Vol. I Issue. 28
Defence Budget 2012-13 stands at Rs. 545 billion
06 June 2012
Pakistan army gets the lion’s share of the current year’s defence budget at Rs 264.073 billion, which is 12 billion more than the last year’s. Pakistan Air Force has been allocated Rs. 114.211 billion, an increase of Rs. 6 billion and Pakistan Navy Rs. 52.72 billion which is Rs 130,000,000 less than previous year’s. The overall defence budget stands at Rs545.2 billion for 2012-13. According to the budget estimates placed in the National Assembly, of the total allocation Rs229.4 billion has been earmarked for employees-related expenses, Rs143.2 billion for operating expenses and Rs120.5 billion for physical assets. Over Rs98 billion has been allocated for pensions of military personnel, though that has been listed under the civilian budget and there is a separate allocation for security-related expenses for Rs 244.48 billion.
Source(S): The Express Tribune & The Nation, June 02, 2012
Pak test fires Hatf VII nuclear missile
Pakistan conducted a successful test fire of the indigenously developed multi-tube Cruise Missile Hatf-VII (Babur) on June 05, having a range of 700 kms. Babur Cruise Missile is a low flying, terrain hugging missile with high maneuverability, pin point accuracy and radar avoidance features. It also incorporates the most modern cruise missile technology of Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM), Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC). It was launched from a state of the art multi tube Missile Launch Vehicle (MLV) which significantly enhances the targeting and assigning options of Babur Weapon System in both the conventional and nuclear modes. The test was witnessed by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Khalid Shameem Wynne, Director General Strategic Plans Division, Lieutenant General Khalid Ahmed Kidwai (R), Chairman National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM), Mr Muhammad Irfan Burney, senior officers from the armed forces and strategic organisations, scientists and engineers.
Source(S): ISPR, June 05, 2012.
Missiles tested by Pakistan in 2012
Pak Test Fires Nuke-Capable Hatf-VIII Cruise Missile
Pakistan conducted a successful flight test of the indigenously developed Air Launched Cruise Missile, Hatf-VIII (Ra’ad) on May 31. The Ra’ad Missile has a range of over 350 Kms that enables Pakistan to achieve strategic counterbalance capability on both land and sea. ’Cruise Technology’ is extremely complex and has been developed by only a few countries in the world. Ra’ad Cruise Missile, with stealth capabilities, is a low altitude, surface hugging missile with high feasibility, and can carry nuclear and conventional warheads with acute accuracy. Efficiently engaging the National Command Authority’s completely automated Strategic Command and Control Support System (SCCSS) was an important additional feature of this test. It enabled robust command and control capability of all strategic assets with continuous situational awareness in a digitised network centric environment to decision makers at National Command Centre (NCC). The system also added the capability of real-time remote monitoring of missile path.
Source(s): The Nation, May 31, 2012.
Pak second largest country in UN peacekeeping
Pakistan has been the largest troop contributor for the UN missions since 2006. Currently it stands second with deployment of 9,461 peacekeeper in seven different UN mission that touches 9.71 percent of the total UN peacekeepers strength. Pak began contributing troops for UN peacekeeping operations in 1960. Pakistan, over the past 52 years, has participated in 41 UN peacekeeping missions with deployment of 142,452 troops across the world. 128 Pakistani peacekeepers (10.24% of the UN total fatalities) have scarified their lives till now in noble cause of helping humanity, building peace and bringing stability across the regions under the banner of UN.
Source(s): Daily Times, June 04, 2012.
Passing out parade of new recruits from Sindh
A contingent of 396 recruits of Pakistan Army from Sindh, who have completed their training, participated in a passing out parade held on May 31 at the Pano Aqil Cantonment. Major General Asghar Nawaz, Commander 16 Division was the chief guest on the occasion. The Induction is more than the regular annual vacancies. More than 3000 recruits from Sindh had completed their training last year.
Source(s): The News, June 01, 2012.
Maj Gen Bajwa to take charge as new DG ISPR
Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa will assume the charge of Director General Inter Services Public Relations (DG-ISPR) on June 4, 2012. Bajwa, a Tamgha-i-Basalat recipient, was commissioned in 34 Punjab Regiment from Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) Kakul in March 1984. He has held Command of an Anti Tank Battalion, an Infantry Brigade Group, a strike Infantry Division and various others. He has also been the Brigade Major of an Infantry Brigade and Chief of Staff of a strike Corps. As faculty, he has been the part of PMA Kakul and Command and Staff College Quetta and has also served as deputy Military Secretary to the President of Pakistan. A Graduate of Command and Staff College Quetta, National Defence University and Staff College Camberley (UK), he also holds a Master degree in Defence Studies from Kings College London (UK) and MSC War Studies from NDU, Islamabad.
Source(s): The Express Tribune, June 03, 2012.
Zamir Kabulov meets Kayani
Zamir Kabulov, Special envoy of President of Russian Federation to Afghanistan met Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani at General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on May 31. The visiting dignitary remained with him for some time and discussed matters of mutual interest.
Source(s): ISPR, May 31, 2012.
Commander German Air Force called on General Khalid Shameem
Lt-Gen Peter Scheizing, Commander German Air Force met General Khalid Shameem Wynne, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) at Joint Staff Headquarters in Rawalpindi on May 31. The visiting dignitary remained with the chairman for sometime and discussed matters related to professional interests, said ISPR.
Source(s): ISPR, May 31, 2012.
Japan honours PAF team for rescuing tourists from Gilgit
Pakistan Air Force members, who rescued the 77 stranded Japanese tourists from Gilgit to Chaklala in April, were honoured by Japanese ambassador Hiroshi Oe. The Ambassador presented Awards of Excellence to the seventeen member team which rescued stranded tourists in the region after sectarian violence.
Ambassador Oe said that the government and the people of Japan highly value the rescue effort carried by the 17-member team, despite bad weather.
Source(s): The Express Tribune, June 06, 2012.
Airmen passing out ceremony held at PAF base
The passing out ceremony of Aero Tech and Aero Support Entry was held at Pakistan Air Force Base, Korangi Creek, on June 01. Air Marshal Waseem-ud-din, acting chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force, was the chief guest on the occasion.310 aero apprentices including personnel from Pakistan Navy and friendly countries successfully completed their technical training.
Asghar Khan Trophy for the Best in Aeronautics Technology was awarded to AC Muhammad Usman; Noor Khan Trophy for the Best in Avionics Technology was awarded to AC Muhammad Mansha; Zafar Chaudhry Trophy for the Best in Aero Support Technology from the School of Aeronautics was awarded to AC Hassan Ejaz; Trophy for the Best in General Service Training was awarded to AC Wg Sgt Maqsood Aalam, and Chief of the Air Staff’s Trophy for the Overall Best Performance was awarded to AC Muhammad Usman.
Source(s): The News, June 04, 2012.
Pakistan Navy’s annual safety review held
The Pakistan Navy held a safety review at the Bahria Auditorium in Karachi on May 30. The Naval chief of staff, Admiral Asif Sandila, was chief guest on the occasion. The review is held every year to monitor the safety standards at various units of Pakistan Navy and to create safety awareness. Sandila said that safety and operational preparedness were closely linked to each other and safety being a state of mind should be an integral part of all organisations and institutions.
Source(s): The Express Tribune, May 31, 2012.
War above clouds
Maj Awais Qazi
It was the drawn of April 1984 when the seeds of Siachen conflict were sown. Now after almost three decades, again in the month of April 2012, the incident of Gayari has brought Siachen issue in the lime light. Siachen has not only been a resource constraint for both Pakistan and India but also a bleeding wound, causing causalities on both sides. The ongoing discussions ranging from the contributions that Army has paid in the form of sacrifices, to the expenditures being incurred on the maintenance of forces are being discussed at various tiers. There is a need to know its historical background and strategic importance of the area.
Siachen Glacier was not considered of any importance during the Karachi agreement of July 1948 for the demarcation of ceasefire line neither during the Simla agreement of 1972. At that time, the demarcation of line of control was made up to point NJ 9842 from where the agreement states "thence north to the glacier". The area was considered too hard and treacherous by both sides at that time and never thought that its importance could become a cause of conflict in the region.
In mid 70s, foreign mountaineering started to visit the glacier with the permission of Pakistan Government. U.S military maps and other world maps showed Siachen as a part of Pakistan territory. This raised concerns in India and they sent an expedition from Army High Altitude Warfare School to carry out reconnaissance of the area in 1978. Later in 1982, a kumaon regiment was sent to Antarctica to get acclimatised for ’Operation Meghdoot’ (code name of Indian Army’s operation to occupy Siachen Glacier). "Operation Meghdoot" was led by Lieutenant General Prem Nath Hoon, the then General Officer Commanding-in-chief (GOC-in-C) of the Indian Army’s National Command based at Udhampur in Jammu & Kashmir. As a result of this operation, Indians occupied almost 900 sq mile of territory of Soltoro ridge including three important passes of Bifond La, Sia La and Gyong La.
The Siachen Glacier
The derivation of the name come from "Sia" in the Balti language refers to the rose family plant widely dispersed in the region while "Chun" references any object found in abundance. Thus the name Siachen refers to a land with an abundance of roses. The conflict of Siachen has taken many lives of both sides and an estimated causality rate depicts more number of causalities due to extremity of weather rather than by hostile firing. The Siachen Glacier is located in eastern Karakoram Range of Himalayan Mountains north of Line of Control between India and Pakistan. It is the longest glacier in the Karakoram and second-longest in the world’s non-polar areas. Being extensively glaciated it is sometimes referred to as third pole. It contains the Shyok River which flows through the northern Ladakh in India and northern areas of Pakistan and is a tributary of Indus River.
Since 1984, both sides are deployed at altitudes ranging up to 6400 meters. Many rounds of negotiations between both the states have been carried out to solve the issue but so far all efforts have been futile. The negotiations started in December 1985 by General Zia Ul Haq and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in a meeting at Delhi. Later in 1989, a significance breakthrough was achieved when Prime Minister of Pakistan & India, Ms. Benazir Bhutto and Mr. Rajiv Gandhi met and both governments agreed and the term redeployed of forces was used to vacate the disputed heights. The 1989agreement was not accepted by the Indian Military Regime and subsequently 1992 talks met a stalemate which ended in a deadlock. So far till the last round of negotiation in may 2011, no progress has been made.
The strategic importance of Siachen emanates from its heights which are overlooking Indian held Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan including the Karakoram Highway (KKH) with the most important and only ground link with China through Khunjerab Pass. India with its hegemonic designs has always been in an effort to cut Pakistan from China, so the importance for Pakistan Army to safeguard the KKH cannot be reiterated. Now that both countries are working on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) to have peace and stability in the region and bring economic uplift for their poor people, the importance of settling Siachen issue has increased manifold. It’s the critical juncture in history that U.S ? led NATO forces are planning to vacate Afghanistan by 2014-15, therefore both India and Pakistan need to resolve this long outstanding issue so that regional stability can allow both nations to divulge into bilateral economic and trade agreements which are not fruitful under the umbrella of this conflict. The fruits of regional stability are way beyond imaginable for both the nations which can be derived by the solution of this issue to remove the trust deficit where the corridors of Central Asian Republics (CARs) are waiting to be explored.
Recently during his visit to Gayari sector Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has highlighted the importance of settling this issue bilaterally and laid stress on demilitarisation of this region to allow both Governments focus on the well being of their people. Pakistan’s stance on the settling of issue amicably has always been to repositioning the forces to pre 1984 locations which, by all means is justified in the light of Simla Agreement of 1962. Although on the Indian side, their politicians have shown some flexibility on this issue but their military regime is still reluctant to negotiate. The statement of bilateral solution of the problem by the Army Chief is wholesome in nature and clears the confusion emerging out of the discussion of unilateral with drawl of forces by Pakistan Army. The trust deficit and the experience of past prevents us from taking such a step unilaterally despite knowing the hegemonic designs of India.
Siachen Glacier is also under direct threat from environment point of view. Recent studies and researches depict that melting of glacier has been unprecedented resulting in excessive formation of crevasses. Reasons cited for this rapid melting have been reported as global warming, carbon deposits and above all, heavy military presence and activities like firing of weapons, movements of aircrafts and helicopters. Due to this rapid melting of glaciers, sea levels have been reported to increase causing threat to low level areas. Since it’s a matter of saving the environment for our future generations, therefore edible steps are needed to solve this issue on priority from India & Pakistan.
Courtesy: Hilal, English monthly published by Pakistan Army. (www.ispr.gov.pk)
(This monitor is prepared by Vinesh Kaushik and Harsh Jain, Research Interns, at Observer Research Foundation.)