Yuva Sai Sagar

Online news channel!

Tag: indian-army

Pak violated ceasefire 99 times along LoC post-surgical strike: Indian Army

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistani troops have violated the ceasefire 99 times along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, targeting Indian posts and civilian areas, after the surgical strike by the army on PoK-based terrorist launching pads.”Pakistani troops have violated the ceasefire along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir 99 times after the surgical strike by Indian Army troops on terror launch pads in PoK,” a senior Army officer on Friday. The officer said there have been 83 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the LoC in Jammu region falling under 16 Corps area. As many as 16 ceasefire violations have been recorded along the LoC in Kashmir region falling under 15 corps area, he said.The worst-ever Pakistani shelling targeting civil population took place on November 1 when eight persons, including two children and four women, were killed and 22 others injured along the IB and the LoC in five sectors of J&K, forcing Indian troops to give befitting reply by destroying 14 Pakistani posts and killing two of their troopers. The state government had closed over 400 schools along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu region in wake of the ongoing heavy cross-border firing.A total of 18 people, including 12 civilians, were killed and more than 83 suffered injuries in Pakistani shelling and firing along IB and LoC in Jammu. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had on Wednesday asked the army personnel posted along the Line of Control to remain alert and give a befitting response to any “misadventure” from across the border. “While complimenting their valour and fortitude, which Parrikar said was the entire nation’s pride, he also impressed upon the soldiers to remain in a very high state of alert to give a befitting response to any misadventure from across,” the officer said.

Manohar Parrikar to visit Kashmir, pay homage to India’s first Param Vir Chakra recipient

Manohar Parrikar to visit Kashmir, pay homage to India’s first Param Vir Chakra recipient

‘);
FB.XFBML.parse();
*/
});

Srinagar: Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar is scheduled to visit Kashmir on Thursday to pay homage to the country’s first Param Vir Chakra recipient Major Somnath on his 69th death anniversary.

File photo of Manohar Parrikar. PTI

File photo of Manohar Parrikar. PTI

The Defence Minister will join senior army officers and other ranks in paying tribute to Major Somnath near the Srinagar Airport in Budgam district, an army official said.

He said Parikkar is likely to be briefed by army officials on the situation along the Line of Control arising due to the ceasefire violations by Pakistan in the wake of
last month’s surgical strikes and the anti-militancy operations in the hinterland.

Major Somnath was the first recipient of the Param Vir Chakra, the highest military honour.

He was awarded the medal posthumously for his bravery in the Kashmir operations in November 1947.

He laid down his life while evicting Pakistani raiders from Srinagar Airport during the war with Pakistan in 1947-48 in Kashmir. He belonged to the 4th Kumaon Regiment.

Heavy-artillery Diwali catches Pak napping

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After September 29, when the Indian Army took the Pakistan army by surprise through the surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), they went into the assault mode again on Saturday.The Indian Army decimated four outposts of the Pakistan army, along the Line of Control (LoC), opposite the Keran sector in north Kashmir. “Four Pakistani posts were destroyed in a massive fire assault in the Keran sector. Heavy casualties inflicted,” tweeted the Army’s Northern Command.Officers privy to the action describe the assault as a coup de maître as the Pakistan army was given no time to respond to the barrage of firepower using heavy-weapon systems. “These four posts were tactically placed and used to facilitate infiltration by the militants,” said an Army officer.Decimating the posts was not an action taken overnight or in a hurry, they said. But the decapitation of the soldier in the Machil sector on Friday proved to be the trigger and the action, which was in the planning stage, was fast-tracked. Earlier on Saturday, a BSF soldier and a woman were injured when the Pakistan army violated ceasefire in Keran sector.“It was a carefully-planned operation. From gathering information to keeping a close vigil on Pakistani posts and watch towers, preparing for the assault and using heavy-weapon systems, everything was carefully planned beforehand,” said an officer.Seven Pakistani posts were chosen for the assault and four were completely destroyed. Under a comprehensive plan, Indian Army troops in strategically located posts launched a multi-pronged offensive to pin down the posts.“Indian troops changed the projectile and trajectory of the mortars in a manner that they directly hit the posts. At the same time, troops opened fire with light, medium and heavy machine guns. It created confusion among the Pakistani troops,” said an officer.After pulverising the posts, the Indian Army used rocket launchers to pin down the posts on the ground. “Rockets were fired from different angles, so that the posts were brought down in quick succession. Later, flat-projectile weapon systems were used to ensure that the enemy suffers heavy casualty and none of the troops guarding the posts flee,” said an officer.The difference in the surgical strikes and the destruction of posts was that the Indian Army did not cross the LoC in the Keran sector on Saturday, while it went deep into PoK for the surgical strike on (September 29.)“On Saturday, we maintained an element of surprise. After beheading our soldier, Pakistan might have been preparing for surgical strikes from our side. But we carried out the action in such a manner that their posts were destroyed and inflicted huge casualties by using fire power without crossing the LoC,” said another officer.Figures reveal that Pakistanis have carried out 57 ceasefire violations on the borders since the surgical strike. Around 405 incidents of cross-border firing have taken place along the border in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015, resulting in the death of 16 civilians. Of these, 253 incidents of cross-border firing have taken place along the International Border and 152 along the LoC.

Bittter Diwali: No exchange of sweets by Indo-Pak jawans in Attari border amidst heightened tension

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a departure from the past, BSF did not exchange sweets and greetings with Pakistani Rangers at Indo-Pak Attari/Wagah border on Diwali with the move coming in the wake of the heightened tension between the two countries. The exchange of sweets on Diwali did not happen, a BSF official, without elaborating further, said.Both BSF and the Pakistani Rangers have in the past followed the tradition of exchanging sweets and gifts on national festivals like Diwali and Eid, as well as on the occasion of the Independence day functions of the two neighbouring countries.However, during the past 2-3 years, the border guarding forces on either side have not exchanged sweets on few occasions. This year, the BSF’s decision comes in the backdrop of the heightened tension between the two nations with growing incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border, especially after the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes targeting terror launch pads in PoK.

BSF not to exchange sweets with Pak Rangers at Attari border this Diwali

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amidst the escalating tension between India and Pakistan, the Border Security Force (BSF) will not be exchanging sweets with the Pakistan Rangers at the Attari-Wagah Border on the occasion of Diwali on Sunday. This move by the BSF is in protest to the growing incidents of ceasefire violations across the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border.Ever since the Indian Army on September 29th carried out surgical strikes targeting terror launch pads in PoK, ceasefire violations are a daily norm along the LoC and five Indians, including four security personnel, have been killed and 34 injured since. The Indian Army yesterday launched retaliatory fire assaults at Pakistan Army positions, inflicting massive damage across the border by destroying four Pakistani posts in a massive assault across the Line of Control (LoC) in Keran Sector of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir.An Indian soldier was also killed on Friday and his body was mutilated by terrorists in an attack near the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. The army had said “the incident will be responded to appropriately”, adding the attackers had fled into Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir “under the cover of heavy firing by Pakistan army”. Sepoy Mandeep Singh, who died in the attack, was 27 years old. The attack took place under cover fire provided by the Pakistan Army. One terrorist was killed in the strike.On October 21, the BSF killed seven Pakistan Rangers and a terrorist in Kathua and on October 25, around three Pakistani Army personnel were reportedly killed in retaliatory firing by Indian troops in the Noushera sector of Rajouri district.

BSF jawan killed in ceasefire violation by Pakistan in J&K’s Machil sector

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Besides an Indian Army soldier, a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan also lost his life in the ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Machhal sector of Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday. Last night, in an encounter close to the Line of Control in Machhal sector, an Indian Army soldier lost his life and a terrorist was also neutralised.During the encounter, a terrorist mutilated the body of the soldier before fleeing into Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), supported by covering fire from Pakistan Army posts. “This barbarism is a true reflection which pervades official and non-official organisation across the border. This act will invite an appropriate response,” the Indian Army said in a statement. Meanwhile, heavy mortar shelling by Pakistan has been reported in Kathua and Abdullian in RS Pura sector of Jammu and Kashmir. Indian troops are giving a befitting response to the ceasefire violation initiated by Pakistan. On Friday, A BSF head constable was killed and seven civilians injured as Pakistan Rangers on Thursday continued firing mortar shells and small arms in RS Pura and Arnia sectors, while the Pakistani army resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation along the LoC in Sunderbani, Mendhar and KG sectors. However, A BSF spokesperson, said that a Pakistan Ranger was also killed and another injured in retaliatory fire. Ever since the Indian Army on September 29th carried out surgical strikes targeting terror launch pads in PoK, ceasefire violations are a daily norm along the LoC and five Indians, including four security personnel, have been killed and 34 injured since. On October 21st, the BSF killed seven Pakistan Rangers and a terrorist in Kathua and on October 25, around three Pakistani Army personnel were reportedly killed in retaliatory firing by Indian troops in the Noushera sector of Rajouri district.

India facing two ceasefire violations daily after surgical strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistani forces have been making desperate attempts to retaliate since the surgical strike carried out by the Indian Army last month, which destroyed terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC).The Forces have been kept busy over the last month, as on average, two ceasefire violations have taken place every day since the precision operation by the Indian Army. According to official figures, out of the 115 violations along the border this year, 60 have taken place after India’s offensive last month. The Indian Army hit back after 18 armymen were killed in a terror attack in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on September 18.”There has not been a single day since the surgical strikes when Pakistani forces have not indulged in shelling and firing. We have hit back each time,” said an intelligence official.Sources say the situation will continue to remain volatile as Pakistani forces are now desperate to hit back across the LoC and International Border. (IB) “According to ground intelligence and chatter picked up from across the border, Pakistani forces are pumping in more fidayeens (suicide bombers) to strike at Indian forces,” said an intelligence official.Intelligence inputs also indicate that after India’s surgical strikes, the Pakistani Army has carried out “precautionary deployment” all along the LoC on their side to fill up the gaps, as they fear another round of strikes from Indian forces.”Soon after our raids, they have increased deployment in areas they consider vulnerable. Precautionary deployment is roughly 25 per cent of full mobilisation,” said an intelligence official.It’s not just in the IB, where security forces are facing a stiff challenge but also in the Kashmir Valley that has been in turmoil over the last three months since the killing of local Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by Indian forces.Taking advantage of the situation, Pakistani terror groups have intensified their efforts to recruit local Kashmiri youth into militancy. It is estimated that around 100 youth have gone missing in the last three months, raising fears of a massive local recruitment drive. According to a recent review by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the number of locals joining the outfits could go over 150 this year. “Last year, around 80 young men joined the terror ranks but we expect this to double by the end of the year,” said a top intelligence official.Sources also said that around 4,000 people, who were part of the stone- pelting mobs attacking security forces, have been arrested in the last three months. These were mostly from areas in south Kashmir that have the maximum number of local recruits.Figures released by the Army show that 129 terrorists have been killed this year till now. Contrast this to 2015, when the figure for the entire year was 97. Sources say that most of the kills this year have happened near the LoC as infiltrating terrorists were intercepted.Pak blames India for ceasefire violationsDr Mohammad Faisal, Pakistan’s Director-General (SA & SAARC), summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh on Friday and strongly condemned the “unprovoked ceasefire violations” on October 27 by Indian forces at the working boundary in Shakargarh sector and on the LoC in Nikial sector, resulting in the martyrdom of six civilians, including two women and injuries to 22 civilians, the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Pakistan army violates ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district

Pakistan army violates ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district

‘);
FB.XFBML.parse();
*/
});

Jammu: Pakistan army on Tuesday violated the ceasefire by targeting Indian Army positions with mortar and small arms fire in Noushera sector of Rajouri district, prompting the army to give a “befitting response”.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“From 10 am, Pakistan army resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation in Noushera sector of Rajouri district by targeting our positions with mortar bombs and small arms fire”, an army officer said. He said the army was giving a “befitting response” to the ceasefire violation from the Pakistani side.

“The army is giving a befitting response to the Pakistani army,” the officer said.

There was no report of any loss of life or the property on the Indian side as the firing from both the sides was still going on.

A 6-year-old boy and a BSF Jawan were killed and 10 people including eight civilians were injured in the shelling on Monday when Pakistan rangers targeted over 25 border outposts in the border hamlets along International Border.

There have been over 40 ceasefire violations from the Pakistani side since the Indian side carried out surgical strikes inside Pakistan occupied Kashmir targeting terror launching pads, post the attack on an army camp in Uri on 18 September.

J-K: Pakistan Army violates ceasefire in Noushera sector

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan Army on Tuesday violated the ceasefire by targeting Indian Army positions with mortar and small arms fire in Noushera sector of Rajouri district, prompting the army to give a “befitting response”. “From 10 AM, Pakistan Army resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation in Noushera sector of Rajouri district by targeting our positions with mortar bombs and small arms fire”, an army officer said. He said the army was giving a “befitting response” to the ceasefire violation from the Pakistani side. “The army is giving a befitting response to the Pakistani army,” the officer said. There was no report of any loss of life or the property on the Indian side as the firing from both the sides was still going on. A 6-year-old boy and a BSF Jawan were killed and 10 people including 8 civilians were injured in the shelling yesterday when Pakistan Rangers targeted over 25 Border out Posts in the border hamlets along International Border. There have been over 40 ceasefire violations from the Pakistani side since the Indian side carried out surgical strikes inside Pakistan occupied Kashmir targeting terror launching pads, post the attack on an army camp in Uri on September 18.

1962 Indo-China War Anniversary: Revisiting our crushing defeat and what it means for current relations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>October 20 marks the 24th anniversary of the start of India’s most crushing war defeat. On this day in 1962, China launched its first major war offensive against India, taking then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who had been touting the ‘Hindi-Chin bhai-bhai’ doctrine, and catching Indian troops completely unprepared for the offensive. The Sino-Indian War continued for a month before China declared a ceasefire on November 21. Today, China and India share a relationship that can be best described by the ‘It’s complicated’ Facebook status. At the recent BRICS event, China blocked India’s attempt to name terror groups like JeM and LeT as part of the Goa declaration, only weeks after it had sunk India’s attempt to get Hafeez Saeed named as a global terrorist.These moves have prompted an online backlash against India’s eastern neighbour, with calls to boycott Chinese goods, an idea easier articulated than practised, given the ubiquitous presence of China’s manufacturing complex in most consumer goods. Besides, the WTO agreement also means that India can’t just stop trade relations with China. Here are some facts you ought to know about the Indo-China War of 1962 and what it means for the diplomatic relationship now.Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai – post independence love affairPost-Independence, it was India’s stated policy to maintain a cordial relationship with the People’s Republic of China, with the infamous slogan from 1950s – ‘Hindi-Chin Bhai Bhai’ (Indians and Chinese are like brothers). In 1954, India and China chalked out the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. However, India and China relations were marred by problems.The Tibet ProblemThings turned sour when India granted asylum to the Dalai Lama in 1959. China responded by deploying more troops along the Aksai Chin border. China was unhappy with India providing sanctuary to the Tibetan leader, even more so because Nehru went to the border to receive him. China considered India’s interference as ‘expansionist’ and meddling in their internal affairs.Border DisputesThe border issues of India and China was in two areas. Aksai Chin (along the Western Front AKA the Johnson Line) and Arunachal Pradesh in NE India (along the Eastern front AKA McMahon Line). When Nehru visited China in 1954, he showed Chinese Premier Zhou en Lai the new political map with ‘hard borders’ and expressed concern over Chinese maps showing Indian territory as part of China. Zhou, however, assured Nehru they were old maps and they would be corrected.The start of warThings came to a head on October 20, 1962 when China’s People’s Liberation Army invaded India in Ladakh, northern Uttarakhand and in the east across the McMahon Line. Indian were lulled into believing that there wouldn’t be a war and were not ready by any stretch of imagination. To increase the confusion, China cut telephone lines which prevented the border sentry from getting in touch with headquarters.Seeking helpIndia’s desire for interference from either the USA or the erstwhile USSR didn’t go down well. While Pravada, the Soviet govt’s mouthpiece urged Indian friends and Chinese brothers to negotiate peacefully. That came as a blow to India who considered the USSR their staunch ally. At the same time, the US and USSR were engulfed in the Bay of Pigs crisis. However, it seems that the US did help out with US ambassador to India John Kenneth Galbraith looking into the matter, wroteColonel Anil Athale (retd) for Rediff.com.US Air Force squadrons carried out drops of arms and supplies to Indian soldiers on the battlefront. American aircraft also carried out photo missions which provided India with visuals of the conflict. However, the US-India thaw would end quickly over Uncle Sam’s alleged designs over Kashmir.CeasefireOn November 20, 1962, China finally announced a ceasefire along the entire Sino-Indian border. They promised to withdraw to positions 20 km behind the ‘line of actual control’. There were some minor battles in NEFA and Aksai Chin but for the most part, it signalled an end to fighting.RamificationsThe Sino-Indian war coincided with the Bay of Pigs crisis and the threat of nuclear war distracted the world media’s attention. China made it clear that it only cared about Tibet. Nehru would come in for criticism of his handling, as would the Indian Army for its unpreparedness. China’s decision to carry out a ceasefire earned it some global goodwill, as did its decision to vacate positions.It was a clear sting to the Indian Army’s prestige which would bolster its credentials and also earn back some respect in the Bangla Liberation War of 1971. As for Sino-India relationships, it became clear that India couldn’t hope to upset China without major consequences, a problem that ceases to exist till this day. Nehru’s continued belief that the solution was diplomatic proved to be disastrous, as did the notion that China won’t attack.

DNA Morning Must Reads: SC questions use of religion for vote; Rs 5000 cr black money declared; Karwa Chauth; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Is using religion for votes corruption, asks Supreme CourtIs seeking vote in the name of religion a “corrupt” practice? Or will an appeal by a priest or a cleric to voters of his own community to support a candidate come under the ambit of corrupt practice under the election law? Read more here2. Modi compares Indian Army to Israel; signals end of strategic restraint daysDrawing comparisons between the Indian Army’s surgical strikes to Israel’s actions against its enemies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday gave loud indications that India’s conventional policy of “strategic restraint” is over. Read more here3. Rs 5,000 cr penny stock black money declaredPromoters of penny stock companies and investors who routinely traded in such stocks have declared around Rs 5,000 crore in the recently-concluded Income Declaration Scheme (IDS). Read more here4. Karwa Chauth, the KJo-fied festivalThe age old tradition of viewing your husband through a sieve on Karwa Chauth is fast being replaced by a more glamorous version. Read more here5. Umesh has set benchmark for fast bowlers’ fielding: R SridharGone are the days when the pace bowlers would relay the ball under-arm from the deep in order to protect their injury-prone shoulders. Also a thing of the past is the myth that fast bowlers are poor fielders. Read more here6. This new US Navy destroyer could carry a railgunResembling something that would be more at home in a James Bond movie, The USS Zumwalt is the latest–and largest–destroyer to be inducted into the US Navy. Read more here

Modi compares Indian Army to Israel; signals end of strategic restraint days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Drawing comparisons between the Indian Army’s surgical strikes to Israel’s actions against its enemies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday gave loud indications that India’s conventional policy of “strategic restraint” is over.Sources say that in order to call Pakistan’s bluff on using nuclear weapons, India may change its nuclear doctrine to allow for proportionate or proportionate-plus responses to nuclear attacks while simultaneously building a decisive hard-power edge to signal credibility (deterrence by punishment).Addressing his parivartan rally in Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, Modi, while praising the Army’s valour, said that they have attained the same feat as Israel. “These days, the whole nation is talking about the bravery of our army. Our army is not less than anyone. We used to hear about similar feats from Israel, but today, everyone knows Indian Army is no less capable,” he said. Israel is known for its targeted military strikes against enemy countries and militant outfits.Last June, Israel’s Ambassador in India, Daniel Carmon, while supporting Indian Army’s crossing over to Myanmar to destroy the camps of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang), had said that the international community should respect the right of countries to protect their boundaries and values.Over the past many weeks, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has credited the Prime Minister and the government’s “guts” in authorising the raids, which were seen as a response to the attack in Uri, in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistani terrorists. The Congress has called these statements as BJP’s attempts at drawing political capital out of the army operation ahead of assembly elections in UP.Underscoring his commitment to the welfare of armed forces, Modi said that his government had fulfilled its promise of One Rank, One Pension for ex-servicemen, an issue which he said had been hanging for over 40 years.Previous governments, he said, duped the people by making tall claims and some of them even allocated Rs 200 crore-500 crore, but never did an analysis of the cost burden and how it could be executed.”I did it and was puzzled to find that the economic burden kept rising. It worked out to be more than Rs 10,000 crore,” he said, adding that it was difficult for any government to make such a big allocation in one go. Modi said he spoke to the armed forces and offered to release the money in four instalments to which they agreed. “Over Rs 5,500 crore in first installment has been given. A promise hanging fire for the last 40 years has been fulfilled,” he said.

Kashmir unrest: Despite surgical strikes, militancy not in the wane in Valley, says Lt Gen Dua

Srinagar: The Indian Army said on Tuesday that despite surgical strikes carried out by its forces across the Line of Control in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir last month, the presence of militants along the LoC is still intact and many “desperate attempts” by militants trying to sneak into Kashmir valley have been foiled.

Lt Gen Satish Dua. Sameer Yasir/FirstpostLt Gen Satish Dua. Sameer Yasir/Firstpost

Lt Gen Satish Dua. Sameer Yasir/Firstpost

General Officer Commanding of Army’s 15 Corps, Lt General Satish Dua, said that Army is prepared for any “misadventure” by militants, along the LoC, and its preparedness to deal with the situation is of the highest degree. He also said that there has been an increase in attempts of infiltration made by militants in the recent past.

“We do see the presence of militants across the Line of Control, the very fact that there are infiltrations at different places and several such encounters have taken place [they are still there] and continue to try to infiltrate. We are prepared for any eventuality,” Dua said after inaugurating Chinar 9 Jawan Club at Boniyar.

The 9 club, inaugurated by Lt Gen Dua on Tuesday, aims at the constructive engagement of the youth of Kashmir and provides an ideal platform to the youth to interact, rejuvenate, play games and to develop their skill for holistic growth in a stress-free environment, a press statement issued here said.

These clubs which have come across the valley are being seen as an effort to reach out to youngsters in Kashmir. The Army has set up the clubs – centres called Naujawan Clubs where vocational training is imparted free of cost. A total of 70 Naujawan clubs is being set up across the Valley which also doubles up as centres for recreation and exchange of ideas.

Dua said that there has been no change in the way militants have tried to infiltrate into Kashmir valley and this year has been no exception.

“In recent weeks we have noticed movements along the LoC. Yes, there is an increase in attempts of infiltration the Indian Army is today and geared up to meet any such challenge,” Lt Gen Dua said.

Kashmir has been witnessing an unrest since July after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani and Army has been trying to reach out to the disaffected youths in villages and towns of south Kashmir. The unrest has left at least 91 civilians dead, more than 14,000 injured while around 7,000 protesters have been detained to bring normalcy on the simmering streets.

When asked how did he see the resentment among the youth towards the Army in general, the outgoing Core Commander of the 15 Corps, said that he did conceive the idea that there has been a lot of agitation and anger by the youth towards the security forces but it was not directed at Army.

“I don’t believe and agree with the fact that there is a trust deficit between youth and the army because at several places the army has gone and operated in the recent past, we haven’t had the problem with the youth at all. Kashmiryat is still alive,” the Chinar Corps commander said.

On the rising number of youth joining militancy in south Kashmir, Lt Gen Dua said that there is no exact count available on how many boys have joined militancy because the forces have been rounding up people (stone pelters) and many have fled their homes.

“Some of the boys have been hiding they are not living in their own houses and the agencies have not been able to figure out how many of them have joined militancy. Yes, some of the boys have joined militant ranks exact number will be known later,” he said.

He said the weapon snatching incidents in south Kashmir have been a cause of concern and there are small pickets of the police where they are not able to take care of the situation when militants arrive there to snatch weapons. But it is being jointly addressed with the police, Lt Gen Dua said.

Ceremonial military send-off of Pak firing martyr Sudees Kumar held in Rajouri

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Army bid adieu to sepoy Sudees Kumar on Monday, who lost his life in a ceasefire violation by Pakistan Army on the Line of Control (LOC) in Rajouri district. A wreath laying ceremony was held to honour the martyr who laid down his life on Sunday while guarding the nation’s frontiers along the LoC in Rajouri sector, a Defence spokesman said.He said the ceremonial military send-off was held in Rajouri on Monday evening. “General Officer Commanding of 25 Infantry Division laid a wreath on behalf of Lt Gen A K Sharma, GOC, 16 Corps,” he said.The mortal remains of the soldier would be sent to his native village for performing the last rites, the spokesman said. Kumar belonged to Sambhal district in Uttar Pradesh and is survived by his elderly parents, wife and a four-month-old daughter.He had joined Indian Army in 2013 and became the first person from his village to do so. “He was a thorough professional and loved his job to the core. The nation will remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifice and his devotion to duty will continue to motivate the future generations,” the spokesman added.

He left us for nothing but nation, say slain Sepoy Sudees Kumar’s family

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Indian Army jawan Sepoy Sudees Kumar of the 6 Rajputana Rifles has left his family mourning after he sacrificed his life in the line of duty during the ceasefire violations conducted by the Pakistani troops on Sunday along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir. “We got a call in the evening and were informed about the sad news,” said Sudees’ father. “He never left us and always had a smile on his face before serving his duty,” he added. “An Army Jawan, Sepoy Sudees Kumar was martyred when Pakistan Army initiated indiscriminate and unprovoked firing on Indian Army posts along the Line of Control (LC) in Rajauri sector on 16 October 2016,” said Defence Spokesperson Lt Col Manish Mehta. Kumar (24) is survived by his wife.”The soldier hailed from Sambhal District of Uttar Pradesh. The area in which incident took place falls in Tarkundi belt of Rajouri district,” Lt Col Mehta added. The ceasefire violations by Pakistan took place on a day when India hosted leaders of a number of countries, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, for the BRICS and BIMSTEC Summit. Pakistan opened unprovoked fire in Naushera Sector to which the Indian troops gave a befitting reply. Following the September 18 Uri terror army base attack that killed 19 soldiers and India’s subsequent surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), there has been a flare-up on the LoC with both nuclear-armed countries intermittently trading heavy fire.

Army jawan killed as Pakistan violates ceasefire second time in a day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An Indian army jawan was killed as Pakistani troops violated ceasefire twice in the day on Sunday along the LoC in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir. The ceasefire violations by Pakistan took place on a day when India hosted leaders of a number of countries, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, for BRICS and BIMSTEC Summits.”There was ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops along LoC in Rajouri sector resulting in death of a soldier today,” a senior Army officer said about the incident in the evening. The area in which incident took place falls in Tarkundi belt of Rajouri district.Sepoy Sudeesh Kumar (24), hailing from Sambhal district of Uttar Pradesh, was killed when Pakistani Army started indiscriminate and unprovoked firing on Indian Army posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajauri sector, a defence spokesman said.Earlier on Sunday morning too, there was unprovoked firing by Pakistani troops who used small arms to target Indian forward areas in Naushera sector of the same district along the LoC, Defence PRO said.Indian troops guarding the LoC retaliated, he said, adding no one was injured in that exchange.A senior Army officer said there have been over 25 ceasefire violations along the LoC since the surgical strikes by Indian Army in PoK on September 29 to dismantle terror launching pads. In the firing and shelling, five civilians and four armymen have sustained injuries in Poonch district. Nine Pakistani armymen have been injured in retaliatory action by Indian troops along LoC.On October 8, Pakistani troops had fired on forward Indian posts along Mendhar-Krishnagati sector in Pooch district resulting in injuries to one jawan. On October 5, Pakistani troops had violated the ceasefire thrice and resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling targeting several Indian posts and civilian areas in three sectors of Poonch and Rajouri districts.Pakistani troops had on October 4 targeted 10 forward areas with mortar shelling and firing with five ceasefire violations on Indian posts and civilian areas along LoC in four areas of Jammu, Poonch and Rajouri districts. They fired mortar bombs and used small and automatic weapons in Jhangar, Kalsian, Makri in Noushera sector of Rajouri district and Gigriyal, Platan, Damanu, Channi and Palanwala areas of Pallanwala sector of Jammu district and Balnoi, Krishnagati in Poonch district.Pakistani troops had on October 3 violated the ceasefire four times and resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling in Saujian, Shahpur-Kerni, Mandi and KG sectors in Poonch district. On October 2, Pakistan resorted to firing and shelling from 1915 hours along LoC in forward areas in Pallanwala belt of Jammu district. On October 1, Pakistani troops had shelled Indian posts and civilian areas with mortar bombs, RPGS and HMGS amid small arms firing along LoC in Pallanwala sector in Akhnoor tehsil of Jammu district. On September 30, Pakistani troops restored to small arms firing along the LoC in Pallanwala, Chaprial, Samnam areas of Akhnoor sector of Jammu district. Almeida said there was one underestimation on his part. “In writing the story, I was aware that a grenade was being dropped in the news cycle. It has since turned out to be a surgical strike followed by a nuclear attack. I do not regret doing this story. In a place like this, that is a two- way street: in return for not exposing your sources, you get a fair reading of the land,” he added.Almeida said global coverage of his name placing on the ECL has rescued him.”A combination of two things rescued me. First, the global coverage, the system here ultimately responds to local concerns. Second, the wider media, battered and fractured by violent convulsions of its own in recent years, mostly united perhaps as much out of self-preservation than indignation,” he said.

Naushera attack: Locals request govt for safety

Sun, 16 Oct 2016-02:08pm , Naushera , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As Pakistan violated the ceasefire in Naushera sector of Jammu and Kashmir, the locals residing in the village feared for their lives and urged the government to provide adequate safety to them. “The firing started early in the morning, the entire population of the village is hiding. We are requesting the government to provide us a safe place to live in,” said one of the villagers. The ceasefire violation hampered the lives of the locals residing in the area. The villagers here are hiding in their homes, shops have been closed and nobody has moved out for their work as usual. Earlier today, Pakistan opened unprovoked fire yet again in Naushera sector of Jammu and Kashmir to which the Indian troops gave a befitting reply.A heavy gun-battle is presently underway and intermittent firing has been consistent since this morning from Pakistan’s side. This comes after a spree of ceasefire violations last week by Pakistan after the surgical strikes conducted by the Indian Army on September 29 on terror launchpads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan Army warns India against any ‘misadventurism’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan Army on Friday warned India that any “misadventurism” by it will be met with the “most befitting response” and dismissed as a “hoax” India’s assertion of surgical strikes across the LoC in Pakistan- occupied Kashmir to destroy terrorist launchpads.During a Corps Commanders’ Conference presided over by army chief Gen Raheel Sharif, the Pakistan Army rejected the Indian stand “as an attempt to divert attention” from Kashmir.”Rejecting the absurd Indian claims of hoax surgical strikes as an attempt to divert world’s attention, away from brutalities being committed by Indian Army against innocent Kashmiris, the forum resolved that any attempt of misadventurism and irresponsible act will be met with the most befitting response,” the army said in a statement.The latest reaction from the Pakistan Army came nearly two weeks after India said it carried out “surgical strikes” across LoC and destroyed terrorist launchpads on September 28. India also said that it inflicted heavy casualties on terrorists and their supporters.Tensions have ran high between the two countries since the terror attack on an Indian army base in Uri on September 18. Pakistan has denied any surgical strikes took place, but said two of their soldiers were killed in cross-border firing by Indian Army.During Friday’s meeting, Pakistan Army expressed “complete satisfaction over operational preparedness of the troops.” Gen Shareef reiterated Pakistan Army’s resolve to defend the country against any threat, according to the statement.The participants resolved to continue sustained and focused combing and intelligence-based operations across the length and breadth of Pakistan to uproot terrorism harmonising it with implementation of National Action Plan (NAP) to address extremism and other causes of terrorism.

Pak hackers target Delhi Police website only to fail

Fri, 14 Oct 2016-11:39am , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistani hackers have tried to mount attacks on the Delhi Police’s website post surgical strikes by the Indian Army in PoK, but in vain. “Though the Pakistani hackers have made attempts to breach our systems, they haven’t been successful,” said a police officer.”Our system is hack-proof. Hackers have tried to gain access to the GPS server of PCRs but have not succeeded,” the officer said.Before January 26, hackers had tried to break into the system, but the attempt was foiled and the website was shut down as a precautionary measure and was later restored, the officer said.A special investigative team had been formed to identify the hackers who were traced in Russia and Germany. The security system was then bolstered.

Strike One

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday rejected claims by the Congress party that the Indian Army had conducted surgical strikes inside Pakistan in the past. He added that while the credit for the strikes goes to the armed forces and the people of India, the government should be “cheered” for its “bold” decision.”In about two years as the Defence Minister, I have not learnt about any surgical strikes any time earlier,” said Parrikar, while speaking at an event organised by the Forum for Integrated National Security (FINS) in Bandra.”What probably they are referring to is the action taken by border action teams. These are common practices across the globe and also in the Indian Army. The local commander takes punitive action against the opponent who has been troubling him to settle scores. It is not official action approved by the government,” he added, stating that these reports were sent to the government subsequently.Parrikar said the decision for surgical strikes was taken by the government. “This was announced by the army itself. If we were to take political credit, the Defence Minister would have announced it,” he said, calling the action a “one-time operation”.The minister added that “there was a burden of helplessness among the 127 crore citizens and 13.5 lakh army personnel of growing frustration that the enemy is continuously bleeding us through thousand cuts. The enemy does not even bother that there is a hue and cry internationally”. He noted that the steam accumulated over 30 years was vented out after the strikes across the Line of Control (LoC).”The hand of friendship,” Parrikar said, “was probably construed as weakness” when India had tried to patch up with Pakistan, “The country has never thought that strength itself can be a defining force for peace,” he admitted.Referring to threats about unleashing tactical nuclear weapons on India, Parrikar said “we should strengthen ourselves to a level that no one dares challenge us for conventional or non-conventional war”.

‘Vilification campaign against India’: MHA rejects reports of denying visa to Pak doctors

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Home Ministry on Wednesday strongly refuted the “vilification campaign” that a delegation of Pakistani doctors were denied visa by India, saying it never received any such application from any medical practitioner belonging to the neighbouring country. A senior Home Ministry official said Pakistan comes under the “Prior Reference Category” (PRC) and anyone wishing to visit any conference in India has to apply well in advance for consideration of his or her visa application.”Reaction time for PRC visa application is minimum 10 days. So, one has to apply well in advance for consideration of his or her visa application. The fact of the matter is we have never received any visa application from any doctor from Pakistan to attend any conference in India. It is utter lie to blame us that we have denied them visa. It is nothing but a vilification campaign against India,” the official told PTI.The delegation of Pakistani doctors was scheduled to attend a four-day global meet on cancer care beginning in New Delhi on Wednesday, but could not do so as its members were unable to get visas, organisers claimed. Pakistani sources termed it as “unfortunate”.The conference, organised by International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies (IFHNOS) and Foundation for Head-Neck Oncology (FHNO), is being attended by doctors from around 15 foreign countries.When asked at a press conference if there were delegates from Pakistan, the organisers said, “They were scheduled to participate but could not make it as they could not get the visas.”Organising Chairman of the conference Dr Alok Thakar said, “Some of the doctors were to present papers at the conference.” The news comes amidst escalating tension between India and Pakistan in the wake of Uri attack and subsequent surgical strike by Indian Army on terror launch pads in PoK.

MHA refutes ‘vilification campaign’, says it didn’t get visa applications from Pakistani doctors

New Delhi: The Home Ministry on Wednesday strongly refuted the “vilification campaign” that a delegation of Pakistani doctors were denied visa by India, saying it never received any such application from any medical practitioner belonging to the neighbouring country.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

A senior Home Ministry official said Pakistan comes under the “Prior Reference Category” (PRC) and anyone wishing to visit any conference in India has to apply well in advance for consideration of his or her visa application. “Reaction time for PRC visa application is minimum 10 days. So, one has to apply well in advance for consideration of his or her visa application.

“The fact of the matter is we have never received any visa application from any doctor from Pakistan to attend any conference in India. It is utter lie to blame us that we have denied them visa. It is nothing but a vilification campaign against India,” the official told PTI.

The delegation of Pakistani doctors was scheduled to attend a four-day global meet on cancer care beginning here on Wednesday, but could not do so as its members were unable to get visas, organisers claimed. Pakistani sources termed it as “unfortunate”.

The conference, organised by International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies (IFHNOS) and Foundation for Head-Neck Oncology (FHNO), is being attended by doctors from around 15 foreign countries. When asked at a press conference if there were delegates from Pakistan, the organisers said, “They were scheduled to participate but could not make it as they could not get the visas.”

Organising Chairman of the conference Dr Alok Thakar said, “Some of the doctors were to present papers at the conference.”

The news comes amidst escalating tension between India and Pakistan in the wake of Uri attack and subsequent surgical strike by Indian Army on terror launch pads in PoK.

Army foils infiltration bid by militants in Kupwara, Kashmir

Army foils infiltration bid by militants in Kupwara, Kashmir

‘);
FB.XFBML.parse();
*/
});

The Indian Army on Wednesday foiled an infiltration bid by militants from across the Line of Control (LoC) in Tangdhar sector of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir.

“An infiltration bid was foiled by Army in Tangdhar sector,” an Army official said. Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia told IANS that the incident took place at Tangdhar sector.

“A group of heavily armed terrorists was challenged by the troops, forcing them to withdraw back into Pakistan,” the officer said.

He said a search operation had been launched to ensure that no terrorist managed to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir.

With inputs from IANS and PTI

War necessary at times to save humanity: PM Narendra Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Making his first public address after the surgical strikes by the Indian Army in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday started with “Jai Shri Ram” and ended with a note of peace saying “our last refuge should remain with Buddha”.While invoking the symbol of peace, he also said that yudh (war) at times becomes necessary to save humanity. “Hum yudh se Buddh ki ore chale jaaten hain, Yudh bhi kabhi kabhi zaroori hota hai. Yeh desh sudarshan chakradhari ka bhi hai, isi desh me charkha dhari Mohan ki pratigya ko bhi manta hai. Dono tarazuon par balance rakhna hai.” (We move from war to Buddha. Sometimes war is also necessary. This country is also Lord Vishnu’s and also revers Mahatma Gandhi. We have to maintain the balance on the weighing scales),” he said addressing the gathering at Ramlila Samiti Maidan at Lucknow.This is the first time that an incumbent prime minister has stepped out of Delhi for Dussehra celebrations and that too in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, at a time when the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is being accused of politicising the Indian Army’s surgical strikes.

Why has disability pension of defence personnel been halved: Congress hits out at Modi govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Taking the ongoing battle over the surgical strikes by the Army to another level, the Congress on Monday lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for using the sacrifices of the Indian soldiers for his political gains and garner votes in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh and Punjab polls. Addressing a press conference here, party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala re-iterated that the UPA Government in its days had never politicised or beat the drum when they conducted surgical strikes, ‘because those who were supposed to get a strong response got the message and we were satisfied by that’, adding that ‘our brave Armed Forces were behind the victory and our government never tried to take credit for it.’ ‘Sacrifices made the army are being used to garner votes in U.P and Bihar. Our soldiers are being killed and the felicitation of our Defence Minister and posters lauding the Centre being put is a clear example of the government’s intentions,’ he said. Quoting former Army Chiefs, he further said that surgical strikes have been conducted throughout the years, but were never blown out of proportion or made a huge deal about, as they were covert operations with a certain purpose.Maintaining that the steps taken by the Prime Minister following the surgical strikes have been nothing but an insult to the Army, Surjewala called on the Centre to stop using the mission as a weapon for their political gain. Posing a question to the Prime Minister, the Congress leader asked that if he indeed was so concerned about the well being of army personnel, when why was his government so against the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.’Why are you against implementing OROP’ And why have you announced that the disability pensions of defence personnel have been halved since September 30th 2016′ Apologise to the nation and the army and fulfil your OROP promise,’ he said.Meanwhile, in the wake of the escalation of a war of words between the BJP and the Congress following a revelation that the Indian Army had conducted a surgical strike on Pakistani military outposts earlier in 2011, former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid said his former cabinet colleague P. Chidambaram made this disclosure to put the record straight as the incumbent regime was trying to create an impression that the UPA did nothing in its tenure.’This has been said very categorically by former home minister P. Chidambaram and it’s also been validated and repeated by other people. This has been said only for this purpose that an impression was being created by the government of the day that we never did anything when we were in power, I think that was unfair,’ Khurshid told ANI.As per reports, the Indian Army had carried out surgical strikes across the LoC in 2011 in retaliation to a surprise attack on an army post in Gugaldhar ridge in Kupwara in July that year which led to the death of 13 soldiers and beheading of six of them. In revenge, the Indian Army planned Operation Ginger.

Should Indian Army take over running schools, training centres for an incompetent state govt?

Apart from fighting proxy wars and conducting surgical strikes, the Indian Army also runs schools, manages women empowerment centres and handles vocational training centres in Jammu and Kashmir. It runs about 46 schools, of which thirty are in Kashmir and eight each in Ladakh and Jammu regions. About 14,000 students are being educated at primary or higher secondary levels at these establishments. All such activities come within the scope of Operation Sadbhavana.

What was the need for Sadbhavana in the first place?

According to the the army’s Facebook page, “Operation Sadbhavana (Goodwill) was undertaken by the Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir to address the aspirations of people affected by scourge of terrorism, sponsored and abetted by Pakistan. As part of a grand design, an insidious attempt was made by terrorist ‘tanzeems‘ to systematically undermine government officials, target property, public services and symbols of state authority in order to inflict hardship and alienate the local population from the national fabric.”

Simply put, it was part of India’s counter-terrorism strategy. Education coupled with empowerment of the less privileged women and youth was seen as a tool to reduce this alienation and improve social indices in the 1990s.

What is left unsaid is that the failure of successive state governments to create the required education and social infrastructure level forced the army to step in.

Let’s start with a brief report on Sadbhavana activities at eight locations.

Army Goodwill School (AGS), Karu

The school is about 50 kilometres from Leh and is in the midst of virtually nowhere. It was started in 2001 and is the biggest school in eastern ladakh. It has classes from nursery to VIII with 350 students. There are 22 teachers, who are all locals. They are paid a monthly honorarium.

The school has a science and computer laboratory and is affiliated to the Jammu and Kashmir Educational Board. Children are provided with transport and mid-day meals amongst other facilities. Fee for class VI to VIII is Rs 275 per month. Lower classes have a still lower fee. There is also a 50 percent waiver for girls.

Students of possibly the VIth or VIIIth class were asked which place received the highest rainfall in India. Silence!

Teachers outside AGS Karu. Image courtesy: Sanjeev Nayyar

Teachers outside AGS Karu. Image courtesy: Sanjeev Nayyar

Women Empowerment Centre (WEC), Leh

The centre has facilities for computer training, knitting, switching, making of sanitary napkins and carpets.

The most interesting bit is the facility to make low cost sanitary napkins. A recently started initiative, it produces about 25-30 napkins a day which are sold at a nominal rate to locals.

When they were asked how the output could be doubled, they said it will need an investment of about Rs 70,000 for an additional machine. Given how good the cause is, the Centre was asked if it had an 80G income-tax exemption certificate because that is a pre-requisite for most people who donate for noble causes. No, they did not!

WEC requires women to physically work in the Centre. This means homemakers, who could otherwise knit and sew at home, get excluded. This restricts the number of women who can benefit from such Centres.

making sanitary napkins at WEC, Leh. Image courtesy: Sanjeev Nayyar

making sanitary napkins at WEC, Leh. Image courtesy: Sanjeev Nayyar

Army Goodwill School Harka Bahadur, Kargil

The school was started in 1995 and is named after Subedar Harka Bahadur Rana of 1/5 Gorkha Rifles, who saved Kargil for India in 1948.

It is a few kilometres away from the Kargil town, surrounded by hills and with a river flowing below. Very scenic, again in the midst of virtually nowhere.

The school has classes from nursery to Xth. 45 percent of its 444 students are girls. Fee for class 9 and 10 are Rs 250 a month, lower classes lower, with a 50% waiver for girls. The teachers are locals and paid an honorarium.

When one enters the school, there is a completely different feel to it. There were signboards for an indoor games room and auditorium cum motivation hall. The school promoted healthy competition amongst students by regularly declaring a ‘Best Class’ and grouping them into ‘Houses’. The games room had a table-tennis table, carom and chess boards.

The Commanding Officer’s wife is has B.Ed degree and took a keen interest in running the school.

This was also the first school in Ladakh where NCC was introduced. A video of a Kargil Vijay Diwas Cultural Program where children performed to Vande Mataram was also available for viewing.

For a school as good as this, it should be affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Board instead of the Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education. Besides having a better curriculum, a CBSE education will ensure that children going outside the state for further studies will not feel inferior to their counterparts. However, a CBSE affiliation requires fulfilment of conditions which will increase the cost of running the school. So, either the fee or government subsidy has to increase.

Indoor games room. Image courtesy: Sanjeev Nayyar

Indoor games room. Image courtesy: Sanjeev Nayyar

Vocational Training Centre (VTC), Drass

The VTC in village Bhimbhat is a short drive from the Kargil War Memorial. It has facilities for computer training, knitting and sewing.

It was a pleasure to see children walk in from the school and work on any of the seven computers. A local lady, who had undergone formal computer training, taught the students. With the government’s focus on Digital India, it is only a matter of time before broadband connectivity reaches this facility post. The world will only be a click way then.

Children in VTC Drass. Image courtesy: Sanjeev Nayyar

Children in VTC Drass. Image courtesy: Sanjeev Nayyar

Students Hostel, Chushul

Situated at a height of 14,450 feet, Chushul is a small village. It is about a three hour drive from Pangong lake.

The army runs a women empowerment centre with two knitting and sewing machines each and a computer training centre here. They have recently made a community hall as well.

The highlight of this place is a newly made students hostel. Since this government school attracts students from neighbouring villages as well, parents requested the army to make a hostel so that the children had a decent place to stay. The hostel has forty beds, equally divided between boys and girls and a fully equipped kitchen which would be managed by villagers. The hostel was yet to be inaugurated when it was visited by the author.

Newly built hostel building, Chushul. Image courtesy: Sanjeev Nayyar

Newly built hostel building, Chushul. Image courtesy: Sanjeev Nayyar

Military Hospital, Kargil

The hospital was started in 2008. It has specialist doctors, a laboratory, x-ray facility, intensive care unit. It also offers physiotherapy and dental treatment. It has a bed strength of 44.

Although it mainly caters to the needs of the army, civilians often come in for medical consultation or dental treatment. These services are all provided for free. The dental treatment here is popular because the private one is expensive. According to a September 2015 PTI report, the hospital performed 105 major surgeries in the past one year that included a gallbladder surgery.

The hospital’s activities are restricted to its location. Organising mobile medical camps in remote locations or special camps for eye testing are outside its purview because such work is usually done by state governments or NGOs. Having said that, such camps would further help the army win the hearts and minds of local people.

Dental treatment facility . Image courtesy: Sanjeev Nayyar

Dental treatment facility . Image courtesy: Sanjeev Nayyar

Each unit of the army in Durbuk enroute to Pangong Lake, is allocated a fixed number of villages for Sadbhavana. The nature of service varies and depends on what the villagers need.

One of the units provide solar lamps and student coaching apart from sponsoring children’s education in Army Public Schools and cataract operations for the people. It also takes senior citizens for tours, say to Dharamshala and organises veterinary and dental camps.

Another unit organises tree plantation, ice hockey tournament, training classes for vehicle mechanics and drivers. It also sponsors ice hockey kits, archery and cricket sets amongst others.

Every establishment is doing something unique. It was observed that the best practices of a location were not formally shared with others.

The Indian Army has been doing some really good work through Sadbhavana. It has provided employment to locals, educated them and increased household income. More importantly, it has created an avenue whereby the sincere can use it as a stepping stone to progress.

Notwithstanding the above, a time has come to ask ourselves some questions.

1. In a volatile border state like Kashmir, should the Indian Army be so involved in Sadbhavana activities?

2. If it should not, then what type of organisation should undertake Sadbhavana whilst retaining the existing objectives and strategic control by the army?

3. Is it time for the army to involve an educational institution, say Vivekanand Kendra who run thirty six schools in the tribal districts of Arunachal Pradesh, in its schools so that the quality of education improves?

4. With the rising aspirations and awareness levels, should select schools be affiliated to the CBSE Board instead?

5. CBSE schools would mean a higher cost. Would it be appropriate for the defence budget to incur additional cost or should an alternative source of funding be found?

6. Since the army spends about Rs 60 crore per annum on Sadbhavana in Kashmir, can a tax effective mechanism be found so that India Inc funds this expense in whole or at least in part?

It can be argued that running schools and all is the responsibility of the state governments. The reality is that governance in most border hill states leaves a lot to desired, be it Kashmir or Arunachal Pradesh.

It is time the existing organisational and funding framework is reviewed so that the Indian Army single-mindedly focuses on its key objectives.

The author is an Independent Columnist and Management Consultant. He tweets with the handle @sanjeev1927

India should have attacked Pakistan after 2001 Parliament attack: BJP MP RK Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Former Home Secretary RK Singh on Monday said India should have attacked Pakistan after the December 13, 2001 terror strike on Parliament.”After the parliament attack, we had mobilised troops, but did not act. We should have attacked Pakistan, as it was an act of war,” he said.Responding to the reports that the Jaish-e Mohammed may attack Parliament, the former home secretary said, “Just want to convey to them that this will be crossing of ‘red line’.”Indian intelligence agencies have received reports about Jaish-e-Mohammad’s (JeM) plans to execute a 2001 style attack on the Parliament to avenge the Indian Army’s surgical strikes along the Line of Control (LoC), reported by a leading dailyJeM may also target Delhi Secretariat, Akshardham and Lotus Temple, the report added.According to the report, Pakistan’s intelligence agency Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) has given a free hand to JeM to avenge the surgical strikes by the Indian Army.On September 18, four heavily armed JeM militants had stormed a battalion headquarters of the Army in North Kashmir’s Uri town in the wee hours, killing 18 soldiers and injuring 19.In retaliation to the attack, seven terror launch pads across the LoC were targeted by the army on the night of 28 September in a nearly five-hour-long operation during which heli-borne and ground forces were deployed.

Govt reduced Indian army’s disability pension while jawans destroyed terror launchpads across LoC: Report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian government reportedly reduced the Indian Army’s disability pensions while the security forces were destroying terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) on September 28.According to Business Standard’s report, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) issued a letter on September 30 that dramatically reduced pensions for soldiers invalided out from the army after being crippled by battle injuries.The report said that the disability pension has been slashed by Rs 18,000 a month. A young soldier invalided out of service would see his monthly pension slashed from Rs 45,200 to just Rs 27,200.The report added that majors with 10 years of service had been hit even harder as their pension for 100% disability was slashed by over Rs 70,000 a month.Speaking to the daily, a top serving general expressed disappointment and said,”Shocked is an understatement to describe what we feel. Instead of joining us in celebrating the strikes, the MoD has stabbed us in the back.”The Army has been informed about the changes through a draft gazette notification issued by the “Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare” on September 30.Seven terror launch pads across the LoC were targeted by the Indian Army on the night of September 28 in a nearly five-hour-long operation during which heli-borne and ground forces were deployed.The announcement of the strikes came 11 days after the attack by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad on an Indian army camp in Uri in Kashmir.

Attack on Parliament will cross ‘red line’: Fmr Home Secy RK Singh on JeM threat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Home Secy RK Singh reacted to reports of JEM may attack parliament saying such an attack would be crossing of ‘Red line’.”Just want to convey to them that this will be crossing of ‘Red line’. After parliament attack, we had mobilised troops but did not act. We should have attacked Pakistan as it was an act of war,” RK Singh, BJP MP said.To take revenge against the surgical strikes conducted by Indian Army on the terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC), the intelligence agencies have reportedly been tipped off about Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) planning an attack on the Indian Parliament.The report also said that the chatter picked by the agencies suggested that the operatives had been told to attack the Delhi Secretariat, the Akshardham and the Lotus temple if they failed to carry out the suicide attack on parliament.In 2001, Afzal Guru had carried out an attack on the parliament. He was hanged to death on February 9, 2013, following his conviction

Salman Khurshid corners govt, backs Chidambaram’s assertion on Operation Ginger

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the wake of the escalation of a war of words between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress following a revelation that the Indian Army had conducted a surgical strike on Pakistani military outposts earlier in 2011, former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid on Monday said his former cabinet colleague P Chidambaram made this disclosure to put the record straight as the incumbent regime was trying to create an impression that the UPA did nothing in its tenure.”This has been said very categorically by former home minister P Chidambaram and it’s also been validated and repeated by other people. This has been said only for this purpose that an impression was being created by the government of the day that we never did anything when we were in power, I think that was unfair,” Khurshid said.”And just to put the record straight, Mr Chidambaram and others have put this out in the public domain and I am glad it is being done,” he added. Stating that it would be unfair to discuss this matter any further, Khurshid said, “Since we have said that these are operational details that we don’t discuss, we only credit the army and give the army the opportunity to take whatever steps are to be taken whether it was then or now, we will leave it at that.” As per reports, the Indian Army had carried out surgical strikes across the LoC in 2011 in retaliation to a surprise attack on an army post in Gugaldhar ridge in Kupwara in July that year which led to the death of 13 soldiers and beheading of six of them. In revenge, the Indian Army planned Operation Ginger.

Our forces implement government policies, Pakistan follows army’s instructions: Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed on Monday said there is a huge difference between the armed forces of India and Pakistan in that the former implements the government’s policies, while the latter follows their armed forces policies.”There is a big difference between the two. In India, the armed forces implement decisions taken by the government and they have freehand at the border, the Line of Control, etc, where they need it. But, the government plays the main role in framing policies, whereas in Pakistan, their army decides the policy and the Government of Pakistan and the Pakistan Prime Minister works on the instructions of their army,”Ahmed was responding to Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit’s statement that Islamabad does not want a meaningless dialogue with India on Kashmir and that he did not think India can have a Pakistan policy without consulting its armed forces.Basit told the Times of India in an interview, “When it comes to issues concerning India, Afghanistan and other issues which are security related… obviously our army or military has an important role to play. It has important inputs to give. So to expect that it will not have any role in Pakistan’s India policy or Afghanistan policy and other such issues is incorrect. Do you believe India can have a Pakistan policy without consulting its armed forces or US can have a Pakistan or Afghanistan policy without consulting Pentagon? One should not be reading too much into these things.”On ‘Operation Ginger’, Ahmed said, “Obviously there are all proofs of the operation. The date has been disclosed; the then Chief of the Army Staff also confirmed it publically in a television interview; Sharad Pawarji stated that there were four surgical strikes; and The Hindu, in which the report has been published, is a highly respected newspaper. The difference is, however, only that we did not try to cash in on the surgical strikes for political benefit like Modiji and his ministers because our army had done it on the instruction of the government and in the country’s interest. We did not publicise it to win plaudits.”As per a report, the Indian Army did carry out surgical strikes across the LoC in retaliation to a surprise attack on an army post on the Gugaldhar Ridge in Kupwara in July 2011, which led to the death of 13 soldiers and a beheading of six of them. In retaliation, the Indian Army planned ‘Operation Ginger.’Major General (retired) SK Chakravorty, who executed ‘Operation Ginger’, told ANI that the 2011 strike was a response to two cross-border surgical strikes by Pakistan.”They (Pakistan) first conducted an operation, but action was done from their side. To take revenge of that, this operation was conducted,” he said.Major General (retired) Chakravorty admitted that all details regarding the 2011 operation were true and said that even the then DGMO and the then Army Chief General V.K. Singh had information about it, but refused to go into detail about it.

Pampore attack: Gunfight continues near Kashmir’s Pulwama district; 2-3 militants trapped

Pampore attack: Gunfight continues near Kashmir’s Pulwama district; 2-3 militants trapped

‘);
FB.XFBML.parse();
*/
});

The police said on Monday a group of two to three militants were trapped in a building of the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) complex near Pampore.

“The militants were trapped inside a building in the JKEDI complex near Pampore town,” a senior police officer said.

“Security forces surrounded the building and all escape routes of the militants were sealed,” he said.

The officer said that intermittent gunshots were heard inside the complex as the security forces were moving in cautiously to flush out the militants.

A 48-hour long fierce gunfight took place in the same complex in February in which seven people including a civilian, three paramilitary commandos of the Army and three militants were killed.

The JKEDI complex is situated on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, about 10 kilometres from Srinagar.

Traffic on the strategic highway was also suspended.

As revenge against surgical strikes, JeM may target Indian Parliament, says report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To take revenge against the surgical strikes conducted by Indian Army on the terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC), the intelligence agencies have reportedly been tipped off about Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) planning an attack on the Indian Parliament.JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar is thinking about attacking Indian Parliament, again, reported Times of India, saying that the intelligence agency and the Jammu and Kashmir CID had been tipped off about Jaish planning a ‘spectacular attack.’The report also said that the chatter picked by the agencies suggested that the operatives had been told to attack the Delhi Secretariat, the Akshardham and the Lotus temple if they failed to carry out the suicide attack on parliament.In 2001, Afzal Guru had carried out an attack on the parliament. He was hanged to death on February 9, 2013, following his conviction.The Interpol has already issued a fresh Red Corner notice against Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar and his brother Abdul Rauf for their alleged involvement in the attack on the Indian Air Force Base.Meanwhile, NIA is awaiting a response from Pakistan on letters rogatory seeking information and interrogation of Jaish-e- Masood Azhar and his brother Abdul Rauf in connection with the Pathankot air base strike.Last week, civil airports in western states and important ones like those in Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru were put on a high alert as part of the heightened security arrangements following cross-LoC surgical strikes by the Indian army.Seven terror launch pads across the LoC were targeted by the Indian Army on the night of September 28 in a nearly five-hour-long operation during which heli-borne and ground forces were deployed.The announcement of the strikes came 11 days after the attack by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad on an Indian army camp in Uri in Kashmir, after which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the attackers will not go “unpunished” and that they will not be forgiven.

Operation Ginger: Indian Army’s surgical strikes in 2011 killed eight Pakistani soldiers

New Delhi: A deadly surgical strike by the Indian Army in Pakistani territory in 2011 left at least eight Pakistani soldiers dead, with three of them decapitated, a report published on Sunday said.

Details regarding the tit-for-tat attack that took place in the summer of 2011 have come out amid heightened India-Pakistan tensions marked by an Indian surgical strike on 29 September.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The Hindu newspaper citing confidential official documents, video and photographic evidences said India and Pakistan carried out “two of the bloodiest cross-border surgical strikes” killing 13 soldiers.

Five of the slain soldiers were decapitated. The Pakistani soldiers took away the heads of two Indian soldiers and left behind a third badly wounded who died in hospital, the daily said.

In the revenge attack, Indian soldiers brought back heads of three Pakistani soldiers, The Hindu said.

Major General (retired) SK Chakravorty, who planned and executed the operation as the chief of Kupwara-based 28 Division, confirmed the Indian raid but refused to discuss details.

According to the newspaper, Pakistani raiders struck a remote army post in Gugaldhar in Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir on 30 July, 2011.

The attackers returned with the heads of Havildar Jaipal Singh Adhikari and Lance Naik Devender Singh of 20 Kumaon. A soldier of the 19 Rajput, who reported the attack, died in a hospital.

In revenge, the Indian Army planned “Operation Ginger” – which, the daily said, turned out to be one of the deadliest cross-border raids across the LoC.

The Indian operation was planned to precision. Seven reconnaissance – physical and air surveillance mounted on UAV – missions were carried out to identify vulnerable Pakistani army posts.

The mission was finalised to spring an ambush on Police Chowki to inflict maximum casualty.

Finally, the Indian troops launched the covert operation on 30 August, 2011.

About 25 soldiers, mainly Para Commandos, crossed the LoC stealthily. They planted claymore mines around the strike area.

Four Pakistani soldiers, led by a Junior Commissioned Officer, walked into the ambush. Mines were detonated, grenades lobbed and they were fired at.

One Pakistani soldier fell into a stream that ran below. Indian soldiers chopped off the heads of the other three dead soldiers and also took away their rank insignias, weapons and other personal items.

The commandos then planted pressure IED’s beneath one of the bodies, primed to explode when anyone attempted to lift it.

Two more Pakistani soldiers rushed in after hearing the explosions. They were killed by a second Indian team waiting near the ambush site.

Two other Pakistani army men tried to trap the second team. But a third Indian team covering them killed the Pakistanis, the daily said.

While the Indian soldiers were retreating, another group of Pakistani soldiers were spotted moving towards the ambush site. Soon they heard loud blasts, indicating the concealed IEDs had exploded, the report said.

According to Indian assessment, at least two to three more Pakistani soldiers were fatally injured in that blast.

The operation lasted for about 45 minutes and the Indians headed back across the LoC, carrying the heads of Subedar Parvez, Havildar Aftab and Naik Imran.

The severed heads were photographed and buried. Two days later, one of the senior most Generals in the command turned up and ordered the heads to be dug up, burnt and the ashes strewn into Kishenganga river.

This was done to do away with all DNA traces, the daily said.

Man behind 2011 Operation Ginger against Pakistan confirms it took place

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Major General (Retd.) SK Chakravorty, who was behind the planning and execution of Operation Ginger along the Line of Control (LoC), on Sunday said that the 2011 strike was a revenge attack carried out by the Indian Army after Pakistan staged two cross-border surgical strikes in which at least 13 soldiers were killed.”They (Pakistan) first conducted an operation, but action was done from their side. To take revenge of that, this operation was conducted,” he told ANI.Major General (Retd.) admitted that all details which have come up regarding the 2011 operation was true and said that even the then DGMO and the then Army Chief General VK Singh had information about it. However, he refused to discuss further details.It was reported earlier that the Indian Army had carried out surgical strikes across the LoC in 2011, in retaliation to a surprise attack on an army post in Gugaldhar ridge in Kupwara in July 2011 which led to the death of 13 soldiers and beheading of six of them. In revenge, the Indian Army planned Operation Ginger.

Complaint filed against Rahul Gandhi over ‘Khoon ki dalali’ remark

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A complaint has been filled against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi over his comment of ‘Khoon ki dalali’ against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On Thursday, Gandhi, while concluding his ‘Kisan Yatra’ in Delhi at Jantar mantar accused Prime Minister Modi of playing politics over the “blood of jawans” who sacrificed their lives in Kashmir.Targeting the Prime Minister over the surgical strikes, Gandhi said “Jo hamare jawan hain jinhone apna khoon diya hai, Jammu and Kashmir mein khoon diya hai, jinhone Hindustan ke liye surgical strikes kiye hain, unke khoon ke peeche aap chhupe hain. Unki aap dalali kar rahe ho. Yeh bilkul galat hai . (You Modi are hiding behind the blood of soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir and those who carried out the surgical strikes for India. You are exploiting their sacrifices, which is very wrong).” Gandhi statement sparked controversy across the nation as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit back at Gandhi in equal measure. BJP chief Amit Shah lashed out at the Congress vice-president, asking whether “dalali” was an appropriate word used in reference for the Indian Army and their valiant efforts in serving the nation. Addressing a press conference yesterday, Shah hit out at Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and others for politicising the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army inside Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) on September 29. By saying ‘dalali’ over soldiers’ blood, Rahul Gandhi has crossed all limits. The remarks reflect the Congress’ mentality,” Shah said during a news conference at the BJP headquarters. “I strongly condemn his remarks. They are an insult not only to the brave armed forces and martyrs but the entire country.” “We want to ask him, who was the dalal in the Bofors scandal? Who was the dalal in the 2G scam? Dalali is a word used for deals. I want to ask Rahul Gandhi how is it possible to refer to this word while talking about the sacrifices of the Indian Army? Is the blood of our soldiers a tradable commodity?” Shah posed these questions at Friday’s press conference.

Surgical strikes: Congress demands apology from Amit Shah for ‘misleading country, speaking lies’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress demanded an apology from BJP chief Amit Shah on Friday accusing him of taking support of lies in gaining political mileage out of the sacrifices of armed forces and also questioned the Prime Minister if he agreed with his remarks.The day saw a series of press conferences by Congress and BJP leaders, who traded charges over the surgical strikes accusing each other of insulting the bravery of armed forces. In seeking to negate BJP’s claims that such cross-LoC surgical strikes have been carried out for the first time ever, Congress chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala played a video of an interview of former Army chief Gen Bikram Singh, who claimed that Indian Army had not once but many times conducted such strikes by crossing the LoC.”Amit Shah has tried to mislead the country, spoke lies to the country, has insulted our armed forces and conspired to run down the sacrifices of the soldiers. The Congress party demands that Amit Shah apologises to the 125 crore people of the country as well as the Indian Army for trying to mislead the country before the media. In case he does not do so, we would like to ask the Prime Minister if he agrees with Amit Shah and Ravi Shankar Prasad, both of whom have done the act of grave insult to the Army’s bravery and valour,” he said.
ALSO READ ‘Khoon ka dalali’ | Kejriwal criticises Rahul Gandhi’s remark, Amit Shah slams them bothSurjewala said the Congress wishes Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah and Manohar Parrikar had not sought to make political gains out of the bravery of soldiers and instead should have apologised to the country for the conduct of some of their party leaders and workers who have committed the mistake of doing so. “But instead of apologising, Amit Shah went a step ahead,” he said, adding he should apologise for this.Surjewala said BJP has done “the crime of colouring the bravery and valour of armed forces in BJP’s political colour”.
ALSO READ Amit Shah says surgical strikes shouldn’t be politicised; hits out at Rahul Gandhi, Kejriwal”Amit Shah has insulted and humiliated the Indian Army before the entire country by speaking a lie that it has done surgical strikes across LoC for the first time ever in these 68 years,” he said.”Is former Army chief Gen Bikram Singh speaking a lie? Gen Singh has said that not once but many times, India has conducted surgical strikes after crossing the LoC but never politicised the issue. We have never tried to exploit the brave actions of the Army for votes,” the Congress leader said.Earlier, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the devotion to Rahul Gandhi is overriding Congress’s devotion to the country, targeting it over its reference to a now-closed criminal case involving Shah and accusing it of stooping to a low to defend its vice president.

Pakistan violated ceasefire over 25 times since surgical strikes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistani troops have violated ceasefire over 25 times along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir since the September 29 surgical strikes by Indian Army in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to destroy terror launch pads.”There have been over 25 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir after the surgical strikes,” a senior Army officer said on Friday. The major ceasefire violations took place on 3, 4 and 5 October along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu region.On October 5, Pakistani troops violated ceasefire thrice and resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling to target several Indian posts and civilian areas in three sectors in Poonch and Rajouri districts of J-K, provoking retaliation by the Indian Army. Three soldiers had suffered minor injuries, while nine Pakistani armymen were injured in the retaliatory action by India.On October 4, Pakistani troops targeted 10 forward areas with mortar shelling and firing with five ceasefire violations on Indian posts and civilian areas along the LoC in four areas of Jammu, Poonch and Rajouri districts. They shelled mortar bombs and opened small and automatic weapons in Jhangar, Kalsian, Makri in Noushera sector of Rajouri district and Gigriyal, Platan, Damanu, Channi and Palanwala areas of Pallanwala sector of Jammu district and Balnoi, Krishnagati in Poonch district. One jawan had sustained injuries in the action.On October 3, Pakistani troops violated ceasefire four times and restored to heavy firing and mortar shelling in Saujian, Shahpur-Kerni, Mandi and KG sectors in Poonch district, where five civilians were injured and several shops set ablaze after a shell triggered fire in oil containers in a security force camp. On October 2, Pakistan resorted to firing and shelling from 19:15 hours along LoC in forward areas in Pallanwala belt of Jammu district. On October 1, Indian posts and civilian areas were shelled with mortar bombs, RPGS and HMGS amid small arms firing along LoC in Jammu sector. On September 30, Pakistani troops had opened fire from small arms along the LoC in Pallanwala, Chaprial and Samnam areas of Akhnoor sector of Jammu district.Last year, 16 civilians were killed and 71 others injured in 405 incidents of cross-border firing by Pakistan.

Amit Shah does a surgical strike on Rahul Gandhi, confers ‘dalali’ crown upon Congress

After Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “playing with the blood of soldiers”, in reference to the Indian Army’s 29 September surgical strikes, BJP President Amit Shah addressed a section of the media in Delhi slamming Rahul’s statements.

BJP president Amit Shah. ReutersBJP president Amit Shah. Reuters

BJP president Amit Shah. Reuters

He started out by congratulating the media for its role in boosting the morale of the Indian Army after it carried out the surgical strikes, reported ANI. “Indian media exposed Pakistani terrorists to the world, and also showed the government’s efforts in extinguishing the same,” he added.

Shah then dived straight into the matter of the surgical strikes being politicised, while stressing on the fact that the BJP stayed away from the controversy. “Some parties have doubted the surgical strikes. On behalf of the BJP I want to say to those people who are questioning the Army, I condemn this [politicisation]. You have only insulted army and the martyrs,” he remarked.

It all started with Kejriwal, Shah said. Earlier this week, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a video message, praised Modi and the Indian Army for the surgical strikes against terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) across the Line of Control (LoC) and warned the PM of “Pakistan’s false propaganda” and asked him to “unmask” it. Immediately, the BJP lashed out at Kejriwal for demanding proof of the surgical strikes.

“All this was started by Kejriwalji. Yesterday #PaksTandsWithKejriwal was trending in Pakistan, and that shows a lot. After this, there were stray comments from our other opponents. But when Congress V-P Rahul Gandhiji said khoon ki dalali, he crossed all limits” Shah said. He went to ask “Rahulji”, if he thought the “blood of our brave soldiers is something that can be traded”. Shah blamed the whole controversy on Rahul’s political exceptions to Modi, claiming that this was no secret by giving examples of phrases that Rahul had employed in the past such as “maut ka saudagar”, “zeher ki kheti”. He also went on to ask if ‘dalali’ was the right word to refer to the Army’s efforts.

“We want to ask him, who was the dalali in the Bofors scandal? Who was the dalali in the 2G scam? I want to ask Rahul Gandhi: a dalali is only for deals. How is it possible when it comes to the efforts of the army?”

Shah then said that none of the senior BJP leaders have issued a statement politicising the issue and that if some party workers at the state or district level had said anything, it only displays their enthusiasm and it should not be politicised. This is a matter, Shah said, that the whole nation is joyous about and that the real question here is, why aren’t you “enthusiastic” about it? Shah noted that the “uproar” in Pakistan was proof enough that the surgical strikes took place and that sceptical political parties can take a look at that.

Shah ended his address with a patriotic statement. “The whole country, the government and the BJP are behind the army. We trust the bullets of the Indian army which keep the nation safe.” He also asked Congress president Sonia Gandhi to clarify her stand on this statement and requested the Congress to keep the word dalali to themselves. “We believe in Jai jawaan, Jai Kisan,” Shah said.

Surgical strikes aftermath: 20 ceasefire violations as Pakistani troops retaliate

After the surgical strikes conducted by the Indian Army on 29 September (to destroy terror launchpads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir), Pakistan stepped up cross-border firing and violated the Line of Control ceasefire at least 20 times.

In the wake of the increasing violations of this nature, the BSF has increased deployment of its troops (and technical equipment) along the International Border (IB). People living in the areas along the LoC, have been evacuated and moved to safer places.

In 2015, 16 civilians were killed and 71 others injured in 405 incidents of cross-border firing by Pakistan. While 253 incidents of ceasefire violations took place along the IB, 152 incidents were reported along the LoC.

Here are is a dateline of all the violations that took place since the surgical strike.

30 September

On 30 September, a day after the announcement by the Indian government about the surgical strikes carried out by the armed forces on terror launch pads near LoC, Pakistan violated the ceasefire. Pakistani troops opened fire from small arms along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir’s Akhnoor district. The troops had restored to small arms firing along LoC in Pallanwala, Chaprial, Samnam areas of Akhnoor sector of Jammu district during the night.

This was the fifth ceasefire violation in the month of September.

“There was small arms firing (from Pakistan on forward posts) along the LoC in Pallanwala, Chapriyal and Samnam areas of Jammu district during the night,” Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Simrandeep Singh said.

The firing had lasted for an hour and a half. There was no loss of life or injury to anyone in the firing.

On 29 September Pakistani troops had resorted to firing in Balnoie area of Mendhar sector without any casualty.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

1 October

On 1 October, the Pakistani troops targeted Indian posts and civilian areas with mortar bombs and heavy machine guns along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir’s Akhnoor tehsil.

There was no loss of life or injury to anyone in the firing, which lasted around three hours. There was heavy shelling of mortar bombs, RPGs and heavy machine guns and small arms firing on forward positions along the LoC in Pallanwala sector and Chamb area of Akhnoor tehsil.

Police said the Pakistani troops targeted Badoo and Chanoo hamlets and the villagers residing near the LoC were evacuated and shifted to safer places.

2 October

On 2 October, Pakistani troops launched firing and shelling on forward areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in Pallanwala sector of Jammu district this evening.

3 October

On 3 October, the Pakistani troops intensified action, by violating ceasefire four times. They resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing on Indian Army posts and civilian areas along LoC in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, leaving five civilians injured and several shops ablaze.

The firing and shelling was carried out in Shahpur, Krishnagati, Mandi and Sabzian sectors in Poonch district, officials said.

Reports said in the retaliatory action by the Indian Army, one Pakistani post Twiven was destroyed.

The Pakistani troops fired 120 mm, 80 mm mortar bombs, automatic weapons and small arms.

In shelling, five people were injured in Shahpur Kerni and Saujian sectors, officials said, adding the injured have
been hospitalised.

4 October

On 4 October, violating the border ceasefire five times since Monday, Pakistan troops pounded Indian military and civilian positions in 10 areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu region, provoking retaliation.

The Pakistani troops resorted to shelling of mortar bombs and small and automatic weapons in Jhangar, Kalsian, Makri in Noushera sector of Rajouri district and Gigriyal, Platan, Damanu, Channi and Palanwala areas of Pallanwala sector of Jammu district and Balnoi, Krishnagati in Poonch district.

Firing and shelling along LoC was reported from Balnoi and Krishnagati sector in Poonch district.

One jawan reportedly suffered minor injuries in the action.

Pakistani troops targeted Jhangar, Kalsian, Makri sub-sectors of Noushera belt. They fired mortar bombs, automatic weapons and small arms.

5 October

On 5 October, the Pakistan troops violated the border ceasefire four times as they resorted to heavy shelling and firing on Indian posts and civilian areas in Poonch, Rajouri and Kupwara districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan troops resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violations in Sunderbani and Krishnagati sectors in Rajouri and Poonch district, said Defence PRO Manish Mehta.

A senior army officer said ceasefire violations also took place in Mendhar sector of Poonch and Macchil sector of
Kupwara.

Mehta said Pakistan troops shelled mortar bombs and fired from automatic and small weapons.

With inputs from PTI

Support surgical strikes but not use of Army in political posters, propaganda: Rahul Gandhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of indulging in political exploitation of the sacrifices of soldiers, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that while he supported surgical strikes, he was not for the use of the Army in political posters.Taking to the micro-blogging site, Twitter, Rahul Gandhi said, “I fully support the surgical strikes and I have said so unequivocally, but I will not support using the Indian Army in political posters and propaganda all across the country.”Attacking Modi, the Congress Vice President had said on Thursday, “The Indian army has done its job for the country, you do yours.” “Jo hamare jawan hain jinhone apna khoon diya hai, Jammu and Kashmir mein khoon diya hai, jinhone Hindustan ke liye surgical strike kiye hain, unke khoon ke peeche aap chhupe hain. Unki aap dalali kar rahe ho. Yeh bilkul galat hai.You (Modi) are hiding behind the blood of the soldiers shed in Jammu and Kashmir, and those who carried out the surgical strikes for India. You are exploiting their sacrifices, which is very wrong,” Gandhi said addressing a rally in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.Initially, Gandhi had praised Modi after the surgical strikes for his “first Prime Minister-like action in two years”.Meanwhile terming Gandhi as an ‘immature leader’, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Sambit Patra said, the Congress leader made a joke out of the slain soldiers of Indian Army by saying that the surgical strike was nothing but ‘Khoon ki holi’.

Rahul Gandhi an ‘immature leader’, made a joke of slain soldiers through his remark: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi as an ‘immature leader’, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday said the former made a joke out of the slain soldiers of Indian Army by saying that the surgical strike was nothing but ‘Khoon ki holi.'”I am really astonished by the kind of language Rahul Gandhi has used for the Indian Government and the Indian Prime Minister. By saying that the surgical strike and the aftermath was nothing but ‘khoon ki holi’, he had in fact made the joke out of the martyred brave soldiers and Indian Army,” said BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.Patra further said that Gandhi is an immature leader and his immaturity provided a handle to Pakistan today to accused India.Concluding his ‘Kisan Yatra’ at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Thrusday, Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of exploiting the death of soldiers who have died in the line of duty.Addressing hundreds of supporters at the gathering, Gandhi called upon the prime minister to work for the development of people, especially farmers and armymen.”The soldiers who spilled their blood for the country and carried out surgical strikes, you are hiding behind them and trying to cash in on their blood. They have done their work now you do yours. Help the farmers give the army a hike in the seventh pay commission, it is your responsibility and that is what you have been elected for,” said Gandhi.

Indian Army’s surgical strikes: How Modi government began well and then lost the plot

In the wee hours of 29 September, the Indian army conducted a ‘surgical strike’ on terror launch pads ‘along’ the LoC, announced DGMO Ranbir Singh, reading out from a prepared statement at a presser. He was accompanied by Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup. This operation was in response to the terrorist strikes on Indian soil, including the ones in Poonch and Uri on 11 and 18 of September respectively, Singh said.

The DGMO’s announcement triggered a euphoric phase among Indians who were desperately seeking vengeance for the killings of jawans and wanting a clear message sent to Pakistan. Everyone — the Opposition parties, bureaucrats, industry and the aam aadmi — lauded the Narendra Modi government’s political will. Every Indian felt exalted by the reinvigorated feeling of patriotism that united everyone against our one sure common threat: Pakistan.

At the presser, the DGMO said the action was limited to militant camps and not Pakistani Army outposts, adding that India doesn’t plan any more such attacks unless provoked. This was said with the idea of not escalating the tension between India and Pakistan and also to offer a face-saver to Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistani Army.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Jingoism all around

But, what followed were days of jingoism and chest-thumping. BJP leaders across the country celebrated as if the Modi government had just won a full-fledged war over Pakistan. They narrated stories of how Modi’s unprecedented determination and political will made something finally possible that was seemingly unthinkable in the past. Social media patriots worked overnight from their living rooms to escalate a cyber war with their Pakistani counterparts.

The magnitude of hype and hoopla over the “surgical strikes” was such that some BJP leaders even projected this — a matter of national security — as the party’s trump card for the state elections. Posters put up by the BJP and its on-off ally Shiv Sena in UP and Punjab after the army’s surgical strikes portrayed Modi as Lord Ram, aiming his weapon at Nawaz Sharif, Raavan. The soldier who actually fought this fight couldn’t find a place on the poster though.

Then there was a comment from Defence Minister Manohar Parikar. “Indian troops were like Hanuman who did not quite know their prowess before the surgical strikes,” Parrikar said.
What was supposed to be an important covert military operation suddenly found itself morphed into a political tool. What worsened the situation was the excessive jingoism on TV news channels. Some TV anchors appeared to wage a war across the LoC from their air-conditioned studios.

Often, they appointed themselves as new age icons of patriotic, nationalistic ideals. The media — that should be a dispassionate observer — started increasingly using words like ‘martyred’ instead of ‘killed’ for soldiers in its reports and often constructed ‘stories’ that weren’t true to the facts. The excessive jingoism turned into rather imaginative — rather than fact-based — reporting. Thus, we saw tweets and reports about how over “50 Pakistanis were killed during the surgical strikes across LoC” and how “two terrorists” were ‘neutralised’ at Baramulla even as the soldiers shooting into the darkness themselves didn’t have a clue about what was happening on the ground.

There was no official confirmation for any of these killings that supposedly took place during the media surgical operations. But it is always easy to pull out a ticker flashing at the bottom of a TV screen or to delete a tweet. Various arms of the media also vied with each other to take the army’s Special Forces as far as they possibly could — from just across the LoC to two or three kilometres into PoK. A combination of jingoism and poorly-sourced reports followed.

But the result of all this high drama and political over-hype on a subject of national security took matters to such an extent that the army operation became the subject of unwarranted scrutiny. The fact that the DGMO presser and subsequent comments from the government offered no details of the surgical operation to media provided fodder to speculation. One cannot rule out selective leaks of information from army or government sources to the media, but most of these were self-contradictory.

Things changed dramatically since then.

The aam aadmi on the street and in front of TV screens didn’t know where these details emerged from. This changed the initial euphoria among the aam aadmi about the surgical strike to a state of confusion and, later, doubt. Modi-haters on social media soon jumped into action on the theory that the surgical strikes were yet another case of ‘Modi jhumla‘. When the TV channels too ran out of ‘patriotic’ angles, they shifted the core focus to the truth of the claim — whether the surgical strikes took place or not. The idea was to keep the viewer glued to the TV screen somehow. Even as the army maintained its dignified silence, the season of denials and counter-claims over what was originally a matter of national security, kicked off in its political courts and TV shows.

How the government lost the plot

By letting the DGMO announce the military’s surgical strike and totally staying away from the scene, the Modi government started the Uri payback episode on a strong note with calculated moves. The political decision to use the army only to strike at specific ‘terror launch pads’ without inflicting damage to the Pakistani military establishment, communicating the details of the strike in an official capacity to the Pakistani Army and giving a clear message that India isn’t a war-hungry nation, but wouldn’t tolerate acts of terror on its soil, sent out strong signals to the world that India is a responsible democracy and a strong state.

Will it be an exaggeration to say that from a heroic act by the Indian Army, the ‘surgical’ strikes’ suddenly became the butt of jokes for social media warriors and political blame-gamers?

But the government lost the plot subsequently in two stages:

First, when it absolutely failed to keep a check on the vague — often contradictory — information going out in the media from ‘sources’ and through possible selective leaks. When jingoistic folks started coming up with a new narrative every other day on behalf of the army, the Modi government found itself caught in a dilemma. It didn’t know how to handle the situation. There were two sides to this problem of multiple narratives and later, denials. The political repercussions soon forced the aam aadmi to do a rethink on the whole mission who was initially euphoric about Modi’s ‘Uri revenge’.  Next, the world too began to murmur about the exact nature of India’s surgical strikes, although it was not put on public domain citing strategic concerns.

The second stage came when the government failed to face the questions on surgical strikes from politicians with maturity and tactics and, instead, let its ministers attack the questioners with aggression and bitterness. As noted in an earlier article, when the likes of Sanjay Nirupam, Arvind Kejriwal and former Congress minister P Chidambaram raised questions on the veracity of the surgical strikes, the government and the BJP political leadership failed to face those with balance (or even to simply ignore them), instead resorting to jingoism using hyperbole. Take a look at Union minister Uma Bharti‘s response to this:

Those leaders who say that if Pakistan is demanding evidence about the surgical strike, they should be given the evidence; such people should take the citizenship of Pakistan,” Bharti told reporters in Pune.

Here was where they made a mistake: When the Pakistani Army went into denial mode from the first day on India’s claims of surgical strikes, it was an expected reaction. That’s because everyone knows what Pakistan is. But that wasn’t the case when questions were raised in a democracy with a multipolar political setup. The questions were not on whether the strikes took place, but on the political narrative that followed. The entire operation was portrayed by BJP leaders as the first-of-its-kind in the Indian Army’s history, while former generals and a former home minister said that wasn’t the case.

When the media jumped in to follow-up comments from the Kejriwals and Nirupams, their questions undoubtedly gained more legitimacy. The crux of the discussions suddenly changed to “Did the surgical attacks take place?” from “How India smartly responded to Uri” or “What should be done with Pakistan next?”. The growing group of naysayers forced the army to finally share the video of the surgical strikes with the government, something it needn’t have done.

Will it be an exaggeration to say that from a heroic act by the Indian Army, the ‘surgical’ strikes’ suddenly became the butt of jokes for social media warriors and political blame-gamers? Clearly, the government shouldn’t have let the situation degrade to this level and should have dealt with its own ministers on chest-thumping as well as naysayers more carefully by explaining what it can reveal on the operations and what it cannot for reasons of national security.

Modi entered the scene quite late when he warned leaders in his party leaders not to thump their chests so loudly over the surgical attacks.

But it was too late by then.

The damage was already done.

Pakistan: Condemn ‘distortion of facts’ by India, Raheel Sharif urges world

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan’s army chief, General Raheel Sharif on Thursday urged the world community to condemn the ‘distortion of facts’ by India regarding Kashmir and the Line of Control (LoC).Addressing a passing out parade of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) cadets, General Sharif said, “We have recently witnessed an unfortunate display of utter desperation playing out inside occupied Kashmir and along the Line of Control through a litany of falsehood and distortion of facts by India.””We expect the international community to condemn Indian insinuations and fabrications about a nation that has made unparalleled contributions to the global fight against terrorism,? the Dawn quoted him, as saying.Insisting that the armed forces were fully prepared to give the “most befitting response” to any internal or external threats directed at the country, General Sharif said Pakistan is a responsible country and remains committed to the policy of friendship with all other countries based on equality and mutual respect.He added that any aggression born out of deliberate intent or even a strategic miscalculation would not be allowed to go unpunished.The army chief’s comments come as relations between India and Pakistan has plunged to a new low in recent times in the wake of Uri terror attack and the subsequent surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army along the LoC.

‘Kejriwal and Nirupam should ask for their parents’ wedding night video’: BJP MLA Rameshwar Sharma

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the controversy surrounding Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam asking proof of the surgical strikes by the Indian Army refusing to die down, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Rameshwar Sharma on Wednesday stirred a fresh controversy with his remark wondering whether such people even ask the video proof of their conception from their parents. Sharma, the MLA from Bhopal, also said that the language and tone of Kejriwal and Nirupam sound similar to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. ‘Be it Arvind Kejriwal or Sanjay Nirupam or be it any other leader, those who speak against the Indian Army and those who don’t believe in the army, are those who will only believe in their lineage after watching the video of their parents wedding night,’ Sharma said.’The Indian Army has been sacrificing their lives and blood for the nation and those who don’t believe in them are traitors. They all are Pakistani agents. Their language and tone matches with that of Nawaz Sharif,’ he added.Kejriwal and Nirupam have been facing widespread criticism ever since they asked the Centre to release the video of the September 29 predawn surgical strikes carried out by the army across Line of Control (LoC).Kejriwal, however, later clarified that the reason behind his demand was to counter the false propaganda of Pakistan, which has been calling the strike as ‘farce’.Rejecting BJP’s criticism, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused it of playing politics over the anti-terror surgical strike and said why was the party “scared” when he had only asked the Prime Minister to counter the false propaganda by Pakistan. Maintaining that Aam Aadmi Party believes that surgical strikes did take place, Kejriwal said that in his video message yesterday he had only appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give a befitting reply.In a rare gesture, Kejriwal “saluted” Modi for the surgical strikes by the Army on terror launch pads across the LoC. At the same time, he had urged the Centre to counter the smear campaign by Pakistan and international media, but BJP alleged that Kejriwal had in the garb of his statement questioned the Army’s assertion on surgical strike and insulted the armed forces.”I have supported the Prime Minister, applauded the army. I only said that Pakistan is spreading false propaganda in the world that surgical strikes did not happen. We all believe that surgical strikes took place,” Kejriwal told reporters at the Jodhpur civil airport. “Pakistan is spreading the propaganda across the world and international media is running this that surgical strikes did not take place. I had only appealed to the PM that a befitting reply should be given to Pakistan.”If I said that we have to counter Pakistan’s false propaganda then why is the BJP so rattled and scared? We all have to counter Pakistan’s propaganda and we should all, irrespective of the party, strengthen PM’s hands in this,” Kejriwal said.Claiming that Kejriwal “sought proof” on the anti-terror operation, the BJP asked him not to belittle the armed forces by getting influenced by Pakistani “propaganda”. At a press conference today, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the AAP leader should answer whether he believed in the Indian Army or not. Kejriwal later retorted: “I am unhappy. Ravi Shankar ji is saying I am playing politics. Am I playing politics or they?””I and my party are with Narendra Modi in his every step against Pakistan and its mischiefs,” said Kejriwal.”It is time that all the citiznes and political parties are united and strengthen the hands of the prime minister against Pakistan,” he said. Earlier, Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam calling it “fake”, provoking stinging criticism from BJP even as his own party said it “totally dissociates” from his remarks. “Every Indian wants surgical strikes against Pakistan but not a fake one to extract just political benefit by BJP. politics over national interest(sic),” Nirupam tweeted, kicking up a row over the emotive issue.The Congress leader went on to demand “some evidence” to prove the surgical strikes did take place and accused the Centre’s ruling BJP of indulging in politics over the issue.With patriotic sentiments running high amid soaring tensions with Pakistan, Union Minister Uma Bharti said leaders who cast “doubt over the army’s surgical strike should take Pakistani citizenship”.”Those leaders who say that if Pakistan is demanding evidence about surgical strike, they should be given the evidence, such people should take the citizenship of Pakistan,” Bharti told reporters in Pune.The Congress had yesterday asked the government to put forth “credible” evidence of last week’s surgical strikes, carried out by the Army across the LoC, to “expose” Pakistan which has denied any such action.Congress senior spokesman Anand Sharma had also sought to dismiss the claim that the surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads was the first such retaliation by the Indian Army, insisting that it had responded earlier too “as per the need or provocation”.”Around a week ago when the DGMO on behalf of the government announced that a surgical strike has been carried out against the Pak terror camps in PoK, we all supported.Honourable Sonia Gandhi supported, Rahul Gandhi supported, even I personally supported it.But the way BJP has put banners all over the country, the way surgical strike is being politicised, used for political benefit and simultaneously from all over the world questions are being raised on the reality of the surgical strike, we have the questions to ask the government,” he said.Nirupam said the government will “have to come with some evidence” without compromising national security to give reply to the whole world.As the row erupted, Congress dissociated itself from Sanjay Nirupam’s remarks, saying it had taken a serious note of those.”Congress dissociates itself from Nirupam’s remarks and has taken a serious note. It’s time for the government to expose Pakistan’s malicious propaganda. The evidence should be made public,” said party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

India won’t forgive Kejriwal, Nirupam for disrespecting army: Dharmendra Pradhan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Calling Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam ‘bankrupt’ for demanding proof for the Indian army’s surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) last month, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday said both leaders were unable to digest army?s achievements, and thus were making illogical statements.Pradhan claimed both leaders were bent upon making headlines in the Pakistani media instead of celebrating the achievements of the Indian Army,.”Questioning the authenticity of the surgical strike be, it Kejriwal or Sanjay Nirupam, they are mentally bankrupt, unable to digest our achievements and thus, making such illogical statements. The nation will never forgive such people, words don’t even begin to describe how shameful these comments are,” Pradhan told ANI.”They don’t respect the Indian Army. All they care about is how many papers in Pakistan have published them in their headlines,” he added.Congress leader, Sanjay Nirupam on Thursday courted controversy by asking the Centre to give proof of the surgical strike that took place in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), while asserting that India was being insulted by Pakistan in the international arena for not doing so.However, minutes after his comments, the Congress distanced itself from it.Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leader P.Chindambaram also drew flak from Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for demanding proof of the surgical strikes.

Ink attack on Kejriwal in Bikaner; police detains two accused

Ink attack on Kejriwal in Bikaner; police detains two accused

Updated: Oct 5, 2016 08:23 IST

#ABVP #Bikaner #Ink attack #Kejriwal #NewsTracker

‘);
FB.XFBML.parse();
*/
});

Jaipur: Two young men on Tuesday threw ink on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the state’s Bikaner city, police said, adding both have been detained.

“This incident happened late in the evening at a residential complex when Kejriwal was coming out after meeting his acquaintance. We have detained two persons in this regard,” a police official told IANS.

A file photo of Arvind Kejriwal. PTIA file photo of Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

A file photo of Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

Kejriwal was in Bikaner, 350 km from Jaipur, to attend a condolence meeting at the home of a local leader of his Aam Aadmi Party.

Questioning of both the persons is going on, said the police officer, noting that the political affiliations of these men who are students are not known as of now.

Sources said that Kejriwal was attacked apparently by students affiliated with RSS’s student wing Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) for his remarks on Indian Army’s surgical strike.

Kejriwal in his tweet on ink attack said, ” Hmmm… God bless those who threw ink at me. I wish them well.”

I deserve punishment, not forgivness: Om Puri asks for forgiveness after outrage

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A complaint was filed against actor Om Puri for allegedly disrespecting Indian soldiers in a recent television show. The veteran apologised saying he stands guilty and does not wish to be forgiven for his remark. A TV channel had called Puri to join a debate about the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association’s (IMPPA) indefinite ban on Pakistani artistes from working in Indian projects after the Uri attack. The complaint alleged that during the discussion, Puri said, “Who had asked soldiers to join the army? Who told them to pick the weapons?” Puri, on the same TV show, today said that he is embarrassed over his comment and an apology can never be enough for it. “I am very embarrassed at what I said and I deserve punishment, not forgiveness. I first apologise to his (a Uri attack martyr) family, if at all they will forgive me, I apologise to the whole country, the army. I know it’s not justified that you say so much and then think a sorry will make it right…”I am guilty and I deserve a punishment. I want to be tried by the army, I should be court martialled. I want a constructive punishment. The army should teach me how to use weapons and send me on the same site where that brave man was sacrificed himself for the country. I don’t want to be forgiven. I am pleading to the nation I want to be punished.” The complaint was filed by the president of a local organisation in Andheri police station, police said.The complainant also alleged that the actor had insulted the Indian Army and the nation and demanded to register an FIR against him for sedition under section 124 (A) of the IPC, police said.

Ink attack on Kejriwal in Rajasthan after surgical strike comment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An unknown person on Tuesday evening threw ink on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district. According to reports, the AAP chief was attacked with ink for his alleged remarks on Indian Army’s surgical strikes carried out across the Line of Control (LoC) in response to Uri attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. Kejriwal reacted to the ink attack and tweeted, “God bless those who threw ink at me, I wish them well.” As per the latest reports, two men have been detained in this regard.Earlier, Delhi minister Satyendar Jain was targeted in a slipper attack by a woman over Arvind Kejriwal’s remarks on cross-LoC anti-terror surgical strike by army. Bhavana Arora, who had staged an ink attack on Kejriwal in January, hurled a slipper at the AAP leaders’ car outside the Income Tax office here at around 3.15 PM. However, the slipper only hit the vehicle in which the Health Minister was travelling along with AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Ashutosh as its windows were closed. Jain today appeared before I-T Department and was questioned by its investigating officers for over three hours in connection with a tax evasion probe against certain Kolkata-based firms. “How could the Aam Aadmi Party demand proof of surgical strikes from the Indian Army? Are they agents of Pakistan?,” Arora told reporters here after hurling her slipper at Jain’s vehicle. Arora belongs to Aam Aadmi Sena, a breakaway faction of the Aam Aadmi Party. However, she was not detained by the police after the incident. Arora had also thrown ink on Kejriwal in January this year while he was delivering a speech at a public meeting in Chhatrasal Stadium. Volunteers of the Sena had reached the Central Revenue Building at I P Estate where I-T Department office is located after they got to know about Jain appearing before the department. Jain was last week summoned by the IT to furnish personal financial details and ITRs for the last four years.Rejecting BJP’s criticism, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused it of playing politics over the anti-terror surgical strike and said why was the party “scared” when he had only asked the Prime Minister to counter the false propaganda by Pakistan. Maintaining that Aam Aadmi Party believes that surgical strikes did take place, Kejriwal said that in his video message yesterday he had only appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give a befitting reply. In a rare gesture, Kejriwal has yesterday “saluted” Modi for the surgical strikes by the Army on terror launch pads across the LoC.At the same time, he had urged the Centre to counter the smear campaign by Pakistan and international media, but BJP alleged that Kejriwal had in the garb of his statement questioned the Army’s assertion on surgical strike and insulted the armed forces.”I have supported the Prime Minister, applauded the army. I only said that Pakistan is spreading false propaganda in the world that surgical strikes did not happen. We all believe that surgical strikes took place,” Kejriwal told reporters at the Jodhpur civil airport.”Pakistan is spreading the propaganda across the world and international media is running this that surgical strikes did not take place. I had only appealed to the PM that a befitting reply should be given to Pakistan.”If I said that we have to counter Pakistan’s false propaganda then why is the BJP so rattled and scared? We all have to counter Pakistan’s propaganda and we should all, irrespective of the party, strengthen PM’s hands in this,” Kejriwal said.Claiming that Kejriwal “sought proof” on the anti-terror operation, the BJP asked him not to belittle the armed forces by getting influenced by Pakistani “propaganda”. At a press conference today, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the AAP leader should answer whether he believed in the Indian Army or not. Kejriwal later retorted: “I am unhappy. Ravi Shankar ji is saying I am playing politics. Am I playing politics or they?””I and my party are with Narendra Modi in his every step against Pakistan and its mischiefs,” said Kejriwal. “It is time that all the citiznes and political parties are united and strengthen the hands of the prime minister against Pakistan,” he said. Kejriwal later headed to Bikaner by road to meet a party worker who had lost his mother. Senior AAP leader Ashutosh said Pakistan is insulting ‘Bharat Mata’ and Indian army through its propaganda, but BJP is settling score with Kejriwal. “I am amazed that Ravi Shankar Prasad instead of unmasking Pak Propaganda is questioning AK. Shows BJP’s bankruptcy of ideas,” Ashutosh tweeted.

Arvind Kejriwal shown black flags over comments on ‘surgical strikes’

Arvind Kejriwal shown black flags over comments on ‘surgical strikes’

‘);
FB.XFBML.parse();
*/
});

Bikaner: Several activists of a right-wing group on Tuesday showed black flags to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal here for his comments on surgical strike by the Indian Army on terror camps across the LoC.

File photo of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. AFP

File photo of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. AFP

“Kejriwal was on his way to Bikaner from Jodhpur when the activists showed him black flags in Nokha town,” said Sub-Inspector of Nokha police station Jasveer Singh.

“One of the activists Bajrang Paliwal has been arrested under section 151 of CrPC (Arrest to prevent the commission of cognisable offences),” he added.

In a rare gesture, Kejriwal had on Monday “saluted” Modi for the surgical strikes by the Army on terror launch pads across the LoC.

At the same time, he had urged the Centre to counter the smear campaign by Pakistan and international media, but BJP alleged that Kejriwal had in the garb of his statement questioned the Army’s assertion on surgical strike and insulted the armed forces.

Claiming that Kejriwal “sought proof” on the anti-terror operation, the BJP had earlier on Tuesday asked him not to belittle the armed forces by getting influenced by Pakistani “propaganda”.

‘Cross-border attacks diminished Pakistan’s international standing’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Underlining that cross border attacks have greatly “diminished” Pakistan’s international standing, an American think-tank expert said that as a result of India’s new policy of retaliation Pakistan is in a bind of ‘its own making’.”What were once deemed to be Pakistan’s strategic ‘assets’ have become serious liabilities. Cross-border attacks have greatly diminished Pakistan’s international standing and the sympathy it receives abroad for long-held grievances,” Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Stimson Center wrote in an op-ed in Arms Control Wonk.”Responding to Indian pressure with sub-conventional warfare would only reaffirm these dynamics, while leaving Pakistan open to retaliation in kind. Pakistan is in a bind of its own making. Getting out of this bind will require a new strategy, not the same old tactics,” Krepon argued.At the same time, Krepon was of the view that while the Prime Minister Narendra Modi might be successful in isolating diplomatically, three major powers the US, Russia and China might not be willing to do so as of now.”By ratcheting up the pressure on Pakistan, Modi could invite additional attacks that would further damage Pakistan’s diplomacy and international standing. Modi’s threat to isolate Pakistan could gain traction within the region, but not internationally, since Beijing, Washington and Moscow will not be on board,” he said.Krepon said Rawalpindi holds terrible cards. “Strategic assets” have become significant liabilities.”Pakistan has justifiably lost the benefit of the doubt after cross-border attacks against India,” he said, adding that the Pakistani argument that collusion cannot be proven is unpersuasive because its security agencies have not shut down the perpetrators.”With every cross-border raid, Pakistan’s international standing and the sympathy it receives abroad have diminished.The bind Pakistan finds itself in is the result of poor choices that have yet to be reversed. Getting out of this bind will require a new strategy, not the same old tactics,” he added.India holds high cards, but playing them would be a losing game, he said warning that upping the ante by taking aim at the Indus Waters Treaty would be a dangerous, aggressive act.”New Delhi will lose international support by undermining the most valuable form of cooperation that remains on the subcontinent. Promoting insurgency within Pakistan is another losing game. Since when has India won by equating itself with Pakistan? Besides, the more ungovernable Pakistan becomes, the more Indian security dilemmas are compounded,” he wrote.Krepon said fearing encirclement, Pakistan is instead in the process of isolating itself within the region.Tensions between India and Pakistan are growing after militants stormed an Indian Army base in Uri on September 18, killing 19 soldiers.The terror launch pads across the border were targeted by the Indian Army last week, inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Tension escalates on LoC as Pakistan army fires high caliber mortar bombs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tension has escalated on the Line of Control (LoC) after Pakistani Army shelled civilian areas and Indian forward positions injuring two civilians in the Shahpur village of the Poonch district of Jammu district.Pakistani troops fired high caliber 80mm and 120 mm mortar shells to target the Indian positions and villages in different areas including Shahpur, Krishnaghati, Mandi and Sabzian sectors.Initially Pakistani troops violated ceasefire in Shahpur sector at 10.45 am on Monday. Later they extended the firing to other sectors including Sabzian sectors. Indian Army also retaliated and the firing was continuing intermittently between two sides through the day.Deputy Commissioner of Poonch Mohammad Harun Malik told dna that two people received minor wounds when Pakistani shell landed in their field at Shahpur village along the LoC. “They have been rushed to the hospital. Both of them suffered minor injuries,” he saidPakistan has intensified shelling on the LoC since Indian Army carried out surgical strikes against terror launch pads in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir last week. Pakistan earlier targeted Indian posts in Akhnoor sector and then extended it to Poonch sector of Jammu.Fear has gripped the villagers living along the LoC though there has been no significant migration given the fact that the people are presently busy in harvesting crops.”It is harvesting season and people are not willing to leave the area as they have to farm their fields. In the evening they go to their relatives places nearby, but come back on fields in the morning,” said Malik.District administration has set up shelter camps for the people who want to shift because of the cross border shelling. “We are pressing them (people living on villages near LoC) to leave. We have kept have shelter camps ready. But people are very reluctant,” he said.Official figures reveal that there have been 30 ceasefire violations on the LoC from January to July 31 this year. Last year 152 ceasefire violations were reported on LoC. In 2014 the number of ceasefire violations from Pakistan was 153.Official figures reveal two ceasefire violations were reported from International Border (IB) from January 1 to July 31. Last year 253 ceasefire violations were reported from IB compared to 430 in 2014.Official figures reveal this year one soldier was killed in the ceasefire violations. Last year six soldiers and 16 civilians were killed in the ceasefire violations. In 2014, 13 civilians and one soldier were killed in the ceasefire violations on the borders.

J&K: Fourth ceasefire violation by Pakistan, five civilians injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Intensifying action, Pakistan troops violated ceasefire fourth time on Monday by resorting to heavy mortar shelling and firing on Indian Army posts and civilian areas along LoC in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, leaving five civilians injured and several shops ablaze.Reports said in the retaliatory action by the Indian Army, one Pakistani post Twiven1 has been been destroyed. The firing and shelling is going on in various areas along the LoC, officials said.Pakistan resorted to firing and shelling in Shahpur, Krishnagati, Mandi and Sabzian sectors in Poonch district, officials said. “Pakistan troops resorted to unprovoked firing in Mandi and Sabzian sectors of Poonch district from 1345 hours today,” Defence spokesman Col Manish Mehta said.They fired 120 mm, 80 mm mortar bombs, automatic weapons and small arms, he said, adding the exchanges are going on. Earlier, Pakistani troops violated ceasefire in Poonch using small arms, automatic and mortar bombs (in Shahpur) in Poonch, the spokesman said. “It has appropriately been responded to, we have given them befitting reply. The ceasefire violation is still on,” he said.A Police officer said the firing started at around 1045 hours and is going on. Pakistan troops resorted to brief firing in Krishnagati sector of Poonch district around 0100 hours, officials said. In shelling, five people were injured in Shahpur Kerni and Saujian sectors, officials said, adding the injured have been hospitalised.The injured have been identified as Refeela Bi (18) and Gulam Mohmmad of Shahpur, Shah Begum (35 years) of Qasba, Hafiza Akhtar (17 Years) of Gangrian and 10 year Usma. A Police officer said that one mortar shell landed in a security force camp in Gangrian in Saujian and it hit oil containers resulting in fire.In the fire several shops were gutted, he said, adding there was no loss of life or injury to any one in the fire.

‘My country comes first’: Watch Nana Patekar channel his innner Krantiveer

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uri attack and Pakistan’s continued support of terrorists led to a demand on the ban of Pakistani artistes in various quarters. While MNS asked for a ban on Pakistani artistes, the Indian Motion Pictures Association also asked for a ban on Pakistani artistes until there’s a return of normalcy. Bollywood superstar Salman Khan on the other hand backed Pakistani artists saying: “They are artists not terrorists. It’s the government who gives them permits and visas.” Now Nana Patekar lived up to his Krantiveer character and hit out at those talking about Pakistani actors in Bollywood. He said: “Pakistani actors and others come later, first comes my country. I don’t know anyone other than my country and would never like to know. Actors are like khatmal (bed bugs) in front of the country, we have no worth.” Taking a dig at Salman Khan, he added: “Don’t concentrate on what we say, you know who I’m talking about, right.”Earlier the Shiv Sena slammed Salman Khan’s support saying: ‘This maybe Salman Khan’s matter, but the stand of Shiv Sena is clear that the country which has taken up enmity with us, killed innocent people and infiltrated borders at several areas, we do not think it’s appropriate to maintain relations with any artists or players from that nation. These are feelings of the nation and only patriotic people can understand them,’ Desai said.’Salman Khan should take the advice and counsel of his father, Salim Khan,’ Desai added, when asked about his opinion on this matter…It may be his personal opinion, but we don’t agree with it and we should not maintain any kind of relation with Pakistan which is also the stand of the Shiv Sena,’ he added.”Pakistani artistes are just artistes and not terrorists. Terrorism and art are two different subjects. They come with proper visa and the government gives them a work permit.” Salman said, when asked about his take on banning the actors from Pakistan. The actor said the action (surgical strike) taken by the Indian Army is proper as it was against terrorism, but he would prefer to have a situation of peace and harmony. “Ideal situation should have been that of peace. But, now a reaction to an action has happened. It was a proper action as they were terrorists. But still in this day and age, I think if we lived in peace an harmony it would have been better for everyone and especially for common people,” he said while speaking at the launch of his jwellery range for Being Human. Last week, Raj Thackeray-led MNS issued an ultimatum to Pakistani artistes and actors including Fawad Khan, who is part of one of the productions under Salman’s banner, and Ali Zafar, to leave India by September 25 or else they would be “pushed out”.Right after the Uri attack, political wing MNS decided to ban Pakistani artists from India. This was followed by The Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association’s (IMPPA) resolution to ban the Pak artists till normalcy returns. When asked about the ban, Salman defended the artists saying, “Terrorists and artists are different. Do you think there is no difference between an actor and a terrorist’ Actors come here with a proper visa granted by government. They have a proper work permit.”However, when talking about the surgical strike carried out by the Indian Army across the Line of Control (LoC) on Thursday, the Bollywood icon stated that it was an apt reaction to the neighbouring country’s action in Uri that killed 19 innocent Indian soldiers. Two Pakistani soldiers and over 30 terrorists were reportedly killed in the surgical strike carried out by the Indian Army. The action was in response to the terrorist attack at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 19 Indian Army soldiers.

J & K: Pakistan violates ceasefire in Shahpur along LoC in Poonch, heavy shelling underway

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan on Monday violated ceasefire in Shahpur along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch, Jammu and Kashmir.Heavy mortar shelling and firing was reported from the Pakistani side in Poonch.The fresh attack comes after terrorists attacked the Indian Army and BSF camps in Baramulla, Jammu and Kashmir, in which a BSF personnel was killed.The terrorists attacked near a camp of the 46 Rashtriya Rifles in Baramulla late on Sunday night.The terrorists, whose numbers are still unknown, tried to enter the camp through a public park near it, but failed to breach the security.Earlier, Pakistan targeted Indian posts along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Akhnoor tehsil late Sunday evening.Pakistan has stepped up cross-border firing after the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

How to tackle Pakistan? Surgical strikes and the future of Indian military responses

First came the cross-border raid by the Indian Army’s Special Forces in Myanmar in June 2015. The raid targeted the Northeastern insurgent group NSCN-Khaplang’s training camps, to avenge the insurgent group’s ambush of the Indian Army’s convoy a few weeks earlier that killed 18 soldiers.

And now comes last week’s cross-LoC raid dubbed ‘surgical strikes’ by the Indian Army’s Ghatak commandos on the night of 28 September. The raid targeted terrorist launch pads across the LoC in northern Kashmir in Kel, Shardi, Bhimber and Lipa sectors in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir — launch pads that have, over the years, figured prominently in the intercepts of the intelligence agencies as ones facilitating infiltration.

There is no clarity on how the raid exactly happened — despite a series of ‘briefings’ from the army to those journalists who are close to the government; but it is clear that the raid has caused extensive damage to the terrorist launch pads, killed more than 40 terrorists and at least two soldiers of the Pakistan Army. This is the beginning of a new offensive posture from India.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Earlier too, the Indian Army had undertaken many cross-LoC and cross-border raids in the pursuit of the militants. On the eastern borders, these raids mostly took with the consent of the neighbouring States, while on western borders they were covert operations. But one thing was common: There was little public acknowledgement of these raids from India or the Indian Army, to maintain ‘plausible deniability’.

This strategy had its advantage and the disadvantage.

The advantage was that by sanctioning such a raid to target the militants, the army was able to keep the morale high of its rank and file. It showed that the army would not take the continued targeting of its officers and jawans by terrorists lying down. However, the disadvantage was that by maintaining deniability, the government couldn’t satisfy the citizenry, which after repeated terrorist attacks, looked out for ‘retributive justice.’ And that invited the tag of India being a ‘soft state’. The only time that these strikes were publicly acknowledged by the army was during the beheading of the Indian soldiers incident in January 2013. That acknowledgment too had come a few months after the operation was carried out.

So what is new this time?

Two things.

First, the public acknowledgment of the raid in a very pointed statement from the Director-General of the Military Operations of the army, at a joint briefing with the Ministry of External Affairs. This no-bars hold approach is significant for its signalling to Pakistan, its sponsors, the international community and most importantly, angry Indian citizens — who have had enough of Pakistan’s machinations. No wonder then that the American National Security Advisor Susan Rice called up her Indian counterpart Ajit Doval just before the raid, to convey that Washington would be with New Delhi to deal with the after-effects of the surgical strike. The public acknowledgment of the attack also shows that India is also testing Pakistan’s bluff on nuclear weapons and see how much the logic of ‘nuclear escalation’ can be stretched.

Second, the immense political capital spent in planning the raid: A response to the Uri attack of 18 September 18 that had angered Indians. Unlike earlier, when the army used to inform the political leadership about the planned cross-border/LoC operation, this time the initiative for such an operation came from political leadership that sought to direct the course of the operation.
Now that Pakistan has been scurrying for cover and looking for a response, will this mend Pakistani behaviour?

It looks unlikely.

It will take more than a cross-LoC surgical strike to make Pakistan withdraw its support to anti-India terrorist groups and cross-border terrorism. The government has already been considering other measures to corner Pakistan and isolate it diplomatically. Will this be the standard response of India to the future terrorist attacks coming from Pakistan?

It’s hard to say.

Surgical strikes and cross-LoC raid look feasible options if the Pakistani Army and the ISI keeps up with its strategy of executing terrorist attacks in Indian states bordering Pakistan — like Uri and the previous attacks in Udhampur, Pathankot, Gurdaspur, and the rest. But if the ISI manages to repeat what it had done in Mumbai in 2008 or revives its campaign of causing serial blasts in major Indian cities, then this sort of response of surgical strikes may look harder to execute, particularly if the attack has its roots exclusively in Pakistani Punjab, and not PoK. Then the Indian government and the Indian Army will have to think of new ways to militarily respond to Pakistan.

There is no clarity on how the raid exactly happened — despite a series of ‘briefings’ from the army to those journalists who are close to the government

This was exactly the sort of dilemma with which the government of former prime minister Manmohan Singh grappled in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai attacks when a cross-LoC raid looked like militarily the least punitive response against Pakistan.

In the coming days, Pakistani generals will certainly be rethinking their terrorism strategy against India. Expect more terrorist attacks on Indian soil as the ISI tries to reclaim lost ground. India too will need to re-evaluate its military options to keep up with the Pakistani strategy.

Pakistani boat apprehended off Gujarat coast; 9 crew members taken in for investigation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid heightened vigil, a Pakistani boat with nine crew members was apprehended off the Gujarat coast this morning by the Indian Coast Guard.Coast Guard Ship ‘Samudra Pavak’ apprehended the Pakistani boat having nine crew members on board at around 10.15 AM today off Gujarat coast during patrolling, according to a Defence Minister statement.Preliminary information indicated the people on board were Pakistani fishermen. However, “the boat and the crew members are being escorted to Porbandar for further investigation,” the release said. The apprehension of the Pakistani boat comes days after the Indian Army conducted surgical strike across LoC, following which a high alert has been sounded across the land and sea border with the neighbouring country.Earlier on Friday, the Coast Guard had said that sensitive sea areas off Gujarat coast have been “sanitised” and surveillance enhanced following India’s surgical strike on terror launch pads across the LoC. The Coast Guard had also advised the fishing community and other stakeholders to maintain enhanced vigil and report any abnormal activity either at sea or in areas close to the coast.

Why the world should applaud Pakistan for continuing to deny India’s surgical strikes

More than 48 hours since India’s Special Forces moved across the LoC, neutralised some terror facilities and killed over 50 operatives in four sectors of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and then owned up the covert operation, Islamabad and Rawalpindi have sent confusing signals. Mostly, though, Pakistan army and administration have remained in stout and fierce denial.

This has understandably caused bafflement and even mirth in India.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.  Image courtesy News18Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.  Image courtesy News18

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Image courtesy News18

Apart from a small section of the media which still appears to be skeptical about the Wednesday night surgical strikes, the overwhelming feeling is that Pakistan’s denial is an extension of its self-delusion. Pakistan’s critics have pointed out that nothing more could be expected of a revisionist nation which still deludes itself into believing that it won in 1965 and denied the presence of terror masterminds Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar inside its territory till the US came and took them down.

Maybe. But I would argue here that in this case, Pakistan’s denial isn’t an example of its illusion, rather a laudable step in a difficult situation. So long as the Pakistan Army does not carry out any retaliatory misadventures and stays within the confines of rhetoric and even ridicule, India would do well to give Pakistan the legroom it needs and even indulge in some of its false bravados. A bit of banter never harmed anyone. Nobody, absolutely nobody wants a full-scale war between two nuclear-armed nations.

For the doubters in India who think that the entire operation is a figment of Narendra Modi and Indian Army’s imagination, well, nothing can be said because to this date some people still choose to believe that Nasa faked the moon landing. Besides, even if for argument’s sake we consider that India faked it, the purpose has been solved. So doubters have the permission to doubt in peace and perpetuity.

Shock and alarm in Pakistan

For a more realistic understanding of Pakistan’s response, consider the series of steps that Islamabad and Rawalpindi have undertaken since the strikes “which never happened”. After vociferously claiming that India had carried out nothing more than cross-border artillery shelling which was an “existential phenomenon” Pakistan moved unusually quickly on the political, diplomatic and military fronts.

Reports have emerged out of Pakistan recalling its battalions employed for Operation Zarb-e-Azb (counter-terrorism operations), cancelling all leaves and putting the army in an emergency alert. India Today, quoting sources, reports that Islamabad has begun mobilising troops, reserves and mechanised infantry along the Indian borders. Intelligence agencies have confirmed enlistment of Pakistani troops, says the report.

On the political front, Suhasini Haidar reveals in The Hindu that Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has convened a series of urgent high-level meetings to discuss the situation at LoC. The government has also “convened a special joint session of the Pakistani Parliament on Wednesday, which will follow the National Security Committee meeting, where Nawaz Sharif has extended a special invitation to all the chief ministers to speak about the LoC situation”.

On the diplomatic front, Pakistan’s permanent UN ambassador Maleeha Lodhi met New Zealand’s UN envoy Gerard van Bohemen, who is president of the 15-member Security Council for September, and “brought to his attention the dangerous situation that is building up in our region as a result of Indian provocation”, according to a Reuters report.

Taken together, these represent a rather unusual response for “regular artillery shelling across the border” from India.

Livemint notes that Nawaz has called “Indian aggression” a threat to the entire region and even “warned that Pakistan is also capable of executing surgical strikes and will not allow anyone to cast an evil eye on it.

And finally, a senior Pakistani journalist has told Dawn that “It would be more accurate to say that there was an incursion, which means Indian troops may have crossed the Line of Control (LoC), but it cannot be called a “surgical strike”.

Why the denial

Now let’s come to the question at the centre of it all. Why is Pakistan denying the operation and taking reactionary steps at the same time? The answer is multi-layered and incumbent on various factors. The first among these is a conundrum. If Pakistan were to admit that the strike indeed has taken place, it would be forced to concede two crucial points.

One, that well-laid out terror infrastructure exists in Pok, a position that it has flatly and consistently denied in the past. That would be a telling blow to its Kashmir narrative because the fulcrum of its complaint is that the “Kashmir rebellion is home-grown” and all Indian accusation of cross-border incitement is false. Pakistan Army cannot afford to confirm its own lies.

Two, any admission of Indian surgical strikes would be a humiliating kick in the face of its supposedly “invincible” army led by the larger-than-life macho General Raheel Sharif. That would be a bigger existential crisis, more critical than point No.1.

Consider the improbability of an admission. India says that it carried out a cross-LoC incursion and brought “significant damage” to Pakistan’s terror factories. And all of this supposedly happened when Pakistan Army was at an advanced stage of battle-readiness with regular reports of “thundering F-16s landing on civilian airstrips”.

India’s action, therefore, would be especially galling for General Raheel Sharif who is so close to retirement and angling for an extension. Only a few days back, the general had bragged that Pakistan Army “has now become invincible”, and “knows all covert and overt intrigues and intentions of the enemies” while addressing a gathering in connection with Defence Day at GHQ, Rawalpindi, according to a report in The Indian Express.

“I want to make it clear to all enemies of Pakistan that Pakistan has always been strong and today it is invincible,” The Express Tribune quoted Sharif as saying, elaborates the report. The egg on his face would be difficult to wash off.

But there is a third reason why Pakistan is denying the strike. And this is by far the most important motivation. If it admits to the surgical strike, Rawalpindi has absolutely no option other than to retaliate against India. And it cannot be a proxy intervention. The army, the only institution that enjoys a modicum of respect in a failed state, cannot afford to be publicly humiliated by its greatest enemy and keep quiet. That would rob Rawalpindi of its halo and forever cripple its hold over Islamabad. While that would be a good thing, in the long run, it is certainly not part of ‘Pindi khakis’ plan.

And if a military intervention does take place, India will have no option but to retaliate and it could soon escalate into a full-blown war between nuclear-armed rivals with potentially devastating consequences. Which is why Pakistan’s denial is actually a laudable attempt to defuse the tension. It is telling its awaam that “nothing happened”, so they are under no obligation to take revenge.

And that is exactly why Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been mysteriously silent about one of the most professional surgical operations carried out by the Indian Army.

Explaining Modi’s radio silence

Consider the very controlled and restrained statement released by the Indian Army, which was careful to stress that this was “merely a counter-terrorism operation” aimed at “preventing terror modules from infiltrating into Indian border” and that “operation has ended and no such action will take place.” DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh said, among other things, that: “The operations aimed at neutralizing terrorists have since ceased. We do not have any plans for further continuation. However, the Indian Armed Forces are fully prepared for any contingency that may arise… I have been in touch with Pakistan Army DGMO and have informed him of our actions. It is India’s intention to maintain peace and tranquillity in the region… We expect the Pakistani army to cooperate with us to erase the menace of terrorism from the region.”

This is Indian Army telling Pakistan Army that ‘look, we have no intention of intruding your airspace or violating your sovereignty, and we merely did what we did because we were acting in self-defence.”

This was accompanied by complete silence from Modi who reportedly personally monitored the operation. There was not even one laudatory message for the army from the PM. His silence can be interpreted as total reluctance to aggravate the situation with rhetorical bombast. He clearly does not wish to heap more humiliation on Pakistan. The surgical strike itself would have conveyed what needed to be conveyed.

International pressure

The final piece in the Pakistan’s denial jigsaw falls in place when we consider that post the surgical strike, all major global powers have either backed Indian stand asking Pakistan to remove terror infrastructure from within the area it controls (US and Russia), gave sermons on the need for exercising restraint (China), or complete silence about the strike despite Pakistan’s outrage. This means a resounding diplomatic defeat for Pakistan. But more than that, it also means that the world is telling Pakistan to take the strike on its chin and move on. And nobody minds giving Pakistan some space to carry on with its bluster provided there is no escalation. Denial is the least we should allow.

Jammu and Kashmir: Pakistan violates ceasefire in Akhnoor, gunfight underway

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad over the surgical strikes across the Line of Control, Pakistan on Saturday violated ceasefire in Pallanwala sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Akhnoor.The firing started at around 4 am and is underway.This is the fourth ceasefire violation in the last 36 hours and come two days after the Indian Army struck along the Line of Control (LoC) on militant launchpads in a surgical strike.Pakistani troops earlier on Thursday resorted to firing in Balnoie area of Mendhar sector without any casualty.Pakistan violated ceasefire earlier on September 28 by opening fire on Indian Army posts along the LoC in Sabzian area Poonch sector.

Pakistan will give befitting response to ‘misadventure’ by adversary, says Army chief Raheel Sharif

Pakistan will give befitting response to ‘misadventure’ by adversary, says Army chief Raheel Sharif

‘);
FB.XFBML.parse();
*/
});

Lahore: Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif on Friday warned that any “misadventure” by any “adversary” will meet the “most befitting response”, a day after India conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC.

Pakistan Army chief Raheel Sharif. ReutersPakistan Army chief Raheel Sharif. Reuters

Pakistan Army chief Raheel Sharif. Reuters

“The highest state of vigil is being maintained along the Line of Control, Working Boundary and the international border,” General Raheel said.

“Any misadventure by our adversary will meet the most befitting response,” he said while talking to troops at a newly developed Combat Reaction Training facility near Lahore Garrison.

He asked all commanders to lay more emphasis on combat readiness and said the training in peacetime is the only guarantor of averting and winning a war if imposed.

“Pakistan cannot be coerced through any amount of malicious propaganda,” he said.

He expressed his complete satisfaction over operational preparedness of the Army.

© 2020 Yuva Sai Sagar. Theme by Anders Norén.