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Thursday, 28 May 2015

From Today's Papers - 28 May 2015

Pakistan ‘haven’ for Islamist terror groups
Washington, May 27
Pakistan is a “haven” for several Islamist terror groups and successive Pakistani governments are widely believed to have supported some outfits as proxies in the country’s conflicts with its neighbours including India, a US Congressional research report has said.

The report, dated May 14, notes that Pakistan’s security services are seen by many independent analysts to be too willing to make distinctions between what they consider to be “good” and “bad” Islamist extremist groups, maintaining supportive relations with Afghan insurgents and anti-India militant groups operating from Pakistani territory.

“Pakistan is a haven for numerous Islamist extremist and terrorist groups, and successive Pakistani governments are widely believed to have tolerated and even supported some of these as proxies in Islamabad’s historical tensions and conflicts with neighbours,” said the latest report by the independent Congressional Research Service (CRS) on Pakistan.

The periodic CRS report on Pakistan is not an official report of the United States Congress, but prepared by noted experts on the issue to keep the lawmakers informed about the current state of affairs in Pakistan, the bilateral relationship and ties with its neighbours.

Noting the key steps taken by the Narendra Modi-led government in the last one year, including the decision to invite Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his swearing-in ceremony and sending Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to Islamabad on a SAARC Yatra, the report states that “serious tension” remains between the two South Asian neighbours.

“Serious tensions between Pakistan and India persist, and many observers see the Pakistani Army obstructing the efforts of Pakistani business interests to deepen commercial trade and other engagement with India, seeking resolution of territorial disputes as a prerequisite,” said the CRS report, authored by K Alan Kronstadt, specialist in South Asian Affairs.

According to the report, Pakistan’s more recent and apparently energetic development of short-range, nuclear-armed missiles —ostensibly in response to India’s purported “cold start” doctrine of rapid preemptive strikes with conventional forces — has raised fears about negative effects on crisis stability in the event of open warfare between Pakistan and India. — PTI

TTP fighting Indian proxy war: Asif

Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has alleged that Indian intelligence agencies and terrorists have joined hands to foment unrest in his country

The statement, reported by Radio Pakistan, came days after India's Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar remarked that “terrorists have to be neutralised only through terrorists”

Asif said the Indian intelligence network and terrorists have joined hands to foment unrest in Pakistan. He said the banned terror group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan is fighting Indian proxy war against Pakistan

The minister also alleged that India was involved in terrorist activities in Balochistan. India has always rejected such allegations
South China Sea critical to US security: White House
Washington, May 27
The situation in the South China Sea, where China is currently engaged in a controversial island reclamation project, is “critical” to the national security interest of the US, the White House has said.

“The (US) President has often talked about how critically important the security situation is in the South China Sea. It’s critical to the national security of the United States,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.

“It’s also critical to the global economy that the free flow of commerce in the South China Sea is something that needs to be maintained,” he said, adding the US is committed to working with other countries in the region to protect it. “Because it is a priority you can expect that the President has been briefed on the latest in this situation and will continue to be,” Earnest said in response to a question.

A State Department official said the US is “carefully” monitoring China’s military developments. “We continue to urge China to exhibit greater transparency with respect to its capabilities and to its intentions,” State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke said. — PTI
After French Rafale fighter jets, India eyes German submarines
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 27
Talks are on between India and Germany to either co-produce or have direct deal for the supply of six next-generation submarines.

Sources told The Tribune that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar raised the matter during a meeting with his German counterpart Dr Ursula von der Leyen in New Delhi yesterday. India reportedly asked Germany what all it could offer if a direct deal was struck between the two countries on next-generation submarines. The move comes after India recently announced to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems of Germany, which owns the submarine arm HDW, is among the few international companies India is looking at for the “Project-75 India” tender that will have six submarines with the air independent propulsion (AIP) allowing for longer period of submergence underwater. The Indian Navy also wants greater stealth and land-attack capability.

The Russians and the French DCNS also make such subs and so does Japan. New Delhi has expressed interest in all of them and is looking for the best deal. The US does not make such subs anymore.
PM Narendra Modi silent on One Rank One Pension, upset defence veterans plan nation-wide agitation - See more at:

The veterans community of defence services has been sorely disappointed by the absence of any announcement regarding implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) by the union government after the completion of an year in office and discussions have begun on whether this is the right time to hold a nation-wide agitation to press for the same.

Throughout the day yesterday, there was a buzz of excitement on social media groups as the veterans got the impression that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would make an announcement regarding OROP at his rally in Bareilly. However, no such announcement was made causing consternation among the veterans ranks.

Brig Gurmeet Kanwal (retd), a well known strategic expert tweeted, “All Veterans and those who support them are requested to retweet please… #OROP Prime Minister we are disappointed”. Air Marshal Anil Chopra (retd), member of Armed Forces Tribunal tweeted, “ OROP overtakes DDLJ as the longest running reality show”.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Brig KS Kahlon (retd), President, All Indian Defence Brotherhood, said that non implementation of OROP has caused great amount of resentment among the veterans and they are gearing themselves up for a prolonged agitation to ensure that the government delivers on its promise.

Prime Minister Modi made repeated assurances at many places, and while addressing the troops at the highest battlefield of the world, Siachin, on the eve of Diwali last year, he stated that the order of implementation of OROP had been issued. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar repeatedly assured the veterans that the NDA government will implement OROP before the government completes a year in office. Unfortunately the government hasn’t lived up to its promise,” said Brig Kahlon.

The veterans had conducted a mass movement during the tenure of the UPA government wherein they had returned their medals to the President and held rallies at Jantar Mantar to force the government to accept their demand of OPRP. According to Lt Col SS Sohi (retd), President of Ex-Servicemen Grievances Cell, the time has come when another such mass agitation may have to be held all over the country again.

We are still willing to wait for a few days more for an announcement in this regard. If by the end of this month if they do not do anything we will go for an agitational approach. There have been several meetings with the defence minister and several promises made but each time the veterans community has been let down. We must take recourse to a more tough approach if we have to force the government to concede to our legitimate demands,” said Lt Col Sohi.

However, Lt Gen Raj Kadyan (retd), a former Deputy Chief of Army Staff and Chairman of Indian Ex-Serviceman Movement was of the view that the hype over the expected announcement by PM was largely “self created”. “We were hoping that the PM would make the announcement but I am of the view that there is no need as yet to hold an agitation. We have waited for 33 years and we should wait for some more time,” he said.
Indian Army ready to face any challenge: GOC 16 Corps Lt Gen K H Singh

JAMMU: The Army today said that it was fully ready to face any challenge that may emerge in the future and ready to counter the same with all its might.

General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Nagrota-based 16 Corps of the Army, Lt Gen K H Singh said this at the core group security meeting held at the headquarters of the 16 Corps to take stock of the prevailing security situation south of Pir Panchal in the ten districts of Jammu region.

"The Army is ready to face any challenges t ..
Parrikar Rules Out Army Deployment in Anti-Naxal Operations

RAIPUR: Ruling out the possibility of  deploying Army in anti-Naxal operations, Defence MinisterManohar Parrkar today said if demanded, armed forces would extend "logistical support" and "provide training" to police in tackling the menace.

"Foreigners are not involved in it (naxal movement). We use army where outside forces are involved. We use army against terrorists in Kashmir," Parrikar told reporters in response to a query on whether army would be roped against growing naxalism in Chhattisgarh.

The minister, however, added, "We can provide training and logistical support (to the paramilitary and local police) if demanded."

Parrikar was in the state capital to inaugurate Jankalyan Mela, an exhibition-cum-fair showcasing the achievements of Narendra Modi-led NDA government in the past one year.

Meanwhile, responding to Congress' criticism that the Centre was not taking a stand on 'One Rank-One Pension' policy, Parrikar said his government has made a concrete framework over it and it would be rolled out soon.

"Earlier (during the UPA rule) only assurances were given in this direction. For the first time it's us, who have made a concrete framework over OPOR scheme. Congress claimed that they had made provision of fund of Rs 500 crore. Then how did it lapse?," he said.

The Defence Ministry has forwarded a proposal in this direction which is more or less acceptable to everyone and very soon it would be declared, he added.

Reacting to Congress' 'suit-boot ki sarkar' jibe against the Modi government, Parrikar took a dig at Rahul Gandhi over his 56-days sabbatical.

"A government should not be judged by its clothing, but it should be judged by its activities. He (Rahul) should tell what he was doing for 56 days in Thailand and what clothes he was wearing over there," he said.

Replying to a question on Rafale fighter jets deal with France, the minister said, "I would not like to comment on it unless everything is finalised."

On Congress' opposition to the Land Acquisition Bill, he said, "Congress has been shouting much over the Land Acquisition Bill. If you look at the UPA rule, they gave thousands of acres of farmers' land in Congress ruled states to private developers at throwaway prices in the name of SEZ (special economic zone)."

"An atmosphere of anger was created (among farmers) after that and to cover that they brought Land Acquisition Bill ahead of the election. It was like 'sau chuhe kha ke billi haj ko chali' (after eating hundred rats, a cat goes to pilgrimage)," he said.

Listing out various initiatives taken by the Modi government like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Beti Bachao Abhiyaan, pension schemes, the Union Minister said this government has laid the country's foundation in a short span of one year.

He also slammed Congress stating that economy had gone down and development had come to a halt during the ten years of UPA rule.

Meanwhile, he assured Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh that a project under the Defence Ministry would be brought to the state by the end of this year.

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