Custom Search Engine - Scans Selected News Sites


Monday, 29 September 2014

From Today's Papers - 29 Sep 2014

Timing of meeting Hurriyat leaders not totally right: Pak

New York, September 28
Pakistan has admitted that the timing of its High Commissioner’s meeting with Hurriyat leaders in New Delhi ahead of the Foreign Secretary-level talks with India was “perhaps not totally right”.
India called off the Foreign Secretary-level talks, which were to be held in Islamabad on August 25, after Abdul Basit met Hurriyat leaders ahead of the parleys.

Pointing out that while meetings between Pakistani diplomats and Hurriyat leaders had been a “regular practice for the last 30 years and there was nothing new in it”, Pakistan’s National Security and Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz said: “In this case perhaps, the timing was not totally right because the substantial discussion on Kashmir was yet to start.”

“The right to meet Kashmiri leaders could not be given up. I think calling off talks was an overreaction,” he added. Aziz said had the request from India about not holding meeting with Hurriyat leaders ahead of the FS-level meeting come a little earlier “probably it could have been considered.”

However, in this case the “message came at a time when one Hurriyat leader was already in Pakistan’s High Commission (in New Delhi),” he said.

Aziz also welcomed Prime Minister Modi’s statement at the UN General Assembly on the need for resumption of dialogue between the two countries as “encouraging”. — PTI

Request came late: Aziz

n Pakistan's National Security and Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz said had the request from India about not holding meeting with Hurriyat leaders ahead of the FS-level meeting come a little earlier, "probably it could have been considered."

n The message came at a time when one Hurriyat leader was already in Pakistan's High Commission (in New Delhi), he said
 Govt preparing comprehensive policy on Kashmir, says Rajnath

New Delhi, September 28
A comprehensive policy on Kashmir is being prepared by the NDA government, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday. “We are preparing a comprehensive policy on Kashmir. We will announce it soon,” he said.

Asked whether there is any proposal to appoint an interlocutor for having dialogue with various stakeholders like those named for the northeast, Singh said there was no such move.

“I am not in favour of appointing interlocutors for J&K,” he said.

The Home Minister had recently said the past practices of appointing interlocutors for J&K must be discontinued as it were non-productive.

“Now the time has come to have a rethink on appointing interlocutors. Having said this, let me clarify that I am not averse to talks. But I am also not in favour of non-productive talks which are carried out by anti-nationals to burnish their own political image in either J&K or the North-East,” he said.

Academician Radha Kumar, veteran journalist Dileep Padgaonkar and M M Ansari had been interlocutors on Kashmir during the UPA regime.

Singh said the level of infiltration into J&K has come down to a great extent and security forces were strictly guarding the international border and LoC.

The Home Minister earlier had asked the Jammu and Kashmir Government to identify “suitable land” for the rehabilitation of some three lakh Kashmiri Pandits who migrated from the Kashmir valley in the early 1990s due to militancy.

The Narendra Modi government has committed itself to the return of some 62,000 Kashmiri Pandit families with “full dignity” to their homes in the valley and has earmarked Rs 500 crore for this in the 2014-15 Union Budget.

Singh wrote to chief minister Omar Abdullah for allocation of “suitable” land for creating dwelling units for these families under the government’s plan for implementation of the rehabilitation scheme for migrants.

‘Rethink on appointing interlocutors’

"Now, the time has come to have a rethink on appointing interlocutors. Having said this, let me clarify that I am not averse to talks. But I am also not in favour of non-productive talks which are carried out by anti-nationals to burnish their own political image in either J&K or the northeast"
 Experts look into factors leading to blood clotting at high altitude
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
Experts from defence units have embarked upon a study to identify factors that lead to blood clotting at high altitude. It will help screening the troops prior to their posting in high-altitude areas and designing interventions to prevent blood clot cases among the soldiers serving in hostile terrain and reduce casualties.

Based on a detailed clinical and laboratory examination, including coagulation studies, doctors from the Armed Forces Medical Services and scientists from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) are seeking to identify a high-risk group amongst otherwise healthy soldiers.

Over the last two decades, with the advent of sophisticated imaging and diagnostic systems, military doctors have realised that several healthy young soldiers were being afflicted by this malady at extreme high altitude (above 18,000ft).

Following clearance by the Vice Chief of Army Staff Committee, a first-of-its-kind study in the world —- “Epidemiology of venous thrombotic disorders in lowlanders at high and extreme high altitude”—- was commissioned by Director General Armed Forces Medical Services Air Marshal DP Joshi to describe the epidemiology, seek causative factors and suggest preventive strategies for the ailment.

Major General Velu Nair, Deputy Commandant of AFMC, Pune, and an eminent haematologist, was selected to conceptualise and conduct the study. This multi-centric study, which started in June 2012, is being conducted by a multi-speciality research team comprising investigators from the AFMC, Army Research and Referral, New Delhi, High Altitude Medical Research Centre, Leh, 153 General Hospital, Leh, 303 Field hospital and 403 Field Hospital, in collaboration with the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences, a DRDO laboratory.

A group of more than 600 soldiers have been studied longitudinally, first in the plains and then at 12-14,000 feet prior to ascent to heights above 18,000 feet.

600 soldiers under observation

    A group of more than 600 soldiers have been studied longitudinally, first in the plains and then at 12-14,000 feet prior to ascent to above 18,000 feet
    They were re-screened upon their descent to lower altitudes. They are at present on a follow-up observation for 1-2 years for long-term effects of high altitude
 4 militants gunned down in Assam

Guwahati, September 28
Four hardcore NDFB (S) militants were killed in an encounter with security forces and a huge cache of arms and ammunition recovered in Assam’s Kokrajhar district today. Acting on a tip-off, troops of Red Horn Division and the police launched a joint operation in a dense forest near Kokrajhar and killed the four militants during an encounter this morning, a defence spokesman said.

The forces recovered an AK-56, three pistols and hand grenades from them. The slain militants include a self-styled second in command of the outfit, Muhar Basumatary.

Assam Police Inspector General (BTAD) L R Bishnoi said the other ultras were identified as Domsatorong, Loharun and Maisaran. Security forces stepped up patrolling in the remote areas of Kokrajhar and Chirang districts in the wake of ‘NDFB(S) Raising Day’ of National Democratic Front of Bodoland on October 3. The Army Intelligence says the NDFB(S) was trying to carry out a major strike on forces and also target minority communities in retaliation to the apprehension of their five hardcore terrorists in Chirang district on August 20.

Security forces had apprehended five terrorists of a newly-formed Nepalese terrorist organisation, United Gorkha Peoples Organisation, in Parbatjhora area of Kokrajhar district on September 13. The Army spokesman claimed the NDFB(S) had outsourced the outfit to carry out operations in Kokrajhar district because of proactive operations and pressure exerted by the security forces. — PTI

Cache of arms recovered

The forces recovered an AK-56, three pistols and hand grenades from the terrorists. The slain militants include a self-styled second in command of the outfit, Muhar Basumatary.
India To Push Joint Weapons Development During US Visit
NEW DELHI — India’s leader will seek joint development of high-tech weaponry when he visits the White House on Sept. 30, in a shift from the country’s “buy and supply” relationship with the US, an Indian official said.

New Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also discuss greater participation of US and Indian defense companies when he visits with US President Barack Obama, said the official with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Defense analysts here say the Modi government will not give big-ticket weaponry orders to the US on a government-to-government basis, as was done by the previous United Progressive Alliance government. Instead, Modi will push for greater participation by US defense companies in forging partnerships with domestic defense companies to boost the domestic defense industry.

In the past decade, India has bought US $10 billion in weapons from the United States, mostly through foreign military sales.

“After the Apache helicopters and additional C-17 transport aircraft, a more selective policy of purchases will be followed with joint development desired in more advanced technology systems, rather than offers to refine relatively low-tech [items such as] Javelin anti-tank missiles,” said Bharat Karnad, professor of national security studies at the Centre for Policy Research.

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, senior fellow in security studies with the Observer Research Foundation, is hopeful that the relationship between India and US will shift toward joint development.

“By and large, the US has been a supplier, but this is something that will undergo a change. There is interest on both sides to change the nature of transactions from a mere supplier to jointly develop systems and platforms,” he said.

The reinvigorated Defense Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI), the body responsible for working out areas of joint development in defense, has several weapon projects on the table, including joint development of a new generation of Javelin missiles, MH-60R helicopters and drones. This initiative will be strengthened during the Modi talks, the MEA official said.
Future of Indo-US Ties

The Modi government is in a better place to work these deals with Washington, since it has a clear majority in Parliament and a liberal economic approach, analysts said.

“The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government is better inclined to increase defense cooperation with the United States, thus attempts to intensify the same are likely to be enhanced particularly in terms of joint training exercises with possibility of a logistics support agreement in some form in the future,” said retired Indian Army Brig. Gen. Rahul Bhonsle, a defense analyst.

A source in the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) said an effort over the past four years to tie up with Raytheon to jointly develop a ballistic missile defense system has not come to fruition because it involved transfer of high technology, the source added.

So far, DRDO and the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have agreed only to joint development of explosive detection systems and C4I systems. The final agreement for these projects have yet to be inked, the source added.

No fresh big-ticket weapon deals are expected during Modi’s visit, a Defence Ministry source said.

Last month, the MoD cleared the purchase of 22 Apache attack helicopters worth $1.4 billion and 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters worth $1 billion, but the financial clearance for these two deals had not been given as of Sept. 24.

The contract to purchase 145 M777 ultralight howitzers worth $680 million has been awaiting signing since 2010. The MoD source added, however, that the joint development of the Javelin missiles is unlikely to be inked during Modi’s visit.
India, Vietnam and $100 Million in Defense Credit
A visit earlier this month by its President Pranab Mukherjee saw India sign several memorandums of understanding with Vietnam. Among them, the extension of a line of credit worth $100 million on defense procurement is particularly significant. This deal gives defense relations between India and Vietnam another shot in the arm, and has important implications for both countries.

India: Asserting Itself

As India enters the third decade of its Look East Policy, its engagement with its eastern neighbors has both widened and deepened. India has comprehensive bilateral partnerships in the region, as well as multilateral relationships through ASEAN. New Delhi’s defense diplomacy in the region has made strides in the last two decades, such that India is now considered an important and welcome security partner in Southeast Asia. India’s regional cooperation in defense has generally entailed high-level visits, participation in multilateral exercises, port calls, assistance in maintaining military hardware, and cooperation in training.

Defense ties with Vietnam are already robust, with India helping Vietnamese forces, especially the navy, build capacity. Bilateral cooperation is comprehensive, facilitated by the fact that both India and Vietnam largely rely on Russian military hardware. For example, India is able to repair Vietnam’s MiG aircraft. Since 2011, India has been providing the Vietnam People’s Navy with submarine training. The Indian Navy has also assisted in technical training and vessel construction, and India may start training Vietnamese air force pilots on the Sukhoi 30-MKI fighter and sell Hanoi the BrahMos cruise missile.

The extension of credit to Vietnam furthers this defense engagement. India is emerging as a credible partner, with frequent requests that it play a more active role in regional security. Through defense cooperation, India can entrench itself in the regional security architecture and assert itself in the east.

Vietnam: A Military Modernization Boost

The extension of $100 million in credit for defense purchases will also prove significant for Vietnam, which has been trying to modernize its military since the early 1990s. During the 70s and 80s, Vietnam developed capabilities that put it ahead of its regional neighbors. Progress was derailed, however, in 1987 with the withdrawal of Soviet assistance. The Soviet Union had been Vietnam’s primary security partner, and the cooperation allowed flexible modes of payment. But the reforms of Mikhail Gorbachev scaled back Soviet military assistance, marking the beginning of an era of stagnation for Vietnam’s military, even as other Southeast Asian militaries began to rapidly modernize. The crisis became so severe that Vietnam had difficulty making the most basic defense expenditures.

In response, Hanoi began expanding its search for defense partners, seeking cooperation from non-traditional partners, while continuing its engagement with traditional allies like India.

At one point, Vietnam had the fifth largest army in the world. Even today, its military is numerically the largest in Southeast Asia, but now others like Singapore’s are technically superior. Vietnam’s military has traditionally been a land force trained primarily for guerrilla warfare. Its air force and navy are best suited for a self-defense role, with limited territorial reach. Current capabilities are not considered sufficient to put up a robust defense, or even display an effective deterrent.

Vietnam is thus trying to rapidly modernize its forces. In recent years, it has focused on adding to its naval hardware by acquiring Kilo-class submarines, patrol boats, Gepard-class frigates, fast attack craft, air-defense systems, and other equipment.

While the details are not yet clear, it is likely that Vietnam is planning to purchase air and naval defense hardware. In the past, Vietnam has lacked the financial wherewithal to make purchases such as these, or has had to barter and offer partial payment. India’s extension of credit will certainly help loosen Vietnam’s financial constraints.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Mail your comments, suggestions and ideas to me

Template created by Rohit Agarwal