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    Salaries, pensions up 23 % Not enough, say workers’ unions, call for nationwide strike next week

    Girja Shankar Kaura

    Tribune News Service

    New Delhi, June 29

    The Centre today approved recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission on pay and pension which will boost consumption and economy by putting extra disposable income in the hands of the 47 lakh Central Government employees and 53 lakh pensioners.The decision to implement the recommendations, including 23.5 per cent  hike in pay and pension, was taken at a meeting chaired by PM Narendra Modi. Briefing the media, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Cabinet, however, deferred the revision of allowances. Calling the hike “inadequate”, workers’ unions have decided to start protests from next week.A panel headed by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa would look into the pay panel recommendations in that regard as there was resentment among employees over the suggestions to scrap four allowances. Till then, existing allowances would continue.In January, the government set up a panel headed by Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha to process pay panel recommendations. The commission had recommended a 23.5 per cent increase in pay, pension and allowances under a “business as usual” scenario. It envisaged a hike of Rs 39,100 crore in the pay bill, Rs 29,300 crore in allowances and Rs 33,700 crore in pension, taking the total financial impact for 2016-17 to Rs 1.02 lakh crore.With allowances deferred, the burden on the exchequer would be Rs 72,800 crore on account of salaries and pension and over Rs 12,000 crore on account of arrears, aggregating to Rs 84,933 crore.Of this, Rs 60,608 crore would come from the General Budget and Rs 24,325 crore from the Railway Budget.The recommendations will be effective from January 1, 2016. The Finance Minister said, “The employees had to wait for 19 months for the implementation of the 5th Pay Commission and for 32 months in case of the 6th Pay Commission. This time, the 7th Pay Commission recommendations are being implemented within six months from the due date.”The Cabinet also decided that pay and pension arrears would be paid in the current financial year (2016-17) itself, unlike in the past when parts of arrears were paid during the next financial year.The minimum pay has been raised from Rs 7,000 to Rs 18,000 per month, while the maximum pay has been capped at Rs 2.5 lakh per month. The starting salary of a newly recruited employee at the lowest level will now be Rs 18,000, while it will be Rs 56,100 for a freshly recruited Class I officer. This reflects a compression ratio of 1:3.12 signifying that pay of a Class I officer on direct recruitment will be three times the pay of an entrant at lowest level. For the purpose of revision of pay and pension, a fitment factor of 2.57 will be applied across all levels in the pay matrices. The maximum pay is set at Rs 2.25 lakh per month for apex scale and Rs 2.5 lakh per month for Cabinet Secretary and others at the same pay level (as against the current Rs 90,000 per month).The report had recommended replacing the present system of pay bands and grade pay with a new pay matrix. Separate pay matrices have been drawn up for civilians, defence personnel and Military Nursing Service. The principle and rationale behind these matrices are the same.The Cabinet approved further improvements in “defence pay matrix” by enhancing “index of rationalisation” for brigadiers and providing for additional stages for Lt colonels, colonels and brigadiers to bring parity with their Combined Armed Police Forces counterparts. The lump sum ex gratia payable in respect of civil and defence personnel has been enhanced from Rs 10-20 lakh to Rs 25-45 lakh. The rate of Military Service Pay has been revised from Rs 1,000, 2,000, 4,200 and 6,000 to Rs 3,600, 5,200, 10,800 and 15,500, for defence personnel.

    Govt okays 7th pay commission report1 cr Central govt staff and pensioners to benefitRs 18,000 minimum pay, up from Rs 7,000; maximum hiked from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2.5 lakhRs 84,933 cr additional burden on the exchequer for 2016-17; this includes arrears for 6 months  

    • For a freshly recruited Class I officer, pay will be Rs 56,100
    • Gratuity ceiling up from Rs 10 to Rs 20 lakh, will increase by 25% whenever DA rises by 50%
    • The hike to be implemented  from January 1, 2016
    • Increment rate retained at 3%
    • Present system of pay bands and grade pay done away with
    • Status of an employee, hitherto determined by grade pay, will now be determined by the level in pay matrix
    • Separate pay matrices drawn up for civilians, defence personnel and for Military Nursing Service
    • Further improvements in the Defence Pay Matrix approved by enhancing Index of rationalisation for Level 13A (brigadier) and providing for additional stages in Level 12A (Lt colonel), 13 (colonel) to bring parity with Combined Armed Police Forces counterparts
    • Ceiling on House Building Advance to be raised from Rs 7.50 lakh to Rs 25 lakh

    RSS affiliate Mazdoor Sangh unhappy too

    • New Delhi/Chennai: The Confederation of Central Government Employees on Wednesday rejected the pay hike announced by the government and threatened to go on a strike next week, a decision which got support from the central trade unions. The confederation said the pay hike approved by the Cabinet on the 7th Central Pay Commission’s recommendations was “not acceptable”. RSS affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) and other trade unions also rejected the hike, saying this was the lowest increase in the past 70 years that would increase disparity between the minimum and maximum pay. agencies



    Ex-servicemen burn Pak national flag

    Ex-servicemen burn Pak national flag
    Ex-servicemen burn the national flag of Pakistan in Ambala on Monday.TRIBUNE PHOTO

    Ambala, June 27

    Ex-servicemen under the banner of the Ex-servicemen Welfare Committee, Ambala, today held a demonstration and burnt the national flag of Pakistan to mark their protest against the attack on a CRPF convoy in which eight security personnel were killed in Pampore.Subedar Attar Singh Multani, president of the committee, said, “For how long do we keep mourning our soldiers? We request PM Narendra Modi to take the right decision and direct the Indian forces to attack all militant camps being run in Pakistan.” — TNS

    India’s fiasco at the NSG Simran Sodhi

    We owe it to ourselves to take a hard look at the way we conducted ourselves, diplomatically and politically in this entire NSG saga. We have ended up looking rather indigenous, a little immature and a bit desperate to grab things. What about some quiet diplomacy

    India’s fiasco at the NSG
    PM Narendra Modi with Chinese President XI Jinping in Tashkent:China was not the only nation that stalled India’s NSG bid. PTI

    THANK heavens for Brexit. It helped take some attention off the fiasco in Seoul where India’s desperate bid to get into the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) suffered a rejection. What makes it even more embarrassing for the government is that this is a twin failure. First, a rebuff at the diplomatic level, where despite the Foreign Secretary rushing off to Seoul failed to save the mission; and, second, a substantive failure at the political level where the Prime Minister received a royal Chinese snub. The double rebuff was totally avoidable.  India’s desire to get into the NSG is understandable but what puzzles an observer is the hype that was created around it. Any oldtimer would have told the Modi establishment; do the smart diplomatic homework before shouting about it from the rooftops. Politically, one wonders who advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi to invest his personal prestige to the extent of himself raising the issue with the Chinese President. A smart diplomat and an astute politician should know that the Prime Minister steps in only to seal a deal, not to make requests. In the case of the NSG fiasco, India messed up at both the fronts and pretty badly.It makes no sense to now make a case that it was “one country” that repeatedly raised procedural issues and thwarted India’s bid. China, to its credit, was very public in its opposition to India’s entry. In the runup to the NSG plenary meeting in Seoul on June 23-24, China repeatedly issued statements that made it amply clear that it was in no mood to let India into the elite nuclear club. India had its work cut out —  and that was to talk and convince China. From President Pranab Mukherjee travelling to China last month, to the Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar making a below-the-radar visit to Beijing just two weeks before the NSG session, India tried convincing China — and failed. The failure to convince China should have made the Foreign Ministry more cautious about going so public about its NSG bid. Again, this failure should have alerted the top bosses in the Foreign Ministry not to advise the Prime Minister to raise the stakes by taking up matter with the Chinese President when they met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Tashkent. To any observer of foreign policy, it remains a puzzling scenario as to who advised Prime Minister Modi to then raise this issue with President Xi Jinping. Did someone really think that China would reverse its decision just because the request was being made by India at the highest level? Surely, no one could have been that naïve not even in this national security establishment. Maybe it was a political decision to hype the NSG berth and for Modi to raise the issue with Xi Jinping himself. After all the headlines would have been awfully good if the Prime Minister’s request had been accepted by the Chinese leader. It makes one wonder who is doing all this fantastical thinking in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the Prime Minister’s Office. Is it the Foreign Office which misled the Prime Minister in thinking that India’s NSG berth would give him the same kind of historical legacy as the Indo-US civil nuclear deal in 2008 gave former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh? Or was it a political push to the Foreign Office to deliver, to make this desperate bid so that a political historical “event” could be created? Whoever might be at fault, one thing that has emerged crystal clear from the NSG fiasco is that many of the top officials — bureaucrats and politicians — in this government are yet to grasp the brutal realities of geopolitics. If legacies were this easy to create, well, our history books would be way thicker. But both past and current history teaches us one valuable lesson — which was conveniently forgotten this time around — do the groundwork, be sure of the outcomes, before going public with it. Also, somewhere let us not be parsimonious with facts. China was not alone. Turkey, New Zealand, Brazil and even Switzerland raised their objections in Seoul. Now Switzerland is another blot here. Modi travelled all the way to Switzerland, again made a public spectacle of the Prime Minister requesting the Swiss leadership for support for a berth in the NSG. The Swiss “agreed”, a diplomatic feather was added to the Prime Minister’s hat and everyone went ga ga over how India and the Prime Minister is winning the world over. Cut short to Seoul, a few weeks later, and the Swiss don’t seem to be supporting India. Again,  should we not be asking some tough questions of the people who were leading the charge. China, yes, is uncomfortable with India’s rise and wants to always hyphenate us with Pakistan and hence no support. We always knew that, but “pray” what happened to the Swiss? Someone should be doing a lot of explaining here. Even Turkey took a “principled” stand and said that India and Pakistan’s applications be considered simultaneously. The world knows about Pakistan’s proliferation record and no one needs a re-introduction to A Q Khan, but didn’t India realise that “right” arguments do not always convince the other? We owe it to ourselves to take a hard look at the way we conducted ourselves, diplomatically and politically in this entire NSG saga. We have ended up looking rather inelegant, a little immature and a bit desperate to grab things. And as India moves into the next round of negotiations for NSG or other “clubs”, a bit more grace and quiet diplomacy should be the preferred norm.


    Dhillon promoted as Air Marshal

    Dhillon promoted as Air Marshal
    Air Marshal Navkaranjit Singh Dhillon

    Tribune News Service

    Amritsar, June 23

    A decorated officer of the Indian Air Force, Navkaranjit Singh Dhillon, has been promoted as Air Marshal. He joined as Air Marshal on June 5.It is a proud moment for the holy city in particular. Born on January 2, 1961, Dhillon was brought up in Dhand village, near Amritsar. Now, his family is residing at Ranjit Avenue in Amritsar.Air Marshall Dhillon is an alumnus of St Francis School, Amritsar; Sainik School, Kapurthala; and Khalsa College, Amritsar. He is a graduate of National Defence Academy, Defence Service Staff College and National Defence College.Air Marshall Dhillon was awarded the Ati Vishisht Sewa Medal by the President of India in 2014 for his distinguished service.Dhillon joined Indian Air Force as fighter pilot in 1981. He has a total 3,700 flying hrs to his credit of which 3,100 hrs are exclusively for flying MIG 21.Air Marshal Dhillon was the topper of the fighter strike leader course at Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE). Later, he served as directing staff at the TACDE in the capacity of head of the Training and Deputy Commandant. He has commanded a MIG-21 squadron and has been the chief operations officers of a premier flying base.He also commanded a helicopter base in DR Congo as part of UN Peace Keeping Mission. Dhillon served as Principal, Director Air Defence, and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (inspection) at Air Headquarters.Dhillon comes from the family, who has been rendering its services for the country for the last five decades. Dhillon acknowledges contributions of his father, Advocate Khazan Singh Dhillon, and mother Balbir Kaur Dhillon. His elder brother Prof Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, an economist, is currently the registrar of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, His younger brother Preetinder Singh Dhillon is a business professional.

    Parrikar likely to approve purchase of artillery guns

    Ajay Banerjee

    Tribune News Service

    New Delhi, June 23

    In what will be the first major weapon purchase aimed at bolstering the upcoming Mountain Strike Corps of the Army, the Ministry of Defence is expected to approve the purchase of 145 artillery guns specially meant for deployment in the Himalayas.The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, is scheduled to meet on Saturday to take a final call on the purchase of the 155mm M777 ultra-light howitzer (ULH). It will also decide on new warships carrying deadly missiles. It will also discuss the issue of having the ‘midget’ submarines used for special operations under the sea.The cost negotiation with BAE Systems for the supply of 145 guns is complete and the deal is expected to be signed at price between $725 million and $740 million. This will be the main ground-based weapon for the Mountain Strike Corps. The BAE has further tied up with Mahindra to make 50 per cent of the guns in India.BAE Systems will be asked to start deliveries within six months after signing the contract. In May last year, the DAC had approved the purchase of the ULH, which was originally proposed in 2008. Made of titanium, each gun weighs 4,000 kg, making it transportable by CH-47 Chinook helicopters, C-17 Globemaster and the C-130 Hercules aircraft or by trucks to ensure increased mobility in the mountains.In case of the warships, the Navy will be setting six missile carrying vessels that will replace the 1980’s design Soviet-era ships of this type. These will carry the BrahMos, surface-to-air missiles, medium-range guns, and close-in weapons systems. It will cost Rs 13,000 crore (approx).Also, the DAC will approve the installation of the 300-km range BrahMos missile on six warships, three of the Delhi class and three of the Talwar class. It will cost Rs 2,700 crore.The DAC will also decide on buying 44,000 automatic hand-held carbines for the Army. An Israeli company has emerged as the top bidder following trials.

    DAC meet tomorrow

    • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, is scheduled to meet on Saturday to decide on purchase of the 155mm M777 ultra-light howitzer and 44,000 automatic hand-held carbines, and installation of the 300-km range BrahMos missile on six warships.

    Rohtak lad Adarsh Hooda commissioned as flying officer

    ROHTAK: City lad Adarsh Hooda has been awarded with President’s Plaque and the Chief of the Air Staff ‘Sword of Honour’ for bagging first position in the pilot course.

    HT PHOTOFlying officer Adarsh Hooda with his parents at the Air Force Academy in Hyderabad.

    Defence minister Manohar Parrikar presented the award to Hooda during the Combined Graduation Parade at Air Force Academy, Dundigal in Hyderabad on June 18.

    Rohtak native Hooda did his schooling from Pathania Public School. Always wanting to join the Indian Air Force, Hooda tried his luck in NDA after Class 12, but couldn’t pass the SSB. He went on to pursue BSc in chemistry honours from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University, and then a Masters in Chemistry from Hindu College.

    Talking to HT, Hooda said, “Since childhood I wanted to join the Air Force. So after my masters, I took the Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT) in 2014. I joined the Air Force Academy in January, 2015, and was now commissioned as a flying officer.”

    “The whole journey was challenging. It requires a lot of motivation and positive attitude, for which I’m grateful to my batchmates and instructors,” he added.

    An All India university-level basketball player, Hooda represented Delhi University’s basketball team as captain in 2013. In his free time, he likes to paint and recite poetry.

    The many shades of violence::::::Lt Gen (retd) Syed Ata Hasnain

    Despite the influence of radical Islam and the antipathy of the Kashmiri youth towards everything Indian, a positive that remains is that radical religious fervour has not travelled the full distance. It is existent, yet is different from that of the Taliban, TTP or Daesh variety.

    The many shades of violence
    Sub-conventional conlict: Security personnel after an encounter with militants, at Raj Bagh Police station in Jammu. Low-intensity conflict is peculiar to regions. PTI

    A recent media report revealed that a Jaish-e-Mohammad “suicide bomber” has been apprehended in Baramula in Jammu and Kashmir. In the 26 years of violence in Jammu and Kashmir, suicide bombing has been a rarity.  I do recall that we had one or perhaps two attempts at suicide bombing at the Batwara gate of Badami Bagh Cantonment, Srinagar. In one such event in 2001, a young Kashmiri student studying abroad blew himself up in a Maruti 800 while attempting to ram the double-gate security system.There is much difference between a “suicide bomber” and a “suicide attacker”. Most people confuse the two and treat them as synonymous. A suicide bomber comes strapped with explosives or drives a vehicle laden with explosives to take on a specific target or a gathering and cause maximum casualties. The suicide attacker is one who is armed to the teeth, takes hostages but isn’t wired and geared to blow himself. He targets individuals and groups at random and is prepared to die in the response of the security forces (SF), without making any serious effort to escape. The regretful assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was a rare case of suicide bombing in India. The kind of security measures you need to take against threats of that kind can actually paralyse societies. Ask the Pakistanis, Afghans and Iraqis; no one knows better than them. India has been fortunate in this regard despite a clutch of internal security threats. It is the Improvised Explosive Device or IED which has been the usual weapon here, for many years.The IED was truly introduced as a military weapon in our context by the LTTE in Sri Lanka in 1987. Our troops used to the conventional anti-personal mines thought that we could use detection methods to unearth the IEDs and mines but the LTTE’s Johnny mine, was virtually non-detectable. The LTTE employed more IEDs than mines. Those were the days when remote control and mobile- initiated IEDs had not come into being. When I mentioned the role of IEDs in military operations at a talk to the US Marines in Hawaii in 2000, I received blank stares. Two years later, the Marines were battling IEDs in Afghanistan and then in Iraq. The Hollywood film Hurt Locker captured the threat of IEDs most graphically. The US came up with various counter-IED concepts but could never achieve supremacy over the car bomb in particular.India has been free from car bombs quite unlike our neighbours, Pakistan and to an extent even Sri Lanka. There is hardly a counter measure available against them and methods of prior detection or controlled detonation haven’t fully succeeded. The last time a major car-bomb incident took place was in 2004, when an Army bus was targeted by terrorists near Pattan using  a Maruti wired and laden with explosives. It only killed the driver. Another attempt at Udhampur in 2011 did not succeed. The last time a major IED was successfully detonated in Kashmir was on July 20, 2008, on the Srinagar-Baramula highway. Nine brave Army soldiers travelling home were killed. Does seven years of absence of such terror activity indicate a transformation of conflict?Conflict undergoes transformation for various reasons. Among them is the availability of resources, both human and material. Good intelligence ensured targeting of “IED doctors” who are essential for the fabrication of IEDs. There is no dearth of explosive available within Kashmir, mostly for quarrying and none of it is under security control; detonators are also available but it was the cleaning out of IED doctors which did the trick. IEDs in Manipur still appear to be more frequent, particularly on rural roads but in Naxal areas the frequency is even higher.One of the ways of preventing IED attacks is to minimise movement. The security forces in Naxal areas need to open roads just once or maximum twice a month with all light logistics maintenance being done by helicopters. This was the model the Indian Army adopted in Sri Lanka. It dramatically reduced IED incidents and, therefore, casualties. The CRPF badly needs aviation support which can enable this.Focusing on suicide attacks, often referred to as Fidayeen attacks, we can see that  1999-2003 was the period in Jammu and Kashmir when these were at the highest pitch. Very few locals were ever involved. These terrorists were sometimes death-row convicts from Pakistani jails and even a few HIV patients motivated for the afterlife.  Against these, a high level of alert and physical security measures were required which forced out-of-proportion deployment. We have not seen too many of these type of attacks in the North-East or the Naxal areas, where it is usually ambushes on which insurgents depend.In 1999, almost in conjunction with the operations in Kargil, there was a sudden surge in these sneak suicide attacks against military garrisons. It was a phase immediately after the virtual drying up of the presence of foreign (other than Pakistani) terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. The security forces had to expend much of their budgets to raise masonry walls and wire obstacles, besides establishing double gates and execution of domination of their perimeters. Suicide attacks of the 26/11 variety are similar operations on a larger scale. Attempts to infiltrate the Srinagar airport in November 2000 and the recent events at Pathankot are also examples at varying levels. In today’s environment, the vulnerability of North Punjab and the Jammu-Kathua sector is higher for such suicide attacks because of the ease of infiltration and availability of potential high-value targets in the vicinity of the border. Pakistan-based terror groups, backed by ISI, have a supply chain of potential suicide attackers and even bombers, psyched and motivated with religious fervour. Currently in Kashmir it isn’t easy to carry out such attacks, unless it is by home- grown renegades. Despite the influence of radical Islam and the antipathy of the Kashmiri youth towards everything Indian, a positive that remains is that radical religious fervour has not travelled the full distance. It is existent, yet is different from the Taliban, TTP or Daesh variety. Which is why, the hope holds out that given suitable psychological conditioning and a positive outreach the situation can still be recovered. The recently experienced tactics of mob-based obstruction of Army and Police at encounter sites in Kashmir is considered by some as virtual suicide tactics. This is rare in the sheer volume of turnout but not something unseen in other areas where there is low-intensity conflict. It is a dangerous trend which is emboldening resistance, just as stone throwing did in 2008-10. The intent of separatists here is to showcase the David-and-Goliath effect to the Rights’ community; picked up from Palestinian Intifada but taken beyond. Sub-conventional violence is a subset of hybrid and asymmetric warfare. It is peculiar to regions and communities and the dynamics need detailed study by security experts and psychologists to determine counter-narratives which will work against them. There is no all-in-one formula to counter such violence, least of all the use of unbridled counter-violence, especially after stabilisation




    The writer, a former General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps, is now a Fellow with the Delhi Policy Group.

    China resolute on norms for NSG berth

    Simran Sodhi
    Tribune News Service
    New Delhi, June 21
    The signals coming from China today on India’s Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership pointed in two directions. One, that China wants to keep the emphasis on the criterion and on non-NPT members joining the elite group as a whole. Two, it wants to club India’s membership with that of Pakistan, absolving Islamabad of its role in the controversial AQ Khan affair.
    Meanwhile, the US today reiterated its support for India’s membership. China hit back, pointing out that ‘the US is one of those who made the rule that non-NPT countries should not join the NSG.” For India, which has rushed its top officials from the Ministry of External Affairs to Seoul, the stakes are extremely high now.

    The Chinese Foreign Ministry has asked the 48-member group to “stay focused” on whether the criteria should be changed. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, talking to Indian mediapersons, said while discussions were on among the NSG members, the admission of new members was not listed in the current plenary meeting at Seoul.
    “The door is open. The room is there. We never said we are against a country. We did not target any country, India or Pakistan,” she said. On the US backing India’s NSG bid, Hua said, “We care about rules. The US sets the rules.This is not an issue between China and India but (about) the pillar for the non-proliferation system,” she said.
    The state-run Global Times wrote: “ While India strives for NSG inclusion, it prevents Pakistan from joining by insisting on the latter’s bad record of nuclear proliferation.” Blaming AQ Khan for the nuclear proliferation, the paper said that “illegal proliferation is not an official policy of the Pakistan Government.”

    We’ve blocked India’s bid: Pak

    • Islamabad: Pakistan has “successfully” blocked India’s bid to gain membership of the NSG, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told the Pakistan parliament on Tuesday. Pakistan had a strong case to gain NSG membership on merit, Aziz said in a statement. “We have been making successful efforts against India’s NSG membership,” he said, ahead of the key meeting of the NSG this week in Seou

    The day Sam kissed a girl CL Dhamija

    THE greatest post-Independence victory in Bangladesh against Pakistan was still fresh in our minds when Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was invited by DAV College, Chandigarh, to preside over its annual function in 1973. As part of the teaching faculty, I was on the organising committee.Three days before the function, rehearsals began to accord him a hero’s welcome. Enthused, the Chandigarh Administration and the local armed forces took part in the exercise, including planning for a big escort of officers, motorcyclists and jeeps to get the chief guest from the airport to the college. The route was kept clear for the occasion. But just a day before the function, the news came in of his ‘famous’ interview in which he was asked about his decision to stay in India at the time of the Partition. With a mischievous glint in his eyes, the reporter asked: “What would have happened, sir, if you had gone to Pakistan?” Sam rose to the occasion and responsed: “India would have lost the war!”The bureaucracy did not appreciate this wit; the Chandigarh Administration did not participate in the function and the Government of India almost forgot about him. Even though Manekshaw confessed later that it was a bad joke, the remark remained in the memory of our sensitive politicians, and they failed to pay an appropriate tribute at the time of his death.With another colleague, I did a lot of research on the background, life and work of Manekshaw to prepare a draft of the citation that was to be presented to him by Justice Tek Chand, president of the managing committee of the college. In the draft, I referred to his daughters who were named after drinks! Since Justice Tek Chand was a prohibitionist, he ignored the reference while reading out the address. In his response, Manekshaw said: “To complete the record, the name of my daughters are…” He spelt out their names, much to the amusement of the audience. The next day, he went to MCM DAV College for Women to preside over the annual function. He presented awards to students and when the best NCC cadet came up to receive the award, she saluted him. He bent down and said: “You deserve this.” He kissed her on the cheek! This is in confirmation of Gen VP Malik’s reference to Manekshaw’s chivalry and romantic admiration of women. Of course, this sent out a wave of protest by some sections of society, but Manekshaw was a brave, loving, and warm-hearted hero of the country. His memory will never fade away, despite the humourless politicians and petty officials.

    Lt Gen Nimbhorkar: Army ready to face any challenge

    Lt Gen Nimbhorkar: Army ready to face any challenge
    A security core group meeting in progress at Nagrota on Tuesday. A Tribune Photo

    Tribune News Service

    Jammu, June 14

    Close on the heels of an encounter at Kud on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway on Monday evening, security scenario was today reviewed at headquarters of White Knight Corps at Nagrota near here.Security forces took stock of prevailing situation south of Pir Panjal in the 10 districts of Jammu region.This year’s Amarnath Yatra is scheduled to begin from July 2.The security core group meeting was co-chaired by White Knight Corps General Officer in Commanding (GOC) Lieutenant General RR Nimbhorkar, Director General Police (J&K) K Rajendra Kumar, ADGP (CID) SM Sahai, CRPF Inspector General (Jammu Zone) Rakesh Sethi, IGP (Jammu zone) Danish Rana amongst other top officials of the Army, police, security and intelligence agencies.A joint strategy was chalked out in a great detail between all agencies to ensure peace and stability in the region and ensure incident-free environment.The DGP appreciated the role of all security forces in maintaining peace and harmony in the region.He emphasised the need for maintaining high level of alertness to beat designs of inimical elements and exhorted all present to continue with synergy and coordination at a functional level to ensure peaceful atmosphere.Lt Gen Nimbhorkar said that the Army and its various formations deployed south of Pir Panjal have been proactively and aggressively dominating the Line of Control (LoC) and the hinterland thereby assuring a peaceful and secure environment in the area.He further stated that the Army was ready to face any challenge that may emerge in the future and was ready to counter it with all its might.Appreciating high synergy in operations exhibited by agencies in recent times, he encouraged all present to overcome contemporary challenges and work towards enhancing confidence amongst the people.He further emphasised the requirement to be vigilant, alive and responsive to the developing situation and maintain peace and ensure a peaceful and conducive environment.

    Security core group meets

    • Security core group holds meeting at at the White Knight Corps headquarters at Nagrota
    • DGP lays stress on optimum alertness and coordination at a functional level to ensure peaceful atmosphere
    • Lt Gen Nimbhorkar says the Army has been proactively and aggressively dominating the LoC and hinterland