« »

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Half of India's defence equipment outdated: Report

NEW DELHI: At least half of the country's defence equipment is obsolete and needs urgent upgrade, a report said on Wednesday, underlining gaps
in its defence preparedness in a region roiled by Islamist militancy and military rivalries.
Only 15 per cent of India's equipment is "state of the art", according to the first comprehensive report on the country's defence sector prepared by global consultancy firm KPMG and the Confederation of Indian Industry.
New Delhi changed its defence procurement policy last year to further open its defence sector to the world and local companies after the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, in which 166 people were killed.
The attack revealed glaring holes in the country's security system.
The new report, released by Defence Minister A K Antony, says the country will have to focus on improving homeland security after the Mumbai attacks and the government needs to support private firms in manufacturing equipment locally.

The government says it is keen to upgrade its largely Soviet-era arsenal to counter potential threats from Pakistan and China with a series of acquisitions and by phasing out old weapons.
The country has lost nearly 200 Russian-made MiG series aircraft in crashes since 1990, blamed by the air force on manufacturing defects.
The country wants to increase its air force squadrons from 34 (612 fighters) to 42 (756 fighters) by 2020 with modern aircraft. The army also needs new weapons urgently, the report said.
Bofors Howitzers were the last major acquisition made by the Army way back in 1986, it said.
"The Kargil conflict of 1999 (with Pakistan-based militants in Kashmir) highlighted the shortcomings of equipment held by the armed forces, highlighting the need to modernise the equipment portfolio," the report says.
Since early 2000, India began to buy weapons from other countries like Israel and the United States to replace Russian-origin defence equipment and is now speeding up deals.
India is currently the 10th largest defence spender in the world with an estimated 2 per cent share of global expenditure.
The United States, Britain, China, France and Japan are the leaders in global defence spending, each accounting for 3-5 per cent of total global expenditure.

Last August, the country started field trials to buy 126 multi-role fighter jets, defence officials said, moving forward on a $10.4 billion deal, one of the the biggest in play.

India is also seeking heavy lift helicopters, submarines, ships and artillery for its army, valued at millions of dollars, the KPMG report says.

All deals are part of a $100 billion budgetary provision over the next 10 years, Indian officials say. 


Abdul Basit Spokesman Foreign Office in fresh episode of Live with Talat and talk with Syed Talat Hussain.

Rift Among Indian Army Top Generals Over Corruption

Why India can’t be successful against Maoists

Indian policy makers have tried various combinations in the past to tackle Maoists problem but failed miserably. A couple of more combinations are under consideration to handle the problem amicably. In a new strategy ‘A New Game,’ the Indian government in ‘Stage-I’ has again rolled the dice on the table in the shape of proposal for a separate state of Telangana.
The Indian policy makers believe that once the dice would gain momentum it is likely to attract more state to demand for state status under Indian union. Indian leaders like Rashtriya Janata Dal  chief Lalu Prasad opposed the movement to initiate a separate state of Telangana due to fear that it could lead to many other divisions. Despite opposition it seen that for the time being the Centre is going ahead with to tackle with insurgency stricken states. As a ‘Stage-II’ of this strategy, offensive has been launched against the Maoists in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra by Para Military Forces. If successful, similar operations are likely to be carried out in Jharkhand and Orissa. This would be followed by the replication of this strategy in the other insurgency stricken states.
After the failure of talks and Maoists refusal to give up arms, the Indian government decided to simultaneously start the operations in four worst-affected states: Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa but it was altered the plan in ‘Stage-II’ due to fears of tuff resistance from Maoists and heavy causalities on the side of Indian security forces.  At present small scale operation has been started in parts of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, and Manpur in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh by Central Reserve Police Force  and Border Security Force  personnel.  It is pertinent to mention here that India’s claim that it deployed around 27000 personnel in Gadchiroli in the month of October and November 2009 appears bogy as so far they have not participated in any operation. As per the official claims around 45,000 personnel from CRPF, BSF and Indo-Tibetan Border Police  posted to Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra while another 25000 personnel are to be deployed in Jharkhand and Orissa in ‘Stage III,’ sometime after the elections are over at Jharkhand.  However, as per BSF sources at Chhattisgarh, the official figures of PMF quoted by Union Home Ministry is an eye wash and highly exaggerated as the deployment suppose to reach their location from Jammu & Kashmir state have not yet started its move. The Indian propaganda regarding reduction of 30000 troops in held Jammu & Kashmir state and their deployment in Maoist affected areas is aimed to impress upon international community that it has no nefarious designs against Pakistan. However, it is an open secret that the move aims at getting rid of PMF from Jammu & Kashmir and substituting them with regular Army troops
In fact, if we analyze from a critical angle, most of the demands Maoists seems to be genuine but the each time talks are to be held, they are asked to put down their arms in a humiliating manner. Those groups who are engaged in talks are projected as if they have surrendered before the Indian security forces. In certain cases Naxals who agreed to hold talks were either arrested by Indian intelligence agencies or killed in fake encounters. Above all, the behaviour of Indian Army and PMF with Maoists is humiliating and torturous. As regard, to ongoing operations, the PMF commanders, who are participating in the operations or have been earmarked for the same, feel handicapped because of seven reasons: 1) Majority of PMF Battalions have been pulled out from areas like Jammu & Kashmir state where operations take place in residential and public areas, whereas Maoists are confined in Jungle areas, 2) The PMF personnel do not possess experience in jungle warfare, 3) The PMF personnel lack knowledge of terrain and the forest routes, 4) Maoists have backing of local population while PMF personnel experiences lack of cooperation from locals and 5) The intelligence agencies and Field Intelligence Units do not have sources among Maoists, 6) The area is full of landmines and explosives which cannot be cleared overnight and 7) The morale of PMF personnel is not very high as military units deployed in the area are avoiding operations.
India cannot be successful in any move against Maoists unless New Delhi changes its policies of Imperialists and Capitalists, which they inherited from the out going British. India must accept that unlike Pakistan which was created on Islamic ideology, India is a subcontinent comprising of many nationalities. The basic aim of the operation should be to clear the landmines and compel the Naxal-groups to come to the negotiating table rather than eliminate them. Any operation to compel the Maoist to hold talks with centre would not be successful unless there is a joint working and ground coordination between PMF, Police and Indian Army takes place. There is also a requirement for Indian forces to be considerate towards Maoist as they too are Indian nationals who have right to be heard. Human right excess, torture, man slaughters and bans are not going to work even all the Corps of Indian Army with most modern weaponry are deployed in Naxal affected states. Talks and development in the area through local representation is the only answer to the Naxals problem. By Afshain Afzal

Hidden truth behind Mumbai attacks

December 15, 2009, was probably the saddest day for Indian authorities, especially the Indian Military Intelligence , Intelligence Bureau , Research and Analysis Wing and a couple of other agencies who participated in Mumbai attacks drama to make it look real.
In the past, India had been blaming Pakistan for the Mumbai attacks. The cock and bull story that Amir Kasab, assisted by Pakistani authorities, started from Karachi and reached Mumbai coast on November 26, to carry out attacks, proved to be a big lie.
The Mumbai High Court allowed the Indian government time till January 15 to file its reply to a petition seeking a direction to National Investigation Agency to probe allegations by a 26-11 witness that she had seen gunman  Kasab and two others emerging from Nariman House two days before the Mumbai attacks.National Investigation Agency would be facing tremendous pressure from Indian Intelligence agencies and American CIA to hush up the case but since the whole thing has also been covered by media, so it might be difficult to hide the truth.
As per the details, Anamika Gupta, a beautician by profession, who herself was injured in the firing by militants at Leopold Café, is a prime witness of Mumbai attacks. Initially, authorities refused to entertain Anamika but after a lot of efforts she was finally able to get an affidavit filed before Mumbai High Court. Anamika disclosed that she had seen gunman Kasab and two others emerging from Nariman House two days before the attack.
Anamika has testified before the court that she along with her friends had seen Kasab and his accomplices riding a bike at Colaba two days before the attack but the Police discouraged her from stating the same before the court. Anamika claimed that militants were residing in Nariman House for a long time, holding Lady Mariam at gunpoint, and had made it their den. Local food vendors were supplying them food, and they also had Internet connections which was later disconnected for want of payment. She also disclosed that the cable operator had an argument with the boys over a request to reconnect the Internet.
In the court room Anamika was very certain about Kasab and said she recognised Kasab because she had seen his photograph on television news channels after the attack. In the statement recorded before Crime Branch, Anamika Gupta said: “I wanted to have a good look at the guys who were also buying cigarettes from the same stall… I had seen them in Colaba a day earlier too. Apart from their good looks, their motorbikes fascinated me. There were four of them on two bikes, one black, one red.
The men looked like rockstars!” Anamika disclosed that she often goes out late at night to buy cigarettes while the only place open at 2 am is a stall outside Delhi Durbar opposite Regal Cinema in south Mumbai. She disclosed to the Crime Branch officials that normally, she goes out to cigarette stall with her friends in a taxi and come back in the same without even getting down but on the night of November 25, she got down. Earlier she told her taxi driver to slow down and let the boys on bikes overtake them.
She disclosed: “I saw the boys go into the lane leading to Nariman House, right up to the gate. I assumed these boys were staying there.” She continued: “The next night I along with my friends Rasika Sawant, Sarika Upadhyaya and Meenakshi, were dining at Leopold’s, one of their regular haunts. Opposite my table having a beer was the same guy I had seen the previous night. He was wearing a beige shirt and blue cargos.” She disclosed that within minutes, I saw the same guy fire bullets at Leopold’s, three of which hit me.
All my friends were also hurt in the attack.” Anamika also disclosed that she approached the Colaba Police Station after she was shot, but they turned her away. She then decided she wouldn’t go to them to relate her story. The story narrated by Anamika Gupta appears to be correct but need further probe from following persons: 1) Person who sells cigarettes at stall outside Delhi
Durbar, 2) Taxi drivers who took Anamika and her friends to Delhi Durbar and dropped them back, 3) Anamika’s friends Rasika Sawant, Sarika Upadhyaya and Meenakshi, 4) Police personnel Colaba Police Station to whom Anamika made a complaint on November 26, 5) Cable operator with whom militants had an argument and 6) any witness who saw someone riding bikes in the lane leading to Nariman House on or before November 26.
Whatever the case may be, one thing is evident that it was a plot against Muslims by foreign intelligence agencies in which RAW was also a party. Police logbooks of wireless messages and documents related to the 26/11 attack also proved that there was intentional delays and lack of coordination by the senior officers that led to the death of several policemen, including Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte, Vijay Salaskar and massacre of masses in general. Wireless logs indicated that there were repeated requests of reinforcement by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Sadanand Date whose squad was fighting militants at Cama Hospital in the very beginning of the episode but the authorities put a deaf ear to all requests.
Had reinforcements reached Coma Hospital, many people, including Police officers Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar, could have been saved. Anamika Gupta appears to be telling the truth and if we link it with intentional delay by Police officials in honouring the request for reinforcement at Coma Hospital, we would lead to the conclusion that it is not possible to launch such an attack without local support.
One fails to understand why Indian government is still hiding the home grown terrorism. If Indian authorities is not party with militants involved in Mumbai attacks, why bullet proof jacket of Kakare disappeared, why confession of Indian origin by militants before the media channels was ignored and selected witnesses were entertained while witnesses, including Anamika and her friends, were overlooked for over one year.
It is quite clear to the world that the Mumbai attacks were basically launched by trio CIA-RAW-Mossad agents to target Muslims living in India and Pakistan. However, the latest revelation by Anamika Gupta and CIA’s secret moves against Jews and Hindu fundamentalists are forecasting a much bigger conspiracy than Mumbai attacks that are going to be hatched up in future.
By Afshain Afzal