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    MT EVEREST CONQUEROR Grand reception for Lt Col Jamwal

    Grand reception for Lt Col Jamwal
    Lt Col Ranveer Singh Jamwal being honoured during a function in Jammu on Sunday. Tribune Photo: Amarjeet Singh

    Tribune News Service

    Jammu, June 5

    Jammu today accorded a grand reception to Lt Colonel Ranveer Singh Jamwal for scaling the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, for a third time.Social groups comprising Amar Kshatriya Rajput Sabha, Jammu; Rajput Sabha, Jammu and Samba and Dogri Sanstha, Jammu and Pahal, organised an impressive programme to honour Lt Col Jamwal for achieving the feat.Lt Col Jamwal, who landed at Jammu airport this morning, was taken to the venue from the airport in a procession which saw participation of hundreds of youth from different parts of the region.Apart from representatives of various social groups, Param Vir Chakra awardee Bana Singh, Cabinet minister Chander Parkash Ganga, former minister Surjit Singh Slathia, senior officers from police and district administration were also present on the occasion.Lt Col Jamwal is the first Army officer from Jammu and Kashmir to achieve the feat for a third time. He had first scaled the world’s highest peak at 8,848 metres on May 25, 2012 and the second time on May 19, 2013.During their address, the speakers said that Lt Col Jamwal had brought laurels for J&K and demanded the government should name a stadium or a government building in his name to give him a real honour.


    Reducing flab in armed forces :::::Gen V P Malik (retd)

    Reducing flab in armed forces
    The Indian army today is the third largest in the world with over 38,000 officers and 11.38 lakh soldiers

    Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has set up a 12-member committee headed by Lieut-Gen DB Shekatkar (retd) to suggest structural changes in the Army, the IAF and the Navy on cutting down flab and reducing revenue (maintenance) expenditure. Its recommendations will entail doing away with posts that may have become redundant due to technology, and to ensure that addition of new equipment (modernisation) does not mean a corresponding rise in the personnel strength of the forces.Parrikar has two important reasons for ordering this study. One is the ever-increasing revenue expenditure on manpower which leaves less than 20 per cent of the defence budget for weapons and equipment modernisation. The other is the advice from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In his address at the Combined Commanders’ Conference in December 2015, Modi had said, “At a time when major powers are reducing their forces and rely more on technology, we are still constantly seeking to expand the size of our forces. Modernisation and expansion of forces at the same time is a difficult and unnecessary goal.” Articulating global, regional and national strategic environment and politico-military concerns, the Prime Minister exhorted the Defence Minister and the military commanders to promote “jointness” across every level, shorten the tooth-to-tail ratio, and re-examine assumptions that keep massive funds locked up in inventories. There is no doubt that budgetary constraint is the primary reason for this decision. As a percentage of the GDP, the defence budget has been decreasing over the last decade. This year there was an increase of 1.16 per cent on the basis of the budget estimate of FY 2015-16. Calculated against the revised estimates (Rs 18,295 crore was surrendered by the Ministry of Defence), it works to an increase of 9 per cent. This allocation does not cover the rate of inflation, fall in the value of the rupee against the dollar, and the sharply increasing cost of weapons and equipment all over the world. Due to the “One Rank, One Pension” scheme, the pension bill will increase substantially. With implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations, salaries, allowances and establishment charges of all civil and military personnel, paid from the defence budget, will shoot up. Recently, Defence Secretary G. Mohan Kumar admitted to the Standing Committee on Defence that “India’s military spending for FY 2016-17 is not as per the requirements of the services.” Unless the government hikes the defence budget, which is very unlikely, the Ministry of Defence would face a serious resource crunch to make up huge deficiencies of weapons, equipment and ammunition. Any force modernisation will remain a dream. We faced a similar situation in the late 1990s. As Army Chief, I decided to suppress 50,000 manpower (mostly from non-field force) over a period of three years, provided the money saved would be given to the army for capital purchases. D B Shekatkar, then a Major-General, heading Perspective Planning Directorate, worked on details in consultation with the heads of arms and services, principal staff officers and army commanders. There was considerable opposition within the army and outside. After obtaining approval and a written commitment on the savings from the Cabinet Committee on Security, we implemented the scheme for two years. The Kargil war put an end to that scheme in its third year. The Indian army today is the third largest in the world with over 38,000 officers (sanctioned strength is 49,631 officers) and 11.38 lakh soldiers. Cadre reviews and implementation of the Ajai Vikram Singh report has made it top-heavy with bloated headquarters. This is definitely not in line with modern defence management to win short and swift wars.Incidentally, India is not alone in its attempt to trim its armed forces and improve the teeth-to-tail ratio. In the last decade, all major armed forces of the world have attempted such exercises and made deep cuts in manpower — the most important and costliest military resource. In 2012, the UK announced a 20 per cent cut, reducing the strength of its army to 82,000 combatants by the end of this decade. The Russian army has done away with large size divisional headquarters to make itself a quick-strike, lean force. The US army has announced a reduction of strength by a whopping 80,000 by 2017 to “reduce the overall number of headquarters, while sustaining as much combat capabilities as possible.” China’s recently announced military reforms envisage a cut of 300,000 personnel in its 2.3 million PLA forces by 2020. The idea is to “remake the PLA from a manpower intensive force to a smaller, technologically able and mobile force capable of combat beyond its geographical borders.”Over the last decade, India’s armed forces have absorbed a fair amount of technological developments, including communications and digitisation. Manpower intake is better educated, savvy on computers and smart phones. Most of them have driving licences. But the resultant organisational changes, shedding of redundant establishments and manpower savings have seldom been attempted by the army. On many of these issues, there is a lot to be learnt from the best practices of the private sector. In the past, many units were raised to meet special operational circumstances of that period e.g. Rashtriya Rifles for Punjab. A review to examine the need or quantum of such forces is overdue.  Meanwhile, there is considerable scope for downsizing forces in areas which are not of operational importance, and to reduce the flab. Some suggestions which require further study are:

    • By further improving jointness amongst the forces, there is scope to cut down duplication (sometime triplication) of logistic (medical, supplies, station duties) and security resources.
    • Reducing size of headquarters, particularly of field formations, training establishments and shedding redundant establishments.
    • Merger and pruning of logistic units and training facilities of the army like the EME, Ordnance, Army Service Corps, Army Education Corps, and so on.
    • Clubbing of non-essential unit functions such as Military Farms and Army Postal Service, or outsourcing their functions.
    • A review of all peace establishments.
    • Multiple use of lands/facilities wherever units and formations are in close proximity to each other.

    With the development of the automobile sector and availability of civilian repair and maintenance infrastructure in forward areas, this requirement of the armed forces fleet can be outsourced, or even better, contracted with vehicle manufacturers.The flab is not only within the military. Civilian organisations like the ordnance factories, defence PSUs, DRDO, the MES, the Defence Estate, and the Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services, paid from the defence budget, also need to be trimmed. With the Indian private sector coming of age and contributing more for the defence, and greater opportunity to outsource services, these organisations should be included in the flab reduction exercise.


    Pakistan denies consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav

    Pakistan denies consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav
    Kulbhushan Jadhav. — Video grab/AFP file photo

    Islamabad, June 6

    Pakistan has rejected India’s request for consular access to alleged spy Kulbushan Jadhav who was arrested for his involvement in “subversive activities”, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan said today.”The Indian spy, Kulbhushan, entered Pakistan with a special purpose. Hence, it has been decided that consular access will not been given to him,” Khan told reporters here.Pakistan claimed its security forces had arrested Jadhav from Balochistan in March and alleged that he was “a serving officer in the Indian Navy and deputed to the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).” It accused Jadhav of planning “subversive activities” in the country.India has acknowledged that Jadhav had served with the navy but denied that he has any connection with the government.”The individual has no link with government since his premature retirement from Indian Navy,” the External Affairs Ministry had said in a statement.India had sought consular access to Jadhav. — PTI


    Akash gets top RIMC honour

    Akash gets top RIMC honour
    Maj Gen SC Mohanty, GOC, 14 Rapid (S), presents the Sword of Honour to Akash Sraban Ghose in Dehradun on Thursday. Tribune photo

    Tribune News Service

    Dehradun, June 2

    Maj Gen SC Mohanty, GOC, 14 Rapid (S), has said students should work hard to achieve their goals. While addressing a gathering during the 179th graduation ceremony of the Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC) here yesterday, he said participating in sports and adventure activities helped in the overall personality development of an individual.A total of 33 cadets graduated from the college.Maj Gen Mohanty spoke on the importance of understanding the value of titles which cadets wore on their shoulders. He said office-bearers of the college should work hard to exhibit their academic and sporting skills.Cadets of the RIMC enthralled the audience with their talent in dance and drama which was followed the award ceremony.The most coveted Sword of Honour award was bagged by Cadet Section Commander Akash Sraban Ghose, while Wavell Sword was won by Cadet Section Commander Nirbhay Kumar. The Maj Gen Manoharan Trophy was won by Shrang Vats, and Lt Gen SS Dhillion Trophy and Col DH Parab Trophy was won by Cadet Section Commander L Moirangthem and Cadet NCO Arpit Garg, respectively. The best in leadership award was given to Cadet Captain Divyam Dwivedi.Cadet Mridul Rawat was awarded the College Blue in boxing and PT, while Cadet Devesh Rathore received the same honour for cricket. Cadet Arpit Garg walked away with the highest academic award – Gold Badge.RIMC Commandant, Col Vivek Sharma gave a scintillating presentation about the achievements of the college during the function.


    Our karmic confusion on Pakistan

    Our karmic confusion on Pakistan
    The Pakistan army continues to control that country’s India policy

    In the first two years of his term Prime Minister Narendra Modi has devoted time, energy and attention to the conduct of foreign policy. He has sought to enlarge India’s influence through frequent interaction with his global peers in bilateral meetings. Modi’s participation in international and multilateral conferences has conveyed the country’s position in impressive, though pragmatic, interventions. In this largely successful canvas there is a one major dark spot: utter confusion that has prevailed in the pursuit of the nation’s Pakistan policy.The stated premise of Modi’s Pakistan policy was recently reiterated by him in a written response to the Wall Street Journal. He said, inter alia, “There can be no compromise on terrorism. It can only be stopped when all support to terrorism, whether state or non-state, is completely stopped. Pakistan’s failure to take effective action in punishing the perpetrators of terrorist attacks limits the forward movement in our ties.”“In my view, our ties can truly scale great heights once Pakistan removes the self-imposed obstacle of terrorism in the path of our relationship. We are ready to take the first step, but the path of peace is a two-way street.”There can be no quarrel with this position or the principle contained in Modi’s comment. These have been the stated policy of all governments since Pakistan made the use of terror an essential ingredient of its security approach to India. The problem lies not in the enunciated principle and position but in not following them. It is also in compromising with their obvious logic in the country’s diplomacy towards Pakistan. While diplomacy has to retain, at all times, a measure of flexibility, abrupt U-turns, somersaults or verbal contortions do not constitute the stuff of flexibility. This is especially so when there are no objective reasons to indicate a change in the prevailing realities of a relationship or the regional or international context.The objective reality is that the Pakistan army continues to control that country’s India policy. The elected leadership, including the Prime Minister, has little capacity to change its thinking. If it had, Pakistan would have agreed to begin a process of cooperative interaction with India, including in the areas of trade and connectivity. None of that has taken place and yet Modi, like his predecessors, proceeded to follow a “flexible” approach. The Generals have remained unmoved and through their actions have demonstrated so. Yet Modi has ignored all that and gone “forwards and backwards”. How has that process unfolded in the past two years?Modi invited Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his swearing-in ceremony in May 2014. Nawaz Sharif, ignoring the reservations of the Generals, came to Delhi. The two Prime Ministers decided that the Foreign Secretaries would meet to consider how to take the relationship forward. The Generals reacted to Nawaz Sharif’s decision to visit Delhi by sponsoring an attack on the Indian Consulate-General in Herat, Afghanistan, just before Modi assuming office. The bravery of the ITBP security detachment prevented a major disaster. This was the Generals’ signal to both Prime Ministers: they should not be ignored.Just before the then Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh was to travel to Pakistan in August 2014, the Pakistan High Commissioner in Delhi met the Hurriyat leadership despite the last-minute warning from the Indian side. Modi rightly called off the visit on the ground that, irrespective of India looking the other way in the past, it would no longer accept the projection of the Hurriyat as a party in the Jammu and Kashmir issue. A red line was correctly drawn but such an approach requires patience and perseverance.A month later at the UN Modi signalled to Pakistan that all issues had to be settled bilaterally and terrorism had to be abandoned. Again these were words in keeping with India’s basic approach. However, while the Generals showed no change, Modi sent Foreign Secretary Jaishankar to Islamabad in March 2015 to explore ways to take the relationship forward. In July 2015 Modi met Nawaz Sharif in Ufa, Russia. They decided that bilateral interaction should begin and the two National Security Advisers should meet in Delhi to discuss all aspects of terror. Jammu and Kashmir found no mention in the Ufa joint statement. This angered the Generals who insisted that discussions should not be only on terror and that Pakistan would not accept a veto on the meeting with the Hurriyat in Delhi. The visit of the Pakistani NSA was called off and strong words were exchanged. Soon afterwards Pakistan appointed a retired and well-regarded General, Nasser Janjua, as its NSA. For some inexplicable reason Indian policy-makers construed Janjua’s appointment as an indication of the army changing course and wanting to improve relations with India. There was simply no evidence of the Generals of wanting to do so.It was this assessment that led to the activity of December 2015 when the Ufa decisions were set aside and the NSAs, accompanied by the Foreign Secretaries, met in Bangkok. This was immediately followed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj going to Islamabad to attend the Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan. On its sidelines, India and Pakistan decided to begin a Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue Process with a meeting of the two Foreign Secretaries to work out its modalities.On the Christmas day Modi made a stop-over visit to Lahore to meet Nawaz Sharif. This was a flamboyant gesture of goodwill but that aspect escaped the Generals who brushed it aside not only as of no enduring value to bilateral ties but also one that required a reminder that they are the bosses in Pakistan. The Pathankot attack followed and despite the brave front, Modi was severely embarrassed. In Pathankot’s immediate aftermath an effort was made to save the Modi initiative by projecting that Pakistan was serious in investigating the Pathankot conspiracy. Special emphasis was given to the visit of the JIT. Even while it was in India the Generals responded by levelling charges of espionage and terrorism against retired naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, and worse, sought to target the Indian NSA in this concoction.Thus the Generals’ hostility towards India remains single-minded and abiding. However, Modi’s response has been vacillating like that of his predecessors. Besides, Pakistani terrorism is not considered a strategic challenge by the Indian political and strategic establishment. As long as Indian policy-makers continue with the present approach, the Generals will not change. The focus has to be on ensuring that the Generals modify their India policy. That will not be achieved either through hope or considering that the NIA’s visit — should it take place — will be the mark of a successful Pakistan policy. — The writer is a former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs


    J&K: Preparing for approaching pitfalls

    images

    Lt-Gen (retd) Syed Ata Hasnain
    “Holding the periphery” is what the Army has to do in Jammu & Kashmir, without being obstructive; it has to be a facilitator in the closing stages of conflict stabilisation. Only then will it lead to a transformation that will afford the situation to quietly slip into conflict resolution.

    J&K: Preparing for approaching pitfalls
    Incidents like the firing in Handwara are manipulated to create the flawed impression that the Army’s presence in J&K instigates. REUTERS

    SMART strategic leaders always plan for contingencies so that they do not find the proverbial pull of the rug under their feet. No better place to apply this maxim than Jammu and Kashmir. Currently everyone there is focused on the sudden increase in infiltration and gun battles; the military space is truly active. The hinterland semi-urban areas have rumours to discuss about Sainik Colonies and exclusive dwelling areas for Kashmiri Pandits. It is the vintage Kashmir situation encountered almost every other year. What surprises me is the ease with which rumours go viral and young people are willing to be led and manipulated. What is even more surprising is the inability of leaders, administrators and stakeholders to directly interact with the people, or through print and particularly social media to quell the rumours. Not doing so is like playing the street’s strength and the state’s weakness. The above is in the realm of expectation but surely the Central and state governments, Intelligence agencies and the Army can’t be misled by the still comparatively low-key situation they face. Jammu and Kashmir’s sponsored proxy internal conflict has seen more than its share of dynamic “ups and downs” for the stakeholders not to be considering where the future pitfalls lie.  Apply the mind and it starts from Afghanistan; everything there makes a difference here. Reports indicate weakening of the Taliban and the unlikelihood of a full-weight summer offensive; that is a breather for Pakistan too although it has been the Taliban’s all-weather friend. Conjectures now are all pointing to Pakistan’s hand in the killing of Mullah Mansoor to get the Taliban under its control and play to the US Congress, which has the F-16 issue like a pistol to its head. Internally within Pakistan, things aren’t too bad and Raheel Sharif, if he wishes to be a gentleman, will demit office in November 2016; perhaps he may wish to go on a high; the perception of that remains his choice. Between now and November 2016 is a big gap. If Afghanistan is quiet and internally things are in control in Pakistan where does the attention of Pakistan’s Deep State travel? No prizes for guessing. On the face of it there is a range of issues on which the Deep State and separatists can play together. These could be, limiting pilgrims for the Shri Amarnath Yatra, various human rights issues, including the manipulated Handwara case and the ongoing Sainik Colonies issue. However, none of these will throw up passions in the street in a lasting way. There are perhaps two other issues which can emerge triggers and both also have tacit support of shades of opinion within the nation which makes them even more vitriolic for effect. The first is the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act or AFSPA (1990) and second is the dilution and eventual withdrawal of the Army’s presence in the hinterland areas of the Valley. The AFSPA issue is a bigger ticket and will require a separate piece to address holistically. There has never been an intellectual application of mind to it by any quarter; neither by the detractors nor the supporters.The Nexus is in search of a contentious issue which could spark the streets and wreck the coalition that forms the state government.  The latter has thus far been mature in relegating contentious issues to the back-burner and is concentrating on establishing a base for the furtherance of its governance platform. It has been a brave effort thus far. However, in J&K’s bleak security landscape, “stabilisation” is a dirty word. The Nexus cannot afford to allow that to crystalise beyond a point. AFSPA offers scope to upset the applecart and will need deft handling on the part of our stakeholders to keep it from becoming a big ticket. That is what we need to prepare for, knowing that the current political constituents of the government themselves have differences about it. Avoiding this through smart legal work and finding middle ground acceptable to the political elements within Jammu and Kashmir, and actually within the nation, holds the key. The demand for dilution of the Army’s presence has often come from within mainstream media and political opinion. Some years ago, a senior editor, Shekhar Gupta, argued that a portion of the “victory dividend” be given back to the people. This triggered a discussion among veteran senior Army officers, again with shades of opinion. Mine was that firstly there is no such thing as victory against your own people. Secondly, the situation was tenuous and identifiable as being at the initial stages of conflict stabilisation. That situation has to be held if the next stage has to be achieved. There is an apparently flawed notion that the Army’s presence instigates rather than stabilises. It is incidents of the Handwara type which create this perception. Tourists returning  from the Valley often have a query for me on the need for such a large presence of the Army. These are people with short-term memories and no backdrop information about what the Valley went through. The Army’s presence, which I agree can be made less visible, affords the national footprint to be more effective, protects military assets and avoids a free hand to the Nexus. What some elements of the political leadership, at different levels, and media analysts fail to grasp is the opportunity the Army’s robust presence brings.  It affords the ability to take positive political messaging to the grassroots; engage there and deliver on the deliverables — the development issues, the daily life issues which have been on the backburner for long because of militancy. The Army itself needs to encourage this and facilitate the administration and politicians to engage the grassroot. “Holding the periphery” is what the Army has to do, without being obstructive; it has to be a facilitator in the closing stages of conflict stabilisation. The Army has rarely, if ever, viewed its own role from this angle because it is mostly placed on the defensive by the multiple fingers which are pointed at it in a situation which could be rightly called the “public order to law and order” transition. The Army could do without the unprofessional diatribe within its own ranks by people who have never applied mind to the true role of soldiers in transiting stages of militancy.  It can certainly afford to get more intellectually robust to thwart the efforts of the Nexus, which will force the situation covertly through the ranks of those within mainstream India itself. The sooner the leadership at all levels understands this, the faster will resolution of internal conflict emerge.The writer, a former GoC of 15 Corps, is with Vivekananda Foundation and the Delhi Policy Group.


    Ex-servicemen bat for PoWs To stage protest for getting them released from Pakistan jails

    Ex-servicemen bat for PoWs
    Capt CS Sidhu (retd) and Baljinder Kaur (left) seek the release of prisoners of war languishing in Pakistani jails, in Amritsar on Thursday. photo: vishal kumar

    GS Paul

    Tribune News Service

    Amritsar, May 26

    Expressing solidarity with the prisoners of war (PoWs) languishing in Pakistan jails, the United Ex-servicemen Front today announced to stage a protest rally at the Attari-Wagah border in July if the Centre failed to initiate steps to get them released.Having traced three such cases of the 1971 war, the front’s in-charge, Capt CS Sidhu (retd), said they would not refrain from disrupting the operations of the Samjhauta Express and the Indo-Pak Dosti bus if the government did not act.The front said the three PoWs had been identified as Sepoy Balwinder Singh of the 10th Sikh Regiment, Sepoy Dharam Pal Singh Dhurkot of the 4th Sikh Regiment and Sepoy Bir Singh of the 15th Punjab Regiment.Baljinder Kaur, daughter of Sepoy Balwinder Singh, hailing from Chabba Kalan Havelian village in Tarn Taran, said she was born after her father’s disappearance. She said Surjit Singh, who had been released from the Kot Lakhpat jail in 2012, had claimed that her father was alive.“I have seen my father only in pictures. He has been missing since December 16, 1971. I urge the governments of India and Pakistan to reunite us with him,” she said.Arshinder Pal Singh, son of Dharam Pal Singh of Lehra Dhurkot (Bathinda), said, “Satish Kumar of Ferozepur, who was released in 1986 from a Pakistan jail, told us that my father was lodged in the Kot Lakhpat jail since 1971. When he told us about a folk song my father used to sing, we were sure about him,” he said.Captain Sidhu said he had written a letter to the Defence Minister to intervene and take up the matter with his Pakistani counterpart to facilitate the PoWs’ release.“Both India and Pakistan have war prisoners, but no side is ready to admit it. We want that Pakistani prisoners lodged in Indian jails be released and vice-versa,” he said.

    Families of 1971 prisoners of war seek their release

    AMRITSAR: “I don’t want a government job or any other benefits, my only wish is to see my father back home,” said Baljinder Kaur, whose father sepoy Balwinder Singh of the 10 Sikh Regiment had gone missing in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

    SAMEER SEHGAL /HTUnited Ex-servicemen Front chief Capt CS Sidhu (retd) with Baljinder Kaur, whose father is languishing in the Lahore jail, at a press conference in Amritsar on Thursday.

    Speaking at a press conference organised by the United Ex-servicemen Front for the release of the prisoners of war (PoW) languishing in Pakistan jails, here on Thursday, Baljinder said: My father was declared dead on December 16, 1971, but we come to know recently that he is alive. A war prisoner, Surjeet Singh, who was released by the Pakistan authorities in 2012, had made this announcement at Chaba village near Amritsar. But we didn’t get this information at that time as we live in far-off Chamba Kalan village in Tarn Taran district.”

    “My father was declared dead on December 16, 1971, but we come to know recently that he is alive. A war prisoner, Surjeet Singh, who was released by the Pakistan authorities in 2012, had made this announcement at his village. But we didn’t get this information at that time as we live in far-off Chamba Kalan village in Tarn Taran district.”

    Chairman of the front captain CS Sidhu (retd) said: “The Indian government should step up efforts to ensure release of prisoners of war. If the government fails to do so, we will block the Attari-Wagah border in July and stop trade bus and train services between India and Pakistan.”

    “There are many war prisoners from Pakistan in our jails too and their families are also suffering,” he added.

    The front has written to defence minister Manohar Parrikar seeking release of Balwinder, who according to Surjeet is lodged in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail.

    Arshinder Singh, son of another prisoner of war havildar Dharampal Singh, said “We recently came to know that he is alive. We want him back.”

    Baljinder claimed that nayak Bir Singh of the 15 Sikh Regiment from a village in Mansa was also languishing in the Lahore jail.


    Lt General SK Saini new commandant of IMA

    short by Anupama K / 06:24 pm on 23 May 2016,Monday
    Lt General SK Saini took charge as the new commandant of Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun on May 21. Saini was a senior directing staff in the National Defence College (NDC), said an IMA press release. An alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA) and IMA, he was commissioned to the ​seventh battalion of Jat regiment in 1981.

    2 YEARS OF MODI SARKAR – INTERNAL SECURITY Luck favours govt on security front

    Mukesh Ranjan

    Tribune News Service

    New Delhi, May 21

    Besides a steep fall in the prices of crude oil in the international market, the other area where Narendra Modi government proved fortunate for the country is internal security, as no big incident took place in the last two years, which could be compared with the Mumbai terror attack in 2008 and the ambush laid by the Naxals in 2010 in which 76 CRPF personnel were killed in Chhattisgarh.Many in the security establishment believe that “nothing substantial” has moved on the security front since former Home Minister P Chidambram left. “But during his tenure structures (like National Intelligence Grid, National Ivestigation Agency) and procedures (specific standard operating procedures) were put in place in such a way, particularly after the two watershed incidents (2008 and 2010) that our security architecture so far proved robust,” a senior official in the Ministry of Home Affairs  said.”Thankfully”, the incumbent Home Minister Rajnath Singh chose “status quo” in security matters and instead opted to move faster with regard to “disaster management” and “disaster relief distribution”, the performance of the ministry in the last two years could safely be termed as “satisfactory”, said a former IPS officer. India, in the last two years, witnessed only a few scary moments, when a BSF convoy was attacked in Udhampur, A police station was made the target in Gurdaspur and the Air Force base was stormed by terrorists in Pathankot. But in all these cases the terrorists were neutralised with minimum damage. After witnessing repeated attacks in border areas of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, the Central Government has formed a committee under the chairmanship of former Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta to suggest measures to make India’s borders foolproof. However, the exercise of police modernisation and enhancing police-public ratio, which was started by Mr Chidambram, took a beating, as budgetary allocations under these heads were cut substantially.

    Achievements

    • The Ministry of Home Affairs has taken forward from where the previous regime left as far as infrastructure and procedures to counter terrorism are concerned
    • Barring Gurdaspur and Pathankot incidents, no major terror attack in the last two years; terrorists neutralised with minimum damage
    • A panel led by ex-Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta formed to suggest measures to make India’s borders foolproof

    Downside

    • Many in the security establishment believe nothing substantial has moved on the security front since former Home Minister P Chidambram left
    • The exercise of police modernisation and enhancing the police-public ratio, started by Chidambram, has taken a beating, as budgetary allocations under these headscut substantially
    • Rising cases of intolerance and insurgency in the East continue to be a major challenge

    Now, women guard China border

    Now, women guard China border
    The ITBP has posted over 150 women constables to Leh this month. They will be deployed at BOPs in groups of 15-20 on rotation. file

    Vijay Mohan

    Tribune News Service

    Chandigarh, May 20

    In a first, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) has started deploying women constables to guard the rugged Sino-Indian border in Ladakh.“Over 150 women constables have been posted to Leh this month. They will be based at the battalion headquarters in Leh and will be deployed at border outposts (BOPs) in groups of 15-20 on a rotation basis,” an ITBP officer said.The ITBP mans the border with China in J&K, Himachal, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, with posts being located at altitudes up to 18,000 feet in remote and snow-bound areas. Three BOPs have been indentified where these women constables will be deployed. Modalities such as having women officers and women doctors to cater to the needs of women personnel in forward areas along with requisite administrative and logistic facilities have also been factored in their deployment.“Since women constables have been recruited into the ITBP, it is prudent that they undertake the fundamental duties that the force is meant for, rather than being posted on merely administrative or clerical duties in headquarters or rear echelons,” the officer said.