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    Dams Pakistan will build…BY Lt Gen Pramod Grover (retd)

    t is a cause for concern that Pakistan has requested China to provide water security as a part of CPEC. This is strategic, given the worsening Pak-India ties. However, India needs to be watchful. The IWT has survived because of India’s benevolence.

    The Indus waters have for long been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan after the division of the drainage basin. The major portion did go to Pakistan but under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) regulations, India can use 20 per cent of the total discharge of this system. Therefore although at a seminal advantage, Pakistan unfortunately has been unable to optimise it. Thus water is becoming an existential issue for Pakistan, with fast-depleting fresh water resources and endangering food security. Further, the storage capacity at the facilities developed by Pakistan is a quarter (indicating a paltry 150 cubic metres per person) of the minimum requirement of 120 days. Further as per Lt Gen Muzamil Hussain, Chairman Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Pakistan wastes fresh water worth $25 billion annually. India on the other hand, within the constraints of the IWT, has and further endeavours to maximise the utilisation of the western river waters both for irrigation and the generation of hydropower. This is more often than not objected to by Pakistan as it chooses to attribute most Indian projects as some sort of violation of the IWT. Pakistan never hesitates to raise the issue at international forums, where very often it has lost its pleas. Unable to utilise the available water, Pakistan has, of late, requested China to provide water security as a part of CPEC during their sixth joint meeting on the issue in December 2016. This request is being perceived as a vital and strategic, given worsening Pak-India ties. To fulfil their obligation, the Chinese experts visited Pakistan to study the Indus basin’s potential and held a series of meetings with WAPDA’s top mandarins, besides making field visits. They also studied WAPDA’s 2025 Vision and proposed a plan to increase the water storage capacity of Pakistan and also assist in generation of hydropower. Subsequently, they advanced this understanding with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the May Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) conference in Beijing to construct five dams that will form a cascade on the Indus river. The 400-km cascade of dams on the Indus will stretch all the way from Gilgit-Baltistan to the existing Tarbela Dam near Islamabad. China will provide about $50 billion through its agency National Energy Administration (NEA).  It has been reported that the first allocation of funds will take place next year. The proposal includes the construction of (i) Bunji Hydro-power Project (7,100 MW) near Skardu in PoK, (ii) Diamer Basha Dam (4,500 MW) in PoK, (iii) Dasu Hydro-electric Project (4,320 MW), (iv) Patan Hydropower Project (2,200 MW) and Thakot Hydropower Project (4,000 MW). The proposal will effectively convert this huge river into a series of lakes. The proposal is based on the assumption that it will provide requisite water security to Pakistan, in addition to generation of hydropower. The terms and conditions of infrastructural development and operations are still not clear. Perhaps Pakistan is overlooking an important fact regarding the flow of the Indus. The river distinctly flows from an area of higher precipitation towards a drier zone in the plains of the Punjab  and Sindh, where its flow becomes sluggish and highly braided. Further, the quantum of water from the tributaries too is consistently declining. This dire situation may have a direct impact on water availability from a river that is Pakistan’s lifeline. Ample proof is the highly reduced discharge in to the Arabian Sea between 2001 and 2009. The proposed dams may also lead to the submergence of a major part of the Karakoram Highway, initiating displacement and relocation of millions of people who will perhaps lose their livelihood as the agricultural fields will no longer be replenished by deposition of fresh, fertile sediments. The question is: Will the construction of a series of dams be of major benefit to Pakistan?  The IWT has survived so far mainly because of India’s benevolence and strict adherence. It is under tremendous pressure at present due to the existing political situation in the subcontinent and paucity of water in the Indus and its tributaries. The Sino-Pak proposal of constructing dams in disputed territory will put provisions of IWT under severe pressure. With limited space for talks, it is bound to make Pakistan’s water relationship with India extremely tense. The Chinese role may cast a mortal blow to IWT and even force India to withdraw from it. India has to appreciate that inclusion of water security into CPEC essentially is a political choice for Pakistan and China though the issue does not fall within the otherwise commercial mandate of OBOR. We need to understand the nuances of this collusive action by Pakistan and China in PoK and raise objections to the Chinese presence there. In fact, we should press for vacation of PoK by Pakistan as our ultimate aim. 

    Indus the lifeline of Pakistan

    The Indus river is the largest river as also the national river of Pakistan. It provides the key water resources for the country’s economy, its agriculture, supports some heavy industry and also provides the main supply of potable water in Pakistan. Rising in Tibet at an altitude of 5,188 metres near the Mansarovar lake, it flows west and northwestwards before it enters the Indian territory in Jammu and Kashmir. It forms a big gorge near the Indo-Tibet border and pierces the Kailash range several times. Flowing through Ladakh, Baltistan and Gilgit, it finally emerges out of the hills at Attock. Tributaries joining the main river are the Yartag, Zaskar, Dras, Shyok, Shigar, Nubra, Gilgit and Hunza in Jammu and Kashmir. It enters Pakistan near Chilas. Further down, it receives the Kabul, the Kurram, the Tochi and the collective flow of the well-known Punjab tributaries —the Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, Chenab and Jhelum — and falls into the Arabian Sea near Karachi. The snows and glaciers of the Himalayas, Karakoram and the Hindu Kush ranges of Tibet, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh and Gilgit-Baltistan (PoK), largely feed the Indus system. The writer, the former Chief of Staff Western Command, is an expert on the Indus Waters Treaty

    Family of Major killed in Naga gets Rs 75 lakh

    Tribune News Service

    Guwahati, July 20

    The Army today handed over a terminal benefit cheque for Rs 75 lakh to the parents of Major David Manlun, who was killed during a gunfight with insurgents in Mon district of Nagaland on June 6 this year.The GOC, 101 Area, Lt Gen DS Ahuja handed over the cheque at their residence at Madanrting in Shillong.During the operation in which Major David was killed, three militants were also killed and the Army recovered an AK-56 assault rifle and two Chinese AK series rifles, two grenades, three IEDs and 270 live rounds of AK-series ammunition.The 32-year-old officer of the 164 Brigade of the Territorial Army was born and brought up in Shillong though his family originally hails from Manipur.Lt Gen Ahuja said the Major showed exemplary courage in operations against insurgents in Nagaland.His family was also scheduled to get Rs 40-50 lakh, including ex gratia from the Centre. The Meghalaya Government has promised to give Rs 7.5 lakh to the family.Mannuam Niang said her son was an example for the country. “If we follow what my son has done for the country, there will be peace in the entire country,” she said, adding that she felt proud of his sacrifice




    After the attack on the Amarnath Yatra: Why Meghnad Desai is both right and wrong on Kashmir BY Lt Gen Ata Husnain (Retd)

    Men of letters have outstanding world views, but sometimes their views on the situation in the Valley are coloured by lack of practical appreciation of the ground reality. This could certainly be said of Meghnad Desai, thinker and analyst of no mean proportion, who has argued in a newspaper column recently “Kashmir needs patience to get right. A harder military approach will be urged. That has been tried since 1989. Time has come to try something different”.

    He is entirely right in the broad concept he has outlined. No strategy can be static and no proxy conflict of this kind can ever be defeated by military means. I disagree, however, that India’s approach to the proxy conflict has so far only been militaristic or through the security prism and not from the angle of winning the support of the people. A brief recap is appropriate.

    1994 and 1996 were political high water marks with the Joint Resolution of Parliament and the first elections after 1989, respectively. 1997 was the humanitarian landmark with the adoption of Operation Sadbhavana and the Supreme Court’s issue of guidelines to the army on operations under AFSPA.

    2002 saw the adoption of the healing touch policy of the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in conjunction with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s philosophical and humanitarian approach. 26/11 saw the re-adoption of a hard line by Pakistan, leading to the paralysis in the streets till 2010. 2011-13 saw the conscious calibration of the balance of hard and soft power through the Hearts Doctrine which created hope and attempted restoration of dignity to the conflict stricken people, incidentally by the army itself; a situation not politically exploited.

    There was nothing militaristic about 2014-16 either; it was a situation of political uncertainty. No doubt violence increased, but not so dangerously until July 8, 2016, when Burhan Wani was killed and the current impasse came to be.

    The recent attack on the Amarnath Yatra after 15 years of peace may actually prove to be another landmark in the history of J&K since 1989, demanding a pragmatic look at balance of hard and soft power. Some observations about the attack and its aftermath are pertinent. First, it could have been much worse, only providence saved the day although loss of even a single yatri to violence is unacceptable.

    Second, the response within Kashmir and the rest of India seems different to what might have been expected. They must have been a major disappointment for proxy war sponsors across the LoC, who wish to create mayhem within India’s tenuous social fabric. The Valley did not witness any support from the people for this heinous act despite the commonly professed notion of hatred towards Indians and other faiths.

    Third, the aftermath was sensitively handled by chief minister Mehbooba Mufti with her timely visit to victims and the injured; her statements were soothing and appropriate. The PM also stepped in as also the home minister, but with nothing jingoistic. The political opposition made a conscious effort at consensus, up to a point.

    Lastly and most interestingly, growing impatience in the rest of India with the turbulent situation in the Valley and the broad tendency to be accusatory against a community did not translate into anything as negative as could have been.

    Meghnad Desai is both right and wrong. While much more needs to be done to get the people back to the track of belief in themselves and India, the military’s role cannot be diminished. Success of soft power initiatives ultimately lies in the ability of the military to stave off the physical threats. The last time India diluted military presence without overseeing genuine peace, that space was occupied by terror groups.

    We cannot afford it this time, after having learnt our lesson for the umpteenth time. That is the lesson from, for example, the Northern Ireland conflict. The Good Friday agreement could only be enabled in 1997 because the British army continued to hold the periphery even as economics, high quality governance and talking with the people began in earnest. That is ultimately what brought about a significant victory for the people and for the government.

    Sikkim standoff: China trying to change status quo on border, says India

    Sikkim standoff: China trying to change status quo on border, says India
    External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj speaks in the Rajya Sabha in New Delhi on Thursday. ANI

    New Delhi, July 20India on Thursday accused China of unilaterally trying to change the status quo on the border with Bhutan and said this is what has sparked off the standoff between the Indian and Chinese armies.(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told the Rajya Sabha that while China was saying that India should withdraw its troops from Doklam for negotiations to begin, “we are saying that if a dialogue is to be held, then both should withdraw (their troops)”.The Chinese action “is a challenge to our security”, the Minister said in the first exhaustive Indian comment on the border row that began over a month ago in the Sikkim sector of the winding Sino-Indian frontier. Sushma Swaraj said India was not doing anything unreasonable.“Foreign countries are with us. They feel that China is being aggressive with a small country like Bhutan. Bhutan has protested, including in writing. All the countries feel India’s stand is right and the law is with us.” — IANS


    Claim & honour go together BY Lt Gen RS Sujlana (retd)

    Claim & honour go together

    Lt Gen RS Sujlana (retd)ADHERING to the adage of ‘Tradition is not the worship of ashes but the preservation of fire’, an age-old policy termed ‘Parental Claim’ exists in the Indian Army. Under this, tradition is preserved and the fire remains kindled in generations that follow their forefathers to serve the nation in the Army. On commissioning, cadets from the Indian Military Academy can opt for the same regiment that his father served in. However, this option is restricted to only the fighting arms — Infantry, Mechanised Infantry, Armoured Corps and Artillery. The word appropriately used is ‘parental’ and not father, as an Army wife is equally wedded to the olive green and its ethos. A sudden flash enlivened this tradition, when at a gathering, a former Brigadier, a blue-blooded Rathore who goes by the initials of SMS (today’s technology has ensured daily usage), announced that their son was soon taking over the command of an artillery regiment, where he too had served. The joy and pride of the parents was visibly infectious. They were looking forward to be by their son’s side on the day he takes over command, to bless him and pip the Colonel’s rank on his broad shoulders! What emotions will flow that day is difficult to comprehend by anyone who has not been through a similar experience, but for me memories flooded back and took me back some 25 years.I was commanding 3 Sikh, the same battalion that my father had also commanded — both did so incidentally in J&K; he during the 1965 War and I fighting the same enemy, but in a sponsored form. Later, when I moved to a peace station, my father visited us for a few days and then came a day we both eagerly awaited. I was immersed in a file when the stick orderly (a soldier dressed in ceremonial standing duty at the CO’s door) smartly saluted and announced: ‘Saheb, wadde CO saheb aye ne’ (Sir, the elder CO has come). I sprung up from my chair just in time to simultaneously salute my father who stood at the door in his habitual smart posture in attention and was saluting me. ‘Son, I cannot express my feelings at this point, but how I wish your mother was alive to cherish this moment. But we both are here to bless you!’ Humbling, indeed, were the words of my father but also an incomparable honour. Even today, those moments and his words remain etched in my memory. My father’s heart was a cornucopia of pride and joy, but yes, we both missed the better half of the Parental Claim!

    Paramilitary, Army are not comparable on one to one basis: Government

    Paramilitary forces and Army are not comparable on a one to one basis as there are differences in their retirement age and service rules, parliament was told on Wednesday.

    New Delhi: Paramilitary forces and Army are not comparable on a one to one basis as there are differences in their retirement age and service rules, parliament was told on Wednesday.

    Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told the Rajya Sabha, in a written reply, that ex-gratia lump-sum compensation of Rs 35 lakh was provided to the kin of paramilitary personnel who killed on active duty and Rs 25 lakh for those died on duty.

    The kin of the deceased personnel are also entitled to get liberalised family Pension (as per last pay drawn) under Central Civil Service (Extraordinary Pension) Rules 1939 and other pensionary benefits as admissible, he said, adding thus Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Army are not comparable.

    The minister also said that five per cent vacancies are reserved in Group “C” and “D” for compassionate appointments for kin of the deceased personnel.

    He said under the Prime Minister`s scholarship scheme, amount Rs 2,250 per month for girls and Rs 2,000 per month for boys is being released to the wards of serving and retired paramilitary forces personnel.

    “Prime Minister scholarship is admissible to 1,000 girls and 1,000 boys.”

    The minister said that there was a reservation of 15 MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) and two BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) seats for the wards of paramilitary forces in the seats of central government quota for these courses.

    “Central Police canteens at various locations in the country have been functioning. A welfare and rehabilitation board has been established for the welfare and rehabilitation of paramilitary personnel and their families including differently abled personnel,” he added.

    Wait on for soldier’s body

    Wait on for soldier’s body
    Martyr Shashi Sharma

    Our Correspondent

    Hamirpur, July 20

    Hundreds of people that arrived at Galol village in Nadaun were kept waiting for the arrival of mortal remains of martyr Shashi Sharma who sacrificed his life in Jammu and Kashmir while responding to a cross-border firing on the Line of Control (LOC).It was intimated to the members of the martyr that the body would be airlifted from the Udhampur Army base to Sujanpur near here but later it was reported that the chopper could not take off due to bad weather at Udhampur.Relatives were also kept waiting at Sujanpur which was 35 kilometers away from the village. People were seen more angry for choosing a distant location for landing the chopper. The father of the martyr Prithvi Chand said the body could be brought by road as it only takes 6 hours to arrive from Udhampur.A communication from the Army confirmed that the body would be brought to the village by road tomorrow morning. The delay had harassed people, especially the wife and children of the martyr who were unable to eat and drink in the hour of grief.

    Braveheart’s death mourned

    Solan, July 20

    Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today mourned the death of rifleman Vimal Sinjali of 14 Gorkha Training Centre, Subathu, who was killed in a sniper fire from across the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir on July 18.The Chief Minister said his sacrifice would not go in vain and it would always inspire the security forces to serve the motherland with valour. DC Rakesh Kanwar said the deceased soldier would be cremated with full state honours at the 14 GTC, Subathu, tomorrow, after the arrival of his family from Nepal. — TNS

    BRO DG inspects 7 strategic roads in Ladakh

    Tribune News Service

    Srinagar, July 20

    As the diplomatic relations between India and China have flared up over Doklam in Sikkim, the Director General of the Border Roads Organisation visited Ladakh to inspect the strategic roads in the region.Lt Gen SK Shrivastava, Director General, Border Roads Organisation (BRO), is on a visit to Ladakh to take stock of the construction activities of various strategic road networks maintained and constructed by Project Himank.The DG’s visit began on July 18. On the first day, he undertook a detailed inspection of seven operationally, strategically and administratively critical roads, spanning a length of approximately 650 km in eastern Ladakh, an official statement said.The visit of the Director General to the cold desert assumes significance at a time when the relations between China and India are strained over the troop movement in the Doklam area of Sikkim. Ladakh is the most strategic region for India as it borders the country with China.Lt General Shrivastava interacted with the Chief Executive Councillor, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh, and the General Officer Commanding of the 14 Corps to discuss issues relating to the development of road communication network required for meeting the development of the region.The Chief Engineer, Project Himank, Brig DM Purvimath, apprised the DG of various measures taken by Project Himank in linking unconnected areas despite odds. He held a detailed review of the operational requirement of the defence forces and promised all possible efforts from the BRO in this direction.

    Doklam crisis: India pushes for dialogue with China

    Doklam crisis: India pushes for dialogue with China
    Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister

    Simran Sodhi

    Tribune News Service

    New Delhi, July 20

    India today played cautious and maintained that talks were the way forward when it came to resolving the month-old Doklam standoff. China has maintained that Indian troops need to withdraw as a pre-condition for any ‘meaningful dialogue’ to begin.Gopal Baglay, official spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, today chose not to directly answer questions on the Chinese pre-condition for talks but emphasised that ‘diplomatic channels’ had not been impeded. India’s response to the situation so far has been mellow, in contrast to the Chinese posturing which has been overly aggressive.(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)The spokesperson said Bhutan wants China to go back to the status quo that existed on the ground before June 16 and in essence India also wants that status quo to be restored. Speculation has been rife that differences between India and Bhutan have arisen over the Doklam crisis.“Differences between India and China should never become a dispute…We’ve said diplomatic channels are available and have been available. To the best of my understanding they have never stopped,” said Baglay when asked whether India will approach any international bodies such as the UN to intervene in the dispute.Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made a strong statement in the Rajya Sabha and demanded that China withdraw its troops for the talks to begin. “We are saying that if a dialogue is to be held, then both should withdraw (their troops),” she said. The Chinese action “is a challenge to our security”, Swaraj said, adding that India was not doing anything unreasonable.She added that foreign countries are with India. “They feel that China is being aggressive with a small country like Bhutan. Bhutan has protested, including in writing. All the countries feel India’s stand is right and the law is with us,” Swaraj added.

    Beijing ‘threatens security’ at tri-junction

    • In the Rajya Sabha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said China intends to unilaterally change the status of the tri-junction with Bhutan, posing a challenge to India’s security
    • On the standoff at Doklam, she referred to the written agreement between India, China and Bhutan in 2012 that the three nations would together decide on the boundaries at the tri-junction point
    • She said China had been constructing roads earlier too, but now they had brought in bulldozers and excavators. “We are saying that the matter can be resolved through talks, but both sides have to first take back their armies,” she said

    Rising Hindu nationalism could lead to war: Chinese media

    Rising Hindu nationalism could lead to war: Chinese media
    “The (Doklam) border row this time is an action targeted at China that caters to the demand of India’s religious nationalists,” it claimed. AFP file

    Beijing, July 20

    The Sino-Indian border row is an offshoot of rising Hindu nationalism in India which has hijacked New Delhi’s China policy and can lead to war between both countries, a Chinese daily warned on Thursday.

    (Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)

    “Nationalist fervour that demands revenge against China has taken root in India since the border war. The election of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has fuelled the country’s nationalist sentiments,” said a commentary by the Global Times.

    “In diplomacy, New Delhi is demanded to act tougher in foreign relations, especially toward countries like Pakistan and China. The border row this time is an action targeted at China that caters to the demand of India’s religious nationalists,” the article by Yu Ning said.

    Chinese and Indian armies have been engaged in a stand-off that began more than a month ago at Doklam in the Sikkim section of the winding Sino-Indian border. This covers the trijunction of India, Bhutan and China.

    “The Modi government can do nothing if religious nationalism becomes extreme, as shown in its failure to curb violent incidents against Muslims since he came to power in 2014,” said the commentary.

    “India is weaker than China in terms of national strength but its strategists and politicians have shown no wisdom in preventing India’s China policy from being kidnapped by rising nationalism.

    “This will put India’s own interests in jeopardy. India should be careful and not let religious nationalism push the two countries into war.

    “Since India’s defeat in the Sino-Indian War of 1962, some Indians have been stuck in a zero-sum mentality in dealing with China.

    “The war inflicted lingering pain on India and it became a hard knot to untie, leading to an ingrained suspicion of Chinese strategy.

    “China’s development is seen as a misfortune to India. The faster China grows, the more fearful they are,” the commentary said. — IANS

    Hindustan becoming ‘lynchistan’, says Selja

    Tribune News Service

    New Delhi, July 20

    Image result for Kumari Selja

    Congress leader and former Union minister Kumari Selja today said the 5,000-year-old Hindustan was also being known as ‘Lynchistan’.Speaking during a discussion on the increase in lynching incidents and atrocities on minorities and Dalits across the country, the former minister said while the government was talking about the Dalit progress, it had reduced funds for SC/ST schemes.Talking about the Una incident, she asked, “What would you call those who eat dead animal’s meat due to poverty? The government is talking about action after the incidents, but my question is why these incidents are happening at all… only because of you the mob mentality has risen its head.”“Why these ‘gau rakshaks’ and cow lovers can’t take care of cows which are dying instead of targeting the cattle transporters?” she asked. “With shame I’m saying about the incident in my place Hisar. A mob… people from some of your sister concerns… like the Bajrang Dal came and killed a Muslim guy. What action would you take?” she asked. “The government’s denial mode is not going to help the country. And you cannot become a Hindu by speaking good Hindi, but by becoming a Hindu in heart,” Selja said while concluding.

    Don’t give it a political colour: Gujral

    • SAD Rajya Sabha member Naresh Gujral on Thursday urged members to refrain from giving political colour to lynchings incidents, which were forcing investors to stay away from India
    • Gujral said the government could talk to the Chief Justice of India for creating a special court for speedy trial of lynching cases, which amounted to acts like ‘terrorism’