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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

From Today's Papers - 17 Sep 2013
Sino-Indian border row not insurmountable: Khurshid
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 16
Underlining that the India-China border dispute was not an ‘insurmountable problem’, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid today asserted that the two countries were ‘completely and totally’ committed to removal of such irritants.

He said the relationship between India and China was significantly valuable not only for the two countries but also for how the world would be shaped in the years to come.

Khurshid was inaugurating the first India-China media forum along with Chinese Minister of State Council Information Office Cai Mingzhao here this morning. Prominent journalists from India and China attended the meeting and shared views on how media could bring the two countries together.

Khurshid said India wanted increased Chinese involvement in the infrastructure sector. At the same time, India was looking for greater market access in China for Indian pharma and IT companies for the growth of a more balanced trade between the two countries.

The minister hastened to add that there would be moments of ‘hyper sensitivity’ when it would become important for the two countries to convey to each other what was important for either side. In this connection, he also emphasised the role of the media to prevail over their desire to report more aggressively.

The Chinese minister said the fact that India and China were developing simultaneously illustrated that the world was big enough for the two countries to develop at the same time. “It suggests that we have each found a development path that suits our respective national conditions. We should walk hand in hand to continue along the paths that suit our own national conditions.”

Friendly and pragmatic cooperation between India and China was in the fundamental interests of both nations and also a blessing for Asia and the world, he added.

Meanwhile, at a meeting between Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari and the visiting Chinese minister, it was agreed that the two countries would initiate steps to include media cooperation as part of 2014 celebrations being observed to commemorate ‘friendly exchanges’ between the two countries. India and China agreed to proactively consider steps to promote high-level media exchanges and facilitation between the two nations.

What Khurshid said

    India wanted increased Chinese involvement in the infrastructure sector
    India was also looking for greater market access in China for the growth of a more balanced trade between the two countries

Chinese minister’s reply

    The fact that India and China were developing simultaneously illustrated that the world was big enough for the two countries to develop at the same time.
    Friendly and pragmatic cooperation between the two countries was in the fundamental interests of both the nations
'Why should families of soldiers who die for country be compensated?' asks UP official
A top bureaucrat in Uttar Pradesh has controversially lashed out at families of martyrs, implying that their demands for compensation are unseen in any other country.

"India is a land of mourners," Aligarh district magistrate Rajeev Rautela has reportedly said in remarks that have sparked a storm.

"5,000 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan, but you will never hear their families asking for compensation, they want to do something for the country," said the official.

"It is the duty of soldiers to lay down their lives on the war front. (In India) the government pays the soldier,  he is fighting on the border, he dies serving the country, then until we get petrol pumps or Rs. 50 lakh compensation, we say we won't allow last rites, how will this country progress?"

Mr Rautela's comments to a group of journalists on Sunday set off a flurry of comments on the social media. Sources close to him, however, say he has been "quoted out of context."
COAS reiterates Pak Army’s resolve in fighting menace of terrorism
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Monday reiterated Pakistan Army’s resolve and unflinching commitment in fighting the menace of terrorism, in accordance with the will of the nation and at any cost.

He vowed to spare no effort in bringing the perpetrators of these cowardly acts of terrorism to justice. While reaffirming Army’s support to the political process, the COAS also said, unequivocally, that terrorists will not be allowed to take advantage of it. He emphasized again that while it is understandable to give peace a chance through a political process but no one should have any misgivings that we would let terrorists coerce us into accepting their terms. Army has the ability and the will to take the fight to the terrorists.
Kayani lauded the ultimate sacrifice of the martyres and injured of the four cowardly acts of terrorism which took place in FATA Region, during last two days.
The COAS paid rich tributes to the exemplary courage, total commitment to duty and the demonstration of highest leadership qualities by Major General Sanaullah Khan.
The General Officer has set towering example of leading from the front which is hallmark of leadership in Pakistan Army.
Acknowledging the General Officer’s ultimate sacrifice for the motherland the COAS said, we all salute his bravery.
He also pledged to stand with the families of SHUHADAS and injured. Pakistani Nation and Army will remain indebted to the sacrifices of their soldiers.  
According to ISPR here, during the night 14-15 September, terrorists attacked a Khassadars’ patrolling party near Bannu.
The attackers were repulsed by the patrolling party. However, encounter resulted into shahadat of one and injuries to four Khassadars. Later, during early hours of 15 September, two of the Army Posts located on Road Miranshah - Mir Ali were subjected to IED attacks by terrorists.
The posts along this road are meant to keep the traffic un-interrupted and secure. One soldier of Army and one of FC KPK laid their lives for the motherland whereas two soldiers sustained injuries in these attacks.
The most heinous act of terrorism took place at 1230 hours on September 15 near village Gatkotal, Upper Dir. This too was an IED attack on the vehicle of Major General Sanaullah Khan, General Officer Commanding 17 Division, presently operating in Swat.
The General Officer along with Lieutenant Colonel Tauseef Ahmad and Sepoy Irfan Sattar embraced martyrdom in this attack. Major General Sanaullah was visiting his troops deployed on Pak-Afghan Border. He stayed the night with troops at a 10,000 feet high border post in Bin Shahi Sector. His vehicle was targeted during move back.
Pak Army fires at six Indian forward posts
Violating the ceasefire again, Pakistan Army fired at six Indian forward posts along the LoC in Poonch district, drawing retaliation from Indian troops.

Pakistan troops opened fire with small and automatic weapons and used mortar shells to target forward Indian posts along the LoC in Mandi and Garhi Sub-sectors of Poonch district around 2330 hours late last night, Defence Spokesman S N Acharya said on Monday.

Indian troops retaliated effectively and the exchanges stopped at around 03:45 am, Acharya said, adding there was no report of any loss of life or injury in the firing.

There were two ceasefire violations during the night in two sub-sectors of Poonch and three violations in less than 24 hours.

Six Indian posts came under fire by Pakistan troops, who fired from their five posts, the reports said.

"There was heavy night-long firing and shelling of mortars. It was very intense", Poonch town resident Harbajan Singh said.

Pakistan troops had violated the ceasefire, on Sunday, by shooting on forward posts along LoC in Mendhar sub-sector of Poonch district from 0625 hours to 1000 hours.

There have been over 90 ceasefire violations by the Pakistani troops since January 1 this year.

Six jawans were killed and 13 people injured in ceasefire violations and firing by Pakistani troops in forward posts, civilian areas and patrol parties along the border in August.
Russia's Defense Ministry to consider army's personnel strategy
The Russian Ministry of Defense will hold a meeting of its collegium in Moscow on Monday under the chairmanship of Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu.

The Defense Ministry’s press service told Itar-Tass that “according to the agenda, it is planned to consider the progress of the implementation of the plans of activities of the RF Defense Ministry, of the RF Armed Forces’ branches and service arms for the period up to 2020, as well as issued of preparations for the Russia-Belarus joint strategic exercise Zapad 2013 (West 2013).”

“It is also planned to discuss the main approaches to the allowances to officers and soldiers serving under the contract and conscripts, the quantitative parameters of the positions and priorities for manning the RF Armed Forces’ combat strength from 2013 to 2017 and up to 2020,” the press service informed. In addition, it is planned to review the implementation by the Ministry of Defense of the federal programmes and the federal targeted investment programme, the ministry added.

Taking part in the collegiums meeting will be representatives of the bodies of state authority, the office of the RF Defense Ministry’s general inspectors, central military administration bodies, the commanders-in-chief of the Armed Forces’ branches, the commanders of the armed services and forces of military districts and fleets, members of the Public Council under the RF Ministry of Defence.
Indian Defence Forces: Where a 'maulvi' leads Janmashthami prayers
New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi was apt in saying that India should take a leaf out from Indian defence force's book where soldiers fight should to shoulder irrespective of their cast and community.
Speaking at a rally in Rewari district of Haryana state, Modi asked the people of the country to take a lesson from the Indian armed forces who have set an unparallel example when it comes to religious tolerance and communal harmony.
Since Independence, Indian Army has maintained its secular framework. Despite the fact that regiments in Indian Army are named on the basis of caste, creed, culture or race, it practices an unbiased philosophy in all its matters- from recruitment to retirement.
Indian Armed forces is a place where you will see a staunch Hindu or a Muslim bow at the altar or offering namaz in absolute obeisance.
Keeping in mind the necessity to promote religious harmony amongst its troops and officers, Indian Army restored to building a common complex for all religions.
Army is the only place where you can see a maulvi conducting the proceedings of Janmashthami as Panditji was on a leave on compassionate grounds.
An incident in Jammu aptly echoes the sentiment; a company of Khemkhani Muslim soldiers replaced a Dogra company. For the next few days, the post came under heavy shelling from Pakistanis.
The company suffered few non-fatal casualties. A Joint Commissioned Officer (JCO) Subedar Sarwar Khan walked up to the Company Commander Manoj Sharma and asked, "Sahib, ever since the Dogras left, the mandir has been shut. Why don't you open it once every evening and do aarti? Why are we displeasing the Gods?"
Manoj Sharma confessed that he is not aware of the words of arti. Subedar Sarwar went away and that night, huddled over the radio set under a weak lantern light, painstakingly took down the words of the aarti from the post of another battalion!
Incident like these are common in the Indian defence establishment. Along the entire border with Pakistan, the troops, irrespective of religion abstain from alcohol and non-vegetarian food on all Thursdays, the Peer day -- essentially a day of religious significance for the Muslims.
The recent proposal by the government of India to do a headcount of Muslims in Indian Armed forces has been criticised by many, including the opposition parties.
The proposal aims to analyse the reason behind low participation of Muslims in the defence.
The committee reported that Muslims constitute a small fraction of the Indian Army ( 2% or 29,000). A sorry figure considering that they constitute 18 percent of the population.

A major reason for under representation of Muslims in Indian armed forces is the policy adopted by British.
Shocked by the revolt, the British army adopted a recruitment strategy that punished the groups which rebelled against them and rewarded the ones that stayed trustworthy. Because Muslims of Awadh, Bihar and West Bengal led the uprising against the British, the British army stopped hiring soldiers from these areas.

Also blacklisted from these places were high-caste Hindus whose regiments in Bengal were also mutineers. In disparity, the British raised the recruitment of castes that had stood by the British to put down the revolution and honoured as martial races, they received preferential treatment in army recruitment for the following 90 years. Like any institution, the Indian army is a prisoner of the past.
Till this day, Indian army prefer recruiting people from these 'martial races'. Of 2.87 lakh jawans hired by the army in between 2004 to 2006, a disproportionate 44,471 came from three “martial” states, Punjab, Haryana, and the mountain state of Uttaranchal. So these states which account for 5 per cent of India’s population provided 15 per cent of India’s army jawans.
The unfortunate concept of 'martial race' is unfortunately still practiced by the Indian defence
Martial race was a designation created by Army officials of British India after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, where they classified each caste into one of two categories, 'martial' and 'non-martial'. The ostensible reason was that a 'martial race' was typically brave and well-built for fighting, while the 'non-martial races' were those whom the British believed to be unfit for battle because of their sedentary lifestyles.

However, the real reason was because British-trained Indian soldiers were among those who rebelled in 1857 and thereafter recruitment policy favoured castes which had remained loyal to the British and diminished or abandoned recruitment from the catchment area of the Bengal army.
A case in example, the hillmen Kumaonis, Garhwalis, Dogras and Gorkhas were initially a great impediment to the establishment of the British Empire, but once they gave their loyalty to the British they helped them greatly in their administration and were thus given the status of martial race.

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