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Thursday, 11 June 2015

From Today's Papers - 11 Jun 2015

Myanmar offensive lesson to terror groups, says govt
China denies PLA link to rebels | Attack took place on Indian soil: Myanmar
TNS & Agencies

New Delhi, June 10
A day after the Indian Army carried out a first-of-its-kind surgical strike in Myanmar, the government today affirmed “zero tolerance” towards terror saying its response was a “lesson” to all militant groups that it would not hesitate in going beyond its borders to eliminate terrorists.

This comes as China dismissed reports of its Army officials’ alleged links to a militant group involved in an attack on Indian troops in Manipur on June 4. Pakistan, however, said it was “not like Myanmar” and would not be cowed down by threats from across the border.

A crack team of 70 elite commandos of 21 Para Special Forces struck two rebel camps in Myanmar yesterday, finishing the operation within 40 minutes. The decision to conduct the strike was taken hours after the Naga militants killed 18 soldiers in Manipur and clearance was obtained from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 7, soon after his return from Bangladesh, said sources.

Myanmar, however, claimed the attack on insurgents took place inside the Indian territory and that it would not tolerate rebel groups using its soil to attack neighbours.

In Mumbai, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said: “The military’s action against insurgents with assistance from the Myanmar government speaks volumes about India’s resolve to fight terror. This is a lesson and a message to all terror groups that India will not hesitate in going beyond its geographical borders to eliminate terrorists.” Senior minister Nitin Gadkari, at a briefing on the Union Cabinet meeting, said: “It is already clear that we have a zero tolerance towards terror and terror organisation.”

I&B Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore had yesterday said: “This message is now very clear to all those who harboured intentions of terror on our country. Unprecedented though, but our PM has taken a very bold step and given a go ahead for hot pursuit into Myanmar.”

Reacting to Rathore’s remarks, Pakistan Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan said in Islamabad it should be clear to India that “Pakistan is not a country like Myanmar”.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said: “The Chinese government consistently upholds non-interference in other country’s internal affairs, and will not support any anti-government forces in any country.”

Earlier, Chinese officials from state-run think-tanks refuted allegations of People’s Liberation Army assisting militants in the North-East, saying such charges are “absurd”. The Indian Army and intelligence agencies have classified 20 areas in Myanmar as “camps” of North-East insurgents groups. Targeting all camps at once is not possible and forces will wait for the surprise element, a source said.

The camps are based 5 to 55 km inside Myanmar and are used as bases by insurgents who are fuelled by a constant supply of money from extortion and levy of unlawful “entry taxes”, the Indian Government has been informed.

The writ of the Myanmar government does not run in these forested areas. India and Myanmar have an open border. The targeted camps were identified after an assessment using high-resolution pictures from UAVs. In one of the camps, the Army teams chased down a group of 15 rebels.

Sources said Taga, 55 km inside Myanmar, is the headquarters of the rebels who have formed an umbrella organisation, the United Liberation Front of West South East Asia (UNLFW). The Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) chaired by SS Khaplang, a Burmese Naga, is the main constituent.
Modi’s remarks aimed at fanning hatred: Pak
Islamabad, June 10
Pakistan today sharply criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attack against it in Dhaka saying they were aimed at fanning hatred and aimed at souring ties between Pakistan and Bangladesh.

A day after mellowed reaction from the Foreign Office calling as regretful Modi’s remarks that Pakistan was creating disturbance and instigating terrorism in India, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz stepped up the attack on India in a speech in Parliament.

He said his country will take all steps to “expose” India’s role in the break-up of East Pakistan in 1971 and to “destabilise” it through terrorism.

Addressing Senate, Aziz said Islamabad has already taken “strong notice” of Prime Minister Modi’s statement “acknowledging” India’s “intervention” in events of 1971. “Pakistan will take all possible steps to expose India’s role in the break-up of East Pakistan in 1971 and its threat to destabilise Pakistan through terrorism,” he alleged.

Aziz also urged the international community and the UN to take notice of the India’s “open admission” of indulging in subversive activities to destabilise Pakistan. Aziz said Modi’s statement vindicates Pakistan’s stand over India’s present and past policies to destabilise it.

He said it is regrettable that Modi chose Bangladesh for the statement which was aimed at fanning hatred against Pakistan in Bangladesh. Aziz said the remarks were aimed at souring ties between Pakistan and Bangladesh which have strong bonds. — PTI
Crossing the line
Hard knocks don’t end insurgencies
The Indian Army carried out a clinically clean operation in Myanmar aimed at avenging the killing of 20 of its men. This was not the first time the Army had done so against assorted militant groups across the border. But it was the first time it acknowledged crossing the border to strike at militants immediately after they had ambushed one of its elite regiments. This was the third recent ambush carried out by the Khaplang faction of the Naga Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) to get back into the reckoning after the larger — NSCN (Issac-Muivah) — group made peace with the Centre by scaling down its demands.

The Army leadership deserves praise for a professional job well done. However, it is jarring that the Army strike has been appropriated by the Centre. A Minister of State has been needlessly and childishly over-talking and over-tweeting. The hot-headed hint is that a similar retribution awaits Pakistan. The situation in Myanmar and Pakistan is vastly different. Tatmadaw has virtually no presence where the operation took place and that is why Myanmar had signed a peace accord with the Nagas living there. On the other hand, the Indo-Pak border is among the most militarised in the world. Myanmar balances all regional players but India is daggers drawn with Pakistan which does not look at militancy in Kashmir with disinterest.  It must be hoped that the Modi government's functionaries do know that surgical strikes in Pakistan will be a different ball game.

By available accounts, the Army operation was a hard knock to militants of diverse ethnicities ensconced in an area of Myanmar where its government has made peace with Konyak Nagas who provide cadres to the NSCN (Khaplang). Many groups like ULFA and NDFB had relocated there after India and Bangladesh mended fences and Dhaka had no reason to give sanctuary to anti-India insurgents as a pressure point. The Bangla-Bhutan-Myanmar approach is what New Delhi ought to follow instead of its ministers resorting to chest-thumping and drawing wild analogies with other neighbours. As for the North-East, tit-for-tat is no long-term solution.
7 more ships join search for Dornier
Chennai/Cuddalore, June 10
The fate of three crew members aboard Coast Guard's Dornier aircraft that went missing on Monday remained unknown as the massive search operations off Tamil Nadu coast were stepped up today with deployment of seven more ships.

Director General of Coast Guard Vice Admiral HCS Bisht held a meeting with top officials in Chennai to review the operations in which a total of 15 ships have been engaged now. “He reviewed the search operations. We briefed him about the ongoing search activities" said Inspector General SP Sharma, Commander, Coast Guard (East), Chennai.

The Coast Guard, Navy and state Coastal Security Group personnel, along with 15 specialised ships, besides boats, are engaged in the search that commenced over 40 hours ago. — PTI
After India's Cross-Border Raids Against Terrorists, Pakistan says 'We're Not Myanmar'
Islamabad:  "Pakistan is not like Myanmar", Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan said today and warned India that his country cannot be cowed down by the threats from across the border.

Mr Khan's statement came in response to Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore's remarks that military action in Myanmar to hit back at rebels who killed 18 soldiers in Manipur was a message to other countries.

Mr Rathore's comments were interpreted here as a warning to Pakistan.

Mr Khan said that it should be clear to India that "Pakistan is not a country like Myanmar".

"Those having ill designs against Pakistan should listen carefully that our security forces are capable of matching response to any adventurism," he said.

Mr Khan said that Pakistan would never accept India hegemony and that the "Indian leaders should stop day dreaming".

He said that India's "nefarious designs" will not succeed in future like in the past.

He also said that Pakistan cannot be cowed down by the threats from across the border.

The minister said that he was disappointed at regular violation of the LoC and working boundary by the Indian Army and India's refusal to start peace talks with Pakistan.
NIA visits Manipur ambush scene, seizes gun shells, unexploded Improvised Explosive Device

NEW DELHI: A National Investigating Agency team today seized some Lethod gun shells and an unexploded Improvised Explosive Device (IED) from the scene of gruesome killing of 18 army personnel in Manipur's Chandel district.

The NIA, which has taken over the case from Manipur police, conducted a thorough search of the area, five days after the attack, the worst on the army in recent times, official sources said.

They said the IED was defused by explosives experts from the army.  ..

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China dismisses reports linking its military with attack on Indian ar
BEIJING: China today dismissed as "completely groundless" the media reports accusing its army officials of having links with a militant group involved in an attack on Indian troops in Manipur that left 18 soldiers dead.

"Relevant report is completely groundless," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in response to an e-mail query from PTI.

"The Chinese government consistently upholds non- interference in other country's internal affairs, and will not support any anti-government forces in any country," he said.

In one of the worst attacks in two decades, insurgents last week had ambushed a military convoy in Manipur, killing at least 18 army personnel and injuring 11 others.

Hitting back at rebels, special forces of the Indian army yesterday carried out a surgical strike inside Myanmar, killing nearly 20 insurgents.

Elite commandos of the Indian army also went a few kilometers inside the Myanmar territory to destroy two camps of insurgents hiding there after their attacks in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh last week by NSCN(K) and KYKL outfits.

Earlier, officials from state-run think-tanks refuted allegations of China's army assisting militants in northeast India, saying such charges are "absurd".

Any claim that People's Liberation Army (PLA) officers may be in touch with the leaders of (NSCN-K) is "absurd", state-run Global Times reported quoting officials of the government-run think-tanks.

Experts believe that the existence of ties between the PLA and Indian militants is impossible, the report said.

Earlier, reports in Indian media quoted a senior Indian official as saying that NSCN-K abrogated its ceasefire pact with the Centre following instructions from PLA.

"The Indian media has long been a rumour monger when it comes to China's support for the insurgent groups in north eastern India," said Zhao Gancheng, director of the Centre for Asian-Pacific Studies at the state-run Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.

"A connection between China and the Indian rebels is impossible, especially after India and China resumed diplomatic relationships in 1988," he said.

Li Li, deputy director of the Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceania Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, termed such reports as "absurd".

"It is impossible for China to intervene in the domestic affairs of India, especially when the two countries' relationship is developing very well after (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi's visit (last month)," Li added.
Blow-by-blow account: How PM Modi, Ajit Doval & Army chief planned covert strike against militants

NEW DELHI: An angry Modi government wanted a covert raid across the border in Myanmar within 24 hours of the dastardly attack on the Indian Army on June 4 but Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag said the time was too short for operational preparations and advised a precision strike within 72 hours, ET has learnt.

Two options were on the table on June 4 evening at a meeting where these intense discussions happened - an all-out air bombarding on the camps using Sukhois and MIG-29s or  ..

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