India strongly condemned attack in Afghanistan and blamed externally
backed terrorists for the incident that killed at least 140 soldiers of the
Afghan National Defence Forces.
Indirectly pointing at Pakistan for offering support to the Afghan
Taliban that carried out the attack in Mazar-e-Sharif, India called for
dismantling of safe havens of terrorism.
Following the attack which targeted soldiers praying in a mosque, Prime
Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences on social media even as the
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) called for justice.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on a social media platform, “I
strongly condemn the cowardly terror attack in Mazar-e-Sharif. Our prayers
and condolences to the families who lost loved ones”.
No Indian citizens and diplomats were in the vicinity of the targeted
area at the time when suicide attackers drove into the base and shot down
dozens of soldiers who were just concluding their Friday prayers.
India and South Korea signed two agreements to build artillery guns
India and South Korea on Friday signed two agreements to build artillery
guns for the Indian Army and for collaboration in shipbuilding.
One of them is an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between the
governments while the other is a manufacturing agreement between two private
India has already nominated Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL),
Visakhapatnam while South Korea will designate their shipyard soon.
The MoU was conceived under the overall umbrella of the ‘Special
Strategic Partnership’ between both sides, Defence Ministry said in a
The MoU will come into effect from the date of signature by both sides
and will be initially valid for a period of five years and would be
automatically extended for further successive five year at a time.
The two sides will identify specific projects to work on and this
cooperation is expected to enable HSL to upgrade and modernise its
Indian engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Hanwa Techwin
of South Korea signed a contract to manufacture the K9 Vajra-T tracked,
self-propelled artillery guns for the Indian Army.
India and EU firmed up plans for holding the 14th bilateral summit
India and the European Union firmed up plans for holding the 14th
bilateral summit to be held in India later this year.
EU’s High Representative met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and
discussed common concerns like trade, counter-terror cooperation, maritime
security and defence cooperation.
The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to deepening their Strategic
Partnership. They reviewed progress on the commitments made during the 13th
India-EU summit in Brussels in March 2016.
Ms. Swaraj condemned the latest terror attack in Paris and said
terrorism was the gravest threat to humanity.
Consular access denied to Jadhav
The Pakistan’s army ruled out consular access to former Indian Naval
officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, days after India had made a strong case for
access to the Indian prisoner now on death row.
Mr. Jadhav was awarded death sentence by the Field General Court Martial
, evoking a sharp reaction in India which warned Pakistan of consequences
and damage to bilateral ties if the “pre-meditated murder” was carried out.
“Under the law we cannot give consular access to Khulbhushan who was
involved in spying,” Pakistan military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor
However, Indian officials in New Delhi maintained that there was no
communication from Pakistan on the denial of consular access.
Dalai Lama compared China’s actions in Tibet to the regime of Cambodian dictator
In his sharpest comments yet, the Dalai Lama compared China’s actions in
Tibet to the regime of Cambodian dictator Pol Pot, who was held responsible
for the death of more than a million Cambodians in the 1970s.
Speaking at the Tawang Monastery, the Tibetan leader and spiritual guru
said that despite atrocities in Tibet he had decided to “forgive China” and
was even willing to follow the “One China” policy.
In the run-up to his visit, the Chinese government issued several direct
threats to India.
The Dalai Lama also accused China of spreading wrong information about
his trip to Arunachal Pradesh, saying it is normal for Beijing to give
“political colour” to his spiritual visits.
India urged Myanmar to contain violence against Rohingya Muslims
India urged Myanmar to contain violence against Rohingya Muslims in the
western part of the country bordering Bangladesh.
India had been in consultation with Myanmar to restore normalcy in the
Rohingya territory of the State of Rakhine but pointed out that the issue
might not figure in the ongoing visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to
India had previously extended a sum of money to the Government of
Myanmar to restore communal harmony.
India’s comments followed a day after rights body Amnesty International
cautioned New Delhi against forcibly relocating Rohingyas to Myanmar where
the community faces discrimination.
Amnesty said media reports had suggested that the Union Ministry of Home
Affairs was planning to “identify, arrest and deport” thousands of Rohingya
refugees from various States of India.
Government of Bangladesh had been vocal in recent times, due to the
difficulties it faced over movement of people across the Myanmar-Bangladesh
Amnesty International’s India branch issued a fresh appeal for
protection of the Rohingyas, soon after Prime Minister Hasina reached India.
UAV deal with Israel may get done during PM's visit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to get a display of the Heron TP
armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) during his visit to Israel later this
These would be India’s first armed drones, significantly expanding the
aerial offensive capabilities of the military.
Armed UAVs for the Indian Air Force (IAF) are already being manufactured
in Israel and did not rule out the possibility of them being handed over to
the IAF in the near future.
The deal is expected to cost around $400 million for 10 drones. The
discussion for the Heron TP drones has been going on for several years but
the exact status of the deal is unclear as the progress is strictly under
India currently operates a large number of Israeli-built Heron and
Searcher UAVs, which were inducted since the late 1990s, and the three
services have been quite pleased with their performance.
With the indigenous efforts to build UAVs delayed, India has expanded
its arsenal of Israeli drones.
India also procured a small number of Harpy loitering drones in the past
which can destroy targets by direct hits. However the Heron TP would be the
first true armed UAV in the arsenal.
UAVs have become routine tools for surveillance and the armed variants
would give decision makers a new and safe option in planning short and swift
strikes on terrorist camps.
The manufacturer stated on its website that Heron TP is a Medium
Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) drone which can fly upto an altitude of
45,000 feet, has an endurance of over 30 hours and can carry a mission
payload of 1,000 kgs.
The other defence deal expected during the visit is for two additional
Phalcon long range Airborne Warning And Control Systems (AWACS) which would
join the three systems in service with the Air Force.
The radars are mounted on Russian IL-76 transport aircraft and Russian
industry officials have earlier stated that India has already ordered
aircraft for the purpose.
India and Malaysia agreed to cooperate to defeat Islamic State
India and Malaysia agreed to cooperate to defeat Islamic State militants
and the growing threat of radicalisation and extremism.
Visiting Malaysian PM Najib Razak held talks here with Prime Minister
Narendra Modi and sealed six agreements, while extending support to India
for a greater role in the maritime security of the Asia-Pacific region.
Mr. Razak, expressed support for greater synergy with India on the
security front, especially in the maritime domain, and said, “We appreciate
the greater role of India in the maritime security of the Asia-Pacific
The visiting delegation’s comments on the maritime issue is significant
as both the countries have been demanding freedom of navigation in the South
East Asian region, where China has been flexing muscles and has claimed most
of the South China Sea.
Both sides signed agreements on air services, sports, human resources,
palm oil production and research, and technological development. An
agreement that will allow India to build a fertilizer plant in Malaysia was
A bilateral joint statement issued by the India-Malaysia CEOs Forum
emphasised the need for visa-free travel for Indians and Malaysians as
travel and tourism in both countries contribute to their economic growth.
Both sides also highlighted that Malaysia would allow Indian Ayurveda
and Siddha practitioners to serve in that country.
As part of the move to popularise courses in Ayurveda, the government of
Malaysia and the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman would provide courses in
China again warned India against visit of Dalai Lama
China again warned India that the proposed visit of the Dalai Lama to
Arunachal Pradesh would cause “deep damage” to Sino-Indian ties, and
stressed that New Delhi would have to make “a choice” in its dealings with
the Tibetan leader.
“China and India are two major developing countries and we are close
neighbours. It is very important for the two peoples to maintain sound and
steady China-India relations.
But such relationship has to be built on (a) certain foundation,”
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said.
The spokesperson’s remarks are part of a sustained effort by the Chinese
officialdom and academia to discourage India from green-lighting the Dalai
Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh in early April.
China has been particularly emphatic about its claims over Tawang, which
houses the famous Tawang Monastery — India’s largest monastery. It is also
the second largest monastery in the world after the Potala Palace in Lhasa.
During his briefing Mr. Lu said that China was “seriously concerned
about the news” about the Dalai Lama’s visit.