SOURCE: INDIA TODAY
To keep a hawk’s eye on the long porous border with Pakistan and thwart incursions in the Northeast by the Chinese PLA, India may soon get pilotless Predator XP drones used by the US Navy.India has sought from the US 100 latest unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), both armed and surveillance versions, worth USD 2 billion to bolster its arsenal.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who left for a tour of the US on Sunday, is likely to give his final approval regarding the purchase of these state-of-the-art flying machines during his trip. Parrikar will be meeting US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter for the sixth time on Monday and the deal may be finalised after that, officials said. Continue reading
To coordinate next year’s Golden Jubilee celebrations of the induction of the first submarine in the Navy, more than 100 retired officers of the submarine branch started a WhatsApp group last month. This group, which includes three-star officers who have spent decades with submarines, went abuzz at midnight last Tuesday after The Australian newspaper reported that 22,400 pages of documents pertaining to India’s Scorpene submarine programme, called Project-75, had been leaked.
The veterans studied the few leaked pages — with redacted data — put out by the paper, and intense discussions followed in the group for the first three days. In the end, there was near unanimity that while such data being put out publicly was not a good thing, it did not affect Project-75 in any significant way. Continue reading
Amidst talk of India possibly inviting people of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir living outside Pakistan for a Pravasiya Bharatiya Diwas (celebration of overseas Indian community) in January 2017 in Bengaluru, one can’t help wondering what Arif Shahid would have thought of the idea had he been alive.
Shahid was the tallest leader of Pakistani Kashmiris. A pacifist, he raised the issue of atrocities on Pakistani Kashmiris in a democratic manner. Shahid was the President of the Jammu and Kashmir National Liberation Conference (JKNLC) and the Chairman of the All Parties National Alliance (APNA). In May 2013, this affable leader was assassinated in cold blood in his own home. No enquiry was ordered and his assassins walked free. There was no condemnation of Shahid’s killing. Pakistani politicians and civil society members maintained a conspiratorial silence. Continue reading
George Fernandes as defence minister, once arriving at Srinagar, was informed that a large crowd had gathered at Baramula and was chanting “Azadi, Azadi”. In his characteristic style, he decided to drive down with minimum security to meet the crowd. On sighting him, the crowd got restive and the shouts got louder. He listened to them for sometime before raising his hand to indicate he wanted to speak. He then told them, “Hamen bhi azadi chahiye” (we also want freedom). There was a stunned silence following his statement. Fernandes then amplified “Hamen bhi azadi chahiye corruption aur berozgari se” (we also want freedom from corruption and unemployment).
Now the question is which government in Jammu and Kashmir has: Addressed unemployment; made efforts to industrialise the state; defined a roll-on-plan to create jobs; explained to youths that stable environment is essential for industrialisation in order to create jobs, and articulated conditions and unemployment in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and the rest of India. Continue reading
The United States and India have signed an agreement that allows access to each other’s military bases for repairs and resupplies.
Countering terrorism is an important objective shared by India and the United States, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said here, while appreciating American support in India’s efforts to eliminate extremism in its neighbourhood.
“We resolved to continue our cooperation on counter-terrorism. Our open and diverse societies are committed to peace. However, as the United States has shown, there can be no compromise when we are faced with terrorism,” Parrikar said at a joint news conference with US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter yesterday. Continue reading
SOURCE: DAILY TIMES
The Indian authorities treat Pakistani high commissioner to New Delhi, Abdul Basit, as a ‘persona-non-grata’ and have not allowed him once to meet Indian external affairs minister or any other high profile dignitary during his tenure so far. Mr Basit was appointed the county’s high commissioner in New Delhi, in February 2014. Earlier, he served as Pakistan’s ambassador to Germany.
Foreign Office (FO) sources told Daily Times that Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj did not entertain repeated requests of Mr Basit for formal meetings. “Given his hawkish personality and unnecessary aggression, none of the policy makers in India feel like meeting him. He doesn’t enjoy personal rapport with any important Indian official,” sources said. The job of high commissioner in New Delhi is regarded one of the most important diplomatic assignments given the intricate nature of Pak-India relations. Continue reading
As India and the United States today finally inked a long-discussed defence logistics support agreement, China’s state media described the move as “a leap forward” in defence ties but added that any future move by India to join the US “alliance system” would bring “strategic troubles”.
An editorial in the Global Times, a widely tabloid published by the official People’s Daily known for its nationalistic views, today said the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement(LEMOA) deal which would give both sides access to bases and military logistics support was “undoubtedly a leap forward in US-India military cooperation”. Continue reading
SOURCE: New Delhi Times
China has been building military infrastructure along Indo-China border over the last decade and currently it is far ahead of India. Now, there is a belated realisation in India that infrastructure built during peace time over months, years or even decades and not those built during conflict in haste will stand the country in good stead. As part of that policy framework, Indian Air Force planned construction of five Advanced Landing Ground (ALG). Earlier, two ALGs were activated in Ladakh at Daulat Beg Oldi and Nyoma, and two more outside Ladakh at Zero and Walong. One at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh is the fifth ALG to be made operational on 19th August. Tuting ALG is expected to be ready by 31st December while Tawang will be operational by 30th April, next year.
These will raise the numbers of ALGs to seven which will somewhat reduce India’s stark military asymmetry with China. ALGs are ‘strategic assets’ capable of operating aircraft and helicopters that will improve response time to different operational contingencies as well as efficacy of overall operations. Continue reading
SOURCE: THE WEEK
Another Baluch leader comes knocking on Indian door. It may be a co-incidence; Mir Mazdak Dilshad Baloch is in India for the next two months, following the footsteps of his mother Naela Qadri Baloch.
Mir Mazdak is in India looking to raise awareness about the Pakistani genocide in Baluchistan.Modi’s mentioning of the B-word from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Independence Day has been seen by Baluch leaders in exile as a sign of hope. Mir Mazdak is no different. “It is my hope,’’ he said. Continue reading
SOURCE: News Nation Bureau
Baloch activists and leaders have made some shocking allegations againstPakistan Army, saying chemical weapons were used on locals in Balochistan on August 15. Baloch leader Naila Qadri has told News Nation that after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s made reference to human rights abuse in the restive province in his Independence Day speech, the Pakistani Army used chemical weapons on residents in Balochistan to vent their anger.
Pakistan, it seems, is taking revenge from its own citizen as it is apparently rattled by PM Modi mentioned Balochistan in his speech. Continue reading
A committee set up to find alternatives to pellet guns submitted its report to the Home Ministry on Monday. Stating that pellet guns should be used as a last resort, the committee is learnt to have suggested other non-lethal weapons for crowd control.
“We have not barred use of pellet guns. But we have tried to give the forces several alternatives before they are forced to use pellet guns. These alternatives, we believe, will be as effective as pellet guns and reduce their use,” a committee member told The Indian Express. Continue reading
RILED by Islamabad’s global outreach on Kashmir, New Delhi is planning to isolate Pakistan in the global arena on the issue of terrorism.Top government sources told The Indian Express that Pakistan will be excluded from the BRICS regional outreach this time, to be held in Goa on October 15-16. “Pakistan will not be part of the regional outreach,” said sources.
India will also raise the issue of terrorism with the international community at the G-20 summit in China next week, followed by the NAM summit in Venezuela and the UNGA in September-end. Continue reading
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is in the US, alleged that forces across the border are fomenting trouble in violence-hit Kashmir and said that “a small percentage” of people in the Valley are holding the majority to ransom. He said the government is working “proactively” in handling the violence in the state.
“As far as Kashmir is concerned, the Indian government has been very proactive in handling the violence which comes from across the border” Parrikar told Pentagon reporters at a joint news conference with US Defence Secretary, Ashton Carter. Continue reading
SOURCE: ECONOMIC TIMES
India is grappling with a leak of sensitive data on its Scorpene submarines from the French company but an internal assessment has found that it could be cheaper to construct an indigenous set of nuclear-powered attack submarines rather than relying on a foreign vendor for technology.
India is currently building six Scorpene submarines under a licence agreement from France, a deal which was inked for . Rs 18,000 crore in 2005. The Rs 3,000 crore a submarine tag would go up further if escalation and inflation is calculated for the ten year build period. Continue reading