August 04, 2013

India's Poorest Chief Minister: Mr Manik Sarkar


India's Poorest Chief MInister: Mr  Manik Sarkar      Of many honest persons I am writing today about Mr Manik Sarkar, Chief Minister, Tripura.    He has been elected consecutively for fourth terms as Chief Minister. First some facts about this great person.    1. He is the poorest but Purest Chief Minister of India.    2. He has been elected as chief minister consecutively for fourth term    3. He doesn??Tt own a     home;    4. His bank balance is Rs. 6500/-    5. He donates all his   salary   to CPI (M),  and party  gives him   sustenance allowance of Rs 5000/- month.    6.   His wife never uses official vehicle and can very easily be seen on
 Rickshaw in
 Agartala.    7. Even his worst opponents admit that Manik Sarkar is an impeccably honest man, certainly a rare variety among politicians today.    Now, compare these with other chief ministers or politicians, who have assets worth crores of rupees!    Apart from honesty, Mr Manik Sarkar has been impetuous for the development of the state which includes better connectivity and development of IT sector in state. He was also responsible for bringing the concept of public-private partnership and invigorated private intervention, particularly in the IT sector.    I think he demands nothing from   us   but some respect and a little bit recognition. So, Please like this Post & share with your friends and show that you are a real Indian.  1 SHARE= 1 SALUTE :)

We have still got honest persons in India


Received from a friend. Among so many scams unfolding everyday it is nice to know that we have still got honest people in India- that too a Chief Minister.But media does not have time for them. Please read on.........


        India's Poorest Chief Minister: Mr Manik Sarkar


One of many honest persons is  Mr Manik Sarkar, Chief Minister, Tripura.

He has been elected consecutively for fourth terms as Chief Minister. First some facts about this great person.

1. He is the poorest but also the Purest Chief Minister in India.

2. He has been elected as chief minister consecutively for fourth term,one more than Narendra modi's three terms,but zero publicity in our media

3. He doesnot own a home;

4. His bank balance is Rs. 6500/-

5. He donates all his salary to CPI (M), and party gives him sustenance allowance of Rs 5000/- month.

6. His wife never uses official vehicle and can very easily be seen on Rickshaw in Agartala.

7. Even his worst opponents admit that Manik Sarkar is an impeccably honest man, certainly a rare variety among politicians today.

Now, compare these with other chief ministers or politicians, who have assets worth crores of rupees!

Apart from honesty, Mr Manik Sarkar has been impetuous for the development of the state which includes better connectivity and development of IT sector in state. He was also responsible for bringing the concept of public-private partnership and invigorated private intervention, particularly in the IT sector.

I think he demands nothing from us but some respect and a little bit recognition. So, Please  share this post with your friends and show that you are a real Indian.

India's Poorest Chief MInister: Mr  Manik Sarkar      Of many honest persons I am writing today about Mr Manik Sarkar, Chief Minister, Tripura.    He has been elected consecutively for fourth terms as Chief Minister. First some facts about this great person.  

1. He is the poorest but Purest Chief Minister of India.  
2. He has been elected as chief minister consecutively for fourth term  
3. He doesn't own a     home;  
4. His bank balance is Rs. 6500/-  
5. He donates all his   salary   to CPI (M),  and party  gives him   sustenance allowance of Rs 5000/- month.
6.   His wife never uses official vehicle and can very easily be seen on  Rickshaw in  Agartala.  
7. Even his worst opponents admit that Manik Sarkar is an impeccably honest man, certainly a rare variety among politicians today.  

Now, compare these with other chief ministers or politicians, who have assets worth crores of rupees!    Apart from honesty, Mr Manik Sarkar has been impetuous for the development of the state which includes better connectivity and development of IT sector in state. He was also responsible for bringing the concept of public-private partnership and invigorated private intervention, particularly in the IT sector.    I think he demands nothing from   us   but some respect and a little bit recognition. So, Please like this Post & share with your friends and show that you are a real Indian.

 SHARE= 1 SALUTE 

Why the IPKF went to Sri Lanka

 by Lt Gen Deepinder Singh.


 http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130801/edit.htm#6 1/8/13

There were many reasons, including strategic and humanitarian, for an armed intervention in Sri Lanka in the form of the Indian Peace Keeping Force. The ill-informed criticism that the force received about its operations needs to be corrected
Lt Gen Depinder Singh (Retd)

Chief of the Army Staff, Gen Bikram Singh pays homage to the fallen soldiers at the IPKF memorial in Sri Lanka during a recent visit. — PIB

On July 29, 1987, the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord was signed in Colombo. The euphoria this evoked was marred by a sailor from the Sri Lanka Armed Forces (SLAF) attempting to hit our then Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, while he was inspecting a guard of honour. The agreement had three components — modalities of settling the ethnic conflict, guarantees by India in regard to implementing the Accord and an undertaking by the Sri Lanka Government in regard to India's security concerns. In consonance with Clause 2 of the accord, an Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) announced its landing in Sri Lanka on July 30, 1987.

It is not my intention to repeat how the ethnic conflict developed as that aspect is well documented. My aim is to describe why the IPKF went to Sri Lanka and what it did there. It is my hope, further, that this narrative will correct most of the ill informed criticism of the IPKF operations.

Reasons for the intervention 

There were many reasons for an armed intervention. I will concentrate on three — strategic, humanitarian and linguistic. Taking the first reason, i.e. strategic, not only is the Indian Ocean vital for India's lifelines but most of the wherewithal needed for its economic development is concentrated in these waters. Our industrial growth, economic development and even meaningful association with the rest of the world depend upon a secure Indian Ocean. For this a friendly and stable Sri Lanka is vital. Moving on to the second aspect i.e. humanitarian, the conflict in Sir Lanka saw many ups and downs. However, till around February 1987, one constant remained - the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) dominated the hinterland and the SLAF operated from the coastline where they could be supplied from the sea.

In February 1987, they moved inland, imposed an economic embargo and intensified indiscriminate air, artillery and naval bombardment, resulting in a massive exodus into India. Stories of the inhuman conditions they had faced spread like wild fire, leading to the third season for our intervention. Tamil Nadu, the state most affected, was ruled at the time by a remarkable man, M.G. Ramachandran. He was a staunch ally of the Congress, then in power in New Delhi. To illustrate the power he wielded, let us recall the incident where, from a sickbed in the US, he issued orders for his entire cabinet to resign. Everyone did. His repeated pleas to the centre finally tilted the scales.

I will add one more reason. The SLAF were fighting insurgency in the north and insurrection against the Janath? Vimukthi Peramu?a (JVP) in the south. Understandably, the officers and soldiers were tired. Add to this a high desertion rate and a reluctance to enroll and you have a very dangerous environment, with rumours of a coup being staged mounting by the day. In these circumstances was it any surprise that it was difficult to judge who between the SLAF and the LTTE was more grateful and relieved over the Indian presence.

What were the tasks given to the IPKF? 

Separate the two warring groups — SLAF to withdraw to pre-February 1987 positions and Tamil militant groups to "surrender" their weapons within 72 hours. Impose a cease fire.

Formation of an interim administrative council IAC) to administer the northern and eastern provinces as a prelude to elections to an administrative council. Devolution of powers by Sri Lankan Government.

Referendum by the end 1988 to ascertain whether or not the eastern provinces would like to merge with the northern provinces.

A little later, when rioting started and I refused to intervene as the maintenance of law and order was not my job, another task, maintenance of law and order was added and a battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force was allotted to the IPKF.

The force structure of the IPKF kept fluctuating depending upon envisaged contingencies. Since the intervention was by invitation, the force level, keeping in mind the peace keeping nature of the operation, was about a division plus, with minimal air and naval components. A neutral posture was adopted. SLAF were provided all assistance in their re-grouping including security to ensure they were not engaged by the LTTE. Concurrently, a massive rehabilitation programme was started to get the towns and villages, completely devastated by the fighting, into habitable entities. Jaffna town was the model, brought back to its fractioning feet by the tireless efforts of Brigadier R.I.S. Kahlon (later to rise to the rank of Lieutenant General and, alas, no more).

This achievement needs to be studied in greater details so that those who run our cities and towns can learn valuable lessons. This and many other steps taken to win the minds and hearts of the local population proved effective and paid the IRKF dividends in the form of information regarding the LTTE, arms caches and so on.

Meanwhile, consultations on the formation of the IAC continued apace and after much "chopping and changing" an acceptable formula was knocked out and an agreement signed by the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE on September 28, 1997. Before the celebrations could commence, a message was received from the now deceased LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran in Jaffna, that the LTTE would not accept the agreement. What promoted the change of heart was a mystery as Prabhakaran had himself signed the agreement after all his objections to the original draft had been met. Was this another instance of LTTE obduracy?

The LTTE’s turnaround 

A little earlier, whispers from the local population started coming in indicating LTTE directions to the locals to stop fraternising with the IPKF. When I confronted Prabhakaran with this respect, he denied it completely. He did, however, tell me that he heard reliable reports indicating that one of our intelligence agencies was instigating the other Tamil militant groups to stop handing over of weapons and when the LTTE was sufficiently weakened by handing over their weapons, they would be signaled to take revenge from the LTTE for all past massacres. This was, of course, news to me and all I could do was tell him that I would check with Army Headquarters. I did this and was informed the next day that there was no truth in the apprehension.

When I explained this to Prabhakaran, be smiled and said that he still stood by his allegation. The truth will have to be ascertained by someone else. As far as I was concerned; this was the event that created the rift between the LTTE and the IPKF.

On October 10, 1987, the LTTE turned against us and the fighting started. The writing had been on the wall and so reinforcements started pouring in. Overconfidence led the LTTE to initially fight set piece battles, but after Jaffna fell on October 20, 1987, LTTE cadres melted into the forests and fell back on tactics that had borne fruit earlier i.e. guerilla operations. For some days the messages we intercepted indicated desperation. Calls for medicine for causalities would be met by the reply, in code, "Give him cyanide." Calls for food would receive the reply that there was no food. Later, as succour arrived; the situation improved in LTTE ranks.

I returned from service on February 29, 1988 and thereafter from being in command I had to rely on media reports. These showed that despite the vicious fighting, the IPKF continued to display professionalism and gallantry while completing all tasks entrusted to it with admirable efficiency.

I will conclude with a few observations. Higher direction lacked focus and this was summed up admirably by Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw in the foreward he wrote for my book, quoting the Bible, "For if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle." To my mind there should have been no ambiguity. While the welfare of the Tamils in Sri Lanka was important, the national integrity of Sri Lanka was vital. National policy is formulated by the Centre, not by states in relation to neighbouring counties.

The evolving of the LTTE from a handful of school dropouts to the fearsome militant group that it eventually became deserves study. Except when Karuna broke away in the east, they maintained their cohesion and their motivation and discipline. In the process, to quote Dr Rajini Theranagama from his book, "The Broken Palmyra", the LTTE religion was hierarchal. Militants from other groups, whatever their contribution, were counted as criminals. Only LTTE members could make sacrifices, be counted as martyrs and become Gods. The power of such a religion to captivate men's minds, make them forget all norms of civilisation and morality and to hold them together as a hysterical and destructive force is enormous".

The writer was GOC-in-C Southern Command and Overall IPKF Commander till February, 1988

India’s Mountain Strike Farce by Brahma

 C 1/8/13
http://chellaney.net/2013/08/01/indias-mountain-strike-farce/

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government has announced the formation of a “mountain strike corps” to defend India’s Himalayan border with China. With its 50,000 troops and action-movie name, the new outfit might seem like the muscular response New Delhi needs to counter this summer’s spate of Chinese border incursions. But the announcement represents another example of Indian strategic timidity in the face of Chinese aggression.

The Chinese army’s Himalayan campaign is a stealthier counterpart to Beijing’s naval aggression in the South and East China seas. Beijing is pursuing a strategy of “salami slicing”—a steady progression of small actions, none of which serves as a casus belli by itself, that over time leads to a strategic transformation in China’s favor.

Nuclear-armed India, despite its size and capability, has been paralyzed in responding to this strategy. Time and again Mr. Singh’s beleaguered government has chosen concession over confrontation, as if India’s only options are appeasement or all-out war.

This weakness was on full display in April and May when the Chinese army seized land inside India’s Ladakh region. China withdrew its encamped troops only after three weeks of negotiation ended in virtual Indian capitulation. In exchange for China’s withdrawal from territory it had no right to occupy, India demolished a line of defensive fortifications in Ladakh’s Chumar area and ended forward patrols in the area. It also agreed to consider a Chinese-drafted “Border Defense Cooperation Agreement.”

That agreement would replace more equitable 1993, 1996 and 2005 border accords with one that ratifies China’s preferred approach to territorial disputes: What is ours is ours and what is yours is negotiable.

Encouraged by this bloodless victory, China has since upped the ante. Its military provocations include multiple raids and other forays across the Himalayan frontier, the world’s longest disputed border. On June 17, a People’s Liberation Army platoon raided Chumar, smashing up Indian surveillance and other equipment and taking away security cameras.

The Indian government kept China’s raid under wraps for three weeks for fear that it would provoke public pressure to cancel its defense minister’s early July visit to Beijing. Despite that visit going ahead, four separate PLA incursions into Chumar have been reported this month alone.

To cover up its timidity, Mr. Singh’s government flaunts its decision to establish the mountain strike corps—which should have come several years ago and without media hype. As China develops and deploys capabilities quietly, New Delhi advertises any deterrence move, however nascent.

India will need several years to assemble the new strike corps. Mr. Singh has already betrayed his trademark meekness by deciding to deploy the corps not in a region vulnerable to a surprise Chinese military blitzkrieg—such as the state of Arunachal Pradesh, claimed by Beijing since 2006—but in provinces such as West Bengal, Jharkhand and Assam that do not border China. Thus New Delhi allows Beijing to dictate the terms of the bilateral relationship.

India should fix its Himalayan policy by first (and quietly) redirecting its strike forces toward more vulnerable areas. These include Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh, two highly strategic Buddhist regions located on opposite ends of the Himalayas. These areas are not unfamiliar territory for India’s military. In fact it was only after Mr. Singh replaced Ladakh’s army troops with border police in 2010 that China gained an opening to step up incursions.

Second, New Delhi should reject the recent border cooperation agreement as a basis for future negotiations. At the moment India is doing just the opposite, offering comments and suggestions on China’s imposed draft accord. In Beijing, Indian Defense Minister A.K. Anthony even consented to a joint statement in which New Delhi “agreed to the early conclusion of negotiations” over the Chinese draft.

India should instead pursue an agreement based on the principle of mutual respect of status quo on territory and river-water flows. After all, China is seeking to change not only the line of control but also the transboundary flows of rivers by building cascades of dams on them. As the downstream nation, India is particularly vulnerable to a water war. More than 300 billion cubic meters of surface water runs directly from Chinese territory into India each year.

India’s current China policy illustrates how meekness attracts bullying. The more timorous India has been, the more belligerent China has become. Until India gets a government willing to defend the country’s rights, China will continue to stage cross-border incursions to create new facts on the ground and build new dams to appropriate the resources of shared rivers.

Mr. Chellaney is professor of strategic studies at the independent Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi

China’s naval strategy—from sea denial to sea control?

http://www.aspistrategist.org.au/chinas-naval-strategy-from-sea-denial-to-sea-control/

Aug 2013
By David McDonough

The guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62, front) maneuvers with the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy Luyang-class destroyer Guangzhou (DDGHM 168) off the coast of North Sulawesi, Indonesia
Attention has often focused on China’s undersea fleet of conventional and nuclear-powered submarines, as an integral component of an anti-access and area-denial (A2/AD) complex that also includes shore-based aircraft, land-attack and anti-ship missiles, integrated air defences, an extensive sea mining capability, and enabling assets. More recently, observers point to China’s recently commissioned Liaoning aircraft carrier—currently undergoing sea trials and landing exercises—as a move in a different direction towards a blue-water fleet.

It is therefore refreshing to see Sam Roggeveen’s recent posts in The Interpreter that brings some needed attention to China’s fleet of advanced frigates and destroyers, now being produced in greater numbers even as its submarine inventory has apparently plateaued. He offers the provocative argument that Beijing is turning away from A2/AD (and in a purely maritime context, sea denial) for the more ambitious objective of sea control—or perhaps that it simply sees its existing anti-access capabilities as ‘good enough’.

But it’s premature to think that China has moved decisively away from A2/AD. The People Liberation Army’s Navy (PLAN) has slowed its production of conventional submarines, while its nuclear subs are beset by problems. But one shouldn’t underestimate the marked improvements of its conventional subs. For example, the Yuan-class is fitted with an air-independent propulsion system to permit battery recharging without snorkeling, which reduces their vulnerability and extends their submerged range. The US Department of Defense also projects production of up to 20 of the Yuan submarines (PDF). Reports of a slowdown in the PLAN’s undersea ambitions might be greatly exaggerated.

Irrespective of the future of this fleet, China has also shown little inclination to limit its shore-based missile force, including long-range (‘long sword’) cruise missiles for anti-ship and land-attacks. Particularly worrisome is China’s DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM), which has a potential capability to take out major surface combatants (and possibly even US supercarriers) at a range of at least 1,500 kilometers–and the potential for follow-up systems of even greater range. Of course, the ASBM has yet to be fully tested and doubts remain as to whether it has the terminal guidance and other supporting technologies to maneuver against a relatively small moving target at sea. Yet, if there’s a slowdown in PLAN submarine acquisitions, it could mean greater reliance and confidence in alternative A2/AD assets like the ASBM.

Admittedly, the PLAN has focused on expanding its surface warship fleet, with several classes launched in recent years. But even this fact doesn’t automatically mean a decision to forgo a capacity for A2/AD. Yes, a strong surface fleet might be necessary for a naval posture aimed at sea control. But it isn’t sufficient. As Hugh White reminds us, sea control represents an extension of sea denial, which includes not only the latter’s emphasis on offensive capabilities to deny the use of the maritime domain but also defensive capabilities to ensure actual control is maintained.

Notably, much of the PLAN’s surface combatants are armed with anti-ship cruise missiles (PDF), similar to the anti-ship weapons arming many of China’s other military platforms, from its undersea submarine fleet to its Hubei missile patrol catamarans, and even its shore-based aircraft. Many of these surface ships are also equipped to undertake mine warfare. In that sense, the China’s naval strategy is still heavily geared towards providing an offensive anti-ship capability for sea denial missions, very much in keeping with an A2/AD-oriented strategic posture.

That said, many of the PLAN’s newer classes of vessels—such as the Luyang II and Luyang III destroyers and Jiangkei II frigates—also feature advanced design elements similar to the US Aegis system, including phased-array radars and vertical launch systems. As such, these warships seem aimed at providing an area-air defence (AAD) capability, necessary for fleet protection when operating beyond the range of China’s shore-based defensives. The Luyang III represents an especially important step in that direction, as it reportedly comes with a multi-purpose vertical launch system (PDF) which can be fitted with both offensive and defensive weapons.

There’s some evidence then to support the notion that the PLAN is looking beyond a strictly sea denial posture towards achieving some form of sea control—not only within its immediate littoral zone where it already enjoys air cover from the mainland, but potentially for naval operations within the second island chain. A PLAN surface fleet with a capability for both offensive and defensive missions is an important first step in that process. Such vessels would also provide a protective escort for its otherwise potentially vulnerable aircraft carrier, and any future carriers that might be under construction.

Yet AAD alone isn’t enough to achieve sea control. Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability would be necessary to provide a surface fleet some protection against an adversary’s hunter-killer submarines. Just as important is a capacity for anti-mine countermeasures. Otherwise, the PLAN could find their ability to safely traverse beyond the near seas curtailed by deployed mines and ASW barriers along possible chokepoints (e.g. the Luzon strait).

On both scores, the PLAN’s ASW and anti-mine capabilities are notably weak. This is especially true given its absence of robust organic air assets for such missions. Additional aircraft carriers could change this equation. However, much depends on whether these vessels are designed for offensive power projection missions or are used in a more defensive ASW and AAD capacity—as even future PLAN carriers are unlikely to have the size and deck space of US supercarriers able to undertake both types of missions simultaneously.

David S. McDonough is a SSHRC post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Political Science, University of British Colombia and a research fellow in the Centre for Foreign Policy Studies at Dalhousie University. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Change-of-heart in Pak?

Back-channel talks may be fruitful
by G. Parthasarathy
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130801/edit.htm#4

OVEROPTIMISTIC assessments about a “change-of-heart” in the political elite in Islamabad and in Pakistan's de facto rulers, its khaki uniformed military, reinforced by self-serving “they-are-now-good-boys” certificates from the Americans and the British have often led to erroneous assessments by the Indian establishment of Pakistan's political imperatives and policies. The present narrative emerging from New Delhi's starry-eyed Wagah “candle-light brigade” is that with Nawaz Sharif, a Punjabi with a strong political base in the Army-dominated Punjab province, now Pakistan’s Prime Minister, we are assured of terrorism-free ties and blossoming bonhomie and friendship. It is true that Sharif is keen that nothing should come in the way of his efforts to set the Pakistani economy in order, or set right the power crisis in his country. Tensions with India will be an avoidable distraction for him and should, in his political perspective, presently be avoided.

A good beginning has been made to normalise ties with Pakistan after the recent elections there. The Prime Minister's special envoy Satinder Lambah, who is a hard-headed realist on relations with Pakistan, met Mr. Sharif in Lahore, even before Sharif assumed office. Nawabzada Shahryar Khan, a suave and sophisticated Pakistani diplomat was, in turn, sent to New Delhi. It has been agreed that that “back-channel” talks will be resumed between the designated special envoys. The back-channel talks, which earlier took place between Mr. Lambah and his then counterpart Tariq Aziz, did make substantial progress in devising a framework to deal with the Kashmir issue by arriving at common ground between General Musharraf's proposals for “self-governance” and Dr. Manmohan Singh's assertion in Amritsar that borders cannot be redrawn, but we can work towards making them “just lines on a map”.

The “back-channel” talks between 2005 and 2007 took place after General Musharraf assured Mr. Vajpayee in January 2004 that “territory under Pakistan’s control will not be used for terrorism against India”. This was preceded by an agreement for a ceasefire across the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir — an agreement that has broadly been observed by both sides, with violations occasionally occurring, when Jihadis are sought to be infiltrated across the LoC. Moreover, General Musharraf did, for various reasons, rein in his Jihadi groups till his power progressively eroded in 2007. While he did keep his Corps Commanders informed about the back-channel talks, I was not surprised when two of his favourites, whom he made 4-Star Generals, subsequently insisted to me that they were unaware of what had transpired. The Pakistan army is quick to disown whatever it finds inconvenient. We should have no doubt that the Sharif government will not agree to start “back-channel” discussions where they concluded in 2007. We can, at best, expect some progress on Kashmir-related CBMs. Disowning past agreements is a trademark of Pakistani foreign policy. General Zia was determined to disown the Simla Agreement and Benazir junked the Ministerial Joint Commission set up by Zia.

Pakistan is going to be primarily focused on developments on its western borders across the Durand Line. While lip-service is paid to non-interference and respect for Afghanistan's sovereignty, Pakistan appears determined to ensure that even as the American withdrawal proceeds, the Taliban takes control progressively of parts of South-Eastern Afghanistan, while keeping the entire Pashtun belt under its pressure. In their desperation to cut their losses and exit from Afghanistan, the Americans appear quite reconciled to this happening. I was interested in taking note recently of sneering references by some Pakistani friends asking how India would ensure the safety of its nationals spread across Afghanistan, once the Americans left. More importantly, whether it is on issues of dealing with terrorist groups like the Tehreek-e-Taliban-e-Pakistan, the Quetta and Peshawar Shura of Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani Network, or the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the real driving force will remain the Pakistan army.

The constant refrain of Pakistani interlocutors now is that India “should forget the past,” and “put Mumbai behind” and move on with “business as usual”. In effect, the message is that we should forget any possibility of Pakistan bringing the perpetrators of 26/11 to book. We should never forget that apart from being the most trusted asset of the ISI in waging Jihad against India, Hafiz Mohammed Saeed has enjoyed the patronage of two generations of the Sharif family and even today receives funding from the Punjab Government headed by Shahbaz Sharif. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is slated to meet Mr. Sharif in New York in September. It is imperative that he makes it clear to his counterpart that India will not "forgive or forget"" what transpired during the 26/11 attack and that terrorism cannot go hand in hand with dialogue and normalisation.

There is much that India and Pakistan can do to move the process of normalisation forward. The ministerial-level Joint Commission set up in 1983 can be revived and reinvigorated. There could be greater energy cooperation involving the supply of electrical power and finished petroleum products across the Punjab border. Group tourism and pilgrimage, easing of visa restrictions and more extensive contacts between academics, youth and wide cross-sections of civil society need to be promoted. While welcoming improved trade relations, overzealous sections of India’s business community should avoid giving the impression that the grant of obligatory MFN treatment to our exports is of vital importance to us.

The Pakistan military seems to have some “bright ideas” to scare the Western world and India by threats of using tactical nuclear weapons against India, if India retaliates following another 26/11 style terrorist attack. I responded to such threats recently telling Pakistani military officials that we were not impressed by such bluster, adding that while the Pak army was “adventurist,” its officers lived too comfortably to be “suicidal” ! The Chairman of the National Security Advisory Board, Shyam Saran, has addressed this quite bluntly, while explaining the tenets of India's nuclear doctrine. A wide-ranging defence dialogue with Pakistan, including more regular contacts between the armies, navies and air forces, will be useful. There appears little prospect of any movement on issues like the demarcation of the land boundary around Sir Creek and beyond, or on the the Siachen issue. One will have to live with the status quo on such issues, while ensuring the existing CBMs are respected.

It would be imprudent to rush into summit-level bilateral visits till there are clear indications that our concerns on terrorism are being irreversibly addressed. The Lahore Summit was followed by the Kargil conflict and the ill-planned Agra Summit by the attack on our Parliament