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Friday, 3 January 2014

From Today's Papers - 03 Jan 2014

Pak Def Min for Kargil probe

Islamabad, January 2
Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has said that an inquiry should be held into the Kargil episode and a case should be filed against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf and his then colleagues for the 1999 coup.

Mincing no words, Asif accused the former President of corruption. Asked if 70-year-old Musharraf should be tried for the 1999 coup, Asif said it was his personal opinion that he should.

“A case must be filed against Musharraf and his colleagues who toppled the government of the PML-N in 1999. Similarly, inquiry of the Kargil incident should also be held. Every citizen of the country is equal in the eye of law.
“The government shows generosity to keep Musharraf in his farmhouse. In the past, Nawaz Sharif and the PML-N leadership were put behind the bar in Attock Fort,” he said.

The government is trying to avoid confusion over Musharraf case and is giving him all facilities for dispensation of justice.

Musharraf is currently facing trial for subverting the constitution in 2007.

Asked about bombs been repeatedly found around Musharraf's house, the Defence Minister said the former President possessed innumerable resources.

“Now Musharraf is purchasing the people and he is behind such nefarious activities. Sympathisers and supporters of Musharraf are rented people.

Looted money is being used to safe the skin of Musharraf,” he said.

Asked why there were no corruption cases against Musharraf, he said, “For record, the cases must be filed against Musharraf as far as corruption is concerned. I think treason case against Musharraf is the biggest case and if such case is proven that is enough. “Musharraf has property in Dubai and London worth of billion of dollars. How he acquired costly property?” — PTI
SBI to enlist retired Army officers in push for defence business
 Chennai, Jan. 2: 

With 1.5 million personnel, India’s armed forces are among the largest employers in the country. And for State Bank of India those numbers represent a market with a lot of promise.

Indeed, India’s largest bank has decided to enlist the services of former officers as ‘Defence Banking Advisors’ to market its products and services to the armed forces.

The plan is to hire retired senior officers at handsome salaries, get them to connect with their respective services, and understand the banking needs of defence personnel.

Headhunting time

SBI will appoint a Defence Banking Advisor (DBA) from each of the services — a former Lt. General from the Army, an Air Marshal from the Air Force and a Vice-Admiral from the Navy. The first two will be based in Delhi while the retired naval officer will be based in Mumbai.

In addition, the bank will appoint former defence officers as Circle Defence Banking Advisors (CDBAs) in other metros. These advisors — of rank Major General or Brigadier in the Army and their equivalent in the other forces — will be based in Chandigarh, Guwahati, Lucknow, Kolkata, Pune and Hyderabad.

The salary (cost to company) for a Defence Banking Advisor has been fixed at Rs 28 lakh annually. For CDBAs, it will range between Rs 18 lakh and Rs 20 lakh, depending on the posting.

Apart from advice on the banking needs of defence personnel, these officers will also act as a single-point contact for complaint redressal. Speaking to Business Line, a senior bank official said they would explain SBI’s products and services and customised solutions to defence personnel. Explaining the rationale behind the move, E. Balaji, an HR expert, says that senior officials understand the dynamics of companies better and are adept in navigating bureaucracy.

Familiar terrain

Armed forces are hierarchical in nature and seniors command respect from serving officers even after retirement.

But in order to succeed, State Bank of India will have to find officers who still have the drive after retiring from the forces.

It will also need to institutionalise suitable safeguards to prevent undue favours and preserve the integrity of various banking processes, said Balaji.
Indian Army promises zero tolerance towards human rights violations in Kashmir

SRINAGAR —  There will be zero tolerance to rights violations by troops in Jammu and Kashmir, the army's northern command chief said Thursday as he briefed Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on counter-insurgency operations in the state.

A defence spokesman said Lt.Gen. Sanjiv Chachra called on Abdullah here and also briefed him on security situation.

"The army commander reiterated the army's commitment to zero tolerance towards human rights violations and that the cases of misdemeanour, if any, would be dealt with severely.

"The army commander also briefed the chief minister about the recent DGMO-level (director generals, military operation) talks between India and Pakistan and also the security situation on the line of control (LoC).

"The chief minister appreciated the successful operations conducted by the army and commended the restraint exercised by the troops ensuring that there was no collateral damage to civilian life and property," the defence spokesman said.

Lt.Gen. Chachra arrived here Thursday on a three-day visit to the Valley to conduct a review of the security situation.

He also visited some forward posts and interacted with the officers and other ranks at these places.
HMRL offers prime city land to Army
HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) has offered land at two prime locations in Secunderabad to the local defence authorities in lieu of the 1.5 acre defence land abutting Sardar Patel (SP) Road that it wants for the metro rail project.

The HMRL wants the open land opposite to the former office of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), Secunderabad Zone, for metro rail interchange where the JBS-Falaknuma (Corridor II) and Nagole-Shilparamam (Corridor-III) lines intersect. The land is currently under the custody of the Army (Andhra Sub Area).

Based on the HMRL request, two senior Army officers, including General Officer Commanding (GOC) Maj Gen C A Pittahwala and Col 'Q' (Quarter Master General), Andhra Sub-Area, Ranjeet Singh, visited two prime locations - Old Gandhi Hospital and former GHMC office near YMCA - recently. "We visited the two areas and sent details to the ministry of defence (MoD) to take a final decision. Once a decision is taken by the MoD, we will hand over the land to HMRL," sources told TOI.

Nearly three years ago, HMRL had approached the local Defence Estates Office (DEO) to acquire the 1.5 acre land near YMCA junction for metro interchange and parking-and-circulation area. They had also approached the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) and DEO to acquire 4.5 acres for metro-related structures. Of the 4.5 acres, 1.25 acres was for the right of way, one acre at Secunderabad Club for a metro rail station and parking area, and 1.5 acre of open land opposite the old GHMC office.

However, in return for the 1.5 acre defence land, the local Army authorities asked HMRL to allot an equivalent extent of government land.

Now the HMRL authorities have zeroed in on the 8.5-acre Old Gandhi Hospital land and old GHMC Secunderabad office. On the Old Gandhi Hospital land, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) had proposed an integrated bus terminal-cum-business centre, but it was put on hold due to poor response from bidders.

When contacted, HMRL managing director NVS Reddy said: "We have identified land at two locations in Secunderabad and informed them. Once the defence authorities decide on the parcel of land, we will transfer it to them."

On the issue of the right of way in the Cantonment jurisdiction (JBS-Falaknuma corridor), he said, "We have not received any communication either from the Cantonment Board or defence authorities. We have identified 25 acre government land (equivalent to the land which SCB is likely to lose) at Jawaharnagar, but they rejected it. We are making efforts to identify government land in another area in Ranga Reddy district," the MD said.

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