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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

PAY : OCT 2009

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Source : CDA(O)Pune

Armies of India, US display military might

Denials about the intention of sending a “strategic message” notwithstanding, the Indian and US armies today concluded their biggest ever joint military exercise amidst a display of brutal firepower using top-of-the-line weaponry.
This indicated at an improved comfort level between the two armies. The fact that T-90 tanks, latest combat vehicles, anti-tank missiles, choppers and UAVs were used in the exercise, code named ‘Yudh Abhyaas-09’, suggest the methods of hitting out the “enemy”. This was the first time that US and India had jointly deployed its mechanised infantry in an exercise.
As expected, this time too the top brass of Indian and US armies played safe with their words: “There is no message (for China or Pakistan) in the exercise. We are just conducting a training exercise.”
However, the growing trust between the two armies was visible. Lt Gen Benjamin R Mixon, Commander of US Army, Pacific, and head of the US delegation, when asked if Indian forces were capable of being deployed alongside US troops in Afghhanistan or Iraq, said: “A decision in this regard has to be made by the Indian government… We will be comfortable going with the Indian Army anywhere, anytime.”
The Indian Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), Lt Gen AS Sekhon, while replying on whether the exercise was part of counter-insurgency operations, clarified: “We are not training for joint operations and nor is this exercise for any specific contingency within India. This is part of an exercise for peacekeeping operations under the UN charter.”
In the morning, the US troops, most of whom have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, showed the easy to use technique to fire its anti-tank “javelin” missile. The same is used extensively by US. The Indian Army, however, presently uses the French-made Milan anti-tank missile. The US Army also fielded its combat vehicle, ‘sryker’, which is being used in Afghanistan.
As part of the firepower today, the forces were given a target. The 20 sq km firing range was divided into three make-believe countries -- Jhansi, Karera and Datia -- which the troops were to get vacated from the “enemy” and also ensure peacekeeping. The US troops used a camera-fitted UAV, which was packed in small backpack. The hand-held UAV, controlled from the ground, flew over the area and conveyed a real time picture for the ground troops to fire with precision.
The historic exercise was held at Babina, which draws its name from history. In fact, Babina is an abbreviation for British army’s base in North Asia.


Soldiers are heroes for Gen Next: Dikshit

Addressing a civic reception held here to honor the three surviving Param Veer Chakra awardees, Honorary Captain Bana Singh, Havildar Yogender Singh Yadav, and Naik Sanjay Kumar and the first Indian who traveled in the space Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma, Dikshit said:The brave soldiers of our armed forces are the real heroes for our young generation and they need to follow the ideals of these young men. 

Civil society should not forget that Indias armed forces make supreme sacrifice for our (society) better tomorrows, she added.

Marshal of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Air Chief Marshal Arjan Singh said: The soldiers fight for two reasons, one for the self motive and another to keep the glory of his unit at the highest level.

Recalling his memories of World War II when he was with the Royal Indian Air Force, in Imphal, Air Chief Marshal Singh said: We just obeyed the orders of our superiors.

We didnt know who were those people killed by our bombing. But later our (RAF) intelligence informed that they were INA soldiers, he added.

FICCI Secretary General Dr. Amit Mitra said the aim of the programme was to build a vibrant civil society. 

Our civil society has become despondent and demoralized. There is a need to regenerate collective self-confidence and self esteem by showing them that all is not lost, Mitra said.

We have adopted two slogans; we are all Indians first, and we are proud to be Indian. Our aim in holding this function and to follow up with more is to show that we still have much to be proud of. Our brave soldier is the best example, he added.

Netaji Subhash INA Trust secretary, Brigadier R.S. Chhikara said: Its an occasion for eminent members of civil society to come together and bestow appreciation and honor on our bravest of the brave Param Veeras who have set examples of selfless commitment to national well being.- ANI

Russia setting, US rising in Indian air force

New Delhi: Russia's eclipse and the US' rise in the Indian militarywill soon stand out in the air force's transport division. 

Sources said the government is moving in to seal yet another government-to-government deal with the US for a military purchase. They are ordering ten C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft.

The deal is worth over $2 billion (Rs10,000 crore). When inducted, C-17 Globemaster would replace the Russian-made IL-76 as the biggest transport aircraft of India. C-17, a Boeing product, can carry almost 80,000 kg, against IL-76's 50,000 kg.

Sources said the C-17 deal was discussed and "almost finalised" at a recent meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council, under the defence minister, and the deal could be signed in a few months. 

Globemaster can be operated by just two pilots and another crew, whereas the much smaller IL-76 needs a crew of six. Comfort levels, too, are dramatic. The deal finalisation comes even as the air force readies to induce six C-130J Super Hercules transport planes, that can carry a payload of 20,000 kg, in 2011.

Presently, the IAF's fixed-wing fleet comprises 20 Russian made IL-76 and over a 100 AN-32s. The Globemaster and C-130J are set to significantly alter Russian dominance.
Meanwhile, US firms are making an aggressive pitch to corner contracts for transport helicopters, dominated by Russians all these decades. Boeing today said it submitted two proposals to the IAF this week -- the AH-64D Apache and the CH-47F Chinook for attack and heavy-lift helicopter operations.

Air force is enthusiastic about the Chinooks.

Navy proposes to build an Airport in Karwar

Karwar: While Karwar already has a rail, road and port connection; another thing that will be added into this list is the airport. The Indian Navy has proposed to build an airport near Karwar which could be used for civilian and military purposes. The airport would enhance the commercial prospectus in and around Karwar, said Rajiv Jaiswal, Commodore, INS Kadamba, Karwar. 

While addressing the presspersons at the naval base on Friday, he asserted that the required land for the airport has been identified and the State Gavernment would have to get hold of more land for this purpose. He requested the local people and State Government to cooperate with this regard. 

Mr. Jaiswal notified that Karwar received 230 mm of unprecedented rainfall in just three hours on 2nd October, 2009. At this time, few had claimed that the walls built by the naval authorities led to flash flood around the naval base area. While clearing these claims, he averred that the wall in question had actually blocked the water and prevented loss of more lives and property. He further affirmed that the navy authorities would be more prepared to tackle such situation in future. 

The torrential rains and floods that occurred in the beginning of the month this year caused the 700 metres of the wall built by the navy to collapse. Roads in the naval base had been washed away in the floods. Among all these losses, many of the navy personnel's houses were also inundated. 

Capt. Manohar Nambiar, Chief Public Relations Officer (Defence), Mumbai, denied allegation that illegal quarrying was being carried out in the navy land.

Inflation may reach 10 percent by March: Assocham

New Delhi: Inflation is likely to touch 10 percent in India by March 2010 due to rising prices of manufacturing goods and food, according to industry lobby Assocham (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India). 

The fact that inflation is starting from a low base will add to the problem. In its report, Assocham predicted that wholesale price index (WPI) will keep rising to touch the 252-mark on March 27, 2010, and inflation will reach 10 percent. 



The WPI inched to 1.21 percent for the week ended October 10, highest since May 30. The build-up in inflation between March 28 and October 10 is 5.95 percent. According to Assocham, the high base established during January-September 2008 had caused negative or low inflation during the like period this year and now this low base will cause higher inflation in the coming months. 

The strong build-up has been observed in the category of primary articles. Food articles have shown 14.13 percent inflation during the period. 

"Although there is a hope that with the kharif crop coming to the market, food prices will start cooling off, we believe that the impact may not be much significant to offset the increasing prices. It is estimated that the significantly deficient (about 20 percent) monsoon performance could impact kharif production by about 15-20 percent," said Assocham.

Assocham warned that rising commodity prices is a matter of concern for the economy. The prices of aluminium have increased almost 23 percent, while sugar prices have gone up nearly 90 percent in the last three months. Crude prices surged nearly 10 percent and the prices of copper have also skyrocketed about 111 percent. 

"As the government has to borrow large amount to finance the high fiscal deficit (6.8 percent), any knee-jerk reaction on inflation could cause sharp rise in interest rates and crowding out of private investments," said Assocham.

Indian soldiers use Chinese mobile services at border in Arunachal

Kibithu (Arunachal Pradesh): An Indian soldier on duty at the India-China border town in Arunachal Pradesh thanks Chinese mobile operators every time he has to send an SMS to his family back home. The nearest BSNL phone is 30 kilometers away, reports The Telegraph. 

Alongside the rise in tensions between the two nations, wireless technology has also taken its ground at the India-China border. China had set up Airtel and Vodafone towers in May, as one of the towers at Sama village on the other side is clearly visible from Kibithu, the easternmost town on the eastern front.

A Delhi Airtel connection with a Correspondent displayed 'CHN CMCC Airtel' on the screen, but without international roaming, the mobile was not able to send a message.

Indian defence personnel and intelligence agencies use telephone for all kinds of official communications. "For all official work, we are still compelled to send couriers or use the good old wireless network to send messages," said an Intelligence Agent at the border.

Internet seems be a dream for the Indian soldiers here. The nearest 'satellite phone' which India had set up three months ago is about 30 kilometers away in Walong, a small cantonment and administrative town in Anjaw district.

About 160 kilometers away in Chaglagam, taking time off from acclimatizing patrols, a Lieutenant Colonel queued up at the BSNL satellite phone system branded 'Halo' phone, to call his family. These satellite phones had been installed in a low key reaction to the mobile telephone network that 'got very strong' from the Chinese side. 

The Indian defence personnel, who are far away from their homes, often use Chinese connection for sending messages to their families. "Please write about the lack of telephone network here, many people in the area even use the Airtel network on the other side," said a soldier of the 20 Sikh regiment.

Even after 47 years from the Battle of Walong, when the Indian Army battled Chinese advances in what turned out to be one of the bloodiest fights in the 1962 war, the Indian government has not even built roads in several border areas.

The road from Walong to Kibithu was built a few years ago. In places like Tuting and Taksing, soldiers have to walk six days to reach the border outposts. The already sparse population in border areas of Arunachal Pradesh has been tapering further because of this lack of infrastructure. But argument from Delhi has been that vast swathes of this mountainous terrain are uninhabited.But there are some counter-arguments to it. "Within a year, I have seen the number of villages increase from 14 to about 30. They are farming in communes, I believe," said a source in Kibithu.

About two villages, one of them called Nazong, in Anjaw district have ended because of lack of infrastructure. Sources inform that many residents of the border areas have movDigaru-Mismi tribes of Lohit and Anjaw districts.

The Finance Minister and Legislator from Anjaw, Kalikho Pul said, "Make roads, construct power projects and give me the resources, and I will convince people to settle in border areas."

Bonding over war games

At Camp Bundela, barely five kilometres from the Indian Army’s Babina firing ranges in Uttar Pradesh, Sergeant Donald Jeik of the US army is enjoying a game of pool with an unlikely partner, an Indian soldier who has just developed fancy for the cue.
The 29-year-old mortar man, assigned to 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, is one of the 300 American soldiers who have come from Hawaii to take part in Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2009, an annual Indo-US military drill from October 12-29.
More than 1,000 soldiers are taking part in the war games, aimed at promoting cooperation between the two militaries while sharing training, cultural exchanges, and building joint operating skills.
This year’s Yudh Abhyas features 17 Stryker vehicles— the largest deployment of these armoured combat vehicles outside of Iraq and Afghanistan.
On Monday, the two armies showed what they could achieve together as they went about the business of enforcing peace in a fictitious country (called Karera) torn apart by terrorism. Its neighbours were exporting its miseries.
The exercise involved T-90, combat vehicles, anti-tank missiles, US army’s mini UAVs and live firing of Javelin anti-tank guided missiles.
Lieutenant General A S Sekhon, the army’s director general of military operations said India had a lot to learn from the US experience — especially in the field of technology — in Afghanistan and Iraq.


talibnanized-pakistan-and-threat-to-regional-security

Collapsing stars end in bang hurling debris for millions of light years. A collapsing country creates geopolitical tectonic disturbances. Breakup of the USSR is still churning out debris and the collapsed Balkans is still simmering with volcanic anger and sense of humiliation. In our neighbourhood Pakistan is burning in volcanic churning. The jihad-bacterial-colony has been severely bitten by the same bacteria of jihad it concocted in the name of Allah, Mullahs and Generals. A collapsing Pakistan, USA not standing with props, is likely to cause serious disturbances in Afghanistan and India particularly and the entire geopolitical region in general, not in too far future. The USA has the habit of deserting its allies when no more required.

Taking advantage of the situation Hakimullah Baitullah, presumed leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan in an interview to a foreign correspondent announced that after occupying Pakistan his Taliban would be on Hindoostan border and try to occupy the kufr country. This cannot be ignored as the flamboyant outburst by a young tribal leader flush with gun power and ready to prove that he is the worthy successor of his father-in-law Baitullah Mehsud. The Mehsud tribe along with the Waziris and Burki tribes of South Waziristan has a special relationship with post-independence India.

When Jinnah and Pakistan decided to send armed Lashkars to invade unguarded Kashmir of Mharaja Hari Singh, the South Waziristan tribes were recruited by Abdul Qayum Khan and Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan. Qayum Khan defied the directions of the British Governor of the NWFP and followed Jinnah’s command. He placed the command of the Mehsud groups of tribes numbering about 25, 000 under Col. Gaideen Khan Abdullai Mahsud, brought them to Muzaffarabad by private trucks and busses and launched them on October 23, 1947 with orders to occupy Srinagar, loot the treasury and seize the palace. They reached the outskirts of Srinagar on October 29 pillaging, killing and looting all the way. When opposed by just arrived Indian army the ill armed Mehsuds did not stand chance. The surviving 5000 dispersed and only 500 remained with Gaideen Khan. Later the outside tribes were replaced by regular Pakistan army under guidance of General Akbar Khan. Some of the remaining Mehsud fought alongside Pakistan army till they were also pushed back by the Indian forces. But for the unfortunate ceasefire and reference to UN the Indian forces would have cleared up the entire Kashmir and routed all the Mehsud tribal lashkars in another ten days.

Hakimullah’s threat to India may sound empty at this point of time. It may not be possible for Pakistan to inspire the descendants of the Pir of Wana South Waziristan (As Syed Yousuf Mehmood Faizullah Al-Gilani Baghdadi), Pir Ghulam Dastgir (Sultan ul Asr Hazrat Sultan Ghulam Dastgir Al-Qadiri descendant of Hazrat Sultan Bahu), and Malik Akhya Jan Wazir (Izzatullah) to motivate their tribes to invade Kashmir again. This possibility may arise if Pakistan can settle its disputes with the TTP and start settling them around Manshera and Muzaffarabad and train them again for attacking India in smaller guerrilla groups. Since history has no boundary, so also the nations have no limits of dirty tricks. Pakistan may use the TTP against India in near future.

Hakimullah Mehsud
Hakimullah Mehsud
Though under severe attack in FATA and South Waziristan the TTP is not yet finished. Taliban was created by Pakistan in 1994 to capture the political space in Afghanistan. The TTP was launched in December 2007 by Baitullah Mehsud of Brumi khel of Mehsud tribe. He was associated with Afghan Taliban movement, implementing sharia rule and was later appointed by Mullah Omar as the Governor of Waziristan. There are reports to indicate that Baitulah had roaring relationship with the Inter Services Intelligence and Pakistan army. Though he vouched to fight against the US and the UK he enjoyed Pak support till Musharraf decided to attack the Lall Masjid.
Though Baitullah of Mehsud tribe was designated governor of Mahmond area by Mullah Omar, he was not the only Taliban leader in Pakistan. Several other groups still operate-some at high pitch and others collaborate with the ISI and Pakistan army in assisting the al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban. Some groups collaborated with Baitullah and others operate in their own areas and inside Pakistan.
Major Taliban groups in Pakistan are:
    — Taliban Classical: Mullah Omar Group- strength 7000
    — Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani Group- strength 5000
    — Tehrik-e-Teluba- Orakzai Agency- Mullah Safi -3000
    — Tehrik-e- Teluba- Quetta Agency- Saifur Jalali- 3000
    — Tehrike-Taliban, Pakistan- Baitullah Mehsud, South Waziri area-strength 7000.
    — Splinter Pakistani Taliban Groups in NWFP, Swat and Waziri Areas- Md. Mokhtar Mojahid (2000); Mufti Latifullah Hakimi (2000); Md. Yusof (2000). All loosely connected to Mehsud and Khalid Taliban Groups
    — Tehrik-eNefaz-Shariat-Mohammadi (Maulana Fazlullah, Swat area)
    — Maulvi Nazir + Tohir Youldashev group. Youldashev dies recently in US bombing.
    — Tora Bora Taliban- Created by son of Late Maulvi Khalis, aligned to Haqqani.
    — Umar Khalid group of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. Mohmand Area
    — LeT, Lashkar-e-Islam, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Lashkar-e- Mohammadia- They wax and wane with major groups.
Pakistan is presently directing offensive in South Waziristan areas, where two major Pakistani Taliban groups are led by Hafiz Gul Bahadar. It has a strength of about 2000 fighters. The South Waziristan faction, led by Mullah Nazir has another 2000 odd Talibanis. The North and South group divided into divergent Khels had agreed in late 2008 to put an end to a local feud and their differences with Baitullah Mehsud, the overall leader of the Pakistani Taliban. The three groups had joined forces to prevent outside enemies from dividing the Taliban.
The three leaders met at an undisclosed location in the Waziristan region. The Taliban warlords agreed to form a 13 member shura, or council. Leadership of the shura would rotate and Baitullah, Nazir, and Bahadar would sit on the council. It is unclear if Nazir and Bahadar will join Baitullah’s Tehrik-e-Taliban, or the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. There are reports of strong ISI support to the Waziri groups. Baitullah’s group, which operates in all of the tribal areas and throughout the Northwest Frontier Province, had defeated earlier the Pakistani military in multiple battles, forcing the government to scuttle peace agreements. The move to unite the Waziristan factions had come after the Taliban achieved its greatest victory yet by humiliating government forces in Swat and forcing the state to cede a vast region in the Northwest Frontier Province. Mullah Fazlullah, the second in command of the Tehrik-e-Taliban, had led the fighting in Swat. That phase of war between Pakistan army and Taliban ended in a draw. The army is back and the Talibans are recapturing the lost ground.
According to latest study by Bill Roggio of The Long War Journal the structural alignment of the Talibans in Waziristan has undergone changes. “The Waziristan region is divided into two tribal agencies, North and South Waziristan. There are four major Taliban figures in the two agencies, with an array of allied terror groups based in the region. The operation will focus on only one Taliban group, based in South Waziristan. In North Waziristan, the Haqqani Network operates in and around Miramshah, while Hafiz Gul Bahadar controls much of North Waziristan. Other Taliban commanders include Saddiq Noor and Maulana Abdul Khaliq Haqqani. Al Qaeda operative Abu Kasha al Iraqi runs a fiefdom in the Mir Ali region.
In South Waziristan, the two main Taliban leaders are Waliur Rehman Mehsud, based in the Makeen-Ladha-Sararogha region, and Mullah Nazir, based in the Wana region. Qari Hussain Mehsud, the notorious trainer of child suicide bombers and a senior military commander, is based in Kotkai. Al Qaeda, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Islamic Jihad Union, Hezb-i-Islami Gulbuddin, and a host of Pakistani jihadi groups such as the Jaish-e-Mohammed, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen all have bases in both North and South Waziristan.”
Next to Afghan border the Waziri Talibans are able to obtain unlimited supplies from Afghan Talibans and it has not been possible for the NATO to gain foothold in that area. Though the terrains in Waziri areas are less hostile than the Swat the Pakistan army had earlier suffered 4 reverses in wars against the Talibans in this region.
The Waziri belt is also a theatre of operation of the al Qaeda. Its commander Ilyas Kashmiri, chief of Pakistan Harkat-ul-Jihad- al Islami and Brigade 313 of al Qaeda is still active. He operated in Indian Kashmir at the behest of the ISI and Pakistan army. However, he fell out with them when he was asked by the ISI to join the Jais-e-Mohammad. Alleged to be the mastermind of attempt on Musharraf’s life and recent attack in Rawalpindi GHQ he survived US drone attack. Considered a top commander of al Qaeda, Ilyas Kashmiri lords over in areas of North Waziristan. The US also now officially agrees that the al Qaeda is based in Pakistan and the government would consider ways and means to approach the threat. Rahm Emanuel, the White House Chief of Staff however, did not clarify how the US propose to handle gradual but fast collapse of Pakistan into the laps of the Taliban, Qaeda forces. At present it has no strategy but to support Pakistan army and ensure that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons do not fall into the hands of the Islamic Jihadist groups.
It is presumed Pakistan would put all its might (presently 28,000 soldiers and tanks are the ground) and bring Waziristan under control. Earlier operations in Swat and Bannu, Tank etc areas by Pakistan and USA have yielded some results. Nearly 700 Talibans have been killed and over 4000 are in custody. The dislodged people have started returning to their villages. But the government has not been able to reorganize the police and judiciary system and other civil administration machineries in the area. Acute shortage of food, lack of water and electricity has made the war torn zone weary. Some army elements are still forced to stay on in that area. According to reports al Qaeda and Taliban forces are again reoccupying their positions in Swat and adjacent areas. More young tribal fighters are joining the rank to avenge attack by Pakistan army. Though the US claims that Yuldashev, the Uzbek Taliban leader was killed in a drone attach according to Pakistan journalists Talibans from Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Xinxiang are gain trekking back to Swat areas. As winters are severe in Swat region security experts expect new arrivals of al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the region.
An eminent Pakistani journalist friend also agrees with this observation. : “At the same time, there are signals that the Taliban in the Swat area in North-West Frontier Province are regrouping after being pushed back by the army this year. It is likely that by the time the snow chokes major supply routes, the Taliban will have seized all lost ground in the Swat Valley.
By marching into South Waziristan, the military has taken something of a gamble as it is highly unlikely to eliminate the militant threat. Indeed, the past seven or so years have shown that after any operation against militants, the militants have always gained from the situation. By the same token, the militants don’t have the capacity to permanently control ground beyond their areas in South Waziristan and North Waziristan. In this situation, where the militants and the military can’t defeat one another, and if the fighting continues, a political crisis could be provoked. This would weaken the state of Pakistan and its institutions.” Syed Salim Shahzad in Asia Times October 20 2009.
General Kiyani has organised air-dropping of appeal to the “patriotic” Mehsud tribe for cooperation in fighting the Taliban in Waziristan. The appeal said that army action was not against the common Mehsud people but was directed against the enemies of the state. What Kiyani did not say that in any large scale military attack very few militants are killed but ground action and air bombing has uprooted more than a million civilians? They are escaping to safer places creating another humanitarian crisis.
Initial feedback from South Waziristan indicates the army has so far marched into the plain areas and has not entered the difficult terrain. The populace is also not cooperating with Pakistan army, declining to recruit militia to fight the TTP and al Qaeda and is often working as spies for the Taliban. The government is considering imposition of collective fine on the villagers for supporting Taliban. But already bad news is coming out of the area. The Taliban have stalled the Pakistani Army’s advance on one of its three major fronts in South Waziristan and retook a town captured by the Army just yesterday (Oct. 19). Taliban fighters forced the Army from the town of Kotkai just one day after the military said it was secured. The Taliban claimed the Army took heavy casualties as it was ejected from Kotkai.
The retaking of Kotkai is the first visible victory for the group since the military launched its three-pronged offensive aimed at the Taliban heartlands in South Waziristan. More than 28,000 soldiers are pitted against more than 10,000 of the Taliban’s best fighters. “We gave them a really tough time in Kotkai,” Azam Tariq the new spokesman for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan told McClatchy of Miami Herald on 20th October. Between 40 and 45 Pakistani soldiers and three Taliban fighters were killed in the counteroffensive, Tariq claimed. Kotkai is the home town of Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, and Qari Hussain Mehsud, Hakimullah’s senior lieutenant and trainer of suicide bombers. Local Pakistani intelligence officials confirmed that the Army was beaten back from Kotkai but claimed only six soldiers and a major were killed during the heavy fighting.
Territorial jurisdiction of the Taliban is not confined to the Afghan-Pakistan borders. They are now active in Punjab and Sind. Tehrik-e-Taliban has flourishing units in Karachi. Operating from mosques and madrasas the TTP volunteers often try to shut down barber shops, beauty parlors and several times damaged video parlors. They distribute leaflets directing people to destroy liquor vends, burn down cigarette and pan (betel leaf) stalls. The TTP Karachi clashed with the Mohajirs (migrants from India) and police on several occasions at Korangi industrial area, Baloch Goth, Qasaba Colony and Khybar Mohalla. According to some estimate by Sind police the TTP is gradually spreading to the interiors of Sind towards Indian borders.
According to Karachi metropolitan police it had arrested on October 19 Akhtar Zaman, believed to be the chief of the TTP’s Karachi chapter, and three accomplices identified as Samiullah alias Shamim, Fazal Kareem and Munawwar Khan from a Sohrab Goth hideout. These men had allegedly tried to blow up an oil depot in Kemari on September 15 2009 by using an explosives-laden vehicle.
Karachi is reeking with Talibans from Punjab (SSP and LeJ) and NWFP. With MQM factional fighting, innumerable gangs of dacoits and mafia operators Karachi give the look of a mafia metropolis. “How safe is Karachi? Not too much. An Iranian diplomat kidnapped by the TTP in the NWFP was finally brought to Karachi because it was safer than any other city. The police went up to the place where he was being kept but could not face the firepower of the terrorists and had to give up. A Karachi surgeon Dr Waheed treated the wounds of an Al Qaeda killer. The doctor, once acquitted, had fled to South Waziristan and was killed there by a drone. The administration needs to disembarrass itself from the complications of ethnic-based target-killing and focus more on the fallout of a TTP stampede in the northwest of the country. Karachi can be worse than South Punjab.” Najam Sethi, Editor Daily Times 21.10.09.
Punjab has become another important hub for the Taliban. The Taliban draws main strength from the Sipah Sahaba (soldiers of the Allah) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, two extremely orthodox Sunni militant groups. Initially formed to fight the Shia and Ahmadiyas these outfits gradually drifted towards al Qaeda and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. Sipah Sahaba was formed at the instance of Zia-ul-Haq to bring religious purity in Pakistan. The LeJ later branched out of the SSP. After demolition of the Lall Masjid in Lahore by Musharraf government the Sunni militants have arrayed their forces against Pakistan establishment. In fact, Tehrik-e-Taliban Punjab was launched by Muhammed Aquil alias Dr Usman, the only accused who survived in the recent attack on Pakistan army GHQ near Rawalpindi.
If local police authorities of Punjab are taken seriously (not often taken by ISI) the heartland of Punjab and southern Punjab have become free playgrounds of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Punjab. The Makaz ud Dawa and Lashkar-e-Taiba maintain tactical distance from these groups but they do not stand in their way in accomplishing acts of subversion against the state. They also enjoy support of Jamait-e-Islami Pakistan, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Ahl-e-Hadith Pakistan and al Qaeda. According to Punjab police chief Deepalpur, Shekhupura, Mianwali, Sangla, Malakwal, Miranshah, Bandyal, Jhang Maghiana, Okra, Pak Pattan and Haveli Lakha etc areas are strongholds of the Punjab Taliban groups. They have several cells in the walled city of Lahore and in its outskirts. Some of the encampments are within 15/20 km from Indian borders.
The TTP under Baitullah and TTP under Aquil strictly follow the Wahhabi tenets of Islam and in recent months al Qaeda influence has introduced Saudi and Egyptian brand Salafism in these organisations. Both the TTP factions are members of International Islamic Front headed by Osama bin Laden. The Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) are also members of the IIF. This united front apparently excludes Lashkar-e-Taiba headed by Markaz chief Hafiz Mohammad Sayeed. The Markaz and the LeT are still under control and command of the ISI. They have not openly aligned with Taliban-al Qaeda groups. However, the Markaz and the Let are regularly supported by bin Laden and his deputy al Jawahiri. Perhaps the Pakistan government is hesitant to take any action against Hafiz and other important LeT leaders. Other groups operating in Indian Kashmir are funded by the ISI but the LeT continues to be the reliable auxiliary of the ISI.
It is clear that that al Qaeda and Taliban ideology and armed guerrilla warfare tactics have spread in Punjab and Sind, though the Baloch territory except certain areas in Quetta has been spared from Taliban and Lashkar al Zill operations by al Qaeda and Taliban.
As Pakistan is a collapsing country with deadly nuclear arsenal and major Chinese presence the western experts opine that sooner than later the Islamic jihadi groups from Central Asia, western China and even southern Russia may throng Pakistani soil and make the country as the platform for international jihad against Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism. In strategic calculations these factors are relevant, though in immediate future the USA and the NATO may not allow Pakistan to collapse just for the sake of making last efforts to win the mission impossible in Afghanistan. India is also not interested in the collapse of Pakistan. If Pakistan collapses and the army swings uncertainly people like Hakimullah and waves of jihadi locusts may start diverting their hoards to India. Their aim is to establish Islamic Emirates in Afghanistan and Pakistan and recapture India, a country with second largest Muslim population. India is a buffer between Islamicised Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan and the rest of South and South East Asia.
India’s position is vulnerable. Internal preoccupation and to a limited extent US pressure has impeded temporarily Pakistan’s jihadi tirade against India. Had Qasab not been arrested and had not the western countries produced overwhelming evidence against 26/11 raiders the jihadis would have heightened attacks in India. However, with internal turmoil created by the Maoists, external pressure from the jihadists, intermittent spewing of fire by the Chinese dragon India is beset with very serious security threats. China would not hesitate to help Pakistan to divert, at some stage, its Taliban hoards to India, instead of their marching to Xinxiang. The USA would not like to see the Indian buffer to disappear threatening security ambience in entire South East Asia, tilting equilibrium in Central Asia, and providing fillip to the Islamists in South East Asia. It is natural that under such strategic scenario increased Indo-US entente is likely to be firmed up. India has emerged as the pivot of stability in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar and is emerging as a bulwark against Chinese intransigence. While it is necessary to improve bilateral relationship with China it is also necessary to remember that reconciliation at nation’s greater interests is not acceptable. Not on 1962 terms; India must talk on its own terms now making clear that China is not dealing with a Pacific Atoll.
The final aspect that requires brief examination is: are Indian Muslims ready to accept the Taliban forces and social and cultural values imposed by them in the name of Islam? There is a short answer: NO.

But there are longer answers, rather circumstances which indicate that forces of the SIMI, Indian Mujahideen, Ahl-e-Hadith Hindustan, and over a dozen other Muslim militant outfits in various parts of the country believe in the ideology of al Qaeda, Talibanism and the tenets of Salafism. These trends are swamping down the influence of the Indian Deoband School of teachings, which prefer to treat moderate grounds. Not visible from open observation some sneaking look inside these Islamicist groups indicates that they are keen to welcome the Taliban-the Pakistani version of Islamic Emirate.
The jihadi modules and cells (referred in this portal) numbering about 800 are still active. There has been no deactivation of the subterranean activities of the SIMI and Indian Mujahideen and cells of the HuJI and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Hijbul Mujahideen (Pak) and Jamait-ul-Mujahideen (Bangladesh) are active and these outfits are expanding underground activities. Pakistan has concentrated on jihadi infiltration in Kashmir. In last six month the Indian forces have thwarted about twenty infiltration efforts and killed over 56 infiltrating Pakistani jihadis. The Lashkar-e-Taiba is totally loyal to the ISI but under impact of the 26/11 proceedings the process of infiltrating them into India has been slowed down. Intelligence inputs have recently unearthed LeT plot to mount assault on installations in Jamnagar and other targets in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Delhi and Hyderabad.
A study of iMuslim blog spots and website contents indicate these have become very popular amongst the educated (English) section of Muslim youth and even the ulama class have now become a part of the audience of Internet jihad propaganda.
“Muslims have creatively applied the Internet in the interest of furthering and understanding of the religion for other believers, especially those affiliated to a specific world view and. In some cases, a wider non-Muslim readership.” iMuslim-rewriting the house of islam, Gary R Bunt p, 13. Hurst & Company, London.
Systematic studies of digital Islam has been made by Gilles Kepel, Bruce Lawrence, Castells, and Peter Mandeville etc authors. The US and UK security agencies and certain universities carry out systematic studies on this subject. Some of the important iMuslim sites are MuslimSpace.com, IslamicTube.com, al-Islam.com, Islamway.com, Al-Sistani.com, Al-Qaradawi.com, Alminbar.com, jihad-algeria.com, Dirty Kuffar.com (Video), Tawhid wa’l Jihad, Abualbukhary.org, Qudsway.com, Islamic Torrents, Islamicvideo.nets, Al-Quradawi.net, Al-needa, Badr al-Riyyadh. Especially al Qaeda related cyber sites are Alsakifa.com, Quqaz.com, al-ansar.net, al-alali.net, saraya.com, sahwal.com etc. Jihad sympathizer’s cyber nets are maktabal-jihad, jihadunspun.com, shareeah.com, kavakaz.tv, ummahnews.com, kavakazcenter.net, kavakazcenter.info, Cihad.net, Clearguidance.com etc.
In Pakistan and Bangladesh blog spots, website of Markaz-ud Dawa, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Harkat-ul-Jihad al Islami and Muslimvoice.net actively preach jihad. Net savvy religious leaders and even some ulamas run net-sites to propagate their brands of Islam, supposed supremacy of Islam in the subcontinent and the need for protection of minority rights. One common feature with some of these websites is that they appear for certain period and disappear to avoid detection and action. The Al Qaeda and Taliban sites behave in the same manner. As far as blog spots are concerned there are too many web spots to monitor the regular bloggers on Islamic and jihad related issues.
Another important issue that has been neglected by the agencies is limited Cable TV broadcast of al Qaeda and Taliban tapes Muslim concentrated areas of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Mumbai etc places. The contents encourage the Muslims to embrace Salafism, follow Osama bin Laden and accept Talibanism as the way of societal lives and culture of the Muslims globally. These materials are distributed in CD/VCD form as well for private viewing. From these indices this can be concluded that though the general mood of the Indian Muslims is averse to Talibanism, significant urban and rural Muslims are being converted to Talibanism courtesy iMuslim tools of propaganda. Despite verbal filibustering by the politicians and confidence of the army command the state police are not at all trained and oriented to take on the challenge in case the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and Punjab decide to assume activities inside India. India is in a state of unpreparedness. The general attitude is lackadaisical. One senior police officer of a western state told the author: Dilli dur ast. Transposition of the past to the present and future can only be the game plan of the lunatics, not the State Establishment. State polices are still dream walking.


maloykrishnadhar.com


US would welcome `profesional' Indian Army in Iraq and Afghanistan

Babina (UP), Oct. 26 - ANI: A senior commander of the U.S. Army on Monday said that having a professional force like the Indian Army at its disposal, especially in highly aggressive war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan, would always be welcome.

The Indian Army is a professional force and the US Army will be comfortable with it anywhere, Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, Commander, Pacific Command, said in reply to a question on whether the US Army is ready to seek Indias help in Iraq and Afghanistan in a counter terror and insurgency operation.

Lt. Gen. Mixon, who was addressing accompanying media on the sidelines of the first ever Indo-US joint mechanized forces exercise in Babina, Uttar Pradesh, further went on to say: We want to work together as militaries to establish peace in Asia-Pacific region. If any eventuality occurs in future, we are better prepared to work together.

He also claimed that the exercise had so far been a wonderful and worthwhile experience, and had gone a long way in raising the level of understanding between the two armies.

The counter insurgency/terror exercise with India has been absolutely fantastic and it has helped the US soldiers to understand India in a better way, Lt. Gen. Mixon said.

From the Indian side, Lt. General A.S. Sekhon, Director General, Military Operations, said: This is a training exercise and it is not aimed at anybody. We are trying to know each others procedures. The is all about training with the US Army to enhance our understanding and capability.

A significant aspect of the 17-day exercise that commenced on October 17 and concludes on October 29, is that for the first time the US Army has deployed the Javelin Missile and Stryker armoured vehicles to act as force multipliers in a third country other than Iraq and Afghanistan.

Another first is that of the Indian mechanized battalion participating along with Strykers Squadron in a joint exercise under overall command of an Indian Brigade headquarters.

So far, the achievements of the joint exercise called Yudh Abhyas2009 are: 

- Both sides have achieved interoperability and capability to function alongside for operations under an UN mandate and - The US troops were exposed to rich culture and tradition of India. The Indian troops gained exposure to contemporary weapons systems used by US troops. The overall aim of the exercise is to conduct a joint Indo-US training exercise under the framework of an agreed joint training program for sharing useful experience in peacekeeping operations, humanitarian and disaster managements and relief operations.

Two hundred and ninety five personnel are representing the US Army, while 700 personnel are representing the Indian Army.

Yudh Abhyas is a regularly scheduled bilateral exercise hosted by the Indian Army. 

The exercise is designed to promote cooperation between the two militaries while sharing training, cultural exchanges, and building joint operating skills.

This years Yudh Abhyas features 17 Stryker vehicles the largest deployment of the vehicles outside of Iraq and Afghanistan for the U.S. Pacific Rim forces. 

Along with the 17 Strykers, the U.S. will showcase the Javelin Anti-Tank Missile system, employed to defeat current and future threat armored combat vehicles.

The YA 2009 constitutes the largest troop exchange since the YA partnership exercise commenced in 2004. 

Indian Army soldiers from the 31st Armored Division are working with U.S. soldiers from the 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry regiment, Strykehorse, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

This years exercise includes a multi-echelon, full spectrum combined operation focusing on a United Nations peacekeeping operation scenario, while executing a maneuver live-fire exercise. 

During the exercise, participants will engage in a variety of missions, from joint planning and maneuver execution, a variety of artillery ranges, to cordon and search operations as well as search and rescue training. - ANI

Top Hizb commander killed in Valley gunfight

Security forces claimed a major success in Jammu & Kashmir on Monday with the killing of Mohhamed Sidiq Dar alias Saquib, militant group Hizbul Mujahideen’s top commander in the Valley and the second man in its hierarchy.
The police said they recovered an AK-74, one of the most sophisticated rifles of the AK series, from Saquib — a first of its kind recovery from the Valley.
Two other Hizbul militants — Riyaz Paswal alias Adnan and Ashfaq — were also gunned down in the encounter in Shopian, 55 km from Srinagar, on Monday, the police said.
“He (Saquib) was the second in command to Hizb chief Syed Salahuddin,” said Farooq Ahmad, Inspector General, Kashmir. “He was wanted in many attacks and killings.”
A satellite phone “which he used to communicate with his bosses across the border” and two AK-56 rifles were also recovered, Ahmad added.
Saquib, who operated in Jammu & Kashmir for the past 14 years, was a divisional commander of the outfit in Pir Panjal and operated in Doda, Bhaderwah and Kishtwar in Jammu and Anantnag and Kulgam in the Kashmir region. While Saquib hailed from Doda, Paswal and Ashfaq were from the valley, the police said.
Police sources said Saquib was instrumental in reviving Hizbul Mujahideen in south Kashmir after he crossed over from Doda- Kishtwar to this side. He managed the intelligence wing of the outfit, masterminded many attacks in the area, and coordinated with the Lashkar in carrying out attacks.
He was considered very close to Lashkar’s top man in the Valley, Rehman Bhai, and had recently given security forces the slip in Pulwama, police sources said.
The AK-74, a 5.45 mm assault rifle developed in the early 1970s in the Soviet Union, was first deployed when Soviet forces were engaged in the Afghanistan conflict.


Military advisers likely for anti-Maoist operations

New Delhi: The army, which has so far been kept out of anti-Maoist operations, is being dragged willy-nilly into the battle.  

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At last week's conference of army commanders in New Delhi, home minister P Chidambaram is reported to have said that sooner or later the army may have to get involved. His remarks were not reported in the media. What was reported was that he drew a distinction between Maoists and insurgents in Kashmir and the north-east.

While the army brass is still keen to avoid getting entangled in another domestic counter-insurgency operation, it has nevertheless recommended the appointment of military advisers in each of the Maoist-affected states and the setting up of anti-insurgency training facilities under its management. It has also called for an improvement in governance and intelligence network.

According to government sources, the army commanders have, in their recommendations to the ministry of defence, expressed reservations about army deployment against the Maoists. They pointed out that the 120 battalions raised by the home ministry for this purpose are still to be fully deployed. The commanders said that the army should not be deployed till these battalions are fully stretched.

However, to improve operational abilities, the army top brass has recommended that each of the affected states appoint "military advisers" -- fairly senior army officers who look into operational matters.

These officers, preferably of the rank of brigadier or major-general, would study the operations of the Maoists and security personnel and recommend appropriate strategies.

Sources told DNA that the army top brass has recommended that the central government set up a national centre, under army administration, for training the instructors of paramilitary and state police forces involved in anti-Maoist operations. The army has not suggested any location for the national centre.

The army top brass has also pointed out that the existing intelligence gathering capabilities are not sufficient to meet the Maoist challenge. Besides, the senior military leadership also believes that governance in the Maoist belt needs to be improved, a line of thinking that everyone, from the prime minister down, is beginning to accept.

As of now, the army has no direct role in anti-Maoist operations, except for a retired brigadier running a training centre in Chhattisgarh, and some other peripheral liaison work.


Pakistan Minister accuses India of funding Taliban to create instability

NEW DELHI: Pakistan on Monday once again showed that it has few parallels in over-the-top posturing when its interior minister Rehman Malik accused India of funding the Taliban. 

In a claim that would evoke ridicule not just here but also in the western capitals as well, Mr Malik said he was “convinced” that India was among the “hostile agencies” that were backing the Taliban to create instability in Pakistan. 

This comes after revelations by western security experts that troubles within Pakistan were being fomented by the Tehrik-e-Taliban, Al Qaeda and extremist outfits operating from its soil. 

According to the US think tank Stratfor, the series of attacks by Tehrik-e-Taliban across Pakistan indicated that the militants retained capabilities to strike at will. The think tank is of the view that the new wave of attacks has made it apparent that the Taliban has more resources available in various parts of Pakistan. 

But Mr Malik, as expected, chose to demonise India in an interview to a Pakistani news channel. “There are certain hostile elements against Pakistan and there are certain hostile agencies which do not want Pakistan to be stable.” 
He also made the extravagant claim that he has proof to validate his charges. 

“If the interior minister of India or anyone else wants to confront me, I will be very happy to confront them because I know what I am saying,” he added. Mr Malik had last week said that Pakistan has “solid evidence” of India’s alleged involvement in fomenting unrest in Balochistan province and that this could be shared with Indian ministers or representatives at any forum of their choice. “I invite their interior minister or anyone else (to come to Pakistan) and I will put on record all the material about India’s interference in Balochistan. I’ll prove it to the world,” he had said. 

With Pakistan continuously attacking India for its own internal problems, New Delhi is also concerned about the recently approved US aid package. Minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor told a TV channel that India supported US efforts, but is concerned about Islamabad diverting US aid and military equipment against India. 

“Our bitter experience over the last 25 years has been, ever since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, money gets poured in from Washington into Islamabad, and a colossally high percentage of it is actually spent, not on the purposes that Washington intends, but to buy tanks and planes and artillery aimed directly at India,” Mr Tharoor said in the interview. He said India applauded the US for supporting Pakistan economically and for equipping Pakistan to “overcome the homegrown horror of terrorism”. 

He said India wanted peace with Pakistan. “Pakistan needs peace as much as we do. When will they come to the realisation that it’s in their interest to end this unproductive approach,” he asked.

‘No complaint from Army on grenades’

The Ordnance Factory Board has clarified that there has been no complaint from the Army about grenades during the weapons’ normal shelf-life. A TOI story published on September 7 had stated that a survey had found that soldiers often complained that grenades don’t explode. These, according to Ordnance Factory Board, are only whose fuse and detonators have outlived their shelf life of three years. The experts who spoke to the jawans during the course of the survey found that detonators more than three years old are reaching the jawans. 

The Kolkata-based Ordnance Factory Board has confirms that it has received such reports as reported by TOI. TOI’s report does not specify whether problems are encountered by jawans during the shelf-life of a hand grenade. 

On Insas (Indian National Small Arms System) rifle not having the facility to launch the grenades through its under-barrel launcher, OFB has said that the 5.56mm rifle, presently being used by jawans, is not powerful enough to lob the 36M make grenades mentioned in the article.

Af-Pak to top India-Russia-China meet agenda

NEW DELHI: When foreign minister S M Krishna meets his counterparts Sergey Lavrov and Yang Jiechi in Bangalore on Tuesday, the meeting will, for the first time, be held under the shadow of sharp differences between India and China. To that extent, some serious diplomacy will be expected by the Chinese and the Indians. 

Russia and China have resolved their issues and have moved closer on many fronts, while there has been a sharp deterioration in the India-China fabric. 

In a recent interview, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao said, "The structure that the three countries have devised enables us to discuss issues of regional importance and of course, our external affairs minister will be meeting his Chinese counterpart during this meeting." 

According to sources, it will be India-China bilateral issues and the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan-Pakistan that is likely to dominate the discussions. 

On the bilateral front, the Krishna-Yang meeting comes just after PM Manmohan Singh and Wen Jiabao covered the bilateral agenda on the margins of the East Asia summit over the weekend. To that extent, it may be merely a reiteration of ground already covered. But the feeling in the MEA is that India needs to engage the Chinese intensively at every forum to either reassure them about their real and imagined concerns, or reinforce held Indian positions. With Lavrov, Krishna was just in Moscow for a bilateral meeting to cover bilateral issues, which wouldn't have changed much since then. 

But the most important item on their agenda would be the situation in Afghanistan-Pakistan. India wears its heart on its sleeve on the Af-Pak situation, but the meeting will be a unique opportunity for the three powers circling Af-Pak to discuss future possibilities, specially if things get worse, as they may well do. 

Russia and India are together in that they don't want the Taliban back in Kabul, but China is more ambiguous, its position complicated by its close relationship with Pakistan on the one hand, and its problems with Islamic extremism in Xinjiang on the other. China is also one of the biggest investors in Afghanistan, having invested over $3 billion in the Aynak copper mines near Kabul. So logically, it should be on the same page. 

But Pakistan is the ghost at the table. China will not want to see Pakistan marginalised, but all three countries have a strong interest in seeing Pakistan free of its greatest export: terrorism. India will have a good opportunity to see how the two other powers approach the evolving situation there. India will be particularly interested to hear how the two other powers regard the role and future of the Taliban. At the recent SCO meeting, Taliban sent a letter asking for their intervention in Afghanistan to toss out the US and NATO. 

However, on almost every other count, RIC has had to yield space to more active groupings. In 1998, it was former Russian premier Yevgeny Primakov who proposed the trilateral. China, after initial scepticism, came on board with the first foreign ministers meeting in 2005. July, 2006, saw the first heads of government meeting on the sidelines of the G-8 summit in St Petersburg, Russia. The second meeting was held in New Delhi in February 2007 and the third at Harbin, China in October 2007. The last meeting was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia on the sidelines of the BRIC summit. 

In many ways, says former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal, BRIC made RIC redundant. 

While India might want to make Af-Pak a big discussion issue at RIC, we must remember that Russia and China have formulated their positions with Afghanistan's next door neighbours, the Central Asian states at the recent meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which now focuses on counter-terrorism and security, where India is excluded from the core. 

Besides, China and Russia have also coordinated their positions on many international issues like Iran and nuclear issues, both countries being permanent members of the UNSC. India, as an outsider, automatically remains out of this calculus. 

Yet supporters of RIC have argued that this is an evolving and useful forum for the three powers to work together, though this lofty idea is yet to really take off.

Army Chief takes up promotion matter in Commanders conference !

Army Chief Deepak Kapoor reportedly took up the matter of promotion of 17 officers to the rank of Lt General at Commanders conference. Never in the past promotion matter was raised in the Commanders conference.