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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

From Today's Papers - 01 Dec 2015

Pak caller ‘wanted info’ on guns, LoC laser fence
Tribune News Service

Jammu/Rajouri, November 30
While families of Kafaitullah Khan, a library assistant in a government school, and BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed are in “shock” over the arrest of their kin, it has come to the fore that Rasheed had received phone calls from Pakistan seeking information on deployment of artillery guns and “laser fence” on the Line of Control in the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch.

“Since August, Rasheed had received three to four phone calls on his mobile from callers in Pakistan, believed to be ISI agents. They sought information about the RT guns and laser fence from him but he feigned ignorance,” said a BSF source.

While the BSF has ordered an internal probe, since Rasheed has been arrested on charges of espionage, it has not ruled out the possibility of him having spied for Pakistan, sources said.

“From the call details of Rasheed’s mobile phone, it has come to the fore that he talked to three to four persons, believed to be ISI agents in Pakistan,” the source said.

“Kafaitullah had given Rasheed’s number to his ‘relatives’ in Pakistan, who had been calling up Rasheed since August and in one such conversation he had been asked to furnish this classified information, which Rasheed claimed he never gave,” said sources.

Though the BSF didn’t find anything incriminating from his mobile phone and rented accommodation in Rajouri, we cannot rule out the possibility of him transmitting classified info via Whatsapp, Viber and Skype, said a BSF source.
Pak High Commission staffer under lens
Shaurya Karanbir Gurung

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 30
An employee of the Pakistan High Commission has come under the scanner of the Delhi Police in connection with alleged ISI-backed espionage on the armed forces deployments in Jammu and Kashmir.

The police said one of the two arrested accused, Kafaitullah Khan (44), alias Master Raja, a library assistant at Higher Secondary School, Rajouri, was allegedly instructed by the ISI or Pakistan Intelligence Operative (PIO) to come to Pakistan for further “briefing and receiving resources”.

“The PIO instructed Khan to apply for a visa and informed him that a person (a contact connected to the PIO) at the Pakistan High Commission will help him. After Khan’s return from Bhopal, he was to meet this person. He does not know his name and contact details. His handler (PIO) was going to tell it to him at the appropriate time,” said Ravindra Yadav, Joint _Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch).

Khan was arrested from the New Delhi railway station three days ago when he along with 50 people from Rajouri was on their way to Bhopal for a religious congregation.
Parrikar for increasing cadet strength at RIMC
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, November 30
Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today stressed the need for increasing the strength _of cadets at the Rashtriya Indian Military _College (RIMC).

Parrikar, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said the RIMC should be developed as a model school to attract more aspirants. He was addressing cadets at the 178th graduation ceremony held on _the RIMC campus here.

Parrikar said financial constraints would not become a barrier to improving infrastructure in the RIMC, Military and Sainik schools all over the country.

He said cadets enrolled in Sainik and Military _Schools across the country should be given a chance to _get themselves acquainted with the routine of _the cadets studying in _the RIMC.

He referred to the RIMC as a perfect model for all Military and Sainik Schools in the country for maintaining highest possible standards of education. Parrikar advised cadets not become complacent after _this achievement, rather continue to strive for _excellence in life.

He gave a vivid and nostalgic account of his own days at the IIT, Mumbai. He urged cadets to never give up their aim until they achieve it.

Parrikar gave away trophies and medals to outstanding cadets. The Sword of Honour award, which was presented _by the former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal NC Suri (retd), and GOC UB Area Trophy for the Best in Leadership was bagged _by Cadet Captain _Sachin Kumar.

The Wavell sword was won by Section Commander, Cadet Paras Singh, while the trophy instituted by Lt Gen SS Dhillon for being adjudged the Best in Attitude was awarded to Section Commander Rohan Basnett.

The Col DH Parab Trophy is awarded to a cadet who is adjudged the Most Helpful Boy was bagged by Cadet Prasanjeet Mehta, _while the trophy for Best in Informatics was awarded to Cadet Chetan Kumar.

Earlier, the Defence Minister and the Chief of the Integrated Staff, _Air Marshal PP Reddy, laid a wreath at the war memorial at the RIMC.

MP Tarun Vijay, GOC Sub Area Maj Gen S _Sabharwal, Col Aruna Mamgain (retd), Wg Cdr Deepak Ahluwalia, among others, were present.

...says no plans of retiring for now_

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday rejected reports about him retiring sooner than later, saying he has no plans of retirement at present.

A day after the media reports were in circulation that he was planning to take retirement from politics, Parrikar said he did not say anything like that. “I didn’t say anything. The reporter who reported this was not there, so it’s his wishful thinking,” Parrikar _told ANI.

“My correct statement is at the age of 60, normally people think of retirement and perhaps I would have also. But I had to take bigger responsibilities at the Centre and I assure you that I will come back only after finishing the task I am given,” he added.

According to reports, Parrikar on Sunday had hinted at retiring from politics, while also admitting to a crisis of credible leadership in a small state_like Goa. — ANI
Payments Under One Rank One Pension Scheme to Start in January: Sources
About 25 lakh armed forces veterans get their first enhanced pension under the One Rank One Pension Scheme, or OROP,  in January, top Ministry of Defence officials told NDTV. The enhanced pensions will cost the exchequer around Rs. 7,000 crore.

The Ministry of Defence, meanwhile, is rethinking whether it should debar officers and men who go home before completing their tenure from the benefits of OROP.

About 80% officers and men leave the forces when they fail to make it to the next rank. The benefits of the current scheme are denied to them. For example, a Colonel who leaves the army before completing his tenure as he didn't make it to the next rung -- Brigadier -- will not be entitled to OROP.

But sources said Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has ordered a rethink on this and is inclined to strike this provision off.

If done, it would address one of the major concerns of the armed forces.

"If officers who leave their tenure incomplete and quit for not being making it to the next rung are denied OROP, the forces will be saddled with passed over officers. Worse, they will have to work under the command of junior officers," a source in the ministry said.

Veterans will also get their OROP arrears -- the scheme has been brought into effect from July 2014 -- before the end of this financial year. It will cost the government Rs. 11,000 crore.

War widows and Gallantry award winners will their arrears in one go -- the rest will get it in four equal installments.

The implementation of OROP - a pre-election promise by the BJP -- was announced this September after prolonged negotiations.

The scheme could, however, not be implemented immediately because of the Bihar elections and the model Code of Conduct that came into play during elections.
Indian Army Chief meets Lankan counterpart
Military salutes, including a Guard of Honour and a Guard Turnout formally saluted General Dalbir Singh, the 26th Chief of the Army Staff of the Indian Army yesterday at the Army Headquarters when he called on Army Commander Lieutenant General Crishanthe de Silva.

Singh's participation in the'Operation Pawan' of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in 1987, is regarded as one of the defining moments of his 40 year career in the Indian Army.

During the meeting General Dalbir Singh and Lieutenant General Crishanthe de Silva recalled the historic relations between the two nations and memories during the 1987 deployment of IPKF in Sri Lanka.

The military chiefs shared views on current issues in the region and stressed the need to resolve them in an amicable manner with exchange of vital information, etc. General Dalbir Singh highlighted the importance of modernizing the Sri Lanka Army to suit international standards to be geared to meet with different types of emerging threats, including cyber attacks, etc. Lieutenant General Crishanthe de Silva in turn appreciated such assistance and requested the Indian Army to explore possibilities of new areas of training.

Talks also focused on ongoing training modules relevant to the two organisations. The visiting Army Chief assured support to continue training programmes, spearheaded by the Sri Lanka Army. The duo agreed to broaden those horizons in the near future. While expressing willingness to further foster friendly defence ties with Sri Lanka, Singh also offered his Army's technical assistance to upgrade military requirements in the Sri Lanka Army.

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