Wednesday, December 11, 2019

ISRO Successfully Launches Its News Spy Satellite Into A Precise Orbit

PSLV-C48, in its 50th mission successfully launched India's spy satellite RISAT-2BR1 from the First Launch Pad (FLP) of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota into a precise orbit.

RISAT-2BR1, a Radar imaging earth observation satellite weighing about 628 kg, will be placed into an orbit of 576 km at an inclination of 37 degree.
PSLV-C48 will also carry 9 customer satellites of Israel(1), Italy(1), Japan(1) and USA(6) as co-passengers. These international customer satellites are being launched under a commercial arrangement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).

PSLV-C48 is the 2nd flight of PSLV in 'QL' configuration (with 4 strap-on motors). This will be the 75th launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota and 37th launch from the First Launch pad.


Army Begins Induction of Howitzers

Jaisalmer: The Indian Army on Monday fired the US-origin Excalibur guided long-range artillery ammunition from the M-777 ultra-light howitzers in the Pokhran firing range. The firing was witnessed by the senior leadership of the Indian Army including director general, artillery lieutenant general Ravi Prasad.

These howitzer guns will be inducted in the Army by the end of this year.

The guns have been bought from US and are being tested for long-distance firing capacity. The trials are going on under the supervision of foreign experts.

In October, the Indian Army had inducted the US Excalibur artillery ammunition in its inventory. The M777 howitzers are planned to be used mainly for warfare in mountainous terrains due to their light weight and ability to be air-dropped by the Chinook heavy-lift helicopters in the high altitude areas in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. After Swedish Bofors guns, these American guns will be inducted in the Indian Army after 30 years. This comes in the backdrop of regular cross border firing between the armies of India and Pakistan, where the latter uses artillery guns. The ammunition is also being used by US forces.

Imran Khan'S Remarks On CAB Blatant Interference In India's Affairs: Govt

NEW DELHI: The BJP on Tuesday hit back at Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan for his criticism of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, describing his remarks as a blatant interference in India's affairs.

"Imran Khan's comments on India's legislation constitute blatant interference in India's affairs...India is protecting minorities you (Imran Khan) failed to protect. With your views similar to the Congress on Article 370, CAB, etc, Tehreek-e-Insaf is looking like a new partner of Cong-led UPA," BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said.

Tehreek-e-Insaf headed by Khan is Pakistan's ruling party.

Pakistan on Tuesday said India's "regressive and discriminatory" Citizenship (Amendment) Bill reflects its "malafide intent" to interfere in the affairs of neighbouring countries based on religion, with Imran Khan describing the proposed legislation as a "design of expansionism".

Indian-American Community Feels ‘Betrayed, Cheated’ By Pramila Jayapal's Resolution On Kashmir

The community, which has strongly supported the Democrats in the US over the decades, is voicing anger and hurt over Jayapal moving ahead with introducing the legislation even though Indian-Americans had urged her against it

New York: Members of the Indian-American community say they feel betrayed, cheated and saddened by Indian-American Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who has introduced a Congressional resolution on Kashmir, saying that the lawmaker is "pandering for political advantage through it.

Jayapal on Friday introduced a Congressional resolution urging India to end the restrictions on communications in Jammu and Kashmir as swiftly as possible and preserve religious freedom for all residents.

The Indian-American community, which has strongly supported the Democrats in the US over the decades, is voicing anger and hurt over Jayapal moving ahead with introducing the legislation even though Indian-Americans had urged her against it.

In a strong criticism of Jayapal, Indian-American attorney Ravi Batra told PTI that "her resolution mocks America and interferes in a bilateral relationship between India and the US.

I look upon as Pramila Jayapal as completely unprincipled, un-American, anti-Hindu and pro-terror, who is shamelessly pandering for political advantage, Batra said.

Quoting the American Declaration of Independence, Batra said the historic document sequentially talks about preservation of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. She has introduced this resolution about rights, Batra said, adding that America's Founding Father Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that first comes the preservation of lives, then comes liberty and only when there is freedom, can there be rights.

The (Narendra) Modi government passed the laws based on the Constitution of India. What is her problem, he said.

Stressing that security is important, Batra added that it is critical for a nation to be terror free, then we need to have public safety. Only then can freedom and rights mean anything. I hope she will stop embarrassing all Americans of Indian ancestry.

Seattle-based Debadutta Dash, founder and co-chair of Washington State India Trade Relations Action Committee, a non-profit advocacy group promoting trade and cultural relations between India and Washington state, also voiced his disagreement with the resolution brought by Jayapal and Republican Congressman Steve Watkins from Kansas.

Dash, who had voted for Jayapal when she ran for Washington State Legislature, Washington State Senate and Congress, said that Jayapal appears to have lost track and has been misled and totally influenced by the negative media reporting about Kashmir in mainstream American news organisations.

Dash said it is very opportunistic and biased" for Jayapal to bring this resolution. It is hard to understand why she is doing so, representing only a couple of people in her constituencies, undercutting the issues of the Kashmiri Pandits.

The members of the Indian-American community also feel even though they have traditionally supported the Democratic Party throughout, actions such as those of Jayapal and extreme left wing of the Party will make the community look at the Republican Party as a protector and promoter of their interests.

Dash said members of the community will definitely be very careful about who they vote for next time because they will be watching what steps the lawmakers are taking in terms of issues like Kashmir.

It is absolutely unfortunate. It appears that she is looking for some opportunistic career move in the Democratic Party. I'm baffled by this resolution, he said stressing that Kashmir is India's internal issue and the Indian government doesn't take any action in the Indian Parliament based on what is happening in the US.

Echoing similar sentiment, Massachusetts-based Pawan Roy, a board member of several US-India focused non-profit organisations, said that "suddenly we have this Imran Khan Niazi-narrative being played out primarily by the Democrats in the US. They are brazenly peddling the Pakistan narrative and completely ignoring the plight of Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Hindus.

He said that what makes this harder for the Indian-Americans is that they have largely been a solid supporter of the Democratic party. With many of his own family members and friends having traditionally voted Democrat, Roy said there is a sense of betrayal and sadness by the fact that the US House of Representatives, particularly the Democrats, are so keen on bringing up hearing after hearing on Kashmir.

Vibhuti Jha, Executive Director and board member of NGO Nalanda International USA, said Jayapal is trying to sermonise the human rights challenge and suspension of communications in Jammu and Kashmir.

Human life takes precedence over human rights. When you misrepresent a challenge as a human rights challenge, you ignore the human life challenge that India faces in that area, especially when we have a very na-pak country as a our neighbour and whose Prime Minister at the UN General Assembly called for nuclear war and blood bath," Jha said.

He added that the Democratic party has lost its mooring. It has tilted so much to the left of centre, to the extreme left that it is almost difficult to have a discussion with them because they blame everything as human rights issue.

Jha said that Democrats such as Jayapal have no locus standii to interfere in India's internal affairs.

He said he would appeal to Jayapal that she should not insult her original homeland with a myopic point of view.

SMS Service Resume For Subscribers In Kashmir Valley

Though the Jammu and Kashmir administration allowed service providers to resume machine-based messages, subscribers will not be allowed to send any messages from their mobiles, the officials said

Phones fell silent on August 5, when the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and reorganised the state into two union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

SMS service messages, including ‘one time passwords’ (OTPs), resumed on Tuesday for 40 lakh subscribers in Kashmir following several requests from the public, particularly the business community, officials here said.

Though the Jammu and Kashmir administration allowed service providers to resume machine-based messages, subscribers will not be allowed to send any messages from their mobiles, the officials said.

The resumption of service messages will help the general public, especially business-persons, receive service messages from banks, they said.

Phones fell silent on August 5, when the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and reorganised the state into two union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Mobile phones in Kashmir buzzed back to life after a gap of 72 days on October 14, but SMS facilities were stopped within a few hours after the Army claimed terrorists were using SMS services to mobilise people.

Over 25 lakh prepaid mobile phones and internet services, including WhatsApp, remain deactivated for now, the officials said.

On August 17, partial fixed line telephony resumed in the Valley. On September 4, nearly 50,000 landlines were declared operational.

In Jammu, communication was restored within days of the blockade and mobile internet restarted around mid-August. However, after its misuse, internet facility on cell phones was snapped on August 18.

UN Refuses To Comment On India’s Citizenship Amendment Bill

The international watchdog stated that its only concern is to ensure that all governments peruse non-discriminatory laws

New Delhi: The United Nations has refused to comment on the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the lower house of the Indian Parliament. It stated that its only concern is to ensure that all governments peruse non-discriminatory laws.

Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, "As far as I am aware, this legislation will go through a legislative process. We do not have a comment while the domestic legislative process is being carried out."

When asked about the UN's response to the passage of the bill, "At the same time, our concerns are only of being sure that all governments peruse non-discriminatory laws," Haq added in his weekly briefing.

On Wednesday the Bill which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan after facing religious persecution there, will be tabled in Rajya Sabha at 2 pm , where the NDA will require the support of at least 123 MPs in the 245-member house.

The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha a little past midnight on Monday after a heated debate that lasted over seven hours, with a majority of 311 votes.

US Commission Proposes Sanctions Against Indian Home Minister Amit Shah

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has recommended sanctions against Indian Home Minister Amit Shah and other top Indian leaders after the New Delhi passed a controversial citizenship bill.

The bill offers citizenship to non-Muslim minorities from three neighbouring Muslim countries i.e. Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

“The USCIRF is deeply troubled by the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), originally introduced by Home Minister Amit Shah, in the Lok Sabha (the lower house of the Indian Parliament) given the religion criterion in the bill. The CAB will now move to the Rajya Sabha (Indian Parliament’s Upper House). If the CAB passes in both houses of parliament, the United States government should consider sanctions against the Home Minister and other principal leadership,” says USCIRF in its statement.
“The CAB enshrines a pathway to citizenship for immigrants that specifically excludes Muslims, setting a legitimate foundation for citizenship based on religion. The CAB is a dangerous turn in the wrong direction; it runs counter to India’s rich history of secular pluralism and the Indian Constitution, which guarantees equality before the law regardless of faith.”

USCIRF also expressed fear that the Indian government has created a religious test for Indian citizenship that would strip citizenship from millions of Muslims. The statement continues, “In conjunction with the ongoing National Register of Citizens (NRC) process in Assam and nationwide NRC that the [Indian] Home Minister seeks to propose.”

Earlier, Pakistan denounced the discriminatory legislation, saying it was “driven by a toxic mix of an extremist Hindutva ideology”. PM Imran Khan on Tuesday said the legislation “violates all norms of international human rights law and bilateral agreements with Pakistan”.

Exclusive: Lashkar Chief Hafiz Saeed's Son Talha Escapes Assassination Attempt; Terrorist Organisation Suspects RAW Secret Service Agents

The bombing came hours after Lashkar chief Hafiz Saeed was produced a Lahore court to face terror-financing charges. Talha Saeed, a second source said, was waiting to speak at the religious meeting when the explosion occurred, even as another Lashkar preacher was addressing the gathering. The victims, a Lahore-based journalist said, were all supporters of the the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and regular visitors to the Ali-o-Murtaza mosque

New Delhi: Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed’s son, Talha Saeed, narrowly escaped assassination in a bombing on Lahore’s fringes on Saturday evening, three Pakistani sources familiar with an ongoing investigation into the attack have told Firstpost. At least seven other Lashkar supporters were critically injured in the attack, the sources said, and one person killed.

The bombing, targeting a religious meeting at the Jamia Masjid Ali-o-Murtaza on Muhammad Ali Road in Lahore’s Township neighbourhood, was earlier described by Pakistani as an accidental gas cylinder explosion.

But, one source familiar with the ongoing Punjab Police investigation, said the steel shutter on the air-conditioner repair store where the explosion took shows extensive shrapnel damage. “This kind of damage is typical of bombs packed with ball bearings,” he said. “It also makes clear the shop was shuttered-up when the explosion took place.”

Photographs taken inside the Jamia Masjid, obtained by Firstpost, also reveal damaged furniture and overturned tables.

Talha Saeed, a second source said, was waiting to speak at the religious meeting when the explosion occurred, even as another Lashkar preacher was addressing the gathering. He was treated for his injuries, the source said, at the Jinnah Hospital, a top Lahore facility, some five kilometres from the Ali-o-Murtaza mosque.

Police had said Hafiz Mahmood, a 22-year-old air-conditioning handyman, was killed in the explosion. Twenty-five-year old Ahsaan, 20-year-old Abdul Ghafoor 22-year-old Abu Bakr, 60-year-old Muhammad Afaq and 40-year-old Muhammad Aslam were also reported injured in the bombing.

Families of at least four other people, the second source said, had said their relatives were seriously injured in the assassination attempt.

The victims, a Lahore-based journalist said, were all supporters of the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s parent organisation, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and regular visitors to the Ali-o-Murtaza mosque.

Local media, the journalist said, were instructed by police not to pursue the bombing story beyond the police account of events, nor to report Punjab Governor Mohammad Sarwar’s visit to the bombing victims on Sunday. “The media climate in Pakistan is such these days,” he said, referring to a string of attacks on journalists and newsrooms, “that it’s wise to listen to such advice”. “Lashkar spokespersons also called up to deny they were holding any gathering at all in the area,” he added.

The bombing came hours after Lashkar chief Hafiz Saeed was produced a Lahore court to face terror-financing charges—his first prosecution for a terrorism-related criminal case. The case was, however, deferred to 11 December since police inexplicably failed to produce co-accused Malik Zafar Iqbal.

Islamabad has been under intense pressure from the Financial Action Task Force to shut down the financing of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and could face sanctions if it fails to meet criteria set down by the multinational organisation by early February.

Earlier this year, Pakistan petitioned the United Nations Security Council—which has blacklisted the Lashkar-e-Taiba for its links to Al Qaeda and the Taliban—to allow Hafiz Saeed to withdraw subsistence funds of ₹1.5 lakh a month from accounts frozen by authorities.

Lashkar leaders in Pakistan, one source said, have been divided on attributing the attack to hostile intelligence services, like India’s Research and Analysis Wing, or to divisions within the organisation. Talha Saeed’s designation as his father’s successor and his control of Lashkar finances have angered senior leaders in the terrorist organisation, the source said.

“The fact that the Lashkar’s usually very tight security was breached suggests all is not well in the organisation,” said London-based scholar Ayesha Siddiqa, an expert on jihadist groups in the organisation. “It’s obviously impossible to say who the perpetrator of the attack maybe, but it’s clear all is not well within its hierarchy.”

Bangladesh Islamists Threaten ‘Long March To Ayodhya To Save Babri Masjid’

Hefazat-e-Islam leader Junaid Babunagri condemned the Supreme Court verdict and said the long march to Ayodhya is not only aimed at 'saving' the Babri Masjid but also uprooting the Modi government.

The Supreme Court had on November 9 ordered construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site and allocated five-acre land elsewhere in Ayodhya for the construction of the mosque | Photo Credit: IANS

Certain small militant Islamic organisations in Bangladesh are threatening a "long march to Ayodhya to save the Babri Masjid" in protest against the Supreme Court verdict, causing concern in India.

The Hefazat-e-Islam's demonstration against the Ayodhya judgement at the Baitul Mukarram Mosque in Central Dhaka after Friday prayers last month led by Nur Hossain Kashmeri was well-attended by about 3,000 people, highly-placed government sources said. Among those present were Islami Oikyo Jote chairman Abdul Latif Nizami. This has been the largest such protest in years, and there were similar, even if smaller protests in Chittagong, Sylhet and Brahmenberia.

During a meeting in Chittagong, its headquarters, Hefazat leader Junaid Babunagri condemned the Supreme Court verdict and spoke of the long march to Ayodhya, not only to "save" the Babri Masjid but also to uproot the Modi government. The Hefazat, an Islamic organisation, which the ruling Sheikh Hasina government says has links to the Jamaat, is a decade old. 

Indian government sources said India was aware of the threats. India and Bangladesh were cooperating on all security issues.

The Hefazat is also growing. It recently masterminded the formation of a new Islamic organisation, the Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat Bangladesh (TKNB) at Darul Uloom Islamia Deobhog Madrassa, Narayanganj, near Dhaka, under the chairmanship of Shah Ahmed Shafi.

AVIC Unveils AESA Radar For JF-17

With over 100 Block JF-17s built, attention is now being switched to the production of the supposedly more capable Block 3 jets

After starting production in 2008, PAC Kamra manufactures 58 percent of the JF-17 Thunder, while Chengdu Aircraft Corporation builds the remainder. The JF-17 Thunder started life as the Super-7 (which in turn is a clone of the venerable Soviet MiG-21 interceptor) in the late-80s, but sanctions by the US and its allies delayed development of the aircraft for over a decade.

There are now two Chinese contenders: one is the Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology KLJ-7A being marketed by China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC). The second one, which was displayed at Zhuhai Air Show, China, in November by Leihua Electronic Technology Research Institute (LETRI) is a new air-cooling AESA known as the LKF601E. CATIC has thrown its weight behind this option and claim that not only is it the first air-cooled radar, but replacing the JF-17’s original KLJ-7 is simply a case of taking out the old system and inserting the new one. Both radars are being evaluated by the PAF.


Chinese Internet

ISRO's Capacity Challenges: How Should We Assess ISRO's Space Missions?

by Kartik Bommakanti

Assessing Indian space missions requires scrutiny following statements and claims made by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). An ISRO, spokesperson recently observed the space agency is not a “production house”, which can be judged exclusively by the number satellites it places in orbit. Two related issues arise from the claim that ISRO is meeting all its planned space mission requirements and secondly should it even be expected to meet demands that are unrealistic, given its existing scientific, technological, infrastructure and budgetary constraints launching significantly more satellites to meet not just civilian and commercial needs, but equally servicing military requirements. Given that, it is the single agency in the country responsible for building spacecraft civilian, commercial and military purposes, the temptation or attraction to inflating the number of missions it is undertaking is understandable given its burden, yet problematic at least when measured by international standards.

Consequently, the agency’s criteria and definition for assessing its own performance is expansive covering multiple scientific and technological missions it pursues. For instance, the ISRO measures launch vehicle mission and satellite orbital injection as two separate missions. This is unusual and reasonable to conclude inaccurate, as it is hard to think of any other space agency of a major space-faring country doing the same. Indeed, the ISRO’s definition of missions actually means two separates tasks or phases of a mission. The launch vehicle igniting, completing a successful powered flight and injecting satellite payloads into their designated orbits comprises one phase (not to be confused with the stages of a Polar Satellite Space Launch Vehicle (PSLV)) and thereafter the spacecraft themselves performing optimally ranging from remote sensing to communications.

As opposed to ISRO, how do other major space powers define a mission? Take the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’ assessment of a mission is variant with the way ISRO defines a mission based on the views expressed by its spokespersons. Generally, for NASA the life cycle of a mission consists of a Pre-Phase A that involves a conceptual study. Phase A consists of a Preliminary Analysis and Phase B consists of reviewing the system’ requirements, design and non-advocate view, phase C&D comprises design, development, readiness and flight tests and the final Phase E consists of the actual operational segment of mission covering both primary and extended, which in NASA terminology called Mission Operations (MO) and Data Analysis (DA). What we are concerned here with is the final Phase E or the MO and DA. Let us consider NASA’s interplanetary or deep space mission, which comprises four phases or rather sub-phases: the Launch phase, the Cruise Phase, the Encounter Phase and the final extended operations phase, which are in entirely a function of the spacecraft’ technical health and duration of the overall mission.

Indeed, the Indian space agency’ internal assessment of the Chandrayaan- 1, lunar mission and its first deep space mission launched in October 2008 observed: “The primary science objective of the mission was to prepare a three dimensional atlas of both near and far side of the Moon and to conduct chemical and mineralogical mapping of the entire lunar surface with high spatial resolution. The major discovery of the Chandrayaan-1 mission is the detection of water (H2O) and hydroxyl (OH) on the lunar surface. The data also revealed their enhanced abundance towards the polar region.” Apart from water, the ISRO detected the presence of several minerals such as Titanium, Calcium, Aluminium and Magnesium. To any lay person, it may seem obvious, the Chandrayaan orbiter satellite consisting of various instruments to map and execute tests itself was not a mission, but a technological artefact designed to execute a mission, which included discovering water and other mineral resources on the moon. Thus, we are faced with a serious anomaly in ISRO’s definition of missions.

Given that the Chandrayaan –I’ primary mission was to understand the geography of the moon and mineral content on the lunar landscape, how does it square with the agency quaint and latest attempt to obscure the definition of a space mission? It invites the question that ISRO has made an erroneous and some might deem a deliberately misleading assertion in declaring launch vehicle operations and satellite operations as two independent missions in a quest to exaggerate the quantitative performance of the agency. However, the ISRO has gone even farther for the latest Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission with an ISRO official categorically stating, “This year’s Chandrayaan-2 alone equalled [the efforts of] five or six missions, given its complex elements such as an orbiter, a lander, a rover and a launch vehicle. Which is why such numbers are misleading.” A satellite cannot go into near or outer space without a launch vehicle. In a nutshell, launch vehicle and satellite’s operations are only phases of a mission and mission objectives as we have already noted are variable

In the long run whatever ISRO’ motives might be in making exaggerated claims about the number of missions it undertakes, the agency’ problems are deeper and likely to confront it in two forms. The first is simply the fact that it has deficit issues both in technical capacity and manpower placing constraints on its production strength. As one study in 2015 had incisively stated redressing the supply and demand problem requires the agency divesting itself of “…larger segments of [its] production requirement to [indigenous private] industry would be the right answer.” Small satellites development and production should be the first target of de-control and divestiture.

The second challenge confronting ISRO is foreign competition particularly for the launch of small satellites, which is an expanding market. The Elon Musk owned SpaceX Falcon 9 is widely considered a serious potential threat to ISRO’s workhorse the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The PSLV a highly reliable launch vehicle has provided cost effective rideshare launches to small satellite makers. However, with the emergence of a highly reliable Space Launch Vehicle (SLV) in the form Falcon 9, it is in ISRO’s best interest, albeit demanding, to divest control of Research and Development (R&D), production and pave the way for commercialisation of small satellites by the private sector. It would also free up resources of the agency to focus its R&D on strengthening SLV development enabling it to face the competition offered by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket for rideshare launches. The ISRO needs to be well advised against making syllogistic claims about its missions, because it does neither the agency nor the Indian public any good.

Shameless Pak Celebrates ‘Hangor Day’ For Sinking INS Khukri In 1971 War Even After Losing Half Its Country

KARACHI: A ceremony was organised by Pakistan Navy at Pakistan Maritime Museum to commemorate 48th Hangor Day on Monday and to pay homage to our heroes as the day is celebrated to commemorate the historic event of sinking Indian Navy Frigate KHUKRI and damaging another Indian Navy Ship KIRPAN in 1971 war.

Every year, December 9 is celebrated in Pakistan Navy as ‘Hangor Day’ to commemorate the historic event of the sinking of Indian Navy Frigate KHUKRI and severely damaging another Indian Navy Ship KIRPAN by PNS Hangor.

The remarkable naval action took place a few miles South-East off ‘Diu Head’ on the west coast of India.

The Hangor submarine remained underwater for a long time and successfully returned harbour on December 13 – 1971 after completion of the mission. The event is distinguished in naval history as being the first successful kill by a submarine since WW-II.

The ceremony was held at Pakistan Maritime Museum (PMM) at Karachi, adjacent to Ex-PNS/M HANGOR which was converted to serve as a museum submarine and placed at PMM as a symbol of courage and victory.

Vice Admiral Ahmed Tasneem (Retd) graced the occasion as chief guest. Upon his arrival, Commander Karachi Rear Admiral Zahid Ilyas received the chief guest.

Vice Admiral (Retd) Ahmed Tasneem, while addressing the occasion, said that Hangor remained a pride for Pakistan Navy in 1971 war and her heroic actions not only resulted in sinking of Indian Navy’s frigate but this was a strategic overture of Pakistan Navy which effectively thwarted and marginalised Indian aggression.

Pakistan Army Launches Brutal Crackdown Against Mujahir Community In Karachi

In videos emerging from Pakistan, the country's army could be seen brutally attacking the innocent people from the Muhajir community in Sindh's Karachi

In videos emerging from Pakistan, the country's army could be seen attacking the innocent people from the Muhajir community in Sindh's Karachi. People from the minority community accused the Qamar Bajwa-led Pakistan Army of forced displacement. The Muhajir community wanted to pay homage to the bravehearts who laid down their lives in the struggle of retrieving their usurped rights. The MQM commemorates the Martyrs Day on December 9 every year. Since 2016, Pakistan's military establishment has barricaded Azizabad.

"They take away people while they are asleep. They take away sons in front of their mothers. These are my sons, do they look like terrorists to you?" a woman from the Mujahir community said as she protested against the Army's atrocities. "They come here shamelessly to misbehave with us," said one woman from the community in anguish. "I feel like thrashing him," said another voice in the crowd. A woman from the Mujahir community accused the Pakistan Army of attempting to end the creed and lineage.

Pakistan's military establishment's crackdown against the Mujahirs prompted strong condemnation from MQM chief Altaf Hussain, who slammed the country's armed forces for "unleashing terror" and their "brutal repression" on the community. 'Mujahir' in Urdu means migrants or refugees. The population who migrated from parts of India including Uttar Pradesh, Mumbai, Rajasthan, Delhi, Bihar during partition in Pakistan's Sindh, came to be known as the Mujahir. 

Pak Army Atrocity

The Pakistan military establishment has restricted such activities and even the people are barred from reciting Quranic verses in remembrance of their loved ones. The Armed forces have ordered all flower vendors to keep their shops closed today so as to restrict the Mohajirs from laying floral wreaths on the graves of their brave hearts.

Hussain and the MQM's central coordination committee have condemned the "demonic" military establishment of Pakistan for their brutal repression against the Mohajirs. They have appealed to the United Nations and international human rights organisations to take notice of the human rights violations against the Mohajir community.

India’s Defence Dilemma: The End of Conventional Warfare Needs Smart Armies

by Ranjit Bhushan

India’s defence modernisation programme needs to shed its twin bogeys; one, a severely induced cash crunch that is impeding its growth, and the second, excessive politicisation over military purchases, which has dogged the system since news of kickbacks to politically powerful agents captured national imagination back in the 1980s. As is well known, India is one of the world’s largest – if not the largest – buyer of arms and ammunition.

The conventional defence narrative revolves around this pet theme. With a fund crunch at hands, the armed forces are slowing down modernisation projects or slashing operational requirements, while also delaying payments to defence PSUs and foreign armament companies for contracts inked earlier.

This polemic, frankly, needs to move on. While money is always available for immediate operational needs -- like small arms and military gear -- the larger cause of defence modernisation is always a drag, not just in India, but elsewhere in the world. Sure, most countries of the world are not as sensitive to threats as India is, what with the world’s fastest emerging military superpower China in the north and a military state like Pakistan in the west, both hostile and with whom India has a long history of engagements, both overt and covert.

Recent reports suggest that arms acquisition cases are piling up in the Cabinet Committee on Security without being cleared due to the shortage of funds. The armed forces have told Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh that there is “critical requirement” for additional funds during the ongoing financial year.

According to one projection, the 15-lakh-strong armed forces had estimated an additional requirement of around Rs 80,000 crore for modernisation, plugging critical operational gaps and paying `liabilities’ at the revised estimates stage in December. The figure of Rs 80,000 crore has been scaled down to 40 percent, which works out to about Rs 32,000 crore. The IAF and Navy have already spent over 85 percent of their allocated funds. Payments to defence PSUs are being progressively stopped, or at best, slowed down.

Resultantly, the three defence services are being forced to curtail their operational necessities on several fronts. The army, for instance, has cut down its long-standing requirement for 5,719 new-generation sniper rifles by two-thirds to just about 1,800 guns now. Similarly, the Navy has been told to slash its requirement of 10 more Poseidon-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft, which are packed with radars and weapons for anti-submarine warfare, at a cost of over $3 billion, from the US. The defence ministry is also likely to delay the actual inking of the virtually finalised deals with the US like the Rs 13,500 crore pact for 24 multi-role MH-60 ‘Romeo’ helicopters for navy and the Rs 4,168 crore acquisitions of six Apache attack helicopters for the army, officials have told the media.

Conventional War Is Obsolete

However, Gen Syed Ata Hasnain, who commanded the crucial 15 Corps in Jammu and Kashmir, believes that the Indian defence forces itself are in transition. “A conventional war is now obsolete. This is the era of hybrid warfare – smart wars, cyber targeting, air power and space battles. Conventional armies are more like deterrents,” he points out.

Officers acknowledge that ballooning revenue expenditure (salaries and day-to-day running costs) eats into capital outlay for modernisation for the manpower-intensive armed forces. India’s defence budget in recent years has been falling, but more significantly, an increasing component of the funds is being allocated towards salaries, pensions and other operating expenses. And given the demographic trends, the nation’s pension bill is becoming larger, even surpassing the salary bill.

The Modi government’s first budget of his second term generated predictable reactions, but Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has allocated Rs 4.31 trillion for military spending, keeping it unchanged from the February 1 interim budget. Compared to around 17 percent in 2014-15, this year’s defence budget will comprise 15.5 percent of government expenditure and only 2.04 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), as compared to 2.28 percent of GDP in 2014-15.

But that is a natural corollary. Experts believe that India’s defence policy faces numerous challenges and lack of resources is a much-hyped signature tune. Defence reforms are needed urgently, but no one seems particularly bothered about it, with all public discourse centred on defence allocation in annual budgets.

India’s defence dilemma has been amply demonstrated by the fact that even Narendra Modi, who was elected in 2014 with a thumping mandate, found it difficult to move ahead with the procurement of 30 odd fighter jets in his first term, despite the fact that IAF has a dwindling number of fighter squadrons to confront air threats posed by China and Pakistan.

The gamble of purchasing arms that may not be needed in a particular theatre, is hardly ground enough for officers of the defence ministry not to sign on or delay defence purchases for the fear of investigating agencies coming back to them at a later date asking inconvenient questions. In any case, it is the government’s job to ensure that officers’ unfounded fears are allayed. It is therefore not surprising that India’s top political leadership has been calling for reforms and it is here that the country’s defence planners need to find their métier.

MS Dhoni Likely To Produce Tv Show Based On Indian Army Officers: Reports

Dhoni has also provided financial backing to the docu-series Roar of Lion which was based on the IPL comeback of Chennai Super Kings (CSK)

The 2011 World Cup-winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is likely to produce a TV show based on the stories Indian Army officers. The episodic serial will tell the inspiring stories of Param Vir Chakra and Ashoka Chakra-winning soldiers.

According to a report on the Indian Express, Dhoni got the idea after spending time with the Indian Army during his sabbatical from sports. Reportedly, he learned about the soldiers and their families’ hardships during his two-week stint with the Indian Territorial Army.

“He understood the soldiers and their families’ hardships. Wanting to bring their story to the fore, Dhoni decided to bankroll this project,” a source was quoted as saying on the report.

It has also been revealed that the show will be produced under the former Indian captain’s own production house Dhoni Entertainment Pvt Ltd. StudioNext, the content creation wing of SET India, will also collaborate for the project.

The show, which is currently in the writing stage and has not received a title, will only be launched next year. It can be aired on Sony TV, while the date is yet to be confirmed.

Dhoni has also provided financial backing to the docu-series Roar of Lion which was based on the Indian Premier League (IPL) comeback of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and featured the 38-year-old himself.

He has been out of cricket since India’s semi-final exit from the World Cup in July this year. Speculations went wild after his two-month sabbatical was over, as many suggested he might not make a comeback to the national team again while some remained optimistic for a Dhoni-show again.

However, during an event in Mumbai earlier this month, Dhoni was seen skipping questions on his comeback and said, “Don’t ask me till January.”

A PTI report, meanwhile, has suggested that the cricketer will take a call on his future after the 2021 edition of IPL.

“If at all MS will take a call on his future, it will only be after the IPL. You can’t stop speculation as he is such a big player. He is in the best shape possible fitness-wise and has been training hard for the last one month.” the new agency had quoted a source close to Dhoni as saying.