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    Pakistan’s Pathankot team gets to work

    NEW DELHI/QUEPEM (GOA): A Pakistani team investigating the Pathankot attack arrived in the Capital on Monday and told National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials it had the legal mandate to gather evidence in India though defence minister Manohar Parrikar said it would be granted restricted access to the attacked fighter base.

    The five-member joint investigation team (JIT) which will visit the Pathankot airbase on Tuesday handed a copy of Pakistan’s criminal procedure code to Indian officials at the NIA headquarters.

    “The Pak investigators said they don’t need to send any judicial request for assistance in probe (called letter rogatory or LR in Indian legal parlance) to India for formally gathering evidence here,” a senior government official said. “They clarified their criminal procedure code doesn’t even have a provision for the LR and it provides them a sufficient legal framework to formally seek evidence and present it in court.”

    Earlier, the Congress questioned the “real intent” of the Pakistani team’s visit without a letter rogatory and guarantee of prosecution. Party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said Pakistan had not provided its team the LR that would have made the evidence collected fit for judicial use.

    “One is forced to wonder as to what is the investigation all about, if it is not going to be of any use to nail the supposed nonstate actors in Pakistani courts,” Surjewala said. India had asked the JIT to get judicial approval in Pakistan as without that the interaction with NIA officials would remain informal.

    “The JIT of Pakistan and the NIA team are interacting under extant legal procedures of India and Pakistan,” NIA inspector general Sanjeev Singh said.

    The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party said the government was giving JIT officials access to the airbase without any assurance from Islamabad on action against the perpetrators. They also raised questions on the presence of an ISI official in the JIT.

    “We were saying ISI was responsible, it was a Pakistansponsored attack. Has this position changed?” Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal said. But Parrikar clarified the JIT had been denied permission to land at the airbase, use military vehicles or speak to defence personnel.

    The 18 Wing fighter base holds Russian-origin MiG-21 warplanes and a mix of Mi-25 and Mi-35 attack helicopters. The pre-dawn terror strike on January 2 left seven security personnel dead, including a lieutenant colonel.

    Ladakh avalanche: Body of second soldier found

    Tribune News Service

    Srinagar, March 26

    The Army today said the body of the soldier who was reported missing after an avalanche in the Turtuk area of Ladakh had been retrieved, taking the toll in the incident up to two.The soldier was identified as Rifleman Sunil Rai, an Army official said. Two soldiers — Rai and Lance Havildar Bhawan Tamang — were buried under snow at 8 am on Friday when an Army patrol in Turtuk was hit by an avalanche.Tamang was rescued from the avalanche site yesterday. He was in a critical condition and later died. Tamang is survived by his wife, a six-year-old daughter and his parents. Rai is survived by his parents and two younger brothers.It was the second time this month that the Army suffered casualties in avalanche-related incidents. Last week, two soldiers on surveillance duty at a post in the Kargil sector were hit by an avalanche. One soldier was rescued immediately, but the other was found dead three days later.


    A letter to Min of Defence by Brig CS Vidyasagar:::OROP

    Dear Mrs Damayanthi Garu,

    1. Few Single ladies have complained to me that they were not paid OROP arrears in full i.e. one instalment. On little bit of investigation I found the reason is absolutely wrong clarification issued in Circular 557 (clarification No: 3).

    I am aghast how DAD personnel of PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad quote in their new circular 557 at Clarification no 3 the meaning of Family pensioners incorrectly interpreting para 17 of Circular 555 which reads as under: – 17.1 No arrears on account of revision of pension shall be admissible for the period prior to 01.07.2014. Arrears on account of revision of pension from 1.7.2014 till date of its implementation shall be paid by the Pension Disbursing Agencies in four equal half-yearly installments.

    However, all the family pensioners including those in receipt of Special/Liberalized Family Pension and all Gallantry award winners shall be paid arrears in one installment.

    2. Madam, when Circular 555 clearly mention all family pensioners I am shocked and surprised DAD personnel do not understand simple English Language which said All Family Pensioners. This clearly indicates to any sensible person that DAD personnel are not only professionally in-competent to give any advice on Defence Pensions as they lack ground knowledge nor they understand simple & plain English.

    There are three types of family pensioners as under:-

    (a) Ordinary Family Pensioner. The wife of a deceased Ex-Serviceman or Serving soldier whose death is not attributable to military service.

    (b) Special Family Pensioner. The wife of soldier who died while performing military duty

    .(c ) Liberalised Family Pensioner. The wife of soldier who is martyred in operations.

    3. I draw your kind attention to para 2 (iv) of Min of Def letter No: 12(1)/2014//D(Pen/Pol) – Part II dated 07 Nov 2015 on OROP which reads as under:- iv. Arrears will be paid in four equal half yearly instalments.

    However all the Family Pensioners including those in receipt of Special /Liberalised Family Pension and Gallantry Award winners shall be paid arrears in one instalment

    4. Madam, this again clearly indicates DAD personnel of PCDA (P) Allahabad do not read Govt of India letters before they give any clarification (which I proved that they are neither capable nor competent to give clarifications).

    My request to you Madam, unless you take to task these irresponsible DAD personnel, your Ministry will get bad name and adverse publicity.

    5. Banks have not paid Ordinary Family Pensioners arrears in one instalment based on false clarification given by DAD personnel of the rank of SAO or AO.

    I am sure PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad who is an IDAS officer or his deputy another IDAS officer has neither seen the draft Circular 557 or they do not know difference between All Family Pensioners and types of family pensioners. My request to you is to get all draft circulars approved by Min of Def (ESW) so that such silly and stupid mistakes do not occur.

    6. My one more request is kindly make the authority to give any new circular or clarification not below the level of Addl CDA as the low level officers like AOs and SAOs are not capable of even reading Govt letters and interpreting (though no such interpretation is required).

    7. My last request is to issue instructions to PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad to immediately cancel Circular 557 and also institute an inquiry as to who has issued the circular 557 and how is the clarification given thereby violating para 2 (a) Govt of India Min of Def letter dated 07 Nov 2015. 8. Govt of India, Ministry of Defence have done whatever they could on OROP. But these low level accountants by giving false clarifications spoil image of ministry and more over sully image of hard working Hon’ble Raksha Mantri.

    Now a day, with awareness due to internet, any one can or will lodge a complaint with Hon’ble PM or Hon’ble RM and you will be wasting your precious time which you could have used to solve so many grievances of Ex-Servicemen and Family Pensioners. 9. I am extremely sorry to intrude into your precious time but for the seriousness of the mistake committed by DAD personnel in depriving Ordinary Family Pensioners OROP arrears in one instalment. If arrears are not paid in one go these single ladies who constitute 90% of family pensioners, then the money you have placed at the disposal of banks for current financial year will lapse as unspent balance and it will have to be surrendered.

    Then this will add additional burden on OROP for the financial year 2016-17 inviting avoidable criticism from Min of Fin (Def).

    Regards, Brig CS Vidyasagar (Rtd)


    BSNL to converge fixed and mobile connections

    short by Suchismita Majumder / 07:02 pm on 18 Mar 2016,Friday
    A new BSNL app will help customers use their fixed line phones to make calls over mobile networks from April 2. The tariff for this will be on a monthly basis, and it will reduce ISD rates for customers who connect their landlines to their mobile phones when travelling abroad. Calls will be charged according to the network plan used.

    India’s Military Vulnerabilities against China-Pakistan Axis

    India stands militarily vulnerable today against any China-Pakistan Axis military adventurism targeting India as a result of the virtually criminal neglect of India’s war-preparedness during the ten years of the previous Government in a repeat of the pre-1962 Nehruvian syndrome.

    The China-Pakistan Axis is a strategic and military reality in 2016 whose long term aim is the strategic diminution of the United States but whose immediate aim is to militarily shackle India’s powerful rise and pre-empt India forging a substantial strategic partnership with the United States which could adversely affect the balance of power against the China-Pakistan Axis.

    India in 2016 is faced with a serious military challenge of having to cope with a ‘Two Front War’ foisted by the China-Pakistan Axis in the pursuance of their joint military objectives against India. Pakistan feels that with China’s full military backing it can hope to wrest control of Kashmir which it could not do so for the last six decades. China hopes that a militarily beleaguered India forced to fight a ‘Two Front War’ in Ladakh and Kashmir would make it easier for China to reclaim ‘Southern Tibet’, the Chinese euphemism for India’s Arunachal Pradesh.

    The crucial question that arises from the above military aggression against India is whether India in 2016 is in terms of Indian Armed Forces war-preparedness ready and capable of coping with the joint China-India Axis military threat to India. Regrettably, ten years of war-preparedness neglect by the previous Government from 2004-2014 has left Indian Armed Forces crippled and handicapped by incomplete war inventories of military hardware, logistics and military logistics infrastructure on our Northern Borders.

    Notably, both China and Pakistan have always maintained and in 2016 maintaining their Armed Forces at peak levels of combat readiness, ready for war at short notice as their Armed Forces are not hamstrung by bureaucratic lethargy, lackadaisical approaches to defence acquisitions and where utmost national priority is given to Armed Forces war-preparedness. Regrettably, in India the picture is just the opposite and in every war the Indian Armed Forces are forced to fight wars with whatever is available and not with the military wherewithal at optimum levels. There seems to be no attempt to make the Indian Defence Ministry “Accountable” for neglecting India’s war-preparedness.

    It was not that the Indian Armed Forces military hierarchy was not sounding alarm bells on this score but these alarm bells fell on deaf political ears obsessed with pursuance of China-appeasement and Pakistan-appeasement policies. The disturbing outcome of the above is that with even with the dynamic approach of the Modi Government to catching-up on India’s war-preparedness deficits, it would take at least ten years just to fill-in the voids, leave alone the induction of next generation of advanced military hardware

    The Indian Air Force will be required to play a major and crucial decisive role in ay ‘Two Front War’ foisted by the China-Pakistan Axis in terms of its Fighter Aircraft Squadrons. Against the government stipulated 42 fighter squadrons the Indian Air Force barely has 33 squadrons functional today. Successive outgoing Indian Air Chiefs have been sounding cautionary warnings in the last ten years but to no effect.

    Media reports of March 11, 2016 quoting the Indian Air Force Vice-Chief‘s ringing the alarm bells on this score make disturbing reading. Air Marshal R S Dhanoa remarked in a press conference that “Our numbers are not adequate to fully execute an air campaign in a two-front scenario. Probability of a two-front scenario is an appreciation that you need to do. But are the numbers adequate? No. The squadrons are winding down.” Even in the remaining 33squarons more than one- third is composed of vintage fighter aircraft.

    For years I have been recommending that the Indian Government should acquire these deficient squadrons in the ratio of at least three squadrons each from different sources like France, Russia and even the United States. India cannot afford the Indian Air Force to await the materialisation of ‘Make in India” fighter aircraft. That can be an add-on and supplementary step to meet deficiencies occurring in the next ten years. Till then a ‘fast-track’ acquisition is an inescapable imperative.

    The Indian Army’s Mountain Strike Corps should have been placed on a ‘Fast track’ path simply because the fully-raised Mountain Strike Corps adds immense ‘conventional deterrence’ on China and by extension on Pakistan. The present Government for reasons it knows best has planned for a phased completion of its establishment over the next couple of years

    Actually, with the China-Pakistan Axis a military reality, there is an urgent imperative for India to have two Mountain Strike Corps. India‘s war preparedness cannot be held hostage to financially wasteful social expenditures like MREGA etc. Similarly MPLAD grants to MPs should be frozen for a couple of years and those funds diverted for India’s two Mountain Strike Corps.

    The India Army voids in its equipment inventories stand highlighted in media reports and not being repeated here. But these also critically affect the operational effectiveness of the Indian Army in facing a two-front war.

    While the present Government is devoting focus on expansion of the Indian Navy but in terms of submarines we need to double our inventories in the next 3-5 years. As brought out in my recent book ‘China-India Military Confrontation: 21st Century Perspectives’ China can best be checkmated by India in the maritime expanses of the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.

    The only way India’s war-preparedness can be effectively managed is to delink defence acquisitions from the lethargic processes and indifferent obliviousness of the Indian Defence Ministry and place it directly under the Prime Minister’s control and directions assisted by a Minister of State for Defence Acquisitions.

    India’s private sector in collaboration with foreign entities must be given more salience and prominence in terms of indigenous defence production.

    In terms of challenges for the Modi Government in terms of India’s war preparedness the task is colossal. But so also colossal is the China-Pakistan Axis Threat to India’s national security which can be ill-ignored and nor can it be neutralised by Indian diplomacy or appeasement policies towards China and Pakistan. India’s enemies will not wait for India to complete the voids in India’s military hardware inventories, especially the Indian Air Force, before they plan any military misadventures.

    On the contrary, China and Pakistan are aware of the havoc that has been played by the ten years of abject neglect of India’s war preparedness by the previous Government. For both China and Pakistan, India’s current military vulnerabilities offer a window of opportunity to be exploited.

    Forestalling such an eventuality, Prime Minister Modi would require a deft interplay of geopolitical gamesmanship coupled with strong local military ripostes to probing provocations by China and Pakistan on the borders. Above all, the Indian Republic’s national security interests will be well-served if Indian political opposition parties do not politicise security issues and challenges.

    India should not shy away any longer from forging military alliances with like-minded democracies to confront the exponential rise of Chinese military power which threatens both Asian security and global stability.

    Concluding, it would be an under-statement to assert that overwhelming imperatives exist for India to build up the war-preparedness of the Indian Armed Forces at optimum levels to face the joint military threat of the China-Pakistan Axis.


    Brig GS Randhawa,VSM joins SANJHA MORCHA



    Brig GS Randhawa,VSM
    Commissioned in the Regt of Arty Dec 1975. Served in Army Avn in Siachen Glacier & NE .Graduate of DSSC & LDMC.

    Commanded an Army Avn Flt, Med Regt & Arty Bde in CI ops. Retd in 2011.





    सेना के खिलाफ कन्हैया के आरोप पर फारूक को एेतराज

     जम्मू, 10 मार्च (वार्ता)

    जम्मू-कश्मीर के पूर्व मुख्यमंत्री नेशनल कानफ्रेंस के अध्यक्ष फारूक अब्दुल्ला ने भारतीय सेना के खिलाफ जेएनयू छात्र संगठन के अध्यक्ष कन्हैया कुमार के आरोप पर ऐतराज जताते हुए कहा है कि सेना के खिलाफ बयानबाजी करने वालों पर कार्रवाई की जानी चाहिए। ऊधमपुर के दौरे पर आये डाॅ. अब्दुल्ला ने कन्हैया के आरोपों से जुड़े सवाल पर संवाददाताओं से कहा कि जो भी भारतीय सेना के खिलाफ बोलता है वह ठीक आदमी नहीं है।

    10 soldiers sacked for 2012 clash with officers at Leh

    A summary general court martial (SGCM) at the Western Command headquarters in Chandimandir has dismissed nine soldiers with four-year imprisonment and fired another with 18-month jail in a 2012 clash with officers at Nyoma near Leh in Jammu and Kashmir


     CHANDIGARH: A summary general court martial (SGCM) at the Western Command headquarters in Chandimandir has dismissed nine soldiers with four-year imprisonment and fired another with 18-month jail in a 2012 clash with officers at Nyoma near Leh in Jammu and Kashmir.

    In the court-martial proceedings that concluded on Wednesday night, nine soldiers — naik RK Sharma; lance naiks Devinder Singh and KR Jha; havildar Satish Kumar; and gunners Satinder Kumar, BB Katia, Srijit MV, Shibin K, and Sunil Kumar RK — were held guilty of destroying officers’ property under Section 55-A of the Army Act but not of mutiny under Section 37-A. Gunner MR Hansa, though also dismissed for destroying officers’ property, was given a shorter jail term because of smaller evidence against him. Capt Sanjay Chaudhary (retd) was prosecution counsel.

    In the May 12, 2012, clash over rape attempt on an officer’s wife, the soldiers of 226 Field Regiment had destroyed officers’ belongings such as clothes, camera, uniform, and television set. Commanding officer colonel Prasad Kadam had sustained five fractures in the vital parts of his body.

    The officers had to flee. The unit was then on field-firing exercise at Nyoma.

    After the clash, the officers involved had pleaded guilty and were let off with forfeiture of service, while the jawans faced trial. The court of inquiry had indicted more than 150 soldiers and four officers. For the assault on the officer’s wife, an officer’s sahayak named Suman Kumar was sentenced to 10-year imprisonment and dismissed from service.

    During the court martial at Chandimandir, captain Arun Balachandran identified the soldiers involved in the clash, which led to their conviction. Many senior officers, including former CO of the unit, had deposed.

    Awarded Vir Chakra twice, these officers continue to inspire

    PANCHKULA: At the silver jubilee function of The War Decorated India (TWDI) on Saturday, the city was lucky enough to host two livings legends of the Indian Air Force that have lived on to inspire an entire generation. Air Vice-Marshal (retd) Bhupindra Kumar Bishnoi (82) and wing commander (retd) Vinod Nebb (73) have the unique distinction of being awarded two Vir Chakra awards each for their role in 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan.

    Air vice-marshal Bhupindra Kumar Bishnoi ( retd), 82, is now based in Noida. In December 1971, he was a wing commander and in command of an operational fighter squadron of MiG 21 in the eastern sector.

    He led the first two bombing missions over Tezgaon airfield and destroyed a large transport aircraft. During one of these bombing missions, his aircraft was hit by a heavy shell and sustained severe damage.

    On December 14, 1971, he raided military targets in Dhaka and also led ten sorties against heavily-defended enemy positions in the Comilla Sector.

    “Attacks on the Governor’s House in Dhaka led to the governor’s resignation,” he said.


    In the 1965 Indo-Pak war, when the enemy ran short of ammunition in the Kasur re gion, squadron leader Bishnoi with a formation of four aircraft destroyed a train carrying ammunition at Raiwing railway station.

    The denial of supply was a major factor in causing the enemy to withdraw its armors.

    “In other offensive sorties, he destroyed or damaged at least ten enemy tanks and armoured vehicles. Although his aircraft was hit on three occasions, he pressed on with the attacks,” says the citation. On the JNU issue, Bishnoi said, “Contrived and superfluous definitions of nationalism are being given. It is creating confusion. You cannot give any connotation to nationalism.”


    Wing Commander Vinod Nebb, 73, is based in Gurgaon.

    On September 6, 1965, Nebb, then a flying officer, was detailed as number 2 in a section of two aircraft to carry out a standing patrol over Halwara airfield.

    Four Pakistani Sabre jets managed to sneak in and attacked the airfield.

    “Flying officer Neb, though still under training and lacking experience, attacked the enemy formation and shot down one Sabre,” said his citation.

    On 4 December, 1971, Nebb then a flying Lieutenant was number 3 of a formation of four aircraft on a mission to strike the airfield of Karmitova in the Dhaka complex. While the formation was near the target, it was intercepted by three sabres.

    Nebb engaged an enemy aircraft and shot it down. Thereafter, he saw another sabre and although he was low on fuel, he manoeuvered his aircraft.

    “He brought the aircraft safely to base in spite of engine trouble. Subsequently, he flew a number of ground strike missions in the Comilla sector. Along with his leader, he was responsible for destroying enemy bunkers and gun positions on hillocks overlooking our troops in Barkal, which enabled its capture,” the citation reads.

    Recently, for One Rank One Pension (OROP), Nebb was at the forefront of the agitation at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.

    “We didn’t respond like Jats. We are armed forces. We are nationalists and we are not destructive,” he said.

    Nebb had this take on the JNU issue, “It is a created one. You have made a leader for nothing. The controversy you ( the gover nment) did not deal with correctly is the OROP.”

    Ex-servicemen from Sujanpur to join protest

    Our Correspondent,Hamirpur, March 4

    Ex-servicemen from Sujanpur organised a meeting at the residence of Rajinder Rana, Vice-Chairman of the Disaster Management Authority, yesterday.It was learnt that over 100 ex-servicemen had decided to join a protest being organised at Dharmasala if the match venue between India and Pakistan was not changed.Rajinder Rana said a delegation of one hundred ex-servicemen came to meet him. They demanded the cancellation of India-Pakistan match to be held on March 19.Sources said the ex-servicemen had urged Rana to convey their feelings to the Chief Minister.Rana said HPCA president Anurag Thakur should also reconsider the decision and change the venue.He said it was surprising that the BCCI and HPCA were not considering the sentiments of soldiers and their family members.

    Arun meets martyr’s kin, seeks support for match

    Lalit Mohan,Tribune News Service,Dharamsala, March 4

    Arun Dhumal, younger brother of HPCA president and BCCI honorary secretary Anurag Thakur today met the family of martyr, Sanjeevan Rana. He met the wife of Sanjeevan Rana, Pinki Rana at her residence near Shahpur.The sources here, however, said the visit failed to cut ice with the family of the martyr over the issue of hosting the India-Pakistan cricket match at Dharamsala on March 19.When The Tribune team contacted Pinki Rana she said that Arun Dhumal did not talk directly about the match and maintained that he had come to convey his condolences. He, however, tried to explain that the dates of the India-Pakistan match had been finalized in advance and the venue cannot be changed now.“We are against the holding of match at Dharamsala. I have lost my husband who laid down his life for the country fighting Pak-sponsored terrorists just two months ago. I cannot tolerate Pakistan Zindabad slogans in the vicinity of house in such conditions,” Pinki Rana said.Pinki Rana further said, “Though we are against the match, I do not think the venue would be shifted from Dharamsala. Nobody values our opinion. Though the Chief Minister has said that the match should not be played at Dharamsala, he will not be able to stop it.”“Pakistan had never shown any eagerness to talk to India. It is India leaders who go after Pakistan seeking holding of talks. Whenever, Indian leaders take the initiate with Pakistan there is attack by terrorists and our soldiers have to lay down their lives to save the country”, she said.Arun Dhumal’s visit to the family is seen as a late effort to placate the hurt feeling of ex-servicemen.Members of strong Gorkha community also carried out a march in Dharamsala today to protest against the hosting of India-Pakistan match at Dharamsala. Gorkha community, most of whom are ex-servicemen, said that feelings of the families of martyrs should be respected and the match should not be held at Dharamsala.The sources here said the HPCA was resorting to intense lobbying to soften the opposition stand on the match. Senior officials of cricket body and their supporters have met Congress leaders who have announced their support for the agitation against the match.During his recent meeting with Anurag Thakur, the Chief Minister had clearly stated that though he was not against the match, the state would not use force against the families of martyrs protesting against the match.

    Match an insult to martyrs’ families: Youth Cong chief

    Tribune News Service,Shimla, March 4

    The Youth Congress today joined the chorus against the match as its state president Vikramaditya Singh said the match was an insult to the families of the martyrs.“The Youth Congress is against any engagement with Pakistan till the time the country stops supporting terror activities. We will oppose the match,” said Vikramaditya who also the son of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.He termed the meeting of HPCA president and BJP MP Anurag Thakur with Virbhadra Singh as a mere political stunt and requested the government to continue to oppose the match as a mark of respect to the martyrs and their families.“Holding of the match is purely a commercial activity and it will not have any impact on diplomatic ties between the two countries as is being projected by the BJP leaders,” he said.He added that if the match was not cancelled by the HPCA, his party, along with the families of the martyrs would take out a protest march from their houses to the Dharamsala stadium.He said the HP Youth Congress was against any kind of sporting engagement with Pakistan.“As per our resolution adopted during the HP Youth Congress Executive Committee meeting, we will continue to oppose the match,” he said.He demanded that the match should be cancelled, keeping in view the sentiments and feelings of the families of the martyred soldiers and the anger of the general public.