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Saturday, 10 October 2015

From Today's Papers - 10 Oct 2015

Pak summons Indian envoy
Pakistan summoned a senior Indian diplomat on Friday to convey concern over cancellation of a cross-border train service, authorities said.

The Delhi-bound Samjhauta Express was called back from the Wagah border on Thursday after Indian authorities informed Pakistani officials of farmers protest on the Indian side of the border.

The train, which carried 193 Pakistani and Indian nationals, will depart for Delhi on Monday, said a Pakistan Railways spokesman. “Acting Deputy High Commissioner of India Raghuram was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to express concern over the cancellation of operation of Samjhauta Express," the foreign ministry said in a statement. — IANS
President on historic West Asia trip from today
KV Prasad

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, october 9
President Pranab Mukherjee embarks on a historic three-nation trip to West Asia across Jordan, Palestine and Israel on Saturday. The visit reflects both India’s engagement with a strategic partner and those with whom it has long-standing relations.

The October 10 to 15 tour has several highlights, including being the first-ever visit by the President to Jordan during the past six decades, engage with political leaders in Palestine and address the Israeli Parliament, Knesset, a rare honour accorded to a visiting dignitary.

It has been nearly a decade since Jordan King Abdullah and Queen Rania visited India and New Delhi took nine years to complete the reciprocal visit to a country that supports New Delhi for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and moved away from the Consensus Group at the world body.

Besides extensive discussions on entire gamut of relations, Mukherjee will meet the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and call on the President. A number of agreements on expected to be signed during the visit.

During the October 12-13 visit to Palestine, the President will hold meeting and interaction with Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and leaders of major political parties besides an address at Al Quds University. The two-day trip to Palestine is expected to further strengthen the bonds of friendship and renew New Delhi’s strong commitment towards the Palestinian cause.

On the third and final leg, Mukherjee reaches Jerusalem on October 13 evening, the first visit to the city by and Indian Head of State. Although both India and Israel have strong ties in defence and strategic areas, the country has not sent its President there.

Mukherjee will address Knesset, interact with Israeli leaders and pay a visit to Yad Vashem, the famous Holocaust Memorial near Jerusalem but the trip does not envisage a tour of the Old City.

One of the high points of the visit is agreements between universities in India and Israel, in keeping with the subject of education that President Mukherjee is keen to promote. The President’s delegation would include Vice-Chancellors of Jamia Millia Islamia and Jawaharlal Nehru University, which have traditionally supported the Palestinian cause.

He will also meet President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and oversee agreements on water usage, and academic exchanges. In his message, President Rivlin said: “The upcoming visit of the President of India, more than being an important milestone in the relationship of the two countries, will serve to deepen the friendship between our states, in the fields of economy, science, medicine, and agriculture. I am looking forward to the meeting, which will represent one of the highlights of the relationship between the Israeli and Indian peoples.”
Pak Probably Most Dangerous Country for World: Ex-CIA Official
Washington:  Pakistan is probably the most dangerous country for the world as it is ripe with the threats of terrorism, a failing economy and the fastest growing nuclear arsenal, a retired CIA official has said.

"While Pakistan is not the most dangerous country in the world, it is probably the most dangerous country for the world, and as such, a serious case for close and continued US engagement with Pakistan can be made," Kevin Hulbert, a former top intelligence officer who retired in June 2014, wrote in an op-ed in The Cipher Brief.

"As a country ripe with the triple threat of terrorism, a failing economy, and the fastest growing nuclear arsenal, Pakistan has the potential to create more nightmare scenarios for US policymakers than any other country," said Mr Hulbert, who previously served multiple overseas tours as CIA Chief of Station and Deputy Chief of Station.

Like it or not, Pakistan is similar to a bank or company considered too big to let fail because of the ripple effect it might cause across the entire economy.

The spectre of the sixth largest country in the world being a failed state is a hypothetical catastrophe that would unleash a world of unintended consequences, he said.

"Rather than risk it, and as much as we might like to move on, we really should increase the level of engagement with Pakistan, not decrease it," he recommended.

Mr Hulbert said many of the trend lines in Pakistan now seem to be moving in the wrong direction.

For years, Pakistan felt justified in its use of jihadist militias to attack India in a war of attrition. It pursued a perverse double-dealing game where they supported 'good' radical Muslim extremists that helped them in their proxy war against India, while at the same time trying to hold the line against the 'bad' radical Muslim extremist elements who were focused on bringing down the Pakistani state, he observed.

A large percentage of the Pakistani population does not view jihadi groups, including the Taliban and other militant religious groups, as dangerous elements, but rather as good soldiers of Islam comprised of men performing their religious duty, he said.

"The fight against al-Qaeda in Pakistan was largely seen as a US fight, not a Pakistan fight, and Pakistan's unwillingness to make the hard choices required to confront the growing menace of radical extremism, created a monster," the former CIA official said.

Today, Pakistan finds itself in a very complicated security situation where there is little differentiation among radical groups, he noted.

Terrorist groups, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, are suddenly allied with al-Qaeda, while Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the Pakistan Taliban, the Afghan Taliban, and other assorted criminals and non-state actors are intent on bringing down the elected government of Pakistan.
While the Pakistan government dithered, the militancy in the country took firm hold, he said.
Indian Territorial Army was founded 66 years ago on this day: All you need to know

India's first Governor General Shri C Rajagopalachari formally inaugurated the Indian Territorial Army on this day in 1949. It is an organization where volunteers apply for a training of a few days in a year to be ready to tackle any emergent situation or to serve for the defence of India.

The Territorial Army, also known as the 'Terriers', is considered the second line of national defence after the regular Army. According to the Indian Army official website, "the Territorial Army is part of Regular Army and its present role is to relieve the Regular Army from static duties and assist civil administration in dealing with natural calamities and maintenance of essential services in situations where life of the communities is affected or the Security of the Country is threatened and to provide units for Regulars Army as and when required."

The armed regiment of the Territorial Army had been actively involved in several military operations (OP) such as in OP-PAWAN in Sri Lanka, OP RAKSHAK in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, OP RHINO and OP BAJRANG in North East India. Apart from these, the Terriers have also taken part in humanitarian operations such as coming to aid during earthquake in Latoor and Uttarkashi and the super cyclone in Odisha.

The Terriers also present honorary ranks to civilians who have achieved great heights in their respective fields.

Here are five personalities who have received honorary ranks by the Indian Territorial Army:

1. Kapil Dev: The 'Haryana Hurricane' Kapil Dev joined the Territorial Army on September 24, 2008. The Army honoured him with the post of Honorary Lieutenant Colonel for his contribution to Indian cricket.

2. Mohanlal: The South-Indian filmmaker Mohanlal also joined the Terriers on July 9, 2009. Being the only actor to have received this honour, Mohanlal has been posted as the Lieutenant Colonel of the Madras Regiment. He was honoured for his work in films such as Kirti Chakra and Kurukshetra.

3. Deepak Rao: He is the man behind India's training on advanced close quarter battles. Accordig to Army records, Deepak and his wife Seema Rao have trained around 15,000 soldiers over the span of 17 years in close quarter battle training. The Ministry of Defence cited them to be specialists in close quarter warfare. Deepak has received an Honorary Rank of Major in the Territorial Army.

4. Mahendra Singh Dhoni: On November 1, 2011, Team India's most successful captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni received an honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army. He chose to join the Parachute Regiment as it was the most challenging section of the force.

5. Abhinav Bindra: India's first and only Olympic Gold medalist received the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel at the Sikh Regiment in the Territorial Army along with Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
India & China to conduct joint military exercise 'Hand-in-Hand'

NEW DELHI: Asia's two largest military powers India and China, will jointly conduct combined military training exercise Hand-in-Hand from October 12 to October 2015 at Kunming Military Academy, Yunnan, China. This will be the fifth exercise of the series, which started in 2007.

"The exercise will bring together troops of an Infantry sub-unit and a formation headquarter of Indian Army and similar participation from the Chinese Army for the joint training," a Ministry of Defence press ..

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