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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

From Today's Papers - 12 Jan 2016























http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/pak-conducts-raids-probe-team-has-isi/182604.html
Pak conducts raids, probe team has ISI
Nawaz Sharif constitutes joint investigation team
Simran Sodhi

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 11
Even as India maintained its position that Foreign Secretary-level talks could not be held till Pakistan took ‘action’ against perpetrators of the Pathankot attack, the government of the neighbouring nation today took a series of steps in that direction.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif constituted a joint investigation team (JIT) comprising officials of the Military Intelligence, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Intelligence Bureau to investigate the leads provided by India and to take action against the perpetrators.

Raids were conducted in Gujranwala, Jhelum and Bahawalpur districts, leading to some arrests.

With the Foreign Secretaries scheduled to meet in Islamabad on January 15, it is clear Pakistan is making an effort to redeem the dialogue process. However, sources within the government maintained that talks could not happen unless Pakistan took action. Today’s developments notwithstanding, the sources said that India wanted to see action against Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader Masood Azhar, who is believed to have masterminded the Pathankot attack. Sources said India would be closely watching the developments over the next few days.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today went to Home Minister Rajnath Singh's residence and is understood to have discussed the issue. However, there was no official word on the meeting that lasted 20 minutes. It is reliably learnt that the National Security Advisers of the two countries continue to be in touch.      

The meeting chaired by the Pakistan PM to form the JIT was attended by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, National Security Adviser Lt-Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua, Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. Sources confirmed that Army Chief Raheel Sharif had also been kept in the loop by the Nawaz Sharif government. 

Meanwhile, Rajindar Sachar, Chief Justice (retd), today said the India-Pakistan talks should go ahead despite the Pathankot attack. “Pathankot must not be allowed to postpone Foreign Secretary-level meetings between India and Pakistan. The open public trust between India and Pakistan, spoken of both by Modi and Nawaz Sharif meeting at Lahore, should not be allowed to go waste, notwithstanding the provocative Pathankot incident by terrorists coming from across the border,” said Sachar.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/whoever-hurts-india-will-get-same-pain-parrikar/182597.html
ATTACK ON IAF BASE
Whoever hurts India will get same pain: Parrikar
Indo-Pak Foreign Secy-level talks unlikely this week; Swaraj discusses issue with Rajnath
New Delhi, January 11
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said any individual or organisation that hurts the country should be given the same pain but how, when and where should be India’s choice, remarks which come in the backdrop of the Pathankot terror attack.

Addressing an audience which consisted of top Army brass, including its chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, the Minister said that history tells us that until those who inflict damage on others experience the same pain, they don’t change.

“I am of the opinion, it should not be taken as a government thinking, I always believe that if anyone harms you, he understands the same language.

“How, when and the place should be of your choice but if someone is harming this country, then that particular individual or organisation, I purposely used the words individual and organisation, should also receive the pain of such activities,” he said at a seminar organised by the Army here.

Asked to elaborate, Parrikar later said, “Basic principle is that until we give them pain, whoever they may be, until then, such incidents will not reduce”.

In a reference to the Pathankot attack, the Minister said the country was proud of its seven soldiers who laid down their lives but he is pained by the loss.

“I don’t appreciate it. I have said that it is time we tell our soldiers that it is inevitable that we will lose some soldiers, and in this incident we lost one person in actual combat.

“We should tell them to think of the concept of taking life of your enemy, enemy of the country, instead of giving your life. This is an important aspect,” he said.

He said that while sacrifice is respected, what nation needs is to neutralise the enemy. Asked if that means there is a change in policy from the previous UPA government, Parrikar retorted, “If someone comes and hammers you, you should keep quiet? Was that the policy?

“What I am saying is basically that history tells you that those who damage you, if they don’t realise what pain they inflict, then they don’t change”. — PTI

Cong targets govt for uncertainty over talks

New Delhi: Tearing into Modi government's Pakistan policy, the Congress on Monday faulted it for continued uncertainty over Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level talks, saying the foreign policy is not conducted in such a way. "The talks with Pakistan are schdeuled in four days. Till today, it is not clear whether they will be held...it is not the way foreign policy is conducted," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said. TNS

Fix responsibility for Pathankot attack: CPI

Hyderabad: The CPI wants that responsibility 'at the top' should be fixed for not deploying Army in the counter operation. "There should be a thorough probe to find out how the terrorists entered. Whose fault is it among top officials in refusing to use the Army? If necessary, such officials should be changed," CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy said. PTI

Modi’s tolerance to terror should end: Sena

Mumbai: Advocating a strong response to the Pathankot terror strike, the Shiv Sena on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'tolerance' to such attacks should end. "Our tolerance to terror attacks is commendable. But there is a limit. We pray that the tolerance of Modi to such attacks should end," an editorial in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana said. PTI

Arvind Kejriwal to visit Pathankot, Gurdaspur

Chandigarh: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal will visit Pathankot and Gurdaspur on January 13 and meet the families of the security personnel killed in the Pathankot attack. "He will meet the families of Havildar Kulwant Singh, Honorary Captain Fateh Singh and taxi driver Ikagar Singh," Durgesh Pathak, national organisation-building head, AAP, said. PTI


http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/comment/enemy-strikes-again-will-we-ever-learn/182390.html
Enemy strikes again, will we ever learn?
The Pathankot air base attack should serve as a wake-up call. Political, bureaucratic and defence leadership at the Centre and the states must put their heads together, setting aside party and turf divides, to find viable, solutions to internal security challenges.
As a concerned citizen, and a former internal security professional, I am astonished and pained at this attack, close to our border. We know that these fidayeen attackers are well-equipped, trained and financed by our enemies, waiting to attack us again and again. Emboldened by the success of their previous attacks in Gurdaspur, their target this time, was one of the most sensitive defence bases on our borders, in the same belt.

Debates on television channels and the write-ups in the print media continue. But some vital questions on the episode remain unanswered. Everyone I meet in our neighborhood park, club and social gatherings, knowing my professional background,  quizzes me. Unfortunately, I have very few answers to give.

After an attack of such a magnitude, instead of the Army, Air Force, NSG and the state police separately issuing statements and holding press conferences, each trying to defend its role, there is a need for the political leadership at appropriate level at the Centre and state levels to jointly come forward to tell us what happened. And, more importantly, how they shall make sure that such attacks do to take place again. The VVIP and VIP visits to the sites of the operations are also not reassuring. The strategy and the command-and- control structure to deal with such situations in the future have to be clearly spelt out in a convincing manner. And if there are heads that will roll, let them.

The facts coming to light, thanks to investigative journalism, are still very intriguing. Defence and security analysts are raising and demanding answers to very pertinent questions and pointing to chinks in our security armour, repeatedly revealed after such attacks. Here are a few questions that one wants to ask:

There were credible human and technoological intelligence inputs from multiple agencies about a group of armed terrorists  having infiltrated from across the borders to carry out a fidayeen attack on a sensitive location in the area. What action was taken to fortify the security around Pathankot Air Force Station as a followup to these alerts issued just a few days earlier? My information is that when the attack took place, the DSC was not alert at all and was only following routine activity.

Why did the Army leave the sensitive IAF base to be guarded by its own  DSC which is both ill-equipped and ill-trained? The  Garuda is better but not enough. We believe that a highly sensitive defence establishment has several layers of impregnable security. How then could the armed fidayeen  enter?

How were a group of five jihadi terrorists, wielding automatic weapons  and in Army fatigues, able to infiltrate a highly guarded border in a sensitive zone? I understand that the thermal-imaging system in this sector had become dysfunctional. Why was it not immediately repaired? And more sinisterly, did the infiltrants get to know about this from their sources, indicating serious breaches in our border-guarding outfits?

How were the jihadis able to waylay an SUV bearing a blue beacon light in which a local Superintendent of Police in civvies was travelling with two friends and his cook. They abducted the same vehicle to reach the target area near the IAF base, after killing one of the occupants and roughing up another but sparing the SP. This SP who was able to escape, reportedly informed his superiors but his story was not taken seriously because of his low credibility due to his past conduct and reputation. But his story was true. The mission from which the SP was returning does not appear to have been the visit to a dargah. Was it from an all-night  party  at the farmhouse of a local politician? I do hope that the NIA team interrogating him shall arrive at the truth soon.

This area is known for the nexus between drug smugglers and unscrupulous but influential police officers. One hopes it has not spread its wings to cover cross-border terrorism?

Why was  the SP of Pathankot district  allowed to be repeatedly interviewed by television channels? Why was he not subjected to thorough questioning by security experts to know how he was kidnapped and managed to escape? Has the command-and-control mechanism of the Punjab Police totally collapsed?

I will not dwell into the  details of the three-day operation  to neutralise the terrorists, since enough has been said on this already. The facts are not known to me. But the lack of proper command was clearly visible. Being a defence establishment, it falls under  the area of responsibility of the Indian Army. The NSG, a commando force used only for curative action in pin-pointed  hostage situations, cannot be called upon to rid an area of terrorists.

Why do we repeatedly fail to capture even one or two of the fidayeen to present clinching evidence against the group responsible? There are tools and gadgets to temporarily put them to sleep with the Army commandos and the NSG. Were these used? Instead of summoning help from the Centre, why are sensitive installations like the Pathankot IAF base not able to build indefensible security, capabilities and counter-attack competence?

When are we going to wake up to the realities of an extremely volatile internal security situation?

Instead of blaming enemies across the border, why don't we focus attention on sharpening our own counter-terrorism skills/ equipment, operational coordination to handle crisis situations like this? In this area, we still appear to be in a  nascent stage. Why are we asking our enemies across the border to stop striking, knowing full well that they will not?

Let us not forget that India faces one of the highest threat levels from Islamic jihadis. We have excellent defence and intelligence agencies cooperation with   Israel, which faces the highest threat but has developed effective means to counter these. Why don't our agencies learn from their Israeli counterparts ?

Every nation, including ours, has the sovereign right to defend its integrity. This has been acknowledged by the international community, including the US. What prevents us from exercising this right more proactively?

Much more money needs to be pumped in, especially in acquiring cutting-edge technologies to sharpen the arsenals of our intelligence agencies  at the Centre and state levels. A well-defined command-and-control mechanism has to be put in place to deal with such attacks in the fut


http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/defence-bases-on-high-alert/182479.html
Defence bases on high alert
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 11

Sensing that defence installations along the India-Pakistan border are of late becoming the prime target of terrorists from across the border, particularly after the Pathankot attack, India has decided to continue to put them on “high alert”.

This was decided today during a high-level security review meeting, which was chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and attended by top brass of security establishment, including NSA and IB chiefs.

Singh also met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj amid uncertainty over the Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level talks scheduled for January 15 in Islamabad.

Sources in the MHA said the 20-minute one-on-one meeting was held on Swaraj’s request. However, offices of both Singh and Swaraj did not comment on the issues discussed. However, all terror-related information and inputs about Pakistan-based terrorist groups are provided by MHA to MEA whenever India-Pakistan meets to discuss bilateral issues.

An MHA official said: “Since intelligence inputs suggest possibility of further terror attacks by groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba, all sensitive locations where Army and Air Force establishments are located along the India-Pakistan border have been put on high alert.”


http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/india-ready-to-pay-more-for-better-defence-equipment/story-NHBPXN0sRzTwkMRm30ZGWP.html

India ready to pay more for better defence equipment

    HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi |  Updated: Jan 11, 2016 23:06 IST


The Union government approved on Monday new rules for procuring defence equipment that pave the way for higher spending, in a stark departure from present protocol which dictates that the lower bidder be selected for weapons and systems supply.

The Defence Procurement Procedure-2016, to be notified within two months, will also not require foreign vendors to invest in the indigenous defence sector for contracts worth less than Rs 2,000 crore, up from the existing ceiling of Rs 300 crore. The move could hit smaller businesses in the country.

Shortly after the defence acquisition council approved the new DPP on Monday, defence minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters that changes in the L1 (lowest bidder) policy would be allowed in specific cases if the weapons came with additional capabilities over the stated requirements of the military.

He said additional weightage would be given to the vendors under the “enhanced performance parameters” to be part of global tenders issued by the defence ministry.

Parrikar explained, “If an air defence gun can fire 1,000 rounds, I will prefer the one that can fire 1,200 rounds. Though my requirement may be met by the previous gun, but certain additional points will be given to the superior gun.”

He said India will be willing to pay 10% more for the better equipment. Calling it an enabling provision, Parrikar said the move would benefit the country as if a particular firm was unable to secure the 10% advantage, it could quote a lower price to stay competitive.

Parrikar said the existing offset policy of foreign vendors being required to invest 30% of the value of all contracts worth `300 crore was being revised as the country did not have the capacity. He also said that the cost of equipment went up by 17% due to the offset clause.

“Offset deals worth $5 billion have already been signed and deals worth up to $12 billion are in the pipeline. Absorbing that will take at least 15-20 years,” he said. The minister said a decision on the government’s blacklisting policy and appointing arms agents would be taken separately.

Parrikar said the new policy had provisions to speed up defence procurements by discarding some provisions that led to duplication of efforts. He said Make in India would be the cornerstone of the new policy and a new category of India-designed, developed and manufactured (IDDM) products for defence purchases had been introduced where 40% indigenous content had to be locally developed.

The defence minister also said that the government would necessitate a pre-audit for strategic partnerships forged by foreign firms with Indian companies to produce defence equipment like fighters, choppers and warships. However, the policy for strategic partners will be announced later.

New protocol

The new procurement policy will also not require foreign vendors to invest in indigenous defence sector for contracts worth less than Rs 2,000 crore, up from the existing ceiling of Rs 300 crore. The move could hit smaller businesses in the country.

The exception to the lowest bidder rule will be allowed only in cases where the additional funds – up to 10% -- is to be shelled out for a better-spec weapon or system.

The minister said a decision on the government’s blacklisting policy and appointing arms agents would be taken separately
The Union government approved on Monday new rules for procuring defence equipment that pave the way for higher spending, in a stark departure from present protocol which dictates that the lower bidder be selected for weapons and systems supply.

The Defence Procurement Procedure-2016, to be notified within two months, will also not require foreign vendors to invest in the indigenous defence sector for contracts worth less than Rs 2,000 crore, up from the existing ceiling of Rs 300 crore. The move could hit smaller businesses in the country.

Shortly after the defence acquisition council approved the new DPP on Monday, defence minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters that changes in the L1 (lowest bidder) policy would be allowed in specific cases if the weapons came with additional capabilities over the stated requirements of the military.

He said additional weightage would be given to the vendors under the “enhanced performance parameters” to be part of global tenders issued by the defence ministry.

Parrikar explained, “If an air defence gun can fire 1,000 rounds, I will prefer the one that can fire 1,200 rounds. Though my requirement may be met by the previous gun, but certain additional points will be given to the superior gun.”

He said India will be willing to pay 10% more for the better equipment. Calling it an enabling provision, Parrikar said the move would benefit the country as if a particular firm was unable to secure the 10% advantage, it could quote a lower price to stay competitive.

Parrikar said the existing offset policy of foreign vendors being required to invest 30% of the value of all contracts worth `300 crore was being revised as the country did not have the capacity. He also said that the cost of equipment went up by 17% due to the offset clause.

“Offset deals worth $5 billion have already been signed and deals worth up to $12 billion are in the pipeline. Absorbing that will take at least 15-20 years,” he said. The minister said a decision on the government’s blacklisting policy and appointing arms agents would be taken separately.

Parrikar said the new policy had provisions to speed up defence procurements by discarding some provisions that led to duplication of efforts. He said Make in India would be the cornerstone of the new policy and a new category of India-designed, developed and manufactured (IDDM) products for defence purchases had been introduced where 40% indigenous content had to be locally developed.

The defence minister also said that the government would necessitate a pre-audit for strategic partnerships forged by foreign firms with Indian companies to produce defence equipment like fighters, choppers and warships. However, the policy for strategic partners will be announced later.

New protocol

The new procurement policy will also not require foreign vendors to invest in indigenous defence sector for contracts worth less than Rs 2,000 crore, up from the existing ceiling of Rs 300 crore. The move could hit smaller businesses in the country.

The exception to the lowest bidder rule will be allowed only in cases where the additional funds – up to 10% -- is to be shelled out for a better-spec weapon or system.


The minister said a decision on the government’s blacklisting policy and appointing arms agents would be taken separately

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