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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

From Today's Papers - 22 Jan 2014






















http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20140122/main3.htm
India summons Pak envoy after cross-LoC trade suspended
Tribune News Service

New Delhi/Srinagar/Jammu/Poonch, January 21
India today summoned Pakistan Acting High Commissioner Mansoor after the cross-LoC trade on the Salamabad-Chakoti and Chakan-da-Bagh-Rawlakote routes, a prized confidence-building measure between the two countries, was suspended today as the tense standoff at the Line of Control (LoC) worsened on its fifth day.

"While the two Foreign Ministries were working towards resolving the matter through diplomatic channels, it was surprising that Pakistan chose to hold hostage trans-LoC trade and travel which were bringing immense humanitarian benefits to the people of Jammu and Kashmir for the sake of persons indulging in drug trafficking," the Pakistani diplomat was told by Rudrendra Tandon, Joint Secretary (Pakistan) in the External Affairs Ministry.

A senior J-K government official here said the cross-LoC trade, which takes place four days a week —from Tuesday to Friday — with bartering facilities located at Salamabad in north Kashmir's Baramulla district and Chakoti, on other side of the LoC, has been suspended.

"Trading has been suspended for today. We are not sure what will happen tomorrow, or next week or next month. The matter is now between the governments," Deputy Commissioner of Baramulla district, Ghulam Ahmad Khwaja, told The Tribune.

The suspension of trade, which began on October 10, 2008, happens a day after Pakistani authorities suspended the cross-LoC bus service on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawlakote routes.

Over 600 Indian traders from Kashmir and 165 traders from Jammu are associated with the trade via Salamabad and Chakan-da-Bagh trade centres respectively.

The stand-off began on Friday evening, the last trading day of the past week, when a haul of contraband, believed to be 114 kg of brown sugar and estimated to cost Rs 114 crore, was seized from a Pakistani truck at the Salamabad trading facility.

The truck, which was part of a cross-LoC trade convoy entering Kashmir from the Pakistani side, was seized and its driver arrested by the state police. Traders in Jammu and Kashmir are squarely blaming New Delhi for the present crisis. They have accused the Indian Government of inertia that has kept both the trade routes vulnerable to smuggling of contraband like narcotics and arms from PoK.



http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20140122/main6.htm
N-sub Arihant ready for trial in a few weeks
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 21
Weeks ahead of its slated sea trials, the Indian Navy today announced that a miniature version of the indigenously-built nuclear-powered submarine, Arihant, shall be showcased on Republic Day on January 26.

A model of the submarine will be placed on an open truck and will form a part of the Republic Day parade. The model will give fair idea of the strategic depth the submarine will provide to the Navy.

The submarine is set for sea trials in a couple of weeks from now. Rear Admiral LVS Babu, Assistant Chief of Navy (Submarines) confirmed: “The submarine will be heading for sea trials in the coming few weeks.” The nuclear reactor went critical on August 10 last year.

Once the sea trials are completed, the Navy is targeting a formal deployment by the end of this year. The submarine, that has nearly 60 per cent local content, will now start making shallow dives. Then it will undertake deeper dives for longer periods. From there on, the vessel will be gradually loaded with weapons and missiles and with each addition all parameters will be tested before the next load is added.

For two months or so each test will be conducted underwater. This will include the Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM). New Delhi has done 10 underwater launches of the SLBM’s code named ‘B05’ using a submerged pontoon to mimic a submarine. It can travel to 700 km while the bigger variant, so far known as ‘K-4’, can hit targets 3,500 km away and will finally be installed on Arihant and also the next two follow-on submarines of the same class.

A nuclear submarine is militarily considered to be one of the most potent second-strike platforms for retaliation to a nuclear strike. India has a no-first use nuclear policy. Referring to nuclear-powered submarine INS Chakra, leased from Russia, the Rear Admiral said: “It would facilitate the Indian Navy in maintaining a strong stabilising and credible presence in the Indian Ocean, Arihant would provide us with the option for sea based strategic deterrence, the third leg of the (nuclear) triad”.

During the Cold War, the US and the USSR kept their submarines on deterrence patrols, ready to fire within seconds of a nuclear strike by the adversary, to act as a strategic deterrent. Unlike conventional vessels, a nuclear-powered submarine does not need to surface for up to nearly two months.

The submarine has been developed jointly by the Indian Navy, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at the naval dockyard in Visakhapatnam and has cost Rs 15,000 crore to develop. Russian designers have assisted in building the vessel.
Nuclear muscle

* Nuclear-powered submarine Arihant (pic) is set for sea trials in a couple of weeks from now. Once the sea trials are completed, the Navy is targeting a formal deployment by the end of this year

* A model of the submarine will be placed on an open truck and will form a part of the Republic Day parade.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20140122/nation.htm#9
 Copter deal: CBI seeks Prez nod to examine two Guvs

New Delhi, January 21
After the refusal by the Law Ministry, the CBI has now approached President's office seeking permission to record as witness the statements of Governors MK Narayanan and BV Wanchoo in connection with the probe into the VVIP helicopter deal.

Sources said permission has been sought from President Pranab Mukherjee's office to record statements of West Bengal Governor Narayanan, who was the National Security Adviser, and his Goa counterpart Wanchoo, who was the head of elite Special Protection Group (SPG) guarding the Prime Minister.

The sources said the agency has made it clear that the two Constitutional functionaries would be approached as witnesses for recording their statements in the case.

The move comes against the backdrop of the Law Ministry rejecting the plea of the CBI to quiz the two on the ground that they enjoyed constitutional immunity.

The CBI had sought permission to record their statement as part of its probe into alleged Rs 360 crore bribe in the deal that was scrapped by the government last month.

Seeking recording of their statements, the CBI has said Wanchoo and Narayanan had participated in the meeting in 2005 that allowed key changes in the technical specifications.

Sources said the CBI had sought permission also on the ground that the President was the appointing authority of of the Governors. The President may take opinion of the legal experts before allowing the agency to record the statement, the sources feel. — PTI

Agency’s plea rejected
Sources said permission has been sought from the President’s office to record statements of West Bengal Governor Narayanan, who was the NSA, and his Goa counterpart Wanchoo, who was the head of elite SPG guarding the PM
The move comes against the backdrop of the Law Ministry rejecting CBI’s plea to quiz them on the grounds that they enjoyed constitutional immunity


http://www.janes.com/article/32667/india-to-unveil-catapult-ii-self-propelled-gun-at-defence-expo-2014
India to unveil Catapult II self-propelled gun at Defence Expo 2014
India plans to unveil its Catapult Mk II self-propelled howitzer at the Defence Expo 2014 being held in New Delhi from 6-9 February.

The Catapult Mk II self-propelled gun, seen here during firing trials in 2013, integrates the hull of the Arjun Mk I main battle tank and the Russian 130 mm M-46 field gun. (CVRDE)The Catapult Mk II self-propelled gun, seen here during firing trials in 2013, integrates the hull of the Arjun Mk I main battle tank and the Russian 130 mm M-46 field gun. (CVRDE)

The system integrates the hull of the Arjun Mk I main battle tank (MBT) and the Russian 130 mm M-46 field gun, originally developed over 60 years ago and procured by India since the late 1960s.

The Indian Army Headquarters' Artillery Directorate tasked the Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO's) Combat Vehicle Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) to design the system in May 2012.

The first developmental firing trials took place from 27 November to 5 December 2012.


http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/army-commander-reviews-situation-at-sino-india-border_905783.html
Army Commander reviews situation at Sino-India border
Kolkata: Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen MMS Rai on Tuesday reviewed the preparedness and security situation of operational areas along the Sino-India border in Sikkim, defence sources said.

Rai, who assumed the charge earlier this month, is on a two-day visit to Sikkim and north Bengal sector.

He along with Sukna-based Trishakti Corps Commander Lt Gen KJ Singh will visit troops in forward areas and take a first-hand report on all activities undertaken by the Corps along the borders.

Singh briefed Rai on various operational and administrative issues and the ongoing efforts in maintaining peace and tranquillity along the borders with China as per Border Peace and Tranquillity Agreement and the recently concluded Border Defence Cooperation Agreement, the sources said.

The Army commander appreciated the troops' efforts and commended their high morale despite being deployed in tough and physically demanding conditions.

During his maiden visit to the Corps HQ, he also paid homage to the martyrs of Trishakti Corps and laid a wreath at the war memorial before flying out to the forward areas.

Rai is also expected to call on Sikkim Chief Minister and Governor during his stay, the sources added.


http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/singapore/story/indias-army-chief-three-day-visit-calls-singapore-defence-minister-201
India's army chief on three-day visit calls on Singapore Defence Minister
INDIA's Chief of Army Staff is in Singapore for the first time since he took the top job in 2012.

General Bikram Singh called on Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and his Singaporean counterpart Major-General Ravinder Singh on Tuesday.

As part of his three-day visit that will end on Thursday, Gen Singh will visit the Multi-Mission Range Complex, the Singapore Army's 3rd Division and Armour headquarters.

The Defence Ministry said in a statement that Gen Singh's visit underscores the warm and long-standing defence relationship between Singapore and India.

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