The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will unveil the Tejas Mark II with a heavier stand-off weapon capacity in the 75th year of India’s independence, in 2022, and the long-awaited indigenous fighter, which will be manufactured by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), will go into production by 2025-2026, two senior defence officials said on condition of anonymity.

DRDO’s ADA finalised the design of the 17.5 ton Tejas Mark II (Mk-II) in December 2018, and is expected to lock in the design of the fifth generation twin-engine stealth fighter for Indian Air Force (IAF) by the end of the year. ADA officials said the Mk II will have the same weight as the Mirage, Jaguar and Grippen but with a heavier GE 414 engine. Continue reading

SOURCE: SP Guide Publications

France is seeking to break fresh ground in advancing its strategic partnership with India by putting, for the first time, nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN) on offer. Sources privy to the agenda for the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emanuel Macron slated for August 22 evening in Paris ahead of the G-7 Summit disclosed that the French are also set to offer 36 follow-on Rafale fighters and F21 heavy weight torpedoes for Indian Navy Scorpene submarines in Government-to-Government deals.

India has an ambitious programme to build six nuclear-powered attack submarines at an approximate cost of over 100,000 Crore. The French are likely to offer partnership in designing and building these submarines in India. France’s Naval Group is currently building the Barracuda class SSNs for the French Navy. Continue reading


A chapter from Kashmir’s bloody militancy days is likely to make a comeback, with intelligence reports suggesting that Pakistan is making an attempt to push as many as 100 battle-hardened terrorists from Afghanistan into the Valley. The reason, according to defence sources, is the “low shelf-life” of local Kashmiri militants, who don’t have adequate training and are frequently killed in encounters.

The intelligence inputs suggest that, over the past two weeks, nearly a dozen potential infiltrators of Afghan origin have been identified at a terrorist launchpad at Lipa valley in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), opposite Uri and Tangdhar sectors of Jammu & Kashmir. This is seen as part of the Pakistan deep state’s response to the Modi government’s decision to remove Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu & Kashmir into two union territories. Continue reading


Even as the United States has hailed Pakistan for “initial steps” taken against the Jaish-e-Mohammed, the internationally-proscribed terrorist group has remerged on social media platforms—issuing its first public message since Islamabad clamped down on the group in April, amid international pressure.

“There are people who are silent, but doing a great deal,” reads the Urdu-language message, written over an image of Jaish terrorists in combat uniform, and attributed to the organisation’s chief, Masood Azhar Alvi. Earlier this week, a United States government official had praised Pakistan in an interview to Geo Television, lauding the steps the country had “taken against Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba”. Continue reading


After being placed on the grey list by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Pakistan is now on the verge of being blacklisted by the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) — one of the nine regional affiliates of the anti-money laundering watchdog. The APG is currently meeting at Canberra in Australia conducting a five-year mutual evaluation of Pakistan’s progress on upgrading its systems in areas of financial and insurance services and sectors.

Pakistan on Wednesday had submitted the compliance report on its 27-point action plan to the FATF, which is currently under review by the APG and has found Islamabad lacking on many fronts. The APG has reportedly identified deficiencies in Islamabad’s anti-money laundering and combating terror financing efforts. Pakistan’s contentions on improving its grading in different parameters are also not getting any support. Continue reading


President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday (local time) said France and India will hold discussions on Jaitapur nuclear project by the end of this year. “If we talk about civil nuclear, there will be discussion on Jaitapur (Nuclear Power Project) by the end of this year, so that we can take Jaitapur project forward,” the French President said after his bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Chateau de Chantilly, a 19th-century site located in Oise, 60 kilometers from Paris.

Informed sources had told news agency ANI that the talks on the cost-effectiveness of nuclear reactors are moving in the right direction and there is no roadblock.”France is the first country with which we have signed a civil nuclear arrangement,” PM Modi said in a joint interaction with the French President. Continue reading


When he visits Bahrain this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have visited all the Gulf nations, and most importantly strengthened Indias close connect with the six-nation powerful Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Indias “extended neighbourhood” with which ties have blossomed beyond hydrocarbons.

Though this August 24 visit is a first ever prime ministerial visit by India to Bahrain, the Modi government has been maintaining close ties with Manama since its first term. Late External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had chosen Bahrain as the first stop of her Gulf tour in September 2014. Her visit in July last year was her third visit to Bahrain, to co-chair the second Joint Commission meeting. Continue reading


Defence and diplomatic officials from India and the US are to have two meetings this week aimed at strengthening strategic cooperation and building on the shared vision for the Indo-Pacific region, according to the State Department.

On Thursday, Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells and Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific Affairs Randall Schriver are to meet with their Indian counterparts at Monterey, California, for an Intersessional Meeting of the US-India 2+2 Dialogue of defence and foreign affairs officials. Continue reading


Recently, during his speech on Independence Day, the Indian Prime Minister has announced the decision of his government about the creation of the post of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). This has been a long-pending demand associated with bringing in the reforms in the defence establishment. Having a single-point military advisor to the government is a need of the hour, particularly in the 21st century when the nature of warfare is rapidly changing. Today, India armed forces are required to remain prepared to address various forms of warfare from conventional to nuclear to asymmetric to cyber to space.

Interestingly, some political/defence analysts are found using this opportunity to paint the Indian Air Force (IAF) negatively. Many of them are holding IAF responsible for stalling the integration of the three services and not agreeing with the idea of CDS. They argue that there is a rivalry between the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force. Continue reading


Organised mass protests and possible attacks by Pakistan-based terror groups are among the main concerns weighing on the minds of officials responsible for security in Jammu and Kashmir. The communication blackout, which has caused a great deal of resentment in the local population, has also helped prevent the organisation of protests across the Kashmir Valley, people familiar with developments said.

“We are aware of the situation caused by the snapping of phone lines and the Internet and these are being gradually eased in parts of Srinagar. More restrictions will be removed in the time to come,” said a person who declined to be identified. The people cited above pointed to the potential damage that could be caused by even one message that could be forwarded on messaging apps by elements intent on taking advantage of the existing situation. Continue reading

SOURCE: Colombo Gazette

President Maithripala Sirisena’s office has denied parts of a statement issued by the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo yesterday. The President’s Media Division said that its attention has been drawn to a media release issued by the Pakistan High Commission on the High Commissioner’s meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena.

The President’s Media Division said that the meeting took place on the request of the High Commissioner of Pakistan during which he briefed the President about the recent developments with regards to India’s abrogation of Section 370 and annulling of Article 35A of the Constitution of India. Continue reading


Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has complained once again about the lack of response from India to his calls for talks and warned of an escalation in tensions between two nuclear-armed countries, deploying a scripted alarmist ploy Pakistan uses to get the world’s attention in its pursuit of third-party mediation on the Kashmir issue.

Several analysts have pointed out that Pakistan feigns frustration to divert focus from the key Indian pre-condition that it must first stop supporting terrorism. “There is no point in talking to them,” Khan told the New York Times in an interview in Islamabad. “I mean, I have done all the talking. Unfortunately, now when I look back, all the overtures that I was making for peace and dialogue, I think they took it for appeasement.” Continue reading


India and Pakistan should resolve the Kashmir issue bilaterally and no third party should “interfere or incite” violence in the region, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday after his marathon one-on-one talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two leaders reviewed the entire gamut of the dynamic and multi-faceted bilateral relationship during their more than 90-minute long one-on-one meeting at Chateau de Chantilly, one of the finest jewels of French cultural heritage, located about 50 kms north of Paris.

The one-on-one interaction was followed by the delegation-level talks. After the talks, the two countries signed four MoUs. In a joint press statement after the talks, President Macron said that Prime Minister Modi briefed him about the recent decision taken by India on Jammu and Kashmir and that it is in their sovereignty. Continue reading


For the first time after February’s Balakot airstrike, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday used the Pakistani airspace to travel to France for a bilateral meet.

The airspace had been shut following the airstrikes by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on 26 February. IAF planes had destroyed terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot area, following the February 14 Pulwama terror attack which killed over 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. The CRPF personnel lost their lives after their convoy was attacked by a JeM terrorist. India got a major diplomatic win after Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar was blacklisted by the UN Security Council (UNSC) on May 1. Continue reading


Pakistan’s electronic media watchdog has warned the cable TV operators of Lahore region against airing Indian channels and content, days after it banned the airing of advertisements featuring Indian artists. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Chairman Muhammad Saleem Baig said Tuesday that “strict” legal action will be taken if the cable operators will continue to air Indian channels, The News reported.

In a press release, Pemra said if the cable operators violated the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, “the authority will not spare any licensee and will lodge FIRs against such network operators”. Pakistan’s Supreme Court had reinstated a ban on airing Indian content on TV channels in the country in October 2018. Continue reading

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