Sanjha Morcha

Army recruitment camp

Amritsar: As many as 46,988 youngsters from the Majha region comprising Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran and Amritsar have applied to take part in a fortnight-long Army recruitment camp to be held at Khasa cantonment from October 4. Col (retd) Amarbir Singh Chahal, District Defence Services Welfare Officer, said candidates would appear for physical and written tests for various posts like soldier general duty, soldier technical and soldier clerk. He said the admit cards of all candidates had been mailed and according to them, they have to appear for tests on the given date, time and venue. He said they must bring a hard copy of the admit cards along with them. tns


Scorpene-class submarine likely to be commissioned by Nov-Dec

Scorpene-class submarine likely to be commissioned by Nov-Dec
Navy soldiers during the commissioning of INS Tarasa in Mumbai on Tuesday. PTI

Mumbai, September 26

The first Scorpene-class submarine Kalvari is expected to be commissioned by November-December, Vice Admiral Girish Luthra said on Tuesday.The Scorpene-class submarine was handed over to the Indian Navy four days back by the Mazgaon Dock Limited, one of the key ship building units of the Indian Navy.“The Kalvari submarine has already been in the sea for some time. Some 110 days of sea trials have been completed and more pre-commissioning sea trials are going on. We are expecting it to be commissioned by November-December this year,” Vice Admiral Luthra said.The submarines, designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS, are being built by Mazagon Dock Limited here as part of Project-75 of the Indian Navy.”The Indian Navy is keen on increasing indigenous components in ship building activity. We have also increased the indigenous components in submarines as well. The components’ share needs to be increased in weapons and sensors,” Vice Admiral Luthra said.He was speaking here at the commissioning of Indian Navy’s ship Tarasa at the Naval dockyard here.The Western Naval Command today commissioned INS Tarasa, which is a 400 tonne ship.It was a much needed addition in the Navy’s fleet, Luthra said. — PTI


Pakistan has turned into ‘terroristan’: India at UN Delhi targets Islamabad after PM Abbasi’s outburst

Pakistan has turned into ‘terroristan’: India at UN
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in New York. AFP

Smita Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22

Terrorism remained the key theme as India went all guns blazing at Pakistan-sponsored terror at the UN General Assembly session and sideline meetings today.A young diplomat, Eanam Gambhir, minced no words while dubbing Pakistan “terroristan” in India’s right to reply during general debate at the 72nd session. “In its short history, Pakistan has become a geography synonymous with terror. The quest for a land of the pure has actually produced ‘the land of pure terror’. Pakistan is now terroristan,” she said. India was replying to Pakistan PM Shahi Khaqan Abbasi’s speech earlier where he had accused India of “abetting terrorism” and had sought a UN envoy for Kashmir.Participating in the BRICS ministerial meeting along the sidelines, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj emphasised on collective efforts to “disrupt terrorist networks, their financing and movement” and early conclusion and adoption of the CCIT (comprehensive convention on international terrorism) at the UN.Taking a jibe at tPakistan, Sushma said, “Terror groups continue to draw sustenance from support systems, including those based in South Asia. They continue to find support and shelter in countries that use terrorism as an instrument of state policy. Countering terrorism must not be a matter of political convenience.”The BRICS meet, attended by Sushma’s Chinese counterpart Wang Yi among others, in its joint release, said, “The Ministers reiterated their strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They urged concerted efforts to counter terrorism on a firm international legal basis, under the UN auspices, and expressed their conviction that a comprehensive approach was necessary to ensure effective fight against terrorism.”But unlike the joint statement issued after the recent BRICS Summit in Xiamen, the New York statement did not mention terror groups ‘Taliban, Isil/Daish, Al-Qaida and its affiliates, including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir’.


…and the faujis are angry by Col Dabby S De mello (Retd)

Ex-servicemen are engulfed by a smouldering disconnect following the inept handling of the OROP issue by the government. In their sunset years, they are being made to feel as if they are a spent force.

...and the faujis are angry
Veteran servicemen at a protest seeking OROP in New Delhi. PTI

Col Dabby S De mello (Retd)In times of war and not before,
God and soldier we adore.
But in times of peace and all things righted,
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted.

—Rudyard KiplingManohar Parrikar apparently is an ardent fan of the legendry poet Rudyard Kipling. Within a month of his swearing in as Raksha Mantri, he has revealed to the country that the nation no more holds the defence services in high esteem. His reason: “These days, people don’t look up to the military in high esteem since there has been no war for so many years.”True, there has been no general war, but just count the horrendous losses suffered in the interim years, battling an insurgency and terrorism, largely the creation of the failed political ideologies, and at times open support to anti-nationals. Coming, therefore, from a Raksha Mantri whose mandate is to uphold the morale of the three services, this statement was most shocking. Parrikar is neither rustic nor illiterate. Nobody becomes an IITian with limited knowledge. All the more reason his disparaging remarks are repugnant. But by saying so, did he bare his party’s mindset towards the faujis or that of the collective conscience of the Indians  as a whole? The revelation, true or false, by  the Raksha Mantri, spoke volumes about the way Defence Services will be treated by the NDA (read BJP). The entire defence fraternity was shocked and felt angry.September 15, 2013, remains a sad day for the exservicemen (ESM) for, on that day, they got carried away by the rhetoric and honeyed words of Narendra Modi, the NDA’s prime-ministerial candidate, during the ESM rally at Rewari. Having seen their stock lowered by the earlier governments, they, rightly or wrongly, allowed themselves to be considered a vote bank by the BJP, a decision they now regret. In his election bhashan, Modi promised to honour the long-pending demand of One Rank One Pension (OROP) in its entirety and true essence, if NDA was voted to power. That it was voted to power with an unexpected majority was also due to the faujis voting en bloc for the BJP, a fact it  should remember. Faujis, for whom an oral commitment is sacrosanct, felt utterly cheated and decided to take an unprecedented step — peacefully protest throughout the country with Jantar Mantar as the pivot. To press home their rightful demands, the ESM, mostly in their twilight years, have been sitting on a relay hunger strike on a footpath near Jantar Mantar non-stop for more than two years. How disgracefully can the government and its leaders behave with the faujis is a new and bitter experience for a disciplined force. And they are angry. 

ESM’s Tiananmen moment

Early morning of August 14, 2015, was the ESM’s Tiananmen moment, when the might of the state pitted itself against peaceful demonstrators; young policemen were allowed to manhandle grey-haired retired soldiers (many of them war-decorated ones) and widows engaged in a peaceful and permitted protest near Jantar Mantar. No one from the government apologised for this shameful behaviour. The faujis have not forgotten that day, and are angry.To break the protest movement, the government even attempted to create an officer-jawan divide by maliciously goading another set of retired jawans to set up an alternate OROP stage a few feet away from the main protest tent at Jantar Mantar. From there, the misguided jawans denounced their officers by reading out the script handed out to them; what sort of government is this that uses such lowdown methods against its own veterans? Fortunately, this misguided lot soon realised its folly and joined the main protest, but the collateral damage it did to the strong officer-man bond which sustains our military, is frightening; a damage which can seriously impair the fighting abilities of our defence forces. The entire fauji fraternity took no time to fathom the design of the establishment and is angry.  Finding far too many anomalies, some very serious, in the notification issued on OROP, the ESM rejected it outright and conveyed it in no uncertain terms to the government. To address the anomalies, the government on December 14, 2015 constituted a one-man judicial committee comprising a retired chief justice and asked for his recommendations within six months, a job which could be done within a month. After five months, the government maliciously extended its term by six months, apparently to tire out the protesting ESM.  The honourable judge finally submitted his report on October 26, 2016, but more than nine months later, the report has not been made public. Maybe the judge was convinced about the genuineness of OROP demands and has recommended in favour of the ESM. If that be so, implementation of his   recommendations can be a win-win situation for the government as well as for ESM. But the govt hasn’t budged from its hardened stand and as a result, the faujis are angry.

Babus vs faujis

The establishment continues to pit the bureaucracy against the defence services, resulting in systematic degradation of the services. An  undesirable and unhealthy civil-military equation exists today.  The faujis are not oblivious to the step-brotherly treatment meted out to them vis-a-vis the bureaucrats and are very angry.Due to the inept handling of the OROP issue, and indifferent attitude of the establishment on many other matters, including the warrant of precedence, a smouldering disconnect has engulfed these men who once were sentinels of our borders during their prime years, but are now considered a dispensable and a spent force. Their collective protest has been on for 27 months, but none from the establishment has bothered to discuss a way out with them. The faujis have started feeling that they are being treated unfairly and are angry. By now, the Pradhan Sevak knows too well that the one-time raise given to the military pensioners is not the OROP approved by the two parliamentary committees; yet he mocks the ESM by repeatedly misinforming the countrymen from just about any platform, “Hamari govt ne fauji bhaiyon ko ek rank-ek pension de di hai!” What an emotional assault on the naïve veterans! No fauji, whether in or out of uniform, remains emotionally unmolested by the government’s highhandedness and indifference, and is angry.There are more counts on which the faujis are angry, the manifestations of which have not gone unnoticed by the BJP thinktank. Their appeasement has commenced and is gathering momentum to bring them back, yet again in good humour. But there is a saying that you cannot fool everyone all the time. The vote bank it created in 2013, and successfully milked in 2014, can’t be left unamused. 2019 is not far and 4.91 crore voters make a formidable electorate. All media is put in high gear to woo the ESM by cosmetic gestures. Courtesy the BJP, faujis are no more apolitical or gullible as in 2014. They know their vote will make a difference, like it did in 2014. The faujis are angry and not without reason. Let us not forget that this patriotic lot of Indians also includes the soldiers in uniform guarding the borders in most adverse conditions. Populist measures of the state to keep their morale to the optimum will never be enough. The cumulative anger of these forgotten soldiers needs to be addressed the soonest in national interest. In military parlance, it is the captain of the ship that must bear responsibility for the errors of his command, no matter who lower in the chain, may have been responsible. Whether by design or by default (heeding to biased advice from biased advisers), whatever, the Pradhan Sevak is responsible for the current state of affairs. PS. Let the statesmanship prevail over ego and faujis be also taken along in the Sab ka Saath venture. Far too many elections have been won on the name of the fauj, faujis and “surgical strikes”. It’s high time the BJP won their hearts by giving the ESM their rightful due. By staging a countrywide peaceful protest, they are only reminding the Pradhan Sevak to fulfil the promise he made to them at Rewari. Can the BJP risk antagonising this large vote bank, if their promises are not fulfilled? I am not too sure. Jai Hind. Jai Hind ki Sena. JaiHind ki Bhootpoorv Sena. 


FAREWELL, MARSHAL IAF’s grand leader

Marshal Arjan Singh effortlessly transcended stereotypes. This teetotaller dapper fighter pilot was a soldier’s General and also a successful diplomat.

Marshal Arjan Singh was the only officer of the IAF to be promoted to a five-star rank.

Then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi with the then Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arjan Singh, during the late 1960s.

Celebrating togetherness Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh with his wife Teji, who left for her heavenly abode in 2011.

Marshal Arjan Singh deboards a MiG 21. file photos

Roopinder Singh

India has lost a great man. The Indian Air Force’s only 5-star officer — a towering personality in all respects — Arjan Singh, DFC Marshal of the Indian Air Force, was a gentleman, soldier, and a diplomat. Above all, he was a leader who led from the front—in peace, war and even in philanthropy.Arjan Singh effortlessly transcended stereotypes. This teetotaller dapper fighter pilot was a soldier’s General and also a successful diplomat. His ramrod posture and piercing gaze gave him a commanding presence, but he had the knack of making people feel at ease while he was talking to them. I was a diffident college student when I first introduced myself to him, but he made me comfortable. Decades later, when I requested his permission to write his biography, he started off by saying that there was not much that could be written about him. He was truly modest, with not much to be modest about.(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)MIAF Arjan Singh DFC passed away at 98. Risaldar-Major Bhagwan Singh’s grandson Arjan Singh was born to Kishan Singh and Kartar Kaur on April 15, 1919, at Kohali village in Lyallpur, now in Pakistan. Soon after the birth of his son, Kishan Singh went to Edinburgh University to study engineering and then worked with Ceylon Railways. Arjan Singh studied in Government School, Montgomery, and then at Government College, Lahore. He was in his fourth year when he was selected for the Indian Air Force. He trained in England and later joined No. 1 Squadron at Ambala in January 1940. He flew a Hawker Audax, which was shot down in the NWFP by the Pathans later that year. His gunner was injured in the crash.Squadron Leader Arjan Singh was in Delhi for a meeting in 1943 when he met the pretty, young and petite Teji. The rest, as they say, is history. The two married in 1948 in Delhi at the Janpath house of Sir Sobha Singh, father of noted writer Khushwant Singh. Promotions and postings followed. Arjan Singh was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in June, 1944 by Lord Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander of South-East Asia during World War II, for his bravery in defending the Imphal Valley.After Independence, Arjan Singh built up the Indian Air Force virtually from scratch and was a key force in all the three major wars. He was the first Air Chief Marshal of the Indian Air Force when, in recognition of the Air Force’s contribution in the 1965 war, the rank of the Chief of Air Staff was upgraded to that of Air Chief Marshal. He was also conferred the Padma Vibhushan that year.  He retired as Air Chief Marshal in 1969.Two years later, he was appointed Indian Ambassador to Switzerland and the Vatican. In 1974, he was appointed High Commissioner to Kenya. He was Member of the Minorities Commission in 1980 and served as Lt. Governor of Delhi in 1989. He was conferred the rank of Marshal of the Indian Air Force on Independence Day in 2002. He was pleased that the adjunct Retd. would no longer be used with his name, ever. Field Marshal is a life-long appointment. Two years later, I got a call from Arjan Singh Aulakh. “I am no longer a Jat as you said in the book, I have no land now,” he said. I had written in his biography that the Jat in him was kept alive by the farm. “I discussed it with Teji and my children, and we sold the farm to set up The Marshal of Air Force and Mrs Arjan Singh Trust to provide finances for ex-IAF personnel and their dependents in need of help.” The couple had three children. Son Arvind teaches in a university in America, elder daughter died in a car accident in 1999 and is survived by her husband and two children and youngest Asha lives in Delhi. It was in 2011 that Arjan Singh lost his wife Teji, his partner in all his endeavours and the wind beneath his wings.After her, he continued to soldier on strongly as ever, making his presence felt on all important occasions, national and those connected with the Indian Air Force. His 97th birthday was celebrated in great style by the IAF and the Panagarh (West Bengal) air base was named after him. Today a heart attack sent him to hospital and eventually, as the Marshal of the Indian Air Force soared to meet his maker, he would certainly have looked back at the fulfilling sorties in a life well lived.


2% DA for Central staff, pensioners

2% DA for Central staff, pensioners
File photo

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 15

The Union Cabinet this evening approved release of an additional instalment of dearness allowance (DA) from January 1.The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whereby the Central Government employees and pensioners would get additional 2 per cent DA (of the basic pay/pension).(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)The decision, which would benefit about 48.85 lakh Central Government employees and 55.51 lakh pensioners, was taken to compensate for price rise, an official statement said.The increase is in accordance with the accepted formula, which is based on the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission.The combined impact on the exchequer on account of both dearness allowance and dearness relief would be Rs. 5,857.28 crore per annum and Rs.6,833.50 crore during the financial year 2017-18 (for a period of 14 months from January, 2017 to February, 2018), the statement added.


Return part was most difficult, says Maj who led surgical strikes across border

Return part was most difficult, says Maj who led surgical strikes across border

New Delhi, September 10

The surgical strikes across the LoC were precise and conducted at a frenetic pace but the Major who led the daredevil mission says that the return was the most difficult part and bullets fired by the enemy soldiers were so close that these were whistling past the ears.The Army Major speaks about the stunning mission in a new book brought out on the first anniversary of surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.The officer is referred to as Major Mike Tango in the book, titled “India’s Most Fearless: True Stories of Modern Military Heroes”.(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)The Army had decided to use soldiers from the units that had suffered losses in the Uri attack for the elaborate revenge mission. A Ghatak platoon was formed and soldiers from the two units that had lost men were roped in to man border posts and provide crucial terrain intelligence and support to the mission that lay ahead.“Tactically, this was a smart move — few knew the lay of the frontier land better than they did. But there was another astute reason. Involving them in the mission would at least begin to lay the ghosts of Uri to rest,” says the book.“As team Leader, Maj Tango had chosen every man himself, including the officers and men who would play a supporting role. He was also acutely aware of the fact that the lives of 19 men were, quite literally, in his hands,” the book says.A total of four terror launch pads operated by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and protected by the Pakistan army were selected.“Through a series of masked communications over mobile, Maj Tango’s men contacted four ‘assets’ — two local villagers in PoK and two Pakistani nationals operating in the area, both moles in the dreaded Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group.“All the four assets separately confirmed the target information that was placed before them,” the book says. Written by Shiv Aroor and Rahul Singh and published by Penguin India, it tells 14 true stories of extraordinary courage and fearlessness, providing a glimpse into the kind of heroism India’s soldiers display in unthinkably hostile conditions and under grave provocation.The mission was brief — the soldiers were expected to reach their targets, study the latest intelligence they could possibly access with their satellite devices and then proceed to wipe out every man they saw there, the book says.Two of the terror launch pads identified as targets were well inside PoK and roughly 500 metres away from each other, it says. Both launch pads were close to Pakistan army posts for logistical and administrative purposes.“From the moment the firefight began until the last bullet was fired, it had been just over an hour. The frenetic pace of the assault meant the teams, now united after the split attack on two launch pads, would prepare to leave with only a very rough estimate of the number of terrorists they had managed to kill: 20. The figure would be corroborated days later by India’s external intelligence.As for the return, the Major decided to take not the route used to enter PoK but a different path that was longer and more circuitous, but comparatively safe. But while the Indian soldiers were returning, the Pakistan army posts opened fire with everything they had. “If I were a foot taller, I would have been hit many times over,” the Major recalled. Crossing in pairs as the ammunition hit the ground inches from them, Maj Tango’s team made it to the LoC before the sun was up, finally crossing it at 0430 hours.” — PTIStunning mission

“A total of 38-40 terrorists and two Pakistan army personnel were killed at the four targets. The three separate teams had simultaneously struck four launch pads across the LoC.” Book on surgical strikes

Return part was most difficult, says Major who led surgical strikes

Return part was most difficult, says Major who led surgical strikes
Photo for representation purpose only.

New Delhi, September 10The surgical strikes across the LoC were precise and conducted at frenetic pace but the major, who led the daredevil mission, says that the return was the most difficult part and bullets fired by the enemy soldiers were so close that these were whistling past the ears.The Army Major speaks about the stunning mission in a new book being brought out on the first anniversary of surgical strikes in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)The officer is referred to as Major Mike Tango in the book, titled “India’s Most Fearless: True Stories of Modern Military Heroes”.The Army had decided to use soldiers from the units that had suffered losses in the Uri attack for the elaborate revenge mission.A Ghatak platoon was formed and soldiers from the two units that had lost men were roped in to man border posts and provide crucial terrain intelligence and support to the mission that lay ahead.”Tactically, this was a smart move – few knew the lay of the frontier land better than they did. But there was another astute reason.”Involving them in the mission would at least begin to lay the ghosts of Uri to rest,” says the book.About the details of the planning, it says, “The target list was scrutinised along a top-secret chain of command that numbered barely a handful of people, with ‘need to know’ rules applicable throughout.”The options were vetted by designated officers from the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing, before a final recommended brief was presented to the government.”Maj Tango was entrusted with the job of leading the operation to carry out the strikes.”As team Leader, Maj Tango had chosen every man himself, including the officers and men who would play a supporting role. He was also acutely aware of the fact that the lives of 19 men were, quite literally, in his hands,” the book says.Though Maj Tango chose the best men for the job, one thing was bothering him — the de-induction or the return.”That’s where I knew I could lose guys,” the book quotes him as recalling.”Even the actual attack was not something that flustered the commandos. It was the return, an uphill trek to the LoC that was the truly daunting part.”Their backs would be facing a blaze of fire from Pakistan Army posts, belatedly roused from their slumber. And the dominant position held by the posts would make the escaping warriors easy targets to spot and kill,” the book says.A total of four terror launch pads operated by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and protected by the Pakistan Army were selected.”Through a series of masked communications over mobile, Maj Tango’s men contacted four ‘assets’ — two local villagers in PoK and two Pakistani nationals operating in the area — both moles in the dreaded Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group, men who had been turned by Indian agencies a few years before.”All the four assets separately confirmed the target information that was placed before them. In terms of intelligence, there was nothing further for the team to do on this side of the LoC,” the book says.The book, written by Shiv Aroor and Rahul Singh and published by Penguin India, tells 14 true stories of extraordinary courage and fearlessness, providing a glimpse into the kind of heroism India’s soldiers display in unthinkably hostile conditions and under grave provocation.

Brief mission

The mission was brief — the soldiers were expected to reach their targets, study the latest intelligence they could possibly access with their satellite devices and then proceed to wipe out every man they saw there, the book says.The weapons and equipment were then finalised.”Maj Tango would be armed with his M4A1 5.56-mm carbine, the rest of the assault team with a mix of M4A1s and standard-issue Israeli Tavor TAR-21 assault rifles, Instalaza C90 disposable grenade launchers and Galil sniper rifles.Batteries on night-vision equipment were checked and other devices were charged too,” the book says.Two of the terror launch pads identified as targets for Maj Tango’s team were well inside PoK and roughly 500 metre away from each other, it says.”Each launch pad is really a transit staging area for terrorist infiltrators before they are sent across the LoC.Both launch pads were close to Pakistan Army posts for logistical and administrative purposes. ISI handlers would often visit these launch pads before infiltration attempts,” according the book.”From the moment the firefight began until the last bullet was fired, it had been just over an hour. The frenetic pace of the assault meant the teams, now united after the split attack on two launch pads, would prepare to leave with only a very rough estimate of the number of terrorists they had managed to kill: 20. The figure would be corroborated days later by India’s external intelligence.”A total of 38-40 terrorists and two Pakistan Army personnel were killed at the four targets. The three separate teams had simultaneously struck 4 launch pads across the LoC.Their entry into PoK had been coordinated and precisely timed,” it says.As for the return, the major decided to take not the route used to enter PoK but a different path that was longer and more circuitous, but comparatively safe.But while the Indian soldiers were returning, the Pakistan Army posts opened fire with everything they had — enraged by the cross-border strike.”At one point, the bullets were so close, they were whistling past our ears. There’s a familiar put-put sound when rounds fly very close to your head,” Maj. Tango recalls.”If I were a foot taller, I would have been hit many times over.”During the circuitous escape, the men were frequently flat on the ground as trees in their path were shredded to bits by hails of ammunition, the book says.”A particularly vulnerable 60-metre patch in the de-induction route gave the commandos their closest call. Still flat on their bellies, but with no natural feature hiding them, they needed to slither the full distance without being hit. Crossing in pairs as ammunition hit the ground inches from them, Maj Tango’s team made it to the LoC before the sun was up, finally crossing it at 0430 hours.” — PTI


The Constitutional Status of Defense Forces

The Present one dealing with aspects like what does “apolitical” means in terms of law and “Coup Proofing Vs Coup Phobia” and third one on “What Rots Indian Military within”? This is an attempt to answer ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ on issues of military. The questions answers given are not a complete set and shall be kept updated time to time. 

 
Question No 1. Military veterans seems to be always agitated on issues like pay, pension and allowances. Why is it? Are they depressed or greedy? 
 
Answer. Military veterans vocal on electronic, print and social media or agitating on Jantar Mantar airing their concerns on many issues concerning military, are neither depressed nor greedy. Soldiers of Indian army give more preference to service to nation and democracy than money. There are certain pressure points which Govts after Govts have not only ignored since 1973, but are creating more reasons for agitations. As for as public is concerned, in independent India it is happening for the first time, that in last 5-6 years military veterans have taken the course of agitation on key issues in public domain creating ripples in minds of common man creating such false impressions. The issues are pending with govt since 1973 and now the patience of soldiers is at breaking point.
 
Question No 2. But why shall Govt show such apathetic attitude towards soldiers? Soldiers defend nation and render great service and politicians, babus and govt are surely aware of it? 
 
Answer. It puzzles soldiers too. Why such apathetic attitude towards soldiers? Serving soldiers do not have unions or lobbies like civilians. They always had blind trust in govt but in 1973 they were delivered a serious blow when their status, pay, pensions and allowances were reduced drastically by 3rd pay commission and that of civilians raised.  It created serious imbalance and that too once soldiers had delivered an unprecedented and historic military victory in 1971 war.  Instead of award, soldiers were punished. It never happens like that. It is a sure way of killing the high moral of a victorious army setting a wrong precedence.   
Soldiers have a system of reporting their problems to their commanding officers, who then report the matter to services HQ at Delhi. Military Chiefs then take up matter with the govt. Soldiers followed the same system and had trust in the ability of their chiefs and Govt. Naturally such serious imbalance created by 3rd pay commission were reported to Govt through proper channels. Then PM Indra Gandhi assured Military Chiefs of resolution of their problems but it never happened. Since 1973. chiefs after chiefs have kept reporting the matter to Govt. Govts after Govts have kept assuring soldiers about resolution of their problems but without any solution in sight. Rather various political parties have used frustration of soldiers for petty vote bank politics. It has now created a situation wherein soldiers have lost trust in ability of military chiefs to get solution and started doubting the intentions and seriousness of Govts to deliver justice forcing them to came on street and social media bringing matters into the notice of public. After in all in democracy people are supreme. It is surely not a healthy sign for the democracy. It has also created problem within military where abilities of top leaderships to effectively communicate with govt are now being questioned?  
 
Question 3. Still why is Govt not serious? Soldiers on street in democracy is a frightening scene? 
 
Answer. It is surprising for soldiers too. Why is govt not serious? Why are political parties only interested in using frustration of soldiers for votes? Ignoring the problem without giving any justification is like adding the fuel to fire. Unfortunately, such apathy is creating impressions that corrupt politician- babu nexus has no time for serious issues of the nation and soldiers demand for justice is no exception. Look around, justice system has collapsed, govt administration is totally rusted, corruption rules everywhere, parliament has become defunct, proxy Govts rule, no political party has internal democracy, funding channels are kept secret, banking is overburdened with NPAs, gap between poor and rich are widening, farmers are committing suicide. A situation of hopelessness exists. It looks politics has become a profession of employment for failed people who are only interested in loot and plunder. Babus, banks, judiciary, some crony businessmen and temple priests, have joined hands with corrupt politicians to create a mafia. Naturally such mafia has no time and sensitivity for soldiers and justice or what else could be the reason?  Indian soldiers are sensitive, committed to constitution and responsible people. Soldiers know that in the given situation of hopelessness, if they also come on street, as it happens in other countries, it will deliver a death blow to the nation. Naturally so, military veterans have taken the responsibility to communicate with “we the people” who are supreme in democracy, keeping the threshold of agitation well below acceptable limits so that the situation doesn’t explode.
 
Questions 4. What are the major demands of soldiers? 
 
Answer. The major demands of soldiers are:
1. Status of soldiers as given in the “Constitution” be respected. 
2. Accordingly, serious imbalances and disparities between compensation model of soldiers and other govt civil employees be removed based on best HR practices taking into account the average career earnings including pension  benefits.
 
Question 5. What are the constitutional provisions for the executive authority of the military? 
 
Answer.Constitutional military executive authority of the soldiers comes out of the following articles:
 
1. Article 18;– respects the “Title of Ranks” of Soldiers even after his death. Soldiers never retire. Title of Ranks never die. 
 
2. Article 34:- Gives military a political executive authority to intervene by declaring martial law only to restore democracy.  In India parliamentary democracy is supreme. This article makes Indian military as soldiers totally committed to democracy and “we the people”. There may be situation where state fails to govern as per constitution or parliament is unable to function due to any reasons or rise of a civilian dictator endangers democracy or external/ internal aggression endangers it . In such situations constitution makes obligatory on military authorities to intervene to protect and restore democracy. Baba Saheb Ambedkar was a very wise man. He could sense that in independent India, probability of rise of civilian dictators are more than rise of a military dictator. He therefore under this article, entrusted military a role of silent and invisible custodian of Indian democracy.  History of independent India is testimony to the fact that Baba Saheb was right. Military has been loyal to constitution and we the people whereas Indra tried to become dictator declaring unconstitutional emergency. Military did play its role to protect democracy, when then Army Chief cautioned Indra to remain within limits of constitution. In fact emergency was lifted as all three chiefs wrote a top secret letter to Indra Gandhi advising her to lift emergency and call for elections. Probably this is right time the content of this letter shall be disclosed to public. 
 
3. Article 52 read clubbed with Article 74:– The sovereign authority of govt is vested in the President who wears two distinct hats. One of being head of civil political govt and other of supreme commander of defense forces. These two roles of the president are independent. Under this article the hard and soft national powers are identified and constitutionally divided. While the democracy under the pre-dominance of soft power functions under the leadership of Prime Minister and his cabinet, the total command authority over the hard power of military is denied to him/her. Baba Saheb was a visionary and had deep knowledge of Indian history. He wisely so separated national hard power from the national soft power. Baba Saheb knew if PM or defense minister are given total command authority over military it will give rise to many civilian dictators.  Therefore under this article if read clubbed with article 74, the political direction to military comes from cabinet headed by PM, administrative support comes from ministry of defense and military retains the authority and freedom to take military executive decisions and that is the reason precisely military is an attached organisation to the political govt. Constitutionally, military can not be subordinate to PM and his cabinet as President who is senior to PM is its head and also PM is not given command of military. In Indian democracy where PM exercises executive political authority and President is constitutional head of military, services HQ can only be integrated with civil govt and can not be merged as is the case in USA.  
 
4. Co-relation of Article 34 on Article 52 and 74. Articles 52 and 74 do not take away the authority as vested in supreme commander of defense forces and military commanders as Silent and Invisible Custodians of Indian Democracy. There could be situation where advice of PM (aspiring to become a dictator) and his cabinet to President could be detrimental to democracy. Under article 52 and article 74, president is left with no choice except to accept their advice after one review however under article 34 supreme commander of defense forces or military commanders can exercise military authority as vested in them only to defend constitution and democracy.

Question 6. Constitutionally, what are the roles of the Defense Forces? 

Answer. If seen in the backdrop of above constitutional provisions, the roles of Indian Defense Forces are:

1. Primary Role. To defend Indian Constitution and Democracy against any of the following threats:

a. Any external aggression or threat in any form on the Geo-political and economic interests of India, territories under the political control of Indian Govt and Indian constitution. The external threat may not be always in form of military invasions. It may appear in form of externally abetted political assassinations,  cyber or economic wars, threatening Geo-political alliances or posturing etc. 
b. Any internal threat endangering functioning of the constitution and democracy which may be in forms of armed rebellion or political takeover by a civilian dictator. 

2. Secondary Role. To assist civil administration in maintenance of law and order and in case of natural calamities, disasters and disturbances only when requisitioned. Please note that defenses forces can act in their secondary roles only when requisitioned. However for preforming their primary roles, no such orders or requisition are required. However as long as an elected political govt under parliamentary democracy is functioning, defense forces will always seek their political directions before any action. In case such govt seize to exist or nuke attacks have obliterated such govt or a civilian dictator has taken over violating constitution or any state govt has rebelled or any armed rebellion has seized any part of territory/ govt administration, defense forces will act under the military authority as vested in them to protect constitution and shall not wait for any political directions.
 
Question 7. What are the constitutional provisions for the status and service conditions of the Defense Forces?
Answer. Chapter 14 of the constitution deals with “Services of the Union and States”. Though defense forces are created under articles 34 and 52, but their service conditions are constitutionally governed under this chapter. Relevant article are as under:
 
1. Article 309 empowers parliament to make legislation for the service conditions of various public services including defense forces.
2. Article 310 Makes provisions for the tenure of all commissioned officers of the defense forces personals and civilian gazetted officers to be at pleasure of president. This article mentions various govt services in order of their seniority in terms of constitutional status. Officers of the defense forces are first in the seniority even ahead of civil services of the union (discontinued after independence) and All India Services (IAS, IPS, IRS, IFS etc).
3.Articles 311- 323 under the chapter deal with various safeguards provided to civil services and forming of Public Service Commissions.
Legal provisions for withdrawal of Pleasure of President in respect to officers of the  defense forces differ from the civil officers which  for defenses forces are further given in respective services acts, rules and also regulations.
4.Under article 309, various civil services acts for giving various service conditions in details like IAS acts and rules or IPS acts and rules have been framed. However in relation to defense services Govt and Parliament has chosen to remain silent and adhocism has been created. Absence of act and rules for service conditions of defense forces in detail as mandated under article 309, is the root cause of soldiers grievances. Present Defense Acts and Rules deal more with the discipline aspect of forces. The defense regulations are customs of Monarchy. India is a democracy and defense forces shall not be administered under adhoc regulations.
 
Question 8.  How are officers in Defense Forces appointed and how does their oath differ from a civil servant?
 
Answer. Officers of the Defense Forces in addition to being gazetted, are also commissioned officers. The word “commission” is mentioned in the parchment given to them at the time of their commissioning wherein they take oath of allegiance not only to the constitution as taken by civil officers but also to obey lawful command of their superior officer up in the chain of command after due observations to it being a lawful in accordance with laws of regular army.Under this observed obedience of lawful command, duty to defend the constitution is inherent. Civilians including PM and Govt Ministers take oath of allegiance to the constitution and not to defend constitution? Few key aspect which shall be noted in appointments of defense officers are :1. The parchment of commission is given under the printed signatures of the President authenticated by a Military General and not by any civil officer. 
 
2. In parchment of commission, the President uses the word “ME” and not “MY GOVT” as he uses in Parliament, because the authority of military command is absolute in nature and is vested in him as supreme commander of the defense forces. Such power legally can not be delegated to any other authority. Provisions of article 74, therefore do not apply on military authority and chain of command. Army laws make nature of command legally very clear.  In case of confusion of political directions for military between President and PM, defense forces are obliged to follow orders of supreme commanders of defense forces and not PM. 
 
3. Officers of defense forces take oath to serve anywhere in world and space, where ever they could be send by land, air and sea beyond the territories of India and where even the Indian laws do not apply? They enforce the sovereign authority of the state not only within national territories but beyond. 
 
4. Officers are suppose to follow such orders of command which are lawful in nature. Legal validity of orders are decided by officer himself interpreting these under the law. Commissioned officers are therefore expected to use their judgment to decide legality of the orders and all illegal orders he is expected to disobey. In case commissioned officers obey illegal orders, they carry liability of criminal prosecution.  
 
5. Officers of the defense forces by virtue of being commissioned officers, are vested with following powers
a. Military executive authority not only to impose its will using military force on any entity but also to the extend of forming govts. Military Govt in India were formed in Hyderabad, Goa and Junagarh once these were liberated and also in Bangaldesh and Jaffna Sri Lanka.  
b. Judicial powers to not only give punishments to the extend of death sentence, but in certain situations confirm and execute it without any reference to any court, govt and president. 
c. Powers of Magistrates are exercised by defense forces in aid to civil authority. Officers of the rank of NCOs and above  exercise such powers. Whereas in case of civil these are not below gazetted officers. 
d Military Authority to command troops. Military functions based on unique concept of command. 
e. Administrative powers like any civilian officers. 
It could be seen from above that all functions of state for which a civil govt has different organs, in case of military are vested in commissioned officers.  
 
Question 9. It seems somewhat confusing? General Impressions are that constitutionally IAS officers are Masters of Indian Destiny and they are even superior than other sister services like IPS, IRS and IFS? 

Answer. If seen in backdrop of article 310, that is not correct. Over a period of time IAS officers have taken advantage of their certain appointments and closeness to politicians. Corrupt, greedy and insecure politicians have obliged them, as in elections IAS officers are appointed returning officers responsible to check validity of their nomination papers, their election canvassing activities and spending of funds. In fact it is this appointment which makes them a kind of masters of Indian Elections. It is the IAS officer as DM, who announces results of vote counting. When in multi corner elections where victory margins are thin, such officers naturally can oblige politicians. It is this relationship between politicians and IAS officers which has given unjustified advantage to IAS. In most of the democracy. No civil servant is given the responsibility of being a returning officer.  In US, civil servants only oversee checks over political spending, in Pakistan, these are judicial officers who are nominated as returning officers. The present practice is harmful to Indian Democracy and parliament must take note of it? 

Nevertheless constitutionally, following shall answer the question about the correct position on the standing of officers of defense forces with officers of IAS and other All India Services :

Comparison of Constitutional Status of Defense Officers and IAS including Officers  of All India Services

1. Sovereign Executive Military Authority is an exclusive domain of military officers exercised through powers and chain of command. Under such authority nations are destroyed or made. Political directions for military actions at macro levels are given by elected govt in a functional democracy. Under article 34 defense forces have been made silent and invisible custodian of Indian democracy with a responsibility to keep it intact. No such powers in civil domain to any civil officer.

2. Authority to form political Govt is an exclusive domain of political civil Govt in a functional democracy on mandate of ‘we the people’. However in certain situations with approval of elected civil political authorities and if it doesn’t exist then own its own, officers of the defense officers form a political govt in any external captured territory and anywhere within the country. Examples are when military formed Govts in Hyderabad, Goa and Junagarh within the country and in Bangladesh and Jaffna; Sri Lanka abroad. Such Govt can be led by any military officer or any other person so authorized by responsible military commander.  Adjutant General of the Army HQ is responsible for the subject. Only officers of the rank of Brigadier and above are authorized to declare formation of such Govt. That is the reason, rank of Brigadier was and should be equated with the appointment of secretary of Govt of India. Same is the practice world over in most democracies. No such authority is vested in any of the officers of all India services. All civil officers serve under the command of military commanders whenever/where ever Military Govts are formed.

3. Judicial Powers. Any commissioned officer can be nominated to the military court as a Judge. Military officers of the rank of Captain and above exercise judicial powers of a session judge and can give death sentences.  In case of SGCM, an officer of the rank of Captain and above can nominate himself as judge and can give death sentence in a summary trial. He in this case can also confirm the sentence given by himself on behalf of President and give orders for its execution without reference to any court and civil authority. No right of appeal is given to the accused. Military Laws can be made applicable to civilians either by notification by central govt or under martial laws. Legal validity of the courts formed under martial laws has the sanction of Supreme Court. No such powers or authority is held by any officer of the all India services.

4. Powers of a Magistrate. Powers of magistrate is more of a civilian concept when a civilian officer is given part of executive authority of the state by virtue of he/her holding an appointment or given for a period. Military works on the concept of command where executive powers of state are inherent in powers of command of Military officers by virtue of holding commission or authority to exercise such powers. In case of military, powers of command are given down to NCO levels. In aid to civil authority military Non Commissioned Officers, has the powers to order fire.  Such orders in case of civil can only be given by a Civil magistrate. These powers are not inherent as is the case of military officers. IAS officers exercise powers of magistrate as returning officers for an election. It is this appointment which gives advantage to them to illegally oblige politicians and makes them powerful over others.

5. Administrative Powers. Exercised as authorized by Defense Officers as well as officers of all India services. Please note, IAS officers or other officers of all India services exercise executive powers of State only when they have powers of magistrate or holding a specified appointment where as executive authority of the State are inherent to all commissioned officers by virtue of they holding  commission on behalf of the President. Nature of job of officers of all India services is more as administrative whereas in case of defense officers it is pre-dominantly executive. That is the reason article 310, puts officers of defense forces in senior most order than officers of all India services and other civil services. Yes, it is also true constitutionally that IAS officer have no legal standing to claim seniority or preference over IPS, IRS or IFS. Their present superior status is illegal and has been created with the help of politicians as they are the only one who can become returning officers to conduct elections.

Question 10. The word defending the constitution are neither mentioned in Oath and Nor in commission parchment, then how are officers of the defense forces responsible for the “defending the constitution”?
 
Answer. Oath of President of India has two key words. One “upholding the constitution” and other “defending it”?  President takes the oath to defend constitution as supreme commander of the defense forces and the only means to defend constitution, he has, are the defense forces. He therefore passes his authority to officers of the defense forces in form of commission. It is through this commission the officers of defense forces become responsible for defending the constitution by military force following lawful command. Article 34 also makes it obligatory on part of the defense forces to defend constitution. 
 
Question 11. Civil Political Govt has authority and freedom to decide what shall be status of the defense officers and how shall they be paid? Why shall defense officers and soldiers crib?
 
Answer. Govt of the day is formed and functions under the broad constitutional framework. No govt or babu is above constitution and they are expected to work within the space as provided. Since 1973 govt are taking certain unconstitutional decisions and downgrading status and compensations of the the defense forces. The same is highly objectionable. Defense forces have been so far maintaining the decorum and trying to argue reason with the govt. Unfortunately the same is not yielding the result and no answers are coming from the govt?  That is main reason military veterans have taken to social media and streets. 
 
Question 12. Why shall Govt give answers to the military? It is communicating its decisions? Where is the problem in it? 
 
Answer. India is a democracy and not autocracy. Govts are answerable to the people and parliament. In case of military they need to explain reasons as by law military is not expected to obey unlawful orders. Soldiers have certain of their fundamental rights restricted it doesn’t mean they lose all other rights of a being Indian citizens? Govt carry a responsibility to reason out their grievances? It is demand of democracy. 
 
Question 13. Why is military not going to court? After all it is an attached organisation to the govt and maintains its own identity? 
 
Answer. Defense forces surly have such options open but not exercising showing respect to democracy and hoping  that some day wisdom will prevail. After all military going against an elected govt in court might cause serious problems to the democracy. Yes some serving officers and military veterans are taking some lead but the same is also not a healthy sign. 
 
Question 14. What are the main grievances? Can same be elaborated? 
 
Answer. Same were explained above in answer to question 4. The same is again elaborated here:
 
1. Considering various articles 18, 34, 52, 309 and 310 of the constitution and their authority, powers of command, roles and functions, officers of defense forces have a constitutional status and the same is superior to the senior most civil services that is IAS. Article 310 makes it very clear. Equating commissioned officers inferior to police and higher than homewards is surely humiliating. Since 1973 defense forces are actually under systematic motivated attacks from political establishment for marginalizing them. The same is likely to create a serious imbalance in power structure of the country in total violation of constitution which is fraught with serious consequences like creating space for rise of civilian dictators. 
2. On the eve of Independence, first Govt under PM Nehru in fact had realized the problem and on recommendations of a committee, respecting constitutional status of the defense officers, certain principle of parity were laid down. The same were:
a. The status of officers of defense forces will be superior to civil services; IAS. 
b. Seniority protocol between commissioned officers and IAS shall be decided based on length of service and not on the basis of rank of defense officers. 
c. Compensation packages in terms of total average career take home including pension of defense forces shall be higher than civil. In case of defense officers more than IAS. 
3. The above thumb rule as made under Nehru govt, respected the constitution. It was in 1973, in lust to be a dictator, Indra Gandhi tweaked above policy and cut their status and compensation drastically. The process which she started is still continuing? Now the situation is that in terms of status, defense forces are being equated to Grade B civil officers and their average career take homes are less than police and above home guard? 
4. The real unrest is not OROP or some allowances here or there. Real issue is question of disparity and serious imbalances in total disregard to constitutional status of the soldiers. If a MP is respected as MP, if president is respected as president, if judges are respected as judges all as per status given in constitution than why are soldiers not being respected their constitutional status? Degrading soldiers in total disregards to constitution is nothing but direct attack on Constitution.  
 
Question 15. PM Modi seems to be serious in resolving the issues, then why are soldiers still agitating?
 
Answer. Soldiers had lots of hope in Sh N Modi as he looked sincere but actions of his govt doesn’t speak the same story. Following may please be noted:
1. BJP promised a white paper on the problems and also formation of a military commission. In last 2 years nothing has happened on it? 
2. After BJP formed govt, their defense minister clearly said “OROP” can not be given. Soldiers are asking salary for life. That triggered agitation. Then their Home Minister tried to break the agitation using force. A RSS leader in their first ever political darbar in Delhi, in fact as reported passed instructions to present Defense Minister in a very derogatory manner “Give them something and make them quite’?   It further aggravated problem. 
3. Govt has accepted recommendations of the VII pay commission which has given a very humiliating treatment to soldiers, cutting them further in status and compensations. There are issue pending since IV, V and VI pay commissions. Nothing was addressed, rather more cuts have been implemented. It has happened for the second time, while the civilians have been given their dues, soldiers are still struggling. It is the first time in the history of India, where three services chiefs have polity declined implementation of VII pay commission till major anomalies are resolved.  
4. On issue of disability govt has created yet another controversy. 
5. Now fresh controversy over status parity has erupted in MOD, where civil officers of the Grade B are being treated much superior than commissioned officers.   
6. On all these issues, one can notice deliberate leaks and motivated article  to defame soldiers? In VII pay commission report, an attempt has been made to put down soldiers and show them as greedy.
7. A new fund has been created for public to donate money giving and impression that as govt has no money for soldiers as nation is poor, public must pitch in donations. 
 
Question 16. India is poor country surly she cant not pay soldiers lavishly? 
 
Answer. Who is asking that? India is a poor country then why to pay civilian govt employees so lavishly? Soldiers are asking to remove imbalances and restore their status maintaining the principle of parity in line  of constitutional status. Nehru Govt did make the rules. 
 
Question 17. If govt doesn’t address the problem as seen by soldiers and tries to resolve its own way then what are the consequences? 
 
Answer. At first place govt shall not do that. The constitution is supreme. If govt still wishes to go ahead then better amend constitution. Make defense minister as supreme commander of defense forces, abolish article 34 and article 52 II. Amend article 310 to make defense forces junior to police forces. Make NSA as Chief of Defense Staff and stop giving commission to defense officers. Where is the problem? We live in a democracy where Constitution and “will of people” are supreme. But if not done, then respect the present Constitution. In any case, since independence a situation has been created now where trust of soldiers in govt as the its lowest. It is a dangerous situation. A soldier who is low in his self esteem and doesn’t trust govt will have no trust in cause of his mission and moreover he will be more worried about future, safety and security of his family? Such soldiers can only deliver defeat.  Choice is of the govt and we the people. 
 
Question 18. What is the way out? 
 
Answer. Well the way out is known to the Govt. BJP did promise a white paper and standing military commission. In fact Supreme Court has been suggesting same to the Govt. Twice it has happened that SC has ordered Govt to form a standing commission but later withdrew its orders on promise of the Govt. Let this commission first publish a white paper and then take a comprehensive approach to restructure the whole model keeping constitution in mind. The real issues are only two. 1. Treating soldiers as per their constitutional status and/or 2. accordingly structuring a compensation model.
 
Author is ex-army Colonel and corporate leader presently seeding first Chamber of Commerce of Ex Servicemen

Act against infiltration, shelling: Experts

Act against infiltration, shelling: Experts

Sumit Hakhoo

Tribune News Service

Jammu, September 26

A year after the Army’s surgical strikes on terror launch pads located deep inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), there is a general perception among the people that the government should stop “selling the strikes” and make efforts to stop infiltration and silence the Pakistani guns along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border.Since the military strikes, which hit the heart of terror infrastructure supported and run by Pakistan army, the situation in J&K has deteriorated with a marked increase in terror attacks in the Valley. The cross-LoC shelling and firing has destroyed peace of lakhs of civilians.Experts said the Pakistan army, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Muhajideen have stepped up violence despite security forces eliminating leadership of militant organisations.The global terror outfit Al-Qaida is also trying to gain foothold in Kashmir through terrorist commander Zakir Musa, changing the narrative of conflict which is now getting greatly influenced by pan-Islamic jihadi movement.While talking to The Tribune, former Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda, who was the police chief from 2007-2012, said, “The surgical strikes had an initial impact by way of putting Pakistan on an alert that India could strike deep inside their territory. The fact is that its impact has been lost and Pakistan continues with its terror activities, including financing and arming terrorists.” Khoda has a vast experience in anti-insurgency operations in Kashmir and considered brain behind establishing village defence committees in mid 1990s which demoralised the terrorists.He said, “The recent success of security forces in eliminating terrorists in Kashmir will get neutralised as infiltration from PoK continues with the help of Pakistan. Local recruitment of militants in south Kashmir and the Banihal area has also picked up,” Khoda said.Echoing similar views, former Director Information, J&K, KB Jandyal, who had held important positions in the administration, said the surgical strikes shattered the perception that the Army would not attack the terror camps run by Pakistan but the level of violence in J&K had not decreased.“Ceasefire violations have increased. Pakistan is making efforts to increase violence and spill blood of our citizens and soldiers. The Centre should have cornered Pakistan but that does not seem to be true on the ground except diplomatic efforts to isolate them. Further in insurgency, one has to dominate the mind of the adversary but we in J&K lack a dedicated strategy to dominate even cyberspace,” said Jandyal.Panthers Party leader Harsh Dev Singh targeted the Central government for harping on surgical strikes even as things have worsened for people living along the LoC and International Border. “The Central government has failed to take strong steps against terrorists. People living in Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch are suffering due to attacks from across the border almost daily,” he said.‘Go for the final surgical strike’ Civilians living along the border areas are suffering due to Pak shelling and firing. Thoru Ram from Allah village in the Arnia sector said his village, located 35 km from Jammu city, was bearing the brunt of intense shelling from Pakistan for days now. “I would like to ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi to go for a final surgical strike on Pakistan to silence the terrorist nation so that our people can live in peace. We don’t want statements only but a strong action against the enemy,” said Thoru Ram, sitting along with his family in a bunker. 


Army foils infiltration bid by Pak’s Border Action Team

Army foils infiltration bid by Pak's Border Action Team
Seven-eight intruders were pushed back. — Representational photo

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 26

The Indian Army on Tuesday foiled an infiltration bid by seven-eight armed intruders of Pakistan’s Border Action Team (BAT) in Keran sector of Kupwara in J&K.(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)The intruders came near the Army posts around 1 pm. They were supported by nearby Pakistani posts by mortar and small arms fire.Read: Militant killed as Army foils fresh infiltration bid in Kashmir’s UriThe BAT action was aimed causing damage to Indian posts but any such attempt was thwarted, sources said.There was no casualty on the Indian side and the armed intruders retreated.Firing by Indian posts was under way at the time of filing report.