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China blocks India’s request for U.N. to blacklist Masood Azhar | Reuters

NEW DELHI China has blocked India’s request to add the head of the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad to a U.N. Security Council blacklist of groups linked to al Qaeda, India said on Friday.India has accused Jaish-e-Mohammad and its top leader, Maulana Masood Azhar, of masterminding several attacks, including a deadly assault on an Indian air base in January.Pakistani security officials interrogated Azhar and his associates after the attack, and said they found no evidence linking him to it.Jaish-e-Mohammad has already been blacklisted by the 15-nation Security Council, but not Azhar, an Islamist hardliner and long-time foe of India.Foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said that India had requested that Azhar be added to the list nine months ago and had received strong backing from all other members of the council.But China, which put a hold on the move in April, had now blocked it, he said.

“We had expected China would have been more understanding of the danger posed to all by terrorism,” he said in a statement.Swarup added that the inability of the international community to take the step showed the “prevalence of double standards in the fight against terrorism”.China’s foreign ministry said there were different views about the case, so China had put forward a “technical shelving” to give more time for consultation, but that regretfully no consensus had been reached.

China’s aim is to maintain the authority and effectiveness of name listing by the committee discussing the case, which accords with Security Council resolutions and is the responsible thing to do, it said in a statement sent to Reuters.China will continue to maintain communication with all parties, it added.

India has long accused its neighbour and rival Pakistan of using Jaish-e-Mohammad as a proxy to mount attacks on Indian soil, including in the disputed Kashmir region, and earlier gave what it called “actionable intelligence” to Pakistan, including telephone intercepts.Pakistan denies giving any aid to Kashmir-based militants.If Azhar was blacklisted by the U.N. Security Council, he would face a global travel ban and asset freeze. (Reporting by Paritosh Bansal in NEW DELHI and Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; editing by Mike Collett-White and Jason Neely)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 19:02 IST

China blocks proposal at UN to list Masood Azhar as terrorist; India dismayed at ‘double standards’

New Delhi: China on Friday finally blocked India’s proposal to list Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief and Pathankot mastermind Masood Azhar as a designated terrorist by the UN, triggering a sharp reaction from New Delhi which termed it as “unfortunate blow” and a step that confirms prevalence of double standards in the fight against terrorism.

With China blocking India’s proposal, which was submitted in February to the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council, New Delhi has to make a fresh listing request for Azhar to be banned by the global body, officials said.

After its submission, China twice imposed “technical” hold on the Indian proposal.

File photo of Azhar Masood. Reuters

File photo of Masood Azhar. Reuters

However, India said it will continue to push forward with resolute determination “through the use of all options available with us to bring perpetrators of terrorist violence to justice”.

Asserting that its submission received the strong backing of all other members of the 15-member Sanctions Committee, External Affairs Ministry said, “We note with concern China’s decision to block the proposal to list Masood Azhar…”

The international community is aware that the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed which is proscribed by the United Nations, has been responsible for innumerable terrorist attacks on India including the Pathankot Air Base attack.

“The inability of the international community to list its leader Masood Azhar is an unfortunate blow to the concerted efforts to effectively counter all forms of terrorism, and confirms prevalence of double standards in the fight against terrorism.”

MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup also said the decision by Beijing is surprising as China itself has been affected by the scourge of terrorism and has declared opposition to all forms of terrorism.

“As a consequence of this decision, the UN Security Council has again been prevented from acting against the leader of a listed terrorist organisation. We had expected China would have been more understanding of the danger posed to all by terrorism and would join India and others in fighting the common challenge of terrorism,” he added.

First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 18:10 IST

2016: Pathankot, Kashmir unrest, president rule in Uttarakhand, Arunachal kept home ministry busy

New Delhi: Cross-border firing incidents, crackdown on “erring” NGOs and activities of Pakistan-based terror groups kept the Home Ministry busy in 2016 which saw the audacious attack on Pathankot airbase. Imposition of President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and subsequent revocation by the Supreme Court in both the states, over 120 days of unrest in Jammu and Kashmir following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani were some other issues that the ministry had to deal with.

The year saw prolonged tension along the India-Pakistan border due to fierce firing from Pakistani forces on Indian security posts and civilian areas forcing Home Minister Rajnath Singh to tell BSF not to count bullets if fired upon by Pakistan and give a “befitting” reply. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists carried out the strike at the Pathankot airbase, killing seven personnel and injuring 37 others. In its charge sheet, the NIA said JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother and two others hatched the conspiracy.

The terror case saw an unusual move from India and Pakistan as Islamabad sent its probe team to Pathankot. However, the Pakistani team, upon its return, claimed India did not cooperate with them. Islamabad reciprocated by refusing to allow an Indian investigating team to visit Pakistan in connection with the Pathankot attack probe.

Union Home MInister Rajnath Singh. PTI

Union Home MInister Rajnath Singh. PTI

Not taking it lightly, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, during his visit to Pakistan for a Saarc meeting, delivered a blunt message to Islamabad asking it to stop encouraging terror groups and “glorification” of terrorists and also called for “strongest action” against nations supporting terrorism and their isolation.

The Home Ministry was also engaged in the fire-fight to control the unrest in Kashmir Valley arising after the killing of Wani on 8 July. For next four months, Kashmir Valley saw large-scale protests against Wani’s killing, complete shutdown of educational institutions, market and offices, thus badly affecting normal life.

The home minister himself led two all-party delegations and met cross sections of people, in an effort to bring peace in the restive Kashmir Valley. The Home Ministry, on behalf of the central government, was busy with handling the situation following imposition of President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

However, the central rule in both the states was set aside by the Supreme Court, leading to the Home Ministry receiving flak from various quarters.

The year also saw massive crackdown on NGOs, including on Greenpeace India, Islamic Research Foundation, founded by controversial preacher Zakir Naik, activist Teesta Setalvad’s two NGOs and one run by noted lawyer Indira Jaising, by the Ministry for their alleged violation of various provisions of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.

Notwithstanding the crackdown on NGOs, a total of Rs 1,452 crore foreign funds was received by various voluntary organisations during 2014-15. As many as 11,319 NGOs were derecognised by the Home Ministry in October after they failed to renew their registration under the FCRA.

In addition, the Centre also denied renewal of FCRA registration to 25 NGOs after they were allegedly found to be involved in anti-national activities. Later, during a review of the Foreigners Division of the Home Ministry, it was conveyed to Singh that licences of around 20,000 of 33,000 NGOs were cancelled by the government after they were found to be allegedly violating various provisions of the FCRA, thus barring them from receiving foreign funds.

Situation in northeastern states was by-and-large peaceful except in Manipur where blockade on two national highways by a Naga group against creation of seven new districts disrupted normal life, and led to rise in prices of essential commodities and violence in some parts of the state.

Violence perpetrated by Naxals were contained considerably and there were fewer incidents in some of the worst-hit areas of the 10 states affected by the menace. There were some incidents of online radicalisation by dreaded terror group Islamic State and reports of some youths desiring to join its network.

The Home Ministry feels that though Islamic State has not taken roots in India, it is influencing youths through Internet and social media. According to an estimate prepared by the intelligence agencies, at least 30 Indians have gone to Islamic State-held areas in Iraq-Syria to fight for the terrorist group after they were radicalised online, forcing security forces to keep a close eye on social media outlets and some radical websites.

At least six of them were killed in the conflict zone and 30 other Indians, who were radicalised by Islamic State elements, were prevented from travelling to West Asia.

First Published On : Dec 28, 2016 12:07 IST

Some forces trying to create disturbances in Punjab: Kiren Rijiju

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said some forces are trying to fulfill their “nefarious designs” of creating disturbance in Punjab and that the intelligence agencies are fully alert.”Our intelligence agencies are fully alert and keeping a close eye on activities of some anti-national forces. We would not allow the peace of the state to be disturbed,” he said.The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs was addressing media after laying foundation of the complex of the 7th Battalion of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in Ludhiana.The Punjab government has provided 51 acres of land free of cost at the outskirts of the city at Ladhowal for the project. An amount of Rs 200 crore would be spent on the complex and its infrastructure, Rijiju said. He said that the NDRF was one of the best forces in the world.Commenting on the Centre’s demonetization move, Rijiju said that the policy had broken the backbone of terrorist fundings.Asked about terrorist attacks on the Army and paramilitary forces, he said the vigilance and security on the international borders has been made very tight. “The incidents of attack on the Army in Kashmir is a desperate attempt by insurgents,” he said.The border states of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir have come under a series of terror attacks this year.On the NIA filing chargesheet in the Pathankot airbase attack, the MoS said the Centre would pressurise Pakistan to extradite the perpetrators of terror to India. “India will seek the help and support of other countries for the purpose because all the countries are facing heat of terrorism,” he said.Wrapping up investigations in the Pathankot airbase attack case, NIA had on Monday filed a charge sheet against Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother and two others for hatching the conspiracy of the January 2 audacious terror strike in the state that left seven personnel dead and 37 others injured.

India renews efforts to seek UN action against LeT, JeM, their ‘shadowy supporters’

United Nations: India has renewed its demand for international action against Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror groups and “their shadowy supporters”.

Denouncing the two organisations, whose leadership is based in Pakistan, as affiliates of Al Qaeda, India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin told the Security Council that it was imperative to take action against the support they get from outside.

File image of Syed Akbaruddin. IBNliveFile image of Syed Akbaruddin. IBNlive

File image of Syed Akbaruddin. IBNlive

In an implied criticism of China, he blamed the “split” in the UN bodies that mete out sanctions on terrorist organisations for the world body’s inability to deal with the terrorism.

China has blocked India’s efforts to have international sanctions imposed on Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar by a committee that takes action against Al Qaeda and its affiliates. Azhar was behind the attack on the Pathankot air force base this year that left seven Indian soldiers dead.

As a member of the Security Council, China has also provided cover for Pakistan releasing on bail Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the LeT commander who masterminded the 2008 attack on Mumbai which killed more than 160 people. He was already on the UN list of those facing sanctions as terrorists.

“We need to address, as an imperative, the support that terrorist organizations like the Taliban, Haqqani Network, Daesh, AI Qaeda and its designated affiliates such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed which operate entirely outside the fabric of international law draw from their shadowy supporters outside Afghanistan,” Akbaruddin said.

“While the Taliban sanctions regime remains split for more than five years, the designated terrorist group makes concerted effort to capture and hold territory,” he said.

“Therefore, for numerous Afghan women, men and children there is no respite from the plague of terrorism.”

The international community has to make “it clear that we will neither roll over in the face of terror, nor will we of allow the roll back of the achievements of the resolute people and government of Afghanistan in the last decade and a half,” Akbaruddin said.

First Published On : Dec 20, 2016 14:46 IST

Pathankot attack: Process to extradite Masood Azhar will begin soon, says Kiren Rijiju

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The process of extradition of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother and two others will begin soon with the filing of a charge sheet by the NIA in connection with terror attack at Pathankot airbase, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Monday. “A total of eight people were involved in the terror attack at Pathankot. Four are dead and four are alive and living in Pakistan. Since the charge sheet has been filed, the process of extraditing them from Pakistan will begin with the issuance of Interpol Red Corner Notice,” he told reporters here. Rijiju termed the filing of the charge sheet at the NIA court at Panchkula as a “huge break through”.The Minister of State for Home said since Pakistan is “incorrigible”, India has to put pressure on the neighbouring country to extradite the four persons living in Pakistan on the basis of the evidence gathered by the NIA. “Pakistan is already under pressure. The World knows that these two brothers are living in Pakistan and doing all kinds of terror acts,” he said. NIA today filed a charge sheet against Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother and two others for hatching the conspiracy of the January two audacious terror strike that left seven personnel dead and 37 others injured.The charge sheet was filed in the NIA court at Panchkula in which all the four have been slapped with charges under Indian Penal Code, Explosive Substances Act, Arms Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Besides Azhar, his brother Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar and two handlers — Shahid Latif and Kashif Jan — have been named in the exhaustive charge sheet. While Interpol Red Corner Notice against three has been issued, the same was pending against Jan, the NIA said.

Heart of Asia declaration which named Pak-based terror outfits LeT, JeM was unanimous: Sartaj Aziz

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The declaration adopted at the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference, which named Pakistan-based terror outfits LeT and JeM, was unanimous, said Sartaj Aziz, advisor to the country’s Prime Minister, who attended the meet in Amritsar.On his return home, Aziz sought to play down its significance by highlighting that other groups were also mentioned in the declaration along with Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, the terror groups blamed for attacks in India.Addressing a press conference, he said the emphasis of the conference was on tackling all regional outfits to stamp down militancy. HOA is a platform for discussing reconstruction of the trouble-torn Afghanistan.The HoA declaration expressed serious concern over gravity of the security situation in Afghanistan and in many parts of the region, holding that united efforts are required to contain terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e- Mohammad, Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Al Qaida, IS and its affiliates, TTP, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Jundullah and other foreign terrorist groups.Aziz said the declaration was unanimous and not only Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad were mentioned but several groups were named.”We are not under pressure to deal with militancy. It is not true as we are already doing it in our own interest,” he said.”I put forward the objective situation in my statement. I said that we need holistic approach, as there are different groups and foreign elements. Afghanistan is complex and needs careful handling,” Aziz said.He also defended the Pakistan government’s decision to attend the HoA conference.”It was good decision to attend HoA. It was good to attend multilateral forum…to show solidarity with Afghanistan. If we had boycotted, then India would say that first they expelled Pakistan from SAARC and now from HoA,” he said.Aziz also said that on the sidelines of the conclave he met Iranian foreign minister Jawad Zarif, foreign minister of Turkmenistan and Chinese assistant foreign minister.To a question, he said India had restricted movements of the Pakistani delegation.”Our interactions were not structured but overall there were constructive,” he said.

There was no meeting: India rejects Pak claims about Doval-Aziz interaction

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Pakistani Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had a brief interaction here last night, amid intense strain in Indo-Pak ties in the wake of Nagrota terror strike and intensified cross-border firing in Jammu and Kashmir.Aziz and Doval had a short informal chat after Foreign Ministers of five countries called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi last night in a group. The call on by the foreign ministers preceded an official dinner attended by representatives of almost all countries participating in the Heart of Asia (HoA) conference here. While Indian sources said Aziz and Doval “had a stroll for about 100 feet” at the venue of the dinner ‘Sada Pind’, a heritage village, Pakistani officials maintained that they had a “meeting”. However, it is not known what transpired during their conversation. When asked, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup only said, “There was no meeting”.Aziz arrived here last night to attend HoA conference amid speculation on whether the two sides will have bilateral talks on the sidelines of the conclave to break the ice in ties. During the dinner, Aziz exchanged pleasantries with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Earlier, in a goodwill gesture, Aziz sent a bouquet to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj yesterday, extending his “sincere good wishes for her full and speedy recovery” from illness.Sawaraj and Aziz had held a meeting during last year’s HoA meet in Islamabad during which both countries had agreed to start ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’ that was to cover all outstanding issues.The resumption of the dialogue could, however, not take place due to the Pathankot terror attack in January this year and subsequent terror strike involving Pakistan-based terrorists. Earlier this week, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit had said Pakistan was willing for unconditional resumption of dialogue if India was ready.India had already made it clear that it will never accept continuing cross border terrorism as the ‘new normal’ in bilateral ties with Pakistan while asserting that talks cannot take place in an atmosphere of “continued terror”.Tensions between the two countries escalated after the cross border terror attack on an army base in Nagrota in Jammu.

Nagrota attack as shameful as 26/11, proves that surgical strikes can’t end cross-border terrorism: Chidambaram

New Delhi: Former Home Minister P Chidambaram has said the recent Nagrota attack is as “shameful” as the 2008 Mumbai carnage and has “disproved” the belief that surgical strikes can end cross-border terrorism.

Speaking at the launch of former National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon’s book, titled “Choices:Inside the making of India’s foreign policy’, Chidambaram said there was no “unified command” at the level of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

“What happened at Nagrota is just as shameful as what happened in Mumbai. The cross-border, cross-LoC action will not prevent Pakistan-based terrorist groups from attacking Indian installations and camps,” he said last night.

“The strikes restore balance at the border. It sends a signal to Pakistan that if you can do it we can do it. But to imagine that surgical strike will put an end to cross-border action, that has been disproved by what has happened in Nagrota,” he said.

Former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram. PTI

Former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram. PTI

He claimed that there was “no coherence” at the level of MHA and attributed it to discontinuation of a “good practice”.

“I think the practice of having a Home Minister, home secretary, the special secretary, the DIB, the director RAW and NSA meet every day was a good practice. The practice has stopped. That is why there is no coherence, no coordination, no unified command at the level of home affairs,” he said.

Noting that engaging Pakistan is the “only answer” that India has, Chidambaram said the present government started at one extreme and has now swung to another extreme.

“The first extreme was over-enthusiasm and the second is their own making. Eventually you have to live with your neighbours. The only answer is to engage Pakistan through trade, cultural exchanges or people to people exchanges,” he said.

About surgical strikes, Chidambaram said the ownership should have been left to the army.

“First, the ownership should have been left to the army like we have in the past. Second, we should not make statements like ‘Pakistan called us yesterday and begged us to stop’ or make statements like ‘I will gouge their eyes’. These statements make us a laughing stock.

“Our cross-border strikes do not deter Pakistan sufficiently. There are other options that can be explored. Going public about surgical strikes limits your options,” he said at the launch which was also attended by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He said though India’s response to 26/11 attacks was “extremely poor”, it gained “enormously” by choosing not to retaliate militarily.

“Our capacity to respond was extremely poor. It took us three to four days to clear three to four terrorists holed up in a hotel. Retaliation was not an option. Neither desirable nor feasible at that point of time.

“India gained enormously by not retaliating. By the time the UPA stepped down, Pakistan had been virtually isolated… What we now witness are daring attacks on Army camps… One must measure the efficacy of a policy by its outcomes. The ceasefire along the LoC did produce an outcome,” Chidambaram said.

About the deteriorating security situation in Kashmir, he said his government’s policies brought several years of “relative peace and tranquillity” in the Valley, but “all that lie shattered today”.

“Origin of this decline is the completely unethical, unacceptable coalition between two parties that were bitterly opposed to each other. That is the greatest provocation in the Valley. As long as that unethical combination remains, I can’t see any way forward in Kashmir,” he said.

First Published On : Dec 3, 2016 15:35 IST

Nagrota terrorists were in India for a week

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Post the Nagrota attack in Jammu, where seven Army men were killed on Tuesday, an assessment carried out by intelligence agencies reveals alarming findings. Intelligence officials believe that the terrorists had not only been in Indian territory for over a week, but also had the support of freshly recruited local militants.Officials say that this was made clear by the perfectly fitting police uniforms worn by the terrorists. Also, the truck used by them and the reconnaissance mission carried out before the terror strike indicates that the three terrorists were not part of a fresh infiltration, according to a preliminary report by the Army.Intelligence sleuths are also probing if the weapons used by the terrorists were handed over to them by local aides. There has been a sharp increase in arms snatching during the local unrest in the Valley in the last four months following the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8. According to estimates, over 100 weapons have been snatched during the recent turmoil.Three terrorists were gunned down after the day-long encounter on Tuesday, in which sixteen hostages—including 12 soldiers, two women and two children were safely rescued—but seven army personnel, including two majors, lost their lives.”It appears that the terrorists have spent considerable time in Indian territory and were provided logistics and help by locals,” said an Army official.”They seemed to be well-prepared and had an idea of their target,” he added.With intelligence reports constantly indicating an increase in local recruitment following the unrest in J&K, local assistance to Pakistani terrorists has alarmed security forces. Sources said there was prior intelligence about a week back that Pakistan-based terrorists would target military establishments, especially in Jammu.According to a recent review by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the number of locals joining the outfits could go over 150 this year. “Last year, around 80 young men joined the terror ranks but we expect this to double by the end of the year,” said a top intelligence official.The three terrorists were carrying AK-47 rifles, four under barrel grenade launchers, Japanese-made Icom radio sets, 15-16 loaded magazines, and a huge cache of medicines with Pakistani markings.While the Army has gunned down over 140 terrorists this year, there has also been a sharp increase in casualties. There have been 67 Army casualties in J&K till date this year. Out of this, 24 Army men have died in the last two months after the Army launched surgical strikes destroying terror camps across the Line of Control. In 2015, there were just 33 army casualties in J&K.On September 18, Indian Army personnel were killed in Uri after which the surgical strikes were planned. Since then there has been frequent skirmishes in the border areas with heavy shelling and firing from both sides.Following a series of attacks on defence installations, the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, N N Vohra, on Wednesday, asked all security forces, commanders, and the government to enhance surveillance and immediately review security operations in all important installations.After being briefed about the attacks by Pakistani terrorists at Ramgarh and Nagrota on Tuesday, the Governor spoke with the Northern Army Commander Lt Gen D S Hooda, J&K DGP K Rajendra, GOC XVI Corps Lt Gen A K Sharma, GOC 26 Div Maj Gen S Sharma and IG BSF (Jammu Frontier) DK Upadhyaya.

Home Ministry claims Pathankot militants entered from Punjab, BSF says theory still a conjecture

New Delhi: The BSF on Wednesday said the exact area from where terrorists who attacked the Pathankot IAF base infiltrated is still a matter of “conjecture” and that there was no direct evidence of a breach in the security system along the Indo-Pak border.

Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir had on Tuesday said in a written reply in Lok Sabha that “four Pakistan-based terrorists entered Punjab via Janial road, Dhusi turn, near Ravi river bridge, Gulpur Simli village-Akalgarh and attacked airforce station in Pathankot.”

Pathankot air base. AFPPathankot air base. AFP

Pathankot air base. AFP

Border Security Force chief KK Sharma said there are many “variables” on the border, marked by riverine gaps and other unguarded patches and Pathankot could be one of those. “That is still a matter of conjecture. It is suspected they came from this area (as mentioned in the Minister’s reply)… But there is no direct evidence of a breach (of the border fence),” he said.

The DG added that due to riverine areas and other gaps in the undulating terrain on the border, it is “not possible to erect a fence” everywhere.

Putting an end to speculation about the number of terrorists involved in the Pathankot attack, Ahir’s statement made it clear that only four militants had entered the airforce station to carry out the strike.

The answer was seen as contrary to a statement made by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on 4 March. He had said that charred remains, apart from four bodies of terrorists, were found at the debris after security forces searched the Pathankot airforce station when the operation ended.

Talking about the Indo-Bangla border, the DG said non-lethal weapons given to BSF troops will “stay” as both the sides are determined to reduce the number of deaths on the frontier.

He said the incidents of smuggling of fake Indian currency notes along the border, especially in the notorious Malda area, has “drastically” gone down post demonetisation.

Asked if hostilities could increase in the wake of new Pakistan Army chief taking over, he said it was a “million dollar question” to him too.

Sharma added that the 2.5-lakh personnel strong force is running a special financial literacy programme for its troops so that they can save and invest better for their future.

First Published On : Nov 30, 2016 20:38 IST

Don’t mistake Pakistan’s ‘restraint’ for weakness: Raheel Sharif to India

Islamabad: Pakistan’s outgoing military chief warned India Tuesday it would be dangerous to mistake his country’s “restraint” over recent tensions in disputed Kashmir for weakness, as he handed over power to his successor.

The hugely popular General Raheel Sharif spoke at a colourful ceremony welcoming the incoming chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at a stadium at army headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, adjacent to the capital Islamabad.

File image of Raheel Sharif. ReutersFile image of Raheel Sharif. Reuters

File image of Raheel Sharif. Reuters

“Unfortunately, in recent months, increasing state terrorism in (Indian) occupied Kashmir, and India’s aggressive steps have put the region’s peace in danger,” Sharif said.

“I want to make it clear to India that considering our policy of restraint a weakness would be dangerous for her,” he said to applause.

“This is reality, that in South Asia, lasting peace and progress is impossible without solution of the Kashmir issue. For that, international community’s special attention is necessary,” he continued.

Tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours India and Pakistan have spiralled following a deadly assault on an Indian army base in September that New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

India said it had responded to the September attack by carrying out “surgical strikes” across the heavily militarised border, sparking fury from Islamabad, which denied the strikes took place.

There have been repeated incidents of cross-border shellings and gunfire from both sides since, claiming the lives of dozens of people, including civilians.

Sharif spoke Tuesday as Indian police said armed militants had launched a fresh attack near the border with Pakistan, killing two soldiers.

Officials said the attack took place in Nagrota in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, which borders Pakistan and has seen repeated outbreaks of cross-border firing in recent weeks, and blamed it on “terrorists”.

Pakistan on Saturday named Bajwa as its new military chief as Sharif stepped down from a three-year tenure, winning praise for respecting democracy even as many Pakistanis called for him to extend his term.

Military bands played as uniformed soldiers marched at the ceremony Tuesday, where the outgoing chief gives his wooden cane to his successor, symbolising the handover of power.

The Pakistani military plays an outsize role in national life, offering the armed reassurance against arch-rival India that many Pakistanis see as vital to their identity.

Kashmir is one of the world’s most dangerous flashpoints, bitterly divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947 but claimed in full by both. The nuclear powers have already fought two wars over the mountainous region.

First Published On : Nov 29, 2016 13:32 IST

Will ‘positively consider’ if India proposes talks on Heart of Asia sidelines: Abdul Basit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Ahead of a visit by its Foreign Advisor Sartaj Aziz’s to India to attend Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar, Pakistan on Monday said it will “positively consider” if India, as a host, proposed a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the forum.However, none of the two has approached each other in this regard, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said. “As a host, if India approaches us with a proposal (for talks on the sidelines), Pakistan will positively consider it,” Basit told Aaj Tak news channel.Aziz’s would be the first high-level visit from Pakistan after the announcement of Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD) in December last year which never took off in the wake of terror strikes, including the Pathankot airbase attack by Pakistan-based terror groups in January, and subsequent incidents which led to intense tension between the two countries. India has been non-committal about holding bilateral talks with Aziz but has made it clear that “talks and terror cannot go hand in hand”.

UK to tell Pakistan to rein in terror outfits responsible for 26/11 Mumbai strikes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An anxious British Government has decided to tell Pakistan that it will have to rein in terror outfits like the LeT and the JuD who have been held responsible for terror attacks in India and elsewhere and that Islamabad would have to do more to reduce threats to the UK and the world from terrorists based on its soil.This stern message is likely to be conveyed by Prime Minister Theresa May, when she undertakes an official visit to Pakistan sometime in the early part of 2017, and must be seen in the context of the terror strikes launched in the city of Mumbai in the last week of November 2008.Those series of 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks by ten terrorists affiliated to the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), which lasted over four days across Mumbai, claimed the lives of 164 people, including one Briton, six Americans and 12 Europeans, and left another 308 injured.What that horrific tragedy also did was it trained global attention on the activities of the LeT, which till then was focused only on Kashmir.In the eight years since this terror incident, the LeT’s ambitions and reach have extended to the UK, as is evident from the speeches of its founder Hafiz Saeed, who now openly threatens the destruction of the UK.London, according to sources, seems unconvinced about Islamabad’s past promises given to then Home Secretary Theresa May of full bilateral cooperation with the UK on counter-terrorism, immigration, serious crimes and narcotics.There is a view that not much has changed insofar as Islamic extremists spreading their terror mayhem from Pakistan.In fact, they said, that any honest observer of Pakistan would agree that the situation there has only worsened, with these elements not only increasing their spread and influence within the country, but also outside, particularly in the UK.They claimed that there is no sense of calm within the UK when it comes to grappling with the unsettling face of Islamic extremism within the country.Prime Minister May, according to these informed sources, is most likely to flag on priority her government’s concerns of LeT fingerprints being discovered in the UK.British objections to a UN-proscribed terrorist like Hafiz Saeed being allowed by authorities in Pakistan to hold public rallies and openly threaten destruction of the UK and United States are likely to be aggressively asserted, the sources said.They also claimed that with the help of British Pakistanis, Pakistan-based terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and its front organisation the Jamat-ut-Dawa, are declared proscribed groups as per the UK Terrorism Act 2000 of the UK.With them making deep inroads in the country, Prime Minister May can be expected to firmly tell Pakistan to take steps to neutralise these terror elements operating from its soil, or London would be constrained to review engagement with Islamabad.6

Yasin Bhatkal’s cousin charged by NIA for channelising funds for conducting terror activities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The NIA has charged an alleged key Indian Mujahideen operative Abdul Wahid Siddibapa, who was arrested in Delhi in May this year, with channelising funds from Pakistan into India via Dubai for conducting terror activities in the country. The probe agency made the submission in its charge sheet filed before Special Judge Rakesh Pandit. “During investigation, the role and involvement of the accused has been established as a channeliser of the funds received from IM operatives in Pakistan via Dubai for use by IM operatives based in India for conducting terror activities,” the charge sheet said.It added that the money was also regularly sent to the IM operatives lodged in jails and their families besides its absconding activists. “Investigation has disclosed that the IM had extensively used Hawala channel for providing funds to its cadres in India,” it said.The charge sheet said, “From the probe, it is established that accused, as a member of proscribed terrorist organisation IM, entered into criminal conspiracy along with other co-operatives for commission of terror acts against Indian government, with intent to threaten unity, integrity, security and sovereignty of India and with intent to strike terror in people of India by causing death and injuries of people, and loss, damage and destruction of property.” “The accused voluntarily and actively participated in the conspiracy and made efforts to wage terror activities with intent to support and strengthen the conspiracy hatched by IM operatives.”The accused assisted the terror activities by means of channelising the requisite funds meant for survival of the IM operatives and for the procurement of material required for affecting destruction with intent to strike terror in India, by causing death/injuries to persons and cause loss/damage to the property,” the final report said.32-year-old Siddibapa, a resident of Bhatkal in Karnataka and a cousin of Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, was held at the IGI Airport here on May 20 after he landed from Dubai. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had earlier filed two charge sheets in the case against several other accused including Yasin Bhatkal. The final report also said that the accused was strongly radicalised and was of the “jihadi mind” as he used to support the subversive activities carried out by the IM operatives at different places in India. According to NIA’s FIR lodged in September 2012, members of IM, in association with their sleeper cells based in the country and outside, were conspiring to commit terror acts by making preparations for targeting various important places in India, especially in Delhi, by causing bomb blasts with the active aid and support from their Pakistan-based activists and associates which amounted to waging war against India.The court had on November 6, 2013, issued a non-bailable warrant against Siddibapa, which was extended from time to time to time, following which a Red Corner Notice was issued against him on December 3, 2013. The charge sheet was filed against him under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC, read with several sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz to attend Heart of Asia Conference in India

Islamabad: Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, said that he would travel to India to attend the Heart of Asia Conference in December, asserting that his visit could be a “good opportunity” to “defuse the tension” between India and Pakistan.

File photo of Sartaj Aziz. Reuters

File photo of Sartaj Aziz. Reuters

The conference is scheduled to be held in India on 3 December in Amritsar.

Aziz would be the first senior Pakistani official to visit India since the 18 September Uri attack, blamed on Pakistan-based militants, that led India to pull out of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Summit in Pakistan in November.

“Unlike India, that had sabotaged Saarc summit in Pakistan by pulling out, Pakistan will respond by participating in the Heart of Asia being held in India,” Aziz told the media.

“It’s a good opportunity to defuse the tension,” PTV quoted Aziz as saying.

Dawn reported that Aziz also said he himself will participate in the conference and will not repeat India’s blunder where it boycotted the Saarc Summit.

Aziz, however, said it has not been confirmed yet whether he will meet his Indian counterpart on the sidelines of the conference or not.

The adviser also said that the US president-elect Donald Trump would deserve a Nobel prize if he intervenes and succeeds in resolving the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan.

“Trump would deserve Nobel prize if he helps resolve Kashmir dispute,” he said on a lighter note while responding to a question.

First Published On : Nov 16, 2016 10:51 IST

UN Chief urges India, Pak to resolve issues through dialogue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Expressing his concerns over heightened Pakistan-India tensions at the Line of Control (LoC), United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged the two nuclear-armed neighbours to resolve all their outstanding issues through dialogue. The Dawn quoted UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric as saying in a media briefing, “United Nations is keeping vigil eye on escalation in tensions at LoC.””Ban Ki-moon has appealed Pakistan and India to resolve their all outstanding issues through dialogues,” the spokesman added.Tensions have been prevailing between the two sides following the Uri terror attack in which 18 Indian soldiers were killed at an army base in Uri, J&K.Delhi had blamed Pakistan-based militants for the attacks, however, the allegations were denied by Pakistan.In a major fallout, the two countries had expelled each others’ diplomats last week and named a number of others as being involved in espionage.

Ahead of NSG meet, China refuses to budge on India’s bid

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of this week’s NSG meet in Vienna, China stuck to its guns on Monday saying there was “no change” in its stand on India’s membership bid which it has indicated would be considered only after rules for entry of non-NPT countries are finalised by the elite group. “This Friday in Vienna a plenary session of the NSG will be held. Our position is subject to no change as of date,” Lu Kang, Spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told a media briefing here. Referring to the November 4 meeting of the National Security Advisors (NSAs) of India and China in Hyderabad, Lu said China is in close contact with relevant parties including India and have been having constructive dialogue and coordination on this issue. NSA Ajit Doval had held talks with Chinese counterpart and State Councillor Yang Jiechi in Hyderabad during which the issue had reportedly figured.The talks were held ahead of the meeting of the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in Vienna on November 11-12, where according to media reports the group could discuss the two-stage process to admit new members who have not signed nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).India and Pakistan which have applied for NSG membership have not signed the NPT. Last week, China, after the second round talks with India on its entry into the NSG, had said that it will first seek a solution to admit all countries who have not signed NPT and then discuss India’s specific application. “On India’s accession to the NSG, I can tell you that China’s position is very clear and consistent” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying had said. “We will seek a solution that applies to all Non-NPT countries and then we will discuss the specific application of relevant non-NPT country,” she had said. The issue had also been discussed in the talks here between Joint Secretary (Disarmament and International Security) Amandeep Singh Gill and his Chinese counterpart Wang Qun on October 31. That meeting was held ahead of Doval and Yang meeting in Hyderabad.China has also been holding simultaneous talks with Pakistan on its admission into the NSG. Officials say that the focus now shifts on the kind of modalities being worked out by NSG which can accommodate India, whose non-proliferation record is regarded positive by a majority of the group’s members contrary to Pakistan’s record in nuclear proliferation. About the outcome of Doval and Yang meeting at Hyderabad, Kang said the two officials exchanged views on bilateral as well as regional and international issues of common interest.Asked whether India’s concerns over China blocking UN ban on Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar, Lu said they discussed issues that have “cropped up” in bilateral relations. They agreed to maintain contact, and control and manage relevant issues to ensure steady development of bilateral relations, he said.

India channel NDTV to be taken off air for a day over terror coverage

An Indian channel will be taken off air for a day as a penalty for its coverage of an attack on an air force base.

Narendra Modi, John Key discuss terrorism, look to adopt CCIT soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi briefed his Kiwi counterpart John Key on Wednesday about terrorism emanating from Pakistan and the recent Uri attack after which the two sides sought elimination of terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disruption of terrorist networks and their financing, and a halt to cross-border terrorism.According to official sources, Modi “forcefully” conveyed India’s concerns over cross-border terrorism and last month’s Uri attack which was carried out by Pakistan-based terrorists killing 19 jawans. “Terrorism remains one of the greatest challenges to global peace and security. Today, the financial, logistical and information networks of terror span the entire globe. The barriers of geography do not safeguard against the threat of radicalisation and terrorism. Nations who believe in humanity need to coordinate their actions and policies to counter this threat.””Prime Minister Key and I have agreed to strengthen our security and intelligence cooperation against terrorism and radicalisation, including in the domain of cyber security,” Modi said at a joint media event with Key.A joint statement issued after the talks said the two Prime Ministers agreed to enhance cooperation, bilaterally as well as in the framework of UN and especially in 1267 Committee, to combat the full spectrum of terrorist threats in all their forms and manifestations. “They called for eliminating terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and their financing, and stopping cross-border terrorism.”Both sides called for the early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) that would contribute to the further strengthening of the international counter-terrorism legal framework,” it said. The two Prime Ministers also pledged to continue the close coordination between the two countries on issues of mutual interest during and beyond New Zealand’s UNSC term, including terrorism sanctions, peacekeeping policy and UNSC reform, the statement added.New Zealand also welcomed India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime, which would strengthen global non- proliferation objectives. Asserting that his government was committed to relations with India, Key said the bilateral partnership was growing in several areas including cyber security and trade. “Both Prime Minister Modi and I underlined a strong intent in advancing nuclear disarmament and non- proliferation,” Key added.The two leaders also underlined the fact that India and New Zealand are both maritime nations with a strong interest in the Asia-Pacific and Indo-Pacific regions being stable and prosperous, including by ensuring the safety and security of sea lanes and freedom of navigation.Accordingly, they agreed to further strengthen the political, defence and security relationship and to drive this enhanced political-security relationship, the two Prime Ministers agreed that the sides establish a Bilateral Ministerial Dialogue through annual meetings, either in India, New Zealand or on the margins of regional or global gatherings.

Jammu & Kashmir: Eight-fold surge in terror infiltrations across LoC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It’s been a tough year for Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir, as they have been battling an eight-time jump in terrorist infiltrations. Apart from this shocking statistic, officials say that the rising number of cases of arson by raging mobs suggests a rise in local recruitment this year.According to officials, the good news is that ‘surgical strikes’ have brought cheer at a time when infiltration is at an all-time high with 87 cases reported this year, while the tally last year was 10.“Ceasefire violations have taken place in hundreds for the last five-six years… The only difference is that if they do it now, we give a befitting reply,” said Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at an event in Ahmedabad on Monday. However, officials warn that the situation is only going to get worse from here with Pakistan-based terrorists planning retaliation. According to ground intelligence and intercepts, more men have been pumped in by terror groups to strike at Indian forces. This has kept the forces on its toes with the terrorists kills also doubling. Sources said with more infiltration, even the numbers of kills have increased. Last year, in the corresponding period, around 70 terrorists were gunned down, while the tally this year has reached 128. While the Army has killed 120 terrorists, the other operations were carried out by local police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).Clearly, the surgical strikes destroying terror launchpads have not deterred Pakistani-based terrorists from planning more strikes. “The infiltration attempts are still continuing,” said a government official.Sources said a number of infiltrations have occurred along the LoC and it seems the terrorists are going back to the old routes used for penetrating into Indian territory. In 2013 and 2014, there had been increased infiltration from new routes along the International Border (IB).The assessment of infiltrations increasing is based on ground intelligence from civilians, intercepts and evidence of fence-cutting in some areas.The recent trend of the increasing cases of arson has been a cause of worry for the forces. Around 100 arms were looted by raging mobs protesting against the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen local commander Burhan Wani.Sources said this is also an indication that local terrorist recruitment is happening as arms are needed for them.Since Wani’s killing in July, mass protests triggered turmoil in the state with over 80 deaths and thousands wounded over the last three months. Army sources said that since then operations in South Kashmir have taken a hit.Intelligence inputs also indicate that after India’s surgical strikes, the Pakistani Army has carried out “precautionary deployment” all along the LoC, as they fear another round of strikes from Indian forces.“Soon after our raids, they have increased deployment in areas they consider vulnerable. Precautionary deployment is roughly 25 percent of a full mobilisation aimed to plug the gaps,” said an intelligence officer.Fears of local recruitment by Pakistan-based terror groups, has also alarmed security forces. It is estimated that around 100 youths have gone missing in the last three months.

Arnab Goswami to get Y-category security after receiving threats from Pak-based terror groups

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Television journalist Arnab Goswami is set to be provided Y-category security by the government after he received threats from ‘Pakistan-based terror groups’. The editor-in-chief of Times Now will get round-the-clock protection from 20 guards including two personal security officers, reported Hindustan Times.A home ministry official told HT: “Goswami is being given security on the basis of a threat-perception analysis by the IB. We will go by the IB recommendation. He faces threats from Pakistan-based terrorist groups due to his comments against them on Times Now.”The Maharashtra police is likely to handle his security since he’s based in Mumbai. Goswami isn’t the only journalist to be provided security cover from the centre. Journalists like Sudhir Chaudhary, Umesh Kumar and Ashwini Chopra also are provided with security.

Uri attack: Terrorists scaled Line of Control fence using ladder, say Army officials

Uri/New Delhi: The four Pakistani terrorists, who killed 19 soldiers in one of the the bloodiest attacks on an army camp in Uri last month, had used a ladder to scale the electrified fence at the LoC.

Investigation carried out by the army to identify the infiltration route of the four terrorists led it to conclude that a ladder was used near Salamabad nallah, official sources said.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The army officials said that one of the four, who mounted the brazen attack in Uri, about 102 km from Srinagar, had infiltrated using the gaps along the fence near Salamabad nallah and erected a ladder on the Indian side of the fence, while the other three had a ladder on their side. The two ladders were connected like a pedestrian bridge.

The sources said it was difficult for all the four to infiltrate through the gap used by the first terrorist as each one of them was carrying heavy rucksacks filled with ammunition, weapons and eatables. It would have taken them a lot of time to cross the fence at grave risk to their lives as army teams, which routinely patrol the area, could have spotted them.

After the four infiltrated into India, the ladder, carried by the first terrorist, was handed over back to the two guides — Mohd Kabir Awan and Basharat — who accompanied them up to the LoC, sources said, adding it was done to ensure there were no tell-tale signs.

The army is conducting an enquiry at Gohallan and adjoining village Jablah as they suspect the terrorists might have taken shelter there for a day before launching the deadly attack on 18 September which left 19 army personnel dead and a large quantity of arms and ammunition destroyed.

The first incident of terrorists using ladders to cross the fence was reported in Machil sector of North Kashmir earlier this year.

The army has launched an internal inquiry into the incident and removed Uri Brigade commander K Soma Shanker. Preliminary investigations suggested the terrorists had entered the area at least a day before mounting the brazen assault.

The inquiry, which will be completed in a time-bound manner, will also suggest measures to prevent such attacks in future. Pakistan-based groups were now indulging more in “shallow infiltration” during which the terrorists, after crossing the LoC, target the first available army camp or security establishment.

During the investigation it was found that the terrorists had sneaked into the army camp by cutting the perimeter fencing of the highly-guarded installation at one place.

In an indication that the terrorists were well aware of the layout of the base close to the LoC, the assailants had locked the kitchen and store from outside to prevent the soldiers present inside from leaving before setting the structures on fire, they said.

The investigators also said the four terrorists might have sneaked in from PoK on the intervening night of 16/17 September and stayed put at village Sukhdar, overlooking the brigade headquarter.

Sukhdar village is located at a vantage point allowing an unhindered view of the army base and movement of personnel inside it.

LeT operative Bahadur Ali’s judicial custody extended till Oct 22

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Patiala House Court on Friday extended the judicial custody of Bahadur Ali alias ‘Saifullah’, a Pakistani national allegedly working for terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, till October 22. Earlier in September, a special court had extended his judicial custody till October 14. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had earlier cited Ali’s confessional video to claim that the unrest in the Kashmir Valley was being orchestrated by Pakistan-based LeT which had played a major role in fuelling the unrest, triggered by the encounter killing of a militant leader. Ali, a fourth-class dropout, who hails from Jahama village of Raiwind in Lahore, was arrested from village Yahama in Mawar area of Qalamabad, Handwara, in North Kashmir on July 25. The army had claimed to have recovered three AK-47 rifles, two pistols and Indian Rs 23,000 from his possession. According to NIA, Ali was trained at a LeT camp in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) to carry out various activities, including map reading and operating GPS devices.

Are missing Kashmiri youths becoming jihadis?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An estimated 100 young men have gone missing from their homes in various parts of the Kashmir Valley over the last three months. According to a secret internal report by security agencies, following the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander Burhan Wani in July this year, 80-100 youth are reportedly untraceable.Security agencies believe that these men may have been part of a mass recruitment drive by terrorist outfits. A review done by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) also indicated that the recruitment of local youth was likely to increase in the coming months.”We expect a big surge in local recruitment in the next few days. It’s difficult to give an accurate number as of now, but in the last three months, the numbers have gone up considerably,” a top security official told DNA.
ALSO READ Kashmir tense as Hizbul Mujahideen poster boy Burhan Wani killedSources in the security establishment said with the local armed movement gathering momentum, security forces and particularly the Army have been asked to carry out area domination exercises in parts of the state considered especially prone to terrorist activity. Areas and neighbourhoods in south Kashmir have been identified as potential recruitment hubs which are now under watch.AT A GLANCEClashes between raging stone pelting protestors and security forces have killed more than 80 people and left thousands wounded in the Valley.Figures show just how alarming the situation in the Valley has become. Last year, security agencies estimated that 80 Kashmiri youth had joined the terror ranks.This year, till July, before Wani’s death, only 35 Kashmiri youth had been recruited.Post Wani’s death, agencies say the number of radicalised Kashmiri youth has risen to 90, out of the total number of 145 militants in the Valley.”Before Wani’s killing around 35 locals had taken up arms this year. We had expected the numbers to be low. But now everything has changed in the last three months and the number of militants are likely to go well over 100 this year,” said an official.
ALSO READ Latest video of new Hizbul Mujahideen commander emerges in KashmirOfficials privy to the situation say that it is no surprise then that Pakistan-based terror outfits are taking advantage of the situation and luring local men. Just like Wani who soon became the posterboy of indigenous militancy in the conflict hit state, another rung of young men are now being prepared to be showcased as local militants.The rise in local militants is alarming as it can help Pakistani-based terrorists to carry out attack on security forces with greater ease. “Not only do the local recruits gather support for an armed insurgency but also play a crucial role in assisting fidayeens who infiltrate from Pakistan to carry out terror strikes,” says a security official.
ALSO READ Who is Burhan Wani? All you need to know about the Hizbul Mujahideen poster boyIt’s not the first time that recent events have caused Kashmiri youth to pick up the gun. In 2013, the hanging of Afzal Guru, convicted for the Parliament attack of 2001, became a catalyst for local youth in the state to join terror groups.The Burhan Wani killing could well just be another catalyst for an even bigger indigenous militant movement against Indian security forces.

India’s decision to seal Pak border irrational: Chinese experts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s move to completely seal its border with Pakistan was a ” very irrational decision” and would further complicate India-China relations considering Beijing’s “all-weather” strategic ties with Islamabad, a state media report on Tuesday quoted leading experts as saying.”India is making a very irrational decision, since no exhaustive investigation has been conducted after the Uri incident, and no evidence proves Pakistan is behind the attack,” the Global Times quoted Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow from the official thinktank Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy, as saying. Hu was commenting on Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s announcement on Friday that the 3,323-km-long border between India and Pakistan would be “completely sealed” by December 2018. A “completely sealed” border would further hinder the already scarce border trade and talks between the two countries, Hu said. Wang Dehua, director of the Institute for Southern and Central Asian Studies at the Shanghai Municipal Centre for International Studies, said that a sealed border would only disrupt peace efforts made by the two sides. “The country’s decision reflects its Cold War mentality, and would only cause deeper hatred among residents living in Indian- and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir,” Hu added. Since Pakistan is China’s “all-weather” strategic partner, India’s decision would make China-Pakistan-India relations more complicated, Hu said. But he said a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute is in the interest of China’s homeland security, especially its western regions. Their hardline comments come ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India this week to take part in the BRICS Summit in Goa during which he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This will be their second meeting in two months. The two met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou last month.Yesterday, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong defended China’s “technical hold” in the UN on a ban on Masood Azhar, the head of Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Muhammad. “China is opposed to all forms of terrorism. There should be no double standards on counter terrorism. Nor should one pursue own political gains in the name of counter terrorism,” he had said indirectly accusing India.

Govt reduced Indian army’s disability pension while jawans destroyed terror launchpads across LoC: Report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian government reportedly reduced the Indian Army’s disability pensions while the security forces were destroying terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) on September 28.According to Business Standard’s report, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) issued a letter on September 30 that dramatically reduced pensions for soldiers invalided out from the army after being crippled by battle injuries.The report said that the disability pension has been slashed by Rs 18,000 a month. A young soldier invalided out of service would see his monthly pension slashed from Rs 45,200 to just Rs 27,200.The report added that majors with 10 years of service had been hit even harder as their pension for 100% disability was slashed by over Rs 70,000 a month.Speaking to the daily, a top serving general expressed disappointment and said,”Shocked is an understatement to describe what we feel. Instead of joining us in celebrating the strikes, the MoD has stabbed us in the back.”The Army has been informed about the changes through a draft gazette notification issued by the “Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare” on September 30.Seven terror launch pads across the LoC were targeted by the Indian Army on the night of September 28 in a nearly five-hour-long operation during which heli-borne and ground forces were deployed.The announcement of the strikes came 11 days after the attack by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad on an Indian army camp in Uri in Kashmir.

No middle path for China on Masood Azhar, says BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said Sunday that terrorism and bilateral relations cannot go hand in hand, and thus, China will have to choose between India and Pakistan. The BJP made this comment after Beijing tried to defend its second technical hold to prevent a United Nations ban on Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar.”There is no middle path in the fight against terrorism and China will have to decide which side it is on. It will have to make up its mind whether it is going to side with terrorism just because they want to strengthen their relations with a particular country, and, how far is that going to serve humanity, and, how far is that going to serve Indo-China relations,” BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said.On October 1, China had extended its veto on India’s move in the United Nations to blacklist Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar and with this, Beijing for the second time prevented India’s efforts. China defending its move yesterday said that there were “different views” on India’s application and that its move will allow more time for the “relevant parties” to have consultations even when China is the lone member among the 15-member UNSC to oppose the ban on Azhar.

Surgical Strikes: Amid demand for proof, report says bodies of those killed taken away on trucks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid ongoing uproar over the demand of proof by leaders of various political parties on the surgical strikes conducted by the security forces across the Line of Control (LoC), a report on Wednesday said that the bodies of those killed in clashes were loaded onto trucks for secret burials, corroborating India’s claims that it carried out strikes.According to Indian Express, eyewitness accounts of the strikes on the terror launch pads by people living across the LoC said that the bodies of those killed were loaded onto trucks for secret burials. Corroborating India’s claim, they also said that a brief intense firing took place, which also destroyed makeshift buildings that housed jihadists. The eyewitnesses also provided the details of targeted locations which have not been made public by the government of India and Pakistan.
ALSO READ Political battle overtakes surgical strikes; parties speak in different voices The report also said that an eyewitness said he was told by local residents that five to six bodies were loaded onto a truck early next morning, and possibly transported to the nearest major Lashkar camp at Chalhana.A day ago, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam had questioned surgical strike and said tweeted, “Every Indian wants #SurgicalStrikesAgainstPak but not a fake one to extract just political benefit by #BJP. Politics over national interest.”
ALSO READ Ink attack on Kejriwal in Rajasthan after surgical strike comment The BJP had also hit out at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress party for raising questions. “Mr Kejriwal, you need to know, today you are the headline in Pakistani media. My appeal to Kejriwal would be politics is separate but please don’t do or say anything that will demoralise our armed forces,” he added.Seven terror launch pads across the LoC were targeted by the Indian Army on the night of 28 September in a nearly five-hour-long operation during which heli-borne and ground forces were deployed.
ALSO READ Surgical strike: IAF chief says situation ‘live’, ready for any challengeThe announcement of the strikes came 11 days after the attack by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad on an Indian army camp in Uri in Kashmir, after which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the attackers will not go “unpunished” and that they will not be forgiven. However, Pakistan has rejected India’s claim of a ‘surgical strike’ across the Line of Control (LoC), saying that the incident was ‘cross-border fire’. “There has been no surgical strike by India, instead there had been cross border fire initiated and conducted by India which is existential phenomenon. As per rules of engagement, the same was strongly and befittingly responded by Pakistani troops,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had said in its press release after India announced conducting the strikes.

Pigeon taken into custody in India over note threatening prime minister

Indian police say they have taken a pigeon into custody after it was found carrying a note threatening the prime minister.

Forces giving befitting reply to terror attacks: HM Rajnath Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after militants attacked two adjoining camps of Army and paramilitary in Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said security forces were giving a “befitting reply” to such attempts by Pakistan-based terrorist groups.”Our security forces are giving a befitting reply,” he told reporters here when asked about the attacks on security forces by militants in the state.Singh’s comments came hours after a BSF and adjoining army camps in Baramulla were attacked by heavily armed militants last night.The first major attack on security forces by terrorists came four days after the Indian Army launched surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.Last night’s attack in Baramulla took place exactly a fortnight after terrorists struck at the army brigade headquarters at Uri, 102 kms from here, killing 19 soldiers.The Home Minister is on a two-day visit to Leh and Kargil to interact with a cross-section of people and take their suggestions on resolution of Kashmir issue.Asked about his trip to Ladakh, Singh said he has come to understand the problems of the region by interacting with a cross section of people.”Whatever problems the people face here, we will try to resolve them,” he said.This is the fourth visit of the Home Minister to Jammu and Kashmir ever since the unrest began in the state following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani on July 8.Singh had led an all-party delegation to Srinagar and Jammu on September 4-5.The leaders of various political leaders met over 400 people who came in 50 different delegations representing various sections of society in Srinagar and Jammu.Earlier, the Home Minister had visited Srinagar on August 24-25 and July 23-24.

China continues veto on India’s move to designate Masood Azhar as terrorist by UN

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China on Saturday said its technical hold on India’s move to get Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar designated a terrorist by the United Nations has “been extended”, days before the expiry of the hold.The Chinese technical hold was set to lapse on Monday, and had China not raised further objection, the resolution designating Azhar as a terrorist could stand passed automatically. The hold has been extended for another six months. “The technical hold on India’s listing application submitted to the 1267 committee in March, 2016 has already been extended,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told PTI here.”There are still different views on India’s listing application. The extended technical hold on it will allow more time for the Committee to deliberate on the matter and for relevant parties to have further consultations,” Geng said.On March 31 this year, China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, had blocked India’s move to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed leader and Pathankot attack mastermind under the Sanctions Committee of the Council.China was the only member in the 15-nation UN organ to put a hold on India’s application with all other 14 members of the Council supporting New Delhi’s bid to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban. Geng said the 1267 Committee of the UNSC “organises its work as mandated by relevant resolutions of the Security Council.””China always maintains that on the listing matter, the 1267 Committee should stick to the main principles of objectivity, impartiality and professionalism, base its judgments on solid evidence and decide upon consensus among the members of the Security Council,” he said in a written reply to a question. Following the decision, the hold now has been extended in the midst of India-Pakistan tension over the Uri terrorist attack, which was blamed on the JeM group.China’s technical hold coupled with its move to block India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) cast a shadow on the Sino-India ties. Both the countries have held several rounds of talks on the issues in recent months. China’s move to extend the technical hold comes ahead of the expected meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Goa during the BRICS Summit on October 15-16.In June last year, China had blocked India’s demand for taking action under the Council’s anti-terrorism resolutions against Pakistan for releasing Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zaki-ur-Lakhvi – the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Sources have previously said India is not alone in its bid to get Azhar listed as terrorist as the US, the UK and France had “co-sponsored” the resolution seeking Azhar’s listing.India has repeatedly slammed the UN Sanctions Committee for its failure to designate terrorists, saying that the terror groups are proscribed entities under the Sanctions regime but individuals heading them are not listed. India has slammed the UN sanctions committee for taking a “selective approach” in tackling terrorism when the technical hold was put on its application to include Azhar’s name on the committee’s list of designated terrorists.In April, India had said it finds it “incomprehensible” that while the Pakistan-based JeM was listed in the UNSC Committee as far back as 2001 for its known terror activities and links to the al-Qaeda, the designation of the group’s main leader, financier and motivator has been put on a technical hold.India had submitted a detailed dossier on Azhar and moved the UNSC 1267 Committee following the January 2 attack on an Indian airforce station in Pathankot. In March, India’s submission was considered by the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate for technical aspects of the evidence provided. The technical team then with the support of the US, the UK and France had sent it to all the members.All were told that if there were no objections, the designation will be announced after the expiry of the deadline. However, hours before the deadline, China requested the committee to hold up the banning of the JeM chief.India had said the sanctions committee was taking a “selective approach” in tackling terrorism. India had made a strong call for reform of the “subterranean universe” of the UN Security Council’s sanctions regimes, as it criticised the lack of transparency in their functioning and said that the principles of “anonymity and unanimity” adopted by Council members absolve individual members of accountability.

Home Ministry issues high alert over possible attacks in Punjab, J&K, Rajasthan, Gujarat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre on Friday issued a country-wide alert asking the states to heighten vigil to foil any attempt by Pakistan-based terror groups to carry out attacks amid apprehensions of backlash by terrorists after the surgical strike on their launch pads in PoK.In an advisory, the Home Ministry conveyed to the states that additional forces should be deployed in all sensitive places, strategic installations, markets, religious places and other key places to ensure security, an official source said. Metro cities were particularly asked to be extra vigilant.States touching the border with Pakistan — Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat — were also directed to remain vigilant, sources said. The advisory has been sent in the wake of yesterday’s surgical strike by Indian army in terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Sources said there is high probability that Pakistani agencies may try to use the terror groups to carry out strike in Indian soil to avenge yesterday’s attack.India carried out ‘surgical strikes’ on terror launch pads across LoC on the intervening night of September 28 and 29, inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists and those who are trying to support them.The announcement of the sudden action by the Army was made yesterday by DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, 11 days after the terror strike by Pakistan-based JeM on an Indian Army camp in Uri in Kashmir which left 19 Indian soldiers dead.

India United: Sonia Gandhi backs surgical strike, backs govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Congress president Sonia Gandhi to brief her about the surgical strikes carried out by the Army across LoC. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also met Gandhi, who is recovering from illness, before Swaraj. Gandhi was hospitalized after she fell ill during her roadshow in Varanasi on August 2. In a statement, the Congress chief has said a “strong message” has been sent with the surgical strikes by Army against terror bases across the Line of Control (LoC) and insisted that Pakistan bears a “great responsibility” in the continuing cross-border attacks in India.Union Minister Rajnath Singh chaired an all-party meet to brief the leaders of major political parties on the situation.Congress President Sonia Gandhi today said a “strong message” has been sent with the surgical strikes by Army against terror bases across the Line of Control (LoC) and insisted that Pakistan bears a “great responsibility” in the continuing cross-border attacks in India.Offering the party’s support to the government in the battle against terror, Gandhi said in a statement that “this is a strong message that conveys our country’s resolve to prevent further infiltration and attacks on our security forces and our people”.With the Uri terror attack apparently weighing heavily on her mind, Gandhi asked Pakistan to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism that “it has supported and ensure that its territory and the territory under its control is not used for terrorist purposes against India”.”The party hopes that Pakistan will recognise that it bears a great responsibility in the continuing cross-border terrorist attacks against India,” she said.Congratulating the armed forces on the success of the operation, she said the party stands by the government in its actions today to protect the country’s security and deal with the menace of terrorism from across the border.India conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads last night across the Line of Control (LoC) and inflicted significant casualties and heavy damage.The announcement of the sudden action by the army to target terrorists was made by DGMO Lt Gen Ranveer Singh at a hurriedly called news conference during which External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup was also present. India carried out ‘surgical strikes’ on terror launch pads across the Line of Control(LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir last night, inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists and those who are trying to support them.The announcement of the sudden action by the army was made today by the DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, 11 days after the terror strike by Pakistan-based terror outfit JeM on an Indian army camp in Uri in Kashmir over which Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the attackers will not go “unpunished” and that the sacrifice of 18 jawans will not go in vain.Congress hailed the surgical strikes declaring that it stood completely behind the armed forces.In the first such action, India carried out surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the LoC with the Army saying today its special forces inflicted “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir(PoK). Defence sources said seven terror launch pads across the Line of Control(LoC) were destroyed by special forces of the Indian Army on the intervening night of September 28 and 29 in a nearly five-hour-long operation during which heliborne and ground forces were deployed. The sources said the launch pads in PoK were in the range of 2 to 3km from the LoC and were under surveillance for over one week while Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said the strikes targeted 5-6 places across the LoC along Kupwara and Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir.Naidu said there was no casualty on the Indian side. The announcement of the sudden action by the army to prevent fresh terror attacks was made by the DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, 11 days after the strike by Pakistan-based terror outfit JeM on an Indian army camp in Uri in Kashmir over which Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the attackers will not go “unpunished” and that the sacrifice of 18 jawans will not go in vain. “Based on very credible and specific information which we received yesterday that some terrorist teams had positioned themselves at launch pads along the Line of Control with an aim to carry out infiltration and terrorist strikes in Jammu & Kashmir and in various other metros in our country, the Indian army conducted surgical strikes last night at these launch pads,” Gen Singh told a news conference during which External affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup was also present. Pakistan, however, dismissed as “fabrication of truth” India’s claim that it has conducted a military operation across the LoC to target terrorist launching pads, terming it as a “quest” by India to create media hype by rebranding cross-border fire as surgical strike. “There has been no surgical strike by India, instead there had been cross border fire initiated and conducted by India which is existential phenomenon,” Pakistan army said in a statement in Islamabad. The announcement of the strikes by the Indian army was made soon after Prime Minister Modi chaired a meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS).Prime Minister Modi informed President Pranab Mukherjee, J and K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and former Premier Mahmohan Singh among others on the surgical strikes. Sharing details, Gen Singh said the operations were basically focused to ensure that the terrorists do not succeed in their design of infiltration and carrying out destruction and endangering the lives of citizens of our country. “During these counter terrorist operations, significant casualties have been caused to the terrorists and those who are trying to support them. “The operations aimed at neutralizing the terrorists have since ceased. We do not have any plans for continuation of further operations. However the Indian armed forces are fully prepared for any contingency that may arise,” he said. The DGMO said he had spoken to the Pakistani Director General of Military Operations and explained India’s concerns and also shared with him details of the operation. “It is India’s intention to maintain peace and tranquility in the region, but we can certainly not allow the terrorists to operate across the Line of Control with impunity and attack the citizens of our country. “In line with Pakistan’s commitment made in January 2004 not to allow its soil or territory under its control for any terrorist activities against India, we expect the Pakistani army to cooperate with us with a view to erase this menace of terrorism from our region.”

Sushma Swaraj briefs Sonia Gandhi about surgical strikes across LoC

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday met Congress president Sonia Gandhi to brief her about the surgical strikes carried out by the Army across LoC. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also met Gandhi, who is recovering from illness, before Swaraj.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Gandhi was hospitalised after she fell ill during her roadshow in Varanasi on 2 August. In a statement, the Congress chief has said a “strong message” has been sent with the surgical strikes by Army against terror bases across the Line of Control (LoC) and insisted that Pakistan bears a “great responsibility” in the continuing cross-border attacks in India.

Union Minister Rajnath Singh chaired an all-party meet to brief the leaders of major political parties on the situation. India carried out ‘surgical strikes’ on terror launch pads across the Line of Control(LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir last night, inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists and those who are trying to support them.

The announcement of the sudden action by the army was made on Thursday by DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, 11 days after the terror strike by Pakistan-based terror outfit JeM on an Indian army camp in Uri in Kashmir over which Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the attackers will not go “unpunished” and that the sacrifice of 18 jawans will not go in vain.

Congress hailed the surgical strikes declaring that it stood completely behind the armed forces.

‘Levels of tolerance’ had been crossed: Defence experts hail Modi govt after surgical strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Top defence experts termed the ‘surgical strikes’ on terror launch pads across the Line of Control in PoK as an “operational necessity” and said those were necessitated as the “levels of tolerance” were crossed.Former top guns of the military lauded the bravery and calibrated approach of the Indian security forces as also the government for allowing the military to carry out the task and said “a long pending debt has been paid back today”.They justified the strikes, saying the forces had entered into Indian territory occupied by Pakistan. “I am very pleased that the government is letting the Army do what it needs to do. Let Pakistani military know that this is what we have done and we will continue to do it (if) they do not behave themselves. We need a big heart for doing this.”We have to congratulate the intelligence sources for providing accurate information on whereabouts of militants. We need to compliment the government for giving a free hand to the military. So, obviously, government had given a clean action chit to the military who launched a surgical strike with good dividend,” former DG Infantry Lt Gen S Prasad said.Noting that the forces adopted a “very calibrated approach” in their strikes, he said this is how the Indian government should react by leaving the military to do the job.Former RAW chief C D Sahay said the strikes had to happen and were “inescapable”, contending these should not be related to the Pathankot or Uri attacks as there has been a long history of trans-border infiltration.He lauded India for dealing with such matters with a mature approach while maintaining calm.”The red lines have (been) crossed. The levels of tolerance have (been) crossed and this had to happen. I would congratulate them, but I would still urge (India) not to go gung-ho about it. It was an operational necessity. It was a security necessity. It had to be done. I would urge everyone to move on from here and not escalate (tensions) further,” he said.India carried out ‘surgical strikes’ on terror launch pads across the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir last night, inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists and those harbouring them.The announcement of the sudden action by the army was made today by DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, 11 days after a terror strike by Pakistan-based terror outfit JeM on an Indian army camp in Uri in Kashmir which left 18 soldiers dead.After the attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the attackers will not go “unpunished” and that the sacrifice of 18 jawans will not go in vain. PTIMaj Gen G D Bakshi, who was involved in counter-terroristMaj Gen G D Bakshi, who was involved in counter-terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir and has been a former DGMO, said it is a “long-pending debt” that has been paid back by the special forces in a precise operation. He said the forces kept these people under surveillance over the last week and identified and destroyed five launch pads used by terrorists for infiltration into the Indian side.”It is a long pending debt that has been paid back today. They were kept under surveillance and when these launch pads were filled with terrorists for a crossover, our special forces were inserted very neatly, precisely and created mayhem there. They destroyed those camps and launch pads, causing substantial casualties,” Bakshi said.Air Marshal P S Ahluwalia, former C-in-C of Western Command said India first carried out a diplomatic offensive, then economic and finally the military one “to show that we have the tactical strength at least in carrying out these kinds of surgical military operations”.He said Pakistan would be in “denial mode” as it will not accept the ‘surgical strikes’ and will keep calling it artillery fire and infiltration, but called for more vigilance as Islamabad will retaliate.”I’m sure we are prepared,” Ahluwalia said, adding “there is no doubt that neither Pakistan nor India wants to escalate this and carry out a war”.Former Air Marshal P K Barbora congratulated the forces for carrying out the operation at an “appropriate time” and without rushing it through. He said there is cooperation and tie-up between the Army, Navy and Air Force so that we are prepared in case Pakistan wants to escalate the situation. “We are quite ready. Now it is upto them. Plans exist to cater to any kind of escalation,” he said.Former Navy official Commodore G J Singh justified the strike, saying Indian forces entered into Indian territory occupied by Pakistan and said the neighbouring country understands only such military pressure.”We have entered in our integral part of India. PoK is part of India. If we have gone in there, it is a step in the right direction,” he said.Hitting out at Pakistan, Singh said, “The essence of Pakistan is altogether different. They don’t any longer understand as their mindset is different. The only language they understand is when we apply military pressure.”

India will disintegrate when Kashmir gains independence: Pakistan

Islamabad: Pakistan’s defence minister on Wednesday said India will “disintegrate” when Kashmir gains independence, in a sign of mounting tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals.

Representational image.  AFP

Representational image. AFP

Khawaja Muhammad Asif told The Associated Press that Pakistan will continue to extend moral support to the people of the disputed Himalayan region, which is split between Pakistani and Indian control but claimed in its entirety by both.

“When the freedom movement in Kashmir succeeds, it will be beginning of the end of India,” he said. Asif said the sacrifices of Kashmiri people will not be in vain and that “India will disintegrate and it will not remain united” when Kashmir gains independence.

He said Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has tried to improve ties with India, but “we did not get a positive response from them.”

Sharif attended a high-level security meeting on Wednesday in which he expressed concern over human rights violations in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

India blamed Pakistan-based militants for a recent attack on an army base in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir that killed 18 Indian soldiers. Since then, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said he will work to isolate Pakistan internationally.

Terrorism biggest threat to international peace: Hamid Ansari

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a veiled attack on Pakistan, India on Wednesday condemned the use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy, describing the menace as the biggest threat to international peace and to the sovereignty of states as well as pluralist and open societies.”Your country, like my own, has suffered the horrors of this scourge of humanity. Terrorism today has global reach, no city remains safe. There is a new level of threat to pluralist and open societies,” Vice President Hamid Ansari said in his address to officers of the National Defence College here in the Nigerian capital. “Today, the biggest threat to international peace, and to the sovereignty of States, is Terrorism. Kautilya called it ‘secret war’,” he said while speaking on ‘Emerging Security Imperatives in the context of India-Nigeria relations’.”No cause justifies the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians as a means to achieve a political goal or change of policies,” he said, adding that terrorism is one of the most egregious sources of human right violations, and it has become a major impediment to development. Nigeria has witnessed multiple attacks by Boko Haram, which opposes western education and wants to set up an Islamic caliphate in Africa’s most populous country.In 2013, the US designated it a terrorist outfit, amid fears that it had developed links with other groups such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb to wage a global jihad.In one of the major attacks, the Boko Haram militants captured approximately 300 girls – between the ages of 16 and 18 – from a boarding school in Nigeria’s Borno state in 2014.”Nigeria, like India, has suffered the horrors of this scourge of humanity and use of terrorism as an instrument of State policy is to be unequivocally condemned,” he said, without directly naming Pakistan. “There can be no distinction between good and bad terrorists. A terrorist is a terrorist; one who commits crimes against humanity cannot have any religion, or be afforded any political sanctuary,” he said, referring to Pakistan’s policy of diving the Taliban militants into good and bad categories.India accuses Pakistan of training, funding and arming terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohamad who carry out deadly attacks in the country. In most recent attack, Pakistan-based terrorists killed 18 Indian soldiers during an attack on an army camp in Uri town in Kashmir. “We have to help each other by sharing intelligence, securing our cyber space, and minimising the use of Internet and social media for terrorist activities,” Asnari told the Nigerian officers, asserting that terrorism can only be defeated by organised global action.He called for restructuring the legal framework by adopting a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. “No country in the world, howsoever powerful, can counter the emergent threats unilaterally. This, therefore, makes diplomacy doubly important for developing economies such as ours,” he said. “Together we stand as giants of Africa and Asia respectively and as we march ahead in our quest for economic and military security, collaborative efforts borne out of mutual trust can be leveraged effectively to achieve our strategic goals,” the Vice President said.

India pulls out of key regional summit hosted by Pakistan

India pulls out of a key regional summit in Pakistan because of “increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region”.

NIA takes into custody two men arrested by army in Uri

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The NIA on Tuesday took into custody the two men from PoK arrested by army in connection with its probe into the attack at an army camp in Uri even as it established the identity of one of the four slain attackers as belonging to PoK.The NIA took over the custody of the two men identified as Ahasan Kursheed alias DC, a resident of Khaliana Kalan and Faisal Hussain Awan, a resident of Pottha Jahangir–both in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), and would produce them before a designated court soon, official sources said. The two were arrested by the BSF and the Army in a joint operation at ‘Angoor Post’ at Gavalata village in Uri last Saturday when they were trying to infiltrate into India.With both being residents of PoK, the army authorities interrogated them whether they had any knowledge about the attack in which four terrorists had stormed an army camp at Uri on September 18 and killed 18 soldiers.The duo initially claimed that they had inadvertently crossed into India but after sustained interrogation they not only informed the security agencies about the two guides who had helped the terrorists to infiltrate but also helped them in identifying one of the militant involved in the attack, the sources said.One of the killed terrorist was identified by NIA as Hafiz Ahmed of Darbang in Muzaffarabad Tehsil of PoK. The duo would be brought to the national capital where they would undergo scientific tests and also subjected to an interrogation by joint team of security agencies. The two had been recruited initially by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed(JeM) for guiding its militants to infiltrate across the LoC and later they helped other militant groups as well, the sources said.

Uri attack ‘plan devised by India itself’, says Pak Defence Minister Khwaja Asif

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a fresh anti-India tirade, Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has alleged that the assault on an Indian army base in Uri that killed 18 soldiers was a “plan devised by India itself”.Maintaining that no proof implicating Pakistan in the Uri attack had surfaced yet, Asif told DawnNews that “it was evident the attack was a plan devised by India itself.” India has said it has evidence showing involvement of Pakistan-based terrorists in the Uri attack and demanded that Islamabad refrain from supporting and sponsoring terrorism directed against this country.One of the four terrorists involved in the Uri attack has been identified as Hafiz from Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The Pakistani minister claimed that the “entire world knows now that India is not as serious about resolving the Kashmir dispute as Pakistan is”. He claimed India has not received support from anywhere despite launching a diatribe against Pakistan and added that China had, on the other hand, supported Pakistan’s viewpoint.Commenting on a bill moved in the US Congress to label Pakistan as a terrorist state, he said that anti-Pakistan elements are present in each and every country but the impacts of their voices depend on the policies of these countries.”Five or 10 voices raised against us are not enough evidence to declare Pakistan a terrorist state,” he said.Meanwhile, military spokesman Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa has said Pakistan’s eastern borders are under close monitoring of the security forces who are ready to respond to any aggression. He urged people to be vigilant and keep an eye on any suspected movement in the border areas.

Watch: Sangeet Som calls Pakistani artists ‘Gaddar’, says should be beaten with shoes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With Pakistani artistes in India facing threats from parties like MNS following the Uri terror attack, controversial BJP MLA Sangeet Som has said that they should be “beaten with shoes”. “There are quite a few artistes who are earning crores from here, no one cares about them in Pakistan. They come to Bollywood and earn in crores then they do ‘Gaddari’ (betrayal) with India,” Som, the MLA from Sardhana in UP, said.”They should have given Pakistan a message that we eat and earn here (India) so such incidents (of terrorism) should not happen here,” said Som, an accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013. In the wake of the Uri attack by Pakistan-based terrorists which killed 18 Indian soldiers, Raj Thackeray’s MNS had told Pakistani actors to leave India immediately, threatening to disrupt the shooting of their movies if they do not comply.”Such people should be beaten with shoes and forced out of this country at any cost. Even an animal who eats at some person’s house shows loyalty. Pakistanis eat from India and then backstab us. (namak harami karte hai). Only a ‘Deshbhakt’ should stay in India,” said Som.”An answer should be given to them and entire Pakistan. Don’t worry, the Indian army will give them a reply,” he said.

Uri attack: Nawaz Sharif says India has habit of blaming Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Remaining in the denial mode, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday termed as “India’s long-time habit” the assertion that his country was behind the Uri attack. He told Pakistani journalists in New York that India blamed Pakistan for the attack on army camp in Uri within a few hours of the incident and claimed that questions are being raised on New Delhi’s “haste”.”Investigation into such incidents requires many days and weeks,” Sharif was quoted as saying by the Geo TV. He described allegations against Pakistan as “India’s long-time habit”, the TV channel said.He also claimed that India had never provided any evidence to prove its accusations. His claim comes a day after Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit was summoned to the External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi. He was told that India has evidence showing involvement of Pakistan-based terrorists in the Uri attack and demanded that Islamabad refrain from supporting and sponsoring terrorism directed against this country.Sharif said that instead of hurling accusations on Pakistan, India should stop its “atrocities”, claiming that it is involved in “serious human rights violations” in Kashmir.”108 people have been martyred in Kashmir over the past two-and-a-half months and India is hurling allegations at Pakistan,” the Prime Minister said.According to the Pakistani media, Sharif said he had informed the leadership of the US, China, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Turkey and some other countries about the prevailing “grave human rights situation” in Kashmir and “they all tried to understand Pakistan’s position”. He said Turkey promised to send a fact-finding mission to Kashmir and a similar response was given by the Organisation of Islamic Countries.

Government continues to explore options against Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A grim faced government continued to explore options on Wednesday to give a befitting reply to Pakistan after the Uri attack in which 18 Army personnel were martyred. Pakistan-based militants had orchestrated an audacious attack at Army Brigade headquarters in Uri on Sunday.Several meetings at top levels were held, including the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), to weigh the pros and cons of options that India could take in retaliation to the Uri terror strike.Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi gave a halfhour long presentation to the CCS about the preparedness of the troops and the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir that continues to reel under civilian unrest since Hizbul commander Burhan Wani’s encounter killing.The presentation was followed by a back to back two-hour-long meeting between union home minister Rajnath Singh and Mehrishi following which Rajnath met Prime Minister Modi to brief him about the overall security situation on India’s western border.Mehrishi had gone to Srinagar on Tuesday to take stock of the security grid and discuss the possible implications on the Valley, if the Indian Army would undertake an operation to avenge the Uri incident. To keep the outbreak of another bout of violence at bay, Mehrishi is understood to have discussed the possibility of a massive crackdown on terrorists and militants who have infiltrated the area, with the Jammu and Kashmir state government and top security officials.Collated intelligence inputs estimate that 200-220 terrorists have infiltrated into the Valley from across the border since January this year. The majority of them managed to infiltrate when the security grid preparedness along the Line of Control (LoC) was at its lowest and counter insurgency operations had virtually come to a standstill because of the massive unrest across the Valley.Sources in the security establishment said that there is still no clarity on what kind of option the Indian Army could use against Pakistan to satiate public sentiment. Units in the government that are monitoring social media round the clock said that they have been witnessing strong negative sentiments against Prime Minister Modi and the government since the Uri attack.These sources added that though they don’t know what option the government may choose to use against Pakistan, the best available option could be surgical strikes on Pakistani Army posts by the highly trained Border Action Team (BAT).

Pak-based militants carrying out attacks abroad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As part of its diplomatic offensive against Pakistan, New Delhi will name Pakistani-based terror operatives who have been striking alliances with international jihadi groups like Islamic State (IS) or Al-Qaida at international fora. Indian authorities explain that this will help harden world opinion against Pakistan for allowing terror groups to function freely from its soil.In this regard, New Delhi has sought the details from French authorities of Mohammed Usman, a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) trained Pakistani terrorist. Usman was arrested in Austria earlier this year and handed over to France for his role in the Paris bombings carried out last year in November which killed 130 people. The attack, carried out by IS and Usman, a Pakistani national, played a crucial role in the terror strike.”We have asked for details regarding the investigation done by the French authorities. A dossier is being prepared with details of all such Pakistanis who have forged links with global terror outfits,” a top government official told dna.Sources said that information from various sources including intelligence agencies of some other countries are being gathered to put together a dossier on Pakistanis with global terror links. Indian agencies are also making efforts to keep an eye on Pakistanis seeking asylum in western countries. Even Usman sought refuge in Austria soon after the Paris attack but was then arrested.Usman’s case has been raised by India at international counter-terror meets but a more detailed analysis on such terrorists will equip Indian agencies to expose their global threat and linkages.”The idea is to let the international community know that LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) or any Pakistani group is not just a threat to India but to the whole world,” the official added.Initially, it was suspected that Usman was also part of the 26/11 Mumbai attack. However, Indian agencies later ruled out the possibility of his direct involvement in any terror strike in India.After the Uri attack in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based terrorists that killed 18 Indian Army personnel, New Delhi has begun devising a strategy to isolate Pakistan diplomatically. The attack is suspected to have been carried out by the Jaish-e-Mohammed. This was the second such attack this year by the group after striking at the Pathankot Air base on January 1 this year.Usman’s case is not the only one that will be cited by India at international platforms. Last year, a Pakistani was arrested in Italy for suspected links with IS. Earlier this year, three Pakistanis were arrested in Spain for promoting terrorism using social media.Officials tracking terror say with social media diminishing geographical boundaries, terror operatives are more likely to strike alliances with international groups. “IS has already ensured that several youth from different parts of the world come together for a common cause,” said a counter-terrorism official.Spreading terror abroadDecember 2015: Mohammed Usman, involved in the IS Paris attack, found to be an LeT trained Pakistani.May 2016: A Pakistani national, along with two Afghans, arrested in Italy for being part of a terror cell planning bombings in Rome and LondonMay 2016: Pakistani national Muhammad Baqas sentenced by court in Italy on terror charges, along with a Tunisian. The duo were arrested last year.July 2016: Three Pakistani nationals arrested in Spain for propagating terrorist activities through social media.

Uri attack: Terrorists sneaked in by cutting fence, ‘insider help’ not ruled out

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The four terrorists who stormed an army base in Uri sector on Sunday killing 18 soldiers belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and managed to sneak in by cutting the perimeter fencing of the highly-guarded army installation at two places, investigations have shown. In an indication that the terrorists were well-versed of the layout of the army base close to the Line of Control(LoC), the assailants locked the cooking room and store from outside to prevent the soldiers from leaving before setting them afire, sources privy to the probe said on Wednesday.The investigators are not ruling out “insider help” to the terrorists in view of the precise nature of the actions undertaken by the intruders once inside the army base, the sources said, adding the attackers first cut the perimeter fencing at two places.After locking the cooking room and store, two of the terrorists started moving towards the officers quarters within the base but they were gunned down before they could inflict any further damage, they said. The two Global Positioning System (GPS) sets recovered from the slain militants were damaged during the attack and have been handed over to the NIA, which is probing the case. The four intruders, who had crossed in from Pakistan- occupied Kashmir (Pok) a day earlier, were affiliated to LeT as the terrorist module bore striking resemblance to the group from the same Pakistan-based terror outfit eliminated in Poonch on September 11, the sources said.Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Ranbir Singh had told reporters hours after the attack that as per initial reports the slain terrorists belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammad(JeM), also a Pakistan-based terror outfit.”All four killed were foreign terrorists and had carried with them items which had Pakistani markings. Initial reports indicate that the slain terrorists belong to Jaish-E-Mohammed tanzeem,” Lt Gen Singh had said.The terrorists both at Uri and Poonch were carrying small plastic bottles containing a concoction of petroleum jelly and gelatin which was used to set the soldiers’ tents on fire, the sources said.Various intelligence agencies probing the bloodiest attack on army in Kashmir in 27 years believe that the attack could be handiwork of LeT, which has been induging in shallow infiltration — a strategy to target the first available security installation by the infiltrators after crossing the LoC.The NIA on Tuesday registered a case to probe the terror attack at the Army installation in Uri. The NIA took over the investigation from the Jammu and Kashmir Police, which had registered a case on Sunday, and began probe by collecting evidence available with the Army formation at Uri.The NIA team led by Inspector General G P Singh has been camping in Uri since its arrival on Tuesday. The team will collect the DNA samples of the four unidentified terrorists and their pictures would be shown to militants lodged in various jails of the state as well as other parts of the country.The NIA team would prepare a dossier and may make a formal request to Pakistan once the identity of the four was ascertained. Army has also instituted an inquiry into the attack with preliminary investigation suggesting the terrorists had entered the area at least a day before mounting the brazen assault.The inquiry besides ascertaining lapses, if any, would also suggest measures to prevent such attacks in the future as Pakistani-based groups were indulging more in “shallow infiltration”, which means that terrorists strike the first available installation after crossing the Line of Control.

2 days after Uri attack, Army foils two infiltration bids; kills 10 terrorists

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two infiltration bids were made from across the border in Kashmir on Tuesday but army foiled the attempts killing some of the terrorists while losing a jawan, barely two days after the terror attack in Uri. The attempts to cross the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri and Nowgam sectors came even as Pakistani troops violated ceasefire and fired at Indian positions in Uri sector.”Two infiltration bids by militants from across the Line of Control (LoC) have been foiled in Uri and Nowgam sectors today. At both places the operations are in progress,” an army spokesman said in Srinagar.The spokesman refused to comment on the number of militants killed in the ongoing operations so far, saying details will be made public in due course. He, however, said one soldier was killed in the operation in Nowgam sector.Army sources in Delhi which had initially put the number of terrorists killed at 10 later clarified that the extent of casualties can be ascertained only after the retrieval of the bodies from the dense jungles and that the operations were still underway. The sources said a group of 15 terrorists had attempted to infiltrate into Indian territory through the LoC.As the Government mulled various options on India’s response to the cross-border terror attack on Sunday in which 18 jawans were killed, a crucial meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS) has been convened tomorrow. On the ceasefire violation incident, an army official in Srinagar said the firing from across the LoC took place between 1.10 pm and 1.30 pm. However, there was no damage in the incident, he said.”Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing by small arms towards Indian positions in Uri sector this afternoon,” the official said in Srinagar, amid reports that the firing took place apparently to give cover to terrorists trying to sneak into the Indian territory. The official said while there were no reports of any casualty in the firing, further details of the incident were awaited.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh again reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir at a meeting in Delhi with top officials, including NSA Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar. Separately, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said that any action against terrorists based in Pakistan will be taken only after examining all relevant issues.The infiltration bids and the ceasefire violation came two days after four militants of Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad stormed an army base in Uri Sector, killing 18 soldiers and injuring several others. All the four militants were also killed.At the meeting convened by Rajnath Singh, Doval and top officials of the ministries of Home and Defence, paramilitary forces and chiefs of intelligence agencies briefed him on the prevailing situation in the Kashmir Valley as well as along the LoC, official sources said.

Uri attack: Action on Pakistan-based terrorists only after due consideration, says Rijiju

Uri attack: Action on Pakistan-based terrorists only after due consideration, says Rijiju

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New Delhi: Any action against terrorists based in Pakistan will be taken only after examining all relevant issues, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Tuesday.

Action will be taken after due consideration. Action is not taken after making announcements,” he told reporters.

The Minister of State for Home made the remarks when he was asked whether the government was planning to carry out a strike against terrorists camps based in Pakistan.

A file photo of Kiren Rijiju. PTIA file photo of Kiren Rijiju. PTI

A file photo of Kiren Rijiju. PTI

Eighteen soldiers were killed after heavily armed militants, suspected to be from Pakistan-based JeM, stormed an army base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.

There have been various reports suggesting that the government was exploring options on how to deal with the terror emanating from Pakistan.

“It is a very serious issue and we should not indulge in any war of words. So many lives have been lost, people’s sentiments have been hurt. The matter cannot be handled just like that,” Rijiju said.

Uri attack: ‘Shocked’ China voices concern over escalating tension in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Skirting direct reference to Pakistan and JeM, China on Monday voiced concern over “escalation” of tensions and “rising temperatures” in Kashmir after the Uri terror attack and called on India and Pakistan to resolve their differences through dialogue. “We have noted relevant reports. We are shocked by this attack,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told media briefing when asked about Beijing’s reaction to Sunday’s Uri attack and India’s charge that Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) is behind it.JeM has special significance as Beijing has put a technical hold over India’s efforts to bring about a UN ban on the outfit’s leader Masood Azhar for his involvement in Pathankot attack.Referring to the Uri attack in which 18 soldiers were killed and several injured, Lu said “we want to express our deep sympathies and condolences to the affected families and the injured”. “China opposes and strongly condemns all forms of terrorism. We are concerned about this escalation and rising temperatures surrounding Kashmir situation,” he said.”We hope relevant parties will have dialogue and consultation to resolve their differences and enhance counter terrorism cooperation,” Lu said, without directly referring to India and Pakistan.”Only this way can they safeguard peace and security in their region,” he said.Lu also voiced concern over the fallout of the Uri attack on the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) being laid through the PoK and said the project, in which China is investing considerable amount of resources, needs concerted efforts from all countries for its success.Asked how China sees the impact of the escalation of violence on the CPEC, Lu said: “The building of the corridor is to drive the development of the regional countries. It needs the concerted efforts of all countries concerned to ensure the smooth running of this corridor…At the same time I need to stress that recently in this region, especially in Kashmir region, there has been some escalation of tensions,” he said.”Our position is that we hope all relevant parties can work together and remain committed to resolving these disputes through peaceful consultations and jointly maintain the peace and stability of the region. This in final analysis is conducive and will bring benefits to China, India, Pakistan and all the regional countries,” he said.China’s concerns over the fall out of the recurring violence in the region was highlighted by state-run Global Times which on September 13 said, “China may not want to put too much focus on the region. At the very least, it would be unwise to put all its eggs in one basket”.”The CPEC has long been seen as symbolic of Sino-Pakistan economic cooperation. It is unlikely that China will change its supportive attitude on the CPEC in the short term, but the increasing cost of security is becoming a big problem in efficiently pushing forward the projects,” the article said.

#UriAttack: Nation salutes sacrifice of the 18 martyred jawans

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In one of the deadliest attacks on the Army in recent times, heavily armed terrorists, suspected to be from Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed ​(JeM) on Sunday stormed an army base in Uri in Kashmir, killing 18 jawans and injuring 25 others. The injured were taken to the army base hospital in Srinagar, where J&K Chief Minister Mehmooba Mufti too visited them on Monday. Prior to that, she lead senior Army and police officials in paying tributes at the wreath laying ceremony for the martyred soldiers.The ghastly incident has drawn strong reactions from everyone, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi promising a “befitting reply” to the culpritsHere is the list of jawans who died in the Uri terror attack.(1) Subedar Karnail Singh, r/o Vill Shibu Chak, Teh- Bishnah, Dist Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir.(2) Havildar Ravi Paul, r/o Samba, Dist Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir.(3) Sepoy Rakesh Singh, r/o Vill Baddja, Dist Kaimur, Bihar.(4) Sepoy Javra Munda, r/o Vill Meral, Dist Khuti, Jharkhand.(5) Sepoy Naiman Kujur, r/o Vill Gumla, Chainpur, Jharkhand.(6) Sepoy Uike Janrao, r/o Vill Nandgaon (Kh), Dist Amravati, Maharashtra.(7) Havildar NS Rawat, r/o Vill Rajawa, Dist Rajasmand, Rajasthan.(8) Sepoy Ganesh Shankar, r/o Vill Ghoorapalli, Dist Sant Kabir Nagar, Uttar Pradesh.(9) Naik SK Vidarthi, r/o Vill Boknari, Dist Gaya, Bihar.(10) Sepoy Biswajit Ghorai, r/o Vill Ganga Sagar, Dist South 24 Parganas, West Bengal.(11) Lance Naik G Shankar, r/o Vill Jashi, Dist Satara, Maharashtra.(12) Sep G Dalai, r/o Vill Jamuna Balia, Dist Howarah, West Bengal.(13) Lance Naik RK Yadav, r/o Vill Balia, Uttar Pradesh.(14) Sepoy Harinder Yadav, r/o Vill Ghazipur, Dist Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh.(15) Sepoy TS Somnath, r/o Vill Khadangali, Dist Nashik, Maharashtra.(16) Havildar Ashok Kumar Singh, r/o Vill Raktu Tola, Dist Bhojpur, Bihar.(17) Sepoy Rajesh kr Singh, r/o Vill Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh.(18) Sepoy K Vikas Janardhan, Below are the reactions of families of some of the martyred soldiers.

Pakistan raises Kashmir issue at NAM summit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Continuing with its efforts to internationalise the Kashmir issue, Pakistan on Sunday raised the matter in Venezuela at the NAM summit, saying the 120-nation group should be “outraged” by the situation there. Sartaj Aziz, in his address as the Pakistan delegation head, said peace in South Asia cannot be achieved without the settlement of the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council.”It is tragic that 60 years after being promised, the people of Jammu and Kashmir are still waiting to exercise their inalienable right to self determination and Kashmir along with Palestine has become one of the longstanding items on the UN agenda,” Aziz said.”We should also be outraged by the horrific images of innocent Kashmiris being killed, maimed and blinded by the use of boot force in Kashmir in the last two months,” he said.Aziz also stated that Pakistan strongly endorses the agreement of heads of state and government in Venezuela to undertake measures to oppose “attempts to equate legitimate struggle for self-determination and national liberation with terrorism”. Aziz asserted that Pakistan fully endorses the NAM position on terrorism and violent extremism.”We condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations…Pakistan has lost tens of thousands of lives in this fight yet are resolve is firm, our commitment unflinching and our actions tougher and more wide-ranging than ever,” Aziz said.Pakistan has acquired valuable experience in successfully tackling the menace of terrorism in the past three years and therefore is ready to share this experience with other members of NAM, he said.”My government’s focus has been on building a peaceful neighbourhood and regional connectivity and ensuring an environment that fosters cooperation and development. However, in our view peace in South Asia cannot be achieved without the settlement of the issue of Jammu and Kahmir in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council,” he said.His comments came on a day when 17 Indian soldiers where killed in a terror attack on an army base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir by suspected Pakistan-based militants.

Pakistan not to back down from ‘principled stand’ on Kashmir: Sartaj Aziz

Pakistan will not back down from its “principled stand” on the Kashmir issue which would be on top of the agenda whenever the bilateral dialogue is held with India, the country’s top diplomat said on Monday. Advisor to prime minister on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz was briefing journalists here on foreign policy and Pakistan’s strategy to address emerging challenges in the region. “Pakistan wants to have peaceful relations with India but will not back down from its principled stand over Kashmir,” he said. Aziz said Kashmir will be “on top of the agenda” whenever the dialogue is held with India.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said India was trying to dictate Pakistan on Kashmir which was not acceptable but he added that Islamabad was against any tension on the Line of Control (LoC). The India-Pakistan bilateral dialogue ground to a halt after January’s terror attack on the Pathankot airbase that was carried out by militants from the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad.

Will Barack stay in Gujarat after retirement? Sena mocks Modi-Obama bonhomie

In a sarcastic take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bonhomie with Barack Obama, key BJP ally Shiv Sena on Friday wondered if the US President will shift to India when his term gets over.The Sena also slammed the US for pursuing a “dual policy” towards India and Pakistan. “US President has become a good friend of PM Modi. Their relationship is so deep that we wonder if the Obama family will shift to Surat, Rajkot, Porbandar, Manali, Mahabaleshwar or Delhi post his retirement. No other Indian PM would have got so much love from an American President in the past,” the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana.’ Obama’s presidency is set to end on January 20, 2017.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Sena said that Modi thanking America for standing by India in its times of need is only an example of his courteous nature. “But, it is the same America, which has not stopped its policy of helping Pakistan financially or providing them with arms and ammunition. On one hand, America helps India fight terrorism and on the other, sells F-16 fighter jets to the terrorist nation. This policy of America is dangerous,” it said.Noting that it was true that America has warned Pakistan to take action against the perpetrators of terror at Pathankot IAF base, Sena sought to know who will take action against the terrorists. “America enters a country where its enemy (apparently referring to Osama Bin Laden) is hiding and guns him down, but for India, it only gives warnings. This duplicity needs to be understood,” the Sena said.Treating Pathankot attack on par with 26/11, Obama in a clear message asked Pakistan to punish the perpetrators and vowed to stand with India against terror threats emanating from Pakistan-based groups like JeM, LeT and D-company.

Pakistan’s lack of sincerity is closing window of goodwill: Parrikar

Singapore: Prime Minister Narendra Modi had opened a “window of goodwill and dialogue” with Pakistan, but it was slowly closing due to lack of sincerity by Islamabad, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Saturday.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. PTIDefence Minister Manohar Parrikar. PTI

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. PTI

“Prime Minister Modi opened a window of opportunities when he visited Pakistan Prime Minister (Nawaz Sharif). I think that window is slowly closing. Before it closes, Pakistan needs to develop that trust with India on its sincerity on the approach,” he said here at the Shangri-La Dialogue.

Noting that Pakistan separates terrorists between good ones and bad ones, he said, “They are after bad ones but the
good ones are promoted to operate in Afghanistan and India. I think that needs to be tackled at a diplomatic level.”

Parrikar’s remarks was in reference to Modi’s surprise visit to Lahore in December 2015 to meet Sharif.

The India-Pakistan talks, which had started during External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad
for the Heart of Asia conference, was stalled after the 2 January attack on Pathankot airbase in which seven Indian
security personnel were killed.

India has accused Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group for the attack and has linked the resumption of the
dialogue process to the action taken by Pakistan against the group.

Dawood’s location in Pakistan corroborates information available with us: MEA

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday reiterated that it will continue to pursue Pakistan to handover India’s most wanted fugitive, Dawood Ibrahim, after a television channel claimed that it has tracked his location.”The news reports referred only corroborates the facts that were already available with us. We will continue to pursue this matter and we expect Pakistan to hand over this international terrorist to us,” Swarup told reporters at a media briefing.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swarup also said that the Government of India has shared details of Dawood including his possible locations in Pakistan with Islamabad. “Dawood Ibrahim is a UN designated global terrorist and a fugitive from Indian law, at several point of time his details have been shared by the Indian Government with the Government of Pakistan,” he added.Indian news channel CNN-NEWS18 had on Wednesday claimed that it has tracked down India’s most wanted fugitive Dawood at his Pakistan-based location.”CNN-NEWS18 has secured clinching video evidence of Dawood Ibrahim’s presence in Pakistan, a claim denied by Islamabad for 23 long years,” the news channel said in a statement.The channel reportedly has used two Pakhtun men whose “names were withheld for safety reasons” to identify Dawood’s Karachi-based residence with address bungalow No. D-13 Block 4 Clifton. The location matches with one of the five addresses mentioned by India in its dossier to Pakistan.The channel claimed to have checked all five addresses of Dawood mentioned in India’s dossier to Pakistan, “Only one of the addresses in Karachi, D-13, Block 4, Clifton, was in a high security zone,” it said.”Starting at Clifton Marquee, a banquet hall named after the affluent Karachi locality where Dawood lives, the CNN-News18 team stopped every 100 metres, asking about Dawood Ibrahim’s house. All those asked pointed to the same address D-13 Block 4 Clifton,” the channel said in the statement.”They (two Pakhtun men) made four rounds separately from different directions and spotted the house of Dawood Ibrahim. During the third round of recce, they checked about Dawood Ibrahim from a streetside stall,” the statement added.The news channel also claimed to have spoken to police officers in Karachi and the security guard at Dawood’s mansion, “all of whom confirmed that Dawood has been living in Clifton”.

Foreign Secretary-level meet between Indo-Pak tomorrow; Pathankot terror strike to be the focus

In a sudden move, the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan will meet on Tuesday during which the issues dogging the bilateral ties including the Pathankot terror strike will be discussed.Primarily, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry will be in New Delhi on a day-long visit to attend the ‘Senior Officials Meeting of the Heart of Asia Istanbul Process’. An announcement to this effect was made in Islamabad.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the sidelines of the meet, Chaudhry will hold bilateral talks with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar to review the status of bilateral ties and Bilateral Comprehensive Dialogue (CBD), which is stagnant.According to sources, “the focus of the talks would be on the investigation into the Pathankot terror strike and a possible visit by NIA team to Pakistan in this connection.” This will be first formal meeting between Jaishankar and Chaudhry after the announcement of CBD by the Foreign Ministers in Islamabad last December. The two secretaries had a informal brief interaction during a SAARC meeting in Nepal in March this year.The efforts to resume CBD at the Foreign Secretary-level hit a deadlock after the terrorist attack on the Pathankot airbase in January that India said was carried out by militants from the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group.The meeting comes in the backdrop of Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit’s recent comments that the bilateral peace process was suspended, evoking a sharp reaction by Indian side, which maintained that communication channels were on at various levels but also made it clear it wants to see action on terror and Pathankot first before the dialogue could be resumed. Announcing Chaudhry’s visit, the Pakistan Foreign Office, in a statement in Islamabad had said,”Pakistan delegation will also hold bilateral meetings with other leading delegations attending the meeting.”Pakistan looks forward to active participation in the forthcoming Heart of Asia meeting, reflecting “our commitment to efforts for promoting long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan”, it added. Pakistan had hosted the fifth Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference in Islamabad on December 9, 2015.

Manohar Parrikar raises JeM chief Masood Azhar issue with Chinese counterpart

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday firmly conveyed India’s reservations to Chinese leaders over Beijing blocking its efforts to get Pakistan-based JeM head Masood Azhar banned by the UN and sought clarification on it as well as China’s projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.In a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan, Parrikar said that “India attaches highest priority to relations with China and was committed to further developing friendly and cooperative relations with China”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While expressing India’s wish to engage China closely, he firmly conveyed New Delhi’s reservations over Beijing’s move in the UN to block bid to get Jaish-e-Muhammad chief banned. “We expressed what happened in the UN is not in the right direction and they have to take a common line on terrorism which is in the interests of India and China,” Parrikar later told the Indian media here. He said the Chinese officials in response noted India’s concerns.Last month, China had vetoed India’s bid to get Azhar designated as terrorist by the UN Sanctions Committee, maintaining that the case “did not meet the requirements” of the Security Council. India believes Azhar is the mastermind behind several attacks in the country, including the terror strike on an air base in Pathankot early this year. “We have made our stand very clear on India’s reservation in regard to China’s activities in PoK” where Pakistan and China are building a USD 46 billion Economic Corridor linking the two countries, the defence minister said.The Chinese officials in turn explained that it is an economic project and not aimed against India. “Basically our concerns were noted by them and I expect them to act,” Parrikar said, adding that more engagement between the two countries would address such issues in future, while immediate response cannot be expected.He later met China’s highest military official Gen Fan Changlong, the Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, which is the overall commanding body of the 2.3 million strong military. It is headed by President Xi Jinping. The defence minister would meet Premier Li Keqiang tomorrow and later visit Chengdu, the headquarters of recently integrated western command military which has jurisdiction over entire borders with India.

We dominated China culturally for over 2,000 years: Rajnath Singh

India has “culturally dominated” China through the sea route for over 2,000 years, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday at the Maritime Summit in Mumbai.Speaking at the event, Singh also described the Gangetic plains as the cradle of all civilisational thoughts.When the Chinese revolution was on, the then Peking University vice-chancellor Hu Shih, who also represented China at the UN, wrote that “India has dominated and culturally controlled China for more than 2,000 years without sending a single soldier,” the minister said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The message has truly gone to China as well that Indian culture has influenced it and it might have gone only through the sea route,” Singh said, delivering the valedictory speech at the maiden Maritime Summit.He also quoted the French philosopher Voltaire as saying that “I am fully convinced that everything has come from the banks of the Ganges.” Singh further said that as India grows economically, militarily and technologically, its “national security imperatives and political interests will stretch gradually beyond the Indian Ocean Region.”Contribution of the shipping and maritime sector to GDP will grow by nearly three times over the next five years, he said, and added that it will continue to play an important role in the economic expansion. The Home Minister’s statement comes in the backdrop of New Delhi’s strained relationship with Beijing after China recently blocked a proposal to proscribe the Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s founder Masood Azhar.Singh also exuded confidence that the shipping ministry will achieve its target of garnering over USD 66 billion in investments over the next five years for the Sagarmala project.

Pakistan, India peace talks ‘suspended’

Pakistan’s ambassador to India says the peace process between India and Pakistan is currently suspended.

Serious issue that needs to be discussed: China defends decision on Masood Azhar veto case

New Delhi: Insisting that designation of any individual as terrorist by UN is a “serious issue”, a senior Chinese official on Wednesday said there was a need for more evidence from India for better understanding to ban JeM chief and Pathankot strike mastermind Masood Azhar by the global body.

Liu Jinsong, Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister at the Chinese Embassy, justified China’s action on India’s bid against the Pakistan-based terrorist and said his country can’t be the judge to decide who is right and who is wrong on the issue.

“At the UN, this is a very serious issue. We need to discuss (on the issue), we need some kind of understanding from the related countries, concerned countries.

Masood Azhar. ReutersMasood Azhar. Reuters

Masood Azhar. Reuters

“Pakistan is not your enemy right? It’s your brothers, it’s your neighbour. It is a nation (born) from one nation. You were one family before. You can’t move neighbours. And you can have a new boyfriend or a girlfriend tomorrow, but you can’t have your neighbours changed,” Liu said when asked about the Chinese action.

Last week, China stopped UN sanctions committee from designating Azhar as terrorist, maintaining that the case “did not meet the requirements” of the Security Council. This is not the first time China has blocked India’s bid to get Pakistan-based militant groups and leaders proscribed by the UN.

“Pakistan says India’s position is not good for them, it is against Pakistan. But India says its position is in its national interest. China can’t be the judge (to decide) who is right, who is wrong. With Pakistan, we are good friends. With India, we are also good friends,” said Liu.

The Chinese official further said “We can’t be on any side. We can’t stick to one side. We can’t veto, we can’t (remain) absent. Only thing we can do is (to put it on a) technical hold.”

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s recent comment that there cannot be any distinction between good and bad terrorists, he said China endorses the view and complimented him for trying to improve ties with Pakistan.

“Our view is Prime Minister Modi’s view… There is no good or bad terrorists. So there should not be any kind of double standard.

“At the UN this is a very serious issue. We need to discuss, we need some kind of understanding from the related countries, concerned countries,” the official said, adding “we are very pleased to say that Prime Minister Modi tried to do his best to improve relations with Pakistan. We like our two neighbours, India and Pakistan.”

Liu said India and Pakistan must engage in talks.

“We always tell our Indian friends (that) if you mention something related to Pakistan then why don’t you have some bilateral talks. You can have some agreement, you can have some close door argument,” he said.

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