January 21, 2012


Posted on | January 19, 2012 | 3 Comments

A writer and journalist friend residing in Lahore called from Dubai to inform that he had escaped the country temporarily to avoid kidnapping by the ISI goons and final evaporation. He was haunted for writing against the army after Osama bin Laden’s assassination by the US Marines at Abbotabad. He had raised questions about the incredibility of official claims that the ISI and army had no knowledge of Osama hideout near an army training camp in Abbotabad. He had also exposed that Osama; an ailing person had escaped from Afghanistan soon after US attack and destruction of his Tora Bora hideout. His followers tried to settle him near Peshawar, Quetta and in North Waziristan for better treatment of his kidney failure and heart complications. Finally, through a trusted person the land near Abbotabad was purchased and the house was constructed within two years. As the Pakhtun sardars of the area are known to build big houses and high-rise walls for privacy, no one doubted the new occupant. My friend trashed the government stories and concluded that the ISI and IB detachments were located near OBL compound; army officers lived within 150 yds of the suspect house and Musharraf government had full knowledge of OBL hiding in Pakistan. The journalist asserted that both the ISI and Pakistan IB had knowledge of OBL’s stay in Pakistan and they were actually giving him protection. He did not rule out the possibility of Pakistan government collaborating on the sly with US as an old, ailing and almost immobile Osama had become a burden on the authorities. This was probably done against the wishes of the ISI and the Army chief.

Soon after the assassination of OBL on May 2, 2011 a contingent of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and al Qaeda forces attacked the naval airbase in Karachi on May 21, destroying prestigious assets. Army intervention finally brought the situation under control. In addition to these there had been several attacks on army and ISI establishments. My journalist friend had declared Pakistan army as the most discredited and humiliated force in the world.

Indeed, the assassination of OBL has initiated avalanches of political tremor in Pakistan. The present epicenters revolve around three erupted volcanoes: Memogate Scandal, Supreme Court’s direction to act against corrupt politicians who were given amnesty by National Reconciliation Ordinance of President Musharraf, which exempted the president from any legal action for any action taken by him. Chief Justice Ifitkhar Chaudhry in a constitutional judgment has nullified that ordinance and directed the federal government to initiate action against corrupt politicians like president Zardari. Zardari-Gilani duo’s efforts to assert supremacy of the elected government and targeting ISI chief General Shuja Pasha and Chief of Staff Pervez Kayani added to political uncertainty and open expression of fears of military takeover of the reins of the government. The Army/ISI are capable of staging a coup; a natural event in Pakistan. But it appears that four pillars of Pakistan are not yet ready for another protracted stint of army rule. The political class are keen to cling to jamhooriyat (democracy), the judiciary is not keen to send democracy to hibernation by playing into the hands of the Generals, the Army is not yet willing for a putsch as the country is in financial doldrums, its relationship with the USA is at all time nadir and internal terrorist forces have firmed up grip on the Pakistani polity. Peoples of all sections of Pakistan are poised against Army rule; though they want tainted regime of Zardari to go. The fate of Pakistan hangs in balance.

To understand the scenario it is necessary to understand the Memogate affairs. The Memogate controversy revolves around a memorandum (addressed to Admiral Mike Mullen) seeking help of the Obama administration in the wake of the Osama bin Laden raid to avert a military takeover of the civilian government in Pakistan and conversely to assist in a civilian takeover of the military apparatus. Central actors in the plot included American-Pakistani businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who alleged that former Pakistan Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani asked him to deliver a confidential memo asking for US assistance. The memo is alleged to have been drafted by Haqqani at the behest of President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari.

The US-Pakistan relationship was at an all-time low before the assault on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbotabad on May 2, 2011. Civilians and the media blamed the Pakistani armed forces for being unable to locate bin Laden’s whereabouts and further criticized them for letting the United States conduct a unilateral operation on Pakistani soil, thereby prompting a furor over violation of Pakistani sovereignty by the United States. The incident put the civilian government and military officials at loggerheads. A meeting of the president, prime minister and the chief of army staff was called to discuss the issue in detail. The memorandum was allegedly written less than two days after the meeting was called, and a few days after the raid on the bin Laden compound.

According to messages leaked online from Mansoor Ijaz, Ambassador Husain Haqqani sent him a BlackBerry message on May 9, 2011, asking him to return a call to London, where the ambassador was on visit. The message further asked him to deliver a prompt proposal, initially verbally, for assistance to Admiral Mike Mullen. Ijaz, whose BlackBerry exchanges with Haqqani indicate he was in Monaco at the time, claims Haqqani had dictated the contents of what was to be relayed verbally in that first telephone call. Ijaz has further stated that his US interlocutors insisted on a written memorandum because of consistent problems in the recent past with Pakistani officials making verbal offers and later not honoring the same. Ijaz then drafted, on the basis of the Haqqani instructions, the memorandum in question and confirmed the contents by telephone and over numerous BlackBerry Messenger conversations with the Pakistani ambassador.

The following morning, Ijaz emailed a copy of the memo draft to the ambassador for proofreading and asked for assurances that the memo had the approval of the president of Pakistan. Shortly after a meeting with British delegates at 10 Downing Street, Haqqani read the proof for the final proposal and asked for it to be delivered immediately to Michael Mullen through a US interlocutor, James L. Jones, former NATO commander and US national security adviser to President Barack Obama. Prior to delivering the memorandum, Ijaz made clear that his military-go-between Jones, who would deliver the memorandum to Mullen, required assurances that the document had clearance from the highest office in Pakistan, upon which Haqqani allegedly responded by telephone “he had the boss’ approval”.

Content of the confidential memo were published in its entirety on Foreign Policy magazine’s website on November 17. The memo was addressed to Michael Mullen, and requested the Obama administration to convey a “strong, urgent and direct message to General Kayani and General Pasha” to “end their brinkmanship aimed at bringing down the civilian apparatus”. The memo then makes certain explicit offers to the United States government in exchange for their support. These include the following quoted from the memo:

“In the event Washington’s direct intervention behind the scenes can be secured through your personal communication with Kayani (he will likely listen only to you at this moment) to stand down the Pakistani military-intelligence establishment, the new national security team is prepared, with full backing of the civilian apparatus, to do the following:

    A. President of Pakistan will order an independent inquiry into the allegations that Pakistan harbored and offered assistance to UBL and other senior Qaeda operatives. The White House can suggest names of independent investigators to populate the panel, along the lines of the bipartisan 9-11 Commission, for example.

    B. The inquiry will be accountable and independent, and result in findings of tangible value to the US government and the American people that identify with exacting detail those elements responsible for harboring and aiding UBL inside and close to the inner ring of influence in Pakistan s Government (civilian, intelligence directorates and military). It is certain that the OBL Commission will result in immediate termination of active service officers in the appropriate government offices and agencies found responsible for complicity in assisting OBL.

    C. The new national security team will implement a policy of either handing over those left in the leadership of Al Qaeda or other affiliated terrorist groups who are still on Pakistani soil, including Ayman Al Zawahiri, Mullah Omar and Sirajuddin Haqqani, or giving US military forces a green signal to conduct the necessary operations to capture or kill them on Pakistani soil. This “carte blanche” guarantee is not without political risks, but should demonstrate the new group s commitment to rooting out bad elements on our soil. This commitment has the backing of the top echelon on the civilian side of our house, and we will insure necessary collateral support.

    D. One of the great fears of the military-intelligence establishment is that with your stealth capabilities to enter and exit Pakistani airspace at will, Pakistan’s nuclear assets are now legitimate targets. The new national security team is prepared, with full backing of the Pakistani government – initially civilian but eventually all three power centers – to develop an acceptable framework of discipline for the nuclear program. This effort was begun under the previous military regime, with acceptable results. We are prepared to reactivate those ideas and build on them in a way that brings Pakistan s nuclear assets under a more verifiable, transparent regime.

    E. The new national security team will eliminate Section S of the ISI charged with maintaining relations to the Taliban, Haqqani network, etc. This will dramatically improve relations with Afghanistan.
    F. We are prepared to cooperate fully under the new national security team s guidance with the Indian government on bringing all perpetrators of Pakistani origin to account for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, whether outside government or inside any part of the government, including its intelligence agencies. This includes handing over those against whom sufficient evidence exists of guilt to the Indian security services.

On October 10, 2011, Ijaz wrote a column in the Financial Times revealing and confirming that he had helped deliver to Admiral Mullen a memorandum drafted by a Pakistani official stationed in the United States at the behest of President Zardari. The op-ed did not explicitly name Haqqani as being the author of the memo. This disclosure fueled frenzy in the Pakistani media. The affair became the buzz of front pages in local newspapers in Pakistan when Mullen admitted that he had received the confidential memorandum soon after the raid on the bin Laden compound. Local media speculated as to the identity of the memo’s author. When asked whether he received the memo in May, Admiral Mullen said he had no knowledge of the memo but later changed his statement, saying he knew of the memo but “thought nothing of it”. Pentagon spokesman Captain John Kirby revealed in a press briefing that Mullen did not know and had never communicated with Mr. Ijaz.

The memo reached Mullen without any government seal or signature but the contents indicate that the memo was allegedly prepared by the civilian government in Pakistan. Kirby suggested that nothing about the letter had the approval of the Pakistani government and Mullen never acknowledged its relevance despite leaked BlackBerry messages between Haqqani and Ijaz indicated otherwise. On November 22, 2011, an official meeting took place at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad between President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, Director General of ISI Ahmad Shuja Pasha, and Ambassador Haqqani over the affairs of the alleged memorandum. Soon after, Haqqani tendered his resignation, which was duly accepted by the Prime Minister.

Several senior Pakistani government officials denied that the memo was written at the behest of the civilian leadership, either the Pakistani president or the prime minister. Multiple meetings were called regarding the contents of the memorandum between the President, the Prime Minister, and the Chief of Army Staff. The results and proceedings of the meetings have not been made public. President Asif Ali Zardari termed the allegations as a conspiracy against the government, further stating that he did not need intermediaries to convey messages since he had “direct access” to the President of the United States.

Several Pakistani opposition politicians saw opportunity in turning the scandal into a major political issue, accusing the Pakistani government of compromising Pakistan’s sovereignty and conspiring against the Armed Forces of Pakistan. At a major political rally, Pakistan Muslim League (N) leader and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif demanded an urgent inquiry into the matter. He also threatened to petition the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and resign from the National Assembly if the Zardari government did not satisfactorily investigate the matter. TIP leader Imran Khan has also made strident demands for adequate investigation into the scandal.

While several people presently and formerly associated with the US Government have acknowledged the existence of the memo, the Obama administration has relatively distanced itself from the controversy in the public eye. When asked about the matter, US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon declined to comment. Similarly, at a daily press briefing on November 18, 2011, US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner stated “this is – I understand this is a big story in Pakistan. It’s partly a domestic story. We – and we’ll all treat it as such. I mean, our – we remain in contact with Ambassador Haqqani”. Admiral Mike Mullen’s former spokesman, captain John Kirby, acknowledged the existence of the memo, but clarified that “neither the contents of the memo nor the proof of its existence altered or affected in any way the manner in which Admiral Mullen conducted himself in his relationship with General Kayani and the Pakistani government. He took no note of it”. Later, Kirby also stated that Admiral Mullen was confident the memo did not originate from President Zardari. In an email to Pakistani media, former National Security Advisor James L. Jones acknowledged that he personally delivered the memo to admiral Mullen, but clarified that he was not a serving government official at the time he forwarded the message.

Many of Pakistan’s civilian leadership fear that the military is on the cusp of seizing control of the country once again, in the wake of the memogate scandal that has accused President Zardari of conspiring to plot a coup against the military. General Kayani and General Pasha have submitted their affidavit before the SC appointed enquiry body through the defense secretary, who forwarded these without approval of the government. He was removed by the Prime Minister and replaced by a loyalist. Many in Pakistan believe that the investigation is a sign of the democratic process actually working. Allegations of requesting a foreign government to remove the highest-ranking military officials of the country are matters of national security, and as such, it is imperative that these matters be thoroughly investigated. Pakistan has long become victim to the executive branch enjoying unquestionable authority, and for too long this authority has been granted by the courts. Whether or not Justice Chaudhry’s emphasis on a more involved and proactive judiciary – one that truly balances the clout of the ruling party and military – is sustainable, remains to be seen. Regardless, for this particular incident, perhaps the first time that the judiciary has been challenged on issues of national security, he has reinvigorated the belief that democracy in Pakistan can indeed work.

However, a comical situation has gripped Pakistan. At the height of rising tension between the PM and the army chief, Zardari flies to Dubai to attend a marriage, kicking up speculation that a coup was imminent. If Pakistan were not home to the largest collection of terrorists in the world, possessor of a nuclear weapons arsenal and right next door to India, its present political contortions could almost pass as comical.

Unfortunately, Pakistani politics is no laughing matter because it is the most visible symptom of the deeper malaise that afflicts the country. The present crisis has revealed all the known flaws in the Pakistani political system, but in greater relief than before. There is a military that refuses to allow any civilian leadership to genuinely run the country; a polity where institutions are so weak that personalities and personality clashes are all that matters. In this case, the character of the Supreme Court justice is arguably the most decisive issue. The leadership lacks the internal coherence to find compromises. Hence the propensity of Pakistani interest groups to seek the interference of outside powers, whether the United States, Saudi Arabia and increasingly China. Pak authorities have developed the habit of reclining on Saudi Arabia before any major is taken. To top it all the electorate is dominated by feudal interests in most parts of the country.

There can be little argument that the Pakistan military is largely responsible for this state of affairs. The military has worked assiduously to ensure that the civilian political leadership is weakened and that the institutions of government remain ineffective. It has intervened so often that Pakistan has never been able to have two civilian governments hand power to each other through an election. The men in khaki have a single motive: to ensure that they are the final authority in all matters in Pakistan. The present crisis shows that this policy is now delivering decreasing returns.

The army may be unhappy with the present civilian leadership, but it is also unable and unwilling to take over itself. The civilians, on the other hand, are using tricks taken from the army’s own shelf including trying to divide the corps commanders, use foreign governments and claiming the military is too close to America. The result is the present chaos where the military is trying to stage a constitutional coup through the courts. The President is trying to stage a coup within the military. And the Supreme Court is simply out to settle scores on behalf of its chief justice. In all probability the Army will side with the judiciary. The Prime Minister is making frenetic efforts to hide behind the Parliament, stressing on resolution in support democracy and validity of the stand taken by his government. President Asif Ali Zardari knows well that after revocation of the NRO by the SC, he stands naked before the law of the country. The PM cannot delay anymore initiating action against the President (Swiss bank enquiry) and other politicians. The final tragedy is that there are few things going right in Pakistan: its western provinces are in flames, terrorist of different denominations are active inside the country, its exchequer is empty, it is still reeling from the effects of last year’s floods and its internal social problems are mounting. But its leadership is playing musical chairs to a tune solely of their own making.

As we compose this essay the Supreme Court has held PM Gilani guilty of contempt of court and asked him to appear in person on January 19th. Law Minister Maula Bux Chandio said that the government would consult lawyers with respect to the court’s notice and that whatever would be done would be done in accordance with the law and constitution. On the other hand, the Memogate case is also being heard in the SC. Mansoor Ijaz is yet to arrive in Pakistan to depose in the case. The Blackberry phone of Hussain Haqqani has not been found in his office and residence. It is simply missing. Ijaz is yet to produce his phone. Blackberry authorities are reluctant to share data without valid and legal request from Pakistan.

Another PIL is being heard in Lahore High Court which requested the judiciary to ban for all time to come, military takeover of Pakistan. The outcome will be intently followed by pro-democracy people of Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif is inclining more towards the Army-SC entente, visibly gravitating away from his earlier stand of protection of Parliamentary Democracy.

The National Assembly gave the PPP led coalition government a major morale boost on January 16, in the face of perceived challenges with a resolution passed with a big majority reposing trust in the political leadership and urging all state institutions to strictly remain within their constitutional limits. A jubilant Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called the vote a `historic moment` in support of democracy and parliament and declared amid cheers from the house that he would appear before Supreme Court on Thursday to comply with summons to answer a contempt show-cause notice.

So far the triple tango in Pakistan that started after US raid on OBL at Abbotabad and exacerbated with the Memogate, has neared the peak. Coming days should determine if Zardari and Gilani will become victims of judicial activism and pro-active Army-judiciary alliance. The dangerously instable nuclear power is threatened from within and can pose threat to neighbors. Let’s count the moments.

January 20, 2012

Gen VK Singh; Age Controversy

This chart, below , has been doing the rounds .On one of the celebrity/trivia obsessed channels , a former lady diplomat spoke about the dates without any correct back ground of various dates and facts .Another ,a Sikh, who comes often, has little idea of facts or figures and is repeated for plugging in gvt line ( which keeps them employed after retirement on petty missions) . It is being alleged that the line of succession was decided by Gen JJ Singh for Gen Bikram Singh to succeed .

Incidentally Adm Vishnu Bhagvat was also removed to fit in a Sikh Naval officer .

I spent a year , 1976 at NDC , hosted Gen Vaidya in 1983 and two NDC delegations in Ankara and have maintained contact with NDC and officers . I have some idea about groupism , favouritsm ,eccentricism etc in our defense forces .

The cancer of political malaise has entered the defense services too .Look at Gen Kapoor and others .What a disgrace . This group is too powerful and politicians love black sheep.

An honest and courageous officer ( few can now survive in most services , specially in IAS and IPS) reaches the pinnacle of career after great effort .It should not be the gvt sweet will , right or wrong that some one could be just jettisoned .The brazen corrupt political class has done enough damage to the country . Why an honest officer who is cleaning up the mess is being pressurised to leave before his time.

The current struggle is also a symptom of civilian vs defense officers turf battles , with IAS and IPS types , now reduced to obedient clerks by politicians ( ask the current generation ; not so much ours ) treating the latter with disdain .

Let me add the obscurantist and backward Thakurs have built up no lobby , unlike the rest of caste and other groups people and are neglected barring some ex king and landlord types .What a galaxy of leaders Rajputs have produced!? And look at BJP Brahmins , using non-Yadav OBC knights like Uma Bharatis. Modis and others , but the power rests mostly with the Brahmins .

An SMS going round ;in Indiia the GVT dcides the age of the army chief , in Pakistan the army chief decides tha age of the govt .

Mera Desh Mahan

This is a forward that I received. I cannot verify the authenticity of the statements. However I presume they are correct.


Sr No.
Ancestral Village: BAPORA in Bhiwani Distt (Haryana)

Father: Late Lt. Col Jagat of Rajput Regiment (14 Rajput)

Date & Place of Birth
10 May 1951 at MH, Pune
Father’s record of service and 14 Rajput records refer.
Schooling: Birla Public School, Pilani (Rajasthan) up to Class X
MARCH 1966

Date of Birth Recorded in School Register and School Leaving Certificate
10 May, 1951

Applied for written entrance exam for National Defence Academy (ND) Khargwasla as Air Force Entry Cadet for 36 NDA Course commencing 13 July 1966
DOB wrongly filled in the UPSC entrance form by BS Bhatnagar, erstwhile. English teacher at Birla Public School, Pilani as 10 May 1950 instead of 10 May 1951.
Eligible age for entry for 36 NDA course as on 01 July 1966
15 Years to 17-1/2 years
Gen. VK Singh eligible for both the ages i.e. 10 May 1951 and 10 May 1950
Matriculation Certificate or Certificate of Date of Birth from his father not attached with the application form pending receipt from Board of Secondary Education, Rajasthan/Lt. Col. Jagat Singh (Father)

At the time of filling the UPSC application form, Gen. VK Singh wasMINOR (14 years Plus) and had possibly signed the form without checking the details within the confidence that all details filled- in by his teacher would be correct.
Before facing Service Selection Board and entry to NDA, a Certificate from his Father’s Unit (14 Rajput) and School Leaving Certificate giving correct Date of Birth (i.e. 10 May 1951) was forwarded to UPSC/appropriate authorities
03 AUG

UPSC, then, queried the Officer as to the anomaly between DOB filled in the UPSC application form and the two certificates subsequently forwarded as the serial 9 above.

The query was replied to with confirmation that correct Date of Birth is 10 May 1951, as recorded in School Leaving Certificate and his Father’s service records maintained by his unit (14 Rajput) – Receipt for above correspondence with UPSC available.
Based on the facts mentioned at Serial 10 above and having convinced on the correct DOB (10 May 1051) the Officer was given a call for Service Selection Board (SSB) and allowed to join NDA as “PROVISIONAL” candidate pending receipt/submission of MATRICULATION CERTIFICATE.
  • The UPSC, thereafter, never queried on the issue of DOB confirming that issue has been laid to rest.

The Matric Certificate was not submitted at this time since though the results were declared on 13 June 1966, but the Certificate was not issued. However, school had issued Provisional School Leaving Certificate, which mentioned his passing Xth class and DOB as 10 May 1951. The Certificate was accordingly forwarded to appropriate authorities.
The Officer filed a Record of Service particulars form while joining NDA which reflects his DOB as 10 May 1951.

Even his Medical Examination form as an Air Force Candidate reflects 10 May 1951 as his DOB.
The Officer joined Indian Military Academy (IMA) Dehradun after passing out from NDA and was commissioned in Indian Army on 14 June 1970 in Infantry (2 RAJPUT)
14 June 1970
  • All records maintained by NDA/IMA reflected DOB as 10 May 1951.
Based on Service Records maintained at IMA, it issued officer Identity Card to the Officer reflecting this Date of Birth as 10 May 1951 (based on School Leaving Certificate) since Matric Certificate was not submitted by them.

This endorsement could not have been made if IMA records would not have had 10 May 1951 in the officer’s records of service particulars maintained by them.
The officer on Commissioning joined 2 RAJPUT on 1970 and filled form No.IAFZ-2041 on joining the Unit, which is forwarded to Army HQ AG’s Branch (the official Record Holders of all Officers). Even IMA forwarded IAFZ-2041 to AG Branch (10 May 51)
14 June 1970
  • Here, once again, at Para/Serial 6 of the Form the officer Officer fills-in his DOB as 10 MAY 1951.
The Officer attends Infantry Young Officers Course(YO-COURCE-2) at Mhow and returns to the Unit (2 RAJPUT) on April 1971
Sep 1970 to March 1971

Before reporting back to his Unit, he visits his village and finds the Matric Certificate there.

The Matric Certificate was issued by Rajasthan Secondary Board of Education on 13 June 1966 and forwarded to Birla Public School.
Birla Public School forwarded the Matric Certificate at his father’s Unit address (14 RAJPUT)

But his father had been posted out of the Unit by then to :-
  • Branch Recruiting office REWA, then to
  • NCC Narnaul
14 Rajput had accordingly dispatched the certificate to Rewa Rectg Office, who then dispatched to NCC Narnaul, who then forwarded to the Officers ancestral village since his father had moved out from there on retirement.

Obviously the Matric Certificate kept lying at his village unattended since no one was residing at his ancestral house since his father had moved out to Bhiwani where he expired in the year ____________
The officer instantly submitted the Original matriculation certificate late to Army HQ (AG’s Branch) through his Unit (4 RAJPUT).
April 1971
The Unit had sent the certificate to Army HQ (AG’s Branch) who after due verification and updating their records returned the original certificate to the Officer and changed “Provisional” status to “Permanent”
Meanwhile, without checking and confirming detailed record of service from Army HQ (AG’s Branch) who are the Official record holder and authority on all such matters) Military Secretary Branch (MS) got ARMY LIST published on ____________ reflecting wrong Date of Birth of the Officer as 10 MAY 1950, instead of 1951.

Though the Orders on the subject are very clear on the subject, MS Branch failed to verify the Date of Birth of the Officer from official record holder (AGs Branch) and the CGDA (the paying authority) and erroneously and carelessly endorsed 10 May 1950 as the officer’s DOB in the Army List.
Even when Matric Certificate was received by AG’s Branch at Army HQ in April 1971 (within two years of Commissioning of the officer, no effort was made by MS Branch to either correct its records nor verify the same from AG’s Branch annually attached with Annual Confidential Report starting from 1971.

The seeds of MAIN controversy of DOB of Gen VK Singh was sworn by the careless attitude and erroneous actions by the MS Branch at this stage which was allowed to persist till 2006when they first queried the officer on the anomaly in his DOB. (30 years after commissioning -?)
  • Why at this belated stage- ??
The mistake was even never rectified till date by the MS Branch even when they were in receipt of the Record of Service annually attached with Annual Confidential Report starting from 1971

The officer is required to endorse Form cechklist on completion of 20 years of service, para ________ of the Forms asks “have you ever asked for a change in DOB, if so what is your correct DOB?”.
30 Nov 1990
The officer has reflected “NO, my correct DOB is 10 MAY 1951”.
  • Even then no cognizance of this report was taken to correct records by MS Branch
The FIRST ever query on the anomaly on the officer’s DOB as reflected by him in his Annual Record of Service as 10 May 1951 and in Army List as 10 May 1950, was made by, then, Military Secretary on 3rd May 2006.
3rd May 2006
  • The officer has clearly replied that his correct DOB as endorsed in the AG’s Branch records and all other service records is 10 May 1951, which is maintained till date.
The officer was issued with a certificate by AG MP (5&6) on 17 Oct, 2007 that his correct DOB as recorded with them was 10 May 1951.
17 Oct 2007
  • The letter signed by AAG of concerned Branch refers
Once again, Additional General (Manpower Planning and Personnel (MP&P) reflected entire details on record of service if the officer confirming DOB at each stage as 10 MAY 1951.
  • The ADG in his letter has concluded that all recorded endorsements in the documents stated above the DOB of Gen VK Singh is 10 MAY 1951.
January 2008
  • - The letter clearly states that “Record of Service (IAFZ-2041) of every officer on commissioning is forwarded by IMA/OTA to AG Branch (MP-5/6) at Army HQ. It includes all occurrences during office service.
  • - Part-I (Personal Particular) of this documents is filled-up by IMA/OTA to the extent applicable at the time of commissioning. Para 5 of Part-I states “Date of Birth” (as recorded by UPSC or in Sheet Roll).
  • - Interestingly Date of Birth recorded in this Para 5 of Part I is 10 MAY 1951.

Even DOB recorded in all Annual and other Medical Examination Boards is 10 MAY 1951.

Once again DG (MP&PS) at Army HQ Lt. Gen. KR Rao in his Inter Office Note dt 30 Jan 2008 in reply to MS Branch service note dt 28 Jan 2008 mentions correct DOB of the Officer as 10 MAY 1951.
30 Jan 2008
Even then MS Branch failed to correct/reconcile its erroneous records of DOB.
As per Para 136 of Defence Services Regulations (DSR), DOB recorded in Matric certificate is to be taken as correct DOB and the aberration if any in the Record of Service are to be corrected by the concerned record holding authority.

In the instant case the MS Branch failed to rectify their records.
The officer replied to MS Branch query of 3rd May 2006 as at ser 24 above on 10th May 2006
10 May 2006
  • Officer clarified that:-
  • - SSC certificate is the authority of his DOB (10MAY 1951)
  • - Had forwarded the SSC certificate to Org 3 (AGs Branch) in April 1971.
  • - Consequently his “Provisional” status of Commission was changed to “Permanent”
  • - Made efforts in 1985 to correct the Record of DOB in the Army List to MP-5 and was informed that needful would be done.
  • - Had made another effort in 2002 with MS Branch by sending a photocopy of Matric Certificate to MISO. However, no correction was made in the said DOB erroneously recorded at their end.
MS Branch, vide their letter of 21 Aug 2006 replied that no change in the DOB is possible as the Rules only permit to do so with in first two years of Service.
21 Aug 2006
  • MS Branch grossly erred here and misinterpreted the “Reconciliation DOB” in their Records to “Change in DOB”
The whole controversy emanates from this misinterpretation of the Rules on the subject and has been allowed to willy nilly or otherwise continue till dates.
October 2007
  • Even when AG’s Branch in October 2007 had clarified and confirmed to MS Branch on the correct DOB and 10 MAY 1951, no action was taken by the latter to rectify the mistake committed by them earlier.
In Dec 2007 Min. of Defence asked MS Branch to indicate reasons of recording 10 MAY 1950 as been VK Singh’s DOB when he had himself indicated 10 MAY 1951 in his Annual Confidential Records.
14 Dec 2007
  • MOD queries MS Branch for reasons of recording DOB as 10 May 1950 and asks for conduct of inquiry.
MS Branch replied that they had relied upon UPSC application form in which the officer had filled 10 MAY 1950 as his DOB. They also claimed to rely on Army List which they had themselves endorsed with 10 MAY 1950 as his DOB without checking from AG’s Branch (Official Record Holder)
20 Dec 2007
  • The MS Branch once again quoted GOI Office memorandum 21 April 1964 and MoD Memorandum 23 June 1954, under which no change in DOB is to be made after 2 years of commissioning of the officers.
  • Again misinterpretation of Orders since officer was not asking for “CHANGE” but “RECTIFICATION” of mistakes committed by them.
Once again MS Branch asked officer to send all correspondence relating to his earlier requests for “CHANGE” of his DOB.
19 Dec 2007
  • The officer once again replied that he had never asked for a “CHANGE” in DOB, but “CORRECTION” of erroneous records at their end based on Matric Certificate submitted to AG’s Branch and other related documents/reports (ACRs)
Again AG Branch verified that Record of Service received by them from IMA at the time of Commissioning of the officer his DOB recorded is 10 MAY 1951.
Dec 2007

Subsequently on 21 Jan 2008, MS Branch sticking to its previous stand replied that the DOB mentioned in Army List (10 May 1950) will remain to be correct and no change will be affected
21 Jan 2008
  • Once again the Rule of 2 years restriction in change of DOB was quoted – continuous case of misinterpretation of the issue at Hand and Rules on the subject.
The Officer was pressurized by Gen Deepak Kapoor, the then COAS, to admit 10 MAY 1950 as his DOB and accept it in the interest f Service and other officers whose promotion case files are pending in the Min. of Defence for clearance

Through telephonic conversation with COAS he was also assured that once the needful is done the fresh case for correcting his DOB could be effected later.
The Officer accordingly gave this undertaking especially highlighting the same in the “Interest of Service”, hoping for due justice as the matter would be settled as promised.
24 Jan 2008
MS Branch later in their letter dt 28 Jan 2008 made reference of the officer letter saying doubts on the DOB still remain unanswered. It also referred MOD request to carry out detailed inquiry to find out correct DOB in consultation with AG’s Branch. HOWEVER, NO INQUIRY WAS CONDUCTED AND NOTING ON THE CASE WAS FOUND SAYING, “INQUIRY NOT TO BE CONDUCTED”.
Subsequently the Officer in his letter dt 01 July 2008 addressed to COAS, Gen. Deepak Kapoor requesting for Justice to be done in his case and enquired as the constraints by MS Branch which compelled them to maintain his DOB as 10 MAY 1950 despite submitting SSC Certificate in 1974 which recorded 10 MAY 1951 as his DOB.
01 July 2008
It was mentioned in the officers letter that when he met Lt. Gen. Khare and Gen. Gangadharan of the MS Brnach in 2006 and 2007 respectively, he was assured that all necessary reconciliations with regard to the clarification his DOB would be carried out.
The officer then issued letter dt Feb 2009 to MS Branch in response to their letter dt. 15 Jan 2009 to him which had quoted their letter ratified that verification process of DOB by MS Branch did not required Matriculation Certificate, while the same is an accepted authority for the same
Feb 2009

03 June 2009

The officer pointed out that whereas Matric Certificate was an authority, then what is the procedure for MS Branch to verify the DOB?
-MS Branch asserted that it was not responsible to verify the age (DOB) as it was the duty of AG Branch
- Why not reconciled?
Subsequently the officer sent a letter to MS Branch that it was clear from the earlier letter of MS Branch (letter dt 15 Jan 2009)
06 May 2009
15 Jan 2009
To be made with regard to the Omission.
On 25th May 2011 AG’s Branch, once again, certified the DOB of the officer as 10 MAY 1951.
25 May 11

RTI dt 25 Oct 2010 filed by Dr. Kamal Tiwari in MOD for obtaining information on the subject.
25 Oct 2010
14 Feb 2011
Min. Of Law provided opinion on DOB confirming as 10 MAY 1951 (on 14 Feb 2011).
Min. of Def vide their letter dt. 8 May 2011 informed the RTI Querist that DOB of the officer in High School Certificate and Records of AG Brach at Army HQ was same (10 MAY 1951)
08 May 2011
In the same reply Law Ministry informed that there was Omission in Core Branch (MS Branch) and the Ministry of Law & Justice had advised for the necessary corrections.
But, surprisingly the matter was once again referred to Attorney General of India and the Law Ministry.

The News Media has since reported that now Attorney General and Law & Justice Minister have reversed their earlier opinion saying that now the DOB of Gen. VK Singh is 10 MAY 1950.
The entire case smacks of a deeper plot to malign the image of Chief of Indian Army. In spite of solid and legal proof of his DOB the persons behind the scene are not permitting the corrections be made in his DOB that MS Branch had no system for verification of the DOB. He also intimated that he had given acceptance to the DOB (!0 MAY 1950) in good faith at the behest of COAS and not in agreement with the conclusion of the said MS Branch.

Surprisingly MS Branch responded vide their letter dt 03 June 2009 that “THEY WERE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR VERIFICATION OF DOB AS THE SAME WAS CHARTERED AS THE DUTIES OF AG’s BRANCH”

48. May be it is an indirect effort to malign both the Government, Party in Power as well as to tarnish the image of this fine institution “INDIAN ARMY”. Ramifications of not taking the issue to rightful conclusion based on justified action are grave, especially when our enemies are eagerly waiting to dismantle and demoralize our Armed Forces.
49. The Print Media and Electronic Media, so far, have reflected the issue in bits and pieces without giving the complete picture,which has left the masses in doubt so serious that some of them have even raised eyebrows on the personal integrity of the Army Chief.
50. Instant effort, towards clearing all such misunderstandings and doubts and to let the people judge the case on the merits of the case and to know from the facts enumerated above that there are some vested Powers, who are hell bent to destroy the image of our Army Chief and promote some gullible and pliable personalities for the post, are required.
51. Important to Note:-
a) The aberration in DOB was first racked- up when Gen. J.J. Singh was COAS (2006). Interestingly planning for “TWO DOWN COAS” commences when a Maj. Gen. is approved for Lt. Gen. (So called “LINE OF SUCCESSION” after Gen. V.K. Singh drawn then, and has since been talked about and quoted today officially.
b) General Deepak Kapoor, the previous COAS followed the line for vested interests and vigorously pursued the issue at each stage and made allout efforts to malign and belittle Gen. V.K. Singh before his being considered as COAS, and now when so called “LINE OF SUCCESSION” is being firmed-in, the matter has hit the headlines.
c) Lt. Gen. Avdesh Prakash, the then, Military Secretary vehemently pursued the agenda of his Chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor. He is now involved in Sukhna Land Scam and found gilty and dismissed from service without any pension and benefits by a Court Martial.

TAIWAN: 'At a time of swift growth, China isn't inclined to conflict'

Jan 20, 2012, 12.00AM IST

Since their stormy separation in 1949, Taiwan has resisted China's stated goal of taking over the small island state. Former member of Taiwan's National Assembly, professor Tang Shaocheng spoke with Rudroneel Ghosh about China's dramatic rise, Taiwan's recent presidential elections and why the new regime's policy of engagement seems to work:

How do Taiwanese view mainland China's rise?

Taiwanese view China with very mixed feelings. On the one hand, people fear China's rise could harm the status quo between the two sides, namely no unification, no indepen-dence and no use of force. Due to a lack of mutual trust, confidence-building measures are necessary to improve the situation. On the other hand, some Taiwanese judge the rise of China in a more positive way. They cite Beijing's insistence on unification through peaceful means. The 2008 global financial tsunami is still vivid in the memory of many Taiwanese. Taiwan's swift economic reco-very must be attributed to President Ma Ying-jeou's policy of reconciliation with mainland China while the US itself was the epicentre of the crisis - trade and financial injections from China, the influx of Chinese tourists and the procurement of Taiwanese commodities by Chinese provincial governments were vital to the recovery of Taiwan's economy.

Taiwan is an example of Chinese democracy - aren't there fears Beijing could stifle this through a tight economic embrace?

Taiwan's democracy is deep-rooted enough not to be rever-sed. Beijing can only win the hearts and minds of the Taiwanese people to reach its goal of unification. Even then, the Taiwanese would have the last say. We must also realise a chaotic Taiwan with constant unrest will not be an acceptable option for Beijing.

President Ma's re-election vindicated his pro-China economic policies. But is any form of unification between Taiwan and China realistically possible in the near future?

No. There is no such plan of unification - the time is not ripe. The two sides are now preparing for dialogue on a peace accord... without the precondition of a renunciation of violence, there will be no foundation for further negotiations. However, if severe external factors were to affect cross-strait relations, anything is possible. If another financial crisis affects both sides, why can't they work together to face the challenge? Germany was reunited in 1990 - but nobody expected that, even in 1989.

If President Ma had lost his re-election bid, how would cross-strait relations be affected?

This would have meant uncertainties because the opposition Democratic Progressive Party doesn't accept the 1992 Consensus, which is 'One China with different interpretations'. This is Beijing's prerequisite for bilateral negotiations, accepted by the ruling Kuomintang.

China insists its ambi-tions are peaceful - but its actions can be aggressive. How should countries res-pond to emerging disputes?

According to the famous Chinese strategist Sun Tzu, the best strategy to win a war is to adopt non-war measures - win the hearts and minds of the opponents or make clear to them the serious consequences of confrontation. Such tactics are commonly used by Chinese authorities. But at a time of swift domestic growth, China isn't inclined to conflict with others.

Also, its rise has enabled Beijing to be much more influential in the international arena. Therefore, next to the realist approach - the use of power and interests - the liberal and social constructivist approaches through the use of trade, cooperation and cul-ture are all relevant means to negotiate with China and settle disputes.

January 17, 2012




December 2011 was the epochal month during which the Chinese
neo-imperialistic ambitions were un-peeled very predictably like the
layers of an onion. It started with a Chinese military delegation,
headed by the Chinese Defense Minister General Liang Guanglie quietly
visiting the Seychelles on December 1st 2011. He signed a bilateral
agreement to set up a Chinese naval base in the Seychelles for
counter-piracy operations. This was followed by Hu Jintao's December
6th pronouncement; while addressing the PLA Navy (PLAN) he said that
PLAN should make "extended preparations for warfare in order to make
greater contributions to safeguard national security". The statement
was immediately denounced by the US that demanded more transparency on
Chinese intentions. Chinese claimed misinterpretation of the original
statement. Apparently, there is no equivalent word for transparency in
Mandarin. Concept of transparency is "Greek" to the Chinese political
& military establishment. Ridiculing the Western criticism, one
Chinese analyst Mao Xiaogang made a bellicose statement: "It is common
to see some irresponsible hype and smears around the world aimed at
China's military development, especially the so-called transparency
matter. China's announcement at such an opportune moment is
transparent enough".

The "outing" of the Chinese naval base by the Indian press on December
12th forced China to issue a "non-denial" denial. China acknowledged
the establishment of a "supply and recuperation facility" in the
Seychelles. The Seychelles comprises of 115 islands and is the
smallest African country with a population of 85,000 and an army of
only 500. The Seychelles government acknowledged the establishment of
a Chinese naval base ostensibly to crack down on piracy. The Chinese
Ministry of Defense tried to sanitize this in a statement:
"According to escort needs and the needs of other long-range missions,
China will consider seeking supply facilities at appropriate harbors
in the Seychelles or other countries". China acknowledged that it
already has "re-supply facilities" at harbors in Dijbouti, Oman &
Yemen since 2008 when China sent its first naval convoy to Gulf of
Aden apparently in an anti-piracy measure.

China repeatedly stressed that this move did not equate to
establishing overseas military bases. China has used a fig-leaf of
anti-piracy operations to cover the nakedness its strategic ambitions.
It is not going to stop at the Seychelles alone. China plans to
establish military bases in other countries also. Despite Chinese
insistence that China would not station its troops abroad, we see a
pattern of China expressing commercial or economic interests in a
territory (land, sea, air, space) as Chinese asset, sending PLA
soldiers there to safeguard its commercial interests and claiming
sovereignty subsequently. Professor Shen Dingli from Fudan University
has openly advocated the need for China to establish military bases

Analogous to the Japanese euphemism of "comfort women" for Korean sex
slaves during the World War II, China calls its military bases as
"supply and recuperation facilities". Of Course, Chinese overseas
military bases are very different from the US or Russian military
bases because they are indeed part of "extended preparations for
warfare in order to make greater contributions to safeguard national
security". Per Chinese rhetoric these supply facilities will never be
used for aggression because they have the essential "Chinese
characteristic" of serving the Chinese core interests of safeguarding
the "divine" Chinese Ocean sovereignty in the Indian Ocean!
String of Pearls is not fervent imagination of delirious minds of
hypercritical analysts. It is a long-term strategy that is
sequentially unfolding. The façade of trade-oriented commercial ports
will be replaced by loud, vociferous and triumphant announcements of
China's core interests requiring conversion to naval bases. There was
no "objective evidence" that the China's first aircraft carrier when
purchased in 1998 from Ukraine would be deployed as a naval asset.
China had deceptively and fraudulently claimed that it would be
converted into a floating casino! Currently the Chinese aircraft
carrier is undergoing sea trials. So much for the "so-called
transparency issues". Although China has rejected Pakistani
exhortations to "please develop a naval base at the Gwadar port"; that
is bound to happen in next few years. Chinese "peace and harmony"
rhetoric and its strategic actions are always diametrically opposite.
The predictable pattern is that of initial stonewalling, hostile
denials, indignant & abusive comments followed by gradual but late
triumphant proclamations of Chinese core interests demanding strong
action against the enemies.

Pursuing modernization, China has become de facto number two naval
power. The PLA navy's goal is to have a "Thousand Ships Navy". This
stated "TSN" Goal is to further Chinese hegemony in the Indo-Pacific
region and exploit the mineral & hydrocarbon wealth in the
international seabeds. China has already signed an agreement with the
UN backed International Seabed Authority to gain exclusive rights to
explore poly-metallic sulfide ore deposits in 10,000 square-kilometers
of international seabed in Indian Ocean for the next 15 years. China
will use its naval base in the Seychelles to claim sovereignty over
the Indian Ocean using this contract as the legal basis. If Chinese
creeping pattern of expanding its sovereign territory is genuinely
understood, it would not be surprising if in the year 2112, China
claims the entire Indian Ocean as its sovereign territory and may
rename it as "South Tibet Sea" analogous to China's characterization
of Arunachal Pradesh as Southern Tibet.

China is a rising hegemon that is no longer ashamed of asserting its
imperialistic ambitions. China's list of core interests is rapidly
expanding. Assertion of China's Ocean sovereignty as a new core
interest issue has been vociferously advocated in last few years.
China has disputes with the ASEAN countries about the ownership
various atolls and islands and their hydrocarbon and mineral
potential. It refuses to deal with these claims in multi-lateral fora
and wants to bully the smaller countries bilaterally. China also
warned India against exploring hydrocarbon drilling in collaboration
with Vietnam in South China Sea. China's blockade of Taiwan strait in
1996 and raining missiles across the strait is an indicator of Chinese
strategic response pattern. In a belligerent article published in
the Beijing Daily, Mao Xiaogang articulates this: The PLA Navy will
forever act in accordance with its duty in regard to China's Ocean
sovereignty and interests with no fear and flinch upon any
interference and will ensure the safety of national interests by
virtue of its own distinct views and powerful strength".

Historically, India never shared land border with the middle kingdom
till 1949. In ancient and medieval times, Indo-Tibetan border was very
porous and was part of the great Indic religious civilization. While
Tibetan Buddhist monks and lamas visited northern India for spiritual
enlightenment in the Land of Buddha, Hindus never needed Chinese visa
for pilgrimage to Mouth Kailash & Man Sarovar Lake. Tibet once was
under the suzerainty of the Dogra Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir whose
official title included the "Deshaadhipati of Tibet". Since the
Chinese occupation and annexation of Tibet in the nineteen fifties,
entire Tibet has become a vast Chinese military garrison.

Indo-Tibetan Border has been heavily fortified and militarized by
China. China has built permanent military-cum-civilian infrastructure
in the so-called Autonomous Tibetan Region (ATR) which should be aptly
called China-Occupied Tibet (COT). While India foolishly chose to
leave Indo-Tibetan border undeveloped in both eastern and western
sectors to "deter" aggression, China has constructed military barracks
and motorable roads that can move tanks and heavy armored vehicles
along the entire Into-Tibetan border. All this so-called civilian
infrastructure development in the occupied Tibet has military
applications. China has built five air ports along the Indo-Tibetan
borders. The Beijing-Lhasa rail-road connects the Chinese heartland
with the Occupied Tibet and has military significance besides being a
tourist attraction. In the event of hostilities, this rail-road would
not be carrying tourists or the western war correspondents. China
further plans to extend this Beijing-Lhasa rail-road into Nepal and
indeed very close to Indian borders. PLA routinely conducts high
altitude military exercises in the occupied Tibet. There are frequent
incursions of the PLA soldiers inside Indian territory across the Line
of Actual Control (LAC) with repeated damage to Indian civilian &
military infra-structure in both Eastern and Western sectors.

Since Pakistan ceded part of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir to
China in 1961, it has built the Korrakoram highway to facilitate
Chinese access to warm water port of Karachi. Though China has denied
it consistently, PLA has at least 10,000 troops stationed in the
Pak-Occupied Kashmir (POK) in the northern territories. These
developments amount to China de facto establishing an army base in the
POK. Presence of Chinese troops in POK indeed poses a military and
security threat to India as POK is an illegally occupied territory by

India is going through internal political turmoil, uncertainty and
leadership crisis that is not conducive to long-term strategic
planning. India's current political leadership has been in deep
slumber and has been totally unresponsive to China's persistent and
purposeful hegemonic behavior in India's sphere of influence. A
situation has developed whereby India is forced to react to Chinese
aggressive postures by adopting an ostrich like approach. India has
either denied strategic significance to Chinese moves or tried to
minimize the significance by buying the Chinese fibs for explanation.
The Prime Minister denied last year the possibility of China attacking
India under any conceivable circumstance. Ministry of External affairs
has become an excellent spokesperson for mouthing Chinese core
interests. Indian Defense Ministry has repeated denied about the
Chinese incursions into Indian territory. This defeatist mindset was
amply demonstrated by yet another Pavlovian denial of geo-political
reality that India and China are strategic adversaries by Shiv Shankar
Menon, the NSA, who claimed that such determinism is "misplaced".

Admittedly, in the bilateral and multilateral diplomatic dances with
the Dragon, India's political leadership and bureaucratic mandarins
may be forced to indulge in verbal hyper-gymnastics; India's security
establishment & non-governmental strategic community must not allow
the repetition of the strategic blindness India suffered from in the
nineteen fifties and sixties. Owing to India's vulnerabilities and
current strategic weakness, the Government of India continues to
appease China while secretly hoping that the numerous strategic
threats posed by an aggressive and expansionist China will somehow
disappear. Some strategic experts have rightly cautioned that the
carefully choreographed Dragonese Dance may culminate in a
full-fledged attack on India while India's political leadership and
Defense Ministry establishment are doing their level best to
purposefully humiliate India's Chief of Army and thereby demoralize
the Indian soldiers. The public display of the "dirty linen" about the
Army chief's date of birth issue by the Indian defense ministry will
embolden China to strike at India, yet again, at an opportune moment
just like in 1962.

For the last several years the Indian Defense Ministry has been in a
persistent vegetative state leading to strategic asymmetry with China.
Future Governments of India will have to rectify this inertia and take
corrective measures to increase India's comprehensive national power.
The self-induced coma of the Indian defense establishment needs
emergency interventions on "war footings". Future Governments of India
will have to make tough decisions and increase the budgetary
allocation for the defense sector by many-folds. Military
modernization must be accelerated despite the pernicious and
ever-hanging issue of corruption in defense procurements. India must
leapfrog the military preparedness and indigenous weapons design and
production. We do need long-term strategic planning and prepare the
nation for the multi-dimensional strategic challenges posed by China
in the Indian Ocean, in the POK, on the Indo-Tibetan border, in
Myanmar, in South China Sea, in the Indo-Pacific region, in the air,
in the field of long-range ballistic missiles, in cyberspace, and in
militarization of the space.

Posted by Dr. Adityanjee at 12:25 PM