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130916/nation.htm#5
Western Command marks 66th Raising Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Army’s frontline operational arm - the Western Command - observed its 66th Raising Day at Chandimandir military station today.

A solemn wreath-laying ceremony was held at the Veer Smriti war memorial where General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt Gen Philip Campose paid floral tributes to the martyrs.

Soldiers reversed their arms as a mark of respect to the fallen soldiers while buglers sounded the Last Post. A large number of officers and other ranks attended the ceremony.

A “barakhana” for troops and a social get-together for serving and retired officers as well as civilian dignitaries were organised.

The Command was raised as Delhi and East Punjab Command controlling all formations with an operational role in the territorial areas of the present Western, South Western and Northern Commands. It was re-designated as Western Command in January 1948.

In 1954, the Command Headquarters moved to Shimla. After the 1971 Indo-Pak war, the Northern Command, headquartered at Udhampur, was carved out of it to focus on Jammu and Kashmir, while in 1985 the Western Command headquarters moved to Chandimandir.

The Western Command was reorganised again in 2005 and South-Western Command based at Jaipur was raised.

With “Ever Westwards” being its calling card, the Command has participated in all wars and major operations since Independence, blunting enemy assaults and carrying the battle into the adversary’s territory.

It has also played a key role in disaster management and aid to civil authorities in times of need, besides training para-military forces in specialised operations. 


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130916/edit.htm#4
Arrest of ISI-backed jihadis
India should patiently deal with Pakistan
by T.V. Rajeswar

Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari, alias Abu Jundal, who was a native of Beed district in Maharashtra, was one of the high-profile jihadis deported from Saudi Arabia on June 25, 2012 ,and was arrested at the International Airport, New Delhi, and later taken in remand for interrogation. Ansari held a Pakistani passport and two Pakistani identity cards, which clearly pointed to Pakistan's involvement. During interrogation it was established that Jundal went to Pakistan around 2005 where he was given terror training and attached to Lashker-e-Taiba headed by Hafiz Saeed. Jundal later moved to Saudi Arabia, apparently at the instance of Lashker-e-Taiba and Pakistan’s ISI. While in Saudi Arabia, he was on the lookout for Indians domiciled there and got the willing victims indoctrinated in jihadi affairs. The Saudi Arabian authorities, who were watching the activities of Jundal, decided to deport him to India, even though Pakistani’s ISI exerted considerable pressure to prevent Jundal being handed over to India.

During interrogation by security agencies, it was revealed that Jundal was very active on the internet. He admitted to have recruited several cadres from India. He used several chat forums like Islamic chat. He was also on Facebook looking for recruits. Jundal was also familiar with the Karachi project, headed by Major Zakir-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, under which jihadi attacks in India were planned. The most important revelation of Jundal is that the Karachi project jihadis like Lakhvi were planning more attacks on the lines of the Mumbai attacks at some other places in India.

Syed Abdul Karim Tunda, who was from a village in Pilkhwa district in Uttar Pradesh, was a carpenter by profession. He later went to Pakistan and promptly got recruited by the ISI, which put him in touch with a bomb-maker. He was trained on the fabrication of explosives, particularly IEDs. He was also attached to Hafiz Saeed of LeT. Tunda was sent to India to carry out bomb blasts during the Commonwealth Games in 2010, but the plan did not work out. However, Tunda was instrumental in masterminding bomb blasts in Mumbai, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Hyderabad and Surat.

Tunda was arrested from the Nepal border on an FBI tip-off on August 16, 2013. Tunda was having a Pakistani passport issued on January 23, 2013. Tunda confirmed Dawood Ibrahim's presence in Karachi and that he was being protected by ISI guards. Tunda also met Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur-Lakhvi. He also disclosed that the ISI attached him to Hamid Gul, a former ISI chief. Tunda was suspected in the Chhattisgarh Express bomb blast near Ghaziabad railway station in 1994. Tunda was among the prominent activists who extended the LeT network in Jammu and Kashmir.

The latest jihadi terrorist arrested by Indian intelligence agencies is Yasin Bhatkal along with Asadullah Akhtar. Yasin Bhatkal was born Ahmed Siddihapa in the coastal town of Bhatkal on the south-western sea coast of Karnataka. Bhatkal is the ancient home of some famous archeological marvels. Yasin Bhatkal joined Indian Mujahideen reportedly after he heard the news of the alleged killing of a large number of Muslims in Ahmedabad in 2002. He emerged as an active terrorist with specialisation in making bombs.

In September, 2008, he was instrumental in several bomb blasts in Delhi, where 30 people were killed and over 100 injured. In the same year, he carried out nine blasts in Jaipur, causing the death of about 90 people. He was also instrumental in at least 20 blasts in Ahmedabad which killed 26 people. Later in July 2011, Bhatkal was instrumental in the blasts which rocked Zaveri Bazar and Opera House in Mumbai in which 27 people were killed and 130 were injured. Bhatkal was also responsible for planting a bomb in German Bakery in Pune in February 2010 in which 17 people were killed. In February 2013, Bhatkal carried out two blasts in a crowded market area of Hyderabad city in which 60 people were killed and about 80 injured. In the Mumbai and Hyderabad blasts the CCTV footage clearly showed Bhatkal planting the bombs and slipping away.

A former DGP of Maharashtra, D Sivanandan, has narrated how Yasin Bhatkal was indoctrinated by the ISI and later attached to Masood Azhar, a jihadi who was released and handed over to Pakistanis at Kandahar after the hijacking of an Indian Airlines flight by the ISI men in Kathmandu. Sivanandan has described Yasin Bhatkal as a cool-headed, multi-tasking terrorist, who acted as a motivator, fund-raiser, trainer, bomb assembler and planter. Yasin Bhatkal is probably the most wanted jihadi terrorist who was arrested in recent months.

Yasin Bhatkal, who was hiding in Nepal proceeded to Raxaul on the Nepal-Bihar border to meet his friend, Asadullah Akhtar. It turned out Asadullah Akhtar was also a jihadi terrorist. Both of them had earlier met in Dubai at the instance of the ISI. Asadullah Akhtar, alias Haddi, turned out to be an active operative and a member of the Indian Mujahideen. He is a native of Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh which is known to be home to many other jihadi and militant activists.

Stephen P Cohen, who has been described as a “guru of gurus”, but more importantly a great student of the subcontinent affairs, was in Delhi recently. During a discussion on the subcontinent, Stephen Cohen spoke about the state of affairs in Pakistan. He referred to Hafiz Saeed and said it was outrageous of him to parade himself there. Left to him, Cohen said, he would like to send a missile against Hafiz Saeed. He went on to say that the danger was that Pakistan was perhaps too weak to do anything. Pakistan was now struggling with the problem of Afghanistan. Cohen added that the two countries were so different, and clubbed together, they would not succeed in the next two hundred years.

The problem is, Cohen added, Pakistan is a nuclear power and perhaps has more nukes than India. Many people feel that Pakistan is a failed state. And if Pakistan broke apart, millions of Pakistanis would like to go back to their ancestral home in India which would create a huge problem for India. Cohen's suggestion was that India should patiently deal with Pakistan. India has to deal with Pakistani jihadis as it would deal with any other terrorists and send them to the court of law to whatever dispensation the court might decide. The lesson for India is that it has to live with troubles from Pakistan and deal with them as the situation arises.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130916/edit.htm#5
Arrest of ISI-backed jihadis
India should patiently deal with Pakistan
by T.V. Rajeswar

Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari, alias Abu Jundal, who was a native of Beed district in Maharashtra, was one of the high-profile jihadis deported from Saudi Arabia on June 25, 2012 ,and was arrested at the International Airport, New Delhi, and later taken in remand for interrogation. Ansari held a Pakistani passport and two Pakistani identity cards, which clearly pointed to Pakistan's involvement. During interrogation it was established that Jundal went to Pakistan around 2005 where he was given terror training and attached to Lashker-e-Taiba headed by Hafiz Saeed. Jundal later moved to Saudi Arabia, apparently at the instance of Lashker-e-Taiba and Pakistan’s ISI. While in Saudi Arabia, he was on the lookout for Indians domiciled there and got the willing victims indoctrinated in jihadi affairs. The Saudi Arabian authorities, who were watching the activities of Jundal, decided to deport him to India, even though Pakistani’s ISI exerted considerable pressure to prevent Jundal being handed over to India.

During interrogation by security agencies, it was revealed that Jundal was very active on the internet. He admitted to have recruited several cadres from India. He used several chat forums like Islamic chat. He was also on Facebook looking for recruits. Jundal was also familiar with the Karachi project, headed by Major Zakir-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, under which jihadi attacks in India were planned. The most important revelation of Jundal is that the Karachi project jihadis like Lakhvi were planning more attacks on the lines of the Mumbai attacks at some other places in India.

Syed Abdul Karim Tunda, who was from a village in Pilkhwa district in Uttar Pradesh, was a carpenter by profession. He later went to Pakistan and promptly got recruited by the ISI, which put him in touch with a bomb-maker. He was trained on the fabrication of explosives, particularly IEDs. He was also attached to Hafiz Saeed of LeT. Tunda was sent to India to carry out bomb blasts during the Commonwealth Games in 2010, but the plan did not work out. However, Tunda was instrumental in masterminding bomb blasts in Mumbai, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Hyderabad and Surat.

Tunda was arrested from the Nepal border on an FBI tip-off on August 16, 2013. Tunda was having a Pakistani passport issued on January 23, 2013. Tunda confirmed Dawood Ibrahim's presence in Karachi and that he was being protected by ISI guards. Tunda also met Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur-Lakhvi. He also disclosed that the ISI attached him to Hamid Gul, a former ISI chief. Tunda was suspected in the Chhattisgarh Express bomb blast near Ghaziabad railway station in 1994. Tunda was among the prominent activists who extended the LeT network in Jammu and Kashmir.

The latest jihadi terrorist arrested by Indian intelligence agencies is Yasin Bhatkal along with Asadullah Akhtar. Yasin Bhatkal was born Ahmed Siddihapa in the coastal town of Bhatkal on the south-western sea coast of Karnataka. Bhatkal is the ancient home of some famous archeological marvels. Yasin Bhatkal joined Indian Mujahideen reportedly after he heard the news of the alleged killing of a large number of Muslims in Ahmedabad in 2002. He emerged as an active terrorist with specialisation in making bombs.

In September, 2008, he was instrumental in several bomb blasts in Delhi, where 30 people were killed and over 100 injured. In the same year, he carried out nine blasts in Jaipur, causing the death of about 90 people. He was also instrumental in at least 20 blasts in Ahmedabad which killed 26 people. Later in July 2011, Bhatkal was instrumental in the blasts which rocked Zaveri Bazar and Opera House in Mumbai in which 27 people were killed and 130 were injured. Bhatkal was also responsible for planting a bomb in German Bakery in Pune in February 2010 in which 17 people were killed. In February 2013, Bhatkal carried out two blasts in a crowded market area of Hyderabad city in which 60 people were killed and about 80 injured. In the Mumbai and Hyderabad blasts the CCTV footage clearly showed Bhatkal planting the bombs and slipping away.

A former DGP of Maharashtra, D Sivanandan, has narrated how Yasin Bhatkal was indoctrinated by the ISI and later attached to Masood Azhar, a jihadi who was released and handed over to Pakistanis at Kandahar after the hijacking of an Indian Airlines flight by the ISI men in Kathmandu. Sivanandan has described Yasin Bhatkal as a cool-headed, multi-tasking terrorist, who acted as a motivator, fund-raiser, trainer, bomb assembler and planter. Yasin Bhatkal is probably the most wanted jihadi terrorist who was arrested in recent months.

Yasin Bhatkal, who was hiding in Nepal proceeded to Raxaul on the Nepal-Bihar border to meet his friend, Asadullah Akhtar. It turned out Asadullah Akhtar was also a jihadi terrorist. Both of them had earlier met in Dubai at the instance of the ISI. Asadullah Akhtar, alias Haddi, turned out to be an active operative and a member of the Indian Mujahideen. He is a native of Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh which is known to be home to many other jihadi and militant activists.

Stephen P Cohen, who has been described as a “guru of gurus”, but more importantly a great student of the subcontinent affairs, was in Delhi recently. During a discussion on the subcontinent, Stephen Cohen spoke about the state of affairs in Pakistan. He referred to Hafiz Saeed and said it was outrageous of him to parade himself there. Left to him, Cohen said, he would like to send a missile against Hafiz Saeed. He went on to say that the danger was that Pakistan was perhaps too weak to do anything. Pakistan was now struggling with the problem of Afghanistan. Cohen added that the two countries were so different, and clubbed together, they would not succeed in the next two hundred years.

The problem is, Cohen added, Pakistan is a nuclear power and perhaps has more nukes than India. Many people feel that Pakistan is a failed state. And if Pakistan broke apart, millions of Pakistanis would like to go back to their ancestral home in India which would create a huge problem for India. Cohen's suggestion was that India should patiently deal with Pakistan. India has to deal with Pakistani jihadis as it would deal with any other terrorists and send them to the court of law to whatever dispensation the court might decide. The lesson for India is that it has to live with troubles from Pakistan and deal with them as the situation arises.


http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/problem-not-on-border-problem-in-delhi-says-bjp-s-pm-candidate-narendra-modi-419002?pfrom=home-lateststories
Problem not on border, problem in Delhi, says BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi
Rewari, Haryana: Narendra Modi made a pitch for a Delhi posting at his first rally after being named the BJP's presumptive Prime Minister for 2014, declaring in Rewari, 90 km from the capital, "It's time for a change in Delhi, let that change start from here in Haryana."

Attacking the Congress-led UPA over repeated incursions by China and Pakistan's attacks on Indian soldiers along the Line of Control, Mr Modi said at the rally largely of ex-servicemen, "The problem is not at the border, the problem is in Delhi and so the solution must come from Delhi too." Former Army Chief Gen (retd) V K Singh shared the stage with him.

The roar of a lion was played on the public announcement system amid much cheering as Mr Modi walked up to the stage. A huge photograph of the Gujarat Chief Minister and the Indian parliament formed the backdrop.

Mr Modi played to his 1.5 lakh strong audience in his 65-minute speech, punctuated only by the many glasses of water he stopped to drink on the hot September afternoon.

Politicians should learn a lesson in secularism from the armed forces, said the Gujarat Chief Minister, whose detractors often question his secular credentials. "Vote bank politics in India has become disgusting. I would like to tell the politicians who want to divide India into small groups... there is no bigger example of secularism than the armed forces," he said. (Highlights of the speech)

He repeatedly saluted Indian soldiers, peppering his address with anecdotes, and the crowd, many people precariously perched on poles, roared in approval when he confided that he was more excited about being amid soldiers today than he was on Friday when his party announced him its candidate for PM.

He also promised that he would demand a white paper from the Centre on "one rank, one pension," a key demand of ex-servicemen.


http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Haryana/India-is-being-divided-by-vote-bank-politics-true-secularism-can-be-learnt-from-Army-Modi/Article1-1122346.aspx
India is being divided by vote-bank politics; true secularism can be learnt from Army: Modi
Narendra Modi set the tone of his campaign by giving a call for change and strong leadership at the Centre while addressing his first rally on Sunday after being anointed the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate.
Addressing the rally of ex-servicemen at Rewari in Haryana, the Gujarat chief minister slammed the UPA government and termed it weak.

"Pakistan is waging a proxy war against us and China is threatening our borders. The problem is not on the border, it is in New Delhi. If the government is strong, neither China nor Pakistan can threaten us. The call for change is coming from this rally ground in Haryana."
The meeting was attended by former army chief VK Singh along with a number of retired senior military officers. Modi also lauded the scientists for successful launch of Agni V.
 
Saluting the Indian soldiers, Modi said it was his childhood dream to attend an army school which he could not realise due to penury.
"I was not aware that such a huge announcement would be made on September 13. It is God's wish that this is the first rally I am attending after my elevation. It is for the first time that I have stood before so many ex-soldiers and I can say it as thrilling to be among you as being named as the BJP's PM candidate."
 
Bringing up the Poonch attack at LoC in which five Indian jawans were killed by the Pakistan Army, he slammed defence minister AK Antony for his first statement in Parliament.

"Even as our soldiers were helping the people in Uttarakhand, Pakistan was killing them across the border. However, our defence minister said that they were not Pakistani soldiers but terrorists dressed in Pak uniform. If you don't want to shed tears for our dead, at least don't mock them."
Terming Maoism and terrorism the biggest challenges that India faces today, Modi said, "Pakistan now has a democratic government but it does not seem it wants peace. I want to clearly state that whether it is Pakistan or Bangladesh or India, we need to fight poverty and inequality. Cross-border terrorism is not going to help anyone. Pakistan may have been formed because of anti-India policies but it cannot progress with that attitude."
Hitting out at the parties with secular credentials, Modi said true secularism can be learnt from the Indian Army. "The country is being divided by vote-bank politics. Political leaders can learn secularism from our soldiers who work together for our nation. The Delhi government even tried to divide the army on basis of religion which we will never allow."
Invoking the name of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who also kicked off his PM campaign from Rewari, Modi said Vajpayee forced the world to debate terrorism.

"We need to make our army self-reliant when it comes to making arms and ammunition. We should also make joining army a matter of pride for our youngsters. For that, we need to bring ex-servicemen into the mainstream. I demand a white paper on one-service, one rank."

Modi, who has accused the UPA government of poor governance, said if the country has to be steered out of the present mess, it needs a "strong government" with a person who can lead from the front.

In his 65-minute-long address, Modi made several references to Vajpayee, who was considered a moderate in the BJP, and to the "true secularism" prevailing among Indian Armed Forces.

"The politics of vote banks has become disgusting in our country. Politicians who want to divide the society through vote bank politics, should learn true secularism from our armed forces," he told the rally.

Modi also chose the occasion to attack JD(U), which parted ways with NDA three months ago ending a 17-year-old alliance over his elevation.

"It is the acme of shamelessness when a public representative says that people join Army to die. No leader, no political party would have humiliated (the forces) more than this. "If you cannot recognise the sacrifice of people in armed forces, don't insult the soldiers who are fighting for the security of the country"," he said.

Modi was referring to remarks by a minister in Nitish Kumar government in Bihar for which the JD(U) had pulled up him. The rivalry between Kumar and Modi is well-known.

Lashing out at the policies of the Centre, he said that "every day we are facing problems...Pakistan is not giving up its design...China is showing us its might by intrusion... is keen to stop Brahmaputra rivers water and wants to take control over Arunachal Pardesh." 

"...The government that is sitting in Delhi is not at all concerned about them. They feel that such incidents keep taking place," he said.

Noting that today's rally is the "call for change" and that the "land of Haryana has challenged the Delhi Sultanate", he said "when you are standing amid the Army in battlefield, then your ability to lead is seen.

He should have capacity, a war strategy and the yearning to stand in the front, he said.

"It feels good to recall the government of Atali and Advani ji," Modi said the only time he referred the sulking BJP patriarch.

Modi, who was on Friday declared BJP's PM nominee amid Advani sulking, also evoked an imagery of Mahabhrata war and Lord Krishna.

In June, Modi was named BJP's campaign committee chief despite opposition from Advani, who had stayed away from the party executive meet and had also made a reference to a wounded Bhishma Pitamah lying on a bed of arrows in a scene in Mahabharata.

Modi also slammed the UPA for Sachar Committee's bid to seek a community wise census in the Indian armed forces saying it was a "sin" by those in Delhi who were "power hungry" and "believed in vote bank politics".

He also hailed the armed forces for opposing the move.

Flagging the challenges of terrorism and Maoism, which he said had claimed more lives than wars, Modi said that when Vajpayee was heading the NDA government, Pakistan was isolated and the world was forced to take cognisance of terrorism.

"The world stopped listening to Pakistan, but in the last nine years, there is no anger in the world that should be against terrorism," he said.

He said that if Pakistan, Bangladesh and India want to fight war, it must be against poverty and illiteracy.

"I ask Pakistani friends that bombs and pistols are no solution. It did not benefit Pakistan in last 60 years," he said, adding Pakistan will develop if it disallowed breeding of terrorism just for ten years.

Modi also referred to his association with Jat leaders Devilal and Bansi Lal, while referrring to his links with Haryana and recalled that he had addressed his last rally in Rewari with Vajpayee.

Haryana Janhit Congress president Kuldip Bishnoi, son of former chief minister Bhajan Lal, shared the dais with Modi along with former army chief General V K Singh, indicating a new political formulation that the BJP was looking at in the state, which has a sizeable population of Jats.

Rewari also has a fairly good number of ex-service men.


http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/india-needs-a-patriotic-government-pakistan-should-fight-poverty-rather-than-us-narendra-modi/articleshow/22597560.cms
India needs a patriotic government; Pakistan should fight poverty rather than us: Narendra Modi
NEW DELHI: Stating that the current status of India' defence is not due to weak army, BJP's PM candidate for general elections, Narendra Modi on Sunday said. "The problem lies in Delhi." "We need a sound and patriotic government at the center," he said.

Modi hit out at Defence Minister AK Antony for stating that Pakistan army soldiers may not have been behind the killing of Indian soldiers at the border. "Not only that, some politicians go ahead and say that people join the army to die," he stormed.

While we were praising the work of our soldiers in the rescue efforts in Uttarakhand, Pakistan was killing our soldiers at the border, Modi said.

"Pakistan's intent does not look good. If war has to be fought, it should be against illiteracy and poverty," Modi said in a message to the neighboring country. "Cross-border terrorism will benefit no one, neither Pakistan nor Bangladesh," Modi added.

Modi questioned the policy to import weapons for the defence forces and said, "We should dream that weapons are made and sent from India."

Modi emphasized the need for educated youth to join the Army. He also said that soldiers need to be trained in latest technology in order to spruce up their combating skills.

Modi urged the youth of the nation to exercise their voting right to choose the government at the center.

Modi also raised the issue of Maoist violence. "There should be a voice against terrorism, Maoism," Modi said.

Modi said that soldiers truly signify secularism in the country. He hit out at Congress, stating that the party follows vote-bank politics. "The government at the center has tried to divide army on the basis of relgion," he accused.

Modi lauded India's scientists for the successful test launch of the Agni-V missile early Sunday morning.

He cited an instance of childhood, when he wanted to join the Army school in Gujarat , but was unable to do so due to financial constraints. "For me at that time, the way to serve the nation was to join the army, " he said.

"The huge crowd attending this rally is proof of the call for change that people of Haryana are sending out," Modi said.

Starting his address at the ex-servicemen rally in Rewari, Haryana, Modi said, " I bow to the brave soldiers of the nation." "To die for the nation, this is no less than the life of Rishis and Munis. We are proud of our Army men," he said.

Earlier, addressing the rally retired Army chief General VK Singh said, "This is a historic occasion where so many ex-servicemen have gathered in this rally.

"At this very moment, soldiers at borders are protecting the country. Nation first, always at every time, is the emotion that each soldier carries in his heart," Singh said.

"The country requires its soldiers in these difficult times. One feels sorry for the defence policies of India right now, Singh said.

"National security is not only about our borders. It is social, economical security and everything else that makes nation happy," he added.

Modi was on Friday anointed as BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate for the upcoming general elections. At the press conference, BJP paraded the entire parliamentary board, barring Advani, to drive home the point that Modi's candidature had emphatic endorsement from within the party. It also presented a picture of complete marginalisation of Advani, who was once lauded in BJP as the man who did perhaps the most to build the party. The new power equations in BJP could also see Advani's loyalists being pushed to the margins. For the record, the party attempted to avoid drawing attention to the resentment between Advani and Modi. "He will meet and seek Advani's blessings," the party president said.


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