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    Naval Academy passout honoured

    Tribune News Service

    Amritsar, June 11

    Baba Sewa Singh Kar Sewa Wale of Khadoor Sahib honoured Kirpa Singh, a student of one of the educational institutes run by their sect on completion of his course as Assistant Commandant in Indian Coast Guard here today.Kirpa, a resident of village near Khadoor Sahib, cleared the exam for entry into Indian Coast Guard recently. He was studying at a college run by Baba Sewa Singh.While congratulating Kirpa Singh for his achievement, Baba Sewa Singh said he was a role model for other children in this rural belt.“Kirpa Singh is one of the very few children from this area, who despite lack of educational opportunities, has managed to find a place for himself. We hope that other students will be inspired by his achievement,” he said.College Principal, Dr Surinder Bangar, said Kirpa had completed his training at Indian Naval Academy, Kerala, recently. He said educational institutions run under the Kar Sewa prepare rural children for various competitive exams. He said the sect had started an institute to prepare students for civil services examinations recently.


    Malabar Exercise kicks off close to South China Sea

    Malabar Exercise kicks off close to South China Sea
    File photo of Chinese vessels around Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands of the South China Sea. —Reuters

    New Delhi, June 10

    India, Japan and the US on Friday kicked off their marine war games, ‘Malabar Exercise’, near the troubled waters of the East China Sea that will see in action over 100 aircraft and 22 naval ships, including a nuclear submarine.

    The exercise assumes significance as it is being conducted close to the East China Sea at a time when Chinese assertiveness in the region is a raging issue.

    It aims to achieve deeper military ties and greater interoperability amid rising tensions in the region.

    The exercise is being held close to the uninhabited isles in the East China Sea called Senkaku by Japan, which controls them. However, they are aggressively claimed by China as its Diaoyu islands.

    The Indian Navy said that their four ships are participating in the 20th edition of the naval exercise in consonance with India’s ‘Act East Policy’ and growing ties among the three countries.

    The exercise will support maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region and benefit the global maritime community, the navy said.

    India and the US have regularly conducted the annual exercise since 1992. Since 2007, Malabar has been held alternatively off India and in the Western Pacific. Last year, it was conducted off Chennai and included participation of Japan.

    While the harbour phase of the exercise started today at Sasebo, the sea phase in the Pacific Ocean will be held from June 14 to 17.

    Indian ships participating in the exercise are from the Eastern Fleet and include INS Sahyadri and INS Satpura, indigenously built guided missile stealth frigates, INS Shakti, a modern fleet tanker and support ship, and INS Kirch, an indigenous guided missile corvette.

    The US Navy will be represented by aircraft carrier USS John C Stennis (CVN 74), that holds 90 fighter aircraft and helicopters besides Ticonderoga class Cruiser USS Mobile Bay and Arleigh Burke class destroyers USS Stockdale and USS Chung Hoon, all carrying helicopters.

    In addition, one nuclear-powered submarine, carrier wing aircraft and long-range maritime patrol aircraft will also participate in the exercise.

    Japan will be represented by Hyuga, a helicopter carrier with SH 60 K integral choppers and long-range maritime patrol aircraft, besides 9 other advanced warships for specific parts of the exercise.

    Additionally, the Special Forces (SF) of the three navies will also interact during the exercise. — PTI


    ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi injured in air strike, say reports

    ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi injured in air strike, say reports
    Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

    London, June 10

    Islamic State’s dreaded chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been wounded in an air strike by coalition forces on one of the outfit’s command headquarters close to the Syrian border in Iraq, media reports said on Friday.

    Iraqi news channel Al Sumariya TV claimed local sources in Iraq’s Nineveh province had confirmed that Baghdadi and other leaders in the Islamist group were wounded yesterday in the coalition bombing raid.

    “The planes of the international coalition yesterday bombed a location where there is a base of Isis members along the border area between Iraq and Syria, 65 kilometres west of Nineveh,” Express UK quoted an Iraqi source as saying.

    According to reports, Baghdadi was injured along with some members of the organisation who were gathered at that meeting.

    “The attack was carried out on the basis of precise intelligence information that led to strike its own that site,” the paper quoted the source as saying.

    The area is one of the group’s strongholds, the source said, adding that “Baghdadi and the other ISIS leaders arrived in Iraq from Syria with a convoy of cars”.

    A spokesman for the US-led coalition said that he had seen the reports but had “nothing to confirm this at this time”, the report said.

    In recent years there have been a number of reports of Baghdadi’s injury, and even death, but none have been confirmed.

    Baghdadi was seriously wounded by an airstrike on March 18, 2015, that killed the three other men he was travelling with. He was said to be receiving treatment for spinal injuries after being wounded in that strike.

    The injury left the terror chief incapacitated, with some claiming at the time that his injuries meant he would never again resume command.

    In 2011 the US State Department named Baghdadi as a terrorist and offered up to USD 10 million for information leading to his capture or death.

    Baghdadi became the leader of the militant group in 2010 but it was only in 2014 that ISIS declared the establishment of a “caliphate” – a successor of past Islamic empires – in its territory in Syria and Iraq. — PTI


    Not without Pak, China builds wall Most NSG members positive to India entry; Beijing spoiler

    Not without Pak, China builds wall
    Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto drives Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a restaurant in Mexico City on Wednesday. PTI

    Vienna, June 9

    China is leading opposition to a push by the United States and other major powers for India to join the main club of countries controlling access to sensitive nuclear technology, diplomats said on Thursday as the group discussed India’s membership bid.Other countries opposing Indian membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) include New Zealand, Ireland, Turkey, South Africa and Austria, diplomats said.The 48-nation NSG aims to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons by restricting the sale of items that can be used to make those arms.India already enjoys most of the benefits of membership under a 2008 exemption to NSG rules granted to support its nuclear cooperation deal with Washington, even though India has developed atomic weapons and never signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the main global arms control pact.Opponents argue that granting it membership would further undermine efforts to prevent proliferation. It would also infuriate Pakistan, which responded to India’s membership bid with one of its own and has the backing of close ally China.“Bringing India on board is a slap on the face of the entire non-proliferation regime,” a diplomatic source from one of a handful of countries resisting India’s push said on condition of anonymity.A decision on the Indian membership is not expected before an NSG plenary meeting in Seoul on June 20, but diplomats said Washington had been pressuring hold-outs, and Thursday’s closed-door meeting was a chance to see how strong the opposition is. US Secretary of State John Kerry wrote to members asking them “not to block consensus on Indian admission to the NSG”.China, however, showed no sign of backing down from its opposition to India joining unless Pakistan becomes a member. That would be unacceptable to many, given Pakistan’s track record — the father of its nuclear weapons programme sold nuclear secrets to countries, including North Korea and Iran.Most of the hold-outs oppose the idea of admitting a non-NPT state such as India and argue that if it is to be admitted, it should be under criteria that apply equally to all states rather than under a “tailor-made” solution for a US ally.  

    India still positive

    “It’s an ongoing process but most countries appear positive,” said diplomatic sources in New Delhi. India has asserted that being a signatory to the NPT was not essential for joining the NSG, citing the precedent of France. The NSG works under the principle of consensus and even one country’s vote against India will scuttle its bid.  — Reuters/PTIMexico, meanwhile, too backs India’s bidNEW DELHI: In what is likely to strengthen India’s case for an entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Mexico on Thursday said it would support India’s membership into the elite grouping. The statement of support was made by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the country.The PM’s five-nation tour, which concluded with Mexico, saw the NSG agenda on top, with Modi pushing for support as India’s application comes up for consideration. Switzerland and the United States have already committed to supporting India. Mexico and Switzerland were initially not a part of the PM’s itinerary but were added specifically for the NSG agenda. TNS

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    Terrorism ‘incubated’ in India’s vicinity, PM tells US Congress

    Terrorism ‘incubated’ in India’s vicinity, PM tells US Congress
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a joint meeting of Congress at Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday. Vice-President Joe Biden and House Speaker Paul Ryan are seated behind him. PTI

    Simran Sodhi

    Tribune News Service

    New Delhi, June 8

    In his address to the US Congress in Washington today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about various aspects of the India-US relationship, including ‘shared values’. The new inject was the PM’s statement, “Today, our relationship has overcome the hesitations of history. Comfort, candour and convergence define our conversations.” This could be interpreted as a signal to the US that India is ready to move from being a non-aligned player to a natural ally of the US. Editorial: A matter of proportionsThe PM’s message on terrorism was loud and clear. Without mentioning Pakistan, he said terrorism was being “incubated in India’s neighbourhood” and pressed for action against groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Taliban and ISIS. “Distinguished members, not just in Afghanistan, but elsewhere in South Asia, and globally, terrorism remains the biggest threat.In the territory stretching from West of India’s border to Africa, it may go by different names, from Laskhar-e-Taiba to Taliban to ISIS. But, it’s philosophy is common: of hate, murder and violence. Although it’s shadow is spreading across the world, it is incubated in India’s neighbourhood.” He commended the members of the US Congress for “sending a clear message to those who preach and practice terrorism for political gains,” and thanked the US for showing solidarity during the Mumbai attack.

     

     

    The PM started his address by referring to his visit to the Arlington Cemetery two days ago and paid his respects to the brave men and women who laid down their lives for their nations. “Freedom, liberty form strong bonds between our two democracies,” said the PM.  He added that diversity, equal respect for all faiths were some of the values that India shared with the US. “India lives as one, India grows as one, India celebrates as one,” he said. His remarks seemed to convey to the US his government’s response to critiques of intolerance and lack of religious freedom. “For my government, the Constitution is the real holy book,” Modi said and went on to add that “1.25 billion Indians have freedom from fear every moment of their lives.” He recalled former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee had described India and the US as ‘natural allies’ and went on to talk about the 2008 phase.

    Very good speech by PM Modi, his points on terrorism was the highlight: Rodney Davis,US Congressman

    He skipped any mention of the man responsible for the civil nuclear deal then, former PM Manmohan Singh.His tongue-in-cheek reference to the bipartisan workings of the US Congress and the workings of the Indian Parliament provoked a chuckle. He also spoke of the defence purchases that had moved ‘from almost zero to 10 million dollars in less than a decade.” The PM said that strong ties between India and the US could anchor stability- from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific. And in his closing remarks, he played to the gallery by quoting famous American poet Walt Whitman: “Orchestra have sufficiently tuned their instruments, the baton has given the signal.’ And to that, if I might add, there is a new symphony in play. ”

    We trade more with the US than with any other nation: PM Modi at US Congress

    Modi and Obama flip the switch on nuclear power

    India, US to start preparatory work on 6 reactors

    WASHINGTON: India and the US agreed on Tuesday to begin preparatory work on building six nuclear reactors in India as Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Barack Obama, who backed New Delhi’s candidature for the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

    AP PHOTOPM Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama during a media interaction at the White House on Tuesday.

    The Nuclear Power Corporation of India and US firm Westinghouse will immediately begin engineering and site design work for the AP1000 nuclear reactors and conclude contractual arrangements by June 2017.

    Obama and Modi welcomed the start of the preparatory work on the reactors, a key step towards closing the first deal based on the landmark US-India civil nuclear deal struck more than a decade ago. India and the US ExportImport Bank will work together on a competitive financing package for the project, the two leaders said in a joint statement. The project will be among the largest of its kind when it is completed and it will fulfil the promise of the civil nuclear agreement.

    Addressing the media with Modi after their talks at the White House that lasted more than an hour, Obama backed India’s entry into the NSG.

    India makes it into missile tech group

    NEW DELHI: Members of the Missile Technology Control Regime, an international anti-proliferation grouping, have agreed to admit India, diplomats said, in a win for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    Diplomats with direct knowledge of the matter said a deadline for members of the 34-nation group to object to India’s admission had expired on Monday without any objections.

    Under this ‘silent procedure’, India’s admission follows automatically, diplomats from four member nations said.

    Admission to the MTCR would open the way for India to buy high-end missile technology, also making more realistic its aspiration to buy surveillance drones such as the Predator, made by General Atomics. See page 9

    PM Modi lays wreath, pays homage to Kalpana Chawla

    HOLDS INTERACTION WITH CHAWLA’S HUSBAND, FAMILY MEMBERS, ASTRONAUT SUNITA WILLIAMS

    From page 01 WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday laid a wreath at the Tomb of Unknown Soldiers and paid homage to late Indian-American astronaut Kalpana Chawla at Arlington National Cemetery here.

    PTI PHOTOPrime Minister Narendra Modi pays homage at the Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington on Monday.

    “Honouring sacrifice, saluting valour. Formal engagements begin with a solemn ceremony,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

    “In homage to heroism and indomitable courage,” Swarup said in another tweet.

    Modi also had a brief interaction with the husband and family members of Chawla, senior officials from Nasa, IndianAmerican astronaut Sunita Williams and her father at Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial.

    “All of us are very honoured that he took time to come and acknowledge the shuttle catastrophe and the deep cooperation that we have with India in the space world,” Williams said. “Personally it is commemorating my friend (Kalpana Chawla),” she said.

    Modi spoke to Sunita’s father in Gujarati and invited them to visit India. “With health permitting, I definitely look forward to visiting India,” her father said.

    Chawla’s husband JeanPierre Harrison presented a set of books on the late astronaut, including a biography written by him, to Modi.

    The Tomb of the Unknowns is a monument dedicated to American service members who died without their remains being identified.

    Japan backs India’s bid for NSG entry

    NEW DELHI: It is a major shot in India’s arm. Japan on Tuesday strongly supported India’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and said it was working with the Indian government to garner support from other countries ahead of the bloc’s crucial plenary meetings on June 9 in Vienna and June 24 in Seoul.

    “I hope that India will be the part of the NSG. Japan is working with India to make sure that it becomes a member of the NSG. We are talking to the Indian government on how it can get more support from other countries,” Japan’s envoy to India Kenji Hiramatsu said.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi would pay a visit to Japan this year, the envoy said, adding that no date has yet been finalised. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had visited India in December last year for the annual summit.


    Switzerland backs India’s NSG bid; to help tackle black money

    Switzerland backs India’s NSG bid; to help tackle black money
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands Switzerland’s President Johann Schneider-Ammann before a meeting in Geneva on Monday. PTI

    Geneva, June 6

    India on Monday got the backing of Switzerland in its bid to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group ahead of the elite group’s crucial meeting even as the two countries resolved to strengthen cooperation in combating tax evasion and black money.Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann announced his country’s support to India’s membership in the 48-member group after holding comprehensive talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here.Agreeing to expand cooperation in tackling the problem of Indians stashing black money in Swiss banks was one of the key focus areas of the talks between the two leaders besides stepping up ties in areas of trade, investment and vocational training.“We have promised India support in its efforts to become a member of NSG,” Schneider-Ammann said at a joint media interaction.India has been pushing for membership of the bloc for the last few years and had formally moved its application on May 12. The group will take up India’s application in its plenary meetings on June 9 in Vienna and June 24 in Seoul.“I am thankful to the President for Switzerland’s understanding and support for India’s membership of the NSG,” Modi said.The NSG looks after critical issues relating to the nuclear sector and its membership will help India expand its atomic energy sector. Modi also said combating the menace of black money and tax evasion was “shared priority” for both the countries.“We discussed the need for an early and expeditious exchange of information to bring to justice the tax offenders. An early start to negotiations on the agreement on the automatic exchange of information would be important in this respect,” Modi said.On his part, the Swiss President said both the countries are making considerable progress in fighting tax fraud and evasion.

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    For a lion-hearted commander

    General KJ Singh and his team deserve credit for their vision and hard work resulting in the excellence of the Western Command museum

    From page 1 What does one call the only man awarded both the Maha Vir Chakra and the Kirti Chakra, the second highest awards for gallantry in wartime and peace, respectively? An officer who was wounded leading his troops into battle as a brigadier. Surely, a lion among soldiers! Joginder Singh Gharaya, commissioned in 1946, was transferred during Partition from the Frontier Force Regiment to 1st Bihar. When his company was fired upon by Razakars (anti-India

    militiamen) during the Hyderabad Police Action in September 1948, he immediately engaged them killing over a dozen, forcing them to retreat. When the Razakars deployed to make a stand, Gharaya charged them with just a section and overwhelmed them. His leadership, courage and initiative were recognised with the award of the Kirti Chakra. November 197 saw him in command of 42 Brigade of 9 Division tasked with liberating South-western Bangladesh. 14 Punjab and a squadron of 45 Cavalry from his formation captured the Boyra salient and successfully defended it against four counter-attacks by the enemy’s 107 Brigade. Fourteen Chaffee tanks were destroyed or captured. His superb tactical handling and inspiring presence in the frontline contributed largely to securing a lodgement for the planned offensive. On December 6, he personally led the attack towards Jessore and was wounded by artillery fire at the head of his troops, refusing to be evacuated till he had seen the operation through. Gharaya’s valour and exemplary leadership led to the award of the Maha Vir Chakra. He later commanded 9 and 7 Divisions. Rising to three-star rank, he retired as Director-General, Infantry in 1984. Humble and unassuming, the general always kept the welfare of his troops paramount. His career is an inspiring example for all times to come.

    GO MAYO!

    At Mayo College, Ajmer in the early 70s Sunil Lanba excelled in studies and sports with his leadership qualities honed by the National Cadet Corps (NCC). Joining the NDA, he became a naval navigation and direction specialist.

    Steadily moving up the ladder, he took over as the head of the Navy this week. It was third time lucky for his Alma Mater. In 1948, General Nathu Singh (Class of 1921) turned down the CinC’s job in favour of his senior, General KM Cariappa. General Aditya Singh (Class of 1963) retired the same day as the outgoing Chief in 2007 missing out on succeeding him. WESTERN COMMAND MUSEUM

    Army Commander General KJ Singh’s visualisation and drive were very discernible at the unveiling of the Western Command Museum. Particularly impressive was the energy shown by him and his team in replicating the mobile headquarters based on a special train from where the command oversaw operations to keep the peace during Partition and later defend J&K. Certainly worth a visit. 8 SIKH TO CELEBRATE TIGER HILL DAY

    During the Kargil War, 8 Sikh remained in contact with the enemy for over a month, provided the firm base for the attack on Tiger Hill and with their famous stand at India Gate, beat-off three determined counter-attacks. Victory effectively ended the campaign. After a number of years in field areas, the battalion will celebrate its battle honour day from July 5-7 at Chandimandir, where it serves as part of the Pine Tree Division. Meanwhile, the men of the Charh di Kala unit continue to train hard for their role; the defence of a vital stretch of the western border.

    Please write in with your narratives of war and soldiering to msbajwa@gmail.com or call on

    • MANDEEP SINGH BAJWA The lion and his kill… Brigadier JS Gharaya pictured on top of a Chaffee tank of Pakistani 3 (Independent) Armoured Squadron captured by 45 Cavalry and 14 Punjab in the Battle of Garibpur in November 1971.
    • gmail.com or call on 093161-35343

    Army gives Clement Town a facelift

    Tribune News Service

    Dehradun, May 31

    In the past couple of days, a number of projects have been undertaken by the Golden Key Division to enhance the aesthetic appeal of Clement Town Cantonment.The Golden Key Lake, located in general area of Turner Road, is a major attraction in the area, frequented by civilians and veterans alike. It has been provided a major facelift, including putting up of motivational boards, improvement of and lighting of fountains and provision of animal topiaries, besides a cleanliness drive in and around the lake. A number of solar lights along the walking plaza have been repaired. The park has been improved substantially, including painting and repair of gym equipment and swings.A sculptured monument, comprising of four soldiers signifying the indomitable spirit of the Indian Army, has been recently dedicated to all ranks by the General Officer Commanding, Golden Key Division.The inauguration of the Golden Key Monument in the 51st year of the Division is also a tribute to the soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice in the defence of the motherland.


    Army Public School holds alumni meet

    Army Public School holds alumni meet
    IMA cadets at the alumni meet in Clement Town in Dehradun on Monday. Tribune photo

    Tribune News Service

    Dehradun, May 30

    An alumni meet was held at Vivekanand Hall by Army Public School, Clement Town, here today. The event was attended by 56 Gentlemen Cadets from the Indian Military Academy (IMA). They were welcomed by school principal Geetanjali Kachari, vice-principal Dr Tripty Pandey and the student council.The school choir enthralled the audience with their melodious presentation of “My Wish For You”, followed by a dance performance.A Powerpoint presentation took the Gentlemen Cadets down the memory lane and made them nostalgic about their days at the alma mater.Gentlemen Cadet Manoj Singh Birdi and SS Salaria shared their experiences. They inspired the young students to join the Indian Armed Forces as it not only gave job security but also provided a platform to serve the motherland.The head boy of the school thanked the Gentlemen Cadets and wished them success in the coming years.To treasure the memories of the day, a group photograph was taken. The event was followed by tea where the Gentlemen Cadets interacted with the students and were further able to inspire them.