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Lt Gen Rawat takes over as Army chief, Air Marshal Dhanoa takes charge as IAF chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lt Gen Bipin Rawat on Saturday took over as the 27th chief of the 1.3 million strong Indian Army succeeding Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, who retired after 42 years of service.Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa also took charge as the 25th Air Force Chief replacing Anup Raha.Gen Rawat superseded two senior most Lt Generals, Praveen Bakshi and P M Hariz.Lt Gen Bakshi, who heads the Kolkata-headquartered Eastern Command, announced “full support” to the new chief and told theatre officers through video conferencing he will continue to lead with “full professional sincerity as hither-to-fore”.”I convey my best wishes and full support of Eastern Command to Gen Bipin Rawat on having taken over as the Chief of Army Staff,” he said.Earlier, there was speculation that Lt Gen Bakshi may resign or take premature retirement. He had also met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar recently.He requested that speculation and trolling in media and social media should stop and everyone should focus on contributing their best to the betterment of the army and the nation.The Eastern Commander called the new Army chief to congratulate him on taking over the reins of the army.Speculation is rife that Lt Gen Bakshi may be given the new post of Chief of Defence Staff pertaining which Parrikar will meet Prime Minster Narendra Modi next month.Sources, however, have indicated that no such development will take place.Gen Suhag, who superannuated today, said army is prepared to meet any challenge as he thanked the government for “providing a free hand” and implementing the One Rank One Pension scheme.He said that infiltration bids had increased during the year and the number of terrorists killed was nearly double the previous year.The General said the army focused on operational preparedness during his tenure.Suhag said that when he had taken over he had asserted the response of the army to any action against our interest would be immediate, adequate and intense. “Indian Army has done that in the last two-and-a-half years,” he said.Later at noon, he handed over the charge to Rawat, who was commissioned in the Fifth Battalion of the Eleven Gorkha Rifles in December 1978 from IMA, Dehradun. He was awarded the ‘Sword of Honour’ at the academy.Earlier in the day, Gen Suhag and Air Chief Marshal Raha paid tributes at Amar Jawan Jyoti and inspected the guard of honour.The new IAF chief, Air Marshal Dhanoa, had developed the country’s aerial targeting philosophy against potential adversaries and transformed the concept of air operations of the air force into contemporary war fighting practices.He has mainly flown Kiran and MiG-21 aircraft though he has the experience of flying the entire spectrum of fighter aircraft from Jaguar to state-of-the-art MiG-29 and Su-30 MKI.The Air Marshal has many feathers in his hat. As the commanding officer of a frontline ground attack fighter squadron, he led the IAF punch during the “Limited War” against Pakistan to drive the enemy out of their “dug in” defences in the icy heights of Kargil region.During the conflict, under his leadership and supervision, the squadron devised unique and innovative methods of bombing at night at altitudes never before attempted in the history of air warfare, the IAF said.Prior to the attack, the squadron had been adjudged as the best fighter squadron of western Air Command for its high degree of professionalism and peace-time training. After the conflict, it emerged as the most decorated IAF unit of Kargil War.He also holds the highest flying instructional category in the IAF and was handpicked to establish the “IAF Training Team” abroad.Gen Rawat has vast experience in high altitude warfare and counter-insurgency operations.He commanded an infantry battalion, along the Line of Actual Control in the Eastern Sector, a Rashtriya Rifles Sector and an Infantry Division in the Kashmir Valley, a Corps in the Eastern theatre and the Southern Command.He has tenanted instructional appointments at Indian Military Academy and at Army War College, Mhow.Gen Rawat has held important staff appointments at Directorate General of Military Operations and Military Secretary’s Branch at Army HQ.He has also been Major General General Staff (MGGS) at HQ Eastern Command.The General commanded a Multinational Brigade in a Chapter VII mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC). While serving with the United Nations, he was twice awarded the Force Commander’s Commendation.An alumni of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, he has been awarded various medals of high honour for gallantry and distinguished service in a span of over 38 years in uniform.He also attended the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, USA.Academically inclined, Rawat has authored numerous articles on national security and leadership, which have been published in various journals and publications.He was awarded M.Phil in Defence Studies from Madras University. He has a Diploma in Management and another Diploma in Computer Studies.Gen Rawat has also completed his research on military media strategic studies and was awarded Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D) from Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut in 2011.

Florence Nightingales of the army sing discrimination

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two officers in the Military Nursing Services (MNS), the only all women corps of the army, have challenged discriminatory practices by the army in the Supreme Court (SC) and have sought restoration of their status, dignity and service conditions as officers of the Regular Army.In their petition, MNS officers Lieutenant Colonel Uma Kaushik and Captain Harpreet Kaur sought parity with officers in the army on various grounds. In their prayer, the officers have listed at least 13 grounds where discriminatory practices were observed. They include orders where nurses of senior ranks would not be saluted by junior ranked officers. Hence, though a MNS officer may be a Major General in uniform, a jawan will not salute her.The petitioners are of the opinion that the core consideration of the case stems from the prejudice they face, based on an obsolete and backward notion that nurses are inferior to other professionals. In their petition, they said they believe the heart of the matter is that doctors and male officers find it unpalatable that they are required to treat nursing officers in accordance with their status and rank.This petition is similar to a 2015 writ petition filed by Major General (Retd) Usha Sikdar on behalf of Military Nursing Service Corps Association in which a notice was issued to the army. It is interesting to note that since hearing in December, 4, 2015, the matter has not come up again in the top court.Known as the Florence Nightingales of the Indian Army, MNS officers have been seeking redressal for over a decade now. The petitioners believe that discriminatory practices were introduced after a 2003 SC judgement in Jasbir Kaur’s case, where an unfortunate one line observation made by the Bench stated, “That the Indian Military Nursing Service is a separate class, sui generis even though an auxiliary force of the Indian Military, is an undeniable fact.”Over the years, the nurses allege that they were discriminated against on at least 13 grounds that included discontinuation of arms training, change in uniform, stripping of stars and flags from vehicles and verbal instructions to stop saluting MNS officers among others.According to the petition, the Army, vide letter no. B/42706/MNS/AG/CW-1 09.02.2004, changed the olive green shirt and pants (like other officers in the Army) worn by the officers in the MNS to safari style beige colour uniform. This, the officers allege, was discriminatory and a grave gender injustice.IN 2005, the Chief of the Army Staff (CoAS) disallowed the display of star plates and flying of flags by officers in the MNS of the rank of Brigadier and Major general on their official vehicles. In 2008, the CoAS wrote to the Cabinet Secretary against granting the same pay band and grade pay to officers in the MNS as for the other service officers as recommended by the 6th Central Pay Commission.After 2004, MNS officers have been denied membership and access to exclusive army clubs and institutes and accommodation has been segregated. The 6th Pay Commission recommended parity in time-scale promotions, a notification that has not yet been implemented.In their petition, the two officers further allege that there has been an attempt to take away their commissioned rank. In her blog titled Fall of Nightingales – the tale of a losing battle, Maj Gen Sikdar wrote that a 10-member committee, headed by then army director-general of discipline, ceremonial and welfare, Lt Gen MG Girish recommended that MNS ranks be changed to Sister, Senior Sister, Matron, Deputy Principal Matron, Deputy Nursing Superintendent and Nursing Superintendent from Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lt Colonel, Brigadier and Major General, respectively. However, medical officers got to retain their ranks, Sikdar noted.

401 cadets pass out of Indian Military Academy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A total of 401 gentleman passed out of Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun in a colourful Passing Out Parade, as rose petals were showered from a chopper, carpeting the institutes’s tarmac drill square. Addressing the gentlemen cadets after reviewing a colourful Passing Out Parade performed by them, Deputy Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Narinder Pal Singh Hira said they were privileged to have trained at the IMA considered the best in the field and asked them to make optimum use of the skills learnt here in serving the country.Reminding them that the IMA alumni had served the country in various wars including the 1971 conflict with Pakistan and the Kargil war, he asked the gentlemen cadets to draw inspiration from them and be ready to sacrifice everything for the country. “You walk into the footsteps of officers who served the country with great courage in 1962 war and the subsequent wars fought in 1965, 1971 and the Kargil war.You should draw inspiration from them. IMA instills the best qualities in its cadets and you should try to make optimum use of them in serving your country,” he said.Noting that infiltration bids from across the country’s western borders continue, he said India has always given a “befitting reply to such attempts and will continue to do so.” He said some countries may be better than India in terms of military equipment but no army in the world can match the Indian troops in bravery, discipline and military skills. “The Indian troops enjoy a qualitative edge over their counterparts anywhere in the world because of their capabilities,” he said.The Sword of Honour went to Academy Under Officer Pratyush Mohanty and the Gold medal to Academy Cadet Adjutant Malla Rajagopal Naidu. Out of the 401 gentlemen cadets the maximum 77 are from Uttar Pradesh, 46 from Haryana, 29 from Uttarakhand, 28 from Bihar and 26 from Rajasthan.

Three Army officers killed in copter crash in West Bengal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three Army officers were killed and a junior commissioned officer was critically injured on Wednesday when a Cheetah helicopter crashed at Sukna Military Camp in West Bengal.Lt Colonel Rajneesh Kumar, Major Sanjeev Lathar and Major Arvind Bazala died by the time they reached hospital, and the condition of a jawan was critical.Army officials said the five-seater chopper crashed around 11.45 am when it was returning to the camp’s helipad at Sukna, near Silgirui, from a routine mission. The Army’s 33 Corps is based at Sukna and all aircraft of the Army are run by Army Aviation Corps.While three officers died on the spot, a JCO was evacuated and admitted to a hospital in a critical condition. “The copter was on a routine mission. It crashed as it was trying to land, a spokeswoman of the Army’s Eastern Command said.

Gen AK Bhatt to replace Ranbir Singh as DGMO

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lt Gen A K Bhatt has been appointed as the country’s new Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) and will be in charge of all army operations including on the LoC which has seen heightened tension. Bhatt, a Gorkha officer, replaces Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, who has been appointed as the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Mathura-based Strike 1 Corps — one of the three assault forces of the army — which is mandated to cross into Pakistan in a short notice. It was during the tenure of Lt Gen Singh that India carried out surgical strikes at five separate locations in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to target terrorist launch pads. Bhatt is at present posted in the Army Headquarters as the Additional Director General of CAB (Complaint and Advisory Board). The appointment was cleared by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Lt Gen Shokin Chauhan, who headed the Strike 1 Corps, has been appointed as the new chief of the Assam Rifles.

Army foils two infiltration bids, pushes back terrorists

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after Pakistani Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) called up his Indian counterpart, alert troops forced a group of Pakistan-backed to take a hasty retreat after they tried to sneak-in from two sectors of the Line of Control (LoC) in North Kashmir.“Two infiltration attempts foiled in last 18 hours. Alert troops pushed back intruders in Gulmarg and Nowgam sectors after heavy exchange of fire”, tweeted Northern Command of the Indian army.The first infiltration bid was foiled in Gulmarg sector on Wednesday when alert troops deployed on the LoC noticed suspicious movement. Troops challenged the intruders, who opened heavy volume of fire. Indian army retaliated and the exchange of fire continued for few hours before the terrorists took a retreat back to Pakistan occupied Kashmir.Hours later in the morning, Indian troops noticed the suspicious movement in Nowgam sector of Kupwara district. “There was an attempted infiltration. This was intercepted. It was fired upon. Exchange of fire took place at both the places and they were forced to flee back”, said an army spokesman. The infiltration bids were foiled a day after Indian army launched a punitive fire assault on Pakistani posts in different sectors of Line of Control in a bid to avenge the killing of three soldiers in the Machhal sector on Tuesday.

DNA Morning Must Reads: Indo-Pak DGMOs speak to each other, demonetization row & more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Counter-offensive: Pakistan blinks, DGMOs speak to each otherAmidst tensions along the LoC, the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan, in an unscheduled hotline interaction, spoke to each other on Wednesday. Read moreUproar over demonetization: After Lok Sabha, PM Modi to be in Rajya Sabha?After Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended Lok Sabha, amidst an Opposition-Government standoff on demonetization, there is anticipation that on Thursday he could be present in Rajya Sabha during question hour. Read moreDNA Exclusive: India sceptical about Pak intel alert on ‘Hindu terror attack’Amid rising tensions along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB), the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has informed the Delhi Police and other Central intelligence agencies that “Hindu radicals” could attack the Delhi-Lahore bus service, the Samjhauta rail service that operates between India and Pakistan, and the luxury bus service from Delhi to Nepal. Read in detailNikki Haley accepts new UN assignment, Trump calls her a ‘proven dealmaker’Indian-American Nikki Haley on Wednesday said that she would be happy to represent America at the UN, describing it as “an important calling to heed” when the President believes “you have a major contribution” to make to the welfare of the nation. Read detailsTatas bring satraps to counter Cyrus Mistry’s claimsThe latest episode in the Mistry-Tata spat has brought into focus the group’s past attitude towards Tata Consultancy Services, considered to be the crown jewel that continues to sustain and feed the conglomerate. Read more

General Dalbir Singh Suhag to visit People’s Liberation Army eastern theatre command

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag left for the Chinese city of Nanjing on Tuesday where he is due to visit the PLA’s eastern theatre command as well as army command college that trains senior officers. Gen Suhag, who held talks with China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) Vice Chairman General Xu Qiliang and head of China’s ground forces Gen Li Zuocheng, wrapped up his visit to Beijing and left for field visits, officials said.At Nanjing he is also scheduled to interact with General Liu Yuejun, Commander of the Eastern Theatre Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). He will also visit military installations including an infantry division and army air defence brigades. He is scheduled to go to Xian before returning home on November 24.Gen Suhag is visiting China at the invitation of General Fan Changlong, another Vice Chairman, CMC who is currently visiting Tanzania. During Gen Suhag’s meeting with Xu on Monday, both the generals “reiterated their desire to keep up the momentum of defence exchanges and the need to keep the borders tranquil and peaceful,” an Indian Embassy statement said.In a press release on Monday’s talks between Gen Suhag and Gen Xu, the Chinese Defence Ministry quoted Xu as saying that the militaries of the two countries should serve as the booster and stabiliser in the development of relations between China and India.Xu said that China and India have a long history of friendship, and the Chinese side attaches great importance to developing relations between with India. Referring to nine meetings between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi he said both the leaders reached important consensuses on upgrading bilateral ties.The military-to-military relations between the two countries have generally maintained the good momentum of development, and the two militaries should resolutely implement the consensuses reached by the leaders of the two countries, strengthen pragmatic exchange and cooperation, deepen strategic mutual trust and serve as the booster and stabiliser in development of bilateral relations, Xu said.Xu wished that the armies of the two countries would further strengthen border management and control and enhance border defence cooperation, so as to maintain the peace and tranquillity in the border areas, the statement said. During the visit, General Suhag is expected to discuss a host of issues including efficacy of mechanism put in place to deal with transgressions of troops aggressively patrolling the areas claimed by both the countries. Several such transgressions by Chinese troops specially in the Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh sectors in the recent past resulted in long standoffs between troops on both sides.While relations between the two militaries improved with visits by high-level officials including Defence Ministers, officials say the relations remained tenuous with steady increase of Pakistan-related issues affecting their growth.General Suhag’s visit also comes at a time when relations between the two countries were stressed by issues like the US $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), China blocking India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and move to impose a UN ban on JeM Chief Masood Azhar.However, officials on both sides say despite contentious issues, both sides managed to keep up the dialogue at the highest level going, ensuring peace and tranquillity along the 3,488 km long Line of Actual Control (LAC). Besides the constant interactions under the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) to address ground level issues, the two sides also held 19 rounds of talks to resolve the border dispute.

Chhattisgarh: 5 naxals gunned down by security forces in maoist hotbed Bastar

Raipur: Five naxals were gunned down by security forces in the jungles of Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district in Maoist hotbed Bastar, police said on Saturday.

“The skirmish took place last night between a joint team of District Reserve Group (DRG) and ultras in the jungles of Tuspal and Becha Kilam villages under Chhotedongar police station limits,” Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range), S R P Kalluri told PTI.

This is the second biggest encounter in Bastar this month after bodies of six naxals, including three women, were recovered post a gun battle in Dantewada on 16 November.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“At least half a dozen cadres of Military Company VI of Maoists were killed in the gun battle at Narayanpur,” Kalluri said tagging the operation as “surgical strike”.

DRG teams from Kondagaon and Narayanpur districts had jointly launched the operation into the core areas of Abhujmad — considered as Maoist den, based on specific inputs, the IG said.

When they reached the jungles of Tuspal and Becha Kilam, the gun battle broke out between both the sides, he said.

Five bodies and as many weapons have been recovered from the spot, he said, adding that no harm was reported to security forces and more details were awaited.

With this, so far as 15 Maoists have been killed in separate encounters in Bastar division this month, the IG added.

First Published On : Nov 19, 2016 15:57 IST

Five Naxals killed in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five naxals were gunned down by security forces in the jungles of Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district in Maoist hotbed Bastar, police said on Saturday. “The skirmish took place last night between a joint team of District Reserve Group (DRG) and ultras in the jungles of Tuspal and Becha Kilam villages under Chhotedongar police station limits,” Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range), S R P Kalluri said. This is the second biggest encounter in Bastar this month after bodies of six naxals, including three women, were recovered post a gun battle in Dantewada on November 16. “At least half a dozen cadres of Military Company VI of Maoists were killed in the gun battle at Narayanpur,” Kalluri said tagging the operation as “surgical strike”. DRG teams from Kondagaon and Narayanpur districts had jointly launched the operation into the core areas of Abhujmad – considered as Maoist den, based on specific inputs, the IG said.When they reached the jungles of Tuspal and Becha Kilam, the gun battle broke out between both the sides, he said. Five bodies and as many weapons have been recovered from the spot, he said, adding that no harm was reported to security forces and more details were awaited. With this, so far as 15 Maoists have been killed in separate encounters in Bastar division this month, the IG added.

Ceasefire agreement redundant: 286 violations by Pakistan post surgical strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The 2003 India-Pakistan ceasefire agreement has virtually become redundant with a whopping 286 incidents of firing and shelling along LoC and IB in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistani troops that resulted in death of 26 people, including 14 security personnel, since the surgical strike on terrorist launch pads in PoK.There have been 186 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the over 190 km International Border (IB) in Jammu frontier, while 104 violations of the agreement took place along the over 500 km Line of Control (LoC). “There has been 182 ceasefire violation by Pak Rangers along IB targeting civilian areas and BoPs in Kathua, Samba and Jammu districts since the surgical strike on the intervening night September 28 and 29,” a senior BSF officer said on Sunday.They also resorted to firing of 120 mortar bombs and from automatic weapons very heavily in which civilians and security personnel were killed and a large number of people including women and children suffered injuries, he said, adding that a large number of cattle perished in the shelling and huge damage was caused to houses.
ALSO READ Pak shelling kills another soldier on LoC, toll reaches 14A large population was forced out of their homes, harvesting of paddy crops halted and marriage season was badly affected in the border areas due to heavy shelling and firing. The officer said there have been 85 ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC in Jammu region falling under 16 Corps area and 19 ceasefire violations have been recorded along the LoC in Kashmir region falling under 15 Corps area.India and Pakistan entered into no-firing agreement along Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Kashmir in 2003. On November 25, 2003, the Director Generals of Military Operations of India and Pakistan agreed to observe a ceasefire along the International Border, Line of Control and Actual Ground Position Line in Jammu and Kashmir. 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.A total of 26 people, including 12 civilians, were killed and more than 85 suffered injuries in Pakistani shelling and firing along IB and LoC in Jammu. The state government had closed over 400 schools along the border in Jammu region in the wake of the ongoing heavy cross-border firing.On a visit to the state in the first week of November, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had 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,” an army officer said.There has been 583 ceasefire violations in 2014 and 405 in 2015. In 2014 and 2015, there were 153 and 152 such violations respectively on the LoC managed by the Army. The ceasefire violations on the International Border under the control of Border Security Force in 2014 and 2015 were 430 and 253 respectively.

Pakistan eyes Chinese J-20: It’s time for India to trot in fifth-generation fighter race

Pakistan has evinced interest in acquiring the export variant of China’s first fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA). China recently showcased two of its advanced J-20 stealth fighters in a fly-over at an air show in Zhuhai, Guangdong province of China on 1 November 2016. This was the first, public show of the J-20 warplane which is regarded as a major breakthrough for China. The country otherwise mostly relies on Russian aircraft including advanced versions of Sukhois. The Pakistani Air Force also took part in the air show in Zhuhai flying its J-17 Thunder jets which are jointly manufactured by China. Pakistan reportedly is already in talks with China to buy the FC-31 – an export variant of the same aircraft. The FC-31 too was briefly flown in the 2014 Zhuhai air show.

China unveils its J-20 stealth fighter during an air show in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China, 1 November  2016. ReutersChina unveils its J-20 stealth fighter during an air show in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China, 1 November  2016. Reuters

China unveils its J-20 stealth fighter during an air show in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China, 1 November 2016. Reuters

The Zhuhai air show was a weeklong affair and the J-20 flew for the weeklong show every day, taking off from an airfield in nearby Foshan. The J-20 is a long-range radar-evading fighter jet equipped with air-to-air missiles, resembling Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor. China has reportedly built six prototypes of this FGFA. China is also developing the J-31 which is supposed to sequel American F-35 Lightning II. A People’s Liberation Air Force (PLAF) official told the media that the J-20 was not being showcased on ground as public display as visitors could not be permitted to come close because of secrecy, stating, “J-20 contains many of China’s top technologies in stealth aircraft plus other military secrets that include the J-20’s body shape, the proportion of its wing and body and other secrets as aircraft experts can easily calculate its stealth parameters from its exterior.”

India is going in for the development of its own FGFA jointly with Russia. In February this year, India and Russia revived talks on the delayed FGFA project after Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar approved the deal. The fifth-generation fighter jet will be on par with the capabilities of Russia’s PAK-FA T-50 aircraft, a fifth-generation fighter, but since the jet will be designed over the next few years, it is likely to exceed in some specifics, in that it may be more advanced than the present version of Russia’s PAK-FA T-50.

“The agreement has been completed on our end; we are ready to sign it. It is now down to the Indian side. There are some formalities to figure out, but I think it will be signed by the end of this year,” Sergi Chemezov, CEO of Russia’s Rostech State Corporation told The Economic Times. “The FGFA project will produce a state of the art fighter jet, and it will be the result of the work on Russia’s most modern technology done by both Russian and Indian engineers. As Fifth Generation, it means fifth generation speed, ballistics and military equipment, avionics and stealth capabilities among other qualities,” he said.

India and Russia have already inked military deals worth Rs 60,000 crore during the Brics summit held in Goa. Now, Russia is hoping to get another order on FGFA by end of the current year. Under the new offer, India will need to contribute $3.7 billion instead of $6 billion towards technological know-how and some three prototypes of the fighters. During the recent India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Military and Technical Cooperation co-chaired by Parrikar and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu the FGFA project and upgrades of SU-31 aircraft in service with the IAF were discussed.

China’s J-20 had earlier made news when its picture covered under a tarpaulin at Daocheng Yading airport in Tibet appeared during September 2016. This raised speculations that this FGFA may be deployed on the India-China border. However, the China Military Online then stated, “it is said that J-20 will be put into service soon but the China-India border is apparently not the ideal place for its deployment”, adding, “In addition, the world’s highest airport there does not have a complete set of supporting facilities and such shortage will impede the function of J-20.” But then the aircraft parked there obviously had come for trials and necessary support and maintenance facilities at high altitude airbases in Tibet can be created concurrent to fielding of the J-20 albeit the China Military Online also commented, “If India is to deploy the BrahMos missile on the China-India border, then the Daocheng Yading airport will likely become its target.”

It is apparent that the FGFA race will be speeding up in the sub-continent over the next few years. The China-Pakistan nexus has shown exponential growth since the PLA has made its strategic lodgment in Gilgit-Baltistan under the pretext of developing hydel projects. This has been further reinforced through the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in which China is investing $46 billion; $11 billion by the Chinese government and balance $35 billion by private companies of China. The CPEC is actually the strategic highway of China for land access to the Indian Ocean that is emerging as the centre of gravity of future conflict. Gwadar is coming as a Chinese naval base under the pretext of a trade base or ‘Strategic Support Base’ as China would like to portray.

The IMF and economists have warned that the CPEC may be a debt trap for Pakistan as repayment obligations that come with this investment will be serious. But there should be no doubt that China will see it through because of her own strategic interests, especially given that the Pakistani military hierarchy has more or less acquiesced to let Pakistan become a satellite state of China. That is why China is developing Gwadar port and its infrastructure including airfield through Chinese companies on a gratis basis. Gwadar, together with Pakistani naval bases at Omari and Karachi would give China extended reach and dominance over the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf. Purchase of export version of the Chinese J-20 may draw Pakistan more into the debt trap but then China can always extend soft long-term repayment plan, even lease some of these aircraft for long periods. At the same time, basing of these aircraft flown by PLAF is also very much possible under the pretext of training, exercises etc. India needs to accelerate its proposed FGFA development jointly with Russia.

The author is a veteran Lieutenant General of the Indian Army.

First Published On : Nov 12, 2016 21:46 IST

India’s use of ‘heavy weaponry’ along LoC threatens ‘peace and stability’: Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan briefed Head of Missions of P5 countries on the alleged Indian aggression on the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary, saying the use of “heavy weaponry” by the Indian Army threatens peace and stability and may lead to a “strategic miscalculation”. Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry provided details to the ambassadors of China, France, Russian, UK and USA, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, about unprovoked firing and ceasefire violations by the “Indian occupation Forces” in the past two months, the Foreign Office (FO) said. Chaudhry expressed grave concern over the increased frequency and duration of indiscriminate firing from the Indian side, deliberate targeting of villages and civilian populated areas, resulting in the death of 26 civilians and injuring 107 others, said FO. The Foreign Secretary also alleged that the Indian side was resorting to such heavy weaponry use after a gap of 13 years. “Pakistan has been compelled to respond but with maximum restraint. The Armed Forces of Pakistan gave a befitting response,” FO quoted Chaudhry as saying. He expressed apprehension that Indian actions, which constituted a threat for the maintenance of peace and security, may lead to a “strategic miscalculation”. He said India was also not cooperating with the United Nations Military Observers Group (UNMOGIP). The Heads of Missions assured that they would convey Pakistan’s concern to their respective capitals, the FO statement said.

Mandatory voting in army: With military facing disparaging assaults, why every soldier must vote

• It showed the rapid spread and growth of mafias and economic lobbies which have, over the years, developed extensive network with bureaucrats/government functionaries, politicians, media persons and strategically located individuals in the non-state sector; with some also having international linkages, including with foreign intelligence agencies.

• It established that any leakage about the linkages of crime syndicate with senior government functionaries or political leaders in the states or at the Centre could have a destabilising effect on the functioning of the government.

Naturally, the above report has remained buried somewhere because it poses the threat of “destabilising” the functioning of any government. India is not like Singapore, a country where 150 politicians and bureaucrats were jailed overnight when their equivalent of the Lokpal Bill came into being.

No wonder then that former Defense Minister AK Antony couldn’t sleep after discovering the capabilities of the army’s Technical Support Division (TSD). As a result, the TSD was killed off pronto, on trumped up charges, because it “could” have been intercepted by the “mafia”.

Never mind the fact that the mobile interceptors in question were actually imported by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), which functions directly under the Ministry of Defence (MoD), and not the army.

China is known to extract value in strategic terms for financial gain. Similarly, the mafia can extract value by attracting foreign funding. As a result, the military is continuously put down and many of the defence-industrial complexes remain out-dated.

The prime minister may push hard for “ease of business” but the mafia gets massive foreign funding, and which country wants to see a strong India? The inability to act against the mafia makes it bolder. Remember the efforts under the previous government to hollow the system by pitting the IB against the CBI?

But then the realisation dawned that the IPS manning the intelligence agencies were also privy to the mafia dealings. So now, the mafia is going full blast against the military; even trying to pitch the CAPF against the military (remember the police baton charging military veterans at Jantar Mantar).

In terms of ranking and emoluments, the bureaucracy and civilian defence employees should be left aside. Of course, unlike any other country in the world, the same ranks and uniforms of the military, were quietly introduced into the police forces.

When some military veterans first gave a call for a protest at Jantar Mantar in 2015, an organisation called “Patriots Front” wrote a letter to the prime minister, warning him of a military coup and recommended that “anti-coup measures be put in place”.

Even today, the so called “patriots” dismiss the soldiers’ demands as just “whining”. The soldiers just want their status to be respected, as given in the Constitution and they want the serious imbalances and disparities between soldiers and other government civil employees be rectified, taking into account the average career earnings including pension benefits.

For example, the non-functional upgradation (NFU) demand of the armed forces was reportedly turned down on the pretext that it was applicable only to class ‘A’ officers, like IAS, IFS, IPS, IRS, etc. That begs the question: What is the class of the military officers who are commissioned by the President of India?

Does the government have an explanation for this? Why should 45 percent of the defence pension outlay be consumed by 22 percent civilians under the MoD?

In such an environment, what should the military do? There is no need for the service chiefs to bow down to such “unlawful commands”, even as the mafia appears to be hell-bent upon demolishing the military.

But aside from representing the hierarchy on specific issues, the least the service chiefs must do is to ensure that soldiers must not be denied their right to cast their vote, especially since many of their fundamental rights are already severely curbed as part of their service.

The manner in which caste, creed, and religion are played in our country clearly indicate that anything and everything goes, and anything can be sold for votes. Even US President Barrack Obama celebrated Diwali in the White House and so did the United Nations (perhaps on the behest of the US) with an eye on the Indian origin voters going into next week’s Presidential election.

Fortunately, the Election Commission of India has authorised every military soldier to vote during the elections (both state and local) at the station they are posted in — thanks to the efforts of Rajeev Chandrashekhar, former member of parliament.

Legislative Assembly elections are due in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Manipur next year, and the battle lines are tightly drawn; especially in UP, where every vote will count.

When the army formations voted during the 2007 Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election, the change in the political attitude towards the army was electric. Interestingly, on discovering that army division at Allahabad would also participate in the 2007 election, a recent Congress defectee from Allahabad to BJP, had executed a summersault at par with perhaps Dipa Karmakar; from complaining against the army to becoming all sugar and honey, in all but a few seconds.

It is true that no political party wants the military to vote as the soldiers vote without a consideration for caste, creed, religion, in the true spirit of “India first”. This often upsets the political calculations. Not only will there be hints for the military to abstain, spanners will be put out like — first get your voter identity cards made; and that voting is impossible where soldiers with even one day of service are authorised to vote.

But, there is precedence to overcome this. In the 2007 Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election, serving soldiers were permitted to vote showing their service identity cards, and the list of eligible military voters was submitted to both the UP and the Election Commission well in advance. In fact, special voting booths were established within military cantonments, where soldiers voted under the supervision of Election Commission representatives.

With Gujarat passing a law to make voting mandatory, this approach should be adopted as dictum even in the military. With the military facing disparaging assaults, every soldier must at least get to vote. This should be the resolve of the service chiefs.

There should be no need for one chief to convince the other two. The three service chiefs actually owe this to their command. The routine instructions for getting soldiers voting cards fooled no one. The only question that remains is, do the chairman chiefs of Staff Committee and the service chiefs have it in them?

The author is veteran Lt Gen of Indian Army.

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Imran Khan says mass protest no danger to Pakistan democracy | Reuters

By Kay Johnson and Drazen Jorgic
| ISLAMABAD

ISLAMABAD Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan on Sunday dismissed accusations his planned shutdown of the nation’s capital could lead to a military coup, saying Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif “can’t hide behind ‘democracy in danger'” to quash protests.Khan, a former national cricket hero, has vowed to bring a million people into Islamabad on Wednesday to paralyse the government and force Sharif either to resign or allow an inquiry into the “Panama Papers” revelations about his family’s offshore wealth.Sharif’s ruling PML-N party has accused Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party of endangering democracy by attempting to draw Pakistan’s powerful military into a political dispute – a sensitive issue in a nation where the army has a history of staging coups.Reuters interviewed Khan at his plush home in the hills above Islamabad, where he says the police have him under virtual house arrest after the city banned public gatherings ahead of Wednesday’s planned protest and arrested scores of PTI workers.He dismissed claims he wants the army to topple Sharif, as it did when Sharif was in power in the 1990s, and said the protests aim to hold the prime minister to account for alleged corruption.”How can a democrat want the military to come in?,” Khan said. “He has to answer. He can’t hide behind ‘democracy in danger’.”Pakistan’s military has repeatedly refused to comment on Wednesday’s planned protests.Relations between the PML-N party and the military soured earlier this month after a newspaper report about a top-level national security meeting angered the army, prompting the removal of one of Sharif’s cabinet ministers blamed for the leak.The tense relations, as well as the rowing between Sharif and Khan, have stirred unease and prompted newspaper editorial warnings that a descent into street chaos could trigger military intervention.On Sunday, one of Sharif’s closest allies, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, wrote in the English-language The News newspaper that Khan was “willing to derail democracy for personal gains”.The attack adds to long-held suspicions by PML-N supporters that Khan is being used by the military in a power struggle with the civilian government, which has ceded control of key policy areas such as relations with India and Afghanistan to the military. “I don’t need the army,” Khan said. “I’m doing what the opposition is supposed to do. Expose corruption, expose breaking the laws of the land … It doesn’t mean I’m asking the army to come in.”

SHARIF “MESSED IT UP”
Khan said it is corruption, not protests, that threatens democracy.”When you have people coming to power and looting the country, they actually weaken the democratic system because people lose faith in democracy, and when the army comes in they welcome them with sweets.”Khan blamed Sharif for the latest tensions between the government and the military, saying Sharif’s allies leaked details of the security meeting to the Dawn newspaper.”They messed it up,” said Khan. “They have humiliated the army, they’ve exposed the army, they’ve ridiculed the army because of the (Dawn leak) – what have we got to do with it?”

The Oct. 6 Dawn article said top PML-N politicians confronted high-ranking military officials and called for the military not to interfere if civilian authorities tried to arrest members of anti-India militant groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba.On Friday, Khan’s supporters fought running battles with police in the city of Rawalpindi, close to Islamabad. Scores of PTI party workers have been arrested.Khan has accused the police of brutality, and urged his supporters to lay low until Wednesday to avoid arrest.FEARS OF INSTABILITY
Khan’s latest challenge to Sharif’s government is based on leaked documents from the Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm that appear to show the prime minister’s daughter and two sons owned offshore holding companies registered in the British Virgin Islands and used them to buy properties in London.

Sharif’s family denies wrongdoing.Holding offshore companies is not illegal in Pakistan, but Khan insists the Sharif family money was gained by corruption. Khan, 64, said in May he used an offshore company himself to legally avoid paying British tax on a London property sale.The ruling party has said it would take part in an investigation, but has rejected the opposition’s formula focused on Sharif’s family rather than making it broad based. Sharif’s own name did not appear in the Panama Papers.In 2014, Khan led a months-long occupation that paralysed Islamabad’s government quarter after rejecting Sharif’s decisive election win a year earlier. The prospect of similar protests has hit the local stock market, stoking fears of political instability just as the sputtering economy was starting to rebound.Khan said that unless Sharif agreed to his demands over the Panama Papers investigation, there was little the government could do to make him call off Wednesday’s protests.However, he sought to downplay his party’s calls to “lock down” the city roads and paralyse the capital, something that prompted the authorities to ban all public gatherings.Khan said his previous rallying cries for supporters to stop the government functioning were not a direct threat, but rather a prediction.”When you see a million people in Islamabad, trust me, the city will shut down,” said Khan. (Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Kay Johnson and Ian Geoghegan)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Pakistan information minister removed over newspaper leak that angered army | Reuters

Pakistan information minister removed over newspaper leak that angered army | Reuters

Updated: Oct 29, 2016 19:14 IST

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By Asad Hashim and Sheree Sardar
| ISLAMABAD

ISLAMABAD Pakistani Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid has been removed from office over a newspaper leak that sparked a rift between the army and the government earlier this month, the prime minister’s office said on Saturday.Two sources from the Information Ministry told Reuters that Rashid had stepped down from his post until an inquiry confirms whether he was the source for a newspaper article detailing the discussion in a top-level national security meeting.”Evidence available so far points to a lapse on part of the Information Minister, who has been directed to step down from office to enable holding of an independent and detailed inquiry,” a statement by the prime minister’s office said.The inquiry is seeking to identify the source of the Dawn article, published on Oct. 6, which gave an account of a tense, high-level security meeting held between military and government officials.Government and diplomatic sources say the Dawn article soured relations between Sharif’s ruling PML-N party and the military, with army officials blaming PML-N for the leak and demanding the source be punished.

Relations between the civilian government and military have often been strained in a country where several prime ministers, including Sharif himself, have been ousted in coups. Quoting anonymous sources, the Dawn article said civilian government officials called for the military not to interfere if civilian authorities tried to arrest members of anti-India militant groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba.India has long accused Pakistan’s military of sponsoring these groups to foment unrest in Indian-administered Kashmir and elsewhere, a charge that Pakistan denies.

The office of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has repeatedly rejected the article as inaccurate and the journalist who wrote it was at one point temporarily barred from leaving the country.On Saturday, the prime minister’s office said the Oct. 6 story was “planted” and termed it a “breach of national security”. Dawn newspaper editors have stood by the story and its author.The committee being set up to investigate the leak includes senior officers from the ISI, the most powerful intelligence agency in Pakistan. Military Intelligence and Intelligence Bureau agencies will be in involved in the committee.

The military on Friday said top PML-N leaders – including finance minister, interior minister, and Sharif’s brother – met the army chief Raheel Sharif, who is not related to the prime minister, to discuss the Dawn leak. The head of ISI was also presentRashid did not respond to Reuters requests for comment. The military could not be immediately reached for comment. (Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Stephen Powell)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Facing criticism, Defence Ministry decides to give disability pension under old formula

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Under attack for introducing slab-based disability pension, Defence Ministry on Saturday said armed forces personnel would continue to get such pension based on percentage system till the Anomaly Committee came out with a report on the issue.There was widespread criticism from opposition parties and the military establishment over a letter issued on September 30 which had introduced a slab-based system, as recommended by the 7th Pay Commission, for determining the disability pension for defence forces. Following this, the Ministry had referred the matter to the Anomaly Committee.However, there was confusion as to what system would be used to determine disability pension. Till the Committee comes out with a report, existing percentage system will be used to determine disability pension, defence sources said. Earlier, the Defence Ministry had said the 7th CPC had recommended a slab-based system for determining disability pension, which was accepted by the government.A percentage-based system was followed under the 6th CPC regime for calculating disability pension for defence forces personnel as well as civilians. What the military personnel are upset about is that civilians will continue to be paid pension according to the earlier “percentage system”, which means that a civilian employee will get higher disability pension than his military counterpart.

Pakistan risks global isolation in purchasing high-tech defence items: Report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As India’s purchasing power and geopolitical influence increases, Pakistan risks increasing global isolation when it comes to purchase of high-tech defence items, an American think-tank has said.”Over the long term, Pakistan may be unable to access the most advanced weapons systems in the global marketplace.Instead, it may have little choice but to continue to rely on Chinese and possibly Russian military systems, which may or may not be the most appropriate for Pakistan’s defence needs,” the Stimson Center said in a report.”Pakistan’s access to high-end technology could be constrained by India’s purchasing power and growing geopolitical influence,” said the report entitled ‘Military Budgets in India and Pakistan: Trajectories, Priorities, and Risks’.American military aid accounted for 21% of Pakistan’s defence spending between 2002-2015, allowing the country to maintain high levels of military spending while easing the burden on its federal budget and overall economy.”The US has begun to gradually downgrade its assistance to Pakistan in the near to medium term,” it said, adding that the support in Washington for the bilateral relationship has declined as Pakistan seems unable or unwilling to address concerns about violent extremist groups that direct their focus to Afghanistan and India.India is a larger and more attractive market for global defense companies, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, the report said, adding that the country has become the world’s largest arms importer.India accounted for 14 percent of global arms imports from 2011-2015, a 90% increase over the previous five years.”Countries and companies who otherwise would be interested in having a defence relationship with Pakistan may be reluctant to do so out of concerns about falling out of favor in New Delhi,” the report said.”In the long run, Pakistan will have to make tough choices about purchasing big-ticket weapons systems unless it can do so at concessionary rates,” it said.The “almost-certain decline” in military and financial support from the United States will force Pakistan to carry a greater share of its defence spending, it said.According to the report, Pakistan cannot compete with India when it comes to military expenditure, which is why it might step up spending in nuclear weaopns.However, it warned that investments in nuclear weapons at the expense of conventional capabilities would weaken Pakistan’s ability to deal with counter terrorism challenges inside the country.Pakistan, it said, cannot match India conventionally in the long term, and any attempt to do so will exhaust its economy, it said.”Responding to adverse defense spending trends with increased reliance on nuclear weapons, especially short-range weapons, may be a cost effective approach, but it is likely to diminish Pakistan s national security.”The report said Pakistan’s defense budget is higher than official estimates. “Although Pakistan has increased the transparency of its defense spending in recent years, the country’s budget documents raise more questions than answers.” India spends at least four percent of its defense budget on nuclear weapons, while nuclear weapons account for at least 10 percent of Pakistan’s military spending.In 2016, Pakistan will spend at least US $747 million on nuclear weapons, and India will spend US $1.9 billion.Pakistan, it said, cannot match India conventionally in the long term, and any attempt to do so will exhaust its economy.

MEA avoids question on Jaishankar’s remark on surgical strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> External Affairs Ministry on Thursday declined to comment on Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s remarks, purportedly made at a meeting of a Parliamentary panel, on cross-LoC surgical strike, saying its proceedings were confidential and sharing the details will amount to breach of parliamentary privileges.”Proceedings of the Parliamentary standing committee are confidential. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the issue. I will not comment on a matter which is confidential and must remain confidential,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said. He was replying to a barrage of questions on the issue during a weekly media briefing.According to a few members present at the meeting of Parliamentary Committee on External Affairs on Tuesday, Jaishankar said the army had carried out “target specific, limited-calibre, counter-terrorist operations” across the LoC in the past too but it was for the first time the government had gone public about it. The comments appeared to contradict Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s claim that it was for the first time a cross-LoC surgical strike was carried out by the army.Government sources later clarified that Jaishankar told the panel that whether cross-LoC surgical strikes were undertaken by the army in the past only the military will know as no “message” about such assaults were conveyed. “I am not going to answer any questions pertaining to the particular briefing because those briefings are supposed to be confidential in nature. I cannot breach parliamentary privileges,” said Swarup. Asked about MEA’s views on the surgical strike, he said they were the same as expressed in the statement of Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) on September 29.

Govt to brief parliamentary panel on surgical strikes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Bipin Rawat, briefed the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence on surgical strikes, it is now the turn of another parliamentary panel dealing with external affairs, which had sought briefing from military and foreign office officials.Government is also believed to have conceded the demand by the panel chief Shahsi Tharoor. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is also a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs is scheduled to attend the meeting on Tuesday.The panel will be briefed on Indo-Pak relations with specific reference to recent surgical strikes. “Briefing by the foreign secretary, home secretary, defence secretary and Director General of Military Operations on the subject ‘Indo-Pak relations with specific reference to surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC)’,” a notice regarding the October 18 meeting issued by the Lok Sabha secretariat says. The meeting assumes significance as the government had earlier expressed reservation to send any military official to brief the Standing Committee on Defence. But later relented to send the Vice Chief of Army Staff.Since the committee under Tharoor has summoned the Foreign, Defence and Home secretaries, but also Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. General Ranbir Singh who had announced the success of the surgical strikes, the members will, therefore, get an opportunity to probe the DGMO on the operations. Tharoor has been careful not to go out of his committee’s brief to limit itself to discuss the matters concerning the foreign relations. His concern is that the cross-line of control surgical strikes have further spoiled the strained relations between the two neighbours with the nuclear weapons and hence the committee must study the implications.Last Friday, the Vice Chief of Army Staff made a short statement before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence. But no questions were allowed. Conforming about the briefing, chairman of the panel, Maj Gen (retd) BC Khanduri said the army general had come to brief the Member of Parlaiments s, but no sensitive operational details were shared in the meeting. Khanduri said the agenda had included only a briefing and a question and answer session was not possible as details of the strike are top secret and cannot be revealed.The agenda for the committee’s briefing had originally been described as “Briefing by the representatives of the Ministry of Defence on surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC)”. Later, it was changed to the briefing by the Ministry of Law and Justice, Election Commission and Ministry of Defence on e-voting by defence personnel.The briefing by the Army officer came after complaints from the Congress that the agenda of the meeting was changed at the last moment and briefing on surgical strikes was cancelled. Sources said the issue was also raised at the beginning of the meeting by Congress members, but committee chairman Khanduri said that it might have been a ‘miscommunication’

Pakistan DGMO confirms Indian soldier Chandu Babulal Chauhan is in Islamabad’s custody

An Indian Army soldier who “inadvertently crossed over” to the other side of the Line of Control (LoC), a day after the surgical strikes, is in Pakistan’s custody, confirmed Islamabad’s DGMO.

ANI reported that the neighboring country’s DGMO accepted that Chandu Babulal Chauhan is in their custody. This is the first reaction by Pakistan on the incident.

Islamabad was informed about the soldier’s movement on the hotline by India’s Director General Military Operations Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, according to an Army release issued by the Defence Ministry.

Chauhan belong to 37 Rashtriya Rifles and crossed the LoC with a weapon. The release also said that such incidents were not rare and soldiers who cross over are returned through existing mechanisms.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has assured that the release of the Indian soldier was being taken up with Islamabad and all efforts are being made to ensure his early release.

Chauhan had allegedly been captured by Pakistani troops at Jhandroot, west of Mankote, and was now being kept at the military headquarters in Nikayal.

India has repeatedly written to Pakistan, seeking his return but has not got a positive response yet. Sources said that while India’s message was received by the other side, they have not responded yet.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said on Sunday that the mechanism through the DGMO has been activated seeking return of the soldier.

Chauhan’s grandmother had passed away after hearing the news of his crossing over to Pakistan.

Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention protects captured military personnel, some guerrilla fighters, and certain civilians. It applies from the moment a prisoner is captured until he or she is released/repatriated. One of the main provisions of the convention makes it illegal to torture prisoners and states that a prisoner can only be required to give their name, date of birth, rank and service number if applicable.

With inputs from agencies

Earlier army attacked on its own, first ‘surgical strike’ across LoC after govt’s instruction: Manohar Parrikar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar rejected claims that surgical strikes were undertaken during the UPA regime and asserted that a “major” share of credit for the army action last month goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Speaking at two different events, he said all the 127 crore people of India, including “doubting Thomases”, and the army share and deserve credit for the operation as it was done by the armed forces and not by any political party. At the same time, he said that “major share” of credit does go to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government for decision-making and planning.He also made it clear that claims of having carried out such strikes earlier were wrong as such actions were undertaken by border action teams at local level “without the knowledge” of the government.”I don’t mind sharing the credit, including on surgical strike, with every countryman because it is done by our armed forces and not by any political party. So all Indians, including, those doubting Thomases, can share the credit,” he said at a function here, adding it will settle the nerves of many.The Minister said he understands the sentiments of the people who are satisfied after the strikes. Several political leaders and parties have raised questions on the surgical strike and some have sought proof.The Congress, while officially supporting the government over the strike, has also said that similar operations were undertaken during its tenure also.”I have been the Defence Minister for two years. From whatever I have known, there is no surgical strike from previous years. What they are quoting are actions taken by border action teams. These are common actions across the globe and by the Indian army,” he said. Explaining the concept, the Minister said such operations are carried out without official order or prior sanction of the government. “It is done without the knowledge of anyone. Report is subsequently given,” he said underlining the action is taken by the local commander for settling scores. Parrikar made it clear that unlike earlier, this time it was a surgical strike because “decision was taken and conveyed” and the army did the job well.”This was an operation which clearly indicates the intent of the government and the nation,” he said. Parrikar said that if the government wanted to take political mileage out of this, then he would have announced it rather than the Director General of Military Operations.

Kashmir issue: Hurriyat asks UN to intervene

Fri, 7 Oct 2016-08:17pm , Srinagar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Separatist Hurriyat Conference asked the United Nations on Friday to intervene on the Kashmir issue by prevailing upon India to “shun violence” and initiate process for granting right to self determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”Since we believe and understand that Kashmir dispute remains at the centre of the regional conflict, we appeal you to challenge the behaviour of Indian State in Jammu and Kashmir and urge it to stop this reign of terror. In the interests of regional peace and global justice we once again implore you to intervene and prevail upon the Indian state to shun violence and initiate processes for granting universally recognised Right to Self Determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the separatists said in a memorandum addressed to the UN.As its proposed march to the local office of the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) was foiled by authorities by imposing curfew in some parts and restrictions elsewhere, the separatist camp released the memorandum to media outlets in Srinagar.

Surgical strikes: Not trusting the Indian Armed Forces make us look weak

It is an unbelievable hubris that we would doubt our own military and howl for evidence of a surgical strike following the 18 September Uri attack.

That the government and the Indian Armed Forces have to be dragged into petty politics is even worse. It’s almost like it is more exciting to disbelieve them than to accept that the teams went in, dismantled eight terrors camps, and got home.

Representational image.

Representational image.

Occasionally, one gets the feeling that the need to ‘scoop and sell a story’ is so overwhelming that we dredge for doubt. And are dismayed when we don’t find it.

Also, if this is the sort of ‘dog in the manger’ attitude the media is going to display in its quest to corner the government on a single four-hour operation and send off little salvos of ‘shak’ because it is nice and competitive to do so, what will we do during a war?

Days have passed since the ‘surgical strike’ but we seem incapable of moving on. In purely military terms, it is done and dusted, and was, itself, not such a massive action. In tactical terms, it was an itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny beautifully timed incision, and it is over.

The strikes were ordered to respond to the blatant attack on an army camp in Uri and to show Pakistan, India means business. Period. It was a message and not a major conflagration. It was neither the Battle of Britain nor the landings in Normandie.

As far as the fight against terrorism goes vis-a-vis Pakistan allowing them refuge on its territory, this is not even a start and a lot more will have to be done to rid ourselves of the menace.

If we cannot accept a singular strategic move on trust without having politicians and others hogging the limelight by scratching doubts on the surface, we are in danger of becoming our worst own enemies.

Frankly, many of us in the media and without, are heartily tired of the browbeating and the time and publicity being given to the naysayers. This phrase ‘surgical strike’ like some heady new wine has become a mantra and it seems we cannot get enough of it.

Danger: we will lose sight of the bigger picture by focusing attention on a corner of this canvas.

Bigger danger: our troops will look at each other in wonderment and say, why are we risking our lives for these people who don’t want to believe us. @#$% them.

If I was one of the guys who had gone in that night, and this is what I was hearing and seeing I’d be thinking: What the bloody hell do I have to do before these ###wipes believe me?

Biggest danger: we are giving Pakistan so much comfort and so much fodder to feed their media cannons and ridicule us.

The nonsense we are witnessing over the blaring TV channels and echoing on websites and blogs and newsprint is largely bed-rocked in ignorance and a false sense of entitlement fueled by pro- and anti-Modi factions.

The Army does not owe us the showing of classified material, contrary to our arrogant conclusion that anything which happens has to be shared with the press instantly, or, you are covering up.

It does not. The government will decide what military matters are to be shared, and when.

Seriously, let this surgical strike become a page in military history. A one-goal lead in a game that has only just begun is not the time to scratch the scab or jump up and down with joy.

The Indian Armed Forces themselves will tell you: Get over it.

Surgical mess: Let’s not drag Indian forces into political muck, especially by the BJP

The government should have seen it coming.

If political parties had big questions on the surgical strike by the defence forces across the border the day it was announced by the Director General Military Operations (DGMO), they kept these in abeyance. The defence forces enjoy special respect in the country and no one takes their words lightly. Thus, if they said there was such a strike then it had to be accepted at face value. Realising that they should be kept above politics and unnecessary attention Prime Minister Narendra Modi cautioned his party leaders to exercise restraint, more specifically, to avoid being jingoistic while discussing the 28 September military action in response to Uri attack. But that was too much to expect.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Soon, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was comparing Pakistan to an anaesthetised patient who still had no idea that surgery had already been conducted on him. While promising Pakistan a similar response if it continued with its misadventure, he compared the Indian Army to Lord Hanuman who after being made aware of its powers by him followed the instruction of the prime minister to give the Pakistanis a crushing blow. The gush media made the matter political by giving excessive credit to the political leadership — read Narendra Modi — for the decision and putting leaders before him in poor light. In election-bound Uttar Pradesh, media reports say, there are BJP posters celebrating the army’s action.

As a military action gradually took a strong political hue, the questions held in abeyance by political rivals of the BJP started flowing. The irrepressible Arvind Kejriwal took the lead by indirectly asking the government to produce the proof of the surgical strike. The Congress, while claiming all support to the government, has asked the same. One can expect other parties to join the chorus soon. By all indications, it’s going to be a dirty affair with the defence forces getting dragged into political muckraking. It’s this very scenario the prime minister wanted to avoid. However, if he wanted to convey a message to his party’s leaders and his supporters outside the party circle through his sober, statesmanlike speeches post-Uri, it never found the target.

One has to be remarkably naive or full of contempt for the ability of our defence forces to conclude that they sat helpless, twiddling their thumbs when the earlier terrorist attacks or Pakistan army’s hostile actions on the border took place. They certainly deserve more respect. After all, it is a force that has defeated Pakistan four times over the last several decades. Of course, they crossed the LoC routinely to neutralise terrorists; several former generals of the army vouch for this. They had the full backing of the political leadership then as they have now. The Congress has come out with three such major strikes in UPA’s period — in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

Prime minister Narendra Modi. Reuters

Prime minister Narendra Modi. Reuters

The only difference between then and now is there’s a sexier and more macho expression for the action: surgical strike. It sounds so much better than cross-border raids! Also, the political leadership has taken the ownership of the military action openly for the first time. Take out the pompousness in all that assertion of muscular power in the media and the manufactured sense of victory — how can the killing a few terrorists make up for the loss of 18 soldiers? And, pray, what victory are we talking about? – nothing much has changed on the ground. Firing continues across LoC and Pakistan continues where it was. If it’s scared and begging for mercy from India, it’s only in our media’s imagination.

Now is the time to bring some sanity to the discourse, save diplomacy from street sentiment and insulate the defence forces from politics. India can survive with a discredited political class, a media without principles, but it cannot have its military, one of the most revered institutions, shrinking in public esteem. The prime minister must intervene quickly and put a stop to the politicisation of the action of the forces. He can begin at home, his own party.

India writes to Pakistan for return of soldier Chandu Babulal Chouhan, receives no response

New Delhi: India has sought return of its soldier who inadvertently crossed the LoC and was captured by Pakistan, but has not got a positive response yet, said informed sources on Monday.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The soldier, Chandu Babulal Chouhan had inadvertently crossed the Line of Control on 30 September and was captured by Pakistani troops, a day after the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on terror launchpads across the Line of Control (LoC).

Indian Army has said that the soldier, who belongs to the Rashtriya Rifles, was not involved in the surgical strike.

Director General of Military Operations, Lt General Ranbir Singh has written to his Pakistan counterpart for returning the soldier.

The sources however said on Monday that while the message has been received, there is no response from the other side yet.

“They have received the message, but there is no response yet,” a source said.

An official said straying across LoC happens at times as soldiers may get disoriented and lose their way.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said on Sunday that the the mechanism through the DGMO has been activated seeking return of the soldier.

Chavan’s grandmother had passed away after hearing the news of his crossing over to Pakistan.

Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention protects captured military personnel, some guerrilla fighters, and certain civilians. It applies from the moment a prisoner is captured until he or she is released/repatriated. One of the main provisions of the convention makes it illegal to torture prisoners and states that a prisoner can only be required to give their name, date of birth, rank and service number if applicable.

Hamid Karzai hails India’s surgical strikes; says there is need for such military operations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hailing India’s surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in response to the terrorist attack at Uri sector as justified, former Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai has said that Kabul has been a victim of terrorism and there is a need for such kinds of military operations in the country.Karzai conveyed this to India’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Manpreet Vohra recently.Karzai reminded Vohra that Afghanistan too has been a victim of terrorism and fundamentalism and felt the need for such military operations more than anyone else.He added that Kabul has repeatedly asked the United States over the past 13 years to conduct cross-border attacks against the terrorist sanctuaries outside of Afghanistan, but with no success.Indian Army on Wednesday conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in response to the terrorist attack at Uri sector in Jammu and Kashmir in which 19 soldiers were killed.Two Pakistani soldiers and over 30 terrorists were reportedly killed in the attack.Director General of Military Operations Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh said that the motive of the operation was to hit out at the terrorists who were planning to infiltrate into the Indian Territory.Lt General Singh informed that significant casualty was caused to terrorists during the operation.The DGMO said, it is a matter of serious concern that there have been many infiltration bids by terrorists at the LoC and it was reflected in the terror attacks in Poonch and Uri on 11th and 18th of this month.

PM Modi staged surgical strike ‘drama’ amid domestic pressure: Hafiz Saeed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hafiz Saeed, chief of to Jamaat-Ud-Dawah (JUD), an Islamic charity linked to outlawed militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (Let) has said that New Delhi staged “surgical strike” drama following domestic pressure on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to retaliate after 19 soldiers were killed in an attack on an army base in Uri sector in Jammu and Kashmir.”They (some people in India) started asking that ‘you had said that you would attack Pakistan, you would do a surgical strike’. Everyone who was in grip of this fever started asking Modi and the Indian government. For this Ajit Doval staged a drama. He made up a surgical strike drama while sitting indoors,” Saeed said.Saeed was of the opinion that no raid was actually carried out by the Indian troops.”The whole film was made in which this surgical drama was shown in which they said their 150 expert paratroopers, after crossing the control line and entering Pakistan, carried out a raid. Actually, no raid was carried out, neither in Bhimber nor in Lipa, Chamb and dudhnial,” he added.Indian Army on Wednesday said that it conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in response to the terrorist attack at Uri sector.Two Pakistani soldiers and over 30 terrorists were reportedly killed in the attack.Director General of Military Operations Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh said that the motive of the operation was to hit out at the terrorists who were planning to infiltrate into the Indian Territory.Lt General Singh informed that significant casualty was caused to terrorists during the operation.The DGMO said, it is a matter of serious concern that there have been many infiltration bids by terrorists at the LoC and it was reflected in the terror attacks in Poonch and Uri on 11th and 18th of this month.Meanwhile, anti- India protests were held in Lahore, Multan, Karachi, and some cities of Balochistan in wake of rising tensions between the arch-rivals.

Surgical strike | ‘We stand with India’: Top US lawmakers support counter-terror operation in PoK

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Top US lawmakers have come out in support of India’s surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in the aftermath of the Uri terror attack which claimed the lives of 19 jawans.”Uri attack against India was horrific. Prayers are with victims’ families. I will continue to follow India’s subsequent counter terrorism op closely,” Congressman Steny Hoyer, Democratic Whip in the US House of Representatives wrote on Twitter on Friday.”Our sympathy and support go out to India as they work to counter the terrorism they faced in the Uri Attack,” Congressman Pete Olson said in a tweet. Olson, from Texas, is Vice Chair of House Energy and Power Committee.”Condolences to the victims of last week’s terrorist attack on the Indian Army base in Kashmir. We stand with India fighting terrorism,” said Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona.Meanwhile a White House petition seeking to designate Pakistan as “terror state” has gained more than 3,90,000 signatures.Organisers of the petition said they have set a target of getting the support of more than a million people, which they said would reflect growing sentiment against Pakistan in the United States and globally.the Indian Army on Wednesday night conducted surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) on terror launch pads, said Director General of Military Operations (DGMO).Addressing a joint press conference with External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Thursday, DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh said, “Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads on the LoC. Heavy damages have been caused to terrorists and many of them have been killed.”Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has offered to act as a mediator between India and Pakistan to help the nuclear-armed neighbours resolve their disputes, as he urged both nations to take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions in the region.”The Secretary-General is deeply concerned over the significant increase in tensions between India and Pakistan in the wake of the recent developments, in particular the reported cease-fire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) following an attack on an Indian army base in Uri on September 18,” a statement issued by Ban’s spokesperson said here yesterday.

93 flats of Adarsh society still locked: Centre to SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that 93 flats in the controversial 28-storey Adarsh Cooperative Society in Mumbai were still locked and it did not know what was inside those flats. A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and A M Sapre asked Adarsh Society to write letters to the owners of these flats and open the locks.Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Centre, said out of the 104 flats, 93 were locked and they have got only 11 open flats which were taken into possession as per the apex court’s order.”We don’t know what is inside these 93 flats and if tomorrow anyone comes and says that their belongings were there and it was damaged, then we should not be held accountable,” Kumar said.Counsel appearing for Adarsh Society said by October 3, some furniture lying in the premises will be vacated and some construction material lying will be removed. He said the building was vacated and no one has been staying there and the 93 flats belonged to those who have got the allotment papers.The counsel further said they will write to these flat owners to open the locks, so that it can be handed over to the Centre as per the court’s direction. The bench posted the matter for further hearing along with the petition challenging the Bombay High Court order directing demolition of the building.On September 9, the apex court has asked the Centre to respond to the plea of the Adarsh Cooperative Society on maintenance of the scam-tainted building. The housing society has sought a direction to the Military Engineering Services (MES), the custodian of the building, to ensure proper maintenance of facilities like lifts, generators and fire fighting equipments of the building as the office bearers of the society and flat owners have been barred from entering the premises by the apex court.The apex court had earlier asked the society to consider bearing the expenses to be incurred on maintenance of the 28- storey building whose possession has been handed over to the Centre in pursuance to the apex court’s order.The apex court had on July 22 asked the Centre to secure possession of Adarsh apartments at the posh Colaba area of South Mumbai for Kargil heroes and war widows, after taking its possession from the housing society by August 5.The bench had also said that the word “secure” meant that there will be no razing of the building. It had also issued notices on a batch of pleas, filed against the Bombay High Court decision ordering demolition, by the housing society and some allottees.Earlier, the High Court had ordered demolition of the apartments and sought initiation of criminal proceedings against politicians and bureaucrats for “misuse” of powers, holding that the tower was illegally constructed.The High Court, while ordering demolition, had stayed the operation for 12 weeks of its order to pull it down to enable the society to move the apex court with the appeal. In its order, the HC bench had asked the Ministry of Environment and Forest to carry out the demolition at the expense of petitioners (Adarsh Society). It had also asked the Centre and Maharashtra Government to consider initiating civil and criminal proceedings against bureaucrats, ministers and politicians for misuse and abuse of power to get plots under the scheme, originally meant for Kargil war heroes and war widows.The Adarsh scam kicked up a huge political storm after it surfaced in 2010, leading to the resignation of then Congress Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.

India’s new approach to Pakistan must include PoK, preventive strikes

Pakistan’s political and defence establishments and media have treated the announcement of India’s surgical strike across LoC with some disdain. The newspapers and websites display no sense of panic or concern. They are happy with their military’s explanation that it is nothing but rebranding of cross-border fire as surgical strike by India and it is fabrication of truth to generate media hype. On closer look, however, the veneer of calm indifference itself looks like fabrication. Since the military’s version is the only version that counts in Pakistan, everyone appears to have suspended suspicion and questions.

There could be a few reasons for this ostrich-like approach. One, the Indian strike exposes big holes in the Pakistan military’s exaggerated claims of its fighting capabilities; two, the establishment wants to be in denial about the terrorist launch pads – it would be self-incriminatory; three, it wants the people of the country to be in the dark about any Indian military action; and four, after playing the escalation bluff for too long, it is now worried about India resorting to escalation.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The first three should be of no interest to India, but the escalation part has to be. In bilateral equations between countries, the perception of threat plays an important role. After putting the so-called non-state actors into deadly effect, Pakistan has had the habit of uttering the N word, i.e. nuclear weapons, to deter India from escalating matters. While the military response from India to Pak-based terrorists has been adequate, it has been reticent about mentioning nuclear weapons. Perhaps Pakistan has played this card better – as a rogue state with not much accountability to its people it can be irresponsible, not so India.

Now that India has decided not to shy away from the escalation game, it need not hold back from provocative action whenever necessary. Diplomatic and economic isolation of Pakistan are good moves at one level but for a country that deserves cruder treatment, occasional display of power is also of critical significance. For that India need not look war-mongering or create war frenzy; strong retaliatory and preventive strikes would speak for themselves.

At the press announcement on Thursday, DGMO Ranbir Singh while mentioning that significant casualties had been caused to the terrorists and those who are trying to support them during the anti-terrorist operation also mentioned that the defence forces had no plans for further continuation of the operations. The government could have added ‘the operations might have ended on this occasion but we are prepared for similar action any time in future. We reserve the right to preventive strikes’. In terms of messaging it would have been effective.

Since the government has owned up the cross-border strike, a first for any government, it may as well go a bit ahead and make ‘PoK is ours’ assertion part of its routine conversation. As escalation goes this would not be imprudent. It’s not a bad idea to keep Pakistan perennially worried about PoK. The strike reveals a new aspect to India’s approach as this article in Firstpost  says. The addition of preventive strikes and PoK would give the new approach the hurting edge.

Of course, all this is no guarantee against Pakistan playing dirty again. There’s the risk of the escalation game ending up in a full-fledged war where mutual destruction is assured. Worse, it might lead to a long war-like situation hanging heavy in the air with no actual war being fought. Given that India needs to think out of the box to handle Pakistan, the new approach is worth a try.

Viewpoint: ‘Strikes’ will not trigger war

India’s ‘strikes’ in Kashmir was limited in scope, firepower and duration, and is not likely to escalate into a full-blown conflict, argues analyst Sumit Ganguly.

After military raid, India looks at economic and diplomatic measures to pressure Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Beyond Thursday’s surgical strike by Indian special forces, New Delhi is considering new economic and diplomatic measures to bring pressure to bear on its neighbour, Indian officials said.In a rare public acknowledgement, Indian officials said teams of elite troops crossed the de facto border dividing the nuclear-armed rivals in the Himalayan state, killing several militants it believed were planning to attack major cities.The raids were a direct response to an attack earlier this month on an army base in Kashmir that India blamed on Pakistan-based militants.Pakistan denied India had conducted raids on territory it administers and said it was not involved in stoking trouble in Indian-controlled Kashmir. It has demanded New Delhi produce credible evidence to back its claims.Some Indian officials said the military was not planning further attacks or a major military offensive against Pakistan.But they said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government was debating whether to use New Delhi’s rising economic and diplomatic weight to squeeze Pakistan, a country one-fifth its size and with an economy seven times smaller.”The objective is not just to go across the border and kill 10-12 people,” said an Indian security official involved in the daily consultations since the Sept. 18 attack on an army base in the border town of Uri in which 18 Indian soldiers were killed.”The objective is to bring about a change in Pakistani behaviour, and for that you need to move on multiple levels.”The strategy will involve all instruments of national power. Military is only one of the options,” added the official, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue.Options under consideration include choking trade with Pakistan that takes place through third countries such as the United Arab Emirates, officials said, even though it is limited and in India’s favour.New Delhi is also considering building dams on rivers running into Pakistan and intensifying diplomatic pressure, hoping that it can show other countries how militants based in Pakistan impact the rest of the world, the officials added.According to one of them, India could try to dissuade international companies from conducting business in Pakistan.ON THE OFFENSIVEThe steps being considered signal a far more assertive posture by India under Modi’s nationalist administration than the previous government, but it risks further escalating tensions between the countries.Recent Indian governments have held off launching military strikes, including when gunmen from Pakistan mounted a three-day assault on Mumbai in 2008, for fear it could invite retaliation from Pakistan that could escalate into a nuclear conflict in the worst-case scenario.One Indian security official described the new Indian approach as moving from a “defensive posture to defensive offence”, under which India works on the vulnerabilities of Pakistan – its economy, internal security and international image as an unstable nation, home to militant Islamist groups.”Pakistan’s vulnerability is many times higher than that of India,” the official said.Hours after Thursday’s raid, one Indian government official said New Delhi would review its economic relationship, including trade flows, with Pakistan.But he downplayed the possibility of India taking measures such as blocking travel between the two countries, saying the reality of policy-making was much more sober.Official trade between India and Pakistan was a modest $2.6 billion in 2014, but informal trade is estimated to be closer to $5 billion, with jewellery, textiles and machinery exported from India through third country ports such as Dubai.India’s informal imports from Pakistan through the same channels consist of textiles, dry fruits, spices and cement.Indian security planners said a crackdown on such trade, in which some former members of Pakistan’s powerful military are believed to be active, would help increase the pressure.The head of Pakistan’s Board of Investment, Miftah Ismail, said sanctions had usually not worked elsewhere in the world.He said there was little trade between the two countries, and since much of it was in India’s favour, any restrictions would affect India more than Pakistan.”If India does (go ahead with economic sanctions), Pakistan will somehow react, and we will further impoverish the people in both countries,” said Ismail, who is also a special assistant to the Pakistan prime minister.”I don’t see anything good coming out of this.”

Indian Army surgical strike destroys 7 terror launch pads; govt reassures foreign envoys, Oppn over strikes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Army on Thursday crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and carried out surgical strikes on seven terrorist launch pads based in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), inflicting heavy casualties. India’s response comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned that terrorist attack on Uri Army base would not go unpunished.India has carried out such cross-border surgical strikes before – the last one being in Myanmar in June 2015 – to flush out insurgents. This latest strike was carried out by Army’s elite Special Forces (SF) in the wee hours of Thursday and came after Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists had killed 18 Indian soldiers in Uri on September 18. The strike led to a growing clamour within India for retaliation.In a media briefing in the Capital, Indian Army’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh said, “Based on specific and credible inputs that some terrorist teams had positioned themselves at launch pads along the Line of Control to carry out infiltration and conduct terrorist strikes inside Jammu and Kashmir and in various metros in other states, the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes at several of these launch pads to pre-empt infiltration by terrorists.”“I have been in touch with the Pakistan Army DGMO and have informed him of our actions. It is India’s intention to maintain peace and tranquility in the region,” he added.Though Singh did not share more operation details, reliable Army sources, both at the headquarters in Delhi and in the Northern Command in Udhampur said that seven terrorist launch pads and camps were destroyed by the troops of 4 and 9 Para Special Forces, leading to around 40 militants being killed.Two Indian Army soldiers were also injured but have been brought back and are being treated at an army hospital.“The entire operation that went on from 12.30 am to 4:30am on Thursday was a combination of heliborne and ground forces and no Indian chopper crossed over the LoC even as paratroopers were air dropped at advanced pre-decided locations near the LoC,” sources said.Special Forces went up to 3kms inside PoK. Divided into three groups they carried out the attack in Lepa valley, Tatta Pani and Bimber areas, situated across the LoC in PoK, even as India fired heavy artillery guns to divert attention so SF troops could sneak in. Sources told dna that three service chiefs met defence minister Parrikar hours before the operation.The DGMO then monitored the operation from the war room at South Block, at tactical headquarters of Northern Command in Udhampur, where live UAV footage of the operation was being monitored.Govt reassures foreign envoys, Oppn over strikesHours after India struck terrorists’ launch pads across the Line of Control with Pakistan, senior members of the NDA government on Thursday reached out to domestic political parties as well as envoys of foreign states to convey its position and to assuage their fears of further escalation of tensions.Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. General Ranbir Singh briefed opposition leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress, Sitaram Yechury (CPM), Sharad Yadav (JDU), Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP), Premchand Gupta (RJD), and Sharad Pawar (NCP), on the operation.Also present at the meeting were National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, BJP president Amit Shah, home minister Rajnath Singh, defence minister Manohar Parrikar, finance minister Arun Jaitley, and I&B minister Venkaiah Naidu,.Prime Minister Modi informed President Pranab Mukherjee, J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, and his predecessor Manmohan Singh of the strikes. Mufti struck a note of caution as she voiced concern over the escalation along the border and warned that the confrontation could lead to a “disaster of epic proportions” for the state.Meanwhile, the External Affairs ministry extended its diplomatic efforts to reassure envoys of various nations in Delhi that the Indian Army’s operation, conducted in the dead of night, was only targeted at terror camps across the LoC and that India had no intent to wage war with Pakistan.

dna exclusive: The inside tale of Indian Army’s daring surgical strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Army on Thursday crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and inflicted heavy casualties on terrorist launch pads based in Pak Occupied Kashmir (PoK). A rare cross-border surgical strikes was carried out by the Indian Army’s elite Special Forces (SF), 11 days after Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) terrorists killed 18 Indian Army soldiers and amidst growing clamour within India for retaliation.Indian Army’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh in a briefing said, “Based on specific and credible inputs that some terrorist teams had positioned themselves at launch pads along Line of Control to carry out infiltration and conduct terrorist strikes inside Jammu and Kashmir and in various metros in other states, the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes at several of these launch pads to preempt infiltration by terrorists.”“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,” he said further.Though he did not share more operation details, reliable Army sources, both at the headquarters here and in Northern Command said that seven terrorist launch pads and camps were destroyed by the troops of 4 and 9 para special forces leading to 40 odd casualties on their side. Two Indian Army soldiers were also injured but safely brought back and are being treated at an army hospital.The entire operation went on from 12.30 AM to 4. 30 AM was a combination of heliborne and ground forces and no Indian chopper crossed over the LoC even as para troopers were air dropped at advanced pre decided locations near the LoC, sources said.Special Forces, divided into three groups went up to three kilometres inside PoK. They were divided in three groups and carried out the attack in Lepa valley, Tatta Pani and Bimber areas across LoC even as India fired heavy artillery guns to divert attention so that the SF troops could sneak in. Sources also told dna that while the three service chiefs met defence minister Manohar Parrikar hours before the operation. While the DGMO monitored the operation from the war room at South Block, at the tactical headquarters of Northern Command in Udhampur, live UAV footage of the operation was being monitored. Curiously, Muzaffarabad-based media- eportedly said that Pakistani Army, around midnight on Wednesday, minutes before the Indian Army assault, had issued an advisory to PoK residents through local media to stay inside. PoK-based media also reported that tourists are vacating the area and movement on road 50% less than on a routine day. They further claimed that besides Pakistani military installations, civilians also bore the brunt of artillery firing.

All-party meet ends, oppn unanimously supports Indian Army’s action against Pakistan

New Delhi: Top leaders of political parties were on Thursday briefed by the government about the surgical strike carried out by the Army on terror launching pads across the LoC to foil plans of terrorists to target some Indian towns.

Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said after the hour-long meeting that all political parties unanimously supported the Army action, which was carried at 5-6 important places across LoC along Kupwara and Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir at an altitude of 6,000 feet and some of these terror launch pads were destroyed.

File photo of Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu. PTIFile photo of Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu. PTI

File photo of Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu. PTI

“The Home Minister explained the all-party meeting about the surgical strike which was carried out by the Army to foil attempts by terrorists to carry out attack not only in Jammu and Kashmir but some other important towns,” he told reporters.

The Army action came in the aftermath of terror attack in Uri on 18 September in which 18 soldiers were killed.

Naidu said the terrorists had carried out strike from these launching pads and they had plans to do the same in future too.

“Government and the Army had reports that the terrorists had plans to infiltrate again and create havoc in Jammu and Kashmir and some other places,” he said.

After the successful operation, the Army personnel had returned to their respective bases without suffering any casualty, he said adding further details would be available later.

The Minister said Representatives of Congress, NCP, CPM, BSP, Shiv Sena, LJSP AND TDP complimented the Indian Army action and assured the government of their support in any action in future.

Those who attended the meeting include Ghulam Nabi Azad (Congress), Sharad Pawar (NCP), Sitaram Yechury (CPM), Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP) and Ram Vilas Paswan (LJSP).

BJP President Amit Shah, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar besides the Home Minister and Naidu attended the meeting.

Naidu said the surgical strike was carried out as Pakistan was not mending its ways and testing India’s patience. Director General of Military Operations Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh briefed the all-party meeting.

‘India violated Pak’s sovereignty with surgical strike’: J&K leader of opposition Mustafa Kemal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Mustafa Kamal, a leader of the opposition National Conference party in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday said India has violated the sovereignty of Pakistan by allowing the army to conduct surgical strikes across the Line of Control. (LoC). ‘The Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of our country has given a Press Conference in which he has said the Indian Army has carried out surgical strikes across the (Line of Control) LoC. Reportedly, on militant training camps along the LoC in which a large number of militants.. At the outset, this aggression, not to give it a sweeter word of saying ‘surgical strike’, they have violated the sovereignty of Pakistan, under whose administrative control the other side is, the PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) is,’ Kamal said.Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh, Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) announced that the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on seven terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC), in the wake of the infiltration bids by terrorists along the Line of Control (LoC), including at Uri and Poonch earlier this month.Lt. Gen. Singh said that the operation of the Indian Army was basically focussed to ensure that the terrorists do not succeed in their design of infiltration and carry out destruction endangering the lives of citizens of the nation.’This has the potential of a full scale war between the two, which will be very unfortunate, not only for us here in Jammu and Kashmir, for the country India, and the country Pakistan. I am sure the countries of the world, especially the power blocks, they will definitely have something to say on this issue,’ Kamal added.Pondering on the genesis of militancy in Kashmir, Kamal said, ‘Unfortunately, this is the story that has been circulated that India is facing militant threats. Militancy was born in J&K in 1989-90 and it was entirely an effort on our side.”As borne out by a letter that has been written by two dozen prominent Kashmiri Pandits, dated 22nd of September, 1990, after the exodus took place, they have clearly said Jagmohan made Kashmiri Pandits scapegoats and apologised to Muslims of Kashmir for having left them in distress. This is the latest and the clearest proof that Pakistan has taken advantage of militancy that was created within the country and the Kashmiri Pandits have named Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Jagmohan and a few others who instigated their exodus, who brought militancy here,’ he said.’Countrymen deserve to know the truth. The world deserves to know the truth, and our working President, Omar Abdullah, he said in Parliament there should be a Truth Reconciliation Commission to go into the genesis of militancy. Why hasn’t the government constituted this commission” Kamal asked.He concluded by saying, ‘India is a peace loving country, as said repeatedly. This is the first time, we find, that instead of being the aggressed, they are the aggressors.’ President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N Vohra, Chief Minister Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti have been briefed on the surgical strikes by the Indian Army.However, denying the claims, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) earlier today said, ‘There has been no surgical strike by India, instead there had been cross border fire initiated and conducted by India which is an existential phenomenon’, reports Geo News. The ISPR however, confirmed that two Pakistani soldiers were killed in the crossfire. The statement came after the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and the Defence Ministry in a joint statement announced that the Indian Army had carried out multiple surgical strikes on various locations along the Line of Control late on Wednesday night.

What are surgical strikes? Targetted attacks with minimum collateral damage

The Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt General Ranbir Singh announced during a joint press briefing with the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday that the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads along the LoC and that significant causalities were caused.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

This comes in the aftermath of the Poonch and the Uri attacks on 11 and 18 September respectively. Evidently upset with the infiltration bids carried out by terrorists along the LoC, the DGMO said, “Despite persistent urges to Pakistan to not allow territory under its control to not be used for terrorist activities nothing was done.”

For the uninitiated, a surgical strike is a quick and specific attack that aims to neutralise the other side. Minimum collateral damage is also a requirement of a surgical strike, as ZeeNews points out.

It is a type of military attack that results in only damage to the intended legitimate military target.

Precision bombing is an example of a surgical strike carried out by aircraft. According to a Financial Express report, soldiers carry out surprise and and rapid bombings on targets with aircraft.

It helps in responding to the enemy in a time-bound manner and reduces the chances of a full-scale war with later negotiations.

NDTV quoted former Air Chief Fali Homi Major as saying that a surgical strike is “a calculated manoeuvre to ensure you deliver maximum damage which gives a big surprise to your adversary”.

Retired Lt General Shankar Prasad meanwhile told NDTV that the targets are movable and that a surgical strike means carrying out an attack and coming back without any damage to yourself, he said.

A report in The Indian Express points out that external intelligence is also vital to carrying out these attacks, which work closely with service intelligence departments, Intelligence Bureau and RAW.

The special operations are complex and need to be diligently planned and coordinated on various levels. Indian Army’s parachute regiments’ para-commandos are specifically trained for these strikes.

Earlier, the Indian Army had conducted calculated surgical strikes in Myanmar in June 2015, and the operation was finished within 40 minutes. It was a covert operation that left 38 Naga insurgents dead and seven injured.

With inputs from PTI

India Army’s surgical strikes across LoC: Pakistan plays brave, but shock palpable

Multiple strikes by Indian Special Forces on Pakistan’s terrorist launch pads-cum-terrorist camps on night of 28 September should have deflated some of the putrid gas because of which Pakistani leaders and their army have been strutting around making wild statements. The world knows that the Pakistani Army has not won a single war, has lost half its country during the birth of Bangladesh and surrendered 93,000 prisoners of war to India. Pakistan sheltered Osama bin Laden, who was killed by US Special Forces at Abbotabad; besides, Mullah Mansour Akhtar too was killed inside Pakistan, in the Balochistan province.

Despite this and without adequate pressure from US and China, Pakistan has been conducting a proxy war against India and Afghanistan with impunity. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had gone out of his way with an extended hand of friendship to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, but the latter was hell-bent on stabbing India in the back — just like all previous Pakistani presidents and prime ministers, with their own military as the Sword of Damocles over their heads.

The manner in which the surgical strikes were conducted at seven widely-dispersed locations astride the LoC so successfully by elements of two Special Forces units of the Northern Command speaks highly of professionalism. The success of these actions also should be seen in the backdrop of the fact that the Pakistani Army was on high alert for the past 10 days, not to mention the night flights by F-16s over Islamabad, and Nawaz and his defence minister Khawaja Asif along with Minister for Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and COAS Raheel Sharif talking of war and twitching their nuclear tails.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The fact that the Pakistani Army was taken by surprise, tried to intervene with Indian Special Forces strikes and lost four regular Pakistani soldiers (two, as admitted by Nawaz) adds to the success. The clinical strikes inflicted heavy casualties on the terrorists, their supporters and the Pakistani Army without any loss to India’s troops. The capture and interrogation of the Pakistani-origin guides who helped the Pakistani terrorists during the Uri attack had once again confirmed the Pakistani Army’s involvement — which was not only denied by Nawaz, but countered in the most absurd terms by saying that the Uri attack was engineered from within India.

After the Uri terror attack, there was tremendous pressure on the government to retaliate. In between there were also fake reports of our Special Forces having gone across the LoC, struck terrorist locations, killed 20 and injured some 200. This was perhaps a deliberate ruse to lull the enemy and it obviously worked. The Pakistani military was clearly confident that India would not resort to any physical action of this type. The intended targets, however, were being kept under constant surveillance following the attack on the army camp at Uri, to be struck at the right time. These strikes would have come as a terrific jolt to Pakistan. In fact, the surprise was so complete that the Pakistani posts opened fire only after our troops were safely back home. These strikes, under the leadership of Modi, have demonstrated to the world — Pakistan in particular — that India cannot be viewed as a ‘soft’ State. Pakistan was apparently expecting a conventional response, which it feared most; hence, the periodic nuclear sabre-rattling.

The list of some 35-40 terrorist training camps in PoK along with their locations has been available with the Indian Parliament. The Pakistani hierarchy appears to be milling around in surprise. Pakistan’s ISI is trying to showcase that nothing much has happened, but the shock effect is palpable. Our strikes in PoK are definitely not any aggression because PoK territory is an integral part of India; terrorists were struck, not the Pakistani military, and our troops returned having completed the assigned task successfully. Will Pakistan curb its terrorist activities now? There is no question absolutely because the Pakistani military not only holds Pakistan and the Pakistani public to ransom, it has infiltrated ever department and organ in Pakistan: Economic, administrative and so on.

More significantly, Pakistani scholar Ayesha Siddiqa in her book Military Inc had propounded in 2007 that the Pakistani military’s private-industrial-corporate complex was to the tune of $20 billion already. This figure must have multiplied several times over, and to retain this power and money, the Pakistani military must have conflict both with India and Afghanistan. So, it is not going to give up Pakistan using terrorism as a state policy.

For all the peaceniks who feared any physical retaliation to the Uri attack (war, including nuclear war), I hope it is clear once for all that there is plenty of space below conventional war. In fact, the response to asymmetric war must always be asymmetric. We should have realised this after Operation Parakram following the Parliament attack. We should have struck Pakistan sub-conventionally both after the 26 November, 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks and the Parliament attack. Not that we should have not have done so after the terror attack on the IAF base in Pathankot this January, as well as earlier ones.

The manner in which the surgical strikes were conducted at seven widely-dispersed locations astride the LoC so successfully by elements of two Special Forces units of the Northern Command speaks highly of professionalism

At the same time, we must acknowledge that these cross-LoC strikes by our Special Forces were around three kilometres across, rightly exploiting the porosity of the border — a factor that has been used mainly by Pakistan till now, to India’s disadvantage. With these trans-border strikes, Pakistanis will be more alert. However, the option of such future strikes will remain possible. At the same time, while Special Forces are central to an asymmetric response, a direct form of trans-border actions of this type is just ‘one’ task with which they should be tasked. Special Forces provide the government with multiple low-cost options without or with ambiguous options.

They should be employed on politico-military missions at the strategic level. The government will do well to establish the Special Operations Command, directly under Modi for such tasks, leaving actions like these multiple trans-border strikes to the Military Special Forces. Interestingly, the Pakistani media has criticised escalation along the LoC but has “rejected” India’s claim of having conducted the cross-border surgical strikes. However, escalation by Pakistan is very much on the cards, given the Pakistani military psyche discussed above.

We should be geared for terrorism across India and an escalation in the forms of terrorist attacks — even chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks or lone wolf attacks. In addition, cross-border attacks from Pakistan could increase. Should there be more escalation, Pakistan can be expected to ‘deploy’ its nuclear weapons and publicise it. Besides calling its nuclear buff, Islamabad has to be told that New Delhi’s ‘No First Use’ doctrine applies to the ‘threat’ of nuclear attack as well.

Additionally, our Special Forces have already been conducting joint training. Should Pakistan continue with its proxy war on India and Afghanistan, there should be ample opportunities for joint operations by these two forces against Pakistan. Modi has once again demonstrated that his leadership is class apart. Kudos to him and congratulations to our Special Forces and IAF helicopter pilots for the above highly successful surgical strikes in PoK.

The author is a veteran Lieutenant-General of the Indian Army who has served in Kashmir

Congress supports Indian Army’s surgical strikes across LoC

Congress supports Indian Army’s surgical strikes across LoC

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New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday supported the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army on terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC).

“The Congress wholeheartedly supports the surgical strike on terror (launch) pads in PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) by Indian Army. Salute the valour of our armed forces,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, too, congratulated the Indian Army for undertaking surgical strikes on terror launch pads. “We stand completely behind our Armed Forces,” he said.

Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, said the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads across the LoC inflicting heavy casualties.

The military action by India came 11 days after terrorists killed 18 Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir.

Kashmir attack: India ‘launches strikes against militants’

India’s army carries out “surgical strikes” against suspected militants along the de-facto border with Pakistan in Kashmir.

Indian Army conducted surgical strikes against terrorists at launch pads along LoC

Indian Army conducted surgical strikes against terrorists at launch pads along LoC

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Sep 29, 2016

Highlights

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Amid heightened tension with Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) to review the situation along the Line of Control. The meeting is understood to have discussed various options related to the LoC in the wake of the Uri attack.

The meeting is also understood to have taken stock of ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts. Four terrorists had stormed an army camp in Uri on 18 September and killed 18 soldiers.

Pakistani troops have also violated the ceasefire along the LoC twice since Wednesday. Pakistani troops on Thursday violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Naugam sector of Kashmir by opening indiscriminate fire towards Indian Army posts.

Pakistani troops on Wednesday had targetted Indian positions with small firearms along the LoC in Poonch district.

Meanwhile, director general military operations (DGMO) and Vikas Swarup to address media shortly, ANI reported.

Uri terrorists cut fence at two places, belong to Lashkar-e-Toiba: Probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The four terrorists who stormed an army base in Uri sector on Sunday killing 18 soldiers belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and managed to sneak in by cutting the perimeter fencing of the highly-guarded army installation at two places, investigations have shown.In an indication that the terrorists were well-versed of the layout of the army base close to the Line of Control(LoC), the assailants locked the cooking room and store from outside to prevent the soldiers from leaving before setting them afire, sources privy to the probe said today.The investigators are not ruling out ‘insider help’ to the terrorists in view of the precise nature of the actions undertaken by the intruders once inside the army base, the sources said, adding the attackers first cut the perimeter fencing at two places.After locking the cooking room and store, two of the terrorists started moving towards the officers quarters within the base but they were gunned down before they could inflict any further damage, they said.The two Global Positioning System (GPS) sets recovered from the slain militants were damaged during the attack and have been handed over to the NIA, which is probing the case.The four intruders, who had crossed in from Pakistan- occupied Kashmir(Pok) a day earlier, were affiliated to LeT as the terrorist module bore striking resemblance to the group from the same Pakistan-based terror outfit eliminated in Poonch on September 11, the sources said.Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Ranbir Singh had told reporters hours after the attack that as per initial reports the slain terrorists belonged to Jaish-e- Mohammad(JeM), also a Pakistan based terror outfit.”All four killed were foreign terrorists and had carried with them items which had Pakistani markings. Initial reports indicate that the slain terrorists belong to Jaish-E-Mohammed tanzeem,” Lt Gen Singh had said.The terrorists both at Uri and Poonch were carrying small plastic bottles containing a concoction of petroleum jelly and gelatin which was used to set the soldiers’ tents on fire, the sources said.

Uri attack: India summons Abdul Basit, gives five-point proof exposing Pak hand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking a firm stand with Islamabad over the Uri attack, India on Wednesday summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and reminded him of the commitment made by the neighbouring nation in January 2004 to not allow its soil be used for terrorism against India, adding that the ‘persistent and growing violation’ of this undertaking is a matter of serious concern.”The latest terrorist attack in Uri only underlines, that the infrastructure of terrorism in Pakistan remains active. We demand that Pakistan lives up to its public commitment to refrain from supporting and sponsoring terrorism against India,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in a statement. Asserting that 2016 began with the Pathankot Airbase attack, he added that there have been continuous attempts by armed terrorists to cross the LoC (Line of Control) and the international boundary in order to carry out attacks in India.Swarup stated that 17 such attempts have been foiled at or around the LoC resulting in the elimination of 31 terrorists and preventing their intended acts of terrorism. “The Foreign Secretary also reminded the Pakistan High Commissioner that even as he spoke, two engagements at the LoC were ongoing,” he said.Displaying a list of proofs nailing Pakistan”s involvement in the recent terror attack, Swarup emphasised that a number of items that include:1. GPS from the bodies of terrorists with coordinates that indicate the point and time of infiltration across the LoC and the subsequent route to the terror attack site.2. Grenades with Pakistani markings.3. Communication matrix sheets4. Communication equipment5. Other stores made in Pakistan, including food, medicines and clothes.Calling on the Pakistan government to take active involvement into the investigation of the attacks, the MEA spokesperson said that is Islamabad wishes to investigate these cross border attacks, India is ready to provide fingerprints and DNA samples of those terrorists killed in the Uri and Poonch incidents. Following this diplomatic volley, India now awaits for a response from the government of Pakistan.Earlier, Director General of Military operation Lt. General Ranbir Singh had stated that the four terrorists, who attacked the military base in Uri, belonged to Pakistan’s banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). Following the tragedy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had strongly condemned the “cowardly terror attack” and assured the nation that those behind the “despicable attack” will not go unpunished. Sources state that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will strongly emphasize Pakistan’s involvement in the attack during her UNGA speech on September 26.Pakistan has, however, flatly rejected New Delhi’s claims of involvement in the Uri terror attack, stating that the latter has a traditional tendency to point fingers at the former whenever a terror attack takes place on Indian soil. Meanwhile, the National investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the terror attack in Uri Sector of Jammu and Kashmir, will be seeking the help of the Army, Intelligence Bureau and RAW to get identities of the terrorists verified.The agencies will be asked to provide the NIA with intercepts of the last two to four months in the region. As per sources, Kashif Jaan, who had escorted the Pathankot terrorists till the border, could also have been the handler of the slain terrorists in Uri. The NIA sources say that the Uri attack may have been masterminded by Kashif Jaan, Rauf Asgar and Masood Azhar. The NIA yesterday filed an FIR in the Uri terror strike case and a six-member team will soon visit the site of the attack to collect the evidence in the matter.According to sources, NIA will collect the blood samples and finger prints of the four killed terrorists in Uri. The Army is set to handover all items recovered from the killed terrorists including weapons, navigation maps to the NIA for further investigation. The NIA will also send the GPS and icon satellite set to the United States for forensic investigation to find out what route the terrorists chose and when and how they entered Indian territory.

NIA to seek help of IB, RAW and Army in Uri attack probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the terror attack in Uri Sector of Jammu and Kashmir, will be seeking the help of the Army, Intelligence Bureau and RAW to get identities of the terrorists verified.The agencies will be asked to provide the NIA with intercepts of the last two to four months in the region.As per sources, Kashif Jaan, who had escorted the Pathankot terrorists till the border, could also have been the handler of the slain terrorists in Uri.The NIA sources say that the Uri attack may have been masterminded by Kashif Jaan, Rauf Asgar and Masood Azha.The NIA on Tuesday filed an FIR in the Uri terror strike case and a six-member team will soon visit the site of the attack to collect the evidence in the matter.According to sources, NIA will collect the blood samples and finger prints of the four killed terrorists in Uri.The army is set to handover all items recovered from the killed terrorists including weapons, navigation maps to the NIA for further investigation.The NIA will also send the GPS and icon satellite set to the United States for forensic investigation to find out what route the terrorists chose and when and how they entered Indian territory.In one of the worst attack in recent times, at least 18 soldiers lost their lives and over 20 others got injured post the terror strike on an army camp close to the headquarters of the 12th Brigade at Uri in Baramulla district.Director General of Military operation Lt. Ranbir Singh has said that the four terrorists, who attacked the military base in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri, belonged to Pakistan’s banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

Uri attack | ‘Badla! Badla lo’- Shiv Sena tells Centre to take revenge from Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Infuriated with the dastardly terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri Sector which claimed the lives of 18 Indian soldiers, the Shiv Sena has asked the Centre to take revenge from ‘terrorist state’ Pakistan. Asserting that Islamabad would only understand the language of force, the Shiv Sena in its mouthpiece Saamna, said that Pakistan is a ‘brazen’ nation and there was no point of defeating it with only words.”Pakistan is a terrorist nation. Why should efforts be made to declare it a terrorist nation? The whole world knows about the true colours of Pakistan. There is no point of sanctioning economic ban on it,” the editorial said.The Sena urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stick to his promise wherein he gave the assurance of going after the perpetrators of the deadly Uri attack and not just get stick to mere words. In a series of tweets after the attack, the Prime Minister said: “I assure the nation that those behind this despicable attack will not go unpunished”.He added, “We salute all those martyred in Uri. Their services to the nation will always be remembered. My thoughts are with the bereaved families (of the Army jawans)”. “The same statements were made after the Pathankot terror attack. But what happened? Instead of taking revenge, efforts were made to improve the relations. It seems that the sacrifice made by soldiers in Pathankot has gone in vain. At that time also, it was said that Pakistan would be taught a lesson. The same statements are being made today,” the Shiv Sena said. “Citing the example of Mahabharat, the editorial pointed out that India should take revenge from Pakistan in the same way as Bhim took the revenge from Kichak for ‘Draupadi’s cheer haran.”Four heavily armed militants had stormed the battalion headquarters of the Army in Uri, close to the Line of Control (LoC), in the wee hours on Sunday, killing 18 jawans and injuring more than 20 other personnel. In the encounter, the security forces neutralised all of them within hours.The terrorists, who attacked the military base in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri, belonged to Pakistan’s banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also branded Islamabad as a terrorist state and said the Asian neighbour should be isolated and sanctioned at international platforms. Pakistan has, however, flatly rejected New Delhi’s claims of involvement in the Uri terror attack, stating that the latter has a traditional tendency to point fingers at the former whenever a terror attack takes place on Indian soil.Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh had also warned Pakistan in the wake of the Uri strike and said India reserves the right to respond to any act of the adversary. “We have the desired capability to reply to such blatant act of violence in a manner as deemed appropriate by us. We reserve the right to respond to any act of the adversary at the time and place of our own choosing,” he told the media in New Delhi.According to sources, India is set to raise the Uri attack at the 71st UNGA session and highlight Pakistan’s alleged involvement in the deadly terror strike. According to sources, India will raise the matter in the UN General Assembly and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will strongly emphasise on Pakistan’s involvement in her speech on September 26.

Congress tells Centre to ostracize Pakistan internationally

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress on Tuesday urged the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA Government at the Centre to act very strongly and isolate Pakistan globally in the wake of Sunday’s Uri terror strike.Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh said, “We strongly condemn the attack by the Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists who are sponsored by the Pakistan government. The Government of India has to act very strongly and isolate Pakistan in the International sphere, also build up pressure in the Security Council and United Nation General Assembly, so that Pakistan is forced to take action against whether it is LeT or JeM all these people have to be dealt with strongly.”After giving an assurance of going after the perpetrators of the deadly Uri attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday gave the green signal to diplomatically isolate Pakistan at every international grouping.
ALSO READ #UriAttack: NIA registers case; to take DNA samples of 4 neutralised Jaish-e-Mohammad terroristsIndia is to present all actionable evidence against Pakistan to international bodies if required. Evidence of Pakistan’s hand in the Uri attack, including GPS tracker movements that go back to a starting point in Pakistan, Pashto literature, Pakistan Army marked arms will be given to Islamabad at the DGMO level, sources said.The sources also revealed that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will strongly emphasize on Pakistan’s involvement in the attack during her UNGA speech on September 26. This development comes after the Prime Minister yesterday chaired a high-level meeting at his official residence at 7 Race Course Road here.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Army Chief Dalbir Singh, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and other officials were present in the meeting.Pakistan has, however, flatly rejected New Delhi’s claims of Islamabad’s involvement in the Uri terror attack, saying it is the latter’s traditional tendency to point fingers at the former whenever a terror attack takes place on Indian soil. “Pointing fingers at Pakistan has become a traditional tendency of India after each terrorist attack,” the Dawn quoted Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria, as saying. “In the past many Indians were involved in the terrorist acts for which India had blamed Pakistan,” he asserted.Director General of Military Operations Lt.Gen. Ranbir Singh said earlier that the four terrorists who attacked the military base in Uri, belonged to Pakistan’s banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

Modi will make a big mistake if he relies solely on ‘diplomatic offensive’ against Pakistan

Narendra Modi is not your regular Prime Minister. Unlike his predecessor who was an apologetic, unwilling occupant of the chair at 7 Race Course Road, Modi isn’t a scholar but has a sense of history, a vision for the country he leads and aspires to be the very man who remains his antithesis and whose legacy he still shadow boxes with. I am talking about India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

PM Narendra Modi. Reuters

PM Narendra Modi. Reuters

One is reminded of a recent Business Standard column by journalist Shekhar Gupta where he observes that “Modi is our most Nehruvian PM since Nehru”.

Modi couldn’t, of course, be more different from the Harrow-educated, anglicized elite that Nehru was but one clearly sees his unstated wish to etch his name as the ‘new maker of modern India’. He would love to have his pictures adorn the walls of venerated institutions long after he has vacated the chair and hopes, like Nehru, to leave behind an everlasting legacy. And that aspiration is under threat from a ghost of the Nehruvian past. How the Prime Minister tackles Pakistan-sponsored latest act of unprovoked terror will ultimately settle his legacy.

A day after the audacious fidayeen attack on Indian army base at Uri by suspected Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists that led to 18 soldiers laying down their lives, media reports indicate that India will settle for a calibrated diplomatic offensive against Pakistan rather than any sort of military operation.

According to a report in The Economic Times, the Modi government has decided to take “graded, sequenced and synchronised” steps instead of a “knee-jerk” retaliation against Pakistan’s unprovoked, unilateral attack on Uri base. It does not mean that military ops have been ruled out but there will apparently be no “gung ho, hasty reaction”.

“We will use all instruments of power available before the country. Military is just one of them,” a senior official was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

It is pertinent to remember that the pivot of the overwhelming mandate that propelled Modi to power was his image as a “strong leader”. That was his shtick. At the receiving end of Pakistan’s ‘thousand cuts’, Indians voted in Modi to provide a more prudent response to Islamabad for its nefarious designs on Kashmir and for sponsoring terror strikes on India through its deep state or letting its soil be used by non-state actors. As UPA kept sending dossier after dossier to Pakistan following 26/11, BJP promised that voting it to power will put an end to the rogue neighbour’s misadventures.

At an election rally in Uttar Pradesh just a month before the Lok Sabha polls in 2014, Amit Shah had declared that once Modi becomes the PM, “Pakistani intruders will not even dare to enter into Indian side.”

Modi himself had taken countless potshots at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over his perceived ineptitude.

The trouble with jumlas is that it may come back to bite you.

Now that Modi is in power and enjoys the overwhelming mandate to put his words into action, he has fallen back on India’s time-tested impotent strategy of spewing hot air after each terrorist attack followed by inaction and suspension of talks, as if these measures act as a deterrent with Pakistan. Their army generals must be laughing their guts out in Rawalpindi.

According to the latest survey by Pew Research, a Washington-based think tank that conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and allied studies, Narendra Modi towers above all other Indian leaders. The survey, conducted among 2,464 respondents in India from 7 April to 24 May, 2016, also indicated that India is wary of China and longtime rival Pakistan and favour a militaristic stance against terrorism and support increased defence spending.

So if Modi tomorrow decides to launch a pin-pointed surgical ops against terror modules inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir or any other military step, Indian public will extend its rock solid support to the PM. A show of controlled aggression against Pakistan might just end up doing what decades of pussyfooting has failed to achieve, convince Islamabad that the cost of launching terror attacks against India will be much steeper than containing its revisionary tactics.

There were other media reports, suggesting that India might lobby with global powers to designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terror.

Ordinarily, as C Christine Fair, author of Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War, and an associate professor in the Peace and Security Studies Programme at Georgetown University’s Edmund A Walsh School of Foreign Service pointed out in her blog ‘A New Way of Engaging With Pakistan‘, “…declaring Pakistan to be a state sponsor of terror … will impose sweeping and devastating sanctions”.

But Pakistan is a special case. Its strategy of asymmetric war against India has landed it in a sweet spot with zero fear of retaliation. It uses its pariah status to cross the moral threshold and uses nukes as the umbrella to neutralise India’s superior military might. And in all this, they are helped by the US which lets itself be blackmailed into releasing funds. By sponsoring terror against India and using covert means to sponsor unrest in Kashmir, Pakistan forces global powers to focus on south Asia and uses that leverage to squeeze out more funds. Terrorism become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Under the circumstances, branding Pakistan a ‘terrorist state’ makes little sense because it actively works towards such a branding. By inverting the rules of the game, the more Pakistan appears unstable, the better for it. Hence declaring Pakistan a state sponsor of terror, far from being a deterrent, will incentivise them more to export terror.

Which is why Modi will make a big mistake strategically and politically if he relies on diplomatic offensive alone to counter Pakistan’s aggression against India. It has never worked in the past, and it won’t work in the future. The only casualty will be Modi’s legacy.

All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board condemns Uri attack, calls it ‘most obnoxious attack on Indian Army’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board condemned the Uri attack on Monday, calling it “deplorable” and “the most obnoxious attack on the Indian Army.”At least 18 soldiers lost their lives and over 20 others were injured during the terror strike on an army camp close to the headquarters of the 12th Brigade at Uri in Baramulla district on Sunday.In a statement on the incident, Syed Muhammad Ashraf Kichchawchchvi, Founder and President of the Board, said that the terror attack “rings an alarming bell to warn of the great trouble and the need for action.” The board said that Wahhabism detrimental to the internal security of the nation and the people. It noted that the attack took place in “the valley of Jammu and Kashmir which is in the acute grip of the Wahhabi ideology being replaced by eliminating the peaceful, pluralistic Rishi-Sufi tradition.”Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh had earlier said that the four terrorists, who attacked the military base in Uri, belonged to Pakistan’s banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).Slamming the JeM, the Board said, “We condemn, in the harshest words, the terrorist organisation, Jaesh-e-Mohammed (JeM), conceived and led by Maulana Masood Azhar who champions the violent extremism stemming from the Wahhabism in Pakistan.” They called out Azhar for indoctrinating the youth in Pakistan since the time he was released by India in a swap for passengers on board the hijacked Indian Airlines aircraft in December 1999.”We also appeal to the government of India that the perpetrators of the crime be brought to justice and the internal security, stability, army and the people of Kashmir are safeguarded from any further loss. It should be the priority of the ongoing operation in Kashmir. At the same time, India must end the agenda of replacing Sufism with Wahabism, while resolving the Kashmir unrest,” the Board added.Reports say that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will strongly emphasise on Pakistan’s involvement in the attack in her UNGA speech on September 26.India has reacted strongly to the deadliest attack on the Army in a quarter-century-old insurgency that sparked an outrage, with the Prime Minister strongly condemning it. India is reportedly planning to hand over to Pakistan evidence of the four terrorists using Pakistani-marked weapons, food, energy drinks and GPS trackers which they carried to enter Jammu and Kashmir from across the Line of Control.Indications in this regard came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a nearly two-hour meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, NSA Ajit Doval, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag and other top officials to discuss India’s response.Top brass of the government is convinced that India has to launch a calibrated, multi-layered and strategic response and expose Pakistan in international forums like the UN, whose General Assembly is in session, official sources said.

Uri mopping operation called off

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Monday, almost 36 hours after the Pakistan backed Jaish-e-Mohhammed terrorists attacked the Army brigade headquarters in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri, killing 17 soldiers and injuring over 30, the Army called off its mopping operation. All the four terrorists involved in the ‘fidayeen’ attack were gunned down by the Army.Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh told that the Army operations have been called off after conducting a thorough search of the military complex at Uri and the are around it.Meanwhile, one more of Indian Army jawan succumbed to injuries at the Army Research and Referral hospital in Delhi where he was airlifted.He said the total recoveries from the slain terrorists, included, four AK 47 rifles, four Under Barrel Grenade Launchers (UBGL), 39 UBGL grenades, five hand grenades, two radio sets, two GPSs, two map sheets, two matrix sheets, one mobile phone and a large number of food and medicine packets having Pakistani markings.”We have displayed considerable restraint while handling the terrorist situation both along the Line of Control and in hinterland,” said the DGMO. “We have the desired capability to respond to such blatant acts of aggression and violence as deemed appropriate by us,” he warned, adding: “We reserve the right to respond to any act of the adversary at a time and place of own choosing.”Pointing that the infiltration attempts by terrorists have shown a marked increase in comparison to the past three-four years, he said in 2016, there have been 17 infiltration bids foiled by the Indian Army along the Line of Control (LoC). Of a total of 110 terrorists eliminated in J&K, 31 have been killed while they were attempting to cross the LoC.”It actually indicates a desperate attempt from across the LoC to infiltrate more terrorists into Kashmir with a view to create disturbance and foment unrest in our area,” he said and added,”The last two infiltration attempts, on September 11, in Poonch and on September 18 at Uri have been successfully thwarted by the Indian Army by killing of four terrorists in each of the operations.”

Uri attack: PM Modi wants to present actionable evidence against Pak at global fora

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After giving an assurance of going after the perpetrators of the deadly Uri attack in which 18 army soldiers were killed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday gave the green signal to diplomatically isolate Pakistan at every international grouping. According to sources, India is to present all actionable evidence against Pakistan if required at international bodies.The Indian Permanent Mission is to issue a statement taking on Islamabad soon after Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will make his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Evidence of Pakistan’s hand in Uri attack i.e. GPS tracker movements that go back to starting point in Pakistan, Pashto literature, Pakistan Army marked arms will be given to Islamabad at the DGMO level, sources add.India is set to raise Uri attack at the 71st UNGA and highlight Pakistan’s involvement into the deadly terror strike. Sources state that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will strongly emphasize on Pakistan’s involvement in the attack in her UNGA speech on September 26. This development comes after the Prime Minister chaired a high-level meeting at his official residence at 7 Race Course Road.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Army Chief Dalbir Singh, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and other officials were present in the meeting. Pakistan has, however, flatly refused New Delhi’s claims of Islamabad’s involvement in the Uri terror attack, stating that it has become India?s traditional tendency to point fingers on them after each terrorist attack.”Pointing fingers at Pakistan has become a traditional tendency of India after each terrorist attack,” the Dawn quoted Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria as saying.”In the past many Indians were involved in the terrorist acts for which India had blamed Pakistan,” he asserted.Director General of Military operation Lt. Ranbir Singh yesterday said that the four terrorists, who attacked the military base in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri, belonged to Pakistan’s banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

Maharashtra: Two bodies recovered, death toll in fire at central ammunition depot rises to 18

Two more bodies were on Wednesday recovered from the site of the fire mishap at central ammunition depot at Pulgaon in Wardha district, taking the death toll to 18.Three persons were missing since Tuesday. Two bodies have been recovered and one person is still missing, sources said. The bodies recovered on Wednesday were yet to be identified, they said.A massive fire on Tuesday broke out at one of Asia’s biggest ammunition depot in Maharashtra’s Pulgaon that houses the largest stockpile of weapons in the country. The fire occurred in the wee hours at one of the sheds that housed “highly sensitive ammunition” in the high security central ammunition depot (CAD), spread over 7,000 acres.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”However, in efforts to douse the fire, two officers and 14 personnel (including one Army jawan and 13 civilian fire fighting staff) lost their lives and two officers and 15 personnel (including nine Army Jawans and six civilian fire fighting staff) were injured,” Director General of Military Operations Lt Gen Ranbir Singh had said.Loud explosions were heard one after the other as the raging fire lit up the night sky. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained and the Army has instituted an inquiry into the incident, Singh had said.
ALSO READ Maharashtra: Seven victims blown to pieces in central ammunition depot explosions, says officialDefence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said there was no sabotage involved in the fire at the ammunition depot but the exact cause would be known only after inquiry. Parrikar along with Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, had on Tuesday visited CAD, Pulgaon and met the injured persons in a local hospital.

NIA to charge D-Company members tomorrow for attempting to create communal tension

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will tomorrow file a chargesheet against Dawood Ibrahim led D-Company members who wanted to create communal tension in the country by targeting religious and the Rashtiya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders.The NIA would file the chargesheet in an Ahmedabad court. Director General of NIA Sharad Kumar confirmed this news to ANI. “The NIA will file chargesheet in an Ahmedabad court against D-Company members who wanted to create unrest in country, tomorrow. The D-company members wanted to create communal tension in the country by targeting religious and RSS leaders,? Kumar said in a telephonic conversation.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per reports, the investigating agency would be filing a chargesheet against 10 D company members. Earlier, there were rumours that India’s most wanted underworld don and the man behind the 1993 Bombay serial blasts has crippling gangrene in his legs.Reports suggest that the doctors treating Dawood have said his gangrene is in such an advanced stage that they would have no option but to amputate his legs soon. It is reported that the underworld don is being treated by doctors from the Liaquat National Hospital, Karachi, and the Combined Military Hospital, Karachi.

Another life saved due to green corridor, Surat donor’s heart reaches Thane in 1.15 hours

Traffic department in Mumbai on Tuesday created a green corridor for transporting a harvested heart of a Surat-based teenager for an emergency heart transplant surgery of a 43-year-old man at a hospital in Mulund in the district.The heart, that set out its journey from Surat reached the operation theatre in Fortis Hospital in a matter of 1.15 hours covering a distance of 269 kms. From Mumbai airport the heart reached the hospital in less than half-an-hour. Surgeons at the Fortis Hospital in Mulund successfully conducted the heart transplant surgery on the patient from Alwar, Rajasthan, who suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The transplant became possible when a 17-year-old boy was declared brain dead at Sunshine Global Hospital in Surat, following a head injury during a road accident. The youth’s family consented to donate their his organs to save lives of four deserving recipients by donating his heart, kidneys and liver.
ALSO READ Indore: Twin green corridors created for two transplants”Airport and Traffic authorities of both cities came together to swiftly lay the green corridor between Surat and Mumbai for the transportation of the heart. The road map and the flight map was immediately put in place and the donor heart left Sunshine Global Hospital, Surat at 10.33 AM reaching Surat Airport at 10.38 AM,” an official statement said. The heart landed at Mumbai Airport at 11.20 AM in a chartered flight, heading out in the stand-by ambulance at 11.31 AM. The green corridor from Domestic Airport (Gate No. 8) to Military Road-Santacruz-Chembur Link Road-Chedda Nagar to Eastern Express Highway-Airoli Junction and finally to Fortis Hospital, helped the heart reach the hospital at 11.47 AM and into the OT at 11.48 AM, the statement said.”With the successful surgery, the life of the patient was saved from a rapidly deteriorating condition,” an official release from Fortis Hospital stated. Dr Anvay Mulay, Head of the Cardiac Transplant Team, Fortis Hospital, who conducted the transplant surgery, said “The donor’s family deserves to be applauded and appreciated for having saved four lives through this noble gesture. The recipient of the heart is now stable and has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit. “Next 48-72 hours will be critical and we will monitor the patient’s condition round the clock,” it said.

Don crippled? Dawood Ibrahim may be suffering from crippling form of gangrene

Even as underworld don Dawood Ibrahim remains a point of acrimony between India and Pakistan, media reports are now saying that he is now suffering from a crippling form of gangrene.

CNN-News18 has reported that the gangster’s condition of gangrene is at such an advanced stage that doctors may have no option but to amputate his legs. The channel has quoted sources as saying that at this stage, he is unlikely to be fully cured.

Dawood Ibrahim. File photo. IBNLiveDawood Ibrahim. File photo. IBNLive

Dawood Ibrahim. File photo. IBNLive

In December last year, reports had said that Dawood was all set to retire on his 60th birthday in that month and was expected to announce his succession plan. However, no successor has been named as of yet.

The don is said to be undergoing treatment at the Liaquat National Hospital and Combined Military Hospital at Karachi, and his health is reported to be deteriorating by the day, as per a report by India Today.

Loss of effective blood supply caused the gangrene, leading to body tissues dying, reports said. Dawood Ibrahim is a wanted criminal in India for allegedly masterminding the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai, in which 257 people died.

In August last year, a Hindustan Times had cited fresh evidence in the form of a telephone bill and a passport to support India’s claim that Dawood Ibrahim is in Pakistan.

The bill mentioned D-13, Block 4, Karachi Development Authority, Sch 5, Clifton, as the address, and was issued by the Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited. The passport had a recent image of Dawood, which shows him now to be clean shaven and with a receding hairline.

India-US pact behind, Manohar Parrikar heads to China

Manohar Parrikar’s four-day visit to China starting April 17 will not just be the first by an Indian defence minister after 2013 when UPA minister AK Antony went there, but also comes close on the heels of India-US announcing an in-principle agreement on sharing military logistics.One of the gains for India on account of the new arrangement with the US can be that it will balance out the growing maritime assertiveness by China in the Indian Ocean.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Analysts point that they won’t be surprised if Parrikar’s visit leads to some definitive outcome due to India-US agreement. “Now that India and US have announced in-principle agreement on sharing military logistics, one may expect this to influence a definitive impact during Parrikar’s visit,” said Pravin Sawhney, editor of defence and security magazine, Force.US has been pestering India to join a joint maritime patrol along with its own and the navies of Japan and Australia in the Asia-Pacific region. India, however, has not approved the idea as yet. Notably, trade worth $ 5.3 trillion is carried out through the South China sea and the Indian Ocean.China asserts itself, especially in the South China sea.In Beijing, following the announcement of the new India-US engagement, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang was quoted by PTI as telling reporters on Wednesday, “We have noted relevant reports on US defence secretary Ash Carter’s visit to India”. Lu further said that “India is also an influential country in the world, and India has been upholding independent diplomatic policy. India will make up its diplomatic policies based on its own interests.”Parrikar will be accompanied to Beijing by the defence secretary, director general of military operations, western Naval commander, and air force vice chief, and is likely to raise the issue of China blocking India’s bid in the United Nations to get Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar declared as terrorist following the organisation’s role on the January attack on the Pathankot air base, said a senior functionary at the Indian ministry of defence (MoD).The functionary also pointed that “last year Chinese Central Military Commission (CMC) vice chairman General Fan Changlong came to India and the two sides’ representatives are holding dialogues continuously over the long-pending border dispute between the two countries”.

Indo-US Logistics Support Agreement is anti-national: Congress, Left slam Modi govt for move which ‘will hit India’s independence’

New Delhi: Attacking the Modi government over its decision to sign the Logistics Support Agreement with the US, Congress on Wednesday said it is “disastrous” and will hit the independence of India’s foreign policy while Left parties termed it as “dangerous and anti-national”.

“NDA government’s decision to sign Logistics Support Agreement with the US is the beginning of the end of the independence of India’s foreign policy and strategic autonomy.”

“It is a disastrous decision. Government should retract the decision and should not sign this agreement and other foundation agreements”, senior party leader A K Antony, who was Defence Minister in the UPA regime, told PTI.

Left parties also lashed out at the government for its “in principle” agreement for a Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with the US, terming it as “dangerous and anti-national” move and demanded that it “immediately retract” from inking the agreement.

Accusing Government of “crossing line” with the move, which the parties said “no other government” had taken since independence, they charged the Narendra Modi dispensation of converting India into a “full-fledged” military ally of Washington and “compromising” country’s strategic autonomy.

The communist parties also claimed that there is “no transparency” in what the Union Government does with regard to “such critical policy matters” as Parliament is not taken into confidence and sought to know why the dispensation is “desperate” to “please” US by taking the step “voluntarily”.

“Modi government has taken the dangerous step…In doing so, the BJP Government has crossed a line which no other government has done since independence – converting India into a full-fledged military ally of the United States,” the CPM noted in a statement.

India and the US had on Tuesday agreed “in principle” to the logistics exchange agreement to enable both militaries to use each other’s assets and bases for repair and replenishment of supplies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Reuters

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and visiting US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter had, however, made it clear that the agreement, which will be signed in “weeks” or “coming months”, does not entail deployment of American troops on Indian soil.

Antony insisted that by signing this agreement, India would be gradually becoming part of the American military bloc.

“When UPA was in power, India had all along resisted such proposals. India had traditional relationship with Soviet Union, now Russia from the very beginning. Of late, we are steadily improving our relations with the US also. We always resisted pressure from everybody to be part of a military bloc”, he said.

By inking such an agreement, India will allow the US Military, mainly Navy and Air force, to use its facilities for their smooth operations, Antony said.

“They can refuel their warheads, their ships and aircraft etc and if necessary keep their military equipment on Indian soil,” he warned.

Contending that India rarely operates beyond its shores, the Congress leader said, “This agreement practically gives very little advantage to it, but gives enormous opportunity to US Military.”

This is especially true at a time when the US has announced that in the next three years, 60 per cent of U S Marines will be placed in Asia-Pacific region, he said.

“It means gradually India will become one of their major facilitator. It is a dangerous game. It will become part of military conflicts. It will affect our strategic autonomy. In eyes of the world, India will become part of the U S military bloc,” Antony added.

The CPM accused the government of “compromising” national sovereignty and the country’s strategic autonomy of the country with the decision and urged all political parties and “patriotic” citizens to oppose Centre’s “surrender” to the US.

“The (NDA) Government must be told that these anti-national steps do not have the support of the people. It should immediately retract from signing the Logistics Agreement,” the party insisted.

It described LEMOA as “just another name” for the Logistic Support Agreement (LSA) that US enters into with military allies like Philippines, South Korea and Japan.

The party cautioned that “unlike what” Parrikar says, refuelling, maintenance and repair facilities for American ships and airplanes will require stationing of US armed forces personnel on Indian soil on a regular basis.

“Along with this agreement, the Defence Minister has indicated that two other agreements are on the anvil, Communication and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA). These will make Indian armed forces command and control structure integrated with the US armed forces,” it said.

CPI national secretary D Raja said there is “no transparency” in what the Union Government does on “critical” policy matters and asked it to explain why it is “desperate” to please Washington.

“Earlier, there used to be tremendous pressure on India from the US to have access to our ports for refueling and such things. Now India is voluntarily offering all help to the US. Why is India so desperate to please the US? This Modi Government will have to explain,” the Rajya Sabha member said.

Condemning the decision, JD(U) said it “compromises” national security, and appealed to all the opposition parties to come together to oppose the move.

“This is a clever conspiracy of the US to strengthen its military set up in Asian countries and India is not going to be benefited by this. Janta Dal (United) condemns the central government’s move to deepen military tie-up with the US.

“This step of the government has not only compromised the national security but also brought India into a military alliance with the US like other military organisations such as SEATO and NATO,” the party’s spokesperson K C Tyagi said in a statement.

No previous government took such a decision and India has been a non-allied nation since its independence, he said.

JD(U) will also raise this issue in the coming Parliament session, Tyagi said.

PM Narendra Modi can be a major ally in war against terror: EU lawmakers

Prominent members of the European Parliament on Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi can be EU’s “major ally” in the global war against terror and should be proactively engaged as India has the “first-hand knowledge” of dealing with such issues.Live England vs New Zealand 1st Semi-Final T20, ICC World T20 2016, March 30, 2016Extending a warm welcome, the members termed Modi “a person of great prominence on India’s political landscape.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The European Parliament believes Modi can be a major ally of the EU in the global war against terror,” they said after meeting Modi at Hotel Steigenberger this morning. “EU can learn a lot from the Indian experience in fighting Islamic extremism as India has first-hand knowledge in dealing with the issue,” they said in a letter.The members said the EU “should engage Indian decision makers led by Modi in a proactive dialogue and focus on overlapping interests, including maritime security, terrorism, space and cyber defence.” Modi arrived here today for a hectic day-long visit during which he will attend the India-EU Summit.Belgian capital Brussels, which was attacked by suicide bombers last week, is the first leg of Modi’s three-nation four-day tour which will take him to the US and Saudi Arabia. Since the terrorist attack on March 22, the Brussels airport is yet to be fully operational and Modi’s Special Air India plane had to land at the Brussels Military Airport.Belgian Army has been deployed for the prime minister’s visit. Due to an enhanced terror threat, additional security has been put in place for Modi’s public interaction with the Indian diaspora here.

Myanmar army reasserts its key political role ahead of transition | Reuters

NAYPYITAW Myanmar’s armed forces commander-in-chief stressed on Sunday the need for the military to remain a political force just days before a democratically elected government is set to take power for the first time in 56 years.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, making an Armed Forces Day speech from a podium dwarfed by a towering statue of Myanmar’s three ancient kings in the capital, Naypyitaw, reasserted the military’s belief that it is the country’s sole unifying force and protector of the constitution.

Though the military had “cooperated with the government and the people”, to hold a historic general election in November, that was won by pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, it was not yet time to step away from the political arena, he said.

“The Tatmadaw has to be present as the leading role in national politics with regards to the ways we stand along the history and the critical situations of the country,” Min Aung Hlaing said, referring to the armed forces by their Myanmar name.

The military seized power in a 1962 coup and for decades suppressed all opposition. But it stepped back in 2011, paving the way for a semi-civilian government to prepare for November’s election. But it retains important powers.

More than 10,000 military personnel marched in a parade marking the day in 1945 when a young nationalist leader, General Aung San, and his followers in a fledgling army turned against Japanese forces occupying their country.

Hundreds of veterans, foreign defence attaches and politicians gathered before dawn on a big parade field to watch the ceremony.

But conspicuously absent was Aung San’s daughter, National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Suu Kyi.

She attended the ceremony in 2013 but has not since then.

Also absent was president-elect Htin Kyaw, Suu Kyi’s hand-picked leader who will take power on Friday.

Htin Kyaw, a loyal confidant of the hugely popular Suu Kyi, will take the role only because the Noble laureate is barred from holding the position under a military-drafted constitution, which she has openly criticized.

Min Aung Hlaing defended the charter on Sunday, saying it was drafted by ”coordinated efforts of intellectuals, experts from various fields and national races representatives and was ratified by a nationwide referendum”, and paved the way for the November election.

The 2008 constitution enshrines deep political powers for the military.

A quarter of the parliament seats are reserved for unelected military officers, giving them an effective veto over constitutional changes, and the commander-in-chief remains in control of three key main ministries.

(Additonal reporting by Aung Hla Tun in Yangon; Editing by Robert Birsel)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Myanmar military questions Aung San Suu Kyi picks ahead of presidential vote

Myanmar’s powerful military questioned Aung San Suu Kyi’s picks for president and vice president on Monday as tension simmered between the two sides a day before parliament votes on who should get the top job.Relations between the armed forces and Suu Kyi will define the success or otherwise of Myanmar’s most significant break from military rule since the army seized power in 1962, even though the constitution bars her from taking the presidency.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The democracy leader says she will run the country whoever becomes president, and her choice looks certain to be confirmed by parliament as her National League for Democracy (NLD) holds a sizeable majority after winning a landslide victory in a general election in November.Last week, the NLD picked a close friend of Suu Kyi, Htin Kyaw, as its presidential candidate and Henry Van Thio to be a vice president to represent numerous ethnic minorities.The military, which holds a quarter of the seats in parliament, picked a third candidate.On Monday, the military member of a parliamentary commission formed to vet candidates abstained from voting on Htin Kyaw because he is not an elected MP, even though the constitution does not stipulate a candidate must be a lawmaker.The military MP, Major General Than Soe, opposed Henry Van Thio because the armed forces needed time to look into whether his stay abroad might disqualify him, said the chairman of the joint houses of parliament, Mahn Win Khaing Than.The candidates were confirmed anyway as the NLD held sway on the commission, but military disapproval highlighted a widening rift between Suu Kyi and the armed forces as her party prepares to take power on April 1.”We will have a new democratic president tomorrow anyway. The people will prevail,” said Zaw Thein, an NLD lawmaker.Suu Kyi has made it clear she would run the country through a presidential proxy.Sources in Suu Kyi’s camp say she has grown increasingly frustrated with military intransigence on issues ranging from amending the constitution to relatively minor formalities such as the location of the handover of power.”LIKE A FOREIGNER”NLD lawmakers also privately said the military’s choice of Myint Swe as its candidate went against the spirit of reconciliation Suu Kyi says she is seeking to foster.Myint Swe served the junta as head of the feared military intelligence and is on the US sanctions list. If the vote on Tuesday goes as expected, he will become one of two vice presidents.In his first public comments since Myint Swe’s selection, Brigadier General Tin San Naing, the spokesman of the military caucus in parliament, told Reuters Suu Kyi was “like a foreigner”, when answering a question on how the military planned to work with the NLD.He repeated the military’s opposition to any changes to the junta-drafted constitution which bars her from presidency because her children are British.”She is not qualified as president according to the constitution, as she has attachments to a foreign country,” said Tin San Naing. “It is very important for the security of the country. It’s impossible to amend the constitution.”Dr Zaw Myint Maung, an NLD spokesman and senior party leader, objected to the remarks, noting that Suu Kyi’s father, Aung San, was the founder of the country’s modern army.”General Aung San is the father of the military. Aung San Suu Kyi is born from two Burmese citizens. It’s sad that they said she is a foreigner,” he told Reuters.Tin SanTin San Naing dismissed suggestions that Myint Swe, who is close to former dictator Than Shwe, was a hardline candidate, and said he was highly qualified for the job.”He has military and governing experience,” he said.The president picks the cabinet that will take over from President Thein Sein’s outgoing government on April 1, with the exception of the heads of the home, defence and border security ministries, who will be appointed by the armed forces chief.

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