Sanjha Morcha

Lift cap on fee of martyrs’ kids: Kirron

New Delhi, December 21

The issue of Ministry of Defence having capped educational expenses of children of martyrs or those disabled in action was raised in the Lok Sabha today by MP from Chandigarh Kirron Kher.Speaking during Zero Hour, the MP sought immediate reversal of the decision saying “the cap will be a dis-service to the people who died for the motherland”. “Please restore the fee and remove the cap,” Kher demanded saying it’s about the future of the children.Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh and General VK Singh (retd), now a minister in the Narendra Modi-led government, have already made similar demands to lift the cap.The educational expenses and hostel fee had been capped by the MoD at Rs 10,000 per month, impacting some 3,200 students in schools, colleges and professional institutions. This will result in a meagre saving of less than Rs 5 crore per annum.The Tribune was the first to report the issue in its edition dated December 1. The orders came into force on July 1 this year. Since then, the ministry has received several requests for continuing with the old system, which had no such ceiling. — TNS

Remove cap on education reimbursement to martyred soldiers’ kids: Kirron to Centre

Our soldiers take great risk against their lives to protect the country. By reducing the amount, government will save merely ₹5 crore.
KIRRON KHER, Chandigarh MP

CHANDIGARH: Speaking in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, member of parliament from Chandigarh, Kirron Kher, urged the Centre to reverse its order that seeks to limit the reimbursement amount for education of children of martyrs and soldiers disabled in service.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Kher said as per the order, the reimbursement, which was earlier unlimited, has been restricted to ₹10,000 per year. This is an insufficient amount, she said.

Kher added that the armed forces undertake great risk against their lives to protect the country and by limiting the reimbursement amount, the government will save merely ₹5 crore.

Since 1971, the Centre has been providing full educational concession to the children of soldiers who died in war, were disabled, or are missing.

The scheme covers around 3,400 children and provides reimbursement of tuition fees, hostel charges, cost of books, uniforms and clothing.

However, following the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission, the defence ministry has released an order which limits the combined tuition and hostel fee reimbursement to ₹10,000 per year.

Recently, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba had appealed to defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman to reverse the order.

Admiral Lanba, who is also the chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, had written that “this small gesture would assure the families of our brave women and men that the nation cares for them.”

Remembering heroes of 1971 Indo-Pak war on Vijay Diwas

PANCHKULA:To commemorate the 1971 Indo-Pak war, Indian Ex-servicemen Movement (IESM) organised a lecture on ‘Military force and diplomacy in managing India’s external security’ on Saturday.

SANT ARORA/HT■ Ex­servicemen during 46th Vijay Diwas celebrations to commemorate 1971 Indo­Pak war.Former high commissioner to Pakistan and Singapore,TCA Raghavan, addressed the gathering and said, “I believe relationship with neighbouring countries is never smooth. If we look at India and Pakistan’s relationship through any country’s lens, things will seem alright.”

“Few people say why it bothers us, why are we spending our time and energy in dealing with Pakistan’s issues. Like Iraq and Germany cannot insulate themselves from the volatile situation in Syria and Iraq, the same goes for India with Pakistan,” he added.

He further said, “We talk about military force and diplomacy. There is not a single neighbouring country where we did not use our force.”


Vijay Diwas was celebrated with grandeur at Western Command headquarters.

Lt Gen Surinder Singh, general officer commanding (GOC), 1971 war veterans Brig Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, Lt Gen GS Sihota, Air Marshal MM Singh, Col HS Dhaliwal laid a wreath at Veer Smriti War Memorial at Chandimandir. In another ceremony, tributes were paid to second lieutenant Arun Kshetrapal, who laid down his life fighting in the 1971 war.


Latest PPO Sangam – For all officers and JCO/OR irrespective of service

Latest PPO Sangam – For all officers and JCO/OR irrespective of service The following message is of importance to all Defence Services Pensioners/ Family Pensioners. In case you have not yet received the latest PPO, please do follow up and send the necessary information to PCDA, Allahabad soonest. Please convey this to the maximum number of pensioners etc whom you may know, thanks. __________________ DIAV COMMUNICATION: 03 Our Esteemed Veterans and Next of Kin, 
1.      There have been a few changes in the pension policy post implementation of 6 CPC. One major change is, doing away with weightage and calculation of pension as per rank and qualifying service. Post 6 CPC the pensions have been revised many times i.e in 2008, 2009, 2012 a revised many times i.e in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2014 (as OROP). 
2.      To cater for these changes PCDA (Pension) Allahabad undertook “Project Sangam” and printed fresh corrigendum PPO’s for all pre-6CPC retirees so that they get the correct rate of pension. As per PCDA (P) Allahabad they have printed and dispatched approx 14 lakh ‘Sangam PPO’s’ to all pre-2006 pensioners (including widows & NOKs). 
3.      Our interaction on ground with pensioners reveal that many of the pensioners do not have this PPO which is generated post 2009 with them. If you do not have this PPO which is issued after 2009; please act as follows. 
(a)     JCOs, ORs and NOKs.     Please write to respective Record Offices for getting a copy of your Sangam PPO’s.
 (b)     Officers and NOKs.         Visit On the front page at the bottom, you shall find a scroll giving some details. Above the scroll you shall see in red fonts written ‘Sangam Project PPO in respect of Commissioned Officer’. Please click on this and fill in the details and send to sangam cell < > get Sangam PPO’s.  /  to Please Note that PPO’s are your most priced documents and PPO’s are to be preserved. The toll free helpline number of PCDA (P) Allahabad is 18001805325
[9/27, 8:59 PM] ‪+91 94144 55563‬: list of officers who’s bank details are not available with PCDA(O) Pune as per list put on the website-
List can be seen on the home page under spot light ( left side of page) –                      Rank Pay Arrears-List of Officers whose Bank Details are not available with PCDA(O) 
Go to downloads tab on the home page click on  –                                            RANK PAY CASE IMPLEMENTATION FORMAT FOR ARMY OFFICERs
Fill up the form and send scan copy of the form along with the scan of following documents PPO letter, PAN card and Cancelled cheque.
Mail on the following e mail –
You may check at 020 26401138 ( SAO – Mrs Kulkarni).

Spectrum, scandals & scams 2G verdict has massive political ramifications

Spectrum, scandals & scams

IN acquitting former Telecom minister, A Raja, Ms Kanimozhi and all other accused in the “2G scam”, the Special CBI court at Patiala House has introduced a spicy flavour to the national political curry. To the extent, 2G had become emblematic of a supposedly corrupt government and a broken down political economy, the Special CBI court verdict is bound to energise the discredited UPA crowd, as also take the bite out of PM Modi’s messianic proclamations against the corrupt. Coming close on the heels of an honourable electoral draw in Gujarat, the political equations are poised to be redefined. Suddenly, the sinners are looking less than sinners and the saints no longer come across so saintly.The CBI has done a shoddy job but it will find its institutional arm twisted to ensure that an appeal got filed against the Special Court’s judgment. Judge Saini’s magisterial dismissal of the prosecution case as nothing more than “rumour, gossip and speculation” goes to the very heart of the infirmities that have come to overload our public institutions. His elaboration that “public perception has no place in judicial proceedings” is a bracing slap across the face of many in superior judiciary who tend to work “national conscience” and similar perceptual constructs into their judicial reasoning.A war of words has predictably broken out between the UPA and the NDA partisans and practitioners over the verdict and its political ramifications. That war among politicians will continue and only intensify till 2019. But there are significant lessons for all those who preside over our institutions. The former CAG, Vinod Rai, ought to be the most chastened man in India. His twisted logic produced a figure of Rs 1.76 trillion loss to the national exchequer. This was only a notional loss but it lodged itself in the national imagination as an act of ethical wrong-doing on a gigantic scale. Arguably, the process was abused by the politician-bureaucratic axis, but Vinod Rai too did not play by the book. He subjected the polity to great convulsions; in the process, the nation got a bad name globally, resulting in huge — unquantifiable — losses in terms of businesses and investment withheld. Many more reputations and myths would come unravelling.

Northern Command celebrates Vijay Diwas

Jammu, December 16

The Army today celebrated ‘Vijay Diwas’ with traditional enthusiasm at Northern Command headquarters at Udhampur.On this occasion, a wreath-laying ceremony was organised at the Dhruva Shahid Smarak to pay homage to the gallant soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice.Speaking on the occasion, Lt Gen D Anbu, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C), Northern Command, said, “The supreme sacrifice and undeterred grit of the valiant soldiers of the Indian Army has changed the course of history. Their indomitable courage, unflagging zeal and dogged determination shall always be a greatest source of inspiration for all ranks of the Army.”It was on this day in 1971 that the Pakistani troops surrendered to the Indian Army in Dhaka. It was the largest military surrender after World War II. The historic victory signifies a unique and unparalleled feat wherein the Indian Army fought selflessly for a noble cause to liberate the people of erstwhile East Pakistan leading to the creation of an independent Bangladesh. — TNS

Pakistan’s delicate dance by Lt Gen Bhopinder Singh

Pakistan’s delicate dance

In retrospect, 9/11 was the defining moment of the re-engagement and recalibration of the US-Pak dynamics that till then were nestled in favour of Pakistan as a ‘major non-NATO ally’. After the Cold War ended in the 1990s, Pakistan had fallen off the immediate radar as Washington was busy meddling with the affairs of the Middle East. In the process, it effectively overlooked Pakistan’s dangerous transgressions as in Kargil, its support to terrorism in Kashmir or even its surreptitious stockpiling and proliferation of its nuclear wherewithal.

The ‘Bush-Mush’ equation underwent a sudden reality-check as the simplistic ‘with us or against us’ spirit accompanying the looming ‘war on terror’ was evident when the Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage threatened Pakistan’s Intelligence Director ~ “Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age”, in case Pakistan failed to join the US-led initiative against Al Qaida and the like.

Since then, Pakistan has undertaken a delicate dance of pandering to contradictory pulls from both the external and internal constituencies, leading to the perfection of its famed and patented ‘double game’. The coercive tone of the US notwithstanding, the Pakistanis had managed to extract three important concessions from Washington ~ an assurance that India and Israel would not join the mopping up operations, an undertaking that the US will not act unilaterally inside Pakistani territory and above all, securing the invaluable ‘reimbursements’ in exchange for its operational costs and commitments towards the ‘war on terror’. And yet, a reluctant and visibly embarrassed Pervez Musharraf had to publicly retract from his erstwhile policies of open-patronisation of the terror groups like the Taliban, and join the chorus of ‘war on terror’, albeit, selectively.

As per the US Agency for International Development (USAID) data, the US had sanctioned up to $33.4 billion during the past 15 years, of which 44 per cent ($14.57 billion) was earmarked for logistics and aerial support in the Afghan war, whereas the remainder $18.8 billion was meant for civilian and internal security-related infrastructure. However, given Pakistan’s track record of misuse, persistent ‘double game’ and cozying-up to the Chinese, the levels of US support and aid for Pakistan are steadily declining and the relationship is on a functional lifeline. According to opinion polls, the societies in both Pakistan and the US have the most negative perceptions of each other. This trust deficit between the two ‘allies’ has led to bitter counter-accusations, with Pakistan claiming $123 billion as the financial cost and the loss of 60,000 Pakistani lives, on account of its commitments towards the ‘war on terror’. The US administration, on its part, is increasingly talking about getting ‘ripped off’, with routine threats of cutting all military aid to Pakistan.

China has strategically moved into the vacuum created by the US disinterest in Pakistan, and is trying to plug the financial-military-diplomatic gap. As per the official Board of Investment figures released by the Pakistani PMO, the foreign investment inflow into Pakistan by the US in 2008-09 was $ 869.9 million and that of the Chinese was a negative $ 101.4 million. The figures for the July-November 2017-18 period read as $42.6 million by the US and $837.4 by the Chinese. The latest Pentagon report to the US Congress has upped the ante by reiterating, “To move forward, we must see fundamental changes in the way Pakistan deals with terrorist safe havens in its territory”. Rather provocatively, it suggests the “use of a range of tools to expand our cooperation with Pakistan in areas where our interests converge, and to take unilateral steps in areas of divergence”. This is virtually forcing Pakistan to drop its deliberate ambiguity and duplicity of the ‘double game’, failing which it will be left with only one recourse ~ sovereign sustenance, via China.

Beyond ‘all-weather-friendship’, the Sino-Pakistan equation is bereft of any civilisational, cultural or ideological convergence; it is an outright case of hardnosed realpolitik and compulsions. This over-dependence on Beijing is fraught with risks for Islamabad, as the implications of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are gradually unfolding. Already rumour mills in Pakistan are awash with the hard bargaining that the Chinese have done in the CPEC projects, with the Pakistan government giving up a lot more than it secured in the bargain. Demeaning suggestions like making the Chinese yuan the free-usage currency in the Gwadar Free Zone has growing portents of compromising on Pakistan’s ‘economic sovereignty’.

Economically, the US remains the biggest trade partner (four times that of China). Militarily, Pakistan needs the US drones to target specific areas in the restive Af-Pak frontier. The bulk of Pakistani military hardware still has US-markings (F-16 fighter planes, Lockheed C-130 transporters, Cobra Attack Helicopters, M113 APC’s, artillery guns, Aati-tank missiles and so on). Therefore, beyond the political theatrics and sabre-rattling, a sudden freeze of US support could be devastating for the Pakistanis, both economically and militarily. Equally for the US, avoiding the Pakistani land routes and ‘airlifting’ the wares for its men and material deployed in landlocked Afghanistan, would be impractical and prohibitive.

There is an obvious urgency to curb the menace of extremist ideologies and the terror industry that is consuming, bleeding and sapping the vital interests and energies of both Pakistan and the US. Towards that end, Pakistan has to overcome its traditional instincts and confidence in retaining leverage with select terror groups (e.g. the Haqqani network that faces Afghanistan and Lashkar-e-Taiba, that faces India). It will have to dispense with its flawed belief in China adequately stepping in to fill in the vacuum caused by US disinterest.

The principal institutions in Pakistan ~ the military, the political class and the clergy ~ must desist from misusing the ‘extremist’ elements for furthering their own institutional interests in the ongoing turf wars for control of power. The US-bashing may make political and emotional sense in the short-run. However, for Pakistan to retain the economic-military control over its own sovereignty and destiny will call for Islamabad to make peace with its hypothetical “ghosts”, ulterior motives in the neigbourhood, and a reality check of the efficacy of its fabled ‘all-weather-friendship’ with China.

The writer IS Lt Gen PVSM, AVSM (Retd), Former Lt Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands & Puducherry





















Martyrs’ families get financial assistance on ‘Vijay Diwas’

Martyrs’ families get financial assistance on ‘Vijay Diwas’
Deputy Commissioner Sunita Verma hands over a cheque to a war widow in Kaithal on Saturday. Tribune photo

Our Correspondent

Kaithal, December 16

The District Sainik Board organised a function on ‘Vijay Diwas’ here today. Deputy Commissioner Sunita Verma said the day reminds us of the supreme sacrifices made by soldiers. Such events not only provide information about historical events to the present generation but also keep the country united.She handed over cheques of financial assistance to war widows, including Savitri Devi, a resident of Rajound; Lakhvinder Kaur, a resident of Kakkar Majra; Shanti Devi, a resident of Deoban; Vidyawati, a resident of Jakholi; Leelawati, a resident of Siwan; Saroj Bala, a resident of Tara Garh; Guddi Devi, a resident of Kolekhan; and Chander Pati, a resident of Kithana.SDM Kamalpreet Kaur promised ex-servicemen that they would get full respect in government offices. City Magistrate Sushil Kumar, Subedar Ram Singh and other ex-servicemen were also present on the occasion.Kharga Corps pay tributes

Ambala: Kharga Corps celebrated 46th ‘Vijay Diwas’ in a solemn ceremony at the Vijay Smarak in Ambala Cantonment on Saturday. The General Officer Commanding, Lt Gen Jaiveer Singh Negi, laid a wreath at the war memorial to pay homage to the brave martyrs. ‘Vijay Diwas’ commemorates the victory of India in the 1971 war with Pakistan, which led to creation of Bangladesh. The war was fought for 13 days from December 3 to December 16, 1971. In one of the fastest and shortest campaigns in the military history, a new nation was born and 93,000 prisoners of war surrendered to the Indian Army at the end of the operation. — TNS

BRO starts clearing snow to open links to Lahaul

BRO starts clearing snow to open links to Lahaul
A BRO machine removes snow from the Keylong-Udaipur road in Lahaul on Thursday. Photo: Jai Kumar

Tribune News Service

Mandi, December 14

Despite adverse weather conditions, the Border Roads Organization (BRO) is geared up to open inter road links of Lahaul valley for traffic movement, which were blocked during the last three days after heavy snowfall occurred in the region.The BRO had yesterday started its snow clearance operation on the Keylong-Uaidpur-Darcha stretch to connect the main road link of the valley for traffic movement. Only six km road was cleared but in evening the district received mild snowfall again, hampering road clearing.Today again the BRO started its snow-clearance operation in the region, providing a ray of hope to the tribals that the BRO will open the road for traffic movement provided the weather stayed good in the coming days.Dorej Upask, a native of Keylong, told The Tribune “The weather was inclement today but the BRO has engaged its machinery and workforce in snow-clearance operation, which gave a ray of hope to us that soon the inter inks of valley will be restored for traffic movement.”BRO commander Colonel AK Awasthi said, “We started snow clearance operation in Lahaul yesterday but bad weather was hampering the progress of the work.” He said that as soon as the weather improved the BRO will intensify its snow-clearance operation in Lahaul valley to provide the people of the district transportation facility in the coming days.The residents of the district are urging the district administration and the state government to provide air services to move in and out of the district.

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