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Monday, 13 April 2015

From Today's Papers - 13 Apr 2015

Terrorist bailed out
Pakistan court''s unfortunate decision
Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi is a prime accused in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, and the Lahore High Court order setting aside his detention comes as a shock, not only in India, but also in other countries. Israel, whose citizens were killed in the 2008 attacks, has condemned the release on bail, the US State Department has expressed "deep concern" and French President Francois Hollande has described it as "deeply shocking".  The bail, given to a terrorist who has been on the radar of international agencies, has reinforced the impression that terrorists have a free run in Pakistan, more so if they are engaged in terrorist acts that impact India.
Pakistan's Foreign Office has tried to divert the attention by blaming India, but it does not cut any ice. There was enough evidence from international sources that exposed how the Mumbai attacks were planned and mounted from Pakistan. However, the response from the authorities in Islamabad was denial in the first instance. Finally when it got too uncomfortable, there was a grudging acceptance regarding the involvement of some people. The fact of the matter is that the Mumbai attack was a Pakistani operation, something that could not have happened without active support from intelligence agencies.
It was just a day before the first anniversary of the Mumbai attack that a Pakistani anti-terrorism court formally charged seven suspects, including Lakhvi, with planning and helping to execute the attacks. He is regarded as an inspiration for terrorists in the region, and is one of the main leaders of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the India-focused body designated as an international terrorist organisation by the USA and the United Nations.  There has been enough evidence that even while in Rawalpindi jail, Lakhvi was given a special treatment. He was allowed to meet visitors and run operations. Various agencies in Pakistan obviously still support him, but it was expected that the judiciary would take a dim view of the terrorist and keep him incarcerated, pending the conclusion of his long-drawn-out trial. This hope has been dashed.
VK Singh: Media attack at arms lobby’s behest
Union Minister Gen (retd) VK Singh today alleged that an “insidious campaign” is being run against him by a section of media at the behest of the arms lobby that is “working overtime” to subdue him and he has briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding it.
“It is only an insidious campaign in which the arms lobby is working overtime. They were not able to subdue me when I was the Army Chief. They have carried on,” Singh said and accused a former senior Army official of being a part of the conspiracy. “I won’t go beyond saying as to what relationships he enjoys with various chaps. There are a lot of people who were paid by him,” he said. — PTI
Parrikar seeks services’ views on new defence procurement policy
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has asked the three service headquarters to give their suggestions regarding the “make” procedures in the defence procurement policy (DPP). The new procedures in offing are aimed at creating ease of doing business with regards to defence market. The draft procedures which are being scrutinised by the service HQs are likely to be submitted shortly given that Parrikar has been aiming at finalising the same by April.

“The make procedures have been given to the Army (and the other two services) for comments. They will be giving inputs for making them simpler. Various directorates of the Army are presently studying the draft and are expected to respond shortly,” said a source.
These procedures have assumed importance under the present government’s ‘Make in India’ slogan. Parrikar has on various platforms said that he is working on revising these “make” procedures. And while the defence minister- led Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has cleared a number of high-profile projects for making in India, the industry has been waiting for revised procedures that would facilitate their participation in these projects.

According to sources, the draft procedures which are being studied by the service headquarters as well as the industry are likely to split the “make” category into sub categories — A, B, C, D.  These sub categories will be based on the percentage participation of the government and industry and the funding provided by the government for the research and development of the projects. Officials in the know have also hinted that the Technology Perspective and Capability Roadmap (TPCR) —  a document which gives the industry a picture of the likely “technological requirements” of the forces over 15 years — is also likely to be made “more detailed akin the Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP)” — a secret document that envisages the actual “equipment” requirement of the forces over 15 years. Officials believe that this will give a clear picture to the industry by helping them identify the projects they can participate in.
Being Defence Minister is an adventure: Parrikar
PANJIM: Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday said that after serving as Goa Chief Minister, being the Defence Minister is an adventure for him. He said this was because of the strict discipline in the armed forces and him having no background of the defence sector.
From being chief minister to becoming India’s Defence minister is like an adventure,” Parrikar said while launching the book ‘Adventure…Sports and Beyond’ Saturday morning.
Praising the discipline in the army, the Union Minister said discipline is an issue with Goans, but that does not mean Goans are not disciplined. “We don’t brag about discipline. In the army, discipline is a must. I am not that disciplined,” he said adding, “I had no background about the Ministry at all but had some technical knowledge.”
The former chief minister was inducted in the Narendra Modi led cabinet in November last year.
Parrikar said it took him almost three months to study the hierarchy in the armed forces. “I did not know the ranks in the army. Actually for me understanding hierarchy itself was a problem. I took three months to understand which officer is at which level,” the minister said.
Parrikar, who visits Goa on weekends, said he gave up unwanted protocols which were offered to him as a Defence minister. “After becoming the Defence Minister, whenever I used to come to Goa, the officials of the Army, Indian and others, were standing at the airport to receive me. It is a protocol. I am not used to it,” he said.
The minister said that he had to issue a formal order asking the officers not to receive him in Goa and Mumbai.
Parrikar was speaking in the presence of Goa State Legislative Assembly Speaker Rajendra Arlekar, eminent historian Shiv Shahir Babasaheb Purandare and founder editor of Adventure and Outdoors Media Pvt Ltd Prasad Purandare.

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