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Thursday, 21 August 2014

From Today's Papers - 21 Aug 2014

Pak Parliament under siege
Imran rules out negotiations as govt team meets cleric Qadri to break deadlock
Islamabad, August 20
As hundreds of protesters laid siege to Pakistan Parliament, Opposition leader Imran Khan today ruled out talks with the government until Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stepped down. Cleric Tahirul Qadri, who leads the other group of protesters, however, held talks with government representatives.

The apparent difference in the approach of the two leaders came after the powerful Army sought a peaceful resolution of the weeklong crisis.

The Supreme Court earlier summoned Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and Qadri, chief of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), on a petition filed by the Lahore High Court's Multan Bar Association against the protests. The court served notices on the two to appear in the court tomorrow. Khan said he would abide by the court's verdict.

Speaking to mediapersons, Khan refused to negotiate with the government until the Prime Minister resigned, and threatened to storm Sharif's residence with his supporters at 8 pm. The cricketer-turned-politician later changed plans and addressed his supporters, conscious of the court hearing.

“We have decided to negotiate with Nawaz Sharif, but listen carefully — the negotiation will start with the resignation of Prime Minister Sharif. How can a probe under Nawaz Sharif be transparent?” Khan said.

In a first sign of thaw between the government and the Opposition, Sharif sent a four-member team to negotiate a deal with Qadri. The move came after the Army called for calm following the breach by protesters of the high-security Red Zone that houses important government buildings, including Parliament, Prime Minister's residence, President's residence, the Supreme Court, besides the embassies.

“Our leader said the outcome of the negotiations should be in the best interest of the people,” PAT representative Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said after the government delegation, which included Minister for Frontier Region Qadri Baloch, Minister for Railway Saad Rafique, Opposition leaders Ijazul Haq and Haidar Abbas Rizvi, met Qadri.

Khan presented a six-point demands formula for talks. These included Sharif's resignation, re-elections, reforms of electoral laws, neutral caretaker government, new election commission and punishments to those responsible for rigging last year's polls. “You resign, make an independent committee which investigates (rigging) and then we can proceed,” Khan said. — Agencies
Kashmir a bilateral issue, stick to Simla pact: India to Pak
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 20
India on Wednesday made it clear to Pakistan that Jammu and Kashmir was a bilateral issue and that the neighbouring country must adhere to the 1972 Simla Agreement and the 1999 Lahore Declaration if it desired an amicable settlement of the issue.

“After the signing of the Simla Agreement (1972) by Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan, there are only two stake-holders on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir—the Union of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” MEA spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said. He rejected Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit’s statement earlier in the day that he met Hurriyat leaders since they were representatives of the people of Kashmir and stakeholders on the issue.

The Indian official affirmed that the Simla Agreement was the bedrock of ties between the two countries and this was reaffirmed in the Lahore Declaration signed in 1999 between the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and his counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

Asked why India permitted meetings between Pakistan’s representatives and the Hurriyat leaders in the past, the spokesman said, “Pakistan assured us at the highest level that they were committed to a peaceful dialogue on the issue of J-K and would not allow Pakistan or territories under its control to be used for terrorism against us.’’ However, India was now aware, particularly after the Mumbai terror attacks and the manner in which Pakistan had pursued subsequent investigations and trials, that this assurance had no meaning and that an approach which was different to the one laid down by the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration would not yield results, he added. Talking to mediapersons, the Pakistani envoy claimed that he had not breached any diplomatic propriety by meeting the Kashmiri separatists.

“This has been a long-standing practice. It is important to engage with all stake-holders to find a peaceful solution to the issue,” he said, indicating Islamabad would continue talking to the separatists despite India’s objection.
Speed up projects, deliver ahead of time: Modi to DRDO scientists
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 20
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to speed up projects and be ready to deliver ahead of schedule in a fast-changing world.

“The world is changing very fast and so are the parameters of war and defence. Technology is becoming a key driving force. The big challenge is how we complete our work before time. If the world will finish something in 2020, can we do it by 2018?’’ said the PM in his address after presenting the DRDO awards in the Capital.

The premier defence organisation has often come under attack for prolonged delays in several key projects, including the over two-decade-old Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, a long-range surface-to-air missile and indigenous Arjun tanks.

“We can be the world leader not by following but by showing the way,” the Prime Minister said. “The world will not wait for us.

We have to run ahead of time….It should not be so that a project is conceived in 1992 and in 2014 (we say) it will take some more time. The world will go ahead,” Modi said.

Expressing faith in the ability of the DRDO to deliver, the Prime Minister said technology should become the key driving force and asked the organisation to visualise, anticipate and eventually set the agenda for global defence community.

Congratulating the scientists who were feted today, he compared them to ancient sages who composed the Vedas stating the devotion with which these scientists worked in such a sensitive domain, reminded us of the “Rishi-Mann” – “the mind of a sage.”

In order to give thrust to research in higher technology, Modi suggested at least five DRDO labs be earmarked exclusively for innovations by young scientists. “Let us identify universities in this field and then associate a scientist with a university. It will help students,” said the Prime Minister.

He asked the scientists to connect with the ultimate end-user of their products – the soldier, who can suggest practical innovations in defence technology. “Has the soldier met the sage who toiled for 15 years to develop a good product for him (soldier). Are our scientists getting the opportunity to interact with Army personnel? When this happens, it will be very good,” said Modi.
Soldier Who Went Missing at Siachen 18 Years Ago to be Cremated Today
The Army has found the body of a soldier 18 years after he went missing on the Siachen glacier in Kashmir.

"The body was discovered in a frozen state last week," Superintendent of Police Sunil Gupta told news agency AFP by phone from Leh, 450 kilometres from Srinagar.

Mr Gupta said Havildar Gaya Prasad, whose body will be sent to his home in Uttar Pradesh, had likely been hit by an avalanche. The body was identified using papers in the soldier's pocket.

He will be cremated today in his village with full military honours.

At more than 18,000 feet (5,700 meters), Siachen is known as the world's highest battleground, and temperatures there can drop as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius. Havildar Prasad was collecting supplies dropped for troops by helicopters when he fell into a crevasse on December 9, 1996. Attempts to rescue him over three days were unsuccessful, Army sources told NDTV.

Havildar Prasad is survived by his father, Shri Gajadhar (retired Subedar), his wife and a son and daughter.
PM Narendra Modi asks DRDO to complete projects in time

NEW DELHI: Against the backdrop of delays in several of its major projects, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today told DRDO to speed up and complete its programmes in time as the world will not wait for it.

Urging the country's only defence research agency to give more opportunities to the youth, the Prime Minister suggested that DRDO should take initiatives in projects which would help in easing the lives of the armed forces personnel.

"The time demands... the world will not w ..
Politics And The Indian Military
 The political character of the Indian military has occupied the minds of thinkers, both civil and military. In newly independent India, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Defence Minister Krishna Menon, appear to have had some apprehensions, later understood to have been baseless, that the Indian Army may take control of government. This apprehension could have been aggravated by the Pakistan Army, commanded by officers trained alongside Indian officers of the undivided Indian Army, taking political control in Pakistan. The bureaucracy of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), wishfully called the “steel frame” by Nehru, apparently laboured under the same misapprehension.

The Constitution of India places the Indian military under civilian control, meaning under control of the union cabinet. In practice however, with the Defence Secretary (not the Armed Forces chiefs) being responsible for the defence of the nation, and the existence of a trust deficit between the military and the political class, the bureaucracy is the controlling link between the military and the national political leadership. Manipulative bureaucratic control and the absence of a working relationship based on trust and understanding between the political leadership and the nation's military, has actively degraded military status and vitiated national security.

Notwithstanding, the Indian military has been constitutional and steadfastly apolitical over the years. This is a source of some wonderment especially because the Pakistani military has been in formal control for more than half of Pakistan's existence.

Advice in 1932

In this writer's view, the apolitical character of the Indian military is rooted in pre-Independence times. Indian troops had proved their excellence in many military engagements and especially in the First World War (1914-1918), when they were commanded by British officers. After decades of effort, India's political leaders succeeded in getting the British rulers to agree to allow Indian officers to command Indian troops. This resulted in the establishment in 1932, of India's premier military training institution – the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehra Dun – for training Indian youths to become military leaders and commanders.

It is necessary to quote in full [Ref.1], the advice given by the British Commander-in-Chief, General Sir Philip Chetwode on 10 December 1932, to the first batch of Indian trainees during the inauguration of the IMA:

    In wishing well to this Academy, and especially to the first batch of Gentlemen Cadets, I venture to offer you two pieces of advice.

    Firstly, the Indian young man of education seems very attracted by politics. May I urge you to remember that politics do not, and cannot, find any place in Army life.

    An army can have no place in politics. It is the paid servant of the people, and is at the disposal of the Government of the day, whatever may be the political complexion of that Government. Once there is any suspicion that an Army, or any part of it, is biased politically, from that moment the Army has lost the full confidence of the nation who pays for it. It is no longer impartial, and that way lies chaos and civil war.

    Secondly, I would ask you to remember that you have come here to have your first lessons in three principles which must guide an officer of a National Army, and they are: First, the safety, honour and and welfare of your country come first, always and every time. Second, the honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next, Third, your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time.

    I wish all success to the Indian Military Academy, and to all those who are now commencing their military careers within its walls.

Notably, Chetwode recognized the attraction of politics (for Independence from British rule) amongst educated Indian youth of those turbulent times, and also the need for a National army. Even more notably, he went on to advise that politics has no place in army life, that the army has no place in politics, that the army is the paid servant of the people, and that it should be available to the government regardless of the politics of that government. Finally and memorably, he stated what has become an article of faith for the Indian Army officer who graduates from IMA:

    The safety, honour and and welfare of your country come first, always and every time,

    The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next,

    Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time.

The maturity and political understanding of the British C-in-C of the Indian Army is perhaps an important cause of the Indian military remaining apolitical eve

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