• ,

    Why Rohingya Muslims must be deported from India

    Defence news: In the early hours of August 25, around 150 men armed with machetes, bombs and other weapons launched coordinated attacks on 24 police camps and an army base in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. The night left 71 dead. It also announced to the world the coming of age of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, a terror outfit led by Ata Ullah, a Rohingya man born in Karachi and brought up in Mecca.

    But that is not the insurgency’s only Pakistan connection. Burmese, Bangladeshi and Indian intelligence agencies have found Pakistan’s terror groups hiring Rohingyas from Bangladesh’s refugee camps, training and arming them. Groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba are already out shopping.

    In this backdrop, it is not just wise but urgent for India to deport 40,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees whom it has identified as illegal immigrants. There is a clear and present social, economic and security danger. And if India does not set down the rules of the game right now, it will be difficult to argue against and stop influx later.

    The Rohingya conflict is undeniably a massive humanitarian disaster. But such disasters are best addressed locally — putting international pressure, working with the government there, sending shiploads of aid. But you do not solve a crisis by importing it. Ask Europe.

    India is among nations worst affected by Islamic terrorism. It has its serious demographic challenges. Thousands of Rohingya refugees, most of them settled in Jammu and Kashmir where already Islamist separatism is raging, are a people ripe for terror hiring and indoctrination.

    Rohingya groups have been engaged in armed militancy since the 1940s with the aim of seceding from Myanmar and creating an Islamist state.

    In her, The Diplomat piece ‘The Truth About Myanmar’s Rohingya Issue’, Jasmine Chia argues: “In even a cursory survey of Rohingya history, it is clear that the Rohingya are not an ethnic, but rather a political construction. There is evidence that Muslims have been living in Rakhine state (at the time under the Arakan kingdom) since the 9th century, but a significant number of Muslims from across the Bay of Bengal (at the time a part of India, now Bangladesh) immigrated to British Burma with the colonialists in the 20th century.”

    They are, she argues, Muslims of Bengali ethnic origin. “The group referred to as “Rohingya” by contemporary Rohingya scholars (and most of the international community) today actually display huge diversity of ethnic origins and social backgrounds, and… existence of a ‘single identity’ is difficult to pinpoint.”

    Chia quotes Rakhine history expert Jacques P Leider from Rohingya: The Name, The Movement, The Quest for Identity. “By narrowing the debate on the Rohingyas to the legal and humanitarian aspects, editorialists around the world have taken an easy approach towards a complicated issue… where issues like ethnicity, history, and cultural identity are key ingredients of legitimacy.”

    Nuances of the ethnicity debate apart, India’s more immediate concern is an outpour of sympathy among mostly Left-leaning intellectuals and a section of Muslims towards Rohingya refugees and a legal challenge by lawyer-politician Prashant Bhushan to its decision to deport them.

    Bhushan has argued that Rohingya refugees are Constitutionally protected. Right to equality (Article 14), life and personal liberty (Article 21) is available to everybody who “lives in India” irrespective of his being a citizen or non-citizen or refugees.

    Those challenging deportation also argue that India may not have signed UN Refugee Convention, but the agreement has become a customary international law and all countries have to follow it. Under it, there is a principle of “Non-Refoulement” which prohibits the deportation of refugees to a country where they face threat to their life or persecution. Also, that UNHCR has recognised Rohingyas and given them refugee status and so they cannot be deported.

    However, India can lean on the “Foreigners Act”, which vests absolute and unfettered discretion in the Union government to expel foreigners, especially those residing illegally without valid papers. Legal experts who support deportation argue that the Supreme Court in “Hans Muller of Nuremburg vs Superintendent, Presidency” gave “absolute and unfettered” power to the government to throw out foreigners. It was again upheld by the SC in “Mr Louis De Raedt & Ors vs Union of India”.

     Full article

  • ,

    Spike ATGM private Missile Production Unit ; Thanks to Israel

    Spike ATGM, Defence news and analysis

    Defence News: Thanks to Israel and Baba Kalyani group, India is all set to see Spike ATGM getting produced and exported locally. Besides enabling a great option for Indian forces to procure a world class ATGM with ease, it is a win for make in India initiative. The 2.5 KM weapon will be produced in India with 90% local sourcing.

    Spike ATGM, Defence news and analysis

    Manorama reports (full article): Kalyani group and Israel’s state- run Rafael Advanced Defence Systems together commissioned a Rs 70 crore anti-tank, guided missile production facility Thursday.

    Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems, the joint venture between the two with 51 per cent ownership resting with Kalyani group, would be the first private sector entity to manufacture such weapon systems in the country.

    Kalyani group chairman Baba Kalyani said the JV is ready to supply the missile, Spike, to the Army, and 90 per cent of its components will be sourced locally.

    “The Spike missile is a fully-built ATGM (anti-tank guided missile) unit, except for the explosives and the propellants, and we can supply this 2.5 km range weapon to the Army within a couple of weeks of getting orders,” Kalyani said.

    The 24,000 sq.ft facility was set up in under 10 months and can produce “thousands of missiles”, Kalyani said, adding the company will look for overseas customers if the Army delays orders.

    When asked what is making the Army delay its order as Spike is fully tested and approved by it, Kalyani said there were “procedural delays”.

    It can be noted that the first `Request for Qualification’ for anti-tank guided missile production was invited in 2010 but nothing moved as there was a lack of policy clarity on FDI in the defence sector.

    Kalyani today said the JV is ready to invest another Rs 60-70 crore in the facility, depending on government or overseas orders, over the next two years.

    “We see USD 1 billion worth business opportunity with this business vertical. We also have plans to begin production of Spike missile, which is an air-to-surface weapon, for the Air Force soon,” he said.

    Kalyani Strategic Systems, the defence vertical of the USD 2.5 billion group having its origins in auto components, entered into the joint venture with USD 3 billion Israeli government-owned Rafael in 2015.

    “The JV will invest in high-end technology and advanced manufacturing techniques to design, develop and manufacture weapon systems for the defence forces.

    “This venture will offer direct employment to 300 and indirectly to around 1,000 people through its hundreds of vendors who are all in the small scale sector,” Kalyani added.

    The plant was inaugurated by Telangana industries, commerce & IT minister Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao in the presence of Israeli envoy Daniel Carmon.

  • ,

    2 state villages chosen by DRDO for setting up radar to track enemy

    Defence news, brahmos and air defence missile systems

    Defence News: India just stepped up it’s tactical missile production capacity for good reason. Threats from the east and west continue to rise and irresponsible and land hungry powers continue to stockpile weapons meant for India. The Air defence missile system and brahmos are going to get a boost now, to face the adversary if and when the time comes.

    Defence news, brahmos and air defence missile systems

    DNA (Full Article) Two little known villages in Alwar and Pali districts will soon gain strategic importance as they have been selected by the Defence Ministry’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for setting up radars to track enemy missiles.

    The forest department has cleared the acquisition of 850 hectares of land in Khoa in Alwar district and 350 hectares in Roopnagar for installing ballistic missile defence grid that will protect the western and northern parts of the country.

    This was done after the union ministry of environment and forest in 2014 cleared the DRDO proposal on the conditions laid down by the ministry.

    According to A K Singh, additional principle chief conservator of forest, the state government following the clearance given by the union ministry has allotted then land to to DRDO.

    The ballistic missile defence grid will help guard New Delhi and Mumbai.

    The state government has also allotted 80 hectares of land in Pilani for setting up the Bramhos missile assembly line .

    These two sites in the state have been strategically chosen by DRDO and has a stealth feature. The ballistic missile defence system can be put in place at short notice.

    To counter air-borne threats, DRDO will put a mixture of counter-attack missiles which will be able to shoot down enemy missiles both within the earth’s atmosphere (endo-atmospheric) and outside it (exo-atmospheric).

  • ,

    India constructing more Advance OPVs for Sri Lanka

    indian defence news, lanka india export naval vessel ship

    Defence news: India is slowly waking up to counter Chinese defence exports and encirclement of India. Weapons marketing is one area where nations make their most diplomatic muscle as far as export goes. This is one area where China has a lead, but hopefully India is ready to counter that. Indian export to lanka was in competition to Chinese offer. We hope to see more Indian products in this segment benefiting partners and pushing back the Chinese for good.

    indian defence news, lanka india export naval vessel ship

    ISLAND LANKA: President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday (Aug 2) afternoon commissioned Sri Lanka’s newest acquisition; Indian built Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV) SLNS Sayurala (P 623) at the Eastern Container Terminal of the Colombo port.

    The length and the width of the ship are 105.7m and 13.6m respectively. President Sirisena received a naval guard of honour on his arrival at the Eastern Container Terminal. Subsequently, the first Commanding Officer of the ship, Captain Nishantha Amarosa received the commissioning warrant from President Sirisena after the review of the guard of honour.Thereupon, Captain Amarosa read out the Commissioning Warrant. Thereafter the President with the Commander of the Navy by his side unveiled the ship’s crest and name board

    In addition to SLNS Sayurala, Sri Lanka intends to acquire three more OPVs in accordance with SLN maritime strategy 2025.

    Indian government owned Goa Shipyard Limited built the AOPV under an agreement signed in Feb 2014. Wartime Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa signed the agreement on behalf of Sri Lanka.

    Authoritative navy sources told The Island that according to plans developed during the current Navy Chief Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne’s tenure, Sri Lanka intended to deploy 20 ships by 2025. The proposed 20 vessel navy included eight in service before the acquisition of AOPV. The eight included four OPVs (SLNS Sayura, SLNS Samudura, SLNS Sagara and SLNS Jayasagara) two Fast Missile Vessels (SLNS Suranimala and SLNS Nandimitra) and two Fast Patrol Boats received from Australia. Twelve vessels expected to be acquired over the next couple of years comprises four OPVs, including the AOPV commissioned on Wednesday, two Fast Missile Vessels, two Frigates, two Fast Patrol Boats and two Corvettes.

    Secretary, Defence Production India Ashok Kumar Gupta and Managing Director of the Goa Shipyard Limited retired Rear Admiral Shekhar Mital attended the event.

    Flag Officer Commander in Chief Southern Naval Command-Indian Navy, Vice Admiral A.R. Karve was also present.

    Goa Shipyard Limited is building a second AOPV ordered by Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka didn’t acquire brand new ships during the war that ended in May 2009. Sri Lanka will take delivery of a second vessel next year.

  • ,

    Indian Navy is set to get the most deadly Submarine

    Indian defence, navy underwater arm

    Defence News: Indian Navy is finally getting it’s new Scorpene, the first of 6, these are the same subs for which data had been leaked earlier. Despite the obvious giveaway, Change in a few areas will ensure the IN subs are not vulnerable to enemy still holding it’s specification data. Indian Navy badly need these subs and more. We need to add not only AIP machines but nuclear attack and hunter subs to balance against the Chinese and Pakistanis.

    Indian defence, navy underwater arm

    Economic times (full Article): After years of delay, India’s navy is preparing to take delivery of one of the world’s stealthiest and most deadly fighting tools: the INS Kalvari, an attack submarine named after a deep-sea tiger shark.

    The commissioning later this month of the Scorpene class submarine is a milestone in India’s effort to rebuild its badly depleted underwater fighting force, and the first of six on order. It comes as China’s military expands its fleet to nearly 60 submarines — compared to India’s 15 — and increases its forays into the Indian Ocean in what New Delhi strategists see as a national security challenge.

    A Chinese Yuan-class diesel-powered submarine entered the Indian ocean in May and is still lurking, according to an Indian naval officer who asked not to be identified, citing policy. It’s an unwelcome reminder of China’s rapidly expanding naval strength at a time when Indian and Chinese soldiers are engaged in a border dispute stand-off in Bhutan. China’s defense ministry didn’t respond to a faxed request for comment.

    The official opening in July of China’s first naval base at Djibouti at the western end of the Indian Ocean, recent submarine sales to Pakistan and Bangladesh and a visit last year of a Chinese nuclear-powered submarine to Karachi, have also exposed how unprepared India’s navy is to meet underwater challenges.

    “The lack of long-term planning and procurement commitment in defense acquisition plans can be considered tantamount to negligence” by the Indian government, said Pushan Das, a research fellow at the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation’s National Security Program. India needs to “counter increasing PLA-N activities in the region,” he said, referring to the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

    Ministry of Defence spokesman Nitin Wakankar would not comment on the Indian Navy’s submarine fleet plan.

     

    Dwindling Fleet ::

    Since 1996, India’s attack submarine fleet has dwindled to 13 diesel-electric vessels from 21 as the navy failed to replace retired boats. The entire fleet — a mixture of Russian-origin Kilo class vessels and German HDW submarines — is at least 20 years old. All have been refitted to extend their operational lives until at least 2025.

    In contrast, China’s underwater fleet boasts five nuclear-powered attack submarines and 54 diesel-powered attack submarines. By 2020, the force will likely grow to between 69 and 78 submarines, according to the Pentagon’s latest report on China’s military.

    Still, analysts say it will be years before China can pose a credible threat to India in the Indian Ocean.

    “Simple geography gives India a huge strategic advantage in the Indian Ocean,” said David Brewster, a senior research fellow with the National Security College at the Australian National University in Canberra. “And although China has been sending in submarines, you have to understand they are probably decades away from being able to seriously challenge India there, especially while the United States is present.”

    China’s navy needs to enter the Indian Ocean through narrow choke points like the Malacca Strait that runs between Indonesia and Malaysia. Indian surveillance planes deployed to Andaman & Nicobar Islands patrol the area, and one spotted the Chinese submarine in May.

    In the meantime, India is slowly upgrading its underwater fleet.

    The INS Kalvari is the first of six French-made Scorpene submarines on order in a 236 billion rupee ($3.7 billion) project awarded in 2005 to the state-owned defense shipyard Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd. and France’s Naval Group, formerly known as DCNS Group. Junior defense minister Subhash Bhamre said in July that the first of these would be delivered in August.

    In February 2015 India approved the construction of six nuclear-powered attack submarines. Few details have been released about the 600 billion rupee program.

    And on July 21, India initiated another program to build six more diesel submarines. It sent information requests to six manufacturers — Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems GmbH, Naval Group of France, Madrid-based Navantia SA, Sweden’s Saab AB, a Russia-Italian joint venture called Russian Rubin Design Bureau and a consortium between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. The project is worth about 500 billion rupees.

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    India marching towards Self Reliance in Defence

    Defence news, india rising in defence arena

    Defence news, india rising in defence arena

    Defence News: Slowly and steadily, India is moving towards self reliance on defence, but more needs to be done in that area. The military industrial defence complex is at a startup stage and requires constant hand holding by the government besides new orders and commitment by the forces to partner and improve the product line.

    The Sentinel assam ran this great story. By Union Minister for Defence, Finance and Corporate Affairs. (full source): Can a nation aspiring to be a superpower continue to depend on import of defence equipment and ignore the development of its Indigenous defence production or defence industrial base? Definitely not. Indigenous defence production or defence industrial base are the essential components of long term strategic planning of a country.

    The heavy reliance on imports is not only disturbing from the perspective of strategic policy and the role India has to play in the security of the region, but is also a matter of concern from the economic point of view in terms of the potential for growth and employment generation. Though all the aspects of power constitute a superpower, the military power is a key to a nation’s rise to great or superpower status.

    Going back into the history, Indian defence industry has a history of more than 200 years. During the British period, ordnance factories were set up to manufacture guns and ammunitions. The first ordnance factory was set up at Cossipore in 1801. A total of 18 factories were set up before independence.

    At present, India’s defence industrial base comprises 41 ordnance factories geographically spread across the country, 9 Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), more than 200 private sector license holder companies and a few thousand Small, Medium and Micro enterprises feeding to the large manufacturers and Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs). More than 50 defence laboratories of DRDO are also part of the entire eco-system of defence manufacturing in the country.

    Till about the year 2000, most of our major defence equipment and weapon systems were either imported or were produced in India by ordnance factories or DPSUs under licensed production. DRDO, being the only defence R&D agency in the country, actively contributed to the technology development and supplemented the efforts of indigenization to a large extent. As a result of the efforts of DRDO and DPSUs in R&D and manufacturing, the country has reached a stage, where we have developed capabilities in manufacturing of almost all types of defence equipments and systems.

    Today, as per a rough analysis, out of our total defence procurement, 40 per cent is indigenous production. In some of the major platforms, a significant amount of indigenization has been achieved. For example, T-90 tank has 74 per cent indigenization, Infantry Combat Vehicle (BMP II) has 97 per cent indigenization, Sukhoi 30 fighter aircraft has 58 per cent indigenization, Konkurs Missile has 90 per cent indigenization.

    Apart from the indigenization level achieved in platforms being manufactured under licensed production, we have also achieved success in developing some of the major systems indigenously through our own R&D. These include Akash Missile System, Advance Light Helicopters, Light Combat Aircraft, Pinaca rockets, various types of radars such as Central Acquisition Radar, Weapon Locating Radar, Battlefield Surveillance Radar etc. These systems also have more than 50-60per cent indigenous content.

    With the above progress made through the State-owned manufacturing companies and DRDO, the time was right to expand the defence industrial base by including the private sector in the fold of Indian defence industry. In 2001, the Government allowed the entry of private sector into defence manufacturing along with Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) up to 26 per cent. It is our endeavour to harness the potential of the entire spectrum of the industry and expertise available in the country in our journey towards building our own defence industrial base, ultimately leading to the self-reliance. Though the entry of private sector was opened up in 2001, the growth of private sector participation in defence manufacturing was insignificant till about 3-4 years back and it was largely limited to production of parts and components to be supplied to ordnance factories and DPSUs. With liberalization in the licensing regime in last 3 years, 128 licenses have been issued for manufacturing of various defence items, whereas in the last 14 years before that period, only 214 licenses were issued.

    Defence being a monopsony sector, where Government is the only buyer, the structure and growth of the domestic defence industry is driven by the procurement policy of the Government. The Government has, therefore, fine-tuned the procurement policy to give preference to indigenously manufactured equipments. To further promote manufacturing of strategic platforms viz. fighter aircrafts, helicopters, submarines and armoured vehicles, the Government has recently announced a Strategic Partnership Policy, where shortlisted Indian companies can form joint ventures (JVs) or establish other kinds of partnerships with foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to manufacture such platforms in India with Transfer of Technology.

    The policies and initiatives taken in the last 3 years have started showing results. Three years back, in 2013-14, where only 47.2 per cent of the capital procurement was made from Indian vendors, in the year 2016-17, it has gone up to 60.6 per cent.
    To promote indigenous design, development and manufacturing of defence equipment within the country, the Government has undertaken a series of policy and process reforms. These include liberalization of licensing and FDI policy, streamlining Offset guidelines, rationalization of export control processes, and addressing level playing issues between public and private sector.

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    IAF reactivating numberplated squadrons? Air Force Station may revive in Adilabad

    defence news iaf reviving numberplated sqadrons

    defence news iaf reviving numberplated sqadrons

    Defence News: IAF may be looking to revive it’s number plated squadrons in the medium run. New aircraft, hopes for new production lines for single jet aircraft and growing threats has prompted IAF to look towards expansion of the force to full authorized levels. It may be noted that the air force is already running low on jets and retiring fleets pose a serious challenge. However new fighters will change this sooner than later. The government is moving but not at a pace that’s desired.

    The Hindu reports (full article here): The Defence Ministry’s reported consent for handing over Secunderabad’s Bison Polo Grounds to the State Government for construction of State secretariat and other facilities has come as good news for the people living in villages surrounding the old aerodrome in far away Adilabad town.

    They hope the development would lead to the Government giving its nod for acquiring their lands for establishment of an Air Force Station there, a proposal which has been gathering dust for over three years now.

    Rumours were flying thick and fast that the State Government had linked the issue of giving clearance for land acquisition only if the Defence Ministry agreed to exchange Bison Polo Grounds for open land elsewhere. The Government is apparently of the view that the grounds will be conducive for its development plans, among which is the one to ease traffic congestion.

    If things move in the right direction, the fortunes of the backward Adilabad district will change. A full-fledged AFS could mean healthy economic activity which can benefit the locals.

    The Indian Air Force, which controls the 369-acre aerodrome just outside Adilabad town built by the Nizam of Hyderabad in in the 1930s, had urged the Adilabad district administration in April 2014 to identify sufficient extent of land for establishment of a full-fledged AFS.

    In May that year, about 1,600 acres of land which is contiguous with the aerodrome was identified in the limits of Khanapur (481 acres), Anukunta (535 acres), Kachkanti (313 acres) and Thantoli (261 acres) villages.

    In September, then incumbent Air Marshal Ramesh Rai, Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Bangalore, met Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao urging him to expedite parting of land through acquisition.

    Later that year, the government department concerned in principle agreed to the proposal of the IAF to acquire the land in question and the file is reported to be with the Chief Minister since then.

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    China says India quietly building troops and upgrading infra amid border stand off

    Defence news china india standoff

    Defence news china india standoff

    Defence News: (Economic times full article) China’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday said India has been building up troops and repairing roads along its side of the border amid an increasingly tense stand-off in a remote frontier region beside the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.

    The stand-off on a plateau next to the mountainous Indian state of Sikkim, which borders China, has ratcheted up tension between the neighbours, who share a 3,500-km (2,175-mile) frontier, large parts of which are disputed.

    “It has already been more than a month since the incident, and India is still not only illegally remaining on Chinese territory, it is also repairing roads in the rear, stocking up supplies, massing a large number of armed personnel,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

    “This is certainly not for peace.”

    Early in June, according to the Chinese interpretation of events, Indian guards crossed into China’s Donglang region and obstructed work on a road on the plateau.

    The two sides’ troops then confronted each other close to a valley controlled by China that separates India from its close ally, Bhutan, and gives China access to the so-called Chicken’s Neck, a thin strip of land connecting India and its remote northeastern regions.

    India has said it warned China that construction of the road near their common border would have serious security implications.

    In a separate statement, China’s Defence Ministry said China had shown goodwill and that its forces had exercised utmost restraint, but warned “restraint has a bottom line” and that India must dispel any illusions.

    “No country should underestimate the Chinese military’s confidence in and ability to fulfil its mission of safeguarding peace, and should not underestimate the Chinese military’s determination and will to defend the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” it said.

    Despite China’s numerous diplomatic representations, its foreign ministry said, India has not only not withdrawn its troops but has also been making “unreasonable demands” and is not sincere about a resolution.

    “If India really cherishes peace, it ought to immediately withdraw its personnel who have illegally crossed the border into the Indian side.”

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to visit China early in September for a summit of BRICS leaders.

    Indian officials say about 300 soldiers from either side are facing each other about 150 meters (yards) apart on the plateau.

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    Pakistan government website hacked

    defence news hacking site pakistani

    defence news hacking site pakistani

    Defence News: (Source: Economic times) The Pakistan government website was today reportedly hacked briefly by unknown hackers who posted the Indian national anthem and Independence Day greetings on the web page.

    The website — pakistan.gov.pk — at around 1500 hours IST displayed a message showing “Hacked by Ne0-h4ck3r”.

    The hackers posted Ashoka Chakra in Tricolour, along with Indian Independence Day message.

    The greetings’ headline read “15 August, Happy Independence Day”.

    The message posted thereafter read “Freedom in the Mind, Faith in the words…Pride in our Souls…Let’s salute those great men, who made this possible”.

    The message was followed by the Indian national anthem “Jana gana Mana…”.

    There was no official response from the Foreign Office in Islamabad and the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.

  • ,

    U.S. to raise India’s bid for permanent seat in UNSC

    Defence news

    Defence news

    Defence News: Economic Times (Source article)

    The United States has reaffirmed its support for India’s bid for a permanent seat in a reformed UN Security Council (UNSC). State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, said, “”I believe U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is going to raise the issue at the United Nations.”

    Terming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States as a wonderful experience, Nauert said, “U.S had a lovely visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was certainly wonderful to have him here in the United States. I know the President enjoyed hosting him, as did the Secretary as well.”

    Nauert, a former Fox News host, said “U.S. is certainly aware of the elections that India will hold in 2019.”

    During Prime Minister Modi’s visit to United States in June, President Trump reaffirmed the support of the United States for India’s permanent membership on a reformed UN Security Council and in other multilateral institutions like the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

    “As global non-proliferation partners, the United States expressed strong support for India’s early membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Australia Group,” the India-U.S. joint statement said.

  • ,

    China, Move Over! India Considers Its Own ‘Silk Road’, Invites Iran to Join In

    Defence news: CPEC killer

    Defence news: CPEC killer

    Defence News: (Full Article, Sputnik) India has pitched the idea of a transport corridor to Iran, Russia, the Caucasus region and Central Asia as an alternative to China’s “One Belt, One Road” project.

    The proposed corridor, dubbed North-South, would stretch to Russia via Iran and connect the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean with the Caspian Sea, thus making the Islamic Republic a key player in the region.
    In an interview with Sputnik Persian, Iranian political analyst Pir Mohammad Mollazehi spoke about the potential benefits the North-South project promised Iran and Russia.

    “What makes the North-South corridor so important is that it would bring transportation costs and travel time down by 30 percent. It is with these considerations in mind that Iran, Russia and India are now discussing the use of the Chabahar or Bender Abbas ports to bring cargoes to the Iranian ports on the Caspian Sea,” Pir Mohammad Mollazehi said.

    He added that India was also looking for a way to deliver its goods by rail or by road to Russia and Europe.

    “They could also build a railway between Chabahar and Bender Abbas to haul cargoes to Khorasan and further on to Central Asia. We expect India to get more actively involved in this project and invest more in the development of the Chabahar port, which is a gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asia,” Pir Mohammad Mollazehi noted.

    The proposed corridor, dubbed North-South, would stretch to Russia via Iran and connect the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean with the Caspian Sea, thus making the Islamic Republic a key player in the region.
    In an interview with Sputnik Persian, Iranian political analyst Pir Mohammad Mollazehi spoke about the potential benefits the North-South project promised Iran and Russia.

  • ,

    Govt plans to raise a police force to guard India’s coastline

    Defence News

    Defence News

    Defence news: Hindustan times (Full article)The government is planning to raise a new police force exclusively to guard India’s 7,000km-long coastline, which is porous and has allowed terrorists to cause mayhem on the mainland as was done during the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

    According to the home ministry, the force would be under the control of the central government and named Coastal Border Police Force.

    “The proposal to raise the new force was discussed at a meeting called for review of all issues of all central paramilitary forces,” a home ministry spokesman said on Thursday after the meeting.

    At present, the Indian Navy is responsible for maritime security while the Coast Guard secures territorial waters.

    Surrounded by water on three sides, India doesn’t have a force to guard its coastline.

    This vulnerability was exploited when 10 Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists took the sea route to Mumbai and held India’s financial capital hostage for three days, killing 164 people.

    In 1993, arms and explosives for the Mumbai serial blasts, too, were came through sea.

    After the 2008 Mumbai attack, more than 170 coastal police stations have come up, equipped with boats, cars and motorcycles to guard the coastline.

    The proposal for the coastal force was still at an early stage and was being worked on, a home ministry official, who attended the meeting chaired by minister Rajnath Singh, said.

  • ,

    Sukhoi PAK-FA Could Soon Power India’s 5th Generation Fighter

    Defence news sputnik

    Defence news sputnik

    Defence News: SPUTNIK (Full Article link) As a high-level committee clears the deck for signing the second stage of the Indo-Russia fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) project, it is expected the Indian Air Force (IAF) will receive the fifth generation fighter just when 11 squadrons of obsolete MiG-21s and MiG-27s are set to retire in 2024.

    Industry people involved with the decade-long project expect the deal to be signed in the coming months as most contentious issues have been resolved including costs. Early conclusion of the R&D contract will pave way for testing Indo-Russia FGFA fighter to the IAF in the next three years with the flying platform made by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The FGFA will be based on the Sukhoi-designed PAK-FA.

    “The IAF FGFA would be powered by the second stage engine of the PAK-FA which is still under development. PAK-FA is being developed using NPO Saturn AL-41F1 engine, which will also power the initial production lot. The second stage engine, unofficially referred to as Product 30, is expected to start flight trials in end-2017,” Vijainder K. Thakur, senior editor of Geopolitics and former IAF squadron leader, said.

    It is considered that compared to the AL-41F1, the new engine is 30% lighter, features improved thrust (19,000 kgf vs 15,000 kgf), better fuel efficiency and fewer moving parts resulting in improved reliability and 30% lower life-cycle cost. Highly efficient supercruise engine puts an end to the concern earlier raised by the IAF about the engine power of the T-50.

    Integration of the Product 30 engine and flight testing on the PAK-FA could take 2-3 years, which would give time to redesign the airframe for a second cockpit and integrate India-specific electronics and flight computers.

    “If we join now, we will still get a significant part of the work share, thanks to delays in the PAK-FA project. HAL would co-design the avionics, including navigation systems, radars and weapon aiming devices. This is the heart of the fighter’s combat ability,” T Suvarna Raju, chief of HAL, the Indian partner of the project, told Business Standard.

    Another concern, reported in Indian and Western media, was the exorbitant price demanded by Russia, which was actually not the case. Defensenews had reported in May this year that, ‘Russians are demanding more than $7 billion as part of India’s share in the development of the FGFA.’ Another Indian media outlet said IAF will run out of cash as Russia has asked it to purchase 127 such aircraft at a cost of $135 million each.

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    Kalyani Group Unveils Facility To Supply Anti-Tank Guided Missiles To Indian Army

    defence news indian scenario
    defence news indian scenario
    Image credit: militarytoday.com

    Defence News: (Bloomberg quint except) The Kalyani Group unveiled its facility in Hyderabad to build anti-tank guided missiles for the Indian Army with its Israeli joint venture partner as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.

    The order, which awaits final approvals, includes supplying thousands of Spike missiles valued at around $1 billion over next couple of years, Baba Kalyani, chairman of $2.5-billion forging-to-engineering Kalyani Group, told reports at the launch. The group has inked a 51:49 percent joint venture with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.

    India, the world’s biggest importer of arms and defence equipment, is looking to boost local manufacturing by pushing domestic private companies to tie up with overseas peers for technology.

    The Kalyani Strategic Systems Ltd. and Rafael will manufacture and integrate Spike anti-tank guided missile systems and spice glider bombs in India. It will supply the Indian Army 321 Spike ATGM launchers, 8,356 missiles, 15 training simulators and associated accessories.

    All field trials for the missile have been completed, said Kalyani. The missile will have close to 90 percent localised content, he said. The deal involves transfer of technology to state-owned Bharat Dynamics Ltd. and option to produce additional missile launchers and missiles. The state-owned company will integrate ammunition with the missile.

    “We have already invested close to $70 million as preparation for this order,” said Yoav Har-Even, president and chief executive officer of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. The company has been developing and training small and medium enterprises around Hyderabad to supply to the Kalyani-Rafael facility.

    This is Kalyani Group’s second partnership with an Israeli company. It struck the first one with BF Elbit Advanced Systems Pvt. for artillery guns. The venture with Rafael Advanced Defense is one of the first to be off the block under ‘Make in India’ to manufacture high tech missiles in India.

    “Both partners have invested around Rs 60-70 crore to build the facility. We would be investing another Rs 60-70 crore as we scale operations,” said Kalyani.

    Full article at Bloomberg quint

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    India’s IL-78 Fleet Rusting Away Hangar-Less Since 2003, Says Auditor

    Defence news: IL76

    Defence News: Mismanagement related to IL-78 refueling aircraft has come to light recently, Six air tankers had been procured by IAF and they have not had their share of a shady parking. As a result, the aircraft condition is deteriorating. This is not desirable especially when India uses aircraft well beyond their service life and expects high serviceability rates.

    Defence news: IL76

    Sputnik Excerpt: India’s top auditor, the Comptroller and Auditor General, has revealed that the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) fleet of six IL-78 refueling aircraft has been rusting in the open because of a lack of hangars. There is only one hangar for the six planes, the CAG noted.

    The CAG report tabled in Parliament said the IAF is missing pivotal infrastructure and dedicated refueling corridor for its air-to-air refueling IL-78s. CAG also points out the aircraft require 11480 feet to 15022 feet-long runway for the carrying of optimum quantity of fuel but of the 10 airfields, only one is 10500 feet long. “Six IL-78 aircraft were procured during 2003-04, but only one hangar is available. Due to non-availability of hangers, the costly air assets remained in the open which adversely affected their serviceability and life,” CAG report tabled in the Parliament reads.

    “Aircraft hangars are required for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance activity and runway for taking off and landing. Limited availability of these will adversely impact maintenance and operational efficiency, respectively. However, creating full-fledged maintenance and operational infrastructure at multiple locations is resource intensive and therefore, air forces all over the world create these facilities at restricted number of locations for optimal operations,” Group Captain Kishore Kumar Khera, a serving fighter pilot of the Indian Air Force with 31 years of operational service, told Sputnik.

    As country did not create required support facility for recce systems along the China border, air-to-air refueling by utilizing IL-78 refueler aircraft became essential for recce missions in these areas.

    Excerpt ends. Read full article at Sputnik news.

    It goes without saying that enough is not being done to prevent the tax rupee from going down the drain. This oversight needs immediate attention and there should be a complete audit and failures should be dealt with a strong hand. IAF should assess which assets apart from the fleet tankers are in a similar situation and do a proactive remedy instead of waiting on another CAG report.

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    India Pakistan border to be ‘smart fenced’ by March 2018: BSF chief

    Defence news India-Pakistan border in Wagah. (AFP photo)

    Defence News: Sealing borders with Pakistan is on India’s target by 2018 according to BSF Chief K K Sharma has said. Current fencing is surely helping reduce infiltration, without which we could not have imagined how many militants would sneak in undetected. However it has it’s own limitations, hence a smart fence with complete sensor package is required, sensors that work 24 hours, all weather and even in the ground. This will also help detect dug up tunnels, that the cowards use to cross over into Indian territory.

    Defence news India-Pakistan border in Wagah. (AFP photo)
    India-Pakistan border in Wagah. (AFP photo)

    Time of India reports (full article here):

    NEW DELHI: Sealing the Indian border with Pakistan+ is an immediate “priority” and a smart technology-aided fence will be in place along the Jammu sector by March next year, the BSF chief said on Wednesday.

    Border Security Force DG K K Sharma, in the same breath, added that as the country’s relations with its eastern neighbour Bangladesh are “very good” at present, a similar plan to make the Indo-Bangla border impregnable would be taken up once the “resources” are available.

    “My priority is Pakistan, as anything that happens here (along the Indo-Pak border), has grave consequences. We are working to ensure complete sealing of this border and make it more fortified,” the Director General said on sidelines of an event to announce the ‘BSF half marathon for martyrs’ to be held in October this year.

    “We are implementing a comprehensive integrated border management (CBIM) plan and are running a pilot project to make our international border (IB) along Pakistan secure+ ,” he said.

    This project will be in place in the Jammu sector (of the IB) by March next year, Sharma said.

    Asked if there were any similar plans for the 4,096-km long India-Bangladesh border, the DG replied “it is a question of priority”.

    Both the governments of India and Bangladesh have good relations and the ties between the BSF and its counterpart Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) are also at an all-time high, the DG said.

    “We are also conducting simultaneous coordinated patrolling wit the BGB … once we have the resources (after completing the border sealing task with Pakistan), we will do it on the eastern side,” Sharma said.

    The BSF DG’s statement comes in variance with that of Union home minister Rajnath Singh who has earlier said that the Assam portion of the Indo-Bangla border (about 200kms) will be completely sealed by the first half of 2018.

    He added that the challenges of guarding these large borders on the two flanks of the country are very “dynamic” and hence the security requirements keep changing and nothing can be said to be adequate.

    “We are modernizing our equipment and the Indo-Pak border will be more fortified by the use of advanced technology. What we keep doing, I am sure, will have to be followed by my successor even,” he said.

    TOI Excerpt ends.

    It is evident that the task is humongous as the border is long and runs through different types of terrain at different places. However the expected results are very much desirable. It should lower infiltration and help boost surveillance at the same time. Adding more electronics and sensor packages will boost moral and reduce surveillance fatigue and cost too. Reduction in casualties is an unmeasurable benefit we should get out of this deployment. India should also install ground based AESA systems instead of it’s classic over the horizon radars to boost air security, also the Isreali iron dome can help protect populated areas.

     

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    Angering India would kill Belt and Road Initiative; Chinese experts caution Beijing

    Gwadar-Indian-Defence-News-DefenceUpdates

    Defence News: Chinese experts have spoken honestly for the first time. There seems to be some relaxation from the State as it’s highly unusual for someone to speak their mind in China. Everything is State controlled. Yet experts have warned China that angering India would hurt OBOR so badly, China will loose big business and in case of a war, China will not be able to conduct trade across Indian ocean.

    Gwadar-Indian-Defence-News-DefenceUpdates

    ET excerpt: Read full article here.

    NEW DELHI: Apart from raising tensions between India and China, the Doklam standoff could potentially threaten Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Chinese scholars and experts have warned for the first time.

    Macau-based military expert Antony Wong Dong has cautioned that Beijing’s hardball politics are pushing New Delhi further away and could end up making it an enemy.

    “China is playing psychological warfare… but it should realise that even if it defeated India in a war on land, it would be impossible for the PLA navy to break India’s maritime containment,” Wong told Hong Kong-based English daily South China Morning Post (SCMP), pointing to the importance of the Indian Ocean as a commercial lifeline.

    China is largely reliant on imported fuel and, according to figures published by Chinese state media, more than 80% of its oil imports sail through the Indian Ocean or Strait of Malacca.

    “Unlike Southeast Asian countries, India has never succumbed to China’s ‘carrot and stick’ strategies,” Wong said. “India is strategically located at the heart of China’s energy lifeline and the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, and offending India will only push it into the rival camp, which [Beijing believes] is scheming to contain China by blocking the Malacca Strait and the Indian Ocean.”

    Sun Shihai, an adviser to the Chinese Association for South Asian Studies, expressed similar sentiments. He told SCMP that he was concerned that the worst military stand-off in more than three decades would fuel anti-Chinese sentiment in India, as mistrust and hostility between the two countries run deep.

    “If not properly handled, the border row could have a long-term impact on China’s efforts to expand its diplomatic and economic influence beyond the Asia-Pacific region with its “Belt and Road Initiative”, he said, adding, “India is one of the most important strategic partners for China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ because of its geographic location.”

    It may be recalled that Delhi boycotted the BRI Summit in Beijing in May on the grounds that China-Pak-Eco-Corridor under BRI violates India’s sovereignty and that the initiative lacks transparency.

    Excerpt ends.

    The experts are right, If China thinks its Navy can effectively have a free run in Indian ocean in case of war, then there is not bigger illusion that China has ever been in love with. Indian Navy can, not only block Chinese trade in IOR completely now but even with bigger and more powerful Chinese ships and CBGs (carrier battle groups), it will be impossible for China to break a blockade which IN will enforce. China should indeed stop drooling about wastelands at Tibet-India border and other areas. It should focus on being a mature and reasonable power. It should also withdraw from Pakistan, a state with which it stands nothing to gain despite CPEC and some fancy weapons sales, as the cost to make India an enemy are too high.

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    Military key to super power status: Arun Jaitley

    Defence News: Arun jaitley, the Hon'anble Defence minister of India

    Defence News: Realizing the fact that military power is the key to ambitions of any nation, defence minister Arun Jaitley has said it right “Though all the aspects of power constitute a super power, the military power is a key to a nation’s rise to great or Super Power status,”. India continued to slumber on military upgrades and modernization for years. Despite threats from 2 irresponsible neighbors, one economically and the other militarily and with regards to militancy, India did not do what it should have done: Build the right Infrastructure and hardware for it’s forces.

    Defence News: Arun jaitley, the Hon'anble Defence minister of India
    Defence Minister Arun Jaitley (Photo: PTI)

    Asian Age reports:

    New Delhi: Making no secret of India’s aspiration for a super power status for which the development of an indigenous defence production base is necessary, defence minister Arun Jaitley has said military power is key to a nation’s rise to super power status.

    “Though all the aspects of power constitute a super power, the military power is a key to a nation’s rise to great or Super Power status,” the minister has written in a special feature article.

    Expressing concern over the heavy reliance on defence imports, the minister said: “As per a rough analysis, out of our total defence procurement, 40 per cent is indigenous production.”

    Naming some platforms that have achieved “significant” indigenisation, Mr Jaitley mentions T-90 Tank (74% indigenisation), infantry combat vehicle (BMP II) (97%), Sukhoi 30 fighter aircraft (58%), Konkurs missile (90%). Some systems, like Akash missile system, Advanced Light Helicopters, Light Combat Aircraft, Pinaka rockets, various types of radars such as Central Acquisition Radar, Weapon Locating Radar, Battlefield Surveillance Radar etc., have more than 50-60% indigenisation, Mr Jaitley wrote.

    He added with liberalization in the licensing regime in last three years, 128 licenses have been issued for manufacturing of various defence items, whereas in the last 14 years before that period, only 214 licenses were issued.

    “The policies and initiatives taken in the last three years have started showing results. Three years back, in 2013-14, where only 47.2% of the capital procurement was made from Indian vendors, in the year 2016-17, it has gone up to 60.6%.”

    “Gradually, disinvestment in DPSUs is also being pursued to make them more accountable and bring in operational efficiency. In the last three years, the value of production (VoP) of DPSUs and OFB has increased by approximately 28% and productivity by 38%,” the defence minister wrote.

    There are 41 ordnance factories, nine defence public sector undertakings, more than 200 private sector license holder companies and a few thousand small, medium and micro enterprises feeding to the large manufacturers and DPSUs.  More than 50 defence laboratories of DRDO are also part of the entire eco-system of defence manufacturing in the country.

    It goes without saying that India needs more of everything in almost every sphere of it’s military hardware and infrastructure. without a solid military base, Indian diplomacy is a tiger without it’s teeth and claws. It’s high time the government does some smart planning and assign the required 5% GDP to defence spending. If anyone thinks the money should go to the poor and so on and so forth, those people are either enemy, do not know anything what they are talking about or delusional.

  • ,

    How China ‘friendship’ highway is killing Pakistani businessmen’s dreams

    Defence News

    Defence News: OK, this is no secret. Wherever China has been accepted as a major business partner, that economy has tanked in terms of productivity, innovation and entrepreneurship. China’s highly subsidized production at home and dumping expertise leads to disasters in other countries. Here is a news report by Economic times that tells the horror tale of China’s friend, Pakistan suffering due to it’s trade partnership relationship with the former.

    Defence News
    AFP Photo

    Excerpts from the full article.

    TASHKURGAN, CHINA: The China-Pakistan Friendship Highway runs over 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) from the far western Chinese city of Kashgar through the world’s highest mountain pass and across the border.

    For China, the two-lane thoroughfare symbolizes a blossoming partnership, nourished with tens of billions of dollars of infrastructure investment.

    But for many Pakistani businessmen living and working on the Chinese side of the border, the road is a one way street.

    “China says our friendship is as high as the Himalayas and as deep as the sea, but it has no heart,” said Pakistani businessman Murad Shah, as he tended his shop in Tashkurgan, 120 kilometres from the mountain pass where trucks line up to cross between China’s vast Xinjiang region and Pakistan.

    “There is no benefit for Pakistan. It’s all about expanding China’s growth,” Shah said, as he straightened a display of precious stones.

    The remote town of around 9,000 is at the geographic heart of Beijing’s plans to build a major trade artery — the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) — connecting Kashgar to the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar.
    The project is a crown jewel of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, a massive global infrastructure programme to revive the ancient Silk Road and connect Chinese companies to new markets around the world.

    In 2013, Beijing and Islamabad signed agreements worth $46 billion to build transport and energy infrastructure along the corridor, and China has upgraded the treacherous mountain road better known as the Karakoram Highway.

    While both countries say the project is mutually beneficial, data shows a different story.

    Pakistan’s exports to China fell by almost eight percent in the second half of 2016, while imports jumped by almost 29 percent.

    In May, Pakistan accused China of flooding its market with cut rate steel and threatened to respond with high tariffs.

    “There are all of these hopes and dreams about Pakistan exports,” said Jonathan Hillman, a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

    “But if you’re connecting with China, what are you going to be exporting?”

    One answer is Nigerian “male enhancement” supplements: expired medications which Pakistani merchants in the oasis city of Hotan recently peddled to bearded Muslims walking home from Friday prayers.

    The products were typical of the kinds of small consumer goods brought by Pakistani traders into Xinjiang: medicine, toiletries, semi-precious stones, rugs and handicrafts.

    Pakistani businessmen in Xinjiang see few benefits from CPEC, complaining of intrusive security and capricious customs arrangements.

    “If you bring anything from China, no problem,” said Muhammad, a trader in the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar, who declined to give his full name.

    But he said tariffs on imported Pakistani goods are “not declared. Today it’s five percent, tomorrow maybe 20. Sometimes, they just say this is not allowed”.

    Three years ago, Shah was charged between eight and 15 yuan per kilo to bring lapis lazuli, a blue stone. The duty has since soared to 50 yuan per kilo, he said.

    Customs officials told AFP the “elements influencing prices were too many” for them to offer a “definite and detailed list” of costs.

    While large-scale importers can absorb the tariffs, independent Pakistani traders have benefited little from CPEC, said Hasan Karrar, political economy professor at the Lahore University of Management Sciences.

    Alessandro Ripa, an expert on Chinese infrastructure projects at Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, said the highway “is not very relevant to overall trade” because “the sea route is just cheaper and faster”.

    The project is better understood as a tool for China to promote its geopolitical interests and help struggling state-owned companies export excess production, he said.

    Traders also face overbearing security in China.

    Over the last year, Beijing has flooded Xinjiang, which has a large Muslim population, with tens of thousands of security personnel and imposed draconian rules to eliminate “extremism”.

    Businessmen complain they are not allowed to worship at local mosques, while shops can be closed for up to a year for importing merchandise with Arabic script.

    Excerpt ends.

    It’s evident China want to dump it’s products, exploit the Pakistani market, kill innovation and local industry, sell weapons, fuel India-Pakistan hatred so it can sell more weapons and win an ally against India and try and control whoever it can in the region. Pakistan needs to come to it’s sense for it’s own good. India needs to curb Chinese imports, develop local industry and develop a great weapons industrial complex to not only match but to exceed Chinese and Pakistani capacities by a good margin. Only then can we ensure security and growth to our great democracy.

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    India can construct Kishanganga, Ratle projects: Pakistan Stunned

    indian defence news

    Defence news: Looks like Pakistan has got another lesson in it’s quest to “confront India” for any matter, reasonable or not. The World bank has supported India in it’s projects to build two key hydro power projects. It’s time India starts to take its fair share of waters that it had so generously given to it’s enemy number one.

    indian defence news
    Kishanganga power project in Gurez, 160 km (99 miles) Srinagar (Reuters Photo)

    Times of India report (read full article here)

    WASHINGTON: India is allowed to construct hydroelectric power facilities on tributaries of the Jhelum and Chenab rivers with certain restrictions under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), the World Bank has said.

    The World Bank’s comments came as officials from India Pakistan concluded the secretary-level talks over the IWT.

    Pakistan opposes the construction of the Kishanganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) hydroelectric power plants being built by India in Jammu and Kashmir, the global lender said in a fact sheet issued yesterday.

    Noting that the two countries disagree over whether the technical design features of the two hydroelectric plants contravene the treaty, the World Bank said the IWT designates these two rivers as well as the Indus as the “Western Rivers” to which Pakistan has unrestricted use.

    “Among other uses, India is permitted to construct hydroelectric power facilities on these rivers subject to constraints specified in annexures to the treaty,” the Bank said in its fact sheet.

    It noted that the talks on the technical issues of the IWT took place this week “in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation”.

    The parties have agreed to continue discussions and reconvene in September in Washington DC, it said in a separate statement.

    In the lengthy fact sheet, the World Bank said Pakistan asked it to facilitate the setting up of a Court of Arbitration to look into its concerns about the designs of the two hydroelectric power projects.

    On the other hand, India had asked for the appointment of a neutral expert to look into the issues, contending the concerns Pakistan raised were “technical” ones.

    The IWT was signed in 1960+ after nine years of negotiations between India and Pakistan with the help of the World Bank, which is also a signatory.

    The World Bank’s role in relation to “differences” and “disputes” is limited to the designation of people to fulfil certain roles when requested by either or both of the parties, the fact sheet said.

    Earlier, in a letter dated July 25, the World Bank had assured Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna its “continued neutrality and impartiality in helping the parties to find and amicable way forward.”

    TOI Excerpt ends.

    India should not only go ahead full steam on the projects, but explore the waters leaving it’s western borders to the fullest. Sympathizing with the enemy which has always stabbed in the back is not a good idea. A full spectrum response, especially which benefits our own people is the way to go.