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SOURCE: TNN BLOG

In an interesting development, India is seeking Chinese participation in a new project that involves connecting the northeast states with Bangladesh’s Chittagong port. Making the proposal are BJP general secretary Ram Madhav and the cabinet ministers of Assam, Tripura and Nagaland who are currently in China.

This comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan earlier this year, which is supposed to have initiated a reset in bilateral ties following the tense 73-day Doklam standoff last year. Madhav said that since India is developing sub-regional connectivity with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, south-west China could use India’s northeast as a hub to go to the Indian Ocean through Chittagong. Continue reading

SOURCE: lieutenant General PRAKASH KATOCH (R) / Asia Times

umblings are emanating from China against President Xi Jinping, who was placed on same pedestal as Mao Zedong by the Communist Party of China (CPC) recently. Though technically Xi is not “President for Life,” very systematically he has accumulated total power unto himself, eliminating dissenters and emplacing loyalists.

Dissent against Xi is emerging. One professor accused Xi of reversing years of reforms, in effect returning China to an era of totalitarian politics and a style of dictatorship last seen under Mao. Others blame the US-China trade war on Xi’s failure at implementing reforms, and urge him to stop spending money abroad on projects like the Belt and Road initiative (BRI), spending it instead in China. Continue reading

SOURCE: PTI

Former ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair today said India should seek support from United States of America or Russia to successfully send a manned mission into space by 2022. It would take India a long time to set up its own astronaut training and space-environment simulation facilities, the veteran space scientist opined.

Terming the manned mission as the next logical step for India’s space programme, Nair praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for mentioning the mission during in his Independence Day speech. Continue reading

SOURCE: PTI

Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure as prime minister saw India face several security challenges such as the Kargil conflict, the Kandahar hijacking and the Parliament attack, but he steered the country through them, using diplomacy and military force in equal measure.

After being sworn in as prime minister for a second time in 1998, Vajpayee travelled on a bus from Amritsar to Lahore for a visit the next year which was widely acclaimed as the start of a new era in Indo-Pakistan relations. Continue reading

SOURCE: Hindustan Times

Chinese minister of national defence and a member of the Central Military Commission Wei Fenghe is set to visit India from August 21 to 24, during which both sides are expected to discuss measures to deepen the strategic communication between the forces, including the possibility of setting up a hotline between their top military commanders, officials familiar with the development said.

“This is the highest level Chinese functionary we are hosting after the Wuhan summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in April. This meeting will focus on what the leaders had underlined: the need for maintaining strategic communication between the militaries,” said an official. Continue reading

SOURCE: Express News Service

When I spoke to his family, I took the liberty of addressing him as ‘Babji’. That was how Atal Bihari Vajpayee treated people who knew him. All the people who worked with him in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) can vouch for the fact that he treated them like family. He always made you feel good, he made you feel important and gave you respect.

It was nothing but fantastic working with him.Now that the great man is no more, his memories come flashing across my mind. There are so many memories. In fact, working with him created memories on a daily basis. What else can one say? Continue reading

SOURCE: PTI

Asserting that infiltration by terrorists was a major concern, India today told Pakistan that intrusions have increased in the north of Pir Panjal mountain ranges and Islamabad must take measures to prevent it.

A statement by the Indian Army said the Director Generals of Military Operations of the two armies held talks and expressed pleasantries on the occasion of Independence Day. The Pakistan DGMO made an assurance that the Pakistani army would take prompt action against any move of inimical elements in proximity to the Line of Control and respond to information shared by the Indian side, thereby facilitating the conduct of anti-terrorist operations, the statement said. Continue reading

SOURCE: Telegraph India

His latest fiction revolves round the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai and the yet undiscovered RDX stash, post the 1993 blasts. As the journalist and writer avatars of S. Hussain Zaidi meet, the result is a riveting crime thriller — Eleventh Hour. Here’s what the author has to say about his new release…

What inspired you to write Eleventh Hour?

The idea of this book was inside me for a long time but I wasn’t getting enough time to write it down, given other ongoing commitments. But I had to write it eventually, as the story is also of topical relevance. Continue reading

SOURCE: EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE

I think that Atal Bihari Vajpayee was an outstanding man. Being from the right wing of the Indian political spectrum, the kind of realistic appreciation of relations with Pakistan he had can only be lauded.The bus journey to Lahore, the things he said in front of the Pakistan Minar. That could have been the beginning of a new relationship. This was really screwed up by Kargil.

But knowing that the person responsible for Kargil is now the head of Pakistan, yet to invite him for the Agra summit, that was again something commendable. Something could have come out of the Agra summit if –we subcontinentals, both Pakistanis and Indians—sometimes we take pride in displaying our small-mindedness. It was the smallness of our minds which led to the sabotaging of the Agra summit. Continue reading

SOURCE: HINDUSTAN TIMES

Saudi Arabia hopes India and Pakistan will resume peace talks and will be happy to help the process but only if it is asked to do so, Saudi ambassador Saud bin Mohammed al-Sati said on Thursday.

He said he had noted the “reference that the Prime Minister-elect of Pakistan, Imran Khan, made regarding India — that if India takes one step, we will take two”. It was encouraging, he said, that this was followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s phone call to Khan to congratulate him on his electoral success. Continue reading

SOURCE: PTI

A 32-year-old man, arrested in May for allegedly planning to carry out terror attacks in several cities, had received training in “explosive making” and “suicide bombing” in Pakistan, the Maharashtra Police said in its charge sheet filed in a court today.

Faisal Mirza underwent terror training in the neighbouring country for 12 days, the state’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) said in the 1,155-page charge sheet filed in the special court of Sessions Judge MB Dattye here. Continue reading

SOURCE: THE NEWS INTERNATIONAL PK

The Foreign Office of Pakistan on Thursday advised India to set their own house in order rather than dishing the dirt at Pakistan.

In the weekly media briefing, the Foreign Office spokesman said levelling baseless accusations against Pakistan would not serve any purpose. The spokesman admitted officially for the first time that the US had cut off Pakistan from the International Military Education and Training (IMET) programme. Continue reading

SOURCE: Bloomberg

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former prime minister who transformed India into a nuclear-armed nation and ignited a weapons race in South Asia, died Thursday.The 93-year-old had been ailing for some time and on June 11 was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences suffering a range of illnesses, where his condition deteriorated.

Known for his engaging speeches, Vajpayee led India’s right-wing coalition governments from 1998 to 2004, overseeing sweeping policy changes in telecommunications, education and privatization of state-run firms. He will be remembered for his repeated efforts at talks with neighbor Pakistan, improved relations with the U.S. and India’s second nuclear weapons test in 1998, more than two decades after the first detonation in 1974. Continue reading

SOURCE: News18.com

History remembers the Agra Summit as one of the greatest missed opportunities of India-Pakistan relations.

Former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, in his book ‘Neither a Hawk nor a Dove’ wrote the “solution to Kashmir was in the grasp of both governments”. Why, then, did the solution slip away from both New Delhi and Islamabad? Different sides have different theories. But starting a dialogue with India’s most bitter adversaries is seen as one of the greatest diplomatic triumphs of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Continue reading

SOURCE: PTI

With his mantra of ‘Insaniyat, ‘Jamhooriyat’ and ‘Kashmiriyat’, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee endeared himself to the people of Kashmir who finally saw a leader willing to look beyond political calculations in his attempt to solve the vexed problem of the strife-torn valley.

People of the valley vividly remember Vajpayee as the man, who despite his Jan Sangh past, extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan and offered dialogue to the separatists in a historic speech here in April 2003. Continue reading