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Monday, 20 October 2014

From Today's Papers - 20 Oct 2014

Assess Security Situation Regularly, Says Army Chief
NEW DELHI: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlined India’s key strategic and security challenges before top military Commanders,  Army Chief Dalbir Singh on Saturday asked his Commanders to “continuously assess” the situation in view of the security transition taking place in the neighbourhood, and directed them to maintain relentless pressure on the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir to ensure peaceful polls in the state.

Addressing external security concerns, the General in his valedictory speech at the six-day long Army Commanders Conference here, asked the Commanders to continuously assess the situation in the subcontinent with respect to the force and security transition taking place and its concomitant effect on the nation’s security, according to Army sources.
The Army Chief’s  remarks came in the backdrop of  NATO forces starting the process of withdrawing from war-torn Afghanistan.

Even Prime Minister Modi, during his recent visit to the US, had cautioned Washington against hasty withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan, citing the mistakes committed while pulling out from Iraq.

Commenting on the internal security plane, the Army chief stressed on the need to maintain relentless pressure in Jammu and Kashmir so that terrorists would not be able to  to disrupt the forthcoming elections.

The Army Chief also expressed satisfaction on the situation in North-East and stressed all stakeholders to be made a part of the conflict resolution mechanism.

The Army chief also praised the Northern and Western commands for their exemplary response to the flash floods in Jammu and Kashmir, which saw spontaneous mobilisation of Army resources, both manpower and equipment, without waiting for any formal requisition.

The Army Chief  lauded the selfless commitment of Indian soldiers, who never once turned back to look at their posts and families that had suffered equally in the floods, the sources said.

The Army should not forget that the human dimension would always remain the biggest battle winning factor, he said, adding that the focus must remain on training, equipment and character development of the soldier.

On the issue of modernisation, the Army Chief said the force had the support of Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and commitment of the Ministry of Defence towards fulfilling the Army’s requirements.

The Army Chief also called for efforts to streamline and refine in-house procedures aimed at preserving and increasing the life of all service equipment.
Running out of firing ranges, Indian Army eyeing simulators

NEW DELHI: Spiraling land costs and safety concerns are seeing the 1.3-million strong Indian Army, the fourth largest in the world, fast running out of firing ranges. It is now eyeing simulators for training its soldiers.

This major problem, which may even effect the preparedness of the force, came up at the recently concluded Army Commanders' Conference and has made top commanders look for other options.

Top Indian Army sources confided that a lot of difficulties is being fac ..
Indian expansionist designs
New Delhi Times September 13, 2014 published an article “Expansion: The Call of the Hour for Indian Army” must be alarming for neighbouring countries, especially Pakistan, for it further indicates to the expansionist designs of New Delhi. Dr Ankit Srivastava, the author highlights, on one hand the strengths of the Indian army and on the other emphasizes on acquiring modern weaponry and machination, for making the Indian army capable of facing any threat whether it is foreign or indigenous.
India, in its current budget allocated around 2 percent of its GDP for defence needs which, Dr Ankit says, is not enough. Three messages are noteworthy, firstly, India is going to make its army strong, equal to world standard, as well as by purchasing modern weapons and defence equipment; secondly, India is going to expand its operations all over the world projecting them as peaceful and for the betterment of the region; thirdly, India views China as a threat and wants the South Asian region as well as western countries to give importance to India and make it strong to face China.
Pakistan needs to highlight and expose Indian designs in the region and its global power struggle that can cause imbalance, particularly amongst the neighbouring countries. Pakistan also needs to take the Indian ambitions as serious and must not merely rely on its intentions to engage India through talks. It must continue working with its friendly countries towards strengthening the armed forces, modernizing its weaponry and making its defence impregnable.
Indian experts lash out at Pak army chief's Kashmir comment
Indian experts have lashed out at Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif for raking up the Kashmir issue, and saying that the resolution was imperative for establishment of sustainable peace in the region.

Addressing a passing-out parade at Military Academy in Kakul, General Sharif said the people of Kashmir should be allowed to decide their fate in the light of UN resolutions.

He also said Pakistan and its people desire regional stability and relationship based on equality and mutual respect.

Foreign policy expert Qamar Agha said if Pakistan,wants peace, it should encourage the government to start dialogue process.

He added that India has to be strong and give a befitting reply to the incursion and ceasefire violations, which took place recently.

"See this statement is important coming at a time immediately after the firing around the borders that continued for quite a few days and this coming of. I think it an important in the sense, you know, they have realised one thing that through military they cannot resolve this problem. And India has been telling for a very long time that peace is the only option. India is willing to solve all its outstanding disputer under the Shimla agreement," Agha said.

Retired Lieutenant General and defence expert Vinod Bhatia said, "The only way they can divert the attention of the Pakistani people, the Pakistani public and get them together to raise Kashmir issue. The issue is not Kashmir, the issue is terrorism. They have to resolve the terrorism issue, they wouldn't talk about the terrorism issue; they can't say they are non-state actor because they are not non-state actor. They are supporter morally, financially, weapon-wise, training-wise and they are infiltrated into our country, which is not acceptable to us. First they should resolve the issue of terrorism. They can't hold a gun to our head and say now you talk. We are not going to talk, they should understand they are a talking to India, India is a very big nation."

Bhatia added that former Pakistani President Pervez Mussharaf had also raised the issue, while the internal turmoil of Pakistan is also one of the causes to rake up the Kashmir issue time and again.

Condemning the attacks on border villagers, Lieutenant General Raj Kadyan said of General Sharif, "I think he is forgetting what United Nations resolution had said in April 1949 that to hold a plebiscite, all Pakistani army personnel, they are irregular and the Pakistani population must leave azaad (independent) Kashmir. They never met that requirement. So there was no question of the plebiscite. The UN resolution allowed India to keep the minimum required force for the security of the state while plebiscite was being carried out. But if it was not carried out, I think the onus was on Pakistan, they did not meet the pre-condition that was laid in the resolution.

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