ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Skirmishing on the Line of Control

The ceasefire agreed upon by India and Pakistan at the Line of Control in November 2003 was the single biggest confidence building measure between these countries. It would be in the larger national interest of both countries to disengage from a face to face situation on the LoC by resolving issues such as  Kashmir, Siachen and the Sir Creek. 

The Great Indian Arms Bazaar

According to the latest estimates of the independent Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, India was the world's largest importer of arms during the five-year-period 2006-10. These imports are only likely to grow manifold in the years ahead. India has this dubious achievement to its credit even as it has some of the most dismal indicators of human development in the world.

Trends in Military Expenditure

The world spent $1,531 billion on defence in 2009, a real increase of 5.9% over $1,464 bn spent in 2008. Clearly, the recession has had little effect on military spending. More than 100 countries including 16 from the G-20 hiked their military budgets.

Distressed Neighbours

The mechanism of the IWT was, thus, Distressed Neighbours ineffective in resolving the issues raised by Pakistan, one of the signatories, to its satisfaction. The government of India, Pavan Nair which is in the process of reviewing its The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) was signed by Jawaharlal Nehru and Ayub Khan in 1960 after protracted negotiations which lasted over a decade. It is interesting to note that during the entire period, not a single project was envisaged on any of the three western rivers (Indus, Jhelum and Chenab) finally allocated to Pakistan. It seems that an agreement-inprinciple had been reached by the leaders and the details were left to the appointed functionaries for negotiation and discussion. Here lies the crux of the matter.

An Evaluation of India's Defence Expenditure

This essay attempts to make a realistic assessment of current levels of defence spending in India by evaluating the effi cacy and intensity of military expenditure. The media is largely ignorant or chooses to ignore the issue of defence spending. The view across the political spectrum and the strategic community is that any exercise to limit this spending amounts to compromising national security and is therefore not a viable consideration. Whilst it is true that development cannot take place in an insecure environment, defence expenditure in a developing country has a direct impact on the outlay on social spending. The "guns versus butter" argument is valid especially when the guns are not buying the security the country needs against asymmetrical threats from within and without.

Arms and Accounts

SIPRI Yearbook 2009: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security (Oxford University Press); hardback, pp 594, $150.

Unjustified Demand

The Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) would not have told the author of “The Burden of Military Pensions” (EPW, 25 April 2009) that the Fifth Pay Commission had brought all pensioners who retired prior to 31 December 1995 on par with a few exceptions, specifically in the category of Persons Bel

The Siachen War: Twenty-Five Years On

Siachen has become a symbol of India's military capability and staying power, somewhat like the Pakistani incursion in Kargil, which achieved nothing for that country. The human cost is staggering, yet India and Pakistan continue to bracket Siachen with issues like Sir Creek, Wular and trade and commerce. This shows a lack of concern for the rank and file of both armies by their political and military leaders. Continuing with the occupation of the Siachen glacier heights not only amounts to poor strategy but also poor generalship.

The Rape of a Fortress

The now defunct Bombay Fort overlooked the harbour in the 17th and 18th centuries much like Fort St George and Fort William at Madras and Calcutta. These were the seats of power and the headquarters of the Bombay, Madras and Bengal armies. And rightly so since maritime power was paramount.

Dangerous Liaisons

The arrest of a serving army officer in connection with a terrorist attack targeting the Muslim community is a matter of deep concern.

Saving the Girl Child

Your editorial on the subject of the girl child (February 16) is timely but when the state itself encourages the use of abortion as a method of family planning, then the law can be subverted by the public and unscrupulous medical practitioners alike to abort female foetuses.

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