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from India Insight:

Military personnel who rape in India’s conflict zones should be prosecuted: committee

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The Justice Verma Committee, set up to review India’s legislation following the brutal gang rape of a student in Delhi last month, released its recommendations on how to make the country safer for women last week.

Among the issues which the panel addressed was a “neglected area” concerning sexual violence against women in areas of conflict.

The committee recommends stripping security forces of special immunity that they enjoy in conflict areas in cases of sexual assault on women, and bringing them under the purview of ordinary criminal law.

Special laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which is enforced in  Jammu & Kashmir and the northeastern states, give security forces immunity from prosecution unless sanctioned by the central government.

from India Insight:

LoC killings: Is a third-party probe the way ahead?

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Thomson Reuters)

The death toll on the Line of Control in Kashmir is four since Jan. 6: two from India's military, two from Pakistan's. One thing is sure: neither side started it, judging by what you hear from both countries' armed forces and from media reports.

from India Insight:

Will Indian army’s charm offensive work in Kashmir?

File photo of a senior Indian army officer giving instructions to Kashmiri youths during a recruitment drive in Rangreth on the outskirts of Srinagar May 26, 2009. REUTERS/Fayaz Kabli/FilesWhen thousands gathered in an Indian army camp in Kashmir recently, people started asking questions: Is this another protest against New Delhi's rule?

The answer came as a surprise to many and as a shock to some.

Nearly 10,000 youth had gathered to try their luck in a recruitment drive by the Indian army in the disputed region and not to protest against alleged excesses by security forces.

from India Insight:

Afghan endgame and fears of rise in Kashmir violence

The Indian army says rebel violence will escalate in Kashmir in summer as hundreds of militants are waiting in the Pakistani part of Kashmir to infiltrate into the Indian side and step up attacks.

Seized bullets are displayed by the Indian army during a news conference after a gun battle with militants, in Srinagar March 28, 2010. REUTERS/Fayaz KabliEven an internal assessment of the Home Ministry says the summer of 2010 will be as bloodier as or even worse than the mid-nineties.

from India Insight:

Indian Army Day: Road to reform?

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INDIA

January 15 is celebrated as India's Army Day each year. Sixty-two years ago on this day, the first Indian officer took over as Commander–in–Chief of the army.

Lately, the Indian army has been under constant scrutiny. From modernization of equipment to the moral character of the organisation, many believe the army is facing too many problems at the same time.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

And now the strategic encirclement of Pakistan

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An Indian military presence in Afghanistan to put further pressure on Pakistan? That would be the red  rag for Pakistan, and the end of its long struggle to seek strategic depth  in Afghanistan against its much larger eastern neighbour.

Indian newspapers have reported army chief General Deepak Kapoor as saying at a news conference that such a move would squeeze Pakistan, although he seemed to be at considerable pains to stress this  was a decision that India's politicians had to take.

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