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Saturday, 16 April 2016

From Today's Papers - 16 Apr 2016

36 Rafales for Rs 59,000 cr
India works out differences with France on purchase of fighter jets
Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 15
India has finalised the deal to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets from Dassault aviation of France after negotiating teams from either side narrowed down their differences.

New Delhi has agreed to pay 7.89 billion euros ( Rs 59,000 crore) for the deal, sources have confirmed. The Indian team has managed to bring down the deal price by 11 billion euros.

This comes four months after PM Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande signed a memorandum of understanding to purchase the jets.

It was earlier expected that the final deal would be clinched in May. The first set of jets would be delivered within 18 to 20 months. The Indian Air Force, faced with a dwindling fleet, urgently needs new fighter jets.

The deal comes with the clause of delivering 50 per cent offsets that will create business worth Rs 22,000 crore for Indian companies.

Offsets are obligations which India lays down on foreign firms to mandatorily invest a specific percentage of the contract in procuring raw material and systems from within country.

French companies would provide aeronautics and electronics technology under the offset obligation to Indian firms. French companies Safran and Thales will join Dassault in providing radars, thrust-vectoring for missiles and material for electronics.

The IAF has told the MoD that it needs at least 80 Rafale-type multi-role jets to be battle ready in the next few years. The IAF has conveyed the need for five squadrons and estimated a squadron at 16 jets each.
India not willing to resume talks: Pak
New York, April 15
India is “not forthcoming” in resuming comprehensive dialogue with Pakistan and such an attitude is “impeding” prospects of normalisation of bilateral relations, Pakistan’s envoy to the UN has said.

Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi told a group of students and faculty members from the US Army War College last week that despite a positive start following the formation of the Narendra Modi government, India suspended talks between the two countries on “flimsy grounds and set unacceptable pre-conditions” for their revival.

Lodhi said in spite of Pakistan’s call to resume broad-based, comprehensive dialogue, “India was still not forthcoming”, a press release by the Pakistan Mission at the UN stated.

“This attitude was impeding prospects of normalisation between the two countries,” the release said. Lodhi said defeating terrorism, growing the economy and building a peaceful neighbourhood were among Pakistan’s top priorities, including promoting peace and security in Afghanistan and normalising relations with India on the basis of resolution of outstanding disputes. — PTI
At UN, India slams use of ‘hidden veto’ to block ban on terrorists
United Nations, April 15
India has slammed the use of “hidden veto” and demanded accountability, saying the UN’s general members are “never ever” informed of the reason for not acceding to requests for sanctioning terrorists, days after China blocked India’s bid to ban Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin criticised the “anonymity” surrounding the functioning of the UN Security Council’s al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee saying the general UN membership was kept in the dark on how the council’s 15 members decided on requests made by other nations to sanction terrorists.

“The procedures of unanimity and anonymity of the al-Qaida, Taliban and IS Sanctions Committees need to be revisited. Currently, they result in a lack of accountability,” Akbaruddin told the UN Security Council in an open debate on “Threats to International Peace and Security Caused by Terrorist Acts” here.

Against the backdrop of China last month again blocking India’s bid to ban the Pathankot terror attack mastermind in the UN Sanctions Committee, Akbaruddin said each of the 15 members in the committee now had a veto.

Without naming China, he said none except these 15 members were told of who had wielded the veto in a specific instance. He said the sanctions committees needed to foster tangible support for greater responsiveness to member states’ requests for preventive listings to counter-terror. “They also need to follow up complaints against violations by listed individuals and entities more vigorously,” he said. — PTI
We don’t treat you as enemy, Parrikar to tell China today
Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 15
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, when he leaves for China tomorrow, will carry an important message for Beijing’s top leadership: “We don’t treat you as an enemy and nor does India equate China and Pakistan.”

Parrikar, who was scheduled to leave on April 17, has advanced his visit by a day so that he can fly Air India instead of flying out on a Chinese airline the next day. He also opted out of using a personal jet. He will be in Shanghai to meet the Indian business community before flying off to Beijing.

In China, his meetings with the government start on April 18 where he would tell the leadership that India does not hyphenate Pakistan-China and both are separate countries for New Delhi, said sources while telling the key agenda points for Parrikar’s meetings.

He will address issues of cooperation in the Indian Ocean. China and India already conduct coordinated anti-piracy patrols along the Yemen and North-East Africa coastline of the ocean. China is sensitive to maintain security of the sea lines of communications used by merchant ships as millions of tonnes of its crude oils pass very close to India’s west coast and also close to the Andaman and Nicobar islands on the east edge of Bay of Bengal.

Parrikar and his high-level team will be discussing expansion of military exchanges at senior levels and allow each other’s officers into top military institutions like the National Defence College in Delhi.

China is preparing to send its troops for UN peacekeeping mission and India has more than 50 years of experience in such missions.

The Indian delegation will be meeting Chinese premier Li Keqiang followed by a meeting with General Fan and latter with Defence Minister Chang Wanquan. Parrikar will also visit the headquarters of the Chengdu Military area command which is tasked to face India.

He shall be accompanied by Defence Secretary G Mohun Kumar, Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, Vice Chief of the Indian Air Force Air Marshall BS Dhanoa and Chief of the Navy’s Western Command Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba.
Tearful adieu to Major Deswal in Jhajjar
Tribune News Service

Jhajjar, April 15
Heart-rending scenes were witnessed as the body of martyr Major Amit Deswal (31) arrived at his residence in HUDA Sector-6 here today. Major Deswal was killed in an encounter with terrorists in Manipur on Wednesday night

Amit’s mother Vedvati and wife Neeta cried, while his three-year-old son Arjun was unaware of the tragedy that had struck the family. The body was brought by an Army chopper.

Wrapped in the Tricolour, the body was later taken to his native Surheti village, about 12 km from here, where his younger brother Ankit Deswal lit the pyre. A contingent of the Army reversed arms and fired a volley of shots in the air to bid farewell to the departed soul.

Apart from representatives of various social and non-political organisations, former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Agriculture Minister Om Prakash Dhankar, MLAs Geeta Bhukkal, Raghuvir Kadian and Naresh Kaushik, DGP KP Singh and other administrative officers paid tributes to the martyr by laying wreaths on his body.

Retired Subedar Rishiraj Deswal, inconsolable father of Amit, said his son had laid down his life for the sake of the nation and he was proud of his son.

Maj Amit of 21 Para SF was killed in a gun battle with ZUF militants in the densely-forested Nungba area during a combing operation undertaken by the Rashtriya Rifles and Special Forces personnel.

“Amit, who was born on January 15, 1985, was so passionate about serving the nation that he had started preparations for competitive examinations after 12th class and qualified CDS examination at the age of 19 years in 2005,” said Amit’s uncle Shamsher Singh.

He maintained Amit got commissioned in 2006 and his first posting was with an Artillery unit. He had secured ‘Commando Daggar’ during ‘Ghatak’ course after joining the elite Para unit in January 2011. Amit had last visited his home in Jhajjar in February to attend his brother’s marriage.
Militants desperate to infiltrate from across LoC: Indian Army
Jammu: With infiltration bids from across the LoC showing a substantial decline, militants are now adopting a new tactic of recruiting locals, an army official on Friday said.

Col SD Goswami, PRO Defence, Northern Command said the militants so far were using traditional infiltration routes but they are looking into some other areas for sneaking into India.

"Seeing that infiltration is not really taking place and that the number of militants is dwindling, they have started new tactics of trying to recruit locals," he said.

He also said that social media and its blatant use by terrorists groups and separatists alike is emerging as a challenge from the security point of view.

"The security situation of J&K is at an important cross road of transcending from conflict stabilisation to conflict resolution domain," he said.

"The other areas are being monitored by ground sensors, thermal imagers and battle field surveillance radars.

Surveillance devices provide signatures of the movement of terrorists in real time and enable troops to take appropriate action," he said.

According to Colonel Goswami, infiltration attempts have shown a decline from 221 in 2014 to 92 in 2015. In 2011, there were 247 infiltration attempts, followed by 264 in 2012 and 277 in 2013.

He said that 13 infiltrating terrorists were killed in 2012, followed by 38 in 2013, 52 in 2014 and 37 in 2015.

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