SP's MAI - - FRONT PAGE - Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Editor-in-Chief

While it is cer­tainly ur­gent and nec­es­sary to equip our sol­diers with the latest of equip­ment, it is equally im­por­tant to en­sure that the sol­diers are in the right frame of mind and also of good health. Yoga and med­i­ta­tion are ma­jor de-stressers. Yoga goes be­yond re­li­gion and has ther­a­peu­tic value, par­tic­u­larly to a soldier whose work en­vi­ron­ment, in­vari­ably, is harsh.

When the coun­try cel­e­brated June 21 as the In­ter­na­tional Yoga Day, per­son­nel of the armed forces par­tic­i­pated in large num­bers, in­di­cat­ing that yoga and med­i­ta­tion have enor­mous health ben­e­fits. The ral­ly­ing force be­hind In­ter­na­tional Yoga day was the Prime Min­is­ter Modi who per­formed asanas at a huge gath­er­ing in New Delhi.

Even as the gov­ern­ment takes such a holis­tic ap­proach to health re­lated is­sues, the media is now ob­sessed with the news of pos­si­bil­ity of Modi meet­ing his Pak­istani coun­ter­part Nawaz Sharif on the side­lines of the an­nual sum­mit of Shang­hai Co­op­er­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion (SCO) in Rus­sia next month. The ex­pec­ta­tions are hyped be­cause of Modi’s re­cent tele­phonic call to Nawaz Sharif ex­tend­ing best wishes on the oc­ca­sion of Ramzan while not­ing that there was a need for hav­ing ‘peace­ful’ and ‘friendly’ bi­lat­eral ties be­tween the two coun­tries. Lt Gen­eral P.C. Ka­toch (Retd) makes his ob­ser­va­tion on the pos­si­ble talks.

In another view­point Lt Gen­eral Ka­toch talks about China’s sup­port to Nepalese and In­dian Maoists, PLA in Ma­nipur, hob­nob­bing with Naga in­sur­gents, sup­port to ULFA, cre­ation of the United Lib­er­a­tion Front of West, South, East Asia (WSEA) and lethal arm­ing of per­son­nel.

The re­cent visit by the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sor (NSA) Ajit Do­val to Myan­mar to tie up joint Indo-Myan­mar oper­a­tions against the Naga and other in­sur­gents lodged in­side Myan­mar ter­ri­tory did not get the ex­pected re­sponse from the Myan­mar Gov­ern­ment. Myan­mar author­i­ties re­port­edly told the NSA that while NSCN was con­fined to bor­der ar­eas, the hot pur­suit by the In­dian Army forced them to move fur­ther in­side the coun­try, which af­fected Myan­mar se­cu­rity, writes Lt Gen­eral Ka­toch.

Air Mar­shal B.K. Pandey (Retd) states that can­cel­la­tion of the con­tract on ac­count of mis­de­meanour on the part of in­di­vid­u­als is counter pro­duc­tive as it would ad­versely af­fect the mod­ern is at ion pro­gramme of the armed forces.

A court in Italy that was deal­ing with the al­le­ga­tions of wrong­do­ing by se­nior func­tionar­ies of Fin­mec­ca­nica in the ex­e­cu­tion of the ` 3,600-crore con­tract signed with the In­dian Min­istry of De­fence (MoD) for the sup­ply of 12 AW-101 Agusta-West­land he­li­copters for VVIP travel has de­liv­ered its fi­nal judge­ment in the case. The Ital­ian court has stated un­equiv­o­cally that no cor­rup­tion was found in Ital­ian com­pany Agusta-West­land’s chop­per deal with the In­dian Air Force. Specif­i­cally, the court has found no ev­i­dence of any cor­rup­tion by Air Chief Mar­shal S.P. Tyagi (Retd), the for­mer Chief of the Air Staff, writes Air Mar­shal B.K. Pandey.

The In­dian army re­quires bullet proof jack­ets. The de­lay is caus­ing all the harm. Red tape and lack of ac­count­abil­ity of the MoD that even with De­fence Min­is­ter Manohar Par­rikar him­self an­nounc­ing in 2014 that 50,000 bullet proof jack­ets would be pro­cured as ‘emer­gency pro­cure­ment’, it does not ap­pear ma­te­ri­al­is­ing for another six months.

We also have some in­ter­est­ing cov­er­age of the Paris Air Show in this is­sue.

Happy read­ing!

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