Sanjha Morcha

IAF’s mega exercise achieved more than its stated objectives: Dhanoa

IAF’s mega exercise achieved more than its stated objectives: Dhanoa

New Delhi, April 23

The 13-day long mega military exercise by the Indian Air Force achieved more than its stated “objectives”, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa said on Monday, indicating its readiness to deal with a hostile Pakistan and China almost simultaneously.

Two days after curtains came down on Gagan Shakti—the biggest exercise by the IAF in three decades—Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said over 11,000 sorties were carried out by combat, transport and rotary wing aircraft of the force to test its combat readiness.

“All men and women of the IAF rose to the occasion and achieved things beyond our stated objectives,” the IAF Chief told PTI in an interview.

As part of the massive drill from April 8 to 20, the IAF deployed its entire war waging machinery for the pan-India exercise with fighter jets, equipped with strategic weapons like Brahmos and Harpoon anti-ship missiles, carrying out deep penetration strikes to revalidate its strategic reach.

“We achieved relocation and rebalancing of assets from one sector to another in 48 hours,” Dhanoa said. “The overall objective of Gagan Shakti was fully achieved,” he said without elaborating.

Explaining the significance, a senior IAF official said the objective of the rebalancing and relocation was to quickly flatten the enemy in one front and redeploy the assets in another sector within 48 hours—in a possible two-front war scenario.

Dhanoa said the IAF achieved all parameters of serviceability, surge operations, relocation of resources and joint operations with the Army and Navy during the exercise which were crucial aspects of the war fighting machinery.

The combat drill was carried out at a time when China was increasing its assertiveness along the borders with India and while Pakistan has been continuing its skirmishes along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

The exercise covered all terrains including desert, high altitude areas like Ladakh, maritime sphere and almost all possible war scenarios were rehearsed on a real time basis.

“We carried out the exercise thinking as if we are going to fight a war,” said a senior IAF official.

When asked about reports of the IAF having carried out “strikes” in the Malacca Strait, Dhanoa categorically denied it. Officials said the IAF demonstrated its ability to reach maritime targets as far away as 4,000 kilometers in the Malacca Straits but the force stuck to the targets provided by the Indian Navy, none of which were in the waterway around Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

The exercise also focused on flexible use of airspace, joint maritime air operations with the Indian Navy, joint operations with the Indian Army, simulated combat search and rescue for effective extraction of downed aircrew behind enemy lines among others.

Officials said the aim of this exercise was to ensure real time coordination and deployment of air power in a short and intense battle scenario and the objective was fully achieved.

They said the concept of network centric operations and long range missions were tested effectively.

They said Pakistan and China were informed about the mega exercise.

The officials said state-run defence organisations such as Defence Research and Development Organisation, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Ordnance Factory Board etc also provided adequate support. They said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was impressed by the ordnance efficiency. PTI


3 Army jawans, 11 militants killed in separate encounters in south Kashmir 2 civilians dead, several injured in clashes

3 Army jawans, 11 militants killed in separate encounters in south Kashmir

Kashmiris stand along a barricaded street during unrest following gun fights between suspected militants and Indian forces in south Kashmir, in Srinagar on April 1. AFP

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, April 1

Militant groups in the Valley suffered a major setback as 11 militants were gunned down in counter-insurgency operations in three different areas in South Kashmir in which three Army jawans and two civilians were also killed.

The police said that an ultra had also surrendered before the security forces in Anantnag district.

At a hurriedly called joint press conference of army, police and CRPF, Jammu and Kashmir Police chief S P Vaid said this is one of the biggest counter-offensives in recent times against terror groups operating in the Kashmir Valley.The operations by security forces rendered a severe dent to militant groups such as the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Lashker-e-Toiba, officials said here.Three army jawans have lost their lives in the operations at Kachdooru in Shopian, officials said, adding three bodies of militants have been recovered from the debris so far.The operation has been called off at Kachdooru and the security personnel were search the debris tomorrow again, the officials said.Earlier, at a press conference called at Victor Force headquarters at Awantipura, around 33 kms from here, Corps Commander of XV Corps, Lt Gen A K Bhatt, termed it one of the biggest operations in recent times and said the death of Lt Umar Fayaz, who was brutally killed in Shopian last year, had been avenged.”Among the militants killed are Ishfaq Malik and Rayees Thokar. They were responsible for his death,” Bhatt said.Fayaz, 22, was killed by militants in May last year. His body was found with bullet wounds in the Hermain area of Shopian district in south Kashmir.The DGP also made a special mention of an SSP’s efforts to convince a militant to surrender during the Dialgam encounter.”I would like to make a special mention about the Dialgam encounter where our Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) made a special effort, which is unheard of in any part of the world.”He called the family members of one of the terrorists. They spoke with him for 30 minutes, to convince him to surrender,” the officer said.”Unfortunately, he did not heed the advice of his family. During the talks, the district SSP tried to get him over. Instead he fired on the police leaving the police with no option other than to retaliate. He was killed. The other one was caught alive,” he said.On the ongoing operations at Kachedoora, the DGP said there was information about the presence of four to five militants, but “we will be able to give a clear picture only after the debris is cleared”.One civilian death was reported from Draggad and the other at Kachudoora, both in Shopian district, the police chief said.Violence broke out at the Kachedoora encounter site in which 25 civilians received pellet injuries while six others suffered bullet injuries, the police chief said.The DGP said all the seven militants killed in the Draggad encounter were locals and their bodies have been claimed by their families.Inspector General of CRPF Zulfikar Hassan pointed out that people came in large numbers at the encounter site in Shopian.”The operations will not stop and we will have to take all offensive measures in case they do not refrain from throwing stones at the jawans engaged in the counter-insurgency operations,” he said.It was painful to see young boys getting killed in this manner, the DGP said.”I urge all the parents to appeal to their children to shun the path of violence and join the national mainstream,” Vaid said. With PTI


90 older Mi-17s to get electronic warfare suite

90 older Mi-17s to get electronic warfare suite

Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23

The Air Force is upgrading the older variants of its Mi-17 helicopters by equipping them with electronic warfare (EW) suite to increase their capability to operate effectively in a hostile environment.
According to IAF sources, 90 of these medium-lift helicopters — 56 Mi-17 and 34 Mi-17 1V variants — will be upgraded by No.3 Base Repair Deport in Chandigarh in collaboration with state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). The IAF approached BEL in this regard last month.
The move to upgrade the older series comes in the backdrop of a project to retrofit the latest version, the Mi-17 V5 that entered services a few years ago, with similar EW equipment. Last year, BEL was also approached to equip some Mi-17s with advanced navigational aids.
The EW suite comprises of a radar warning receiver (RWR), a missile approach warning system (MAWS) and a counter measure dispensing system (CMDS). The RWR detects radio waves emitted by radars and electronic surveillance equipment whereas the CMDS enables the crew to imitate counter measures or evasive action against enemy radars and missiles by firing chaff or flares.
The MAWS is meant to alert the crew about any incoming ground or air-launched missile and also cue the CMDS to trigger. Mi-17 helicopters are used for special operations as well as close air support, logistic supplies and troop movement, requiring them at times to operate at low altitudes and slow speeds, thereby making them vulnerable to missile attacks.
The Air Force expects the programme to upgrade the 90 helicopters to be completed in 48 months. This includes training an initial batch of pilots, flight engineers and flight gunners to operate the new systems.

Dassault eyes more India deals

  • French aviation major Dassault Aviation held its executive committee meeting in New Delhi to reaffirm commitment to the ‘Make in India’ policy.
  • “The company’s executive committee rallies around the huge challenge to highly contribute to the ‘Make in India’ and Skill India policies that will lead to India’s self-sufficiency in the aerospace domain,” said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.
  • India is buying 36 Rafale jets from Dassault Aviation in an off-shelf purchase. The company is also in running for the 110 fighter jet tender floated by the Indian Air Force and interested in the 57 fighter jet purchase by the Navy for aircraft-carrier operations. TNS

vedios : Lt Gen Ata Husnain at Kashi Manthan – 2018 (2)

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Lessons from the Rauf Khanday story: Changing the radical narrative in Kashmir is imperative

The story of Rauf Khanday, the Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist killed at Petha Dialgam village in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on the night of 31 March, is the ideal trigger for commencement of new narratives in Jammu & Kashmir.

Rauf Khanday along with another young terrorist was located by intelligence in a safe house in the village; security forces have a standard operating procedure in such encounters. Megaphones, mobiles and even couriers are used to establish communication with terrorists holed up, especially if it is known there are local ones. They are asked to surrender failing which the encounter is progressed to its inevitable end.

Altaf Ahmad Khan, the current SSP Anantnag and a veteran JK Police officer knows the score. He set up the mechanism to communicate with both the young terrorists and convinced one of them to surrender, but Khanday refused. What Altaf Khan then felt is the stark truth that many in Kashmir and in fact all over India have hardly understood; that Khanday had a false interpretation of the Quran fed to him.

SSP Altaf Khan tried discussing with him aspects of the false interpretation but two way mobile communication under the tension of an ongoing encounter is hardly the environment in which the Quran’s message can be interpreted. “I narrated verses from Quran and advised him that whatever he was doing was against the teachings of Islam. The conversation continued for over 30 minutes during which Khanday got abusive. But I ignored all this because my intention was to save him from getting killed,” Khan is reported to have later said. Khanday’s parents were brought to the encounter site but their urgings too could not succeed; he became violent and was eventually killed.

Ever since 2012-13 new militancy has hit the Valley. Till then the narrative of extremism was led by radicalised Pakistani terrorists. The new generation of local terrorists were, however, mostly from South Kashmir. Headquartered there, in the Kulgam area, is the Jamaat e Islami (JeI) Kashmir which is not linked with JeI India.

Efforts to link the extremist movement in J&K with international extremist Islamic influence had formed a part of Pakistani grand strategy right from 1989. It was well known that bringing about such a change in Kashmir’s essentially tolerant Sufi faith would need the spread of new narratives with less tolerant interpretations of the Quranic message, which give Islam a colour of confrontation with the rest of the world.

But these new narratives really came into their own as social media hit the Valley with penetration of mobile networks and internet connectivity in 2012-13. The transformative effect came with the full throated employment of UP and Bihar maulvis who had by then replaced the Sufis in the Valley’s mosques, making a difference to the Friday sermons and everyday Islamic education of children.

The Indian state and its frontline organisations led by the army and intelligence agencies understood little of the creeping onslaught of the new Islamic narratives. The unfortunate thing is that lack of knowledge and unwillingness to go beyond search engine information – while continuously condemning all of Islam as a faith and not its negative interpretations – is only helping drive Kashmir’s youth deeper into the morass of extremism.

We need a moderate clergy to come to the assistance of the establishment. Even the clergy of Saudi Arabia is changing its stance based on the leadership of Prince Mohammad bin Salman. India is fortunate that it has major schools of Islamic jurisprudence and its Islam is considered the most moderate. Yet a one off condemnation of extremist interpretations about terrorism does not help; in fact the silence of the clergy contributes to strengthening the ongoing negative narratives.

India has many eminent Islamic clergymen who give weight to multi-faith dialogue and espouse the cause of moderate ideology. Changing the radical narrative in Kashmir cannot be a creeping effort; it has to be transformative, visible and focused. It’s a matter of putting together a campaign backed by the government which can take inspiration from similar campaigns instituted in countries such as Indonesia and Singapore. There are models of online instruction through internet imams and academics while addressing youth, parents and teachers on religious parenting and ever present threats of negative religious interpretations.


 


Lockheed hails India’s procurement initiative for fighter jets

Lockheed hails India’s procurement initiative for fighter jets

At least 85 per cent of the aircraft will have to be made in India while 15 per cent of them can be in a flyaway condition. File photo

Washington, April 7

American aerospace and defence major Lockheed Martin has welcomed India’s mega procurement initiative for fighter jets worth over USD 15 billion and said that it looked forward to responding to the initial tender.India on Friday began the process to acquire a fleet of around 110 fighter jets in one of the biggest such procurements in recent years globally which could be worth over USD 15 billion.At least 85 per cent of the aircraft will have to be made in India while 15 per cent of them can be in a flyaway condition.An RFI (Request for Information) or initial tender for the mega deal was issued by the Indian Air Force and the procurement will be in sync with the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative in the defence sector, officials said.“Lockheed Martin welcomes India’s fighter aircraft Request for Information (RFI) and we look forward to responding to it,” said Dr Vivek Lall, vice president, strategy and business development at Lockheed Martin.“The F-16 remains the only aircraft programme in this competition with the proven performance and industrial scale to meet India’s operational needs and ‘Make in India’ priorities, including unmatched export opportunities,” he said.Indian-American Lall was last year instrumental in the decision of the Trump administration to sell top-of-the-line unarmed drones from General Atomics.Lockheed Martin has positioned the newest Block 70 variant of its F-16 aircraft for the Indian Air Force, while Boeing has offered its F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III for the Indian Navy.“The two aircraft have been positioned complementarily, and the purchase of the pair is an interesting proposition for policymakers from both countries,” US-based think-tank Atlantic Council said in a report released in New Delhi on Friday.In the report, ‘India’s Quest for Fighter Jets: Make in India vs Make America Great Again’, it said China’s bellicose incursions in the Indo-Pacific region are challenging US geostrategic supremacy in the region.Consequently, improving India’s capacity to play a stronger role in the region would play a critical role in the US grand strategy, the think-tank said.While offshoring both the F-16 and F/A-18 assembly lines would appear to contradict Trump’s promise to create more manufacturing jobs in the US, nuances in that policy could open a window of opportunity, Atlantic Council said.The F-16s and the F/A-18 Super Hornets manufactured in India would not be sold to the US, it said.The F-16 production line will be used to service the orders from the Indian Air Force, as well as any follow-on international orders.Noting that the US Air Force has not bought an F-16 since 1999, and is transitioning its multi-role fighter force to the F-35, the think-tank said that any additional F-16 orders would be for non-US customers. An India partnership presents a way to sustain F-16 production, with all the economic and strategic benefits that result, it said.Similarly, the F/A-18 Super Hornet production line would also be used to service orders for the Indian Navy, with all US orders manufactured in the US.Despite the shift of production lines, there is a considerable work-share component in the proposals by Lockheed Martin and Boeing, which would present a reasonable case for setting up production lines in India, despite the obvious hindrances that such an operation would ordinarily pose for a foreign investor, the think-tank added.India’s latest hunt for over 100 fighter jets is the first mega procurement initiative for fighter jets after the government scrapped the process to acquire 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) for the IAF around five years ago.The IAF has been pressing for expediting the process to acquire the aircraft citing declining strength of its fighter squadron as some of the ageing jets are being phased out.Currently, the IAF has 31 fighter squadrons as against authorised strength of 42 squadrons. PTI


DRDO readying hi-tech security for military bases

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 1Faced with problem of terrorists targeting military bases, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is now testing out an unmanned tech-based solution to provide security for the perimeter of such military stations.In the past few years, there have been almost a dozen attacks or attempts by terrorists to storm a military base to pick on easy targets like women and children living in the Army quarters.The DRDO is carrying out an experiment at a 4,000-acre military area in southern part of India. It has a mix of laser walls, radars, physical vibration sensors. The input is then aggregated. “Let us prove it, we will pass on this technology to the industry,” DRDO Chairman Dr S Christopher told The Tribune.Notably, the DRDO has demonstrated an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) that can be sent to the spot to set aside any suspicion detected by the technology at the perimeter. “The UGV will have a light and camera, it can send across a live picture. But it will not have a weapon,” the DRDO chief said.Talking about radars, Dr Christopher said “We have told the Defence Minister that by 2022 the country will not need to import any type of radars.”We will look at Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and also private companies. “There are good companies, who are making radars,” he said. So far DRDO has not given full-fledged radars technology to any private company. The joint work has been done between DRDO and private companies. The BEL-produced radars are a success and installed at various locations.The DRDO, he said, was working on projects as varied as submarines to satellites. Negotiations have been completed for the six Airbus- 330 planes which will be fitted with radars and surveillance equipment. At present, India uses the Boeing P8-I for looking over the sea while the Russian IL-76 has been modified or a role with the IAF.


GLOBE SCAN : China’s Belt Road – Great opportunity for India

If India were a partner in the BRI, her potential as a power will not be easy for China to ignore; whereas by staying away from it, India would be surrendering her role as a countervailing power, not only at the BRI forum but also in the region and the world

EVEN as the military stand-off between India and China at Doklam was amicably resolved on India’s terms last year, much of the media and many strategists in India have continued to express serious apprehensions about China’s growing hegemonic ambitions in the region. The recent news of the Communist Party of China (CPC) endorsing Xi Jinping’s term as President for Life has given a fillip to these apprehensions in the politico-diplomatic circles throughout the world, but more so in India. Ever since Xi came to power in 2013, he has embarked upon revamping the government machinery, including purging the military and the Party of corrupt leaders. His vision to expand China’s influence across continents and oceans became clear when he propounded the idea of ‘One Belt One Road’. The big question, however, is: How justified are India’s apprehensions!The concept of One-Belt-One-Road (OBOR), which is now commonly called ‘Belt-Road Initiative’ (BRI), is undoubtedly a masterstroke in the geo-strategic matrices of today’s world that could significantly alter the equations among the regional and global powers

The concept of One-Belt-One-Road (OBOR), which is now commonly called ‘Belt-Road Initiative’ (BRI), is undoubtedly a masterstroke in the geo-strategic matrices of today’s world that could significantly alter the equations among the regional and global powers. At a time when China’s economy is on a decline from its high growth path, this masterstroke will expand China’s strategic and economic reach across the world. The concept seeks to connect China seamlessly with Central Asia, Europe, West Asia, Eastern Africa and the littoral States of the Indo-Pacific. The term ‘One Belt’ and ‘One Road’, respectively, signify revival of the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’, a network of ancient trade routes that connected the East with the West linking the underdeveloped hinterland of China with Eurasia and Europe; and ‘Maritime Silk Road’, that will connect China’s southern provinces to the South East Asian markets through railways and sea lanes across Indian Ocean and West Pacific.

THE mapping of the BRI network, i.e. highways, ports and rail lines, will generate enormous commercial opportunities across 65 countries, that is, 60 per cent of the global populace controlling a third of the total economic output of the world. It will boost China’s maritime activity across the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, connecting China’s coastline with Persian Gulf and Africa’s East coast besides SE Asia and South Asia.

Even as most countries in India’s neighbourhood are excited about the BRI project, India has been wary about China’s grand strategy to encircle India by casting a ‘String of Pearls’ around it in the form of development packages for the economically weaker countries in the region. India’s concerns, no doubt, have reasonable grounds that make China’s intentions suspect. Firstly, the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is part of the BRI project, passes through the Indian territory illegally occupied by Pakistan, and with the Gwadar port under its control it gives China easy access to the Arabian Sea. Secondly, China’s quest to dominate the Indian Ocean by luring the smaller countries in the region through its policy of ‘Charm Offensive’ that includes infrastructure development projects like ports, airports, rail-road network and oil-pipelines could well be China’s way of developing her own military bases in the region to legitimise her presence in the Indian Ocean.

India’s concerns, no doubt, have reasonable grounds that make China’s intentions suspect. Firstly, the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is part of the BRI project, passes through the Indian territory illegally occupied by Pakistan

Whereas India’s apprehensions about the BRI Project have not been hidden, there are countries in the affected zones of the grand Initiative, especially in the Eastern Europe, SE Asia and even in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), that have welcomed the idea. As many as 52 sovereign countries are today on board with China on BRI. Significantly, even Russia has exhorted India to join the project. This eloquent and mammoth support makes BRI a reality of the future, India’s reservations notwithstanding. The CPEC project, India’s most vexatious concern in this gamut, is nearing completion with the Gwadar Port already functional under the Chinese control. Several infrastructure development projects like ports, airports and rail-road networks have been either accomplished or are currently in progress in Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

As a counter to BRI, India and Japan have jointly enunciated a plan called ‘Asia-Africa Growth Corridor’ (AAGC). While the BRI idea encompasses both land and oceanic routes, AAGC is essentially a network of sea lanes connecting India with Africa and the countries of SE Asia and Oceania. While China is developing Pakistan’s Gwadar port, India is developing Iran’s Chabahar port that will give access to Afghanistan, Central Asian countries and several European countries aspiring to connect with the Gulf bypassing Pakistan. India has ignored China’s warnings and steadfastly continued to support Vietnam in its oil exploration activities in the South China Sea. Likewise, it has been undertaking developmental projects in a few other ASEAN countries as well as SAARC members.

Last year, on the side-lines of the ASEAN summit in Manila, India, Japan, Australia and the US met to lend support to Shinzo Abe’s 2007 idea of ensuring “a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.” Although, the ‘QUAD’, as the initiative is called today, is a non-formal association, it has found ‘silent’ support among the ASEAN countries as a soft-counter force to check China’s dominance in the region, especially in the aftermath of her audacious advances into the central South China Sea. Even more significantly, India’s partnership in this dialogue highlights how India’s ‘Act East’ policy has fructified in enhancing her status in the Asian and trans-Asian geopolitics. The region that was “Asia-Pacific” is now being called “Indo-Pacific” by the western world, which also highlights India’s countervailing potential signalling that China is not the only power in the region.

In addition, India has also launched its soft-power initiatives to connect nations in the region. ‘Project Mausam’, a Ministry of Culture project, seeks to rejuvenate relations with countries of the Indian Ocean by enhancing cultural exchange. Besides developing Iran’s Chabahar port, India is also developing naval ports in countries of the IOR like Madagascar, Seychelles, and Mauritius.

LONG before Xi Jinping’s idea of OBOR, India, Russia and Iran had conceptualised and initiated a similar project—the International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a 7,200-km long multi-mode network of ship, rail, and road route connecting India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.

As many as 52 sovereign countries are today on board with China on BRI. Significantly, even Russia has exhorted India to join the project. This eloquent and mammoth support makes BRI a reality of the future, India’s reservations notwithstanding

The focus of the modern world is shifting from ‘geo-politics’ to ‘geo-economics’ today. Both China and India have emerged as giants in economic growth in the post-2008 economic crisis world. India’s apprehensions of China’s hegemonic ambitions seem to be based more on apparitions of the forgettable past than on substance of concrete evidence. Sporadic cases of intrusion and tussle between the Indian and Chinese troops notwithstanding, not a bullet has been fired anywhere on the 4,056 km Line of Actual Control (LAC) since the Nathu La episode of 1967. The ‘all-weather friendship’ between China and Pakistan might irk India, but they are both sovereign nations and perhaps pushed into this relationship by their shared animosity towards India. This can change. In 2016-17, India’s bilateral trade with China was $71.48 billion, recording a marginal decrease in India’s trade deficit. Besides the 12 investment agreements aggregating to $20 billion signed during President Xi Jinping’s visit to India in September 2014, as many as 600 Chinese companies have offered to invest a total of about $85 billion in India in projects that will create an estimated 7,00,000 jobs in the country in next five years.

Lot of water has flown down the Brahmaputra in the post-1962 era. Crying need of the time is rapprochement between the two nations paving way for enhanced cooperation in commerce and other areas of mutual interest.

India and China being the key players on this hemisphere of the globe, their geo-strategic interests will continue to pass through conflicts from time to time. India therefore needs to build up her own power and clout to check China from overwhelming India’s influence in the region. Some projects like the CPEC may be disadvantageous to India, but there are also some very significant advantages for India if she opts to join the BRI. A paradigm shift in India’s strategic positioning is needed to see those advantages clearly. Firstly, of the 65 countries affected by BRI, 52, including India’s neighbours except Bhutan, are already on board with China. There is no way India can stop it. By staying out of the project, India is risking its own isolation, tempting her allies to flee. Secondly, there are grounds for India to work out a win-win situation by tweaking its countervailing potential to a partnership with China in the pursuit of mutual interests while guarding her own in the IOR and the Indo-Pacific. Thirdly, the key to BRI’s success lies in factors like regional transport, energy security and blue economy.

India’s geography makes her position strategically most vital in the security of sea traffic in its East, South and West. By joining BRI, India will naturally enhance her own importance here. Fourthly, China has surplus capital and cheaper technology to accelerate development and, like other nations, India also needs funds and resources for its own development projects. Fifthly, BRI will throw open new trade connections for India with many countries. Sixthly, India is already a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). As a BRI partner, she will find it only easier to make forays into Central Asia besides acquiring an influential role within SCO too.

If India were a partner in the BRI, her potential as a power will not be easy for China to ignore; whereas by staying away from it, India would be surrendering her role as a countervailing power, not only at the BRI forum but also in the region and the world. India’s policy makers must remember that in the ancient times too, it was along the ‘Silk Route’ along which India’s trade flourished and her philosophy and Buddhism spread across Asia and beyond. gfiles end logo


Self-defence training for kin of defence personnel

Chandigarh, April 3

The Western Command has taken an initiative of imparting self-defence training to families of serving armed forces personnel. The step has been taken in view of the recent attacks on Army camps at Sunjuwan and Nagrota where families of serving defence personnel became a soft target for the militants.The Electronics and Mechanical Engineers’ unit at Chandimandir organised a special session where trained professionals from a martial art academy demonstrated self-defence skills to women and children residing in the station.Families of Army personnel are permitted to stay in some military stations and camps in Jammu and Kashmir and they are accommodated in quarters located in a separate enclosure.In the Sunjuwan terror attack in February, the terrorists were cornered in one of the family quarters and about 150 residential houses within the complex were reportedly evacuated. In addition to the killing of two Army personnel, nine people, including five women and children were injured.A “hostage-like” situation was created when terrorists attacked an Army unit in Nagrota in 2016 and moved towards the mess complex. Two women, two children and 12 personnel were later rescued. Even during the terror attack on the Pathankot Air Force station in 2016, a large number of IAF personnel’s families were present inside.


As Modi & Xi re-engage, what’s on China’s mind by Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Photo: File/AP)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting China and will meet President Xi Jinping on April 27-28 in an informal summit at Wuhan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Photo: File/AP)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting China and will meet President Xi Jinping on April 27-28 in an informal summit at Wuhan. They will again meet in June this year when he travels for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit. After the low point to which Sino-Indian relations had sunk in the wake of the Doklam standoff in June-August last year, and repeated Chinese transgressions of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) over the past many years, one could never be certain what China’s approach to “friendship and cooperation” was going to be. The continuous efforts by China to prevent India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group and its unrelenting determination to prevent Masood Azhar be declared an international terrorist by the UN Security Council would forebode no happy tidings from the coming encounter. Yet China can be the strangest country to deal with. After all, in 1962, after roundly defeating us on the battlefield, it withdrew behind its claimed lines, leaving the so-called disputed territory to be reoccupied by India. There is no reason for an Indian sulk in 2018 as that would be counterproductive, and the Modi government has done well to re-engage.

What can then reasonably be expected from the situation at this juncture of Sino-Indian ties and what will dictate it. China knows that it is destined for big things, the eventual leadership of the world. However, it is in no hurry to reach that stage prematurely. In Chinese philosophy, anything premature is bound to create uncertainty, and the certainty of its rise and ultimate dominance is China’s vision. Thus, the status of Sino-Indian relations needs to be examined from this angle. The perception that China is tempted to go to war with India at a stage when it finds India still militarily weak and unprepared could be inherently flawed. The discussions at the 19th congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) made it amply clear that China retained the wisdom of the ancients and had the patience to await its turn to assume the leadership of the world. The interim is all about China working towards maintaining relationships with major powers that it sees as potential competitors and yet setting the stage for their eclipse at its hands. There is no doubt that India falls within the ambit of that perception, that demands from China strategic patience and just sufficient coercion to retain an upper hand in the bilateral relationship. President Xi Jinping’s new status, with leadership for life, and the statements of the 19th congress made it reasonably clear that he is no longer bound by the limits of tenure to achieve what he perceives he is destined to. The new vision surely cannot begin with conflict.

The $85 billion (and growing) trade between India and China is one of the drivers of China’s need for India — the growth was 18 per cent year on year in 2017, in spite of Doklam and other irritants; and the imbalance remains in China’s favour. In the face of a dwindling economy and with threats of trade wars with the United States, the idea of a lucrative trade relationship going bust may not sound tempting. Yet, for all this, China will still not put curbs on its coercion at the border, specially the disputed areas. That provides the scope to put India in its place and project it as unable to stand up to China’s military power. This has continued for a fairly long time, while cooperation in other domains also remained firm. The extent of this strategy was clear even in 2014 when Xi Jinping sat with Narendra Modi on the banks of the Sabarmati, even as the PLA blatantly carried out a transgression of the LAC in eastern Ladakh. But then Doklam happened, and that upset the carefully crafted strategy. India did not cow down, it held its own militarily and diplomatically, and even more importantly psychologically. China’s attempts at information and psychological warfare to browbeat India did not succeed and India handled its media well enough to neither intimidate nor escalate the conflict. A reset was therefore imminent.

The reset that China seeks is perhaps a marginal tweak of the original policy of simultaneous intimidation and engagement. India’s resistance to BRI and its refusal to show up for the grand BRI conference did not go down well with Beijing. The reset now probably includes an adjustment to bring India into the ambit less the CPEC, which crosses India’s claimed area of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Some alternatives could be in the offing, to include a China-Nepal-India Trilateral Economic Corridor extendable to Bangladesh, a China-Bhutan-India Corridor or a relook at the Bangladesh-India-Myanmar-China Corridor (BIMC). The signing of MOUs would be in the offing but the materialisation of these would be contingent upon what China has in store as far as the border is concerned. Putting that in the freezer is unlikely after years of experience in brinkmanship through walk-in operations. Leaving Doklam unavenged may also not be a tempting proposition as ego still dictates China’s self-perception. Analysts have been prophesying that limited coercion at the border accompanied by massive doses of deniable cyberattacks, along with a refurbished information strategy, could be in the offing even as India’s leadership is engaged in talks. That is the Chinese way, with the aim that India will wilt under the combined pressure and yield strategic space. The game being played over the Maldives is another prong of this strategy, a game which does include temporary yielding of space to send positive signals. In the recent past, China displayed this at FATF, where after initial reluctance it agreed upon placing Pakistan on the warning list for its financial terror links. By being willing to engage, India is not wilting but displaying pragmatism. When a nation has neglected its comprehensive national power to meet its threats, some pragmatic compromise is inevitable. Hopefully, over the next decade or so it will pay more attention towards this weakness and acquire a position to resist Chinese coercion, even as the two remain engaged in many other domains of cooperation.

Syed Ata Hasnain, a retired lieutenant-general, is a former commander of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps. He is also associated with the Vivekananda International Foundation and the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.

Why the row over DSP cadre merger with Delhi, other UTs

SENIOR POLICE OFFICIALS SAY THE MERGER WILL SET A SYSTEM IN PLACE, CURRENTLY NON­EXISTENT, FOR PROMOTION AND TRANSFER OF CHANDIGARH POLICE DSPS, WHICH CAN ONLY HAPPEN ONCE THEY ARE A PART OF DANIPS

From page 01 CHANDIGARH: There’s been a row over a home ministry (MHA) proposal to merge the deputy superintendent of police (DSP) cadre of Chandigarh Police with that of Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Police Services (DANIPS), with even the Punjab chief minister opposing the idea.

HT FILE■ A number of Chandigarh Police officials are reportedly against the proposal for merger of the DSP cadres as they don’t want a transfer to other UTs.WHAT’S THE PROPOSAL?

The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has proposed the merger of the Chandigarh Police deputy superintendent of police (DSP) cadre with the Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Police Services (DANIPS). There are at present 23 sanctioned posts of DSPs in Chandigarh police with 11 are held by officials of the Chandigarh cadre and 10 by DANIPS.

RATIONALE BEHIND THE PROPOSAL

Senior police officials say the merger will set a system in place, currently non-existent, for promotion and transfer of Chandigarh Police DSPs, which can only happen once they are a part of DANIPS. The police officials are permanently stationed in Chandigarh once they are recruited at the assistant sub-inspector (ASI) level.

WHEN WAS THE PROPOSAL INITIATED?

Anuradha Gupta, an IAS officer from the Haryana cadre, was UT home secretary when a DSPs deputation met her to ask for promotion to the rank of superintendent of police (SP). As no such provision existed then and SPs came to the city on deputation from New Delhi, Gupta proposed the merger for the first time.

WHY ARE SOME OFFICERS AGAINST THE PROPOSAL?

Some Chandigarh Police officers don’t fancy the idea of leaving the comforts of the city and move to other UTs. Then comes the question of seniority – once the merger happens they will be junior to their DANIPS counterparts as they are recruited as ASIs whereas the former, say in Delhi Police, are recruited a higher level as sub-inspectors.

WILL THE MERGER BE A GOOD MOVE?

The merger, many police officers say, will be in the interest of the local police officers as more openings will be created for promotions to SP or even DIG ranks.

Transfer to other UTs should also not be such a big issue for the DSPs, they say.

WHY IS THE PUNJAB CM AGAINST THE PROPOSAL?

Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh has opposed the move, saying Chandigarh is the capital of Punjab and a disputed territory as of now. He has called for continuing the existing pattern of all Chandigarh UT posts being shared between Punjab and Haryana in a 60:40 ratio. The merger will dilute the stake of Punjab in Chandigarh, making the CM a likely target for rival parties Shiromani Akali Dal and Aam Aadmi Party for working against the interests of the state.

WHAT NEXT?

DANIPS now is a proposal put forward by MHA for comments and observations up to May 19, after which it will be sent to Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for approval. From there, it will go to the finance and then the personnel ministries and finally to the Union Cabinet for clearance.

It has also been learnt that inspectors and police officials in line for promotion to posts of DSPs in Chandigarh are contemplating legal action if the proposal is implemented.