Custom Search Engine - Scans Selected News Sites


Friday, 14 August 2015

From Today's Papers - 14 Aug 2015

Sartaj arrives on Aug 23 for first-ever_NSA-level talks
New Delhi/Islamabad, Aug 13
National Security Advisers of India and Pakistan will hold talks on terrorism-related issues for the first time on August 23 in New Delhi. Islamabad sees it as an "ice-breaking" step, though not a breakthrough.

Speculation that Pakistan was dilly-dallying on the talks ended today with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz announcing in Islamabad: "Yes, I can confirm it that I will be going to India on (August) 23rd for talks."

"It (upcoming meeting) is not a breakthrough in terms of composite dialogue on all issues. But, at least it is ice-breaking on some issues. And let us hope that it would lead to further more comprehensive dialogue on all issues between the two countries. So we do believe in dialogue to resolve the issues," Aziz said.

The decision to hold NSA-level talks was taken at a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif last month in Ufa, Russia. “The two sides agreed on a meeting in New Delhi between the two NSAs to discuss all issues connected to terrorism,” a statement had said after their interaction.

After the decision, India had proposed August 23-24 for the meeting between National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Aziz in New Delhi. India is expected to present strong evidence of terrorism emanating from Pakistan highlighted further by recent attacks in Gurdaspur (Punjab) and Udhampur (J&K).

India's case is bolstered by the capture of Mohammed Naved Yakub, a Pakistani national and an LeT operative. — PTI
Supply bulletproof jackets, night-vision devices to Army: House panel to MoD
Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 13

A Parliamentary standing committee today asked the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to come out of its “slumber” and supply bulletproof jackets (BPJ) to Army soldiers and buy night-vision devices on a priority.

The committee headed by Major General BC Khanduri (retd), now an elected BJP MP from Uttarakhand, today submitted its report in Parliament. “It is the duty of the government to provide proper gear to soldiers before sending them to counter insurgency or war-like situations,” It said.

The report said the committee did not agree with the views expressed by the MoD that it had treated procurement of the BPJs as a priority case and all efforts were being made for speedy progress of the case. “It has taken more than six years to arrive at the trial stage after the approval of Defence Acquisition Council.... (also) after approval of DG Acquisition on January 27, 2014, it took the Ministry more than a year to trial evaluate the BPJs.”

The committee recommend that the Ministry should come out of its slumber and make the procurement of BPJs in a fast-track accountable mode to make up for present and future shortages to save lives of thousands of soldiers.

Expressing surprise at the shortfall, the report said the authorisation of BPJs is 3,53,765 and the current held strength is 1,22,624, but the Ministry of Defence approved procurement of only 1,86,138 BPJs which is 45,003 less than the authorised number.

On night-vision devices, the committee said since October 2013, even after the directions of the Empowered Committee, no night-vision devices and weapon sights had been procured. The committee said it was “distressed” that the process of preparing road map for night enablement of the Indian Army was still in progress.
Infiltration attempts by militants up: Army
11 intrusion bids since May-end, higher than previous years; at least 19 militants killed
Ehsan Fazili

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 13
The Army today said there has been an increase in infiltration attempts by armed militants from across the Line of Control (LoC). It, however, maintained that all such attempts were foiled and infiltrators eliminated.

“There is increase in intensity of attempts to infiltrate and they have been eliminated,” Lt Gen Subrata Saha, General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps, told reporters on the sidelines of a day-long seminar on education organised by the Army here today.

He said since May-end this year, there were 11 attempts of infiltration in which at least 19 militants had been killed.

The GOC, however, asserted that there was a “robust counter-infiltration grid in place” to foil any designs of the armed infiltrators trying to sneak into Kashmir.

“The infiltration grid is pretty robust, it is pretty strong, it is withstanding, facing all challenges emerging over there,” he said.

Lieutenant General Saha said the late snowfall this year could be one of the reasons behind stepped up attempts of infiltration from across the LoC as infiltration was possible only after the snow melts down along the porous border.

He maintained that the infiltrators were not succeeding in their attempts and were getting killed before they could enter this side of the fence.

The GOC further said the number of infiltration attempts made this year was higher than previous years. “In terms of numbers, it could be marginally higher than previous years,” he said.

The officer said certain changes had been made in anticipation to foil any attempts of the armed infiltrators, which included improving intelligence and surveillance grid.

On reports of fresh recruitment of local youth into militant ranks, the GOC said their number could be over 30 this year, while it was 64 throughout last year. Compared to the last few years and this year until now, it was on the higher side, he said.
Terrorist Naveed is From Pakistan for Sure: Counter-Terror Chief to NDTV
New Delhi:  The terrorist caught after attacking Indian soldiers in Jammu last week is confirmed as a Pakistani citizen, said India's top counter-terror official to NDTV today. This is the first high-level government response to link the Udhampur attack to Pakistan.

Sharad Kumar, the chief of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), told NDTV that there is "concrete proof" that Naveed is a member of the Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and underwent  "three sets of training in Pakistan as recently as March."

The disclosures come after the extensive interrogation of Naveed, who, along with another Pakistani terrorist, attacked a military convoy in the Udhampur area on August 5. Two soldiers were killed and 11 injured. Naveed's companion was shot dead, but he escaped into a nearby village, taking three men hostage, who later grabbed his AK-47 and over-powered him. 

Pakistan has said that it needs proof that Naveed is one of its citizens. Next week, important talks between both countries will be held in Delhi. Sartaj Aziz, who is also Pakistan's foreign policy chief, confirmed that he will travel to meet with India's National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

The talks were agreed to by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif when they met in Russia last month.

In recent days, cross-border firing in Jammu and Kashmir has escalated.
Army to display weapons on I-day
Army and Air Force are conducting a series of programmes to commemorate Independence Day on August 14 and 15,.

A one-day exhibition to display army weapons and equipment is being organised by Bison Division on August 14 from 0900 hrs to 1600 hrsat the Army Parade Ground, Secunderabad and at Garrison Mehdipatnam in Hyderabad to bring awareness among general public and inspire youth to join Indian Army, a Defence release said here today.

Around 10,000 school children are expected to witness the display of weapons and equipment in the early hours and later in the afternoon general public are also allowed to visit the display.

Artillery Centre, Golconda also organising the weapons and equipment display at its premises in Golconda for students and general public.

Similarly, the Air Force Station Hakimpet is organising an exclusive static display of aircrafts arms, ground equipment, display of sky diving by dare devils t eam.

A display on August 14 also is held at Air Force Museum especially for school and college students at its premises in Hakimpet.

A solemn ceremony to lay wreath at the War Memorial near Parade Ground Secunderabad is organised in the morning on August 15 to pay homage to the martyrs.

Chief Minister of Telangana State K Chandrasekhar Rao will lead to lay the wreath at the War Memorial.

Senior officers from the tri-forces and veterans and retired armed forces officers will also represent to lay the wreath on the occasion.

Earlier an all religion prayer will be performed to pay tributes to martyrs.

Military-band performance will also be conducted in the evening at two places at Army Parade Ground, Secunderabad by EME Centre and Artillery Centre at its premises in Golconda for the general people.

The Army aimed at peoples participation in large number in the Independence Day Celebrations to imbibe a spirit of patriotism and encourage youth to join the Army and Air Force as their career.UNI KNR KVV RSS 1420
This Independence day, Amar Chitra Katha brings alive the tales of Indian war heroes in their new comic book
During the Indo-Pak War of 1947, when Major Somnath Sharma's company of forty soldiers was ambushed by more than 500 raiders in Badgam; he knew they were facing a dire situation. Reinforcements would not arrive soon enough and they were sustaining heavy losses. But he continued to urge his men to fire at the advancing threat. With the single thought of holding their position, he effectively inspired his soldiers to continue fighting till their last breath.
In 1971, when a fleet of Sabres flew in from across the border during the Indo-Pak War, the defence of the strategically vital Srinagar airbase fell on the shoulders of Fg Offr Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon. Despite poor visibility and challenging odds, the Indian Gnat and its fearless pilot faced six Sabres single-handedly.
During the Kargil War, the Indian Army launched Operation Vijay in order to clear a peak, Point 5140, of the enemy defences. Captain Vikram Batra led his company in a fierce and successful assault. He was then given charge of clearing a narrow ridge that had enemy bunkers on either side. Captain Batra advanced into heavy enemy fire, and fearlessly took on several soldiers in a hand-to-hand combat.
These aren’t plots to successful Bollywood films, these are real life stories of real life heroes; people who fought bravely at the battlegrounds securing our motherland at different points in time. India has been very fortunate to have given birth to some gallant men and it is befitting to share these splendid stories with young Indians. This Independence Day, Amar Chitra Katha has collaborated with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force to give life to these iconic battle tales in ‘Param Vir Chakra’, a comic book that pays tribute to the recipients of the highest military award in India.
The new 248 page title narrates inspirational stories of 21 of India’s brave sons who have been awarded India’s highest battle honour. “This idea had been in our minds for quite some time. We wanted both adults and children to know about India’s contemporary heroes. Of all the awards, we chose the Param Vir Chakra and its 21 awardees,” says Reena Puri, editor, Amar Chitra Katha.

ACK’s team of 6 scriptwriters, 11 artists, 5 colorists and an extensive editorial team worked rigorously for more than 2 years to ensure that the significance of bravery, courage, honour, discipline and selflessness for the safety of the nation, is conveyed to the readers. “We got all the research material from the Army and the Air Force, compiled the stories with the help of our talented writer Vaneeta Vaid, checked the ranks and details thoroughly and then went on to script and illustrate. It has been an emotional process for all of us,” Puri says.
The comic book encapsulates the bravest of stories from the 1947 Indo-Pak war to the latest one in Kargil; it has the inspiring war tales of Major Somnath Sharma, Lance Naik Karam Singh, Second Lieutenant Rama Raghoba Rane, Naik Yadhunath Singh, Company Havildar Major Piru Singh Shekhawat, Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria, Major Dhan Singh Thapa, Subedar Joginder Singh, Major Shaitan Singh, Company Quarter Master Havildar Abdul Hamid, Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore, Lance Naik Albert Ekka, Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon, Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal, Major Hoshiar Singh, Naib Subedar Bana Singh, Major Ramaswamy Parameswaran, Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey, Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav, Rifleman Sanjay Kumar and Captain Vikram Batra.
The new title, ‘Param Vir Chakra’, can be bought from all the book stores while a digital version on iOS and other mobile platforms is also available. Let your Independence Day be truly rewarding; read about India’s greatest modern heroes straight from the battlefront!
Are India's plans to celebrate 1965 war 'victory' in 'bad taste'?
India plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its "victory" over Pakistan in the 1965 war with a series of events, including a "grand carnival". But critics say it is in bad taste and a waste of money, writes the BBC's Geeta Pandey in Delhi.

The war was fought on the western front after Pakistan launched "Operation Gibraltar" - a covert offensive in which up to 30,000 fighters were pushed across the ceasefire line into Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. India retaliated by crossing the international border at Lahore.

For over three weeks, more than 100,000 Indian soldiers fought against Pakistan's 60,000 troops.

"The celebrations are set to kick off on 28 August, the day Indian troops captured the strategic Haji Pir Pass," Indian defence ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar told the BBC.

"They will go on until 22 September - the day India and Pakistan agreed to a UN-sponsored ceasefire."
The main event - a "victory carnival" with a show of military might, song and dance - is planned for 20 September on Rajpath - the wide boulevard in the city centre where the annual Republic Day parade is held and where India recently organised a record-breaking yoga event.

The celebrations will also include seminars, photo exhibitions and a concert.

"The 1965 war has been forgotten by people and this is an effort to revive the memory," said former journalist Nitin Gokhale who has been commissioned by the defence ministry to write a book on the conflict.
At the end of the war, this is what India said the tally looked like:

    India won 1,920 sqkm of territory; Pakistan won 540 sqkm
    2,862 Indian soldiers were killed; Pakistan lost 5,800 soldiers
    India lost 97 tanks; 450 Pakistani tanks were destroyed or captured

Pakistan has not responded to attempts by the BBC to verify the numbers.
India captured the key Haji Pir pass - "a major ingress route for Pakistanis" - and made some big gains in Sialkot and reached the doors of Lahore in Punjab. The Pakistani army managed to repulse a takeover of Lahore, made advances in the deserts of Rajasthan and came perilously close to taking over Akhnoor in the Jammu region.

But the gains were not substantial for either side and after the ceasefire, India and Pakistan met at Tashkent in January 1966 where they agreed to withdraw to their pre-war positions.
Major Ranjit Singh Day
Over the years, both sides have claimed victory. Pakistan even celebrates 6 September every year as "Defence of Pakistan Day" with a 21-gun salute and a victory parade.

Indians meanwhile believe that their forces had the clear upper hand.

"This war is important for two reasons - it wiped the humiliation of defeat India faced in 1962 against China and also allowed the Indian army to hone and tweak their strategy. This gave them confidence which led to their decisive victory in the 1971 war against Pakistan," said Mr Gokhale.

"For India, 1965 was not a grand victory, but it can certainly be called a limited victory," he added.
At least three independent authors believed India had an upper hand in the war:

    Retired American diplomat Dennis Kux: "Although both sides lost heavily in men and material, and neither gained a decisive military advantage, India had the better of the war. Delhi achieved its basic goal of thwarting Pakistan's attempt to seize Kashmir by force. Pakistan gained nothing from a conflict which it had instigated."
    English historian John Keay: "The war lasted barely a month. Pakistan made gains in the Rajasthan desert but its main push against India's Jammu-Srinagar road link was repulsed and Indian tanks advanced to within a sight of Lahore. Both sides claimed victory but India had most to celebrate."
    American author Stanley Wolpert: "The war ended in what appeared to be a draw when the embargo placed by Washington on US ammunition and replacements for both armies forced cessation of conflict before either side won a clear victory. India, however, was in a position to inflict grave damage to, if not capture, Pakistan's capital of the Punjab when the ceasefire was called, and controlled Kashmir's strategic Uri-Poonch bulge, much to [Pakistani president] Ayub's chagrin."

Pakistan's toned down celebrations: Ilyas Khan in Islamabad

Pakistan continues to observe 6 September as "defence day", but the zest and gusto associated with the celebrations has dampened in recent decades.

One reason is the passing of the 1965 generation. Secondly, the threat of militant attacks during the last ten years have forced military parades, air shows and armament displays to become more low key.

Another is that an alternative view of the chronology and consequences of the war has gained more currency in Pakistan.

Earlier it was believed that the 1965 war had been initiated by India with a view to capturing Lahore and breaking Pakistan. Celebrations were centred on the "valiant defence" by the Pakistani armed forces defeated that aim.

More recently some influential politicians and members of the armed forces have publicly stated that all wars with India were initiated by Pakistan.

Had the 1965 war been a success, the argument goes, it would not have led to the demise and humiliation of Field Marshal Ayub Khan, Pakistan's first military ruler under whose watch the war was fought.
India has never celebrated any of its wars on such a grand scale, so why this big victory carnival now?

"It's 50 years since we won the war, if you won't celebrate it now then when will you do?" asked the defence ministry's Sitanshu Kar.

Not all Indians, however, are enthusiastic about the celebrations and the defence expert at Delhi-based Centre for Police Research, Srinath Raghavan, says the idea of the "victory carnival" is "absurd".
"It smacks of bad taste. What do you have a carnival for? It is not a bad idea to commemorate the war, but it should be a solemn occasion, not a frivolous display of song and dance."

He said the government's plans to spend 350m rupees ($5.5m; £3.5m) on the event was "a waste of resources".

A former army soldier who fought in the 1999 Kargil conflict against Pakistan, he said, "the commemoration should not be jingoistic, it should be used to remember all the lives lost - of soldiers and civilians - on the border".
Although Islamabad has not commented officially, the plan for the victory carnival has, as expected, drawn criticism from Pakistan with some saying it could have a negative impact on bilateral ties.

Mr Raghavan also believes that it could lead to "unnecessary unpleasantness" at a time when the two countries have said they want to restart the dialogue process.

"A better way to commemorate the war," he said, "would be to inform people what this war was really about, to get the conversation going and foster a genuine historic dialogue about it."
Nahan Army land dispute reaches defence minister
SHIMLA: More than four decades old dispute between the people residing inside the Nahan Military Station Area and the Army over the land ownership has now reached the Union defence minister. While the residents say that they own the land on which they are living, the Army authorities are struggling to evict them. Seeing no end to the problem, Nahan MLA and Shimla MP have now sought the intervention of Union minister Manohar Parrikar.

Local people have staked claim on around 500 bighas of land inside the Army area. BJP MP from Shimla Virender Kashyap, along with BJP MLA from Nahan Rajeev Bindal, on Tuesday raised the issue with Parrikar in New Delhi. They have suggested that land in the possession of local people inside the military station should be allowed to remain with them while the state government should provide them land to the Army elsewhere in its lieu.

Bindal said that problem which started 1975 was a complex one and affected the lives of around 5,000. He said that at the time when the area was part of local kingdom, royal army was given the land. He said that later, the houses constructed here remained with local people while public path and other chunk of land went to the state government. The same was subsequently allotted to the Indian Army.

At the time of settlement in 1988, revenue officials failed to record who was in actual possession of land where thus creating confusion.

Sources in the Army said that Nahan was the capital of Sirmaur princely state ruled by Raja Rajendra Prakash at the time of Independence. Following the merger of the State Forces with the Indian Army, their properties and assets were to be taken over by the latter.

In May 1954, the Army verified the records and took over the land belonging to the State Forces and total land measured was 555.82 acres in two revenue areas � total 315.89 acres in Shamsherpur Chawani and 239.93 acres in Manjholi village.

Sources said that the Himachal Pradesh government vide the HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, 1972, transferred and mutated some plots of above mentioned land of the Army to tenants/encroachers. This mistake was detected later as the Act 1972 was not applicable on the central government and Army land, they claimed.

Army sources also claimed that state government in 1979 mutated approximately 459 acres of land in Nahan in favour of Army, of which approximately 27 acres was already encroached, along with approximately 96 acres transferred wrongfully under the 1972 Act. "The exact details can only be confirmed after the completion of the joint demarcation," they added.

Sources said that due to the non-demarcation of land, virtually a free hand was given to unscrupulous elements to encroach upon the Army land. "The issue of dispute between the local inhabitants around the Nahan Military Station and local Army authorities was also discussed during the civil military liaison conference at Shimla in November 2009, but no solution could be found," sources added.

Army officials claim that Nahan Military Station being specialist in nature, carries out activities that are classified in nature and public knowledge of which was a threat to the national security.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Mail your comments, suggestions and ideas to me

Template created by Rohit Agarwal