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Friday, 17 October 2014

From Today's Papers - 17 Oct 2014



























http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20141017/main2.htm
NSG warns of multi-city terror attacks in India
Shaurya Karanbir Gurung
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 16
The country’s primary counter-terror organisation — the National Security Guard (NSG) — is preparing itself for possible simultaneous terrorist attacks in multiple cities. The NSG today said global terror outfits such as the ISIS and al-Qaeda were joining hands to launch and perpetrate “multi-city, multiple attacks” on India.

NSG Director General JN Choudhury said: “It’s more than a possibility that these terror groups may find allies in similar organisations such as Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Indian Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba, which already have a presence in India.”

He said there was apprehension of al-Qaeda doing a combined strategy or a combined operation. “We have to prepare for multi-city, multiple terror attacks,” he added. His remarks came on the sidelines of NSG’s 30th Raising Day at Manesar today.

Quoting past incidents of al-Qaeda’s presence in India, Choudhury said there were at least three cases when operatives of the terror outfit came to Goa, Bangalore and Amritsar many years ago for reconnaissance.

“The next step after recce is action and we should not be complacent,” the DG said, adding that India faces a danger of suicide attacks.

The NSG is working closely with the anti-terrorist units of state police forces and has been training the state police counter terror units for better coordination, gaining adequate intelligence and a clear definition of the role of each force during a terrorist attack, said Choudhury.

In the past three years, the NSG has trained 5,480 state police and Central Armed

Police Force (CAPF) personnel. The NSG conducts commando, VIP security, VIP driving, bomb disposal and special operations in jungle training for the capacity building of the state police and CAPFs. Following the 26/11 attacks, the NSG has worked on its mobility to reach a “trouble spot faster”. The NSG has strengthened its four hubs located at Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata. We have increased our strength and put more infrastructure and training facilities,” said the DG.


http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/pm-narendra-modi-to-address-top-military-commanders-today-607840?curl=1413507106
PM Narendra Modi to Address Top Military Commanders Today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with the country's top military commanders for the first time on Friday at a conference during which he will outline his strategic vision and get a briefing on the overall security situation.

The Combined Commanders' conference of the three Services is expected to discuss ceasefire violations by Pakistan and developments on China border.

Mr Modi will address the conference during which he is expected to outline his strategic vision to the military directly, defence ministry sources said in New Delhi today.

The situation along the Pakistan border and the Line of Actual Control with China is also expected to come up for discussion in the conference against the backdrop of recent developments.

Pakistan has been repeatedly violating the ceasefire along the International Border and the Line of Control (LoC) for nearly two weeks and India has been retaliating with major force.

There were fears of escalation but the firing and shelling has receded over the past few days.

Chinese troops also indulged in incursions in various places of Ladakh, including during the visit of President Xi Jinping in New Delhi last month.

As the chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee, Air Force chief Arup Raha will be the first to brief the Prime Minister on the issues of concern for the three forces.

Navy chief R K Dhowan and Army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag will also outline the challenges in respect to international and regional scenario.

The day-long conference will also be addressed by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.


http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/don-t-threaten-us-says-india-after-china-objects-to-arunachal-road-607625?utm_source=ndtv&utm_medium=top-stories-widget&utm_campaign=story-2-http%3a%2f%2fwww.ndtv.com%2farticle%2findia%2fdon-t-threaten-us-says-india-after-china-objects-to-arunachal-road-607625
Don't Threaten Us, Says India After China Objects to Arunachal Road
Nobody should "threaten or warn India," said Home Minister Rajnath Singh after China objected to reported plans by India to build a 2,000-km long road along the border in Arunachal Pradesh.

"India has grown in strength. Both sides should resolve the border issue through dialogue," said the Home Minister today.

Reacting to reports of the new road, China asked Delhi yesterday not to "further complicate" the dispute over the border. (Read)

"China has already spread their network of roads and rail network near the border. Whatever we make on our territory should not be a concern of China," said an unnamed official in the Home Ministry's border management department to news agency Reuters.

He was quoted as saying that the ministry was seeking cabinet approval for the road in Arunachal Pradesh and had preliminary support from the Prime Minister's Office.
"Before the border problem is solved, we hope the Indian side will not take any action that could further complicate the relevant issue, so as to preserve the current situation of peace and stability in the border area," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei.

In September, the government eased environmental and other curbs on building roads and military facilities within 100 km of the border in Arunachal Pradesh to hasten the construction of some 6,000 km of roads.

India is concerned about China's development of airports and extensive road and railway networks in Tibet, which can give Beijing the ability to mobilize troops quickly along the border.

Last month, India and China agreed to pull back troops ranged against each other in Ladakh, ending their biggest face-off on the border in a year. 

India said China's soldiers had crossed the border in Ladakh in an attempt to build a road within India's territory in violation of existing agreements. 

The two armies had mobilised about 1,000 soldiers each.


http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/india-s-nuclear-capable-cruise-missile-nirbhay-to-be-test-fired-today-607902?utm_source=ndtv&utm_medium=top-stories-widget&utm_campaign=story-4-http%3a%2f%2fwww.ndtv.com%2farticle%2findia%2findia-s-nuclear-capable-cruise-missile-nirbhay-to-be-test-fired-today-607902
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile Nirbhay to be Test-Fired Today
Integrated Missile Test Range, Balasore, Odisha:  India will test its potent nuclear capable cruise missile 'Nirbhay', a state-of-the-art missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), on Friday morning, if all goes well. The scientists are forging ahead with the crucial test, to be conducted from the Integrated Missile Test Range in Balasore, Odisha, despite the coastal region of the state being hit hard by Cyclone Hudhud. (10 must-know facts about Nirbhay)

Nirbhay (which means fearless) is very manoeuvrable and can fly at tree-top level, making it difficult to detect on radar, and strikes targets more than 700 km away carrying nuclear warheads, giving India the capability to strike deep into enemy territory.

Very soon when India's own satellite navigation fleet is fully deployed, Indian cruise missiles will start using signals from the Indian space system giving the country that extra edge.

Unlike other ballistic missiles like the Agni, Nirbhay has a wing and pronounced tail fins. It launches like a missile and in early flight the small wings get deployed. It then flies like an aircraft and can even hover near the target, striking at will from any direction.

On its maiden flight on March 12, last year, Nirbhay had to be terminated, when the missile deviated from its course about 20 minutes after launch. As the missile went off its flight trajectory, its engine was cut off to bring it down to ensure coastal safety. It fell near the coast; the DRDO said no one was injured.

The Nirbhay is a sub-sonic cruise missile and gives India the capacity to launch different kinds of payloads at different ranges from various platforms at a very low cost. It can be launched from a mobile launcher. The missile has a fire-and-forget system that cannot be jammed. 

India has had the capability to make ballistic missiles for some time now and has made tactical missiles of different capacity. But it had not mastered a cruise missile yet and DRDO scientists worked very hard on the Nirbhay.  

The US had deployed cruise missiles very effectively during the Gulf War.

The Nirbhay is India's answer to America's Tomahawk and Pakistan's Babur.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/PM-may-spell-out-defence-vision-today/articleshow/44842812.cms
PM may spell out defence vision today
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi can be expected to spell out his vision for the Indian armed forces against the backdrop of the recent stand-offs with both Pakistan and China, in his first detailed interaction with senior military commanders on Friday.

The extensive briefing will cover various aspects of military operations, modernization, strategic assets, nuclear situation, regional challenges, and the present terror landscape.

According to senior military officers, air force chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha in his capacity as chairman, chiefs of staff committee, will apprise the PM about the issues of common concern of Army, Air Force and the Navy. He will also brief the PM on strategic challenges facing India and the regional situation.

Raha would be joined by Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag and navy chief Admiral RK Dhowan to outline perspectives of individual services about the security scenario, regional challenges and global realities.

The three chiefs and the senior commanders could flag concerns about the emergence of Islamic State, warnings issued by Al Qaeda, stepped up efforts from Pakistan's side to infiltrate terrorists into Kashmir, and the belligerence of both Pakistan and China along the border.

Defence minister Arun Jaitley, national security adviser Ajit Doval and defence secretary R K Mathur would also be present at the meeting.

The Friday meeting of Modi with the senior commanders of all three services in the war room in South Block would also be the first formal interaction between the new PM and the senior military commanders after he came to power.

The senior commanders have been discussing various issues, both operational and administrative, of their respective forces in their separate conferences over the past three days.


http://www.india.com/news/india/reforming-indias-higher-defence-management-will-narendra-modi-bite-the-bullet-173574/
Reforming India’s higher defence management: Will Narendra Modi bite the bullet?
Former Indian Navy chief, Admiral D.K. Joshi, who had resigned in February this year after a number of accidents on naval platforms, has dwelt on the background to his unprecedented decision in an extended media interview and in the process shed much needed light on the deeply embedded institutional flaws that plague India’s higher defence management.

In his candid observations, Joshi noted of the stasis in the country’s defence and military edifice: “For more than a decade now recognizing fully that higher management of defence needs reforms, several expert committees have been formed. Virtually all their recommendations have been identical, but vested interests have ensured that the more substantive ones, which bring authority and accountability together, have not been approved. Some peripheral ones have been progressed but nothing substantive.”

As it happens, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address the top brass of the Indian military, for the first time collectively, after assuming office Friday (Oct 17) and both the nature of the prevailing regional strategic environment and the orientation of India’s principal security interlocutors – China and Pakistan – draw attention to the critical need of of ensuring that India’s composite military capability is of appropriate quality and credibility. However, many inadequacies abound, both within the military and in the delicate pyramid that is subsumed in the rubric of civil-military relations, which have resulted in a less than optimum national military capability.

Admiral Joshi has illuminated the central policy void when he avers: “The root cause is this dysfunctional and inefficient business model that we have, wherein professional competence, domain expertise, accountability, responsibility and authority, these all reside in separate silos in different locations. While professional competence, accountability, responsibility is with the service, that is not the case with authority. And by authority I really mean the power to approve something, empowerment to approve something or the other. For example, change of submarine batteries, which are available indigenously or for commencing refits and repairs of ships, aircraft, submarines in Indian yards, the service (navy) does not have that empowerment. That’s a broad construct as a background. Where there is authority, there is no accountability. And where there is responsibility, there is no authority.”

This mismatch between the different parts of the democratic lattice – namely the elected political leader, the civil servant as representative of the executive and the military as an institution has been India’s Achilles heel since August 1947. India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had an innate disdain for the military and this was the beginning of the civil-military divide in the Indian structure of governance. The fear of a military coup was subtly stoked by vested interests in the corridors of power and a na├»ve military apex allowed the Indian bureaucracy to gradually quarantine them to the cantonment.

Imprudent choices by the Indian service chiefs in the early decades and the debacle of the 1962 war with China resulted in an anomalous division of collective responsibility and empowerment and India has a piquant reality as regards national defence. The three service chiefs have become ‘invisible’ in the country’s higher defence management and this onerous responsibility devolves on the defence secretary, who more often than not may be serving a first tenure in the Ministry of Defence.

This institutional anomaly was noted post the 1999 Kargil war when the NDA government led by then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee set up a group of experts to restructure the higher defence system. Many eminently useful recommendations were made in relation to external and internal security – but alas remained unimplemented. The adage that a diffident Indian political leadership chose to cross the national security chasm in two leaps is valid.

The late K. Subrahmanyam, who headed the Kargil Review Committee, pithily summed up the Alice in Wonderland situation. He wryly noted that that when it comes to national security: “Politicians enjoy power without responsibility, bureaucrats wield power without accountability, and the military assumes responsibility without direction.”

The internal health of the Indian military is cause for deep concern and anguish. Morale is low, institutional values and principles are frayed, aspersions of moral turpitude have been cast against the top leadership and the entire General V.K. Singh saga during UPA-II that went all the way to the Supreme Court has led to deep internal fissures within the army.

The material state of the military inventory is frail and whether fighter aircraft, tanks or submarines – it is cannibalization and ‘jugaad’ that is keeping operational readiness at bare minimum levels. In short, Pime Minister Modi and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley have before them the equivalent of cleaning the Manmohan Singh-Antony stables with very limited time and resources.

The gaps in higher defence management and poor civil-military relations have engaged the attention of Modi’s predecessor. A review of Manmohan Singh’s many observations and speeches are instructive. It may be recalled that in late 2013, Singh made his last address to the combined commanders and he dwelt on the need for “urgent and tangible progress in establishing the right structures for higher defence management and the appropriate civil-military balance in decision making that our complex security demands”. He added: “I encourage you to give this the highest professional consideration, harmonise existing differences among the individual services and evolve a blueprint for the future. I can assure you of the most careful consideration of your recommendations by the political leadership.”

Modi would be well advised to seek an objective review from all stakeholders in India’s higher defence management and harmonize institutional authority with accountability in a meaningful and effective manner. Many difficult decisions have to be taken if national security is to be put back on track. And if he probes further, he may be appalled to learn that the Indian military is locked in a series of legal wrangles with the Ministry of Defence over pay and pension and that in the current dispensation of Indian governance, officers of the armed forces are no longer on par with Class I civilian cadres and have become a lower ‘caste’.

Can Modi bring both redress and justice to a skewed domain and its subaltern inhabitants? Oct 17 may provide some answers.


http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/pakistan-army-indian-fire-wounds-kashmir-26204767
Pakistan Army Says Indian Fire Wounds 4 in Kashmir
 Indian forces fired into the Pakistan-administered portion of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, wounding four children, Pakistan's military said Wednesday, a sign of increasing tensions between two nuclear-armed rivals.

"Pakistani troops befittingly responded to Indian firing" after coming under attack in Kashmir, the military said in a statement. It said Indian fire wounded the children late Tuesday night when India "resorted to unprovoked firing" in the Nakial sector along the Line of Control in Kashmir.

Pakistan's military said Indian forces resumed fire Wednesday morning in the Kailer and Nezapir sectors.

In New Delhi, the Indian army officials confirmed the incident, but blamed Pakistan for initiating the fire.

Two Indian army officials said the Pakistan army fired small arms and mortar shells at Indian positions in the Poonch sector late Tuesday in an "unprovoked attack." They said Pakistan opened fire earlier Tuesday and the exchange of fire continued Wednesday.

The officials said Indian troops "retaliated." The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to journalists.

Shantmanu, a senior government official in Indian-controlled Kashmir, said Pakistani fire wounded one civilian Tuesday.

Angered over the clashes, about 200 Kashmiri activists staged a sit-in Wednesday about 500 meters (550 yards) away from the Line of Control at Chakoti sector in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, asking India to stop the firing. They also urged India to allow them to send supplies for those affected by recent floods in Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed 200 people.

The protesters wanted to hold the rally right on the Line of Control, but Pakistani troops stopped them half a kilometer (a third of a mile) away from the frontier. The activists belonged to various groups, including the anti-India Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity, which India says is a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group. India blames Lashkar-e-Taiba for a 2008 attack on the Indian city of Mumbai that killed 166 people.

Exchanges of fire are common along the tense and heavily guarded Line of Control in Kashmir, which is divided between Pakistan and India. Fighting intensified on Oct. 5, when violence erupted there during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

So far, this round of cross-border fire has killed 20 people and wounded more than 100 on both sides. Thousands of villagers living in Kashmir and elsewhere in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province near the Indian-controlled Kashmir already have fled.

The clashes are the most serious violation of a 2003 cease-fire agreement.

The latest violence came after top Pakistan and Indian military officials in a hotline call Monday spoke about the ongoing violence along the border to end the clashes that killed 12 people in Pakistan and eight in India in the past week.

Both Pakistan and India blame the other for the clashes, which broke out after New Delhi abruptly canceled talks with Pakistan after its ambassador met with Kashmiri separatist leaders.

India accuses Pakistan of sending militants into the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, which has been a flashpoint of violence between these two neighbors for decades. Both claim the entire region as their own, and they have fought two full-scale wars over control of Kashmir since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/ISIS-flag-in-Kashmir-valley-worries-Army/articleshow/44831687.cms
ISIS flag in Kashmir valley worries Army
The most senior military officer in Kashmir valley on Wednesday warned that the waving of ISIS flags in Kashmir was a matter of grave concern and the security establishment needed to take note of it at the highest level. The warning came a day after J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah dismissed the incident as "an act of some idiots".

A protester waved an ISIS flag last week after Eid prayers in Srinagar, in the second such incident in recent times. In July too, a similar incident had occurred in the valley.

General officer commanding the Srinagar-based 15 Corps, Lt Gen Subrata Saha, said ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) had the ability to attract a large number of volunteers and it was a cause of worry. He said concerted efforts had to be made to secure the right to prosperity of the youth in the valley and high level attention was necessary to keep them away from the path of terror.
"The emergence of ISIS flags merits concern and deserves the highest attention of the security agencies to prevent the youth of Kashmir from getting lured (into ISIS)," Lt Gen Saha said.

"The ability of ISIS to attract large number of volunteers is a matter of concern. There are believed to be 10,000 to 15,000 volunteers at present fighting for ISIS. The fanaticism shown by the fighters is also a cause," he added.

The senior Army officer's assessment was in complete contrast to what Omar said in New Delhi a day earlier. "You have to understand that no ISIS group has been identified so far in the valley. The flag was waved by some idiots, which does not mean that ISIS has any presence in Kashmir. Unfortunately, some channels have tried to make an issue out of this and drag me into this as if we are not doing anything about it," he said.
The chief minister said the tailor who made the flag had been identified and action was being taken against him.

Concerns about ISIS's appeal in Kashmir valley comes even as security agencies believe that around 30 Indian youth may have joined the fundamentalist group in Iraq and Syria. At least one of them has died fighting in Syria.



http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/PM-may-spell-out-defence-vision-today/articleshow/44842812.cms
PM may spell out defence vision today
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi can be expected to spell out his vision for the Indian armed forces against the backdrop of the recent stand-offs with both Pakistan and China, in his first detailed interaction with senior military commanders on Friday.

The extensive briefing will cover various aspects of military operations, modernization, strategic assets, nuclear situation, regional challenges, and the present terror landscape.

According to senior military officers, air force chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha in his capacity as chairman, chiefs of staff committee, will apprise the PM about the issues of common concern of Army, Air Force and the Navy. He will also brief the PM on strategic challenges facing India and the regional situation.

Raha would be joined by Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag and navy chief Admiral RK Dhowan to outline perspectives of individual services about the security scenario, regional challenges and global realities.

The three chiefs and the senior commanders could flag concerns about the emergence of Islamic State, warnings issued by Al Qaeda, stepped up efforts from Pakistan's side to infiltrate terrorists into Kashmir, and the belligerence of both Pakistan and China along the border.

Defence minister Arun Jaitley, national security adviser Ajit Doval and defence secretary R K Mathur would also be present at the meeting.

The Friday meeting of Modi with the senior commanders of all three services in the war room in South Block would also be the first formal interaction between the new PM and the senior military commanders after he came to power.

The senior commanders have been discussing various issues, both operational and administrative, of their respective forces in their separate conferences over the past three days.

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