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Friday, 31 July 2015

From Today's Papers - 31 Jul 2015

Pakistan regrets Indian remarks
Afzal Khan in Islamabad
Pakistan foreign office on Thursday termed as “unfortunate” the Indian accusations that the militants who attacked the Dinanagar police station in Gurdaspur hailed from Pakistan. It said countering terrorism could only be possible through mutual cooperation. “Pointing fingers before any investigation is not a healthy trend,” said foreign office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah at a news briefing here.

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the Lok Sabha on Thursday that the gunmen who stormed a police station and killed seven persons at Dinanagar had come from Pakistan, according to a preliminary report.

Rajnath Singh said the global positioning system (GPS) devices belonging to the terrorists, which were recovered after they were shot dead, established that they crossed into India through the Ravi.

“The trio were in army fatigues. They carried China-made grenades and AK 47 rifles,” he added. The three heavily armed men were shot dead after 12-hour gunfight. Four police officers, including an SP, and three civilians were killed in the operation.

On India’s aggression at the LoC and working boundary, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson said Pakistan was capable of defending itself against any aggression. He said Pakistani High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit postponed his visit to Chandigarh following the incident because the Indian Government did not permit his driver and two other officers to travel with him.
Sepoy killed in Pak firing
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria

Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 30
A soldier was killed in sniper fire by Pakistani troops in Krishna Ghati (KG) sector along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district, 250 km northwest of Jammu, on Wednesday night. The deceased was identified as sepoy Rachpal Singh of the 22 Sikh Regiment.

“There was unprovoked firing by Pakistani troops on a forward post in the Krishna Ghati sector last night. A soldier who was injured in the firing died around 8:15 pm,” said a Defence spokesperson. He added that Indian soldiers retaliated to the unprovoked and unwarranted act of Pakistani troops.

An Intelligence source said the soldier, who was guarding Parvinder post near Reka nullah along the LoC, was hit by a single sniper shot fired by the Pakistani side around 7:15 pm on Wednesday.

“He sustained critical injuries and was immediately evacuated to the MI room in Jhullas, from where he was shifted to a garrison hospital in Poonch,” he added.

This was the third incident of sniper attack by Pakistani soldiers along the LoC this month. Two Border Security Force jawans were killed in similar incidents along the LoC in the Kashmir valley. There were two other incidents of ceasefire violation along the LoC in the Valley on Wednesday.

Since July 15, the Pakistani army and Rangers had been regularly opening sniper fire and heavy fire on Indian posts and forward villages, but Indian forces had been maintaining restraint.

There were 347 truce violations in 2013 by Pakistani forces, followed by 583 in 2014. This year, the figure had already crossed the 205 mark on the frontiers in the state.

Meanwhile, Pakistan opened unprovoked fire on Indian posts in Krishna Ghati sector around 6:15 pm on Thursday. “The Indian side is responding appropriately. There is no report of loss of life and injury to our men,” said Defence spokesperson Lt Col Manish Mehta.
'He Believed in Indigenisation of Defence'

BENGALURU: Lt Gen (retd) V J Sundaram remembers former President A P J Abdul Kalam as a very level-headed man and also a person who one could disagree with.

Sundaram took over as the chief of missile development at DRDO after Kalam. Both Sundaram and Kalam passed out as engineers in 1957. While Kalam went on to become a scientist, Sundaram joined the Indian Army. Since 1982, when Kalam took over the DRDO, Sundaram has been closely associated with him.

Sundaram said that Kalam pushed for the indigenisation of the country’s defence sector. “After I took over as director of the Prithvi programme, we were offered help by France.  They wanted to sell us a complete package related to missile development. However, we said that we need guidance only on the inertial guidance system, and not any other aspect, which was refused by them. Now, the inertial guidance system has been completely indigenised,” he said.  “Later, when he became the President, I was not in the country. When I met him at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan upon my return, he invited me for lunch. Being Tamilians, he asked me ‘kaile sapadalama’ (Shall we eat with our hands?). When I said yes, he asked the waiter to take away the cutlery,” Sundaram added.

Similarly, Dr Prahlada is another scientist who worked at the DRDO under Kalam. “In fact I was surprised when I was selected by Dr Kalam to head the Akash missile programme. I was just 35 years old then, compared to others who were above 50 at least. Kalam always said that the youth are the future of the country,” he added.

15 civilians, 16 Army men killed on LoC in 3 years: GoI

During this period Pakistan resorted to 1139 ceasefire violations including 347 in the year 2013, 583 in 2014 and 199 till June 30, 2015, the reply stated.

The Defence Ministry on Thursday said that 15 civilians and 16 Indian Army soldiers have been killed in LoC firing during 1129 ceasefire violations by Pakistan from 2013 to June 30, 2015.

As per the information provided through a written reply in Rajya Sabha, highest 13 civilians were killed in LoC firing during the year 2014 followed by 2 till June 30 this year, while there was no civilian killing in the year 2013. Similarly army lost highest 11 soldiers during the year 2013, 4 during the year 2014 and 2 till June 30 this year.

During this period Pakistan resorted to 1139 ceasefire violations including 347 in the year 2013, 583 in 2014 and 199 till June 30, 2015, the reply stated.

The information given by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to MP Parvez Hashmi further stated that all violations of ceasefire are taken up with Pakistan military authorities at the appropriate level through the established mechanism of hotlines, flag meetings as well as weekly talks between the Directorate Generals of Military Operations of the two countries. “BSF, too, holds talks at various levels with its counterpart viz. Pakistan Rangers,” it added.

“Diplomatically, India has repeatedly emphasised, including at the highest level, the need for Pakistan to uphold the sanctity of the Line of Control (LC) and abide by the ceasefire commitment of 2003 along the International Border and LC,” the reply stated further.
Four steps taken by government to address Indian Army's ammunition shortage

NEW DELHI: Acknowledging that the Indian Army is short of critical ammunition, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday said the government has taken steps to mitigate the deficiencies.

"The government has taken into consideration the deficiencies in some of the critical ammunition on priority and has also taken effective steps to mitigate the deficiencies to ensure desired level of operational-preparedness commensurate to threat perception in a dynamic strategic scenario," Parr ..

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