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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hazards of summit diplomacy

Supplement direct pressure on Pakistan by regional action
THE recent terrorist attack in Gurdaspur district has outraged public opinion across India. There is now credible evidence that the terrorists came from across the international border. The modus operandi of the terrorists was clearly that of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. What is, however, significant is that the attack came in the wake of intensified shelling by Pakistani forces that followed the Modi-Nawaz summit in Ufa. Hafiz Mohammed Saeed was scathingly critical in describing the outcome of the Ufa Summit as a virtual surrender. The army, operating as always, from the background, got its protégés to accuse Nawaz of virtual betrayal of the “Kashmir jihad”. General Raheel Shareef, who has lost an uncle and brother in conflicts with India, is known to breathe fire about India and to have blocked moves for promoting economic ties. 
No Indian Prime Minister has escaped unscathed from vitriolic criticism that virtually always follows a summit meeting with his Pakistani counterpart. If Jawaharlal Nehru was pilloried for the Indus Waters Treaty, Indira Gandhi was in the firing line for allegedly bartering away the fruits of military victory in Bangladesh, while at Simla, Mr Narasimha Rao was criticised for “doing nothing” to improve ties with Pakistan (he had a healthy distaste for Benazir Bhutto’s ravings and ranting). Mr Vajpayee was labelled as naïve when the Kargil conflict followed his Lahore Summit with Nawaz Sharif, and the attack on India's Parliament soon followed his disastrous Agra Summit with General Musharraf. Dr Manmohan Singh faced flak, even from his own party, after the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit.
Mr Modi has faced a similar criticism after the Ufa meeting with Nawaz Sharif. But a close scrutiny of the joint statement and the post-summit remarks of Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz reveal that India largely got what it wanted from the summit. The most significant outcome of the Ufa meeting was an agreement to focus attention predominantly on ending cross-border intrusions, infiltration and terrorism. New Delhi thus succeeded in its aim of discarding the mindless Composite Dialogue process. Humanitarian issues like release of detained fishermen and promoting religious tourism — Hindus from India visiting sites like Katas Raj and Sadhu Belo and Pakistani Sufis visiting Ajmer — also figured in the Ufa talks.
Sartaj Aziz made it clear that the meeting in Ufa was “not the formal start of any dialogue process”. He referred to setting the stage to “identify areas where the two countries could promote cooperation right away, in order to reduce tensions and hostility”. It was agreed that the NSAs of India and Pakistan would soon meet and to have early meetings of heads of paramilitary border personnel and DGMOs, to ensure peace and tranquillity along the LoC and International Border. This enables India to stick to an agenda primarily designed to meet its concerns on terrorism. It is, however, clear that Sartaj Aziz will dwell substantively on Pakistan’s allegations about Indian actions on this score. While this issue will take time to address and may involve future contacts between the ISI and R&AW, one hopes that meetings between senior representatives of military and paramilitary forces will bring an end to infiltration. But a note of caution on this is required. There is nothing to suggest that the hawkish General Raheel Shareef will be in a hurry to rein in the likes of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. 
While the Modi government has made it clear that it will respond in more than ample measure to cross-border intrusions and infiltration, this is not a new phenomenon. It is often forgotten that the Indian response to infiltration, between 2000 and 2003, was so devastating that in areas like Neelum River Valley life was regularly brought to a standstill. It was this policy that forced General Musharraf to ask for a ceasefire in November 2003. But rather than exult about this development, Mr Vajpayee got pressure mounted by the Americans for General Musharraf to pledge that “territory under Pakistan’s control” would not be used for terrorism against India. This is a lesson that those who loudly articulate a policy of “uninterrupted dialogue at all costs” would do well to understand and learn from. 
The US and China are now playing an active, behind-the-scenes role in shaping the discourse between India and Pakistan. They are also working together in getting Pakistan to encourage its Taliban protégés to enter into a meaningful dialogue with the all-too willing and subservient regime of President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. Both the US and China are engaged in boosting Pakistan’s military capabilities, supplying submarines, attack helicopters, F16s and JF 17 fighters. It is no wonder General Shareef is confident that US protestations about Pakistan-sponsored terrorism are not to be taken seriously.
Since the dialogue process agreed to in Ufa focuses exclusively on infiltration and terrorism, the proposed meetings between NSAs, DGMOs and the heads of paramilitary border forces should be held, while making it clear that there can be no discussions on other issues till there is substantive movement forward on these concerns. At the same time, measures need to taken, which need not be spelt out explicitly, to raise the costs for the Pakistani establishment, within and beyond their country's borders. The message to powers like the US and China should be that whatever their compulsions, we will take all necessary steps to safeguard the sanctity of our borders.
Direct pressure on Pakistan needs to be supplemented by regional action. India should ensure that other South Asian neighbours will make it clear to Islamabad that SAARC will become institutionally irrelevant if Islamabad pursues its narrow objectives of undermining India, in the lead up to the Islamabad SAARC Summit, by advocating membership of SAARC for China or resisting efforts to promote connectivity and economic integration. India has substantial and expanding cooperation, both bilaterally and sub-regionally, and common borders with all its eastern SAARC neighbours. Pakistan has neither the resources, nor connectivity, nor capabilities, to match Indian influence in the region. Its duplicity is legendary in its western Islamic neighbours.

Rescue operation: Admn seeks Navy’s help

Dushyant Singh Pundir and Abhinav Vashisht
Tribune News Service
Kullu, July 29
The district administration has sought the assistance of the Navy to use sonar imaging system to trace the missing persons and the wreckage of the Manikaran bus that plunged into the swollen Parbati with 69 pilgrims onboard on the Bhuntar-Manikaran road on July 23.
Even after the intensive search operation carried out by over 600 personnel, only 11 bodies could be traced while 35 are still missing.
The rescue personnel were unable to trace any of the missing pilgrims for the past two days while parts of the wreckage were recovered from near the accident site. The search is being carried out in the 18 km water stretch right from the accident site in the Parbati and Beas river right up to Larji dam.
Kullu ADM Vinay Singh Thakur said the rescue team comprised 40 personnel of the NDRF, 40 ITBP, 60 SSB, besides personnel from the police and the Home Guards.
He said turbulent and dirty water hampered the search operations. Underwater cameras had also failed to yield results due to high silt level, which was normal during monsoons, he said, adding diving was not possible on the limited stretch of the Parbati due to rolling boulders.
The ADM said temporary rope bridges were being used to trace the mangles of the wreckage till 3 km downstream from the spot of accident. Sources said a bus plunged into the Satluj near Jeori village at Rampur Tehsil of Shimla district in the early nineties was never traced. Geological experts stated that the gradient of Himalayan rivers was very steep and thus the undercutting was deep and at some places the river could be around 50 ft deep.
The ADM stated that the cheques of the remaining Rs 3.75 lakh of Rs 4 lakh relief to be given to the kin of the deceased pilgrim were today sent to their respective administrative heads. He said the search operation would be carried out for next two months after which the missing would be declared dead after conducting necessary enquiry and legal provisions.

Map not to scale


Those missing 
Mansa district
  • 1 Bhushan Singh
  • 2 Sukha Singh
  • 3 Manindperpal Singh
  • 4 Manpreet Singh
  • 5 Hardeep Singh
  • 6 Mela Singh
  • 7 Manpreet Singh Mani
  • 8 Lakkhi Singh
  • 9 Manpreet Singh Kala
  • 10 Gurmeet Singh
  • 11 Bant Singh
  • 12 Kesar Singh
Barnala district
  • 13 Charanjit Kaur
  • 14 Arshpreet Kaur
  • 15 Nachhatar Singh
  • 16 Veerpal Kaur
  • 17 Paramjit Kaur
Bathinda district
  • 18 Gursewak Singh
  • 19 Gurmail Singh
  • 20 Mewa Singh
  • 21 Amarjit Singh
  • 22 Janda Singh
  • 23 Satbir Kaur
  • 24 Jagbir Singh
  • 25 Jaspal Singh
  • 26 Makhan Singh
  • 27 Baljeet Singh
  • 28 Balwant Singh
  • 29 Manpreet Kaur
  • 30 Sukhpreet Singh
  • 31 Amarjeet Kaur
  • 32 Baljit Kaur
  • 33 Sardara Singh
  • 34 Gurdev Singh
  • 35 Durga Singh
New guidelines for BSF, Army
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 29

The Gurdaspur terror incident has forced New Delhi to rethink on deployment of forces in the border areas.
A detailed plan with changed standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Indian Army is being prepared to ramp up security along the border. The BSF is drawing up its plan while the Indian Army has already issued an alert to its units following an assessment of threat.
Sources said this would include new electronic methods of detecting infiltration at the international borders along the riverine segments which did not have a fence. The existing method of Indian security agencies patrolling the rivers on boats makes the personnel vulnerable to attacks from well-armed terrorists who could be on the other side of the river. The monsoon turns the rivers into torrents and boats at times land up in Pakistan.
As off now, sources said, the locations of the Army’s units based in the lower hills of Punjab and J&K are under threat. An analysis has been made that Mamum (Pathankot) based 29 Division, the Jammu-based 26 Division and their units that dot the landscape have been told to be on alert as the units could be under attack. In December last year an Army camp in Uri had come under attack and 11 soldiers had died.

Amarinder bats for Punjab Police, Bajwa for army

CAPTAIN STUMPS ‘STREET FIGHTER’ BAJWA BY REACHING GURDASPUR DAY AFTER TERROR ATTACK
CHANDIGARH: The faction-ridden Punjab Congress is busy playing the game of one-upmanship even as the state comes to terms with the revisiting of terror.
Not known to be a “street fighter”, former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, stumped state party president Partap Singh Bajwa by reaching Dinanagar the day after the terror attack in the Gurdaspur town, accompanied by most legislators from the district.
Not popular among leaders of his own home district, Bajwa, a former MP from Gurdaspur who lost the seat in 2014, visited the area on Wednesday along with Congress general secretary in charge of Punjab affairs Shakeel Ahmed. The warring leaders batted for different sides on the handling of the operation. Bajwa on Tuesday had hit out at Punjab Police for their “unprofessional” way of dealing with the terror attack, saying they had fought terrorists in “T-shirts and pajamas” without bulletproof jackets and not allowed the army to take over. The army, he had said, would have finished the operation in an hour where the police took 12 hours or so.On Wednesday, Amarinder hailed Punjab Police, saying there was no need to involve the army. In a press statement, he questioned the logic behind the suggestion that the army should have been brought into the operation. “I am surprised over so much fuss in certain quarters over not involving the army when Punjab Police were competent to do the job, which they did so well with great confidence and courage, and even sacrificing their lives,” he said.
He added that the way Punjab Police commandos and SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team carried out the operation had not only boosted the morale of the police across the state but also reaffirmed people’s faith in their capacity and competence. “I am surprised over the wisdom of the people who wanted to involve the army to flush out just three terrorists,” he remarked.
“If the army has to be involved in such operations, what are the commandos and SWAT for?” he asked, asserting that Punjab Police have eliminated militancy in the past and proved again that it continues to have the vigour and the morale to face any challenge successfully.

Western Command’s seminar on 1965 war commemorates 50 years of victory

CHANDIGARH: Army’s Western Command organised a seminar on the 1965 Indo-Pak war to commemorate 50 years of victory, at Manekshaw Auditorium, Chandimandir, on Wednesday.
It was attended by a large number of serving and retired officers who had participated in the war in 1965. Delivering keynote address, GOC-in-C Western Command Lt General KJ Singh remembered the martyrs of the Indo-Pak war with great reverence. Eminent panelists, consisting of war veterans, senior retired officers and military historians deliberated on various facets of the war.
Daughter of Lt General Harbaksh Singh, the then GOCin-C of Western Command and known as ‘saviour of the western borders’, Harmala Gupta was the guest of honour. A large number of veterans residing in the tricity shared their experience and opinions with a large gathering, comprising officers and ladies.
The prominent among the speakers included Lt General Harbhajan Singh, who elaborated on ‘higher direction of war’ and Lt General TSS Shergill, who covered ‘1 Corps Operations’.Similarly Lt General VK Kapoor (retd), Major General K Ganguly (retd), Brigadier Jasbir Singh (retd), Major General KS Kohli (retd) and Major General SP Jhingon deliberated upon the battle of phillora, while Lt General Depinder Singh (retd) and Rakesh Dutta brought out the lessons learnt from the war.
Eminent scholars like Dr Kamal Kinger and Dr Umrao Singh highlighted the then prevailing geo-political situation leading to the conflict. On the occasion, a two-minute silence was also observed in remembrance of the 1965 war heroes.
AIRMAN SELECTION GOES ONLINE
In tune with the national policy ‘Digital India’, Indian Air Force (IAF) on Wednesday launched a dedicated website for selection into the airman cadre. The website “airmenselection. gov.in” was launched by air officer-in-charge personnel (AOP), air marshal S Neelakantan and dedicated to the nation today. The receipt of applications and registration of candidature for selection was done manually to date.

Man Who Realised India's Missile dream

NEW DELHI: Fondly known as the Missile Man of India, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, a specialist in Aeronautical Engineering and one of the most distinguished Indian scientists, had made several contributions to Indian space research programmes with the evolution of the country’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III).
He was the project director of India’s first satellite — Rohini. During his tenure in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), he headed the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme to develop five different missiles — Prithivi, Agni, Trishul, Akash and Nag.



Former President Abdul Kalam During His Young Days
As the Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister and the secretary to the DRDO, Kalam envisioned the concept of joint partnership, which led to the formation of BrahMos Aerospace between Indian and Russia. 
After graduating from the Madras Institute of Technology in 1960, Kalam joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment, a laboratory of DRDO as chief scientist.
During the early days of his career there,  Kalam designed a small helicopter for the Indian Army.
Kalam was associated with the Indian National Committee for Space Research as a rocket engineer, working under Dr Vikram Sarabhai. In 1963-64, he visited Nasa’s Langley Research Centre in Poquoson, Virginia, Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, and Wallops Flight Facility situated in the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
In 1969, Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro).
From the 1970s to 1990s, Kalam made an effort to develop the Polar SLV and SLV-III projects, which proved to be a success.http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Man-Who-Realised-Indias-Missile-dream/2015/07/28/article2944453.ece

In 1974, Kalam was shifted to the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL), a subsidiary of DRDO.
He was invited by the ‘Father of India’s nuclear programme’ Raja Ramanna to witness the country’s first nuclear test ‘Smiling Buddha’.
In the 1970s, a landmark achievement was made when Isro first launched into space the locally built Rohini-1, using the SLV rocket.
In the 1970s, Kalam directed Project Devil and Project Valiant,  which sought to develop ballistic missiles from the technology of Kalam’s successful SLV programme, though both of them were called off later.
Although discontinued in 1974 without achieving success, Project Valiant, like Project Devil, later led to the development of the Prithvi missile in the 1980s.
As Chief Executive of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme, he played a major part in developing many missiles in India including Agni and Prithvi.
He was the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of DRDO from July 1992 to December 1999.
Kalam served as the Chief Project Coordinator  for Pokhran-II nuclear tests, where he played an intensive political and technical role.
In the year 1998, with cardiologist Dr Soma Raju, Kalam developed a low cost coronary stent, making an otherwise expensive cardiac cure affordable for the millions who do not have the means to avail first-class care in the country.

Centre Should Consider Hot Pursuit of Terrorists: Amarinder

DINANAGAR: Senior Congress leader Amarinder Singh today suggested to the Centre to consider the policy of hot pursuit of terrorists and their patrons across the border in the wake of the Gurdaspur terror attack.
The Central government should "seriously consider the policy even if it leads to escalation in hostilities", said Singh, who today visited the site of yesterday's attack and the families of those killed in it. He meet bereaved families and expressed his deep sorrow over their loss. Singh also assured support to the injured police personnel and civilians undergoing treatment at various hospitals.
The Congress leader attended the last rites of two police personnel who were yesterday killed in the attack and visited the family of slain police officer Baljeet Singh in Kapurthala. "We can't keep on watching our innocent getting killed by fidayeens from across the border... there has to be an end to it, there is a limit to our patience," he told reporters outside the police station, which was stormed by the terrorists yesterday.
Asked whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi should continue to engage Pakistan diplomatically, he said "Pakistan Prime Minister (Nawaz Sharif) hardly has any say or influence over army and ISI, which run the show there." He recalled "while former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was taking a round of Lahore in a bus with Sharif, the Pakistani military was infiltrating into Kargil and preparing for a war against India."
He said "while talks with Pakistan cannot be stopped, India needs to be alert and assertive. It can't keep on tolerating terror for long."  Referring to Pakistan Army chief Raheel Sharif's statement that "Pakistan isn't Myanmar", warning India against strikes along the lines of the Indian army's operation in Myanmar, he said, "Let me tell the General (Sharif) that India is not Myanmar either. "You should be knowing it too well from your experiences with repeated defeats."
"There is no non-state actor in Pakistan as everything is under the direct control of army and ISI," he added.http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Centre-Should-Consider-Hot-Pursuit-of-Terrorists-Amarinder/2015/07/28/article2945365.ece

Ex-Army Commander hits out at Punjab Police

Lt Gen HS Panag (Retd) lashed out at the Punjab Police DGP, Sumedh Singh Saini for reportedly delaying the anti-terrorist operation in Dinanagar even though the Army was readily available.

Written by Man Aman Singh Chhina | Chandigarh | Published:July 29, 2015 2:11 am
Former General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Northern and Central Commands of the Army, Lt Gen HS Panag (Retd) on Tuesday lashed out at the Punjab Police Director General of Police, Sumedh Singh Saini, on Twitter for insisting on using the state police SWAT team and reportedly delaying the anti-terrorist operation in Dinanagar even though the Army was readily available.
In a series of hard-hitting tweets, Lt Gen Panag said that it was only because the DGP was keen to launch SWAT and make it a Punjab Police operation that there was delay of several hours in effectively taking on the terrorists. “Insistence on using SWAT…delayed the op. 3 Hrs to move. IA was there but not allowed to conduct op [sic],” tweeted the former Army Commander, adding that the delay was a repeat of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
“Egos must not drive counter terrorist operations,” he further tweeted. Lt Gen Panag said that the Indian Army units present on the scene of action should have acted on their own. “Centre cannot and does not monitor such ops minute to minute. At best IA units should have taken suo moto action. I would have,” he tweeted. Later, speaking to The Indian Express, Lt Gen Panag said he stood by what he had tweeted earlier and that it was a tactical error and an unpardonable sin for having let the Army sit around and wait for SWAT to arrive when its own men could have done the job. “They were lucky that unlike in Mumbai, where casualties were caused due to late arrival of NSG, the same did not happen in Dinanagar,” he said. The Army, however, has maintained a studied silence on the entire episode. - See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/ex-army-commander-hits-out-at-punjab-police/#sthash.NwTPAsoL.dpuf

16 Years After Kargil, Army Still Short of Key Equipment


New Delhi: As the country marked the 16th anniversary of the Kargil war on Sunday, Gen. V.P. Malik, who headed the Indian Army during the conflict, says the force still faced shortage of weapons and equipment, though there has been much progress since 1999.

"There was a shortage of weapons and equipment during the Kargil war, the same problem persists today," the former Army chief told IANS.
"As I keep hearing, large number of deficiencies are there, and it (sorting out the problem) should be a priority," he said.
Army Chief General Dalbir Singh, speaking at the Kargil war memorial at Drass, in Jammu and Kashmir, on Saturday, said shortage of clothing and equipment had been identified and would be tackled soon.
A report of the parliamentary Standing Committee on Defense recently painted a grim picture of the Army’s modernization plans, citing shortages ranging from wheeled guns, tanks, missiles, and ammunition, to basic amenities like bullet-proof jackets, night vision devices and even mosquito nets.
The panel, in its report, said the shortage of basic amenities includes shortfall of 217,388 high ankle boots, 1.3 million canvas brown rubber-soled shoes with laces, 447,000 ski masks and 126,270 mosquito nets.
Still, Malik said the Army has come a long way since the 1999 conflict when India lacked critical surveillance equipment along the border. Asked about the difference between the situation in 1999, and today, the former army chief said: "The situation is different today; 1999 was different. There were no surveillance devices on the border, one had to walk from one post to other in the snow."
"Today things are better, we have some sort of devices," he said, urging further upgrades.
Malik also pointed out that India has stationed more troops along the border now, a process that that started with raising 14 Corps after the Kargil War.
The former army chief also stressed on the decision-making process. “We must have military leadership in the decision-making loop. Wars can happen suddenly, instead of consulting when something happens,” said the retired general. “Political talks can be on, but the Army should be kept aware of the strategic environment.”
The Kargil War was fought in the summer of 1999 to evict intruding Pakistani forces that had occupied posts vacated in winter by India. It was fought for over 60 days, ending on July 26.
The attack by Pakistan on the Indian side was seen as a planned act, even though Pakistan initially blamed it on insurgents. Documents found on the dead bodies and statements by Pakistani leaders and their army chief revealed the involvement of Pakistani forces.In the conflict, the Indian Army lost around 500 officers, soldiers and jawans.http://www.indiawest.com/news/india/years-after-kargil-army-still-short-of-key-equipment/article_d3e0ce0c-34fa-11e5-9ab1-c7af6f894b58.html

Army could have finished it off early: Experts

Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, July 28
The Punjab Police successfully eliminated the three terrorists holed up inside a police station, but security experts are of the view that the manner in which the situation was handled left a lot to be desired. 
Not only were their gaps in inter-agency coordination and intelligence, based upon media reports and TV footage, senior retired officers opined the state police, including the much vaulted SWAT team that had carried out the mopping operations displayed lack of training, equipment and service discipline.
The manner in which the terrorists had laid explosives on the railway track, their choice of target and the weapons they were carrying led some experts to believe they were well trained and had a focused objective. But requisitioning the Army and then keeping it waiting for the SWAT team to arrive, they say, led to unnecessary delays that could have been counter-productive.
The terrorists had reportedly infiltrated from Pakistan through the Shakragarh bulge along the riverine banks of the Ravi, the area that had also witnessed intense battles during Indo-Pakistani wars. This is for the first time that a cross-border attack has been launched in Punjab. Even during terrorism days in the state, weapons were smuggled from across the border.
There is also a belief in the security establishment that yesterday’s attack could be an attempt to ridicule India’s strategy of “giving a befitting reply” to cross-border firing and terrorist incidents and also against operations perceived to have been conducted in Pakistan by Indian intelligence.
“The Army deals with such situations regularly in J&K and there was no reason to first mobilise infantry troops located in the vicinity and then keep them deployed in the outer cordon waiting for police SWAT teams to arrive from far-off locations,” Lt Gen HS Panag, former GOC-in-C Northern Command said. 
“Had the army been allowed to conduct the operations, they would have started early morning and finished soon instead of lingering till evening, thereby creating a greater risk for collateral damage or casualties being inflicted by the terrorists of security forces as well as civilians,” he said.
Brig Pradeep Sharma (retd), who has served with the National Security Guards, said the police could easily have used smoke bombs to flush them out and cut off water and electricity to the building to mentally wear them out. “Anti-terrorist operations are not about showing bravado. They are more about patience and psychological pressure. It was luck they chose to take over a police station,” he said. http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/army-could-have-finished-it-off-early-experts/112621.html

Reviving militancy? Four important questions that arise from the Gurdaspur terror attack

New Delhi: The 12-hour-long fierce gun battle between the terrorists and the Indian security forces at Gurdaspur in Punjab ended at 5 pm on Monday, leaving 10 dead, including three militants.
The sudden terror attack, which eerily resembled the 26/11 Mumbai attack, has left a horrific memory amongst the residents of this small town of Punjab, but more importantly it has compelled the people of Gurdaspur, including the intelligence agencies and security forces, to ask four vital questions:
  • Why Gurdaspur?
  • Who could have been behind the terror attack?
  • Is Gurdaspur attack a mini 26/11?
  • And, the motive of the attack?
Speculations are rife that the militants belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit and had the backing of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). Even former intelligence officials are not ready to rule out a possible link between Yakub Memon’s hanging and the terror attack.
Representational image. AFP
Gurdaspur terror attack. AFP
However, according to the Punjab police and the central intelligence sources, it’s too early to say anything with conviction about the attack that had cost seven lives -- four policemen, including SP (Detective) Baljeet Singh and three civilians. The three militants, who had stormed into a police station at Dinanager--11 kms from Gurdaspur city on NH-15 in the early hours of Monday and took to indiscriminate firing, were also killed in the siege.
The central intelligence has claimed that an alert was sent to the Punjab government about a possible terror attack, which was ignored. The attack has been dubbed an ‘intelligence failure’.
Why Gurdaspur?
The Gurdaspur attack is the biggest terror attack in the Punjab in more than a decade. The choice of Gurdaspur as a terror target has come as a surprise not only for the Punjab, but for the entire country.
According to intelligence sources, the geographical location of Gurdaspur probably made it an ideal target. The Gurdaspur district is the northern most district of Punjab and lies between river Ravi and Beas. It is 10 km from the international border of India and Pakistan. Gurdaspur’s close proximity to the border has also made it a hotbed of drug trafficking.
Counter-terrorism analyst, Anil Kamboj said, “Investigations would reveal the actual cause of attack on Gurdaspur. But, prima facie modus operandi indicates that there could be a possibility that due to heavy security in Jammu & Kashmir, especially due to the Amarnath Yatra, the militants, who are unable to create disturbance there, headed 80 kms southward to Gurdaspur and attacked. Due to high security alert by multiple security agencies across J&K and at the borders, these militants might have got inside Punjab sometime back and used Pathankot as their hideout. Moreover, Gurdaspur was relatively an easy target for the militants due to its close proximity to the border and attracted lesser attention of the security forces in comparison to other districts like Amritsar.”
“As Gurdaspur is so close to the India-Pakistan border, it became an obvious choice for the terrorists from the other side to enter the city and attack. It’s a shocking incident for us, but, Gurdaspur won’t allow anymore Khalistan militancy to thrive. We’re already fighting the drug menace in the district, aggravated by smuggling from across the border. This attack will cast a shadow over India-Pakistan peace efforts,” a government doctor of Gurdaspur told Firstpost, on condition of anonymity.
Who is behind the attack?
The intelligence agencies have claimed the attackers to be militants from Pakistan-ISI backed terror outfit, possibly the LeT.
Defence analyst Maj Gen (retd) Dhruv C Katoch opined, “Pakistan’s ISI has been trying to cause disturbances on Indian soil for quite some time. The militants had threatened to unleash attack during the Amarnath Yatra, but due to heavy security deployment, they diverted it on Gurdaspur and thereby sent a message about their presence. But, the terror attack in Gurdaspur also reveals a possibility of a tacit support from sleeper cells of pro-Khalistani elements. The worst was that the militants were in army uniform that eased their way into a police station. Once the investigation reveals the perpetrators of the crime, appropriate response mechanism needs to be implemented.”
Meanwhile, Lieutenant General (retd) KS Brar, who headed the Indian Army's ‘Operation Blue Star’ to flush out Khalistani militants from the Golden Temple in 1984, has reportedly blamed the Punjab government and ISI for the terror attack. He criticised the Punjab government of taking a soft stand towards Khalistani terror groups and releasing them as a part of vote bank politics.
Is Gurdaspur attack a mini 26/11?
There is an uncanny resemblance between the modus operandi of 26/11 Mumbai attackers and the three terrorists, who had entered Gurdaspur city by snatching a car and indiscriminately killing who-so-ever they found – right from a roadside vendor to policemen.
According to Kamboj, the modus operandi of the attack shows it couldn’t be the work of pro-Khalistani militants, but that of a Pak-based terror group, like in the case of Mumbai 26/11 attack. “It’s a Fidayeen-type of attack, usually undertaken by LeT operatives, unlike the Khalistani militants, who opted for direct ambush. These militants were well-equipped with GPS, grenades and arms, and unleashed a sudden and unexpected attack by firing on a moving bus and on the citizens, including a woman attendant of a patient. They even planted five IEDs on a railway track, which fortunately didn’t blow-off.”
Kamboj’s claim finds support in what a Punjab Police source said, “We heard the terrorists shout ‘Allah-O-Akbar’ (In Arabic it’s God is great) from inside the house, where they had taken shelter. They may be from Pakistan.”
Motive behind the attack?
According to counter-terrorism analysts and former intelligence officials, the possible motive behind the attack could be an attempt to revive militancy in the Punjab on one hand, to protesting the upcoming capital punishment to Yakub Memon scheduled to take place on 31 July.
“If Tiger Memon had been instrumental in carrying out the 1993 Mumbai serial blast at the behest of ISI, don’t you think it’s a kind of payback from the ISI using militants to show that if you hang ‘our people, we’ll kill yours’. Though, it’s too early to claim this theory, it can’t be ruled outoutright,” a former Intelligence Bureau (IB) official said on condition of anonymity.
Kamboj, who had served in the Punjab during its peak militancy period added, “The attack could be an attempt to revive militancy in Punjab. By unleashing a terror attack in Gurdaspur, the Pak-based militants have tried to give message to pro-Khalistan sympathizers and hardliners that a revival was possible. After all, many top leaders of the Babbar Khalsa and Khalistan Movement are enjoying hospitality by living in Pakistan under ISI’s patronage.”
Added Katoch, “The ISI would also like to de-stabilise India, due to the latter’s growing importance on the global platform and the strengthening of its economy.”
Reacting to the attack, Brar said the ISI has been trying to revive Khalistani terror groups. “Pakistani intelligence agency wants to take the Punjab back to what it was in the 1980s, while the state government has been weak. It is very disturbing to terrorists have come across the border. This is unfortunate that so many terrorists came unnoticed. It is the failure of the state government. The terrorists should have been rounded up," Brar told a news channel.http://www.firstpost.com/india/the-four-important-questions-that-arise-from-gurdaspur-terror-attack-2367294.html

UPSC NDA and NA (II) examination important information


The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will be conducting NDA and NA (II) examination for enrolling interested and eligible candidates to the Army, Navy and Air Force wings of the NDA for the 136th Course and for the 98th Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC) commencing from July 2 next year.
The candidates who would be selected to join the Indian Naval Academy would undergo 4 years B.Tech Course and would be given an opportunity to join executive and technical branches of the navy subject to availability of vacancies.
Vacancies
National Defence Academy: 320
Army: 208
Navy: 42
Air Force: 70
Naval Academy (10 plus two cadet entry scheme): 55
These vacancies are provisional and may be changed depending on the availability of training capacity of NDA.
Eligibility
Education qualification:
NDA (Army Wing): The candidate must have completed Class 12 or equivalent examination conducted by a state education board or a university
NDA (Air Force and Navy) and Class 12 Cadet Entry Scheme at the INA: The candidate must have completed Class 12 or equivalent with Physics and Mathematics conducted by a state education board or a university.
Those candidates who are appearing in the Class 12 or equivalent examination are also eligible to appear for this examination. They are required to submit proof of passing Class 12.
Basic eligibility criteria
The candidate should be a citizen of India or a subject of Nepal or Bhutan / Tibetan refugees migrated to India before January1, 1962 and currently permanent residents, are also eligible.
Age limit:
The candidates applying for these exams should be unmarried males who are born between July 2, 1996 to July 1, 1999.
Exam pattern:
The paper will consist of objective type questions which will be based on Mathematics, General and Ability Test. The duration of the exam is two and a half hours. The exam will carry a weightage of 900 marks.
Important dates
The e-Admit cards would be made available from the third week before the commencement of exam.
The date for the exam is September 27.
The results would be declared in December
INAC will commence from July 2, 2016
SSB interview for candidates qualifying the written test will be in January, 2016.












 IESM(STABIR) GROUP REQUESTED to STOP SPREADING RUMOURS :: 
MAJOR GEN SATBIR SINGH ,is requested to control his Internet EXPERTS  like Cdr R Pathak of Poona, Cdr CK Sharma and others for spreading rumours through emails. 
If Major Gen Satbir does not want to believe in Transparency of Collections made on behalf of United Front of Ex-servicemen nor wants to hand over the amounts, its his privilege.
 How long the collection will go ON and keep fooling the ESM community.
 He is advised not to play with the sentiments of ESM and if IESM(satbir) group wants to split away from UFESM, than why create a bad atmosphere, you have collected enough funds, you have the upper hand than UFESM itself.
EMAIL CONTENTS OF CDR PATHAK :spreading Rumours

On 27 July 2015 at 19:04, Ravindra Pathak <raviwarsha@gmail.com> wrote:
 HO IESL, under Lt Gen BS Yadav/ Brig Kartar Singh have withdrawn themselves from the UFESM OROP efforts
Dear Sir
I am sorry but the utopian dream of some Veterans  of ESM Unity has been shattered.Sad indeed but expected by me for a while now.
Watch out for counter allegations and mails to flood your INBOX.
Has the Laxman Rekha returned to IESL?
Rest is all well known.
Has the GO/BJP succeeded in breaking us?
Brig Harwant Singh how many  " TRAITORS " will you  SOCIALLY BOYCOTT 


CK Sharma
27 July at 18:35
 HO IESL, under Lt Gen BS Yadav/ Brig Kartar Singh have withdrawn themselves from the UFESM OROP effort at Jantar Mantar as of this morning. However, it seems the IESL members from UP or Haryana or Punjab are still with the protest.

Lt Gen R Kadian has been persona-non-grata for the last two years -- and has tried his best, using initially his Congress connections, then AAP and now, BJP political contacts to stymie this Relay Hunger Strike action -- but failed till now.

I request ALL Ex Servicemen/ faujis to please ignore their connections to any associations etc for the time being and stay true to the single-point demand of OROP.

Thanks.


Cdr Ravindra Waman Pathak I.N. (Retd)       
Member Governing Body and Pension Cell
Indian Ex Servicemen Movement
1 Surashri,1146 Lakaki Road
Shivajinagar 
Pune 411016
raviwarsha@gmail.com
9822329340 

UFESM EMAIL CONTENTS IN RESPONSE
Dear Cdr Pathak ,

   Its a SHAME,SHAME SHAME and shameful acts and rumours being spread by you while sitting in Poona.
  Have pity on the senior officer, Brig kartar has gone to Alwar to attend to Bhog of his father-in-law and on other end his aged mother is seriously ill.Are you not ashmed to write such news without even once speaking to Brig kartar.
  Can you give us the authenticity of your claim.
 Its not Brig Kartar or Lt Gen Balbir who have left as being widely being spread by you but its the Goal you and IESM(satbir)  want to achieve by creating a misunderstanding  among ESM community,
.
  Its nothing new, every one had the apprehension the way contributions have been collected by Gen Satbir,taken personally at end of the day in his car on name of United front of Ex servicemen. The collection is to the  tune of 65-70 Lakhs at jantar Mantar and you  Cdr Pathak have collected approximately 10 Lakhs while sitting in Poona.
Maj Gen Satbir is already in possession of RS 50 -52 lakhs drwan in cash from IESM Account and thereafter court martialed Lt Gen Raj Kadiyan for own vested interest. 
Now the history is being repeated after collection of funds and you are finding  wayand means  to part from UFESM because not ready to give account of funds collected from innocent ESM .

Now it the time for IESM(Satbir) to part away from UFESM with good booty.
If you people have the moral courage than come out clean, Why the details of collection not declared to ESM community and balance funds to be handed over to UFESM inspite of repeated requests during the various meetings.
  Stop your false propaganda. The UFESM is in tact but people like you and CK sharma are known to be master mind in spreading rumour on behalf of IESM(satbir).
 Brig Kartar will be back in Delhi by 30-31st Jul 2015.
Who is Brig Harwant to call others as traitors. Ask him who is a real traitor. He can go to any extent to be in News limelight and get officers insulted publically from Sub Maj NS Multani as done on 13 Jul 2015 at Mohali .
 He can ditch anyone at anytime. So stop sharing your views publically with him,.
 Come out clean about your collections from ESM and from regular Troops of Bombay Engineer group and centre, CME officers,AFMC etc. provide account of Rs 10 Lakhs collected by you on behalf of UFESM. 
EMAILS EXPOSING IESM(SATBIR) GROUP
On Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 10:57 AM, Brig Inder Mohan Singh <brigims@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Veterans,
This is in response to a mail from Cdr Pathak and Wg Cdr C K Sharma that Lt Gen B S Yadav and Brig Kartar Singh have left UFESM.

Time has come to first sort out internal issues of UFESM before the OROP.

UFESM was created after various bodies which got together at the Constitution Club meeting on 06 Jun 15. Purpose to coordinate OROP effort. IESL agreed to whole hearted support to the joint effort. 

 1.  WHAT IS IESL. Indian Ex-Services League was formed by amalgamation of All India Ex-Services Federation and the Indian Ex-Services Association, headed respectively by Late Field Marshal K M Cariappa OBE and Late K S Thimayya DSO. The league was registered under Societies Registration Act of 1860 (Punjab amendment) Act 1957 as extended to the Union Territory of Delhi vide letter No 52495 of 1964-65.
Indian Ex-Services League is recognized by the Govt. of India vide letter No2(2) RECGN/IESL/KSB/A2000 dt 04 Jan 2001 as the Apex body of ESM and this Apex status has also been recorded in a resolution of the 7th Lok Sabha on 20 April 1982. 
The first and the second Presidents were Late Gen K S Thimayya DSO and Late Field Marshal K M Cariappa OBE. The President of Indian is the Grand Patron-in-Chief of IESL. The Defence Minister is the Patron-in-Chief, and three service Chief's are Patrons. The present membership of IESL is approximately 4 lakhs.
2.  WHAT IS THE LAXMAN REKHA THAT IS BEING TALKED ABOUT. To the uninformed this is to convey that IESL is a Govt body and will not take any action that will displease the Govt. Readers please judge for yourself what action of IESL has been seen in towing the govt lineIt was IESM under MG Satbir who gave a call to support BJP in the last elections. Who are the govt stooges today? Who goes to Gen V K Singh to arrange meetings with RM. It Is Hon' Satbir Singh. Who leads the rally in front of Bhatinda Military Station. It is IESL. PLEASE JUDGE FROM THIS WHO IS GOVT KA CHAMCHA. Not only ESM, even the serving voters of Amritsar constituency supported Capt Amarinder Singh in his fight against Mr Jetley. Why is Gen V K Singh not called to support OROP struggle. It is IESM who does not want this because it will hurt the Govt.Have enough ammo to blast your theory of LAXMAN REKHA. Everyone knows who wanted BJP ticket/Rajya Sabha nomination from the IESM leadership and who will quietly slip away even if offered so now. 

3.  IT'S ALL ABOUT MONEY HONEY. The mistake made by all ESM bodies coming under UFESM was not to open a new account for subscription after formation of UFESM. All money, cheques and cash is in the hands of IESM. Now the 30 odd bodies are  asking IESM to make the accounts transparent. Till a few days back the collection was over Rs 60 lacs and it was told that Rs 40 lacs have been spent. Rs 40 lacs spent in about 45 days when so much of assistance is coming from volunteers for the RHS. Since all bodies are very small compared to IESL they are asking Lt Gen B S Yadav to seek details of accounts from IESM.
IESM HAVE REFUSED TO BRING ABOUT TRANSPARENCY IN ACCOUNTS WHICH IS WHAT EVERY ONE IS DEMANDING. HENCE THEY FEEL BY TARGETTING LT GEN YADAV AND BRIG KARTAR THEY CAN SILENCE/WIN OVER OTHERS. 
WE WILL NOW LEAD THE DEMAND TO MAKE ACCOUNTS TRANSPARENT. VETERANS SHOULD KNOW THAT APART FROM OFFICERS, JCOS/OR HAVE ALSO SENT CONTRIBUTIONS FROM ALL OVER. IESM HIERARCHY SPENDS MONEY ON THEMSELVES WHEREAS JCOS/OR TRAVEL AND STAY ON OWN EXPENSES. THIS IS WHAT THEY LEARNT FROM LONG YEARS IN SERVICE.
4. INTERNET WARRIORS. Is there any doubt that the IESM  are the best internet and media warriors. Else why would they say Lt Gen Yadav and Brig Kartar have left UFESM but the IESL from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and UP are with UFESM. This because if not for JCOs/OR who will sit on RHS. And they have to come from these states only. Don't try to be too clever Pathak and Sharma. 
5. INFIGHTING IN IESM. Whilst Cdr Pathak and WC Sharma are talking of internet warriors and some being persona non grata, can they tell us what happened when Signalman Sheoran defeated their officer hierarchy in the elections for President/Chairman. The world should know that the humiliated leaders of todays IESM have not reconciled to this and are fighting battles in the court. IESM thereafter held elections in far away Pune where JCOs/OR could not travel whereas officers went by air to keep their chairs intact. We DONT have this in IESL. We have JCOs/NCO as State Presidents and Dist Presidents.  
5. HUNGER STRIKE. This was Gandhi's 'gift' to us. You know why? It was easier for the British Govt to handle someone like Gandhi on hunger strikes than to tackle the likes of Bhagat Singh, Netaji Subhash Chander Bose and their brave compatriots. Support Gandhi and eliminate Bhagat Singh and Netaji. Our politicians have learnt from them. Hunger Strikes, which was the idea of MG Satbir and his IESM was opposed by a majority in  the Jun 06 meeting. IESM knew that their RHS would not last for even a week without support from other organisations. So RHS support from JCOs/OR in which IESL of neighbouring states has been in the forefront and money from officers made a win-win situation for IESM. Now they are scared to make the accounts transparent and fear if they dont keep other ESM organisations, especially IESL from neighbouring states with them, their RHS will come to an end. You are the traitors who have failed officers and men alike. You know in Delhi every thing is available with money. No one sees the I Cards of ESM in RHS. You can hire people from the money you have collected and show them as ESM on RHS. You will come down to this when you will be exposed. This has just started.
You know what is written in Gurbani regarding fasting and suicides. 
" Chade Ann Kare Pakhand, Na suhagan na uh rand " - Fasting is a drama, a person on fast is neither married nor widow/widower.
" Atamghati Jagat Kasai" - A person who commits suicide is a butcher of the world. 
FIRING NOW : OROP ALREADY ACHIEVED. The hierarchy of IESM by collecting over Rs 60 lacs (thats what they say, God knows what is the truth) and showing a fictitious expense of Rs 40 lacs have already got in 45 days what they would have got in the balance of their life time month after month with OROP.  
APPEAL TO ALL VETERANS. Please seek the account details and demand that the funds be put under joint supervision of UFSEM which IESM is not allowing.Please expose the IESM doings on all forms of social media.
Brig Inder Mohan Singh (Retd)
President IESL Punjab