Sanjha Morcha

Handling of Dokalam shows importance of India-China ties: Wang

Handling of Dokalam shows importance of India-China ties: Wang
Wang’s visit to New Delhi is the first by a top Chinese official to India after the 73-day Dokalam standoff and after the commencement of the second five-year term of President Xi Jinping.

Beijing, December 11

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said India and China’s strategic interests outweigh “partial frictions” and handling of the Dokalam standoff through diplomatic means reflects the importance of bilateral ties.Ahead of his visit to India to attend the Russia-India-China (RIC) foreign ministers’ meeting to be held in New Delhi on Monday during which he would also hold talks with top Indian officials, Wang said China always valued good neighbourliness and friendship between the two countries as “we are each other’s big neighbours and ancient civilisations”.He said India-China strategic interests outweighed differences and “partial friction”.“We have handled the issue of cross-border incursions by the Indian border troops into China’s Donglang (Dokalam) area through diplomatic measures,” Wang told a symposium here last week, maintaining Beijing’s stand.

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“Through diplomatic means, the Indian side withdrew its equipment and personnel which reflected the value and importance of China-India relations and demonstrated sincerity and responsibility of maintaining regional peace and stability,” he said in his speech in Chinese posted on the website of the foreign ministry.“China and India have far greater shared strategic interests than differences, and far greater needs for cooperation than partial friction,” he said.As long as China and India continue to engage in in-depth strategic communication and promptly dispel strategic misgivings, the strategic value of bilateral cooperation will be presented more clearly to the people, there will be a “prospect of the dragon and the elephant dancing together with 1+1=11 outlook,” Wang said.The references to India by Wang were part of a lengthy speech about China’s diplomatic achievements in 2017 and its relations this year with various countries, including the US, Russia, Japan and countries in the disputed South China Sea region.Wang’s visit to New Delhi is the first by a top Chinese official to India after the 73-day Dokalam standoff and after the commencement of the second five-year term of President Xi Jinping.The over two-month Dokalam standoff ended on August 28 after Chinese troops stopped building a key road close to India’s ‘Chicken Neck’ corridor. India had objected to the construction highlighting its security concerns. The road was being built by China in an area also claimed by Bhutan.Wang’s visit to Delhi is expected to be followed by top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi’s trip later this month to attend the 20th round of China-India boundary talks.Yang and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval are the designated special representatives for the border talks later this month. Both officials are also mandated to discuss the state of entire gamut of bilateral ties.In his address, at the symposium themed on international developments and China’s diplomacy in 2017, Wang spoke about China’s foreign policy outlook enunciated by the once-in-five-years congress of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) held in October.The 19th CPC National Congress had charted the course for China’s external relations. Wang said China needed to create a more favourable external environment and stronger external impetus to create a moderately prosperous society in all respects.“For China’s diplomacy in the new era, we will take a longer and broader perspective and be even more open-minded and resourceful,” he said.He reiterated that “war is by no means acceptable” in dealing with the nuclear issue related to North Korea, stressing that the possibility of negotiations remains.On ties with the US, he said, “China is willing, on the basis of mutual respect, to live peacefully with the American superpower. The US needs to understand and accept a China that is following its own path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, one suited to its own conditions,” official media quoted him as saying.He said the China-Russia relationship had become a major cornerstone for world peace and stability, fairness and justice, and win-win cooperation.On the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), he said it had become “the most popular international public goods programme”.Chinese businesses had invested over USD 50 billion and created nearly 200,000 local jobs in countries that were participating, he said.India has objected to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as it traverses through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). CPEC is a part of the BRI.On Wang’s visit to Delhi, Chinese think-tanks said RIC foreign ministers’ meeting offered Beijing and New Delhi an opportunity for face-to-face communication, which would effectively help both sides step out of the shadow of the Dokalam standoff.“Admittedly, the past months have witnessed a downbeat narrative between the neighbours rather than a positive one, but with the meeting, China and India will send a message to the world that they will return to a stable and peaceful track,” said Qian Feng, an analyst at the Chinese Association for South Asian Studies told state-run Global Times.China and India have disagreements on counter-terrorism, especially when it involves Pakistan, and China is unlikely to give up its stance on this issue during this meeting, Wang Dehua, head of the Institute for South and Central Asian Studies, told the daily.China has opposed India’s moves to get Jaish-e-Muhammad leader Masood Azhar listed as a terrorist by the UN.Wang Dehua also said persistent and honest talks between the two sides might help sort out differences on BRI.China also continues to oppose India’s bid to enter the NSG primarily on the grounds that New Delhi is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). PTI


Three militants, woman killed in Jammu and Kashmir encounter

Three militants, woman killed in Jammu and Kashmir encounter
Security forces launched a cordon and search operation. Tribune file

Srinagar, December 11

Three militants and a woman were killed during an encounter with security forces in Handwara area of north Kashmir on Monday, police said here.Director General of Police SP Vaid said the slain militants were apparently Pakistanis.Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in the early hours at Unisoo village of Handwara following intelligence inputs about the presence of militants in the area, a police official said.He said the search operation turned into an encounter as the hiding militants fired upon the forces conducting the searches.During the gunfight, three militants were killed, the official said, adding that the slain militants were most probably affiliated with the Lashkar-e-Toiba.

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He said their bodies, along with three weapons, were recovered from the encounter site.One woman was also killed in the exchange of fire, the official said.Vaid said on Twitter, “In Unisoo Handwara all three terrorists apparently Pakistanis have been neutralised by joint team of J&K Police, RR & CRPF. It has been raining whole night & boys were out there in the cold.” PTI


HEADLINES::PRINT MEDIA NEWS::::10 DEC2017

  • VETERANS NOT BEING LOOKED AFTER: CAPTAIN
  • CAPT: INTERNET, DYING READING HABIT CHALLENGES BEFORE PRINT MEDIA
  • IF THERE’S B’DESH, IT’S DUE TO LT GEN SAGAT’
  • SHO, CONSTABLE HELD TAKING BRIBE ACCEPT RS 3,000 FROM A TIPPER OWNER AT FUNCTION WHERE AMARINDER WAS CHIEF GUEST
  • MUKTSAR WOMAN SHOWS METTLE, MAKES IT TO AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE
  • SEEDS OF INDIA­PAK WAR OF 1965 WERE SOWN IN KASHMIR: VETERANS
  • INDIA, PAKISTAN ‘SURPRISED’ EACH OTHER IN 1965
  • MILITARY DIPLOMACY MUST BE USED EFFECTIVELY: GEN MALIK
  • PUNJAB TO TAKE MILITARY LIT FEST TO NEXT LEVEL
  • HAD GENERALS NOT BETRAYED SIKH ARMY, BRITISH WOULD HAVE LEFT IN 1857, THERE WOULD BE NO PAKISTAN’
  • MILITARY DIPLOMACY VITAL, BUT ‘UNEXPLORED’ EX-ARMY CHIEF GEN VP MALIK SAYS MUCH MORE CAN BE ACHIEVED WITH PARTICIPATION OF FORCES
  • ANIMALS ARE UNSUNG HEROES OF HISTORY’
  • SOCIAL MEDIA IS TO STAY, FORCES NEED TO USE IT CONSTRUCTIVELY’
  • MEET THE VOLUNTEERS WHO HELPED IN ORGANISING THE FIRST LITERATURE FESTIVAL OF ITS KIND
  • LT GEN KULKARNI RECALLS FIRST LANDING IN SIACHEN
  • OPERATION TO OCCUPY SIACHEN GLACIER HAD MANY SURPRISES’
  • GENTLEMEN CADETS BECOME OFFICERS
  • PARAM VIR CHAKRA WINNER URGES KIDS TO JOIN NCC
  • THE DEEP STATE REIGNS SUPREME IN PAK
  • ROHINGYA CRISIS WILL BE RESOLVED AMICABLY: B’DESH ARMY CHIEF
  • VETERANS’ CRICKET MATCH ON DECEMBER 24
  • IAF FULLY EQUIPPED TO FACE ANY FOREIGN AGGRESSION: AIR MARSHAL DHILLON
  • TALKING OF ARMY CULTURE
  • SOCIAL MEDIA HAS CUT INTERACTION AMONG SOLDIERS
  • BRITS WOULD HAVE LOST TO SIKHS, ‘BUT FOR TREACHERY BY 2 GENS’

Veterans not being looked after: Captain

CHANDIGARH:The veterans in the country are not at peace at a time when China is baring its fangs. And no army in the world can call itself war-ready if it can’t look after its veterans, their families, and the disabled soldiers. This was the warning veterans sent out to the government as the maiden military literature festival drew to a close here on Saturday evening.

SANJEEV SHARMA/HT■ Brig AJS Behl (retd), CM Capt Amarinder Singh, journalist Vir Sanghvi, Lt Gen SS Brar (retd), Brig GS Gosal (retd) and Brig DK Khullar (retd) in a session on the Sino­Indian conflict of 1962, at the Military Literature Festival in Chandigarh on Saturday.

While dismissing the charge that the army is being politicised, Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh agreed that veterans are not being looked after. “The defence minister wants to cap the subsidy on education of their wards to save a mere Rs 3 crore. A man dies for his country; it’s our duty to look after his family,” he fumed.

When Vir Sanghvi, who was moderating the concluding session on the Sino-Indian conflict of 1962, asked him if he would keep his word as a politician as well, Amarinder declared, “Yes,” adding he would readily foot the bill of Rs 3 crore. He recounted how an injured soldier breathing his last had just one question for his officer, “Who will look after my children?” The officer replied, “Aap ke bache sarkar ke bache ho gaye hain.”

Earlier, Lt Gen SS Brar (retd) warned of the nation facing a 1962-like situation. “We are being told that we are ready for war on two-and-a-half fronts when we have gaps in our armoury; our army is short of 1,200 officers; and when we have only 33 squadrons against 45 needed to defend our airspace,” he growled.

Amarinder said it is a matter of concern that the Chinese were making incursions in the eastern sector as well as in Ladakh. “It is unfortunate that even though we had planned to raise two divisions in the East, we haven’t even raised one fully,” he groused.

The festival, which saw over 200 authors, historians and gallantry award winners and 33 sessions, ended with a big round of applause for the disciplined army of students who managed everything from the registration to seats for visitors, with a ready smile.

Delivering the valedictory address, Amarinder hoped the festival would motivate more youngsters to join the army. A group of girl students from Shemrock, queuing up to receive the commendation certificates, were all smiles as they nodded. “We will apply for the army now,” they chorused.


Seeds of India­Pak war of 1965 were sown in Kashmir: Veterans

RECOUNTING HISTORY Pakistan was much more flexible than India at a strategic and operational level because of its unitary command, says Lt General Shergill (retd)

CHANDIGARH : Pakistan wasn’t inclined to launch the 1965 offensive, but a couple of political decisions taken by India on Kashmir, Sheikh Abdullah’s visit to Pakistan to promote selfdetermination, death of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and unrest at home prompted President Field Marshal Ayub Khan to change his mind, said panellist at the Military Literature Festival.

ANIL DAYAL/HT PHOTOS■ (From right) Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Air Marshal Bharat Kumar (retd), Lt Gen NS Brar (retd) and Brig Sukhjit Singh (retd), during the session on the war of 1965 at the Military Literature Festival in Chandigarh on Saturday.Moderating the discussion on Indo-Pak War 1965, Lt General NS Brar (retd) said the operation is mostly assumed as a large-scale brawl with no clear outcomes, but it has important lessons.

There was a sense of deja vu as Lt Gen Jagbir Singh Cheema (retd) dwelt on the reasons that led to the war.

“It was in early 1964 that then Pakistan foreign minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto set up a Kashmir cell to prevent the integration of the hill state into India.”

Ayub, he said, was disinclined to wage a war against India for Kashmir as the US had threatened to stop the supply of weapons in case of any such offensive.

But some political decisions by India on Kashmir—imposition of Article 356 and Article 357, changing the nomenclature of Jammu and Kashmir prime minister to chief minister—coupled with his close shave in the elections forced him to change his mind.

LESSONS LEARNT

Though taken by surprise at the attack, India was able to rebuff it successfully.

Fifty-three years on, the panellists mulled the course of the war and concluded they could have fared better.

As Lt Gen TS Shergill (retd) put it, “Pakistan was much more flexible than India at a strategic and operational level because of its unitary command right up to the president. India, on the other hand, had quite a few last-minute change of plans that impacted its effectiveness.”

Brig Sukhjit Singh (retd) said one of the important learnings of the war was the importance of deploying commanders who knew their troops well and were adequately trained.

“If you give a staff appointee a tactical role, he is unlikely to perform well,” he said.

The panellists agreed that Pakistani ground forces also had better coordination with the air force. Lt Gen Brar said there was a perception in the army that they did not get the required air support unlike their counterparts. To this, Air Marshal Bharat Kumar (retd), a well-known author, said there was no joint planning, just a general idea. “We were also told that we will not attack any Pakistani air field,” he said.

Brig Sukhjit spoke for many when he concluded, “Ground attack is not a picnic. It is very ugly. Our mistakes come back in body bags. I hope the commanders have learnt their lessons.”


Military diplomacy must be used effectively: Gen Malik

CHANDIGARH: “When you have better understanding between the militaries of two nations, wars can be avoided,” said former army chief General VP Malik, during the Military Literature Festival, here on Saturday.

HT PHOTO■ (From left) Lt Gen Hardev Singh Lidder (retd), former army chief Gen VP Malik (retd), and Lt Gen TS Shergill (retd) during the Military Literature Festival at Lake Club in Chandigarh.

The advantage with military diplomacy is that it is largely secretive. He recounted his experience of engaging with the leadership in Myanmar in 2000 when its army ruled the country.

“To engage with the vicechairman, I flew to Mandley. Stayed there for two-three days and interacted with the leaders. I then asked the vice-chairman to come to Shillong and spend some time. When he was returning, I handed him a map that marked the militant hideouts that I wanted the Myanmar Army to attack. All this happened in complete secrecy,” he said.

He added that even though military diplomacy can never replace traditional diplomacy, it can be effectively used to supplement the latter.

Lt Gen Hardev Singh Lidder (retd) said for an effective diplomacy we need to identify the countries that we want to engage with and then earmark the specific areas of engagement. “Unfortunately, this practice is rarely followed in India,” he said.


Punjab to take military lit fest to next level

Punjab to take military lit fest to next level
Punjab Governor VPS Badnore and Finance Minister Manpreet Badal arrive for Military Literature Festival.

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9

The Punjab Government is looking to take the Military Literature Festival to the next level. Governor VP Singh Badnore, who originally mooted the idea of holding such a festival, is now looking forward to make it an annual feature. Speaking to The Tribune, he said the festival received a good response and it would only grow from here. “We are going to take it to new heights,” he said, expressing happiness at its outcome. “The very best had come and interacted here.  Punjab is the sword arm of the nation,” said Badnore.Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said the idea was that of the Governor. He suggested sticking to military literature part. “The festival is the first of its kind. The seed has been sown, next year you will see it even bigger,” he said.On how it would be funded without the government’s support, Capt Amarinder said it definitely required government support. “We will form an association to take it forward,” he said, exhorting the naval and Air Force officers to come forward and write histories of their forces.Lt Gen TS Shergill (retd) said the process to form the ‘Military Literature Festival Association’ was under way.


Military diplomacy vital, but ‘unexplored’ Ex-Army Chief Gen VP Malik says much more can be achieved with participation of forces

Military diplomacy vital, but ‘unexplored’
Maj Gen MP Bhagat (retd) speaks as (L-R) Lt Gen HS Lidder (retd), Gen VP Malik (retd), Lt Gen TS Shergill (retd) and Lt Gen SR Ghosh (retd) look on, during the Military Literature Festival at Lake Club in Chandigarh on Saturday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: RAVI KUMAR

Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 9

Former Army Chief Gen VP Malik here today said military diplomacy could effectively supplement foreign policy, but India was unable to make full use of this aspect because of the set up of the Central Government where military was not adequately consulted or even recognised as an important element of diplomacy.Maintaining that while military diplomacy could never replace regular diplomacy, Gen Malik said much more could be achieved in the realm of foreign policy with active participation of the military. “Joint exercises, delegation exchanges and high-level visits can lead to better understanding between militaries and can help avoid war or hostile situations. Coercive diplomacy or quiet liaisoning can play a vital role if the military comes into the picture,” he said.Lt Gen SR Ghosh (retd) said joint exercises with friendly countries, part of military diplomacy, was important as these sent a clear message to the target nation. “Because of their high visibility, such operations are critical to power projection,” he said. Lt Gen TS Shergill (retd) said joint drills were a means of learning about the weapon system and tactics of other countries and also offered a useful insight into contemporary military practices and thought. Recalling a visit by then Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee to Washington where the American protocol was tweaked, Lt Gen Ghosh, then defence attaché, said, “While working out the schedule, the issue of US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld hosting a dinner for Mukherjee came up and we were told Rumsfeld never ever hosted a dinner for anyone.” On repeated insistence and after being told that the Americans should reciprocate Mukherjee hosting dinner for Rumsfeld in New Delhi, they finally agreed, but the dinner was to be held in a restaurant. As the dinner was progressing, then US Vice President Dick Cheney walked in through backdoor to join in, he added.Lt Gen HS Lidder (retd), who was posted as defence attaché to Washington in the wake of India’s second nuclear tests, recalled how for over a year, there was nothing to do because of the cold shoulder extended by the US. “Then 9/11 happened and we were called in for the first time and told by the Americans that they now understand India’s experiences and the pain it has been enduring. They sought our inputs,” he said. He said India would never be a great power unless it migrated from being a reactive to a proactive nation. And if that has to be done, military diplomacy would have to come of age. Recalling his tenure in Washington from 1992-96 when the Indo-US relations were at its lowest ebb, Lt Gen Shergill said then US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia was intensely pro-Pakistan. 


Animals are unsung heroes of history’

Personalities are important, but we forget the animals associated with them. COLONEL HARDEEP SINGH

CHANDIGARH :“Do you remember the name of the horse who fought alongside Napoleon?” asked Colonel Hardeep Singh, speaking at a session on ‘Military animals: The unsung heroes’ during the Military Literature Festival, here on Saturday.

“Personalities are important, but we forget the animals associated with them,” he said.

While military animals fought on the battlefield and risked their lives for different countries, their bravery has not been documented as that of their human counterparts. Lt Gen Baljit Singh, a panellists on the session rued that canine soldiers in India have not been given their due credit. One of the heroes that he talked about was Bobbie, a mongrel with the Berkshire Regiment. He guarded the regiment and accompanied his handler Lance Sgt Peter Kelly onto the battlefield in Afghanistan in 1880.

“During the war, the British force was overrun by the Afghans, and over half of the regiment was killed. Bobbie kept barking furiously and also sustained serious injuries. He, however, survived along with a few other soldiers. When he returned to England, he was presented to Queen Victoria, who bent down and pinned the Afghan medal on his collar,” Lt Gen said. Bobbie now remains stuffed at the regimental museum in Salisbury, decorated with the medal.

DOG WHO SAVED SOLDIER’S LIFE

Lt Gen Singh also narrated an account from Brig Darshan Khullar’s (retd) book ‘When Generals Failed’ of an Indian dog who saved a grievously injured soldier. The dog kept on barking after seeing a party, constantly peeped inside a hut and run around it to attract its attention. Upon checking, the team found an emaciated jawan, who came crawling out on his arms.

The jawan later told the officer that he had survived six days on the crumbs brought to him by his canine friend.

Lt Gen Singh emphasised that the valour of canine heroes should be recognised and tales of their bravery told like that of their human counterparts.