January 19, 2013
January 18, 2013
By Our CorrespondentPublished: January 17, 2013
Decisions taken in the meeting include a ban on publicly displaying weapons across the province.
Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Ali Magsi has decided to give police and Frontier Corps (FC) personnel ‘a free hand’ to crack down on elements responsible for the deteriorating law and order situation in the province.
According to an official handout, the decision was taken in a high-level meeting held at the Governor House on Wednesday to solve issues plaguing Balochistan.
Decisions taken in the meeting include a ban on publicly displaying weapons across the province. All law enforcement agencies and provincial administration departments were directed to ensure compliance with the ban.
The governor also directed concerned quarters to compensate the family members of those who lost their lives or were injured as a result of violence in the province till January 31, 2013. He also announced a Rs10,000 stipend for rebels who decide to quit armed resistance in the province.
The meeting was attended by Lt Gen Mohammad Alam Katak, Balochistan Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad, FC Inspector General (IG) Maj Gen Ubaidullah Khan, Balochistan police IG Tariq Umar Khatab and provincial secretary of interior Akbar Hussain Durrani among other officials.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2013.
IS our silent PM aware of the seriousness of the ground situation as it obtains on the LoC? In the past he was quick to express concerns when am Indian was arrested on suspicion of terrorism. He is pathetic and his body language even more worse. I am forced to use such strong language, because the government is filled with nincompoops. When the COAS is warning Pak of strong retaliatory action and exhorting his field commanders not to remain passive and meet fire with fire, this bloke who heads the Foreign Ministry talks of the amount of time invested in peace efforts with Pakistan. May I ask what is the rich dividend that this country has reaped through its investments? ZERO. All we got was Kargil, Parliament Attack, bomb blasts in major cities and Mumbai 26/11. What is this government and its ministers like the FM up to? The author must be reminded that our FM is an utter failure and so was his predecessor - remember Sharm el-Sheikh. So let us not give too much credit to the FM and his ministry.
It is true that our men and officers both in service and those who have been martyred and retired are a neglected lot. Full credit to you for highlighting it.
January 18, 2013'Safe City Surat' project of Surat police
CM inaugurates CCTV camera surveillance network in Surat
"The project will show path to the nation in establishing reliable vigilance network for crime detection"
Rising above the PPP model, the project has become the best example of
four 'P' formula of 'People's Public Private Partnership'
January 15, 2013
by Anil Padmanabhan
Freelance terror may become the norm rather than the exception, with attendant consequences
Last week’s face-off with Pakistan on the Line of Control, following the mutilation of the bodies of two soldiers killed on the border, has stoked predictable responses. While those who demand an eye-for-an-eye are right in their own way, the peacenicks, too, make a legitimate point when they claim that this is not the time to abandon the path of reconciliation. For the moment, it does seem, despite belligerent remarks by the defence minister, that India has pulled back from the brink; the situation is yet fragile though.
The bigger worry is whether this was a one-off, or a warning of an emerging challenge for India.
There are several factors that are rapidly converging, which suggest that India, which has evolved as the unchallenged economic centre of South Asia and, hence, a source of major envy, is likely to come up against a strategic threat posed by increased infiltration by state and non-state sponsored terrorists from Pakistan. Freelance terror may become the norm rather than the exception, with attendant consequences.
A lot of this has to do with the emerging contours of the new global energy map that is less reliant on oil and gas, and the growing disengagement of the US in the region.
The US has already announced that it will be drawing down its troops stationed in Afghanistan by 2014 and, more recently, even suggested that they will withdraw completely, even though the job of restoring Afghanistan is far from over and there is a strong likelihood of civil war breaking out in that country.
In a quick recap, it was the US, assisted by a few Western nations, which had first invaded Afghanistan and, later, Iraq to effect regime changes. Since then, it has been engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation with Iran over the latter’s stealthy move to nuclear arm itself. After the Arab spring, most of West Asia is in a stage of foment or, as in the case of Syria, embroiled in a civil war. The US retreat is a tacit admission that its tactics have run their course.
At the same time, the global energy map is beginning to see the first signs of change. It may not happen immediately, but there are sufficient signals to suggest the emergence of a new energy order over the next two decades.
The pressure to commercialize non-conventional energy sources, such as solar, have gained momentum, but are yet to acquire critical mass to challenge hydrocarbons. There is, however, considerable research being undertaken by the US and China, two of the biggest consumers of fossil fuel, which may offer an alternative sooner than expected.
The two front-running options are to generate energy from thorium and shale gas. According to an article published in Foreign Affairs magazine—The New Power Map, World Politics After the Boom in
Unconventional Energy by Aviezer Tucker—new technologies are emerging that make drilling and extraction of energy from underground shale formations increasingly easy and cheap.
Tucker then goes on to claim, “Hydraulic fracturing has been used widely for only about the past five years. But the result—a staggering glut of natural gas in the United States—is already clear. The price of natural gas in the country has plunged to a quarter of what it was in 2008.”
Tucker argues that China possesses the largest deposits of shale gas of any country in the world (886 trillion cu. ft compared with the US’s 750 trillion, the world’s second largest deposits). “According to Chinese government estimates, the country has enough natural gas to provide for its domestic needs for up to two centuries,” he adds.
Similar initiatives are being undertaken to shift to thorium-based nuclear reactors. Writing in the UK’s Telegraph newspaper, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that once again there is a race between China and the US to come up with the right technology to tap thorium. “At the least, it could do for nuclear power what shale fracking has done for natural gas—but on a bigger scale, for much longer, perhaps more cheaply, and with near zero CO2 emissions.”
Connecting the dots, it is clear that both China and the US are slowly, but steadily, developing alternatives to fossil fuel. While this may or may not force a downward pressure on the prices of fossil fuels, it is clear that West Asia, the world’s biggest supplier, will gradually lose its strategic importance to both countries. Already, the US hydrocarbon imports are down to 45%. In other words, the US is less likely to be inclined to expose its military in the region.
To put it bluntly, the region will have to fend for itself. In the current state of chaos, India could be rapidly played up as the next big threat and, consequently, a target. Given the geographical contiguity, it is highly vulnerable to such a threat. If it is any consolation, it will be terminal for Pakistan—already its tryst with sponsoring terror has led to a near annihilation of the fief of government.
It is not that the situation can’t be handled. For that, however, first the problem has to be acknowledged; second, and more importantly, both countries have to give up on their favourite hobby of giving each other a bloody nose and look to cooperation—this, obviously, is more a message for Pakistan, where the military continues to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds.
Anil Padmanabhan is deputy managing editor of Mint and writes every week on the intersection of politics and economics. Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
January 14, 2013
The barbaric Pakistani attack on Indian soldiers in the Jammu area on January 8,2013, and the brutal killing and mutilation of two soldiers with one of them beheaded called for a three-pronged response:
· An exercise to express the solidarity of the nation with the families of the martyred soldiers and to initiate action to maintain their honour and dignity. This should have been the responsibility of the Prime Minister's Office which should have taken a series of gestures like the PM visiting the families of the martyred soldiers, asking one of his senior officers to represent him at their cremation, a televised address to the armed forces to assure them of the solidarity of the nation and working for an all-party consensus on the subject to prevent partisan exploitation of the issue. One has an impression that these important aspects were totally neglected by the PM and his entourage.
· A second exercise to determine how the Pakistanis were able to carry out this barbaric attack well inside Indian territory without resistance from the Indian troops posted in the area and to tighten up the prevention of trans-LOC violations. This was the total tactical responsibility of the Army. In his media briefing on January 14, Gen.Bikram Singh the Chief of the Army Staff, firmly and lucidly explained the action taken by the Army in this regard. He clearly explained that trans-LOC aggressions will be dealt with aggressively and offensively with appropriate retaliation not ruled out as an option. The Army, which has been entrusted by the Government with the responsibility for protecting the LOC, is empowered to take whatever measures are necessary and the COAS made it clear that it will do so.
· The third exercise was to ensure that the Pakistan Army's tactical barbarity across the LOC did not seriously disrupt the strategic dialogue between the political leaderships of the two countries. This has been competently handled by the Foreign Office.
2. In my view, the serious deficiency has been with regard to the first exercise due to lack of appropriate leadership initiatives from the Ministry of Defence and the PMO. In cases like this, taking initiatives for reassuring the forces of national solidarity and for building up a national consensus is the responsibility of the head of the Government. In the US, whenever the Armed Forces suffer a serious set-back, it is the President who steps forward and exercises leadership in dealing with the situation instead of leaving it to his Defence Secretary. So too in other Western countries.
3.Dr.Manmohan Singh, who prefers to operate from the background instead of from the forefront, chose to let the Defence Minister handle the first exercise. He failed to handle it himself. As a result, there was no leadership either from the Defece Minister or the PM. This created an unfortunate impression of neglect and indifference in the minds of the relatives of the martyred soldiers and possibly in the minds of other soldiers too.
4. The inept handling of the first exercise has again drawn attention to the insensitivity, indifference and casualness with which successive Governments have been handling matters relating to the welfare and honour of our ex-servicemen, whether retired or martyred. This needs urgent corrective steps. The over-all responsibility in this matter should be transferred to the PMO and the PM should set up a standing Task Force to deal with the welfare and honour of our ex-servicemen, retired or martyred. ( 15-1-13)
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. Twitter: @SORBONNE75 )
Vimal Bhatia, TNN Jan 14, 2013, 01.40AM IST
JAISALMER: Pakistan Intelligence Agency ISI have reportedly opened two new centres to train a large number of youngsters on terrorism. The centres are in the Pakistani side just opposite the Jaisalmer-Ganganagar area along the international border.
Sources said one of centres is only 50 km away from the Jaisalmer border in the Ghotaki area of Pakistan. It is housed in an underground bunker and managed jointly by ISI and Jaish-e-Mohammad
Similarly, opposite the Ganganagar border in Bahvalpur area, ISI officials and Jaish-e-Mohammad cadres are brainwashing many youths and imparting them with terrorist training. These terrorists could be pushed into the Indian border taking advantage of mist and fog.
Upon receiving this information from across the border, the BSF has put its jawans on high alert especially during mist and fog and the borders are being strictly guarded. Jawans from reserve and training companies have also been deployed at the border.
According to the intelligence and defence sources, ISI has once again started weaving terrorist activities in Rahimiyar Khan, Ghotaki and Bhavalpur area in Pakistan opposite the Rajasthan border. Rahimiyar Khan and Ghotaki are opposite the Jaisalmer border, while Bhawalpur lies opposite Ganganagar and in these areas, new terrorist training activities have started.
In Ghotaki area in Pakistan, the new centre in an underground bunker imparts four hours terrorist training daily to college youths aged between 20 and 30 years. The training is being imparted under the supervision of Pakistan army officer Col Anwar Ali in which the youths are taught use of weapons, explosives, setting up IED and several other terrorist activities. The Jaish-e-Mohammad is extending all types of help for managing this training camp, where local people are not allowed to go near it.
Intense training was given to the youths the entire day last Friday, sources said.
The sources also said there has been information that a new alliance has been made between Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Babbar Khalsa at Rahimiyar Khan. A few days ago, JeM and Babbar Khalsa group under the leadership of ISI officers organized a meeting, in which a strategy to revive terrorism in Punjab in India and a plan to carry weapons and explosives to agents of Babbar Khalsa, were discussed.
Sources further said despite strict vigilance on the border adjoining Punjab, ISI has managed to intensify its efforts to push weapons, explosives and heroin consignments into Ganganagar. The sources added that ISI has given directions to increase contact with the spies in Ganganagar area and to help these terrorists get inside Indian territory to conduct terrorist activities.
BSF Rajasthan Frontier inspector general P C Meena said there is heavy fog at the international border, these days and taking advantage, undesired elements from across the border could make efforts to intrude into the Indian territory. Jawans deployed at the international borders adjoining Jaisalmer, Ganganagar and Bikaner have been asked to be on high alert and intensify the vigilance and patrolling has been intensified, he said.