India Objects To US Envoy Blome’s Visit To POK

India has objected to US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome’s visit to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) where he repeatedly referred to the region as “Azad Jammu and Kashmir.”

During a weekly presser, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “Our objections to the visit and meetings in PoK by the US envoy have been conveyed to the US side.”
US ambassador to Pakistan Blome during his visit to PoK throughout mentioned PoK as AJK (Azad Jammu and Kashmir). India has conveyed to the United States its objections over the US diplomat’s visit and controversial reference to PoK as Azad Kashmir.

This is the second high-profile visit by a US diplomat to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Earlier this year US Congresswomen Ilhan Omar visited PoK. India in a strongly worded statement had then said, “She visited a part of Jammu and Kashmir illegally occupied by Pakistan. If such a politician wishes to practice her narrow-minded politics at home that may be her business, but violating our territorial integrity in its pursuit makes it ours.”

India in 1994 had passed a resolution saying PoK is part of India and Pakistan must vacate and end its illegal occupation. A few months ago, Defence minister Rajnath Singh said ” Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) is a part of Indian territory and will continue to be so.”

Earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said that the government has seen reports about third countries participating in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Projects, and any such activity by any party directly infringed on India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Bagchi had said India firmly and consistently opposes projects in the “so-called CPEC, which are in Indian territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan”. “Such activities are inherently illegal, illegitimate, and unacceptable, and will be treated accordingly by India,” the official statement added. (ANI)

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IAF Seeks More Fighter Jets

IAF Seeks More Fighter Jets In View Of Threat From China, Pak

Citing the increasing number of fighter aircraft in the Chinese and Pakistan air forces, the Indian Air Force on Tuesday said it would need more combat aircraft to meet security challenges.

“The environment around us remains hostile and there would be a requirement for 42 squadrons of fighter aircraft by the Indian Air Force.” We have to see the case of China and Pakistan also, “Indian Air Force Vice Chief Air Marshal Sandeep Singh said.

He was speaking at a press conference where he was asked whether the IAF could lower its authorized squadron strength number from 42.

The IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, said the aircraft numbers authorized to the force were as per the requirements in view of the security challenges.

IAF is authorized to have 42 squadrons, which would mean around 800 fighter aircraft, but at present, it is stuck at 30 squadrons only due to delays in the development of the LCA Tejas as well as in the procurement of high-ability multirole fighters.

The situation is going to worsen further with the planned decommissioning of the MiG-21s in near future and all squadrons of Jaguar, Mirage-2000, and MiG-29 fighters by the middle of the next decade.

The IAF has plans of inducting around 200 LCAs and 114 multirole fighters in the next 15 years along with six squadrons of Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft.

Pakistan, which has to defend borders mainly with India, only has around 25 squadrons of combat aircraft, while the Chinese Air Force has a large number of aircraft, including fifth-generation fighters like the J-20. (ANI)

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Chief Commander Showkat

H-U-M’s Chief Commander Showkat Declared Terrorist Under UAPA

The Centre on Tuesday declared Chief Launching Commander of terror outfit Hizb-Ul-Mujahideen Showkat Ahmed Sheikh a terrorist under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 on charges of spreading terror violence in Jammu and Kashmir.

Born in 1970 in the Ganie Hamam area in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla, Showkat alias Showkat Mochi, the son of Ghulam Nabi Sheikh, is presently based in Pakistan.
Showkat is also accused of his involvement in “coordinating infiltration and recruitment of terrorists and execution of terror attacks owing to his deep network of associates in North Kashmir”.

In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 35 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, a Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) notification issued on Tuesday said, the Central government declared Showkat Ahmed Sheik as a terrorist.

“The Central Government believes that Showkat Ahmad Sheikh alias Showkat Mochi is involved in terrorism and he is to be notified as a terrorist under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.”

The order mentioned that the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967) has been enacted to provide for more effective prevention of certain unlawful activities of individuals and associations and for dealing with terrorist activities.

Besides, it noted, Clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 35 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 empowers the Central Government to notify the name of an individual in the Fourth Schedule to the Act, if it believes that he is involved in terrorism.

The notification also mentioned that Hizb-Ul-Mujahideen is listed as a terrorist organization under the First Schedule to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. (ANI)

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Mountaineering Trainees Trapped

28 Mountaineering Trainees Trapped In Avalanche At Danda-2 Peak

As many as 28 people are feared trapped in an avalanche that hit Draupadi’s Danda-2 mountain peak in Uttarakhand, chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said on Tuesday.

Rescue operations are underway to rescue the trapped, all trainees of the Nehru Mountaineering Institute of Uttarkashi.
According to preliminary reports avalanche hit the team around 9 AM today.

“Information about 28 trainees of Nehru Mountaineering Institute being trapped following an avalanche in Draupadi’s Danda-2 mountain peak has been received. Rapid, relief and rescue operations underway by the district administration, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel,” CM Dhami said.

“Rapid relief and rescue operations are being carried out by the district administration, NDRF, SDRF, Army and ITBP personnel along with the team of NIM to rescue the trainees trapped in the avalanche in Draupadi’s Danda-2 mountain peak at the earliest,” tweeted the chief minister Dhami.

A SDRF team left from Sahastradhara helipad in Dehradun has rushed to rescue the trainees trapped in an avalanche for rescue work.

CM Dhami said that he has spoken to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and requested for help from the army to speed up the rescue operation.

“He has assured us to give every possible help from the Centre. A rescue operation is being conducted to bring out everyone,” Dhami said.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also took to Twitter and expressed his anguish to the loss of lives and consoled the bereaved families who lost their family members.

“Deeply anguished by the loss of precious lives due to landslide which has struck the mountaineering expedition carried out by the Nehru Mountaineering Institute in Uttarkashi. My condolences to the bereaved families who have lost their loved ones,” Rajnath Singh said in a tweet.

“Spoke to CM Uttarakhand, Shri @PushkarDhamiand took stock of the situation. Rescue operations are underway to help the mountaineers who are still trapped. I have instructed the IAF to mount the rescue and relief ops. “Praying for everyone’s safety and well-being,” Singh said. (ANI)

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Light Combat Helicopter

Made-in-India Light Combat Helicopters Prachand Inducted Into IAF

The first batch of indigenously-developed Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) named ” Prachand” was inducted into the Indian Air Force on Monday in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
The induction ceremony was held in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur, where the newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Anil Chauhan was also present, along with the Union Minister.

While speaking on the occasion, Singh said that LCH will enhance our capability and will boost defence production and it proves India’s commitment towards self-reliance in Defence production.

“There could not have been a better timing for LCH induction than Navratri and in the land of warriors, Rajasthan,” Singh said, adding that the LCH is a result of research and development for two decades.

“For a long time, there was a need for attack helicopters and during the 1999 Kargil war, its need was felt seriously. The LCH is a result of research and development for two decades and its induction into IAF is an important milestone in defence production,” Singh further said.

The new chopper getting inducted into the force is capable of aerial combat and will help the force combat slow-moving aircraft, drones and armoured columns during conflicts. The induction ceremony will be led by Rajnath Singh who has played a crucial role in progressing cases for buying indigenous platforms for forces.

He was also present in the Cabinet Committee on Security which cleared the purchase of 15 of these LCHs for the air force and the army.

Hailing the service of the Indian Air Force, Singh said that IAF has played an important role in the nation’s security whether it was internal threats or external war.

“IAF has always strengthened national security with their courage and bravery. The induction of indigenously developed LCH will increase the efficiency of IAF. It has always supported indigenously developed defence products like Marut, Light Combat Aircraft, Aakash Missile System, Advanced Light Helicopter and now LCH. It shows IAF’s trust towards indigenously design and development,” Rajnath Singh said.

Defence Minister also talked about the key feature of this made-in-India LCH and said it perfectly meets the needs of our armed forces.

“LCH is capable of dodging the enemy, carrying a variety of ammunition, and delivering it to the site quickly. LCH perfectly meets the needs of our armed forces in various terrains and it is an ideal platform for both our Army and Airforce,” he added.

Giving reference to the Ukraine-Russia war, Rajnath said, “The conflict or earlier conflicts teach us that heavy weapon systems and platforms, which are unable to move rapidly across the battlefield, have a low capability, and become easy targets for the enemy.”

He considered the defence of the nation as the top priority and said that the government is fully committed to it.

“I can say with full confidence that in the coming time, India will be first whenever there is talk of superpowers including military power in the world,” he said.

“For the nation’s security, it is the job of the government to ensure armed forces are equipped with the best equipment and platforms. Irrespective of the geopolitical scenario, it is their job to keep National security on alert. Against the backdrop of certain events in the past, the government has focused on indigenisation in defence production and preparedness. They are getting positive responses from services, research and development, start-ups, and public and private sector industries. All are coming together to give a new height to defence production,” Singh further said.

“Time requires to shift towards such equipment and platforms that could are easy to move, more flexible and also more lethal. I like to appreciate HAL engineers for putting all these features in LCH. And don’t get confused with the ‘Light’ word associated with it but the task it will deliver is ‘heavy’,” he said.

The light combat helicopter is a dedicated combat helicopter designed and developed indigenously in India. It has been manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Of the 15 limited series production helicopters approved, 10 are for the IAF and five for the army. It can land and take off from an altitude of 5,000 metres with weapons and fuel, the officials said.

The choppers have been flown extensively in Ladakh and the desert sector to meet the requirements of the armed forces. The IAF has inducted multiple helicopters to its fleet in the last three-four years with the induction of the Chinooks, Apache attack helicopters and now the LCHs.

CCS met under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 30, 2022, in New Delhi. The CCS has approved the procurement of 15 Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Limited Series Production at the cost of Rs. 3,887 Cr along with Infrastructure sanctions worth Rs 377 crore.

Light Combat Helicopter Limited Series Production (LSP) is an indigenously designed, developed and manufactured state-of-the-art modern combat helicopter containing approximately 45 per cent indigenous content by value which will progressively increase to more than 55 per cent for the SP Version.

“This helicopter is equipped with the requisite agility, manoeuvrability, extended range, high altitude performance and around-the-clock, all-weather combat capability to perform roles of Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Destruction of Enemy Air Defence (DEAD), Counter Insurgency (CI) operations against slow-moving aircraft and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs), high altitude bunker busting operations, counter-insurgency operations in the jungle and urban environments, and support to ground forces and would be a potent platform to meet the operational requirements of the Indian Air Force and Indian Army,” said the Ministry of Defence. (ANI)

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Light Combat

Made-In-India Light Combat Heli To Be Inducted On Monday

In a major boost to the Indian Air Force’s combat prowess, the first batch of indigenously-developed Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) will be inducted into the IAF inventory at a ceremony in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur on Monday, which will also mark the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

“The induction of these helicopters will be a big boost to the IAF’s combat prowess,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted.
The new chopper getting inducted into the force is capable of aerial combat and will help the force combat slow-moving aircraft, drones, and armoured columns during conflicts. The induction ceremony will be led by Rajnath Singh, who has played a crucial role in progressing cases for buying indigenous platforms for forces.

He was also present in the Cabinet Committee on Security which cleared the purchase of 15 of these LCHs for the air force and the army. Of the 15 limited series production helicopters approved, 10 are for the IAF and five for the army. It can land and take off from an altitude of 5,000 metres with weapons and fuel, the officials said.

The choppers have been flown extensively in Ladakh and the desert sector to meet the requirements of the armed forces. The IAF has inducted multiple helicopters to its fleet in the last three-four years with the induction of the Chinooks, Apache attack helicopters and now the LCHs.

The IAF is now also deploying women pilots in Chinook choppers carrying routine supply missions to the northern and eastern borders.

CCS met under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 30, 2022, in New Delhi. The CCS has approved the procurement of 15 Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Limited Series Production at the cost of Rs. 3,887 Cr along with Infrastructure sanctions worth Rs. 377 Cr.

Light Combat Helicopter Limited Series Production (LSP) is an indigenously designed, developed and manufactured state-of-the-art modern combat helicopter containing approx. 45 pc indigenous content by value which will progressively increase to more than 55 pc for SP Version.

“This helicopter is equipped with requisite agility, manoeuvrability, extended range, high altitude performance and around-the-clock, all-weather combat capability to perform roles of Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Destruction of Enemy Air Defence (DEAD), Counter Insurgency (CI) operations, against slow-moving aircraft and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs), high altitude bunker busting operations, counter insurgency operations in the jungle and urban environments, and support to ground forces and would be a potent platform to meet the operational requirements of the Indian Air Force and Indian Army,” read a PIB press release.

State-of-the-art technologies and systems compatible with stealth features such as reduced visual, Aural, radar and IR signatures and crashworthiness features for better survivability have been integrated into LCH for deployment in combat roles catering to emerging needs for the next 3 to 4 decades.

Several key aviation technologies like Glass Cockpit and composite airframe structures have been indigenised. The future Series Production version will consist of further modern & indigenous systems.

Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, India is continuously growing in its capability to indigenously design, develop and manufacture advanced cutting-edge technologies and systems in the Defence Sector.

The manufacturing of LCH by HAL will give a further push to the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative and boost the indigenisation of defence production and the defence industry in the country. LCH will reduce import dependence for the combat helicopters in the country. Light Combat Helicopters are already on the import embargo list. With its versatile features built-in for combat missions, LCH has export capability. (ANI)

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Rajnath Reaches Tokyo For India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reached Tokyo on Wednesday to participate in the second India-Japan 2+2 ministerial dialogue.

Singh will also hold a bilateral meeting with his Japanese counterpart.
“Raksha Mantri Shri @rajnathsingh reached Tokyo this evening. He will participate in the 2nd India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue tomorrow and hold a bilateral meeting with his Japanese counterpart,” the Defence Minister’s office tweeted.

Singh along with External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar will participate in the 2nd India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Tokyo on Thursday.

In an earlier statement, the Ministry of Defence said the Japanese side will be represented by the Minister of Defence Yasukazu Hamada and Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi.

“The 2+2 Dialogue will review bilateral cooperation across domains and chart out the way forward,” the statement said.

India and Japan are pursuing a Special Strategic and Global Partnership. This year marks 70 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

In addition to the 2+2 dialogue, Rajnath Singh will separately hold bilateral talks with his Japanese counterpart to strengthen further defence cooperation between the two countries across various sectors. He is also scheduled to call on the Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida during the visit.

Defence Minister will also attend a community event organised by the Embassy of India in Tokyo and interact with the Indian diaspora in Japan.

Last week, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said Japan is one of those few countries with whom India does a 2+2 meeting.

“And the US is obviously the other one, which is the first one we started and I think we would look forward to 2+2 inter-sessional with the US here,” Bagchi said during a weekly media briefing.

The economic relationship between Japan and India has steadily expanded and deepened in recent years. The volume of trade between the two countries has increased.

Back in May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a bilateral meeting with Japanese PM Fumio Kishida in Japan. They had a productive exchange of views on enhancing bilateral relations in various spheres as well as on some regional and global issues.

During the talks, the two leaders agreed to further enhance bilateral security and defence cooperation, including in the area of defence manufacturing.

At that time, they had concurred that the next 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Meeting may be held in Japan at the earliest. (ANI)

Will Rajnath Win Lucknow?

WATCH – Will Rajnath Win Lucknow?

Contrary to SP-BSP and Congress claims, locals believe Lucknow is, and will remain, a BJP bastion, thanks to Vajpayee style of politics that was inclusive and appealed to the cosmopolitan electorate.